About

Hi Friends! Thanks for visiting My Berkeley Kitchen. I’m so happy that you’ve stopped by.

I live with my family, in Berkeley, at the top of a hill next to a giant old redwood tree, on a street lined with trees often bursting with Meyer lemons and other seasonal fruit. Sometimes, when I walk outside of my front door, I come face to face with a family of deer, munching happily away on our greenery. Happily for them maybe, not so much for our cherry tomatoes!

Berkeley is a place I love for being a “little big city”- where you can find the most vibrant, unique markets, restaurants and shops, and yet be so close to nature.

I am a mom of two young girls who live with environmental and life threatening food allergies (see Allergy Living). So all I think about each day is food, not only for sustenance and joy but also as a means of keeping my girls safe. Sometimes, this seems like a heavy load to haul but we are all given things that carry weight. Our struggles connect us. Food feels this way for me, our common link.

This food blog is created as a means to share my love of whole foods, mostly organic, home-cooked, seasonal meals made for my family and friends. Many recipes are variations on others, some are completely my own or recipes handed down from my Pakistani family.

A few years ago, I graduated from Bauman College,  a Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts School, in the Natural Chef Program.  I cook using alternative flours and whole grains. Many of my recipes are free from: gluten, soy, dairy, tree nuts, peanuts, sesame and some egg free options.

On most days, you can find me in my kitchen, tweaking or creating a recipe, planning cooking projects with my mom (a wonderful cook), perusing my infinite cookbook collection and finding inspiration at many of our neighborhood markets.

In between, I am  chasing after my two young spirited girls, trying to catch my breath and of course always taking pictures of food!

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Caught in the act! Setting up for a picture out on our deck

Doesn’t it feel like so much of our life happens in our kitchens? Sometimes it is not at all fun. Cooking can be messy and chaotic. There are kitchen fails and disasters. Sometimes, things catch on fire. There is spilled milk! But so what? Life happens and we clean it up and then we find the strength to sit down and share a meal together. For a moment, everything seems like it will be ok. And even if it is not, we can rejoice knowing that at least for now our bellies are full and nourished.

Please come along with me and share my little version of Berkeley, seen through my “food-tinted” glasses. And I hope you will stay for dinner.

Hugs,

Shahla

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The garden at Mission Heirloom- one of my favorite places to eat, drink and zen out