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March 27, 2020

Grab Some Local Takeout, Split The Bill With Central Pacific Bank

Hungry to order up something deliciously awesome to eat, keep a safe social distance while doing so and save some money on your meal, all while doing our Hawai‘i restaurant community some serious good? What if we told you that in one fell swoop you could:
  1. Get takeout, drive-through or delivery from some of your favorite Hawai‘i restaurants and eateries …
  2. Help their owners stay open and their employees continue to earn income to support their families …
  3. Keep our restaurant industry cooking until this crisis is over, and finally …
  4. Get 50% off your bill when you buy food from them.
Sound appetizing? Then let #KeepHawaiiCooking sate you and your desire to do good.
It’s a new social media initiative from Central Pacific Bank (CPB) and the Central Pacific Bank Foundation aiming to help local eateries and Hawai‘i residents stay positive and get through the coronavirus crisis. Simply put, we want to help residents in our communities stretch their food dollars further, and make sure our local restaurant business customers not only survive but more importantly thrive again when all of this is over.

“With #KeepHawaiiCooking, we’re looking to incentivize the community to help our restaurant clients and their employees stay afloat under very challenging times for their industry, while also saving residents some money when they choose takeout, delivery or drive-through,” said Paul Yonamine, Central Pacific Bank chairman.

“The best way for all of us to get through these tough times will be doing so together, as a community. We hope that after hearing about and experiencing the #KeepHawaiiCooking program for themselves, others in our community will be encouraged to create concrete, positive ways to help as we lean on each other to get through this together,” added Catherine Ngo, Central Pacific Bank president.

And here’s how you can help us do just that through your love of great food, your care and concern for our community, and checking out and utilizing #KeepHawaiiCooking.
First up, visit the #KeepHawaiiCooking website at www.keephawaiicooking.com and find a place to eat from our listing of participating restaurants. Order your favorite eats from the restaurant menus and pick your food up as takeout, drive-through or have it brought to your home by delivery. Then, before you dig in, snap two photos for us: one of your tasty, eye-appealing meal, and one of your receipt. After that, go ahead and eat. We’ll wait.

When you’re done eating, post your food photo to any one of your social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter following the tagging and hashtag instructions on the #KeepHawaiiCooking website. (Photo posts only please. Posts on Instagram Stories and Facebook Stories will not be accepted.) Then send a Direct Message (DM) from your social media account to @keephawaiicooking if you’re using Facebook or Instagram, or @keephicooking on Twitter, with a photo of your receipt and you will be reimbursed for all eligible entries. It’s that simple!

Central Pacific Bank Foundation will reimburse you 50% of the bill for your takeout, drive-through or delivery of food – up to $100 per order – as a mahalo to you for helping us support Hawai‘i’s restaurant community as it navigates challenging times. We’ll send your reimbursement to you via Venmo or PayPal – if you don’t have an account with either of these money-transfer programs, you will need to create one. Best of all, the #KeepHawaiiCooking program is available for everyone – not just Central Pacific Bank customers – to use, so tell all of your family and friends to check it out, too! Central Pacific Bank Foundation will keep the promotion going until we give $100,000 back to the Hawai‘i community.

“The #KeepHawaiiCooking program is just one of many ways Central Pacific Bank and the Central Pacific Bank Foundation are trying to creatively and thoughtfully offer real-world help and solutions to our customers and all of Hawai‘i’s residents,” added Ngo.

So, go ahead and grab seared meatloaf with truffle mushroom gravy takeout or any of the daily specials at Gochi Grill. Get your favorite chicken sandwich or family meal from your neighborhood Popeye’s Hawai‘i drive-through. Support a social enterprise like Touch A Heart Hawai‘i, which is offering five-meal dinner packs for the week. Or order home delivery from Elena’s in Waipahu, Maui Mike’s Fire-Roasted Chicken in Wahiawā or Miyo’s in Hilo.

The more you order through the #KeepHawaiiCooking program, the more you’ll save on your family food bill and help Hawai‘i restaurant owners and employees keep food on their family tables.
For everything you need to know about how to begin helping Hawai‘i’s restaurant industry, and start eating and saving with #KeepHawaiiCooking, visit the program’s website at www.keephawaiicooking.com. 
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Online Learning Resources for Kids

Now that hundreds of thousands of kids need to stay a home, distance-learning has become a part of many lives. 

Below are just a few of the many, many resources out there providing online instruction, projects, and more to help keep kids busy (and parents sane!). 

Let us know if you have any other recommendations!


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Cucumber Salad

Lately I've been on a cucumber kick.  I made a super easy Cucumber Salad - just one cucumber, sliced, and 1/2 a red onion, sliced.  I cheated and used a store-bought dressing, since I really didn't have ingredients (or a recipe) to make a dressing, but the Shiitake Sesame Vinaigrette from Annie's was so yummy!
Do you have a dressing recipe that would go well with this combo?
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March 26, 2020

Minecraft Hay Bale Granola Bars

Next up in the Minecrafter's Cookbook was Hay Bale Granola Bars.

These were an easy, no-bake treat to make!

Simply mix together 1 apple (peeled and chopped), 2 1/2 c quick-cooking oats, 1/2 c walnuts (the original recipe called for almonds), 1 t cinnamon, 1 c peanut butter, and 1/4 c honey.

Pour mixture into an 8x8-inch parchment-lined pan.

Flatten mixture with back of spoon, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Cut into bars, and enjoy for snack, dessert, or even breakfast!

The littlest wants to add strawberries, bananas, and chocolate chips next time!
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Our Top 10 Recipes of All-Time

The Hawaii Mom Blog bloggers have been cooking and baking a lot during our stay-at-home order. If you're looking for a recipe to try, here are our top 10 recipes of all-time:
Butter Mochi

Mango Bread

Pumpkin Crunch

Orange Creamsicle JELL-O

Blueberry Cream Cheese Scones

Furikake Wasabi Salmon 

Furikake Chicken Patties

Cream Cheese Squares
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March 25, 2020

Tater Tot Waffle Grilled Cheese

I love tots.  And I love a good grilled cheese.

You can have them both at the same time in a Tater Tot Waffle Grilled Cheese Sandwich! 

I actually made it once before, but have since learned how to make it better. 

Simply take thawed tater tots, pack them in neatly and nicely into a waffle maker (if you don't pack them in, you risk the waffle falling apart).

Cook until crispy (about 9-10-minutes).

Make another tater tot waffle, cook until crispy, and place cheese on top of the waffle, (I used American cheese this time around), followed by the already cooked tater tot waffle.


Close waffle maker and cook until golden brown and nice and crisp.  Test out the texture with a spatula or fork.  Make sure it feels strong enough to hold up to picking up with your hands.  Of course, there is nothing wrong if you have to eat the tots and melted cheese with a fork.  
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Our Temporary "New Normal"

Like many places around the world, Hawaii is now under a stay-at-home order.

Thankfully, for all of my jobs, I work remotely from home majority of the time.

But it's still quite an adjustment with all of the kids being home (they have been on Spring Break), and they most likely will be home for the remainder of the school year.

I'm still doing work for all four of my jobs, and I found myself cooking and baking more than ever!  I went out once in twelve days to buy groceries.

I miss eating out with the family, seeing friends, going to events, traveling...

But thank goodness for technology to keep us connected to friends and loved ones.

I'm also working on projects to help the community, so hopefully once that launches it can make a positive difference.

Wherever you are reading this - thank you, and stay safe!


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