Luau Meal Photo

Lovely Luau Offers Flavor of the Islands

Aloha! Do the sparkling white beaches, gentle ocean breezes, swaying palm trees and fragrant flowers of Hawaii sound appealing? You don't have to fly there to enjoy a taste of this tropical paradise. For your next get-together, grab a grass skirt and greet guests with this mouth-watering menu compiled by our Test Kitchen.

Since Hawaii is one of the world's leading producers of pineapples, we feature the sweet and tangy fruit in two recipes. The fast flavorful chicken and pineapple sandwiches are low on fuss when you start marinating the chicken earlier in the day.

A whole pineapple cut into a boat makes a snappy serving dish for a fruit salad coated with coconut dressing. To round out the meal, take advantage of convenience items to hurry along the effortless three-ingredient beverage and colorful cookie lei. Both are sure to satisfy your appetite for the Aloha State.

Second Helpings

Luau Lore: In early Hawaii, it was customary to celebrate weddings, births, successful harvests and other special occasions with large feasts. The festivities often lasted for days and were filled with food, music and hula dancing.

The meals became known as luaus, referring to the edible taro leaves used to wrap foods for cooking purposes. When throwing your own luau, invite friends and family to wear colorful Hawaiian-style shirts. Decorate the dinner table with fresh flowers and garden greenery, then enjoy the fun, casual and tasty traditions of the Hawaiian Islands.

Luau Recipes

"A friend at work gave me the recipe for the marinade for Luau Chicken Sandwiches," recalls Denise Pope of Mishawaka, Indiana. "After grilling the tender chicken a few times for company, I decided to turn it into a sandwich." It's complemented by a pineapple ring and a mild dill and mustard sauce.

A simple dressing made with flavored yogurt coats this refreshing combination of fresh and canned fruit. Hawaiian Fruit Salad looks spectacular when presented in a pineapple boat and sprinkled with toasted coconut.

You don't have to reserve store-bought strawberry syrup just for making malts and shakes. Stirred into orange juice, it gives festive flair to this tropical-tasting Sunset Cooler that's a breeze to mix with crushed ice.

Capture the spirit of Hawaiian hospitality with this sweet make-ahead Cookie Lei that even kids can help assemble. Start with packaged butter cookies, frost them to create brilliant blooms, then thread them on shoestring licorice to resemble a traditional floral necklace.


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