This Week’s Menu: Stocking Up

Baked chili rellenos casserole, our Sunday egg dish.

Brett and I want to kick up our savings even more next year, and one budget area we’ve decided we’re comfortable cutting back a bit is food and toiletries. Although the budget seems tight at times now, and saving on food can be a challenge in Hawaii (to say the least), we believe that by being more strategic in our menu planning and with our shopping we can cut back our monthly spending by around another $100 (we currently budget $500/month for food and toiletries.

To that end, we’re going to begin stocking up on certain pantry and freezer items until the end of the year, things that get used or eaten (more) frequently and that we know will keep for a while. I don’t say that lightly because the humidity here can be pervasive – things like potato chips or crackers or cereal that are sealed in bags can lose their crisp in a couple of months if exposed to the humidity. We don’t have a lot of extra space for storage inside, but enough that we can put a few things away, and items in jars or plastic containers can be kept outside in the garage.

Buying extras now with our current budget will mean that we can spend less next year. It won’t be a lot, but every little bit will help make it easier to save. To that end, items on our Costco stock-up list this month include but are not limited to a case of ramen, extra peanut butter, an extra container or two of nuts, and we’ll get a second container of fabric softener, and extra shampoo from Walmart. We’ll see how things total up this month, and decide if we can maybe get more. During our November and December shops is when we’ll get the things we can keep in the freezer.

Here’s to saving more next year!

Here’s our menu for this week:

  • Tuesday (this evening): Slow cooker stuffing with chicken;  (I am going to have 1/4 cup of stuffing, but mostly chicken); grilled zucchini
  • Wednesday: Ginger pork sandwiches; coleslaw (no bread for me)
  • Thursday: Teriyaki chicken meatball skewers with peppers; steamed rice; cucumbers (no rice for me)
  • Friday: Leftovers
  • Saturday: Grilled beef Polish sausages; sauerkraut; pilaf (I’m skipping the pilaf)
  • Sunday: Baked chili rellenos; yellow rice; cucumber salad (no rice for me)
  • Monday: Panzanella with beans and cheese (bumped from last week – I’m substituting zucchini for the bread in my portion)

We’ll be getting more cucumbers from the farmers’ market, and zucchini if we can find it. Farmer’s are apparently having a hard time with zucchini right now – the flowers are rotting before the squash can set. I also hope we can get some corn, but otherwise we’ll be buying fruit.

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This Week’s Menu: School Lunches & Leftovers

There will be leftovers: Black pepper chicken with mango, rum and cashews

All of my children have always taken lunch from home rather than buy it at their school cafeteria. We’ve always offered the option of purchasing meals at school at least once a week, but they’ve all said that what they bring from home is far better than what they could ever get from school (which was not always true – I worked in a school kitchen for over a year when we lived in Portland, and plenty of the food was very tasty and nutritious, especially from the salad bar).

So, with YaYu heading back to school this week, we’re back to not only figuring out what’s for dinner, but what to put into her lunch each day, because she absolutely refuses to eat the food they put out at her school. She is a big eater too, especially because of her involvement in sports, so menu planning now has to go beyond “what’s for dinner.”

All our kids have thankfully always been willing to take leftovers for lunch, so with that in mind our dinners going forward will be ones that will either create leftovers, or make enough to set some aside for YaYu’s lunch. If we don’t have leftovers, we have things like chicken flautas, or macaroni and cheese that we can fix for her. She has a Thermos to carry hot food, so Brett heats the leftovers in the morning and along with some fruit and a snack, she’s good to go.

We keep things as green as possible too when it comes to lunches: YaYu has a stainless steel container for the occasional sandwich, carries stainless steel cutlery from Goodwill or reusable bamboo chopsticks, we tuck in a cloth napkin, and she’ll get a third year of use out of her lunch bag this year. She also carries a 32-oz Hydroflask water bottle (that she won in a contest!) along with her for water throughout the school day, and that she refills at school for after school hydration.

We actually didn’t use leftovers for her lunch today – I made inari zushi (seasoned rice in fried tofu pouches), a special treat, and we included a fresh peach, a Choco-Pie for something sweet, and a Lara bar for her afternoon snack.

Here’s what we’re having for dinner this week:

  • Tuesday (this evening): Spaghetti w/meatballs & marinara; garlic toast; grilled zucchini (I’ll have my meatballs and sauce over the zucchini)
  • Wednesday: Slow cooker barbecue pulled pork sandwiches; coleslaw (no bread for me)
  • Thursday:  Black pepper chicken thighs with mango, rum and cashews; steamed rice; cucumbers (I’m skipping the rice)
  • Friday: Leftovers
  • Saturday: Cheeseburgers; onion rings; wilted cucumber salad (so sad – no onion rings for me!)
  • Sunday: Scrambled eggs; bacon; toast; fruit (no toast for me)
  • Monday: Panzanella (bread salad) with garbanzo beans & feta cheese (I’m substituting lightly steamed zucchini for the bread)

We’ll need lots of cucumbers from the farmer’s market this week, as well as tomatoes, but otherwise we’ll be getting fruit as we have everything else on hand.

(photo credit: Andrew Scrivani at the New York Times)

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This Week’s Menu: The Stolen Recipe

Loco moco: a Hawaiian favorite

One adage that I often heard when I was teaching was, “if you come across a good idea, steal it . . . but then pass it on.” It was good advice then, and I think it applies just as much to recipes and cooking. If you find a good recipe, use it . . . but then pass it on. I try to link to recipes whenever I can, but sometimes our meals are just things I put together, no recipe required.

I once shared a recipe though that I felt that someone “stole,” because the woman I shared it with entered it into a contest as her own, and actually won first place! One day at Trader Joe’s, I was picking up a bag of their frozen potstickers, and a woman standing next to me asked, “how do you eat those?” I told her that we usually just fried/steamed them and ate them plain with some dipping sauce, but that sometimes I used them to make dumpling soup. It was a simple recipe: combine chicken stock, grated ginger, and a little soy sauce for the broth, and then add a bag of baby spinach and a bag of the frozen dumplings and heat through. She thanked me and took a bag of the dumplings with her.

Two weeks later, our local paper, The Oregonian, published the winners of their “five ingredients or less” recipe contest, and the first place winner was . . . my dumpling soup, right down to exact amounts of soy sauce and ginger I recommended, the bag of baby spinach, and the bag of Trader Joe’s dumplings! This woman submitted it under her name, and got bragging rights for MY recipe! I was very angry at the time, both for this woman’s nerve, but also because I could have been the winner (although I hadn’t seen the announcement for the contest). I thought about calling the paper, but in the end realized it didn’t really matter . . . I was happy to share the recipe with the woman in the store, and happy to share it with others, even if someone else had become the vehicle.

There is only one recipe to link to this week, but I will share another family recipe that I made this last weekend, a family favorite when I was young. I have no idea where my mom got the recipe – I don’t even know if it was ever written down:

California Herbed Butter

Melt one stick of butter. To this add: chopped fresh garlic, chopped basil (either fresh or dried), chopped green onions (including green tops), and fresh lemon juice. Add however much of these ingredients fit the flavors you prefer, i.e. you might like more garlic, or more lemon flavor, or have a lot of fresh basil to use up. The butter makes a wonderful topping for toasted bread, or can be put under the skin of a chicken before roasting. Unused butter can be kept in the refrigerator, or frozen, and then softened and spread later.

Hopefully this recipe will be a winner for someone, whether it’s entered in a contest or not!

Here’s what we’re having this week:

  • Tuesday (this evening): Grilled teriyaki chicken; zaru soba; cole slaw (This was bumped from last week. I’ll be dipping zoodles instead of soba)
  • Wednesday: Pad Thai with chicken; cucumber salad (not sure what I’m having)
  • Thursday: Grilled jalapeño-cheddar bratwurst; sauerkraut; grilled zucchini
  • Friday: Leftovers (WenYu works Friday evenings, so it’s become our leftover night)
  • Saturday: Mabo dofu; steamed rice; cucumbers
  • Sunday: Loco Moco; fruit (no rice for me)
  • Monday: Slow cooker balsamic pork roast; pilaf; green beans (I’m skipping the pilaf)

We’ll be getting lots of cucumbers, zucchini, bok choy, mung bean sprouts, and fruit at the farmers’ market this week. Otherwise, everything is on hand, so no other trips to the store will be needed.

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Our Monthly Big Shop, Part 2 (Big Save, Cost U Less & Walmart)

Brett and I went to Big Save and Cost U Less on Friday and spent $55.24. Brett went to Walmart on Saturday and spent $7.34, for a total of $62.58, so we ended up $1.04 over budget for the month with the Big Shop. We’re in very good shape for the coming month (and beyond) though, except for a fruit run in a couple of weeks, which will put us even more over budget this month, but probably only around $25 or so at the most.

Cost U Less is a funky warehouse store that predates the arrival of Costco. Lots of locals still like to shop there though because there’s no membership fee. They have some of the best produce on the island outside of the farmers’ markets, and also have a huge selection of natural and organic foods, with better prices than the local natural food stores. When we were there we discovered why there was no organic peanut butter at Costco the other day – Cost U Less bought it all and was selling it for $3 more per twin-pack!

Big Save: $31.56

  • 2 boxes rice pilaf: $6.58
  • Salsa: $2.00
  • Chinese chicken salad dressing: $4.98
  • Refried beans: $1.50 (these used to be 88¢ a can back in Portland – sob!)
  • Diced green chilis: $2.00
  • 2 CookDo stir-fry sauce: $7.96 (A big splurge, but we all love it. We bought this in Japan for around $1/box, but have used up all we brought home with us)
  • Onion rings: $4.78 (these will last for 2 meals)

Cost U Less: $23.68

  • 2 cartons roasted red pepper & tomato soup: $7.98
  • 1 carton carrot ginger soup: $3.99
  • 36-oz crunchy peanut butter: $6.98
  • 2-lbs sweet onions: $2.49
  • 1 large green bell pepper: $1.29

Walmart: $7.34

  • 1 gallon bleach (we need to keep bleach in the toilets year round to combat algae): $2.86
  • 16-oz soba tsuyu (soup base for Japanese noodles): $4.48

I’m hoping you can see from the above prices the reason we do most of our shopping at Costco, where prices are the same or only slightly above prices on the mainland. Unfortunately, we can can’t get everything we need there, so we have to shop elsewhere, but we try to keep our purchases at the above three stores to a minimum.

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This Week’s Menu: Convenience

Caprese-skillet eggs

I used to pride myself on cooking almost everything I served my family from scratch. These days though I’m not averse to buying and using foods that help me spend less time in the kitchen, and have no problem purchasing things like frozen meatballs, pre-made potstickers, jars of marinara sauce, cookies from the bakery, or using a mix as the foundation for a cake.

I still enjoy cooking and baking, but I don’t enjoy getting overheated in the kitchen, a big issue here for me. So, meal preparation has meant including more ready-made items that help me put dinner on the table faster and keep me from becoming a hot, wilted mess. Convenience items have also helped me better adapt to our family’s busy and ever-changing schedule these days.

Before purchasing any frozen or convenience foods I carefully read the labels – with a couple of exceptions (i.e cake mixes, which I used maybe every other month) we don’t buy anything with preservatives, or other ingredients we can’t pronounce. Convenience foods can cost more, but surprisingly not by all that much or at all if we buy them at Costco. For example, we cannot buy quality, grass-fed ground beef here and make hamburger patties for any less than the frozen ones we buy at Costco. It’s the same for other items. I will buy convenience items out in town that I don’t want in bulk, like salad dressings and such, but the cost is high so we keep those at a minimum.

Here’s what we’re having this week (only one convenience item being used, the sauce for the pork & pepper stir fry):

  • Tuesday (this evening): Chili pork burritos; grilled zucchini (no rice for me) – this got bumped from yesterday
  • Wednesday: Grilled fish tacos with fresh mango salsa; yellow rice; cucumbers (no rice or tortillas for me)
  • Thursday: Barbecued teriyaki chicken; zaru soba; cucumbers (I’m going to try dipping zoodles instead of soba!)
  • Friday: Chinese 3-color salad (hiyashi chuka) with chicken (zoodles for me vs. rice noodles)
  • Saturday: Leftovers
  • Sunday: Caprese skillet eggs; grilled zucchini; toast; fruit (I’m skipping the toast)
  • Monday: Pork & pepper stir-fry; steamed rice (no rice for me)

We’ll need cucumbers, cilantro, basil, and a jalapeno pepper (if we can find one) from the farmers’ market this week. Otherwise, we’ll be buying lots of lovely summer fruit!

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Our Monthly Big Shop, Part 1 (Costco)

I took pictures yesterday of what we bought at Costco – I thought you might find it interesting to see what a monthly Big Shop looks like, and what we’re paying for food, toiletries and some other items here.

We bought a little bit more than usual this month because a) WenYu will be at home for another month; and b) YaYu goes back to school in less than three weeks and we had to buy things for that change in our meal planning. We also seemed to have run out of more than a few things during the last month, and while they upped our bill this month we won’t have to buy them again for several months or even a year.

Our monthly food budget is typically $500, but with WenYu home we’ve upped that to $600. We stuck to our list yesterday, and spent $538.46, which leaves us only $61.54 for Round 2 on Friday, when I’ll finish up at Walmart, Big Save, and Cost U Less. It will be a challenge, but I’ll stick to our list like glue and hope for the best.

Here goes:

Frozen:

  • 3 bags of frozen organic dark sweet cherries (4 lbs each): $32.07 (probably more than we need for the month, but I don’t want to run out)
  • 1 bag frozen organic blueberries (3 lbs): $11.39
  • 1 bag LingLing frozen potstickers: $10.49 (breakfast for YaYu; the girls also like them in their ramen bowls)
  • 1 box grass-fed beef patties: $15.89 (I cannot make these myself for less)
  • 1 gallon vanilla ice cream: $7.59

Refrigerated/deli:

  • 50-oz organic fresh sauerkraut: $8.49 (to go with the Polish sausages)
  • 3-lbs Fage Greek yogurt: $6.89
  • 8 Manapua: $12.49 (Chinese steamed barbecue pork buns – one of WenYu’s favorite things to have for breakfast)
  • Organic chicken flautas 2-pack: $12.49 (for YaYu’s lunches and sometimes breakfast)
  • 13.4-oz brie cheese: $4.99
  • Aidell’s teriyaki chicken meatballs with pineapple 2-pack: $13.69
  • 8 nitrite-free beef Polish sausages: $9.89 (two meals for us)
  • Uncured (nitrite-free) smoked ham twin-pack (4 lbs): $11.99
  • Not shown: 2 dozen organic eggs: $6.99 (they went right into the refrigerator)

Bakery:

  • 2 loaves country French bread: $5.99
  • 1 package (10) torta rolls: $6.99
  • 8 danish pastries (4 cherry, 4 cream cheese): $7.99 (I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the danish at Costco, but they are HUGE, and a bargain at $1 each)Meat/fish:
  • 1 big roast chicken: $4.99 (enough chicken for at least four meals)
  • 7-lbs ground pork: $17.53 (I was so excited to see this yesterday – first time ever at Costco! This much will last us three or four months)
  • 6-lbs pork loin chops: $17.34 (I broke this down into four packages, and the chops are huge)
  • 1.5-lbs of wild-caught Hawaiian mongchong: $16.67 (fish is our big splurge here, but this will be enough for three meals for us)

Grocery (Part 1):

  • Organic spaghetti 8-pack: $9.99
  • Organic chicken stock 6-pack: $11.99
  • 2 Melon Mix mixed nuts: $27.38 ( my snack every day – I have 1/4 cup)
  • Case of Sapporo Ichiban Japanese-style ramen (24 packages): $12.99 (the girls’ favorite brand)
  • Graham crackers (4-box pack): $7.99 (Brett’s favorite snack)
  • 3-lbs pistachios: $15.79 (more nuts for snacks)

Grocery (Part 2):

  • 12-pack organic macaroni & cheese: $12.59 (half for YaYu’s lunches, and half will go back to college with WenYu)
  • 12-pack organic vanilla soy milk (this will last us close to four months)
  • Not shown: 4-pack of Choco Pie (48 total): $8.99 (favorite lunchtime snack, and WenYu will take one of the four boxes of 12 back to college with her)

Produce:

  • Bag of 6 mixed peppers (2 each red, orange & yellow): $7.79
  • 2 organic cabbage: $3.99 (Hawaii grown)
  • 4-pack of local (!) zucchini: $7.99 (better price than the farmers’ market, and they are huge and straight, perfect for making zoodles!)
  • 2.5-lbs celery sticks: $4.99
  • 14-pack organic Gala apples: $11.49
  • 11-pack nectarines: $12.99
  • 1 watermelon: $9.99 (it’s in the upper right corner, and it’s HUGE!)

Non-food:

  • Costco bar soap (15 bars): $10.49
  • 6-pack dental floss: $12.99
  • Chewable vitamins: $9.49 (the girls have these every day)
  • Maxi pads (90-count): $11.49
  • 72 AA-batteries: $19.99
  • Not shown: 1.75 liter bottle of Bacardi light rum: $18.99 (Wait- mojitos aren’t food? Still, this bottle will last us for nearly a year)
  • Not shown: case of Diet Coke (24 cans): $9.49 + $1.44 deposit (my vice – I have one a day)

The only thing Costco did not have that was on our list was organic peanut butter, but I will get two jars of something at Big Save or Cost U Less on Friday. Costco pretty much beats everyone else in town’s prices for the items we bought, but they don’t carry everything which is why we will go to the three other stores. We will not have to go back to Costco for a month now except (hopefully) once for some more fruit, which sadly will most likely take us over our monthly budget. As you might notice, many of the items are organic, or nitrate-free, or locally grown – they cost more, but it’s what and how we like to eat. All the plastic packaging from Costco can and will be recycled.

I’ll post Part 2 next Thursday!

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This Week’s Menu: Summer Fruit

One of the joys of summer is the abundance of fresh fruit options that are both available and (more) affordable. Melons, peaches, nectarines, apricots, berries and cherries show up at Costco, and even though we have to pay more for them, way more actually, than we ever did back on the mainland, the occasional indulgence is worth it for the sweet taste of summer.

We also buy quite a bit of frozen fruit at Costco – I am currently addicted to organic frozen dark sweet cherries and have a cup every evening. We also keep bags of organic blueberries, strawberries, and mango chunks in the freezer for having with cereal or yogurt, and replenish as needed. And then there are all the local fruits we can find at the farmers’ market: bananas, mangoes, papaya, dragon fruit, lychees, pineapples and other tropical fruits too numerous to list. It really is paradise here when it comes to fresh fruit.

So, can you guess what we’re eating a lot of these days for dessert and snacks?

Here’s what’s on the menu this week (with fruit every evening for dessert):

  • Tuesday (this evening): Spaghetti with meatballs; steamed artichokes; garlic bread (zoodles for me)
  • Wednesday: Grilled teriyaki chicken meatball, pineapple & green pepper skewers; rice pilaf (no rice for me)
  • Thursday: Slow cooker chicken adobo with bok choy; steamed rice (no rice for me) – this got bumped from last week
  • Friday: Grilled beef Polish sausages; fresh sauerkraut; corn on the cob
  • Saturday: Leftovers
  • Sunday: Deviled eggs; pickled beets; fresh vegetable platter; bread
  • Monday: Chili pork burritos; yellow rice; grilled zucchini (I’ll be having beans with chili pork sauce, and skipping the rice)

We’ll need to get zucchini, cucumbers,and  tomatoes at the farmers’ market as well as ginger, green onions, a papaya, and bananas. Fingers are crossed that there’ll be dragonfruit!

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This Week’s Menu: If You Can’t Stand the Heat . . .

Chicken soft tacos: seasoned chicken, crisp lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, avocado and salsa on a warm tortilla – YUM!

After I wrote out this week’s menu plan, I noticed that most of the meals would require me to be in the kitchen, standing at the stove, but this is not where I aim to be in the summer. Our kitchen sits on the west side of the house, and with the sun bearing down in late afternoon, it’s more than a bit warm in there when it’s time to fix dinner. There is a ceiling fan, but that has to be turned off when the stove is in use as it blows the flame.

My solution? Get the girls into the kitchen. They tolerate the heat far better than I do, and they enjoy cooking, so it’s win-win for all of us. I typically do all the prep for them before they start, so all they have to do is stand at the stove and assemble and cook the ingredients.

The beet salad we’re having on Wednesday evening is something new. Beets are starting to show up again at the farmers’ market, we all like them, and I said this year I was going to figure out ways for us to enjoy them more often. The salad will have roasted beets along with toasted walnuts and goat cheese, and topped with a balsamic vinaigrette. We’ll see how we like it! If you have a favorite way to prepare and serve beets, I’d love to hear from you!

Here’s what we’re having this week:

  • Tuesday (this evening): Lumpia; steamed rice; sweet & sour coleslaw (no rice for me)
  • Wednesday: Grilled chicken thighs; roasted beet salad; corn on the cob
  • Thursday: Noodles with pork sauce (Snake Alley noodles without the shrimp); cucumber salad (I will be having my pork sauce over zoodles)
  • Friday: Chicken soft tacos; yellow rice (just taco fixings for me – no tortillas or rice)
  • Saturday: Leftovers
  • Sunday: Chinese stir-fried tomatoes and eggs; steamed rice; cucumbers (no rice, but otherwise I’m good with everything)
  • Monday: Slow cooker chicken adobo with bok choy; steamed rice (no rice for me)

We’ll need to get tomatoes, cucumbers, (more) beets, (more) bok choy, zucchini and corn from the market, as well as papayas and mangoes. I’d love to get more lychees and a pineapple, but the lychee season was way too short this year, and the pineapples are too expensive. I have seen the odd dragonfruit appearing, so those will be in abundance soon (and are more affordable).

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#Kaua’i: Mark’s Place

There’s nothing fancy about Mark’s Place, but the plate lunches are fabulous!

Mark’s Place has been on our dining bucket list for a long, long time. Located in an industrial area just south of Lihue (and not all that easy to find), Mark’s is THE place to go on Kaua’i for authentic and delicious Hawaiian plate lunches. The owner of Mark’s Place is Mark Oyama, a local gourmet chef who owns and operates Contemporary Flavors Catering, specializing in Pacific Rim and cross-current Asian cuisine.

The menu at Mark’s Place – sadly there is no kalua pig or laulau!

Plate lunch is a uniquely Hawaiian creation, an off-shoot of Japanese bentos. Rather than bringing a sandwich to work, plantation workers from Japan, China, Korea, Portugal and the Philippines brought rice and other leftovers to work each day. Their different foods eventually jumped cultures and were shared and eaten by others. Macaroni salad was the bridge that went with almost everything.

Brett and I shared a mixed plate of teri beef and chicken katsu. Under our meat is a large serving of fried noodles.

A plate lunch traditionally consists of a protein, one or two scoops of rice, salad, and sometimes fried noodles. Proteins include favorites like chicken or pork katsu (fried chicken or pork cutlet breaded in panko), teriyaki beef or chicken (‘teri beef’),  Hawaiian favorites kalua pig or laulau (butterfish and chicken or pork steamed in ti leaves) or hamburger steak with gravy. There’ll always be a scoop of macaroni salad, but sometimes plate lunches also have green salad, kimchi or pickled cucumbers.

WenYu had Korean chicken plate lunch, with tasty pieces of fried chicken.

Lunches at Mark’s place start at $10.50, but they are HUGE, way more than enough for one meal. Brett and I shared a combination (‘mixed plate’) teri beef and chicken katsu lunch (granted, I only ate the teriyaki beef) and there was plenty for both of us plus lunch for Brett the next day. WenYu’s Korean chicken lunch gave her big meals for two days.

The “dining room” at Mark’s Place.

Each lunch at Mark’s is cooked to order – there is nothing sitting out under a heat lamp. You might have to wait a bit, but your meal will be hot and fresh. If you’re planning to eat there versus taking your lunch to go, picnic tables with umbrellas are set up outside.

There’s a big collection of maneki neko (‘lucky cats’) inside the store to check out while waiting for your order.

Fresh pastries are also available for sale at Mark’s place (Mark’s wife is a pastry chef), and every day Mark also prepares two ‘upscale’ daily specials. The day we visited a grilled salmon plate was one of the offerings on the specials’ menu. It sounded fabulous, but we were there for the plate lunches!

Mark’s Place is located at 1610 Haleukana Street, in Puhi, 808-245-2522. Mark’s is open most days from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., but can close for catering events, so it’s best to check ahead and make sure they’re open.

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This Week’s Menu: A Week Without a Menu Plan

Happy Fourth of July! We’ve got nothing special planned for tonight other than a traditional American meal of hamburgers, french fries and watermelon. The Kaua’i Hospice sponsors a big fireworks show, but admission is quite high so we’re skipping it (again) this year.

I did not menu plan last week, and boy was I surprised by how much I have depended on my weekly plan. I thought I might feel more relaxed without one, but instead felt lost and sometimes even a bit anxious even though we have plenty of supplies on hand. WenYu also had a different work schedule last week so we also ended up with w-a-y more leftovers than usual. Anyway, I’m happy to be back to making a regular plan and sticking to it.

We’ve been having problems with our refrigerator too – on some days it seems to feel the need to go into “super cold” mode and has frozen some things versus just keeping them cold, like the eggs, yogurt, some vegetables and so forth. Most of the things, except for the vegetables, we’ve been able to save, but it’s puzzling as it’s been so inconsistent.

Here’s what we’re having this week:

  • Tuesday (this evening): Grilled hamburgers; french fries; watermelon (no roll or fries for me).
  • Wednesday: Chicken curry with potato, carrot and onion; steamed rice; cucumbers (no potato or rice for me)
  • Thursday: Beef & zucchini stir fry; steamed rice (I’m skipping the rice)
  • Friday: Slow cooker kalua pork; steamed rice; macaroni salad; coleslaw (just pork and coleslaw for me)
  • Saturday: Leftovers; YOYO
  • Sunday: Scotch eggs; toast for everyone but me; fruit
  • Monday: Grilled Italian sausages, spaghetti w/ pesto; steamed artichokes; garlic bread (zoodles for me, and I’ll skip the bread)

We’ll be getting mainly fruit at the farmers’ market as well as plenty of zucchini and cucumbers. Since only Brett and WenYu will be having macaroni salad on Friday, rather than making it at home we’ll pick up a small container at Pono Market.

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