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September 29, 2016

California Pizza Kitchen at Ka Makana Ali`i in Kapolei

California Pizza Kitchen in Ka Makana Ali`i
Our family loves dining at California Pizza Kitchen.  I've blogged about CPK several times before, and you'll often see posts on my Instagram feeds of my favorite dishes - the Avocado Club Egg Rolls, the Original BBQ Chicken Pizza (with Nueske's Applewood Smoked Bacon), or one of the many decadent desserts.

I am so excited that a new location will be opening up (2pm on Friday, September 30) in Ka Makana Ali`i in Kapolei!

I was fortunate to have been invited to a tasting last night at the new 6,200 square-foot eatery.  I love the new "Next Chapter" design.  The main dining room is spacious and fresh, and the covered patio offers a lovely, relaxing space to dine as well.



Patio
Take-out station wall is decorated with pieces of skateboards!
A closer look at the recycled skateboards
Love the combination of the artwork representing both California and Hawaii!
The open kitchen allows guests to watch their tasty creations being made, and the bar is modern and inviting.


I usually stick to my aforementioned faves whenever I dine at California Pizza Kitchen, but I had a chance to try a variety of popular menu items, as well as some new additions.
Mushroom Pepperoni Sausage Pizza
Although the toppings on this pizza may sound basic, it tastes so good!  Cremini mushrooms, 4-inch hand-torn pepperoni, spicy Italian sausage, fresh torn basil, Mozzarella, and wild Greek oregano all combine to create one tasty pizza!

Quinoa + Arugula Salad
Quinoa, arugula, sun-dried tomatoes, red onions, toasted pine nuts, and Feta is tossed in a housemade Champagne vinaigrette.  This was a light salad that would make a great accompaniment to a pizza!

Crispy Ahi Tuna Roll
The Cripsy Ahi Tuna Roll is a Hawaii-exclusive dish.  Crispy won tons are filled with ahi, avocado, nori, and cabbage, and served with a tamari-ginger dipping sauce.  It was very good (but I still love the Avocado Club Egg Rolls so much more!).
Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower
The Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower is a new menu item. I've seen versions of these in magazines as a healthier alternative to buffalo chicken and always wanted to give them a try. Cauliflower florets are coated with a buttermilk batter and fried, then tossed in a housemade Sriracha buffalo sauce, and topped with a celery, Gorgonzola, and cilantro salad. The cauliflower was indeed spicy, and surprisingly very good!

Wild Mushroom Pizza
The Wild Mushroom Pizza - shaved cremini, shiitake, portobello, and white mushrooms, scallions, black pepper, Romano and Mozzarella - is delicious on its own, but drizzle it with some white truffle oil, and it is even more amazing.
Wild Mushroom Strozzapreti
The Wild Mushroom Strozzapreti - rolled pasta noodles mixed together with pan-sautéed cremini, portobello and seasonal mushrooms, Parmesan, and fresh thyme & parsley - was my favorite dish of the evening.  It was packed with flavor, and I ate almost the entire dish myself!

Fire-Grilled Ribeye
The 12oz USDA Choice ribeye is grilled with Pinot Noir sea salt and topped with bleu cheese butter, and is accompanied by roasted fingerling potatoes and a lemon-garlic wild arugula salad.  I'm not a huge meat eater so I didn't try the ribeye, but I enjoyed the potatoes and salad!

Salted Caramel Pudding
I've tried the Salted Caramel Pudding before since I love all things salted caramel, and it is divine! A rich caramel pudding sits atop black cocoa cookie crumbs, and is topped with housemade whipped cream, caramel sauce, and natural flaked Maldon sea salt.

Butter Cake topped with Ice Cream
If you've never had dessert at California Pizza Kitchen before, I'd highly recommend the Butter Cake, and getting it with Vanilla Haagen-Dazs is a must.  This multi-layered dessert is irresistible!

Not only does California Pizza Kitchen offer hand-tossed-artisan pizzas, unique pastas and salads, and decadent desserts, but they also offer a variety of refreshing beverages, including hand-shaken cocktails.  

California Roots - Svedka Vodka, Fresh Avocado & Mint, Fresh Agave Sour, Fennel Salt Rim
Hand-Shaken Agave Mojito - Bacardi Superior Rum, Fresh Agave Sour, Fresh Mint & Lime, Organic Hawaiian Sugar Cane
Coconut Blossom - Hangar 1 "Mandarin Blossom" Vodka, Casamgios Tequilo Blanco, Fresh Agave Sour, Perfect Puree Coconut, Fresh Pinapple
Sangria Flight - 3oz pours of Orchard, Red-Berry and Beehive Sangria
California Pizza Kitchen offers refreshing non-alcoholic beverages as well:
Fresh Strawberry Mango Cooler
Cranberry Cooler
At the event were CPK President Chris Morris, Senior VP of Culinary Innvoation Brian Sullivan, and Hawaii Regional Partner Eddie Spencer.  Their passion for providing customers with the best food and experience whenever dining at CPK was evident.  I've always enjoyed the food and service whenever dining at CPK, and now I have a greater appreciation of what actually goes into the dishes (hand-pulled wild Greek oregano, Pinot Noir Sea Salt!).

The excitement for the new California Pizza Kitchen is undeniable!



California Pizza Kitchen
Ka Makana Ali`i
91-5431 Kapolei Parkway, Suite 500


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Top 10: Favorite Shave Ice Spots

The recent string of extremely humid days has left me yearning for shave ice just about every day.

With that in mind, here are my top 10 favorite spots for shave ice (and similar icy treats):

1. Matsumoto Shave Ice - There is usually a line for the inexpensive treats, but I love the larger store, the bigger parking lot, and the added seating near the shop.
2. Shimazu Store - Parking can be a challenge, but it's worth it for the gigantic servings of shave ice!

3. Mountain Magic Shave Ice - The perfect way to end a day of shopping in Waikele.

4. Uncle Clay's House of Pure Aloha - All natural flavors, and Uncle Clay really epitomizes the spirit of aloha.
5. Aloha Crepes & Snow Flakes - The texture of the snow flakes is different from regular shave ice, but it's still very delicious!
6. Hula Shake - Great service and a variety of yummy toppings to add on!

7. Snow Factory - Friendly, helpful service, plus yummy snow flakes in all kinds of combinations!
8. Ice Garden - The shave ice may not look pretty, but it sure is tasty!
9. Aloha General Store - Keiki sizes and kama`aina discounts available!
10. Baldwin's Sweet Shop - Keiki sizes available at reasonable prices!
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September 28, 2016

Cry Baby Matinee at ‘Ōlino by Consolidated Theatres - Family Four-Pack Giveaway!

Photo Courtesy Olino by Consolidated Theatres

You and your keiki can be some of the first to watch a movie at the new ‘Ōlino by Consolidated Theatres - Hawaii's new State-of-the-Art Cinema at Ka Makana Ali`i!

We are giving away 36 family-four packs of tickets (plus popcorn and soft drink for parents) to watch a Cry Baby Matinee! Winners will be invited to a showing of X-Men: Apocalypse (Rated PG-13) on Wednesday, October 12, at 11am!

For those not familiar with Consolidated Theatres' Cry Baby Matinee Program, it's the perfect time to enjoy a movie without having to worry about your little one's crying or fussing. The lights are dimmed, the sound volume is down, and if your baby cries or your toddler fusses, it's okay!

The movie shown may not necessarily be a kid-friendly movie. In fact, in most cases the movie is Rated R or PG-13 - a movie that is geared towards parents who want to enjoy a movie while their baby is sleeping or eating.

To win a family four-pack of tickets, including popcorn and soda for parents/guardians, visit HawaiiMomBlog on Instagram to enter!

Details:
  • Maximum 4 guests per party; must have a keiki 11 or under in your party to be eligible to win. 
  • Please note that the film is Rated PG-13 and is meant for new parents to enjoy the movies with their baby. Please use your judgment on whether your child is at an appropriate age to attend. 
  • Limit one winner per household
  • Winners will be notified by Instagram Direct Message on or about October 3 or 4 and will have 1 day to respond.

Photo Courtesy Olino by Consolidated Theatres
CRY BABY MATINEE PREVIEW
X-Men: Apocalypse (Rated PG-13)
Wednesday, October 12
Show starts at 11am
‘Ōlino by Consolidated Theatres
91-5431 Kapolei Parkway, Suite 600
Kapolei, HI 96707

Features and amenities of ‘Ōlino by Consolidated Theatres:


Photo Courtesy Olino by Consolidated Theatres

  • Eight auditoriums with plush, luxury recliner seat
  • Reserved seating available online
  • 2k or 4k resolution and Dolby Digital 3D from Barco
  • Enhanced Dolby Surround 7.1 Sound
  • Cafe and Full-Service Outdoor Patio



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WW: Ko Olina Sunset


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September 27, 2016

Rock-A-Hula's Fall Romance Special for Kama`aina

We can’t help falling in love with Rock-A-Hula’s Fall Romance Special! From October 1 through November 30, 2016, kamaʻaina can purchase one adult Stageside VIP Dinner & Show ticket and get a second for 50 percent off.

Bring a date to the largest show in Waikiki featuring live entertainment, exclusive VIP treatment and a gourmet dinner. Guests will be mesmerized by a multi-sensory musical experience. The show features Hawaiian and Polynesian entertainment including hula and fire-knife dancing, along with superstar performances by Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and Celine Dion tribute artists.

The Stageside VIP package includes a luxurious 4-course Maine lobster, tenderloin steak and salmon dinner at a private table, and 2 super premium beverages. Guests will also engage in an exciting post-show Meet-and-Greet with the cast.

The kama’aina rate for the Stageside VIP Dinner & Show package is $120.69 for the first ticket and $60.35 for the second ticket. To take advantage of the Fall Romance Special, guests must present a valid Hawaii I.D. and military must provide proof of being stationed in Hawaii at time of check in. Reservations may be made through the MRW, ITT or ITR office or by phone at (808) 629-SHOW (7469).
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Big Chix Rotisserie & Fryer


I've been wanting to try Big Chix Rotisserie & Fryer for a while since I love Fried Chicken, and we recently picked up a Bix Chix Fried Family Time meal.

Fried Chicken

Cajun Krinkle Fries

Garlic Bread

Seasoned Potato Wedges
We ordered the 8-piece chicken + 2 large sides + garlic bread meal for $28.99.

I thought the chicken was very tasty - super crispy and seasoned well on the outside, but the meat wasn't as juicy as I had hoped it would be.  The meal did come with two sauces (I chose Honey BBQ and Korean), and dipping the chicken in the sauces did give the chicken added flavor (I liked the Honey BBQ best).

The kids loved the potato wedges and garlic bread, but they stayed away from the Cajun krinkle fries because of the spiciness.  

The pieces of chicken were pretty big, and Big Chix did not skimp on the sides - the containers were overflowing with potato wedges and fries.

Overall I thought the food was good, and it was a reasonably-priced meal to feed our family of 5 (we ended up with lots of leftovers!).


Big Chix Rotisserie & Fryer
1718 Wilikina Dr,
Wahiawa, HI 96786
(808) 622-2211
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Faux Sushi Recipe

This is another post from my old blog that I'm sharing - Faux Sushi!


It was for a campaign I did with FruitaBu, but you can really use any type of fruit rolls.

They turned out to be so much fun to both make and eat!

The boys helped putting the fish and licorice on and in the "sushi," and they couldn't wait to eat them!

Faux Sushi

Ingredients:
  • 6 c puffed rice cereal
  • 4 c miniature marshmallows
  • 4 T butter
  • 2 boxes of FruitaBü Fruit Rolls
  • A variety of candy: cherry twists (such as Twizzlers), gummy worms, licorice and Swedish fish
Directions:
  • In a small saucepan, melt the marshmallows with the butter over low heat. 
  • Stir in the rice cereal until coated.  
  • Pour the mixture into a greased pan, flatten, and cut into small rectangles, or mold into rolls.
  • Get creative to make the "sushi" - add Swedish fish on top or licorice in the center, wrapping each piece with slices of fruit rolls to act as the seaweed.

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