Sunday, April 24, 2016

Apple Kumquat Bread

1/2 cup dry oats
1 cup dried apples, 1 flat tablespoon dried kumquats, blended coarsely
1/4 cup almond flour
2 heaping tablespoons nonfat dried yogurt
1 even tablespoon light cooking oil, (probably should have done 2)
1 t-spoon minced ginger, (should have done 2, couldn't taste the ginger)
Cinnamon, nutmeg
1/2 t-spoon baking powder

Split between 2 8" saute´pans.
350 degrees for 25 minutes. Next time I will either put something under the pans or try 325 degree, the bottom was a bit browner than I would have preferred, but not burnt.

Bread chocolate pudding

The other day I stumbled onto a web site with hundreds of bread pudding recipes. Let's do it.

3 slices of gluten free bread cut into cubes
15 chocolate covered dried figs blended, if you don't have chocolate covered figs, just add more chocolate
1/4 cup light oil (Costco Mediterranean)
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
8 oz. egg whites
2 seriously heaping tablespoons of nonfat yogurt
Cinamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract to taste

Stir, make sure to wet all the bread cubes, pour into oiled baking pan, 350 degrees for 30 minutes, cool slowly.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

If your partner isn't faithful, at least your mattress is.

There is a new product out: Smarttress. It is a mattress equipped with sensors to alert you if there is hanky panky going on at home while you are at work. The Youtube video is pretty creative.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Home for sale in Hillsboro OR

My friends, the Bosmas are selling the house they own in Oregon. They say the market is really hot and if you know the right person, this could be great for all parties.

Chocolate Figgy Pudding

I bought some dark chocolate encrusted figs from Costco and they just weren't that good. So ......

1/2 cup oatmeal in the blender
12 chocolate covered figs
Heaping tablespoon of dried cherries
1/4 cup of dark chocolate nuggets
Blend a little bit, don't try to get to a powder
2 tablespoons of oil (Costco Mediterranean blend)
Pinch of sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg
Teaspoon vanilla extract
Then I started stirring in egg white. Many of the figgy pudding recipes I looked at appear to be kind of breadish, like a very moist brownie. So I aimed for a consistency a bit thicker than pancake batter.
Pour a little oil in the baking container and rub it on the bottom and sides.
I had it in the oven for 20 minutes and it seemed like it was done.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

I passed the HubSpot inbound marketing certification

Perhaps you have read two of the most influential social media battles of April 2016. Dan Lyons wrote a book and Linkedin post about his time at HubSpot. HubSpot wrote back. They are both excellent posts. Back when I worked in the realm of Information Warfare they would have served as a case study. But what is HubSpot? I had never heard of them. So I went to the site and frankly I am amazed. I ended up signing up for their marketing certification, learned a lot, had some things confirmed I believed to be true, (yes, I know, confirmation bias) and have a lot to think about. The certification, BTW, is one of the most incredibly well thought out marketing/sales programs, I have ever seen.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Kauai - South Shore - Things to see and do

Just as you leave the Lihue area towards the South Shore, you will pass Kilohana, a sugar era plantation. They have Gaylords ,a fine restaurant, maybe not the best food on island, but the service is everything you expect at a table with white linen. 

Poipu is one of the most popular resort beaches on the whole island, however, when the mom Monkseal returns each year to give birth, that area is cordoned off and kapu to the public so mom and pup can continue undisturbed. This is a great place to snorkel in the winter months. Consider having dinner at Brennecke's Beach Broiler across the road, and schedule it so that your dinner coincides with the sunset. Call for reservations, so you'll have a prime viewing table waiting for you; they can tell you what time is best for catching it. Their salad bar is superb. If you were to pass the turn for Poipu and continue on down the road, you could turn right into the Hyatt Regency and head down to see Shipwreck Beach. Walk down to the left end of the beach and lightly scramble up the cliff. (Kids do it barefoot; it's not a hard climb.) The ridge top you're now standing on is a wonderful hike. Follow it three miles down to the sacred land/beach called Maha'ulepu. They want to make a resort out of it, but have been thwarted by the discovery of a rare, blind, hunting wolfspider who lives in the caves there. It is the only place in the world where this species of spider has been found. There is a growing grassroots effort on island to prevent development from touching this pristine area, we say "Malama Maha'ulepu", respect Maha'ulepu. If you are a rider, this is where you should hire a horse tour. From the main road, take the right turn indicating the way to Spouting Horn, and follow the ever narrowing road around, past the little marina, up the hill, to the parking area on your right. During whales eason, December-March, this is an excellent whale watching spot. The"horn" of lava jutting out into the ocean is riddled with lava tubes and openings through which the sea bursts forth every few minutes or so. It is safer to view it from above, on the walkway, behind the fence. It is not forbidden to go down on the horn itself, but it isn't wise, either. By all means, avoid placing yourself between the ocean and a spouting area. This is a lovely place to watch the sunset. The marina you passed getting here has a perfect kayak launching spot; just park across the road. Spouting Horn's parking area is filled with little craft vendors under awnings; they have some very good bargains at this particular craft fair.

Our favorite South Shore hotel is the Hyatt. We go there for mini-vacations. The pool is INCREDIBLE and does not close. The Spa is considered one of the best on island. If you get any Spa treatment you are welcome to stay for the day. We love the Eucalyptus steam baths (yes, they are sex segregated, but there is a common area pool).Wednesdays they have a luau and the imu cooked pork is the best on island. All you can eat and drink, so get a room! I like all of the restaurants and the breakfast buffet, but Dondero's is the best Italian on island.

Some of the best restaurants on the island are on South shore, if you are going to bust a hundred on a dinner this is the place to do it. The two most well known are Roy's and Beach House, Roy's is in a bit of a slump, so the Beach House is king of the heap right now. When you call the Beach House they may tell you they do not have an opening for a week, so think about calling ahead. Or, the bar opens at 5:00 PM. At 5:30 you can order appetizers (PuPus) and at 6:00you can order off the menu. Get there at five minutes to 5:00 and you are in. A new restaurant, Red Salt is now open in the exclusive Koa Kea resort; it was enjoyable, but not in the highest tier (the Koa Kea is near the Marriott's Waiohai Beach Resort). Another great place is Merriman's Fish House, second only to the Beach House. Downstairs they have burgers and such, upstairs, fine dining. At any of the restaurants in the paragraph you can expect to drop some significant dinero. There is also a Mexican place, Tortilla Republic. I would avoid the lunch menu, but upstairs for supper is better. However, it is next to Merriman's and will cost 80% as much.

It wouldn't be right to mention South Shore and not mention Pukka Dog. We have never eaten their, but our friends are managers and apparently people love it.

Kauai - North Shore - Things to see and do

If you continue driving away from the airport past Kapaa you are headed for North Shore. Remember Puff the Magic Dragon? I understand why he lived in the land of Hanalei! Stop at the overlooks along the way, and,rain permitting, explore the wonders of the rain forest. Beware: this area does flood. When it floods, a gate is closed across the road, North of Princeville. If you are down in Hanalei when this happens,this is where you'll stay until the road is re-opened. is your friend!

Take Kuhio Highway (the ocean front road), heading North, away from the airport, all the way around to the Hanalei (one way) bridge. Having crossed it, veer to the right. You are now on Route 560. You will see Kayak Kauai on your right in bustling downtown Hanalei. They have parking and restrooms onsite. You can launch your boat from a tiny stream inlet on the property and paddle the gorgeous Hanalei River. Paddle upstream and stare at mountains, waterfalls, rainbows, and fields of green. Paddle downstream and end up at the beach with no parking hassles, pot holes, or fuss. To access to Haena State Park and Tunnels beach, keep driving on route 560 all the way past the 8 milemarker to Haena State Park. You'll see a dry cave on the left as you enter. Walk to the left on the beach, all the way to the point to catch a glimpse of the NaPali Coast. Walk to the right to access Tunnels beach; snorkeling is superb there. (When I wrote this it was; surf could be huge there in February. Consider the North Shore a place for beach hiking only for most of February.) Please make every effort not to step on live coral, and always swim with a buddy. 

Strong currents run through this entire area; please watch the wave patterns before entering the water, and try not to turn your back on the ocean. We swim in wide circles to maintain situational awareness around us in the water. Having swum through a rip with Stephen, I've witnessed the freight train like currents! On the way back, do stop at the scenic overlooks if you didn't do this on the way out. Keep an eye out for waterfalls on the way back… There will be a left turn marked with a sign for the drive out to the Kilauea Lighthouse. It's definitely worth the side trip. In the winter months,this outlook is an excellent whale watching spot. :)

Sunday mornings, the champagne brunch is up and running at the recently renovated St. Regis Hotel (formerly the Princeville Resort). There's more food than you can possibly eat, a crepe chef, an omelette chef, smoked fish and champagne for breakfast. Do get an outdoor table on the patio overlooking the Hanalei Bay. This would be a good time to have a camera handy. The St. Regis just started offering Mailani (Dinner Show) on Thursday evenings, can't tell if it's a traditional luau setup and haven't heard from anyone who has partaken yet, somaybe we'll have to go and find out! Do wander around the grounds of the St. Regis before leaving. The first time we went, we asked Geena Davis for directions to the restaurant(Princeville is sprawling.) but we didn't acknowledge her identity or ogle, and she spoke with us freely.

If you attend church, don't miss the "green church" Wai'Oli Hui'Ia in Hanalei, service is at 10AM and the hymns are in Hawaiian and in English at the same time; cacaphony..

Follow the blue guidebook for directions to Anini beach which boasts the largest reef on all of the islands; it is so big, it ( unlike the Great Wall of China) really is visible from space. Look carefully before stepping in those waters in the winter. We have an excellent guide book written by residents of the island that will provide precise directions to these places. Coming back from the North Shore, you will pass through Anahola. Keep your eyes peeled for the tiny shopping center at the bottom of the hill on your left- this is the home of the Ono Charburger, an institution on the island. Even if you're not big on burgers, stop for their Aloha fruit smoothie. It's reasonably priced, delicious and made with fruit, not syrup.

Kauai - East Shore - Things to see and do

East Shore: Coconut Coast

Near the airport

Kauai's first tall ships harbor lies at the end of our airport road.Coming in to the airport, keep to the left lane to reach it. Going out,go straight instead of veering to the left to exit. Ahukini Bay is hauntingly beautiful. Hawaiians still fish here using nets, free diving, and more modern fishing rods. Think twice before standing out on the rock wall there; waves come crashing right over it on a regular basis. Sea turtles come here to feed. On very calm days, it is safe to snorkel/dive here. Put in to the left of the sea wall and keep an eye on the sea state.

If you turn left out of the airport you will quickly be in the Kalapaki Bay area. This is not the best place to swim on island due to the often high bacteria count, but a fun place to hang out. The Marriott has beach parking and a beach volleyball net.This is a favorite spot for watching sunsets, whales,cruise ships coming in and out of Nawiliwili harbor, and outrigger canoes. The restaurant whose deck overlooks the harbor on the right hand side is JJ's Broiler. Go for lunch, not dinner. Once the sun sets, go to Nawiliwili Harbor (a short stroll) and eat dinner upstairs at Dukes (named after Duke Kahanamoku, an original Waikiki Beach Boy), reservations are recommended, best salad bar on island. Cafe Portofino (Italian) is another restaurant that should not disappoint. And, be sure to check the newspaper each day; we have a lot of small concerts here.

From the Wailua River to the Hills

Between Lihue and Kapaa you can turn Mauka (towards the mountains) at the site of the now defunct "Blue Hawaii" Coco Palms Resort; head up Kuamoo Road and stop at the Opaekaa waterfall at the top of the hill. If you come on weekends there will probably be a local artist painting the waterfall. Three hundred yards after you turn right from the waterfall on Kuamoo Road there is a small clearing. This is the unmarked path tothe pool at the waterfalls, if it resembles Fantasy Island when you get down there, don't be surprised. Unfortunately a few tourists have fallen to their death so they make it hard to do this hike. Or hike the Giant! Park on the right four hundred yards further and around the turn for a great hike up Sleeping Giant (mountain). You'll see cars parked in front of an area where horses are grazing. There's a nice picnic area about a mile up the trail where you can look out over the whole area.

Continue driving up the mountain and nearly three miles up the road there's a nearly hidden paved right hand turn that leads to a lovely reservoir with two fishing piers. Great sunset place, but do bring Skin So Soft, or whatever works for you against mosquitoes (I setup citronella candles on the rails) and bring beach chairs for a waterfront sunset view. : ) The next paved right should be the Kuiliau trailhead, my favorite hike. It has a small paved parking area on the right side as you head up the mountain toward the arboretum. The trail guides you up to the spine of the ridge where you can see mountains to your left and the sea down below to the right- this is not to be missed. Try to go on a drier day; this trail becomes really slick &muddy after a heavy rain. I love the mountains in this part of the island.

Lydgate Park

For your first snorkeling adventure turn at the Aloha Beach Resort, just a bit to the airport side of the Wailua River bridge, to access Lydgate Park. There is a perennially safe spot for swimming and snorkeling inside the lava rock walled sea pool at Lydgate: gentle waters, pretty fish, ancient Hawaiian ruins to tour, it's a nice place to wind down at the end of the day. Our community recently came together to build a second playground area for Lydgate; walk down the beach to the right as you're facing it, and you'll come upon our bridge and decked playscape. This section of beach is gorgeous and often deserted. Some say it is safe to swim in front of the golf course near their tall wall, but we've not tried it - proceed with caution. About ten people suffer death by drowning every year here.Stick to swimming at Lydgate till you have your gear checked out! And, stick to swimming at beaches with lifeguards. If you must swim in the ocean where there are no lifeguards, please wear fins.

As you first cross the Wailua river towards Kapaa, consider the Cafe Coco on Thursday through Sunday nights.I t's a laid back atmosphere, outdoor, (but rain protected) dining experience with a wonderful ambiance. Call in advance to hear who's playing when. Last time we were there, we found hula dancing to Hawaiian folk music. They don't serve libation, but you are welcome to bring your own. Strongly suggest long pants or mosquito spray. Across the street in the Kinipopo shopping center on the Makai (ocean) side of the highway is Kintaro,not really my thing, but very popular with the locals (sushi and teppenyaki tables). Reservations to Kintaro are strongly recommended. In the same area is Brick Oven Pizza Wailua, Stephen's favorite pizza on island, but a bit pricey for pizza. We always get the brushed with butter wholewheat crust. Also in Kinipopo center are Monico's (Diane's favorite Mexican food on island) and there is also a Korean BBQ.

The new restaurant on east shore is Lava Lava. It is a lot of fun with tables and sitting areas right on the sand. Reservations for table outside are recommended, the sitting areas are first come, first serve.

Go to the Coconut Marketplace. Yes, it really is open, but they have been remodeling for years. Walk behind it out to the beach. Starting at the Kauai Sands, there's a 1/2-mile walk along the shoreline. It's a romantic stroll at night. All the hotels along that strip pitched in to make and maintain the walkway. Sometimes monk seals come onto the beach for the night. Do plan on taking a moonlight walk on the beach, or several beaches. Near the end of the 1/2 mile walk is a restaurant called the Hukilau; excellent seafood, steak,fresh salads, and a robust wine list await you there; we highly recommend this restaurant. 
Kapaa to Kealia

From Coconut Marketplace, turn right, and you'll be into Kapaa's primary shopping area, with three grocery stores ( depending on how you count) and more. On your left you will see Foodland where they have a decent Indian restaurant. The Kauai Village shopping center which is anchored by Safeway. 

In Kauai Village there is a cluster of restaurants: Subway, Papaya's organic food, Panda Express, to name a few. Papaya's is a health food store and hot/cold deli. It's a good place to get a bowl of soup, a touch of tabouli, hummus, or falafel as you're passing through. For sodas, water bottles and picnic supplies consider Cost U Less, a quarter mile down the road in the direction of North Shore (going away from the airport), because they can save you a little bit of money.

I try to shop at Safeway very carefully, their fish prices are often competitive, but their produce is very high. Head past our three grocery stores, and you'll soon be in "old Kapaa town" with some fun local stores to do window shopping. Best informal food in old Kapaa town: Pono Market. Try their sushi/sashimi/poke. It's top quality, fresh, delicious and it goes fast. The scallop salad is my personal favorite, but it's all good. Pick a few of their concoctions, grab some chopsticks and wander out to the beach for a fun picnic. The farmer's market is on Wednesday at 3:00 in Kapaa. Go to the coconut man's stand, and buy an icy cold coconut with a straw in it. (5.50 for a large one; ask for two straws and share!) When you've sipped all the coconut milk, take it back to him for whacking so you can proceed to eat the fresh coconut inside. 

Some of the classic places to eat are Bubba Burgers and Olympic Cafe, neither is very good, but if you like road front car watching dining, you might enjoy. Mermaids isn't for everyone, but I like their Ahi wrap and get it to do, walk around to the ocean and sit down and eat it right on the grass, the liquor store across the street has great prices on very cold waterbottles. My favorite, by far though is Chicken in a Barrel. It is next to the recreation center and we love to get some plates and sit by the ocean. Highly recommended.

Breakfast is often enjoyed at Country Kitchen. It isn't our cup of team, but many a Sunday morning there is a waiting line. Next door is Hemingway, a coffee shop that has been expanding their food offerings steadily and they speak gluten free.

Continuing north from old Kapaa town, drive a few more blocks past the soccer field and Kapaa library and park on the right side. This is one of several access point to a beach trail that continues closely along the coastal shoreline almost to Anahola. There are few amenities alongside the path; plan on carrying water. The first surf beach you'll see is Kealia where there is a bathroom and water fountain. This is a good place to watch surfers; do not attempt to swim here unless you enter on the far left and swim near the rock wall on your left. This is a beautiful spot, particularly for walking and ocean viewing. However,wicked waves and currents abound here. Park and watch the Octopus divers while sipping morning coffee.

Art Night Kapaa

In Kapaa, on the first Saturday of the month is Art Walk Night. Everybody comes out for it, hopefully we will see you there.