Tara. A Star Among the Stars

Hello everyone, I hope you are having a great weekend and a very happy Sunday to you all. We are having a beautiful weekend here in the Bay Area; very fall-like, pleasantly warm in the 70s in the daytime and in the chilly 50s at night. I’ve been appreciating our lovely weather in a more quiet pensive and contemplative mood this weekend, I couldn’t help it. I had just heard a few days earlier that my cousin Tara had passed away unexpectedly.  She was 37 years young.  As you can imagine, it came as a shock to all of us. Tara was the youngest of all our cousins, and I think everyone’s favorite.  What happened you are probably wondering? To be so young and leave so soon?  She was gardening in her backyard when it seems she fainted. When she came to she was able to dial 911 and call her mom-in-law.  Her husband is a fireman at CalFire and was on a training session 2 hours away.  By the time her husband, brother and father arrived at the hospital she had passed away.  She died of pulmonary embolism.  As I type this blog it seems unreal that Tara is gone. Continue reading Tara. A Star Among the Stars

Apple Crisp

I had my friends Devi and Rose over last week for a little celebration lunch for our friend Rose’s birthday. On a warm September Friday afternoon I thought I would keep our lunch on the lighter side and made veggie sandwiches, soup, and salad. Devi brought fresh cut fruit and fresh figs from her garden, and since my friend Rose is the queen of baking 😋👑🍪 she was assigned to bring dessert. For our humble lunch Rose brought not just one sweet treat but two! A delectable apple crisp and biscotti. Continue reading Apple Crisp

Cauliflower Broccoli & Potato Curry

Cauliflower, broccoli and potato curry is a dish I had at my friend Radhika’s home when we all went over for dinner recently.  Radhika had made a traditional South Indian Tamil meal for the evening that was outstanding. One of the veggie dishes was a broccoli cauliflower and potato curry that was so good that Rani was having seconds and thirds. It seems this curry is a favorite of Radhika’s two sons and is a dish that Radhika’s Father used to make when she was young.  Continue reading Cauliflower Broccoli & Potato Curry

A Perfect Weekend

Hello everyone, hope you had a great weekend! Our weekend was the kind that I like – a relaxing one. On Saturday we went shopping for Indian clothes – Mom (me) and her three daughters shopping for Indian clothes? Fun, fun, fun! We stopped by a home boutique that was like a sari shop, and we spent more than we should have 😀.  Came home and relaxed a while then started prepping for dinner while the kids got going on their homework. That pretty much sums up our Saturday! Continue reading A Perfect Weekend

Celebrating the Bond Among Siblings in the Festival of Raksha Bhandan

Last weekend I had my cousins over for dinner to celebrate the Indian festival of Raksha Bhandhan.  Raksha Bhandan celebrates the bond that exists between brothers and sisters and is observed every year in August. The relationship between siblings is a very special one and this unique bond is celebrated during Raksha Bhandan. It is a day when siblings pray for each other’s well-being and happiness. Though traditionally Raksha Bhandan is observed mostly in Northern and Northwestern parts of India and in Nepal; this festival of sibling love has spread to other parts of India today. Continue reading Celebrating the Bond Among Siblings in the Festival of Raksha Bhandan

Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

I must confess I had never made mashed potatoes until we went for dinner at our friends William and Stella’s home for a surprise birthday party last week. It was a surprise birthday dinner for our friend Stella that William her husband pulled together in just 48 hours! He texted and called a small group of Stella’s close friends and asked if we could come over for a weeknight dinner to surprise Stella on her birthday. Our response was “Of course, we will be there.” Continue reading Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

Panzanella. Fresh Tomato and Bread Salad

Every August and September we are swimming in garden fresh tomatoes from the garden, from multiple tomato deliveries from my neighbor, and abundance of tomatoes at the Farmer’s Markets.  All this tomato bounty really forces me to get creative with tomato recipes especially ones that use fresh off the vine garden tomatoes. This Italian salad called panzanella is one of those recipes that is made with lots of fresh tomatoes and crusty bread. Add a bit of garlic, some onions, olive oil and balsamic vinegar and toss in some good sourdough bread and you have a delicious tomato salad with the added feel goodness of bread. The bread soaks up all the juices from the tomatoes and flavors the bread so beautifully that one can eat multiple bowls of this delicious salad. Continue reading Panzanella. Fresh Tomato and Bread Salad

Canning Tomatoes. A Novice’s Journey

Every summer we get tons and tons of tomatoes and vegetabales from our neighbor, so many vegetables in fact that we can’t eat them fast enough. I’m talking hundreds and hundreds of tomatoes, eggplant, zucchinis, peppers, cucumbers, and chilies. I froze a bunch to use throughout the year but my freezer was getting pretty full. I gave a bunch of veggies to friends too but I still had loads of vegetables waiting to be used. Finally with the remainder of the hundreds of tomatoes, squashes, and eggplants I decided a couple of years ago to make giant pots of marinara sauce, and for the first time in my life I learnt how to can and jar my tomatoes. Continue reading Canning Tomatoes. A Novice’s Journey

August in the Garden & Summer Harvest Pics

Our summer this year has been beautiful and my garden is loving it.  I’ve been enjoying gardening this summer because surprisingly the weather has been pleasant where I live in our Bay Area microclimate – with temperatures in the 70s, 80, and sometimes in the low 90s. Flowers have been blooming nonstop and I have been getting a good supply of garden herbs, tomatoes, plums, and apples. Not as many as many other superstar veggie gardeners out there, but we are happy with our modest bounty. Here is a look at what we have been harvesting this summer and enjoying in pastas, pies, and salads. Continue reading August in the Garden & Summer Harvest Pics

recipes and stories from our home