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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Not your typical "Groceries"

My kind of place. =)
A blog a day for 3 days in a row, WOO HOO!  (Patting myself on the back). 

Now, I'm pretty certain that every photographer has a camera with them at all times; I know I do!  Most of the time that I'm taking pictures, I was never expecting too.  Here on Maui, there's always a rainbow, or a cane burn, or a surf swell, or a cute critter on the side of the road that makes me stop and admire as I try to capture their beauty. 

Greatest Co-Pilot in the world!

The other day I was "grocery shopping", and I'm certain by now you all fully understand how much I love and appreciate food; so I thought I would share my "grocery adventures" with you.  Now Sack N' Save, (just like a Foodland or a Safeway), is about 15 minutes away from my house.  I rarely go there.  The groceries I'm talking about take me 45+ minutes to get too, and I can bring my best buddy with me, Lono.

Kula Country Farms.  Can you see that view?
If not, click on the picture to ENLARGE. :)
There's not many places in the world I can think of where you have to drive up a crater to go get your groceries, but that's what I do.  I journey part way up Haleakala to the cool farm country of Kula.  There on the side of the road is a sweet little stand over looking Iao Valley and vasts of oceans.  You can literally see two other islands and both sides of Maui from there.  So I get out of the car, Lono has to stay in because there are chickens running all around that he'd just love to play with... but he knows the drill, so he's not to upset about it; he just patiently watches the scene and waits for my return. 

Educating people on Honeybees, (bonus points right there!)

I take a deep breath of air and WOW is it fresh! The lady at the stand knows me and she knows how far I come for my groceries, so she's always trying to add things to my bag.  I let her, up until she goes to grab the fresh made cinnamon buns.  "No way Jose, get those things outta here!", I tell her. We swap recipe ideas and talk story for a good while before she pulls out her lunch box and urges me to try her quesadilla she packed for her lunch today.  There's not many sweeter than her. 

As I'm "checking out" my family owned, locally grown groceries, I catch a waft of a heavenly scent I know all to well and curse under my breath... Damn tuberose's!  Now I know I'm not making it out of there without at least one flower stem.  One by my desk for a week and I'm fully and happily, aromatically intoxicated every time I work.  As for my bill?  What cost me $36.00 at Sack N' Save, (on sale), cost me $19.00 at Kula Country Farms AND I have my boy with me, AND I enjoy great company with a cashier who actually cares to say more to me than just Debit or Credit.  Actually, they don't even take credit cards, (the whole scene is really kind of 1950's... which I dig). 

Other customers stop in and pat Lono on the head as they pass by the truck.  Locals talk story in the parking lot as a couple tourists stop for the view and to take pictures of the chickens running around every where.  It really brightens my day just to pull in to that parking lot.  I end up snacking on lychee the minute I get out on the road and start heading to my next stop.

Love the honor system! :-)

In all of Hawaii, we have a system called "The Honor System".  Farmers, gardeners, or just people with abundance, set a little stand at the side of the road with a money box and their produce bounty inside.  There is no one there, so you take what you want, and leave the money in the box, (Prices are listed).  I go up Olinda Road, past the rodeo, and on to visit two Honor stands.  That's where I get my Ji-Normous avocados.  Spoiled me, I cannot imagine ever buying one of those tasteless Hass avocados they sell on the mainland for way to much money.  How about 75 cents to a dollar for avos the size of a large grapefruit?  Organically grown too... Mama Mia!  Now that's what I'm talking about! 

Lono knows the whole drill, but once we get to our last stand, he starts getting pretty excited because he also knows what comes next... A HIKE!  Not more than a mile from our last stop, there is a wonderful hike through a conservation forest.  Fresh food and a date with my dog, the trip for groceries is well worth it. 

I may just be the only person on Earth who looks forward to grocery shopping. =)

Love & Aloha to You All,

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

An evening with SMUG at the Lahaina Animal Farm =]

A huge "Mahalo" to all involved in setting up yesterdays SMUG group meeting at Lahaina Animal Farm.  (Click on their name to check them out... From a petting farm, to horse back riding lessons, to a gorgeous event location; this place is great for kids and adults alike!). 

So, you can imagine my smiling happy face when I found out we'd be photo shooting animals and models for this photography group meeting.  Everyone was extremely friendly, and I don't just mean the owners and staff!  The horses and goats, big and small, were just begging to be loved. It ended up so much so that it was hard to photograph them because you couldn't get far enough away from them to take their picture... (Not that I minded loving up on them). =] The hardest part was coming home and picking out which ones to post.  I hope you enjoy... I know I did! =)

***As always, CLICK on images to enlarge.***

Haley & Victoria loving up the horses
and a beautiful rainbow made for a show.
Would you just take a look at those eyes?

I want this huge, well mannered beauty!
Victoria looking glorious.

How sweet is this?
Celeste looking gorgeous and relaxed.

Don't know this guys name, but I'll call him "Ram-a-lamb-a-ding-dong". ;-)

Flowers by Dellables Floral Design

What a nice way to end my crazy hectic day.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Has Anyone Seen My Tastebuds?

A big thanks to my sister for the pictures
of my adorable nephew, Warren.  Also
for the Queen B. coloring book page
they colored for me.  Lots of smiles
everyday from these!
With a question like that, you probably think I need a therapist.  And when you think of a therapist, you probably envision a person with reading glasses and a notepad listening while you sit on a comfy couch pouring your heart out.  When I think of therapy, three things come to mind; The water, the dirt, and my kitchen.  Let's talk about the last one for a minute...

My kitchen is my special place... Chopping, stirring, mixing, blending; it's all meditation for me.  Looking at my ever changing fridge decorations makes me smile every morning when I go to grab my almond milk.  I come from an entire family of "homemade" chefs.  From my "Crock Pot Creations" Dad, to my "BBQ and Bread Master" Uncle Mark, to my "Baker" cousin Becca, to the memories of my "Breakfast Genius" Grandad; this list of extraordinary "from scratch" family chefs goes the whole way through the family tree.  There's no wonder that as a little girl I got an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas.  I loved that thing, but in all honesty, we all know the food was the equivalent of edible Play-Do.  Don't worry, I've graduated since then.

Recently I have been LOVING eating a raw diet.  (I can see your face crinkling with disgust), but hear me out.  After years of digestive problems, (don't get grossed out; we're all adults here); I took matters into my own hands, (or my own kitchen I guess you could say).  The disgusting medicines doctors were giving me were extremely painful and not a permanent solution.  I was raw the whole month of January and never felt better; and now the month of June too. 

In one day I made lemonade, tomato
bisque, stir fry sauce, and the asparagus
pesto in my Vitamix.  Can't live without it!

I get asked, "Isn't it hard cooking for people and eating raw?".  For me, (as long as I'm not cooking for a lot of people), it's very simple.  The dishes I make in this house can be eaten raw and cooked, making it a cinch to just throw the guys food in the cast iron pan, and mine into a bowl.  For instance; this stir fry I made last night with carrots, green beans (from our garden), garlic, snow peas, onion, ginger (that looks like a monstrous hand from one of the damned pirates in Pirates of the Caribbean), julienned asparagus, purple cabbage, Hawaiian chili pepper (also from the garden), tamari, sesame oil (not raw), and honey was AMAZING, (both ways according to Tommy).  I blend the sauce liquids with the ginger, garlic, and honey in my Vitamix, (which I use 4+ times a day), and then just dump it on top.  DIVINE!

As for this search for my taste buds... It has to do with this creation I made yesterday.  Even if you think it sounds gross, please just give it a whirl and then you can make fun of me all day long in the comments section if you hated it.  I could have eaten every bite and made myself ill, it was that good.  Here's the recipe:

*Drooling right now looking at the picture*
Raw Asparagus Pesto

  • 2 1/2 Cups Asparagus
  • 4 LARGE Cloves Garlic (or 6 small)
  • 1 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Macadamia Nuts
  • Salt (Be your own judge).
*Blend until smooth.  Serve Cold.  (I ate mine on portobello mushroom slices, but if you are not raw, crackers or tortilla chips would be yummy).

Oh, and don't worry, I found my taste buds, they just took a mini vacation and died and went to heaven after this pesto. =]  They're back now and ready to make more Rawsome kitchen creations. 

If you do try, please leave me a little comment below and let me know what you think! 

All scraps go to our happy worm family. =)  We feed them, and
then essentially they feed us with the nutrients they add to
our soil, garden, and eventually our veggies.

While I'm cooking, this is what Lono Boy does.  Ruff life for this dude!
**Click on Pictures to Enlarge**

My raw curry is out of this world too!  Message me if you would like the recipe. 
By the way, yesterday's meal was prepared in very special shoes... Elise's Cowboy Boots, OF COURSE! 

 Love and Aloha,
~QB~ =)

Side Note: Just Some of the Benefits of Eating Raw

1. Cooked food loses 90% of its vitamins and minerals and close to 100% of it's natural enzymes. 
Eating raw, you get ALL your nutrients!

2. An insane amount of energy.  I'm not even kidding.  After my stir fry yesterday, I could literally SEE clearer.  Lethargy a lot of times comes from the foods we eat.  You'll get better sleep too!

3. Natural weight loss.  Cooked food is much harder for your body to digest; one of the reasons we gain weight so easily.  With raw foods, your body digests easier.  Even "fatty" raw foods, like avocados and nuts don't have a negative affect. I notice a healthy weight loss when I eat raw, though not the reason I do so.

4. More regularity. You should naturally have around two to three BM's a day. If you’re going less than
that, it probably means your intestines are unhealthily clogged. A raw diet gives you more than enough fiber to keep you regular.

5. Eat as much as you want.  What's not to love about that? You wont believe how full you will get!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

These Boots Were Made For Walkin'...

and that's what they just did, but they are about to do so much more!  My dear friend Elise has been in Maui for a visit for the past 3 weeks and left just a few days back.  We determined quite some time ago, (when we first met practically), that we are indeed "sole sistas".  Not soul, but sole... That was decided by our eternal wanderlust and the fact that we've both traveled extensively for being in our 20's.  Elise and I are constantly dreaming up trips we'd like to take and adventures we'd like to embark on. 

Day 1- Hiking
Tommy took this, but missed the
concept of getting the boots in the
picture I think. I swear I'm wearing
em' though! =)

The sisterhood comes from our similarity.  It is truly uncanny how alike we are; from art, photography, vision boards, bucket lists, health foods, a passion for the outdoors, and much more; we share something in life that makes friendship special; PASSION.  That passion had us knocking things off of our bucket lists when we weren't surfing or painting or playing in the May sunshine.  She taught me to knit and I taught her guitar, which led to many a jam session.

Elise also knocked one thing off my list that I was not expecting.... Cowboy boots.  Maybe that sounds easy enough, but I don't know the first thing about cowboy boots... Where to get them?  What to wear them with?  What to do in them?  I just knew that I wanted to play my guitar, (or hopefully a banjo in the future), and foot-stomp in a pair of cowboy boots.  She went to Kauai to get some of her belongings, and when she got back she told me she had a speech to give me with a gift.  I had to clench my toes and fists to keep from river dancing... she handed me her much loved and well used cowboy boots.  I was not surprised when they fit me like I had got them custom made just for me, (just another reason we're sole sistas I reckon!).  The things she's done in those boots are amazing, (and I hope to tell you more about those things in another blog)! 

We had some laugh until we cried moments thinking up all the things I could do in her boots.  I told her I'd take pictures everywhere I take them, which leads me to where I go beyond the walkin' and into the extreme.  I've decided to kick my fear of the unknown and rock those boots in as many ways as I can.  This year I would like to have done at least 150 amazing things in Elise's boots, which means I will be doing something awesome at least once every 3 days.  I want to give them back to her with stories upon stories, pictures and memories included. 

Here's a peak at some of my "Adventure's in Elise's Boots" list so far from my journal....

1. Play Guitar (Obviously!)
A picture from our hike.  We went on a
secluded 4wd road past Kahakuloa.  No
one there... Miles back in the
wilderness with outstanding views!
2. Surf (We both came up with this one... How bout a tasseled bikini to make it complete?) ;-)
3. Horseback ride
4. Go underwater (Submarine?)
5. Skydive (Bungeed, but never have sky-dived)
6. Play a banjo and FOOT STOMP!
7. Karaoke a country song
8. Ride a mechanical bull, (Or maybe a real one!).
9. Wear nothing but... (Can you say, CENSOR?) hehe.
10. Play Harmonica
11. Knit a scarf
12. Hitch hike (I'm a pro at this)
13. Go to a bluegrass concert.
14. Line dance (That will be laughable I'm sure...)
15. Jump in rain puddles.
16. Go for a hike. (This is my 1st accomplishment with the blisters to prove it!) ;-)

I'm looking for the right pair of shoes for her... then we'll be official sole sistas! =]

What else to add to the list?  I would love your ideas!  I will be posting pics as I accomplish my list and if I do something in those boots that you inspired me to do... You get full credit for it my friends. :-) 

So I reckon you could say a pair of boots and a beautiful friend inspired me to live my life more to the fullest... What inspires you?

Two of my best buds.  Lono and Elise at our painting party, (another blog's worth of good times!).

And did I mention that Elise is a fabulous surf artist?  Check this girl out!

Love and Aloha,
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