Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Free - Slack Key Guitar Festival (Maui)



Summer has officially arrived so get ready for some fun summer time festivals in Hawaii. This Sunday the 26th annual Slack Key Guitar Festival hits Maui from 1-7pm.  A strong line up of the islands' favorite slack key artists will delight audiences at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center outdoor amphitheater. Admission is free. Bring your low back lawn chairs and some cash for food and drinks (no outside refreshments allowed).   

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

McDonald's Lobster Roll arrives in Hawaii

The Fish Filet sandwich has a new Seafood buddy, the Lobster Roll, which has been a summertime success in the New England states. McDonalds claims it uses real lobster meat albeit frozen and thawed. With its price at under $10 we can soon find out if the Roll lives up to its anticipated hype. Expect its arrival on Oahu this coming July 28th and keep your eyes out for the Roll on the other islands. 

Photo:snaxtime

Friday, June 9, 2017

A Taste of Hawaii in Paris

Somehow French sensibilities of "Hawaii" have made it into Parisian McDonald chains. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Max Holloway, UFC Featherweight Champion (Oahu)

Congratulations to UFC Featherweight Championship Max ("Blessed") Holloway who beat José Aldo from Brazil at Saturday's  fight. Holloway was greeted with screams, cheers and a warm aloha homecoming, leis and all, when he landed at HNL and returned to his hometown of Waianae.  

Photo: ScrapDigest

Madre's Chocolate Workshop (Oahu)

Make your own chocolate bar from Hawaii grown cacao beans, fruits, nuts and spices at Madres Chocolate, Honolulu's first bean-to-bar shop located in the Chinatown art district.  You'll also learn about the origins of chocolate through hands on tastings of the juice of cacao, a fresh roasted cacao bean, and a flight of 5 of Madre's most popular chocolate flavors. A perfect event for that chocolate lover in your life. June 9th at 3pm; Tickets are $28 per person by contacting:events@madrechocolate.com

Photo: minitime

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Furikake Chex Mix (recipe)

Furikake Chex Mix 

6 cups Rice+Corn Chex Mix cereal (Walmart)
4 cups Honey Comb cereal (Target)
4 cups assorted Arare (1/2 lb bag)
1/2 to 3/4 bottle of Furikake (with seaweed)
1/2 stick of Butter
2 Tablespoon Sugar
1/4 C Canola Oil
1/4 C Karo Light Corn Syrup
2 Tablespoon Shoyu

Preheat oven to 250 degrees

In large roasting pan stir Chex Mix, Honey Comb and Arare. 

In medium sauce pan melt butter, sugar, oil, corn syrup and shoyu over low heat until dissolved. 

Drizzle mixture over cereal mix, a little at a time and toss. Sprinkle furikake from the glass bottle until evenly coated. 

Bake for one hour, tossing every 20 minutes; make sure the bottom doesn't burn. Cool for 5 minutes before serving. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

9th Annual Maui Brewers Festival

Serving beer from 40 breweries, 13 of which are from the Hawaiian islands. Each $45 ticket include live music performances, heavy pupus (from two dozen local restaurants) and two beer pours in a souvenir glass ($4 for each additional pour). When: This Saturday, 3:30-7pm at the Maui Arts and Cultural center. 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Good Morning Green Juice (recipe)

What you'll need: 

2 apples
1 cucumber
1 lemon 
4 strawberries 
Handful of blueberries 
2-3 kale leaves (or 4-6 big leafy greens, or 2 baby bok choy, or 1/4 cabbage head, or whatever left-over green veggies you have)

Directions: Add the above ingredients into your juicing machine. The method of creating juice recipes are generally the same, layering these three basic parts:

Juice base: cucumbers and apples

Vitamins: kale/leafy greens + lemon (to balance the bitterness of kale/green leaves)

Options: strawberry (for sweetness), blueberry (for antioxidants)

Tip: juice the apples or cucumbers *after* the berries to strain out the berry flesh from the machine and maximize the use of the berries

Stir, pour over ice (optional), and drink with a straw (to temper the acidity on your teeth and gums). Enjoy!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Citrus Olive Oil Cake (recipe)



Using lemons from my tree I'm making bite sized olive oil cakes for this year's Easter potluck. I love the moist and light texture of olive oil cakes . Best part is that it's a quick and easy cake to make:


Makes 2 dozen

2 eggs at room temperature
1.5 cup sugar
1 cup of whole milk
1 cup good quality olive oil
Zest of 2-3 lemons, oranges or lime
1.5 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tins or add paper liners. 
In stand mixer beat eggs and sugar until pale (4 minutes on timer)
In large bowl combine milk, olive oil, zest. With mixer running add this to the eggs mixture.
In a medium bowl whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt. With mixer running add dry ingredients. 

Pour 1/4 cup batter into each muffin tin and bake for 18-24 minutes (18 minutes without the paper liner).(Metal liners need 22 minutes and result in a bump as the cake rises). 

Cool on wire rack and sift powered sugar and sprinkle extra zest if desired. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

A Peak at the International Marketplace (Oahu)





A peak at the newly renovated International Marketplace in Waikiki. With the island's first Saks Fifth Avenue department store and boutiques like Trina Turk and MAC this plaza is sure to get plenty of foot traffic from the tourist strip. Shops on Kalakaua Avenue close at 11pm allowing tourists to surf and eat by day and shop by night. 


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

National Pi/e Day - Best Pies on Maui

In honor of National Pi/e Day (03.14) I'm posting my favorite 
pie place on Maui as well as two new comers to the pie scene. 

I'm not the biggest pie person, but Leodas has ranked tops in the country by my books. Order the mini pies so you can get one of each. Keylime and the Choco Mac Nut are my faves, but Banana Creme is a local winner. (Grab their Ahi sandwich while you're there). The location is easy to miss--look for Mile Marker 16 just prior to hitting Kaanapali in the small town of Olowalu (which you can miss in a blink...literally a blink of an eye). The 'downtown' consists of three shops, one of which is Leodas. 

The copycat of Leodas is Sugar Beach Shop. Their pie flavors and presentation looks pretty similar to Leodas, but they are located more conveniently to tourists and locals living in Kihei. See the photo above of their Lilikoi Key Lime pie. 


Maui Pie serves full sized and mini pies with their own recipes and styles. With near-perfect Yelp reviews I'm looking forward to visiting this Kihei joint. 



{Shout out to all my aunts and uncles who are  having a blast on Maui right now. Aloha!}

Photo: @cindyl @stephanieg @mcgowan06

Monday, February 6, 2017

How to contact your Senators or House of Representatives (202) 224-3121

Call the U.S. Capitol by dialing (202) 224-3121 and enter your zip code to be connected to your state Senators (Press 1) or House of Representatives (Press 2). 

A) Know who represents you:

Hawaii State Senators: Mazie Hirono, Brian Schatz

Hawaii House of Representatives: Coleen Hanabusa (First District), Tulsi Gabbard (Second District)

B) Succinctly note the issue you are addressing, what your concern is, and what you would to see done. Thank your Congressperson. 

C) Contact the White House directly via an online email template: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact#page

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Hawaii as the Happiest U.S. State

Yesterday Hawaii was named the top healthiest and happiest state to live in. The Gallup survey looked at the social, physical and financial fitness of respondents across all 50 U.S. states. Hawaii came out ranked #1. For more on this story see the February 1st Time magazine article:

http://time.com/4655836/health-happiness-well-being-states/

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Big Island Candies (Big Island)

Give a little love this Valentines Day. Stuck for gift ideas? Check out Big Island Candies for gift baskets filled with their popular Mac nut shortbread cookies--these guys are the OG, the originators prior to the Honolulu Cookie Company. Big Island Candies has a store in the Ala Moana shopping center (bottom floor near the escalators) and check out the company's flagship store on the Big Island. Happy V Day!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Spam Gift Set - Year of the Rooster

Looking for a Lunar New Year gift? How about this Spam Gift Set to welcome in the Year of the Rooster? Every household in Hawaii can use a can of Spam. (Sets sold at Costco.)And don't forget the Waikiki Spam Jam is coming up on Oahu this April 29, 2017..and Maui's Lahaina Chinese New Year festival in February 3rd. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Annual Hawaii Sand Festival (Kauai)


Hawaii Sand Festival in Hanalei, Kauai on the beach left of the Hanalei pier. Professional sand sculptures will create surreal sand sculptures but the contest and beach is open to all participants of all ages and levels. The festival is held on the second weekend of August. Bring your own beach buckets and shovels!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Monday, January 2, 2017

Dole Rose Parade Float

King Kamehameha stands tall in this beautiful Rose Parade float sponsored by the Dole company. 




Friday, December 30, 2016

Crab Dip (Recipe)


Quick, easy and tasty crab dip perfect for sports game day and potlucks.

11 oz softened cream cheese
1 chopped small onion (food processor)
5 T mayonnaise 
2 (6 oz) cans of crabmeat (Shirokiya's)
1/8 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all of the ingredients and spread into a 1 quart baking dish (I use an oval Le Cruset with lid used for transporting.) Bake for 20 minutes, uncovered. 

That's it. Super easy. Serve with bread pieces, multigrain crackers, salt crackers. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Cal(ifornia) Hotel (Las Vegas)


Popular with locals, The Cal has been upgraded with hibiscus printed carpet, a new bar (still in progress), brighter LED lighting, a modern decor steak house, noodle house, and updated hotel lobby. The dealers still dress in aloha shirts, and the oxtail soup at The Marketplace is still a yum-worthy classic on the menu (plus check out the daily specials like the Saturday Lau Lau plate which runs from 11am to 11pm). And don't forget to stop by the ABC Store across the street with Vegas styled lights located on the popular Fremont Street Experience. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Mac Nut Macaron (recipe)


Looking to make holiday gifts with those bags and tins of Mac nuts? Found this Mac nut macaron recipe from an old Tea Time magazine, July/August 2014. Note the 5 hour prep time. (I've taken a French macaron cooking class and boy is this a tedious and temperamental cookie to make from scratch. With a little practice though you'll be rolling out the cookies in no time.)

Monday, December 5, 2016

Haleakala Parking Pass Required (Maui)


A parking pass will be needed 
beginning Feb 1, 2017 to see the sunrise at Haleakala. The cost is $1.50 and reservations can be made at recreation.gov in addition to the $20 that it already costs for each car to enter the national park. The ticket website launched a few days ago, and travelers can buy parking passes up to 60 days in advance.   

The parking pass is good for three days between 3-7am, the most popular hours to arrive to hike and/or see the sunrise. Cars arriving after 7am do not need a parking pass; while you will miss the sunrise you can still hike and see the volcanic crater. 

Photo: grayline

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Shave Ice for Dolls





All I want for Christmas is...rainbow shave ice for my doll set. If I were a kid I'd want this truck just for the Matsumoto looking pieces. (Spotted at Toys r Us).





Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Honolulu City Lights and Trolley Tour (Oahu)


Honolulu City Lights is a display of brightly lit  palm trees and larger than life holiday decor including Santa, some arctic penguin friends and a beaming Christmas tree. Inside the buildings you'll find holiday arts and crafts projects made by local elementary school students--ginger bread houses, holiday displays and decor. 

Even if locals see the same outdoor display year after year, it still brings a smile to everyone's face as we ring in the Christmas season. 

This ceremonial opening is Dec 2, but tickets for the Trolley Tour from Ward Center goes on sale tomorrow. 

http://www.honolulucitylights.org/

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Hawaii Food and Wine Festival (Oahu)

Going on now in Waikiki and Ko'olina. Silent auction online, event tickets must be pre purchased. Enjoy the best of the island through your gastronomical sense. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Fat Daddy's Smoke House BBQ (Maui)


Louisiana meets Maui at Fat Daddy's in Kihei. Called the best BBQ in Hawaii, folks like the 12 hour smoked brisket and the cornbread made with cream corn. I've driven by so many times but typically don't think of eating BBQ on Maui, but next time I'll think twice and stop by. 

1913 South Kihei Rd. Kalama Village, Kihei, HI 96753

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Hawaii's First Saks Fifth Avenue Opens (Oahu)

The islands' first Saks Fifth Avenue opened at the newly renovated International Marketplace in Waikiki. I thought Saks would never come to Hawaii since Neiman Marcus catered well to this limited clientele base, but the Waikiki strip generates such high revenue from the estimated 80k daily visitors walking down Kalakaua Avenue that the chain couldn't resist. Saks plans to open a second shop in the Ala Moana shopping center (in the former Nordstrom location), but let's see how the Waikiki location does first--reports of an empty store (no customers) and poor customer service by its sales people don't bode well for this department store's future. 


A promo video of the renovations of the International Marketplace:


http://youtu.be/EPI4WDNDTCs


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Piggy Smalls Opens Friday (Oahu)




There's a new baby pig coming this Friday. Honolulu's successful food truck turn brick-and-mortar, Pig and the Lady, is opening their second joint, Piggy Smalls in the Kaka'ako arts district. Chef Brandon Lee will be at the helm of the new kitchen specializing in fusion comfort food--from pho spiced pastrami sandwiches to potato beignets, the touches of Vietnamese and French influences remain reminiscent of its flagship. You can bet there'll be a line of foodies at the door this weekend. 


Piggy Smalls

1200 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu


Photo: @piggysmallshawaii 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Pipeline Bakery and Creamery (Oahu)


In Kaimuki town on Waialea, $1 malasadas and Cake Bombs that look moist and yummy. I'll have to stop by soon. 


Photo: @amyy

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Trina Turk - Grand Opening (Oahu)



The much anticipated Trina Turk store opened a few weeks ago at the newly renovated International Marketplace in Waikiki. Trina is half-Japanese American and her parents are from Hawaii; it's fitting that she open her mid-century fashion boutique on Oahu. Look forward to checking it out!

Photo: @red77

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Free Event - 11th Annual Maui Ukulele Festival



Free Event - 11th Annual Maui Ukulele Festival this Sunday, Oct 2 from 1-6pm. Gates open at 12:30 but no umbrellas and coolers allowed.  Food items can be purchased on the premise from a variety of vendors--ahi poke cones, Lau Lau plates, mochiko chicken cones, Korean BBQ, burgers and pizza. 

As a service to the community, free Ukulele lessons will be given the day prior, Oct 1 from 10-11:30am. Both events will be held at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Hawaii Five-0 - Meet the Cast - Tonight's Free Event (Oahu)



To kick off the much anticipated Season 7, the Hawaii Five 0 cast will be at the season premiere kick off tonight, September 23, at 6pm: Sunset on the Beach (a 30 foot movie screen right on the sand) located at Queen's Surf Beach across from the Hononlulu Zoo in Waikiki. The cost is free and bring a towel or beach chair to sit on. Welcome to another season of Five-0 action!

For other free film screenings at Sunset on the Beach:


Friday, August 12, 2016

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

What's Brewing - Big Island Kopelani Blend


Just released, Starbuck's Kopelani blend from the Big Island. Already in stores, the Reserve Ka'u, Oahu and Kona packs. Time for a morning brew!


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Green Tea Goodies




Green goodies in every cookie, candy and drink imaginable. My favorite is the green tea Milky chewy taffy-like candy, and the two items I just tried below--green tea Oreo sticks and green tea Oreo cookies imported from Japan. 





Friday, June 17, 2016

Hello Kitty Food Truck visits Honolulu - Opens in 10 minutes (Oahu)


It's finally here! The Hello Kitty food truck is making its way across the country and finally made it to Honolulu. Where to find it? The Ala Moana shopping center. It's there right now--and opens in ten minutes. 10am to 9pm near the Sanrio store 6/17-6/19. We've been waiting all year for this truck! And check out these cute macarons ($15/set) while you're there. Mugs and other non-food items also available. 


{photo: hk cafe FB}

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Haupia Boba at Mr Tea Cafe (Oahu)


The new Mr Tea serves up boba milk tea in local flavors like Haupuia, Taro, Lilikoi, Guava, Mango and Lychee (to name a few) in a hipster mustache cup. And why not pick up a few LaTour macarons while you're there (sold in their display) to make for a perfect afternoon treat. 

909 Kapiolani Suite A, Honolulu (open until midnight) / 660 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu (open until 6, 7pm)

{photo: @mrteacafe}