Soon after I’d made the rash decision to move to Hawaii, I was looking through the Oahu job classifieds online. Sandwiched somewhere between the ads for fire knife dancers and coconut tree climbers was an ad for field worker at a pineapple plantation. Clearly the job market in Honolulu was going to be a little bit different than on the mainland.
Since my fire knife dancing and tree climbing skills were rusty at best, I figured if I couldn’t get a job that utilized my college education, I could always work on a farm picking pineapples for the summer. Never mind the fact that at that point I thought pineapples were grown underground, with only their spiky tops reaching above the surface. It seriously blew my mind when I first visited Dole Plantation and saw pineapples growing on top of the plant, almost like somebody had just walked by and rested them on the foliage.
Thankfully I found a more suitable job within a couple weeks of arrival, because I’m pretty sure I would have only lasted a day or two doing manual labor. It’s a toss-up as to whether it would have been heatstroke or lower back pain that would have done me in.
In any case, I’m lucky to have access to local pineapples that are grown just a few miles away. But for too long I’ve been guilty of using pineapples exclusively for smoothies or mixed drinks- it never occurred to me to include them in a savory meal (no, Hawaiian pizza and Hawaiian chicken aren’t popular out here). So I have India to thank for making me finally recognize pineapple’s versatility.
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David Piscuskas kitchen, Photographed by Nikolas Koenig for Architectural Digest
The night before I had what was supposed to be my final counter measure for my quartz countertops (they need to come back one more time, argh!), I had what was hopefully my final freak out over my color/product decision.
While I didn’t end up swaying from my initial pick of Yukon Blanco, it certainly didn’t help that a bunch of folks had recently posted a bunch of lovely photos of projects using my runner-up choice, Silestone Lagoon. And to compound things, two quartz manufacturers have come out with new marble-like products that look really, really promising.
Because I know a lot of you are just as obsessive about kitchen design as I am, I’m doing one more post of marble alternatives to include some photos from various projects around the World Wide Web as well as the new products.
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For a girl who is constantly cooking new recipes from all types of cuisines, I’ll admit I’ve been in something of a rut when it comes to Indian food. I’m constantly trying new recipes, yes, but I’m such a fan of Ruta Kahate’s first cookbook (5, Spices: 50 Dishes…. I’ve mentioned it many, many times already) that I find myself , even with a stack of Indian cookbooks on the shelf, cooking almost exclusively from 5 Spices, 50 Dishes.
It was Anjum Anand who finally lured me away from my tried-and-true with a lovely photo of this warm cucumber dish in her cookbook Anjum’s New Indian. A couple years ago I probably would have passed it by, thinking to myself, cooked cucumbers?
But now I know better. It was actually Cambodian food that made me see the light, specifically this Cambodian Curried Shrimp with Cucumbers. When lightly cooked, cucumbers add a delicate flavor and a tender-crisp texture. In this recipe, cucumbers and peas are combined with plenty of Indian spices in a yogurt-based sauce.
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I’m thinking I need to research techniques on how to style meatballs and/or meatball curry, because I feel like I’m doing this dish a major disservice. Or maybe I should just blame the fact that I was in too much of a hurry to inhale a bowl or two to take the time to make it look nice and pretty?
Although I’ve only started cooking with lamb in the past couple years, it’s quickly become one of my favorite meats. And this lamb meatballs in a spicy Indian curry? It would definitely be a top contender for my favorite lamb recipe.
Tender lamb meatballs swim in a thick, spicy coconut milk- based sauce flavored with shallots, garlic and ginger and layers of Indian spice goodness? The laundry list? Mustard seeds, coriander, cumin and cayenne. A touch of apple cider vinegar adds a touch of sour and the chopped cilantro adds that pop of freshness.
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