BLOGGING HIATUS

I am taking a break from the blogosphere due to the unexpected death of my sister-in-law. We are in Portland, and will head home later this week in a long drive taking a new member to join our family. Meet Bogey, a 6-and-a-half year old Dalmatian, full of energy, and very sweet. We cross our fingers for a smooth adjustment to his new life. He’s been through a rough time.

Bogey

 

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THE BEWITCHING KITCHEN TURNS SEVEN!

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(picture courtesy of our dear friend Karl)

Seven years blogging! Cliché or not, time goes by fast when you’re having so much fun…  The other day I was reading a very insightful blog post in which the blogger asked the question “why do we blog?”  In her case, the question arose mainly because after several years publishing posts, she realized a pattern. She would get excited about writing posts and go on periods of a lot of activity, then abandon her site for months in a row. Feeling guilty about it the whole time. Basically the blog becomes more a source of pressure/pain rather than pleasure, meriting the question “why do it?”.  For me, the question is easy to answer: blogging is fun, it makes me a better cook (or at least more adventurous), and it leads to many wonderful connections with other food bloggers (and readers), forming a sort of virtual family. So, there you have it, seven years and I have not tire of it yet. I don’t have a cake to celebrate the occasion because it was humanly impossible to bake one before our trip considering how busy we were then. Landing back on the very day of my blog-anniversary, I am forced to postpone the virtual party for a few days. Stay tuned. I do have a specific cake recipe in mind, and if all goes well… it will be legendary!

(I probably jinxed myself once more)

CAKES

Six cakes from previous Bewitching anniversaries…

 

ONE YEAR AGO: Bewitching Kitchen Turns Six!

TWO YEARS AGO: The Bewitching Kitchen turns Five!

THREE YEARS AGO: The Bewitching Kitchen turns Four!

FOUR YEARS AGO: The Bewitching Kitchen Turns Three! 

FIVE YEARS AGO:  The Bewitching Kitchen turns Two!

SIX YEARS AGO:  Bewitching Birthday!

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Welcome to my blog!

 

ALOHA!

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Here we are, with the whole family enjoying a relaxing week in one of our favorite spots on Earth, the North Shore of Oahu.  I hope to have a new post coming up soon, for the time being life is busy in a deliciously unusual way….

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ALOHA!  MAHALO!  

ONE YEAR AGO: Baby Back Ribs with Tomatillo Glaze

TWO YEARS AGO: Ten Years Ago

THREE YEARS AGO: Someone Got a Summer Shave

FOUR YEARS AGO: Border Grill Margaritas

FIVE YEARS AGO:  Goodbye L.A.

SIX YEARS AGO:  Vermont Sourdough

SIXTEEN SWEET YEARS!

Seasons may change, weather blows, but you still leave a mark on me!

Our song… 

Photograph king, watches you go
Fashions may change, heaven knows,
but you still leave a stain on me
Supplement queen,
your colours may fade
Seasons may change, weather blows, but you still leave a
mark on me

Wrong-negative fades-never the twain, reckless and tame

I like the beat of your drum
I like to look in your eyes
I like to look thru your things
I’d like to beat on your drum

I like the smell of your flesh
I like the dirt that you dish
I like the clothes that you wear
I’d like to beat on your drum

Disco brat-follow the pack
Watching you peel, heaven knows, prison can’t hold all
this greedy intention

Vanity’s child-picture you now
Music may change-hi-di-ho keen to follow your nose

Wrong-love out of tune
Sweet is the night,
bright light destroys me

I like the beat of your drum
I like to look in your eyes
I like to look thru your things
I’d like to beat on your drum

I like the smell of your flesh
I like the dirt that you dish
I like the clothes that you wear
I’d like to beat on your drum

 

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May we always be the perfect match!

 

perfect match

Thomas Keller Bouchons au Chocolat & Whipped Cream

For the recipe, click here.

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FIFTEEN YEARS!

A few months late, but finally here I am… The month of March brings with it several reasons to celebrate. It signals the end of the winter, in other words, it’s pure joy. But better than that, we got married in March… the 7th to be exact, and four short days later it’s my birthday!  Some people don’t care about celebrating their birthday. I don’t “get” that. I am totally into it. So there you have it, March is a triple joy month. This year was our 15th wedding anniversary, which of course feels special, although at the risk of sounding a bit cheesy, each anniversary is very special to me.

Sculpture

If we both had to pick a place to celebrate life the way we love it, Hawaii would be it. We love everything about it,  the sun, being outside, playing golf in amazing courses, jogging along the coast. The North shore of Oahu is the closest spot to paradise for us. It has none of the commercial, touristic stuff of Waikiki, it’s a more pure and wild experience. So, that’s where we went to celebrate the date. It was a rather short visit, but we savored each moment.

This was the view from our room’s balcony at Turtle Bay…
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One of the cool things we did was performing a major exorcism. An explanation is obviously needed. When I was 13 years old I went for a trip with my older sister Nyrma and her husband. They arranged a horseback riding session for me (the first of my life), but unfortunately it did not have a happy ending. It was with a group of teenagers from the hotel, most of them quite comfortable riding. To make a long story short, one of the teenage boys, trying to show off, started galloping real fast, and startled my horse.  All I remember is that my horse behaved like the one from Zorro, raised the front legs way up in the air, and took off like a maniac!  Soon we were far away from the group, I was hugging the neck of the horse for dear life, but then my saddle started to slip sideways! At some point I was pretty much hanging to one side, almost parallel to the ground, with my head passing just above the roof of cars parked on the side of the street. Yeah, the horse decided to gallop through town. I heard people on the sideways screaming “somebody help her! that little girl will fall”… Keep in mind that at age 13 I looked more like a 9-year-old… (sigh).  My crazy horse left town again, galloped some more, until he decided he’d had enough and stopped to munch on something by a tree. That’s when I finally fell off.  Let’s say that experience traumatized me quite a bit, and even though I love all animals, horses make me a bit nervous.  But I don’t like to sit on my fears. I’ve always wanted to turn the page and be able to ride a horse again. Thanks to Phil, I managed to finally go for it.

But first things first… I had to keep my composure  while getting close to the horses…. The instructor at the hotel made sure I got a very gentle horse (the thought of “famous last words” crossed my mind).

Horse_Sally

We were a group of 6 riders plus the instructor. I got to ride right behind her, and Phil following behind me. Talk about feeling safe… It was perfect. Midway through the ride,  I was comfortable enough to pose for a photo… The ride was slow, nice, and peaceful. Could not ask for more. Full disclosure: Phil said that when I first climbed on the horse my face was  as white as a Hawaiian cloud. Indeed, I toyed with the idea of jumping off and running back to the safety of our hotel room. But the horse was too tall and I did not want to risk breaking a leg or two. So I stayed up there, pretending all was fine. I’m glad I did. It felt great to overcome a major fear. Page turned. Next time, I want to go for a faster ride. HA!

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Another fun part of our trip was paying a visit to the famous Banyan Tree….

Banyan

I had high hopes of seeing Jonny Depp around, but no luck with that. No worries, I had my private George Clooney with me at all times. The tree is nothing short of magnificent. Everything you see in the picture is part of a single tree, it actually covers a huge area!

TheTree1

During the horseback riding, the guide led our group around the tree, but I took the picture the following day, when we went back for a walk around the area. They don’t like to advertise too much the location of the tree to try and protect it from vandalism, but if you find yourself near the North shore of Oahu, make sure to stop by.  Who knows, maybe Jonny Depp will show up and say hello…

As usual, we enjoyed great meals, mainly seafood in all its glory!

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But, the highlight of the trip was the celebration of our 15th anniversary!  Here is yours truly ready to party…

Ready

Our dinner at Pa’Akai was wonderful!  Sorry, no photos of our plates, it was such a romantic setting, I could not bring myself to break the atmosphere to snap photos. However, we did ask the waiter to take one of us as a souvenir of the special evening…

15th_Dinner

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Until next time, Aloha!

ONE YEAR AGO: Light Brioche Burger Buns

TWO YEARS AGO: Sourdough Blues

THREE  YEARS AGO: Headed to Hawaii

FOUR YEARS AGO: A yummy Brazilian cake: Bolo de Fuba’

FIVE YEARS AGO:  Hidden Treasure

SIX YEARS AGO: Avocado Three Ways