Coconut milk or coconut cream is a great alternative to dairy cream and it’s a boon to those folks who are lactose intolerant. I made this pansy blossom ice cream for Rani’s birthday in early March with coconut milk and coconut cream as one of Rani’s friends recently developed an intolerance to dairy. We decided to make this ice cream in vanilla flavor with pansy blossoms to give the ice cream that unique purple color. Pansy flowers add delicate purple colored flecks to a simple vanilla ice cream without altering the delicate vanilla flavor. Our vanilla ice cream with pansy blossoms turned out so good that all the kids even the ones who could have dairy devoured it 😋. Continue reading Pansy Blossom Ice Cream
Every winter while I am waiting for my garden to wake up from it’s winter dormancy I stop by the nursery a few times thinking that the nursery will have some colorful flower plants to brighten up my garden blues. And every year the same plants catch my eye – cyclamen, pansies, ranunculus, and primrose. All these flowers are beautiful, however the primrose is the most colorful and comes in lovely shades of the rainbow. Continue reading Primrose. A Delightful Winter Flower
With a sprinkling of briny olives, tangy Feta cheese, and sweet beets this is a rather eclectic salad. This wonderful beet salad with lemon herb dressing was made by my friend Swati when we went over to our friends Swati and Tarak’s home for a holiday dinner with the family. For the dressing Swati got inspired to use a few lemons from one of many fruit trees in her hillside garden and made a Lemon Herb Dressing for her outstanding Super Greens, Beets and Olives Salad. Continue reading Beets & Olives Salad with Feta, Super Greens & Lemon Herb Dressing
I make lots of salads but I would never think to combine a citrus flavor such as orange with blue cheese – it wouldn’t be a combination that would occur to me. When I think of bleu cheese I tend to use the likes of apples and pears. Surprisingly though the combination of orange and bleu cheese along with pomegranate seeds and the peppery bite of arugula tastes really good together in a salad. Continue reading Pomegranate, Orange and Arugula Salad with Bleu Cheese & White Balsamic Dressing
Here is another scone recipe from my friend Rose for sweet Cranberry Scones. Serve these scones warm out of the oven with some jam, accompanied by hot tea and fresh cut fruit, and you will surely have a perfect Sunday afternoon English style High Tea! Continue reading An English Style High Tea. Cranberry Scones. A Menu Worth Replicating
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.
My friend Iya brought this delicious and refreshing coleslaw style of salad to our garden party a while back that was enjoyed by all. It was crunchy, sweet and salty, with an Asian inspired dressing. Part of the beauty of this salad is the gorgeous, thinly cut, colourful vegetables. When cut in this way, the veggie flavors come out perfectly in this delicious salad. I asked Iya for the recipe and also invited her to come over and show me how to make her salad. Here is the recipe.
Okra also called ladies fingers is an interesting vegetable. Growing up my Mom made okra quiet a lot, but I wasn’t always a big fan of this vegetable mainly because I didn’t like the texture of okra. It’s slimy when cut and that’s what turns many people off. But my Mom very often made an okra stir-fry in a well-seasoned old wok that got rid of the sliminess, and to get us kids to eat this very unusual vegetable she would tell us okra is good for the brain, that it makes us smarter, so we ate it slimy or not.
Okra provides about 22% of RDA per 100g of okra (which is about 3/4 cup of okra). RDA is short for Recommended Dietary Allowances that the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences puts out every few years. There is an RDA value attached to each food item. Think about it, 3/4 cup of okra has 22% of a person’s daily-recommended allowance of nutrients – that is pretty high! The many health benefits of okra Continue reading Roasted Pan Sautéed Okra
Our friends Swati and Tarak have a beautiful home with an amazing Italian inspired hillside garden right here in the South Bay. This graceful terraced back yard is a wonderful representation of how you can transform a steep hill into a lovely lush green landscape filled with flowers, greenery, trees, and a fruit orchard.
You will find this recipe is not your traditional way of making risotto. I’ve tried the authentic Italian way of making risotto, and let me tell you, it’s a time consuming recipe. Every time I have followed a risotto recipe I have had to stand over the stove and stir the risotto rice with broth in batches until the rice is cooked. This takes at least 30 – 45 minutes. 45 minutes of standing and stirring, sometimes even longer. I started to dread making risotto when the kids wanted it. Then one day I decided to try an alternative way of making risotto. I wondered how is it that in restaurants risotto is at our table within minutes. It occurred to me that they must cook the Arborio rice in advance, and just add the veggies or seafood when we order. I thought let me give that a try. Continue reading Spring Risotto with Leeks, Peppers & Arugula