Magical Spice Mix: Madras Curry Powder

madras curry powder

For the longest time, I used to buy my curry powder at the Indian grocery store.  Never from a regular grocery store, because who knows how long those spices has been sitting on the shelves. You always want to buy your spices from a spot that churns through them very quickly.  Plus, spices are always less expensive at ethnic stores.  And the spice mixes are often more authentic and tastier (in my opinion) at the ethnic markets.  However, recently, I started making my own Madras Curry Powder and now even the stuff from the Indian grocery store isn’t good enough.

The recipes for Madras curry powder are countless, this is just a version that we love. If you do not fancy any particular spice, you can reduce the amount you add or even leave it out. Looking for a milder curry powder, then omit the cayenne or dried red chilies. We love this curry powder in coconut curries made with vegetables, shrimp or fish. It is also fabulous with roasted chicken drumsticks with carrots for an easy dinner. You can add it to soups, a variety of roasted vegetables (particularly good with cauliflower) or even a make a curried chicken salad with it. Continue reading

Luke’s Local for Groceries & Meals

Mealbox Grocery Spread

There are so many food delivery and grocery delivery services out there, that we can barely keep things straight in our heads.  We have tried some of them and being the kind of people who like to cook, we have generally been disappointed.

Luke’s Local, though is unique, and I envision us ordering from them quite regularly.  They are all about helping busy (aren’t we all just over busy?) people eat well.  You can order delicious local groceries and also healthy meals, should you not want to cook yourself.  They also cater lunches for offices.  And if you order today, you can get your goodies the very next day!
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Chef-y Portraits by Luca

I loved these too much not to share! My son Luca has gotten the portrait drawing bug lately, so I nudged him this last week to select a few chef-y subjects to add to his growing portfolio. He dashes these things off in just minutes and I’m just so impressed with how he’s managed to capture the essence of each person while sticking to his signature drawing style.

Danny Bowien_Mission Chinese Food

The simplicity of this drawing of Mission Chinese Food’s Danny Bowien is wonderful. The whimsical expression and the bold pretzel arm stance are spot on. The original photo appears in the book “Edible Selby”.

Jamie Oliver by Luca

Luca was very excited to draw this one and chose as his inspiration a photo of a very young Jamie Oliver from his cookbook “Jamie’s Kitchen”. The hair is perfect and I love the detail of the hands. Luca describes his expression as “pretty friendly but not really smiling”.


(more portraits after the jump!)

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Snack Time: Green Goddess Dressing

Greeen Goddess Dressing_A Little Yumminess

Pretty much everything tastes great after a dip in this classic, creamy, delicious Green Goddess Dressing: vegetable crudite, steamed or roasted green beans or asparagus, slices of leftover roasted chicken, even potato or pita chips. Make a big batch of this dressing over the weekend and pack it into small containers for easy weekday snacking.  I am known to to just grab a spoon and eat it by itself from time to time.  In addition, aside from being a “dip”, it is a dressing, and instantly “wake ups” an everyday salad! Continue reading

Picnic Time: A Savory Galette

Savory Galette

Slice a few wedges of a savory galette and pack a few pieces of fruit, and maybe some raw vegetables to munch on – and and you’re all set for your picnic.  It’s certainly more effort than making a simple sandwich, but it’s not difficult at all if you take advantage of store bought pie crust and whatever interesting ingredients or leftovers you might have hanging around in your refrigerator.  We love recipes that use up our leftovers in a creative way, and a galette is the perfect vehicle for that. Continue reading

Picnic Time: Savory Cheddar Muffins

Cheddar-Bacon Muffins

This past summer the San Jose Mercury featured several recipes that we created specially for them, for picnics and pool time adventures.  In the Bay Area, the months of September and October bring us some of our best weather.  It has been so super hot on some days the past weeks few, that some of us have found ourselves (secretly) wishing for fog.  However, while it is warm, and before the rains come (fingers crossed), some of these grab-and-go snacks are great to have lying around.  These cheddar-bacon muffins are a fun cooking project to do with the kiddos on the weekend, before you head out on an adventure. Continue reading

Upcoming Cooking Classes at Cavallo Point, 18 Reasons and Ramekins

nasi campur

We find ourselves teaching not just kids and teenagers, but also grown-ups at various amazing locations around the Bay Area and Wine Country.  This Fall we have quite the line up of classes and pop-ups coming up (click through for ticketing information and do join us if you can):

We are also using the Fall to tinker with new recipes and develop more amazing classes and conduct more pop-ups.  If you have any ideas for us or want to collaborate on a private event, drop us a line at or keep checking back on the “Classes” tab of our website. Continue reading