Friday, July 29, 2011

Mac Salad

If you all have ever visited or lived in Hawaii, you know that with most lunch plates here, you are served a delicious scoop of "Mac Salad". It's been a challenge of mine to try and get the taste on this Mac Salad recipe right for the past year or so. One of my best friends sent me a "recipe" for a local style Mac Salad. The reason I quote the word recipe is because she pretty much just texted me a list of ingredients. So, I went all mad scientist in the kitchen, adding ingredients 1/4 cup at a time until I got what I wanted. Now, some people prefer pickle relish in their mac salad, I am not one of those people. If you are one of those people, go for it!

1 lb macaroni, cooked as directed on box and cooled
1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup maui onion dressing
5 eggs, hard boiled and diced
1 carrot, grated
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp white pepper
Salt to taste

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and set in refrigerator overnight. Simple as that!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Life Update

A lot has been happening for Jon and I recently so I figured now was a good time to update everyone on what's happening with us. This is going to be a long one, you have been warned.

First of all, when Jon and I first moved here, we had a reeeeally rough time finding good jobs. I had transferred from the Best Buy in Massachusetts, but had to step down from supervisor to part time. So, I took a huge pay cut, worked only 10-15 hours and lost my benefits. Jon was supposed to get this awesome job for General Dynamics but it was held up in contract negotiations or something for what felt like forever. So, he got a part time, minimum wage job doing groundskeeping at the condos where we live. Not the best time of our lives.

A little over a year after we moved here, things finally started to turn around. I got a job as Assistant Manager at Things Remembered, which was opening its first store in Hawaii. Jon got promoted to Assistant Property Manager, overseeing all the 200 condos day-to-day projects and homeowner dramas (no seriously, its like a reality show out here sometimes).

Thennnn, about 4 months ago, the Property Manager resigned. So, the Board of Directors made Jon Acting Property Manager while they took in resumes for a permanent replacement. Jon also submitted a resume, but because of his age and his experience being in underwater welding, we weren't sure what was going to happen. Finally, they officially offered Jon the position about 2 months ago. Normally, the Property Manager would be provided with a 2 bedroom condo to live in. However, the condo does not allow pets. We have two dogs, fail. Instead, Jon worked out a deal where they would cover our living expenses and then rent out the unit we weren't able to move into.

So, we set up the "living allowance" based on our current rent. We then got notice from our rental agent that our owner is selling his condo and we need to be out by August 5th (45 days). AWESOME. Jon NEEDS to live on the property because he is literally on call 24/7. However, most places here do not do long term rentals because they make more money doing night-to-night for tourists. And the ones that do, do not allow dogs. Luckily, our rental agent is awesome and is able to get us into the unit right upstairs from us.

This ended up being a total blessing in disguise, which you'll understand when you see the pictures that are going to follow. The unit we live in now is totally falling apart because we just needed the lowest price possible when Jon and I were in our job drought. The unit we're about to move into is twice the size and is newly renovated. It's awesome. We're not sure how long exactly we're going to live here because the rental agent is trying to find us one with a long term lease so we don't have to go through this every six months.

Just to add a little more stress to the situation, there are tourists booked in the upstairs unit from July 26th-August 3rd. So, we are going to have a day and a half to move everything and fully clean this unit. Should be a good time.

While all this has been going on, I've been feeling incredibly sick with what has felt like the flu for almost two months. Anyone who knows me, knows I rarely go to the doctor. I finally decided I needed to go and find out why I can't shake this sickness. So, I went about a week and a half ago, and my doctor told me I had post nasal drip and prescribed me a nasal spray. I had serious doubts about this diagnosis because I felt fluid in my lungs and I didn't see how post nasal drip would cause that. I decided to hold my tongue and trust the doctor who paid thousands of dollars for an education. She said if I didn't feel better within 7 days to come back.

Sure enough, a week later, I felt even worse. I scheduled an appointment this past Monday which was exactly 10 days from my original appointment. I had a different doctor and she tried to say I needed to let the Flonaise work for 3-4 weeks before coming back. I said "no, I know this is not just post nasal drip, I feel fluid in my lungs and I have shortness of breath." Sure enough, she listens to my deep breaths and says I have pneumonia. She prescribed me some antibiotics and sent me on my way. I was her last appointment for the day. I go to the drugstore to pick up my medication, and she had never called it in. Are you kidding me? No, she's not. So, as if I hadn't been living with this unnecessary sickness for the past 10 days, let's tack on one extra night just to mess with me. So. Angry.

I did get my meds finally the next day, and my awesome co-workers covered my shifts for me so I don't go back to work until Tuesday. My 2011 Pneumonia Elimination Plan includes Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup, Ginger Ale, sleep and Netflix. I am feeling a little better, the incessant coughing is the worst part of it all. I wake up every 2 hours during the night, which in turn wakes up poor Jon and can't go back to sleep for like 3 hours. No fun. Hopefully the antibiotics will kick some butt and I can get back to normal. I had a plan to lose 25 pounds by my 25th birthday and this pneumonia is seriously messing with it!

Anyways, here are some pictures of the new condo. If you want to see some pictures of the old one, go here.

Master bedroom

Bedroom Bathroom

Hall Bathroom

Upstairs loft- 2 Queen Beds!

Newly renovated kitchen! :)
In other news, I took the dogs to Spa de Petco this weekend to get groomed. I normally shave Savannah myself because I've had some bad experiences with groomers in the past. Well, I decided to just give it a chance and make sure to be incredibly specific with them on what I wanted. So, I dropped them off at 12pm on Friday to get Savannah shaved and a bath and then Lei Lei just a bath. I picked them up a little after 4pm and I just wanted to cry when I saw Savannah. They had completely shaved her head up to her eyebrows. I had asked they NOT shave her head/face, and instead just blend from the neck down. I told them to make her body as long as they needed to for it to blend as normal as possible. On top of not listening to those directions, they didn't even trim inside and around her ears so it is a hot mess. I also asked they poof her tail like a poodle because she has a short tail from an accident. They just trimmed it and it looks like she has a little broom for a tail. Ridiculous. Then, I get her home and I'm looking at her belly and there are spots everywhere where they got WAY too close with the buzzer so it's all uneven. I seriously couldn't believe how badly they messed her up. Everyone hope for us that her hair grows back very fast. :/ Luckily she's still a little cutie. Here's the before & after:

I hope all you guys are having an awesome summer so far. I will be doing more wedding planning over the next couple months so my next non-recipe blog will probably be an update on that! Stay tuned. Love you all!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Pork Fried Rice

I am a major jerk and didn't get a picture of this, sorry. Also, while I'm insulting myself, I am a total weirdo because I made this along side a Greek Meatloaf. I wanted to tackle both recipes while I had the ingredients. They didn't go together at all, but separately they were both dynamite. I always eat my fried rice at Chinese restaurants with "duck sauce" which in case you haven't had it, is this delicious sweet and sour type of sauce. I of course don't have any duck sauce at my house. I researched how to make it and was disappointed to know I needed plum, peach or apricot preserves, which I didn't have. So, I used teriyaki sauce in addition to soy sauce, rather than all soy, to still get my sweet need taken care of. Good move on my part, just sayin! Hope you all agree.

1 lb pork, diced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
3 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cups rice, fully cooked
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp teriyaki sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/8 tsp ground ginger

In a large skillet, sautee pork, onion and green pepper in oil until pork is fully cooked. Add in rice and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes. In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, teriyaki, soy sauce and ground ginger. Pour into rice mixture and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Shrimp Carbonara

I have always wanted to successfully pull off a carbonara dish. I was in the grocery store the other day and was completely uninspired to pick out ingredients that would actually come together to make anything decent. I picked pork, bacon, marscarpone cheese, shrimp, and milk hoping that one of these ingredients would be useful by the time I got to my stove. It ended up that the bacon, marscarpone and shrimp inspired me to make a Shrimp Carbonara. It came out so creamy and delicious and was relatively easy to make. I know the picture isn't the greatest, but I couldn't wait any longer to dive right in. The smell of bacon and garlic coming from my stove were killing me. I hope you all like it too!

1 lb pasta
2 tbsp butter
6 slices bacon
1/4 tsp oregano
5 cloves garlic
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup marscarpone cheese
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup romano cheese, grated
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 lb shrimp, fully cooked and diced

Cook pasta as directed on box.

In a medium saucepan, cook bacon in butter until crispy. Reduce heat to medium and add garlic. Cook garlic for 2-3 minutes. Whisk in heavy cream and marscarpone cheese. In a small mixing bowl, combine yolks, parmesan and romano. Add a spoonful of cream sauce to egg mixture to warm the eggs. Stir egg mixture into rest of cream mixture until well combined. Add in shrimp and allow to heat through for 2-3 minutes. Toss with pasta and serve with additional grated parmesan if desired.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


OK, I've been a majorly absent blogger and I'm so sorry. I feel like I've been so busy but I look back over the past month and wonder what it is that has kept me so busy. I do have a bunch of titled posts saved with recipe ideas, but haven't had time to throw it together. The times I have had to cook, I've been cooking my go-to meals that I know without having to think too much about it.

I did want to do a quick blog about an amazing appliance I found while reading Family Circle magazine. (Clearly I'm not the average 24 year old.) It is called YONANAS! The name is ridiculous but the concept is awesome.

You basically just shove frozen fruit into it and it turns it into soft-serve. Talk about a creative way to get your daily fruits. I am a huge ice cream lover and I am so excited to replace the billion calorie treat with this!

Anyways, I just wanted to share my discovery with you guys because I think its awesome. They sell it at Target. I promise I'll be back soon with some good recipes to make up for my absence. Love you all! <3


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