Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Top: April 6, 2010
Bottom: March 12, 2011

During mom and grandma's recent visit, we took a drive around the back/south flank of Haleakala via Kula, `Ulupalakua and Kaupo then Kipahulu, Hana, Ke`Anae then back home. This is usually the opposite direction to travel when making this drive... but I enjoy this route a little more. You never know what the scenery might look like at various times of year or if we have had a wet or dry season.

This past winter (2010) the island experienced much wetter conditions than last winter (2009). As you can see from the image above, April 6, 2010 was very brown and crispy whereas this past March 12, 2011 was vibrant green… just about a month shy of a year to the day.

Brighter than bright greens and blues.
John standing on the cliffs edge taking in the view of the snow capped peaks on the Big Island. You can just make out the peaks in upper left of the the top part of this image… in the line of clouds just above the horizon. Detail of snow capped Mauna Kea (above cloud line) and the lower peak of Kohala.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


We recently got a goodie box FILLED with an assortment of cards from our friend Kate Lydon of SATURATE. Her hand silkscreened cards are small works of art ... in fact the APPLE print she sent us is signed and numbered. Our kitchen is soon the be the proud recipient of that piece along side the scallions and lettuce we already have framed from Kate.

Her clever cards and notebooks are not only beautiful, but clever. I love how she achieves many colors in one card with careful placement of inks in specific areas of just one screen or how she makes vintage florals modern by screening a grid polka dots on top of them. We love them so much, it's kind of hard to part with them... but we do our part and share the them. We find it very important to send proper thank you notes, birthday cards and cheerful hellos rather than a quick e-mail. There really is nothing like a beautiful and thoughtful card waiting for us in our mailbox.

Mahalo for this box of beauty Kate.

Apple Print.
The Lettuce and Scallions already in the kitchen Gallery.
Her clever cards and notebooks are not only beautiful, but clever. I also love how she achieves many colors in one card with careful placement of inks in specific areas of just one screen or how she makes vintage florals modern by screening a grid polka dots on top of them. We love them so much, it's kind of hard to part with them... but we do our part and share the them. We find it very important to send proper thank you notes, birthday cards and cheerful hellos rather than a quick e-mail. There really is nothing like a beautiful and thoughtful card waiting for us in our mailbox. Mahalo for this box of happiness Kate. 


Coleus and Stone

Sunday, March 27, 2011


This week we bring you a sunset of a different nature, one of our favorite paintings from ART MAUI 2011. We'll be posting more of our favorite pieces from that show shortly.

Sunset at Wailea (detail)
Oil on Linen
Judith Whitman-Small

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Friday I made an orange pound cake and had the intention of pouring a Mai Tai over the top instead of simple syrup usually called for in the recipe. Something told me it may not soak all the way through so I devised a new plan. Since we had a dinner party to attend on Saturday night… I needed a dessert and put my thinking cap on. The result? This Mai Tai Trifle. I like making the cake the day before as it give it a chance to set and dry a bit before soaking up the booze. 

Make sure your designated driver gets a small serving... or a to go serving.

Hipahipa, cheers or bottom's up!

Orange Pound Cake

1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1/4 cup grated orange zest (from 4 large oranges)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup heavy cream, half and half or milk (I used heavy cream)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a loaf pan.

2. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the orange zest.

3. Sift together 3 cups flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine the orange juice, sour cream, heavy cream and vanilla. Add the flour and dairy mixtures alternately in thirds to the creamed butter, beginning and ending with the flour. Toss the chocolate chunks with 2 tablespoons flour and add to the batter. Pour into the pan, smooth the top, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack about 15 minutes then immediately run a knife around edge to loosen and remove from pan. Allow the cake to cool completely.

For the Mai Tai
I used the Royal Hawaiian Mai Tai Recipe and tweaked it a tiny bit.

A Mai Tai is a tropical drink made with dark and light rum, orange liqueur, orange juice, and lime juice. This is the original Mai Tai recipe that was created and made famous by the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki, which is also known as the "Pink Palace".

Royal Hawaiian Mai Tai Ingredients for 1 Mai Tai
1 ounce Dark Rum
*1 oz Light Rum (I used Coconut Rum since that is what I had)
1 oz Orange Curacao
2 oz Orange Juice
*1 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice (half of a lime)
1/2 oz Orgeat
*1/2 oz Simple Syrup (I used 1 teaspoon Raw Sugar in place of syrup)
* teaspoon of Grenadine for color

* denotes what I added or tweaked in this recipe.
Make 3, 4 or 5 servings of Mai Tai listed above. I made 4. Depends on how boozy you want to be.

Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer just until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. You can also use 1/2 oz simple syrup in place of the sugar. Set aside until ready to soak cake.

Fruit Mixture:
3/4 cup fresh or canned chopped Pineapple. Cut into about 1/4" pieces
3 Small Oranges
1/2 cup diced Surinam Cherries (Marchino would be ok too)
1 Medium Banana
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon packed brown sugar

1.Dice pineapple and reserve juice. Saute with butter and brown sugar until slightly golden.

2. Peel oranges over a bowl to catch juice. Remove all of the membrane on the orange sections so all you have are big pieces of pulp.

3. Chop cherries and add any juice to pineapple and orange juice.

4. Dice banana and add with all the fruit and juices in one bowl. Let sit about 15 minutes. Drain and reserve fruit juices. In a separate bowl add fruit and 1/4 cup Mai Tai mixture and let macerate 30 minutes.

5. Drain fruit and set aside. Reserve Mai Tai mixture.

Whipped Topping
2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
1 Cup sifted Powdered Sugar
2 Tablespoons Orange Curacao

1. In an electric mixer with a chilled bowl and whisk attachment, whisk the 2 cups of cream until slight peaks form.

2. Add Orange Curacao and sift in powdered sugar. Whisk until firm peaks form on medium speed. Do not over whisk or you will end up with butter.

Let cake cool. Preferably 1 day. Slice pound cake into 3/4 inch slices.
Dice sliced pound cake into 3/4 inch cubes and place in a cookie sheet.
I only used about 1/2 of the pound cake. To determine how much you need, fill the bowl in which you are going to make it in 1/2 to 3/4 way full with diced cake. A little extra is fine since it will take up less room once wet. 
Spoon the Mai Tai over the cake making sure to hit every piece. Don't make it too wet or you will end up with mush. You can always add more if needed. Reserve about 1/4 cup for fruit mixture. You will be able to use this later.
Saute diced pineapple in 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon brown sugar.
Mix with diced orange sections and cherries. This will make a lot of juice which you want to keep.
Toss into fruit mixture, 1 diced banana and drain.
Place into a bowl and pour 1 Mai Tai over the fruit and let macerate 30 minutes or longer. Drain and pour the remaining juice from the fruit and the Mai Tai used to soak the fruit in over the diced cake. Make sure to flip the cake pieces around in the pan before this last soak. If it feels too wet.. use your judgement as to how much more liquid to add.
Make the whipped topping and chill until ready to use.
Press half of the diced cake into the bowl then top with all of the fruit mixture. It won't seem like there is enough fruit, but there is. Of course if you made this in a larger bowl… you could add more.
Add half of the whipped cream and another layer of diced cake. Start by placing a ring off cake along the outside of the bowl then filling in... using all of the cake. Don't press to firmly on this layer as you do not want to squeeze the liquid out on top of the whipped cream. That would make it too wet.
Top with remaining whipped cream mixture and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Just before serving add an assortment of cocktail umbrellas.
...And don't forget... keep those orange rinds. Place in a ziplock bag and freeze. You can always pull them out of the freezer when you have a recipe that calls for orange zest.

Monday, March 21, 2011


While mom and grandma were here, they talked John and I into going to our first ever luau at the Old Lahaina Luau. We have been told that if you go to one, this is the one to go to. It was a beautiful setting and a nice production. The food was really good, especially the pelehu steak...although the kalua pork from the imu pit had a bit of a propane taste to it. It was really the only thing none of us finished on our plates. The waiters were shirtless and quite the distraction, drinks were plentiful and dessert was perfect. It was actually a fun night.

The MINUTE you enter the luau they put a Mai Tai in your hand then whisk you off to your seat.
Grandma was of course in her glory at this custom.
Once you have been escorted to your table, you can stroll the grounds...
... while listening to the live band play songs of old Hawai'i. I had my eye on this red shirt all night. The placement and amount of the pattern is just right. 
With an open bar... who could say no? The designated driver... that's who! I started of with a few Mai Tai's then went in for the Green Passion.
Our designated driver... Trying to keep his eyes on the "road" and not get too distracted by the sights along the journey.
Mom and grandma after a few...
Pre-dinner and show.
A few of the scenes from the show.

The opening performance.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


For mom and grandma's last night here, we drove up to Kula (which means golden) for a sunset dinner
Another angle.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


This past Tuesday we set sail on a whale watch with Pacific Whale Foundation. I was a little worried that we would not see much activity because from the shore we saw NOTHING. But once we set sail... we were treated to the best whale watch we have ever been on. Mom had already been on a watch last year, but this trip was grandma's first whale watching experience. The boat gets pretty crowded and I was worried she would not really be able to see much from her seat. It's really hard for her to stand for long, but she gave it her all and made it to the railing several times. Other passengers were quite polite and tried hard not to block her view. She was indeed treated to an amazing show of over 20 whale sitings... maybe more. I'm ready to go on another watch before the season ends. 

Our chariot awaits.
Before you board they honswaggle you into posing for a picture that they want you to purchase for $10 when you leave the boat. Guess who fell for it hook, line and sinker. Well, it is a really good shot.
Getting situated on the lower deck. The view from here is actually just as good if not better than the upper deck if you ask me.
The railing right in front of our seats. Standing here you get an unobstructed view as the boat takes you out into the deep blue.
Not long after heading out we spot our first pod. A mother and baby and two male suitors.
This is the baby whale. While the 2 males were vying for mothers attention, the baby was not having any of it. It was on it;s back, flapping that tail about constantly for 15 minutes. This is a form of communication between the mother and baby.You can just see its flippers sticking out of the water.
More baby "talk".
Not sure if this might be mother or a male suitor.
A classic tail descending the water on a dive.
Here you can see all 3 adults. 2 going opposite directions and one right in the middle of them facing away from the camera. That may be the female being harassed by the 2 males. At this point The captain had stopped the engines because the whales had actually gotten too close.

Pacific Whale Foundation's vessels are required to follow "Be Whale Aware" guidelines for minimizing disturbances and preventing collisions in areas where whales and dolphins are present. These "Be Whale Aware" guidelines set vessel speed limits and limit the amount of time that can be spent around whale pods. In addition, Pacific Whale Foundation captains strictly adhere to all Federal and State laws which prohibit approaches to humpback whales within 100 yards. To eliminate any guesswork about the 100 yard distance, Pacific Whale Foundation's vessels are outfitted with Laser Range Finders.

After about 15 minutes of just floating and waiting for the whales to resurface... This guy shot out of the water like a rocket about 40-50 yards from the boat. RIGHT THERE! I kept the heads of the spectators in this shot so you could see just how close we really were. This guy actually breached 4 times in less than 2 minutes. It was absolutely mind boggling. 
Detail of above breach.
Even closer detail.
2nd breach.
2nd breach as the whale rotated itself counterclockwise mid-air.
Detail of above shot. This is the under side showing the outline of the mouth.
This is a sequence showing a fin slap which is another form of communication.
A whale doing what is called a "spy hop". That's when a whale sticks it's head up out of the water to have a look around.
Not only did we see whales, but many flying fish. Can you spot it in the upper part of this image?
Detail on the bottom is a little blurry. Buggers are fast.
The whales are not the only thing worth viewing. This is a shot of Lanai.
And a shot of West Maui and Lahaina Town to the left.