Green Chili and Cilantro Rice with Cauliflower & Peas

My friend Veena is the Rice Queen. I’ve known Veena for over twenty years now and over the years I have had the most amazing South Indian Tamil foods prepared by her. Anything and everything she cooks is outstanding.  One of her specialties is making the most creative rice dishes I have ever had. Her rice dishes are always flavored to perfection and positively delicious.

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Orange Salad with Olives & Mint Orange Vinaigrette

Orange Salad with Olives & Mint Orange Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 4 large navel oranges, skin removed and cut into big round wedges
  • 4 cups spring greens leaves or any salad greens
  • 1/4 cup olives
  • Orange and Mint Vinaigrette – Ingredients
    • Juice of 1/2 orange
    • Juice of 1 lime
    • 5 mint leaves
    • 1 tbsp finely chopped chives
    • 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar or any white wine vinegar
    • 4 tbsp olive oil
    • Salt and pepper

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Veena & Mani’s South Bay Garden Gem

Our friends Veena and Mani have a gorgeous home right here in the South Bay.  They moved into their new home a few years ago, and though their home went through a major renovation right before they moved in, the previous owners left the backyard untouched. Their landscape is huge. It has a swimming pool, a tennis court, and a very large circular driveway at the entrance.

However this landscape was lacking in character.  It needed a personal touch, a gardener’s personal touch that is. And that is exactly what Veena and Mani did. Give this large expanse of a garden their own unique perspective. This massive re-landscaping of their outdoor space took more than a year to accomplish, and the end result is something spectacular.

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Indian Scrambled Eggs with Green Chili, Ginger, Onions & Turmeric

Here is a recipe for Indian style eggs that is packed full of flavor with good for you ginger and turmeric. In India scrambled or fried eggs are typically made with chopped onions, cilantro, green chilies, and finely grated ginger, and sometimes spiced with a pinch of turmeric. Once in a while I love making Indian scrambled eggs for a change from my usual omelet.

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Geetha Masi’s Vegetable Biryani

Biryani, which is a very popular rice dish in all parts of India packed with vegetables and exotic spices comes in many variations. Each biryani recipe can be as unique as the families that make them. All biryanis are cooked with rice, spices and vegetables. Some may have meats as well. Depending on what region of India one is from and their own family traditions biryani can be made with coconut milk, shredded coconut, paneer, combination of meats, and a wide variety of unique spice blends.

This recipe is for one variation of biryani that I learnt how to make from Geetha Masi  (Masi meaning respectfully Aunty).  Geetha Masi was visiting us from Mumbai, India and offered to cook a dish that I wanted to learn – biryani was the dish I chose. Continue reading Geetha Masi’s Vegetable Biryani

Grapefruit Dressing

If you like the flavor of grapefruit and are looking for a nice refreshing salad dressing, this is the one. I made this grapefruit dressing with a lot of grapefruit juice and very little olive oil turning the dressing into a thinner and very light version. Here is the recipe. Continue reading Grapefruit Dressing

Sugar Snap Peas & Micorgreens Salad with Grapefruit Dressing

Thinly cut sugar snap peas combined with microgreens and tossed with grapefruit dressing makes this salad very light yet surprisingly filling at the same time. This is a crunchy, juicy, and refreshing salad that pairs really well with chilled white wine such as a Sauvignon blanc, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio & Pinot Gris. I buy microgreens from the Farmer’s Market but they can also be found at specialty grocery stores.  If you cannot find microgreens you can use any firm greens such as arugula, mache, or baby kale. Here is the recipe. Continue reading Sugar Snap Peas & Micorgreens Salad with Grapefruit Dressing

An Afternoon in Santa Cruz, California

We are so fortunate to be living so close to our favorite beach town of Santa Cruz, California; just a 20-minute drive on Hwy 17 over the Santa Cruz Mountains.  Santa Cruz has everything a beach town should have and more. First and foremost are what everyone goes to Santa Cruz for – the beaches.

Beautiful beaches line the Pacific Coast in Santa Cruz.

Panther Beach.

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Zucchini Teacake with Fresh Ginger & Allspice

This is a teacake recipe that I came up with inspired by the giant zucchini our friend Karen dropped off from her garden.  I had already made a zucchini curry and a zucchini soup with this giant squash. The next dish had to be something sweet and a teacake seemed like the perfect sweet treat for this super tender zucchini.

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When I came up with this teacake recipe I was trying to replicate a zucchini loaf bread I used to have at Peets Coffee & Tea years ago.  It was super moist, not too sweet, with some lovely sweet spices, and a few walnuts.  I used to admire the delicate green specks of zucchini that always caught my eye when I would take a bite.

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