Thibu’s kitchen

How it began..

Back in Bangalore I started cooking when I was around 14. Before that I used to help my mom in the kitchen with little things. When she passed away I was 13 and my dad hired a cook. We didn’t like the food. My mom was a wonderful and creative cook and we missed her flavors. I still remember some of the dishes she made and miss it. My sister and I decided we’d cook by ourselves with the fully stocked pantry our mom had left behind. We tried to replicate the flavors of our mom’s cooking and experimented. Sometimes we failed miserably :) But that’s how my cooking journey began.

My style..

My style of cooking is still to experiment. And to take inspiration from foods that I’ve eaten or seen. I try to recreate the flavors in my own way by incorporating new and old ingredients I’ve come across. I like variety, i get bored easily.

Its important for me to eat healthy, to cook using fresh and wholesome ingredients. I like to grow vegetables in my home garden and like visiting the local farmers markets.

I usually cook based on what I have in my refrigerator and pantry. So I may not make some dishes the same way again. My husband is always telling me to write down recipes because I might forget. And I usually don’t measure!

My inspiration..

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is a melting pot of diverse food cultures, has been such a great opportunity. I also love watching food shows on TV.  Along with my love for travel and eating the local foods.

I didn’t have my mom to teach me about food, So I’ve tried to pick up tips from many sources. Like when my aunt used to say that a plate of food should look colorful. Or when a friend mentioned once to never to serve food in the same pot that you cook in (her mom’s advice). After coming to this country, I noticed the art of presentation – that we eat with our eyes first.

I get to know my ingredients and their nutrition values by reading up on them, not by hear say.

My posts..

I like to highlight the fresh ingredients without overpowering them, but by enhancing them with other flavors. Shouldn’t they be the star after all?

When I am reading recipes, I lose my attention when I see long list of ingredients and long recipe. You wont see too many ingredients here and I’ll try my best to keep the posts simple and concise. This post about me may be the longest you’ll read.. if you are still reading :)

Similarly, I like flexibility and variety. Almost all of the dishes here could be altered to suit your palette, using your favorite ingredients or what you have handy or what is in season and fresh.

My kids..

I have a couple of picky eaters. So I try to pay attention to the presentation of their food. Presenting the same foods we eat in a fun and catchy way does make some difference.

This is where the Fun ways to serve kids and Lunch Boxes came about. When I started packing their vegetarian preschool lunch boxes, they were 3 years old. So I had to make sure that it was easy for them to eat, and attractive, and nutritious.

My kids have shown an interest in seeing me cook from early on and I’ve encouraged it. I hope they will always have an interest in cooking and eating healthy. One of the reasons I started cataloging the foods I make, and writing down my recipes, is for them. I hope that this will serve as an inspiration for them.

Thibu’s party decorations 

My passion has been arts and crafts. I remember doing many crafts with my mom, including knitting, basket weaving, bead work, etc. And I spent most of my holidays doing some sort of drawing or painting, although I never took any formal class.

Now I enjoy doing crafts and decorations with my kids. I plan birthday and holiday parties weeks ahead and they ‘help’ me in making all the decorations at home.

I love parties and doing the decorations. But I am also environmentally and budget conscious. So, I don’t like going out and buying a lot of new things for each party. Instead I look to reuse or re-purpose items already around me in creative ways. And most often, I’ve hardly spent any money. You may also see many of the same decoration items used in different ways at different parties. Its very satisfying when handmade this way.

Its been fun planning and decorating at some of my friend’s events as well. Its always fun to pick the themes. I like to personalize it to each person’s interests and liking.

Another section you’ll see is Kids Activities. My kids and I love to do these activities over weekends. Its a form of play for us while they are learning about things, working on their motor skills, etc. Its a more fun and playful way and they enjoy it and wont stop talking about all the activities we should do.


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