Old and New Friends

My friend Ali from Long Beach came to visit the Big Island. I met her husband (Gehan) and her husband’s cousin and wife from Atlanta Georgia and our dinner party got bigger as they reconnected with a young couple from Long Beach who now lives on the Big Island.

While I was out picking up my order from Grapes a Wine Store, they were having lunch at a nearby eatery called Hapa Mamas. The Grapes owner was hosting his weekly free wine tasting when I walked in. The twins and I ran and dodged a passing downpour as we made our way across the street to meet Ali and the gang at Wilson’s by the Bay to satisfy the twins’ and Ali’s shave ice snack cravings. Even on a rainy day, shave ice from Wilsons by the Bay hits the spot.
Reuniting and Meeting New Friends at Wilson’s By the Bay

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After the shave ice stop, we walked over to Grapes so I could introduce them to the owner. They had some tastes and Gehan’s cousin purchased a red Brunello. Then they left for their volcano sightseeing while I had the kids do their homework, shower, and I proceeded to prepare dinner for them before dinner at Cafe Pesto. I quickly made a pizza with a store bought focaccia, a pizza sauce made from a can of tomato paste, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. I didn’t have any Italian spices on hand but it’s okay. The kids can live without strong flavors.
Easy Kid Pizza
Ingredients:
1 ready made store bought flat focaccia bread
Pizza sauce
I cup shredded smoked mozzarella
Pepperoni

For pizza sauce:
I can tomato paste
Salt and pepper
4 TBSP Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic (minced)
Combine and set aside

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Place focaccia on non-greased baking pan.
Sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese over bread. Add pizza sauce over cheese. Generously sprinkle last 1/2 cup of smoked mozzarella. You may add more if desired. Top with pepperoni. Bake 10m. Take pizza out of oven and let sit 5minutes. Cut into squares, serve, and enjoy.

Here are some pictures from our dinner get together at Cafe Pesto in Hilo:
We started with an Ahi Poke Bowl (chopped and seasoned raw tuna over rice) with a side of ‘ulu (breadfruit) chips. Have it separate or top ‘ulu chip with a chunk of poke and enjoy the added crispiness to the raw fish
.

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I had the Blue Ceasar Salad with a bowl of Carrot Fennel Soup.

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20131212-093820.jpgOther entrees ordered that evening was the Wok-Fired Shrimp and Scallops, Mango Glazed Chicken, Cheese Pizza, and the Fresh Catch Salad.

Good Times, Friends Old and New, Good Food and Laughter, Sweet Local Live Music

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A Hui Hou (goodbye until we meet again)
Love and Blessings Always…
Mrs.Halpern

Quick Chicken and Kale Soup

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. Home remedies shared here are recipes that have worked for my family and I. Everyone is different. Please check with your doctor first.

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This week, the twins were feverish and nauseous. Perhaps the weekend was just too much fun. ๐Ÿ™‚ When they are feverish, they’re inactive, and they have little appetite. Here are some little things that I offer the children when they’re under the weather:

Ginger Ale
Crackers
None acidic fruit
Yogurt
Soup
Warm water or tea

Hulali had a fever on Monday, missed school on Tuesday and returned on Wednesday. Then Malino had a fever on Wednesday, missed school on Thursday and returned to school today. This must be life with twins! This must be life with siblings and germs but it’s okay because sharing is caring! ๐Ÿ˜€

Nothing is more comforting than a bowl of hot chicken soup. When taste buds malfunction, when an intestinal eruption may occur, or when dealing with stuffy head cold symptoms, chicken soup has healing properties that may help shorten the lifespan of viruses or infections or even offer an immune booster for the other family members who remain healthy.

Here is my recipe for:
Quick Chicken Soup with Kale

Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
8 pieces boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 onion (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 finger ginger sliced into thin pieces
2 cans chicken broth or 1-32oz box
2 cans beef broth or 1-32oz box
or
8 cups of homemade broth
3 bunches dino kale (chopped)
1 tsp. Turmeric root or powder

Directions:
Rinse chicken and pat dry. Season thighs with olive oil, salt, and pepper (your desired amount). Let sit for 10m.

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Pour olive oil to cover bottom of pan and heat on medium high heat.

Sautรฉ onion, garlic, and ginger for about 1 minute.

Brown chicken with onion, garlic & ginger until cooked on the outside.

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Transfer browned chicken to a large pot with chicken drippings, onion, garlic, and ginger. Turn on the fire (gas stove) to high heat and add chicken broth.

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Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium/low. Simmer for about 30-40 minutes or until chicken is cooked all the way through. Check and stir from time to time.

In the meantime, wash and prepare kale.

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After simmering, take out each thigh, place on a cutting board and shred it using two forks. Put shredded chicken into soup and stir.

Add kale to soup, stir, and let simmer for about 5 minutes.

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Stir in turmeric root or powder, and turn off the flame.

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There can be many variations to this recipe. I had some leftover lasagna noodles so I sliced it thin as a side of starch and added it to the soup to make it into a chicken noodle soup. Chicken soup leftovers become more tasty and flavorful than its freshly cooked past. The tastes of each ingredient intermingle as they cool off in your fridge overnight. Thus, creating a one-of-kind flavor packed healing and goodness to the soul.

Variations:
Just add your favorite veggies. I made the soup a second time after Malino got sick. Instead of using kale, I switched to potatoes and carrots. These veggies (chopped) may be added in with the browned chicken and seasonings and boiled and simmered from there.
Also, a little bit of rice may be added in place of noodles. Crackers always add a nice crunch and the children love to dip it in the broth. We had Krusteaz box corn bread with the second batch of soup.

With much rest, lots of love, and some honest to goodness natural healing ingredients, and a little bit of patience to allow a foreign organism to take its course through the body, fever symptoms are likely to be weakened. Zap’em with some good old chicken soup! ….and don’t forget to GIVE THANKS! ๐Ÿ™‚

I would love to hear your different variations to this simple recipe. What are your favorite vegetables or flavorings in your chicken soup? And what is your idea of a side that compliments chicken soup?

Happy Aloha Friday!
Love and Blessings Always…

By Mrs.Halpern 2013

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Guacamole!

One Sunday afternoon, our friend Matt came by and blessed us with a dozen avocados. The avocados were firm, smooth, and dark green in color. On Thursday, I noticed that they needed encouragement in ripening so into a brown paper bag they went. They ripened quickly and I was prepared to bake on Sunday.

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My mom once made me a snack of chopped avocado drizzled with condensed milk. It was milky, creamy, and very sweet but I remember with every bite, I was trying to figure out the weak pungency of those green blocks. Probably craving and hungry for a snack, I kept eating it. But it wasn’t something that caused me to tantrum if I didn’t have it. But that was my first taste of the avocado. Continue reading

Blue Moon Birthday

8-20-13

Day 20: A Beautiful Mess 30 Day Self Portrait Challenge

Title: A Favorite Place 465 Haili Street

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When my friend from California, whom I haven’t seen for about 12 years,came back to Hilo for a wedding, she stayed at the Honu Inn B & B. We met for dinner at Cafe Pesto. Early in to dinner I asked her where she was staying and she mentioned, “At the Honu Inn on Haili Street.” Later on as we were ending dinner, she had to leave briefly to get some gifts for us that she had forgotten before leaving for dinner. Continue reading