Lessons in Indian

Since my friend Anjali visited last year and Jan and I got our first lesson on cooking Indian food (see Indian Feast Masala), we were not very good students. Jan made one other dish from Madhur Jaffrey’s Quick & Easy Indian Cooking (Stir-Fried Green Cabbage with Fennel Seeds, or bhuni bahdh gobi) for me to bring to my book club when the food theme for that night was Indian (we were discussing The White Tiger), and then, we made nothing else for a while.

And then, in typical fashion for us, suddenly it was all about Indian food. Though I’ve never been a fan of curry, dinners out and about (at North India Bar and Grill and Malabar Restaurant in Santa Cruz) convinced me that there was so much more than curry to get me excited about Indian. I learned early on that I love naan, and also all the different pickles and chutneys that go along with them. Continue reading

Black Forest Cupcakes & Oktoberfest

Last year, Jan and I couldn’t get our act together in time for an Oktoberfest party in October, so we hosted one in November and called it “Noktoberfest” (see Lederhosen and Lebkuchen). Continuing the tardy tradition, we managed to host an Oktoberfest celebration this October, but it’s taken me until November to write about it.  Maybe next year I’ll get them both done in October!  And a few years down the line, I might actually be on schedule with Munich, which begins the 16-18 day beer festival in late September. Continue reading