Sunday, March 30, 2014

Hawaii Travelogue: Big Island Eats

2 months after our trip, I'm finally ready to talk food!  I will first say that we chose to visit Big Island to focus on natural beauty and eco-adventures (snorkeling, manta rays, volcano, waterfalls, etc.), but we had good eats nonetheless.

Sam Choy's Kai Lanai - Seared Poke
Fantastic flavors and the searing made this version of poke more palatable for our son :)

Da Poke Shack - From top: Pele's Kiss, Cucumber Salad, and Sesame Poke
Da Poke Shack had SO many poke variants.  Pele's Kiss was our favorite with its spicy aioli kick.

Saimin (from Big Island Grill and Sam Choy's Kai Lanai)
Saimin is a Hawaiian fusion dish inspired by Japanese ramen and Chinese noodle soup.  Toppings typically include roasted pork, scrambled eggs, dumplings, and greens in a dashi broth base.  The kids particularly loved this.

Broke Da Mouth Grindz - Garlic Chicken / Teriyaki Beef Plate and (giant) Garlic Shrimp
One of my favorites from the trip!  The Garlic Shrimp dish was especially good and bursted with savory garlic flavor.

Tex Drive In - Pineapple and Chocolate-filled Malasadas
After hiking to see the waterfalls on the Hilo side of the island, Tex Drive In was a nice stop on our way back to Kona.  They had great Hawaiian dishes like Loco Moco and also had 10+ fillings you could pick for your Malasadas.

Big Island Grill - Haupia (coconut pudding) Ice Cream Pie
You can't leave the island without trying some kind of haupia.  This massive (and delicious!) slice of pie was enough to feed the 6 of us.

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Food, Friends, and Some Rambling

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of hanging out with the lovely Ping and Karen.  What did we do?  What we do best - eat and shop for fabric :)

First, my husband and I stopped off in Berkeley to try the famed pancake souffles at Bette's Oceanview Diner:

Chocolate Swirl Souffle Pancake
Have you ever seen such a beautiful pancake?  Incredibly fluffy and light, this pancake reminded me a little of the lightly sweetened cakes found in Chinese bakeries.  This singular pancake was quite large - perfect for sharing.

Homemade Corned Beef Hash
Ok, I am a very amateur, semi-shakey-handed photographer so while this photo does not convey how delicious it is, please trust me when I say that this was out of this world!  Flavorful with big chunks of corned beef and perfectly crisped edges, this was hands-down the best corned beef hash I've ever had.

How can you not love a place with a gigantic slice of pie hanging overhead?

In Oakland, we joined the girls to indulge in mac & cheese at Homeroom:
Homeroom pic from Ping's Instagram
Top: Gilroy Mac - Creamy gouda, sharp pecorino and just the right amount of roasted garlic
Middle Right: Mexican Mac - Niman Ranch chorizo, chipotle peppers, jack cheese, and cilantro, served with a wedge of lime
Bottom: Smoky Bacon Mac - Rich and bold with smoked cheddar, jack cheese and bacon

I love when an eatery "reinvents" mac & cheese.  Typically, it starts with the same base foundation and add-ins are the point of differentiation.  At Homeroom, each variant tasted distinctive and unique.  What a treat!  My favorite was the Mexican - the chorizo was divine and I loved the spicy kick.

On a personal front, I've been keeping busy.  I got a new job in a new industry, started commuting 3 hours a day (previous commute was only 20 min), and we are in process of purchasing a house.  I know I've been distracted and more absent (AND absent-minded), but I'm hoping to get back to normal once we move and settle in :)  Thank you for understanding!

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Under the Sea Box Pleated Skirt DIY

I purchased this beautiful twill fabric a while ago waiting for spring and finally got around to sewing it up.  At the moment, I am making a top as well so that they can be worn together like a dress or separately.

Difficulty: Easy

Time: ~2 hrs


How to:

Happy Spring!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

1-Hour Blouse DIY Tutorial

Can't figure out what to wear?  Make yourself a new blouse in an hour :)

1-Hour Blouse DIY Tutorial

Due to the number of pictures, please see tutorial after the jump.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Bites Around East Bay

So much food, so little time!  Today, I wanted to share some of my favorites around East Bay:

Salmone - Gianni's Italian Bistro
House cured atlantic salmon with shaved fennel, pepe verde, and lemon - yum!  Especially love the capers.

Salted Caramel, Black Sesame, and Lychee Rose Macarons - Creme Si Bon
Everything at Creme Si Bon is delicious, but my favorite is the lychee rose macaron.  The flavors taste so genuine, I'd swear I was eating a real lychee.

Rice Krispie Marshmallow Cookie - Creme Si Bon
Crispy, gooey, crunchy, chocolatey perfection.

Chorizo Burger w/ Boniato Fries - Havana
The fries are particularly tasty with bold garlic and a little hint of sweetness!

1/2 Price Mojito Mondays - Havana
But the main attraction for Havana are the many, many varieties of mojitos :)  Here we had pineapple and watermelon.

I think I'm hungry now...

Have a great week!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Shopping Find: Fanciful Tweed Jackets

Quickie shopping post.  On a mission to find a belt for my husband, I walked past White House Black Market and spied these cute tweed jackets:

WHBM Tweed Jacket, Sz 00 on left, 2 on right, here
The one that lured me into the store was not on sale, but I loved the details on it.  I would say the sizing is similar to LOFT.  The 00 "fit" (AKA, I could button it without sucking in my stomach) but was definitely snug.  The next size they had was a 2 which was too roomy in the chest (story of my life).  A sz 0, had it been available, probably would have been my best bet.  
Verdict: No, but I love this style and will look for a 0 at other locations

WHBM Textured Stripe Jacket, Sz 2, on sale for $69.99, here
Ok, so stripes still draw my eye wherever I go.  Same kind of deal for this jacket.  The 2 was roomy in the chest and a 0 was not available :(

WHBM Embellished Trophy Jacket, Sz 2, on sale for $59.99, here
Same here as above regarding fit.  LOVE the pearl and chain details.

Overall, I'm pleased with the jacket offerings and will be back to check them out.  The sale jackets in particular seem like a pretty good deal considering the details / lining / fit (if you find your size).

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

As an aside, I have 4 New with Tags blazers and jackets for $25 + free domestic shipping in my blog sale:

Please email sewpetitegal (at) if interested.  THANK YOU!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Mom's Kitchen: Chinese Rice Dumpling Recipe + Wrapping Video

Jean has already shared delicious photos and her family recipe here for zongzi, so this post, admittedly, is a bit duplicative and more for documenting my Mom's methods than anything else.

Mom's Chinese Rice Dumplings

Prep Time: ~1 hour + marinate and soak overnight 

Cook Time: ~1.5 hours

Due to the number of pictures, please see rest of the recipe after the jump.


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