Posted tagged ‘strawberry’

Back in the 808: Waiola Shave Ice

August 23, 2012

Shaved ice always reminds me of summers in Japan.  There are so many festivals or matsuri in Japan during the summer and they always have shaved ice or かき氷.  I loved eating shaved ice so much that someone (my Mom, grandma, other relative in Japan) bought me my own shaved ice maker!  Back in the day, the shaved ice makers were often designed to look like a popular cartoon character and had a hand crank to shave the ice.

I almost always chose strawberry flavored shaved ice with condensed milk on top.  Besides the fact that I love strawberries, I think one of the reasons why I loved getting strawberry flavor was because it would make my lips red.  It was a way of wearing temporary “lipstick” when I was 5 years old without getting in trouble by my Mom.

Ever since, I’ve ALWAYS gotten strawberry shave ice wherever I’ve gone.  There have been a couple of upgrades over the years… vanilla ice cream on the bottom and then mochi balls.  Every once in awhile I may get green tea if it’s offered.  I thought I had found perfection at Waiola’s with my perfect combination: a large strawberry shave ice with ice cream and mochi balls.  I never had a need or want to venture out and try something different. *Note: it is “shave ice” in most of Hawaii, “ice shave” on the Big Island.*

I’m not sure what got into me this day but I decided to go a little crazy and get strawberry and lychee shave ice, vanilla ice cream and no mochi balls.  The lychee was so refreshing and was the perfect partner for my familiar strawberry.  I. LOVED. IT.

TM went with rainbow: strawberry, vanilla and banana.  I’ve always thought it was odd that he doesn’t get ice cream in his shave ice.

There are two locations but the one on Waiola St. is the original and my favorite of the two.  The ice is so fluffy and smooth and melts as soon as it hits your tongue – it is nothing like a snow cone served on the rest of the mainland.  I have to go Waiola’s a minimum of two times each time I’m in Hawaii, no matter how short my trip may be.  I can’t wait to go again!

2135 Waiola St.   Honolulu, HI

Strawberry Panna Cotta

May 26, 2011

I love when the days get longer and the nights are warm enough to go without a sweater.  Those nights haven’t come yet as it was just raining yesterday but June is a few days away so I’m ready.

Summer reminds me of fresh strawberries and tomatoes picked from the garden, barely making it to the sink for a quick rinse before being devoured.  There is nothing like being able to go into your own yard and picking part of your own meal for “free.”  We’ve got quite a set up this year now that we have a yard.  Tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, and almost every herb imaginable have been planted and I hope to see some baby versions of these sprouting soon.  We even have part of a lemon tree since our neighbor’s branches reach over the fence into our yard!

The last time I planted strawberries, ants kept taking bites out of them and it was more pain than it was worth.  I can’t blame them for loving these sweet rubies because strawberries barely last more than a couple of days when they’re in our fridge.  I eat all of them alone because TM doesn’t care for fresh strawberries.  (How in the world I married him, I’m not sure. lol)

When I saw this simple recipe for panna cotta  in the Parade section of the newspaper, I cut it out and saved it in my recipe folder.  I can’t believe it took me almost two years to try it but when my Mom brought me baskets of fresh strawberries, I decided to make a strawberry version of it.

The ramekins I used are larger than the espresso cups the recipe calls for so I got four servings out of it.  TM requested only one fresh strawberry to top his panna cotta because that is all he could appreciate.

Strawberry Panna Cotta (adapted ever so slightly from Parade)

2 Tbsp cold water
1 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 containers (6 oz. each) light strawberry yogurt
1 Tbsp honey
fresh strawberries, for serving

1. Pour cold water into a microwave-safe cup and sprinkle with gelatin. Wait 5 minutes; heat it in the microwave for 15 seconds. Gently whisk the cream and gelatin together, then add the yogurt and honey.

2. Divide the mixture among 6 espresso cups or small glasses. Chill for at least 3 hours. Run a knife around the edges of the cups to unmold the panna cottas onto plates.  (I obviously didn’t do this step.  I was trying to avoid extra dishes to wash!)

3. Mix the strawberries with the sugar. Spoon an equal amount beside each panna cotta.  (I also skipped this step.  The strawberries were naturally sweet on their own and didn’t need additional sugar.)  Serve.

I plan on making this again.  And again.  And again.  Until the end of strawberry season.  (That will be a sad day!)

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