This caramel sauce is ENTICING!

The holidays are here!

Happy month of THANKSGIVING! There’s SO MUCH to be grateful for. The holidays are back once again and I’m excited! It’s one of my most favorite times of the year.

2021 Thankful Challenge

The entire month of November, I participate in a #thankfulchallenge on my social media platforms. Each day, I list something I’m grateful for. It could be anything. There are no stringent rules. It’s something I started in 2018 and it’s been an annual tradition ever since. I always get excited about my thankful challenge postings.

Something that really touched my heart this year was that a high school classmate was inspired to join the challenge. They shared that they’re tired of the negativity and wanted to give this challenge a go. Awesome! I’ve enjoyed reading and being inspired by their daily posts. I love to inadvertently motivate and inspire others. We could use more of that in this world.

Quick recap of the last seven days of the #2021thankfulchallenge

Here are the things I’ve been grateful for this first week in November:

  1. Peaceful and tranquil lake.
  2. “You Are My Glory,” Chinese drama series.
  3. Hugs.
  4. Love.
  5. Hawai’i’s KIKU TV (was a channel that aired multi-cultural shows).
  6. “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle
  7. The end of daylight savings time.

Visit my social media pages listed at the end of this post to view my detailed posts.

Highlighting homemade caramel sauce

This week, I’m highlighting caramel sauce. I was ecstatic to make this. I love caramel. I didn’t know how easy it was to make this glorious sauce. I was gleaming for joy after the outcome. I couldn’t believe how simple it was. Was I dreaming? I know what I’ll be making more often for desserts. Hehe…

The recipe and cooking equipment needed:

  • 8 oz. sugar
  • 2 fl.oz. water
  • ¾ tsp lemon juice (or corn syrup)- I chose lemon juice
  • 6 fl.oz. heavy cream (or water for clearer sauce)- I chose heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt (for salted caramel)- I decided to use the salt in my recipe
  • 4 fl.oz. milk (optional- to thin)- I opted not to add additional milk to thin out the sauce
  • Food scale
  • Measuring bowls/spoons for mise en place ingredients
  • Pastry brush
  • Whisk
  • Saucepan
  • Mason jar (for storing)

Production steps:

  1. Mise en place ingredients.
  2. Combine sugar, water, and lemon juice in a saucepan. Do not stir.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. 
  4. Wash sides with a pastry brush as needed to avoid crystallization.
  5. Cook the syrup to the caramel stage, where it will turn a honey amber color.
  6. Towards the end of the cooking stage, turn heat to low to avoid burning the sugar or letting it get too dark.
  7. Remove from heat.
  8. Slowly whisk in the cool cream. If some sugar solidifies, then return to a low heat and stir until all the caramel is dissolved.
  9. Add 1 tsp of salt or more to taste for salted caramel.
  10. Cool completely.
  11. Store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Da pixs!

Before I close, I want to give a BIG shout-out and say THANK YOU, MAHALO, to all my supporters here as well as on my social media platforms. It means a lot to me to have lovely support who views, reads, likes, and comments on my blog and social media. Thank YOU VERY MUCH! Wishing all of you a fabulous new week! Until next time!

In thanksgiving,

FS x

, ,

FooDNisTaSouL

Shaloha with Love

It’s a long weekend packed with three big, diverse holidays- Lunar New Year, Valentine’s Day, and President’s Day! How cool is that?! I don’t think I’ve ever experienced three back-to-back holidays in one weekend. I find it so exciting!

Today is Valentine’s Day! One of my fave days to celebrate. I love the colors, especially the reds, pinks, purples, and whites. I love the balloons, hearts, flowers, candies, and cards. Everything about V-day brings a smile to my face and warms my heart. Affection and appreciation shouldn’t be celebrated just today, but everyday! Furthermore, Valentine’s Day isn’t only a day for couples to celebrate their love. It’s for everybody! Singles, family, friends… To my gal pals, it’s Galentine’s Day! Let us all celebrate in a special way. Love, appreciate, and self-care!

Did you know that V-day originates from the Roman priest, St. Valentine, back in ancient Roman times? There’s a long history of how V-day became to be the day we know today. A lot of has changed over the many centuries. I found this article explaining the history: https://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day/history-of-valentines-day-2. There’s also some other links that lead to other articles about V-day in that link, such as interesting facts about St. Valentine’s and Cupid.

The other week, I finally tried the food at Shaloha, an Israeli joint in Kaimukī, across my alma mater. I had the privilege of returning to campus and spending the day there while I took care of some car issues at a repair shop nearby. It brought back a lot of memories to be back on campus again. I felt like a college student again. During lunchtime, I had planned to get a sandwich at Subway, which I hadn’t had in a long time. It was also the only place I knew that was nearby the my university. But then I saw Shaloha, which was in the same plaza as Subway, and was determined to try some new food. There were so many good choices off the menu at Shaloha. I decided to try the shawarma pita sandwich (see featured image). I instantly thought of the post-credits scene in “The Avengers.” That was the what they ate after fighting a crazy battle. Haha! It looked so good, I wanted to try it. Boy, was that sandwich packed with so much filling and taste. I was so full by the time I finished it. It was delicious, too. Their pita bread was made fresh, from scratch. So hearty! I could feel the love that was put in the entire sandwich. I need to go back again. I want to try the plates next. I love Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food. It’s in my top five faves.

Shaloha made it into the Urban Dictionary. Too funny! https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=shaloha. It’s basically a joint Jewish and Hawaiian word put together to mean “hello,” “goodbye,” and “peace.” Genius!

Shaloha is located at:
3133 Waiʻalae Ave.
Honolulu,, HI 96816
https://www.shaloha4u.com/
808-744-4222

Next week, we’ll feature a dish celebrating the Lunar New Year. Can’t forget about welcoming the Year of the Ox. LNY is celebrated over 15 days. Whoo!

Until then, be safe and have a glorious holiday weekend.

Peace,

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

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~

A day of Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, All! I wish you and your loved ones a blessed day to celebrate amongst yourselves, with food, joy, and laughter!

Just a preview of tonight’s menu… I was busy in the kitchen last night, cookin’ up some creamy mashed potatoes, blueberry/cranberry sauce, and prepping ingredients for the stuffing (which I will make tonight). My dad’s cooking the rest of the entrées: the big bird, ham, and yam. Mmm! This is the usual Thanksgiving dinner for my family and I. Not to mention the sides: dinner rolls, poke (raw fish), edamame (soy beans)…

I was inspired by The Pioneer Woman herself, Ree Drummond, to attempt making a different style of mashed potatoes this year. I added these three ingredients to make it extra rich, creamy, and special: half-and-half, whipping cream, and cream cheese. I don’t think I’m ever going back to making mashed potatoes like I used to. These three ingredients changed the texture of the dish! So good!

Here is the recipe! It’s so simple, and you can add more of these ingredients if you please! I never follow recipes to-the-tee!

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Boiled a bunch of potatoes. I bought a 20lb bag from Costco last weekend. I’m down to a few potatoes left- haha!

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The ingredients to add to the mashed potatoes!

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And of course, you need to have seasoning!!

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Bam! There ya go! Creamy and rich! You can’t even taste the cream cheese (for those who don’t care for it).

Next, I made my blueberry/cranberry sauce. When I was growing up, I was always curious to know how fresh, homemade cranberry sauce is made. In the past, we had family friends make a container for us, or we would buy the canned sauce. NEVER AGAIN with the canned sauce- haha! It’s got to be fresh! A couple years ago, I finally decided to start the tradition in making my own sauce for the season. My family loved it; even those who didn’t like cranberry sauce.

I was inspired by two different recipes, but I stuck with this one: as simple as can be! All you need is cranberries, blueberries, sugar, and good ol’ OJ!

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There ya go! So simple, yet so good!

Maybe next year, I’ll try spiking it??? Hehe! We’ll see. I should make two batches, in case the experimental one doesn’t turn out, haha!

Another post to come after the complete meal is prepared, which will include my stuffing.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all! Eat lots of turkey!!!!