The Bitch Girls Archive

Archive of the Blog "The Bitch Girls"

Food of Hawaii


Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much tuna and other seafood in my life. And you know what? It was delicious. Here are my thoughts on our culinary tour of Hawai’i in no particular order:

  • Coconut makes everything more delicious.  I knew this before we left, but my belief was confirmed.  Coconut pancakes topped with coconut syrup?  More please!  (Diamond Head Market & Grill)  And Starbucks has a Mocha Coconut Frap that you can supposedly only get in Hawaii.  It’s like a Mounds slushie.
  • Never, ever, ever miss this if you visit the island of Hawai’i: Tasting or luncheon at the Hawaiian Vanilla Company. Follow their directions, not Google’s. Trust me. But get there and get there fast. The tasting is actually about 3/4 of a meal, or a full lunch if you had an early breakfast. Delicious and divine. We bought several items in the store and plan to replicate most of their recipes. Sugar/vanilla/spicy crusted pecans? Check. Vanilla caramelized onions to top some brie warmed in pastry? I’ll host dinner for guests just as an excuse to make it. Vanilla balsamic vinaigrette? Bought it & already opened it up for dinner last night. Vanilla bean lemonade? I’m all over that one. Also free: tips on mixing vanilla with booze & how to best use said booze in food. This will be an “every future trip” stop for us any time we hit the Big Island again. Best $25 you can spend on food.
  • Are you an atheist looking for proof of a higher being?  Proof that there is a God and he loves us is found in a plate of Shrimp Scampi from Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck.  It was so good, we visited both locations the two days we were up on the North Shore.
  • Best unexpected find?  Ilikai Bar & Grill.  Sit outside at the bar, enjoy the sounds of the harbor and take advantage of the good company behind the bar – particularly a bartender named Sarah.  She was great – so was their coconut shrimp appetizer.  I kept reading complaints that the property was dated, but I didn’t think it was in a bad way.  The atmosphere was great.
  • A great hidden gem: Liliha Bakery. We were the only rental in the lot – that says a lot right there when every other customer in the packed joint was kama’aina. The haupia cake – oh, be still my heart. It was so simple and mild, just what I love about it. Not too sweet, not overpowering, and wonderfully moist. The coco puffs are a delicious treat, and it’s worth picking up some cinnamon donuts for breakfast. There’s a reason they’ve been in business longer than Hawaii has been a state.
  • Looking for the tiki bar vibe?  Hit up La Mariana Sailing Club on Oahu.  The drinks were a bit weak, but sitting on the water and enjoying the harbor sunset made up for that.
  • Kona Brewing Company was worthy of three stops (two on Oahu because it was the only place outside of Waikiki we could find that was open at a reasonable hour and one on Hawai’i when we stayed in bumf*ck no where and had to drive to Kona for dinner).  I strongly recommend the roasted garlic appetizer.
  • Luau: Most people will tell you not to waste your money on a commercial luau.  I can somewhat sympathize because, from what I have read, most have terrible food and many are pretty damn expensive.  But, Sebastian was up for a luau, and I read there are only two worth seeing according to residents & frequent visitors: one on Maui & one on the Big Island.  We were on the Big Island, so we ended our trip with the Polynesian luau hosted by Kona Village Resort.  At just over $100/person (adding tax & extra drinks), it isn’t cheap.  But, for a multi-hour dinner show & bbq with a buffet that definitely qualified as filling & good, it was a reasonable price.  It was a great last evening for a trip to the islands.  Also, the fire dancer on their website – totally hot in person.

Obviously, we did eat more than just these places.  Oh, and Sebastian was introduced to the wonderful varieties of macadamia nuts thanks to my grandmother.  He loves them.  If you ever want to know, Mauna Loa Honey Roasted are superior to Hawaiian Host Honey Roasted.  But neither of us turned down either of the bags offered to us.  And if you aren’t walking it all off, then you aren’t doing Hawaii the right way. 🙂

posted by Bitter under Life Commentary, Reviews | 1 Comment »

Heading Home


1 pkg White Cake mix (for a 9 x 13 pan)
1 cup coconut milk
2/3 cup water
2 egg whites

Haupia Filling
2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbap cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1 tsp vanilla

1 Tbsp unflavored gelatin
2 cups heavy cream
6 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp lemon extract
shredded coconut

Prepare cake mix according to package directions using 2/3 cup of the coconut milk, the water, and the egg whites. Cool cake, remove from pan and split carefully into 3 layers
For the filling, in a sauce pan heat coconut milk (do not boil). Mix sugar, salt, and cornstarch with water; stir into hot coconut milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens (cook over low heat to avoid curdling). Stir in vanilla and cool.

Bitter and Sebastion are headed home and I am looking forward to hearing more about their trip and seeing their pictures.  This is a dessert that Bitter loves and talks about everytime she goes over to the islands.

posted by Granny under Desserts | No Comments »

Something Different


I am always looking for something different to fix for a meal.  Found this recipe in Taste of Home.  Going to give it a try this coming week.  A person could cook some fresh green beans and use instead of frozen.

Green Bean Quiche

  • 1 package (9 ounces) frozen cut green beans
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup diced green pepper
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup crushed saltines (about 8 crackers)
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese


  • Place beans in a saucepan and cover with water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 6-8 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain and set aside.
  • In a small skillet, saute onion in butter until tender. Add mushrooms and green pepper; saute until tender.
  • In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream and salt; stir in the beans, mushroom mixture and cracker crumbs. Gradually stir in eggs. Pour into a greased deep-dish 9-in. pie plate. Sprinkle with tomato and cheese.
  • Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before cutting. Yield: 6 servings.
posted by Granny under Complete Meals | No Comments »

Girl Scouts Losing their Market Share


Last summer, Wal-Mart released knock-off Tagalongs & Thin Mints that are a) cheaper than the Girl Scouts and b) available year-round. In the case of the Tagalongs, they are better than the Girl Scout versions. For Thin Mints, they are definitely close.

I read earlier that there’s now a Keebler knock-off of Samoas, and I spotted some on the shelves marked down last night. (I also saw some Thin Mint knock-offs, but we didn’t want two boxes of cookies sitting around the house.) I’ve now had a few, and I’m ready to dispense with the comparisons for all of those who are like me – happily willing to buy cheaper cookies than anything the Girl Scouts can sell.

The Samoa knock-offs are not nearly as good as the original Girl Scout cookies. I hate saying that, but it’s true. I like the price point, and I like the availability all year on any grocery shelf. The grocery store is more reliable than the Girl Scouts.

The caramel is more like just caramel flavoring with no real texture. With the real Samoas, there’s actually caramel that pulls away from the cookie just a little bit when you take a bite. There’s not much of a coconut flavor to them. They disappoint. I guess if you have a desperate need for a fix and don’t want to make your own, they can work in a pinch.

I definitely look forward to trying the Keebler version of Thin Mints sometime. I’d be curious to know how they stack up to the Wal-Mart version. Being able to choose from a selection of deliciousness on things like price and quantity is so very nice.

posted by Bitter under Business of Food, Desserts | 7 Comments »

Another “Best of” List We Can’t Enjoy


Somewhere I found a link to a NY Times piece published back in June with 20 rosés worth trying. That’s great. I went through the first 5, and none of them are available to Pennsylvania residents. We can’t pick them up on the way home, nor can we special order them. We can’t order them at a restaurant or (legally) serve them at a dinner party. I can’t exactly say I was looking for any rosés during our most recent liquor & wine runs, but I’m still irritated by the principle of the matter. I should have the option to pick up any one of these selections. Instead, I’m only allowed to have what the bureaucrats want to serve.

The same thing happened when looking for some decent boxed wines recently. We found one that wasn’t too bad, and wanted to explore more since it gives you so much more flexibility with how much wine you want to enjoy with your meal or after dinner. When we found a list of recommendations for reasonable reds in a box, only one was found in Pennsylvania. The others were all off limits. Even the one that is allowed is only found in the really nice premium stores about 45 minutes away.

Is it any wonder that more than half of the license plates in the Joe Canal’s parking lot in Princeton, NJ are from Pennsylvania?

posted by Bitter under Drinks, Food Police | 3 Comments »

Recipes to Come


Great recipes I’ve had recently:

Caramelized Shallot & Sage Mac & Cheese
Pesto-Stuffed Shells
Balsamic & Rosemary-Marinated Florentine Steak

Recipes to come soon, along with my plan to start going native before our big trip. More fruit in creative ways is my goal. And possibly unhealthy amounts of haupia. Because I cannot freakin’ wait to have some delicious haupia cake again. I may not be allowed to carry a gun in Hawaii, but if anyone dares get between me and a slice of delicious haupia cake, there will be bloodshed. I cannot be held responsible for my actions if someone tries to stop me. I’m just warning you now.

posted by Bitter under Meat, Pasta | 1 Comment »

Eat More Sea Kitten


I’m happy to report that we’ll be flying Hawaiian Airlines between the islands and eating more fish to celebrate PETA’s failures.

Those wacky People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) people are up to their usual tricks, and now they’re dragging airlines into it. This time, they’ve sent a letter to Hawaiian Airlines asking them become the official airline of Sea Kittens. What the heck is a sea kitten? That’s how they want to brand fish in order to stop people from fishing. Seriously. Is there any way I could make up something so dumb?

PETA’s pitch is to have Hawaiian wrap an airplane to promote saving sea kittens, and in exchange, the PETA folks will sing the praises of Hawaiian to their fellow members. They’ve even mocked up the plane, but in doing so, they’ve proven that they have worse Photoshop skills (at left) than even the United/Continental merger team. You’d think they could have at least mocked it up on an aircraft type that Hawaiian operates and not a 737.

Maybe I’ll take pictures of all the sea kittens we enjoy on our trip and do a report when we return.

posted by Bitter under Food Police, Politics, Seafood | No Comments »

Friday Fun – The Soundtrack of the Next Revolution


If an oppressed people need to revolt against a tyrannical force anywhere in the world, I strongly suggest they recruit Michael Maguire to their cause. I think he can provide the right soundtrack for their movement.

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image

I thought of this after Wendy posted her favorite version with Anthony Warlow on Wednesday. I just didn’t think his Enjolras was as strong as Maguire. When I listen to Maguire, I feel inspired to go out and do something patriotic. If I heard Warlow’s version on stage, I would certainly give due applause. But Maguire’s would have me on my feet. (Okay, you got me. If I were to see Les Mis on stage again with just about anyone singing any role, I would be on my feet clapping. It is hands down my favorite show and leaves me in tears every time I see it.)

It took me a minute or so to decide if I like Maguire’s version of the national anthem. By the end, he just really had me. This man knows how to inspire people with his voice.

YouTube Preview Image

So, yeah. Oppressed people of the world – write yourselves a theme song and hire Michael Maguire to record it. That should bring in some new recruits to your cause.

posted by Bitter under Humor | No Comments »

How Did People Plan Vacations Before the Internet?


Seriously, how did it happen? How was research conducted on various hotels, resorts, attractions, and restaurants?

My grandmother is a former world traveler, and she said they wrote letters to make reservations. But how did they find those great hole-in-the-wall places to eat? How did they know what attractions where tourist traps and which ones were worth every penny? I don’t understand these things.

I’ve now got an entire spreadsheet of places worth trying for meals, happy hours, plate lunches, and wifi with snacks. One tab is made up of activities for each island. It’s based on various travel forums for the most part since my copies of Oahu & Big Island Revealed are on their way. (I’ve seen overwhelming endorsements of these books on many sites from many people who used them in addition to the forums & local advice, so I figured it was worth $11.)

I realize that most regular Hawaii travelers would probably laugh about planning so much. But, in my defense, I want Sebastian to weed down the choices to things he wants to do. I also don’t see us spending much time at the beach just chilling out. The sun and I don’t really get along since it started killing members of my family. Having plenty of things to do is a good thing in this case. But, just so you know that I’ve learned something from my research, I’m not booking anything other than inter-island flights before we arrive. Coupon books are your friend in Hawaii. A very, very good friend if you want to keep your wallet a little fatter. I remembered that even before doing research for this trip.

Back to my original point, I will add that vacations were also much easier when my grandmother planned them for me. 🙂 When I was 12, she signed me up for a sailing class at the yacht club. We’ve always had a quiet evening at the Outrigger Canoe Club, which is where I had my first taste of cheesecake. My first Big Island trip was amazing, and somehow we managed to do that in just a few days. So maybe this whole reservation by written letter thing wasn’t such a bad thing after all.

posted by Bitter under Life Commentary, Tech & Food | 2 Comments »

Dinner Planning Around Gun Club Events


While he’s been going less often than he’d like, Sebastian has typically saved Thursday for silhouette competitions. This means he usually comes home pretty late if he goes to shoot. If he doesn’t, it’s usually because work keeps him tied up a little later than usual. This relates to dinner because it means I have a window of about 3 hours where he may be home for dinner. Trying to plan for it is a pain in the neck.

I had a revelation earlier this week to try a quiche. Since it can be served hot, room temperature, or cold, it seems like the perfect solution. This week’s quiche is sausage, asparagus, and mushroom.

posted by Bitter under Breakfast, Casseroles, Shooting | 2 Comments »
« Older Entries

blog advertising is good for you