Category Archives: Personal

Hot Pretzels by Norpro

Yesterday, I posted pictures of the vegan pretzels that I was making!  This was the second time that I’ve made these pretzels.  I had forgotten how good they were, especially HOT out of the oven!!  I simply used the recipe (Hot Buttered Pretzels) that came with the pretzel pan that I bought (made by Norpro), and eliminated the butter in order to make it VEGAN!!  I promised a friend that I’d post the recipe, so here goes!

Hot Pretzels


2- 1/2 cups of all purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1 package active dry yeast (1/4 oz)

1 cup warm water

Baking Soda Wash:

1/2 cup warm water

2 Tbsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 500ºF.  Place all of the dough ingredients into a bowl and beat by hand or machine until well combined (I used my stand mixer with the dough hook attachment).  Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, until it is soft, smooth, and quite slack.  Place dough in a plastic bag (I just placed plastic wrap over the bowl from my stand mixer), allowing it to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.  Spray Pretzel Pan with nonstick vegetable oil spray (you probably can just use a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan; that’s probably what I would’ve done if I didn’t have the pan).

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and divide into 6 equal pieces.  Allow the pieces to rest uncovered for 5 minutes.

Combine the 1/2 cup warm water and the baking soda in a shallow bowl, making sure the baking soda is thoroughly dissolved or it’ll make a splotchy glaze.

Roll each piece of dough into a long, thin rope (about 28-30″), form into a pretzel on Nonstick Pretzel Pan.  Brush each pretzel sparingly  with baking soda wash (this will give the pretzels a nice golden brown color).  (I added coarse/kosher salt at this point so that I wouldn’t need to use butter at the end in order to make the salt stick.  You could also make a stuffed pretzel, something that I’ll probably try next!)

This is what my pretzels looked like before going into the oven.  My first one didn't look too nice, but I think I got better at it!

This is what my pretzels looked like before going into the oven. My first one didn’t look too nice, but I think I got better at it!

Bake the pretzels for 8-9 minutes or until they are golden brown, turning the baking sheets halfway through (I forgot to turn the pan, but it still turned out ok).  Remove the pretzels from the oven to a cooling rack.

Here are my finished pretzels!  All nice and brown, and puffy!

Here are my finished pretzels! All nice and brown, and puffy!

Pretzels are best fresh from the oven or reheat them in the microwave.  (You could do all kinds of toppings!!  Chocolate, caramel, salt, dijon mustard, fresh cracked black pepper, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, lemon pepper, garlic powder; use your imagination, and have FUN!!)



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Grow Baby Grow!! Family Shower for Baby Kiesling!

This past Saturday, our family had the blessing of showering Baby Kiesling!!  My sister Keri, is due on November 22 with their first child!  Kawika & Keri have decided to not find out the sex of the baby!  So, not only are we anxiously awaiting the arrival of the baby, but we are anxiously waiting to see what they’ll have!  My AH-MAZZZING Sister-In-Law Amy, planned the shower!!  I was SO thrilled when she agreed to do it!!  She does such a WONDERFUL job!!

Amy decided to go with the theme of growth (green/plant).  It is a theme that so perfectly fits Keri!  Amy used biodegradable plates and utensils, plants for decorations, seeds for favors, some of the food was plant based, and the water was infused with lime and mint.  Everything was delicious!!  I did my part of contributing a few vegan/plant strong dishes! I LOVE to share my love of plant strong food!!  Here are some pictures!  We all had a BLESSED time of fellowship!!

Biodegradable utensils & plates!

Biodegradable utensils & plates!

Yummy plant strong food!  Bruschetta, Eggless Egg Salad Sandwich, and Gado Gado Skewers

Yummy plant strong food! Bruschetta, Eggless Egg Salad Sandwich, and Gado Gado Skewers

More food!!  Those of you that have known Keri for a while, may know of her LOVE of madarin oranges!!

More food!! Those of you that have known Keri for a while, may know of her LOVE of madarin oranges!!

Vegan dark chocolate cupcakes!!  Amy did an AWESOME job of making them look like plants!!

Vegan dark chocolate cupcakes!! Amy did an AWESOME job of making them look like plants!!

Infused water and sparkling cider, and mason jar cups!

Infused water and sparkling cider, and mason jar cups!





The Kaneshiro & Kiesling families!

The Kaneshiro & Kiesling families!

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A look back at the many blessings of 2012!

Aloha!!!  So sorry that it has been WAY too long since I last blogged!!  A TON has happened since I last blogged in April!!

2012 has been filled with challenges, along with MANY blessings!!

Dave & I started out 2012 by doing a 60 day juice fast/reboot (well, February to be exact), inspired by the film “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.”  Here is a before and after picture!


Since then, we’ve gone plant strong (aka vegan)!  But . . . one exception we’ve made is seafood!  Since we live in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, we’re surrounded by AMAZING seafood!!  So hard to give that up!! 🙂

Those of you who know Dave, you know what a tremendous change he has gone through!!  I have always been a veggie girl, and never much of a meat eater.  Dave was the COMPLETE opposite!!  So needless to say, prior to February, cooking for him was a challenge!!  He kept on telling me that I needed to cook healthier, and I kept on telling him that he needed to eat veggies!!  After viewing several other documentaries (oh, how we LOVE our Netflix!), Dave is a changed man!  Lately, we have been eating a ton of “vegan junk food.”  We plan on starting off 2013 with another juice fast/reboot or going back to the Eat To Live plan, which we’ve HIGHLY deviated from!!  So I guess you can say our New Year’s Resolution is to get back on track, and to get healthy again! 🙂

During our juice fast, Whole Foods Kahului was celebrating their 2nd birthday, which happened to also be my birthday!  They were running a drawing for a dinner for 2, with the authors of Top Maui Restaurants, at one of their top Maui restaurants!  Guess what a surprise I got, when I got the call that I WON!  I’m one that NEVER wins ANYTHING!!!  So that was an AWESOME birthday gift, except for the fact that we were on our juice fast!!

When I contacted Molly Jacobson, she said that it was no problem to wait until after we were done!  We rewarded ourselves on a successful juice fast by joining them for dinner at Honu (they had given us a list of places, and we got to pick one!).  I usually try to take pictures of everything we eat at restaurants, but totally forgot!!  Sorry that I have no pictures to post!!  Everything was so DELISH!!  If you ever come to Maui, you HAVE TO TRY HONU!!  Also, you really should pick up a copy of their book!!  They’ve done an AMAZING job of reviewing MANY eateries!!  Thank you, James & Molly!!

In April, I got to photograph my very first wedding!  Boy, was I scared!!  I learned a TON from this experience, and look forward to many more weddings!!  I also got a chance to assist in another wedding in May.  Many thanks to John Henry of John Henry Photography for allowing me to tag along!  I learned so much (like composition, lighting, settings, logistics, working with vendors, making the experience memorable for the bride & groom, etc)!!  I look forward to assisting you with other weddings/events, if you ever need assistance! 🙂

In May, I photographed Mothers and their families, as a gift to the Mothers in our church, for Mother’s Day!  Boy, was that a quick moving, and hectic day!!  But SO much fun!!  I learned a TON from that experience!!  I look forward to doing it again, but using the knowledge that I’ve learned to make it a less time consuming task! 🙂  Here is a picture of my siblings and I.  I am the oldest, but seem to be the shortest (but only because my sister was wearing her huge slippers!). 🙂Kaneshiro_8174-2 (1 of 1)

The Sunday after Mother’s Day, May 20, our family had a HUGE surprise!!  My brother and his wife had a baby BOY!!!  Grayson Timothy Kaneshiro surprised everyone, as we all thought he was a girl! 🙂  But what a treasured blessing he has been!!


Today, Grayson is a healthy boy at just a little over 7 months old!!  I treasure the moments, though far and few in between, that I get to spend with him.  Can you say, PROUD AUNTY?!!

In August, Dave and I took a vacation and visited with family and friends in Washington and Idaho.  We had a TON of fun!!  We absolutely LOVED the lake lifestyle in Sandpoint, ID!  In Washington, we had a blessed time of fellowship with family and friends!  Here are a few of our pictures!





In September, we celebrated my Sister’s upcoming wedding with wedding showers!  Here are some pictures from Keri’s VIF Wedding Shower, and the Family Wedding Shower!



At the end of September, on Monday, September 24th, as we were preparing for my Sister’s big day, we discovered that  Dave had a detached retina in his right eye.  That was late afternoon Monday.  By early Tuesday morning, we were on our way to Oahu for an emergency surgery.

We had a morning consultation with the surgeon, then surgery in the late afternoon, Tuesday, September 25th.  Boy, has this been a challenge this year!  Dave is finally back to work, but trying to get used to the distortions that are still present, and the changes that have taken place with his vision due to the surgery.  We still have a long road in front of us.  If you EVER experience any changes in your vision, PLEASE go have it checked out!!  We were very blessed to have been able to catch the detachment before there was a complete retinal detachment.


Dave can be so dramatic!! The pictures on the left are pre-surgery. The picture on the right is of him during recovery. For the first week, he had to keep his head down as part of the healing process.

On Saturday, October 6th, my Sister married Kawika Kiesling at the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm.  It was a blessed day!!  Here are a few snapshots from the day!





Thanksgiving and Christmas this year was a blessing, in that we got to spend it together as a family!!  My whole, entire immediate family is back on Maui!!

And . . . I guess that brings this year end blog/update to an end!  I had planned to close out with a picture of the last sunset of the year.  But I didn’t make it out to take a picture!!  Just ending the year, hanging out with my Hubby, relaxing!  Boring, I know, but it’s us!!  Simple, and easy going!  Happy New Year!!  We pray that you are growing in the knowledge and grace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!!  Have a BLESSED 2013!!

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Filed under Family, Favorite Things, Food, Food Finds, Lets Eat!, Personal, Photography, Reboot, Uncategorized, VIF

Kaneshiro Family Celebrates Gracie! 4.14.2012

I can’t WAIT to welcome my niece into this world!!  She is supposed to arrive on May 15!!  So we’ll soon be welcoming a new member into the Kaneshiro family!!

On Saturday, April 14, 2012, the Kaneshiro family celebrated Gracie’s life, with a baby shower for Mom!  Since my Sister-In-Law, Amy (Gracie’s Mom), decided to decorate the nursery in an owl theme, the baby shower, of course, had an owl theme!!  My dear friend, Kelly Yokouchi, made Amy & Gracie a diaper cake!

All the other elements, I either got from Ben Franklin, or Etsy.  I think I spent WAY too many hours on Etsy, looking for just the right element for the party!! 😀

Courtesy of Kelly Yokouchi


Dessert/favor table! 😀

I’m not a games person.  That is one reason why I HATE going to showers!!  I enjoy a time of fellowship, or actually doing activities.  🙂  So one of the activities included signing a frame (like a guest book).  Once Gracie is born, a picture of her can be inserted into the frame!  Another activity was a prayer book.

The Kaneshiro’s are known for having good “grub!”  YUM!! 😀

Another activity that I asked the family to do, is to write little notes on the back of puzzle pieces, to Gracie!  That way, when she’s working on the puzzle, she’ll see the notes from her family! 🙂

The little fellow that joined us ladies for the day!! Mr. Marburger!! 🙂 Such a cutie!!

Nicole explaining the awesomeness of the covers she made, for the baby carrier!!

Thanks to the many generous gifts from the people of Valley Isle Fellowship, Family and Friends, the Kaneshiro’s (Jeremy & Amy), are ready to welcome Gracie into the family!!  Please pray for Jeremy & Amy as they wait for the arrival of little Gracie!

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VIF Celebrates Baby Girl Kaneshiro! 3/31/2012


This past Saturday, March 31, 2012, Valley Isle Fellowship showered my Sister-In-Law and Brother with an ABUNDANCE of blessings.  Amy and Jeremy are awaiting the arrival of their precious baby girl.  She is supposed to make her grand entrance on or around May 15!  Our family is very excited, for this will be the first grandchild for my parents!

Helen Yoshizawa (a lifelong family friend, who we refer to as Aunty Helen) was in charge of putting everything together.  Thank you SO MUCH, Aunty Helen for all that you did!!  You are such a tremendous BLESSING to Amy and Jeremy, as well as the rest of our family!!  To all those involved with making the day a very successful one, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

Now, for some pictures!!  Enjoy!!

Bouquet/centerpieces made by Pauline Harada; favors by Helen Yoshizawa.

Carol Sakai opened up in prayer.


Lani Sarmiento shared a devotional.

Aunty Helen! 🙂

Amy getting measured, for the classic baby shower game of guess how big Mom's stomach is!

Both women had to jan ken po (rock, paper, scissors), to see who won the prize! They had to break a tie for the name the baby animal game. Hilarious!!

The proud Parents to Be!


SO MUCH ONOLICIOUS food!! VIF sure knows how to potluck!! 😀




Blessing upon blessing of gifts!!




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Day 20-Update!

Okay, I know, I know!!  I’ve been meaning to do an update for a LONG time!!

Dave and I are on day 20 of 60, of our juice/smoothie fast!  I can’t believe that we’ve made it this far!!  It has been tough, especially when getting together with other people, Valentine’s Day, and my birthday that is coming up!  But we know it’s worth it, to loose weight, and become healthy!

To date, I have lost 14.3 lbs!  Dave has lost 14.7 lbs!  So far, we have mainly been drinking smoothies of fruits and vegetables.  We’ve juiced a few times.  So, in order to see if we can increase our weight loss, we have decided to switch to just juicing, for at least 10 days.  Today will be Dave’s first day on juice only.  Tomorrow will be my first day.  After making Dave’s juice for the day (for him to take to work), boy, do we need a ton of produce!!  Guess I’ll be seeing the supermarket often, these next 10 days!!

Here’s a picture of me juicing up a storm today!

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Reboot Time!!

So, I guess that I now have no excuse to NOT blog!!  For those of you who have been wondering what we’ve been up to, I’ll try to start from the beginning!

Through the Sovereignty of God, Dave came across a documentary on Netflix (background: Several months ago, to save some money, we got rid of our cable and decided to try streaming Netflix through our Wii console; Netflix was offering the streaming only for $7.99/month; to our surprise, it works beautifully!!), and finally got around to watching it!  The documentary is called, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.”  Here is the trailer:

Praise God!!  After viewing this, Dave was finally starting to grasp the fact that he needed to start consuming vegetables!!  Those of you who know Dave, know that he is a proclaimed veggie hater!!  The only thing he’ll eat is a salad.  So this was a BIG PRAISE!!

Praise God, Dave continued to dig deeper!!  Dave also watched “Forks Over Knives,” “Ingredients,” “Food, Inc,” and “Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue.”

Forks Over Knives Trailer

Food, Inc Trailer

Engine 2 Rescue

YAY!!  So, we are finally incorporating a TON of veggies into our diet (unlike Dave, I’ve always LOVED my veggies!!)!!  Dave has been wanting to do a 60 day Reboot (it is recommended to do at least a 10 day reboot to get the benefits).  Dave has gotten so excited about this that he’s been sharing it with everyone he can!!  He’s been able to convert one of his co-workers (who started his reboot before we did), and have convinced other people to consider it, or do a modified version.

We are doing something a little different- a smoothie fast instead of a juice fast.  We are using our Vitamix to make our drinks.  Since it liquifies everything (the pulp), it is considered a smoothie.  The difference between juicing and making smoothies is that in juicing, the pulp has been removed, so your body can immediately absorb and make use of the nutrients.  With smoothies, because the body has to first work to break down the fiber, the nutrients aren’t as readily available.  But the plus for us, is that it helps to make us feel fuller longer, which is good since we can’t constantly be drinking juice throughout the day.  Here is a good article that I found explaining the differences.

Dave didn’t want to start our reboot until after he finished his annual training (due to circumstances, it would’ve been hard to keep the smoothies cold since he wouldn’t have access to a refrigerator).  But we were drinking smoothies as a supplement to our diet.

We officially started our reboot this past Friday (February 3, 2012)!  Unfortunately, I experienced some side effects of the detox stage, my first two days.  It’s normal for people to have that, but it affects people in different ways.  Praise God that we started it on Friday!  Since it was the weekend, I could just veg! 🙂 I was feeling blahhh, and had a headache my first two days.  Praise God, I felt much better on Sunday!!  I did experience a headache at the end of the day, but didn’t have the blahs that I previously had!

Luckily for Dave, he didn’t experience any side effects, and as of yesterday morning, he’s already lost about 6 pounds!  So, we’ll see how this continues to go!!

You might be wondering what our plan is after we finish our reboot.  Well, we are planning on implementing a whole plant lifestyle (some people may call it a vegan diet), like outlined in Forks Over Knives and Engine 2 Diet (Engine 2 Rescue).

I’ll try to keep you updated, but you can also follow me on twitter! 🙂

1st Vitamix Smoothie!
Filled fridge!! Looks so different!!

Whole Food Shopping Trip! Everything is washed, cut and ready to go!! Makes smoothie making go quicker!

Example of how the Vitamix is LOADED up! A bunch of different stuff!! I'm starting to figure out what are good combinations! Unfortunately, this wasn't too successful! Tons of tasting and adding to do! But I finally came away with a good smoothie!

We have a lot of reading to do!!

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VIF Baptism, 2/4/2012-Kawika Kiesling

Praise the Lord!!  My sister’s boyfriend, Kawika Kiesling, got baptized yesterday!!  He had approached my Dad (Pastor of Valley Isle Fellowship), during this past week.  God had been convicting him that it was something he had to do.  So joyfully, about 50 of his friends and family, joined Kawika for a morning baptism out at Lauiupoko Beach.  What a blessing and testament it was!!  God is Sovereign!!  Here are some pictures from the day!

I met up with my Dad at the church, and was marveled at the beauty of the West Maui Mountains!!  God has truly blessed us!!  The sun was just starting to shine on the mountains!

Even the whales were rejoicing for Kawika!

A time of prayer.

Hallelujah!!  Praise the Lord!! 😀

Kawika getting a congratulatory hug from his Dad!!

Kawika sharing his testimony of why it was such an important decision for him. You go Kawika!!  What a testimony! God has GREAT and MIGHTY things in store for you!!

Kawika with my sister Keri! 😀


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VIF Ordination, 1.15.2012, Darren Sarmiento

YAY!!!  Only a week overdue!!  Sorry that this is late!!  I did try to get this posted earlier (I even had it downloaded, edited and Blogstomped, but just never got around to uploading and blogging)!!

On Sunday afternoon, January 15, 2012, Valley Isle Fellowship had their first ever, ordination service for Pastor Darren Sarmiento.  Congratulations Darren!!

A time of worship in song, which is very fitting!  Pastor Darren is the Pastor of Worship!

A time of testimonies, of Pastor Darren’s impact on lives!

Malia shared a hula, and was joined by 2 of her daughters!!  A true blessing!!

Pastor Jay Armstrong, of Kihei Baptist Church, gave the Charge to Pastor Darren.

A laying on hands (prayer) by  Ordained Ministers.

Prayer by VIF for Pastor Darren and his family.

Pastor Darren shared his thanks, and introduced his family.  I was able to get pictures of everyone except for his brother and nephews!  SO SORRY that they didn’t turn out!!


Congratulations Darren!!  Dave and I are praying for you!!  I personally want to thank you, Lani and Amber for the impact you’ve had on my life!!  May God RICHLY bless your ministry!!  God is Sovereign!

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California Vacation!

In September, we were blessed with the opportunity to go to California for the Truth Matters Conference, hosted by Grace to You, and Grace Community Church.  We then were able to visit with some of my friends from college!!

The cheapest tickets that we could find, were into San Jose.  So we spent the night in San Jose, then headed out early the next morning!  It was over a 5 hour drive, but it was interesting to see the different changes in scenery!  We made it to the LA area in time for a Grace to You tour!

Here is the studio that John MacArthur does his recordings in, and his office (where there are some sermon notes).

Here is a picture of Dave with Phil Johnson!

Grace Community Church!

Saturday’s conference, was only half a day, giving us an opportunity to play tourist!  We met some friends at a shopping mall, and I couldn’t resist taking a picture of the California sky line!  So different from Maui!

They had a train!

There was also a fountain, that put on a show, coordinated to music!

The lights on top of the elevator tower were amazing at night!

Much Mahalos to Grace To You and Grace Community Church!  We can’t thank you enough for serving us the way that you did!!

We then had an opportunity to visit with the Leaman family in Bakersfield!!  We celebrated their son David’s birthday, on our first night there!

Edited to add:  This was also the night that I was introduced to Miche Bag!!  Julie’s Sister-In-Law, Shawnra Ancheta, is a Rep for Miche Bag.  LOVE it!!  I am now a Rep myself!! 😀  Check out my site!!

Our last night there, they took us to Dewar’s, which they told us was a must! 🙂

We then made our way to Visalia to visit with the Robb Family!  While up in Visalia, we made the short trip to Fresno, to see my Alma Mater, Fresno Pacific University.  Boy have things changed in the last 10+ years!!

We spent time at Brooklyn’s first ever soccer practice!

And also hung out with the family!

We borrowed Betsy’s, Dad’s kayak, and went up to Hume Lake!  My first time up there, after hearing so much about it!

We had the pleasure of attending Brooklyn’s first soccer game, and I caught a picture of her kicking the ball!  Go Brooklyn!!

The Hubby HATED me taking his picture, and made it known!

Much Mahalos to the Leaman’s (Brent, Julie, Hannah, David and Liliana) and the Robb’s (Brad, Betsy, Brooklyn and Bailey) for an AMAZING vacation!!  God has truly blessed us with AMAZING friends!!  Dave mentioned to me that this was the best vacation ever, from the conference, catching up with some of his friends, to time spent with you!!  Here’s the last picture that I took!  Bailey!


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