Category Archives: Shopping

Grocery Shopping In Honolulu

Before you decide that you want to live full time the 50th State, think about what it’s going to cost you to eat.  When we lived in Kaneohe, I would just cringe every time I went shopping for food.

On our first expedition while on our month long stay back home, we sought out Walmart.  Now I know some folks are dead set against that brand, but when you can save a buck here and a few coins there, you do it.

Fresh eggs in Honolulu, FROM ARIZONA!

Here’s what floored me on this trip, EGGS!  Most fresh eggs are shipped in from the mainland.  Can you see the farm name?  Hickman’s Family Farm, and do you know where that is?  ARIZONA!  YEP!

You can find all sorts of treats in the supermarkets, like one of my favorite candies, Sesame Seed Candy, MMM!  Usually these goodies are made with peanuts, but these are the bomb-diggity  with Macadamia nuts.  Note to self: need to figure out how to makes these.  They’re ooey-gooey-chewy (watch your dental work) with that crunch from the sesame seeds and nuts.  AND, can you see where these are made?  My hometown.

Some other finds that I can’t get in the middle of the desert:  Miko brand Scottish Bangers, Diamond Bakery Crackers and Cookies and Hinode Rice (no meal is complete without rice in Hawaii).  I must admit, in less  than 3 weeks, we blew through that 5 pound bag of rice.

ALOHA!

Two Farmers Markets, All Local

Over 90% of goods in Hawaii are brought in from elsewhere, so I made it a point before we left for Honolulu to investigate where I could buy locally grown produce.  The two closest Farmers Markets that I found to where we were staying was on the Kapiolani Community College campus and at Jefferson Elementary School.  Maybe it’s just me, but I say that all of the local fruits and vegetables that we bought tasted so much better than the other stuff.

The KCC Farmers Market is held on Saturday mornings and on Tuesday evenings, a small group of vendors there.  Saturday mornings are a zoo, I suggest if you go, go early, they start at 730am and wrap it up by 11am.  It gets really crowded with tour buses and trolleys dropping off tourists from Waikiki and then there’s the local folk with their reusable grocery bags, jockeying for a parking spot.   I would also recommend you bring cash, it’s just easier.

KCC Farmers Market, prepared foods

Oh, and go before you eat breakfast too, because there are herds of prepared foods, very ONO!  The Kahuku corn was already sold out by the time we got there, dangit!

Tuesday evenings are so much more calm and relaxed, but only a handful of folks selling their wares; mostly prepared foods for your dinner selection, we had Ice Cream, MMM!

The Farmers Market at Jefferson Elementary School on the corner of Kuhio and Kapahulu avenues is small, but fun; I loved the nice man playing Hawaiian music and the tent with tables and chairs to sit and grind your plate lunch.  They operate on Saturdays as well.

At each of these locations, you can find not only local produce and prepared foods, but how about some fresh tropical flowers to brighten up your vacation rental, it made a lovely addition to ours.  There were different salts, spice rubs, honey, baked goods, coffee, handmade quilts, clothing, oh my gosh, I can’t even remember it all, but ALL LOCAL.  I didn’t take many photos because it was so crowded, but I will be back!

ALOHA

Ft. Ruger Market, FISH!!

Here’s something that we don’t get In The Middle Of The Desert,

We went over to Fort Ruger Market, one of our old favorites for Poke.  MAN!  Can you see the prices?  But this stuff is so fresh, I mean, straight off the fishing boats this morning.  The Smoked Tako or Octopus was like eating Beef, really tasty.  The Ahi or Tuna Poke has super fresh, as in plucked from the Ocean this morning, as well as the Limu or Seaweed.  I asked for a dash of Shoyu on the Tako Onion and Ahi.  Before you freak out too much and say, ‘I can’t eat raw fish’, the Octopus is cooked.

We took our booty back to the apartment and had dinner el fresco on our lanai, overlooking Diamond Head.

Shoyu Chicken, assorted Poke, Cucumber Kim Chee and steamed Rice

 

I had some leftover Shoyu Chicken, Cucumber Kim Chee and some steamed Rice.  WOW!!

Menu Board at Ft. Ruger Market

 

I thought about getting us some Opihi, but, GEEZ!!  That’s okay, I’ll pass.  A quarter pound container would be $15.25 before tax (yes, Hawaii taxes EVERYTHING!).  That stuff is like gold.

Ft. Ruger Market

 

So if you every make it to Oahu, do rent a car, do try the different local foods, do go to Ft. Ruger Market and get some fish and maybe even a six-pack of beer to wash it all down.

ALOHA!

Another Year, Another Pair of New Kicks!

Last year, DH and I spent Christmas with our Niece-in-law and two grand-nephews,

https://mykitcheninthemiddleofthedesert.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/wahoo-new-kicks/

who gave me the most adorable garden boots that I so wanted.

This year, I put these boots on my wish list.

 

I love these new rain boots from Chooka, and YES, it does rain here in the middle of the desert.  Not very often, but when it does, it comes down in buckets.  I was so very tired of having wet feet when doing my errands in the rain, that I asked Santa to please bring a pair of cute and stylish rain boots.  So they’re not a pair of Huntress boots for $150, but these will work just fine, thank you.

Are You Ready For Christmas?

Huh, huh, are ya?

Me, well, kinda I guess.

Though I am an official card carrying member of the females in America, I don’t care for shopping so much, no, really.  I’ve lost my lust for it, now don’t get me wrong, I like to go-along with other gals as they look for this or that.  For myself, I could grocery shop all day, every day!

So, this brings me to what I wanted to share with you all today,

COOKIES!!

Yes, Auntie has been in a baking frenzy of late.  What I like to refer to as a cookie-fa-la-la-la-palooza here in the middle of the desert.  I finally finished up 9, yes Virginia, I said NINE different types of a baked goods to give as gifts.

My Rum Cake

Rum Cake

My Kahlua Cake

Kahlua Cake

This was for a party, my Great-Grandmother's Ginger Bread with fresh whipped Cream, MMM!

This was for a party, my Great-Grandmother’s Ginger Bread with fresh whipped Cream, MMM!

Ginger Bread

Gingerbread Cupcakes with powdered Sugar

Gingerbread Cupcakes

Hershey's Very Chocolate Chocolate Cookies

Hershey’s Very Chocolate Chocolate Cookies

Land-O-Lakes Spritz Cookies, great recipe btw.

Quaker's Vanishing Cookie Bars with dried Cranberries

Quaker Vanishing Oatmeal Cookie Bars with dried Cranberries in stead of Raisins

Hershey’s Kisses Candy Cane Blossoms (that was a bust)

My husband's favorite cookie

My husband’s favorite cookie

Land-O-Lakes Chocolate Chip Cookies

WHEW!

I’m tired.

Now all I have to do is package these up all pretty-like and go visiting with folks to share.

Have yourselves a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Pineapples From Where?

The other day I took my bi-monthly trip to my favorite Green Grocer.  As I walked around the store deciding what all I wanted to buy, I could smell something familiar.  I turned a corner and there it was.

Gorgeous Pineapples

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pineapples

Pineapples from where?

But they’re from where?  “Product or Costa Rica/Mexico”.  It’s the Del Monte Gold Pineapple, really delicious; they cost how much?  $2.99 EACH!!!  WHAT?!

Very little Pineapple is still grown in Hawaii any longer, mainly due to the value of land.  Del Monte left the Pineapple business in Hawaii back in 2008, leaving only 2% of the World’s Pineapple production to Maui Land and Pine and Dole.  You can still take a box of Pineapples home to the Mainland (2-3 Pineapples per 10 pound box) for about $24.00.  Not exactly cheap, but at least you can enjoy a little piece of Aloha long after your vacation.  When we still lived in Kaneohe and would go to visit relatives on the mainland, I would order a box shipped ahead of us to our host family.  They were gobbled up in no time flat.

A HUI HOU! (Until we meet)

Let’s Talk About Martha

… Martha Stewart that is. You can say what you want about the women, but she knows food and entertaining.

I’ve had her recipe for Classic Blueberry Crumb Cake for a good long time, but had yet to make it. While we were living in Hawaii, I only dreamed of making this coffee cake.  Fruits that are shipped in from the “mainland” are quite expensive, and this cake calls for THREE CUPS of fresh, not frozen, blueberries. At over $6.00 for a half pint in Honolulu, it was cost-prohibitive to say the least. Here in Arizona, I picked them up for 98¢ the other day; seeing as DH had requested a homemade coffee cake, here goes nothing (can you tell that I’ve been in a baking mood?).

SSHHH! I didn’t say that most coffee cakes are made with sour cream, we don’t tell DH things like that. Can you see all of the blueberries in the topping? These berries from California are HUGE!  I didn’t dust the hunk-o-deliciousness (it’s 9″ X 9″ X 3″) with powdered sugar until we were ready to serve. This cake is moist and chuck full of fruit, really good.  I shared with the neighbors as well as stashed some in the deep freeze for later.  There’s no comparison to scratch made food, be it sweet or savory.

WOW, Is this for real?

I was browsing again at the Mega-Mart and this caught my eye.

WHAT?

Seriously, you can’t take a gallon-sized zip-top bag, put in some sort of marinade, along with the meat of your choice and let it hang out for a few hours? That’s all this is.  Is that too difficult for some folks?

And then there’s the price, really?

REALLY?

Wow, just wow is all I can saw. No really, I stood there in the store exclaiming “WOW” so much so that other shoppers came over to see what the fuss was about. Do I need to tell you that they were also astonished? And I don’t know if you can see in this photo, but this new product is sitting on the shelf right next to the bottle sauces and marinades.  WHAT?!  Wait, the zip-top bags are one aisle over, oh my gawd!

I would like to say that now I’ve seen everything, but I’m sure not.

ALOHA!

Sometime You Just Have to Be Bad

Dessert. Sweets. The sugary stuff you know that you shouldn’t eat, but MAN, sometime ya just gotta!

We like Ice Cream and I found recently at our local supermarket, Tillamook brand, YUM!

Years ago we did a road trip through Oregon along the Pacific Coast Highway and made a stop at the Tillamook Creamery, OH MAN GAWD!  I loved all of the free samples, not just cheese, but yogurt, ice cream and… I have to stop before I make DH take me back there, NOW!

Ice Cream Brownie Sundae, Come On MAN!

So the other night I made up a batch of Hershey’s Best Brownies, minus the frosting. I add a ¼ teaspoon of Starbucks Via Ready Brew coffee into the dry ingredients, making a more intense chocolate flavored brownie. Once they’d cooled, I then chunked up a couple of pieces into a sundae dish, alternating with the ice cream.

WHOOP WHOOP!

For Real?

I’m not sure if you all remember that I had made flavored Vodka… my adorable husband thought that I was nuts, but Missus DF in Prescott as well a few of our other friends enjoyed it. I used very inexpensive Vodka and added fresh Cherries as well as another batch with fresh Raspberries… NICE!

Flavored Whiskey

Well, I was poking around again at the local supermarket and I found flavored Whiskey. Can you see the price on it? HOLY COW! $28.99 for a little more than a quart of hooch. I’ll stick with making my own thanks.