Cardamom Orange Yogurt Cake

Cardamom Yogurt Orange small cakeI promised to post this recipe eons ago (if you follow me on Facebook) and  I’m only now getting around to it. I think we have moved beyond the stage of apology at this point. One can only do as much as she can with the cards dealt to her, and mine include classes, research, interning, feeding the husband (hehe) and a growing number of extracurriculars as well. This is not to say I lay my excuses humbly at your feet, or my life has become monumentally more important than my blog. Nay, I cannot emphasize the degree to which I miss this blasted nook in my life, where I might seek escape and comfort amidst piles of books and heaps of spices.  I think grandly day and night about the possibilities that reside in this modest corner of the internet. Not even a corner, more like a floor pillow, or a footstool. A step to lead thoughts and tastes into hard-to-reach places.

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Crisp Cranberry Orange Marriage

Salad all mixed upNewsflash!  One unexpected Saturday afternoon recently, my husband came home from the gym, headed directly to the kitchen and served himself lunch.  Not a shock of course, food is his first second and third love (along with music and, I guess, me). And naturally he went straight for the chicken biryani I had made, but when I looked up to check on him, there was something green and leafy on his plate as well.  Could it be? The husband willingly chose, on his own volition, at no one’s request but his own hankering, to eat salad???

You must understand that this is a man who claims to be vegetarian at heart but only eats maybe five veggies at all with any gusto.  A man who cringes whenever I mention the S-word at a restaurant.  This same man sat there munching, happily proclaiming for all to hear (and by all, I mean me) that this was his favorite salad ever.  He not merely endured it, but relished the crisp sweet pleasure that I had concocted with fruitful flare!  Oh perhaps I exaggerate slightly but his proclamation was completely true.

I originally made this salad for Thanksgiving dinner, whereby all my friendly guests fell enamored with the simply powerful dressing that brought an exhilaration that greenery had never held in their lives.  Hyperbole?  I concede it.  But then I’ve also never seen my friend Tehniat drool over salad either, so you be the judge.  During that evening, the husband was prompted to give a name to this salad, and so that is what I present to thee: the Crisp Cranberry Orange Marriage. Continue reading

Basil and Orange-kissed Fig Crepes

Basil Mascarpone and fig in harmonyAs I sit to write this, my mouth bites into the sweet velvety richness of a dried fig.  I came home with an unseemly desire to feast upon the fabulous figs, inevitably pulling out Fig Heaven, a recipe cornucopia featuring the luscious fruit.  Recently I have been treating myself to these newfound edible delights.  Yup, figs.  Ever since I was young I actually was always drawn to Fig Newtons if you recall (fruit and cake! Fruit. And. Cake!), and last year the aunty responsible for dressing me so exquisitely on my wedding introduced my mom and I to the succulence of fresh figs.  So now, having found them in the grocery store, I couldn’t help but indulge… and truly, I feel nothing but pity for my former self that never dabbled in the fine art of fig feasting. Continue reading

V-Day Delights Part 2: Wrapping Up with Dinner

You can’t have a part 1 without its follow-up, so now that dessert and all its scintillating joy is out of the way, we can make our way through the dinner portion of Valentine’s Day evening.  Oy, just thinking about that dinner makes me hungry now; everything was immaculately executed for once—no hiccups, no over or under seasoning, just resplendent and fairly light dinner with an Asian flair.

Now, I have to give props to Guy Fieri (yeah that burly bleached blond chef who eats like an ogre on his Triple-D show).  Surprisingly (or not), he makes some really good food himself, and personally I enjoy watching him simply because he is not as pretentious as some of the Food network folks, and has good tips.  So When I saw a show all about wraps, I felt inspired to follow suit.

And so, I endeavored to make Asian Orange Turkey Lettuce Wraps, and Shrimp Rolls with a Pineapple Pickle Salsa (the pineapple recipe is all Guy’s).

I think the most amazing thing about the evening was that I was able to do accomplish all this at once in the span of two hours or so, along with the tiramis-who.

First up: Asian Orange Lettuce Wraps! Continue reading

Mandarin Chicken Salad

Comfort meals and warm, decadent dishes are a boon for these chilly days and wintry evenings.  And for someone who has lived only in California up to this point, it has been sinfully easy to fall into that track.  Who would refuse the seduction of so many comforting treats: the cakes, hot chocolate, biryani, pastas, and all else.  And yet, the healthnut in me screams for my West Coast lifestyle, the minimalization of carbohydrates, the salads, more natural sweets of fruits as opposed to cake, cake, and more cake!!

Not to mention I am on a mission to wean the husband off of his dependence on rice.  As such, imagine my disappointment when I realized I just kept making rice-supplemented dishes, not to mention full-fledged biryani, without any regard for what I promised my husband or myself.  And so I felt compelled to whip up a salad last week.  Nothing fancy, mind you, but it warrants sharing the amazing proclamation G bestowed upon me: that this was the first time he ever truly relished eating a salad. Ever.

I’m sure there was a slight touch of hyperbole to that, but it warmed my heart more than a huge slice of French apple pie could do.  So much so I could feel the calories melt off from the glow. Continue reading

G’s Utopian Dream Cake

When I took this delight out of the oven, my heart burst out and galloped forth through the sweet aromas filling the kitchen.
When I pulled it out as a surprise after dinner, G’s eyes drooled even more than his mouth.
When I cut a slice dolloped with fresh whipped cream and handed it over to him, the clouds parted in the wintry sky, heavenly lights shone down and angels sang from G’s rapturous face with every bite.

I have to say, this orange chiffon cake really is THAT good. Continue reading