Monday, May 10, 2010

Mango Chutney

I have an obsession with chutney, and so when I found this quick and easy recipe, I had to blog it immediately! :)
I found it at (an awesome food blog I mentioned earlier). It takes five minutes to prepare, and looks delicious. Bon appetit!


  • 3 medium sized ripe mangos, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 small firm, tart apples (gala, granny smith etc.), diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp. peeled ginger, finely chopped
  • 1/3 C. cider vinegar
  • ¼ C. panela, jaggery or other natural, dark sugar
  • 2 small dried hot chilis, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • ¼ c currants or raisins
  • 3 peppercorns
  • Seeds from 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon


  • Combine first 10 ingredients (through cardamom) in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the mango begins to break down and some of the vinegar boils off (about 5 minutes).
  • Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  • Serve cool. Chutney can be stored refrigerated in a sealed jar for up to a month.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Book Review

I just finished reading "Shelley, also Known as Shirley," the autobiography of Shelley Winters. Although I had seen only two of the movies that Ms. Winters was in, I found myself immersed in her biography from page one. Friends with Howard Hughes and Marilyn Monroe; wooed by the likes of Marlon Brando, Errol Flynn, and Ronald Coleman; Shelley Winters keeps her readers fascinated--and a not a little disbelieving--from beginning to end. Did Errol Flynn really call the police to help her get more publicity? Did Marilyn Monroe really, at Shelley's suggestion, pretend to break her leg to get out of the clutches of a terrible director? Who knows, but it's great fun to read.

This book taught me a lot about the inner workings of the Hollywood studio system in the early 40s and 50s, and furnished me with a list of classic movies that I must see-- it even satisfied my appetite for classic movie/actor trivia...for now. :)

Fiery Carrot Dip and a fun new blog

I have just discovered a delightful blog called "Soup and Bread" at On the site I found this intriguing recipe for "fiery carrot dip," and I thought I would share it with you here. After you try the recipe, check out the blog--it's fantastic!

Fiery Carrot Dip

"It’s great on pita chips, but we served it the other day on a kalamata ciabatta and it was delicious. From time to time I’ve served it sprinkled with feta and olives, but it’s beautiful on its own as well, with just a sprinkle of fresh ground pepper on top.


  • 2 lbs carrots
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp hot chili sauce (such as sriracha)
  • salt and pepper to taste


Roughly chop carrots and boil in salted water until very tender. Strain and puree the carrots until smooth with all of the remaining ingredients in a food processor or with an immersion blender. Serve with bread or pita chips, plain or topped with kalamata olives and feta cheese.

Mastering the Art of French Cooking

A month ago I saw the movie "Julie and Julia," and I fear my life will never be the same again. The movie chronicles the story of Julia Child, the famous cook/TV personality, and Julie, a modern-day woman who decides to cook all of Julia Child's recipes (from her cookbook, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking") in one year. She begins blogging about the experience and finally begins to find passion and purpose in her life. The movie's portrayal of mouthwatering dishes nearly left me in a puddle of drool, and the story of Julia Child's life deeply intrigued me.

I bought Mrs. Child's autobiography, "My Life in France," and devoured it in one gulp. This fascinating woman, her interesting experiences, tenacious and cheerful spirit, unbelievable recipes and delightful writing style made the book a veritable feast. As I read, I fell in love with what Julia describes: the French reverence and passion for food, their careful preparation and insistence on fresh ingredients, their "food clubs" and friendly arguments about recipes...their willingness to stand in line for hours for a fresh-made sausage.

It's official: I simply must go to France and experience all of this--at least once. At the very least, I will buy "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," and do my best to recreate the recipes with the best of the woeful, sterile, frozen American supermarket ingredients that are available to me.