Friday, December 27, 2013

The Matrix

I promised to post a photo of the crumb structure (aka "gluten matrix" if youre a bread geek) from my next loaf of sourdough. As several of you pointed out, I never photographed my last sourdough after it was cooled and sliced. Well, here you go. This batch used the same starter, but had a little bit of whole-wheat flour added to the sponge. Bread porn at its finest!

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Easy Mediterranean Tuna or Salmon Artichoke Pasta

Easy comfort food- gluten-free pasta with tuna.
Easy comfort food- pasta with tuna or salmon.

The moment I knew my first marriage was failing faster than you could murmur blueberry pancakes on a stick was the minute my moody first husband shoved his untouched plate of tuna noodle casserole across the lemon-waxed bridal table and declared, I'm not eating this crap.

A man who cannot fathom the comfort- albeit guilty pleasure- of a Wednesday night sixties classic is a person who might also belittle your favorite actor in a role so crackling in its own shiver of guilty pleasure that the hair on the back of your neck stands up when you hear Point Break is on HBO again.

In other words, Dear Reader, if a guy mocks your noodles and your Keanu, it might be time to stiffen your spine and rustle up the courage to reconsider your choice of a life partner.

Yup. You gotta go down, Brah. Vaya con Dios.

And, oh, in case you're wondering where Husband #2 stands on Keanu?

Dude. He's a major fan. Definitely.

Read more + get the recipe >>
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We should Cocoa Apricots

I just love apricots, fresh or dried, they are probably my favourite fruit, with raspberries coming  a close second.  So I was very pleased indeed when I saw that We should Cocoa had chosen Apricots as the ingredient to combine with some form of chocolate in July.

I was looking for something that was quite light so chose this recipe from Rosemary Conleys Low Fat Cookbook.  In the book it is a Low Fat chocolate and black cherry pudding but I thought it would work just as well with apricots.

Low-fat chocolate and apricot pudding
3 large eggs, separated
4oz (100g) caster sugar
3ox (75g) self-raising flour
1oz (25g) cocoa powder
6 fresh apricots
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 tsp caster sugar

Gently poach the apricots with the orange juice and 1 tsp of caster sugar until they are soft.  Place them in the base of an ovenproof dish.

Pre-heat the oven to 180C, 350F, Gas Mark 4.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff.  Add the yolks and whisk in.  Add the caster sugar and whisk until all the sugar has dissolved.
Sift the self-raising flour with the cocoa powder.  Using a figure of eight action, fold half the four into the ff an sugar misxture.  When the flour is almost folded in, add the remaining flour in the same way until the mixture is smooth.  Spoon the mixture over the top of the apricots.  

Bake in the oven for approximately 40 minutes or until golden brown.  When cooked leave to cool for a few minutes.  Serve with low fat fromage frais, greek yogurt or vanilla ice-cream.

The combination worked really well, the sponge is very light, moist and delicious and dig down to find the soft, sweet, golden apricots.
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Garlic Black Pepper and Fennel rubbed Flank Steak with Grilled Oranges aka Party Steak!

You have to love the flank steak; so easy to cook, almost no trimming, relatively lean, and perfect for a party since it’s slight change in thickness from one end to the other allows for slices of medium rare and medium well off the same piece of meat. This very interesting recipe has something I always appreciate in a dish; it makes its own sauce. As you’ll see in the video recipe, we used the juice from some grilled oranges with the natural juices from the steak to create a fabulous looking, and tasting platter of beef.

While this dish may appear to be inspired by Italian or Spanish influences (which it is), it’s also a take on one of my favorite Chinese dishes; spicy orange beef. I love to grill flank steak with a highly flavored rub of garlic, fennel, salt and black pepper. I wondered what would happen if I added a little orange to the marinade, and then I got the idea to caramelize some orange halves on the grill, and squeeze the juice over the meat after it was cooked and sliced. It was an amazing combination, and one you must try. I did a recent video recipe with some orange and fennel grilled chicken thighs, that was very good, but this went to a whole new place. Enjoy!

1 flank steak (about 2 pounds)
1 tbl fennel seeds
2 tbl black pepper
2 tsp salt
3 oranges
2 tbl olive oil
4 sprigs rosemary
4 cloves garlic
cayenne pepper to taste

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Vegetable Spring rolls with Indian Flavors

These are the delicious rolls, that are crisp out side and soft inside. The filling inside the spring rolls can be made to our taste. I like Indian flavors so I prepared it in Indian re the few tips for making the perfect spring rolls. Adding more spices will destroy the taste of the spring roll. Less amount of spices including salt will make you to enjoy the beautiful and unique flavor of a spring roll. Do not stuff your spring roll with lots of stuffing mixture, just add a spoon full, it should be good. While rolling a spring roll, roll it tight so that no spaces are left inside the filling. While frying it try to fry it on a medium heat so that the inner part also gets cooked.

Serving size:3
Spring roll sheets: 6
Cabbage finely chopped-1cup
Tofu shreaded-1/4cup(optional)
Carrot shredded-1/2cup
Onion finely chopped-1/2cup
Spring onion- chopped-5
Grated potato-3tbsp
Ginger paste-1tea spoon
garlic paste- tea spoon
Cumin powder-1/2tbsp
pepper powder to taste
Salt to taste
1tbsp of maida/all purpose flour mixed with 2tbsp of water-to stick edges(You can use egg wash if you wish)
Oil for frying spring rolls

Heat oil in a pan and add all vegetables and cook by closing the pan, keep stirring them in between. when the vegetables are 80% done add ginger, garlic, cumin powder, salt and pepper powder. Addition of soy sauce is optional, if you would like to add 1tbsp should be enough. Mix all the ingredients well and cook in the open pan, allowing all the moisture to escape. The filling should look dry, if there is still any moisture left, keep stirring and cook it on medium flame till it becomes dry. Now take the curry and allow it to cool.

Take the spring roll sheets out of the refrigerator and cover them with a damp cloth, this will help them from drying out. Now take one sheet and put the filling on one corner as shown, roll it tightly and stick the final edge with all purpose flour.
Heat oil in  a skillet and fry them under medium heat and enjoy with ketchup/tomato sauce. Generally these spring rolls are deep fried, if you wish you can deep fry them either.
Hope you like my recipe.
Ill post several variations on this spring rolls soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!till then keep visiting my blog.

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Creamy Coleslaw

Need a side to go with that yummy grilled chicken?  Once again, before it gets too chilly, I wanted to put up one of my favorite summery bbq side dishes.  Coleslaw.  Ive tried many a coleslaw recipe and this one is definitely a winner.  It is full of flavor and really easy to whip up.  You need to let it sit at least an hour, but you could easily make it the morning of or even the night before your dinner.  Enjoy!

Creamy Coleslaw

Makes a lot, but adjust amounts for your needs

2 1/2 lb. green cabbage, cored and cut into 3" chunks, then finely chopped or shredded
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 large carrot, coarsely grated
1 1/4 c. mayonnaise
1/3 c. cider vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

Toss all vegetables in a large bowl with salt and pepper.

Whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar, then toss with slaw.  Chill covered, stirring occasionally, for at least 1 hour before serving. (for vegetables to wilt and flavors to blend)

Source: Epicurious
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Creamy Tomato Tuna Penne Pasta and the Great Tuna Melt Defense

This fast and easy creamy tomato tuna penne pasta recipe is inspired by one of my favorite lunches of all time; the tuna melt with cup of creamy tomato soup combo. Not only is this diner classic a great tasting meal, its also the basis for what I call, "The Tuna Melt Defense."

Whenever I hear chefs (usually young American ones, trained in Italy) say that you may NEVER add cheese to a pasta that contains fish or seafood, Im forced to use this argument to defend my firm belief that sometimes its okay to do just that.

Who can argue against the deliciousness of the perfectly made tuna melt? I dont know anyone that loves both cheese and tuna separately that doesnt enjoy this classic grilled sandwich. Throw in a cup of tomato soup and youre talking about one of the best lunches ever.

So, if this combination is culinarily acceptable at Joes Diner (by the way, this is the same diner those chefs I was talking about in the 2nd paragraph go to eat tuna melts after a late night out), then why in the world can’t we enjoy the same basic flavor profile in a bowl of pasta? I rest my case. Enjoy!

1 (6.7-oz) jar of tuna packed in olive oil
pinch of dried oregano (if not already in the oil)
3 cloves garlic
pinch of pepper flakes
1 teaspoon mashed anchovy filets or paste
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
3 cups high-quality cream of tomato soup
1/2 cup water
14.5-oz package dry penne pasta
1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
2/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, more as needed

View the complete recipe

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

How to Butterfly Stuff Roll and Tie a Pork Roast Like a Celebrity Butcher

Like almost all the videos I do, this tutorial for how to butterfly, stuff, roll, tie, and roast a pork loin was inspired by a viewer’s request. However, this was NOT your typical food wish, as it came via Chris LaFrieda, from the celebrated Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors! 

That’s right. America’s most famous butchers are fans of the channel, and asked me if I wanted to do a video with some of their fabulous meat. After carefully considering the offer for two or three seconds, I agreed, and we decided to show their technique for a rolled, stuffed, caul-fat-wrapped pork loin.

Not only do the LaFrieda’s star in their own TV show, "Meat Men," but their client list is a who’s who of the country’s top chefs. Their custom burger mixes are legendary, with the most famous being the Minetta Tavern’s “Black Label Burger.” Basically, if you’ve not heard of Pat LaFrieda Meats, you need to turn in your foodie card right now.

I tried my best to adapt their technique for the home kitchen, and as you’ll see, there really isn’t anything that even an average home cook couldn’t accomplish. For example, the butterflying may not look very elegant with all those slash marks, but in the end it will look amazing, and is a bit easier than the pro method.

As far as the caul fat wrap goes, you’ll need to go past the supermarket meat case, and talk to a real butcher. Anyone that can get you a large pork loin roast, like the one we used here, will be able to get you a half-pound of caul fat. It really is one of the keys to this procedure.

Pork loin is so lean, and by covering it in a thin layer of caul fat, you’re adding lots of moisture, as well as another layer of flavor. I highly suggest you find some, and if you don’t use it all for your roast, it makes a perfect casing for some sausage patties.

Anyway, a very special thank you to Chris LaFrieda, and the rest of the LaFrieda family for the opportunity to share this great technique. I hope you enjoy the video, and it gives you the confidence to try this exciting technique soon. Enjoy!

5-6 pound boneless pork loin roast, butterflied as shown
salt and pepper to taste (be generous, that’s a lot of meat)
3 cups any prepared bread stuffing recipe (ones with herbs and dried fruit will be particularly delicious)
caul fat, as needed
1 sliced onion for the roasting pan

Roast at 450 degrees F. for 15 minutes to sear.
Reduce heat to 325 degrees F. for about 1 1/2 hour OR until an internal temperature of 140 degrees F.

Pan Sauce Note: Once you remove the roast, you can add a splash of water to the pan, along with a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar if desired. Place over high heat and bring to a boil, scrapping the goodness from the bottom with a wooden spoon. Season to taste, and spoon over sliced meat.
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Amsterdam Maxi Forcing Carrots

Amsterdam Maxi Forcing Carrots

Ive been very resistant to the idea of planting "baby" carrots. My thought is we plant regular carrots and get baby carrots anyway, half the time. I see no benefit in planting carrots, covering them in burlap, watering them, weeding them, thinning them, waiting, waiting - then pulling them up and getting something dinky. Id rather get a nice big, fat carrot.

However, Mr, Ferdzy talked me into trying these, and I have to say Im extremely impressed. We planted them on August 9th, some in our wet bed - thick, sticky clay - and some in our dry beds, which are sandy and quick draining. They both did fabulously. William Dam says they are ready in 45 to 55 days, and they might have been, but we left them much longer (we picked the last on December 4th) and they held very well. Only a couple have split out of hundreds. We also had much less trouble with forking than usual, but thats because we have finally gotten the message: no manure please, were carrots. We were very slack about thinning them, and they just stood there shoulder to shoulder, mostly getting to a perfectly respectable size anyway. They pulled out easily, and while some were on the small side, at about 4 or 5 inches long, some got as long as a foot*, and a good width too, although none were really fat. And sweet! And juicy! And yummy! These are a real winner, and all this in an open-pollinated heirloom carrot.

I wouldnt want to plant them much later than when we did, but it was a good time. Our annual July drought was over, and we were getting some rain. As you may suppose by the planting date, they went in after we had harvested an earlier crop of beets and turnips - two crops from one space, very nice! Next summer we may try these first, with beets and turnips to follow and see how that does, as these would be an excellent summer carrot, as they are so crisp and juicy; delicious raw. William Dam says they store well. We have enough that we should be able to find out.

In spite of the name, which suggests to me Victorian market gardening and a Dutch origin, the earliest references I can find to the Amsterdam forcing carrot as a variety seem to be from 1948. Given the tendency of seed sellers to re-name vegetables if it seems like a profitable idea, these may well be an older variety than that. They may even be Dutch in origin, although they are certainly extremely popular in England. Apparently the Dutch grew many forced vegetables, including carrots, in the latter part of the 18th century, although the practice began to wane in the early 19th century. Holland is also the apparent origin of orange carrots in general; until the 16th century orange carrots were unknown or rare, most being a muddy brown, red, purple or white.

At any rate, I do intend to "force" some of these in the spring; that is, to plant them earlier then normal in our coldframe, and also under one of the plastic hoop-houses. Well see how they do, but I am optimistic. Also, I am not proposing to try growing carrots in pots, but if I were, this is probably the variety I would choose. Certainly they are a good choice for smaller gardens. Or anyone, really - theyre a great carrot.

*Not, admittedly, the ones planted in the clay. But they got long enough, and I did harvest that batch about a month before the others.
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These smashed potatoes are insanely delicious and a 
perfect accompaniment that doesnt require gravy, 
although if you so choose they’re fabulous that way too...

Prep:   10 Mins.
Cook:  15 – 20 Mins.
Servings: (8)


6 russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1” cubes
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon freshly-prepared bacon bits
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ cup shredded medium cheddar cheese


Add potatoes to a medium pot, cover with cold water.  Add a lid to pot and bring to a boil, reduce heat to a gentle boil, setting lid slightly ajar and cook until potatoes are tender for about 15 to 20 minutes.  Drain, and add all remaining ingredients, except the cheddar cheese, and smash to desired consistency.  Using a spoon, fold in cheddar cheese. ~ Enjoy!

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TGIGF Thank God it’s Good Friday!

Well, it’s been a hectic week around my kitchen this week, with beginning some private Chef work, and planning/experimenting for my one big catering event I do every year. I will share more on that in another post. But since I didn’t have time to do much filming this week, it gave me a chance to catch up on a few missing clips that had not been transferred from my old blog. Thanks to all my attentive fans who noticed the Beans and Greens clip that I mentioned in the Prosciutto Wrapped Prawns post wasn’t on the site. Same goes for the Bechamel clip. If you ever watch a clip on this site and I mention another clip that goes along with it, but you don’t see it anywhere, PLEASE let me know. Thanks.

I hope you all enjoy your Easter weekend. Whether you’re a Catholic or not, at least there’s going to be lots of chocolate around, so you’ve got that going for you. I remember growing up, trying to figure out the connection between Jesus rising from the dead, and my father hiding hard-boiled eggs in the bushes behind the house.

Stay turned for a whole week of new clips coming up including my attempt at individual Cheese Soufflés (an idiot proof version…btw, that was an inside joke for one of my viewers), Jerky Chicken (not Chicken Jerky), 12 Second Coleslaw (for real), and the “Perfect” Tuna Melt. One last Easter egg hunt tip for you kids; check the mail box, there’s always an egg hidden in the mailbox. Enjoy.
Photo above from Rakka.

Ill leave you with this White House Easter Egg hunt clip. Peggy, this ones for you...
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Happy Valentines Day! Six Sexy Supper Ideas for You and Your Sweetie

Here are some links to six previously posted video recipes that would be perfect for any Valentines diner. Theres something here for everyone, even a very sensual non-meat option. All these recipes are easy to shop for, simple to prepare, and relatively fast to cook.

I hope you all have a great Valentines weekend
. Enjoy!

Mushroom Ragout on Garlic Toast

Seared Top Sirloin Steaks with Pan Jus

Black Pepper Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Black Cherry Reduction

Classic Roast Rack of Lamb with Dijon Gratin

Chicken Marsala a la Ryan’s Cafe

Easy Indoor "Barbecued" Shrimp

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Cilantro Pesto de Esteban

Kick up the usual pesto with fresh, citrusy cilantro.

One of our favorite pesto recipes doesnt have a scrap of basil in it. Nope. Its a cilantro pesto- fresh, citrusy and different. Slather on salmon, corn on the cob, or toasted gluten-free bread. Spoon a dollop into spicy Mexican soups and chili.
Its been quiet on the GFG blog but not-quite-so-quiet here in our little casita by the windswept mesa. You see, a certain gluten-free goddess has been wrestling bare handed with some nagging health issues that living gluten-free hasnt squashed so far (whats up with that?). Im contemplating a post about it because I suspect what Im going through isnt exactly unheard of. In fact, Im willing to bet many gluten-free readers will be able to relate. 

And Babycakes, you know Im always one to share. But Im not quite ready to write about it. Im still in the thick of it- but finding some help, at last. And the past two days have been better. And so, I thought Id grab my camera and share a new pesto Esteban just whipped up after a quick trip to Wild Oats in Santa Fe today.

Cilantro Pesto de Esteban

Cilantro, it turns out, is not only a cool accompaniment to hot and spicy dishes and coconut milk sauces, it may be good for you. Cilantro is full of antioxidants and (perhaps?) helps the body to detoxify. Folklore has it aiding the liver in detoxification efforts. Whats not to love about that?


1 cup fresh cilantro leaves- we bought 1 large bunch of cilantro
1 large garlic clove
1/4 cup toasted almonds
1 roasted red pepper
2 ounces Asiago cheese, grated - for vegan and GF/CF, try nutritional yeast
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, as needed


Place the cilantro, garlic, almonds, red pepper and Asiago in a food processor bowl; cover and pulse until finely chopped. Begin adding a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and pulse to combine. Add enough olive oil to make a paste. 

Taste test for seasoning or texture adjustments.

Karinas Notes:

  • Serve a spoonful of cilantro pesto as a flavorful spike to soups and chili, stir-fries and hummus.
  • Slather it on your favorite rice pasta.
  • Use it as an appetizer spread with cream cheese and rice crackers.
  • Schmear it on a brown rice pizza shell and top it with spicy vegetables and shredded jalapeno pepper cheese.
  • Spoon it on a split baked potato and crumble goat cheese on top.
  • Use a spoonful to make a salad dressing: just add olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt and fresh ground black pepper; whisk till combined.
  • And dont forget quesadillas - this pesto would be fab on a grilled corn tortilla with sliced fresh tomatoes and shredded cheddar or goat cheese.

Okay, now Im getting hungry. Whens lunch?

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Rice with Lentils Mercimekli Pilav

This is a recipe that I and my collage roommates made and enjoyed a lot of times in our dorm kitchen. This was the tastiest thing we cooked.

1 1/2 cup white rice
1/2 cup green lentils
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil or butter
3 cups of water

-Boil lentils with 3 cups of water on medium for 20-30 minutes or until theyre cooked. Be careful not to overcook them. You dont want them mushy. When theyre cooked, rinse them well and set aside.
-Put oil in a pot and stir onions for 10 minutes.
-Add rice and keep stirring for 3-4 minutes until rice turns into a translucent color. [I used 1 1/2 cups of rice, but you can use as much as you want. Just do not forget that the ratio of rice to water is always 1 to 2]
-Add water and salt. Bring to a boil then turn it to low. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Then stir in lentils and cover again. Cook on low until rice soaks all the water (approximately 20 minutes).
-Turn it off and cover the top of the pot with a paper towel or a clean kitchen towel. Place the lid on paper towel and let rice sit for at least 10 minutes before you serve.
-Try it with yogurt.
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The holidays are QUICKLY approaching and we all will be making pies at one time or another.  Yes, you can buy ready made crusts, but they just are not as flaky and flavorful as a homemade crust.

This is BY FAR the best crust recipe I have ever made (and Ive made a billion or two). This recipe makes enough pie dough for THREE single crust pies.  It is VERY easy to work with and it has a little sugar and vanilla in it, so it has almost a sugar cookie flavor PLUS it is VERY flaky.


4 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups BUTTER FLAVOR Crisco shortening
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup ice cold water

Cut the shortening into the flour with a pastry cutter (or a couple of forks) until the shortening is about half the size of a green pea (seeing small chunks of shortening in the dough is a GOOD thing). 

Mix the sugar, salt, egg, vanilla and ice water together, until well mixed, then add it all to the flour-shortening mixture. Work it with your hands until everything comes together in a big ball. Try to do this fairly quickly so that the heat of your hands doesnt melt the shortening. No need to chill this dough, but it handles better if you let it sit covered on the counter for 10-15 minutes before rolling out.

If you are making a single crust pie, roll out a bottom crust, on a floured counter,to fit a 9" pie pan (makes 3). Make sure you dock the pie crust...that just means poke holes in it, like this: 

Click on Photo

Docking will help your pie crust lay flat as it bakes and you shouldnt get any big "bubbles". Some people use dry beans or raw rice in a foil "bag" to weigh down the pie crust and to keep it from bubbling up, but Ive never done that....your choice.

Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden, it should look like this:
Click on Photo

If you are making a two crust pie, put the fruit filling into the bottom crust and then brush the edges of the crust with a little egg white that has a few drops of water whisked into it (this will help "glue" the bottom crust to the top crust).

Roll out a top crust, on a floured counter, and lay it over the filled bottom crust.  Cut off the extra dough that hangs over the rim of the pie plate. Pinch the top and bottom crust edges together (or use a fork). 

After you have pinched the two crusts together, brush the top pie crust with more of the egg white wash (the same that you used to "glue" the edges ) and then sprinkle the whole surface, lightly, with granulated sugar.

Cut several small vent holes in the top crust.  Bake in 375° preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown (I usually leave it in for 45 minutes).

COOL PIE COMPLETELY BEFORE CUTTING if you want "perfect" slices. If you dont care if your slices are picture perfect, GO FOR IT, theres nothing like warm pie and ice cream.

See how flaky the crust is?

Single crust or double crust, this is a wonderful pie crust recipe.


NOTE:  You can probably use butter instead of shortening, although I have never done it and I have no clue what the result would be.

NOTE: Some people freak out about using shortening, however, shortening is vegetable based and has less calories and cholesterol than butter (plus it "bakes better").

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(NOTE FOR THE READERS WHO DO NOT KNOW ARISHA: Unfortunately Arisha is no beautiful lady in my neighborhood. It is one of the finest sweet dishes (Pitha in Oriya) made in Orissa. It is also made throughout South India but with different names).


Arisha Pitha has been my favorite sweet dish from my childhood days. It was not made in my home. So I had to rely on my friends and neighbors and eagerly waited for some festival to come by. However Arisha Pitha could be preserved for quite some time without the intervention of refrigeration. (There was no fridge those days, anyway). Therefore the supply was almost continuous in between festivals too. My neighbors loved me as a little kid and most of the time I used play in their courtyard. So when I used to get tired or pretended to be tired, I would get Arisha and may other pithas immediately to gain energy.

It has been always in my mind to make Arisha someday. You may ask what is so great about this pitha or sweet? Well I dont have the answer, in fact some people ,( my friends) never liked it beyond a bite or two. I just like it, and may be the childhood memories are playing a great role in this. Arisha is kind of obsession ( Joonoon) for me, one of my magnificent obsessions.

Dates with Arisha in the past had been disastrous. Either it came out too hard to bite or just disintegrated while frying. I am now doing lot of research to produce some thing which will be close to the one which lingers in my memory. ( I frequently receive consignments of Karnataki version of Arisha here in India or abroad, it is tasty but different and made of Sugar mainly. It obviously lacks the aroma of fried Jaggery base.)

It is very difficult to make, simply because it is based fully on cooking skill , which one can only acquire by participating in the making process and with a skilled persons ( like Mom, Grand Mom etc). So in absence of this, I am trying it out by talking to experts and reading.

After doing lot of research on internet I came across many publications but most were copied and pasted from one another. I took some ideas from my Boudi in Bangalore and Vijaya in Bhubaneswar, both are experts. The normal guidance was " come here we will make for you and teach you too, dont waste time trying on your own etc".

The other day I came across one recipe at " homeoriyafood.blogpost,", which referred to Moms method and not the bloggers. Well that was it, some thing real!!. It contained some key processes and had come from an experienced person. But it was not enough , as I said one had to participate in the making to perfect it.
So I decided to try it out based on the blog and with some possible conference call to Bangalore and Bhubaneswar, in case I was in trouble.


The ingredients are only three. But there were too many information about the ratio of ingredients. So I decided to stick to the proportion in homeoriyafood blog..

1. Rice 2 cups
2. Jaggery 2 Cups. ( Sugar doesnt give the true flavor of Arisha)
3. Water 1 cup ( I had information for using 1/4th cup to 2 cups, it was a big trouble to decide with such              wide variations.!!!)
4. Oil/ Ghee to fry ( approx  2 cups )


1. Wash and soak rice for 3-4 hrs, drain and air dry on a cloth or paper to remove adhered moisture.

2. Grind the rice in a grinder. The powder should not be too fine. ( It should be mostly close to Suji ( semolina) and some fine powder is OK.)

3. Crush Jaggery lump to small chunks and major 2 cups. ( Crushing to small chunks gives good measurement)

4. Take a thick bottom Kadai , add water 1 cup and the jagery, slowly heat to make a solution.

5. Start boiling the solution to foaming. Feel the stickiness without burning finger. ( This stickiness part is tricky to assess and must see some one doing it. I used an old method, I put 1/2 spoon of boiling Jaggery in  a cup of cold water to see it was not dispersing in water and one could hold the sticky mass and feel).

Boiling Jaggery being sampled

6. Start adding Rice flour to the mix slowly  and stir continuously.

7. Continue stirring as the mix thickens. This a tricky step. I didnt know when to stop. It remains quite fluid as it is very hot. Last time when the dough was formed it became a hard mass after cooling and could not do any thing further). So at the end I started taking out small portion and cooled fast to see if it remained a dough fit for shaping.

The Dough in the making , when should I stop ??

8. The dough would stop sticking , switch off burner and allow to cool .

9. Make round shapes like puri about  7 to 8 mm thick ( even thicker) and 3 to 4 inch in diameter. You may sprinkle rashi ( sesame ) to give a nice aroma, which goes well with Jaggery.

Shaped Arisha ready for frying 

9. Heat Ghee or oil in a Kadhai, thick bottom.

10. Fry the Pitha both sides under very low heat. It will turn  dark brown because of Jaggery.

11. The Arisha was quite tasty and finished too.

Arisha being fried, ( Oh! Poor dear!!) 

The pitha looks darker because Jaggery and it was difficult to control heat. Next time I would take a bigger Kadhai and fry 3-4 at a time to control heat.

Ready to eat


Many thanks to, Sm. Vijaya Nath, and Sana Bhauja for the recipe, useful tips and encouragement.


More research and a practical training


Dear Arisha , sorry I could not live up to your full expectation this time. But trust me I will make it up during our future dates. Will miss you really...
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Monday, December 23, 2013

HIWWI DKNY Striped Crew Neck

{DKNY Striped Crew Neck, $175}

The other day as I was pulling up to a red light, I saw a woman walking on the sidewalk wearing a black and white striped crew neck with coral-ish shorts. 

"Super cute," I thought. When I finally slammed on my brakes came to a complete stop, I was able to get a better look. Girlfriend was a HOT MESS: sloppy top, ill-fitting shorts, and frizzy hair. Obviously, the concept was a 10, but the execution was a 3.7, at best (and thats excluding the Russian judges scores). Well, she can be a hot mess all she wants, but I know a good idea when I see one, so today Im HIWWIing this classic B&W DKNY striped crew neck. 

Stripes are highly underrated in my opinion, which, by the way, is the only one that counts. They take an otherwise basic staple and fancy it up. And contrary to popular belief, they dont make you look wide. You know what makes you look wide? Being wide! Fortunately, stripes are getting their come-uppance this season, which makes them the perfect focal point to a casual summer get-up.

Member that hot mess of a girl I saw the other day? Well, like I said, she was wearing these coral shorts. I liked that idea, but I thought Id do one better and pair this top with these hot pink chino shorts:

{J.Crew chino shorts, $42.50}

The idea here is to be casual, so no belt. Just buy a pair that fit you right!

I envision myself wearing this outfit for the picnic Im forcing Kyle to go on with me. That is, of course, unless Im invited to a last-minute polo match or yacht brunch party. What Im getting at is that flats are really the best option here. I love these strappy, nude patent leather sandals:

{Sam Edelman Gigi sandals, $60}

This look is venturing into preppy douchebaggery territory, so to keep things from getting to waspy, I would have to add some funky accessories to the mix. This clever and colorful babushka ring is effing hilarious and makes sure to tell the world "Hey world, I am NOT a douche!":

{nOir Natasha Babushka ring, $190}

Also, you should throw this on. Because its pretty, thats why!!!!

{Ettika Braided Bracelet, $55}

Ive made a lot of progress, but for some reason I still cant push out the image of that hot mess girl that served as the inspiration for this look!

{Essie Barbados Blue polish, $7.50}

Methinks a swipe of shimmery blue polish adds the much needed razzle-dazzle element to this look. The memory of frizzy haired, droopy shorts, hot mess girl is fading fast, leaving only the remnants of this now fabulous look to prove she ever existed at all.
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