Hawaii Mom Blog






March 23, 2018

Toes in the Sand Dinner at Mina's Fish House

I love Mina's Fish House at the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina!  I've dined there several times since it opened back in December of last year, and recently I was invited to a fabulous "Toes in the Sand" Dinner with Chef Michael Mina and Chef de Cuisine Garrick Mendoza.

Upon arrival guests were treated to a variety of cocktails and mocktails.

If Can, Can
Tick Tock, Tranquilizer
Pick Me Up
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
Guests settled in to the Hale Wa`a for a spectacular meal, to include dishes featuring yellowfin tuna which was caught by Chef Michael himself earlier that morning!
Smoked Marlin & Maui Onion Dip
Amuse Bouche - Yellowfin tuna, black truffle ponzu, crispy sushi rice

Michael Mina's Ahi Tartare - Asian Pear, Mint, Garlic, Pine Nut, Ancho Chili, Habanero-Sesame Oil

Abalone Spaghetti - Osetra Caviar, Yuzu Butter, Chives

Wood-Fired Shellfish Platter - Miso Butter-Broiled Shrimp, Oysters, Lobster & King Crab

Grilled Yellowfin Tuna & Seared Foie Gras - Black Truffle Potato Cake, Royal Trumpet Mushroom, Pinot Noir Reduction

Marinated Hass Avocado Salad
Garlic Lafa
Ginger & Scallion-Broiled Kampachi, Bok Choy, Mushrooms, Chinese Black Bean

Spice-Crusted Fried Madai, Coconut Curry Swiss Chard, Saffron Rice, Lemon Raita

Waiola Coconut Meringue, Original Hawaiian Chocolate Pudding, Yuzu Creme Fraiche Cheesecake

My faves of the evening were the Amuse Bouche, the Abalone Spaghetti, the Ginger & Scallion Broiled Kampachi, and the Spice-Crusted Fried Madai.

Of the desserts, my favorite is the Yuzu Creme Fraiche Cheesecake, but you really can't go wrong with any of them.

Mina's Fish House is definitely one of my favorite restaurants on the island!  I already made reservations for my birthday!

Mina's Fish House
Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina
92-1001 Olani St
Kapolei, HI 96707
(808) 679-0079
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Visit New York: Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal is a great place to visit while in New York.

Not only is it a great place to people watch, but you can shop at one of the numerous stores, or dine at one of the several restaurants on site.

There are many points of interest within the Grand Central Terminal (e.g. architecture, museums, etc.), but we actually stopped at Grand Central Terminal one morning to rest our aching feet, and also to sit in the cool, air conditioned food court (we were in New York during a heat wave).

It was quite neat, however, to simply watch hundreds of people pass through the large terminal to get to their destinations.

Grand Central Terminal is definitely a must-visit while in New York!

Grand Central Terminal
89 E 42nd St
New York, NY 10017
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March 22, 2018

Visit New York: Public Transportation

One of my favorite things about traveling to New York was the public transportation system.

No need to drive in that (VERY CRAZY) New York traffic... no getting lost... no getting honked at.

New York Metropolitan Authority Transportation offers a 7-day Unlimited Pass that (kids under 44 inches tall can ride for free), which is good for unlimited subway and local bus rides until midnight, 7 days from day of first use.

We were not in New York for a full 7 days, but even if you're there for less than 7 days, you should do the math to see if an unlimited pass will save you money vs pay-per-ride.

Catching the subway and buses was quite easy (thanks to Google Maps!), and there were many friendly employees, and even strangers, who helped us out whenever we weren't sure about which platform to go to or which stop to get off at.
For the most part we always felt safe on the subway, buses, and at the stations.  There was only one instance when a very drunk individual came on the subway screaming his head off, but other than that, there were never any issues.

One day we even encountered a singer who got the entire subway car singing to Hey There Delilah!

For more information, visit http://www.mta.info/.

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Recipe: Corned Beef

Corned beef is consumed all year round, but it's especially popular around Saint Patrick's Day.  If you're looking for an awesome corned beef recipe, you're in the right place. It takes 3 days, however, it's totally worth your time and effort!


Empty the contents of the corned beef brisket packages (I purchased mine from Sam's Club) into a big pot. Make sure to throw in the juice that the meat is packed in. And, rinse out the bag and empty it into the pot, to make sure you get all of the juices into the pot.  Don't forget to empty the contents of the small spice packet that comes with the meat as well. Add more water until the beef is full submersed. 

Boil on high with carrots, celery, and onions for about four hours or until the meat is tender (soft but not so soft that the meat starts to break apart).

Remove the meat, place in a pan, and let cool. Then cover with saran wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Strain the liquid using a strainer, and make sure to squeeze out the liquid from the veggies.  Let the liquid cool and store in the refrigerator overnight.


Place the corned beef back into the liquid. Cover and let the meat soak in the liquid for at least 24 hours.

Day 3

Remove meat from liquid, place on baking pan (coat baking pan with Pam, then line it with foil) and allow the meat to sit at room temperature for one hour.

[if you're serving your corned beef with cabbage and other veggies, this is when you'll want to boil your veggies in the liquid - being careful not to overcook the veggies (cabbage goes last as it cooks the quickest)]  If you are running low on liquid, add beef stock (not beef broth).

Now it's time to make the glaze: 
- 12 ounces brown sugar
- 3/4 cup honey
- 12 ounces course ground mustard
- 1 tsp ground mace
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground all spice

Mix the ingredients above ...

put it on the meat, and then bake the meat for 20 minutes at 350 degrees, then broil for 10 more minutes.

Here's what mine looked like right out of the oven ...

Always slice against the grain with a sharp, non-serrated knife.

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Chile Relleno

Nat knows how much I love Mexican food, so when she asked if I wanted to meet her for dinner at Chile Relleno in Kaneohe, I didn't hesitate to say "Yes!"
Complimentary Chips and Salsa
Chicken Chimichanga

Carne Asada Fiesta Bowl

I had my "usual" order at most Mexican restaurants - Chicken Chimichanga.  I thought it was just okay.  The chicken, including the accompanying beans and rice, all seemed to be underseasoned.

The Fiesta Bowl comes with Spanish rice, black beans, lettuce, salsa, olives, edamame, and your choice of protein.

I'm not a huge Churros eater, but Nat really wanted them, and since they came with ice cream (and I love ice cream!), I was willing to share the dessert with her.  It was quite good!  I really enjoyed the crispy, cinnamon churros with the vanilla ice cream!

I thought service was overall good, and on the evening we went, there was live music to add to the ambience!

Chile Relleno
47-388 Hui Iwa St
Kaneohe, HI 96744

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March 21, 2018

New Breakfast Items at Appetito Craft Pizza & Wine Bar

Today Appetito Craft Pizza & Wine Bar (a client) will be introducing new breakfast items!

Signature Breakfast Pizzas
All pizzas served with a glass of selected juice or coffee + country potatoes

Greens and Pork (kale, bacon, mozzarella)

Bacon Carbonara (bacon, fresh Waimanalo egg yolk)

Classic Breakfast (egg, ham, avocado)
Kiawe Wood Baked Piadina Sandwich
Sandwiches served with glass of selected juice or coffee
Italian Salami (salami, ricotta, arugula)

Local Kale (farro, semi-dried tomatoes, Fuji apple, bleu cheese crumble, pomegranate dressing)

Chicken Casear (chicken breast, romaine, boiled egg)
My faves were the Greens & Pork Pizza, and the Italian Salami Sandwich.

Classic menu items, such as pancakes, French toast, and a frittata will still be offered for breakfast.

If you love breakfast as much as I do, be sure to make a visit to Appetito!

150 Kaiulani Ave.
(808) 922-1150
Validated parking at Ohana East ($6 for four hours) 

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Top 10: Things I Loved About the Hilton Waikiki Beach on Kuhio

The Hilton Waikiki Beach on Kuhio is a great place for a weekend staycay!

Here are the top 10 things I loved about this hotel:
1. 601 modern, well-appointed rooms, including suites large enough for families

2. Executive Lounge (for those who book an Executive Room or have Hilton Honors Diamond Status), where you can enjoy complimentary breakfast each morning, and hors d'oeuvres each evening.
3. Great food at M.A.C. 24/7

4. Large pool
5. No reservations or fees for cabanas!

6. Live entertainment nightly

7. Pretty views - whether mountain or ocean view!
8. LBLE Lounge

9. Mini fridge and coffee maker in each room
10. Fitness Center

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