Chipotle gets its time in the spotlight

I have something in common with chipotle chile peppers. We both have our special celebratory day overshadowed by something bigger. My birthday, December 25, is obviously much more, while National Chipotle Day, May 5, is mostly forgotten by Cinco de Mayo festivities. While I’ve accepted my backstage status, I hope to give the humble chipotle it’s moment in the spotlight. Chipotle are the smoked, dry form of ripe jalapeno peppers, smoked slowly over the dried leaves of jalapeno plants. They add a smoky, toasted flavor and mild spiciness to salsas, marinades, beans, soups, sauces and stews. Chipotles can be purchased dried (whole or powdered,) canned in adobo sauce (made by stewing them in onions, tomato, vinegar and spices,) and pickled. Here are a few recipes to “Ole’!” about.

Make the fresh chickpea hummus from Rooftop by JG in Beverly Hills

While you can readily buy dried or canned chickpeas at your local supermarket, fresh chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, aren’t so common a find. Similar to fava beans and English peas, fresh chickpeas grow on vines and generally contain one to two beans per pod. The smallish pods can frequently be found in Middle Eastern and Latin markets, as well as at the occasional farmers market stand. To shell the beans, simply pop the peas out of their thick, fuzzy pods; figure that one pound of pods will yield half its weight in peas. Then blanch the beans in salted water until tender, only a minute or two.

Konawaena Elementary School students perform in music showcase

More than 550 students from grades preschool through fifth grade participated in a music showcase at Konawaena Elementary School on April 19. It was a time for each grade level to share a little glimpse of what they’ve learned during their weekly music class. In addition to the grade level performances, the fifth grade ukulele club did a couple of selections and all students sang four songs together including the “Konawaena Alma Mater” and “We Are Ohana.”

Finding the aloha spirit on three Hawaiian Islands

The Hawaiian Islands hold a special, almost mystical, appeal for many mainland Americans and Asian visitors, myself included. Recently I traveled to Oahu, the Big Island and Kauai to see which island I liked best, and to discover new places to stay and activities not to be missed.