More Crafting!

I like to change out my front door décor from time to time and went looking in my storage cabinet for something Summer-y.

I pulled this one out

https://mykitcheninthemiddleofthedesert.wordpress.com/2018/08/18/it-was-craft-day/

… but alas, the little paper umbrellas were goners!  I just so happen to have MORE of those Cocktail Parasols, so a-crafting we shall go!

 

 

GET CRAFTING!!

Homemade No Knead Crusty White Bread

Since the World fell off it’s axis back in, what was it March, I think, anyways … since then, it has been nearly impossible to find Dry Active or Instant Yeast, let alone any Wheat Flour!

WELL!

I may have made mention that my Pal Carolyn from up the street a ways, gifted me some Yeast and I did find two 5 pound bags of All-Purpose Flour, YAY!!

 

 

I already made one batch of No Knead Dutch Oven Bread with the recipe that Carolyn gave me, adapted for High Altitude, now let’s make KAF No Knead Crusty White Bread, shall we?

 

 

This recipe made me 4 decent sized baguettes, not bad.  But oops, can you see the two loaves to the left there?  I didn’t make deep enough slashes in the dough prior to baking round one on my Baking Stone.

 

 

But look how gorgeous this came out!  I’m very pleased with the results.

 

 

YUM!

 

 

I shared three of the loaves with the Neighbors, along with a jar of homemade Fresh Strawberry Jam that I tried my hand at.  I mean what goes better with Bread than Jam and Butter?

Share your food everyone.

 

Happy Fourth Of July!

I wanted to change out our ‘wreath’ on our front window to something along the lines of The 4th of July themed …

 

 

I think this came out GREAT!

It’s dead simple too …

I just got myself a piece of corrugated cardboard, cut it into a 8″ X 8″ square

Heated up my Glue Gun

Glued down 5 pairs of inexpensive slippers (or as you may call them Flip Flops) from Dollar Tree

and lastly I hung it on the window out front with a loop of Floral Wire, stuck through the cardboard.

 

I hope that you and yours have a happy and safe Fourth Of July!

Chicken Marsala, My Way

I’m doing another re-post from March 12, 2017 this time.

I made this recipe last night for Sunday Supper (I like to have Pasta on Sundays 😉 ) and I realized something about this recipe… the ‘sauce’ part it it is so dang delicious, I am going to say that we need MORE!  So please see some adjustments to this recipe if you’ve already printed this one out and tried it at home.

 

Chicken Marsala is one of my favorite dishes not only to make but to eat as well.  I’ve tried several different recipes and have mashed together my own version.

 

Auntie Doni’s Chicken Marsala

serves 2 very hungry people

 

2 boneless-skinless Chicken Thighs (or Breasts), diced into bite sized pieces

1/4 C. Flour

1/2 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Pepper

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

10 oz. Crimini Mushrooms (Baby Bellas), diced

1/2 of small White Onion, diced fine

1 Garlic Clove, mined

3/4 C. Dry Marsala Wine

1 1/4 C. Chicken Broth

2 Tbsp. Butter, cold

In a large pan, heat the oil; sauté the Mushrooms until nicely brown, remove to a bowl.  Add more oil, if needed and sweat the White Onions until translucent; add the Garlic and sauté until fragrant, transfer to the bowl with the Mushrooms and set aside.

Toss the Chicken in the flour, salt and pepper, shake off any excess.  Add more oil to the pan if needed and brown the Chicken, about 3-5 minutes per side; transfer to a plate and set that aside as well.  Add the Wine to the pan and scrape up the nice brown bits in the pan and bring to a bubble.  Pour in the broth, add back in the Mushrooms, Onions and Garlic, stir well and simmer for a few minutes; add back in the Chicken, stir to combine it all and continue simmering until the sauce starts to thicken, about 5 minutes.  Add that cold Butter and swirl the pan around to melt and incorporate it into the sauce.   The sauce will thicken further, but don’t let it reduce too far.

Serve over Pasta, Rice, Polenta or even mashed Potatoes.  Garnish with some chopped Parsley and grated Cheese.

ENJOY!

 

Another Kitchen Fail, S#|! Happens Sometimes

No really, stuff happens in the kitchen sometimes, you just can’t help it!  Ya gotta just roll with it and go with Plan B, always have a back plan.

The other morning I needed to get myself out the door to meet some gal-pals and wanted to put together an easy Brunch for DH.  I went with Costco Croissant Breakfast Sandwiches, simple enough.  I asked DH if he would like to have the Croissants toasted, “Sure”.

 

 

DANG IT!

I set them ON FIRE!

 

 

I’m still not use to this Gas Range and the Broiler, OH WELL.  DH did finally get something to eat.

Meyer Lemon Curd, YUM!

I’m going to post another throwback blog post.  The reason for this is I had made a batch of my Meyer Lemon Curd with the intent to use as a filling to either Lemon Bars or Pie, but things got away from me, so I stashed it in a gallon sized zip-top bag full in the freezer for later.

 

 

We’ve been invited to many Cocktail Parties in our Neighborhood since going into SIP Mode, sitting outdoors and maintaining our Social Distance, of course.

I was trying to dream up a Hostess Gift idea, and came up with this!

 

 

I just snipped a decent sized hole in the corner of the zip-bag and piped the Curd into a cleaned and sterilized half pint Mason Jar.  The frozen Curd was still quite malleable, but do be sure that you get as many of the air bubbles out with a plastic knife before sealing the jar.  The label I made myself on my laptop, printed that out, used some Craft Glue, Clear Wrap and some leftover ribbon that I have stashed away.  I added my Calling Card for our new Neighbor who invited a bunch of us over the other evening, and …

BAM!

Food As Gifts!

 

March 25, 2014

Years back, I use to watch Martha Stewart’s television programs and then, well you know, things happened.  One particular episode, I recall her making Lemon Curd and I thought that someday I’d try that.

My darling husband goes nuts for Lemon Meringue Pie and don’t ya know, that’s what’s in the middle of it (shhh, please don’t tell him that, he claims to HATE curd, “that sounds gross”).

I found some more Meyer Lemons of all places, at Walmart, so here goes.

Auntie’s Meyer Lemon Pie Filling

12 Egg Yolks (freeze the whites in two separate containers for later use, like frosting for a cake)

2 C granulated Sugar

6 Meyer Lemons, juiced (approx. 1 C of juice, no seeds please)

2 sticks of Butter, diced

Zest from the Meyer Lemons

This recipe makes approximately 2 pints.

In a metal or glass bowl (heat-proof), whisk the egg yolks and sugar.  Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, making sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.  Pour in the juice and stir continually with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon for about 10-15 minutes, until the mixture thickens.  Make sure not to allow the mixture to boil.  Add the butter and stir until melted and well incorporated.  Whisk in the reserved zest.

Carefully pour the curd into sterilized jars, best to use half pints or smaller mason jars, leaving ½ inch of head space.  With a damp paper towel, wipe the rim of the jars and seal with the lids and rings.

If you would like to ‘put up’ your bounty for later consumption, process them in boiling water for 20 minutes, allow to cool overnight and store for up to one year (if they last that long).

Should you not feel so inclined to ‘can’ your curd, simply cool and then refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

I gotta tell ya, the smell in the house was heavenly.  I got 4 half pint jars and then half of a 5th jar that I stashed in the `fridge for toast the next morning.  Not shown here was a huge dollop of Meyer Lemon Curd in my yogurt the following morning.

 

** Edit-2/2017- I was reading about dairy based canning recently; It is now recommended that instead of using the Water Bath method, Pressure Canning or Freezing is the preferred technique. **

Spam, Spam, Spam and Spam

I posted this article back in April of 2013.  Here we are, about the same time SEVEN years later in the middle of a SIP Mode, and I’ve been needing to come up with more meal ideas than usual 🙂

So, I’ve been using my blog as a resource for different dishes to make with what I have on hand.  I’ve always got at least one can of Spam® in my pantry!

 

Spam is a wonderful thing, I’m talking about the canned meat, not that junk in your email box. In Hawaii, we make something called Spam Musubi (moo-sue-bee), it’s something like sushi I guess you could say.

I knew that Spam became very popular there during World War II, as well as much of the Pacific. The USArmy found that it was the most effect way to get meat to the soldiers.

I did a Google search on Spam and was simply fascinated. I won’t do any lengthy copy&paste for you, I’ll just hyperlink the Wikipedia article for you to read. One fact I do want to point out to you though, in the United States, Hawaii residents consume the most Spam per capita. Do I still count?

Teriyaki Spam Musubi

5 ½ – 6 cups cooked medium grain white Rice

1 can Spam, sliced equally into 8 pieces

2 sheets of Musubi Nori

Sauce:

¼ cup Brown Sugar

½ cup Soy Sauce (I love low sodium Aloha Shoyu)

1 Garlic clove, smashed

Steam the rice and allow to cool down enough to handle, but still warm.

In a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients until the sugar dissolves, set aside.

In a dry skillet, brown the Spam well; set aside. Wipe out the pan, add in the sauce and bring to a bubble; add back in the spam, turning occasionally, until sauce thickens.

Time to assemble!

Place a piece a plastic wrap over a board. Cut each sheet of Nori in 4 equal pieces, there should be perforations to follow on the sheets. Place a piece of Nori shiny side down on the plastic and the Musubi form over the middle of it.

Fill the form with rice; press down very firmly with the top piece of the form that has been moistened with water.  While still holding down the handle of the top, carefully remove the form and top piece.

Place a slice of Spam over the rice; wrap the Nori tightly over the Spam and rice, damping the last edge with water to ensure it sticks to itself.

Wrap tightly in the plastic wrap and set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes, this softens the Nori a bit and makes much more pleasant to eat.

Unwrap and enjoy a little piece of Hawaii, preferable at the beach!  Back home, these yummy treats are enjoyed anytime of day or night.  They can be found just about anywhere, even at gas stations.

ALOHA!

Speaking Of Homemade Bread …

One of the Neighborhood Gals recently gave me a loaf of her most delicious Homemade Bread! I asked her for the recipe and she very generously not only printed that out for me but also gave me some sorely needed Active Dry Yeast!
Have you tried to find Yeast in the markets lately? 

JEEZ!

Now that we live at almost 5000 feet in elevation, you need to make adjustments to baked goods. My pal was kind enough to even add those instructions!

Carolyn’s No Knead Dutch Oven Bread

makes one 1 1/1 pound loaf

1/4 tsp. Active Dry Yeast
1 1/2 C. warm Water
3 C. All Purpose Flour (plus more for dusting)
1 1/2 tsp. Salt

In a large bowl add the Water and Yeast, stir to dissolve.
Add in the Flour and Salt and stir until well blended.
This is a VERY sticky dough, don’t worry.

I used this, a Dough Whisk, also referred to as a “Danish dough whisk” or “brodpisker”.  It worked like a charm on this wet, sticky dough!

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or as I used a Shower Cap that I sprayed with Vegetable Oil. Let rise in a warm place for at least 8 hours or up 18.

Turn the dough out on to a floured work surface; using a bench scrape, I gently turned the dough into itself a coupla times, covered it loosely with plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Generously Flour a Tea Towel. Using your Bench scraper and enough Flour so that the dough doesn’t stick to everything, shape the dough into a ball and place it seam side down on the Tea Towel. Cover with another Towel and let rise for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.

At least 20 minutes before the dough is ready to go into the oven, heat the oven to 475° with a heavy covered 6-8 quart Dutch Oven in it, either Cast Iron, Enamel, Pyrex or Ceramic. I had cut a piece of Parchment Paper to fit prior to doing so, just to make the transfer of the dough ball to the pot easier.
Once ready, carefully remove the Dutch Oven from the oven and remove the lid. Gently slide your hand under the Tea Towel and with that Parchment Paper on the top of the loaf, turn everything over so as the seam side is now on top. Place the Parchment Paper filled with the dough into the Dutch Oven and give it a shake to distribute the dough.
Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove the lid and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until gorgeously brown.

Remove the Bread to a rack and cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.

** For elevations above 3000 feet use:
3 1/4 C. All Purpose Flour
2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Active Dry Yeast
1 3/4 C. warm Water

and follow instructions as above.

When I took the Bread out of the Oven, I turned it over and tapped with my knuckle on the bottom of the Loaf, it had a wonderful “hallow” sound to it, saying that it was perfectly baked.  Also, as it was cooling, you could hear some lovely, tiny crackling sounds, the sure sign of nicely crisped crust on the outside… YUM!!

Let’s Make Some Bread!

Originally, I posted this back in March of 2019 and really haven’t made too much bread since.
Dunno why, both DH and I love it, so let’s do it again!

 

Back in the day, I would make fresh bread often.  For some reason, I stopped doing so, probably because I didn’t have that kind of time to devote to the process.  Now that I’m retired,

Let’s make some bread!

I made a full batch of King Arthur Flour No-Knead Crusty White Bread, and got 4 nice sized loaves for us two.

Very yummy!

I left the dough to sit in the refrigerator for 4 days for the first round and then 6 days the second round.  We liked the 4 day dough better in flavor.

I think we’ll be making fresh bread more often 😀

Where Have You Been And Started To Sing … ? ~ Part 2

posted a ways back about standing atop Pikes Peak in Colorado and found myself singing America The Beautiful, out loud mind you! 

Well, one of my blog followers had made mention the she’d like to read more about this series… Krystle, you’ve inspired me, mahalo, thank you friend!

There are many times that a song will pop into my head, especially when we’re traveling.
When we go home to Hawaii, there are more than I could count.

This is a photograph of my Husband that I took of him standing on the Beach on Oahu, our last day there back in 2015.
I was sitting at the Shore Break with huge Crocodile tears welling up in my eyes. Thank goodness DH didn’t see that, or hear my voice breaking as I softly sang to myself, Honolulu City Lights.

“… Bring me back again …”