Allow myself to introduce my….self…

Ok so, it’s a new year, time for a new look…it’s time to break the mold of the old and be cool with what’s new.  Like that Tupac song goes…”it’s time for a change, let’s change the way we eat, let’s change the way we live, and let’s change the way we treat each other.  You see the old ways wasn’t working so it’s on us to do what gotta do, to survive…”

The New Year tells me that it’s time for a change…it’s time to reintroduce myself.  It’s time for IslaNani sucka’s!  That sounds good, don’t it?  IslaNani….it’s….it’s….well it’s the soul in my food, my travels, and how I feel when I see my family and friends.  IslaNani is a state of mind, a sojourn of the spirit, very Metamucil…just close them eyes, take a deep breath and when you reopen them eyes, see the world for what it was intended to be…beautiful, loving, and filled with those we care about the most.  So…what does all this mean?  Shee-yit, it means I’m back fool!  But I’m changing up the game while staying true to what got me here and that is sharing my passion for life, food, and still making dumb assed uncle jokes along the way.  So, you ready?  I’m ready!  Let’s get down!!

Ok then, I recently got back from a 19 day trip to Hawai’i and I have to say it was transformative.  Not Transformative like Bumblebee or Optimus Prime Rib…but like it provided me the chance to be with my family as we found new things to love about a place we have gone for the last 10 plus years.  It was really cool to see new things and go on new adventures in a place that had become so familiar and laden with the same haunts each jaunt.  Think of it like looking at yourself in the mirror all the time, same old you.  You say to yourself “I’m good looking but it’s the same reflection every time.” Then one day you realize, “Hey, I have really nice ear lobes…those are some nicely shaped lobes.  I never realized how good looking those things are.  I’m gonna go out and show my badass lobes to the globe.”  I also came away with a new found appreciation for my family relationships in general.  We even made some new friends that we will be in touch with for years to come.  That’s what got me thinking about a shake-up in my blog postings.  I’m still sorting this out, but I feel like mixing up food and travel will be a nice blend.  Basically when I travel, I find something good that I ate and I come home and cook it.  So why not bring the two together?  Food and travel go hand in hand like Charlie Brown and Snoopy, ball games and hot dogs, a white Speedon’t and that one European dude at the beach playing badminton by himself for some reason…just matches made in heaven.  I mean damn, they have a full channel dedicated to it.  Not the European Dude Speedo Badminton Beach Championships (or the EDSBBC for short), but you know…travel.  One day I’ll have to audition for one of those Travel Channel shows.  We call it, “Can’t Take Him Anywhere Nice” starring Uncle Manny.  But sadly, that dream will have to wait.  Until then, I’m gonna show off some sweet Hawai’i pics and take on a couple different ways to prep up musubi as well as some egg rolls.  So slap on those board shorts and that chef hat and let’s get to work motha sucka’s!

Egg Rollin’ with the Homies

  • Egg roll wrappers (thawed)
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • ½ onion diced
  • 2 tbsp. of minced garlic
  • Taco seasoning to taste

This isn’t exactly a new one, but it’s something that the wife had on our last trip and she wanted me to make it for her.  So to start, in a medium sized bowl, rub the chicken breasts with taco seasonings then put a little oil in a pan over medium-high heat and cook the chicken breast until done, about 10 minutes.  Once done, remove from heat and place on a cutting board to cool.  While those breastesses cool down,  put the pan back on medium-high heat and add in the onion, garlic and bell pepper and cook for another 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Go back to the chicken and dice it up into small pieces, return the pan to the heat and mix in the chicken with the veggies and cook until it is all blended in.   When done, set aside and allow to cool for about half an hour.  While you wait, go like drink a beer or something.  Once you have waited for half an hour, or about 4 beers (because 4 beers in half an hour is about right isn’t it?) take out the egg roll wrapper and place a couple spoonful’s of the mixture on the bottom corner.  Wrap up the egg rolls and set on a cookie sheet, plate, or whatever flat surface you want to use.  From here you can pan fry them in oil, or if you are one of those do-goody “I don’t fry stuff because I’m healthy, but I’ll bake the sh*t out of it” types then that’s cool too.  Just put a little oil on a cookie sheet, brush a little oil on each egg roll and bake it at like 425 degrees or whatever temp you like.  Me?  I’m the “Fry-day is My-day” type so I puts ‘em in oil and eats ‘em up.  If I wanted to be healthy I’d eat a salad and run a mile.  So anyway, once these are done, you can set out some salsa for dipping or do it my way with a couple spoonfuls of sour cream mixed with Chipotle Tabasco for your dipping sauce.  This recipe feels very Guy Fieri, but who gives a spit, they taste good cuz!

Don’t Worry, Musubi Happy

  • Steamed white rice (sushi rice preferred but jasmine is ok for musubi)
  • Nori sheets
  • Portuguese sausage
  • Salmon
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • Furikake

What you want to do first is steam the rice.  While that steams, cut the sausage in long strips, then pan fry them on medium-high heat.  They will be done when they are a little brown and slightly crispy.  When done place on paper towels to cool but keep the oil from the sausage in the pan.  Now put the salmon in that same pan and on the same heat, drizzle on some teriyaki sauce and cook on one side for about 8 minutes.  Flip the salmon over, then, cook the other side for about 8 minutes, drizzling on more teriyaki sauce.  When done, remove from pan and set on a plate.  Next get the nori sheet and place on a sushi mat.  Cover the nori with rice, salmon, and Portuguese sausage.  Leave about an inch of space on the end of the nori so you can close and seal it.  Sprinkle on a little Furikake and then roll it up in the mat.  Taking a sharp knife, run it under some warm water and slice into equal-sized rounds.  With every other cut, run the knife under warm water since this will help the knife cut through the nori and not tear away at it.

So there it goes…my first post of the New Year.  Hope it was fun and informative because if not, too bad, it only goes downhill from here my dudes and dudettes!  If you decide to try these recipes at home, just take your time with it and have fun.  If you have kids, encourage them to help.  Give them the hot oil and frying pans as well as the sharp knives, then, leave them unattended while you go fetch another drink.  Nooo! I’m kidding!  Let them turn the oven on too…all right y’all, until next time, be cool.

As promised, I have a sweet ass video of Hawai’i! Turns out my inlaw’s neighbor works for a great ocean excursion company called Trident Adventures and they took us out for a cruise early after Christmas. You can find them at www.tridentadventures.com and they are worth checking out. They had plenty of snacks and drinks for the kiddos plus they are just very nice people. The crew is great and run by military Vets so you get to be out on the water with our nation’s finest. I guess the crew of Hawai’i 5-O was out on the boat as well as the dude from Aquaman so they have a pretty swank clientele list. Even Z list stars like me (I was in a Hollywood movie about Prefontaine for like point zero 2 seconds). Even though I didn’t sign any autographs that day, the kids had a blast and saw half of the supporting cast from Finding Nemo. I’m talking full on Honu, Whales, small fishies…but hey, we were just around the corner from Disney’s Aulani so it made sense…

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