Tag Archives: family

Day to Day Life: Week Thirty-Four

The last week looked a little like this:


5 AM flight!


Sunrise from the plane : the only benefit o 5 AM flights.


I’ve been on Kaua’i visiting family. I can’t get enough of this view, sand, ocean and sunshine.


I met up with my mom, brother, sister in law, and niece in San Francisco enroute to Kaua’i. Do we look alike?


I missed lychee so damn much. This is organic and locally grown!



Night time reflections.


photoThis is the house I grew up in. The trees are gigantic these days…


I got to meet this cute little niece of mine who is nearly one!




I also got to meet this funny rascal boy!




So much I forgot I missed…



This Hawaiian monk seal was hanging out on the beach, catching a nap.


Water baby.



Moonrise and reflections.


We went to the North Shore one day and swam at Hanalei Bay for a few hours. Pat’s Taqueria (truck) was open so I opted for a fish taco and kalua pork taco. They were delicious. Followed by shave ice in Hanalei? Unbeatable.


My mama.





We found this little guy in the ocean, just swimming around.

Blueberry Buttermilk Basil Waffles


One thing about having a blog, even a food oriented one, is that to some extent your life is wide open to anyone who wanders in across the inter-webs. Then comes the balance of how much do I write here about what’s going on in my daily life and how much do I simply just tell you about the recipe you’re inevitably going to find in the post? I suppose I could just tell you about blueberries or the incredible amount of basil that’s living in my garden (forcing me to come up with new ways to use it). But then I think about my favorite bloggers, how much the writing draws me in just as much as the recipes or photographs. The ones who share about their fears, and loves, losses, failures, successes, mistakes. I suppose I mostly believe that being open in this space is okay, because that’s what leaves me relating to other people.

So here’s some real talk: this past Saturday, my Grandmother passed away. It was completely unexpected, as last I heard she was healthy, active, happy. She wrote me a month ago and I told myself I’d get to responding later, as our correspondences often led to; my Grandma was my best pen pal for 28 years. Even when I neglected to respond right away, I always received notes, e-mails, the same handwritten letters I knew the penmanship of for nearly three decades. The very first things she wrote me on my birthday were, “This grandmother wishes you the best of everything for your birthday. And may you enjoy many more. You have a very full and interesting life. I love knowing what a nurturing person you are. You care for the people around you. Believe me, that means a rewarding future.” They were words of wisdom and support, always love. And as usual, things I had been needing to hear exactly when they came. I will miss this woman immensely, whose intelligence and laughter, warmth and kindness was admirable, radiating to anyone she came into contact with.


My inclination of dealing with loss and sadness is to pour love into other areas of my life. For me, it’s easiest to do that through cooking. I’m sure it’s also a distraction to some extent, cooking vast amounts of food even when my energy feels completely depleted and heavy. But that’s precisely what I’ve found myself doing. Plus being in my garden to pick fresh ingredients is relieving. I picture both of my grandparents, who grew gardens I remember fondly, sitting together now, laughing and enjoying one another as they had for more than 60 years together.

I made these waffles the day I lost my Grandma. I like to imagine sharing them with her, over a good cup of coffee, enjoying a filling conversation. The waffles are light, crisp, sweet, and summery. They’ll add a little sunshine when you need it most.


Blueberry Buttermilk Basil Waffles

Recipe modified from this malted waffle recipe by Tracy Benjamin [Shutterbean].

Yields about 6 waffles.


1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup malt powder
¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground ginger
pinch of fresh nutmeg
2 eggs, separated
1¼ cups buttermilk
4 tbsp. melted butter, cooled slightly
½ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup fresh chopped basil
1 cup fresh blueberries




Preheat your waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s directions. I use a thin one like this, rather than a Belgian waffle iron. Brush or spray with non-stick oil. Preheat the oven to 200°F if you’re planning on cooking all of the batter before serving the waffles.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, malt powder, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground ginger, and nutmeg.

Whisk together the egg yolks, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla.

Whisk the egg whites until firm peaks form.

Stir the buttermilk mixture into your dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the basil and blueberries. Gently fold in the whipped egg whites, being careful not to break them up too much.

Spoon the batter onto your heated waffle iron (I used about a scant ¼-cup of batter per waffle). Cook according to your waffle iron’s instructions. Keep the finished waffles in your preheated oven until ready to serve them.

Serve with your favorite waffle toppings. I liked extra fresh blueberries, warm maple syrup, and a little butter.





Day to Day Life: Week 10

This week looked a bit like this:


espresso We drink a lot of drip coffee around here. Probably more than necessary. I went through a phase (when our coffee maker broke) of drinking a LOT of french press… but I much prefer the rich, bold, nearly creamy taste of espresso. I’ve never felt like we could justify dropping a few hundred dollars on a good espresso machine, but then I remembered these Italian stovetop espresso pots that run from $20-$45, depending on how large a pot you prefer. The 6-cup pot (these are 2 oz. “cups” of espresso, mind you) we ordered showed up this week. It makes two large almond milk lattés. We don’t own a steamer or one of these nifty gadgets to make frothy milk, but I find that a whisk and a little arm-power works nicely.

McCreery Brothers

On Monday, my dad drove up from California for a 24-hour-visit. While my dad (on the far right) lives on Kauai, he was in the Bay Area visiting family. My dad’s the oldest of eight kids, who all have families of their own, which means that getting everyone in one spot at the same time is just shy of miraculous. I managed to take zero photos during the short visit, but my Aunt Barb captured this photo of the five McCreery brothers. She’s got an awesome photography portfolio well worth checking out. I am certainly a fan, related or not.


As I mentioned in this post, during my dad’s visit we had homemade barbecue Coho salmon, mashed potatoes, creamy vegetarian gravy, homemade sourdough bread, and a big ‘ole salad. A straightforward, but delicious meal. These are actually leftovers the following day… because the reality of life is, I always make too much food.


Borrowing Julie’s glasses for night-time shades, needed as accompaniment to Modest Mouse.


I might’ve put this photo on my Instagram, stating that I may or may not have had this for dinner one night… And while things started off that way, ultimately dinner included:


You know, in case someone like my mom decides to read my blog today and begins to worry that Julie’s indulging in adult beverages for dinner, forgetting the food part of the meal. And yes, I am aware that I’m nearly 30… and should I decide bourbon and lemonade is acceptable dinner, I don’t need permission. Hah!


This week’s reading pile is looking g-o-o-d. (P.S. Tartine is filled with so many amazing looking recipes! I cannot wait to bake, bake, bake everything.)

IMG_2118_zpsd680ea57I found these cashews earlier this week, which are mixed with dried pineapple, peanuts, lemongrass, black sesame seeds, and Chinese chili. They are AMAZING. After a heavy workout, half the bag was a good hold-me-over-until-dinner snack.

IMG_2338_zps0d0eb0c1 I let Silas Henry roll out his pizza dough. Halfway through, he asked if it was okay to make a star pizza? We worked together to get it into a manageable size.


Homemade pizza night is always tasty. Silas decided on olives, pineapple, and artichoke hearts. My husband likes jalapeño and pineapple (I added feta cheese, too). And my pizza adventure included pesto, goat cheese, spinach, artichoke hearts, feta, and pineapple. Silas and I accidentally made the sauce pretty spicy, but it was still good… And I perhaps set off all the smoke alarms in the house whole pre-baking these whole wheat sourdough crusts… no bigs.


It was a long week. There was, perhaps, an MC Hammer dance party Friday night.


We’re having the roofing re-done on our house. Its been a very loud couple of days so far…


One little boy, very loudly spying on Papa.


For next week. These muffins are magic. Okay, they just taste good.