Thursday, August 21, 2008

Gotta Try This Recipe---Hawaii Local Favorite---Chicken Katsu

Chicken Katsu Meal

Recently, I've been on a kick where I LoVe super fast, super easy, and super delish dishes. Recently, I found a fab local Hawaii cook book author that I LoVe as much as I LoVe the Barefoot Contessa herself...for those who know me, that means a LOT! My newest cookbook find is Jean Watanabe Hee and her bestest book----Hawai'i's Best Local Dishes.

I was even contemplating doing every single recipe in her cookbook. Sorta like that gal who did every recipe in Julia Child's cookbook...except Local Style.

Anyhoo, you gotta try this recipe. This is the first time I made Chicken Katsu b/c I always thought it was some complicated recipe. But, I was WRONG! This is so easy and sooooooo good!

Here it is:
Chicken Katsu

The chicken:
2 pounds chicken breasts, boneless and skinless (I used the thighs b/c that's what I had)
garlic salt to season
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups panko flakes (find in your Asian section---looks like fake snow in a bag---it's Japanese flour meal for breading)
oil for frying

The Katsu Sauce: (gotta make this and eat with the katsu for that authentic experience!)
1/3 cup catsup
1/4 cup shoyu...otherwise known as soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
pinch of ground red pepper (think this is the Japanese one...didn't use b/c didn't have on hand)

Combine all Katsu sauce ingredients; mix well. Set aside.

Season chicken generously with garlic salt (I used a LOT--front and back--warning: remember it's salt...too much is not too good) and let stand for 15 to 30 minutes. Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in a skillet. Dredge chicken in flour, dip in eggs, and coat with that order (see photo). Fry chicken until golden brown on both sides; drain on paper towels. Cut into 1 inch slices. Serve with Katsu Sauce. YUMMY!

Try it b/c it's sooo simple and soooo tasty. I love eating it with canned corn and my hot yellow peppers. My mouth is salivating Pavlov's dog (from Psych 100 class). ;)

the katsu work station set up

getting my hands "dirty"

breaded fingers...eek!

jimmy...the fry cook

frying goodness
golden brown
one word...Yummy!

Try it you and your family will LoVe it...promise! ;)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Abby's Custom Bridal Jewelry Order

Abby's GorGeoUs Wedding Gown

Abby is my official Etsy Internet Pal. She is a fan of my bridal jewelry and appreciated my "eye" and style. She wanted a complete bridal jewelry set...necklace, bracelet, and chandelier earrings. It all started with the "True Love" earrings. She LoVed them and wanted the other pieces to have the same feel---romantic, eclectic, and a bit sexy.

After Convos back and forth (my GF asked me recently---what's a "Convo"? They are emails thru my Etsy shop ), I came up with this Mock Design...she LoVed it, I LoVed it, We All LoVed it!

mock up design with the True Love feel

How do I come up with my designs?

It's a "feeling". I look at the pearls, crystals, beads that I have, I think about my client and review my notes and photos, and then something "pops" into my head. Sometimes the design and pattern comes to me really quickly. Other times, I have to futz around with the placement of the components over and over again. When I start designing, I can sit there at my table and design for hours on end. When I get into the "groove", I can't stop. I keep on going b/c I have that "feeling". It's a rush...indescribable.

Abby's Custom Made Bridal Jewelry

Abby wanted 3 strands for her necklace, 2 strands for her bracelet, and a long version of the True Love earrings.

Everything is timing and luck. While Convo'g with Abby, I happened to luck across some beautiful Vintage Miriam Haskell faux pearls and Marjorca pearls. I had to use them in Abby's beauties. They were the perfect additions.

For her jewelry, I used a large variety of components----vintage Miriam Haskell faux cream pearls, vintage Marjarco, Swarovski crystal pearls in various sizes in both white and lt cream, glass seed beads, Swarovski crystals in various sizes, Sterling silver liquid silver beads, Oxidized sterling silver spacer beads, and vintage clear and frosted glass beads.

This is definitely a design that you can only find in my Etsy shop.

2 Strand True Love--Abby Bracelet

3 strand True Love---Abby Necklace

True Love---Abby Earrings

After completing her bridal jewelry, I was kinda stumped with how to box these lovelies. Obviously, they didn't fit in my normal jewelry boxes. Luckily, I'm a bit of a pack rat and had kept a William Sonoma's box which W&S gave me when I registered for their wedding registry. It was so cute that I couldn't toss it. It was plain white inside and out. I got crafty and using my Close To My Heart paper, decorated the inside and out. I hand stamped a special design and handwrote a special note especially for Abby from me.

The Outside of the Jewelry Box
Decorated by Moi! ;)

A special note to Abby from Me

My Hand Decorated Box
especially for Abby's Custom Bridal Jewelry

I didn't stop there...I wrapped the box in a beautiful burnt orange satin ribbon and girly girl'd it up with a silk yellow daisy. The entire box was done up in Abby's wedding colors.

Update: Abby and her fiance really LoVed her bridal ensemble. I'm so HapPy! Congratulations Abby on your upcoming wedding!

And they lived happily ever after...

My Amy Butler "Velma Bag"...My First Sewing Project Completed!

I dusted off my vintage Bernina sewing machine which I LoVe but have ignored for awhile. Inspired by my obsession with Amy Butler prints and purses, I bought this Velma Bag pattern and super cute Amy Butler fabric from a terrific Etsy shop...Fabricsupplies. I wanted to use this cute purse at my nephew's upcoming wedding on Saturday at Kahala Hotel & Resort.

When the fabric and pattern arrived, I was soooo excited. I washed all the fabric, went out and bought everything else I would need, and then started cutting out the pieces. It's been YEARS since I've sewn a pattern and I was a bit nervous that I would screw this up.

Isn't this the Cutest?!

Realizing that I needed to get it done and soon, I carried out my trusty machine and just dove into the project. Before I knew it, it was past 12 midnight and I was almost done. I couldn't believe how simple this pattern was to sew. The instructions are so easy to follow and they have helpful pictures.

My Trusty Vintage Bernina Sewing Machine

I completed the strap this morning, added my vintage looking chartreuse flower brooch to the front as a girly girl touch, and Voila! The purse is complete and ready for me to use. Yayyyy!

For those afraid to start sewing again, here's your manta for this week: "if Stacy can do it, then I can too. "

P.S. Here's the next Amy Butler project I'm going to attack. I bought the same fabric as seen in the photo.

The Next Project

Monday, August 11, 2008

day at an old fashioned carnival in honolulu

Wow, Honolulu now has it's own old fashioned carnival---the Honolulu Family Festival 2008---and it was a blast! from the past...ok, I had to say it. Smack dab in the heart of Honolulu in the Ala Moana Beach Park on what's known as Magic Island---across the street from Ala Moana Shopping Center---our Mayor Mufi Hanneman has resurrected a fun filled activity for us town bound folks. Now, we don't have to drive to the other side of the island to go to a summer fair. It's just minutes away. Yayyyy!

We rode the Ferris Wheel. It's been way too long. The neat thing was this ride was in theeeee best location overlooking Waikiki and the beautiful Diamond Head. What a view!

awesome view from the ferris wheel
our local version of
London's Eye

Ok, it cost like $4 but it was well worth it. Initially, it felt like we were stuck in a traffic jam b/c we went up one cart at a time. I was wondering if this was the ride...didn't recall it being like this. I know it has been years but come on!

I felt sooo safe with this warning
on the ride's door

Well, guess once they got the other riders off and all the new ones on, then the wheel started going and going and going. It was exhilarating! I'm a bit afraid of heights but this was FuN!

Besides the carnival food, games, and cool rides, there was also an old fashioned pig race and acrobatic show. Jimmy and I played carnival games---darts, coin toss, ball toss...we didn't win a prize, but had pure fun. I couldn't believe that this was all on Magic Island. If you haven't gone, take your kids or just go with your other half b/c this was fun!

Before we left, I had to have the cotton candy. Ooooooo, chose the pink which tasted like strawberries. Yum Yum! What a way to spend the summer.

Have a Happy Fun Filled Summer!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Handpainted Girly Girl Pins

Girly Girl Handpainted Clothes Pins

Paint, silk flowers, rhinestones, ribbons, and Amy Butler favs. I got the urge to create something I could use on a daily basis while using all my favorite things. So, I created these super cute girly girl clothes pin clips.

inspirational thoughts

Each is handpainted---robin's egg blue and apple green. Pretty Amy Butler paper was modge podged onto the fronts. There's a handwritten inspirational thought on the back of each. Pretty ribbons, silk flowers, and rhinestones glam up the fronts in girly girl style.

robin's blue and apple green...oh my!

I plan to use these cuties as bookmarks and paperclips.

no more hum drum paper clips!

cute bookmark for girly girl books

LoVe them♥

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Make a Wish for a Banner...and then Nicole appeared

The Make A Wish Charm Necklace
Inspired by Nicole
My Gift to Her
in appreciation

I always believe that God, the World, your Spirit Guides, in mysterious ways. I never cease to be surprised and delighted with the unexpected twists and turns and lovely strolls I've taken in my journey called Life.

Mantra for this Week----Believe and it will come True.

Back in June, I got an unexpected Convo thru my Etsy shop from Nicole Tattersall who is a fellow Etsian with a shop of her own. She found me via WeLoveEtsy, a social network site she and I both belong to. She wrote:

i saw your banner and i don't think it does your items justice...
please let me offer to design you a new one..
no catch...
just wanting to do something nice.
if you don't like it you don't have to use it...
or if you don't want to take up my offer
i won't be offended but would love to do something nice
for you...

The funky thing was that I was just thinking that Very Same Thing when I woke up that morning. The direction of my jewelry had significantly changed from where I had begun 5 months prior when I first created that banner. Now, my banner did not reflect my work. I knew I had to create a new one and soon

Then, that Same night, I received Nicole's Convo and I was soooo HapPy. I immediately replied. She was sooo sweet and nice. An Aussie graphic designer. I couldn't believe my good fortune.

We Convo'd for about a month. I told her what direction and feel I wanted to go with my banner, sent her some photos of my jewelry that I wanted in my banner, and then let her go and create. She came back with some terrific designs. I made some more suggestions as I wanted more color and wanted a water color effect.

Nicole came back with this BeAuTiFuL Banner featuring my True Love Butterfly necklace. I LoVed it! Check it out

Nicole made several designs which she let me keep and use
Currently, I have this lovely banner in my shop
I LoVe it!

She also did a matching Avatar featuring my True Love Heart necklace for me to use.

the True Love Avatar
which I use as my internet signature

As she created the banner and the avatar as a Gift to me, I wanted to create a Gift for her in appreciation for all that she did for me...a stranger...and now an internet international friend. Nicole told me to to surprise her. So, knowing which of my jewelry she admired and the type of jewelry she like to wear, I got inspired and created a fab vintage charm necklace which I called "Make A Wish" b/c that's exactly what I did and how we met.

vintage glass chandelier, locket, rose cabachon,
swarovski pearls on a vintage brass chain
Make A Wish...the Necklace

Umbrella and Snow
Another cute Nicole print

Nicole's Zebra original artwork
super cute

Please check out Nicole's Also, please take a look at her super cute original works and prints like her "Zebra" a 12 x 10 inch original painting on canvas, and her "Umbrella and Snow", and 8x10 inch digital print.

Nicole's doggie Drifter with My
Care Package to Nicole
from Hawaii
to Australia

Make a Wish and It Will come True. Believe it, I do.

Update: Nicole sent this super cute photo of Drifter keeping guard over her package from me. Nicole plans to wear her charm necklace to work today and to a concert she's going to. Yayyy! Alls well that ends well. Part 2 coming to a theatre near you.


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