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



If At First You Don’t Succeed

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.Allen Saunders

Sometimes things don’t go as planned, but a lot of times they turn out even better. We had planned to hike through Makawao Forest today. It’s something we’ve been wanting to do almost since we moved here and our landlords told us about Makawao Forest Reserve. They said it’s a great place to hike and that it also has one of the best mountain biking trails on the island.

Rising early this morning, I filled the hydration pack while Brandon made pita bread sandwiches with spinach, cabbage, extra sharp cheddar and homemade hummus. After grabbing a few treats for Mochi we headed out the door and were greeted with blue, sunshiny skies.

Somewhere along the drive to Makawao the skies turned not so blue and a bit more grey. Then it started to sprinkle. One thing about this island is you can never trust your phone’s weather app. With all of the micro climates around here the weather in Kula alone can be drastically different 5 minutes up the road. By the time we reached the Kahakapao trailhead the sprinkles had turned to moderately heavy rain and we wished we had come more prepared as I only had a fleece sweater and Brandon was in shorts and a tank.forest1But even just the forest surrounding the parking area was so intriguing we decided to go for it anyway.forest2forestAbout 10 minutes in the wind picked up and it started pouring so hard even the canopy of trees above couldn’t protect us. Reluctantly we turned back.mtrailStill hungry for an adventure, I searched for other nearby hikes on my phone. A review came up of a trail in Olinda, near Makawao, called the Waihou Spring Trail.mapSince we were only 15 minutes away we thought we might as well check it out and hope for less rain in that area. When we arrived it was still raining lightly, but it was much more bearable. It was going to be a short hike, but we came all this way!trailsignTurns out this area is being used as an experiment for growing pine trees.treesigntreesawalkfloodPart of the trail was flooded so we had to take a little detour to cross a stream.streamcrossingcrossbcrossedWe even learned what the koa tree looks like.koa1koasignAfter a short walk on the trail we reached a sign for the trail to the spring. Since it was only a half mile we decided to take the turn and see what this spring was all about.walkingWe descended, and descended. Steep switchback after muddy, slippery switchback. And I thought I wasn’t going to get a workout on this little hike! On the second to last switchback we saw it.fallThis amazing waterfall was not what we expected to find on the side trail to the spring. It was a beautiful sight and we had it all to ourselves on this wet, drizzly day.falls1falls2fallsafallMaybe next week we will try the Makawao Forest again, but I know if our plans don’t work out, whatever comes our way, God always has something better in mind.peekaboo


Oops, I gave up donuts for lent

May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past.Irish Blessing

In honor of my Irish heritage I am wearing my Claddagh ring and making green foods.ring2For breakfast I made green doughnuts. After the last of the green sprinkles were licked off the plate was when I remembered I gave up donuts for lent…woops! Nevertheless, this is my absolute favorite doughnut recipe, and at least they’re baked. If I don’t happen to have saffron, I just leave it out and the doughnuts turn out just as yummy.

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 2.32.23 PM

As I was looking up the doughnut recipe on, her most recent recipe caught my eye.Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 2.34.15 PM

I substituted almond flour for the coconut flour, and I definitely did not use vegan cheese. The result was not as creamy and green, but it was certainly delicious.pasta

And for dinner Brandon will be making me my favorite meal of the entire year — corned beef and cabbage…Mmmm!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!