Category Archives: At Home

What’s Your Travel Bucket List Look Like?

So we started to talk about our Travel Bucket List and I was thinking that this would make for a great
conversation!

It all started when I saw this, somewhere, I forget where :

I started marking off where I had been already:

… and tops on our future  travel bucket list is Horseshoe Bend!  It’s not very far from our house, so we’ve already got a plan ready to GOOOOOOOOO!

How’s about you?
Where would you like to go?
And it really doesn’t need to be in the US,
why not think global?

Of course this conversation is purely for entertainment sake.
In today’s World, we’re not going anywhere for a while 
but it’s fun to dream, isn’t it? 

… and if you could, hit that like button if you like what you’re reading, leave a comment below maybe just to say ALOHA and subscribe to my blog to get an email when a new post has been uploaded.

MAHALO!

Hawaii-Style Beef Stew, My Way

*** Before we get started, I just wanted to say TODAY
marks my blog’s 8th birthday 
I’m very excited as well that my blog also JUST
received it’s 100,000 hit!!! 

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Once again, I’m posting this recipe mostly for myself. I don’t make this dish very often and can never remember how I did it the last time that came out so dang ONO !! 
I refer back to my blog often for not only inspiration, but the “how to” sometimes.

 

Hawaii-Style Beef Stew, My Way

6-8 servings

2 lbs. boneless Chuck Roast or Stew Meat, 1-1 1/2″ diced & patted dry (I buy Chuck Blade when it goes on sale, butcher it and freeze it for later use )
2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
1/2 large Sweet Onion, 1/2″ dice, divided (I use Maui or Vidalia Onions)
1 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
3 Tbsp. Flour
1 Bay Leaf
2-3 Qts. Beef Broth
1 1/2 C. Carrots, 1/2 ” dice
1 1/2 C. Celery, 1/2″ dice
1 15 oz. can Diced Tomatoes (I use Petite/No Salt Added)
1 large Russet Potato, 1/2 ” dice
S&P to taste
Approx. 2 Tbsp. Wondra Flour + Water for a thickening Slurry

In a large Dutch Oven over medium-high, heat the Oil and brown the Meat in batches. Set aside on a plate.
Add about 1/3 of your chopped Onions and sauté for about 2 minutes.
Add the Tomato Paste and stir for about 2 minutes.
Add the Flour and again, stir for about 2 minutes.
Add back in the Meat along with any accumulated juices and the Bay Leaf; about 2 quarts of broth, enough to just cover the Meat. Cover, bring to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer for 2 hours or until the Meat is just tender.
Add the Potatoes, Carrots and Celery and simmer until the Potato is fork-tender. You might need to add more Beef Broth, so keep an eye on it. You want a good ratio of goodies to gravy !!!

Taste for seasoning.
Thicken the now GORGEOUS broth with your Slurry to your desired consistency.

Stews (as well as Soups) taste better the next day.

In Hawaii, we like our Stew And Rice, and say it as one word 

Who doesn’t adore Gravy and Rice?   I always make lots of Gravy!

But you serve your Hawaii-Style Beef Stew how your family enjoys.

Cook For Your Family !!

Hauoli Makahiki Hou! Happy New Year!!

Here’s to a great New Year!

CHEERS EVERYONE!

Mele Kalikimaka! Merry Christmas!

This year, we are not able to spend Christmas with my Mother in California and we all know why

But I can look back on the photos that we took of our time all together.

I don’t think I’ll make quite as many dishes this year to snack on, but I know that it’ll be delicious.

Enjoy Each Other’s Company!

Hawaii-Style Portuguese Bean Soup, My Way

I’m posting this recipe mostly for myself. I don’t make this Soup very often and can never remember how I did it! 

 

But now that I can find Linguica here In The Middle Of The Desert, I’ll be making this much more often … we really like this Soup.

Hawaii-Style Portuguese Bean Soup, My Way

6 servings

8oz. Portuguese Sausage, diced (I can find Silva Brand; use approx. 1 1/3 Sausage)
Approx. 1 C. cooked Ham Hock Meat
1 qt. Ham Stock + 2 C. Water (use the diced Tomato can)
1 Garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 C. Onion, diced
1 1/2 C. Carrots, 1/2″ diced
1 1/2 C. Celery, 1/2″ diced
1 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
1 15 oz. can diced Tomatoes
1 large Russet Potato, 1/2″ diced
1 15 oz. can Kidney Beans, liquid drained, but not rinsed (I used the Light Red Kidney Beans)
2 C. Cabbage, 1″ chopped – optional (I used Napa Cabbage, `cuz that’s what I had, it takes less time to cook and I think it’s sweeter too)
S&P to taste
1 C. Cooked Elbow Macaroni, set aside

*Note: it’s best to boil the heck out of 2 Smoked Ham Hocks, as you would make any Stock. Reserve the meat separately from the liquid.  You should get 2 quarts of Stock and enough Meat for 2 batches of this recipe.

1) Lightly fry the Sausage in a large Dutch Oven, reserve the rendered oil
2) Add to the pot the Garlic, Onions, Carrots and Celery, the Tomato Paste last and sauté everything for just a few minutes
3) Add the Ham Hock meat, diced Tomato, Stock and Water, bring to a boil, reduce to heat and simmer for 30 minutes, covered
4) Add the Potato and cook for about 10 minutes, until almost done
5) Add the can of Beans and cook for another 10 minutes. You might have to add more water if too much has evaporated
6) If using Cabbage, add after the Beans have cooked for 5 minutes, continue simmering for the remainder of the 5 minutes for the Beans.
7) Adjust the consistency as desired with a Wondra Flour Slurry (we prefer a thicker Soup)

Soup will always taste better the next day.

To serve, re-heat the Soup and add the Elbow Macaroni, or just add as much as you like to your Bowl and pour over the hot Soup.
Like the good local gal that I am, I always serve my Portuguese Bean Soup with Diamond Bakery Soda Crackers that I bring back from Hawaii in my suitcase.

Cook For Your Family !!

Thanksgiving 2020 With Social Distancing

THIS, has been a very odd year that is going down in the books,

FOR SURE!

DH and I were invited to have Thanksgiving dinner with a group of friends and friends-of-friends at one of our local country clubs, but with the World in the state that it is, we’re just going to stay at home.

So, really it won’t be much different than most other years, just that it’ll only be us two.

My Mother, who now lives in California, is basically in lock-down at her Senior Living Community. The admin gals there asked us not to come out to visit from Arizona, mostly because you just don’t know what kind of bugs you’d be bringing along for the ride.

In years past, I’ve made an entire Turkey, even if it was only for two, and then freeze the leftovers. Well, I went freezer diving out in the garage the other day, and came up with half of a Turkey breast …

I ditched that!

This year I’m going to make a Turkey Tenderloin, along with the usual side dishes.

What I look forward to the most is leftover Stuffing!

And of course …

PIE!

Apple Crostata for DH and Pumpkin for Moi 

Cook for your family and stay safe everyone!

I’ve Joined The Instant Pot® Craze

Yup!
I finally dove in, I bought The Pioneer Woman Instant Pot LUX60 Breezy Blossoms 6-Quart 6-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, and Warmer … whew! That was a mouthful.

Isn’t she pretty?

I researched the heck out of the pros and cons of owning and cooking with an Instant Pot®, but what sealed the deal for me was, Walmart had an incredible sale on this beauty! The regular price is $99USD, I got it for $49 !!!

NOW!
We’ll need to try this puppy out:

The fresh Corn on the cob season is just about done here in Arizona, let’s give this a whirl.
It was just okay.

Next try:

Hard Boiled Eggs, well, they’re really not boiled, rather Pressure Cooked.
Meh 
I still got that dreaded green/grey ring around the yolk, dang it!

Round Three:

BBQ Spareribs.
I understood from many, many folks that this will be a game changer. I’ll give it the speed and ease for tender Ribs.
I made my own Barbeque Sauce to paint on those bad boys while on a screamin’ hot grill, after Pressure Cooking for about 17 minutes.
LOVE LOVE LOVE that charred bit from the open flame.

What’s next?
I’m not sure yet, but I’ll surely tell you folks all about it

Cook For Your Family!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN !!

I love decorating our house for different holidays.

 

I saw this idea on some other social media site, I forget, but what a cute idea, right?!
Everything you see here to create this planter was from Dollar Tree, except for the Black Bucket. That’s an Ice Bucket that I’ve had for years. I simply added some floral foam, tapped it down with Gorilla Tape and stuck the flowers and leaves in. The Witches Legs from Dollar Tree, I just cut a piece of orange Pool Noodle off and slipped then Witches stockings over it, added a dowel and jabbed it into the floral foam. Her broom is a Dollar Tree Plunger handle, with a bag of Raffia artfully tied around it.

 

 

This Door Hanger is ALL from Dollar Tree! I have acrylic paints to do my Painted Rocks, so there was that… The bow is a simple Pom Pom Bow secured with a piece of Pipe Cleaner or Chenille Stem and then hot glued on to the BOO wooden sign. The three Ghosts are again from Dollar Tree that I suspended with Fishing Line, stapled to the back of the BOO sign, DONE 

 

 

The Ghosts in the tree out front are just half spheres of foam with some Cheesecloth and floral wire to hang them by, easy!

 

My Milk Jug Jack `O Lanterns took some time to collect. 
I saw a pattern for faces on Pinterest, printed them out, cut them out and transferred to the jugs with a black Sharpie pen. I put some sand in the bottoms to keep them from blowing `about and them cut a 3 inch “door” in the back of each jug to string some battery operated outdoor twinkle lights that I use at Christmas time. Love this!

Have a safe and fun-filled Halloween everyone!

What’s For Dinner?

*** I’ve been thinking alot about what each dish I serve costs us per serving.  I’ve re-reading, again, alot of my older posts.  This particular one is from February 2, 2013 — WOW!  Over SEVEN years ago!  What I’ve done here, again, is to add the cost of items and then the total per serving in RED. ***

 

How often in your lifetime have you heard that question? DH has been watching very carefully what he’s been eating, I think I said that already, but it bears repeating. I not only plan and cook meals that are low in calories, but shop for them too. My method is to seek and conquer. I go to 4 different places to do my food shopping and it’s a blast! Since I’m retired, I have all the time in the world to just meander through and see what I see. It’s kind of like being on a scavenger hunt in a way. What to make, what to make?

Last week I was in Wal-Mart and normally I don’t buy produce there, I go to a green grocery down the road a piece more. This Wal-Mart Super Store is set up so that as you come in the half of the building with the food goods, you have to go past the fruits and vegetables. At the end of the aisle, for some odd reason, something caught my eye, Broccoli Slaw in a bag.

 

It’s just julienne broccoli stems, carrots and some cabbage. HHMMMM! That would make a great stir fry, DING DING DING, did you hear that? As I sat down to share this idea with the class and was perusing the Internet, I found several brands that put out this same thing, why have I never seen this before. Chicken, Pork, Beef, Shrimp, Tofu, leftover whatever anything will make for a scrumptious stir fry.  When I told my husband how many calories were on his plate, he didn’t believe me; I didn’t give him any noodles.  This was my plate.

Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry

Chicken-Broccoli Slaw Stir Fry

3 boneless-skinless Chicken thighs, sliced into thin strips   $2.99/lb — I used about 1/2 pound so $1.50

1 tsp. Cornstarch

1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce (we’ve talk about this, look for Aloha Shoyu)

1 tsp Mirin

1/2 tsp. Sesame oil    Approx. 50¢ for the remaining ingredients above

Combine all of the above in a bowl and set aside for about 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix:

1/2 C. Chicken broth    Approx. 38¢

2Tbsp. Soy Sauce

1tsp. Mirin

1/2 tsp. Sesame Oil

1/2 tsp Corn starch

Mince up 2 Garlic cloves and 1Tbsp. fresh Ginger    Approx. 50¢ for the remaining ingredients above

Set aside 1 bag of Broccoli Slaw    $1.99

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Total $4.87 ÷ 2 servings (not including any starch) = $2.43/plate

 

Over medium-high, heat a non-stick skillet with a scant tablespoon of canola oil. Toss in the marinated chicken and spread it out in a single layer in the pan, now, DON’T TOUCH IT!   Once the edges of the chicken starts to turn white, give a good stir with a wooden spoon (you don’t want to scratch that non-stick pan, do you?). When the chicken is almost done (and nicely caramelized), clear a small spot in the pan and add a little oil to heat and add the garlic and ginger; once you can smell it, stir everything up again. Dump in the entire bag of slaw, toss that around, just for a minute. Add the broth mixture, it’ll bubble and thicken up; stir everything together and serve. In our house we have this with either steamed white rice or Asian noodles.

Add or delete what you and your family like. Try some more veg in there like onions or peppers, mushrooms; make that protein stretch farther.  I was going for an easy dinner and really, all I did was cut up the chicken, garlic and ginger.  How much easier could a fresh, home cooked meal be?

Remember, a recipe is just someone else’s idea, you take it and make it your own.

What Was The First Thing You EVER Cooked?

I wanted to cook from long before I could reach the stove without standing on a chair!

I even remember being given my first Cook Book:

Photo courtesy of Amazon

I was over the moon excited! So what was the first thing that I cooked?

Photo courtesy of Amazon

Security Cinnamon Toast for my Dad!

I’m not sure why, but the other morning I woke up with a hankerin’ for Cinnamon Toast!

Of course my Father thought that my  Cinnamon Toast was just the bees knees!

Don’t ya love food memories?