Our little hurricane out here in the middle of the Pacific turned out to be a tropical storm which has done no more than dump rain on us for well over 24 consecutive hours with no promise of ceasing until the middle of the night. With temperatures hovering just around 80, I’m finally getting a hint of Autumn weather, and I’m absolutely loving it. I’ve been working overtime this week, so I’m thrilled to have an excuse to do absolutely nothing but take a nap and hang out in my kitchen all day.
I’ve always been a cheese lover, but lately I’ve been upping my cheese game. I’ve graduated to slightly more grown up cheeses and branched out to more sophisticated flavor combinations. Don’t get me wrong. I’ll still going to eat a box of Kraft mac and cheese, but when I can get my hands on flavors that are a bit more bold, I’m ready to jump right in.
This Fig Jam and Smoked Gouda Grilled Cheese is a bit more luxurious than a lot of the food you’ll see here. The cheese and the jam together were about $12, which is a bit steep for just two ingredients in my opinion. Still, I felt it was okay to splurge this once, keeping in mind that I could have definitely spent $20 on just the cheese.
The smokey, creamy gouda and the subtly sweet fig jam go together beautifully. It’s like putting Fall between two slices of buttery, crispy grilled bread. It’s elegant, indulgent, and completely awesome. I feel like you could cut these sandwiches into triangles and serve them with wine (I know nothing about wine pairings, but I’d probably try a sauvignon blanc) at a party. It’s like fancy kid food. It’s pretty much where I’m at.
Up your grilled cheese game, put Fall on a plate, and make Fig Jam and Smoked Gouda Grilled Cheese.
Cinnamon’s has been our favorite place to get breakfast before kayaking in Kailua for a couple of years, so when we heard they were going to be opening up a second location in Waikiki, we were thrilled. Cinnamon’s at the Ilikai is still partially under construction, but their outdoor seating is open, and they’re serving a limited menu until their official opening next month. We’re not very patient, though. We’ve already been to their new location twice.
On our first visit, I tried the guava chiffon pancakes. The red velvet pancakes aren’t available yet, but these were just as awesome. Their light, fluffy, buttermilk pancakes get topped with a thick layer of sweet guava chiffon. It’s heavenly.
Of course, a place called Cinnamon’s has to have cinnamon rolls. I highly recommend starting out your breakfast with one of these. Apparently, you have to specify that you don’t want the one with mac nuts, not the other way around, even though they’re listed separately on the menu. The cinnamon rolls are buttery and tender, but the mac nut filling sort of ruined the experience for me.
For our second visit, I ordered the Eggs Benedict with breakfast tots. My egg was perfectly cooked, and they didn’t skimp on the hollondaise sauce. It was delicious. The tots were also very crispy. They were a nice change to the usual hash browns or fried potatoes.
Geoff ordered the breakfast nachos both times. Tortilla chips get topped with scrambled eggs, cheese, salsa, olives, green onions and bacon crumbles. It also comes with a side of sour cream. In all his loquaciousness he said, “It was good.” Hashtag: Face palm. He ordered it twice. That should tell you something.
There’s a beautiful view of the Waikiki Yacht Harbor which is most enjoyable on a stormy Saturday. The service is friendly, but some of the staff is still in training. I’m sure it will become more consistent after their official opening. Still, the food came out promptly, and the experience on a whole was relaxing. We were pleasantly surprised by the size of our bill as well. The prices are very reasonable, even for Waikiki.
Definitely check out Cinnamon’s at the Ilikai. It’s awesome.
When it comes to trends, I’m usually a late adopter. I tend to go my own way and do my own thing. I figure if everybody’s doing it, there’s a good chance it’s not actually that great. I don’t know. I’m a dedicated weirdo. Sometimes it helps me avoid silliness like The Spice Girls, Real Housewives, and kale. Other times, it keeps me from experiencing something awesome. Can you believe I didn’t read Harry Potter until 2001. All those years I could have spent at Hogwarts, but I was too busy being too cool. What an idiot.
This pumpkin spice trend, though? I jumped right on board. And I intend to stay on board even after the ship sails because it’s awesome. I love the warm wintry spices and the sweetness of the pumpkin. The moment they start selling pumpkin spice at Starbucks, I’m ordering a pumpkin spice chai every chance I get.
These Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes are perfect for sharing and ideal for transport. The crust is a whole gingersnap cookie that softens up when you bake the cheesecakes. Add a dollop of whipped cream, and you’ve got a delightful dessert that you could be proud to serve at any holiday party from Halloween to Christmas. They’re elegant, adorable, and delicious.
Sometimes things actually become trendy for a good reason. Get on the Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake ship. We’re sailing all the way to awesome town.