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Features | Things We Love

5 Things We Love

  • MIKE GORDON / MGORDON@STARADVERTISER.COM

  • Maggie Herron
  • GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARADVERTISER.COM.
  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

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One-click wonder achieves grilling supremacy

The altar where I worship is in my backyard. It’s a blue, 22.5-inch Weber charcoal grill with a Touch-N-Go gas-ignition system. I use it all year but when spring arrives and the days begin to grow longer as we stretch toward summer, its siren call is strongest. The simplicity is what I like. No need to pack one of those metal tubes to light the coals and fill the air with smoke. Fire is one click away. A few minutes later and you’ve got white-hot coals and a burning desire to cook a steak, a burger or ribs. Available for about $329 at home improvement stores. — Mike Gordon

Manga University pitching in for Japan

The headquarters of English-language publisher Manga University in Tokyo may have received only superficial damage in the recent earthquake, but their hearts are very much with the ongoing disaster relief efforts in northeast Japan. To that end, the publisher is donating 10 percent of proceeds from its online MU Campus Store to the Japanese Red Cross. My recommendation: "50 Things We Love About Japan," a small hardcover book written by Edo Kurosawa with art by Atsuhisa Okura that covers everything from aisatsu (greetings) to washitsu (the way of life). It’s available for $9.99 at www.howtodrawmanga.com/campusstore/50things.html. — Jason S. Yadao

Coconut oil kicks corn dish up a notch

If you, too, are cuckoo for coconuts, I’ve found something you will love. A recent New York Times story on coconut oil disputed its bad reputation and talks up its unique flavor. According to the story, virgin, unrefined coconut oil actually may have health benefits. So I had to give it a try. Movie theater popcorn used to be made with coconut oil, which inspired my first experiment: sautéed sweet corn. So ono. The oil is $9 for the store brand at Whole Foods. — Stephanie Kendrick

STEPHANIE’S COCONUT CORN

1 tablespoon virgin, unrefined coconut oil
Kernels from 4 ears of corn
4 cloves garlic, smashed
3 small red chilies, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
Basil puree or sliced fresh basil

Melt coconut oil over medium high heat. Add corn kernels and brown slightly. Add garlic and peppers and brown slightly. Deglaze with citrus juice. Serve warm with basil puree or sliced basil garnish.

Plush toy makes you go ‘Wheee!, heh heh’

I’ve never been big on virtual experiences. When I’m so stressed out that I need to hurl something, sliding my finger across the screen of an iPhone just doesn’t cut it. So when I saw this plush replica of the projectile hero from the Angry Birds video game, I snatched it up ($6.95). Toys N Joys also sells larger versions in different styles for $9.95 to $24.95, but this one is just right for nudging my son/husband/co-worker into action. — Donica Kaneshiro

Herron’s ‘In the Wings’ reveals her talents

You may have caught Maggie Herron singing and playing her portable electronic keyboard while supping at Kaleo’s in Pahoa on the Big Island, but a much fuller picture of her as a musician can be found on her album “In the Wings” (Herron Song). The album, recorded last year in Honolulu, includes thoughtful originals (two in French) and a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock,” with help from rhythm duo Dean Taba and Noel Okimoto, guitarist Kevin Hirasa, horn man Eldred Ahlo and Herron’s regular music partner and saxophonist Paul Lindbergh. Herron is an astute player with an evocative, smoky vocal style, and the support she receives from her backup is excellent.

You’ll be able to catch her trio at the Kona Music Festival tomorrow at the Keauhou Outrigger Beach Resort. — Gary Chun

 

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