Sunday, January 27, 2013

Mom and Dad's Visit - Part I

My parents recently came to Hawaii to visit for 10 days. In the (almost) 5 years that I've lived here they've visited six times, and I've been back to Pittsburgh NINE times! Every visit is better than the last and, despite the absurd distance and flight prices, nobody ever regrets the trip or the family time spent together.

I'm embarrassed to admit that Mom and Dad finally tried malasadas for the very first time during this visit! What a bad daughter/foodie I am for depriving them, right?! I can assure you that they've tried other Hawaii staples: SPAM, poi, a loco moco, apple bananas, mochi ice cream, and so on. It was time for their malasada initiation and we stopped at Leonard's on the way home from dinner, getting our maladadas to go.

I went for a guava filled malasada puff, Mom tried custard filled, and Dad had the original (non-filled) with cinnamon. I promise we always have a great time togther, just look at those faces :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Real Food, Play-Doh, and Crab Legs

Aloha friends! 

Pineapples [at a Farmer's Market] in Hawaii - creative right? 

We're embarking on a real food only lifestyle, mostly based on the info over at 100 Days of Real Food. Two of my good friends are on opposing sides of the food spectrum: one is paleo/caveman and the other vegan. I know I couldn't and wouldn't want to try either because bread, meat, and cheese are all things I can't live without! What those diets both agree on is that more fruits and veggies are positive for your health and that cutting the junk is, too! My thought is why not stick to the more fruits and veggies with less junk mentality, while keeping some other good stuff.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Berry Happy 27th Birthday

Happy Birthday to Me!

My request for tonight was to stay at home, drink champagne, have a surprise homemade meal, and not  to do any dishes. Ask (on your birthday) and you shall receive!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Christmas Eve Feast of the 7 Fishes

Just like that Christmas has come and gone again! Last December I was boasting that I'd never, ever missed a Chrismas back home in Pittsburgh and this year I spent my first away from my childhood home, celebrating the holiday at my other home in Honolulu with Bryce. Because it was a chance for beginning a tradition of our own, I got really ambitious and decided to host a Feast of the 7 Fishes, an Italian Christmas Eve right of passage.

Never before had I even been to a Feast of the 7 Fishes, although I'd heard a lot about the seafood oriented Christmas Eve meal. Among the many good things I'd heard, it's also rumored that the feast can be (literally) very stinky, involves lots of fried items like calamari and smelts plus salted baccala, and that most times the fishes are eaten as more of a tradition before everyone moves on to the other, tastier food! I was not interested in a stinky house, greasy fried foods, or cooking 7 fishes annnnd other meal items so I decided to do the feast in my own way with only desirable menu items!

Our Christmas Eve went perfectly! Nine people squeezed into our apartment and each dinner course was better than the next. We had enough food to feed our entire street and if any of our neighbors are allergic to fish they may have died from anaphylaxis by proximity. Now that the pounds and pounds of leftovers have been eaten or thrown away, I suppose it's time to share our meal with you!

Our Feast of the 7 Fishes Menu

1. Ahi poke  
2. Shrimp cocktail
3. Crab stuffed mushrooms
4. Clam chowder
5. Penne with tuna and tomato sauce
6. Spaghetti with clam sauce
7. Grilled flounder with oranges

For our Monday evening feast, the grocery shopping took place on Friday night at both Sam's Club and Safeway. Cooking began on Saturday with both of the pasta sauces: tuna and tomato sauce (5) and clam sauce (6). To accommodate the extra large can of tomatoes, first, and 9 guests, second, I doubled the recipe for the marinara.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year's Day Chocolate Waffles

Happy 2013!

Because I'm an Event Manager, I was working on New Year's Eve instead of sleeping on my couch while fireworks went off around me. My night at work was spent being fully entertained by live bands, musical theatre acts, a stilt walker, human bird puppets, a vintage plane fly over, and so on. There's no way I could have paid for or attended a more exciting evening elsewhere!

Regardless, I woke up on January 1 feeling hung over after just 5 hours of sleep. My feet were sore from walking around the event/premises and all of my muscles hurt from a "free" 1 hour consultation with a personal trainer at our new gym. Please don't worry, I'll never go fitness crazy and try to be on a real diet! My body was in rough shape and I was wide awake, despite being exhausted. That called for a filling, fun, and indulgent breakfast: chocolate waffles!

A hot cup of coffee, recipe displayed on the iPad while music played simultaneously, and gadgets and ingredients galore. That's my happy place :)