Year in Review: 2013

One of my favorite things to do at the end of the year is to review my accomplishments.  It’s important to validate one’s progress and also set new goals.

For me, 2013 brought gifts and challenges, and overall was very experimental, as I had lost my regular space for cooking classes and sought other options. This opened the door for new offerings.  A few of the wonderful things looking back at 2013 have been:

  • 3 pop-ups at TASTE in Kaka’ako (Detox, Vegan Ramen, and Cinco de Mayo)
  • A mention in Modern Luxury, Hawai’i
  • Writing an article for Edible Hawaiian Islands (which comes out 1/2014)
  • Giving a talk for The Vegetarian Society of Hawai’i (Compassionate Activism) on O’ahu and Maui
  • New cooking classes (Thanks SH for providing your home for several of them!)
  • Partnering with the University of Oregon Alumni Association, Hawai’i Chapter for a fabulous food and wine event at CookSpace
  • Acquiring some simply amazing new customers
  • Expanding my coaching
  • Cooking for someone who makes a big difference for a lot of people in our world (maybe some day I can say who that was!)
  • Perhaps most important of all, making new friends and having a lot more fun than in previous years.

Thank you so much for being a part of this community!

Happy holidays and see you in 2014.

My Madre Chocolate Farm Tour

I chose Madre Chocolate to include in my Vegan Mexican Pop-up Dinner after learning all about how they make the chocolate bean to bar. They are very supportive of fair and clean food from the farmers to their own production. I’m so excited to use their Xoconusco chocolate in my mole sauce!

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Vanilla beans

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A cacao tree on the Windward side

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Another cacao tree on the same farm

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Dave was telling us about lilikoi which they also use in their chocolate

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Cacao seeds are purple on the inside before they are fermented and roasted.

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Dave was explaining about the roasting process

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Here’s a close-up of the cacao pod, roasted beans, vanilla, and cocoa butter.

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Some of the finished product on display for sale in their Kailua shop.

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Grinding the cacao takes days!

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Dave, pouring the chocolate into molds

Learn more about the dinner on my EVENT PAGE

Eventbrite - Mexican Pop-Up Dinner

What is mole anyway?

“What is mole? Mole generically means “sauce”. Modern mole is a mixture of ingredients from three continents, North America, Europe and Africa, making it the first international dish created in the Americas. Moles come in various flavors and ingredients, with chili peppers as the common factor. The ingredients are all roasted and ground into a fine powder or paste depending on the ingredients used. This roasting and grinding process is extremely laborious and if done by hand, takes at least a day. Traditionally, this work was shared by several generations of women in the family, but after the arrival of electric mills, it became more common to take the ingredients to be ground. Moles made in families are all different, as each has had its own varieties passed down for generations, with the making of it reserved for special events in large batches.” (From Wikipedia)

I first had enchiladas al mole when I lived in Eugene, OR. There is a large Mexican population there so the restaurants are amazing, and my dear friend Mario (and his wife Jenny) used to treat me to his mole and homemade salsa while we listened to salsa music from all over the world.  I’ll be serving this tasty sauce over a pinto bean burrito, with a side of MA’O Organic Farms Sassy Salad.

xoconusco

Learn more on the EVENT PAGE

or

Eventbrite - Mexican Pop-Up Dinner

Mexican Pop-Up Dinner

I’m really excited to include Madre Chocolate‘s Xoconusco chocolate in my next pop-up dinner (Vegan Mexican) featuring their chocolate in a mole sauce.  In case you haven’t heard about them yet, their chocolate is made “from bean to bar” in Kailua.  I’ve taken a farm tour with them to learn how they grow the cacao as well as attended a chocolate-making class and had a complete blast. Each time, I learn so much.  Listening to them talk about flavors in chocolate reminds me of wine tasting, or learning about subtle nuances in coffee roasting to create certain flavors.

madre chocolate

Find out more about the Pop-Up dinner here: http://www.macrobiotichawaii.com/event/veganmexican/