Reality TV: would it work in Hawaii?

By August 22, 2011 Musings, The Daily Dish

Breaking news: Kim Kardashian got married to NBA star Kris Humphries this weekend.

OK, so it’s not breaking news. I mean, how can you keep a secret about a reality TV star — Kim Kardashian is actually in at least two separate reality TV shows — who’s life is basically broadcast for public consumption?

Kim is single — season theme. Kim is living in New York City and dating — new reality TV show. Kim gets married — season finale. Kim and new husband — spinoff.

It’s a cash cow.

But I wonder if a show like this would fly in Hawaii.

It’s amazing to me that reality TV juggernauts — particularly Bravo’s “The Real Housewives” series — hasn’t scouted locations here. Hawaii has perfect scenery, a a colorful cultural landscape, and enough drama to last at least a few seasons.

But would it work?

Here are some of my ideas:

• Find an engaged local celebrity — Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum or KHON’s Tammy Mori come to mind — and follow her journey to the altar. Oh, you’d watch.

• Remember Brooke Lee, Miss Universe 1997? Ever read her tweets (@brooksuniverse)? You should. And you’ll know why she needs her own reality TV show.

• Co-host of MTV’s NextMovie Daily and Roosevelt High alum McKenna Maduli (@mckennalive) should move back to the Islands and just eat everything in sight. I’d watch that.

• I know a few single ladies whose lives would make for interesting prime-time TV, including a dietician who drinks two — two — 2-liter bottles of Diet Coke a day.

See? This could happen.

But would anyone watch?

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Weekend Dish: Hawaiian-style beef stew

By August 21, 2011 Food, Weekend Dish

I think it’s ironic how much I love my crock pot.

I tend to do things quickly — sometimes too quickly — in an attempt to save time and be more efficient.

So you’d think I’d use my pressure cooker more often. Faster meals, less time, more efficient.

But instead, I cling to my trust crock pot, a slow cooker, emphasis on “slow.”

I love to make fall-off-the-bone shoyu chicken or simple pot roasts in this contraption. Dump all the ingredients in, turn it on, go about my daily life and come home to a kitchen filled with some delicious aroma. It’s like dinner cooked itself.

So last night I pulled out my crock pot, a gift my mom had given to me years ago. I decided to make my favorite Hawaiian-style beef stew.

Hawaiian-style beef stew is really not the best name for this dish. This style has a tomato sauce-based broth — which has nothing to do with traditional Hawaiian cuisine. Still, this brand of stew — hearty, with chunks of meat, veggies and potatoes — is hugely popular in the Islands and can be found at just about any plate lunch shop or lunch wagon.

And it’s super easy.

Here’s the step-by-step, with the recipe below:

My crock pot

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I love slow cookers. It feels like the meal makes itself — and I like that.

Hawaiian-style beef stew
Using a crock pot


1 pound of stew meat (I used tri-tip steak)
1 medium onion, chopped
1-1/2 cups carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
2 large potatoes, chopped
1 14-ounce can beef broth
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce plus a can of water
1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste (after it cooks)


Plug in crock pot.

Cut up steak into bite-size chunks and brown in olive oil. Put meat, including the drippings, into the crock pot.

To that, add chopped onions, carrots, celery and potatoes. (You can add green peppers, too.) Then add the remaining ingredients.

Potatoes can be added before you start cooking or about 10 minutes before you turn off the crock pot, if you want your potatoes to be firmer.

Do NOT add pepper until AFTER the stew has cooked.

Cook for about four to six hours.

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Today’s happy shot

By August 21, 2011 Food, Happy Shots

First time trying this and loving it: vegetarian poke from Safeway. No ahi, but same seasonings on tofu, watercress and ogo. Super delicious!

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Today’s happy shot

By August 20, 2011 Food, Happy Shots

There’s shave ice — and then there’s Frost City. The frozen desserts at this little-known Moiliili shop — like this Ghiradelli chocolate version — are layered icy deliciousness.


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FUUD: Pahu i’a at Hualalai

By August 19, 2011 #CatTravels, Food

The other week we were on the Big Island visiting family — and decided to stop off at a resort I had only heard about.

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu is not exactly in my price range. Standard rooms that face the golf course — I mean, it is a nice golf course — start at $795 per night, with rates exceeding $10,000 a night for luxurious villas with all the comforts of a beach house but swankier. (These villas typically come with complimentary massage treatments, valet service and other extras.)

But that didn’t stop us from eating there!

The Four Seasons boasts accessible award-winning dining, including its signature restaurant, Pahu i’a.

Pahu i’a, in Hawaiian, means aquarium — which, to this day, still doesn’t make sense to me. Am I sitting in an aquarium? Does this restaurant only serve fish and plankton? It was baffling.

But what I did get was this concept — an impressive 90 percent of the menu here is made with local ingredients. All from the Big Island. Now that’s something I can get my head around!

We opted to eat upstairs at the Lava Lounge to enjoy the live music and watch the sunset.

Here’s what our dinner looked like:

Sunset on the Kona-Kohala Coast

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This is not your typical resort. And it's not even your typical upscale luxury resort. There's something magical about the Four Seasons Hualalai that's hard to explain — or capture in photos.

Pahu i’a, Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu, 72-100 Kaupulehu Dr. in Kailua-Kona. Hours: Breakfast, 6:30-11 a.m. daily; dinner, 6-9 p.m. Sunday through Friday; outdoor barbecue, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday. Phone (808) 325-8000

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