Spoons Of Wisdom

My life on Maui and beyond....

Month: June 2016

Not your ordinary hot dog!

Hot dogs are a popular food item when it comes to barbecues and holidays.  In commemoration of 4th of July and our Independence Day I thought this would be the perfect menu item.  They’re called Bagel Dogs. Not your ordinary hot dogs.

Whenever possible I look for meats that are nitrite and nitrate free.  Nitrites and nitrates are preservatives and are often found in processed meats such as hot dogs, bacon, ham, sausages etc.  I found the Applegate brand of beef hot dogs were on sale at Whole Foods Market.  These hot dogs are 100% organic, nitrate free, gluten free,  hormone free and made from grass fed beef.  They are still pricey at $8.99 for 7 hot dogs. (includes the sale price of $1 off) It’s still worth it to me.  But why only 7 in a package and not 8?

This recipe makes dough for 4 Bagel hot dogs. I guess you can stretch it to wrap all 7 hotdogs. I just made 4 since this was my first time making this recipe.  It was very easy to make and takes less than a 45 min to make these delicious Bagel Dogs.  They’re called Bagel Dogs because they’re rolled in sesame seeds, poppy seeds, onion flakes and garlic flakes.  I left off the garlic flakes since I forgot to get it while I was at Whole Foods.  I’ll remember to add it next time since I love anything with garlic.


This recipe is gluten free. Oh yeah!  The only real work involved in making these is kneading the dough consisting of cream cheese and mozzarella along with almond meal, xantham gum and an egg. It takes a little effort getting this all mixed together to form a uniform dough.

I love eating hot dogs with sauerkraut and mustard.  I don’t remember how I came to love eating sauerkraut growing up on Maui. I think it must be from living else where. That’s where most of my foodie experiences came from.  My husband likes his with pickle relish. He has a sweet tooth. It also helps to balance all the saltiness from the mustard and the sauerkraut.  Too bad we were out of relish.


The Bagel Dogs were a delicious hit. This recipe is a keeper and my husband thinks so too.  It’s an inexpensive and healthy way to celebrate Independence Day on Maui.

Estimated cost: $1.60 per hot dog includes the mustard and homemade sauerkraut. It may be even less depending on where you live and the cost of the ingredients.

Thank you to The Primitive Palate for this great recipe.

Arizona May 2016


May 11-14   Shreveport – Dallas – Phoenix- LAX – Maui

How I did it:      May 11 –  Drove from Shreveport to Dallas.  FLIGHT: Dallas to Phoenix – Southwest Air (2 OW TKT) $167.96.  RENTAL CAR: Hertz Premium upgrade 3 days $218.89.  HOTEL: Redeemed 45K IHG reward points for 3 nights (upgraded to suite).   May 14 –   FLIGHT: Phoenix to LAX to Maui – Redeemed 45K reward miles from United Airlines after transferring 40K from Chase Rewards, taxes $57.20 + upgraded premium seats  $120.   Total: $564.05.

Note: The rental car was pricey. We decided to upgrade to a luxury car since we knew we would be doing a lot of driving. Well worth the price for that extra comfort.

The drive from Shreveport to Dallas is approximately 3 hours. We made good time on the road as we headed out at 6:00 am.  We returned our rental car and boarded our flight to Phoenix. It was a short flight on Southwest Airlines.

Our drive from Phoenix to Prescott would be longer than expected due to an accident on the freeway. Once we got passed the wreckage we were well on our way. The terrain was dry,  but still gorgeous with cactus lining the hillsides.  Our hotel was even better since the hotel upgraded us to a mini suite at the Prescott Holiday Inn.  As a  member of IHG we felt well taken care of by the staff. They even went above and beyond when we realized upon arriving home to Maui we had left an item back in the room.  They sent it at no charge. What great customer service.



Arizona is a big state with lots to see and do.  Our first meal in Prescott was just a few steps from our hotel.  The Texas Road House restaurant was just the place to get a steak and some fancy margaritas.  Just what we needed after the 2.5 hour drive from Phoenix.  We were also within walking distance to Trader Joe’s.  Picked up some snack foods to take with us on our journeys.  I just love the location of our hotel.


The drive to the Grand Canyon National Park was 2 hours from our hotel. Oh the scenery was, well “grand.”  There was lots to see on the way with clear skies and gorgeous trees.  But, nothing can compare to the beauty of the Grand Canyon.

20160512_112053_Richtone(HDR)This is why it’s call the Grand Canyon. Everywhere we looked it was mesmerizing.  The scenery from every point was incredible.

 Leaving the Grand Canyon we made our way through Sedona.  Everywhere there were beautiful colored hills and unique shapes and formations. 

The town of Sedona was very quaint with lots of shops and restaurants.



Our 2nd day in Arizona had us driving to Camp Verde to see another impressive sight.  The Montezuma Castle National Monument. Here was the cliff dwellings of the Southern Sinagua people.  They lived in the caves high above the lower landscape. They farmed the land below next to the creek. It was a safe  haven from predators and hostile tribes.  Ouch the weather started to heat up and the dry air made it feel like it was over 100 degrees. It was probably close to it.




We decided to drive north another 2 hours to Winslow to see the Meteor Crater!  This is the world’s best preserved meteorite impact site.


Meteor crater is nearly one mile across, 2.4 miles in circumference and more than 550 feet deep. It was a fascinating place to visit.

20160513_154504_Richtone(HDR)-COLLAGEThis place is rich with history, science and geological wonders.

2016-05-12 18.14.12-COLLAGE


We drove over 1500 miles in 3 days.  We saw some of the most beautiful scenery with canyons, cactus, hills, forestry and wildlife.  The restaurants we found were local foodie establishments that made us happy we took a chance and stopped by.   We love you Arizona and thank you for a fabulous trip we will always remember.


Places we ate:

Texas Road House – Prescott

El Charro Mexican Restaurant and Cantina

Saba’s Mediterranean Kitchen

Trader Joe’s


Places we visited:

Montezuma Castle National Monument

Grand Canyon National Park

Meteor Crater


Jerome State Historical Park – Mining Town

Shreveport, LA May 2016

May 6- 11  Maui – San Jose – Dallas – Shreveport

How I did it:

May 6,  Maui to San Jose.   FLIGHT:  Redeemed 40K Miles Alaska Air (2 OW Tkt) seat upgrade $50.15 + taxes $11.20   HOTEL:  Sheraton Four Points San Jose $125.48.  May,  7-11  San Jose to Dallas   FLIGHT: Southwest Air (2 OW Tkt) $223.96.  CAR: Budget Economy Car 4 days $129.60.   Total: $540.39.

Note:   I chose to pay for the hotel in San Jose to get the 7000 reward points using my Starwood Preferred AMEX. We paid for Southwest Air miles since we didn’t have any miles to redeem at the time. We drove from Dallas to Shreveport and stayed at my in laws home and so we did not pay for a hotel in Shreveport.

Our road trip started from Dallas airport to Shreveport which took us 3 hours to drive.  The traffic was heavy at first and moved slowly on the freeway.  Once we got out of Dallas onto the interstate we were on our way.  And so were some other interesting vehicles. 🙂


It’s been 5 years since we visited my husband’s family in Shreveport, LA.  And we were well over due to make the trip all the way from Maui.  We purposed to visit over the Mother’s Day weekend and it also coincided with Gerald’s birthday. Mother’s Day would be bittersweet for Gerald and for me due to my mother in law is going through late stages of dementia.  We were at peace seeing her and that she was lovingly being taken care of at home. It made for a wonderful Mother’s Day for all of us.

Our time hanging out with the family gave us time to reconnect. You feel a little older after seeing nieces and nephews growing and maturing in their own ways.

jones kids


My husband grew up in Shreveport and his parents still live in the same house where he grew up in.  The neighborhood still looks the same as I remembered it 5 years ago.  As in every city development happens and there’s new malls and restaurants popping up all over.  I still remember the crawfish restaurant where I had my first taste of crawfish. It no longer is in business.  We did manage to find another place which I think is better than the one I remembered.

Crawdaddy Kitchen


Sunday was Mothers’ Day and Gerald’s birthday.  We took the time to go to church.  We love going to church even while we are travelling.  We had visited Shreveport Community Church the last time we were in Shreveport and it was a great Mother’s Day service.  The pastor is someone we already knew and was a frequent visitor to Maui.  Denny Duron was a former NFL player and has devoted his life to preaching and helping the kids of Shreveport.

Gerald was a happy man on his birthday as he dined in style at the famous Copeland’s of New Orleans restaurant.  We were amidst the Mother’s Day crowd, but it was worth the wait.  Fried catfish and seafood gumbo are some of the delicacies in Louisiana.   There’s no lack of good eating in Louisiana.





Our time with the family was coming to an end. It was time to travel to our next destination.  We love you all and look forward to seeing you again.


Places we ate:

Crawdaddy Kitchen

Copeland’s of New Orleans

Monjunis Italian Café


Places visited:

Louisiana Boardwalk Outlet

Shreveport Community Church


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