September 2019

Kona Coffee Liqueur Ice Cream

September 29: International Coffee Day

Ethiopia, Colombia, Jamaica, Indonesia, Vietnam. These are some of the countries that are world famous for producing fine coffee. The United States ranks in the top 10 in many coffee polls, thanks in part to Hawaii’s contribution! Kona (Big Island) is the most popular but there are coffee plantations and estates on the other Hawaiian Islands.

We proudly put Hawaiian coffee in recipes that call for this ingredient. That way we feel like we are supporting America and Hawaii’s local economy while adding a touch of aloha to our dishes. In our no churn coffee ice cream, we add a double dose of Kona coffee in the recipe by dissolving Kona coffee crystals in Kona coffee liqueur. It is onolicious!

Enjoy no churn Kona coffee liqueur ice cream on International Coffee Day!



  • 1-2 teaspoons instant Kona coffee crystals
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla, hot water or Kona coffee liqueur
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
  • a few drops of brown food coloring/paste (optional)


In a small cup, dissolve the coffee crystals into liquid (vanilla, water or liqueur). Blend well with the sweetened condensed milk.

In a mixing bowl, beat the heavy whipping cream until peaks form. Fold in the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture. Add a bit of brown food coloring (optional). Place in a loaf container, cover and freeze overnight.


  • Hawaii is only one of two states in America that grows coffee commercially. California is the other state. Georgia is in the early stages of experimenting with coffee growing. Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, has had a coffee plantation for some time.
  • Check out our other Kona coffee recipes: cupcakes, cheesecake and cookies, oh my!
  • Search our blog for other no-churn ice cream recipes under our Theme Menu option.

Dan Bing 蛋餅

(Taiwanese Egg Pancake)

September 26:National Pancake Day

Islander’s college roommate from Taiwan, Monica C., would cook foods from her country and graciously share them with her. Sometimes, for Saturday brunch, they would skip the bland cafeteria food and cook together in the dorm kitchen. Dan bing, a type of Taiwanese style savory pancake, was one of the breakfast/brunch foods they would make because it was simple and filling (the proteins in the egg and pork floss and the carbs in the tortilla would provide them with energy to study—or play—for the rest of the day).

The recipe that follows is a mainland version of dan bing using flour tortillas (because as inexperienced cooks, that was all they could find as a substitute ingredient in their Midwest college town). When we visited Monica in Taiwan, we ate real dan bing (the flour pancake was much thinner) at the local cafes and they were much better and authentic than Islander and Monica’s mainland version. But it is still a delicious dish for breakfast/brunch and on National Pancake Day.


(From Monica C.)


  • Chopped scallions (green parts only)
  • 4+ eggs, beaten
  • a little oil for frying
  • fresh flour tortilla
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Rousong (pork floss)


Chop the onions. Beat the eggs. Heat a little oil in a skillet. Pour beaten eggs in the middle and fry a little but not yet set. Sprinkle green onions on it.

Place a tortilla on top of the egg before it sets. Pour more beaten eggs over it to cover the top. Sprinkle green onions on it and season with salt and pepper to taste.

When the bottom egg is set, flip the entire tortilla over and fry until the egg on the bottom is set. Transfer to a plate. While still hot, carefully roll. Slice and garnish with pork floss and more green onions. Serve with soy sauce.


  •  Search our blog for other sweet pancake recipes.

Cherries Jubilee Cookies

September 24:National Cherries Jubilee Day

We avoid flambéing our foods because we do not want to cause a fire in our complex and upset our neighbors on either side of our walls. So we find recipes that can be adapted for the food holiday, like these cherries jubilee cookies for National Cherries Jubilee Day. They are soft and crumbly and uniquely spiced. The main “jubilee” ingredients are the chewy dried cherries that have been soaked in cherry-flavored brandy—without the flambé! Cherries jubilee is often served with vanilla ice cream and these cookies would be a good accompaniment as well as a teatime treat. Cheers to cherries jubilee cookies on National Cherries Jubilee Day!


(Adapted from “Country Home Magazine”)


  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • ½ cup brandy (we used Kirshwasser)
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar, granulated white (plus more for coating the cookies)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon Chinese five spice powder


In a saucepan, combine the dried cherries with the brandy. Simmer for a minute or two, pressing down on the cherries to release their juices to mix with the brandy. Remove from heat and let stand for half an hour. Drain and reserve two tablespoons of the liquid.

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar. Add the whole egg and egg yolk. Stir in the two tablespoons of reserved cherry liquid. In a separate bowl, combine the flour with Chinese five spice powder.

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until a sticky dough is formed. Fold in the cherries and blend thoroughly. Scoop and roll into one-inch balls. Place at least an inch apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest on the cookie sheet for about five minutes. Roll the warm cookies in a bowl of granulated sugar. Cool completely on a wire rack. Yield: Approximately 3 dozen cookies.


  • The original recipe calls for rolling the unbaked cookie dough balls in sugar. But they tasted better when they were rolled after baking to give a nicer texture and taste.
  • Search our blog for other recipes containing cherries.

Bitterballen (Dutch Meatballs)

September 10: Feast Day of St. Theodard of Maastritch

Highlander and his co-workers stopped in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, for a day, after a week-long business meeting in Germany. They took advantage of seeing the city before having to fly back to the United States the next morning.  Although it was just a quick tour through the quaint streets by the river, they enjoyed the sights—and snacks.

One of the most popular snacks in the Netherlands is bitterballen (deep fried beef croquettes or meatballs). Islander tried to re-create them at home so she could experience a little bit of what Highlander sampled in Amsterdam.

We also wanted to make a traditional Dutch dish with beef as an ingredient in honor of a seventh century bishop in The Netherlands—St. Theodard of Maastritch—the patron saint of drovers and cattle dealers. Try making bitterballen on his feast day for a taste of The Netherlands.


(Adapted from Taste of Home)


  • ¾ pound beef (sirloin steak)
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • ½ cup beef broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • oil (for deep frying)


Chop the beef into ¼ inch pieces. Mince the parsley. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter.

Stir in the flour and mix until smooth. Gradually stir in the broth to make the gravy. Boil until thickened. Stir in the meat. Add the chopped parsley. Cook and stir until the meat is no longer pink (about 3-5 minutes).

Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Transfer to a bowl, cool, cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours to allow the flavors to develop and solidify. In a small shallow bowl, put the breadcrumbs in it. In another bowl, beat the eggs with the milk and oil. Remove the meat mixture from the refrigerator and scoop into 1.5 inch sized balls.

Dip balls into flour mixture, then egg and then roll again to coat in breadcrumbs. Deep fry until golden brown (about 3-4 minutes). Drain on paper towels. Serve hot with mustard (optional).


  • Bitterballen has a very moist, meaty center. Make sure to fry them long enough to heat the beef inside.
  • We are working on trying more Dutch recipes and will add them to our Theme Menus list soon.

Baked Garlic Parmesan

Chicken Wings

September: National Chicken Month

It’s almost fall, y’all, and it’s time for some football! Our former neighbors, Glenn and Anna Maria B., would sometimes come from across the street to our house to watch the big game on our big screen TV. They often brought over game day goodies to share, like chicken wings from Wing Stop. We especially love the fried garlic parmesan chicken wings but we tried an oven-baked version at home, which is still just as juicy and flavorful.

We miss spending time with Glenn and Anna Maria since we moved away but this recipe will always remind us of the good times and good food we shared together. Bake garlic parmesan chicken wings for fall football game day gatherings and during National Chicken Month.


(Adapted from Big Oven)


  • 2 ½ pounds chicken wings
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped small
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated


In a large bowl, place the chicken wings and sprinkle with the dried oregano, rosemary and cumin.

Salt and pepper to taste. Lay the coated wings on a rack over a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, pour the olive oil in a bowl.

Add the chopped basil, minced garlic and parmesan cheese to the olive oil bowl. Remove the chicken from the oven and toss in the bowl until well coated. Serve immediately.


  • Islander and Anna Maria’s favorite part of the chicken wing is the flap (also called wingette). They usually gave the guys the drumettes to eat.
  • Search our blog for other seasonal football food. Search our blog for other chicken recipes.

Apple Pie Egg Rolls

September-November: National Apple Months

All-American apple pie gets an Asian accent when made into egg rolls! We first tried these at a neighborhood social. Fortunately, we live in a culturally diverse county where fusion foods give everyone an opportunity to try a mixed plate of everything ethnic. They are easy to make and can be frozen until ready to fry up for a fast and fabulous fall dessert for family and friends. Crisp like the autumn weather, apple pie egg rolls are delicious during the National Apple Months of September, October and November—and also all year long!



  • 1 can apple pie filling
  • package of egg roll wrappers
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • oil for frying
  • cinnamon sugar


Open a can of apple pie pilling and chop coarsely into smaller pieces. Set aside. Separate the egg roll wrappers. Beat the egg. Moisten the four sides of one egg roll wrapper with the beaten egg.

Scoop about two tablespoonsful of apple pie filling and spread lengthwise onto the bottom third part of the egg roll wrapper. Fold both left and right sides in. Then fold up to cover the apple pie filling.

Roll and press to seal. Place seam side down on waxed paper. Fry immediately or freeze until ready to fry in hot oil until golden brown.

Drain each apple pie egg roll on paper towels. While still hot, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Serve with scoops of vanilla ice cream and drizzles of caramel sauce (optional).


  • Try substituting apple pie filling with other flavors: cherry, blueberry, peach, etc. Chunkier fruit fillings work best for egg roll style pies.
  • Search our blog for other apple recipes.

Biryani Chicken

September: National Rice Month

Our Indian and Pakistani friends at university introduced us to biryani, a hearty rice dish made with fragrant basmati rice, spices, vegetables and sometimes meat and eggs. We ate biryani as guests at their student association gatherings and during special occasions (Diwali and Eid). It was also a favorite dish of the Mughals that biryani is often described as a “feast fit for royalty”.

A few years following graduation from university, as newlyweds setting up our own kitchen, we bought our very first cookbook that focused on classic Indian recipes, including biryani. For more than two decades, we have cooked this dish whenever we wanted a main Mughlai-style meal with rich flavors. The ingredients are ironically affordable for such a royal dish, and we get a lot of delicious leftovers, making it worth our while to prepare it to last us for a few days during a busy workweek—and for National Rice Month!


(Adapted from “Classic Indian: Easy, Delicious and Authentic Recipes”)


  • 4 tablespoons biryani masala paste
  • 2/3 cup yogurt, plain
  • 3 ½ pounds chicken, boneless and skinless, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 bag (3.5 ounces) crispy onions (salad toppers)
  • 1-2 green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, fresh grated
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 ounces cilantro, fresh chopped (plus additional for optional garnish)
  • 6-8 mint leaves, fresh chopped
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • pinch of saffron
  • 2 ½ cups basmati rice, washed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • boiling water (enough to cover the rice)
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1-2 cups frozen steak fries, defrosted and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2+ tablespoons ghee or butter, divided use
  • ½ cup cashew nuts
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • salt to taste


In a large bowl, stir together the biryani paste with yogurt. Mix in the chicken.

Add the crispy onions, chopped chilies, ginger and garlic to the mix.

Stir in the cilantro and mint leaves. Cover, refrigerate and marinate for at least two hours. In a measuring cup, infuse the saffron with the milk until it changes color slightly. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the washed rice with cumin seeds, cinnamon stick and cardamom pods. Pour boiling water to cover the rice. Let soak for 15 minutes. Drain and discard the cinnamon and cardamom. In a large skillet, heat a little vegetable oil. Fry up the chicken and marinade mixture until the meat is no longer pink.

Stir in the potatoes and mix with the marinade. In a deep casserole dish, layer the chicken-potato mixture on the bottom. Add the basmati rice on top.

Poke a few holes in the rice. Pour in the saffron-milk mixture. Dot with a few knobs of ghee/butter. Cover the dish tightly with foil. Place in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F and bake for an hour, checking to see if the rice is softened and done at 45 minutes. Continue baking until cooked.

While the biryani is baking, heat a little ghee/butter in a skillet. Saute the cashews and raisins to toast the nuts and plump up the fruit. Set aside. Remove the biryani from the oven when done. Carefully remove the foil. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Stir in the cashews and raisins and gently mix until the rice is fully blended with all the ingredients. Serve hot.


  • The original recipe is made in a heavy pot over a stovetop (such as a Dutch oven, which we did not have at this time). We used a glass casserole dish and baked it in the oven, after several years’ experience of burning the bottom of our pot!
  • Search our blog for other rice recipes.

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