Category Archives: FOOD

Homemade Individual Pizza (9″)

A funny story about pizza comes from my high school years in Belleville, Illinois, just across from St. Louis and the Mississippi River. There was a new Italian family in the neighborhood who had opened up a new “pizza parlor,” which is what they were called then. I was with my parents and some of their friends one evening when we went in to see what all the excitement was about.

The group asked the waitress to describe a pizza. After she finished, my mother looked around and said, “I think we’ll each take one.”

The waitress tried to convince her they only needed one, but Mother insisted. Finally the waitress said, “Uh, let me bring just one to start with and you can decide if you want more later.”

I don’t think I’ll ever forget the look on everyone’s face when it was brought out. Without a doubt, that huge pizza was enough to serve everyone around the table.

I suppose there are people who don’t like pizza, but I have no idea what planet they come from. It’s basically like an Italian open-faced sandwich, and you can put anything you want on it, or leave anything out you don’t want.

I’ve made bread a lot in the past, but never pizza. I couldn’t imagine myself trying to learn how to toss a huge circle of dough above my head without a major disaster.

Then I found a little hidden-away article in a magazine. I don’t even remember which magazine it was in. All I know is that I clipped it for further evaluation. Was I ever surprised when I read it! And it’s super delicious! I think I could even categorize it as an “artisan pizza,” whatever that’s supposed to mean. I’m eating it right now as I type up this post!

Homemade Individual Pizza

Crust

1/2 package dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon sugar

Add the yeast to the water and let it sit for 10 minutes. It will begin to look slightly foamy.

Meanwhile, mix the flour, salt and sugar together in another bowl. Then add the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients.

Stir until it’s well-mixed. The dough should be thick, requiring a little effort to mix it. Cover the bowl with a clean kithen towel and let rise at warm- or room-termperature for about two hours.

After the dough has risen, place it on a floured board to knead until smoother and no longer sticky. I pushed the dough into a greased 9-inch iron skillet with my fingers, making sure the edges came up a little on the side of the skillet to form a rim.

Add the toppings, starting with the tomato paste, and ending with the shredded cheese. Bake at 425 degrees F. for about 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese bubbles up and the crust just starts to brown.

My toppings

tomato paste right out of the can
sliced mushrooms
thin salami slices, cut in half
thin slices bell pepper
minced garlic
freshly picked oregano leaves
freshly picked marjoram leaves
sliced fresh basil leaves
shredded Romano Pecarino
shredded pepper Jack cheese

Other toppings I like (but didn’t add this time)

loose sausage
chopped onion
sliced black olives
sliced tomatoes
any other sliced veggie
jalapeño peppers
pineapple
sauerkraut
any kind of cheese

You can put whatever you love on pizza, or whatever you have on hand. Have fun with it!

This was super simple and easy – with no fancy tossing! The only wait was for the dough to rise, but I can usually find lots of other things to do around here.

This could be served to two people along with salad and dessert, but I ate the whole thing by myself (blush)!! Even the rim was tasty! But don’t even ask how many calories are in it. Of course, other than the crust, the veggies would all be “legit.”

If this is your recipe, please let me know and I’ll give you full credit, along with my deepest gratitude for having put it where I could find it!

Buon appetito!

Aloha!

Feral Fables, my newly published e-book, will be available for a special promotional price of $2.99 until August 1, 2010. Go here to to buy or sample Feral Fables. Use the promotional code “SL25S” (not case sensitive) at checkout.
Mahalo! (Thank you!)

Seven-Link Challenge

One of the blogs about blogging I read is ProBlogger. That’s a mouthful, isn’t it? This week, there was a challenge to respond to seven categories. I decided to take part, mostly because it requires some thinking about my posts in the past and where I’d like to go in the future. Here are the seven categories:

1) My first post.
I started this blog as a record for myself only. I was trying to make soil from compost and other materials in order to get something to grow on this acre of rocky lava we call a`a.

2) The post I enjoyed writing the most.
The reason I enjoyed this post is that it is about a special family event I wasn’t able to attend. My first granddaughter got married in October on the mainland and I couldn’t get away from teaching to fly over. Also, I didn’t take the pictures, but it showed several of my children and grandchildren. Needless to say, I shed a few happy tears as I put it together in a post.

3) A post which had a great discussion
I’ve written about lilikoi (Passion fruit) several times and each post brings more discussion than anything else I write about. Mainland readers probably don’t have a clue what lilikoi is, so it’s mostly Hawaii residents who get into great discussions about this fruit with an unusual flavor.

4) A post on someone else’s blog I wish I’d written.
My brother writes a blog that is way more popular than mine, and he tells of great things to do in and around the Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg area. Like me, he writes about his travels. He and I had just been to England, and we both loved London. I absolutely love this post he did all in black and white photography. It gave me an entirely new perspective to London.

5) My most helpful post.
This post was about a little book that has guided my life and the lives of others over and over. If you are looking for a way to set goals and objectives for the next year, this is the book that will help you.

6) A post with a title I am proud of.
I think the reason I’m most proud of this title is because it represents several decades of waiting to have my book of the same name published. It is about a book I used in my psychology practice and with students. It can also be a self-help book by exploring some hidden meanings in your life.

7) A post that I wish more people had read.
This was posted to honor AIDS Day, and invites us to look at our lives and how we respond to unexpected events in our lives. AIDS awareness is growing, but still not enough.

It took me a while to decide on each of these categories. There are so many posts that would fit into each category. After looking at these seven posts, I get a good sense of where my pleasures reside in writing this blog. My topics have evolved quite a bit over the past two years, and on an unconscious level, I think I have been going in the direction that most suits me best.

I hope you are finding these rambling posts helpful when you garden or cook or travel or reflect on life.

A hui hou!

Aloha!

Feral Fables, my newly published e-book, will be available for a special promotional price of $2.99 until August 1, 2010. Go here to to buy or sample Feral Fables. Use the promotional code “SL25S” (not case sensitive) at checkout.
Mahalo! (Thank you!)

Lilikoi Butter Revisited

 

I am fascinated by the fact that my website statistics show “lilikoi butter” as tops in the list of the search words that bring people to my site. It’s been a year since I wrote about making lilikoi butter and I still get requests for more information.

After my first post on that topic, I received an offer from Alexis and Chris of Coastview Aquaponics to come get the last of their wild lilikoi. I wrote about that visit here. I juiced it all up and froze it to save for a later date.

This past week, I finally got around to thawing it out and making lilikoi butter again. I doubled the recipe shown here and ended up with 15 half-pint jars of lilikoi butter. In reading over the original recipe I posted, I realized that I left out the final process. I’ve added it below.

 

Lilikoi Butter

4 eggs
4 cups sugar (I used a little less and mixed it with Splenda)
1 pound unsalted butter
1 ¾ cup lilikoi juice

Mix juice, sugar, butter in a large pan. Heat until butter is melted. Beat the eggs together in a separate bowl and temper by drizzling a little of the hot liquid into the beaten eggs so they don’t scramble on you. Keep stirring and when the egg mixture is about the same temperature as the hot liquid, pour it into the pan with the juice, butter and sugar.

Bring to a rolling boil, then down to a slow rolling simmer for about half an hour. This will thicken as it cooks. (See picture above.)

Using a large-mouthed funnel, pour into sterilized jars, covering with sterilized lids and rings. I turn the jars upside down to let them cool until I hear the top pop, indicating a good seal.

NOTE: I have often complained that something keeps eating my scraggly lilikoi vines, until I read about (and tried) sprinkling crushed egg shells around the edge of the plant. Whatever it is that was eating them doesn’t like to crawl over the egg shells. I suddenly have new growth on my vines that nothing is eating away! Maybe I’ll get a few of my own lilikoi next summer. Hooray!

A hui hou!

Aloha!

Feral Fables, my newly published e-book, will be available for a special promotional price of $2.99 until August 1, 2010. Go here to to buy or sample Feral Fables. Use the promotional code “SL25S” (not case sensitive) at checkout.
Mahalo! (Thank you!)

Pink Grapefruit Marmalade

 

This is a three-day process, but the flavors are absorbed so much better than a marmalade made too quickly. I tend to like my marmalades to have a slight bitterness, more like a true Scottish marmalade. This recipe ensures I’ll get that.

Choose 3 smallish pink grapefruit (or 4 larger ones) and 2 lemons. Have 2 oranges on hand. These are not added to the marmalade, but you’ll use their juice later on.

On the first day, cut off thin slabs of grapefruit and lemon rind and cut into tiny slivers. Take care not to include pith at this point. Add 2 cups water for each cup of fruit. Let it stand.

 

On the second day, boil this mixture for 30 minutes. It helps the gelling process if you add large hunks of grapefruit pith to the soaking mixture. Also, cut out the grapefruit segments and add these to the mixture.

 

On the third day, remove all the pith sections and any stray pips (seeds). Add juice of 2 oranges to supplement the liquid. This helps you to know it won’t burn dry. Also add 1 pat of butter to keep down any froth that forms. Cook using 3 cups of the fruit and liquid mixture to 1 1/2 cup sugar. Simmer about 2 hours (or less). Keep an eye on it and watch for gel to start forming. Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal with sterilized rings and lids. Turn upside down until you hear the “pop” of the lid. This lets you know you have a good seal.

Perfect on hot buttered biscuits!

A hui hou!

Honey-Lime and Earl Grey Granita

 

I’ve always wondered about the difference between sorbet and granita. On “The Kitchn,” one of my favorite websites, I found a recent post on the difference between ice cream, gelato, sorbet and granita. Since I was mainly interested in the last two, here’s what I discovered.

Basically, sorbet and granita are exactly the same. The only difference is how they are made. A sorbet is churned like ice cream, while the granita is poured into a shallow dish and frozen. The ice crystals are broken up from time to time to make it slushier than sorbet. I discovered that what I made is actually a granita. So there you have it!

Someone else has said that a recipe is not an end in itself, but a process. Therefore, this adaptation from one of the recipes in The Backyard Beekeeper’s Honey Handbook is my personal step in an on-going process.

Honey-Lime & Earl Grey Granita

Combine 2 1/2 cups water with 5 tablespoons light, mild honey in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add 6 tablespoons loose Earl Grey tea and lime juice from half of a lime, then bring back to a boil.

Reduce the heat and let simmer for a minute. Filter the mixture through a strainer and taste. Add more lime juice to taste.

When it’s all just right, pour the mixture into a shallow, flat container with a large surface area on the bottom. Place in the freezer.

Watch, and when the mixture just begins to freeze, remove from the freezer and pour into a blender. Length of time will depend on your freezer and size of your container, usually between 1 to 3 hours.

Blend on high for 30 seconds ONLY.

Pour back into the original container and refreeze. When the mixture has the texture of crystallized honey, it is ready. Serve in a frosted cocktail glass and garnish with a spring of spearmint – and take a picture.

Makes 1 to 2 servings.

LUCY’S NOTE: Well, I want to share the less than perfect recipes with you, too. I don’t think I will make this again unless I change a few things. Usually I have loose Earl Grey tea on hand, but this time I had only tea bags. So I cut open enough tea bags to come up with the 6 tablespoons the original recipe called for. The tea in a tea bag is made up of bits and pieces, not like regular loose tea leaves. It made the flavor unpleasantly strong, and I normally like strong tea. I wonder if more honey would have made it taste better? It has the potential for being very tasty, but it certainly could use further experimentation.

A hui hou!

Aloha!

Feral Fables, my newly published e-book, will be available for a special promotional price of $2.99 until August 1, 2010. Go here to to buy or sample Feral Fables. Use the promotional code “SL25S” (not case sensitive) at checkout.
Mahalo! (Thank you!)

Ginger-Limeade

 

You can buy this drink in a bottle in many of our stores. It is made locally, and it tastes very good, but it will never surpass the taste of freshly made in your own kitchen.

I can only give you the approximate proportions I use, and you may need to experiment for your own tastes. If you wish, lemons could probably be substituted for limes, but I have never tried it. I have limes, and I prefer limes, so that’s what I use.

The piece of ginger I use is about 3/4 the size of the one in the picture above. Peel it, then slice it into thin circles.

Put these in a saucepan, add about 1 cup of sugar, more or less to taste (I use only Splenda for this), fill to about an inch from the top with water. Simmer until it has reduced by about half.

Let it cool while you squeeze the juice from about 8-10 limes. Add the juice to the ginger syrup. I add either a liter of seltzer water or (my preference) diet tonic.

Serve over ice for one of the most refreshing summer drinks you’ll find anywhere. There is almost always a pitcher of it waiting in my fridge!

A hui hou!

Bite Me! Fish Market Bar & Grill

 

The first time I visited Bite Me! was within the first week it was open, and I was … uh … hooked! I love fresh fish, and if there is anything I love more, it’s fresh fish tacos. I’ve eaten them in many places, and made my own on the beaches of Puerto Peñasco in Mexico, and more recently, at El Pachuco right down the street from where I live.

 

When I’m in Kailua-Kona, I love taking friends to Bite Me! for their fresh fish tacos and any of the other fabulous fish on the menu. You can find the menu on their website.

“Fish” is the resident kitty. I tried to take a picture of her, but she scampered away. Look closely and you’ll see her tail disappearing among the bar stools.

 

Later, she came to me and jumped up on my lap while I was talking with Captain Brian, owner of Bite Me! He held her while I snapped this photo. He and I discovered we’d both been “liveaboards” on our respective sailboats, but in different parts of the world.

 

He said another friend had caught a rare picture of Fish. He sent it to me to include here. Many mahalos to Brian’s friend for letting me use it.

 

Inside the market you can pick from the very freshest fish to take home.

 

Most of us dine outside on the deck overlooking the harbor.

 

You can also eat inside . . .

 

 

. . . but who would want to do that when you can sit outside, enjoy the sun and fresh breezes – and watch the boats? It makes me homesick to watch others on their sailboats!

 

A whiteboard sign at the entrance shows the day’s specials.

 

At the table you are presented with a full menu. I love the cover.

 

Their dessert menu is one of those “to die for” listings. My friend Judy always asks for a root beer float, while I just order another fish taco.

 

As you leave, there is a full array of t-shirts you can buy to boast about your own “catch of the day.” You can enjoy a day of fishing on one of Captain Brian’s Bite Me! boats.

 

The next time you are hungry, head out toward the Honokohau Harbor in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawai`i, drive past the docks on the right to the area where boats on trailers are being launched and retrieved. Look for the Bite Me! sign, and you will not be disappointed.

A side note: I found out later that Tim, the chef at Bite Me! and Captain Brian have been good friends ever since their childhood. What a neat way to honor that friendship!

A hui hou!

Spicy Apricot-Orange Marmalade

 

Have you ever wondered about the precise difference between jelly, jam, preserves and marmalade? I checked with Google.

An answer came up with the following:
• Jelly is made from fruit juice
• Jam is made from pureed fruit
• Preserves are made from whole fruit
• Spreads are made from whole fruit and/or pureed fruit
• Marmalade uses the zest and pulp, and the juice, however not the whole fruit.

I honestly don’t know which one this is, but because I used slivers of orange peel, and because it looks like marmalade, that’s what I call it. Actually, it’s more a combination of preserves and a marmalade, which probably makes it a spread, according to Wiki. It’s definitely not jelly, but whatever you want to call it, it’s delicious!

Spicy Apricot-Orange Marmalade

4 ½ cups apricots, pitted and sliced (leave the peel on)
2 navel oranges
1 ½ cup sugar
1 ½ cup Splenda
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated is best
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice (I added mine as soon as I took it off the heat)

Cut the oranges to remove the segments (try not to get any of the membrane). Thinly slice the orange peel (like what you normally see in orange marmalade). Combine everything in a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat.

Maintain a slow rolling boil for 15 minutes while mashing up the apricots against the side and stirring constantly.

Add your lime juice (lemon would work, too) and stir in. Put into sterilized jars, then cover with sterilized lids and rings. Turn upside down until you hear them pop, which means you have a good seal.

I got a little more than six 6-ounce jars out of this batch. If I’d filled them a bit more, it would have been an even six jars.

I love this sort of thing over ice cream, with homemade biscuits, or on a thick slice of toasted hearty whole wheat bread (homemade if possible)!

A hui hou!

Old Recipes

 

From time to time, for as long as my emotional stamina can handle it, I go through boxes of stuff left over from my parents, primarily my mother. Such was the case this morning.

I found an old Sunset cookbook I’d given her years ago when I first moved to California. She had transformed a hardback book one-inch thick to an eight-inch thick scrapbook of old recipes from people from churches where my dad had been the pastor, from other relatives and especially from my grandmother, who had also gleaned recipes from parishioners in my grandfather’s churches. They were scribbled on the back of old bulletins, on the side of business cards, on napkins, on whatever was at hand.

In this cook/scrapbook I found love notes from my father to her, handmade cards to them from my brother and me when we were children, clippings from newspapers telling about all of our accomplishments, and so much more.

I was surprised at the number of recipes for making your own sweetened condensed milk, for example, or making your own sour cream to stretch dollars at the store. On reflection, I realize these ideas came from World War II and before that, the Great Depression. She also kept labels from products that she used regularly, but that may no longer be in existence today.

Mother and Daddy were in the process of trying to put together a cookbook, using many of these recipes. I started thinking what fun they would have had writing a blog if they’d had access to something like the internet.

I may try a few of these recipes and let you know how they turn out.

A hui hou!

Fish Tacos at El Pachuco

 

In November, I wrote a post about El Pachuco, the Mexican café at the bottom of my road. I love to stop by there to pick up supper for myself as often as I think I can afford the calories. When I drove by yesterday, there was a sign out on the road that said “fish tacos.”

Well, that’s my favorite way of having tacos, so I couldn’t resist going in. Evie had acquired some fresh ono, a delicious local fish. For $6 I had two huge fish tacos filled with fresh ono chunks lightly braised in olive oil, dressed with lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, grated cheese, and sour cream, plus beans and rice. Oh my!

“Ono” means “delicious” or “good to eat” in Hawai`ian and there is no doubt that these tacos were ono! Thanks again, Evie, for being there!

A hui hou!

Slow Cooker African Peanut Chicken

 

I made this today to have on hand for a few meals. This dish may not look very pretty, but it’s low in carbohydrates, high in protein, and an absolute treat for your taste buds. You can use smooth peanut butter, but I love the crunchiness of the chunky style. You can use any hot pepper sauce you wish. I had a bottle of “Cajun Sunshine” that my brother put in my stocking at Christmas.

 

Ingredients:

1 (14.5 oz.) can organic diced tomatoes
¼ onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chunky peanut butter
3 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup each of veggies like broccoli florets, Brussels sprouts (halved).
6 large skinless chicken breast tenders (or your favorite cut)
If you aren’t counting carbs too closely, you can add a few baby carrots

Combine everything except the chicken in a 5-6 quart slow cooker. Place chicken tenders on top. Cover, cook on low for 6-8 hours. Great to have ready for you when you walk in the house from wherever your day took you. Again, if you aren’t worried about carbs, quinoa or brown rice make a nice accompaniment. It’s delicious all on its own.

A hui hou!

Apple Nut Bread

 

Although I love to eat mostly local fruits, sometimes I really want to make something with apples. The wonderful apple isn’t considered a tropical fruit, but it contains so many good essentials, especially the skin.

I haven’t discovered too many recipes that include the skin of an apple, so when I found this one years ago, I started making it often. I found it in an old “early marriage” Farm Journal Country Cookbook, published in 1959. Later, it became a staple for a growing family who wanted a delicious but nutritious snack, with a few personal variations.

Apple Nut Bread

½ cup butter
1 cup sugar (I would use Splenda today)
2 unbeaten eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ tablespoons dairy sour cream
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup chopped unpeeled apples

• Cut butter into sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in vanilla and sour cream.
• Sift together dry ingredients; add nuts. Combine with first mixture.
• Stir in apples. Pour into greased 9 X 5 X 3” pan or 2 small loaf pans.
• Bake in slow oven (325 F) about an hour. Makes 1 large or 2 small loaves.

Serve warm with milk or coffee or tea, or whenever you wish. This needs no icing, and two small loaves seem to last a few minutes longer than one large one, although that may be just my imagination!

NOTE: Because of pesticides, please wash your apples well before eating. Better yet, get organic apples. Because I suggest whole wheat flour instead of white flour, you might need a little less. Most cooks know how to gauge the consistency of this kind of batter.

A hui hou!

Cinco de Mayo – Easy Shredded Pork for Tacos

 

Hola!

Whether you celebrate Cinco de Mayo (Fifth of May) or not, it’s almost always appropriate to eat Mexican food. I honestly believe I must have had a former life as a Mexican because I could eat that food three (or more) times a day.

So I look forward to Cinco de Mayo each year to give me a valid excuse for my Mexican indulgence!

Because I’m usually in a hurry to eat something when I come home from a long day of teaching, one of the easiest for me to make is a simple pulled pork taco from my slow cooker.

I start out with the meat from pork steaks or chops, cubed in 1-inch pieces. (You also could use beef or chicken.) Then I dump in a 24 ounce jar of either red or green salsa (any style). The “heat” depends on your taste, but mine usually goes for the hottest.

To this you can add a bit of chopped onion, garlic, or more spice. I generally toss in two or three of the tiny Thai peppers from my garden. Uh…I like spicy!

Cover and cook on low all day until you get home – eight to 10 hours.

Sometimes I put it in a bowl, top with sour cream and chopped cilantro to eat like soup. If I plan to do this, I add a can of drained corn or black beans to the pot.

If I want it as a taco or tostado, then the pork is so tender you hardly have to shred it. Spoon it in or on a warmed up tortilla, add chopped lettuce, grated Mexican cheese, a dollop of sour cream, chopped cilantro, and maybe even another spoon of salsa.

I could eat a dozen of these, but I’ll try to contain myself today!

The photo above was taken in the patio of Tres Hombres in Kailua-Kona, which sadly no longer exists. That was my “go to” place for Mexican food when I was in town. Each year, if it was your birthday, they would bring out this enormous (and heavy) sombrero for you to wear. Then they sang to you and took pictures!

Hasta luego!