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Bread, Gardening, Lactose Free, Recipes, Sandwiches, Vegetarian, Veggies

Summer Tomato Toast

August 18, 2014

Country-Style Whole Grain Bread with Tomatoes In their book Canal House Cooks, Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton share simple yet magnificent recipes.  They are so inspired I can hardly wait to make their irresistible dishes.  These seasonal recipes, rustic yet elegant, are well suited to the home cook and most of the recipe ingredients are easily found at your local market. The food photos in the book are gorgeous.  What is more simple and satisfying than homegrown tomatoes on toast?

Big Beef Tomatoes in the GardenJohn grows Big Beef tomatoes throughout most of the year. We have tried different tomato varieties from little grape tomatoes to beautiful heirloom varieties but we have found that the Big Beef tomato is consistently the tastiest.  Meaty with very few seeds, whether using it in sandwiches or salads, making fresh tomato sauce or salsa, it’s by far the most versatile.

Vine Ripened Big Beef Tomatoes from the Garden

Vine Ripened Big Beef Tomatoes from the Garden

Country-Style Whole Grain Bread with Tomatoes

Summer Tomato Toast

Adapted form Canal House Cooks Every Day

Serves 2


2 large slices  of country-style whole grain or sourdough bread (or 4 medium slices)

1 clove garlic, peeled

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

kosher or Maldon sea salt

2 perfectly ripe tomatoes, cored and thickly sliced

1/4 cup mayonnaise

freshly ground pepper

Finely chopped fresh chives and parsley


Toast the bread.  While still warm, rub each slice with the garlic, rubbing more or less depending on how much flavor you’re after.  Drizzle the toast with some of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

Slather tomato slices with  mayonnaise and arrange them on a serving platter with the toasts.  Drizzle the remaining oil over the tomatoes, season well with salt and pepper and scatter the chives and parsley on top.  Pile the tomatoes on the toast just before serving.




Fruit, Gardening, Lactose Free, Recipes, Salad, Side Dishes, Vegan, Vegetarian, Veggies

Lilikoi Vinaigrette

March 19, 2014

Lilikoi VinaigretteNow that the weather has turned a bit cooler, we have been enjoying Manoa and butter lettuce from the garden. During the summer it is impossible to grow lettuce in Kihei, it’s just too hot.  We also planted radishes that turned out to be a tasty addition to our salads.

Garden Radishes

Lilikoi Flower in BloomOur new lilikoi (the most fragrant of tropical fruits) are doing well.  Their vigorous vines quickly claimed the fence as their home with their tendrils grabbing on to anything within reach.  We even caught one reaching up to the sky and fastening itself to a mango branch.  Our first season of growing lilikoi yielded a small, healthy, crop of fruit that we quickly used to make the best jelly ever.  Lilikoi vinaigrette came to mind when I was picking those tender lettuce leaves from the garden.  So with the few fruits left on the vines, the juice was frozen in small containers and will be enjoyed throughout the next few months.

Lilikoi Tendril

Fresh Lilikoi from the GardenLilikoi makes everything better.

Collecting Lilikoi JuicePress the pulp to extract the precious juice.

Lilikoi Shells and Juice

Garden Salad with FetaManoa and butter lettuce with cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, avocado and feta.

Garden Salad with Lilikoi Vinaigrette and Whole Grain Bread

Lilikoi Vinaigrette

Makes about 3/4 cup

1/2 cup fresh lilikoi juice

1/4 cup canola oil

2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons rice vinegar (not seasoned)

2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon finely minced shallot

kosher salt and pepper


Combine all ingredients in a jar, shake well.


Gardening, Photography

Lilikoi Flowers in Bloom

October 14, 2013

Lilikoi FlowerI was in the garden mid-morning yesterday checking out our first lilikoi fruits that are gracefully hanging from the vines.  There were many flowers that hadn’t opened up yet so I went back to check on them at 3:00 p.m. Wow!  The flowers had opened up and I was able to take a few photos of these gorgeous Passion Flowers.

Lilikoi top view

Green LilikoiBeautiful lilikoi fruit.

Lilikoi tendril

Lilikoi tendril fenceThe tendrils grab on to anything they can reach.  We found one attached to one of our mango tree branches so we quickly put an end to that!  We’ll have to keep an eye on these  feisty tendrils.

Lilikoi  & BeeLook closely and you will see the large carpenter bee on the left of the flower.  We used to call these bumble bees however I found they are actually carpenter bees.  I read they were purposely introduced into other Pacific islands for the purpose of passion fruit (lilikoi) pollination.  Well they were certainly having the time of their life.

Lilikoi FlowersLilikoi jellly, lilikoi bars, lilikoi margarita?


These Peppers are Hot!

September 13, 2012

These little beauties are Hawaiian chili peppers.  Our friend Venus brought us some homemade pickled onions one day.  They were crunchy and spicy and we gobbled them up. I was determined to make a batch of these tasty pickled onions so I went searching for the peppers and finally found them at a small family run grocery store in Kahului. Many people in Hawaii grow these peppers in their gardens and they are so attractive don’t you agree?  Thanks to Venus who later brought us our own Hawaiian chili pepper plant, we now have our own supply whenever we feel like making those delicious pickled onions.

Pickled Maui onions with Hawaiian chili peppers.

We also have jalapeño peppers in the garden which we use to make jalapeño nacho rings and jalapeño/tomatillo hot sauce.

Roasted jalapeño/tomatillo hot sauce.


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