Figs Poached in Red Wine: Figology Fest Part Two

I remember the first time I tasted a fresh fig. I was four that summer, on vacation in Montenegro, with my younger sister and our parents. I remember the feel of hot pebbles and cool Adriatic caressing my chubby feet. I remember Father brought a paper cone filled with warm figs from the market andContinue Reading

No More Take-Out: Everyday Thai Cooking Is Here!

My father spent two weeks in Thailand a decade or so ago, as a participant of an international ObGyn conference. My sister and her husband explored several Thai resorts looking for the ultimate scuba-diving adventure. Many of my friends from Europe and the U.S. have been posting their photos from visiting Siam to their FacebookContinue Reading

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Peppers, But Were Afraid to Ask: Pepper Cookbook

The creative and knowledgeable people at Melissa’s Produce have managed to bring forth another beautifully photographed, informative, and immensely useful book: The Great Pepper Cookbook – The Ultimate Guide to Choosing and Cooking With Peppers. This one is very close to my heart as I cannot imagine my life as a Serb without the formidableContinue Reading

Una Sonrisa Menos: Chicken Tortilla Soup

Last Thursday morning, my friend Cipriano boarded a flight from Tijuana to Oaxaca  to reunite with his wife, children, and fourteen grandchildren that he had not seen in more than four years. A few days ago, a co-worker took him to a salon where he had his salt-and-pepper hair died a ridiculously artificial black toContinue Reading

Serbian Easter: Naturally Colored Eggs

Easter Eggs, Naturally Colored Easter Eggs, Eastern Orthodox Colored Eggs, Easter FoodContinue Reading

California Dreaming: Ojai Pixie Tangerine Cake with Caramel Sauce

I am standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes. A coffee maker is gurgling behind me, and to the right the onions and potatoes sizzle in the skillet on the stove. My 70s kitchen could have easily been duplicated from an Updike’s Rabbit novel, but all the smells that surround me scream comfort and warmth.Continue Reading

How to Taste Wine Like a Pro: BevMo! 5 Cent Wine Sale

If you know me at all, in real life or via Facebook, you know that I have a long-lasting friendly relationship with wine. It started when I was a teenager in Serbia, where beer and wine are conveniently considered to be more like food items, than alcoholic beverages. I did not like the taste ofContinue Reading

The Ghosts of Irish Past: Colcannon

I was in the U.S. only for about six months when I first encountered St.Patrick’s Day celebration. I was working in a restaurant that served green beer on March 17th and featured enormous shamrocks all over its walls. The customers shouted botched Gallic to one another and inhaled the bowls filled with corned beef, cabbage,Continue Reading

Mini Passion Fruit Cheesecakes for Valentine’s Day

February is not one of my favorite months. It’s too short, too whimsical, too unpredictable, and it comes just before my birthday month of March. I am a bit vain and it is not surprising that I cannot wait for February to move over and allow the bright yellow forsythia flowers to break the winterContinue Reading

The Year of the Horse

When he was in Medical School, Father had a Chinese roommate. This was back in the 50s, and Tzu-Ke-Lee attended the University of Belgrade on a Chinese scholarship studying Serbian language and culture. Even now, in his old age, Father can charm a linguist without being proficient in any language except Serbian, and in hisContinue Reading