Thursday, August 2, 2012

Summer Party Run Down...

Ok so, like, last time I was all, "I bought Angry Bird band-aids because I'm awesome," well this time I'm all, "I didn't need to use any band-aids because this time we sent a kid to the hospital."  Yeah.  We don't do anything half way around here.  Poor kid scraped her toe riding one of my kid's bikes and no amount of Neosporin and Angry Birds was going to do it.  Fortunately, she got all patched up and was able to come back to the party.  Lookit what we had!


Puka Dogs (pure beef, and vegetarian hot dogs) slathered in aioli and mango chutney, on either Hawaiian Sweet Bread buns or gluten-free/grain-free buns.

Macaroni salad

Cucumber salad

Hawaiian Maui Chips

Fresh papaya, mango, and pineapple fruit bowl


Haupia (coconut pudding)

Okinawan Sweet Potato pie with macadamia nut whipped "cream"

Gluten-Free Vegan brownies

Chocolate Cupcakes baked in ice cream cones

Tropical Juice

Spa Water

 For playtime (besides the bicycles of doom) we had bubbles,


more bubbles, 

  And marshmallow cannons!  A paper cup with the bottom cut out + a balloon tied, with the top cut off = one heck of a marshmallow shooter!  They actually come out pretty hard, so make sure not to shoot them at anybody or, as my son is demonstrating, yourself.

Now, back to the food!

 So my whole idea for this party was that everyone in the world needs to eat a Puka Dog.  Puka means "hole" in Hawaiian and somebody on Kauai invented the most delicious hot dog on the planet.  It involves poking a hole into some Hawaiian sweet bread, filling it with aioli, and mango chutney and shoving a hot dog in there.  I blogged about it last year but nobody really jumped on the wagon.  So I decided that if the interwebs aren't going to go nuts, at least all my friends should!

 The whole menu came from the idea for the dogs.  Not a formal luau, more of a backyard get together Hawaiian style.

Pineapple, mango, papaya and some limes for them 'cuz I'm all addicted now and stuff...

I found a new Hawaiian Sweet Bread recipe that makes quite a bit.  It is wonderful. 
You can see some of the labels I made.  Almost everyone we invited had a different food issue.  We had gluten free people, people who can't do grains, soy free people, some who are off dairy, and then of course, boring ol' vegetarians.  It was nuts.   This label says: "Hawaiian Sweetbread Buns: Contains gluten, eggs, and dairy, soy free.  Soon to contain 1 hot dog."

 The label for this cucumber salad said: "Grain free, soy free, gluten free, dairy free.  I swear if somebody's allergic to cucumbers I'm gunna hack something."  Fortunately, there was no hacking...

This recipe is pretty simple.  You can edit ratios based on your taste and the number of servings you need:
Cucumber Salad
3 Cucumbers, peeled, seeded and sliced to about 1/4 inch
1 Red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 Tbs Rice or cider vinegar
2 Tbs Olive oil
2 Tbs Dill
Salt and Pepper

Combine cucumber and onion in large bowl.  Whisk to combine vinegar, olive oil, dill, salt and pepper and pour dressing over cucumbers.  I made this up a few hours before the party and everything was still crispy, the next morning the colors had run in the onions and the cucumbers were softening, so I'd say make between 1 and 4 hours before serving, but not much longer than that.

Hawaiian style macaroni salad.  Apparently, the biggest secret is Best Foods mayo (aka Hellman's on the East coast)  I hate Best Foods like beyond, but this was pretty good salad.  This is another of those "non recipe" recipes:

Hawaiian Style Macaroni Salad
1 lb macaroni
4-5 carrots, peeled and shredded
1/2 medium onion, grated
2 C Best Foods mayo
Salt and Pepper
Cook the macaroni and drain it.  One website I found said macaroni is usually cooked pretty soft for this recipe.  When the macaroni cools, mix in the rest of the ingredients and refrigerate over night.  A couple of the recipes I referenced specifically said "NO RELISH!"  So there you go.  Easy peasy.

Gluten-Free, Grain-Free hot dog buns, another really easy recipe.  I found it on a blog called Nichole's Special Diet Creations.  Nothing in these except almond flour, yogurt, eggs, coconut oil, salt, and baking soda.  The hardest part of this recipe is bringing the eggs up to room temperature.  They're pretty tasty, too! 

These guys know what's good...  These were chocolate cupcakes baked in ice cream cones, topped with lime buttercream frosting.  There are lots of ways to get your ice cream cones to stand up in the oven, but I bought this nifty rack, which is a great way to serve them, too.  I just used my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe and fiddled around with the frosting until it tasted OK.
Here it is:

Lime Buttercream Frosting
1 stick butter, softened
4 Cups confectioner's sugar
Juice of 3 key limes
Drop, whole milk

Combine the butter and confectioner's sugar with a mixer until it resembles crumbs, add lime juice and mix again, add milk a few drops at a time until frosting comes together.  If you add too much, add a little more confectioner's sugar.  Seriously good stuff, though it gave my husband a sugar rush before he got finished with half his cone!

This is haupia.  Lemme just say something here, hominahominahomina, OK?  This stuff is fantastic.  I have had it before at luaus and it's kinda bland and rubbery.  This recipe is pure coconut happiness.  It's softer than I was expecting and I nearly ate the whole pan before it even cooled off.  I love warm pudding. mmmm... warm pudding.... glurgle...  This recipe comes from John Fischer on

2 cups coconut milk 
1 cup whole milk
6 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 tsp vanilla (optional)

Pour one cup of coconut milk into a saucepan. Combine sugar and cornstarch stirring into coconut milk. (Add vanilla if desired.  I added it.) Heat over low stirring consistently until thickened.  Add remainder of coconut milk and whole milk and continue to heat until thickened. Pour into 8 inch square pan and chill until firm. 

You may remember that we ate purple sweet potato pie on our last trip to HI.  This, my friends is purple sweet potato pie.  Purple sweet potatoes are sometimes called Okinawan sweet potatoes or purple yams.  I found these at a local Asian market.  The produce manager was quick to point out that he stocked only the gnarled "ugly" ones from Hawai'i and not the larger ones grown in CA, which he apparently viewed with no small amount of derision.  I don't know about the California ones, but these Hawaiian ones are awesome.  And yeah, that whipped cream?  That's vegan macadamia nut whipped "cream", because Cara Reed is also awesome...  And also, squeeze a little lime juice over it?  More awesome, though probably not authentic...

I found the pie filling recipe here.  Quick note: I didn't realize when I made this recipe it makes enough for 3 pies or around 2 deep dish pies.  So I've got another pie's worth of filling in my fridge right now.  I'm not complanin'.  I'm just sayin'.

Okinawan Sweet Potato Pie
Yield: 3 pies 

5 cups mashed potatoes
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 cup softened butter
2 cans evaporated milk
3 unbaked pie crusts

Boil sweet potatoes until soft, peel and mash until no lumps.  Add remainder of ingredients, beat with beater until creamy. Pour into pie shell.  Cover edge of crust with foil strips making sure not to touch the filling.  Bake at 425° for 15 minutes; then, bake at 250° for 40-50 minutes.  Test the doneness by sticking in a toothpick.

Vegan, Gluten-free Brownies from my buddy Chinmayie over at Love Food Eat.  I have made these twice and they are fantastic!  They are especially good pared with the whipped "cream", too!

Of all the things I made for this party, the recipe that drove me the craziest was homemade POG.  POG is a Hawaiian drink that we can actually buy in the grocery stores here but it is chock full of high fructose corn syrup and other nasties.  POG stands for Passionfruit, Orange, and Guava.  Apparently it also stands for "extraordinarily hard to make from scratch if you live in the Pacific Northwest..."  This is how I wanted to make it:

pure passionfruit juice
freshly squeezed orange juice
pure guava juice  

Stir it up. Be complimented.

So apparently neither passionfruit nor guava is in season now so freshly squeezed was right out.  Then, I tried looking for boxed juices.  On the Thursday before the party I found the Ceres brand boxed juices which carry both passionfruit and guava with no preservatives or sugars but I couldn't find it in any local stores and I couldn't get it delivered in time.  Then I decided to try concentrates.  All of the passionfruit juice had some other juice added to it and all of the guava had high fructose corn syrup.  The straw that broke the camel's back though, was when I asked my husband to stop by a local store to pick up some fresh squeezed orange juice.  And the store.  Was closed.  For renovations.  I took this as a sign.  Only Hawaiians should make POG.  Unless you have a month of prep time.  And I didn't.  I threw my hands up in the air and mixed up a bunch of stuff I found.  (It's darn hard to mix juice with your hands in the air, btw...)

Not POG Tropical Juice
1/2 container Hawaii's Own concentrated guava nectar
1/4 container concentrated pineapple juice
1/4 jug Earthwise Passionfruit Aloe juice
juice 1/2 large orange
lemon slices
lime slices

Mix juices with enough water to dissolve and float lemon and lime slices on top.  Let sit for about an hour if you have the time.  This was a huge hit with the kids, but I'm a little disappointed that I couldn't do what I wanted originally...

 After we finished eating, my son decided to give a speech.  (He made the podium all by himself.)  Mostly it went, "Thank you all for coming.  I hope you have a great time!"

I think people did...


  1. Wow, what a stunning party! Your menu is incredible. This is a lovely way to celebrate summer, family and friends. I would happily dive into all these dishes. Love the photo of the cute little guy eyeing the cupcake cones (inspired!). Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thanks, Hannah! It was really nice. The cupcake kid is one of my favorites, too!

  2. What a spread!! I am so jealous. I am glad you kid was back fine to enjoy it!

    1. It's always good if everyone survives a party, haha! =) I am glad she was able to come back, too.

  3. When you boiled the purple sweet potatoes were they super dry? I have only done that once before and I remember thinking I must have messed up because they didnt seem to boil like other potatoes. Maybe I just over did them! I'm drooling over this pie, can I just come over and grab the left over filling from your fridge ;) The party looks like so much fun!

    1. Thanks, Sarah. I did try microwaving a couple of the potatoes first and boy were they dry! But boiled in their jackets, they were actually pretty moist! I was relieved! It was super good pie, you can totally have the leftovers! =)

  4. We had a great time, it was a really nice party! You went all out!! Great pictures BTW

    1. Thanks, Danika! So glad you guys made it this year!

  5. Awesome as always. Love everything. Love Cade giving a speech. Love the Bubbles, so cool, and so want to try the ice cream cone cupcakes, in fact I want one now. Not sold on the Puka Dog though. You are a wonderful, wonderful friend and hostess Brooke. I love your heart and miss you dearly. Oh, and Love Hellman's!

    1. Had to stab me that Hellman's remark in the end, dincha, Suz? =D


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