Parade.com: Broccoli and Pear Salad with Ginger Yogurt Vinaigrette

Broccoli and Pear Salad with Ginger Yogurt Vinaigrette

After a few years, it finally caught me. A type of cold that makes your muscles ache, gives knock-out headaches, and a non-stop running nose. There’s only so much chicken soup, orange juice and ginger tea I can take until my body starts feeling better. In between all the bland and mushy food, here’s a crunchy salad with sweet pears, lightly steamed cold-fighting broccoli and toasted almonds. Drizzle the spicy and immune building Ginger Yogurt Vinaigrette over the salad to finish this dish. With plenty of sleep and more good eating, I can’t wait to finally end this cold and (hopefully) escape it for a few more years.  Read more

Ginger Carrot Muffins

Carrot Muffins
Carrot Muffins

This is a first. Here it comes, “Summer, you were too hot for me.” There I said it. Out. Loud. Those are words of regret as I walk from two inches to six feet of snow by next winter. Being a child of the summer, I feel guilty. Those words are of the highest betrayal to my greatest love of the seasons. My love is now with the fair weather seasons of fall and spring. Summer smothered me with too much love this year.

I went to bed breathing in humid air. My skin was forever damp from the excessive sweating in our apartment sans air conditioning. The fan moved with me from room to room. My sunny disposition melted into an irritable attitude. Don’t. Touch. Me. Recipes requiring no oven were mandatory. Other food blogs enjoyed making pies, tarts and warm savory dishes. My food blog was mostly green salads, seared meats and frozen desserts. Luckily, there were a few cooler days to make birthday cakes, frittatas and enchiladas.

As August comes to a close, summer is dancing with fall. As this post is being written, Hurricane Earl isn’t being destructive, for it’s constructive. It brought cooler air. Such temperatures are a fresh breath of relief. I’m cooler, now. Read more

Spiced Golden Plum Sorbet

Spiced Plum Sorbet
Spiced Plum Sorbet

What book makes you to cry? I know of three. The first two are by Khaled Hosseini: The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. Dave Eggers’ What Is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng, is the third book. The stories center around unstable governments, conflicting religious beliefs, wars and family grief. All of the books are emotional. Particularly, when reading the first chapters about families who were living in peace with their daily routines and yearly cultural celebrations. Then the next chapters proceed to tell of tragedy, grief and lost. They end with the characters adapting to new lives, while living with vivid memories of their past. I once was reading one of Hosseini’s books in the middle of rush hour on the 4 train with tears welling up in my eyes. These books are page-turners. Eggers story is a true autobiography about one of Sudan’s Lost Boys. The other two have fictional characters, in which the stories are based on true events. All of the books capture a certain awareness about life. They’re reminders of what’s truly important in our so-called busy schedules: family and friends. Read more

Cold Mulberry Soup with Ginger Yogurt

Cold Mulberry Soup with Ginger Yogurt

Cold Mulberry Soup with Ginger Yogurt
Cold Mulberry Soup with Ginger Yogurt

Melissa Danielle of Honeybee Holistic sent a twitter request asking to swap my lemon balm for mulberries. Of course, I agreed to the swap, and we met outside of a subway station. Mulberry is a berry originally from Asia. White and red versions are found in North America, too. Prior to the swap, I can’t recall ever tasting the fruit. Maybe, somebody’s homemade liqueur has given me a taste. They’re not quite as tart, nor do they have the same sweetness as blackberries. I was curious about what type of dish to make with the mulberries. Sweets are easy to make, but a friend suggested a savory dish. A cold soup was the answer, and it’s perfect for a robust summer day. The soup is bursting of fresh flavors from the mulberries, vanilla, mint and the elderberry liqueur. The ginger yogurt is a sassy dollop of tang. The bonus: There’s little sugar in this soup, and it’s a healthier dessert or appetizer to a main course. Read more

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Shrimp and Ginger Sauce

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Shrimp and Ginger Sauce

Butternut Ravioli with Shrimp and Ginger Sauce
Butternut Ravioli with Shrimp and Ginger Sauce

It was an auspicious Saturday. The MTA had passengers transferring between local and express train lines because of repairs. Once in Brooklyn, I was relieved to finally be en route home. Then, the conductor played the last trick. The train was skipping a few stops, including my destination. I had to walk down a few flights of stairs to board another train. As the next train came to a stop, a striking man would notice me wearing a yellow halter dress. “Beautiful,” he thought. I took a seat in a separate car, unaware of his interest. Peering into the window, I saw the same man that had observe me a few minutes prior. At our destination, we exited onto the platform at the same time. Similar to a screenplay and cliché as it may seem, we saw each other at the same time. It’s one of those moments when other people move in a slow blur. “I’m going to love this man,” I thought. We slowly walked up the stairs, but our distance from each other was a few feet. I would frequently turn around to meet his intense stare. He’ll later joke with friends and family about his initial thoughts of me, “Hold on, baby… I’m coming.” Once outside, he gently tapped my shoulder to politely say, “Excuse me…” We walked through a park to talk about life. Then, he placed a right hand to his chest to say, “My heart… you’re different… my heart feels warm.” Read more