Wednesday, December 16, 2009


This is not about a recipe, but very much about food - the fish- whose home is the oceans.

I get a newsletter from the David Suzuki Foundation called Marine Scene Conserving the Oceans This is what it asks/tells us in this Issue:
" I Am Fish
Did you know plankton helps produce more than half the world’s oxygen? Or that oceans provide 99 per cent of the planet’s living space? The David Suzuki Foundation’s “I Am Fish” campaign, launched this fall, was designed to bring Canadians a little closer to the vast, blue expanse that surrounds three sides of our country and makes it possible for us to live on Earth."

David Suzuki is also this years Swedish Right Livelyhood Award (also called the Alternative Nobel Prize) winner.

Below is the IAM FISH video. I have seen the video earlier, but thought of sharing it with you.
You'll love watching this video, it is not only compact and informative but also beautifully made.
Go here: I AM FISH narrated by David Suzuki.
or here (at the Healthy ocean blog)

And for those who want to know more:
Interactive tour of the ecosystem services off of Canada's Pacific North Coast
Some more information on I AM FISH here.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Happy Diwali!

Not getting much time to post. My picture folder is growing in size, though! :D
But, still if you happen to pass by...

A very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous Diwali!
May it bring light and happiness
into your homes and lives...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Home grown for my mom's birthday!

a herbal bouquet from my garden

This tuesday was my mom's birthday. I usually cook something nice to make that day special, a wonderful cook as she was. I knew I was going to make something light this time as all our stomachs needed a break from eating too much as we had invited friends for a barbecue on the weekend and like always I had prepared too much and we were left with enough for the next day as well. But until her birthday I really didn't now what. Then, it so happened that I went with sunnyboy to have a look at our kitchen garden in the afternoon and realised that we could make something nice with the potatoes waiting to be digged out, as my mom would have been so proud of me - of my first potatoes.
Both of us got our gloves, sunny boy has got his from his aunt who keeps buying all kinds of fancy things for him everytime she comes. It was uttermost pleasure for both of us to take them out of the earth and collect them in our bowl. Every time sunnyboy found one, he would scream with excitement "here's one more!...". We just dug out one plant for this and we still have nine. Yipeeeeee!
I couldn't believe that planting them so spontaneously end of March (or was it April?!....don't remember, need to note it down next time) actually gave results. I had planted an early potato variety and they came through without any diseases. I think they will be the only ones in my garden without any diseases this year, as I found signs of tomato blight on a couple of my still green tomatoes today. I removed those I found. My zucchini, just like my Hokaido pumpkin, are suffering from mildew now. Luckily we have had enough Zucchinis and so far they don't seem to be minding the mildew on the leaves. But the pumpkins on the plant seem to have stopped growing and no new ones are comig either. I'll have maybe five pumpkins this year of which only three would be the normal good size. I think for a pumpkin it seems too little. But the mildew is getting stronger and stronger even though I have already sprayed a lot of baking powder on the leaves. Initially it seemd to help a lot but not anymore and I don't wish to use any chemicals.
But hubby says five is not bad from a plant, more than enough for us. Well, he's right that way!

So, coming back to the potatoes. I washed them and scrubbed them clean. I didn't need to peal them as the skin looked so fresh and thin. I prepared them along with the zucchini from our kitchen garden. And we ate them along with a simple daal, rice and an avocado guacamole made with cucumber instead of the onion in it usually.

Sukhi Aaloo ki sabzi (Potatoes sauteed with veggies)
Recipe by PG of My Kitchen Stories

6 -8 small early potatoes, skin scrubbed clean and cubed
1/2 zucchini (or 1 small), cubed
3 spring onions, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into squares
1 tsp cumin
1 pinch asafoetida, crushed
1 pinch coarsely ground fenugreek seeds
1 tbsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp Pav Bhaji masala (Everest) or any other curry powder of choice
red chilli powder to taste
salt to taste
rapeseed oil

  • heat oil in a saute pan and add cumin and asafoetida to splutter, stir and add the potatoes immediately.
  • cook on medium heat covered, keep stirring in between
  • after about 10 minutes add spring onion, ground coriander and red chili powder stir and cook further
  • add salt in between and stir. Once done, take out and set aside covered to keep warm
  • add little or no oil as per choice in the pan and stir fry zucchini and red pepper on medium high heat till they get a golden brown colour and cooked through but still firm to the bite
  • add salt and put back the potatoes into the pan and cook further for no more than a minute (if using an electric or ceramic cooktop, switch of heat and leave on the cooktop)
  • serve warm with rice, roti or any kind of bread. We ate it with daal, steamed basmati rice and guacamole made with cucumber instead of onion.
  • Bon Appétit!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Pisto Manchego and my first prize at a blog event!

It is already a very old story now, but I must share it with you. More so to thank Ivy of Kopiaste.

So, the story goes like this: I had taken part in an event (the Round up) at her blog where she also had a giveaway, a Tupperware® Chef's knife. Well, do I need to tell you that I actually won the prize through lucky draw! She sent me the knife, with registered post. I waited excitedly. Well .....we waited and waited and waited, but the knife never came, I contacted her once but we thougt that it might be taking longer, especially the registered ones do.
One day she emailed me saying that the knife had been returned back to her and was puzzled. I was not totally surprised but very irritated as it was the second packet which had been returned that very month. I even went to the local branch office and talked to them but as you know I knew nothing could really be done. I also felt sad for Ivy as she had put enough money and efforts to send it and asked her to let it be. But, she refused and was determined to send me a gift again and asked if we try with soemthig else as we both were a bit unsure if it was not for the fact that it was knife that it was returned. I agreed as she offered to send me a book. And yes, I got it! I was nervous the whole time I waited for it!

Thank you so much, Ivy!

The reasons it took me so long to post about this are manyfold. But one was that I wanted to cook something from it before posting about it and I got the book shortly before I took a break from blogging so it never came to that. So, here it is finally!

The two things I have tried from the book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Tapas : Pisto Manchego which we ate together with Tortilla de patatas, also from the book.

Pisto Manchego (Spanish)

Recipe by PG of My Kitchen Stories

Pisto Manchego or simply Pisto is a spanish dish made with seasonal vegetables, especially zucchini or eggplants combined with tomatoes, onion and bell peppers. The whole thing is prepared in olive oil and resembles ratatouile in some ways.

1 large Zucchini (450 g), finely cubed
1 yellow white onion (80-100g), finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 green bell pepper, cut into squares
1/2 orange bell pepper, very finely cut into squares (both peppers together 250 g)
6 medium ripe tomatoes (~600g), chopped
a few small sprigs oregano, the leaves and tender stem parts only, chopped
1 pinch dried thyme
red chilli or cayenne pepper, to taste
salt and pepper
1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste (optional)
1 large, grillled and peeled long red bell pepper (sweet pepperoncini) from the jar, chopped (optional)
olive oil
flat parsely for garnishing, chopped

  • prepare vegetables as given above
  • in a large sauté pan or fry pan, heat two tbsp olive oil on high heat and sauté zucchini in it for a few minutes, reduce heat to medium high and add onion and garlic, sauté further
  • add bell peppers and sauté for a few minutes
  • add chopped tomatoes, and herbs, cook on medium heat, stirring in between, till they become tender (about 10 minutes)
  • reduce heat to medium low, stir in tomato paste, the red bell pepper, salt and spices
  • keep cooking, stirring and mashing in between till the whole thing becomes tender and thick
  • garnish with chopped parsely and serve warm with fried eggs or tortilla de patate (Tortilla Espanõla)
Tip: The pisto can also be eaten cold and tastes even better the next day.

Typically Pisto is served with fried eggs, but I saw a picture in the book where the pisto was served together with tortilla de patatas and I liked the idea and thought of trying that combination out.

Tortilla de Patatas (Tortilla Espanõla)

Tortilla de patate or Tortilla Espanõla, as called in Spain, is a spanish omelett and is a typical and well known spanish potato dish prepared all over Spain. The main ingredients are poatoes and eggs and optionally yellow onion. All kinds variants with peppers, ham, chorizo etc also exist and every region and household has its own way of preparing the omlette. To differenciate it from the typical french omelett the french omlette is called Tortilla francesa. When served as a tapas it is sometimes called pincho de tortilla when cut up into small cubes and served with cocktail sticks. (source Wikipedia)

I prepared it without onion because sunny boy doesn't like onion and the way I have eaten long time back, prepared by a Spanish classmate in our German class, it was without onion too.
Recipe by PG of My Kitchen Stories

about 1 kg potatoes, peeled and sliced or cubed (after peeling and being cut: 900 g)
1 cup olive oil
4-6 medium eggs, slightly beaten with salt to taste

  • heat oil in a fry pan and add all the potato slices so they are more or less covered in oil and fry till that they get cooked but not turn crisp or brown
  • take them out and drain the potatoes over kitchen roll, dab them with the paper roll if neccesary
  • remove oil from the pan, but don't clean it or wipe it, heat it on medium high heat
  • put back the potatoes and the beaten eggs and cook covered on medium heat till the egg is no more fluid. Take a large flat plate and place over the pan so it covers the pan completely.
  • turn the pan upside down holding the plate against it, so the omlette comes out onto the plate
  • place back the pan on heat and slide the omelett back into the to fry the other side as well, till done.
  • serve warm with pisto or as a part of tapas, cut into mouth sized cubes
Note: Do not add too many eggs into the dish. The proportion of potato to eggs should be such that the potatoes should be mainly coated with eggs.

The meal was lovely! And very filling too. I liked the combination a lot and would surely try it again. I was too lazy to peel the skin of tomatoes but might actually do it next time. Despite that I found the pisto so full of flavours being full of fresh red ripe summer tomatoes, especially since the zucchini was from my own garden *wink*. Sunny boy didn't wish to eat the pisto, though. Too many veggies together, especially those without any clear shape and form are not very welcome on his plate right now. But he enjoyed the tortilla, of course!
The next day I ate the pisto cold with some toasted bread, it was heavenly! I added the remaining pisto into a casserole I made with potatoes in the evening which gave the casserole a wonderful and peppery flavour too.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I've been away too long (and Myyyyyy zucchini plant)

It could get too long to explain to you why I had to take leave from blogging. It was unexpected but the reasons are gone now, unfortunately. That was another reason why I didn't feel like coming back as I was in no mood to do anything. Since last month I have been thinking of coming back, but somehow during my absence here a lot new happenend and I also realised that I had been neglecting a lot of other important things.
So, today I want to show you what all I have been up to in the last few months. I started working in my tiny kitchen garden a bit late this year but just about managed to plant some plantlets and just about managed to start the tomato seeds, but I don't know if it won't be too late by the time the tomatoes come. Though this time the sun had the mercy of showing up more often this summers than last year so, they almost seem to have made up for their small size. I hope i get atleast one round of tomatoes.
This time I even planted potatoes for the first time with hubbys help. They have been growing like wild. I have planted one zucchini plant and one Hokaido pumpkin which I bought from a local small groccery shop. They have come out very nicely. Now I have sown carrot seeds, a bit late, I feel, but lets see. And also seeds of radishes and a lettuce called 'pflucksalat' which are salads from which you can pluck just the leaves and new ones keep coming.
The Zucchini plant has been producing zucchini endlessly, but so far we haven't gotten bored of eating them.

I have made very many different things with it. Here are a few examples:
You see I wanted to post about it last month but I'm getting the time now. Sunny boy actually ate Zucchini. Yes! the biggest wonder of this year happpened on the day I served this dish , Zucchini with chickpeas. These were his words: "this is the best zucchini of the world". He was as happy and proud of the zucchini from his own garden as me.
But, don't worry, his enthusiasm went as soon as it came! :(

My zucchini plant, still going strong....
Although hubby loved all the things I prepared so far, but this was his favorite, Gobi manchurian a la PG, with zucchini and a lot of other veggies. The basic recipe came from the awesome blog of Sailu's Kitchen.

So that you know I will be writing but it will only be every now and then. Time has made me change priorities. I loved each and every moment of food blogging and I have been wanting to post so often but to no avail. I still keep taking pictures hoping to post about it. :D Maybe one day I will have more time for this hobby of mine.
I'm sorry for not replying to your emails and querries immediately. And thank you so much for your concern! I hope to post a couple of more posts soon.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Roasted bell peppers salad

A German friend of mine is an "India"-freak, if I may say so. She is a vegetarian, loves Indian food (she had lived in England for a year), and has fullfilled her dream of seeing India on a trip with me and wishes to go again. Last year she even tried a class called "Bollywood dancing" with another colleague of hers. The first time I heard about it I had to laugh. Though I did not want to be mean to her tried to resist it not to make fun of it. But, with time I realised that I am the one not up to date, as it looks like, it is a serious business now. I was recently reading in the online New York Times an article and my eyes fell on this article heading in the sidebar on Bollywood Excersise (note: not Hollywood, just in case you didn't know about it) in Health blog column "Well" at NYT.
Bollywood is big in coming here, so much so that they now show Indian movies, as always translated in German, on German TV channels like RTL. And I have heard from a French friend of mine who is now living there, that there also they get to see these translated movies on TV. And from what I know they produce Bollywood films now keeping the 'global' viewers in mind with the third generation of 'Indians' growing up outside India and globalisation showing its impacts on Indian culture as well.

Now coming back to the lovely roasted bell peppers. I had been wanting to eat them like this since a while until I finally took out the book and checked the ingredients, got some nice fresh bell peppers and the anchovies in salt and brine I required for it and got going that very day.

Roasted mediterranian bell peppers

Recipe by PG of My Kitchen Stories

Based on a recipe from the book Le Cordon Bleu 'Vegetables'

1 red belll pepper, washed, cleaned, stem and seeds removed, and cut into stips lengthwise
1 yellow bell pepper, (same as above)
1 green bell pepper,
(same as above) - I substituted it with red bell peppers
1 red onion, halved vertically and then thinly sliced
olive oil to brush on bell peppers while roasting/grilling
2-3 tbsp capers, optionally with a few tsp of the brine (if using capers in salt, soak in warm water and use the water)
4-5 anchovies, finely chopped
3 -4 tbsp fresh basil leaves, washed and chiffonaded
2-3 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
1 garlic, finely chopped
5 tbsp olive oil (EVOO)
1-2 tsp lemon juice, as per taste

fresh green lettuce leaves like Roma
some Italian bread (like Ciabatta), sliced

  • wash the salad leaves and set aside
  • Clean and cut the peppers into 6-8 long strips each and brush the skin with olive oil
  • spread the sliced onions in a small flat baking dish
  • place the bell peppers on a baking try with the cut skin showing upwards along with the onion and grill in a preheated oven for 20 minutes till the skin gets charred and the peppers have turned soft
  • set the onion aside to cool down
  • place the bell peppers in a freezer bag, close it for a few minutes till the peppers cool down a bit
  • remove the peppers from the bag and peel the skin
  • In the mean time chop anchovies, herbs, capers and garlic and mix with the olive oil and lemon juice
  • add the peeled bell peppers along with the onions to it and refrigerate for a few hours to let them take up flavour
  • serve with some Italian bread slices and fresh salad leaves
NOTE: I for got to add the onion while taking the first picture, but you see it in the next one, which i just about remembered to take. :)

In addition to the salad and the bread I had also boiled some potatoes and to make them a little more flavourful I mashed the potatoes and fried a small onion in 1 tbsp olive oil in a fry pan till golden and added the potatoes on top of it and pressed it down and cooked for another two minutes to have a 'sort of' rösti.
We all enjoyed our meal fully. I had put a bit too much of olive oil at the very end before serving. But, no one of us minded that. :D I think I'll have to do some dieting soon, I've been eating so uncontrolled lately :I
Recently we got to know of sunny boy's allergies, right now we know that he is allergic, though mildly, to wheat, rye and spelt. Haven't tested it with other things like barley and he seems to be doing fime with oats, though I'm not 100% sure. The doctor says the important thing is to see how his body reacts to the food than the tests. But since we don't use barley as such much I don't care. Luckily he is only mildly allergic and we can live with it. Luckily his Kindergarten can offer gluten free food so I don't need to worry in that regard.
So, I always have to have an option for sunny boy which he can eat. Here it was potatoes, or we would have simply eaten bread, toasted or plain withthe peppers.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Carribean adventure

This is how I feel like calling it and it took me some time to have enough confidence to try out these Carribean recipes. Like always I wanted to make things more complicated and wanted to get a feel of what Carribean food is all about before trying out something. Until I realised that the best way do it was to 'try out' the recipes than to just keep reading them all.
Initially I had no time at all and at the end I had just about a couple of days time left. Then came the problem of finding sources which I felt were reliable enough, but this post of Meeta at WFLH helped solve both the problems. Even now, I just about managed to cook these recipes I had choosen, to my utter happiness.

To make sure I got the 'Carribean' feeling just right I tried to buy all the ingredients I could get hold of yesterday. As I also happened to go to the city centre, I went to the Chinese shop there for cilantro and bought dried 'American' black beans (according to the packet) - not canned - and ground allspice from the local supermarket. I haven't used alllspice in this form so far and, infact, the last time I had bought whole allspice was more than 10 years ago and while cleaning up the kitchen on our move few years ago the remaining packet was discarded and I, somehow, never required to buy it again. But, things will change now that I have taken up this challenge! *smiling big*

These are the recipes I decided upon and took help of, after going through the links given by Meeta:

Carribean Rice and Carribean Vegetables (Sweet potato and Zucchini)

I tried to make them as true to the recipes as possible as this was my very first trial at cooking or, for that matter, eating Carribean food. However, I changed the first recipe slightly as I felt that a combination with sweet potato made the use of sqash unnecessary and because I just could not get this recipe of a Cuban Salsa Verde out of my mind and at the very end decided to add it as well to the rice and, despite my fears, it was fantastic!
Since I have modified the recipe of the Rice dish, I will write down the recipe here:

Caribbean Coconut Rice with Cuban Salsa Verde

Recipes by PG of My Kitchen Stories

A combination of two recipes of Caribbean Rice and Rice with Cuban Salsa Verde


1-1/2 cups chicken broth (I used vegetable broth)
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup parboiled rice (I used regular Basmati rice)
2 tbsp olive oil (EVOO)
1 cup red onion, finely chopped
1-3/4 cups (1/4-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (I left this out)
1 tsp chopped fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme (I used dried thyme)
1/8 tsp allspice
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp black pepper from the mill
2 handfuls of black beans, soaked for 6-8 hours, rinsed and drained 3x in between
4 tbsp Cuban Salsa Verde*

  • cook the black beans in a pressure cooker or a deep saucepan till very tender
  • Bring the vegetable broth and coconut milk to a boil in a saucepan over high heat untill it starts to boil, add rice.
  • Cover with a lid, reduce heat to minimum and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and uncover lid.
  • In the meantime, heat 2 tbsp oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add chopped onion, sauté for a few miutes till golden brown.
  • Reduce heat to medium and add squash, if using, and cook until done, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in thyme and remaining spices, stir for a minute and add the black beans.

  • Add rice to beans mixture, stirring gently and not too much to combine but not to break the rice too much.
  • prepare the salsa verde by grinding all the ingredients together and cooking in the microwave for 2 mintes at 900 W (optionally for 5 minutes on stovetop) until it starts to throw bubbles
  • eat warm or cold combined with a salad

Cuban Salsa Verde*

1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro leaves, washed throughly and chopped coarsely
2 green onions, cleaned and chopped
1 tbsp lime juice (I used lemon juice)
1 tbsp olive oil (EVOO)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried crushed red pepper (I used black pepper and a pinch of red chilli powder)

Grind all the ingredients in a food processor or with a hand mixer until smooth.

oh! What a lovely combination did it make! So flavourful. We all loved the spices in the sweet potato, even sunny boy, who initially was abit hesitant , but after persueing hin to tr it again, he finally was of the opinion that 'it tastes good'. I have a small portion of it left for me to enjoy tomorrow.
It feels good to send these entries, though almost last minute, to Carribean Cooking, this month's Monthly Mingle at Meeta's What's For Lunch Honey.

And it feels so good to be back blogging after a long break!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Red Beans and Yellow Pepper stirfry

I was initially planning to just post this quick fix but extremely delicious beans stirfry at Healthy and Tasty, a blog by a group of working/at home mommies wanting to exchange ideas for easy meals for babies and kids. But I feel this is something I haven't made like this before and it tasted so good that I felt like sharing this rather simple recipe with you.

Kidney beans or red beans (scientifically Phaseolus vulgaris) are supposed to have many different good qualities as food. They are high in protein and fibers which apparently help lower or control cholesterol levels and prevent a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. They are also packed with a number of healthful trace elements (minerals), a notable one being molybdenum. Molybdenum is a part of a number of enzymes which are required for a healthy metabolism of the body.

I combined this quick and easy beans stirfry with a little more time-consuming but healthy Indian flatbreads - Rotis- made without using any wheat flour. No, it wasn't glutenfree as I used barley in it. Their recipe will have to wait for now. I'm still trying to perfect the recipe of a wheat or spelt-free roti. Why, when it is not gluten free, I'll tell you soon (you can surely guess where I'm pointing towards).

So, here comes the recipe:

Red Beans and Yellow Pepper stirfry

Recipe by PG of My Kitchen Stories


3/4 can of red / kidney beans, washed and letting excess water drip off
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic, peeled and sliced
3-4 dried tomato halves, chopped
1 pinch red chilli powder
a few dashes black pepper, fresh from the mill
a few small sprigs rosemary, broken coarsely
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into bite sized pieces

  • heat 2 tbsp oil in a fry pan on medium high
  • add the beans and garlic and stir, reduce heat to medium
  • after a few minutes add the dried tomatoes, rosemary and the spices
  • add one more tbsp oil, if required
  • keep stirring in between, for about 10 minutes
  • once you get a nice smell coming from the beans and they look nicely roasted add the yellow bell pepper
  • increase heat and fry for a few minutes on medium high, stirring in between
  • serve warm with bread, roti or steamed rice
I loved the aroma which was coming from the beans being roasted in the pan. Sunny boy ate the beans willingly and since he believes that he 'only' likes yellow bell peppers (he at least keeps saying so), he was happy to have it on his plate along with roti (Indian flatbread) and also ate everything except for - you have three guesses. Grrrr! When will he learn to eat the so-full-of-health, vitamins rich, blah blah blah peppers?! :(
But, despite all that I love the way he says "Umm, .... umm, so lecker (so tasty)!"

I had been seeing the beautiful logo of MLLA-8th Helping everywhere and had been wanting to send a recipe too. I also had one, but then time constraints were preventing me from posting it. But, then I made this and decided upon this one for this month's event.

So, here it goes to Susan's My Legume Love Affair - Eighth Helping and with the hope of winning the copy of Cynthia's brand new book. :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Potato patty and Pita bread sandwich

I have been a bit lackadaisical in posting. There were too many things, in my mind and otherwise, which needed attention. Now, I felt, it is high time I posted at least a couple of more posts. The next few weeks will again be busy, but I will try to post at least one or two more. After all, I don't want to miss Sunshinemom's FIC (Food in colour) event being held at Aparna's My Diverse Kitchen this time and the colour being orange. I even know what I want to make for it. Just hope I get time for it.
Now to this sandwich. I made these sandwiches last year on two following days as a midday snack and ate them all on my own and how I enjoyed it. I still remember it clearly. (OK, I also made them for my family but don't rememebr much about it. LOL!). So, on seeing Bay Leaf's Bread Mania I serched though my pictures collection that it has become and found these sandwiches and here they are:

1/2 Pita bread
2 potato patties*
2 slices of tomato
a few arugula leaves, or any other sald leaf of choice - washed and pat dried
a few tbsp coconut-groundnut chutney
salt and black pepper (or chilli pepper) to taste

  • prepare the patties* and other ingredients
  • cut the pita bread into half and loosen both sides by inserting a knife in the middle carefully
  • brush with very little olive oil (or butter) on the both the outer sides and toast on a cast iron pan till they get nice brown spots on each sides
  • arrange the sandwitch and eat with the chutney in the sandwich or separately, like I did
  • Bon Appetit!
*To make potato patties I mashed boiled potatoes with sesame seeds, finely chopped onions, grated ginger and spices like roasted cumin powder, ground coriander seeds, black salt, salt and chilli powder. I made good sized round balls, flattened them down to make round shaped patties and roasted them in a frypan in little oil till both the sides were browned.

I would ideally like to give a more precise recipe, but this is all I can do right now and post my recipe finally.
So, here it comes, Sindhura, my Pita sandwich just for you! :)
Check the event details here at her blog Bayleaf.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ginger and Cranberry Cookies

It was in the middle of the month January and it was freezing cold outside. Late in the evening before I sat down in front of the TV I felt like getting some cookies. I went to the kitchen, opened the cookie tin in the cupboard and was shocked to see just two cookies left. my thoughts were "Two cookies only! Goodness! I need to bake cookieeeeees!..." .
I used the first opportunity I got two days later and baked what I had in mind already. I had bought a box of candied ginger slices at the Asian shop and wanted to use it in cookies. Since I had liked my last batch of almond oats cookies so much and felt that ginger would go well with it I tried it. I used half the dough with currents like the last time for sunny boy and for us - me and hubby, added candied ginger to make ginger oats cookies.
They turned out fantastic! Hubby loved them, as I expected. But, somehow I felt the cookies weren't perfect, there was still something missing. Today I baked another round. While going through the box of nuts and dried fruits in the fridge I saw this packet of leftover dried cranberries. I took a small piece and put it in my mouth and immediately felt that these would go well with the candied ginger. And now these cookies are indeed perfect!
Hubby who went, on smelling the cookies in the kitchen, tried them and also said that these are even better than the last batch. I've packing half of these for my FIL, who likes ginger in food.

Ginger and Cranberry cookies

Recipe by PG of My Kitchen Stories

based on the previous recipe of Almonds, Currents and Oats Cookies

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 25 minutes
Temperaure: 150°C (convection: 120°C)
Makes: 20-25 pieces (if rolled thin, around 30 pieces)

150 g whole rolled oats (or oat flour)- I used 130 g whole rolled oats and 50 g rice flakes
100 g slivered almonds, divided (80g almonds ground + 20 g crushed lightly)
5 tbsp butter or margarine
5 tbsp level sugar
50g raw marzipan ( marzipan rohmasse, with no additional sugar)
100 g candied ginger slices, chopped finely
30 g dried cranberries*, chopped finely

  • grease 1 baking sheet, lay them on a baking tray and set aside
  • grind the flakes in a coffee mill or dry grinder
  • combine all ingredients together except for currrents with your hands or using a mixer
  • add currents and combine with your hands to make one large ball
  • either
    • make small balls out of it and press down with the palms to flatten
    • or, roll out with a rolling pin and cut out cookies using cookie cutters
  • place on the greased baking sheet
  • bake for 25 minutes
  • let them cool down before picking up the cookies, to avoid crumbling
*dried currents can also be used instead of cranberries or just leave it out completely.

candied ginger slices

Other Ginger cookies:
Ginger Snap Cookies at Jude's Apple Pie, Patis, and Pâté
Ginger shortbread at Meeta's What's For Lunch Honey

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Turnip 'subzi' and the recipe for Blogger Aid Cookbook

I have been lagging badly in posting my recipes in the last few weeks. But, I know you all know such situations. Now, I have a long list of things to post about and so little time. Let's see when I manage it all. In a couple of weeks sunnyboy's birthday is coming and I'll again get busy planning about how and what to oraganise for the party which I want to do at home, at least this year, he's going to be four now. How time flies.
So, coming to the vegetable of the day: Turnips! Yes, I dared to buy them. *grin* Turnips are called weiße Rüben or also Speiserüben here. In all these years of living in Germany I never ever thought of buying them. I never liked turnips in India. When my mom did cook them (she didn't do it so often 'cause none of us, my dad included, liked it! LOL!) I did eat it, but it was always a "horrible" experience. :D But, they had a much stronger flavour in India.
Turnip is a very seasonal thing here and actually you don't come aross them in the supermarkets here, but either in small grocery shops or the farmers market. I had seen them a number of times before but knew for sure that I didn't want to try it. I had felt the urge to try making an Indian pickle with them when I saw them this year, though, but the lack of sun has never given me enough confidence to try it until now. But, it is on my list of things to do. Maybe next summers. I just have to remember it in time.

Turnip greens
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 20 kcal 80 kJ
Carbohydrates 4.4 g
- Dietary fibre 3.5 g
Fat 0.2 g
Protein 1.1 g
Vitamin A equiv. 381 μg 42%
Folate (Vit. B9) 118 μg 30%
Vitamin C 27 mg 45%
Vitamin K 368 μg 350%
Calcium 137 mg 14%
cooked, boiled, drained, without salt
Percentages are relative to US
recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database
But, after having tried this very new turnip variety recently I had never seen before, I got to realise that I must try turnips atleast once too and see how they really taste. And my hunch was right: they did taste quite different than the ones I had eaten before. Infact, these tasted wonderful! I almost feel stupid for not having tried them before.
Here is some information from Wikipedia (source) on the nutritional value of turnips:

Turnip subzi

Recipe by PG of My Kitchen Stories

1 bunch turnip greens, thick stems removed, washed throughly and chopped finely
1 large turnip (DE: weiße Rüben), peeled and cubed
1 inch piece ginger, peeled and grated (I used 1/4 tsp dry ginger powder, as I didn't have any)
1 heaped tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1-1/2 tbsp coriander seeds, ground
1/8 tsp red chilli powder (or to taste)
2 tbsp rapeseed oil for frying
salt to taste

  • heat oil in a pan and splutter ajwain
  • add ginger, turmeric, ground coriander seeds and red chili powder, and stir shortly
  • add turnip cubes, mix everything
  • keep cooking covered on medium heat
  • once the turnips are almost done, add the turnip greens
  • cook covered for a few minutes till the greens turn slightly darker and shrivel (the volume will reduce a lot)
  • serve with hot rotis or rice along with some daal.

For me this was a wonderful replacement for "Muli ki bhujiya" (stirfried radish greens) which I love, they tasted almost the same. I always cried that I don't get radish greens. These are again a seasonal thing and you have to go to the farmer's market for that. But, now I know that I can fullfill my wish to have this comfort food by simply buying the "weiße Rüben" now which are much easier to find than radish greens. Happy, Happy, Happy! That's what I am.

And now one more thing. I have been thinking for long now what to send to the Blogger Aid Cookbook.

After I made this dish (see below) and reliased that it is my very own version of a potato salad which I have learnt to make (and perfected :) ) after experimenting in the last few years, I felt this to be a good choice and here it is, another of our family favorite and one recipe for which I always get appreciation from family and friends on get-togethers. Especially in our barbecue parties this salad is never missing, though with small changes where I leave out the vegetables in it and add some cheese variety instead.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Baked Potatoes Wedges with Kräuter-Quark

Sunny boy is in bed sleeping, finally, after my third attempt after he got up and came out of the room everytime, I have hung the last round of clothes on the clothes horse, and now I'm sitting with the laptop on my knees. Hubby, after giving up on TV and going through some of our old CDs has put a CD of Sade in the player and I just can't stop moving my shoulders to the rhythm of it. LOL!
I knew that it was going to be a potato day, or should I say, a potato evening. I had bought a new packet of floury potatoes though I had not finished off my previous batch of (waxy) potatoes. So, I knew before I forget it and have to throw away these organic potatoes, better make something. I was going through this cookbook on potatoes (I always drool at the pictures in this one) this weekend when I came across this picture of Creole potatoes wedges and I realised that I haven't made baked potatoes since quite a while now.
So, when the time came to start preparing food in the evening sunny boy came asking to help me. I was happy as he had not been showing much interest lately with helping me prepare food like before. Cutting potatoes is one of his hobbys. :) But, unfortunately he has had two bad experiences with cutting up his finger with the potato peeler, so he didn't want to do that part. I think, at three I don't really expect him to be an expert, but he does a wonderful job at cutting the potatoes with a (comparatively-) sharp table knife. The only problem is to prevent him from keep cutting the vegetable into smaller and smaller pieces. LOL!

I wanted to make a simple dish with only very few spices but still, it had to be flavourful. To achieve this I just choose to add rosemary and used olive oil and the problem was solved. Simple, don't you agree?
I also chose to make a "Kräuter-Quark" with it. Typically Kräuter-quark is eaten with "Pellkartoffeln" (potatoes boiled with skin) as a complete main course dish here. But I feel it goes well with all types of potato dishes. It is simple to make, a quick fix and healthy at that.

Here are a few points I wished to put down here ( simple, dry facts) on potatoes:
Potatoes are high in carbohydrates which is mainly present in the form of starch. These tubers are the storage organs of the plants which are produced in response to decreasing day lengths. Starch is a typical form of carbohydrate energy reserves of plants and is composed of two main molecules: amylose and amylopectin. Both in turn are composed of one monomer sugar molecule - glucose. Amylose is a straight chain of glucose molecules while amylopectin branched. Depending on the ratio of amylose and amylopectin the potatoes are classified as floury or waxy or somewhere in between like I come across some varieties which are classified as "vorwiegend" ( predominantly) waxy here. Higher the amylopectin(branched) the more waxy the potato is, i.e., it does not fall apart while cooking and keeps its shape unlike the floury variety.
Personally I like floury potatoes a lot because of their floury texture once cooked through. Since they aren't as easily available as the waxy ones everywhere I'm always happy when I have them.
So, here comes the recipe:

Baked potatoes with Kräuter-Quark

Recipe by PG of My Kitchen Stories


Baked Potatoes:
10-12 small to medium potatoes*, washed, scrubbed or peeled and cut into 4-6 long wedges
1 large organic red bell pepper, washed, seeded and cut into large pieces
200 g small crimini mushrooms (brown), cleaned, and if required, halved or quartered
2 medium red onion, peeled and cut into thick wedges
4-5 small / thin garlic cloves, sliced into thick long pieces
5-6 sprigs rosemary, coarsely broken into large pieces
salt and pepper (optionally chilli pepper) to taste
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (I used it mixed with cold pressed rapeseed oil this time)

250 g Quark
50 g yoghurt (optional)
50 g heavy cream
a few tbsp parsely, chopped (or herbs of choice; I used frozen parsely)
salt and pepper (optionally chilli pepper) to taste

  • In a good sized baking dish mix all the ingredients for the baked potatoes together and bake in a preheatedoven at 210°C (190°C convection) till done
  • for the first 30 to 40 minutes of baking cover with a baking sheet
  • mix everything once in between
  • bake further uncovered for another 15 to 20 minutes or until done
  • for the Kräuter-Quark mix all the ingredients together with a small whisk untill a smooth and creamy texture appears and store in the fridge until served
  • serve the potatoes withthe quark and maybe a warm bread to accompany it
*I had used in addition to the waxy potatoes a couple of the floury potatoes I mentioned in the beginning of this postand found that both the varieties tasted good in this combination.

By the time the potatoes were done, the kitchen was filled with the wonderful aroma of baked potatoes. We were hungry but nowhere near like my son this time. I have honestly never seen my son eat so much in one go. He ate three servings and didn't leave anything behind (except for onion and bell peppers, of course!). And I know this wouldn't have happened if he hadn't liked it. It really was delicious. I was more than satisfied with the results. All three of us enjoyed the meal.
I'm two days too late in posting this as I didn't get the time to post the pictures. Now that I'm done, I'm sending this to Meeta's Monthly Mingle at WFLH which is being guest hosted by Michelle at her What's Cooking Blog. I think this qualifies well for a Healthy Family Dinner.
Just in time!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Making a good seafood choice on the iPhone and an award

Things have been busy and I have hardly found time to go blog surfing. Will be visiting all your blogs sooner than later hopefully. This is not going to be a post on food, but rather to mention a few things which I want to finally get done with.

Seafood Watch (Montery Bay Aquarium) has come up with an application for the iPhone or iPhone touch where you can quickly go through the recommendations on seafood and make a good (environment friendly) choice anywhere at a restaurant or while shopping for fish.
You can also get the recommendations if you have a mobile phone with an Internet connection. Online pocket guides are available at

Now coming to an award I have got from two wonderful bloggers:

Priya of Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes
Ramya of Ramya's Kitchen Corner

Thanks a ton! It does feel good to get appreciated for one's efforts at blogging. Thanks a lot for having thought of me!

Now it is time that I also pass it on as this award has been sitting unnoticed for a bit too long.
Now here I need to mention that it is not very clear to me what the idea behind this award is. (A Refreshing Blog- see update at bottom)
Wonder if "lemonade" represents something, I don't know of?
Anybody who can help?
But, at the same time, I feel the main purpose of these awards is to tell the other (blogger), yes, I like/love your work, an appreciation. So, this is how I pass it on to my fellow bloggers:

Anudivya of ...and a little bit more...

Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen

Curry leaf of Experiments, Emotions, Experiences with food

Deesha of Vegetable Platter

N&A of Delectably Yours

Soma of eCurry

Sowmya of Creative Saga

Sunshinemom of Tongueticklers

Swapna of Cooking With Swapna

It is a lot of fun to be blogging just because of you all.
Now, before I publish this I must mention that I'm a bad case of dementia! :D
So, I would like to pass on the "lemonade" to all those who pass by and leave a comment and make my day! Thanks a lot!

Update: Anudiya clarified that the lemonade equals "refreshing". And yes, that makes sense. WOW! That sounds even more wonderful! So, once again Thanks a lot!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cranberry Chutney

a bowl of chutney in snow on our terrace

I have been using cranberries since a long time now and liked them right from the beginning. But, these were always packed dried cranberries. Cranberries don't grow in Germany, though I had once heard of a pilot project to grow them in Mecklenburg Vorpommern once. Don't know what happened of it. I was surprised when I saw fresh cranberries at REWE for the first time this time, where I went to after a long time and just couldn't resist buying them. Although, who knows, maybe I never noticed them before I got to see such lovely dishes being made with them on different blogs.

When I bought these fresh cranberries I wanted to make a nice tart with it like here at Doghill Kitchen. But somehow none of us was in a mood to eat anything sweet after having gorged on all those Christmas cakes and cookies for so long, so I dropped the idea. Instead, I decided to make a chutney, after having seen others make some too.
Cranberry and Fig Chutney (Relish)

Recipe by PG of My Kitchen Stories

250 g cranberries, cut into halves or quartered
2 inch piece ginger, grated
150 g dried figs, chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp fennel seeds, coarsely ground
1/8 tsp red chilli powder (use more or less to taste)
1/4 tsp black salt, ground - optional
1/4 tsp salt
1 star anise, to be taken out once the chutney is ready
200 g jelly sugar 2:1* (use quantity to taste)
1/2 tsp roasted ground cumin

  • Mix everything together and set aside for about half an hour or longer
  • cook it up stirring in between
  • reduce heat and keep cooking on medium low heat so that it keeps throwing bubbles
  • continue cooking for about 30 minutes, stirring in between
  • In the mean time prepare two 250 ml (boiled-) jars to be used for storing the chutney, if required
  • Fill the glasses with it and close lids tightly.
  • Once cooled down, store in the refrigerator

  1. Jelly sugar contains pectin in addition to regular table sugar. I used up my last and already opened packet of jelly sugar for this, but you can also replace it with regular sugar. One may require to cook it for longer, though.
  2. Depending on its use you can reduce the amount of sugar to half. For example, if using as a side to poultry, you could use regular table sugar and half the amount.

One of the many ways I am enjoying eating this flavourful chutney is like this:
Rye bread with Camembert cheese and cranberry chutney

I loved this chutney. It is the best of all the chutneys I have made in the last few months so far. I liked the combination of dried figs and fresh cranberries a lot. Even though I did have some small doubts about if it will turn out good, but the end results made this chutney to be a perfect one. I think the the proportions of the two fruits and all the spices are also very good in this chutney. Talking about spices, one of the distinct flavours in the chutney apart from that of ginger is that of fennel seeds which impart a lovely aroma and which makes it so delicious in my opinion.
That reminds me of my childhood days when I loved munching on fennel seeds. Fennel seeds are also one of the few spices I always liked as a child. Maybe it also had to do something with the fact that my mom only very rarely bought toffees, chocolates or lollipops and stuff like that for us. So, maybe we got enough chances to enjoy chewing on fennel seeds instead. :D We also discovered something, very fascinating for us then, that after chewing fennel seeds the water on drinking tasted so delicious. Delicious is the best word that I can think of for it. It tasted so very sweet. It was almost like doing an experiment and enjoying it.
The reason, I think, why the water tasted sweet afterwards was the essential oils present in fennel seeds. So, do you also have such similar memories with fennel seeds?

I just realised that Ivy is hosting an event for which this recipe is just the right thing. The event has also got a very interesting name this time and a very interesting theme too. Off it goes to the event started by Sunita of Sunita’s World and being hosted by Ivy of Kopiaste:
Think Spice...Think Twice : Mastic gum or Fennel seeds

Another event I got to know of and to which I would like to send this entry of my very original bread-not-exactly-sandwich is to Bay Leaf's Bread Mania event.

Other Cranberry chutneys:
Crannbery pickle at Anudivya's A little bit more
Cranberry Chutney at Andrea's Recipes
Cranberry Apple Chutney at Jai and Bee's Jugalbandi
Pear Cranberry Chutney at Meeta's WFLH

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Daal : My comfort food

I don't remember anymore how I came upon it but we were sitting at the table having dinner and talking when we started talking about the taste and flavours in food and i suddenly remembere that there was this fifth "taste" which was discovered much later than the others like sweet, salty, sour and bitter. I was trying to think hard, but the only letter of the word that I remembered was 'U'. The word is comleted as Umami. I don't know exactly if we weren't tought about it in school or we were but I couldn't understand it so didn't remember. :D This is the information I collected:
Taste is one of the five senses of our body and from the biological point of view a chemoreception where a chemical stimulus is recognised by a sensory recepetor in our body - in this case a receptor found in our taste buds or "gustatory calyculi" that transmits the sensation of taste to our brain. Taste is a sensation which takes place on our tongue whereas flavour invloves the sensation of smell as well.
There are five basic tastes (taste sensations) :
Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter and the comparitively newest (1907) - Umami. There are two more taste bud recepetors which have been identified which sense fatty acids (in fats and oils) and calcium respectively. NOTE: Hot or Spicy is not a taste in the same sense, since hotness is sensed in a different way (through somatosensory fibers sensing pain and temperature on the tongue).

Umami flavour is also described as savoury sometimes. It is very often found in fermented foods, and often produced through compounds like glutamate (one of the 24 amino acid) which bind to the taste bud receptors which recognise this stimulus. It comes much more often in Asian food or also Eurpoean than in Indian.I think. Though I could be wrong, as we also have many different fermented foods in all the different Indian cultures. So, I went to check about it in Wiki and found it, of course. When I heard this for the first time I was quit facinated and knew why all these additives like monosodium glutamate (MSG or Ajinomoto) and the likes were being added in all kinds of savoury products, you know now for sure, - to stimulate our taste buds! But, I don't like this overdose of umami at all. I rather go for flavours present naturally in food where there is a balance between the different flavours.

Here is some information on the discovery of the taste Umami and monosodium glutamate:

Now I will come to my comfort food: daal. Earlier it was always kitchdi, but since I so rarely have mung daal at home now, with whichI make kichdi, I have found that a plate of rice with hot daal gives me the feeling of "home" and comfort and there are days where I do miss it. I wonder how much of umami is present in daal (lentils).

Urd ki daal

Recipe by PG of My Kitchen Stories


1 cup skinned black gram, soaked for a couple of hours
same quantity of water for cooking in a pressure cooker
salt, to taste
3/4 tsp turmeric
Tadka (Chaunk):
1 heaped tbsp ghee or 2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin
1 pinch asafoetida, crushed or powdered
1 small red onion (or yellow), thinky sliced
1-2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced - I left it out this time
1/2 inch ginger, thinly sliced or grated
1/4 tsp chili powder
1-2 tsp coriander seeds, ground

2nd Tadka / Mirchi ka Chaunk (optional)* - or call it chilli oil
1 tbsp ghee or oil
1/4 tsp cumin (optional)
1/4 tsp coriander seeds, ground (optional)
1/4 tsp red chilli powder

  • soak daal in water and change water a couple of times in between
  • Cook daal in the pressure cooker with turmeric and salt as per instructions till the lentils are tender
  • in the meantime cut onion, tomatoes and other spices
  • once daal is done, prepare tadka :
    • heat oil or ghee in a frypan and add cumin and let it splutter
    • add asafoetida and stir once
    • add the onion garlic and ginger, stir
    • add the remaining dry spices
    • keep stirring and fry till onion is golden brown
    • add the ready tadka to the daal
  • preprae second tadka in the same way and serve in a separate bowl along with the daal,
  • daal is usually eaten with steamed rice or rotis or both and sukhi subzi(s) (dry stirfried vegetables) of choice
*The second tadka serves the purpose of increasing het in your food by adding the chilli oil to the food, usually daal

Another one...

Arhar ki Daal (Toor lentils)

Recipe by PG of My Kitchen Stories

Special equipment: pressure cooker (if not available, then soak for longer and cook in a covered pan for 1 hour or more)

serves 4


150 - 200 g arhar / toor daal (lentil), washed and soaked for at least 2 hours or overnight
1 -1/2 cups water for cooking
salt to taste (first add 1/2 tsp and adjust accordingly later)
1/2 tsp turmeric

Tadka / Chaunk
1 tbsp ghee or any cooking oil (if using onion 2 tbsp may be required)
1 tsp (heaped) cumin
1/8 tsp asafoetida, finely ground (for beginners - use 1 pinch)
1 pinch (generous) ground fenugreek seeds
6-8 curry leaves (optional)
2 tsp coriander seeds, ground
1/8 tsp red chilli powder -or to taste (optional) - you can also use fresh green chillies, if available

1 garlic, finely chopped or thinly sliced (optional)
1/2 inch piece ginger, peeled and grated or chopped
1 onion, thinly sliced (optional)
1 medium tomato, chopped into large cubes or small, as per liking

2nd Tadka / Mirchi ka Chaunk (optional)* - or call it chilli oil
1 tbsp ghee or oil
1/4 tsp cumin (optional)
1/4 tsp coriander seeds, ground (optional)
1/4 tsp red chilli powder

  • soak daal in water and change water a couple of times in between
  • Cook daal in the pressure cooker with turmeric and salt as per instructions till the lentils are tender
  • in the meantime cut onion, tomatoes and other spices
  • once daal is done, prepare tadka :
    • heat oil or ghee in a frypan and add cumin and let it splutter
    • add asafoetida and curry leaves, stir once
    • add the onion and garlic, stir
    • add the remaining dry spices
    • fry till onion is golden yellow
    • add tomatoes nd fry till tender
    • add the ready tadka to the daal
  • preprae second tadka in the same way and serve in a separate bowl along with the daal,
  • daal is usually eaten with steamed rice or rotis or both and sukhi subzi(s) (dry stirfried vegetables) of choice
*The second tadka serves the purpose of increasing heat in your food by adding the chilli oil to the food, usually daal

Daal is a staple in Indian food in almost all the regions of India as we majorly eat vegetarian diet. In many regions fish and in some other either or meat in addition is also eaten, but still it is more a delicacy made on some special occasions or on special days than being a regular at the table. I have to say here that I'm writing this based on my impression of all the Indian cultures from the different regions of India. I always consider the variety in culture and so also foods of India at par, if not more, with the continent Europe. So, it is almost impossible for me to know everything. But, having lived in the capital city of India and some other regions of India, and as my father worked for the cenral govermnent we lived together in a "colony" with friends from many different regions of India whose parents were also central goverment "servants". My mother exchanged foods with neighbours whose origins were different than ours and so had different food than ours. It was always such a delight to get a bowl of hot daals or a curry from the neighbour. Yes, those were the days...

Now I actually wanted to write somethig else, but how my thoughts drift :D.
Daal is prepared differently in different regions of India. What make the daal different is the tadka or "chaunk", as we call it, and there are man others word for it, but my knowledge if it is very bad. And these recipes are the tadkas I saw my mom make, partly adapted from her neighbours, so to say.

So, off it goes to Sunshinemom's FIC : Yellow at Tongueticklers!

And I would like to send this entry to this month's MLLA started by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook being hosted by Srivalli of Cooking 4 All Seasons.