March List Correction: Coconut Shake was $15 (not $10) omg!!

Okay, remember #12 on my March List – the experience with the very expensive coconut shake? My sister-in-law just called me to tell me that the coconut shake from Drought is actually $15.00(!!), not the $10.00 I listed (which has been updated). When I wrote the post, I remember it was a lot of money, but I couldn’t remember the exact amount and couldn’t find the price online. So I made my best guess based on pricing I did find.

Their coconut water is $10. Add some coconut meat and it goes up to a cool $15.00. I was too embarrassed to give it back, so I just shelled out the money. I wonder how many people end up doing that. Well, now I know (and now you know). Fool me once, etc…


Hawaii: the Food

For my family (as is the case with most, I imagine),  a carefully planned and prepared meal equals love. The first night of our stay, my Auntie Melinda steamed a large uhu (aka parrot fish, and you can see why) that she got for $39 at Tamashiro Market on an outdoor gas wok as part of our huge dinner spread. After steaming, the fish was topped with oil, green onions and cilantro. My sister and her family came over and also her husband’s parents, who were in town for their annual visit.

Haupia Pie

Haupia Pie. Yum.

In addition to the usual sides of salad, rice and veggies, there was Korean meat jun (the only dish bought vs. made), thin strips of beef coated with egg and flour, fried and served with dipping sauce. AND miso butterfish (black cod), a white, flaky fish marinated with miso, mirin, sake and sugar and then baked or broiled. AND rainbow jello and a haupia “pie,” a layered dessert starting with a macadamia nut crust, then Japanese sweet potato (purple), then haupia (a coconut milk and sugar concoction with a custard-like texture).

Halo Halo + Coffee Mug

Halo-Halo + Coffee = Breakfast of Champions

Waiting for me in the fridge the next morning was a Filipino specialty, halo-halo (“hodge-podge” in Tagalog). There are so many different versions of this dessert. Basically, it’s a concoction of condensed milk plus a bunch of wacky ingredients (kidney beans, rice, gelatin, yams). Auntie’s not-too-sweet version is filled with tons of grated cantaloupe, papaya, avocado and coconut. There are also tapioca beads, palm fruit and some strange pink Japanese gelatin that I always pick out. I put an ice cube on the bottom (if I’m lucky, as I was this time, Mom will have frozen fresh coconut water cubes), dump a bunch of halo-halo on top and eat it with my coffee. Super YUM.

Ramen noodles

The perfect bite.

I love, love, love noodles. Italian pasta and Japanese ramen are at the top of my list. I can make Italian food all day long, but don’t know how to make ramen broth. Whenever I go to Hawaii, I always ask my sister to come with me to Goma Tei, a small noodle shop in Ward Center. We usually sit at the counter and I always get the same thing – Tan Tan Ramen, a basic spicy broth with char siu (Chinese-style bbq pork), green onions and greens (broccoli rabe or spinach or some Asian green that is very similar). SO good. Salty, with a hint of sesame and just enough heat.

Menu at Goma Tei

Menu at Goma Tei

That meal may very well have been my last taste of homemade ramen for 2014. (And dare I say 2015? No way. Surely not). And who knows? Maybe there is a hidden noodle shop in some Detroit alley that makes the best ramen noodles East of the Mississippi. Maybe. But… probably not.

If you ever find yourself in Hawaii, I urge you to try some of the local flavors. They might be weird, they might taste icky, they might taste awesome, but they will most assuredly be made with love.

Blog Snack


I had planned to get another Hawaii post done today. But the craziness that is moving has kicked in this week. Calling health insurance brokers, filling out paperwork, posting stuff on Craigslist (and filtering emails from crazy people – ahhhh!), sorting through the dumbest piles of things (old magazines that I MUST have kept all this time for a reason. So having to look through every page before throwing away).  AND on top of that there’s Valentine’s Day and our little girl is turning five next week.

So. Instead of Hawaii, I give you one of my favorite blogging snacks: Trader Joe’s Caramel w/ Black Sea Salt chocolate bar with a few pinches of Roasted Coconut Chips. Paired with a full-bodied red wine (my fave: Cabernet Sauvignon), it’s pretty perfect combo. Having some right now (except with Cotes du Rhone instead of Cab).

Come to think of it, I often (always?) snack when I blog.  What’s your favorite blogging snack?