Dessert, Fruit, Lactose Free, Recipes

Mango Cream Popsicles

October 5, 2016

Mango Cream Popsicles

Though I look forward to cooler weather that slowly appears in November, at the same time, I will miss our extended mango season that is with us from May through October.  Images of sweet Pirie and Rapoza mangos that cover our dining room table and sometimes overflow into boxes stored on the living room floor, will soon be gone.  This year I decided to freeze containers of mango purée so that I will be able to make popsicles throughout the year.  It will be such a treat to sit on the porch in December or January with a refreshing mango cream popsicle. After all, the weather is warm all year-long in Hawaii.  I adapted this recipe from Sarah & Jessica at Pretty Providence. These popsicles remind me of a Creamsicle, one of my favorite childhood desserts.

Rapoza Mango

Our two mango trees are heavy producers delivering the sweetest mangos imaginable.  The Rapoza is creamy and fiberless with very large fruit and small seeds. The White Pirie mango is a small-medium sized mango with a golden hue.  I have never tasted a mango sweeter than this one.

Diced Pirie Mango

Good news for those of us who are lactose intolerant.  There are excellent products these days that are made just for us.  Green Valley and Organic Valley offer delicious, real dairy products that are lactose free.

Lactose Free Yogurt and Half & Half

Popsicle Mold

The Norpro popsicle mold is inexpensive, simple to use, and makes 10 perfectly sized popsicles.

Mango Cream Popsicles

Mango Cream Popsicles
Serves: 10
  • 3 medium mangos
  • ¼ cup cream of coconut (such as Coco Real brand)
  • ¾ cup lactose free half and half
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup lactose free plain yogurt (2% or whole milk)
  1. Peel and dice mangos discarding seeds. Puree in a food processor or blender until completely smooth. Whisk in cream of coconut. Pour puree into a 2-cup measuring cup. You want to have a minimum of 1¼ cups of mango puree.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the half and half and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in vanilla extract. Whisk in yogurt until mixture is smooth. Pour into a 2-cup measuring cup. You want to end up with a total of 3 cups of filling including the mango puree. This amount will fill the Norpro 10 piece popsicle maker perfectly.
  3. Layer cream & yogurt mixture into popsicle molds, alternating with mango puree. Use a wooden chopstick to create a marbled effect. Leave a little space to allow for expansion when frozen.
  4. Place lid over popsicle mold, add popsicle sticks and freeze overnight. Remove popsicles by running warm water around the outside of the mold. Gently squeeze the bottom of the popsicle mold while lifting each popsicle stick from the mold. Try your best not to use too much warm water which may cause the popsicles to melt. Quickly wrap a small piece of waxed paper around each popsicle and store in an airtight container or freezer bag until ready to eat.



Bread, Breakfast, Dinner, Lactose Free, Recipes, Veggies

Bacon & Cheddar Zucchini Bread

September 25, 2016

Bacon & Cheddar Zucchini Bread

Bacon and cheddar cheese are a perfect match.  This savory zucchini bread, which incorporates that perfect match, does not require any rising, kneading, or special care.  Mix all of the ingredients together and bake it in a loaf pan.  Then, wait patiently while it cools before you cut a thick slice and toast it until the edges are pleasingly crisp.  This recipe is adapted from Carolyn over at Food Gal.  The recipe comes from Katie Sullivan Morford’s new cookbook Rise & Shine. Katie uses kalamata olives and green onions but I wanted to use bacon, because…bacon!  I also used chives from the garden in place of the green onions.  As Carolyn mentions, this savory bread is not just for breakfast.  I toast slices and serve it with roasted meat or grilled chicken.  It is reminiscent of cornbread in many ways.  Serve it with a pat of butter.  Yum!

Toasted Zucchini Bread with Butter

Grated Zucchini

I haven’t grown zucchini but I hear that they are prolific producers and many home gardeners end up with more than they know what to do with.  I also read a few stories that gave me a good laugh: people will leave bags of excess zucchini in unattended cars or on strangers doorsteps. Fortunately, this recipe doesn’t require that much zucchini.

Fresh Eggs

I love the beautiful speckled brown eggs my neighbor Judy shares with us.

Extra Sharp Cheddar, Bacon, Chives

Use extra sharp cheddar and fairly lean bacon for the best flavor and texture.  This rustic bacon and cheddar zucchini bread turns out perfectly each time you bake it.

Bacon & Cheddar Zucchini Bread with Butter & Mango Pepper Jam

Bacon & Cheddar Zucchini Bread


Bacon & Cheddar Zucchini Bread
Adapted from Food Gal
Serves: 1 large loaf
  • 2 cups coarsely grated zucchini (about 2 medium zucchini)
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1½ cups white whole wheat flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup plain lactose free yogurt (Green Valley lactose free or regular yogurt)
  • ½ cup lactose free milk (or regular milk)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • ½ cup chopped cooked bacon
  • 6 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, cut into ⅓-inch cubes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan with oil or nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Place grated zucchini into a colander set in the sink or over a bowl. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the salt and toss together. Leave zucchini in the colander to allow the salt to draw out some of the liquid.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the white whole wheat and all-purpose flour along with the baking powder, baking soda, black pepper, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, olive oil, yogurt, and milk until combined.
  5. Squeeze out the liquid from the zucchini, removing as much of the moisture as possible, The zucchini will remain moist but should not be wet. Add the zucchini to the egg mixture along with the scallions and bacon. Mix to combine.
  6. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir gently with a spoon or rubber spatula, just until the streaks of flour disappear. Add the cheese and stir just enough to distribute it throughout the dough.
  7. Transfer dough to the prepared loaf pan and using your spatula, smooth the top. The dough will be rough and craggy.
  8. Bake for about 50 - 55 minutes, or until the loaf is golden and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer pan to a cooling rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the bread, tip the pan over, and gently dislodge the bread onto the cooling rack. Allow bread to cool for 30 minutes or so, before serving.


Chicken, Dinner, Lactose Free, Recipes

Chicken Adobo

September 14, 2016

Chicken Adobo

Vinegar of all types are a staple in my pantry.  They all have their place in recipes whether it may be for a dressing, poached eggs, pickles, or in this case, Chicken Adobo (the Filipino version which is popular here in Hawaii).  The combination of vinegar, soy sauce, peppercorns, and garlic are sublime. I saved my mom’s recipe card for this dish and noticed she added paprika to the sauce. She didn’t note down how much to use but 1/4 teaspoon seems to be about right. Oh, and my mom also mentioned that she added chili water or “a piece of pepper” to the sauce so I added a few of our homemade nacho rings to add a bit of zing to the sauce.  What a delight!

Chicken Adobo

I use boneless and skinless chicken thighs though bone-in chicken thighs would work well too.  Add another 5 – 10 minutes cooking time if using bone-in chicken thighs.

Chicken Adobo Seasonings

I’ve loved chicken adobo from my childhood in Honolulu. It is easy on the budget and so delicious.  Plus, everything goes into one pot!

Chicken Adobo

Chicken Adobo
Serves: 4 servings
  • 2½ pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs trimmed well
  • ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup + 2 tablespoons water
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce (Kikkoman recommended)
  • 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 3 ounces sliced onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 2 nacho rings or hot pepper rings (optional)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1½ teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Trim any visible fat from chicken.
  3. Combine vinegar, water, soy sauce, brown sugar, and paprika in a medium bowl or measuring cup.
  4. In a medium sized Dutch oven or other oven-proof pot with a lid, brown half of the chicken pieces in a bit of canola oil over medium - medium-high heat. Remove chicken to a plate and brown the rest of the chicken. Once all of the chicken has been browned, return it to the pot. Add the vinegar mixture, onion, garlic, ginger, nacho rings if using, bay leaves and black peppercorns. Give the sauce a stir and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Set your timer for 50 minutes.
  5. Remove the pot from the oven and let chicken adobo rest for 5 minutes. Serve chicken with steamed white or brown rice and your choice of vegetables. Bok choy, green beans with shiitake mushrooms, snap peas or broccoli go well with this meal. Feel free to drizzle some of the sauce over your chicken and rice.



Beef, Dinner, Mexican, Recipes

Dry-Rubbed Ribeye Steak

September 2, 2016

Dry-Rubbed Grilled Ribeye

Grilling a steak always makes for a quick delicious meal, especially when that steak is liberally coated with a flavorful mixture of spices!  This particular dry rub is adapted from Bon Appetit magazine.  We used the dry rub on skirt and ribeye steaks.  Both were delicious, but there’s something about the tenderness and flavor of a ribeye that is truly satisfying.

Dry-Rubbed Grilled Ribeye with Corn Salsa

Serve the steak thinly sliced with grilled corn salsa and roasted potatoes.  This is a wonderful meal to make for a small group of friends.  You can prepare the salsa and potatoes in advance, grill the steak and serve everything on a big platter.

Dry Rub Spices

If you like your steak quite spicy, use the 1 teaspoon of cayenne called for in the original recipe. I used a half teaspoon instead, and it was perfect since I like to drizzle our homemade hot sauce over my tacos.

Dry-Rubbed Ribeye

We butterflied two center-cut ribeye steaks then liberally coated each side with the dry rub and a drizzle of canola oil to help the dry rub adhere better.  One of our favorite ways to serve the grilled steak is in crispy tacos (a tasty version of carne asada).

Dry-Rubbed Grilled Ribeye Tacos


Dry-Rubbed Ribeye Steak
Adapted from Bon Appetit magazine
Serves: 4
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon hatch mild chile powder (or ancho chile powder)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon English mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1½ pounds ribeye steak (butterflied to make thinner steaks)
  1. Combine all dry rub ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Coat steaks with all of the dry rub. Drizzle a little canola oil over the steaks to help the rub adhere.
  3. Grill steaks to your desired doneness. Serve steaks with roasted potatoes and grilled corn salsa or as a filling in crispy tacos.



Appetizers, Dressing, Eggs, Lactose Free, Recipes, Salad, Sauces, Vegetarian, Veggies

Nobis Dressing

August 17, 2016

Nobis Dressing

San Francisco is a city that offers superb dining options.  We look forward to returning to our favorite restaurants year after year. While always visiting our favorite places, we enjoy trying new restaurants as well. On our last visit we tried Volta, a French restaurant with Scandinavian influences.  We went for lunch, and it was just divine so we changed our plans for that night and returned to Volta for dinner.  It’s a gorgeous restaurant with a menu that features many appealing dishes.  I chose an endive & watercress salad with nobis dressing as my starter.  The nobis dressing was absolutely delicious: so much so, I contacted the owner Umberto Gibin and asked for the recipe.  He was gracious enough to have his chef pare down the ingredients for me.

Soft Boiled Egg

The ingredient that makes this recipe stand out is the egg.  Poached or soft boiled, either preparation works well.  The egg adds depth and richness to the dressing, along with the tangy mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, chives, and a hint of garlic.  It reminds me of a Caesar salad dressing but without the cheese and anchovies. It’s so good I can eat it right out of the jar.

Poached Egg

Endive Salad with Nobis Dressing

Nobis dressing on endive salad with watercress and radishes.

Grilled Artichokes with Nobis Dressing

Nobis dressing for dipping grilled artichokes.  It’s also delicious drizzled over steamed asparagus.

Nobis Dressing
Adapted from Volta restaurant recipe
Serves: ¾ cup
  • 1 soft boiled or poached egg
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic (use a microplane)
  • ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground white or black pepper
  1. Place soft boiled egg in a 1-pint mason jar or comparable sized container that your immersion blender fits snugly in.
  2. Add the other ingredients and blend with an immersion blender until dressing is thick and creamy, about 30 seconds. If you don't have an immersion blender use a small food processor or blender.
  3. Serve as a salad dressing, dipping sauce for artichokes, or drizzled over asparagus. I bet it would be delicious as a sauce for grilled or pan fried fish, or chicken.


Chicken, Dinner, Lactose Free, Mexican, Pressure Cooker, Recipes

Pressure Cooker Chicken Chile Verde

July 30, 2016

Pressure Cooker Chicken Chile Verde

We bought a pressure cooker several years ago and each time I use it, I appreciate its usefulness more and more. Some say that with pressure cooking there will be less flavor because of the shortened cooking time involved, but the opposite is true.  Your food actually maintains flavor and nutrients when cooking in the closed environment of a pressure cooker unlike with other longer stove top cooking techniques.  Besides being able to serve fork tender meat such as beef stew in just 25 minutes, pressure cooking keeps the kitchen cool and uses less energy.  Chile verde is one of our favorite dishes.  So Serious Eats, Kenji Lopez-Alt’s version of pressure cooker chicken chile verde was definitely a must try recipe.

Chiles & Tomatillos

Beautiful chiles, tomatillos, onion and garlic go into the pot along with the chicken.  It couldn’t be easier.  It may seem odd that there is no liquid in the recipe, but under pressure all the liquid necessary comes from the tomatillos, peppers, onions and garlic.

Toasted & Ground Cumin Seeds

You’ll get the freshest flavor if you toast and grind cumin seeds, but in a pinch you can use ground cumin.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Chile Verde Ingredients

All the ingredients go into the pressure cooker.  Seal the lid and in no time at all you will have the most delicious chicken chile verde.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Chile Verde Tacos

The chicken becomes so tender, it pulls apart effortlessly and makes a great filling for tacos or burritos.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Chile Verde

Pressure Cooker Chicken Chile Verde
Recipe adapted from Kenji Lopez-Alt (Serious Eats)
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 6
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed well
  • 1 pound tomatillos, husks discarded, rinsed and quartered
  • 1 pound poblano peppers, roughly chopped, seeds and stems discarded
  • 6 ounces Anaheim peppers, roughly chopped, seeds and stems discarded
  • 2 Serrano or jalapeño chiles, roughly chopped, stems discarded
  • 1 medium onion - about 10 ounces, roughly chopped
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 2½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • ½ cup packed cilantro + more for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • corn tortillas for serving
  1. Combine chicken, tomatillos, poblano, Anaheim peppers, Serrano chiles, onion, garlic, cumin and 1½ teaspoons kosher salt in your pressure cooker. Heat over high heat until gently sizzling then seal pressure cooker. Bring to high pressure and cook for 20 minutes. Release pressure.
  2. Using tongs, transfer chicken to a bowl. Add cilantro and fish sauce to remaining contents of pressure cooker. Blend with an immersion blender and season with additional 1 teaspoon kosher salt to taste (I prefer to keep the sauce a bit on the chunkier side).
  3. Return chicken to sauce and coarsely shred if desired. Serve chicken over rice, in tacos or burritos.



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