Monthly Archives: December 2015

See the #fireworks I created by blogging on #WordPressDotCom. My 2015 annual report.

See the fireworks My Kitchen In The Middle Of The Desert created by blogging on Check out their 2015 annual report.

Source: See the #fireworks I created by blogging on #WordPressDotCom. My 2015 annual report.

Seven Fishes Feast For Christmas Eve Dinner

My husband is American-Italian and there’s a traditional meal that doesn’t float his boat and it’s Christmas Eve dinner of “The Feast of The Seven Fishes”.  Too many of, well, really most of the dishes that his family made for their table he couldn’t eat, he has Shell Seafood allergies.  When he met me, I was his partner in that boat.  This year, I figured, why does it have to be that way?  Can’t I make what we like?  So I did some research on the Internet, and here’s what I found.  You can make pretty much any 7 seafood dishes and call it Seven Fishes!  YAY!  So here’s what I made.

Imitation Krab Cocktail

Imitation Krab Cocktail

This is easy: flake or chunk up some Imitation Krab in a bowl with some diced celery for the crunch factor.  In another small bowl, mix together Ketchup, Horseradish, Lemon or Lime juice and Worcestershire sauce, all to your taste.  Combine the sauce with the Krab and serve cold.

Shrimp Cocktail

Shrimp Cocktail (for me, I’m not allergic).

Buy some lovely precooked peeled Shrimp; add some of that Cocktail Sauce you just made for the Krab, into a small serving dish and arrange the Shrimp in a pleasing manner to you.

Smoked Trout and Radish Crostini

On some store bought toasts, stack some thinly sliced Radish and a small chunk of Smoked Trout.  If you’re NOT my husband, add a dollop of Sour Cream or Creme Fraiche.

Limu (Seaweed) Ahi Poke

Find the freshest Ahi (Tuna) that you can; cut it up into bite sized pieces and follow the package directions on Noh Poke Mix.  I used a quarter of the package to a half pound of cubed fish and some chopped Green Onions for a splash of color, oh and a sprinkle of Sesame Seeds for interest.  Mix gently.

Shoyu Ahi Poke

Shoyu Ahi Poke

It’s just what it sounds like.  Once again, add diced fresh Ahi (Tuna), Sweet White Onions and chopped Green Onions to a bowl and pour in as much Soy Sauce as you wish.  Toss and serve cold.

Lomi Lomi Salmon

Lomi Lomi Salmon

We’ve talk about this dish before here, “Lomi Lomi Salmon, It’s Time For Another Luau”, `member?  Well, the last time I made Salt Salmon, I made enough for 3 recipes, so I froze 2 of the hunks of fish for later.

TJ's Mini Pizzas w/Anchovies

Trader Joe’s frozen Mini Pizzas topped with Anchovies (ack, not my fave)

Perpare the Mini Pizzas as directed and top as you like with pieces of Anchovies.  DH went nuts for this one.  ACK!  As you can see on the platter, there are some pizzas without that stinky fish for me.

Kappa Maki Sushi

Lastly, just because this was turning into a Hawaiian-American-Italian feast, Cucumber Maki Sushi.  We’ve made this dish before too.  Take a deep breath, it’s really not as difficult as you may think.

Christmas Eve 2015 Dinner

Our Christmas Eve Table.

Mele Kalikimaka, Merry Christmas, buon Natale

I Made My Very First Cheesecake

For some reason, I’ve never made a Cheesecake before; that’s probably because I’ve never owned a Springform pan before.  I bought one last year at a discount kitchen store, I don’t remember why or what I made with it, but obviously it wasn’t a memorable dish.  I saw it sitting there, all lonely like out in my garage with the other “oddly shaped-hard to store” kitchen toys that I have.  And it hit me, I should try it!

NOW!  DH is not a fan of anything sour, tangy as he says, such as sour cream or cream cheese … you get the idea.  Cheesecake is a dessert that he does not order, but likes to take bites from mine when we go out to eat.  So I searched the Internet and wasn’t sure which recipe to follow; then I was watching a Martha Stewart TV program and what did she make, but New York Style Cheesecake.  I trust Martha, so here goes nothing.

First off, that’s WAY too much batter Martha!  Even though her recipe calls for a 10 inch pan and mine is 9 inches… HMMM

My Cheesecake CRACKED!

Secondly, Martha said that if I bake my Cheesecake in a Bain Marie or a Water Bath, it won’t crack.


Can you see that it cracked almost the entire way around the top?!  GEEZ!  Oh well, I’ll bet it tastes good.

I have enough filling for another Cheesecake

And about that filling recipe calling for 7, yes I said SEVEN eight ounce packages of Cream Cheese, WOW!  I have enough batter to make another cake.

But come on man!  Look at that wouldja!?  I mean, COME ON!  That is CRAZY good Cheesecake.  I think that IF  I ever make another Cheesecake, I’ll use Martha’s recipe; I’ll only make half…


Meet and Greet 12/18

What fun!

Dream Big, Dream Often


It’s Meet and Greet Weekend at Dream Big!!

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!  So don’t be selfish, hit the reblog button.
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags (i.e. reblogging, reblog, meet n greet, link party, etc.), it helps, trust me on this one.
  4. Share this post on social media.  Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new bloggers to follow.  This helps also, trust me.

Now that all the rules have been clearly explained get out there and Meet n Greet your butts off!

See ya Monday!


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Hawaiian Style Plate Lunch Hamburger Steak

Oh my gravy all over my two scoops rice, that’s OMG!  in my world.  This came out SO GOOD!  I’ve never followed a recipe for Hamburger Steak before, I just kinda winged it, ya know?  This month’s issue of Cooking Light arrived and what do I find, but a lighter version of a Hawaii classic.

Hamburger Steak with Sweet Onions and Mushrooms

Cooking Light version of Hamburger Steak

I doubled the “gravy” portion of the recipe, so that we had enough to douse our steamed White Rice with.  I also omitted the cheese; I used ground Chuck 80/20 instead of the ground Sirloin, so we’ve got enough fat goin’ on here.  I divided the pound of ground Chuck into 3 rather than 4 patties, so they came out chubbier.  This my friends, was very ONO~licious!  Gee, I guess that “light version” went out the door, huh?


It SNOWED! In The Desert!


Snow on day one…


snow on day two…

We’ve had below freezing over night temps for the last four days, HEH!  This is the middle of the desert, whatsup braddah?! HA!

Stay warm

Meyer Lemons Are In Season

I posted this back in 2013 on the same date. I had just been wondering when the Meyer Lemons were going to come out, now I now. So, off I go to the green grocery to pick up a couple of pounds for more Marmalade for my Mother.

My Kitchen In The Middle Of The Desert

My mother has been looking for Meyer Lemon Marmalade at every Farmer’s Market that we go to, but to no avail. I was in my favorite green grocers and they had the beginnings of this year’s crop, not a bad price either, $1.99 per pound. Being the fantastic daughter that I am, I made a batch for her, well all of us.

I did an Internet search for a sugar free recipe, but can you believe it? Not one! So, I had to piece together my own.

make sure to got out all of the seeds

I washed and de-seeded the fruit, saving the pips in a gauze spice bag for later use.

… halved, then quartered and lastly sliced the fruit as thinly as I could (I used by uber-sharp slicing knife)

… chucked the lemons along with that bag of seeds in to a non-reactive pot (I have a Le Creuset dutch oven) and just enough cool…

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Make Sure It’s Color-Fast!

We took my Mother on an excursion into the Sequoia National Park and we got to use our “old person” card for the first time.  Once you pass your 62nd birthday, you can purchase a life-long entrance card for just $10!  This Senior Pass will get up to 4 adults in your car, into any National Park, wahoo!

WOW! That sure ran!

So to make a long story longer, we stopped in one of the shops and I found this really cute tee shirt on the clearance table, so I scooped it up as a souvenir.  Once we got back home, I went to throw it in the wash and thought twice.  Hmmm, pretty bright, vivid blue color there, I’d bet any amount of money it’s going to “run” like mad… YUP!

CheeseSteaks for Lunch!

My husband professes to NOT being a foodie, yeah right!

So yesterday, it’s coming up on lunch time and DH asks, “What’s for lunch today?”  Not a clue.  So I see, no really, I see this light bulb go off over his head and he says, “Why don’t you make us CheeseSteaks with some of that steak that you’ve got in the chest freezer.  We still have Amoroso Rolls and cheese, right?” GENIUS IDEA!


I sliced a New York Strip Steak while still partially frozen, real thin, along with some Sweet Onions; I heated a skillet on pretty high heat with some Olive Oil, fried the Onions first, set those aside and then the meat, REAL quick like, just til the meat was no longer pink.  Next, I layered the rolls with meat and then onions and topped it off with the cheese.  Under the broiler it all went.  MMM!  Add some Potato Chips and a Ginger Ale and you’re golden baby!

I think we’ll just have a salad for dinner. 😀

Minestrone Soup

I went freezer diving the other day and I found a partial bag of Fava Beans, hmmm, what can I do with these and hide them from DH.  He claims to dislike Fava Beans, well any bean actually, but he eats them quite often and doesn’t realize it, HA!

the ingredients for Minestrone Soup

So, here’s the lineup:

½ C. Macaroni, your choice of shape

1 15oz. can Diced Tomatoes

1-2 Qt. Chicken or Vegetable Broth/Stock, homemade is preferable

1 C. diced Sweet Red Bell Pepper

1 C. diced Carrots

½ C. diced Onion

3 Garlic cloves, minced

6oz. diced Pancetta

2 C. frozen Fava Beans

2 C. frozen chopped Spinach

1 Tbsp. dried Oregano

1 Tbsp. dried Parsley (fresh is always better, but I didn’t have any)

1 tsp. dried Thyme

1 tsp. dried Basil

In a large pot over medium-high, heat about 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil, render the Pancetta to just crisp; removed from the pot with a slotted spoon to a dish and set aside.  Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pot and sweat the onions, add the Peppers and Carrots and sauté for about 2 minutes, to a crisp tender; sauté the Garlic til fragrant, adding the dried herbs at this point and stirring for just a moment.  Pour back in the Pancetta, along with all the remaining ingredients, excluding the pasta.  Bring the pot to a boil and reduce to a low simmer; cover partially and cook for ½ an hour.  In a separate pot, cook your pasta as directed on the package; drain and set aside. When you’re ready to serve, add in the macaroni to the pot for about 5 minutes or so, just to warm it.

Top each bowl with some grated Parmesan cheese and a nice Olive Oil.

Chopped Salad with Dimond Bakery Soda Crackers, MMM!

We had a nice lunch of Minestrone and a Chopped Salad with some Diamond Bakery Soda Crackers.

A recipe is just someone’s idea, you take it and make it your own.  If you like a different type of bean, use that.  If you can’t find Pancetta, try Bacon instead.  Use whatever vegetables your household likes.