Tag Archives: dinner

Spicy Tofu Poke Bowls

spicy tofu poke bowl

There are several food trends that hit Hawaii long before they made it to the mainland. Like Bubble Tea. Acai Bowls. And most recently, Poke Bowls.

Poke – which is essentially a raw fish salad – has been a long-time staple in Hawaii. It’s traditionally made with chunks of fresh-caught ahi tuna, but nowadays it’s common to find poke in a variety of different seafood and flavors. No matter what the combination, poke is easy to find at grocery stores or even as an appetizer at most local restaurants.

Recently the poke game was bumped up a level with genius invention of poke bowls. Poke bowls are simply poke served over rice. You guessed it, in a bowl. It’s more of a meal than an appetizer, but however you eat it, it’s delicious. It’s no wonder that poke bowls are served just about anywhere in Hawaii these days. Continue reading


Tropical Mahi Mahi Salad with Coconut Mango Salsa

tropical mahi mahi salad with mango salsa.jpg We’ve been trying to eat more salads. You know, to compensate for all the cocktails and dessert. It’s all about balance. Problem is, salads can get so boring. So I’ve been trying hard to mix things up. This Topical Mahi Mahi Salad with Mango Salsa is one of our current go tos. We’ve had it three weeks in a row and aren’t sick of it yet. And that’s probably because it taste ah-mazing. Continue reading


Spicy Tuna Hand Rolls

spicy tuna hand rolls

I talk a lot about comfort food. Because part of being food obsessed a food blogger is having that deep connection to food beyond simply fueling our bodies. It’s about being both curious and excited about food. Having a connection – culturally, symbolically, figuratively, to every bite.

Homemade sushi is totally comfort food to me. We had “sushi night” in our house about once a week with a variety of ingredients laid out, taco-bar style. But my favorite ingredient was always spicy tuna. It didn’t hurt that the ingredients were top notch. It easy and inexpensive to get the most beautiful ahi tuna steaks in the islands. For my first few years here in the Pacific NW, I tended to stay away from raw fish in my sushi. But I recently learned about the brilliance of flash freezing, which helps keep fish – like ahi and salmon – in sashimi-grade tact. And side note if you’re a sushi newbie: you definitely only want to use sashimi-grade fish if you’re planning to eat it raw. Just take my word for it.

spicy tuna hand rollahi tuna

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Roasted Acorn Squash, Leek and Chevre Frittata

Roasted Squash Frittata with Leeks +  hevre.jpg

I’m pretty sure we go through a freakishly large amount of eggs for two people. Between my kitchen experiments and Sam’s love of weekend brunch, it seems like we can never keep a full carton. Lucky for me, one of my coworkers – you know, at my day job – raises chickens and sells fresh eggs. I’m not ashamed to admit I have a tab with her. Continue reading


Beer + Black Bean Chili

black bean and beer chili

We’ve been on a crazy adventure these past few years to figure out Sam’s food allergies. We haven’t nailed it down completely, but we’ve gotten closer. For starters, he’s not gluten-intolerant after all. But it turns out he’s got some other, super random allergies. The two toughest ones to deal with have been almonds and kidney beans, both of which were pantry staples in our household.

black bean and beer chili

I’ve really been feeling the loss of kidney beans this winter, because I love hearty chili on a cold day. So I decided I was going to have to come up with a new recipe. When life gives you lemons, right? Anyway, I swapped in some black beans instead of the traditional kidney beans. Added some beer (because what’s a good Portland dish without a little microbrew?). And threw in lots of spice. And the outcome?  Continue reading


Chicken Pozole

Chicken Pozole

Pozole (or posole – same diff.) is the epitome of comfort food. I’ve written about my Mexican food ignorance, but pozole is another dish that was completely foreign to me until I met Sam. It’s his version of chicken noodle soup, except loaded with hominy (maize corn kernels) instead of noodles. In addition to being totally delicious and hearty when you’re sick, it’s a dish that my mother-in-law always makes during the holidays. And after five years together, I finally got the recipe. Merry Christmas to me! I’m officially a Guerrero. Even if I still struggle rolling my rrrr’s.

Chicken Pozole 2

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Mole Fries

Mole Fries

I talk to you a lot about what I’m cookin. So much so that you probably think I’m the only one in our house that spends time in the kitchen. But I was lucky to have married a guy that no only cooks, but does his own laundry (can I get a hallelujah?). Today I’m excited to share one of his crazy concoctions:  Mole Fries. In case you had any doubts, let me ease your fears and confirm that THIS IS NOT A DREAM. Mole Fries are real life. And thank gosh, because they are finger licking good. 

Despite both being slightly insane in the kitchen, Sam and I grew up very differently (as outlined in one of my very first blog posts). While I was a child in Hawaii, the best Mexican food around was at Taco Bell. Needless to say, I didn’t even know what mole was until I met Sam – who will be absolutely appalled that I mentioned Taco Bell on this blog. He grew up with fresh tortillas, horchata, and a ton of other delicious Mexican foods I can’t remember the names of (or spell very well). Point is, we didn’t grow up eating the same food. But it works out, because we both have adventurous palates. That’s one of the things I love about our relationship. 

Mole Fries IngredientsBaked French FriesSo let’s talk about the recipe. For one, it’s fairly simple to make. It starts with baked french fries (that’s right – this dish isn’t that bad for you!) smothered in a (half-homemade) mole sauce that’s liquid comfort food. Top that with grilled onions, some chopped chicken – or perhaps leftover Thanksgiving turkey, huh? – cojita cheese, cilantro, and voila!

Did I mention that these are just about the yummiest baked fries you’ll ever have? Only about half the batch made it into the mole fries after some massive mid-recipe snacking taste testing.

Mole Fries Spoon

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Pumpkin Soup Bowls with Paprika Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Soup Bowls

This week I hit the pumpkin mother load during my weekly grocery shopping trip. Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin bagels, pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin crackers… oi. You name it, I bought it. But my favorite purchase? Four mini  pumpkins to use as bowls for homemade pumpkin soup. 

And talk about total comfort food. This soup hit the spot. I happen to like my soup with a little texture. So the chewy dried cranberries and crunchy homemade roasted pumpkin seeds seasoned with sea salt and paprika are the perfect topping combo. The result is a slightly smokey, slightly sweet hint to the creamy and savory soup. No crackers needed.

Smoked Paprika Roasted Pumpkin SeedsPumpkin Soup in Pumpkin Bowls

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Corn & Crab Salad {+ a Simple & Crisp Giveaway!}

Crab and Corn Salad

Despite what it may look like, I don’t cook every day. Sometimes dinner involves raiding the fridge for delicacies like… cereal and milk. Chips and guacamole. And my all time favorite: cheese and crackers. It’s also one of the things I miss most now that my grocery shopping habits have changed, thanks to Sam being banned from eating gluten and dairy. I suppose I could buy these items for myself, but it just feels mean. I’m trying to be supportive.

With all of these food allergies and dinner upheavals, I was grateful to be connected to the folks at Simple & Crisp; a Seattle-based company that’s making a beautifully packaged ‘cracker’ made exclusively of dried fruit. That’s right – an organic, gluten free and vegan cracker that’s low cal, to boot. It doesn’t solve my brie craving, but it certainly helps solve the wheat dilema.

Corn and Crab Salad

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Creamy Avocado Pesto Linguini with Shrimp

Creamy Avocado Pesto Linguini with Shrimp

Do any of you remember that time I thought my hubby was gluten intolerant?  I kinda freaked out and tried to, um, take care of all the gluten-loaded items in our house. His tests later came back negative, but fast forward 2 years and we’re back there. Again. But to make it even more interesting, he’s basically been told he can’t eat gluten or dairy. What? I know. When he came home from his most recent doctor’s appointment, I literally asked him if his doctor understood that he is married to a FOOD BLOGGER. Hello?!

Anyway, we’ve cleaned out the cupboards and I’m working on building up my collection of gluten-free-dairy-free recipes. So far things have been… well, a little hit and miss to be honest. But here’s one of the winners: Creamy Avocado Pesto Linguini with Shrimp. You guys. This is really good. Of course we used brown rice pasta to keep this dish gluten free, but if you’re more normal than us, please feel free to use real pasta.

Creamy Avocado Pesto Linguini with Shrimp

Creamy Avocado Pesto Linguini with Shrimp

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