Desserts/Pastries · Ice Cream · Sponsored

Macadamia-Java-Chip Ice Cream for King’s Hawaiian

Macadamia-Java-Chip Ice Cream

I scream, You scream…

We all scream for Ice Cream!

With Summer in full effect, the heat has been blazing here in Southern California. Somewhat uncomfortable at times but it’s the perfect Ice Cream weather!

Channeling the flavors of the islands, I put together this onolicious Macadamia-Java-Chip Ice Cream for the King’s Hawaiian O’hana. The recipe is quite simple to pull together and is packed full of the balanced island flavors of coffee, chocolate, and rich macadamia nuts. Click here to find my post and recipe for the KH O’hana as this is the perfect way to end the week.

Happy Aloha Friday Friends!!!

Condiments/Sauces · Pizzas · Poultry

Macadamia Nut Pesto Pizza

Macadamia Nut Pesto Pizza

I could eat pizza all of the time.

Which, lucky for me, is brilliant since I’ve worked for universities for the past 10+ years. And if you didn’t know it before, the most popular equation on college campuses is Pizza = College Students.

True story.

Macadamia Nut Pesto Pizza

In an effort to further explore the versatility of pesto, I turned to slathering pizza with this herbaceous mixture. And not just any pesto—-but Macadamia Nut Pesto! Thanks to an excess of macadamia nuts I had in my pantry (I was on a mac nut baking binge) I was able to create another version of pesto by substituting pine nuts with them.

The natural creamy rich taste of macadamia nuts was a perfect marriage to pesto and offers some solid health benefits, too.

I made my Macadamia Nut Pesto a tad on the thicker side since I knew I wanted to use it as a “sauce” for my pizza. But if you prefer a looser consistency, just stream in a tad more olive oil when processing it. I also was pretty heavy handed with the amount used for the pizza so adjust according to your preference.

And with college football gearing up this weekend, this unique spin on a pizza pie will be a sure fire win for any game day celebration!


Macadamia Nut Pesto Pizza


16 Ounces Fresh Pizza Dough
8 Ounces Grilled Chicken Breast, sliced
1 Cup Crimini Mushrooms, sliced
1½ Cups Macadamia Nut Pesto*
8 Ounces Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, sliced
¼ Cup Yellow Cornmeal
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Macadamia Nut Pesto:
2½ Packed Cups Sweet Basil
½ Cup Roasted Macadamia Nuts, unsalted
2-3 Garlic Cloves, finely diced
½ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
Juice from 1/2 Lemon
Approximately ½ – ¾ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste

Prepare Pesto. In a food processor, pulse garlic and nuts. Add basil, cheese, lemon juice, and salt/pepper. With the food processor on, stream in olive oil and blend until the pesto is fully incorporated. Be sure to scrape down sides in between steps. More olive oil can be added if a smoother, loose texture is desired. Refrigerate until ready to be used.

Place pizza stone or large baking sheet in the middle rack and preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Lightly dust your surface area with flour. Take dough and stretch into your desired shape. Once the oven reaches its temperature, pull the baking stone/baking sheet out of the oven, and sprinkle cornmeal on the surface. Carefully slide the dough on top and bake for 5 to 10 minutes until the dough is lightly golden. Remove the crust from the oven and brush with olive oil over top. Spread an even layer of pesto over the crust. Top with the chicken, mushrooms, and cheese. Return the pizza back to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until all the cheese has melted and pizza is golden brown. Serve with additional parmesan cheese and red chili flakes.


Macadamia Crusted Tilapia

I’ve been cooking/baking a lot with Macadamia Nuts. Sure, I’m slightly swayed by recent visits to Hawai’i but not only are these nuts delicious but they also have health benefits, too. Deemed a “high energy food” chopped with protein and fiber, these nuts are good and good for you.

In an effort to mimic one of my favorite dishes from Asian Fusion restaurants, I decided to try my hand at lightly breading some tilapia. By mixing crushed macadamia nuts with panko breadcrumbs, I got a wonderfully crispy coating on the fish without that over greasy taste. A squeeze of lemon juice over the top and it almost had me feeling like I was back on the islands.

Need a little Island flavor in your week? Try this Macadamia Crusted Tilapia…..quick, easy, and delicious!


Macadamia Crusted Tilapia
Serves 2


2 Fillets of Fresh Tilapia
1 Cup of Macadamia Nuts, crushed
½ Cup of Panko Breadcrumbs
1 Large Egg
2-3 Tablespoons of Low-fat Milk
Kosher Salt, Garlic Powder, Black Pepper
½ Cup of All Purpose Flour (dredging)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2-3 Lemon Slices

Create a dredging process. In one shallow bowl, place flour and lightly season with salt ad pepper. In second shallow bowl, beat large egg and combine with milk. In third bowl, combine macadamia nuts with panko breadcrumbs.

Take first fillet of Tilapia and pat dry with a clean paper towel. Lightly season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place in first shallow bowl and lightly coat with the seasoned flour, gently patting off any excess flour. Slide the fillet in egg mixture and lightly coat. Finally, transfer fillet to the last shallow bowl and cover thoroughly with the macadamia-panko mixture. Gently press the breading to the fish so that there is an even coat.

Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium to medium-high. Add olive oil and carefully slide tilapia fillets in. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, until crust is golden brown and fish flakes by fork.

Serve with lemon wedges. Enjoy!


Key Lime Pie with Macadamia-Graham Cracker Crust

I have always loved the bright and vibrant flavors of citrus, particularly Limes. And in this gal’s humble opinion, very few desserts can bring such a smile to my face like a good piece of Key Lime Pie. The creamy, sweet, and tart flavors balance so well with the traditional graham cracker crust. Just absolute Yum! So when the Memorial Holiday Weekend came up, I couldn’t think of a better dessert to accompany our barbecue dinner.

Traditional Key Lime Pies are fairly easy to make but I have had so many that fell short on that true “in your face tart flavor”. Therefore, I wanted to ensure that I didn’t skimp on the Key Lime juice—a flavor quite unique to its more commonly found relative the Persian or Tahitian Lime. But have any of you ever attempted to squeeze your own Key Limes? It’s a laborious task! Those little buggers are quite small and often need to be worked quite a bit to release its juices. In fact, after squeezing 28 entire Key Limes, I was only left with a little over 1/4 cup of juice! Yikes! My confession to you all is that I actually supplemented the rest of the juice with Persian Limes. Hey–at least I was honest!

But for those of you who need to stay true to the Key Lime, you can also buy bottled Key Lime Juice at many grocery specialty stores. Just be sure to read the label and not buy the pre-sweetened type.

As for the crust, I wanted to add a unique spin to my version of the Key Lime Pie. Recently equipped with heavy bags of Macadamia Nuts from our visit to Hawai’i, I decided to incorporate these tropical nuts into the crust. I think the addition was quite delicious—offering a little nutty flavor to the party.

And how was it? I LOVED this Pie. Seriously, LOVED IT! If you’re a fan of Key Lime Pie, or any Citrus Desserts, you’ve GOT to try this little goodie. It’s seriously “Nam Tested and Approved“.  And no, I won’t tell anyone if you decide to use all Persian Lime Juice instead of battling it out with the tiny Key Limes. It’ll be our little secret 🙂

A Lime Party in a Bowl

Proof that I actually squeezed them all

Macadamia-Graham Cracker Crust ready to be filled

Tart-Citrus-Creamy Goodness!


Key Lime Pie with Macadamia-Graham Cracker Crust
Serves 8


½ Cup Roasted Macadamia Nuts
9 Graham Cracker (2 1/4-inch by 4 3/4-inch crackers)
1 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
5 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted

14 Ounces Sweetened Condensed Milk
4 Large Egg Yolks, Room Temperature
½ Teaspoon Lime Zest
½ Cup Key Lime Juice

1 Cup Heavy Cream, chilled
2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extra
¼ Cup Crushed Macadamia Nuts
Lime Zest
Lime Slices

Preheat oven to 350° degrees.

For Crust: In a food processor, grind Macadamia Nuts until fine. Add Graham Crackers and continue to process until contents reach the consistency of sand. Place mixture into a bowl and add sugar and butter until combined well. Transfer mixture onto the bottom of a 9-inch glass pie plate and firmly press the crust together to cover the bottom of the pan and up the sides. It is extremely important to press the mixture evenly–the flat side of a metal measuring cup can assist in this process. Bake the pie crust for about 10 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.

For Filling: Whisk together condensed milk and yolks in a bowl until combined well. Add juice, lime zest and whisk until combined well.  Pour filling into crust and bake in middle of oven 15 minutes. Cool pie completely on rack. The filling will continue to set as it cools. Once it reaches room temperature, transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours.

Final Touches: Just before serving, prepare the whipped cream. In a stand mixer, whisk the heavy cream on high until it just holds stiff peaks. Slowly sprinkle in sugar. Add vanilla. Pipe the whipped cream on top of the chilled pie and garnish with remaining crushed macadamia nuts, lime zest and lime slices.

I wish I had a slice right now 🙂


White Chocolate-Macadamia Nut Cookies

Somewhere along the way I became known as a Cupcake Baker. Now don’t get me wrong…it’s not a bad title to have–especially since cupcakes are just so darn tasty and make people smile. But it made me realize that I have been sorely neglecting my other sweet treats—cookies, brownies, tarts, pies, etc.

In an effort to share the love amongst other baked goods, I decided to whip up a batch of cookies. After thumbing through some recipes, I found a post by Brown Eyed Baker for a White Chocolate-Macademia Nut Cookie. I have always LOVED White Chocolate Mac-Nut cookies and was intrigued with her rendition as she described it as “slightly crisp on the outside with a soft and chewy interior”–my favorite cookie profile. She also said that it was packed with chips and nuts–sounded like a winner to me!

After the first batch came out, I broke one in half and took a bite. Yup, she was right. Crispy outside and extremely chewy and chunky inside. In fact, while I was scooping out the dough onto the baking sheets, I was a bit worried that there were going to be too many chunks and not enough cookie dough. But fear not friends, as somehow things just worked itself out in the oven. What can I say? Magic happens in ovens 🙂



White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
Yield: About 2 dozen cookies (depending on size)
From Brown Eyed Baker

2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
½ Teaspoon Salt
¾ Cup Butter (melted)
1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
½ Cup White Sugar
1 Egg
1 Egg Yolk
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1½ Cups Chopped Macadamia Nuts
2 Cups White Chocolate Chips
½ Cup Shredded Coconut (Optional)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside. Beat together the melted butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the egg, then beat in the egg yolk, then beat in the vanilla. Gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture until just moistened. Stir in the macadamia nuts, coconut and white chocolate chips by hand with a rubber spatula. Roll into balls or drop by heaping tablespoons onto baking sheets, and press down on the cookies with your palm a bit to flatten.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges look golden brown and the middles don’t look quite set. Allow to finish cooling on the baking sheet.