A Grand Turkish Meal

This post was mysteriously deleted. I restored and reposted it. This was dated 07/04/21.

Happy Fourth of July! Wishing you all a safe celebration.

I have a few days until I begin culinary school. I’m super excited to start this new journey. From next week, I’ll be highlighting my weekly posts on dishes I’ll be making in my classes. If time permits, I’ll post additional blogs about new restaurants I’ve dined at.

This week, I’d like to share about Turkish cuisine- one of my top five faves. I’m so happy to say that Istanbul Hawai’i has finally opened their restaurant! I remember ordering gyro from their food trucks at events like “Night Market” years ago. This is a long time coming and I’m so ecstatic to have finally dined at their restaurant.

My friend and I were so excited. The restaurant was packed! We had a late reservation. All the earlier slots were already reserved. Throughout the time we were there, it was busy the entire time, even near closing, the place was filled. I was so happy to see how busy it was. It shows that the food is awesome. And that it was!

The menu was pretty overwhelming. A lot of dishes seemed very foreign to both my friend and I. I’ve been to Turkey twice; had authentic Turkish food there, and in Japan, as well. But those were nothing like what I experienced at Istanbul Hawai’i.

A break this week…

There was no cooking assignment for culinary school this week. We just had to fabricate a whole chicken and freeze all the parts. We’ll be using them for the next six weeks. Exciting! I can now say I’ve deconstructed a whole chicken. Yay!

I have to say, I didn’t enjoy the process. Working with raw meat, especially poultry grosses me out. I usually buy already cooked chicken or specific chicken parts (i.e., thighs and drumsticks). It’s much easier and cleaner to work with. As I was fabricating the raw chicken, all I could think about the entire time working was wanting to sanitize everything. Wash my entire kitchen with soap and hot water. I usually wear gloves when handling raw poultry, but I was advised not to wear gloves because it’s actually more dangerous. People are more prone to cutting themselves more easily when wearing gloves. Shucks! So, I had to use my bare hands. I washed them like I had OCD! Seriously! My fingers were pruned by the time I was done. I washed all my equipment and tools several times, as well as cleaned the counter and sink area multiple times. I had to make sure everything was sanitized. Salmonella, food poisoning, bacteria spread is NO JOKE! It’s important to practice safety and good hygiene, especially when working with raw poultry.

August is birthday month. I spent my birthday weekend in the kitchen and with family and friends. My loves! The perfect trio!

Last week, we celebrated my aunt’s birthday. We had the whole chicken with gravy, and carrots vichy and brussel sprouts for her bday dinner. My sister made Oreo-stuffed chocolate cupcakes for dessert. Yummmmm! In my featured image, I created a collage of all the yummy food I ate this weekend. My dad and sis made a feast for dinner. We had tossed salad, steak, chicken, Portuguese sausage, mashed potatoes with boiled eggs and olives, and shrimp and oyster tempura. Wow! We celebrated with strawberry, chocolate, lemon, and coconut cupcakes for dessert from Sam’s Club. Sam’s Club makes some pretty yummy cakes. My dear girlfriend took me out for brunch at the La Hiki at the Four Seasons at Ko ‘Olina. We went there two years ago and had a fulfilled delicious, out-of-this-world buffet brunch experience. However, since COVID, buffets have not reopened, and restaurants that once offered buffets, had to get creative. This restaurant created a pre-fixed brunch menu. The food was yummy, but you can’t beat that buffet. I can’t wait till the buffet reopens again. It was one of the best brunch buffets I’ve ever eaten at. I would love to take my family there to experience all that superlativeness.

Have a great week, All! Please stay safe. This pandemic is getting outrageous!

FS x

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Papa’s Day to all the fathers, grandfathers, uncles, and father-figures! Hope you had a chillaxing day, doing absolutely NOTHING! We appreciate all that y’all do for us. Thank you, thank you!

My family and I are celebrating with my dad. My sister and I cooked steaks, seasoned with garlic pepper, and rack of lamb, marinated with teriyaki sauce. We’re using the Instant Pot air fryer combo we got my dad for Father’s Day last year. It has all kinds of cool features: air fry, bake, broil, and roast. We’re using ALL the features. So exciting!

I made a Greek yogurt sauce to complement the meats. Yum! That’s my favorite part about eating red meat, which I’m so excited to eat because I don’t have very often anymore. Red meat is a delightful treat. I was introduced to this delicious pairing when I went to Turkey in the summer of 2010 for a world conference.

The yogurt sauce is similar to the Greek tzatziki sauce. It’s very simple to make. I add my own simple touches to it to make it my own. I used plain Greek yogurt and seasoned it with garlic pepper, minced dried garlic, and dried dill. Voilà! All done! The sauce is so good, I can eat it by itself. Uh huh! You heard right!

Now, gotta have them veggies! We made green beans and brussel sprouts, cooked with garlic balsamic olive oil, onions,and garlic. Scrumptious! Now, that’s how you get people to eat their vegetables, haha!

We also had Portuguese sausage, the best sausage there is, in my opinion (I’m not a huge sausage fan) and shrimp tempura. The tempura was already pre-made, thanks to Costco. My dad cooked oysters in a buttery garlic sauce. Oh my! I was in heaven! I love oysters. We don’t eat it all the time. Whenever we do, I savor every bite! It’s a wonderful treat!

For dessert, my dad requested a haupia pie, which my sister bought. Haupia is a Hawaiian coconut dessert.

Time to grind all the delicious foods! Ciao!

Have a great week. Happy belated Juneteenth, now a federal holiday (yay!), and Happy Summer!

FS x

Christmas grindz

Christmas came and went. All we did was eat! The holidays is a wonderful time to gather together with loved ones and enjoy delicious foods together. In Hawaii, we have a mixed pot of ethnicities and that means there’s a variety of foods on the menu, plus the local grinds!

We had our annual prime rib, courtesy of Costco. This dish never disappoints. It’s so tasty! It’s pricey, but it’s worth every penny! Yummy!

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I also made fresh cream corn for the first time. I came across a recipe on Delish.com.

It’s super simple. The following ingredients included:

  • 2 c. milk (I used lactose-free skim milk)
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter
  • 16 oz. cream cheese
  • 3 bags of frozen organic corn (you can also use canned corn, too)
  • 1 tbsp. organic sugar
  • fresh black pepper
  • garlic salt
  • garlic powder

I slow-cooked it on high for four hours. My Crock Pot did not have the two-hour feature.

We had leftover bacon from our Christmas breakfast, but forgot to add it in afterwards. Also, decided not to add in the green onions. This dish was a hit, nonetheless! Everyone loved it. Guess this’ll be a dish that will be added to the holiday dinner menu! Yay!

Have a blessed New Year’s celebrations. Be safe!

FS x

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~

Gotta love them stir fries!

Happy Sunday, almost October, and Fall!

I love stir fries! I love cooking this dish, too. It’s simple and healthy for ya. I made a teriyaki ground turkey breast rice bowl. It was bomb! Enjoy the videos.

This entrée is inspired by: https://www.yellowblissroad.com/teriyaki-turkey-rice-bowl/

The following ingredients that made this wonderful dish are:

  • Ground turkey breast (ground turkey is fine, too)
  • Rice (any type of rice. I used a mix of quinoa, wild, basmati, jasmine, and white rice)
  • Shoyu (soy sauce)
  • Garlic powder
  • Black pepper
  • Brown sugar
  • Garlic salt
  • Himalyan pink salt
  • Cornstarch (for thickening of the sauce)
  • Red wine vinegar

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Ingredients and seasonings

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Da final product! Whoo hoo!

Have a great week!

FS

Gimme some brown suga!

Happy Sunday! My apologies for the hiatus. You know how life is- crazy! I hope to post entries more often. I do have my social media platforms available for viewing and commenting (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter). I try to post pictures regularly on those platforms.

A couple months ago, I made some brown sugar chicken in a Crock Pot. I used the time-lapse video feature on my phone. That is my favorite now! Check it out. It’s pretty cool.

Ingredients used:

  • Chicken thighs (you can use whatever piece of your choosing)
  • Carrots
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Pepper
  • Himalayan salt
  • Brown sugar

Cooked on low heat for eight hours. You can also cook it on high heat, if you’re pressed for time.

Simple and easy. What’s left there to say?

Have a great week. I’ll be back!!!

FS~

Flyin’ Hawaiian!

It’s time for another review of airplane food. My fave! Haha! Airplane food is the best! I’ve always enjoyed it! I get so excited. It’s the best part of the flight!

I flew with Hawaiian Airlines (Hawaii, represent!!!) to Cali to attend one of my BFF’s wedding. I used to live in Cali for a couple years several years ago and loved it. I always enjoy visiting and have been thinking about moving back again in the future if a good job opportunity arises.

I love that our airlines has expanded their flights to fly across the world. It’s awesome knowing that Hawaii is being represented and known to the rest of the globe. Yea!

Going to California, I had an egg-and-cheese sandwich. It was amazing! Oh my gosh! My lovely neighbor, whom I enjoyed talking story with, didn’t want hers, so I ate hers too, later in the flight- haha! Totally satisfying!

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On my flight returning home, I had penne pasta with meatballs, mushrooms, and a light marinara sauce and a southwest salad. Wine was complementary, so I had a cup of good ol’ Chardonnay! Yummy!

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Can’t wait till my next adventure! Have a great week, all!

~FS x