Sunday, October 16, 2011


Ahh ramen, easily the favorite meal of everyone who is running a bit low on funds. Why is this? Is it because it's super cheap? Probably. Well regardless of how cheap it is, it is also delicious. You can go a number of ways when it comes to making ramen, you can go for out of the pack Maruchan, or cup-of-noodles, or you can make your own by buying the noodles from the asian section of your grocery store. Anyway you do it, ramen is filling and super tasty.

One thing alot of people dont know is that ramen can have different soup bases. It can be either shoyu based (soy sauce) or the super popular, and my personal favorite, the miso base. There are many other possible soup bases but miso is by far my favorite. Okay, so ramen can also have a number of ingredients like fish cake, boiled egg, scallions, cabbage, roast pork or chicken, tofu, sea weed, corn...really anything you want. So my advice to you is to surprise people, invite them over for dinner and make them RAMEN. There are a ton of recipes you can find online. Here are some links. Try em out!

Speaking of ramen, I recently went to a brand new Japanese place to get some. Its called "Osaka Ramen" and they are located in the Pearl Kai shopping center. If you are on Oahu I suggest you check them out. They have a huge selection of ramen, curries and sides. Plus they are SUPER cheap. Heres their info and a picture of the miso ramen, go get some today!

                                                           98-199 Kamehameha Hwy          
                                                           Ste B9

                                                          Aiea, HI 96701
                                                         (808) 488-8836

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


When many people think of salads the first thing that comes to mind is a tiny little salad they get at a restaurant. You know the ones I'm talking about. Iceberg lettuce, huge rings of red onion, copious amounts of old cheddar cheese, stale croutons and the ever so famous ranch or thousand island dressings. Not something many people crave, even vegetable lovers.

Salads can be so many things, not just a boring old side salad with out of the bottle dressing! They can have fruit in them, gourmet cheeses and breads, roast vegetables, meats, nuts the list literally does go on forever. So I have a suggestion for an incredibly simple salad. No measurements, just a splash of this and a pinch of that. Incredibly simple and you wont be dissapointed.


- Cherry tomatoes (as many as you'd like)
- Mozzarella cheese (the logs you have to cut, not the shredded stuff)
- Dried basil
- Dried oregano
- Salt
- Black pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar


This really is simple to make. Slice in half as many cherry tomatoes as you would like in your salad. I'd say roughly 8oz of cherry tomatoes would suffice. In a large bowl add your tomatoes, a pinch of salt and black pepper, about a 2 count of olive oil and a 1 count of balsamic vinegar. Now just give a few shakes of dried basil and oregano (not more than 1/2 tsp of each) and mix well. Tear the mozzarella into small chunks and place on a plate. Cover with the tomato and dressing mixture and enjoy! It literally takes 5 minutes to make and is SO good! If you want to make this recipe go the distance for a party simply toss the tomato salad and cheese over a decent amount of arugula and you have a salad everyone will love. Give it a shot, don't be shy!

Eat well!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Local Sushi Joints

Okay, so I live in Hawaii. Many people think just because it's an Island that all the seafood is great. Well, just like every other place in the world we have our fair share of terrible seafood, but we also have some great places to get great fish for cheap.

First of all there is Sushi Man in Wahiawa. This place is just...well its just amazing. The selection they have is HUGE. Just about every kind of maki, nigiri an handroll you could ask for and its CHEAP. If you want the BEST item on the menu, get the "spicy ahi poke nigiri" with no mayo, and unless you LOVE LOVE LOVE spicy food, get it medium hot. That last part is important "medium hot". Here's their address:

823 California Ave # A12
Wahiawa, HI 96786-2039
The next place is "Genki Sushi". These places are all over the island, literally all over the place. Great selection, fast and polite service, super cheap. My only advice for Genki is to avoid their location in Windward Mall in Honolulu, they are always out of nearly everything. Go to the one in Pearl City, you'll leave happy every time. Here's their address:

430 Kamehameha Highway
Pearl City, HI 96782
Those are the two best places on the Island in my opinion. Cheap and delicious.

Eat well!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Chili...the many possibilities

Many people claim to have a "famous" chili that always gets "rave reviews", when in reality it's nothing more than meat slopped together with a can of pre-seasoned chili beans and a package of McCormicks chili seasoning. Not exactly something that sounds appealing, even if you decide to try and mask the horrible flavors with buckets of onions, cheese and sour cream. In fact, when I was in the military we often had chili cook offs and one year somebody won first place with by dumping a can of Hormel chili into a pot. Shameful.

Chili can be more than just meat and beans. The ingredients you can add and flavor combinations you can come up with with are nearly endless. Chili doesn't always have to be on french fries or a hot dog. Put chili over white rice, on a burger, or with your favorite egg dish.

I came up with a chili recipe the other day that went over pretty well, if you're looking for something different than your average chili, give it a shot.

Chili Recipe:

- 2lbs ground beef
- 2 28oz cans crushed tomatoes
- 1 15oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 15oz can pinto beans
- 1 15oz can red kidney beans
- 4-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion
- 1 large bell pepper
- 2 small jalapenos
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp cumin powder
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 tsp red cayenne pepper
- salt and black pepper to taste


The key to making any recipe easy, regardless of the laundry list of ingredients, is to prep everything before you start cooking and get everything ready and in one place or "mise en place".

First peel and chop your onion and set it aside. Next de-seed and finely chop your bell pepper and set it aside. Now peel and finely mince your garlic cloves and set them aside. Now de-seed and finely chop your jalapenos and set these aside.  Look at that, all the hard work is done!

Now drain your cans of beans and give them a whazz with a food processor or hand blender untill you have a nice smooth paste and set this aside. Open all your cans of tomatoes and set them aside. Now measure out your cumin, chili powder and oregano and mix it all together and set this aside as well. Now its time to cook!

Brown your hamburger in the pot you decide to make your chili in, drain it and set it aside. Now add your olive oil to the pot and bring it to heat. Once hot, add your onions and brown them over a medium heat. Once they begin to turn brown and translucent add your bell pepper and season with a large pinch of salt and pepper and stir for about 2-3 minutes. Next add your garlic and jalapenos and stir for just about 30 seconds. Now add your hamburger meat, bean paste and half of your mixed chili seasoning and stir untill fragrant, about 1 minute. Next add all of your tomatoes, the rest of your chili seasonings, the 6 tbsp of brown sugar, 1 tsp of cayenne pepper and another large pinch of salt and pepper. Stir well to mix everything together then simmer on low for 30 minutes and voila, chili! I know it sounds like alot of work, but really this can all be done in 30 minutes, excluding the 30 minute simmer time.

Enjoy the recipe and eat well!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Wonderful World of Pickling

To those of you out there who don't particularly care for foods of the pickled variety, hopefully the following post will change your opinions of vinegary treats. For those of you that do care for everything that is "pickle" then I have a few suggestions for you and a little bit of information.

First of all, who really knows the origin of the pickle? Well, I can tell you that, amazingly, the pickle is estimated to be over 4,000 years old! The first known pickle eating was in 2030 B.C. when cucumbers were preserved and eaten in the Tigris Valley. Cleopatra even believed that part of her beauty was thanks to, you guessed it, pickles! Even Thomas Jefferson was an avid lover of pickles and often stated how much he liked them. In fact, pickles are so popular that all over the world there are pickle festivals, celebrating the glory of pickled foods.

Pickles dont just have to be your average run of the mill, dill pickle that you get on the side with a burger at a cafe or the kind you get from a jar in your local supermarket. The truth of the matter is, ANYTHING can be pickled and 9 times out of 10 it is quite delicious. I have been doing my fair share of pickling lately, things that I have pickled recently include beets (which I just made yesterday), spicy dill cucumber pickles, garlic dill cucumber pickles, asparagus, green beans, carrots and a vietnamese pickle dish of julienned daikon radish and carrots.

 Every one of these pickled items I just rambled off are absolutely delicious and serve a number of uses. The pickled apasragus and green beans are delicious on their own, but put a couple of each into a bloody mary and you'll never want celery in your drink again! Pickled carrots go great with holiday vegetable platters and the cucumber pickles are amazing to eat just on their own, or for the more adventurous type, you can deep fry them, which is incredibly delicious with a cucumber tzatziki dipping sauce. The daikon and carrot combo are a key ingredient to making a delicious "Bahn Mi" sandwich. Lastly, pickled beets go fantastic in salads and I have a recipe for you to try that I know you'll love and people will be asking for.

*Pickled Beets
- 2 large red beets
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 quart self sealing jar (steralized or thoroughly cleaned)

- Chop the stems off of your beets and scrub them under water to remove any dirt. Next, halve your beets and cover them with water in a pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling you want to simmer for 30-45 minutes depending on the size of your beets, or just until they are tender enough to where a fork can go through them with little to no resistance. Drain and cool your beets under cold water and remove the skins. If you pick up the beet once it is cool enough to handle, the skins will just rub off under a stream of cold water. Chop the beets into 1/2 - 1 inch cubes and place in your jar. Now combine your vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and bay leaves in a small sauce pot and bring to boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the bay leaves and pour the vinegar mixture into the jar almost to the top, leaving yourself a little bit of room. Screw the lid on and give the jar a 10 minute hot water bath. Cool and refrigerate. The best part about these beets is they can be eaten the same day they are made, however they taste best when given at least a few days to really soak up the flavor.

*Beets, Strawberries and Goat Cheese Salad

- 8oz Arugula
- 3 fresh strawberries, halved
- 3 of your very own home made pickled beets
- 2 oz goat cheese (or bleu cheese if you prefer)
- 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
- Fresh cracked black pepper

In a large salad bowl add the arugula, strawberries and whichever cheese you decided to use. Drizzle and lightly toss with your olive oil, vinegar and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper. Slice your pickled beets and top the salad with them and enjoy! It really is simple, light and delicious.

Enjoy the recipes and eat well!