Monday, March 22, 2010


My grandma was the sweetest, little Japanese woman from Kauai.  She was a huge fan of Days of Our Lives and Press Your Luck, was an outstanding baker and had a green thumb that could easily rival those over at Miracle-Gro.  Her yard was a tropical paradise:  gardenias, orchids, tuberose, mangoes, star fruit, lemons, lychee, sugar was incredible.

This past weekend, I was browsing through a copy of the Kalaheo Missionary cookbook that my Mom gave me and came across some really interesting recipes.  Stuff you would only find in a Hawaiian church cookbook.

No way.

Heroes in a half shell...chili power.

Then, I found it. 

My grandma's oatmeal cookies!

The best part about this recipe?  The no-frills directions.  Four steps.  That's all there is to it.  No mention of greasing the pan or how big to roll the cookies or how long to bake them.  That's completely up to you.

And that, my friends, is the beauty of simplicity.

This is in memory of a simpler time, long, breezy summer vacations in Kauai but most of all, an amazing woman.



 1.  Beat together margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.


 2.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.

3.  Flour, baking soda and chopped nuts all go in together.

(I added the oats here, too.)

4.  Bake at 350 degrees.

And that's that :)

I was tempted to add some salt and a handful of chocolate chips (Me? Add more chocolate to every recipe imaginable?) but I wanted to stay true to the original recipe.  The result is similar to a sugar cookie with some added texture from the oatmeal.


The best memories are the ones that can be recreated in your own kitchen.

I love reminiscing.


  1. Kauai is most definitely one of my favorite places on earth.

    Anywhere you have to slow your car down because there's only one lane of road and there's too many chickens on it is the kind of place I want to be.

  2. I love the simplicity of this recipe. I'm like you and tend to want to put chocolate chips in everything. But this looks perfect just as it is. I jotted down the recipe and can't wait to try it. So many recipes, so little time!

  3. Liam - you and Amanda should add it to your future Trip List :) I'm dying to go with Mike so he can officially say that he's seen blue water twice.

    Marly - I'd incorporate chocolate in my breakfast everyday if I could. It's just too tempting...

  4. Mahalo, Ali...I love it. Our "pistol packin' grandma" would be proud.

  5. Your grandma, my mom ... she taught me everything I know today in the kitchen and I try to pass these lessons on to you. Thank you sweetie Ali for such a touching tribute. Grandma never ran out of hugs and kisses for you and your sisters.

  6. Another TBSTTW gem and a special one at that! :D And, like Mariko said, your Grandma would be so proud (I always remember her doing the waltz with Kurt-- smile)

  7. Awww this post was so sweet, it made me want to hug you and your Grandma. Also, bake my grandma's Christmas wreath cookies.

  8. This post made me all teary eyed. I had a very special relationship with my grandma too. Although, the only thing I ever remember her cooking was frozen fish sticks :)

  9. You're killing me Al - for real oatmeal cookies are my favorite.

  10. Thanks guys <3

    If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a handed-down recipe must be worth all the words in the Harry Potter series combined.

  11. Family recipes are the best. Love the cookies!

  12. awww... my Grandma was my best friend, but she was NOT a good cook(: I can only imagine how excited you must have been to come upon your Grandma's recipe the way you did. I know you'll treasure it forever! And I will try it... maybe I'll treasure it too. It looks great!

  13. theres a missing ingredient, nice consistency but the taste is weird

  14. Anonymous - thanks for the feedback :) I'll agree with you there - it's needs a little extra...something. I keep this recipe around for nostalgic reasons but my go-to is the one on the Quaker canister (with a few additions here and there.) Can't go wrong.