Jamztoma's Blog License

Monday, December 31, 2012

TALOFA, ALOHA, MALO LELEI, BULA, KIORA, IAORANA, AND HELLO 2013!!!

"Peace on Earth" light display at the Festival of Lights exhibit near Upper
Marlboro, Maryland for 2012 holiday season.  (Photo: Johnny Toma)

So, I posted a status to my facebook account @:  http://www.facebook.com/jamztoma/ looking for wise words, resolutions, and goals from my friends on there for the NEW YEAR OF 2013.  Tonight, I unveil them for the world to read, feel, and/or follow as we say farewell to 2012 and talofa (Samoan), aloha (Hawaiian), malo e lelei (Tongan), kia ora (Maori), bula (Fijian), ia orana (Tahitian), and hello to 2013.  Wow, it has been a year of trials and tribulations for me on a personal note and that's why I am making it my goal to better myself more and to accomplish more for 2013.  Thank you so much to the faithful readers and fans of this blog.  May you all have a rich, blessed, and peaceful 2013.  And to those who submitted their 2013 pieces of advice and personal stories, I am very thankful for your sharing spirit.  
Ia manuia, 

jamztoma


SOME
WORDS, RESOLUTIONS, AND GOALS FOR 2013!
(keep in mind that some of these are their opinions and not those of the blog's...)

FAMILIES & FRIENDS:

Sometimes we become so selfish that we only notice our own pain while ignoring everyone else's. No Bueno. No, Don't do that.... Don't be the friend, brother, sister, father, mother, etc. that was never there emotionally, physically & mentally.  Hold your friends and families close and don't take their "LOVE" for granted! 

LIFE:
Live life to the fullest  Live life as if every moment is precious because you never know what happens tomorrow.Love and live life despite the pain of yesterday. Some people have it worse than we do. Don't take life for granted! Live , love and be happy.
--Jackie Hala, Arizona (USA)

********************************

Some say the year changes, but the same o' routine. Seriously nothing happens when we continue to have that mindset. Great things and happy memories can come alive by having faith in the Lord. Life will never be easy, but TRYING is better than doing nothing at all. Have a blessed New Year with a whole bunch of SMILES
-- Carol Alailefaleula-Schuster, American Samoa (USA)

********************************

Help a stranger without any of your friends and families knowing about it, not to talk about it (what's the point of doing it and then telling it to someone later).  Have a Happy 2013 everyone!
-- Peter Mariota, Alaska (USA)

*******************************

"If you do not love yourself, you have no love to share."
-- Julia Toussaint, Maryland (USA) 

********************************


The shadow of evil came over Earth,
Flying over our lives, souls and hearts,
Sharpening claws to grab and our last breath.
People of God feels like
That the time of Isa Al Masih (Jesus Christ) has come,
To judge to those alive and death.
Makes our hearts scared, 
But in same time peaceful,
Cause I believe in our God with all my heart,
I know that God as father of all of us
Feels love for us who love him,
And who love what God made - Earth.

People all around the world realize,
That time became much faster.
Hours, Days, Weeks, Months and Years
are traveling by lightning speed.
Faith in our hearts and souls
should give us strength, courage and guidance
in upcoming year 2013.
I wish from our God
That citizens around the World,
receive opportunity for new tomorrow,
where we can all live and work with dignity,
that we all have free schools, Universities, Health care,
and that we all care about each other no matter
of religion or nationality without hate in our mind.
We all need thrue love blessed from God.
I wish you all happy and blessed New Year 2013,
One more year given from God-Allah-Bog-Tuhan-Atua.

Sretna Nova Godina...
Manuia le Tausaga Fou....
Selamat Tahun Baru.... 
Happy New Year.....

-- Toni, Fika, Jakov and soon Dmitry, Indonesia

*****************************


 I hope 2013 will bring me more success in my life such as starting college and moving to Vancouver with my brother. I hope you all have a good year. 
-- Ike Anderson, Washington (USA)

****************************

All I want to say is that looking forward to 2013...prayerful for God's will to be done in my life and my purpose on earth to be accomplished...believing that many blessings are already on their way for all of us.....Happy New Year's to everyone......ALOFA ATU!
-- Nunualofa Tini, American Samoa (USA)

**************************

Of all the things that happened in the past year, the one that stood out the most to me is that 2012 marked 9 years that I've spent in a personal exile from my homeland of Samoa. I left Samoa on June 4, 2003 eight months pregnant with Kennedy Katzu, with my then 3 year old Tafilele & my 10 year old Simalei in tow. Our last view of home was flying on PolyBlue peering out at Faleolo Airport, seeing the beaches so beautifully beige & brown and the ocean only a shade or two bluer than the clear blue sky.

We didn't know then that we wouldn't be coming home for a long time.If we knew, we would've taken so much more care to imbue ourselves with more memories to hold on too.

I miss Samoa terribly. I fall asleep some nights with the scent of the early morning sunrise warming up the white ginger flowers that used to grow wilde in the backyard of my childhood home. I miss the chickens that hop up into the trees & crow whenever they want to no matter if the sun came up or not. I miss the stray dogs that used to chase me from the malae to the broken wood steps of my home in Mesepa. 

(And yes, I will confess now that I am older, I really do miss seeing those deeply tanned men in sulu ie's & no shirts & sometimes no slippers, hauling coconuts & taro & breadfruit from the plantation. dark muscles,dripping sweat, tiny swatch of cloth around the middle...ahhh! now that's the stuff that powers a happy naughty daydream!)

I catch myself during the day, turning my face towards the hot Hawaiian sun & remembering that the sunshine in Samoa is hotter, harder, harsher.
 
(The Samoan sun is for the strongest to survive and thrive. The rest of us move to America, New Zealand or where ever else the currents of life push us too.)

I want to go home. It's so cliched. We hear it so often from ex-pats. I want to go home. We all want to go home. Some of us can't afford it, some of us just hate it, some of the rest of us are so busy running from our home, we haven't take a second thought to consider going back.

But the home of our hearts has a different face than it did when I was last there.

I've heard that Samoa is different. It is essentially the same as the Samoa of my childhood & youth but different. There are new buildings, new politics, new businesses. But underneath it all, when you strip it all down, Samoa is still Samoa.

(She hides herself. She disguises herself. She refuses to show her truest face to all but the most diligent and to some extent the most courageous.)

I want think all of us who've left home, carry a piece of our homeland somewhere deep within us. But like our home, we take on masks & put on makeup that makes us more like the people of our new places. We want to blend in, be one of the peoples that already live in those places. Some of us hide ourselves so deep, we forget. 

(That I can not write this in my native language with the same alacrity and dexterity as I can in English is just one more layer of hiding I can't wait to strip off in the new year.)

I plan to return to Samoa in 2013. 10 years. I will have been gone 10 long brutal growing years. I am not the same selfish womanchild that I was in 2003. I've paid in blood & tears to be strong enough to go home - even if it will only be for a summer. 

I have a list of things I will do when I get home. It's a long list of places I want to walk, people I need to visit, images I need to capture. I want to slip on a pair of knee high boots & stomp around Pala Lagoon. I want to walk from the bottom of the hill in Pavaiai all the way to the top to the end of the road, so I can see Upolu on a clear day. I want to go to Manu'a. I want to plant kalo. I want to knock some ulu off a tree. I want to be able to do a umu from start to finish. On my own. I want to weave a fine mat. (I'll settle for weaving a table place mat. I don't mind starting small.)

And even though this is so totally un-pc for my tree hugging friends, I want to string some rope through an old tire & run it from a mango tree or a ulu (breadfruit) tree branch - and swing. Just hop on & push myself up & away. Up & away. And laugh. Because life is good, even when it's hard.

I want to see if I'm enough to look boldly straight into the heart of Samoa & finally finally finally! claim for myself my true Samoan heritage.

-- Lucy Moananu, Hawaii (USA)


**************************

As the year comes to an end let's all just remember the good and bad and just forgive and forget the rest no matter how painful just move on and never give up hope. Life can be very unpredictable so don't weigh yourself down with what's of the past. Leave the past with no regret but a life long lesson to better yourself.  Use it as a motivation or reminder. Plus, never forget that God is the answer.
-- Stella Anastacia Hala, Arizona (USA)

**************************

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

JAMZ' TALKS: Panipopo For Your Holidays

The ultra-delicious Samoan panipopo or coconut bun that's a must for
your holiday menu this year as well as forever...  (Photo:  SamoaFood.com)

(PSSSST!... Today is a special day for my blog because it is being guest blogged by a friend very skilled in the Samoan mea'ai/food realm.  Here is our friend Seta Rijkhoff of
SamoaFood.com .)

     Talofa lava everyone, and thanks to Jamztoma for this opportunity. Because of creatives like him we can experience our culture in new and refreshing ways so I hope he keeps the poetry flowing.  It’s that season again and here's a treat that is perfect for making while it’s snowing outside. There’s nothing more satisfying than pulling a hot tray of panipopo from the oven and tearing into it with your loved ones. So here is my recipe for the panipopo. It does take some time, but the results are well worth it. If you’re short of time, then simply use frozen rolls and once they’ve risen, pour the coconut sauce over them and bake.  It doesn’t really matter how you go about it. The important thing, for any food you make, is that it’s made and shared with love.
Happy baking everybody, and let me also take this opportunity to wish all of you and yours a wonderful and safe holiday season.  Once the panipopo is all done, it is best served with tea or hot chocolate.  

Manuia le Kerisimasi ma le Tausaga Fou!!!  

One last thing: Please spare a thought for Samoa that has been hit hard by Cyclone Evan. Four to five thousand people in Samoa are now homeless and lacking basic facilities. So if you can, please donate to Red Cross New Zealand or ADRA whose first response teams are on the ground in Samoa at this very moment.  Fa’afetai tele lava.

Panipopo – Sweet Coconut Buns (makes 12)
1 package (2 and ¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 cup warm water or milk
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2½ - 3 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour

Put the yeast and water/milk in a large bowl and leave for 10 minutes. Add all the rest of the ingredients and mix to form a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 to 20 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and leave to double in volume. Punch the dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Shape the buns and place in an ungreased baking tin. Cover and leave to rise until almost doubled. While the buns are rising, preheat your oven to 190°C/375°F, and make your coconut sauce.

Coconut sauce:
½ can canned or fresh coconut milk
½ can water
½ cup sugar
Combine all ingredients well.
When the buns have doubled in size, pour the sauce over them. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and the sauce is bubbling up around the edges. Let them cool at least a half hour before cutting into them. This gives the buns time to set up, and also gives the sauce a chance to thicken slightly.
Usually served upside down (sauce-side up) with generous helpings of sauce, but I like to eat them right side up, so I can grab the dry part with my hands, eat off the coconut-soaked part, and then re-dip the drier bread in the sauce as I work my way up the bun.

Youtube video on How to Make le Panipopo 
courtesy of SamoaFood.com

SamoaFood.com is a blog that celebrates Samoan food and offers Samoan-inspired recipes. You’ll find ingredient notes, cultural tidbits, and of course, lots of recipes. It also features interviews with acclaimed chefs and those that are doing great things with food in the islands. Drop by SamoaFood.com or our FB page anytime you need a Samoan food fix or want to create those classic Samoan dishes that with just one bite, take you back to our beautiful islands of Samoa.

SAMOAFOOD LINKS GALORE:

Website: 
www.SamoaFood.com
Facebook page: 
Youtube Channel: 

Fa'afetai tele atu lava to SamoaFood.com for their willingness to be featured on my blog this month.  Yes, you should try the panipopo it is so delicious and well-suited for your holiday's (whether it is Christmas, Hannukah, and/or Kwanzaa) menu.  Malo lava SamoaFood.com, this was truly entertaining as well as mouth-watering.  :)


Friday, November 23, 2012

MY THANK-YOU'S

My family's Thanksgiving 2012 meal.  (Photo:  Johnny Toma)

     It's the Friday night after Thanksgiving Thursday and my stomach is bloated from all the food:  turkey, mashed potatoes, taro, palusami, pisupo, ham, potato salad, stuffing, pumpkin pie, fruit tart pie, and a mix of cranberry juice and ginger ale for drinks.  I think I may have gained an extra 50 pounds overnight and continuing.  It's all this mea'ai I tell you.  

Well, I don't have a poem for today but wish to say thank you for reading my poetry and taking a look at my artwork for 6 full months now it's a blessing.  My poems are drawn from personal experiences, from my imagination, and from Polynesian interests and mythology and of course my Christian faith.  I am especially thankful to the Lord above for giving me the gift of poetry and the talent of drawing Polynesian imagery utilizing Microsoft Paint.  I hope my poems and artwork and photos from Stockfreeimages.com and stories inspire the Pacific youth out there to pursue careers in the arts.

 I want to also thank the many individuals who submitted and authorized me to use their photos on this blog.  It has been fun and hope to continue to do so in the future.  Shout out to friend and cousin Veronika Sefo-Smith for the many photos she let me use through the months.  I want to thank Lani Wendt Young the Pacific author of the Telesa trilogy for making her fans aware of my blog and poetic talent, thank you again Miss Young.   I also want to thank Christina Maiava Schaff for the same through her facebook page Lau Aganu'u.  I want to thank Pacific Poet Craig Santos Perez and Pacific Artist Vaimoana Niumeitolu for agreeing to be interviewed or to be featured on my blog.  Fa'afetai tele lava.  And I also want to thank longtime friend Bella Lu Mai (Lucy Moananu) for guest blogging back in August.

I also want to thank all of my current followers on my blog.  Thank you so much for taking interest in my poetry and art.  I appreciate your love.  And to my own brother Johnny and sisters Jaclyn and Joanne and especially Johnny and Jaclyn for their patience with me.  To my mom Velonika Nikolao for the mom job/duties she does every single day for me.  I love you all.  And those are my many many many thanks and fa'afetais for this year's (2012) Thanksgiving Day weekend.  

jamztoma  

Monday, October 29, 2012

BLACKOUT

Just two more days to Halloween!  Before the electricity goes out, I would just like to wish everyone in the United States and its territories a happy Halloween.  I am writing this and a huge cyclone by the name of Hurricane Sandy is about to hit.  I just now wrote this poem to document this storm because of course the electricity will go out.  And that means I will not be online in the coming days including Halloween hence this poem.  Have a safe Halloween and don't party too hard.  God keep and God bless, jt

Lights out.
Glow in the dark costume
Air as cold as ice
Can't see.
Like a nightmare
Wickedly sequenced.
Trick or treating.
Mission I am on.
Cut short.
By this blackout.
Sandy's coming.
Sinister sister.
No mercy.
I'm a pirate.
Bag empty.
Home here I return.
Everyone's gone home.
Just I and something.
Sandy.
Relentless mistress.
Gust of ice.
Rattles my all.
Oh oh.
Die Tusi die.
Whisper of death.
From her.
She's slowly creeping behind.
Hurry Tusi hurry!
Run Tusi run!
Voices in my head.
I'm crying, crying, crying.
Lights out.
Everyone's gone home.
Just me and her.
Hurricane Sandy.
She-devil.
A smile in the dark.
I'm panting, panting, panting
Home sweet home.
I run to you.
Safe and warm.
Ha, ha, ha, ha
She's right behind me
L(aughing) O(ut) L(oud)
Hissing, howling, cackling
Why Blackout now?
Of all nights.
Wee, wee, wee
I will get you Tusi!
Sandy's song.
A violent symphony
I feel knives.
Ohhh my knees.
Townhouse up ahead.
No streetlights.
Just run...
Then I'll be home.
Safe and sound.
From Miss Sandy.
Batter up.
Home here I come.
Ready, set...
But suddenly I'm frozen.
Stab, stab, stab
She's right behind me.
Die Tusi die.
She's a natural disaster.
And here I am,
Falling, falling, falling
Oh Father who art in heaven.
My last cry.
As I lie on the snow just inches from my front door.
Though not dead.
Blackout.
Hurricane Sandy.
She came, she conquered
Her wrath is all over me.
Blackout
She's a force to be reckoned with.
Blackout.
Such fury when a woman's scorned.
Blackout
My family's voices all around me.
Blackout.
I'm home but...
Blackout
Evil has won.
Blackout
I'm out..


Thursday, October 11, 2012

JAMZTOMA SPOTLIGHT: 13 QUESTIONS WITH GUAM'S CRAIG SANTOS PEREZ



Hafa Adai!!!

Just for today, let's island-hop from Polynesia to our cousins the Micronesians...YAAAAAAAAY!  That's right folks: Guam, the Northern Marianas, Saipan, Marshall Islands, and Palau just to name a few.  And out of the U.S. territory of Guam comes  the award-winning, very outgoing, awesome poet and educator and friend Craig Santos Perez!!!  

Craig was kind enough to be interviewed for my blog.  I am blessed to be in acquaintance with him.  These are 13 fun questions to delve into Craig's outgoing personality as he is placed in the JAMZTOMA SPOTLIGHT.  Haha.

1. Sunshine or snow?
The first time I ever saw snow was when I was a child and my family visited Aotearoa (New Zealand). It was also the first time I saw sheep, white as snow. Both the sheep and the snow terrified me, especially since I grew up in Guahan (Guam), where it is too hot for either snow or sheep. Thus, home is the perfect sunshine.
2.  Pineapple or banana?
Apple Banana Cream Pie please.
3.  Favorite literary character.
Jesus.
4.  Favorite Pacific artist/ author.
Brandy Nālani McDougall.
5.  Reggae or hip-hop?
Bob Marley & Talib Kweli. All music is poetry.
6.  List your all-time role model(s)?
My parents. For many reasons, one of which is that they are voracious readers. My dad reads war, spy, and thriller novels while sitting on the toilet in the bathroom, and my mom reads romance, murder mysteries, and family dramas tucked into bed at night. It does not make sense that I became a poet.
7.  Favorite courses in high school and college?
I enjoyed my freshman year at Chief Gadao Academy in Guahan because it was the first time in school that I ever learned anything about my Chamorro culture. Sadly, it was also the last year I would spend in my home island because my parents decided to move to California. At my new high school (James Logan high school in Union City), I most enjoyed the literature courses because I had great teachers: James Kass, Thomas Seaton, and Kami Tomberlain.
I spent many years in college (BA, MFA, PhD), so Iʻll just focus on my undergraduate studies at the Johnston Center of Integrative Studies at the University of Redlands. My favorite literature courses as an undergraduate were 1) Ulysses (an entire course dedicated to Joyceʻs novel) and 2) Dostoevsky (an entire course focused on several novels by Dostoevsky). I also enjoyed all my art courses, from painting to sculpture. I had the privilege to study "abroad" in Florence, Italy, where I studied Italian Renaissance art and literature and gelato. Perhaps the most memorable course I took, "Rites of Passage," required that I spend four days and four nights in the Anza Borrego desert, alone, without food. I received an "A" in that course.
8.  Your favorite moment in your poetic career.
Returning home after being away for fifteen years to launch my second book of poems, from unincorporated territory [saina].
9.  Your most ultimate dream.  Has it been fulfilled?
My most ultimate dream is sovereignty for Guahan and Hawaiʻi and the entire Pacific and thus the opportunity to help create a truly sustainable future for our peoples. Someday.
10.  Favorite cuisine? 
Chamorro food. Minus the SPAM.
11.  What scares you the most?
SPAM.
12.  Most embarrassing moment.
That one time I tried to do a one-man hot hula flash mob at the Bank of Hawaiʻi. I have no shame.
13.  Personal advice to budding poets of the South Pacific.
Buy my books (no refunds). Read my books (twice if you have to). While youʻre at it, read all Pacific writers from "Micronesia," "Polynesia," and "Melanesia" and across the oceanic diaspora. Read what scholars have written about these Pacific writers. Support Pacific based publishers, such as Ala Press. Listen to Pacific spoken word poets, from Guahan to Hawaiʻi, from Aotearoa to California. Buy their albums. Friend these writers on Facebook. Follow their blogs and tweets. Tell your friends and family about all these wonderful poets.
Learn your culture and your history. Map you aerial and sub-aerial roots. Listen closely to your elders because their stories are your inheritance and responsibility. Listen deeply to your ancestors, as they are trying to speak to you every moment. Listen to your islands and to our shared ocean because they need us now more than ever. And we need each other. Pay attention to the currents of politics, capitalism, militarism, tourism, and colonialism. Stand and fight, in your life and in your poetry. As poets, raise our voices to protect and defend Moana Nui, our sea of islands, our century.
Immerse yourself in living Pacific literature. Come study at the University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa. So many inspiring Pacific writers teach and study and live here. The Hawaiʻi literary, scholarly, activist, and cultural scene is one of the most vibrant and diverse in the world. You will find yourself opened to being inspired and moved and surrounded.
Write your poems. Memorize your poems. Share your poems. Publish your poems. Slam your poems. Love your poems. To paraphrase Albert Wendt, let our poems guide us towards a new Oceania.



****************************************



Craig Santos Perez is a native Chamoru from the Pacific Island of Guåhan/Guam. He is the co-founder of Ala Press, co-star of the poetry album Undercurrent (Hawai’i Dub Machine, 2011), and author of two collections of poetry: from unincorporated territory [hacha] (Tinfish Press, 2008) and from unincorporated territory [saina](Omnidawn Publishing, 2010), a finalist for the LA Times 2010 Book Prize for Poetry and the winner of the 2011 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Poetry. He is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa, where he teaches Pacific literature and creative writing. 

To learn more about Craig Santos Perez and his publications, click on the link below:







A huge appreciation and fa'afetai tele lava to Craig Santos Perez for agreeing to do this interview for my blog.  I hope my loyal readers from around the world are introduced to this distinct and honorable individual through this post and that they would visit Craig's blog listed above for more information on his poetry.  

jamztoma

Monday, August 20, 2012

HAWAIIAN RECIPE -- CHOCOLATE HAUPIA CAKE


Aloha!  Today I am featuring blogger, writer, former newspaper journalist, photographer, mother, baker, and bff superwoman Bella Lu Mai and her recipe for an Hawaiian dessert called the Chocolate Haupia Cake.  What is a haupia?  According to wikipedia.com, it is a traditional coconut milk-based Hawaiian dessert often found at luaus and other local gatherings in Hawaiʻi.  It is made from heated coconut milk mixed with pia, a Polynesian arrowroot.  For this recipe today, the pia is substituted with cornstarch.  
Now let me turn the attention now to Bella Lu Mai.


The amazingly stunning Bella Lu Mai

BELLA LU MAI SPEAKS:

(First things first - before you start reading this... toss a can of full fat coconut cream into the freezer. Get it right up against the coldest part of your chill box. You'll thank me later. I promise! okay back to our regularly scheduled blogging)

My good friend, James Toma here on THE ISLAND OF JAMZTOMA, asked me if I'd be willing to guest blog a post about an Hawaiian themed dessert.

(Naturally, I was thrilled to be asked! It was the perfect opportunity to bust out my favorite mixing bowls, pre-heat up my oven & start the search for a Hawaiian dessert.)

I love James. He's such a good soul. We've been friends since the late 1990's when he interned for a summer back then at Samoa Post in Faga'alu/ Nu'uuli, American Samoa. James was in charge of a teen section called ISLANDNEXT in which he featured poetry by local artists & articles of interest for the 12- 18 year old demographic.

That summer James got a hands on experience about what being in the journalism field is really like. It's not quite like it is in the movies, sometimes it's better & most times it's worse. The hours are long, the pay is short & the work truly never ends. The best part is the feeling when the thoughts from your heart & mind become solid words printed on newspaper for others to disseminate as they will.

Anyhow, James has certainly moved on from that summer & off to bigger & better endeavors on the US East Coast. It's been my privilege to watch him push his literary boundaries & write, write, write.

One can't be a writer, if one isn't writing.

(And James is certainly a writer!Keep on writing, James & we will keep on reading!)

But back to my first love, food...

There's this place Ted's Bakery in Sunset Beach that does this awesome fantastic Chocolate Haupia Cream pie that is out of the world crazy good. They make these jean busting chocolate pies fresh daily. It's Mother Hubbard's most favorite pie ever.

(I'm not much of a pie baker because pie crusts make me crazy in a not so good way. Don't get me wrong, I lurve pie! I can eat pie all day (& night) long (if its good pie!) but I have yet to master pie crust making & that's where most of the pie magic happens.)

But I do know how to bake a cake  *winks* & this cake is inspired by that pie.



some of the cake ingredients

Chocolate Haupia Cake:
1 box of devils food chocolate cake mix
2 TB unsweetened dark cocoa powder
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup of coconut milk
3/4 cup of water 

Combine the coconut milk & the water - set aside. 
Combine the dry cake mix with the dark cocoa powder, stir to blend it well. Then proceed to mix  the cake according to the instructions on the box, substituting the coconut milk & water combo for all of the water in the instructions.



cake batter

Mix until moistened.

Prep cake pan & pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.Bake the cake for about 35 minutes or
when a toothpick (or in our case a stray butter knife) inserted into the middle, comes out clean.
Let it cool down.
While the cake is cooling, it's time to get to the filling & frosting!



Haupia Filling
(Weren't you wondering what to do with the rest of the can of coconut milk?)
2 cups of coconut milk
4 tbl cornstarch
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Haupia in the pot
Heat the coconut milk to hot but not boiling. Add in the cornstarch. Mix the cornstarch with a bit of water to make a slurry. Stir into the heated coconut milk until it thickens. Keep on stirring over the heat so it doesn't burn. When its thick enough for you, take it off the heat. Let it cool. When cooled, put it into the chill box so that it can thicken up even more.

When both the cake & the haupia filling are both cooled enough, you can split the cake in half (so you'll have 2 layers). Spread the filling between the two layers & return the cake to the chill box. It may take about a 30 minutes for the haupia to firm up between the layers.


Coconut Whipped Cream Frosting
1 15oz can of full fat coconut milk

Toss the can of coconut milk in the freezer for a couple of hours or over-night which ever works best for you.

When you open the can, the cream will have thickened up to the top. Scoop out the hard coconut cream until you get to the watery part. (Leave the watery part in the can for something else or drink it if you want too. I put mine in a protein shake.)

Sprinkle a tablespoon of white granulated sugar on top of the cold coconut cream & then start mixing it like you would for regular whipped cream.

(seriously, if you haven't tried coconut whipped cream - you're missing out!)

Frost as you like. I frost this cake with heaps of whipped cream. 
Big fluffy heaping clouds of whipped cream.
(and I ignore the fat gram count while sampling this frosting!)

After frosting, stick it back in the chill box so that everything stays cold & firm. 

When you're ready, slice & serve!

(There would have been pictures of the finished cake but the kids got to it first. Obviously, they have literacy problems since the sign on the cooling cakes said,"FOR PRODUCTION PURPOSES ONLY" & they ate it anyway. *grins* gotta just love love love my kids)

With love & delicious cake~
Cy.

Short Auto-Biographical Blurb:

Cy deflects the murderous thoughts & stabs in the back of haters by flying under the Super Girl name Bella Lu Mai. 
She speaks 2 languages fluently: English & Sarcasm. But also knows how to cuss in at least 7 other international tongues. 
She loves food. She loves baking. She loves photography & popcorn. She loves cats & sometimes kids too.
(She has 3 children: all boys. Oh! The delicious irony in that)

She can be found at Delicious! writing about her on-going battle of the bulging booty & reflecting on the irony that God's will plays in her life. When she isn't chuckling at God's hand in her messed blessed life, she is hunting down vintage Hawaiian cookbooks, a new husband (anyone interested in applying?) & happy desserts worthy of a 5 mile run.

 ****************

I would like to take this opportunity to send out a great fa'afetai tele lava and mahalo to guest blogger Bella Lu Mai.  May the Great Lord above bless you for eternity and give you strength in being a great mom to your kids and loving daughter to Mother Hubbard.  hehe go Bel!