Monday, June 21, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake

When you're short on time and energy and everyone is relying on you for desserts, never, ever show up empty handed and make excuses because frankly, people do not care and they expect dessert at the end of a meal. A jaunt to Costco solves the day. Red ripe succulent strawberries marinated with sugar is spooned on a slice of dense, moist pound cake and served with a dollop of Cool Whip. Easy enough to prepare and serve that the nieces took over!

Infinity's 4th Birthday

The trumpets blare and herald the celebration of Infinity's 4th birthday. The lovely castle and crown sugar cookies are royal enough for this cute little diva.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Mililani Golf Course Restaurant

It was a Friday afternoon and locals (golfers and non-golfers) were packed into this spacious, casual, and lively (it was the end of happy hour) restaurant that overlooked the golf course. People rave about the pork adobo but I thought it too expensive at $11.99 with no side vegetables nor salad. My parents would kill me if they found out I paid that much for something they'll make me for free. So, I settled for the grilled mahi mahi with teriyaki beef and cleaned my whole plate. It was delicious!

Big City Cupcakes, Vancouver

Check out this cupcake bakery when you're in Vancouver. Super friendly service, larger than normal cupcakes sizes, and moist cakes. Voted most popular is the New York Chocolate Cheesecake.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Cakey Chocolate Chip cookie

I prefer these to Martha's soft and chewy version. There was less butter (1 3/4 sticks) and brown sugar (1/4 C) which yielded a thicker and fluffier chocolate chip cookie but with just as much appeal with 2 C semisweet chocolate chips. Delectable with a glass of milk!

Salmon Cakes with Lemon Thyme Orzo

This inexpensive meal was worth the time it took to pluck every bone out of the canned salmon which cost only $3. Mixed in a baked potato fluffed with a fork, diced onion, mayo, Dijon mustard, a little bit of sugar, and half a lemon zested.
I'm convinced it was the 2 strips of bacon fried and crumbled that added depth. Formed 12 patties coated with a bread crumb and Parmesan cheese mixture and fried.
The lemon zest and fresh chopped thyme leaves helped to make the orzo light, refreshing and delicious which complemented the salmon cakes well.

Lanikea Beach, North Shore, Oahu

A 15 minute drive to the North Shore puts us in the company of a family of sea turtles. It's hard to believe tourists spend thousands of dollars for a once in a lifetime opportunity and this is in our own backyard.

Italian Almond Biscotti

This recipe makes a considerable amount of biscotti and sharing my baked goods give me as much pleasure as eating them. I found it odd that almond extract was not an ingredient because most Italian cookies are accented with this bold flavor. A year ago I would have never deviated from a recipe. I said, "The hell with it!" and added 1/4 t almond extract with the 3 T vanilla extract. I was not disappointed and neither were the friends who received the goodies.
If you're crazy for nuts like I am, you will love this cookie because there was an almond embedded in every crevice of the biscotti. But something was missing and I thought what makes everything better-chocolate. As they cooled, I melted semi-sweet chocolate over a double boiler and each cookie was then plunged into it.

Friday, June 11, 2010

New York Sugar Cookie

Yvonne's daughter is heading off to college in Poughkeepsie, New York and wanted cookies to celebrate the happy occasion. Aren't they adorable?!

Buttermilk Pancakes

Do pancakes that are crunchy on the edges, chewy on the inside and light and fluffy exist? I am happy to report they do at Vancouver's Hamburger Mary! Possibly the best pancakes I've ever had in my life! They also served a great breakfast deal at $5.99 for 2 eggs, meat, hash brown and toast. I am not a fan of hash brown but theirs was delicious. Anything deep fried is devine. Just thinking about the food makes me want to go back to Vancouver.
I tried to recreate those pancakes making them from scratch and mission was unsuccessful. Katie Lee's recipe was too wet (2 C buttermilk) which did not yield crunchy and chewy I was searching for. I am on a quest to find a good pancake recipe-Bisquick does not count!

Thursday, June 10, 2010


This beautiful girl has been traveling before she was even born! Scott and I visited New York and Spain when I was 3 months pregnant and continue to travel all over the world with her which could explain her tireless energy, her ability to get along with others and her enthusiasm for getting on a plane and going some where!

Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookie

I'm not a fan of these cookies but if you're a crunchy type, you'll like these. Very simple but it takes forever to bake-45 minutes at 310 degrees. Full of chocolate (2 C), nuts (1 C) and crunch!

Sam Choy's Breakfast, Lunch and Crab

Our little Jacob has graduated from college! Family and friends from Chicago, Connecticut, and the ever glamorous Kalihi convened at Sam Choy's world famous restaurant to celebrate Jacob's graduation from University of San Francisco. This boy has grown up from a face pierced teenager to a handsome, intelligent and responsible young man.
I don't do buffets well because I can't possibly eat the amount you pay for, but this buffet satisfied my salty and sweet cravings. The omelets were not skimpy but loaded with anything I desired, the corned beef hash was delicious with the crunchy top, and every bite of the chocolate haupia pie was delectable.

Vancouver, Canada

Bonjour! Greetings from Vancouver where there is everything and anything to eat. Devoured gourmet cupcakes, Hungarian Dobos Torte (one of my favorite cakes) and feasted on homemade falafel to mouth watering burgers from Vera's. We ate our way through Vancouver!
Worked off all the food walking, bicycling through Stanley Park, walking, catching the Sky train and the bus, and walking. All that exercise paid off when I came in contact with actual peonies-in a garden, for sale in a florist shop, they were everywhere! Peonies are so beautiful but I have been cursed and tortured living in Hawaii and not having the opportunity to be around them. It is too hot and humid to grow peonies in Hawaii.
Weather was unusually cold (50s) for this time of year but it gave me the chance to wear my trench coat, scarves, and coat. The Canadians were friendly, the weather was beautiful and it was only a 5 hour flight. I will definitely be returning to Vancouver.

Philanthropy by Madison and Company

Gorgeous store! The beautiful interior, more than friendly service, and attractive presentation of merchandise make you want to camp here and spend your money! Clothes are reasonably priced and fashionable. I adore the scents especially the gin and rosewater. Owner Nikki Watanabe moved the store to Kailua a couple of years ago and now is back in Waipio to everyone's delight, including Anna who grew up in this boutique. I welcomed Nikki and thanked her for the goodies with some red velvet cupcakes.