Food Travels – Oahu

One of the best things about traveling is trying all the different local foods. I just got back from vacation on Oahu. My little brother recently moved to the island to train dolphins (coolest job ever right?). I enjoyed venturing away from the Waikiki craziness to get some quiet beach time in and to hit up some of the local shrimp trucks and plate lunch spots. Best of all, each place was so reasonable. Move over $15 mai tai’s and make way for tasty cheap food …. like freshly made udon noodles with soft boiled egg!

We rented mopeds one day and hit up the KCC Farmer’s Market in the morning. We snacked on some chicken and waffles. There were also some pork slides on beautiful purple taro buns that I didn’t get a picture of … darn it!

Fresh Papaya, you don’t see this at the farmer’s market in San Francisco! These were pretty cheap. On the room service menu at our hotel a half of a papaya was $8.00 … yikes! Farmer’s markets are a good way to go if you want cheap and local eats.

The North Shore has an abundance of shrimp trucks. The shrimp were dripping with garlic butter and cooked perfectly. The garlicky butter was also drizzled on top of the rice, so good!

There were a couple spots in Waikiki that I really enjoyed. My brother took us to a Japanese Udon place a little off the central strip. You can see the noodles being made from scratch through the front window, and they are really tasty. They have that bite and chew that you want from Udon and they don’t get any fresher than this.

Fresh Udon Noodles

Udon with Beef

I also liked a Japanese restaurant called Sansei. Two days a week the menu is 50% off during happy hour. I was a little skeptical about the quality of food when I heard about the discount, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was very innovative, creative, and delicious.

Shrimp Cake

Fried Ahi Roll with Spinach

The trip was amazing! Happy travels and eating!


Mom’s Apple Crisp

Sorry for my negligence this past month or so! My best friend just got married and the weekends have been filled with all sorts of wedding related events. Since the wedding was near my parent’s house, I had a chance to stop by over the weekend. My mom and dad have several apple trees that are laden with fruit this time of year. My mom has been cranking out apple sauce, apple pies, and other apple treats. I lucked out because a fresh  apple crisp was sitting on the counter when I got home.

My mom and I use the same crisp recipe, so you can find the recipe under my strawberry/rhubarb crisp post. Just replace the strawberries/rhubarb with apples and a sprinkling of cinnamon. My mom also added some shredded coconut to her topping to give it an extra crunch when it browned in the oven. This crisp was sooooo good!!!!

Recipe (replace the strawberry/rhubarb with apples)! If you want to use a 9×13″ pan like my mom did, just double the recipe

Summer Breakfast Sandwich

We’ve had more corn and tomatoes this summer than I know what to do with! My most recent creation was a breakfast sandwich with a corn and tomato salsa. This is a hearty and tasty sandwich that’ll keep you full for hours.

Whip up a tomato/corn salsa. Toss diced tomatoes, corn, basil, crumbled queso fresco, garlic salt and pepper in a bowl.

Toast a sliced baguette in the oven and melt provolone on one side of the bread. Rub a garlic clove on the other side of the bread when it comes out of the oven.

Fry a couple eggs over easy. Assemble the sandwich by placing the fried eggs on the bread and top with the salsa. Enjoy!


Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

The crock pot (slow cooker) is one of my favorite kitchen appliances. You can dump a few ingredients in and forget about them. When I think of the contents in a crock pot, I think of meat simmering for hours until it’s fall off the bone tender. I decided it was time to bust out my crock pot and try something new. I kept coming across a crock pot chicken tacos recipe online, so I thought I’d give it a try!

The chicken came out tender, juicy, and fell apart with a slight prodding of a fork. I used warm corn tortillas for my tacos, and garnished with queso fresco, cilantro, hot sauce, and sour cream. This recipe was so easy, healthy, and tasty!

Recipe: adapted from a blog called Chocolate Therapy

1/2 envelope taco seasoning
5 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
1 16-ounce jar of salsa

Put all ingredients into a crock pot. Stir to coat chicken with the taco seasoning and salsa. Cook on high for 4 to 6 hours (or low for 6 to 8 hours). Shred chicken with a fork.

Serve with your favorite taco fixings: tortillas, salsa, cheese, guacamole, lettuce, cilantro or sour cream.

Zucchini Patties

Zucchini is a big hit in our kitchen. Zucchini bread, stuffed zucchini, zucchini gratin … you name it, we’ll devour it! Tonight I wanted to try a new zucchini side dish to go alongside a rotisserie chicken I picked up after work. I found a simple, fast, and healthy recipe online for zucchini cakes. They were a great accompaniment to the chicken.

I grated a large zucchini finely with my box grater. I squeezed the water out of the zucchini like the recipe suggested, which helped the mixture bind together nicely without being too watery.

Recipe: (4 patties) Recipe adapted from a blog called Life’s Ambrosia.

1 large zucchini (grate as finely as possible with box grater, wrap zucchini in a couple paper towels and squeeze out excess water)

1/3 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese (or parmesan cheese)

3/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1 clove garlic, minced

1 egg

salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil (for pan)

Pre-heat a pan over medium heat. In a bowl mix all ingredients together, excluding olive oil. Add olive oil to pan. Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop 4 patties into the heated pan. Cook until golden on each side, 3-4 minutes per side. Serve with sour cream. Enjoy 🙂

Sungold Tomato Bruschetta

Tomato season is in high gear right now! That translates into caprese salads and lots of tomato bruschetta in my kitchen.

This weekend I harvested some sungold tomatoes that were as sweet as candy. This particular sungold plant has a story. My mom planted a seed back in February when snow was still falling to the ground. She raised the seedling under a greenhouse light. Once it was a couple months old, the sungold travelled 5 hours to the California bay area. It was handed off to my boyfriend’s parents who have a sunny yard, perfect for tomato plants to flourish. Right now the tomatoes are reaching their peak ripeness and let me tell you again, they are so good. Better than any tomato at the grocery store!

I decided to make a simple bruschetta with the sungold tomatoes and some other ingredients I had on hand. This is a healthy, fresh, and quick side or appetizer. I make this all the time in the summer.

Cooking Instructions:

Cut desired amount of cherry or sungold tomatoes into quarters. Chop up some cilantro and mix with tomatoes. Add a swirl each of good extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.   Add cracked pepper. Then crumble in some queso fresco cheese. Mix everything together then let sit while you prepare the bread.

Cut a baguette into slices (again, use desired amount). Lay on baking sheet and put into a preheated 350 F degree oven. Once the bread is toasted on top, flip. Let the other side toast up, then remove from oven. Rub a clove of garlic over the warm bread. Spoon tomato mixture onto bread.

Plum Crumb Coffee Cake

We still have plums from our 4th of July Plum Picking extravaganza! I’ve been eating them raw and baking them in yummy sweet treats. The most recent creation was a delicious crumb coffee cake.

I had a blueberry coffee cake recipe on hand, but decided to mix plums into the batter instead. I tossed the plums in a bit of flour before putting them in the batter, hoping to prevent all the fruit from sinking. I’m glad to report that the fruit dispersed evenly throughout the cake.

I also wanted big crumbs on top of my cake, isn’t that the best part of coffee cake anyways? I found a topping recipe that didn’t disappoint!

It smelled amazing when it came out of the oven!

Cake Recipe:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups fresh sliced plums
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease and line an 8×8″ pan with parchment paper.
Cream sugar and butter together until fluffy with a handheld mixer. Then beat in the egg and vanilla. In another bowl mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to sugar and butter mixture in 3 stages, alternating with the milk. Dust plums with flour then mix into the batter. Pour into prepared pan.

Now make the topping!

Topping Recipe: Recipe from Brown Eyed Baker post
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and warm
1 3/4 cups cake flour
Combine sugars, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a  bowl. Add flour and mix with a rubber spatula until mixture comes together in a thick pasty dough. Cool about 15 minutes.
Crumble into pea-sized pieces and spread evenly over the cake batter.
Bake at 350 F degrees for about 35 to 40 minutes until done, test with toothpick. Let cool and enjoy!