Bofur’s Vegan Mince Pies.

” If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”

What a lovely feeling it is, to have a book or film transport you some place magical, that you fall in love with. It’s one of my favorite feelings, which I’m quite sure is shared throughout most of the human race. There are very mixed reviews among fans about Peter Jackson’s adaptations of The Hobbit, but all I will say is that I like them. That is not to say that I don’t have a few opinions on this or that, but I stand by them and by Peter Jackson’s vision of them. And how grateful I am and glad that they were even made at all, as during many points since The Lord of the Rings and now, the odds were not in their favor.



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Vegan Lembas Bread.

Let me tell you something about myself that you may not know, Joe Rogan (love whoever gets that reference); I LOVE The Lord of the Rings. I love The Hobbit. I love Tolkien. I love the books, films and most everything having to do with them. For some people, it’s Star Wars and for others it’s Doctor Who, but when it comes to my nerd side, it’s all about Middle Earth for me.

I first fell in love with LOTR when I was 12 or 13 (can’t remember). My cousins had given one big copy of all of the books to my brother as a gift. I just remember sneaking it into my room and diving in. It wasn’t until I was about 17 that I read its prequel, The Hobbit, and subsequently loved it….although I did grow up watching that cheesy cartoon version of it.

Proof of Nerdery: Me & pretend Erebor-

My eyes looks a little devil-y, but it was dark and we were trying to take quick pics because the Hollywood Xmas parade was on & out of control.
My eyes looks a little devil-y, but it was dark and we were trying to take quick pics because the Hollywood Xmas parade was on & out of control.

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Pie Hole.

Would you like to fall into a hole full of pies? Well then…you’ve come to the right post. I was looking through my food photos and realized that I made so many pies over summer (when I was going crazy for berries) and only posted about a few of them. And what a sad thing that is…because pie is meant to be shared.

Blueberry Pie w/ Honey & Fresh Thyme.


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Jackfruit Char Siu & Vegan Manapua.

Happy Halloween! I’m home tonight and I thought I would take this opportunity to update this little blog.

Char siu is a Chinese BBQ pork, usually slow cooked in a sweet and slightly spicey sauce/glaze. I’ve never eaten the real thing, but I remember the red-glazed meat from Chinese restaurants growing up. The inspiration to create a vegan version of char siu comes from my desire to veganize as many Hawaiian staple dishes as possible. Somehow, making these foods here in Los Angeles reminds me of being there…among the apple bananas and sugarcane. I dream a little dream of some day being able to live there part of the time and the other half of the year here in good ol’ LA.

Homemade Veg Manapua w/ Jackfruit Char Siu.
Homemade Veg Manapua w/ Jackfruit Char Siu.

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Coconut-Lilikoi Tapioca.

My favorite place on all of Maui is Kula. Kula is nestled up on the western slope of Haleakala. One of my favorite sights is looking up at Kula from further down the volcano; there is this breathtaking light and dark contrast up on the hillside, created by a mix of the sun, clear blue sky and the clouds that hover above and around the peak of the volcano. You see this bright, beautiful patches of bright green meadows intertwined with dark patches of forest, all illuminated against the grey and blue sky created by the clouds. It’s difficult to describe, but just…lovely.


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Orchids of Olinda & Lilikoi Orchid Tartlets.

Warning. This post is going to have a lot of orchid photos.

The first time I remember seeing orchids and hearing that word, was on the Big Island when I was a kid. We had been driving around the island all day. We met a man from New Jersey who grew coffee (and maybe some other things 😉 ) and sold ice cream. We went into a macadamia nut packing house where I watched a bunch of ladies in hairnets in front of a conveyor belt I Love Lucy style. And then after running around on a black sand beach, we headed back to Kona. On the way, we stopped by a giant greenhouse, which ended up being filled with orchids.


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POG Muffins.

I had my first taste of pog, on my very first flight to Hawaii (the Big Island). I can’t remember how old I was, but I remember the flight attendant handing me the little plastic cup of goodness with the foil lid. I looked at the pinkish juice and took a sip. A flood of sweet deliciousness! I have loved pog ever since, but it is only an indulgence saved for my trips to Hawaii.

I saw these muffins on Eat the Love before my last trip, so I bookmarked the recipe to veganize during my stay.


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Taro Cupcakes.

Some where….some how, I came into possession of this poi powder. For most of my unusual ingredients, I have ideas for things to go along with them. Not the case with this poi powder, which is dehydrated taro pounded into a powder. If I wanted to make poi, I know where I can get fresh taro, so what else could I do with this stuff? Then I remembered some of my other strange pantry powders, like my matcha green tea powder. So, I thought to myself….YEAH. Green tea cupcakes…..but I’ma sub out everything green tea and put in powdered poi magic. And so it went.



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Pineapple Pie and the Island of Lanai.

On a clear day in Maui, depending on what side of the island you’re on, you can see both Oahu and the Big Island. But even if the day is not so clear, you always have a nice view of Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe. On my last trip, my dad and I adventured to Molokai to explore what the island had to offer. This time around, I planned a day trip and picnic for my friend and I on Lanai.


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Guava Bread & Iao Valley.


On my many trips to Maui, I always find myself exploring new places and experiencing new things. One may think you would quickly run out of things to do on an island so small, but that could not be further from the truth. I, without a doubt, find myself at the airport bound for Los Angeles listing and dreaming about all the things that I did not have time to do.

On my most recent trip, a friend and I decided to visit Iao Valley for the first time. I had heard of its beauty and wanted to see for myself. We arrived at the park, paid our $5 entry and read some signs about what the park offered. While the landscape was breathtaking, my friend and I were a bit disappointed at how short and small the trails were and how paved they were….Part of it almost looked like a garden planted at a museum (which are quite beautiful, but not what we were looking for). We took the short walk up to view the needle. It was a breathtaking day with the clearest of blue skies touched ever so slightly with perfect puffs of little white clouds.


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