Kealia Ranch Store

The Kealia Ranch Store is famous for its shaved ice, and it’s definitely worth a stop to check out their stock of local arts and crafts – and snacks!

The Kealia Ranch was originally founded in 1915 and is still operating as a working cattle ranch today, with stock of Hereford and Angus cattle. They supply grass-fed beef locally, and also farm cacao and coffee on the ranch. The ranch is located less than a mile from Horizon.

What you'll find

You’ll find local snacks, including ‘ulu chips (made from breadfruit), assorted dried fruit (mango, pineapple, plum, lemon and ginger), locally-made pepper jelly, honey (produced on the ranch) and Kona coffee.

You can even buy beef direct from the ranch! (Perfect for grilling out for dinner at Horizon). Includes, rib eye, t-bone, sirloin, chuck and porterhouse.

Locally made arts and crafts.

Shaved ice

Choose from a great variety of flavors, add ice cream and then toppings of your choice. Fruit popsicles are also available.

There is a wide range of Kealia Ranch apparel.

They also stock some beautiful koa products, including cutting boards.

Browse their stock of unique, locally made arts and crafts – perfect for gifts.

The Kealia Ranch Store is less than a minute’s drive from Horizon – perfect for a shaved ice on your way back from the beach, or browsing for a gift.

When and where?

The Kealia Ranch Store is open Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday, 9:30am – 4:30pm.

86-4181 Mamalahoa Highway, Captain Cook, HI 96704

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In the orchard at Horizon: what we grow to harvest

We have a large variety of fruit trees that we grow here on the property. Growing conditions on the Big Island are perfect for almost everything although some varieties can be tricky and the harvest unpredictable.

Avocados

We have two varieties, the sharwil and the kahalu’u. Avocado season begins around June and runs through November/December.

Bananas

We are currently growing apple bananas in our vegetable garden. Bananas grow year round.

Jaboticaba

We have one jaboticaba tree. The tree produces a black plum. It takes 12-15 years to get your first harvest! Makes great syrups and jams. Flowers once a year, around September/October.

'Ulu (breadfruit)

Fruits all year. Great in a stir fry or even in pancakes!

Lemons

We currently grow Meyer lemons and these grow year round.

Lilikoi (passionfruit)

Lilikoi or passionfruit, grows on a vine and can produce fruit year round depending on rainfall.

Limes

We grow Tahitian seedless limes. These grow year round.

Lychee

Usually produces fruit in late summer but can be unpredictable. Some years there is a good harvest, other years we can have almost no fruit at all.

Mangos

We have a few mango trees in the orchard, including the Keitt mangos which can grow quite large. The quantity of the fruit produced can vary year to year.

Oranges

We grow six varieties of oranges, including navel and tangelo. We have oranges fruiting almost 9 months out of the year.

Papaya

Papaya grow year round here and we have many trees on the property. They are also a favorite of Cleo and Ele who are particularly good at finding fallen papaya (and eating them too, of course).

Pineapple

It can take up to 18 months to get your first pineapple, but it’s worth it! We are currently growing just the white pineapple (sugarloaf variety). Produces fruit in late fall.

Pomelo

The ancestor to the grapefruit, this huge fruit is usually ripe in the fall.

Rambutan

The rambutan is a cousin to the lychee. It’s a hairy red fruit with white flesh and a stone. The tree produces fruit in September.

Starfruit

Starfruit is available year round but tends to produce a greater quantity in the fall.

Almost all of this fruit will appear on the fruit platter for breakfast, depending on the time of year!

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Strawberry Shortcake with Baked Oats

This is a breakfast cake! A unique take on a strawberry shortcake, made with oat flour (easy to make yourself). This cake is a great way to prep tasty breakfasts for the week ahead.

Ingredients

Cake

5-6 Large Strawberries (Mashed)

4 Dates (soak in hot water for 5 minutes, drain & then mash)

2 Cups Oat Flour

1 Cup Almond Flour

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 tsp Baking Powder

3/4 Cup Oat (or Soy Milk)

A Pinch of Salt

 

Cashew Protein Whip

1 Cup Vanilla Yoghurt

2 Scoops Vanilla Protein Powder

1/2 Cup Cashews (soak in hot water for 10 minutes, and then drain)

2 Tbsp Agave (or choice of liquid sweetener)

1 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a square baking tray.

Make your own oat flour in the food processor or blender. Super easy and quick!

Mix together all the ingredients for the cake. The mixture should be thick and slightly sticky.

Pour mixture into the baking tray and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool completely and slice in half horizontally.

Make the cashew whip. Place all the cashew protein whip ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth.

Place one layer of the cake in the bottom of a container, top with half the cashew protein whip and then add the other layer of cake, and then the remaining whip on top. Set in the fridge for 3 hours.

Garnish with a sliced strawberry and a dash of cinnamon! Can be stored in the fridge for 4-5 days.

We hope you enjoyed making this breakfast cake!

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

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Chocolate Cherry Bars

Perfect for the holiday season, these chocolate bars are sweet, chewy and snack-size. These bars can be made with different types of preserves but we went for cherry because it’s such a great combination with chocolate.

This recipe is a variation on a Bob’s Red Mill recipe for Chocolate Raspberry Bars. We used Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour but other brands work just as well.

Ingredients

1½ cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

1 cup Rolled Oats

½ cup Wheat Germ

½ cup Brown Sugar

1 tsp Baking Powder

½ tsp Salt

1 cup melted Butter

10 oz Cherry Preserves

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

½ tsp ground Cinnamon

1 cup Chocolate Chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9 x 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, oats, wheat germ, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Add melted butter and stir until the consistency of a crumbly dough.

Press half of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.

In a bowl, combine cherry preserves, vanilla and cinnamon and then spread evenly over the mixture in the pan.

Sprinkle chocolate chips and the remaining mixture over the preserves.

Bake until the top layer is brown and the preserves begin to bubble. Approximately 35-40 minutes.

Cool completely before slicing.

We hope you enjoyed making these chocolate cherry bars.

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

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Key Lime Pie with Almond Macadamia Nut Crust

Key Lime Pie is a classic and we decided to make it with a twist! We had some guests that were gluten-free so the challenge was to create a tasty crust without the gluten. The answer was a combination of almond flour and roasted ground macadamia nuts.

The Key Lime Pie filling recipe is courtesy of Vaughn Vreeland at The New York Times.

Ingredients

FOR THE CRUST

    • 6 oz macadamia nuts
    • 1 cup almond flour
    • A pinch of salt
    • 1/3 cup of sugar
    • 2/3 of a stick of butter

FOR THE FILLING

    • 1(14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
    • 3 large egg yolks
    • 1 tablespoon fresh finely grated Key lime zest and ½ cup juice*
    • ½ teaspoon kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal), or ¼ teaspoon table salt

Instructions

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare the crust: Lightly roast the macadamia nuts [300 degrees for about 10 minutes] – grind up using Cuisinart. Add almond flout, pinch of salt, 1/3 cup regular sugar and pulse to combine. Add 2/3 of a stick of melted butter and pulse to combine.

Turn out into a pie or tart pan (I used a tart pan with removable bottom) and press to even out bottom and sides. Use a square sided measuring cup to help smooth it out.

Bake the crust for 15 minutes, until the color begins to deepen slightly. Cool completely.

While the crust cools, prepare the filling: In a medium bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, yolks, lime zest and salt. Add the lime juice and whisk until evenly combined and noticeably thicker, about 1 minute.

*I juiced one lemon first into the measuring cup, then juiced the balance from regular limes to make the 1/2 cup of juice. The zest was only from the limes.

(You may be tempted to prepare the curd in advance, but don’t do so more than 5 minutes before baking, as the lime juice may cause the mixture to curdle.)

Pour the filling into the cooled crust and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the curd is set at the edges and slightly jiggly in the middle. Transfer to a rack to cool completely at room temperature, about 1 hour, then cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to overnight.

We hope you enjoyed making this delicious twist on the classic Key Lime Pie!

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

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Pumpkin flavored treats are comfort food this time of year. The pumpkin chocolate chip cookie bars are easy to make and perfect for Halloween, or as a treat with your morning coffee. The key is not to overwork the dough as this can change the consistency of the cookie bar.

This recipe is courtesy of Jesse Szewczyk at The New York Times.

Ingredients

¾ cup/170 grams unsalted butter (1½ sticks)
Nonstick cooking spray or neutral oil
1¾ cups/385 grams packed light brown sugar
¾ cup/170 grams canned pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2½ cups/320 grams all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1½ cups/9 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

In a saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat. Continue cooking, stirring continuously to prevent the milk solids from burning. Stir until the butter foams, darkens to a light amber color and becomes fragrant and nutty, approx. 3 to 4 minutes more (be careful that the butter doesn’t burn). 

Pour the butter along with any of the browned milk solids into a large heatproof mixing bowl. Let cool for 20 minutes until warm, not hot.

Heat the oven to 325F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch metal or glass baking pan with cooking spray or oil. Line with a piece of parchment paper that hangs over the two long sides to create a kind of sling.

Add the brown sugar, pumpkin purée and vanilla extract to the cooled butter and whisk until smooth and glossy.

Add the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cloves and nutmeg (you can substitute pumpkin spice if you don’t have cloves and nutmeg).

Stir with a spatula until a soft dough forms with no patches of unincorporated flour. (Be careful not to overmix).

Add 1 ¼ cups/216 grams of the chocolate chips and stir, taking care to evenly distribute throughout the dough.

Transfer the dough to the baking pan and press into an even layer using a spatula or clean hands coated with nonstick spray or oil. Sprinkle the top with the remaining chocolate chips – press them in so they stick.

Bake until the bars are puffed and the top is lightly browned. A skewer or a knife inserted into the center should come out clean with just a few crumbs attached. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.

Let the bars cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 1 hour. Using the parchment paper, lift the bars out of the pan and cut into 24 squares.

You can keep the cookie bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

We hope you enjoyed making this Halloween-inspired treat!

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

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Essential Big Island: Two Step snorkeling

The Big Island has some of the best snorkeling in the state of Hawaii. Two Step is one of those places (along with nearby Kealakekua Bay). We recommend you don’t miss out on this amazing snorkeling spot.

South Kona is perhaps most famous for coffee and snorkeling. Both Two Step and Kealakekua Bay have some of the best snorkeling on the island and in the entire state. Two Step is especially popular because it’s easy to get to and even easier to jump straight into the ocean and start snorkeling.

Two Step Hawaii
Photo credit: bigislanddivers.com

Two Step is the name of the beach and also the name of the two naturally occurring steps inset into the rock at the ocean’s edge. These steps are where you enter the water. It can get crowded at peak times, so we recommend getting to Two Step as early as possible. This way you will beat the crowds and also take advantage of the calm ocean surface which is best for snorkeling. Alternatively, the end of the day can be a less crowded time to go snorkeling too.

You will find parking right at the beach itself but keep in mind this fills up quickly. On the opposite side of the road is paid parking. There is more free parking on the side of the road which approaches the National Park next to Two Step. If you park here it’s just a two minute walk down to the beach. You can also park in the National Park itself.

Entering the water is easy because of the two naturally-formed lava steps (hence the name two step). It’s mostly lava here, and there isn’t much sand. But the snorkeling is easy and there are no currents, making it a perfect place for beginners to try snorkeling. We recommend using a flotation device (either a belt, or even a boogie board) if you feel apprehensive about being in deep water (10-15 feet). Using a boogie board is a great way to simply relax and concentrate on observing the marine life.

Photo credit: Bigislandguide.com

Two Step is popular with local residents and tourists alike. Despite the lack of sand there is still shade and it makes a nice location to set up a beach chair and relax by the ocean. There is also a shallow bay to the left of the boat ramp that serves as a safe place for children to swim, or adults who aren’t confident in deeper water.

Two Step is one of the jewels of South Kona. You’ll see plenty of fish including yellow tang, butterflyfish, eel, parrotfish, and puffer fish, to name a few. You might even see dolphins and the occasional turtle. Keep in mind it’s now illegal to swim with spinner dolphins. A distance of at least 50 yards must be maintained at all times.

There are limited facilities at Two Step. There are porta potty restrooms, but no showers. There are also a few picnic tables.

Two Step is definitely an essential stop on your Big Island journey. Whether you’re a seasoned snorkeler or just a beginner, there is something for everyone at South Kona’s celebrated snorkeling spot.

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Clem’s Banoffee Pie

Banoffee Pie is a classic British dessert consisting of layers of caramel, banana and cream. Our variation reduces the amount of caramel and adds a layer of chocolate ganache. If you haven’t tried this pie before you’re going to love it! Caramel, banana and cream (and now chocolate) is a winning combination.

Ingredients

14 oz sweetened condensed milk
14 graham crackers
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
nonstick cooking spray
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
3 bananas, sliced

Chocolate ganache layer
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup of chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400˚F (200˚C). Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and put in a larger baking dish. Fill the larger dish with hot water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the smaller dish. This technique is known as Bain-marie.

Place in the oven and bake for 90 minutes. Check the water level every so often, making sure that it reaches halfway and refilling as necessary. Carefully remove the baking dish from the hot water bath and let cool to room temperature.

Whisk the mixture (now it’s become dulce de leche!) until smooth.

Note: you can make dulce de leche by heating the whole can of sweetened condensed milk using an Instapot. Make sure you follow the instructions to do so carefully. Find out more: https://apressurecookerkitchen.com/condensed-milk-dulce-de-leche/

Reduce the oven temperature to 350˚F (180˚C). In the bowl of a food processor, combine the graham crackers and melted butter. Pulse until crackers are finely ground and the mixture has the consistency of wet sand.

Grease a 9-inch (22 cm) tart pan with nonstick spray. Add the graham cracker mixture to the tin and press evenly to cover pan.

Bake crust for 5 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature.

Spread the dulce de leche inside the tart crust, using a spatula to smooth it into an even layer.

In a small bowl mix together cream and chocolate chips for the ganache. Microwave for 1 minute on high, stir, and then microwave on high for another 30 seconds. 

Whisk until it forms a shiny ganache.

Spread the chocolate ganache carefully on top of the dulce de leche layer.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight, until set.

In a large bowl, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks begin to form. Add the sugar and beat until soft peaks form.

Remove the pie from the refrigerator. Place the banana slices over the chocolate layer. Top with the whipped cream, spreading evenly to cover bananas. Serve!

We hope you enjoyed our variation on the classic banoffee pie! Enjoy!

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

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Olive Oil Lemon Cake

This amazingly simple lemon-flavored cake is made using olive oil instead of butter. The olive oil gives the cake a unique flavor and keeps the cake moist – much longer than similar cakes made with butter. It’s easy to make and perfect for any occasion. 

This recipe is courtesy of Samantha Seneviratne at The New York Times.

Ingredients

1 cup/240mL extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan
2 cups/255 grams all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ cups/300 grams granulated sugar, plus about 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 ¼ cups/295mL whole milk, at room temperature

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375F (350F convection). Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with extra-virgin olive oil. Line the bottom with parchment paper, and then oil the parchment.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

In an electric mixer, beat the sugar, eggs and lemon zest until very thick and fluffy, about 5 minutes, set on high.

While the mixer is still running, slowly add in the oil and beat until combined, another 2 minutes.

Cute kitchen moment!

On duty during the making of the cake, Cleo & Ele – providing helpful and encouraging feedback via many cute poses. More Cleo and Ele

Reduce speed to low, and add milk and lemon juice. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat until just combined.

Transfer the batter to the cake pan. Option to sprinkle the top with about 2 tablespoons sugar.

Bake the cake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.

Transfer to a rack to cool for about 20 minutes, then run a knife around the edge to help release the cake from the pan.

This cake is perfect served with whipped cream or Greek yoghurt. 

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

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All about the Jaboticaba tree

The Jaboticaba tree is found all over Hawaii. It produces a unique grape-like fruit that can be enjoyed picked fresh from the tree, or used to make a range of jams, jellies and syrups.

Origins

Jaboticaba is a Brazilian fruit tree that is also common in Hawaii. The name jaboticaba is derived from the Tupi (indigenous Brazilians) term ‘jabotim’ which translates to ‘like turtle fat’ meaning the flesh of the fruit. It can take years for the jaboticaba to fruit (our tree took 12 years to produce fruit!), but once it reaches maturity it will fruit about once or twice a year. If the tree is watered on a regular basis it may flower more often than this.

Jaboticaba fruit

The fruit resembles a grape or berry. The skin of the fruit is purple while the inside is a whiteish flesh. The skin has a strong, almost herbal flavor due to a high tannin component. You can eat jaboticaba fresh from the tree, although it is more often used to make syrups, jams, jellies and even wine.

The skin can be used medicinally. It has a long history of being used in Brazil to treat dysentery and asthma. Cutting a hole in the skin and sucking out the flesh is the best way to consume the fruit raw. Unfortunately, due to the short shelf life of the fruit (it starts to ferment soon after its picked) you will almost never see it for sale at local markets. Look out instead for homemade jams and jellies!

Varieties

There are two types of jaboticaba grown in Hawaii. The first is called Murta, which is about an inch long, and the other is called Paulista, which is approximately two inches long. The trees are related to the Surinam cherry, java plum, and guava. The jaboticaba tree is a cauliflorous tree. This means that the flowers and fruit grow directly out of the trunk and branches. The tree is also a popular bonsai tree in parts of the world where the temperature causes the tree to grow slowly.

Every year we make a batch of jaboticaba syrup. This is served as part of our breakfast buffet as a topping on our banana pancakes and french toast.

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