Monthly Archives: August 2018

A Cross Country Road Trip ~ June/July 2018 ~ Part 1

I have been most neglectful of my blog, yet again, but I have good reason, a road trip across the United States.  We went from Northern Arizona to Western Virginia and so many other places, but Virginia was the main event… A Family Gathering.

This is Kona, our nephew’s pup enjoying the Lake

My husband’s large-ish family planned a wonderful Lake Side week in Huddleston Virginia, so we had to hoof it!  `Remeber now, we’ve just gotten back from a month in Hawaii … In all, there were 25 folks planned for this get-together, phew!

Our first stop was Tucumcari New Mexico.  We’d stopped for an overnight stay once before and checked into the same hotel.  I won’t bother to tell you which one `cuz it was horrible and we’ll never go there again, for sure!

Next up was a two night lay-over in Fort Smith Arkansas, wow, that was a long drive, EIGHT HOURS  to be precise.

We spent the better part of our second day at the Fort Smith National Historic Site, fascinating by the way-you should go, and then started to look for lunch.  I chatted up the Park Ranger Pat, and she suggested Bricktown Brewery.

YUM!

We started out our meal sharing an order of Bavarian Pretzel Sticks, served with a White Queso for dipping and then my husband and I each ordered the Bricktown Burger, again, yum!  This ¼ pound patty is served on a Potato Bun along with your usual suspects, oh and Sweet Potato Fries dipped in the leftover White Queso.

I also enjoyed a draught Beer, although I’d be hard pressed to tell you which one, but it was perfect with my meal.

Stay tuned for more of our month long adventure…

Non-Scratch Baking

Today, I did something that I don’t  normally do, I made a baked good from a box…  😮

I know, but I wanted to try something different that I saw at the Mega-Mart the other day.

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Sam’s Choice™ Wild Blueberry Muffin Mix.

I had been thinking of Wild Blueberry Muffins for a few weeks, and this seemed to fit the bill.

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Not bad lookin’ or smelling for that matter.

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I served them up this morning with some scrambled Eggs, Turkey Sausage, Cantaloupe and juice.  Now I’d say that’s a filling brunch; I give it a four star rating  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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This kit comes with canned Wild Blueberries, you just add water, oil and 2 eggs.  It’ll bake up 6 jumbo Muffins that I think came out tender, with a nice crumb and we have plenty leftover for tomorrow.   That’s a win/win in my book.  😉

Happy Statehood Day Hawaii !!

Hauoli la hanau, Happy Birthday.  On this day in 1959, Hawaii became the 50th State of America.

In honor of this occasion, I’ll be making Guava Chicken and Fried Rice for our supper.

I brought back some frozen concentrate Guava Juice from Hawaii this past may, mostly because I can’t find it here in the middle of the desert 😀

Tune back in and I’ll give you folks an update …

ALOHA!

 

 

Plantation Iced Tea, MMM!

Back when we lived on Oahu in Hawaii, we would have special Sunday Brunches at John Dominis.  Sadly, they closed their doors, but I can make a beverage that we enjoyed there.

Plantation Iced Tea

My husband asked for a glass of Iced Tea this afternoon… I think I have too much time on my hands 😀

 

Plantation Iced Tea

2 Qts. freshly brewed Lipton Tea

(I “brew” mine in the Sun for a few hours, rather than with boiling water, guaranteed no bitterness)

2 C. Pineapple Juice, not from concentrate, please it just tastes better 😉

Mix, chill, enjoy … that’s it.

I serve ours sweetened, over plenty of ice and then garnished with fresh Mint and Pineapple Chunks on those adorable paper umbrellas.

Now, there are many variations out there, and that’s up to you.  Some places add Lemongrass, Cinnamon, Lemonade, Honey, I mean it’s up to your family’s taste, but I’ll stick with basics.

ALOHA!

It Was Craft Day!

I really enjoy doing things with my hands, creating and not just things that involve food.  😀

I saw this darling idea for a Summer wreath on Pinterest and saved for a later time.

[Photo courtesy of handmadeandcraft.com]

How stinkin’ cute is this?

Here was the rub for me, I was having a devil of a time finding cocktail umbrellas!

This past May my husband and I went home to Hawaii for the month.  One afternoon we went out to lunch with an old pal and what did I spy right next door but a Party Store, YAY!  I wasn’t sure how many umbrellas I would need so I figured, what the heck, I’ll buy 3 boxes.  I mean who doesn’t smile when there’s a colorful umbrella in their drink?

So let’s get started then…

I had a light-weight Styrofoam form in my craft box but it does get a bit windy here in the middle of the desert… hmmm… 💡  I took a wooden skewer and poked two large-ish holes through the top and bottom of my soon to be door wreath.  I then ran some coated floral wire through the two holes and secured them tightly on both the top and bottom.  This way I could wire the finished project to the front screen door.

Next, I separated the different colored umbrellas for easier assembly.  The first pick I inserted was a touch long, so I still had my wire snips at hand…that worked.   I alternated the colors as well as the depth of each umbrella pick until I had the majority of the green foam covered.

DONE!

How close does that look to the Pin? ⭐

Get crafting!!

Fresh Chopped Herbs From The Freezer?

Sure!

I bought a bunch of Cilantro at the green grocers the other day, but I only needed a tablespoon or two for a dish, Pico de Gallo that went on our Fish Tacos.  I don’t use much of this herb, but I couldn’t see spending 50¢ and tossing out what I didn’t use.  That’s wasteful and I’m striving not  to do that.  So why not freeze it for later?

I chopped the entire bunch of herbs

Measured out in tablespoonful into Ice Cube trays

Covered each one with just enough water

Froze them hard and popped them out into a zip-top bag, with the date and content on it of course.

Now I’ve got enough chopped Cilantro to last me probably for a year.

Try this with fresh herbs like Parsley, Chives, anything really.

I saw this in the Megamart

[Photo courtesy of Dorot Gardens.com]

And they want something like $4, nope!  I’ll do it myself thanks.

Each of these cubes is a teaspoon.  I got 17 18 tablespoons for 50¢ (I used 1 tbsp in my salsa) and there’s 3 teaspoons to a tablespoon.  So that makes my Cilantro cube 3¢ compared to theirs for 67¢, hmmm …   😉

A Copycat Zippy’s Restaurant Meal In The Middle Of The Desert

If you’re a regular here at My Kitchen In The Middle Of The Desert, you already know that I am a simple local gal from Kaneohe Oahu Hawaii; one of my past times in ten years or so since leaving my birthplace, is to try to re-create dishes of my youth.

You may also know that I have conquered my quest to copycat Zippy’s Macaroni Salad, a local staple.

ON THE MONEY!

So…

In my last post, I was telling you about Zippy’s Fried Chicken.  We had what we thought was the best supper yet, but wait!

I had some chicken leftover, imagine that … so I expanded on that … I made some Mac Salad, a fresh pot of Rice, some warmed-up-from-frozen-Zippy’s Chili that I brought back from Hawaii this past May, and the rest as they say is legend!

 

ALOHA!

It’s Been Awhile, Hasn’t it?

First, let me apologize for being absent for so long, but, we’ve been awfully busy.  To start with, we spent the month of May on Oahu Hawaii to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary… we had the best time!  I mean, who wouldn’t?

I brought back a 50 pound suitcase FULL of goodies that can only be found in Hawaii.  One of the items  was from Zippy’s Restaurant, Fried Chicken Mix.  Yeah, so what you’re probably saying to yourself… oh no my friends.  Zippy’s Fried Chicken is some the best both DH and I have ever had.

I guess about December of last year, Zippy’s came out with Fried Chicken Mix, as well as Mochiko Chicken Mix, Pancake Mix and their own blend of Coffee.  WELL!  As soon as we got ourselves going in Honolulu, we had lunch at Zippy’s, and what do you think I bought?  That’s right… two packages of their Fried Chicken Mix.

For dinner tonight, I made us what some might call a Zippy’s Mini Fried Chicken Plate

Oh my gravy all over my two scoop rice (that’s OMG! in my world)!! That was just like having dinner at Zippy’s, and I’m not kidding you!

This was a test run to see if I could replicate this meal that we love from back home and I hit this one out of the park!  So … next time we’ll make a Chicken and Chili Plate !!!

Lunch at Zippy’s, back in May 2018