Category Archives: Food As Gifts

Miners Mix Hot-Banero Spiced Cashews

I’m pretty sure I mentioned to the class that I received a very generous gift of assorted Seasonings and Rubs from the Ole’ Miner at Miners Mix.

The spiciest mix of the lot is this Pepperhead’s Hot-Banero; can you see that this one has Ghost Peppers in it?  My husband’s good buddy, Mister Dear Friend, is a true Pepperhead and LOVES everything muy caliente!  So I was sitting here tried to think of what else I could use this warm spice with/on … DING! 💡  Spiced Nuts!

So I gathered my ingredients and got to work.

 

Miners Mix Hot-Banero Spiced Cashews

1 tsp. Miners Mix Pepperhead’s Hot-banero Seasoning

½ Tbsp. pure Maple Syrup

1/8 tsp. Sea Salt

1 C. raw-unsalted and shelled Cashews

 

Pre-heat our oven to 325⁰.

In a medium sized bowl, combine until smooth, the first 3 ingredients.

Add the nuts and mix until all the nuts are evenly coated with the pieces mixture.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with tin foil and spray with cooking spray.

Spread the nuts in a single layer on the pan and bake for about 15-20, or until the nuts are fragrant.

Cool and serve or package in a zip bag for later munchies.

HEH! Christmas is coming, would this make a great gift for any Pepperhead?

ENJOY!

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A Thank You Gift From Back Home

A couple of weeks ago we had our very first house guests; we were so thrilled to have long time friends from Hawaii come to stay with us.  It was for just one night, but we all had a great time.  DH and I showed them around our new town and we even took them house-hunting.  They are considering buying a home here and living in Arizona part time, that would be AWESOME!

A few days ago, this arrived

Oh my gravy all over my two scoop rice (that’s OMG in my world)!!

A goodie box from Hawaii, how’s that?  That was so sweet and considerate of them to remember all of the local kine grindz that we like.  And can you see on the box itself, “Aloha from Hawaii”, perfect!

Mahalo Aki & Leah, come back soon!

Snickerdoodles For A Fund Raiser

So we’ve been in our new home for just about 6 months now and the other week we had our first solicitor knock on our front door.  Both my husband and I went to open the door, mostly curious because not many folks have done so.  Here stands a very nervous pre-teen little gal, talking a mile a minute.  Neither of us understood a word she said, so I smiled real big and said “Hi, my name is Auntie Doni, what’s yours?”  That sure helped, she took a deep breath, smiled and obviously calmed down enough to explain that her school’s soccer team was trying to buy new uniforms and needed to raise the money to do so.  “Whatcha got?” I asked, and she produced a list of different frozen cookie doughs for sale, at what I felt was a fair price.  Ya know, I’ve never had a Snickerdoodle before, so we bought a box of those.

A few evenings later that darling little Miss came back to deliver our box of cookie dough.  “Let’s fire up the oven!” my husband proclaimed, okey dokey pal.

Meh, they were alright I suppose.  I baked them all off and made up three packages of cookies to share with our neighbors.

Triple Chocolate Half-Sized Bundt® Cakes, One To Eat and One to Share

I love Bundt® cakes!  For the most part, they’re moist and tasty.  I even have more than one type of Bundt® pan, with another one on its way.

I saw a recipe somewhere for Chocolate Bundtlettes, heh, I have a pan like that!

But as I thought about the recipe, I figured I could one up that!  I’ll make the cake in my Half-sized Bundt® pans and then guild the lily farther.

 

Triple Chocolate Bundt® with a Deluxe Ganache Frosting

1 box Devil’s Food Cake Mix

1 box Instant Chocolate Pudding (the small one)

1 1/3 C. Vegetable Oil

4 Eggs

½ C. warm Water

1 C. Sour Cream

1 C. Chocolate Chips

Preheat the oven to 350⁰

In a Stand Mixer or using a Hand Mixer, combine all of the ingredients until smooth, excluding the Chocolate chips, stir those in last.  The batter with be like thick pudding.  Using a Baking Spray, grease the two Half-sized Bundt® pans; immediately pour the batter evenly between the two pans (I use a scale to be accurate).  Bake for 20-30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Place the cakes on a cooling rack and set aside until completely cooled and then turn them out (I run a disposable plastic knife around the edge of the pan first) on to the rack, fitted in a sheet pan.

Now comes the fun part, frosting and decorating those two cuties!

I wanted a bumped up Ganache Frosting, so I kinda winged it.

Deluxe Ganache Frosting

1 C. Chocolate Chips

1 C. Half and Half (or Cream, we use ½ & ½ in our coffee)

½ C. Shredded Sweetened Coconut

½ C. Chopped Pecans

In a glass bowl, heat the ½ & ½  in the microwave for 30 seconds or so, just til hot but not boiling.  Add the Chocolate Chips and stir gently until all of the Chocolate is melted.  You might need to “nuke” it again for a few seconds.

Pour the still warm Ganache over the two cakes; sprinkle the Coconut and Pecans into the Ganache, pressing very lightly in so that they stick.

Slice and enjoy with a cup of coffee or a big glass of cold milk.

I took one of the cakes to our next door neighbors and put the other one into our Covered Cake Plate.

It should keep for 4-5 days, that is if you don’t devour it!

ENJOY!

Mac Nut Shortbread Cookies Again For Mom

A little whiles back, I made Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies for my Mother.  Well, I did it again! These are a favorite at Mom’s house as well as our own.

This round, I made the cookie log a bit larger (about 2″ X 3″ or so, too big in my opinion though), which means more chocolate too!  They freeze beautifully for an additional coupla dozen cookies later on down the road.  I mean, if you’ve got the cookie dough all put together, just slice n’ bake what you can eat in the next few days and save the rest.

ENJOY!

 

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

1/4 C. Kosher or Sea Salt

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.

<Edit-originally I posted this recipe as 1/2 cup of Sea Salt, WOW! Too salty for us, I changed it to 1/4 cup or none at all and season to taste as you use it>

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!

Meyer Lemon & Thyme Infused Sea Salt

Meyer Lemons just arrived in our local Green Grocery.  These little darlings have the most wonderful smell.  They kinda brighten up a Winter’s Day.  I wanted to try something different with them, AH!  Flavored Salt.

Ball® Brand Dry Spice Jars

I found these jars at the Mega-Mart and thought this would be perfect for Food As Gifts.

So here’s how it went …

 

Auntie Doni’s Meyer Lemon & Thyme Infused Sea Salt

½ C. Coarse Sea Salt

2 Meyer Lemons, zested (approximately 2 Tbsp. of zest, no white pith please)

2 Tbsp. fresh Thyme, cleaned and dried well (leaves only, stripped off the stems)

Place all of the ingredients into a Food Processor and whiz it up to the coarseness of your choice.

Ball® Brand Dry Spice Jars filled with my Sea Salt

You’ll have enough Salt to fill 2 four ounce Mason Jars.

Refrigeration is not necessary in an airtight container, such as a Mason Jar.  Your infused salt will last indefinitely in a cool, dark cupboard.

Shucks, I had to use different jars

And this my friends is why I had to return those uber cute jars, they’re not airtight, DANG IT!!  I transferred the salt into regular 4 oz. jars, fitted with new lids and rings.  Oh well.  But I mean, come on man!  How great does that look?!

I shared a jar with Missus Dear Friend, who has tried her share of the bounty on acoupla things already.

Her first try was on some Baked Salmon Fillets served with her KILLER Caesar Salad; next was her outstanding Guacamole, MMM!

The possibilities are endless.

*Cook’s Tip: You don’t need to go out and buy expensive labels.  Use your favorite Word Processor and print out whatever you like, in the font and colors that tickle your fancy; use your choice of crafting scissors and a glue stick.  That’s it.  It’s simple, cute and the label will wash right off with warm, soapy water.

Enjoy!