Category Archives: Stories From Our Home

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 cardiac arrest.  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

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

Vancouver EATS

For all you foodies out there, this one is for you! I’ve heard from so many folks that Vancouver, Canada has an outstanding food scene. Restaurants, food trucks, and cafes with an international flair. So naturally when heading to Vancouver on holiday this summer I was looking forward to trying out some great food places in this Pacific Northwest Canadian city.  We got recommendations from many people familiar with Vancouver; from friends, from Hitesh’s office colleague who vacations in Vancouver often, from Hitesh’s friend John who lives in Vancouver, from our hotel concierge, and even our shuttle-bus driver; when you mix them all together what we ended up with was a smorgasbord of food places that were all awesome. Here is a look at where we ate and highly recommend for any of you planning on visiting Vancouver, Canada. Continue reading Vancouver EATS

Dinner at John and Lorraine’s in Vancouver, Canada.

On day four of our Vancouver summer holiday we had dinner at Hitesh’s long time friend John’s home.  John is Hitesh’s elementary school friend from Kenya who now lives in Vancouver, Canada. The two grew up together in Mombasa, Kenya and were best friends until they graduated high school.  After high school Hitesh came to study at University of Texas at Austin and then started working in Santa Cruz, California, while John went to college in London and then moved to Canada for work. Both got married and had a family and through it all they have kept in touch. They have been friends for over 40 years! Pretty awesome! When John heard we were coming to Vancouver for a holiday he invited us for diner at his home, how could we resist? Continue reading Dinner at John and Lorraine’s in Vancouver, Canada.

Garlic Pasta with Baby Spinach

Garlic pasta with baby spinach is our family’s all-time favorite pasta. I’ve been making this pasta for over twenty years and it always tastes the same – positively scrumptious 😋. I started making this pasta when my older daughter Sri was in preschool. She loved pasta (still does). Of course I made it with tomato sauce, and one with mixed vegetables, with pesto, one with cheese, and while they all tasted great, this version with garlic and baby spinach always got the best reaction.  There is something about the simplicity of finely chopped baby spinach, crushed garlic, and a touch of red chili flakes that puts this pasta in a league of it’s own. Continue reading Garlic Pasta with Baby Spinach

Rose Geranium Spritzer

Looking for an alluring avant-garde drink that is cool and refreshing?  Then this rose geranium spritzer is the one. Mrs. Iyengar who is my dear friend Rahika’s Mom came over for tea one Sunday afternoon some time back and Aunty who loves flowers and gardening noticed my rose geranium plant as she was leaving and casually gave me a quick recipe for rose geranium syrup. I thought why not try and make her rose geranium syrup? I must admit I was pleasantly surprised how wonderful it turned out. The syrup has the enticing flavor of rose essence similar to what you find in Middle Eastern desserts with an edgy herb flavor. Try this rose geranium syrup in a spritzer for a refreshingly unique and artsy drink that is perfect on a warm summer evening.   Continue reading Rose Geranium Spritzer