Saturday, March 27, 2010

Amateur Candy Makers of the World

My first attempt at candy making. Poolaki. Its a persian treat made of caramelized sugar that is nice to have with tea. I thought it would be a fun treat for celebrating Naw Ruz. It seemed simple enough. And it is. I followed this recipe from my new favorite blog Turmeric and Saffron. She recommends several different topping options. Mine only have saffron in them. The only thing I would like to add if one is planning to attempt making Poolaki, is that the sugar cooks very quickly and continues to cook even after removed from the heat. It is a good idea to start on low heat and remove it before all the sugar has melted, as it may end up with a slightly burnt taste.

Celebrating Spring

We are celebrating spring here. Its still cold out, and just so happened to snow on the first day of spring, but that makes it that much more important to celebrate. For the Persian New Year or Naw Ruz (new day), a fun tradition is to grow some sprouts of some kind or sabzi to welcome in spring. We grew some lintel sprouts and took our cues from this really nice persian blog Turmeric and Saffron. It was our first try, and I think it turned out very well. After the sprouts have enough green they can be placed on a Haft-Seen table (7 s's). Most of the things on the table begin with a seen or s in farsi and represent specific things for the new year. Below are pictures of our sabzi growing and the final product. Enjoy and Happy Spring!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

When life gives you burrito left overs, make quesadillas

One of our favorite dinners is veggie burritos. They are quick, easy, and light. Ours usually consist of sauteed onions and green bell peppers, (in a little bit of oil, worcestershire sauce, cumin, and lime and cilantro), refried black beans, cilantro/lime rice, cheese, sour cream, and guacamole. Strangely there is always just a little of everything left over. Just the perfect amount to make a quesadilla.

So I just stuff the last two tortillas with the left overs, shred a little more cheese and use our cast iron skillet to fry it up. It gets so yummy and flaky. Garnished with a little fresh guacamole, its the perfect lunch!

Guacamole recipe:
1 ripe avocado mashed
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
1 half a lime freshly squeezed
a pinch or two of salt
a little cilantro.
mix it all together for a delicious treat.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Trick Is Being Gentle

Since I haven't posted in a while...again, I thought I would just quickly share a new favorite recipe. I know I've posted about biscuits already, but that was before I actually found the perfect biscuit recipe. I can not rave enough about how deliciously airy and light and flakey and wonderful they are. I'm not sure it gets any better than this. I don't have pictures but I wanted to share anyway. Enjoy.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Ghormeh Sabzi (A whole lot of herbs persian stew)

The wonderful thing about Persian food is its always healthy, its always delicious and its almost always based on onion and turmeric. Once you understand that onion and turmeric are essential, you can cook amazing Persian cuisine. Ghormeh Sabzi is such a wonderfully delicious stew. Its fragrant and nutritious. There are different variations, but here's how we made it.

Key ingredients for this dish are a bushel or two of coriander (cilantro) and bushel (or two) of parsley and a bunch of green onions.

Ghormeh Sabzi

1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. turmeric
1 lb. stewing beef
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
1 bushel parsley, finely chopped
1 bushel coriander (cilantro), finely chopped

juice from one lemon or lime

1-2 dried persian limes, leemoo-amoneee (these are optional but are a really nice touch)
1 can red kidney beans


  1. Saute the onion over medium-high heat in oil and turmeric until golden brown. Add the stew meat. Cook until the meat is browned well on all sides.
  2. Add the greens to the meat & onion mixture, stirring well. Add 1.5 - 2 cups of water (this is just an estimation to get it to a stew consistency, not a soup consistency). Season with salt & pepper to taste. Add the lemon juice, turn the heat down, and let the whole thing simmer. The longer the better as stews only get better flavour the longer they stew together.
  3. Add the dried lemons towards the end of the cooking period (if added too soon, the stew may become bitter).
  4. Finally, add the drained kidney beans.

    This stew is supposed to be a bit sour. Its so delicious and refreshing.

Serve with rice.

Long time no see, but still cooking

So a few months ago I discovered this blog strictly about food from Texas. One might think to themselves, "What good food could be specific to Texas?" But there is plenty, and being a native of Texas myself I've slowly realized how much I miss this food now that I have moved away. A while ago this blog posted a recipe for dewberry cobbler. Dewberries grow wild in southern Texas. I decided I would try it out only altering it slightly and using strawberries and blackberries (which are similar to dewberries) instead of dewberries. It is delicious and a great thing to do with your berries that might be getting a little too ripe.
Thanks Home sick Texan for your great recipe!

Here's how I made mine

Dewberry Cobbler
Crust ingredients:
1 stick of butter (the original calls for 1/2 a stick but because I used regular milk, I added more butter)
1 cup of flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup of milk (the original calls for butter milk)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Filling ingredients
2 cups dewberries or blackberries (original calls for 4 cups fruit but I only had 2)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Put berries in a pie plate or other bake wear preferably round. Sprinkle with sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and lemon juice. The original recipe says to let this mixture macerate for 20 minutes but I didn't bother.
To make the crust, melt the butter on low in a pan, and then add the other ingredients. The dough will come out moist and pliable.
Spread dough out over berries
Bake 40 minutes or until light brown and bubbling.
Serves six

Friday, January 16, 2009


I love biscuits and am constantly searching for a perfect flaky delicious recipe. This one is adapted from a recipe off the Martha Stewart website for Mummy's Sweet White Scones. I just
made them less sweet and skipped the sugar sprinkle on top.

6 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 heaping tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 sticks chilled unsalted butter
4 large eggs
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons milk

In a large bowl whisk together flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder.
Make a well in center of flour mixture and put small pieces of butter. using your fingers mix butter and flour until a crumbly mixture is made.
In a medium bowl whisk together 3 eggs and milk. 
Combine milk mixture with flour mixture.
Knead dough lightly then roll out to 3/4 inch thick.
Using a cookie cutter or glass cut out biscuits.
Place on cookie sheet.
Brush tops with egg.
Cook at 475 for about 15 minutes.

I recommend rotating top tray to bottom half way through.

Serve with butter, honey or jam, or cheese.