Thursday, March 18, 2010

Rinna's Hummus

One bite of Rinna's hummus had me begging her for the recipe. There are so many hummus recipes out there but her's stands out-smooth and a little more lemoney. Could it be the organic garbanzo beans or the fresh squeezed lemon juice that made Anna and Swasi asking for more?

Diamond Head Market and Grill

"You gotta taste their scones" "Their scones are so good" is all I've been hearing from people who have been to Diamond Head Market and Grill located on Monserrat. I had to find out for myself. I dragged my Dad all over town looking for this bakery and despite the steep prices, the baked goods are delicious and portions are generous.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


What a great way to use leftover meat in a nutritious, filling, and trendy way-a wrap! I thought it was my lucky day when I saw spinach torilla sold in Walmart for only $2.56 a pack. The leftover chicken katsu, farmer's market lettuce, spinach and tomatoes, and a bit of cheese filled the tortilla to make it a relaxed, cheap, and delicious dinner.

Chicken Katsu

I tell anyone new to our islands to try a plate lunch. Besides shave ice, lau lau, and spam musubi, it is a local favorite. I remember being away for college and having the worst craving for a Diner's chicken katsu. Unfortunately, plate lunch katsu is laden with fat and cholesterol but so ono. I have found a healthier version without losing taste and substance. Instead of chicken thigh, I use chicken breast, split in half and pounded to 1/ 4 " thickness. I dip it into a flour, water, egg, salt and pepper mixture and then press into the panko. Fry it in vegetable oil 3-4 minutes on each side.
I don't like to brag but my katsu is better than Diner's and just as good as the one we can find at the famous saimin haven whose friendly cook was kind enough to share her recipe with me. Light, crunchy, and flavorful.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Choi Sum with Garlic Bean Sauce

I've always picked the flowers off the choi sum thinking it would be too bitter to eat but the Laotian vendors told me some customers won't even buy it if there were no flowers. I rushed home to cook some and to see if there was a difference in taste with the bright yellow flowers.
This recipe came from watching my father create a delectable dish with such simple ingredients. Melt butter and cook the stalks of the choi sum to soften, add chopped onions, and garlic. Mix in the leafy parts of the choi sum with garlic bean and oyster sauces. Cook for another minute and serve immediately.
Anna and I loved it. It was delicious and made you feel good eating it-nutritious, light, and filling. I finally realized I often overdid the onion, garlic and oyster sauces when I made this dish. It yielded a too overwhelming taste. I must remember that less is more.
What a great day! Anna and I had a delicious lunch, talked about food, and shared our desserts with a cup of tea. Daddy came home from an epic day of surfing and took us to Sand Island. A stroll on the beach built up an appetite for Grandpa's cooking which we enjoyed for dinner.

Mililani Farmer's Market

My Sunday mornings include yoga, watering plants, and a jaunt to the farmer's market. The smells of mint, basil, Chinese parsley permeate the air as I fill my eco bag with freshly picked Kahuku papayas, organic Manoa lettuce, and so nutritious ong choi. I made sure to support the friendly baker who comes loaded with fresh from the oven cinnamon rolls, blueberry scones, bread pudding, and petite cakes.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

Anna craved a soft, chewy kind of cookie and she found this recipe in Martha's cookie book. We even had additional help in the kitchen with Linnea joining us for lunch and some baking. This batter is sugar and butter rich that the girls made sure to eat spoonfuls of the it before it went into the oven. A classic chocolate chip cookie recipe that would please anyone.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

Possibly one of the best oatmeal raisin cookies I've tasted and I don't even like raisins. NYC Mayor Bloomberg was a guest on Martha's show and he shared this recipe that his chef prepares for him. No fancy ingredients nor fancy gadgets, even better! I believe the hint of nutmeg made it stand out from other oatmeal raisin cookies. The addition of chocolate chips and walnuts for texture put these cookies over the edge.