To easily read my blog and not miss a post--SUBSCRIBE VIA E-MAIL

You can always comment using the "ANONYMOUS BUTTON."

Or just CLICK ON ONE OF THE LITTLE SQUARES at the bottom of my posts to let me know what you think. Easy-Peasy!

And Don't Forget To FEED MY FISH!!!! (at the bottom of the side column)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Jello Comes In Red, Blue, Green, Orange And . . .


Yes, in this recipe, the Jell-O is white. It’s Almond Gelatin, served with mandarin oranges. I love this as a light and flavorful, unique dessert. Don’t know the heritage of this recipe, but I’m guessing it has an Asian—probably Chinese—background.

Funny story about my experience serving this dessert. My family loves it, so I thought some of my relatives would enjoy it too. Especially since I knew the kids ate Jell-O all the time.

Wrong! They took one look at it and shook their heads, scowls crossing their faces. I tried to explain it was Jell-O, but to no avail. So, here’s my warning—may be scary for kids who only know their gelatins to be in bright colors!

I’d love to hear your experience when you try making this treat. It’s very easy. You can do it!

I will post all recipes on a Recipe Page so you will have easy access to them as I share more with you. And, yes, I will try all of them before I pass them on to you.


Almond Gelatin

1 package unflavored gelatin
¼ cup cold water
1 ½ cups milk, scalded
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract

Mix gelatin with water. Add sugar to scalded milk.
Combine with the gelatin mixture and stir until gelatin is dissolved.
Add the almond extract and mix.
Pour into a square 8 X 8-inch pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
Refrigerate until set.

Cut into cubes and serve with mandarin oranges, or fruit cocktail.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Now You See It . . .

Now you don’t!

Waimea Canyon, that is. Here are my “favorites” on the islands I have visited. You might want to visit as well!

Waimea Canyon, located on Kauai, offers visitors a breathtaking view—when you can see it! Many times you’ll arrive (after climbing many steps) and see only fog. Often, if you patiently wait, the fog will clear, revealing magnificent colors and sculpted walls. The canyon is 10 miles long and 1 mile wide. I’ve never driven the 40 mile road to see other viewpoints, but it would be a great trip!

If you ever get a chance to cruise the Hawaiian Islands, you may get to see the Pali Ciffs in the daylight. I’ve had that opportunity. Gorgeous!

Wailua Falls (Remember the falls in the opening of Fantasy Island?) and Spouting Horn are fun places to visit on Kauai as well.

Haleiwa on Oahu’s north shore. We swam in the ocean nearby this tiny town. The giant turtles swam with us. And, of course, you must have a shave-ice at the little store, Aoki's, in Haleiwa! Yum!

Dole Plantation is a big tourist thing on your way to the north shore, but I recommend stopping in and having the pineapple sorbet. The servings were huge with mounds of fresh pineapple. Amazing!!! We bought a couple and shared. There was plenty for all of us. See that yummy pineapple?

Pearl Harbor is an absolute must-see. My kids loved the video and the small museum. Lots of wonderful history. The ride to the area of the memorial and the sunken Arizona is amazing and sobering.

On the big island of Hawaii I love the Volcanoes National Park, although when we visited in 2007, all you could do was drive the old caldera. Kilauea was erupting, so much of the park and viewing areas were unavailable. But the park is still very interesting.

If you travel way down the island from Hilo you can visit one of the rare Black Sand Beaches. A turtle greeted us there. The sand is course, rough, and sharp, but beautiful. There are also a number of waterfalls near Hilo, including Akaka Falls. The hike there is easy and beautiful.

My other favorite places are not ones any tourist would probably visit, but part of my heart and soul still resides there. The University of Hawaii in the Manoa Valley on Oahu is where I attended for a year. I stayed for a while in The Atherton House, then in the dorm, Hale Laulima, shopped in Pucks Alley, ate at McGoos Pizza, and worked at The Research Animal Facility on campus (which I could not locate during my visit. Not sure if it exists on campus now.)

Tell me your favorite places to visit! I hope to be getting back there soon and I’d love to know some new things to explore.

Join me next week—I’m thinking it’s recipe time!!! I’ll post a simple one—if I can make it, you can too!! Easy-peasy and yummy too.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Five, Six, Pick Up Sticks . . .

Seven, eight—wait, wait, wait! Do you mean there are eight islands in the Hawaiian Island chain?
Yes, there are more islands than the few most people know about and visit. Each one has its own unique appeal, although you can’t visit all of them.
So, let’s take a look at each island and see which one makes you long to visit.

Hawaii—The Big Island. The largest island, youngest island, and the one with an active volcano. The volcanoes making up the island include Kohala, Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Hualalai, and Kilauea. Kilauea continues to erupt today, so the biggest island is growing even larger. This is the island where it is believed the Polynesians first landed. The goddess of the volcano, Pele, is thought to live on Hawaii.

Oahu—The Gathering Place. About 80% of Hawaii’s population lives here. Honolulu and famous Waikiki beach are located on Oahu. Two volcanoes created this island, Wainae and Koolau. Ever watch a surfing competition on TV? If it was held in Hawaii, it was probably at Sunset Beach on the north shore of Oahu. Pipeline is the part of Sunset Beach where advanced surfers can tackle giant waves and try to “shoot the tube.”

Maui—The Valley Island. Famous for its beautiful beaches, Haleakala Crater, Hana Coast, and Lahaina, a quaint harbor town. Maui was created by one volcano, Haleakala.

Molokai—The Friendly Island. This island is “Old-Time Hawaii.” It is quiet and laid-back. The Kalaupapa Peninsula was once home to a large leper colony. Now only a few people live in the self-contained village.

Kauai—The Garden Island. Lush with vegetation, it is also battered by storms and rain. The oldest island and the first island Captain Cook visited.

Lanai—Pineapple Isle (a title held during most of the 20th century.) A small island with no traffic lights, quiet and remote, Lanai used to be a huge producer of pineapples for Dole. Today, the production has moved overseas. Popular activities include golfing and four-wheeling in a jeep.

Niihau—The Forbidden Island. Privately owned since 1864, there are about 130 residents living in the town of Puuwai. No running water, and electricity is provided by the sun and generator. For all these years, you could only visit the island if you were invited by the Robinson family. But today you can take a half-day helicopter tour of the island, even landing for a while on a beach.

Kahoolawe—This island has gone through many changes. For a short time, it was once a penal colony, then used for sheep and cattle ranching. Eventually it was controlled by the US Navy and used as a bombing range until 1990. Currently it is being restored by the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission.

Hope you enjoyed this brief tour of the islands! On Thursday I will tell you about my favorite spots on a couple of the islands I have visited and where I would like to visit in the very near future!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

You Say Goodbye, I Say . . .

Aloha! In Hawaii, Aloha means both hello and goodbye. I am greeting you, so in this case it means hello.

Here are a few extended “alohas”:

Aloha kakahiaka—Good morning
Aloha `auinala—Good afternooon
Aloha ahiahi—Good evening

Aloha also means love.

Aloha Au Ia 'OeI Love You
Aloha Nui LoaAll my love
Aloha PumehanaWarm love, affection

So, how do you know what someone means when they use the word, aloha? It’s all in the context. I greeted you with a warm hello, just like you might be greeted by friends at the airport in Hawaii.

Also in Hawaii, there’s something called the aloha spirit—filled with love. You’ll experience this when you visit the islands.

Today (Thursday the 19th) I am filled with the aloha spirit for family and friends—it’s my birthday, and I am excited to celebrate another year! Check out my photos and you’ll see I’m not going to let the growing number of years get the best of me! See me climb a rock wall and go down a zip-line, both for the first time! Maybe I’ll even post videos of my attempt at wakeboarding and my indoor soccer experiences. Haven’t done any surfing lately—but I did when I lived in Hawaii.

Before I go, there’s another word used on the islands on a regular basis, although maybe not as familiar to you as aloha. The word is Mahalo, which means thank you.

Are you ready to continue this adventure with me, exploring a little history, geography, geology, arts, and food of the islands? Come back regularly and soak up tidbits of Hawaiian culture.  You’ll soon discover why I chose to base my mysteries in the islands. I’m excited to find out what I’m going to share on Monday—it’ll be a surprise for me too!

Mahalo Nui Loa (Thank you very much) for visiting, and Aloha `oe! (Farewell to you)


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Welcome To Life In Flip-Flops!

I love tucking my toes into a pair of flip-flops, especially when they’ll be walking across white sand and sloshing in warm water. Don’t you?

Only nineteen when I lived on Oahu and attended The University of Hawaii, I soaked up every ounce of tropical surroundings and Hawaiian culture. Now, years later, I plan to do some mental traipsing through the Hawaiian tropics.

Slip your feet into your favorite pair of flip-flops and join me in my trek as I share my love of the islands with you!

I will be posting two times per week. You will find something new every Monday and Thursday morning. Explore with me Hawaiian culture, history, landscape, people, customs, language, and (YUM!) recipes. I’ll also interview some friends with connections to the islands and/or its rich culture. Please become a follower, and don’t forget to tell your friends to visit as well.

I will also keep you informed about my journey with The Hawaiian Island Detective Club series. Meet the characters (you can even ask questions about them!) and discover the mystery facing the kids in each book as I trudge along through this publishing jungle!

Thank you for taking this ride with me, and welcome to Life in Flip-Flops!