Sunday, March 30, 2014

Food in Paradise

Hi everyone!  I'm glad to be here posting today because I have some exciting dishes to share with you.

MGG and I just got back from a wonderful relaxing trip to paradise! Paradise being Hawaii that is.
It's been such a long time since we had a real honest to goodness vacation full of luxury and pampering, plus a huge dose of relaxation.

I love Hawaii and haven't been back for many years, so it was time.  Plus, MGG had never been before so we had decided on a spur of the moment trip, pulling out all the stops and went 1st class all the way from the plane ride to the resort.  Wow, talk about being spoiled!  I certainly resisted coming home.  I was thinking of all kinds of sneaky ways to get us to stay..a day, a week more, forever!

But unfortunately my antics didn't work and we had to return home.  Totally relaxed, but not ready to go back to work.  Dang work....who made up that duty anyway?

One of the best things other than the views, was the food, which is what I wanted to share with you today. We stayed at a resort that had about 8 different restaurants.  This was perfect because we had a choice of gourmet tropical restaurants, Asian cuisine, and some down home favorites such as burger joints, ice creamery (excellent homemade ice cream!) and even pizzas (with a Hawaiian twist as well).  

A friend of my highly suggested that we try CJ's New York Style Deli for downhome diner style breakfasts. The first day we headed over there and found it was a wonderful quaint deli style restaurant that was open air style.  Everything over there is pretty much outdoors.  The best thing about this restaurant was the hidden talent of the chef!  Wow!!!  The food was so good that we ended up eating there several times.  You can tell by my pancakes below, and MGG's french toast that the food is generous.  These were both so light, tender, and fluffy that I knew I was in heaven just by the food.  Oh and bringing in the 'tropicalness" to the dish was the coconut syrup they served with the dishes.  Man oh man!  Excellent stuff, not overly sweet like you would think.  I have to recreate that for sure.

Walking around the village we ran across a great little store called The Honolulu Cookie Company.  The make homemade shortbread cookies.  They are darling little cookies shaped like pineapples and they come in all sorts of flavors.  From standard shortbread, to lichee fruit flavored ones.  This was a gem of a store.  We picked out a sample of our favorites to take back with us as you see here.  Pineapple happened to be may favorite and MGG likes the dark chocolate dipped ones.

We also took a day to tour the island.  This was just fabulous, seeing the more rural side of Hawaii. Stopping at roadside beaches, hiking, and touring temples made for a fun filled day.  When we returned we sprang for a huge salad.  This Chinese chicken salad we picked up at a local restaurant was outstanding.  Again enough food fro two to eat.  And we did!

We ate a variety of dinners while we were there.  From Japanese food served Benihana style to upscale tropical cuisine.  Hawaii is full of gourmet dining.  The fresh fish was outstanding.  MGG had a field day eating the sushi, and mahi mahi.  This particular night we dined at the Tropics restaurant on the beach.  Watching the sunset I had to partake in some tropical libation.  My dinner consisted of a heavenly steak that was so tender and juicy.  Served with garlic mashed potatoes and island vegetables.  MGG had mahi mahi this night and I forgot to take a picture of it because I was so enthralled with my steak.  Oops!

We were so full from dinner that we ordered a dessert to go. After a late night evening in the resort bar listening and dancing to Hawaiian music (love it!) we headed back to the suite for dessert out on the lanai. We shared a key lime cheesecake adorned with a mango sauce and another shortbread cookie.  Sublime!

So if you ever find yourself in Hawaii take the time to enjoy the cuisine.  All the chefs are outstanding and the food is absolutely deslihhhh!

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