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Monday, November 28, 2011

Hawaiian Delight!

This recipe is wonderful! It’s called Hawaiian Delight Dip, but we used it as a spread for crackers. Oh my! What a treat. This is my second recipe from Luana (you can read my interview of her from my November 3, 7 and 10 posts.)

Not only did my family find this dip delightful, but I also impressed my writers’ group when I made it for our meeting a couple weeks ago.

If you missed Luana’s recipe for Pumpkin Mochi, or any other recipe I’ve posted over the past year and a half, click here or go to my Recipe Page to find links to every recipe—there are some great ones!

Hawaiian Delight Dip (or Spread)

1 pkg cream cheese
1 small can crushed pineapple—drained
1 tsp lemon juice
1 - 2 TBSP mayo

(Mix the above well)

Fold in:
½ c chopped dates (or more if you love dates!)
½ c chopped pecans (or more if you love pecans!)
½ c shredded coconut

Hawaiian Delight Dip (Spread)
I happen to love ALL of the above ingredients, so I folded in more than ½ c of each—YUM!

Luana likes to add some diced up mango. I had a mango, but it was still ripening to use for her Mango Bread recipe, so I didn’t add any. But I bet it’s delicious!

Enjoy, and remember to go to the recipe page if you want to take a look at any or all of my past recipes! I have a couple more of Luana’s recipes coming up, so keep checking back.

Definition of Hawaiian Delight: Eating this spread and sitting back with my flip-flopped feet propped up! Mmmm . . . Mmmm!

Mahalo for visiting!


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Hau'oli La Ho'omakika'i!

That's Happy Thanksgiving in Hawaiian.

If you'd like to know how to pronounce it, try this:

how-oh-lay la ho-o-ma-key-kah-ee

Hope everyone has (or had) a wonderful day with family and friends, eating, sharing, and making wonderful memories.

What are you thankful for? I am most thankful for God's hand in my life and the lives of my family.

May God bless every one of my readers today and every day.

Mahalo for visiting!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Pumpkin What????

It’s almost Thanksgiving and you haven’t thought about dessert?

Well, if you don’t want to make the traditional pumpkin pie, I have a great alternative for you all who are adventuresome at heart.

This is the first of Luana’s recipes (see my interview with Luana from November 3, 7, and 10.) It’s called Baked Pumpkin Mochi.

I made this recipe with pumpkin I cooked up from a real pumpkin! Every Halloween I get a small one to go along with the large carving-size one. Then I cook it up and either use it to make a pie or my healthy mac and cheese, or freeze it.

Pumpkin Mochi!
I must say, when I made this recipe, I just had to sample the batter—YUM! Mochi is similar to Bibinka (click for link to my post) which is a recipe my niece, Nicole, shared with my readers and me. The pumpkin makes this version a wonderful, tasty fall treat. Everyone in my family loved it. My husband particularly loved the corners. After baking it, the mochi looked like a cake, but when you cut into it—oh my! The texture is thick and kind of chewy. Hope you try it out and love it too!

Baked Pumpkin Mochi

A view of the inside--Yum!
29 oz can of pumpkin
14 oz can of condensed milk
2 cubes of melted butter
4 beaten eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 ¼ box Mochiko flour (this is sweet rice flour which I found in an Asian market)
1 ¾ cups of sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
1 ½ tsp pumpkin spice

Mix all together, pour into greased and floured 9 X 13 pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for one hour (I like to convection cook, so it didn’t take a full hour—maybe more like 45-50 minutes.)

I’ll be posting more of Luana’s recipes over the next few months, along with informative posts about Hawaii and some other recipes I’ve tried. If you’d like to see past recipes, please go to my recipe page and click on any you’re interested in. It will take your right to the original post.

Visit again soon!

Mahalo for visiting!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Get To Know Me!!!

A great big thank you to Brandi Boddie (Brandi Boddie - Penning Praises) for giving me The Tell Me About Yourself Blog Award! Then, a few days later, I received the award from Casey Herringshaw Writing for Christ~~The Audience of One as well! Funny, because I think my award to her crossed paths with hers! Thank you, ladies!

Part of receiving this award is telling seven things about yourself, so I decided to tell you some things about me related to the time I lived in Hawaii.

1.    I actually learned to surf! It was fun because my friends gave me a nice long surfboard—perfect for beginners, and took me to an area where the waves were large enough to ride, but small enough for a rank beginner.
2.    I also body surfed, but ended up getting dropped by a big swell onto the shore and then dragged through the sand back into the swell. This scenario repeated itself over and over until my swimsuit was totally filled with sand. I didn’t worry one second about my safety—only about losing my suit!
3.    When snorkeling I was sure I saw an eel. I yelped and told my friend who promptly dove under to rescue me. When he popped up he informed me it was just a pipefish. You can read about this adventure and see a photo by clicking here: Pipefish 
4.    I took hula classes at The University of Hawaii and loved it. In the years since then, I have been able to teach a sit-down hula to kids, performed at my wedding reception, and performed at an event at a local shopping center.
5.    During my time in Hawaii I lived in a YMCA, then the college dorms, and finally a little house with five other girls. You can read a little about my dorm and see a photo of the Atherton YMCA by clicking here: Atherton
6.    While attending The University of Hawaii at Manoa, I was able to take all kinds of classes about the island. In my geology class we ventured into Diamond Head crater and searched for olivine. As well as dancing hula, I also sang in Hawaiian chorus at school.
7.    I participated in our dorm’s luau where we cooked a pig in an imu (a pit in the ground with hot rocks that works like an oven.) I served food and danced a Filipino dance with some friends as part of the entertainment.

What great memories!!!

Here are other blogs I visit and am awarding The Tell Me About Yourself Blog Award!

Life Lessons (Maria Morgan)
On the Write Track (Lynda Schab)
From the Heart (Linda Glaz)
Mahalo for visiting!


Monday, November 14, 2011

King Kalakaua’s Birthday

Hawaiians celebrate King David Kalakaua’s birthday every year on November 16th. The Merrie Monarch earned his nickname because he loved music, dancing, parties, and fine food and beverages.

His wife was Queen Kapiolani and together they had Iolani Palace built to give them a more luxurious home.

Much of Hawaii’s culture (like hula and chants) experienced a nice revival during the king’s reign, but his time was short as he became ill and died in 1891 at the age of 54.

There are a couple events on Oahu which celebrate King Kalakaua’s birthday including:

King Kalakaua Statue Lei Draping Ceremony where leis are placed on the statue of the king.

Waikiki King Kalakaua Parade which includes vehicles and marchers parading down Kalakaua Boulevard.

These two events take place on the Big Island (Hawaii) and are named after the king:

Merrie Monarch Festival is a week-long hula competition.

Kalakaua Festival in Hilo’s Kalakaua Park where every year there is a Merrie Monarch Roayal Parade, and a festival with hula, ukuleles, storytelling, food, and arts.

Time to break out your hula skirt or ukulele and celebrate!

Have you noticed my Blog Award?? Find out more about it and some fun info about me on Thursday!

Mahalo for visiting!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Luana Shares! (Part 3)

I am so happy to have my friend, Luana, share about her experiences growing up in Hawaii!

This is the third of my three-part interview. You really don’t want to miss any of her excitement about Hawaii, so be sure to check out parts 1 and 2 from Thursday, November 03, and Monday, November 7!

Luana grew up on the Big Island of Hawaii, the same as my niece, Nicole, whom I interviewed on September 13, 16, and 20 of 2010. Thank you so much for sharing with my blog readers, Luana.
Share with us a favorite memory as a kid.

Some of my favorite memories as a kid were all the times my mom would let a whole bunch of us kids (neighbors and friends) pile into the back of our jeep, and she would drive us across to the other side of the island to spend the whole day at our favorite beach! If not that, she was letting us all pile into the jeep and taking us up to our favorite river swimming hole, where we would climb cliffs and jump into the water. We would also swim up to a waterfall and challenge each other as to who could sit under it the longest as the waterfall beat down on our heads! We would also slide down natural water slides in the river where rocks were covered with a very slippery moss.

Did you and your friends ever get into mischief? If so, tell us a story.

Oh dear yes! I was a little rascal at times! We lived near a very mean neighbor lady...and one day my friends and I decided to stuff her mailbox with rotten Mango's! :/ Another naughty thing my sister and I did was sneak (climbed over the fence) into the county pool at night and went swimming! Ohhhhh boy, if we had been caught doing that, we might have been grounded for a YEAR!! My dad was the director of Parks and Recreation for the County of Hawaii, which means he oversaw the pools and all of the lifeguards! We would have been in BIG trouble!

What do you really love about Hawaii, especially the Big Island?

What I love most about Hawaii, especially the Big Island, is the laidback life style of the islands. I loved being able to be no more than a hop, skip, and a jump away at all times from the beautiful ocean! I loved the fresh smell of flowers in the air being gently carried along in the cool trade winds. I loved the sound of the ocean ebbing in and out, and the sound of waves crashing along the coast. Truly, I loved living my growing up years in flip-flops! ;)

Anything else you’d like to share with my readers?

Growing up in Hawaii, I loved the way people always found a reason to gather, usually outdoors under a pavilion, for a fun celebration. Flowers, leis, Hawaiian music, and good home-cooked food were always a part of our celebrations. Because life back then was so simple and easy going, it was also very common for people to just "drop in" unannounced for a visit, where everyone would sit out on the lanai in the trade winds and just visit. Ohana is very important to the people of the islands—they take great pride in their heritage. If someone, for any reason, was found without a family, they would be taken in to another's and made a part of that Ohana. They would "hanai" you (take you in as their own).

What great stories you tell, Luana! It really makes me want to rush right back to the islands. I miss the days I experienced in Hawaii.

I hope to try out all of Luana’s recipes soon, and post about my experience making them, as well as sharing them with you.

Here’s to a life in flip-flops!

Mahalo for visiting!


Monday, November 7, 2011

Luana Shares! (Part 2)

I am thrilled to have my friend, Luana, share about her experiences growing up in Hawaii. You will love learning about the place she calls home!

This is part 2. Be sure to check out part 1 from last Thursday!

Luana grew up on the Big Island of Hawaii, the same as my niece, Nicole, whom I interviewed on September 13, 16, and 20 of 2010. Thank you so much for sharing with my blog readers, Luana.
What is your favorite part of Hawaiian culture?

My favorite part of the Hawaiian culture was all the flowers everywhere, and the way we all gave leis to each other during celebrations. For example, the smell of the auditorium on graduation day was breathtaking—a memory and smell I will never forget. I also love the Hawaiian music and dancing, every song and dance tells a wonderful story. I love the way life was simple there.

What are your favorite Hawaiian foods to cook?

I love to make shoyu chicken, mochi, kalua pig.

What recipes would you like to share with my readers? (I will post the recipes after the interview series is complete)

Various flavored mochi, shoyu chicken, coconut pineapple cream cheese dip, and mango bread.

What other things did you do with your friends?

Growing up, my friends and I spent a lot of time playing outside. Games like hide-n-go seek at night, and dodge ball. We loved burrowing little tunnels through the bushes, and building tree houses. Every Halloween all the neighbor kids would get together and build a "haunted house". Boy were they good!!!! At Christmas time, a typical Christmas tree in Hawaii was a Norfolk Pine. Norfolk’s were plentiful in Hawaii, which made for a more affordable Christmas tree. Other kinds of Christmas trees were shipped over from the Mainland by boat, which made them more expensive to purchase. But I remember vividly the one year my parents let us buy a beautiful Douglas fir tree for Christmas. It smelled AMAZING!!! 

Did you have a favorite “hang-out”?

My favorite hang-out was at a beach called "Lele'iwi beach park". I liked it there because it was a safe place to swim, and we would usually run into a friend or two while there. It was a good hang-out! We also liked to hang-out at the roller rink. 

What fun to be a kid in Hawaii!! Join me again on Thursday for the final part of my series with Luana. You won’t want to miss it—you get to discover what kind of shocking mischief this sweet lady got into as a kid—OH MY!

Mahalo for visiting!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Luana Shares! (Part 1)

I am thrilled to have my friend, Luana, share about her experiences growing up in Hawaii. As you read her answers you will see how excited she is about her life in the islands and all the cultural and culinary experiences she treasures.

Maile Onakea’s mom is named Luana. Maile is Leilani’s best friend in my books. How cool is it that I chose that name for my character before I even met the real Luana! Since her name is part of The Hawaiian Island Detective Club, I’ll give you a little overview.

Luana is pronounced loo-AHN-ah
Meaning: Enjoyment
Gender: Female

Luana grew up on the Big Island of Hawaii, the same as my niece, Nicole, whom I interviewed on September 13, 16, and 20 of 2010. Thank you so much for sharing with my blog readers, Luana.

When you were a kid, what was your favorite thing to do?

As a kid, my favorite thing/s to do was to play in mountain streams, catching little fish and tad polls, and swinging from natural vines like Tarzan and jumping into the water. I also loved to ride my bike down to the beach just to sit in the sun and relax while watching the surfers. I loved running through our pasture land along the cow trails, climbing into guava trees and finding that "perfect" guava to snack on! Whenever we had a GREAT BIG rainstorm, my sisters and I would run outside and play in the rain for as long as we could, running and sliding in the grass and splashing through big puddles . . . We always found fun things to do outside!

What was your favorite food?

Growing up in Hawaii I had many favorite foods, but something I really, really loved was lau lau served with poi. Yummmm! It's so hard to truly pick a "favorite" food because I loved so many foods in Hawaii! Such as Mochi, a yummy dessert/snack food made out of rice flower. Till this day, EVERY time I go home to Hawaii the first thing I do is head to the grocery store to purchase some fresh mochi! Mmmmmm good! My favorite fruits were mango, passion fruit, and lychee.

Favorite Hawaiian food?

My favorite Hawaiian food was lau lau (pork wrapped in taro leaf then steamed) served with rice and poi. I also loved ANYTHING with coconut! Pickled mango, pickled lemon, and "crack-seed" were some of my favorite snacks. :)

Favorite Shave-Ice flavor?

My favorite Shave-ice flavor was coconut and guava, HANDS DOWN!!!! Ohhhhhhh yeah!!!!

Did you learn the hula or go surfing, and at what age?

Well, I did take hula lessons at a very young age, for a very short time. But, as time went on, and after watching lots and lots of hula over the years I learned very well how to mimic them. I loved to dance hula on my own. 

When I was in middle school my sisters and I found an old surfboard at a garage sale. We tried and tried to learn to surf on it, but the board was small and shorter, being better suited for an experienced surfer rather than young learners. But boy could we girls cut up the water on a boogie board!!!! LOOK OUT!!!!

Such fun times growing up in Hawaii, Luana!

Please join us again on Monday for Part 2 of my interview with Luana. She has a lot more fun and interesting things to share.

Mahalo for visiting!