Sunday, October 12, 2008

Home Work

Well, I haven't posted on here in a long time. I can't believe how fast time has flown! I know that I'll have a lot more things to put up here, so I hope people will actually come back. LOL I'm currently working on tons of recipes and other tips and tricks that work out really well for me.

Speaking of's on from the top of my head. If you ever get pen marks on your leather bags and don't know how to take it off use a pink pearl eraser. It works best for fresh marks but may be able to fade old ones.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Eco Cleaning

In our house, we've tried as hard as we could to start using "safe" products. I tell hasn't been easy. Right now, the series of products by Method are our favorites.
There's always been a debate about how well these thing actually clean. Recently, I've come across some reviews of some of these cleaners. Did you know that most of them do not disinfect? I kind of assumed this because the harsh ugly chemicals are the disinfecting properties of the product most of the time. But, yeah. There have been studies and such that have proved this.
So what is one supposed to do? The only thing I've thought of is to clean the really gross areas in our house, with a harsh cleaner and eco-friendly things everywhere else. I'm always open to hear how others solve this problem.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Green Groceries

Since this whole 'green' movement has taken place, I thought I'd try to find canvas bags for grocery shopping. This proved not to be an easy task. I guess I'm too picky about the type of bag I would like to use. Being a short person, it's harder for me to carry one of those freebie tote bags with the long handles if it's fulled with tons of heavy things. Still searching for that.

But in the meantime, I found out about ecobags. They have tons of different bags made of all kinds of materials. The produce bags really caught my eye. I didn't know what to use except for re-using my old plastic ones. They have these great breathable, draw string canvas bags in various sizes, weights, and colors. I had to share about this! They're washable too.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Yea! It's Time for the Olympics!

(Image courtesy of

I love the Olympics! I feel like I'm waiting forever for the years to pass. Anyway, now is as good a time as any to share a fantastic dessert recipe with you. I've been eating almond jello (or float) ever since I can remember. Whenever I make it, I have to have 2 batches ready before I can eat it or everyone in the house gets it before me. LOL! It's not your typical jello. The jello is prepared to have a slightly softer consistency and being not too sweet because you serve it in the juices from the fruit you serve with it. The mandarin juice adds a slight tang evening out the lychee juice, which is a bit sweeter. Oh, I'm getting hungry...I knew this would happen. lol You've got to try's the lightest most refreshing dessert!

Almond Jello/Float

3 packages Unflavored Gelatin
1 3/4 c Water
6 T Sugar
2 c Milk
1 1/2 T Almond Extract
1 6oz can Mandarin Oranges
1 16oz can Lycee Fruit
1 12oz can Fruit Cocktail

Preparation: Dissolve the gelatin in 3/4 cup cold water with the sugar. Stirring well to mix. Bring the rest of the water (1 cup) of water to a boil. Pour over the gelatin mixture and stir until gelatin is dissolved and clear. Add milk and almond extract. Pour into a 7x12 inch pan (or something cube trays, plain or decorative work well too!) so that the liquid is about an inch deep. Refrigerate until set or overnight. Chill the fruit while the jello is in the fridge.

Assembly: Cut jello into 3/4-1 inch squares. Place in large bowl. Cut the lychees in half or quarters. Add the fruits, reserving the liquids. Pour the mandarin orange and lychee liquids over the fruit and jello. Mix and serve.

Will last around a week in the fridge (if it lasts that long).

NOTE: Before I pour in the gelatin mixture, I will line the pan with a sheet of plastic wrap. This makes pulling the jello out a ton easier since you can just lift out the whole sheet...being careful not to spill anything. You can also leave out the lychees if you don't care for them and use the juice from the cocktail instead.

Monday, August 4, 2008

An Ono Treat

picture courtesy of Oso-Ono

Since we don't have enough money to visit the islands every year, we take a family outing to the Annual Aloha Festival hosted by the PICA at San Francisco's Presidio. This year was the 14th year! We love this and are there every year. The food is always 'ono' (where else could you get a fresh malasada?), the music is fantastic, and the shopping is choice. We always love watching the local and not-so-local halaus doing what they do best. The weather, as usual, was foggy since we were by the beach but it was warm enough that it didn't drizzle like last year.

Yes-Yes got to visit his favorite vendor, a man that carves and sells beautiful pendants and other things out of wood and bone including mammoth tusk! I, as usual, bought my share of Kelly's Kookies and said hello to Gwen, of Classic Hawaiian Designs, where I buy all of my jewelry. No money this year though.

Keeping with the theme of the day, I thought I'd share a quick and easy trick I found a while back. If you like malasadas, or just any kind of doughnut, try this one. Don't can fill these with anything you'd like too. Mmmmm

Easy Malasadas

Cooking Oil
Pillsburry Buttermilk Biscuit Dough

Cooking Instructions:

Heat oil in a small sauce pan, medium heat, for about 8 minutes. Put a wooden chopstick in the pot. When the tip starts to bubble when inserted it's hot enough! Pop the Pillsbury roll, and put in the individual pieces (it's pre cut) into the hot oil. Cook on each side for a few minutes (light brown) and when it's done place them on a paper towel to drain the oil. Roll the warm malasadas in sugar (and fill if you want to), and serve!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Presto Pesto!

My basil finally started to flower last week. This is the only time I prune it down because you have to clip off the flowers before they fully bloom, or the plant will stop growing, and I want to make sure there is enough for the next batch to be cut. It smells so good! I bring it into the house and everyone gets hungry. LOL!
So, needless to say, DS was right on me asking if I was going to make pesto. It's his favorite. Pesto must be one of the world's easiest things to make. I love it. You know you're eating rather healthily and it's great warm or cold. What's better than that? Here's what I do; I toast some nuts lightly (this time I had pecans on hand but I normally would use pine nuts), and put the basil (a ton of it), nuts, Parmesan cheese (fresh is perfect but Kraft will do in a pinch), a little vinegar (I'm not such a huge fan of the lemon juice, it adds too much flavor sometimes to keep the green color), a little salt, and a little pepper into the food processor and blend while drizzling the olive oil. And you're done! EZ!
Not only do we have it on pasta, I've mixed a tiny bit of mayo with the pesto to make a kind of ailoli and had it on warm sandwiches. It's also a dip, salad dressing (with a little more olive oil and vinegar), and marinade. It's the best. Just make sure to check your teeth after eating it!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

UPDATE: Muffins

Okay, here it is...all that talk about muffins made me want one (or two) so I made a batch (or two). Looks good, huh? I hope you like this recipe. Notice how they aren't all blue and purple? I love it! Everyone in my house is happy now too. :o)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My Favorite Muffins!!!

Ever since I was little, I've had a love with blueberries that's unbelievable. I was so happy to find this recipe for blueberry muffins, that I made them right away. Now when I make them, I have to make two batches, at least. Otherwise they won't last till the next day!

This recipe is courtesy of Martha Stewart (when in doubt, pull Martha out!). Her recipes are always the best and hardly disappoint! I have changed it for myself...instead of plain sugar, I use cinnamon sugar to top them with, and I add at least 2 cups of frozen berries. Frozen berries won't break as much as fresh as you mix the batter. However they will split as you scoop the batter...but your muffins won't be blue. You can also add lemon zest, orange zest, or make it with cranberries instead! Note: If using frozen berries, the batter may stiffen up. I use a small ice cream scoop to put it in the cups. Also, you may need to extend the baking time by 5-10 min or so...depending how many berries you use.

Blueberry Muffins
Makes 6 large or 12 small muffins

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for tins
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 3/4 cups blueberries


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.butter large (3 3/4 inches) or small (2 3/4 inches) muffin tins, and set aside. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg, egg yolks, and vanilla; mix until well combined. Reduce speed to low; alternate adding reserved flour mixture and milk to mixer, beginning and ending with flour. Remove bowl from mixer; gently fold in berries by hand. Divide batter among muffin tins; sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake until light golden, about 45 minutes for large muffins, about 30 minutes for small muffins. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Remove from pan; transfer to wire rack, and let cool completely.

"Let Your Kids Paint On The Walls"

("Peace" roses)

"I just heard the news...Randy Pausch has passed away after a long battle with cancer. Right away I started tearing up, got a lump in my throat, and my heart sank through the floor. I'm completely devastated. Because of his generosity, letting us all into his life, he became like family to so many even if we've never met him. I feel like we have all lost such a model mentor for us all. We all have something to learn from Randy. He truly had a unique way of looking at life. He didn't get lost in some rut like most of us do everyday. He took life head on and followed his dreams by upholding a great optimism. His life did come full circle as few do. I can honestly say that as I look at the achievements he has made. Although I am so sad about this loss, I am blessed to have had the opportunity to have learned from him some of the greatest lessons in my life.

If you haven't thought you have had the time to watch Randy Pausch's lecture, PLEASE do! Not only is his story a fascinating inspiration, he has a terrific humor too. Please watch his lecture, read his book, and visit his website!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Welcome Home!

Okay...I'm really excited about this. Although I don't get much time, I do like playing "Martha Stewart" once in a while. I love doing the crafts, gardening, cooking, baking, etc. I really only get to do it all once a year though.

So, I'm going to be sharing all the things I find that are fun, useful, not to mention fast and easy! Short cuts are "a good thing". LOL!

My first tip/recipe:

This is super fast! It's not exactly that healthy but will get the job done and you can serve it on or with salads or tons of veggies.

Deep Fried Pork Chops

2 cups Bisquick
1 package ranch dressing powdered mix
4-6 pork chops ~ boneless or bone-in
large gallon sized Ziploc bag
oil for frying
optional ~ salt, pepper, and dried parsley flakes

I don't actually "deep fry" these. I fill the pan I'm frying in until it would be about half way up the chops. You can add in/substitute the spices and flavors really easily too.

Mix together the Bisquick and ranch mix (and optional ingredients) in a bowl or something easy to lay a chop on.

Rinse the pork chops making sure they are really wet, and place in the Ziploc bag.

Heat the oil

Place one wet chop in the Bisquick mix, patting it firmly into the mix. Flip it over and do the other side. Leave it in there for a few seconds (to let the moisture help adhere the mix). You can flip it one more time before you put it in the oil.

Place in oil and fry until medium golden brown. Flip and repeat. Cooking time varies depending on thickness.

Repeat the above steps for the rest.

If you're not sure if they're done, to check them, press on one side. It should be firm but not extra firm (overdone). What I like to do is just under cook them and tent the ones to be eaten with foil while I cook the rest. This way if you have left-overs, when you reheat them, they won't be overdone.

See? Easy!!! Usually when I do this, it takes about 30-45 min. So total, including other food prep, maybe an hour? Hope you try it.

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