eat local challenge journal day 5 + maui county fair

breakfast | lunch | 88th annual maui county fair.

the fifth day of the kanu hawaii eat local challenge was just that, challenging. with a working lunch meeting and a dinner date with the husband at the maui county fair, i was wondering just how local i'd be eating today. breakfast has proven to be the easiest of the meals to eat entirely local. this morning's breakfast consisted of kula strawberries, an apple banana from the in-laws' backyard, and maui maid bakery whole wheat toast with up-country guava jam from jeff's jams & jellies in makawao.

for my lunch meeting we ended up eating at a favorite local downtown wailuku business lunch spot, cafe o lei. i had the blackened mahimahi with papaya salsa on brown rice with a caesar side salad. our server assured me that the mahi was caught fresh locally, so i can sleep easy knowing that the major part of my lunch was local. i have to admit that i'm not really a huge mahi fan, but it was delicious! it was perfectly cooked, not tough or chewy, but moist and flavorful. quite possibly the best mahi that i've ever had. the papaya salsa was the perfect accompaniment, sweet and light but not sugary or mushy.

passion fruit | buddah's hand citron | heirloom tomatoes.

we enjoyed checking out the wealth of local produce in the war memorial gymnasium. it was amazing to see the numerous different varieties of passion fruit, and the numerous fruits, vegetables, and herbs that can be grown in maui soil. there were even several types of apples grown by haiku school. who new that apples could actually gown in hawaii, and i'm not talking about mountain apples. there was a 330 pound pumpkin, kaffir lime leaves three times the size of the ones we have on our tree at home, beautiful dragon fruit, and even a citrus called "buddah's hand citron". it doesn't really look like it'd be good for squeezing for juice.

one of the great things about maui county fair is that the food booths are all run by volunteers from non-profit organizations, and each non-profit retains the proceeds from their food booth's sales. my all time favorite booth is chow fun. the noodles were the perfect texture, soft, but not mushy or too thin. the flavor is mild, but can be doctored up with the right amount of tabasco and shoyu. i'm not positive but i'm pretty sure that the chow fun noodles are from a local noodle company. my husband's small kid, nostalgic fair must have is the flying saucer, distinguishable by the long line. a flying saucer consists of a sloppy joe-like mixture sandwiched between two slices of bread that are all placed into a "flying saucer sandwich press" until the edges sealed together and the outside of the bread is nice and toasty. this year the maui veterans association opted for a healthier starch alternative. flying saucers are now made with whole wheat bread instead of white. shaun is pictured at the top right biting into one of his flying saucers. on to dessert ,and the second longest line at the fair, fried poi mochi! that's gotta be local right?

the yoyo | the zipper | the ferris wheel

no rides for me, but they make for some fun photos!


eat local challenge journal day 4

breakfast. dinner. dessert.

day four of kanu hawaii's eat local challenge started off with a yummy two egg omelet, and kula strawberries, which would have been all local had we used ka lei eggs instead of organic cage free omega eggs. the omelet included diced kula sweet onion, italian parsley from our herb garden, diced kamuela tomato, and surfing goat dairy feta. lunch was leftovers again, but dinner was extra delicious korean tacos and entirely local! the sliced beef on salad was also delicious without the tortilla.


beef with marinade:
1/4 cup gochujang (korean red pepper paste)
1/4 cup aloha brand white vinegar
1/4 cup maui brand sugar
2 tbsp family sesame oil
1 lb maui cattle company flank steak

1/4 cup shoyu
1/4 cup aloha brand white vinegar
1/8 cup maui brand sugar
1 tbsp family sesame oil
1 1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes

taco toppings:
3 green lettuce leaves
1 cup shredded cabbage
1/2 cup diced sweet kula onion
1/2 cup green onions
1/8 cup cilantro
6 sinoloa flour tortillas
lime wedges
sliced avacado

1. in a bowl, combine the gochujang, vinegar, sugar and sesame oil and mix. add the beef and marinate covered for 4+ hours.

2. mix vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl.

3. grill or saute the beef until cooked. remove from heat and slice. if sauteing the beef, heat the skillet with the sauce and toss in sliced beef until coated.

4. in a large bowl toss lettuce, cabbage, onions, green onions and cilantro with vinaigrette to taste. on a tortilla place the sliced beef, add the salad and top with a couple of slices of avocado.

completely off the local eating grid, shaun had an inclining to make fudge brownies, which were amazing with kula strawberries.


eat local challenge journal day 3

breakfast. lunch. dinner.

day three of kanu hawaii's eat local challenge consisted of an all local breakfast of red papaya and meadow gold low fat cottage cheese. day two leftover spicy quinoa with cucumbers and tomatoes for lunch.

shaun hit up the kahului farmers' market & craft fair at kahului shopping center today to pick-up some locally grown, super fresh choy sum for tonight's dinner. the kahului farmers' market is open tuesday, wednesday and friday from 7am to 4pm. (for a complete list of farmers' markets on maui checkout edible hawaiian islands' website.) dinner was asian inspired chow fun noodles with beef and choy sum in cantonese-style gravy. here's our recipe:


vegetable oil
1 lb chow fun noodle sheets cut lengthwise into strips (purchased at ah fook's)
4 cloves chopped garlic
10 oz maui cattle company top sirloin round tip beef
1 lb choy sum / chinese broccoli (purchased at the kahului farmers market)
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp aloha brand vinegar
1 tbsp aloha brand shoyu
1 tbsp
doenjang / korean miso paste
1 tbsp maui brand raw sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch, dissolved in 3 tbsp water
1 cup organic free range chicken stock
sambal chili garlic sauce to taste
ground pepper to taste
cilantro for garnish
toasted sesame seeds for garnish

1. if your chow fun noodles crack or break when gently pulling them apart, you will want cook them in boiling water prior to frying. heat wok or a large, deep skillet over medium heat. add oil to coat the surface. once the oil is hot add the chow fun noodles and stir fry them gently until they separate. transfer to a separate plate.

2. add more oil to coat the surface and heat until very hot. add the garlic and toss until golden. add beef until surface is cooked. add the choy sum and cook until bright green.

3. add the fish sauce, shoyu, sambal chili garlic sauce, vinegar, doenjang, sugar and ground pepper, and toss. then add the corn starch mixture and chicken stock, toss, and simmer until sauce thickens. reduce heat to low and toss in chow fun noodles coating well. serve with cilantro and toasted sesame seeds.


eat local challenge journal day 2

day two of kanu hawaii's eat local challenge started off with a simple breakfast of kula strawberries with meadow gold low fat cottage cheese, and a piece of whole wheat toast from maui maid bakery. lunch was even easier, leftovers from eat local challenge day one dinner. tonight's dinner was a variation of the spicy quinoa, cucumber and tomato salad featured in the july 13, 2010 issue of the new york times. the below is my adapted recipe trying to use all local ingredients. unfortunately i don't think there are any local companies that produce quinoa. i prefer using japanese cucumbers and grape tomatoes because they add less moisture to the dish, but any type of tomato or cucumber will work

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
2 ho farms japanese cucumbers diced
1 small red onion finely minced (kula sweet onion, local option)
1 small container of hamakua springs grape tomatoes

2 jalapeños, seeded & finely chopped

1/2 cup chopped cilantro, plus several sprigs for garnish

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
surfing goat dairy feta cheese crumbled for garnishing

1. place one cup of quinoa medium sauce pan and lightly toast. add two cups of water and cover. i cook quinoa like rice, no stirring needed. you can tell the quinoa is done when the germ separates from the seed. the germ looks like a tiny curl. cook time is between 12 - 15 minutes.

2. meanwhile, place the finely diced cucumber in a colander, and sprinkle with salt. (i used alae salt as the local alternative.) toss and allow to sit for 15 minutes. rinse the cucumber with cold water, and drain on paper towels.

3. combine the onion, tomatoes, cucumber, jalapeños, cilantro, vinegar, lime juice and olive oil in a bowl. typically i don't add any salt because the cucumbers retain a lot of the saltiness. once the quinoa has cooled to room temperature i add the quinoa and cilantro. toss together, and taste and adjust seasonings. serve garnished with feta cheese and cilantro sprigs.


eat local challenge journal day 1

today was the first day of kanu hawaii's week long eat local challenge, which encourages hawaii residents to eat all locally grown foods from september 26 through october 2. did you know that if air and barge freight weren't possible, our food supplies would only last 14 days! the vulnerability of our food supply should encourage all hawaii residents to build a more sustainable, secure food supply.

we did our grocery shopping for the week at whole foods market kahului and foodland kahului, both are partners in the eat local challenge. for tonight's dinner we had beef tofu served on a bed of quinoa. the recipe below is an adaptation from the pork tofu recipe found on the back of waipoli hydroponics' watercress packaging. we opted for beef instead of pork since we knew we could easily get maui cattle company beef from whole foods market. dinner was healthy, fresh and delicious!

  • 10 oz maui cattle company top sirloin round tip beef*
  • 1 block maui made firm tofu*
  • 1 kula sweet onion*
  • 1/4 lb hamakua mushrooms*
  • red bell pepper
  • garlic
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 bunch waipoli hydroponic watercress*
  • 1/3 cup aloha shoyu*
  • 2 Tbsp grated ginger*
  • 1 Tbsp mirin
  • 2 Tbsp maui brand raw sugar*
  • rice vinegar
  • homemade chili pepper vinegar*
  • sesame seeds for garnish
* designates items that are locally grown or made


maui gets a dose of myth & magic

this past sunday hale makua health services held its 22nd annual luau, mythical magical maui, at the wailea marriott resort & spa. it was such a pleasure to have attended this extraordinary event, the first of its kind for the organization, which previously held its annual luau at the kihei community center. upon entering the ballroom guests were greeted by volunteers in pāʻū (wrapped skirt) with a lei made by a resident.

the formal program consisted of four performances by 'ulalena; guest speakers, tony krieg, CEO of hale makua health services; joe thomas, former resident of hale makua; nancy kawamura, current hale makua resident; and teresa lopes, hale makua activities director and employee of over 30 years. walter hester, CEO of maui jim sunglasses was honored and recognized for his generous contributions and support over the years, from becoming this luau's first principle sponsor and continued sponsor for seven years, to serving on the board of directors.

'ulalena's performances were exquisite and spellbinding, combining traditional hawaiian dance with aerial acrobatics, tantalizing vocals, and instrumentals consisting of drums and a nose flute. 'ulaleana donated their time and talents for this event, performing the vignettes of kumulipo, makahiki, hina, and 'ulalena.


30 years of photojournalism on maui

last week saturday i had the pleasure of attending the opening reception of the newest exhibit at maui arts & culture center's schaefer international gallery - matthew thayer and the maui news: thirty years of photojournalism. over the last thirty years matthew thayer has been chronicling moments of maui's history with vivid imagery, and to see highlights of it all in one place was simply amazing.

as somewhat of a newbie to maui, this exhibit took me through some of the major changes that have helped to shape maui's history over the last three decades. from the island economy's dependence on agriculture to the departure of pineapple and
the current reliance on tourism. photos depicting mom and pop stores that i always hear about, but have long since closed. one of matt's most well-know photos was taken in 1988 of the miracle landing of aloha airlines flight 243 with a gaping hole where the upper fuselage ripped from the plane, pictured on the cover of the maui news below. this story put maui at the hub of the media's attention, and the associated press was clamoring to get photo coverage of it. a rotary transmitter (brand new technology at the time) was sent to matt at the maui news, and the now famous photo was sent over the wire (taking a mere 40 minutes to transmit), making the cover of every major newspaper in the united states. you can eve
n see the rotary transmitter live at this exhibit!

this enthralling exhibit features matt's film and digital photos, but also gives a brief glimpse into the influence technology has had on photo techniques and even how the newspaper is published today. a flat screen tv displays hundreds of additional photos shot by matthew thayer, including sporting events, concerts, cultural events, and everyday moments that we sometimes miss during our busy lives. you can also take a look at matt's actual newsroom desk, and a life-sized dark room where you take a spin in the oscillating dark room door (definitely one of the highlights for my four year old niece).

this exhibition is free to the public and will be on display until october 23rd, so there's no good reason why you shouldn't see it. the schaefer international gallery at the maui arts & cultural center is open from wednesday through sunday, 11am to 5pm and before castle theater shows. mahalo to mary c. sanford, the kent and polli smith family fund at the hawai'i community foundation, alexander & baldwin foundation, hawai'i tourism authority, and the county of maui, office of economic development for helping to make this exhibition possible.


hana relay detoured

the morning started before the sunrise with the first leg of the hana relay. my sister-in-law and i ran the first two legs for team "The Runs", and then detoured on our own double marathon of shopping and eating.

we were the first in the door at cafe de
s amis in paia town. yummy breakfast of savory crepes and cafe. the breakfast of hana relay wannabe finishers.

shopping for some fresh local produce at mana foods...

looked for treasures and unique finds at paia trading company...

super cute clothes at imrie boutique. lovely bohemian haute couture pieces ranging from swimsuits and undergarments to blouses, skirts and dresses, plus an assortment of shoes and accessories!

puka puka in paia opened about nine months ago, but i had yet to check it out. it's such a gem of a store and gallery with unique pieces not to found anywhere else. especially loved the clean, contemporary interiors in a plantation
style building from the 1910s.

my sister-in-law turned my on to kerry cassill with her line of super soft, cotton garments and bedding with the most amazing, colorful prints. lilikoi boutique primarily sells organic, natural skincare products, but i stumbled upon a small selection of kerry cassill bedding and kitchen linens as well. this is the first store i've seen on maui that carries kerry cassill.

a little beach breather...

back into town for lunch at my favorite saturday lunch spot. side order of kim chee adds some nice spice to my large dry min. my sister-in-law opted for a small dry min with a deluxe cheeseburger.

quick stop at native intelligence to pick-up some beautiful leis. so far it's the only place that i've found on maui that regularly stocks hilo maile and pakalana leis. such a beautiful store with great gift ideas.


a blue & brown bridal shower

i was thrilled to help plan a bridal shower for my only girl cousin on the maternal side of my family. i was in charge of all of my most favorite things... centerpieces, favors, and the invitations! the color theme was blue of undetermined hue and chocolate brown. the challenge, my cousin isn't one of those girls who loves going shopping for wedding gowns and matching strapy heels, or choosing flowers for bouquets and centerpieces. She's not super frilly where flowery invites would seem right. has anyone ever noticed that almost all bridal invitations have flowers on them?!! i found the perfect invites online at wedding paper divas. baby blue background with contemporary cutlery in brown.

invites down, now for the favors. i was initially thinking macaroons, but switched back to cupcakes because it was easier to stick to the color theme. cupcakes are so versatile because there are so many flavors to choose from, and any color can easily be brought in with the decorations on the frosting. the chocolate cupcakes with blue cups and sprinkles were custom ordered from my favorite cupcake place on oahu, cupcake couture. i also ordered transparent white cup-a-cake cupcake holders online so that guests could take their sweet treat home. lastly the cupcake holders were topped off with a pool blue circle sticker hand-stamped with the contemporary cutlery in chocolate brown.

i was thinking that the centerpieces were going to be more of a challenge with a blue and brown color theme since there aren't any great blue flowers, and how to integrate the brown? of course leave it to martha stewart to provide inspiration! a blue vase would be perfect, and glazed ceramic matched the look and feel of the invitations! a single white spider mum with three short curly willow branches made for a simple, easy to assemble flower arrangement. very japanese ikebana-esque.