Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2014

Cookies for Santa and Carrots for Rudolph.

Who says you need to belong to a particular religion to celebrate the culinary traditions of their festivals? Growing up, any festival meant that we either gave or received a platter of delicious goodies from neighbors and friends, depending upon the festival, and in doing so, there was a certain bond of appreciation and understanding that prevailed. So unlike the narcissistic, holier than thou attitudes that's being marketed by the 'For Profit' evangelical outfits (and their political patrons) that seem to proliferate nowadays. Santa was very much a presence during my childhood, even if there was no tree. (Bombay is a tropical city and in those days the only artificial trees that used to go up for sale resembled bottle brushes stuck into a wooden pole (not unlike a Festivus pole!). The stocking was my dad's sock and somehow Santa would always turn up on Christmas Eve ~ 8:00 pm, sometime when I was eating dinner in the kitchen and would squeeze in my gift in the sock …

Food52's Secret Santa Swap 2014

I've been a member of Food52 almost as long as I've been blogging. Its a vibrant online community of home cooks, bloggers -- regular 'Joes' like myself as well as some really well known star bloggers, professional culinary experts and its almost like a daily tonic for me to log in and get my daily dose of all things culinary.
Every year, there is a secret Santa swap organized by a member, ENBE who co-ordinates hundreds of members from all over the world for this event. we wait with bated breaths till the email arrives with the name of our mystery giftee around the end of November and then get about 10 - 12 days until we ship out a package consisting of home made food items and other small hand picked gifts.

My giftee this year is a F52 er from Minnesota, Amy Clemensen. Even before the event kicked off, I already had started mentally picking out gifts that I wanted to assemble together in the first week of December.


My box included a 3 pack sampler set of single estate …

Latkes on the Leonard Lopate Show - Vegan Sweet potato Latkes with fenugreek greens

As seems to be the norm these days, I was up last night uploading photographs of Latkes for my Hanukkah post, taking care to transfer some from my camera as needed and then, BAM!, Lady Lethargy struck accompanied by her little sloth of a sidekick, Polly Procrastination. And yet again,  I resigned myself to another session of writer's block when nothing ever seems to flow out of my fingertips to even call respectably call itself a head-note, leave alone a blog post.
And then it happened.. A routine run of errands and a  change of Radio stations, (My kids love to listen to the Christmas music when riding along and I cherish the opportunity to turn back to my staple NPR broadcasts whenever I can this season) and there I was headed to the grocery store and listening to Leonard Lopate interview Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen on Hanukkah dishes. T'was an extra twist of fortune that I was round the corner from the parking lot at Wegman's Grocery. I dialed in to the show and was…

Thanksgiving 2014 - A Delicious Recap

The Holiday season is officially upon us. As the manic 'shopping' season get underway, I just got over clearing out all the dishes from my food coma inducing Thanksgiving feast. Thanksgiving must be the most festive non-denominational holiday in the US, irrespective of religion, social status, geographic location, Everyone gathers around as a family to celebrate and eat. and eat, and then fill up on dessert and coffee!
 For me, Its an opportunity to shift to high gear and get cracking on experimenting with the flavors of Fall ingredients - Pumpkins, cranberries, apples.
This year, I volunteered to test a 10 cup stack n'snap food processor from Hamilton Beach and I received a package last Monday. While my kids had a little spat over what the packaging carton would be converted into, (a cloning machine vs. a car), I took the opportunity to explore the new gadget.. 

My first food processor was a Hamilton Beach which was a perfect workhorse until a little piece of the jar sna…

The 'We Knead to Bake' project 2014 - # 22 : Sheermal

Its been a while since I did one of these baking projects. Lets see, I made the bread (Gibassier) for July but did not blog about it, and then completely skipped the next three sessions. Of course, there was a bit of ambiguity in the selections, so laziness got the better of me and I merrily skipped these.
Aparna Balasubramanian's selection for this month was a recipe from Indian cuisine, a lesser known bread compared to the ubiquitous Naan & Kulchas.

Sheermal traces its origins to Persian cuisine and is basically a leavened bread kneaded with milk instead of water. Its slightly sweetened and the primary flavors are the heady notes of Saffron, backed up with a supplementary floral flavoring, usually rose or screwpine /pandanus/kewra. The 'Sheer' apparently is the Persian word for milk and thats where the name originates, although the term also occurs with the same meaning in Sanskrit (Ksheer).
It is traditional eaten as a breakfast dish along with tea or paired with the…

Casual cooking - Preserved Mayer Lemon Foccaccia

My 'burn out' from daily recipes is yet to dissipate, but I think I still plod on. Quickly scribbling down ideas as they pop into my head and before they disappear, like the same flash with which they crossed my train of thought. My support system comprising of fellow bloggers gave me a much need 'kick in the pants' last weekend when we met up at home for a casual lunch. Siri, the bubbly author of 'Cooking with Siri',  Radhika  ( Food for 7 stages of life ) and Latha ( A Peek into my Kitchen ). 

As is with all the food bloggers I've met so far, there was no ice to break whatsoever, the conversation just flowed, along with the wine & food!

Motivation all fired up, I decided that I was going to surprise my son by making him Pizza for Dinner. My standard go - to failproof recipe for the dough is from Food52 - in particular Jim Lahey's no knead Pizza dough  'Genius' recipe


This time around, partly accidentally and partly on purpose. I decided…

Reliving old family traditons and not so new Panfusine recipes - Lehiyam truffles

Seems like like just yesterday, when I was on the phone with my cousin Uma from Ohio and this seemingly scatterbrained idea came to my head of making a 'different' set of Diwali goodies. and just as a semi tipsy individual is bound to let loose a string of nonsensical ideas, there I was, doing something similar, thanks to the giddy euphoria that only a newbie blogger can possess. 'Lavender Badam Halwa, Lehiyam, no wait, Let me make that Lehiyam truffles' shot off my motor mouthed brain,  with little thought given to whether it was even possible.. But then, those very random thoughts are the kernels of what have turned out to be some of my favorite recipes that have become a part of my annual Diwali Tradition.
Diwali is the jewel in the crown of all Indian Festivals, literally, the festival of lights, It signifies the return of Ram, the Prince of Ayodhya to claim his rightful place as king after defeating the demon King of Lanka, Ravana, who had abducted Sita, Rama'…