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 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

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Happy Chinese Lunar New Year! 2016 Year of the Monkey

Happy Chinese Lunar New Year and Spring Festival!

2016 is the Year of the Monkey.

Wishing you and your family health, wealth, and good cheer for the Lunar New Year!

Click on the images below for links to some of my favorite recipes. Links are also listed below.


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Food 'n Film - February 2016

Welcome to Food 'n Film for February!

The theme for February is 'True Love', everyone has their own definition of true love, so share a movie that does it for you! 

Here are a few examples that friends have told me based on their definitions, that you could use as inspiration: Pride& Prejudice (BBC version or bust), It Happened One Night, Titanic, The Notebook, Ghost, When Harry Met Sally, The Princess Bride... 

But of course as always it is Blogger's choice so no need to stick to the theme, just please keep it clean! 

Looking forward to your movie picks, and the recipes that come out out of them! :)

How to take part in the Food 'n Film link-up

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