Monday, March 19, 2012

Swedish Pancakes

On a cold, cloudy Sunday my favorite way to start the day is with a home cooked brunch. My secret ingredient to a successful brunch? Swedish Pancakes. I've never been a fan of fluffy buttermilk cakes, I don't like how filling they can be, and they are sooooo last century. If I'm going to make pancakes I prefer these light airy saucers from heaven that are a sweet accompaniment to the rest of the meal. They are similar to crepes but made with less egg and have a slight crisp to their exterior. The only downside is I wouldn't recommend them for a larger party as it takes about 6 pancakes to satisfy one person. On the upside, you won't feel the need for donning your sweatpants after consumption.

Swedish Pancake Recipe
Serves 4
  • 1 cup Lund's Swedish Pancake Mix (can be bought at Ralph's or WholeFoods)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs melted butter
  • a pinch of salt

Mix ingredients together until smooth. Batter should be thin with no lumps. Pre- heat skillet. Temperature should be high due to the thinness of these pancakes. I find that putting the burner to a medium temperature works best. There is no need to grease the skillet as you have already added butter into the batter. Slowly pour batter into skillet and let cook until lightly browned on both sides. Top with maple syrup and fruit.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Seafood by the Seashore - Adventures of 2012

Being from Kauai I am not one to be impressed with L.A Beaches. However, there is one beach that has been on my radar for its raving reviews - El Matador in Malibu. In my 5 years of L.A. living, many a people have sung the songs of this beach's beauty. As 2012 is my self proclaimed year of adventure and new experiences, I decided it was time to close this case.

A beautiful trail takes you down to the foot of this beach complete with tide pools and caves. Several coves are accessible by crouching low and walking through small tunnels which gives the beach a feel of privacy and adventure. However, this beach was anything but private. I watched no less than 4 photo shoots featuring thin, tall and beautiful women while I scarfed down a large bag of potato chips.

Bottom Line: A lovely "L.A" beach but unsuitable for boyfriends with wandering eyes.

After weeping into my towel for 4 hours while watching emaciated gazelles walk the beach, I decided to wipe the tears from my eyes and do the one thing that I do best. Eat. So I decided to stop by another place I have had my eye on for some time, Malibu Seafood. This place did not disappoint! Enter a quaint fish market and view the menu board for items like steamed Dungeness Crab, cups of clam chowder or a plate of fried squid. Once your order is placed, wait for your number to be called then walk your tray up a flight of stairs to an open dining area of community picnic tables complete with ocean view.

Bottom Line: Malibu Seafood has the best of both worlds. An L.A sunset with an East Coast feel.

bay shrimp cocktail, steamed shrimp with lemon and tarter sauce and fresh fish and chips

Monday, January 16, 2012

Eat Like A Local

It's no secret. Food in Hawaii is pitiful. We have pithy tomatoes, $10 Kraft cheese, mediocre bread and no Burrata. Everything that isn't grown locally has to be shipped. And everything that is shipped is low quality and overpriced.

The best way to avoid having a disappointing meal while in Hawaii is to eat local foods. For breakfast enjoy a bowl of fresh tropical fruit with Island granola and coconut flakes instead of a bagel with cream cheese. Skip the caprese salad and try the taro fritters. Last but not least stock up on your seafood. But first, check out this seafood chart to find the best sustainable seafood options in Hawaii.

One restaurant on Kauai that prides themselves with their field to table philosophy is Common Ground. They use fresh, local and wholesome ingredients sourced from local farmers and even have a small garden in the back. Their food is healthy without compromising taste and they have some of the meanest fish taco's on the Island.

(Grilled Island Fish Taco's Served with Organic White Corn Tortilla, Asian Slaw, Cilantro and Garlicky Yogurt Sauce, Served with Beans and Quinoa)

(Okinawan Purple Sweet Potato Fries)

(these fries are THE BEST!)

(sheep located on the grounds)

Monday, January 2, 2012

These is my Jamzzzz

Every holiday season I battle with the same question. What to give? Between friends, family and co-workers, gift giving can turn a happy wallet into a sad change purse. Who wants to waste their money on candles,chocolates, or other meaningless gifts? So I dug deep (real deep) and found the somewhat warped, frightened and sad Martha Stewart that had been hiding inside.

Last year I tackled terrariums. The finished product looked good but the plants died a few weeks later which was, oh you know... INCREDIBLY embarrassing.

This year I opted for something that wouldn't leave the receiver feeling like a murderer. Homemade Jam. My Aunt, whose inner Martha Stewart could beat the shit out of my inner Martha Stewart and THEN use her skin for an origami project, recommended THE BLUE CHAIR JAM COOKBOOK. This book makes jamming look ridiculously easy and beautiful, (it is not) but I still recommend it. And if you realize jamming just isn't your thing, it's heavy enough to use as an elegant door stop.

Before I had 20 jars of a decently tasting product, I spent 5 Sundays in a row bent over a hot stove, red berry juice covering my kitchen floor and walls, while I tested for jam "doneness" as Bob Marley's "Jamming" played in the background.

Here are some of the concoctions I tried:
red raspberries with rose geranium (too sweet), strawberry with rosemary (yuck), plain strawberry (too runny), cranberry & pomegranate (yummy), and tart raspberry lemongrass (tart & yummy).

In the end my hard work paid off. Sorry Martha but you'll need to find somebody else's skin for your art!

heating cranberries in pomegranate juice

jars ready to be sterilized

cute and thoughtful Christmas gifts


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