Category Archives: Cooking At Home

Homemade No Knead Crusty White Bread

Since the World fell off it’s axis back in, what was it March, I think, anyways … since then, it has been nearly impossible to find Dry Active or Instant Yeast, let alone any Wheat Flour!

WELL!

I may have made mention that my Pal Carolyn from up the street a ways, gifted me some Yeast and I did find two 5 pound bags of All-Purpose Flour, YAY!!

 

 

I already made one batch of No Knead Dutch Oven Bread with the recipe that Carolyn gave me, adapted for High Altitude, now let’s make KAF No Knead Crusty White Bread, shall we?

 

 

This recipe made me 4 decent sized baguettes, not bad.  But oops, can you see the two loaves to the left there?  I didn’t make deep enough slashes in the dough prior to baking round one on my Baking Stone.

 

 

But look how gorgeous this came out!  I’m very pleased with the results.

 

 

YUM!

 

 

I shared three of the loaves with the Neighbors, along with a jar of homemade Fresh Strawberry Jam that I tried my hand at.  I mean what goes better with Bread than Jam and Butter?

Share your food everyone.

 

Chicken Marsala, My Way

I’m doing another re-post from March 12, 2017 this time.

I made this recipe last night for Sunday Supper (I like to have Pasta on Sundays 😉 ) and I realized something about this recipe… the ‘sauce’ part it it is so dang delicious, I am going to say that we need MORE!  So please see some adjustments to this recipe if you’ve already printed this one out and tried it at home.

 

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

serves 2 very hungry people

 

2 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!

 

Another Kitchen Fail, S#|! Happens Sometimes

No really, stuff happens in the kitchen sometimes, you just can’t help it!  Ya gotta just roll with it and go with Plan B, always have a back plan.

The other morning I needed to get myself out the door to meet some gal-pals and wanted to put together an easy Brunch for DH.  I went with Costco Croissant Breakfast Sandwiches, simple enough.  I asked DH if he would like to have the Croissants toasted, “Sure”.

 

 

DANG IT!

I set them ON FIRE!

 

 

I’m still not use to this Gas Range and the Broiler, OH WELL.  DH did finally get something to eat.

Meyer Lemon Curd, YUM!

I’m going to post another throwback blog post.  The reason for this is I had made a batch of my Meyer Lemon Curd with the intent to use as a filling to either Lemon Bars or Pie, but things got away from me, so I stashed it in a gallon sized zip-top bag full in the freezer for later.

 

 

We’ve been invited to many Cocktail Parties in our Neighborhood since going into SIP Mode, sitting outdoors and maintaining our Social Distance, of course.

I was trying to dream up a Hostess Gift idea, and came up with this!

 

 

I just snipped a decent sized hole in the corner of the zip-bag and piped the Curd into a cleaned and sterilized half pint Mason Jar.  The frozen Curd was still quite malleable, but do be sure that you get as many of the air bubbles out with a plastic knife before sealing the jar.  The label I made myself on my laptop, printed that out, used some Craft Glue, Clear Wrap and some leftover ribbon that I have stashed away.  I added my Calling Card for our new Neighbor who invited a bunch of us over the other evening, and …

BAM!

Food As Gifts!

 

March 25, 2014

Years back, I use to watch Martha Stewart’s television programs and then, well you know, things happened.  One particular episode, I recall her making Lemon Curd and I thought that someday I’d try that.

My darling husband goes nuts for Lemon Meringue Pie and don’t ya know, that’s what’s in the middle of it (shhh, please don’t tell him that, he claims to HATE curd, “that sounds gross”).

I found some more Meyer Lemons of all places, at Walmart, so here goes.

Auntie’s Meyer Lemon Pie Filling

12 Egg Yolks (freeze the whites in two separate containers for later use, like frosting for a cake)

2 C granulated Sugar

6 Meyer Lemons, juiced (approx. 1 C of juice, no seeds please)

2 sticks of Butter, diced

Zest from the Meyer Lemons

This recipe makes approximately 2 pints.

In a metal or glass bowl (heat-proof), whisk the egg yolks and sugar.  Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, making sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.  Pour in the juice and stir continually with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon for about 10-15 minutes, until the mixture thickens.  Make sure not to allow the mixture to boil.  Add the butter and stir until melted and well incorporated.  Whisk in the reserved zest.

Carefully pour the curd into sterilized jars, best to use half pints or smaller mason jars, leaving ½ inch of head space.  With a damp paper towel, wipe the rim of the jars and seal with the lids and rings.

If you would like to ‘put up’ your bounty for later consumption, process them in boiling water for 20 minutes, allow to cool overnight and store for up to one year (if they last that long).

Should you not feel so inclined to ‘can’ your curd, simply cool and then refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

I gotta tell ya, the smell in the house was heavenly.  I got 4 half pint jars and then half of a 5th jar that I stashed in the `fridge for toast the next morning.  Not shown here was a huge dollop of Meyer Lemon Curd in my yogurt the following morning.

 

** Edit-2/2017- I was reading about dairy based canning recently; It is now recommended that instead of using the Water Bath method, Pressure Canning or Freezing is the preferred technique. **

Spam, Spam, Spam and Spam

I posted this article back in April of 2013.  Here we are, about the same time SEVEN years later in the middle of a SIP Mode, and I’ve been needing to come up with more meal ideas than usual 🙂

So, I’ve been using my blog as a resource for different dishes to make with what I have on hand.  I’ve always got at least one can of Spam® in my pantry!

 

Spam is a wonderful thing, I’m talking about the canned meat, not that junk in your email box. In Hawaii, we make something called Spam Musubi (moo-sue-bee), it’s something like sushi I guess you could say.

I knew that Spam became very popular there during World War II, as well as much of the Pacific. The USArmy found that it was the most effect way to get meat to the soldiers.

I did a Google search on Spam and was simply fascinated. I won’t do any lengthy copy&paste for you, I’ll just hyperlink the Wikipedia article for you to read. One fact I do want to point out to you though, in the United States, Hawaii residents consume the most Spam per capita. Do I still count?

Teriyaki Spam Musubi

5 ½ – 6 cups cooked medium grain white Rice

1 can Spam, sliced equally into 8 pieces

2 sheets of Musubi Nori

Sauce:

¼ cup Brown Sugar

½ cup Soy Sauce (I love low sodium Aloha Shoyu)

1 Garlic clove, smashed

Steam the rice and allow to cool down enough to handle, but still warm.

In a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients until the sugar dissolves, set aside.

In a dry skillet, brown the Spam well; set aside. Wipe out the pan, add in the sauce and bring to a bubble; add back in the spam, turning occasionally, until sauce thickens.

Time to assemble!

Place a piece a plastic wrap over a board. Cut each sheet of Nori in 4 equal pieces, there should be perforations to follow on the sheets. Place a piece of Nori shiny side down on the plastic and the Musubi form over the middle of it.

Fill the form with rice; press down very firmly with the top piece of the form that has been moistened with water.  While still holding down the handle of the top, carefully remove the form and top piece.

Place a slice of Spam over the rice; wrap the Nori tightly over the Spam and rice, damping the last edge with water to ensure it sticks to itself.

Wrap tightly in the plastic wrap and set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes, this softens the Nori a bit and makes much more pleasant to eat.

Unwrap and enjoy a little piece of Hawaii, preferable at the beach!  Back home, these yummy treats are enjoyed anytime of day or night.  They can be found just about anywhere, even at gas stations.

ALOHA!

Speaking Of Homemade Bread …

One of the Neighborhood Gals recently gave me a loaf of her most delicious Homemade Bread! I asked her for the recipe and she very generously not only printed that out for me but also gave me some sorely needed Active Dry Yeast!
Have you tried to find Yeast in the markets lately? 

JEEZ!

Now that we live at almost 5000 feet in elevation, you need to make adjustments to baked goods. My pal was kind enough to even add those instructions!

Carolyn’s No Knead Dutch Oven Bread

makes one 1 1/1 pound loaf

1/4 tsp. Active Dry Yeast
1 1/2 C. warm Water
3 C. All Purpose Flour (plus more for dusting)
1 1/2 tsp. Salt

In a large bowl add the Water and Yeast, stir to dissolve.
Add in the Flour and Salt and stir until well blended.
This is a VERY sticky dough, don’t worry.

I used this, a Dough Whisk, also referred to as a “Danish dough whisk” or “brodpisker”.  It worked like a charm on this wet, sticky dough!

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or as I used a Shower Cap that I sprayed with Vegetable Oil. Let rise in a warm place for at least 8 hours or up 18.

Turn the dough out on to a floured work surface; using a bench scrape, I gently turned the dough into itself a coupla times, covered it loosely with plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Generously Flour a Tea Towel. Using your Bench scraper and enough Flour so that the dough doesn’t stick to everything, shape the dough into a ball and place it seam side down on the Tea Towel. Cover with another Towel and let rise for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.

At least 20 minutes before the dough is ready to go into the oven, heat the oven to 475° with a heavy covered 6-8 quart Dutch Oven in it, either Cast Iron, Enamel, Pyrex or Ceramic. I had cut a piece of Parchment Paper to fit prior to doing so, just to make the transfer of the dough ball to the pot easier.
Once ready, carefully remove the Dutch Oven from the oven and remove the lid. Gently slide your hand under the Tea Towel and with that Parchment Paper on the top of the loaf, turn everything over so as the seam side is now on top. Place the Parchment Paper filled with the dough into the Dutch Oven and give it a shake to distribute the dough.
Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove the lid and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until gorgeously brown.

Remove the Bread to a rack and cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.

** For elevations above 3000 feet use:
3 1/4 C. All Purpose Flour
2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Active Dry Yeast
1 3/4 C. warm Water

and follow instructions as above.

When I took the Bread out of the Oven, I turned it over and tapped with my knuckle on the bottom of the Loaf, it had a wonderful “hallow” sound to it, saying that it was perfectly baked.  Also, as it was cooling, you could hear some lovely, tiny crackling sounds, the sure sign of nicely crisped crust on the outside… YUM!!

Save Those Bones!

Talking about Soup … In my last post, I talked about making your own Stock.  This makes a wonderful base for many dishes, not just Soup.

 

 

Ever since the World fell off it’s axis and went bonkers, I have had a hard time finding Boneless-Skinless Chicken that I keep in my Deep Freeze.  No problem!  I found a 12 pound package of Bone-In/Skin-On fresh Chicken at Costco.  It’s honestly not that difficult to de-bone that bag of Yardbird, but please, please, PLEASE save those bones, oh and the skin too 😉

Get yourself a half sheet rimmed baking sheet, filled with those salvaged bones along with whatever Veggies you have that aren’t quite pretty enough for a meal.  I used limp Carrots, Celery and Onions from the Veg Bin. Toss the lot with some Olive Oil and S&P.  Pop that all into a hot oven, 450°, for about 30-40 minutes or until everything turns a lovely golden brown.

Next, break out a large Stock Pot, fill it with 8-12 cups of cool water.  Chuck in the contents of that sheet pan, along with about 2-3 Garlic Cloves-smashed (you don’t need to bother peeling them either), 2-3 tablespoons of whole Black Pepper Corns, 2-3 Bay Leaves and some leftover Parsley Stems, yes stems, they give the Stock and better taste than using the Leaves.

Bring this all to a gentle boil; reduce the heat to a simmer and skim off that “foam” that collects on the surface.  I like to cook this for about 4 hours or until any of that meat from the Bones falls off and the Veg Matter is quite soft.

 

 

Strain off the solids and reserve as much of the beautiful Stock as you can possibly squeeze out through a mesh strainer.  Now you can discard those Bones, they’ve given up all they can.

 

Save your cooled Homemade Stock however you like.  I’ll freeze some of it in an Ice Cube tray for recipes that call for a coupla tablespoons of Stock or Broth.

You just made about 2-3 quarts of lovely goodness that is low in sodium, fat and cost you NOTHING! 

Look What I Found!

 

Say what?!

16 ounces of Commercially made Soup for $4.99 + local taxes, I think anyways, is pretty dawg-gone steep!  That’s about 2 servings of Soup – a cup a piece.

 

 

I make my own broth …

 

 

… and then I make my own pot of Soup for pennies per serving.  Also, when you cook from scratch, you know exactly what’s in your dish.  Store bought or prepared foods, have SOOOOOO much sodium in it that’s not  good for you!  Whatever is leftover, I freeze for later in portion sizes.

Cook for your family!

 

 

Chicken and Mushroom Hot Dish

My husband and I have been in the SIP Mode now for just about TEN WEEKS! And it’s getting harder and harder to dream up dinner ideas. 

I stand there in front of the open `fridge or stare at the Deep Freeze Inventory Dry Erase Board and try to think of interesting, tasty, not-what-we-ate-last-night dishes.

I had de-frosted two boneless-skinless Chicken Thighs, had a handful of fresh Cremini Mushrooms that needed to get used up, 2 or 3 cups of Homemade Chicken Stock that should really go into the freezer, the ever present pot of steamed White Rice and of course my well stocked pantry with Onions and Garlic

Let’s throw this all together and call it a Hot Dish!

Chicken & Mushroom Hot Dish
Serves Two

2 B/S Chicken Thighs (or Breast Meat, whatever you have), diced
1 C. fresh Mushrooms, diced (Button, Cremini, even canned if you must, just heat those through)
1/2 C. Sweet White Onion, diced
1 Garlic Clove, finely minced
2 Tbsp. Oil (Olive, Vegetable, Canola, what’s in your pantry)
1 Tbsp. fresh Flat Leaf Parsley, minced or 1 tsp. dried Parsley
2 C. Chicken Gravy **
S&P to taste

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the Oil over medium-high, once you see wisps of smoke, add the Mushrooms and sauté them to light golden.
Next add the Onion and cook til translucent; stir in the Garlic until it’s just fragrant. Transfer everything to a plate and set aside.
Add another tablespoon of Oil to the pan and heat until it shimmers; sauté the Chicken until cooked through, set aside with the Mushroom mixture.

** At this point, you can make your own Gravy in a snap.
Add 1 1/2 cups of Chicken Broth/Stock and scrape up any bits that got stuck to the bottom of the pan; bring to a boil, then reduce to a medium heat.
In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup of Broth/Stock with 1/4 cup of Flour, whisk until there’s no more lumps. Slowly whisk this into the hot Broth/Stock and simmer until thickened. Taste of S&P.

OR

Add just a little water to the pan to de-glaze it, scraping up those lovely bits and add in a store bought Gravy and bring it to a simmer.

Either way, now we add back into the pan that Chicken and Mushroom mixture, give it a really good stir and bring it all to a simmer. Add in the Parsley and check for seasoning.


Serve warm over cooked Rice or Noodles.

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

A Taste of Home, Kalbi Rib Dinner

Oh my gravy all over my two scoop rice, that’s OMG!  in my world if you’re just joining in
Recently, I discovered our local Carniceria and what a find!  It’s a Butcher’s Shop and man oh man, am I a happy camper.
Back home in Hawaii, we would have take-out from this small Korean restaurant and they made the best Kalbi or Galbi Ribs. This particular dish requires a specific cut of Beef Short Rib, it’s called Flanken and I had yet to find that here! 

WELL!
Look what I found 

AND I just so happen to have brought back from Hawaii on this last trip, Noh Foods Korean Barbecue MixDOUBLE YAY!!
 

I got to work pretty quickly on this dish.

Super simple, I made a bag with my FoodSaver, chopped up a bunch of Green Onions, mixed the contents of that dry mix with Water and Vegetable Oil and some toasted Sesame Seeds, chucked everything into that bag and sealed it. I parked the Ribs in the `fridge on a rimmed baking sheet over night.

The next evening, I fired up my grill and it was almost time for grind!
Earlier that day, I went over to our favorite Sushi take-out joint and collected two trays of different Sushi to go with our local-style feast.

I also put together My Quick Cucumber Kim Chee and a fresh pot of Rice.

*BELCH*  excuse me 

THAT was ONO!!