Category Archives: At Home

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.  😉

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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 …   😉

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

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.