Summer Inspiration: Grilled Avocados

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Until very recently, I never considered grilling avocados – and now that I have discovered this, there’s no turning back.  The recipe is super simple – cut a few ripe avocados in half.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and ancho chile powder (cayenne, paprika or any other chile powder work well). Grill for 1-2 minutes, cut side down till charred.  Season with Maldon salt and squeeze on some fresh lime juice.  Ridiculous good. Continue reading

Kids in the Kitchen: Weekend Pancakes

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How times flies – the children are now old enough to make weekend pancakes all by themselves.  It’s bittersweet.  It’s all moving too fast, and everyone is growing up too rapidly.  Before long, we will be old and decrepit , and our kids will be making pancakes for us and wiping the syrup off our faces.🙂

This is a neat cooking project for children on a weekend.  We had excess buttermilk lying around from making Brown Butter Cobbler from earlier in the week –  and Ria after watching “Just Eat It” is a bit obsessed with reducing food waste (yay!, or she just wanted pancakes) – came up with the idea to make “Buttermilk Pancakes”.  We googled and the Google Gods sent us a fabulous recipe from Martha Stewart.  Somehow, chocolate chips made their way into the pancakes and instead of syrup, we used some lovely Hawaiian Macadamia nut honey that we procured from Heidrun Meadery in Point Reyes (awesome Food Find!).  The honey and the buttermilk pancakes (without the chocolate chips), were a match made in heaven. Continue reading

Having Fun with Charles Phan’s Banh Xeo (Vietnamese-style crepes)

Banh Xeo_by A Little Yumminess.jpgBanh Xeo_A Little YumminessEveryone in my family loves, loves loves Vietnamese food (it’s our standard “go-to” Friday night dinner out). The layered flavors and textures, the freshness and brightness make it totally irresistible. High up on my to do list to the beg some of my friends with cuisine knowledge to give me some tutoring in the kitchen, but in the meantime I keep doing my best to chase the flavors that we love by absorbing all I can from every cookbook, article and video I can find. (If you know of good resources, let me know!)

This recipe for banh xeo (Vietnamese-style crepes) from Charles Phan of SF’s always great Slanted Door restaurant, was a fun one that I wanted to share since it’s a new technique and canvas to play with. The batter is simple to put together, and cooking the crepes isn’t too hard, especially if you have some experience with French crepes or other thin pancakes, but in any case prepare to practice a bit before you get “in the zone”. I will probably never get to the level of delicate laciness of Charles Phan’s banh xeo but making them is still pretty fun and my family will happily eat the rejects.

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Punjabi Pop-up at 18 Reasons on June 3rd

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Gather around our family table for another unique Punjabi feast cooked by our favorite Indian mama, Roop Soni. This particular menu features an array of dishes inspired by dhabas*, the Indian equivalent of America’s 24-hour diner. These roadside restaurants serve authentic, wholesome, satisfying Punjabi food around the clock and are an integral part of culture and cuisine.

MENU

First Course
Vegetable Pakora & Chutney

Main
Dhaba-style Masala Chicken
Pahli aur Alu ki Subzi (Green Beans and Potato)
Dahl Makhani (Slow Cooked Creamy Spiced Black Lentils)
Punjabi Bhaturas (Leavened fried Indian bread)
Boondi Raita
Onions & Green Chilies

Dessert
Papajee’s Kheer (Simran’s Grandfather’s Indian Rice Pudding)

Wine and beer will be sold at an additional cost ($6 and $3 respectively). You are also welcome to BYOB (wine and beer only).

Hope you can join us – tickets at this linkFYI:Photo above is from another pop-up. Continue reading

Liz Prueitt’s Healthy Flax Muffins (gluten free)

Liz Prueitt's Healthy Muffins

One of the best Instagram accounts I have come across belongs to Liz Prueitt of Tartine Bakery fame. Via her Instagram feed you can follow along with her as she tests and develops recipes which is pretty cool if you’re interested in how that process happens and getting inside the mind of a chef. Most recently she’s turned much of her attention to gluten free baking where she’s been exploring GF twists on classics as well as new, creative inventions, comparing different substitutions and combinations. (She’s got savory cooking projects going on as well). Some posts share the refined, end result of many cycles of testing, other times you get to see the trials and errors along the way. The very best part is that she often throws shorthand recipes onto her posts so you can cook along at home. And since she’s sharing in real-time, her posts always reflect what’s in season right now.

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Snack Time: Peppered Maple Walnuts

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We first encountered these delicious walnuts on our Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Farm Tour last year.  They were served along-side some of the amazing cheeses that they make on their farm in Point Reyes (they are particularly good with the Toma).  I remember gobbling up a good quantity of these salty-sweet walnuts with ridiculous amounts of cheese.  We were delighted when we came across the recipe in a recent issue of Edible magazine and tried making these walnuts right away. These peppered maple walnuts have become a staple at our home – we are totally hooked.  They are lovely with cheese, but also with vanilla ice-cream (Straus vanilla – a current favorite) as well! Needless to say, the possibilities are endless, but they are pretty spectacular on their own as well.

Good recipe to make with the kids and it never hurts to have these lying around when unexpected guests drop by. Continue reading