Category Archives: Cooking At Home

Hawaiian-Style Lunch For Two At Home In The Middle Of The Desert

Yup, that’s right.

My husband made a request the other day, he said that he was really ono (hungry for) for some Poke and Sushi.  Well, I was out and about and stopped into my favorite green grocer.  HEH! They’ve got a Sushi Counter, ya know the kind were they make it right in front of you to take home, complete with Wasabi, Pickled Ginger and a small packet of Shoyu (they had chopsticks and forks too 😉 ).

Also in the fresh fish case they had Ahi fillets, CHEAP…I love this place.

DING DING DING!!!  LUNCH!  YUM!

When I got home, I made up a batch of Shoyu Ahi Poke with a beautiful half pound Ahi steak and served that with the Unagi (Fresh Water Eel) Nigiri Sushi.

What a treat!

Baked Disco Tots

You’ve heard of Disco Fries, Right?  Well, here’s my spin on it.

This dish couldn’t be easier!  I baked some Trader Joe’s Trader Potato Tots, following the directions on the package; sprinkled loads of shredded Cheese over the top and put them back into the hot oven for like 30 seconds, just to melt the Cheese.

Now plate and enjoy.  I like mine with Kewpie Mayonnaise, you choose your own dipper, but it’s really not necessary, these gems are perfect just as they are.

 

Chicken Marsala, My Way

Chicken Marsala is one of my favorite dishes not only to make but to eat as well.  I’ve tried several different recipes and have mashed together my own version.

Auntie Doni’s Chicken Marsala

4 boneless-skinless Chicken Thighs (or Breasts), diced into bite sized pieces

1/4 C. Flour

1/2 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Pepper

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

10 oz. Crimini Mushrooms (Baby Bellas), diced

1/2 of small White Onion, diced fine

1 Garlic Clove, mined

3/4 C. Dry Marsala Wine

1 1/4 C. Chicken Broth

2 Tbsp. Butter, cold

In a large pan, heat the oil; sauté the Mushrooms until nicely brown, remove to a bowl.  Add more oil, if needed and sweat the White Onions until translucent; add the Garlic and sauté until fragrant, transfer to the bowl with the Mushrooms and set aside.

Toss the Chicken in the flour, salt and pepper, shake off any excess.  Add more oil to the pan if needed and brown the Chicken, about 3-5 minutes per side; transfer to a plate and set that aside as well.  Add the Wine to the pan and scrape up the nice brown bits in the pan and bring to a bubble.  Pour in the broth, add back in the Mushrooms, Onions and Garlic, stir well and simmer for a few minutes; add back in the Chicken, stir to combine it all and continue simmering until the sauce starts to thicken, about 5 minutes.  Add that cold Butter and swirl the pan around to melt and incorporate it into the sauce.   The sauce will thicken further, but don’t let it reduce too far.

Serve over Pasta, Rice, Polenta or even mashed Potatoes.  Garnish with some chopped Parsley and grated Cheese.

ENJOY!

 

Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies For Mom

Back home in Hawaii, we can get these a~maz~ing Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies from The Big Island aka Hawaii Island.  Now that we’ve moved to the mainland, NOPE, NADA, NO CAN GET!  So once again the mother of need raises her head and says, MAKE YOUR OWN!

My Mom no longer lives 12 miles away from my DH and I, so I make up my version of a care package for her every so often.  I’ve added these to her most recent box.

Auntie Doni’s Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies

½ C. Macadamia Nuts, Roasted, unsalted and coarsely chopped

1/3 C. granulated Sugar

½ C. Unsalted Butter, softened

½ tsp. Salt

1 ¼ C. Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

½-1 C. Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Melting Wafers

In a food processor, pulse the nuts until ground fine, set aside.  In a stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, salt and those ground nuts.  Mix in the flour, just until combined.

Macadamia Nut Cookie logs

Form the dough into two 14 X 3 X 1” logs and wrap them in plastic.  Stash them in the `fridge for 1-24 hours.  Preheat the oven to 350⁰.  Line a **baking sheet** with either parchment paper or a Silpat® Mat (optimum choice).

place slices 1 inch apart

Slice the dough in ¼ inch widths; place on the sheet pan one inch apart.

Bake for 10 or until just lightly golden on the edges.  Place on a cooling rack.  Melt your dipping chocolate as directed on the package.

Chocolate dipped Macadamia Nut Cookies

Dip half of the cookie in the melted chocolate;

Place back on the Silpat® Mat (or parchment paper),

oh my, garnished chocolate dipped macadamia nut cookies

Add optional garnish of ground Macadamia Nuts;

Allow to cool completely, wrap and gift.

ALOHA!

**It’s best to use a light colored baking sheet for lighter colored baked goods**

a lighter colored pan makes for lighter colored bottoms on my our baked goods

Trader Joe’s Soft Pretzel Sandwiches

A few days back, I was telling you about a new find I discovered at Trader Joe’s,  Soft Pretzel Sticks.

YUM!

WELL!  On my most recent journey to one of my favorite places to shop for food, I grabbed a bunch of these culinary delights and stashed them in the deep freeze for later.  I was looking for something for lunch a coupla days later and thought THAT  would make a terrific sandwich!

TJ's Soft Pretzel Ham & Cheese Sandwich

DING DING DING!  We have a winner folks.

I heated the rolls, split them open, slathered them in some Spicy Brown Mustard and lastly layered on Ham and Swiss Cheese.  DE~LI~CIOUS!!!

Me: So how’s that tastin’ ?

DH: MMM [garbled mouth-full mumbles] Where did you get this, this is really good!

Me: Trader Joe’s

DH: Can you make this again?

Me: YUP, you betcha.  😉

Pot Pie Fail

You remember my post a while back about Pot Pie For My Husband, right?

Well, it’s been quite some time since I last made this uber yummy dish, so here we go…

Looks good Chicken Pot Pie

It looks good, but, hmmm.  I didn’t have any butter, so I used Vegetable Shortening instead.  As I was making the dough for the crust, it just didn’t feel right, y’know?

Chicken Pot Pie made with Crisco

It smelled heavenly!  I let is cool for a bit before we dove in …

Chicken Pot Pie

NOPE!  That’s a fail alright.  WAY  too crumble-y, not enough gravy and kinda dry inside.

SO!  Lesson learned.  Stick with what is already tried-and-true. But that’s okay, we all have an oops now and again.

 

 

Espresso Dry Rub

I have two friends that are chefs, and we started to talk about dry rubs for grilling, etc.  Oddly enough, I had never made nor used a dry rub before.  So both of them sent me their recipes and I did a mash of the two to my own liking.

Auntie’s All-Purpose Dry Rub

1/2 C. Kosher or Sea Ssalt

1/4 C. Sweet Paprika

1/4 C. Brown Sugar

3 Tbsp. coarsely fresh ground Black Pepper

2 Tbsp. mild Chili Powder

1 1/2 Tbsp. Espresso or ground (very, very fine ground) Coffee

1 Tbsp. Unsweetened Cocoa

1 Tbsp. granulated Garlic

1 Tbsp. granulated Onion

1 Tbsp. ground Cumin

1 Tbsp. ground Cinnamon

1 Tbsp. ground Ginger

1 Tbsp. dried Oregano

1 Tbsp. dried Parsley

Throw everything into a Food Processor and whiz it up.

If using coarse Sea Salt, as I did, whiz the Salt first to your desired texture, then add the remaining ingredients and process.  And remember to shake well before using 😉

Make your own Spice Rub

This recipe yields 2 cups, which with fit nicely in a one pint Mason Jar.  This one’s for my Mom.

Store in airtight containers in your cool, dark cupboard, indefinitely.  But it won’t last too terribly long, `cuz you’ll be using this on everything.  Rubs aren’t just for grilled foods, you could use this mixture for any application.

My favorite way though is to use a generous amount of rub on boneless, thick, center cut Pork Chops and leave them alone in the `fridge for the day or even longer.

I load up my adorable little Gas Grill Smoker Box that I recently purchased and on they go.

And I call that dinner!

**Cook’s note: If you package your Dry Rub in a nice, labeled container, this makes a welcomed gift.

As always, recipes are simply someone else’s idea.  Take it and make it your own.  Maybe try Smoked Paprika, really lovely or some Citrus Zest; how about more Brown Sugar for a sweeter finish.

Enjoy!