Wala’au (Talk story with me)

At Bread and Butter, pricey but perfect, Wanda encounters a delightfully tinted daikon slice.



Does anyone look good in this pose?
Shadow, the new cat, is a Seahawks fan, too. (Posted by request of cat-loving blog readers).


  1. John Simpkins

    June 18, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    I’ve heard you mention your cat before (great picture by the way!). Please, more details about him/her for us crazy cat people! Mahalo. PS: canned tuna (In water) usually sends a feline into raptures; see if that will get you the kiss.

  2. Rosie C.

    June 18, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    OMG! You look Just like your Mom in this pic!! Love this site! So glad you are going to be doing some articles for the Star, their Features Food section…..could use some “sumthin-sumthin” if you know what I mean.

    Wish I was there for that HUGE book sale…Like I need another cookbook! Did I tell you that my friend Lynn from Texas thinks your Rib recipe from “Island Entertaining” is “just the best darn rib recipe” she has ever made.

    Love ya….Ro..
    PS…As far as our phone tag I think your it! 😉

  3. Alan Nunokawa

    June 21, 2010 at 8:50 am


    I was in Honolulu last week since I had to return for my MIL’s funeral. While there, I met some small, blonde, haole guy who name escapes me right now, but he used to write a column for the advertiser. He said he was at the Advertiser for like 30 years or so. He was lucky I guess, since he got a job right away working for Diamond Head Mortuary. I told him I read your column and blog religiously and he said that you were a great lady and he wished you well too.

    He also told me that he was part Hawaiian on his mother’s side, but he does not look it. He said he also teaches hula.

    So I just wanted to tell you hi and that that guy said to tell you hi too.

  4. Joe

    June 22, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Aloha Wanda~

    Many years ago we attend a craft fair / Pog show at Noelani Elementary School in Manoa. In the cafeteria they were selling these bags of the best peanut butter cookies – seriously. So my question: would you be able to solicit that formula?


    Na mahalo

  5. robyne

    June 24, 2010 at 6:37 am

    I am checking several times a day for new post by you, Mrs Adams….I need my daily “Wanda” fix!

  6. sandi

    June 25, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    aloha wanda! i’m so glad to have found your website/blog. with the advertiser gone, i’m lost on wednesdays. you were the bright spot of my week. i am looking for recipes…ebisu’s chow fun, ebisu’s lima beans, old fashion shortbread cookies and marukai’s karaage chicken.
    mahalo and please tell me when you column will be in the new newspaper…still not the same )o:

  7. Cynthia Pratt, Culinary Teacher, Kapolei High School

    November 21, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Aloha Wanda,
    Kapolei High School is producing a book titled “From the Heart of Hawaii’s Families” to help raise funds for Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children to expand its neonatal facility. We have received many short stories and anecdotes from families in Hawaii, as well as many favorite family recipes. We are asking permission if we may include your recipe for Grandma’s Beef Hekka printed in your article in the Honolulu Advertiser/May 2, 2008 titled “Mom (and Moms) Made Me Kitchen-Competent. Please respond to this inquiry at your earliest convenience at the above email.
    (I too, really miss your food articles….I clipped all of them for our files). Cynthia Pratt.

  8. Wanda

    December 2, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    Certainly, you can use it. Just put Reprinted by permission of the author. And if you are inclined to put a little bio-line, I would love it. Wanda Adams, a former Advertiser food editor, blogs at ourislandplate.com and is working on a fourth cookbook.

  9. halmoni

    January 4, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Hi Wanda,

    For two holiday seasons now, I have attempted to make Stollen after being inspired by an old HNL Advertiser article from December 1972, featuring Rolf Winkler. I used to buy his product at The Patisserie and after sampling various versions, decided the Patisserie’s was the best. Auwe, The Patisserie is pau, Winkler is dead, and I have not found anything I like as well here in the Bay Area.

    Now, the article by Alston Vizzini, Advertiser food writer then wrote:

    “Winkler said he does not use eggs in his recipe because ‘they make everything too dry.’
    The following recipe for raisin stollen comes as close as possible to Winkler’s recipe without giving away guarded family secrets.”

    There followed a Raisin Stollen recipe calling for flour, milk, cake yeast, sugar, almond, butter, raisins, salt, lemon rind, candied citron, nutmeg, vanilla, dark rum.

    “Dissolve yeast . . .drain
    Cream butter . . .

    The recipe continued all the way to “Wrap in foil . . .”

    The next paragraph is Christmas Stollen listing flour, butter, raisins, almond, sugar, cake yeast, citron, milk, rum, lemon rind, orange rind, nutmeg, cardamom, vanilla.

    “Dissolve the yeast . . .let rise.


    “Cream the butter, EGGS, and sugar. Add the flavoring and spices. Mix into yeast sponge and add the remaining flour and milk.”

    Wanda, please note, there are no eggs listed in the ingredients for Christmas Stollen.

    What to do? Eggs, no eggs? Raisin Stollen or Christmas Stollen?

    Please advise.

    Thanks. Halmoni

  10. Gwen Dawson

    February 28, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Wanda, I’d be very interested in the cookbook. I’m an ex-kamaaina and collect a lot of ethnic cookbooks and many from Hawaii that are put out by different civic groups, organizations, etc. If so, email me. Mahalo.

  11. Wanda

    March 5, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Book still avaialbe. Let me know if your’e interested.

  12. John Bergman

    March 30, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Hi Wanda, Came across your site today and the cook books on island food interest me. I lived on Oahu for almost 3 years, found the local plate lunches and the small restaurants to be the best places to eat. Then started cooking to copy the flavors. The only thing I have not been able to duplicate is the Rainbow Drive-ins Mac Salad.I remember a heavy Mayo with pepper and over cooked elbow mac. Do any of your reciepe books have such receipes? Thank You! John

  13. Joy

    April 5, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    Wanda, first of all, I miss you from the Advertiser! Second, is the cookbook, “Japanese Food” still available? I would love to purchase the copy from you. I’m a fourth-generation Japanese-American, and I love cooking, especially Japanese food. I would treasure this cookbook and add it to my collection of other vintage local cookbooks I’ve inherited from aunts and others.

  14. Wanda

    June 26, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    My email is wandaadams@clearwire.net. Sorry took me so long. I have been very ill but recovering now, both my ability to eat and my will to cook! New blogs going up this week.

  15. Wanda

    June 26, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    I am sorry. I’ve been very ill. Recovering now. I still have an extra copy of Japanese Cooking and if you want it, contact me and I’ll respond right away. Returning to blogging today!

  16. Wanda

    June 26, 2011 at 12:46 pm


    Terribly sorry. I’ve been ill and never answered. Rainbow Drive-In doesn’t give out their recipe and there are as many “secrets” of Island mac salads as there are mac salads. But these are the basics as my food writing friend, Kaui Philpotts, summarized them in The Advertiser some years ago, and as I have come to believe through my research. Opinions differ on whether to use elbow mac or salad mac (the smaller size). You see both all over. Opinions also differ on appropriate texture for mac; I say don’t overcook it, leave a little tooth (not much, just a tiny bit). Others say Island-style mac salad is always made with slightly overcooked macaroni. Islanders ALWAYS use Best Foods mayonnaise. Some people suggest you put some mayonnaise on the mad while it’s still cooling, so the mayo kinds of melts and gets soaked up. Then add fresh mac when the pasta is chilled. Some recipes suggest salting the pasta before putting the mayo on. Don’t use too many extraneous ingredients: Diced or chopped potatoes, grated carrot, a little onion, a fair amount of ground black pepper are all standard, but don’t stray off into pickles, olives, celery and so on or you’re missing the Island-style boat. Some places are said to use powdered dashi (the tiny envelopes in the instant noodle packages, or the powdered dashi — bonito broth — you can buy in any Asian grocery store or well-stocked Asian section of a standard supermarket) to give a salty, slightly fishy flavor. Some are said to think the mac with evaporated milk (this makes the salad much too sweet, in my opinion, and ruins it). The rule of thumb on mayo is MORE — local-style mac salad loads it on.
    My purist technique: 1/2 pound macaroni; 1 teaspoon salt, 2 salad potatoes, peeled; salt and black pepper to taste; 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise. Cook mac with salt in lots of briskly boiling water, drain. Meanwhile, cook peeled potatoes in boiling water until just fork tender. Drain. Cut into 1/2 inch dice or smaller. Combine mac and potatoes. Liberally season with salt and pepper. Add 3/4 cup mayonnaise while still warm. Cover, airtight, and chill. Just before serving, stir in remaining mayonnaise.
    To this, I like to add minced flat-leaf parsley, because that’s the way my Grandma made it.
    Hope that gets you there.

  17. Richard Ha

    June 26, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Aloha Wanda;
    The farmers are heading over right now to a bed and breakfast on Maku’u Drive in Paradise Park on the Big Island. Chef Alan Wong and crew are going to treat us to dinner. They said, there is a pool and a jacuzzi–dress appropriately. Who hoo!! Wish you were here! Can I link my blog–hahaha.hamakuasprings.com to yours?
    Love you.

  18. Denise

    July 18, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    I love the “Bird Bar” sold at Down To Earth. By chance do you have the recipe or know something that comes close? It has lots of seeds in it.

  19. Wanda

    July 19, 2011 at 5:39 pm


    I do have a seedheavy bar recipe but it’s not a healthy one as I recall, Lotsa butter. And I’m darned if I know where it is. I do know who I got it from, though, so I could get it. Are you looking for something lowfat, vegan, healthful or just something that resembles the bar? I’ll get one the next time I’m over there and check it out to see if I can figure out how to recreate it.

  20. Denise

    August 2, 2011 at 11:35 pm


    Thank you so much for the Bird Bar Recipe! As soon as i got it i rushed to Down To Earth to pick up all the ingrients. It came out wonderful!!! Mahalo!!!!

  21. Jodi Jarvis

    November 5, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Hi Wanda,
    I would also love the Bird Bar recipe from Down to Earth. They are my favorite!!

  22. Wanda

    November 6, 2011 at 6:03 am


    I was sure I had run that recipe. But ask me if I even know how to do a search on my own site?????? Let me work on this. Thanks for asking,


  23. Wanda

    November 6, 2011 at 6:18 am

    Found it!!!

    Made with wholesome ingredients, these cookies are perfect for the occasional treat.
    By Georgette Woo

    Crunchy Oatmeal Cookies
    Pumpkin Bars

    Recipes courtesy of Down to Earth health food store.

    Bird Bars

    1 1/2 cups turbinado sugar
    1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. canola oil
    2 Tbsp. molasses
    2 tsp. vanilla extract
    1 Tbsp. egg substitute mixed with 5 Tbsp. water, or two egg whites, whisked until foamy

    2 cups uncooked rolled oats
    1/3 cup uncooked millet
    1/3 cup brown sesame seeds
    1/3 cup flax seeds
    1/3 cup raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
    1/4 cup raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds

    1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
    2 tsp. baking soda
    1 tsp. sea salt

    Lightly grease 12-by-17-inch jellyroll pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together first five ingredients, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Mix rolled oats, flour, millet and seeds. Combine wet and dry ingredients and spread evenly in pan. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Cut into 40 pieces while still warm.

  24. Barbara Andersen

    November 7, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Hi Wanda, I’m trying to reach you about some guests from Lisbon who would like to meet and talk with you when they are in Honolulu starting Friday for 4 days. They loved Alice’s sweet bread, will send some of their family bread recipes. I told them you are working on a cookbook about the Portuguese in Hawai`i. I have a longer email to send you, but last 2 addresses didn’t work. Call or write me. Barbara

  25. Wanda

    November 9, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Emailing you.

  26. Vadalia

    December 3, 2011 at 12:37 am

    Wanda, I just sent you be big ole, long email about wheat-free flour and foods. However, I typed it in in the Leave a Comment section at the top of this page and pushed submit at the top of this, not down here where you have the red moving letters. After I hit submit, my message disappeared. Did you get it, or was all my typing in vain?

    Best, Carolyn

  27. Vadalia

    December 15, 2011 at 12:10 am

    This recipe was printed in the 12/31/2007 New York Times. It works wonderfully with Meyer Lemons.
    “Meyer lemon, with its distinctive perfume and sweet, delicate flesh, has an almost cult-like following. A hybrid of lemon and sweet orange, it can be sliced, dressed with olive oil and sea salt and eaten on its own as a salad or side dish for chicken or fish.” NYTimes
    January 31, 2007

    Here is a double-crusted cookie tart to make with all those delicious lemons.

    p.s. Welcome back!

    Recipe: Lemon Confit Shortbread Tart
    Time: At least 2 hours

    3 cups flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
    1 1/4 cups sugar
    1 large egg
    1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, or to taste
    2 tablespoons lemon juice

    8 lemons, preferably thin-skinned and seedless
    3/4 cup sugar.

    1. For crust, combine flour, salt, butter and 1 cup of sugar in a bowl. Mix with your fingers until it forms flaky crumbs and lumps. Mix in egg, almond extract and lemon juice. Continue to mix until it clumps; at first it may seem very dry. Shape into a ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, up to 1 day ahead of baking.

    2. For confit, slice off and discard ends of lemons. Slice 5 crosswise, peel and all, as thinly as possible. Remove any seeds and place in a bowl.

    Peel skin, including white pith, from remaining 3 lemons, then slice thinly crosswise, and add to bowl. Add 3/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons water. Toss and let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

    3. Place lemon slices and their juice in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Cook down until lemons are candied and small amount of liquid in pan is sticky and syrupy, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.

    4. To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Divide dough in half and form each half into a ball. Roll one ball until large enough to fit into a 9-inch round tart pan. Dough will be crumbly (more shortbread than pie crust); if it falls apart, press it back together.

    Spoon confit over crust, spreading evenly.

    Roll out second ball of dough and place on top, sealing edges but making sure no crust overlaps the rim (or tart will be difficult to remove later).

    5. Bake until edges of tart are lightly golden, about 35 minutes, then sprinkle top with remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Return to oven for about 10 more minutes; edges should be lightly golden and crust cooked through but not browned. Serve warm or cooled.

    Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

  28. Dianne Sips

    January 7, 2012 at 9:25 am

    When reading your recipe for Harriet’s Potatoes, I saw the reference to Boursin. Thought you might like this copycat from Southern Living – way cheaper than the real thing.
    I’ve had this in my files for eons – well, maybe just a part of an eon. At current prices at our (Florida panhandle) WalMart, and not counting the cost of the herbs because there’s nothing exotic in there, 3 cups of the spread runs $3.75, or $1.25 a cup. Haven’t priced the real thing lately, but undoubtedly the half-cup containers of the real thing cost much more than this copycat. Also, the butter-cream cheese base should melt into your sauce pretty much like the real thing.

    From “Boursin That Won’t Bust Your Budget”, by Dana Adkins Campbell, Southern Living magazine, November, 1994 issue

    Boursin Cheese Spread I
    Makes 3 cups

    1 clove garlic
    16 ounces cream cheese, softened
    1 cup butter or margarine, softened
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/4 teaspoon dried basil
    1/4 teaspoon dried dillweed
    1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
    1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
    1/4 teaspoon dried pepper

    Position knife blade in food processor bowl; add garlic.
    Process until finely chopped, stopping once to scrape down sides.
    Add cream cheese and remaining ingredients; process until smooth, stopping twice to scrape down sides
    Recipe submitted by Brenda H. Rohe, Charlotte, North Carolina
    Note: Cheese mixture may be refrigerated up to 1 week, or frozen up to 3 months.

    When I make this, I use:
    1 teaspoon minced garlic
    16 ounces Neufchatel cheese, softened
    1 cup unsalted butter, softened
    2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning blend (“Tuscan Sunset” from Penzey’s or even Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing mix)
    Thinking about it, the next time I make it, I may use powdered Ranch Dressing mix, 1 tablespoon at the time, and then add dried dill, parsley, or whatever I think it needs.

    My note: the following might be a little lower-fat, but don’t know how it would melt or blend.

    Boursin Cheese Spread II
    Makes 1 cup

    1 or 2 cloves garlic
    1/2 cup cottage cheese
    6 ounces cream cheese, softened
    2 teaspoons freeze-dried chives
    2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

    Position knife blade in food processor bowl; add garlic.
    Process until finely chopped, stopping once to scrape down sides.
    Add cottage cheese and remaining ingredients;
    Process until smooth, stopping twice to scrape down sides.
    Recipe submitted by Mary Pappas, Richmond, Virginia
    Note: To reduce fat and calories, reduced-fat cream cheese may be substituted. Do not pipe this softer mixture.

    Mahalo, for all that you share with us.

  29. Angela Kay Kepler

    June 12, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Hi Wanda,

    Just wanted to let you know that we enjoyed meeting you at the Bishop Museum book awards & thank you so much for writing about our banana book. All the best for your own novel & please let me know when your cookbook is published!

    Happy wrigin, editing, copy-editing & all that goes into making books!

    Angela Kepler

  30. renee wall

    July 26, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Hi Wanda,

    I’m loking for a toffe bar recipe?


  31. Jenny

    March 22, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    I enjoyed your column through the years and my favorite was the September 1, 2004 column about your daughter making the cafeteria apple crisp recipe for her soccer team. It was one of my “go to” recipes and I lost it during our move to California last year. The old news website does not list all of the ingredients. Do you possibly have a copy of this gem that you could share? It would be wonderful to taste a bit of home again.


  32. Wanda

    July 1, 2014 at 10:31 am

    I’ve been sleeping under a rock for a couple of years and not blogging. I’m reviving and renovating the blog and clearing out contact emails. The anecdote you quote isn’t familiar; my daughter was a swimmer/gymnast and doesn’t cook. Perhaps it was a story I told about someone else…memory is gone…But I do have a crisp recipe. This is very, very basic. From School Food Services. Feel free to use fresh tart peeled apples, lightly cooked with sugar and a little water — more texture. You can use raw sugar, part-brown sugar, Splenda baking sugar. I use salted butter because my husband has a salty palate, but salt-free is good, too.

    Apple or Cherry Crisp
    1 1/2 cups cold butter, cut into pieces
    1 cup granulated sugar
    4 cups all-purpose flour
    2 cans apple or cherry pie filling
    1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl mix together cold butter pieces, sugar and flour, cutting to crumbly texture. Spread about two-thirds of the crumb mixture in a 9-by-13 pan. Spread the pie filling evenly over the crust. Don’t press down; cover evenly. Add sugar and cinnamon to remaining crumb mixture in a large bowl and toss evenly over pie filling. Do not press down.
    Bake in the center of the oven at 375 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour until light golden brown. Makes 24 servings.

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