Category Archives: From the Kitchen

Harvest. Unexpected Projects Using Extraordinary Garden Plants by Stefani Bittner & Alethea Harampolis

Harvest. Unexpected Projects Using 47 Extraordinary Garden Plants by Stefani Bittner & Alethea Harampolis is a fun, beautiful, inspiring, and informative gardening cookbook I recently bought.

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I pre-ordered this book and I never pre-order a book.  I like to read the reviews and have the book be out for a while to see what people think of it before I get it. But the name of this book got me hooked – Harvest!  What a lovely name for a gardening book.  Harvest speaks volumes just by the meaning of the word – the feel good images it conjures of fields and farms, of flowers and nature.

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I ordered the book not knowing if I would like it, but that’s the beauty of Amazon. I figured if the book didn’t live up to my expectations I could easily return it. I finally got a copy of Harvest in the mail about a month ago, and with an open mind started perusing this book.  Let me give you just a few of the many reasons why this is a wonderful book to add to your gardening and cookbook collection. Continue reading Harvest. Unexpected Projects Using Extraordinary Garden Plants by Stefani Bittner & Alethea Harampolis

Super Easy Super Delicious Super Quick Vegetarian Tacos & Taco Salad

On warm summer days tacos piled high with fresh vegetables and packed with well-seasoned kidney beans is a positively satisfying meal for lunch or dinner. This is the easiest recipe to pull together with the most stupendously delicious results.  These tacos are packed with good for you legumes such as kidney beans, chock full of leafy greens, fresh tomatoes, delicious salsa, sour cream, and a dash of shredded cheese.

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These vegetarian tacos are so good that you will have not just one or two, but three or four. However if you are like me, you will find that this dish tastes even better without the taco shell, as a taco salad.  Try it. Here is the recipe. Continue reading Super Easy Super Delicious Super Quick Vegetarian Tacos & Taco Salad

Saffron Pistachio Ice Cream

When one has an ice cream maker at home it is so much fun to get creative with ice cream flavors. The best part of having an easy to use ice cream maker is that we can make small-batch ice creams – just enough for one evening. This also means that we can experiment with different flavors in small quantities. The twins and I love trying out new and creative ice cream flavors over the hot summer months.

Saffron pistachio ice cream is a classic ice cream flavor in India called Kesar Pista, which translates to Saffron Pistachio. Used to be I could only find this flavor at Indian grocery stores or at Indian restaurants and ice cream parlors. But now  with my easy to use ice cream maker, making Saffron Pistachio Ice Cream at home has become a breeze.  Here is the recipe.

Continue reading Saffron Pistachio Ice Cream

Dinner at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California

We have heard so much about this talked about restaurant here in the Bay Area  – Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California.  The restaurant is so popular that you have to plan at least a month in advance just to make a reservation, and cross your fingers and hope that you can get a reservation. On top of that, there are guidelines for when one can call to make that reservation; one has to wait for the exact day to the month when you want to go for dinner. This is what I did; I patiently waited to the exact day one month before Hitesh’s birthday to make dinner reservations for his special birthday celebration with the family.  I was fortunate enough to make reservations for the day that I requested! This is how we ended up going to Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. Was it worth the hype and the wait? YES, YES, YES. Continue reading Dinner at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California

Dave’s Amuse Bouche. Goat Cheese Wrapped in Seaweed.

Amuse bouche is a complimentary, bite-sized portion of savory food served before a meal or in between courses at a restaurant.

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When I invited our friends Dave and Rose to come over for dinner one evening to show us how to make pasta and tiramisu that they had learnt on their Italian holiday in Tuscany; Dave brought an interesting amuse bouche – goat cheese wrapped in seaweed.

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This was a very unique amuse bouche because I would never think to combine an Asian flavor like seaweed with a western flavor like goat cheese. Dave’s amuse bouche was a delectable little bite that packed a ton of flavor. Here is the recipe.

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Mushroom Sandwich

Sometimes when I think of vegetables I can picture them as dainty or dashing, pretty or handsome. Tomatoes for example are beautiful – when they are in the basket with other veggies, all eyes are on tomatoes. While dark eggplant, potatoes, onions, and mushrooms look handsome.

With handsome vegetables like mushrooms and caramelized onions what you have with this recipe is a vegetarian mushroom sandwich that will satisfy the taste buds of all genders.

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Goat Cheese Tart with Sundried Tomatoes

This is a recipe I got from watching Barefoot Contessa’s show on Food Network.  Ina Garten was making a beautiful goat cheese tart with thinly sliced zucchini.  It looked positively gorgeous. But I am not a big fan of zucchini – no offense to zucchini fans. This recipe also called to make a homemade pastry crust – and I am not a fan of that either.

I decided to take Ina Garten’s recipe and make it my own. I used a store bought frozen piecrust (the kind you have to roll out) for the goat cheese tart, and instead of zucchini I used a jar of sundried tomatoes as my topping.  To turn this delectable tart into a meal – I served it on Sunday evening with a tossed green salad as part of my Sunday Salad routine.   Continue reading Goat Cheese Tart with Sundried Tomatoes

Salted Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel

One of my twins Rani got in the mood to make some chocolate cupcakes a few weekends ago. But Rani is a picky one; she likes dark chocolate, even in her cupcakes. YES! I thought. I am going to be treated to an adult cupcake made with dark chocolate!

Now as you may know, there are countless chocolate cupcake recipes out there, hundreds of recipes actually. Yet somehow Rani was able to narrow down her search to this one recipe from Gimmesomeoven.com. She asked me to take a look at the recipe for 1: do we have the ingredients and 2: for approval – i.e. is this an easy recipe to follow. I gave her the thumbs up 👍.  This is how Rani’s chocolate cupcakes turned out.  Pretty cool!

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