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Any suggestions for easy recipes for a hawaiian-themed luau party at home?

Thanks so much for these suggestions. They're all great! Exactly the kinds of things I was hoping for.

Jul 15, 2012
schmoopy in Home Cooking

Any suggestions for easy recipes for a hawaiian-themed luau party at home?

Actually the grilled Spam on King's Hawaiian rolls sounds really good. I have nothing against Spam, and I love sushi, but its the Spam musubi itself that is sort of an acquired taste. ;) I like the idea of those little sliders though. Super easy to make and would taste good and with the addition of the grilled pineapple rings would be "hawaiian." Thanks for the suggestion!

Jul 15, 2012
schmoopy in Home Cooking

Any suggestions for easy recipes for a hawaiian-themed luau party at home?

My best friend is planning a Graduation/Going Away party for her daughter who will be attending the University of Hawaii in the fall. It's going to be an open house and she figures there will be around 100-125 people coming and going throughout the day so she's looking for easy, delicious dishes that she can make ahead and freeze, or easily make the day ahead or morning of. I told her that I would "do some research" for her, knowing that I could call on the expertise of the Chowhounders. :) Obviously, this will be more of a stereotyped sort of Hawaiian luau, not necessarily really authentic, plate lunch types of things. No Spam musubi! :) Even typical party foods dressed up with pineapple, and flowers, etc. would be okay. She's thinking of skewers of some sort (her husband can man the grill), macaroni salad, fresh fruit... but we're sort of at a loss how to continue. She's trying to keep to a budget and do a lot of it herself but is stumped because of the huge amounts of food that she'll need to prepare. Any ideas out there? She's willing and able to make the time to work ahead. Thanks so much!!

Jul 15, 2012
schmoopy in Home Cooking

Russian Appetizers?

Great topic! I just want to know where you're located and where you will be be bar-hopping at Russian-themed bars? This sounds like so much fun! Any chance you're doing this in the L.A. area? I'd love to know where you're going. There used to be a Russian restaurant here in West Hollywood called Diaghilev where we had one of the most amazing meals we've ever had. Unfortunately it closed... we still talk about it. The caviar, the vodkas, the borscht... it was amazing!

Feb 19, 2012
schmoopy in Home Cooking

Tell Me About Your Favorite "Square Meal?"

Oh, ellabakes, this brings a lump to my throat. What a lovely story. I can just picture your daughter with purse in one hand and basket in the other as she picked out the items she needed from her list. I imagine it was one of the best meals YOU'VE ever eaten as well. Thanks for sharing this.

Feb 19, 2012
schmoopy in General Topics

Tell Me About Your Favorite "Square Meal?"

Thank you so much for the well wishes. We're very thankful too.

Feb 18, 2012
schmoopy in General Topics

Tell Me About Your Favorite "Square Meal?"

I agree that we don't eat like this too often either, usually because we're trying to keep things "light" or simple, but when we do it's usually grilled steaks or meatloaf with a salad and homemade dressing and some sort of potato, or the roast chicken with a simple salad. Perhaps some nice hot rolls on the side too. And then we always remark to each other how delicious a meal it is and that we should do it more often. We don't usually do dessert either.

I do want to relate this story though... We recently had our son's fiancee's parents over to our house for the first time (we've been with them a number of times before this but this was the first time that they've been in this area and were available to come over for dinner.) They're absolutely lovely people and couldn't ask for better "out-laws." Anyway, in deciding the menu for the evening I ran a few things by our son to ask his opinion. His fiancee's parents like to eat out and like nice things and are willing to try new things but at home they don't cook very much other than a simple rotation of 4-5 simple meals - spaghetti, taco salad, etc. Our family is the opposite - always trying new recipes and experimenting with different ingredients. Sometimes they're successful, sometimes not so much. In any case, as we talked about the menu my son suggested that we just keep it simple - nothing out of the ordinary, nothing too complicated, so as not to intimidate them for any further get-togethers down the line when we will most likely be at their home for dinner. In my son's words, "No stinky cheeses!" :-) The menu we came up with was homemade margaritas, chips and guacamole, and a platter of chilled shrimp and cocktail sauce for appetizers, grilled tri-tip, oven-roasted potatoes, and a salad of butter lettuce, red leaf lettuce, almonds, oranges and a garlic-gingery homemade dressing. Dessert was a homemade chocolate cake. It was delicious and seemingly a very simple menu. We loved it because it really was an easy menu in the way it looked, but it was still fun for my husband and I because we were able to make sure that those seemingly "simple" menu items were still the best they could be - the margaritas, the guacamole, the dressing for the salad, and the chocolate cake. And we knew the tri-tip would be amazing... my husband is a master at grilling. It came out a perfect medium rare and perfectly seasoned. All in all, a fun and successful evening. We all had a wonderful time together. And we both remarked later at how happy we were with what you might call a "square meal."

Feb 18, 2012
schmoopy in General Topics

Is There Any Commonplace Dish You've Never Eaten?

This topic brings to mind a classmate of my son who recently posted on facebook that she had just eaten the first orange of her life. She's 22 and we live in Southern California!

Feb 05, 2012
schmoopy in General Topics

favourite arugula salad?

This sounds delicious!! Thanks for the reminder... I've had something like this before and it's definitely the lemony/olive oil dressing that brings it up a notch.

Feb 01, 2012
schmoopy in Home Cooking

Paula Deen eating a cheeseburger

THANK YOU for pointing this out. It makes me crazy too. And trying to explain it to someone who thinks they know what they're talking about? Also crazy-making...

Jan 27, 2012
schmoopy in Food Media & News

Tassimo rocks

We bought a Tassimo for my husband for Christmas as well and we love it! The thing we especially like about it versus the Keurig is that you can make so many different kinds of drinks. It makes great cappucino, chai latte, and latte macchiato, not mention a very decent cup of regular coffee or espresso. My husband is a bit of a coffee snob. We have a very good coffee maker and he buys very good quality coffee and brews himself a pot every morning. This is just a nice addition to the "arsenal". Yes, it's a bit of a "toy" but the novelty hasn't worn off yet. Last weekend we had a big family gathering and we had a lot of fun taking orders for coffee and tea and hot chocolate drinks. We're a big group and it was quite funny to observe as everyone milled around the kitchen after dinner talking and patiently waiting for their "order" to come up. The cost was quite reasonable too I thought. We bought it before Christmas on sale at Kohl's for $129 if I remember correctly.

Jan 13, 2012
schmoopy in Cookware

Instant Oatmeal

I've tried quite a few over the years - Quaker, various organic kinds, different store brands, etc. What I've finally settled on is Trader Joe's Organic Oats and Flax. It tastes fresh and the texture is just a little nutty (not just mushy). It also comes in a cinnamon and spice version that's very good. I prefer the plain because I like to add half a banana or some blueberries to it and I think it's perfect that way. But for the days that I don't have bananas or blueberries on hand, the cinnamon and spice is a nice change.

Jan 13, 2012
schmoopy in General Topics

Today Food

What a beautiful dessert!! Is it difficult to make? Or just time consuming? It looks so fun. :)

Jan 13, 2012
schmoopy in Food Media & News

Drago Centro..anyone been there lately?

Can you elaborate on this ipse? My husband and I received a gift certificate for this place and are looking forward to trying it out. Obviously we'll go since we have the certificate, but I'm curious what you mean by no soul?

Nov 02, 2011
schmoopy in Los Angeles Area

Do you have a recipe that works so well that you have no interest in trying another?

Your recipe sounds very much like the way I make my cucumber salad. I learned to make this from my mother-in-law. I add a bunch of chopped fresh dill too. You piqued my interest when you said that it took two days to make... I thought I was the only one who sliced the cukes, salted them, and put them in layers to drain for a few hours. Its quite the process as you know. One time I tried to make a "quick" version, thinking maybe I was overestimating the importance of leaving them alone for a few hours. The salad was nowhere near as good and way too liquidy!

Mar 25, 2011
schmoopy in Home Cooking

am I a SNOB?

Yes! I couldn't agree more about the jarred garlic. I had never thought it through that it was the citric acid used as a preservative that gave it that awful bitter taste. We used to frequent a pizzeria that made the best pizza with fresh garlic on it. One day we ordered it and noticed that it tasted different. We realized that they had stopped using fresh garlic and were using the jarred stuff instead. We tried it a couple more times to see if it was just a fluke, even asking a couple of times if the garlic was fresh and they always said it was. It obviously wasn't and they didn't know the difference. We find that a lot of places use that jarred stuff. Too bad! No matter how you use it in a recipe you can always taste that's its not fresh.

Mar 18, 2011
schmoopy in General Topics

Do you have a recipe that works so well that you have no interest in trying another?

marisold, would you mind posting the recipe for your chocolate cake? I would love to have a recipe like that in my repertoire. Thanks!

Mar 18, 2011
schmoopy in Home Cooking

Munich Germany Airport dining: 2-hour layover - anything particularly interesting to look for?

Thank you so much for your reply. Airbrau sounds perfect! We're taking them to the airport in about 5 hours. I'm so happy to be able to give them your suggestion.

Mar 17, 2011
schmoopy in Europe

Munich Germany Airport dining: 2-hour layover - anything particularly interesting to look for?

This is sort of last minute but I'm hoping you can help us out! My son and his girlfriend and some friends have a two hour layover in the Munich airport on Friday evening and are hoping to get a little "taste of Germany." We're German and he's been there before but his girlfriend has never been, as well as the others who are traveling with him. Does anyone know of any spots in the airport (actual restaurants, or carts, or imbisse, or bars) where he might snag a great sausage or pretzel or ??? None of his friends have been to Germany and unfortunately this is only a short stop on the way to their final destination but he's hoping to provide them with just a small taste of some tasty German goodness. Thanks for your help!

Mar 16, 2011
schmoopy in Europe

Valentine's Day---Going Out or Cooking?

I agree charlesbois! My husband and I have been married 27 years and over the years we've done all the usual Valentine's Day stuff. We're going out tonight too, but it's very low-key -- a couple of seats at the end of the oyster bar at one of of our favorite restaurants here in town. It's "our" spot too. We'll often stop there after a movie for a dozen oysters and a couple of drinks. It's the perfect people-watching spot and also romantic for us! We know the manager there really well so my husband called to see if there was any way he could save us a couple of spots at the oyster bar. Mission accomplished! Unless you go super high-end, you just end up being one of the thousands of people trying to have a "romantic" dinner" on the busiest night of the year.

Feb 14, 2011
schmoopy in General Topics

Where did this +1 , -1 rating for posts come from?

Perfect response lingua! ;-)

bbqboy, I think it's the Chowhound version of clicking the "Like" button on Facebook, except that here on Chowhound they've done it one better by being able to use the negative sign as well. There's no "dislike" button on Facebook, even though everyone seems to want one. I think this is definitely a product of our modern culture as you say. I was a little annoyed by it at first too but have gotten used to it. Love that you've pointed it out and questioned it!

Jan 31, 2011
schmoopy in Site Talk

Going to Mama's, need another nice restaurant in Maui for dinner

I second Haliimaile General Store. Not close to the ocean but excellent in every respect.

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Haliimaile General Store
900 Haliimaile Rd, Makawao, HI 96768

Jan 25, 2011
schmoopy in Hawaii

Chocolate babies gone? Say it ain't so!!

So sorry for your loss Cakegirl! But I have to tell you that you made my morning if only to remind me that Chocolate Babies ever existed! I definitely remember these and remember eating them even though I didn't particularly like them. There was just something so awesome and lovingly weird about eating chocolate in the shape of a baby! I just looked them up again too to see if I had the right image in my head and yup... there they were! It's the end of an era... I do hope that you'll stumble upon a stash somewhere. Good luck!

Jan 24, 2011
schmoopy in General Topics

Canned Beets -- Talk to Me!

I know what you mean! All this talk of beets sent me skedaddling to the farmers market yesterday to pick up fresh beets, cukes, and dill to make a fresh, chilled borscht. In addition to the sour cream I use buttermilk, chopped green onions, chopped parsley, a little lemon juice and a little sugar. I know we're talking about canned beets here and I do love them too, but I just had to respond to your post seeing that you made a quick and easy borscht with the canned ones. My soup turned out excellent but its not a "quick" process. I'm going to try your version next time. And I'll bet those already cooked and peeled, vacuum-packed beets from Trader Joe's would be a good thing too.

Jan 23, 2011
schmoopy in Home Cooking

"It's just a fancy French word for..."

What a great point you make and I hadn't actually ever thought this out either. You're right that "creme brulee" sounds so much better to us non- French speakers because we're not literally translating it in our heads as "burnt cream". Great comment ttoommyy!

Jan 23, 2011
schmoopy in Not About Food

Quick Lunches from Trader Joe's - Please Share Your Favs!

Glad you liked the salad! It sounds like you got one of the regular Southwestern salads, and you're right - the dressing that comes with it is pretty good. The TJ's I go to only has the reduced calorie ones anymore. The salad is the same but the dressing is the low calorie one that I just can't stand. They used to carry both kinds. (But that's a whole other post... "things you love that Trader Joe's has discontinued"). :-)

Jan 21, 2011
schmoopy in Chains

"It's just a fancy French word for..."

Hah! My husband and I never get tired of this... cracks us up every time!

Jan 21, 2011
schmoopy in Not About Food

Canned Beets -- Talk to Me!

Forgot to add that there's no cream or milk or mayo involved in this recipe. It's just the way it emulsifies when blended together.

Jan 21, 2011
schmoopy in Home Cooking

Canned Beets -- Talk to Me!

I think it's called creamy because it's not a clear vinaigrette. The ratio of olive oil to vinegar is quite large so after you've either whipped all the ingredients together by hand, or in the blender, or with an immersion blender, it ends up looking "creamy" rather than clearish. If you google Ina Garten Creamy Vinaigrette it pops right up. What is your standard recipe?

Jan 21, 2011
schmoopy in Home Cooking

Leftover tortilla chip pieces at bottom of bag

Perfect!! I was going to post this exact thing and was scrolling down to see if anyone else had already mentioned it. I've even done this while at work (minus the Corona) although I do give my immediate surroundings a good once over to make sure that no one sees me with my head thrown back and said "funnel o'chips" being emptied into my mouth. ;o)

Jan 21, 2011
schmoopy in General Topics