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Stacey

Charles is married to Stacey Kawasaki Djou.

Born and raised in East Honolulu, Stacey is a fifth generation or “go-sei” American of Japanese ancestry.  Her great, great grandparents immigrated to Hawaii to work on the sugar plantations in Koloa, Kauai.

Stacey got her first job at age 13 cleaning classrooms at Kaimuki Intermediate School.  She graduated from Kalani High School.  To put herself through college and law school at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Stacey sold shoes at Liberty House.  She also spent summers working at the YMCA and at Kualoa Regional Park as a camp counselor.

After graduating from law school, Charles and Stacey met at a law firm that they were both working at.  Charles describes it as love at first sight.  Their first date was a Hapa concert at the Waikiki Aquarium.  Charles and Stacey married three years later.  They have three children, Nick, who’s 21, and Tori and Alli, who are 11 and 7 years old.

Both Charles and Stacey work full-time.  Charles is an attorney and is also with the U.S. Army Reserve.  Stacey works for American Savings Bank.  With busy lives, they don’t have much time to cook.  Stacey prefers quick, healthy recipes with the fewest ingredients possible.  One of her go-to favorites is Beef Tofu.

When Stacey met Charles, he could barely cook.  He could only make saimin and spaghetti out of a jar.  Since then, he’s expanded his menu options to include Hamburger Helper and Shake n Bake, but his favorite meal to cook for the family is Chili.

Having just finished his first year in college, Nick is starting to realize he needs to cook for himself.  He’s learning all of the family’s favorite recipes and has started to create his own.  At his great-grandma’s request, he even figured out how to make liver for her.  Tori and Alli like to help the family cook, but their favorite is a healthy version of Banana Bread baked in mini-muffin tins.

Here are the recipes if you want to try any of them (minus the liver):

Stacey’s Beef Tofu

1 lb thin-sliced teriyaki or shabu shabu cut beef

1 14 ½ oz can beef broth

1 14 oz block of tofu (firm) (cut into large cubes)

Ginger – about an inch

Won bok cabbage

Pepper

Brown the teriyaki meat.  Add the ginger, tofu, cabbage, and beef broth.   Add 2/3 can of water.  Add pepper to taste. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Charles’ Chili

1 lb ground beef

1 8oz Portuguese sausage (chopped)

1 15oz can kidney beans

1 11oz can pork and beans

1 McCormick original Chili seasoning mix

Brown ground beef and Portuguese sausage.  Drain oil.  Add kidney beans, pork and beans, and seasoning mix.  Simmer 10 minutes.

Tori and Alli’s Banana Bread Mini-Muffins

1 ½ C flour

1 ¼ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp salt

2 slightly beaten egg whites

1 C mashed apple bananas

¾ C sugar

¼ C cooking oil

Nonstick cooking spray

In medium mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and In large mixing bowl, stir together egg whites, banana, sugar and oil.  Stir flour mixture into banana mixture until moistened.  Spray two mini muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray.  Scoop in batter.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Makes 24 mini-muffins.

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