Monthly Archives: January 2013

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Happy New Year 2013!

2012 was a great year for me.  I married my best friend, my LA Clippers went to the playoffs, President Obama was re-elected, Alan West was not re-elected, and so much more happened for which I am so grateful.

Along with spending time on the elliptical and in the bikram studio next door, I spent most of the last two months of the year in my kitchen, making my first jams and baking off a ton of sweet treats to share with my family and friends.  I’ll share a few things I worked on within those two months.

On weekends, Peyman enjoys toast for breakfast…Persian-style– with jam and feta cheese.  Since he uses quite a bit of berry jam and I wanted to ensure he wasn’t consuming jam with a ton of pesticides, I decided to make him my special jam made with purely organic ingredients.  With help from the lovely Christine Ferber, Peyman loves his jam.  He actually finished all the jars of jam, which reminds me…I need to make another big batch today so he has some for tomorrow’s toast.  This time, I’m going to try to substitute some sugar with agave nectar. We’ll see how that turns out.

Only a few jars went to my sisters, as they usually are my taste-testers/guinea pigs. Speaking of my sisters, I visit my sister Riva and her kids a lot since we both live in Los Angeles.  Her kids remind me of the characters in the “If you give a mouse a cookie” books…they like to keep busy, doing one thing after another after another… and are just so amusing.One day, Riva’s kids wanted me to watch them run around in the backyard.  I did, while watering their plants.  Of course they wanted to take over the watering so I let them, then they ended up picking about 2 dozen meyer lemons from their tree.  After they washed the lemons in their kitchen sink they wanted to make something with them so we made meyer lemonade together.  I cut up the lemons and had them squeeze the juice out into a juice dispenser.  I had them pour in some water, add some sugar, taste it, then shake the container before each enjoyed their freshly squeezed glass of lemonade.  They didn’t want the remaining lemons to go to waste so they asked me to make something else with them… and while at it, to kindly make a colorful Power Rangers cake with yellow cake and store-bought chocolate icing for their birthday (2 of them are twins).  I brought the lemons home and made a meyer lemon shaker pie.

On their birthday, I served the pie with creme fraiche ice cream and a berry compote– this was mostly for the adults because I also made the Power Ranger cakes.  The cakes were a disaster to transport.  The pouring rain hit the cakes as I moved them from the car, and the store-bought chocolate icing just would not cooperate.  The kids and their classmates still loved the cakes, as messy as they were.  I think they just enjoyed seeing the Power Ranger toys on the cake. Okay, and maybe they tasted good too. :)

It warms my heart to share these goodies.  Usually when I bake, I take a slice, if anything, and share with Peyman.  The rest, I give away.  Usually on the weekend, we visit his mom and she sends us home with delicious homemade Persian food and with her delish chocolate chip cookies.  We missed a few weekend visits to his mom’s, so he didn’t have his usual dessert with his after-dinner tea.  I made a few cookies during these months to make him happy.

And when we did visit his mom and pop, I made them apple tarts and an apple berry crumble to celebrate some birthdays.

I like to warm my apple desserts and serve them with vanilla bean ice cream… a la mode is delightful.

Of course, for Thanksgiving I made the usual pumpkin pies for both families and this year I also made banana cream pie.  It was a hit and was requested for Christmas as well.

I attended several holiday parties this year and most required that I bring a dish, so I brought hazelnut, toffee, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, fruit tarts, apple tarts, jam tarts, and more banana cream pies.

On Christmas day, I even cooked up a huge feast for my in-laws.

In the new year, I’m just recuperating from all the kitchen madness.  After I write this post, I’m going to hop on the elliptical for an hour, drink some green tea, start the jam for my man, have fesenjun (a dish that Peyman’s mom just taught me how to make) then head over to the Clippers vs. Lakers game to watch the battle for LA.

I hope you’re enjoying the start of this new year. TGIF. Time to eat, drink, and be merry again!

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