Where Have I Been?

From the title you might think I’ve been traveling. But I haven’t. I’ve been right here. School really slammed me this semester. Two of my classes were accelerated courses. That means sixteen weeks worth of work packed into ten. These weren’t cruise courses either. There was a lot of reading, a lot of writing, and a whole lot of thinking. I’m still in one class, but that ends very soon. We’re at the point where the only assignment left is giving our final presentation for the semester. I’m pretty much done building mine. I just need to make sure I have the words to deliver it. You may not be able to tell from my blog, but I am actually a pretty good writer. I just like to be a bit more casual here. I don’t want to feel like I have to spend a lot of time writing a post that would earn me an A on the college level. I just want to be informal with my writing here. That’s why I use short sentences, and I don’t bust out the thesaurus. I’m also not a flowery writer. I like to get straight to the point.

Speaking of which, now that I am pretty much done with school for the semester that means I’ll have more time for blogging. Summertime is nearly here in Hawai‘i. You might not be able to tell a significant difference, but there is a noticeable season between the rainy, cool days and nights of winter and the blazing heat of summer. It’s this period where the nights can still get a little crisp upcountry, and even in Kihei, and the days are in the low to mid-80s downtown. Once summer comes, it’ll be warm nights and hot days (upper 80s and sometimes low 90s). Where I’m originally from, in Florida, the daytime highs reach the low 100s in the summer. Add extreme humidity, and a lack of ocean breeze, and you can see why I love the weather here on Maui. The microclimates here on Maui are another perk. If I’m downtown and feeling overheated I know that I can drive just a little distance up the mountain and freeze my butt off if I want. I could always just go home though where the weather is somewhere in between. The same is true in the winter. If I’m too cold I can head to a sunny part of the island to warm my bones.

*Edit: After I wrote this Maui decided to show me a bit more summer. Phew. It’s hot!

Oh, wait, getting to the point…right. So, it’s almost summer. I’ll have a lot more free time. I’ve even had a bit of it already, but I wasn’t quite this done with everything. So, here’s a photo catch up of what I’ve been doing for a little while.

Cupcake Wars!

I’ve become addicted to Cupcake Wars! I’ve been watching it online. It’s inspiring. The show really makes me want to open a gluten free cupcakery or bakery here on Maui. Though, I was told that there is a new gluten free bakery in Lahaina. I’ll have to travel over there soon and see what it’s all about. If any of you know about this bakery let me know. Let the owner know that I’d like more information. Really, if your business is doing anything gluten free on Maui you should be letting me know. This has become a serious resource for people who are living on Maui, or visiting Maui, and who need to eat gluten free. I receive a lot of e-mails asking for more information, and I also get a lot of traffic to this site.

Gluten Free Treats at the Makawao Farmers Market

 

Last month I met the co-owner, Jonathan, of a gluten free treat stand. He told me that he and his wife have a stand every Wednesday at the Makawao Farmers Market on Baldwin Avenue. He said he thinks that they’re using recipes based on recipes from Elana’s Pantry. As the sign says, they’re dairy free and they have many vegan options as well. I tried one of their bars and two of their cookies. They definitely had the texture of almond flour products, which is a bit softer than other cookies and bars. That’s okay though. They were delicious. The treats are $1.50 each. They sell out pretty often, which says a lot about the popularity of their products. They do make the treats in their home kitchen, and that’s part of why they’re selling at the market. Jonathan said that he and his wife were able to find out that home baked goods can be sold at the farmers market, but that they had to meet certain criteria in terms of ingredients. I wish this information was more available online because that is something I would be interested in doing as well. I may have to go ask them some more questions. I wouldn’t want to be in direct competition however, so I would most likely approach gluten free baked goods from a different angle. Hawai‘i doesn’t have clear cottage industry laws, so navigating that system is difficult.

This is so Haiku.

 

We’ve been house hunting. A lot. We came close to purchasing two houses this year, but we’ve been jumped over by other offers both times. It really sucks. It’s getting tiring and frustrating. I even get depressed a little sometimes when we talk about it. We’ve really been looking to buy a house since we moved to Maui 7 years ago. Yet, with the bubble, and the continued overpricing, we’re struggling to get what we need. We’re looking at this from so many different angles. We’ve looked at houses that are perfect. We’ve looked at fixer uppers. We’ve looked at foreclosures. We’ve tried and tried. It feels so weird for people in our income bracket to not be able to own a home. Oh, and the photo is from one of our outings to look at a house. This sign wasn’t on the place we were looking at, but it was a nearby neighbor. We found it hilarious. Heck, we might need a sign like that.

Dinner in bed.

 

I got the flu. It really only lasted me two days. The first day I was cold, fever, and exhausted. I had a splitting headache the whole day. I was so sick that Devin brought me dinner in bed. He heated up a chicken soup leftover from the freezer, brought me crackers, and served it all up on a silver tray. The next day we had planned to do part of our spring cleaning. Well, I was feeling better and my fever had broken…so I thought I could jump in. I overdid it. Thankfully my fever didn’t return. I took the next day really easy. I am so glad mine went away so fast. I was told that the flu had lasted some people up to three weeks.

Exploding TARDIS

 

My “Exploding TARDIS” mug finally arrived. I love it. It’s based on the van Gogh episode of Doctor Who. It’s actually one of the best episodes of Doctor Who. I loved Tony Curran as Vincent van Gogh. He was amazing. He looked just like van Gogh, and he played him brilliantly. I could watch that episode again. The final scene is so touching that I bawl my eyes out every time.

Holy delicious simplicity!

 

I’ve been cooking quite often from Simply Sugar and Gluten Free‘s cookbook. This was the Dijon chicken, baked polenta and some simply sautéed veggies. It was light, healthful, and delicious. Devin was raving about this dinner. I’m usually overworking dishes in the kitchen, so I forget how great simple food can be. Cooking from her book, Devin thinks he has lost some weight and I know I lost a pound or two (though I don’t need to lose any weight).

We're so geeky.

 

Devin helped me setup a virtual machine on my Mac so I can play my Nancy Drew games. A lot of the older games are not Windows/Mac friendly. They’re all Windows only. So, running a virtual machine was the best way for me to get to play those games. Setting up my ancient Windows machine was not going to cut it. It’s just so annoying to try to use anymore.

I want another.

 

A friend of mine opened a new café near my home. It’s a raw, vegan café located in an existing establishment. It’s called “Get Raw.” It has a lot of similarities to Café Gratitude, but on a smaller scale. The food is delicious, and the smoothies are awesome. I’d love to go get food there regularly, but it’s a little higher priced than I’d like to pay. Sorry hun! I still recommend you give it a shot. She might just sell you on eating raw more often. Oh, and try the desserts. The tiramisu and chocolate mint pie are out of this world.

 

You never know what you'll find.

 

Devin had Good Friday off, so we went and put an offer in on a house (which was rejected). We also decided to wander around Paia and have lunch. The little antique shop there is really neat. For lunch we went to Milagros. There was a family at a table next to ours who had a child with a wheat allergy. We all thought it was funny that we were both there at the same time. But, in reality it’s becoming more common for there to be multiple people in one establishment at the same time with food allergies or intolerances.

 

Me at Agfest 2012.

 

The Agfest was a hit again. There were so many people there. Unfortunately there wasn’t a lot for me to eat. Thankfully all but two of Ono Pops popsicles are gluten free. Even their cupcake with soy sauce in it uses gluten free tamari. That’s awesome, and their popsicles are so ono!

 

I love brunch.

 

Easter morning Devin and I got up and headed to brunch at Market Fresh Bistro. I had an awesome fritatta with smoked Muscovy duck, chorizo, and Manchego cheese. Devin had eggs benedict, of course. He says their eggs benedict is so perfect that he doesn’t need to try anything else.

 

Bagels, pre-baking.

 

I made bagels from No Gluten, No Problem. I didn’t use xanthan gum. I substituted half ground flaxseed, half ground chia seed. They fell flat during the first rising period, but I reshaped them and they held up to boiling and baking. The inner texture wasn’t quite right, but they were still delicious and met my craving for a bagel head on.

 

Okay, that’s enough for now. I’ll share more later. You’re probably overwhelmed by now. Did I overdo it? Probably. But, you’re at least partly caught up with what’s been happening in my life. Oh, and the date on the first photo is March 25. There were photos that I left out as well. So, you can tell how busy I’ve been even during my downtime from school. You can probably imagine how busy I was while trying to keep up with home life, social life, and school life during the rest of the time I’ve been missing.

More later. Much love.

 

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