Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 - It Was a Very Good Year

This sure was a great year, wasn't it? 2014 was our first full year of married life, living in Seattle, our first trip to Europe, and the year we bought a house!
We had so many visitors and every single one of them obliged me on a visit to Pike Place Market and a corresponding photo! Food and photos, it's what I do.
My cousin Chloee was our very first visitor and we wandered in and out of the produce stands and shops in the market all day long.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Green Bean Casserole II

My green bean casserole (GBC) for this year's Thanksgiving was the best I've ever made. That's saying a lot since this recipe has been a work in progress since 2007! 

I began with my own GBC recipe from a few years back. Fresh green beans and mushrooms (baby portobellos) are the key.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Happy Holidays

This year, in the midst of all of the holiday madness, I'm feeling especially blessed. There are so many reasons to celebrate and be thankful. Allow me to list them, please!

Great company of both old friends and new friends alike. We had a great Thanksgiving with Michelle,  my friend from High School, her husband Jay, and their friends. Supporting roles also include: 22 pounds of turkey, the best green bean casserole I've ever made (recipe can be found here), 3 homemade pies, and countless bottles of wine.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


While in Rome we made a friend who is from Naples. He kindly made us a list of all of the places to see and foods to eat while visiting his hometown. He'd told us specifically about a pastry that was a breakfast favorite. We weren't checked into our Naples hotel for ten minutes before Bryce walked into our room holding one. I had my lens on it in seconds and my crumby fingers on it a moment later! They're called sfogliatelle and they're the most memorable thing I'd eaten throughout our entire trip.  

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Great Pumpkin Muffins [with Cream Cheese and Chocolate Chips]

This photo pretty much sums up fall for me - leggings, pumpkins, glitter Toms. If Toms and/or Uggs aren't acceptable anymore please mark me on the list of people who just don't care!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Pasta, Pasta, Pasta

I've wanted to go to Italy for as long as I can remember. To say that our recent visit there lived up to my expectations is truly an understatement! The country was more beautiful than I could have ever imagined, the people were so caring and friendly, and the food was delightful. 

In the little imaginary Italy in my head, I'd drink a lot of coffee + wine, enjoy plenty of pasta, and do most of my dining outdoors. Reality was very, very accurate to my little dream! What I wasn't expecting was that each and every meal would be spectacular, regardless of price, city, or restaurant location. I'm excited to relive them and share them with you through this little blog. 

Get ready because this is a photo heavy post! It's actually quite like Green Eggs and Ham as I'll be showing you all the times we ate pasta and where.

Bryce and I had lunch on the streets of Roma at an adorable little spot called Di Qua. Your first option is Italy's restaurants is always acqua (water) with or without gas (carbonation), to which we vote NO. On this particular day Bryce was up for some day-drinking!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Pizza in Napoli

[Get ready for another post beginning with my singing!]

In Napoli, where love is King, where boy meets girl, here's what they sayyyyy...
...When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie - that's amore!

That's Amore is one of my favorite songs. In college I worked at a bar that was owned by an Italian guy named Tony. We'd play that song during last call while turning the lights on, letting the drunkards know it was time to go. The next year I was a patron of that same bar and the sound of That's Amore somehow became an unnwelcomed burden rather than a call to rejoyce in tip money and freedom! 

Last year at our wedding we played That's Amore as one of the very last songs at our reception and we all sang along. Now I'm sure not everyone knows or loves the song and that's OK. I know there's something we can all agree upon and that's pizza. Do you know where the college kids and all of the bartenders all went after That's Amore played and the bar closed? That's right, they all went to get pizza.

True Neopolitan pizza (although it was our second favorite, see below for photos of our actual favorite!)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Gelato in Italy

Guess who's back? Back again. Ang's back, tell a friend! [Sung to the tune of Slim Shady.]

Bryce and I have recently returned from our magnificent 17-day honeymoon to Italy and Ireland. Unsure of where to begin with regard to all of the delicious food we ate in Italy, I suppose our ritualistic gelato tasting habit is a fitting starting point. Our first day is a great example of any typical day in Italy.

First - visit a historic site. In the case of day 1, it's the Spanish Steps. 

Saying things like 'this place wasn't built in a day' and 'when in Rome' are encouraged, although not necessary!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mangia Mangia in the Motherland

We are on our first flight of our honeymoon trip as I'm writing this, from Seattle to DC. After a brief layover and some airport dinner (my expectations are low) we will be off to Italy and landing in Rome! We've collected, borrowed from the library, and been given many travel books surrounding this adventure and I've taken plenty of notes. Thank you Catholic School eduction! Most notes are regarding what to eat. You're shocked, I'm sure of it.

During our visit in Idaho I spent several hours relaxing in the sunlight jotting down the best tid bits of the many, many books.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Mountain Pies

We are getting used to this 'living on the mainland again' thing, my friends. First, the fact that it's summer and that means a change in the weather is a relatively new concept. Second, we've been exploring this 'bigger' island with road trips, quick flights, weekend getaways, and camping.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Seattle Summer and Fresh Figs

It's summertime in Seattle. Summer officially kicked off last Saturday, June 21, with the nearby Fremont Fair and Solstice Parade, including a naked bike ride! I'll spare you those photos. You're welcome!

What I will share is a photo of three fully clothed humans - Mike (Bryce's Dad), Bryce, and I. Mike is our first summer visitor and, of course, we dragged him through the (Pike Place) market on Saturday morning. The crowd was crowded and the weather was great. This, from what I understand, is Seattle in the Summer.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Cookie Dough Date Bars

This is post #200 for my little old blog here! When I started Aloha Yinz Mangia back in 2010 I was flying high on the heels of watching (the movie) Julie and Julia for the first time and wanted to manifest my new-found inspiration by challenging myself to be adventerous in the kitchen. Here we are, just shy of 4 years later, and I'm still at it. The list of recipes I'd like to try is still a mile-long and, strangely enough, I just finished reading Julie and Julia (the book) this week!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Camp Blogaway 2013

Camp Blogaway 2014 is wrapping up today and I'm pretty bummed that I'm not there this year. I was so excited to go last year, although I never did any follow up posts to tell you all about it! Please excuse the delay, as 2013 was a bit overwhelming with working full-time, planning our own wedding, and moving from Hawaii to Seattle... At long last, here's the scoop on what goes on at a three-day-long food blogger camp.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Parents and the Pink Door

The last time that Carol and Mike were in Seattle was back in 1982, 4 years before I showed up to the party here on Earth. They came for a visit a few weeks ago. Within just a few hours of landing they ventured to the top of the Space Needle, posed near the Public Market sign at Pike Place Market, and we were off to dinner!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Lemon and Orange Chia Seed Muffins

Muffins! They're cake that you can eat for breakfast, what's not to like?

The best part of any food (song, smell, person, or place for that matter) is when you're hit over the head with a very specific memory of a happy place and time in your past causing a big, goofy grin to spread across your face. Lemon poppy seed muffins rock my socks and immediately transport me back to the vacations of my childhood in Florida. Our favorite breakfast spot was the Broken Egg on Siesta Key and their lemon poppy seed muffins were always a tasty treat to start my day.

All that being said, I can't remember the last time I had a lemony breakfast cake speckled with tiny seeds of happiness and I'm sure that I've never made them. These muffins are a collaboration brought to you by two friends of mine - Bob and Sally. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Olympia and King Solomon's Reef

Ohhhh blogs - they an ever changing beast, aren't they? As people bloggers go through different phases in life they often decide to rename or refresh their little corner of the internet, or start a new blog altogether. I feel 100% confident in my decision to focus on food and the memories tied to sharing food with loved ones and I don't think that's something I'll ever lose interest in. Everyone eats everyday and there's no changing that! 

Something I'm striving for here at Aloha Yinz Mangia is a better balance of recipe posts and adventures outside of my own kitchen. I'm not afraid to admit that reading food blogs isn't always the most entertaining thing to do. Sometimes you're too hungry to even look at food. Other times you just need a recipe and don't read all of the other fluff. There are even posts worth reading which contain a recipe that you know you'll never make, but you'll read and enjoy regardless. 

I love reading blogs and writing this little blog, my friends. Capturing meals and memories will never grow old, although sitting at a desk at 9 pm after having done so for 8+ hours earlier today isn't always a walk in the park, I'm always happy when I've posted another adventure or shared a delicious recipe.

All of that leads me to tonight's post. Lisa and I both began working aboard the Battleship Missouri (aka USS Missouri, Mighty Mo, BB-63) in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the exact same day. She's loud, fun, and doesn't sit still so naturally our 8-hour-shift of orientation was made more fun as a result of her presence! We rode the shuttle bus onto base for weeks together while waiting for our background checks to go through, entertaining each other all the while! If there was ever a day where Lisa and I didn't quote Mean Girls together, I'll skip the Spring Fling. She eventually moved back to her hometown of Olympia, Washington and Bryce and I were able to visit with her a few weeks ago during our first trip to the Capital City.

Posing with that sign seems so sadly ironic for friends who met in Hawaii

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Rainbow Carrot Cupcakes with Lemon Peel

This is the first time in six years that I've experienced a change of seasons! After moving from Honolulu, Hawaii to Seattle, Washington, in November of all months, I couldn't be more excited to get back to coat-less living, sunglass wearing, and bright and delicious flavors. (Does this mean that the soup phase is finally ending?!)

You may remember that I teamed up with my roommates from Camp Blogaway for a July 4th BBQ mash-up and we're at it again, this time welcoming spring with carrot cake! My creation was this - rainbow carrot cupcakes with lemon peel. What would a carrot cake be without cream cheese frosting? Just a carrot muffin??

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ivar's Acres of Clams

Our weekends lately have been jam packed with adventures around Seattle, meeting up with friends, and restaurant visits! A recent excursion brought us to Ivar's Acres of Clams. It is one of many Ivar's locations and 'Acres of Clams' is the sit-down waterfront restaurant counter part to the fish-and-chips 'Seafood Bars' scattered all over the area.

It's a personal favorite of mine when restaurants include old photos of their establishment and Ivars has a great image on their menu covers. So cool!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Seattle's Sweetest - Trophy Cupcakes and Top Pot Doughnuts

We've been living in Seattle for 4 months now. Just hours after touching down for our first visit we embarked on a food tour of the infamous Pike Place Market, with no less than 9 stops. 

Naturally the speed at which we're checking must-eat-foods off of the list has slowed down a bit as we're getting settled in. In the past couple of weeks I've been lucky to try two of Seattle's sweetest and most well known bakeries! 

First were Trophy Cupcakes

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Love and Lobster Tails

Did everyone survive Valentine's Day? It will go down in history forever as our first married Valentine's Day - the one where Bryce got a parking ticket while bringing me flowers at work! I fought hard and successfully resisted the urge to upload a bouquet pic to social media. 

Sure, it's a made up holiday and pretty annoying overall, but it often makes us treat our loved ones a little nicer for a day and gives us great excuse to have a fancy meal. As usual, Bryce and I opted to celebrate at home. Surf and turf seems to be our Valetine's Day go-to dinner. This year we upgraded to lobster tail! I'm so pleased with how they turned out, as it was my first time making them.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

On Feeling Old

I'm tired of hearing people saying "ohmygosh, I feel so old!" Naturally this is being said a lot as my 10 year high school reunion is impending. Come on guys, we're not even 30. Yes, I've muttered the terrible cliche myself from time to time, although I truly don't feel OLD. I do however, feel like I'm 10 years past 18.
Myself with two of my life-long BFFs,  Jamie and Diana
We met in Kindergarten and 2nd grade and will always be just as old as each other
Let's look at that a little more closely and just what I was doing at 10 years ago at age 18, perhaps you were too:

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Golden Beetle Birthday Dinner

Last week was my birthdayyyy! I think it's about time I stop blasting my age all over the place so let's just say I'm twenty-something.

It's so secret how much Bryce and I love, love, love our new neighborhood of Ballard (in Seattle) and the Golden Beetle restaurant is just around the corner from our apartment. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Saltine Toffee with Bacon

It's January, my birthday month, hooray!

It's also bandwagon diet month but I don't care, I'm posting my brilliant holiday baking revelation because I'm wild and cra-zay like that!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Pittsburgh Christmas 2013

There's really nothing like going to your home at Christmas-time! This trip back to Pittsburgh was the longest and best in years. I'd never been to the famous Pamela's Diner in the Strip District and I have finally marked it off of my list!

These girls and I have known each other since elementary school and we had a great coffee date with a side of breakfast food! Diana, Megan, Mallory and I tried a little bit of everything, strawberry stuffed pancakes, omelets with extra cheese, and Pamela's renowned lyonnaise potatoes.