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Cooking Is My Hobby: Stuffed Bell Peppers

Hey there,

Long time no see! I bet everyone is waiting to see my surgery results, but these things take time people. In the mean time I have taken up a new hobby. One that I always joked about and one I never thought I would enjoy.


My good friend Lexi is one of best cooks in the world and every time we visit her and her husband in Seattle they always take us to the best restaurants to open our taste buds or Lex with make a fabulous meal. She is the one who got Michael to eat Brussels sprouts! She is a miracle worker I tell you. On Michael’s last visit to Seattle Lexi had given him a cook book for me. Since I have been having cabin fever and can’t move much I thought I’d catch up on some reading and that’s when it hit me. Let’s try this thing Lex loves so much and lets me see how many more vegetables I can sneak into Michael’s meals. Hehe! Because Michael and I are moving next week, my mom and I agreed that we would have dinner together every Monday night and we would try to make different things each time. Not only will it give us time to bond, It’ll give me more practice so I can blow my guests minds like Lexi does to us every time!

Before I broke into the real recipes I wanted to try something semi easy and something healthy that everyone would like. Stuffed bell peppers.

I tried my best to stick to the recipe but I had to change things up a bit because it felt a little to bland to me and I wanted something zesty and flavorful. The recipe I found was from Food Network


The recipe asks for:

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First things first, start your oven and let it heat to 350 before you do anything. Since I am not an expert I almost forgot that part. Now on to the recipe!

Instead of using different colored peppers like the ingredients suggested, I just used green, but for next time I will definitely  be using all colors, I think that would of added more flavor. The first thing I did was cut the bell pepper tops on off and scooped out all the insides until I could get it as empty as possible. After I did that, I just set them aside while I prepared the other things.

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On another cutting board I took some small peppers about 6 (All colors, Red Yellow, Orange) and thinly sliced them. I then took a full zucchini and thinly diced it. I took about 1/4 onion and diced as finely as I could without burning my eyes.

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Once the veggies were all cut, in a medium sized skillet I added 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sautéed all the veggies together until they were soft (5-6 minutes) I added seasonal salt, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, regular salt, and black cracked pepper. Toward my last minute of sautéing I crushed some garlic on the veggies just to add a little more flavor and added one whole Roma tomato. While those cooked I moved on to the ground beef.

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I took a pot and added half of the ground beef I had bought and seasoned the shit out of it. I added garlic salt, more cayenne, chicken beer seasoning, more seasonal salt, and more cracked black pepper.

Once the meat was all cooked I started on the rice part. I am not a fan of regular rice so I opted out and used Near East roasted red bell pepper and basil quinoa mix. I think this really put this recipe together because it added more crunch and way more flavor.

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Now moving onto the fun part. I took a regular wooden spoon, filled the bottom of the green pepper with quinoa, then ground beef, then topped it with the sautéed veggies. To really give these peppers a kick I added shredded pepper jack cheese like the recipe asked for and man did that make those peppers pop! Once all the peppers were filled and topped with cheese I placed them in a glass cake pan and placed them in the oven that was heated at 350 degrees prior. The last step is to let them bake for 20-30 minutes and wa-la!

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Level of recipe: EASY

Taste: Very good!

Time: 35-40 minutes

The thing I liked about this easy recipe is that they are even good as left overs and I typically don’t usually eat left overs. Just because I feel like food really does lose it’s great taste after a day. I know! I’m so high maintenance.

I encourage you to be adventurous and try this recipe if you already haven’t and don’t be afraid to get creative and satisfy your tastebuds!  Let them speak to you and add whatever you want! Cooking is a playground, so explore!





Honeymoonin’ With The Estrada’s

It’s official guys… Honeymoon is over.

Good news is, now I have all the time in the world to share all my precious memories with you.

Because I am completely obsessed with food, I thought I would put together and little scrapbook of all the places I went and all the places you should go to if you ever visit Maui. Thanks to our good friend Debbie, we didn’t have to do too much searching; she pretty much gave us the perfect go to list of places we must visit and thanks to her my tummy was very satisfied!

Love you Mama Deb! ♥

The first place we ate at in Maui was CJ’s Deli. We were starving after a long day of zip lining and we thought that was one of Debbie’s suggestions but turns out we were wrong. But good news is, it was delicious!

I got a nice, huge, juicy burger that was so good that I absolutely could not finish it. I wanted to, but there simply just wasn’t enough room in there.

The next place we went to that was actaully on Debbies to do list was Leoda’s. This is probably one of the first restaurants you see heading to all the resorts toward Lahaina and Kaanapali.

This rustic food spot stands by itself with an exception of a shaved ice place next-door. This had to be our favorite place because we went back at least 3 or 4 times through out our trip. When you walk in you are greeted with wooden bar tables to your right and a mini dining area to your left. You order at the cashier and within minutes you get the best chicken n’ waffles and the best coconut creme pie you could ever ask for.


Leoda’s is  known for there delicious pies, so you know I had to try them all. Key lime, coconut creme, banana creme, apple and chocolate praline. Yum! Leoda’s has every thing from dessert to dinner but breakfast and mini pies were what I mainly went there for.

The next restaurant on Mama Deb’s list was Gazebo. That should of been #1 on the list of to-do’s because that place was the BOMB! Gazebo will always be my favorite breakfast place on the island. Gazebo is located near Napili Shores. The restaurant is within a small hotel/condo complex right near the ocean. The view is breath taking. According to everyone who has been to Gazebo, be prepared to wait. Fortunately for Michael and I our longest wait time was 10 minutes but it could be up to and hour or two.  This place was better than Bill’s cafe, but considering I hate Bills and love John’s Cafe in Willow Glen. Unfortunately John, Gazebo officially surpassed you!


While in Maui Michael and I were craving a cheesy omelette so Michael got the Portuguese omelette and I decided on the Denver Omelette which I usually get at Bill’s or John’s Cafe. Not only was this omelette made in five point two seconds, the ingredients were so fresh. The sour dough toast actually tasted like real sour dough unlike Bill’s and the potatoes were flavorful and soft. The coffee was decent and for the price you pay you get a large amount. Service was quick and the staff was extremely friendly and funny. If you go and the ladies offer you spicy mustard, say yes…regardless if you like mustard!

Another restaurant we came across by complete accident was a little hole in the wall called Kula Bistro. The reason we chose this place was because it was literally the only place to eat in the town of Kula.


Super glad we were in the middle of no where at the time because this was the best Italian food I have ever had in my life. Who would of thought the best Italian food would be in Kula, Maui.

We started off with some bruschetta that was probably the most tastiest thing I have ever eaten on this planet. The bread to the bruschetta was baked to perfection. It wasn’t too soft and it wasn’t to crunchy. The tomato toppings bursted with flavor with every bite and the balsamic glaze was the perfect topping. For our main course we had chicken parm and vegetable pesto penne. I am not usually a fan of pesto but this pasta was covered in grilled bell peppers and zucchini with noodles that couldn’t be cooked better. If I ever go back to this desolate town, my first stop will be here.


One other place we stopped at for an early lunch was Cast Away Cafe. This too was located within a hotel/condo complex. The patio area we sat at over looked the beach. You could see swimmers and boats docked while the wind blew. It was a great way to spend the afternoon.

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That morning I was craving fruit so the first thing I ordered was fruit in a pineapple. This particular afternoon treat came with cinnamon sour cream which I have never had before, but it was delicious and really hit the spot.

For my main meal I was feeling another burger, so I just got a regular cheese burger with seasoned garlic fries. As you can tell from the photo the presentation of this meal was superb!

Thinking back on all the amazing food I tasted and places I visited on this island really makes me miss it, but I know it won’t be long until I visit again.

If and when you travel to Maui, don’t forget to grab a bite at these few places. Your stomach with thank you and you’ll always have an excuse to go back.


Millie Estrada


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5 Trends That Are Kickin’ It Old School

2016 is all about new trends. Well, technically they are old trends that have reinstated themselves. They are the new and improved and they are coming back with a vengeance. These are 5 trends that are kickin’ it old school. There are few trends I just can’t seem to get used to quite yet, like the bomber jacket or asian themed embroidered clothing; but there are a few I fell back in love with just like when they first appeared in the fashion world.



Platforms have become one of my new obsessions. They are extremely fashionable and can be more on the comfortable side compared to heels. I am really loving the white bottom platforms, I feel as if they give your outfits a little “pop” of spunk and a true 90’s feel. I have seen so many platform shoes emerge this season and I hope this trend sticks around, not only because it adorable but because they make my feet a whole lot happier than six inch heels.

Distressed Denim

This trend is my number one go to. If we are close friends, you know I am obsessed with distressed denim. You already know I have over a hundred pairs puking out of my jean drawer. Honestly, I can’t get enough of ripped/frayed jeans. I think distressed denim is so classic and can either make your outfits relaxed or snazzy enough for date night. I feel it’s hard to find a great pair of distressed denim these days, but when you find them I bet they last you life a time and are one of your favorite pairs. Ripped jeans are timeless and will never go out of style.


Another trend that I have been seeing for the past few months is the choker necklace. The last time I wore a choker was in my 4th grade school photo. Every time I look back at that photo, I always ask myself, “What was I thinking?!” but in 2016, it’s a new generation for the choker. It’s back and it is hotter than ever! You can find these chokers anywhere and everywhere in every color and any style. Velvet, metallic, suede, you name it! I purchased mine from Tilly’s.

Faux Fur Vests

img_0942This is one more trend that I couldn’t wrap my head around at first, but soon after I fell in love with it. I remember when I was fifteen years old, my mom walked out of her room with this hideous purple and grey fur vest. She was so happy and couldn’t help but show it off.  I couldn’t believe she would ever purchase such a hideous piece of clothing, I was embarrassed for her. After showing my distaste for her vest,  she explained to me that it was an old vest that she saved from back in the day. She said she saved it because she knew this style would come back and she’d be ready for it. I’ll never forget telling her “Believe me, that style will never come back.” But here I am, rocking a faux fur vest. Sorry mom, you were right. I wonder if she’ll be me borrow that vest?

Button Up Mini Skirts 

img_0951More trends that have risen from grave, are the 70’s button up mini skirt. You may have seen them around, they come in every color and a variety of fabrics, and are the newest fashion. They are easy to dress up, and even dress down. Again, I was a little hesitant about this old tend that has come back, but once I tried one on, I could see why everyone loves them so much.

With all these past generation trends coming back, I feel as if anything is subject to come back! Who knows what the future holds, but all I know is that 2016 was a good fashion year. Can’t wait to see what next years trends hold for us fashion obsessors.