Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Follow along: June bug dress, part 1

A week ago, I saw a Sew Along for this June Bug Dress over at Craftiness Is Not Optional ("CINO"). I was really hoping to do it as a real sew along, you know where you actually complete the tasks on the day the post was published?

I already knew that I wanted to use my Marimekko fabric:

Per the pattern provided (2T), cut the pieces from the fabric:

Unfortunately, as made obvious by my previous post, I needed to purchase supplies for the project. One day, I will make my own buttons, until then, I must go on endless hunts to find notions that are unique, and still usable for my projects. So immediately, this project went from a sew-along, to sew-a-long.

I managed to keep up with Day 1 of 3, but on Day 2 is when I decided each day according to CINO will translate to week in my time. I have yet to finish Day 2. Will post when that's up...

**Did you spy my new cutting mat and fabric scissors? Yes, I splurged. Since everyone in the blogosphere has way cute tools, I wanted to feel like a real crafter, too.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Weekends are for catching up

Just when I thought things were slowing down and I could get back to crafting (and consequently, blogging), life hands me a coupon for lemons. Wait, no, that's not right.

It seems that I get busy for spurts at a time, then nothing. And even when nothing, there's always the possibility of something. Last week, was going to be a week of crafting and cooking. Unfortunately, in order to do the crafting, I needed a few supplies (which is extremely hard to come by, in Hawaii). On search for said supplies resulted in take-out dinners (no cooking), so no blogging.

Finally, this past weekend, I was able to make a trip to Kaimuki Dry Goods to pick up fabric and notions for the projects I planned to work on, but by the time all the errands were run, the day was done. Then Sunday, my last day planned for projects, quickly became a fun-in-the-sun, pool day.

Of course errands don't necessarily need to get done. We didn't have to have a pool day. Lots of things could have been passed to allow for some intense crafting. BUT, blogger, crafter, and chef will always come second to my number one title: mother. Ella may never remember the fun times we're having, but I will and I am truly enjoying this time with her.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cooking: Bruschetta

Ever get the feeling that Google knows everything? Well, you should because it does! Especially the best recipe for a simple tomato basil bruschetta.

Since I haven't had many posts in a while, I decided to make a tutorial!

You will need:
  • 6 or 7 ripe plum tomatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped.
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 baguette French bread or similar Italian bread
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Why Roma tomatoes, you ask? Well, they've got a high "meat" to juice ratio, and not much seeds. Plus, it's got a good tomato flavor. I've tried grape and cocktail tomatoes (ridiculously small) and heirloom tomatoes (too watery and mushy texture). Just go for the Roma.

You'll want to peel the skins off. The easiest way is to stick them in a pot of boiling water, removed from heat for a few minutes. The hotter they are when you peel it, the easier it is. Be careful and don't burn your fingertips!

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. When the tomatoes are all nice and peeled, you want to give them a good dice. Keep it small -- the larger it is, the harder it is to scoop a yummy serving onto a little slice of baguette. Also try to discard the liquid that seeps out. The salt added later will draw out a lot of liquid.

Add in the clove of garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil, salt and pepper. Mmmm!

Slice the baguette diagonally into 1/2 inch slices. Soak one side in olive oil and place it face down on a large cookie sheet. After you've arranged all the slices, pop them into the oven for 5-6 minutes.

You can arrange the tomato basil topping on each piece of toasted baguette with an optional fresh slice of parmesan.

So simple, so good, paired with wine as an appetizer for 8 or dinner for 4. Or two. Heh.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Eats: Your Kitchen

I don't only read craft blogs. I like reading food-related blogs and Hawaii-related blogs, too. Especially, food-related blogs based in Hawaii!

In a post by The Fashionable-Foward Foodie, she wrote about Your Kitchen. It's basically a hole in the wall place in a middle of residential strip mall, with a very limited menu.

I tried the pork bowl and shave ice. Definitely a fan. Ryan also had the pork bowl, and we decided we'd share with Ells, it's probably better if we just bought her one! She pretty much ate a third of mine, and some from Ryan's. At least if she had her own, we could've split her leftovers (if there were any). It takes a while for them to prepare the food, so if you suspect you may want another bowl, order it ahead of time. Haha... you think I'm kidding.

It also comes with a panko-crusted soft boiled egg. OMG! It's so delicious, I experimented the next morning to recreate it. I was unsuccessful as my soft boil turned full cook with the additional quick deep fry. Plus, I didn't have the shoyu-sugar-mirin glaze from the pork to drizzle on top.

The shave ice is pretty delicious as well. It's comparable to Waiola and the cart outside the Waikele Sports Authority. It's fine, but not melty like Ice Garden. The homemade syrups are mouthwatering. I'm not a coconut fan, but the haupia is GOOD. On another visit (yes, we had to get more pork bowls, so we came back.. immediately after a luncheon), I tried some of the homemade strawberry. Wow, I have an intolerance for strawberries, but boy, that was delicious, it was like pureed strawberries drizzled on fine ice shavings. Yum. Definitely will go back!

Monday, July 11, 2011


You know what's funny? When you do something every day and you don't even know you do it.

I leave work at 3:30pm. Depending on the week, I will take a certain route to get on to the freeway home. Regardless of which route I take, more often than not, I'm a car or two behind this green truck. It's got little red happy face stickers (the kind that say "My kid is a Star at blah blah Elementary") and the license plate reads MRPOS. I always wonder if it's a name/nickname "Marpos" or if it's literally, Mr. POS. It doesn't look like a P.O.S. and trucks are usually tough and used for, well, trucking. I guess, unless it's my brother's shiny, new, lifted Tundra. Where it's all for show, with some functional value (if off-roading on a beach is a function).

He doesn't know it yet, I'm stalking him. Or maybe he's stalking me, from the front. But then so is the lady with the tanktop and cornrolls walking to work, and so is the white guy on the bicycle riding into town. Hmm, suspicious. The matrix?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

7-11 in downtown

I know 7-11 is usually associated with convenience stores and because of it's hours draws all sorts of people. However, they just (finally) opened a location in downtown a month ago and is already constantly serving hoards of customers.

My favorite? The karaage snack pack. It's one of the few foods that I'll eat cold.
Don't worry, this picture was taken of my bento purchased when it first opened. It (probably) wasn't part of the recall of all bentos due to possible Listeria contamination. *shrug* I didn't get sick.

Anyway, it's awesome that there's a place that sells junk food, soft drinks, and ice cream. And all brand names -- not like the sketchy mini-marts that sells stuff "not labelled for individual sale".

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Let Them Eat Cupcakes!

The other week was my sister's birthday. For my birthday, she surprised me with a meal plan from Licious Dishes. I wanted to be equally as sweet.

This year, she had a meeting and was working in downtown. Usually, she takes the day off or works from home to avoid any unnecessary, awkward celebrations. Not this time. I picked up a orchid and ginger lei and a half dozen cupcakes to personally deliver. She was totally shocked that I came to visit and appreciative of the delicious treats!

I went to Let Them Eat Cupcakes, as I've read they've got the best (yes, better than Hokulani, better than Cake Couture). The bakery occupies the old Mix Cafe location on Beretania at the top of Fort Street Mall. Instead of the serene, sea green doors and calming Italian deco, it's a fuchsia, punch you in the face type of theme. They make killer cupcakes -- and that's not just their motto.

clockwise from top left: Nuttela, Peanut Butter
Choco (with chopped pretzel topping),
Lemon, Chocolate, Pumpkin, Red Velvet

They have a rotating schedule, so everyday there is Chocolate and Red Velvet and a choice of 4 gourmet flavors.

So far I've tried the Red Velvet, Lemon, Peanut Butter Choco, Chocolate Mint, Nuttela, and Pumpkin. They have a nice bite on the top and they're like sweet air in the middle and the frosting is light and buttery but not overwhelming. If you're ever in the area or get the chance to taste one of these bad boys, DO IT!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Oops! I did it again.

I neglected my blog. Luckily, I haven't neglected my readers -- as I haven't any. This blogging this is very difficult, as with any resolution, and if you don't stick with it, it's very easy to simply forget.

Just because I haven't blogged in a few weeks, doesn't mean that I'm not reading my favorite blogs. Multiple times a day, I whip out my iPhone and pull up Google Reader to maintain my pseudo-lurker status. I only say pseudo because I'm actually following all of the Blogger (soon to be Google Blogs) based sites. So it's not like I'm a full on lurker, reading all about these people and they have no idea.

I have been noticing that like me, many of my favorite blogs have reduced their postings. Except they come up with excuses like medical emergencies, tragedies, and spending the summer with family. Then suddenly it's like they're on hiatus rather than neglecting their blogs. Stop making excuses, there is more to life than blogging and your following, so just admit it and move on. I won't delete you from my feed because you don't post. I added you because I enjoy what you do post and I want to be in the know for when the next one comes out.

Another thing that I've noticed, is the sudden popularity of Pinterest. I saw this a while back, (I'm talking like years) when it was in it's early stages, and I didn't care for it. It seems that the world of bloggers that like to craft have suddenly found it and that's all they post about. Don't get me wrong, some bloggers are still true to their series and tutorials, but others. Sigh -- I don't give a damn about the things you find on Pinterest. You make like you spend so much time finding the most interesting, creative, and trending things when you're basically just reposting what someone else found and creating wasted space in my feed. Now that is a reason to delete you from my feed.