Candied Kumquat Peel

For most of my life, I thought that Florida was one of the few states that grew fruits year-round. Perhaps it was those juice commercials from the ’90s that influenced my thinking. Even when I lived in northern California, where I discovered pluots and real heirloom tomatoes at the farmers’ markets in the summer, my…

Guava Preserves

Guavas and pomegranate always rekindle memories of summer holidays from my childhood. I don’t actually recall eating these fruits in the U.S. I was either living abroad or traveling to countries where the climate was warm enough for these plants to thrive (e.g. India). Now I live in hot, sunny Southern California, where these fruits…

Fig Jam

The plentiful orchard surrounding my parent’s home includes a Black Mission Fig tree that started developing fruits in the spring. Since late July, over 300 figs have been harvested. The indigo skin and pink-red pulp are sweet and succulent. Most of the figs are ripe straight off the tree while a small number complete their…

Savory Breakfast Lentils

It’s beginning to feel like Fall in Chicagoland – though, I don’t think Summer is over just yet. After a long break from my blog, I am back to blogging about the concoctions in my kitchen. These savory breakfast lentils are good year round. Some prefer to eat them with lunch and even dinner. Somehow…

Mini Pitas

Pita bread: One of many types of quick breads that fill your home with aromas of a bread bakery.

Winter Greens Soup

The Winter Greens soup is perfect for a crisp autumn evening or a colder winter night. It’s especially relevant now that I’m back in the Midwest, where there are four seasons. I came across this particular recipe in the Field of Greens Cookbook, by Annie Somerville, from the famed Greens restaurant in San Francisco. It’s as healthy as…

Kabocha Cupcakes

What’ s kabocha, you say. It may sound strange but kabocha cupcakes are to die for, especially baked fresh, in the middle of winter. Kabocha are a type of Japanese winter squash or pumpkin. I wouldn’t have normally headed for a dessert recipe right after my cooking hiatus, however, I came across a mini pumpkin/sort…

Hanoi-braised Fish, Broccoli & Noodles

I’ve reached my latest milestone! It’s my last week in Chicago, so I’ve been making a variety of kid-inspired dishes. My nephews enjoy eating fish, so today I tried my version of a ‘Hanoi braised fish with noodles’ dish, adapted from ”Asian Cooking’ by Williams Sonoma. The only flamboyant spice in this dish is turmeric,…

Pita Bread, Herbs, Feta & Sun-dried Tomatoes

There’s something to be said about home-grown herbs. Yes, I know what you may be thinking, but I’m speaking of the culinary type. In the backyard of the house I’m currently staying in, there are numerous culinary herbs being grown including mint, basil, thyme, rosemary, parsley and even a bit of cilantro. The fresh herbs…

Pepper Cabbage Broccoli Salad

This morning I was feeling particularly creative and in the mood for something light and fresh….so I took on my own modified version of an Asian noodle salad. It was fairly quick to assemble and made enough salad for 5-6 people. The salad dressing combines rice vinegar, sesame oil, agave nectar and pepper. The sesame…

Quinoa Salad

So it starts again….it’s a rainy Sunday in May and a perfect day to cook. The roses are in full bloom and they are so fragrant and colorful – I can’t help but cook colorful food! Quinoa (Pronunciation: \ˈkēn-ˌwä, kē-ˈnō-ə\ per the MW dictionary) is a seed with a protein punch. It cooks really quickly…

Challah

Challah, which I recently learned is pronounced ‘hallah’, is a bread traditionally made for the Jewish Sabbath.  I decided to try making Challah for the first time because the recipe appears to be fairly simple (as far as bread making is concerned) and it’s described so wonderfully in my recipe book. Besides, there’s nothing better…

Apple and Potato Galette

A galette is a French round flour based pancake that can be filled with a variety of fillings. This particular recipe is called Apple and Potato Galette, but is more like a giant apple and potato hash brown pancake. Either way, it’s tasty and filling and goes perfect with brunch. I adopted the recipe from…

Fudge-like Brownies

There’s absolutely no need to provide any rationale for making fudge-like brownies, is there? When I was in the Brownies in 3rd grade, we made the most incredible fudge recipe ever. I, unfortunately, only had one piece of that incredible fudge and never remembered or located the recipe – so I only have the memory…

Baby Beet Salad

Beets, you say….who makes a salad with beets? This particular baby beet salad rocks! It’s a recipe taken from a Williams Sonoma cookbook and has been a hit! The only part of the recipe that is sort of lengthy is cooking the beets and peeling the blood oranges. Although, I added all the ingredients, I…

Baby Spinach Salad with Red Potatoes

Normally, I’m not a salad person. Even when I tried to be a full on vegan and then vegetarian, I wasn’t such a big fan of salads. Either the salad dressings are too complex – too many artificial flavors with too much acid or the greens are too bitter or tasteless. I would eat the…

Hummus

Hummus is one of those things that I grew up loving to eat. I tend to be a fan of textured flavorful foods. Ironically, hummus is a puree – it has no texture, per say, but it does have great flavor.  I spent a number of years in the Middle East so I became accustomed…

Gingersnaps

It’s another rainy week here in Northern California – that makes it another night to stay in and bake something! I am a big fan of ginger – in pretty much every form. This recipe is no exception. This recipe is a vegetarian recipe from David Blom, taken from the Baking with Julia cookbook, and…

Creamy Vegetable Soup (“Kadhi”)

For some reason, I came home today and was craving a well known creamy tart soup called ‘kadhi’ (pronounced ‘cud-i’). It’s a common soup to many North Indian states – although each state has it’s own slightly different variety of spices, vegetables, etc. The key component of this soup is yogurt and chick peas flour….

Pizza Rustica

This weekend I intended on making a ‘bread’ and another dessert, however most breads and desserts require a dough mixer, which I do not have! I should be receiving a mixer in the mail in a week or so…so until then, I opted to skip dessert this weekend and stick to a relatively easy dough…

Oatmeal-Cherry-Raisin Scones

It’s officially Autumn, the season of harvest, the season of costumes and nutmeg, apples and pumpkins. The air is so crisp, one can’t help but take long walks, lingering outdoors as long as possible to draw in the fresh air. The winds pick up, until jackets are dusted off and adorned. Umbrellas and rain boots…

Welsh-Rarebit Muffins

  Last weekend, I celebrated my birthday with family around. That included baking muffins for my young nephews. I think they were expecting sweet muffins or sweet anything. When I told them about the Welsh “savory” muffins that I was baking, they both contorted their faces, trying to imagine what a “savory” muffin tasted like…

Vegan Blueberry Whole Grain Muffins

There’s something about blueberries and whole grains that make them work well together, especially in this particular recipe. The whole grains are just hearty enough to be satisfying and then before you know it, there’s a burst of blueberries. I can’t say this enough – these are quite possibly the most addicting ‘healthy’ muffins I’ve…