Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Things I Am Loving This Week

This is my second week of sharing a few "Things I Am Loving This Week". These are things that are mostly, but not always food related, products I have tried and loved, things I think are unique and fun, etc. Basically just a few things that make me happy and I think are worth sharing for the week.

First, the Almejas con Chorizo recipe from The Barcelona Cookbook. Yep, I reviewed this book earlier in the month (here is the review) and loved it. I really enjoyed this super quick and easy clam dish but I couldn't find the authentic smoked Spanish chorizo sausage the recipe called for and had to settle for the soft, mushy kind. I vowed to remake it and after a trip to a specialty foods store here, I had my real chorizo. I made it again and I have moved beyond really liking this dish to loving it.

It couldn't be simpler to make and the flavors are incredible. With a salad and some good bread to soak up the juices it makes a wonderful dinner. (If you want to try it You need to try it and I found the recipe printed online here). I will be making it again this week with the rest of my chorizo. Yum, yum and yum again!

Speaking of Barcelona, one of my very favorite and much-loved chocolate bars is The Barcelona Bar from Vosges. With its sea salt and roasted almonds, it satisfies my sweet/salty cravings. Whole Foods had Vosges line of "Crunchy Chocolate Snacks" and I was happy to see one of them was Barcelona Bombalina Almonds. These are whole, hickory-smoked almonds with Maldon sea salt covered in their deep milk chocolate and dusted with cocoa powder. They are not cheap, the 2.5 oz box is $8.99 here, but they are just a little piece of heaven. When practicing my willpower, I can have 3 or 4 and be satisfied and stretch the box out for several days. If you love smoky-salty-sweet, you will love these as much as I do. I want to try some of the other snacks in this line, (like the organic mangoes with sweet Indian curry covered in dark chocolate), but I can't seem to move beyond the almonds. 

I am really loving all the wonderful fruit I got at the Farmer's Market on Saturday. Not only are we in smack in the middle of mango season, (fresh mango and Greek yogurt for breakfasts this week), I got some very fresh, local figs which are not easy to find here. (You'll see them in my Tyler Florence Fridays recipe pick this week but here is a little sneak peek; it was delicious!)

I also got to try something new for me; the "mountain apple". This fruit is native to the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. It also goes by many other names such as wax apple, love apple, java apple, water apple, rose apple, chomphu (in Thai), bell fruit (In Taiwan), jambu air (in Indonesian), jambu air ("water guava" in Malay), tambis (Philippines), etc. Here is a great little page on the fruit, called `ohi`a`ai in Hawaiian, from a guide to ancient Hawaiian Plants.

I had heard of them and even seen them before but had never tried them. I bought a small bag of about a dozen for $2.00. These bell-shaped fruit grow in a tree and range in color from a light pink to a dark purplish red. Juicier than an apple, they are more like a pear in their crisp texture and the flavor is lightly sweet and well...pear-like. The information I read on them says that they are almost always eaten fresh and chilled, they can be used in salads and made into wine, preserves or pickles. I have mostly been enjoying snacking on them in our humid weather, but I may make something with my remaining few.

Lots to love again this week! What are you loving right now?


  1. I'm so glad you told folks about the rose apple, Debbie. They are plentiful throughout Southeast Asia, but are not available here in my hometown. I love its juicy crispness.

  2. I love all of the exotic fruit...that rose apple looks so cute. Fresh figs are the best, I can't wait to see your Tyler recipe.

  3. What fabulous treats! Those apples are so intriguing, and I do love Spanish chorizo.

  4. my south Indian coffee maker will post on it later love the post those apples look great

  5. That cookbook sounds interesting. I can hardly believe that I missed hearing about it, so thanks for blogging about your experiences with it.

  6. I would love to taste the Barcelona almonds and the mountain apples sound interesting! This week I'm just loving the simple old homemade favorites after eating out every day for a few weeks of vacation :)

  7. Love the seafood stew. I haven't had a lot since I got married to a vegetarian. So I make my own soyrizo for my stew.


  8. ooh everything you are loving this week sounds so good!

  9. I would love to try those apples! I am loving apples in general lately - eating at least two a day - mostly in salads.

  10. Love your latest photos and recipes! Where are the left-overs?
    Still waiting to be invited to lunch.

    Love-Yuri and June

  11. Loving it all - and if you have some extra figs, I can HIGHLY recommend a Kylie Kwong fig and raspberry cake> let me know if you want the recipe!

  12. That rose apple is so interesting!

  13. What amazing fruit - with the big stone in the end there they look a bit like an avocado. I have never seen or heard of them!

  14. Oh, love it! And you're right...I NEED to try it!! SLURP!

  15. Hi there - I'm late to this, but what specialty foods store did you find the chorizo in? Also, where did you get the mountain apples! Would love more about your sources for the hard-to-find stuff on Oahu!


  16. Hi Erica,

    I got the chorizo at R Fields in Kailua. I think Whole Foods carries it too sometimes. The mountain apples I got at the KCC farmer's market--though I haven't seen them in a while. I think they were at the Blue Lotus booth.

    Hope that helps!




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