We all need our little oasis where we could sit, relax and be still until we hear our heart murmur. Until we can feel our breathe under our nostrils and the stillness around us whisper into our ear like soothing music. It's calming, almost magical... we feel renewed, and the best thing is that it's free.
I used to have my own little oasis in San Diego. This place is where I go to when I feel like I'm carrying the burden of the world. I sit and marvel at nature's beauty... The mystic sound of the ocean resonate like music from the frets of a guitar ... while the sun's gentle rays and the subtle breeze caress me until I have calmed down and feel warm and fuzzy inside. The bonus is this seaside spot was only 5 minutes away from where I lived.
So I am euphoric when here in STL I found my new "home". There's a secret garden that revealed itself to me slowly. It is a serene garden hideaway. Slowly I realize that beneath the lush green leaves, there is a small pond and down the steps, it reveals itself. Oh how serendipitous indeed! I heard my heart sing!
While it's true that the terrain in California is a lot different from St. Louis, I believe that I have to embrace my neighborhood and most importantly make it my own. Although I miss the spring flowers and the Pacific Ocean in San Diego, I also found a beautiful place in St. Louis. I see GREEN: green lush trees, green ponds, green grass...everything glowing GREEN!
So for my glowing green season inspired dish, pandan leaves came in handy for me to whip up a dessert called Buko Pandan, a refreshing sweet dessert made of pandan jello and buko (young coconut) laced with the creamy goodness of cream cheese and condensed milk. The trifecta of the jello, buko and cream will reveal a beautiful symphony of goodness in your mouth. Trust me, your feel good hormones will kick in, haha!
5 pieces pandan leaves
1 pack unflavored gelatin
2 packs frozen buko (young coconut)
1 bottle nata de coco
1/2 can condensed milk
1/2 c heavy cream
2 tbsps cream cheese
Thaw out packs of frozen buko. Drain and set aside.
Prepare the jello as per package instructions. When boiling water, put the pandan leaves, then add the jello. Remove pandan leaves and pour the jello in a flat pan. Let it cool. When the jello solidifies, slice the pandan jello into small cubes.
Mix the condensed milk, cream cheese and heavy cream together. Add buko pandan jello and nata de coco . Gently mix the salad altogether. Refrigerate before serving.
Here are some snapshots around my "green" city of St. Louis:
I hope you have enjoyed touring around my piece of heaven... may you find yours!