Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hawaiian Summer Chronicles Part Four: You just had to be there.

These clips make me crack up. 
I can tell they don't come close to capturing how beautiful and hilarious this car ride home was, but I love them all the same. 
In case you haven't met, these are my mom and sisters. 
I'm related to them, and I'm proud.

PS. Ollie is in here too, but he's just shy!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

coconut banana bread with lime glaze

Kamehameha gradually emptied out: first Lauren, then the boys... then the my adorable british family...  my dad, then my brother, and soon it was just the women of our family...

Breakfast changed from big scrambles of eggs and veggies on bagels to greek yogurt and blueberries. Clean bathroom towels lasted much longer on their shelves and our many beach towels became easier to come by. Dinner reverted back to mellow simple meals like nori wraps and salads. The evening news was turned on with after dinner tea for the first time in weeks. I even got to know our local bird friends, the admirals, a bit better and played a key role in feeding their adorable fluffy babies every morning. In general, things just quieted down.

A few days after everyone left, we noticed that our bananas had been overlooked and were sitting rather lonely in our fruit bowl, looking pretty unappetizing.  Which of course made us really excited, because we all know when life gives you rotten bananas, you make banana bread.

One of my favorite ways to spend free time is to bake, but my current living situation doesn't have a very friendly kitchen so recently I've had some hilariously bad baking experiences. Lets just say I really was afraid to embark on another baking mission. But I adore my mom's kitchen and how she organizes it and the counter space it has, so while my little sister was asleep and my mom was busy doing mom things, I cracked open our cupboards and began.

My mom found this recipe through a blog! I'm so proud. It can be found here.

It asks for yogurt, which always is good sign for a baking recipes in my opinion. But we're greek yogurt people and didn't have any regular on hand, so I went with it. 

I also used shredded coconut because I overlooked our supply of flaked coconut until the bread came out of the oven... which turned out okay because I just piled more of it on top. Neither type was sweetened like the recipe calls for, but I don't like really sweet bread anyways. (Yes, my mom has a supply of coconut... it's Hawaii.)

The recipe was pretty basic. You know if I don't mess it up, it's pretty full proof.

I love mushing the bananas then swirling them into the mix, it's kind of gross but you know it's going to taste good. 

Before I found the flaked coconut I just put a handful of shredded coconut on the mix. When the bread was almost ready to take out of the oven I added shredded coconut to the top and left in for a few minutes to toast. Then I added a bit of shredded coconut in the glaze then I poored it in clumps on the top. (No such thing as coconut coconut!)

 The lime was so good with the coconut and banana that next time I'm going to double the glaze.


I'm really pleased with how it turned out, it was moist and sweet but not too sweet. The lime and coconut were such a great addition, I don't think I'll make banana bread any other way!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hawaiian Summer Chronicles Part Three: Eating, Drinking, and just being Merry

With this many people in a house at once... meal time is bound to be an adventure. 

Fish, pepper, and greens for wrap stuffing, a musical dance party in the living room, the boys on the Lanai and a happily filled cooler for a good bonfire sesh at the beach.

I can't help but believe my family eats better than 99% of the world and I know we have just about the best time doing it.

Mom's secretly vegan chocolate cake (no one can tell it's vegan)  (HAPPY BIRTHDAY SISSY BIRD!), momma choppin' up some stuff,  pre-roasted veggie kabobs, some bug yummy salad, sissy bird flipping homecooked tortillas, and a family reunion classic: Longboarder Lager.

I've often been asked why I choose to restrict my diet of something as tasty and amazing as meat supposedly is, but growing up vegetarian never left me feeling restricted. Actually, I find my family's vegetarian diet is way more liberated and creative than most of my carnivorous friends!

Tofu spinach cheese quiche, chow mein and cabbage salad, laughing on the lanai, concocting another batch of margaritas, and my brother's fresh ceviche (the best on earth)! 

Every night a pair or people were assigned dinner duty, which at first was supposed to just be simple curries and pastas, but it turned into a serious gourmet showdown. The meals seemed to just get better and better!

Some non-photographed favorites included Pupusas and homemade Curtido, Thai Curry, Kale Salad, Quinoa Salad, Vegetarian Pot Pie, and Blackbean burgers with roasted rosemary olive oil spuds.

I almost regret taking pictures of all the meals but you know, you just have to put the camera down and enjoy the moment sometimes... 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Hawaiian Summer Chronicles Part Two: My Brothers and My Sisters and Me

By far, the best part about this specific trip home was spending time with these people:

It's hard to explain what a precious thing family time is to my family, and I'm happy we don't take it for granted. Though we are incredibly close at heart, it's mighty rare we get to actually spend time all together.

You see, Leah and Joel are a decade older than Tess and myself so by the time us younger siblings were settling into elementary school, Joel and Leah were flying the nest. 
And when I say flying the nest, I mean it... Joel left straight out of high school for what turned out to be a several year odyssey across the world and Leah landed here in Kauai when I was only eleven years old.. the rest is history!

Since then it's become kind of usual for Christmases to pass with someone missing and an empty space in our annual family photo. (The first year Joel wasn't home, we propped up his giant surfboard on the pier and my sisters and I stood smiling around it as if it was him!)

When we're lucky, three of us come together for an occasion, but man, when all of us are around... a part of me feels whole again and it's kind of one of the best feelings in the world.

The last time all four of us united was for Leah's wedding in Kauai two years ago

when this guy joined the family!

It's seriously really cool adding people to your family... especially when they are Oliver and are really good at finding cool things. (Do you SEE that sea urchin? I held it too!! )

We're incredibly different but intrinsically similar, which makes me proud.

Saying goodbye is always difficult when you don't know the next time you'll see each other, but we manage beautifully thanks to our parents who at least on my behalf make seeing my siblings possible ...and maybe a certain social media website.

It's like having three (plus mom and dad!) built in best friends, ones that you can make fun of, disagree with, call out on, cry on, tell on, and STILL love to death.