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Caribbean Shish Kabobs

31 Aug
The bacon-wrapped bananas are my FAVORITE part of this dish. I know it sounds weird but they are amazing.
4-5 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1 Bottle Lawry’s Teriyaki w/ pineapple marinade (sometimes we do peanut sauce instead)
1 pkg. bacon (or about 10 slices), cut into halves so you have 20 pieces
4 bananas 
1 to 2 c. chunked pineapple (fresh or canned)
wooden skewers, soaked in water
Marinate chicken pieces in teriyaki or peanut sauce for at least 3 hours. Cut bananas into about 5 pieces each. Slightly cook the bacon slices so you can pat off some of the grease, but don’t cook them too long because you want them long and soft enough to wrap around the bananas. Wrap the bacon around the bananas and put them securely onto skewers alternating with chicken and pineapple. Grill over medium heat until chicken is cooked through.

Coconut Cream Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

29 Aug

This is probably one of the best cakes I have ever had. My husband agrees. The cake itself is so rich and moist. You will love it! Please, don’t take my word for it.. if you love coconut.. you need to make this cake. I got the recipe from my sister who got it from one of her friends. This is definitely a recipe I will keep handy when I have company over!


Wet Ingredients:
1 c. butter, softened
1 3/4 c. white sugar
1 c. cream of coconut (Coco Lopez is the one I used.. it can be found by the drink mixers at your grocery store)
4 large eggs

Dry Ingredients:
2 1/2 flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

1 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. coconut extract

Separate eggs, set whites aside. Beat wet ingredients together including egg yolks until fluffy. Sit dry ingredients together and stir well. Add dry ingredients to wet using mixer on low speed alternating with buttermilk/extract mixture. In a clean bowl, beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Fold egg whites into batter. Bake at 275-degrees in two 9-inch pans (lightly sprayed with baking spray or what works BEST is lining the bottom of the pan with parchment paper) for about 90 minutes (it seems they finish much nicer in the lower heat). After about 60 minutes, do the “toothpick test”, repeating every 5-10 min or so until the toothpick comes out clean. After cake is out of the oven and transferred to parchment paper or a cooling rack, poke each cake with a few holes (making sure not to poke all the way through) and drizzle remaining coconut cream over (about 1/2 c. total). This is optional and just keeps the cake extra moist. After the cake cools, transfer to the freezer and freeze overnight.

Frost immediately (see frosting recipe below) after removing from the freezer. Allow to thaw for about an hour before serving. If you want to do a layered cake, put a layer of frosting in-between the two cakes and then continue to frost the remainder of the cake. Sprinkle with lightly toasted, shredded coconut (see below).


1/2 c. butter, softened
8 oz. block cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. coconut extract
1 bag powdered sugar
milk (as needed)

Beat butter, cream cheese, and coconut extract together, adding powdered sugar little by little until reaching desired consistency. If it seems to get too stiff, add about 1 tsp of milk at a time until you get the consistency you want. (add milk to thin it out, add powdered sugar to thicken it up).

Toasted Coconut:

Place contents of about 1/2 bag of sweetened, shredded coconut on a cookie sheet. Spread it out so it makes just a single layer. Bake for appx. 8-10 minutes in a 325-degree oven. Some pieces will still be white and soft, some browned slightly with a little crunch.

Kalua Pork / Pulled Pork Sandwiches

6 Jul
We love this stuff! It tastes just like the luau pork at the Polynesian Cultural Center!  It is so yummy over rice but we also use it for pulled pork sandwiches and pork tacos.

3-4 pound pork roast
1-2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1/3 c. liquid smoke
1 c. cup water
4 washed ti leaves (if ti leaves aren’t available or you don’t know what they are, no worries– it is still great without them. They just add a cool local Hawaiian element to the dish)

Line bottom of crock pot with 2 ti leaves (if you have them). Rub pork generously with salt, pour on liquid smoke then place on ti leaves (or in the crock pot). Add water. Fit remaining ti leaves (again, if you have them) around outer edge of crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until it will easily shred into juices (do not drain).

For Kalua Pork:
Serve with soy sauce, coconut rice, and coleslaw.

For Pulled Pork Sandwiches:
Layer on a hamburger bun with BBQ sauce and coleslaw.

Coco-Maca Nut French Toast

4 May

This is a recipe we made to replicate a favorite breakfast we ate in Hawaii, I have to admit, I like our version even better! It is like a little piece of paradise in every bite.

1 loaf unsliced bread (from Great Harvest)
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 can light coconut milk
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 to 2 teaspoons coconut extract

powdered sugar
sliced bananas
toasted coconut flakes
macadamia nuts
coconut or maple syrup
cool whip or whip cream

Shave the heels off the ends of the bread then cut into 8 large slices.
Combine eggs, milks, and spices in a large bowl. Soak bread in egg mixture. Melt a little butter in a large fry pan or griddle. Brown each side of the bread then place on a cookie sheet. When all the pieces are done, place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake at 350° for 15 minutes.
Serve with powdered sugar, sliced bananas, toasted coconut flakes, macadamia nuts, coconut or maple syrup, and whip cream.

Our Version of Rumbi Rice Bowls with Rumbi Rice

11 Apr

Whenever I visit Utah I HAVE to go to Rumbi. Rumbi is one restaurant that I crave all the time. I love it. I have been determined to duplicate their Spicy Hawaiian Teriyaki sauce for some time now but haven’t had the chance until just recently. I just bought a bunch of the sauce, brought it home, and spent a full evening with different ingredients trying to duplicate it. I finally figured it out (at least to the point where I can hardly tell any difference between the two sauces).

As far as the Rumbi rice goes, I already had that one down. I had a recipe from when I lived in Hawaii for coconut rice that tastes JUST like Rumbi rice.. so I just used that and it was right smack on. Anyway.. enough talking. I hope you are as excited as I am about this recipe. FINALLY, I can satisfy my Rumbi craving without having to travel to Utah!

This recipe is for the Chicken Spicy Hawaiian Teriyaki Rice Bowl with Rumbi Rice. If you don’t like Rumbi rice, of course you can serve it with regular rice, brown rice, or noodles..
(makes about 4 bowls)

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
4 carrots, peeled and grated
3 celery stalks, washed and sliced
1 zucchini, chopped into small cubes
1 1/2 c. chopped broccoli florets
2 c. chicken, grilled and cut into small cubes (OR you can get the pre-cooked grilled chicken strips at Costco in the deli section. It comes in a 2-pack.. use one of the packages and cut up the chicken into little cubes.. just saute the chicken for a few minutes in a skillet before serving)
*Rumbi Rice (see recipe below)
**Spicy Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce (see recipe below)

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots, celery, zucchini, and broccoli (pretty much equal parts of said vegetables.. you can add more or less veggies depending on your taste). Saute ONLY until vegetables are crisp tender. About 1-2 minutes tops. Serve over Rumbi rice and top with chicken. Serve with Spicy Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce on the side (about 3 Tbsp. per bowl.. you can add more or less depending on your taste).

*Hawaiian Coconut Rice with Red Beans (aka Rumbi Rice)
2 c. long grain white rice
2 1/2 c. water
1 (14oz) can coconut milk (about 1 1/2 c.)
1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 can red beans, drained and rinsed

Combine all ingredients in a rice cooker. Gently stir it all together so the beans are all mixed. Place the lid on and start the rice cooker. Fluff rice with a fork before serving.

If you don’t have a rice cookerCombine water, coconut milk, and sugar in a saucepan. Stir in rice and beans. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 18 to 20 minutes, until rice is tender.

**Spicy Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce:
3/4 c. Mr. Yoshida’s teriyaki sauce (found in the grocery store by the BBQ sauces)
1 tsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. chili garlic sauce (in the Asian section of the grocery store.. we used the one in the clear plastic jar with the green lid — if you want to make it spicier.. add more of this to the sauce)
1 tsp. fresh ginger
pinch of salt
pinch of brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. cold water

Combine Yoshida’s, soysauce, garlic sauce, ginger, salt, and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Combine cornstarch and water and SLOWLY add to sauce for thickening. You want it to be slightly thicker than the Yoshida’s sauce. Allow to simmer for about a minute. Cool to room temperature and serve with your rice bowls. (If you find that the sauce is too thick when it cools, just add a little more Yoshida’s to it)

Hawaiian Beef Teriyaki

5 Sep

I love love love beef teriyaki! It was one of my FAVORITE meals to eat when I lived in Hawaii. I seriously can’t get enough of this stuff.

1 can pineapple chunks with juice (15 oz.)
1 c. soy sauce
3/4 c. brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. minced ginger
*1 Lb. skirt steak, sliced very thin (carne asada works GREAT)

Mix together all ingredients, excluding beef. Set aside about 1/2 c. of the sauce, cover and refrigerate.
Place beef in a Ziploc bag and pour marinade over. Press out all the air, seal, and marinate for at least 6 hours (overnight works great).

Over prepared grill on medium-high heat, grill steak a minute or two on each size until cooked to your desired doneness (with the steak being so thin, you don’t have to grill it for too long). Place beef in a large bowl, pour remaining sauce over the cooked beef and stir until well covered. Serve with rice (or grilled fresh pineapple).

*you can use sirloin steak, cut into chunks. Thread marinated beef onto skewers and grill.
**This is also a GREAT marinade for Teriyaki burgers…

Big Kahuna Chicken Teriyaki Sandwiches

22 Apr

We made these the other night and my husband wanted the privilege of naming them. He kept calling them “Big Kahuna Sandwiches” while he was grilling them and insisted that be the official name. So that is what we are calling them. We wanted to spice up our usual chicken teriyaki sandwiches by adding some deli ham and Pepper Jack cheese. I don’t think we will ever go back to making them the old way again. These were a huge hit!

4 chicken breasts
1 bottle Teriyaki sauce (we used Lawry’s brand)
3/4 c. brown sugar
4 slices deli ham
1 can sliced pineapple (or you can use fresh which would be even better)
4 slices Pepper Jack cheese
4 large hamburger buns

Pound chicken breasts until they are about 1/4″ thick all around. Place in a large Ziploc bag. Combine Teriyaki sauce and brown sugar until sugar dissolves. Add 1/2 of the mixture to the bag with the chicken and seal tightly. Place bag in refrigerator for at least 4-5 hours. Separate remaining Teriyaki mixture into 2 separate bowls (to prevent cross contamination use 2 separate brushes too)– one for the pineapple, one for the chicken. Open pineapple can and save a little of the juice in a bowl. Place chicken and pineapple on the grill (medium heat). Brush with Teriyaki sauce every few minutes until chicken and pineapple are done– try to only flip the chicken and pineapple once. Either on the grill or in a frying pan, cook ham with a little of the pineapple juice until it becomes nice and hot. Slice open hamburger buns and place a piece of cooked chicken on each bottom bun. Top with cheese, ham, grilled pineapple, and bun top. Serve immediately with remaining grilled pineapple.