Archive for the ‘Best of the Original S&B’ Category

Peace Cookies i.e. Peanut Butter Kisses

Last Monday, my week got off to less than a stellar start.  As I was getting in the elevator to go and meet a client, I miss-stepped and realized one of my greatest fears since moving into an apartment building: my keys falling through the 1/2 inch space between the hallway floor and the elevator into the black abyss below.  It was like a movie; me standing there, helpless, with my arms full, a look of total horror on my face and pity on the faces of those in the elevator watching it happen, as if in slow motion.  The best part is, it was the wrong elevator.

In total despair (without a way to 1 go meet my client, 2 get back into my house, and 3 go anywhere in my car) I went down to the lobby and by the grace of something found the Resident Manager working late.  He called the security guard to help us assess the situation, and my heart dropped when the ONE security guard who absolutely despises me (because I do naughty things like move furniture after “official furniture moving hours” and the such) walked around the corner.

Despite our differences in the past, he was quite helpful and nice throughout the process of me, on my hands and knees, trying to fish my keys out of the elevator shaft with a string and paperclip (which didn’t work of course).  After waiting what seemed like hours for the locksmith (what real estate agent doesn’t have an extra key in a lock box my resident manager wanted to know!?!), I thanked the guard for his help and gave him the container of freshly baked Peanut Butter Kiss cookies I had intended for my client, for which I received a very unenthusiastic thank you.  Whatever, you can’t win ’em all right?

But I am happy to report that I was just downstairs in my lobby and oh how the tides of security guard vs. resident contention have turned!  As I headed for the elevator he says “don’t drop your keys!” and then “hey, where did you get those cookies?”  When I replied that I had made them he says, “wow, those were really good, thank you!”

Note to self: when being a rebellious homeowner, make sure to come bearing cookies.

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I came to work the other day to find a bag full of mangoes on my desk…not something that happens to often on Oahu where mango trees aren’t as plentiful as on Kauai.  Such a nice surprise.  Mango season is one of the reasons I don’t think I could ever call anywhere but Hawaii home.

As much as I have always loved mangoes – fresh and pickled specifically – I haven’t always loved mango chutney.  I remember wanting to just die as a kid when I would come home to a house full of my mom and her girlfriends cooking and canning their chutney…the smell of it all was enough to send me right back out the door.  However, as it often happens, these days I can’t get enough of it.  I now beg, steal, and horde jars that my mom makes each year, sparingly dolling it out on special occasions.

This year, in hopes that I get my hands on enough mangoes, I have asked my mom for the S&B chutney recipe (which apparently originated from a long-time friend Lynn Nunn, and has been passed down through the ranks).

Mango Chutney

Boil together for 5 minutes (you need a big pot):
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
6 1/2 cups sugar

Add the following and boil until mango is tender and clear:
12 cups chopped mango (I thickly slice it instead of chopping it and often put in up to 15 cups if I have extra – it cooks down quite a bit)
1/2 cup finely chopped ginger
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2/3 cups almonds (optional)
3 cups raisins
1 tsp. salt
4 finely chopped Hawaiian chili peppers (if unavailable, use dried crushed red pepper – several teaspoons or to taste)
1 large onion, sliced
1 orange, sliced (peel and all)

While the chutney is on the stove, wash and rinse your jars and lids, then dip them in a pot of boiling water to sanitize – drain. It’s best if you have some rubber tipped tongs for this job.  Fill each jar with hot chutney, leaving enough room at the top of each jar for the wax.  Use a can (save a soup can or something) placed in a small saucepan of water to melt your kitchen wax  in (found in the baking section). If you melt the wax directly in your pan, you will ruin it!  Pour a good layer of melted wax over the top of the chutney in each jar and let cool. When everything is set, put a lid on each jar and store in pantry until use.

I usually ask a friend over and we double the recipe and split the chutney. One recipe makes plenty to last all year, with a few jars extra to give to special people.

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My mom came to visit me this past weekend and we had a fun few days full of food (cooking and eating out), gardening, Farmers Market shopping, visiting the Denver Botanical Gardens, and relaxing! Here are some pictures of our weekend!

Pork Tenderloin, Yams, and Potatoes that we made!




Corn Fritters at Tahona


Planting 2010


Cedar Plank Salmon


Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp


Pancake Man!


Veggie Garden at the Denver Botanical Gardens


Thomas Moore Sculpture at the Denver Botanical Gardens


Flowers at the Denver Botanical Gardens


Japanese Gardens at the Denver Botanical Gardens


Thomas Moore Sculpture at the Denver Botanical Gardens


Denver Botanical Gardens


Mommy at the Boulder Farmers Market


Herbs at the Boulder Farmers Market


Flowers at the Boulder Farmers Market


Out to Brunch!

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Here is a special picture that I wanted to share of me and my mom. It’s a day late for Mother’s Day, but better late than never 🙂 This is when my mom came to visit last year and we made the most delicious rhubarb pie. She’s coming again in a few days and I hope that we will make it again! 🙂 I love you Mommy! xoxo

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This is a recipe that my mom made a lot when we were growing up. Spread with butter and/or jam, these muffins are so delicious. And little did we know how nutritious wheat germ is! Wheat germ has 23 nutrients and contains more nutrients per ounce than any other vegetable or grain. Some of the many vitamins and minerals in wheat germ are potassium, vitamin E, riboflavin, calcium, zinc magnesium and vitamins A, B1 and B3. 


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup RAW wheat germ [Natural food store] * do not used wheat germ in the jar.
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil


1. Mix dry ingredients together in medium bowl.

2. Mix egg, oil, milk in smaller bowl with a whisk

3. Add liquid to dry mixture and mix by hand until just mixed

4. Place muffin cups in muffin pan and fill each with mixture 3/4 full

5. Bake at 375 until golden brown on top for 15-20 minutes.

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Erin’s mom (and my Auntie Joan) made this for a potluck dinner the last time my family was in Hawaii and I loved it so much that I made it when I got home to Colorado! It also comes from Another Taste of Aloha and is a refreshing and delicious side dish. It’s perfect to bring to a party or serve for a crowd.  

Serves: 6-8


  • 2 cups rice, cooked in chicken stock
  • 3-4 scallions, sliced thin
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 12 pimento stuffed olives, sliced
  • 2 (6-oz) jars marinated artichoke hearts
  • 3/4 tsp curry powder
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise


Combine cooked rice, scallions, green pepper, and olives. Drain artichoke hearts, reserving the marinade. Cut artichoke hearts in half. Combine marinade with curry powder and mayonnaise. Add artichoke hearts to rice mixture and toss with the dressing. Cover and chill before serving.

Note: Not everyone likes olives, so sometimes I will omit them from the recipe, depending on who I’m serving.

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Here is another yummy recipe from Mom! We had this tonight with our Christmas dinner of roast beef, potatoes, yams, and Yorkshire puddings and it was absolutely delicious. Brussel sprouts are so yummy and I think everyone who hasn’t had them should try them… they will be hooked!


  • 1 lb Brussel sprouts (about 2 cups)
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 2 tbsp Paul Newman’s Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup craisins
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds


  1. Wash and then cut brussel sprouts in half. Set aside.
  2. In a large frying pan, mix together EVOO and garlic at a low-med heat.
  3. Add brussel sprouts and salt and pepper in and mix everything together well.
  4. Cover and keep on low-medium heat for approximately 5-7 minutes.
  5. Add balsamic vinaigrette in at the very end and stir in.
  6. Add craisins and walnuts and mix in.
  7. Serve immediately.

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Every year for Christmas brunch, my family makes this Baked French Toast with Cardamom and Marmalade. This is the first time I’ve been home for Christmas in 4 years, and now I can understand why this dish is such a must-have on the brunch table! You can prepare it the night before, which makes for less fuss and more family time on Christmas morning. We paired our french toast with an artichoke frittata and the combination of all of the flavors were delicious! The recipe comes from the Colorado Colore – A Palate of Tastes cookbook and I highly recommend it to any french toast lovers!


  • 1 1/4 cups orange marmalade
  • 10 (1-inch) slices challah or egg bread
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • Confectioners sugar to taste
  • Maple Syrup


Grease a 10×5 inch baking dish. Spread the marmalade on 1 side of each bread slice. Cut the slices diagonally into halves to form triangles. Arrange the triangles marmalade side up crosswise and slightly overlapping in the prepared baking dish.

Whisk the milk, whipping cream, sugar, eggs, cardamom, orange zest, and lemon zest in a bowl. Pour the milk mixture over the preapred layer. Chill, covered, for at least one hour or for up to 10 hours. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Sprinke with confectioners syrup and drizzle with maple syrup, if desired. Serve immediately.

Serves: 10

Notes: We used skim milk instead of regular milk and half and half instead of whipping cream, to make it a bit healthier, and did not taste any difference! Also, we just used 6 full eggs instead of the 3 egg yolks and 3 eggs and it turned out perfectly.

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I wanted to make a gingerbread cake last year for dessert on Christmas, but it was too crazy and I never got around to it, so this year I was determined to make it! My mom has a great recipe for it from her The Silver Palate Cookbook, so we decided to make it. It’s very simple to put together and tastes delicious served as is or topped with whipped cream.

Serves: 12


  • 1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • Lemon Glaze (recipe follows)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-inch square baking pan.
  2. Sift dry ingredients together into a mixing bowl. Add egg, sugar, and molasses. Mix well.
  3. Pour boiling water and the oil over mixture. Stir thoroughly until smooth. 
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Set on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until top springs back wen touched and the edges have pulled away slightly from the sides of the pan.
  5. While the gingerbread is still hot, pour glaze over top and cool in the pan, set on a rack.

Lemon Glaze:

  • 2/3 cup confectioners sugar
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Sift sugar into a bowl; add lemon juice and mix well.

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I was so excited to open the fridge at lunchtime and find some of my mom’s egg salad to have for lunch. I tracked down the recipe and can’t wait to make it for myself when I am home. Egg lovers will find this recipe delicious- you can have it on a bagel, english muffin, crackers, or bread. My mom uses Rye Crisp crackers which are really yummy too. I tried them out and topped them with the egg salad and then the avocado and salt and pepper… mmmmmmm!


  • 5 – 6 eggs hard boiled
  • 2 TBSP Hellman’s Mayonnaise
  • 3 – 4 green onions cleaned and sliced [celery is good too but I wouldn’t use both]
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place 5 – 6 eggs in small saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium low and simmer for 13- 15 minutes.
  2. IMMEDIATELY drain and cover with very cold water, you may need to drain a couple of times but let eggs sit in cold water for 15 – 20 minutes. This keeps the yolk nice and yellow.
  3. Peel the eggs, pat dry with paper towel. 
  4. Place in mixing bowl and mash with pastry blender.
  5. Add mayonnaise [not too much!] to make desired consistency.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  7. Add green onions or celery.
  8. Mix well and serve immediately or refrigerate until you are ready to eat it.

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