Hawaii North Shore

  • North Shore Hawaii Part 5- The End



    I couldn’t post about the good eats here on the North Shore and not mention this food truck…. The Haleiwa Beachside Galley. Their Kalua grilled cheese sandwich knocked us off our feet! We also had some of their bowls and other dishes and we loved them all. I wish we had time to try out more of their food. This truck is hidden behind umbrellas so it is hard to see off the street. It is right next to Sharks Cove Grill (can’t miss it… right across the street from Sharks Cove). Seriously people.. stop here.. you won’t regret it! Forget about the food trucks with all the hype. They don’t deliver good food but hidden gems like this one sure does!



    Also in the town of Haleiwa is Lanikai Juice. This place makes good acai bowls (but didn’t beat Haleiwa Bowl) and makes fresh juices. A great stop if you want to take a “healthy” break during your stay here. 


    So many of you told me I HAD to try Opal Thai in Haleiwa! Here I am with the owner… such a nice guy! This guy and his restaurant is practically famous! He told me he moved here from Northern California and started with a food truck. *On a side note… you know my huge restaurant recommendation in San Francisco, The House? He used to work with the chef there! He couldn’t believe I not only knew about the restaurant but that it is one of my absolute favorite restaurants ever!


    When you sit down (Be prepared for a wait. The place is small and hugely popular!), they give each of you a menu. I don’t know why they bother because Opal, the owner, asks what kind of food you like and dislike and he orders for you. Some people are bothered by that, but I loved it! That’s service people! Everyone has different tastes and he brings what he thinks you will like best. I wish more restaurants were like that!


    This was by far our favorite dish! We kept asking him what it was and he wouldn’t tell us until we had eaten it. Good thing because it was stingray! Had I known that beforehand I am not sure if I would’ve enjoyed it as much. It was amazing with an array of different flavors dancing in your mouth. 


    This noodle and seafood dish also won our hearts over. We ordered too many dishes to show them all to you but these are two great examples of his food. Opal Thai definitely did not disappoint!


    Well folks… that’s all she wrote for now! This was our first time to visit the North Shore and to say we loved it is putting it mildly. The home, beaches, food, people, weather and all it had to offer was perfection! If you have never been…. You should! The memories made here are priceless. Until next time… Aloha friends!

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  • Hawaii 2014 North Shore Part 4



    Prior to coming to the North Shore, I didn’t care for acai bowls of any kind. They just didn’t thrill me. My family all loves them but me? Eh! Enter… Haleiwa Bowl’s acai bowl. Man… I couldn’t get enough! I drove here almost every day to get my bowl fix! I tried almost every acai bowl on the North Shore and this is the only one I loved. Huge recommendation people!


    I had a lot of people recommend this place to me! Come to find out.. the owners go to the same church and same ward I was attending every week. They own their own farm and use all their fresh produce here at their bakery/ restaurant. This is located in the town of Haleiwa.


    This is a loaded turkey sandwich… they only use freshly baked turkey. They bake their own bread (lots of choices to choose from) and as I said before, use the produce grown on their farm. So good! They are also known for their smoothies (we had their peanut butter smoothie and it was out of this world good!) and their sweet baked goods. 


    There is a beach in the North Shore called Turtle Beach because there are a ton of sea turtles that hang around the shore of the beach. It was amazing! We couldn’t believe how many turtles were there! I highly recommend you stopping by this beach. You can’t miss it. Just look for the beach with a ton of people standing on the shore looking into the water. That’s what caught our attention every time we drove by. So glad we finally stopped to check it out for ourselves!


    Every Thursday from 3-7, is the Haleiwa Farmer’s Market at the Waimea Falls park. Admission is free and there are some good grub to be had here! Unfortunately when we went we weren’t in the least bit hungry but I had to try a poke bowl that they custom make to your liking. Wow… it was the absolute best poke I have ever had! Definitely check out this place. Great grub, great produce and lots of others things to check out. 


    While we are on the subject of poke.. we heard the best poke on the island was at a market up in Kahuku called the Superette. Don’t be afraid when you see this market. It looks very old and run down on the outside. I was pleasantly surprised when I walked in to see a sparkling clean market on the inside. Anyhow, we bought a couple of containers of two different kinds of poke they make. It was good, but not the best in my opinion. Poke is a popular thing in Hawaii… so it’s fun to try different kinds while visiting. 


    While in Kahuku, right next to Kahuku Grill… there is a little take out window for Mexican food. We decided to try a couple of things on their menu while we were waiting for our food at Kahuku Grill (don’t judge… we were on vacation people!) We had a burrito and a couple of tacos and they were so good! A couple that was eating their food told us this was the best Mexican food on the island. I believe them! So if you get a craving for Mexican food.. head over here. You wouldn’t think twice about eating here because it is just a small take out window… but once again… looks can be deceiving! The also have a food truck that they run in the day… and come here in the evenings. Nice people… and yes, they are Mexican. Authentic!

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    Let’s talk hikes! Pictured above are my kiddos after our hike to the Manoa Falls .This is an easy hike that most anyone can do. It’s a beautiful hike and not far from Waikiki. 


    Here we are on another hike I recommend to only “some” of you! We hiked to the Mauanawilli Falls. You can jump off a 50 foot cliff into the falls. Crazy? Yes. Did I do it? No! But all my kids did and they loved it… although they all admitted that it was pretty freaky and scary to jump from that high up. Is that why I only recommend it to only some of you? No. If you don’t like to get muddy… this hike is not for you. If you don’t like to be eaten alive and end up with at least 50-100 bug bites… this hike is not for you. If you can’t hike long and somewhat far… this hike is not for you. Truth be told… this hike was not for me… but I did it for my family. YUCK! Did they love it? Absolutely, positively loved it. Oh the sacrifices a mother makes!

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    Eaten alive… I tell you!


    If you haven’t heard of Leonard’s Bakery, you haven’t visited the Main Island. This place is famous for their malasadas (a Portugese doughnut without a hole, and can be filled with different fillings) Leonard’s is supposed to have the best around. We, of course, had to stop by to try them. Now… I have to first tell you that I am not a doughnut lover. I know.. weird. Even as a kid I didn’t like them. So I am not a good judge with these things. But if you find yourself  in Honolulu, stop by here and give them a try. Especially if you are a doughnut lover! By the way… why is there two different ways to spell doughnuts? Donut or doughnut? Weird. 

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    I will end with this beautiful picture from my balcony of a magnificent sunset. What a way to say farewell to another great day!

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  • Hawaii 2014 North Shore Part 3 1/2


     If you know me… you know I like to have gatherings.. dinner gatherings to be specific. I thought I would share with you a a bit of those with you and some of the dishes I worked on while in Hawaii.  By the way… a house on a gorgeous beach is the best place to have a gathering!

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    I mean… just look at that back porch! A cool ocean breeze and the sound of the crashing waves… perfection! Well…the people are pretty special too. 

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    Lucky us… close friends from back home were in town the same time as us so of course we had them over for dinner! 


    Ok… on to all the food I made… well not maybe all but a lot of the food I made! This as many of you will recognize is not a new dish… but it sure is a good one! I made my quinoa super salad a couple of times and kept it in the fridge for lunch and snacking. This may be the perfect salad ever.


    I bought these beautiful pork chops for the grill. I decided I needed to make a delicious sauce/ glaze to slather them in and boy did I come up with a winner! You bet these will be making a debut in one of my cooking classes soon!

    IMG_0066One potato, two potato, sweet potato love! This sweet potato bake is a dream. 


    Kimchee fried rice anyone?


    Oh this… was a welcome surprise! I saw some hawaiian eggplant and decided to make a dish with it and man oh man was it good! Even the kids gobbled it up like it was going out of style. 


    Just a little broccoli salad with an avocado dressing. 


    This here is a Somen noodle dish that knocked our socks off!


    I made a couple different desserts and for some reason I only have a picture of one of them. This is a Blackberry Pear cake. Yes… it was a good as it looks! I also made a delicious pumpkin cheesecake. Both need to be shared in my classes! 

    So there you have it! Some of the highlights of what I was cooking in the kitchen. Look for it coming soon to my kitchen!

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  • Hawaii- North Shore Part 3


     One of the best things about renting a home are the extra rooms you have… so you can invite more guests to be with! My dear in laws and darling niece came to join us for a while. We were so excited to spend time with them! It only seemed appropriate that I greeted them with leis to show our love for them and excitement of their arrival. My oh my those leis smell amazing!


    Our sweet daughter, Hadley flew in from her humanitarian trip to India. (We won’t talk about the 30 plus hours it took to fly here!) She spent a whole month there and fell in love with the people. We are grateful for the opportunity she had to serve. Makes your heart grow in ways like none other! We were all so excited to see her again! Not a bad place to reunite, eh?


     While in on the other side of the island we decided to eat in Honolulu. This place was recommended to us by good friends that lived on the island. It is a true “locals” place off the beaten path away from the tourist spots. It serves “local” dishes… which means it is pretty heavy and filling food. If you are looking for local dishes, I definitely recommend this place! We enjoyed it!



    I sure enjoyed this place and their tasty fish tacos!


    The steak burrito my hubby had was also a winner! Our whole group enjoyed whatever they ordered. I hear some people feel like it is a Cafe Rio knock off but not as good. As for me… I would go back!


    We had to try the Famous Ted’s bakery. Here is a sampling of what my mother in law bought one morning. Some things were better than the others. Grandma’s are the best… always supplying sweets and treats! 


    My favorite thing Ted’s Bakery makes is this Chocolate Haupia Cream pie. Honestly… nothing else here was that good to me. I tried a lot of their pies and cakes. Maybe I am too picky?


    There are so many places to hike on this island! My hubby and I took off for a “little” hike not far from Sunset Beach and came back about 3 1/2 hours later! We had fun getting lost on this beautiful and lush island. 


    We rented a two man kayak and a couple of paddle boards for the month that we were here. Between swimming, snorkeling, paddle boarding and kayaking… we definitely never got bored at the beach! We just couldn’t get enough of that amazing Hawaiian water.


    And last but not least, are photos of our favorite place… Seven Brothers. It was ridiculous how many times we ate here! Funny thing is … we never tired of it!


    Look at those huge onion rings in that burger! And that messy sauce… perfection!


    Could you get tired of eating this? Never! Good thing we were very active on this trip!

    Until next time…..

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  • Hawaii 2014 North Shore Part 2



    I love it when one of you give me a recommendation for food. Thanks to Andrea Schvaneveldt I found this tiny food trailer! Actually I drove by it many times and missed it because it is so small! I finally spotted it one day… thankfully! It is right by Sharks Cove on the ocean side (I was looking on the opposite side of the street). Pictured above is Ryan, the owner and the nicest guy around! Man oh man alive, I wish all sandwich places served sandwiches with their quality, organic, fresh produce and fresh, unprocessed meat! With my first bite I knew this place was something special.


    This is my favorite… fresh turkey and bri with all the fixings. He also puts on an amazing sweet yet tangy spread on the bread. The best sandwich around! I also loved his chicken curry salad… so good I tell you!


    On sundays we attended an LDS ward on the island. The people there are so kind, welcoming and loving! Such a sweet spirit felt there. Sundays for us just isn’t right unless we go to church!


    After church we drove to the LDS temple to walk the grounds. It is so beautiful!


    On the temple grounds is a visiting center that we also had to opportunity to go to. All are welcome and I highly recommend it!


    In Kahuku, there is this cute cafe that serves panini’s, salads, smoothies and some desserts. They grow everything on the land and offer tours too. 


    Our trip got perfect once my sweet hubby flew in to join us! Taking a month off was not an option for him, but luckily he was able to join us for the last half of the month! Of course almost the second he got here, the kids and him ran out on the beach to hit the volleyball around. I couldn’t resist taking this shot of “my people” from the top balcony… that’s happiness right there!


    A huge tourist attraction on Oahu is the Polynesian Cultural Center. I cannot tell you enough how great this place is! We had such a fun, fun time! Worth every penny!


    My kiddos trying to light a fire at the PCC. The entertainment here is top notch!


    A moderately easy hike for those interested is the hike that takes you to the top of Diamond Head. This is one of the many views from the top. Just look at that view!


    Here’s one of the views from the back side. I love when you get a “prize” at the top with views like these!


    After our hike we decided to reward ourselves with amazing burgers so we headed to Seven Brothers in Laie. Seven Brothers is the restaurant the Hanneman family owns along with Kahuku Grill. They offer almost the same menu but not exactly. Seven Brothers makes ice cream shakes that are unreal… they are so good! You have to make sure to order one! They only offer vanilla and chocolate, but trust me when I tell you they were the best vanilla and chocolate shakes we have ever had! Pictured above is the Cowboy burger and crazy fries. I loved them all but I think this one was my favorite.


    A shot of another one of their amazing burgers. You can’t go wrong with any burger you decide to order. My hubby ordered a different one every time we came and loved each one! I don’t think we have eaten so many burgers in our lives, but we couldn’t resist coming back for more!


    They also make another amazing dessert called peanut butter rolls. Basically dinner rolls with an amazing peanut butter sauce served with ice cream, coconut and chocolate sauce. Yep…. we fell in love with this one too. I have to tell you that once we went to Seven Brothers, we preferred it over Kahuku Grill. We found their food to be cooked more consistently… and come on… those shakes that they offer just calls our names every time!


    You simple cannot come to this island without visiting the famous Hanauma Bay. It is a protected marine life conservation area that is stunning! Just look at they water! Perfect place for some awesome snorkeling!


    Another must visit is to Pearl Harbor. There are quite a few places to explore here. Our first stop was to the USS Missouri. What a great piece of history to be able to learn more about.


    We also had tickets to visit the USS Arizona Memorial, but right before our time to go on the ferry, the wind kicked up and they closed it. We were still able to visit the museums and watch a film about that tragic day in our country’s history. If you haven’t been here before, it is a must stop.


    One night when we finally got around to getting dinner… most places had closed down. We headed into the town of Haleiwa and found this Thai food truck open so we decided to try it. FYI… it was just ok. 


    To end on a happy note… this food truck in Pupukea is amazing! It is just down the road a bit from Foodland. We absolutely loved their Coconut Curry Quinoa, Spicy Tuna Quinoa, and their BBQ Kalua Pork Quesadilla. That pork quesadilla blew us away! We went back several times!

    Man… writing about all this amazing food makes me hungry! Oh how I miss these places! Stay tuned for part three….

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  • North Shore Hawaii 2014 Part 1


    This past summer our family spent the month of July in Hawaii… the North Shore to be specific. We had never been to this part of Hawaii before but it was highly recommended to me as I was searching for a place to stay for the month. I can now see why people love it there! I have so much I want to share with you for those of you that might want to come here in the future. I will be doing several posts to cover everything I want to share with you. 

    We rented an amazing home on the beach that is pictured above. The beach is Log Cabins and is next to Ke Iki beach and Pipeline. As you can see from the picture the water in North Shore is calm in the summer. Good thing because that is exactly what I wanted… calm, serene, warm and beautiful water. This beach was especially perfect because it was practically empty with the  exception of our family. Now that’s paradise!


    Here is the picture of the back side of the home we stayed in. A wrap around porch on both levels and ocean views from most rooms. 


    If we weren’t on the beach, this was the most popular spot to hang out. Reading… napping… snacking… just relaxing and looking out on that beautiful ocean. 


    Here’s the upstairs porch which had a daybed type of bench. Another perfect reading or napping spot. 


    The kitchen met most of my needs as a cook with a Wolfe range and oven and a Sub Zero refrigerator. And of course… more ocean views!


    There are two master bedrooms upstairs and both have that stunning ocean view. Sleeping with the sound of softly crashing waves is music to my ears. Heaven I tell you!


    In addition to the two master bedrooms, there is an additional guest room with a queen bed and this kids bunk room that has SIX built in wall bunks! It also has a big flatscreen TV, X box, foosball, lockers and a large desk. My kids loved it!

    The whole home has hard wood floors and stone floors in the bathrooms which I loved. No gross carpet! And all the walls and ceilings are white wood paneled… a Pottery Barn look and feel. 

    So many of you inquired about the information on this home we rented so I decided to show you a bit of it and give you the link to their site for more information. It is privately owned by two local Southern California families(the nicest people!) and they have not started renting it out until spring of this year. Lucky us!

    Here’s the link for those of you that are interested. http://www.Kewaena.com


    Now it’s time to talk FOOD! The North Shore is all about food trucks. I am not a huge fan of food trucks as most of you are but I did find some seriously amazing ones that I will share in my posts. This here is the famous Hula Dog. To be fair, I am not a hotdog fan, so I got the veggie dog and found it bland. I took two bites and tossed it. On the other hand, my kids (My son and his new wife is pictured above)… all five of them loved it as well as their lemonade. Their buns are huge!

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    Matsumoto’s shaved ice is a very popular and famous place on the island. There is always a long line out the door so you bet I was excited to try it! We were all so disappointed with this place. The shaved ice was not fine and fluffy and the syrups were not great either. I seriously cannot understand why people flock here and love it. Sorry but it was a “Jenny fail”.


    Another hugely popular but a “Jenny” fail was the Giovanni Shrimp food truck. It really wasn’t anything special. My kids all agreed. I don’t get the hype about this truck.


    Right by Giovanni’s in Pupukea (there is a food truck plot) is a Korean type of bbq meat truck. That was not Korean BBQ people… a poor imitation. Not recommended!


    Ok… so enough with the negative (hey… I have to be honest with you all about how I feel… right?) and on to the winners! In the same food truck plot (I call it a plot because there are literally a bunch of food trucks on a plot of dirt) there is a frozen yogurt food truck called Ono Yo.This is their only location and can I tell you that I have never had frozen yogurt this good! I mean.. we had to come here daily! They tell me their yogurt is made from greek yogurt so I don’t know if that is what makes the difference but whatever it is… they have a winner! After talking with a lot of people, I found that I am not alone with my over the top love with this place. It is worth the drive no matter where you are on the island of Oahu. Really! My favorite is their tart (I don’t like tart yogurt at any other place) and fruit flavors topped with fresh fruit. Their guava flavor is not served often, but man… it is beyond delicious so make sure to order it if they have it the day you go!


    Also in Pupukea is a place called Kahuku Grill. Man… their burgers and crazy fries are out of this world good! It is owned by a local family and they know how to put together some incredible burgers!


    The above is the Shem burger that is loaded with guacamole. Hand formed juicy patties that are freshly ground daily make such a difference!


    Also at Kahuku Grill is this…. Banana Bread Sundae. I about died when I took my first, second, third and so on… bite. Moist and flavorful banana bread, coconut and vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce. Simple but not to be underestimated in it’s greatness. The mother of this family bakes this bread for the restaurant every day! Way to go Mama Hanneman!


    Not in the mood for a burger? They also offer coconut shrimp and fish plates. We couldn’t get enough of this place!

    Part two coming soon! 

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  • Hawaii 2014 Video Synopsis


    Spending the past month on the North Shore of Hawaii was dreamier than words can say. So instead I will share this video my kids made. What a great synopsis of our wonderful trip. My kids are amazing if I do say so myself! 


    More posts of our food and fun adventures coming!

    Aloha friends,


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