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Saturday, November 30, 2013

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

HAPPY THANKSGIVING
DINNER AT HOME

Enjoyed a home cooked meal on Thanksgiving.  Brined my 22 lb Turkey for 24 hours before cooking and topped it with thick sliced bacon after 30 minutes in the oven.  Basted the bird under the skin with  a ton of fresh Thyme, Sage, Parsley, Basil and Roasted Garlic.  Served up with my homemade Sausage, Apple and Sage Dressing, Green Beans with Bacon and Mushrooms, Scalloped Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, Crab Cakes, Deviled Eggs and a few other snacks.  Wonderful day of cooking and family with plenty of leftovers for the next two weeks.

BRINED THE TURKEY OVERNIGHT IN COOKED MIXTURE OF SALT, SUGAR, CHICKEN STOCK, WATER, PEPPERCORNS.  ADDED LEMONS, LIMES, APPLES AND FRESH THYME.

ONIONS, CARROTS, CELERY, LEEKS AND GARLIC MAKE A BED UNDER TURKEY.
ALSO PUT IN THE GIBLETS AND NECK
STUFFED TURKEY WITH TONS OF FRESH THYME, SAGE, BASIL, CHIVES AND VEGETABLES
PLACED HERB BUTTER AND ROASTED GARLIC UNDER THE SKIN OF TURKEY
TIED THE LITTLE BIRD UP AND POPPED IN OVEN
ROASTED FOR THIRTY MINUTES
AFTER 30 MINUTES COVERED THE BIRD WITH THICK SLICED BACON
AFTER COOKING THE TURKEY FOR ABOUT 5 1/2 HOURS WE HAD AN INCREDIBLE BASE FOR GRAVY.
REMOVED MEAT FROM NECK BONE AND TOOK OUT BAY LEAVES AND THEN POURED ALL OF THIS GREAT FLAVOR INTO A LARGE PAN
TOOK A HAND MIXER TO ALL THE VEGETABLES AND DRIPPINGS.  ADDED CHICKEN STOCK
AND CONTINUED TO MIX.  MADE A REALLY TASTY GRAVY.
THANKSGIVING TURKEY AT HOME
THANKFUL FOR DINNER AT HOME WITH FAMILY

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

CHICKEN AND GREEN BEAN STIR FRY

 CHICKEN AND GREEN BEAN STIR FRY
DINNER AT HOME

Loved this low fat and healthy meal.  Fresh Green Beans with diced chicken thighs cooked in soy, brown sugar, sherry, apple cider vinegar, garlic and a little cornstarch.  Marinated the chicken first in soy sauce, sherry and garlic. Let it stand for about 20 minutes and then sautéed the chicken in a wok.  Added the green beans and sauce ingredients and was done in five minutes.  Absolutely delicious and worthy of P.F. Changs!

CHICKEN AND GREEN BEAN STIR FRY

Monday, November 18, 2013

MW RESTAURANT

MW RESTAURANT
HONOLULU, HAWAII

MW RESTAURANT
1538 KAPIOLANI BLVD
HONOLULU, HI  96814
808-955-6505
HOURS:  Monday thru Saturday 10:30 AM - 10:00 PM
                 Sunday 10:30 AM - 9:00 PM

I love to hear when young chefs take the plunge and invest in their own dreams.  Such is the case with MW Restaurant located at the Shops on Kapiolani.  Michelle and Wade who worked for Alan Wong and other fine dining restaurants are the owners of this new establishment located in the old KGMB building that should receive a "shoot the architect" award for its green color and total lack of creativity in design.  Thankfully, the food at MW has a lot of creativity and should prove to be successful for awhile.  Long term I think the menu needs some tweaking and prices need to be lowered a bit.  Hey, I'm not a critic just calling em like I eat em.  We arrived at MW totally by chance after driving down Kapiolani Boulevard.  Made a right turn on Keamoku Street and then turned right going back towards Ala Moana.  I saw MW on the right but did not know it was a restaurant.  We could not see the sign which is very high and simply a MW that looks like two forks.  I did however see people sitting inside and flowers out front.  New restaurant I said lets check it out.  We entered a were greeted by two attractive gals.  "Do you have room for three" I asked.  It was around noon on Sunday.  "Sure" the gal said and we were seated near the open kitchen and the door to the kitchen.  I was facing the door which continually opened as food went out and dirty dishes went in.  We were greeted by a waiter who politely introduced himself after a few minutes of waiting.  The service here was good but very slow.  Took a while to get our appetizers and entrees.  This is totally to be expected with any new venture so it did not bother me.  We started with the Pizzadilla ($8).  This is a Quesadilla Pizza.  Served with homemade pepperoni and lots of fried shallots.  I liked the first slice of this pizza but really did not want to eat much more.  I ordered the Sunday Special Benny ($18).  Eggs Benedict with a twist.  They use a homemade Japanese Bread and add a very thick and dense slice of Corned Beef and thick slices of bacon.  Topped with an egg and some kind of sauce.  The dish was decedent and rich.  I liked the flavors of Benedict but did not get the pickled vegetables and Kim Chee on the side.  The Kim Chee tasted terrible to me but my wife said it was ok.  We loved the Sweet Potato Fries that were not greasy at all and were drizzled with a spicy ketchup.  There was a whole lot going on here.  Maybe too much for my taste.  My daughter enjoyed the Loco Moco Meatloaf ($18).  I took a bite and could not believe the Meat Loaf was loaded with Curry.  Tasted like Curry Meat Loaf.  I would not eat this again but my daughter said it was good.  The Steamed Onaga ($24) which sold out after we ordered tasted like most Onaga you order in a restaurant.  Nothing really new or inventive here.  At $24 for lunch, I thought this was a bit expensive.  Since Michelle who is the "M" in MW spent time as a Pastry Chef at the world famous French Laundry in Napa, California, we saved room for a few desserts.  The Kula Cheescake ($9) comes "deconstructed" as the waiter called it.  I liked the individual flavors of the Strawberry Sorbet and graham cracker crust but really would have enjoyed this more if it were constructed.  The MW Candy Bar ($9) again was series of individual treats.  A chocolate mousse, Macadamia Nut Cookie and Praline and Salt Caramel Candy.  Again would like to have these flavors blended into one bite rather than pick at each one individually.  I know this deconstructed thing is the way they are doing things in fine dining restaurants, but when I want a slice of Cheesecake - I want a slice of Cheesecake.  Overall we liked our experience at MW.  This is not the type of place you can eat at often as lunch for three was over $100.00 with one Ice Tea and two waters.   There were a few things that I must return for.  The Vegetable Poke and Beet Salad looked fantastic.  Looking forward to returning to MW.
Click link below for updated post on MW Restaurant;
https://greateatshawaii.blogspot.com/2016/03/mw-restaurant_20.html

MW RESTAURANT IS IN THE OLD KGMB BUILDING ON KAPIOLANI.  IT IS IN THE
BACK AND THERE IS VALET PARKING FOR $4
MW RESTAURANT HAS A SMALL BAR IN THE FRONT
OPEN KITCHEN REMINDS YOU OF THE PINEAPPLE ROOM BY ALAN WONG
MW RESTAURANT IS BRIGHT AND CLEAN
MW STANDS FOR MICHELE AND WADE
MW APPETIZERS, SALADS AND SOUPS
LUNCH ENTREE MENU
MW DESSERT MENU
ICE TEA WITH FRESH PINEAPPLE JUICE
HOUSE MADE FOCACCIA BREAD WITH EGG BASED AIOLI
PIZZADILLA 
PEPPERONI QUESADILLA WITH FRIED SHALLOTS
LOCO MOCO MEAT LOAF
MEATLOAF HAD REALLY HEAVY CURRY FLAVOR
GARLIC STEAMED ONAGA
SPECIAL EGGS BENEDICT ON HOME MADE BREAD WITH THICK BACON AND CORNED BEEF.
SERVED WITH KIM CHEE, PICKLED VEGETABLES AND SWEET POTATO FRIES
FRESH EGG, THICK SLICED BACON AND HOME MADE CORNED BEEF
KULA STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE
MW CANDY BAR

Sunday, November 17, 2013

HAWAII RAINBOW WARRIOR FOR A DAY

 HAWAII RAINBOW WARRIOR FOR A DAY
INSIDE ACCESS TO UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII FOOTBALL

My beloved Bows are now 0-10.  That's right - zero wins and ten losses with two games remaining.  While this is disheartening, there has never been a time in my life where I love the Bows more.  I believe that if you are a true fan you need to stand with your team through the tough times and not be a fair weather chump that jumps on the bandwagon only when we run off some wins.  My devotion to the University of Hawaii Football team grew ten fold this past game as I was honored to be a Rainbow Warrior for a day.  This ultimate fan experience was made possible through Na Koa which is the fundraising arm for Hawaii football.  I joined the team at the Outrigger Reef Hotel on the Beach where they stay overnight before every home game.  At exactly 2:15 we assembled in a conference room adjacent to the pool area at the hotel.  Coach Norm Chow personally introduced me and my guest to the players and coaches and then gave a brief speech about getting a win tonight.  The team meal is served buffet style with the Seniors going through the line first and the freshman going last.  I joined the freshman and dined on Pasta with Marinara Sauce, Grilled Chicken, Beef, Rice and Vegetables.  Food was good as was the table conversation with Defensive Coordinator, Thom Kaumeyer.  Thom or "TK" as he is known to the players has coached in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Atlanta Falcons.  He also coached at San Diego State who we were playing on this day.  Thom also enjoyed playing in the NFL with the Rams, Giants and Seahawks.  Quite a resume of experience and one heck of a great guy.  TK is down to earth, honest, passionate and tells it like it is.  He does not pull any punches and explains things with a raspy and fiery tone.  During dinner I asked TK if he had ever experienced anything like our current season in his pro or coaching career.  He said "never" and then 
went on to give a speech to the defense that inspired and made me want to put on a pair of pads and hit somebody.  Speaking of hitting someone, one of the best Hawaii defensive players ever sat with us at dinner.  His name is Al Noga.  Al played for Hawaii in the 1980's and then went onto a successful career in the NFL playing for the Vikings, Redskins and Colts.  Al is a humble and gentle man with a heart of gold. Probably one of the nicest people I have ever met who is associated with U.H. sports.   A true gentlemen that treated me like we were old friends talking at a backyard BBQ.  When I saw Al on the sidelines later this day he was immersed in the game as if he were playing.  You could tell by the look in his eyes and intensity that he really wanted to be on the field helping our team.  Another person that took time out of his day to make us feel special and welcome was Brad Jones, the Director of Football Administration.  Brad was always smiling, engaging and making sure we were taken care of the entire day as did Head Coach Norm Chow.  Norm not only introduced us to the team but also called me by name and invited me to join the team in a large huddle after dinner.  The entire team gets together in the middle of a room so that everyone is touching each other.  This is to symbolize that your teammate has your back.  When Norm barked "Drew, get in here" I jumped in the huddle and felt blessed for being with this team at this moment in time.  Gone were all thoughts about a winless season.  I felt like I was part of the team and we were going to go out and kick some ass.  From here we were escorted through the hotel lobby where two buses were waiting in the front along with a half dozen Honolulu Police vehicles.  I felt proud to be a Rainbow Warrior as we walked towards the bus.  Fans, tourists and hotel employees were saying "good luck" and "get a win".  For the bus ride to the stadium, there is one bus for the offense and one for defense.  Since only 64 players attend the overnight at the hotel, there is another bus that transports the remaining players to the game.  That third bus miraculously appeared from nowhere when we were on the freeway.  As the two buses leave the hotel the players are quiet.  Real quiet.  Very few words if any are spoken on the bus.  We were given the front row seats on the bus next to the coaches.  Great vantage point to see how the entire ride to the stadium is orchestrated.  It is worthy of the President as the police escort parts the way through traffic.  Blocking off every intersection prior to us arriving so that we wait at no traffic lights or make no stops.  The bus rolls through Honolulu traffic like we are the only auto on the road.  The police move right to left and left to right taking any opportunity to make the motorcade roll more smoothly.  The two buses stay tight and roll onto the freeway where the police have already started to block traffic to make way for the team.  Many fans honk and wave as they politely move to the side to allow the Warrior wagons to roll through.  In a matter of minutes and what seemed to have been slow motion we arrived at the entrance to Aloha Stadium where we were greeted by about a dozen motor cycle officers who were racing on the left and right of the buses.  The officers came together in formation in front of the buses as we entered the parking lot.  This was cool.  Sirens roaring and fans cheering as we slowly made our way to the middle of the parking lot directly in front of the Stadium box office.  This is where the buses park and the Rainbow Warriors exit and walk down a large isle that leads to the stadium entrance.  It is probably a 100 yard walk or more directly in the heart of fans and tailgaters.  The Warrior Walk as it is called gives the fans and players a big pump up prior to the game.  Since Coach Chow was on the offensive bus and I was with the defense, we came off our bus after Coach Chow.  As I walked off the bus and forward to begin the Warrior walk Coach Chow yelled "Drew - get over here with me".  I was honored and began the trek into Aloha Stadium amidst the team, head coach and fans.  As we passed my friends at and ESPN tailgate party, they popped open two beers for me and my guest and we took a quick guzzle and then continued our Warrior Walk.  The feeling now was electric as the University of Hawaii Marching Band played the theme song from Hawaii Five-O while the Rainbow Dancers and Cheerleaders all were dancing and cheering and our sides.  Heck even our award winning Baton Twirler was there throwing that rod and kicking her legs into the air.  It was like living in a dream for those savored minutes walking into the stadium.  We walked through the corridors of Aloha Stadium which are filled with photographs of many of the events that have been held here.  From the Pro Bowl to Michael Jackson it is all displayed here on the walls for everyone who has access to this area to enjoy.  During the day there was a little talk about this being a special game because the players were going to wear retro uniforms that were a throwback to the 1960's.  As we entered the team locker rooms everyone was excited to see the uniforms.  The locker rooms at Aloha Stadium are old but clean and organized.  The lockers have the players name on them and each uniform is set perfectly in place awaiting its owner for the game.  The helmets are basic white with a single green stripe down the center.  The jerseys are green with the Hawaii rainbow colors and the pants are white with the rainbow.  The rainbow them continues on the socks and gloves.  Even the shoes have a hologram that changes colors in the light.  I make a comment to Al Chee who is a program sponsor with Chevron that I like his white visor with the retro rainbow logo.  Al excuses himself and within a minute is back with a visor for me.  Wow…it was just that kind of a day.  Mahalo Al.  I love the visor!  As the teamed dressed we went out onto the field to take in the moment.  Made our way up into the stands and to an area that we thought was the University Chancellor's party.  This was a private area with a buffet and open bar but no Chancellor.  I knew the host who is Bill Smith from Vacations Hawaii.  Bill did not invite us but we thought we were at the Chancellors party and basically crashed the Vacations Hawaii party.  Turns out the Chancellors party where we were supposed to be was on the opposite side of the stadium.  Main thing is that we got to down a few cold brews before going back down into the locker room.  We walked back down to the team inside the locker room just a few minutes before kick-off.  The team was quiet with many players praying and reflecting.  Not much talk from coaches prior to game time.  Everyone is kind of in their own zone.  As the word goes out to get ready to enter the stadium, the players stand and put on their helmets.  A few players let out hurts of emotion but nothing like I thought it would be.  I wanted to yell "lets go kick some ass" and a few other expletives as we made our way to the tunnel where we could see daylight.  The fog machines were on full blast and the team and me emerged through the thick blanket of white into a cheering stadium.  My heart was pumping now and I really did want to go out onto the field and play with the Warriors.  Since this was not possible, I took a walk down to where the cheerleaders were and watched some acrobatics.  The team assembled at the far end of the field and did the customary "Haka".  The Haka is a posture type dance from New Zealand that is performed by the team.  It includes vigorous movements and stamping of the feet, some tongue waving and a lot of shouts.  Gets the team and fans pumped up for battle.  After the Haka it was time for football.  Pretty good game but we ended up losing in overtime to San Diego State.  The score was 28-21.  The Rainbow Warriors played well and it was awesome to be on the sidelines where you could really see, hear and feel the hits.  I wanted to hit a photographer that no matter where I moved to on the sidelines he moved next to me and then asked me to move so he could take a picture.  After he did this twice I gave him a look and politely told him that if he did this again his camera was going to be in a place that would be uncomfortable.  I never saw the moron again.  Hawaii took a 14-7 lead into the locker room at halftime.  We followed the team and sat in as they stretched, rested and hydrated during the half.  Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches are passed out along with lots of water and juices.  There was maybe five minutes of talk with the coaches and then we were back on the field for the second half.  The score was tied 21-21 at the end of the fourth quarter.  San Diego scored a touchdown on their first possession in overtime.  Hawaii had one chance to score and was sacked for a loss on fourth down.  We lost the game and now are 0-10 for the season.  Does not phase me a bit.  I am still proud of my team and support the Bows more than ever.  My sincere thanks to Na Koa Football Club, Coach Chow and the entire staff and team.  This was a very memorable day!

UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII FOOTBALL TEAM DINNER AT THE OUTRIGGER REEF HOTEL IN WAIKIKI
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR THOM KAUMEYER GIVES THE DEFENSE ONE LAST PEP TALK 
DEFENSIVE TEAM HUDDLES UP FOR A BRIEF PRAYER AFTER THE TEAM MEAL
TEAM LEAVES DINNER AND WALKS THROUGH OUTRIGGER REEF HOTEL
HEADING TO THE BUSES WEARING RETRO HAWAII T-SHIRTS
BOARDING BUSES TO ALOHA STADIUM
DEFENSE ON ONE BUS AND OFFENSE ON THE OTHER
BUS #1 WITH OFFENSE FOLLOWS POLICE ESCORT WITH BUS #2 FOLLOWING
STREETS AND FREEWAY ARE CLEARED FOR THE HAWAII TEAM BUSES
HAWAII FANS CHEERING THE TEAMS ARRIVAL TO ALOHA STADIUM
POLICE MOTORCADE LEADS US INTO THE STADIUM
PARKING LOT IS PACKED WITH LOYAL HAWAII FANS
THE TEAM WARRIOR WALK INTO ALOHA STADIUM
WARRIOR WALK GOT THE CROWD AND ME PUMPED UP
RAINBOW DANCERS, CHEERLEADERS, BAND AND BATON TWIRLER ALL GREET THE TEAM
THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII BAND JAMMING OUT THE THEME FROM HAWAII FIVE - 0
TEAM ENTERS THE LOCKER ROOM AND GETS GEARED UP
RETRO UNIFORMS READY FOR EACH PLAYER
LOCKER ROOM AT ALOHA STADIUM IS CLEAN AND ORGANIZED
LOVE THOSE RETRO UNIFORMS
UNIFORMS AND GEAR READY TO GO
LAST MINUTE TAPING AND PAD ADJUSTMENT
SUITED UP AND READY FOR BATTLE
PLAY HARD IS WHAT THE BOWS DO EACH AND EVERY PLAY.  THESE GUYS DO NOT GIVE UP
LOCKER ROOM IS VERY QUIET PRIOR TO GAME 
COACHES ASSEMBLE AND DISCUSS LAST MINUTE DETAILS
COACH NORM CHOW IN GAME MODE AND READY
RETRO WHITE HELMETS WITH SINGLE GREEN STRIPE
STARTING QUARTERBACK SEAN SCHROEDER IN DEEP THOUGHT PRIOR TO GAME
LAST MINUTE BEFORE ENTERING STADIUM
HOLOGRAM SHOES CHANGE COLOR IN THE LIGHT
THIS IS WHAT QUARTERBACKS DO RIGHT BEFORE THE BIG GAME
EVERYONE UP AND HELMETS ON
GAME DAY AND THE RAINBOW WARRIORS ARE READY
A LITTLE EXCITEMENT AND A FEW YELLS FROM THE PLAYERS
THIS IS IT - GAME TIME AT ALOHA STADIUM
HEADING FOR THE TUNNEL
FOG MACHINES BLANKET THE AIR AS THE TEAM EMERGES
EMERGING FROM THE TUNNEL INTO ALOHA STADIUM
READY TO DO THE FAMOUS "HAKA"
THE HAKA IN FULL SWING
THE BAND CRANKS UP THE THEME TO HAWAII FIVE-0 AND THE FANS ARE SCREAMING
BOWS GET OFF TO A GOOD START VS SAN DIEGO STATE
CHEERLEADERS WENT WITH RETRO UNIFORMS TOO
BLOG AUTHOR GOES WITH RETRO ALOHA SHIRT AND VISOR
PROUD TO LIVE IN HAWAII AND BE PART OF WARRIOR NATION
SAN DIEGO STATE POUNDS US WITH SOLID RUNNING GAME
THE SKY OVER ALOHA STADIUM AT KICK OFF
GREAT WEATHER ON AN 80 DEGREE PLUS NOVEMBER EVENING IN HONOLULU
THOUGHT THE BEAUTIFUL SKY WAS A BLESSING FOR A BIG WIN
HAWAII CHEERLEADERS REALLY CAN FLIP
GETTING THE STUDENT SECTION FIRED UP
WALKED ALL AROUND THE FIELD BUT STAYED MOSTLY ON SIDELINE WITH TEAM
GREAT SEATS - COULD SEE, HEAR AND FEEL ALL THE BIG HITS
COACH CHOW FOCUSED ON GETTING A WIN
A FEW EXTRA FOOTBALLS WITH THE U.H. LOGO
TEAM WAS FEELING A WIN AFTER TWO QUARTERS
HAWAII LEAVES FIELD WITH 14-7 LEAD AT HALFTIME
BACK INTO THE LOCKER ROOM FOR HALFTIME
MANY PLAYERS STRETCH FOR THE ENTIRE HALF
COACH CHOW CHECKS IN WITH THE DEFENSE AT HALFTIME
LOTS OF WATER AND PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICHES AT HALFTIME
DEFENSE GETS READY FOR SECOND HALF
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR GOES OVER SOME PLAYS
COACH KAUMEYER PUTS THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE WITH GREAT VERBAGE
ON THE U.H. SURFBOARD AND READY FOR THE SECOND HALF
SOME GREAT FLIPS ALL IN UNISON - THE U.H. CHEERLEADERS ARE GOOD…REALLY GOOD.
LOVE THE "FLYERS" WHO DO FLIPS IN THE AIR
LETS GO BOWS!
THE BATON TWIRLER 
SECOND HALF THE BOWS LET SAN DIEGO STATE BACK IN THE GAME
GAME TIED AT END OF FOURTH QUARTER
HAWAII FANS ARE PUMPED UP FOR OVERTIME
SAN DIEGO STATES SCORES IN OVERTIME AND WINS GAME

UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII STAR AND NFL GREAT AL NOGA
LOTS OF MEMORABILIA AND HISTORY INSIDE ALOHA STADIUM
LOTS OF PRO BOWL BANNERS AND PHOTOS
PRO BOWL SECTION
NFL PRO BOWL HAS RICH TRADITION IN HAWAII
TRIBUTES TO NFL GREATS ALL OVER THE WALLS
PAINTINGS, PHOTOGRAPHS AND POSTERS OF ENTERTAINERS WHO HAVE PLAYED ALOHA STADIUM
MICHAEL JACKSON PAINTING