Island Flavor – Hawaiian cooking Big Island Style

SAMSUNG

My husband is from the Big Island in Hawaii (Hilo) and sometimes he craves for local food.  We already went there several times and their food never disappoint.

Ordered loco moco on my first time here. Didn’t realize that the orders are big!

SAMSUNG

Big hamburger patty with loootttsss of gravy!

IMG-20130319-WA0002sooo big! was only able to finish halfSAMSUNG

IMG-20130319-WA0001SAMSUNG

Hubby loves this! chicken katsu with sauce.  He always orders this!

They say that this is one of the best oxtail soups in Vegas. California hotel’s Aloha specialties has good oxtail soup too but I heard that Island Flavor’s version is better

SAMSUNG SAMSUNG SAMSUNG

so soft and not gamey at all!

Fruit punch is becoming my favorite drink. Raspberry iced tea is next

SAMSUNG SAMSUNG

Time for dessert!

Guri guri is a famous dessert in Maui and this restaurant has someone from Maui making these desserts for them.  It has a sherbet consistency to it but has creamier taste.

It’s available in strawberry and vanilla :

SAMSUNG

Hubby and I loved the strawberry flavor!

SAMSUNG

The next time I went back, I tried the chicken teriyaki salad for a healthier alternative

SAMSUNG SAMSUNG

Again, it did not disappoint.  Can’t wait to go back and try another dish next time 😀

 

June 2013 Foodie Penpal Reveal

It’s time for another Foodie Penpal Reveal 🙂  Got my box this month from Sara who is from Ohio.  It was a big box that is why I got more excited to see the goodies inside!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The goodies were mostly from the local farmers market :

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The potato chips are from Massillon, OH and her family loves munching on these! I like it. It’s not oily at all and so addicting.

My favorite : the Gluten-Free Nutella cookies. These are chewy and crunchy at the same time. Heaven!  and yes Sara, the cookies reached here in good quality 🙂

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Honey from Norwalk, OH which I used in making honey bbq wings!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

She gave me wild flower and buckwheat honey sticks too (perfect as tea and coffee sweetener) and beeswax products like lip balm and candle (I liked them!)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

She even sent me a jar of strawberry rhubarb jelly from her grandma who lives in Michigan and dandelion jelly from OH. I’ll try them soon!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Thanks Sara for putting together a wonderful box!

——————–

Here is a guest post from Tory who resides in Mississippi.  She is the recipient of my box :

Hello! Well, since this is my first ever blog post, let me introduce myself. My name is Tory, and I’m currently a sophomore in college majoring in biology. I’m not sure what I want to do yet, but I know I’ll figure it out. This is also my first time to participate in Foodie Penpals. I had the privilege of receiving lots of goodies from Sheryllyne!

Here’s what she sent me:

image_4

Here’s what was in the box (including items from the Philippines):

Fresh & Easy Classic Granola– which I have loved being able to top my yogurt with.

Boy Bawang Cornick– which definitely had a unique flavor. I’m not too sure of them yet.

Onion and Chive Crackers– which were delicious!

Fresh & Easy Honey Wheat Pretzels– which I love a good combination of sweet and salty.

Piattos– Being from the South, I’m pretty picky about anything barbeque flavored, but these had just the right amount of seasonings.

Chocolate Oatmeal– which I love anything chocolate! I can’t wait to try it with some of the peanut butter stirred in.

Trader Joe’s peanut butter– which you can never have too many jars of peanut butter!

image_1

 Peppermint Tea and Green Tea– which were both good.

Big Island Cookies– which I was so excited to receive. They reminded me of the cookies I tried while in Hawaii for Spring Break.

Polvoron (powdered milk candies)- which if you ever get to try…Oh my so good!

image_3

Knorr Crab & Corn Soup– which I can’t wait to try, but it’s rather hot here. I’ll save it for colder weather.

I really enjoyed FPP and can’t wait to do it again. Thank you so much Sheryllyne for all my goodies and allowing me to guest post!

Thanks Tory for the nice feedback 🙂 glad you liked the goodies I sent you

——————————————————————–

And now it’s time for some details about Foodie Penpals.  In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
-Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian & European residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. Same with Europeans. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. 

Check out the Lean Green Bean website for more information on how to join.

I can not wait until next month for another foodie pen pal reveal 🙂

 

May 2013 Foodie Penpal Reveal

This is my second month joining the program and I’m enjoying it so far!

Got this box from Joanna who resides in New York and she sent me her favorite snacks for me to try (all from Trader Joe’s) :

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I was excited to see the box on my doorstep and I opened the box right away to try the goodies 🙂

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Love the taste of this snack. Just the right sweetness and the combination of apple/cinnamon. yum!

But this is my favorite…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Can’t stop munching on these coconut chips! Reminds me of macaroons. Coconut chips from Thailand.

Now, on to Jeju Mandarin orange slices :

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

They’re okay. I like the crunchiness of the oranges but some pieces tasted bitter.

I also prefer tea over coffee and it’s good that she sent a decaf one. this will be perfect after a meal. The smell of peppermint  is heaven!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Also got some candies :

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I love peanut butter and jelly. Haven’t tried the fruit wraps yet 😛

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Organic raspberry fruit spread that’s not so sweet.

Thanks Joanna for sending me this box. I enjoyed each one of them!

And now it’s time for some details about Foodie Penpals.  In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
-Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian & European residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. Same with Europeans. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. 

Check out the Lean Green Bean website for more information on how to join.

I can not wait until next month for another foodie pen pal reveal 🙂

April 2013 Foodie Penpals

I joined foodie pen pals recently because I love food and it’s fun to interact with fellow foodie/bloggers from around the country.  Was so excited since this is my very first foodie pen pal experience.

I was paired up with Ashley who sent me a box loaded with fun items from Trader Joe’s, one of my favorite stores. She also sent me a homemade treat!

Here are the goodies she sent :

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My favorite is the powerberries snack which is very addicting (she warned me in her letter) 😀  I love berries and chocolate so it was a perfect combination

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Loved the protein bar too! there was a time when I went to the gym and attended 3 classes but I didn’t have time for a decent breakfast so I had that. Gave me energy for 3 hours!

She made me a homemade peanut butter granola with flax seeds and sunflower seeds. So yummy!

I was hesitant to try this at first because it looked so spicy! Tried it anyway. I got hooked! love the spicy/sweet combination to it.

???????????????????????????????

The edamame crackers is also good for a light snack 😀

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Haven’t tried the farro yet. Any recipes you can suggest?

Thanks again Ashley for sending me a nice box.

This month I sent a box to Lauren of Hall Nesting, go check out the goodies she got too! She said that I’m the best Foodie Pen Pal to date 🙂 not bad for my first box sent!

And now it’s time for some details about Foodie Penpals.  In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
-Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian & European residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. Same with Europeans. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. 

Check out the Lean Green Bean website for more information on how to join.

I can not wait until next month for another foodie pen pal reveal 🙂

Fatburger

February 17, 2013 ~ tried hubby’s favorite burger 😀

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hubby ordered the XXXL! I’m already full when I eat the medium!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

They say that this is one of the best burgers around. Would you agree?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

toppings?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Love their amusing signs too 😀

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Hubby was part of this boardOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hubby’s order is being prepared!  3 patties

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Haha can’t help but ask them to pose for me 😀

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

found my hubby’s certificate at home 😛

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hmm..I like in and out better 😀 but this is also a good burger

Bistek Tagalog (Beefsteak Filipino style)

March 9, 2013~

After we got home from our Zion trip, we were so hungry! Good thing I had sirloin defrosted   in the chiller. I decided to make Bistek (beefsteak) marinated in soy sauce and calamansi so it’s salty and sour. Really good! Reminds me of home. My hubby loved it! He’s an American who loves Filipino food 😀

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here are the ingredients :

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

First, I marinated the beef in soy sauce, calamansi (or lemon) and black pepper. Since we don’t have calamansi here, I just used the packaged one 🙂

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Stir fry onion rings until soft then set aside

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Fry the marinated beef until color turns brown. Set aside

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Saute the garlic

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Pour marinade and bring to a boil

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Put in the cooked beef

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Add the onions

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Serve hot !OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Babystacks Cafe

February 28, 2013 ~ Craved for some pancakes one morning then we remembered our friend mentioning this place that serves the best red velvet pancakes! So we decided to try this place out :

SAMSUNG

Upon entering, my husband said : “This reminds me of home”. The place was small and cozy with Hawaiian music playing in the background.

Some of the pages from the menu. Click to enlarge :

??????????????????????????????????????

SAMSUNG

I ordered the adobo fried rice and red velvet pancakes :

SAMSUNGSAMSUNG

The adobo omelette was huge. Ate only half because I was saving space for pancakes 😛  I was good but I liked the Aloha kitchen’s version better 🙂

Now, the red velvet pancake is to die for!! Not too sweet, just the right thickness and the cream cheese syrup is perfect with it! Plus the whipped cream and chocolate crumble! oh, so yummy! Needed to do extra cardio for this!


SAMSUNG
SAMSUNG

My husband ordered the Zippy’s chili omelette + banana cream pancakes :

SAMSUNG  He loved it!

SAMSUNG

Banana pancakes topped with fresh whipped cream, sliced bananas and drizzled in banana cream sauce. Sprinkled lightly with pie crust and almonds

I loved this! Got food from his plate too 🙂 Both pancakes are good. Looking forward to try the lemon ricotta pancake. Read good reviews about it. As long as there’s cream cheese, I’m down!

Wait time wasn’t so bad since we went on a weekday. I heard that it’s full during weekends

What other flavors have you tried? Which one is your favorite?

Chinese food craving satisfied!

02.14.13 ~ Tried eating at Diamond Chinese Restaurant for the first time 😀

I love Chinese food! I’m part Chinese and I grew up having Chinese lauriat banquets in most occasions which consists of around 10-12 dishes, from appetizer to shark’s fin soup, to noodles and desserts which usually lasts 2 to 3 hours. Here’s a sample menu :

Cold cuts (Chinese barbeque platter,suckling pig)

Steamed Garlic Prawn 

Sharks Fin Soup

Roasted Peking Duck (3 ways)

Braised Abalone w/ Sea Cucumbers 

Steamed Boneless Lapu-lapu 

Minced Duck Meat w/ Lettuce (2nd way)

Stuffed Scallop w/ Radish & Fresh Asparagus

Deep Fried S&P Duck Bone (3rd way)

Steamed Crab w/ Egg White

Special Misua Guisado (noodles)

Fresh Fruit Platter

My grandmother (dad’s side) used to cook fresh Chinese lumpia, noodle soup and wonton to name a few. Can’t remember the dishes she used to make since it was a long time ago but I still hear about her cooking from my parents once in a while and up to now, my dad is in search for the perfect wonton which for him, is my grandma’s version. I hope I was able to learn from her when she was alive. Little did I know that after 2 decades, I will love cooking.

Since I moved here last September, I’ve tried a lot of Chinese restaurants in Vegas and Diamond Chinese Restaurant is one of the bests so far. Went here last month with friends who introduced us to this place.

We ordered 5 dishes. Good thing I took pictures before eating despite of my hunger!

First off, the orange beef ($8.95) ~

???????????????????????????????

This reminds me of sweet and sour pork. The meat is thinly sliced, breaded, deep fried and mixed with the sauce. So yummy! I also like the crunchiness of the dish 🙂

Next, there’s the house special bean curd in hot pot ($8.95) ~

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I like the sauce and the mixture of seafood and meat. another yummy dish

Now, here comes one of their best sellers : baked pork chop! ($8.75)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

honey glazed goodness with onions and it’s also crisp and tender. I think we ordered 3 of these 😛

Hubby has been craving for crispy noodles (Hong Kong style) and he hadn’t found the version he loves until he tried this! ($8.95)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This reminds me of the crispy noodles I ate in Chinese restaurants back home. Hot thick sauce is poured on top of the crispy/soft noodle to create that great texture of soft & crunchy.

Now, here’s my favorite! Honey Walnut Prawns!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

this is not on the menu! it’s on the specials written on the board in Chinese characters! this is sooo good! reminds me of the hot prawn salad I used to eat in Chinese restaurants in the Philippines.

Overall, I give this restaurant 5 stars! The place is not fancy at all but the food is great! I’ll definitely be back 🙂

What’s your favorite Chinese dish and where did you try the best version of it? 😀