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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Thinking of Kevin

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Thinking of Kevin

I was craving Kahlbi, or Korean short ribs. The only problem is there aren’t any Korean restaurants in my small town. Oh, and also, I attempted to make these about six years ago and they came out tough. It was like chewing an old shoe. After determining that no one in my family remembered the incident, I plunged right in.

I put two packages of beef into a zip top bag and added crushed pineapple minus some of the juice, and set it in the fridge overnight. The next morning I added soy sauce (we call it shoyu), some minced garlic, and sliced scallions; and stuck it back into the fridge. Before dinner I baked it in a 375* oven for 20 minutes then set it under the broiler for 5 minutes. They were amazing! My daughter asked me why I was making so much meat. Well, she answered her own question at dinner. Now I wonder why I ever spent money at Soon’s in Salt Lake, HI?

My mom used to throw these on the hibachi when we spent days at the beach. I realize now that I hadn’t soaked the meat long enough the first attempt because I was afraid it would get too salty from the soy sauce–it doesn’t! The only thing missing from my plate that would make this a true local “plate lunch” is, believe it or not you non-locals, macaroni salad.

Kahbli–BBQ Short Ribs

Beef Chuck Flanken
1 14.5 oz can of crushed pineapple
1 cup soy sauce
3 or more cloves of garlic
One or more scallions, sliced

I would add toasted sesame seeds for eye candy. Serve with white rice and Kim Chee.
That means “you’re welcome” in Korean.
PS Kevin is my nephew who is living in Korea. Hi Kevin!


Saturday Breakfast

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Saturday Breakfast

Nothing says Saturday morning like lemon blueberry muffins.  Of course, nothing says cray-cray more than the woman who is up before the crack o’ dawn standing in the middle of her kitchen for a ten full minutes trying to decide what she wants to bake.  This morning I settled on these little mouthfuls.  And because it was in the wee hours of the morning, I added too much baking soda and had to double the recipe.  Now we have enough muffins for days!

The first time I made these was for myself for Mother’s Day.  I was feeling sorry for myself because I missed my family in HI and my kids were too little to make me Mother’s Day breakfast, so I made an elaborate brunch.  Cooking and baking always make me feel better.  By the time the meal was served, all traces of my pity party had vanished.  The picture isn’t great because you can barely see the lemon glaze on the muffins.  Yes, I glazed them straight out of the oven, and yes, I ate them piping hot.  You should probably cool them first. 😉

The recipe is from Cooking Light.  I went through a Cooking Light phase years ago.  I subscribed to their magazines for a couple of years, but then I saw their annual cookbooks with all the pretty pictures at a Costco.  I have five or maybe seven of them.  They have some really great recipes.  I tend to use the ones that call for ingredients I already have on hand.  And…true confession:  they call for low-fat this or non-fat that and I just use the real stuff; so I guess it’s not really cooking lightly.  The ingredients for this recipe are pretty straightforward.

Lemon Blueberry Muffins from Cooking Light


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (flour through nutmeg) in a medium bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. Combine buttermilk, egg, and rind; stir well with a whisk. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moist. Gently fold in blueberries.
  4. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until the muffins spring back when lightly touched. Remove muffins from pans immediately, and place on a wire rack to cool.
  5. Combine lemon juice and powdered sugar in a small bowl. Drizzle glaze evenly over cooled muffins.
  6. Note: You can make these muffins up to 2 days ahead and glaze them the morning of the brunch.
 Happy Saturday!


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I am surrounded by the verdant green of spring. I have to say that this is my favorite season. After living with the long months of cold weather and the endless brown of dormant grass and the nakedness of the deciduous trees, the color of the new leaves and grass dazzle me. We’ve enjoyed flashes of blue from all the bluebirds that visit; and the iridescent green, red, and white of hummingbirds at rest on our feeders. Today I noticed my tiny lilac bush is in bloom!

This is the third year that I am the proud owner of my very own vegetable garden.  The morning sun found me outside harvesting my first crop of fancy lettuces. The deer haven’t eaten all the broccoli sprouts, and the jalapeño pepper plants and tomato plants are growing nicely. The bush and pole beans are just shaking off their cotyledons.

I decided to make a salad for lunch inspired by my friend, April. This salad is new to me because I’ve never put strawberries or sugared nuts into my salads. In my house, strawberries are eaten with chocolate or sugar or just plain fresh from the farm on the other side of the woods. We bake cakes, cupcakes, and tarts with them, and devour every crumb ourselves. I can’t tell you how many sweets I’ve made with the intention of bringing them over to a neighbor’s only to have my family gobble them up. Anyway, back to the salad. My friend, April, is an amazing cook and you can find her over at This however is my version of this delicious salad.

Strawberry Feta Salad

Enough lettuce to feed your ohana (family–for those unfamiliar with Disney’s Lilo and Stitch), I use about 8 cups

1/4 cup sugared almonds, or more if you love almonds

I estimate 3-5 strawberries per person

crumbled bacon, I use 2 strips of bacon per person

about 1/2 cup Feta cheese, crumbled by you

Note:  Each of us have a preference for different veggies in our salads, so I keep salad fixings in the fridge and whenever I prepare a salad for the whole family I top each family member’s salad with the veggies they prefer.  The salad in the picture happens to be mine.  I added grape tomatoes, broccoli, and carrots.

I toss the lettuce and almonds with balsamic vinaigrette:  2 T extra virgin olive oil, 2 T  balsamic vinegar (less if you don’t like it), 1 T Dijon mustard, salt and pepper.  Then throw everything else in and give it a toss.  Depending on the ripeness of your berries, you may want to give them a toss in some sugar.  I find the sugar from the almonds and the sweetness from berries really counter the tang in the balsamic vinegar.  The feta smoothes everything out.  We serve a salad like this as a meal in itself, so this recipe serves four as a meal and probably eight to twelve as a side salad. I hope you enjoy this!  My family did–even the teenage boy who doesn’t eat salad!

Sunday: A Day of Rest

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Sunday:  A Day of Rest

Sundays at my home start around 8 o’clock.  After everyone has been fed breakfast, the question, “Are we going to church?” invariably pops up.  Today we decided to go.  We don’t always go.  I like to think of Sunday as a day of rest like many other people in the good ole USA.  However, Sundays are anything but restful for me.

By the time we get home it is past our regular lunch hour of 11 o’clock, and we are all terribly hungry.  My wonderful husband has the forethought to prepare a salad beforehand for himself; which usually means I go hunting for something quick and easy to make for the rest of us.  Today, I made smoked sausage fried rice and served it up with some leftover fried chicken.  The whole cooking process takes about 15 minutes.  While my sous chef scrambled 7 eggs, I heated some oil in my wok and threw in the sliced sausage.  Next, I used about 4 cups of leftover rice.  I season the whole pan with a little onion powder and lots of black pepper.  I found a half bag of frozen vegetable medley in the freezer and threw that in along with some soy sauce.  I stirred frequently until the vegetables were tender which only takes 7 to 8 minutes.  I threw the scrambled eggs on top of everything and gave it a toss.  You can use brown or white rice, and any protein you’d like.  I’ve used shrimp, chicken, or that old Hawaiian favorite:  Spam.  We also had leftover malasadas from last night.  What a feast!  Our pastor’s sermon was on fasting.  Oh, the irony.

While lunch digests, I decided to hop on here and post this recipe.  I am now ready to change out of my church clothes and get busy.  I have bread to bake for the week.  My husband has informed me that we are all out of granola.  And since we’ve eaten last night’s leftovers I need to start prepping for dinner.  I also need to get out to the garden and figure out a gate since the kids broke through the fishing line I had rigged up.  So, you see, Sundays can be just as busy as the rest of my days, except, I have the option of napping before I do anything else.  I hope you’re enjoying your Sunday!


1 or 2 cloves of garlic

onion powder or chopped onions(which definitely takes longer)

smoked sausage, chicken, shrimp, bacon, ham, or Spam

leftover cooked rice

scrambled eggs


soy sauce

Heat oil and assemble everything in a wok or a large skillet.  If using chopped onions and garlic, throw them in first with whatever protein you’re using.  This is a great recipe to use up leftovers in the fridge.

Malasada Attempt #1

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Malasada Attempt #1

I tried a recipe from a cookbook my sister sent me called Hawaii’s Best Local Desserts.  I let the oil get too hot so the malasadas were very dark and undercooked.  I tried making them smaller, but got the same results.  I placed them on a baking stone and heated them for ten minutes in a 350* oven (the same thing I have to do with my chicken, by the way).  Yes, I own a thermometer.  No, I rarely use it.  The flavor was alright, but the texture was not as light as a Leonard’s malasada.  Well, the good news is I’m not homesick anymore–just sick.

The dog is walking around the living room chuffing through his nose because of the smell and my eyes are burning from the residual smoke in here, but it has all been worth it.  My boy came out and said, “Mom, those were amazing!”Image

Things You Shouldn’t Do While Starting a Blog

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Things You Shouldn’t Do While Starting a Blog

I am easily distracted; which means I shouldn’t be trying to fry chicken while starting a blog.  Believe it or not, the WalMart in our little town used to make amazing fried chicken, but for some reason they stopped offering it a few months ago.  Curse you, WalMart!  I wouldn’t have to be blanketing my house and everything in it with deep fried chicken smell if you would just fire up your deep fryer!

I also have dough rising on the counter for Malasadas.  This will be my first ever attempt at making these Portuguese donuts.  I am a bit homesick today and the best cure for me is to eat something from “home”.  I grew up eating Malasadas from Leonard’s Bakery on Kapahulu Avenue in sunny Hawaii.  I hope these turn out, otherwise, I’ll be forced to make and eat another batch to figure out what went wrong.  And, yes, these donuts need to be fried also.  We rarely fry anything, but today I’m tempting fate and the smoke detector.

I just had a thought:  I could fry the donuts in the same oil I fried the chicken in.  Some people might like that sweet and savory taste.  Relax, I’m heating up another pan with “clean” oil in it.