Monthly Archives: May 2013

Something New To Drink

My DH does not imbibe any longer, other than the rare Baileys Irish Cream over rocks, his drink of choice.  For me, I’m a wino.  Back in the day I would have mixed drinks; my usual was a greyhound, vodka and grapefruit juice or a vodka Collins.  Somewhere along the years I’ve lost my taste of hard liquor and moved completely over to wine.  As kids, we were allowed a small cordial glass of wine with special occasion meals.  When I say kid, I mean around 15 or 16 years old, it’s not  like I was swilling vino from the age of 5!  But my father did give me an appreciation for good wine, both still and sparkling.  Today, I just look for what I like.

Turing Leaf Refresh

I found this wine at the little convenience store down the road a piece from us, amazing enough.  This is very nice, a little bit of bubble to it, some great fresh fruit back notes and as the name implies, refreshing on a warm day, sitting on the back lanai waiting for the grill to heat up.  Turning Leaf makes Refresh in three varietals, Crisp White, Moscato and a Red Moscato.  When I did a google search, the vintner recommends trying Refresh in different ways, such as in a mimosa…


What Happened?



Well, not every time is the winner, sometimes there is a slip up in the kitchen. Last night for supper I thought that I’d make a real treat for us. We are in our “free diet” cycle, where we can go back to eating the foods that we ate prior to our new way of looking at food. My poor American-Italian husband has not had his all-time favorite meals of rigatoni served with, well, anything in months. So while I was at the market the other day, I picked up some hot Italian sausage, sweet bell peppers and onions. I remembered that I had some of my homemade marinara in the deep freeze as well as some Italian bread stashed away from the bakery in town.

We had salad.


Big Event At The Shop Yesterday!

Yes Sir! Yes Ma’am! I added a new flavor to my shop at

Orange Grand Marnier Cake

Orange Grand Marnier

It’s so moist, so rich, so decedent, really surprisingly delicious.

Now, mind you, Grand Marnier is not an inexpensive liqueur, but with the fresh Orange juice and zest along with it, MAN!

NO, I’m not going to tell you how I make this recipe, but if you think that you might like to try it, you’re welcome to my shop

Can you tell that I get excited about CAKE!

Can you tell that I get excited about CAKE!

It's a cake, in a can

It’s a cake, in a can

And that’s exactly how it comes to you, in a can! An old fashion cookie tin to be more specific, this way as one customer puts it, it doesn’t arrive as just crumbs!


Sometimes You Just Have To Give In

Yup, that’s how it is sometimes. You just have to give in and not try to fight it. For years, I refused  to use any jarred or canned marinara or spaghetti sauce to serve my American-Italian husband. When we were first married, the little island gal that I am, didn’t know one sauce from another. The first “Italian” meal I ever served him didn’t go so well, so ever since then I have strived to ensure that my Italian food was as close as possible to what DH would have eaten at his Mother’s table.

Over the years though, we have become more and more busy. You know when folks tell you that they’re busier now as a retiree than they ever were when they were working? IT’S TRUE!

So a few years back, our DF’s who live in Northern Arizona, suggested a jarred sauce that was very good. The last time that we went to visit with them, Missus DF and I went food shopping at the Trader Joe’s that had just opened not long before in their town, and we found this

Trader Joe's Sauce


I now keep a jar or two of this in my pantry at all times. It has saved my bacon on more than one occasion when I didn’t have enough time to plan out dinner. Boil up some pasta, heat the sauce and serve. Throw in any leftover bits you may have in the ‘fridge and its supper time.


*note: I do not work for, nor do I have any affiliation with Trader Joe’s in any way, I just LOVE  them!


Happy Aloha Friday

… and have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

Primo Beer from Hawaii, I didn't know that this was still brewed


Getting Ready For Summer

Oh my gravy all over my two scoops rice (that’s OMG!  in my world)… it dawns on me that I’ve neglected my blog, for shame. We have been so busy getting the house and everything ready for Summer. Once the Monsoons hit, man oh man, Katie bar the door! So DH and I have been on the go from the minute our feet hit the floor bright and early (the sun is up by 5 AM) until the day is done.

I’ve even had to resort to making cheat meals for supper.

Another Cheat Supper

Mostly, I’ve been making large entrée salads. This is the remnants of our excursion over to Whole Foods. At the bottom of the plate is Israeli Couscous, Chinese Chicken salad, multi-grain salad, Greek-inspired Couscous salad. There wasn’t much left, so I put together some greens with heirloom tomatoes, hot house cucumbers, radishes, Vidalia onions, sweet red bell peppers and especially for my husband, Anchovies from Italy.

Gotta’ scoot!  ALOHA!


Okay, So I Went Shopping Again Today

I’ve already admitted to my food shopping/browsing addiction, and I have not found a cure for it, yet. But come on, I mean we all have to eat, and I can’t JUST  look at food stuff all the time, well, maybe.

Actually, this is a cute idea

This implement is in the category of, WHAT?  Then it turned to, um yeah, kinda cool. This would make a great grab bag gift idea … note to self!

A jar of pecan pie filling for how much?

This product I have categorized in my brain as, REALLY?  But I guess if you don’t drink bourbon and you want to make bourbon pecan pie, I suppose you’ll pay $13.99 for a jar of pie filling.

Icicle Radishes

Very interesting. I thought that these were white carrots, they’re icicle radishes.

WHAT? these are in our backyard back home in Hawaii

In Hawaii, guavas grow everywhere. You’ll see cardboard boxes in the front of homes with a hand written sign “take one” … and they want how much at AJ’s market? Kazowie!



Let’s Talk More About …

Dark Chocolate Macaron

… our Whole Foods Expedition. Now that I have my feet back under me after that Dark Chocolate Macaron, Oh My!  I feel faint again!

Whole Foods Cookie Case

Well, there was another case right across the aisle filled with cookies, Italian style cookies to be more specific.

Whole Foods Italian-style cookies

Since DH and I are at the last few days of our diet, I mean our new way of looking at food (for now anyways) … why not have a couple of cookies.

Whole Foods Cakes and Tarts

Then, wait, there’s another case that has cakes and tarts and mini-cakes and mini-tarts and…


I’m overwhelmed … I need to sit down for a moment, maybe munch on a little something, then I’ll feel better… I’ll be right back…


I Don’t Think I’ll Be Making These

I can’t really talk well just now. DH took me shopping way over on the far East side of town. There’s a Whole Foods that opened up back I think it was in January, but we just never made the time.

As I always do, I took snapshots (after having gone to the Customer Service folk and asking them if it was okay) of some of the different items that we don’t see out in our neck of the desert.

In the cake case, I spied macarons! I had yet to try one…

I went to the moon and back again!

Dark Chocolate Macaron

Dark chocolate and I didn’t share! A little pricey at $3.39 EACH!  Is that too costly do you think? Well, either way, it was a small piece of heaven in my hand and one was quite enough to jumble my mind for a few hours. I never understood this whole ohing and ahing  thing over this meager cookie. I do now and it’s a good thing  that Whole Foods so far away from us!

Dark Chocolate Macaron


Off We Go To Walmart

Like I said before, I only buy a few of our household staple items at Walmart, so I guess the rest of my two hour adventure this last time was just for the fun it.

I can’t help myself and I found that I’m not alone.

I met two other ladies on my most recent bi-monthly trip to Wally World that were doing the exact same thing as me, just lookin’. The difference in my case, I had a camera in my hand and they didn’t. Next time though, I think I’d maybe better go see the store manager-on-duty to let them know what it is that I’m up to. I had this guy tailin’ me during my entire visit the other day, OOOH!

Budweiser BBQ Sauce

My first find, WHAT?! No, really? The King Of Beers  is now in on Barbeque Sauce? I guess that makes sense, loads of recipes call for beer.

New McCormick Spice packet

This was super nifty. McCormick Gourmet Collection has a new line of spice mixes. I’ve always wanted to try something along this line, but I felt buying an entire jar of Herbes de Provence might turn out to be a waste if we didn’t care for it. This is marvelous, though it does make 10 servings (I missed that part), but that’s why I have a chest freeze.

Break and Bake Scones, love it!

I got this for my Mother, she loves fresh scones. Back in Hawaii, where we all shared a home, I sometimes made these for Sunday brunch. Now she can make her own, easily for herself at her apartment in the middle of the desert.

Sorry Guy, I’m taking a pass on these.

I call these stromboli

This just got my goat! I make my own Stromboli or Rolled Calzone, from scratch, for way less  than 8 bucks … mine are prettier too.

Bacon Jerky, who'd thought?

One of my chef-y friends was just telling me about this, Bacon Jerky, really. So I was purposely seeking this product out and I found it at the checkout stand of all places.

single serve, perfect

I liked this idea: A single serving size of a new product, prefect to sample. I tried this on some celery sticks (still nothing white allowed in the diet), Meh, not so much.

I hope that the next time you have some free time, you’ll just browse your local market and see what you can find that’s new or different or even not at eye level. Some of the greatest things I’ve found have been on the bottom shelf. Look around.