Recipe: My Mother’s Stuffed Artichokes (with Poll)


As far as I'm concerned there's only one way to enjoy a movie: cuddled up to a plate of stuffed artichokes. I've already managed to brainwash the rest of the clan into agreement. I started young with Ava - at 10 months old she became enamored when I found one the size of her head. Today - at just two years old - she's an artichoke eatin' pro. To enjoy your next movie with an artichoke, you just need three accessories: a giant bowl for the discarded leaves, napkins, and a small bowl of melted … [Read more...]

Recipe: Pistachio Date Balls


As far as I'm concerned, the best - and quite possibly the only way to time travel is to cook. Reading gets us only partway there - we dream ourselves into other times, other lands. But they remain just that - dreams. Visiting ruins gets us a little closer. But, at the end of the day, ruins are simply ruins - fragments of the splendor that what once was. But, when it comes to cooking food from ancient times? Instant time travel. In my mouth. When I cook I am potentially eating … [Read more...]

Recipe: Grilled Whole Wheat Pita Bread


Makes 8 Pita Light, airy, grilled pita bread spells summer. Flip flops and ice water. Sunglasses and big smiles. Making this recipe just might help you get to know your neighbors. After all, the fresh smell of grilled pita bread is nearly impossible to resist. As long as you're willing to share... So, let's take a cue from the fine people of Iraq and enjoy pita, just like they have in this region (not only the Middle East, but the Mediterranean and also the Balkans) for millennia. … [Read more...]

Recipe: Kulfi


Makes 4.5 cups The sweet, rich flavor of kulfi will transport you (and any toddlers you know) to India quicker than quick. No need for fancy equipment, either. Freeze the kulfi in any mold you have - I used plastic shot glasses from a party supply store. The two year-olds I polled had no problem with this. Ingredients: 1 12 oz can evaporated milk 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk 2 slices bread 1 cup cream, whipped 2 Tbsp pistachios 1 tsp rose water 1/4 tsp cardamom red food … [Read more...]

Recipe: Homemade Paneer/Panir (cheese)


Makes 1 block of cheese Cheese lovers, come closer. I have a secret to tell you. I never thought I'd be able to do this. I thought it would be hard. I thought I'd just waste a bunch of milk. I didn't. The truth is, the only thing standing between you and great cheese is a half gallon of milk, salt, and a little lemon juice. That's pretty ridiculous. And empowering. Trust me. If you've never made homemade cheese before, you'll delight in the simplicity of Indian Paneer. And … [Read more...]

Recipe: Plantain & Cheese Turnovers (Tortas de Plátano)


Makes 8-10 Imagine. It's the height of summer. You spend all day roughhousing with the ocean. When every muscle in your body is heavy, you lay down in the sand for an impromptu picnic with a package of street food - tortas. In less than a minute you make several cheesy, crispy, fried plantain tortas disappear into your happy belly.  After the last bite, you lick the salt from your fingers and drink a tall glass of water. You stretch out for a nap, still warm from the glow of a little too … [Read more...]

Recipe: Yucca Fries


Serves 2-4 I never thought the day would come. I never thought I would conquer the mighty yucca. This tuber has made sweat, cry, and is quite possibly be the reason why I blacked out and went crashing to the floor one night after eating way too many Bâton de Manioc - out cold for a good thirty seconds. To be fair, the next day the doctor blamed dehydration. Regardless, given my terrible past with this tuber, I have a deep need to remedy my track record, this time with yucca fries. Who can mess … [Read more...]

Recipe: Spanakopita (Spinach & Feta in Phyllo)


Makes about 18 triangles While I probably ate Spanakopita in Greece, I can't be completely sure. You see, I was much too busy singing "Some say love" to my first boyfriend while walking around ancient ruins, holding hands. Literally. We blushed occasionally. Our palms were sweaty. Gosh. Corny doesn't begin to describe it, but - even still - I will attempt to convince you of the wisdom of Bette Midler which, ironically enough, applies directly to the mighty spanikopita: It's the heart afraid … [Read more...]