Monday, August 23, 2010

Island Manapua Factory

Hungry for a snack but not hungry enough to eat a meal. A manapua is the perfect choice! This a local version of a Chinese char siu bao but much bigger. Call me a purist but I enjoy the pork version and some restaurants even have chicken, kalua pig and taro.

Manoa Marketplace

I recently suffered a back injury and I was advised to take it easy, something that I find very difficult to do. So, I vowed to slow down and enjoy life. After spending the afternoon at the beach, Scott and I shared coffee and some sweets from Boulangerie. I've forgotten how scrumptious the croissants are and especially the mascarpone pear and chocolate pastry. Yum. So French, so rich and so good washed down with a Costa Rican coffee from Coffee Bean and Tea. I could get used to this!
There are so many great restaurants at the Manoa Marketplace; practically anything to satisfy a craving.

Left Point

Welcome to my husband's favorite coast. Scott enjoys surfing Left Point because he describes it as unspoiled and uncrowded. It was THE night hangout in high school. I like the fact that I can wear my skimpiest bikinis in privacy.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

To Cut or Not to Cut

I've been contemplating cutting my hair short! I often get like this several times a year when I get either bored or frustrated with my hair. I thought this was the cutest hair cut and the lovely J Crew associate kindly agreed to pose for a picture.

J. Crew

Welcome to my favorite store on the island! Not only is the store gorgeous and comfortable but the workers are so nice. Best of all... they give 15% discount to teachers. I can never leave the store without buying anything. Have you seen the boots collection? Me likey the tall, heeled dark brown boots.


We planted our hungry selves at Ala Moana's Sobaya Japanese restaurant and enjoyed a 5 course meal at a very reasonable price of $10.99. We especially enjoyed the sweet potato tempura. With Anna gone for the weekend, we decided to have a date and enjoy the night.

Jardin de Beaute

Sleeping in, desserts, a hard workout, and facials are what make me smile. Jardin de Beaute is my refuge for once a month facials. Aesthetician Janet Do has been in business almost 20 years and doesn't look a day over 40. Her positive spirit and energy and beauty is contagious. She will spend the time needed to make sure your face is clean and not rush you out the door in one hour which is what most aestheticians will do. Her fabulous smelling shop on Keeaumoku is full of essential oils and aromatherapy imported from Paris.
Aging is inevitable but if I'm going to get older, I will slow the process through good diet, exercise, and facials and I trust my face only to Janet.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Auntie Pasto's Restaurant

Spacious dining room, friendly service, and reasonable prices have me coming back time and time again to Auntie Pasto's in Kunia. After the long , 2 1/2 hour let down of the movie Eat Pray Love, I looked forward to satisfying the craving for Italian food and to cheer myself up. I was already in smiles with the Mozarellla Marinara and Crab Artichoke appetizers and even happier when I dived into my Spaghetti Bolognese and tastes of pizza and herb crusted eggplant. Molto Bene!

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

I was advised by my muse Katie Lee to have a dinner reservation at an Italian restaurant after seeing the movie. I was also forewarned not to see the show when I was hungry. I did all of that and at the end found myself disappointed. I've read the book 3 times, hosted a booktalk and was expecting too much. I can't say that about the other books I've read. With such high hopes I went to the movie with an open mind. When I heard the book was being turned into a film, my husband and I speculated as to who should play the lead. We did not speculate Julia Roberts!
I did enjoy the scenes of Italy and Bali and they reminded me of my recent travels there. I also appreciated the food shots and made me look forward to my Italian dinner reservation.
I still LOVE the book though!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Roasted Pasta Sauce

After a trip to the farmer's market, my kitchen was full of vegetables begging to be eaten-tomatoes, zucchini, sweet pepper, and onion. Roasting the vegetables really brings out the sweetness. Chopped the vegetables, drizzled with olive oil and roasted at 325 for 1 1/2 hours. Then, stirred and cooked on low heat until thickened. Served over pasta with a garnish of fresh basil.
I have been practicing yoga for 9 years and am trying to incorporate ahimsa, the yogic principle of nonharming into my life. Surprisingly, Anna asked for a day of no meat and I thought what better way to start. According to Yoga Journal, "this kind of shift in awareness about the connection between what's on your plate and its impact on the world around you is common when you commit to a regular yoga practice." I don't plan to become a vegetarian but Anna and I are committed to giving up a meat at least one day per week. According to Carnegie Mellon University, "choosing to eat a plant based diet rather than meat just one day per week would reduce greenhouse gas emissions." We want to do our part in saving our environment.
I didn't even miss meat with this dish. The blend of fresh vegetables, herbs, and slow roasting created a dish full of flavor, texture, and color.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Carabasa with Pork (Pumpkin)

When my sister Judy comes home, my mom always prepares her favorite foods and sends her back with cartons of this dish. Carabasa is not only loaded with vitamins and minerals but it tastes so good mixed with pork and patis (fish sauce). This is home style cooking at its best.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Eggplant, string beans, bitter melon, tomatoes, garlic, ginger and bagoong (fish sauce) all come together in this quintessential Filipino dish. Every restaurant and/or home serving Fiipino food has their own version but I adore my mom's. This is the perfect accompaniment to a Filipino meat dish that it wouldn't be considered a meal without it.


I rarely eat big breakfasts but an all night rager the previous day worked up an appetite. It was a mother daughter breakfast date at Zippy's and what a treat! A short stack whet the appetite for the main meal of sausage and vegetable omelette and Anna enjoyed her Belgian waffle embellished with her favorite fruit-strawberries.

Leilehua Gang

This marks my second year teaching at Leilehua and not only do I respect and admire my coworkers but I actually enjoy being with them. It could explain why Carl continues to drive 5 days a week from Kailua to Wahiawa; we love the school!

Happy Birthday John and Erik

Getting old sucks but getting old with friends is a different story. When you're surrounded by good friends, good food, and an endless supply of surf videos, you actually look forward to getting a year older.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Shoyu Chicken

I love throwing everything into a pot and then doing stuff around the house while your meal cooks. A can of Coke is the secret ingredient which sweetens and tenderizes the chicken. Whoever thought of pouring this beverage into food is brilliant.

Dinner at Au's Restaurant

There are a few restaurants where I take a bite of their food, sigh and think, "Life is good." My Cantonese friend describes the food as homestyle cooking, I describe it as delicious. Au's food proves that you don't have to spend a lot for good food.

Maha's Sculptures

My friend Maha Weeks is not only beautiful and smart but also a talented artist. I had the privilege of having a painting of myself done by her and proudly display it in my bedroom. These sculptures were entered in a contest and if I was a judge I would award her first place.

Ala Moana Beach Magic Island

Another day in paradise! I often take for granted this beautiful place I call home.

Oahu Market

What an adventure! The challenges of finding parking and muscling your way through thick crowds are worth the bags full of the freshest and cheapest produce on the island. I have been coming here with my parents since I was a little girl and I'm glad Anna gets to experience this kind of culture. Exotic fruits, funky smells, and squeamish sights (severed pig's head) await you at the Oahu Market.