Wednesday, September 23, 2015


On our recent vacation we were at the Aloha Spice Company (located at Hanapepe) to pick up some of their products for gifts, especially the famous red salt and their delicious rubs. I had managed in almost 15 days to avoid shopping for myself - how was I to know that this was a place that would be like cat nip to me?  Besides all of their spice products the shop was all things Kauai chicken including an adorable tablecloth and napkins trimmed with red and white gingham.  I could not resist.
Over this last weekend we had a family Hawaiian themed dinner to celebrate not only all those famous chickens but to showcase the plate lunch. We encountered the plate lunch many years ago on our first trip to Kauai.  Out in the middle of nowhere was a little hole in the wall place and workers from the surrounding area were lined up getting lunch so we decided it must be the Hawaii version of the truck stop.  Plate lunch consists of two starches - two scoops of white rice and a big scoop of mayonnaise laden macaroni salad, the protein is one of the following: pork, fish, chicken or Spam (Hawaii consumes more Spam than any other state).
First the menu.....
Then the tablescape - now you see why I could not resist the tablecloth and napkins.  I have a very large table and as I recently decided to put in the leaf and leave it, because we often have nine for dinner with local family as guests. I knew the cloth would not fit my table.  The cloth only came in a square size but I knew if I put down a white cloth that I could still use the chicken cloth and it worked. Actually worked great because you could see all of the cloth at once since nothing hanging over the sides.

The Kalua pork was SO easy and turned out very much like the real thing - I just happened to be out of banana leaves and we do not have a pit in the backyard to cook a whole pig so I used the crock pot method.

Such a simple recipe you only need three things, a large pork butt, salt (you can use any salt) & liquid smoke (I recommend this brand as it has a more mild and natural smoke flavor).
 Into the crock pot for many hours and out comes yum!

Kalua Pork Recipe:

1 - 5 pound pork butt roast
1 1/2 tablespoons Hawaiian sea salt (regular salt will do)
1 tablespoon liquid smoke flavoring

Pierce pork all over with a carving fork. Rub salt then the liquid smoke over the meat.  Place in the slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low setting for 16-20 hours, turning once at the half-way point.

Remove meat from the slow cooker and shred. Put the drippings in a fat separator so that the liquid used is not full of pork fat – used the liquid to moisten the meat.

The meat may be served as is or with a Hawaiian bread bun and and assortment of barbecue sauces.

Hawaiian macaroni salad is a very specific mac salad and is full of mayo.  Any recipe you see will always specify Best Foods Mayo or if you live east of the Rockies Hellman's. I am going to give the recipe as it would be made in Hawaii and then tell you the modifications I made to use less mayo.

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad Recipe

1 Pound elbow macaroni
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups whole milk
2 cups Best Foods (Hellman's) mayo
1 tablespoon brown sugar
4 green onions thinly shiced
1 large carrot peeled and grated
1 rib of celery, minced
salt & pepper

Cook macaroni in boiling water to which you have added 1 T salt, cook until very soft, about 15 minutes.  Drain and return to the pot, add the cider vinegar and toss until absorbed, let cool for ten minutes then add the milk and mayo and the rest of ingredients and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Cooks notes:  Here is where I made changes - I cooked the mac to package directions in salted water (I typically really salt my pasta water as someone told me years ago it should be "as the sea") after the macaroni had cooled a bit (not too much or it will stick together) I tossed the mac with about a tsp of olive oil until it was well distributed, to keep it from sticking together and so it would not absorb so much of the liquid.  I do the same with potatoes when making potato salad.  I then mixed together 1/4 cup of the cider vinegar, 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of mayo.  After all ingredients were mixed together I then added just a little more mayo and it was perfect.  I made this the day before we were having (love to let those flavors meld) and it was still great the next day.  Sometimes the macaroni salad in Hawaii is just swimming in mayo and I think using this method makes a nice balance, still the same flavor but without a lot less mayo, milk and vinegar. I also replaced the green onion with 1/2 a small purple onion finely diced and finely diced the celery instead of mincing.

In place of white rice I served brown rice that was cooked in chicken broth, in the rice cooker.

Simple white coconut cupcakes - follow the directions for cupcakes on a white cake mix and add 1/2 tsp of pure coconut extract.

Marshmallow Frosting: 


1 container of marshmallow cream (Fluff if found in your area)
1 1/2 sticks of butter, softened
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 scant cup of sifted powdered sugar
Shredded, sweet coconut for topping 

This amount makes 12 cupcakes, dbl recipe for a cake or 24 cupcakes.


In your mixer whip the softened butter and marshmallow cream until light and fluffy, add the vanilla, and then gradually add the powdered sugar and let it whip for a few minutes until light and fluffy.  Pipe onto your cupcakes and then dip them into the coconut.

Here is a link to a post that has the recipe for both the blondies and the ice cream: Link


Tablecloth, napkins and salt,
They offer "free Shipping" on orders over $50. I don't see the tablecloth or napkins so if you are interested email or call them and I am sure they would be happy to accommodate you.
Gingham flatware, long ago, Target
Polka dot plates, Tai Pan Trading
Polka dot salad plates, Maxwell and Williams Sprinkle Side Plate, Red
Polka dot bowls for BBQ sauce, Amazon, Maxwell & Williams
Wright's Liquid Smoke, Walmart
Large ceramic chicken on table, Deco 79 40744 Ceramic Decorative Rooster Statue, 13 by 14-Inch

Thank you for stopping by.

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