Kauai-Best Banana Macadamia Pancakes

After our wedding in May, the hubby and I went to Kauai for a magical, relaxing, romantic, and all around awesome honeymoon.  One of my missions while I was there was to find the best banana macadamia pancakes the island had to offer.  Hard job I know :)

Ono Family Restaurant


This is a restaurant we always have to eat at whenever we visit Kauai.  Their coconut syrup is out of this world and a must on these pancakes. You get two pancakes with your order with the macadamia nuts mixed into the batter and fresh bananas and whipped cream on top.  What is there not to love.


The hubby got Spam and eggs with fried rice and toast, and he said it was really good.


I love the pancakes here. So fluffy and totally hit the spot, but the coconut syrup is where it it at.

Kountry Kitchen


The pancake here was huge!  Bananas and macadamia nuts are sprinkled onto of the batter before it its flipped, so the bananas are cooked a little bit which makes it tastes so much different than the ones at Ono Family Restaurant and Olympic Cafe.  Very good, but I think a little bit of fluffiness is lost by the shear size.


Hubby got the Loco Moco with Kaula pork, white rice, and fried eggs covered in brown gravy. Traditionally this dish is made with a hamburger patty but with Kaula pork as an option he couldn’t resist. He said he was hard to chose between this dish and the Spam and eggs at Ono.

Olympic Cafe


This was our last stop on the way to the airport :(.  These pancakes also had the macadamia nuts sprinkled over the raw batter and cooked into the pancake, with fresh banana on top. These were delicious. Nice and fluffy, the perfect pancake.


I would give my right arm for a bite of these right now.  Ugh, can’t wait to go back!


The hubby got a burrito that was the size of his head! Eggs, Kaula pork, cheese, and potatoes. Then it was topped with mango salsa, avocado, and sour cream.  This wasn’t his favorite, and we even had to send it back because of egg shells in the eggs :/

So where is the best place to get Banana Macadamia pancakes on the north eastern part of the island???

Olympic Cafe had the best pancakes, but Ono Family Restaurant had the best coconut syrup!

So there you go, if you are ever in Kauai around Kapaa, be sure to order banana macadamia nut pancakes at least once for breakfast!  Your welcome.


Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

So, I’m not normally about kitchen tools that are not multi purpose (hello, small kitchen).  But I made an exception for these awesome donut pans.  I got the regular size and mini sized as a wedding gift and I love them!


It is really fun to make your own donuts at home.


Just fill up the wells with your bater of choice (you can even use a cake mix!) bake them off,

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and don’t be like me and overfill them.


The other side looked perfect though!


Then just dunk them in butter and roll in cinnamon sugar.


And eat!  So yummy!

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donuts
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Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donuts
Serves: 12
  • Baking spray with flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1¼ cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • For the topping:
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 doughnut pans well.
  2. Into a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined.
  3. Spoon the batter into the baking pans, filling each one a little more than three-quarters full. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then tap the doughnuts out onto a sheet pan.
  4. For the topping, melt the 8 tablespoons of butter in an 8-inch saute pan. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Dip each doughnut first in the butter and then in the cinnamon sugar, either on one side or both sides.


Grilled Pineapple and Pound Cake

This dessert has a huge wow factor with minimal effort.


Start with some freshly sliced pineapple and cream cheese pound cake.


Spray them down with a little bit of baking spray and cook,

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just long enough to get grill marks on both sides.


Place a piece of grilled pound cake on a plate, top with the grilled pineapple, some vanilla ice cream, and store bought caramel sauce.


So good.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Grilled Pineapple and Pound Cake
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Grilled Pineapple and Pound Cake
Serves: 4
  • sliced fresh pineapple
  • sliced pound cake
  • baking spray
  • vanilla ice cream
  • caramel sauce
  1. Spray the pound cake and pineapple with baking spray.  Grilled over a hot grill until grill marks form.
  2. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.
  3. Eat!


Cream Cheese Pound Cake

So I’m pretty sure my grandma Betty owned stock in butter, mayonnaise, and cream cheese.


Butter? Check.  Cream cheese? Check.  Thank the lord she left the mayo out of this recipe.


This recipe is so easy and produces a dense and rich pound cake as a perfect base for any recipe!


Look at that luscious batter.


It can bake up a little dark on the sides so don’t be alarmed.


But, the middle will be perfectly cooked and delicious.

Cream Cheese Pound Cake
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Cream Cheese Pound Cake
Serves: 24
  • 1 cup butter
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Cream together the butter, cream cheese, and sugar.
  3. Add eggs, one at at time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Add in baking powder, mix well, and then slowly add in flour.
  5. Spray two 8.5x4.5 loaf pans with baking spray and divide batter evenly between loaf pans.
  6. Bake for 1 hour 10 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the middles comes out clean.
  7. Eat!


2 Ingredient Ice Cream

Too good to be true??? Really, though its only 2 ingredients and it does produce a decent ice cream.


That is it.  A can of sweetened condensed milk and a pint of cream.

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I cheated a little bit and added in a vanilla bean. So technically mine is three ingredients.


Pour your sweetened condensed milk into a bowl,


whip some cream,


stir the vanilla bean into the sweetened condensed milk (or you could totally use a teaspoon of vanilla extract),


fold the whipped cream into the sweetened conduced milk.


And that’s it.  Freeze until hard and you have ice cream.


No recipe needed just the method.  And this is blank canvas for all sorts of flavors.  Stir in candy or cookie pieces, swirl in chocolate or caramel.  The combinations are endless.



Warm Corn Salad

This side goes great with my Tilapia with Salsa Verde.



Just sauté up some red onion, garlic, jalapeño, and red bell pepper, IMG_6864

Add in some fresh corn and viola! Easy peasy side dish. 

Warm Corn Salad
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Warm Corn Salad
Serves: 4
  • 5 ears of corns, kernel scrapped from the cob
  • 2 tablespoons evoo
  • 1 jalapeño, dice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add in oil, then garlic, onion, and jalapeño.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Then toss in the red bell pepper.  Cook for a few more minutes. Then add the corn and cook for 5 more minutes.
  2. Eat!


Tilapia with Salsa Verde

For some reason I’m totally winning on the parenting front when it comes to getting my children to eat fish. (All the other stuff, ummm not so much.)


This warm salsa verde sauce is really good and would be great over eggs too.  Not to mention my tomatillo plants are going crazy this year.


Just chop everything up and pop it in the pan. You can leave it chunky or shit it with an immersion blender like I do.


Serve it over some quick cooking tilapia with some quiona and some warm corn salad and you are good to go.


See? Winning.

Tilapia with Salsa Verde
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Tilapia with Salsa Verde
Serves: 4-5
  • 4-5 good sized tilapia filets
  • lemon juice
  • Old bay seasoning
  • evoo
  • 12-15 medium to large tomatillos, husked and chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2-3 jalapeños, minced (seeds and ribs discarded if wanted)
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • ¼ cilantro, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  1. To a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat add 1 tablespoon evoo, garlic, onion, and jalapeño. Cook for about 5 minutes until soft.  Add in the tomatillos and cook for 5 mins more.  Then add the stock and season with salt and pepper.  At this point leave it chunky or hit it with an immersion blender. Add the cilantro and let simmer over low heat.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Season fish with lemon juice and old bay.  Add 1 tablespoon evoo to skillet and cook fish until lightly golden on each side and cooked thru.
  3. Serve fish atop of quinoa with lots of salsa verde over the top.
  4. Eat!


Cookie Dough Gooey Butter Bars

So, I really don’t know what to say about these bars other than that they are deadly.

Good luck not eating the whole pan.

You start with making a cookie base using a cake mix.


Love these mini chocolate  chips….


Then make up some cookie dough,


and smear that all over your base,


soooo good.


Then this whole pan of goodness gets topped with a luscious cream cheese topping.


Spread that all around, and pop it in the oven.


No words, just yum.


Cookie Dough Gooey Butter Bars
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Cookie Dough Gooey Butter Bars
Serves: 30
  • Base
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • Cookie Dough Filling
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • Top Layer
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 325°
  2. Base
  3. Line pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  4. In bowl of stand mixer combine cake mix, egg and melted butter until a thick dough forms.
  5. Press this into your prepared pan.
  6. Cookie Dough Filling
  7. Cream butter and sugar together until combined. Add milk and vanilla, mixing until smooth. Beat in salt and flour until dough forms. Stir in chocolate chips.
  8. Spread the cookie dough on top of cake base to about ½ inch from the edge.
  9. Top layer
  10. In bowl of stand mixer beat cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth. Add in eggs and vanilla, mixing until combined and smooth, scraping sides as needed.
  11. Beat in powdered sugar until smooth.
  12. Spread this over the cookie dough layer.
  13. Bake for 30-35 minutes until edges are light golden brown and center is almost set.
  14. Allow to cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes and then transfer to the refrigerator to chill completely, at least 2 hours.
  15. Eat!

Recipe adapted from


Chicken Enchilada Dip

So my husband is all about cast iron skillets.  Sooo, I have been trying to find all different ways to use these skillets!!


One great way to do that is this chicken enchilada dip.


Enough said.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chicken Enchilada Dip
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Chicken Enchilada Dip
Serves: 12
  • 1 chopped yellow onion
  • 2 grated garlic cloves
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 can rinsed black beans
  • 1 cups red enchilada sauce
  • 1 chiplote in adobo chopped, plus 1 tablespoon sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 3 cups pepper jack cheese
  • tortilla chips, for dipping
  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Heat a medium cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Toss in the onion and garlic. Cooked until the onion is a little charred around the edges.
  3. Add in the rest of the ingredients expect for the chips and cheese.
  4. Cook until heated thru.  Sprinkle with the cheese and place under the broiler until bubbly and melted.
  5. Serve with corn chips.
  6. Eat!


Jalapeño Popper Dip

My family loves spicy food, especially jalapeño poppers.


This dip is so easy to throw together.


Bake it off before your party,


its actually a lot better after it cools for about an hour.


Serve with tortilla chips and dig in!

Jalapeño Popper Dip
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Jalapeño Popper Dip
Serves: 12
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cans (4 oz) diced jalapeños, drained
  • 2 8 oz packages cream cheese
  • 1 cup mayo
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs and olive oil.
  3. In a large bowl mix together the canned jalapeños, cream cheese, mayo, cheddar cheese, and fresh jalapeño. Transfer to baking dish (2 quart). Top with bread crumbs and parmesan.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes until brown and bubbly.
  5. Eat!