Monday, October 29, 2012

Baked Curry Puffs



This was  my  maiden attempt at making  baked curry puffs and although it entailed a lot of standing, dividing and rolling out the dough, wrapping, etc. it was all worth the effort when everybody gave the thumbs up! 
continue reading "Baked Curry Puffs"

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Date and Walnut Beer Bread



Of late, you must have noticed that I've quite a number of  'booze' posts in my blog.  Well, I was doing some cleaning up of my fridge not long ago and stumbled upon some cans of beer and stout lying idle in the cool comfort of the fridge.  Being a naive teetotaller I didn't realise that these booze do expire just like other foodstuff until I turned them over while rearranging them.  Gosh, they're going to expire in two months time and what am I going to do with them!  Fret not, I told myself, surf the net and that's exactly what I did ..........
continue reading "Date and Walnut Beer Bread"

Monday, October 22, 2012

Last leg of my holiday ~ Hawaii



We took a drive along the beach, passed by Waikiki but as it was so crowded, didn't stop to take pictures.   This is wind-surfing at the Kahala Beach Lookout.
continue reading "Last leg of my holiday ~ Hawaii"

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Black Glutinous Rice Chiffon Cake



B lack glutinous rice chiffon cake has been on my 'to-do' list for quite a while.  Well, I finally managed to make it using a recipe from  Anncoo Journal but have adjusted the recipe to fit  my 23 cm chiffon pan.

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Chinatown and local food ~ Honolulu



Before we went shopping at Ala Moana Center, the biggest shopping mall in Hawaii, we stopped by U-Choice Inn for breakfast ......  
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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Grapefruit Cupcake



Made these cupcakes quite some time back but only  managed to put it up now.   I rarely dress up my bakes but in this case thought that  a little bit of light glazing will enhance the flavour as grapefruits are reputed to be sour.  The cuppies were soft and fragrant and disappeared within a day.....
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Monday, October 8, 2012

Haleakala ~ 'House of The Sun'



We spent 3 nights in this quaint cottage in Makawao which is near for us to travel to Haleakala National Park.  This is the Rainbow Bridge House  but I like to refer to it as the 'Sun Cottage' because of the image of the smiling sun on the facade of the cottage.  This cottage is nestled in the Eucalyptus forest of Upcountry Maui, full of pristine green lush.  Each morning we were greeted by the symphony of tropical birds and fresh mountain air and we had total privacy.


This is the view taken from the loft of the cottage.

Haleakala,  in Hawaiian, the 'House of The Sun' rises 10,023 feet above Maui's coastal areas, a massive shield volcano that doubles as an easily accessible visitor destination and a drive up to see is a definite must for any Maui visitor.


This picture is not a crater or caldera, but an erosional depression or erosional valley created by wind, rain, freezing and thawing over many thousand years.
  • The volcanoes that make up all of the Hawaiian islands are shield volcanoes and have a large round shape and many eruptive sites.
  • A long time ago this mountain was approx. 3000 feet taller than it is today but erosion has shortened it.
  • The valley here is 7.1/2 miles long and 2.1/2 miles wide and 3000 ft deep.
  • In the centre there are a number of cinder cones that were each once an eruptive site over many years.
  • Those eruptions occurred between 1000 to 5000 years ago.
  • The valley was much deeper before that period of eruption.
  • That lava filled in some of the erosional valley.
  • Since then a lot more erosion has taken place.








Haleakala Visitor Centre... See the lady ranger with the hat on the left next to the board?  She'll be delighted to answer your questions and explain to you all you want to know about Haleakala.


The summit @ 10,023 feet







Ahinahina (silverswords) is a unique flora that thrives in Haleakala's volcanic areas.  They have shallow roots that allow them to tap moisture in the porous, loose cinders and long tap roots that anchor the plants in high wind.


Dense covering of silvery hairs on the leaves helps preserve moisture and protect the plants from the intense, high-elevation sun.





Can you spot the white objects on the top right hand corner?  


These are the  Haleakala Observatories

As we made our way down from Upcountry, we passed many gorgeous slopes of lavender fields at Kula and we visited one.........


Alii Kula Lavender Farm is located 4000 feet elevation on the slopes of Haleakala crater.


We paid  US$13 per person  for a guided tour so we knew what we were looking and smelling at.  As she went along, the guide snipped off cuttings of the different varieties of Lavender and other flowers grown on the farm.


The fields are not large with different Lavender varieties and most of the plants have been harvested.





 Spotted a Chameleon on the branch of a tree, much to our delight.





Can't resist taking a picture of this flower ..... no idea what's its name! 
Update :   A reader just said that this is a Protea.



The farm is somewhat like a small botanical garden with a number of succulent plants and here is a peach tree with peaches in full bloom.






Interior of the souvenir shop





We had a bite of the Lavender scone (had to heat it up in the toaster oven ourselves) and of course a sip of the Lavender Tea, and their Lavender Brownie.



  
  
A small bouquet made from the cuttings we had from the Lavender farm.

continue reading "Haleakala ~ 'House of The Sun'"

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Cherry Beer Cake



Stone fruits were aplenty in Hawaii when I was there - nectarines, peaches, apricots, plums and cherries.  I jumped upon the opportunity to bake this Cherry Beer Cake  and was delighted that it was well received and everybody liked it.

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Monday, October 1, 2012

Aloha Maui!


Aloha and welcome to Maui, the 'Valley Isle'.  It was a short flight about 35 mins.  from Honolulu in Oahu island to Maui.   Upon touching down at Kahului airport, we headed off to fill our stomachs at Sam Sato's to have a taste of their  local Hawaiian food.





This is dry noodles or mein with meat.  Looks like our wonton mee with char siew.


'Chow fun' with some char siew.  There's no sauce in this dish.  So it's rather bland but you can add in the sauces which are on each table.  The 'fun' here looks like our 'kway teow' and 'chee cheong fun'.


This is a popular dessert.  The round pastries are called 'manju'.  We had one with red bean filling and the other with lima beans.  The curry puff looking pastries are turnovers and there's one with pineapple and the other with apricot fillings.

After having our fill at Sam Sato's we drove to Lahaina, a former whaler's village, on the west  for our submarine dive.  Lahaina's name translates from Hawaiian as 'cruel sun' and not a day will pass if it's not warm, sunny and dry in this picturesque seaside town.  History has it that King Kamehameha established Lahaina as the first capital of the Hawaiian kingdom in 1802 as it's an important stop along the Pacific sea routes.



touristy boardwalk lined with restaurants and souvenir shops selling scrimshaw (handiwork of whales)






This is a small park along Front Street in the town which is sheltered by a humongous banyan tree.  One of the largest banyan trees in the US, this Lahaina tree was imported from India and planted in 1873 by a Maui sheriff in Courthouse Sq. to commerate the 50th anniversary of Lahaina's first Christian mission.  Now it stands 60 feet tall and spreads over 200 feet, and the area is commonly called Banyan Tree Park.  Its 12 major trunks stem from one huge cove, perfect for relaxation and reflection or kani ka pila.  (Hawaiian for gathering together and playing music).
Arts and crafts fairs are held in the park throughout the year, and are often accompanied by live Hawaiian music.  During the holidays, the tree is lit with thousands of X'mas lights.



Atlantis Logo Store which is only available in Maui.  One can collect the tickets for the submarine dives and also purchase some souvenirs.

Atlantis Submarines is the world's largest passenger submarine fleet and submarine rides are available from Waikiki in Oahu, Lahaina at Maui and Kailua-Kona on the Big Island. Here on Maui, Atlantis offers submarine tours daily with departures from Lahaina Harbour. The cruise out to the Atlantis Submarine dive site off Lahaina is beautiful.



This is the pier where we boarded a shuttle boat to take us to deep waters and the submarine 'lookout' point.





Paul, the Co-Pilot who gave us an introduction on the safety measures like how to put on the life-jacket, etc. during an emergency.


On the way to the dive's 'lookout' point.



We had arrived at the spot and the submarine Atlantis IV had just surfaced to bring the passengers to board the shuttle boat to take them back to the pier and it was our turn to board the submarine.  Can't wait!





Inside the cabin - Paul, our Co-Pilot, alerted us to various fishes that we could spot through the thick viewports.  He pointed out that if you wear a red shirt, the colour will change to purple .... true as I was in a red T-shirt and it 'turned' purple. But if you were to wear white, it'll turn transparent! (Just kidding). He described some fishes that look like Angelina Jolie and his commentary was very entertaining, hilarious, informative and educational.  Good job, Paul!


Looking from the viewports, can you spot the stingray?


Can't remember what's the name of these fishes.  The pilot was kind enough to turn on the lights to give us a good view through the viewports.



the colour chart which indicates the change of colours as we 'dive' lower.









Part of the 'sunken' vessel Carthaginian II.... acting as reef for the fishes to multiply.

Part of the artificial reef growing in the waters off the coast of Lahaina. This reef was established when the remains of Carthaginian II, a whaling vessel was sunk into the waters off Lahaina.





Descending to nearly 130 feet, the high-tech submarine presents a rare opportunity to experience the deep sea. Through the giant viewports one can see schools of beautifully coloured fish and exotic marine life swim just inches away from you.








Submarine rapidly ascending to the surface.





See ... the colour chart was back to normal when the submarine surfaced.  The dive was an hour's fantastic journey to another world.





Took these pictures after we returned to the shuttle boat that brought us to this 'lookout' point'.  It's the submarine  Atlantis IV submerging to take another group of eager tourists to view the exotic marine life.


Back to the pier and onto our next stop ..................

Folks, hope you've enjoyed this post.  Will be putting up more pictures of my holiday soon.........!


continue reading "Aloha Maui!"

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