Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Better late than never... but it IS still Tuesday here in Maui.

Immature manila palm seed rack.

Immature seed rack and another about a month older.
These will eventually be about the size of crapes and turn a fiery red.

Two of our 5 manila palms that are just starting to put off seed racks.


Stripes, stripes and more stripes. Each cover in this latest post has it's own visual language based on stripes. Two of these, Harper's Bazaar and Esquire, were designed by one of my favorite art directors Henry Wolf. The Holiday cover was art directed by Frank Zachary. Interesting note, the caption for the cover credits begins with, "The tasty dish in candy stripes on our cover is Mara Lane..."

I also love how Henry Wolf signed his cover creations. In doing research on Henry Wolf I found that he was only at Bazaar for a few years before joining Show for their launch in October 1961. The Bazaar cover from June of that year (in this post) was one of his last for that publication. I think I sense a future post of all my Henry Wolf covers.

Art Director: Frank Zachary / Photographer: Slim Aarons

Art Director: Henry Wolf / Photographer: Bassman

Art Director: Henry Wolf / Photographer: Ben Somoroff

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Just above Ali'i Kula Lavender with the central valley below and West Maui behind us.

Thanksgiving was a bit different around here this year. No brining of a turkey. No wrapping one in bacon. No drying bread for dressing or mashing potatoes. Nope. This year we took the day off. Off from commissioned work, yard work, house work, cooking and dishes.

We woke up, lounged about and finally headed up to Polipoli Spring Recreation Area for a short hike about 5300 - 6000 feet above sea level. It's just above the Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm... about a 30 minute drive on a on lane pot hole filled and sometimes muddy road. It's one of our favorite places on the island, but we have not been back since 2006 after it was subject to a massive fire in January 2007, which consumed over 4500 acres of this beautiful redwood and eucalyptus forest. It's slowly coming back and we saw tons of new 4-5 trees sprouting up by the thousands.

After a short hike where we got to see some amazing views of the West Maui Mountains and of the Big Island, we headed down to Hali'imaile General Store where we had dinner reservations.

They had a Thanksgiving buffet for $36 per person that we just couldn't resist. The menu consisted of:
Mixed baby greens with wasabi peas, caramelized pineapple and goat cheese wontons to start.  Roast turkey and gravy, prime rib with horseradish sauce, fresh corn chip and salsa crusted monchong (fish), savory chicken and pine nut stuffing, bread pudding with chestnuts and dried cherries, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, roasted vegetable medley, truffle mac and cheese, cranberry sauce, biscuits and pumpkin pie.

After we piled our plates and consumed the massive amounts of food that sat before us, we could not even think about the pie, so they boxed up 2 slices with fresh whipped cream for us to take home. We can't tell you how great it was to not have to do all that cooking and most importantly... the cleaning up. Coming home to a spotless kitchen on a full stomach was a joy.

It's really important to take the time and enjoy your surroundings no matter where you live. We all know to well how easy it is to get caught up in day to day chores and projects. We hope you had as great a day as we did. Here are some pics from a really gorgeous and completely relaxing, carefree Maui day.

ps. Many mahalo's to the staff at Hali'imaille for turning it out for those of us that didn't want to bother.

Top: Rainbow over Kula.
Bottom: View of Ma'alaea Bay, West Maui and the island of Lana'i in the distance... not to mention those enormously heavy clouds.
Top: Charred remains of a majestic pine with a few survivors in the distance and a slew of new trees making their way out of the charred forrest floor.
Bottom: A little higher up is the eucalyptus forest shrouded in fog and cool air which is scented with eucalyptus.
A magical moment as we were walking through the eucalyptus forest.
Step into the light. 
A very Tim Burton or Dr. Suess skeleton of a charred pine tree. 
A detail of the above pine shows gnarled branches still clinging to a few last pinecones, that look as though they are about to grab you as you pass by.

Top: Stellar views of The Big Island.
 Bottom: A few more charred trees and West Maui.
Top: Me with my new phone trying to find our coordinates high above Maui's last lava flow some 500 years ago. It's that black patch of lava down along the shore.
Bottom:A cinder cone from where lava once flowed and views of Maui's central valley. All the bright green way down there are the sugar cane fields.
Um.... John... Did you happen to see that sign back there?
As the day draws to a close over a dormant cinder cone, we make our way back down the mountain through open fields of cattle and a painted sky.
Plate is loaded... then it's not. I ate it all... and managed to go back for a second helping of truffle mac and cheese.
Do we look content or what?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Star Fruit (carambola) season is in full swing here and I am trying to use them up as quickly as they ripen — which is no easy task. 

The loaded star fruit tree.
I swear there are over 1000 on this tree. The sad part is when the ground is littered with rotting fruit.
But the birds and geckos are happy... not to mention the gnats.
Saturday night I made a full size star fruit - upside-down cake for our friend Abraham and last night I made these Mini Shooting Star Fruit Upside - Down  Cakes to take to our friend Liz's house for dinner. These mini cakes were inspired by the Hali’imaile Pineapple Upside-Down Cake at Hali'imaile General Store.... Where we will be having Thanksgiving dinner this year. NO COOKING HERE. 
Mini Shooting Star Fruit Upside - Down Cakes.
Arrange on a serving platter in a star pattern.
This one is perfect for the holidays as it looks like a snowflake.

3-6 medium star fruit

1 teaspoon pure almond extract

4 tablespoons ( 1/2 stick) butter

12 teaspoons dark brown sugar

1 1/2 cups cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon orange, lemon or lime zest

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

2 large egg yolks, at room temperature

2 egg whites

1/2 cup sour cream

1. Wash and trim the outer ribs on your star fruit then slice  3/8" thick. Remove any seeds.

2. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Divide the butter into 12 pieces and place in the bottom of each muffin cup.

3. Place the tins in the oven while it is pre-heating to melt the butter. KEEP AN EYE ON IT AS NOT TO BURN THE BUTTER.

4. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and citrus zest in a small bowl. At this point you should be able to remove muffin tin(s) from oven

5.  Beat one-half cup softened butter and 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in egg yolks one at a time.  Next beat in half the flour mixture, then half of the sour cream,repeat with the remaining flour mixture and sour cream. Beat until smooth. If you are using a stand mixer like a KitchenAid, then transfer this batter to a new bowl. Clean your stand mixer bowl and beat egg whites until stiff. Fold egg whites into batter.

6. Place 1 teaspoon of the brown sugar into each muffin cup and top with one slice of starfruit.

7. Pour approximately 1 heaping tablespoon of the batter into each cup.

7. Place muffin tins on a cookie sheet to prevent any over bubbling from hitting the bottom of your oven. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until the a toothpick comes out clean. I like to let them go just a tad longer to make the visible tops a bit crispy. 

8. Remove from oven and slide a cake icing knife around the edges to loosen them. Place a cookie sheet on top of the muffin tins and Immediately turn out onto the cookie sheet. Serve warm or room temperature. 

* You can also reheat in the oven on on the stovetop in a cover skillet with a little butter for 5 minutes on low flame.

** You can also use just about any fruit for this you like: apple, mango, pineapple, peaches, berries, banana, pear, even orange slices with the rind removed...hmmm// now i want to try the orange version.

Melted butter and brown sugar in tins. I thought I took a pic of the star fruit on the brown sugar — but iI didn't.

Pour batter over star fruit, butter and brown sugar. Bake and remove when golden bubbly and crisp.

Slice a cake icing knife around the edges. I like this knife because it's thin and flexible enough to get under the cakes as well as the sides.

Golden crispy goodness.

Turn out onto cookie sheet and cool.

Place on serving platter and garnish with sliced star fruit and banana leaf sections with the ends cut into dovetails. If you don't have banana leaves, use paper or wired ribbon. Any color will do.
Also, allow the  star fruit slices to drain a few minutes on a paper towel before placing on platter to avoid starfruit juice puddles under your crispy cakes.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


A few weeks back we finally stopped by the Kanaha Pond Wildlife SanctuaryOnce a royal fishpond, this bird sanctuary is home to two endangered Hawaiian species of waterfowl, the black-necked stilt (ae'o) and the Hawaiian coot ('alae ke'oke'o) and is only open to the public from August to May.

I love these beautiful tufts of grass amongst the cracked almost claylike silt.

Here you can see the viewing platform. There is also another entrance on the back side of the pond near Kanaha Beach Park. The 143-acre preserve has looping paths that circle the perimeter of the wetland sanctuary through a shaded forest with native plants. There are numerous abandoned concrete World War II bunkers along the trails. Click here for more in depth reading on the ponds and how they came to be and how one was filled in and destroyed.

Due to the continued destruction of many of Hawai'i's wetland areas Kanaha Pond was designated a registered natural landmark in late 1971 by the Department of the Interior, one of only two such sites registered at the time.

(here is the text taken from one of the signs at the sanctuary.)
Naturally occurring freshwater marshes, ponds, and other wetlands may have always been supply on the Hawaiian Island. Wetlands such as fishponds and taro fields were created by the early Hawaiians, and wetland birds utilized these habitats. But in recent history, many wetlands were filed for land development or degraded by agricultural practices. Many remaining wetlands are vulnerable to water diversions, pollution, and invasive species.

Today, five native waterbirds breed on most of the main Hawaiian Islands. The Hawaiian coot ('alae ke'oke'o), common moorhen ('alae 'ula), black-necked stilt (ae'o), and Hawaiian duck (koloa) are in serious trouble and have been listed as endangered. These waterbirds nest on the ground, making them vulnerable to introduced predators such as mongoose, dogs, cats, and rats. The tree-nesting black-crowned night-herron ('auku'u) is holding it's own.

A number of watrefowl and shorebirds over-winter in Hawai'i or pas through on their annual migrations. The best known and most commonly seen in grassy fields is the Pacific golden-plover (kōlea). Individual birds return to the same areas every year. Along the shoreline, ruddy turnstones ('akekeke), wandering tattlers ('ulili), and sanderlings (hunakai) are a common winter sight. The pond is sometimes filled with canadian geese in the winter. 

I'll be posting more about the Pacific golden-plover (kōlea) that makes our yard it's winter home. I've been taming pics of it over that last few months so that I can hopefully share it's change in color from light golden tan to almost black by the end of the season. 

Black-necked stilt (ae'o)
Look at those gams will ya!
Another close up detail of the black-necked stilt (ae'o) 
We sat and watched them wade through the water quite slowly, then all of a sudden they would flap their wings in an apparent attempt to get the small fish to dart about so they could feed on then. It must be pretty tough to find food in this murky pond. 
Black-necked stilt (ae'o)  in flight and rustling up some grub. You can actually see where a fish jumped out of the water and made a small splash only to be devoured a second later. I guess the wing flapping system works.
Looking east towards Haleakala.
The Hawaiian coot ('alae ke'oke'o)
The Hawaiian coot ('alae ke'oke'o)

Saturday, November 13, 2010


On the eve of a week long gig assisting on a swimsuit photo shoot, I thought this post might be appropriate.

The process of setting up the office means restacking all my old magazines. Some of which are just too good not to post... take this issue of Holiday from June 1955. The model on the cover was photographed at the legendary Kalapana black sand beach on the Big Island. In 1990, a lava flow from Kilauea, slowly wiped out the majestic, coco-palm lined beach and the nearby village. I found a good photo of it here showing the vapor and steam as the lava hit the water. The photo spread inside the magazine featured resident beauties modeling the latest in swimwear from all over the state. I love the saturated color of these old magazines. Holiday was especially great because of all the sunny, richly colored places they'd feature. Also, notice how spare and clean the cover is. The coverlines don't need to scream out at you when the photo is this stunning.

June, 1955 Kalapana Beach, Big Island.

Opening spread shows a model on Kauai, left, and the cover girl on the very exotic Kalapana beach, right.

This spread was shot on Maui, Kaanapali Resort on the left, and Oheo Gulch (7 Sacred Pools) on the right

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


Where has the time gone? It's been pretty busy here at CFC headquarters these last few weeks and we short business threw a trip to Oahu in last week as well. In lieu of missing 2 TT post, here are 2 textures today. We look to be back in full swing next week.

Sprinkle cookies from Leonard's Bakery on our recent trip to Oahu.

Moss on the North East side of the trunk of our Royal Palm. Most trees and structures collect moss/mold on the NE side due to trade winds and lack of sun, especially in the winter.