Pomegranate molasses
Not long ago I was scared of pomegranate molasses.

It’s not a common ingredient, and to be perfectly honest, anything with the word molasses makes me just a little bit hesitant. My mind jumps to baking and Southern cooking, neither of which are strengths.

Combine my aversion to molasses with pomegranate molasses packaging, which is often entirely in Arabic, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

I’d bought a jar years ago when I’d seen it used in recipes from my Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cookbooks. Paul Wolfert, Yotam Ottolenghi, Claudia Roden, all repeat offenders.

But I’d hidden it in the back of my cupboard, along with the Vietnamese rice papers, and there it remained until last year. When for obvious reasons, I pitched the dust-covered bottle into the trash, horrified by its 2010 expiration date.

But I do love sweet & sour flavors. It’s a perfect marriage; Chinese restaurants have made a fortune singing its praises.

A few weeks ago I came across a recipe for sticky Moroccan chicken, and there it was – pomegranate molasses – in all of its glory, with the promise of a gooey, slick, finger-licking sauce.

Seeing that I’d already pitched the bottle of pomegranate molasses, I figured I’d pass on the recipe. But when I peeked into the fridge that morning, I was happy to see a full, unopened container of pomegranate juice. Hmmm…perhaps all was not lost. The wheels began to turn.

One thing I’ve learned in the kitchen is that when you don’t have the right ingredient, improvise. Lime instead of lemon, brown sugar instead of white, and most important, homemade when you don’t have a packaged version. You won’t get the exact same result, but you’ll get something similar. Which unless you’re trading baking powder for baking soda, will still be pretty delicious. Sometimes even more so.

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Before long, I was nose deep on a pomegranate DIY mission, surfing through online recipes and getting excited about the prospect of making some at home.

I found what I needed, cracked open the pomegranate juice, added some lemon juice and a hint of sugar, and I was off to the races.

I don’t know why I was so nervous about pomegranate molasses. It’s one of those simple, flavorful ingredients that every cook should have in his or her arsenal.

Bobby Flay will flay you for not keeping it on hand. (Cue the laugh track, I needed it there). But seriously, he’s crazy about this stuff. Here’s proof. It tastes good on everything. Including straight off the spoon.

Check out some of my favorite ways to eat it, starting with the chicken of course…

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And if you read this postabout my love for kitchen alchemy, you’ll know that the pomegranate molasses has made its way into quite a few cocktails…

Here it is paired with Chambord, key lime and blood orange juice with a hint of soda…

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I recently started to use Siri on my iPhone.  I’m not sure why it took me so long to start using it. I’m not opposed to the technology like some, secretly believing that machines are taking over the world.   In my favorite picture of Rodney, he’s disguised as a cyborg, so I’m actually very machine-human friendly.

The actual reason is that I finally got myself an iPhone 5. And all the rumors are true.  Siri really is life-changing.  I can now command orders like “Siri, send my husband an email!” or “Set reminder: need to buy vinegar!” Siri makes the mundane so thrilling, like I’m living in my own Bourne Identity movie. A shaky camera follows me as I brush my teeth and get dressed for the day.  “Siri, call Rodney!”

But one of Siri’s most useful applications is that she helps decode my nearly 2-year old’s language.

For any of you with young children, I’m sure you know the drill.  When Emma and I “talk” it generally involves me scrunching my face, looking at her puzzled, laughing in recognition at what she just said, and then turning to Rodney and whispering “I have no idea what she just said.”

To an innocuous question such as “Emma, where are your shoes?” the response is generally “Mini-man”.

“What would you like for dinner?”


“What color is the block?”


“Where is Emma?”


Although she’s starting to speak in clear sentences, she still favors a few words that are indecipherable.

I decided to reach out to Siri as a last attempt to break down the language barrier.

Fortunately, Siri with her no-nonsense attitude and quick detective skills, was able to provide a window into my little one’s mind.   

“Siri, what is “a-bud-ta-day?” 


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Rodney hates getting the question of where we met.  Because in his mind, the office is the least cool place to meet your future wife.

I, on the other hand, disagree.

It was 1999 when I first laid eyes on his tall and lanky frame.  I was fresh out of school, eyes wide open and exhilarated about moving to New York City.

If you really want to hear about uncool stories, you could rewind the tape 9 months to my Senior year in college, when I could be found holed away in our campus library, applying to a slew of fine institutions like Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns. In my free time, when there was any, I’d relax in my room watching my two favorite movies on repeat: Wall Street and Working Girl.

Recognizing that I may have just lost half of my readers with this story, let me try another tactic:


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