Big Sur, California. Is there any place more beautiful?

Big Sur, California is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited.  The land here is absolutely stunning.  “Much ink has been spilled extolling the raw beauty and energy of this precious piece of land in California shoehorned between the Santa Lucia Range and the Pacific Ocean, but nothing quite prepares you for your first glimpse of the craggy, unspoiled coastline.”  from lonelyplanet.com   This is exactly how I felt when I first saw Big Sur – speechless.  The land and sea here is so spectacular that words fail me.

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Continue reading Big Sur, California. Is there any place more beautiful?

Guys Brunch on a Sunday Afternoon

We find guys are so hard to get gifts for.  Wine, coffee, chocolates, gourmet foods, these are what we turn to when we are struggling to figure out what to get our guy.  Do you see a pattern here?  They are all food-related presents. You know the age-old saying, “A way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”  That holds true no matter who the man is. Continue reading Guys Brunch on a Sunday Afternoon

Radhika’s Apple and Thuvaiyal on Baguette

When we hosted our Diwali party last year I asked my friend Radhika to bring an appetizer.  What she created was truly something special and it was a big hit.  It was minty, tart, spicy, sweet, and everyone wanted the recipe. So here it is.  Radhika’s Apple and Thuvaiyal on Baguette. Continue reading Radhika’s Apple and Thuvaiyal on Baguette

Mom’s Grilled Cheese Sandwich

My Mom made the best grilled cheese sandwich. Growing up my Mom made grilled cheese sandwiches on a regular basis, especially on the weekends for a quick lunch.  Hers was the only grilled cheese sandwich I knew. So naturally, when I started making them for my kids, I followed my Mom’s recipe.  Apparently this isn’t the standard recipe that most people are used to.  I didn’t know that.

When my kid’s friends would come over and I would make my Mom’s grilled cheese, I would get surprised happy reactions.  They would ask me for the recipe; it’s amazingly delicious I was told. Anjali and Rani’s friends loved these grilled cheese sandwiches. Having only known my Mom’s grilled cheese sandwich I just figured that’s how it’s always made.  Turns out it was my Mom’s version of a grilled cheese sandwich.

What makes my Mom’s grilled cheese so good?  It’s the simple good old-fashioned ingredients that go in it.  Nothing complicated.  Mom never used American cheese; she took the trouble to grate a block of good cheddar cheese.  She used white bread or sourdough, fresh tomatoes, and onions.  She only used butter, no margarine, no olive oil and no substitutes.  That’s it.

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Over the years I have messed around with Mom’s grilled cheese by adding fancy cheeses, gourmet condiments, and sautéed mushrooms and peppers. But I never get the wow reaction I get when I make the original Mom’s grilled cheese.  Now I just stick to her recipe.  Continue reading Mom’s Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Shalini’s Magic Garden

I call my friend Shalini’s garden the Magic Garden. That’s because anything she grows in her garden be it in the front yard or back yard, grows like a weed.  Not only that, she just sticks her plants in the ground, fertilizes and waters, and that’s it, these plants just take off.  Any plant she grows gets big and lush in Shalini’s magic hands. Continue reading Shalini’s Magic Garden

David Bruce Winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains

Why drive all the way to Napa, when you can drive fifteen minutes up into the Santa Cruz Mountains and find some great wineries right here in the South Bay?  On a whim one Saturday afternoon, Hitesh and I decided to go wine tasting and made a quick trip to David Bruce Winery.  David Bruce is a small winery that specializes in a hand full of wines – mostly Pinot Noir, some Chardonnay, and Sangiovese.  In a secluded location off Bear Creek Road in the Santa Cruz Mountains, David Bruce is a low-key winery that has solid good wine. Continue reading David Bruce Winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains

recipes and stories from our home