Breakfast with AshnBran

I love bagels. Honestly, I love any and all bread-like foods. But I had never thought about making bagels myself. I really had no idea at all what the process entailed, so I went directly to Pinterest. There were many recipes, but I went with Peter Reinhart’s recipe because for some reason he sounded important and I think he wrote a book about bread or something. His bagel recipe requires a 2-3 day process which sounds a bit intimidating, but once you read through the directions it doesn’t seem so bad. The bagels are just refrigerated during much of the process.

There aren’t many ingredients involved, which is nice. According to Peter Reinhart, the barley malt is the key to an authentic bagel.ingredientsKneading this dough nearly broke my stand mixer, it was so thick and elasticky. After the proper refrigeration, I attempted to shape my bagels first with the technique most professionals use (rolling out into a rope, then bringing the ends together and sealing by rolling and squeezing), then quickly moved on to the technique used by the average layperson (poking a hole through the center of a ball of dough).shapedI refrigerated the bagels a little over 24 hours. Then came the weirdest part of the recipe. Poaching the bagels.maltpoachAfter poaching, you can top with desired toppings and bake.toppingsmeThey turned out amazing.bagelsonplatechalkbagelsclose

I would definitely recommend this recipe, and I can’t wait to try other variations and flavors.



Sunday Drive

We read about the drive around the west Maui mountains and kept hearing how beautiful it is. Some call it the “road to Hana of west Maui” and even say it’s better than the drive to Hana. The only downside is the 1 1/2 mile stretch of extremely narrow road and the other 2 mile stretch of narrowish road. This part of the drive is so narrow that if two cars come head to head, one of them must put it in reverse and back up until they come to the first tiny turnout they can find so that the other car can squeeze by. Brandon was a bit worried by this description we read, but I really wanted to try this Julia’s banana bread that the guidebook touted as “the best banana bread on the planet.” So we took a Sunday drive and discovered even more beauty and yummy treats on Maui.Screen-Shot-2014-04-13-at-5.38Our first stop was the Nakalele Blowhole.nakaleleIn the parking area was an intriguing sign advertising free samples of several delicious sounding treats, perfect for us to snack on during our long drive. The coconut candy was truly amazing and definitely addictive. It was gone before we hit the halfway point of our drive.coconutcandyNext was the Ohai trail.ashwalkThis was a fun little 1.2 mile loop with excellent views and our first glimpse of Kahakuloa Head (my favorite part of the trip) in the distance.ohai4

ohaimapNext was the Olivine Pools. Supposedly a wonderful place to take a dip, the pools were neat, but the wild wind and crashing waves made them seem not so inviting for a swim.olivine4Then came the very narrow road. It was good timing because we could see pretty far ahead of us a Jeep backing up, so we just found a turnout and waited. Once the car went around the Jeep and passed us we were able to make it almost all the way to the end until we encountered a rental car who backed up for us to pass. Phew! I’m glad Brandon was driving. One of our friends from church said she once drove that road when she was learning to drive and had to reverse almost a mile.

Once we survived the road we descended into the cute, little town of Kahakuloa, home of Julia’s banana bread.juliasignjulias It was simple, classic banana bread, and I have to say it was quite delicious.bbanana

Our Sunday drive was so much fun. We all had an awesome time. Mochi even learned how to roll the window down himself.mochiwindow

It’s always exciting to experience new places and this is one we will definitely return to, even if it’s only for the coconut candy and banana bread.


Hiking Lipoa Point

Yesterday after church we were invited on a group hike to Lipoa Point. What better way to spend Sabbath afternoon than in God’s beautiful creation with church ‘ohana? And we are always up for exploring new trails on Maui. There was quite a turnout with ages ranging from 5 to

We began our hike on the bluffs just past Honolua Bay, the marine conservation popular for snorkeling and known as the best surfing on Maui.bayCan you spot the surfers?surf

The weather was perfect. Sunny, blue skies and a breeze to keep us cool.walkingwalk

The views of the rugged coastline were amazing.coast0coastcoast2coast3coast1

It was a perfect way to spend the Sabbath day.


The Quintessential Hawaiian Dessert

Often served for dessert at luaus and other gatherings, haupia is a gel-like pudding made from coconut milk, kō (sugar cane) and, traditionally, ground pia (Polynesian arrowroot). To simplify things, pia is often replaced with corn starch. The haupia is usually served in small cubes.Haupia006med

Some would say the haupia pie is the quintessential Hawaiian dessert. So of course, we had to try and make one ourselves.

We began with the crust. I slightly modified a chocolate haupia pie recipe that I found on The recipe included instructions for a macadamia nut shortbread crust, and that sounded amazing so we went with it.nutsProcess 1 c. macadamia nuts, then add 4 T. cane sugar, 4 T. brown sugar, just over 1 c. all purpose flour and 1/4 t. salt.sugarsProcess again to combine.mealAdd 2 T. milk, 1 stick of butter and 1/2 t. of our favorite vanilla bean paste.vanillaProcess one more time.doughPress into a lightly oiled pie dish and refrigerate for 1 hour.piepanBake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes.crustAnd onto the haupia!ingredientsBring 1 c. milk, 1 can coconut milk and 1 c. cane sugar to a boil, then simmer for 3 minutes while slowly adding a corn starch and water mixture (1/2 c. cornstarch, 1 c. water).whiskingDivide haupia in half, melt 3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips and stir into one half.chocPour haupia into crust.whiteAdd chocolate layer.chocolateRefrigerate 2 hours.fridgeCover with whipped cream (1 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream, 3 T. powdered sugar, 2 t. vanilla bean paste).whippedTop with chocolate shavings.topAnd voilà! Our very own chocolate haupia pie.pieBeware this is a rich pie. Small portions are advised!

Macadamia Nut Shortbread Crust

  • 1 c. toasted macadamia nuts
  • 4 T. cane sugar
  • 4 T. brown sugar
  • 1 c. 4 T. all purpose flour
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 2 T. milk
  • 8 T. butter, sliced into small cubes
  • 1/2 t. vanilla bean paste
  • Refrigerate 1 hour
  • Bake 325 degrees for 20 mins

Haupia Pie

  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 c. cane sugar
  • 1/2 c. corn starch
  • 1 c. water
  • 3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
  • 3 T. powdered sugar
  • 2 t. vanilla bean paste