Looking Back at Feburary'2014:The List

(The List is a new series on G&G where we summarize our month in a post - inspired by similar posts on One Hot Stove! Our month is full of so many little interesting moments and tidbits, many of which are too trivial to be blog-worthy on their own but combine all those small moments of amusements, happiness or discoveries and gift-wrap them with a nice little bow of "looking back at month", and there you have it, that's our list :)

I try to keep the list food related - afterall that's what you are here for! - but I also feature reading and watching lists; what's a month without a good book to dig your nose into, right?.. Hope you enjoy! )

On My Mind:

The ever elusive rain gods are finally smiling on the bay. After an unusually dry season this year, February turned out to be our first wet month of the season. Not a lot of rain or wintry weather still, but just enough to give those umbrellas a chance to peek out of closets and those beautiful hills surrounding the bay to sprout new green grass.

This has been the driest season on record here in California.

Image Credit: Saurabh Deoras @ California Naturescapes
Meanwhile this severe drought and water shortage has presented local almond growers some tough choices such as sell their almond fields at a discount price, let them dry up or chop all the trees. Drive through central valley and you can see various almond fields for sell signs....It's so sad it breaks my heart.

These are the same almond fields we visit every spring during almond bloom to take pictures (this is an image captured two years ago)

Living in cities we don't feel the effect of drought but it's harsh for the farm owners - read more about almond farms fate in California this season here.


Lots and lots of citrus fruit! Oranges are in season - said it before and will say it again, grab them before they go :) So sweet and so many varieties - I am recently falling in love with meyer lemon all over again. Meyer lemon is a cross between lemon and mandarin orange. They are a lemonish looking fruit which has a super smooth bright yellow skin and a sweet flesh with lemonish tinge. So good! On my todo list is a meyer lemon butter this season..

Carrying over from last month, our Japanese food fever is still going strong. Sushi and soba noodles and noodle soup and tempuras are making their regular appearances at our dinner table. I am also getting better and better at making sushi - it's an art honestly.

Also in season are sweet potatoes or yams. Our favorite method includes roasting sweet potatoes at 375F for 40-45mins and then broiling for 5-10mins to get a charred skin. They are so good, you can eat them like candies - a perfect healthy no butter desert. If you have a sweet tooth but want to be tummy conscious - roasted yams are your friends!


This month work turned an upward slope so it was back to only a comfort re-read in the night - Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

Image credit: goodreads.com
We added a new book to little one's library this month: How Does Baby Feel by Karen Katz. Where is Baby's Belly Button which is another of Katz' book is a major favorite with my little one, so we bought this book with a tunload of expectations and it did not disappoint us in the least!

A baby has so many emotions and there is a trigger for every emotion. A baby can be happy when someone tickles his tummy, sad when she breaks a toy, hungry when she is looking for milk and cookie and loved when family hugs and kisses him! That's what this book is all about. Simple concept adorn this lift the flap hit. Little ones can lift the flap to see what emotion baby is experiencing and you can see them act along. My daughter will pretend cry, laugh, do silly things all with hand motions and all while reading this book - it's so precious! I must say this book is another winner for us.


I am watching Ted talks food matters series on Netflix and enjoying it immensely! The latest one we saw is Jamie Oliver's Teach Every Child About Food segment. As regular readers of G&G know, at our home it's all about simple quick cooking with fresh local sourced ingredients and avoiding preservative-laden processed ready-made food as much as possible. 

This program starts with outlining appalling state of school children's food habits today and goes into simple everyday measures we can take to make the most precious of our society members adopt better food habits. His advise is mostly common sense, but sadly in this highly corporate profit driven world, repeating common sense can go a long way.

There are so many exciting authors and topics in this Ted food series, I can't wait to watch them all!


The rain! We are so happy it's raining back again in the bay this month! There is something very therapeutic watching rain steadily pounding on the windows with an occasional splash of lightening. That constancy it's almost rhythmic. It can beautify anything - including a simple ginger-lemongrass chai and some bhujia to go along-with it, don't you think? :)

Till next month, enjoy!