A Boy Named Jay

Jay-smallpic

Jay

Hello all!

I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted here, but I have some exciting news that– I am almost certain– will make you forgive me.

Most of these past few weeks, Desi and I were in India on a life-changing mission. We were there to bring home our little boy, Jay.

Jay is a pert, happy six-year-old who likes singing to himself, drawing, and striking up conversations with people, even those who he barely knows or barely understands (he doesn’t speak much English right now). His past two years were spent in an orphanage in Mumbai, India (also my city of birth) and we have known for several months now that he is destined to spend the rest of his life as our son.

We met Jay for the first time on October 23rd– our only interaction with him before this had been fortnightly phone calls to the orphanage when he’d recite poems he’d learned at school for us in his tiny voice and ask us “to put a lock on the house and come here to pick me up.” When we did finally meet him, we felt like we already knew him. And he was happy to embrace us wholeheartedly — although we were not picking him up that day because of more pending paperwork, he informed us that he had his bag all ready and packed to go…. 

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Chocolate Strawberry Shortbread

Chocolate Strawberry Shortbread Bars

I had a craving for something chocolatey and sweet the other day, and these Chocolate Strawberry Shortbread Bars, I discovered, were exactly what my sweet tooth was asking for. There is a layer of chocolate shortbread in this recipe, and a layer of regular shortbread, and then all of this shortbready goodness is topped off by… 

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Thai Noodles

Thai Noodles in a Spicy Peanut Sauce

So can you stomach meat produced in a lab? Humane meat, meat that did not come at the cost of an animal’s life, meatless meat that tastes like meat but just isn’t? If you’ve been alive in this century, you know that there are efforts afoot to produce meat from lab-cultured stem cells. And although… 

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Chana Jor Garam

Chana Jor Garam

This spicy-tart chickpea snack, which translates from colloquial Hindi to “super-hot chickpeas,” comes straight from the streets of my hometown, Mumbai. Or perhaps it’d be more apt to say it comes straight from the beaches of Mumbai– those  noisy, colorful, crowded stretches of sea and sand that surround this noisy, colorful, crowded city. Life in Mumbai… 

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Sundried Tomato Quiche

Sundried Tomato Quiche

The perennial herbs have sprung back to life in my backyard, and I am having a lot of fun cooking with them. One of the best parts of spring and summer is being able to pick handfuls of herbs from the vegetable garden. Every year, the thyme, sage, mint, chives and garlic greens resurface, sunny and… 

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Mushroom Paratha

Mushroom Paratha

One of my favorite times of the day is opening up emails you send me, and over the weekend I got this message from a reader, Ruth.  “I could eat Indian food every day – both northern and southern,” wrote Ruth who learned to cook from Indian friends. “So please post more Indian recipes.” I looked through the… 

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Pasta Gratin with Cauliflower Chickpea Sauce

Pasta Gratin with a Cauliflower Chickpea Sauce

I think I am in love. Truly, madly, deeply in love. Or at least as much in love as one can be with a pasta. I had been wanting to make a cauliflower sauce for my pasta — isn’t it all the rage? — but I’ll admit that as much as I love cauliflower, I am… 

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Lentil Tacos

Fat-Free Lentil Tacos

Come closer and I’ll tell you a big, fat secret: these are quite possibly the best tacos ever. The filling’s creamy and flavorful, the whole-wheat tortillas are soft and fluffy, and the toppings– roasted red peppers and salsa– take them from simply superb to simply sublime. But here’s the most wonderful part: these tacos are absolutely fat-free…. 

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Avocado Pasta

Pasta Avocado

This is a creamy, dreamy pasta recipe to die for, and I am kicking myself because I didn’t think of it before. My Pasta Avocado — or Avocado Pasta — comes from a combination of my two favorite cuisines — Italian and Mexican. And it’s so simple, you can put it together in minutes, really, with a… 

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Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Sundays in our home can feel rather busy. There are calls to be made to India, a dog to walk, errands to run, a house to clean, and food to cook. Sometimes, when it feels like the time is getting away from me and I cannot handle one more thing to do, I whip up this… 

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Masala Dosa

Quick Masala Dosa

As much as I wish I could spend all day in the kitchen cooking a slow and leisurely meal,  there are times — most times in my case– when time is just not on my side. That’s when I start sniffing around for ideas for new meals, or very often reworking something old into something new,… 

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Italian Wild Rice Asparagus Soup

Italian Wild Rice and Chickpea Soup with Asparagus and Leeks

When you live with a dog, you soon start to see the world through his eyes. A dog’s world is rich–  infinitely richer than our human one. We only appreciate the familiar and we are held back by our inhibitions and all those pesky little things like behaving ourselves in public. A dog, with no such irritants in the… 

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Black Rice Risotto

Black Rice Risotto with Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions

This one’s going to be a short post today because it’s 10 pm now and the only reason my tired eyes are open is because I can’t wait to share this recipe with you: my Black Rice Mushroom Risotto with Caramelized Onions. You know I am always looking for easy weeknight recipes to brown bag… 

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