Homemade Passionfruit and Apple Cider syrup cocktails: The Avenue & The Ciderhouse Whiskey

Homemade syrup cocktails:  "Ciderhouse Whiskey" served on the rocks, and "The Avenue" served up

Lately, I’ve been trying my hand at craft cocktails… trying to come up with interesting and delicious drinks to serve to my friends when they come over for dinner!  I’ve made a bunch of different martinis that have had good reviews… the Roy’s Hawaiian Martini, Fresh Squeezed Lemon Drop Martini, Pear Martini, and the Thai Coconut Lemongrass [...]

Purple Sweet Potato Casserole (Purple Yam Casserole)

Purple Sweet Potato Casserole

About a year ago, I started getting a farm box of produce delivered to my door once a month.  (This is a really great way to try interesting and weird produce that the regular market doesn’t carry.)  Well, last winter, I ordered “purple yams”… and wow, those were soooo good!  I made a sweet buttery [...]

Pan Roasted Cod in Puttanesca Sauce

Pan Roasted Cod in Puttanesca Sauce

What is Puttanesca Sauce?  Puttanesca is a tangy and salty Italian sauce, made with tomatoes, olives, capers, garlic, and (sometimes) anchovies.  The story goes… back in the 1950′s, some late night patrons were hungry – but the restaurateur was almost out of ingredients, as it was near closing time.  They told him to make them [...]

Pecan Sandies Cookies (Vanillekipferl)

Pecan Sandies

Here’s one of my favorite winter time cookie recipes… Pecan Sandies!  Also known by some as Austrian “Vanillekipferl”, ”Russian tea cakes”, or “Mexican Wedding cookies”… these are a wonderfully rich nut-based shortbread cookie, coated with a generous layer of powdered sugar.  These cookies are really nice to serve with a cup of hot tea.  It’s easy [...]

Thai Coconut Lemongrass Lime Martini

Thai Lime Martini

This New Year’s Eve, we decided to stay home and be lazy (like we do every year)!  To make our home celebration more special, I decided to make martinis inspired by a recent trip we took to Maui.  In Wailea, we had dinner one night at the Monkeypod Kitchen – a fantastic restaurant that specializes [...]

Leftover Prime Rib Roast Beef Stew (crock pot or slow cooker recipe)

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Now that Christmas is over, many of us have leftover prime rib sitting in the refrigerator.  What to do with the leftover meat slices is easy… you can make french dip sandwiches, or just reheat and serve another meal of prime rib.  But what about the rib bones and meat in-between (the rib plate that [...]

Fuyu Persimmon Jam (Kaki Jam)

Homemade Fuyu Kaki (Persimmon) Jam

Now that it’s winter time, Japanese Fuyu Persimmons (a.k.a. “Fuyu Kaki“) are in season!  (Fuyu persimmons are the non-astringent [sweet] short/flattened ones that you eat when semi-firm… not the astringent acorn/sphere shaped ones that can only be eaten when soft and squishy.)  I found three of the largest Fuyu kaki that I’ve ever seen… put [...]

Christmas Stollen (German sweet fruit bread: “Weihnachtsstollen” or “Christstollen”)

Christmas Stollen

Stollen is a German/Austrian winter holiday tradition – a sweet yeast bread containing dried and candied fruits and nuts, coated thickly with a powdered sugar shell.  Typically, this bread is usually served during Christmas, when it is called “Weihnachtsstollen“, “Christstollen“, or “Dresden Christstollen“.  This holiday staple originated about 500 years ago in the Christmas markets [...]

Japanese Salisbury Steak (Japanese Hamburger Steak or “Hambāgu”)

Japanese Hamburger Steak

“Hambāgu“ (ハンバーグ) is a Japanese style Salisbury Steak.  It is a ground meat patty made with onions, egg, panko breadcrumbs – pan fried and served with a gravy, typically over rice.  (In Hawaii, add a fried egg and this dish becomes loco moco!) My favorite way to make Japanese Hamburger Steak is with Asian style fried [...]

Creamy Chicken (or Turkey) and Black Rice Soup

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With Thanksgiving over (even after giving away a ton of leftovers)… I still have quite a bit of turkey meat and stock in the refrigerator.  (I make turkey stock every year from the leftover turkey carcass).  We’ve now reached the point where we can no longer eat Thanksgiving leftovers without feeling bored… time to change [...]