Dim Sum Galore!

I love Chinese cuisine, especially dim sum (see featured image). I get ecstatic thinking about it. It’s comfort food to me; happy food!

A friend of mine treated me to dim sum a few weeks ago. So grateful. We finally tried Yung Yee Kee Dim Sum restaurant. I would drive past that restaurant almost daily and had been wanting to go there. They did not disappoint. It was delicious! We ordered way too much food. It was nice to take home our leftovers and eat them at home.

The restaurant even had a selection of various teas to choose from, which was awesome. We chose to try the pu-er tea, which contained a variety of fermented teas. That word fermented intrigued us, which led us to try it. We thought it would’ve tasted bitter or smelled stinky, but it was fine. Tasted like regular Chinese tea. Yum! Tea and dim sum go hand-in-hand.

Need to review a guide before eating dim sum? Check this out: https://www.dimsumcentral.com/dim-sum-menu-guide/.

I always order these dim sum dishes:

  • siu mai (pork hash with shrimp)
  • har gow (shrimp dumplings)
  • char siu bao (steamed BBQ pork buns)
  • salted egg custard buns
  • look fun with shrimp
  • pan-fried turnip cake
  • choi sum
  • chicken feet

These are my ultimate favorites. We were too full to order dessert. Although, the salted egg custard buns resembled a dessert dish. My favorite dessert dim sum dishes are:

  • egg custard tart
  • almond float
  • red bean soup
  • jin dui with black bean (sesame ball)

I found this article about 15 dim sum dishes to make at home: https://www.thespruceeats.com/dim-sum-recipes-you-can-make-at-home-4684644. How fun! I would love to try making my own homemade dim sum dishes. It’s going to be awesome and more meaningful because it’s homemade.

My first ex-boyfriend’s parents were originally from China. His mom shared her traditions when it came to meals. She shared that in her culture, jook, or rice porridge, is eaten for breakfast and dim sum is eaten during brunch or lunch. For dinner, she would always make a meat and vegetable dish with rice. Her cooking was the best! It was hearty and scrumptious. I miss it. I would always look forward to eating out at a Chinese restaurant with them, as well as staying over for dinner to have her delicious home-cooked meals.

O’ahu’s got a handful of delicious dim sum places. Check out Yung Yee Kee Dim Sum.

1411 Kapi’olani Blvd.
Honolulu, 96814
808-955-7478

Lastly, I’m praying for a kinder and compassionate world. It hurts my heart that random Asians are being attacked. We need to cultivate kindness and love towards our neighbors. We may not like or get along with everyone, but we shouldn’t ever hate on them. We can pursue respect and maturity.

Happy Holy Week!

Be blessed,

FS x

Hallo, Deutsches Eis!

Happy Last Day of January! We made it through the first month of the year. I do hope 2021 is off to a great start for all of you despite still being in a pandemic. I keep reminding myself that better days are ahead.

A few days ago, I received my second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. I was anxious about the side effects, as I kept hearing that the adverse reactions were greater the second time around. Yet, I thought maybe it wouldn’t be so bad since I had a great deal of symptoms after my first dosage. Boy, was I wrong! Let’s just say I experienced majority of the side effects listed from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC). I developed a sore/tired arm, chills, flushed face/body, sensitive skin, body aches, nausea, headache, fatigue, and excruciating joint and body pain, especially throughout my mid-to-lower back. Oh, it was horrible! Thankfully, those symptoms lasted a day. I was significantly better at the end of day two. I’ve laid low this weekend; taking it easy and resting. Today, I’m feeling almost 100% better. Still have some fatigue and now the injected area of my arm is starting to itch, as it did last time towards “my recovery.”

Having said this, I’m grateful to have received the vaccine. It gives me peace-of-mind knowing that I’ll be protected. However, just because I’m immunized, doesn’t mean I’m going to stop following the rules and regulations. No matter what, I’m still cautious and vigilant and will continue wearing my mask (I’ve been wearing two masks recently), physically distancing, and avoiding large crowds. We’re not out-of-the-woods yet.

This inoculation experience made me appreciate listening to my body and to my gut. It took me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting to have so many adverse reactions to the medication. I’ve realized how sensitive my body is to chemicals. Yet, I reflect on how these symptoms could’ve been worse. Thanks to God that I was able to get through the side effects.

This week, I’m sharing about German ice cream (see featured image). In 2010, I went on my first riverboat cruise along the Rhine River, which is the longest river in Germany. We visited three towns in Germany on our tour: Heidelberg, Cologne, Koblenz, and Mainz. All the towns looked very similar, but were so beautiful and peaceful. I loved the small-town village feel and look. I felt like I was in a movie during the Medieval times.

I remember walking by an ice cream shop in Mainz and wanted to satisfy my sweet tooth. The dessert was really good, and the presentation of the dish was superb. I found a website that has a bunch of German homemade ice cream recipes: https://germanfoods.org/recipes/recipe-collections-homemade-ice-cream/. I’ve got my eye on several flavors I want to try making: lavender, Neapolitan, nutella, peppermint, and vanilla. I’ve seen pictures of spaghetti ice cream that is very popular in Germany. It literally looks like spaghetti. Of course, not made with spaghetti. That would be quite strange and a very interesting flavor. The spaghetti noodles are made with vanilla ice cream and the tomato sauce with strawberries and raspberries. Meatballs are made with chocolate ice cream. Sounds so yummy just describing it.

I was disappointed that I didn’t eat too many German dishes while I was there. For some reason, we kept returning to the ship to dine. I think our tours were cut short. We did go to a pub to have German beer and German coffee (see below). That just means I need to return back one day when it’s safe to travel again.

German coffee at a pub called Drosselgasse in Mainz, Germany.
Krombacher, German beer, at a pub called Drosselgasse in Mainz, Germany.

Happy new week and Happy February! Be safe and take care of one another.

FS x

Eighteen of 20 Things 2020 Has Taught and Reminded Me + Strawberry/Banana Non-Dairy Ice Cream Pie

Let the New Year festivities begin! We’re nearing the end of the top 20 lessons the year has bestowed upon me. It’s been wonderful sharing this each day with you all.

18. The importance of gratitude, and both positive and negative reflection.

Gratitude is everything to me. There’s so much to be grateful for, even for the things we often overlook and take for granted, like: access to food, shelter, transportation, clean water, education, and work. It’s a daily reminder and practice that I exercise thankfulness and gratitude in all areas of my life. It’s what keeps me going.

I want to extend my thanks to all of you supporters who like and read my posts here and on my social media platforms. I am forever grateful and am so appreciative. I want to continue providing inspiration, fun facts, and sharing my love for food.

It’s been ingrained in my brain to focus on the positive. Yet, our minds tend to dwell on the negative. It’s seems easier to think adversely about something. I’ve heard it said that people can quickly name pessimistic qualities about themselves compared to confident remarks. Nonetheless, I think negative reflection is just as important as pondering on the positive.

This year, I welcomed both the positive and negative views that came to mind. I allowed time to process the negative thinking and ponder about how to move forward with the thoughts. We’re all given choices in life. It’s what we do with them and how we act upon them that matters in the end. I try my best not to let pessimistic thoughts consume me. The mind can be very powerful. Thus, I try to focus on optimistic thinking. Hope, encouragement, happiness, and cheerfulness always triumphs.

I love making non-dairy ice cream no-bake pies. They’re simple and quick, and oh-so-good! Earlier this year, I made a strawberry/banana non-dairy ice cream pie. It was really refreshing! Strawberries and bananas are my ultimate favorite fruits.

Ingredients:

  • Baked pie crust of your choice- I used graham.
  • Non-dairy ice cream of your choice- I used strawberry/banana flavor, made with bananas. Yum!
  • Heavy whipping cream (to make my own whipped cream) or cool whip
  • (Optional) Fresh fruits of your choice- I used strawberries and bananas to match the ice cream flavor.

Happy evening!

FS x

Seven of 20 Things 2020 Has Taught and Reminded Me + Holly Cookies

Happy Aloha FriYAY! It’s one week before Christmas! Spending this weekend baking and finishing up my Christmas shopping and wrappings. It’s crunch time! There’s so much to do! I’m pumped! I’m determined! Let’s do this!

The seventh thing that the year has taught and reminded me is:

7. To be loving, understanding, patient, and kinder to ourselves.

We need to take good care of ourselves. After all, we’re living with ourselves for life. We do everything with me, myself, and I. It’s important to love ourselves. If we can cherish our family, friends, and acquaintances, why can’t we reciprocate treating ourselves that same way?

I had experienced many moments of frustration with myself and with the world this year. All that has occurred in the world had affected me in both positive and negative ways. I recall the first couple months of quarantining went well. I was pumped and motivated. I had created a to-do list of tasks to accomplish while we were abiding by our state-at-home order.

That “honeymoon” period came and went. By the third month of the pandemic, this “new” lifestyle became tiring and mentally exhausting. There were moments of anguish, anger, and irritation. I had wanted to return to my regular life. Then I asked myself, “what was ‘normal’ now?”

It’s been a constant reminder to be more loving, understanding, patient, and kinder to myself. Give myself more grace. Forgive myself for mistakes. Not being so hard on myself, especially when goals and tasks haven’t been met. To create a happier me, I’ve reminded myself countless times to set smaller and reasonable goals and to do what I can. And if there are days where I don’t feel like doing things, that’s ok. It’s ok to veg and be lazy. Literally, when I tell people I’m taking it day by day and one step at a time, I truly mean that. This is the new way of maneuvering through life. We had to undergo a lot of changes this year. It’s been an adjustment.

I love holly cookies (see featured image)! They’re so yummy and cute. And, they’re super easy to make. No baking required. Yay! Perfect to make during the holidays, or anytime, really.

Guide to making these wonderful cookies: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/9498/holly-christmas-cookies/

Ingredients needed:

  • Marshmallows
  • Green food coloring
  • Corn flakes
  • Red candies
  • Powered sugar
  • Butter (softened)
  • Vanilla extract

It’s the weekend, All! Have a great and safe one.

FS x

Three of 20 Things 2020 Has Taught and Reminded Me + Cookies

Happy Monday! It’s day three and I’ll be sharing the third thing that this year has taught and reminded me. Plus, we’ll be talking about some yummy holiday cookies.

3. To keep on persevering, even through the challenging times.

The word, perseverance, has been the central theme of my life these days. It’s not always easy to be tenacious, especially during tough times. We often feel like giving up; throwing in the towel, and just say “forget it.” I know I’ve felt that way many times. But at the end of the day, I keep reminding myself to persist and endure, no matter how hard the fight is. I’m a fighter and I don’t give up! I’m a conqueror!

The new Taylor Swift album, folklore, has been powerful. Her lyrics have a deeper meaning than ever before. One song in particular, “this is me trying,” immediately resonated with me as soon as I heard it. I thought about many people across the globe who are trying their best every single day. I think as long as we’re trying and doing the best we can in life, that shows courage, fortitude, and stamina as an individual.

Ok, let’s talk cookies. Over the last few holidays, I’ve been trying to perfect a butter cookie recipe that my late grand auntie used to make when I was growing up. She didn’t write the recipe down; only the ingredient list that was actually created by my grandfather. It took multiple tries to get the cookies down-packed. I felt like I was doing a science experiment project. Eventually, I was able to make the cookies my own, which was my ultimate goal. Baking is not like cooking. It’s very important that baking recipes are followed to the T. Too much of this or too little of that, will turn your baking dish upside down.

Until tomorrow… Keep persevering.

FS x

Vday at Merriman’s

I hope y’all had a lovely Valentine’s Day! Mine was wonderful!!!! I’m excited to share the delicious food we had on this Day of Love and Hearts!!!

It was an exciting Vday. I got to try Merriman’s at Ward Village with my gal pal. This is sister restaurants of Monkeypod Kitchen and Moku Kitchen. They also have a Merriman’s on every major island: O’ahu, Kaua’i, Maui, and Hawaii Island. How cool is that?!

We were stoked to try the food. We went all-out! Take a look…

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This Maui onion soup was unbelievable! So good! I can’t even tell you. I’m normally not a fan on onion soup, but this was excellent!

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Tako country bread- escargot style. Oh man! This was so good! It felt like I was eating real escargot, but it was tako- aka octopus. The bread that came with this dish was to-die-for!

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I’m a sucker for trying kimchi wherever I go. This was super tasty!

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I had to try the Keahole lobster pot pie. Excellent! It felt like I was eating a chowder. Sprinkling that lemon juice make it much more tangy!

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This is the Waialua chocolate purse. Wow! Doesn’t that “purse” look like paper? It’s edible! There’s a rich, rich, rich chocolate cake inside. Wow!

We enjoyed ourselves and would definitely return to try more food. I’m excited!

Merriman’s opens for both lunch and dinner. Be sure to also check out their sister restaurants. I’ve been to both and the food is awesome!

Merriman’s
Ward Village
1108 Auahi St.
Honolulu, 96814
https://www.merrimanshawaii.com/

 

New Year with the bestest of friends!

I was blessed to have spent the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019 with my dear friends. We dined at Chef Chai’s, a Thai-fusion place with my family. My family and I always enjoy the food there. However, we were disappointed that they didn’t have the deep fried whole fish. They had sold-out of the dish before we dined there that evening. Nooo! It must be a very popular dish.

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Butternut squash lobster bisque soup. That was so yummy! I am determined to use butternut squash in my cooking and make a soup.

Ordered the jumbo prawns. Absolutely delicious!

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So glad they had brown rice! It was mixed with coconut milk and ginger. Interesting mix!

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We couldn’t resist dessert- deep fried banana cream cheese with gelato and berries. Oh boy! So good!

Chef Chai
1009 Kapiolani Blvd.
Honolulu, 96814
http://chefchai.com/

Afternoon tea with my girls!

My girlfriends and I had afternoon tea at Vintage Café at Ala Moana last weekend to celebrate the belated holidays. It was such a busy season last year, we couldn’t get together before Christmas or New Years. Ah! So glad we finally got together to have a much needed celebration.

It was a lovely and relaxing afternoon. I absolutely loved it there. I’m always a fan of afternoon tea and love trying different places that offer afternoon tea. I would definitely go back to Vintage Café again- and I will…next month, haha! I love the daintiness of having tea. The dishes are beautiful and the food is so quaint and cute. I also love those tea places where you can dress up with hats and shawls. Super fun!

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I ordered the Georgia peach nectar rooibos tea- non-caffeinated. That was amazingly delicious. I loved how it smelt so peachy.  Refreshing! It tasted better with honey.

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Yummy finger food!!!! I just love the tray.

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Mmm! Could I eat the entire tray? Aww, darn… Only could choose one…

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I ordered the Jidori club, which was a chicken sandwich with arugula and eggs. Yummy!

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The homemade scone was amazing. It came with sweet cream and mango/ginger jam. Interesting jam flavor, might I add. I did enjoy the sweet cream. The dessert of choice was a banana tart/pie.

Afternoon tea is every day from 12-3pm. They have two prices: $18 and $34- includes champagne.

Vintage Café
Ala Moana Center (next to Bloomingdale’s on the street level)
1450 Ala Moana Blvd.
Honolulu, 96814

 

Reflecting on 2018 and embracing 2019

Happy New Year’s Eve Eve! As 2018 is coming to a close, I’m reflecting on this past year and embracing the welcome of 2019. I hope 2018 was a great year for you all. I hope 2019 brings more blessings your way! It’s going to be an excellent year!

My family and I are blessed! Our good family friends treated us to a delicious dinner at Haleiwa Joe’s this holiday season. Yummy! They are known for their prime rib. They have limited prime rib daily- and they go fast! It’s first come, first serve. It’s also very reasonable for the portion.

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Look at this bad boy! Wow! I had a taste from my sister… it was to-die-for! Totally worth it!

We just couldn’t stop talking about the size of the prime rib and the price. We were so impressed! It’s really, really worth it!

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I ordered a fish red Thai curry. That was pretty good. Very healthy- haha!

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Had to try the banana bread tiramisu. Mmmm!

Haleiwa Joe’s has two locations: Haiku Gardens in Kaneohe and on the North Shore in Haleiwa.

We dined at the Kaneohe location. The view is gorgeous.

46-366 Haiku Road
Kaneohe, 96744
https://haleiwajoes.com

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

My belated Thanksgiving Feast

Hola! So sorry I’ve been absent for a while. Life has been insanely busy the latter half of this year. If you are a follower of my other social media platforms, I tend to update those sites more often. Please follow!!! However, I do plan to resume posting blogs on this site as well.

The holidays are here again. I hope y’all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and having a great start to the holiday season. The days are flying by so quickly! Christmas is in 19 days! Trying to savor this special time of year. It’s my ultimate favorite that I hold dear to my heart.

Sharing my Thanksgiving feast in today’s post. My family and I never shy away from tradition on Thanksgiving. We got to have the turkey, stuffing, yam, ham, mashed potatoes, rice, and gravy! Oh, and we can’t forget the two famous pies- custard and pumpkin!! Yum! That’s our feast, and we never get tired of it!

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The stuffing is homemade and is very simple to prep and make. On my Instagram, I will post some videos of the dishes I made this Turkey Day, including this yummy stuffing.

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My mouth is watering looking at this and reflecting on that delicious meal.

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Homemade desserts made by my cousin- layered jello and mini tarts. I couldn’t resist- they were amazingly good!

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Oh, and I had to have a slice of this! Pumpkin pie from A’ala Bakery is bomb!!!

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…And this custard pie, too- haha! FYI- A’ala Bakery is closing its doors at the end of this month, so get your fix while ya can!

A’ala Bakery
1425 Liliha St.
Honolulu, HI 96817

Have a blessed and safe holiday season!

FS~