Hula Dog or Bust!

Sorry I didn’t post yesterday.  I have a great Travel Tip Tuesday post in mind but will save it for next week.

Thursday we had planned to have lunch at the Kahala Resort located about 15 minutes away from Waikiki in the “posh posh” area of Oahu.  Apparently so posh that our taxi driver said the houses in that neighborhood range from $15 to 40 MILLION dollars.  Yes, why have one trillion when you can have one million??  Haha.

Early that morning my dad and husband rented a kayak and took it out for an hour.  I enjoyed watching them and took a few pictures.  Then we grabbed a beach umbrella and vegged out for a few hours before lunch.  Once everyone was dressed and dolled up for the Kahala, we boarded the cab and off we were.

As the cab pulled up to the Kahala I can see why this is considered ultra-luxury.  The lobby is an open air one (which I just love) and down one of the hallways there are several framed pictures adorning the walls of all the celebrities that have stayed at the resort.  Nicholas Cage, Billy Joel…even Snoop Dog to name a few.  The restaurant in which we had reservations is named “Plumeria” and the restaurant is also in an open-air setting right on the garden area with the ocean in the background.  Pure, raw beauty.

Inside the Kahala Resort Lobby

Another Lobby Shot

Hubby and I

Dad and I

 

We met up with my Hawaiian family members who had lunch with us.  Prosecco to start and yummy fruity iced tea to follow.  I had a salad and then had the fish tacos for my main entree.  They were so incredibly good that I didn’t even stop to take a picture before devouring them.  Fresh and spicy grilled huge chunks of Mahi-Mahi on a flour tortilla with cabbage slaw and some sort of tangy dressing.  Probably the best fish tacos I’ve ever had.

After lunch came coffee and dessert, which I did get pictures of.  I had the “famous” bread pudding and loved every minute of it.  By the time lunch was over I felt about 10 lbs heavier and was convinced I would need to be rolled out of my chair and out of the restaurant!

Bread Pudding

Mango Sorbet

Vanilla Flan

 

After lunch we explored the resort grounds and watched the resident dolphins get some training time with guests who had enrolled in their dolphin experience.  It was really nice to see them so close up.  I love a dolphin smile.

Dolphin Area

I took these pictures from the grounds of the resort and enhanced them with my iphone apps.  These are probably my most favorite pictures from the trip.

Dolphin Habitat Area

View of back of the resort

Pool Area

This little island sits out off the resort grounds all by itself

View from our table

More beauty

 

After lunch everyone was stuffed but we slowly got back to our normal state and went back out to the beach for a few more hours.  The girls took a paddleboard out for a while and said that they saw sea turtles swimming about below them.

That evening we were all still pretty full from lunch but my husband had heard about the “Puka Dog” which is from Kauai and featured on the Travel Channel.  The founders split into two separate entities and one moved to Oahu just outside the International Market Place.  Serving the exact same style Hawaiian hot dog, this one was named “Hula Dog”.  My husband was dead set on finding the place and trying one.

The difference between one of these hot dogs and a normal hot dog is that the bun (similar to a subway roll) has a hole in the middle in which the hot dog (or polish sausage) is inserted and the sauces are squeezed in around it.  They have some pretty unique sauces that are only available in Hawaii and that is what all the rage is about.

Sister of the Puka Dog

We walked around that night for what seemed like forever and finally located the place.  My husband then does the unthinkable…he orders his Hula dog with REGULAR mustard!  What?  He said he was afraid to order something “exotic” in case he didn’t like it.  The Hula dog and a fresh lemonade was $10.  I really wanted some noodles of some sort, my son wanted pizza and the girls weren’t that hungry.  So we hit up the food court at the open air mall for Japanese noodles and pizza and then moved on to the ABC Store for the girls to get small sandwiches, chips and soda.  The ABC store was packed and it was already around 9pm.

My Seafood Noodles — I’m not sure what all was in it but I ate it anyway!

Once again I had to finish off the evening with something mixed with vodka on ice (I promise, I only drink like this on vacation!) and some quiet time on the lanai.  I really didn’t know how I was going to manage without this once I got back to Texas!

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Lentils: The Other White Meat

I don’t know why I’m writing about lentils…but as I was cooking up a batch yesterday evening I thought it would be good to share why I love lentils so much.  If you’ve read my other posts you know that I am a vegetarian but my family is not.  This usually results in me cooking two separate dinners….one meaty, one non-meaty.  Sometimes I have a real hard time coming up with new and exciting things to make for myself…but here’s where the lentils come in.

Lentils are versatile.  You can put them in anything.  they are also great meat imposters.  In most recipes that call for ground beef, you can substitute cooked lentils and no one would ever be the wiser.  I make a mean chili with lentils and I was able to successfully fool my son (who is a very picky eater) into thinking he was eating meat.  Not to mention, lentils are very healthy for you; they are high in fiber and protein.  I will usually cook up a batch of lentils and keep them in a Tupperware container in the fridge.  that way, during the week I can add them to anything I am cooking in a pinch when I have nothing else to make myself.

Of course, on their own lentils make a great Greek-type salad.  I’m going to make some this weekend and post the recipe, so keep your eyes out.

Here are some meal ideas in which you can use lentils in place of meat:

~Veggie Burgers
~Chili
~Tacos / Taco Salad
~Meat Sauce (for pasta)
~Lasagna
~”Hamburger” Helper
~Soup

Are there any favorite lentil ideas you would like to share?  Let me know!

Lentils….they’re what’s for dinner.

My Copycat Kale Cranberry Pepita Salad Recipe

You can see from a previous post my love for Central Market’s Kale Cranberry Pepita salad. I don’t live close to a Central Market so I’m not able to get my hands on it that often, not to mention it’s $5.99/lb! Going by the ingredient label on the salad container I decided to try and make my own. It came out excatly like the real thing! Here’s the recipe, let me know what you think!

Ingredients;

1 large bunch of raw, rinsed, stemmed and chopped kale (yields about 6 cups)

1/2 cup canola oil

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1/2 cup orange juice

1/8 cup soy sauce

1 tsp minced onions (in lieu of shallots)

1 tsp ground ginger

1 handful craisins or dried cranberries

1 handful roasted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)

1 handful chopped or slivered almonds (roasted or raw)

pinch of salt & pepper

1/2 tsp salt

Optional: slivers of candied ginger to taste (I don’t like it, but it’s in the original salad)

Directions;

Mix all of the ingredients except for the cranberries and seeds together in bowl with a whisk until well combined. Pour on top of kale and mix well until all leaves coated. Sprinkle on the cranberries, almonds and pepitas. Let salad sit for at least 1 hour in the fridge so that kale softens up a bit. Best if eaten the next day!

You can see mine looks just like the store bought kind and tastes the same too!

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Rave: Best Salad in All the Land

Take a look at this:

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This is a kale and pepita salad with orange vinegarette and cranberry dressing from Central Market. It is SO yummy and kale is really good for you.

Looks easy to make too…kale, roasted pepitas, craisins, almonds and candied ginger. The dressing is just olive oil, orange juice, rice vinegar, and a little salt.

If you let it sit for a while before eating, the kale will soften up. It’s best the 2nd day!

Chefs De France Quick Review

I am having some major issues integrating this blog into my Yahoo hosted WordPress blog so in the meantime while I fight with getting everything straight….I didn’t want more time to go by without posting something fun.

This will be the quickest, shortest review of Chefs De France in EPCOT.  I thought about posting it because that lunch is one of our very favorite Disney memories.  We had not idea that we would get a visit from a special someone…….

Of course we made an ADR and so there was no wait.  We had one of the first 11am reservations.  Here’s a shot of our food….yum!

This was the soup and salad BEFORE the meal.  I must’ve gobbled down my entree before thinking about taking a picture of it!  But I did get a picture of the dessert….

The waiter came by and was very much interested in getting his picture taken….handsome, no?

We told him we were very happy to see him however …..what’s on the table??

Awe Remy….Amber wanted to touch him but the waiter advised against it.  He said he didn’t know where Amber’s hands had been and you know….Remy must stay sanitary for the kitchen!

BEST meal in all of WDW!