Friday, June 8, 2018

Kauai – May 2018
Decided to visit my friend in Kauai as she planned to be around in May and is usually out travelling!!  Got a great fare on Alaska Airlines nonstop from San Diego, parked my car at Wally Parking and took a free shuttle to the airport.   Plane left about 7:05 a.m. and arrived at 10:45 a.m.  My friend met me at the airport and we stopped by Costco to get some fruit and cranberry walnut bread and then I settled in.  She has a lovely home near Anahola and I stayed in a little cabin behind her house.

Weather was balmy with some rain the whole time I was there which was to be expected on a tropical island.  We had a nice lunch together outside on the patio and then I took a walk to the beach nearby.  In the evening we sat out by the fire pit and had some delicious lentil soup which she had made and caught up with our lives…

Took a walk every morning and then fixed breakfast for us which we ate outside on the patio overlooking a field of goats and beautiful tropical plants.  So much great fruit to be had!!  She has papaya and mango trees and we found some great blueberries and pineapple along the way.  My first morning I headed to the sleeping giant trail, stopping at the Opaekaa Falls on my way.  The trail was very muddy which made the going difficult but it was a beautiful trail and took about 2 hours just to get to the 2 mile mark.  Stopped in coconut plaza for a delicious mung bean, cucumber, etc. salad with grilled ahi at the sleeping giant grill, a bit hard to find but well worth it!!!

The next morning after breakfast we drove to Kapa’a and rented bikes.  Rode a couple hours along the ocean which was so beautiful.  I felt like I could ride forever.  Met a friend of hers for lunch, i.e. shrimp pad thai noodles at a little Vietnamese café and later that evening we had dinner in Kapa’a at JO2, a little bistro in a shopping center I had read good things about.  She had the three course menu, i.e. wild mushroom pasta, mahi mahi with fresh vegetables and chocolate croissant bread pudding and I had a dish with poke and avocados on a tortilla underneath which was ceviche, a kale salad with duck confit and pistachios and a chocolate crème brulee.  Really nice meal.

Stopped by the Farmer’s Market in the morning and it was filled with great fruits, vegetables and all sorts of great things cooking.  We tasted some interesting macadamia nuts, cheeses, etc. before picking up some fresh kale and Swiss chard for later.  She dropped me off at the Kilohana sugar plantation and I visited the manor built in 1935 by Gaylord Parke Wilcox and learned all about sugar cane.  There is also a train you can take around the grounds and even have lunch at Gaylord’s Restaurant if you like.

Afterwards we spent a couple hours in the Kauai Museum which told the history of King Kamehameha and his dynasty as well as the history of old Hawaii – how the islands came to be and how they were ruled until Captain Cook discovered them.   Also listened to some ukulele music in the courtyard.  Drove back “home” and made a nice salad with the fresh kale we had bought and later we had lentil soup with the Swiss chard outside under the stars.

Even though it rained all night we got up early and headed to Waimea Canyon, stopping at Starbucks on the way for coffee and banana bread.  Entered the Koke’e State Park and stopped at some viewing points along the way but it was too foggy to see anything.  I hiked a beautiful trail down to Waipo Falls which took about 2 hours and there were some lovely views along the way.

Stopped at the Kauai Coffee Plantation to learn about the 4 million trees on the plantation that produce 60% of the state’s entire crop and then drove to Keoki’s Paradise near Poipu Beach for lunch on the veranda.  We shared a couple ono tacos which were delicious and so enjoyed the beautiful view of the palm trees, etc.

Got back just in time to change for dinner at Hukilau Restaurant in Kapa’a.  It was a five course menu, i.e. Sweet potato ravioli, Island gazpacho with basil sorbet, ono with quinoa pilaf, sesame linguini with crisp Kauai shrimp taro balls and vanilla crème brulee.  We sat outside and it was so beautiful…

In the morning I drove up to the Hindu Temple Monastery where I walked along the path to the temple, stopping at the giant banyan tree.  Inside the temple the swami was conducting a shiava pooja which was very interesting to see.  The grounds are lovely…A very peaceful place.

Drove down to the cute little historic town of Koloa and then stopped for lunch again at Keoki’s Paradise and enjoyed a local greens salad with macadamia nuts, goat cheese and grilled spicy shrimp followed by their famous hula pie, i.e. chocolate cookie crust, topped with macadamia nut ice cream and chocolate sauce with whipped cream on the side – decadent!!!

Drove to Poipu Beach and parked near the Grand Hyatt and then walked down to the beach to follow the Maha’ulepu heritage trail along the coast.  It was a challenging hike but very beautiful and took about 2 hours to complete.  Drove back and my friend made us a delicious pizza for dinner which we ate outside enjoying the sounds of the night.

Made a 9:30 a.m. reservation at Na’Aina Kai botanical gardens about 15 minutes away and chose the walk and ride tour which took about 3 hours.  We walked some and rode in a little cart through the beautiful unique gardens and trees and our guide pointed out the different flowers and plants.  There were also some lovely bronze sculptures throughout the gardens which made it unique.  We even saw a couple albatross!!!

Stopped at the Kilauea Lighthouse and wildlife refuge, an impressive 52 foot structure situated on a rocky peninsula 180 feet above the pacific ocean.  You can observe some red footed booby birds as well as wedge-tailed shearwaters through binoculars if you are lucky.  There is a lot of information about the wild life in the little museum/gift shop as well.

Took a nice walk in the afternoon and then we returned to JO2 for another nice dinner that evening.  We shared the seafood sampler, scallops in phyllo, salmon with butter sauce and caviar and ahi with linguini, the tempura vegetables and the warm chocolate cake.  A nice final meal and my flight leaves tomorrow…

Drove up to Princeville in the morning and saw a few albatross which seem to like to nest there.  On to Hanalei Bay to the pier where we parked and walked along the beach to see the flood damage.  So many houses were lost and even the land underneath was washed away…Stopped for breakfast at a cute little café and then drove back.  I took one last walk along the beach and then she drove me to the airport.  Lihue is such a small little airport that I was through security quickly so had enough time to have a couple delicious fish tacos at a little café near my gate. 

Called Wally Parking as soon as I landed and the shuttle came in minutes and drove me directly to my car.  A bit of a drive home, i.e. almost 1-1/2 hours but it went by fast.  It was a great trip and much too short!!!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Pizza dough ball

1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 lb. prosciutto
5 oz. package baby spinach, cooked and squeezed dry
10 basil leaves
1/4C parmesan cheese
1/4C shaved asiago cheese
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water (egg glaze)

roasted pepper sauce
2 red peppers, roasted, pureed
2 Tbsp. fresh basil leaves, sliced

Mix roasted pepper puree with fresh basil leaves and set aside.

Place the dough on a wooden board, cover with towel and let come to room temperature, about 1 hour.  Preheat oven to 450F.  Roll out into a long rectangle about ¼-inch thick.  Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, top with one layer of prosciutto, spinach, basil, cheese and another layer of prosciutto, leaving a 1-inch margin on both short ends and one long side.

Begin rolling the dough over the filling on the side with no margins.  Roll the dough like a jelly roll, tucking in the filling as you go.  Pinch dough to seal seam and ends.  Coat a baking sheet with cornmeal; place Stromboli on baking sheet, seam side down.  Brush with egg glaze.  With a knife slash shallow diagonal vents every 2 inches to allow steam to escape.  Bake 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown.  Cut on bias
into 2-inch slices with serrated knife.  Serve with roasted pepper puree.
MAKES:  8 servings