When was the last time you stopped by a plant nursery with soft classical music playing in the background? A nursery where during the holidays there is hot apple cider waiting to be sipped by their customers. A nursery that is more of an experience than a functional errand to purchase some plants. Half Moon Bay Nursery in Half Moon Bay, California is one of those places which is a destination rather than just a plant nursery where one goes to, to just buy a few garden plants.
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.
The next time I made risotto, I cooked the Arborio rice in broth in a pressure cooker – no stirring involved. Then when I was ready to make my risotto, in a separate pot I sautéed vegetables and just added them to the already cooked Arborio rice and mixed it all together. The risotto turned out awesome. Because the rice is already cooked, the whole process of making risotto goes by much faster. Try my recipe for a quicker vegetable risotto and see if you like it as much as I do.
There is nothing like the aroma of cooking vegetables, fish, chicken or meats in homemade ghee. Ghee, also known as clarified butter gives any food that you add ghee to an invigorating aroma that has a wonderful feel good effect on our senses. Ghee can be used to cook eggs, vegetables, meat, fish, or even just to add in a warm dish as a flavor enhancer. Sometimes I even toast bread on the pan with some ghee and it tastes amazing.
Health Benefits of Ghee:
Ghee has been used for thousands of years in India for it’s healthy virtues. Some of the many natural ways ghee can be used range from curing sores, to aid in preventing allergies, and to help decrease inflammation, just to name a few. Continue reading The Feel Good Essence of Homemade Ghee
Growing herbs at home is one of the most satisfying gardening tasks there is, and it’s extremely easy too. As beneficial as herbs are for all of us, what is many times overlooked is the joy that herb gardening brings even before we harvest these herbs for all their healthful uses. Within the large realm of gardening, herb gardening has its own therapeutic effects.
When you are outdoors working in the dirt taking care of herbs, planting, weeding and watching all the bugs, butterflies, and hummingbirds – any stress you have will seep away, even if it’s just for a few minutes you are one with nature.
Looking for flowers that come in gorgeous shades of the sunset? Flowers that look like beautiful rays of sunshine? Try planting nasturtiums in your garden. Nasturtiums are the most cheerful looking flowers imaginable. With their vibrant bright yellow, orange, red, pink, and pale coral colored flowers, they brighten up any garden.
There is something about eating hot-steamed idlis for brunch or lunch that just brings a smile to adults and kids alike in our family. Idlis are a staple in every South Indian home and made very often. The most common idlis are made by soaking lentils and rice together and blended into a batter, then fermented over night, and steamed into dumplings. These are called rice idlis.
There are easier versions of idlis to make in an instant however. My favorite idlis are rava idlis or semolina idlis. These idlis are made with roasted cream of wheat or semolina soaked in yogurt to form a thick batter, and then steamed.
Caramelized Shallots, Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli
makes enough stuffing for 40 small ravioli pillows
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 2 cups fresh spinach finely chopped
- 1 cup finely cut shallots – from about 4 shallots
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh pasta dough. Here is the link to a pasta dough recipe I posted. Fresh homemade pasta
A dessert in 15 minutes? I couldn’t believe how fast we made this classic Italian dessert- tiramisu. This tiramisu recipe is from our friends Dave and Rose’s cooking lesson in Tuscany, Italy last Fall. The recipe surprised me yet again with how easy it was to make a delicious Italian dessert.
A pasta recipe with just two ingredients? Yes, that’s exactly what this pasta recipe calls for. Just two ingredients! Never ever did I think I could make fresh pasta at home, and that too have it be so easy. This is an awesome recipe that I got from my friend Rose who actually got this recipe first hand from a local chef in Tuscany, Italy.
It was a warm sunny weekend when we went to San Francisco in the end of February and our plan was to relax at Fort Baker, grab lunch at Fort Mason, and stroll by the Ferry Building and the Bay Bridge.
With a cool breeze and the most beautiful blue skies with puffs of white clouds, the City by the Bay couldn’t have been any more perfect on this weekend.