Friday, January 24, 2014

Heritage Cooking Club

Last Fall, Maddie hosted cooking club and the theme was one of my faves: cook a dish from your heritage. So I decided to make my Grandma Pete proud and make Swedish meatballs. I used a modified version of this recipe with some lingonberries and it was spot on. I tasted my childhood in these little guys. I even got the stamp of approval from Joe!

We also had a shepherd's pie, Norwegian meatballs, challah bread, bolognese and a potato pancake of sorts (it's hidden by my pasta on my plate!). So, sooo good.

What would you make for a heritage cooking club?

P.S. Here are past cooking clubs.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Beach Day and Beach House

On one day of our honeymoon, we decided to dedicate it as a "beach day". We definitely hit the beach throughout our trip, but his was the only day that we spent most of the day at a beach. We started at the local beach near our condo in Poipu. Great waves and SO MANY TURTLES. It was amazing.

Then we adventured out to Polihale Beach, which was a fairly long drive to the west side of the island. Despite only having a little hatchback rental car, we managed to drive all the way out to the beach - not gonna lie, there were times, we thought we'd get stuck in sand road on the way out! But when we got out there, it was gorgeous. The beach stretches for 17 miles, so it's not hard to find your own little secluded section. The only downfall: there is no shade and it's insanely hot. I had to go into the water to cool off every ten minutes, at least. But we made the best of it and had a little picnic, lathered on the sunscreen and soaked up the sun.

After our beach day, we went back to our condo to get ready to go out to the Beach House Restaurant. We received a very generous gift card from Joe's coworkers, so we felt quite spoiled. The meal was absolutely incredible. We had swordfish and gray snapper, plus a few more tasty treats! If you ever find yourself in Kauai, you have to go here. It's mouth-watering delicious!

Sunset just before dinner at the Beach House!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Kam is 11!

It's still hard to believe that my nephew, Kamron, is already ELEVEN YEARS OLD! To celebrate his big day (back in November!), we went to the Family Fun Center for some gaming and laser tag. Then we went out for his favorite food: sushi. (Please tell me how many kids' fave food is sushi!) Then ended the night with a little ice cream at Bluebird Creamery. All in all, it was a super fun night!

But let's get back to this fact: he's 11 and he's officially taller than I am and wears a men's XL sweatshirt! Sure, it's a bit baggy, but not as baggy as you'd think. It's only such a joy to see this little man grow up over the years. He's such a sweet, smart kiddo. I can't help myself thinking about what's in store for him in 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?! It'll be fun to see. Love you lots and lots, Kam!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Our Date-a-Versary

We hit the four year milestone back in November and even though we have a new "official" anniversary, we decided that we'll continue to celebrate our Date-a-Versary for years to come. Because really, who doesn't like a good excuse to make a really nice dinner and open a nice bottle of red wine? And maybe if I'm lucky, the flowers will continue too :) 

I love you, Joe!

Flashback to Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Maha'ulepu Trail

When I tell people that 1) our honeymoon was relaxing and 2) we went on four hikes, people tend to question #1. Yes, we like a good hike, but we truly did balance our days out with some beach time or other more relaxing activities. It's just that if I spent an entire day on the beach, I would resemble a lobster. Sooooo hikes are a nice break :)

The Maha'ulepu Trail was more of a beachside stroll - it started at Shipwreck Beach and followed the shore north, going down to private little beaches and back up to a cliffside. Bonus: it was so quiet; we ran into maybe 4 people the whole time!

The greenery and geological formations were beautiful.

We hiked down to this natural little pond and waded for quite some time - watching the waves crash right in front of us!

Taking it all in.

We even found a second home!

Joe was pretty stoked about it.

One of the beaches with some lava rock.

(we totally changed someone's hard work into our initials...)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Ever So Thankful

While a few months late, I can't skip over Thanksgiving as I try to catch up on things. It's like when you celebrate your birthday with someone super late, so it stretches out your birthday even longer? I'm just stretching out the season of thanks :)

Once again, we hosted at our home. (Here's last year and the year before) We used most of the same recipes, but I found a new dutch apple pie recipe, which I have since lost, oops. The evening was filled with some of my favorite people in the world and if that's not something to be thankful for, I don't know what is. The delicious food was just icing on the cake!

 The pie! Served warm with vanilla ice cream and a little caramel sauce. Yummm!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Kalalau Trail

One of the things that appealed to me the most about Kauai was the abundance of hikes. I had heard so many amazing things about them - the breathtaking views, outrageous greenery and of course, a little sweat never hurt anyone. With a little tip from Maddie (who heard about it from Kimber who heard from Erin), we decided to give the Kalalau Trail of the Napali Coast a shot. No, not the part that earns it the title of one of America's Most Dangerous Hikes. Nope, we opted for the abbreviated, safer version.

Two miles in to a secluded beach, then two more miles into this valley that ended with the Hanakapi'ai Falls - 300 feet of waterfall that fed into a natural Olympic-sized pool! This is seriously the kind of waterfall people dream about - it was absolutely mesmerizing.

After a little dip, rest and snack, we hiked the 4 miles back out. It was a grueling hike, but I think we had mentally prepared for it since so many people had told us about it, so we managed :) If you ever find yourself in Kauai, this hike needs to be at the top of your list!

Views, views and more views. 

See the little microscopic person? The picture doesn't even get the whole waterfall either!

We took a dip at the falls. It was FREEZING.

 Secluded Hanakapi'ai Beach

We treated ourselves with shaved ice after the hike :)

P.S. Back to blogging! Hope I can keep it up again this time!

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