Ask the Cooks

It's All About the Food

What does it mean?

cannoliI have come to a great time in my life: for the first time, the word “love” doesn’t do my feelings any justice.

The best way I can describe this feeling is love, but what I really mean is that my heart is bleeding warmness. I literally feel a warm, prickly, fluttering in my chest cavity, nearly constantly. It’s almost like the heart-racing excitement that came with sprinting in from my first half marathon.

All I have ever wanted is to feel this happy with another person. Wholeheartedly, in every aspect of the word, in love.

I look at this kid when he wakes up in the morning with crusty sleep in his eyes and I love him. We cuddle (and look forward to it) every night and I love him. The cuddle factor is huge, for never have I ever been a true cuddler. I feel like I glow with blissful happiness in his presence. I can feel a tenderness when I look into his eyes and know that it is real when I see the same look reflected in his eyes. We laugh together more than ever and I know that I love him. He kisses my nose and swirls me around the kitchen in an attempt to silently dance and I know that he loves me too.

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The feelings are mutual

sproutI have had a realization today. I make most of my realizations while inside my own head, in my own little universe. I think about everything: I think about myself, about the world, about my place in it, about my family, and about my future.

Today was one of the first days away from my boy friend in a good long while. You see, we pretty much live together but don’t: I have a house, he has an apartment. I have some sourdough starters, he has a dog. We divide our time between each place and sleep together every night. No matter what. And that’s the way we prefer it to be.

So today, I thought about myself. I thought about the way I feel when I am happy. I thought about myself as a person and myself as a couple. Never before have I felt tied to someone; I have always been the independent type, the type that doesn’t cry, but the joy and love that I feel in my heart brings tears to my eyes and a smile to my face. It makes me tingly and warm, endorphins rush through my veins and my heartbeat begins to quicken. Does everyone feel this way? Does this sort of feeling last?

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New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have been crazy MIA thanks to grad school (combo of teaching plus research equals no free time). This amazing cookie recipe needed to be shared though! There are a few essential steps to making these cookies. First things first get some patience.

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You need to refrigerate the dough for 36 hours before you bake them. I know this seems pretty impossible but SOOOOO worth it. Although, I’ll probably always use this recipe for chocolate chip cookies whether or not I wait the full time. They’re just that good.

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The Most Important Hour

The other day I looked up from cooking dinner and was surprised to see that my kids were creating their own version of my homemade pizza with their play-doh. It dawned on me how much they watch and learn when we are unaware of them doing so.

ice-cream-cone-kids

As we sat down to dinner, we had some great conversation. First the kids were testing mom and dad to determine what was different in the dining room. After many guesses, they all cracked up as they told us how their friend Katie had switched out the family photos that hang on the wall. Instead of reading “Your love is better than ice-cream,” they now read “Ice-cream is better than your love.” We all got a real good laugh while simultaneously wondering which word order was more accurate. Yes, we all have a weakness for ice-cream. Who doesn’t? (Sidenote: we haven’t changed the photos back yet, so now you are clued in on how close our love for each other compares to the love we have for ice-cream)

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Should we buy kitchen hood?

Currently, 64% of kitchens are equipped with a hood. Essential for maintaining a healthy air by expelling vapors, grease and cooking odors, it also plays a decorative role. On the wall or on the island worktop, it aligns with the organization and responds to the situation and the intended use. There is something for all tastes and styles.

Hoods come in many styles

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More decorative, wall or central hood, attached to the ceiling, is by far the most coveted. Coordinated with the oven and the hob, it comes in a variety of shapes (circular, rectangular, trapezoidal, curved, cubical …), colors and materials (stainless steel, aluminum, glass …). With its large collecting area (60 to 90 cm on average), it is very efficient. Version islet in the open kitchens, it provides greater freedom of layout. Other models in the zeitgeist: how luster hood, which makes you forget its utilitarian function focusing its charm appearance. Full decorative object, it also brings a good mood lighting. However, its suction power unsatisfactory may disappoint in use.

Avant-garde, minimalist, almost invisible, integrated hood in the work plan, placed behind or next to the hob, has the advantage of freeing the visual space. Telescopic, it releases and rises to a height of 40 cm above the work surface to suck the vapors laterally before they spread through the room. Adapted to the refined decor and cooking islands, especially with induction, it is not suitable for gas cook tops. Warning, if the cooking is too far from the hood, the fumes are not sucked. To adopt, therefore, for its design look. For performance side, it cannot compete with the ceiling fan, last concept trend. Placed at 1.20 m above the hob, it offers powerful suction capacity and so is ideal for large rooms.

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PANEER TOOFANI and CHEESE ONION TANDOORI NAAN

tandooriHello Hello Hello !! .. Birthdays are always special. A single person in family has a birthday and what every one thinks of is How will we celebrate it ?.. This year on birthday, my brother Chirayu was not in town. So what ?.. I gotta celebrate it. For certain reasons, I could not move out and have fun… But does that stop me from having fun at home and savoring some delicious food? .. nope.. not at all.. So here it is what I prepared and my stomach happily stuffed it with it.. :)
PANEER TOOFANI and CHEESE ONION TANDOORI NAAN :

Got many people who asked me on my fb page to share the recipes of it.. So here you go !
PANEER TOOFANI :

Paneer- 100 gms, diced and marinated in some ginger garlic paste, salt, garam masala, red chili powder and lime juice

For Gravy:
1/2 teacup – oil
1 1/2 tbsp – ginger & garlic paste
1/4 tsp – garam masala
salt to taste
coriander leaves to garnish
Grind to Paste:
50 gm – cashew nuts
50 gm – poppy seeds
5 – almonds
3 tbsp – thick curd
2 medium – onion, cut into julians and deep fried
1 tsp – kasmiri red chilli powder
2 tbsp – thick cream
Method:
Marinate Paneer with ginger garlic paste, lime juice, chilli powder, salt and garam masala. Keep aside for an hour.
Grill on charcoal basting with oil till tender and cooked.

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White Chocolate Cigars with Apple creme filling and Crisp praline wafer

white chocolateIts such a fun to just enter into the kitchen with a blank mind and suddenly sense some idea on seeing one single ingredient in the refrigerator.
Got up to see what can I do with what all I ve and I ended up making this.

WHITE CHOCOLATE CIGARS WITH APPLE CREME FILLING AND CRISP PRALINE WAFER:

Now for Cigar what you need is

Melted White cocolate – as needed [I took approximately 50 gms]
Butter – 1 tbsp
Apple – 5 tbsp, peeled and finely chopped

For praline water, Sugar – 3 tbsp, Cinnamon powder- a pinch

For Dark chocolate drizzle -2 tbsp melted with 1tsp milk and a pinch of coffee.
Method:

1. Take a square sheet of plastic and make a cylinder by folding it. Put a cellotape on outer layer around it to hold the cylindrical shape. Now, start pouring melted chocolate in it and gently roll it. Cover with chocolate totally well and put in a plate and keep in freezer to freeze it.

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Weekend Recap: Father’s Day Rhubarb Cheesecake

My father is a big fan of Oysters, so we decided to have some fresh oysters at Hog Island Co. for Father’s Day picnic. Since it was my sister’s birthday the following week, we decided to celebrate her birthday as well. My sister’s favorite cake is cheese cake and my dad loves rhubarb, so I decided to make a rhubarb cheesecake. (Recipe below).

rubarb-cheesecake-2

It sure was a food-filled weekend, because we went to the farmer’s market in Sunset, on Sunday to replenish our fridge. Peaches and greens were so fresh, and are also at their peak right now. We finished the weekend right with sauteed wild rice ,with summer vegetables, caramelized mini carrots, crisp sauteed Tilapia, dressed with mango cucumber salsa. Let me know if you want a recipe for this.

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Baked Zucchini Fries

I am not a zucchini fan but they looked so good at Ferry Building Farmers market, I had to get some. Zucchini easily loses its shape when cooked in soups and I am not too fond of grilled zucchinis either and I also get stomach ache when I eat raw zucchini, so I was stuck with a few zucchinis in my fridge not knowing what to do with it until I found oven fried zucchini recipe. It was so perfect. So perfect because the zucchinis retained its shape and crunch while it cooked all the way through (so no stomach aches for me. hah). This is a perfect alternative to french fries. So healthy, so deliciuos.

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Baked Zucchini Fries Recipe adapted from Eatn’ on the Cheap

2 medium zucchini
2 eggs
2 T milk
1 cup Seasoned Breadcrumbs (I made homemade bread crumbs with my sunflower seed bread and added salt, pepper, onion powder and dried herbs)
salt and pepper

1.Preheat oven to 400. Slice zucchini into sticks.
2.In a shallow dish, mix together eggs and milk and season with salt and pepper

3.In another shallow dish, spread out breadcrumbs.
Toss zucchini slices in egg mixture then toss in breadcrumbs until evenly coated

4.Liberally spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Arrange zucchini in a single layer and then spray liberally with cooking spray

5.Bake for 10 -15 minutes, flipping slices half way through. Zucchini is done when the breading has browned and zucchini has softened. Serve with your favorite marinara sauce.

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Before buying kitchen cookware

Spending time in the kitchen to prepare wonderful dishes for your entire family is a wonderful feeling. But to order to improve your talent, it is necessary to think about investing in new cookware. Best ceramic cookware will make you a real artist.

ceramiccookware

Good tools are the first ingredient for a successful dinner. It should do well its function, durable and preferably look nice.

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