Tag Archives: Cooking

How To Make A Candy Lei

For other lei, see pikake, braided, spiral, or eyelash lei. This photo shows what we will be making in this post.

You don’t have to be Hawaiian to make a candy lei. You don’t even have to use candy.


For my grandchildren this Christmas, I got some gum, fruit leather and trail mix to make lei for them. Small wrapped candies work well. So do small toys like matchbox cars.

The trail mix I got as  a healthier choice don’t work out. The packages are too big.


To make these lei you will need:

plastic wrap

candy, gum, toys or other small items.




measuring tape or stick.


Start with a 40 to 44 inch piece of plastic wrap. You want the lei to end up about 36 inches.

Lay the items face down and fold the wrap over them.

Start twisting in between items.

Cut pieces of ribbon or yarn about 12″.

Use these to tie between items. Turn the items face up and have the bows on the front side.

Twist the ends together. Tape if necessary.

The gum boxes were harder to twist around because of the rigid corners and size. For these, I tied in between boxes without twisting.

Tie a pretty bow at the joining and just add child.


You can tailor the items in the lei to the child’s preferences. You can use pretty hair clips in between items.



What would you put in a lei?

© 2010 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.


Posted by on December 13, 2010 in Abundance, How to


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Travel Japan – Day 1 Lunch at Izusen

This flower greeted me on my way into Izusen. It is a vegetarian restaurant at Daitokuji Temple. They serve the food in red lacquer bowls called teppatsu. The elaborate style of eating is called teppatsu-ryori.

We ate inside sitting Japanese style and this was our window view.

The first serving was this:

At 6 o’clock in the picture is I believe fried tofu on a little stick and at 5 o’clock is a chestnut. At 7 o’clock looks like a mushroom wrapped, but I could be mistaken. I forget what was under the porcelain lid to the left.

Tofu in some shoyu sauce and garnish.

The colored leaf in the center is gluten and that may be fried gluten at 12 o’clock. There is seaweed at 6 o’clock and some yummy vegetable between that and the snow pea, the top layer skimmed off tofu at 9 o’clock. I liked everything I was served at this meal. I am not vegetarian, but this was an excellent meal in terms of taste and the variety of textures and flavors the Japanese are famous for .

Two of my favs, I think it was rice with mushrooms on the left  and vegetable tempura on the right.

Pickles, a part of most Japanese meals. They are varied in crunchiness and taste.

Soup, it likely includes tofu.


Tea was served with the meal and  plum wine.

At the end they all stack.

The bathroom sink has bamboo in the bottom.

There is outdoor garden seating too.

I would eat there every day. The menu changes with the availability of seasonal items. It cost 3150 yen or about $37.75

© 2010 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.


Posted by on November 17, 2010 in Abundance, Japan


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My Edible Garden

Last Wednesday, when I showed the contents of my kitchen, I forgot about nature’s pantry out in my yard.

Dragonfruit Cactus


Some things, like this Dragonfruit,  are not bearing fruit right now.


Lemon Tree


White Pineapple






Swiss Chard






Edible Chrysanthemum, flowers and greens.




There’s a post about my coffee here.


Frizee lettuce


Red Leaf Lettuce








Lillikoi Vine, passionfruit.




Kukui Nuts, the secret of beautiful Hawaiian skin.*


Macadamia Nut Tree






© 2010 J.B. Vadeboncoeur


Posted by on May 10, 2010 in Abundance, garden


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Travel To Japan – Rice

As I mentioned in a post about Karatsu, Japan, I liked the rice grown in that area the best of all I tasted.

Steve Biemel told us that when Japan had a rice shortage, they got rice from Thailand and California. They liked the California rice, (it tasted like Japanese rice), while they didn’t like the rice from Thailand. They mixed equal parts of all three kinds of rice and that made it more palatable.

In Japan was the first time I ever noticed these nori strips.

Now I see them here in the states.

Place a strip on your rice.

Scoop rice and nori up with your chopsticks.

Enjoy. Nori is loaded with minerals and low in calories. It adds a salty slightly fishy taste to the rice.

© 2010 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.


Posted by on February 24, 2010 in How to, Japan


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In Search Of A Better Cup Of Coffee

My favorite cup

A friend of mine told me the best cup of coffee she ever had was in Kona, Hawaii; not surprising, Kona coffee is smooth and full bodied.

What is surprising is that she had it when staying at a boyfriend’s mother’s house. The mother roasted green coffee beans, then ground them and served her the best cuppa Joe she ever had.

I grow coffee. My yield was 11 ounces this year. I roasted some on Christmas morning. Today I have a sore throat and will be taking it easy, so I spent 45 minutes roasting coffee beans in a cast iron skillet. I stood right there and kept stirring them. I removed beans as they got rich dark brown.

In the past I might have roasted the whole batch at once in my oven. I  roast them on a strainer, to keep them more exposed to air, stirring after every 10 minutes.

But now I just cook what I need in a small skillet. That way I have fresh roasted flavor each time.

After making the coffee in my french press, I filter it through a coffee filter. I do this since reading at Oprah’s web page that coffee contains terpenes that can be easily filtered out. If not it contributes to high cholesterol.

It tasted great. I don’t live in Kona and my coffee trees struggle because they would prefer a higher elevation. My beans are smaller than usual ones, but they deliver on flavor. I’m grateful because that is what I’m after.

My husband named my coffee, Jeanne D’Arc Roast after Joan of Arc. I like that.

For information on harvesting coffee see here.

© 2010 Jeanne Litt All rights reserved.


Posted by on February 22, 2010 in Abundance, garden, How to


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Friday For Friends – Anamaris’ Chef It Yourself Blog

Today’s featured blogger is Anamaris. She has a blog called Chef It Yourself which features her cooking and her photography. Warning, looking at it will cause you to want to eat and not just anything but something beautiful and delicious looking.

Truth is, I, who avoid cooking, started reading her blog because of NaBloPoMo
It was one of the ones I enjoyed the most. Her pictures are enticing and as she says she “shows you that delicious food doesn’t have to be complicated.”

Today I’m cooking her pork recipe
but instead of a pork shoulder I am using a leg of lamb.

Last Wednesday I made her scallion pancakes.
What amazed me was how satisfying it was on some deep level to cook for myself. I felt like I valued me. My usual breakfast is to put a veggie sausage in the toaster oven. I did use uncooked tortillas instead of making them from scratch.

This past week, Anamaris had her first posting for her Top Chef It Yourself challenge.
You can still join in.

Her husband artist made her gravatar. It’s terrific.

What is your earliest cooking memory? Please tell us about it.

Making these jello cookies with my mom. She used to subscribe to Womans World magazine and there was a recipe for cookies with flavored jello in the batter and a dragee on top. You could make them with any flavor and ended up with pink or green or yellow cookies. I swear I remember them as the best cookies EVAH.

When did you start photography?

I’ve been around cameras since I was a kid, my dad was an avid photographer. He often seemed to forget to load his film, but he always had the camera with him. My first camera was a Sony Disk, I don’t know if anyone remembers those. Going through old albums, I’ve found pictures I took ‘back in the day’. So I guess my interest goes way back.

What is your kitchen like?

It’s a galley style, about 10×4 feet, not big, not even medium-sized. It is the perfect size for 2 cooks though, add a third and you’re crowded. I have a fair amount of counterspace thanks to the fact that the washer & dryer are in that space. It’s cozy, but it’s mine.

What is your favorite cooking tool?

Tough one, I’m not super gadgety, but I have this garlic peeling tube thingamajig. I love it. When my now hubby came over for dinner the first time, I did a little magic dance show with it. I also couldn’t live without my lemon hand squeezer.

Are there foods you don’t like?

BANANAS. I once won a Toastmasters impromptu speech award explaining why I hate them so. When people see me out on the hallway, they still call me Banana Girl. That was about 3 years ago…

If you could give only one piece of advice to would-be cooks, what would it be?

1-Don’t be afraid, there isn’t a recipe you can’t follow. That doesn’t mean you won’t have flops. I do and I have been cooking for over 30 years. If its absolutely inedible, dunk it and try something else.
1b-If you’ve never cooked a thing, start with lower-priced items, that way you don’t feel it’s a major loss if it goes wrong.
1c-Also, remember to have fun with it. Play some music, pour yourself a glass of wine/beer/whatever and go at it.
That still counts as one, right?

This counts as one very complete one. Thank you Anamaris. Today’s post was intended to be filled with Anamaris’ enticing photos and will be when I figure out how to post them. Until then please click on the links.

I love how you sign off Anamaris,
Cookingly yours from both of us.


Posted by on January 21, 2010 in Uncategorized


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