Wrapping up the season with snippets from our island getaway and end-of-summer recipes.
While it was one of the warmer days of the year today, it feels like summer is starting to wind down. I see that plenty of kids are back in school (mine don’t return until after Labor Day), but with our summer holiday behind us, I know things will be changing soon.
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My family and I just returned from a week in Hawaii. It was a wonderful trip to celebrate the life of my grandfather. He was born in the small town of Kahuku on the North Shore of Oahu, and I am so grateful to be able to bring all my children back to where our family began. We spent the week mostly in the warm water, eating from the amazing local food trucks and farms, visiting with cousins, and finding bits of relaxation.
What I’ve Been Eating:
Melon - We’ve been eating all the melons right now. Yes, you have your standard watermelon and honeydew. But we picked up some new varieties this year at the Persian market including Hami Melon and Santa Melon. Both were sweeter and juicier than cantaloupe! If you see them around, give one a try!
Poke - For someone that loves fish and sushi, it took me a while to come around to eating poke. I much prefer it made with salmon over tuna. Once I figured that out, it was a total game changer.
We went to Ry’s Poke Shack at the Kahuku Sugar Mill after seeing it featured on Netflix’s Street Food of Hawaii. Likely the best poke I’ve ever had. Plus, my auntie’s house is directly across the street!
Açai Bowls - We love all types of smoothie bowls in the house, but farm fresh açai is pretty hard to beat. The açai bowls at Kahuku Farms are made with home grown açai and topped with banana, granola, and lilikoi (passion fruit) butter - so good!
No-Bake Desserts - I kid you not, at the time that I am writing this, I have not baked in my oven yet this month. I’ve been enjoying our No Bake Summer Break recipes - like the no-bake strawberry cheesecake, mango sorbet, and this Lemon Icebox Cake.
What I’ve Been Reading:
Lessons in Chemistry - I packed this for our vacation to Hawaii. Considering that I spent most of the time chasing after my two eldest children on the beach, I am surprised at how far I got through this book (about halfway). The other half of the trip was spent lounging about our condo while the baby napped and I read this book. I was truly enamored by the wit and grit of chemist-turned-tv chef Elizabeth Zott and can’t wait to carve out more time at home to finish it.
Meant to Be - I’ve read about a half-dozen Emily Griffin books over the years, but this was one of my least favorites. I actually couldn’t finish it. I skipped to the end and gladly returned it back to the library.
What I’ve Been Listening to:
Arlo Parks - Collapsed in Sunbeams
I first listened to this album on repeat around the time Carmen was born. It’s perfect for rocking newborns. Even better, the totally chill vibes make for an awesome soundtrack cruising around the beach. I listened to it on the plane and down Kamehameha Highway.
Zero 7 - The Garden
Forever one of my favorite albums, I had this one on repeat on our plane ride. Relaxation is key for managing my motion issues during travel, and the voices of Sia and Jose Gonzalez always help me get into a zen zone.
What to Bake This Month:
Stone Fruit - Rounding out the end of summer produce, stone fruit shines this month. Peaches, plums, and apricots are only ripe for a short period of time, so make sure to stock up when you can and throw any overripe fruit into one of these recipes:
Peach Cobbler - Juicy, jammy peaches get baked with a biscuit-like topping and fresh raspberries. It’s best served with sweetened cream or a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
Peaches ‘n Cream Cake - Sure the cake is made with peach jam, but it still reminds me of lazy summer days. You’ll love it with either homemade or store-bought preserves.
Strawberry Peach Pie - Nestled in an all-butter crust, ripe peaches, blushing apricots, and fresh strawberry slices are tossed with brown sugar and cinnamon for the perfect seasonal dessert.
Blueberry Peach Pie - A blueberry and peach pie with an all-butter, flakey crust. The perfect flavor combination to round out summer. Better yet, you can adapt it to any stone fruit you have on hand!
Birthday Cakes - My daughter’s birthday is this month. Here are some of the cakes I’ve made for her over the years:
Strawberry Layer Cake - I just threw my first backyard party in a decade for my daughter last weekend. She turned 4 and requested everything pink and Encanto-themed. This strawberry layer cake recipe was used for the inside of her party cake.
Chocolate Raspberry Celebration Cake - This was my daughter’s birthday cake last year.
Thanks for subscribing and keep an eye out for some back-to-school cookie recipes coming later this week!
Your description of your Hawaii vacation transported me back to the north shore. Such a special place and yes, the best food. I could eat coconut cake daily.