Saturday, February 21, 2015

Our Hike up the Koko Crater Railway Trail!

This hike was a beast!

My legs have never become so weak on a hike before.

Like by the time we were on our way back down I was starting to feel like a noodle haha.

The railway hike is an intimidating trail of stairs up the side of the crater. The rail way was used in World War 2 to deliver supplies to the bunkers at the top of the mountain.

Our view of the crater as we are walking up to the trail head. Yep- we are going to hike straight up the side of that.
How bad could it be?

 Beginning the ascent of our hike. It is like the ultimate stair master! So far so good.

Here is our view about 1/4 of the way up the trail. At this point there were several people starting to struggle. I was thinking "Woo! The heart rate is up. This is awesome!"

Oh how easy it was.

This is the super sketchy bridge that is about 1/2 way up the trail! It is over the top of a gulley (about 10 feet up) and as you can see it is rather steep. There is also a beehive that is at the top of the bridge to the left, so it is wise to keep to the right!
There is also a trail that bypasses this bridge, but I was feeling pretty adventurous.

Our view from the trail about 100 steps above the sketchy bridge (we had to stop for a break) that inlet over by the crater is Hanauma Bay. Amazing to see the same scenery from such different angles!

AAAh so steep! Almost to the top! We started losing a lot of people by now and my legs were burning like crazy. Some people started to take breaks every 10 stairs but we were over achievers and climbed about every 50-75. Quick break and press on!
The views from the top were so worth it. How beautiful! 

Luckily we had a pretty overcast hike (I imagine doing this in straight sun and heat would be death) but we definitely needed water with us and not behind in the car! Our descent from the top of the mountain went pretty quickly, but it was definitely steep and slippery with all the loose dirt. 

Tony taking on the sketchy bridge on the way down. I decided to try out the little side trail.
Its much faster and a nice little change up from the stairs!

I would definitely claim this as a success!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Rainy day at the barn!

Clara doesn't look all that ready to go for a ride. It's once again a pretty rainy and sleepy day you wouldnt have known it because these crazy things decided to get loose and take off down the beach! We had to chase them for a while and they're back to nap time.

Clara is napping!

Lehua and Blossom (Lehua is the one that doesn't like puddles!)

Horses tied at the tree for the afternoon

One of our mascot chickens.  He cruises around a lot.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Taste of Home Baked Chicken Chimichangas

Baked Chicken Chimichangas!

This is the epitome of our household- the perfect white girl turned mexican dish. 
Here is the original link for Taste of Home:

I made a few changes to the recipe in order to reduce calories and worried about how they were going to turn out but they ended up being just fine. 

Prepping the Chimichangas was very easy! Shred the chicken and chop the ingredients. I used a couple teaspoons of onion powder instead of chopped onion and I didn't use any oregano at all (not a fan of the taste!)

Fresh Baked from the oven! Perfectly browned and lightly crispy.

The sauce is where I started to get a little bit worried (one because I forgot I needed to make it) and the recipe calls for chicken bouillon granules. I was going to use chicken stock except I really didn't get much off of my chicken breast.

I was googling alternatives and happened to be steaming vegetables for a side. Apparently you can use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock, which brings down the calories by a lot, but made my sauce a little watery.
Vegetable stock

Instead of using half and half cream I used almond milk (another way to cut the calories down by a lot)
I added the 1/4 c. of flour and continued to stir it but the sauce wasn't gaining much consistency. I ended up stirring in about another 1/4 c. so that it wasn't so runny, but then I ran into the issue of the flour not completely dissolving. 

Nothing a trusty whisk can't handle!

The sauce with green chilies ended up being really tasty so I'm glad I didn't just default to salsa. Overall everything took about 40 min.
I would guess that the final calorie count of each chimichanga was about 330? (100 less than the original recipe) if you use almond milk and vegetable stock. 

Voila! I took the littlest piece and had my nice side of steamed green beans, carrots, and cauliflower. It was delicious and made plenty!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Taste of Home Pineapple Beef Stir Fry

Okay here is the link to the original recipe:

I thought that this dish was really pretty much delicious. The commissary is known to not have fantastic meat so I think that would have made a big difference. 

I was unable to find beef round steak, so I improvised and got small steaks (and they were boneless so I figure that worked.) This worked okay but it was more difficult to slice than what I would have liked.

The recipe says to marinate the meat for about 30 min in the refrigerator. This worked fine but I think it would have been super delicious if you do some prep and let it marinate over night.

I chopped all of the ingredients while it was marinating so that it would be quick and ready to go into stir fry. I didn't have fresh green beans and just used about half of a can (they still tasted great) and I think next time I would definitely add more green chilies. 
1 Tablespoon made us both go "There are chilies in this?"
So next time I'm cutting up a few more.

Also, I didn't want to go and buy cornstarch just for this meal so I used flour instead. (Use 2 tsp of flour as a substitute)
I ended up browning the meat a little longer, more like 7 minutes. Maybe this was a mistake but my meat didn't appear to be done by the time I was supposed to be removing it. I also poured out some juices, so make sure to really drain the marinade from the meat, because it got pretty bubbly and wild on the stove.

It went great over white rice but to make it more healthy I would definitely go with brown rice. Brown rice is more calorie friendly and this meal would be decently healthy- it's chock full of protein and paired with a fast burning carb (optimal for fat burning diet!)

Super delicious. Only took about 40 min total for prep, marinade, and cooking.

New Design!

As you all can see I have a new theme! The beauty of being new to blogging is I'm still trying to make my page better. I've changed my name from wanderinggrad to the first time house wife (though wandering grad still exists on hubpages with my travel articles)

I'm going to be adding some new page content- in addition to Tales from the Trail, Dog training, and Shit My Husband Does... I'm adding my cooking adventures, Health and Fitness, Paintings, Oahu, and probably more at some point. 

Everything I do around the house during the day!

How Exciting. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Project 2: My Eisel!

My Valentine's Day Present!

I was super excited for this- I love to paint but I left all of my painting supplies and eisel back home when I moved (moving to Hawaii is expensive enough and I didn't need one more thing) 

However I was beginning to have a crazy lunatic moment because I wasn't sure what to do with myself.
In order to make me feel a little more at home, and to practice yet another project as well as have an excuse to go to Home Depot, he made me my own eisel! 

The beginning stage.....

I got to practice a little bit of spray painting (hah. Not as easy as I thought) and then I decorated all the little fun bits. I pinterested several inspirational quotes that I painted all over the pieces of the eisel.

Nearly assembled!

I can adjust the height of the canvas using the clamp that slides up and down the frame for detailing the painting and for different canvas sizes.
And it folds up conveniently for storage.

Thanks babe I love it =)

Now I can get back to creating more fun projects! <3

Project 1: Pinterest Work Bench

Like any good handy man he needed a work space in the garage, which most importantly began with a work bench.

 He got inspired from Pinterest when he saw this:

And thus he built this:

None of my Pinterest attempts ever turn out that great!

The end spot is reserved for his table saw, which has been living at a friends house for a while. It has wheels on the bottom to be able to roll around easily. Pretty handy!

Tales from the Trail: Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day at the Polo Club!

I realized at work the other day that the only posts I ever write about involving the trail are related to crazy people and super difficult rides (in which I'm very behind on my story telling so they are coming a little out of order) So I thought I would share that my job is actually wonderful and very safe for people to ride!
I don't want to discourage anybody- just sharing some of the interesting situations we have to deal with as guides.

On that note! I wanted to share a few positive stories. Valentine's Day was quite fun. We were completely booked with couples that wanted to go on romantic rides on the beach. We even had a third guide come in so that everyone could go on private rides instead of being grouped together. The weather started off pretty terrible (we had a storm the night before that downed several trees and it was still raining) so we had a late start to the day. By two o'clock the sun came out and it was beautiful! 

The first couple I took was pretty cute. The guy was stationed on the Marine Base and had surprised his girlfriend with a ride on the beach. (She was very nervous but excited to try it. She couldn't figure out why he had taken her to the middle of nowhere) They were a cute giggly young couple.
My next couple had been married for several years and were still pretty obviously in love with each other. They both had riding experience so we were able to relax a little bit- they were excited to have been able to leave the kids behind, even though their poor 14 year old daughter called every ten minutes because she was babysitting the new baby.

Lehua (one of the horses) was a good sport but was pretty comical to everyone. She does not like to step in mud puddles (and there were many on the trail) so she did everything she could to go around them, even if it meant going through a bush or tree branches. I felt pretty bad for the riders getting pushed through the branches but they all laughed and thought it was pretty funny.

At the end of the rides everybody got some complimentary champagne and the couples hung out on the couches and talked or went down to the beach. In the mean time we rocked our evening feeding and were able to leave an hour early! (I was stoked because we had our own plans with the Cheesecake Factory. YUM)
It was a wonderful and relaxing day- not to mention I successfully have been able to ninja myself on to a couple of the shorter horses. (I refer to "ninja-ing" as a way to mount bareback. You grab the mane and jump, throw your right leg over, and hoist yourself up. I still can't do it with tall horses but I'm getting better!)

It was a happy valentine's day!