Green Beans with Cumin and Fennel

I like learning how to make Indian dishes because I like playing around with spices. I feel like a witch using magic ingredients to make potion. This simple vegetable dish is very similar to Chinese stir-fry. You put the aromatics in, then the veggies, then the seasoning, some liquids, cover and wait, and then there it is, a magic potion for me to revitalize my day. I need veggies everyday. Continue reading

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

Have you ever dreamt of owning a coffee shop? Aside from being a musician, a photographer, a journalist, owning a coffee shop has been one of my dreams in my adult life. The warm cozy decor, the earthy aroma of coffee, the sweet treats, the chit chatting with customers, there is just something irresistible about a nice family run coffee shop in your neighborhood. This afternoon, after the baking in the morning, I made myself a nice cup of coffee, sitting on the patio, served with these delectable chocolate biscotti, watching Yogi, our dog, running around in the yard, I let my dream took over me again. After quitting my job for over ten years in the corporate world, what is my next step? Is there a possibility to realize my dream? Continue reading

Simple Chili with Kidney Beans

When I first learnt how to make chili on Bebob’s request, I always thought that I had accomplished a great deal since this was the first real Mexican food that I made. But I was wrong, according to Wiki and History and Legends of Chili, Chili Corn Carne, chili is not Mexican food at all. Although the real origin cannot be known for certain, there is no doubt that it evolved and got popular in Southwestern American, in particular Texas where chili is the official state food.

No matters where it came from, a bowl of rich and lush chili is always a soothing meal. This recipe of simple chili is adapted from the The Best Recipe by Cook’s Illustrated. It is so simple and easy to make by using stable available in supermarket and yet the flavor it produces is deep and complex. Continue reading

Stir Fried Celery and Carrots with Dried Tofu

Spring is on its way. Pretty soon, the grass will be greener, the cherry blossom will be blooming; the dog will be happier since we will take him out more with nicer weather. This is just an anticipation. The gloomy sky out there says nothing about spring. To keep my hope alive, I need some spring colors. Here is a simple stir-fry dish with lovely colors. Continue reading

Mini Chicken Pot Pie

Going hungry can prolong life? Just read an article on the recent Time Magazine discussing the research on restricting calories and living longer. That seems to make sense. The body of a human beings was originally built to conduct enormous physical activities for hunting and gathering food and to withstand the hardships caused by scarcity of food. Abundance causes all sorts of problems. Even my mom, a traditional health conscious Chinese woman who does not care much about western medicine, has always been telling my dad and everybody not to eat to a full stomach, 80% is sufficient. I think that is the Chinese attitude towards everything in life and I follow it as well. Moderation is the key. Continue reading