Up to my old tricks

Guess what I found–a bag of slight damaged fruit at one of the store in my town. I think I mentioned it before. $2.99 for a bag of 2 grapefruits, 1 mineola, 2 red plums, 1 pluot, and 4 peaches. I wasn’t even looking for it. Just went shopping for ingredients for my dinner I was cooking for my parents.

I made a batch of stone fruit jam. Of course, my tasters had to try all the fruit to see if they were ripe enough–haha. Add the mineola zest to the jam and gave my parents 2/3 of the fruit to taste and 1/3 of fruit chopped up for the jam. Kind of winged it using what I new about making plum and peach jam. Got 4 half pints to add to my mom’s jam collection in her frig. Sorry no pictures.

In the meantime, my stuff arrived and I was able to sort and put away 2/3s of it in my storage unit and 1/3 will stay with me till my place is done.

My kitchen/baking equipment came just in time to finished off last of the bag–the ruby grapefruits and turned them into 2 batches of grapefruit cake. I used a recipe from sally’s baking addiction. It had a great smell of citrus and sweetness from the brown sugar. I didn’t add the glaze because all of us don’t need that extra sugar. It was perfectly sweet, just enough.

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the darker on was from the 1st batch. I was trying to set up my echo.

The one item that I was looking forward to arriving was my pressure cooker. Now that I have 2 other people to cook for using the pressure cooker is so silly. For pressure cooker meal: Corned Beef and veggie. Used this recipe as a base and timing. I didn’t use chicken broth or fresh thyme, I didn’t have it in the house. Use water instead and went without the thyme. The meat and veggies were tender and tasted great. It was served with hapa rice and tsukemono (japanese pickles–top: namasu–pickled cucumbers with daikon, carrots, and seaweed; middle: takuwan–pickled daikon; bottom: Spicy daikon. All homemade by a family friend. They are all so delicious and crunchy. My ranking are top, bottom, middle.

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Write more later with adventures.

Cooking for the folks

I’m trying to be creative with meals that I cook for folks. Something that fit all of their food requirements-dad diabetic, mom on blood thinner. I think I got dad’s requirements but mom’s are harder. For not it’s it’s bit of trial and error. They are going to see the dr in October and we will find out how well I’m doing.

So the first meal was chili with black beans, sweet potatoes and corn. This week was a vegan spicy lentil soup. I didn’t make it because it was vegan I made it because it is so delicious.

I made this soup¬†once before for my friends that came and help me packing and purging. It was so delicious. This time I didn’t have that great curry powder I used but I did buy garam masala so I use that instead. It was a success. They like the spices. Dad even ate a lot of it. I sauteed kale with garlic on the side so mom didn’t have to have it.

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added carrots and sweet potatoes

Update on the cats: they are getting used to their new environment. They have found their way up on the ledge in the kitchen. Ollie sleeps up there daily.

And here’s an extra picture of the boys, just because.

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The gift of mangoes and bananas

The best thing about living in Hawaii is that people are so generous. And the delivery of mangoes and bananas to my house demonstrated that. Instead of getting just a couple of each, I got the box of mangoes and hand of bananas. Boy, I needed to get my act in gear and use them up before they got too ripe to use.

Mangoes

I said I wanted to make mango jam and I got to make it. I made this recipe before with overripe mangoes from the restaurant and it turned out so delicious. And it was pretty easy.

Mom peeled the mangoes, cutting away any bruised or bad areas. I peeled the lemon rind then took off as much of the pith as I could. Then toss all of it in a wide pot with the sugar and put it on a medium high heat. It will come to a boil, turn it down to medium to simmer. Then let the magic happen. The meat of the mango falls off and once it all falls off it will be ready. I say we had it on for about hour and half.

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peeled mangoes and lemons with lemon rind and sugar

This is the final product. Naturally thick and chunky, sweet mangos with bright taste from the lemons.

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Mon’s special portion

We got 1 pint, 4 half pints and 2 4oz bottles.

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waiting to cool off

I didn’t use up all the mangoes with jam, so I made batch of mango bread using my banana bread recipe and whatever was left I went into the freezer for a pie I’m thinking of trying.

Bananas

A hand of Williams bananas ripening in a brown bag in the patio, were ready at the same time as the mangos arrive. Meant a lot of jamming and baking on very hot and humid end of summer season. A baker needs to do when the ingredients are ready to go.

I made my princess hotflash healthier banana bread. I couldn’t find ground coconut so I used sweeten shredded coconut instead. I also use this recipe for the mango bread.

I had a brain fart and didn’t look at my mom’s measuring cup and added too much sugar in the banana bread. (thought the 3/4 measuring cup was a 1/2 cup–don’t have a 3/4c in my measuring cups). Oops.

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It turned out darker that it should with the extra sugar

But it didn’t taste too sugary. Whew! I was really sad that I may had needed to toss it out.

And the leftover bananas went in the freezer also for smoothies or monkey butter or strawberry banana pie. Not sure which one I want to make.

Well, more baking and jamming to come. Got a bag of distress fruit at Don Quixote. with plums, peaches, grapefruit and mineola orange. A small batch of stone fruit jam with orange and grapefruit curd all for $2.50.

Be careful what you ask for

Haha! I wrote I that I wanted to make mango jam and banana bread but I either missed the season or all my frozen bananas were all gone. Now I have a bunch of mangos and bananas waiting for me to do some thing with.

My girlfriend read my post and asked her friend that has a mango farm is she had any more mangoes left and look what I got. There were two people in my house that were so happy to see these. They couldn’t wait to eat one.

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Mangoes to eat
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A boxes of mangoes to jam

And maybe some mango sweet with the rest of the mangoes.

Then a family friend came by to share some bananas that she got.

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Bag of Williams Banana waiting to be made into something

May try batch of monkey butter with the bananas.

Well, I’ll be busy in this coming week. Pray to the weather gods for cool dry weather for jamming and baking.

The first meal

The humidity is lower this week and I decided I can work in the kitchen with out being dreanch in sweat. So I decided to do a crock pot meal for Monday’s dinner. The first meal I making is Crock Pot Chili and I’m using Slow Cooker Taco Spice Chili recipe from sally’sbakingaddition.

[hahaha! When I started this post the humidity and heat had lowered and it was bearable to do some cooking in the kitchen. But today as I patiently wait for our meal to be done, the only place I can find to be cool is in front of the front jalousie window laying on the wooden floors like my cats in an afternoon fog of sleepiness because of the heat and humidity]

I picked this recipe because the different ingredients in–sweet potatoes, corn, bell pepper and black beans. [I slipped in some mushroom to just to use it up before it went bad] I wanted to give my parents a little more diversity in their diet. Change it up. I hope they like it.

Made some slight adjustments in the recipe as I found out that Mom’s crockpot is smaller than I thought it was. I just put 1 can of diced tomatoes and I didn’t add quinoa because there was no more room in the pot. We were having “hapa” rice [half brown and white rice] so that filled in for the quinoa.

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Right before I turned it on low for 7 hours.

Very easy and delicous. I can see with the addition of quinoa at the end it would be extremely hearty. Love all the veggies and black beans in it. I would most definitely make it again.

Next up, mango jam. There are mangos waiting in the fruit bin to use them up.