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Shef’s (Mostly) Food Favorites

I am one of those people: a sharer. I want to tell the whole world about the things I love that I think might benefit their lives! I've written a few of these "my favorite things" lists, but now it will be on a tab of its own, so you can always refer back to my favorite products. And I love reading other people's curated lists like this, so if you've got one please leave it in the comments below. These are my latest favorite things, still all food-related: Rancho Gordo popcorn kernels. I love popcorn and movie night with my family. We always use good kernels and the girls have so much ... read more

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Friday Favorites

Loving writing these lists! I'm hoping to write them more often, maybe two Fridays a month. If you like these types of lists and know of any I should have in my radar, please let me know in the comments below! Here are my recent favorites, mostly food-related this time again. Pumpkin Tiramisu. I posted a pic of this on Instagram and Facebook and got many requests for the recipe, which I did not create myself. HERE IT IS! It's unbelievably easy and a great autumn make-ahead favorite. I didn't change a thing from the recipe other than needing double the amount of coffee to soak the ... read more

Indian-Inspired Fennel, Chick Pea, And Cucumber Salad-sm

Indian-Inspired Salad

Indian-Inspired Fennel, Chick Pea, and Cucumber Salad Children grow fast, we all know that. But to watch a picky eater transform into a fennel-crunching, masala-musing child is bewitching, and it really makes one wonder where the years went. It also allows one to feel that her job as chief cook of the household has been validated. :) Today I prepared the ever so comforting chicken noodle soup, though chickenless, for my ill 7-year-old. We have plenty of comfort foods in our repertoire such as indulgently creamy mac and cheese, simple and homey rajma and chaaval (kidney bean curry and ... read more

Tamarind Date Chutney

Imli Chutney

Print Imli Chutney (Tamarind-Date Chutney) Prep time:  5 mins Cook time:  20 mins Total time:  25 mins Serves: 2 Cups Ingredients 1 packed cup tamarind pulp (don’t worry if there are seeds) 2 cups water 1 cup chopped pitted dates (approx 20 dates) ½ teaspoon chili powder ½ teaspoon ground coriander ½ teaspoon ground cumin ½ teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar Instructions Heat water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add tamarind pulp to hot water. Lower heat and cook for 10 minutes, breaking pulp with wooden spoon. Turn off heat. Strain ... read more

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Yellow Squash Chutney

I've talked about chutneys here before, right? I'm always talking about chutneys (not to be confused with Indian pickled condiments like aachaars) in class, telling my students that in Indian cooking they are not always chunky, nor even always cooked. They can be raw or cooked, and usually are highly-seasoned with a smooth consistency, unlike the fruity chunky chutneys I see served on roast meats here in the West (though this one looks GREAT!) Westerners tend to use my chutney recipes for anything and everything: as dipping sauces for vegetables or chips and as all-purpose condiments in lieu ... read more

Being Me

Hi there y'all. I am ready to be me in this blog. I tried the flowery food writing me, then the technical recipe writing me, then the measly attempts to be funny me. But now I'm just gonna be me. Basically, I'm tired of NOT writing simply because I don't have a perfect recipe or a gorgeous photo. I'm just gonna write. I have lots to say and have had lots to say and it seems to be kept bottled in because of the need to LOOK good. Yes, my blog needs a better design and I haven't gotten there yet. Yes, I need to give you more recipes, I hear you. And I'll do that when I can and when I get ... read more

Favorite Foods Friday

This is my 2nd post on a list of my favorite things. So just to repeat here in case you missed it last time, for my Type A self, it's always fun to write lists. I do so almost everyday, either on paper or on Evernote, or even on my electronic post-it note app. Yes, it's noted. I'm confused about my note-taking devices. I also love to read lists on blogs, on Amazon, in magazines and brochures. My friends used to make fun of me for gathering pamphlets everywhere I go. I collect lists! So, here are a few of my favorite things right now. They include the gamut of everything I find that is ... read more

Favorite Things: Listomania

For my Type A self, it's always fun to write lists. I do so almost everyday, either on paper or on Evernote, or even on my electronic post-it note app. Yes, it's noted. I'm confused about my note-taking devices. I also love to read lists on blogs, on Amazon, in magazines and brochures. My friends used to make fun of me for gathering pamphlets everywhere I go. I collect lists! So, here are a few of my favorite things right now. They include the gamut of everything I find that is enjoyable, interesting, or beneficial to me right now:  in food, music, websites, books, and moments. Here you ... read more

I’ll always remember your name Victoria Soto.

It's been months since I've written, here or on paper. I have running thoughts, and I always want to write. But writing in peace on a table is a luxury for me right now, and I have had some other priorities in my life. But when the urge to discuss, to spill the emotions to whoever will listen, to expel the mental congestion and the whirling in the chest, the pen and paper are where I like to go. And so, even though this is a food blog, today I'm writing about Newtown and its people. Sandy Hook and its teachers, like Lauren, whose funeral is today. The parents of those 20 kids and those ... read more

A Composed Salad

Nicoise Salad Vinaigrette

We stopped buying bottled vinaigrettes maybe 10 years ago. You may think that by that statement that I have developed a repertoire of some 30 or 40 vinaigrettes. But no, we make the same 2 or 3 over and over in our household. They are the ones our kids learned to eat salad with and the ones that our parents (yes parents!) learned to eat salad with. They are the vinaigrettes for which people ask for the recipes. "Shefaly, can you send me a recipe of that vinaigrette you used to make when you lived here?" "Shef, how do I make "your salad dressing"?" I've never written these down ... read more