Simple Tomato Bruschetta

Rani made this very simple bruschetta with fresh garden tomatoes that our neighbor Jim had dropped off recently. What makes this version of bruschetta so easy to make is that Rani used whatever bread we had in the pantry. She just toasted the bread before piling on the juicy tomato mixture, that’s it. It was quick to make and tasted great 😋.


Traditionally bruschetta is made with crusty baguette, but if you are like me, we don’t always have that around, but what we do have are sandwich bread for morning toast and lunches. These sandwich bread slices can be used for a quick and easy bruschetta.  Just make sure it’s dense bread such as a sourdough, farm bread, rye, or whole grain sandwich bread.   Continue reading Simple Tomato Bruschetta

Late Summer Bounty of Tomatoes, Eggplants, Peppers & Squash

Over the last month we have received many deliveries of organic heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and squash from our neighbor Jim. Every summer Jim drops off bags and bags of homegrown vegetables. Hundreds of heirloom tomatoes, tons of squash, eggplant, and peppers in odd shapes, colors and sizes.  See a pattern in the vegetables?  Very Italian they are – that’s because Jim’s family is from Italy. During one of our conversations he mentioned that he has been growing beans from 100-year old seeds that his grandfather brought with him from Italy.

Continue reading Late Summer Bounty of Tomatoes, Eggplants, Peppers & Squash

Roasted Fennel & Chickpea Salad

The cool thing about this chickpea salad is how the roasted fennel, peppers, and onions add such wonderful flavors to this dish that it requires no dressing. Just fresh mint, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  My friend Shalini made this fennel and chickpea salad for lunch one day that was positively outstanding. Here is the recipe.
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Spiced Plum Cake

I have been wanting to make a plum cake for a long time now, ever since I had a spiced plum cake at my friend Roli’s home when we stopped by for tea.

Roli and her daughter had made their cake from scratch, added spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and used plums from their backyard as a topping for their cake.  With so much care and detail going into this cake it was bound to taste amazing 😋. Continue reading Spiced Plum Cake

Afternoon Tea at Roli’s. A Menu Worth Replicating

My dear friend Roli invited the twins and I for afternoon tea over the summer to see her new home that she had just moved into. I was very happy for Roli and her family’s new dwelling and looked forward to spending an afternoon with her. The joy, the pride, the excitement of new beginnings, and memories to come in a new home is a feeling that is truly special.

For our afternoon tea get together Roli made the perfect combination of savories, sweets and treats.  Here is a look at Roli’s afternoon tea menu: Continue reading Afternoon Tea at Roli’s. A Menu Worth Replicating

Greens Salad with Apples & Pickled Onion Vinaigrette

Greens Salad with Apples & Pickled Onion Vinaigrette


  • 8-10 cups spring greens salad mix
  • 2 medium apples cut into thin slices
  • 1 bell pepper cut into thin slices or 4 small peppers cut into thin circles
  • 1/2  small red onion cut into slivers
  • 1 avocado cut into thin slices
  • White cheddar cheese cut into small cubes – as much as you like (optional)
  • Ingredients for pickled onion vinaigrette
    • 1/4 cup pickled onion vinegar
    • 4 tbsp olive oil
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 tbsp honey

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Pickled Onion Vinaigrette

Hey folks, have you had a chance to make easy pickled onions yet? Wondering what to do with the vinegar after the pickled onions have been consumed? Guess what? That same vinegar can be used to make a vinaigrette salad dressing. An added bonus is that the vinegar is now an onion and coriander flavored vinegar. Pretty cool!


IMG_2521 Continue reading Pickled Onion Vinaigrette

Shawn. The Most Kind-Hearted Man We Called Our Cousin

I had a very eventful few days. Over this past Labor Day weekend I was in Houston, Texas. I know you are probably wondering why would I go there with all the flooding and damage and relief efforts going on from the devastation that Hurricane Harvey has caused. I wasn’t there on a fun excursion believe me, my dear cousin Shawn passed away, literally a couple days after the storm hit Houston.

I flew to Dallas where my brother lives as the Houston airport hadn’t opened yet for incoming flights. I flew out Friday night, and my brother and I drove Saturday morning from Dallas to Houston, a 3- hour drive to attend Shawn’s memorial service Saturday afternoon.  The waters had receded on the roads we took to Houston and in the areas around where the service was held in Sugarland, Texas. However driving around the city we could see everywhere the debris left behind by Hurricane Harvey.

My cousin Shawn was 56 years young, a warm and kind-hearted man. I grew up with Shawn and his three brothers Nando, Prem and Pradeep in Houston, Texas. Our two homes were just a few miles from each other, we spent practically every weekend at each other’s homes. That’s the beauty of having family close by, it’s easy to build life-long bonds.

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When I got married and moved away from Texas, Shawn and I still saw each other over the years for special occasions such as birthdays and weddings, and sometimes when Shawn was in California on business trips he would stop by and say hello.

Shawn sitting on the right at my cousin Dharani’s wedding

Speaking to Shawn’s brothers I found out that Shawn had been really sick for a few months now – suffering very badly as they explained. Shawn had severe diabetes and had been on dialysis for a few years but the disease was taking a toll on his body. He eventually passed away after several months of health related complications. Continue reading Shawn. The Most Kind-Hearted Man We Called Our Cousin

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