Orzo. It's what's for dinner.
Hot weather returns to the Bay Area this week. This means we can finally start eating outside! And I try to avoid the stove but still feed the ohana.Meatless and Stove-less MondayQuinoa Salad
plus sliced avocados. Keep the avocados separate from the salad so that leftovers don't go Exorcist-green.Fish on TuesdayCornmeal Fish
and Tropical Fruit Salsa
. Mangoes were very pretty and on sale at Safeway, and Cornmeal Fish means minimal use of the stove.Meatless and Aiming-to-be-Stove-less WednesdayOn the Fly Orzo Salad
. If I'm organized, I can make this on Tuesday when the stove is in use, I can let it overnight for another cool dinner salad.ThursdaySweet and Sour Chicken
. I've had three packages of drummettes in the freezer for far too long. I will be working from home so I'll have time to do this. Otherwise, it would be a weekend gig.Experiment on FridayZippy's Chili
, from a recipe I found on Facebook from ONO Hawaiian Kind Grinds
is the standard of Hawaii chili that many of us grew up on. Looking forward to trying this one!ExtrasCreamsicle Jello Cheesecake
, strawberry variation. OK, so this requires the oven. I'm willing to sacrifice and sweat it out in the name of cheesecake research.Steve's Hummus
. Something else cool that the kids can eat after school.Yogurt
and fat-free milk
. Plenty. As in a gallon a day. Maybe that's why we don't eat cow.Berries
, lots of berries. We have found that if we leave fresh cut fruit out on our dining table, it gets eaten. This is one of the advantages of the temperate and not-humid climate of the Bay Area. Definitely cannot do this in Hawaii without risking major spoilage or cockroaches!
How do YOU
beat the heat and still eat?
There is no more of this. Family and work approved. And I'm already planning on how to make another.
Thank you to budgetgourmetmom.com
. This is a great base recipe, which I then tinkered around.
I reduced the sugar, swapped plain yogurt for sour cream, and then stuck to the traditional creamsicle orange/vanilla flavors. What I do like about this base recipe is that there are a lot of variations.
Here are some variation I'm already contemplating
1) Coconut yogurt and pineapple Jello
2) Strawberry or raspberry Jello topped with fresh fruit
3) Lemon yogurt and lime jello. A sort of key lime cheesecake
Any other ideas? Post 'em here! Click here
for orange creamsicle version. And yes, I did have it for breakfast earlier this week.
OK, it's a little twisted, but yummy!
By far, this was the best Easter discovery. A FB friend earlier this week held a "Peeps Roast" and it was just too twisted and fun not to try.
Behold Peeps Flambe. It is well worth stocking up on Peeps now with the post-Easter sales and taking them camping, well, if I were to ever go camping. I just grilled 'em on the stove.
Simply impale the Peep on a chopstick and roast. Since they are sugar coated, they get a nice crunchy crust and squishy marshmallow goodness inside.
Be aware that it is much faster than roasting marshmallows, just a quick roast. If you are Peep-squeamish, find someone else who will do this for you. However, if you have no problem breaking the ears off your chocolate bunnies, flaming Peeps are much faster, and leave no pitiful ear-less animals staring at you in the cupboard.
What did you do for Easter?
A lot of my 'primary research' for new recipes comes from time spent at various optometrist, orthodontist, dentist and pediatrician waiting rooms. Today's post is part recipe, part rant.
I was reading a Magazine-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named at the kids' dentist office. The headline sung out, "Easy Nutella Caramel Ice Cream Sandwiches." Sounds like Heaven. The recipe was decidedly south of Heaven.
There is nothing easy about:
1. Elapsed time for making the 'short' version: 6 hours (Not counting re-chilling the ice cream)
2. Elapsed time for making the 'full' version: 3 days!
3. Words like "dacquoise" and "a Gastronaut's Sublime Culinary Journey" interspersed in the cooking instructions.
It's possible to deliver a child in 6 hours with proper medication. Dessert in 6 hours-to-3-days? No. And in case you were wondering, a dacquoise is a dessert cake made with layers (plural!) of meringue and typically nuts hazelnuts or almonds. And a gastronaut is rather poetic, but nonetheless rather hoi-polloi made-up word.
However, this did get me to devise a simpler option that I made in about 10 minutes. Including re-chilling.Nutella Ice Cream Sandwiches
Diamond Head Baker Royal Creem Crackers or Pepperidge Farm Gingerbread Men, Lemon or Coconut Cookies
Your favorite ice cream. In this case, I used Coconut Caramel Flan, the Safeway fancy ice cream.
Essentially, just make a cookie sandwich. Re-freeze and eat when you are good and ready. This takes maybe 10 minutes with items that are probably in your kitchen right now. Click here
for the truly Easy Mini Nutella Ice Cream Sandwiches. Let's hear it for sanity in the kitchen. :)
I've been doing marketing and advertising for most of my professional life. So I'm a sucker for packaging, typesetting and production value. When the first of three surprises from Food Explorers Club
arrived, it had me at the "Solo marroni
..." perfectly typeset, matte-varnish, 300+ linescreen, interlocking package. Plus Italian words just sound and typeset better. Marrons Glaces
sound so much more delicious than Italian glazed chestnuts.
According to the brochure, marrons glaces are are organic, hand-picked marrons (Italian chestnuts that are about 1.5x bigger than Japanese kuri) that are hand picked and then cooked/prepared based on a process that dates back to 1766. However, the Agrimontana
company, has been at it since 1976.
Ping-pong ball sized!
All that packaging for a monster chestnut, er marron glace, that according to my child, looks like a desiccated squirrel brain. Literally, it is as big as a ping-pong ball.
To be fair, they are very sweet, very rich, very creamy and play nicely with a good strong black tea. And they are perfect indulgence gift--something I wouldn't ever think to buy but will enjoy thoroughly.
And I can't wait to see what will arrive next month!
Improved Coconut Cake #2
Two coconut cakes, both alike is dignity
In my not-so-fair kitchen where I lay out the baking ingredients.
From last year's oven fire breaks to a new attempt,
Where coconut water and coconut flour makes coconut cake anew...
First Attempt "Coconut" Cake
Coconut flakes are very flammable.
I tried to make a coconut cake last September. I
t was a tragedy.
While simply not having an oven fire would be a major accomplishment, the family agreed that the cake was much improved and actually tasted like coconut.
Here is what I learned from the most recent coconut cake adventure:
1) Coconut water, which, undiluted, tastes like laundry water, is very useful for flavoring cake and whipped cream frosting.
2) Not over-beating is VERY important in cake making. Mixing until just barely combined is key.
3) A metal mixing bowl and a big whisk are my preferred way to beat egg whites. It is very therapeutic.
4) Measuring cups come in 1/3 increments. Measuring spoons do not, but should.
5) Coconut flour is gluten-free and available at Whole Foods.
6) Making fresh fruit filling is amazingly easy and cornstarch is a secret weapon. What works for Chinese stir-fry sauces works for cake filling.
7) If your mixing pans are 1" larger than the recipe specifies, you'll get more pancake than cake (See right). Hence the half-circle cake (Pictured above) so I could get appropriate cake height.
However, all things considered, coconut cake with raspberry lime filling and coconut-flavored whipped cream worked out much better. And if I can make it unassisted, anyone can. I even brought it into work and my brutally honest co-workers and boss approved.
Just a few changes
More pancake than cake
Much Improved Coconut Cake
Be safe. The ocean always wins.
What a crazy natural disaster few days. The tsunami alert for my Feeding My Ohana-ohana in Hawaii has passed. To our Feeding My Ohana-ohana on the Northeast, stay safe and dry.
Sandy looks like a bad one, so please take care!
Make sure you have lots of water, canned goods like tomato sauce, black beans and tuna, bread, peanut butter, batteries, band aids and gas for your cars and grill. Out west, here's what's cooking.
MondayKorean Egg Meat
, using fish. I LOVE
egg meat, but since my son doesn't eat cow, I'm using Dover sole. Fish jun is standard for Korean restaurants in Hawaii, so I think it should work, and cooking will be much faster than beef.
A proper Monday meal with musubi, kim chee, kale chips
and a new kochojang dipping sauce
Liking the sound of this already!Meatless TuesdaySweet potato curry
. This seems like a very fall kind of dish.Wednesday--Happy Halloween!
. A childhood favorite of mine that I'm foisting upon my children. They can decide if it's a trick or treat. Not nearly as strange as the kimchee/peanut butter or sardine/onion sandwiches I've also liked and eaten as a kid.
ThursdayChristine's Clam Chowder. Feeding My Ohana's Virtual Food Drive kick-off day. We will be matching donations again this year.FridaySeared Furikake Ahi Salad
. Something new and light to go with Halloween candy.Extras from the bakeryButterscotch pumpkin breadBanana-Nutella bread
, from last month's issue of Cooking LightEat Well. Be Well. Stay Safe!!
My own private Waimea Bay. Sigh.
Someone very dear in my Hawaii ohana is making the big jump to the "Mainland". Wishing them good luck, and sending them off with a view of one of my favorite places in the universe--summer morning at Waimea Bay. As the song goes, it's my "pocketful of paradise". I did not get to go to Hawaii this summer, and Waimea gestalt is one of the many things I really miss.
With that, a mix of Hawaii and Mainland cooking this week.SundaySteve's Grilled Lamb
. We ate it with Spinach Bolani (Afghani flatbread) and fresh grilled eggplant that we got from the Mountain View (CA) farmers market that day.
Love my Daddy's Fried Rice!
All you can eat buffet, as requested by my mother-in-law for her birthday dinner. With strawberry chiffon cake
from Whole Foods. The seasonal apple cake is also quite good.TuesdayMy Daddy's Killer Fried Rice
. For A LOT
of leftover rice.WednesdayTofu Loaf
, inspired by Green Garden Restaurant, a long-closed and very local-style restaurant in Hanapepe (Kauai). In addition to an awesome lilikoi pie, they baked up a tofu dish with onions, shiitake and mayonnaise. This version also includes tuna, carrots, celery and cream of mushroom soup. It shall be a grand experiment.
To balance out the Perhaps-Not-So-Great Green Garden experiment, I'll try a fancier Hawaii Regional Cuisine recipe. This one is Hoisin Linguine
from Russel Siu, one of the co-founders of 3660 on the Rise
. This also happens to be my mother's favorite restaurant, and by utter only-in-Hawaii coincidence, Mom used to go to water aerobics with the other founder. Very small island.
Taking the last gasp of summer with Roasted tomato pizza
.Baking ExtrasTodd's Pound Cake
. I grew up with Sara Lee Pound Cake, but I dropped her for husband-made. The 5 eggs and 1/2 pound of butter means it is should never been a weekly staple, but it's marvy as a once-in-awhile indulgence.Go Giants. Beat Cal. Hockey Come Back!
Eat Well. Be Well.
We recently spent a week in beautiful Vancouver, Canada. It is an amazing city and a mighty fine town for eating.
While I've already noted Japadog
, here is the dessert menu
--simple, down-home sweetness to try when you are North of the Border.
from anywhere, but we got ours from Be 'wiched Cafe in Surrey
Pronounced nuh-NYE-moe, this is a regional dessert/snack named after the city where it was invented. It's a crispy coconutty, graham cracker crust, a smooth custard in the middle, and topped with a thick layer bittersweet chocolate/fudge. It looks like it should be a ridiculously dense ride, but somehow it's rich, full flavor without being too heavy. Except that you can't eat too much of it at once, and Lord knows I wanted to. Need a recipe!
Beaver Tail with maple creme and a chocolate drizzle
at Lonsdale Quay Markets
I'm quite sure this is a very touristy thing, but hey, we were tourists. A BeaverTail resembles a flattened churro or oblong funnel cake. Then, like a pizza, pick your toppings--Nutella, maple creme, caramel, chocolate, Reese's pieces, strawberry sauce. Since the bread is already a little sweet, I recommend going moderately on the toppings.
Maple creme with chocolate drizzles was eye-rolling good. Nutella with bananas *and* Reese's Pieces was overkill.
We also loved that food labels in Canada are in both English and French. Let's face it, having a BeaverTail sounds just plain weird, but Patisserie Queues de Castor, who wouldn't want to eat that?
Side 1 French
Side 2 English
Mr. Christie's Maple Leaf Cookies from Safeway
The first thing you smell when you open the bag is a lovely, almost caramel maple scent. We stopped in a Safeway on the drive back to the US and picked these up on a lark. These were so good that we conscripted a Canadian friend to bring 2 more boxes home for us.
With apologies to my Canadian ohana, we didn't even make it to Tim Hortons
. This seems like reason enough to go back again soon.Eat Well. Be Well.
Don't get me wrong. I love candy canes, gingerbread and peppermint bark. And we will surely be making and decorating cookies this week. But sometimes it's good to be a little salty.
In addition to our ginger sugar Christmas cookies
, these are some of our favorite funky alternatives, all using not-sugar bomb cereals as an essential ingredient.
What the colleagues are getting
Furikake Chex Mix
It's easy, packages up well, and is a most welcome change-up from all the sweet action
going on during this time of the year. My son, the Chex Mix Jedi, declares his preferred combinations to be Crispix and pretzels or Rice Chex, Honeycombs and pretzels. Capn Crunch steer clear you should for this.
This takes a little more than an hour
to make. However, in the spirit of full disclosure, it didn't take me much time at all because my #1 son made this batch for me. Click here
for the recipe.
Made by my nieces this year
My Daddy's Energy Bars
This is probably one of the healthier treats. Yes, it has marshmallows, Rice Krispies and butter. BUT
it also includes oatmeal, raisins, nuts
and peanut butter.
My Dad made these for years and now my nieces have taken over the annual 'baking,' which means microwaving for less than 10 minutes
for the recipe.
Another cereal-based treat
Cranberry Cereal Biscotti
This has been one of the most popular items at our annual Christmas party for the past two years. The cereal makes it crunchy but without becoming molar-cracking, as when some biscotti can be a tad hard.Click here
for the recipe.
'Tis the Season. Eat Well. Be Well.