Bills Sydney- Waikiki

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A couple of co-worker and I tried this place out for the first time.  Apparently this place has been here for a couple of years now and none of us knew about it.  This place is amazing , I can’t believe it took me so long to hear about this place.  I guess it’s expected that a lot of places in Waikiki aren’t frequently visited by locals which is probably the reason why I haven’t heard of it until recently.  However, after my experience I’ll definitely be spreading the word.

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They have a little waiting area as soon as you check in.  I love the decor of this restaurant.  It has a sort of mid century modern feel which is my favorite!

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And don’t even get me started on the food!  Huge portions and you can just tell that everything is made with fresh ingredients.  So yummy!

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If ever you’re in Waikiki, this is a must try.

280 Beachwalk Ave

Honolulu, HI 96815

Waikiki

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October! My favorite month!

Tomorrow is the first  day of my favorite month!  What’s so special about this month?  Well let’s see….

It’s Fall!  I know that September 22 was the first official day to mark the fall season, but October is the month where it really starts to feel like all of the holiday festivities are about to begin.  It makes me soooo happy.  Here’s a list of why I love October.

~ The weather starts to get a little cozier

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~ Businesses and front porches everywhere begin to decorate for the holidays and everything starts looking so festive.

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~ The smells!  I love fall scents. The apple and pumpkin spice candles… no words!

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~ Pumpkin!  One of my favorite flavors.  Pumpkin pie, pumpkin crunch, pumpkin scones & pumpkin spice latte.

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~ Halloween.  I’m especially excited for this Halloween because last year I was in the hospital trying to hold off on giving birth to Aria too early.  This year will be her first Halloween and I cannot wait.

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~ Movies!  I have so many movies that I love watching during this time of the year.  Hocus Pocus, When Harry met Sally, Halloween (parts 1-100 lol), Beetlejuice, Clue, Hotel Transylvania, Adams Family & Monster House just to name a few.

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~ Books.  There is no better way to read a book than when you’re snuggled in bed with the rain pouring outside your window.  Some of the books on my list for this month are

~ Red lipstick and fall makeup.  I don’t wear red lipstick normally but the changing of seasons gives me a reason to wear some darker shades of makeup which is always super fun.

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~ MY BIRTHDAY!  What a great month to be born right?!

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Sugarfina Waikiki

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Why do these candy stores keep popping up all over the place?!  Don’t they know that sweet shops are my weakness?!  Last week the new International Market Place opened up in Waikiki.  For those of you who have been to Waikiki in the past you may remember the market place… well it’s nothing like it was before.  But we’ll just save that for another post.  Let’s just say that it’s not the same “bargain with the vendor” shopping like it used to be.  Now it’s expensive shops everywhere!  Among those expensive stores, that I probably won’t ever walk into, is this cutest candy shop called Sugarfina.  I saw one in San Francisco but never went in.

It’s so pretty and inviting that I couldn’t help myself and had to check it out.  It is pretty pricey, but your treats come in the cutest packaging and everything looks so beautiful. There’s such a wide variety of “boutique” style candies, I had to pick up a couple of things for the kids (and myself of course).  The saleswoman told me that what was unique about their shop is that they get their candy imported from all over the world.  I also love that this candy store seems to cater to grown-ups with their Champagne Gummy Bear, Peach Bellini Gummies, Pale Ale Pint Gummies and their Maple Bourbon Caramels just to name a few.

The 4 photos below are from sugarfina.com

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They also customize their labels for special events like weddings, showers and birthdays. So if you got the cash to spend this may be something perfect for your next party.

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No Bake Mochi Cheesecake

cheesecake

Ingredients:

The crust:

2 1/2 cups Graham cracker crumbs (about 2 1/2 packs)

1/2 cup of melted margarine (8 tbsp or 1 stick)

The Cheesecake:

16 oz strawberry cream cheese softened

2/3 cups sugar

2 cups sour cream

4 tsp. vanilla extract

16 oz cool whip

The mochi:

chi chi dango

Now come on!  You all know I bought some ready packaged chi chi dango.  However, there are some great simple recipes for homemade mochi out there.

What to do:

The crust:

Mix melted butter and graham cracker crumbs together and pack into 9×13 inch dish

The Cheesecake:

Beat the cream cheese until smooth with an electric mixer. Gradually beat in the sugar. Beat in the sour cream and vanilla until just combined. Fold in the whipped topping. Scrape mixture onto crust. Chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours.

Assemble:

Cut your cheesecake into rectangles, try not to go ever 2 1/2 inch pieces (the mochi will be too thin).

Take your mochi rectangle and roll it out to a size that will lay nicely over your cake (like pictured).

**Note: you will need some potato starch to prevent the mochi from sticking to roller pin.  You can also use some regular flour.

Garnish with some cool whip and strawberry slices (optional)

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.

Spicy Tuna Sandwich

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Pardon the terrible pic.  It was taken right before consumption  on a paper place mat under a flourescent light hahaa!

So the inspiration for this sandwich (which I take no credit for coming up with because it’s been around forever, I’ve just never tried it til making it myself) was when I ordered a spicy tuna roll from a sushi shop and ended up with canned tuna!  I was so mad after biting into it and finding out that it wasn’t the raw fish I’d hoped for.  But it didn’t taste bad, just not good with rice I.M.O.  But I thought ‘maybe I’d actually like it in a sandwich’. Well, I do!  This sandwich in particular I can eat all the time and not get sick of it.  It’s good as both a Panini (which is how I made mine) or as a cold sandwich (perfect for packing the ingredients separate for the beach and putting it together whenever one wants).

What you’ll need:

Sriracha Mayo

Canned Tuna

Orange Bell Pepper

Bread and cheese of choice

Cilantro (I think this gives it that WOW factor)

Instructions:

(for those of you who have never made a tuna sandwich LOL)

Mix one can of drained tuna with a Tablespoon of Sriracha mayo (or more if you’d like) I like mine on the dryer side.

On one side of your bread layer the tuna mixture, cheese, sliced bell pepper and cilantro  and top with other side of bread.

You can enjoy it at this point or put it in your Panini maker for 3-5 minutes.