The Dinner Party by Brenda Janowitz

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Synopsis:

This Passover Seder is not just any Passover Seder. Yes, there will be a quick service and then a festive meal afterwards, but this night is different from all other nights. This will be the night the Golds of Greenwich meet the Rothschilds of New York City.

The Rothschilds are the stuff of legends. They control banks, own vineyards in Napa, diamond mines in Africa, and even an organic farm somewhere in the Midwest that produces the most popular Romaine lettuce consumed in this country. And now, Sylvia Gold’s daughter is dating one of them.

When Sylvia finds out that her youngest of three is going to bring her new boyfriend to the Seder, she’s giddy. When she finds out that his parents are coming, too, she darn near faints. Making a good impression is all she thinks about. Well, almost. She still has to consider her other daughter, Sarah, who’ll be coming with her less than appropriate beau and his overly dramatic Italian mother. But the drama won’t stop there. Because despite the food and the wine, despite the new linen and the fresh flowers, the holidays are about family. Long forgotten memories come to the surface. Old grievances play out. And Sylvia Gold has to learn how to let her family go.

My Thoughts:

Great book!  As a parent I can relate to Sylvia in the sense that you have such great expectations for your children that you want to push them towards success, sometimes disregarding the fact that maybe they yearn for something different.  And I also could relate to Sarah because growing up I always wanted to please my parents even if it meant keeping secrets that I know would disappoint me.  I sometimes felt like I wasn’t doing a lot of the things that I wanted to be doing in fear that they’d judge me.  This book is so true to life when it comes to tight knit families.  I recommend this awesome read.

THE PERFECT HOMEMADE CHEESEBURGER

the perfect homemade cheeseburger

My family loves their burgers.  I’m not much of a burger person but I do enjoy a good restaurant quality burger for sure.  So when we decided on burgers, I did a little research on just how restaurant burgers taste so much better than fast food.  Almost all the recipes I looked up called for the simple seasoning of salt and pepper and not to overwork the meat.  Another little “trick” that seemed to be included in a lot of posts was to use your thumb to create an indentation in the center of the burger so that they don’t bulge and shrink as much.  Clearly I was amazed that it was so easy.  It was a hit!  Die-licious!  So here’s my “copycat” recipe with my own little twist.  This recipe makes 8 burgers.

Ingredients:

3 lbs. ground beef

A mix of Alaea salt (Hawaiian salt) & Fresh ground pepper

Sliced Cheddar cheese (I’m not an American cheese fan, but if you are then by all means)

8 hamburger buns

Toppings:

Sautéed mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, avocado and lemon mayo

Directions:

Create 8 even balls of beef and form into a wide 1 inch thick patties.

Get that grill going on high.

Season one side of each patty with salt and pepper and place it on the grill seasoned side down.

After placing the patty on the grill use your thumb to create an indention in the center of the patty.

Cook for 4 minutes

Flip the burger and add salt and pepper and cook for another 4-5 minutes.

Add sautéed mushroom and cheese on top at the last minute or so.

Assemble with whatever veggies and condiments you prefer.

The Cutest Baby Shower

My cousin Pili is about to give birth to her son any day now.  Yesterday my Aunty Donna (her mother) threw her the cutest baby shower.  It was at a friends beach-house in Ewa.  First of all, the house is beautiful it’s like a modern day plantation style home right on the beach.  Secondly, the theme was the cutest sailor theme. Lastly, the food was AMAZING!  My Aunty had a private chef prepare all of the food, and a lot of it.

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I wasn’t kidding when I said right on the beach.  It was a little muggy yesterday but just looking at this scenery was well worth a little heat.

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There were these little stations set up where we were able to make personalized onsies, guess mom’s belly size and there were also cards at our seats where we could write words of advice for raising a boy.

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Here’s my onsie I created.  I tried to keep the whole Beach Theme🙂

Now let’s get to the good stuff…

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I could hardly fit everything on one plate!  Everthing was done by Tamura’s Corporate Chef Aaron Siguenza.  Everything tasted die-licious.  If you’re looking to cater or even have a private Chef come to your home I highly recommend Tamura’s.

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Here’s a pic that the older cousins took with my Gram’s.

Now we just need the baby to come along so that we can meet the little guy.  BTW  my niece (baby’s big sis to be)  insists that her brothers name is Lion!

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SNOW FACTORY MCCULLY

Yesterday I took my two middle kiddies to Snow Factory.  I didn’t realize that my kids have never had this!  I felt so guilty because I’ve had it a few times.  So, we all know what shave ice is right?  You may also know them as snow cones?  Well here in Hawaii shave ice is super popular, you can find it in just about every town, mall, and they even serve them in candy stores.  The toppings are endless but one of the most popular toppings is condensed milk.  At the snow factory they basically shave a block of flavored condensed milk which gives you this amazing texture and sweetness!  OMG  i can’t even put into words the party that goes on in your mouth.

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Kuha’o had the Pineapple Li Hing Mui!  Yesterday it was so hot and he honestly chose the perfect flavor.  Of course Tea and I sampled it and agreed that we should’ve gotten the same.

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Tea went with the Nutella.  Another yummy one.  I mean you can’t go wrong with anything nutella.

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I had the Halo Halo.  I love how the mochi balls get so chewy because of the coldness of the the ice.

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They also serve this Pipe Ice Cream that we were really excited about but they ran out :(  I told the kids that it just means that we need to visit again.

HAPPY LIPSTICK DAY!

Don’t you just love when they dedicate days to things like donuts, burgers and hey…. LIPSTICK?!  YES WE’LL TAKE IT!  Oh and by the way in case you care (because lord knows I do)  National Margarita Day is on Feb. 22!

What a great excuse to glam up your lips extra special today.  So I’m going to share with you my favorite liner, lipstick and gloss.

Lip Liner- NYX Mauve

You don’t even need to pair this with a lipstick or gloss.  I love lining and filling my lips with this product.

mauve

Lipstick-  MAC’s Twig

twig

Lipgloss- MAC’s Morning Glory

morning glory