Dark Chocolate Cherry Muffins

Dark chocolate and dried cherry muffins made with a healthy serving of oats, peanut butter, and yogurt! Perfect for the holidays, these muffins are made with canola oil and a reduced amount of sugar. A generous amount of Greek yoghurt also gives them a unique flavor. 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup of brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups plain Greek yoghurt
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup dried red cherries, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line twelve 2 1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups. In a large bowl stir together all-purpose flour, oats, the brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In another bowl whisk together eggs, yogurt, peanut butter, and oil.

Add yogurt mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir until just moistened. 

Fold in cherries and chocolate.

Spoon batter into muffin cups.

Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until golden. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Serve warm. Makes 12 muffins.

How did your dark chocolate cherry muffins turn out? Let us know in the comments below.

Authored by

Microwave Rocky Road Fudge

Delicious chocolate fudge packed with peanuts and marshmallows to make a chewy, crunchy, salty & sweet Rocky Road Fudge! This recipe is quick and super easy to make in the microwave.

Ingredients

• 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
• 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
• 1/4 cup butter
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 cups miniature marshmallows
• 1 cup salted peanuts (or use a mix of walnuts, almonds or other nuts)

Instructions

Combine the milk, the chocolate, and the butter in a medium size glass bowl and heat in the microwave for 90 seconds (or melt the chocolate, milk and butter in a double boiler on the stove top).

Stir to combine and heat another 15 seconds if needed. Add the vanilla extract and stir until smooth.

Stir in the peanuts (or substitute with walnuts or almonds, or a mix of all three) and marshmallows – you may need to transfer the mixture to a larger bowl. 

Scoop the mixture onto a parchment lined tray. Spread with a spatula to approximately 1-inch thickness.

Chill until ready to serve. Slice into squares and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

You can also store this in the freezer! How did your rocky road turn out? Let us know in the comments below.

Authored by

Pumpkin and apple muffins

Perfect for this time of year, pumpkin and apple muffins make a great alternative to the pumpkin pie. This recipe is quick and easy! Add a pecan and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar for that something extra.

Ingredients

3 cups flour
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp pumpkin spice
1 30 oz can pumpkin puree
6 eggs
1 1/2 cup oil
1 cup brown sugar
3 medium sized apples, chopped (Granny smith work best. Use an apple peeler/corer/slicer device to make it easier).

Optional

24 pecans
A sprinkle of cinnamon sugar

Instructions

In a bowl place flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and pumpkin spice. Whisk and set aside.

In another bowl blend pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, brown sugar and chopped apples.

Stir dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture being careful not to over mix, small lumps are ok.

Use an ice cream scoop to spoon the mixture into greased muffin molds (I used silicon, but you can also use paper cups to line the muffin molds instead of greasing). 

Optional – place one pecan on top of each muffin and sprinkle lightly with a pinch of cinnamon sugar.

Bake muffins at 350F for 25-30 minutes, or until they spring back when lightly touched.

How did your muffins turn out? Let us know in the comments below.

Authored by

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