Garlic Mashed Potatoes

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I’ve gotten close to perfecting my garlic mashed potato recipe. It occurred to me the other day that when I simply add minced garlic the flavor tends to come in short bursts. Instead, this time I incorporated the butter, cream, and garlic before mixing them into the potatoes. I’ve followed a few recipes recently that called for steeping things in warm cream to bring out the flavor so I thought, “why not do that with garlic?”. Here’s what I did:
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Murghi Korma (Chicken in Saffron-Almond Sauce)

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At our wedding almost two years ago I was overjoyed to have Raghavan Iyer in charge of the dinner for our reception. I still hear from friends about how much they loved the food in the buffet so I was excited, when going through my recipes, to find instructions for each of the dishes we had at the tasting with Raghavan.

So far I’ve only made one of these dishes, but it was one of my favorites. It was surprisingly easy and turned out well both times I’ve made it. I accidentally bought sliced almonds instead of blanched almond slivers, but it turned out great nevertheless. The following recipe is from Raghavan’s book The Turmeric Trail: Continue reading

Warming up to Trader Joe’s

The first couple times I went to Trader Joe’s I really didn’t get what all the fuss was about. I found it crowded, difficult to find things, and didn’t really see much I wanted that I couldn’t get somewhere else, in some cases for the same price or cheaper.

Sarah pointed out that it’s a good place if you’re looking for something very particular that is hard to find elsewhere. Also, that those particular items, which would normally be terribly expensive because they are hard to find, are actually reasonably priced. This coupled with the glowing recommendation from Chef Nanci Wokas who presented the cooking class I took Monday night (and who also apparently drove her RV to NOLA to cook for people after Katrina) convinced me to give it another shot.
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Chocolate Chip Cookies: the Experiment

I love Matt’s Chocolate Chip Cookies. If you’ve never had them, you can get them at most co-ops or where organic foods are sold. A year or two ago I decided to try to duplicate their soft texture and subtle sweetness. It couldn’t be too hard considering one can actually read the ingredient list. The main substitutions I determined I would need from my regular Toll House recipe were soybean oil and wheat flour. Well, I wasn’t quite able to reproduce Matt’s cookies to my liking (until recently…but that’s a story for another blog post), but I was able to make some darn tasty cookies with similar ingredients.

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Here’s my recipe and technique: Continue reading

Bucky Balls, Power Balls and Energy Orbs

I’ve been reading Crystal and Ryan’s blog, Cafe Cyan, ever since Crystal commented on one of my posts long ago, I checked out her site and thought, “pictures of food! Sweet!”. Well, the other day I came across their post about energy orbs and was curiously intrigued.

I’ve never really had the pleasure of eating dates much so I was a little hesitant about the ingredients, but they looked so yummy and seemed highly recommended so I decided to give them a shot and googled for the recipe and found it on Compassionate Consumption. She likes to call them “Bucky Balls”. I like that name better too, geeky AND tasty! Dave has taken to calling them Power Balls, just like the lottery!

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I’ve included the recipe with my comments and additions: Continue reading

Chicken Curry

As an honorary Indian by marriage and daughter-in-law of someone who makes a mean chicken curry, I have long felt it is a skill I should have. I quickly realized that being taught by someone who has made it thousands of times over the years is not an easy feat. The instructions tend to include phrases like, “a little bit of this” and “some of that”. Nevertheless, for a few years now I have attempted to make chicken curry again and again by trying to reproduce what I had observed and simply experimenting with small changes. It never turned out bad, per se, just not quite good. I’d rate most of my attempts somewhere in the range of “edible”.

Finally, I decided to go the route I usually do when I taste something I like and want to make it at home. I googled it. Now, there are tons of ways to make it, but luckily enough I found a spectacular recipe for chicken curry right away. I’ve modified it slightly according to my tastes and the ingredients I keep in my kitchen: Continue reading