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Create the Ultimate Luau to Celebrate Any Occasion.

Create the Ultimate Luau 1

Bring the Hawaiian Islands to your own backyard.

(ARA) - Ever wonder why the Hawaiian Islands always seem so happy and care-free? Because it's all in the language and culture. The Hawaiian word luau means a festival or celebration that brings together a family or community for any occasion, at any time. So, whether you're on an island or in the quiet of your own backyard, planning to entertain for a dad or a grad, there is no better way to celebrate than with a luau. The following are a few tips and a selection of recipes provided by King's Hawaiian to help make your tropical paradise party flow as smoothly as a Mai Tai:

Decorate with color and creativity: Create festive tables with brightly colored floral tablecloths from a fabric store and centerpieces made from island fruits like pineapples, coconuts, bananas or mangos. Colorful flowers (fresh, silk or even homemade) can be placed in key locations to brighten up entryways, restrooms or other gathering areas.

Greet your guests with the Hawaiian spirit: Welcome your guests with a flower lei and a big "Aloha," or for the more advanced, "He mai" (welcome). Encourage your guests to dress festively. A Hawaiian shirt, sundress, sarong or mu'umu'u are always appropriate luau attire. For female guests, you may also want to have loose flowers on hand to tuck behind their ears. Those who are romantically available should place the flower behind their right ear, but if her affections are currently occupied, put the flower closest to the heart, behind the left ear.

Food: Happy guests are well-fed guests! Plan your menu to include a variety of authentic King's Hawaiian dishes from easy-to-prepare appetizers, an entree from the kô'ala (barbeque), and a sweet island dessert that will have your guests exclaiming "Ono loa!" (very delicious!).

Set the mood: No luau is complete without Hawaiian music and dancing. Pick up some Hawaiian tunes in the international section of a music store or even at your local library. Games like the limbo or learning a simple hula can be great ice breakers and provide fun photo opportunities. And if any of your guests are so inclined to pick up the ukulele or don a grass skirt, all the better.

Keep the party going: Just because the sun is going down doesn't mean the party has to come to an end. Tiki torches and floating candles add a nice touch and a little extra light as you and your guests enjoy a sunset and each other's company.

Here are some simple recipes that will give your luau an authentic Hawaiian flavor:

Hawaiian Luau Maui Artichoke and Crab Dip King's Hawaiian Maui Artichoke and Crab Dip

2 16-ounce loaves King's Hawaiian Bread

3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup Dijon mustard

3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 14-ounce cans artichoke hearts, drained & chopped

12 ounces cooked crab meat, fresh or frozen (imitation may be used)

8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded

Carefully hollow out one of the loaves to within 1 inch of sides and bottom. Cube the remaining loaf and bread that was removed into 1-inch chunks. Store in King's Hawaiian plastic bags until ready to serve. Mix cream cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder, until smooth. Fold in artichoke hearts and crab. Gently warm seafood mixture in microwave or stovetop. Remove from heat. Reserve 1/2 cup cheese for garnishing. Mix remaining cheese into mixture. Pour warm dip into hollowed bread loaf. Garnish with remaining cheese. Arrange bread cubes around loaf when ready to serve. Serve warm or cold. Makes 1 quart. Preparation time: 20 minutes.

Hawaiian Luau Chicken Sandwich on Sweet Bread Grilled Hawaiian Chicken Sandwich on King's Hawaiian Sweet Bread

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 12 to 14 ounce bottle teriyaki sauce

4 1 1/2-inch slices King's Hawaiian Sweet Bread

4 canned pineapple rings, drained

4 leaves green leafy lettuce

8 1/4-inch slices red bell pepper rings

Place chicken in self-sealing plastic bag along with half of teriyaki sauce. Seal; marinate at least 1 to 2 hours, turning once or twice. Remove chicken from bag. Discard marinade. Grill chicken breasts over medium heat about 6 to 8 minutes on each side or until done. Baste with remaining teriyaki sauce while cooking, 2 or 3 times. Add bread and pineapple slices to grill the last few minutes while cooking chicken, turning once to lightly brown both sides. Top each bread slice with lettuce, bell pepper, chicken breast, and then pineapple. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Hawaiian Luau Paradise Coconut Bars King's Hawaiian Paradise Coconut Bars

1 16 ounce loaf King's Hawaiian Sweet Bread

1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

2 cups sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat cookie sheet with non-stick spray (do not use dark metal pan). Set aside. Form bars: Remove crust from loaf. Cut loaf horizontally into four layers. Leaving layers stacked, make three vertical cuts down through loaf about two inches apart. Turn loaf one-quarter and cut again vertically in half. Each resulting bar will be about 4 x 2 x 1/2 inch. Pour milk and coconut into two separate shallow pans. Dip one cut side of bread bar into milk to coat (or apply with a pastry brush). Press same side of bar into coconut. Transfer to baking sheet with coated side facing up. Repeat with remaining pieces. Place baking sheet in center of oven for 10 to 11 minutes or until top and bottom are lightly golden brown; watch carefully. Immediately remove pan and cool. Makes 32 bars. Preparation time: 20 minutes.

An Authentic Hawaiian Mai Tai

1 ounce light rum

1 ounce dark rum

1/2 ounce French Orgeat Syrup

1/2 ounce Orange Curacao

1/4 ounce Rock Candy Syrup

juice of one fresh lime

orange juice

lemon juice

Fill a large 15-ounce glass with ingredients, and then add crushed ice and splash of orange juice. Garnish with mint leaves, pineapple slice, and don't forget the umbrella!

Note: For children and other guests who don't wish to imbibe, consider serving fresh pineapple juice, garnished with cherries and an orange slice.

For more recipes, Hawaiian luau tips and information on where to find King's Hawaiian bread and rolls, visit

Courtesy of ARA Content

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