Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Al Lago Ristorante Italiano - Bonney Lake

This is the closest restaurant to our house and we haven't been there in five years, but as we were headed home Kathy was hungry and I did not have anything "ready to go" so we stopped in.

Interesting to say the least, trying to be upscale while the floor manager is wearing shorts, but hey it IS the lake and that is part of the charm.

The food is good, not great, authentic, with a few nods to the PNW, but lacks the punch of great Italian cuisine.

We ordered a bottle of 2012 Tamarack Firehouse Red, a red blend, with an emphasis on blend:

• 29% Cabernet Sauvignon
• 22% Syrah
• 22% Merlot
• 11% Cabernet Franc
• 5% Malbec
• 3% Sangiovese
• 2% Grenache
• 2% Cinsault 1% Petit Verdot
• 1% Counoise
• 1% Mourvèdre and 1% Carmenere

I am no expert on wine, but many of the varietals I had never heard of before. Next visit to Total Wine I will try to see if I can find a bottle of some of these to see what they add. Anyway, the bottle of wine, good sipping wine, nothing to blow my mind, but an amazing blend. I am strongly considering trying to hunt down a bottle or two and taking it back to Hawaii to share with Rudy.

The food?

The bread service was warm and fresh, as an extra bonus, served by the most beautiful 8 year old lady in the world :), but the butter with sundried tomato was cold and ripped the bread.

We had the Steamed Clams as a starter. They were fresh clams for sure, but the broth lacked punch, so it was just steamed clams.

Kathy had the special, Steel Head Trout. It was cooked to perfection, but in the creases was some sort of candied bacon. Clearly a lot of effort went into it, but to what purpose? The mash potatoes were clearly from scratch, but again, edible, but nothing to take it over the top.

I had the Pollo Al Carciofini, I love chicken with artichoke hearts, olives, in a lemon sauce, but again it missed the mark. The chicken was abysmal, I left most of it. The pasta was cooked well, no small trick with angel hair and the vegetables were perfect. 

Bill before tip including tax was 100.10 which is a very fair price for a starter, two mains, and a bottle. My bill says Monday nights select bottles are half price, maybe when we get back we can try that with a salad. 

My doctor says I should limit myself to two drinks of wine, (there are four standard pours to a bottle, so if Kathy and I share, that is a bottle), no more than three times a week. So, I am trying to be very selective, not talking about $100.00 bottles, but no Little Penguin either. Also realize, I must sound like a food snob, but I would help these folks if I could. 

Biggest tip, don't be chinsy with the parmesan cheese. None was offered with either of our dishes, yet the menu speaks of import parm. = If you are going to be upscale Italian you need to anchor with either imported parmesan or olive oil and preferably both. There was neither at the table. 

Will we come back? I surely do not know, but I am glad they are here and wish them the best. And should it ever be possible that I could consult on an evening special some time, I would be honored, I might even be able to supply the fresh herbs.  

Sunday, May 25, 2014

If you don't like the way I drive - stay off the crosswalk - car hit Jim

We were talking with Ryan to see how Joe is doing; not good, he has been non-voluntarily committed for alcohol rehabilitation. Ryan mentioned that Jim had been hit by a car and it was pretty serious. Wow. While I was out weed whacking, Kathy connected with Mandy. She said we could bring some food.

Started with Mung bean Cordon Bleu, one of my favorites, and yes, it slide out of its shaping container, ( this time I tried coconut oil). There are plenty of explanations, even a picture in earlier posts. Look for the Friday night meal, last meal in the post.

Started some tumeric Basmati brown rice cooking with the white part of a leek. We are growing leeks BTW, fresh leeks are so nice and tender, they are a joy to work with. I used the rice as a base for two dishes:

I had some of that oven roasted turkey breast from Costco. I will never cook a turkey breast again, they are so much better at it than I; prepared it using the entre slice direction, (it's on the package). Covered with sesame ginger mushroom sauce. Lots of anti-inflamatory, gluten free, low GL in that one.

The other half of the rice was covered with chicken cashew stir fry.

Also did a red lentil, sun dry tomato corn bread with cheddar cheese powder. Gosh I really would like to know how that came out. Guess I will just have to make one for Kathy and I tomorrow.

The salad was spinach, romaine, mint leaves, with carrots, mushrooms, celery, date bits and those Pike Place candied smoked salmon bits. They are at WinCo from time to time, what fun.

Didn't have time to do a dessert, Kathy got through to Mandy just as they were trying to figure out what they were going to do for dinner. The food was still warm and sealed, so we drove over and delivered.

Jim looks great for a guy that got hit by a speeding car four days ago while in a crosswalk with the walking man sign showing. He flew 40' through the air ended up with two broken legs, a concussion and bleeding on the brain. His eyes are clear, his speech is not slurred, he can walk with a walker and they have arrange for an outdoor shower with hot water. Got to meet his son Dustin, that is one "got it together" guy and an intensive care nurse to book. We didn't stay long, but I want to get back before we fly for the long version of the story. Maybe they will even let me bring another meal.

Kauai to Bonney Lake/Sumner WA

Thursday 22 May, Keely drove us to the airport. They randomly selected Kathy, ( you know TSA PRE Kathy), for screening and went through every single part of her carryon. We were early enough we still had time to stick our heads in the lounge and say hi to Val, but elected not to stay for a drink.

United flight 362 was delayed, no radio, and I was happy to wait till they put in the radio before flying across the ocean. This was one of our last chances to be in first class on United, took the last of my miles. Bummer that the service was terrible. The flight attendants didn't even look at us. One total water service in a 5 hour flight, good thing we always bring our own. The younger, prettier one, had the total hots for the guy in front of us though, (no wonder we were invisible). She was down on her knees in the aisle multiple times and brought him so many drinks I wondered if he was going to fall over. She even brought him one last Heineken after we crossed 10,000 feet on the descent into SFO; never saw that before. The nice part about being invisible is that I left my headrest up and Kathy left her seat back, (and doing that didn't even crash the plane, I had always wondered).

Wierdly, the next leg of our flight was also United 362, but it was 23 gates away in a different leg of the terminal. So, we are already over 30 minutes late because of the radio, have to wait for the wheelchair. I am pushing the wheelchair for all I am worth. Though we have both flown millions of miles and I keep trying to tell myself, "so what if we miss the flight, we will just get a hotel room"; I was still getting stressed. And then the God_incidence. Coming at us is no other than Jim Manico; man he looks good, very calm and focused. He was willing to walk us to our gate. He and Kathy had a chance to catch up. The good Lord smiled, we made our plane, we were the next to last people to get on, (the last was the non-customer service oriented purser from our previous flight). This leg had good customer service, but it was a two hour, snack only flight.

The Starline limo people were there for us and the driver could see we were really hurting and was very helpful with the wheelchair and helping us get in the SUV. That was an error on my part, I wanted to be sure we had room for two checked bags, (mostly fabric from Kathy's stash on Kauai using the United Gold Status moving service), two carry ons and a wheel chair. But the mistake I made is that a SUV is higher off the ground, so Kathy had to climb. Well, we made it.

Got the alarm disarmed, activated the elevator, we pulled down the murphy bed, grabbed the pillows out of the cabinet two feet away and that is the last thing I remember.

Friday, we slept late, I got up twice to check my email to make sure there was no emergency. I did go out to WinCo for provisions, but that was it.

Saturday, we started to ease into this timezone, and decided to visit the Puyallup trail head to the Foothills trail. It was early enough that we could get a parking place.  There was someone in the handicapped parking spot, with no handicap sticker, but we were close enough on the side of the road that we could make into the parking lot and up the ramp. Lovely day, said hello to some nice people and met a really cool Scottish Deerhound, (I want one). As soon as we got back and finished lunch, (a chef salad), I went to town with my weedwhacker; things have really been growing. I use and electric one and the battery runs out pretty fast, so I put it on the charger and did some weeding till it was ready for another round.

Sunday, May 25 we both got up early, had a light breakfast of tart apples, oatmeal and dates with lowfat Greek yogurt on the side. I don't add any liquid, I just throw the elements in a skillet and lightly toast them. Simple variations include adding some egg white or nuts. I didn't have any dried cherries handy in my fridge or for sure I would have added them. Still had time to write this blog post and do my sword workout before church. Good start to the day.

Pastor Josh taught today, I thought he did well. The rain held off long enough for me to get a weed whacking session in, ended up filling the green waste container. Our small group is canceled for tonight and to be honest, I am thankful; we have been gone for three weeks and there is a lot to be done. It started raining, I worked for another hour then started to get cold. Then we heard Jim was hit by a car, (that is the next blog post after this). Mandy said we could help by bringing a meal, so I switched gears and went into cooking mode. After we delivered it we came back home and I made supper, ( Ahi, salad, brown rice/quinoa/sliced almonds).

I was still a little edgy after putting five courses together in 1.5 hours, (and seeing Jim with two casts on), so I put in a mindless movie, Flirting with Forty and opened our Sofia Rose. It is a Francis Coppola and doesn't hit that hard, 12.5% and is light on the palate. A gentle rose nose, a pleasing color, (Kathy says it is darker than most rose, I am not so sure), a light sweetness that serves as a wonderful dessert. Kathy wants to keep the bottle as a vase, boy we have had that conversation many times. This time we made a trade, if she will get rid of the pottery vase set of the same shape, yes, it can stay :) I do not think I will replace it with another Sofia, but I will stock another rose. Think less of me if you want, but it has been years since I had a Mateus, if we get one I will try to remember to blog the story of my first one; God, you shall see, sometimes works in VERY mysterious ways.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Rudy boat - Anini to the Napali Coast - Rescue

Friday night we had Rudy, Harry, Keely up for dinner. Nothing special, just old friends, Keely brought an awesome salad, Rudy brought some lovely seared ahi, we filled in the rest.

Rudy also brought two incredible wines, said he found them at Costco. The highlight was a La Fiole du Pape and also a dessert wine.

Rudy invited us to come out on his latest boat. We met at his house, drove up to Anini beach to use the boat put in there. Rudy wanted to get ice and the Kilauea Menehune Mart was out. They said we could wait an hour. Rudy went to the complex where Calvary Chapel North Shore is and got ice. I wandered into the church. Aunty Zena did not recognize me, but offered me food; angels unawares? I thanked her for her special sauce and she realized who I was; I got a hug from her and Peyton and headed back to the adventure.

 He had invited three other people, truly interesting, very glad I got to meet them. Wes has been a pastor with Calvary Chapel Kauai, his wife Sarah appears to be wonderful, though we did not spend much time with them. However, the really interesting guy was their friend Chad. He was in a youth group Wes led, made a significant lifestyle conversion and oh my.

It was a fairly calm day, which means we didn't even get the stuffins knocked out of us, no blood, no bruises, though the potential is always there in a boat on the ocean around Kauai. It was low tide when we started. I don't care how many times you have boated Anini, at low tide you are going to hit some coral, however, we could not wait, Wes and Sarah have organized some sort of musical production tonight.

We finally cleared and started towards the Napali, we passed the beach at Hanakapiai and I am glad to report nobody was being swept out to sea; this time. We ducked into a couple caves and Wes and Chad were all for standing on the bow and having the waterfalls land on them, or swimming in the cave, climbing up the rocks to jump back in.

We came in close at the Kalalau beach and and a young man, Jake, swam out to meet us. He said his girlfriend had burned her feet walking on the hot sand and could not walk out. The folks on the boat were somewhat disbelieving, but I pointed out that a large population of the USA was diabetic and it is extremely common for them to have peripheral neuropathy where there is numbness in the feet. That population is at risk of things like this. We said we would get them on the way back and gave them plastic bags to put their stuff in and continued on and got to see the arch and open ceiling sea cave; good fun.

We stopped for lunch and swim snorkle at Nualolo, that was truly lovely. At the end, there was a bit of drizzle; as we would later learn we were turning from trades to South wind and VOG.

Back to Kalalau, there they were. Jake valiantly swam the first bag out to the boat. Kid had heart, but wasn't in shape to handle this.  Enter the mighty Chad. He brought the other two bags aboard, one at a time. That is a lot of shore break to handle. Then he went back to help them bring the girl. The sea state was getting bigger, so Captain Rudy directed Wes to toss a line in so we could tow them out of the break zone. He also said to get them life jackets. I think that was brilliant. They made it aboard.

They wanted to be dropped off at Ke'e, but I know that beach very well. There is a channel, but it flushes into the open ocean. So Chad tied all three of their bags together and swam them in OVER the reef, just before the surf breaks. Wes and Jake swam the girl to shore. Life jackets were now getting popular as people got tired. Chad and Wes swam back to the boat. We came back to Anini as quickly as possible, but the sea state was increasing. I think Wes may have been a bit late for their musical adventure, but it was for a good cause.

After it was all over we spent some time with Rudy chatting and petting his dog and cat. Then the VOG got me. Tonight we are sleeping in the bubble and we will go from there.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Scott, Steve and Chad, Pacific Realty - real estate deal going sideways, only thing to do is cook

Steve Oldfield is my realtor; we have been through some nutty situations on deals before and guess what; here we go again. Shared meals and road trips in my opinion are one of the best ways to get to know people better and take the pressure off what could be a tough situation. So let's do this well.

Set the table with large plates.
Lemongrass tea in tea mugs, served cool.
For the wine, I am breaking out the magnum of 2005 Provenance Rutherford I have been saving. Scott handled the decanting and did a masterful job with an aged cork while I put the last touches on the meal.

Mushroom soup, they are plain ol button mushrooms, eight big ones. A bit of chicken stock, from the Costco organic, skinless, low fat chicken thighs, smoked rosemary and a tough of salt and we are off to the races. All I will do is bring them to warm. Cut the tops off the best looking mushroomss, will use those as garnish. Maybe toss in a curly slice of corn tortilla with a light red pepper dusting. I will serve these in the oversized saki cups we normally serve tea in.

For the salad I want to play with spinach and tart granny smith apple. However, at the Bruce, Janet and Harry dinner, the pineapple and apple fell to the bottom of the salad bowl. I am ditching the pineapple and serving long slices of apples. Tossed in some pecans as well.

Afterwards, pull the small plates.

As we shift towards the mains, let's do something fun. Kathy found a bag of organic, no sugar added, unsulphured figs at Costco. Let's blend them up, put them in a small cup, with a small ball of Beecher's Flagship cheese inside. Only spices are two cloves and a pinch of raw cacao.

For the first main, nothing says it better than long rice cordon bleu. I made them tonight. Another lesson from a previous run, if I serve them shaped in a big bowl, the presentation is stupendous . . . UNTIL the first person digs into the dish. When we made the Costco run there was a blister pack of glorious Washington state granny smith apples. I used the blister pack as the mold. So every guest gets their own and they all get to be the first one to attack/destroy. Not going to serve them with a vegetable or starch because the long rice/cellophane noodle, (mung bean), is both already. This is served to the large plates at just a warm temperature.

Fire roasted chicken, another repeat is up next. Costco sells organic, skinless, 95% lean chicken thighs. I cut off the fat I can find and sear them over an open rosemary flame so more fat falls down into the chimera and then slow cook them in my kitchen where I can monitor the internal temp. It is served over a spiced quarter of corn tortilla, with tumeric rice on top and a chunk of Beecher's flag ship cheese to connect the thigh to the rice. I will serve this with baby squash cooked in a lemongrass reduction. We will also break out the potato bowl, so this is the big service.

If any of my guests are up for a third main, I think a turkey slice with an aronia, (chokeberry), BBQ sauce and a slice of spiced yellow zucchini will round out the meal.
NOTE: We did dig into the third main. Without my iPad on island, I forgot the aronia sauce, so I substituted the last of the mushroom with the last of the lemon grass reduction. I tried the aronia BBQ sauce on turkey with Rudy, Harry, Keely Friday night and it seem to work and will be taking the last of the turkey meat, (I have stock from the bones to play with next week), on the boat tomorrow.

Pull the large plates. Check on the drinks.

Dessert tell, started with almond flour, oatmeal and ginger cake as the crust. Put a row of almond on top. First layer was dried fruits. On top of that chia/hemp/buckwheat, next a second layer of dried fruits, light dusting of oatmeal, tart apples and cinnamon, almond slices, topped with strawberries, chocolate chips, a couple chopped mixed nuts.

On the main, I think our guests were happy. Chad suggests: "If I may be so bold, daring, and caring to offer an opportunity to improve anything from last night's dinner, would be for you to consider making your corn tortillas from scratch.  Buy the Maseca brand from any grocery store, follow the directions (but add a shot of fresh lime juice in the masa) and you'll be set.  Its so easy to make the tortillas and there is nothing better than fresh tortillas!"

Ooh la la, that has me thinking. To be honest it has been 30 years since I created a tortilla from masa harina. But maybe Chad and I can team, be both daring and caring and do something for a good cause event that features tortillas. If you have read my blog you know I love to plan to cook something outside of my comfort zone, so maybe there is something truly novel we can do; especially if Chad can help anchor the tortilla side of the equation. A tortilla station in a soup kitchen would not be the worst idea I have ever heard of. Who knows where we could take it from there?

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Hat trick, three nights, three dinners

Wednesday Night. Tomorrow we will host Dileep and his wife Muktha, as well as Cynthia and John. They attend All Saints

Play list:
Coarse salad. This will be watercress, tomatoes, cabbage, spinach, a couple pieces of tofu, and carrots. Dressing will be another tumeric/ginger/pepper aioli, but I plan to ramp this one up a bit. I also sprinkled some tarragon leaves,

Tofurky and opo, (long squash) with tumeric and ginger rice.

I found long squash at Big Save. I made this a couple days ahead and sealed it. Opo is kind of cool, a bit like breadfruit in that it will absorb flavors. I will cook it in a skillet at the dinner party.

Beef or tofu taco. I went back to Kojima store and got a bit more of the grass fed beef and marinated it yesterday in a chimmichurri sauce, ( yes, I am aware this is a repeat, but I still have half a bunch of cilantro). The beef will be slow cooked, if there is any salad left over I will add it, (when you are cooking three in a row, leftovers need to get recycled immediately) and some of the sauce will be poured out into two other skillets for the previous course.

Fish or tofu taco. I know, I know, repeatsville. I can't help it. I try to take a walk everyday and all those fish taco restaurant signs drive me crazy.

Saffron Quinoa and Ono Tarragon  serve with sweet potato puree. John gave me some just caught yesterday Ono, so I am giving it back to him cooked in a low fat tarragon cream sauce. I also gave them a dish I just created, can't wait to hear their thoughts! It is below!

Pollo Volcan Barcena

 I like Chicken Vesuvio, but did not want to produce a potato dish. I made some brown rice with red pepper seeds, added some fresh oregano, (the ruling spice) and some garlic. Then I diced three young cactus leaves and added a fresh tomato for color. This will also be cooked in a skillet before serving.

Dessert, another shot at a ginger/almond flour/fruit tell. This is a style of food I call a tell. Layer after layer like the ancient middle east cities. The main building blocks are ginger and almond flour with egg white as the "mortar". There is a dark chocolate layer, dried ground fruits and finally a mix of sweet and tart apples and blueberry.

Thursday night, Luis & Jocelyn and Harry

Luis and his brother Eddie are some of the best builders on island (it is hotly debated who the best builder really is), but their company HAS to be in the top three. Luis, (yes, that Luis), took mercy on us a long time ago when we had a house on the Wailua rim that failed suddenly. The floor exploded, it was pretty scary, lucky we weren't hit with the shrapnel. The house was built right after Iniki and the owner/builders took some shortcuts. Anyway, the Soltrens and Northcutts have a long and rich history together. He may be bringing his daughter and possibly her boyfriend. Not sure who is coming, but we are cooking.

Let's start with tea, a combination of lemongrass, coconut husk and a touch of tumeric sounds fun. Let's serve it cold.

Now for the big bowl service :)

It will be buffet style, but I will suggest folks start with a salad again, the trade winds have died down, it is too hot and muggy for soup, (though this is perfect swimming weather, I will take that every time). I think a play on a spinach salad with some surprises. Also need to create a dressing, they wiped Wednesday's out which is a good thing. I think I will stick with the basic aioli theme. I will bind the salad with long rice, chill it and put it in the big bowl.

In the center of the bowl I will have a small pottery bowl to hold a sweet potato pate'. When I served Wednesday night was apparently too spicy, (I noticed most people still had it on their plates), so add one more sweet to the mix, no more spice, (maybe some vanilla), and call it done. Serve cold.

Ham soaked for three hours in cloves and Chinese five spice, served with Polenta with hearts of artichoke sauce should be next to ham.

Long rice with nopales, served cold.

Chicken long rice.

Spicy fish long rice.

Potato cake. I think this came out fabulous. I bought one of those Costco eight packs of shredded potatoes, opened the carton, poured in hot water, let it sit for 15 minutes. Poured it into a bowl, added egg white, Parmesan cheese, rosemary, ( could have been even more aggressive with the rosemary), and some salt, took about 1/3 of the mixture and any liquid that was left and blended it. Then I mounded it in my smallest skillet and put it in the oven at 350, (325 might work better). Tossed in some cooked bacon, cause I am a guy. One of the best dishes I have created on this trip to Kauai. Note to self, what can I do to lower the glycemic index since one of my guests last night and one tonight are pre-diabetic.

After the bowl service we served ono with a cream of tarragon and mustard sauce. People ate it, but I do not think it wowed them. Maybe next time try it without mustard.


I purchased a pack of Washington State granny smith apples at Costco.  What about an oatmeal/blueberry base, topped with apple, egg white, walnut, cinnamon, maybe a clove or two, and finish off with a tropical fruit and nut mixture on top.

Friday night, Bruce and Janet, pastors at Calvary Chapel Lihue and Harry

We know how busy Bruce and Janet are and really appreciate them taking the time to come visit. For starters we had home smoked, home made turkey sausage and sweet potato patties. The salad was a spinach salad with pineapple and tart apple. I need to dig around a see if I still have my pineapple coring tool, cutting it by hand was a bit of a chore.

Still with the salad plates I served a long rice, (also called mung bean or transparent noodle), cordon bleu. It looks like the mounds you see in the big bowl buffet, but inside is chicken, ham, cheese and paprika. It is tasty and a bit of fun. Note, if you use sprinkle cheese it may be best to oil the bowl, it it sticks, mine did, put it in the microwave for 30 seconds upside down on a plate. Note: since that dinner I have learned to use coconut oil, preferably in its solid state, to grease the shaping container and powered cheddar cheese works much better than shredded cheese.

We had two mains, first was lemon grass house smoked marinated beef from Kojima store and with it corn of the cob. I sauteed the corn in olive oil, people were quite concerned that something was amiss in the kitchen, but the pan was covered and on medium heat. I had tried to corn from Safeway earlier this week and it was sweet, but a bit tough, this softens it just a bit. Used salt, cumin and tumeric as my spices; sorry no butter in Stephen's kitchen unless we are cooking French cuisine. The beef came out quite tender as well it should, I beat the heck out of it with the back of a kitchen knife.

The second main was rosemary smoked fresh ahi, (thanks Captain Nakamura from Kauai Fishing). To amp up the ahi, I gave it a squirt of Aunty Zena's secret sauce :) This was served with baby squash sauteed with leeks and oregano and some saffron rice.

I stuck with the theme of a baked tell. This time I made the crust out of ginger cake, almond flour and the liquid from a granny smith apple. The next layer was pineapple and ripe banana, oh and whoops. I topped it with blueberries and dark chocolate chips.

A little before 8:30 PM, I thanked everyone for coming, I know Bruce and Harry have a big day with the parking lot tomorrow. Harry offered to help reset the kitchen, but I told him no, it will help me wind down.

Looking ahead

After three days of fairly intense cooking, I am looking forward to slowing down a bit. Breakfast was an egg white omelet and lunch was a smoothie. Not sure what dinner is going to be, but I am pretty sure a can of chicken broth and garbanzo bean with some veggies are involved.

I am very thankful for the rain to wash the VOG out of the sky!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Rudy, Shanda, (Two Frogs Hugging), Harry, Deacon at CCL

Rudy and Shanda agreed to come to supper on Friday night. They are close friends, they share our desire to support missions. Rudy is one of my best friends on the Island. We have also invited Harry.  We had planned to be eating outside for the ocean view, so everything needs to be a cool food or served right off the range or oven one course at a time of the trade winds will cool the food. However, a lot of things changed and we served inside.

We will open with rice balls with turkey jerky inside.

Carrot, cabbage salad with garlic ginger tumeric egg white aioli dressing

This is also known as a coarse salad, essentially cole slaw with extra carrots and raw butternet squash. The dressing was your typical egg white aioli with garlic, tumeric and red pepper spicing.

Ardiente (fiery) chicken with rice cakes 

Made up a artichoke heart fresh tomato brown rice mixture. Cooked it with the lid on to make it stickier. Inside each rice cake is a piece of butternut squash. When guests arrive heat oven to 350 to warm the rice cakes. After, I pull this out of the oven, I will put in the dessert lasagne.

Fiery chicken, picked up a pack of organic chicken thighs from Costco when I was out in Lihue yesterday, put them on the chimera and when they cooled enough, put them in bags to marinate in their own sauce, will finish in a skillet.

Fennel polenta and grass fed sirloin steak

When I prepared the chicken for the Steve and Ana visit, I saved some of the smoky chicken broth, about a 1/4 cup. Then I added chicken broth and the polenta meal. In addition to the smoky broth and chicken broth, I also added salt, fennel, (as the ruling spice), and a pinch of red pepper. Try as I might my polenta always sticks to the pan and I always need to add more liquid. Anyway, got er done and wrapped in Costco cling wrap to let it set up.

Steak sauteed in a chimichurri style sauce

To accompany the polenta, the day before serving I walked up to Kojima store and bought some of the Kauai grass fed beef. Put all of the ingredients of a chimichurri sauce into the bag as a marinade.

At this point, the diners were out of gas, so I went to the dessert. The food below will keep till the next event since they are sitting right at 32/33 degrees. I will copy these dishes into that blog post next week. 

Dessert lasagne, (no noodles)

This is the style of food I call a tell. layer after layer. The main building blocks are ginger and almond flour with egg white as the "mortar". There is a dark chocolate layer, dried ground fruits and finally a mix of sweet and tart apples and blueberry.