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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Six for Saturday

1.  I'm glad you did well this past week!  I know it was super tiring for you, but you pulled through like a champ and I'm proud of you.

2.  I love that we did a new hike this week!  It was so gorgeous :)

3.  Thank you for coming to the dog beach with me tonight.  I think Lila had a great time!

4.  Also thank you for helping me pick up the dogs from the groomer's!

5.  I really appreciate when you help me out in the kitchen, even if it's something small.

6.  Snorkeling at Lanikai soon please!  :)

ily <3

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Getting to Know Hawaii: Eat the Street


The Need to Knows:
  • The main location for Eat the Street events is in downtown Honolulu at 555 South Street.  The exact location can be found here:
  • Eat the Street (ETS for short) is held every month on the last Friday of the month in the downtown Honolulu location.
  • ETS can also be held in other cities like Mililani or Kapolei during other parts of the month, but I'm not exactly sure how often this happens.  You can always check out ETS's website, www.eatthestreethawaii.com, and see what events are coming up!
  • ETS in Honolulu lasts from 4 PM to 9 PM each time.
  • There is no fee for ETS, but you do have to pay for food of course :)
  • Parking is available in the same lot ETS is held in for free or there is metered street parking available around the lot -- Halekauwila Street normally has a good bit if you don't get there too late.  ETS put out a nice blog post recently describing the best ways to get good parking at the event over on their blog.
  • I highly recommend arriving early.  The later you come, the less likely you'll be able to find any close parking (a lesson I've learned all too well).  You also run the risk of stands running out of food (especially their speciality themed dishes for the month) if you come late!
  • There is a covered eating area and some tall tables you can stand at and eat, but you can also bring your own chairs since they all fill up fast!

When we first moved here to Oahu and got settled in, I began to hear about a once-a-month food truck gathering that took place in town.  Having never really experienced the food truck culture back in Alabama, the thought of having so many different kinds of food in one place really intrigued me.  It took us awhile, but Mr. L and I finally attended one of these events last year and we totally fell in love!



Food trucks of all different varieties gather in a large parking lot in downtown Honolulu to sell their goodies to anyone and everyone with patrons numbering in the thousands.  There are all kinds of food, from Korean, Japanese, and Thai to Hawaiian and local-style foods, and even some down-home Southern cooking thrown in for good measure!  Between all the savory dishes and fantastic desserts, you'll definitely leave with a happy and satisfied tummy.



Now, you'll have to bear with me picture-wise, but I wanted to give notable shout-outs to some of our favorite food trucks that make frequent appearances at Eat the Street.  First up is a truck we first tried at the last Eat the Street -- Five-O Ribs, a down-home BBQ truck.

Pictured below  is a pulled pork plate with green salad and corn on a bed of fried rice (upcharge for the fried rice).  It was really delicious!  I was surprised at how yummy the pulled pork/BBQ/fried rice combo actually was!  At the bottom is, oh yes, chocolate dipped bacon (bacon was the theme of this ETS).  It was a pretty incredible combo of super salty and richly sweet.  It was a great way to kick off this ETS!


Next up is an old favorite of mine -- Soul Patrol.  They create "Southern Pacific Fusion" food and it is so delicious!  On this trip I got a chicken and waffle slider which was completely awesome, and on a trip before I tried a bacon and feta mac and cheese -- yum!  They also serve sweet tea which I can never pass up!


Another big favorite truck of mine is Local Stop.  They offer a variety of local cuisine, but one of their most popular dishes is something crazy awesome -- a malasada burger (!!).  Malasadas are a very popular dessert here on Oahu and I've always enjoyed grabbing a box from Leonard's Bakery.  So when I heard a malasada burger actually existed, I knew I would eventually get my hands on one.  It was fantastic -- a great every-now-and-then treat that I highly recommend trying at least once.

Local Stop also offers another kind of malasada dish -- red velvet cheesecake malasadas!  Holy yum!  These unique malasadas are decadent and delicious and a great dessert to top off your Local Stop meal.


Every time we come to Eat the Street, we make it a priority to hit up Paul's Poppers.  They specialize in creating delicious little golden brown wonton treats with a nice selection of savory and sweet fillings, including spinach and artichoke, pepperoni pizza, crab rangoon, and peanut butter and chocolate to name a few.  I'm always a fan of the savory poppers, but the peanut butter and chocolate blew me away with how completely delicious it was.  I can't wait to get my hands on more!


For some more dessert at this ETS, we tried out a new truck -- Hawaiian Fresh Farms.  We were intrigued by the Kona cheesecake (made with goat cheese!) and had to give it a try.  It was great!  I really enjoyed what few bites Mr. L allowed me to have, haha.  The coffee flavor wasn't too strong and it was nice and creamy.  I'd definitely get a piece again!


And, of course, whenever a shave ice truck is nearby that has Mr. L's favorite flavor, green apple, he absolutely has to order some, no questions asked.  We've actually had shave ice from this truck, Kona Ice, a couple of times (down at Waikiki and on Hickam) and we're always happy with our shave ice choices, especially since you can pour your own choice of flavors from the side of the truck!


A dessert that's growing in popularity here on Oahu seems to be these delectable little pastries -- macarons!  Macarons are definitely among my favorite treats when we find a place that sells them, so when we pass by Life is Sweet at ETS, I normally always go home with at least one (or, you know, a box...).  The flavor pictured up top is chocolate-dipped Reese's and the bottom picture of the collage has a few different kinds like red velvet, salted caramel, and a couple of Halloween flavors (from back in October), one being Boo Berry!


We have had some other amazing treats not listed above, so I decided to throw them in their own collage.  I can't remember the name of the place that sold the corn, but you can't miss the giant "Roasted Corn" sign on the stand, I promise! [UPDATE: The stand's name is Na 'Ono!]  I got the garlic herb seasoning and it was awesome.  It tasted like a mixture of garlic and Old Bay and I really enjoyed it.  

The pulled pork grilled cheese is from an awesome food truck called Tin Hut BBQ, a veteran-owned truck specializing in all things BBQ.  We loved this unique spin on a comfort classic and have since enjoyed other dishes from their truck, including the BBQ chicken.  

The waffle dog is from Hawaiian Waffledog Company which, as the name implies, specializes in waffle dogs haha.  They're a pretty unique concept and definitely very yummy!  

Last but not least is this fantastic pineapple li hing lemonade from Wow Wow Waffle, another stand specializing in awesome waffle treats.  I completely fell in love with the lemonade and never wanted it to end!  I'll definitely be getting more the next time I run into them on the island.


Honolulu's Eat the Street is an awesome way to spend one Friday evening every month here on Oahu.  The atmosphere is fun, inviting, and also smells pretty darn amazing!  It can get a bit pricey, especially if you love to sample a lot of things like I do, but I think it's worth it.  We'll be heading here as much as we can before we leave Oahu for good!

Does your town have any food truck gatherings like this one?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Seven for Sunday

1.  I'm super excited for your leave to start!

2.  You're so awesome when it comes to helping me out.  I love you for it!

3.  Thank you for breakfast :)

4.  I hope you like the new blanket!  I can't believe I actually finished it.

5.  There's nothing quite like snuggling in a pile of Schnauzers, is there?  Haha.

6.  I'm glad we have a few shows we like to watch together.  It's nice!

7.  Hope you're ready to play tourist this week!  I know I am :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Creole Crab and Corn Chowder

If you couldn't tell by my last two recipes, I am on a total soup kick lately.  I just can't get enough of it since we came back from our trip to the mainland.  The chilly weather must have infected me!

Since I've also been craving seafood lately something fierce, I decided to make a soup with some deliciously sweet crab meat which just so happens to be one of my favorite kinds of seafood (after shrimp!).  I've never made a chowder like this before, but when we ladled out our servings for dinner, I knew it was going to be delicious.  It had just the right amount of kick while the sweetness from the crab really balanced things out.  And it was officially declared a winner when even Mr. L said he loved it!

I probably got a comfortable 3 total servings out of this recipe (4 probably would have worked if we had a half sandwich or another accompaniment for dinner), so if you're looking to feed more people or you want a good amount of leftovers, I highly recommend doubling the recipe.  I know I will next time for sure!

Recipe courtesy of AllRecipes.com


Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped jalapeño peppers
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 pound sweet corn kernels (1 can)
  • 2 oz fresh crabmeat
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 pound sweet corn kernels (1 can)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 6 oz fresh crabmeat
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (or half and half)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 bunch thinly sliced green onion (for garnish)
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

Directions

Melt butter in a Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat; stir in onion, jalapeño, celery, and salt.  Cook until onions are translucent.  Then stir in Old Bay and 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper and cook for 30 seconds.


Sprinkle flour over the onion mixture and cook until slightly thickened (approximately 2 minutes).  Then add the 2 1/2 cups water, 1/2 pound corn kernels, and 2 oz of crab meat and bring to a simmer over medium high heat.


In a blender, pour 1 cup of water, other 1/2 pound corn kernels, and the minced garlic.  Cover and puree until mixture is smooth and add the puree to the Dutch oven and bring mixture to a boil.  Then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the chowder has thickened and deepened in color.


Stir in the rest of the crab meat, the paprika, and the heavy cream.  Season with salt and pepper, add green onion and cayenne for garnish (or more paprika), and serve!


Are you still happily huddled in wintertime enjoying soups like me or are you ready for spring to come back around?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Five for Friday

1.  I'm happy the house is finally coming together...it's definitely taken us long enough, haha.

2.  I vote that we use our hug rule daily!

3.  I'm excited to go check out that stool.  Hopefully it completes the vanity :)

4.  I really hope both your doctor appointments go really well next week.

5.  Maybe we can take some time out from housework this weekend to do something fun!

ily <3





P.S. Happy birthday SJ!!  :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Getting to Know Hawaii: Kawainui Marsh Trail


The Need to Knows:
  • The Kawainui Marsh Trail is located at 704 Kaha Street, Kailua, HI 96734.  Its exact location can be found here:
  • I don't think there are specific hours for the trail itself, but the park where the trailhead is located is open from 7 AM to 7 PM.
  • There is a nice-sized parking lot available at the park where the trail starts.
  • The trail itself is maybe about a mile and a half long or so (I'll have to measure it with GPS the next time I go to make sure).
  • There's no shade on the trail, so I definitely suggest you bring water and wear sunscreen and possibly a hat.
  • I'd definitely classify it as stroller friendly along with bike friendly, kid friendly, and dog friendly!


The Kawainui Marsh Trail is a great little paved path over in Kailua that winds through the Kawainui Marsh, a wetlands habitat that encompasses over 800 acres.  The marsh is a habitat for many kinds of native endangered birds making it a great place to spot some wildlife, particularly ducks and geese, as well as some flowers along the way.




When the weather cooperates, the views of the Ko'olau Mountains can be just incredible.  We were very lucky to have gone on such a pretty day, even if the sun was beating down on us haha.  I highly recommend water, sunscreen, and/or a hat if you head over here, and if you're walking your dog, be careful with the temperature of the sidewalk's pavement.  You don't want them to burn their paws!



It can be more crowded in the mornings and evenings, but I don't think it ever gets too bad.  So if you find yourself on this side of the island, whether on vacation or spending some time with your friends and/or dogs, the Kawainui Marsh Trail is a great trail for doing some jogging, biking, or just getting some fresh air and exercise while admiring the beautiful scenery.  It's a wonderful little gem of a place that I can't wait to get back to and enjoy some more!



Do you have any favorite relaxing walking trails in your area?


Friday, March 7, 2014

Five for Friday

1.  I'm sorry yesterday was kind of crappy.  Hopefully next time your command has better communication and doesn't send us running all over the island.

2.  I'm really, really relieved we got to the bottom of what was happening this past week.  I feel like a big weight has been finally lifted off my shoulders!

3.  I hope the rain holds off long enough for us to go on a hike this weekend.  I'm ready to get outside into the sun!

4.  The vanity is almost done!  It feels like it's taking forever but I'm actually happy with the progress we've made and the things we've learned so far.

5.  Maybe we can go over to Hickam and walk by the water sometime this weekend too.  That'd be so nice!

ily <3

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Chicken, Shrimp, and Sausage Gumbo

While Mr. L and I were in Alabama, we had the pleasure of eating at a wonderful waterfront restaurant that had recently opened in our area.  After hearing about how delicious the gumbo was at this place, we both decided we had to try it.  It was fantastic!  We were really sad that we had to leave such a great find, but we couldn't have Mr. L going AWOL or anything so we had to head back to Hawaii, haha.

Now that we're back in Hawaii, I went on a mini-mission to find a great gumbo recipe that I can call my own.  This recipe is my first crack at it!  I'll be making some adjustments to it, but it was definitely delicious even if it wasn't yet perfect.  Eventually I'll get it just right and I'll have to share that recipe too on down the road, but for now, here's a simple, yummy gumbo recipe that you'll enjoy!

Adapted from Culinary Colorado

Ingredients
  • 1/2 rotisserie chicken (or a couple of cooked and shredded boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
  • 1 lb frozen, deveined shrimp
  • 1 lb andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1/4 c unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 large green pepper, seeded and diced
  • 8 oz frozen okra
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp cilantro
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 qt chicken stock
Directions

Add olive oil to your pot over medium heat.  After the oil is heated through, add the diced onions and cook until translucent.  Then add the minced garlic, celery, and pepper.  Cook for about 5 minutes or so until the vegetables soften up.



In a separate small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat and then add the flour to make the roux.  Stir constantly until the flour browns, taking care to make sure it doesn't burn.


After the roux has browned enough, add it to the vegetable mixture along with the sausage, cilantro, oregano, thyme, parsley, salt, and pepper.  Stir in the chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Then reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for about 40 or 45 minutes.


Add the can of tomatoes with the juices and cook for another 10 minutes or so, then add the frozen shrimp and continue cooking until the shrimp turn pink and are heated through.  Then grab some bowls and enjoy your gumbo!


Do you like gumbo?  If so, do you have a favorite recipe for it?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Six for Saturday

1.  I'm so glad we got to go to Eat the Street again!  I had a great time with you :)

2.  One of my favorite traits about you is how kind and caring you are.  You really do try to emphasize with people and it makes you such a wonderful person.

3.  Jury duty sure was interesting this week, wasn't it?  Haha, I'm glad you got the opportunity to experience it!

4.  Thank you for finally starting on repainting my vanity!  I hope it turns out beautifully and I can't wait to start using it.

5.  Hopefully the weather won't be too poopy tomorrow and we can go on a hike!

6.  I love how goofy you are, even when we are in the middle of a debate :)

ily <3