Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Amazing wedding venue

Recently, I attended a wedding of a very dear friend's son, outside Austin, Texas at Camp Lucy Sacred Oaks. This was my first time in Texas.  As a nature lover, I enjoyed the picturesque countryside  from downtown Austin to Camp Lucy.  What a ride it was!
When we reached the venue, I was in awe of the rustic setting and those majestic oaks. It was a serene, breathtakingly beautiful setting in nature. It was a gorgeous site indeed. Here are some photos I wanted to share with you all.








Those magnificent oak trees








For more memorable centerpieces, tablescapes, and recipes (including vegetarian, gluten free and vegan recipes),please check out my books, Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen and Trader Joe's Simply Indian at my website komalinunna.com.

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thanksgiving Spread 2016

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. For me, when family and friends are healthy, that is the good reason to be thankful and reason enough to celebrate.

The roasted vegetable platter is always a hit at every Thanksgiving. Each and every vegetable is roasted separately and uniquely seasoned.






Two different types of mashed potatoes, plain and turmeric-kale mashed potatoes



Homemade breads, saffron flavored challah and spicy Southwestern dinner rolls





Dessert buffet with pecan and pumpkin pies, persimmon pudding and pumpkin flan


For more memorable centerpieces, tablescapes, and recipes (including vegetarian, gluten free and vegan recipes),please check out my books, Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen and Trader Joe's Simply Indian at my website komalinunna.com.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

My Thanksgiving table

Without a doubt, I like tablescapes, especially elegant ones. For Thanksgiving, I enjoy gathering something from the garden and setting the rustic, earthy, natural, organic yet elegant table. Here, I used eucalyptus, proteas, and nandina berries as the background runner for the table. I dotted the entire table with my fall harvest from the orchard, persimmons and pomegranates.  I anchored the table with a Cinderella pumpkin in the middle. My  denby china is picking up pink hues from the pumpkin. Pewter chargers, silver swan salt and pepper shakers, and paisley designed napkins give a bit of an Indian vibe to the all-American holiday.



Small iron bird baths are filled with dried jujubes, another fall harvest from the orchard

















Please check out my recipe for Turmeric-Kale mashed potatoes in my previous post.

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

For more memorable centerpieces, tablescapes, and recipes (including vegetarian, gluten free and vegan recipes),please check out my books, Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen and Trader Joe's Simply Indian at my website komalinunna.com.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thanksgiving recipe: Turmeric-Kale mashed potatoes

Thanksgiving is less than one week away. If you are like me, you are already thinking about the menu and table setting. With my Thanksgiving menu, I like to keep the integrity of the traditions with my ethnic touch. Even though I grew up using turmeric in every possible dish, here in America, everyone is raving about turmeric's antioxidant power. Kale is an another trendy super green.  Mashed potatoes are one of those guilty pleasures that we all love to indulge in and feel guilty about afterwards. Well fear no more, we are taking one of the whitest of white foods and turning it into a healthy, flavorful superfood.

Serves 4-6

Caramelized onions (recipe follows)


21/2 lbs russet or Yukon gold potatoes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 large bunch kale washed, vines removed and shredded
1 1/2 cups of buttermilk at room temperature
Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare caramelized onions according to the directions and reserve the leftover oil. 

Place potatoes with 1 tablespoons of water in a large stock-pot. Add enough water to cover 2-3 inches above the potatoes. Boil potatoes over medium high heat until tender enough to be easily pierced with a fork or a skewer. When potatoes are ready, drain them in a colander. Once they are cool enough to handle, peel them. Using a potato ricer or potato masher, mash potatoes into a mixing bowl. 

Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large skillet until hot. Add turmeric and cumin powder and stir in the hot oil. Add minced garlic. Stir for 1 minute. Add shredded kale. Stir fry until greens are wilted. Mix in mashed potatoes. Up until this point, this is a vegan recipe. 

If you want creamy, tangy mashed potatoes, add 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk and mix in. Garnish with caramelized onions and drizzle with the reserved oil and serve warm.

Caramelized Onions

Yields about 1 cup
  • 2 medium onions, peeled, cut lengthwise, sliced, and cut in the middle
  • 1/2 cup peanut or vegetable oil
Heat oil in a shallow pan over medium high heat. Add onions. Fry while stirring occasionally at the beginning and often at the end until they turn evenly golden brown. Remove onions with a slotted spoon. With another spatula, gently press the onions to release the excess oil. Spread them onto a sheet pan to crisp up and cool. Reserve the oil. Caramelized onions stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Reserve leftover oil for marinades and salad dressings.



 Here is the mashed potatoes without any buttermilk or caramelized onions. This makes a perfect vegan dish.


Creamy mashed potatoes with tangy buttermilk. If you don't have time or patience to make caramelized onions, you can serve without it.  



Caramelized onions add a luxurious flavor to the dish


Yum!



I hope you will start a new tradition in your kitchen with this recipe.

For more memorable centerpieces, tablescapes, and recipes (including vegetarian, gluten free and vegan recipes),please check out my books, Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen and Trader Joe's Simply Indian at my website komalinunna.com.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Designing with the fall harvest

Autumn is the time that we harvest many baskets of fresh fruit from the orchard. Keeping up with the rhythm of the season,  I like to display my harvest around the house. As the fall fruit fades away, the citrus will be displyed during winter time.My celebrations of the season synchronized with the harvest from the garden.

Pomegranates and persimmons are displayed around the house in every corner.





In the family room


On the kitchen table


For more memorable centerpieces, tablescapes, and recipes (including vegetarian, gluten free and vegan recipes),please check out my books, Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen and Trader Joe's Simply Indian at my website komalinunna.com.


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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Autumn garden: Spanish flag vine

A couple of months ago as we were visiting a friend's garden, I noticed some vibrant flowers on a vine. I got few seeds from the friend's garden and planted them in the pot. At the time I didn't even know the name. The seeds I got not only germinated but are robustly growing and flowering, which makes me think that it may be an invasive plant. For now, I am not going to worry about that; I will enjoy this beautiful, flowering vine. The bright yellow and orange flowers make me smile every time I walk by them. After doing some research, I found out that this vine is called a Spanish flag vine. When it is in full bloom, the colors of these flowers look like the whole plant is on fire.






Some of these flowers ended up on the kitchen table.



For more memorable centerpieces, tablescapes, and recipes (including vegetarian, gluten free and vegan recipes),please check out my books, Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen and Trader Joe's Simply Indian at my website komalinunna.com.


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