My Christmas List: Presents Under $100 For the Connoisseur


Every year I share my wish list with you. ¬†Here it is… Everything available at Amazon.com

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Dean and Tyler Leash and Collar $19.76

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Coldbroo Coffee Maker (my roommate exploded mine when he turned the temperature down and everything froze over) ūüė¶ ¬†My favorite! ‚̧ $40

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Water Lilies by Monet $69

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Simple to Spectacular: How to Take One Basic Recipe to Four Levels of Sophistication by Jean Georges $30

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Asian Flavors of Jean Georges $28

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Ball Mugs $10

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Alo Womens Luna Sweat Pants $78

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Alo Yoga Mesh Goddess Ribbed Leggings $79

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High Frequency Skin Care Machine $40

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Ultrasonic Skin Care Machine $55

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PS4 Charging Station $16

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Riedel Stemless Cabernet Glasses Set of 8 $56

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World Atlas of Wine $3

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White Nike Free RN Fly Knits $88

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Teal Cotton Oversized Knit Throw $45

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Neocutis Bio Gel Hyrdrogel $73

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December Special 3 personal training sessions for $99 (regularly $85/hour)
From iHeartFitnessHI.com

Gift Cards FROM

Victoria’s Secret
Lululemon
Zara
Nordstrom
Target

Forgiveness


To some of you this picture is meaningless… to me it means 1000 words.

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I cleaned out my atrocious closet today and half of the hallway closet boxes from 15 years old. ¬†I found this little bracelet my ex gave me. ¬†The mala beads were meant to protect me from anxiety and frustration at a¬†time when I was going through a hard time being really unhappy at work. ¬†It’s a cheap little trinket bought out of impulse off of Instagram clicks, but I appreciate the meaning behind it.

The person who gifted me this bracelet has done the unthinkable to me. ¬†He has done things to me that are unforgivable. ¬†He hasn’t even cared to apologize or ask for forgiveness or send me an apology email. Where people don’t go, they will not receive. ¬†He’s done things that have scarred me and will forever impact my trust in men and love and relationships.

Friday night I went to Rum Fire to meet a friend after dinner and drinks at Monkeypod in Koolina. ¬† I had this great drink: scotch, lemon, honey and fresh ginger. ¬†It was spicy and smokey, but slightly sweet to the palette without over doing the sweeteness, with a slightly scotchy bitter after bite. ¬†I was outside drinking a glass of wine on the ocean side bullshitting about politics, Trump and all the rioters with a young military kid. ¬†I told him we can go slap Trump stickers on the cars at the riots lol. ¬†My girlfriend came out to let me know we need to leave, that a friend of ours got in a fight w her boyfriend. ¬†We bounced to the next club to reunite our friend with her fighting boyfriend. ¬† I listened to my friend try to smooth out their wrinkles for a couple hours over the phone. ¬†Dealing with drunken fights is never fun. ūüė¶ ¬†What a wonderful friend she is to be so patient as to help her friends out, when she is in an equally drunken state as well. ¬†They too had to¬†forgive each other.

As we drove past an ex’s house from a few years ago, we started to talk about that relationship. ¬†He’s been checking on me low key and I know that he cares about me, but that relationship ended in a truly horrible way. ¬†Things have never been ironed out, and I never really forgave him. ¬†He never asked for forgiveness. ¬†I think he knew that no words could take back how bad he had treated me. ¬†It was easier to just run away. I understand that my bitterness was never resolved. ¬†To me, having a break is hard and I sent him an email apology and two years later he think it’s best to not respond. ¬†That keeps me blinded and full of un-forgiveness.

As we drove up the marina, she played a voicemail from an old friend apologizing. ¬†They had a mutual friend die and had a big fight. ¬†She said her friend advised her not to answer or respond. ¬†I feel like people who do not answer calls or return apologies are rude and it’s not a reflection of you; it’s a reflection of them; that they are unable to deal with complexities of the dynamics of whatever situation that may be. ¬†It’s like they think they are too good to acknowledge your apology. ¬†Or they have the “one-up.” ¬†An apology is a hard thing to conjur up. ¬†Honestly, I’ve only been apologized to a handful of times in my life by people who have did me wrong and genuinely were¬†seeking forgiveness. ¬†Ignoring an apology is like not dealing with your emotions because it’s easier to ignore it, put it on the back burner, and not acknowledge the drama. ¬†That person was seeking a peace of mind when they came to you to apologize, and if you are unable to speak to them to confront your demons, then you too have not obtained peace of mind from whatever angers you.

I wore that bracelet last night after I found it. ¬†I wanted to throw it away at first. ¬†But then I put it on my wrist and remembered the kind gesture behind the bracelet. ¬†He may have hurt me, and I may quite possibly never speak to him again, but I’m not dwelling on the anger anymore. ¬†I didn’t wear it because of some silly nostalgic notion that I was being reminiscent of the past. ¬†I wore it because I found forgiveness.

Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.

My Foodie Trip To Japan


Ok, Japan was interesting. ¬†I hated that walking was involved and many stairs. ¬†By the time I would get lost, get on the right train and walk down to Ginza to shop, I’d be tired and head home for a 3 pm nap. ¬†The shopping was great, but I could do that shopping in New York, Honolulu, Vegas, etc. ¬†The Japanese and their toy breed dogs was adorable. ¬†I stayed at the Roppongi Hills Residence, and right downstairs on the corner was a Starbucks where many liked to hang out with their dogs. ¬†The pet stores that frequent the area had the cutest dogs ever! I couldn’t resist going in.

The Japanese culture is very reserve, and strange to me, but I get it. ¬†I got kicked out of a spa for my tattoos, and got a lot of looks, but that’s ok. ¬†It annoyed me out how OCD the culture as a whole is, maybe since I don’t give a fuck. ¬†Maybe now I understand why my Japanese grandmother is the way she is. ¬†Everything is perfect and clean cut and has to be a certain way. ¬†Japanese are the perfect micro-managers.

The one thing that I will come back to Japan for is THE FOOD. ¬†Oh my god it was amazing! ¬†I notice that Japanese like pizza and pasta a lot, mainly carbonara. ¬†Pretty much everywhere I went carbonara was on the menu. ¬†So I enjoyed trying it. ¬†Their bacon and sausage tastes very different, as it is kurubota, but it is delicious and has a unique flavor! ¬† Spajiro is a place nearby Kai liked to eat it. ¬†It doesn’t taste anything like what the Italians make but it has a nice little Japanese flavor to it.

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Oh toro, the fattier and tastier part of the tuna is easily available everywhere, whereas is a delicacy that sells for $35+ a lbs in Honolulu.  Downstairs from my apartment was a Lincos, a grocery store so it was yummy to go down there in the evening and get everything 50-70% off from the day time.  This tray of oh toro was only $2.  You can get tempura, yakitori, among other things.

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Downstairs from the back of my apartment if I walk through the garage and up an elevator is Keyakizaki Dori, a shopping complex that connects to Mori Tower and more high end shopping, there is a small fresh udon shop tucked away in the corner called Hashida Honten. ¬†It was busy several nights, but I came in early at 5 pm at opening and snuck in. ¬†They don’t really speak english. ¬†One of the cooks did. ¬†The noodles were delicious, but they were kind of rude. ¬† Most people in Japan are generally very nice, but I guess everywhere you find rude people. It’s a small restaurant, all light wood and opens to the kitchen so you can see the cooks prepare around a bar like structure

I stole Kai’s goma (sesame) sauce and also had a plain ginger with kaki (tempura flakes.) ¬†It was delicious!

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We decided to walk up Roppongi one evening and stumbled across a ramen place. It wasn’t very busy but the tonkotsu ramen looked very good, so we gave it a try. ¬†The basil gyoza gave it a unique twist. ¬†I really liked the gyoza a lot! ¬†And the tonkotsu brother was very rich and flavorful, but the basil gyoza, I would return for again. And for desert.. we had almond pudding. ¬†Desert is always simple in japan and often a slice of fresh fruit or something simplistic.

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I ate at Sarashina Horii.  This was also near my apartment.  I was so lucky to have such a great location.  This is a famous zaru soba restaurant and always has a line outside.  I came one afternoon when it was cold for the hot duck udon.  But the first time I went, I tried 3 different types of noodles, pork belly and teri chicken.  Everything was delicious, but the soba is something you definitely have to come here for! They have several variations of soba, white, buck, green and a flavored noodle.

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Ikspiari specializes in Hakata ramen. ¬†I found this place inside the shops, outside of disneyland on the 3rd floor. ¬†It had a huge line in the evening, as it was a cold night. ¬†So ¬†I checked out of the Hilton early to get there for lunch. ¬†I’m glad I got there when I did because there was no line and I was seated immediately. ¬†As I left, there was a line of about 15 people waiting to eat. ¬†I don’t think I could get sick of ramen, I think I could eat ramen everyday!

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I don’t remember this place’s name, but my host took me here. ¬†It is a very small shop on the main drag. ¬†After a night of drinking at Oak Door at the Grand Hyatt we came here for ramen at 1 am. ¬†This was my favorite gyoza in Japan. ¬†It was so simple yet so delicious! ¬†I tried so hard to find it again and was unable to ūüė¶ so sad.

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Oak Door was my favorite place to order a bottle of wine and listen to music.  Affluent clients, Japanese business men, celebrities, high end hookers that look like supermodels and generally a beautiful crowd hang here.  I sit at a bar and listen to the live music for the evening.  Mr. Mori, the owner of the Mori buildings was sitting right next to me and frequents his own establishment.

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Had yakitori with my host one evening. ¬†Don’t remember the name of the place, but everything is delicious and simple as always. ¬†The whole snapper was my favorite. ¬†I especially love snapper as it always has a light flavor and delicate tenderness to it. ¬†The crunchy skin on the outside is the best part!

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Down the road there was a yakitori spot that had open windows and as often loud with patrons of the drinking sort. ¬†This place looked fun but always had a long line. ¬†So as usual, I come at opening and sneak in. ¬†Bacon wrapped shiso pinwheels and ochazuke were my favorite. ¬†I got Kai to try some beef tongue (but I didn’t tell her it was tongue) and she loved it! The crab cream karokke was my favorite that I’ve ever had! ¬†It is a potato deep fried with a creamy crab filling with lots of crab on the side. ¬†In America they call it a croquette.

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Sweet potato pocky sticks?  Need I say more?

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Japanese candy is the best! For $1.20 ( just as much as a snickers or twix ) you can get dark chocolate with dried strawberries and raspberries on it.  This brand is everywhere in every store.  I had several of them.

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Saizen is located on the 5th or 6th floor of Mori Tower at Roppongi Hills. ¬†It was a random stumble upon and I’m glad we ate there TWICE. ¬†My host told me the quality of the fish was better than what you can get down at Tsukiji. ¬†They had great unique specials too that we were trying left and right. ¬†Oh toro is my favorite! ¬† For 3 people it was about $200. ¬†I can think of some high end places that would cost a lot more for high quality sushi. ¬†However, the atmosphere is very casual as it is in the middle of the dining area of a shopping complex. ¬†The green tea warabi azuki mochi at the end in a very small portion ended the meal with a nice slightly sweet touch. ¬†Deserts I notice in Japan aren’t always too sugary. ¬†I guess you need to balance for the carbs from the noodles and rice!

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Joelle Le Robuchon was nearby and I’d frequently pick up pastries. ¬†I loved the fruit tarts specifically. ¬†I tricked Kai (my 9 year old daughter) into trying foie grois and she LOVED it. ¬†She said “mmmmm it’s so buttery,” ¬†Then when I explained to her what it really was, she freaked out! ¬†Come on!!! You loved it! LOL

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Jean Fuckin George.  The Roppongi Hills location shuts down the Vegas location.  This was literally right outside the door of my apartment.  So I went not once, but TWICE.  The first experience was so amazing that I had to go a second time.  This has got to be one of my most favorite dining experiences to date.  Everything fused together with one story and flavor.  They use traditional french ingredients and techniques but also add small japanese flairs like adding shiso flower to the fried calamari for example.  Every bite was orgasmic.

Blue fin lemongrass chili chestnut coconut sorbet ala mode.

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Seared scallops with shaved truffle. ¬†Can’t go wrong. ¬†This had perfect contrast in texture.

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I’m not a fan of calamari but WOW! ¬†Fraiche with ¬†truffle shavings shiso flower. ¬†Simply genius.

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the manager always talked to us at the bar and explained dishes and wine and was very cool. ¬†There are only 2 or 3 tables upstairs and everyone else is dining around the bar watching the cooks prepare our dishes. ¬†I got to know each of the chefs, where they are from, where they learned to cook, what their hobbies are. ¬†It was a really close experience where everyone was socializing and meeting each other. ¬†We always leave late, so the staff all walk us out and talk to us outside of the restaurant for 10 minutes. ¬†They must love us. ¬†Haha. ¬†The manager also started hitting on me the second my date went to the bathroom. hahaha! ¬†I don’t mind. (:

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Smoked quail sous vide.

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Best fois gras EVER!

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This dish was a buttery sauce. ¬†I can’t remember what was all on it, but the dark spots are a unique mushroom. ¬†I would think it tastes like a richer more flavorful hollandaise sauce. ¬†Oh you know the french love butter.

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This was my favorite dish.  It was so simple, yet so amazing.  The chef actually showed me a device they use to cut the egg perfectly.  He then whips butter and egg together with salt and tops it with caviar.  So simple, yet amazing!  I could eat 10 of those!  I think I could make it at home myself.

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If you don’t know anything about wine then read up on these. ¬†It’s a 1st class wine and there are only 4 from Paris. ¬†It was the most intense wine I’ve ever had in my life.

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Seared A-5 Hida Beef with carrot lime emulsion and carrot top pesto. ¬†Thigh cut perfectly fatty and tender. ¬†Hands down, the best beef I’ve ever had.
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Suckling pig confit with silky rhutebega and bacon marmalade.

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Since then they’ve changed their menu already. ¬†They constantly change it. ¬†I’d like to try the hairy carb risotto with nori and yuzu. ¬†And the caramelized sea scallop with cauliflower caper raisin emulsion. ¬†The new foi gras br√Ľl√©e is seasoned now with made with¬†black mission figs and toasted brioche.

Seryna is famous for their quiet, cute and dark atmosphere. ¬†Great business spot or date night. ¬†The atmosphere is like you are in a boat and there is a forest behind a glass. Great unique atmosphere. ¬† Shabu shabu is a couple hundred bucks, it’s not a cheap place. ¬†But this spot is famous. ¬†The shabu is amazing. I also tried sharks fin for the first time. ¬†To my surprise it was pretty good. ¬†Gelatinous and delicate in texture. ¬†The weird thing was I pet a shark earlier that day at the aquarium. ¬†At Seryna, they bring out a lot of side dishes so by the time you get your main dish, you are almost full. ¬†But the portions of the food are huge and the quality of the meat and crab legs are wonderful. ¬†I like the soup they bring out at the end very much as well. ¬†The Seryna House sake is the best. ¬†It’s so delicate and smooth, it goes down so easy and before you know it, just a small glass has you buzzed. They also have a great wine collection.

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DISNEY LAND HAD SMOKED CHICKEN INSTEAD OF TURKEY. #WINNING

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There is a place called Matsurokuya that serves a lunch special of A-5 beef for 1300 yen. ¬†That’s between 11-12$. ¬†That is a deal! ¬†Esp. for the portions, as they are large. ¬†They only serve 50 sets per day for lunch, and there is always a line. ¬†I didn’t get to go. ūüė¶ I walked there several times but to my dismay they would always be sold out.

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Big bowl of Oh Toro don at Tsukiji $18

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My #1 favorite restaurant in Japan! ¬†Azabu Ramen. ¬†The broth is so thick and rich and flavorful, I don’t even dare dream about drinking it. ¬†The gyoza was perfect too. ¬†I must’ve ate here at least 5 times in a month. I would eat early in the evening, but apparently eating ramen is a drunk late night to-do thing so they get busy late night.

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SO now that you know why I’m so fat… to be continued. ¬†I came home 150 lbs and see how I cut down 20 lbs to 130 lbs to get on stage at the Paradise Cup in just 2 1/2 weeks!

July Munch @ Apartm3nt: Southern Italian


Food Menu:

1st Course –

Warm Octopus & sweet onion salad with fresh basil & citrus vinaigrette. ¬†The texture of the octopus was so delicate and soft and the salad was warm and light. ¬†Paired with “Honey and Anise Essence Negroni.” Bombay Sapphire/Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth/averna amaro/honey and anise reduction/rocks. ¬†The fresh anise seed was pretty, and color golden, and I loved the strength of the cocktail, but the anise flavor was a bit strong for my personal taste. ¬†However, definitely a unique cocktail to open your taste buds.

2nd Course –

Local hand cut pasta with fresh crushed local tomato, garlic, shallots, sliced green beans, red peppers, fresh basil & parsley, grated manchago cheese. ¬†Fresh pasta. Mmmmm! No special culinary talk to describe that. ¬†Just plain Yummy. ¬†Pairs perfectly with “Spiced Fresh Italian Basil Martini.” ¬†Grey Goose/Fresh Lime/White Cane Sugar Reduction/ Fresh Italian Basil/ Serrano Chiles/Seltzer. ¬†The aftertaste of the Chiles are perfect with this dish. ¬†I love all cocktails that involve fresh peppers. ¬†They pair perfectly with appetizers.

3rd Course –

Pan seared 1/2 chicken over roasted cherry tomatoes, asparagus, garlic, sour dough bread, deglazed white wine vinaigrette, tossed with frise. I was so amazed to taste this. ¬†It was probably one of the most perfect bites of chicken I have ever eaten in my life. ¬†The texture was perfectly soft, and flavor, seasoned and salted to perfection. ¬†A healthy portion as well. I could only finish half of it. ¬†The sourdough bread croutons also paired perfectly with the texture. ¬†Paired with “the Sparkling Dogs.” ¬†Tuaca/Grey Goose/Fresh Lemon/Presseco/Chambord.

4th Course –

Panna Cotta & lemon preserve with toasted almonds.   Perfect dessert! Buttermilk Lemoncello: Stoli/Buttermilk/Fresh Lemon/White Cane Sugar Reduction/Holiday Tincture/Cassia/Averna Sambuca.  My favorite cocktail of the evening!

xoxo

Kristie

Hope to see you @ Next Munch

Infused Vodka Recipes


I’m a connoisseur for the finer things in life, including premium alcohol. Don’t ever show up to my house with a bottle of generic alcohol, or cheap wine. ¬†Bust out the good stuff. ¬†I have a bottle of 18 year McCallan scotch to match retailing at $200 a bottle.

The flavor “blood orange” piqued my interest. ¬†I had been buying a lot of Vodka’s lately and this was one I found at a specialty wine store on Kaahumanu. ¬†Charbay also makes a line of high end vodkas in green tea, raspberry, pomegranate, lemon and grapefruit.

“BIG O”

Ingredients

Ice
1 ounce blood orange vodka
1/2 ounce Cointreau or other triple sec
2 ounces blood orange juice
1 ounce Simple Syrup
Large dash of orange bitters
Large dash of Angostura bitters

Directions

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all of the remaining ingredients and shake well.
  2. Strain the drink into a chilled martini glass.

Makes 1 drink.

Spiced and Spiked Blood Orange Cocktail

  • For the Clove and Cinnamon Syrup:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • For the Cocktail:
  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce blood orange juice (about 1 orange)
  • 1/2 ounce clove and cinnamon syrup
  • Dash of orange bitters
  • Blood orange slice to garnish

PROCEDURES

  1. For the Clove and Cinnamon Syrup: Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir sugar until dissolved. Add cloves and cinnamon sticks and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain cloves and cinnamon sticks from the syrup and refrigerate (syrup keeps in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks).
  2. For the Cocktail: Combine vodka, blood orange juice, and syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Strain liquid into a cocktail glass and garnish with a blood orange slice. Serve immediately.

Blood Orange Martini

  • 4 ounces vodka
  • 1/2 ounce¬†triple sec¬†or flavored orange liqueur
  • 2 ounces blood orange juice
  • 2¬†blood orange¬†slices

Blood Orange and Lychee Vodka Sorbet

Recipe Ingredients
570ml / 1pint blood red orange juice (about 15 oranges)
110g / 4 oz granulated sugar
200g / 7oz lychee
25ml / 1fl oz vodka
1 egg white

Mise-en-Place:
Juice the oranges and zest 2-3 for added flavour
Weigh the ingredients

Cooking Method:
Place the orange juice, zest and sugar in a saucepan, bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes
Remove from heat and allow to cool (place in a container with wide surface area to aid swift cooling OR place in a small bowl then place the smaller bowl in a larger bowl with ice and water to act as an ice bath.)
When cool (or at least lukewarm) blend the lychee, vodka and orange mix until smooth

Using an Ice Cream maker:
Place the mix in the maker
Lightly whisk the egg white to the ‘ribbon stage’
Add the whisked white to mix
Leave to freeze in mixer

By Hand:
Turn the mix into a container
Freeze for 1 hour
Lightly whisk the egg white to the ‘ribbon stage’
Stir the whisked white into the partially frozen mix
Leave to freeze for another 1 hour
Churn the nearly frozen sorbet with a heavy whisk to prevent the formation of ice crystals
Leave to freeze

Effen Cucumber Vanilla Vodka. ¬†Another great premium infused vodka with delicate flavor! ¬†This bottle was gone on my birthday. ¬†The Vanilla mixed with the cucumber makes it more versatile to other mixers and herbs including basil and mint. ¬†Effen means “Smooth” in dutch. ¬†A trendy new vodka. My fav!

 

Effen Cucumber Bloody Mary

  • 2 parts EFFEN Cucumber Vodka
  • 2 Basil Leaves, torn
  • 4 parts Tomato Juice
  • ¬ĺ parts Bloody Mary Seasoning

Garnish with a slice of cucumber and lemon

 

Effen Cucumber Tonic

  • 2oz. of Effen Cucumber Vodka
  • 4oz. of tonic water

Garnish with a slice of lime

 

Effen Cucumber Watermelon Soda

  • 2oz. of Effen Cucumber Vodka
  • 1oz. of simple syrup
  • Fresh watermelon
  • Fresh basil
  • Finish with soda water

Muddle the watermelon and basil, then shake with the simple syrup and Cucumber Vodka. Pour into a highball finish with soda water.

 

Effen Cucumber Elegant

A chilled cocktail with a strong mint taste. Elegant, indeed, and simple too.

INGREDIENTS

– 2 Parts EFFEN¬ģ Cucumber Vodka
– 8 Mint Leaves
– 1 Part Fresh Lime Juice
– ¬ĺ Parts Simple Syrup

HOW TO MAKE

Combine ingredients in 3 piece shaker and shake vigorously to chill. Strain into chilled cocktail/martini glass. Garnish with lime wheel or mint sprig.


Effen Cucumber Martini

A refreshing take on the classic martini designed by mixologist Dushan Zaric.

INGREDIENTS

– 2 Parts EFFEN¬ģ Cucumber Vodka
– 1 ¬ľ Parts dry white vermouth
– ¬ľ Parts Absinthe
– 1 Thin Cucumber Wheel

 

Effen Cucumber Basil Temptress

Mixologist David Nepove designed this fresh mixture of mint, lime and cucumber.

INGREDIENTS

– 1 ¬Ĺ Parts EFFEN¬ģ Cucumber Vodka
– 1 Part Lime Juice
– ¬ĺ Parts Simple Syrup
– 3 Leaves of Basil
– 1 ¬Ĺ Parts Club Soda

 

Effen Cucumber Coconut Palm

Another David Nepove mix, this fresh cocktail mixes coconut water and kiwi.

INGREDIENTS

– 1 ¬Ĺ Parts EFFEN¬ģ Cucumber Vodka
– 1 ¬Ĺ Parts Coconut Water
– 1 Small Kiwi or Half of a Large Kiwi, Peeled
– ¬ĺ Parts Lemon Juice
– ¬ĺ Parts Simple Syrup

 

Effen Cucumber Blonde Bloody Mary

Tabasco heat meets blonde beer in this delicious David Nepove contribution.

INGREDIENTS

– 2 Parts EFFEN¬ģ Cucumber Vodka
– 4 Grape Tomatoes
– 1 Dash Celery Salt
– 1 Dash Pepper
– 2 Dashes Worcestershire
– 1 Dash Tabasco Brand Pepper Sauce
– ¬Ĺ Parts Lime Juice
– 2 Parts Blonde Beer

Yazi Ginger vodka, named after the Chinese dragon, etched on the bottle, a symbol of strength and confidence,¬†is another great premium vodka I came across and is a nice edition to my bar. ūüėȬ†Yazi contains four different species of ginger, an ancient aphrodisiac, along with lemon, orange, cayenne and red pepper, giving it a distinctive (and seductive) taste and is made using only the purest, glacier-fed spring water from Mt. Hood (Oregon’s highest peak).

 

Yazi Ginger Peartini

1 oz Yazi Ginger Vodka

1+1/2 oz Absolut Pears vodka
1/2 oz Harlequin Orange Liqueur
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz simple syrup
1 tablespoon fresh pear puree
Fresh nutmeg

Fill a shaker with ice. Add the vodkas, orange liqueur, juices, simple syrup and pear puree. Cap the shaker and shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds. Strain (or double strain if you prefer a smoother cocktail) into a 10 oz chilled martini glass and garnish with a pear slice and a light dusting of fresh nutmeg.

Tip

You can substitute triple sec for the Harlequin, but I prefer Harlequin because of the richness of the cognac.

 

Warm Embrace

1 part Yazi Ginger Vodka
¬Ĺ part coffee liqueur
1 part half & half

Mix ingredients in a shaker with ice, serve on the rocks and garnish with a cherry.

 

Pua ‘Olena

By Bob Melton, Chuck’s Steakhouse

Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach

1 oz. Yazi Ginger Vodka
3/4 oz. Malibu Coconut Rum
1/2 oz. Sohi Lychee Liqueur
1 oz. Lilikoi Juice
1 oz. Guava Juice
1/2 oz. Kiwi Fruit Juice

Pour all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice. Shake to chill and strain into chilled martini glass.

I prefer Mazama vodka over brands like Absolut Peppar. ¬†They make the most amazing bloody mary’s in the world! ¬†My secret ingredient to the best bloody mary’s on the sandbar? ¬†Mazama Infused Pepper VODKA.

Pepper-Vodka-Soaked Cherry Tomatoes with Seasoned Sea Salt

yield: Makes 2 cups

Store-bought seasoned salt can also be used in the following recipe.Can be prepared in 45 minutes or less but requires additional unattended time.

ingredients

  • 1 pint vine-ripened cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup pepper-flavored vodka
  • 3 tablespoons coarse or fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon pepper

preparation

Poke 5 or 6 holes with a wooden pick or skewer in each tomato and put in a shallow bowl. Pour vodka over tomatoes and let stand, covered, tossing occasionally, 1 to 2 hours, or until soaked to desired taste.

In a small bowl stir together salt and pepper.

Serve tomatoes with seasoned salt for dipping.

Spicy Lobster Sauce with Vodka

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup pepper vodka
  • 2 dried chili peppers, crushed
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 14 ounces tomato sauce
  • 4 ounces tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Fresh chili peppers to serve, diced
  • 16 ounces lobster meat, cut into chunks

Cooking Directions

  1. Add crushed chili pepper to a bowl and pour in vodka.
  2. Heat a frying pan to medium heat and saute bacon 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook another 3 minutes.
  4. Add basil and parsley and cook 1 more minute, stirring.
  5. Add vodka with chili peppers and simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Add tomato sauce and paste. Mix well.
  7. Add lobster meat and cook another 10 minutes.
  8. Add heavy cream and mix well. Reduce heat to low and simmer 2 minutes.
  9. Top with diced chili peppers and serve over your favorite pasta! We like jalapenos, serranos or habaneros for this recipe.

Penne ala Vodka Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound penne
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh Parmesan cheese,¬†grated

Directions

Cook penne according to directions on package. Drain and set aside. In a large skillet heat olive oil. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add vodka and cook until the flames dissipate. Add cream and bring to a boil. Reduce heat so that cream simmers. Stir until mixture has reduced in volume by half. Add tomato sauce and season with salt and pepper. Add cooked pasta. Stir until coated and heated through. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Absolut Wild Tea Vodka was a very popular bottle at my party and was almost immediately gone.  I only got a taste on the tip of my tongue but the flavor is delicate and slightly sweet.  Great spirit!

ABSOLUT¬ģ FUZZY MARTINI

In a shaker, mix 1-1/2 parts ABSOLUT¬ģ¬†WILD¬†TEA, 1/2 part peach liqueur, 1 part peach nectar or puree, juice of half a lemon, splash of simple syrup and mint leaves. Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

ABSOLUT¬ģ WILDFLOWER

Muddle 1/2 part ginger in a mixing glass with 1/2 part lemon juice and 1 part elderflower juice or liqueur. Add 1-1/2 parts ABSOLUT¬ģ¬†WILD¬†TEA. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.

Sarentos: Top of the Ilikai


My friend Aaron invited me to have dinner at Sarentos recently. ¬†I had never had dinner there before, however had attended a few nightlife events and wine tastings. ¬†The forest green carpet made the place feel old and 80’s. ¬†It was in need of a dire makeover! ¬†The views are beautiful, the food superb! ¬†Why wasn’t this place more popular? ¬†To my surprise, Aaron had advised me that they had put $100k into renovations. The new dark (Cherry I believe) wood chairs and ¬†tables compliment the new wine colored carpet and romantic ambiance.

I started with the oysters with ahi tartare, and my favorite of the evening, osso bucco potstickers with lilikoi mustard.  I forgot the picture though. ;(  I paired it with a fine white blend.

White Blend: Conundrum, California

A perplexing blend of Viogner, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Muscat & Canelli, from the wine makers of Caymus.  Intensely flavored with refreshingly  acidity & bright citrus balanced with honeysuckle.

My sister Ashley and her boyfriend, Olcun joined us.   They had just gotten finished with dinner Kai Market at the Sheraton, so they shared a salad.

I had the penne ala vodka, with prosciutto, paired with a pinot.

Pinot Noir: Evangeline, California

Elegant ruby red balanced with layers of black cherry, sweet oak, highlighted with vanilla and spice.

Bill had the Osso Bucco.  The sweet jelly in the middle (the marrow) was sweet and delicate like pudding.

No room for dessert!  Had to run to work.
I will be doing a full review of this restaurant in the nearby future…
xoxo
Kristie
Dinner Hours:

Sun РThu  5:30pm Р9pm
Fri РSat  5:30 Р9:30pm

Cocktails & Bar:
Sun РThu   5pm Р11pm
Fri РSat   5pm Р12am

Location:
The Ilikai Hotel
1777 Ala Moana Blvd.
Honolulu, Hawaii 96814
Phone: (808) 955-5559
Fax: (808) 955-4249

Naru Izakaya


Last night I drove down King St. at midnight, because it took David that long to get his ass over here, (like always) LOL! It’s all good. ¬†We found a little Izakaya spot called Izakaya Naru. It was a little traditional Japanese spot, with Japanese speaking employees. ¬†The special menu was a piece of paper written in kanji and katakana with a paint brush. ¬†I had a ginger high ball to settle my stomach. ¬†I was starving! ¬†The sashimi was fresh and melted in your mouth. ¬†We had Ahi and avocado summer rolls with what tasted like a rich oyster sauce. I ¬†ordered a fried chicken which came with a homemade ume paste, and some tanaka rice, which I am going to eat right now. ¬†They had a variety of food from small izakya dishes, to sashimi, nabe, rice stone pots, yakiniku, homemade gyozas, zaru udon and other noodles and grilled Saba. ¬†Each dish is made with love, delicate in presentation, affordable in price, and OPEN TILL 2 AM. ¬†Great drink menu too from wine and champagne to cocktails, and sake! ¬†I am going to start hitting up all the late night little King St. restaurants hiding in the nooks and crannies.

Ahi avocado summer rolls

Special’s Menu

2700 S King St
Honolulu, HI 96826

(808) 951-0510

xoxo

Kristie

Abbott Kinney in Venice Beach.


 

Cool ass fireplace at Beechwood.

 

Me and Sis @ Beechwood. 

I had dinner at Beachwood in Santa Monica with my sister and her boyfriend.¬† It was delish!¬† I had a baked mac and cheese and shared some indian spiced lamb sliders with my sister.¬† After dinner, we decided to have ladies night.¬† Her boyfriend was busy with a bid on a contract for the Harry Potter movie, so he couldn’t party with us.¬† She took me to the Other Room at Abbott Kinney in Venice Beach, a trendy strip known for shopping and partying.

 

Other¬†Room¬†gave¬†me a loungy New York feel, with brick walls, deli-like chalk board beer menu and¬†dark decor with candelight.¬† I particularly enjoyed being surrounded by beautiful people.¬† I grabbed me a “Chimmay” because someone had told me to recently try it.¬† When I got my goblet of beer, I was surprised to see it say “Chimmay.”¬† It was a great full flavored beer, similar to a Blue Moon.

As we walked¬†towards the corner of the room, at a table sat one of my sister’s friends.¬† We immediately joined them.¬† It was interesting to talk to¬†his friend who¬†I thought was feeding me bullshit.¬† He was so refined and intelligent and¬†accomplished at such a young age.¬† But all Hollywood peoples are like that.¬† “Fake it till you make it.”¬† Or maybe he was telling the truth.¬† I pointed out that I like that artwork, and he began to boast and brag that he was the inspiration for the artist.¬†But¬†oh well.¬† I wasn’t trying to hook up.¬† I tried a sip of his beer with a lemon in it, and it is refreshingly light and¬†delicious.¬† One of my favorite beers to this day.¬† Similar to Blanche de Bruxelles.¬† His glass said “Allagash.”¬† Was I to understand that they had a special glass for every single beer that they had on the menu?

It was about Midnight.  I drove from Vegas to Cali that day on no sleep and I was exhausted.  My sister suggested the Brig, but I went home and got some sleep.

http://www.theotheroom.com/

xoxo

Kristie

Kai Market @ the Sheraton Waikiki


Last week I had dinner with my parents at the Kai Market, located ocean front at the Sheraton Hotel, Waikiki.¬† The Hawaiian contemporary decor of Kai opens to an open lanai, ocean front, with live bands, and hula and fire dancers.¬† The buffet had a variety of seafood from shrimp to clams and fresh fish.¬† I tried the fresh bok choy, some macadamia nut crusted lamb chops with mint jelly, and the prime rib as well. ¬† The desert Bar was fabulous.¬† I had a custard with a sweet jelly like garnish that looks like Ikura (large fish eggs), and mango pudding.¬† They had a variety of delicious deserts from fresh chi chi dango mochi or coconut crusted daifuku (azuki bean mochi), and portuguese sweet bread pudding, key lime pie, coconut tapioca, and chocolate haupia pie and trifles.¬† All the seafood went well with the Sauvignon Blanc I ordered as well.¬† Definitely one of my favorite buffets, along side with my favorite brunch spots, Hoku’s at the Kahala Mandarin, and Orchids, at the 5 star Halekulani.

Hours: Breakfast 6:00 a.m.‚Äď11 a.m. | Dinner 5:00 p.m.‚Äď9:30 p.m.
**Final seating 30 mins prior to closing.
Location: Ground floor overlooking the Infinity Edge Pool & Waikiki Beach
Reservations: 808-921-4600 or email: TDRC.Hawaii@starwoodhotels.com

Price Range:
* Breakfast ‚Äď $28.95 per adult, $13.00 per child*
* Dinner ‚Äď $51.00 per adult and $55.00 per adult on Seafood and Paniolo nights on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday
*Children 1-5 yrs old eat free anytime, children 6-12 yrs old eat free with paying adult (one child per adult & cannot be combined with any other discount), Ages 13-16 yrs old receive 50% off the Adult price ($13.50 for breakfast and $24.50 for dinner)

My Blurry New Years


It started off by having drinks all afternoon at Femme Nu, where 3 of my girlfriends, and 2 other guys met me at Ichiriki for dinner.¬† We got bombed on beer, sake, guavatinis and shiso mojitos.¬† After that we all parked our cars at Pearl and consolidated.¬† Stacy and I walked in Pearl to use the bathroom before we head out to Yard House.¬† On the way to Yard House, she discovers she left her iPhone at Pearl and continued to call it until the bathroom attendant answered it.¬† They dropped us off and went back to get their phone.¬† The 4 of us walked over to Rum Fire where I lost my friends and watched the fireworks from the beach alone.¬† My other 2 friends, now back at Yard House, and my other friend who just met up txt me to come back to Yard House.¬† My phone is about to die, so I jump in a cab and head back to Yard House in the middle of the fireworks.¬† My phone is blowing up with about 10 people that I am suppose to meet at Kelly Oneil’s down the street.¬†

It’s 5 after midnight, and¬†my girlfriend is wasted and¬†wants to go downtown to see her Dad by Bar 35.¬† I have a lot of friend’s waiting for me, and I tell her that we should go to down the street to¬†Kelly’s for 30 minutes, then we can go downtown for the rest of the night.¬† She didn’t listen and just left.¬† I figured she was wasted, but I was pretty pissed, and I told her to just go home, and not come meet up with us later.¬† Regardless, my other 3 friends came back from Rumfire, and we all walked over to Kelly Oneil’s.¬†

As we walked out of Yard House, 15 minutes after midnight,¬†I got a hysterical call from some guy’s girlfriend.¬† I guess the night before I had met somebody, read my previous blog about the guy who I met at Femme Nu who tried to seduce me, then told me we can’t go back to his place because he had a girlfriend.¬† His girlfriend stalked my Facebook page, found my number, apparently follows my blogs now.¬† Because she calls me screaming that she read my blog.¬† Frustrated, because she had called me earlier as well, and just finishing a jack and water and a little buzzed, I screamed at her to stop fucking call me, and to come down to Kelly Oneil’s and talk to my face, but stop calling me.¬† She threatened me a bit, then refused to come down, because “she was hanging with her family.”

1st of all… Don’t believe everything you read.¬† Not everything you read on the internet is reliable.¬† These are stories, and sometimes entertainment, inspired from real events.

2nd of all… You need to be trippin on your man, not me, because if you believe everything you read, I DON”T WANT YOUR¬† FUCKING MAN!¬†

So we all walk back to my friends place nearby where I’m irritated by my phone blowing up by this girl.¬† So I think in my drunken stupor, I slam my iPhone on my friends granite counter.¬† It is no longer working.¬† So my 2 friends end up hooking up in the bedroom, where there is no door.¬† Trying to ignore them, we start our own party in the living room.¬† They are all drinking Four Loco, the malt beverage that has been illegalized because too many teenagers are dying off of it.¬† It is 13% alcohol.¬† I sipped on Seagrams Sweet Tea.¬† Great drink by the way!¬†¬† After a while, I started crying about my ex, who my friend brought up, who everybody know’s I’ve always loved for 3 years.¬† And I play a drunk stupid ass for 5 minutes.¬† Then me and my¬†girlfriend start fooling around and film everything. LOL!¬† It was a fun night!¬†

Then in the morning, my gf who left calls me because I have her car keys, and we all left our cars at Alamoana.¬† So we meet at Original Pancake house over on Kapiolani.¬† There’s a 30 minute wait, so we head over to Mai Tai to have breakfast and drinks.¬† All I eat is a couple pieces of sashimi, and 2 bloody marys.¬† Me and my girlfriend (the sober one) drive to northshore to pick up her son in La’ie.¬† We head to my place to get ready, and back to my other friends, where they drove my car to.¬† Shaking from lack of sleep, lack of food, and alcohol withdrawals, I drink to glasses of wine, and try some of my friends great greek salad, and bbq.¬† My stomach was jacked up so I didn’t get to eat too much.¬† We crash out here.

In the morning, I take 3 IB Profen.¬† After 10 minutes I start to feel super warm and fuzzy and drowsy.¬† I thought maybe I was still hanging.¬† But then my friend realized that they are actually Flexural.¬† I think they looked like Percocet.¬† But Anyhow.¬† We go back to the beach house and La’ie where I am trashed all day, but get to relax and try to rest.¬† After that, we drive to DnBs to take the kids to play, where I have 2 Corona’s.¬† At this point, I’m finally feeling better, but I know it’s time to sleep.¬†

It may be all confusing, but I drove responsibly this weekend. LOL! I left my car, and even had it towed at one point.