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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fancy Food Show Winter 2009 American Products

Last week I shared some of my favorite international products from the Fancy Food Show and now it's time for the American ones. Most of these products are brand new so keep your eyes open for them. A few of them I had tasted before but never mentioned here, they are noteworthy rather than new. To be honest, I haven't even tried all the samples I brought home, so I may be posting even more soon... I am very late to the party when it comes to Lillie Belle Farms chocolate. They are rightfully famous for their blue cheese truffle rolled in almonds, which combines Rogue Creamery's Smokey Blue cheese with chocolate. I know. It sounds awful, but you just have to try it to believe how good it is. It's creamy, rich, with a bit of a smoky bite. Divine. Honest. I wouldn't lead you astray about something as serious as chocolate. Another beverage I liked was Ooba . It's made from hibiscus and being marketed for its health properties. For me, as always, it's real...

Highlights from the Winter Fancy Food Show

This year I tried so many delicious things at the Winter Fancy Food Show , it's hard to know where to begin. Let me take you on a brief tour of highlights. Today I'm sharing some delicious international offerings and next week come on back for some of my favorite domestic bites and sips. Sometimes it's the color of something that catches my eye. I don't think I've ever seen a strawberry jam quite so vibrant as the one at the show from Tunisia. Even though I was trying to limit myself to tasting savory things, I took a spoonful of Stifen's Strawberry Orange Blossom jam and was transported to a field of fruit and flowers. The bright color was matched by the bright flavors. I don't know exactly how they process fruit, I only know they are able to retain the freshest color and flavor. It was both the color of these conserves and pestos plus the unusual flavors and combinations like asparagus and almond or squash blossom flower that attracted me to Tesori ...
Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Change in Command

What a treat it was to be asked what the "Change in Command" means to me in terms of food. Check out my featured response and leave a comment on what you think the change means, if you like. Happy Inauguration Day! and a very Happy Birthday to my father-in-law as well!...
Monday, January 19, 2009

Franks & Beans: Recipe

Last week it was so cold I was desperate for recipes that would warm the kitchen and the house, so I made baked beans. It was a long slow recipe that took 7 hours of baking. I used salt pork, onions, molasses, brown sugar and spices. The beans were good, but I got tired of eating them plain, so I made my version of franks and beans. I hesitate to post this recipe because, it is pure white trash cooking, not exactly my specialty. But the truth is, it's delicious! I've seen this recipe called something like "Hawaiian Beans" which is kind of interesting because of course pineapple comes from Hawaii, and beans are very popular in Hawaii, especially in Portuguese Bean Soup. But also because this recipe has frankfurters in it. All kinds of processed meat--specifically Spam and hot dogs are very common in Hawaii and make their way into fusion food like Spam musubi and hot dog maki sushi . While my parents have very sophisticated tastes, I credit them with this very bud...
Monday, January 12, 2009

Honolulu Dining Guide

View Larger Map There are so many great places to eat in Honolulu it's almost impossible to tell you about all of them. At the suggestion of a reader, I have created this interactive map of the places I like. Some restaurants I have reviewed others I haven't, but for each you'll find a note I've written about it and a link to my review, if there is one. I hope you find this helpful!...

My Top 10 Blogs...

The folks at Blogs.com very kindly invited me to be a guest author and come up with a Top 10 list. My pick? You'll just have to visit to find out! For those of you visiting for the first time, welcome! Check out some of my recipes, restaurant reviews or whatever strikes your fancy. I recently returned from a long stay in Hawaii and so hopefully you can live vicariously through my posts too......
Saturday, January 10, 2009

Honolulu Ramen Shops

Ramen is not just that cheap instant noodle you ate in college. While I had eaten good, fresh ramen before both in the US and in Japan, I hadn't realized just how many types and variations there are, until this past trip to Hawaii. In Honolulu there are tons of ramen places and many of them offer different kinds of broth and noodles, as well as toppings. There is even a local noodle company, Sun Noodle , that supplies at least 40 different styles of ramen noodles to Honolulu restaurants. Really! There are so many different types of ramen in Honolulu you'll just have to try some to to decide which you like best. Just scratching the surface, I only ate a few bowls of ramen and frankly, most of them were very good. I'll tell you a little about my top picks. First off, Goma Tei in the Ward Center makes a phenomenal tan tan ramen. I ordered it with char siu. The normal bowl comes with one slice of pork but the char siu version comes with three slices. Take my advice and g...
Monday, January 05, 2009

Dew Drop Inn: Restaurant Review

Ok it's time I reveal a secret. In addition to reading blogs and putting out requests for advice on Twitter , there are a couple of other ways I find good restaurants in Honolulu. One is on Yelp . You have to carefully evaluate each user submitted review, but if you can read between the lines, you can find some real gems. The other great source is the best restaurant listings from the local newspaper, the Honolulu Advertiser. Not once have I been steered astray with their top picks. A little hole-in-the-wall I was curious to try because of numerous reviews in newspapers, blogs and on Yelp, was Dew Drop Inn . You may think the Dew Drop Inn is the classic Mobile, Alabama roadhouse that inspired the Jimmy Buffet song "Cheeseburger in Paradise" but that's not the only Dew Drop Inn. Dew Drop Inn is located downtown just a block from the Honolulu Art Academy. It's such a great Chinese restaurant it made me even sadder than I already was to leave Honolulu, because ...