HI Cookery is 6!

We are now in our sixth year of blogging and are taking our time to “cook our way through the calendar”. At first, we wanted to finish fast and fill in all the food holidays on the list. But then we would not have enjoyed the experience as much if we were rushing. Eventually, we will complete our goal while, in the meantime, following the philosophy of Greg Anderson, founder of the Cancer Recovery Foundation International charity organization, who is quoted as saying:

Focus on the journey, not the destination.

Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.


We did not start this blog to get rich and famous through ads and publicity. Over the years, we have been approached by different groups inviting us to participate in monetizing our blog through affiliate marketing programs or publications asking us to be interviewed about a holiday recipe. We are flattered with the attention that HI Cookery has been getting. And maybe we will miss out on a lot of potential opportunities. But we have always wanted to keep things simple—cook a familiar or new dish to celebrate every day of the year, photograph the process and share the recipe with our memories with family, friends and followers. Life is busy and complicated enough. To us, the cooking-and-sharing ritual is what has made our food blogging an enriching experience. And that’s simply the reward in itself.


Within the past year, a few keen-eyed readers brought to our attention that some of our food photos have been used without our permission to promote someone else’s home baking business (which is a misrepresentation as well as a violation of copyrights). Other readers offered their support and ideas (such as making our watermark bigger on the newer photos) when we were plagiarized. We realize that others still use our images on Pinterest or other blogs, with or without links back to our blog. The bigger watermark still will not prevent people from using our photos anyway but it will identify better HI Cookery as the original source. We truly appreciate our readers and subscribers, many of whom we have not met personally, for looking out for us in cases like these.


Islander won a cake competition this past Valentine’s Day—her first! Fellow members of the local cake club were asked to bring in a 6-inch cake (real or dummy) to the February meeting to match the month’s “love” theme. For her presentation, Islander patiently hand cut silhouettes of couples during different stages of their love lives—from engagement and marriage to pregnancy/family and the golden years. Her cake told “A Little Love Story” which won her $25 to a cake supply shop. She is happy and encouraged to learn more about cake decorating and will share her techniques in a future blog post.

We hope you continue on our food blogging journey with us as HI Cookery heads into Year 6 with more recipes to come…and, as always…

Tapadh leat! Mahalo! Thanks!

Highlander and Islander

HI Cookery is 5!

It’s HI Cookery’s fifth year blog-o-versary and Highlander and Islander are still here trying to cook our way through the calendar year. Since we began this foodie project in 2010, we have posted more than 525 recipes. Other noteworthy happenings since last year include the following:

We have moved again! Last year we lived in south Texas. Just four months ago, we moved slightly northeast—about 3.5 hours’ drive away—due to Highlander’s job. We miss our family and friends but we are still in the same big state and can visit each other. We are also adjusting to our new kitchen; we no longer have an island and our oven is smaller but the pantry space is good. Unfortunately, we do not have much natural lighting so it is more challenging to photograph our food. However, we like our new kitchen and hope that we can continue to cook for our blog and ourselves and host new friends in our dining room.

2014 kitchen

HI Cookery’s new kitchen (December 2014)

Islander joined the local cake club and culinary book club. She is still a member of the previous cake club and helps with their graphic design needs. The one she just joined only meets quarterly and is less formal but members visit cake club events all over the state and sometimes the nation. So she is able to see familiar and friendly faces at various sugar arts events in Texas. She also joined the culinary book club at our local library. Members meet monthly for a potluck and follow a food theme. Some of the recipes exchanged at the culinary book club meeting will be featured in future posts on our blog.

We are now a “Cottage Food Law” certified kitchen. Although we don’t sell baked goods, we sometimes participate in church bake sales and other benefits. Some organizations require that volunteer bakers and home cooks get a food safety training certificate if their state has a cottage food law. We think it is a good idea just to review the sanitation and food handling information so the food that we cook and serve is safe for everyone to eat and enjoy. Check Forrager, a cottage food community website, for more information about cottage food laws in the United States.

New theme menu on the menu. Navigate on the dropdown menu options above and notice that we have added a new page for “theme menus”. Throughout our fifth year of blogging, we will classify some recipes into themes, such as Star Wars, Halloween, ethnic, etc., to give readers a few ideas on what to prepare for their own parties. As listed on our “cook the calendar” page, there is always something to celebrate in life—so make it fun with food!

We may be slowing down—but HI Cookery is still around! And we hope to continue sharing recipes beyond our five-year milestone. As always, thanks for reading and visiting our blog. We appreciate your loyalty. God bless!

Tapadh leat! Mahalo! Thanks!

Highlander and Islander

HI Cookery is 4!

We can honestly admit that it is getting harder each year for us to continue maintaining a blog. But here we are, on our 4th blog-o-versary, still with our initial intent of completing the goal of cooking our way through the calendar year, albeit at a much slower pace.

Highlander got a promotion at his job this past year but works long hours and sometimes on Saturdays, too.  He still goes on many out-of-town business trips so he cannot help Islander as much with HI Cookery.

Islander faced major health issues late last summer and fall, having to drop out of school for basic web certification, and prioritize her health. It saddened her to stop some basic activities, including cooking and blogging, for a month and a half last year, to spend time at doctors’ offices for tests and treatments. She is feeling better now, although not 100%, and wants to continue posting recipes for HI Cookery whenever she is able.

Thank God she was blessed with an “apprentice” at her brother’s student ministry for which we frequently donate desserts (most of these recipes have been or will be posted on our blog). Islander is showing him how to decorate cakes, cookies and pies so he can help her make these goodies for prayer meetings and church socials. He can also use his newfound skills when he enters a Catholic novitiate (similar to seminary) in a few months and share what he has learned from us with others.

This exemplifies the spirit of HI Cookery. Through our stories and photo tutorials, we hope to enlighten others about food holidays and feast days as well as our cooking processes (please learn from our mistakes!) so they, too, can “pay it forward.”

We appreciate all those who have supported HI Cookery during these past four years. Whether eating our experiments, reading our blog, becoming a subscriber, “pinning” and “liking” our posts, being a guest chef, giving us creative cooking ideas or trying the recipes in their own kitchens, we thank everyone for sustaining us for another year.

Tapadh leat! Mahalo! Thanks!

Highlander and Islander

HI Cookery is 3!

April 11: HI Cookery Blog Anniversary

What a difference a year makes! As we, Highlander and Islander, continue to cook our way through the calendar, we pause to post not a recipe but our reflections.

In the past year, Islander has returned to school recently to learn basic web design (perhaps she can re-design this blog someday?). She says that homework assignments are taking up her cooking and blogging time! Highlander travels constantly for business, especially with current corporate restructuring (hopefully we do not have to be relocated to another state again). So he has not been able to help her as much with the food photography.

Although we are posting recipes less frequently than before, it is also because we are closer to our goal of cooking something ethnic or eclectic for each day of the calendar year. We know it takes a lot of work to maintain a food blog. Some of those we follow have discontinued or have become less regular in their postings. We admire those whose food blogs are still going strong. They are an inspiration for us to finish what we have started three years ago on April 11, 2010.

We are thankful to Catholic Cuisine for including our feast day recipes on its blog this year. We are especially grateful to all our blog subscribers and readers who “like” or “pin” our posts. We are appreciative of our family, friends and co-workers (the guinea pigs) who continue to show their support by giving us recipe ideas and/or taste-testing our cooking. God willing, everyone’s encouragement will help us reach another blog-o-versary next year!

HI Cookery is 2!

April 11: HI Cookery Blog Anniversary

Wow! Thank God for helping us persevere and reach our second year of food blogging and “cooking the calendar” with ethnic and eclectic recipes. Although we are not able to post every single day, we make an effort to do so at least once a week. Today, in lieu of a recipe, we reflect on HI Cookery’s second blog-o-versary (April 11, 2011-2012).

Domain Name. HI Cookery went from https://hicookery.wordpress.com to http://www.hicookery.com. Thanks to Islander’s brother, Kahuna B., who gifted us with the domain name on our wedding anniversary last July 13.

Guest Chefs. Family and friends gave us a hand (literally!) by cooking for us and we have gratefully included their recipes—and photos of their hands—on our tutorials.

Lots of Links. HI Cookery is honored to be associated with the following sites:

  • LeapZeum – We tested the recipe for Leap Year Day Cake. It is simply sweet and would make a nice birthday cake for the Leapers.
  • M5 Cake – Islander has a new baking and blogging buddy—Margarita F. at M5 Cake. She is a fellow member at the local cake club in South Texas. They teach each other how to make macarons and frosted sugar cookies, share recipes and resources and get together to learn more about cultural cuisines. See all her amazing cookies, cakes and confections at her site at M5 Cake.
  • MacTweets – We participate in the macaron-making challenges and get ideas and inspiration from talented MacTweeters from around the world.
  • Pinterest – People who found HI Cookery’s recipes interesting have “pinned” and “re-pinned” our food photos onto their online bulletin board. Thanks for the publicity and the positive blog traffic!

Yes, it has been another busy year of blogging, but we are encouraged by the support of family, friends and followers to continue our goal of cooking our way through every day. As HI Cookery begins our third year, we are committed to sharing more of our culinary and cultural experiences with everyone via the blogosphere.

Tapadh leat! Mahalo! Thanks!

Highlander and Islander


  • As of today’s second blog-o-versary date, there have been 326 posts published, with Cookie Monster Cupcakes still being the most viewed for the second year in a row!
  • Although we bought a new digital camera (Sony Cyber-Shot) this month, we still use Islander’s old one (also a Sony Cyber-Shot). The latter is battered from falling in batters! But Highlander took it apart, cleaned it and fixed the zoom button so we can continue to take photos for the step-by-step shots of our cooking process. We use his Canon Rebel digital camera for the final food photos.
  • We admire fellow food bloggers who are able to post recipes and photos more frequently than us. We especially like the sites that show how they cooked the dishes. Those tried-and-true tutorials are most educational—and motivational!
  • More recipes are scheduled to be posted.

A Delicious Domain:


July 13: Highlander and Islander’s Wedding Anniversary

 Tapaidh leat and mahalo nui loa. Thank you (in Scots Gaelic and Hawaiian) to Islander’s brother, Kahuna, for giving our blog its own domain name to commemorate our 15th wedding anniversary in 2011! HI Cookery can still be accessed via https://hicookery.wordpress.com but it will take readers to http://www.hicookery.com or http://hicookery.com.

We also want to thank those who are new subscribers as well as those who have faithfully followed us as we, Highlander and Islander, gradually build our blog and “cook the calendar” with ethnic and eclectic recipes. Your support, prayers, patience and encouragement have made this hobby a worthwhile and delicious endeavor!

HI Cookery is 1!

April 11: HI Cookery Blog Anniversary

Dia duit and aloha! We launched our blog on April 11, 2010, as a personal project to chronicle our cooking adventures, share recipes with family and friends and get experience in digital media. Instead of a recipe, this post is a reflection of our first year.

Maintaining a blog most definitely keeps us busy! It is a time-consuming process to shop for ingredients, “cook the calendar,” style and photograph various dishes, write about what the recipe means to us and do all the technical uploading to the site. Sometimes it is fun (we are especially encouraged by readers’ positive feedback) and sometimes it is frustrating (see our Food Flops page). We are amazed at how other food bloggers can maintain their sites so frequently as we realize that this hobby requires discipline! But HI Cookery is our labor of love.

We hoped to have better photography skills and added more video and audio features this past year. Islander’s little Sony Cyber-Shot digital camera has gone through a lot of abuse to photograph the cooking process; it has survived the stains and stickiness while she took step-by-step pictures for the visual tutorials. Highlander’s bigger Canon Rebel digital camera is older and bulkier but it served us well in capturing the final food shots, most especially when one of our photo entries for Ham and Leek Tarts was accepted into the highly-selective FoodGawker site. We thank Islander’s brother, Kahuna, who produced our first YouTube video for the Oreo Turkey Cookies and helped us post our first audio file for Hawaiian Hurricane Popcorn.

Other HI Cookery blog supporters we want to acknowledge are Lisa L., our frequently mentioned friend, for sending us interesting international ingredients; the MacTweets network, a macaron-making community, for the opportunity of exchanging ideas in the blogosphere; our family and friends for sharing their food-related memories and recipes; co-workers and students for being guinea pigs eating our culinary creations; and our subscribers and readers for visiting and commenting. We thank you all for motivating us throughout our first year of food blogging.

We are proud of what we have been able to accomplish so far. Our main goal for the next year is to fill in the blanks in our new Cook the Calendar page. We look forward to trying more new recipes and sharing familiar favorites in future posts.  We appreciate everyone who has joined us in our journey of cooking and blogging. Have a happy cyberspace celebration with Highlander and Islander on HI Cookery’s first blog-o-versary!


  • As of today’s first blog-o-versary date, there have been 165 posts published, with Cookie Monster Cupcakes being the most viewed.
  • Our blog has challenged us to try “ethnic and eclectic” recipes and get out of our comfort zone. Cooking new dishes has broadened our tastes and enhanced our interests in cultural cuisines.
  • Several other recipe posts have been already scheduled. Sometimes we cook in advance to compensate for when our time is dedicated to work or travel. We try to post early on the food holiday or feast day, in case blog readers are inspired to cook the dish of the day and can plan ahead and prepare their menus accordingly.
  • Have any other food bloggers gained weight during their first year?!?! It sounds like a good excuse anyway to blame the blog!
  • All good things, like our blog, is made possible by the grace of God.

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