Mustard Crusted Chicken September 10 2019, 0 Comments

Have some artisan mustard and want to know how to use it? Here is a great recipe on how to use fancy mustard and not have to deal with the egg bath you normally have to give chicken when breading it. 


  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs 
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1 ½ tbsp Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme 
  • 2 chicken boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp Honey Dill Mustard 
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1 tsp Tuscan Herb & Garlic Dipping Blend 
  • Avocado Oil 


Heat your oven to 450 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with some Avocado Oil.

Mix the herbs and bread crumbs together on a plate and set aside. Mix the mustard and garlic together and brush onto the chicken breasts. Dip the chicken breasts into the bread & herb mixture and evenly coat both sides. Transfer the seasoned chicken breasts onto the baking sheet and  place into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 170 degrees. Let the meat rest for 7-10 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!

Herb Preserving 101 September 10 2019, 0 Comments


Aloha beautiful people! It seems that summer went out and autumn is on her way in. Today is the day I have been longing for. Rainy and cool and all the herbs that I’ve dried out and laying in a spare room taking up space, can now be crumbled off the stems and bagged for future meals.

But as I sat and bagged the herbs, I wondered how many other methods there were for saving culinary herbs, beside my old standby, stripping and drying on paper. Another way to preserve the essence of the plant is to freeze them in ice cube trays with a good olive oil, like our Picual or Koroniki varietals. But in my search, I found 3 additional methods of preserving your herbs for later use. 

First, select your herbs carefully. Believe it or not, the best time to harvest your herbs is early morning when it is cool and dewy. Essential oils are at their peak and this translates to increased flavor! Also look for tips that are just about to flower and inspect for any damages to the leaves. You can either pinch off or use a pair of snips to collect your bounty. I tend to pinch my plants back unless it is a woody herb or plant.

Once you’ve collected your herbs, reinspect each item and gently rinse in cool water. Place on paper towel to dry off and pat dry with another paper towel. If you choose to hang and dry your herbs, group each type of herb with no more than 6 stems. Tie the small groups together and hang in cool dry room out of traffic, such as a cellar, spare room etc. These will dry in approximately 1-3 weeks, depending on the characteristics of the herb. Once dry, you can store in airtight jars or baggies. The info I found stated that this is good for up to 1 year,

There are 2 ways to keep your herbs in oil, but always use a good olive oil for either method. The first method is to clean and roughly cut your herbs up and place into an ice cube tray. Next carefully pour olive oil over each slot and freeze. Once frozen you can then transfer to a zip lock bag that is labeled and dated. Again, a 1-year limit.

The other method of oil/herb storage is to steep your herbs in olive oil. Select and clip your herbs and place into a labeled wide mouth jar. Fill jar with olive oil and store in cool dark spot. This method may be easy and simple, but it also has the shortest shelf life, 6 months of preservation date.

Another method is simple freezing. After washing and patting dry, I either de stem the herbs or keep small clippings from woody plants and place into a freezer bag. This is so simple and easy and is very easy to store flat!

So hopefully this gets you started on saving the freshness and flavor from your garden you worked so hard for long into winter!

Persian Lime & Chili Chicken Tacos September 01 2019, 0 Comments

Makana Flank Steak with Chanterelle Mushroom Sauce August 16 2019, 0 Comments

Aloha all,

SW Colorado has had a great mushroom season this year. I was able to find plenty of chanterelles, puff balls, boletus and hawk wings, and thanks to Eric K., I learned more about Russula xerampelina, or  shrimp mushrooms, pictured below. 

So I had collected and cleaned approximately 12 lbs. of chanterelles and had begun to dry them for storage and later use this winter. But I set aside a bag because I was thinking of monkeying around with a recipe I found in “Cooking Light”. This recipe I have tried several times without real great success or wow from the family. We found it missing that ‘something special’. In truth, the recipe uses shitakes and I normally like their flavor, but I found their flavor as lacking and slightly bland.

Plus the steak also need more seasoning than just salt and pepper. So to liven up the flavor, I began mixing herbs and spices which lead the new “Makana Mauka” steak rub. This new blend uses a minimal amount of herbs and spices because wild shrooms are flavorful on their own. Also I did not want a rub that would compete with the shrooms or mask their flavor.

So below is my version of the recipe that I found in Cooking Light, which has given me great inspirations from the various recipes that it contains. The recipes calls for flank steak, but really any tender cut of beef would do nicely and I have done this recipe using both the flank and the skirt steaks with great success. Additionally, I will be adding the Makana Mauka rub to the products very shortly so keep an eye out. Also, if you do not have wild shrooms you can substitute cremini or oyster for this. As with everything, please let me know what you think of the recipes or tips on our facebook page at

Mahalo and happy cooking!

Makana steak with Chanterelle Mushroom Sauce


2 lb. flank or skirt steak

3 tbsp. Lelani’s Makana Mauka rub

2 tbsp. ginger garlic olive oil

Mushroom Sauce

½ onion, chopped

1 clove garlic

2 c. fresh wild mushrooms (oysters or cremini), thinly sliced (about ½ lb.)

1 c. beef bouillon

½ c. dry white wine

1 tbsp. Pear infused balsamic vinegar

½ shallot, finely minced

Preheat broiler. Pour 1 tbsp. oil on one side of steak and sprinkle Makana Mauka rub on to meat. Work spice rub mixture into meat. Repeat on other side of steak. Set aside.

In large nonstick pan pour small amount of ginger garlic olive oil and heat to coat pan evenly. Put onions and garlic into pan and sauté 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, sauté 4 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and pliable. Add broth, wind and vinegar. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Cook uncovered until sauce is reduced to 1-½ cup sauce.

Broil steak 5 minutes on each side. Remove steak, loosely cover with foil and allow meat to rest 5-10 minutes. After rest period, slice steak diagonally across the grain into ¼ inch slices.

Serve steak with mushroom sauce on a bead of rice.

Yields about 5 servings.



Grilled Pork Loin with Smoked Olive Oil & Apricot Balsamic July 31 2019, 0 Comments

Meyer Lemon Sole with Blueberry Balsamic Glaze June 25 2019, 0 Comments


1 pound Dover sole

1 tablespoon sunset fish fry seasoning

3 tablespoon Meyer lemon olive oil

1-2 teaspoons Blueberry balsamic 


Sprinkle sunset fish fry seasoning over the fillet. Drizzle on 2 teaspoons of Meyer lemon olive oil set aside.

Heat a skillet with 2 tablespoons of Meyer lemon olive oil and heat over medium heat till hot. Add fillet to pan and lower heat to low. Drizzle blueberry balsamic over fillet and cook for about six minutes.

Portobello Garlic Steak Tips with Sherry Smoked Balsamic Vinegar May 31 2019, 0 Comments

Peach Basil Chicken May 02 2019, 0 Comments

Monterrey Stew with Persian Lime and Chili Balsamic February 22 2019, 0 Comments





As this winter carries on, it begins to get difficult to come up with fresh ideas for meals. Oh it’s easy to slip into the same rut of repeated meals. And I for one get very bored with cooking the same thing week after week.

Due to the rut I found myself in, I came up with a fresh, bright and original recipe using Persian Lime Olive Oil and Chili Balsamic to create a Monterrey Stew. Serve with a fresh citrus slaw and lime cilantro rice and warm corn tortillas!


1 med. onion, diced

1 bell pepper, diced

1 jalapeno pepper, minced

4 cloves garlic, finely minced

1/3 cup + 2 tbsp. Persian lime olive oil

1 lb. stew meat

4 tbsp. Lime juice

1/4 c. Chili balsamic

1 bag Slaw mixture


Season stew meat with salt mix (below) thoroughly and set aside.

Place 2 tbsp. oil into medium skillet and heat over low heat to warm oil. Add onions, peppers and saute until onions are tender and transparent. Add garlic and continue to saute 2 minutes. Place mixture into a separate bowl and set aside. 

Place remaining oil into skillet and heat on med high. When oil is sizzling add meat and stir to brown on all sides. Lower heat and add lime juice to mix. Cook covered 10 minutes. Add 1/4 - 1/2 bag slaw mix and stir in. Drizzle chili balsamic over the mix and let sit 5 min to rest. 

Salt mixture: 

1 tsp. Lelani’s smoked salt 

1/2 tsp. Garlic granules 

1/2 tsp dried minced onion

1 Hawaiian pepper, dried

Place all ingredients into pestle and grind to a fine powder. Set aside




Spicy Russian Pork Chops with Potatoes & Mushrooms February 08 2019, 0 Comments




Aloha all!

I was asked a couple of weeks ago about if I had ever cooked Russian pork chops. I had never even heard of anything like the dish. In fact, i’d never even knew anything about Russian cuisine, other than beef stroganoff, which I make from scratch with gourmet mushrooms from the area. Sadly to say this has been my only excursion into Russian cooking.

With that said, I found myself a challenge and began searching my good friend google for a good recipe to give a try. And as a true friend, Google gave me more than I needed! So being a true risk taker, I picked one recipe that sounded tasty from and the husband loved it. In fact he thought I was trying it again when I mentioned putting the recipe on the blog!

This is a warm wintery one skillet meal that the only ingredients I had changed was to substitute plain olive oil for my new go to favorite, Harissa. Harissa is a Middle Eastern spice that is mainly used in many of the dishes found within the cultural foods and flavors of that part of the world and imparts a warm spicy flavor to meals. Also, because the recipe called for pork and sour cream in the ingredients, I added sage and tarragon to my rub of garlic, onion, salt and pepper. I also used two thick bone in pork chops that were about an inch thick. The recipe called for center cut pork chops, but the friendly butchers at Sunnyside Meats did not know what it referred to and guided me to my selection.

Another substitution I used with this recipe was I increased the sour cream to half a cup and a quarter cup of milk. One other item I would suggest that others do if you choose to try this recipe is to pre-boil your potatoes. Raw potatoes don’t cook in 10 minutes even if they are sliced. It took about half an hour to cook those potatoes and not burn everything else. Below is the recipe with the new additions.

Happy eating and stay warm!

Spicy Russian Skillet Pork Chops


 1⁄4 lb. Potatoes, sliced

 1⁄2 tsp. garlic powder

 1⁄2 tsp. onion powder

 12 tsp. Black pepper

 1⁄2 c.mushrooms, sliced

 2 bone-in pork chops, 1” thick

 3 tbsp Harissa olive oil

 1/4 c. milk

 1⁄2 c. Sour cream


Put oil into skillet. Heat it over medium heat. Add potatoes and brown lightly. Set aside.

Season chops with powders and pepper. Put a little more oil in skillet. Cook chops for one minute on each side. Drain fat if necessary. Add milk. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.

Add potatoes and mushroom. Cook for 10 more minutes. Add in sour cream and heat but not to boiling.

 Serve with fresh local greens, hot crusty bread and a good bottle of wine. Enjoy!