Fast & Furious Weeknight Cooking: Simran’s Chimichurri Black Beans

chimichurri-beans

These brothy, flavorful chimichurri beans are so versatile — a tasty base for soups and stews; a hearty sidedish; or, of course, a filling for tacos, quesadillas, tortas and yes… nachos! Simran developed this recipe after enjoying a similar dish when she was in Belize and it’s our latest article for our “Fast & Furious Weeknight Cooking” series for the San Jose Mercury News. Read the article and get the recipe right here. Continue reading

Dinner in a Blink: Pasta with Caramelized Onion & Yogurt

Genius Pasta with Caramelized Onions and Yogurt

Here’s a genius trick I can take absolutely no credit for — make a big batch of caramelized onions and freeze them to use in all sorts of yummy things like this simple, yet amazing pasta dish. Continue reading

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

Cacio e Pepe, A Taste of Rome

Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e Pepe collage

Learning how to cook an Italian classic.

 

This is one of those recipes that is so easy it hardly even needs a recipe. It has a list of 3 ingredients (maybe four, but more on that later) and is just only slightly more complicated than boiling pasta. But despite it’s basic-ness Cacio e Pepe one of the most delicious and satisfying pasta dishes ever dreamed up. In fact, when my husband and I were in Rome this last summer we of course made it a point to eat as much great food as possible (no surprise there). Despite the many absolutely amazing meals we had, the one we returned to on our last night (and we were both in total agreement) was a bowl of Cacio e Pepe, a slow-roasted porchetta sandwich, a simple salad and a glass of wine from a little stand down by the Tevere which was set up as part of a summer festival along the river. Last meal in Rome? No contest. Okay maybe dining al fresco by the light of a full moon, bathed in the special magic of one of our favorite cities had something to do with it, but the food really was perfect.  Continue reading

Buckwheat Crepes (Galettes), Savory or Sweet

Buckwheat Crepes_France by a Little Yumminess

Buckewhat Crepes_A Little Yumminess

 

We really love this buckwheat crepe (galette) recipe from the always excellent David Lebovitz — it’s a little less eggy and a bit more crisp and delicate than other crepe recipes we have tried and we love the deep color and the nuttiness from the buckwheat. I’ve made this recipe so, so many times over the years, but realized that I have never shared it here on the blog. Now is the perfect time, with that foggy chill in the air and major cravings for cozy foods like cheese and chocolate setting in. Crepe season is here! Continue reading

Picnic Time: Italian Panini

Italian Panini by A Little Yumminess

Summer is here and in most places it is the perfect time to get out have a picnic.  The weather is not quite as agreeable in San Francisco during summer – so either we brave the fog and picnic anyway (because we are tough people who are used to cold summers) or we head a short distance outside the city to better climes for our picnic.  However, don’t let the harsh SF weather mean no picnicking for your family.  Some of my fondest memories from childhood revolve around picnicking and the idea of eating a packed lunch outside still brings a big smile to my face.

Though I have learned over the years that picnics on the beach are generally a bad idea, no matter how glorious it sounds.  Sand in sandwich is not such a good idea.  Get your kids to help with the packing of the picnic and think about what you could need.  You will invariably forget something – that’s a given and part of the fun.  The outdoors are beckoning and what better way to enjoy them then to share a meal outside.  The next few posts are going to feature some international sandwich recipes that you can make with your kids before you head out for some fun.
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Snack Time: Chilli Cheese Toasties

masalacheesetoastDSC_0387

We are currently addicted to this “Indian” variation of a simple grilled cheese sandwich.  It’s always fun to take something familiar and mix it up just a little bit.  We enjoyed these cheese toasts recently before a family hike and they kept us satisfied as we got some exercise and fresh air.  It was also a fun little cooking project with the little one.  For kids, feel free to omit the chillies altogether – the tomatoes, onions and herbs are enough of a twist.  Another thing we like about this recipe is that you can make multiple cheese toasts at one time by using a sheet tray and the oven, versus slaving over each grilled cheese over the stove.  This is the perfect after school snack for a playdate.

Next time we make these, we are going to try different types of cheeses – goat cheese, gruyere, mozzarella or perhaps even some fontina.  Or maybe even a variety of leftover cheeses that seem to always languish in our fridge.  Another yummy addition could be finely chopped colorful bell peppers.

A throwback to my childhood that I had forgotten all about…excited to have it back :)!
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