Category: Fruit

Strawberry Jam

I can’t believe it’s already more-or-less mid-June. Could summer be going by any faster?I feel as though just last week I was scrambling to get last minute assignments in, make it to work barely on-time, and squeeze in treasured moments between flour-dusted palms and sore wrists. Now, every move I make feels lethargic. Yet, time seems to be slipping away faster than ever. Despite all the time I have (or don’t have), I catch myself trying to bake, cook, blog, and heck, even live between sips of coffee and laundry loads. The only thing, recently, that I’ve found worth truly slowing down for and just enjoying (besides the good weather, perhaps), is this amazing strawberry jam.
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Buttermilk Creams with Strawberries

It is no secret that summer has finally arrived. (Well, it never really is in Hawaii, now is it?) The sun is blazing making it impossible to look directly at, azure skies are smeared ever so delicately with wispy clouds, lithe (and not-so-lithe) bodies glisten on planes of white sand in nothing but stringy bikinis and man-thongs (more often than not, to my utter disgust and dismay), and best of all: school is out, meaning I get to bask in all the world’s pleasures (except for when I am planted behind a desk and a laptop to do work or to provide you with other worldly (specifically gustatory) pleasures, like so.
Now, if the aforementioned characteristics of summer are not so readily available to you as it is to me causing you to now loathe my guts with burning envy, hate not! I bring a peace offering in the form of bright, sweet, and zesty strawberries over a soft, supple, and surprisingly light buttermilk cream; the purest flavors of summer and heaven. Love me now? If not yet, you will.

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Lemon Curd Tart with Olive Oil

It has become unavoidably evident to me recently that when life throws you lemons, you do not pucker your cheeks and cower in fright. Nor, do you make lemonade. Instead, you make a lemon curd tart that, in all its bright and happy glory, transforms even the most sour lemons into a delectable treat. I obviously mean this both literally and figuratively. Growing up (not that I’m all grown-up quite yet), I’ve learned the hard way that life can be a cornucopia of disappointments. You plan the precise steps and measures you must take in order to reach your envisioned nirvana, but more often than not, you find yourself in the limbo of all your hopeful dreams – not here, nor there.

It is in such equivocal moments that I find myself questioning the next step I’ll make and usually, this means taking no step at all until something (presumably a “lemon”) finally hits me. The most recent disappointment came when I found out that going off to grad school was not in the near-sighted future. This isn’t to say I won’t go to grad school eventually, because I’m earnestly looking forward to that day, but it was a devastating let-down nevertheless. I spent days and weeks pondering on what I would do once I graduated college, but my mind would draw a blank every time. I definitely have overarching dreams and a bucket list of things I must do, but when it came to the very next step I would take post-college, the answer came to me in a most unexpected way. As a matter of fact, I should really be expressing my utmost gratitude toward this frequently unheeded blog (sorry!) and its ardent(?) readers. It is from you, that I have received this opportunity to obtain….. Continue reading

Food Coma & Beyond.

I’m genuinely at a loss for words. Has it really been over a month? Is it really Christmas? Already?! Was my last post seriously about mac & cheese? (Not that there’s anything wrong with Butternut Mac & Cheese, of course, but seriously?!) What about all the pumpkins, pecans, potatoes, turkeys, hams, cranberries, apples, and other wonderful ingredients my Americanized holidays typically entail? What about the magical slew of cookies that epitomize December and Christmas? Where are my cookies?!


I blame it on the food coma. You know what I’m talking about; the embarrassingly long and lethargic slumber that infallibly follows a delightful-turned-uncomfortable session of gorging or face-stuffing. Yes, I am unashamed to admit that I was such a victim post-Thanksgiving (and still am occasionally). Hence, the unintended hiatus and end of the year scurry. With only a handful of days or so left in 2010 and only a handful of hours before Christmas Day, I leave you (or at least those of you acquainted with my lifelong partner, procrastination) with a last-minute Harvest Pear Crisp with Candied Ginger recipe for an exceptionally warm and cozy Christmas holiday.
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Sticky Apples.

Perhaps you are still overwhelmed and completely passed the cloying post-Halloween saccharine sweets. I, for one, am not. Almost, but not quite yet. I suppose not partaking (nor having little munchkins to participate) in the trick-or-treat ritual contributes to this yet-to-be satisfied sweet tooth of mine. And, c’mon, it’s not that bad. Surely, the notion of a caramel apple is not only nostalgic of those childhood worry-free carnivals and festive Autumn holidays, but also convincing (to lure you into complying with the requests of your ever-present sweet tooth). After all, it is still a fruit for goodness sake.


And what’s that pervasive saying, again? Oh yes, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Continue reading

Sticky Apples.

Perhaps you are still overwhelmed and completely passed the cloying post-Halloween saccharine sweets. I, for one, am not. Almost, but not quite yet. I suppose not partaking (nor having little munchkins to participate) in the trick-or-treat ritual contributes to this yet-to-be satisfied sweet tooth of mine. And, c’mon, it’s not that bad. Surely, the notion of a caramel apple is not only nostalgic of those childhood worry-free carnivals and festive Autumn holidays, but also convincing (to lure you into complying with the requests of your ever-present sweet tooth). After all, it is still a fruit for goodness sake.


And what’s that pervasive saying, again? Oh yes, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Continue reading

Crème de la Crème.

I’ve been watching a copious amount of Food Network over the past month or two. The Holidays are creeping up ever so quickly and instead of getting busy in my own kitchen, I’ve become irrevocably mesmerized by what’s been going on in Ina’s or Giada’s or well, in Kitchen Stadium (since I am officially obsessed with The Next Iron Chef). Perhaps this (or Jersey Shore, God forbid) is what has been withholding me from my own beloved kitchen and keeping me oh-so-comfortably plopped on my belly, eyes glued to the screen. (Eh hem – it is apparent that this is all despite the never ending piles and piles of papers, presentations, readings, and so on and so forth that I try very hard to avoid and ignore to no avail). Nevertheless, I realize that the festivities are nearing and  I better hop chop to it!

Or, in this case, I better get crackin’!  Crème brûlée has to be one of my all-time favorite desserts. To me, it represents The Holidays in a nutshell an eggshell (oh boy, I’m feeling quite pun-ny today – please, accept this apology in advance before I commit another heinous act of unnecessary gimmickry to repel you once and for all from my undeservingly neglected blog). Although this dessert really resonates the month of December for me and surely for many others, I recently saw it being prepared on an episode of Barefoot Contessa and haven’t been able to get my mind off it since. Hence, in order to free my mind of such sweet and creamy distractions, I had had had to make it (and eat it)!
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A Hop, Skip, and a Dinner Party.

Let me introduce you to a couple of my dearest friends: Kasha and Nicole (unfortunately Joanne is in California and wasn’t physically able to be with us – IheartyouJO). Now, I don’t even know where to begin telling you about these leading ladies of mine. I don’t think I could quite do them justice with words alone. They saved me from being a high school outcast when I first moved solo to this island. You know that scene in Mean Girls where Lindsay Lohan is new and eats lunch alone in the bathroom, thanks to a lack of friends? Yeah, that girl was me! Fortunately, these two girls + Joanne extended their hand out in friendship (or in pity) to little ol’ me.

Cabbage, Apple, Walnut Salad

They rescued me from being trampled upon by the harmful high school herd and saved me from the biting cold of potential ostracism and loneliness. I couldn’t be more grateful. Actually they couldn’t be more grateful – their stomachs, to say the very very least. Continue reading

Berry Blueberry.

So, if you haven’t noticed, I can’t seem to stop with the fruits – evidently berries in particular. Call me fruity. I don’t know what it is exactly, the true source of motivation eludes me. However, I can’t seem to adequately explain the sense of joy and happiness I feel when it comes to baking. I honestly believe it has much to do with my amazement at my own success in following instructions and measurements exactly and completely. I’m certainly not one to stay within the lines.

I guess that it’s just a combination of the availability of all these terrific and delectable fruits and the sense of self-discipline I seem to temporarily have over my naturally unruly self. Well, whatever it is, it’s making my kitchen and home smell amazing and I don’t want that to stop. Continue reading

Some More Cherries Galore.

I know, I’m getting sick of the cherries too. I couldn’t help myself though! What was a girl to do with all the left over cherries? The deal at the super market was for a generous bag of plump cherries for a nominal price. Like I said, I couldn’t resist. This led me to stray away from the typically eye-catching recipes and find one that was appropriate for the pound or so of cherries I had remaining. I must say, summer has enabled me to burgeon into a surprisingly decent baker.

I realize that baking may seem fairly simple and relatively straight forward considering the fact that in contrast to cooking, one must be far more careful with recipe-following and ingredient-measuring, but it’s actually not the easiest task. Especially for someone as clumsy as I am. While I love baking and cooking quite equally, cooking gives me far more elbow room for many of my absent-minded and haphazard mistakes. Baking, on the other hand, forces me to be meticulous – something I am absolutely not. Plus, it also leaves a significantly larger pile of dishes, gadgets and trinkets for washing. Although, I must admit I’m usually nonchalant about this aspect of baking since, well, I’m obviously not the designated dishwasher. Continue reading