Saturday, September 4, 2010

Apple Banana Tarte Tatin

Sunday, when I quit the bakery I felt a lot better. On Monday, filled with energy and renewed inspiration I wrote a letter to MidWeek Kauai asking about writing work. I addressed it to one of the writers who seems to write almost every article in there plus, she and I had done some correspondence when we were setting up Jillian's interview. She emailed me back right away and said she was a freelance reporter and was not in a position to hire but forwarded my email to the Editor in Chief based in Honolulu. She also gave me his contact information. So, I rewrote the email a little and contacted him also. 

Tuesday morning there was an email from a lady who is staying at the same place I personal cheffed at several weeks ago. She was wondering if I was available Saturday (today) to cook for her and her family for her mother's birthday. I immediately replied and asked what types of food she preferred. Learning that they were a vegetarian family (except dad eats fish) I began to prepare a menu for them to choose from. 

I love doing this sort of thing and as I happily created 4 options for each course; apps, salad, main and desert, I got a phone call from the Editor in Chief at MidWeek Kauai!!! I did my best to act like a normal person and kept my giddy excitement at bay. I had emailed him examples of my writing along with the Kauaian Fresh website. As we spoke about how I came to be in Kauai, I had mentioned cooking. He said he had seen my website and was wondering if I would consider writing the Tastes of Kauai column for the paper. It's a restaurant review and he would like me to do 2 a month, with the current writer doing the other 2. Would I??? I was jumping up and down with excitement as I calmly said, "I would love to do that." He told me to have fun with them, write about the food and the people. Tough, but I'll try! My photographer husband will be joining me on these excursions. I am excited because our first assignment, on September 12th, is at Casablanca; a nice Mediterranean restaurant in Poipu. Yum Yum! 

I have learned several lessons from the bakery incident. One is; if what I am doing doesn't fill me up, if it takes away from me, stop doing it as soon as possible. It's like being in a bad relationship. The longer you stay in it, the longer it will take you to find that someone who is perfect for you. We only have so much energy and if that energy is blocked because we are spending it on something that takes away from us, we will not be in a place to receive what is right. The second is; when one door closes, another will open or, in my case, two opened. Life is rolling out my dreams better than I could have imagined, at a pace I am comfortable with. I mean, I got to sleep in this morning; no 5am wake up, drive through the lazy, dark and deserted streets of Kauai only to enter the brightly lit chaos of the bakery. I get to have free dinners and write about them! How cool is that! The third lesson; Dream Big and let life (or god) figure out the details.

Never having made the Apple Banana Tarte Tatin, I included it as a desert option because it sounded so good. It ends up, that is the desert they chose. I decided I had better make it before I made it for a client! So the picture above is what Dan and I enjoyed the other night, it's fantastic! (Please excuse our fine plastic china.) The recipe calls for Apple Bananas, little bananas with a slight apple taste found everywhere in Kauai, but I think any banana would work well.

Apple Banana Tarte Tatin
    • 2 tablespoons of butter
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
    • 8 apple bananas, cut in half lengthwise
    • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted or pie dough trimmed to fit pan
    • ground cinnamon to taste
    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Saute half of the bananas until golden brown; remove from heat and saute the rest, using the remaining butter. Spray an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with cooking spray and then sprinkle evenly with sugar. Lay bananas over sugar, arranging in rows. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Lay pastry over, tucking edges under. Bake until pastry is golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool slightly, then invert tart onto a platter. Cut into 4 squares, and cut each square diagonally, forming triangles. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. 

    I found this recipe in the Hawaii Farmers Market Cookbook

    I couldn't resist, here is a letter I received from my last client ~

     We absolutely loved everything you made for us that evening and we are bragging of you to all our friends here.
    Everything was absolutely fresh and delicious. The combination of flavors were complimentary and not overwhelming in any way.  We loved that the foods you prepared had a local flare and feeling to them as well. 
    You and your husband fit seamlessly into our evening.  You prepped, cooked, served and cleaned up in such an unassuming, yet elegant way.  You also didn't make fun of our singing :)
    I loved that you had some of the recipes available to me, the only criticism I can think of is I don't have that awesome hot dip recipe!  If it's not a secret recipe, can I get a copy?
    We happily and strongly recommend that others use your chef services.  They will not be disappointed!
    Mahalo, mahalo, mahalo!!

    Julie Corell
    Ladera Ranch, California