Category Archives: THE RECIPE CORNER

How to make Leonards Malasadas at home


Here in Hawaii, we all love our malasadas especially if they are from Leonard’s Bakery! Today I will share the recipe given by Chef Leonard Rego of Leonard’s Bakery so you will be able to attempt to make these delicious Hawaiian treats for yourself. My mouth is watering just thinking about getting started. All totaled this recipe will take you just over 2 hours from start to finish. So lets get started shall we?


First off you will need to make sure you have all the ingredients. The ingredients listed below will make an estimated 24 malasadas for your enjoyment.

Yeast Mixture Dry Ingredients
2 Teaspoons Active Dry Yeast 4 cups All Purpose Flour
1/4 cup warm water 1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 Tablespoon of sugar 2 teaspoons of grated nutmeg
Wet Ingredients Cinammon Sugar Coating
4 well beaten eggs 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted ground cinammon added to taste
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup of milk Vegetable Oil for frying
1 teaspoon of Vanilla extract

Now that we know what we will be working with, Let’s begin: In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the dry yeast and warm water and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Mix until the yeast is completely dissolved, and set aside for 5 minutes. While that is sitting we can start on the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, nutmeg and salt together. Once they are combined make a sort of well in the middle, then set aside. Grab the yeast mixture and stir in the milk, vanilla, butter and eggs. Now we take the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients into the well that we formed earlier. Mix the ingredients together until a nice smooth soft dough forms. Then we cover the dough with a clean towel and place in a warm spot until the mixture doubles in size, this usually takes about an hour.


After the dough has risen, take the bowl and push the dough down. Oil your fingers and pinch off golf ball sized pieces of dough and place on greased baking sheets. Grab another clean towel and cover the malasadas and again place in a warm spot for approximately 15 minutes. While that is waiting, we can prepare a heavy high sided pan with oil for frying. Heat about 2 inches of the vegetable oil until it reaches 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Then test the oil by dropping a small amount of the dough into the oil, the dough should start to color almost immediately.


Working in small batches fry the malasadas until they are a nice uniform golden brown, this usually takes between 7 and 10 minutes. Place the fried malasadas on a plate that has been lined with paper towels until they are cool enough to handle. Then all you have left to do is roll them in the cinnamon-sugar coating and serve these marvelous delicacies to all of your friends and family.


They will always ask for more or for you to make these amazing snacks for every event or get together. This island favorite is sure to please just about any palate. I’d like to take this time to thank Chef Leonard Rego of Leonard’s Bakery for sharing this recipe with the rest of us, so that we too can enjoy these at home.

Written by James Bredeson




Tasty Diner & Lounge in Chinatown Honolulu


Unassuming on the outside, cool atmosphere on the inside. Walking down N. Hotel St. you’ll see a discrete white sign below an overhang that reads “Down Beat Diner & Lounge”. The diner comes complete with your diner and pub favorites yet cater to vegan and vegetarian options by boasting they can make any food item on the menu vegan or vegetarian. On top of that, they carry as much locally grown produce as possible as well as sourcing their beef from the Big Island. The service was great and on point. The part I like about these foodie type places is that they also pride themselves on signature cocktails and drinks. I had a non-alcoholic ginger brew and my friends had iced black ginger tea. Perfect for a hot day.


Just given the tons of low price items on their drink & food menus plus the great service, this is going to be a place I’m going to visit regularly. And who doesn’t love a place that offers breakfast all day long! *Me high-fiving the diner gods.


So what puts the “lounge” in “Down Beat Diner & Lounge”? Well, next door they have a lounge just made for the night life outfitted with a top of the line sound system. Which is finely tuned for music showcases 3-4 nights a week. And what cool lounge wouldn’t come with a full service bar loaded with house made drinks and everything else your drinking face can think of!

Written by Johann Moguel

SPAM and Musubi

Dearest mass manufactured meat,


I would like to send a formal apology for belittling you my entire life as I resided on the mainland. Also for the bullying you received from 99.9% of mainlanders as well as possible miss-use of what you were produced to become. You were not meant to be bought in bulk by survivalists who believe the zombiepocalypse is going to begin next week because your shelf life is almost a billion years. Nor to be made fun of in a music video by Weird Al Yankovic, though very funny…border line hilarious.

Although you were blast to be used as fodder in many food fights and purchased solely for that purpose, I have decided to throw in my “I don’t fully appreciate SPAM” towel.


I have turned a new leaf, or vacuum sealed can if you may. Since my move to Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii, I unknowingly consumed your goodness, wrapped in a delicious mixology of spice, rice and seaweed now known to me as Musubi. What I first thought to be an elaborate conspiracy by my island friends was actually a well thought out hazing process welcoming me to my new tropical surroundings. Once I found out, at first there was deep seeded hidden anger and frustration vibrating through every cell in my body. All those angered cells collaborated into one giant mutiny eventually revolting through my vocal chords in which everyone in the room heard as, “WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME THIS WAS SPAAAAAM”?! ……..Silence…….then laughter erupted. Not being able to handle the situation or my emotions, tears filled my eyes as the laughter continued. Soon I was simultaneously laughing and crying as the transformation continued. Finally, I wiped away the tears. Looked at everyone as they sat in anticipation for me to speak and I said, “Can I have another one of those delicious Musubi wrap things?”. The transformation was complete. I dedicate this collaborated song with K-Ci & JoJo to you SPAM:


I will never find another mass produced meat sweeter than you,
Sweeter than you
And I will never find another mass produced meat more precious than you
More precious than you
SPAM you are close to me you’re like a porterhouse,
Close to me you’re like a dozen wings,
Close to me you’re like a roasted chicken,
Close to me you’re like a T-bone steak,
You are the only one my every meal and for you this song I sing

And all my life I’ve prayed for a meal like you
And I thank God that I, that I finally ate you
All my life I’ve prayed for a snack like you
And I hope that you digest the same way too
Yes, I pray that you microwave well too

Written by Johann Moguel

Local style plate lunch at Rainbow Drive In


Rainbow Drive In is an island favorite place to eat and has been for more than 50 years. Opened in 1961, they have been serving local style “plate lunches” for a very reasonable price. Seiju Ifuku who once worked at the well known “Kapiolani Drive In” took a chance and opened a smaller version with his wife Ayako. The couple believed in catering to the working class and wanted to provide quick service with generous portions that include 2 scoops of rice, and 1 scoop of macaroni salad. When they first opened the prices were low; 50 cent chili rice plates, $1 barbecue steak plates, and 14 cent french fries with 25 cent hamburgers. They were counting on the volume of people who came to eat there to make up for the prices.


Every time I drive by their location in Kapahulu it is always full of cars and a line at the counter. Everyone I ask has their own favorite order however, everyone agrees that it is one of the best values on the island. The menu offers a range of items that include breakfast, lunch, sandwiches and chili. The prices have risen slightly over the years and still remain very reasonable. One quirky fun fact from the Rainbow Drive In is that the owners have never charged tax, instead believing that the customer should know exactly how much their meal will cost.


This very affordable local restaurant has been featured on the Food Network show “Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives” hosted by Guy Fieri. I highly recommend a visit anytime after the beach in Waikiki or for no reason at all. This classic local joint still maintains its rustic charm and offers a sense of small town charm.

Written by James Bredeson

Leonard’s Bakery


Mention “I’m going/I went/I’m currently at Leonard’s Bakery” and most locals will give you a response that is either highly positive or incredibly jealous. Why? Because this bakery makes these sugar/cinnamon covered donut type things that’ll make you want to slap any donut shop in the face on the mainland for not even coming close to how delicious these things are. What are these things called? “Malasadas”. I swear, if I owned a kingdom back in Ancient Greece and my enemy came knocking to the main gate with a reasonably sized blood thirsty army that I knew I could still crush, I’d give them the keys for a freshly baked dozen of these scrumtrelescent sugar coated weapons of mass digestion. Then announce to my kingdom, “Good luck! My abandonment of you was worth every bite!” or maybe I would just write them a letter in case they were a little on the bitter side.


Oh, and if you like filled donuts, these things come filled with custard, coconut, or a monthly special that they offer. The monthly special I had was Macadamia Nut custard and I’ve heard that they have Mango custard every once in a while as well! Yes, let your inner donut monster come out to appease the Indulgent gods! If you do go to this place for Malasadas, keep your eye on the target as they offer all kinds of delicious pastries that could make you gain 40 lbs. over night!


Don’t be shy. Just think, waking up to a beautiful day with a large glass of milk or coffee if you prefer to accompany your freshly backed Malasadas that are almost too hot to eat at the moment. Slightly crispy on the outside, slightly doughy or custard filled on the inside. I do believe I just described what heaven is like.

Written by Johann Moguel

Cajun style Crab in Honolulu!

Are you serious! You were so delicious…and the freshest! My bud and I were about to hit Wal-Mart, but we were super hungry. While parking we saw this corner restaurant right across the street called Raging Crab and B-lined it over with some possible illegal jaywalking involved.


We walked into people wearing large white bibs grubbing down to crawfish, mussels, snow crab legs, clams, & shrimp atop white table paper….and they had nothing but smiles on their faces. Not only were the customers eating happy, but we were happy because of the immediate friendly service.


Salivating from the amazing aroma filling our current atmosphere we ordered corona’s with the lime & salt of course to quench the taste buds for the moment. Don’t want to get Hangry in public! And they make it easy for you to order by putting steps on the menu. Here’s how our ordering experience went:

Us: We’ll go with “COMBOS” (feeds 1-2)
Server: What meats would you like?
Us: *with utter confidence* Snow crab legs, crawfish, & mussels.
Server: Seasoning?
Us: oh yeah, the garlic butter…
Server: Haha….and what spicy level?
Me: HOT!
Buddy: Wait, how hot is hot?
Server: *calling him out* If you eat hot food, you can definitely handle this.
Me: *chuckling*
Buddy: Okay, let’s do the hot. (cheers)


Our food came out in a plastic bag and the rest is a masterpiece, a Picasso if you may. Also, I recommend the crazy garlic bread with “ninja aioli sauce”. Yes, we got ninja’d….and it was amazing.





Written by Johann Moguel

Haleiwa Shrimp Truck Open Late: Souvaly ~ Mobile Thai


Every time I take my friends around Oahu island I head over to the windward side. Which is the east side and gets the more rain and looks much more tropical. Traveling east and then north around the island is off the beaten path and you will find many beautiful beaches along the cost. Just around 7pm or sunset you can watch the sun setting at Waimea Bay. After taking in that beautiful moment as time seems to stand still you can head into Haleiwa Town and on the right side you will see a sign and lights will be on.


This cute little food truck as a nice dining area that is lit and has tiki torches. I ate the garlic shrimp with salad and garlic rice and thought the quality was right on. Normally when I pass through town that late the shrimp trucks have all closed. I was very pleased to see that this one stays open till 8:30pm and I believe that extra hour will be good business for them.


For an appetizer we got the fried tofu with peanut sauce and we all agreed that was very tasty. I also got to taste the HOT garlic shrimp plate and it was a touch hotter than I like, however it was still really good. I thought that the shrimp were fresh and large in size and perfectly cooked. I would suggest Souvaly Shrimp truck in Haleiwa.



Hawaiian Loco Moco: Hamburger Steak with Eggs over Rice

Writing about the Loco Moco just made me lick my lips, this always filling, low priced meal will leave you satisfied. The option of how you would like your egg cooked, I would suggest sunny side up. A true carnivore meal filled with lots or protein. For the smaller stomachs plan on taking some of this at home, and the vegetarians I am not quite sure how you landed on this page. I have decided I will be eating this for dinner tonight, I hope sometime you will join us in Hawaii.


Add some Kimchee, Mushrooms, onions, beans, sausage, spam add a side of mac salad, or upgrade the hamburger to a New York strip steak. YES. Big eaters have to give this a try, below are some of the locations you can find this goodness. However you can find the Loco Moco at just about every local restaurant on Oahu island.


Loco Moco Drive Inn:

Summer Grilling Tips


Summer is here and our thoughts turn to…BARBECUE!. With the price of meat and groceries, we can’t afford any grilling disasters at the picnic, beach or backyard. These tips will guarantee a great barbecue.


- Brush cold grill with oil to prevent sticking 

- Use one-gallon zip-lock plastic bags to marinate up to 1 pound of meats or vegetables in 2 to 3 cups of marinade; seal, pressing out air, set bag in a large baking dish and refrigerate, turning occasionally 

- Slash fatty edges to keep meat from curling 

- Fill a plant mister with 7 parts water and 1 part vinegar; use to spray grill when flames flare up 

- Preheat gas grills at least 15 minutes; for charcoal grills, light at least 45 minutes before, and let burn to hot embers, coated with ash 

- To flavor your barbecue, add hickory, mesquite or oak chips or chunks; soak wood in cold water for at least 30 minutes, then add to hot coals 

- Use your hand to determine approximate temperature; hold your hand 3 inches above the rack and count the seconds you can comfortably keep it in place: 5 seconds for low, 4 for medium, 3 for medium-high, 2 for high 

- For long-cooking vegetables or fruits (such as potatoes, whole heads of garlic or apples) cut a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, oil well, fill with sliced vegetables or fruit and seasonings, drizzle with oil, seal and place on hot grill Use long-handled tongs — not forks — to turn meat to avoid piercing and releasing juices 

- To prevent scorching, brush on BBQ sauce after meat is cooked. 

- Don’t forget to use heavy-duty oven mitts



There are few dishes at a local party that get people as excited as a big platter of laulau, those savory bundles of pork and fish nestled in taro leaves. Part of the excitement comes from a mistaken impression that preparing laulau is a complicated process, and must therefore be saved only for special occasions. Actually, laulaus are so easy to prepare that you can make them anytime you’re ono for them.


1 lb luau leaves 12 ti leaves
1 1/4 lb pork 3/4 lb salted butterfish
1 Tbsp Hawaiian salt

Wash the luau and ti leaves; remove stem and fibrous part of the veins. Cut pork and fish into 6 pieces. Place pork in bowl, add salt, and work in thoroughly. Arrange 5 or more luau leaves on the palm of the hand. Place one piece of pork and one piece of fish on leaves and fold to form a bundle. Place laulau on the end of a ti leaf and wrap tightly. Wrap another ti leaf around in the opposite direction forming a flat package. Tie securely with string. Make the remaining laulaus. Steam 4-6 hours or steam in a pressure cooker for 1 hour. Makes six servings.