Inspiration

Inspiration

“Even after all this time the sun never says to the earth, ‘You owe me.’ Look what happens with a love like that. It lights the whole sky.”
Hāfiz of Shiraz

 

ALL INSPIRATIONPOETRYTRAVELOTHER INSPIRATIONS

New Beginnings

They say “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” 365 days ago, I took my first step and became a food blogger. It is hard to believe I am writing about the one year anniversary of Basil & Roses!  And — what an incredible year it has been. First and foremost, thank you to all the beautiful people whom have supported me. Without your love and enthusiasm, this journey would not have been the same. As I reflect on the last year, I’m inspired by the…

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The Fire Of Our Lives

There is something uniquely special about the appeal of fire, we love being around the warmth and glow it creates. There is something that draws us towards the bonfire and the hearth. I believe our memories- conscious or subconscious, personal or collective are a part of that draw. Most of us have treasured memories of people who have cooked for us- Mothers, Fathers, Grandparents, friends… We cherish these memories because they are a special reminder of the love and generosity…

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Nowruz! The Beginning of Spring & The Persian New Year

My favorite time of year has arrived! The first day of Spring marks the Persian New year, celebrated for over 3,000 years. It translates to “new day” and represents a fresh new beginning. Scientifically called the vernal equinox, it occurs the exact moment the sun crosses the celestial equator and spring begins in the Northern hemisphere. The duration of the day and night are equal, on so begins a new cycle of life. As a child growing up in Iran…

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Tuscan Inspired Lemon-Rosemary Chicken with Cannellini Beans & Roasted Squash-Arugula Salad

There’s something so fulfilling about roasted chicken and this sense of satisfaction is universal. The warm aromas that fill the kitchen while it cooks are comforting and feel like home. I love the different ways you can roast chicken with endless herbs and veggies- somehow lemon and rosemary end up on the rotation more often than others. There is something magical about how this combination marries with garlic and olive oil. You can develop deep flavors in this  simple recipe. The…

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Baklava

Like many other traditional foods of the past, the origin of baklava is difficult to narrow down. Every ethnic group with ancestry connected to the Middle East has some claim to this delicious pastry.  It seems generally accepted that Baklava was first made by the Assyrians around 8th century B.C.- who layered nuts with unleavened flat bread and drenched with honey. The type of nuts or syrup ingredients often suggest the origin of the recipe. Syrup with rose water and cardamom is most…

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Autumn

The seasons honor the passage of time… I like that.  As the days get shorter and temperatures lower, my love for the beauty of nature grows.  Each season has it’s own charm but the scarlet, saffron and gold hues of Fall are uniquely special.  The days wane and the nights arrive sooner as we turn back the clocks- but there is much warmth and comfort to be found in the hues, flavors and traditions of fall. Beautiful foliage hikes, apple picking,…

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Green Garden Herb Basmati Rice with Basil, Mint, Chive + Rosemary (and an unexpected virtual trip home)

Rice is the ultimate comfort food. It has been farmed by people for over 10,000 years. In the Hindi language “Bas” means “aroma” and “Mati” means “full of.” Growing up in a Persian family, that beautifully fragrant and earthy aroma  is part of the essential scents of home. The cue of happiness and an eternal symbol of family dinners, celebrations and tradition. Cooking traditional Persian rice (with tahdig of course) is truly an art form. For how to create such a saffron scented…

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Remembering Rosemary

Ahhh Rosemary… One of my favorite herbs. “Rosemary” is derived from Latin words “ros” and “marinus”, which mean “dew of the sea” or “mist of the sea”. It refers to the coastal region that is occupied by this plant in it’s wild form.  As the days get shorter and the warm temperatures dwindle in early fall, the Rosemary in the garden is still going strong and one of the last herbs to continue giving to my garden. My inner poet can’t help…

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Istanbul

Travel has always been a source of inspiration. Experiencing new countries and getting to know them through their food- tiles my memory with a mosaic of color, flavor and nostalgia. During the past year of self discovery, Istanbul provided that for me on a level only second to a journey back to Iran 20 years after my family immigrated from my place of birth. Turkish culture has many parallels to Persian culture and that might explain why one sees many…

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Homemade Falafel with Herb Tahini Sauce and Shirazi Salad

Falafel! The ultimate Middle Eastern  comfort food, the name of which probably comes from the word pilpel (pepper, felfel in Farsi- referring to the shape of a pepper corn) was made in two ways: In Egypt today, from crushed, soaked fava beans and combined with chickpeas or, as Yemenite Jews and the Arabs of Jerusalem did, from chickpeas alone. My version uses chickpeas and herbs and it’s simple and finger lickin’ good! Note: Add a drizzle of Harisa (a hot sauce paste…

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