Thursday, November 4, 2010


Yes....kohlrabi.....what is that?

Here is the Wikipedia definition of kohlrabi -

The first time I had kohlrabi, I thought it was thinly sliced pieces of broccoli stems, because that's exactly how they taste.  Kohlrabi comes in two colors light green and purple.  The bulbest part of the kohlrabi is what is chopped, sliced, diced, cooked or eaten raw.  One might think it is the actual root of the plant, but it is part of the stem.

Do not throw the beautiful leaves away, because it makes a delicious and nutritious sauteed greens - just saute with fresh garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.  It is a cross between sauteed kale and collard greens - yummy!

For the bulbs, you can slice them really thin and toss in a citrus vinagrette, it's so delightful.  Or you could cook them like you would a radish, turnip and carrot in butter or all together - delightful.  It has a wonderful earthiness and sweetness to it's taste.   Give it a try as one of your Thanksgiving side dishes.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Brooklyn Bridge

This past September, I was able to check-off, one of the items on my "bucket list" and it is walking across the Brooklyn Bridge.  I've seen it in newspaper articles, television shows, movies, like "Sex and the City #1" when Miranda and Steve meet halfway....ahhhhhh, so romantic.  So since I was already at the Brooklyn Museum, I thought I would do the whole shabang - so we did!

Here are some interesting facts of the Brooklyn Bridge from Wikipedia -
The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. Completed in 1883, it connects the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn by spanning the East River. With a main span of 1,595.5 feet (486.3 m), it was the longest suspension bridge in the world from its opening until 1903, and the first steel-wire suspension bridge.
Originally referred to as the New York and Brooklyn Bridge, it was dubbed the Brooklyn Bridge in a January 25, 1867 letter to the editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle,[5] and formally so named by the city government in 1915. Since its opening, it has become an iconic part of the New York skyline. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964[4][6][7] and a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1972.[8]

Please enjoy my pictures from my iPhone:

This is the beginning of the walkway to the bridge - don't turn around & head back, because there will be a time when you'll say to yourself or your companion, "where the hell is the bridge and will those f--kin' bikers just slow down!".

The bridge is under repair, but it is still a wonderful experience and all worth it!

My niece who has lived in New York City for over 10 years, never walked over the Brooklyn Bridge and this was her first time too.

The Statue of Liberty in the distance.


East Downtown

One of those BIKERS - oh wait, this one is kinda cute!

Friday, September 17, 2010

My Container Garden Update

Watching my garden grow!

My morning harvest from the garden - manoa lettuce, rumex raspberry dressing, arugula, mesclun greens, and tuscan kale.
tuscan kale
my garden
mesclun greens
rumex raspberry dressing
baby arugula

This month is "Eat Local Challenge" month, a challenge from Kanu Hawaii.

Kanu Hawaii is challenging the community to buy and to most importantly EAT Locally.

How more local than to eat what you grow!  I've been able to harvest most of the greens I eat from my container garden.  So I challenge you to do the same.  Let's make a promise that same time next year, we will be eating most of our salads from our home gardens!


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mangoes at the Moana

Early this month, I was very fortunate to be part of the "Mangoes at the Moana" 2nd annual event - the best mango tasting contest.  I was one of four judges, we had to taste and evaluate 17 mango entrees.  These entrees were from home growers, mango botany specialists and local commercial farmers.

The "Best Mango Judging Criteria" had six categories:
  • Flavor
  • Texture
  • Skin Color
  • Aroma
  • Flesh Color
  • Proportion of flesh to seed
You would think that some of the mango entries would all be pretty similar, surprisingly they were not.  Each mango had their own specific characteristics, distinct flavor, texture & aroma.  Take for instance, texture - smooth, stringy, juicy, firm or creamy.

This experience was a lot of fun and very heartwarming for me.  I was in heaven - I was able to go back in time.  Growing up here in Hawaii, mangoes and "Mango Season" were very memorable and important to my childhood.  With a handful of these mangoes, with their different aromas, textures and flavor, I was able to go back to specific memories of my childhood.  Whether it was playing under my elementary friend's mango tree in Moiliili, baking mango bread in our Kanunu apartment, being on my friend's garage rooftop picking mangoes by the University Stream or making mango granita on Wilhelmina Rise....mangoes have a really warm spot in my heart.

Here are pictures of the 17 mango entries and the judging.  And some really awesome pictures of the mangoes that grow here in beautiful Hawaii.

 Which one do you think won the mango tasting contest?  Please submit your answers in the comment section....

Who ever thought there are so many varieties of mangoes - I never knew.

The winning mango was juicy, creamy, silky w/ no threads and had a hint of coconut - yummy!

All four judges picked the same mango!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My "Moussaka" Recipe

Moussaka tastes complicated to make, but it really isn't. It's three simple steps. The first step is to cook the eggplant. You can either fry, bake or grill the eggplant in olive oil. Do not season the eggplant until after it is cooked, because the salt will pull all of the moisture out of the eggplant while it is cooking and will become soggy.

Frying the eggplant with olive oil.  About 4 large Japanese eggplants.
Cook half a pound each of ground lamb, beef and pork with onions (1 lg), garlic (2 cloves), 1 can diced tomatoes, tomato paste (1 sm can) and 1 cup water.  Season with salt, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, oregano, basil and fresh flat leaf parsley - all about 1 teaspoon taste.
Layer the eggplant first, meat mixture second and bechamel sauce third.  The bechamel sauce is 3 tablespoons butter, half cup of flour and 1 cup of soymilk - add pitch of salt & nutmeg.  Stir in half cup grated parmesan cheese and sprinkled a fourth cup of parmesan cheese on top.
Bake in 350 degree oven for half an hour, or until top is golden brown.
Perfect golden brown color.  My secret is to turn oven to broil for one minute until top of casserole bubbles.
Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting pieces.  Serve with a beautiful fresh salad.
Beautiful and delicious.  The best pairing for Moussaka is a wonderful Zinfandel.  My favorite is a 2007 Juvenile Turley.

Monday, July 26, 2010


This past weekend we (Whole Foods Market Hawaii) raised some money for the upcoming 30-minute documentary INGREDIENTS Hawai'i on Hawaii's food movement and agriculture.  Knowing where the food you are eating is really from.

We also had a showing of the original film INGREDIENTS at the Doris Duke Theatre on Friday and after watching it again, it made me reevaluate my contribution to Hawaii's local food movement.  I gave myself that challenge about a year ago, about growing most of what I eat.  Should be pretty easy because I live by myself, but I do cook and eat with my friends - a lot!  No sharing right now, but hopefully I will be able to grow enough to share with friends.

So about a month ago, I starting planting, from seeds, vegetables and herbs.  Here is an update of where I am.  I have to say that I am pretty proud of what I have accomplished.

I am able to go to my garden and pick herbs and vegetables to make a beautiful salad.  Or go in the garden to pick herbs to put into something I am cooking.  It is so gratifying to do that and most of all it is so delicious!  So when someone asks me "Who's Your Farmer?", I can say I am!