Friday, December 28, 2007

Peruvian Soup - Chupe de Camarones

Today was another soup day for us. Since we don't eat meat on Fridays year round, I thought it might be a good day for my mom's Peruvian Chupe de Camarones. It is more or less a shrimp chowder.

I found this recipe which is very similar to my mom's recipe. Recipe for Chupe de Camarones My mom makes it without the Peruvian ajis or the queso blanco...or peas for that matter. I know remember I forgot to add oregano. But it was still good.

It is a very tasty and hearty soup.

Soup Days

It's been pretty raining and winding here. That means, the temps have dropped and for us, it is chilly. The following is a recipe for lentil soup I made in the crockpot yesterday.

1 leftover spiral ham bone (or ham hocks)
2 cups dried lentils, picked over and rinsed
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1/4 cup sliced celery
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
2 Andouille sausages or another kind of spicy sausage such as Portugese
6 cups of chicken stock
or 2 or 3 chicken bouillon cubes and 6 cups water
1 can tomato sauce
Salt and pepper to taste.

Place all ingredients early in the morning, in a crockpot. Select HIGH and let it cook for at least 6 to 8 hours or until potatoes and lentils are cooked.

This soup will be thick and will go well with crusty fresh French Bread.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

My Long Awaited Christmas Present

Cuisinart Ice Cream MakerWell, I finally got what I've been wanting! The Cuisinart Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt Maker. I'm really happy with this gift. You see, as much as I like Haagen Daz ice cream, I feel we could do better with ice cream made at home.

So yesterday I prepped the ice cream maker by freezing the bowl and then we went to the supermarket to get the ingredients needed. The joke among my family was that a quart of ice cream cost us twice as much as a gallon of Breyers :-)

Unfortunately, the ice cream never frozen even after having the machine on for over an hour. Turns out I didn't let the bowl freeze solid. Liquid could still be heard if you shook it. So back in the freezer it went overnight and then I froze the ingredients in a separate container.

This morning we ran the ingredients through the machine for about 20 minutes. It is now setting and should be ready to eat in a few hours.

Our first attempt is vanilla but the possibilities are endless. I think I will try chocolate chip mint next or cookies -n- cream....maybe mango sherbet or peaches -n- cream.....

Monday, December 17, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

It's Yakiniku Tonight!

grillPicture source as well as the following review are from The Tasty Island Blog
To help us celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary, our DS is taking us out to dinner to his favorite restaurant.

Camellia Yakiniku Click the link for a review.

Not really my idea of romantic but heck, it's really tasty and we never celebrate an anniversary without our son.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Peruvian Ceviche

Picture source: HERE

Our fish of choice is Tilapia and it is marinating in lime juice to which aji amarillo a specialized hot pepper has been added along with, slices of white onions (red onions would go well here too), sliced jalapeños, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper. I do not add cilantro because I believe the traditional Peruvian method is to add flat leafed parsley and not cilantro. This dish is served with boiled sweet potatoes and steamed corn. Sometimes Peruvian restaurants top the cebiche with "cancha" which is a roasted and salted large dried Peruvian corn kernel similar in taste to corn nuts.

The following recipe is pretty close to what my mom makes.

And once again, this is strictly a Peruvian dish, not Mexican or Ecuadorian (although I am sure their variation on this dish is tasty too).
Recipe here

Thursday, December 6, 2007

What's For Dinner Tonight? Lamb and Barley Soup

I found a recipe on the internet HERE and it sure sounds like it will be quite tasty.

However, I tweaked my soup a bit as follows:

Brown the lamb pieces in a hot soup pot where olive oil has been added. Add diced onions and garlic. Add 6 cups of water (for 4 servings of meal size servings). Add one envelope of Knorr Chicken bouillen powder. Add sliced carrots and celery as well as one cup of pearl barley. Simmer on medium low for at least two hours. Season with salt and pepper if needed.

I think I will serve this with Italian sub sandwiches or maybe just a tossed salad.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Humor Break

Shared by John.

1.. You walka pasta da bakery.
2.. You walka pasta da candy store.
3.. You walka pasta da Ice Cream shop.
4... You walka pasta da table and fridge.
You willa lose weight!

For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
5. The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.


Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Recipe for Chicken Casserole

The following recipe is by Divine Mercy Doesn't it look like it is quite tasty?

3 cups (750 mL) hot cooked broccoli florets
2 cups (500mL) cubed, cooked, skinless chicken breast
1 can (10 oz/284 mL) CAMPBELL'S Condensed Cream of Broccoli Soup (or Low Fat) Cream of Broccoli Soup (or Low Fat)
1/3 cup (75 mL) milk
1/2 cup (125 mL) shredded light Cheddar cheese
2 tbsp (30 mL) dry bread crumbs
1 tsp (5 mL) butter or margarine, melted

broccoli and chicken in 1 qt (1.5 L) baking dish.

mixture of soup and milk over broccoli and chicken. Sprinkle with cheese. Top with mixture of bread crumbs and butter.
at 425°F (220°C) until heated through - about 25 minutes.

Pumpkin Bread

pumpkin bread
There are freezer bags full of pumpkin chunks and puree sitting in our freezer. With Christmas and other special occasions coming up, I thought this was a good day to start emptying out the freezer. So today I made pumpkin bread. I got my recipe from my Better Homes and Garden cookbook. As usual, I found a similar recipe on the internet. Why type when I can just link ;-)

Simply Recipe - Pumpkin Bread

We've never had pumpkin bread before. I believe the only quick breads I bake are corn bread or banana bread....maybe cranberry nut bread once. Well, my family and I loved the flavor and texture of this delicious bread! I doubled the recipe and I also substituted Pumpkin Pie spice for the spices called for in the recipe. Keep in mind that our son does not like pumpkin pie. But he loved this bread.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Money Saving Tips

I am a subscriber to The Dollar Stretcher. It is a free e-newsletter for tips on living more frugally. The following was in last week's newsletter which I am just getting around to read. The ones in bold are the ones I do:
From Grandma's Attic
by Marenda Babcock
What Grandma knew about saving money in 1948

In an effort to do more de-cluttering in our home, my husband
and I were going through a box of items left from his
grandmother who died last April. Many items were thrown out.
However we found a book entitled "1003 Household Hints and
Work Savers" written by Michael Gore in 1948. Inside the front
cover, I see the price Granny paid was a whopping 50 cents.
What a deal!

Some ideas are too old to be applicable in today's lifestyle,
but many ideas can still be used today. The following is a
montage of ideas that would still help the frugal household
save a few pennies here and there.

* When shopping at a fruit stand, watch for bruised fruits and
veggies to cut up. I regularly ask for bruised tomatoes at a
deep discount and cut them up to use in salads, on tacos, and
in other dishes. I do the same with fruit. If the price is not
a deep discount, I offer the vendor a lower price. They watch
for me regularly. They know I might buy up their hard to sell

* Prevent fruit and vegetable spoilage by lining the drawer
bottom with a paper towel. This absorbs excess moisture that
forms in the drawer and causes faster spoilage. I like this
idea, but to save money, use a dishtowel instead.

* Use liquid from canned vegetables in soups, sauces, stews,
gravies, and casserole dishes and for making a white sauce.
The canned liquid is full of flavor and vitamins.

* Don't throw beet-tops away. They make a fine, free
substitute for spinach greens, being rich in vitamins,
minerals, and iron.

* Wrap a head of lettuce in a towel to prevent it from
"rusting" so quickly.

* Don't waste celery tops. Cut them up and use in stews,
soups, roasts, and in stuffing.

* You will have no tears if you peel an onion under cold
running water. (NOTE FROM ME: This seems to me to a waste of water. I guess you can also do it in a bowl of water and then use that water to water your plants)

* Fried potatoes will be deliciously golden brown if sprinkled
lightly with flour before frying.

* Save your orange and lemon rinds, boil in water and add the
flavored water to iced tea, lemonade, and fruit drinks.

* Have just a small amount of flake cereal left? Don't throw
it out. Crush it up and put it in a meatloaf or meatballs. Or
toss the flakes with some melted margarine and grated cheese
for a delicious casserole topping.

* Cooking with a double boiler saves money. Cook boiled eggs
in the bottom while cooking oatmeal or something else in the
top part.

* Don't throw out the leftover coffee or tea. Pour it into
empty ice cube trays and freeze for iced coffee or iced tea.

* When boiling eggs, you don't need to boil them until they
crack. Once they come to a boil, turn off heat and cover with
a plate for 15 minutes. If heating up a breakfast roll or
muffin, put it on top of the plate and let the heat from the
steam in the pan heat up your breakfast.

* To keep fine china from being scratched, put paper doilies
between plates and saucers when stacking them.

* When food is fried on a gas range, popping grease frequently
spatters the burners not in use. Pie pans placed upside down
over the unit burners to protect them and are easily cleaned.

* When cutting fresh flowers from the garden be sure to remove
all lower leaves below the water line, decaying vegetable
matter poisons the water.

* Use your double boiler to cook the vegetables in the bottom
and the white sauce or cheese sauce for the veggies in the
top. This saves time and fuel.

* Don't throw away those old flannels. I had a bottom flannel
sheet that ripped down the middle. I cut a pair of flannel
pajama pants for my son to wear made from the top sheet. The
ripped bottom sheet will make some nice potholders.

* If you have two or three worn-out blankets, stitch them
together and cover with a cotton print.

This fantastic list proves that even though the book was very
old, many of the tips are still helpful over 50 years later.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Chicken Parmesan

What's Cooking
Well, tonight I think I will make Chicken Parmesan. Although we had spaghetti with meat sauce and linguine last night, I am in the mood for my brother's Chicken Parmesan. Unfortunately, he probably will not email me the recipe in time so I will make do with this recipe I found on the internet. RECIPE

I will be using my own marinara sauce to which I have added the leftover jar of organic marinara sauce I had in the refrigerator. I may or may not be pounding out the chicken breasts into fillets because I am using half breasts with the ribs. I may try something new.

Tonight I will serve that over Penne pasta. Dinner isn't until much later but I have the sauce simmering because slow simmering makes for a more flavorful sauce.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Dishes Served on Thanksgiving.

arroz con gandules
For Thanksgiving, we prepared the traditional fare:

Roast Turkey with sage under the skin for extra flavor.

Fresh cranberry and orange relish

Homemade mashed potatoes

Homemade giblet gravy (my husband makes it deliciously!!!)

Green Bean Casserole

Homemade fresh pumpkin pie

Boxed stuffing made semi-homemade (I'm stealing that phrase from Sandra Lee) by sauteeing minced celery and onions in butter before adding the water.

Sauteed mushrooms

Candied yams with cinnamon stick

Stuffed mushrooms

Broccoli with garlic vinaigrette.

I thought we would have plenty of leftovers. Not so. But I did manage to have my husband keep from tossing the turkey carcass away so I could make Jook (Chinese rice soup).

Now my mom's menu was almost identical to mine with the exception of Arroz con Gandules. When she told me she had made this, wise guy that I am I retorted, "Well, that's sure an All-American dish!" But my mom explained to me that my brother's girlfriend is a vegetarian. I thought that was mighty nice of my mom to make that dish for her.

My family may not be Puerto Rican but the dish my mom selected is an important part of a Hispanic family's comfort food...rice and beans.

Which brings me to another non-traditional Thanksgiving Day recipe. My friend Sue shared the following article with me:

Thanksgiving With a Lebanese Twist

She knows her way around a Thanksgiving feast, but it might not be quite what you'd expect.
"I talked to people about their Thanksgivings, and they'd say theirs was pretty traditional," Curtin says. "And then they'd start telling me all sorts of different things they serve."

Sauerkraut in the Baltimore area, for instance.

"Where you are and where you come from shows up," she says. "There are strong immigrant roots at the table..."

Serves 8 to 10
2 tablespoons canola or corn oil
1 pound ground beef or lamb
2 cups long-grain rice, rinsed and drained
3 cups chicken, beef, lamb broth or water
1-2 teaspoons salt (to taste)
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ cup coarsely chopped canned chestnuts
¼ cup blanched, peeled almonds
¼ cup pine nuts
¼ cup shelled pistachios
¼ cup golden raisins

Place 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the ground meat and cook, stirring often until the meat is brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in rice, broth, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, cinnamon, cumin and nutmeg. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring every 10 minutes. Continue to cook rice, covered, until water is absorbed and rice is tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. During the cooking, add ¼ cup water or more as needed if all water is absorbed before rice is done. Add more salt if necessary.

Place remaining tablespoon of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Stir in chestnuts. Then stir in the almonds, pine nuts, and pistachios. Cook and stir for several minutes, until nuts are lightly browned. Stir in raisins and remove from heat. Serve on its own platter, sprinkled with the browned nuts.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Fresh Pumpkin Pie

pumpkin pie
Today, I decided to take a giant leap and make my first pumpkin pie from scratch.

The other day I finally got around to cutting up the two pumpkins we got at the pumpkin patch right before Halloween. The first pumpkin, I cut up with my large Chinese cleaver on a cutting board, on the floor. It took me an hour to cut it up. Then I boiled the chunks in water until soft. Unfortunately, I didn't know until today that boiling it makes the pumpkin absorb too much water and can't be used for pies.

I started to cut up the second pumpkin in the same way. However, the thought of spending one hour doing so, just made me stop. My best friend told me another method someone had shared with her. Putting the pumpkin the the oven until it was soft and then scraping up the flesh. Well, that way was much easier. However, it took a while to puree it in the food processor. But the finished product didn't have excess water.

I used the second batch for the pumpkin pie.

Mrs. Sigg's Fresh Pumpkin Pie Recipe.

I made more of the filling than the pie crust could hold. With the extra, I poured them into individual Pyrex cups and baked it along with the pie. My husband loved it! He made sure to put a large dollop of whipped cream on it. The edges that browned reminded him of a pumpkin pie cream brulee he said.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Marinated Cornish Game Hens

I bought two packages or 4 game hens on sale the other day. Usually, I don't like to make these little chicken-tasting birds because I find them to be a bit boring. However, today, I thought I would jazz them up a bit with the following marinate:


1 whole head of garlic (peeled)
Juice of two large limes
Fresh sage and oregano
Salt and pepper to taste (I used tbsp of salt)
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

Using the food processor blend until well blended.

Cornish Game Hens:

4 game hens (split down the middle)

Place in a large bowl or baking dish. Pour the marinate over all pieces, making sure to coat evenly. Cover and let sit in refrigerator for at least 3 or 4 hours.

Preheat oven at 350 degrees until very hot. Place hens on a roasting or baking pan.

Place in hot oven and turn over when that side is evenly browned. When both sides are browned. Turn off oven. Approximately 45 to 1 hour.

Serve with sauteed mushrooms, steamed white rice and tossed salad.

A Treat For Breakfast - Dim Sum

dim sum Photo source: Honolulu Advertiser

We had promised our son we could go for Dim Sum today.

Dim Sum means a little bit of the heart. They are little delectables that come to the diner via a cart rolled around by waitresses. It is a typical Hong Kong breakfast.

My DH and DS were satisfied going to a cheaper dim sum restaurant in Chinatown. However, the last time I ordered there, I was not happy with the way they treated us. So, although the food was good and about $15.00 cheaper than the place we went today, we chose to go to Seafood Legends Restaurant

It is a well lit restaurant; having a huge crystal chandelier in the center of the main dining room. We got there right after Mass so it wasn't too crowded that early in the morning.

We ordered the usual: shrimp half moons; seafood and cilantro dumplings, pork shumai, and of course shrimp look fun. I don't know the secret to the sauce but the look fun really makes the dish special. The other items were dipped in red chili paste and soy sauce. Our DS dipped his in his Jasmine tea.

I also wanted to order the rice congee but it was still cooking.

Since our DS was very hungry, we ordered more than the usual but he left the restaurant quite satisfied.

I highly recommend this restaurant's dim sum. We are making plans on going there to dinner one night too.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Paella - Two Recipes

paellaPicture source: Here

When I was younger, and I'm talking late teens or early 20's, I tried to make this dish. Considered to be the signature dish of Spain, Paella is truly for the more experienced cooks to attempt or so I thought at the time. Unfortunately, that early attempt turned out to be quite inedible. The proportions of rice and liquid was way off, leaving the dish with uncooked rice and overcooked seafood.

Years later, I again attempted to make Paella. After all, who could resist a tantalizing dish of richly seasoned rice, meats and a seafood variety. I don't recall what I used to make the Paella in but it was not a Paella pan. That attempt worked out quite nicely.

The following are two recipes for Paella. One is considered easy and the other is more like the traditional recipe.

Easy Paella

The Ultimate Paella

Neither recipe has been tried by me but I think that very soon, I will try the second recipe.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

New Site Added to the Side Bar

While I was cooking dinner, I found a cooking show on PBS. It was America's Test Kitchen.

On today's show, they prepared a cracked peppercorn filet mignon and potatoes with onions. Unfortunately, I did not catch the name of the potato dish.

Check back on that site as they will most likely be posting the recipes soon. In fact, just take a look at their extensive list of recipes!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Two Knives I Couldn't Do Without

chinese cleaver
japanese chef's knife
When cooking, I rely heavily on my Japanese chef's knife which is over 14 years old and my Chinese cleaver which is a year or two younger. Both are stainless steel. Both are very reliable. When I need them sharp, I bring them together in a blade to blade sliding motion. This method works extremely well for me. So well in fact, that I forgot about obtaining the whetstone I had longed for many years ago.

My good friend who is not in the least a fan of cooking, has Henckel knife set. These are expensive knives. Impressive yes, but also very pricey.

My knives were not as expensive. In fact, the Japanese one costs under $20.00 when we first purchased it. It probably runs around the same today. The Chinese one was bought in Chinatown for less than $10.00.

Would I be happy if someone were to give me the Henckel set? Sure, who wouldn't. But I am very happy with my two old knives.

Make Do Beef Stroganoff

There were two sirloin steaks in the freezer; leftovers from the family pack purchased last week. I bought the mushrooms and egg noodles. So it looked like beef Stroganoff for dinner tonight. Unfortunately, as I started preparation for dinner, I realized I had completely forgotten about the sour cream. Usually, I have at least 1/4 cup in the refrigerator. But today, no such luck. We will have to make do with is in the refrigerator.


1 lb of sirloin steak, cut into strips
1 package white mushrooms, 8 oz. washed, dried and sliced
1 medium onion
3 garlic cloves
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk or half and half
1 tsp vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp. flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Cooked egg noodles or cooked white rice

Heat a cast iron skillet. As the skillet is heating up, process the garlic and onions or dice by hand with a sharp knife.

Coat the sirloin steak slices with the flour, making sure to coat evenly. Add 2 tbsp. olive oil to the hot skillet. Add the steak slices and distribute well. Do not touch until one side of the steak slices are browned. With a large medal spoon, turn the slices over to brown the other side. When nicely browned, add the diced garlic and onions. Saute a couple of minutes. Add the mushroom slices and the water. Cover, lower the heat to medium low. Approximately 15 minutes later, check to see if the meat and mushrooms have cooked thoroughly. Add the milk or half and half to which the vinegar has been added.

Cook until thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over hot noodles or rice.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Pomegranate

When my brothers, sisters and I were growing up in New Jersey, we really looked forward to Autumn because it meant we would be eating pomegranate. We so looked forward to eating those delectable juice-filled seeds and then spitting them out of our mouths.

We had different ways of eating them. Most of us would just bite into a quarter of the lovely round ball of fruit. But one sister would methodically and patiently remove each and every seed from the membrane and place them in a bowl. After we had finished eating our fruit, faces stained port wine red from the juice, our sister would still have her bowl of seeds to snack on at her leisure.

My DH and DS went food shopping the other day. They brought home the biggest and reddest pomegranates for us to enjoy. Unfortunately, our DS did not like the taste so that meant more of that treat for his dad and me.

The following is from Wikipedia
Providing 16% of an adult's daily vitamin C requirement per 100 ml serving, pomegranate juice is also a good source of the B vitamin, pantothenic acid, potassium and antioxidant polyphenols...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Typical Peruvian Meal for Tonight's Dinner

Tonight we had what we refer to in Spanish as "Comida Tipica" del Peru.


Tallarines Verdes (Pasta with Pesto Sauce) The pesto sauce is similar to Italian Pesto with the added ingredients of evaporated milk, spinach and Aji Amarillo (hot yellow Peruvian peppers for the more daring).

Bisteck (Steak)Fried Sirloin steak is fine.

Chicha Morada (a traditional Peruvian drink made out of Purple corn)My mom sends us the drink mixes from La Negrita. Note, I never bought from this company before. I just wanted you to see what it looked like.

Goya - Oh Boya!

HT to Leticia

Hispanic food giant Goya Foods is sponsoring the movie Bella
Goya Foods today announced that it will launch a multi-dimensional promotional campaign for the highly-acclaimed film “Bella”, winner of the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival’s “People’s Choice Award”. The independently-produced film, brainchild of Mexican icon Eduardo Verástegui who serves as both star and producer, has won enthusiastic reviews from a variety of media outlets including CNN’s Anna Maria Montero who called it “Powerful and moving … a true inspiration.” Written and directed by first-time filmmaker Alejandro Gomez Monteverde, this charming movie is a life-changing love story centered on family, friendship and a love that goes deeper than romance.

According to Goya Foods President Robert Unanue, “Goya has chosen to take on an active role in the promotion of this film owing to its emphasis on the strength of family and tradition. Of equal importance to us was the fact that “Bella” portrays Latinos in such a positive light and of course, that food plays an integral role in the story”. The film will open nationwide on October 26th and in support of its debut, Goya will host the October 23rd premiere in Miami, Florida at the Olympia Theatre, Gusman Center as well as the October 24th premiere in New York City at Tribeca Cinemas. Goya’s sponsorship includes strategic product placement in the DVD, the production and placement of 30-second radio commercials in Spanish language markets, as well as the underwriting of a short video produced by Goya on “Bella”. The video will be featured prominently at the Premiere as well as on Goya’s website, the “Bella” website, and the DVD version of the film scheduled for release in 2008.
Click Here to read Goya's Press Release

So for that, we say thank you Goya! Our family always cooks with your products and will continue to do now more than ever!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Stuffed Green Peppers

With the lovely fresh green bell peppers I got at the farm field trip the other day, I made stuffed green peppers. The following recipe is very close to the one I used. The difference is that I used ground turkey and not ground beef. I also omitted celery, butter and the egg.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Roasted Marinated Chicken

Safeway had the whole leg and thigh family pack on sale and I didn't have any new ideas on what to do with them. With a little thought, I came up with the following recipe:


5 whole chicken legs with thigh attached

5 or 6 cloves of garlic
Juice of 1 whole lemon or lime
5 Fresh Sage leaves
1 Spring fresh oregano. I used Mexican oregano so I used one large leaf.
Salt and Pepper to taste (approximately 1/2 tsp of salt and two turns of the pepper grinder)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil.

Process until smooth in a food processor or blender.

Place chicken in a large baking or roasting pan. Pour marinate over chicken and make sure to coat both sides. Let sit for approximately 1 hour.

Bake in a 375 degree oven. Until both sides are golden brown.

Serve with steamed long grain white rice seasoned with salt.

Corn on the cob or tossed salad.

Saturday, October 27, 2007



Yesterday we went on a pumpkin picking field trip See post here Not only did we get big pumpkins for the price of admission but I was able to pick of a bag of fresh produce too! For $10.00 we got a large size Kunia Sweet Watermelon, 6 ears of Ewa Sweet corn, 4 large green peppers and a bag of Ewa sweet onions!

My DH and DS are looking forward to carving Jack-o-Lanterns. What I am looking forward to is pumpkin soup.

The following recipe for pumpkin soup was shared by my friend Layla:

- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 2-3 cups pared pumpkins, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 cup thinly sliced onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 5 peppercorns
- 1 medium sugar pumpkin
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, warmed
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. In a covered saucepan, heat the stock, cubed pumpkin, onion, garlic, salt, thyme, and peppercorns to boiling; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes.
2. Remove 1/2 cup of the pumpkin with a slotted spoon; reserve.
3. Simmer remaining pumpkin mixture, uncovered, 20 minutes longer; transfer to a large bowl.
4. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
5. Cut the top off the sugar pumpkin and remove the seeds.
6. Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes; set aside in a warm spot.
7. Puree 2 cups of the pumpkin mixture in a blender or food processor; return pureed mixture to the pot.
8. Repeat with remaining pumpkin mixture.
9. Heat pureed mixture to boiling; reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
10. Stir warm cream and reserved pumpkin into soup.
11. Place the warmed sugar pumpkin on a platter; ladle the soup in and garnish with parsley.
12. Serve hot.

Fantasy Fudge

Yes, this is the original Fantasy Fudge recipe from the back of the Kraft Marshmallow Creme jar. We'll never know why they changed the recipe on us, but we've preserved the recipe for you right here. Makes about 36

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup margarine
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 12-oz. (340 g) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 7-oz. (198 g) jar Kraft Marshmallow creme
1 cup chopped nuts
1 tablespoon vanilla

Traditional Method

Combine sugar, margarine and milk in heavy 2 1/2 qt. saucepan; bring to full rolling bail, stirring constantly. Continue boiling 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring. Remove from heat, stir in chocolate till melted. Add marshmallow creme, nuts & vanilla beat till blended. Pour into greased 13x9 inch pan. Let cool and serve.

Microwave Method

Microwave margarine in 4-quart microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) 1 minute or until melted. Add sugar and milk; mix well. Microwave on HIGH 5 minutes or until mixture begins to boil, stirring after 3 minutes. Mix well; scrape bowl. Continue microwaving on HIGH 5 1/2 minutes; stir after 3 minutes. Stir in chips until melted. Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Pour into greased 9-inch square pan or 13x9-inch baking pan. Cool at room temperature; cut into squares. Makes 3 pounds.

Creamy Cabbage Stirfry

I am going through old recipes I have saved. I don't remember where I got the following one. I must have thought it would be tasty though I still have not made it.


This is another healthy quick meal that will be a family pleaser. If you like cabbage more crisp, cook for the lesser amount of time. Ground turkey works best in this recipe. This recipe is also a good choice for a diabetic menu.

4 ounces uncooked egg noodles (eggless) (about 3 cups
1 pound extra lean ground turkey or beef (7% fat)
1 medium onion, chopped, about 1 1/2 cups
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 can (10 ounces) reduced-fat cream of celery soup*
4 cups chopped cabbage (about 10 ounces)

Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain.

Spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Brown ground meat with onion and seasonings. Add cream soup and mix well. Add cabbage and reduce heat to low.
Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until cabbage is cooked to your liking. Add cooked noodles and mix well.

Funnel Cake

Funnel Cakes

1 1/4 cup sifted flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
Sift together dry ingredients. Mix egg and milk and add to dry ingredients. Stir until smooth. Pour oil into a skillet and heat to 375°. Holding finger over the end of a funnel, pour in 1/4 cup batter. Holding over the hot oil, remove finger and let drizzle over the hot oil. As batter flows, move funnel in a circle to form a spiral cake. Fry
about 2 minutes on each side, turning once until golden brown. Remove from
oil and drain. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, glaze or nuts. Makes 6

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Padre Pio Bread - Hemin Bread

At the homeschooling field trip yesterday, one of the moms offered me a Padre Pio bread starter. It is called Hemin Bread. Which I accepted. My mom in NJ was given some by my sister and she took it too.

Now, we are supposed to follow a different instruction per day for 10 days and then the dough is ready to be divided up into 4 parts, three of which are supposed to be given away, etc, etc.

That part sounded a bit on the brink of being superstitious so I skipped 9 days of instructions and baked the bread today. I had to guess at the added ingredient measurements though because I wasn't going to give three parts away.

I ended up adding 1 cup of flour, 2 eggs, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tbsp. baking powder, pinch of salt, 1/4 cup oil, and approximately 3/4 cups milk. I poured the batter into a greased loaf pan. It baked at 325 degrees for 1/2 hour. I then shut the oven off and let it sit there until it was time to eat.

It was delicious! The taste is between a yeast bread and a quick bread/cake.

It is all gone.

I found the following at the EWTN QUESTIONS & ANSWERS SITE

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

How to Cut an Onion With Fewer Tears

H/T to Alexandra

Photo Tutorial

Wished I had seen this earlier. I used the food processor today just to avoid the tears.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Top Ten Meals on a Budget

Coincidentally, I made #2 on the list for lunch today.

Top 10 Meals on a Budget List

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Another Food Meme

This time from Mimi of Bigger Than a Breadbox
Take the letters of your name and add a food-related factoid for each one.
Eggs: I don't like them too much. If I had to eat them I would prefer hard boiled.

Strawberries: I love strawberries but it is very hard to find ones that are genuinely sweet. Most times we have to eat them with condensed milk.

Tomatoes: Same with them. I love tomatoes. Hard to beat a NJ home grown tomato for their size and flavor. Just thinking about them sliced thickly with fresh mozzarella, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and fresh basil leaves is making my mouth water.

Hellmann's Mayonnaise: It took me a while to figure out that Hellmann's is called Best Food Mayo here in Hawaii and anywhere west of the Mississippi. Weird huh?

Eggplants: Although one of my favorite veggies, they don't seem to have any nutritional value whatsoever.

Radishes: Expensive here in Hawaii but delicious with a garlic vinaigrette.

Again, consider yourself tagged if you want to play.

A Kitchen Meme - 8 Random Meme About My Kitchen

I got this one at the SFO Mom's Blog

The picture upload isn't working on blogger today so I have to do this w/o pictures. Boring, I know.

1. My kitchen is very small. I am used to a huge kitchen like my mom has. But I am able to cook, bake and do other things in this small but capable kitchen.

2. I have my Kitchen Madonna in a little cabinet with see-through doors, above the kitchen sink. It is comforting to know she is there.

3. I finally got the stainless steel door refrigerator I have always wanted. But it is harder to keep clean than the old white door refrigerator we used to have.

4. With all the storage space in that same kitchen, I still need more room for all our dishes, appliances, food, etc.

5. No room in the kitchen for my collection of cookbooks so I keep them in a small bookcase outside the kitchen and the rest in my bedroom.

6. My most used appliances have prominent place on our counters: coffee maker, food processor, blender, microwave, toaster oven.

7. That refrigerator door is opened constantly by certain men-folk in the family.

8. We bought the place with wallpaper on the walls. Who would do that? Our next project will be to remove and paint the walls in a semi-gloss cheerful color.

I don't know who reads this blogs so tag if you want to play.

Liliha Bakery

Is there anyone here on Hawaii who has not tried something from Liliha Bakery? If they haven't, they have cheated themselves.

Following our Holy Hour of Adoration, we popped over to get dessert. Usually, they are the Coco Puffs at Liliha bakery. What is a Coco Puff you ask? Why it is a chocolate pudding filled cream puff topped with Chantilly frosting. It is heaven on earth!

But my DH and I have had our share of coco puffs so we wanted to try something different. DH wanted to try the vanilla custard filled cream puffs sans the Chantilly topping and I wanted to try the vanilla custard cream puff topped with a chocolate glaze. I asked the employee there. "What is the name for the chocolate topped cream puff?" She responded: "Chocolate topped cream puff". Who would have guessed?

For more on these delectables, check out Ono Kine Grindz's review of the bakery.

Next time we stop in for more goodies, I think we will stick around for dinner at their ever crowed lunch counter which always has a waiting line.

Miso Soup

My friend gave me some fried noodles yesterday. I thought a nice bowl of miso soup would be a nice accompaniment for the noodles. It is a comfort food for Joey and it is a very healthy food overall.

There are lots of recipes for miso soup on the internet. You can learn more about this fermented soybean paste based soup from Wikipedia

My recipe is similar to those you will find for the standard miso soup except for one main difference. I learned this trick from a good friend of our family who prepared it for us on her first visit to Hawaii. It is the use of cubed potatoes instead of tofu cubes. She substituted the potatoes for the tofu because I did not have tofu in the house at the time. However, this is the way my family now prefers the soup. My son also likes lots of wakame in the soup so I always throw in a little extra. I like scallions and so I throw in a little extra of that too. Wakame is one type of seaweed which is sold dried.

Here is one basic recipe for miso soup without the wakame. If you would like to try it with wakame, just throw in a little of the dried wakame when the broth starts to boil.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Eggplant Parmesan

What I miss here in Hawaii is the Italian eggplants that are so readily available in New Jersey. They do have them here but they are a little more expensive when you can find them. So I was happy to find that the fresh produce market I go on Fridays had the round eggplants! They weren't as big as the ones in NJ but for three people, (one of which refuses to eat it) it sufficed.

Homemade marinara sauce See recipe here
2 round eggplants, sliced into rounds, salt until the eggplants sweat and rinse.
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup of flour

Heat a skillet, add oil. Coat your dried off eggplant slices with flour, fry until golden brown on each side. Place one layer in a baking dish. Top with approximately 1 cup of marinara sauce and half of the cheese. Repeat with the next layer.
Bake in a 350 degree oven until cheese melts and/or turns lightly brown.

Serve with thin spaghetti and extra marinara sauce. A nice tossed salad also goes well with this dinner.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Artichoke Pesto

As I was typing the last post, my husband was watching the local news. They had a segment about making artichoke pesto. It looked so good because it contained ingredients I really like especially artichoke. It is healthy and contains no meat. How great is that?

Here is the The Hawaii Channel RECIPE

1 can artichoke hearts or bottoms
1 cup parsley
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
zest and juice of one lemon
2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Put in food processor and blend into pesto.

Spread over toast.

Barb's Tandoori Chicken

Well I finally got around to trying Barb's recipe for tandoori chicken. I realize she got the recipe from someone else but since I first saw it on her blog, I am calling it Barb's Tandoori Chicken. I had to modify her recipe a bit. Since I've never had Tandoori chicken before the ingredient I left out shouldn't matter to much or will it???


I left out the cardamom because I don't cook with it nor could I find it at the grocery store today. Another modification was salt. No where on Barb's recipe or the original recipe could I find an indication for salt. I salted it to taste.

I found a recipe online HERE that mentioned salt to taste. They also mentioned that this dish could be served with garnishes such as sprigs of cilantro and slices of cucumber, red onion, tomato, and lemon. Since I am serving this with a cucumber salad, I am omitting the garnishes.

I am serving this dish with Jasmine rice. I think the more fragrant Basmati rice would have gone perfectly but I only had Jasmine or short grain.

Food Humor

Thanks John!

Moses died and went to heaven.

God greets him at the Pearly Gates.

"Are you hungry, Moses?" asks God.

"I could eat," Moses replies.

So God opens a can of tuna and reaches for a
chunk of rye bread and they share it.

While partaking of this humble meal, Moses looks down into Hell and sees the inhabitants devouring huge steaks, briskets, pheasants, pastries and wines.

Curious but deeply trusting, he remains quiet.
The next day God again invites Moses to join him for a meal.

Again it's tuna and rye bread. And, again, Moses can see those denizens of Hell enjoying salmon, champagne, lamb, truffles, and chocolates.

Still he says nothing.

The following day, mealtime arrives and another can of tuna is opened.

He can't contain himself any longer.

Meekly, he says:
"God, I am grateful to be here in heaven with You as a reward for the pious, obedient life I led. But here in heaven all I get to eat is tuna and a piece of rye bread, and in that 'other place' they all eat like emperors and kings! I just don't understand."

God sighs.

"Let's be honest," He says. "For just two people, does it pay to cook???"

Top 10 Food Related Movies

This is from one of my new favorite sites...Lists, Lists, and More Lists!

Top 10 Food Related Movies

I have seen two of them: Like Water for Chocolate and Eat Man Drink Woman.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Local Curry Dish

My son and husband love Japanese curry. It is made using a prepared curry called S & B Gold Curry Sauce Mix: Medium Hot. We get it here in Hawaii in all our local grocery stores and even at Long's Drugs!

Today's variation was made with ground turkey, celery, carrots, onions, sweet potatoes, potatoes and broccoli.

I serve with with white rice, fried okra (recipe below) and freshly sliced pineapple.

Fried Okra:

Slice a handful of freshly washed and dried okra width wise, season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, add tbsp. flour and cornmeal. Heat skillet. Add two tablespoons of vegetable oil and fry the okra until golden brown around the edges.

Pineapple Tip:

After washing slicing the pineapple, I keep the peel and core. I add all these pieces to a small pot of water (approx. 4 cups of water) and cook on medium low for approximately 1 hour. You can add lemon juice, sugar to make a refreshing drink or add the liquid to prepared or freshly brewed tea.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Variation on a Variation - Rachael Ray Recipe - Sorta Soba Noodles

On yesterday's show, I watched Rachael Ray make a soba noodle bowl recipe but she substituted wheat pasta for what she says is the hard-to-get in NY Soba noodles. Well, the recipe looked really tasty and I decided to make it for dinner tonight. Except for a couple of things, 1) I don't like soba or wheat pasta and 2) I defrosted chicken breasts for dinner. That was my substituted items.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Buy Organic Without Breaking the Bank

Organic foods may be healthier for you, but they can have a sickening effect on your wallet.

Produced without pesticides and other chemicals, organic produce, meat and dairy products can cost 50% to 100% more than their conventional counterparts, says Urvashi Rangan, a senior scientist and policy analyst with Consumer Reports' Greener Choices1. Despite those mark-ups, studies touting the health and environmental benefits of organic foods have made them more popular than ever before. More than 70% of consumers have at least one organic product on their shopping list, according to market research firm Hartman Group.
Here are five tips for going organic for less:

Yahoo Finance Article

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Iranian Meat and Eggplant Recipe - Koresht Badenjan

When I was in college, one of my best friends was an girl from Iran. She and her brothers attended school with me. They also had their own apartment and they cooked the best exotic dishes I can remember. One such dish was a stew made from meat, eggplant, tomatoes and onions. It was somewhat sour with the addition of lemon juice and very tasty.

I regret never asking my friend Mahvash for her recipe but with my sisters help we came up with a recipe that is very close to what I remember. I also found a recipe on the internet that is similar. Koresht Badejan Recipe

The difference with my recipe is that I use whole fresh tomatoes sliced thickly instead of the tomato paste.

This dish goes very well with white or rice or Iranian style rice (with the crunchy bottom and the cucumber and yogurt side dish Mast o Khiar.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Mahi Mahi with Tomato Mushroom Sauce

Mahi mahi is also known as the common dolphin fish. No relation to the dolphin in mammal species.

I found fresh mahi mahi fillets in my neighborhood supermarket. It was wild and caught in Hawaiian waters. So you know, I could not pass that fish up.

4 fresh Mahi mahi fillets
1/4 shoyu (soy sauce)
Juice of 1 small lime or lemon
Salt and Pepper to taste

1 fresh tomato seeded and minced finely
2 large mushrooms of your choosing, cleaned and finely minced
2 fresh green onions, finely minced

Marinate the fish fillets with the shoyu, lime juice and a sprinkling of salt and pepper for approximately one hour. Make sure to keep the marinate after removing the fish.

Heat up a cast iron skillet or non-stick. Add two tbsp. olive oil. Place your fillets side to side and fry until golden brown. Turn over and cook for a few minutes more; making sure not to overcook. When the fish flesh turns opaque, it is done.

Remove to a serving plate.

In the hot skillet, add the marinate and your vegetables. Stir with a wooden spoon for approximately 2 or 3 minutes.

Serve fish with a dollop of the sauce along with white rice and boiled sweet potatoes.

Can't get any healthier than that!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Dampfnoodla - A German Russian Recipe

My dear father-in-law's family were German immigrants who migrated to the Karlsruhe section of Russia. They then moved to North Dakota. Thanks to their rich heritage, my family was fortunate to receive a few of the older recipes. One such recipe is that of dampfnoodla. It is a half steamed/half fried bread and served with fresh or canned fruit. It goes very well with soup. I usually serve this with my father-in-law's German Borscht but tonight it is split green pea soup.

Although, I do used my father-in-law's recipe, I found one on the internet that is quite similar (I would omit the onions though) and so that is the one I am sharing with you:


When I first ate this delicious bread, my father-in-law served it with canned plums. Since are still able to get fresh plums at the market, I am serving it with sliced plums to which a sprinkling of white sugar has been added.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Bitter Melon Stir fry

bitter melonOur local market had bitter melon on sale for .99/lb. the other day and I bought two. Tonight I made a stir fry for dinner.

Bitter melon looks like a wrinkled cucumber. The taste is one that you must get used to as it is like the name implies, very bitter. My family loves the unusual sensation in your mouth of cool and bitter. To learn more of this tasty little gourd, Click Here

The following recipe is from my Mom:

2 bitter melons, sliced down the middle with the pithy part and seeds removed, then sliced each half into slices
1/2 lb. of sliced beef steak
1 medium onion, sliced
3 large garlic cloves minced
Soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Slice the beef into small slices and marinate in a bowl with 3 tbsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. cornstarch, pinch of sugar, pinch of pepper. Set aside

Brown Sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp sugar
ground pepper to taste

Heat a wok until very hot (you can substitute a heavy large frying pan). Add a tsp. of vegetable oil and the sliced bitter melon. Stir fry a minute and add a tbsp of water. Stir fry another minute or two and remove to a large bowl.

Add two tablespoons of oil into the wok. Add the garlic and onions and stir fry quickly until garlic browns. Add the beef slices and stir fry until meat is no longer red. Return the bitter melon back to the wok and add the brown sauce. Stir fry until sauce bubbles and thickens. Remove into the large bowl.

Serve with white rice.

Serves 4

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Raspberry Syrup

raspberriesPicture source: All Posters

When I was in New Jersey, I ate the sweetest raspberries from my sister and b-i-l's bushes. I didn't even bother to wash them. They were better than candy!

Safeway was having a BOGO free offer for raspberries or $4.95 for two half pint containers...or $4.95 for a pint. I fell for the ad and brought home two containers.

Alas! The berries, although, plumb and large, were very bland. I tossed some in fruit smoothies but I still had a container left and I didn't want to eat them.

When my husband requested French Toast for breakfast one morning, I was about to make the usual brown sugar syrup, (This is the only syrup my son and I like on our waffles, pancakes or French Toast.) but I added the container of berries to boil along with the brown sugar and water. When the mixture thickened to the consistency of syrup, it was ready. The syrup was very tasty. Even my son who does not like raspberries, even the hand picked ones, thought it was good.

I almost forgot to mention that the syrup freezes very well.

Tasty BBQ Spare Ribs

On Labor day I finally prepared the spare ribs I bought on sale a couple of weeks ago and had frozen.

I had two large slabs of ribs and when they had eaten the ribs, my family proclaimed it to be the best ribs I had ever made. Wasn't that nice?

What I did was to preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using the broiler pan, I placed the thawed ribs top side down on the rack. I seasoned both sides of the ribs liberally with McCormick's Montreal steak seasoning. I placed the broiler pan in the oven and let the ribs cook undisturbed for approximately one hour at a low temperature of 300 degrees. I turned the ribs over and let that cook for an additional hour. I then turned off the oven.

Afterwards, I liberally brushed on Kraft's Hickory Honey barbecue sauce (any sweet BBQ sauce will do), returned the pan to the oven. After approximately 15 to 20 minutes, the ribs were ready.

The meat fell apart from the bone and it was still juicy. The smaller ends of the ribs were crispy brown, the way I like it.

I served it with tossed salad, grilled corn on the cob and steamed white rice.

Note: The corn was originally supposed to be boiled/steamed corn on the cob but I forgot to watch it carefully and it burned a bit on one side. Joey said they were so tasty!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Peach Cobbler Recipe - Updated

Today I watched a video of Wolfgang Puck make his cobbler. The recipe is as follows:
Cherry and Berry Cobbler. I was in awe of the way he did it because he didn't cook the filling beforehand. I had a bag of full of fresh nectarines that a friend had shared with me. I decided to try my usual recipe below using Wolfgang Puck's technique for both the crust and the filling.

I have to tell you, it was so delicious! I will be making my cobblers this way from now on.

Well you know it's summer time when we have more fruit than we can eat, sitting in our refrigerator. Actually, I have a very nice friend who likes to share plums, apples, nectarines and peaches with us. So today I thought I'd better use up some of the peaches and nectarines before they went bad.

This is an easy and tasty version of a cobbler. Enjoy.

Recipe for cobbler topping:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp butter
1 beaten egg
3 tbsp. milk

Mix flour, sugar, and baking powder. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Combine egg and milk. Add to flour mixture, stirring until moisten.

Peach filling recipe:
In a saucepan combine 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tbsp cornstarch. Add 1/4 cup water. Stir in 4 cups fresh peach slices (I used a combination peach and white nectarine slices). Add a few drops of lemon juice for a little tang. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbling.

Transfer filling to a baking dish and drop topping into 6 mounds on top of hot filling. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into topping comes out clean.

Serves 6.

Chili Peppers Are Good for You!

red chili peppersBeing from Peru, chili peppers or specifically ajis are a way of life. How providential that a recent study in England has found that an ingredient in chili peppers may kill cancer cells.

Article - How spicy foods can kill cancers

They found capsaicin, an ingredient of jalapeño peppers, triggers cancer cell death by attacking mitochondria - the cells' energy-generating boiler rooms.
Now, in other articles, it isn't necessarily just the jalapeño that has the ingredient capsaicin.

The other day, I did buy a Hawaiian chili plant. Some have already turned red, so what to do with them? I think I will turn them into a fresh chili sauce that will go well with boiled potatoes or boiled meats.

Approximately 5 or 6 large chilis (removed the seeds and veins; be sure to use disposable gloves when doing this)
Juice of 1 fresh lime or lemon
1 cup, tightly packed fresh basil leaves (washed and dried)
1 TBSP vegetable oil
1/4 tsp Salt (my preference is Hawaiian sea salt)
3 green onions stalks, coarsely chopped.

In a small chopper, food processor or even a blender, process all ingredients until smooth. It may be watery. You can add more basil leaves if you'd like.

Variation, add queso blanco (a fresh Puerto Rican cheese) or cottage cheese to some of the mixture for a cheese-y sauce.

Serve with boiled potatoes, boiled yuca or even boiled meats.

New Blog Added to the Sidebar - Local Kine Grindz

H/T to Adrian

Local Restaurant Review blog

Farmer's Markets

Chef Marcus and Farmer's Markets

We have open markets in Hawaii. We also have our HMO offering fresh produce from local farms every Friday near us. Other than growing certain produce yourself, you can't beat the fresh grape tomatoes, watercress, green onions and ginger, that these markets offer.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Relieving a Childhood Memory - Takoyaki

takoyakiSince my DS came to live with us, he has been trying to remember a Japanese dish he loved as a little boy in Osaka. He really couldn't articulate what it was other than it was very tasty.

Today, I was determined to go to a local Japanese specialty store because it was the last days of the Takoyaki festival. Takoyaki are sold by street vendors in Osaka.

Tako is octopus in Japanese.

I therefore dragged my son to the store and the takoyaki chefs where busy performing for us. Takoyaki are little balls of batter that includes a piece of tako, pickled red ginger and green onions. As we stood in line waiting our turn, my DS tells me that it looked like the dish he enjoyed so much as a little boy. Well, I bought a box that contained 10 pieces.

When we got outside, we had a taste each. He couldn't believe it was his favorite treat...the one he couldn't remember the name of. He made me go back and get another box. We shared one box for lunch. We will have the other box later. We are counting on my DH not liking octopus so we don't have to share ;-) Seriously, tomorrow we have to go back for more.

The following is a recipe for these little delectables. However, without a special takoyaki pan, it will be hard to make at home.


BTW, I also picked up another specialty item...sweet potato and apple pie. Lady on line with me told me it was so good, she bought two!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

I was organizing the kitchen cupboards and refrigerator to see what staples I needed to replace. There was a small bag of frozen okra in the freezer. Too little to do much with other than add it to soup. Well, why not make gumbo! I had some shrimps in the freezer which I had been saving for Friday's shrimp foo yung.

In my Better Homes and Garden cookbook, one of my favorite cookbooks, I found a simple recipe under soups. No shrimps required!

I found a recipe online which is similar to what I made:


I hope you try it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


poiPicture source: This site

I mentioned that my DH needs to eat a lot healthier than he has been. While speaking to a friend who is half Hawaiian, she reminded me most nutritious food is poi. Poi is the Hawaiian Kalo (taro root) that has been pounded into a paste.

While shopping today, I remembered that I was supposed to buy poi. As hard as it is to believe, living in Hawaii, poi is not always available. I found a Hawaiian food stand and there were bags of poi. I asked the clerk if it was fresh poi but no, it was day old poi. Day old poi starts going sour. My husband mentioned that he didn't mind so day old poi it was.

Since we were eating salmon for dinner, I did not pick up the lomi salmon that is salted diced salmon with tomatoes, onions. Lomi means massage so the lomi salmon is massaged with the fingers. Here is a basic recipe Lomi lomi salmon

Well, we still have a half a bag left. Eating poi plain is alright but I think I will try something new.

In one of my Hawaiian cookbooks, I found a recipe for Poi Cocktail. It is a recipe from Maili Yardley's Hawaii Cooks cookbook (Charles E. Tuttle Company, Rutland, Vermont, Tokyo, Japan):
"You don't hear too much about this nourishing drink anymore. A pity, too, because it is one of the best foods for invalids, children or non-eaters. Shake well 1 C milk; pinch of salt; cracked ice and 3 or 4 heaping T poi. Serve cold in glasses.".
The other recipe I will be making is Poi Mochi. This is indeed a treat to eat!

To learn more about poi, please visit this website

Chinese Salmon Steaks Recipe

My DH was in the mood for fish tonight. Actually, because of recent health issues, I told my family we are going to be eating healthier foods.

I ended up buying farm-raised salmon steaks. Unfortunately, although loaded with Omega 3, wild salmon would have been even healthier.

So now my dilemma was whether I wanted to prepare it Japanese style or Chinese style. I finally decided to try something new.

Chinese Salmon Steaks:

4 Salmon Steaks (go over the skin with a knife to remove any remaining scales)
2 Green onion stalks
3 garlic cloves
3" piece of fresh ginger, peeled
1 1/2" of fresh Jalapeño (vein and seeds removed)
Juice of 1 fresh lime
Approximately 1/4 cup of shoyu (soy sauce)
1 tbsp. vegetable oil

In a food processor, pulse the green onion, ginger, garlic, Jalapeño until coarsely chopped. The ingredients can be minced by hand too.

In Pyrex baking dish (or something similar), place the salmon steaks and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover with the chopped vegetables, lime juice, oil and shoyu. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

You can then bake the fish in a 350 degree preheated oven or steam it until fish is flaky...after approximately 15 minutes.

Serve with steamed white rice.

I will also be serving it with stir fried mushrooms or bean sprouts.

My New Skillet

cast iron skilletWhile on a shopping trip for lunch and dinner ingredients, we happened into a store that sells overstocked stuff. I was looking for a salad spinner but had no luck.

I mentioned to my son that I was looking for a big skillet. I told him the best cookware would be cast iron but that they were not that easy to find. Reason being the popularity of cast iron and the cost. At least that is what I recently read in an article.

Lo and behold I hear "Like this?" There he was holding a large cast iron skillet! The best part was that it was only $8.99! The first new cast iron skillet we bought was over 10 years ago and it was at Sports Authority. I believe it cost us about $20.00 back then.

It has now been seasoned and it is ready for use.

Mahalo Joey!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Learning to Cook From a Priest

Fr. Leo

Sunny posted an interesting article about a priest with his own cooking show. He is on PBS but I hadn't heard about him until Sunny mentioned him. You should check out Fr. Leo"s website for more details about him, his new cookbook, videos and his blog even has recipes.

Thanks Sunny!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Roasted Lamb Shanks with Lentil Rice Pilau Recipes

Yesterday, I found nice lamb shanks at a local supermarket.


4 lamb shanks
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
minced fresh herbs such as oregano and basil

Place the shanks in a shallow baking dish and top with all the above ingredients. Let sit for at least an hour or two in your refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place baking dish in hot oven and roast for approximately one hour or until the shank meat is very tender.

Serves 4

I will be serving this dish with Rice Pilau the recipe which is below:

1 cup raw long grain rice
1/2 onion, minced
2 tbsp butter or better still 1/4 cup of ghee
1/4 cup raisins
2 tsp or 2 cubes of chicken buillion
1 tsp prepared powered curry or 1/2 tsp turmeric and 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt if needed
1 cup cooked lentils
2 1/4 boiling water
2 tbsp. toasted almonds

In a saucepan, melt the butter and add the onions. Saute along with rice. Add he raisins, buillion, curry or spies and salt. Pour into an ungreased casserole dish. Stire in cooked and drained lentils and add the boiling water. It should cover the rice and lentils by at least an inch and a half. Cook in 350 degree oven until water is absorbed. Top with toasted almonds. [toast raw almonds in a low temperature cast iron skillet until brown].

Fish Piccata Recipe

On Friday, I had a choice between Basa fillets or Dover sole fillets. Since the Dover sole was caught wild in US waters, I opted for that one instead of the farm raised catfish from Vietnam.

The way the dish came out was not disappointing in the least!

Recipe for 4 persons:

8 or (2 medium sized to large sized fillets per person)
1/2 cup flour
Juice of 1 fresh lemon or lime
1 tsp capers (more to taste)
Salt and Pepper
1 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil for frying fish or combo of vegetable and olive. You may need to add more.
3 garlic cloves, minced

Dry fresh fish fillets with paper towels and coat lightly with flour. Reserve the rest of the flour.

In a large heavy frying pan (cast iron works well) head and then add the oil. Brown each fillet almost golden brown on each side or a few minutes on each. Remove to a serving platter.

When all your fish has been browned, add the butter and your garlic and with a wooden soup, fry the garlic slightly. At this point add approximately 1 tablespoon of the flour you reserved. Stir well with wooden soup to make a roux. Add the lemon juice and water. Whisk well with a wire whisk so that the sauce blends well. When the sauce thickens, adjust seasonings to taste. If bland, you may need to add a few more drops of lemon juice, if too tart, you may need to add a little more water. Stir well, add capers and pour over cooked fish fillets.

Serve with white rice.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Local Recipe - Chantilly Cake and Frosting

Mahalo to Layla for sharing this recipe from Aloha World

Chantilly Cake & Frosting

Chocolate Chiffon Cake:

3 Eggs, separated
1 1/2 C Sugar
1 2/3 C Sifted cake flour
3/4 tsp Baking soda
3/4 tsp Salt
1 1 oz square unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/3 C Vegetable oil
1 C Whole milk

Cream Filling:

1/4 cup white sugar
4 tsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 cup whole milk
11/2 tsp butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract Chantilly Frosting:

1-13 oz can evaporated milk
11/2 C sugar
3/4 C butter
4 large Egg yolks
11/2 tsp Vanilla extract
1/4 C chopped, toasted pecans
Cooking Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9x9 cake pans. Beat egg whites until frothy. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup sugar until soft peaks form. Sift remaining 1 cup sugar with cake flour, baking soda and salt. Add chocolate, oil and 1/2 cup milk. Beat one minute on medium speed. Add egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup milk. Beat one minute until smooth. With rubber spatula, gently but thoroughly fold in egg white mixture. Pour into prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool in pans on racks for 30 minutes. Remove from pans and use a sharp knife to split cake layers through the middle into four rounds.

Cream Filling:

Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add egg, blend well. Stir in milk slowly. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Add butter and vanilla. Chill for 30 minutes. Spread a third of the mixture between each layer.

Chantilly Frosting:

Combine milk, sugar, butter, egg yolks and vanilla. Cook stirring constantly, over medium heat for 12 minutes, until mixture thickens. (Make sure that it's thick, or it will slide right off your cake!) Add vanilla extract. Chill 1 hour covered with a piece of plastic wrap directly on surface for proper spreading consistency. Frost cake and sprinkle with chopped pecans. Chill for 2 hours. Yield 8-10 servings

Aguadito de Pollo - Peruvian Recipe

Tonight we are having Aguadito de Pollo. It is a soupy rice dish made with chicken, beer and cilantro. I looked on the internet and found a few recipes, none of which come close to my dear mom's way of making it.


1 whole chicken cut up into large pieces (tonight I am using cut up breasts of chicken which I found on sale)
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped up or minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, diced
Tip: I processed the cilantro, garlic and onion in the food processor.
1 large can of beer, (use light beer if you absolutely must)
1 cup white rice, uncooked (preferably long grain)
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1 tsp. Peruvian Aji or 1 small Jalapeño, seeded and deveined
Water to fill the can or bottle of beer you will be using. Maybe a little more if you like your dishes a little soupier.
1/2 cup of frozen peas

In a soup pot, heat pot and add approximately 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add your chicken pieces and brown on both sides. Add the remaining ingredients except the peas.

Cook over a medium heat until the rice cooks and absorbs some of the liquid approximately 1/2 hour. At this point add your frozen peas.

Serves 5-6 persons.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Local Favorite - Portuguese Bean Soup

Thanks to Layla. Source: Aloha World

2 C Kidney beans
1 C White beans (Great Northerns)
2 Smoked ham hocks or ham shank
4 C Chicken broth
1-1/2 C Chopped cilantro (Chinese parsley)
2-1/2 C Diced potatoes, peeled (red or white)
2-1/2 C Carrots, cut into 1" size
1-1/2 C Diced onion (Maui or yellow)
1/2 C Diced celery 1 Portuguese sausage (10 oz or bigger) your choice
2-1/4 C Tomato pur'ee or (16oz's of tomato sauce w/ 3 table spoons corn starch)
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black pepper
6-7 C Water
Tabasco or small hot Hawaiian chili pepper, if you like to taste.

Cooking Instructions:

Soak the beans in water overnight, if using da dry kine. In one big pot put together beans, ham, chicken broth, cilantro and water to cover (about 7 cups). Bring to a boil, then simmer (slow cook) until meat and beans are tender. Remove Da skin and bone's if get from the meat and return to the broth. Slice the Portuguese sausage into 1/2" slices and fry in frying pan, blot (remove the grease) w/ a paper towel. Add sausage to the pot and the potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, tomato puree or tomato sauce mixture. Cook until Potatoes are tender. Season w/salt and pepper.

Recipe - Rocky Road Brownies

Thanks Layla!

1-1/4 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Chips or HERSHEY'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 9-inch square baking pan.

2. Stir together chocolate chips, marshmallows and nuts; set aside. Place butter in large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 1 to 1-1/2 minutes or until melted. Add sugar, vanilla and eggs; beat with spoon until well blended. Add flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; stir until well blended. Spread batter in prepared pan.

3. Bake 22 minutes. Sprinkle chocolate chip mixture over top. Continue baking 5 minutes or until marshmallows have softened and puffed slightly. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Using wet knife, cut into squares. About 20 brownies

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Food As Medicine

Shared by Karr


I didn't write this or research it!

Food as Medicine

Eat plenty of fish -- fish oil helps prevent headaches.
So does ginger, which reduces inflammation and pain

Eat lots of yogurt before pollen season.
Also-eat honey from your area (local region) daily.

Prevent buildup of fatty deposits on artery walls with regular doses of tea. (actually, tea suppresses my appetite and keeps the pounds from invading....Green tea is great for our immune system)!

Use honey as a tranquilizer and sedative.

Eating onions helps ease constriction of bronchial tubes. (when I was young, my mother would make onion packs to place on our chest, helped the respiratory ailments and actually made us breathe better).

Salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines actually prevent arthritis.
(fish has omega oils, good for our immune system)

Bananas will settle an upset stomach.
Ginger will cure morning sickness and nausea.

High-acid cranberry juice controls harmful bacteria.

Bone fractures and osteoporosis can be prevented by the manganese in pineapple.

Women can ward off the effects of PMS with cornflakes, which help reduce depression, anxiety and fatigue.

Oysters help improve your mental functioning by supplying much-needed zinc.

Clear up that stuffy head with garlic. (remember, garlic lowers cholesterol, too.)

A substance similar to that found in the cough syrups is found in hot red pepper. Use red (cayenne) pepper with caution-it can irritate your tummy.

BREAST CANCER? EAT Wheat, bran and cabbage
Helps to maintain estrogen at healthy levels.

A good antidote is beta carotene, a form of Vitamin A found in dark green and orange vegetables.

Cabbage contains chemicals that help heal both gastric and duodenal ulcers.

Grate an apple with its skin, let it turn brown and eat it to cure this condition. (Bananas are good for this ailment)

Mono unsaturated fat in avocados lowers cholesterol.

Olive oil has been shown to lower blood pressure.
Celery contains a chemical that lowers pressure too.

The chromium in broccoli and peanuts helps regulate insulin and blood sugar.

Kiwi: Tiny but mighty. This is a good source of potassium, magnesium, Vitamin E & fiber. It's Vitamin C content is twice that of an orange.

Apple: An apple a day keeps the doctor away? Although an apple has a low Vitamin C content, it has antioxidants & flavonoids which enhances the activity of Vitamin C thereby helping to lower the risks of colon cancer, heart attack & stroke.

Strawberry: Protective fruit. Strawberries have the highest total antioxidant power among major fruits & protects the body from cancer causing, blood vessels clogging free radicals. (Actually, any berry is good for you..they're high in anti-oxidants and they actually keep us young......blueberries are the best and very versatile in the health field.....they get rid of all the free-radicals that invade our bodies)

Orange: Sweetest medicine. Taking 2 - 4 oranges a day may help keep colds away, lower cholesterol, prevent & dissolve kidney stones as well as lessen the risk of colon cancer

Watermelon: Coolest Thirst Quencher. Composed of 92% water, it is also packed with a giant dose of glutathione which helps boost our immune system. They are also a key source of lycopene - the cancer fighting oxidant. Other nutrients found in watermelon are Vitamin C & Potassium.
(watermelon also has natural substances [natural SPF sources] that keep our skin healthy, protecting our skin from those suv rays)

Guava & Papaya: Top awards for Vitamin C. They are the clear winners for their high Vitamin C content. Guava is also rich in fiber which helps prevent constipation.

Papaya is rich in carotene, this is good for your eyes. (also good for gas and indigestion)

Tomatoes are very good as a preventative measure for men, keeps those prostrate problems from invading their bodies.

Local Recipe - Somen Salad

One local favorite is cold somen salad. Somen is a think Japanese noodle garnished with all kinds of goodies and served with an Asian style dressing. This recipe was also shared by Layla and it comes from Aloha World

Somen Salad

1 package somen noodles, boiled and drained
2 eggs, scrambled
1 kamaboko (fish cake), chopped
3 stalks green onion, chopped
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
shredded lettuce
charsiu or ham, chopped Sauce
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup cooking oil
3 Tbsp vinegar
2 Tbsp shoyu

Cooking Instructions:
Lay somen in 9x13" pan. Garnish with lettuce, kamaboko, charsiu, green onion. Sprinkle sesame seeds. Mix sauce ingredients in bottle, shake well and pour over salad.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Sharing Some Local Favorites - Chicken Katsu

Unless otherwise noted, the Local favorites are recipes from Aloha World and shared by my friend Layla.

Easy Chicken Katsu

6-8 pieces boneless Chicken thighs(for a healthier recipe, use boneless/skinless thighs)
2 large Eggs
1 C Flour
1 1/2 C Panko bread crumbs Garlic salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 tsp ajinomoto (optional)
Oil for frying
Dipping Sauce:
3 Tbps Ketchup
1 Tbps mayonnaise
1-2 Tbps Worchestershire sauce
1 tsp Shoyu
1-3 tsp Tabasco to taste

Cooking Instructions:
Heat about a 1/2 inch of oil in a large pan on medium temperature. In a medium sized bowl, mix flour, garlic salt, pepper and ajinomoto(optional). In a separate bowl, beat eggs and add salt and pepper, set aside. In a third, shallow bowl or plate, place Panko. Dredge thighs in flour to evenly coat the thigh. After coated, dip coated thigh in the egg wash, then into the panko, making sure that all of the chicken is coated. Repeat with all of the thighs. Carefully place coated chicken in heated oil, turn when panko turns a golden brown (about 5-7 minutes per side). After chicken is cooked, drain on paper towels and season with salt.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fresh Salsa!


We were in the mood for salsa and tortilla chips so I made fresh salsa for the gang.


1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped coarsely
2 large ripe tomatoes, diced (I like it with the seeds but you can seed the tomatoes)
2 green onions, minced finely
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 large Jalapeño (seeded and deveined)
Juice of half a large lime
1 tbsp. vinegar
Salt to taste but approximately 1 tsp.

Place all ingredients in a bowl and let sit for at least an hour or two in the refrigerator.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Linguine with Marinara Sauce and Shittake Mushrooms


Tonight I was in the mood for a non-meat dinner. We had a heavy meat dinner last night.

Marinara Sauce:

2 cans tomato sauce or 1 large can of whole plum tomatoes
3 garlic cloves minced
1 small onion, diced
2 fresh oregano leaves or a sprinkle of dried oregano
Olive Oil

Heat saucepan and add olive oil. Add the garlic and onions and saute under they start to brown. Add the tomatoes and oregano. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Set heat to low and simmer for one hour on low.

Shittake Mushrooms:

8 oz fresh shittake mushrooms (you an substitute portobello), washed and sliced
3 garlic loves, minced
2 tbsp butter or olive oil

Heat cast iron skillet and add your butter or oil. Add your mushroom slices and do not disturb so that the mushrooms can fry and brown. Then stir to fry the other side. When nicely browned salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with a bit of fresh lime juice or lemon juice.

Serve with linguine or a pasta of your choice. Top marinara sauce and linguine with the mushrooms.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Peruvian Cooking at Its Finest

The other day, my auntie and I went to lunch together. It was her Mother's Day gift. She suggested a Peruvian restaurant and who was I to argue.

We went to an established Peruvian Restaurant in the heart of downtown Paterson called La Tia Delia or Aunt Delia.

It was a Friday so I knew that narrowed down my choices as I don't eat meat on Friday. I was torn between cebiche de pescado (fresh raw fish marinated in lemon juice) or pescado frito con arroz y yuca (fried fish with rice and fried yuca (cassava). I chose the later and I was not disappointed. It was great! It was served with a little onion and parsley salad.

For a drink, I chose Inca Cola. Yum yum.

My aunt chose mondongito a la Italiana (tripe Italian style) and a Peruvian corn drink.

They served a huge portion so there was no room for dessert. That doesn't necessarily mean we passed up dessert though. We both took home 5 alfajores (a kind of cookie/biscuit filled with cooked condensed milk when it turns a lovely golden brown and dusted with confectionery sugar.)

Next time, I will choose the cebiche. The fish dish I chose was excellent but I want to try everything one the menu.