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I consume lemon water daily to help add flavor and refreshment into my drink as well as great detox power.  I love it and since water is my jam, I’m always excited to see when different water bottles hit the market.  Recently, my family and I were introduced to the Original Citrus Zinger and it has easily become a favorite product in our household.  Today I share this product with you and maybe you can add a little ZING to your water.

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The Citrus Zinger Infusion Set (SRP – $19.99) is available for purchase online and retailers nationwide.  Created by Zing Anything, the leading provide of active water infusion bottles, this new line up is perfect for the health nut, runner or anyone that is looking to add some extra flavor and nutrients to their water with a twist.  The Citrus Zinger joins the original citrus press with a BPA / EA – free bottle and comes with a handy dandy cucumber slicer and kiwi reamer to add new flavors to your water.  These awesome tools squeeze and slice fruits directly into your water bottle to extract all the nutrients we love while infusing great flavor using it’s unique infusing methods.

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No need to squeeze your lemon juice over your water only to throw away the peel and all the pulp and waste them.  Slice up your cucumber right into the bottle and release all the delicious goodness of kiwi without the mess.  Lemon, lime or clementines are easy to infuse into your water without any issues and mess.  The included cucumber slicer, citrus press and kiwi press will provide you with fresh fruits while preserving their taste, aroma, hue, vitamins and minerals in your water.  It’s easy, hydrating and this is a tool my family absolutely loves.

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Using your Citrus Zinger is easy:

  1.  Start by thoroughly washing and drying your ingredients and Citrus Zinger before you start zinging.
  2. Make sure the cap is tightly fastened before adding ingredients (the cap on the top of the bottle)
  3. Turn the Citrus Zinger over (upside down) and unscrew the bottom cup, exposing the citrus press or cucumber slicer.
  4. Slice the citrus fruit (lemon, lime, clementines) in half and twist half on the citrus press to release the juice.
  5. Once fruit is juiced, leave it on the citrus press and screw the cup back on tightly.
  6. Unscrew top cap and add water, iced tea, or another chilled beverage (that is how citrus zinger suggest making your drink – I like to put water into the bottle prior to zinging so that the water is evenly infused.
  7. Re-screw cap tightly, shake well and enjoy!

A few notes:

  • After juicing, the fruit you use can be left in the cap or taken out.  The longer the fruit is left to infuse, the stronger the flavor will be.  I like to leave the fruit in for strong flavor and great nutrients.
  • Refills can be infused by the same fruit one or two times before the flavor begins to weaken.

I posted a few snippets the first time I used this unit on snapchat and you can view that here or in the embedded video above.

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Infused Lemon water

Tips on use:

The bottle itself is well made and sturdy, however the brand does have a few tips and cautions to keep in mind.  Dropping your bottle can cause damage and the bottom cup must be twisted properly and tight to prevent leaks.  You don’t want to use your zinger if it is damaged.  Do not use your citrus zinger with hot liquids and do not microwave or freeze.  Avoid excessive heat when consuming a mixture and discard your beverage after 12 hours if not refrigerated.

A few details and features:

The Citrus Zinger is a 28 oz bottle that uses health-safe materials – BPA/Ea free Eastman Tritan Plastic.  Your citrus press is dishwasher safe and the unit is carbonated water friendly.  The bottle comes with a wide mouth top to allow for easy filling and ice cubes to keep your drink chilled.  You have a finger loop in your top cap to allow for easy carrying and this unit is designed in the USA.  Citrus Zinger (Zinganything.com) offers a 1 Year manufacturer warranty on any mechanical defects.

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Infused Cucumber Water

My family and I have had some fun zinging cucumbers, lemons, limes and adding some organic honey, fresh herbs and cayenne pepper to our water to help refresh, detox and add great flavor to our drinks.  If you are looking for a fun way to add some flavor to your water, I think you’ll enjoy this.  With summer in full swing, it’s important to stay hydrated and this neat product can offer a lot of fun but is also practical.  It’s easy to clean, sturdy and we really enjoy it.  Using the Zinger really perks up your water and makes it easy to stay hydrated and healthy this season and every day of the year.

“When life gives you lemons – or kiwis, zing them!”

You can purchase the Original Citrus Zinger at: http://www.zinganything.com/product/citruszinger-gift-set and Target stores.

Have you heard of or tried the Citrus Zinger by Zing Anything before?  If so, what do you think of it?  If not, do you think this is something you could see adding to your lifestyle?

Signature Honey

Disclaimer:  The product mentioned and featured in this post was sent to me for review consideration.  All opinions are my own, 100% honest and unbiased.  Affiliate links are posted through out.

 

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Being a Hawaii girl – born & raised, I have a love for all things seafood… yes, even raw seafood.  The islands are my home and as a child I learned to fish and dive for my food to provide for my family.  Because of this, special recipes passed down over the years are favorites of mine and I absolutely love sharing my love for my culture with my friends around the World.  Poisson Cru, otherwise known as Tahitian Style Poke (poke = po – ke) is different from the familiar Ahi Poke you see in Hawaiian style restaurants.  It’s a poke that is similar to ceviche with ingredients like lime juice to marinate the fish, but also uses coconut milk to give it a different texture and taste.  It’s a tangy take on the original Poke you may be used to at a Lu’au but just as delicious and full with fresh ingredients to make a hearty and tasty dish.

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Foodie Friday – Poisson Cru, Tahitian Style Poke Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 8

Ingredients

  1. 1 lb fresh fish (I used ahi – but you can select to use snapper or swordfish also). Cut your fish in 1 3/4 inch x 1/4 inch cubes
  2. 3 tablespoons Masago/Tobiko (orange fish roe) this is not a traditional ingredient, but I love it and it really adds to the flavor and texture
  3. 1 small sweet round onion (Kula Onion from Maui is the best, but any sweet round onion will do). Minced
  4. 1 small Japanese cucumber, chopped
  5. 4-5 stalks green onion, chopped. Separate the white and the green parts – chop both
  6. 1 large tomato – seeded and chopped
  7. 1/2 cup lime juice (fresh preferred)
  8. 1/4 cup coconut milk (fresh preferred, but you could get the type in a can or frozen in the ethnic food section.)
  9. 2 pinches Hawaiian Rock Salt or Ala’e
  10. Sprig of Cilantro (I use this for garnish)

Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the ahi (or fish of choice) with all of the ingredients, except use only the white parts of the green onion.
  2. Allow to sit for 10 minutes (place in the refrigerator while waiting).
  3. Prior to serving, drain the excess liquid and taste the poke to adjust seasoning.
  4. Add more hawaiian salt or coconut milk if you need.
  5. Garnish with the green parts of the chopped green onion and cilantro.
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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb fresh fish (I used ahi – but you can select to use snapper or swordfish also).  Cut your fish in 1 3/4 inch x 1/4 inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons Masago/Tobiko (orange fish roe) this is not a traditional ingredient, but I love it and it really adds to the flavor and texture
  • 1 small sweet round onion (Kula Onion from Maui is the best, but any sweet round onion will do). Minced
  • 1 small Japanese cucumber, chopped
  • 4-5 stalks green onion, chopped.  Separate the white and the green parts – chop both
  • 1 large tomato – seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup lime juice (fresh preferred)
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (fresh preferred, but you could get the type in a can or frozen in the ethnic food section.)
  • 2 pinches Hawaiian Rock Salt or Ala’e
  • Sprig of Cilantro (I use this for garnish)

Preparation:

In a mixing bowl, combine the ahi (or fish of choice) with all of the ingredients, except use only the white parts of the green onion.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes (place in the refrigerator while waiting).  Prior to serving, drain the excess liquid and taste the poke to adjust seasoning.  Add more hawaiian salt or coconut milk if you need.  Garnish with the green parts of the chopped green onion and sprig of cilantro.

Service:

Serve the preparation of the Poisson Cru immediately after it has sit for the 10 minutes.  This mixture will serve about 8.  If you will not be serving this mixture immediately – please prep and cut all items but do not mix together until ready to serve.

**This is my take on the Poisson Cru recipe.  There are many available now a days with personal interpretations of the recipe as well as additional or less products.  You can definitely use my recipe as inspiration to add different takes.

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What is Pokē?

Pokē is traditionally made with yellowfin tuna or ahi.  The traditional poke consists of ahi tuna, green onions, chili peppers, hawaiian sea salt, soy sauce, sesame oil, roasted kukui nut (candlenut) and limu and served as an appetizer in Hawaiian cuisine.  It is often referred to as a raw fish salad. Pokē is the Hawaiian verb for “section” or “to slice or cut” and refers to the slices / cuts of the pieces that are mixed into this salad.

I hope you enjoyed this easy to create recipe.  Some of the ingredients may be a bit challenging to find, but you can get the roe and fish at most fish markets and the other items like coconut milk at the ethnic section of your store.  If you try this recipe, please come back & let me know.  Are you a fish eater?  Do you think you would enjoy something like this?

Signature Honey

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Do you follow me on Snapchat?  If so, you may have seen my short little demo of my version of the Starbucks Pink Drink and how I created my own.  It’s really easy (I have a download of the DIY from my snaps embedded below) and most of the time you can either find all the ingredients you need in your refrigerator or freezer or they are cheap to pick up from your local grocer.  Today I’m going to share with you the recipe and a little chit chat too.  So – keep reading to learn how to make your own DIY Starbuck’s Pink Drink – the drink that’s so popular on Social Media that many Starbucks shops are having a hard time keeping them in stock.

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So what is the Starbucks Pink Drink and what does it consist of?  The Starbucks Pink Drink includes the Strawberry Acai Refresher (a drink that is normally served on ice with water as its base liquid) and instead of water, it is mixed with coconut milk.  It’s easy to make and if you are looking to really keep with the Starbucks flavor – you can certainly pick up your own packet mix from your local Target or Starbucks and mix the powder with ice and coconut milk, add a few chopped up strawberries and you’re good to go.  A few days ago, I ordered my own version of the Pink Drink with a Very Berry Refresher instead of the Strawberry Acai from Starbucks and realized that I wanted something with a little more body to it so I created my own version of the Strawberry Acai since I already had the supplies on hand.

Here’s what you need to create your own Starbucks Pink Drink at home:

  • Strawberries – I decided to go with frozen Strawberries because it’s what I had on hand and I wanted a frothier taste and texture with a little more body.  I used about 20 medium to large sized frozen strawberries to make 62 oz of pink drink.
  • Acai Blend – You can find these at your local grocer in the frozen section.  I always have this on hand because I make homemade Acai Bowls.  If you are using the packets I have – then you’ll want to use half of the packet to 62 oz. of the pink drink.
  • Coconut Milk – You can use any kind you have or want.  I chose the Silk Coconut Milk because it is what we have on hand.  I used approximately 42 oz. of coconut milk added into my pink drink.
  • White Grape Juice Concentrate – these are cheap so I tend to have a few in the freezer at any given time.  The white grape juice is best because it adds a bit of sweetness without changing the color of the juice, leaving it with its pink hue.  You can also use apple juice.  I used approximately 12 oz. of white grape juice concentrate added to my pink drink.

This recipe will make 2 Trenta Sized (31 oz.) cups for a total of 62 oz.  You can opt to use smaller cups but that is what I had to use so I measured accordingly.

In the video embedded above – I share with you what I shared with my Snap Fam. Basically it’s the quick and easy steps in Snapchat form. Making this drink should be easy, fun and literally take a minute or two – making it the perfect summer drink.

  1. Place your strawberries, acai blend and white grape concentrate into a blender, food processor, etc.  I used my Ninja to chop them up and slightly pulse the strawberries so that it would blend all the ingredients, but also break down the strawberries so they were not whole.  You want to leave a little bit of body left in the mix so you get strawberry pieces blended into your drink.  It makes it taste better.  If you are using fresh strawberries, chop up your strawberries that are being placed into the coconut milk, but blend the others to get that pink drink and full bodied flavor.
  2. Add your strawberry, acai and white grape juice mixture in the bottom of your cup.  Since I had gone to Starbucks the day before – I used Trenta cups to host my drink.
  3. Add your coconut milk.  I poured the coconut milk to fill the remainder  3/4 of the cup but still leaving enough room to stir the mixture within the cup without making a mess.
  4. Stir the coconut milk and strawberry mixture together until you see the beautiful pink shade and the milk and fruit blend is combined.
  5. Enjoy!

If the drink is too sweet for you – decrease the amount of white grape concentrate and replace with more coconut milk or just add more coconut milk to the drink.  You can store this in the refrigerator for a few days before drinking, but just make sure you stir up the mixture before serving to combine since the fruit will settle and the coconut milk can separate.

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Check out my quick Snapchat Video here (which I have uploaded to YouTube for future reference) so that you can kind of see how much you should blend the strawberries to get the right consistency.  But remember… you can’t screw this up – taper the recipe to fit your need and create your own.  This is so easy to make that my family is absolutely loving it and it will be a hit for summer parties.  If you decide to create your own, please be sure to stop in and let me know – I would love to hear how it worked out for you.  Not a strawberry fan?  Use mangoes, any other type of berries, melons or what ever type of fruit you desire.

** And, if you are looking to turn this into a little cocktail for the summer – add coconut rum and you’ll have a delicious summer cocktail beverage. 

Have you tried the infamous Pink Drink from Starbucks?  If so, are you planning to try this recipe at home and make your own?  I hope you enjoy!

Happy Summer

Signature Honey

Disclaimer:  This is my own take on the infamous Starbucks Pink Drink.  I do not work for Starbucks nor am I getting paid to provide this recipe for anyone.  Affiliate links are posted through out.  It has taken me a few days to get the taste the way I want it, but I do not claim to have come up with the original Starbucks recipe – this is just my own version and take on the drink.  To me it tastes similar and I like it.

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When it comes to food, I really am a “eat all the yum” type of gal.  I consider myself the Andrew Zimmern in woman form and really am an open-minded person that would try just about (most of the time) anything.  But, just because I am willing to try new foods and cuisine, doesn’t mean that I don’t love simplicity.  Things like a good hot dog, a simple fresh out of the fryer doughnut or even a sandwich made in the comforts of your own home can really satisfy that craving.  Since it’s starting to get a bit warmer here in Hawaii and the sun is setting later in the day, I thought a sandwich would be the perfect “hit the spot” meal for our family for dinner.  My husband Kevin took the reigns on this one and created gorgeous sandwiches fit for a King to serve as our meal.

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My husband’s delicious creation consisted of:  Oven Roasted Turkey, Smoked Ham, Provolone Cheese, fresh tomato and avocado and bacon (because all sandwiches taste great with it) all placed within two thick slices of BFree Foods Brown Seeded Sandwich Loaf Bread.  Kevin toasted the sandwich to give it some added texture as well as to melt the cheese and placed this beautiful creation in front of me.  Let’s just say… it didn’t last very long and I ate it up quickly.

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Quality ingredients make for a great sandwich, no matter how simple it may be to put together.  We decided that we really wanted this sandwich to not only taste great, but offer something new for the boys to try.  Our choice of the BFree Brown Seeded Loaf was interesting and one we all enjoyed.  It was the first time that anyone in my family had tried bread like this one and I think it will become a favorite in our household.  It offered great texture with a slightly dense and firm hold to the ingredients on the inside of the sandwich.  The Brown Seeded Loaf made for a great addition to our meal last night.

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So what is BFree Brown Seeded Sandwich Loaf bread?  It is a loaf of bread that is made with a unique blend of flours, starches, proteins and fibers with sunflower seeds and golden linseeds that give the bread a great texture, awesome flavor and make it extraordinarily high in fiber in each and every slice.  The BFree Brown Seeded Sandwich Loaf is sliced on its side to give you a bigger better sandwich slice (I especially enjoyed how thick my slices were).  These are the perfect loafs for home freezing as well.

The BFree Brown Seeded Sandwich Loaf is Wheat-free, Certified Gluten-Free and free from added sugar.  It is Non-GMO, Low-Calorie and Low-Fat and suitable for celiacs.  What I really like about this bread is that it not only tastes great (it really does), but it’s high in fiber.  My whole family absolutely loved it.  I’ll be honest, I thought the boys would notice a big difference in how the bread tasted in comparison to our usual Multi-Grain bread, but they didn’t and in fact commented on how much they loved it.  I especially love a bread that has sunflower seeds in it, so this particular bread stole my heart at first bite.

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This awesome bread is exclusive to Costco (sold in the traditional Costco two pack) and is rolling out in Costco Hawaii stores so if you are one of my Hawaii readers, you can expect to start seeing it pop up at your location.  This delicious bread is a great and nutritious alternative to conventional breads that can leave you feeling bloated or tired.  It’s a hearty bread (very filling and firm) and unlike other wheat-free products that can crumble or break, the BFree holds together keeping your hearty sandwich in tact.  This also tastes great in french toast and even better toasted or as a part of your grilled cheese sandwich.

My husband and I do our best to feed our children healthy meals and we are always on the lookout to stock our pantry and fridge with foods that are not only good for us, but foods that taste good too.  We cleaned through two loaves of this stuff in a matter of a week because it really is that good.  If you are near a Costco, stop in and see if they have it in stock or check out BFree Foods online and see the other products they also offer.  From Tortillas to white bread, they literally have it all.

So – what about you?  Does this sound like the kind of bread you would enjoy?  Are you a sandwich eater, could you see yourself enjoying our version of a Turkey, Avo and Bacon sandwich?  Comment below and let me know how you would use the BFree Brown Seeded bread.

Signature Honey

Disclaimer:  Some of the products discussed and/or featured in this post were sent to me for feature purposes and review.  All opinions are my own, 100% honest and unbiased (as with anything you will find here on this site).  I was not paid to provide my thoughts or feature this product, but affiliate links are posted through out.

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As a blogger I receive some of the coolest products on the market sometimes and it’s always so exciting and rewarding considering all the work I put into my blog.  I work with various PR Companies as well as different affiliates and have had the opportunity to try out products I would either only dream of or never heard of before.  Recently I was sent the Bonus Box by Rakuten Affiliate Network.  I have been a Rakuten Affiliate now for quite a few years and really considered this Bonus Box to be such a wonderful surprise, but also something fun for brands and advertisers to engage with one another.  This fun box has given me the opportunity to try out some of the affiliates offered through Rakuten so that I can share great products with my readers as well.

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As I mentioned previously, the Bonus Box by Rakuten Affiliate Network is a great chance and opportunity to bloggers such as myself to try out products from brands that offer affiliate links on the Rakuten network.  I was one of 50 chosen publishes to receive the Q1 Bonus Box by Rakuten and was so happy to see that the box included fun fashion and lifestyle products by the advertisers, all of which go great with my blog’s demographic.  Today I’m going to share with you the products that were included as well as the brands.  Check out some of these awesome goodies, they make great gifts and are perfect for the Spring and Summer months.  This awesome box includes a value of about $400.00 worth of products and gift codes.

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Some of the brands included in this Bonus Box included Gift codes to purchase items through their online stores (Dawgs and Jus by Julie) while products were also included from brands like Sweaty Betty, Links of London, Folli Follie and Six:02.

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I received a really cool drawstring bag and hair tie from Six: 02 that can be used for the gym to store or carry your workout gear or for hiking and / or every day use.  From Sweaty Betty I got a Black Racerback Athlete Workout Vest ($50.00).  Others who received the Bonus Box may have gotten a t-shirt in place of the top I received because this plus size woman needed something to fit her girls… so they changed it up some in order to accommodate my plus size.

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From Folli Follie I received a gorgeous Happy Nugget Bracelet ($75).  This beautiful and trendy bracelet is in a fun and flirty orange color that is perfect for Spring and Summer and makes the perfect accessory.  The Happy Nugget Collection includes beautiful, feminine and playful accents to infuse some shine into your day or evening outfits.  These can be worn together or stacked with similar pieces in different shapes and colors to compliment your style.

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The Links of London White Topaz Pearl Drop Earrings ($150) are inspired by integrity and purity of pearls and are Links of London’s limited edition piece.  These sophisticated and versatile earrings look luxurious and have a meaningful addition to any jewelry collection for the Spring and Summer season.  They are absolutely gorgeous – lightweight and are showstopping.

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Dawgs provided me with a $50 gift certificate which I used towards a new pair of flip flops for myself and one for the husband.  I love these for the beach and since Spring and Summer mean beach time in Hawaii, these make great additions to our footwear.  Dawgs offers comfortable and affordable footwear for the whole family and their mission is to help out your tired feet.  These flip flops are super comfy and great for a beach stroll.

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Jus by Julie ofered a gift code that would allow you to get a complimentary 1 day cleanse ($50 value) and 1 probiotic coffee ($8.00) and free shipping.  I also took this opportunity to order another juice to try out – the Coconut and the Pumpkin Coconut Bisque soup.  The 1 Day Cleanse includes 6 different juices and I look forward to trying them out.  I’ll have a full review on it in the next week or so, but filled with uniquely blended juices – this cleanse sounds pretty stellar and I would have never tried it if not for the Rakuten Bonus Box.

As a blogger, I have tried many products and I’m always so excited to get my hands on new things.  But, as someone who really takes the time to learn about the brands I work with – I really like that Rakuten provides and offers something so cool for their advertisers.  I loved being able to try out these products and love the fact that I can share them with all of you.  As many of you know if you have been here for a while, I take pride in talking about things truthfully and discussing my thoughts (whether good or bad) on products mentioned here.  This awesome Bonus Box gave me the opportunity to try out a few brands I have never tried before and share them with you.  Since I have been enjoying all of the items I received in this Bonus Box, you may see future features or reviews in the coming months on each product.  Let me know if you have tried any of these before and what your thoughts are.  If you haven’t – are there any products that I got in this box that you may have your sights on?

Signature Honey

Disclaimer:  This box was sent to me as a part of an affiliate network and pr sample.  All opinions are my own, 100% honest and unbiased as with anything discussed on this site.  Affiliate links for some of these companies are posted through out and by clicking on them and purchasing an item, I can receive a commission.

 

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It’s no secret if you follow me on Social Media that my husband and I enjoy “throwin down” in the kitchen.  We love to cook and consider ourselves self proclaimed foodies.  My husband also loves to grill foods and a great barbecue is always on our minds.  In the past I have talked about other grilling tools and since we are literally prepping for the Spring and Summer cookouts, I figured it would be the perfect time to share this awesome product with all of you.  The Cave Tools Barbecue Grill Spatula with Bottle Opener is a must have for your favorite grilling guy in your life.  Let’s learn more about it, shall we?

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Retailing for $11.99 (currently on sale), this Super Heavy Duty BBQ grill spatula is the perfect tool for your grilling needs.  It is made with thick stainless steel metal (20% thicker than normal barbecue tool sets) so you can easily flip those hamburgers with ease.  Extremely durable and made really well, this spatula will never bend or break when picking up large pieces of meat – which is a huge plus.  We love to cook great big pieces of meat on our grill and many times my husband also has racks of ribs so this works for all of those things and more.

What we enjoy about it is that this awesome spatula is an “all in one” and offers a serrated edge so you can cut through food.  It’s sharp and cuts nicely without any issues.  The tip of the spatular is contoured so you can easily pick up and/or flip your meat (again, perfect for large steaks) and you even have a bottle opener, which comes in great when you are tailgating or having a get together outside with family and friends.

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My husband enjoys the fact that it not only works, works well but is very sturdy and easy to clean.  You can easily put it into your dishwasher (woohoo!) and the wide hanging hook and leather strap fits on any grill tools holder, so it makes storage easy too.  Since this is a sturdy, well made spatula, it can be a bit heavy with extended use – especially for those like me who have carpal tunnel.  So – I tend to put it down after I’m done using it to give my wrists a break.  However, I really don’t mind it so much because it is so well made that I know that it can take the brutality of cooking consistently and I love that it is sturdy.

Cave Tools offers a Lifetime Satisfaction Guarantee on this product.  If at any time you are unhappy with your barbecue spatula, you can return it for a full money back refund.  Considering the price and the customer service you get – I think that’s quite a bargain.  Oh – the spatula also comes with 25 Professional Cooking Recipes with step by step instructions so you can get cooking right away.  You can also check out their detailed tutorial videos on the site.

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I’m always excited to share great “hubby approved” products here and I love when they have something to do with food too.  With Father’s Day a few months away and grilling season at our back doors, this would make a great gift for any man in your life – or woman, who loves to throw down on the grill.

Get this product and more from Cave Tools at: http://cavetools.com/products/barbecue-spatula-with-bottle-opener.  Purchase this product on Amazon and use code: ZTLRH2XD for 15% off your Spatula purchase.  Click here to visit the Amazon Page where this item is sold.

Signature Honey

Disclaimer:  The product mentioned in this post was sent to me for review consideration.  All opinions are my own, 100% honest and unbiased and I was not paid to provide my thoughts on this product.  Affiliate links are posted through out.

 

If you are anything like me, then you have a craving for some form of pasta or pasta sauce on a weekly.  I try my best to eat it in moderation, but any form of pasta is my favorite as Italian food literally is my favorite type to eat.  While I don’t knock those that choose to use jar or can pasta sauce (you can take any of those and really turn it up in flavor if you do it right), I make many of my sauces from scratch.  It’s easy and I tend to have the ingredients on hand for any given moment.  One of my favorites is Pesto.  Pesto keeps pretty well so you get a lot of use out of it and I also use it as a seasoning to some of my traditional pasta sauces like my homemade alfredo.  A favorite pesto of mine is the Macadamia Nut Pesto and it’s one you can find in my house often.  It’s easy and today I’m going to share it with you my easy macadamia nut pesto recipe.

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Creating the perfect Pesto is about great “green” ingredients.  I love fresh basil so the fresher you can get it – the better it tastes and the longer it will last once you make your pesto.  I have done pesto with Kale and spinach before and they all come out really nice, so it really is up to you.  Before making your pesto, check to see if your local Farmer’s Market has some fresh basil, grab a few sprigs from your garden or pick up a fresh batch from your local grocer.

Check out the video walk through here:

 

When selecting your ingredients, you can go all fresh – but I chose to use what I had on hand. What I love about recipes like this is that you literally can taper the ingredients and when I’m craving something, I like to be able to cook things on a whim.  This is a no cook recipe… so if you’re in the mood for some really good pesto and have the ingredients on hand or can pick it up – try this out.

Easy Macadamia Nut Pesto Recipe – Foodie Friday

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  1. 1 1/2 cups fresh basil
  2. 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (you will add this in according to the texture you want, if you want it more on the liquid like side - add more)
  3. macadamia nuts (approximately 20 - 25 nuts for this particular recipe, more or less depending on your taste preference) You can also use: Pine nuts, walnuts, etc.
  4. 1/4 cup parmesan cheese or three cheese blend with parmesan and asiago blend (great for a nutty taste)
  5. 4 cloves minced garlic
  6. 1 Pinch kosher or rock salt (to taste)
  7. Add ins: If you are looking for a little added flavor and some awesomeness, add in a pinch or two of truffle salt or a drizzle of truffle oil. I usually add something along those lines for a great flavor profile.

Instructions

  1. Add all of your ingredients except for the oil, into your chopper, blender, food processor - what ever it is you decide to use. I'm using my Ninja chopper.
  2. Blend/chop/process the ingredients to the consistency you are looking at for your pesto dish.
  3. Stop the process and add in your oil a little at a time until it is well combined. If you want a thinner consistency, add more oil - a little at a time.
  4. Once you get the flavor and texture you want, you're done.
  5. Store in an airtight container, or use right away. If you are storing, add a little bit of your extra virgin olive oil over the top of the pesto prior to storing to keep it fresh.
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Don’t forget to check out the video (embedded above) or click the link here for all the details, a step by step walk through and more.  This is such an easy recipe, you can use so many other products in place.  If you are not a fan of macadamia nuts, you can replace them with the traditional pine nuts or use walnuts, almonds… whatever you are in the mood for.  Like I mentioned previously, you can also replace the basil with items like kale or spinach.  The texture will be a bit difference, but overall – it will have the same type of concept.  I like to also add a little bit of coconut oil into my recipe, but chose not to since the weather is a bit cold, I didn’t want it solidifying in the mixture.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe and if you decide to try it out, be sure to come and let me know.

Bon Appetito

Signature Honey

Disclaimer:  This recipe is utilizing products and ingredients I purchased with my own money.  All opinions are my own, 100% honest and unbiased and I was not paid to provide my thoughts.  This post and video are not sponsored.  Affiliate links are posted through out.

Happy Foodie Friday!  Today I decided it was about time I shared my super simple beef stroganoff recipe.  It’s not the healthiest, but most comfort food really isn’t, to be honest.  While I did make some changes and adapted this recipe for myself and my family, I took the base and root of this meal from my mommy who would cook it for us when we were kids.  What makes Beef Stroganoff so delicious and such a great comfort meal is that it has a hearty taste and flavor to it.  It’s perfect on those chilly evenings as a warm alternative to soup and of course, because of the pasta in the recipe, it really makes for a great comforting dish.  I made this recipe to be an easy one so that I could dinner on the table for those nights when we just didn’t have the time to slave in the kitchen for hours.  In about 30 minutes, this meal is cooked and ready to go.  Follow the video for a step by step outline of what to do.  I hope you enjoy this dish as much as my family does.  Bon Appetite.

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Supplies / Ingredients needed: 

  • 1 Tablespoon Kikkoman Soy Sauce or Aloha Shoyu – any type of soy sauce
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tbsp minced or fresh garlic
  • 3/4 cup – 1 cup sour cream
  • garlic salt or rock salt to taste
  • fresh parsley or parsley flakes – chopped, added for garnish and to taste as seasoning
  • 2 tbsp chopped white/round onion
  • pepper to taste
  • 10.5 oz. canned cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 1/2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 16 oz. / 1 lb. bag wide egg noodles
  • 1 lb. of beef – you can select to choose steak, stew meat or whatever works for you or you have on hand
  • 16 oz container white cap mushrooms or whatever mushrooms you have on hand (chopped or sliced)
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup of water or beef stalk

Directions:

  1. Add butter to your hot pan / skillet and allow to melt
  2. Cut up your meat to small bit size pieces and cook/brown meat until you have it at the right temperature completeness you are looking for
  3. Add your garlic and onion to your pan and cook in the butter
  4. Add your meat to the garlic, onion and butter mixture  (in the video I added the chopped onion flakes later, but if you are using fresh onion, add now)
  5. Add Worcestershire sauce
  6. Sprinkle in the seasoning you want to use:  parsley flakes, garlic salt or rock salt, pepper, herbs, etc.
  7. Start boiling your egg noodles – they take approximately 7-9 minutes to cook
  8. Add your sliced/chopped mushrooms to your beef mixture
  9. Once the mushrooms have softened, you’ll start working on your sauce
  10. Add 1/2 cup of water to stretch out the beef flavor, you can use beef stalk if you want
  11. Add 1 1/2 tbsp to your beef and sauce mixture and stir well, let cook to thicken
  12. Add your whole can of cream of mushroom soup, mix into your sauce and with meat well
  13. Add sour cream to the mixture and combine
  14. Add Soy Sauce and combine well
  15. Allow the stroganoff to simmer for 10 minutes
  16. When egg noodles are done, drain water and plate noodles
  17. Pour stroganoff over noodles and sprinkle some parsley as garnish on top
  18. If you are like my family – you can take your egg noodles and combine with stroganoff in the pan and serve that way as well.

I hope you and your family enjoy this really simple recipe.  I usually cook this meal when I have some left over stew meat or steak in the freezer and since we always have egg noodles on hand, it makes for a great meal.  This meal is simple and easy.   You can decide to add some vegetables on the side or a side salad to complete the meal or eat it as is.  Like I mentioned previously – this is the type of meal that is perfect for cuddle weather – it’s warm and hearty, but not a soup, so it makes a great and quick meal for any time of year.

Enjoy!

Signature Honey

This recipe is one that my mother showed me as a child and one I adapted to include other ingredients.  All opinions are my own, 100% honest and unbiased and this is not a sponsored post.  Affiliate links are posted through out.

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Who doesn’t love a bite sized chocolate treat as a gift, favor or just because?  M&M’s is a chocolate treat that claims to “melt in your mouth – not in your hand” and a childhood favorite that many love.  Recently I had the opportunity to place a personalized order from My M&M’s and I wanted to share the chocolate goodness with you as well as my customer service experience.  Don’t free like reading?  Stop by my video and I’ll chit chat and show and tell with you.

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A week ago I decided that I would cash in on a gift code for My M&M’s that I had for taking part in a campaign a few months ago.  I have never ordered anything from their personalized website before, so this was not only an exciting experience for me, but I was looking forward to seeing how detailed the design on my M&M’s would be.  After a glitch in their system with my code I called their 800 number and was promptly greeted by Red & Yellow M&M on the other line while I waited for the next customer service representative.  As a fan of M&M’s and the commercials, I thought it was quite cute to listen to Red & Yellow interact with one another and patiently waited for the next representative.

After a few minutes, Richard answered the phone.  He was a kind mannered gentlemen that walked me patiently through my order (which included various steps and designs) and processed my order accordingly.  After a 40 minute time frame over the phone, Richard and I were able to complete my order and I received an email confirmation with the final design as well as my order laid out for me.  I was very impressed with the customer service I received via the telephone because my Customer Service Agent took the time to not only ensure he was getting my designs right, but the spelling, colors and every else I had planned to do via their website.  Since I added an image to customize my M&M’s – I had to email the image to him and he was able to process that portion quickly.  While we took some time going over every aspect, Richard did so kindly, patiently and his customer service was superb.  There are few places that you can call and have not only great service but also someone who is patient.  Even while I edited the image for color correction and brightness, he held on the line without any complaints.

Shipping to Hawaii was quick.  My order was sent overnight via Fedex, which allowed my M&M’s to be delivered in tact and quickly – without any melting.  Each product within the box was packaged well so that everything was not only protected but arrived safely.

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I ordered a 2lb. bag of M&M’s that already had a set design, as well an Acrylic Gift Box with Plus Mrs. Brown Kit that had personalized M&M’s in it where I was able to customize and select:  Three (3) colors of my choosing (I went with Lavender, Light Pink and Platinum), Image Personalization, Custom Wording and Clip Art.  The Acrylic container holds 10 servings of your personalized M&M’s and it sits in a pretty black box which makes such a great gift.  I was happy to get Mrs. Brown too and knew I had to have her because she reminds me of me – lol.

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The photo I selected on my M&M’s was one of my husband and I.  The detail on the image is great and everything looks absolutely perfect.  Not to mention, they taste delicious too… just as I come to expect from one of my favorite candies.  The spelling for everything I provided was not only accurate, but the font is legible and everything looked great.  Not one M&M arrived damaged and it was a sweet treat to have for my husband and I.

I’m not only impressed with the service I received from My M&M’s but also the quality of my treats.  The 2lb bag of pink M&M’s came with a little white scoop which made enjoying our treat easy and the quality of each item was well made and of quality.

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A few years ago a friend of mine worked with me to design some M&M’s for her wedding.  It was simplistic and you could only add initials at that time so I was so happy to see the different types of customizing you can do to the M&M’s now and the fact that this could all be done online as well.  I’m glad there is an option available for those looking for a fun and thoughtful gift or something “sweet” to give out as favors at your next event.  Regardless of the reason, I think My M&M’s is a great way to go and I would return to buy and order again.

Did you know that you could customize M&M’s this way?  If so, have you tried for yourself or are your planning to?  Be sure to check out my video where I walk you through each product and discuss my thoughts with you as well.

Signature Honey

 

Disclaimer:  The product(s) featured in this post were purchased at a discount thanks to a gift code that I received from a previous campaign.  I did pay for some of the items out of pocket.  All opinions are my own, 100% honest and unbiased and I was not paid to provide my thoughts or feature these products.

 

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It’s no secret if you have been visiting here on my blog, that I’m a huge fan of coconut oil, coconut water and just coconuts in general.  I love the flavor and I love the scent but I also love the ingredient in itself as it has definitely been a huge part of my skin care routine, health and overall well being.  Recently I was given the opportunity to try INVO Coconut Water.  I haven’t particularly heard about the brand before and being a coconut water connoisseur myself, I thought I would try it out.  Today I share with you my thoughts on this product, it’s benefitis and whether or not I enjoyed it on this week’s Foodie Friday.

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I’m a huge believer in the fact that water is such an essential nutrient for our bodies and drinking its minimum amount each day is a necessity.  But, I also know that if this is something new for you – new and innovative ways to drink as much water as you can is definitely a must.  Because of this, sometimes I like to mix things up a bit and drink some coconut water that helps to not only provide the refreshment my body needs but also the hydration.  INVO Coconut Water is a refreshing and flavorful healthy coconut drink that is not only easy to take around with you but it delicious and will easily become your go-to drink from the instant you start sipping on it.

Since coconuts are 99% fat-free and naturally low in sugar and packed with calcium and magnesium it makes a great drink for every day or after an aggressive work out.  INVO coconut water drinks are never heat pasteurized and have 100% coconut juice and electrolytes that help to aid in rapid hydration.  This drink is seriously a must for those warm summer days or a nice day out at the beach.  It’s available in three great flavors – Pure, Green Tea and Tropical.  Because of INVO’s creative cold water pasteurization, your coconut water is kept fresh, clean, delicious and special!

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Besides being very refreshing, coconut water contains 5 essential electrolytes to keep you hydrated.  It also has as much potassium as one banana which I love.  And, an interesting tidbit from INVO is that there is a pink hue in their coconut water which is a result of a natural enzymatic process that causes the polyphenolics present in raw coconut water to turn pink over time.

As mentioned before, the Coconut water goes through a High Pressure Processing to ensure you are getting the best quality product that tastes and is fresh.  What is High Pressure Processing or HPP?  Well, it is a cold pasteurization technique which INVO has named “cold-crafting”.  This process inactivates bacteria, viruses, yeast and molds that are present in all foods – thereby guaranteeing food safety and extending the shelf life of your product.  Unlike most juices, which are heat pasteurized, ‘cold-crafting’ only uses cold water under high pressure.  Due to the absence of heat in the process, the organoleptic and nutrional properties of the food are maintained, allowing the product to retain its fresh taste and nutritional content, just like mother nature intended it be.  Since the INVO Coconut waters are 100% cold crafted, there are no nasties ever added.  INVO prides themselves in giving us the true freshly-cracked coconut water experience.

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So now that I’ve taken the time to give you the run down on the products, all the technical and scientific information and everything in between; I’m going to share with you my overall thoughts on this drink.

First of all, if you are not a fan of the coconut flavor (I know some people don’t like it), I suggest going with the Tropical Flavor.  My sons all love the Tropical flavor though they enjoy them all.  It taste like a tropical fruit punch and the coconut flavor is not as prominent, though you easily have a quenched thirst, feel re-hydrated and it’s delicious.  If you are someone that loves Green Tea or Tea flavors, I think you’ll quite enjoy the Sencha Green Tea.  It’s got a great tea flavor and if you are someone that enjoys a great green tea, you’ll love this particular flavor.  My favorite out of the three I tried is the Pure Coconut Water.  It tastes just like fresh coconut juice/water that you would get here in Hawaii right off the tree.

Each drink is not only delicious, but really great for a usual Hawaii day.  While these are made in Thailand, they are offered at many retailers through out the US and I have been told they can be found at Whole Foods, though I haven’t found them at my local store.  Once they are available, I will admit that this will be a staple in our household because everyone loves them.

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The INVO Coconut water is gluten free, Kosher and Vegan.  And, like most premium food products, INVO Coconut Water requires refrigeration for optimum quality and safety so make sure you do not drink the water if you suspect that it hasn’t been kept chilled.  If you are allergic to nuts, while it is extremely rare to have a coconut water allergy, it is best to seek medical advice prior to consuming these drinks since Coconuts are tree nuts.  The INVO Coconut Water is a good source of vitamin C& B group vitamins and great after a work out!

My family and I are really enjoy these coconut waters and I highly recommend them.  We give these treats a two thumbs up each and all agree they are delicious but great for keeping hydrated.  If I were running consistently or on a jog, I would pull for this directly after to replenish my electrolytes.  INVO is coming out with some great new flavors which I’m also really excited to try.  I think if you are someone that wants to change up your water routine or try something new, this would make a great treat.  And, as I mentioned before, it’s great for the whole family.

Learn more about INVO Coconut Water here: http://www.invococonutwater.com/  and be sure to check out their Facebook Page for all kinds of information, reviews and more.

Have you heard of INVO Coconut Water?  Are you a coconut water drinker like I am?  Comment below and let me know your thoughts on the delicious goodness.

Signature Honey

Disclaimer:  The product(s) mentioned and featured in this post were sent to me for review consideration.  All opinions are my own, 100% honest and unbiased and I was not paid to provide my thoughts or feature this product.  Affiliate links are posted through out.

When it comes to food, I consider myself to have an eclectic soul.  Food not only satisfies my taste buds but absolutely feeds my soul.  Whether it is the naughty type or something home cooked and comforting or some great healthy selections, I love them all and enjoy each and every bite.  About 8 months ago, my sister Katt introduced me to a new food establishment that I had not been to before.  “They have the best Acai bowl, ever!”  As a foodie, I thought it was worth checking out and I found myself at their location in Wailuku just a few days after having this conversation with her.  Their Wailuku location is a small hole in the wall, large enough to fit a few bar stools with seating against the wall.  At any given time, you can have about 6 customers sitting in there comfortably and the lines can be out the door.  For my first experience at the Wailuku location of the Farmacy Health Bar, I tried the Waiside Bowl.  It literally was an experience I not only enjoyed, but became instantly addicted to.  

Farmacy Health Bar, Acai Bowl

I love making things from scratch and have ventured into the health food scene many times with my own personal cooking so I absolutely loved the fact that so much care was put into a little bowl of sweet and tart goodness.  The bowls come in three different sizes and a selection of different varieties that will not only fill you up with energy and greatness, but they taste absolutely delicious.  Each ingredient used in any of their creations is organic and many if not most of what they offer are grown right here in Hawaii.  The first time I went to their Wailuku location, the owner talked about looking into expanding and I was so excited to find out that they would be expanding to the Up Country Maui area.  I awaited their opening and arrival eagerly.

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After the new year 2016, Farmacy Health Bar Pukalani opened in the Pukalani Terrace Center.  This location is literally a mile away from my house and I have been dropping in several times in the last week to pick up some of my favorite goodies.

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My favorite treat from Farmacy Health Bar is the Wai side Poi Bowl.  It’s made with Farmacy made organic poi at the bottom, vanilla macaroon granola (which is yum) or gluten free rustic granola, Farmacy acai mix with a bit more granola, any three fresh fruits available, toasted coconut, hemp seeds and local honey.  It’s delicious and my children absolutely love it.  A Papa bowl ($15) includes two pounds of the bowls products and is a treat for myself and all three of my sons to share.  A few of the fruits they have on selection are banana, strawberries, blueberries, papaya and pineapple.  Sometimes you can find awesome delights like dragon fruit or mango when it is in season or they have it in stock.

Besides the Waiside bowl, I also tried the Honolua Bowl which includes: Vanilla macaroon granola or gluten free rustic granola topped with Farmacy acai mix, more granola and any three fresh fruits, toasted mac nuts, goji berries and local Hawaiian honey.

Farmacy Health Bar, Maui, Acai Bowl, Health food, Organic

The Country Cacao Acai Bowl is a new one I recently got to try.  It includes the Vanilla macaroon granola or gluten free rustic granola topped with Farmacy Acai mix and any three fresh fruits you can select (if you are at the Pukalani location).  It is topped with hemp seeds, cacao powder, cacao nibs and toasted coconut with a drizzle of local honey.  I like chocolate, but for a while I have passed on this bowl and finally decided I would try it.  the cacao nibs have a light crunch which not only add to the flavor of the bowl but work perfectly with the fruits.  It’s absolutely delicious and while it has as sweetness we would expect from chocolate, it is not too chocolate in flavor and works well with the fruits.  I chose mine with Liliko’i (passion fruit), banana and papaya and it was yummy.  If you like chocolate, I think you’ll enjoy this bowl.

Foodie Friday Feature - Farmacy Health Bar, Pukalani

If you are looking for something hearty for a great lunch, but not too heavy for those days you need to accomplish a lot – the Pono Bowl is wonderful.  The Pono bowl comes layered with quinoa, your choice of soup and kale salad with a garlic cashew dressing (which is oh so delicious) and topped with a spiced popcorn tofu.  It retails for $10 and is a hearty meal perfect for lunch.  So far I have had the Pono bowl with the Split Pea Soup and Vegetable Curry and each soup had a little spice so it made a perfect compliment to the rest of the bowl.  It is absolutely delicious and filling and one of my favorites.

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The Young Prince Salad has been one of my favorites since first being introduced to Farmacy.  I love Garbanzo beans and this salad really puts some of my favorite salad mix-ins into one spot.  It’s delicious and hearty and really helps to keep me energized to complete the rest of my busy day.  It’s usually served after 10am so this would make a great brunch or lunch for anyone.  The Young Prince Salad includes kale, baby romain, mixed greens, quinoa, tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, avocado, chickpeas, croutons and french feta with the garlic cashew dressing.

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I also tried the Tahitian Lime aid – which includes fresh lime-lemon juice blended with mint, organic cane juice and ice.  It’s $7 for a 20 oz. cup and $12 for a 32 oz. cup with refill.  This limeade has a great tart and sweet flavor with a refreshing mint taste.  It’s delicious and I love that it’s perfect for those warm days but can be a staple any time of the year.

Foodie Friday Feature - Farmacy Health Bar, Pukalani

The Lahaina Gold Smoothie ($8 20 oz. cup) comes with papaya, banana, strawberries and fresh aloe vera and organic alkaline sugarcane juice with fresh local citrus and coconut milk is another favorite drink of mine and absolutely delicious.  It’s perfect for breakfast and refreshing.

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Supporting local business is not only great for our economy and community but it’s always awesome to see that Farmacy Health Bar uses ingredients that are locally grown.  I love that Farmacy is now open in Pukalani, just 2 minutes from my home and they are now open at 7am which allows me to get a smoothie or something delicious to eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  While they are still working on staffing their Pukalani location you can find them currently there from 7am to about 5:30pm and in February they are looking to expand to dinner which means they’ll be open to at least 8pm.  The location has a lot of room for dining in – which is an improvement in comparison to their Wailuku location which is a little hole in the wall.  There is also seating available outside the establishment and it makes for a great little area to sit down and chow down on some healthy food while enjoying the cool Up Country air.

Pono Bowl, Acai bowl, Farmacy Health Bar, Maui, health food,

While at the locations, be sure to check out their “Pay It Forward” or “Pono Board”.  You can purchase a meal for $3.00 to be given to someone less fortunate.  The meal is an organic mini pono bowl that includes:  guinoa, kale salad, soup and feta.  This program that Farmacy offers is a great addition to any locally owned business (or any business for that matter) and I love it.  I have purchased several bowls and have donated and I love that it goes to those that are less fortunate.  Living in Hawaii, while a paradise to many, still has it’s share of people down on their luck and they have the opportunity to get a warm meal in their opu (tummy in hawaiian).

Each item you order from Farmacy is made to order,  so please make sure you are aware of this prior to coming in to dine.  While the staff does their best to get your orders out quickly, since everything is made to order and they are popular, there could be some waiting time.  I walked into the restaurant last week and the line was out the door, but the food is definitely worth it and is definitely worth not only the wait, but the cost.  If you are looking to eat a little healthier this year or just add some great local grinds to your day, this place is a must go.  If you are visiting and looking for an establishment with great aloha spirit and delicious food, stop by and check them out.  We all know I love to cook and create dishes that are not only pretty but delicious and hearty and while I can create many of these dishes on my own, it’s so great that I have an option that I can turn to for delicious food that’s healthy and made of great ingredients.

Pono Bowl, Acai bowl, Farmacy Health Bar, Maui, health food,

Check out their Facebook Page here and stop on in the Pukalani Terrace Center location – let Malik and the team know that Honeygirl sent you.  Try some of these delicious selections and I promise, you will love them as much as I do.  Oh – they also started a cool frequent buyer program, so make sure to ask about that when you stop in.  Everything served here is basically vegetarian, so it’s a great choice for anyone and remember… the food is worth the wait, so be patient, grab a seat and enjoy!

Happy Aloha Friday and Good Eating to you!

Signature Honey

 

Disclaimer:  All items featured were purchased by me with my own money.  All opinions are my own, 100% honest and unbiased and I was not paid to feature this business or their products.