The Story of the Dahlia

If I had to label flowers as members of a royal family, I would have to start with my favorite flower-the rose.  Rose would be the queen of the garden.  Lilies would be the knights. Begonias, tulips, daffodils and freesias would be the princes, princesses and ladies in waiting.  Which flower would be king you ask?  That would be the dahlia.  Dahlia has to be the king of the garden.  With its huge selection of flowers in a myriad of colours, shapes, styles, and heights, dahlia is the King of the Summer Garden. Continue reading The Story of the Dahlia

Georgina’s Cottage Garden Delight

I’ve always loved Georgina’s cottage garden.  There is something about her garden that always puts a smile on my face.  It is the ultimate cottage style garden, overflowing with everything any garden will be proud of.  How one can one pack so much into that patch, and still make it all work and look amazing is beyond me.  But that is exactly what Georgina has managed to do. Continue reading Georgina’s Cottage Garden Delight

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

Big Sur, California. Is there any place more beautiful?  Big Sur is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. The land and sea here are so spectacular that words fail me.

“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.

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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

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.  Anjali and Rani’s friends loved these grilled cheese sandwiches. When I made these grilled cheese sandwiches for the kids I would get surprised happy reactions. Kids asked me for the recipe; it’s amazingly delicious I was told. 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.

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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.

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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

recipes and stories from our home