Teacher Gift: Spice Mixes


Every year, we make something edible for our teachers, versus something they have to keep and add to the clutter in their lives.  In the past we have made different types of granola and cookies for our teachers.  Jams, banana bread and pickles are other good ideas for year-end teacher gifts.

This year, Ria once again, had a teacher who is super interested in food (just like us! yay!) and we decided to make her some spice mixes to thank her for a year of amazing learning and fun.  The great thing about these spice mixes is that children can pretty much measure (while the practice their math skills) and make these mixes all by  themselves.  It’s nice to include some recipes as well, if your teacher is unfamiliar with the spices you are sharing with them.  The Madras curry powder makes a mean shrimp curry and the garam masala can be used to marinate our simple oven baked “tandoori” chicken.  Both spice mixes can be used to roast chicken drumsticks and also vegetables like cauliflower. Continue reading

Sides We Love: Green Beans with Sesame Dressing

greenbeans with sesame dressing

I am unfortunately surrounded by mayo-haters – starting with my partner in life to my dear friend and partner in business.  Together they are “corrupting” my child into thinking “mayo is gross”. (Evil people :) ) Nonetheless, I am an unapologetic lover of mayo and absolutely love this sesame dressing recipe.  I have been looking for years to replicate this dressing available at many a Japanese restaurant that makes salad amazingly addictive.  And finally, I have found it.  The bottled store-bought stuff be damned, I am making my own sesame-mayo dressing from now on. Continue reading

The Most Requested Meal

Salmon by Luca-A Little Yumminess

Using the ricer

Puttin’ some muscle into it!

It goes in phases, but the most requested meal at Casa Stacie right now is oven roasted salmon and mashed potatoes (and a green veg or salad for good measure). The kids ask for this dinner all the time and so it’s a frequent one on our dinner table. They’ve also asked to learn how to make this meal themselves. So each time we cook this dinner they have been taking on more and more of cooking tasks. They’ve been working on: Continue reading

A Week of Eating Vegan….

Well – almost a week – and I must say it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be.  The little one was horrified and there was all kinds of (very amusing) protesting and whining.  Perhaps, I should be pleased that she even knows what a vegan diet consists of.  However, she did just fine, and her dairy was not taken from her – she still had her milk and cheese. :)  And, I did fine too, even though I gave up caffeine, alcohol and sugar (I did eat fruits), in addition.  Interestingly, I craved sugar more than anything else. Here are some highlights from the week…to inspire you…


White bean soup with baked crispy kale (this bowl has parmesan cheese – my bowl did not).  Super creamy, yummy and satisfying soup served with a side of hearty walnut bread.  Made for a great school lunch the next day and we made an extra large vat that lasted a few days. Continue reading

Rick Bayless’ Garlic-Lime Mojo Popcorn with Cilantro & Queso Anejo

Rick Bayless_Mojo Popcorn by a Little Yumminess

I’m always on the lookout for interesting savory snacks and this is one of the best ones I’ve come across in a long, long while. You’ve got the tangy-savory flavors of lime and garlic infused olive oil that you use for both popping and seasoning the popcorn, then you top things off with a salty, crumbly Mexican cheese (such as queso anejo) and a generous amount of finely chopped cilantro for a bit of brightness. I would also suggest adding a little chile flake (Japanese togarashi would be nice) to the mix if you’re a fan of heat.  Continue reading

Upcoming Class at 18 Reasons: Flavors of India – Home Cooking Basics


There’s not much Stacie and I enjoy more than cooking together, learning recipes from moms and dads and developing recipes and cooking classes (and of course teaching them!).  We have a brand new cooking class coming up at one of our favorite venues – 18 Reasons – in May, and it is going to focus on every day Indian home cooking – the stuff we eat at home that you will not get in a restaurant. :)

We have learned over the years that Indian spices and Indian cooking mystifies people.  As much as people love Indian food, most prefer to eat it out, versus learn how to cook it themselves.  Unfortunately, in my humble opinion, the Indian food at home is far superior to almost anything you can find in a restaurant (I also had the good fortune of growing up in a family of AMAZING cooks).  Ask me what my favorite Indian restaurant is in San Francisco (a very common question), and you will catch me looking befuddled and searching desperately for (a polite) answer.  That’s because my mama makes the best Indian food and no restaurant (in San Francisco) compares.

Here are the details for our Indian home-cooking class – we are SUPER excited about it.  Tickets at this link.

Flavors of India: Home Cooking Basics

  • 18 Reasons in San Francisco
  • Sunday, May 17th – 4:00 PM to 7:30 PM

Love Indian food, but haven’t tried cooking it at home yet? Want to spice up your family dinners with some new flavors? Learn Indian home cooking basics to get yourself started: from essential spices, Indian food made easy enough to cook everyday and tips on cooking techniques like tempering, working with dough and making your own spice mixes.

  • Mom’s Everyday Channa Dhal
  • Shrimp “Curry in a Hurry”
  • Indian-Spiced Creamed Spinach
  • Spiced-Roasted Cauliflower
  • Turkey Chappali Kebabs
  • Carrot Raita
  • Coriander Chutney
  • Home-made Madras Curry Powder
  • Paranthas
  • Masala Chai & treat

Nasi Goreng: Malaysian Fried Rice

nasi goreng

Every year, Stacie and I, in teams with our summer campers lead a fried rice cook-off and every year, I “somehow” seem to lose.  I always blame the judges and their “lame” palates and tastebuds, but maybe, just maybe Stacie is better at making fried rice. :)

This nasi goreng is a pretty simple, but quite a delicious and satisfying dish.  It takes a Chinese classic and spices it up a little bit.  The magic of this Malaysian-style fried rice lies in the flavorful base, a spice paste of chiles, garlic and shallots.  Leftover rice usually works best as it is drier and fries up better. This dish is a great vehicle for other leftovers as well – you can add leftover chicken, other cooked meats, leftover vegetables and tofu as well.  It is a bit of a spicier dish, but you can adjust the amount of chilli or use milder chillies.  Or frankly as your kids get older, have them try some spicy dishes (raising the spice level as time passes) – constant exposure will get them eating dishes with more spices/chilli in them. Continue reading