Shantihhh's Blogs

Spring Pesto

Spring Pesto Do you see little green clusters popping up in your garden? As I walk around I see over-wintered thyme, tall garlic chives, spicy oregano, blooming rosemary, vigorous Flat Leaf Italian Parsley, just planted basil, Pineapple Sage,... -

Dinner? From The Sea

These ocean creatures are very creepy and more terrifying than sharks. They are deadly, incredibly large, and they all are very scary.     Giant Halibut   Can you imagine swimming next to that thing? ... -

Rice Fields Of Japan - Amazing

PLANTING THE RICE By hand Measuring to keep the rows straight RICE FIELDS OF JAPAN - AMAZING Looks... -

Legumes The Source Of Inexpensive Dishes

I know many who won't eat legumes/beans for the fear of flatulence. Once you understand the cause of gas, it's fairly easy to remedy. Beans contain a sugar called oligosaccharide and we lack the enzyme required to break the sugar down. When the... -

Body’s Pot-like Substance Makes Us Crave Fats

Little did  you know that these innocent-looking potato chips were sending electrical signals from your tongue to your brain and eventually your small intestine. The message, which is "Eat more of me!" is received loud and clear. AP Photo by Damian... -

Real Food Festival Oakland, California This Weekend!

We're heading over to Oakland tomorrow for the first day of the second annual Real Food Festival .  This festival is all about real food, slow food, local food.  "Gourmet" or slow food is taking huge leaps here with "gourmet"... -

Couscous Old Trapani Style

COUSCOUS ALLA TRAPANESE ( Couscous Old Trapani Style ) A recipe by Chef Giuliano Bugialli (Dish picture by John Dominis) INGREDIENTS FOR THE SAUCE - 1 large red onion, cleaned and coarsely chopped - 1/2 cup extra... -

Heirloom Tomatoes

  Taste Test: Heirloom Tomatoes Juicy tomatoes are at their peak, and that means farmers’ markets are exploding with heirloom varieties.  Heirloom tomatoes are special, because cultivators have saved the seeds and passed them... -

Coconut Crab

How would you like to find this on the side of your trash can!!!!!!! (or anywhere!!!!) -- Our friends in Australia sent us a picture of a Coconut Crab.   This is pretty interesting.....   Coconut  Crab (Birgus  latro) is the largest terrestrial... -

Big Tomato Sale Sf Bay Area

Heirloom Tomatoes    Announcing a wonderful heirloom tomato sale which benefits victims of the Haitian Earthquake is being held by Bountiful Garden. Founder Frank Huguenard has been growing heirloom tomatoes for several years with... -

What Is An Artichoke

Artichokes are a very popular vegetable grown in Mediterrean type climates (Italy, Spain, France, Greece, California, etc).  However they are available frozen (hearts) and in jars or cans world-wide.  Artichokes is called " Sharifa " or "... -

The Gm Tomato That Stays Fresh For Six Weeks - But Would You Want To Eat It?

I love heirloom tomatoes not the tasteless, cardboardy hybrids sold in most grocery stores.  We grow heirloom tomatoes in our garden.  In fact our whole family does.  Why?  Cost, flavour, freshness, and so on.  Then I read the article below and I simply... -

Top Five Food Trends At Winter Fancy Food Show

Announcing Top Five Food Trends at Winter Fancy Food Show San Francisco (January 18, 2010) – The top five food trends for 2010 have been picked by a panel of food experts at the 35th Winter Fancy Food Show   in San... -

Loy Krathong

Loy Krathong is celebrated on the Third Lunar Moon in November (Nov 3rd this year).  This festival is celebrated all over the Kingdom of Thailand.  A Krathong is shaped often using banana leaves woven into a lotus shape with flowers, then a candle and... -

Phuket Thailand Annual Vegetarian Festival

photo- It is Vegetarian Festival time in Phuket. Held on the first 9 days of the ninth Chinese lunar month.  This annual festival this year runs October 18 ending October 26, 2009.  During this time Thai-Chinese... -

A Glance At Gujarat

  Gujuarat textiles are of marvelous colours.     Gujarti is one of the 14 main languages of India.  There are nearly 2000 languages in totral in India.  They are not writen the same as in Chinese languages.  English is the... -

Garden Time!

Yesterday was a scorching hot day in the mid 90's.  Today it is already 95 deg F in the shade at 2 PM and will keep climbing until 5 or 6 PM.  Tomorrow it will cool off back to the mid 70's or so.  Unfortunately yesterday was the first time I... -

Delicious Basil Recipes

  Homemade: Ciabatta with Pesto, Provolone Cheese , Tomato, and Basil & Persimmon     All you need is fresh basil    100% beef with onion and herbs.  We served them... -

Basil Sorbet-beautiful And Great Flavours

Basil and Red Fruit Sorbets Making sorbet is so easy.  When fresh fruits are in season is the best time to make fruit sorbet.  In these suggestions fresh garden basil is also used.  I like using Thai basil, purple basil and regular green... -

Fregola Sarda

Fregola Sarda ( freh -goh-lah sar -dah) Toasted breadcrumb-like pasta from the island of Sardinia In its March 2006... -

Easter (pascha/vaskrs) Menu

Western Christians celebrate Easter on April 12 2009. Orthodox celebrate  Pascha/ Vaskrs April 19 2009. Christos Voskrese! Vaistinu Voskrese! ... -

We Did It!

  Dear Kitchen Gardener ,   (Begin pinching yourself now) "Obamas to Plant White House Vegetable Garden" On Friday, March 20th, 2009, 23 third graders will join First Lady Michelle Obama on the South Lawn of... -

Goodbye Natasha

Tony-award winning actress Natasha Richardson died today, March 18 in New York City hospital  at the age of 45 after a skiing accident. The actress had been transported back to New York City from Canada, where she suffered a head injury after... -

Frieda's A Foodie

Freida Pinto picture: Viral Bhayani Frieda is a Foodie!   She is a non-vegetarian, adores Italian cuisine and especially seafood such as seafood risotto with porcinis is a favourite. Amongst Indian... -

Slumdog Takes 8 Awards!

 Indians, led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, today welcomed the success of “Slumdog Millionaire” at the Oscars, cheering most for the best music award given to the composer A. R. Rahman . “Slumdog” won eight awards at the... -

Gau Jal

  I did a double take when I read about this new drink to be launched in India.  As a non-Hindu I can't fathom drinking this.  Of course I have read of health benefits off drinking mare's urine by some, and camel urine.  I also remember... -

Cuisine Of Brunei

Brunei? Now where is that you ask, according to Wikipedia " Brunei Darussalam , officially the State of Brunei, Abode of Peace, is a country located on the north coast of the island of Borneo, in Southeast Asia. Apart from its coastline... -

Culinary Journey To Boston

Boston Seafood BOSTON - New England without fresh seafood would not be New England! If you love fresh seafood, and who doesn't head for Boston for a culinary holiday. Ever since Colonial days fishermen have been pulling... -

Boston - Culinary Delights Part 2

  Photo Credit: Greg MacKay   Cambridge, MA is just across the river from Boston proper. Being a huge fan of Chris Schlesinger's we head out for dinner one evening to this mecca of hot and spicy seafood, The East Coast... -

Boston - A Culinary Delight

Food, in a wide combination of styles, from many different ethnic roots, served using the finest fresh ingredients from the land and sea.   Historical buildings and architecture that go back to some of the deepest American roots and include the oldest... -

The Wild Side Of Mushrooming

 The wild side of mushrooming I love wild mushrooms!  Many of our finer local restaurants feature wild mushroom dishes.  They opt to buy foraged wild mushrooms from qualified expierenced harvestors. Unfortunately there are... -

Tomato Conversion Chart

Tomato Conversion Chart               California processed tomatoes are Always in Season!   This handy... -

Tumeric-tasty And Healthy Too

Tumeric flower Tumeric has recently been found to have MANY attributes.  It has been key in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. To learn of it's many uses: -

Back To The Table

Alice  Waters  is one of the best-known and most influential American chefs since the 1970s.  She is the pioneer of eating fresh local foods which caught on across the US.  To me it is the French attitude in California.   She... -

10 Superfoods

These 10 super-foods have been proven to be disease fighters and energy boosters. Be sure and include  them in your meals and get on the fast track to a super-healthy body. Lemons Why Are They so Healthy? -- ... -

Thanksgiving Humor

Thanksgiving With Maxine    -

Warning-halloween Candy May Be Tainted

Possible tainting of Halloween candy from Target , etc. made in China may contain melamine !! USA Food Supply May be Tainted? . . . Halloween Candy? SPREAD THE WORD! Are the Foods we eat TAINTED By Melamine... -

Dangers Of Frozen Food Products

  Zapping frozen meals in the microwave may be fast and easy, but it also can make you sick if it's not done properly. The U.S. Department of Agriculture once again is warning consumers to read the label when cooking frozen chicken entrees... -

Chicken Cacciatore - "my Way"

I made this for dinner a few nights ago.  It was the first time I had made this in many years-so it is a "new" version but very classical in flavour.  Chicken Cacciatore is a perfect fall or winter meal.  You can make this ahead of time for... -

Rancho Gordo Dinner At Toloache

Just have to share this fun upcoming event in NYC.  Steve Sando a long time foodie-friend has just written a book on one of his favourite crops-beans.  Steve founded Rancho Gordo several years ago and was chosen as the Napa Valley representative to attend... -

Scharffen Berger Chocolate

photo by Shana Ray September 19, 2008  Dr. Robert Steinberg, who was a foodie,  died this week at the age of 61 after a 20 year battle with cancer.  He was a family physician... -

Slow Food Sf Event Part 2

60,000 peaople attended the first ever Slow Food Nation event to be held in San Francisco.  All wandered the Victory gardens, listened to various speakers, tasted of the bounty displayed by growers, talked about this exciting first for SF Bay Area, and... -

Slow Food Sf Event-part 1

Civic Center, San Francisco on a gorgeous sunny day with clear skies was the perfect venue for the first ever San Francisco Slow Food Event.  Over 60,000 people attended the Slow Food Nation last weekend.  It was a bit too warm in the city for comfort as... -

Food Trivia Quiz

  Food Trivia Quiz 1) Fish oils are high in omega-3 fatty acids and help reduce the risk of heart disease . However, taking too many fish oil capsules can be dangerous. What is the danger of overdosing on fish oil capsules? 2) Can... -

Slow Food Event-count-down.................

Slow Food Event of the Year San Francisco August 29 to September 1, 2008 For a listing of the events Labor Day weekend,... -

Culinary Delights In Beijing

Culinary Delights in Beijing I have traveled to China many times in both the country-side and large cities including Beijing.  I just know somethings are better  to skip eating!  I am adventuresome, but not this adventuresome. ... -


Curious creature caught off Keahole Point The animal, dubbed an "octosquid," is found off the Big Isle It's a squid, it's an octopus, it's ... a mystery from the deep. -

Tips On Choosing The Best In Seafood

Seafood is very popular in most of Southeast Asia. Healthy quick meals can be easily made with seafood, but freshness is key. Here are some tips on choosing the freshiest seafood. Tips on choosing the best in seafood Shrimp and Prawn Tips ... -

Bacon Is Healthier Than Talapia?

Tilapia worse for you than bacon? Give me a break! photo by Rich Kaszeta Perhaps you caught the recent headlines: Bacon is better for you than tilapia!  I said HUH?  How can that be?  ... -

Water Chestnuts (singhada)

In India a man harvesting the beloved water chestnuts Water chestnuts are often used in Chinese cooking.  The knobby vegetable with the papery brown skin is a staple in Chinese cooking. The water chestnut is actually not a nut at all, but an... -

Pepsico Announces Launch Of Stevia-sweetened Beverage

Good news for those watching calories and especially diabetics.  It was just announced that PepsiCo and Whole Earth Sweetener Company are partnering to introduce a breakthrough, zero-calorie, all-natural sweetener from the stevia plant. It's called... -

" The Overflowing American Dinner Plate "

 American food consumption increased from 2.3 pounds per person per day in 1970 to 4.1 pounds per person per day in 2006.     I find the areas of increase and decrease very interesting. ... -

Manapua- "hawaiian" Snack Food

 A long time favourite in the islands a "Hawaiian" snack food called manapua is actually the classic Chinese dim sum offering char shu bao, or steamed pork buns. Chinese indeed, but adopted and renamed by the inhabitants of the Hawaiian islands,... -

Interesting Facts About Tomato

As most of you know I am a TomatoManiac!  I grow many heirloom tomatoes each year, as the whole family loves them.  Tiffiny, Andrew, Marko and Melania love the cherry tomatoes and eat them like candy.  I grow a rainbow of colours-Sungold (orange-yellow),... -

Are You Doing Your Part?

Many schools are taking steps to help our children make healthy food choices.  Some schools here in Northern California have even set up school gardens where children learn first hand of organic vegetable growing.  They help plant and tend the vegetables,... -

Burger King Launches World's Most Expensive Hamburger

  Burger King Launches World's Most Expensive Hamburger Thursday, June 19, 2008     Burger King After six months in development, Burger King has launched "The Burger," a... -

Chocolate With Summer Fruits

 If you live in Kansas City you can order this from Decadent Chocolate Torte topped with Summer Fruit        If you live in Kansas City you can order this from ... -

The Many Uses Of Tea

We all know that tea leaves make a great brew for drinking both hot and cold, with or without milk or sugar.  Some prefer lemon in their tea, or a chai masala. Here are a few uses for tea: The first tip is one I often used with my children... -


Just received this from long time ChileHead friend, Dave DeWitt and it brought back memories of my first encounter with fresh Mulberries.  Steve and I were sitting at an outdoor table on the island of Korchula sipping a glass of wine whating birds eagerily... -

Book Review: Beyond The Great Wall By Jeffrey Alford And Naomi Duguid

Beyond the Great Wall: Recipes and Travels in the Other China by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid Artisan, 2008 Hardcover, jacketed; $40.00; 1378 pages List... -


One of my favourite places in all of the world, Copia, is located just minutes away in Napa.  It was the vision of Robert and Margrit Mondavi to provide a showcase   COPIA is a non-profit discovery center whose mission is to... -

Robert Mondavi, 1913-2008

Robert Mondavi, 1913-2008 The visionary vintner, who died May 16, helped usher in a new era for California wine, bringing the state to international prominence along with his famous namesake -

Tesco's Fresh & Easy

5/15/08 Tesco's Fresh & Easy Reassessed  Tesco reports it's new business on the west coast of the US was producing "a promising early performance".       I really was excited... -

Scarpetta Nyc

 Scarpetta,  is an Italian dialect word for the piece of bread you use to mop up the sauce in the bottom of your bowl.   Apropos for this new venture of  Scott Conant. Scott Conant, Nicola Bibini e Moreno Cedroni (chef)  ... -

Savoury Cheesecakes

When you think of cheesecake - what do you envision?  Most of us think of the smooth creamy sweet texture wit a graham cracker crust with strawberry or cherry topping, but here is a real switcharoo for cheesecakes - savoury cheesecakes as a first course. ... -

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!  Today is Orthodox Easter (Greek, Serbian, Russian, Bulgarian, Coptic, etc.)  I found this wonderful blogg by Medena which shows how to dye these Easter Eggs as they used to do with onion skins and the leaf patterns in Serbia: ... -

Food Art

Some people are so  clever. <;current=food009.jpg> ... -


I love cilantro and often use it for curry pastes, for a pesto, n pizza, salsa, sandwiches, adorning Mexican dishes, salads, ceviche, etc.  It is fairly inexpensive at less than a buck for a huge bunch, but I usually only need a few sprigs at a time.  Now... -

Environmentally Responsible Packaging

In celebrating Earth Day the first thing that comes to mind is the needless excessive packaging of consumer goods.  I am appalled when I buy an item and the packaging is 10 times larger than necessary for the item.  That unfortunately is the norm at such as... -

Spirit Of Wellness Drives Bottled Water Growth

Nielsen may have predicted that bottled water sales has experienced a 10.5% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) in the last five years, it is the spirit of wellness that is driving the growth. What explains this is the fact that consumers are looking for... -

Top Us Companies

    1. Wal-Mart Stores 2. Exxon Mobil 3. Chevron 4. General Motors 5. ... -

Rice Shortage

Rice is stored at a National Food Authority warehouse at Manila, the Philippines , on April 17. MOUNTAIN VIEW , California — Many parts of America , long considered the breadbasket of the world, are... -

Pascha-the Great And Holy Feast

Romanian Easter Eggs-beautifully hand painted. Greek traditional easter treats prepared and kindly offered by the Pendeli orthodox monastery of Transfiguration.  by stephmel Orthodox Easter Sunday will be celebrated... -

'pesach' Or Passover

Seder Plate by Jackie Designs                                                                                                        ... -

The Road Not Taken

Early in my high school days I read this poem when I was studying great American poets. The words spoke very loudly to me at the age of 14, an age of the beginning of many choices in life.  It has been my mantra ever since.  My husband experienced the same... -

Square Watermelons!

Inventive Japanese farmers use cubes of translucent plastic to grow watermelons to better fit inside refrigerators. Farmers in the southern Japanese town of Zentsuji have figured out how to grow their watermelons so they turn out square. ... -

Onions Are Healthy

 We love onions and use them in many recipes.  I was delighted to learn they are really healthy! A naturally occurring plant compound found in onions may reduce high blood pressure if consumed regularly, according to a new study conducted by... -

Apple A Day

This Mutsu apple is almost as big as she is! German researchers recently investigated the connection between butyrate production in the colon in the presence of apple pectin and juice. As noted by the researchers, it has been suggested that butyrate... -

Caffeine And Alzheimer’s Disease

As noted in a press release last week, researchers from the School of Medicine & Health Sciences at the University of North Dakota recently studied the effects of caffeine on the interrelationship between elevated cholesterol levels and Alzheimer’s... -

Interesting Facts About Asparagus

Asparagus or as we call it here "Delta Grass" is always the sign of Spring!  There are so many wonderful ways to use asparagus whether grilled, steamed or in a stirfry.  I especially love Purple Asparagus as it is beautiful and touch sweet. ... -

Beyond The Great Wall

I am a huge fan of Canadian husband-wife team Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford.  Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford  I own every book they have written and literally savour and devour  every word, photograph and recipe in... -

My Bombay Kitchen

    My Bombay Kitchen: Traditional and Modern Parsi Home Cooking This amazing book by local well known food-guru Niloufer Ichaporia King has been nominated for the James Beard Asian Cookbook... -

Campbell's Soup

Heart healthiness is one of the biggest challenges Americans face, and building awareness is more than half the battle. Women, in particular, too often fail to realize its seriousness.   Only 13 percent of women know that... -

Pebble Beach Food & Wine Event

Pebble Beach Food and Wine is considered to be the premier luxury epicurean event on the West Coast. Hosted on one of the most pristine strips of coastline in the world, Pebble Beach Food & Wine celebrates 35 celebrity chefs and 200... -

Chef Lala On Martha Stewart Tomorrow

Chef LaLa will be on Martha Stewart's program tomorrow making Enchildas! March 13, 2008 THE MARTHA STEWART SHOW National   Now I don't know which type of enchilada's she will be making but... -

Bangkok Foodies

When you think of eating in Bangkok you probably don't think of Indian restaurants, but they for sure are some of the cities' best eateries.  In Little India we often have eaten at a small spot called Standard located down a grungy alleyway, but we -

Helpful Tips

Useful Information.....     Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to pick the little "stringy things" off of it.  That's how the primates do it. -

Cholesterol-lowering Products

Baby Boomers' Growing Demand Cholesterol-Lowering Products The influence of Baby Boomers on consumer goods culture is unmistakable. With a combination of spending power, high-value expectations and health... -

Picky Eater: Tumaro's Tortillas Better Than Sliced Bread

This from my local newspaper Picky Eater: Tumaro's tortillas better than sliced bread Jolene Thym Staff writer Contra Costa Times - Article Launched: 02/25/2008 10:12:36 AM PST ... -

Types Of Salt

There are many different salts of the world.  I especially like using Maldon salt as a finishing salt and French Sea Salt for much of my cooking.  Steve loves using various finishing salts often in conjunction with special herbs. This is an... -

St. Patrick's Day Traditions

"Everyone wants to be Irish on St. Patrick's Day," or so goes the saying. Judging by the number of people around that world that enjoy St. Patty's celebrations, it seems that the saying has never been truer.   Oxalis... -

Vindu Goel On Making Wine

By Vindu Goel When I look at the two cases of 2006 Juice Crew Red that now sit in my dining room, I still can't believe it: I helped make that wine. The delicious Rhone-style blend of grenache, syrah and petite syrah cost our band of... -

Goji Berries

  Goji Berries  have more vitamin C pound for pound than oranges. Scientifically controlled studies using vitamin C for colds show that it can reduce the severity of cold symptoms, acting as a natural antihistamine. The vitamin may be useful... -

India's Best Foods

MUMBAI:           Bombay, we once called it.....but now it’s Mumbai. And it is a favorite large city in India, with a dizzying array of dining options. You could, of course, eat here for a long time without finding anything... -

Dublin's Little Asia (san Francisco Bay Area)

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area affords us unlimited culinary choices. No mater where you live there are dozens of ethnic choices within minutes of your home and workplace. The world's largest office park is situated in Pleasanton, and the... -

Taste Buds To Inspire Kids

This new program doesn't  guarantee it could lead to children eating Brussels sprouts and carrots, but a new show scheduled to debut this fall on Canadian television is looking to entertain young kids and broaden their culinary horizons in the process. ... -

Spanish Cuisine

 I have been on a Spanish kick this week.  Perhaps it began when I took mom to the Spanish Table last week in Berkeley.  I keep thinking of the wonderful time we had the last time we were in Spain, or perhaps it was the bottle of Rioja we had this weekend,... -

Wines And Cuisine Of Spain

  Spain's wine culture is becoming ever-more varied and exciting.   -

Video-cam Bars

On a recent Friday evening at the Key West bar Hog's Breath Saloon, Mike Murphy was enjoying a Miller Lite and potato skins in the company of his wife and friends. Although not on reality television, his evening was broadcast online from... -

America's Best Sandwiches

Michael Schmelling Jimmy’s Favorite Jimmy and Drew’s 28th Street Deli, Boulder, Colorado Never mind that Jimmy and Drew left Chicago to sell meat in a vegan stronghold: They survive because they make everything... -