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Persian Quince Stew (Khoresht-e Beh) – Mom’s Treat

Life has been busy recently – which made coming to California this week for Thanksgiving and walking into my house greeted by my lovely mom and a big, steaming bowl of rice and Khoresht-e Beh all the sweeter. Persian Quince Stew (called Khoresht-e Beh in Farsi) is Fall in a bowl – a delicious, unique Persian stew that is seasonal and comforting all in one.

Khoresht-e Beh (Persian Quince Stew)

Khoresht-e Beh (Persian Quince Stew)

This post is a bit different from the usual, since the recipe was prepared by my mom and merely enjoyed by me (and you, hopefully!). Anybody who’s had the pleasure of eating my mom’s cooking knows how amazingly talented she is. And anybody who’s had the pleasure of eating quince, knows what a unique and interesting fruit it is. When raw, this cousin of apples and pears, is almost inedible with a mealy and dry texture. When cooked, something incredible happens and it’s transformed in color (to a beautiful pinkish hue), texture (it gets silky soft) and taste (to a very delicate flavor). Quince can be hard to find as the season is extremely short, so grab them up if you see them!

Click here to continue reading, and a bonus pic!

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Night Before A Big Test Soup: Spinach, Yam and Lentil Soup

Until recently, I did my best to keep my ‘blog life’ and my ‘real life’ separate,  in their own little compartments. But I’m realizing that as the blog becomes a bigger part of my life, it’s impossible. So here I am – where my ‘real life’ and ‘blog life’ intersect. 3 days before the adult version of a Big Test, the Very Big Day for my career which I’ve been working towards for the last 8 months… and I’m filled with a mixture of excitement, anxiety and indigestion.

Spinach, Yam and Lentil Soup

Spinach, Yam and Lentil Soup… for the night before the big test!

Click here to continue reading

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Pomegranate Caramels

So, um, I have a confession. I bought a candy thermometer a YEAR ago and I only just opened it last week (do other people do that with random purchases? please say yes). Turns out… it’s really useful! D’oh. I finally pulled out ye ole’ thermometer a couple weeks ago to try Smitten Kitchen’s Apple Cider Caramel recipe which I’ve been eyeballing forever. In my version, I’ve replaced the apple cider with my favorite juice – pomegranate – both for its color and flavor.

Pomegranate Caramel Candy

Pomegranate Caramels

The result is a caramel with the deep, rich flavor of pomegranate and its familiar tartness that makes the back of your mouth water (you know what I mean, all the way in the back above your molars!). Oh and let’s take a moment to appreciate the color, because these caramels are seductive in every way. Click here to continue reading

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Why We (Food) Blog

This is my hundredth post on Ahu Eats. Besides being kindof crazy, it’s made me reflect on this food blogging adventure. I asked myself – why do we do what we do? (sometimes to annoy people, sometimes to help them make & discover delicious things, and always because we are passionate about food).

Annoying Food Bloggers

Source: Corridor Kitchen

So, do we blog because we love food, love writing or just to annoy David Chang? My theory is… no one of those things on their own. A few years ago I read a fascinating book  called Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work by Matthew Crawford that really framed the way I now think about all of this. Crawford delves into the merits of being a skilled worker – or having a craft – which has quickly become looked upon as less than desirable in a society where more and more people have become ‘knowledge workers’. What’s a knowledge worker? Well, you’re probably one – especially if your main work product includes emails, powerpoints, or spreadsheets.

Not to say that being a knowledge worker is a bad thing (I myself work in the corporate office of a bank by day where powerpoint and excel are my BFFs), but Crawford touches on an interesting point – that it’s an innate human desire to craft things – to have some sort of physical manifestation of our work. What does this have to do with being a food blogger? I’m going to venture to guess that most of us are in fact some type of knowledge worker and are not able to create something to satiate that need during our day job. So the food blog becomes our craft. And we want to share it with the world.

Although a love of food / cooking / eating drives all food bloggers, it is not an easy endeavor. While fun and rewarding, it requires an incredible amount of planning (content calendar!), skill (cooking! writing! photography & editing!), and just plain dedication. We wake up at ungodly hours on the weekend to cook in time to get the best light to photograph our food, and some bloggers have 6 months of posts planned ahead of time – food blogging requires more strategic foresight than you might think!

My own food blogging journey has been an eventful one. In the last 6 months, I’ve put in hundreds of hours cooking, baking, writing, photographing, editing, tweaking my site and connecting with other bloggers. All of this while juggling a demanding day job and trying to maintain my sanity – I can tell you that I would not have done it were it not for the love of the craft. Do I sometimes struggle to get a post out because of a hectic week or want to give up when my photos get rejected from BigFoodSharingSites? Yes and yes. But I (we) keep on. Seeing the results of the work feeds me, and my long-term vision keeps me on my path. So we keep writing, cooking and eating!

All those dishes, millions of photos, dozens of posts, and that website we so lovingly tinker with – that is our craft, our baby. We aren’t chefs, restaurateurs or professional food critics – nor do we claim to be. But we keep cooking, photographing, eating, testing, tinkering with our baby… and once in a while somebody stops by and appreciates it – and that is the best feeling.

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