It’s true. About beans, that is.

They are super yummy and totally healthy!

1/2-cup serving of pinto beans provides 100 calories, along with 6g of fiber, 6g of protein and no fat. This serving of pinto beans also contains 20 percent of the daily value for folate, 10 percent of the daily value for iron and phosphorus, 8 percent of the daily value for thiamine and magnesium, 6 percent of the daily value for calcium and zinc, 4 percent of the daily value for vitamin B-6 and riboflavin and 2 percent of the daily value for vitamin C and niacin. They are also a good source of potassium.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/318260-pinto-beans-nutrition/#ixzz1iWoNSZq4

TG likes my blog. In fact, he likes it so much that he insists I blog about every single thing I make or do.

It’s kind of cute.

So when the opportunity came about to have him contribute, he jumped at the chance.

This recipe is from TG’s mom. Written down in a little green note pad. So it’s totally a family secret. (Shhh!!!)

You want to start by cleaning the beans out pretty good to make sure you get rid of the bad ones and any rocks that may have landed in the bag. Dice up the onion and sautee. Add some salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and cumin and then a little dash of worcestershire sauce. Then go in with the water, beans and ham hocks.

Let it cook.

Forever.

After several hours on the stove at a steady simmer (and when the beans are nice and tender) you can take the ham hock out of the pot. Go ahead and chop up the meat and throw it back into the pot.

I don’t necessarily condone ham hock bones for dogs but Dante is pretty good about not choking on things like that. So if your pup is like mine, just wash it off and let your pup go to town.

Then go make yourself a bowl.

Serve it up with some buttered bread.

Or buttered cheesy bread.

Or cornbread.

Or garlic bread.

Anything to scoop up the beany goodness.

Leftover ideas: Make Bean & Cheese Burritos. Bean and cheese omelets.  Beans for your tacos.

“Beans, beans, the magical fruit
The more you eat, the more you toot
The more you toot, the better you feel
So we have beans at every meal!”

We take Dante to two different day cares. One of those day cares is Aloha Dog in Honolulu.

They post photos on their Facebook page to update the clients.

Now, on a typical day, Dante can usually be found sleeping. By himself.

But on this day, they caught him actually sharing the sofa they have in the middle of the room.

This is totally unheard of, by the way.

Let me give you a back story: One day I picked him up and they actually asked me (well .. more told me) that Dante doesn’t like other dogs.

The Answer: Sort of. Maybe. Kind of. Mostly.

Look, he doesn’t like spazzy dogs. He doesn’t like dogs around him when he’s in his space. He doesn’t like it when dogs try to grab “his” ball. He doesn’t like it when he’s leaned up on a person and another dog comes around. When I say come around .. I mean within 4 feet of him and said person. He’s got issues.

We know. But he’s still cute.

I guess one day they came at him with a brush.

He’s really pretty good about the grooming thing. I promise. He doesn’t really make much of a fuss when it comes to bathing or brushing.

The only thing I know is that  he doesn’t do well when confined in a crate. Bad things happen in small spaces.

Apparently he wasn’t feel’n the brush down, either. Notice that he doesn’t put up a fight.

I like to call it Silent reluctance. or Reluctant acceptance.

or OMG .. if I lean into the couch any more, it might suck me in so she will stop brushing me.

At least that’s what I imagined was going through his head.

Around this time last year, I decided to bake gifts for Christmas. See  Christmas Baking Extravaganza (aka: learn to cut back when necessary). I didn’t just bake a few cookies. I baked for a full week.

And I was so tired.

So this year, instead of the ridiculous goals of yesteryear, I decided to bake 8 different cookies. I only did 7. Not bad. I’ve learned my lesson.


My cookie list consisted of the following cookies: Cocoa Crinkles, Lemon Coconut Pixies, Rumballs (because everyone working in an office needs some holiday cheer), Chewy Gingerbread cookies, Chocolate Chip Walnut, Butterscotch Pecan and my favorite (renamed .. Thanks TG) Ninja Stars!

I have photographic proof that I actually baked 7 different cookies this year.

For the most part they all turned out pretty good.

Someone challenged me to make a stronger rumball.

I did. I did by not measuring the rum. I just poured.

Poured with abandon.

And it burned going down. Apparently some people really like the burn.

I wasn’t a big fan of the Cocoa Crispy’s at first but I had a couple this morning for breakfast, and they weren’t too bad.

Yes. I had cookies for breakfast.

Don’t judge.

I made a classic Chocolate Chip Walnut from Savory Sweet Life’s Blog. They turned out just heavenly.

I also made a Butterscotch Pecan cookie from She Wears Many Hat’s Blog. A variation of it, at least.

I had intended to make stained glass cookies with snowflake cutouts. I did infact cut out snowflake almond vanilla sugar cookies. And I did poke a hole through it and I did put some crushed lifesaver candies inside said puka (hole in Hawaiian).

The cookie came out less like a stained glass cookie (it was kind of thick and so was the melted candy) and more like a really cool Ninja Star!

That’s what I’m telling everyone.

And they all believe me.

Actually. TG gave me the name. He saw how disappointed I was and said to me: “No way! They’re so cool! They look like Chinese Throwing Stars.”

Chinese Throwing Stars. I like it.  Hmm… But Ninja’s are like way way cool. So the name got changed to Ninja Star Cookies!

I made the Lemon Coconut Pixies last year and decided to make them this year because I really liked them. They’re probably my favorite of the bunch.

Of course I didn’t take pictures of the final basket. BUT my friend Myko took some pictures of a box that I made for the other side of the office.

I’m gonna get the hang of this taking pictures of everything thing.

One day.

Until then, Happy Holiday Baking and Eating!

Here’s a funny story. Sorta. Did you know that I’ve been married 3 times and never divorced? Yeah. It’s funny in a confusing, minorly upsetting and slightly pricey kind of way.

The first time TG and I got married was on April 28, 2010. We did this before his deployment. And so when he came back from deployment in February 2011, we had almost been married a year. During his 7 month deployment TG got undivorced to wifey #1. Only by paper. And the law. So he came back married to two women.

I hear thats legal in Utah. Anywho …

Moving forward. During the new divorce proceedings from wifey #1 we find out that the judge ordered TG to be remarried to her and unmarried to me. Oh. It get’s better folks. Just stay with me.

Our wedding ceremony and reception was scheduled for August 26, 2011. If you’re counting, that’s the 2nd time we got married. When we got back from Colorado (TG’s oldest son got married the same weekend), we were informed the divorce from wifey #1 went through on August 17th. Which means, that our second marriage (the one with the big party) could’ve been our legal marriage (x2). Unfortunately we weren’t informed of that until after getting back.

Last fast forward. I promise. On September 10, 2011 (9/10/11) the Rev who married us on August 26th, remarried us (legally) in his home.

In case you skipped part of the above.. TG and I are married. Legally. I’m still not sure which of the three dates I want to celebrate though. Maybe all 3?

Here are some photos from the Ceremony and Reception.

My cousin made the bouquets. She’s an Officer in the U.S. Army. She majored in two languages which really have nothing to do with anything. She specializes in chemical warfare. And she makes a gorgeous wedding bouquet.

Seriously. Who knew.
Of course Dante was in the wedding.


Dante was my ring bearer, along with my adorable flower girls (Needed mom to make sure Madison had a good hold on Dante).



New Family.


This is what you do with 1001 cranes. Actually .. this is what you do with 500 something cranes. The rest you put in a bag and figure out how the pros actually incorporate all 1001 cranes into 1 design.


I danced with my Dad.


TG danced with his Mom.


I danced the hula for TG.


The only time I cried teared up was during my sister’s (Matron of Honor) speech. I love my sister ya’ll. Seriously.


I seem to have an affinity for my goofy face wedding photos.  Just saying “HI” to our photographer, Nick Pugay of Nick Pugay Photography. He did such a fantastic job. We laughed together. A lot.


Good times with Friends and Family.

It’s a funny story, really.  Now we can choose which date to celebrate our anniversary. I’m glad we stuck it out though. Even if it took us 3 times.


Oh yeah. Thanks for your patience. I swear I keep meaning to post more frequently. And everytime I cook something I want to share it .. but my photos are horrible.

I plan on taking a digital photography class soon. In the near future. Maybe then I’ll learn how to use that SLR camera. Hopefully.

I realize I haven’t posted since like way before the wedding. And I am almost certain some of you have waited for the professional pictures to be posted.

or not.

I’d like to tell you that I’ve been diligently working on getting all these things ready for your viewing pleasure. I’d like to be able to say that my life and world have been consumed by the hyper glow/color of wedded bliss. This is not to discount the awesomeness of “wedded bliss.” But the truth is, we went back to work and life.

And I went back to sitting in front of  a computer for most of the day and working on various marketing collateral for the company that currently owns my soul.

*For my co-workers/friends that might be reading this .. I’m just kidding! What are blogs without drama? I tell ya?*

I’ve also been going to physical therapy for my neck. I’ve been having problems for years now and just decided to get it checked. I’m happy to tell you that mobility is better and range of motion is up about 40 degrees. Also, I’ve learned that my posture sucks. I check myself all day and I realized that I am only really good for about a minute (each time I re-sit) until I start slouching or crossing my legs in my chair.

And then? And then I totally blamed it on being Korean. Yup. I know…

Luckily, my physical therapist is Korean (I only just found this out today .. weird. right?) and so he almost understood. Almost. He also gives me funny “dance moves” to help strengthen/elongate spine/neck blah blah blah.

I’m just going to blame everything on being Korea. Here are some examples:

I’m Angry = I’m Korean
I’m Short = I’m Korean
I love Kimchi = I’m Korean
I Have Sucky Posture = I’m Korean
I Can’t Eat Spicy Food = I’m a Bad Korean
I suck at Math = Yeah .. I don’t know either

My friend KK hosted a bridal shower party at my house. She’s the mother of twins. Which is why it was at my house.  And of course I volunteered to make brunch.

My friend .. KK ...Oh .. did I mention she has twins?

Why? Well, if you want the simple answer, it’s because I’m a control freak. If you want the more complex answer that basically ends with the simple answer, you’ll just have to ask me.

I also volunteered to feed my wonderful girlfriends and family because they are helping me finish off that 1001 crane deal. I had already folded 739 cranes. They helped me fold an additional 200 cranes or so, leaving me about 60 to fold on my own. And trust me .. 60 is a way more managable number than almost 300. In my head, at least.

Crane Folding - In Action!

*NOTE: I read somewhere that the bride and groom to be are supposed to fold these (together). Totally messed up when I told TG that it was only the bride to be. He’s making me stick to what I told him first. **breath** Patience and Longevity.** OOooommm….

The menu consisted of the following items:

  1. Cranberry Almond Orange scones
  2. Breakfast Quiche Squares
  3. Roasted Vegetable Quiche Squares
  4. Spanish Style Roasted Potatoes
  5. Green Salad
  6. Lemon Thyme Vinegarette
  7. Fruit Platter
  8. Kalamansi Orange and Cucumber water (I called it Spa water .. because it tasted like the kind of water they serve in the spas)

Looks like an extensive list, right? It’s not really. It just looks long. Here are some pictures that I did not take because I have a horrible camera.

Or. I take horrible pictures. I like to go with the first excuse though.

Orange Cranberry Almond Scones

Quiches. Fruits. Potatoes. Scones. Croissant. Malasadas.

I just realized that some of you may be wondering .. what’s a malasada? Well, in a few words its heavenly delightful and gloriously fattening. Also, it is a portugese donut. Specifically, a Leonard’s Malasada. Not to be confused by any other malasada cart/truck you might see because Leonard’s really is the best.

Spa Water. Cucumbers & Kalamansi orange/lemon juice

Even my mom and Han unnie showed up. Not to fold cranes, mind you. They just came over for the food.

Han unnie, Me and Mom

 **What the heck?  When did I decide it was ok to stop wearing makeup and fixing my hair???**

In fact, I really didn’t expect it but I am so more than thankful for KK helping me out when she has the time. Did I mention she’s a mother of twins? Girls. Almost 2. In other words, her hands are pretty full.

Gifts for the Crane Folders (Slave labor) heh... Thanks KK!

Background on me and KK: We’ve known eachother since 1994. We went to the University of Hawaii together and met at Newman Catholic Center on campus. We’ve remained friends, even with my moving all over the mainland.  She’s had the same cell phone number since she got a cell phone (I think). And I have always kept her number in my phone.

This is what happens when you over work your employees.

I’d like to introduce you to a few friends that I put to work that day. They helped a ton. Well, some of us had other talents and maybe weren’t meant for crane folding.

Sina & Noonan. Roomies. My Co-worker and my old neighbor from NYC.

Sina is so pretty. Thanks for the massages, Sina!

Nan & CChan. Yup. Sina really is that good.

Recipients of said massage. If you need a masseuse please let me know. Sina travels, is amazing and licensed!

I’m pimp’n my friend out because she’s totally worth it. Just ask TG. I got him a massage, too. And no. I do not get any kickbacks for referring people. I just think she does such a fantastic job.

Shower gifts. From KK. She's awesome.

I’d also like to thank my cousin’s who came to help (sorta … hahaha).

Sorry .. We’re blood. So it’s totally ok.

But really. I could not have gotten all of these done. I now have about 20 more to fold on my own to hit my goal!

Also. Just in: TG folded 1 crane! Which will also go into the bigger picture.

Dante's cone of shame. On Nan.

Yes. These are my friends.

No. I do not endorse humans wearing doggie cones (even the comfort cone).

Although, I’m pretty sure Dante was relieved to have it off and probably found it comforting that someone else had to chose to wear it.

Let me preface this post by stating that I never hardly ever make mac n cheese from the box. Since I learned how to make it from scratch, I just never feel the need. BUT, having said that, I’m sure you’re probably wondering where I got the two boxes for this recipe.

Well, TG likes this stuff. He likes the blue box and I don’t mind it much because he is usually the one to make it. And we have 12 boxes of it.

Lesson: This is what happens when you buy in bulk.

So now, we’re down to 10. 

Have you ever wondered what else you can make with leftover steak? The possibilities are endless, really. I decided (since we have an obscene amount of blue box) to make this tribute to a few of my favorite Steak House sides.

Mac N Cheese and Creamed Spinach.

Sorry about the exact measurement (or lack there of). This is more or less a throw-everything-into-the-pot and consume-it’s-cheesy-goodness type of thing.

The ingredients consist of: 2 blue boxes, 1/2 cup milk, 8 tbls of butter (the blue box calls for margarine. I hardly ever buy margarine because I bake. A lot. So I typically only have unsalted butter. Play with it. Add salt if you need .. though I didn’t find it necessary because my steak was pretty well seasoned). 

You’ll need about 1 1/2 cups of steak, chopped into cubes.

Note: At this point, if you have a spouse like I do, you may want to discard all the fatty pieces. If I don’t, TG might spend a good part of the meal picking out the fatty pieces of meat and that’s just no bueno. So do yourself a favor and do it before you throw it into the pot. Do it because you care and love him/her so very much. Even if YOU love the flavor melty fat .. do it anyway. Trust me.

1 heaping cup of frozen chopped spinach (no need to defrost or squeeze the ever living water out of it .. super easy) and 1 finely minced clove of garlic. Also. I happened to have some blue cheese in my fridge and added a few crumbles for additional flavor.

Boil the noodles (no salt in the water ..the powdered orange stuff has plenty of sodium). We’re going for al dente since it will continue to cook so definitely don’t overcook the noodles. Drain them throw them back into the pot. Now turn back the dial to low on your burner. Add the minced garlic, butter (sliced into 1 tbl pats) and milk. Stir it around.

Take a break and smell the wonders of garlic and butter. Yum.

Then add the packet of cheese. Stir it around. Try to incorporate it as well as you can.

Dump in the frozen spinach. Stir it around a bit. Add your chopped steak. Stir that around, too.

Grab yourself  a glass of wine. Or maybe you want a beer. Or heck .. good ol fashion water will work good, too.

You’re basically waiting for the spinach to cook through.

Add the crumbled blue cheese right before plating.

Next time I’ll throw this together with some mac n cheese from scratch.

But in the meantime, please bask in the bright orange glow of a childhood favorite… kicked up a few knotches.

As most of you already know, I started a garden. My very first. With TG’s help. He got it all set up and built and I just added the soil, fertilizer and seeds.

Seeds

Please try to ignore the white paws coming from the left side of the picture. I layed the seeds out on Dante’s ottoman.

And he didn’t budge.

Not even an eyelash.

I know absolutely nothing about gardening. I am quite surprised things are going as well as they are. Except for a little something I found out a week ago.

Devastating news

I went to homedepot last night. I had to ask. So I took a picture in the morning and by about 6 PM, I learned that I was growing weeds in my little vegetable garden.

I repeat:

Newb. Totes.

But I do have some really awesome things growing. Things that I absolutely love.

Beets & Arugula and Cilantro (back left) & Basil (back right)

Buttercrunch Lettuce

Heirloom Tomatoes (I can't remember the name)

Still no luck on the Parsley, Onion and Chives. I am planning on planting some more seeds in their own containers. Then we’ll see how it goes.

This is how it has gone for me (Super Newb Gardener). And I have to say it has been an excellent and enjoyable learning process. I like it and now I get it. I didn’t understand how rewarding growing your own vegetables can be but the fact that I can plan my dinner tonight of a left over chopped beef sandwich with some fresh arugula is pretty great.

I can’t wait for the tomatoes to come in. Those are going to make killer sandwich accoutrements!

We celebrated and honored.

Well, first TG and I went to Sunday Mass at Pearl Harbor to celebrate the resurrection of the Lord.

After church we packed up his son, CB (I have a step son and it’s just weird), and went to brunch with my parents.

Then we spent the rest of the day honoring those sailors forever lost in the depths of the harbor from which their ship sank. We went to the USS Arizona. Got a little bit of history in and a tiny boat ride.

This is what we did on Easter Sunday 2011. Yes. 2 months ago.

I know I could’ve lied to you and made this post about any day. But I am acknowledging my flaws and my forgetfulness.

Or something like that.

Boat ride. USS Arizona.

The Front.

In Memorium.

Finally, here is a picture of TG and his son, CB. We don’t get to see CB that often, maybe twice a year. I know TG misses him a whole bunch. We will get to see him in August, during his big brother’s wedding at the end of the month. And although I know that isn’t enough time for TG, I do know he is thankful for every moment he does get to spend with his younger son.

Father and Son.

With many generous donations, I was able to raise over $1500 for this great cause.

This is the second year in a row I have made the “Golden K Walker” status. Individuals who raise over $1000 get to claim this.

Thank you!

Colliers Monroe Friedlander was also awarded for being one of the corporate sponsors of the event.

Bobbie Lau and Chelsea Meyer. Represent!

Another great year. One amazing cause.

Thank you all for your support!

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