Category Archives: Restaurant gifts

Give the gift of Tanya


Apologies to Tanya for the circa 2002 photo I dug up. But isn't it festive?


Tanya Tandoc is at it again: Tempting us with yet another volume of her soup recipes.

Tandoc, the owner of the former Tanya’s Soup Kitchen, has been selling a volume a year for a few years now. This year, she’s putting out a sixth volume, featuring recipes such as French lentil with bacon, lemony chicken rice, broccoli and white cheddar, and brie and pear soup with toasted hazelnuts. The new volume contains 13 recipes in all and comes printed on a set of cards for $10 at Lucinda’s, 329 North Mead, and Cooking at Bonnie’s Place, 9747 E. 21st St. N. The previous five volumes also are available for $10 apiece.

Tandoc also will be putting on a demonstration from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at  Cooking at Bonnie’s, where she’ll also sign cards and give out samples.


I heard from a frazzled Tanya over the weekend, who told me that she had some trouble with the printing of Vol. 6. But it actually works out for you. One recipe was omitted, so Tanya asked me to share it here. She said she’ll correct the problem in the next printing. In the meantime, here ya go:

Indian Lentil with Spinach

Serves 8

2 Tb olive oil

1 tsp cumin seed

1 tsp ground coriander

½ tsp turmeric

2 tsp hot curry powder

½ inch slice fresh ginger, minced

1 medium onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 can petite diced tomatoes

2 cups red or brown lentils

8 cups vegetable stock or water

Pinch of sugar

Juice of one lemon

1 pound fresh spinach, washed and chopped

1 cup heavy cream

Salt and cayenne pepper to taste

1 tsp garam masala

Chopped fresh cilantro and green onions to serve

Plain yogurt to serve

In a large, heavy pot, heat the olive oil to medium.  Add the cumin seed, coriander, turmeric, and ginger and fry for a couple of seconds, until aromatic.  Add the onion and garlic and cook until onion starts to brown.  Add the tomatoes, lentils, and stock and bring to a boil.  Lower heat to a simmer and cook soup until lentils are very tender.  Add a pinch of sugar, the lemon juice, and the spinach and cook until spinach wilts.  Add the cream and simmer 10 minutes.  Season the soup with salt and pepper.  Stir in the garam masala and garnish with cilantro, green onions, and yogurt.  I like this soup served with rice.

Give the gift of dining

deniseoutbackMy story for Friday’s Go! section, which you can read today right here, is about the large number of local restaurants who will give you bonus cards or free food if you buy gift cards this holiday season. A smart shopper who gave nothing but gift cards could probably find a way to eat free for a month.

One cool feature some restaurants, such as Outback, Carrabba’s and Bonefish Grill, are offering is the ability to personalize your gift card with a photo if you order it online. I have demonstrated above. It was easy!

Let me know if there are gift card bonuses I failed to mention here.