Use up foods from your cupboard for this easy pasta recipe

When I saw the name of this pasta recipe, Cheapskate Pasta, I wondered what it was. It’s in Francine Segan’s new book, “Pasta Modern: New & Inspired Recipes from Italy.” In a recent interview she told me that it’s a recipe to use up foods from your cupboard. It’s also an easy vegetarian recipe. I’ve adapted her recipe for this quick dinner.

Plant of the month for December: Add beauty and grace with ‘ulei

t’s always a good idea to consider growing native Hawaiian plants in your garden. Occasionally gardeners report difficulty growing them, however. Those who want to grow more natives and are looking for a very adaptable one, consider ‘ulei. This plant has several different growth habits and some other features that make it an excellent choice for any size garden.

Tropical pines hard to find this year

In the past, Local folks often used Norfolk pine, Portuguese cypress or even Podocarpus as Christmas trees, but homegrown trees are hard to find this year. However, there are plenty of trees being shipped from the mainland — but don’t delay since trees that are shipped in early are best.

Kaloko Lions Club provides gift cards to make holiday brighter for 13 families

Kaloko Lions Club members are making a huge impact on families this holiday season. Club members Susy Bullard, Diandra Dickinson and Lani Kahawaii visited Neighorhood Place of Kona to deliver gift cards for 13 families. The Lions generosity will make the holidays brighter for 21 adults and 35 children ranging in age from 1 to 12.

Gretchen’s table: Chili oil wontons

These deliciously spicy Sichuan wontons from the recently released (and gorgeously photographed) “The Woks of Life: Recipes to Know and Love from a Chinese American Family” will certainly take the chill off a brisk fall day. Wonton wrappers are first stuffed with a savory mix of ground pork and finely chopped cabbage seasoned with soy sauce, ginger and Shaoxing wine. They’re then tossed in a fiery sauce starring homemade chili oil, raw and cooked garlic, sugar and mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorn. Its authors declare the dish “a fiery bowl of perfection,” and I heartily agree the silky, spicy bites are pretty irresistible.

Poinsettias are showing color for the holidays

November, is almost over but the holidays don’t seem real until we get our Thanksgiving meal digested. Poinsettias don’t seem to care since they are beginning to show color now. Folks on the mainland think of the poinsettia as a Christmas flower but for us it blooms now through March.

Design Recipes: 10 ways to blend black and gold

Whether in fashion or home decor, the color combination of black and gold is one of the most popular. From artwork and side tables to hardware handles, the combination of black and gold is both bold and luxurious and some may argue timeless.

Nonprofit to honor Community Peacebuilder

The West Hawaii Mediation Center will hold its annual recognition for the “2022 Community Peacebuilder” honoree on Dec. 2. Each year, the nonprofit recognizes a community member that embodies the ethos and practices of a peacebuilder.

Creating a park: Rocky and Gwen Campbell transform Pu’uanahulu property

Driving onto Rocky and Gwen Campbell’s property in Pu’uanahulu, I found myself driving up an attractive stamped and stained driveway into a landscape with an expanse of well mowed grass, well-manicured beds of ornamental plants, growing areas for edible plants and the occasional park bench placed in the shade of a tall tree.

Let us be thankful every day of the year

Thursday is Thanksgiving but giving thanks for the many blessings we have in Hawaii should be a daily event. For the last several months, it seems many folks have been focusing on the negative, so let’s try something healthier. For this exercise, let us focus on the fact that recent election participation was one the best in recent history. Folks are recognizing that this experiment in democracy takes work. We can look back a how Native Americans, Mexicans, Hawaiians, African Americans, Filipinos, Japanese, Italians, Chinese, Irish and so many other ethnic groups were treated as they tried to fit into the American Dream. We can recognize that the two world wars of the early 20th century killed an estimated 100 million people.