Thursday, December 30, 2010

Chex Mix

OMG...I never thought a trail mix involved so much work! No wonder people prepare this recipe only during the holidays. Despite the labor and an endless supply of ingredients, chex mix is always a crowd pleaser!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cranberry White Chocolate Pecan Oatmeal Cookie

That's a lot of stuff for just a cookie, but it was worth it. Chewy and flavorful. Stock up on the ingredients when on sale because it can get expensive.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

William and Dawn opened their home to a Christmas celebration that featured dim sum, baked zitti, and so much more. There was even a surprise visit from Santa himself assisted by his sweet elf.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Cookie Decorating Party

I wanted to start a tradition that the kids would look forward to and remember as they grow up. The children receive so much stuff during the holidays that I wanted to give the them my time, energy and love through cookies.

Classic Peanut Butter Cookie sealed with a Kiss

My dear friend Christine sent a few of these cookies home with Anna and I was in heaven! The combination of a peanut butter cookie with a Hershey kiss is brilliant.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Herb-Roasted Salmon

My lunches are always the same-brown rice, dark leafy vegetables, and salmon. I eat so much of this fish that I had to try new recipes and Katie Lee's Comfort Table's Chrismukkah section featured this scrumptious dish. Flat leaf parsley, thyme, chives and mint mixed with Dijon mustard and brown sugar and spread over the salmon produced a simple, quick, delicious and classy meal.

SoHa Living

I'm obsessed with these chandeliers made of capiz shells. GORGEOUS!

The Shack

I like me a good burger once in while and the Shack satisfies the craving. The potato skins whet the appetite of delicious things to follow.

The Nutcracker at the Mamiya Theatre

Gorgeous choreography and colorful costumes all await us at the Hawaii State Ballet's Nutcracker. I keep reminding myself that the cast is comprised of children! Anna and I have made this one of our Xmas traditions.

Au's Chinese Restaurant

I take my parents out to dinner every year for my birthday and Au's is THE place for the occasion. I never get tired eating at this hole in the wall. It's broke da mouth delicious! Personal favorites-honey shrimp with walnuts, ginger steamed fish and shrimp chow mein. My mouth waters just thinking of the dishes.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Decorations

We finally found them-Jesus, Mary and Joseph. You can't have the family without the manger so Scott and Anna spent an afternoon constructing it! I love it!
Jack prefers being under the tree dreaming of sugar plum fairies... make that sugar plum birds and lizards.

Habitat Cookie

Genie wanted to wish her Habitat staff with these cute sugar cookies.

Bucco di Beppo

The Gruzinskys shared a boisterous dinner at Honolulu's Bucco di Beppo to celebrate 3 birthdays and Xmas. The calamari was great-light, not chewy and delicious and the Prosciutto stuffed chicken served on pesto sauce was flavorful. The highlight of the night was the colossal brownie sundae that all 9 people got to enjoy.

Penne with Spinach, Bacon, and Sun Dried Tomatoes

Whipped this dish in a flash and everyone loved it! Cooking Light's version calls for kale but spinach was cheaper, orrechiete was not available so penne was substituted and I got to use the last helping of sun dried tomatoes from my gargantuan Costco jar. So simple, economical and yummy. How great is that!

Cookie Swap

Next to rice, cookies are my favorite food. Rugelach, Bird Nest, Neiman Marcus, Oatmeal Cranberry, Macaroon, Granola, and several kinds of Chocolate Chip were displayed, talked about, then devoured one by one. What a yummy afternoon!

Christmas Tree

Anna and I decorated the tree using old, new, and recycled ornaments as Daddy oohhed and aahhed throughout the night. I purchased a whole bunch of gorgeous Martha Stewart ornaments two years ago that centered on a baking theme but my favorite is still the dancing Santa Claus that me and Scott got on Kauai when we were still dating. Awww.......

Monday, December 6, 2010

Meat Loaf

What man does not like meat loaf? My muse Katie Lee calls it "man loaf" because it's every man's favorite dish. Scott and Dave, hungry after a North Shore surf session enjoyed every bite. Scott thought it tasty and succulent that you didn't need ketchup and I liked the procedure of cooking the vegetable and herbs before stirring into the ground beef which really brought out the flavor.

Zumba Cookie

Genie wanted to wish her Zumba students a happy holidays with these cookies. Have you tried this fun, energetic, and fat blasting workout yet?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Teriyaki Salmon with Furikake

This dish was a hit when my cousin Jeannie made this for a gathering. So simple (I'm not kidding), so good (even the kids eat it) and so satisfying (salmon's health benefits are written about all the time). Spread teriyaki marinade over salmon and a thin layer of mayonnaise. Sprinkle furikake over salmon and bake for 15 minutes at 350. After 15 minutes, drizzle a tablespoon of teriyaki marinade over salmon and bake for 5 more minutes. Enjoy!

Wheeler Elementary Chorus

The sound of children singing Christmas songs puts you in the spirit. The holidays have officially begun with Anna's Christmas concert at Pealridge, writing a letter to Santa at Macy's and having all the decorations put up.

Hello Dolly Bar

Also known as a seven-layer bar, April is a huge bar fan so I thought of her when I made these. Another Cooking Light recipe but far from light and healthy. I substituted sweetened condensed milk for the fat free version and doubled the amount of semisweet chocolate chips and was not disappointed. Crunchy on the edges, chewy and gooey on the inside from the chocolate and butterscotch morsels melted between coconut flakes and toasted pecans resting on top of a graham cracker crust. Not only were they yummy but also made my house smell yummy too!

Chai Shortbread

This cookie brings me back to Bali where I had my best cup of tea-chai tea after a yoga session in Kuta. A combination of cardamom, cloves, and black pepper gives these cookies a taste reminiscent of the Indian spiced tea. Very light, tasty and healthy..., perfect with a cup of tea.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Teddy's Bigger Burger

We often seize the opportunity to visit Teddy's Bigger Burger whenever we're in Hawaii Kai. Reasonable prices, big portions, and great french fries and of course, delicious burgers are reasons to frequent this small but not small in taste hamburger chain.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Blueberry Muffin

You know how sometimes an accident produces a product even better than the intended outcome. Well, this was NOT the case. A beginning baker is advised to read the recipe not once but sometimes twice and even three times. I swear I did, but I mistakenly read softened for melted and it made all the difference. These muffins were not light and fluffy, instead dense and doughy, like mochi. Disaster!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving-Hana Hou!

Not only are Mom and Pops great cooks, they are such great hosts, something I hope to be one day. I'm so thankful for generosity of the Gruzinskys and the delicious foods Pops always prepares, especially his macaroni salad with a unique blend of macaroni, sugar, white vinegar, and mayonaise. I love love love this dish that I've been trying to recreate in my own home but with no success...yet.