Coming to you from San Diego, Family Spice is the Online home of cookbook author, wife and mom of three, Laura Bashar. This site has everything from sweets to savory, family-friendly recipes with a Persian flair.
Describe your cooking style in three words: Colorful. Fusion. Fresh.
What’s your signature dish? I love creating healthy meals for my friends and family and surprising them. Healthy doesn’t have to mean tasteless. My Balsamic Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad is something I came up with when we had a banner year in the vegetable garden. It is super easy to make, where I always eyeball the measurements. You can serve it hot or cold and you can use a wide variety of vegetables. I bring this dish to pot lucks and picnics and always come home with an empty bowl.
What do you think is the most underrated ingredient? Extra Virgin Olive Oil. And I’m not just saying that because I wrote a cookbook on it! Everyone cares about using fresh, organic ingredients in their cooking, but they don’t take the time to examine the quality of their olive oil. My husband and I have been to restaurants where they served rancid olive oil. Not all extra virgin olive oils are created equal.
What’s the best cooking advice you’re ever received? It wasn’t so much advice, but the “just do it” attitude bestowed on me. My mother would frequently call me before herone hour commute home to start dinner. I learned to cook by watching her and she had confidence in me that I could do this. My mother was a professional with a PhD and she cooked for us everyday. I knew I could do it, too.
If you could share a meal with anyone in history who would it be? Jane Austen. I have read all of her books, several times over. She had a marvelous way of observing people and society’s silly rules. She was a modern woman in a very traditional time and I would love to hear her perceptions of our world today.
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