Monday, March 30, 2009

Earth Hour on March 28, 2009---The Lights Go Off in Kaneohe for More Than One Hour

Little quiet Kaneohe town on the island of Oahu, the Windward side of the island.
I was surprised when looking out from my mom's balcony
that most of the nearby homes had turned off their
lights in recognition of Earth Hour---
Saturday, March 28, 2009
from 8:30pm to 9:30pm

Many of the lights seen are the street lights. And many homes
had only one light on, if that. And this continued
beyond the 8:30pm thru 9:30pm
time frame.

We kept one light on but eventually turned it off as we sat in darkness
and watched the new James Bond DVD movie
"Quantum of Solace".
That's still "green" right?

Addicted to Mandarin Oranges

Hi, my name is Stacy and I am a mandarin orange addict.

Am I the last one to know about this?
Why has no one ever told me about this secret fruit?
Mandarin oranges are in season and they are DELICIOUS!

The Greatest Discovery this past weekend:
Finding 2 large bags of these orange gems in my mom's fridge,
I started chomping on them and couldn't stop.
This must mean something bc why would 1 woman need 2 large bags?
Ughhhh, bc they're so darn Sweet & Juicy Wuicy Uicy!

They are so EZ to peel, and just as EZ to eat.

Like the Lay's Potato Chip commercial slogan,
"You can't eat just One".
Okay, I ate about 3 already.

And "yes", as I'm photojournaling about this.
I am busily popping these segments into my mouth.

The last one...for now.

This photo doesn't even do this magnificent fruit justice.
All I can say is run to the market and pick up a bag of this Delicious Fruit!
Don't say I never passed on any of my secrets.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Jimmy!

Little Sydney trying to help Uncle Jimmy blow out Sparkler Candles
...oops forgot to tell them!

We celebrated Jimmy's birthday early and invited over some of his close friends. For Jimmy's Birthday Cake, I made him my favorite Red Velvet Cake from scratch...that's LoVe. I used Paula Deen's Red Velvet Cake recipe which I found from much trial and error to be one of the best and most true to the Red Velvet Cake of yesteryears. I just add a bit more food coloring to the recipe to get that rich red blood color. Isn't Retro a lovely thing?

Buttermilk, vanilla, eggs, vinegar, red food coloring, sugar, flour...

I sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and sugar by hand

The dry and the wet ingredients...before they mix together

I burned out this $10 Martha Stewart hand mixer which I got from K-Mart.
You gotta let the cream cheese get to room temperature...

Did I tell you that I used to decorate cakes in my aunt's bakery in Kailua...Craig's Bakery?
Worked there several years while I was in high school and college.
Don't miss working at 5am.

Decorating this cake was like riding a bike.
My hands knew just what to do.

My Birthday gift to Jimmy.
I made the tag using my Close to My Heart stamps.

Just a pic of the Birthday tag itself.
I wrote a sentiment to him on the back side.

This Mickey Mouse mint container is the cutest thing.
It made the perfect container for his Birthday gift.

This weekend my family will be celebrating his birthday again. This time I'll make his all time favorite...Barefoot Contessa's Chicken Pot Pie. I'll share the recipe with you. It's sooooo easy and soooo delicious. He doesn't know it yet but he's going to have to make his special biscuits to go with this pot pie. :)

Hawaii's own...Chocolate Dobash Cake
A chocolate chiffon cake
with scrumptious
chocolate pudding frosting.
A local favorite.

Update: On Earth Hour Day, March 28, 2009, we celebrated Jimmy's birthday again at my mom's house with my family. Lucky guy! My mom got him a Chocolate Dobash cake from Zippy's Napoleon's Bakery. We decorated his cake with fancy birthday candles and humungous strawberries.

Happy Birthday Jimmy!

Here's a recipe for our local version of Chocolate Dobash cake. This was printed in our Star Bulletin newspaper. It's a recipe from Muriel Miura and Betty Shimabukuro's terrific cookbook "What Hawaii Likes to Eat". I have this cookbook and it's a "must have". I still have to try to make this cake myself. This is an all time favorite on Oahu. We all grew up eating this cake and it's still a favorite that's sold at our bakeries. I don't know anyone who has ever baked one themselves. I will one day. Maybe for my BFF, local girl from Kailua now transplanted in Australia, who always has to have this cake when she comes home to visit.

Chocolate Dobash Cake

3 eggs, separated
1-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk
» Frosting:
1-1/2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 8-inch pans.

Beat egg whites until frothy; gradually beat in 1/2 cup sugar until stiff.

Sift together remaining 1 cup sugar, flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa. Make a well in center; add oil and half of milk. Beat until well-blended at medium speed. Add remaining milk and egg yolks; beat until smooth.

Fold mixture into egg whites. Pour batter into pans and bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool, then slice each layer in half to make 4 layers.

To prepare frosting: Combine water, sugar, salt and butter in saucepan and bring to boil. Combine cocoa, cornstarch and water; add to boiling mixture and return to boil. Cool completely. Frost between cooled layers, sides and top.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Something Old Something New...

Something Old Something in progress

It's always amazing how the customer that asks for something that I don't make and makes me feel like pulling out my hair, ends up getting my creative mojo going again. For the past several days, her request has got me thinking about new designs and using different techniques. So "thank you" new customer.

Pulling out my vintage lace, it got me thinking. Perhaps a flat embroidered wristlet or necklace or even earrings? Vintage lace, vintage buttons, vintage beads, Swarovski crystals and and fresh water irresistible combination.

Love using my Vintage Beads and Buttons

Using super fine beading needles that can cause you to go blind, I have been hand sewing on little seed beads and other more eye friendly beads. Here's a sneak peek of my creation in progress. I'll keep you posted.

Super fine needles...trying to not go blind

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Baby Ethan has arrived!

Just wanted to spread our family's good news...Baby Ethan is here! Born on Tuesday, February 24, 2009. He's healthy and happy. Congratulations to my brother Brad and Michelle. Yayyyy!


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