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.
I'm a little bit of a vintage car nut, so I was sort of surprised when I recently saw this car on Maui last week and couldn't figure out what it was. I had to take a photo of the name: An Astre SJ. Turns out it was a Pontiac version of Chevy's Vega. (Mr. L guessed correctly, so he gets points.) It was so beautifully and lovingly restored. Being a car nut in Hawaii is especially challenging -- finding parts and getting them shipped ($$$) is no small task. At one time I had some fun and exotic cars -- those days are over. If I can't get replacement parts here, forget it. Reliability is a big deal. Credit to its owner for his or her hard work. It's a beauty.
We had a Plan A and Plan B of restaurants to try out today, but both were closed. Since we still had to do our Costco shopping and were starving by 2:30, we decided we'd just pick something up there for lunch. I got the Turkey and Provolone sandwiches for both of us. Holy smokes! They are great! Just out of curiosity, I googled, them, and I'm not the only one who thought so. Here is one blogger who figured out the recipe. At $4, they are hard to beat. So yes, Costco is my "restaurant recommendation" for the week.
Here are the week's menus:
Sunday: (Naturally) Costco Flatbread Pizzas
Tuesday: Enchiladas and Green Salad with Avocados and Tomatoes
Wednesday: Scampi; Italian Salad (with Artichoke Hearts, Olives, and Parmesan)
Thursday: Salmon; Twice-Baked Potatoes, and Broccoli with Dijon-Mustard Sauce
Friday: Kabocha Soup with Rice, Chicken, Peanuts and Cilantro
Have a great week, everyone! - C. Ironing
Oh, heck no -- I didn't make those gorgeous spring rolls -- that was my pal Anne. Along with her husband, Brian, they cook amazing food and are consummate hosts. We just met up in Maui and I managed to avoid cooking the entire time. Pretty tricky of me. I think I needed a break to charge my "cooking inspiration" battery. Dishes like the one above do the trick!
It was a wonderful vacation, filled with lots of rest, visiting, reading, exercise, and excellent eating (see Exhibit "A", above).
A recommendation: Leoda's Kitchen and Pie Shop in Olowalu (not far from Lahaina). It's absolutely charming inside and their banana bread is great.
Speaking of Oluwalu, since the last time we visited, there is now a great-looking place to camp: Camp Olowalu, right smack on the ocean. Both cabins and camping sites are available. It looked seriously fun.
We still love the Ka'anapali area for its proximity to hotels, shopping, dining and of course the Maui Beach Walk. I believe Hilo has been trying to get something similar built. It's really nice to be able to walk in such a beautiful spot for such a long way.
No menus right now, as I'm busy testing things out for a Wise Bread post. I will resume this coming weekend.
Photos of pretty Maui are below.
I hope you are enjoying this beautiful Hilo day! After all that rain, we deserved it!
Today I found myself in the mood for some Mexican food, so after finishing up the grocery shopping, I headed over to Lucy's Taqueria for some take-out lunch. They are located at 194 Kilauea Avenue. I arrived around 11:30, and it was filling up quickly.
Pictured above: My Fish Tacos (absolutely wonderful flavors). I wholeheartedly recommend them. Mr. L had the Fajita Burrito with Chicken. Although he tried hard, he couldn't finish the burrito -- not because he didn't like it, but because they are huge! There is parking. Bathrooms are clean. The place is kid-friendly (including a play area) and there is also a bar area. Staff is friendly and helpful. Ordering is self-serve - you order, pay, and pick up at the counter, and then seat (and eventually bus) yourself.
After that big lunch, I figured we'd better have a light dinner (and take a walk beforehand).
Sunday: Shrimp Cocktail with Celery and Cocktail Sauce; Crackers and Red-Pepper Hummus
Monday: Mushroom Burgers with Tomatoes and Lettuce; Fries
Tuesday: Kalua Pork (homemade) with Cabbage and Rice
Wednesday: Grilled Chicken; Yukon Potatoes with Herbs; Sliced Tomatoes
Thursday: Pasta with Pesto and Leftover Chicken; Spaghetti Squash; Tossed Salad
Saturday: Salmon and Mushroom-Pea Risotto
Have a great week, everyone! -C. Ironing
Aloha! Before we get rolling, check out today's lunches, above. First up is Mr. L.'s tempura shrimp roll. I had the Cobb Salad. Pretty spiffy, eh? True confessions: Both came from Sack N'Save. I added the avocado and plated them, since I'm not crazy about eating out of plastic boxes. They came to $14.98, which is a good deal when you consider the rather spendy ingredients in these (bleu cheese, shrimp, bacon, etc.). I'm not usually much of a "joiner," but I did join SNS's Meal Club. Once I fill up the seven little boxes on my card, I get a free meal of my choice.
Yesterday, we were headed to Kona, but were thwarted from our usual Saddle Road route due to a power pole being down. So, we turned around and decided we'd take the Hamakua route, instead. We hadn't been that way in about two years. It's very pretty -- lots of greenery, ocean, and then, closer to Waimea, bucolic pastureland. I'll pop a slide show in, below. From Hilo, it took a half-hour longer than the Saddle, but the sights made it enjoyable. Here is the slideshow. Menus will be posted below.
A good place to stop along the way: Tex Drive-In for malasadas.
Sunday: Corn Chowder with Chicken, Red Peppers and Potatoes; Popovers
Monday: Brown Sugar and Balsamic Pork Loin, Italian Potatoes, and Tomato-Mozzarella Salad
Tuesday: Mediterranean Crepes filled with Langostino, Feta, Olives, Green Onion, and Artichoke Hearts
Wednesday: Tortilla Soup with Chicken, Black Beans, Corn, and Tomatoes topped with Avocado and Sour Cream; Tortilla Chips
Thursday: Salmon, Zesty Fries, and Coleslaw
Friday: Pasta Bake with Meatballs, Peppers, and Mushrooms
Saturday: Split-Pea Soup and Crackers
Let's hope we get a break from this rain, soon. Have a great week, everyone!