Happiness Project Recipe#58: Hawaiian Roll Tuna Cheese Sandwich!

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Calling all sandwich fans! Did you know that April is National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month?? I sure didn’t. It was only after I was browsing through one of my Mommy friend’s blogs that I was tuned into this delectable celebration. Thanks be for my ever widening blogging network! Filling up the Cadiz household, one cupboard and 3 tummies at a time!

So naturally, since so many other recipe masters are doing it, so must I! Ha! Herd mentality in this instance is perfectly acceptable, right? Because who on earth does NOT like a good grilled cheese sandwich?? No one I know, for sure.

Ready for one of the easiest & quickest little finger sandwiches you’ve possibly ever beheld? With my husband’s all-time favorite indulgence: the wonderful (but highly addictive) Hawaiian Bread Roll? You got it!

(2) 6oz cans of chunky white tuna, drained

1/2 cup mayonnaise

(1) pack of 8 Hawaiian Bread Rolls, sliced in half

3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (Tilomock if you want the best)

Firstly, in a medium sized mixing bowl, add in the white tuna chunks and mayonnaise, stirring until fully combined.

Line up each sliced bread roll and spread on a nice sized dollop of the tuna mixture. Followed, by a large heaping of shredded cheese.

Close up each filled roll, and set up to 4 of them at a time, onto a long square piece of aluminum foil.

Set your toaster oven to the “Toast” setting and transfer the rolls to the oven, to crisp up for 2-3 minutes. The correct toast setting for these is all up to personal preference. I personally like these a well browned on the top and bottom of each roll.

And that’s it! Easy peasey! And the perfect size to nibble on in the afternoon. Especially with little toddler hands nearby. Or in my case, a hungry husband.

I’m eager to know what are your own favorite grilled cheese recipes? Share a link below, if you’re so inclined =)

Happy National Grilled Cheese Month, my friends!

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The Liebster Award 2015! Thank you!

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Awe! Just a couple of days ago, I was nominated for the Liebster Award by fellow Mommy blogger, Kristi at mustbeamomblog.com! Which was incredibly sweet of her! An award that I am completely honored to accept, considering how casual I am about my recipe posts. Point in case? Most of my Mommy blogging friends post new entries once or twice a week! Which I most definitely do not, due to a whole slew of time and health related reasonings. So knowing that a Mommy blogger out there in this vast, complex blogging world of ours, considered me for such an honor, kinda floors me. And tinkles me pink! So thank you so very much, Kristi!

For those of you who are as casual or new to the blogging world as I am, The Liebster Award is a Blogging Award for new bloggers, of any genre, who have less than 1k followers, who the presenter would like to recognize and support. And it’s pretty awesome, if I say so myself. What a truly lovely way to find, explore and create like-minded blogging friendships!

When nominated there are 6 things to do:
1- Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you with a link to their blog.
2- Post the Liebster Award badge on your blog.
3- Write 11 facts about yourself.
4- Nominate 5+ bloggers (with fewer than 1,000 followers) who you feel deserve the award.
5- Answer the 11 questions posted by the presenter.
6- Write 11 questions for your nominees.

For those readers here who have just recently been introduced to my blog, here are 11 little tid bits about myself:

1. I’m a word person, at heart. I’d rather have a written conversation between a friend or family member than a verbal one. There’s something magical & incredibly authentic about the way a person shares oneself through the written word. That’s nothing at all like the verbal one.

2. I love being alone, more often than not. Now granted being alone to me is REALLY being alone with my entire family of 6 (4 of whom are not human) but still. My Family is my solace and my reprieve and I rarely feel the need to ask for anything more.

3. Before I went to Pastry School, and well before I became a Mother, I was a children’s literature specialist of 17 years. It was my world and nearly everything else revolved around it. To this day, even though I no longer work within the book industry, nearly 95% of all I read (when I have the time) is still children’s lit. Nothing else gets my heart like that of a children’s novel. There’s nothing else nearly as transcending. You can take the bookstore out of the girl but never the love out the book nerd.

4. Before I underwent my hysterectomy 6 months post birth, and was thrown into full menopause, I was an avid collect of scarves. Scarves were my THING. And even though I’m not able to wear any of them anymore (hot flashes, my friends), I still hold much fondness for my well loved collection, and display them with much enthusiasm.

5. I have a classic Winnie the Pooh stuffed bear who is now nearly 20 years old. Who I still occasionally hug at night, when I’m feeling sad or alone. Not ashamed to admit this at all.

6. Give me a good cup of white chocolate mocha and I will quite possibly be your friend forever. Seriously. It doesn’t take much to make me happy.

7. Even though my little Family is planning on moving to Maui within the next two years, I’m not a water person. In fact, I’m actually rather terrified of vast expanses of water. You know, like an entire ocean of water. In which a tiny little island like Maui sits. Why? Tsunamis. Tsunamis, people.

8. My three closest, best friends are my Mom and two sisters. My Family & I are very close, no matter how different each of us may be, and it’s because of this closeness & combined strength that I’ve braved my way through so many trials and hardships. They are my rock and my shelter. And a blessing unlike any other this world could give. Friends come and go. But Family is forever.

9. I’m a certifiable FB addict. And, no, it doesn’t bother me that I am. Not one bit.

10. I’m pretty hard core about my beliefs about how I parent. I believe in play, free play, for as long as possible for my daughter, and generally let her do anything that she wants within reason. I also believe that no one other than my husband (& sometimes my in-laws) have the right to say anything about the way I parent. I see far too many parents out there in the public thinking that it’s perfectly okay to look at another parent in a disapproving manner. Which I think is entirely disheartening and quite honestly, rather rude. Every parent parents in their own way, and has every right to do what is best for their own child. No matter what anyone else thinks.

11. My Life’s Motto: Just when the Caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a Butterfly.

Questions from Kristi

1. What got you interested in blogging?

While I was working part time at a local bookstore, I decided to go to Pastry School for 3 months. Not long after I had completed my 3 month course, I found that kitchen wizardry was a growing, driving passion of mine, as well as therapy for battling depression and endometriosis pain. Which soon became a recipe blog for all of my friends and family. And has now become a joyful monthly adventure of mine, chronicling the many beautiful experiences that I have found within motherhood.

2.What celebrity would you love to have over for dinner? Why?

The Dahli Lama, who is the true reincarnation of grace, wisdom and selflessness.

3. What is your biggest accomplishment in life up to this point?

Being a Mother and overcoming the many, many obstacles to become one. When my Husband and I first started trying to become pregnant back in 2011, we knew that because of my history with tumors and the severity of my endometriosis pain, the chance to conceive naturally was very slim. In many ways, I chose to put my own physically well being at risk for the chance to become pregnant, no matter the pain and depression I battled my way through. My Daughter was the goal. Nearly 2 years later, right when I had finally conceded in scheduling the unavoidable full hysterectomy, I found out that I was pregnant. Our Miracle became reality. And my Daughter was worth all of it.

4. What is your favorite travel destination? Why?

Maui. As soon as I stepped off of that plane, my heart felt like I had found my true place. My true home. My husband and I are now planning on moving our family of 6 to the island within the next two years. In our 11 years together, we’ve always known that we were not meant to be in the Bay Area and visiting Maui earlier this month, confirmed this sentiment of ours.

5. What blog post are you the most proud of so far?

My Daughter’s Pink Lemonade Birthday Cupcakes. Which represents so much of my Daughter’s bubbly, affectionate, feisty personality.

6. Where do you get your blog inspiration?

Pain and depression and the need to share my story.

7. What is your favorite childhood past time?

Reading. My twin sister and I were true, stereotypical bookworms while growing up. Wherever we were, there was sure to be a book or two in hand.

8. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

My anxieties. Sometimes I live in my head far too much. Which always (always) eventually come out screaming. Which I’m fairly certain, drives my Husband batty at times.

9. Best song on the radio right now?

My favorite two songs are Geronimo by Sheppard, and Conqueror by Estelle and Jussie Smollett. Geronimo gets me dancing. Conqueror keeps me fighting my through my many current physical struggles.

10.Other than writing do you consider yourself creative?

I do. Growing up I loved writing, singing, drawing and now, creating cakes & cupcakes for my pastry business.

11.What is the one adjective that best describes you?

Courageous.

And now to my Liebster Award Nominees! I am so very happy to have run across your blogs and love reading through so many of your posts (when I have the time, that is).

For those who I have nominated, here are my questions to you:

QUESTIONS TO MY NOMINEES:

1. What inspired the creation of your blog?
2. If you could send a letter of advice to yourself back when you were in grade school, what would that advice be?
3. If you were able to choose any dream career, what would it be and why?
4. What is your favorite blog post?
5. If you had an opportunity to sit down to dinner with any important figure within your generation, who would it be? What would you say?
6. What is your all-time favorite novel?
7. What is your favorite word and why?
8. If you could create your own charity, what would it be and who would it benefit?
9. What is your favorite time of day; morning, afternoon or evening?
10. What is the one adjective that best describes you?
11. If you were known for one thing in your lifetime, what would you most like to be known for?

Bloggers who I LOVE following and would like to nominate are:

oddlylovely.com (my favorite lifestyle blogger!)

jenkellerart.blogspot.com (a mommy friend of mine who is an incredibly talented illustrator!)

monkeygal2.blogspot.com (one of the wisest women I have ever met!)

socutephoto.com (a lovely up & coming family photographer who I’ve worked with!)

accidentalhappybaker.com (such wonderful personality!)

thejoyblog.net (this lady is doing something remarkable!)

booksinckidsblog (children’s lit reviews, author interviews, new scheduled releases and much more!)

Thank you so very much for the nomination, Kristi!

Happiness Project#57: Aloha Lemonade!

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One word. Maui. I can’t say enough of how dearly I adore Maui. Thanks to catering a friend’s STUNNING wedding, my Husband, Daughter & I were able to take our very first Family Vacation! And it was beyond just perfect. Starting from the very beginning, due to all of my not-so-lovely menopause symptoms, I truly believed that I was going to be MISERABLE. Because, let’s face it, heat AND humidity?? Save me. However, despite preconceived notions, something happened as soon as I stepped off that plane. Something magical. I fell in love. Within my heart and my soul. Nearly instantaneously. Which is, well, kinda miraculous for me. The me who had been 100% positive that the only place I would ever feel truly comfortable and happy in, was somewhere high up in the mountains, surrounded by the towering trees and looming stars and winter snow. Yet, somehow, against all of the odds, Maui happened. Truth happened. Where amid the sweeping beaches, and endless blue skies and the unfathomable sea, everything clicked. And I knew, without a shadow of doubt, that this island was where my Little Family was meant to be. No more of the rushing and business and bleakness of the Bay Area. No. More. No more for this Family of mine.

7 days later, while driving back to the airport, amid the flashing blues and greens surrounding us, I looked over to my very quiet Husband and saw something that I’ve only seen on 4 other occasions within our nearly 11 years together. Tears. Tears over leaving an island that felt like our true HOME. And since we’ve been back in the Bay Area for nearly a week now, we’ve already decided that we’re ready to move back to this island. To start over. To be where the both of us left a huge chunk of our heart and soul. The plan? 1 year. In 1 year we will leave this horrible place of TOO much of everything and go HOME. To Maui. To TRUTH. To US.

So to celebrate our 1st Family Vacation and destined move, I wanted to try to replicate one of the island’s famous drinks: Maui’s Blackberry Lemonade! Which is beyond DELICIOUS! Truly! Which you MUST try! Because, yes, it is THAT good! You ready for some Island BLISS? Let’s GO! You’ll need…

2 cups fresh blackberries

Simple Syrup (recipe to follow)

2 cups fresh lemon juice

2 cups cold water

Firstly, to create the Simple Syrup, bring 1-1/2 cups of granulated sugar and 1-1/2 cups cold water to a boil, in a large pot. Stir until fully dissolved. Remove and let cool for a few minutes.

With the two cups fresh blackberries, using a small blender, liquify the blackberries until smooth and fully crushed.

In a pitcher or refrigerated container, combine the Simple Syrup and liquified blackberries with two cups fresh lemon juice and 2 cups cold water. Stir the entire blend together for a few minutes before adding in a couple of ice cubes. AND serve!

SO easy! And SO DELICIOUS!

Now you too, can taste a little bit of Aloha!

Thank you, Meghan & Travis for inviting my Little Family to your STUNNING special day! Thanks to you, we have found our home and I can’t express enough of how dearly this means to us! We love you! xoxo

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