Homemade Mac n Cheese with Cauliflower Crumble

All my New Year’s resolutions seem to contradict each other which has made for a confusing start to the year.

For example…

Resolution #1- Be more natural. By this I mean, use all natural products when cooking, cleaning and bathing. I even want to switch to all natural make up!

Resolution #2- Try something new. (like Botox)

See how that’s not going to end well. It’s hard, even for me, to tell if I’m joking or not.

Resolution #3- Be a more open, smiling, approachable person. You know, the type of girl you might see at the gym and say, “Hey you look nice, want to be our friend and cook great meals together, and paddle board, and go on an occasional ladies champagne lunch?” Does that happen?

Resolution #4- Get a big, badass tattoo on my right arm.  (Sorry mom)

You don’t think that will scare away any potential friends, do you?

Resolution #5- Less waste. In the kitchen, shopping, money, lunch boxes, all around- less waste!

Resolution #6- Substantially reduce the amount of cheese and bread I consume.

I have a somewhat ridiculous amount of fancy cheese left over from the holidays in my refrigerator. In my book it’s not Christmas without a drawer full of cheese and I may have overdone it this year. Now, I don’t want to eat it all, but I can’t just let it go to waste!

What to do? [Read more…]

Orecchiette Pasta with Kale, Sausage and Garlic Chips

There’s no real reason to beat around the bush, so I’ll just come out and say it. I’m sorry. I’ve been a terrible food blogger lately. I know you count on me to deliver stunning recipes with sharp wit straight to your inbox, and I have let you down.

You have probably been checking your email everyday and wondering,”Where in the world is Maui Flour Child?” By the way, if you didn’t notice I was gone, no need to say anything.

So it’s kind of a long story… Let’s just say, my life got hit by a hurricane and then I went to Las Vegas. Yikes!

What’s important is that I’m back. I’ve picked up the pieces of my scattered life and put everything in it’s rightful place. (Well, except the laundry.) I’ve even made a few changes. Like for example, my New Year’s Resolution of being more free-spirited. Yeah, that was a terrible idea. My new February resolution is to be more structured, and disciplined. Righteous path here I come!

So I don’t know about you, but after a hurricane hits my life I want to eat something hearty and nourishing. Like pasta! Like a big steaming bowl of sausage, kale and Orecchiette pasta garnished with garlic chips, parmesan, red pepper flakes and a squeeze of lemon. Like the kind of pasta your Grandma would make you if you were lucky enough to be Italian!


1 lb Italian Sausage, casing removed (I used turkey sausage)

6 stalks organic kale

1 package Orecchiette pasta

1/2 onion, diced

5 cloves garlic

8 TB olive oil


1 Lemon

What to do:

Start by making your garlic chips. Thinly slice your 5 cloves of garlic Goodfellas style.

In a small pan arrange the garlic slices in a single layer and cover with olive oil.

Bring to medium heat. Keep a close eye on the garlic. The goal is to flavor the oil and also to make garlic chips, but you have to be careful not to burn the garlic or it will taste bitter. So as soon as you see the garlic slices turning golden, strain, reserving the oil. Lay out the chips on a paper towel and set aside. By the way, if you don’t like garlic, skip this step.

Next, cut, wash and dry your kale, removing the stems.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for your pasta. The reason I use salted water is one, it makes the pasta taste awesome, and two, I love to use the salty, starchy water the pasta cooks in to create a pasta sauce. I know all that salt is probably not good for you, but that stuff is seriously magic! Cook your pasta and reserve 2 cups of that magic water.

In a large pan, heat the reserved garlic oil (you don’t have to use it all) and add the sausage, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon. When it is almost done and starting to look nice and browned, add the onion. Continue to cook for a few more minutes, then add the kale, slowly stirring and working it into the mixture.

Add one cup of the reserved magic pasta water and cover, stirring occasionally until the kale is tender. Add the cooked Orecchiette and mix everything together. If you want the pasta to be looser and have more moisture, add more of the pasta water.

Serve in a large family style bowl and garnish with the garlic chips, parmesan, a squeeze of lemon and red chili flakes.

Feels good to be back,

Italian Sausage Rigatoni and a Field Trip to Lagana Foods

We recently went to Seattle to visit my best friend Kaela. Kaela and I have been friends since 6th grade. She is the friend who knows everything about you, the one who will call you out on your B.S., the friend you don’t have to entertain or clean your house for, the friend you don’t see nearly enough but always pick up right where you left off like no time has passed. Everyone needs a friend like this.

When we were young we pretty much lived together on the weekends, alternating from one parents house to another. I’m not sure if my mom just gave us free reign in the kitchen or if we were hungry and fending for ourselves, but these were the weekends Kaela and I learned to cook.

Sometimes we would find a recipe and try to follow it but most of the time we would make crazy, stir fry, saimin creations. What this involved was defrosting and cutting up chicken (obviously before the great fear of salmonella), a package of top ramen, and a little of every condiment we could find that had asian writing on it.

We still carry on this tradition, although I like to think our palates are a bit more refined now. (At least something is more refined.) When Kaela comes to visit we will guaranteed have a “let’s pretend the weather is bad and cook everything in the house” day. Good times.

Kaela, along with her partner Ethan Stowell, created an artisan pasta company called Lagana Foods and I got to go on a field trip there.

Here’s a picture of Kaela teaching my daughter Leila how the pasta machine works. This is not a picture of Auntie Kaela making pasta out of children as someone so cleverly commented. (Funny though)





















What’s special about Lagana Foods pasta is it’s made from 2 ingredients. Semolina flour and water. 2 ingredients that you can pronounce. I like that rule with food, if you can’t pronounce it then you probably shouldn’t eat it. Unless of course you can’t pronounce it because it’s Italian, then eat away!

Secondly, the pasta is bronze cut.  Bronze cut pasta is rougher and more porous than your commercial teflon cut pasta which comes out smooth and shiny. The benefit to the rustic bronze cut pasta is that your sauce will hold to it in a way that makes teflon pasta jealous.

So if you live in Washington or Oregon, you can buy yourself some Lagana pasta. It seriously smells like Italy.

As for me, I was given a huge bag of this fantastic, fresh pasta to carry home to Oahu on the airplane. I was halfway across the pacific ocean when I realized I left it in the mini fridge of our hotel. I like to think the housekeepers had a huge pasta party with it. That makes me feel a little better.

So you are probably thinking, what’s in the picture above? That’s Safeway’s Barilla pasta. Teflon cut, 7 ingredients, 2 that I can pronounce. If you live in Hawaii that will probably be your only option until the day Lagana Foods expands across the Pacific. Kaela- we anxiously await your arrival!

Italian Sausage Rigatoni

Rigatoni (the best you can find wherever you live)

4 links Chicken, Turkey, or Pork Italian Sausage (remove casing)

2 cloves garlic minced

1/2 small onion diced

1 28oz can whole tomatoes (Lightly pureed)

2 T tomato paste

2 T olive oil

Feta, Kalamata olives and flat leaf parsley to garnish

Set a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.

Heat a large pan and add the olive oil. Add your Italian sausage and start breaking it up. You want to get a nice caramelization on it. Add your onions and continue cooking over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Add your garlic and stir around for just one minute. If you happen to have a bottle of open red wine nearby, a little splash to deglaze the pan would be an excellent idea. Add your pureed tomatoes. I like to buy whole tomatoes and puree them myself because I find the quality and taste is much better than pre-crushed can tomatoes.

The amount of tomato paste you add depends on how long you let the sauce cook and whether you cover the pan or not. Basically if your sauce looks loose and watery, add tomato paste.

Cook your pasta to al dente and right before you drain it reserve a cup of that magic salty, starchy water the pasta was cooking in. That way if you added too much tomato paste earlier you can thin down your sauce a bit.

Add the pasta to the sauce and gently toss. Put it in a big family style bowl and garnish with chopped flat leaf parsley, feta cheese, kalamata olives and black pepper.