Friday, November 30, 2007


We never seem to be able to consume all the fruit we have on hand. Always looking for new ways to prepare it, I turned to the internet for a cake or cookie recipe that I could make with papaya's. Thanks to the CUPCAKE BLOG I found a slew of amazing and unusual cupcake recipes and one in particular using papaya. So last night I whipped up a batch of Papaya-Coconut Cupcakes with Ginger-Lime Cream Cheese Frosting. Interesting... Very dense and moist with a pyramid of flavors. First it tastes slightly fruity then coco-nutty followed by a tangy sweetness then a subtle spiciness from the ginger finishing with a fragrant finish. So of course I had one first thing this morning with coffee. What a way to start the day.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


... There will be no sunset tonight. For those of you on the right... enjoy. Today was one of those strange weather days for me... rain all day long with no sight of the sun until right at sunset. And what a sunset it was... I love the sharp line creating a dramatic contrast. It was cold today... yes cold... well cold for me at 64 degrees. Socks, long pants and sleeves with most windows closed. Just before sunset John and I tromped around the yard and garden when I discovered that our orchid had finally bloomed. How could I have not even known that it had buds? I mean I check it religiously (apparently not as religiously as I think). We have had many orchids and they have all produced more leaves than I thought possible by a plant but never a single bloom. This is the first orchid to ever bloom for us. A milestone! It is a rather large, sprawling plant situated atop a large boulder in our GULCH. Yes we have a gulch. Legend has it that back in the day when this was nothing but pineapple fields, all the boulders gathered when the fields were turned under got pushed down into our gulch.

Any ideas as to the name of this little guy before I start flipping through orchid book after orchid book? ...Parnell?

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Donald Fish is a graphic designer, illustrator, writer and cartoonist whose career spans 60 years. He worked primarily in Australia and England. These examples of his work are from 1957/58. It seems like I should have known about him before now. His cover design for in-house bank publication, Currency, looks like something I would have done. I love the playful type, the meandering legibility. Very unexpected for a bank. The wavy, overlapping lines in the single-sheet poster for AWA Radiola are also the kind of thing I find myself doing (and have done in various design comps through the years.) As the design industry continues to shine the spotlight on past American designers, i.e. Saul Bass, Paul Rand, Alexander Girard, it's refreshing to see how the rest of the world's designers interpreted and made use of these mid-century design cues. Thanks to his daughter Charlotte and Design Hub for bringing this talented man's work to the internet so that we may all enjoy.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


We hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. John and I spent our first here on Maui with a day of blue skies and and lots of cooking. We sat on the lanai and enjoyed our dinner then popped next door to give Angela, who turned 7, her birthday treats. The menu was somewhat traditional with a tropical twist here and there. Like the sweet potatoes with pineapple and coconut milk or the banana caramel and macadamia nut cake (with banana's an liliko'i form the yard).

The Menu:
Turkey Cutlets
Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pineapple in Coconut Milk
Au Gratin Potatoes
Grandma's Dressing
Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Bacon
Aunt Debbie's Cloverleaf Rolls
Cranberry Sauce
Turkey Gravy
Individual Banana Carmel Bundt Cakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Liliko'i Glaze

The rest of the evening was spent plopped in front of the TV recovering.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


With a wealth of nature's goodness at my fingertips everyday, I am always looking for some new treat to concoct. Last week it was Haupia Liliko‘i Pie (Hawaiian Coconut and Passion Fruit Pie) and yesterday it was Coconut Cookies with Passion-Fruit Curd. HEAVEN ON EARTH! All I can say is that there better be sugar and good food in the afterlife. I also made a second batch of the cookies but used lemon juice instead of liliko'i. You could use and juice in place of the liliko'i for either one of these recipes actually. Curd has always been something I thought would be too time consuming or difficult, but both the pie and cookies were so quick and easy to make.

Monday, November 19, 2007


August's Art trading card theme was "A Walk in the Woods" I decided to take the simplest route and wander around the property with a pencil, a sharpener, a piece of paper, and a bottle of bug repellent. They are all drawn as 2.5" x 3.5" rectangles, uncropped. I enjoyed the feeling of scrutinizing each petal or leaf as I drew it. I forgot how time consuming it can be though.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


I love going into Mana Foods and perusing all the bulk items. I wish I could bring each and every thing home I see in order to be able to try each and every spice and grain . There are so many things that I have never tried and would be so fun to have on hand. For instance, I found a recipe today that called for Cardamom ... which I don't have. Add that to the list. What does one do with Rose Hips other than make tea? There are actually a few things that I think I might be able to do without like the powdered chicken broth and split pea soup mix. It's also less expensive to buy bulk and simply fill up your existing spice jars or just store in the fridge/freezer.
This week I stocked up on and limited myself to:
- Steel Cut Oats
- Corn Meal
- Chili Powder
- Coarse Black Pepper
- Ground Ginger
- Cumin
- Granola
- Forbidden Black Rice
- Shredded Coconut
- Large Flake Coconut

Friday, November 16, 2007


Yesterday I managed to make 28 more Acorn Necklaces for
The Curiosity Shoppe and got them sent off this morning. They were sold out, wiped clean. I am looking forward to making some new products for them soon.

Monday, November 12, 2007



Over the past few weeks the crab spiders (Spiny-backed Orbweaver) have taken over the trees and created one GIANT spider web measuring about 30' x 30'. When you walk into one it almost bounces you backwards. The little suckers are strong. And just how do the get one silken strand to span 15' from one tree to another? Do they take a running start on a branch and fling themselves 15' to the next branch? Amazing. I must say they do a pretty good job at keeping the bugs at bay. One giant bug-buffet.


Sunday, November 11, 2007


Today while I was making a dessert treat for tonight I had my iTunes playing and this song came on. When I was a wee tot, I remember my mom playing this song and always got such a kick out of it. Of course I always thought it meant ... well you know what I thought it meant. A few years ago I searched high & low for it and luckily found it. Anywho... I got such a kick out of hearing it that I had to share it. Thanks mom.

Friday, November 09, 2007


In case you missed it the first time it aired, THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL is re-broadcasting the 11 part series PLANET EARTH starting Sunday November 11 at 8PM. MAke sure you try to catch at least a few episodes.
To check local times and view the episode guide check the SCHEDULE here.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Well, we finished...well, almost. All we have to do is get the stainless steel table that will be used as an island and rework the lighting. I don't like the placement of the recessed lights so I want to re-locate a few as well as hang 2 white globe light fixtures above the new table that John found at a resale shop...more on those in a later post. We also have a new stove on order as this one consumes too much of our solar power when the oven is on. It has an electric heating element that we were told could be turned off, but of course it can't be. So in a few weeks we will have a new stove... not much different than what is here. We got it at Sears and it was a snap to walk in and return it for anew one.
I did make some banana bread yesterday to test the oven out during the day while we are generating power... still consumes too much power. Oh well... no big deal.
Now who can we expect for dinner?


Friday, November 02, 2007


I always put off the task of seeding the passion fruit and guava to get the juice, because it is so time consuming. No more will I put of until tomorrow what I can do today. I heard tell that a food mill was the secret to quickly seeding the fruit as well as seeding tomatoes for a perfect sauce... which I tried the other night.
No more skinning and seeding. I simply sauteed the tomatoes in a little olive oil and salt until soft, then gave them a spin in the food mill for a perfect and delicious sauce.
All I can say is YES! It takes a few minutes rather than 30 minutes to get juice/pulp and the clean up is so much easier then an mesh sieve. Just rinse and it's over.
For those of you who do not know what a food mill is, it is a tool used to grind and purée foods through perforated disks using a hand-turned crank. Just fit one of three sieving discs (coarse, medium, or fine) into the open base of the bowl-shaped hopper. The food is forced through the sieve by a spring-loaded, semi-circular blade of tinned or stainless steel, which is clipped in place to press down hard on the sieve. This disc revolves on the surface of the sieve as the central crank is rotated.

John's mom knew we were in the market for one and brought us this OXO Food Mill from New York as an early Christmas present. Our next kitchen toy... an ice cream maker.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


While searching on YouTube for this hilarious Kaiser Permanente commercial, I found a bonus video of the star of it on the Ellen Degeneres show. Not only do you get to see the commercial (I don't think it airs on the east coast) but you get to see this adorable kid flip out over a basket of candy and perform amazing feats of physical strength. Personally, I think he is the real life Charlie Brown.