Saturday, September 02, 2006

Hawaii Part 1

As mentioned in previous posts, I have just returned from Hawaii... Waikiki, Oahu to be exact. Wow I loved it down there.

Sidebar: I haven't been on an airplane in some time and I was really looking forward to flying down to Hawaii. I was so glad to hear that we would be served a hot meal on the flight. I remember the last time I flew, I think it was on west jet or something and the meal sucked. All the passengers were suppose to grab a bag lunch (which was a sandwich and chips), a drink and a cookie... quite sad. But our flight to the Big Island was far from cold-cuts and greasy potatoes.

Our first meal was hashbrown, scrambeled eggs, yogurt and OJ with a whole wheat roll (much better than Tim Horton's too... I know, crazy!) The meal even came with an adorable airplane shaped salt/pepper shaker. After a couple more hours we arrived in the Hawaiin airport.

The heat was actually bearable as opposed to the weather here in Canada. It was a dry heat, so you don't end up sweating all over yourself... not that I do anyways but the humid weather here is just disgusting. I enjoyed walking along the beach, Kuhio and Kalakalua Rd. The atmosphere there is just so inviting. My family and I also ventured to some really interesting market places. We visited the flea market... where everything was so much cheaper than the ABC stores (which are infesting Hawaii). Shopping was a blast, I bought so many outfits while I was down there... I often wondered what it's like to go on a shopping spree (being asian I never spend more than about $50 at a time when going to the mall... I know shocking).

We found some great deals on tons of cool stuff while searching through the market place. I just love the culture there and the surroundings are amazing. The palm trees make you feel like your in some tropical getaway... but then you spot a car and realize that you're still in touch with the busy western world.

Oh... and today is my first day of University, I can't believe that summer is finally over. After returning from Hawaii I only feel like lounging about all day and/or baking :) I hope I don't loose my orientation group and end up wandering around aimlessly trying to find my way out... what a nightmare. I will continue to post on Hawaii... but it may take a while because of work and school. For now I shall say toodles to my blog... but not forever.


As I said before, and I never go back on my word, I am now posting about my Tangyuan adventures. I got the recipe from and only made a few adjustments. Since I did not have any instant black sesame powder I decided to use unsalted, crushed peanuts... worked great. I also used a few more nobs of ginger (I love the intense taste) and added some longan to the mix.

Here's a picture of the filling, sitting next to it's glutinous rice flour covered sibling. Look at the size difference! I probably dipped the filling in the water and glutinous rice about 10 times to get to become doubled in size... exhaustive work I tell you.

The almost finished product... 7 beautifully round tangyuan balls that are ready to be boiled and eaten. Oh, I can hardly wait!

Next I made ready the ginger syrup, it's basically just water, sugar and ginger... simple eh? Drop in a few longan and add the boiled tangyuan and you are ready to settle down and enjoy this deliciously warm and spicy dessert. My parents really enjoyed it... sadly my sister couldn't eat it as she is allergic to nuts... but she was appreciative of the dishes beauty. And enjoyed chowing down on the mochi that I had made (mainly just for her).

As you recall me saying, I had ended up with 7 tangyuan balls, and to be fair in serving the dessert I gave each of the three bowls 2 longan and 2 tangyuan balls... meaning that I had one left over. I decided to not let it go to waste; so I boiled it and rolled it in dessicated coconut. I left it on the table for the rest of the family to fight over... but they were all so nice that they decided since I went to the trouble of preparing dessert, I would be the one to enjoy the special coconut ball... they're so sweet :P

Being more Asian

As I have said many times before... I feel that I am not living up to my Asian potential. I am very white washed, I know it's sad but true. I do however enjoy making many chinese/japanese recipes; so I hope that that makes up for at least 50% of my disgraceful nature.

Anywho... I completely went overboard the other day, I made the mochi which you can see to your left. And since my sister doesn't particularly enjoy "anko" I had to replace the filling with a sweet, sugary coconut mixture... turned out nice. I did make myself a special one though... filled with peanuts and coconut :P

I had a whole half a bag of glutinous rice flour left to play around with, so I decided to make some tangyuan in ginger syrup. I found an awesome recipe on (a site I highly recommend you view if you enjoy oriental baking/cooking). I'll post pictures in my next blog.

I also decided on making some kushi-dango... my youngest sister, the one who usually refuses to eat anything that I bake (goodness knows why?) actually really enjoyed this recipe. She also enjoyed my recipe for Hanami-dango... go figure. For some reason the Hanami-dango turned out a little ovalish, rather than perfectly round... but whatever, they tasted awesome.