Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Lilikoi anyone?

For those of you who do not know, Lilikoi is passion fruit. It is a delicious fruit that grows on vines here in Hawaii and many other places in the world. There are different varieties of passion fruit, although the most popular is the yellow one. Thick "shell" holding in a tangy and sweet flesh flecked with small black seeds. The seeds are edible and lend a slight crunch which enhances the entire experience. Walking through the rain forest here in Maui you'll see hundreds of these small yellow jewels scattered about the lush green foliage. Crack one open right there and enjoy! I love love love this fruit!!! You can get the frozen fruit puree in many super markets and for sure in Asian and Latin markets, but it is not the same as the fresh fruit. Are you wondering what the point of this post is????
WELL! I have a terrible green thumb. I'm thinking it's due to my lack of "patience is a virtue," virtue. Maybe it's because I live in a small unit across from the beach and although that may sound like paradise for many . . . sitting in a small garden of Eden sounds a lot better to me! I'd love to see vines of lilikoi crawling up huge trees providing lots of shade and showering the ground with beautiful flowers.
Anyway . . . I've never been much of a poet! I cut a fruit open and planted a few starters today and hopefully within two weeks I'll have something to plant in the ground! Since my bf is allergic to bees . . . you should see the picture I have of him when he got stung on the lip! No words can describe it! I may have to get his permission to post it!!!! It's that gnarly! Whoa! Like I was saying . . . the passion fruit need to be pollinated by bees, I cannot plant them here.
Anywho. I poured the fruit of one passion fruit in my wine glass and it's delicious! Can't wait to share with you how I do with the new seedlings!!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Have you ever seen those beautiful cakes draped with colorful, smooth fondant and thought "I wish I could do that?" Guess what? You can! Yes, you! All it takes is a few ingredients, a couple tools and time. The possibilities are endless. The colors, shapes, designs are infinite!

I've made two cakes so far and am aching to make another one! My friend chose a Las Vegas Casino Night theme for her birthday, which was hosted at a property I manage. It was great fun! I was pressed for time so the cake wasn't as detailed as I would have liked, but it went over well and put that fire in me to take another stab at it!

It took me this long to realize I didn't put a six at the other side of the card! I used the numbers two and six because it was her 26th birthday and on the side of the cake I had the letter "R" and some additional poker chips and cards. It was a lot of fun!

The next birthday party I went to was a Jungle Theme and the birthday girl was dressing in zebra print so I went to work making a chocolate cake with chocolate mousse filling. Check it out!

The technique is really quite simple. Microwave 16 oz. of mini marshmallows with 2 tablespoons of water for no more than 2 minutes, just until they become soft and start to melt. Pour them out onto the 2 lb.s of powdered sugar. A great tip is to SIFT the powdered sugar first which will help eliminate little balls of unmixed sugar in the end product.

I used one hand for kneading and kept the other hand clean and used a bench scraper to help it along. The mixture is VERY sticky at first, but don't worry, it WILL come together! Try to keep a little powdered sugar on top so your hand hits that first.

You can see that the more you knead the more incorporated it becomes and the stickiness goes away.

Knead it just a little more and your finished fondant will look like this!!

Wrap the fondant in plastic wrap securely and in a sealed ziploc! It will keep for months. Do NOT freeze the fondant. I've read mixed things when it comes to refrigerating the fondant. Some recipes call for a mix of two tablespoons of water and one tablespoon of clear extract. I didn't have clear extract so I omitted that and used water only.

This is a great Fondant tutorial to follow!


Friday, July 16, 2010

CSN Product Review in the making!!

I can't tell you how excited I am to have the opportunity to review a product from CSN Stores! If you haven't checked them out . . . well . . . what are you waiting for! One click and you will be hooked. Get comfortable and start browsing. They offer a great selection of dining room tables, modern home furnishings, and of course cookware!

The prices are affordable and the selections are unlimited. There are more than 200 CSN stores to browse! Grab a cup of coffee and get to clickin! You will find all the top brands you love and without a doubt you'll leave with new favorites! I'm going to make dinner for some great people this weekend, the family I nannied for when I moved to Maui. The childrens mother is from Belgium and she LOVES LOVES LOVES Alessi products. She'll be ecstatic when she sees their selection! The selection of products we can find here in Maui is limited, so it's great to have this online avenue!

I know you'll love CSN stores! Check back soon for my product review!