Bombur’s Vegan “Pork” Pies and Green Salad, Balin’s Seedcake, & Bifur’s Apple Tart.

I’ve written about my love of all things Tolkien on this blog before and now I’m here to write about it again. The man was a scholar and a genius. He created such a vast and beautiful world in Middle Earth–and I think it remains untouched by any other fantasy ever written or even filmed. He has inspired, directly or indirectly, many of the new favorites like Game of Thrones and Harry Potter. His works, beside The Hobbit, are massive and complicated, a mystical maze of wild and ethereal characters and landscapes. There is truly no other great epic that captures my heart quite like The Lord of the Rings.

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Plums, Pluots, Pie & Farewell to Yingst Ranch.

Last year, news broke that the beloved Yingst Ranch would be closing after the 2014 season. The news was a huge bummer, considering what a beautiful and wonderful farm Yingst was. They were a U-Pick operation in Littlerock, sorta out in the middle of nowhere near Palmdale. They grew the most gorgeous, juicy-delicious heirloom plums and peaches as well as apples and pears.

Before they closed, a friend and I drove up last summer to bid them farewell and pick/buy as much fruit as we could handle. It was bittersweet–we got some stunning 49er peaches and a large bounty of fresh heirloom plums and pluots to take home. DSC_3569

 

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All of the foods. All of them.

Aloha from Maui! I sit here looking out into some stormy weather, which has been making its presence known all week. It can’t get me down though, you know? Because Maui and it’s hard work being down when you’re here, no matter what the weather is like.

Since I have been blogging so irregularly for so long, I have a big collection of food photos (and recipes) that I have yet to share here. And without further rambling, here are some things I’ve been keeping since last year. 🙂DSC_3132

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Throwback Thursday: Thanksgiving 2013.

Hello there. I meant to post about ol’ T-Gives last year, but never did. Highlights:

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Cheddar Quick Bread loaded with Cranberries, Pecans, Daiya.

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Then there was this masterpiece salad. I baked homemade ginger bread and subsequently turned most of the loaf into croutons. Add sauteed smokey tempeh, roasted chunks of squash, pickled ramps (!!!!), all on a bed of arugula. It was incredibly flavorful, so I opted not to dress it. Dressing would have ruined all of the amazing flavors. Family was very confused by it; I think it was mostly the tempeh. I had slipped the same smokey tempeh into a delicata squash/apple creation the year before (which was a big success), so I thought I would go a little bolder with the tempeh. For whatever reason, most of the table was scared by it. A few family members were brave enough to try it however, and those that did were fans. 🙂

 

Breadfruit Nachos.

The first time I laid eyes on breadfruit was when my friend and I were driving the road to Hana. After we grubbed on some Coconut Glen‘s vegan ice cream, we continued to drive until I saw a sign that said: lava tubes. I followed that sign down a dirt road and we ended up checking out a little place that rents helmets and lights for people to go exploring with. We decided we didn’t want to do it, so I continued to drive down the dirt road, hoping it may lead us some place magical. I started to see massive trees, some with what seemed like enormous green orbs hanging from the branches. Row after row of trees and we came upon the entrance to Kahanu Garden. Kahanu Garden is home to the largest collection of breadfruit species in the world, some of which are now extinct in their native lands. We found it all by accident.

Back in California, I wanted to see what I could do with breadfruit in my own kitchen. Recently, I was lucky enough to find a single fresh breadfruit, the last of its shipment in a small caribbean market. It was a fairly large fruit (lucky!), so I thought I could get two solid dishes out of it. And I was right. The first thing I wanted to make were nachos, as breadfruit makes notoriously good chips. I opted to bake the chips, rather than fry them. I topped them with black beans, Daiya and homemade Mango Salsa Fresca w/ Avocado.

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