Chia Seed Muffins Worth Baking

IMG_1350Let’s just say that there are days when I crave these muffins.  They are not just plain old muffins. They are special. When we lived back in New York city, a particularly hard stretch would be rewarded with one of these Chia Seed Muffins from Le Pain Quotidien. They have that dense, flavorful chocolatey and not too sweet taste that is just right for me. After some research – and testing – I finally found what I think are the most divine muffins that there are. Come and cook with us!

I have to preface this week’s recipe with the fact that these delicious muffins are not gluten free. They use whole wheat pastry flour that has less gluten than bread or regular flour, but are still not gluten free. For a GF variety, a ready-to-use GF flour mix such as King Arthur GF Flour or Cup 4 Cup GF flour are all great alternatives that still make this muffins a total success.

Let me know what you think of these Chia Seed Muffins. Finally, I don’t have to bribe my husband to bring me a few whenever he is visiting a city that has a Le Pain Quotidien. Instead, I can bake my own. And now you can, too! Come and cook with us!

Chia Seed Muffins

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A New Take on Rice and Milk

A few years ago, Jessica gave me an Indian cooking class with Napa-based Indian chef and owner of The Bombay Cafe, Neela Paniz as a birthday gift. It seemed extravagant but I was intrigued as Indian cooking offered so much potential and was virtually unknown to me. In fact, Indian is a cuisine that grew slowly on me but that is so rich in tradition, flavors and techniques that I really benefitted from the class and, thus, loved every minute of it. Neela is an excellent teacher who shared her passion by showing us how to make dal, chapatis, raita, pakoras and also kheer, or Indian Rice Pudding. Everything we tasted was absolutely delicious but as I am totally defenseless against sweet milk-based dishes, it was the Indian Milk Pudding that made me go back to the recipes time and time again. Come and cook with us!

Making Indian Milk Pudding is easy enough but it takes time. We usually make a batch that is large enough to produce several servings for the kids at once. They eat them over the course of a few meals. Honestly, Indian Milk Pudding never lasts more than a day or two.

If you are open to the fragrances and flavors of the East and eat diary-based dishes, then give this Indian Milk Pudding a try. Served cold it is a refreshing way to finish a dinner. Come and cook with us!

Indian Rice Pudding

Down to London for Some Pimm’s

IMG_1358If you are up for a novelty drink this summer, let me introduce you to Pimm’s, the “other” national drink of England which I’ve been enjoying during my recent stay in London. It brings back lovely memories of my life here, sitting along the Thames, sipping Pimm’s and being carelessly young and happy! Put aside any soccer rivalry and reach across the pond for a bottle of Pimm’s. You won’t regret it. Come and cook with us! Continue reading

Who Says You Can’t Bake a Cobbler when Camping?

IMG_1233As most of you know, we love camping. The fresh air, being close to nature and the experience of a simpler life is what makes it so special. And if that were not enough, if your camping site is overlooking the ocean, you’re lulled to sleep by the rolling waves of the Pacific. What’s there not to love. When it comes to cooking, however, we have decidedly moved up away from the simple and tried our luck with the slightly more sophisticated. Our latest menu involved a whole fish, a breakfast burritos, soft-shell crabs and an inspiring cast-iron mixed berry cobbler! The first time we made it, three of us finished it in one go, which was probably a mistake, but I’m sure it will be back for more appearances soon! Come and cook with us! Continue reading

Join the Trend of Food Upcycling

IMG_9467Did you know that we throw away a lot of food? According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the U.N., approximately 40% of food in the US goes to waste. Most of it ends up on landfills, costing us roughly $1.3 billion to dispose of (2008 EPA estimate). Considering that it takes seven to ten calories worth of energy input to produce one calorie of food, we’re throwing away so much more than food. And no, composting all this food isn’t the solution. Let’s try to reduce the amount of food waste we generate. Food ends up in the trash because it is spoiled, wilted, dented, past it’s Best By date, abundant or just not appealing. It’s this last part I will zero in on this week. A new food trend – Food Upcycling – is focusing on helping us to be more conscientious about what ends up not being used. As the name suggests, Upcycling is here to help us get more from what we buy. This week we share a few of the ideas on what you can do to turn those food scraps into something that is good for the earth, the wallet and, of course, the palate. Come and cook with us! Continue reading

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