Category Archives: Dessert

Did I Say That I Made Cheesecake?

Yup!  Only the second time in my entire life that I’ve ever made Cheesecake.  I had no idea where to start, so I turned to my girl Martha, Martha Stewart that is.  I kinda-sorta followed the recipe, but I remembered that the first time I did this, the recipe made me TWO HUGE CHEESECAKES!!

AND I didn’t have quite enough Cream Cheese this time around.  I had three blocks left over from my Carrot Cake frenzy of this past Spring.  When I checked the “use by” dates on them it was all hands on deck!

My changes were 3 bricks of Cream Cheese instead of SEVEN, 3 eggs rather than 5 and half of what was called for all of the ingredients for the filling.  The crust was a standard crust recipe off the box of the Graham Cracker Crumbs, simple.

It came out very dense and not as sweet, I really liked it better actually.

That’s a lot of Cheesecake for two people though, so I frozen probably half the cake, in slices, for later.

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Homemade Caramel Sauce, Kitchen Fail!

HA! 😀

Y’know, sometimes stuff  just happens in the Kitchen…

I saw on one of these new fangled social media thingys, Serious Eats Easy Caramel Sauce, Hmmm … I just got a carton of Tillamook Old Fashion Vanilla Ice Cream for the deep freeze (it is starting to get warm here in the middle of the desert 😉 ) and I do like Caramel Sauce.

It looked good

It smelled good

and it tasted GREAT!!

For dessert that night, I poured my homemade sauce over a nice parfait glass of creamy goodness and … the sauce froze up HARD AS ROCK!!!   😀

Oh well, the Ice Cream was good   😛

I gotta say, I do like Serious Eats, all of their recipes and videos, but this was my one and only fail from them.  I’m sure that I did something wrong along the way, sorry Kenji.

Our Great Western Adventure ~ September 2013 ~ Installment #15 ~ Last Stop

I’m going to leave out Cheyenne Wyoming, mainly because it was simply a stop to sleep as we made our way to our final town, Durango Colorado.

DH and I have been here a few times before for visits with a friend of mine, but honestly, we really like it there.

The drive from Cheyenne though was a little harrowing to say the least. As we approached a mountain pass, we could see that a pretty bad looking storm was coming. Unfortunately it hit us full force as we got to the top of Wolf Creek Pass in Colorado.

I have never, in my life, been so scared.

Hail, snow, sleet, ice, all coming down in buckets, the first winter storm of the season, great! My husband pulled off of the road twice, mostly because we just couldn’t see and we don’t have four wheel drive. Somehow, we made it down the other side of that mountain and were only 3 hours beyond our estimated time of arrival at our hotel.

Well, the next morning the sun was out and there was oodles of snow up on the mountains, so we took a drive from Durango to Silverton. A little cold for a gal from Hawaii, but just gorgeous!

Sautéed Sesame Beef rice bowl @ Rice Monkeys in Durango Colorado

My friend is a chef in Durango, so who better to ask where to eat, right? We had lunch at Rice Monkeys. We ordered Edamame to start and then Teri-Chicken rice bowl for DH (didn’t get a photo `cuz hubby wolfed it down) and Sautéed Sesame Beef rice bowl for myself. That hit the spot!

The following day we were having dinner at our friend’s home, so we figured a big breakfast or brunch as it was, would be best. On my DF’s suggestion, we went to Durango Doughworks. The best  bagel that we’ve had in a very long time, good call Joey! In fact, we wound up eating breakfast here twice on this visit and I’m sure that we’ll be back again the next time that we are in town.

Dinner at my chefy-friend-Joey’s was the bomb-diggity! She pulled no punches, she put out a spread of so many different dishes, I wasn’t sure where to start. The best plan of attack was to try a little of everything!

Our last night in Durango, we went to dinner at Mutu’s Italian Kitchen, once again on my girl friend’s recommendation. She knew that my husband would enjoy his meal, and he sure did.

Our Great Western Adventure

Now it’s time to head towards home, we’ve been on the road for a month, though neither of us really felt like we wanted this to end.

 

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.

 

Our Great Western Adventure ~ September 2013 ~ Installment #14 ~ Onward!

It’s eight o’clock in the morning and we’re already headed down the the road before us. We wanted to get a good head start to the day as we made our way towards the Badlands National Park.

A~MAZ~ING!

I found it fascinating all the different colors of the rock formations. We stopped at one of the overlooks, walked up to the rail and here’s these two Big Horn Sheep, MAN! And the Prairie Dogs here, I’ve never seen so many in one place, and fat !   We had a picnic lunch at the Visitor’s Center and then motored on to…

Wall South Dakota

What, you’ve never heard of Wall Drug and the free ice water? It was a blast, I didn’t know that it was so big. We decided on a snack after walking and shopping.

Their doughnuts were outstanding, so were the pies, we tried our slice ala mode along with some free ice water, that’s what they’re known for.

our hotel in Wall South Dakota

We found our hotel, not that difficult, Wall South Dakota is not very big. We only stayed one night, so we made supper just a simple salad in our room and it was to bed early, so that we would be fresh for our next stop.

Our Great Western Adventure ~ September 2013 ~ Installment #13 ~ Next Up Is Keystone South Dakota

On our way out of Sundance Wyoming we went through Deadwood South Dakota, interesting place for a morning visit.

On to the main event: Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

I know that I’ve said WOW! quite a few times already in sharing our Great Western Adventure with everyone, but WOW!

As we walked towards the granite faces of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln, I stopped in my tracks, tears welling up and rolling down my cheeks.

I spotted Hawaii’s State flag in the breeze, which reminded me what a lucky little girl from Kaneohe Oahu I am. My husband was so excited, he plowed ahead, getting as close as he could to this National Treasure. This was a place we both had been waiting all of our lives to see…

So let’s not waste any more time dilly-dallying around.

We didn’t bother with our hotel until later that afternoon. We stayed at the park for the majority of the day, got a quick bite in the cafeteria and then found a good spot to watch the Evening Lighting Ceremony.  I don’t have one of those fancy cameras that can take a good night-time photo, but was really awesome to see!

The next day we had breakfast in our hotel, which was once again the usual “continental-plus” fare and then back to the park for the day. Surprisingly, there is a lot to see and do. We had decided that we would end our day early and have dinner at the Powder House Restaurant. You wouldn’t know that this is a restaurant, it looks like a log cabin, but man, what great food. In my research prior to leaving on this trek, I found that the Powder House specializes in local grass fed beef, bison and game.

My husband and I shared an appetizer of game kebabs-venison, bison and elk, wonderful. My supper was the special game of the day, pheasant with a fresh apple relish if you will and steamed veggies. My DH ordered the Prime Rib and the steamed veg as well. It seems that we had just enough room leftover to share a chocolate mousse.

We found a small grocery store in the next town over and replenished our supplies the next day and spent one more day at Mount Rushmore. We both just sat, in silence, looking up at the four faces that helped to forge America.

WOW, just WOW!

Our Great Western Adventure ~ September 2013 ~ Installment #12 ~ Sundance

No, not the town that you’re thinking of, Sundance Wyoming. Why did we go there you may ask? Because once again, that was the closest town with a hotel to Devils Tower National Monument.

It’s kinda of out in the middle of, well, nothing and nowhere, but once you spot America’s first National Monument, it’ll take your breath away.

We spent a good part of the day at the park, hiking around the base of the igneous intrusion, that’s what it’s called, I thought it was a granite tower. We tried to have a picnic lunch, but the bees were everywhere and unrelenting.

Trying to find dinner in a very small town can be a challenge, but I had done my homework. Aro Restaurant, very unassuming and homey. Each of us ordered a burger and sweet potato fries that came with ‘yam butter’. When our waitress came back to check on us, I had to ask, what is yam butter. She gave me the basic recipe, combine butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and butterscotch topping. I know it sounds crazy, but it works! Dessert was one of the daily special pies, chocolate and peanut butter with a meringue topping, very good.