04 April

Island Grilled Ribeye with a

Pineapple Soy Ginger Marinade

April 25: National Steak Day

Islander’s Daddy is the family’s grill master. One of her fondest childhood memories was whenever he marinated steaks on a Saturday night, she knew they would be all going to the beach the next day after church—not to play in the park, swim, surf or lay out leisurely, but to pick limu (seaweed) at the shore so Daddy could make a pickled seaweed salad to go with our steak dinner. While he grilled the marinated meat at the park, Islander, her Mommy and brother picked the strands gifted from the ocean. By the time they filled their little beach buckets, Daddy had finished cooking the steaks and we would head home (five-minute drive from Pu’uloa Beach Park). As we cleaned up, Daddy would make the limu salad, cook steamed rice and keep the grilled steaks warm. Then when Daddy cleaned up, we had the table ready and we enjoyed dining on the fruits of our afternoon’s labor together.

‘Ohana time is so precious—and so is this recipe for island grilled ribeye. The marinade is made with pineapple juice, soy sauce and ginger. When Highlander cooks it on the rare occasion in our Texas back patio, it brings Islander back home to ‘Ewa Beach and fills her heart with happy family memories.

So gather the family together and fire up the grill; spend precious quality time and eat delicious  island-style steaks on National Steak Day!


(From Daddy)


  • 1 can (6 ounces) pineapple juice (around ¾ cup)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (we used Aloha Shoyu brand)
  • 1 -inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (apple cider, rice or mirin)
  • 1-3 pounds steak (ribeye, T-bone or strip)
  • 1 can of pineapple rings (optional)


In a bowl, mix the pineapple juice, soy sauce and grated ginger.

Stir in the minced garlic, brown sugar and vinegar. Pour the marinade in a zipper top plastic bag and add the steak(s). Marinate for at least an hour (overnight is best) in the refrigerator.

Take the steak(s) out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling. Discard the marinade. Fire up the grill and cook to desired doneness (approximately 5 minutes per side for medium). Place on a plate with juices. Let the steak(s) rest for 10 minutes before serving and slicing. Optional: Drain the juice from the canned pineapple rings. Grill them on both sides until they have charred lines. Garnish the steak(s) with the pineapple rings.


  • This marinade could be used to grill chicken, fish and pork.

  • We eat this grilled steak with steamed white rice and a side salad (tossed green, macaroni or pickled limu).

  • For a similar recipe, try this terrific teriyaki steak!



Chtit’ha Djedj

(Algerian Chicken with Chickpeas)

April 21: National Chickpeas Day

Islander’s brother, Kahuna, loves chickpeas and requests that his sister cooks something with it when he is able to visit and stay with us. This Algerian chicken stew with chickpeas is an easy and hearty recipe that he enjoys as a home-cooked meal.

We also treat him to Mediterranean and Middle Eastern meals, which feature his favorite garbanzo beans as ingredients in this cultural cuisine, at nearby restaurants in our Texas town. Some offer tasty stews with chickpeas on their menus.

As we are unable to see each other due the coronavirus, he cooks this chicken and chickpea stew for his religious community of brothers. Kahuna also serves a side salad with—no surprise—extra chickpeas!

We are sure he is enjoying National Chickpeas Day—whatever he is eating with garbanzo beans—and we hope our readers do, too, when they cook Algerian chicken stew with chickpeas.


(Adapted from Handful of Joy)


  • Oil for frying
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 chicken legs
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon harissa spice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped


In a large pot, saute the onions in oil over medium high heat until translucent. Add the chicken legs and brown the skin. Sprinkle harissa spice.

Add the tomato paste, crushed garlic and drained chickpeas.

Add the chopped chicken breast. Pour enough water to cover everything (less if thicker gravy, more if soupy). Salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer for 35-45 minutes or until the meat is cooked through. Transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with cilantro. Serve hot with couscous or rice.


  • Ground harissa is a mildly spiced mix, not the chili paste. We used McCormick’s brand found at our local grocery store. Middle Eastern stores also carry different brands with mild and hot options.

  • Search our blog for other recipes containing chickpeas (garbanzo beans).

Earth Day Cookies

April 22: Earth Day

Long before Hawaii was the first to ban plastic bags in America, Islander had won a design contest for a non-profit organization in her home state that wanted to give away free reusable grocery store bags. We have collected other freebie bags at festivals and events and bought some fancy ones at other stores (Islander admires fellow designer’s artwork on those bags). We always use them when we go shopping as we feel it is just one little but significant way to protect the environment. The few plastic bags that we do get from the stores are returned to their designated recycling bins.  [Learn more about the effects of plastic bags on the environment from the Health Guidance website.]

If the kanaka (Hawaiian people) revere the ‘aina (land) and it is just a small island chain in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, imagine if everyone could have the same love towards the whole world. We know we could do more than just reuse our grocery bags and recycle items. But if everyone could start becoming more aware of protecting our environment then we are taking important steps to save our planet. With this premise, the movement for Earth Day was created.

Earth Day is celebrating its 50thyear as an international “holiday” in 2020 and we made cute cookies for the milestone occasion. They are easy to make but we added the tiny fondant heart to make a bold statement on this global goodie.

Enjoy these cookies on April 22 but celebrate everyday Earth Day!



  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup sugar, granulated white
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 ¼ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • blue and green food coloring
  • red fondant


In a covered measuring cup, melt the butter in the microwave. Cool slightly. In a large bowl, combine the melted butter, sugar, vanilla and egg yolks.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix the dry ingredient with the wet ingredients until a dough comes together. Divide the dough in 1/3 and 2/3 portions.

Color the larger dough portion with blue food coloring. Color the smaller dough portion with green food coloring. Pinch out a 1-inch ball from the blue dough. Pinch out little pieces from the green dough and randomly stick to the blue dough. Roll gently into a ball.

Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes, being careful not to overbrown the cookies. Remove from the oven, cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, roll a small piece of red fondant on a clean, lightly floured surface to 1/16-inch thickness. Use a heart cutter/plunger to cut shapes. Brush the back of the mini fondant hearts with a dab of water. Position the hearts on the cookies. Serve on a tray. Store leftover cookies in a covered container.


  • We halved the recipe above just for the two of us.
  • Refrigerate the dough balls for 15 minutes before baking (optional).
  • If possible, wash the reusable grocery bags often to keep them clean and the food items safe from bacteria.
  • Learn more about the history of Earth Day from the History website. 

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