Monthly Archives: April 2018

Sunday Brunch Bumped WAY UP!

I’m pretty sure I’ve shared with everyone that my husband and I love our Sunday Brunch.  99.9% of the time it’s at home with me cooking.  One of the food forums that I participate in has a challenge each month with a different theme; this month it’s Brunch, HA!  😀   I racked my brain for something to enter when this Sunday I found myself making this:

Homemade Chunky Apple Sauce stuffed Pancakes, topped with Caramel Sauce, chopped Pecans and whipped cream

Scratch made Buttermilk Pancakes stuffed with homemade Chunky Apple Sauce, topped with Caramel Sauce, chopped Pecans and a dollop of whipped Cream.

Piggys in a blanket topped with homemade Blackberry Jam

Turkey Piggys in a Blanket, with a drizzle of warmed homemade Blackberry Jam.

Homemade Chunky Apple Sauce and Blackberry Jam

I make Chunky Apple Sauce all the time for my Mom … and the jam, well, the last time we went to see my  Mother, we brought back a MESS of fresh Blackberries … Oh my gravy all over my two scoops rice (that’s OMG! In my world), they’re both so good!

What an amazing Sunday Brunch.  Did I mention that we shared these two plates …

Hatch Green Chile Relleno Casserole

I wanted to share what I made for our new neighborhood’s block party, Hatch Green Chile Relleno Casserole, really good!

This recipe is a riff off of a pal of mine (Mahalo Kathy) from one of the Food Forums that I follow.

Hatch Green Chile Relleno Casserole

1 ½ 27oz. cans (or 40.5 oz.) Hatch Whole Green Chiles
4-6 C. shredded Colby Jack Cheese (more or less to your liking 😉 )
1 C. Whole Milk
¼ C. Flour
¼ tsp. Baking powder
5 Large Eggs
8 oz. Hatch Green Chile Enchilada Sauce
½ tsp. Cumin powder
½ tsp. Oregano, crush with fingers

Preheat the oven to 350⁰.

Grease the bottom and sides of a 9×13 pan.

Reserve 1/2 cup of cheese for the top.

Layer the pan, alternately with Chiles and Cheese, creating three layers, ending with Chiles.

028

In a bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder; then whisk in the milk and eggs until smooth. Pour this mixture gently into the pan and bake for 30 minutes.

029

Remove from the oven, and pour Green Enchilada sauce evenly over the top. Sprinkle the cumin and oregano on top of the sauce, and cover with reserved cheeses.

Return to oven, and bake an additional 20 min, until the cheese on top just bubbles.

Allow the casserole to rest of 15 minutes before serving.

035

 

I ran this recipe through my account on MyFitnessPal, and this is what came out:

Nutrition Facts
Servings 9.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 284
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 20 g 31 %
Saturated Fat 10 g 51 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 159 mg 53 %
Sodium 917 mg 38 %
Potassium 78 mg 2 %
Total Carbohydrate 9 g 3 %
Dietary Fiber 4 g 14 %
Sugars 2 g
Protein 17 g 34 %
Vitamin A 14 %
Vitamin C 38 %
Calcium 40 %
Iron 4 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.
WOW!

That’s not bad for a meatless dish.  I figured 9 servings can be had from a 9 X 13 inch pan, and I think that’s a generous serving.

This dish was gone in a hurry!  I didn’t know that there were so many folks here in the middle of the desert that didn’t eat meat, and did you see how low the carbs are?

Of course, you can change out the Hatch chiles for any sort you prefer, also the cheese.  I think that a Pepper Jack Cheese would be wonderful or even sharp Cheddar, MMM!

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

(**Note:this is a reblog from March 2016)

Enjoy!

Homemade Caramel Sauce, Kitchen Fail!

HA! 😀

Y’know, sometimes stuff  just happens in the Kitchen…

I saw on one of these new fangled social media thingys, Serious Eats Easy Caramel Sauce, Hmmm … I just got a carton of Tillamook Old Fashion Vanilla Ice Cream for the deep freeze (it is starting to get warm here in the middle of the desert 😉 ) and I do like Caramel Sauce.

It looked good

It smelled good

and it tasted GREAT!!

For dessert that night, I poured my homemade sauce over a nice parfait glass of creamy goodness and … the sauce froze up HARD AS ROCK!!!   😀

Oh well, the Ice Cream was good   😛

I gotta say, I do like Serious Eats, all of their recipes and videos, but this was my one and only fail from them.  I’m sure that I did something wrong along the way, sorry Kenji.

How Many Small Kitchen Appliances Do You Own?

This was a question that I posed on one of the Food Forums that I belong to.  Interesting.

For those of us who cook and do so often, we have a lot of “toys” that we play with.  Some more often than others, but we love them all equally.

I couldn’t resist; I just had to break out all of mine.  😀

We have two Keurig Coffee Makers.  The behemoth black model stays at home, while that Chili Red little cutie comes with us on our car trips.  We’ve gotten hooked on a certain brand of K-Pod coffee (thanks Mary Elizabeth 🙂 ).  We get a consistent cup of Joe every single time, DE~LI~CIOUS!!

In this group photo, two of my toys are used regularly, can you guess which ones? DING DING DING!!! My Rice Cooker is used probably every-other night and then the scale comes out multiple times in a day.

Now these guys are not utilized nearly as much as they should be, but such is life.

My husband saw the Espresso Machine and exclaimed, “HEH!  Where’s that been?  Can we have a cup?”

Sure!

Boy, it took me a minute to remember how to work this small kitchen appliance, it’s been so long.  o_O

Now, mind you, these kitchen toys did not just appear in my cupboards last night.  I accumulated these workhorses over many years time.  Some as gifts (Thanks Mom), and some I purchased over time.  A friend of mine suggested that I start looking in the thrift stores for some new acquisitions.  HMMM …

 

How many small kitchen appliances do you own

AND

How often do you use each of them?

Please let me know in the comment section below

Pork Guisantes or Pork And Peas

For me, a little home sick Island girl, this is comfort food.  It’s a Filipino dish, very popular in Hawaii, and I love it, well I did modify it just a touch.

I had way  too much Pork Loin Chops from Costco, you know, that huge tray of gorgeous Pork.  For the two of us, somehow just straight up the Chops were tasteless, so I thought-heh, why not make this!

 

Pork Guisantes or Pork And Peas

(serves two)

2 Costco Pork Loin Chops, sliced very thinly (it’s easier if partially frozen)

½ C. Sweet Red Bell Pepper, sliced into small chunks

½ C. Sweet White Onion, chopped

1-2 Garlic Cloves, minced

½ C. Tomato Sauce

1 C. Water

½ Tbsp. Soy Sauce

½ Tbsp. Fish Sauce (I left this out, didn’t have any)

1 Bay Leaf

½ C. frozen Sweet Peas

Salt & Pepper to taste

Just enough Vegetable Oil to coat the bottom of a large Sauté pan

 

Heat a large pan with the veggie oil over med-high heat.

Sauté the Peppers just until they’re crisp-tender, about 1-2 minutes, set aside on a dish.

Add the Onions and Garlic and sweat until they are translucent; add in the Pork and cook `til just browned, don’t overcook it, Pork can get tough.

Pour in the wet stuff: Tomato Sauce, Water, Soy Sauce and Fish Sauce -if using- along with that Bay Leaf, give it all a good stir and bring to a gentle boil; reduce the heat to a simmer–cover and cook for about 20 minutes.  The meat should be fork tender and the sauce reduced.

Add back in the Peppers and now the Peas, cook for 1-2 minutes, until the Peas are heated; season with S&P to taste (*Hint: if using Fish Sauce, watch it with the Salt).

Serve over hot steamed White Rice (or Brown Rice if you wish)

 

Enjoy!

And as always, remember that a recipe is simply someone else’s idea, you take it and make it your own.

(I just thought of another version of this dish – Shrimp And Peas 🙂 )

WHAT? Another Favorite Cracker?

WHY YES!

I’m pretty sure that I’ve already told everyone about Trader Joe’s Pita Bite Crackers with Sea Salt, but have you tried its Sister Cracker?

Trader Joe’s Multigrain Pita Bite Crackers with Whole Wheat and Flax Seeds, YUM!

Now, you don’t have to do this, but do, try them with a large schmear of Boursin Cheese, topped with Trader Joe’s Roasted Garlic & Onion Jam, OH MY GRAVY ALL OVER MY TWO SCOOP RICE (that’s OMG! in my world, but then you all know that already 😀 ) !!

When served with a glass of wine,  takes this late afternoon snack WAY over the top delicious.

Now, my husband, a) doesn’t care for creamy cheeses and 2) doesn’t partake in any adult beverages – so this is all mine baby!! 😉

Our New Favorite Cracker

I think I’ve mentioned that I LOVE Trader Joe’s and all of their snack-y stuff, right?

Well, I found a new Cracker, at least for us it is, who knows how long its been around and I plain missed it …

Trader Joe’s Bite Size Everything Cracker, MMM!

Think of it like an Everything Bagel.  Nowadays you can even buy a jar of Everything Topping to use at home on whatever.

I added a little Cheese on the side of my share yesterday and you’ve got yourself a very nice late afternoon snack to hold the wolves at bay until suppertime.

Our Great Western Adventure ~ September 2013 ~ Installment #15 ~ Last Stop

I’m going to leave out Cheyenne Wyoming, mainly because it was simply a stop to sleep as we made our way to our final town, Durango Colorado.

DH and I have been here a few times before for visits with a friend of mine, but honestly, we really like it there.

The drive from Cheyenne though was a little harrowing to say the least. As we approached a mountain pass, we could see that a pretty bad looking storm was coming. Unfortunately it hit us full force as we got to the top of Wolf Creek Pass in Colorado.

I have never, in my life, been so scared.

Hail, snow, sleet, ice, all coming down in buckets, the first winter storm of the season, great! My husband pulled off of the road twice, mostly because we just couldn’t see and we don’t have four wheel drive. Somehow, we made it down the other side of that mountain and were only 3 hours beyond our estimated time of arrival at our hotel.

Well, the next morning the sun was out and there was oodles of snow up on the mountains, so we took a drive from Durango to Silverton. A little cold for a gal from Hawaii, but just gorgeous!

Sautéed Sesame Beef rice bowl @ Rice Monkeys in Durango Colorado

My friend is a chef in Durango, so who better to ask where to eat, right? We had lunch at Rice Monkeys. We ordered Edamame to start and then Teri-Chicken rice bowl for DH (didn’t get a photo `cuz hubby wolfed it down) and Sautéed Sesame Beef rice bowl for myself. That hit the spot!

The following day we were having dinner at our friend’s home, so we figured a big breakfast or brunch as it was, would be best. On my DF’s suggestion, we went to Durango Doughworks. The best  bagel that we’ve had in a very long time, good call Joey! In fact, we wound up eating breakfast here twice on this visit and I’m sure that we’ll be back again the next time that we are in town.

Dinner at my chefy-friend-Joey’s was the bomb-diggity! She pulled no punches, she put out a spread of so many different dishes, I wasn’t sure where to start. The best plan of attack was to try a little of everything!

Our last night in Durango, we went to dinner at Mutu’s Italian Kitchen, once again on my girl friend’s recommendation. She knew that my husband would enjoy his meal, and he sure did.

Our Great Western Adventure

Now it’s time to head towards home, we’ve been on the road for a month, though neither of us really felt like we wanted this to end.

 

What Do You Put In Your Easter Baskets?

At lunch the other day, my mother reminded us that Easter is coming early this year. WHAT? Sure enough, I pulled out the calendar and Easter Sunday falls on March 31st. Last year, rather than make up baskets of candy for my DH and mom, I made Iced Sugar cookies.

Easter Cookies instead of Candy

WHAT WAS I THINKING?!

This was the absolute first (and probably last) time that I will undertake such a long, drawn out project. I should say though, it was fun and I was quite pleased with the outcome. These are just the cutest cookies I’ve ever made. I adapted a recipe from Martha Stewart and the FoodNetwork Magazine, morphing the two together. I probably should have rolled out the dough a touch thicker, it was a fragile final product. The royal icing was a challenge, as I’d never done this before. It took driving all around town to several places to find the meringue powder. I used just plain ‘ole liquid food coloring from the supermarket to tint the icing. I piped it using simple sandwich baggies with the corners snipped.

I was on my feet for most of the day and my back was aching! Normally, if I know I’m going to be in the kitchen standing for periods of time, I put on my walking sneaks. I was so excited to get this ball rolling that I was in my bare feet and didn’t think about it until it was too late. But it was a blast and both DH and mom were impressed, they thought I bought them at a fancy bakery.