December 2012


Just a quick Happy New Year to everyone as I get my food ready for New Year’s Eve.

My sister and I sometimes get homesick for Hawaii-style foods, so to help alleviate our ailment she suggested we make some “local style” food for New Year’s Eve. She’ll be making some makizushi (rolled sushi), either pancit (Filipino noodles) or soba (Japanese buckwheat noodles), and char siu bao, a.k.a. manapua (steamed buns w/Chinese bbq pork filling). I’ll be making crispy spring rollsand kal bi (korean style bbq short ribs). I’ll post some photos after everything’s prepared, and will put links and recipes to mine as well as my sister’s dishes (if she’s willing to share her recipes!)

Stay safe, and have a wonderful New Year’s!

 

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I’ve been craving strawberries. And not just regular delicious strawberries, but the big, juicy ones you can find in the pies at Anna Miller’s next to Pearlridge Center on Oahu:

It’s a coffee shop restaurant with a good assortment of comfort foods like omelets, tuna melts, BLTs, roast beef, and are open 24 hours. They’ve also got a good selection of homemade pies, my favorites would be the Chocolate Haupia Pie and the Strawberry Pie.

Here’s a terrific recipe for strawberry pie from Brown Eyed Baker. She also provides a recipe for a delicious flaky crust, so if you don’t have a favorite crust recipe handy, this one will do the trick. The recipe calls for 3 pounds of strawberries, but the larger size containers at the supermarket came in 2 pounds so I just reduced the ingredients by 1/3. I used a 5 1/2″ springform pan the first time (which leaked strawberry syrup in the fridge, so be careful if you use a springform pan!) and the second time I used 4 small tart pans, which fit all but 2 large strawberries. I also ate some of the pie with plain nonfat Chobani yogurt mixed with vanilla protein powder–good stuff! The protein powder made the Greek-style yogurt even more thick, it made for a deliciously healthy breakfast. :)

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Strawberry_Pie_2

Christmas breakfast: single-sized strawberry pie

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These mini pie pans are perfect for single-serve strawberry pies!

Be sure to get the recipe from Brown Eyed Baker, it’ll be a great pick-me-up for the winter!

What are some of your winter cravings? Anything out-of-season, out-of-state, or even out of the country??

23_Paws

Cat Condo

 

L-R: me, hubs, Trixie, Wolfie, and Sammy.

stockings, L-R: me, hubs, Trixie, Wolfie, and Sammy.

 

 

Just a quick “Meowy Christmas” to everyone from our furry feline family:

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Trixie enjoying the warmth of the fire

Wolfie and his spiffy homemade cat collar (which he soon "lost" in 2 days).

Wolfie and his spiffy homemade cat collar (which he soon “lost” in 2 days).

Sammy, so precious...sometimes...

Sammy, all snuggled down for a long winter’s nap.

Be sure to check out Cinnamon at 23 Paws to see what Guiness, Chloe, and other 23 Paw-ers are up to for the holidays.

Have a great holiday, everyone! :)

This month’s Recipe Redux theme is all about those necessary tools that keep us happy and efficient in the kitchen. Sometimes it’s fun to be MacGyver-ish and make do with whatever tools you may have in the kitchen (chef’s knife, cheese grater, rolling pin) but having a gadget that eases the hassle of grinding, chopping, blending and slicing can feel as if you have a new assistant to help you prep (but not help you clean up!)

Looking for a last-minute Christmas gift? This one might be a good one to chip in with your siblings or another friend or two and give it to that favorite home chef in your life.

This is my favorite tool in the kitchen, mostly because it was given as a wedding gift (gifted items are always the most treasured!) I was more than elated when I saw this wonderful Kitchen Aid food processor because 1) I would have NEVER purchased one for myself,  2) it was a beautiful, candy-apple red, 3) this thing is powerful, and 4) I knew I wouldn’t have to make my graham cracker crumbs with a rolling pin and Ziploc bag, anymore! Making basil pesto was faster, easier, and the consistency was much better than using a blender. I also love using it for chopping toasted nuts, which is great if you use a lot of it in your baking and cooking because you can conveniently scoop out whatever you need and keep the rest in an airtight jar.

Here is a recipe that’s quick to make with a food processor. The original recipe can be found at WholeFoodsMarket.com, but I made a few changes to lighten it up a bit and make it dairy-free.

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Add anything you want: mushroom, peas, even some grated Parmesan cheese!

Creamy Savory Walnut Sauce, Dairy-Free
don’t let the tofu scare you off, the nutritional yeast and garlic makes it incredibly flavorful, you won’t miss the dairy! You can also use this as a savory dip for veggies or a spread for crackers–just add more tofu to thicken it up.

Ingredients:

1 cup walnuts, toasted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes (can substitute grated Parmesan cheese)
1/2 cup firm Silken Lite Tofu
1/4 cup soy or almond milk

KitchenAidMixer

Directions:

In a food processor, pulse toasted walnuts until chopped, about 5-7 times. Add salt through nutritional yeast flakes Pulse 2-3 times until combined. Add Silken Lite tofu, put cover back on. Run the processor and pour soy milk through the chute, blend for 5 seconds or until combined. If too thin, add more tofu. If too thick, add more soy or almond milk.

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Creamy, savory walnut sauce–no cream, no cheese!

Heat and serve over pasta with your favorite toppings (mushrooms, chicken, bacon, etc.) Serves 4.

What is your favorite kitchen tool(s)? Where did you get it? What makes it your favorite out of all the other gadgets in your kitchen?

Don’t forget to check out the other favorite Kitchen Gadgets of other Recipe Redux members!



For those of you who enjoyed Sesame Street in the 80s:

Happy Birthday, Princess Twelvia!

Here is a Dutch holiday cookie recipe that’s flavored with sugar and spice and everything nice! Some say this recipe is for kruidnoten (spice nuts), others know it better as pepernoten (pepper nuts). Whatever the history behind this is, all I know is that it tastes great!

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Pepernoten
Why wait for Sinterklaas? Make a batch to enjoy anytime!

50 g (1/4 cup) butter
100g (1/2 cup) brown sugar
2 tablespoon milk
150 g (1 1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground anise
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

In a standing mixer, cream butter and sugar. Meanwhile, combine dry ingredients with a wire whisk and set aside. Add dry ingredients plus milk to butter and sugar and work into a dough, using a wooden spoon or silicone spatula. Wrap dough tightly in saran wrap and refrigerate overnight.

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Chilling the dough makes it easier to handle and lets the flavors develop.

 

Divide dough into 4-5 pieces. Work each piece into ropes (or snakes, if you prefer) about the thickness of your finger and cut off nugget-sized pieces.

Place on ungreased cookie sheet, bake at for 8-10 minutes or until darker and cracks form on the top. Cool on wire wrack before storing in airtight container. Makes about 160 pepernoten.

About 80 cookies can fit on one cookie sheet.

About 80 cookies can fit on one cookie sheet.