Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sole Meuniere

Mahi mahi was on sale and there was no sole to be bought anywhere on the island. I vowed to make this dish when I read about Julia Child savoring this meal with her husband Paul at Restaurant La Couronne in Rouen, France. I swear I could taste the fish the way Julia described it.
I've disappointed Julia. There is no way mine looked like Ina's recipe from her gorgeous cookbook Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics-golden brown, flakey fillet. Ina even mentioned the slightly burnt butter flavor you're supposed to get. Instead of slightly burnt, I achieved burnt. Oh well...the lemon zest and juice and fresh parsley saved the day. The fish was edible but far from the way Julia described her first lunch in France as "absolute perfection" and the most exciting meal of her life.

Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookie

This is the first time I've made an oatmeal cookie flavored with maple syrup and it will not be the last. They were delicious! Martha's recipe calls for 1 C of coconut flakes but I opted for semisweet chocolate chips and there were no complaints.

Fish Tacos with Black Beans and Cilantro-Lime Rice

It was a Mexican fiesta night! Pieces of mahi were sprinkled with chili powder, salt and pepper, rolled in flour and fried. Black beans and diced tomatoes were mixed with with sauteed onions and diced bell pepper, then simmered for 30 minutes. You all know, one of my favorite foods is rice and I wanted a light rice dish to accompany this meal. Katie Lee's Cilantro-Lime Rice recipe was easy and refreshing and brightened up the flavors of this meal. Unfortunately, I had to make do with with only 1/4 C of chopped cilantro instead of 3/4 C that the recipe calls for.
The family enjoyed the fish tacos for the taste and nutrition. I was unimpressed, maybe because I've eaten very good Mexican food and I always compare what I cook with what I can buy. I've realized how much I like to eat out because of the work it requires to prepare a meal. After I'm done cooking, I'm too exhausted to eat but if someone else is cooking, I'm all there!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Army Chicken

Scott asked, "What's for dinner?" and I nonchalantly reply, "Army Chicken" knowing full well that this is a serious undertaking. This is one of my favorite dishes my dad prepares that I finally had the courage to prepare. Outcome? Delicious and so good that Scott will take some for leftovers and he never takes leftovers for lunch.
Season chicken pieces with salt, pepper, fresh lemon juice and minced garlic. Dredge pieces with flour and place into pan of melted butter and bake at 375 for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
I don't know why it took me so long to try this recipe. Maybe I just prefer to always eat my dad's cooking.

Plumeria Thai Cafe

Tucked away on Mango Street in Wahiawa is a low key Thai restaurant featuring local dishes and foods of mostly northern Thailand. Kalihi native Rodney and his wife opened this cafe serving good food, large portions, and low prices. I personally like the garlic ahi plate lunch served with brown rice with a side order of spring rolls while Maha enjoys the vegetarian curry dish.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pot Roast

One of Scott's comfort foods. I didn't grow up with pot roast. The only comforting thing about this dish was being able to eat the potatoes and carrot after waiting for 4 hours. Was it worth the wait? Scott and Anna thought so, I would have preferred a steak (faster and easier to cook) and I'm not even a steak fan. Another cup of beef broth for more gravy would have been nice.

Monday, September 20, 2010


A restaurant name far from fancy, just like the food-delicious, simple, homestyle Mexican food. I ate every bit of my Mexico burrito and Laureen claimed it was the best crab burrito she's ever had. (This left me to wonder just exactly how many crab burritos has she eaten.)
Was the food worth the parking nightmare? NO! I'd rather find a place with ample parking and better salsa; theirs tasted more like ketchup.
If you're ever in the neighborhood (Kalihi), arrived by foot or lucky enough to find a parking space and do not judge a Mexican restaurant by its salsa, then be my guest!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Chocolate Raspberry Cake

My mother in law is a fabulous cook and she admits she does not bake but this scrumptious dish fooled everyone! I'm not a fan of fruit with my chocolate but the combination was unreal and I asked for seconds. The fudge, fresh raspberry on top of a slice of pound cake topped with whipped cream made my taste buds go into overdrive.

Pea Pesto Crostini

What better time to make something out of the ordinary when you have all the ingredients in your kitchen?! Different yet tasty and colorful. Giada's recipe was Italian inspired with a hint of southern California.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Couscous Stuffed Pepper with Basil Sauce

It was a rare morning to watch Giada at Home and I was inspired to make this nutritious and hearty dish that she recreated from one of her favorite restaurants. Very simple to put together and the colors were gorgeous. The challenge was to find creme fraiche for the sauce because no grocer on our side of the island carried it. I consulted with my pastry chef nephew Jeremy and he recommended sour cream with some milk. Definitely cheaper but was it a good substitute due to the fact that I've never tasted creme fraiche?

Ice Cream Pie

An invitation to my Auntie Carol's house for a meal is an invitation you do not turn down. She is such fantastic cook. This simple recipe comes from her kitchen. Crush Oreo cookies and mix with melted butter and pat into a pan. Bake and cool completely and fill with your favorite ice cream. I believe Dreyers makes the best so in went the Jamoca Almond Fudge. So simple and so yummy!

Baseball Cookies

I had so much fun making these cookies for my friend Ann whose son graduated from Mililani High School and will be attending college in western Oregon that it didn't seem like work at all. I thought the stitches on the baseball were fetching. No pun intended.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Chicken Tofu

The kind of dish that makes you feel good cooking and eating it. I love the texture, taste, and versatility of tofu but most of all its nutritional benefits.

Fendu Boulangerie

I had the pleasure of meeting the owner of my favorite bakery. Owner Niel Koep came from Lanai's Koele Lodge to open his fantastic bakery in Manoa famous for French pastries. Scott enjoyed the pizza while I continued to swoon over the Chocolate Pear Mascarpone Pastry.

Labor Day Get Together

After a yoga session I give thanks for what I have and do not have. I am thankful for my family, my job, and our friends and so much more. It was nice to spend the afternoon together with good food, good conversation, and good company.

Monday, September 6, 2010

BBQ Chicken

We couldn't have a BBQ without BBQ chicken. I made the mistake of asking Carl to tell me what he thought of the dish and he comments, "It's missing something." What an ass! So much for wanting to hear the truth! Shame on me! in truth, it WAS missing something and he was the only one honest enough to tell me. Despite the lack of something, we both agreed it was tender and needed some tweaking.
I liked the idea of first grilling the chicken then transferring it to oven. The chicken browned on the grill and then braised in the oven at a low temperature until the meat was falling off the bone.
Carl, I appreciate your honesty and your enthusiasm for food so, keep the comments flowing. Did you find the missing something yet?

All American Potato Salad

It wouldn't be a BBQ without potato salad. I never really liked the dish with all that stuff in it-pickles, eggs, capers but this one is just simple-potatoes, green onions and flat leaf parsley. It complemented the BBQ chicken well.

Taco Layer Dip

Easy to assemble, pretty to look at, and a crowd pleaser. I just love the colors!

Blueberry Coffeecake with Cinnamon Crumbs

People collect shells, stamps, sports memorabilia, I collect cook books. This recipe comes from one of my favorite, At Home with Magnolia, the owner of NYC's Magnolia Bakery. Gorgeous pictures, simple recipes and down to earth ingredients encourage you to try a couple.
This coffeecake is very moist with lots of blueberries and a hint of cinnamon in the crumb topping. Scott exclaimed, "This is unreal," after one bite.