Capers-Lemon Pasta w/Fish (yum-Express!)

Okay if you live in Hawaii you’d use Mahimahi, but the original recipe calls for salmon. Remember wild is always better than farmed, and fresh is always better than frozen, but you do what you have to do according to what’s available. That’s the great thing about Hawaii -THERE’S NEVER A SHORTAGE OF FRESH, WILD-CAUGHT FISH!

Now to be fair I have to admit it’s not a recipe I came up with, but I have personally tried it and it’s ono-licious! I saw it on EVERYDAY ITALIAN on The Food Network, which I have taped on the new DVR system I bought for my husband’s birthday a few months ago. You know, one of those gifts that you love, so you buy for someone you love? I HATE TV, so anything that allows me to zip through the commercials is a Godsend! Anyway, here goes:


  • 1/2 pound whole-wheat spaghetti pasta
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt + Pepper for seasoning
  • 4 (4-ounce) pieces salmon (wild caught if can, can, if no can -no can)
  • 8-10 good sized chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cups fresh arugula leaves


  1. Cook pasta al dente, drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add the garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, salt + pepper. Toss to combine.
  2. Meanwhile, warm the olive oil and red pepper flakes in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season the salmon with salt + pepper.
  3. Add the fish to the pan and cook until medium-rare, about 2 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the fish. Remove the salmon from the pan.
  4. Add the basil, capers, lemon zest, and lemon juice to the spaghetti mixture and toss to combine. Set out 4 serving plates or shallow bowls. Place 1/2 cup arugula in each bowl. Top with 1/4 of the pasta. Top each mound of pasta with a piece of salmon. Serve immediately.

There’s a lot of flavors going on, but somehow they they don’t get “confused” and served with a fresh green salad, it’s a great, light but filling meal that’s plenty healthy, so ENJOY!

Aloha, Mike
RE/MAX Pacific

On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Here’s a good healthy appetizer you can make next time your’re meeting friends for pupu & drinks, going to a potluck or when you just want a good snack around to stave off the munchies. I know you may say hummus is not exactly the kind of snack your family yearns for when they’re grazing in the refrigerator, but this is so good, they’ll taste it and love it!
It keeps well in the frig for a few days or you can make a big batch up and freeze it for the quick grab ‘n go later. And I usually cook my own garbanzo beans (also known as chick peas) from dry beans but this takes longer and you have to have a pressure cooker or you’ll grow old waiting for them to get soft enough to use.


  • 1.5 Cups Garbanzo beans (or a 16 oz. can)
  • 1/4 Cup liquid from beans
  • 2 Tablespoons Tahini (sesame seeds roasted + creamed like any other nut butter)
  • 2 Small cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 to 3/4 Cup roasted red pepper (fire roast these in a toaster oven on broil about 10-15 minutes, then peel)
  • 1/4 Cup fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice

MIX ALL OF THE ABOVE IN A FOOD PROCESSOR OR BLENDER UNTIL SMOOTH and you’ve got a tangy, great tasting dish. Serve with pita bread cut into triangles or your favorite chips. Garnish with a red pepper ring and fresh basil (as shown), or parsley and cucumber slices, and voila- you are ready!

Aloha, Mike
RE/MAX Pacific

On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943

Loco Moco & You Better Be Hungry!

Why, it’s a veritable layered heart attack on a plate.

Every drive-in restaurant, diner, plate lunch wagon, hole in the wall eatery – any fast food joint worth it’s salt serves a Loco Moco. Everyone has their favorite and they may vary slightly, but the basics are the same.

Here goes:

  1. Stack TWO grilled or fried hamburger steaks on top 2 scoops of sticky white rice
  2. Add TWO fried eggs on top
  3. Finally douse the whole thing with artery clogging brown gravy

Sometimes there is a scoop of macaroni salad on the side. It’s possibly the most delicious creation ever stumbled upon, but you better be lying down or able to get horizontal very quickly because it’s gonna be nap time right after you’re pau!

Aloha, Mike
RE/MAX Pacific

On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My Sell Phone: 808-896-1943

Greek Style Garbanzo Salad

You know how sometimes you see a recipe in print and it looks so ono? In Hawaii by the way, ONO describes food as delicious, as in

“Ho, dis chicken is so ono!”

Well, this one grabbed me like that. I could just tell from the ingredients I’d like it. And it has the added benefit of being good for you too. Since GARBANZO BEANS are the main ingredient in this recipe, it provides a lot of that needed fiber (24-38 grams are recommended daily) to stay healthy.

(HINT: I make the garbanzos from dry beans in the pressure cooker and they taste ever so much better, but watch out because a cup of dried beans seems to turn into about three! When that happens I make homemade hummas, but I’ll save that for a future recipe posting.)


Anyway here goes on the Greek Style Garbanzo Salad -


  • 1 1/2 Cups cooked (1/2 dry) or 15 0z. can of garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1/2 Cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 Cup diced tomato
  • 1/2 Cup chopped green pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar (apple cider in okay too
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Let marinate it at room temperature for several hours, then refrigerate. Note, this salad is very versatile and you can easily add baby lettuce leaves, red peppers, or whatever strikes your fancy!

Please let me know if you like this recipe and feel free to share one of your favorites with us and our readers!

Aloha, Mike

On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943

Roasted Brown Rice

How many ways can you cook rice? One or two I figured, but that was before I saw a cookbook devoted entirely to rice recipes! A whole book, I couldn’t believe it. And there were some good recipes and ideas -ways to make ho-hum rice more exciting. I thought this is a good thing with everyone trying to eat more healthy and all. Okay, maybe not everyone, but a lot of people.

Anyway, this is one of the recipes I just tried for roasted brown rice.
I hope you like it!


You’re going to cook the rice the same way you do any rice with a couple variations:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Place rice on a flat pan or in glass cooking dishes -something you can spread the rice out one-layer deep
  • Set timer for 3 minutes, 3 different times, turning rice each time so you get all sides of the kernels to a light roasted brown
  • Remove from oven and cook in a rice cooker or the pot you normally use by the same method you use, except half way through the cooking process you are going to add 1/2 cup chopped onion and 1/4 cup minsed parsley to the rice (or any other tasty ingredients, like red peppers, raisens, corn, etc.) and allow rice to finish cooking as usual

The main thing I noticed when I tried this recipe is that it comes out with a slightly toasted flavor and it’s more fluffy that brown rice usually is. But we liked it and, I always make more rice than I need for a particular meal, then use the left-overs for another meal since rice reheats so easily in the microwave with a dampened napkin over it to re-moisturize it after being in the frig. So it made a great, healthy side dish for dinner Thursday night and it was a good start to fried rice for Sunday morning breakfast! (I know, only in Hawaii would you eat fried rice for breakfast!)

Aloha, Mike

RE/MAX Pacific
On Island: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943

Good & Good For You!

This is one of my favorite recipes and my husband even eats it! (Mickey likes it!).

I’m a busy person, so this is a perfect repeat offender – one that shows up regularly on my menus. It’s so easy, good for you and versatile that I may serve it once a week. It’s baked tofu. I know you’re going to say “tofu –ick”. But it really is good.

Tofu is one of those things that take on the flavor of whatever you cook it with which is what makes it so versatile. Sometimes I do it with a tomato based sauce, other times I just use olive oil, garlic and shoyu (known as soy sauce on the mainland), or Bragg’s if you’re a health food aficionado.

Baked Tofu

Preparation – drain water from 1 pound of FIRM tofu, then either press gently between 2 plates or place in colander for a couple of hours to get as much water out as possible. Next slice width-wise in about ½” slices and blot on paper towels for about 20 minutes.

Marinade – the blotted tofu slices in a mixture of fresh diced garlic (1 clove, or more if you like it), 2 slices of onion minced, olive oil and soy sauce. This is best done in a closed plastic container you can turn occasionally. Use enough olive oil and soy sauce (more oil than shoyu or it can get too salty) to generously coat both sides of the tofu slices. You can marinade over night or only a few hours. If you want to try the tomato sauce version, mix in a 15 oz can of tomato sauce with the marinade.

Bake – in oven for 15-20 minutes per side at 375 degrees. Use olive oil on a flat pan and leave enough room between to turn the slices. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and don’t over cook as it gets pretty chewy if you do. I actually prefer to cook it in my toaster oven, but it depends on how many servings you need. Each 1-pound block of tofu will feed 2 people and fit into most toaster ovens.


I serve it with brown rice, salad and whatever other veggies you may like. It presents well with almost anything colorful. The leftovers are great cold in sandwiches too! (a little mayo on bread with tomato, lettuce and pickle -yummy!) Enjoy!

Aloha, Mike

RE/MAX Pacific
In Hawaii: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943

Nanny’s Coffee Cake

A few months ago it hit me like a ton of bricks – I need to do something besides real estate once in awhile. (Okay, some of us are slower on the uptake than others). I guess if you are a Buyer or Seller you’re quite happy to have me eat, sleep and drink real estate, but if you’re a husband for example, you may appreciate a change of pace occasionally (right hon?). Anyway, so I got this brainstorm and called a Realtor friend:

    “Hey Sharon, how’d you like to get together once a month with a few other lady friends and have breakfast together?” “That sounds great!”

And that’s how the Breakfast Club got started.

Only 2 of us are Realtors, we don’t talk business and we rotate to each other’s homes. We take turns hosting it as well as cooking. I really intended it to be very casual. Some of us work full-time, so I pushed the potluck thing a time or two and even threatened to just have coffee and pastries when it was my turn, but somehow, for some reason everyone else likes to do the whole sha-bang. And we all love pigging out on the delectables that turn up every month. Anyway, my turn came around this week and I got to try out an old family recipe I haven’t used in many years –Nanny’s Coffee Cake.


Sorry, this is all that’s left!

I’m not sure if my grandmother devined the recipe herself or just found it somewhere and passed it along, but it’s a great one and very easy to make (or I wouldn’t be involved, trust me on this).

Nanny’s Coffee Cake


2 Cups brown sugar
¾ Cup Crisco (you can use a no trans-fat substitute)
2 Cups flour
1½ teaspoon salt

Mix above and reserve ½ cup for topping

1 Cup sour milk (make reg. milk sour by adding 1 tsp vinegar)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda


Mix 4 items above and add to above mixture (except reserved portion).
Pour into two-nine inch cake pans (greased + floured)
Top with ½ cup chopped nuts and reserved topping from above
Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees

Everyone loves it, so give it a try!
Aloha, Mike

RE/MAX Pacific
In Hawaii: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943

Grilled Corn with Avocado & Papaya Salad


½ t ground cumin
1 t pureed garlic
1 t salt
6 T lime juice (about 1 med sized squeezed)
¼ C olive oil
2 avocados, pitted and sliced
1 ripe (but not mushy) papaya sliced and arranged
on platter alternately w/avocado
2 ears of corn, grilled (yeah right) I use fresh frozen organic
from Costco and grill in my toaster oven
8 radishes, diced to show as much red skin as possible
¼ C diced red onion


• Prepare dressing of cumin, garlic puree, salt, lime juice & olive oil.
• Mix radishes, corn and red onion with about 2/3 of lime juice dressing.
• Peal + slice avos and papaya and arrange on platter. Dribble remaining
dressing on top.
Mound the corn mixture with dressing in the center of sliced fruit.

Happy eating!
Aloha, Mike

In Hawaii: 885-5557
Toll Free: 800-500-4895
My “Sell” Phone: 808-896-1943