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

 

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Good ol’ pasta & steak

Happy Sunday!

I love experimenting and making different and unique dishes. This time, I made pasta with vodka sauce. Yes, vodka! 😏

I was inspired by this recipe: https://shewearsmanyhats.com/pasta-vodka-sauce-recipe/

I, of course, altered the recipe, as I always do, to make it my own.
Ingredients:
  • 1 pound pasta
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
  • 8 cloves garlic, grated
  • 32 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ cup vodka
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish (or Gruyere)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garnish: fresh chopped parsley, grated Parmesan
  • I added arugula to the dish. I added about three handfuls of the batch.
Instructions:
  1. Begin cooking pasta to al dente stage according to package instructions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add chili flakes and grated garlic, cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and vodka, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Stir in cream, Parmesan cheese, plus ¼ cup of pasta water until smooth. If needed, add more pasta water a little at a time until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Drain pasta, add to pan with sauce and toss until coated.
  6. Serve with fresh parsley and grated Parmesan.

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Mmm! I may have put a wee bit more cheese than anticipated. Still, it was yummy!

I was in the mood for steaks to pair with the pasta. I was dying to use honey and balsamic vinegar again. So I made this: https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/balsamic-glazed-sirloin-steak-10900

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 pound 1/2-inch-thick boneless sirloin steak
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons medium-dry Sherry
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter

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Doesn’t this look mouth watering?