Archive for the ‘baking’ Category

Stay-at-home dad

August 8th, 2016

For a brief while, my husband was a stay-at-home dad. It was a lovely thing for all of us, because I really liked coming home to a clean house, completed chores, and a hot dinner. Thankfully, Claus is an excellent cook with long-stymied culinary aspirations.

I came home one day and the dryer was tumbling, the living room was photo shoot-ready, and the kitchen bar counter was just one beautiful, ten foot long streak of black granite, no longer interrupted by piles of papers, toys, food wrappers, and other domestic detritus.

When he walked in the door, he said he had been at yoga, swimming, then a social lunch. I praised his work and we both marveled at the rare sighting of our countertop. Of course, as soon as Hurricane Olivia barreled through the door that afternoon all his work came undone in about ten minutes.

I knew Olivia and I would appreciate his home-work, but Claus says it surprised him that he liked being a house dad so much. He thought it would be more boring and small.


The idea of a Mr. Mom is fun for us, but apparently, jolting to others. Olivia's adorable friend Kiryan came over one weekend and, after Claus served them mac n' cheese for dinner, remarked with wide-eyed wonder, "Olivia! Your parents are so interesting!"

I asked, "Is it because he cooks?"

"Yeah!" she exclaimed. (pause) "This is very confusing to me."

I love this kid, but Claus and I had a good laugh in private and are now thinking about having him wear an apron and start baking brownies next time Kiryan comes.

Truth be told, we're not fully pranking her. He really does make awesome brownies. Just not with an apron. We're saving that one for Kiryan.

Olivia's Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie

May 18th, 2016

My daughter made us a pie, mostly by herself. It was a recipe my mother used to assemble for us, and I loved it.

I haven't had this exact recipe since she stopped baking due to Alzheimer's, and her final baking phase was about cakes, so she hadn't made the blueberry dessert for years and years.

Some bakeries sell it with cake on the bottom but I prefer it this way. Comfort dessert, I guess. It's what I grew up with.

Olivia's pie!

Olivia's pie!

It's very easy, and it doesn't require baking. It's a kid's recipe, if you think about it.

It's basically cream cheese with sugar and whipped cream, plus a touch of vanilla, topped with blueberry filling, set on top a crumbly pie shell. What's not to like?

It took Olivia about 15 minutes to put it together. It's so delicious!

She took great pride in watching us devour her pie, and has now declared this "her" recipe. I'm encouraging her to make this for us again.

Here's the recipe if you want to give it a whirl:

Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie

1 eight oz. package cream cheese

1 bottle whipped cream

3/4 c. powdered sugar, unsifted

1 t. vanilla

1 can blueberry pie filling

1 nine inch pie shell (I like the graham cracker ones)

Put cream cheese and sugar in a mixer and blend. Add vanilla. When it's mixed, fold the whipped cream in. Pour half into the baked pie crust. Add half the blueberry filling. Repeat to create a second layer of cheese then fruit filling. Refrigerate it to set it.


Chinese cookies

December 28th, 2015

I was in my kitchen when the mail lady drove up. My Danish houseguest, Jul, said, "I want to give Susan something. Hand me one of those Chinese cookies," and he pointed to a pile of small blue tins.


"What Chinese cookies?" I asked, looking for fortune cookies or Chinese pretzels.

"Those," and he waved his finger urgently as Susan turned on the engine to drive to the next house.


"These? How are these Chinese cookies?" I quizzed, passing him a tin of Danish butter cookies. I'm know I'm half the time out of it, but am I that bad?!

He disdainfully explained they're made in China, by CVS. In no way are they Danish anymore. "They aren't as buttery as the ones in Denmark," he sniffed. My husband has echoed a similar sentiment in previous conversations.

Royal Dansk butter cookies were popular in Denmark in the '80s, he said, but they're out of vogue now. "Now Danes want to make their own cookies and put their own trendy things in it. Beets, kale, Stone Age foods- until it no longer tastes like a cookie," he joked. He is always surprised they're still popular in the US.

We still like those Chinese cookies.


Half-baked when half-baked

December 2nd, 2015

I know full well the dangers of doing anything while extremely tired. I live this at least five days a week with my 3 a.m. wake up call.

Still, I persist. Life marches on and stuff needs to get done. I tried to bake a quiche at 5:30 p.m. when I should be getting ready for bed. Bad idea.

Firstly, I'm a pretty decent home cook, but I do like to improvise a lot. The recipe called for chicken, and I used ham because it was on sale. It called for bell peppers and I used frozen peas because I needed to use that up.

My husband always watches me with amused interest because I think of the recipe as a suggestion. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't.

If you combine this with the forgetfulness and lack of focus that comes with fatigue, it can be a scary combination. I had piled the ingredients into the pie shell and it still didn't fill up to the top. I pulled out some extra spinach leaves and chucked that in to add content, though the recipe didn't ask for it.

And yes, it was tasty!!!

And yes, it was tasty!!!

"What else should I put in? Didn't it overflow the last time I made this?" I queried. He couldn't recall.

Then he spied the roux and sautéed onions in the pan. "Are you adding that?" he asked.

"OH! That! YES! I forgot!" I exclaimed as I threw my hands up in the air. "Thank you!" You know, it's only sitting right in front of my face.

I mix it in and open the oven door. "Can you read me the recipe and tell me if I missed anything? What else goes in there?" I requested.

Pause. "I really don't think it matters at this point," he stated.

HEY. When this quiche comes out amazing, he'll be sorry for that comment!

Yahoo Travel names Kalihi bakery best pie in state

November 24th, 2015

Where's the best place to get a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving? Yahoo Travel says Hawaiian Pie Company in Kalihi-Kai is number one in the state. The bakery's website says it "specializes in melt-in-your-mouth buttery fruit pies and baked goods."

Yahoo Travel praised the bakery for "a pumpkin custard that adds an extra creamy dimension to the norm."

pie 2

Co-owner Jan Hori says the family owned and operated bakery is thrilled at the accolade, and wasn't even aware of it until a friend forwarded the article to them.

This is the write up from Yahoo Travel.

(This is the write up from Yahoo Travel.)

She and her family are currently in overdrive preparing for Thanksgiving orders. Hawaiian Pie Company will be open on Thursday, November 26. In the spirit of the season, Hori says they're all very thankful for the shout-out from Yahoo Travel!

Yahoo article here:


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