Easy lemon yoghurt cake

This recipe for lemon yoghurt cake uses oil instead of butter and delivers a moist lemon cake. Almost as easy as the all-in-one chocolate cake, our own version involves mixing all wet and dry ingredients separately and then together – easy!

Ingredients

For the cake:

½ cup plain yogurt or Greek yogurt

1 cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt
grated lemon zest from

1 medium-size lemon

½ cup sunflower grape seed or canola oil

For the glaze:

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

¾ cup of powdered sugar

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400F. Place butter in a large, ovenproof, nonstick sauté pan (10” with slanted sides works best) and place in oven.

Preheat the oven to 350˚F (175˚C). Spray an 8-inch round cake pan with baking spray, cover inside surface of pan evenly with the spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper and spray parchment paper lightly. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar, eggs and oil – stirring until well blended.

In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt and zest, mixing until just combined.

Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until well combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the cake feels springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Be careful not to overbake.

Cool cake on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Combine the lemon juice and powdered sugar in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Gently prick the surface of the cake with a fork to allow the glaze to permeate. With a pastry brush, gently pat the glaze all over the cake. Keep going over the cake until the glaze is gone. Allow cake to cool completely. 

Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired, or split in half and fill with a lemon curd and a layer of whipped cream. How did your cake turn out? Let us know in the comments below!

Authored by

Making a Dutch baby! A puffed pancake recipe with apple and cranberry filling

What exactly is a Dutch baby? A Dutch baby is an oversized puffed pancake which is baked in the oven rather than being fried on the stove top. The Dutch baby likely has its origins in the German Pfannkuchen. The name first appeared in the 1900s when a café in Seattle mistakenly called them Dutch instead of Deutsch! They are also a close relative of the English Yorkshire pudding.

Ingredients

Dutch baby

3 tablespoons butter

3 eggs

¾ cup all-purpose flour

¾ cup milk

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

A pinch of salt

Confectioners’ (icing) sugar (to dust)

Filling

2 Granny Smith apples

2 tablespoons butter

¼ cup brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ cup cranberries (or dried fruit)

The zest and juice of 1 small lemon

Grated fresh nutmeg to taste

A pinch of salt

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400F. Place butter in a large, ovenproof, nonstick sauté pan (10” with slanted sides works best) and place in oven.

In a blender, combine eggs, flour, warm milk (30 seconds in the microwave), sugar, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Blend until combined.

Remove the hot pan from the oven. The butter should have melted. Swirl butter around pan to coat entire surface. Pour any remaining butter into the batter and blend. Then pour the batter into the hot pan and return the pan to the oven. Cook until the pancake is puffed in the center and golden brown at the edges. This takes 20-25 minutes.

While the Dutch baby is cooking prepare the filling. Take two Granny Smith apples, peel, core and cut into thin slices. In a frying pan melt the butter and add all the ingredients except the lemon juice. Sautee until apples are tender. Cover with tin foil to avoid the mixture drying out as it’s sauteed. Add the lemon juice once the mixture is cooked.

Remove the Dutch baby from the oven and remove it from the pan with a spatula. Place on a cooling rack to allow the steam to escape and avoid the pancake becoming soggy. Add the apple and cranberry mixture. Slice the pancake into 8 pieces and serve!

Serve with maple syrup or whipped cream, or simply by itself. How did your Dutch baby turn out? Let us know in the comments below!

Authored by

Clem’s super simple pancakes

Clem’s super simple pancakes have been a B&B staple for years. The key to making these pancakes is to allow the mixture to thicken and to add yoghurt or buttermilk (or even sour cream) to help make these pancakes something special.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of Krusteaz’s Pancake Mix

  • enough water to make a thick batter

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 cup of buttermilk (or sour cream, or Greek yoghurt)

  • Butter for the grill

  • mashed bananas (optional)

Instructions

1. Start with 2 cups of pancake mix, and then add cinnamon.

2. Add enough water to make a thick batter. 

3. Leave the mixture for an hour.

4. Add your choice of dairy (buttermilk, sour cream or Greek yoghurt). Add mashed banana (optional).

5. Add some more water in order to thin the mixture to a heavy cream consistency.

6. Use either an iron skillet or a grill (as pictured above). Heat the grill until it begins to smoke and then add some butter.

7. Pour about 1/2 cup of the batter per pancake. When bubbles form, loosen and then flip. Cook another minute, or until both sides are brown.

Serve with maple syrup and jaboticaba syrup (the jaboticaba berries are grown on the property and the syrup is made here in the Horizon kitchen). How did your pancakes turn out? Let us know in the comments below!

Authored by

Versatile almond cookies

These almond cookies are incredibly versatile. This recipe from Jennifer Mchenry at Bake or Break allows for three distinct variations. The first is the classic almond cookie with or without an almond in the center, the second is a thumbprint cookie filled with jam, and finally a thumbprint cookie with almond butter. These cookies are the perfect companion with a cup of tea (or coffee). The not-so-secret flavor? Almond flour. It makes all the difference.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (120g) all-purpose flour

  • ¾ cup (75g) almond flour

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¾ cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened

  • ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar

  • ¼ cup (50g) firmly packed light or dark brown sugar

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

  • sliced almonds, for topping the cookies

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.

2. Whisk together the flour, almond flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg yolk and almond extract.

4. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined.

5. Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared pans, leaving about 3 inches between cookies. Flatten each cookie to about 1/2-inch thick.

6. Sprinkle the top of each cookie with sliced almonds.

Or use the thumbprint method to create space for a delicious filling. We used jam and almond butter for another batch. Use any sweet filling that works for you!

Almond Cookies

7. Bake, one pan at a time, 12 to 14 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are lightly browned and the tops appear set.

Cool on the pans for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely. Let us know how your cookies turned out in the comments below! 

Authored by

South Kona restaurants: the 5 best places to eat in 2021

Like most of the country the pandemic has caused a number of restaurants on the Big Island to close – some permanently and others just temporarily. Our up-to-date guide for summer 2021 profiles the best of what’s open again in South Kona. From Kainaliu to Captain Cook, these eateries are great places to enjoy a meal along the picturesque Mamalahoa Highway. Whether it’s pizza, tacos, fried fish, burgers or coffee and a sandwich at sunset, it’s all on the Kona Coast.

1. The Coffee Shack

There’s no place better to sit and have a coffee than The Coffee Shack. With a panoramic view over the Kona Coast (26 miles of uninterrupted horizon line) it’s the perfect pit stop on your way to or from Kona. The Coffee Shack serves its very own coffee grown on the slopes below the restaurant, where 85 year old coffee trees produce Kahauloa Estate Coffee.

Menu highlights include the Pan Sautéed Ono Fish sandwich, the Papaya Special (Half Papaya filled with mixed fruit, lilikoi yogurt & coconut, served with two scrambled eggs with cheese, and coconut pound cake). And don’t forget the French Toast (made with homemade Luau Bread and sprinkled with powdered sugar) or the Kona Lime Pie!

Open Thursday through Monday, 7am to sunset. Closed Tuesday & Wednesday

83-5799 Mamalahoa Hwy,
Captain Cook, HI 96704

808-328-9555

https://www.coffeeshack.com

Drive time from Horizon: 15 mins (8.8 miles)

2. Black Rock Pizza

Newly established, Black Rock Pizza has quickly become a popular eatery with both locals and tourists. Pizzas are made with fresh artisan dough (made daily) and gourmet sauces. Dine in or take out, they have a large menu of pizzas and salads, along with local craft beer on tap.

Menu highlights include the Local Boy pizza (Kalua Pork, Ham, Bacon, Red Onions, Mushrooms, Topped w/Smoked Mozzarella) and the Mexican (Refried Bean Base, Mozzarella, Seasoned Taco Meat, Red Onions, Black Olives, Topped with Chopped Romaine Lettuce, Cold Tomato, crushed Crunchy Tortilla and a Spicy Sour Cream Drizzle).

Open Monday through Thursday 11 – 8 pm, Friday and Saturday 11-9pm and Sunday 10-8pm

82-6127 Mamalahoa Hwy, Captain Cook, HI 96704

808-731-6162

https://blackrock.pizza

Drive time from Horizon: 18 mins (10.3 miles)

3. Shaka Tacoz

Shaka Tacoz has quickly become the best place to get the tastiest tacos on the Big Island. You can’t miss the big blue sign right on the highway in Captain Cook. Order at the food truck and then eat inside with a great view out over the ocean. The perfect place for a quick stop when the hunger pains hit after a day of snorkeling or relaxing at the beach!

Menu highlights include everything taco! Choose from pork, chicken, beef, veggie or fish. All tacos are served with onion, cilantro, cheese, lettuce, pickled onion, Shaka sauce, and lime crema.

Open Sunday through Thursday 11-8pm and Friday and Saturday 11-9pm

82-6167 Mamalahoa Hwy, Captain Cook, HI 96704

(808) 896-7706

https://shakatacoz.com

Drive time from Horizon: 18 mins (10.5 miles)

4. Rebel Kitchen

Rebel Kitchen prides itself on fresh flavors, local ingredients and their very own hot sauce! Hawaiian-inspired burgers and sandwiches are served along with salads. The menu is sourced as much as possible from local farmers, butchers and fishermen.

Menu highlights include the Blackened Ono sandwich, the Rebel Burger (made with Big Island grass fed meat) and the Thai Steak salad. And don’t forget to try their amazing sauces – Kona Ketchup, Hawaiian Fire Sauce and Mauka Mustard (also available to purchase in-store or online).

Open Tuesday through Saturday 11-8pm. Closed Monday & Tuesday.

79-7399 Mamalahoa Highway, Kealakekua, HI 96750

808-322-0616

https://rebelkitchen.com

Drive time from Horizon: 24 mins (13.8 miles)

5. Teshima’s Restaurant

This Big Island institution is still going strong. Originally a family-owned store, this eatery has been operating as a Japanese/Hawaiian fusion restaurant since 1957. Specialties include shrimp tempura and sukiyaki.

Menu highlights include the Japanese breakfast (fried fish, egg, fish cake and Japanese tea), sukiyaki (thin slices of meat, tofu, and vegetables cooked in soy sauce and sugar) and “Kona Up-Country” Chop Steak! Drop in and find out why Teshima’s continues to be a local favorite.

Open Monday through Sunday – 7-2pm for breakfast and lunch and 5-9pm for dinner.

79-7251 Mamalahoa Hwy
Kealakekua, HI 96750

808-322-9140

https://www.teshimarestaurant.com

Drive time from Horizon: 25 mins (14.5 miles)

All these great restaurants are just a short drive from Horizon Guest House and located along the stunning South Kona Coast section of Mamalahoa Highway. 

Authored by

Sunny’s shoes: a visit from the farrier

The rocky terrain in Hawaiian pastures can be tough on horseshoes due to the unforgiving volcanic rock. As a result it’s important that Sunny’s shoes are checked regularly and kept in good shape. When the shoes need attention it’s time to call in the farrier!

Sunny Big Island HGH 10
Sunny waits patiently with Poncho in the background

What does a farrier do?

Farriers are specialists in hoof care for horses, and also donkeys. The profession itself has a long history, dating back hundreds of years.

The word farrier derives from the Latin ‘Ferrarius’, meaning ‘iron’ or ‘blacksmith’. Before there were farriers, who worked almost exclusively with horses, it was the blacksmiths that made and fitted the horseshoes.

The farrier’s job consists of the following key elements:

Observation – they must have a keen eye for when a horse might be injured or about to become lame. They must also be able to identify other illnesses or infection related to a horse’s hooves.

Trimming – it’s important that the length of a horses hooves are properly maintained. A farrier will use rasps and nippers to remove excess hoof material. 

Cleaning – a horse’s hooves need to be kept clean to avoid infection. Farriers need to carefully cut out excess hoof walls, dead sole (dead material in the hoof) and dead frog (a thrush infection, usually a black goo) if present. 

Sunny Big Island HGH 12
1. Cleaning the hooves
2. Using the nippers to clean
Sunny Big Island HGH 8
3. Fitting the new shoe
Sunny Big Island HGH 9
4. Attaching the new shoe

Our local farrier

Every six weeks it’s time for Sunny to get new shoes. Our longtime farrier, Cliff Lorenzo (above), has been doing our horses here at Horizon Guest House for many years. Cliff shoes horses on the Big Island and Maui. Among his clients are the many ranches on the Big Island, including McCandless Ranch which borders the property.

Don't forget the nails!

After the shoe has been fitted it’s time to file down the nails. Cliff uses a custom made horse stand to make it easier for him and the horse.

Where did the horses come from?

Horses were first brought to Hawaii in 1803 as a gift to King Kamehameha I. Soon after, the cattle trade increased and so did the need for horses and experienced cattle handlers. Horses became the standard mode of transport on the growing number of ranches and continue to be used on the ranches today for cattle control.

What about the donkeys?

Donkey’s are best equipped for rocky terrain and usually have sturdy hooves that don’t need shoes. Poncho and Lefty (above) don’t have shoes and the rocky environment tends to wear away any excess material on their hooves. They can even trim their own hooves in the right environment by rubbing their hooves against rocks if they need to!

The Big Island’s ranch culture has meant that farriers continue to be in demand today, making sure that horses like Sunny are kept shoed and able to comfortably graze the rocky pastures.

Authored by

Bees on the Big Island

Big Island Bees
Photo credit: hawaiimagazine.com

Bees are big business on the Big Island. It’s where 90% of all hives in the Hawaiian Islands are located. Beekeeping happens year round. Between November and January there is a reduction in the available nectar but soon after January the Macadamia nut trees flower, the nectar is plentiful again, and the bee populations increase!

Kona Queen Hawaii Photo by Ronit Fahl
Kelly O’Day, Kona Queen Hawaii. Photo credit: Ronit Fahl

Did you know

European bees were introduced to the islands in the late 1800s. 80% of food production on the Big Island requires bee pollination. Producers of coffee and macadamia nuts need the help of honey bees. Those who supply avocados, lilikoi and other crops to farmers markets are also reliant on bees for helping propagation.

  • Sales from bee-pollinated crops in Hawaii are more than $200 million.
  • There are approximately 15,000 hives in Hawaii.
  • Hawaii’s honey production was $3.2 million in 2018.
  • Hawaii supplies 25% of the queen bees on the Mainland and 75% of those in Canada.
bees3 Big Island Hawaii Horizon Guest House
Photo credit: HomesteadinHawaii.com

Queen bees are exported from Hawaii to the rest of the world. Hawaii exports more than $10 million a year in queen bees. Because of the climate Hawaii is able to supply queen bees all year round. 

Queen bee shipping cage. Photo credit: Ronit Fahl

The majority of the queen bee producers are here on the Big Island. These include Kona Queen Hawaii. While Kona itself provides the perfect weather for cultivating queen bees – warm weather, not much rain – Hilo, with its high annual rainfall is less ideal. However, this environment still produces some unique nectar flows.

Photo credit: Big Island Beekeepers Association

Plants that help the bees

The Big Island’s many climatic zones create numerous areas for beekeeping to take place.The amazing variety of flowers means there are a large number of specific nectar flows, resulting in some amazing honey varieties. There are a number of artisan honey producers that supply these type of niche flavors, including those produced from the Ohia Lehua and Christmas Berry trees.

Varroa Mites

In the 2000s varroa mites almost completely destroyed the beekeeping industry on the Big Island and Oahu. As a result, importing bees into Hawaii is now illegal.

Bee Culture Big Island Hawaii
Photo credit: beeculture.com

What do bees need in the tropics?

Bees need the morning sun and then later in the day they need some shade. If bees are grown at slightly higher altitudes, then full sun may be suitable since the overall temperature may be cooler. Bees also need easy access to water. This might be as simple as a bird bath or a shallow dish of water. Shelter from the wind is also needed, since wind can cause rain to be driven into the hives, disrupting the temperature of the hive. Bees also like their privacy, and flourish when kept away from heavy foot traffic or other human activity.

Big Island Bees Hawaii Horizon Guest House
Photo credit: manoahoney.com

Types of honey

Pure Honey: This means it’s 100% honey, no other ingredients (such as corn syrup).

Raw honey: Is pure honey that has not been heated to the point of pasteurization – retaining all the extra goodness of honey, such as the natural enzymes and vitamins.

Organic honey: Organic honey is produced using pollen from only organically grown plants (no pesticides).

Unfiltered honey: Is honey that has not been filtered – the process by which very small particles are removed. This makes the honey close to the honey that is removed directly from the hive.

Where to get it!

Big Island Bees
Photo credit: Jeffsetter.com

The Big Island Bees honey farm is only a short drive from Horizon Guest House. Visit the farm and experience a beekeeping tour, visit the museum and enjoy a free honey tasting! 

The Big Island is the home of Hawaiian honey, so make sure you try some of Hawaii’s best kept secret!

Authored by

Off the beaten track: Ho’okena Beach Park

South Kona has many hidden treasures and one of them is Ho’okena Beach Park. Tucked away at the end of a winding road through ranch land and quietly grazing horses, this hidden beach is an understated local favorite.

Ho’okena Beach Park is located in South Kona on the west side of the Big Island. Camping, swimming, snorkeling or boogie boarding – Ho’okena has it all. Nestled at the end of Kauhako Bay near the cliffs, the beach consists of a mix of black and white sand. The sand can get hot so make sure you pack your flip flops. A line of large trees along the beach edge creates an oasis of shade, making it the perfect spot to spread a blanket and have a picnic.

Where is it?

Hoʻokena Beach Park is located 20 miles south of Kailua-Kona on Highway 11.

Directions from Kailua Kona

Turn right onto Hoʻokena Beach Road just after the 102 mile marker. Follow the road down to the beach park (approximately 2.5 miles). When you reach the end make sure you take a left down a narrow road to the parking lot.

Directions from Hilo & Volcano

Head north on Highway 11. Continue past the 101 mile marker and Kealia Ranch Store. The next left will be Ho’okena Beach Road. Look for the big green road sign.

Amenities

Outdoor showers, county restroom facilities, 
camping
 parking
 and picnic tables. 
No pets allowed.

There are sites available on the beach for tent camping. A permit is required. For more information, check out Camp Ho’okena.

Parking

Parking is available only within the beach park area. Please note: respect the residents – do not park alongside the roadway, or in anyway that might block the one lane road from the top of the hill down to the beach, or prevent access to nearby residential homes, properties, or cause damage to exposed water lines (that supply water to residents). 

The History of Ho'okena

In the 1880s Ho’okena Beach Park was the location of a steamship mooring site. At the time Ho’okena village was a vibrant port, with trade bringing prosperity to the area. There was a wharf, school, courthouse, livery stable and jail. Robert Louis Stevenson stayed a week in Ho’okena when he visited the Big Island in 1889. He mentions Ho’okena in ‘Travels in Hawaii’.

In the early 20th century Ho’okena village began to decline as steamship visits were reduced. By the late 1920s the wharf was receiving so little in the way of regular freight that stores as well as the local post office were forced to close. Storms in the 1930s permanently damaged the landing at Ho’okena and gradually the town’s population dwindled as residents moved further inland to be closer to the highway.

Termites and then an earthquake in 1951 caused the Puka’ana Church to collapse. Take a hike north along the beach to view the old church ruins, stone house platforms and what remains of the old wharf.

Support Ho’okena

The Friends of Ho’okena Beach Park (FOHBP) was formed with the express purpose of preserving the cultural integrity of the beach. Part of this objective is developing sustainable business opportunities that both enhance the beach and provide employment to the local community.

Ho’okena Beach Park is steeped in local history. The site of a once important commercial port as well as the site of one of the last Hawaiian canoe fishing villages in Hawaii. The beach itself offers great swimming as well as snorkeling without the crowds seen at nearby Two Steps. Bring your lunch and make a day of it or camp out overnight – sunsets at Ho’okena Beach Park are worth getting off the beaten track for!

Authored by

Chocolate brownie pecan tart

Chocolate brownies are the best, so why not turn them into a fabulous tart! One of the best things about this easy recipe is the homemade pastry crust. Don’t worry if you’ve never made pastry before, it’s a straight-forward recipe and easy to make (and a lot better than store-bought). Perfect for the holiday season!

Make the pastry

Put the flour, cocoa, icing sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse until combined. Add butter and pulse again, until you have a sandy texture and the butter has disappeared into the mixture. Pour mixture into a bowl. Add ice-cold water (1 tbsp at a time) mixing in between until the pastry comes together in clumps. Don’t over work the pastry or it will become too tough. Tip onto a sheet of plastic wrap and draw up on all sides – gently press the pastry into a ball. Wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes (you can also freeze for up to 3 months).

Heat oven to 350F. Roll out the pastry and use to line a 9.5-inch tart tin. Chill for 15 minutes in the freezer or 30 minutes in the fridge. Line with baking paper and baking beans and bake for 10 minutes. Take out the beans and paper and bake for another 5 minutes. Let sit while you make the filling.

Make the filling

Melt the butter and chocolate in a large glass or metal bowl set over a pan of boiling water. Remove bowl from heat. Whisk in the sugar, eggs and vanilla, then the flour. Stir in the pecans, pour into the tart case and bake for 30 minutes.

Let cool and then serve with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. Let us know how your tart turned out in the comments below! 

Authored by

Easy to make cinnamon & raisin bagels

This is our very own hybrid bagel recipe. A combination of what we’ve found works best and results in the most delicious, chewy bagels. Bagels have a reputation for being time-consuming and difficult for beginners. We disagree! This easy to make recipe for cinnamon and raisin bagels couldn’t be easier, and don’t let the boiling part put you off, it’s not as hard as it looks –  in fact, it’s a lot of fun.

In a mixer bowl sprinkle the yeast over 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water. Add 1/4 tsp of sugar and stir gently. Allow to sit in a warm room until the yeast dissolves and is foamy (about 5 minutes). 

Sift together the flour and then add to the bowl along with salt, 2 tablespoons of sugar and vanilla. 

Mix until combined by hand.

Kneading by hand

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes by hand.

Add the raisins and cinnamon, fold in until combined. The dough should form into a ball easily and be smooth and not too sticky to handle. Add additional flour if necessary.

Place the dough in a bowl which has been lightly greased with oil, cover and allow to rise (about an hour in a warm room or until doubled in size).

After your dough has doubled, punch it down and allow it to rest for 1 to 2 minutes. While it’s resting, preheat your over to 400F and cover 2 cookie sheets or baking pans with parchment paper. 

Whisk together the egg and 1 1/2 teaspoon water to make an egg wash.

Turn your dough onto a floured surface and divide it into the number of bagels you require (makes 8 large bagels).

Shape each piece into a ball and using your thumb make a whole in the middle (or roll out each piece and then join to make a doughnut shape). Allow dough to rest for 15 minutes in a warm place.

Time to boil the bagels!

Bring a large pot 2/3-full with water to a boil and add the remaining tablespoon of sugar and the baking soda.

Place 3-4 bagels in the water at time. Cook for 1 minute and the flip to boil the other side for 1 minute. Remove from boiling water using a slotted spoon or a strainer.

Place the bagels on the baking sheet. Sprinkle the sheet with cornmeal (so your bagels won’t stick).

Brush bagels with egg wash and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Cut in half before freezing – this makes it easier to place straight into the toaster 

Happy bagel making! Let us know how your bagels turned out in the comments below! 

Authored by