St. Patrick’s Day Halo-Halo

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Halo what?

If you don’t know what halo-halo is, it is one of my favorite filipino deserts.  Halo-halo means “mixed together” and is considered an extremely refreshing filipino treat, especially on a hot and humid day!  Why is it so refreshing?  The core of its refreshment is shaved ice.  However, instead of a typical summer shaved ice treat being covered with a sweet sugary flavored syrup, halo-halo consists of a mix of a variety of sweets and fruits (which can include sweet beans, coconut jells, jackfruit, plaintains, and more) underneath a mound of shaved ice and glazed with evaporated milk and more sweets (notably ice cream, leche flan, and/or ube)! If you Google “halo-halo”, you’ll see tons of pictures of how colorful this dessert can be depending on the ingredients you include in it.  The variety of combinations of fruits and sweets is not restricted…basically, whatever fruits and sweets you truly like, just throw it in!

Boom!  You’ve got halo-halo.

With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, and mint chocolate chip ice cream being one of my favorites, I decided to make myself a St. Patrick’s Day version of halo-halo.  I prefer it over Shamrock shakes any day!  If you aren’t a fan of mint-chocolate flavor, this probably isn’t for you!  But I love it!

St. Patrick’s Day Halo-Halo

Ingredients

  • Mint-chocolate chip ice cream
  • Coconut ice cream (if you can easily find some!)
  • Shaved Ice
  • Evaporated Milk
  • Condensed Milk
  • Coconut gel or macapuno (young coconut) strings
  • Cooked plantain (or sliced banana to make it easier)
  • Puffed rice cereal
  • Green food coloring (if you want to add more green!)

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All of the ingredients I chose are ones you should be able to easily find no matter where you live, with the exception of coconut gel.  I like the combination of coconut, chocolate, and mint. You should be able to find coconut gel (cubes of coconut gelatin already in green coloring!) in a local Asian store, especially if it is a filipino grocery store.

Fill the bottom of a bowl or glass with coconut gel.
Fill the bottom of a bowl or glass with coconut gel.

 

Add several slices (I used half a banana) of banana or cooked plantain.
Add several slices (I used half a banana) of banana or cooked plantain.

 

Top with shaved ice.  Shaved ice is best, but if you are in a hurry, crushed ice from your fridge will work!
Top with shaved ice. Shaved ice is best, but if you are in a hurry, crushed ice from your fridge will work!

 

Drizzle top of ice with some evaporated milk (however much you want!) and condensed milk (adds yummy sweetness!).
Drizzle top of ice with some evaporated milk (however much you want!) and condensed milk (adds yummy sweetness!).

 

Top with scoops of mint chocolate chip ice cream and coconut ice cream.
Top with scoops of mint chocolate chip ice cream and coconut ice cream.

 

Pinipig (crushed young rice)  is usually used at this point, but I mixed some puffed rice cereal with a tiny amount of green food coloring.  It adds a nice crunch and textture to the halo-halo!
Pinipig (crushed young rice) is usually used at this point, but I mixed some puffed rice cereal with a tiny amount of green food coloring. It adds a nice crunch and textture to the halo-halo!

 

That’s it!  Many people like to start mixing the layers of ingredients before they start eating.  I tend to like to taste some of the ingredients individually before I dive in and turn it all into a shake!

Enjoy!

~Lani

 

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Add Some #DisneySide Flare to Your Party Menu

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Disclaimer:  I received free products in order to host a Disney Side @Home Celebration.  The opinions expressed here are my own.  Thank you to Disney Parks (Leanne Jakubowski, Jamie Longdon and the entire Disney Parks team!) and MomSelect (Maria Bailey!) for this wonderful opportunity!

This is my first in a series of blog posts on a recent #DisneySide @Home Celebration I hosted recently.  I am currently on “babywatch” status and am probably sitting here at 6 cm dilation as I type this!  But now, labor is progressing at a snail’s pace.  I think I need to call the Guiness Book of World Records, because I feel like I’ve been in labor for weeks with no end in sight!  So for now I’ll do what can keep me grounded…write about food.  HEHE!!!

I think food is a critical part of any party.  It is the center of nourishing your guests’ souls.  Breaking bread with one another is an important way to share your love for those who have taken the time to celebrate your special occasion.  Since I’m filipino, I first have to share how filipinos like to “break bread”:

With TONS of food!

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What was on the menu? Fried chicken, lechon, beef and broccoli, menudo, pansit, asian meatballs, hawaiian macaroni salad, kale salad, lumpia, roasted vegetables, and a vegetable tray!

 

We ordered the lumpia, pansit, and menudo from a local filipino restaurant, but made everything else ourselves.   This is how a standard filipino party throws down and I totally feel it screams #disneyside.  Why?  OVERINDULGENCE!!!

However, I wanted to share some of the ways I added a bit of Disney pixie dust to my menu.  I’m not a chef or baking extraordinaire, but I think it is easy to add some special touches to show your party guests that Disney magic is present as they eat!

One simple way I did this was through a basic Mickey Mouse Wilton cake pan I received with my DisneySide @Home Celebration kit.  You can find this and other Disney-themed cake pans at your local stores and craft stores.

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If I wasn’t so VERY pregnant and didn’t have a 2 year old running around my kitchen, I would have attempted to back a cake in it (the easy part for me!), and decorate it with icing (the impossibility for me).  I didn’t trust my decorating skills at this time, so here were my alternatives.

I filled it with rice krispy treats…and flipped the mold on a plate.  Voila!

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For during the party, I filled the ears, nose, and eyes with dark grapes and the rest with cut strawberries.

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Another way to add some Disney flare is to find themed-recipes and displays.  Of course you can find them on Pinterest!  Here’s my Pinterest board for throwing a DisneySide @Home Celebration that includes tons of food ideas, especially for a Mickey-themed or Disney Cars-themed party.  An easy low-maintenance display I made was a plate of Mater’s Tires (mini-chocolate donuts).

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For my son’s 2nd birthday cake, I made a Duff Goldman Tie-Dye cake (which was included in my DisneySide @Home Celebration kit!).  The cake is really festive, bright-colored, and super easy to make-totally ideal for showing your DisneySide!  I’m not too big on icing, so I made a pineapple whipped cream icing.  With the volume of people in my house and the hot temperature, the pictures of the cake left something to be desired and didn’t do the rave reviews on how delicious it was justice.  So I made it again in trifle form and will be posting the recipe to my Tie-Dye Pineapple Cream Cake this week!

If you are looking for tons of inspiring Disney=themed recipes, you must check out the Disney Side Celebrations site for party ideas, themes, printables, activities, and recipes!  Here are some of my favorites:

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Image from Disney Family

 

Having a Disney’s Frozen-themed party?  Try out Queen Elsa’s Sweet Snowflakes.  It’s a sweet lemony spin on flatbread!

Photo from Disney Family
Photo from Disney Family

 

Can’t you see these cute Donald’s Just Ducky Cupcakes at a little one’s birthday party or even a baby shower?!

 

Photo from Babble.com
Photo from Babble.com

 

Cinderella’s Carriage Dip is such an adorable way to get kids to eat their healthy veggies!

There are definitely tons more recipes on the site as well as throughout Pinterest-perfect for a Disney-themed celebration.  But you don’t have to throw together a party to add some Disney magic to your meals.  Why not make a Disney-themed family dinner!  i can see that as making getting through the week MUCH easier!

 

Enjoy!

~Lani

 

Disclaimer:  I received free products in order to host a Disney Side @Home Celebration.  The opinions expressed here are my own.  Thank you to Disney Parks (Leanne Jakubowski, Jamie Longdon and the entire Disney Parks team!) and MomSelect (Maria Bailey!) for this wonderful opportunity!

 

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Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

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I am not Hawaiian and I’ve never lived in Hawaii.  However, my parents were stationed there prior to my arrival and bestowed upon me the nickname “Lani”, which means “heavenly” in Hawaiian.  I’ve actually never gone by my real name and thus I’ve always been confused with being Hawaiian.  However, my mom did take some of her favorite influences from their time there and integrated them in our life.  This included the yummy Hawaiian macaroni salad!

If you’ve ever been to Hawaii or eaten a classic Hawaiian meal, macaroni salad tends to be an easy staple to include along with your roasted pork, poke, etc.  It’s actually quite simple and I grew up with this easy side dish, oftentimes at our family parties.  It is definitely different from common macaroni salads because of its distinct sweetness vs. sour qualities.  If you are looking for a new spin on macaroni salad that isn’t very expensive, here is my take on it!

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 box elbow macaroni
  • 2 cans of crushed pineapple (8 oz each)
  • 1/2 cup of chopped sweet pickles (I have a preference for Sweet Midgets!)
  • 1 cup of shredded carrots
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbs vinegar
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional add ins:  2 cans of tuna (for those who don’t have allergies!) or shredded chicken

1.  Boil elbow macaroni.  My mother usually boiled them until they were super soft, but if you prefer al dente, have at it!

2.  Chop sweet pickles, shred carrots, and grate onion directly over the cooked macaroni.  I like to grate the onion directly over the macaroni so that it catches all of the juices of the onion!

3.  Drain crushed pineapple and add to the macaroni.

4.  Make dressing:  combine mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, paprika, and salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Add to the macaroni.

5.  Combine thoroughly and put in fridge until ready to eat!   This macaroni salad can seem to taste better the longer you allow it to sit and marinate in the fridge!  However, it still tastes good immediately after making!

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As I said earlier, for me this salad tends to taste super delicious alongside roasted pork (as filipinos call it:  lechon).  I also like it alongside fish, fried chicken (or anything fried!), …okay, basically any delicious protein!  The macaroni and veggies are the base, but you can add tuna (my mom always did!) or shredded chicken.  Bring it to your next potluck, picnic, or spring/summer family dinner!

Enjoy!

~Lani

 

 

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