Hawaii Mom Blog






October 18, 2017

Visit Yokohama - Tai-Parfait

This was our most favorite treat during our trip to Japan!  After a visit to the Cup Noodle Museum, we walked across the street to World Porters - a mall with over 200 shops! - to look for a treat.  As soon as I saw the Taiyaki soft serve at Tai-Parfait, I knew I had to have it.  

I had the cremia - a Japanese premium soft serve made from Hokkaido milk and heavy cream.  Cremia is known for a higher milk fat content giving it a rich deep flavor.  It was sweet, slightly salty, and pretty amazing.  Under the cremia was a bit of red bean and the taiyaki was perfectly crunchy and chewy.  By far the best I had ever had.

My kids also had taiyaki, but with vanilla and green tea soft serve and they both loved theirs as well.  Definitely recommend!

Tai Parfait
Yokohama World Porters
2-2-1 Shinko, Naka-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 231-0001

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Visit New York: Pastries at Corner Slice

While having breakfast in the Gotham West Market, two of my kids wanted something sweet, so we went to Corner Slice.

Corner Slice is actually a pizza spot, but during the morning they offer a delightful assortment of pastries!

Cinnamon Roll

Semolina Chocolate Cake with Orange

The kids loved the sweets.

I hope next time I can try the pizzas!

Corner Slice
600 11th Ave
New York, NY 10036

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Instant Pot Beef Stew

Although I love my Instant Pot, I've been on an "Instant Pot Hiatus" - mostly because I can't seem to find any appealing recipes that are not chicken-based.

Eager to try something new, I was excited when @wilburwong messaged me a few non-chicken recipes!

One of those was for a beef stew, which he said was one of his fave recipes that he's tried so far, so not having ever made beef stew before, I was anxious to try the recipe!

I did have to make some adjustments to the recipe, but it turned out fab!

After sauteing 2 pounds of beef stew meat in the Instant Pot, and throwing in 2 chopped medium onions, 5 carrots peeled and chopped, 4 small potatoes peeled and chopped, 1 8oz tray of mushrooms quartered, 4 cups of beef broth, and 6 T of tomato paste, I set the Instant Pot to stew for 45 minutes.

I was quite impressed (and surprised) with how tasty it was.  The meat and veggies were so tender and full of flavor!

It's definitely a recipe that I'll make again!

You can find the original recipe here on Savory Tooth.
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October 17, 2017

Visit Yokohama - Cup Noodles Museum

I centered our family trip to Tokyo around my kids and since we had some time after exploring Tokyo, I decided a day trip to Yokohama to visit the Cup Noodles Museum would be fun for them.  It took us about 40 minutes by train to get to Yokohama from Shinagawa.  It was a nice and scenic 10 minute walk from the train station to the Cup Noodle Museum.  The museum is also located near a huge mall (World Porters) and an amusement park complete with ferris wheel and roller coasters.

During planning, I had visited the website and learned that in addition to making your own cup noodle, you can also sign up for the chicken ramen classes.  However, it said you had to work in pairs and I wasn't sure they would allow myself and 2 kids.  Plus, the sign up is online in Japanese.  The reservations for the chicken ramen class sell out so don't expect it to be available if you didn't make a reservation.

The entrance to the museum is 500 yen for adults and free for children.  The cost of each cup noodles is 300 yen.  Once you pay your admission, you get tickets for a time slot for the My CUPNOODLES factory.  You get in line at the time designated on your ticket.  Once you enter the cafeteria, you purchase your cup noodles from a vending machine.  Next you'll cleanse your hands with the sanitizing spray.  You then get seated by the staff to a table where you decorate your Cup Noodle.  Be sure to stay within the red lines and write the date.  The noodles need to be eaten within a month. 

After you'r done decorating, you'll stand in another line to make your cup noodle.  You'll get to choose one of 4 soup bases: chili tomato, cup noodle, curry, or seafood.  Then you get to choose 4 toppings.  If you only want one topping, you can get 4 servings of it.  You'll then watch it get sealed and heat wrapped.  It was a very fun and creative experience for the kids.  They both enjoyed it and I highly recommend this activity. 

Afterwards, the kids played at the Cup Noodles Park.  The admission is 300 yen for 30 minutes and is very well organized.  The kids travel to each station clockwise so it's not chaotic like other playgrounds.  We also checked out their food court for treats, but if you can wait it out, go next door and visit the mall's food court for better selections.     

Cup Noodles Museum
2-3-4 Shinko, Naka-ku, Yokohama 231-0001 Japan

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Visit Vermont: Cabot Farmers' Store

While in Vermont we stopped at the Cabot Farmers' Store.

It's a fun place to not only sample a variety of different cheeses, but it was also a great place to pick up locally-made goods!

My kids loved trying the different cheeses - I was so impressed with the number of flavors offered!

I especially loved that I could buy made-in-New England products - baked goods, chips, and even health and beauty products - perfect for omiyage!

The Cabot Farmers' Store is a must-visit if you find yourself in the Waterbury area of Vermont!

Cabot Farmers' Store
2657 Waterbury-Stowe Road
Waterbury Center, VT 05677
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Paalaa Kai Mini Mart

A few years ago I went to Paalaa Kai Mini Mart for the first time because Nat mentioned how her husband loves the fried chicken there.

We recently picked up some food there again since we were right next door at Paalaa Kai Bakery to get some sweets.

Hot Dog Musubi

SPAM Musubi

Fried Chicken

We picked up some musubis and fried chicken to take to a nearby park.

Everything hit the spot and was really tasty.

Definitely check out Paalaa Kai Mini Mart to pick up some eats for the beach or park!

Paalaa Kai Mini Mart
66-945 Kaukonahua Rd
Waialua, HI 96791 
(808) 637-9182

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October 16, 2017

Lonohana Estate Chocolate Brings Handcrafted Creations to Salt at Our Kaka'ako

Handcrafted chocolate maker Lonohana Estate Chocolate is bringing its award-winning chocolate delicacies to SALT at Our Kakaʻako. Chocolate lovers are invited to the grand opening celebration of its first retail location, on Oct. 20 and 21, from 5 to 9 p.m.


In 2009, Lonohana began to plant its cacao orchard on the North Shore of Oʻahu. It has since become known worldwide for its unique tree-to-bar business model and for producing world-class Hawaiʻi-grown cacao. Now, its locally sourced and handmade chocolate bars can be enjoyed at the Lonohana Tasting Bar in SALT at Our Kakaʻako.


For its grand opening, Lonohana will also showcase a few of its proprietary chocolate drinks, in-house made cookies and a wide selection of handcrafted milk and dark chocolate bars. The drink menu includes Chocolate Thai Iced Tea, The Koko-Colada and a very special hot chocolate. The shop is located next to Butterfly Ice Cream and across from Moku Kitchen and Village Bottle Shop & Tasting Room, near the middle of the SALT at Our Kakaʻako complex.


“Lonohana Estate Chocolate brings customers a new way to discover chocolate, with its locally grown and crafted offerings. As cacao farmers and chocolate makers, their connection to the land complements the retail and dining options here, expanding the unique experiences that SALT at Our Kakaʻako is known for,” said Jimmy Ventura, General Manager of SALT at Our Kakaʻako.


In Hawaiian culture, Lono is the god of peace, agriculture, fertility and music. ʻOhana means family – those by blood and one’s extended family. Named for a mash-up of these two Hawaiian words, Lonohana is the result of two families’ dream to create a vertically integrated and completely transparent chocolate company.
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