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  • Writer's pictureTeresa Conway

Hawaii - The Aloha State

Updated: Sep 10, 2023

Alternate Nickname “Paradise of the Pacific”

Suggested Nickname “The Jetlagged Paradise”

Two Truths and a Lie

The Recipe - Aloha Cookies

Volcanoes famously formed the Hawaiian islands, a process that continues to this day. The archipelago contains eight major islands and hundreds of smaller islets and reefs that stretch 1,500 miles from the big island in the southeast to Kure Atoll in the northwest. Only Kaua’i, O’ahu, Moloka’i, Lana’i, Maui, and Hawaii, allow regular visitors and residents.

Polynesians were the first visitors and residents. They sailed across the Pacific Ocean in double-hulled canoes arriving in Hawaii more than a thousand years ago. They introduced crops like taro, sweet potato, coconut, banana, and sugarcane. Polynesians stopped their long ocean voyages shortly thereafter, and Hawaiian culture developed in isolation for centuries.

Captain Cook arrived in 1778 and European settlers followed bringing a slew of changes. King Kamehameha used European weapons to unify the islands and turn them into an international trading hub. By the 19th century, plantations covered 75% of the land growing sugar cane, pineapples, and coffee for exportation. In the 20th century macadamia nuts became a cash crop and now 90% of the world’s supply comes from Hawaii.

I love macadamia nuts, so I made a white-chocolate nut cookie with Hawaiian substitutions. Instead of butter, I used coconut oil. Since it was dairy-free I went full vegan and also omitted eggs. Hawaii is the only state to cultivate vanilla, so I added a full tablespoon of extract. Also, I replaced half the flour with freeze-dried taro root powder. Taro, or “kalo” in Hawaiian, is a starchy tuber that is the official state plant. Native Hawaiians enjoy it boiled and mashed in a dish called poi. Taro boba is my favorite milk tea, so I was thrilled to work with this ingredient for the first time.

I love the lavender color of this dough. It is so beautiful. The sweetness of the white chocolate, the richness of the macadamia nuts, the fragrance of the vanilla, and the earthiness of the taro worked so well together. These cookies are amazing. I enjoyed them with a big mug of Kona coffee.

Want to experience Hawaii for yourself? Then Teresa's Uncle recommends ...

My Uncle Scott lives on Maui and he says that hands down the best Hawaiian experience is whale watching and hearing them sing while in the water. He also loves snorkeling with the honu (sea turtles) and says everyone should head to the beach and see the full glory of the sunset over the water. His pictures are gorgeous and I really need to go visit him.

Time for the whole truth

Lyn Lemaire became the first female Ironman Champion in 1979. Julie Moss famously led the race in 1982 before collapsing of dehydration and crawling to second place.

(By the way, you can click on any of the 2 truths and a lie statements to visit the source of the trivia)

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