Rey + Vi Favorite Pancakes

Today is the royal wedding day. We celebrate Prince Harry and Megan by eating our favorite yogurt pancakes in our pajamas and watching the live broadcast of the ceremony.



3/4 cup of all purpose flour

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp kosher salt

2 eggs

1 cup keffir 

Canola oil for cooking


In a large bowl, combine well the flour, baking soda, sugar and salt.  In another bowl, whisk egg and keffir until smooth. Pour flour mixture into keffir mixture and mix everything together. It's ok if it's still lumpy. 

Set nonstick pan over low medium heat. Make sure pan is evenly heated before drizzling in canola oil. Using tablespoon to form pancakes that are about 2 -3 inches in diameter. Flip when bubbles form surface and cook until lightly browned. Serve with maple syrup and/or favorite fruits.

One Carrot Goal

Sometimes I wonder why I even bother growing carrots when a bag of organically grown carrots is 99 cents at the supermarket! There are a few reasons why we choose to grown our own. Homegrown carrots have not traveled X thousands of miles. No one else handle them other than the gardener from start to finish. But the reason above all is I live for the smiles radiating from our daughters' faces as the bright colorful roots come out of the ground. Alas, we live in Miami, FL where tropical monsoon is our climate and growing sweet carrots can be a challenge.

The sweet or bitter taste of carrots depends on both the environment and genetics. I am not a carrot expert by any stretch of the imagination although it would be pretty neat to be an expert at something. But here goes a couple things I consider when growing carrots in our growing zone. 

Choosing the right variety for our zone. The genetic bit to consider. Miami is hot. It's a must to go with cultivars that have high heat tolerance and disease resistance. New Kuroda is a Chantenay type favored for its heat tolerance and was bred for subtropical climate. Sunrise Red is another that was specifically bred for TROPICAL and subtropical climate. Mokum is a variety from Johnny Seeds I would like to try because they're supposed to be sweet even in warm weather. 

Cultivating methods. When nights are warmer, carrots spend the sugars as part of respiration rather than storing it. Mulch and mulch to keep soil nice and cool. 

Time of day to harvest. Carrots undergo photosynthesis during the day to make sugars. From my readings, the best time to harvest is at the end of the day when the sugar content is high. When the sugar content is high, it masks the unpleasant bitter taste. This is especially true when night time temperature is above the desirable of 50s and the sugars are spent on respiration.

So what to do if you end up with a bumper harvest of ahem... bitter carrots? Definitely don't throw it out! It's perfectly safe to eat. Question though what to do to make it palatable and dare I ask delicious. The best suggestion I learned is to cook them for a long time to draw out the sugar therefore sweetness. Also nothing tempers bitter better than salt. Season well without oversalting! Here’s a recipe to try carrots bitter or not. 



2 lbs carrots, sliced at an angle 1/4 inches thick

4 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature

1 tbsp miso paste

2 tsp brown sugar

1 tsp unseasoned rice vinegar

2 tbsp canola oil

1/2 cup scallion, sliced

Sesame for garnishing


Bring a pot of water to a boil, blanched carrots 2-3 minutes. Drain and set aside. Beat butter, miso, sugar, vinegar and sugar in a medium bowl. Heat canola oil over high heat in a flat bottomed skillet. Add carrots and allow to char (at high heat it happens fairly quick). Add miso butter and sliced scallions reserving some garnishing at the end. Toss carrots until butter starts to brown. Remove from the heat. Serve on large plate garnish with remaining scallions and sesame seeds.








Chè Chuối - Vietnamese Banana Tapioca Pudding

Che Chuoi is one of my favorite desert. Manzano bananas have the best texture to use for this dessert. The chiquita type bananas get mushy and doesn’t hold together. 

Chè Chuối - Vietnamese Banana Tapioca Pudding


~10 manzano banana

1/4 cup peanuts, toasted and crushed

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup tapioca pearls, small size not the boba tea ones

A pinch of salt

1 tbsp vanilla if you don’t have access to panda leaves. 

1 cup coconut cream

2 cups water


Make sure bananas are really ripe. Peel. Leave whole or cut into chunks. Marinate bananas with salt and sugar. Set aside for about 20 minutes. 


Bring water to a boil (with pandan leaves tied in knots if using). Add tapioca pearls. When the tapioca pearls are cooked (translucent), add bananas and let it simmer for a little. Stir in coconut cream. Turn off heat, remove pot from the stove and add vanilla (omit if using pandan). Served warm or room temperature. (I like it cold straight from the fridge too.) Add the crushed peanuts on top when serving.