Tag Archives: menu

Enchanted Tiki Room Cocktail Party Menu

Although this menu came together as a part of FoodBuzz’s 24×24 for November, it has long been in the works. For as long as I’ve known, I’ve always wanted to throw a tiki party full of old school flair – think the Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland or a trip to fabulous culinary relic Trader Vic’s. Or a favorite from back in the day, the local tiki restaurant in my hometown of Alexandria, Virginia – Honolulu Restaurant. One step into the door transported you to an island oasis where the hula girls were always shaking their hips and the flaming volcano drinks left you forgetting that it wasn’t Hawaii waiting for you right outside the heavy wooden doors. It was a magical place, and the memory even more so (it closed almost a decade ago).

As the weather brings gusty cold fronts and the fireplaces flicker on one by one, I couldn’t help but think that it was high time to get a little silly, a little sassy, and throw a kitschy tiki party. Rather than listen to the endless strains of “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” I wanted to belt some Mele Kalikimaka reminding me that just because Christmas is right around the corner, it didn’t mean that I couldn’t pretend that there were palm trees swaying outside. Well, actually, there are since I live in Arizona, but I digress. Continue reading Enchanted Tiki Room Cocktail Party Menu

An Interview with Food Blogger Devaki Das

I “met” Dev (and I employ ironic quotes here because, like so many other food bloggers, we’ve yet to meet face-to-face) through the fabulous foodie network, FoodBuzz. A hive of self-proclaimed culinary nerds and cheffie mavens alike (the two go hand-in-hand), the site offered a way for folks to dish and compare techniques online.  Dev has always been a champion of what I like to call the “fearless global kitchen” – she crafts recipes that cull ingredients from all points of the globe, and the words and images on her wildly popular blog, Weave a Thousand Flavors, speak to her passion for cooking.  Though Dev is originally from India and a true globetrotter in every sense of the word, she has ties to both Phoenix, Arizona and Northern Virginia (two locales that many of you know I call home). I chuckle at the feeling of the world getting smaller and smaller, and am happy that once again, that darned kooky internet proves indispensable in allowing me access to such brilliant souls. I was truly honored to make her acquaintance a few years back, and am even more excited to introduce her to you!

Roasted Apple, Brie and Thyme Soup


Dev offers us this ultra-luxe soup to add to our culinary arsenals, light and silken enough to be served on the hottest summer day, but richly-scented with honest flavors of fall. How often do you get to serve a year-round classic? Now’s your chance! Get the Recipe

How did you decide to become a food blogger?
At the risk of sounding pretentious, I knew that there was a reason for my love and passion for food and cooking. I have been cooking since I was 9 years old and all my knowledge has been acquired through true grit experience. I am self-taught. And I believe that my knowledge is meant to be shared. If one person can cook, make a dish well that they would never have been able to accomplish previously, then the blog is doing what it has set out to do. I want to help people cook and be proud!What is your earliest memory in the kitchen?
The first dish i ever made at age 9 was a vegetable pilaf, the onions were nearly black but it was my first leap into the kitchen and I have never looked back since.

How would you describe your cooking style in three adjectives?
Honest, impulsive and organic (not in ingredients but in style) I never decide where a dish is going to go. I begin and then let each step unfold into the next.

How has cooking for your website changed the way you approach the kitchen and ingredients?
I now not only think of my hubby and 2 little boys, I think of what my unseen readers might want to eat this week….lol….

What food trends or ingredients do you currently have a crush on?
Pies….I am so glad pies are the new black. Am so over the cupcake!

What are your favorite foods to prepare just for fun?
Salmon, Asian style ceviche and baking honest, fresh fruit cakes and of course pies. I am one pie crazy girl. If only they’d love me back and the scale would stay the same after a slice!

What is your favorite food destination and why?
Thailand – Few places come close to the honest creative, incredibly fresh flavors of authentic Thai food served in street corners and in the villages. Unforgettable!

Describe your most favorite meal.
My dad’s Yakhni Pilaf with Goat Meat

What is your favorite comfort food?
Choley Bhatura – Indian style chick peas with puffy fried bread.

What is the one food or dish that you wish people would never eat again?
Shark fin – I don’t want a soul to suffer so I can enjoy a meal. I guess my 9 year old son has rubbed on me :)

Who inspires you in the kitchen?
All the GREAT cooks in the world – gracing humble kitchens, street corners to commercial kitchens. Talent comes in all forms and irrespective of geography and has no barriers – social or economical. There are people all over the world, many unknown, many widely known – like O’Connell, Keller, Batali, Ducasse that have enormous, God-given talents – it keeps me humble and grounded.

What is your creative process in crafting new recipes and dishes?
It begins with a hint of a concept in the corners of my mind. I then mull over it – much like a ruminant cow (smiles) and then I allow the idea to naturally come together. I always sense intuitively once the idea is ripe. I never push and struggle with an idea, just let it flow naturally and form.

What technique or skill do you believe is most important for home cooks to acquire or improve upon?
Overcome your fear! Have confidence! Rule the technique, rule that spatula – don’t let it rule you.

Bistro Menu for Beginners

Just like those cheesy radio ads for ‘bama night clubs on the late-night R&B stations, this menu is for the “grown and sexy…” *giggle* Actually, kidding aside, it’s for anyone looking for a romantic meal with a heavy wow factor and very little actual labor involved.  The kind of dinner you want to throw together when your anniversary falls on a weeknight and you can’t jet your loved one off to Paris mid-week.  Or if you’re looking to treat a foodie friend to something impressive, but are a little nervous wielding a knife in front of them.  This menu is as confident as you’ll be puttering around the kitchen, attending to perfectly seasoned dishes for the steamiest of affairs.  And it’s up to you whether you choose to play Coltrane or Chaka Khan in the background – that’s for you and your date du jour to figure out. Continue reading Bistro Menu for Beginners

Gnocchi Feast Menu

Recipe for The Daring Kitchen
When I first learned about The Daring Kitchen, I was excited to join a group that would provide me with monthly culinary inspiration. This month’s assignment (and my very first with TDK) was created by Steph from Stephfood, our Daring Cooks’ July hostess. Steph challenged us to make homemade noodles without the help of a motorized pasta machine. She provided us with recipes for Spätzle and Fresh Egg Pasta as well as a few delicious sauces to pair our noodles with! Steph also encouraged us to make noodles that celebrated our culinary heritage.

In that I had just done quite a bit of pastamaking as part of the Feast of the Seven Boars (along with doughs of all kinds for all of my potsticker exploits), I asked Steph if gnocchi were legal within the strict rules of the challenge. She explained that they were and off I went on a journey into dumpling majesty on a whole new level. Continue reading Gnocchi Feast Menu

Homemade Limoncello

Foodbuzz 24 x 24 | An Ode to Orvieto

This recipe was a part of a special menu for Foodbuzz’s June 2011 food blogger party, 24×24. Showcasing posts from 24 Foodbuzz Featured Publisher bloggers, the monthly Foodbuzz 24 highlights unique meals occurring around the globe during a 24-hour period. Read more about my meal along with all of the other recipes at An Ode to Orvieto.

I know some folks might be surprised by this claim, but the majority of limoncello offerings here in the states are straight rocket fuel.  Sure, the lovely bright taste of lemon is first and foremost on the palette, but most immediately smack you in the face shortly thereafter with bitterness and pure, unmellowed alcohol.  My very first trip to Italy included a tour of Sorrento, the dreamy southern town known for their luscious lemons coaxed into deliciously smooth limoncello.  And yet, the gorgeous lemon liqueur doesn’t really seem to be available here other than a whole lot of fully-loaded (to the point of noxious) imposter cousins. Continue reading Homemade Limoncello

Simple Summer Barbecue

I actively eschew the cold – if anyone was born to relish in the blissful summer, it was me.  Sunkissed skin and bare toes.  A swing or two in the hammock or a walk along the sandy shore.  And dad firing up the grill next to the side porch, with the lot of us sitting on the steps (dogs included), sipping a cold beer waiting for the meat to finish up.  I live for those days.

This menu is not only a celebration of those lazy summer evenings when we’d tuck into thick steaks seared on the grill, but also an ode to the perfect produce of the summer.  Farmer’s market tomatoes, string beans, potatoes and greens all have a home in bright and glorious side dishes.  Rosemary works as both a flavoring and a utensil. And the skill required to prepare this meal is minimal – feed a few or a dozen with little to no effort other than chopping a veg or two and flipping on the grill. And that’s not even including any delegation – get some mark to shuck your corn or snap your string beans and you’re living easy. Which is entirely what summer is all about.