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Monday, August 14, 2017

Lennox

Kakaako

Meet Lennox....he's turning one soon and mommy Vikki needed some pics for his invitation.  I saw this wall on the internet and I was on a mission to find it!  Good thing I plenty friends that pay attention so they knew exactly where it was...It's on the Fisher wall next to Mother Waldron park.  It's awesome because since it's not facing the street I didn't have to worry about cars parked in front of it!

I took some test shots before they arrived
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So cute yah!!
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Friday, August 11, 2017

Baklava

I always wanted to try and make Baklava but was always scared to.  It looks really difficult and I've never really worked with phyllo dough before.  It's my co-worker's birthday (happy birthday Joanne!) so I thought I'd finally give it a try.  I found a recipe on pinterest, it was good because it had lots of pictures and a video.  You can find the recipe here.  Of course she made it look super easy, with her hair all nice and not a drip of sweat running down her.  Anyways, this recipe totally tests your patience.  It uses 40 layers of phyllo dough, and after every layer you brush melted butter on it.  The first step is 10 layers.  So yup, dough, butter, dough, butter...etc.  I swear after 5 layers if you're not paying attention you're gonna lose count and not know what number you're on.  After the 10th layer you sprinkle your nuts and then start again, except with only 5 layers.  Then nuts.  Then 5 more layers. Don't forget to butter your sheet after every one!! Sigh...so here's how it went

10 sheets
Nuts
5 sheets
Nuts
5 sheets
Nuts
5 sheets
Nuts
5 sheets
Nuts
10 sheets

By the time I finished my last set was 11 sheets.  Who knows where I skimped.  Good thing they're really thin so you can't tell.  I only took one picture.  I don't know how other people blog their stuff.  My kitchen was a mess.  There's no way I was pulling out my camera for this....
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It actually was pretty tasty!  It was a bitch cutting it, you have to do it before you throw it in the oven so your layers were moving all over the place.  I don't know how the girl got hers to look so nice.  I didn't even bother to take a picture of my pan.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Jalna is now a vegan!

Did you know that Jalna is attempting to become a vegan?  Go check out her blog to see her progress...I must say, she's very lucky because her son, who is trained to be a chef, is serious about changing their lifestyle.  His food is good!  There's no way I'd be able to handle if I had to do all this on my own.

I thought I'd help her out and look for a vegan snack for her to reward her for her suffering (actually she's not suffering too much I think, she wasn't a big meat eater to begin with). I found a recipe for chocolate chip cookies and it looked pretty good.  Bonus that I already had all of the ingredients in my kitchen.  We were already scheduled to go to brunch with Michele, her cousin V,  and fellow blogger Kat so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to try out this recipe. I found it on pinterest but you can get the recipe here 

Another bonus, very little ingredients!  
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I got permission from Jalna to use regular chocolate chips and not vegan since they were semi-sweet and not milk chocolate...

I prepared the dough last night so I could freshly bake them this morning before brunch.  It didn't make too much, a little over 2 dozen.  I think I'll double the recipe next time.
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Success!  They came out pretty good, and not as coconutty as I expected.  I thought I wasn't gonna like it but I do!  
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I finally got to use my sealer that Jalna bought me for an early Christmas/birthday gift...uh yah.  My birthday is in February. hahaha!!
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Saturday, July 8, 2017

Places I've Been...

I saw this on Facebook and plotted all the places I've been...wow.  There's lots more to explore out there!!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Carnitas Tacos and Mexican Rice...

We had a potluck at work yesterday so I thought I'd bring my new go-to taco and rice dish.  I had to split it with 3 others so I wouldn't have to spend too much, but for the amount this makes it really isn't that expensive.  I'm a sucker for street tacos.  We always gotta stop when we're in the mainlad whenever we run into a taco truck.  This recipe was soooo easy and soooo delicious.  The meat comes out really tender and I just can't stop eating it.  Note:  I omitted the salt, the first time I made it it came out way too salty.  Skip the last step about throwing it into the oven after shredding.  It seemed to dry it out too much.  Plus it saves you time. Also I use the smallest corn tortillas you can find.  Microwave it for about 20 secs in damp paper towels so they're nice and soft.  It tastes horrible if you eat it dry.  Add chopped cilantro, onion, sliced radishes and a squeeze of lime juice and viola!!  Heaven.  Sorry, this is an old picture, I forgot to add the radishes before taking the pic
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For the Mexican rice,  be sure you use oven mitts when lifting the stoopid cover when coming out of the oven...You can't really tell by this pic so I had to point it out for you.
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Yah.  I didn't only do it once...but TWICE.  It was so freakin sore, I had to call Jalna so she could bring me her miracle cream when she got to work.

Overall I think everyone enjoyed it.  At least I hoped they did.  I was stuffed!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Brazilian Cheese Bread

I've wanted to try this recipe for a long time but never got around to it.  Jalna happened to give me a bag of tapioca flour because Wendell tried something similar a few months ago.  Perfect!  I was bored at home because Randy was working the night shift again so I decided to bake.  Wow, that's twice in one week!  I got the recipe on Pinterest but here's the link to the webpage.

It actually turned out pretty good!  It was like I was eating a cheesy mochi.  I used pepper jack cheese instead of cheddar but I think I will try cheddar next time just to compare.  Has anyone ever tried this before?  I'm not even sure what it's supposed to taste like.
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Randy's gonna be working a lot of evenings/graves in the next few weeks, maybe I'll do more experimenting!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

I Made Ensemadas!!

I was bored on Sunday, Randy was working the night shift and I promised my co-worker Dara that I would attempt to make ensemadas one day, for they are her favorite.  I got the recipe from the Star Bulletin (yah, this recipe was from 2004 so it's not Star Advertiser yet).

I was kinda scared to try this, I haven't really tried any "bready" kind of stuff before.  I wish I took a picture of my prepared yeast in a bowl.  The bowl that I used was almost too small, I thought it was gonna overflow by the time it activated!  I shoulda took more pictures too, I wasn't planning on posting this but Jalna talked me into it.  I only took the pics to tease Dara during the baking process...

This recipe is fairly easy but it takes a lot of patience.  Here's part one...you have to wait 45 minutes for the dough to rise
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Here's the fun part.  After the dough rises you have to separate your dough into two pieces and then slam it onto your surface ten times to firm it up.  Just think of all the people you want to slap in the head, then slam away!  After you're done slamming then you cut them up into 12 pieces.   You then roll them into a rope about a foot long and then swirl it into the ensemada shape.  
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Now it's time to wait again. 40 more minutes until you can put them in the oven.  But the great thing is is that it only takes about 15 minutes to bake!  As you can see, these came out HUGE.  But I guess the bakery ones are big too.  I think I'll half the size next time so I can share more.
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Here's the best part....smother it with softened butter and cover it with sugar....YUMMMM....it was delicious when it first came out of the oven.  It was fluffy and warm.  But there's a problem.  You gotta wait till it totally cools or else your butter is just gonna melt away.  
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I'm bummed that Jalna decided to play hooky on Monday since we only worked half day.  I think she woulda enjoyed it.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Should You Go On A Safari??

As much as I loved, loved, loved my experience in Africa, I must say, safaris aren't for everybody.  Not to scare you, but here's the breakdown why...

1. It's not cheap.  If you price around, most of them are $8000 and above for a 15 day tour.  

2. Depending on where you live, it takes FOREVER to get there.  The older I'm getting the less I'm tolerating these long flights.

3.  I was on Meclizine (motion sickness drugs) the whole time I was there.  I usually take this for seasickness but it works well for carsickness too.  The trails (if you can even call them trails) that you drive on are very rocky and bumpy.  You are in a 4WD vehicle bouncing around the place for hours at a time.  Meclizine tends to make you tired but I'll take sleepiness over motion sickness anyday.  Also you have to hold on for dear life at some points...if they start to drive fast or if you stand up while they are driving.  I got a good core workout!

4.  The places I went to had no air-conditioning.  I don't know if other places use AC but The Safari Collection is very much into conservation so AC was out of the question.  It can get very warm in some areas, especially if you go during their summer.

5. The Yellow Fever vaccination HURT LIKE A MUTHA!!  This has had to be the most painful vaccination I've ever gotten.  I'm not joking, 2 weeks later both Randy and I felt like our arm was still bruised.

6.  You have to do your business in the bushes if you're on a game drive.  You're in the middle of a reserve.  There's no bathrooms or porta-potties around.

7. If you have a problem with jet lag (fortunately I don't), they are 13 hrs ahead of Hawaii time.  That could really throw off your sleeping schedule.  You may need to bring some Ambien or something with you to help you sleep.

I think that's about it.  If you think you can handle it then I would definitely recommend you going.  It's an experience that will never be forgotten and pictures do it no justice.