This will be the first year we are not traveling to India, so we decided to treat ourselves to a full week in my home town of Santa Cruz. Our week long excursion was full of local sight seeing. Having grown up in Santa Cruz, I never felt the need to make the most of what Santa Cruz has to offer, but this week we soaked up all the natural beauty of this peaceful enclave. We walked the sunny path on West Cliff, overlooking the beach and endless blue ocean. We stopped by Steamer Lane and watched all the surfers. We toured through the sprawling campus of the University of Santa Cruz with it’s winding paths, sky high redwoods and expansive ocean views. We walked along Pleasure Point where a lot of the filming forRead More
The first time we made these appetizers, we were hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party in our tiny one bedroom apartment. Hubby was huddled over the stove, dipping bits of bread into a yellow colored batter and then dropping them into simmering oil with the wonderful sizzling sound which can only mean we are about to eat freshly fried food.
My family took a look at the serving plate piled high with triangle shaped fried breads and said they looked a lot like French toast. The whole plate was gone in minutes. Hubby didn’t even get a chance to sample them. This is when I learned that the cook should alwaysRead More
This cake has become a new July 4th tradition in our family. In my family, our July 4th party is a triple celebration as it includes birthday parties for both my Dad and my sister. In the pasty we’ve always bought beautiful cakes. Last year however, I was inspired to make this beautifully festive cake and it was such a big hit that it has become our birthday cake of choice for our annual July 4th bash. You know it’s a good cake when both the kids and the adults are hoping for seconds.
Don’t be intimidated by the seemingly fancy decorations. It’s surprisingly easy to bake and the taste is a crowd pleaser every time.Read More
W hen I was growing up, Every dinner included potato in some form or another. Steamed potato, baked potato, mashed potato; with gravy or without, you name it and we ate it. We had potato every night, in fact, my Dad still eats potato with steamed veggies and some kind of meat, every night of the week. So, to no great surprise, I got sick and tired of eating the same kind of potato. I put the potato on the back burner, in search of new and exciting flavors.
After I got married I got a lesson in Indian cooking and learned to cook aloo matar from my mother-in-law. It’s a Punjabi dish of peasRead More
I have finally mustered up the motivation to lose the last bit of chub I’ve been holding onto since the India trip. I’ve been fully intending to lose the weight for a while now but last week it donned on me that our India trip was seven months ago and I could no longer put it off. What finally kick started me into action was the opportunity for Hubby and me to participate in a photo shoot in early July. A friend of a friend is working on a portrait book of “mixed-culture couples” (is that the right P.C. term?) and my friend contacted us about being in the book. Well, I didn’t need to be asked twice about doing a professional photo shoot! Needless to say, I am now full of motivation to eat clean and get lean.Read More
I love hosting dinner parties. I love to sit down, put together a guest list, plan out what to have for the evening and comb through cookbooks for inspirations and ideas. I even love finding new and creative ways to decorate the table. I put a whole lot of thought into turning just a dinner into an event.
But what do you do when you have a group coming over for dinner and your wonderfully planned dinner has just turned into a disaster? I’ve been asked this question in a couple of reader emails and I always assure them that I’ve had my fair share of entertaining disasters. In fact, this just happened to me last weekend.Read More
What is it about a plate piled high with cookies that is so hard to resist? I certainly can’t resist. Apparently neither can my family, who ate four bags worth of cookies in two days when I brought them the results of last weeks recipe testing. I had just spent the previous week working to find just the right cookie for dipping into chai. I’ve actually been searching for the perfect chai cookie recipe for the past two years and I think I finally found it.
My fixation for the perfect chai cookie started on my first visit to India. We had been married in the US and flew to India for a wedding reception. Our month-long trip turned into my new familyRead More
In India, I would sit in the living room with Hubby and Mummy-ji, hunching over the coffee table while we peeled pods of peas and tried to see who could fill their bowl the fastest. I always lost. I had never peeled a pea pod in my life. Meanwhile Hubby and Mummy-ji would be onto their second bowl before I had even gotten halfway through my first. I could never put my finger on how a chore like peeling peas could become so fun, but Punjabis seem to be experts at turning chores into competitions.
Before last year’s trip, I had never seen real peas in a pod. The only peas I’ve had exposure to is the kind you buy in the frozenRead More
For Hubby’s birthday, I decided to make him a dish he has been requesting for about the last 8 years of marriage. Why haven’t I made this dish yet? Mainly because my sister-in-law makes such an amazing version, I never dreamed I could live up to his expectations.
This year however, he arrived home from his India trip with a full video of his sister making this recipe. That’s when I realized it was time to give it a go.
To be honest, I have always been intimidated to try this dish. It has complex flavor and uses a variety of vegetables, so I figured itRead More