Farewell Play
August 17, 2010, 9:24 pm
Filed under: Life | Tags: , , ,

How is it that I have only less than one week here?

Things I will miss sorely about my island–wait, better yet, let me give you visuals:

My island

Tidepools at Makapu'u--best tidepools on Oahu

when you live here, this CAN be an everyday sighting

beautiful sunrises

Fragrant ginger flowers

the gorgeous sunsets

roads you'd want to run on

endless hiking trails


Our famed Diamond Head

And of course, the rainbows

I love this land.


somewhere over the rainbow
August 13, 2010, 12:32 am
Filed under: Running | Tags: , , , ,

morning view of south oahu atop Tantalus

I’ve been busy. Playing. Chasing rainbows. With less than two weeks before my five-year chapter of Hawaii living has to end, I’ve been doing not much but play, eat, play.

Playing includes running, of course. This past weekend, Ivy suggested that we run the 10-mile Tantalus–Round Top path as my farewell scenic run. It was a daunting five miles of relentless uphill running on Tantalus Drive followed by five miles of knee-crushing downhill on Round Top Drive. I admit I was a little apprehensive about the idea at first. Ascent of 1,415 ft over five miles is nothing to sneer at. We run some hills every week, but never in consecutive miles.

So we started at exactly 5:40 a.m. after stretching on the street lamp-lit road, a 60+ year old lady who was already finishing her morning walk said to us, “are you girls going to run the whole mountain? If you’re good runners, you’ll finish in about two hours.” Hence we good runners went on our ascending ways.

A clear view of Diamond Head midway up Tantalus

It was my first time running this route, Ivy’s first time in four or so years, so we took it slow and consistent at about an 11 minute mile pace. Even at times steep, the path was surprisingly not harsh on the legs. The air was cool, crisp, and moist, awakening every last bit of me that wanted to keep sleeping. And although it was raining, the vegetation along the route was so dense that we felt only the shadow of the rain.


Lined with ginger flowers, bamboos, and eucalyptus plants, Tantalus Drive gently exchange hands with Round Top Drive as we came to a plateau of about 500 meters. The descent came upon us before I knew we were running the next five miles. Running uphill can be difficult, but downhill running for a person with a bad knee like me is even more challenging. It’s like driving with one foot hovering the brakes at all times. It took a good mile before I found my rhythm, a pace and form that didn’t aggravate the still delicate knee. The descent was not nearly as pretty, and we started to have to yield to cars on windy turns. By then the sun had warmed up the air, evaporating the moistened clouds.

A look at my watch, we were already at 9 miles. Every good run has to come to an end. At 9.81 miles, we were back at our starting point clocking in right at 2 hours and 33 seconds. I guess we were, at least per our soothsayer’s words, good runners.

settled (for now) and cooking
August 2, 2010, 9:52 pm
Filed under: Cooking/Food | Tags: , ,

Cooking makes me feel at home, at ease. Tonight I’m cooking for the first time since moving into my friend’s place three nights ago. It makes me forget that I’m living out of a suitcase even if I am very comfortable here.

Chicken marsala over pasta = happy people.

chicken marsala

Chicken Marsala


  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 1 large head of shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 carton white mushroom, sliced
  • 3 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup marsala wine
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken stock
  • 5 slices thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped


Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Heat on high olive oil and 1 1/2 tbs of butter in a large pan. Wait until the bubbles subside, pan fry seasoned chicken breasts in batches until both sides are golden brown, flipping once. Set aside.

With the oil in pan, reduce heat to medium high, put in prosciutto, letting it fry up. Add in mushrooms, shallots and cook until brown and mushrooms start to give off juice, about 7-10 minutes. Salt and pepper mixture. Turn heat back to high, add in marsala wine. After a few seconds of letting the alcohol evaporate, add in chicken broth, letting mixture simmer for 5 minutes. Slide chicken breasts back in to reheat. Using slotted spoon, take out all ingredients onto serving platter, leaving sauce in pan. Let sauce simmer and reduce for another 10 minutes. Add in 2 tbsp butter right before turning heat off. Spoon sauce over chicken and mushrooms. Garnish flat leaf parsley over top. Serve over rice or flat pasta such as fettuccine or pappardelle.

**What I would do next time is to use boneless, skinless chicken thigh instead of breast. I would also thicken the sauce just a little bit with a roux. It’s probably not authentic, but I think I’ll like it better.