Blog Awards & Happy Year of the Rabbit!

Asian market sno pea sprouts
I was so honored but at the same time so reluctant to approach the subject of this post for months now. Initially I really felt I got so many friends with so many wonderful blogs so how on earth could I narrow it down and give the blog awards only to some. I guess it is a sign of maturity when I let ideas simmer and don't give in to impulse or feeling indebted or in a hurry to reciprocate to drive me, I do plenty of that some other times, does not take much to provoke me:). I didn't want a hasty response. I do adore you my friends and your laborious work of love that goes into your blogs. You inspire me every day and are all winners in my book. When this promising college bound young girl, Rachel, awarded me this honor you can see her award post here, and asked for it to be passed on, Lora here as well as Brian's sunshine award post here and here, my wonderful friends, I didn't know how to tell you my response will be delayed. I am happy to say that I achieved and arrived to that junction, say my blog's rite of passage, to pass along the honor bestowed upon me by you, my thoughtful friends, and recognize others who inspire me.

Mache, Blood Orange and Pomegranate Salad in Citrus, Sumac and Champagne Vinaigrette

Speaking of resolutions, another one I made was to re-instate Meatless Mondays and Farmers Market postings. This post combines both in one. The mache in this post is from a local farmers market. I love the idea of soup and salad or panini and soup, Panera style. Sometimes, I like my own version of it. Healthy, organic when possible and beautiful in season ingredients make lunching an elated experience.
I have my go to vinaigrette you can find here but for months now I've been playing and experimenting with different combinations for vinaigrettes. When I saw these gorgeous firm crimson blood oranges their skin all blushed at whole Foods, first in years that looked like they were just plucked from the trees in the orchard, my game plan shifted to citrus vinaigrette. We grew up on citrus and Jaffa oranges. Blood oranges we peeled and ate just like any other citrus that came into our house. Not much cooking with it. This blood orange was delicious on its own, I forgot how distinct and unique its flavor and aroma are relative to other citrus. While Meyer lemons were all the rage with me last year and will be classic for years to come, this year I choose blood oranges. You can find a list of my Meyer lemon posts here.

Machi, Fish Curry with Lemons and the 411 on Kokum

One of my 2011 resolutions was to portray more of the foods I grew up on. Just before I proceed, I really wish to take a moment and briefly reflect on the year past. If you told me a year ago about all the doors this blog of mine would open for me, I would have said 'right!'. Most importantly the friendships I made through chatter of food and life are indispensable. You my friends are the best support group any one can wish for and you've been with me, holding my hand, through some tough moments in 2010. If it weren't for you I would end up in an asylum, I know, I am trying to get a rise out of you, or in a much needed countless hours of therapy. I do appreciate you being my in-house shrinks and sound boards or as some would say analysts, and by you, you know who you all are. I like it when we share moments when we are simply happy, I don't want to get too sappy! So on that note, I wrap up just like a quick goodbye and not a drawn out one at the airport, but you all know what is in my heart!

Malida, Sweetened Poha Breakfast Cereal or Ceremonial Offering?!

I was agonizing over what my first post of 2011 should be?! I could have posted about my victory over macaron. These elusive, as I once thought glorified meringue, would be a perfect subject matter. I was doubly challenged, as I needed to replace the almonds with another pantry ingredient.  The sheer challenge is fascinating but macarons are French, or better yet Italian origin, and my ancestral roots are in the East. I will give you an account of my, at first unsynchronized, attempt and how I, slowly got into a seamless, rhythm of the macaron some other time.