Last Breath of Autumn & A Leaf Throwing Party

Autumn is almost over around our home.  All the leaves have fallen and left my trees bare.  We had some rain and a windstorm Thanksgiving weekend and our trees almost instantaneously dropped their leaves. As I was having my cousins over that Saturday for a post-Thanksgiving lunch, I knew my little nieces would be excited to have a leaf throwing fight, so for their benefit we left ALL the leaves that had fallen.  Here are a few pics of the last breath of autumn in our garden and a leaf throwing party. Continue reading Last Breath of Autumn & A Leaf Throwing Party

Sweet Wine & Dried Fruit Poundcake

Sweet Wine & Dried Fruit Poundcake
makes 2 
poundcakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup softened butter (1 stick), plus about 1 tsp softened butter for pan
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 cup fresh grated apple
  • 2 tbsp orange zest
  • 1/4 cup sweet dessert wine
  • 1/2 cup dried fruits such as raisins, dried cherries, dried cranberries, dried figs, and dried apricots. Soak overnight in 1/4 cup sweet wine.

Continue reading Sweet Wine & Dried Fruit Poundcake

All-Natural Christmas Fruitcake

The term fruitcake usually conjures up images of a heavy dense cake that is cloyingly sweet with bad quality dried fruits and fake syrupy candied fruits, all soaked in alcohol. This has always been my impression of fruitcake because over the years I have tried them all, and they have all – I hate to put it this way – but they all taste grossly teeth tingling sweet 😝.   So when my friend Basanthi told me she had an amazing fruitcake recipe that she makes every year over the holidays with our mutual friend Lakshmi, I was needless to say very skeptical.

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Then last year at Basanthi’s Christmas party she served the Christmas fruitcake she had been raving about.  I have to say it was the best fruitcake I have ever tasted!  In fact, the cake just disappeared before our eyes, as everyone at the party couldn’t get enough of it! Continue reading All-Natural Christmas Fruitcake

Creamy Leeks Pasta

My youngest daughter Rani made a delicious creamy leeks pasta this past weekend for our Thanksgiving dinner that the entire family devoured😋.  What makes this pasta a breeze to cook is the minimal amount of ingredients in it – leeks, butter, pasta, cream, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Outstanding feel good pasta this is. The only modification we made to this awesome recipe is omitting bacon and adding chili flakes to give the dish a little extra heat. Try it!  Here is the link to the recipe Creamy Leeks Pasta on Bon Appetit Magazine. Continue reading Creamy Leeks Pasta

Happy Thanksgiving!

Share, share, share, is all we preached to our kids as they were growing up. Oh how we all disliked sharing when we were kids. I think my kids started to dislike that word too. Why do we have to share, it’s ours after all?  That’s a tough question to answer. Why indeed should we share? Because it makes the other person feel good? Seriously? As if a child cares at that young an age. Some qualities don’t always come naturally and have to be taught, sharing is one of those characteristics.

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A Vegetarian Thanksgiving Dinner

It’s Thanksgiving day after tomorrow and our family is in a mad rush to get all our ingredients for our dinner. This year is special because we haven’t been home for Thanksgiving in a while. Last year we celebrated Thanksgiving in Santa Barbara and had an amazing holiday there. The year before we celebrated Thanksgiving in Sonoma Wine Country where we had an outstanding time in this beautiful part of California. This year we decided to stay in town and celebrate this uniquely American holiday at home. This means an extra special vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner prepared by the entire family. Continue reading A Vegetarian Thanksgiving Dinner

Curly Kale and Ricotta Salata on Crackers

This little appetizer packs a ton of flavor and looks amazing too. I came up with this hors d’oeuvres when I was making an egg frittata with kale, leeks and ricotta cheese. The combination of kale and ricotta cheese tasted so good when I was prepping them for the eggs, that I decided to try this combination of ingredients in an appetizer. The opportunity presented itself perfectly when I had a couple of friends over for tea one afternoon.

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Ginger Vanilla Pound Cake with Golden Raisins

Sometime’s it’s just easier to eat a piece of cake not knowing exactly what’s in it 🤔, because then we can blissfully enjoy our cake clueless as to how much fat and sugar are in each piece 🍰😋😊.  That is my love/hate/love affair with poundcake 💛💔💛.

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I love pound cake 🍰😋😋! That dense, yet soft and moist buttery cake is so delicious I could eat at least two pieces. It’s the butter that makes pound cake taste so good 😋.

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This ginger vanilla pound cake was my attempt to make a soft, buttery, moist pound cake with half of the butter required, while still keep that unique pound cake characteristics. It’s the Greek yogurt, fresh grated ginger, and orange juice that give my pound cake that wonderful dense, buttery moist texture and outstanding flavor. Try it! Here is the recipe. Continue reading Ginger Vanilla Pound Cake with Golden Raisins

Turmeric Spiced Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts have garnered a new wave of popularity in recent years. For decades it seems brussels sprouts were given a bad rap sheet, mainly because of the way they were cooked – usually steamed or boiled and then seasoned with salt and pepper or a cheese sauce 😝. It’s no wonder these vegetables were relagated to the “yuk 😝” pile. But Mom always made brussels sprouts sautéd with a few Indian spices that transformed the little brussels sprouts into a delicious dish.  Continue reading Turmeric Spiced Brussels Sprouts

Kale, Leeks, and Thai Basil Frittata

After returning from a farmer’s market trip on a Sunday morning I had a basket full of beautiful kale, leeks and Thai basil. These veggies gave me the inspiration to make a veggie-laden frittata. With the addition of some ricotta cheese, this frittata is delicious, filling, and packed full of good for you leafy greens and herbs.

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