Happy Monday, friends, and apologies for being a little late to post. I think that "late" is going to be the theme of the week. Fingers crossed for understanding editors. It's not like I frittered away the weekend, either. I did so not fritter. Okay, there was a nap in there, and I did finish Ruth Ozeki's marvelous A Tale for the Time Being. ( Hilo folks, you'll enjoy the references to Hilo in there.) I may have also gone to the park and to three garage sales. That can hardly be consider frittering, though, since it's important to enjoy beautiful days and bargains. I did iron, which as you all know, I despise.
Pictured above: KTA's recipe for Stir Fry Chicken & Green Beans. Mr. L pronounced this a "Make Again," which is sort of like four stars at our house ("I want to marry you again" would be five).
I tried to look up the recipe on KTA's website, but I guess this one isn't up, yet. I have therefore included a photo of it at the bottom of this post.
It's 6:31 as I write this, and I have yet to make dinner, so I had better be brief.
Sunday: The aforementioned Stir Fry Chicken & Green Beans. Make it. It's great. I used chicken thighs and although the sesame oil was optional, I vote that it shouldn't be. Yum.
Monday: I am re-heating spaghetti and meatballs, because I had to spend the day in a class.
Tuesday: Also planning to be a slacker on Tuesday. Purchased Rotisserie Chicken, Salad, and French Bread
Wednesday: Stuffed Cabbage (stuffed with turkeyburger and ricotta cheese); topped with four-cheese pasta sauce; noodles.
Thursday: Pork Loin with Red Wine Reduction; Mashed Potatoes; Broccoli
Friday: Pasta with Peppers and Sausage; Green Salad
Saturday: Chicken Parmesan Casserole (via Pinterest)
Here is that KTA recipe. Cheers, friends! - C. Ironing
It's good to experiment with food, I think. Also, sometimes, you THINK you have a can of chiles in the pantry, but it turns out that you're wrong, so it's also good to be flexible. Such was the case with this dish, above, which I think started out to be Pork Chile Verde but ended up just being a really nice braised pork. I had the right spices, but not the rest of the ingredients. I seasoned the pork with a Mexican spice blend, thickened with a little flour, and poured in some chopped tomatoes and a bottle of beer. I let that cook down until the pork was very tender and served it with rice. It was great.
Yesterday we let the the Waiakea Lions cook our breakfast at their annual Chuckwagon Breakfast. Still a deal: $6 and we couldn't eat it all. After that, we hit the garage sales. Don't laugh, but I bought an iron. It's in excellent shape, and it was a dollar. A dollar. I really hate ironing, but heck, if I have to do it, I'd like to use good equipment.
I cheated a little in the "What We're Eating" segment in that last night we already ate one of the menu items. I tried out a Stovetop Lasagna. Mr. L found this recipe somewhere on a blog he follows and so we decided we'd try it. I usually shy away from recipes where you cook things all in one pot, because the pasta, or rice, tends to have a different texture. Such was the case with this, although it wasn't so much that I didn't enjoy it. I did have to tweak it a little. First off, I thought it needed more liquid. My noodles just weren't cooking, and the mixture seemed dry. I ended up using a cup and a half of water and I added a half a can (the tomato sauce can) of red wine. You need to keep stirring -- the noodles want to stick to the pan. It seemed creamier than a traditional layered lasagna; maybe that was from the ricotta being stirred in. I'm not sure. Lastly, it's just not as pretty when you serve it. A traditional lasagna is really nice-looking; this just . . . isn't. But that's OK, because when was the last time you made a "lasagna" in about 20 minutes? There is the beauty of it -- plus, it tasted like lasagna. So, I'd say, this is worth a try.
Tonight, Sunday, I'll be trying to create a quinoa-mushroom-vermicelli pilaf. Who knows, it may have been done before. People are very creative with quinoa. I plan to saute' the mushrooms, quinoa, some shallots and vermicelli in butter and then add hot chicken broth. I'll top with sliced, toasted almonds. And maybe some parmesan. That will go with a recipe of Mark Bittman's: Sauteed Medallions of Pork with Lemon and Parsley.
Anyway, here is how things look for this week:
Saturday: Stovetop Lasagna, Zucchini, and Salad
Sunday: Mark Bittman's Sauteed Medallions of Pork with Lemon and Parsley, Quinoa-Rice-Mushroom Pilaf, Tossed Green Salad with Cilantro-Avocado Dressing
Monday: Creamy Bacon Carbonara with Chicken; Zucchini
Tuesday: Kalua Pork with Cabbage; Rice
Wednesday: Lindstrom "Biff" with Red Potatoes (see previous post)
Thursday: Salmon; Rice; Broccoli
Have a great week, everyone!
Pictured above: Patz Pies' Chicken Caesar Salad. This salad is huge. I was at a loss for words and suggested, "vessel." Mr. L came up with a better description: A dory. It's a dory of salad. A boat-load. Get it? Sorry.
Anyway, we also order a slice of pizza and split 'em both.
In other news, if you are looking for new Hawaii food products and/or places to eat, check these out:
Waipio Valley Cookhouse:
Yes, I'm tooting my horn a little, there. :-)
While we were out checking out garage sales two weeks ago, we struck gold. John and Michele Gamble (The Palms Cliff House) have started an estate sale business, and are renting a space up in Papaikou. It's sort of across from the Onomea Bay Credit Union. It isn't open all the time, but if you want to check it out, call them at 989-6077. I scored a beautiful casserole dish. I'll put in a slideshow below with some pictures of the great stuff they have.
What are we eating, this week? Well, let's pick up with today, which is later than normal, but yesterday was a blur.
Monday: Sam Choy's Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Tossed Green Salad
Tuesday: Baked Chicken Alfredo with Mushrooms; Rolls; Caesar Salad
Wednesday; Angel Hair Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Thursday: Salmon, Rice Pilaf, Green Beans with Shallots and Bacon
Friday: Sausage Hero Sandwiches with Peppers; Home Fries
Here are the vintage treasures:
I hope you got to have a holiday. I am thinking, "nap" sounds like a good plan, today.
Someone recently asked me to describe what the Maku'u Market was all about, and well, there was a challenge. It's part farmer's market, craft fair, flea market, small business promotion, new products, entertainment, and great food. There! How was that? Fortunately, I recently went, and took lots of pictures, so that'll help. The market is only open on Sundays, and they charge a buck a car to get in. It's well worth it. I'll put some pictures in, below. As a "foodie," I had one heck of a time deciding which food photo to post. There is a lot of really great food to choose from. Mr. L said that the burrito (above) was the best burrito he has ever eaten on the Island. Wow.
I think my favorite aspect of the market, aside from all the glorious food, is that it brings together a lot of small businessmen/women and gives people a chance to showcase their budding businesses. You can buy soap, t-shirts, honey, breads, vinegars, jewelry, concrete statues -- well, you get the idea. There are rows and rows of booths.
This week's menus:
Tonight (Sunday): Ribs, Potato-Mac Salad, Rice; Sliced Tomatoes
Monday: Chicken Spaghetti; Rolls; Tossed Salad
Tuesday: Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa, Sausage and Mushrooms; Zucchini
Wednesday: Coconut Shrimp, Rice, and Broccoli
Thursday: Pork Chops, Red Potatoes, Yellow Squash
Saturday: Chicken-Squash Casserole with Onion Topping
As promised, the slide show of the Maku'u Market is below. Have a great week!
You know how one thing leads to another? That was today's thing. For starters, I have been cold, all day. It irritates me to live in Hawaii and be cold. That sort of thing shouldn't happen. But cold I was, and I found myself browsing a British website with all sorts of gorgeous-looking soups. However, I long ago brain-dumped any knowledge I had about converting metric ingredients, and I was too lazy to Google how, so I went digging in the pantry. I came up with a can of "Pea Soup Andersen's Split Pea," WITH BACON, natch, so I was happy. That led to another problem, though, which is that Mr. L is not a soup person. He'll eat it, but he complains that he's hungry again an hour later. So then I thought well, maybe I'll make popovers. So I did.
My popover recipe comes from my vintage 1950 edition of Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book, a treasured gift from Miss Scarlett. There are only four ingredients, making this recipe completely idiot-proof. Trust me on that one. The main thing I'll stress is to really grease those muffin pans. No holding back on Crisco. More prep photos are below.
I'm trying out some new recipes, this week. A friend gave me some back issues of the Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine. Here we go!
Sunday: Spanish Beef Stew with Yellow Rice
Monday: Spaghetti Squash Carbonara; Garlic Bread
Tuesday: African Peanut Stew (not a Rachael Ray recipe, just one I have been wanting to try out)
Wednesday: Mu Shu Pizza
Thursday: New Year's Eve (pupus and wine with friends)
Friday: Game Hens (split) over Salad with Tomatoes, Avocados, and Basil; French Bread
Saturday: Leftover Game Hen Salad with Tarragon Mayonnaise over ToastedTorta Rolls
Happy 2016, everyone! - C. Ironing
Happy Holidays! For those of you fortunate enough to be in Kailua-Kona this week, check out the Kona Canoe Club. Pictured above: Mini-Tacos, with Kalua Pork. Delicious. I dithered hard between the pupu tacos and the regular tacos, finally deciding to behave and order the minis. They were plenty, with my beer. I am a big fan of the Kona Canoe Club. The location is stellar (see pictures, below) and the food is great. Way back when we were tourists, it was a regular stop. Once we moved, we got out of the habit, I guess. Well, those days are over. Service is fast so even if we're in a bit of a hurry, we're going to make a point of getting in there more. Also pictured below will be the "Paddler's Fish Sandwich," (which Mr. L enjoyed with spearfish, his favorite) and a Kalua Pig sandwich, which our friends split.
Also pictured, below, is last week's experimental "Biff a la Lindstrom," which was delicious. I made it into a sort of inside-out deal, putting several of the ingredients on top.
Aside from way too many Christmas cookies, here is what we'll be eating, this week.
Sunday: Bacon-Onion Quiche and Salad
Monday: Sausages and Peppers over Rice
Tuesday: Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
Wednesday: Game Hens with Couscous and Zucchini
Friday: Christmas Dinner: Pork Loin with Port Wine Cherry Sauce; Red Potatoes; Green Beans
For years, I made my mother's Clam Chowder for Christmas Eve. The first year we lived here, I went to make it, and it was just too dang hot. I also needed to finish wrapping, clean the house, get Christmas breakfast ready . . . and a new tradition was born: Take-out Christmas Eve. I find it really de-stresses me.
As promised, the pictures mentioned above.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Attention KTA shoppers! Open your new Super Saver booklets and turn to page 52. That is where you will find this recipe (Crispy Pork Chops with Mushroom-Stout Gravy). Yum! Mr. L likes anything with a sauce, but I hadn't cooked with stout in a sauce before, so I wasn't sure how this would turn out. It's delicious. You can still taste the stout, but it's not overpowering. This is not a difficult recipe, but make sure you get organized (mise en place) before you start cooking. This also would have been nice with mashed potatoes. We had coleslaw on the side. For those of you who are not fortunate enough to receive KTA booklets in your mailbox, check their website. The recipe is not up as of this writing, but will be, soon.
My pal Rosemary is of Swedish descent and has been giving me some of her favorite recipes. Tonight I'm going to try Biff a la Lindstrom. I'll put the recipe below. I think I'll change it up a little, putting the beets and capers on top (along with some pickles, maybe) and serving the potatoes on the side, crisped. Let's play around with it. Apologies to the Lindstroms, who might be offended.
We had a lovely promenade around Liliuokalani Park this morning; I'll include a photo. We chatted with some "snowbirds" from Canada, who live here four months of the year. They aren't missing the snow. What a nice way to spend your retirement.
So let's see, what's on the menu list this week?
Sunday: The aforementioned Biff.
Monday: Pulled Pork Enchiladas with Chiles; Salad with Avocado and Tomatoes
Tuesday: Chicken Breasts with Pesto; Noodles; Fried Zucchini
Wednesday: Sloppy Joes with Kidney Beans over Rolls; Home Fries
Thursday: Bacon Quiche; Salad
Friday: Baked Spaghetti with Sausages and Peppers
All right: Back to making toffee, which is my big weekend project. Have a great week! - C. Ironing
What a busy week! Unfortunately, the coming one looks to be even crazier-- probably for everyone. I think time speeds up during the holidays. When you live in the islands, there is also the pressure of needing to get things into the mail. Flat things. Nobody can stuff a Priority Mail box or envelope like a resident of Hawaii. Bet they were sorry they came up with that "If it fits, it ships" slogan.
Pictured above: Killer Tacos, 74-5483 Kaiwi St., Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, 96740. Phone is 329-3335. Y'know, I took some pictures, but they don't look like much, so I am not going to post them. That is NOT, however, a commentary on the food, because it's great. And fast. We both had fish tacos - crispy for me; soft tacos for Mr. L, and a basket of chips and salsa. It came to less than $18, and it was faster than blue blazes. We were running a bazillion errands and "fast" was good. They also have Arnie Palmers to drink and I was sorry I hadn't seen that before I ordered my root beer (but I still enjoyed that). The tacos were outstanding. We will definitely go back. You can also get salads, burritos, nachos and quesadillas. Check it out.
Next topic. We got our HELCO bill this week, and I always look forward to trying out their recipes. Those recipes make me look forward to opening the HELCO bill. LOL! Just kidding. I have no beef with HELCO, though. Service is better here than it was in California with PG&E. You wouldn't expect that on an island, but that's the truth. Anyway, this month it was a Cauliflower Mascarpone Gratin, and it was just great. I did use half broccoli, instead of all cauliflower, because I went into sticker shock at the price of cauliflower. I will put the photo below, as well as the recipe, for those of you who don't have HELCO.
Because it is going to be a really busy week ahead, I've tried to keep the menus on the easy side. We also bought a small freezer (I may blog about that over at WiseBread), which I already love dearly. Finally, I can buy a frozen pizza that will fit in a freezer!
Sunday: Grilled Chicken Breasts with Red Pepper Sauce; Parmesan-Baked Zucchini, and Couscous
Monday: Pizza and Salad
Tuesday: Chicken Pot Pie (recipe here)
Wednesday: Baked Pork Chops with Potatoes; Braised Red Cabbage
Thursday: Bacon-Parmesan Spaghetti Squash; Peas; Rolls
Friday: Meatballs with Mushroom Gravy over Mashed Potatoes; Carrots
Saturday: Mahi-Mahi with Lemon Caper Sauce, Rice, Spinach Salad
Have a wonderful week! -C. Ironing
Yes, I know, that's beer, not pizza. But what goes better with pizza? I got a little thirsty just downloading that picture.
I tried out a Cheeseburger Pizza recently and it's just great. That will be in this week's menus. See the picture and instructions, below.
As I write this, we are checking out freezers in the sale ads. As you know, I have issues with my refrigerator, which includes the freezer. Mainly, it doesn't hold much. I would like to buy an after-Thanksgiving sale turkey right now, but I have absolutely nowhere to put it. We both grew up with parents who had giant chest freezers. I think my parents' possibly may have held some, uh, out-of-season venison. Mr. L says his parents' freezer contained a lot of freezer burn. If we get one, I vow to do better than that.
On the menus, this week:
Sunday: Roast Chicken, Baked Potatoes with Sour Cream and Garlic Chives, and Green Beans
Monday: Sirloin Stroganoff, Buttered Noodles, and Broccoli
Tuesday: Cheeseburger Pizza; Salad (instructions below)
Wednesday: Andersen's Pea Soup and Popovers (and if you are ever in California near a Pea Soup Andersen's restaurant, just GO, okay?)
Thursday: Sorta Swedish Meatballs, Pasta, Carrots with Dill (Note: I am using half of my turkey burger for the pizza, and the other half to make these meatballs. Use the leftover Newman's Own Sauce (see below) for the meatball sauce.)
Friday: Baked Chicken Thighs and Rice with Artichoke Hearts and Peas (throw browned thighs everything into a baking dish, add a can of chicken broth and a little vermouth, cover and bake)
Saturday: Quinoa-Avocado Salad with Chile-Lime Shrimp; Tortilla Chips and Salsa
Super-Easy Cheeseburger Pizza:
Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray. Roll out a Pillsbury crust (any type). Top with Newman's Own Alfredo Sauce, one-half package of browned turkey burger, four strips of crisped, crumbled bacon, 1/2 cup of chopped dill pickle, and two cups of grated cheddar. Top with sliced tomatoes and 1/4 cup of green onions. Bake at 375 for about 30 - 40 minutes, or until browned.
Have a great week, everyone!
I’ve never been a big “bucket list” person, but last Saturday, as I was picking up lunch at Bear’s Coffee & Deli, I had an epiphany: It’d be cool to be one of the regulars, here. The waitresses know them by name. They pour the right coffee; they know how they like their eggs. I guess I have a start to my list.
Bear’s has been a Hilo landmark since 1983. Clean, cool, and comfortable, it’s one of those places where you just relax as soon as you step inside. Service is terrific. It changed ownership not long ago, but managed to maintain its friendly aura. It used to be my breakfast-after-yoga-class spot but when my class ceased, I got out of the habit of going.
That changed recently. Bear’s has been having specials, and an ad for one caught my eye a couple of weeks ago. Since the demise of O’Keefe’s Bakery, I have been sorely missing their Chicken Mac-Nut Sandwiches. (If you have lived in Hilo for a while, you know the sandwich to which I am referring. ) I ordered one, as well as the Fish Plate (more about that, later). The Chicken-Mac Salad Sandwich ($6.95) was available as a wrap, on sandwich bread, or stuffed into a tomato. I opted for the wrap. It turned out to be an excellent choice. While it wasn’t the “same” as the O’Keefe’s version, it was outstanding and also contained fresh avocado and crispy greens. We also really enjoyed the Fish Plate ($9.95). The cook at Bear's has a great touch with fish, which can be easily overcooked. This was perfectly moist and flaky. It came with a terrific side salad, brown rice, and perfectly-steamed broccoli. We couldn’t even eat everything; about a third of it became part of dinner, later. On another visit, we sampled the Stuffed Tomato ($5.50) and the Ono Buffalo Burger ($6.95). Again, the ono was cooked perfectly and was well-seasoned. I couldn’t finish the stuffed tomato, which was huge.
Here are some more photos:
Owner Mary Coursey tells me they plan to keep the specials going, keeping some favorites and adding others. Bear’s also excels in selecting and serving fresh produce. Fruit is sweet; vegetables are crispy. Everything seems extraordinarily “just-picked” and very high-quality. I usually ignore garnishes, which tend to be sad, but at Bear’s, I eat it all.
I just realized I hadn’t even mentioned their coffee, which is excellent. Try it with one of their home-made brownies.
Also delicious are their steamed eggs. Steaming the eggs, Mary mentioned, is a lower-fat option, as no fats are added. One of my neighbors is a huge fan of the Eggs Benedict (Sundays, $7.95 for half-portions; $12.95 for full portions).
Local art (available for sale) hangs on one wall; another has fascinating old pictures of Hilo (including tsunami pictures). They are now featuring live music, too. Bear’s is family-friendly. Some outside seating is available.
See you there!
Bear’s Coffee & Deli
Address: 106 Keawe Street, Hilo
Monday – Friday: 6:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Saturday: 6:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Sunday: 6:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.