Shane and I got back from our honeymoon early yesterday morning. For those who do not know, we went to Maui and it was absolutely spectacular, to say the least. I saw some of the most beautiful scenery of my life, swam in the Pacific Ocean for the first time ever, and of course, ate some of the most delicious seafood I have EVER had. If you ever get the chance to visit Hawaii, specifically the island of Maui, I would HIGHLY encourage you to go to Mama's Fish House in the little town of Paia, which is close to the airport in Kahului. Yes, you will probably spend more money than you ever thought possible. Yes, you will probably sweat a little when you get your bill. But I guarantee you will have an immediate thought of, "It was TOTALLY worth it," when you leave. The menu changes daily because the items are caught THAT morning. Yes, it is THAT fresh.
For an appetizer, we got the Macadamia Nut Crusted Crab Cakes. They were TO die for.
For our entrees, I got the Bouillabaisse, which the menu describes as Mahimahi, lobster, shrimp, scallop and shellfish simmered in a saffron broth, with garlic rouille. (the garlic rouille was like a bright yellow butter that I stirred into the broth to thicken and flavor it--delicious!) It was SO filling and the little octopus in it kind of freaked me out, but I'm glad I got it. It was definitely an "adventurous" meal.
Shane got Ono, which is a Hawaiian fish, also known as Wahoo. (I didn't know this until recently, but maybe I'm the only one who didn't know!) It was sauteed in a lemon-butter caper sauce and the fish seriously melted in your mouth.
For dessert, we got the Banana Macadamia Nut Crisp, which was served with Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream.....seems pretty self-explanatory and needless to say, it was outstanding.
So that was our over-the-top meal we had in Maui, but it was also probably one of the best meals I have ever had in my life--at least that stands out in my mind!
The next excellent tasting experience we had in Hawaii was our discovery of pineapple wine. Unfortunately we did not have the time or money to try all the different types that the store had to offer, but we did, fortunately, select one particular bottle that we absolutely loved. In fact, we loved it so much we brought home 6 bottles (to share, of course...except for 2 we are keeping for ourselves). Anyway, if you enjoy a dry chardonnay or a sauvignon blanc (which is a very dry white wine, for those who don't know wine) you would LOVE Maui Blanc. It isn't overly sweet at all (hence the dry factor) but it has a definite pineapple taste to it. I don't enjoy sweet wine at all (except for maybe once in a while by the pool or if it is a homemade sangria) so this wine was perfect for me. It offered just enough sweet to get the pineapple taste, but not too much where you feel like you're drinking straight pineapple juice.
This is the only picture of the bottle that I have. (The beer pictured with it is Primo beer, which is actually now brewed in California, but it was originally based in Honolulu and you can't find it anywhere around here. It's very cheap and is pretty similar to any domestic lager.)
My recommendation is to absolutely make all efforts to visit the island of Maui and experience the fantastic food, the beautiful beaches, and save your money so you can eat at Mama's Fish House, as well as the other fantastic restaurants that are all over the island. Hawaii isn't cheap for sure, but we found that the average restaurants were no more expensive than any other "vacation town". Its vacation! Live a little!
Moving onto the actual intended subject for this blog as a whole......back to cooking! I haven't cooked in quite awhile for the obvious reason that we've been gone, but the week prior to us leaving, I was pretty much an invalid and didn't do much of anything. I had a muscle spasm in my left arm/shoulder and it was so painful that all I wanted to do was lay on the couch and put heat/ice on it. Anyway, thankfully that is all gone and 100% better so back to the kitchen I go!
This week/next week's recipes are all from Pinterest, except for one pork chop recipe that is from allrecipes.com. I chose a few of them based on the fact that many of them have common ingredients.
- Roasted Zucchini and Tomato Pasta
- Roasted green beans and mushrooms, balsamic, and parmesan
- The Best Pork Chops you will Ever Taste (this is a repeat offender and I plan to make this with the roasted green beans)
- Maple-Mustard Glazed Pork Chops (another repeat...notice the pork chop kick I went on this time!)
- Skillet Rice with Chickpeas, Coconut Milk, and Tomatoes (not sure what made me choose this one except for that I read it freezes easily and makes great leftovers--can't wait to try it!)
- Hawaiian Crockpot Chicken (okay okay so the Hawaiian part kinda drew me to this, but it is so dadgum easy! Only thing is I couldn't find any Hawaiian BBQ sauce at Wal-Mart so I got Honey-flavored BBQ sauce instead. I may end up going to Kroger in search of the real thing though since Wally World didn't have coconut milk for the skillet rice either and I'll have to go back for that)
- Homemade spaghetti sauce--I think I've already shared this recipe, but I got it from my friend Amber and it's definitely a "to your taste" kind of thing. Let me know if you want it!
Tonight I'm doing the pork chops and green beans! Hoping to please the husband since he had his first day back at work today. :)