Friday, May 20, 2016

How to cut (chiffonade) & use Collard Greens for Soups, Saute & Juicing

This is a short video on how I cut and prep my collards for soups and stir-fry. It's so tender I eat the stems by cutting it very thin. I also like putting it in my Saimin aka ramen noodles. Great in any dish that you want to add dark, leafy greens to your dish. - mm

Friday, February 5, 2016

Kitchen-In-A-Box: Cooking essentials - Everything You Need for college, camping, roadtrip...

This is great to take on the road when you can make meals in your hotel room, or if you bring a small stove, for camping, for setting up a small kitchen, for college dorm rooms - it has everything you need except the stove and pot!

How to Make 120 No Bake Cereal Bars for under $10

Try this simple recipe to make your own 'no bake' cereal bars delish!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

GE asks for a review & then declines the truth

GE rejects my review they asked for - stating 'It cannot be published to the website.'  It's not a bad review it just gives the facts, i would never recommend this dishwasher. 

Even their microwave is making noises after a few months and the 'new' dryer made horrible noises when we moved in that it had to be replaced. Shoddy work & overpriced repairs and parts is why most people replace their appliances, but don't expect much from GE. 


Hello mlb23,

We appreciate you taking the time to write a review on GDF510PSDSS however, your review did not meet the guidelines for posting on our site.

We encourage you to revisit our guidelines and resubmit your review on GDF510PSDSS.

Resubmit your review

Thanks again,
GE Appliances

Works but don't like prints
This came with our house, it was brand new and the top arm broke off and fell to the bottom & melted within the first month or so. After researching online it was easier to just buy another arm & install it rather than the vague comments from customer service who said they had to send a tech out to look at it. 

Online there's many comments of this being an issue, the arm is just lightly clicked on and isn't held on well. No reason of why it came off in the first place. Since our last d/w was over 6 yrs old, anything that washed and dried was appreciated. 

Sometimes the soap doesn't get dispensed even though the clip part opened. Also don't like the water and fingerprint marks on the front SS finish. other than that it's an average d/w. Although I do like that the racks are deeper than our old one to fit larger pots and cups on both top and bottom drawers.

You may contact GE Appliances with questions or concerns related to customer support and satisfaction.

This email was sent by: GE Appliances
Appliance Park, Louisville, KY, 40225, USA

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Recipe for Adobo Dry Spice Rub


6 Tablespoons Kosher Salt (modify half-half salt substitute like Mrs. Dash if you're watching your salt intake)
6 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
4 Tablespoons Dried Oregano
2 Tablespoons Turmeric
2 Tablespoons Onion Powder
1-Tablespoon Black Pepper
1-Tablespoon Cumin

Optional - 2 Tablespoons Badia brand Sazon Tropical

Of course if you like other seasonings add it 1 tablespoon at a time so you don't overpower your rub. I like Badia brand Sazon Tropical - although some of the spices are duplicated there's just something about this mix that I like the aroma and the coloring it adds, more of a orange than the turmeric adds a yellow tint to foods. It's great with vegetables and meats for roasting, baking - or anytime you want to add seasoning. Of course this adds salt so you'll want to be careful and add less kosher salt when adding this.

Gift Tip:
I made a batch of this and bought 10 small decorative bottles, decorative bag, and some ribbon to give out as gifts. Each bottle fit about a little over 2 tablespoons of this dry seasoning. That doesn't sound like much but it's about how much if not more, in seasoning bottles we buy in the store. In addition I typed out the ingredients and suggestions for use and printed it on business card size paper & attached it to each bottle.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Kid's Favorite Food List at Trader Joe's

A Kid's Wishlist at Trader Joe's

Opening Day: Trader Joe's has finally arrived in Orlando - Winter Park

Yippee! Yes, Trader Joe's has finally arrived in Orlando, FL - in Winter Park to be specific. The grand opening was held on Friday, June 27, 2014 a day that many in Orlando counted down and stood in line for at least a half hour to get to a cashier. Hopefully the crowds will calm down by the time the other stores in the  shopping center that share the parking spaces open.

Comments for pictures are below each photo.

At first I thought this cool sign said 19 cents a pound and wondered why the stand was so full but then got closer to realize it was EACH, but still I needed some so I bought me some bananas. They had organic ones also but I forget the cost. Everything looked awesome but it was so crowded I decided not to get any cold items as we were going to go on other errands, but we'll be back!

I noticed a sign that said 99 cents - it was a little round loaf about the size of my palm, we'll try to get a picture of the whole thing next time!

I didn't take this picture, I think the "kidd" was trying to hint and make a list for all the things she wants next trip; you'll see coming up the cheesey frozen items.

"Organic Hemp Protein powder"
I thought this one needed to be taken, hubby is looking for an alternative protein powder - too bad it doesn't have the full effects of pot. The reviews for both flavors are not good, I wouldn't get it for a kid or a hubby! It seems the powder doesn't blend well with any liquid and the smell and taste is less than desirable. I have a pretty good tolerance for "green" things so I guess this one just didn't cut it. Some reviewers say they would keep taking it for the health benefits; yet even when they blend it with soy or alternate milk, frozen fruit or fruit and ice it leaves the clumps of powder on the bottom of the cup, however for $10.99 in Orlando and Amazon selling it for $27.47 someone is making some bucks on this one.

Ah yes, the Kidd's grocery list - mozz sticks

Interesting Turkey Meatballs - she's usually into the red meat but she's preteen, she'll be more health conscious next year, I hope.

Trader Joe's Mac 'n Cheese
This is one of the favorite's on many lists that I've read about - kids and adults love this stuff and what's always great is that all - yes ALL - of the TJ product line are GMO FREE - great news and the prices are always awesome. I'll get some next trip when I bring the ice and cooler.

Oh my, they make this stuff at one of the restaurants that we go to and I'm sure it's super high in fat. I'll check the label next time but it's WAYYYY cheaper than getting it as an appetizer at that sit-down place we ate at.

Cheese food again? This kidd is wacky with the cheese stuff, fortunately she has her daddy's metabolism. 

Kidd wanted to try this, she looked at the label and it's "guilt free" because it uses plain yogurt - she's willing to try it so we bought a box. Wayyyyy cheaper again than the similar stuff at that place (whole foods) never need to go back there again. I'm so in heaven that we'll be having another Trader Joe's in the Dr. Phillip's area of Orlando - both stores are still half hour away but way better than the Tampa store which is our closest that is 90 minutes. "happy dance"

Kidd just started noticing the fun labels on TJ's products.

We didn't buy any of this but we love popcorn and got a $1.49 snack bag of TJs caramel popcorn - delish - um sorry, no picture we ate it on the way home and I don't know where it is now?! oh kidd???

TJ groupies love this
Crispy Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies oh and Dunkers
Opted to get the Joe Joe's cookies that look like Oreos this trip but will try these at another time.

I'm guessing someone wanted chocolate chip - I can see her list is growing.

Potato Gnocchi
Well, we won't be getting the Kidd the "Orange Vodka Sauce" as the sign says it's delicious with, however this is Italian pasta without cheese, wow!

Interesting, the Kidd didn't care for this one and she loves cookie batter, but I guess it wasn't batter like taste for her. We also got the Cookie & Cocoa Swirl version and she said she preferred that one but wasn't a fan. I'm not surprised, the Kidd is a finicky eater and it was sweet for me but I could eat it as a dessert or snack on a plain, unsalted cracker.

We saw this at the cashier's check out - it looked cool but I'm not into PB & J although it has raspberry, I would try it, just to try it. 

We were fascinated by the look of the gift card you could purchase so of course we took a pic!

I'll be posting reviews of the goodies that I bought on future posts. Another favorite is the penguin gummies! Thanks for stopping by! -ml

Check out my recipes at: Orlando Cooking Examiner

Copyright content including photos, recipes and ideas are that of Monica Lehua. Please do not copy without written permission. Feel free to share using the social media buttons and giving credit to this site. - mlehua

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Turkey Meatloaf on the menu for the busy home cook

The first three months of this year seem like a blur and we're almost done with half the year. Time flies when you're busy and even when you're not. I took some time off earlier this year to take care of myself and thought I'd spend some time writing, but that went out the window, however it's time to get back to the basics of my writing, about food.

Today I published a modified version of Turkey Meatloaf, you can click on the link to see it in detail. It's simple and a very large recipe that is great, already written as a double recipe - eat one and freeze the other loaf - give it a try. Hubby doesn't like Worcestershire (I could never quite say that word) so I substitute his with A-1 sauce. I've tried other brands but for some reason he likes the A-1, hmmm I wonder if I put some of the Aldi brand steak sauce in his bottle if he'll notice. Shhhh, he doesn't read this blog so I could get away with it - ha. I digress. - ml

Check out my recipes at: Orlando Cooking Examiner

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Learning about meal planning, shopping lists and recipes

Save money, time and reduce stress with weekly meal plans

Meal planning helps save money, time and reduces stress. We all know it, but where do we start? After a bit of research and looking for food in the house but not wanting to eat any of what I have, I realized I needed to work on a plan that I've wanted to do for years, but never got around to doing.

I've always know there are meal planning lists and recipes out there on the web but I couldn't find one that had everything I wanted for free and the type of food that might be healthy, affordable and easy to make. But then one day I feel upon a site called The Better Mom and from there found one of their contributor writers who not only has a menu that may work for my family but one that has all the information and resources I have been looking for, it's called The Nourishing Home.

I'm enjoying reading both websites and looking forward to introducing the menu planner to the family so that we can work on our food budget and agree on meals, which is another challenge considering the difference cultural background we come from and the fact that I can't eat meat or dairy but I can eat fish. I will cook with meat and dairy for others but need to figure out how to prepare meals where I can eat too.

Check out my recipes at: Orlando Cooking Examiner

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Kalua Turkey Not-in-the-Pit #2 Made in a Crock Pot, Slow Cooker baby

Crock Pot Cooking - slow but set it and forget it
As promised I am going to share a crock pot version of the kalua turkey recipe. Sure this is being posted on Christmas morning and dinner is but 8 or 10 hours away, even better if you live on the west coast, there's still plenty of time for you to whip up a batch of Hawaiian Style Kalua Turkey, you just need some turkey and a crock pot as it only takes fours hours and once you get it in the pot and plug it in, you can do other stuff, this is just way too simple.

This year I bought myself a very small 3-quart crock pot. Why? Well, why not. It looked cool with the black and white design I've not seen on other crock pots and it was only $11 brand spanking new! Although we have a small family and I love to cook and I no longer live in Hawaii, I seem to always want the flavors of home. So in this case, if you have at least a 6 quart crock pot, I would recommend this recipe for the regular larger size crock pot. I think the one I have is too small, although you could always reduce the amount of turkey breast to make this, but then again if something is going to take 4-hours; I might as well make more and freeze it for another time. I made some potato and corn chowder the other week with my baby crock pot and it was filled to the rim with what I thought was a small recipe. I’m so used to eating and cooking for lots of people like my parents did that it’s a challenge for me to cook for myself as my family have taste buds that are not of the Hawaii flair.

That said, this blog helps me live out my life of cooking for others and sharing some of the experiences of home.

This recipe comes from Pikake21 at Food dot com, it looks like the typical kalua pig and cabbage recipe which is ‘onolicious with hot sticky rice but I would wait to put the cabbage in the last hour before serving not from the beginning as it would make for more texture that I personally prefer in my dish or you could leave the cabbage out completely.

The difference between this version of Kalua Turkey and the imu (underground oven) and the regular oven in my prior post, "Kalua Turkey Not-in-the-pit #1 Kitchen Oven" - is that it will most likely be very wet. The oven versions are cooked with heat and steam and although the meat is moist it's usually not sitting in it's juices like the crock pot version. That said, it's still a tasty version of the pit.

Kalua Turkey without the pit #2 Make it in a crock pot, slow cooker

  • 5 -8 lbs turkey breast
  • 5 tablespoons liquid smoke
  • 1 head shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • salt and pepper

  1. Place turkey in crockpot and cover half-way with water.
  2. Add seasonings then cook until tender and falling off the bone.
  3. Remove meat from bones and place meat in crock pot with cabbage.
  4. Simmer in crockpot for 4 hours.
Check out my other recipes at: Orlando Cooking Examiner

If you liked this article click the Subscribe button to receive email updates when a new article is published. Connect with Monica on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Kalua Turkey Recipe Not-in-the-pit #1 Kitchen Oven

Hawaii's Imu - the underground oven
Seems like everyone in the mainland US has an idea of what they should or should not eat for Christmas dinner. In Hawaii it depends on the majority of the ethnic group of your family, and for us it was usually more turkey. 

We didn't do much ham, may be cause it was too 'mainland', I have no clue.

While reflecting back to the holidays in Hawaii I realized while watching a Thanksgiving episode of the reality show, Cake Boss, it was always about family and food. So I set out to find some versions of kalua turkey when digging a hole out in the backyard just won't cut it.

On my search for an alternative to the pit for mainlanders and islanders who want to use electricity I found this oven version and I'll be posting at least two other versions using a crock pot (slow cooker) and a pressure cooker - I need to do a little more research but check back.

Here's the oven versions from Sara who lives in the east coast and who's dad modified the imu (underground oven) to the regular house oven.

Kalua Turkey Recipe - in the Oven


1 1/2 cups coarse sea salt or kosher salt (Hawaiian salt can be ordered online) 16-pound fresh turkey, giblets, neck and any other packets removed 1/2 cup liquid smoke seasoning, or more as needed Water (optional) Large heavy duty roasting pan Heavy duty foil Meat thermometer 


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Have at hand a roasting pan with rack that fits inside.

Use all of the salt to rub the exterior of the bird, its cavity and gently under the skin as much as possible. 

Then pour all of the liquid smoke seasoning outside and inside the bird, rubbing it into the skin to spread it evenly. 

Place the turkey on the rack in the roasting pan; cover tightly with aluminum foil. Roast for 4 1/2 to 5 hours, until much of the skin is lightly browned and a thermometer inserted into the thigh (but not touching the bone) registers 165 degrees. The turkey should be falling off the bone. Uncover, and let the turkey rest for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, strain the pan juices into a small saucepan. Add water (to dilute) or a little liquid smoke seasoning (to intensify the flavor) as needed. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for about 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and keep warm; its consistency will be thin.

Discard all the skin and remove the bones from the turkey, reserving the bones for another use, if desired. Transfer the meat to a separate large pan or casserole dish or platter. Use two forks or your clean hands to shred the turkey to the consistency of pulled pork.

Before serving, pour the heated pan juices over the turkey and toss lightly to coat. Serve warm.