May 18, 2004

I would have been back home

Monday, May 17

If things had gone as scheduled, I would have taken this morning's flight to Tokyo and back home by now. Instead, circumstances made me change my plan and I am still here in Hawaii as of today. Well it's a matter of less than a week, so I really should try and enjoy an unexpectedly extended stay in here.

It was another slow day but I made a quick cake for after-lunch treat. The cake, originally taken from this recipe (*in Japanese), has made a recent hit at my home, as it can be made within ten minutes everything inclusive, and tastes surprisingly good for a cake made using a microwave. Since it is so easy to make, I have been playing with the recipe over and over, replacing some of the ingredients with another, and so far my most favorite version has been the one using soy milk instead of eggs and half the amount of butter that is originally called for. Although it is very moist and soft fresh out of the (microwave)oven, it gets dry very quick just like anything else that is microwaved. So this cake should really meant to be made right before serving.

And the cake I made today was an almond-orange chocolate cake; I added slivered almonds in the cake, and served the slices with grand marnier-flavored clotted cream. I also mixed chopped homemade candied orange peel in the cream, making it really orangy. It made a nice small dessert after lunch.
For the lunch we had my "signature" pumpkin salad, by the way; when I prepared it on Saturday for the dinner with friends, I made some extra and reserved it in the fridge. This salad, which has been one of my favorites and now he likes a lot, is owe its tastiness to the combination of sweet grilled kabocha pumpkin, crunchy roasted walnuts, tangy Parmiggiano Reggiano, crispy arugula, and good seasonings - salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice. Often I add thinly sliced onion (sweet onions are great) and use mesculin greens instead of arugula, which is not always readily available in my neighborhood, but pumpkin, walnuts and the cheese are a must. Very easy to make, great results guaranteed.

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