About Rhonda Lizama, Hawaiian Style Cooking

About Hawaiian Style Cooking

Rhonda and her grandaughtersHu’i - e ho’i mai pa’ina (come inside and eat), was my grandmother Johnson's words to us, her mo`opunas (grandchildren), as we swam and splashed around all day in the warm waters of Moloa`a Bay on Kauai's northeastern shore.


We would look up the hill where her old house stood, and see her beautiful head of white hair peeking out the open window held open with a stick, waving her arms beckoning us to come inside and eat.

Our brown bodies would scramble out of the water running up the hill with sandy feet, anticipating what ono (delicious) Hawaiian food she had prepared for us. We hurried, rinsing ourselves off with the water hose, changing our clothes and running into the house to sit down around the little table in her small kitchen.

The table was set with a big bowl of poi, tripe stew, lomi u`papalu fish, raw squid, limo kohu, opihi, raw onion, chili pepper and Hawaiian salt. We ate to our hearts content, lovingly sharing our delight with Grandma.

After our pa`ina (coming together for food), we would sit around the living roomfloor on the lauhala mat, listening to our aunties and uncles tell stories, play Ukulele and sing, and we would eventually fall asleep. Those wonderful memories are embedded in my heart forever.

Many years later, when my grandmother was gone, and her little house was crumbling to the ground with age, I wandered through what was left looking for something I could remember her by. I was overjoyed to discover a pile of recipes that were torn, smudged and faded with time - but to me they were a dear treasure of wonderful memories.

Rhonda Lizama cooking with her Grand DaughtersHawaiian Style Cooking features my grandma's recipes and many others that I have collected from family and friends since my seventh grade homemaking class, spanning over 30 years. Hawaiian Style Cooking was created in memory of my mother, Queenie, who taught me to cook at age 10, as I stood on a chair next to the stove, cooking a pot of stew. And I look forward to passing on Hawaiian Style Cooking to my mo`opunas (grandchildren) to remember me by.

I hope that you enjoy good times with family and friends while enjoying Hawaiian Style Cooking!


Rhonda Kahaunani Lizama