Summertime Highlights

Summertime Highlights

Where do I begin? I can’t believe summer is almost over…or at least it is for me on the 29th. Why? Because your girl got accepted to graduate school!!! My classes begin on the 29th. If I were to insert a relatable emoji, I’m not sure if it would be the “face screaming in fear,” “the weary cat face,” or the “face with tears of joy.”  Hmm. Maybe all three.

I hope everyone’s summer has been filled with a lot of sunshine and frozen drinks. My summer has had its ups and downs, however for the most part it’s been good and I’ve come to appreciate both the good and the bad. Although slightly cliché, it still is the truth: Life is what you make it.

With that being said, here is a list of some of my “summertime highlights” —

The food! // Yes, I’ve eaten some really tasty food this summer. Lightly golden, fried, filled malasadas. Oh yes. It was good. We actually tried two places that are known for having the BEST malasadas on this island — 20180711_161634_FotorTEX Drive-In in Honoka’a and Manuela Malasada Company in Waimea. We ordered guava, lilikoi, coconut, and plain malasadas from TEX Drive-In. At Manuela Malasada Company, we ordered mango, guava, and plain malasadas with li-hing sugar on top. I’ve had thai food from New Chiang Mai Thai Cuisine. Smoothies and dreamy ice cream from Makani’s Magic Pineapple Shack. Fish and chips from Mo’s Fish and Chips. Craft chocolate bars from Puna Chocolate Company. One of my goals is to compile a list of amazing places to eat on the Big Island. Would you guys be interested in that?

The day trips // My mom, Riley, and I would drive all over the island — Kailua-Kona, Mahukona, Waimea, Ahualoa, Honoka’a, Laupahoehoe, Kalopa, Honomu, ‘Akaka Falls, Pepeekeo, Onomea Bay, Hilo, Volcano, etc. It was so much fun exploring our town; I loved it.

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I swear we saw so many beautiful places this summer. I love how one location can be drastically different from another location with only 5 or 10 miles separating the two. For example, Waimea always reminds of fall (hello, my favorite!), while Onomea Bay is covered with palm trees and a path leading to the most perfect aquamarine ocean.

My acceptance to graduate school // I was accepted to Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies; I’ll be studying Applied Intelligence. I can’t believe I’m going back to school — I’m both nervous and excited. I

Amber Georgetown Lettergraduated last year from college, however it feels like a lifetime ago.

Hanging out with Riley // My sister Riley came home for the summer before she started her first year at college. It was fun having her home again — We talked a lot (I forgot what it’s like to be young again even though I’m only 22 or 85…depends on the day), ate good food, and explored various places.

Lint Center Scholarships // I love when it’s scholarship season. We have so many patriotic, academically gifted, and dedicated individuals applying for scholarships this summer; it’s wonderful!

 

 

 

I have hundreds of photos from this summer and I’d like to post them all (or at least try to!).

 

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Ruth’s Chris Steak House, The Shops at Mauna Lani

Ruth’s Chris Steak House, The Shops at Mauna Lani

Last year we had an amazing dinner for Father’s Day at Ruth’s Chris Steak House, located at The Shops at Mauna Lani here on the Big Island. It was a surprise that I was planning for quite some time for Father’s Day — When I told dad and the rest of the family (including my brother’s friends), everyone was thrilled!

The Kohala Coast is where The Shops at Mauna Lani is; it’s a beautiful area that feels like a very small Waikiki. The Shops has shopping, dining, and entertainment/events for the family.

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We arrived at Ruth’s Chris ready to eat! Dad, mom, me, Paul, and Noah arrived in one car, while Nick arrived a little later in another car. The inside of Ruth’s Chris is very nice, and naturally the boys did not know how to behave! In fact, within the first 20 minutes, a drink was knocked over, a certain someone pinched a certain someone, and when the flaming hors d’oeuvre arrived at the table I was scared for my hair. Ha! Seriously. It was the best time with the best people.

For the appetizers, we ordered the Flaming Oysters Rockefeller, Calamari, Seared Ahi/Sashimi, and Escargot. The food was amazing. I absolutely loved the oysters.

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Hors d'oeuvre at Ruth's Chris Steak House in Mauna Lani_Fotor

For the main course, I ordered the lamb chops and mashed potatoes. I also ordered a coke, while my drink of choice was a blackberry rosemary cosmo; since I wasn’t drinking any alcohol, the staff was nice enough to change the original raspberry rosemary cosmo to blackberry. Mom ordered a filet with grilled asparagus. Dad ordered either the New York strip or cowboy ribeye (I can’t remember which one), while Paul and Noah both ordered ribeyes…with a side of rice. Meanwhile, Nick ordered a porterhouse for two, and ate all 40 oz.

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Blackberry Rosemary Cosmo at Ruth's Chris Steak House in Mauna Lani_Fotor

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For dessert, we had raspberry sorbet (the best!), Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream, and creme brulee topped with fresh blackberries.

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The palm trees were covered in twinkle lights, which made the area even prettier. It was a wonderful night filled with love, tasty food, and a lot of laughter.

 

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Mother’s Day 2018

Mother’s Day 2018

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom! My mom, Laurie, is an amazing woman; an amazing person. She is not only my mom, but she also happens to be my friend; she is my best friend.

She’s raised four children. She’s been a wife for nearly 23-Years. She is a person who has dedicated her life to her family; she is also a person who puts the needs of her family, her kids, before herself. More times than I can count. She is the type of person that if I wasn’t her daughter, I would want her to be my mom.

I love you, Mom. I hope one day I can make sure you have the kitchen of your dreams.


Mom, Dad, Paul, and I went to Yogurtland today to get some frozen goodness. I love frozen yogurt. It was actually my dad’s idea to go. I had a combination of pistachio, peach, blueberry, coconut, and taro; it was fantastic!

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When we went home, the sky was beautiful; pale blue with golden hues. The sky was doing its usual thing. And so were the trees. And the pretty flowers in the garden.

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Dinner was delicious. Kalbi (Korean-style short ribs) on the BBQ; dad grilled. Mom also made spicy, sesame peanut butter noodles with green onions and cilantro.

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It was a great day.

I read something once that stated that Mother’s Day is a day that can be celebrated by all women because deep down inside we are all mothers in some way — I kind of like that thought. Happy Mother’s Day!

 

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St. Patrick’s Day, The Boy and His Four-Leaf Clovers

St. Patrick’s Day, The Boy and His Four-Leaf Clovers

I hope your day is filled with celebration, mass/church services, and some good ol’ corned beef (my mom is making Reuben sandwiches for dinner!).

I’d also like to remind you all of a time when my baby brother Paul, who was maybe 10 at the time, once found three four-leaf clovers (yes, 3!!!) at different locations without even intending to. I suppose the luck of the Irish is with him. I’ve never in my life found a four-leaf clover. I suppose the luck of the Irish is not with me. Don’t worry though, I’m not at all bitter about it.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

 


 

Some photos that I took this evening:

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And the sun goes down leaving a sky like this in its almost absence; full of shadowy trees and fading colors. It really was serene.

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I see you Ray with your I’m-only-smiling-because-you-won’t-leave-me-the-heck-alone smile. That’s ok because I love all of his smiles.

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Thank you for the close up, Ray!

Honestly, he really does get excited about having his photo taken. He sure is cute. Then again I’m a little biased considering I’m his mama… Hmm. Nope, he really is that cute.

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Monsoor is such a strong little guy. If you remember my last post about him, you would know what a miracle he is. His face is still healing (his ears have finally healed) but he’s come such a long way. And yes, he does have a little home now on our dining room table.

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This Reuben sandwich was delectable in every way.

 

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Your Funny Valentine | Valentine’s Day | Chocolate Covered Strawberries Recipe

Your Funny Valentine | Valentine’s Day | Chocolate Covered Strawberries Recipe

Filet mignon sprinkled with salt and pepper; balsamic glaze for the filet. Skin-on mashed potatoes. Ice water with lemon. Good company (my parents). I couldn’t have asked for a better Valentine’s Day spent with the ones that I love and those that love me in return.

I think that there’s this common misconception, especially among those who are my age or a little younger, that in order to celebrate Valentine’s Day you have to be in a relationship. I remember when I was an adolescent and Valentine’s Day would be just around the corner and I would literally dread it! I would think to myself great, another holiday turned into a commercialized overrated lovefest. It also didn’t help that when I was around 16-Years-Old, my boyfriend and I broke up near Valentine’s Day, and I found myself in the book aisle searching for Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler. To say I was a little negative about the day was an understatement. No longer was Valentine’s Day about receiving candy hearts at school or drawing littler pink and red hearts in a notebook; instead it turned into a day where you had to have a significant other and if you didn’t then Valentine’s Day just wasn’t a day for you to celebrate. At least that’s how it appeared.

After getting over my negativity, a pivotal moment happened: I realized that I can be my own Valentine. Since then I’ve loved Valentine’s Day and I look forward to it each year. I have a lot to be thankful for: I love my family. I love my friends. I love my home. I love my life. And I have a God who loves me back.

There’s a quote that I love; I’m not sure who it’s by but it pretty much sums up my feelings – My goal is to be filthy rich. Rich in knowledge. Rich in adventure. Rich in laughter. Rich in health. Rich in family. Rich in love.

Love always,

Your Funny Valentine

 

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Valentine Strawberries by Amber N.K. Antony (AM NIKKI KAY)

*Makes 16 chocolate covered strawberries (I ate a few before I could put it on the tray)*

Time: 10-15 min, 2 hours in refrigerator to let chocolate harden a bit before eating

What you’ll need:

  • 1 pack of 16oz strawberries (I used Driscoll’s Strawberries)
  • White chocolate chips (I used Nestle Premier White)
  • 100% real semi-sweet chocolate chips (I also used Nestle / mini chips)
  • Cold water/tap water or milk/cream
  • A large bowl
  • A spoon or whisk
  • Parchment paper
  • Baking pan/tray
  • A microwave or stove
  • Refrigerator
  • The will power to refrain from eating the whole tray 😉

 

Steps

  1. Wash strawberries under cold tap water and then lightly dry them off with a towel/napkin; leave the strawberries in container until you’re ready to dip them in chocolate
  2. Prepare baking pan with parchment paper; I used a 9″ x 13″ baking pan/tray
  3. Grab roughly a handful (or 2) of white chocolate chips and place the chips in a large bowl that is able to be microwaved; add 1/4 cup of cold water/tap water or milk/cream (I only had water to use)
  4. Put the bowl in the microwave for 1 min and 30 sec, take out and stir, and place back in the microwave for another 30 seconds; it should be done and able to be stirred until it is smooth. If you don’t want to use a microwave, you can use the stove.
  5. Take the bowl over to the strawberries and individually dip 8 strawberries into the white chocolate sauce (i.e., dip one strawberry, completely cover it, and place it on to the tray); once all 8 are covered, drizzle a little more sauce over the strawberries, and sprinkle the chocolate mini chips on top.
  6. Once you’re done with the white chocolate covered strawberries, now you can begin working on the semi-sweet chocolate sauce using the same bowl and the rest of the white chocolate sauce still in the bowl. Add 2 handfuls of semi-sweet mini chocolate chips and mix it into the white chocolate sauce; if the sauce is still hot you probably don’t need to heat it up again, but if the mini chips don’t melt then you’ll need to microwave it for an additional 30 sec until melted. Once melted, mix until smooth.
  7. Dip the remaining 8 strawberries into the chocolate sauce; follow the same procedure as step 5, except you don’t need to sprinkle any mini chips on to the strawberries (unless you want to).
  8. Place the chocolate covered strawberries into the refrigerator for 2 hours (or more depending on the texture you want – you could even freeze the strawberries)
  9. Time to eat! I also had a little sauce left over that I dipped the strawberries into when it was time to eat; I made the mistake of putting this into the refrigerator and it got a little hard, therefore it’s probably best to leave it out to dip into later.

 

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