BBQ Chicken

Guinness BBQ Chicken

My husband and I love to throw football game parties for our friends and family.

The excitement of the game and shouts of encouragement make game day special.

Last weekend, I decided to prepare my recipe for Guinness beer BBQ chicken. I made them using chicken wings, which is more appropriate for a football game. It makes for succulent tasty chicken wing that makes it impossible to eat just one wing.

Beer BBQ Chicken recipe
I love this particular Guinness Beer BBQ chicken recipe because it has Asian influence.

You can vary it by changing the pieces of chicken or adding other ingredients such as extra brown sugar or herbs. Some variations that I have found tasty are adding a touch of curry,  chili powder, or cayenne pepper if you want it spicier. Try to vary it by adding molasses or more unique Asian spices. Or you can add chopped tomatoes or cheeses to the mix if you wanted it less spicy.

The beer adds a richness of flavor and deepens the taste. Guinness beer adds a distinct flavor to this BBQ sauce, but don’t be too concerned about the alcohol, as it cooks away with the high temperatures.

The sauce is also great to try on other kinds of meats. I love to cook pork with it – like ribs or a tenderloin. I’ve found that it’s also good to serve something bland with this dish because of the spicy nature, so I usually add celery sticks with ranch or fries or rice.

This BBQ chicken recipe could be made in advance and then refrigerated. The more it rests in the refrigerator, the more intense the flavors become. 

If you do not want to grill outside, cook the chicken with a wok. Follow the recipe and when it gets sticky and thick then transfer the chicken pieces to a clean baking dish and keep warm in the oven.

While preparing this dish, think about fixing something cool for a dessert to complement it. Key Lime pie, ice cream or sorbet are some good choices. 

Here is the basic version of the recipe that you can expand on and make it your own.

Guinness BBQ Chicken Recipe


  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon syrup or molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • Herbs of your choice such as sage or parsley
  • 1 Bottle of Guinness beer
  • 3 lbs. Chicken pieces wings or breasts
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce


Rub salt and pepper on the chicken pieces. Place the pieces in a baking dish. Mix all of the remaining ingredients together. Separate a cup to baste with. Pour the rest of the sauce over the chicken and refrigerate overnight. Turn the chicken pieces halfway through the marinade process so that each side will soak up the flavor. Next day, remove the chicken from the marinade. Cook the chicken on the grill. Do not reuse the marinade that the chicken was in overnight. It was on raw chicken and is not safe to use. Turn the chicken on the grill frequently. As you cook the chicken brush with the reserved marinade. When the chicken is done place the chicken pieces into a clean baking dish. Pour any reserved marinade that has not been used over the top of the chicken. Serve and enjoy with rice or your favorite side dish. Don’t forget the napkins!

mango chiffon cake

Mango Chiffon Cake

I just ran across a really nice recipe for Mango Chiffon Cake

I substituted a few ingredients and turned it into a cake that easier to make but just as good. The ingredient list is nice and short on my version, too – it’s easy to find everything you need.


  • 2 cups Cake Flour, sifted
  • 3/4 cup + 3/4 cup White Granulated Sugar, divided
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 7 large Egg Whites
  • 1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 7 large Egg Yolks
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable or Canola Oil
  • 3/4 cup Mango Puree


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 8″ x 4″ tube pan by lightly greasing the inside. (Be sure to use a big enough cake pan to prevent the batter from overflowing while baking!)
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the cake flour, 3/4 cup of sugar, and baking powder. Whisk to combine, then set aside until ready to use.
  3. In the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar. Whip on high speed until soft peaks form (the egg whites will look white and foamy), then slowly pour the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar. Continue to whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form (the egg whites will appear shiny/glossy).
  4. Make a well in the center of the bowl of dry ingredients, and add the egg yolks, oil, and mango puree. Whisk together until all of the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is pale and creamy. Add 1/3 of the whipped egg whites, and fold it in to lighten this mixture. Next, gently fold the mango-flour mixture in batches into the rest of the egg whites.
  5. Once the batter has completely come together, pour it into the prepared cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. A thin wooden skewer inserted into the cake should come out cleanly.
  6. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for a few minutes, then use an offset spatula or knife to loosen the sides of the cake from the pan. Invert the cake onto a cooling rack. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.
  7. Cover the cooled cake with icing.
  8. Serve and enjoy!
mango margarita

Isla Sangria Frozen Margaritas

Recently, my husband and I had a rare chance to spend some time together away from the kids – we flew down to Cabo, San Lucas, for the weekend. The resort we stayed at was all inclusive, and there was a lot of alcohol available. A lot of it was Sangria – but I find the traditional Sangria drink is too tart for my taste.

When I was down there, I missed the richer, fruitier taste of my favorite Hawaiian-style drinks.  So after I came home, I decided to give the basic Isla Sangria an upgrade. My version uses white wine, fresh mango, lime juice, nectarines, calamansi fruit – plus a shot of tequila to give it that authentic margarita kick.

The Isla Sangria is a refreshing alcoholic drink that is easy to prepare. This is a very tropical drink that needs to be served ice cold or the flavors will clash a bit.

This one is really special because it’s made with the juice of the calamansi fruit, a delectable treat that most Americans don’t know much about. The calamansi is from Asia and the Philippines, and it’s sort of a cross between a lime and an orange. Very unique flavor.


When I decided to spruce up my Sangria with these richer tropical flavors and more sweetness, I was really pleased with the results. My Isla Sangria Margarita is really popular with friends and neighbors, especially during the summer time! The cubed mango soaks up some of the flavor of the Sangria, adding a rich fruitiness that reminds me of my days growing up in Hawaii. The Isla Sangria is an enjoyable change to an old favorite.

It can be made one-by-one or in a punch bowl. You can use either honey or sugar to sweeten it, by the way. Swapping-out your favorite fruits would be a great way to make this one your own. 


  • 4 cups or one bottle of chilled white wine. Using a sweet wine is preferable
  • 2 cups of mango nectar. This will add sweetness to the drink
  • 1/2 cup calamansi juice. This tart juice will counter the sweetness of the mango juice.
  • 2 large mangos peeled and diced.You can slice the fruit if desired but cubes will be easier to eat.
  • 2 large nectarines pitted and diced. Depending on the glass size it is easier to cube the fruit in this drink
  • 15 calamansis, halved. Use these if you are putting the drink into a punch bowl. 


Freeze The Night Before


The day before your next party, mix up a batch of Isla Sangrias and make sure that the fruit is cut very small. Pour the mixture into popcicle trays in whatever shape you desire. Freeze them for at least six hours.

When ready to serve, drop a few of your Sangria-sicles into a blender or margarita maker machine (check out this one!) and top them off with a few shots of tequila and a cup or two more of chilled wine. Then, blend on high for a few 3-second bursts until they are smoothly blended.

If you want, you can reduce the fruit and just use it as an accent. This will help in the freezing of the ice pops. 

ahi poke with ogo seaweed

Ahi Poke With Ogo Seaweed

Ahi Poke is a common sight at Hawaiian family get togethers and outdoor activities.

In Hawaiian, Ahi is another name for raw tuna (preferably yellow fin) and Poke means to “mix up”. So, mixed-up raw tuna. 

The tradition of ahi poke goes back many years.  Real Hawaiians eat their poke with their fingers. It is not unusual to see this still done today at luaus.

I like to serve my poke with tropical fruits on the side – mangoes are a great addition when cubed and chilled. Sprinkled with coconut shavings and diced pinapple, mangos go well with any fresh ahi or sashimi dish.

Ahi poke can be served chunky or mashed into a paste. If served as a paste, most native Hawaiians will add it to a leaf of lettuce. This way, they can take it with them on picnics and hikes. Sometimes, poke is served layered with sheets of ogo seaweed for contrast. This layering adds a real beauty to the dish.

Ahi poke is a great go-to meal on a hot summers day. It is cold and refreshing, with bites of cold cucumber or lemon along with the diced raw (sashimi) ahi. It can be fixed in several different ways. Sometimes, people like to add sesame seeds, macadamia nuts and diced green onions. Recipes for ahi poke are as varied as the people that make it. 

ahi poke with green onions and black sesame seeds

ahi poke with green onions and black sesame seeds

Listed below is my husband’s favorite recipe that he often asks for after a run or a long day working in the yard.

This recipe uses sea salt, lemons, minced onions, and ice cold cucumbers cubed. The combination makes the tuna even more refreshing due to the chilled ingredients. Because of the lemon juice, the ahi is not completely raw. Lemon acids break down and chemically “cook” the tuna when left to marinate a while in the fridge.

Sometimes I add ogo seaweed and black sesame seeds, which gives my poke an earthy flavor that most good pokes have. Another good thing to add to a poke are small pungent mushrooms. The dusky taste of mushrooms really balances the fresh flavor of this particular poke. Mince or dice the mushrooms for a finer texture and try out different kinds.


  • 6 cups of finely diced yellow fin ahi raw tuna
  • 1 cup white onion, finely minced
  • 1 cup cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup green onion, minced,
  • 1/4 cup black sesame seeds,
  • 4 tablespoons sesame oil,
  • 1 cup lemon juice,
  • sea salt and pepper to taste,
  • ogo seaweed, chopped,
  • variety of mushrooms, finely chopped


  1. Mix the raw diced ahi tuna with the lemon juice and salt and pepper.
  2. Set this mixture aside in the refrigerator for an hour or two.
  3. Then mix together all of the remaining ingredients and return to the refrigerator over night.

This combination makes a great dish for the family and a great start to a summer meal. It can also be served on a salad or in a wrap. But most of the time my husband eats it by itself, with a side of Hawaiian sesame bread.

lemon bars with coconut crust

Mango Lemon Bars With Coconut Crust

The weekend was so much fun! but here it is, Monday again.

It’s 4 am and the alarm goes off, waking my 2 sleepy kids and my husband (who has a trip to take). Looking outside, I can see a drizzle of rain. My shoulders slump.

What could possibly help my Monday morning blues?

And then, I remembered:  the mango lemon bars we made yesterday! Just thinking about them made my mouth immediately pucker up with anticipation. That flaky coconut crust, the lemon zest and the vanilla bean tempted me. Oh, how they tempted.

Luckily, we had about a dozen left in the fridge from our weekend family get together, so my entire family got to kick our crappy week off with a sweet treat for breakfast. Changes your attitude right away, let me tell you. Especially the kids.

The mango lemon bar recipe below brings back images of my completely tropical life in Hawaii, growing up. Mangos, lemons and coconut have just the right amount of tartness and sweetness to make these bars a special treat any day. When I was a kid, we used to eat them on rainy days, too.

This version is simple to make and perfect for taking to people’s houses or to a school function. They have the sweet luscious taste of mangoes and the tartness of lemons, riding on a crispy-crunchy bed of toasted coconut. Yum!

They also contain nutrients and vitamin C. Yep, that’s right: I’m selling you a dessert that will protect your family from colds and flu (hehe)!

Depending on the size of your crowd, you may want to make a double batch of these. Or keep a few in the fridge, for a rainy day.


First you will need to line a square glass pan 13 x 9″” with parchment paper. Next, we will make the crust.




  • 1 3/4 cups coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt.


  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup cubed mango
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • sprinkle of salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • parchment paper


The Crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Mix the crust in a medium bowl.
  3. Put the crust mixture into a baking dish.
  4. Spread the mixture mashing it down firmly into the bottom of the dish.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes until its golden.
  6. Remove and let it cool before cutting.
  7. Now turn the heat up to 350 on the oven.

The Filling

  1. Put the other items into a blender.
  2. Pulse it until its smooth.
  3. Pour the filling over the pre-baked crust.
  4. Bake 20 minutes until almost set in the center.
  5. Remove from the oven and let it cool for fifteen minutes before cutting.

Variations To Try

In the crust, you can make it with or without the coconut. Instead mix in a cup of macadamia nuts into the blender. After they are pulverized add them to the crust mixture. Another good thing to add to the crust is vanilla bean. Gently open it lengthwise with a knife. Scrape out the vanilla bean seeds. Add this to the crust as you are mixing it. It will add delicious flavor to the bars.

For variations on the filling, add some pineapple juice to the filling instead of or along with the lemon juice. It will make a sweeter bar but just as delicious. Or, in place of the lemon use oranges. Be sure to zest the orange peel to add more flavor to the dish. Orange also goes very well with the mangoes.

lemon bar on plate with dusting of sugar

When serving the mango lemon bars, they can be dusted lightly with powdered sugar. Or you can put a dollup of whipped cream or white frosting on top of each bar. This looks pretty at a buffet table. If you like, try cutting them into different sizes or lengths. They do not all have to be the same size. Or at parties cut them smaller and put a party pick in them.

The lesson here is simple: next time you are having a bad Monday, eat something sweet and tropical. The heat of the day will eventually turn cooler at night, and the sounds of family and friends enjoying your delights will makes the week all worth it. I promise you. Besides, tropical fruits are both delicious and good for you. 

Make your next Monday a Mango Lemon Bar day!

mangos and sticky rice

How to Make Mango Sticky Rice from Scratch

When I grew up in Hawaii, we ate sticky rice pretty much every day for lunch or breakfast.

Every once in a while, though, my mom knew how to turn that boring starch into a Thai dessert magic – by adding mangos, of course.

Seriously, mango sticky rice is to die for. But in truth, it is not really made with regular sticky rice – to make this dish, you need sweet rice.

Sweet rice is sometimes called glutinous rice, and you can find it in most Asian groceries and on some Asian food shelves at your local market.

Because this dessert was such a delight during my childhood, I decided to share the recipe with you, especially since it is so simple. As long as you have a couple of products bought from your local Asian food market, your sticky rice will undoubtedly turn out great – and I am honestly warning you that you will fall in love with it.


mango sticky rice coconut milk

Making sticky rice is as simple as saying ABC, as you will only need one main ingredient: sticky rice. However, don’t start looking for sticky rice in your local stores and markets, because you won’t find it – at least, not with this name. Instead, look for sweet rice, or glutinous rice, which should be available in most markets that have Asian food shelves.

To make the mango sticky rice recipe I mentioned above, you will need:

  • 1 1/2 sweet rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 3 mango fruits (peeled and sliced)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds.

If you don’t usually eat white refined sugar, replace it with brown sugar – the taste will be pretty much the same, although your sticky rice is going to look a little brown.


Now that you have all the ingredients, you are ready to start making one of the most delicious Asian desserts you will ever eat.

  1. Start by combining the sweet water and rice in a saucepan, then bringing them to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat from medium to low and cover the saucepan.
  3. Simmer the mixture for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the water is completely absorbed. At this point, you shouldn’t be able to see any water, just the rice that has absorbed it all.
  4. In the mean while, mix together 1 cup sugar, 1 1/2 coconut milk and 1/2 salt in a second saucepan over medium-high heat, bringing them to a boil.
  5. Now remove them from heat, and put the saucepan aside.
  6. Once the rice has absorbed all of the water, stir it into the coconut milk-based mixture you have just made, then cover it. Allow it to cool for about 60 minutes.
  7. Now it comes my favorite part: making the sauce that will give the sticky rice such an amazing taste. Mix together 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, tapioca starch, and 1/2 cup coconut milk in a separate saucepan, and bring the entire mixture to a boil.
  8. Serve the rice on a plate with mango arranged on top, pour the sauce you have just made over the mango slices, and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. If sesame seeds aren’t your favorite, forget about them – your sticky rice will taste fabulous anyway!

mangos and sticky rice

mango butter cream frosting icing

Mango Butter Cream Icing

Being creative in the kitchen with my kids is something I love to do.

Its not always easy to find the time, but I try. 

When I cook with my kids, I like to use tropical ingredients such as mango or coconut or pineapple, because they remind me of home in Hawaii. When I make meals with these ingredients, my kids learn to appreciate my heritage AND enjoy a treat. 

I like to remember that cooking with my kids is not about perfection. Its about creativity and having fun together. This is family time to expand their world and letting them try new foods. I love baking with my kids and seeing their eyes sparkle with delight when they help. When I get out the mixer and the bowls, I often hear the clatter of running feet and see bright smiling faces pop up to help. It’s our special time together.

Mango butter cream frosting is one of my all-time favorite icings. It makes even plain vanilla cupcakes taste wonderful. 

I like to take a few simple ingredients and turn it into a luscious cake or cupcakes with this sweet mango frosting. I am always being asked to bake something for a school function and this frosting gets noticed. Mango frosting is sweet and yet fruity. Its not used so much that it is the same old, same old. At school functions, I get the odd, “Oh those cupcakes look good – what flavor are they?”.

How to Select The Perfect Mango

Mangoes are a tropical fruit found in the Hawaiian islands and elsewhere. Their fruit is sweet, flavorful and peach colored. When you are at the store, look for one that gives slightly when you press on it, similar to the feel of choosing a ripe avocado. It should feel slightly heavy for its size, too.


Once you have your mango home, look it over and locate the eye. The eye is the small indentation in the fruit that tells you where the seed is. Mango seeds are hard to locate unless you know where to look, because they are the same color as the fruit. So, stand the mango up in front of you and locate the eye. Then slice the mango down each side removing the cheeks of the fruit. Do not cut in the center though as that is a flat seed.

Mangoes will continue to ripen so make sure you leave it out of the refrigerator until it is as ripe as you want it. Then, when refrigerated, it will last another seven days.

Mango Butter Cream Icing


  • 1 Stick of butter, softened
  • 4 Tablespoons of mango puree ( Take 2 pitted, peeled and diced mangoes and puree them in a blender)
  • 3-4 Cups of powdered sugar
  • Optional – 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons mango jam if desired to intensify the flavor


  • Puree all of the mangoes adding extra diced pieces of mango to make the right consistency.
  • Put the softened butter in a bowl and using the hand mixer cream it for about two minutes.
  • Add in the powdered sugar a bit at a time beating until it is well mixed. Use all of the powdered sugar.
  • Now add in the mango puree and you can adjust this as needed.
  • Add in the mango jam to add extra flavor or you can use more of the mango puree.

Fill your icing or frosting piping bag and have fun decorating cupcakes with your children and family.

Homemade Blueberry Sherbet

Homemade Blueberry Sherbet

Being a mother is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, but sometimes, the everyday challenges that come with it can really get to me!

As a mom, I always have to make choices for my kids, be it nutrition-related choices or other choices.

One of the top guilty indulgences of my kids would have to be ice-cream. My kids love ice-cream, in fact I think if given a choice, they would love to have this for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Nevertheless, I can’t allow that to happen. Ice-cream is full of processed fats, artificial flavors, sugar and other unhealthy ingredients. Therefore, I restrict and does not really approve of the consumption of ice-cream by my kids.

Of course, grudging the kids of their favorite food is definitely very heartbreaking but sometimes what must be done must be done!

However, this doesn’t mean that I am a bad mum because I don’t just stop at restricting my kids from eating store-bought ice-cream, instead I strive to make them homemade alternatives are healthy and do not compromise on the taste factor.

The weather in Hawaii can get brutal – especially in the summer, when the temperature rises well beyond the comfortable zone. During such times, homemade ice cream is a welcome treat. With this all-nAtural recipe, you won’t have to worry about your kids gorging on an extra helping of the ice-cream.

One of my favorite homemade ice-cream recipes is the following blueberry sherbet recipe.

Homemade Blueberry Sherbet

This is a type of frozen dessert that does not just look good but tastes good, too. It is a flavorful dessert that uses natural ingredients, a standard blender and a freezer.

You don’t really need to have an ice cream maker in order to make this dessert. Although the name may be ‘blueberry’, the bright purple color of the sherbet is attractive. Once you pop this delicious frozen treat in your mouth, you’d be greeted by the flavorful taste of blueberries and the tanginess of lemon or lime.

When I make blueberry sherbet, I like to add my own twist to the classic recipe in order to make it my own and also to make it more healthy and exciting for my kids.

If you all have been following me then you will know that I love to cook and experiment with dishes. For this dish, I like adding in a Tropical ingredient such as mango or pineapple to it to give the recipe more of a Hawaiian feel.

The following is my recipe for blueberry sherbet, which has been an instant hit with my kids:


– 2 cups of fresh blueberries (frozen blueberries can also be used in case fresh ones aren’t available)
– 1 cup buttermilk (fat-free)
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 1 tbspn lemon or lime juice (fresh)
– 1/2 tspn vanilla essence
– 1 cup mixed tropical fruits (mango, pineapple, etc) cut into small cubes


In a blender, throw in the blueberries, buttermilk, sugar, lime juice and vanilla extract and blend until smooth.

Now, fold in the tropical fruit cubes and mix well.

Pour the mixture into a baking tray or a large square serving bowl and pop it into the freezer for 4-5 hours.

If you like your sherbet extra firm, then let it freeze overnight. However, be warned that the longer you freeze it, the more difficult it will be to blend it later!

When ready to serve, process the frozen mixture in a blender (I like to use my Margaritaville Frozen Drink Machine) until it reaches a smooth consistency and put it into the freezer again for 4-5 hours. You can serve this in a cocktail glass with a sprig of mint for garnishing.

Processing the frozen sherbet-in-the-making well is definitely the key to the smoothness of the sherbet.

This is a dessert recipe that you can make in advance, which is why it is a great idea for when you have guests over in your house. This way, you won’t have to leave the dinner table to fuss over the dessert, you can simply open the freezer, pop this out, serve it to your guests in cute cocktail glasses or bowls and watch them get bowled over by the taste!

Beer & Bacon Waffles

bacon waffles

Many years back, I went out to brunch with a pal at one of the places that has a wide-ranging menu of pages and pages of information.

I normally loathe this, as I don’t possess the sharpest decision making abilities. In a special small carton, I saw Bacon Waffle through my sleep-addled gaze and was intrigued.

Over the next 30 minutes, I came back to that page over and over again until my friend told me to purchase the darn thing. So I did and it absolutely was divine – buttery crispy batter with bacon bits throughout.

I promptly told the chefs on duty when I went to work the following day. The truth is, I couldn’t shut up concerning bacon waffles!. I told everyone who came to work that day and likely everyone in a 5 mile radius the entire week. Those things rock!

I had come to believe that bacon waffles were, hands down, the biggest thing ever and everyone had to understand about it. It was like I needed to convert the basic waffle heathens and was in a wild bacon waffle cult.

On my last day at the restaurant, my favourite chef made me some. It turned out to be a touching send off.

Afterward, I recognized it was not easy to make them at home. Through trial and error, however, I have figured it out.

I began with my favourite buttermilk waffle recipe and tweaked it until I enjoyed the results. My significant moment arrived when I added left bacon fat to the batter.

I love high-end bacon, but for this recipe I favor the inexpensive stuff.

Scatter the bacon in addition to the batter in the waffle iron – you’ll be able to command the quantity you would like in each individual waffle and it remains crunchy. The touches soften and you’ve got pork waffles, when stirred into the batter, the distribution per square is not appropriate.

Bacon waffles

Serves 3 to 4 people.


  • ½ pound thick cut bacon, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons reserved bacon fat



1. Cut the bacon into rather small dice – about 1/8” or about the size of bacon bits.

2. In a heavy sauté pan over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy.  Drain on paper towels.

3. Measure off 2 Tablespoons of the rendered bacon fat for the batter and set aside.

4. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.

5. In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk and the eggs, whisking to break up the eggs.

6. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the buttermilk/egg mixture and stir to just combine.

7. Add the melted butter and the bacon fat and stir only until just smooth, careful not to over mix.

8. Heat your waffle iron.

9. Spray all the panels well with cooking spray then ladle the batter into the iron – I use about ¼ cup per waffle square.

10. Sprinkle each waffle square with a healthy pinch of bacon bits.

11. Close iron and cook until golden brown.

12. Serve immediately with butter and real maple syrup.  And maybe more bacon on the side — what else were you going to do with that extra half pound?

hawaiian shaved ice sign

Hawaiian Shaved Ice With Homemade Syrup

September is often the hottest month of the year in California.

Sometimes temperatures soar up to 90 degrees or higher!

For many CA families, it’s not a problem because they own an air-con – but many of us don’t have an easy way to save ourselves from the scorching heat.

During these times, a Hawaiian shaved ice can serve as a huge relief for yourself and your family. I remember a time when my family was hit with a heat wave and this recipe saved us. It made the heat a lot more bearable! It became a favorite recipe of mine and my children from then on.


Hawaiian shaved ice (the real stuff) can only be found in the Hawaiian islands. It is a Nectar of the Gods! You have to try it to believe it. Really, if you’ve never had a proper Maui ice before, you are missing something truly special.

My recipe is a replica of the real authentic Hawaiian shaved ice you’d find on Maui: it is topped with condensed milk and uses homemade sugar syrups that are flavored with real fruit. Two of my favorite homemade syrups are strawberry and pineapple.

Though you may not be able to enjoy the real Hawaiian shaved ice, you can get pretty close to it with my Hawaiian shaved ice using this home made fruit syrup recipe.

home made shaved ice syrup

Homemade Strawberry Syrup

  • 2 lbs strawberries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 cups water


  1. Rinse the berries and pull out the stems by slicing with a knife.
  2. Slice the strawberries to small cubes and place them in a medium saucepan.
  3. Add enough water to immerse them completely and bring the mixture to a boil.
  4. Next, reduce the heat to medium-high and let it simmer for 20 minutes while skimming any foam that may rise on top.
  5. Remove from heat once you notice the berries have lost their color and the water turns red or pink.
  6. Remove the strawberries from the liquid using a strainer.
  7. Keep in mind that if you don’t want your syrup to turn cloudy, so don’t press on the solids to extract more juice!
  8. Now add all of the sugar to the liquid and let it simmer until sugar dissolves.
  9. Lastly, remove from heat, let it cool completely and then refrigerate the mixture.

Pineapple Syrup

  • 4 cups cane sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 small pineapple


  1. Take a container and pour water and sugar.
  2. Skin the pineapple and cut into fine cubes to add to the mixture.
  3. Let the mixture sit for 24 hours.
  4. Then remove the cubes and press on them with a hand juicer.
  5. Stir the mixture until sugar dissolves and then pour the syrup through a cheesecloth or tea-strainer.
  6. Lastly, add a small amount of spirit as a preservative and refrigerate.

Vanilla Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 vanilla bean (split lengthwise)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Take a small saucepan and pour water and sugar.
  2. Add in the scraped seeds from the vanilla bean and throw in the pod.
  3. Next, heat this mixture over medium-high heat.
  4. Make sure to stir it frequently until the sugar dissolves completely.
  5. Then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Lastly remove the pod and add the vanilla extract to it.
  7. After the mixture cools down, refrigerate it.

You can make more flavors of syrup using the same technique and some creativity!


Next, to make the shaved ice, you can use any decent ice shaving machine made by Rival or Hawaiian Shaved Ice. Or use a margarita machine on high/blend mode, if you have one. It might not make the ice as finely grained as real Hawaiian ice, but it gets close enough.

How to serve


Put the shaved ice in a glass and then top it with your preferred home made syrup. You can try two or more combination of syrups at the same time as well for a rainbow effect and mixed flavor

You can also add the evaporated milk ( 3 to 4 ounces) on top to make it creamy.

Add your favorite toppings such as sweetened condensed milk, whipped cream, strawberry or chopped nuts.

Like with ice cream, the world is your sweet-and-icy-cold oyster when it comes to Hawaiian Shaved Ice!