Friday, May 25, 2018

Herbed-Garlic Goat Cheese and Spiced Olives: Eric Ripert Appetizers or an Easy Friday Night Dinner

Friday nights call for easy dinners, for me that's sometimes an appetizer--or two like these recipes from Avec Eric by Eric Ripert. Add warm, toasted bread and a glass of white wine and it's a perfect Friday evening. 

I kept to the recipes with the exception of cutting down on the black pepper in the goat cheese. I am a big fan of black pepper, but a whole tablespoon seemed liked too much for even me.

Chef Ripert says, "Fresh chevre has a beautiful tart taste. Creamed together with garlic and herbs, it makes a great spread for slicesof crusty bread."

Garlic–Herbed Goat Cheese
From Avec Eric by Eric Ripert
(Serves 6)

8 oz fresh goat cheese
1/4 cup whole milk
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 Tbsp cracked black pepper (I used 1 heaping tsp)
1 tsp finely minced garlic
fine sea salt
toasted baguette slices

Beat the cheese, milk, oil, thyme, oregano, rosemary pepper and garlic in a large bowl until well blended and fluffy. Season to taste with salt.

Serve at room temperature with toasted baguette slices.


Chef Ripert says "It's easy to add flavors to regular cured olives and once mixed, the olives will continue to take on stronger flavors as they marinate."

Spiced Olives
From Avec Eric by Eric Ripert
(Makes 2 Cups)

2 cups mixed olives
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp toasted fennel seeds
1/2 tsp dried hot red chili flakes

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Let the olives marinate at room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving.

The marinated olives can be refrigerated, covered, for up to two weeks.

Notes/Results: I love pretty much any kind of goat cheese on its own but add herbs and garlic and I'm sold. This was a nice mix. I think cutting down on the pepper was a wise idea--I used a fairly heaping teaspoon and it was plenty peppery. I would have like to have used local goat cheese--well from Maui anyway, but the store near me that carries it was out of the plain goat cheese and so I went for a French one that was still delicious. The spiced olives were good with the mix of cumin and fennel--two of my favorite spices, rounded out by the lemon, garlic and slight kick from the red pepper flakes. My grocery store olive bar had some cured cipollini onions, so I added a few to my olive mix and they benefited from the spices too. With the toasted baguette slices and a cold glass of crisp white wine, it made for the perfect light, warm weather dinner to kick off the holiday weekend. I'd happily make either recipe again. 

Linking up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where this week's theme is From the West--Eric Ripert recipes from the western part of the world. The cheese is from the Sonoma California episode and the olives are from his Fonterutoli, Italy visit.

I'm also linking it to the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.
Happy Aloha Friday!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "Because I'm Worth It" by Linda Nielsen, Served with Nepenthe's Café Krevah Granola

I'm easing over the Wednesday hump with a book review and a recipe. Kahakai Kitchen is today's stop on the TLC Book Tour for Because I'm Worth It, a novel by by Linda Nielsen. Accompanying my review is a recipe for my version of Nepenthe's Café Krevah Granola, inspired in part by the book's Big Sur setting.

Publisher's Blurb: 

An impressive contract combined with lavish perks influence Skye Topple to marry the boss’ daughter, Delaney Mae Anne Covington, a self-centered and spoiled southern belle. The “perfect” wedding is threatened when an alarming secret refuses to stay hidden. With no regard for anyone other than herself and her daughter, Delaney’s alcoholic mother takes control, inserting irrational solutions that leave mother and daughter looking foolish while a baby’s life, a grandmother’s love, and a man’s career hang in the balance. 

This is certainly not a North meets South story—more like South moves North and meets West, where what works for one family may not work for another. Choices must be made. Lives will be changed. One thing is for sure… Skye is smack dab in the middle when Big Sur life meets country club values.

Paperback: 346 pages
Publisher: TouchPoint Press (March 1, 2018)

My Review:

Because I'm Worth It starts well before the description on the publisher's blurb about the "perfect" wedding being planned by Delaney, a spoiled Chicago socialite and Terri Sue Ellen, her even more spoiled, plus alcoholic and really annoying, southern belle of a mother. The book begins in Big Sur, California, with the family of Sky Topple (the groom) then darts to Atlanta, Georgia to meet the family of the bride and it isn't until about fifty pages in that we actually get to know Delaney Covington and Skye Topple--who start as fairly obnoxious teenagers and don't improve with age. I really wanted to like Because I'm Worth It, I felt like it had strong potential, and there were times I did enjoy reading it--but it just wasn't the book for me. I found myself disliking most of the characters, some fairly intensely-Delaney, Terri Sue Ellen, Skye, and even Charles Covington (Delaney's father) who were so over-the-top annoying that they were more caricatures than characters. Terri Sue Ellen's dialogue is peppered with southern dialect that made my teeth grind with all of the "ahs" and "mahs" and distracted me from the story. In fact, for me, much of the dialogue in the book didn't seem natural--even from the characters I liked. The Topple family from Big Sur, with the exception of Skye--who wanted to escape his bohemian background and family, were all enjoyable and I found myself wanting much more of Melissa (Skye's mother) and her story and much less of everyone else. 

I found the writing strongest when the author was describing Big Sur and the Topple family's unique house and the surrounding landscape. About halfway through the book, things did start to pick up for me--there is some character growth for Delaney and Skye, an interesting twist is added, and some new (and likable) characters are introduced. There were more humorous moments and some touching ones, so I am glad I stuck with it and finished the story. The book and the author's previous work have some very good reviews on Amazon, so Because I'm Worth It is the book for some people and you can read their reviews and see if it might be for you. (There's a link to the TLC tour stops and other reviewers at the end of the post.) It definitely got me thinking about the beauty and spirit of Big Sur and it inspired some delicious granola, so I still came out a winner. ;-)


Author Notes: Linda’s first book, Lasso the Stars, was published in 2011 under L.L. Nielsen. Her newest novel, Because I’m Worth It, is scheduled for release by TouchPoint Press in early 2018.
Find out more about Linda at her website, and find all her books at Author Central page.


Food Inspiration:

There was a fair amount of food and a whole lot of alcohol in Because I'm Worth It. Mentions included herbal tea, sandwiches, lemonade, vodka in orange juice, coffee with extra cream and sugar, warm pecan buns, beer, cherry snow cones, peaches, pop-tarts and peanut butter, moonshine, bourbon, champagne, grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches with homemade potato chips, peach bellinis, molasses, turkey and a Thanksgiving meal, martinis, soup, pumpkin pie, turkey sandwiches, a dish with warm Indian spices and vegetables, cookies, chicken, pizza, chocolates, coca cola, caviar and toast points, pies and casseroles, popcorn, green olives, a salad with a squeeze of lemon, salt-washed three times and no dressing, steak sandwiches and French fries, sole with lemon and capers and al dente vegetables, buttered bagels,  quiche, iced tea, fruit, Sherry, Scotch, Pinot Grigio, cheese and crackers, goat cheese, pasta with shrimp, apple cinnamon rolls, ollalieberries (like a blackberry), blackberries, tomatoes, eggs and bacon, granola, French toast, quail eggs with Danish smoked ham and Chardonnay mustard with toast points, roast with braised potatoes and veggies, Bloody Marys, pigs-in-a-blanket, green peas, chicken and dumplings, and BLTs. 

I knew I wanted to go with something related to Big Sur--my favorite parts of the book and so I narrowed in on the granola. There's a scene where spoiled Delaney is offered cereal by Pete. 

"Cereal?" Delaney looked surprised. "Oh, no thank you." She moistened her lips and continued, "I have a private brand of granola that's made for me. It's expensive, but I'm worth it." 

"Come again?"

"Ahh, it's specially formulated for my dietary needs based on my metabolism and nutritional requirements achieved through scientific testing, to assure me of a healthy start in the morning."

I went to a cookbook I reviewed about 8 years ago called My Nepenthe by Romney Steel. (You can see my review here) Nepethe is a classic and famed Big Sur restaurant that Steele grew up at, the granddaughter of the restaurant's founders. When I reviewed the book I had noticed the Café Kevah Granola recipe and had always meant to try it. Café Kevah is a small casual cafe on the  restaurant's grounds. In the book, Delaney's granola was specially formulated, but this one sounded delicious with cashews, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds added to the oats. I also liked that it has orange zest, along with the usual cinnamon. I modified the recipe slightly, based on what I had on hand--leaving out the wheat flakes and the powdered milk (sometimes used as a binder and protein source) and using a mix of black and regular sesame seeds and dried cranberries.

Romney says, “Low in commercial sweetener and oil, this granola is a healthy and tasty alternative to store-bought cereal. It is easy to make and stores well in a glass jar or a resealable plastic bag in the freezer. The recipe, a variation on the one we still use at the café, can easily be doubled or tripled. Sprinkle over yogurt or serve with milk. For a sweeter granola, that has more clusters, stir in 1/4 cup honey with the maple syrup."

Café Kevah Granola
Slightly Adapted from My Nepenthe by Romney Steel
(Makes About 6 Cups)

2 cups whole oats
1 cup wheat flakes (I omitted and added extra oats)
1 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup raw sesame seeds (I used a mix of regular and black sesame seeds)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup oat bran (I pulsed a heaping 1/3 cup oatmeal in my blender)
1/3 cup high-quality organic powdered milk (I omitted)
zest of one orange
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
(I added a large pinch of sea salt)
1/3 cup safflower oil (I used 1/4 cup)
1/3 cup boiling water
1/3 to 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (I used 1/3 cup)
1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, wheat flakes, cashews, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, oat bran, powdered milk, orange zest, cinnamon, safflower oil, boiling water, and maple syrup, mixing well. Spread out on a baking sheet. Bake slowly, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 45 to 50 minutes. Stir in dried fruit when cooled. Store in an airtight container.

Notes/Results: I really like this granola. Every time I make homemade granola, it reinforces that you should never, ever buy it pre-made. Even the gourmet brands just don't have the same freshness and appeal as when you mix and bake it to your own preferences. The cashews add a decadent note and for some reason I have neglected to put sesame seeds in my granola and the orange zest was lovely with the cinnamon. I like my granola flakier than clumpy and so I used just the 1/3 cup of maple syrup--so it isn't overly sweet. With a handful topping the creamy Siggi's vanilla yogurt (my new favorite) and fresh blackberries, it was delicious and more like a dessert than breakfast. I have to go get more yogurt and berries and I will happily scarf down all of my granola and make it again. 

I'm sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.

Note: A review copy of "Because I'm Worth It" was provided to me by the author and the publisher, via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.

You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.


Sunday, May 20, 2018

Moroccan-Inspired Red Pepper, Chickpea and Couscous Soup for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie Sundays)

I was craving red pepper soup, preferably creamy and with lots of flavor. I also had an onion, a large carrot, a cup of coconut milk and some dried Israeli couscous that needed to be used up. With those items, plus two cans of chickpeas from the pantry and a mix of almost all of my favorite Moroccan spices, the result was this tasty, creamy, and comforting vegan soup.  

I like a pureed red pepper soup, but also having the chickpeas and pearl couscous in this one give it a more interesting texture. You could leave the soup brothy, but in that case you want to chop your veggies and the red peppers more carefully and concisely. 

Moroccan-Inspired Red Pepper, Chickpea and Couscous Soup
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Serves 6 to 8)

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ras el hanout or your favorite curry
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper, or to taste
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
4 sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 (16 oz) jarred red peppers, drained (chop them if you leave the soup brothy)
1 (14 oz) can chopped fire roasted tomatoes and their liquid
5 cups vegetable broth
3 cups cooked chickpeas
1 cup Israeli (pearl) couscous
1 cup coconut milk (optional)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots and saute until vegetables soften and onion turns translucent--about 6 minutes. Add garlic, parsley, and all spices and saute another 2 minutes--until spices are fragrant. 

Add drained red peppers, the tomatoes with their juices, and the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes--until vegetables are soft. Using an immersion blender or regular blender, puree the soup until smooth.

Bring pureed soup to a low boil and stir in chickpeas and Israeli couscous and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, stir in coconut milk if using and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook until warmed through. Serve and enjoy.

Notes/Results: This soup made me happy with its bright color, warm and earthy flavor and creamy texture. You can thin it our with more broth and/or more coconut milk but I thick the thickness of it. You could use any curry as well but if you don't have or can't find a ras el hanout blend, here is a recipe. I like to take it and punch it up with extra of my favorite spices. The Aleppo pepper is quickly becoming a favorite as it adds just enough heat to satisfy without being over-spicy. I would happily make this soup again.

 We have two great dishes in the Souper Sundays kitchen--let's take a look!

Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog made Spicy Lentil Soup and said, "I always try to come up with a recipe for Cinco de Mayo! This year I'm making a spicy salsa lentil soup that is easy, tasty, plant based, gluten free and healthy. Since I retired, "easy" is the main ingredient in my recipes. ... Adding a jar of mind, medium, or hot salsa to a basic lentil soup really jazzes it up, gives it a little bite and some additional flavor."

Simona of briciole used Sichuan chili spice and other ingredients to make a Mild Chili Oil that she  used in vinaigrette to dress a salads and vegetables. She said, "The recipe that mostly inspired me blends chili oil and a vinegar and soy sauce mix to make a vinaigrette: I left the two separate so I can apportion each depending on the vegetable I am dressing: for example, a bit more vinegar on farm-fresh butter lettuce, less on roasted asparagus."

 Thank you Judee and Simona for joining me at Souper Sundays this week!

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.)

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up her in order to be included in the weekly round-up.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to it on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).

 Have a happy, healthy week!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Eric Ripert's Seared Ahi Tuna with Sauce Vierge

This is a Friday night dinner that is quick and simple to make and full of flavor. The fact that it includes many of my favorite things like fresh ahi tuna, capers, sun-dried tomatoes, basil and fennel makes it even better. Normally I am leery about taking away too much of the deliciousness of seared ahi by adding a lot of other ingredients, but fish is usually in good hands with Eric Ripert, so I was excited to try his recipe for Seared Ahi Tuna with Sauce Vierge from Food & Wine Magazine.

I used local fennel and local ahi tuna--the pieces are a bit flatter than some tuna steaks but they sear quickly and taste delicious.

Food & Wine says, "This light, easy tuna recipe evokes the flavors of southern France. The fish is crusted with herbes de Provence, then drizzled with Ripert’s take on sauce vierge, an oil that he flavors with sun-dried tomatoes, basil and capers."

Seared Ahi Tuna with Sauce Vierge
Slightly Adapted from Eric Ripert via Food & Wine Magazine
(Serves 4)

8 drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, minced (about 1/4 cup)
2 Tbsp drained capers
2 Tbsp finely chopped basil
2 Tbsp finely chopped scallion greens
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Four 4-oz sushi-grade tuna steaks
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp herbes de Provence
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 fennel bulb—trimmed, cored & thinly sliced
1 lemon, quartered

Make the sauce vierge:
Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl.

Prepare the tuna:
Season the tuna steaks all over with salt, pepper and the herbes de Provence. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the canola oil until shimmering. Add the tuna and sear over high heat until golden, about 30 seconds per side. Transfer the tuna steaks to a cutting board and slice them 1/4-inch thick.

To Serve: 
Arrange the fennel on plates, top with the tuna and drizzle with the sauce vierge. Squeeze the lemon over the tuna and serve.

Notes/Results:  OK, this sauce vierge may be my new favorite sauce--it's so good and simple--just olive oil with chopped sun-dried tomatoes, basil, green onion and capers. I made a full batch of it and just half the fish recipe. I would use it on any fish and I don't eat chicken, but I think it would be excellent with it, and even just on the fennel, or other veggies, it would be great. I thought the herbs de Provence might be too much for the tuna and the sauce but it all went together really well--the cool, crisp bite of the fennel was perfect as a base. This will end up being one of my favorite Eric Ripert dishes and I will happily make it again.

Linking up with I Heart Cooking Clubs where this week's theme is From the Sea
And I'm sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "Between Earth and Sky" by Amanda Skenandore, Served with a Recipe for 'Three Sisters Succotash' with Wild Rice {and a Book Giveaway!}

I'm excited to be today's stop on the TLC Book Tour for Between Earth and Sky, the debut historical fiction novel by Amanda Skenandore. accompanying my review is a recipe for Three Sisters Succotash, inspired by my reading. There's also a giveaway for a chance to win a copy of the book at the bottom of the post.

Publisher's Blurb:

In Amanda Skenandore’s provocative and profoundly moving debut, set in the tragic intersection between white and Native American culture, a young girl learns about friendship, betrayal, and the sacrifices made in the name of belonging.

On a quiet Philadelphia morning in 1906, a newspaper headline catapults Alma Mitchell back to her past. A federal agent is dead, and the murder suspect is Alma’s childhood friend, Harry Muskrat. Harry—or Asku, as Alma knew him—was the most promising student at the “savage-taming” boarding school run by her father, where Alma was the only white pupil. Created in the wake of the Indian Wars, the Stover School was intended to assimilate the children of neighboring reservations. Instead, it robbed them of everything they’d known—language, customs, even their names—and left a heartbreaking legacy in its wake.

The bright, courageous boy Alma knew could never have murdered anyone. But she barely recognizes the man Asku has become, cold and embittered at being an outcast in the white world and a ghost in his own. Her lawyer husband, Stewart, reluctantly agrees to help defend Asku for Alma’s sake. To do so, Alma must revisit the painful secrets she has kept hidden from everyone—especially Stewart.

Told in compelling narratives that alternate between Alma’s childhood and her present life, Between Earth and Sky is a haunting and complex story of love and loss, as a quest for justice becomes a journey toward understanding and, ultimately, atonement.

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Kensington (April 24, 2018)

My Review:

I am a big fan of historical fiction and I especially enjoy books that focus on time periods or events that I know little about, so after reading the summary of Between Earth and Sky, I clamored to be on the book tour. Set in Wisconsin in the late 1800s and then again in 1906, the novel starts with the main character Alma, finding a newspaper article  "Indian Man Faces Gallows For Murder Of Federal Agent." The name of the accused, Harry Muskrat, is one Alma immediately recognizes, he was a childhood friend that she grew up with as they both attended the Stover School, a boarding school created by her father after the Indian Wars (the collection of conflicts fought over decades between white America and the various Native American tribes). The purpose of the school and the other schools like it was to 'better' Native American children by making them drop their culture and assimilate them into white America. Alma is the only non-Indian student, used an example of deportment for the children, who are thought of as "savages" by so many. Alma just wants to blend in and befriend these children, like Harry, and doesn't really understand what being forced to straddle the two worlds does to her classmates. Alma gets her patent attorney husband to help her friend, but Harry, or Asku as Alma knew him, doesn't seem to want to be helped. 

I was quickly caught up in Alma's story--both as a child and as an adult. The chapters alternate time frames well as Alma's story slowly unspools, revealing the secrets she is hiding from her husband and from herself. It is tough reading at times--mainly due to the anger and emotion drawn from how the Native American children were treated--taken from their families, forced to give up their personal and cultural identities--even being forced to take new names and being punished for speaking their tribes' languages. Alma is a character that you can't help but feel for--she holds her father up to a high ideal, and believes that what is being done will ultimately benefit her friends. The author obviously did her research on the different tribes--the descriptions of the school, town, the reservation, and the languages, are painted vividly and make the story come alive. As mentioned, I knew very little about these off-reservation boarding schools that existed primarily from the late 1870s into the 1930s and even beyond as like much of the Native American experience--it was glossed over or left out of the American history classes I took. The book had me googling for more information and will keep me thinking hard about this sad piece of history long after I turned the final pages. While not an easy read, Between Earth and Sky is a compelling one and I recommend it highly.

Author Notes: Amanda Skenandore is a historical fiction writer and registered nurse. In writing Between Earth and Sky, she has drawn on the experiences of a close relative, a member of the Ojibwe Tribe, who survived an Indian mission school in the 1950s. Between Earth and Sky is Amanda’s first novel. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Readers can visit her website at You can also connect with her over Facebook or Twitter


Food Inspiration:

The food fits the era in Between Earth and Sky and it's fairly austere at the Stover School and fancier in Alma's family's circle of society and in her present day. Mentions included tea, cornbread, potato salad, fried chicken, mushy green beans, apples, stew, toast with soft-boiled eggs, bread, minced meat and breadcrumbs, potatoes, churned butter, rolls, candy (lemon drops, peppermint sticks, caramels), sauce soubise (an onion-based sauce), terrapin (turtle) soup, cordials, mousse,roasted duck, lemonade, sherry, a ham sandwich, wild rice, punch, popcorn, candies and nuts, peanuts, butter cookies, molasses, cherry pie, turnips, canned beets, roast, gummy apple cobbler, pork, mushy potatoes, corn liquor, winter squash, corn, beans, and tea with maple sugar. 

Nothing mentioned really grabbed me, so I pulled my inspiration from squash, corn and beans--the "Three Sisters" that Native Americans planted together according to Iroquois legend--so that they thrive together--like three sisters who are inseparable. The beans and corn made me think of succotash--traditionally lima beans and corn, but I'm not a huge lima bean fan and I saw a recipe for Three Sisters Succotash online at I combined parts of that recipe--the summer squash and green beans, with the a traditional recipe for Heirloom Succotash that I found in a historical cookbook, Our Founding Foods by Jane Tennant, which pretty much consisted of fresh lima beans and corn kernels, cooked in butter and cream. I kept that recipe's creamy base, added herbs, garlic and onion to give it more flavor, and switched out the dairy to make it vegan. I served it with wild rice--also mentioned in the book--for a light but satisfying, not really traditional but nodding to it, dinner.

Three Sister's Succotash
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen, inspired by Eating Well & Our Founding Foods by Jane Tennant
(Serves 4 to 6)

2 Tbsp olive oil or vegan butter
1 small yellow onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp celery salt
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise and sliced thinly
1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced thinly
about 1/2 cup non-dairy cream or coconut milk
about 2 cups lightly steamed frozen whole green beans (I used these)
about 2 cups lightly steamed frozen corn kernels (I used these)

Heat oil or vegan butter over medium heat in a large non-stick pan. Add onion and saute until onion softens and turns translucent--about 6 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, sage, celery salt and a dash of salt and pepper and saute for another minute, then add squash and stir to mix with spices. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until zucchini has softened to your taste--I like mine on the crisper side. Stir in coconut milk, green beans and corn and cook until heated through and veggies are cooked to your liking. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed. Serve hot with wild rice.

Notes/Results: This combination of recipes and ingredients, with the additional of the herbs, garlic and onions, made for a great dinner for someone who doesn't eat meat. Served with the rice, I used it as my entree, although it would make a tasty side dish too. I like the combination of the thyme and sage. I feel that without the herbs and the garlic, it would have been too mildly-flavored, but between all of the ingredients and the slightly nutty flavor of the wild rice and sweetness of the corn and coconut milk, it worked. You could also add broth and more coconut milk and make it more like a soup--the half cup of liquid makes it more stew-like. The ease of the steam-in-the-bag green beans and corn (I'd use fresh if I had it available) made the dish come together quickly and easily--especially if you put the rice in the rice cooker. I am looking forward to having the  leftovers for dinner tonight.

I'm sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.

Note: A review copy of "Between Earth and Sky" was provided to me by the author and the publisher, via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.

You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.



The publisher is generously providing a copy of "Between Earth and Sky" to give away (U.S. addresses only, sorry) here at Kahakai Kitchen.

To enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway below, leave a comment (Because I like to read them!) ;-) telling me a period of history you enjoy reading about and/or why you'd like to win a copy of Between Earth and Sky."

There are a couple of other optional ways to get more entries to win: 1) Tweet about this giveaway or 2) follow me on Twitter (@DebinHawaii) and/or publisher Kensington Books (@KensingtonBooks)
and/or author Amanda Skenandore (@ARShenandoah).    

(Note: You can still get extra entries even if you already follow these accounts.)

Deadline for entry is midnight (EST) on Thursday, May 24th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!