Here are two absolutely healthy simple yet delicious sides/salads to go with any Holiday dishes. Let’s get into them without further ado
From the sunset in the last day of autumn (Dec 20th) till sunrise in the first day of winter (Dec 21st) we have practically the longest night of the year in the northern hemisphere. And from then on, very gradually, days get longer until we hit the summer solstice six months later
Iranians mark “the longest and darkest night of the year” as Yalda, and have special rituals for it as they often do with other major celestial moments, namely Norooz, Persian New year on Spring Equinox and Mehregan, Persian Thanksgiving Festival around Fall Equinox
Loving Fall-color vegetables? Feeling cozy with the promise of snow in the air and the desire of a steaming potage to go with it? Well then, let us get started with some inspirations (and instructions) for some hearty, easy, spicy blended thick soups. Remember, you could absolutely use your intuitions and creativity with the types and amount of vegetables and seasoning. Here is my take though.
What do you do with your left over squashes after each Halloween? Leaving them out there for the squirrels to nibble at their leisure I guess, if they have been sitting there for too long!? Or perhaps, if the squashes are not too old, you would make a good use of them by turning them into puree, freezing them and using them in cakes, desserts and soups in the cold months ahead. Well, the latter is what I did this year.
Making squash puree is so easy I wonder why anyone should buy store cans! And of course, depending on the type of squash you use they make different tasting puree – from light yellow to dark orange in color. Below I will give a super easy way to make butternut puree – my favorite type of squash.
Here we are again with the King of all Seasons, Autumn; Autumn, a spring fallen in love, as Iranian poet ErfanPour describes it. پاییز بهاریست که عاشق شده ست. And here we are again, with the much loved and cherished Persian Fall Festival, Mehregan, the ancient Persian tradition to celebrate September Equinox, honor the god of justice, Mehr, and to be grateful for the harvest season and fall products.
What comes to your mind first, when you see or think of an apple? Eve? Newton? Steve Jobs? Or Fall and pie ?? Amazing how omnipresent apple is, isn’t it? And how diversified, beneficial and of course delicious this “forbidden” fruit of wisdom is.
Iranian culture and literature is full of apple-related references as well, and culinary wise, we cook with apple not only in the Fall but also in spring when a particular type of small sour apple is in abundance in some of Iranian southern cities such as Shiraz.
An end-of-summer favorite, sour cherries mixed rice is among the long list of Iranian polow — that is, plain rice layered with cooked or fried grains and herbs, vegetables, prunes or fruits. Sour cherries rice tastes- well, obviously, sweet-sour, it is dark-red in color, and is often served in large gathering either along with fried chicken on the side or with meat balls in the dish. Most importantly, just around this time of the year in Iran, an authentic albaloo polow is made with fresh, hand-pitted and home-processed sour-cherries.
Having been deprived of fresh sour cherries here in Montreal, I had been only dreaming about the good old days albaloo polow for the past couple of decades. I did embark on making this delicious dish with frozen and canned sour cherries more than once, but failed miserably each time, for the mix turned too mushy for the cherries to be even recognizable in the platter.
Before peach season is over, try this hearty and delicious dessert with fresh peach. I modified the original recipe a bit, and inspired by Iranian ice creams, also added dissolved saffron and silvered pistachio for topping. It turned tasty, pretty and fruity fresh!
Ingredients (serving 2)
Walnuts and almonds are so good for your health: they are said to prevent heart disease and lung and prostate cancer and nourish brain cells. Walnuts and almonds also contain healthy calories and healthy fats. In fact, those who incorporate these two nuts into their regular diet are said to be less likely to gain weight.
I love walnuts with my tea and feta for breakfast; and I usually use almonds on my salad. My favorite nut dish however, is the one on the picture. Just on its own, as a side dish, appetizer, filler, snack, and with bear as a chaser or “mazeh”.
This is another tempting recipe I tried from my friend’s blog, Saloomeh’s Kitchen, when I suddenly tumbled over my own cake-baking passion last year! – Sponge Cake layered, cleverly, with strawberry jam and cream. I got it only at the third go, though as it proved to be a delicate cake requiring extra gentle care and attention.
It feels so good to get something you first thought oh-so-hard-for-me, isn’t it!? Plus, this cake has no butter or oil in it which makes you feel less guilty eating it; it is not too sweat which suites my tastes to; it definitely looks so professional, and tastes absolutely awesome, especially if you mix the jam with fresh strawberries.