Saturday, December 29, 2012

Williams-Sonoma Shopping Spree

It's Saturday night and I haven't had a schedule, plan, or appointment for the entire weekend! Between working, babysitting, and being on 2 volunteer boards, I never ever have a weekend to myself. Last night we went out for pizza and to a movie with our friends. This morning was spent at the Farmer's Market and the day was spent at my favorite beach! Now Bryce is relaxing napping on the couch and I'm enjoying  watching repeat episodes of Supernanny and blogging far too much for my own good.

Keeping myself so busy makes moments, days, and weekends like this even more enjoyable when they do come around. As great as this weekend has been, the all-time high of the past month was our shopping spree to Ala Moana Center a few weeks ago. After my bridal shower and our engagement party, Bryce and I were gift card wealthy! After cashing in on an iPad at Best Buy and stocking up on household items at Macy's, but before testing every set of curtains from Target, we ventured to my happy place: Williams Sonoma.

Have you ever seen me smile so big?! I hope I can pull that off on our wedding day :)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Our Candy Christmas Tree

Only 4 days until Christmas! We survived the ending of the Mayan calendar [now what?!] and the last week of work before Christmas. I wish I'd kept track of all the candies, cookies, and other delicious sweets that have made their way into my office, through my mouth, and will be later reincarnated on my thighs in January. There's no turning back now with the holiday gluttony so it's the perfect time for me to share some calorie free sweets with you! Here is our candy Christmas tree in 2010, its very first year.  

The tree has come a long way since then! Last year I briefly gave you a sneak peek of it but never got around to sharing my Candy Land/sugar high vision with you. It all starts with one artificial tree (lights included!) and some gumdrop garland!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Primanti's 2012

During my first several years living in Hawaii, it became routine for me to fly into Pittsburgh and head directly to Primanti Brothers for their infamous sandwich. This trip to Da Burgh it took me almost 48 hours to get there! Bryce and I met my cousin Eric for lunch on Monday, the 3rd day of our trip. [Day 1 involved flying and a lot of bad food; Day 2 a deliciously adorable bridal shower.]

Surely you've heard of the "Pittsburgh style" sandwiches on TV before or, if nothing else, earlier on Aloha: Yinz Mangia! It's fresh Italian bread piled high with your choice of protein, cole slaw, french fries, and tomato. It's odd, delicious, and something you can't forget about once you've had one.

There are locations of Primanti's all over Pittsburgh, leaking their way across Pennsylvania, and even a few in Florida! Although not the original, we usually go to the one nearest to my folks' house on route 60.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My Bridal Shower

On just my second day home in Pittsburgh, My Sandy threw me a Bridal Shower!

You may have no idea who Sandy is and why she's claimed as "mine", aside from a fair assumption that it probably has something to do with me being a selfish only child! My Dad works with Sandy's husband John and way back in 1985, while my Mom was pregnant with yours truly, the stars aligned for their family and ours. Sandy is a nanny and the way the story goes is that my parents brought a six-week-old-me to their house where they sat in the formal living room for our interview. Surely I didn't say too much that day...

Sandy took care of me for many years, until I was old enough to go to school. During that time the formal living room was always off-limits to myself and the other rugrats children who filled her home with fun, among other things (diapers, tears, time-outs, etc). Because I also have an Aunt Sandy, she became MY Sandy! Our families became and still remain very, very close. Those early years offered me a starring role as an adorable flower girl in both of Sandy and John's daughters' weddings! [Sandy and John's son-in-law is also to blame for my becoming a Nittany Lion!] As their family grew and the need for vacations became more pronounced, my teenage self was invited to many beaches to help with the grandkids. More recently I've been promoted to family member status and allowed in the formal living room on holidays and special occasions. We're truly like family and holidays aren't complete until I've visited with BOTH theirs and my own :)

That all being said, I was honored and excited to be having my own bridal shower in such great company and in the living room! My Sandy is one of the kindest and most gracious ladies I know and the shower hosted by her reflected that in every way. She's well aware of my food obsession and even took my quirky request for a food-related shower seriously!

The food was throughout the house and done just right! The esteemed living room had cheese, salami, and crackers, individual veggies with dill dip (so cute!), pepperoni and cheese rollups, and cashews. See the Hawaiian flower napkins and tropical confetti?! It's only fitting, right?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Meal Time Turbulence

Bryce and I are now back in Honolulu after a 10 day vacation to Pennsylvania. It was a long and jam-packed trip filled with parties, family, friends, and tons of great food! Although, the beginning of our trip wasn't so great, food wise.

My cousin Darren picked up Bryce and I and we stopped at Wendy's for a quick dinner. There are just a few Wendy's on Oahu and one is very close to the airport. Typically I steer clear of fast food, but I was on vacation and who doesn't love a good Frosty with french fries from time to time! The sweet and salty combo was as delicious as always and both guys enjoyed their baconator/son of a baconator sandwiches.

Shortly after Wendy's we arrived and got situated at the Honolulu airport.

The next few delightful hours consisted of boarding the plane, then being confined to said plane on the runway for far too long while the airline was "troubleshooting an issue with the hydraulic pump." We were finally asked to disembark and given a whopping $12 for the food vendor of our choice for a consolation meal. As soon as we made some progress in the line for food they wanted us back on the plane, of course! My choice of an Italian calzone left something to be desired. We finally left Honolulu 3 hours after planned.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Egg-cellent Brunch at Longhi's

Getting the group together for Bitches Who Brunch is not an easy task, to say the least. Our Facebook conversation began on September 21 and just this past Saturday, 7 weeks later, our day finally came. These are some busy bees! We had a great turnout, although there are many who couldn't make it!

Our Saturday morning brought us back to Longhi's - the site of our second official BWB outing early last summer.

Lindsay, Lisa, Danielle, Katie, Malia, Jaclyn, Lisette, and Me

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

W&M Burger

W&M Burger is a classic, old fashioned burger place like I've never seen before. Here in Hawaii it's sometimes hard to find buildings, stores, apartments, and so on, with character. Most of the architecture here is screaming 70s and cramped-because-there-are-too-many-people-on-this-island. Charming, right?

W&M Burger looks like it came straight from a Wild West movie, except the squeaky, swinging doors have been replaced with an ordering window! It's wedged randomly between two larger buildings and set back from the road just far enough for about 6 - 8 parking spaces, two of which can be seen in this photo.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Corn Dog Corn Muffins with Cheese

The reason that I blog is because so many of the best memories of my life are strongly associated with foods (and I want to keep track of said memories and foods)! Sweets with Pap-Pap, cafeteria lunches with grade school friends, dinners with Mom and Dad, holiday meals with our whole family, and so on. One of the earliest of my food memories is ritually getting a corn dog at the mall with my Mom. It's the little things in life, right?! I'll have to ask her exactly what mall it was that had the prized corn-dogs and just how many times we enjoyed shopping and high-class dining together, although that may just ruin my happy little memory!
Fast forward to last weekend - we were going to our annual Penn State tailgate at Aloha Stadium and I needed a food offering that was liked by many yet easy to transport and eat. That's when I found Iowa Girl Eats' take on a mini corn dog muffin! She, too, agrees that these are a football food. (In case you missed it, Penn State crushed the Iowa Hockeyes this weekend! Iowa Girl I hope you're not a Hockeyes fan.) I un-mini-ed her muffins, added cheese, and used Lil Smokies.

Corn Dog Muffins with Cheese
Makes 24 (standard size) muffins

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Kissed Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses have been around for years (at least since 2008) and I just learned of them this year. Once aware of their existence, I was inspired by equal parts hunter, gatherer, and glutton to make them my own. After searching at 2 drug stores and 4 grocery stores I was beginning to feel defeated. 

That's the thing about Hawaii: new, trendy, seasonal mainland things aren't easily available here. Rice cookers, SPAM, musubi, and chop sticks can be found in every home and convenience store but apple cider and Pumpkin Spice Kisses are like unicorns! The real irony here is that Hershey's candies are from my home state of PA, the state that I left - willingly - 4 years ago.

I had to get strategic and think about where such a timely item would be found... my instincts lead me in the right direction: the commissary. The military bases are where the traditional-nuclear-families with 2.5 kids, 1 dog, 1 cat, and a picket fence would go for such a fall oriented treat, duh. My boss brought me 3 bags from the Navy/Air Force commissary and there are 3 more bags waiting for me on the Marine Corps base.

Oh Pumpkin Spice Kisses, how I've searched and longed for you!  

After all the anticipation I was truly scared to eat one, for fear that my hopes were set too high. The wrappers are an adorable fall-ish display of colors.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Halloween Oreo Mini Cheesecakes

All year long when I need a cupcake wrapper I only have these:

Finally it's time to use them! While we're getting festive, despite the fact that it's barely October, be sure to grab a package of unnaturally colored Halloween Oreos.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Waikiki's Most Popular: Duke's

Duke's is Waikiki's most popular restaurant, I'm sure it's safe to say. Located inside the Outrigger Waikiki hotel and directly on the shore of Waikiki Beach, Duke's is named after Hawaii's most revered waterman and Olympic athlete Duke Kahanamoku. [Break it down by syllable and speak every letter: kA-hA-nA-moe-koo!]

When you live in Honolulu it's rare that you actually go into Waikiki, land of tourists, hotels, and ABC stores. Chances are that when you have friends or relatives in town - you'll end up at Duke's! 

Duke's a rite of passage and home to many firsts in my own life:
  • In 2007 I drank my very first mai tai at Duke's "Barefoot Bar!" 
  • Just over a year later I spent my first warm weather birthday (January 15) at Duke's
    • This was just after enjoying my first sunset booze cruise and first pineapple mimosa - now my favorite and the beverage that Bryce stashed in his backpack on the day he proposed to me!
The singing aunties are always around and on that particular night, my 23rd birthday, my friend accidentally tipped them $20 instead of $5! Those sweet ukulele tunes went on and on...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Anniversary #4

Bryce and I have officially survived and celebrated our fourth year together! I'll have to admit the past year was certainly the most trying and rewarding of our relationship thus far. Since our third anniversary we've moved apartments twice, gotten engaged, gone to 2 weddings, traveled to California (for Thanksgiving), San Fran, Pittsburgh, and Boston [no post!? WTH Ang?] and both secured new jobs!

After such a year we enjoyed a low key anniversary together. I was welcomed home with some lovely flowers :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Jaclyn's Cocktail Shower and Margarita Cupcakes

Jaclyn and I have known each other for just over four years. We met during an interview in 2008 where she was considering me for a job that would end up being my first "real" job and a position that I held for over 3 years. She took me under her wing and taught me just about everything over many those long days in the office, weekend events, and difficult client personalities and demands. She handles every situation with a level head, professionalism, and logic and I couldn't have picked a better person to learn from. She and I now work together at the Battleship Missouri - the best job ever. Thanks AGAIN for guiding my path Jaclyn, you've truly been my Career Fairy Godmother. 

It's not all business with us, though. In that first interview we were wearing the same Tiffany's bracelet and she excitedly asked me (in casual conversation following the important questions of course) if I was in a sorority! I wasn't, we laughed together, and have had many, many laughs, good times, and great memories outside of work since. Although not a regular, she's been known to frequent the Bitches Who Brunch.

Jaclyn and Chris, her fiance, will get married this Friday after being together for over nine years! Last Sunday I threw her a surprise bridal shower. She's not your traditional bridezilla type who'd enjoy gifts for her home/kitchen (aka: me!), but more of a fun-loving, laid back, stiff-cocktail-sipping bride. We nixed the toilet paper bride game and bow bouquet and threw a Cocktail Shower, complete with margarita cupcakes!

Margarita Cupcakes and Frosting

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Baked Eggs with Bacon and Gruyere

Breakfast for dinner is one of life's great pleasures. I'm not sure why the traditional morning meal becomes much more fun and a novelty at dinnertime, but it can't be denied. Usually we end up having breakfast for dinner when all that's left in the fridge are eggs and bread, although that was not the case this week when Baked Eggs with Bacon and Gruyere were on the menu!

My recipe is adapted from the May 2012 issue of Everyday Food (issue 92). Originally called Emeril's Breakfast-In-Bed Baked Eggs and positioned as a Mother's Day recipe, mine were changed quite a bit due to ingredient preferences and a few mistakes!

Baked Eggs with Bacon and Gruyere
Print this recipe

Monday, July 23, 2012

Doughnut Hole and Fruit Kabobs

I'm Ang. Remember me? Let's hope so.

As we do every 6 months to 1 year, Bryce and I moved apartments. We don't enjoy this process at all but for whatever reason we're always forced to find a new home. Psychotic, radio playing, undies-wearing, joint-smoking in the shower neighbors or friend/landlord needing to move back home to retain the several thousand dollar tax credit - we're forced to move often. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Our most recent move was on June 1 and for several weeks we were happily "borrowing" internet services from a kind and generous neighbor. (Not to be confused with the previously mentioned type of neighbor!) That all came to an end a few weeks back and, therefore, so did the blogging. A tardy but handsome man (Bryce are you reading this??) came to hook up our internet on Saturday and we are back in business.

Moving is hard. It's on my top 10 list of things that I hate to do, which also includes washing silverware and smelling peppers. That all being said, this recipe is very simple. After all the moving/internet drama, simplicity is welcome 'round these parts!

This lovely and portable breakfast barely deserves the title of "recipe." 

Doughnut Hole and Fruit Kabobs
Inspired by Val So Cal and discovered on Pinterest

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Garlic and Ginger Festival

Any type of festival, either food-centric or at which I can find food, is a food blogger's dream. We've been to the Greek Festival 3 times, a Chocolate Festival, one dedicated to SPAM - Spam Jam - and so on. Recently I learned that Honolulu has a Garlic and Ginger Festival and I immediately marked my calendar! 

Naturally I was more concerned with the garlic, but I did bring my favorite ginger along for the ride.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bacon and Kale Pizza

After posting this week for the first time in 2 months, I think I'm back in the groove of blogging!

Please excuse my absence. We moved, I started a new job, Bryce graduated from college, both of our parents (and his brother) visited, we spent a week on the North Shore, and a weekend on the Big Island! I have a lot to tell you about. For now, here's what was for dinner the other night: Bacon and Kale Pizza!

Bacon and Kale Pizza


1 pound of pizza dough
1/3 of a pound of fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1/4 of  a white onion, thinly sliced
4 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
3 cups of kale
grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
flour for work surface

Begin with the oven set to 400 degrees F, pour a glass of wine, and place your (peppered) bacon on a wire rack over a cookie sheet. Rather than buying a pound of prepackaged bacon (and leaving half to spoil in the fridge) I got just 4 slices from the deli and it was so much better! Bake until the bacon is crispy to your liking. Remember that it's going back into the oven again so don't over do it.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Best Thing I Ever Ate

The whole purpose of my blog is to give the Food Network executives a way to find out about me, fall in love with my incredible sense of humor and passion for food, and promptly hire me to be their next TV show celeb! When that day comes my loyal blog readers will be graciously rewarded with awesome trips to restaurants around the world, "surprise" visits on the show, and all the perks of "being a good friend before I made it big!"

In the meantime, I'll continue to blog and watch the network casually. One of my favorite shows is The Best Thing I Ever Ate

Thanks to my Yelp Elite status, I was able to experience my very own "Best Thing I Ever Ate" moment just last week. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Meet Candy

The day has finally come. Bryce and I are now the proud owners parents of a KitchenAid Stand Mixer! We're thrilled to add this to the list of our favorite kitchen gadgets.

Cue Stevie Wonder's Isn't She Lovely... Meet Candy.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Our Big Fat Italian Easter

Happy Easter! Despite living in a house filled with adults, I still like to spend Easter celebrating traditions from my childhood. That means this guy shows up in full force!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

S'more Birthday Fun - Bryce's 27th

It's no shock to any of our friends (or my blog readers) that Bryce and I go all out, and then over the top, for birthdays. This year my birthday celebration was a month long and included 3 obnoxious posts: a birthday BBQ with friends, a journey to an outlet mall though the snow to acquire gifts, and a just-the-two-of-us dinner at an Italian restaurant. Now it's Bryce's turn!

If you don't know what a Spam musubi is, read about it here before going any farther! Bryce's birthday began with presents and cards first thing in the morning. He's a big fan of Spam musubi and when I saw this bag in the store it really got me thinking...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Passport to Luxury 2012

Last year I was able to get tickets to Passport to Luxury through my job (read about last year's Passport to Luxury event here). Shopping, plenty of delicious food, and free cocktails - need I say more? I knew the time was approaching for this year's invitation-only event and I was prepared to beg, borrow, or steal to get my hands on some tickets. Can you believe that Modern Luxury magazine doesn't have yours truly on their VIP invitation list!? My dear friend Malia's brother's friend (seriously) works for a company who sponsored the event and she hooked me up with a ticket, thanks girl!

After coordinating a carpool and many outfit changes, we made it to the fabulous event and excitedly secured our passports! Our first stop was Prada - where there was a shortage of food and a surplus of rude salespeople. We moved on faster than a Lindsay Lohan stay in rehab!

Our second stop was Folli Follie, a quirky little store that I've always wondered about and never gone into. According to the passport, their collections of jewelry, watches, and accessories create a "full fashion concept." I particularly liked their cute and fun jewelery and will remember it for future gift buying. We were happily greeted by this multilayer cupcake stand from local Hokulani Bake Shop. (The same bakery recently was featured on and WON an episode of Cupcake Wars on the Food Network!)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Saint Patrick's Day

Oh Saint Patrick's Day, the rocky road we've traveled together! 

As a kid I despised you and your Pittsburgh parade that my parents would drag me to, at an ungodly hour, year after freezing cold year. During college I discovered that I, too, enjoy you and we rushed into a passionate love affair! Penn State even started a unique holiday while I was there, State Patty's Day. It was created so that we could celebrate together in Happy Valley because we'd be on spring break over the true holiday. Green beer, green Jell-O shots, and frat boys in green EVERYWHERE! [Bryce, are you actually reading this one? hehehe] It was insane and usually resulted in a 2-day hangover. Here in Hawaii, St. Patrick's Day is the only day of the year where haoles (white people) are the majority. There's a block party between the two Irish pubs downtown, Murphy's and O'Toole's (the bar where Bryce and I met) and it's awesome! 

The relationship between St. Patrick's day and I have finally found a happy medium, somewhere between the sober, freezing, boring parades of my childhood and the belligerent slop-fests of college. Since this is the first year that I've lived in Hawaii for a Saturday St. Patrick's Day, I was particularly excited!

The celebration began the day before with 3 trays of Lucky Charms Treats! Dare I say that these are even better than Rice Krispie Treats? I mean seriously, there are already marshmallows in the cereal. Just melt a stick of butter in a pan, add an entire bag of mallows, then mix in the cereal and convince it to mold into a cake pan. My advice is to be generous with the cooking spray on both the cake pans and the spatula or utensil that you're using in order to maintain your sanity!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Rainy Day Onion Soup

We've had some of the craziest weather I've ever experienced here in Honolulu this week: pouring and constant rain (versus our typically light and quick rain showers) and a few intense thunderstorms! On Tuesday it rained all day long and, according to the Aloha: Yinz Mangia Facebook page, this weather calls for soup: corn chowder, tomato, lobster or crab bisque, nabe (Japanese soup), and even chili and beef stew.

Luckily I had planned to make onion soup this week and all of the ingredients were already inside the house. Avoiding the rain and still filling the soup craving - score! What a great excuse to use my new mini cocottes and their corresponding cookbook.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Baci Bistro Birthday Dinner

After hearing so many great things about it, Bryce and I went to Baci Bistro for a belated birthday dinner for my 26th. 

I swear this is the last obnoxious birthday post but I JUST LOVE BIRTHDAYS. Read about the trip to the Le Creuset outlet to acquire my gifts and the birthday BBQ celebration! Now that mine is offically over, Bryce's is in just 3 weeks.

So we'd heard all about Baci Bistro, a small Italian restaurant in Kailua with incredible cheesecake and a Monday night offer of 25% off of your entire bill! We'd pushed our date back for four Mondays in a row due to scheduling issues and illness, but we finally made it. There's no way we were going to go on any other day of the week - NO WAY.

Clearly I don't look too upset to stretch out my birthday celebration with one last meal! The key to a great dirty martini is to order it dirty, take a sip, and then send it back for more olive juice.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Birthday BBQ

So... I'm very behind on my posts. My apologies. It's not any news that my birthday was last month. I told you all about my gifts (part 1) but I never shared my birthday BBQ (part 2) or Italian dinner out (part 3 - post coming soon) with you! My birthday was on a Sunday this year and we hosted a BBQ at Ala Moana Beach Park. It was a beautiful day and a nice, relaxing celebration. If you can't tell by my hair, it was windy out!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

B[LT] My Valentine and Italian Cream Cake

Happy Valentine's Day!

This year's day-o-love was anything but typical for Bryce and I (especially compared to last year's at-home FEAST and clever and athletic dessert).

First, we decided not to buy gifts. I owe him a 20 minute back massage and he agreed to see a chick-flick with me, The Vow! Good deal.

Second, we could only be together for lunch! Rather than make a full dinner-type meal, I made one of his favorite lunches: a BLT sandwich on sourdough bread.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Fruit Pizza

Breakfast or dessert? Savory or sweet? What exactly is a fruit pizza - we need to know! 

Remember my dear friend Christine, whose baby shower I hosted back in November? She and her husband were blessed with baby Stephen just hours after leaving my birthday BBQ! 

Baked Chicken Parm

Chicken parmesan is one of my favorite comfort foods. The chicken is delightfully crunchy and the cheesy, saucy topping is a delicious contrast.

I worked at an Italian restaurant in Pittsburgh throughout high school and college (on semester breaks) and they have a seriously large and delicious chicken parm sandwich and stuffed chicken parm dinner, filled with ricotta! They're both incredible and can turn a bad day (or dinner shift) around in no time (30 minute break time).  

I found this recipe for baked chicken parm a few months ago and made and delivered it to a friend who recently had a baby. Just last week I made it again when our friends came over for dinner. It's really easy to make, better for you than fried (obviously), and the surprise is that it uses Dijon mustard! I thought that would be weird but it's very subtle and gives it just a little tangy flavor.

Baked Chicken Parmesan
I started with this recipe and made my own sauce

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup of Italian breadcrumbs
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
3 Tablespoons of Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon of white vinegar
Salt & pepper

The most annoying step comes first - getting that perfectly thin piece of chicken. You can either cut the chicken breasts in half, pound them with a meat pounder, or a combination of the two! If you're using the meat pounder, first place the chicken on a cutting board and cover with plastic wrap, then take out all of your anger/issues/aggression on the bird until you reach the desired thickness (between 1/4 and 1/2 of an inch). 

Next, combine the mustard and vinegar in a bowl. Add salt and pepper, then cover the chicken pieces with the mixture. Let them hang out in there for more flavor! In another bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, parm cheese, and a little more pepper. Now is a great time to preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Le Creuset Outlet

Well, I'm officially 26 now. Scary, right?


Just after Christmas, Bryce, My Sandy, and I drove an hour North of Pittsburgh to go to the Le Creuset outlet store! This trip had been planned for months in advance and we even braved a little bit of snow to get there. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pizza Dip and the Super Bowl

Another year of football has come and gone. It was just an OK year for my Steelers. The highlight had to be beating the Pats and the worst part was, of course, losing in the first round of playoffs to the over-popularized Tim Tebow and the Broncos. This season marked a first for me personally, as I traveled to San Fran for my first ever away game! I'm not sure if I'll ever do that again. Plus, they wouldn't even keep the lights on for me. I went to my annual Christmas-time home game, too.

Needless to say, the SB wasn't a big deal for me this year. Unlike last year, I actually dressed like a girl and paid little attention to the game. 

I also made a delicious pizza dip! I found a recipe in the new HGTV magazine and changed it quite a bit.

Pizza Dip with Sausage
feeds many!

3 links of Italian sausage
1 (24 ounce) jar of sauce
15 ounces of ricotta cheese
1 package of fresh mozzarella pearls
2 baguettes
fresh basil

I'm a wimp so I get the mild sausage!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl 2011

Today I'm throwing myself a pity party - the Steelers aren't in the Superbowl BOOOOOO!

I was too busy pouting about our loss last year to post about the awesome party my cousin Darren had, but today - 1 year later - I'm ready to tell you all about it! He's having a party again today but it won't be the same... aka who cares about the game/football, I'll act like all the other women who only care about the commercials.

Last year we had black & gold smiley cookies from Eat'n Park, a Pittsburgh favorite! These were shipped from the Burg thanks to my Mom.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Cheesy Stuffed Potatoes and Other Melted Things

Yesterday I was compelled to make something using potatoes since we had so many of them. Our friends were coming over so I thought some stuffed potatoes with cheese would be perfect finger food.

I cleaned the potatoes and preheated the oven.

Normally I put foil around my spuds when baking them but the good-old-Better-Homes-and-Gardens-cookbook said it wasn't necessary, so I didn't. Hooray for not wasting! After about 20 - 30 of the 45 minutes required I heard a funny sound from on top of the stove. It was the sound of the candle falling to its death!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Honolulu Farmer's Market

I have a serious love affair with Farmers' Markets. This week Bryce and I went to the Honolulu Farmers' Market for the first time. It's on Wednesday evenings outside the nearby concert hall. 

My two favorite purchases were these: a whole wheat fig loaf and meyer lemon butter spread!

The incredibly good looking jam and jelly salesman let me try about 15 flavors before I picked one to buy :) Then Bryce came and bought it for me, haha.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Turkey and Lentil Burgers

December's issue of Everyday Food is a great one! This is just one of many recipes I've made from it.

The original recipe is for burgers made with lentils and ground chicken, but I used turkey since we had some in the freezer.

Turkey and Lentil Burger
adapted from Everyday Foods' Chicken and Lentil Burger

Monday, January 30, 2012

Marissa's Despicable Me Birthday Party

I am the very proud Godmother to Marissa Jo, who turned 5 last month. When she was born in 2006 I got a picture message while in class and immediately cried my eyes out! How awkward is that in a lecture? 

Just a few months after she was born, I became her Godmother. Despite the college-face-pudge, this is one of my favorite photos of all time.

Rissa's birthday is in December so every year when I'm home for Christmas I throw her a party! You may remember her strawberry short cake party last year, if you've been sticking around that long.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Right around Christimas-time my friend Deanna judged me for not being able to properly boil an egg. She likes to run, which I don't understand at all, and I like to cook - ditto for her! So when she discovered that she can boil an egg better than I she got me Eggies!

You know - eggies!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Orange and Dill Orange Roughy on the Grill

Have you ever tasted something and been transported to a specific place or time in your life? It's happened to me twice! Once I ate some vietnamese food that included a lot of basil and was taken back to my (Italian) Great Aunt Marina's house as a child. The second time was recently - Bryce made this awesome Orange and Dill Orange Roughy and the first bite sent me back to Siesta Key Florida - where my parents and I went on vacation every single year until I moved to Hawaii! 

This fish is light, delicious, and beachy. It's seriously easy to make and tastes like something you'd get at a casual beach-front restaurant where Jimmy Buffett's Greatest Hits are on repeat and people are drinking Coronas from a bucket! It can be made with any white fish, fresh or frozen. 

Orange and Dill Orange Roughy
adapted slightly from the Better Homes & Gardens recipe and made for just 2 servings

2 (previously frozen) orange roughy fillets
1 tablespoon of dill
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 orange, cut into wedges
salt and pepper

If your fish is frozen thaw it before cooking, then rinse and pat dry with paper towel. 

In a small bowl combine the dill and olive oil, salt and pepper. Bush both sides of the fish with the delicious mixture. If you're a dill fanatic like me, this is where you add even more dill!

Task your roommate, husband, boyfriend, neighbor, or mailman with turning on the grill appropriately, to medium heat. Or, if you're smarter than me you can just do it yourself! 

Arrange the orange wedges directly on the grill and place the fish on top. 

Cover and cook for 6 to 9 minutes without turning over - or until the fish becomes flaky when tested with a fork. Transfer the oranges and fish to a plate and don't forget to turn the grill off!

Here's the fun part: squeeze the grilled oranges onto the fish!

We had ours with roasted potatoes. Then, a few days later, we had it again with the other 2 fillets that came in the package! I'm not a big fan of reheated seafood, ick.

Try this and then tell me which beach you're automatically transported to! If I didn't leave so close to the beach, I'd make this on a really cold day and pretend I was on vacation :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

White Bean Dip and Homemade Pita Chips

Happy New Year! 

We're three weeks into 2012 so far and I've been doing a great job of eating healthy lately. Not because it's my "resolution" but because we're getting married in the next year and we just got back from the longest and most gluttonous vacation of our lives! See here, here, and here - and I'm not even close to finished with the posts from the trip yet. Homemade and healthy, refreshing foods are so welcome in my life!

Don't judge this cookbook by it's dirty cover, it's one of my favorites! Honestly - who doesn't love Giada? As a fellow Italian with a gigantic mouth and passion for cooking, I certainly can admit my fondness for her and this cookbook. 

As you can see it was a Christmas Gift of mine from 2007 from my dear cousin Josephine! (You may remember her because she's the one who let me know about the don't-watch-the-Godfather rule.) 

I love books - especially giving or getting them as gifts with personalized notes. I also like to make little notes in my cookbooks for when my future self opens them! Thanks 2008 Ang for reminding me about this recipe. I remember borrowing a food processor to make it then, oh the joy of being a broke college student :)

White Bean Dip and Pita Chips
Adapted from Giada's recipe

white bean dip
2 - 15 ounce cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed well
1/2 cup of fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves
olive oil

pita chips
1 package of pita bread
4 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 tablespoons dried oregano
salt & pepper

Giada makes her chips first, then then dip, but I like the dip to be chilled by the time the chips are ready!

In a food processor (your own or a borrowed one!) combine the beans, parsley, lemon juice, garlic, and salt & pepper. Pulse until the mixture is combined. Slowly add olive oil until the mixture is creamy. Add salt & pepper if need be. Refrigerate the dip until the chips are ready to go!

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Brush each pita half with sunflower oil on both sides. Using a pizza cutter, slice each pita half into 4 wedges and arrange on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with oregano, salt & pepper and bake for about 15 minutes, turning them once halfway through.

Once the chips are finished, get the dip from the fridge and enjoy! This is a simple and light recipe for an afternoon snack or a potluck. Of course the store-bought pita chips or crackers would work, too.

When someone asks me about this odd-looking green dip, I tell them it's basically hummus made with white beans! Is the color awesome or intimidating?

Here's to an awesome 2012!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

We're Engaged

It's officially official - Bryce and I are engaged! We tried to tell as many people in person as we could before letting it become public knowledge via facebook - the jumbotron of gossip.

Bryce and I celebrated our third anniversary (of dating) back in August. In our three + years together we've had many conversations about getting married, during which I'd mentioned several things (huge hints) that I didn't think were noted so well by my tricky fiance:

  • I'd always dreamed of a proposal/engagement somewhere romantic, outdoors, and crowd-free
  • Being so far away from my family sucks and if we were going to get engaged, I'd want to tell them in person rather than making a list of people to call
Bryce totally had me believing that we weren't getting engaged until after he finished school (in May) so when he popped the question on a hike on December 9, I was shocked and excited. Okay... maybe I had a feeling something strange was going on that morning, but no sooner than that! We went on a sunrise hike and he proposed at the top, it was incredible, romantic, and perfect - dirty sneakers and all.

There was only one other hiker around and he stopped to take some pictures for us. We had to catch him quickly before he left and I'm clearly still crying in these photos!