Love me a Luau!

I love my birthday, May 1st. For one, it falls on Hawaii’s “Lei Day” and it gives me a perfect reason to throw a luau. This was exactly how I wanted to celebrate with friends and family – lots of color, flowers and of course, a tropical feast of Hawaiian inspired eats.

Roughly 40 people came over to celebrate with me and it was just as much fun seeing familiar faces as it was to prepare (especially my birthday cake pictured above, shaped into an aloha shirt!) From the massive amounts of drinks, fabulous dinner spread, karaoke seranades, friendly smiles and warm hugs, this was definitely a birthday I’ll cherish forever. Here are some pics that were taken during the luau… and I hope to get more from those that were camera ready throughout the night. Mahalo friends!

Kalua Pineapple Pork

Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi
Pineapple Fried Rice

Macaroni Salad

Seafood Salad w/Crackers

Stir Fry Veggies

Chicken Teriyaki Wings

Seafood Combination Lo Mein

Chicken Mini Eggrolls

Rainbow Salad w/Miso Sesame Dressing

Mango & Raspberry Wonton Cups

Tropical Creamy Fruit Salad

My White Buttercream Cake:

Hawaiian Kickoff Dinner

I recently started a dining out group with a few local couples, where we meet twice a month to try out interesting cuisines in the city. Tonight was our first event and dined at Aloha Grill, Chicago’s only Hawaiian “plate lunch” destination.

Hawaiian food is influenced by several cultures: Japanese, Filipino and Korean, to name a few. A plate lunch is a classic Hawaiian meal composed of an entree or combination of entrees, served with rice and macaroni salad on the side. It is the de facto meal of choice in Hawaii, and best characterizes the blend of cuisine and culture found on the Islands.

Tonight I enjoyed a dinner of saimin (thin egg noodles) vegetable soup and a shrimp burger… It was a great marriage of soft and crunchy, hot and cold!

My husband enjoyed a distinctly Hawaiian plate lunch of Loco Moco, which is a uniquely seasoned hamburger patty, scrambled eggs, and brown gravy over a scoop of steamed rice and macaroni salad.

Soo ono, brah!

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