Lauren’s Lemon Ricotta Crepes

On the brink of another move this July (To Amman, Jordan in case you missed it!), my body and mind have begun to ramp up, once again, to weather what is said to be one of life’s most stressful occasions. Moving is a way of life for us. We’ve moved five times in the past seven years, and people always ask if moving gets easier. The answer is, “No, but you get better at it” or you quit. And I’m not a quitter. Although I did quit smoking once, but... Read The Rest →

Blood Orange & Meringue Tarts with Lauren Cooper

My friend Lauren, if you haven’t already gleaned from my Instagram, has been my culinary cohort this year. With eighteen years of catering under her belt and a pastry chef for just the same, Lauren brings expertise to my humble love of cooking and creating in the kitchen. I’ve always got a head full of ideas from my travels and she’s always up to join me to try out my culinary crazy and raise me one (or many) with her culinary insights. We’ve worked together this year cooking and styling... Read The Rest →

Pickled Vadouvan Deviled Eggs with RawSpiceBar

RawSpiceBar recently contacted me to see if I’d be interested in checking out their cool new product. Think “Fruit of the Month Club” for spices. Having been cozied up here in home base USA for a little over a year now, I’m kicking and screaming to pull out my passport and get moving again. Until then, I quickly answered, “Yes!” This months spice kit was filled with memories of South India, giving me one more reason to love the team at RawSpiceBar. My kit arrived with three .3 ounce packets... Read The Rest →

Beetroot Hummus Tartine

It feels as though summer may have sighed her final, warm sigh. I suppose the final days of summer are like the final days of your baby awakening in the night; you wish them away, begging for sleep, only to lie awake one night, longing for the sweet smell of that same baby curled in your lap in the still of the night. But she never calls. In the thick of it you feel like those nights will last forever, but then one day they are simply gone. Last week was still impossibly... Read The Rest →

Watermelon Fresh Lime Soda

The very first thing you learn in India, is to drink fresh lime soda. If it isn’t the first thing you learn, it should be the very second. In A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food, it is dubbed, “The supreme quencher of Colonial thirst.” A hit of sugar, which anyone will tell you is the breath of life in your 4:00 pm tea or coffee, just the boost you need to get you through the last hours of the day and well into the steamy and electrifying South India night. A dash... Read The Rest →

Lemon Rice

  This is the dish from our time in Chennai, that I cook the most. It is equally as satisfying for breakfast with an egg and filter coffee as it is for lunch with an ice cold glass of sweet lime soda, and as good hot as it is cold. It appeals to the entire stadium of taste buds and senses, as it is a little crunchy, a little sweet and a little sour and salty, too. This dish, like most south Indian dishes, initially seemed intimidating, given it’s complex... Read The Rest →

Food Styling for WUSA9 “Great Day Washington”

Here is a super bowl I prepared and styled from Rich Roll’s, The Plantpower Way cookbook yesterday that was featured on set along with a few other plant-packed recipes. The show, “How to Eat Like an Olympian,”  featuring Roll and a registered dietician with Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, aired yesterday morning on WUSA Channel 9’s “Great Day Washington” morning show.

Madras Mary

Summer is here and with a house-full of kids, plans to play in the sun all day, you’d better believe I’m dreaming of weekend mornings and long brunches complete with Bloody Marys. Our biggest plans during our summers back in the United States are to simply stay put and enjoy the fruits of the season, the green grass, the fireflies twinkling in our yard, popsicles on the porch and the many parks with in walking or biking distance to our house. We’ll take a short trip to the Pacific Northwest in... Read The Rest →

Tamil Nadu Fish Fry

Famed as the “World’s Longest Beach,” Chennai’s Marina Beach, is alive long before the sun rises, a sandy village awakening. The sea brings all people in all forms for ritual feedings of a million pigeons, a fury of tangled nets and surprise catches, variable goodie bags of sea-life. However, when the sun is high the beaches of Tamil Nadu become largely abandoned. Unlike most of the world’s beaches, it’s clock set a little to the left of center and for good reason. In the heat of the day fisherman and locals scamper... Read The Rest →

Cumin Coffee // Recipe

  Cumin plays an elemental role in our kitchen. From recipes handed down by my husband’s Lebanese grandmother, to our shared mutual love of Mexican and Southwestern food from our days spent in the hospitality industry. Cumin is unequivocally our favorite spice. South India has made me a believer in many things, not the least of which is the importance of freshly roasted and ground spices. I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to buy masalas off of the shelves of a supermarket again and I’ll certainly always roast... Read The Rest →

Red Pearls of Goa // With Magnum Workshops

Stuffed, smoked and laid out in the sun to dry seems a popular Goan theme. The sausages of this tale, however, are more firmly rooted in the colonial Portuguese lore than in the modern-day, summer holiday-fest that Goa has become. Stuffed in the tradition of their Portuguese ancestors and relegated to sales in only certain areas of the city, the reign of the swine still lives in the farthest corners of restaurant menus and street-side vendors alike.   I recently had the honor of attending Magnum Workshops in Goa, India, with mentors, Stuart... Read The Rest →

Nectar of The Gods // Cocktail Recipe

  Whenever the twined-stems of these beauties peer out of a box at the market, I jump to buy a bundle. Both beautiful and slightly deceiving, this prickly fruit- sliced open- yields the most aromatic pearl-like flesh. When I first ate these I was a small child, I was indulged eat a local Chinese restaurant that our family frequented. A rarity in the Pacific Northwest, we savored the  flesh and marveled at the shiny seeds left behind, dreaming of planting and growing our own bunches. Fast forward to India a... Read The Rest →

Anatomy of a Tiffin Box

  As the school year draws to an end and expertly designed bento box lunch-boxes turn into a granola bar and a juice box, I thought we could all use a little lunch inspiration. Have you seen this? I laughed so hard I nearly cried. I began to wonder what other culture’s first day of school to last day of school lunches look like, so I asked Mrs. Rita what the “peanut butter and jelly sandwich and potato chips” of Chennai was. The preferred mode of lunch transport in India... Read The Rest →

Mango // A Season

  Some of my favorite places on earth experience all four seasons. It is one of the things I miss most about my home in the Pacific Northwest, but the life we lead often takes us to exotic places around the planet that know only a season or two. Instead of mourning the loss of my sweet winter, spring, summer and fall, I began to instead embrace the different types of seasons in their place. In Brazil we had only a dry season and a wet season. The dry season... Read The Rest →

Vada // Recipe

Describing the flavors and the smells seems an essential part of falling in love with Indian food. As if the scents of the markets, the curry leaves rustling by on the backs of cycles in the morning, the sounds of mustard seeds popping as they meet hot oil and the way the smell of sambar can be sensed blocks before you reach the kitchen were all a part of the recipe. In my mind they are. I recently read this article about Indian food, about why scientists have found the flavors of... Read The Rest →

Madras Fish Curry // Mrs. Rita

If you are anything like me, you are a little intimidated by cooking Indian cuisine. It seems complicated, but really is as simple as the ingredients themselves. Each serving an aurveydic purpose, there isn’t an ingredient that is added that is added without reason. Still I was nervous to pick up the spice dhabba and get started. Enter: Mrs. Rita All one really must do is express an interest in anything in South India and there will immediately be one (or more!) people willing to share their knowledge. It is... Read The Rest →

Rose Milk Ice Cream // Recipe

  When I was a little girl my mom taught me to make rose perfume in the summers. She’d guide me into the backyard with a clear jar filled with water and let me pick as many roses from her rose garden as my little fingers could hold. I’d pluck the petals and add them to the water, tighten the jar and leave the jar in the warm summer sun on the back steps. If you left it for just the right amount of time, the warm sun would infuse... Read The Rest →

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