Sharks at Hapuna Beach

A friend came over a few weeks ago and I asked, “When does school start for the kids?” “August 1st,” she said. What?? What happened to school starting in mid-September? Well, there goes my plan for a mother/daughter trip to Maui. In a pinch, I booked a room for a few nights at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel for a back-to-school mini-break.

Behold the gorgeous view from the hotel lobby:

Upon checking in, I loved how the agent casually mentioned, “Enjoy your stay. Oh, and the beach is closed because of the sharks.” “Jellyfish?” I asked. “No, the other thing…” Everyone was laughing.  I knew there was a chance that the beach would be closed because of previous sightings earlier in the week, but I thought that maybe they wouldn’t be there!

The kids love to swim in the pool, so we enjoyed the warm (chlorinated!) water that afternoon. This was my view…and no sharks to worry about:

The next morning, the county helicopter cruised up and down the coast looking for the sharks.

The coast was clear, so they say…

Crisis averted, family vacation saved!

 

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Custom Bridesmaids’ Jewelry

I was elated when a bride recently contact me through this blog to design her bridesmaids’ jewelry.  A local girl from Oahu, she’ll be getting married this fall at a resort on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island.

Her bridesmaids will each be wearing a differently style of the Little Black Dress, and I love that idea. They will definitely be wearing their dresses again!

The task was for deep green jewels in gold, with earrings to match the personality of the wearer. Here are the results…

Now, for the earrings…

I absolutely love working with brides to create custom jewelry for them and their wedding party. Feel free to contact me with your requests.

 

 

 

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Blueberry Tart, Yum!

You would think that living in a tropical climate, my children would indulge in local fruit.  Mango, pineapple, maybe even papaya? No. They prefer really expensive fruit shipped from other places. So, we now have eight pounds of blueberries in the fridge, bought on sale at the grocery store.

Even though they can eat two pounds of berries in a day, I needed to bring a dessert over to a dinner party. Blueberry tart it is!

I used the Cream Cheese Pastry Dough from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook and this pastry cream recipe. My daughter’s job was to place the berries on top. It was delicious and easy. The pastry dough recipe is oh so good, so this will be my go-to dough for tarts and pies.

CREAM CHEESE TART DOUGH

Enough for 1 9-inch tart.

Adapted From Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook:

1 cup flour

1 tablespoon sugar

2  teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces

3 ounces cream cheese, cold

Directions

In a bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and pulse several times to combine. Add butter and pulse until pieces are the size of peas. Add cream cheese and pulse into mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Turn out dough onto a piece of plastic wrap; use the plastic to help bring the dough together into a ball. Flatten into a square and wrap well with plastic. Chill dough for at least one hour and up to one day before using.

 

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Inspired by “The Russian”

Every time I catch the last episodes of Sex and the City’s “An American Girl In Paris”, I can’t help but lust after the diamond necklace presented to Carrie by the Russian.

I created these two necklaces, inspired by that beautiful, sparkly bauble using the finest precision-cut Austrian crystal. The sterling silver version has seven crystals of the palest dove grey with a platinum sheen, while the gold-filled has smoky-hued crystals. There are very limited quantities of each available, so snap one up and picture yourself strolling through Paris in a poufy skirt and high heels…

Special offer sold out, but you can get your own at Kahili Creations.

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Focaccia with fresh tomato checca

When people find out I used to live in California, the first question they ask is “What do you miss the most?” Well, other than my family and friends (and Trader Joe’s) I miss the Grilled Rosemary Chicken Sandwich from the California Pizza Kitchen. Luckily, I have California Pizza Kitchen, Pasta, Salads, Soups and Sides in my cooking library.

Lately, I’ve been craving just the bread of the sandwich (focaccia) with tomato checca, so I got to work.

Fresh from the oven…

Topped with fresh tomato checca. Then, it’s time to eat!

Recipe adapted from the California Pizza Kitchen, Pasta, Salads, Soups and Sides

Dough:

2 tsp active dry yeast

½ cup lukewarm water

3 ½ cups bread or all purpose flour

2 TBS honey

2 tsp salt

½ cup cold water

2 TBS plus 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Topping:

1 small red union, quartered and sliced into 1/8” thick strips

2 tsp salt

1 ½ TBS chopped fresh rosemary

1 ½ TBS chopped fresh thyme

extra virgin olive oil

Sprinkle the yeast into the lukewarm water in a small bowl. Stir to dissolve the yeast. Set aside.

In an upright electric mixer, combine the dissolved yeast in the mixer’s bowl with all the other ingredients except for the additional two teaspoons of olive oil. Try not to pour the salt direct into the yeast water because it might kill some of the yeast.

Use the dough hook and two lower speeds and gradually mix the dough for about 2-3 minutes, until a smooth and elastic ball forms. Don’t overmix or the dough will become tough.

Lightly oil the dough ball and the inside of a large glazed ceramic or glass bowl with the remaining olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Make sure an airtight seal is formed. Set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk (about 2 hours).

Punch down the dough, reform into a round ball and place into the same bowl. Cover with plastic wrap again. Refrigerate overnight.

About two hours before assembling the focaccias, remove dough from the refrigerator. Divide the dough (I use a bench knife) into eight portions.

On to the baking portion…

On a non-floured surface, roll each portion of dough back and forth with your hands to form a 9-inch long rope.

Sprinkle a light dusting of flour onto a clean surface. Roll each rope out from side to side, using a rolling pin, to form a flat, oblong shape measuring 9 by 2 inches.

Place the focaccias at least one inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. To help the onions and herbs stick, lightly spray or brush the surface of each focaccia with cold water. Distribute the red onion on top of each, gently pressing into the surface. Sprinkle equal amounts of salt, then the thyme and rosemary over the top of each. Drizzle a light amount of extra-virgin olive oil over the herbs and onion. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for thirty minutes.

Place a pizza stone on the lowest rack of the oven and pre-heat to 450 degrees F.

Remove the plastic wrap and slide the parchment with the focaccias directly onto the pizza stone. Bake until golden brown, about 11-12 minutes.

Transfer focaccias to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm with checca.

Checca:

2 lbs roma tomatoes (or any ripe, fresh tomatoes), cut into 1/2” dice

1 TBS minced garlic, or more if you’re in my family

1 TBS chopped fresh basil

2 tsp salt

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Mix all of the ingredients together and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving time. Make sure and bring the checca to room temperature before serving.

Mangia!

 

 

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Kahili Special Deal #1

A simple sparkly bauble is the perfect summer accessory. This necklace is available in three lengths as well as sterling silver and gold-filled.  Inventory is very limited, so snap yours up! Offer available to US residents only.

Sold out! Mahalo, everyone…

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A Garden of Eden in Hilo…

One of my favorite places to meander is the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden on Onomea Bay. I  head out on a sunny day and make sure that my digital camera is ready to go.

Of the several trails, my favorite is the Heliconia Trail which leads to the Orchid Garden.

Hike through the Palm Jungle Trail to see the Onomea Falls.

Remember, watch out for the killer mangoes!

 

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The most delicious chevre…

Comes from these beautiful little goats. I know where my cheese comes from…how about you?

These goats are happy residents at Lava Rocks Puna Goat Cheese. Besides tasty cheese, Lava also makes amazing goat’s milk soaps. No online sales yet, but you can find them at the famous Hilo Farmers Market.

Here’s are some great videos showing their cheese-making process.

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Punalu’u Black Sand Beach

Getting a pedicure, the natural way…

A honu sunbathing…

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Sea glass jewelry

When my sister, aka Beachgemming, asked me several years ago if any of the beaches around me had sea glass, I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about. I’m so glad she introduced me to it, because “beachgemming” has become my favorite way to relax.

 

The baubles of glass, frosted and tumbled smooth by the constant motion of the sea, glint like tiny treasure along the shore.

I love photographing my glass. My very first appearance on the from page of Etsy wasn’t for my jewelry, it was for a sea glass meditation box I had in my shop.

Most of my collection of glass is rounded in shape, but I use some English sea glass in my jewelry because I prefer their flatter shape. I love the way my Ahu Seafoam Vertical showcases the frosty beauty of the glass.

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