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January 2020

    Spicy Kale and Eggs

    This recipe for Spicy Kale and Eggs has been tried and tested in my kitchen several times before being passed on to family members all of whom vouch for its health benefits as well as taste. Eggs gently simmered to perfection on a bed of winter kale braised with garlic, green onions and lemon juice – courtesy Williams Sonoma. Sometimes I add chopped onions and sauteed potatoes.

    • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
    • 4 green onions, white and light green portions, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 bunches kale, tough stems removed, leaves roughly chopped
    • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
    • Salt to taste
    • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
    • 4 eggs
    • Red pepper flakes, to taste

    Spicy Kale and Eggs recipe

    In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the green onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add half of the kale and sauté, stirring frequently until it begins to wilt, about 2 minutes. Stir in the remaining kale and repeat. Add the broth, the 1/2 tsp. salt and the 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Stir in the lemon zest and juice. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the kale softens, about 6 minutes.

    Spicy Kale and Eggs recipe

    Using the back of a spoon, create a pocket for each egg in the kale. Crack 1 egg into each pocket. Reduce the heat to medium-low and season the eggs with salt and black pepper. Cover the pan and let the eggs cook until almost opaque, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the eggs rest, covered, until done to your taste. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and serve immediately. Serves 4. Hope you enjoy my Spicy Kale and Eggs recipe.

    Adapted from Williams-Sonoma.

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    How to Create an Edible Indoor Winter Garden

    A winter garden indoors or out, takes a bit of planning. How to create an edible indoor winter garden is to make room for a welcome leafy corner in your home – even in the dead of winter, even in the smallest of spaces.

    How to Create an Edible Indoor Winter Garden

    How to Plant-
    You can either buy seedlings or you can grow them from the seed, which takes more time. You can save seeds of peppers and tomatoes, lemon and orange seeds. Dry the seeds for up to two weeks before planting them.

    Where to plant –
    Buy some small to mid-sized clay, aluminum or plastic pots. Buy lava rocks and potting soil mix from Lowes, Home Depot or a plant nursery. Now find a south-facing window in a sunny corner of your home for the placement of your indoor plants, and you’re off to a great start!

    What to plant – There are quite a few choices.
    Herbs such as Basil, Oregano, Sage, Lavender, Mint, Thyme, Rosemary, and other edible herbs may be grown year-round in small containers on a kitchen window sill.

    Basil – Some people grow basil for its leaves and remove the flowers. However, you can also sprinkle basil flowers on a salad or over pasta as a garnish because they are edible. They also make great tea! The flowers taste similar to the leaves but have a slightly milder flavor. You can still eat the leaves after flowering, but remove the stems as it develops a bitter flavor.

    Sage – When the sage plants are small, you should mist them with water to keep the soil moist. This is true of most herbs. However, when they reach maturity, you should only water the plant when the soil surrounding the plant is dry to the touch.

    To add herbs to a dish, cut an entire stem or just pinch a leaf at a time.

    Mint – Mint performs well in sun-lit areas but may some protection from direct sun. They can grow to be 1 or 2 feet tall either indoors in a pot or even in a bottle of water. I like to add mint leaves as a garnish to my breakfast scrambled eggs. It adds texture and color as well as adding an element of excitement to the humble eggs. Click the image below to see my recipe for Northern Indian Spicy Scrambled Eggs AKA Egg Bhurji garnished with a handful of mint leaves for contrasting textures and flavor.

    Rosemary – Thrives in sunny locations that receive 6-8 hours of direct sun. It is best to water it when the soil feels dry. Re-pot as the plant gets larger and the roots fill the container. Needs frequent pruning. Cut off stems with a pair of small kitchen scissors to use in cooking as needed. Rosemary and thyme are good choices for stuffing game hens and a popular garnish for roast chicken.

    Cherry Tomatoes – These small tomatoes, grow on fast-growing plants and usually produce high yields in about 60 to 70 days. However, tomatoes are a summer plant so winter tomatoes will grow less prolifically than the summer varieties. When planting them in pots, a container measuring roughly 15- 20 inches in diameter is ideal. The container should be able to hold 5 gallons of soil for best results. Be sure to use one pot per plant. Tomatoes normally need at least eight hours of direct sunlight per day, but that’s not possible when you’re growing them indoors in winter. They respond well to artificial light.

    Citrus – Choose a two-to three-year-old dwarf lemon tree if you wish to see it produce fruits and blossoms right away. Select a deep potting container with adequate drainage. Or as an inexpensive alternative, use seeds of lemons from the grocery store to grow your lemon tree. First, fill a bowl with water and soak the seeds for eight hours. This will help speed up germination. Spread the lemon seeds evenly over the soil surface while they’re still moist. Buy a slightly acidic potting mix.

    How to Create an Edible Indoor Winter Garden

    Soil should be well-drained for lemon trees. Keep it moist, but not wet. Select a saucer large enough to fit under the container. Find a sunny spot in your home for your tree to grow. Lemon trees require full sunlight.

    Coffee grounds are a good plant food for lemon trees. Every 1-2 months place mulch near the trunk. Hard-boiled eggshells, are also good as they are an excellent source of calcium. This will make give the citrus trees shiny green leaves.

    Microgreens –Microgreens germinate and grow quicker than regular varieties. They have more nutrient density than mature leaves, although this varies from species to species, and soil conditions. Microgreens may need a grow light.

    How to Create an Edible Indoor Winter Garden

    Use a shallow tray for planting. Fill the tray with organic soil. Place in a sunny spot in a south-facing window or use some LED lights. However, LEDs have many different industrial applications, so they’re not all suited for plant growth. To grow plants, you need LED grow-lights that emit a specific color spectrum and a sufficient intensity level. During the first 2-5 days, the sprouts don’t require light. After 2-5 days, the microgreens should be ready for indirect sunlight. Be careful not to expose the plants to direct, hot sunlight as this can damage the delicate microgreens.

    How to Create an Edible Indoor Winter Garden

    Microgreen Seeds – Sow the seeds thickly, then gently tamp into the growing medium. Sow small seeds at a density of approximately 10–12 seeds per square inch of tray surface, and larger or medium-sized seeds at a density of 6–8 seeds per square inch. Or you may opt to grow your microgreens in water. Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil where your plants live in an aquatic-based environment and receive their nutrients and oxygen from water, instead of from the soil.

    Some popular microgreens are Kale, Watercress Spinach, Arugula, Radish, Beets, Dill, etc. These make for fresh, ready to cook ingredients for delicious meals all year round such as Watercress Sandwich or Spinach & Arugula Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Goat Cheese and my Spicy Kale & Eggs – check out recipe by clicking on the above image .

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    Spicy Egg Bhurji

    This Northern Indian version of Scrambled Eggs – similar to Huevos Pericos or Welsh Rarebit – is one of my favorite choices for a quick breakfast or an anytime snack that is simple and easy.

    Ingredients –
    • 8 eggs
    • 4 onions
    • 4 green chillies
    • 4 tomato
    • 1 1/2 inches ginger
    • 1/2 tbsp Cooking oil or 1 tbsp butter
    • 1/4 tsp garam masala powder
    • salt as required
    • Mint or coriander leaves

    Peel and chop the onions.
    Finely chop the tomatoes, green chillies.
    Grate the ginger.
    Mix together the chopped onions, tomatoes, green chillies, with grated ginger in a large bowl.
    Add the garam masala powder.
    Crack the eggs into the same bowl.
    Add salt to taste.
    Whisk everything really well with a fork or an electric whisk the eggs turn until frothy.
    Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add oil or butter.
    When the butter is melted, pour in the egg mixture.
    Cook for about 4-5 minutes stirring continuously till the eggs solidify.
    Add fresh mint or coriander leaves as garnish

    Serve hot, piled on top of toasted English muffins or roll into a warmed buttered chapati. Bon appetit!

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    Caramelized Honey Bananas

    When we were kids and hated all kinds of fruit, my mother had a recipe that she would make from bananas that were about to go soft. She would pan fry them with a bit of salt. Growing up, I loved bananas in all shapes and sizes and this snack was one of my favorites even though my siblings classified it as “weird” food! This recipe for Caramelized Honey Bananas was inspired by my mother.

    for Caramelized Honey Bananas

    I have adapted my Mum’s Fried Banana recipe which looked a bit like this…

    for Caramelized Honey Bananas

    …….adding just a little extra bit of sweetness to it.

    This is my banana recipe. The whole process takes literally 10 minutes and is the perfect tasty healthy snack that you can rustle up at a moment’s notice with ingredients that you have lying around at home…!

    • 2 ripe bananas
    • 1 tbsp oil or butter*
    • 2 tbsp honey
    • 1/2 tsp powdered cinnamon
    • A pinch of salt

    for Caramelized Honey Bananas

    Peel and slice up some ripe bananas, as though you were going to add them to your cereal bowl – about 1/2″ thick rounds. Make sure the bananas are not soft or mushy and have no dark spots on the skin.

    Take a non-stick skillet.
    Put it on medium-high heat.
    Add honey, oil or butter, cinnamon, and salt.
    Mix everything in and heat for a little bit, then add the banana slices.
    Turn the bananas over to cook for a few minutes on each side until they become deeply caramelized and sticky.
    I like to serve my honey bananas for breakfast alongside savory French toast. A combo of contrasting flavors and textures on a single plate. YUM….!

    You can serve Caramelized Honey Bananas piled on top of Pancakes for breakfast, grab up a Peanut Butter Banana Sandwich for Lunch …..

    …..or serve it as a dessert with Vanilla Ice Cream.

    Click here for more of my family recipes from my mom’s diary.

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    8 Easy Ways To Makeover An Ugly Apartment Or Cookie Cutter Condo Right Now!

    If you ask me, Los Angeles can very well win an Oscar nomination for awkward apartments, cookie-cutter condos and tasteless townhouses. The 70s and 80s all but wiped out all the quaint Country Cottages, Spanish Style Bungalows, Mid Century Modern Architectural homes from the two decades prior, replacing them with generic housing, low in aesthetics and high in rent – invoking a quintessential LA understanding of the term “affordable”. Nonetheless, the teeming masses that move to this land of beautiful people and not so beautiful houses, need more than a place to rest their head. They need shelter from the storm in this city of hopes and dreams.….and so we try to decorate and personalize these soulless boxes to reflect our tastes. With that in mind, I have compiled 8 easy ways to makeover an ugly apartment or cookie-cutter condo tight now – without waiting to upgrade!

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