February 24, 2014

What's in your Hummus?

I just made a big batch of hummus, to be eaten with crackers as an evening snack & for that 4 pm hunger pang when S is at work. Its such an easy thing to make and I am sure everyone has their favorite recipe. I like mine with a bite to it. Here's how I made it today:

In the food processor went in a large can of chick peas, 2 cloves of garlic, 1/4 tsp of chipotle chili powder, 1/2 tsp curry powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp lemon juice. Processed to a paste, a dash of coarse ground pepper for garnish and it is yum!

February 20, 2014

Recreating a Restaurant Favorite

We just completed a big move last weekend to the Greater Chicago area and our last night in Madison we went to Himal Chuli, a Nepalese restaurant with a couple of friends. Its one of our favorite restaurants in town and we hadn't been there in a long time. Food was good as usual and S got their seasonal special - Eggplants with Potatoes. It took us by surprise - it was a simple saute of asian eggplants with boiled potatoes and spices, and was bursting with flavor. It was so good, I had to try making it at home.

Ingredients: Potatoes - 2 medium - boiled and crumbled; Japanese Eggplants - 2, chopped; Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp; Red Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp; Curry leaves & Coriander leaves - 1 tsp; Green chili - 1 diced; mustard seeds, cumin & lentils - 1/2 tsp.
  • In a pan, add olive oil and once hot, temper the mustard & cumin seeds, lentils, green chili , curry leaves and saute till translucent
  • Add the chopped eggplants, chili powder, and turmeric. Cook for a few minutes till the eggplants are tender.
  • Add the potatoes, salt, adjust seasoning. Let it cook for about 5 minutes
  • Garnish with cilantro & serve!
I am sending this to In my VEG BOX ~ Potatoes event by citrusspiceuk.com, hosted by Give me some spice.

November 17, 2013

Dessert Planning

I am having guests again this year for thanksgiving and I have been so happy the last couple of weeks since finding out! And of course, trying to figure out what to make for the big dinner. So many different dishes are being considered and finally I decided on the dessert today! Yay!

I made this Coconut - Orange -Caramel flan in 2012 April for a party. Version 1 was made in small ramekins in the microwave. It was slightly dense as I forgot to add the milk, but still very delicious.

The bigger piece was made in a quiche plate in the oven and was perfect. Almost everyone had at least 2 pieces and one friend had 5 :) Hopefully it will turn out as well when I try it the week after next! Now I have just got the soup and a couple more dishes to decide...

November 11, 2013

The Perfect Gift

I am celebrating yet another trip around the sun today and look what you all got me this year. Since I am so close to my target I went ahead and got this wonderful set up. Even managed to take booth shots yesterday before the snow here today. Thanks again and keep sharing my art with your world! 

Trimline Canopy tent & Flourish mesh panels that even include the set up for a french door, weights and 2 tall director's chairs are already here!


November 6, 2013

Kelekosh from Azerbaijan

As I cook my way around the world, here is yet another recipe that I adapted from the AZ Cookbook - a Creamy Yogurt Soup! I like to make this soup in the fall, though in our house we love to eat yogurt anytime. I also used some Quark in this which made it even more delicious. This reminded me of thick kadhi from Indian cooking.

Ingredients: Yogurt + Quark - about 3 cups; Onions - 1 yellow - diced; Garlic  - 2 cloves minced; Mint - 2 tbsp chopped; Walnuts - 1/2 cup chopped; All-purpose flour - 2 tbsp; Egg - 1;  Salt & Pepper - to taste; Water - 2 cups, as needed. 
  • In a bowl, whisk together the yogurt / quark, flour and egg.
  • In a pot, add the walnuts, toast for a couple of minutes. Add a tbsp of butter or oil and add the onions and garlic. 
  • Once the onions are soft, add the yogurt mixture, turn down the heat and cook for a few minutes. Add enough for desired consistency. Cook for another 5 minutes. 
  • Season with salt & pepper. Garnish with mint. 
  • Serve warm!
The original recipe called for using a tablespoon or so of rice in the mixture and cook till the rice is soft. You could always add a tablespoon of cooked rice towards the end. 

October 30, 2013

Hand Painted Coasters

I saw these amazing Spanish porcelain tiles at the Habitat ReStore in Madison and knew right away that I wanted to create coasters with them. I have not played with these before and the process involved a lot of learning. And for once, youtube was not really helpful. But in the end, the coasters are turning out beautiful. These are the ones I have completely finished so far. A second batch is waiting to be sanded and coated with another layer of resin and a third batch is waiting to be painted. A total of 88 tiles for 22 sets. Pricing and ordering information on these limited edition coasters can be found here. Perfect for the holidays, wouldn't you say?


October 27, 2013

Going Pro

I am doing a little fund raiser on IndieGoGo to take my art to the next level: Next summer, I want to hit the professional art festivals in the mid-west including Madison's Art Fair on the Square. I need your help and support for getting there. Please check out my campaign by clicking the link below, contribute whatever you can and help me spread the word about my works. And I have some wonderful perks for you along the way. In case you are new to my works, please check out my facebook page and my website

August 16, 2013

Sweet Potato Salad

When S was in St. Louis last month I had asked him to get me a couple of pounds of the white sweet potatoes. The last of those were used yesterday for dinner in a delicious salad from North Africa, adapted from World Food Cafe - 2. It was hard to not keep eating this salad as the rest of dinner was cooking!

Ingredients: Japanese White Sweet Potatoes - 2 boiled, peeled and diced; Ginger - 1 tbsp minced; Saffron - a pinch; Onion - small, diced; Cumin - 1 tsp; Cayenne Pepper - 1/2 tsp; Black olives - 1 handful; Cilantro - 2 tbsp chopped; Lemon Juice - 1 tbsp; Salt - according to taste; 
  • Add olive oil in a hot pan, and saute onions and ginger for a couple of minutes. 
  • Add the sweet potatoes, saffron, salt, cook for a few more minutes.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients except lemon juice, cook for a few more minutes. 
  • Turn off the heat, sprinkle the lemon juice, serve!
I made the easy version by cooking the sweet potatoes first in the microwave. Another option would be not to cook them ahead, but after adding them in the pan and using enough water to cook them through.
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