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Category Archives: Plate Lunch

Specific dishes from sunny Hawaii

Oh, Banana!

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I can never get the banana supply in my house right. I have to buy them when they’re almost perfectly ripe (a tiny bit of green around the stems) to give my kids enough time to eat them all before the brown spots start forming. Once brown spots start forming, these kids will not touch those bananas; so I peel them (hint, hint Jen Lancaster) and stick them in a freezer bag and toss them in the freezer. We make banana bread out of them when we feel like it or throw them into smoothies, but you can only eat so much banana bread–even if you do them chunky monkey style, like I do, loaded with chocolate chips.

Whenever I purchase my bananas from a certain grocery store, that shall remain nameless, their bananas go straight to brown spot the very next day. And then I end up kicking myself because I forgot this fact and now I have all these bananas on hand that no one will eat. Well, this happened to me recently and I decided that since I was missing the delicious banana pie from Sunny Side, Inc. in the sleepy town of Wahiawa, HI, I would just make one myself.

Now this pie is not a banana cream pie. It’s more like an apple pie made with bananas. My sisters and I would order the Sunny Side Fried Rice Special which came with a plateful of fried rice, an egg cooked your way served on top, a hot dog split down the middle; and we ordered a side of bacon to go with that. We always ordered a banana pie for “dessert”. Did I mention that this was a weekly breakfast on Mondays? Oink. The pie has no whipped cream or pudding filling, so it does not constitute dessert and is a perfect breakfast food. I found the recipe in the archives of the Honolulu Star Bulletin. It’s a recipe from another popular restaurant called Flamingo’s. I used ready made pie crust–the kind you just roll out. I hope you try this and like it! Bananas and pie crust, how could you go wrong?

Banana Pie

4 cups of sliced bananas
1/2 cup of pineapple juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pastry for a double crust pie

Soak banana slices in pineapple juice for 20 – 30 minutes. Drain and reserve the juice.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line your pie plate with pastry. Combine banana slices with the sugar, cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of reserved pineapple juice, and give it a toss to coat everything evenly. Pour into your pastry shell and cover with top crust. Seal and crimp the edges and cut vent into the top crust. I marked mine with a “B” for banana and me!



Thinking of Kevin

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Thinking of Kevin

I was craving Kahlbi, or Korean short ribs. The only problem is there aren’t any Korean restaurants in my small town. Oh, and also, I attempted to make these about six years ago and they came out tough. It was like chewing an old shoe. After determining that no one in my family remembered the incident, I plunged right in.

I put two packages of beef into a zip top bag and added crushed pineapple minus some of the juice, and set it in the fridge overnight. The next morning I added soy sauce (we call it shoyu), some minced garlic, and sliced scallions; and stuck it back into the fridge. Before dinner I baked it in a 375* oven for 20 minutes then set it under the broiler for 5 minutes. They were amazing! My daughter asked me why I was making so much meat. Well, she answered her own question at dinner. Now I wonder why I ever spent money at Soon’s in Salt Lake, HI?

My mom used to throw these on the hibachi when we spent days at the beach. I realize now that I hadn’t soaked the meat long enough the first attempt because I was afraid it would get too salty from the soy sauce–it doesn’t! The only thing missing from my plate that would make this a true local “plate lunch” is, believe it or not you non-locals, macaroni salad.

Kahbli–BBQ Short Ribs

Beef Chuck Flanken
1 14.5 oz can of crushed pineapple
1 cup soy sauce
3 or more cloves of garlic
One or more scallions, sliced

I would add toasted sesame seeds for eye candy. Serve with white rice and Kim Chee.
That means “you’re welcome” in Korean.
PS Kevin is my nephew who is living in Korea. Hi Kevin!

Sunday: A Day of Rest

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Sunday:  A Day of Rest

Sundays at my home start around 8 o’clock.  After everyone has been fed breakfast, the question, “Are we going to church?” invariably pops up.  Today we decided to go.  We don’t always go.  I like to think of Sunday as a day of rest like many other people in the good ole USA.  However, Sundays are anything but restful for me.

By the time we get home it is past our regular lunch hour of 11 o’clock, and we are all terribly hungry.  My wonderful husband has the forethought to prepare a salad beforehand for himself; which usually means I go hunting for something quick and easy to make for the rest of us.  Today, I made smoked sausage fried rice and served it up with some leftover fried chicken.  The whole cooking process takes about 15 minutes.  While my sous chef scrambled 7 eggs, I heated some oil in my wok and threw in the sliced sausage.  Next, I used about 4 cups of leftover rice.  I season the whole pan with a little onion powder and lots of black pepper.  I found a half bag of frozen vegetable medley in the freezer and threw that in along with some soy sauce.  I stirred frequently until the vegetables were tender which only takes 7 to 8 minutes.  I threw the scrambled eggs on top of everything and gave it a toss.  You can use brown or white rice, and any protein you’d like.  I’ve used shrimp, chicken, or that old Hawaiian favorite:  Spam.  We also had leftover malasadas from last night.  What a feast!  Our pastor’s sermon was on fasting.  Oh, the irony.

While lunch digests, I decided to hop on here and post this recipe.  I am now ready to change out of my church clothes and get busy.  I have bread to bake for the week.  My husband has informed me that we are all out of granola.  And since we’ve eaten last night’s leftovers I need to start prepping for dinner.  I also need to get out to the garden and figure out a gate since the kids broke through the fishing line I had rigged up.  So, you see, Sundays can be just as busy as the rest of my days, except, I have the option of napping before I do anything else.  I hope you’re enjoying your Sunday!


1 or 2 cloves of garlic

onion powder or chopped onions(which definitely takes longer)

smoked sausage, chicken, shrimp, bacon, ham, or Spam

leftover cooked rice

scrambled eggs


soy sauce

Heat oil and assemble everything in a wok or a large skillet.  If using chopped onions and garlic, throw them in first with whatever protein you’re using.  This is a great recipe to use up leftovers in the fridge.

Malasada Attempt #1

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Malasada Attempt #1

I tried a recipe from a cookbook my sister sent me called Hawaii’s Best Local Desserts.  I let the oil get too hot so the malasadas were very dark and undercooked.  I tried making them smaller, but got the same results.  I placed them on a baking stone and heated them for ten minutes in a 350* oven (the same thing I have to do with my chicken, by the way).  Yes, I own a thermometer.  No, I rarely use it.  The flavor was alright, but the texture was not as light as a Leonard’s malasada.  Well, the good news is I’m not homesick anymore–just sick.

The dog is walking around the living room chuffing through his nose because of the smell and my eyes are burning from the residual smoke in here, but it has all been worth it.  My boy came out and said, “Mom, those were amazing!”Image