Select Page

Cooking for a Crowd


 Aloha Dreams

   Fabulous Recipes, Cooking for a Crowd, & Dream Home Design

Sign-up for Fabulous Recipes!


#1 Most Romantic Thing to Do on the Big Island of Hawaii

For my #1 Romantic Thing to do on the Big Island, I’ve got a couple options for you.

First Option – Secluded Oceanside Sunset Dinner for Two

First, press “Play”…

… then picture this

After you’ve both dressed to the nines in a gorgeous new tropical floral dress and a handsome pair of cool linen slacks and jacket, your personal escort will take you and your love through the amazingly landscaped Hualalai grounds . . .
. . . to your secluded dining location on a deserted beach.
Once there, cuddle up on your private love seat, kick off your strappy sandals or slippahs (that’s flip flops to you and me) and watch the sun sink beneath the horizon, your feet relaxing in the warm sand and a frothy cold coconut pineapple drink in your hand (my favorite is Passionfruit, Orange and Guava! )
Then adjourn to your romantic table for two where fresh Island flowers, fine linens, tiki torches (gotta have tiki torches!) and beautiful china await.  Your dedicated server will ply you with a four course meal based on your earlier private meeting with the chef.
Savor the grilled Sriracha Shrimp with watermelon and local herbs, drizzled with a lemongrass citrus dressing.
Or perhaps a Spicy Hualalai Roll?
Follow it up with Mongolian Beef with prime strip steak.
Or flamed grilled Hapu
And for dessert…
Or maybe this…
When you’re done gazing into each other’s eyes over the dinner table, finish your evening with a star gazing session guided by your own private astronomer and telescope.
Then, if you’re staying at the Four Seasons, retire to your room for an in-room floral bath following diner.

If you’re looking for the ultimate romantic thing to do on the Big Island with every detail handled, this is it.  For an intimate, out of this world, pull out all the stops romantic experience, the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai (pron. Ha-WAL-la-lie) delivers in spades.  It’s not inexpensive.  Not even remotely.  And many items, such as lounge furniture to take it to the next level, are extra. But this experience is hands-down about as romantic as it gets.

Now, here’s a slightly different spin on that concept.


Second Option – Romantic Oceanside Sunset Picnic

With a little effort (and a lot less expense) you can create your own awesome secluded beach experience.

You start by picking up a couple large beach towels from your hotel, then head out to pick up some food.   In the mood for some tempting gourmet treats?  As your romance concierge, may I suggest one the following.


Perfect Picnic food for your romantic dinner on the beach


First Stop – Island Gourmet Markets

Located in the Queens’ MarketPlace on Waikoloa Beach Drive in Waikoloa , Island Gourmet Markets offers a wide selection of delicious gourmet foods, including many imported delicacies. The gourmet market also offers shoppers the opportunity to explore a variety of both locally produced and internationally imported organic and specialty foods, an extensive assortment of smoked seafood, and a large selection of artisan cheeses.  Pick up one of their tasty side salads or great sandwiches for a picnic-style ocean-front dinner.  They also have some very tempting dessert options.  

This would make a wonderful dessert!

And don’t forget to get some Hawaiian Sun Passion Orange or Lilikoi Passion, ice and a small cooler.

Or how about some local Hawaiian fare?


Da Poke Shack

Have you tried poke yet? Poke (pron. Po-kay, rhymes with Okay) is a Hawaiian staple.  It’s traditionally a chunky, salad featuring various raw fish.  Da Poke Shake has incredibly fresh seafood poke selections with an unbelievable choose of options.  Similar to ceviche, but more savory.  Ahi or octopus are common choices mixed with various seasonings.  On the Big Island the place for poke is Da Poke Shack.  Try their Dynamite and Creamy Garlic Poke, delicious! (With your romantic evening in mind, you should probably BOTH try some.)  This is an excellent beach picnic choice.

Don’t these look great?  They taste every bit as wonderful as they look.

Their featured poke includes:

  • Pele’s Kiss (spicy)
  • Dynamite (avocado aioli)
  • Shack Special (sweet)
  • Sesame (oil & seeds)
  • Shoyu (soy sauce)
  • Hawaiian (traditional)
  • Wet Hawaiian (inamona)
  • Spicy Garlic Sesame

It’s all good.

Here are a couple more great options.

Broke Da Mouth Grindz

The portions are huge! You’ll want to try the furikake chicken, loco moko, oxtail adobo, and garlic shrimp. You’ll find everything is delicious and you’ll especially like the garlic shrimp, it’s mazing.  Don’t just peel off the shell, savor it in all its crispy glory. The mac salad is really tasty too, as is the furikake chicken. This will be one of the best local plates you’ll have on the Big Island and you need to try it at least once while you’re here.

Address: 74-5565 Luhia Street B-2,, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740


Sunday Closed
Monday 9:30AM–8:30PM
Tuesday 9:30AM–8:30PM
Wednesday 9:30AM–8:30PM
Thursday 9:30AM–8:30PM
Friday 9:30AM–8:30PM
Saturday 9:30AM–8:30PM

TJs BBQ by the Beach

TJ’s is a little gem.  The ribs are to DIE FOR!!   The rib sauce is marvelous, the flavor is wonderful and you’ll find the bones fell out they are so tender.  Get lots of napkins.  The burgers are fantastic too, huge and so juicy.

Owned by Tim and Joanna Bly, an incredibly nice couple, TJ’s sauces and rubs are house made and the ribs are cooked in a state of the art industrial smoker.

Order early and reserve yours at (425) 308-1815 – before they sell out.


Address: 75-6129 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740


Sunday Closed
Monday Closed
Tuesday 10:30AM–5PM
Wednesday 10:30AM–5PM
Thursday 10:30AM–5PM
Friday 10:30AM–5PM
Saturday 10:30AM–5PM

Now we just need a secluded, romantic beach.   So, will this work for you?

Yeah, that’s kinda what I thought.


Welcome to Makalawena Beach in Kekaha Kai State Park

There are no facilities of any kind at Makalawena (pron. Maw-kaw-la-wee-na), so you’ll be glad you brought everything you’ll need for your picnic here.  And, as always, pack out all your trash.  The trail to Makalawena is pretty rough, so you may appreciate closed-toed shoes.

Take Hwy. 19 north of Kailua-Kona and Kona International Airport. The rough dirt road to Mahai’ula Bay is between the 90 and 91 mile markers. The road used to be difficult for passenger cars, but recent state construction work as of April 2013 has drastically improved the road.  To get to the beach, hike north to Mahai’ula Bay and you’ll find a well-defined trail through an ʻaʻā lava field. The lava field transitions into a field of huge white sand dunes covered with pōhuehue, beach morning glories.  Hike with your love through the dunes toward the back of the beach. At the northern edge of the dunes, you’ll find a short spur trail to a small brackish pond set in a stand of palm trees.

And so you and your love nestle in on the warm sand, hand in hand, with your feast and enjoy the sunset, but most of all – each other.

Sunset Times on the Big Island 

And speaking of hand in hand, romantic Hawaii and gorgeous sunsets go together!    Here’s all you need to plan.

DatesApproximate Time Range of Sunset
Jan 1 – Mar 315:50 PM – 6:30 PM
Apr 1 – Jun 316:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Jul 1 – Sep 307:00 PM – 6:10 PM
Oct 1 – Dec 316:10 PM – 5:50 PM

Welcome to Aloha Dreams!

I'm so glad you dropped by.  I'm Betsy.  Here you'll find my favorite fabulous, trusted recipes - everything from delicious, quick meals for your family to wonderful classics made easy.

I'm also here to help you with large group recipes from 20 to 200.  So next opportunity you get to cook for a large group - Say 'Yes!'  Then relax. I've got your back.

Ever wished you could build your dream home? How about building your dream home in a tropical paradise?  Join me, room by room, as we design and build a fabulous dream home in Hawaii!

Kohala Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii

Hale Ahonui is on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. Here the sleepy towns and countryside of the real Hawaii remain unchanged. Nestled between the wind swept terrain of Kohala Mountain to the east, and the beautiful Pacific Ocean on the west, Kohala Ranch rests on the grassy meadows in between.

read more

Church in Hawi

If you would like to feel the spirit of aloha in its most pure form, we invite you to attend the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Hawi. All visitors are welcome with open arms. The members of the congregation are some of the warmest, most welcoming folks on earth. This is a don’t miss. If you leave dry eyed, I’ll be amazed.

read more

GJ’s Huli Huli Chicken

If it’s Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday, you’re in luck. And you gotta try this! He sets up on Thursdays at the Hawi Welcome Center parking lot in Waimea. If you’re downwind, they’re very easy to find!

read more

Explore Aloha Dreams

Things to do Big Island of Hawaii
Dream Home Bathroom


If you're planning a vacation to Hawaii, I've got you covered on the very best places to go!   From many amazing restaurants to incredible adventures in the surf and on land, this is your go-to source for unique and exciting things to do on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Or just take a Virtual Vacation!!    Let's go!


If you've been asked to cook for a large group activity, be it a Girl's Camp or a Graduation Party, say Yes!  I'm here to help.  From Menus to Game Plans to Recipes, I'll help you keep on schedule and turn out amazingly delicious food if you're cooking for a crowd!  My recipes are tested and trusted.    Let's cook! 


Ever wished you could build your dream home?  Like amazing house design and home building ideas?  Me too!  Join me as I design and build a home on the Big Island of Hawaii. Follow along while I design each room. Enjoy a front row seat for the entire amazing construction process.  Let's play!


Would you like to throw a Luau, but not sure where to start?   Want to know how to build a tiki bar and roast a pig?  Here's everything you need to have a luau.  How about a Christmas Feast or even a fabulous dinner for your neighborhood supper club?  You've come to the right place.    Let's party!

Tropical Salad

Never miss a single Fabulous Recipe!

Sign UP today and ENJOY free Recipes & Party Ideas in your inbox.

(No spam - I promise!)

You have Successfully Subscribed!