Monday, February 27, 2012

Giveaway Winner!!

I am a slacker, I’m not ashamed to admit it.  The month of February was crazy and I have not posted or even let you all know who won the giveaway!  In my defense I was busy planning a bachelorette party in Vegas for my good friend A. Now that I am single, I also find my time disappearing in other ways as well.  But I finally am going to announce the winner!  The lucky number was 21!  I was so excited to see that Nami, from Just One Cookbook, was the winner!  Nami was one of my first friends I made from blogging and she has the most amazing blog as well. 


But back to the bachelorette, we had an amazing time in Vegas and ate at a lot of super yummy places!!  I’ll recap on those soon, I promise… While what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, I thought I would share this one photo of my ladies!  Congrats to A!!  Can’t wait for the wedding in April. 


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Ginger Lemon Basil Spritzer

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!  You all still have time to enter my Hawaii themed Blogiversary giveaway

When I was in Hawaii I stumbled across the best booth at the local farmers market!  They were making a ton of ginger flavored drinks.  I don’t know if I mentioned it, but last year I completely gave up soda.  I used to be a diet coke girl, drinking 1-2 diet cokes a day.  Now days I hardly drink soda, with the exception of Ginger Ale and Fresca. 

I was beyond excited when I saw that they were selling some of their ginger concentrate, so I bought a small bottle and have been enjoying making my own Ginger Lemon Basil Spritzers at home. 


Ginger Lemon Basil Spritzer
adapted from PacifiKool

2 basil leaves
1/2 lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp Ginger Syrup from PacifiKool
sparkling water

1.  Tear and lightly muddle the basil leaves.  Squeeze lemon juice over basil leaves. 

2.  Fill cup up half way with ice, pour ginger syrup and sparkling water over the lemon basil mixture. Add in a “shot” or two of vodka and mix well.  Add more sparkling water if necessary.

So good and refreshing!!  I am going to invite myself over to my friend MC’s house since she just got herself a juicer and try to make my own Ginger Syrup! 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Blogiversary and Giveaway! Portuguese Bean Soup with Lentils and Butternut Squash

It’s my one year Blogiversary!  Time sure has flown by and to celebrate I am doing a Hawaii themed giveaway.  In this giveaway you will receive a Lilikoi (passion fruit) jelly, a hula girl ornament, a bag of Lion’s Chocolate Macadamia Nut Coffee, a box of Hawaiian Host Kona Caramacs and a Hawaii Cookbook (Hawaii’s Part Food)!  To enter leave a comment that you did one of the following (multiple entries allowed): 1.  Leave a comment on the post.  2.  Like me on Facebook.  3.  Follow me on Twitter.  Here’s a pic of the goodies.


One of the things I miss most about food in Hawaii is Portuguese Bean soup.  This soup is so popular it’s served at many restaurants and even as school fundraiser.  For Christmas I received a cookbook that had not one but FIVE Portuguese Bean soup recipes!  Now I had no excuse and I was excited to try it now that the weather was getting a little cooler in So Cal. 

Portuguese Bean soup has nice chunks of Portuguese sausage, some type of bean and Macaroni in a tomato base broth.  I chose this recipe first since it had Lentils and Butternut Squash and I was interested in seeing how this would make the soup heartier and creamier.  (Maybe healthier?)  Make sure you have 4-5 hours to make this soup!


Portuguese Bean Soup with Lentils and Butternut Squash 
adapted from Hawaii’s Ohana Cookbook
serves 8-10

1-1.5lb Ham Bone or Smoked Ham hock
1 package Butternut Squash, cubed
2 packages Portuguese Sausage (Linguisa and Kielbasa ok too)
1 medium onion, diced
2 cans pinto beans
1 can Progresso Lentil soup
1/4 cup Ketchup
3 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp. minced parsley
6 dried Bay Leaves
1 cup small Macaroni Noodles

1.  Place ham bone and onions in a large deep pot with enough water to cover most of the ham bone.  Bring the pot to a boil, then lower the pot to a simmer.  Let the pot simmer until meat softens and starts to fall off the ham bone. 

2.  When the ham is falling off the bone, remove bones and cut any remaining meat off the bone and return to the pot.  Slice Portuguese sausage in half length wise and then into 1/4 inch pieces and throw into the pot.  Add in cubed butternut squash.

3.  Add in pinto beans, Lentil soup, ketchup, dark brown sugar, minced parsley and bay leaves. 

4.  Let cook until the squash is easy to cut with the stirring spoon.  Add in macaroni and simmer until noodles are soft.  Adjust seasoning if necessary.

This soup came out great!  I shared some with my boss and my friend LT and both loved it.  I had wanted to try the other 4 recipes for Portuguese Bean Soup in the cookbook my mom gave me, but to be honest I don’t know if I will be able to top this one.  This soup freezes great as well!  I have 2 more servings waiting for me in my freezer!