Michelle Peters-Jones

Michelle is a food writer, recipe developer, spice hoarder and social media addict. She is based in Edmonton, Canada and can be found at The Tiffin Box.
Making a "Bubble & Squeak" Is the Only Way to Use Leftover Mashed Potatoes
Bubble and squeak, with its cutesy name, is a classic British day-after-holiday dish. It is incredibly versatile, as you can throw in any leftover vegetables or mashed potatoes into this comforting recipe — perfect for a relaxing meal after a hectic holiday. Usually made to use up leftovers after a Sunday roast dinner, or a major holiday like Easter or Christmas, bubble and squeak is quintessentially British and makes for a hearty breakfast, lunch, or even a quick weeknight meal.
Mar 12, 2024
Thai Sticky Rice Pudding with Coconut Sauce
This sticky rice pudding can be served for breakfast or as a dessert. When I was traveling in Thailand, I had this rice pudding almost every morning, served in small banana leaf bowls, with thick coconut cream and fresh mangoes. It is easily one of my favorite food memories of all time. You can make this rice pudding with black or white glutinous rice. (Or use both! The black rice tints the white a delicate purplish color.) Both varieties are available in most Asian groceries.
Aug 31, 2023
How To Cook Perfect Basmati Rice
Perfectly cooked rice grains are like brothers, close, yet separate, and definitely not stuck together. – Indian proverb A simple pot of basmati rice can defeat even the most experienced cooks, especially when it comes to getting it right, night after night. The perfect rice is soft and fluffy, with each grain perfectly separate. Is this possible at home? Definitely. Just follow these easy, foolproof steps. Basmati is one of the best known varieties of rice out there.
Sep 25, 2022
11 Essential Spices for Indian Cooking
One of the things that people find intimidating about cooking Indian food is the vast array of spices used — both whole and ground, which are often combined into complex spice mixes. However, having taught classes on Indian food, I find that as soon as people are able to identify and understand the spices we use, then suddenly they find this cuisine is not as hard to make after all. Here are the 11 spices I reach for most often when cooking Indian food and how I use them!
Sep 22, 2022
Picture Cook: See. Make. Eat. This Book Is Helping Me Cook More With My Daughter
Cookbook: Picture: Cook. See. Make. Eat. by Katie Shelly Price: $14 Overall Impression: An unusual, quirky book, with adorable illustrations, and solid, well tested recipes. Though this book is marketed as a general cookbook, I found that it was perfect for cooking with children, even very young ones. I love and adore my daughter. However, trying to cook with her, especially when I am in a hurry, can be a challenge.
Sep 30, 2020
100 Days of Real Food Makes Healthy Eating as a Family Feel Approachable and Doable
Cookbook: 100 Days of Real Food by Lisa Leake Overall Impression: A well-researched book with a lot of information on eating healthy food with a focus on kid-friendly recipes. All of us always want to eat better food and live healthier lifestyles. However, when life gets maniacally busy — with school, work, and life — it is almost too easy to turn to convenience food, even though we all know that healthy, home-cooked food is best.
Sep 30, 2020
Recipe: Couscous & Goat Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes
These stuffed tomatoes are the essence of summer. Field-fresh tomatoes, stuffed with an aromatic, Mediterranean-inspired mixture of couscous, fresh herbs, mushrooms and olives, topped with creamy goat cheese — all together, this makes a delicate, light and fresh side dish for a barbecue or a late summer dinner.
Feb 3, 2020
Recipe: Thai Coconut Soup
This Thai coconut soup is one of my absolute favorite soups for the winter — heck, for any season! With temperatures here in Edmonton, Canada plummeting to -40°C over the last week, this soup — with its delicately sweet, salty, and spicy flavors — has become more than just a craving: it’s a necessity. I love its versatility and how easy it is to make, particularly if you’ve made the curry paste in advance.
Feb 3, 2020
Recipe: Massaman Curry with Beef
Thai massaman curry — also known as matsaman or mussaman curry — is a creamy, mildly spicy, nutty, slow-cooked curry heavily influenced by Indian, Malaysian, and Persian cuisines. It is not originally a native Thai curry, but it’s been wonderfully assimilated into classic Thai cuisine. Massaman curry can be made with chicken, beef, or lamb, and it’s an elegant dish to serve for weeknight meals or dinner parties alike.
Jan 21, 2020
A Week of Fast Dinners for Adventurous Eaters
I’ll be completely honest: Being a food writer and photographer means my family is used to eating odd food at even odder times of the day. During the summer holidays, this is not much of an issue – my daughter will happily eat breakfast for dinner if I’ve been shooting pancakes in the bright afternoon light, or sit down for supper at 8 p.m. after I’ve taken advantage of the soft evening light to get a nicely shadowed shot.
Jun 9, 2019
On the Local, the Sacred, and One Farmer’s Choice
Every Earth Day I ask myself what I can do to make the world I live in a little bit better. Whether it is turning out the lights for an hour, or doing our best to live a sustainable life, every one of us can take those small steps which all add up to so much more. One of the things I have been doing recently is aiming to source a lot of my food locally, and support my local farmers.
May 24, 2019
Recipe: Red Kidney Bean Curry with Rice (Rajmah Chawal)
Rajmah Chawal, a red kidney bean curry served with rice, is a rustic, traditional Indian meal that is cooked in households all over India. Originally a staple of the village kitchen, this is a simple, nutritious meal that is naturally gluten free, vegan and suited to people with allergies. Traditionally, rajmah, or red kidney beans, are soaked in water the night before, and cooked until tender the next day.
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Spiced Cucumber Sticks with Chaat Masala
One of my favorite things about India is its fantastic range of street food. From pav bhaji and vada pav, to vegetable chaats and bhel puri, every corner of India boasts its specialties — and no two street food vendors are alike. “Secret” ingredients abound and no one gives away any recipes for their signature dishes. These spiced cucumber sticks are probably the most ubiquitous of all street food.
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Creamy Avocado Lassi
I was born and brought up in India. I moved away when I was twenty-one, but as most expatriates will know, India never leaves you. Which is why the major inspiration for my own website The Tiffin Box is my childhood memories of growing up in this amazing, crazy, unpredictable country. We lived in a century-old red-tiled house, surrounded by coconut trees and a tropical fruit tree orchard.
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Avocado Stuffed with Spicy Shrimp
Living in a city where summers are beautiful but fleeting, any sighting of sunshine is reason to celebrate with bright, zingy flavors and simple salads. This lovely, clean recipe epitomizes spring and summer cooking. It can be put together in less than 10 minutes, and it works brilliantly as either an appetizer or a light lunch. The inspiration for this recipe is my friend, Dani. Dani is Italian, and we met in graduate school when I was a fresh-off-the-boat student from India.
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Acadian Salt Cod Fish Cakes
July 1st is Canada Day! It gives me great pleasure to share some reminiscences of my beautiful adopted country and celebrate the day with you. This year will be Canada’s 147th birthday. Having grown up in India and lived in England, I always forget how young Canada is. As an immigrant, its certainly been a struggle sometimes; however, my life in Canada has also been amazingly rewarding.
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Campfire Banana Boat S’mores
My family loves camping, and every summer, we’re out exploring our beautiful national parks. One of the best parts about camping is cooking and eating out in the open, quite often with meals cooked right on a campfire. I maintain that food always tastes better when it’s eaten outside anyway. This brings me to these banana s’mores — a riff on classic s’mores that taste just like banoffee pie. I can’t stop raving about them!
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Saffron Rice Pilaf
Saffron pulao is an elegant accompaniment to your favorite Indian dishes and is traditionally served as part of Indian festival meals. Saffron, being one of the most expensive spices in the world, adds to the mystery and fragrance of this dish. It is definitely a keeper when you want to make an everyday dinner special. I like to serve this when I have guests coming over and I want something more special than plain steamed rice.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Paneer Mughlai Curry
One of my favorite dinner party dishes is this paneer cheese curry, Mughlai-style. I’ve simplified the recipe and it actually takes less than 30 minutes to put together, including the prep, but it doesn’t lose any of its incredible flavor in the process. But I can guarantee that your family and guests will think you’ve slaved over the stove for hours when you present this to them, all creamy, fragrant and delicately spiced.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Maple Ice Cream With Pecan Praline
Who says ice cream should only be for summer? Maple syrup, to me, epitomizes warm, autumn flavors and this easy, delicious maple syrup ice cream with crunchy pecan praline is one of the best ice cream flavours out there. Plus, it is brilliant with a slice of creamy pumpkin pie as your Thanksgiving dessert. We celebrate Thanksgiving earlier in Canada, and I am always looking for fun and unusual desserts to add to my repertoire, along with pumpkin pie.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Leek, Potato & Fennel Soup with Bacon
This soup is comfort in a bowl. I love serving it with chunks of buttered rustic bread as an easy supper. Thick, creamy, and fragrant — with the deliciously salty crunch of bacon — this unusual leek, potato, and fennel soup is equally at home at an everyday dinner or an elegant dinner party. We had an unusually huge harvest of leeks this year, along with a whole bunch of potatoes, and I was scrambling to make sure everything got used up.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Carrot Halwa
Carrot halwa, also known as gajar ka halwa, is an unusual Indian dessert. It’s made with grated carrots, whole milk, dried fruit, and nuts, and it has a delicious light fudgy texture. Traditionally served at Indian festivals and in temples, this classic dessert is a favorite in Indian households during Diwali, the festival of lights, which is this week! Diwali — the festival of lights — is one of the best-known Indian festivals.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Lamb Rogan Josh
Rogan josh is one of the better known Indian classics, and this fiery lamb or mutton dish from the Kashmir region of India is now popular all over the world. My version stays very close to an authentic Hindu-style recipe, but I have tweaked it to make a rich and spicy slow-cooked dish that is perfect for chilly winter days. There are several versions of rogan josh in existence, but the two most common are the Kashmiri Pandit (Hindu) version and the Muslim, or Mughal, version.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Indian Scrambled Eggs (Egg Bhurji)
One of my favorite breakfasts as a kid was this deliciously spicy, creamy egg bhurji, or Indian-style scrambled eggs. They are super easy to pull together and are an interesting addition to a leisurely brunch or a quick breakfast. Eggs are a staple in Indian cuisine, and are usually paired with onions, tomatoes, and spices for quintessentially Indian-style dishes.
May 1, 2019
Bread Revolution by Peter Reinhart Is a Bread Revelation
Cookbook: Bread Revolution by Peter Reinhart Overall impression: This is the book you need if you want to take your bread baking to the next level. It is not an easy book, but it really will change the way you understand everything about food, flour, and the art and science of baking bread. There is something truly therapeutic about baking your own bread. I have only been really learning to do it the past three years or so, and it is one of my favorite things to do in the kitchen.
May 1, 2019
Here’s Why Marcus Off Duty Is Destined to Grow Old With Me
Cookbook: Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home by Marcus Samuelsson Overall Impression: A collection of simple, elegant and flavor packed recipes that are perfect for everyday suppers or relaxed dinner parties alike. You know those cookbooks. Those that make you smile and reach for your sticky notes, the ones that draw you in with brilliant illustrations and cozy family pictures? Those that make you feel like you can make every single recipe without any stress?
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Coconut Rice
Coconut rice is an easy, delicious accompaniment to spicy Thai curries and dishes, like the Massaman curry I shared yesterday. It’s a lightly sweetened version of traditional steamed jasmine rice, and it comes together in less than 20 minutes. Leaves of makrut lime add a beautiful, subtle lime fragrance to the dish. If you can find them fresh, buy a bunch — more than you need for this recipe — and freeze the leaves in a heavy-duty ziplock bag for future meals.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Lemongrass, Lime & Thai Basil Mojito
This is the perfect cocktail (or mocktail) to serve with your Thai feast. The flavors are light and delicate, and they perfectly evoke lazy summer evenings, even when it’s cold and dreary outside. This drink is a riff on the classic mojito, but made with very traditional Thai ingredients. I love how the combination of aromatic Thai basil, lime, and lemongrass syrup make for a refreshing, clean drink.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Indian Lentil Dal with Hearty Greens
Around the World in 30 Soups: This month we’re collaborating with chefs, cookbook authors, and our own Kitchn crew to share a globetrotting adventure in soups from countries and cuisines around the world. Today’s stop: India. It’s nearly impossible to choose just one soup from India, a vast nation full of so many diverse cuisines. But it would be difficult to do without dal — so let’s start there.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Vegetarian Indo-Chinese Hakka Noodles
These Indo-Chinese Hakka noodles were a staple of my student life. They’re a classic Indian street food and also make the perfect quick and easy midweek dinner — one that is equally child- and adult-friendly. You can make it vegetarian, like I have, or add shredded chicken, pork, and seafood. Besides being a one-wok dish, which minimizes cleanup time, the best thing about these noodles is you can vary the vegetables to suit the season.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Fried Rice with Thai Basil and Tofu
My daughter loves rice, especially fried rice. I love fried rice because it is an easy way to include vegetables and proteins in her meal, and it makes for excellent lunches the next day. Wok cooking is also one of my favorite fast ways of putting dinner on the table quickly. This homemade version — with its peppery, soft, and delicate flavors — is a little lighter and fresher than the take-out version; it’s an all-around winner at our house.
May 1, 2019
5 Essential Items to Buy from the Indian Grocery Store
One of my weekly rituals is a visit to my local Indian grocery store. I am lucky enough to live in a city that has a strip mall pretty much dedicated to ethnic-style stores, so I can do a lot of my shopping all in one place. I have a couple of stores that I visit regularly to pick up items that I cannot find, or are too expensive, at my regular supermarket. The Indian grocery store is on the top of my list, and these are the items I buy there fairly often.
May 1, 2019
Recipe: Kerala-Style Fennel and Anise Slow Cooker Chicken Curry
I am sitting here, cooking this recipe for fragrant chicken curry scented with an intoxicating mixture of toasted fennel and coriander seeds and a warming combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper. The temperature outside is –34°C. Sometimes I jokingly wonder why I live in a place where the air hurts my face. Then I grit my teeth and dream about tropical beaches and the warm swaying coconut palms of my childhood, and hope that summer gets here as fast as it can.
May 1, 2019
I’m Never Going to Be a “Cool Mom” and That’s OK
I am in my kitchen getting dinner ready. The strains of Bruno Mars’ 24 K Magic are floating around in the air, and in my head I am not a mom pushing forty, but in a gold bikini, shaking my backside to that mesmerizing voice. A few minutes later, I look up and I see my nine year old daughter, Adz, staring at me. “Wassup?” I nod to her, still in my hippity-hop mood. “Uh, Mom … you know that’s mom dancing at its best, riiiight?
May 11, 2017
Recipe: Tandoori Chicken Pizza
Phew, it is finally Friday. After a whirlwind busy week of school, after-school activities, work, and writing, Friday night is my night to chill and relax with my family, along with some pizza and wine. And what better way to fuse East and West, than this tandoori chicken pizza? I usually prep for my pizza the night before, after my daughter is in bed. I get the chicken in its marinade and make the pizza dough, which always benefits from a slow rise in the fridge.
Sep 25, 2015
Recipe: Egg Curry with Cherry Tomatoes
I love summer and early autumn. Even though school has started and my life has been steadily getting packed with all the activities that come along with having a child, there is something about harvest time that makes me want to cook and preserve. My tomato plants have been producing a lot of fruit; I am overloaded with cherry tomatoes. Any that don’t make it into sauce get cooked in creative ways — like this simple weeknight curry. This recipe started off as a pasta sauce.
Sep 23, 2015