Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

Passport to free and local

By
April 15th, 2016



Island Popper popcorn is the featured item for Pearlridge Farmers Market's Buy Local, Get Local program tomorrow, where 100 customers can get a bag free after making purchases from five vendors.

Island Popper popcorn is the featured item for Pearlridge Farmers Market's Buy Local, Get Local program tomorrow, where 100 customers can get a bag free after making purchases from five vendors.

At the Pearlridge Farmers' Market tomorrow — and every third Saturday of the month — 100 customers can make the most of their shopping dollars during the Buy Local, Get Local promotion. Be one of the first 100 shoppers to receive the card, then make purchases from five vendors, get a stamp from each, then turn in the card for a free, local item.

This month, that's a bag of Island Popper Popcorn. It's a $4 value!

On May 21, get a freshly baked pastry from Baker Dude; a Mochi Lab cupcake on June 18; and a bag of seasoned Hawaiian salt from Salty Wahine Salt on July 16.

The Pearlridge market, which runs 8 a.m. to noon in the corner of the Sears parking lot, is part of the FarmLovers Farmers' Market lineup owned and operated by Pamela Boyar and Annie Suite. As do all the FarmLovers markets, it features all-local items.

Boyar credits Pearlridge marketing director Kelly Kauinana for creating the popular program.

Boyar and Suite also run markets in Waimea Valley (2 to 6 p.m. Thursdays), Ward Warehouse (8 a.m. to noon Saturdays) and Kailua Elementary School (8:30 a.m. to noon Sundays).

Visit farmloversmarkets.com.

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Do some grocery shopping and support youth mentorship

By
March 23rd, 2016



If you're short on flour or it's time to go marketing, take a trip today to Whole Foods Market Kailua, or Kahului if you're on Maui. When you make a purchase, 5 percent of what you spend will be set aside for Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Hawaii.
If you miss today's opportunity, the Kahala store will support the youth mentorship program on March 30 with the same deal.
The store's Community Support Day program devotes the 5-percent profits from a day's sales to a single organization. It's the first time all the Hawaii stores are benefiting one organization.
Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Hawaii matches keiki with mentors for one-on-one friendships. Big brothers and sisters offer encouragement, modeling and support in making good decisions and maintaining good behaviors.
Whole Foods Market Kahala is in Kahala Mall, call 738-0820; the Kailua market is at 629 Kailua Road, 263-6800; the Kahului location is in Maui Mall, 808-872-3310.

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Thursdays mean kulolo at Highway Inn

By
March 17th, 2016



Highway Inn may not be most people's destination of choice on such a "kiss me I'm Irish" day as St. Paddy's, but this is Thursday and as such, you may find freshly made kulolo from Kauai on the menu.

The kulolo at Highway Inn, made from taro and coconut, is flown in from Kauai and is available Thursdays. Photo by Erika Engle.

The kulolo at Highway Inn, made from taro and coconut, is flown in from Kauai and is available Thursdays.
Photo by Erika Engle.

Kulolo, if you have never tried it, is baked taro with grated coconut and it is a local dessert still considered a delicacy.

Kulolo used to be so hard to find -- a truly rarefied treat. You had to go to the right Hawaiian church's luau, or a certain cousin's graduation party. You had to have a tutu, auntie or neighbor who made it and didn't mind sharing some with you.

Nowadays you can find it at the farmers market, or make your own using powdered mix from one of any number of stores.

The traditionally made, dense, moist, luxurious kulolo served at Highway Inn most Thursdays, will be there if the planets have aligned just so, according to a server. It was explained that it will be available if the batch fresh-flown from Kauai manages to get delivered to not just the Waipahu location, but also to its townside sister-store in Kakaako, which apparently depends on traffic and delivery drivers' schedules.

Should you have the luck of the Irish, or Hawaiian, or any other ethnic group and find it available freshly delivered today or any other Thursday, try it. It is the real deal, and you will not be limited to just a tiny square of it served on a pressed paper luau tray.

Kulolo at Highway Inn is market-priced, and you can call ahead for information and confirmation. The recorded greeting is lengthy, but hilarious.

http://www.myhighwayinn.com/

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Veggie wraps for all

By
March 16th, 2016



Hummus made from kalo was delicious on its own, but with the addition of avocado, sprouts and tomatoes, served in a mung-tapioca wrap, it was also a hearty meal.

Hummus made from kalo was delicious on its own, but with the addition of avocado, sprouts and tomatoes, served in a mung-tapioca wrap, it was also a hearty meal.

I was in Waimanalo last week to interview Small Kine Farm owner Fung Yang for an upcoming mushroom story (see our new food section in April!) and realized I’d be passing by the Waimanalo Market Co-op. What a treat for this Waipahu girl to be able to visit — I’d love to shop there every week but the distance doesn’t make it easy.

I entered with a growling tummy and wasn’t disappointed. In the display case were an array of prepared takeout dishes from Nina Cucina, a line of freshly made, healthful dishes made in-house, predominantly from ingredients sourced in Waimanalo and the rest of the island. Cook-owner Nina Pullella delivers soups, sandwiches, wraps and pasta salads, plus a pesto sauce that’s renowned in the area.

Most often, the only thing I’d be able to consider on such a menu is the soup since I can’t eat gluten. But leave it to Pullella to offer healthful options for all. That day, I was actually able to choose between a grilled veggie pesto wrap ($10.50) and a kalo hummus wrap ($10.50) that I selected, filled with avocado, tomatoes, cucumber, sprouts and the flavorful, satisfying hummus.

But the key was the wrap itself, which contained none of the wheat that would make it inedible for a gluten-sensitive person. Instead, Pullella combined mung bean and tapioca flours with garlic, lemon juice and salt to create a flavorful, resilient and nicely textured wrap that possessed a similar chew to its wheat counterpart. In its entirity, the hummus wrap was simply delicious and more than enough for one person. In fact, I halved it with my daughter. What a treat.

Through her delicious selections, Pullella shows off stellar cooking genes that are rooted in her father, who runs a successful Italian restaurant in New Jersey. She grew up pitching in at the restaurant alongside her siblings. Surely all that experience contributes to Pullella’s intuitive sense of the potential for ingredients and flavors, and a creative confidence in the kitchen.

So it was no surprise that at the register, the cashier told me the new roasted veggie wrap was all the rage.

It gives me another incentive to return to the co-op soon for another great shopping day.

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Scrub a dub dub

By
March 5th, 2016



Kuhn Rikon's silicone scrubbie dries quickly and hinders bacterial growth. To keep mine as germ-free as possible, I anchor it in the prongs of the dish rack intended for cups.

Kuhn Rikon's silicone Stay Clean Scrubber dries quickly and hinders bacterial growth. To keep mine as as exposed to the open air as possible, I anchor it in the prongs of the dish rack where the cups usually hang.

I was probably 6 or 7 when I started washing dishes. My mother was conscientious about training her daughters early in basic household chores. I recall standing on a stool to tackle the task at hand.

At the time, the standard dish-washing tool was the cellulose sponge. Little did we know that germs thrived in those small, soapy rectangles we kept on our counters infinitum and ran over our dishes night after night. Today, I can’t live without the textured scrubbies my aunt crochets out of nylon netting. They’re flexible, quick drying and durable enough to survive the constant laundering I put them through to keep the bacteria at bay.

So it was with a bit of reluctance that I put away Aunty’s scrubbie to test the Kuhn Rikon Stay Clean Scrubber. But it seemed like a worthwhile endeavor. The scrubber boasts 5,000 bristles made of nonporous silicone, which means it dries fast and won’t harbor bacteria.

The nonporous, flexible scrubbing tool has 5,000 bristles.

The nonporous, flexible scrubber has 5,000 bristles.

While this scrubber isn’t as flexible or tough on stuck-on food as Aunty’s version, it does a reasonable job at cleaning. Placing too much pressure on it bends the bristles and renders it ineffective, so I’ve taken to using it solely on the kitchen sink for everyday cleaning.

To dry, I rest it on a corner of the dish rack or weave it between the prongs meant for drip-drying cups. This keeps it readily exposed to the open air.

The scrubber’s $8 price tag seems a reasonable amount to pay for a durable tool that truly contributes to a sanitary kitchen. A bonus: It comes in fun colors of red, lime green, orange, blue and white. Find it at kuhnrikon.com.

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Japanese cheesecake ready for Girls' Day, with boys also allowed

By
March 2nd, 2016



Uncle Tetsu Japanese Cheesecake is blessed, open, and ready for business at Royal Hawaiian Center, just in time for Hinamatsuri, or Girls' Day.

After a soft-opening Tuesday to test the ovens, the bake- and beverage- shop was blessed Tuesday with both company founder and namesake Tetsushi Mizokami and Panda Restaurant Group co-founder Andrew Cherng on hand to welcome guests.

Uncle Tetsu Japanese Cheesecake shop opens at the food court in the Royal Hawaiian Center. Uncle Tetsu is actually Tetsushi Mizokami. This is Andrew Cherng (left, founder and chairman of Panda Restaurant Group, which includes Panda Express), and Uncle Tetsu (right) in front of the new shop. Mizokami commonly sticks his tongue out in photos to mimic his logo, which is branded onto some of his bakery products and displayed on boxes and bags. PHOTO BY DENNIS ODA.

Established in Japan in 1985 by Tetsushi Mizokami (right), the Uncle Tetsu Japanese Cheesecake chain is now open at the food court in the Royal Hawaiian Center. This is Andrew Cherng (left, founder and chairman of Panda Restaurant Group, which includes Panda Express and Uncle Tetsu), and Mizokami in front of the new shop. Mizokami commonly sticks his tongue out in photos to mimic his logo, which is branded onto some of his bakery products and displayed on boxes and bags.
PHOTO BY DENNIS ODA.

Japanese cheesecake is lighter in weight, texture, and mouth-feel than its Western counterparts, and though quite fluffy, samples of Uncle Tetsu's offerings were eggy and flavorful.

Cheesecakes are baked to order, and to confound counterfeiters, are branded with a caricature of Uncle Tetsu.

Other baked items offered include soft, sweet and puffy Madeleines in various flavors, as well as crisp cheesecake toast, made from the cheesecakes themselves. Think soft, sweet Melba toast that melts in your mouth. The shop also offers Asian-inspired beverages.

Uncle Tetsu Japanese Cheesecake shop opens at the food court in the Royal Hawaiian Center. Uncle Tetsu is actually Tetsushi Mizokami. He is here for the opening, shown branding his caricature on freshly baked cheesecakes. Next to him is pastry chef Lydia Chen. PHOTO BY DENNIS ODA.

Tetsushi Mizokami, or "Uncle Tetsu," is shown branding his caricature on freshly baked cheesecakes at the newly opened Uncle Tetsu Japanese Cheesecake shop at Royal Hawaiian Center. Next to him is pastry chef Lydia Chen. PHOTO BY DENNIS ODA.

Panda Restaurant Group recently acquired the 80-unit Uncle Tetsu chain, with locations in its home base of Japan as well as other countries around the world. The Uncle Tetsu at Royal Hawaiian Center is the chain's first foray into the U.S., with another store set to open in California later this year.

“Expanding into the U.S. has been a dream for our family-owned business and we are honored to have the chance to grow our fan base here in Honolulu,” Mizokami said in a statement issued February 23.

Mizokami shares travel experiences with customers and fans via a blog on his website, in case anyone is curious as to what he will share about his U.S. debut in Waikiki.

Panda Restaurant Group, the parent company of Panda Express, Panda Inn and Hibachi-San, plans to expand the Uncle Tetsu brand across the mainland.

Cheesecake Factory, known for its heavier, American-style cheesecakes, savory selections and large portions, has been open at the center for more than a decade.

 

 

 

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Happiness is a warm egg

By
February 22nd, 2016



The cheery sign matched the mood of early-morning customers at Petersons' Upland Farm.

A cheery sign greets all at the Egg Room in Wahiawa, where brown and white eggs in various sizes are waiting for eager customers.

Petersons' Upland Farm Egg Room
>> Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays
(closed Sundays and Mondays)
>> Address: 141 Dole Road in Wahiawa
>> Phone: 621-6619
>> Also: 4:30 to 6 p.m. Thursdays at Wahiawa Hongwanji Mission farmers market, 1067 California Ave.

Happiness is a warm egg, at least in my world. A freshly boiled egg is nourishment and comfort all packaged in one pristine orb. And there's no better time to partake than at breakfast, no better way to start the day on sure footing, which is why a boiled egg is my go-to food each morning.

I feel even better about the daily ritual because I know exactly where my eggs come from, and that they're fresh.

There's already a line first thing in the morning at the Egg Room at Petersons' Upland Farm.

There's already a line first thing in the morning outside Petersons' Upland Farm's Egg Room.

This is thanks to Petersons' Upland Farm's Egg Room in Wahiawa, not far from my Waikele home. There, the longtime egg-farming Peterson family sells flats of brown and white eggs in various sizes. (A flat is 30 eggs.) Prices change depending on supply, but they're always astoundingly affordable. Last Saturday, one flat of size large was $10!

When my husband and I arrived at about 8:05 a.m., we faced a considerable line. But it was a pleasant wait. Strangers chatted happily, no doubt because every one of us had pictures in our minds of all the delicious foods we'd be whipping up.

Though some may have had visions of cakes or quiches, I just thought of my quiet time, the solitary couple of minutes at my office desk peeling my warm meal, sprinkling it with salt, and that first, soothing, satisfying bite.

A flat of 30 eggs is precious cargo for egg aficionados traveling home from Petersons' Upland Farm.

A flat of 30 eggs is precious cargo for egg aficionados traveling home from Petersons' Upland Farm.

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Kauai-made curd makes top 100 list

By
February 18th, 2016



Monkeypod Jam's lilikoi (passion fruit) curd retails for about $13.

Monkeypod Jam's lilikoi (passion fruit) curd retails for about $13.

Furlough Fridays in 2010 gave Aletha Thomas, an art teacher at Kapaa Middle School, time to work on her preserving techniques. She used Kauai produce to make jams, jellies, marmalades and curds, and in time a business -- Monkeypod Jam -- was born.

This week, sweet recognition came from Saveur, which named her lilikoi curd to the Saveur 100, a list of products, ingredients, recipes and cooking techniques that the magazine's editors mark as must-haves.

Saveur calls the curd "tangy, floral and velvety-smooth ... perfect.

Thomas says she quit teaching when her daughter Annika was born in 2012. Monkeypod Jam now produces 55 seasonal preserves, all with Kauai produce. Available now: spiced tomato, mango, Tahitian lime, Meyer lemon, white pineapple and more.

The kitchen and warehouse moved to Lawai in November. The new location is also a storefront, and Thomas teaches monthly preserving classes.

On other islands look for the jam at R. Field Wine Co. and Whole Foods Market.

Visit: monkeypodjam.com and saveur.com/saveur-100-2016

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