Chinese Almond Cookies

Posted on January 10, 2014 by Ashley Takitani | 0 Comments

It's January, time for many to start anew with resolutions and good intentions. This month is a special month for the Chinese as January 31 is Chinese New Year's.

The Chinese celebrate this time with lots of  foods each symbolic of something auspicious.  Oranges and tangerines are said to bring wealth and good luck. Noodles are long and reminds everyone to hope for a long life. I always make gau which is a sticky mochi. Gau is said to keep (stick) the family together.

The Chinese almond cookie is not on the top ten list of Chinese New Year foods. However, I read somewhere that the cookie symbolizes coins, which will assure good fortune in the year. Here in Hawaii, Chinese Almond Cookies are a welcome treat anytime. This recipe below comes from a friend who shared it with me some 30 years ago. The cookie is very light and is not too sweet. Perfect with hot tea or coffee!

Chinese Almond Cookies

2 blocks butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp almond extract
4 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt

Whisk dry ingredients together. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Drizzle oil into butter mixture and mix well. Add almond extract. Add dry ingredients and mix. (I use my trusty Kitchen Aide. So easy and fast.)

Scoop (I use a 1 3/8 inch scoop) cookie dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Press slight with the heel of your hand. Add one dot of red coloring for good luck. Bake at 350 degrees for about 17 minutes.
I place cookie sheet on middle shelf of the oven for 10 minutes then on the top shelf for 7 minutes.

Posted in Chinese Almond Cookies, Chinese New Year, Good Food

aloha tamura's

Posted on June 10, 2013 by ashley | 0 Comments

Coconut wireless has been buzzing about Maui’s newest business… TAMURA’S. Photos of poke bowls are flooding social media. Conversations in bank lines and at the beach are centered on the latest addition/addiction to our island. Tamura’s Fine Wine & Liquors is a one-stop shop for the island lifestyle. Everything needed to throw in the cooler for the beach or a backyard bbq is located in the big, white warehouse on Dairy Road (across Kahului Fire Station).

Like the old time merchants of Wailuku Town, Tamura’s is a fourth-generation company, beginning as a grocery store in Waianae during the 1920s. Since then, the company has thrived and now has locations in Wahiawa, Kaimuki, Hau’ula, Kaneohe, Aiea, Kalaeloa and now MAUI!. Steeped in tradition and family, Tamura's also understands the meaning of community. Glenn Tamura has attended almost every Wailuku First Friday while his shop was being built. And now Tamura's has graciously offered to support our July 5th First Friday event with Maui Thing. MAHALO!!!

Let’s talk fish! Tamura’s nailed it when they decided to incorporate a popular food staple in the islands within their store. Poke and beer go hand in hand, like two peas in a pod. Head to the back of the store and you will find a glass case filled with Hawaiian gold. Sunrise poke, hamachi poke, ahi shoyu, the list goes on. Just writing this makes me hungry and very thirsty which leads me to Tamura’s amazing, superb, outstanding and excellent selection. The wine aisles are similar to taking a trip around the world. Wines from New Zealand, Napa, Italy and France sit statuesque, waiting to be picked like grapes. Reds, whites, merlot, pinot, chardonnay, we can go all day. If you are a wine-O, we are pretty sure you will spend a lot of time here.

Oh and did we mention they have beer? Yes, they got a lot of that too. From Heineken to Hitachino (one of my hard-to-find faves!), this place knows how to give the customer options. The beer selection is like the periodic table of elements, each one unique in composition. Do you enjoy a nice cigar with your beverage? Well, they have cigars too.

If you are still reading this and haven’t jumped in your car yet to check this place out, then let us close with this. The prices are affordable. The products speak for themselves. The workers are walking encyclopedias when it comes to their product. And us Maui Thing girls are very happy Tamura’s is now on Maui!

Posted in beer, Feel Good, fish, Good Food, Good Stuff, liquor, maui, poke, tamura's, wine


Posted on March 27, 2013 by ashley | 0 Comments

ALOHA HAWAIIAN COCONUT VODKA! Where have you been hiding all our lives? When we find something amazing, we love to share! The COCO-JITO is everything we love in a mixed drink…refreshing, light, fruity and stylish! We highly suggest drinking these out of a mason jar. They look better, taste better and it is easier to distinguish your glass among a bunch of red cups.

• Hawaiian Coconut Flavored Vodka
• Santa Cruz Organic Strawberry Lemonade (You can experiment with all types of juices. Ginger and peach lemonade are also a good choice)
• Blueberries
• Mint
• Ice
• Mason jar

Posted in Good Food, Good Stuff, Maui Girls' Finds

maui bucket list #1: maui kombucha

Posted on February 21, 2013 by ashley | 0 Comments

There are many amazing things on Maui that us locals have never done. Tourists even seem to cram more 'MAUI TO-DOs" in a week than I have done in my lifetime. So, my girlfriends and I developed a "MAUI BUCKET LIST." It includes places, activities and all sorts of things we still have not experienced on this island we call home. We decided it was time to start checking some things off. So this past Saturday we ventured out of the Waiside and headed for the country. We rarely go to Haiku. We had to rely on Google maps to get us to our final destination, MAUI KOMBUCHA! We arrived hungry, thirsty and excited to experience something new. There was only standing room and we lingered on the side, a little unsure of how this whole place operated. We were greeted enthusiastically with four shots glasses of Palo Santo. We had no idea what it was, but that didn't stop us from clinking our glasses and sampling the Kombucha goodness. Next up, Ginger Lime and Lychee Juniper Lime. The mmmmm's and ohhhh's coming from our mouths were a clear indication that we just stumbled into heaven. We ordered a round of Kombucha and finally managed to get a table and begin the eating. Pupu style is the way to go here. Everything looked too good that you couldn't have one. We got the Quinoa salad and a Rainbow Roll Sushi to start. The mmmmm's and ohhh's couldn't be contained. Next, Da Kine Chili and the Garden Veggie Pizza! AMAZING! AMAZING! AMAZING! This is not an understatement. Every bite got better and better. Then came dessert, and I only need to say two words, HAWAIIAN TOAST! Some cracker, jam, bananas and a whole lot of amazingness! Another round of Kombucha and we were definitely experiencing a strong sense of elation. The two guys running the front of the house made the entire experience more pleasurable. The service was superior, their sense of humor entertaining, and we hadn't been called chicas that many times since...never. We were told to try the coffee. Mind you, 3 out of the 4 of us don't drink coffee. If I did drink coffee, it definitely would be that one. We all shared one cup of coffee and passed it around the table like a sacred ceremony. At this point the only word to describe the moment is bliss. Happy stomachs, souls and minds. Just when we thought we had done it all, we heard the word HOT SHOT. It already sounds dangerous and intriguing. The women next to us were raving about it, so we ordered one. It looked scary good. The initial sip isn't bad, but it's a creeper. The best thing to compare it too is Hawaiian chili pepper water. We felt alive after that one! As our Maui Kombucha experience came to an end, we didn't want to leave. Happy, happy is all we could say. Happy to be with friends, happy to eat good food, and happy to live on Maui.

To check out Maui Kombucha, click here!

Posted in Feel Good, Good Food, Good Stuff, Haiku, Kombucha, Maui Girls' Finds, Maui Kombucha

oreo cheesecake

Posted on January 14, 2013 by ashley | 0 Comments

I love baking...which means that I'm usually in charge of desserts for family parties and always looking for new recipes (there's only so many times that you can make a chocolate bundt for the family before they start complaining). This is the my latest, easiest, yummiest dessert that has gotten rave reviews by everyone! Thanks to my gal, Lee (whose hubby is a "master baker") for the ono recipe!

- 24 cute cupcake cups (cute cupcake cups are a MUST;)
- 1 bag Oreo cookies
- 3/4 block melted butter
- 2 8oz. boxes cream cheese
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 2 small boxes instant chocolate pudding
- 3 c. cold milk

1. Crush Oreo cookies. I usually put all the cookies into a gallon zip lock bag and crumble them with a rolling pin. Mix oreo cookies with melted butter.
2. Layer Oreo cookie crust in cupcake cups.
3. Mix cream cheese, vanilla, eggs and sugar.
4. Layer cream cheese mixture over Oreo crust.
5. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.
6. Mix pudding mix with cold milk.
7. Once baked, top cupcakes with pudding.
8. Decorate!

Posted in DIY, Good Food, Good Stuff

the perfect sandwich

Posted on April 11, 2012 by ashley | 0 Comments

Call it an addiction. Call it comfort food. I call it the best sandwich on Maui. You may think, "What's so special about Tiffany's Spam and fried egg sandwich?" I tell you, perfection is not that simple. It takes patience, understanding and experience. The type of bread you select, the amount of butter on the grilled bread, just the right amount of mayo... not to mention the right length of time to fry the egg. Tiffany's fried egg is just slightly raw so there's just enough silkiness to the yolk yet cooked just enough so that the yolk doesn't ooze and make the grilled bread soggy. Another fine detail is Spam width. The proportion from Spam to egg to bread is critical and if you cut the Spam too wide or too thin it's all over. It's a delicate balance of firm meat like substance, followed by the tender egg white, finished with a buttery crunchy toast. Perfection.

Posted in Good Food, Good Stuff

roselani ice cream: a maui thing

Posted on March 06, 2012 by ashley | 0 Comments

The ice cream aisles at our local markets are lined with many choices. Dreyer’s, Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers and Haagen- Dazs are just a few of the ice cream brands that attempt to entice our sweet tooth. Among the international brands are cartons of ice cream proudly displaying Maui’s official flower, the Lokelani. For those of us who know ice cream, the choice is pretty easy and will always be Roselani Ice Cream.

In 1932, Manuel Nobriga began making ice cream just a couple blocks down from our store on Market Street at Maui Soda & Ice Works. From then on, the Nobriga family has become the island's ice cream innovators. From Hasegawa General Store in Hana to The Fish Hut in Kapa’a, Kaua’i, Roselani Ice Cream is spreading its ono flavors across the islands.

Speaking of flavors, lets get to the reason why we love Roselani Ice Cream. From Chocolate Macadamia Nut to Pauwela Sunrise, each flavor of ice cream embodies everything good about Hawai’i. It’s the flavors we all remember from the hanabata days. There really is a flavor for everyone: Hawaiian Vanilla Bean, Classic Macadamia Nut, Mango ‘n Cream, Haupia, Kona Mud Pie, Menehune Mint and Poppa’s Classic Chocolate. Just writing the flavors makes me tempted to jump out of bed and go buy a carton. It really is that good.

We love fashion at Maui Thing, but we also love great food. So it made complete sense for us to sell Rosleani Ice Cream in our store. Whether it is an afternoon treat for Iao School students walking home, or a cool down from the humid weather, there is always a reason to eat ice cream. Come stop by for a small cup! Rosleani Ice Cream is a Maui Thing!

Posted in Good Food, Good Stuff

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