in Normally, when the urge to do crafts hits, I try to wait a day. It might go away. Unless you have a really well-stocked crafts area, it's going to require a trip to Ben Franklin or WalMart.
I came across a couple of sweet teacups at a yard sale, and just couldn't leave them be. I do not need any more teacups. However, leaving them there seemed wrong. I had a recollection of an 80's fad where "teacup bouquets" were all the rage. I loved those things and thought well, there you go.
Making them did, of course, require the purchase of floral foam and floral tape, both of which I found at Ben Franklin in Hilo. WalMart did not have the kind that holds water, and you need that for this craft, unless you want to use silk flowers.
Cut a chunk of the floral foam and put it into the teacup. Anchor it with floral tape. Then, find something to poke the foam with -- I found that a bamboo skewer was perfect. A small straw would work, too. Cut some flowers and fauna, and you're all set. Keep scissors or snips handy to trim as you go. Get the foam wet, and start poking. Stick a flower in a hole. Deliver to a good friend.
Today marks both Boys' Day and Cinco de Mayo! I am enjoying all of the flying fish around town. Tonight, we will be eating Carnitas. I like the recipe from Chevy's restaurant, which you can find here. There are a lot of steps to it, but it is well-worth the effort. My pal Anne gave me the cookbook years ago and it is one of my favorites. And so is she.
Speaking of Mexican food, I also tried a "Taco Pizza" the other night and it's one of my new favorite things. Cheers to LivingWellMom.com for the recipe. I did make a substitution - kalua pork for the hamburger. When in Rome, y'know. I was skeptical about making it ahead of time, because I have a phobia about soggy things. However, I wrapped up the leftovers, and we ate them the next afternoon. They were great! This was especially good news for all you people who need to take potluck stuff to work. My avocados weren't ripe yet, but those would be a good addition, too. Photo below.
If you get a chance, check out the 10x10x10 2019 Artist Challenge happening May 3 - 30 at the Wailoa Center in Hilo. It's sort of a "Chopped" for artists and it's amazing what they came up with. (If I were in it, I'd still be standing there at the door, wondering what I could do with chopsticks, crayons, plastic, chicken wire . . . ) Slideshow below. Fun exhibit. Support your local artists!
Well, hello! I've decided to pick up this blog again. I got busy with a lot of projects and had some writing goals, which I achieved -- but discovered I missed regular blogging. So, here I am, and I hope this finds you well.
That brings us to . . . mushrooms. Bet you didn't see that segue coming.
I recently bought the Back to the Roots Organic Mushroom Farm kit, thinking that hey, maybe when I grow up, I would become a mushroom farmer. It's good to try these ideas out before committing. They sell all sorts of fun stuff, like herbs, veggies, tomatoes, and (new) hemp.
Although the instructions are pretty darn idiot-proof, I had Mr. L prep the box, just because I was worried I'd screw something up. Basically, you prep, soak, set up the box in a bright spot, and spritz it regularly. Sadly, time-lapse photography is beyond my abilities, so I made you a slideshow, below.
Within two weeks, I had huge mushroom caps. It was very rewarding experience for me, as my gardening tends to be a little hit-or-miss.
Back to the Roots Oyster Mushroom Greens
6 baby bok choy, washed, dried, and trimmed
1 harvest of Back to the Roots Oyster Mushrooms caps (roughly, two cups), washed, dried, and coarsely chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 T. olive oil
Heat olive oil and add garlic; saute'. Add the baby bok choy and mushrooms and stir-fry until tender. Sprinkle with sea salt and red pepper flakes. Serve immediately.
Make it a main dish: Add two cups of diced tofu or cooked chicken breast.
Now that harvest time is over, I get to flip the box over and use the other side, for a second harvest. How cool is that?
I'm pretty excited about this. Have you heard of the Little Free Library movement? I had been reading about them for a while, thinking what a neat idea. Lo and behold, look what is now on Ponahawai Street (not far from Kapiolani)! I made my first donation today, and borrowed one to read at home. I don't know if this one is officially registered, but it's just . . . neat. Yes, I know the library is not far away, and free, but as Mr. L pointed out, they get kinda pissy if you're late returning your books.
And now, to address the "What We're Eating" segment. About a month and a half ago, Mr. L and I came upon a brand-new pressure cooker at a garage sale. I decided to try it out, despite my fears, for $8. (As it turns out, a lot of people own them, and in fear, have never used them.) Mine is a Presto brand, and I love it. I'm planning a larger post for later with my favorite recipes.
Sunday: Pressure-cooker Ribs with Barbeque sauce, Red Potatoes, fresh Corn on the Cob and Mr. L''s homemade Strawberry Frozen Yogurt for dessert. I love summer.
Monday: Chicken drumsticks, Homemade Macaroni and Cheese, and Baby Bok Choy
Tuesday: Grilled Salmon, Rice, and Broccoli
Wednesday: Turkey Chili in Avocado Halves
Thursday: Homemade Spaghetti Sauce (pressure cooker) over Spaghetti; Garlic Bread, and Salad
Friday: Don's Grill!
Have a wonderful week. I hope you get to check out a book.
Never know what you're going to see in Hilo, but I've learned to keep my phone with me so that I can snap pictures. Elvis might show up.
Ingenious way of keeping the Hilo rain out of your cart.
This jungle-fowl rooster has taken over the parking lot at work.
Ever wonder why I call my husband, "Mr. Logistical"? Exhibit A, right here. This is our Saturday garage sale map. A second sheet had the sales arranged by opening times. I cracked up, but man, we did find some treasure.
Gecko-passenger. At one point, he was hanging on by one sticky leg while we barreled down Kaumana.
Happy Mother's Day, by the way. Mr. L is cooking tonight. Yay! Here is what we're eating for the rest of the week:
Sunday: Grilled Teri Pork Skewers; Cold Rice Salad; Zucchini; German Chocolate Cake
Monday: Spiced Carrot and Lemongrass Soup; Rolls
Tuesday: Barbequed Chicken with Pineapple BBQ Sauce; Mashed Potatoes; Salad
Wednesday: Mediterranean Summer Salad with Grilled Sausages
Thursday: Coconut Shrimp, Broccoli, and Rice
Friday: Leftover Baked Spaghetti; Salad
Saturday: Pizza; Salad
Have a great week, everyone! - C. Ironing
Isn't it fun when you find really neat things in unexpected places?
Mr. L suggested we go garage sale-ing yesterday, and that sounded fun to me. The first few places were just okay, but then we hit gold. The address listed was 34 Rainbow Drive. I couldn't think of where that could be -- there aren't any residences on that road. 34 Rainbow turned out to be the old Hilo Memorial Hospital, now home of Hilo Adult Day Care. Sure enough, they were holding a rummage sale.
Mr. L found a kindred spirit and they went digging through CD's; I found my attention to diverted to something else: Art.
Many pieces were multi-media, but there were also watercolors I loved, fabric hangings, and art "made from stuff people donate," explained staff member Maile, who was kind enough to give us a tour.
I was particularly taken with the abstract (top row, middle) and the flowers (middle row, right). Think about it -- this organization services elders and challenged adults. I imagined older folks, or those with dementia, who, during their hardworking lifetimes, may have never even picked up a paint brush or had time for art. I look at some of this work and think, wow, there was an artist inside this person for years, and no one knew until art time at adult day care. Quite impressive and amazing, isn't it? Maile said that they do have art shows occasionally; I will watch for one.
The Hilo Adult Day Center will be moving out of the old hospital to a new facility near Komohana and Mohouli. I am sure they'll be delighted with a modern building, but I love the bones of the old hospital. I'll include some pictures of its beautiful architecture below.
Before I go into the "What We're Eating" section, Mr. L suggested I mention the reason for my sporadic Cruel Ironing blogging. I'm just writing my head off elsewhere: www.wisebread.com and www.bigislandnow.com. I hope you'll join me over there for more food writing.
Here is our menu for the week ahead:
Sunday: Taco Macaroni Casserole; Salad
Monday: Vietnamese Coconut Lemongrass Chicken; Rice;
Tuesday: Shredded Turkey Tacos with Potatoes and Cheese; Salsa
Wednesday: Pork Chops with Pineapple BBQ Sauce; Twice-Baked Potatoes, Mixed Vegetables
Thursday: Meatballs in Alfredo Sauce over Angel Hair Pasta; Salad with Fresh Croutons
Friday: Pizza Pinwheels; Salad
Saturday: Rotisserie Chicken; Zucchini; Rice
Below: More art and architecture photos. Have a wonderful week! -C. Ironing
Happy Monday, friends, and apologies for being a little late to post. I think that "late" is going to be the theme of the week. Fingers crossed for understanding editors. It's not like I frittered away the weekend, either. I did so not fritter. Okay, there was a nap in there, and I did finish Ruth Ozeki's marvelous A Tale for the Time Being. ( Hilo folks, you'll enjoy the references to Hilo in there.) I may have also gone to the park and to three garage sales. That can hardly be consider frittering, though, since it's important to enjoy beautiful days and bargains. I did iron, which as you all know, I despise.
Pictured above: KTA's recipe for Stir Fry Chicken & Green Beans. Mr. L pronounced this a "Make Again," which is sort of like four stars at our house ("I want to marry you again" would be five).
I tried to look up the recipe on KTA's website, but I guess this one isn't up, yet. I have therefore included a photo of it at the bottom of this post.
It's 6:31 as I write this, and I have yet to make dinner, so I had better be brief.
Sunday: The aforementioned Stir Fry Chicken & Green Beans. Make it. It's great. I used chicken thighs and although the sesame oil was optional, I vote that it shouldn't be. Yum.
Monday: I am re-heating spaghetti and meatballs, because I had to spend the day in a class.
Tuesday: Also planning to be a slacker on Tuesday. Purchased Rotisserie Chicken, Salad, and French Bread
Wednesday: Stuffed Cabbage (stuffed with turkeyburger and ricotta cheese); topped with four-cheese pasta sauce; noodles.
Thursday: Pork Loin with Red Wine Reduction; Mashed Potatoes; Broccoli
Friday: Pasta with Peppers and Sausage; Green Salad
Saturday: Chicken Parmesan Casserole (via Pinterest)
Here is that KTA recipe. Cheers, friends! - C. Ironing
It's good to experiment with food, I think. Also, sometimes, you THINK you have a can of chiles in the pantry, but it turns out that you're wrong, so it's also good to be flexible. Such was the case with this dish, above, which I think started out to be Pork Chile Verde but ended up just being a really nice braised pork. I had the right spices, but not the rest of the ingredients. I seasoned the pork with a Mexican spice blend, thickened with a little flour, and poured in some chopped tomatoes and a bottle of beer. I let that cook down until the pork was very tender and served it with rice. It was great.
Yesterday we let the the Waiakea Lions cook our breakfast at their annual Chuckwagon Breakfast. Still a deal: $6 and we couldn't eat it all. After that, we hit the garage sales. Don't laugh, but I bought an iron. It's in excellent shape, and it was a dollar. A dollar. I really hate ironing, but heck, if I have to do it, I'd like to use good equipment.
I cheated a little in the "What We're Eating" segment in that last night we already ate one of the menu items. I tried out a Stovetop Lasagna. Mr. L found this recipe somewhere on a blog he follows and so we decided we'd try it. I usually shy away from recipes where you cook things all in one pot, because the pasta, or rice, tends to have a different texture. Such was the case with this, although it wasn't so much that I didn't enjoy it. I did have to tweak it a little. First off, I thought it needed more liquid. My noodles just weren't cooking, and the mixture seemed dry. I ended up using a cup and a half of water and I added a half a can (the tomato sauce can) of red wine. You need to keep stirring -- the noodles want to stick to the pan. It seemed creamier than a traditional layered lasagna; maybe that was from the ricotta being stirred in. I'm not sure. Lastly, it's just not as pretty when you serve it. A traditional lasagna is really nice-looking; this just . . . isn't. But that's OK, because when was the last time you made a "lasagna" in about 20 minutes? There is the beauty of it -- plus, it tasted like lasagna. So, I'd say, this is worth a try.
Tonight, Sunday, I'll be trying to create a quinoa-mushroom-vermicelli pilaf. Who knows, it may have been done before. People are very creative with quinoa. I plan to saute' the mushrooms, quinoa, some shallots and vermicelli in butter and then add hot chicken broth. I'll top with sliced, toasted almonds. And maybe some parmesan. That will go with a recipe of Mark Bittman's: Sauteed Medallions of Pork with Lemon and Parsley.
Anyway, here is how things look for this week:
Saturday: Stovetop Lasagna, Zucchini, and Salad
Sunday: Mark Bittman's Sauteed Medallions of Pork with Lemon and Parsley, Quinoa-Rice-Mushroom Pilaf, Tossed Green Salad with Cilantro-Avocado Dressing
Monday: Creamy Bacon Carbonara with Chicken; Zucchini
Tuesday: Kalua Pork with Cabbage; Rice
Wednesday: Lindstrom "Biff" with Red Potatoes (see previous post)
Thursday: Salmon; Rice; Broccoli
Have a great week, everyone!
Pictured above: Patz Pies' Chicken Caesar Salad. This salad is huge. I was at a loss for words and suggested, "vessel." Mr. L came up with a better description: A dory. It's a dory of salad. A boat-load. Get it? Sorry.
Anyway, we also order a slice of pizza and split 'em both.
In other news, if you are looking for new Hawaii food products and/or places to eat, check these out:
Waipio Valley Cookhouse:
Yes, I'm tooting my horn a little, there. :-)
While we were out checking out garage sales two weeks ago, we struck gold. John and Michele Gamble (The Palms Cliff House) have started an estate sale business, and are renting a space up in Papaikou. It's sort of across from the Onomea Bay Credit Union. It isn't open all the time, but if you want to check it out, call them at 989-6077. I scored a beautiful casserole dish. I'll put in a slideshow below with some pictures of the great stuff they have.
What are we eating, this week? Well, let's pick up with today, which is later than normal, but yesterday was a blur.
Monday: Sam Choy's Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Tossed Green Salad
Tuesday: Baked Chicken Alfredo with Mushrooms; Rolls; Caesar Salad
Wednesday; Angel Hair Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Thursday: Salmon, Rice Pilaf, Green Beans with Shallots and Bacon
Friday: Sausage Hero Sandwiches with Peppers; Home Fries
Here are the vintage treasures:
I hope you got to have a holiday. I am thinking, "nap" sounds like a good plan, today.
Someone recently asked me to describe what the Maku'u Market was all about, and well, there was a challenge. It's part farmer's market, craft fair, flea market, small business promotion, new products, entertainment, and great food. There! How was that? Fortunately, I recently went, and took lots of pictures, so that'll help. The market is only open on Sundays, and they charge a buck a car to get in. It's well worth it. I'll put some pictures in, below. As a "foodie," I had one heck of a time deciding which food photo to post. There is a lot of really great food to choose from. Mr. L said that the burrito (above) was the best burrito he has ever eaten on the Island. Wow.
I think my favorite aspect of the market, aside from all the glorious food, is that it brings together a lot of small businessmen/women and gives people a chance to showcase their budding businesses. You can buy soap, t-shirts, honey, breads, vinegars, jewelry, concrete statues -- well, you get the idea. There are rows and rows of booths.
This week's menus:
Tonight (Sunday): Ribs, Potato-Mac Salad, Rice; Sliced Tomatoes
Monday: Chicken Spaghetti; Rolls; Tossed Salad
Tuesday: Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa, Sausage and Mushrooms; Zucchini
Wednesday: Coconut Shrimp, Rice, and Broccoli
Thursday: Pork Chops, Red Potatoes, Yellow Squash
Saturday: Chicken-Squash Casserole with Onion Topping
As promised, the slide show of the Maku'u Market is below. Have a great week!