Mexican Mojito

When do you think of tequila, do you think of wild college parties, body shots, and Tijuana?  Me too.*  And I’ve never really thought of using tequila for much else besides the occasional margarita.  But this Mexican take on the mojito has gotten me rethinking tequila’s versatility. Refreshing, light and citrusy, I can’t think of

Beer Damper- Australian Gluten-Free Beer Bread

Back in the day, stockmen (people who take care of livestock… yes I had to Google that) who were working and traveling in remote areas used to make damper over a campfire.  Back then damper was made from a simple mixture of wheat flour, water and salt, although it seems like it’s evolved over the

Jamaican Carrot-Ginger-Lime Juice

I’ve bought those half gallon jugs of Odwalla carrot juice several times but never managed to actually finish one.  I wish somebody had told me the Jamaican secret to making carrot juice awesome- ginger and lime. We had some beautiful weekend weather with light winds, which made it the perfect time to do some surfing. 

Pineapple with Chile Salt

Just as other folks are calling it quits from the blogging game, I’ve decided to stage my triumphant return!  (sarcasm hopefully noted) As much as I’ve loved taking the time off for both work and fun (international trips! beach days! reading actual books!), my slacking has started to catch up to me.  No longer am I

Onion and Yogurt Egg Curry

Dear hard boiled eggs.  We’ve come a long way, you and I.  A couple years ago  I wouldn’t even consider allowing you to pass through my lips.   And now you’re one of my go-to spinach salad toppings.   I also like to cut you lengthwise and stuff you with glorified tuna salad and use

Indian Spiced Mashed Cauliflower

Is it just me, or does it seem like a lot of folks are eating Paleo these days?  I’m not sure whether it’s because of the popularity of  Crossfit or whether people just find that they feel better cutting out grains, sugar and whatever else it is that Paleo people don’t eat.  Probably a combination

Dorie’s Pumpkin, Gorgonzola and Walnut Flan

It was the fall semester that I spent studying in Paris, which meant that my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, was spent on the other side the Atlantic, far from friends and family. Although the French obviously don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, we were given the day off from classes and we celebrated with a holiday meal at a

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Fall/pumpkin fever?  I’m afflicted… just like every other blogger out there.  Just because it sometimes seems like an endless summer in Hawaii doesn’t mean that I don’t love all things fall. As I type this mini pumpkins adorn the bookshelves, the scent of pumpkin spice votives fills the air, and I’ve got a several batches

Lychee or Rambutan Sorbet

When you’re accustomed to generic supermarket produce aisles, seeing all of the tropical fruits at an Asian market can be somewhat awe-inspiring.  There’s a whole other world out there where apples, oranges and pears aren’t part of the daily diet.  Instead, fruits like rambutans, longans, lychee, and starfruit are king. Each time I try a

Suspiro de Limena- A Lady from Lima Sighs

Dulce de Leche: hard to pronounce, easy to love.  I love it straight out of the jar, on top of Momofuku Sour Cream Ice Cream, and now in this Peruvian dessert, A Lady from Lima Sighs.  Sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk simmer down and reduce to create a thick and rich dulce de leche

Chicha Morada- Peruvian Purple Corn Drink

Had I seen these gorgeous purple corn husks outside of a Latin American grocery, I would have guessed that they were purely ornamental, much like the ones that emerge as decorations every fall in picturesque places like New England (I’ve never seen anybody attempt fall decorations beyond a pumpkin or mum plant out here in

Mahana Cocktail

You guys may have noticed that Thursday’s post went up late and Friday’s post was non-existent.  This was supposed to be Friday’s post, but my laptop more or less bit the dust.  Luckily a friend has an old laptop I could borrow and so with a couple updates and installations I’m good to go until

Kabuli Chana Ko Tarkari- Nepali Chickpea Curry

Although I’ve drastically reduced the amount of meat and animal products I consume over the past decade or so, I’ve never truly considered becoming a vegan on a long-term basis.  But I have considered doing short term experiments, similar to my past cleanses.  Kenji over at Serious Eats did 28 days of vegan eating this

Loaded Bacon and Cheddar Baked Potato Soup

The other week at Safeway I couldn’t pass up a 10-pound bag of potatoes that was on sale for $3.  In a land where a half-gallon of milk can cost you $5, it was pretty much the deal of the century.  Nevermind the fact that I’m generally unable to use a 5-pound bag of potatoes

Gluten-Free Buttermilk Biscuits

I don’t know about you, but prior to going gluten-free I didn’t make biscuits from scratch very often.  Instead I was a happy and frequent consumer of those exploding cans of refrigerated biscuit dough.  That’s sort of a shame, because making biscuits is ridiculously easy, even in gluten-free form.  And I probably don’t have to

Zucchini Hummus

Even though I’m not a raw foodist, and have no plans of becoming one in the immediate future, I love looking through raw cookbooks.  Not only do they have great recipes for juices and smoothies, you find a lot of neat tricks that you won’t necessarily find in mainstream cookbooks.  One example is using raw

Peach Ginger Smoothie

I’m very lucky that I don’t get major withdrawals when I stop coffee and caffeine cold turkey. I always hear of people who feel lethargic or get major headaches the first couple days of a cleanse or detox.  But just because I’m not drinking coffee or tea doesn’t mean that I don’t like a morning

Mexican Green Cilantro Rice

Fluffy green-tinted rice cooked in a jalapeno and cilantro-based broth?  Count me in.  I found the inspiration for this one in Lourdes Castro’s book, Simply Mexican.  I’d never heard of her (or the book) prior to this culinary jaunt around Mexico, but the book had good reviews on Amazon and so I went for it.

Ginger Carrot Soup

This is probably the recipe that eased me into liking carrots.  Actually, scratch that.  This recipe is what eased me into liking carrot roots since I’ve actually loved carrot tops for a long time now.  They’re my favorite addition to green smoothies- they taste like freshness in a glass.  Some people say they’re poisonous or

Peach Melba Parfait

So I’m not entirely sure that this can be considered an authentic Australian recipe.  After all, it was created by a French chef at a a London hotel.  BUT it was created in honor of Australian opera singer Dame Nellie Melba and many sources claim that its an iconic Australian dessert, so I’m including during

Lemon-Vanilla Yogurt Cake with Almonds and Strawberries

I’ll admit that I had my doubts about this recipe.  I wasn’t sure how a cake mostly comprised of yogurt and eggs, with almost no flour at all, could possibly work.  In retrospect I shouldn’t have worried.  After all, cheesecake has cream cheese and sour cream as its primary ingredients.  And that’s exactly what this

Oi Naengguk – Chilled Cucumber Soup

I have a friend whose mother makes the most amazing pickled vegetables.  Seriously, if you put them next to a tray of peanut butter brownies, I might still reach for the pickled veggies.  She’s given me the recipe but I’ve yet to actually make them.  I guess I get nervous because you have to pre-salt

Iced Matcha Green Tea Latte

So it might be a stretch to call this matcha green tea latte a Korean beverage but several Korean cookbooks for Western audiences included some matcha green tea desserts and beverages.  This iced version of a matcha green tea latte was so good I figured if you don’t want to beat ‘em, join ‘em. I’ve

Coconut Agar-Agar Jellies

Now I’ve made (and eaten) a lot of Asian-style jelly desserts in my day, but I think I have to declare these Burmese Kyauk Kyaw as my new favorite.  Not only do they have that delicate, lightly-sweetened coconut thing going on, but they’re one of the most striking desserts I’ve ever seen.   When cooling, the

Burmese Shrimp and Cucumber Salad

I don’t know how the longtime bloggers keep track of what dishes they made oh 4, 6, 8 years ago.  When I was talking to a friend last weekend about what I’d cooked, I mentioned I’d made a shrimp and cucumber salad.  You’ve made something like before, haven’t you?  I quickly responded no. Well, I

Detox Tea with Burdock Root

Sorry for the radio silence guys.  I unexpectedly took a couple weeks off from blogging to relax and enjoy the holidays.   I read a couple great books (like this one and this one), watched a ton of DVDs (my favorites being this, this and this), and did crazy stuff like going to bed at 9:30.  

Nuoc Cham-Everyday Vietnamese Dipping Sauce

Before delving into Vietnam’s savory dishes, I need to cover the nation’s ubiquitous dipping sauce: nuoc cham.  It’s served alongside just about everything from grilled meatballs to noodles to hand rolls.  If you’ve ever eaten at a Vietnamese restaurant, you’ve likely already tasted this liquid gold.  Made with fish sauce, lime juice, chile peppers and

Frozen Hot Chocolate

As I mentioned earlier this week, I’ve got ice cream and other frozen treats on the brain.  The temperatures have been rising around here and since I’m fundamentally anti-air conditioning, I have to resort to other methods to stay cool. And when I can’t get to the beach or pool, frozen desserts are my favorite

Colorful Quinoa, Black Bean and Corn Salad

Quick-cooking, high in protein, easy to digest, and with a superfood label to boot, it’s no wonder that quinoa’s (pronouced KEEN-wah) popularity has surged in recent years.  Although I use it often as a replacement for rice with stews or stir fries, I like it even better as the base for a filling, grain-based salad.

Lohikeitto- Finnish Salmon Soup

Although I’m a huge fan of seafood, I make it much less often than I’d like.  I’d dog-eared this recipe but wasn’t sure I’d have time to go to my favorite fish market to buy the salmon.  The market’s not particularly close to where I live and there’s never parking available…. like EVER. But I

Lanttulaatikko- Finnish Rutabaga Bake

Never heard of a rutabaga before?  Perhaps you know it by one its other names: Swedish turnip, swede, or yellow turnip?   But considering the fact that the guy at the supermarket checkout line had to ask me three times what it was, I’m guessing that it’s not really that big of a seller. That’s a

Spicy Jalapeno Creamed Corn Soup with Roasted Corn Salsa

I’m all about little details that can transform a perfectly good dish into something extra special.  You know, like candied walnuts on a salad or burnt onions atop an Indian dal.  The roasted corn salsa here is a perfect example.  The jalapeno creamed corn soup by itself is really quite good.  But add some roasted corn

Anzac Biscuits (Cookies)

Have you ever thought you’d made some great new discovery only to find out that the discovery had actually been made years before and that, furthermore, you were late to the party?  Well, that was the case with these Anzac cookies, or biscuits as they’re called in Australia. My expectations for these cookies was quite

Jamaican Ginger Beer

By now it should be apparent that I’m something of a ginger phene.  I mean in the past two weeks alone I’ve posted recipes for Carrot, Ginger and Lime Juice, Tangy Red Cabbage with Ginger, and Rhubarb Ginger Crumble.  I can assure you I won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Although I made a Boozy

Rhubarb and Ginger Spritzer

There’s a big misconception out there that we don’t have real seasons in Hawaii.  Sure, we have temperatures in the low 80s year round, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) ways to tell that spring has arrived. The days are longer and drier.  Monster surf on the North Shore winds

Riivinkropsu- Grated Potato Casserole

Sure, this isn’t the most groundbreaking or original recipe from Finland, but I sure do love my potatoes.  The bottom layers of shredded potatoes, surrounded by an egg and dairy mixture, get soft and creamy while the top gets golden and crispy.  Think of this as one giant tater tot.  And just like a tater

Shandy for One, Australian “Lemonade”

When I research foods from various countries I try to get my hands on as many cookbooks as I can… old, new, popular, obscure, I love them all.  I had to chuckle when I was reading an old Australian cookbook that said that if you walked into a bar or restaurant and ordered a lemonade,

Maple Bourbon Ice Cream with Candied Bacon

If you managed to muster up the self restraint required to not devour all of that maple candied bacon from a couple days back (or if you had the good sense to make a double batch), here’s a pretty spectacular way to use it up. Boozy maple bourbon ice cream with sweet, smoky and salty

Grilled Spicy Beef Skewers with Chickpea Sauce

In not sure whether I’ve been influenced by the recent buzz about Matt’s new book, On a Stick!, or whether it’s just because food on a stick is generally awesome, but I’ve got a couple food on a stick recipes for you this week. First up are these spicy beef skewers.  They’re a simple way to

Spicy Yellow Indian Cabbage

Whenever I cook Indian food I tend to go a little bit overboard.  There will inevitably be at least two curries (one meat-based and one bean-based), a couple vegetable dishes, rice, several salads, and a chutney or two. While I’m constantly experimenting and trying out new recipes, I’d consider no Indian spread complete without this 

Vegan Thai Vegetable Soup

In my garden I have several Thai basil plants.  I haven’t used the herb all that often lately but my bee friends absolutely love those tall stems of purple flowers and so I keep it around for them.  Anybody who has picked up a pint of Haagen-Dazs (or newspaper) lately knows that there’s something of

Homemade Salted Caramel Mocha Frappuccino

Since I had leftover bittersweet chocolate and salted caramel sauces from yesterday’s mini doughnuts, I thought I’d put them to good use and create one heck of a decadent blended coffee drink. I know that this little tidbit makes the internet rounds periodically, but it bears repeating in case anybody with a major Starbucks habit

Iced Mexican Coffee with Café De Olla

My biggest challenge when it comes to coffee is keeping it as a weekends-only or special occasion treat.  I feel so much better without caffeine but man do I love coffee.  The smell, the taste, the buzz.  But I’m pretty particular about what I drink- I blame it on my summer jobs as a barista

Sima- Finnish Fermented Lemon May Day Drink

What would you say if I told you that with just a couple lemons, some sugar, yeast and water you could be enjoying a tasty home-brewed, slightly alcoholic drink tomorrow night?  Pretty impressive, right? A number of my friends have gotten into either beer or wine making.  I’m thinking I’d rather just stick with the

Creamy Mocha Coffee Caramels

I know I’m late to the party on this one, but Fany Gerson’s cookbook My Sweet Mexico is a total gem.  I’m usually stumped as to how to end Mexican meals (I mean, a girl can only eat so much flan or Mexican chocolate ice cream).  Well, that certainly won’t be a problem anymore- this

Cucumber Agua Fresca with Lemon and Mint

Just about every Moroccan cookbook I saw had a recipe for a cucumber salad with mint leaves, lemon and, in some variations, orange blossom water.  I gave it a go and, frankly, was totally underwhelmed.  Maybe it was the fact that I’d grated the cucumber, which quickly became rather limp and lifeless, but the salad

Frozen Coconut Rum Drink

A true Type A personality, I tend to get pretty disappointed when a recipe doesn’t turn out.  But sometimes it leads to something even better.  Case in point: the gizzadas (Jamaican chewy coconut tartlettes) I attempted were a total failure.  The filling was too watery and the pinched dough of the crust didn’t hold up.

Carrot Truffles

When I was searching through Greek cookbooks, I noticed that the use of carrots in sweets and desserts was a recurring theme.  I debated between trying this recipe and one for carrot jam; it was the hefty dose of coconut in these truffles that sealed the deal.  Shredded carrots gets cooked in a sugar syrup

Burmese Chickpea Tofu

I can probably count the number of times I’ve eaten tofu in the past couple years on one hand.  Sure, there are a lot of recipes that I love that use the stuff (like  this one and this one), but I just never really jumped on the soy bandwagon. So what’s a girl to do

Quick and Easy Spinach Egg Drop Soup

I was pretty much floored the first time I saw a friend of mine make egg drop soup.  I mean, who knew that making the popular Chinese appetizer basically just involved heating up a lightly spiced broth and stirring in beaten eggs in a steady stream until they cook into delicate ribbons? Millions and millions

White Marble Alternatives for Kitchen Counters

I did plenty of cooking and baking for Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday week, but didn’t have time to take any photos.  So I’m back, much sooner than I hoped or anticipated, with another kitchen renovation post.   I’m hopeful that this post will help my fellow kitchen design addicts who check Gardenweb forums

Tater Tot Nachos Supreme aka Totchos Supreme

About a month ago a friend told me about a bar in Honolulu that served nachos made with tater tots instead of tortilla chips.  “You can eat those, can’t you?” he asked. Of course, there’s never a simple answer to that question when you have Celiac, but my interest was piqued and I decided to

Coconut Ice Cream

I wasn’t exactly sure what to call this frozen treat.  Among the contenders: coconut ice cream, coconut sorbet, coconut sherbet, haupia ice cream, haupia sorbet and haupia sherbet. I know that there are rules for what constitutes an ice cream, sherbet and/or sorbet, but it seems like they’re pretty widely ignored.  So I just went

Orange Surprise – Apple, Carrot, Celery and Lime Juice

I almost called this drink Orange Dream Juice (it reminded one tester of an Orange Dreamsicle) but settled instead on Orange Surprise.  What’s the surprise you ask?  Well, it’s that there aren’t actually any oranges in the juice. The apples provide a base that’s nice and sweet, the carrots provide the vibrant color, celery adds