Sunday, April 29, 2012

Old Town Albuquerque.

This little town dates all the way back to the 1700's.  Now it's a fun touristy hot spot.  There are so many fun shops and restaurants in this area.  Daniel and I had a fun time exploring and admiring the creative artwork, handmade jewelry, pottery, buildings, etc.  Let me tell you, Albuquerque is a really cool place!
Daniel bought me that awesome blanket.  ^

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Banana Nutella Ice Cream.

This ice cream is a healthy alternative to regular ice cream, and it tastes amazing too!  Here's how you make it:  (this is just a guideline of what to do since this recipe isn't very specific).
In a blender or food processor combine one frozen banana, several spoonfuls of nutella (more is better I'd say!), one teaspoon of cocoa powder, and a few splashes of milk.  Blend all of the ingredients together until smooth.  I wanted it to be more ice cream-like and less milkshake-like, so I put it in the freezer for a while to harden up.  You can top it with granola, some sliced bananas, cocoa dust, more nutella, or anything you want!  

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sundays in Albuquerque.

Daniel and I will be spending the next few weeks in NM visiting Daniel's brother and family. The best part about being here is hanging out with our darling niece and nephew, Hazel & Ole!  Yesterday we all went on an evening drive to the ALBUQUERQUE TEMPLE and walked around the temple grounds. Afterwards, we drove through some neighborhoods and admired the fancy, adobe style homes.  I love the landscape and architecture of the homes here in New Mexico, the desert is so beautiful.  

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mediterranean Chicken Pizza.

This pizza is delicious!  This thin, crispy crust topped with  fresh veggies, chicken, and feta cheese is a mouth watering combo!

1 ¼ cups warm water
1 packet active dry yeast
1 ¼ tablespoons sugar
3 ¼ cups flour
½ teaspoon salt

Mix the water, yeast, and sugar in a glass bowl.  Allow to sit for 8-10 minutes.  In a separate bowl mix together the flour and salt.  Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and stir for 4-6 minutes.  Add flour or water depending on if the dough is too dry or wet.  Cover the dough and let rise in a warm place for an hour and a half.  Do not let rise for longer than two hours.  This will make two pizzas, so roll half the dough out on a floured surface so that the dough is about 1/4 of an inch thick.  Flour a 9 x 13 pan and place the dough on the pan.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  
Now for the topping....  (Recipe adapted from TAMMYSRECIPES.COM).
Sauce Ingredients:
2/3 cup Italian dressing
3 Cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
Dash of pepper

4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes
3/4 cup feta cheese
1/3 cup diced onions
1 cup baby spinach leaves
2 medium roma tomatoes

Mix all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl.  Spread the sauce onto the pizza dough.  Layer the toppings in any order you'd like.  I suggest layering it in this order:  mozzarella cheese, chicken, tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, onions, spinach, then feta.  Bake the pizza in the oven at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until the crust is golden and crispy.  Serve with crushed red peppers or parmesan cheese!  

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Congrats Class of 2012!

I am so proud of you Daniel!  You have worked so hard.  Thank you for bringing me to Hawaii.  It was the best two years I've ever had.  We are going to miss the sunshine and the beach, but we'll especially miss the wonderful friends we've made.  Aloha 'Oe Hawaii, hopefully we'll make it back to the islands someday soon.  Now we're off on a new adventure.  For now it's Albuquerque, New Mexico! 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Check out this vid.

Daniel and I wanted a video together to remind us of our time here in Hawaii.  Our friend CLARK made this for us, and we LOVE how he captured it! He is extremely talented, don't you agree?  If you ever need some videography done in Hawaii be sure to call him up!  

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What? Another blog!

Are you guys ready to see what MEGUMI and I have been working on? Well...go ahead and hop on over to DON'T MIND IF I DO.  It's a new blog that we've created!  Megumi and I have been great friends here in Hawaii.  We've had many great times cooking, photographing, and creating things together.  We thought that this blog would be a great way for us to keep in touch after I move, that way we can still share our ideas with each other (and all of you too!).  I will still be posting here on my blog, but you should follow us on our new blog as well!  


A six day old newborn now up on the PHOTO BLOG.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Strawberry Shortcake.

Strawberry shortcake is one of my favorite desserts, mostly because I love strawberries so much.  MEGUMI and I have been doing a lot of cooking/baking together lately.  We have also enjoyed practicing our food photography skills.  We are working on something very exciting that we will be sharing with you very soon!
Strawberry Shortcake (Recipe from PINCHMYSALT.COM)
4 cups fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced
4 – 6 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup cold milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
whipped cream 
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a medium bowl, stir together the strawberries and sugar.  Set strawberries aside to macerate while you prepare the shortcakes.  In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and sugar.  Using a pastry blender or your fingertips, and working quickly, cut or rub the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Add milk and vanilla all at once to flour mixture and stir until just combined.
Using a large spoon, drop mixture into four equal piles on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake 12 – 15 minutes at 425 degrees.  Remove biscuits to a rack and let cool for a few minutes.  To serve, split a warm biscuit in two, spoon 1/4 of the berry mixture over the bottom half (make sure you include lots of the juice), top with whipped cream and the other half of the biscuit.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Bright Neon & Floral.

Happy Monday everyone!  I hope you had a fabulous Easter weekend.  We celebrated Easter by going to church, then we enjoyed a delicious ham dinner with Sara, Jean Marcel, & little Clementine (Daniel's sister and family).  They just recently moved to Hawaii because JM got stationed here for the military.  We are so glad that we've been able to spend a few weeks with them before we move.  We only have 8 days left in Hawaii.  I can't believe it!
New Easter dress: OLD NAVY.  
Photos by MEGUMI Edited by ME.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

DIY Tote Bag

I finished it!  I started this bag last summer and I finally got around to finishing it.  I'm so happy with how it turned out!  I used this tutorial from SAYYESTOHOBOKEN.COM as a guide, but I made some adjustments.  Instead of sewing fabric on for handles, I used some rope and grommets.  All you have to do is follow the directions on the back of the grommet kit on how to install them, then thread the rope through the grommet holes.  After you thread your rope through, tie a knot to secure the handles.  I used a lighter to melt the ends of the rope to keep them from fraying.  I also lightly melted the entire knot to keep it from coming apart.  Now I have a perfect bag to take to the beach, grocery store, anywhere!
Photos by MEGUMI Edited by ME

Monday, April 2, 2012

Summer Chicken Salad & Homemade Bread.

Alright, here's another meal inspired by ZUPAS.  This fresh, fruity salad is perfect for a nice sunny day.  (Recipe from FOOD.COM.)

4 ounces mixed greens
2 fresh sliced strawberries
10 dried cranberries
5 red grapes
1 ounce diced cooked chicken breast
1/2 ounce chopped cashews (we used almonds instead)

1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup canola oil
4 strawberries
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar

1.  In a medium sized bowl toss the mixed greens, dressing, and chicken. Transfer into serving bowl.
2.  Top salad with dried cranberries, red grapes, and sliced strawberries.
3.  Sprinkle chopped cashews on top to finish.
4.  Dressing:.
5.  In a medium sized container mix the strawberries, salt, sugar and vinegar.  Blend well in a blender.
6.  While blending slowly add in all the oil, blending until smooth.  
1/2 cup skim milk
1/4 cup sugar
3 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons butter substitute
1 1/2 cups warm water
5 cups all purpose flour

1.  Heat milk, sugar, salt, and butter substitute in small saucepan until butter melts and sugar dissolves.
2.  Cool to lukewarm.
3.  Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed mixer bowl.
4.  Add milk mixture and slowly add flour.
5.  Mix for 1-2 minutes on speed 2.  
6.  Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top.
7.  Cover and let rise next to warm over for 10 minutes.
8.  Put dough in greased loaf pan and leftover dough in greased muffin pans.  
9.  Let both pans rise in over (170 degrees) for 10 minutes.
10.  Bake at 425 degrees (12 minutes for biscuits and 25-30 minutes for bread).