A couple of weekends ago I had the glorious pleasure of returning to CJ’s Farm. I had been there once before, last fall to pick the most beautiful heirloom pumpkins. This time it was boysenberries. This triple cross between a European raspberry, blackberry and loagnberry is not so easy to find here in Los Angeles. They are around the Hollywood and Santa Monica Farmer’s Markets for a very brief period if you’re lucky to find them at all. And sometimes when you have that kind of luck, they are the worst type of sour and just awful.
Imagine my excitement when I learned that CJ’s was not only growing boysenberries, but was opening their wonderful farm to the public for u-pick. The ripe boysenberries were deliciously tart yet still sweet. They were the best I’ve ever had. I picked the biggest option available because I already knew I wanted to bake them into a pie.
Sometimes this blogging escapes me. I’ve been having a lot of wonderful adventures lately and I want to share them. I still have so many Hawaiian recipes to share too. I guess I will get around to posting them all at some point. Once it started to feel like summer I began making a lot of pies. Since I seem to linger in the aloha spirit long after I leave Hawaii, I started with some Hawaiian pies.
I managed to score some apple bananas from a farm in the big island that would ship them to the mainland. They were expensive, but so worth it. Plus, the farm through in some free dried bananas my way. I decided to eat a couple and use the rest for this
Apple Banana Cream Pie:
The first two pizzas were recipes from the new Plum Bistro cookbook. I saw them and knew I had to make them at once. I cannot express how delicious they were. The grilled pear one was one of the best flavor combos I’ve ever had. I’ve never been to the actual restaurant, but the cookbook definitely doesn’t disappoint for me. The tomato pizza was equally good and perfect for summer.
I decided to go ahead and make the pineapple pizza because I saw it as a recipe suggestion on the awesome Beyond Meat package I was sampling. I wanted to spice it up so instead of using a regular bbq sauce, I found this recipe for guava bbq sauce and made it. It’s VERY tangy. In a good way. Everything on this pizza pairs great together too. Make them all. Make them all and eat them!
When I was in Maui last fall, I brought a few recipes from one of my favorite baking blogs, Eat the Love with me to make. They all turned out so well, I looked for a few more recipes to take with me when I went in March, along with a few of my own ideas.
One of the recipes I brought along was for this Caramelized Banana Rum Bread w/ Macadamia Topping. It seemed easy enough to veganize and I turned out to be correct…although not totally without error. We have two places on Maui; I had never baked at one of them before and it turns out the oven is super old and just, you know, a lil funky. So, I didn’t think my first bread was going to turn out, but I was pleasantly surprised. It’s great when a recipe for a baked good is a little forgiving and I think this one is.
Recently I was very excited to receive some of the new Beyond Meat to try! I tasted some strips out of one of my packages and knew I what I wanted to make right away. Well, truthfully there was more than one thing I wanted to make (lucky I had 3 packages!), but chicken salad was the first thing that sprang to mind.
I loved chicken salad once upon a time and I have had a few delicious vegan versions, but it’s not something I make very often. I had some leftover Maui pineapple, macadamias and honey mustard, so I decided on Hawaiian Chicken Salad on Toast…because sometimes an open-face sandwich is better.
Whenever I come back from Hawaii, all I want are tropical fruits and island foods. The last trip was no exception and a few days afrer I got back, I headed over to Organix to grab some organic papayas from Kumu Farms. I decided on a crisp, or maybe this is actually a crumble…I’m not sure. One has nuts and one has oats or something like that. I added pineapple because I love pineapple. You could easily make this entirely with papaya though.
After my dad and I visited the beautiful Kumu Farms and filled our bellies, we headed out in our rental to explore the remainder of Molokai. We drove as far around the island as we could and took many roads inland in between.
When we headed inland, we found Purdy’s Macadamia Nut Farm. Family run for over 30 years, the macadamia nut trees all around Purdy’s farm have been growing wild there for over 90 years. The farmers wait for the nuts to fall to the ground and then rake them up for harvest. We met a wonderful woman named Mikyla, who gave my dad, myself and a sweet couple from Alaska the low down on macadamias.
While sitting comfortably and looking out from our beautiful lanai, we are not only graced with a beautiful view of the ocean, but also of the island of Molokai. When I visited Maui last fall, I was taking in the view and then started to think about Molokai. What’s over there? How do you get there? It looks so close. And close it is. Only a 15 minute or so Cessna ride away, you can be on Molokai in a flash.
When I was in Maui last month, I thought it might be nice for my dad and I to take a day trip over there. I bought us plane tickets, did a little research and over to Molokai we went. The view from our tiny plane was breathtaking.
I’m sitting here trying to think of way to talk about malasadas (malassada- Portuguese spelling). I don’t really have any kind of story about them, but they’re tiny donuts so they don’t need a story right? Tiny donuts don’t care.
Malasadas are bite-sized, fried Portuguese sweet bread, basically a fluffly little donut dusted in sugar. These little guys made their way to Hawaii when the Portuguese came to work on sugar plantations in the 1870’s.
Spam. Ew! Never tried it, so I don’t know what it tastes like. What can I say, ham in a can never appealed to me or anyone in my family. For reasons unknown to me, Hawaiians seem to have a thing for Spam, but you know, okay.
My plane ride home from Maui was “interesting”. There was a large woman (ps. I don’t mean heavy, I mean like she was a giant person) a few seats ahead of me that was eating and loving Spam musubi. Suddenly, I knew what to do with the weird vegan ham log in my freezer. Yeah, I had a VegeUSA ham log. It confused me, so I froze it. Anyhow, the log and Spam have certain things in common, they’re both fake meat except Spam has parts in it. If I’m going to fake meat it up, it’s always going to be parts free.
I’ve really made this sound gross, but it’s actually super good. I was afraid of it a little, but ended up really liking it. They have vegan ham rolls at Whole Foods and other natural foods stores. I wouldn’t really recommend buying one necessarily, but if you come into possession of one, make this recipe and you won’t be sorry.
PS. This is much easier to do with a musubi press. I didn’t have one, but I did my best. I have now since ordered one.
Vegan Spam Musubi