Tuesday, July 29, 2008

THE COLOR OF YUMMY


Yesterday I needed to make use of several ultra large and tasty papayas we had so I whipped up a new version of papaya bread. 4 loaves and 3 mini bundts actually (this was a double batch of the recipe below). This was actually more like a cake since I used cake flour in place of my usual whole wheat. The results were unexpected, but the taste was incredible. I did not stop to think it would be more cake like. I just wanted to use the whiter flour so that the color of the papaya would shine through. It was a bit difficult to remove the cakes from the loaf and mini bundt pans that I used since the cakes rose higher than expected. If you decide to use cake flour for this recipe I suggest using a cake pan and leaving about 1/2" from the top. Place on a cookie sheet while baking. The only thing I think would make them tastier would be a lime ginger cream cheese frosting. Papayas come in several varieties and I used what I believe are Rainbow papayas which tend to have a more pinkish color. We also have Sunshine Papayas which are more golden in color inside. The Rainbows tend to be on the sweeter side and my personal favorite.

Yes that is the real color after it was all mashed up.

The batter was a really nice peach color once all mixed and produced this colorful orangy cake. Notice the chunks of papaya, mac nuts and cranberries!

For breakfast with a banana and coffee.
Try it... you'll like.

Papaya Bread
(use cake flour for a light cake like bread or whole wheat for a denser bread)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter

2 eggs

1 1/4 cup mashed ripe Papaya

1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 1/2 cup cake flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground corriander

1/2 tsp lime zest
pinch dry ground clove

(you can substitute any spices to suit your own taste. cinnamon, ginger, vanilla etc. coriander may not be for everyone but it is really good. it's more fragrant then spice like.)


- Cream sugar with butter.

- Add eggs and beat until fluffy.

- Mix in Papaya, lime zest, mac nuts and cranberries.

- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, corriander and clove. Add this to the butter mixture.

- Pour batter into greased loaf pan. Bake at 325F for 40 -60 minutes depending on how deep your pans are.

Monday, July 28, 2008

COMFORT ZONE

Kekoa showed up again this morning, no doubt looking for his morning treat of mac nuts. He is so comfortable around us and jumped up on the lanai... coaxed with nuts. When we left the screen door open to see what he would do, he walked right in and made himself at home. I think he might have wanted a break from the rain and wind today. When he was ready to go back out he walked to the screen door and pecked at it. Out he went on his way.
See you tomorrow?
Hanging out just below the lanai.

His napping spot on the rug that he blends right into.

On the sofa.... they'll never see me here in this foliage.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

WELCOME HOME


Just about an hour ago, I was cleaning out a container by the side of the shed I caught a glimpse of something from the corner of my eye. I turned to see what it was and to my surprise it was Kekoa. There he was just standing there looking at me as if to say... HELLO! I quietly called out to John saying "John, Chicken is here. Bring some macadamia nuts... and the camera" (chicken is the nickname we gave him). We fed him some nuts which he gobbled up, even taking a few from our hands and put out his water dish. He looks really good and in fact his beak looks fantastic. After hanging around for about 15 minutes he wandered off under the plants. I can't tell you how good it feels to see that he is doing well and is still hanging around home.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

FREE AS A BIRD

After 99 days, the time finally came for Kekoa (Brave One) to return back to the wild. It was something we knew we had to do and had been making excuses not to do for weeks. It was so sad to see him all cooped up and not be able to run about and look for bugs on his own. We were all set to do it a week ago, but we had some pretty heavy rains with wind and did not want to turn him loose during those for his first day out. We wanted to wait for it to be a nice day where he could wander about and get a feel for his new surroundings without taking cover from the rain.

And although we let him hang out in the house the last few days where he could stretch his wings and get some exercise, we were not going to be able to keep that up much longer. We could just tell he was ready. He was not so keen on being picked up anymore and when we approached the coop he would hide behind his branches or flatten out in the tall grass rather than greet us at the door.

The coop in a location away from neighboring animals with beach towels lining the bottom after the dog encounter. This way nothing could see in to him and it helped to protect him from scrapping his injured beak on the fencing.

Hiding out behind his branches just before the release.

Around lunchtime we went out and fed him one last pan full of slugs-n-bugs before sending him on his way. We just left the door open and let him out, then directed him back in so he would know.. ok you're out, but you can go back in if you want. We did this a few times not really sure it would register with him that he could come back. He wandered around close to us and the coop for about an hour then made his way to the gulch where we kept an eye on him until we directed him back near the coop. he was a little thirsty so we set out several bowls of water in a few locations for him and left him on his own.

Getting a feel for the land.

About an hour later I found him hanging out and drinking from his bowl. Again I let him be and came back inside. Another hour passed and I went to find him wandering the gulch, pecking the ground and looking very content. Again I came back inside and that was the last time we have seen him. That's not to say he's not still here, because he is very good at hiding and blending in as you can see from some of these shots.

Wandering the gulch.

Where's Kekoa?

We are not really worried about him being alone at all. He is a wild bird after all and have witnessed all his wild behaviors like laying on cloth or surfaces that he blended in with rather than lighter colors. Searching for a high roosting place in the evenings around 6:00 when it was time for bed. He made do by taking his dirt bath while in the house in a beach towel on the floor. He just had all the behaviors of a wild bird. One day I had a sisal rope on the deck and he became so cautious and flustered, walking around it very slowly with an outstretched neck giving a warning by softly clucking away at it. He also did the same thing when my mom's straw bag with rope handles was in view. I believe he thought it was a snake because of the texture. I always thought it strange that even though we have no snakes here, that he would still have the instinct to be be wary of snakes even though it must have been several generations since anyone in his family had encountered one.

We'll keep you posted if he comes back around and will most likely do a post with our favorite Kekoa moments soon.

Day one. Almost no bigger than a blade of grass.

Thursday - Day 98.
Quite the big bird with beautiful coloring and markings beginning to appear.

Our work here is done. He was delivered to us so that we could protect and nourish him to the point where he could survive the wild on his own. We hope we raised him well and that he is having a grand old time out there enjoying paradise as a free bird.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

LIVING THE HI.life


The love keeps rolling in. After seeing us in the pages of Readymadedesign*sponge and hapa|hale we got a note from Robyn and Shaunna at Pacific Weddings magazine which is published right here on Maui. We had a great time chatting over coffee about island life and were thrilled that they wanted to feature us on one of their blogs, HI.life - Hawai'i Style Blog.

We did a special project for their other blog, love notes that should appear on-line in the coming weeks. We'll keep you posted.

Mahalo to our new friends Robyn and Shaunna. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

THE SWEET SMELL OF...


One of the last days my mom and grandma were here, we drove up to Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area but did not make it far on the muddy road. Besides, mom and grandma were getting nervous. It was our first trip up there since the Fire back in January 2007. It was a sad sight to see all those majestic trees charred. On the bright side, most of the trees destroyed were not native and efforts are now underway to restore native trees to the area.

On our way back down the mountain we made a pit stop at Ali'i Kula Lavender Maui. We were glad we finally stopped to visit this beautiful and inspiring spot. Besides fields and fields of lavender, you will find some of the most beautiful floral gardens and views on Maui. We could have stayed forever. The owner, Ali'i Chang was there giving tours of the grounds and seemed to be having the time of his life. What a job. There is also a cute little gift shop with lavender this and lavender that. Lemonade, body butter, jams, seasonings, soaps, cookies, fragrance and bouquets all containing lavender. I became week-kneed for the dark chocolate lavender bar! YUM! Mom left with a bag full of goodies including shampoo for her dogs.

If you get the chance to visit Maui, make sure to stop by. Here are a few pics from the grounds.










Monday, July 21, 2008

THE UPSIDE (down) TO GROWING YOUR OWN FRUIT

Aloha... We are hoping to get back to our regular blogging schedule after visiting with my family that were here for 23 days. Lots of sights were seen and miles logged. They had great weather with nearly no rain. In fact they left just in time since it has rained everyday since. We hope they had a great time... I guess they did because they said... "we'll be back".
So on to todays post.


With so many mangos on hand, I got bored of making jam and eating them whole so I sought out a new recipe for Mango Upside Down Cake. I of course could not leave well enough alone and had to tweak it a bit. I added a 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger and used soy milk instead of half and half. I usually substitute all milk in my recipes with this and have never had any problems. I also used the lime juice from the zested lime and added it to the rum marinade. I think this was the first time I used cake flour and it was the lightest cake I have ever made.



And last week for breakfast, I made a giant baked banana pancake for my mom and grandma. It was amazing! The thing I like about making these is it is one step. There is no waiting for enough pancakes to be cooked for your guests and kept warm until there is an appropriate amount for everyone to sit and eat together. It is quite a conversation piece as well which makes it a great brunch dish. Since the bottom... which will be the top when served, is coated with all that brown sugar and butter mixture and gooey bananas, there is really no need for syrup or additional butter unless desired. Throw in some bacon on the side and coconut syrup and you are set! And yes... the 4 of us ate it all! YUM! Mom even took the recipe home to try out on a future brunch of her own.

*note: you can pretty much substitute any type of fruit here for the bananas.
mango, peach, apple, pear even berries.

Here is my recipe:

BAKED BANANA PANCAKE

4-6 Medium Bananas sliced lengthwise (enough to cover the bottom of your pan)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
4 large eggs
3/4 Soy Milk (or whole milk)
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts


1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
ground nutmeg to taste

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 450°F.
Toss bananas slices with lemon juice in medium bowl.
Whisk eggs and milk in large bowl. Add flour, 1 tablespoon sugar and salt; whisk until batter is almost smooth.

Mix brown sugar, nutmeg and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in small bowl.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in 12" ovenproof nonstick or iron skillet (or cake pan if you do not have a large skillet) over medium heat.
Arrange banana slices on top of sugar and butter mixture. Pour batter on top.

Place in oven and bake until pancake is set around edges but still wet in center, about 15-18 minutes. Pancake will rise and get a bit puffy. Edges should pull away from and resemble a think crust like a pizza. Remove from oven and invert onto plate. It will deflate quickly at this point. Serve warm with sliced mango or other fruit on the side. Syrup and butter are not really needed, but can be used if desired. Coconut syrup is really good on it.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

LIFE LIKE IN THE GLOSSIES




More nostalgic style from the Conde Nast Archives. There was just too much good stuff to post so here are a few faves. That LIVING logo looks awfully familiar.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

SEA LIFE


Awhile back I wandered into a shop in Paia and saw a few works by Maui artist John Ritchey and have thought about getting one ever since. Problem is we have no more room for new art right now, but I still have my eye on a piece or two once we get the new office complete. I stumbled across John in Lahaina where he was selling his prints under the banyan tree on July 4th. He gave me a hand painted business card with a fish on it which makes me want a larger piece of work even more. His work is simple, elegant and just whimsical enough to make you smile. Each and every sea creature he renders with a brush and india ink, has a very distinct personality. These are 2 of my favorites... especially the "conversation" between the whale and the turtle.

Monday, July 07, 2008

GO WITH THE FLOW

video
Check out this awesome video of a 40 foot lava fountain that is spewing forth from Kilauea on the Big Island this week. Kilauea has been issuing lava continuously since January 1983 and is currently the most active volcano on the planet. This is such an amazing and mind boggling event that has not been seen since the first major eruption 25 years ago. Learn more at Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

FAMILY OUTINGS

Here are a few pics from sightseeing the past few days with my family. By the way, Kekoa is doing fine. Still a little tender in the beak, but he's good.

My nephew Chris, sister Heather, me, Nick and mom at the Summit of Haleakala. Grandma was there, but was in the car. She did get out to see it all though.

The gang looking into the crater. See, grandma did make it out. She's in her wheelchair, but she's there!

Looking into Haleakala crater.

Playing tour guide and pointing out the mountains on the Big Island in the distance.

Wednesday we headed out to Hana and stopped by Hamoa Beach before a nice hike.
WHAT A BEACH!

We took a 4 mile round trip hike through a bamboo forest to get to the feature attraction... Waimoku Falls. It has been quite dry here so not many falls were flowing, but Waimoku never fails.
Chris, Heather and Mom (sitting on log) at 400 foot Waimoku Falls In Kipahulu.

Mom and Nick at Waimoku Falls.

And a hitchhiker we found on the roof of the car after dinner. What a beauty.