All posts filed under: Food

Weekly Small Pleasures (#7)

What a lovely week it’s been and now, in the final hours, I’m grateful I vowed to break from my normal routine and get out. Beautifully woven things. I have a thing about hand-woven items and this week, I found a plethora of locally-made treasures. On the left, fine weave lauhala (pandanus) bracelets that can be found at Hana Hou and made right here in Hilo by the talented Hawaiian artisan and furniture designer, ʻIliahi Anthony. On the right, handwoven boxes found at Makuʻu Farmers Market for housing beautiful things. Cold and rainy weather. Believe it or not, it gets chilly here in Hilo. It never dips below 50-degrees in Hilo, but when it gets in the 60’s, Hilo people bust out their sweaters, scarves, and boots. This was one of those weeks. I love cold weather, especially since it feels like I’m somewhere other than Hawaiʻi. Not that I don’t love it here, it’s just that it reminds me of being in a different city, even if for a little while. Okonomiyaki and Taiko. I saw a flyer for a fundraising event …

Weekly Small Pleasures (#5)

Diet Overhaul:  If you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably seen those food videos from the likes of Tastemade and Cooking Panda that speed-up the prep and cooking of different dishes. The dish is shown from start to finish in a matter of a minute and only after my newsfeed was inundated with these videos was it confirmed for me, the amount of sugar and salt that’s in the American diet. Getting older means my body is evolving, so I can’t eat like I used to, not just because it’s not good for me, but because unhealthy food and large portions just don’t taste good or satisfying to me like it used to. Late last week, I decided to cut sugar, salt, pork, and beef from my diet for three months for a necessary detox. I’ve been told it’s commendable, but yesterday was day 3 of smaller portions, veggies, and tofu, and truth be told, I had a multi-sensory dream of eating wafu steak and a “traditional” loco moco the night before and it was not pretty. Being from Hawaiʻi, where food is so much a part of our local culture, it’s not surprising that …

Que se le ofrece, Caserita?

Outdoor markets in Lima, Peru, can always be interesting and rewarding, especially if you are looking for fresh products or tasty treats. As you pass by a stand the vendors will loudly greet you with “Que se le ofrece, Caserita?” (What can I offer you, lovely customer?) and it can get overwhelming seeing all that they have to sell, but this should not deter you from walking through an open market. Some of my most memorable experiences of living in Lima come from these open markets full of vibrant colors, bustling noises, rich conversations and intense smells. During a lunch outing with my cousins we decided to visit the neighborhood of Lince and eat at a small cevicheria stand at the local market where the fish being prepared for the customers was brought over from the adjacent stand. Seeing all the fish and seafood options was mind-boggling but soon realized I didn’t need to worry as I was going to be eating the catch of the day in my ceviche dish and wouldn’t have to …

Weekly Small Pleasures (#2)

Mokuola Honua I attended a symposium for the establishment of Mokuola Honua, the Global Center for Indigenous Language Excellence. It was powerful to learn about what’s happening in Scotland, New Zealand, and various indigenous communities around the world and I’m grateful to have been able to stand shoulder to shoulder with colleagues who are committed, not just to the revitalization of their languages, but also the cultural and overall well-being of their respective communities. Costco Finds  I love finding new products to try at home. Some are a hit, while others are miss. This time around, I lucked out. Aidell’s Teriyaki and Pineapple Chicken Meatballs. I’m not big on processed foods these days, but on my trip to Costco last Sunday, I found this item in the refrigerator section and thought to give it a try. In typical Costco fashion, these delicious, no-nitrate meatballs come in a monster two-pack that can be refrigerated or frozen for later use. Fully cooked, they’re great for a quick bite, after a thorough re-heat. LOOKA Frozen Macarons. Hilo is blessed with lovely bakeries that make delicious macarons, but sometimes, I’d like to …

Weekly Small Pleasures (#1)

I stumbled upon the Weekly Small Pleasures blog event on fellow blogger Mani’s A New Life Wandering. Although I’m late to the party, it’s exciting to have the opportunity to reflect upon and post about things that make every week special. Mauna Kea – I took a trip to Kona yesterday to pick up replacement contact lenses from Costco, after 2 months of being forced to use glasses. On the way home, I popped in a new pair and the first thing I saw was Mauna Kea. Beautiful. ʻŌlena Tea – My friend Miles gave me a box of ʻōlena (turmeric) he harvested from his garden and I’m so excited. Nothing wrong with the processed powder, but using fresh roots are way better, so after sharing my stash, I cleaned, grated, and froze the rest. Now, I have a cup of tea every night before bed. In addition to its long standing ayurvedic benefits, the root is also used in Hawaiʻi as a tea/tonic for maintaining overall health. Kainoa’s recipe: Add boiling water to a teaspoon of grated ʻōlena in a mug. After a minute, add a slice …

Makuʻu Farmers Market

Believe it or not, I had never been to the Makuʻu Farmers Market before this morning. Maybe it’s because it only opens on Sunday or because it’s all the way out in Pāhoa, but I’ve never had the pleasure of visiting this lovely little market and I’m glad I finally did. The market is open every Sunday, from 8:00a-2:00p and gets hopping during the mid-morning, so if you want to avoid the crowds, get there by 9:00. Be sure to have $1 ready to pay for parking in the little gravel parking spaces on the premises. People are always coming and going, so you won’t have to wait very long for a space. The first thing that’s different from the Hilo Farmers’ Market is that Makuʻu is much bigger, with space to roam without bumping into people. The next is that there are a lot more food vendors at Makuʻu, so many that it can get overwhelming. Indian, Thai, Filipino, Hawaiian, Mexican, and Samoan food vendors, as well as wood fired pizza, French crepes, and smoothies. I opted for takoyaki and …

Weekly Photo Challenge: Gathering

Gathering I spent 2 weeks in Taiwan this summer and looking back on that experience, what I loved was how people seemed to gravitate easily toward each other there. Whether it was spending time in a group or traveling alone, one never felt lonely. What first greeted me outside the airport was a thick wall of sticky heat. It’s not like I was surprised by it, since I had been tracking the weather for weeks prior, but it certainly took getting used to. When I met up with my long-time mentor, who now lives in Taiwan, he asked, “Of all the months, why are you here during summer? It’s the most miserable time of the year,” as he sat in the shade, soaked in his shirt. Well, after the first 3 days of saying “It’s hot,” I made the conscious decision to stop talking about the weather. There was so much more to get excited about and complaining about the heat was preventing me from opening up to new experiences. Over the course of the next two …

678 Hawaii

I’ve been wanting to try Kang Ho Dong’s restaurant, 678 Hawaii, when it first opened its doors in 2012, but because I never spend more than 4 hours in O’ahu at a time, I’ve never had the pleasure, so I was tickled when a group of us went there for dinner on Wednesday night. We decided on the large Mixed Combo with pork belly, prime rib eye, and a marinated boneless short rib, and also came with 2 stews, so we ordered the kimchi and the seafood soft tofu stews. There was a nice variety of side dishes awaiting us on the table, along with a refreshing greens you can mix into a spicy salad, with what I could recognize included scallions, bean sprouts, lettuce, and gojuchang (pepper paste). For good measure, we ordered some melon soju. Everything was delicious, and even though we had pupus (finger food) prior to our reservation, we still threw back a considerable amount of food, then packed the rest. The service was exceptional and the patrons reflected a broad mix, from families, to college students, to visiting …

Y is for Yak Butter Tea

When I visited Lhasa, Tibet, it was one of those surreal experiences. I think it also had to do with the fact that I was walking at an elevation of close to 12,000 ft, and was light-headed most of the time from not enough oxygen.  One of the most interesting things I did during the one-week visit, was try yak butter tea.  I am not sure if the altitude sickness contributed to this, but I was very sensitive to many smells around me.  When I was offered a cup of yak butter tea, my very expressive face almost gave itself away.  But, I knew that the family that was offering us a cup of tea had a very simple life and this was a very kind gesture to offer a stranger.  With a huge smile, and a very reluctant grasp, I dived right in and took a sip of the tea offered to me.  At first I had no idea what I was drinking, but after it starting to sink in, and the rich taste of the …

S is for Sand Dunes

When visiting Peru, one of the places to include on your list is the Ica Region, also known to the Peruvians as the “Land of the Sun”.  The land is very fertile due to the warm dry climate. There is an abundance of grapes grown here.  This area is also known for the delicious Pisco – the national drink of Peru.  There are many vineyards found in this area attracting many visitors all year round. But, one of my favorite things about this area is the massive sand dunes surrounding the area. After a nice visit with various vineyards, and an afternoon at Huacachina, as we were headed back to the hotel, we noticed several locals climbing up to the top of the sand dune behind our hotel.  We asked at the front desk what they were doing and where they were going.  All my husband heard was sand surfing and he was very excited. We were very lucky to have stared the climb before dusk so we could climb the enormous sand dune and enjoy the sunset while hitting the …