Tag Archives: Kauai

Day to Day Life: Week Thirty-Five

Okay, I know, I know… I haven’t given you a recipe in over a week. On top of that, the last one was just a smoothie and one mustn’t cook anything to make a smoothie. But let’s just get this out of the way – I still don’t have a recipe for you within this post. No, this will be in the same realm of all Day to Day posts: photos. Because I just got back from a week long trip of visiting family on Kaua’i and cooking has been sporadic for the last couple weeks. We are in the middle of painting our house, have my husband’s nephew staying with us for the next week or so, and school starts on Tuesday… so bear with me. I imagine there will be cooking and thus, recipes to share. But for now, I’m sharing moments from the last week or so that mean just as much to me as cooking, filled with people I love and moments I want to remember. I hope they’ll suffice for you, for now.


A week’s worth of sunsets like this wasn’t hard to appreciate.


Hawaiian ahi poke

IMG_5359Aunty misses this girl!


Hamura’s Saimin was a much needed stop. I hadn’t been back here since I was 18. This is the saimin special, with wontons, pork cuts, fish cake, bok choy, egg, spam, green onions, fresh noodles… and that broth! I want to make this. Just as much as I want to eat it. But vegetarianized, of course. ;)


My happy place: warm ocean, sunshine, happy water babies. So much goodness.


My dad made breakfast.


It was good to see my mom again. We got to sit together on a 5 hour flight between San Francisco and Kaua’i. It was 5 hours of non-stop wala’au!  And so good.


Teri chicken manapua!


My brother-in-law, torpedo-ing off Hanalei Pier.


 A crappy iphone picture, but a delicious meal my brother cooked one night. Fresh mahimahi from Koloa Fish Market grilled with fresh pineapple, mashed potatoes, and local greens.


Water baby.


We visited my grandparents’ graves to leave flowers for them. I never had the opportunity to meet my mom’s parents.


I enjoyed seeing my brother as a Da-da last week; it’s still surreal at times… And makes me feel really old.


Pretty little niece. Who just turned one! WHAT!


I might’ve had a lot of shave ice.


My last meal on island: Hawaiian chicken lau lau plate lunch. Good thing it was filling because my flight home was delayed 3 hours, causing me to miss my connection in San Francisco, placing me in the city around 1:00 AM with all restaurants closed. United Airlines put me up in a hotel overnight, but dinner after my Hawai’i lunch consisted of chocolate macadamia nuts and Chinese pretzels my mom sent me back to Oregon with. At least I scored a top-floor hotel suite all to myself. With concierge room access. ;)


I can still smell and hear every moment here.


I came home to a very full garden.


Red tomatoes, finally!


This boy’s starting the third grade this week! And had his first football game while I was gone.


He also greeted me with this handmade card. I like to think I don’t need to be concerned with his instruction to drink more tequila. :)


Last summer days.


Day to Day Life: Week Thirty-Four

The last week looked a little like this:


5 AM flight!


Sunrise from the plane : the only benefit o 5 AM flights.


I’ve been on Kaua’i visiting family. I can’t get enough of this view, sand, ocean and sunshine.


I met up with my mom, brother, sister in law, and niece in San Francisco enroute to Kaua’i. Do we look alike?


I missed lychee so damn much. This is organic and locally grown!



Night time reflections.


photoThis is the house I grew up in. The trees are gigantic these days…


I got to meet this cute little niece of mine who is nearly one!




I also got to meet this funny rascal boy!




So much I forgot I missed…



This Hawaiian monk seal was hanging out on the beach, catching a nap.


Water baby.



Moonrise and reflections.


We went to the North Shore one day and swam at Hanalei Bay for a few hours. Pat’s Taqueria (truck) was open so I opted for a fish taco and kalua pork taco. They were delicious. Followed by shave ice in Hanalei? Unbeatable.


My mama.





We found this little guy in the ocean, just swimming around.

Pineapple Sunrise Juice


Let’s discuss something. Pineapple. And how adding pineapple to anything does not make it “Hawaiian.” For instance – Hawaiian pizza, topped with pineapple and Canadian bacon. C’mon now.


Being born and raised on Kauai, I have to tell you – I didn’t eat pineapple in or on everything, nor with most meals. We saw it as a treat when my Uncle Ronnie would be gifted a case of Maui Gold pineapples at work on Oahu, then fly the whole thing over to share when he’d stay with us on the weekends. I had never bought a pineapple until moving to Oregon… but when I do, I think of warm sunshine, hot sand beneath my feet and in-between my toes, and salt water drying on my skin after too many hours in the ocean.


We recently took a trip to Southern California. I knew my body had been missing the ocean. I knew that my mind needed crashing waves, grains of clean white sand and sunshine. The combination of all these things is always refueling, no matter where I’m at in my life. There is peace, and contentment, and a stillness I rarely find elsewhere.

I am not calling this juice Hawaiian anything. It’s not warm like sunshine, but the color is so vibrant that I enjoyed it as much as the flavor. Granted, this juice isn’t an ocean. It isn’t sticky summer days and sun-kissed skin. It is tart, sweet, tangy. It is re-energizing and contentment.



Pineapple Sunrise

Makes enough juice for 2-4 people.

A juicer is needed for this recipe. A blender won’t suffice.


1 medium ripe pineapple
1 large ruby red grapefruit
4 mandarin oranges
1 large fuji apple
1- one inch piece of ginger


Cut the pineapple. Peel the grapefruit. Peel the mandarin oranges. Core the apple. Peel the ginger.

Juice all of the ingredients in your juicer. Serve over ice or as is.


Warm Beet Green Salad with Beets, Goat Cheese, and Pine Nuts


I grew up on an island small enough to travel from one side to the other, then back, in less than half a day. Everyone knows everyone, or knows of everyone. Family isn’t always blood-related. Anyone can be aunty, uncle, tutu… Two aunties I had known my entire life were Auntie Kei and Aunty Mitzi. They had known my grandparents – my mom’s parents – whom I wasn’t fortunate enough to meet. These two sisters lived together as long as I can remember. I remember going out to breakfast with my mom, the aunties, my sister, and brothers on many weekends. When we were little, the aunties went to doctor appointments with us, or grocery shopping, or on nearly any outing we invited them to.

I remember often receiving large brown bags filled with their homegrown star fruit and tangerines. They would rarely let us part ways without some kind of food gift – Japanese kanten they made (like jello, only made of agar agar instead of gelatin), or teriyaki nori (seaweed) I could never eat enough of, cookies, bags of honey boro, li hing mui… Sometimes what we left with were large amounts of homegrown beets and beet greens.

Even as a kid, I loved beets. My mom would steam the greens, then tightly roll them up and allow them to cool. She’d top the cold greens with mayonnaise, which I don’t think I would enjoy now so much (perhaps Vegenaise wouldn’t steer me away so quickly?). I actually much preferred the greens to the vibrant red beets. Last week when I was drinking a lot of raw beet juice, I realized how much I missed that flavor.

When I discovered two small beets in our refrigerator needing to be used up, I opted for the following warm salad, incorporating the greens as well. Beets are great for you – they’re high in many vitamins and nutrients including iron and folic acid, they’re low calorie and contain zero saturated fats, they help prevent heart disease and numerous cancers, AND! they’re energy-producing in your body… not to mention, they’re sweet and tasty. This salad is simple. I ate the whole thing for a rather filling brunch, but it can easily serve two or three people. The beets add sweetness, the goat cheese adds a creamy element that works well with the acidity of the lemon and vinegar, the greens balance the sweetness and the pine nuts add a bit of texture.

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