The Adventures of a Calamari Queen

Filipina Foodie

Ocean Blue By Geoffrey Zakarian

We had our Anniversary dinner at the Ocean Blue (Norwegian Getaway cruise) and it was one of the best times on our cruise vacation. The food was superb and the service was amazing ( always anticipating your needs yet not in your face kind of attitude). Although it was a bit pricey because this place is not part of any “free dining” that the cruise offers. The Hubs went all out with the appetizers! He really likes his apps:) They offer seafoods and have selections of raw items like oysters and hamachi. If you find yourself on a cruise and they have an Ocean Blue restaurant, you must try it at least because you will not regret it! The Hubs and I had a great experience in this restaurant.

Ocean Blue

Ocean Blue

mascarpone bread and cheeses

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crab toast

crab toast (this was really good!)

different types of oysters

different types of oysters

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yellow tail hamachi

yellow tail (hamachi)

salmon tartare

salmon tartare

beet salad with caviar

beet salad with caviar (the food presentation is just lovely)

steak tartare (this was Ok for me, had better steak tartare here in Seattle)

steak tartare (this was Ok for me, had better steak tartare here in Seattle)

Lobster Mushroom Risotto (rich and decadent!) love the flavors!

Lobster Mushroom Risotto (rich and decadent!) love the flavors!

hubs about to enjoy his dinner

hubs about to enjoy his dinner

I had the snapper with some fancy side dish that I'm not familiar with!hehehe

I had the snapper with some fancy ingredients that I’m not familiar with! hehehe

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complimentary cake!

complimentary cake! that we end up not eating because we’re too full. we had some in our cabin the next day though 

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Caribbean Cruise!

Hello everyone! I’ve been MIA for the last couple of weeks because the Hubs and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary with an Eastern Caribbean cruise (Norwegian Getaway). It’s our first time cruising and we had so much fun! It was such a relaxing time with my Hubs. We visited St. Maartens Philipsburg (Netherlands,dutch side), St. Thomas US Virgin Islands, and Nassau Bahamas. We really liked our cruise ship because there’s always something going on, lots of options/activities so we were never bored and the food was great too. I will be posting more of our amazing dinner experiences in the coming days. Enjoy the pics!

enjoying the view from our balcony room

enjoying the view(Miami port) from our balcony room

our Balcony stateroom

our Balcony stateroom

a little selfie action

a little selfie action

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Pretty Chandelier from the ships main lobby

replica of our cruise ship

replica of our cruise ship

enjoying our lunch with a view

enjoying our lunch with a view

Atlantic Ocean

Atlantic Ocean

animal towel prepared by the housekeeper

animal towel prepared by the housekeeper

St. Maartens

St. Maartens

Fruit and Veggie carving demonstration (this is so pretty, watermelon flower)

Fruit and Veggie carving demonstration (this is such a pretty watermelon flower)

Hubs doing crazy things (rope course)

Hubs doing crazy things (rope course)

The cast of Legally Blonde (we did watch it but preffered the real "broadway show)

The cast of Legally Blonde (we did watch it but preferred the real “broadway show)

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watched Fireworks on the 4th night!

watched Fireworks on the 4th night!2015-04-19_DSC_2792

St Thomas US Virgin Islands

St Thomas US Virgin Islands

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My hat has a life of its own..lasted for 6 days and I have to throw it out because it was pretty useless.

My hat has a life of its own..lasted for 6 days and I had to throw it out because it was pretty useless.

Atlantis Resort Bahamas

Atlantis Resort Bahamas

Cabbage Beach Bahamas

Cabbage Beach Bahamas

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Farewell show

Farewell show

Port of Miami

Port of Miami

last selfie before going back to Seattle

last selfie before going back to Seattle

Happy Easter!

Today we are celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ! One of the most important events in the Christian world. I’m just so grateful for what Jesus did on the Cross, the unconditional love He gave to all of us. The perfect, sinless Son of God suffered and died for all of us, despite our unworthiness. Thank You Jesus for what you’ve done for our sake.

Yes He did!

Yes He did!

Hes-Risen

Aside from Easter Sunday celebration, we are also celebrating our 7th wedding Anniversary! We are thankful to God for blessing our  marriage for the last 7 years.  We cannot wait to see what is in store for us in the coming years! The Best is yet to come:) We took a couple of pictures before going to church this morning. We had brunch after with my In laws in one of the restaurants here in Issaquah.  The Hubs and I plan to have a little getaway somewhere to celebrate and we are so excited! I hope you had a great Easter weekend all:)

so blessed to have my Hubs in my life!

so blessed to have my Hubs in my life!

someone was forced to have a solo picture!hehe

someone was forced to have a solo picture!hehe

:)

:)

with my Bunny Riley!

with my Bunny Riley!

with my Sis-In-Law Julia

with my Sis-In-Law Julia

Siblings!

Siblings!

Sip Restaurant in Issaquah

Sip Restaurant in Issaquah

brunch

brunch

my lovely In laws! love them..

my lovely In laws! love them..

Yum!

Yum!

Spring is Here!

Hello everyone! I can finally “see” spring in our own yard! I cleaned some parts of the yard today because the gardener who was suppose to take care of our messy yard got sick and who knows when he will get better. So I just started to clean some parts and will continue to do so in the coming days. I don’t mind because the weather today was sunny and the perfect time to spend outside. I will probably buy some flowers and herbs/veggies next month so I can start gardening. I’m kinda excited!

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Cherry Blossoms!

I’ve been living here in Washington State for the last 7 years and I’ve never seen the Cherry blossoms at the University of Washington (the area is called the Quad). This weekend the Hubs and I went to see it, and it was so pretty. It rained a little (for like 5 minutes after we got there) then the sun showed up and it was lovely. Riley had the most fun because there were dogs at the Quad and he loves Springtime;)

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After our little Cherry blossom outing, we had sushi and ramen at Genki Sushi in Factoria Mall (Bellevue,WA)

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Steamed Clams in white wine!

My hubs prepared these manila clams in white wine sauce early this week. It’s one of my favorite dish because it’s quick and easy to make (aside from cleaning the clams). I make sure that it’s really clean by brushing each clam, it can be time consuming but I really enjoy the broth so I want to make sure there’s no sand in my soup. I normally add flour and soak for 30 minutes then start brushing the shells.  Ina Garten says the flour helps remove the sand (I totally agree!). We get our manila clams from the Asian market in Bellevue,Wa.

5 lbs. of yumminess!

5 lbs. of yumminess!

butter

butter

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YUM!

YUM!

Steamed Clams in White Wine

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons butter
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine or dry Vermouth
2 pounds of clams (Littlenecks or Manilla), rinsed and cleaned
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
*optional 1 small lemon cut into wedges

 

Directions:
Melt butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until garlic is fragrant but not burned. Add wine and increase heat to medium-high until wine is brought to a simmering boil. Add clams and cooked covered for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until clams have opened. Discard any clams still closed. Add parsley and give the pot a quick stir. Transfer clams and broth to a large serving bowl, serving with lemon wedges on the side.

PokPok / Podnah’s / Salt&Straw!

While in Portland, we visited our favorite places again( we didn’t really branch out). We went to PokPok thai restaurant for their fish sauce chicken wings. I personally love their wings,while the Hubs finds them OK. I’m disappointed with their other dishes though(just like the first time we were there) but I will still go there for the wings alone.

Lunch at PokPok:

People are waiting to get in..

People are waiting to get in..

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mango drink

mango drink

Hubs!!

Hubs!!

Fish sauce chicken wings

Fish sauce chicken wings

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Bye PokPok, till next time!

Bye PokPok, till next time!

Enjoying some Ice cream at Salt&Straw (PokPok and Salt&straw are just walking distance from each other). We sampled 4 different Ice cream flavors and my favorite was the Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black pepper, sounds weird but I really enjoyed it.

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Salted Caramel cupcake,Strawberry Honey Balsamic with black pepper,coconut with Petunias salted caramel bars, Rose city riot

Salted Caramel cupcake,Strawberry Honey Balsamic with black pepper,coconut with Petunias salted caramel bars, Rose city riot

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Podnah’s Barbeque (we stopped at Podnah’s to get some bbq for my In laws who took care of Riley for 2 days). Podnah’s was featured by Guy Feiri on his Foodnetwork show; we’ve been here before so we know it’s really good bbq).

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Ribs,Brisket (my fave),chicken BBQ from Podnah's Pit

Ribs,Brisket (my fave),chicken BBQ from Podnah’s Pit

 

Portland Trip!

We went to Portland this week for 2 days because I wanted to watch the NBA game between Portland Trailblazers and Dallas Mavericks. I’m a big basketball fan (the Hubs not so much) and Portland is the closest team to watch. I’m still sad that Seattle gave up the Sonics and we no longer have an NBA team. It was a great time with Hubs, this was our 3rd NBA game that we’ve seen (we’ve been to Madison square, San Antonio’s stadium and the Moda center). We stayed at the Marriot which is really close to the stadium.  We took a taxi going there so we didn’t have to deal with parking and we took a pedicab after the game to enjoy the City view (it was pricey but fun to see Portland at night!). I do enjoy watching the whole “behind” the scenes at the games because it’s so different when I watch it on TV.  You miss the entertainment of the stuff going on between time outs, halftime show and the energy the crowd the whole time. Thanks to my Hubs who took time to bring me to watch the game. Till next time:)

entering Oregon

entering Oregon

checking in

checking in

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view from the hotel!

view from the hotel!

our attempt to take a selfie and about to take a nap before the game!

our attempt to take a selfie and about to take a nap before the game! lol

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Too funny! Death to false pizza!

Too funny! Death to false pizza!

hour before the game!

hour before the game!

Dirk is the guy wearing gray shirt, he was practicing before the game started! Truly a class act, he took the time to take pictures and sign autographs  to fans, you can really tell he appreciates them and happy to do so!

Dirk is the guy wearing gray shirt, he was practicing before the game started! Truly a class act, he took the time to take pictures and sign autographs for fans, you can really tell he appreciates them and happy to do so!

bad angle but I wanted to take a selfie with Hubs!

bad angle but I wanted to take a selfie with Hubs!

pathetic cheese burger and an OK hotdog!lol

pathetic cheese burger and an OK hotdog!lol

we got a decent view!

we got a decent view!

Yup I caught the Hubs reading his kindle!lol

Yup I caught the Hubs reading his kindle!lol

we had meat and cheese after the game at the hotel bar!

we had meat and cheese after the game at the hotel bar!

our Hotel

our Hotel

enjoying some drinks

enjoying some drinks

Hawthorne bridge on the back

Hawthorne bridge in the back

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LOL!

LOL!

see yah later Portland!

see yah later Portland!

Home!

Home! entering washington

got starbucks for the roadtrip!

got starbucks for the roadtrip!

Mt Rainier!

Mt Rainier!

so happy to see my Puss!

so happy to see my Puss!

 

Kukai Ramen & Izakaya

The Hubs and I went to Kukai Ramen last Thursday because of the cold weather we have here, a bowl of ramen will just hit the spot! We’ve never been to Kukai before but with all of the good reviews we decided to try this “authentic” ramen from the famous Japanese chain (we learned that they only have 3 restaurants here in the US, two here in WA and they just opened one last year in Portland).  We got there early because we wanted to avoid the long lines, lucky for us we were seated right away. The place is kinda small and the tables are really close together.  We could hear the other table’s conversations, but it’s  OK, after all we are there for the Ramen (which didn’t disappoint!). It’s so GOOD! The broth was so flavorful and the noodles are the best for me, the perfect consistency. It was quite expensive but at least it’s quality ramen. The hubs ordered their special “Garlic Tonkotsu Shoyu ramen”, it was really good. I had the spicy ramen, also a great choice, but personally I preferred the Hubs order. We added pork belly and eggs on our ramen and ordered 2 appetizers. It was a great experience and we will probably go back again if we’re craving ramen (it’s only 20 minutes drive from our place).

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take outs galore!

take out galore!

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kukai unigiri

kukai unigiri

Spicy Ramen

Spicy Ramen

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Hubs Ramen

Hubs Ramen

 

Surf n Turf Dinner at Home!

Hi Friends! I prepared a nice “surf n turf” dinner at home last Friday night! I told hubby that instead of eating out for our “date night” we should just make something yummy and watch Netflix after ( we end up playing Dominion), a game that my In laws gifted the hubs for Christmas. I got the lobsters and the steak at our local Safeway (I’ve been shopping there lately) because it’s only a 4 minutes drive from our house, it’s so close!  This one is a little more upscale and nice compared to the other one in downtown Issaquah in my opinion.  I also made Mashed Potatoes with gouda cheese, and grilled broccoli.  I’ve been loving grilled broccoli lately!  It was such a lovely night with my Hubs and Riley. We will definitely do something like this again in the coming weeks.

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I baked the lobsters 350F for 15 minutes (seasoned with salt,pepper,butter)

I baked the lobsters 325F for 15 minutes (seasoned with salt,pepper,butter)

I made this blue cheese steak sauce (Ina Garten recipe)

I made this blue cheese steak sauce (Ina Garten recipe)

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YUM!

YUM!

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Gamenight and hot chocloate later that night!

Gamenight and hot chocloate later that night!

Roquefort Chive Sauce (Ina Garten recipe)
1½ cups heavy cream
2 ounces French Roquefort cheese, crumbled (4 ounces with rind)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Bring the heavy cream to a boil in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook at a low boil, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has become thick and creamy, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the cheese, salt, pepper and chives and whisk rapidly until the cheese melts.

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