Never Have I Ever Made ~ #4 … Chocolate Truffles

I am one of those odd folks, who really does not care for Chocolate all that much 

I saw this recipe on Pinterest for Truffles made with Dove Promises!
I thought, what the heck, let’s try this.

We’ve been invited for a Couples Board Game Night, and you know me, I always take a snack for the entire class 

 

Basic Chocolate Truffles

9 oz. Dove Promises, unwrapped
1/3 C. Heavy Cream (sometimes it’s called Whipping Cream)
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract (or a nice liquor is nice too, like Kahlua)

Combine the Chocolate Candies and Cream in a small saucepan and heat over medium-low, stirring constantly, until the Chocolate is fully melted.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the Vanilla, keep whisking til you have a smooth texture.
Cover the surface of the Chocolate with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or until firm.
Using a small disher, scoop out little balls onto a parchment lined sheet pan.
Roll each Truffle in the palms of your hands, gloves are very helpful here!

 

Set out in small plates, whatever types of coatings that you want to roll your Truffles in.
Once coated, refrigerate covered until you’re ready to serve.
These will keep in an air-tight container in the `fridge for about two weeks.
Or freeze them in a zip-top bag for up to three months.

So there’s chopped & toasted Macadamia Nut rolled Truffles, toasted Coconut Flakes and Health Bar Chips… our hostess is a self proclaimed “Chocolate aficionado” as she says 

This tray was history in no time flat! 

Remember, a recipe is simply someone else’s idea, take it and make it your own. 

… and if you could, hit that ‘like’ button, leave a comment below maybe just to say ALOHA; subscribe to my blog if you like what you’re reading and get an email when a new post has been uploaded.

MAHALO!

Back Home In Hawaii ~ May 2019 ~ Part 1

Geez, ya know what? It just dawned on me that we never talked about our trip back home to Oahu!  That was almost two years ago 

So let’s back this awfully strange train that we’ve been on ever since and start from the ending of our trip and work our way backwards. 

You’ll remember I posted that I had been absent for a time back then because my Dearest Husband had gotten injured, this was as we were dis-embarking our flight back to Arizona.

https://mykitcheninthemiddleofthedes…e-to-chat-but/

Yeah, so …  moving … backwards

Whenever we do fly back from Hawaii, we make our last stop before hitting the airport, ZIPPY’S!!!!

I need that last hit, because we won’t be having this again very soon

Sorry, I couldn’t wait to start eating!

I got us each a Zip Pac® for our on-board lunch (sorry Hawaiian Airlines, I don’t care for your free meals very much) and as the drink cart came past us I ordered a locally brewed Beer that our friend had introduced me to on this trip … Maui Brewing Co.’s Bikini Blonde
YUM!

That was ONO (that’s delicious in Hawaiian) !!!!
So that was the end of our trip, but do please stay tuned as I continue through, backwards

… and if you could, hit that ‘like’  button if you like what you’re reading, leave a comment below maybe just to say ALOHA and subscribe to my blog to get an email when a new post has been uploaded.

MAHALO!

What’s Your Travel Bucket List Look Like?

So we started to talk about our Travel Bucket List and I was thinking that this would make for a great
conversation!

It all started when I saw this, somewhere, I forget where :

I started marking off where I had been already:

… and tops on our future  travel bucket list is Horseshoe Bend!  It’s not very far from our house, so we’ve already got a plan ready to GOOOOOOOOO!

How’s about you?
Where would you like to go?
And it really doesn’t need to be in the US,
why not think global?

Of course this conversation is purely for entertainment sake.
In today’s World, we’re not going anywhere for a while 
but it’s fun to dream, isn’t it? 

… and if you could, hit that like button if you like what you’re reading, leave a comment below maybe just to say ALOHA and subscribe to my blog to get an email when a new post has been uploaded.

MAHALO!

Never Have I Ever Made ~ #3 … Chili Tater Tots

REALLY!

I’d seen this many times, not only on menus but also the homemade versions on Pinterest. I had found a single-serve packet of my Paniolo Chili  in the Deep Freeze and was thinking of this atop a Baked Potato, but I didn’t have one.

(No, we’re not going to use the masher today, this is a file photo of the Tots)

What I did have was some Trader Joe’s Potato Tots!

DING!

Twenty minutes later, give or take, with some add-ons like shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese and chopped Sweet White Onion (dang it, I forgot the Sour Cream! ) … we’ve got a hot lunch!!

I’m going to call this dish my Paniolo Chili Tots 

Remember now, a recipe is simply someone else’s idea, you take it and make it your own.

Cook for your family!

oh, and spread some ALOHA today!

 

*** side note: I’m having fun with these ‘series’ blog posts, can ya tell?

 

Another Food As Gifts Idea

I had 4 Hoagie Rolls, that weren’t really that great,
and I forgot about them in the pantry … they went stale 

** note to self: don’t EVER buy rolls at Safeway again 

So I ground them up pretty fine in the Food Processor,
spread them out on sheet pans, toasted them in a low oven for about 5
minutes, PLAIN, no seasonings.  I do this with any leftover, stale white bread.  Do you know how much those blue cans of Dried Bread Crumbs cost?  Rather than throw out old bread, make bread crumbs and stash them in the freezer 💡

I let them cool and packaged them all pretty like
for my Neighborhood Gal Pals. They’re in zip-top
baggies in those embellished brown paper
lunch sacks, I gotta craft it up 

I went plain so that the recipient could flavor them
as they wish for the intended recipe.

Food as gifts, for free!
Share the Aloha

My Instant Pot® Go-Around #8

I got two Instant Pot® accessories that I’ve been wanting to try,
but haven’t had the time until now.

I also did a bunch of research on Cheesecakes in the Instant Pot®
World. I found this recipe, a bit involved, very OCD about it, but …
So I took a very deep breath and dove in.

I made the crust with the option of adding Flour, for a crisper/firmer crust.
Meh, I don’t think I’d do that again … too crumble-y for us.
I also didn’t care for the color of this cake. I’ve been using Bakers Extract for awhile now, ever since the price of Vanilla Extract went through the roof! I think that’s the issue there, so …
But the flavor is quite nice and it does make a smaller cake, especially for just us two (I’m not sharing btw).

In conclusion: I’m stickin’ with my girl Martha and using her recipe!

Remember now, a recipe is simply someone else’s idea, take it and make it your own.

Cook for your family!

Hawaii-Style Chopped Steak

This post is another one of those, ‘I don’t want to forget this recipe’ entries.  It’s so ONO (delicious in Hawaiian).

I found this recipe when I was searching the WWW for something different to make for dinner.
I clipped it from the Honolulu Star Bulletin, circa 2008.
I did put my own twist on it, you’ll find those differences
posted below in red ink.
It’s a different way to serve Beef Steak, whether it’s Flank, Tri Tip,
Sirloin or Skirt.

 

Chopped Steak

“Favorite Island Cookery Book IV” Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin (1985)

1 pound tender beef, thinly sliced (I used 1/2lb. NY Strip, `cuz that what I had)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (Peanut Oil)
2 onions, sliced 1/4-inch thick (I used about 1 C.)
+/- 1 C. Sweet Bell Pepper, sliced

1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon water
+/- 1/2 C. Chicken Broth

» Seasoning:
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 to 3 teaspoons sugar (I used 3 tsp.)
1 teaspoon vinegar (I used a scant tsp. of Rice Vinegar)
1-inch piece ginger, grated (this sounds like alot, but it works)
1 clove garlic, grated or minced (I used approx 1 Tbsp. larger mince)

 

 

Combine seasoning ingredients. Add beef and marinate 20 minutes.

Heat oil in pan (Wok on med-high); add onions and peppers, cook until barely soft. Remove. (We like crisp-tender Veg)

Place beef in pan with seasoning. Stir-fry until cooked through (cooked to Mid-rare). Remove, leaving seasoning liquid in pan.

Combine cornstarch and water; stir until smooth. Add to seasoning liquid and simmer until thickened. If the Sauce is too thick for your liking, add in the Broth and stir again. I wanted some gravy for the Rice. Return beef, peppers and onions to pan. Serves 4. (2 hungry adults, it was half the meat called for).

Remember, a recipe is simply someone else’s idea,
take it and make it your own. 

Cook for your family !

Never Have I Ever Made ~ #2 … Spam® Katsu

I saw this idea on Pinterest and it really struck a cord for me. Being from Hawaii, we do love our Spam® and I thought that we’d try it a different way.

 

Auntie Doni’s Spam® Katsu

serves 3-4

1 can Spam®, cut into 6 slices
1 Egg, beaten well
1/2 C. Flour (I used Rice Flour, just `cuz)
1/2 – 1 C. Panko Crumbs
Approx. 2 C. Vegetable Oil

Set up a “breading station” as you would for any other recipe:
2 plates, one for the Flour and 1 for the Panko (I use paper plates here);
a shallow bowl for the beaten Egg.
Bread as usual, Flour-Egg-Crumbs, I like to really press the Panko into the Spam® for a super crunch. Set a-side on a rimmed baking sheet with a rack inserted into it to firm up the crust.
Heat a large Fry Pan over medium-high heat (about 350°) with the Oil in it.
Set a-side another rimmed baking sheet with a rack inserted to drain the cooked Spam® Katsu.
Shallow fry each Spam® cutlet until GBD (golden brown and delicious ); place the finished product on that clean rack.

I served our Spam® Katsu along side some Fried Saimin and  since I had that pan of hot Oil, some Chicken Katsu as well.

If you want to, a final flourish of chopped Green Onions makes for a pretty presentation.

Some folks like to put a Katsu Sauce over their cutlets, we like ours naked
But if you like, try this …

Easy Katsu Sauce

makes about 1/2 Cup

1/4 C. Ketchup
1/4 C. Worcestershire Sauce
2 tsp. Soy Sauce
1 tsp. Sugar

Combine well and refrigerate in a covered container, like a Mason Jar. There’s so many ways to make this Sauce, you choose.

Remember, a recipe is simply someone else’s idea, take it and make it your own.

Cook for your Family!

 

… and if you could, hit that like button, leave a comment below maybe just to say ALOHA; subscribe to my blog if you like what you’re reading and get an email when a new post has been uploaded.

MAHALO!

Stuffing Casserole Ala Grandma Eva

My Paternal-Grandmother wasn’t too much in to cooking, but man, she made a kick-butt Stuffing Casserole. She ordered her Turkey for the Holidays from a local restaurant, already roasted, so she would make her own Stuffing in a very large Casserole dish, that she baked-off in the oven.

It was unique in that she used Portuguese Sausage or Linguica in it. 
Gram never wrote that recipe down, because she just eyeballed it, so I had to figure this one out on my own.

Usually, I bring my stash of Portuguese Sausage back from Hawaii in my suitcase, but since we could not get there this year, I had to hustle.

I was poking around this past Summer in the supermarket and found this!! Can I tell you guys that I was doing a dance in the aisle … could this be like the ‘real’ stuff?   Let’s try it first.

YUP! That’ll work 

Auntie Doni’s Stuffing Casserole Ala Grandma Eva

serves 8

6 + Tbsp. Butter
1/2 C. Onions, chopped
1/2 C. Celery, chopped
2 pkgs. Garlic & Herb Croutons, crumbled to Pea-size
1 C. Dried Cranberries, chopped
2 Tbsp. Sage (fresh or freeze-dried is fine), minced
1 tsp. fresh Thyme, minced
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
1 tsp. freshly ground Black Pepper
1-2 C. Turkey Stock (I use Trader Joe’s-it’s seasonal, so stock up)
1 Portuguese Sausage (or Linguica), chopped, sautéed and drained well

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
In a medium sized pan, melt the Butter; sauté the Onions and Celery just until tender.
In a large bowl, combine everything but the Stock.
Slowly add in not quite a cup of the Stock, fold gently. At this point is that wet enough for you? If not keep adding more Stock to your liking (we don’t like it too mushy, so I might pour in about a cup).

Butter a 2 quart Casserole dish; add the Stuffing mixture and cover.
Bake for 15 minutes; uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

 

Fluff with a fork and serve.

Now, what to do with all of this leftover Stuffing?

Make Stuffin’ Muffin’s:
Spray a Muffin tin and pack in that leftover goodness. Stash the entire tin in the freezer until firm. Pop out each Muffin’ and place into a zip-top freezer bag. Mark the date and content and back into the deep freeze it goes for later…

This makes my favorite breakfast. Defrost a Muffin’, heat it up in the micro and top one with a fried Egg

Remember now, a recipe is simply someone else’s idea, take it and make it your own.

Cook for your family!

Where Have You Been And Started To Sing … ? ~ Part 4

 

I took this photograph May of 2019, on one of our last days back home in Honolulu Hawaii. The Sun was just going down and the colors grabbed me and chocked me up.

With tears rolling silently down my cheeks I sang …

 

Aloha Oe

 

Who would have known at the time that I probably will never return.

It’s been a very difficult year for everyone, but Hawaii has been hit extra hard and I’m certain that we won’t be able to go home again for a very, very long time.

“… one fond embrace, until we meet again.”