Tuesday, November 15, 2016

How to Tuesday: Green Tomato & Apple Chutney

Unfortunately, this year's food garden didn't take off as well as it usually does. The destruction caused by deer, groundhogs, and the weather made us have to replant mid June, this delayed a lot of growth till late August/September. This means we have been left with a lot of late season green tomatoes on the vine and as temperatures continue to cool nightly the chances of them vine ripening are slim, so the real question is what to do with all of them? It's a use them NOW or lose them situation most home gardeners in Multi-Season areas are all too familiar with.

Now, there are a few options...
1) Bring them inside and let them ripen, but they won't taste quite the same;
2) Fry them up, fried green tomatoes are delicious but there is only so much of that you can eat; and
3) Make preserves, it uses a good sized batch at once and they're an excellent homemade gift.

We did a combination of all three, but the winner for long term storage and enjoying our garden through the winter would be #3 Making preserves. I decided to use a combination of apples, green tomatoes, and our cowhorn chilies to make a sweet and spicy chutney perfect for papadums, dosa, or use on a cheese plate (It's great with smoked Gouda! :)).

This recipe is for 2 pints of this sweet, and spicy, spiced chutney.

Here's my recipe for Green Tomato & Apple Chutney:

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

BearNaked's Custom Granola Review + 10%Coupon!

A couple of weeks back I received an email inviting me to try BearNaked's Custom Granola making website with  IBM's Watson measuring the flavor profile. Now, I have bought BearNaked granola before and I liked it, but I was a little skeptical about making custom granola online... I mean I could make my own custom granola myself in my kitchen, right? Nevertheless, the idea of my flavor choices being critiqued by Watson piqued my interest and the following is a review of the product and my experience.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Apple Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

Every year when crisp autumn air comes, we go apple picking. We always go to our local orchard, Battleview Orchards, because they have a wide range of apples from Granny Smith to Staymen Winesap, everything you need for baking and eating. Luckily for us since the weather has been a little crazy...warm one day, freezing the next...some of their late summer produce was still growing, deliciously sweet strawberries. So I decided to make a tea treat celebrating our current crazy mix of temperature and seasons with summer and autumn fruit wrapped in warm crispy oatmeal.

Here's my recipe for Apple Strawberry Oatmeal Bars:

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Spicy Chayote Picadillo

The days are getting shorter and there is a lingering briskness in the air, a sure sign of colder weather to come. If that wasn't enough of a sign of Autumn, the not so subtle re-emergence of pumpkin everything surely was! While I love adding pumpkins and squash to my recipes, I'm not ready yet to break into the ones often associated with winter. So instead here's a recipe with a squash we ate year round as children and to tell you the truth still do, Chayote. OR as my sister use to call it, Chakotay like the Star Trek Voyager Character. :) 

Chayote, also known as christophine, choko, chow-chow, sayóte,  and Bengaluru vankayya; is a gourd, native to Central America. Chayote was one of the many foods introduced to Europe and Asia by early explorers and later Australia. It has a fairly neutral taste, a texture similar to other firm squash, but it is juicy, and full of vitamin C. This neutral taste makes it great in a variety of dishes because it absorbs flavor so well. 

This colorful, quick picadillo uses chayote squash, sweet carrots and corn, and black eyed peas while Chili Chutney adds just the right amount of spice/ spiciness. This is a great vegetarian, healthy comfort food that brings warm fall colors to our plates.

Here is my recipe for Spicy Chayote Picadillo :

Monday, October 17, 2016

Québec City - Canada

I’m excited to join up again this month with fellow blogger Fiona Ryan's  A-Z Guidebook Travel Linkup over at Tiffin Bite Sized Food Adventures. This travel tale link-up goes from October 15th - October 22th, this time travels with the letter "Q".

"Q" is for Québec City, Canada

Québec City is one of the oldest cities in North America founded in 1608. Kébec is an Algonquin word meaning "where the river narrows". The city's famous landmarks include the Château Frontenac, and La Citadelle, an intact fortress that forms the centerpiece of the ramparts surrounding the old city.  

The Château Frontenac was designed by American architect Bruce Price for the Canadian Pacific Railway company and opened in 1893; with the newer portions of the hotel designed by Canadian architect William Sutherland Maxwell in the 1920's. Prior to the building of the hotel, the site was occupied by the Château Haldimand, the official residence of the British colonial governors of Lower Canada and Québec. It was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1980. This grand hotel is situated at an elevation of 177ft (54m), making it the first clear building you see as you come up the Saint Lawerence River and enter the Old Port. The hotel is one of the most photographed hotel in the world, largely for its prominence in the skyline of Québec City. I took this photo as our ship started to dock on a beautiful sunlit autumn day. 

For more Letter "Q" travel stories, visit A-Z Guidebook Linkup. Stay tuned next month for more travel, centering around the Letter "R"!
TIFFIN - bite sized food adventures -

Monday, October 3, 2016

Provence Herb Seasoned Baked Truffle Fries

So as mentioned in the previous post, I put together a recipe highlighting the 2 ingredients from the goodie box...Truffle Oil and Taste of Provence Seasoning. To this I added a recent purchase of French Gray Sea Salt (Sel Gris) on a tried and true base of russet potatoes to make....Provence Seasoned Baked Truffle Fries.

The wonderful aromatics of the Provence Seasoning and Truffle oil meld perfectly atop crispy, golden brown oven-roasted potato wedges dashed with French Grey Sea Salt. As they were roasting in the oven, their enticing essence acted as harbinger of cooler seasons, Autumn is here.

Here is my recipe for Provence Herb Seasoned Baked Truffle Fries. :

Friday, September 30, 2016

Farm to People Foodie Tasting Box Subscription - Review

Disclaimer: I decided to do a review of a product I genuinely liked; not a paid advertisement or endorsement; now on with the review!

Every once in awhile, I come across a foodie subscription box service on Groupon and think about trying it out for the month given the great price, but I'm usually disappointed in the "possible contents" and rarely if ever decide to try them...that is until Farm to People.

At first I was skeptical reading the Groupon information, that at $29.95+SH they would send me a curated box of 3-4 small batch goodies for my kitchen, so I went to their website to investigate. It explained how their collections support local, artisan, and small-batch producers of a wide range of culinary products; this was definitely something I would love to try.

I opted to start with the smaller collection and placed my order for "The Casual Foodie" tasting box. It arrived smack-dab in the middle of the month with a treasure trove of goodies along with a detailed biographical insert introducing you to each of the artisans and their products. I received the following for September: The Truffleist - Truffle Oil, Dana Confection Co. - Cherry Star Anise Calissons, Quince&Apple - Raspberry Rose Jam,  Wilder Classic Mustard, and  Gustus Vitae Condiments - Taste of Provence Seasoning.

My favorite part about  the box was that it included a perfect mix of immediate edibles, meal accouterments, and novel recipe ingredients allowing me to try something new to eat now, something new added to a beloved recipe, and a new ingredient for a future recipe...The Foodie Trifecta.

Here's a few pictures of our goodies in use...

I used the missing two ingredients in a new recipe which will be posted soon so stay tuned! :)

If you like the idea of supporting small-batch artisans, and discovering new flavors for your food, I would highly recommend trying Farm to People's Foodie Tasting Box. 


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Chai Spiced Chia Pudding

So the new school year has begun! The weather is getting a little cooler in the mornings, but it's still toasty during daylight hours. That means during these mornings I want something cool enough to remain summery, and spiced enough to be a harbinger of autumn.
This Chai Spiced Chia Pudding is great for those mornings. Warm, home ground spices mixed with cool Almond Milk Chia Seed Pudding, sweetened with delicately flavored Coconut Flower Sugar...a perfect mix of seasons.

Here is my recipe for Chai Spice Chia Pudding:

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Pistachio Goji Berry Bars

It's been too hot to bake lately so the oven has been cool. That in conjunction with being sick for over a week and no grocery shopping, doesn't mean I haven't made some tasty snacks...They've just been of the raw, vegan variety. This is also traditionally the time of year when me and my college age brother test out snacks for his return to school. Requirements include they have to be tasty, healthy, portable, no need of refrigeration, and not loud (I'm looking at you brittlely hard granola bars).

These sweet, slightly tart, nutty raw chocolate laced bars have just enough crunch and plenty of energy boosting ingredients to get you through your day. 

Here's my recipe for Pistachio Goji Berry Bars:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

How to Tuesday - Dahi Mirchi (Yogurt Chilies)

As I'm sure you know from reading this blog, we are quite fond of our spicy foods and we grow quite an assortment of hot peppers each for it's own purpose. These year we've lucky had an abundance of green chilies which Kishore uses in his infamous '25 Chili Chicken Curry' among other recipes. Since we are going through a beautifully sunny heat wave it seemed prudent to take advantage of the weather, and our chili crop to make Dahi Mirchi aka Yogurt Chilies. Dahi Mirchi is known by various names through out South India (Majjiga Mirapa, Challa Mirapakayalu), are a great accompaniment to rice, and grain dishes.

To make them, green chilies are soaked in a yogurt mix and dried in the sun repeatedly. The entire process takes about a week, but the transformed chilies are worth it. The burning spiciness goes away, leaving a mildly cheesy, salty, almost smoky spice flavor; that definitely adds depth to any meal.

Here's my recipe for Dahi Mirchi (Yogurt Chilies)

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Pomegranate Lemonade

We are officially having a heat wave... Daily temperatures have hit over 90F more than 3 days in a row and while it does mean we've had beautifully sunny weather, it's also been oppressively hot. The danger in this weather is that you become dehydrated so quickly doing the simplest things. This morning watering we were already sweating buckets to the point we put off any other yard work till later! So what better way to stay hydrated and refreshed than some cool, delicious, tartly sweet Pomegranate Lemonade.

This refreshing fruity lemonade is the perfect combination of sweet and tart; great for relaxing and rehydrating on a these hot summer days.

Here is my recipe for Pomegranate Lemonade:

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Oatmeal Milkshake - Batido de Avena

Oatmeal is often served hot with deliciously fragrant cinnamon on cool autumn morning, a comfort food most in the Northeast USA associate with cooler seasons. So what do you do when you have a hankering for oatmeal for breakfast, smack dab in the middle of summer... Why you make a batido de avena, an oatmeal milkshake of course! Nutritious, filling, and tasty; it satisfies the craving for oatmeal without the heat.

This simple oatmeal milkshake is perfectly cool with just the right amount of cinnamon for hot summer mornings. 

Here is the recipe for Refreshing Oatmeal Milkshake:

Friday, July 8, 2016

Chili Lime Salmon Skewers

Yesterday was incredibly hot! Definitely too hot and humid to cook in the house and risk overheating. With temperatures reaching over 90F/32C and humidity at 77%, it was definitely a fish and salad type of dinner day, preferably cooked on the grill outside. So, I stopped in at HK Supermarket on the way home and asked my favorite fishmonger for the beautiful salmon steaks that were calling my name.

Quick, tasty and easy were the requirements of the day and this recipe proved to be perfect on all three. I had already planned to make it again sometime next week for dinner, when Kishore asked if we could have it again this weekend, so I'm sure it'll be a hit at our next BBQ.

These tasty Salmon Skewers have just the right amount of sweet, spice, and tart to give a well rounded flavor without overpowering this delicious fish. The sharp spring onions, herby cilantro and spicy ginger garlic meld beautiful and are tempered by the addition of honey and flavors balanced by the tart lime juice while preserving the flavor integrity of the salmon. 

Here's my recipe for Spicy Chili Lime Salmon Skewers:

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Blackberry Blue Corn Muffins - 'Black n' Blue Muffins'

This past weekend our blackberry bush went into overdrive, and by Sunday we had about 2 pints of sun ripened sweet blackberries. That's 2 pints after eating a bunch of them right off the bush. While we do usually just eat them fresh, when I have enough I'll make jam, drinks,  or baked goods. One of my favorites is what I like to call 'Black n' Blue Muffins.' 

These Colorful Summer Muffins are full of fresh fruity flavor and crunchy blue cornmeal. Sun-kissed sweet blackberries mix with the earthy sweet blue cornmeal giving them just the right amount of crunch and a wonderful blue hue.

Here's my recipe for Blackberry Blue Corn Muffins:

Monday, June 20, 2016

Monmouth Battlefield State Park- NJ

I’m excited to join up again this month with fellow blogger Fiona Ryan's  A-Z Guidebook Travel Linkup over at Tiffin Bite Sized Food Adventures. This travel tale link-up goes from June 15th - June 22th, this time travels with the letter "M".

"M" is for Monmouth Battlefield State Park, New Jersey

Monmouth Battlefield State Park is a historical site in Central NJ, named for the American Revolutionary War battle fought there on June 28, 1778. Every year, on the last weekend in June re-enactors come from around the US and Canada to help bring this historical battle to life. Their historical knowledge and attention to the details of 18th century life, transports you to a different time and gives you a more thorough understanding of history.

On this hot sweltering day(100F+/ 37C+), the Continental Army under General George Washington met a British column under Sir Henry Clinton and Lt. General Cornwallis. Washington hoped to surprise attack the rear of the British army and overwhelm them, but General Charles Lee retreated too quickly when the British attempted to out flank them. This retreat led to massive disorder on the battlefield, but Washington rode out and managed to personally rally the troops, then brought up a four-gun battery under Major General Nathanael Greene to hit the British line, causing Cornwallis to withdraw. Darkness forced the end of the engagement, but both armies held the field, with the British commanding general Clinton withdrawing undetected at midnight to resume his march to New York City. 
This was a turning point in the American Revolution. The battle demonstrated the effectiveness of the Continental Army after its encampment at Valley Forge, where training under Major General Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben and Major General Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette greatly improved army discipline, and morale. This battle is also known for starting the legend of Molly Pitcher. An American soldier's wife, Mary Hays, brought water to thirsty soldiers and eventually took her husband place at the cannon when he was wounded. After the battle, General Washington asked about the woman whom he had seen loading a cannon on the battlefield. In commemoration of her courage, he issued Mary Hays a warrant as a non commissioned officer. Afterwards, she was known as "Sergeant Molly," and she was given an annual pension of $40 for her service till her death.

For more Letter "M" travel stories, visit A-Z Guidebook Linkup. Stay tuned next month for more travel, centering around the Letter "N"!
TIFFIN - bite sized food adventures -

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Elderflower Pomegranate Sparkler

While in Montreal a few years ago, we were introduced to a very delicious Elderflower and Gin cocktail. It was sweet and perfumey and the gin gave it quite a nice peppery snap. Over the last few months I've been experimenting with making my own gin...no, not the bathtub kind, the flavoring a neutral spirit kind. After a few successful batches of homemade gin and finally finding some decent Elderflower cordial, I decided to try my hand at a light summery gin cocktail similar to the one I'd had. Mixing traditionally made elderflower cordial with acidic pomegranate juice, this refreshingly floral sparkler is the perfect combination of sweet, tart and bubbly; great for relaxing and enjoying on a hot summer evening.

Here is my recipe for Elderflower Pomegranate Sparkler:

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Strawberry & Cheese Pumpernickel Toast

Though we grow our own strawberries every year, it is one of our favorite fruits so i's always nice to supplement our bounty. This weekend we went Strawberry picking at our favorite local PYO, Battleview Orchards, with my brother. It was a beautiful hot and sunny Saturday morning with clear blue skies, a perfect day for picking. After about an 45 minutes in the rows we ended up with about 12 lbs of bright red sweet ripe juicy strawberries. More than enough to share with family and for the myriad of recipes I have mentally planned. 

So it only seemed right to start our Sunday brunch with a quick and easy strawberry recipe!

Here's the recipe for Strawberry & Cheese Pumpernickel Toast:

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Coconut Fish Curry w/ Yellow Pomfret

When the weather gets particularly warmer and humid, we tend to be less inclined to have heavy meals for dinner and tend more toward fish and veggies. So, this past week I stopped in at HK Supermarket and as I went to the fish counter, my favorite fishmonger excitedly came over saying, " I have something for you!" He then pointed out the beautiful yellow pomfrets on ice, to which I could only happily respond..."I'll take two!" 

The first time I had yellow pomfret was on our trip to South India...Goa in particular. After seeing those beautiful fish I felt it was only right to try a new recipe with them. This recipe is my take on one our driver in Goa described to me as his "simple favorite", a dish with a few ingredients that combined just right make it great. His description was so vivid and detailed, it was really more than a delicious recipe, it was a memory of good times watching his Grandmother prepare Sunday dinner  And honestly after trying to make what he described, we could see why! The thick, fragrant coconut sauce is paired perfectly with this fish, being flavorful without being overpowering or heavy.

Here's my recipe for Coconut Fish Curry:

Friday, May 27, 2016

Spicy Chili Chutney Slider

This past few months have been a bit hectic but all for the best, we were busy planning a surprise 70th Birthday party for Dad and of course it had to be just right! So of course something had to give and blogging was it for the moment but now I'm back...just in time for better weather and backyard barbecues. 

Specialty artisan burgers and sliders have become a trend lately and I'm not surprised, since we've been adding things to ground burgers since I was a kid. Adding ingredients to the burger meat added depth of flavor, juiciness, and of course stretched it out for a family of six! I've always had fun experimenting with flavors and making new burgers for our themed backyard bbq's. This time I want to share one that was tried and tested with our family recently and is sure to be a hit at your summer BBQ's.

This juicy hamburger has just the right amount of spicy ginger garlic kick that plays off the slightly sweet onions and herby cilantro, topped with a ripe creamy avocado on a brioche bun.

Here's my recipe for a Spicy Chili Chutney Slider:

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Kohunlich - Mahahual, Mexico

I’m excited to join up again this month with fellow blogger Fiona Ryan's  A-Z Guidebook Travel Linkup over at Tiffin Bite Sized Food Adventures. This travel tale link-up goes from April 15th - April 22th, this time travels with the letter "K".

"K" is for Kohunlich, Mexico

A few years back my parents gave me a wonderful present, a trip I had been wanting to make for a very long time...a trip to see the Mayan pyramids. I went with my Dad and Aunt on a cruise which made stops at Cozumel and Mahahual. I was particularly excited to see The Temple of the Masks at Kohunlich, finally when the ship came in to port the three of us waited to be called for the tour. After waiting for an hour we found out they left without us, without an announcement or anything! I was fuming, they offered Dad a refund, but that wasn't going to be enough my Aunt and I went into "Organizer-mode." We managed to find a guy (who just so happened to be from NJ) who'd rent us a jeep and who gave us very brief directions and a hand drawn map on how to get to the site. So we crammed ourselves in, and off we went, down the back roads, past armed federales, sugar cane trucks, and small Mayan villages in search of Kohunlich. Finally after a few wrong turns, we made it to where the cohune palms grow and it was as breath taking as I imagined. Since it's well off the beaten path we were the only ones there. We had 3 hours to explore the very well preserved pyramids, courts, steles, and temples. 

The city was elaborately planned and engineered about 250 to 600 AD, with raised platforms and pyramids, courts and plazas surrounded with palace platforms, all laid out to channel rainwater into a system of cisterns and an enormous reservoir, a marvel of civil engineering. The visual masterpiece is 'The Temple of the Masks' which was built around 500 A.D. and is one of the oldest structures. Protected by the Terminal Classic style construction, and now palm thatched roofs, 5 of the original 8 masks have been preserved beautifully; intricately carved facial details and the paints used to color them still clearly visible. The temple is dedicated to the Yucatan Mayan Sun God, Kinich Ahau (K-inich Ajaw). He is often depicted as a middle-aged man with square eyes with stars in them. It's interesting to note that all the masks in the temple face west so that the sun sets directly on them. Legends say that Kinich Ahau travels down into the dangerous dark underworld of Xibalba (Shebal-ba) every night before rising the next morning. The way the masks are situated could be retelling his dangerous nightly journey, in hopes that he continues to make it and we continue to see the sun rise.

For more Letter "K" travel stories, visit A-Z Guidebook Linkup. Stay tuned next month for more travel, centering around the Letter "L"!
TIFFIN - bite sized food adventures -

Monday, April 11, 2016

Corn & Cabbage Vada (Fritters)

Happy Ugadi! 

This past Friday (4/8) was Telugu New Year also known as Ugadi. It is usually celebrated with the reading of the New Years' almanac and traditional foods. You can read more about our previous years celebrations here: 2014, 2015.

This year, we celebrated Ugadi a little smaller than usual, since we both have been feeling under the weather. We had spicy tomato rasam, lemon rice, corn & cabbage vada, and of course a little Ugadi Pachadi.

As I've mentioned before, I'm a big fan of Vada, to me they are delicious spicy vegetable doughnuts! Part of the reason I like making/eating Vada is because they are simple, quick, can be made with pretty much any vegetable and are filling. It's great as a snack or a side dish. These tasty ones have a hint of sweetness from the corn which balances the spice from the red onions and chilies nicely, while the cabbage gives them some extra crunch!

Here is my recipe for Corn and Cabbage Vada:

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Fusion Spice Fried Tilapia

I bought some beautiful Tilapia filets at the store the other day and on the way home I was trying to figure out how we were going to have them. I decided on using a light batter of chickpea and rice flours since tilapia is a light fish, and to flavor it with a mix of five spices...some staples, some new flavors, some revisited! This is not Panch phoron...no, no this is Fusion Spice! It takes a inspiration from around India and the Middle East giving a mixed flavor of Oniony, Sweet Tart, and Spicy; perfect for the light tilapia. The blend includes: Chili Powder, Turmeric, Black Pepper, Nigella Seeds, and Amchoor Powder.  
This dish has just the right amount of heat. Tasty fresh fish cooked in a light crispy spiced batter accentuated with a squeeze of lime juice; and served with a bright spring salad of radishes, carrots, golden beets on a bed of romaine.

Here's my recipe for Fusion Spice Fried Tilapia:

Monday, March 28, 2016

Fluffy Banana Coconut Flour Pancakes

These past few months have been very hectic and I have neglected my blogging but not my cooking and kitchen experimenting! So after a bit of a break I've returned with a fun creation. Awhile back I picked up some Coconut Flour to play around with.  I tried using it for muffins, scones, pancakes, and it just needed some fine tuning of the 'back of the bag' suggested recipes before I felt comfortable posting any of said recipes. Well, yesterday's Easter Sunday Brunch was test day and it was a hit! 

These fluffy pancakes are full of tropical banana-coconut flavor with just the right amount of sweetness mixed with warm cinnamon and vanilla; Mr. Banana Pancakes himself, Jack Johnson, would approve. Using Coconut flour means that these pancakes are rich in protein, high in fiber and healthy fats, they are gluten free and are exceptionally filling! Truly filling, 3 silver dollars with a side of fresh cut fruit were more than enough for brunch. This is a great healthy, quick, and tasty breakfast dish, only a few ingredients and gluten-free.

Here's my recipe for Fluffy Banana Coconut Flour Pancakes:

Monday, March 21, 2016

Jackson Square - New Orleans, USA

I’m excited to join up again this month with fellow blogger Fiona Ryan's  A-Z Guidebook Travel Linkup over at Tiffin Bite Sized Food Adventures. This travel tale link-up goes from March 15th - March 22th, this time travels with the letter "J".

"J" is for Jackson Square, New Orleans, USA

Jackson Square is a historic park on the site, in the French Quarter of New Orleans, where in 1803 Louisiana was made United States territory. It was designed after the famous 17th-century Place des Vosges in Paris, France. 

At the center of the square is a statue of the rather controversial Andrew Jackson, for whom it was named, was erected in 1856. It is a tribute to his victory over the British at New Orleans in the last battle of the War of 1812. While this victory can not be denied, many do not think he deserves any honors giving his policies regarding removal of Native Americans from the Southeast, ultimately leading to the 'Trail of Tears.' There are also four other statues near each corner of the square, they are beautiful neoclassical representations of the Four Seasons.

I went down, one humid and foggy morning, to Jackson Square to take in the Saturday open air market. The square is famous as a gathering place for painters, artists, musicians, and street performers. I was not disappointed, the air was filled with music and the hum of people talking. Wandering from artist to artist, I came across one whose work I absolutely loved...Mr. Olsen Nash. He paints Jazz scenes on 200 year old slate roofing tiles from old French Quarter's buildings. His paintings epitomized my time in the French Quarter...the music, the spirit - soul, the colors, the mood lighting. Thank you Mr. Nash for allowing me to bring home a vibrant piece of New Orleans.

For more Letter "J" travel stories, visit A-Z Guidebook Linkup. Stay tuned next month for more travel, centering around the Letter "K"!
TIFFIN - bite sized food adventures -

If you're curious here is a picture of one of Mr. Nash's slates that I purchased:

Monday, February 22, 2016

Spinach Chili Khachapuri (Georgian Egg Boats)

This past Saturday was a beautifully sunny day, and warm enough to go out with a light jacket. Since we both work during the week we rarely, if ever, get to have breakfast together; so weekends are reserved for special breakfast and brunches. I was inspired by this particularly sunny day to make a fusion recipe, something I had once as a child and to add my own spin on it. It's funny the things you remember...
When I was a kid I had a friend named Dmitri, his family had moved to NYC after the dissolution of the USSR, but I don't know from which area; but now I'm going to guess Georgia. I remember one time his mother making egg boats for me and mom when we went over to visit their apartment. The egg boat she made was filled to the brim with bubbling cheese and had a bright yellow baked egg right in the middle, it was so very bright and pretty.
Recently, after watching an episode of "Street Food Around the World - Georgia" with Kishore I recognized what they called, Adjaruli Khachapuri, as that tasty egg boat I had had all those years ago. For my version, a whole wheat flat bread crust is filled with a spicy mixture of baby spinach, feta, and melted mozzarella, then topped with a baked quail egg. Chili Chutney added just the right amount of garlic-ginger and spiciness to this dish. This is a great healthy vegetarian dish, perfect for anytime of day or any meal, it also brings a little extra sunshine to your plate.

Here's my recipe for Spinach Chili Khachapuri:

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Butternut Squash & Carrot Coconut Curry

The weather has had its ups and downs lately. It's been really cold and snowy one day, and then humid, pushy 60F the next. The days, however, are getting longer and there is a lingering eagerness in the air for the return of Spring. While Spring is still officially about a month away, in the mean time there is no better way of dealing with the temperamental cold then a nice spicy warm and colorful veggie soup. This colorful, quick soupy, Thai curry uses; butternut squash, sweet carrots, and silky coconut milk while Chili Chutney adds just the right amount of spice/ spiciness. This is a great vegetarian, healthy comfort food that brings a little color to our palettes during these cold days.

Here is my recipe for Spicy Butternut Squash & Carrot Coconut Curry :

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Liao's Food - Chili Chutney Review

I've never been the person to ask if you don't want an honest answer or review. I'm a Virgo; so, I'm super grounded and brutally honest...to everyone, myself included. If I don't like something, I'll say it.
In this case, I offered to do a review of the product and was sent a sample to try: no paid advertisement or endorsement; ok, now on with the review!

Recently I had the good fortune to connect via Instagram with Diana from Liao's Food creators of Chili Chutney. She grew up in the town over from me, and I'm pretty sure I've been to her parents' restaurant as a teenager.

Chili Chutney... its name explains exactly what it is perfectly, an Asian fusion hot sauce. To understand and truly appreciate this hot sauce you have to know a little something about its creator. Mr. Liao, Diana's Dad, is of Chinese heritage who was born and raised in Kolkata, India, before moving to the US and eventually, after many years of hard work, opened his own restaurant in Central NJ. This fusion of Chinese and South Indian food cultures is reflected brilliantly in the name and taste of Liao's Chili Chutney. It is the perfect balance of sweet chili heat with plenty of garlic- ginger and a ketchup-like consistency. It's this balance that makes it a versatile sauce, good for a variety of uses, and cuisines.

If you like your food with a bit of a heat, spice, and an extra layer of flavor, I would highly recommend trying Liao's Chili Chutney.

Chili Chutney is available for purchase online and at select specialty markets. Visit their site for details. 
If you are in the NY-NJ area, be sure to stop by and visit them at the Cranford Artisan Winter Market on Feb. 27, Mar. 12 & 19.

As soon as we got the sample bottle, we opened it to give it a try, I stepped out of the room to get a spoon, and Kishore had already poured it on a Knish he was eating for lunch!

This being a blog about our multicultural kitchen Chili Chutney found a place in a lot of our recipes. We actually finished the sample jar pretty quickly and ordered more to share with friends and family.
An empty Chili Chutney jar in our kitchen was a sad and scary sight, but our ordered reinforcements arrived just in the nick time! :)

Here is a list of my posted recipes that I tried using Liao's Chili Chutney: You can substitute the hot sauce or chili sauce for the Chili Chutney

Image Map

I had a lot of fun using it in my "tried and true" recipes, but I also created a few recipes which I'll be publishing over the next few days so keep a look out!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Ibex Pass - Death Valley, USA

I’m excited to join up again this month with fellow blogger Fiona Ryan's  A-Z Guidebook Travel Linkup over at Tiffin Bite Sized Food Adventures. This travel tale link-up goes from February 15th - February 22th, this time travels with the letter "I".

"I" is for Ibex Pass, Death Valley National Park California, USA

Ibex Pass is a mountain pass at 2,070ft in the located in Death Valley National Park on the border of  San Bernardino County. It was named for the only inhabitants who could manage to maneuver gracefully over the dry jaggedly rocky terrain, the mountain goat. 

When we took our road trip out west 3 years back we promised ourselves we'd see as much as we could. Our first stop on that trip was the Pahrump Valley Pow-Wow in Nevada. We had a great time there, it was a very warm and welcoming environment and the food was delicious! We decided to leave with the sun still in the sky so we could take the long way back to Vegas...and I mean the long way. We left Pahrump and headed west toward California and the desert. Since we were so close to California we though why not try to see Death Valley and the Mojave Desert, so plans were set RT178 to RT127 to RT15. It was a beautiful drive, and it goes without saying that we stopped so many times to take pictures. Once we reached Ibex Pass we stopped to walk about a bit, take in the air, and the views. The rocky sherbet colored landscape against a vast clear blue sky was almost surreal. 
“How could rocks and sand and silence make us afraid and yet be so wonderful?”
           ~Edna Brush Perkins, The White Heart of Mojave

For more Letter "I" travel stories, visit A-Z Guidebook Linkup. Stay tuned next month for more travel, centering around the Letter "J"!
TIFFIN - bite sized food adventures -

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy St. Valentine's Day - Strawberry Shortbread Cookies

Happy St. Valentine's Day Everyone! 

It's been a very cold past couple of days, so cold in fact they've put frostbite warnings on the news in our local area. We've both been tired and have lost track of days due to recent family events, but as always Kishore knows how to cheer us up and set us right. As I was cooking up dinner Saturday, from the record player in the next room I hear my all time favorite George Harrison song "Here Comes the Sun"...

"Little darling, It's been a long, cold lonely winter
Little darling, It feels like years since it's been here...
Here comes the sun, Here comes the sun, and I say, It's all right...
Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, It seems like years since it's been clear...
Here comes the sun, Here comes the sun, It's all right, It's all right."

It always makes me smile, the sense of hope in this song and the comfort in the line "It's all right." As dark as the days have been, the sun is coming, it's going to be clear and as Kishore tells me, "It's going to be all right love" and that definitely returns a smile to my face. :)
This year, I wanted to make a special sweet treat for my Sweetheart for Valentine's day but our cupboards have been a little bare, so I decided to use what we had on hand and make a Spring Strawberry Shortbread with Strawberry Icing.
So to celebrate and meditate on spring, I used our Homemade Strawberry Preserves and Strawberry Lemon Syrup from our picking trip this past summer for these slightly sweet shortbreads. The strawberry  flavors meld to give a fresh hint of spring in this treat.

Here's my recipe for Strawberry Shortbread Cookies :

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

In My Kitchen - February 2016

It's time for another round of the very cool monthly happening called "In My Kitchen" started by Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial and currently being hosted by Maureen at The Orgasmic Chef.

So here we go....

This Month in my Kitchen...

 December, January, and so far February have been tough this year...physically, emotionally, and mentally. Our car sputtered, smoked, and died on us so we needed to replace it, luckily Christmas and New Year's revived our spirits along with a trip to the beautiful NJ Orchid Show. Then it dropped like a hammer, we got word Kishore's Mom was sick in the hospital so he had to go to India and as I was waiting on my visa to join, my Dad fell ill and was taken to the hospital. We were both worried but resolved to do our best to take care of each other and our family even at different sides of the planet. It made sleeping a challenge but, it was worth it to hear the news of the day and to be comforted and reassured. Things seem to be trending towards the mend though there is still a lot to do: Amma is doing better now, Dad is recovering before scheduling surgery, and my Kishore is back.

Some of the beautiful orchids we saw at the show.

For Christmas we received some really wonderful presents. My Sister wood burned these cooking spoons for us, Abuela gave us these lovely large mugs with the promise of coffee to fill them with on her return from Costa Rica, and my Parents gave us this awesome clay multi-cooker. It has really come in handy with the cold weather and long busy days of late. It adds a great taste to rice, and does wonders on dry beans.

My kitchen timer met with an accident so it needed to be replaced, and knowing my love of mice Kishore found this cute one! 

I purchased some Rutgers grown Hazelnuts and have lots of plans for them. And Dr. Ayeni gave me some of his test crop of "Golden Tubers" aka Tiger nuts...more about them later. :)

We got two new food/cook books to work on together. One as a checklist and one to try cooking a new cuisine together.

We also have some new spices and rubs for the kitchen, our friend gave us 2 bottles of Jerk Seasoning and we bought a bottle of Sumac spice to use after reading our new book.

Cold weather here means soup and lots of bread baking, made a loaf of a family favorite Onion Dill.

Had the good fortune to connect via Instagram with Diana from Liao's Food, a hyperlocal Hot Sauce maker. She grew up in the town over from me and I'm pretty sure I've been to her father's restaurant. They make this incredibly tasty Chili Chutney. Stay tuned Review and Recipes coming soon!

We couldn't let Chinese New Year go by without my friend's famous dumpling so this year Mom got a lesson in dumpling folding.

I'd also like to remind everyone of the monthly linkup called "Food 'n Film"! February's linkup is posted and open from the 4th to the 29th, this month there is a theme "True Love" but it's not mandatory. Hope you join up! :)

I'm on Instagram! You can find me @cookingforkishore.
Feel free to instagram any recipes you try here and use #cookingforkishore.
Looking forward to hearing from you all! :)

Please make sure you stop in and take a glance at everyone else's kitchens!

So tell me...What's happening in your kitchen this month?

If you're curious here's a link to what we were up to during last year's In My Kitchen: February 2015

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