Catching up.

I know it’s been so long since I’ve shared in this space regularly. In an attempt to get back into it, I’m posting some pictures of various tropical/Hawaiian inspired dishes I made in the last year. I hope you enjoy this photo dump until I’m back with a recipe.

Tofu Scramble w/ Banana Blossoms and Field Roast Linguiça (Chipotle Field Roast Sausages rolled in Paprika, Garlic and Baked in Banana Leaves)
Tofu Scramble w/ Banana Blossoms and Field Roast Linguiça (Chipotle Field Roast Sausages rolled in Paprika, Garlic and Baked in Banana Leaves)

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Manawai Estate Chocolate (Cacao) Farm & Banana Nut Scones w/ Local Chocolate-Coconut Drizzle.

On my last visit to Maui, there was a flood. A rather large flood, in my house. Something, I’m still unsure, happened upstairs and sent tons if water through the ceiling and walls. It was a disaster of sorts.

But I’m not here to talk about that. I’m here to talk about how I was so overwhelmed, I needed a trip to this magical cacao farm where beautiful little baby cacao trees are on their way to being big and to one day, make chocolate.

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Fluffy Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits w/ Cheddar & Black Pepper.

Let’s talk biscuits. #biscuittalk. Does everyone love a biscuit? Because I think everyone loves a biscuit. Vegans biscuits though. Any vegan can throw down a drop biscuit with little to no trouble. In fact, most dairy and egg laden drop biscuit recipes can be veganized in a snap with equal substitutions*. A buttermilk biscuit, however, is an entirely different business.

For a good long while, a fluffy, flaky vegan buttermilk biscuit eluded me. I tried a bunch of different recipes…both omnivorous and vegan, but nothing ever yielded the perfect biscuit. They generally tasted great, but were flat and not very flaky. Then, there was this biscuit recipe. Adapted from Joy the Baker, genius, I now have the ideal biscuit. It’s something everyone should know about, so here I am to share with you.

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Hobbit’s Feast.

I got a copy of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition in the mail yesterday. I proceeded to watch it immediately to see which extra scenes and extended sequences were included.

While I don’t quite enjoy the films as much as I do The Lord of the Rings, they still entertain and delight my spirit and for that, I will always love them.

Last fall I made this Hobbit-Lord of the Rings inspired feast that I never posted about. The inspiration for this platter of goods comes directly from Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring when the hobbits (Frodo, Sam, Merry & Pippin) arrive at The Prancing Pony. On the menu: hot soup, cold meats, a blackberry tart, new loaves, slabs of butter, and half a ripe cheese.

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Pineapple Guacamole.

Woah. I didn’t realize how long it had been since I posted here. How dare i?!? Back with this Pineapple-Guacamole recipe for y’all.

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Earl Grey-Taro Pie.

Highland Park is the neighborhood I call home. It’s an eclectic little mix of things and who doesn’t love a little mix of things? I live around the corner from this delicious little Vietnamese-American diner type place called Good Girl Dinette. Go to there. Eat the vegetarian/vegan porridge. And with your porridge also eat everything else. So good. Last Christmas they sold Earl Grey-Taro pies which, sadly, were not vegan. Too good of an idea to pass up, I made this vegan version inspired by those geniuses at Good Girl.

Bonus: Taro/Kalo Hawaii Love! 🙂

Note: I’ll be making this again with better photos and topped with a whipped coconut cream. This pie was meant to be topped with such things and why it escaped me the first go around….Who’s to say?

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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. 🙂

 

Catching up.

So many. So many treats do I have in store for here. But for now, some things I’ve been working on:

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Hawaiian Chantilly Cake.

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Papaya Glazed Tempeh Sandwich w/ Breadfruit Hummus.

Did you know that June is National Papaya Month or something? Not that it matters. Papaya is always delicious, regardless of month, but in honor of June, let’s talk about papaya.

Papaya are rich in nutrition loaded with fiber, Vitamin C, folate and more. They also contain really cool protein digesting enzymes like papain making them really good for the tummy. If you ask me, my favorite papaya are the Sunrise papaya which have a deep orange or red flesh–the latter more rich in lycopene. My favorite way to eat papaya on their own is with lilikoi and lime, but papaya can also shine in your food in countless other ways.

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All Natural Li-Hing Almonds w/ Dried Gold Pineapple.

Ling hing mui is a powder made of dried, salty plums. It is used, in Hawaii, to flavor preserved or dehydrated fruits and treats known as crack seed. 100% of the crack seed treats I have found for sale in Hawaiian shops contain aspartame and artificial red food coloring among other chemical ingredients. When I found Grandpa Mui’s all natural (both a red version colored with carmine and a white vegan version with no coloring) on OnoPops, I knew I’d have to try making my own crack seed style treats. Oddly enough, a month or two later, a small sample of the same powder came in my Makana box. 🙂

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I tossed these almonds in Maui Preserved’s Pineapple Cane Syrup and a little cane sugar. I added some gold pineapple that I dehydrated at home, plus some of Grandpa Mui’s magic.

Vegan Guava Cake.

I love strawberry guava. Such a beautiful and aromatic fruit with it’s light yellow skin and bright pink flesh. Finding them while hiking is like finding treasure. My lovely friend Ashley is a great tour guide and hiker. She took me through a breathtaking forest. We discussed plant life, ate ice cream beans, sampled a single kukui nut (don’t eat more than one), observed the beauty and had a delightful and refreshing swim.

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Perfect spot for a swim

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Mango Galette w/ Hawaiian Lavender & Vanilla.

I woke up today in California and couldn’t help but feel a little sad. I just returned from the Aloha State and no matter how long I am there, it never feels like enough time. Don’t get me wrong; I love California, but every time I am in Hawaii, I feel more and more at home there. Although I did have a fair amount of business to attend to, this trip, like all of my others was also jam packed with delights.

When I arrived, the sun was shining and hot. I stopped over at Wow Wow Lemonade first thing and picked up an ice cold, perfectly sweet star apple lemonade. From there, I began my journey over to the northwest side of the island. I stopped at one of my favorite grocery spots, Down to Earth, an entirely vegetarian market with a hot bar–similar to Whole Foods. To my delight, they had a pile of mangoes from Yee’s Orchard in Kihei. Yee’s has been growing mangoes for over 60 years. One of their specialties is the Golden Glow, a variety of mango known for its sweet, juicy, string-less flesh. I am not a huge mango person; the mangoes we get in SoCal are very hit and miss. Sometimes they are wonderfully tasty and other times they are chalky, stringy and dry. But with Yee’s, you can always count on the fruits being memorably delicious.

Photo Credit: Wander Melon http://wandermelon.com/2009/07/15/mango-mania-on-maui/
Photo Credit: Wander Melon
http://wandermelon.com/2009/07/15/mango-mania-on-maui/

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