August 29, 2011

Slow Food Dinner @ UW Madison

On Valentine's Day this year - I fell in love - with Slow Food! That was the first day I volunteered to help in the kitchen with Slow Food UW Madison for their Monday Family Dinner Nights. A month after that I was their guest chef and on March 26, I lead together a wonderful team of friends in making a delicious dinner. I really haven't sat down to write about my last few months of the Spring semester in the kitchen with the wonderful kids of Slow Food UW. They do so much mind-blowing stuff, please check their website for a lot of cool information and upcoming events! Since then, they have graciously allowed me to cook with them every Monday night. I was a little bummed that they were off for the summer, but now that the semester is starting again, I was back in the kitchen tonight :)

Tonight's dinner was a simple vegetarian fare highlighting some of the fresh produce available at out local Farmer's Market. I spent a couple of hours in the kitchen grating about 2 pounds of cheese and doing a lot of sauteing. The lead chef Michelle, who is also one of the FDN interns made a delicious saute of squash, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, corn, onions and green beans seasoned with basil. A piece of garlic bread with generous amounts of sharp white cheddar cheese for the side. And the dessert was a rhubarb crumble. All very yummy! The kitchen ran very smoothly today and I so look forward to more dinners. My parents made it to the dinner with me tonight and were very impressed with everything they saw. I am going to be a guest chef again in October and really excited to start thinking about the menu :)

Photo Credit: R. Harris

August 12, 2011

New Spoils

I finally splurged on a few books that I have been borrowing from the library quite a few times! Now they are my precious :) I love all three of these books for the simple reason that they are pictorial -- I seem to learn and pick up the stitches a lot more easily by looking at the visual representation than the written instructions. Can't wait to get started on a few projects, and use some of the amazing yarn I have been accumulating recently!

August 8, 2011

Spicy Green Beans

Inspired by Kalyn's recipe, I made this Spicy Sichuan style Green Beans for dinner last night. I added more ingredients including bok choy and mushrooms and the dish turned out great. It was very flavorful and my parents who usually don't eat mushrooms enjoyed this dish. I was happy to use up some of the produce from the farmer's market that needed using up soon. I like having other people in the kitchen when I cook, and it becomes a communal effort. Last night having a bunch of friends over, it was fun to have them help with slicing and dicing and mincing, and I gotta cook sipping wine :)

Ingredients: Green Beans - 1/2 pound - chopped to 1 inch pieces; Mushrooms - 1 cup (I used a mixture of crimini and shiitake); Bok Choy - 5 sliced thin; Scallions - 2 tbsp sliced finely; Ginger and Garlic - 2 tsps minced; Soy Sauce - 2 tsps; Rice wine vinegar - 1 tbsp; Sriracha hot sauce - 1/2 tsp; brown sugar - 1 tsp; Toasted sesame seeds - garnish.
  • In a small bowl mix together the soy sauce, vinegar, hot sauce, sugar.
  • Microwave the green beans with some water to soften them.
  • In a saute pan, heat some oil, add the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes.
  • Add the bok choy, garlic, ginger and cook for a minute.
  • Add the green beans and the sauce mixture.
  • Add some water if needed and let it cook till the beans are tender.
  • Serve hot garnished with sesame seeds.

August 5, 2011


Three months in the new house and we finally have a compost bin. A joint project between my dad, Shankar and I! Hopefully Kalki will not try to get in there and the bottom wooden box should keep the smaller critters away. Its 3x3x4 feet and cost under $15. Took us about 30-45 minutes to put it together. Happy Composting!

August 1, 2011

Guest Babies

We had two beautiful American Robins fledge from their nest last week. The nest was by the rose plant on the arbor in the backyard. Yay!

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