Saturday, July 31, 2010

Rustic Apple Pie

I saved myself with dessert! Katie Lee's recipe was well received-light flakey crust with apple sweet filling. I got by with slicing 2 apples instead of 5 and added toasted walnuts for extra crunch. So good that everyone asked for another slice.
Dreyer's Drumstick flavor was such hit that everyone asked for another scoop too!

Chicken with Mushrooms and Garlic

I don't know what I was thinking. Was it confidence or just comfort knowing I would be cooking for good friends who would accept me anyway or anything I offer? How arrogant! This meal was a disaster! Chefs advise you to never prepare a dish for the first time when you have guests and I did just that!
I tried to create a French meal with this recipe. There was rich flavor but the chicken not so tender. I obviously did not cook it long enough. I began preparing the dish too late (friends had already arrived) and I obviously have not mastered the skill of cooking and talking at the same time.

Chicken Enchilada and Spanish Rice

A Mexican dinner in Vancouver inspired this dish. This was not bad for a recipe coming from the back of a can of enchilada sauce. I'm always trying to create a healthier version so in went 2 chopped, organic chicken breasts instead of ground beef.
The Spanish rice recipe came from a Cooking Light issue. Family liked it but I thought it was too wet. Maybe should have used long grain rice instead of Japanese rice. Yet, it was flavorful and healthy.
Simple, fast meal to prepare but I would suggest preparing the rice first.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Kam Kasuals

Please welcome my lovely guest blogger Anna.
I was so amazed of the many slippers they had in my aunty and uncle's office next to the warehouse. They didn't have just slippers, they had all sorts of things like a giant slipper, keychains, pillows and fly swatters. There was also a display of water shoes and strappy sandles. I wish I worked at Kam Kasuals.

Somen Salad

My sister Tessie prepares this whenever there is a potluck and I always manage to plant myself before it and finish every morsel. It's colorful, refreshing, and can be served at room temperature-excellent for a summer meal! A layer of somen noodles, chopped lettuce, char siu pork, fried egg, kamaboko (fish cake), and green onions is pleasing to the senses and the right blend of shoyu, sesame seed oil, and Japanese vinegar makes it the perfect dressing.


Filipinos don't waste a thing and when it comes to parts of an edible plant, we'll eat leave, stalk, fruit, you name it! Marungay is a soup based dish that is one of my comfort foods. You eat the fruit like an artichoke leaf with a bowl of rice and you have a very cheap, very filling and very satisfying meal.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Roast Beef

A commercial last night prompted me to ask my father to make roast beef for sandwiches. I never buy the stuff at a grocery deli but only eat my Dad's. Tender, flavorful and taste like heaven for a carnivore like me.
Did you see that honking huge machine to slice the beef? Looks scary but does a great job at slicing the beef paper thin-perfect for sandwiches!

Spaghetti with Shrimp Scampi

I hate to admit that I can be a snob with restaurant dining. While enjoying my meal, I often ask myself if I could prepare the dish or do an even better job. This dish is restaurant worthy! So simple and so delicious.
My love of lemon continues as I mix lemon zest and juice into the pasta which produced a light and satisfying dish while the sun dried tomatoes and Italian parsley added color.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Classy Exceptional Advice for the Extremely Modern Lady by Derek Blasberg

Are you a lady or a skank? A smart book featuring topics ranging from entertaining, traveling, and relationships. I recommend this great read to every woman, young & old. Vivid, colorful pictures, humorous essays and practical advice to help you achieve sophistication.

Roy's Restaurant Hawaii Kai

Nice view, excellent service and delicious choices of fresh fish prepared fried, broiled or just about any way you desire. Enjoyed every bite of moist and flakey Moi (fish) served with a nice blend of flavored rice. A glass of Osso Anna Merlot complemented the meal while a chocolate souffle ended it on a sweet and decadent note.
A great way to send off our friends Mick and Dorothy on their Rhine River cruise. Bon voyage!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fried Rice

I am blessed to have parents who babysit my Anna on a moment's notice and send me home with food. What do I do when I can't eat everything before it spoils? Fried Rice! This is a great way to clean the fridge of leftovers and get a quick meal on the table. Everyone has a version of this starch but I keep it simple-brown pieces of bacon and sausage, mix 1/4 chopped onion and 2 cloves of minced garlic, add rice, stir in 2 scrambled eggs, 1/4 C shoyu and a sprinkling of cut green onions.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


This dish defines Filipino cooking. Every Filipino restaurant and home has their version of this popular meal and my dad always uses pork but I wanted a healthier version. Organic chicken breast, vinegar, shoyu, peppercorn, onion, garlic and salt were all thrown into a pot to cook and simmer for about 40 minutes on low heat. Careful not to overcook chicken breast or it will be too tough. Scott took one whif of the cooking vinegar and couldn't wait for dinner.

Key Lime Pie

I couldn't wait to get home and make this pie for my family using Diane's recipe. One of the easiest pie crust to prepare and so deceptively easy to make. Sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese and lime juice are all it takes to make this praise worthy pie. A big mahalo to Diane!

Railroad Museum

All aboard! The outgoing and flirty conductor greets you at the museum that houses more than 20 restored locomotives and railroad cars. The Central Pacific Railroad Company built railroad tracks headed east and the Union Pacific, starting from Omaha, Nebraska headed west. The two railroaded companies met in Utah and passengers and cargo were able to cross the continent in days instead of months. The unappreciated and unrecognized heroes were the Chinese laborers or Coolies who I found their involvement with the transcontinental railroad fascinating.

Old Schoolhouse Museum

I have been teaching for 20 years and a visit the Old Schoolhouse Museum was a must! Maria and I dashed over to old Sac Town to visit the one room building that would welcome 30-50 eager children, grades ranging from Kindergarten to high school. I guess I have nothing to complain about.


I was fortunate enough to accompany our AVID teachers to Sacramento, California to learn the philosophy and strategies behind this organization whose mission is to close the achievement gap to prepare all students for college. Not only did I get to work with fantastic teachers and learn new strategies but it gave me the opportunity to bond with my Leilehua colleagues.
Who knew Sacramento had so much to offer?! After working from 8 to 5, we made sure to take advantage of the culture (the musical Spamalot), the history (Old Sac town), and the great restaurants.

California State Fair

We were lucky enough to be in Sacramento for the State Fair and missed Governor Schwarzenegger by mere hours. This carnival boasts a diverse selection of foods (deep fried Snickers, chicken tacos, a block of fries, funnelcake) and exhibits ranging from animation to award winning livestock.

Dinner at the Ranch

An invitation to eat at Diane and Andy's home is one you can't turn down. This down to earth couple is such a joy to be around and Diane is an absolutely wonderful cook. Nothing is more comforting than a home cooked meal and the best home cooking starts with fresh ingredients found close to home with foods that are local and seasonal. The roast beef is a prime example of conscious consumption; it was tender and delicious served with California sweet corn and baked potatoes.
The final course was even more unbelievable. I am now a Key Lime Pie fan. Diane's pie was smooth, not too rich, with just the right amount of lime. She was even kind enough to share the recipe!

Rustan Ranch

You're transported to a page from a Steinbeck novel once you enter Rustan Ranch. Rolling hills, roaming cattle, and sweet, fresh country air greeted us at the home of Andy and Diane. This handsome couple's hospitality and generosity made our first day in Sacramento, California warm and peaceful.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Hawaiian Summer

Sunny, warm, carefree summer days are the best things about growing up in Hawaii. Oh yeah..friends too!


It's amazing how being in the ocean can build up an appetite. We planted ourselves at Spaghettini in Haleiwa and feasted on pizza and lasagna. Huge meaty portions with reasonable prices made a day on the North Shore satisfying on the stomach and on the wallet.

P.F. Chang's Restaurant

Fast, efficient, and so happy service helped to make our 15th Wedding Anniversary a special one. Delicious crab won tons accompanied with an unbelievable dipping sauce and beef chow fun noodles were devoured by the happy couple. I thought I would try something new and agreed to the banana spring rolls drizzled with caramel and vanilla sauces served with a scoop of pineapple coconut ice cream. I'm so used to decadent, rich desserts that the rolls were a return to simple pleasure.


Who would have thought a bottle of Heineken beer could make chili taste so good?! The beer added a depth of flavor and the alcohol helped to tenderize the meat. A lot of ingredients including taco seasoning, chili powder, cumin, and cinnamon produced a yummy pot of chili that I'll look forward to making on chilly nights, no pun intended. No ground pork in the freezer so in went diced Portuguese sausage as a substitute and everyone went crazy! It's amazing how a small addition can put a simple meal over the top.

Chocolate Chip Scone

Who has the time to freeze scone dough for 2 hours when you're craving something sweet?! I only had 5 minutes to spare before popping then into a 375 degree oven and they turned out quite lovely! The sprinkling of sugar on the top created a nice, crunchy crust and the inside was dense and moist. Do like the English and have a scone with afternoon tea.