Category Archives: Ideas

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!

Never Have I Ever Made ~ #3 … Chili Tater Tots

REALLY!

I’d seen this many times, not only on menus but also the homemade versions on Pinterest. I had found a single-serve packet of my Paniolo Chili  in the Deep Freeze and was thinking of this atop a Baked Potato, but I didn’t have one.

(No, we’re not going to use the masher today, this is a file photo of the Tots)

What I did have was some Trader Joe’s Potato Tots!

DING!

Twenty minutes later, give or take, with some add-ons like shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese and chopped Sweet White Onion (dang it, I forgot the Sour Cream! ) … we’ve got a hot lunch!!

I’m going to call this dish my Paniolo Chili Tots 

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

Cook for your family!

oh, and spread some ALOHA today!

 

*** side note: I’m having fun with these ‘series’ blog posts, can ya tell?

 

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!

Freshly Baked, Homemade Apple Pie From Frozen

Yup, that’s what we’re talkin’ about today.  Homemade, from scratch, fresh Apple Pie and then we’re going to freeze them, unbaked!  for later.

I’ve showed you my version of Apple Pie before, super easy to do, and WAY better than using that ready-made canned stuff.  ^^’

Well, for some reason, we have not been able to finish a whole Pie before it goes South.

I put my brain to the task of figuring this conundrum out

💡

I bought these mini Pie Tins awhiles back.  Why can’t I make up four Mini Apple Pies and freeze them individually, unbaked ?  I did a few internet searches and this is what I devised.

One recipe of my Apple Crostata aka Apple Pie, will make 4 of these Mini Pies.

If you put the Mini Pies, unbaked, into the deep freeze on a sheet pan, you’re virtually doing an IQF.  ⭐

Once they’re frozen solid, usually over night will do it, simply wrap each Pie, still in their Pie Tins, in some heavy-duty foil, then into a gallon sized freezer zip-top bag that you of course have marked with the date and content.

Now, whenever you want a freshly baked Mini Apple Pie, here’s what you do:

Preheat the oven to 450°

Place any number of your still frozen solid Mini Apple Pies in their tins on a lined sheet pan

Bake for 20 minutes

Reduce the heat to 375° and bake another 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.

And Bob’s your uncle!

I didn’t even have to put any foil around the edge of the crust, it’s gorgeous and mighty tasty, even if I do say so myself.  😎

 

 

Salad In A Mason Jar

One of my Neighborhood Gal Pals gifted us a jar of her prize winning Relish.  No, really!  She said that her Relish won a prize in her hometown back in Maine!

Now you folks all know me by now, I don’t return a pan/dish/can or jar empty.

My Grandma would make us stuff and tell us, “You no gimme back my can/pan/whatever, I no give you no moa!”  😀

So I did one of those WWW searches and came up with this idea

My version of a Cobb Salad in a Mason Jar!  How neat-o looking is that?  We eat with our eyes first and this one ticks that box.

I had all of the ingredients on hand, so it was just a matter of sterilizing Carolyn’s jar and filling it.

 

Cobb Salad In A Mason Jar

1 pint-sized Mason Jar

1/2 C. Cucumber, diced

1  Hard Boiled Egg, sliced

1 oz. Deli Ham, rolled & sliced into spirals (reads as 1 thick slice of any Ham you’d use for a sandwich)

1 oz. cooked Bacon, crumbled

1 C. Salad Mix (any sort, I had a head of Romaine that I chopped up)

1 oz. Shredded Cheese (I used Sharp Cheddar, you choose)

1-2 oz. Ranch Salad Dressing

 

Start with the 1st ingredient and continue layering as you fill the jar.  Pack the Lettuce Mix of your choice into the jar firmly.  Place a good amount of Ranch Dressing (or any other Dressing that you prefer) into a separate small container.  You can pour your Dressing into the jar first if you’re going to be eating your Salad within a day, otherwise, you could find the Cucumbers soggy.

I found these at Dollar Tree, perfect!

My Pal sent me a text the next day that she was really surprised how much Salad she poured out of that jar! ⭐

Any Salad Combo would work here and the amounts of each ingredient are approximate, give or take here or there, what you like.  Use any kind of Cheese that you have on hand, ohh, Blue Cheese Crumbles! 💡  Or what about using diced Turkey Breast rather than the Ham spirals?  The sky’s your limit.  The whole premise behind Salad In A Jar is to start with the “wettest” ingredients at the bottom of the jar in order to retain crispness and keep layering to the top of the jar.

Photo courtesy of Walmart.com

*Cook’s Note: I used packaged Bacon bits, which I keep on hand at all times.  It serves a great service!  My other tip is to use small tongs to add in the Egg and Ham Spirals, arranging nicely against the wall of the jar.

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

Homemade Everything Bread

On my adventure to the soon to closed Cost Plus World Market in our area, I found this

Hmmm, “& More” eh?  Let’s try it on homemade Bread.

I started out by making King Arthur Flour’s recipe for No Knead Bread.

I think that I’ve made this recipe a coupla times now, it’s easy and delicious.  I like to park the dough in the `fridge for 4-5 days to develop flavor.

 

I wanted to share a loaf with each of my Neighborhood Gal Pal’s to see what they thought of this version.

I have a Bakers Stone that lives permanently in my oven for Pizza, so why not Bread too?  Best to bake the Bread in twos.

Oh so pretty! But what about the taste?

Meh, neither DH nor I were fans.  The Gal Pals and their hubbies all liked it!

Assorted Deviled Eggs

I was invited over to Mrs. Two-Doors-Over Gal Pal to come play cards. You know me, I always take along a snack to share with the entire class.

I had just finished making some Hard Boiled Eggs, so I morphed them into a large plate of Deviled Eggs.


I wasn’t really sure how many gals were coming, but I figured 16 halves would fill that platter nicely. But just one flavor isn’t my style, I made four.


You already know how to make Deviled Eggs, pop the cooked yolks outta the halved Eggs, mash the yolks with a fork and add what you like. I divided the contents of the bowl into four and went from there.

Plain/Mayo Only in the middle …

… and from the bottom, Dill Pickle Relish

… moving clock-wise, Wasabi

and who can resist
BACON!!

Those were the first to go, naturally. One of my Gal Pal’s said that she had tried making Bacon Deviled Eggs before, but it didn’t come out as good as mine did… “What’s your secret?” she asked.

(photo courtesy of Walmart.com)

I always have Bacon Bites in my pantry! I chopped them up pretty fine, stirred in a tablespoon or so and them reserved some for a topper.

Maybe next time I will do all one flavor!

*Cooks Note: I found it much easier to fill the Egg White Halves if I take a small Zip Bag, fill it with the Yolk mixture and snip a corner to “pipe” with.  You could get fancy and use an Open Star tip, like the one you use to make a Cake look pretty.

Kitchen Fail ~ Part 4

Okay, so you have this great idea for a dish.
You gather all of your ingredients, you think that this will be fabulous and everyone will love it.


AND DANG IT!

Stuff happens, right? I know this has happened to you at least once? 

I kept seeing this idea on Pinterest for Mini Corn Dogs. Sounds outstanding.
I was invited to another gathering of the Neighborhood Gal Pal’s, all the time being mindful of our Social Distancing and meeting on the patio, for cards and cocktails. MMM!  This would should be a home run.

Here we go …

Assembly, check

Mix, bake, cool, check …

OOPS!

I used a Mini Cupcake pan with JUMBO Hot Dog pieces,
not good! I couldn’t get more than 5 of the dozen and a half Mini Corn Dogs out of the pan without them falling apart!

Plan B, ALWAYS  have a plan B!

Fortunately I had a bag of frozen Pigs In Blankets; some lovely dipping sauces of Ketchup, Hickory Farms Sweet Hot Mustard as well as their Cranberry Mustard. This is already a Tried & True hit with the Gals, so there ya go …

Food (Or Adult Beverages) As Gifts

I’m certain that we’ve talked about Food As Gifts before, but it seems that the month of July held many birthdays for my new Neighborhood Gal Pals.

I was poking around in the dollar store and found this Wine Tumbler in the Party Section …

Ssshhhh!  We don’t need to tell anyone where we got them, just that they’re uber cute, don’t you think.  ⭐

Add a bottle of Sparkling Wine or your Pal’s favorite libation, a Cello Gift Bag with a cardboard Cake Round for support, colorful ribbon, and you’re set.

One of our Gal Pals is a Kirkland Signature Ready To Drink Golden Margarita fan …

What adorable packaging (even if I do say so myself)!  Dollar Tree has some great stuff.  That’s two different ready-made bows that I put together, some white tissue paper and clear Cello Wrap, cute!

It’s loads of fun dreaming up different Gifts of Food AND Adult Beverages for your Pals!!

 

Save Those Egg Whites!

Not so long ago, I made another batch of Meyer Lemon Curd for a recipe I want to try later down the road.  This recipe calls for 12, yes a dozen Egg Yolks.  😮

NOW!

What are we to do with all of these Egg Whites?

 

 

Freeze them!

I divvied up each Egg White into a small, snack size zip-top bag and then put all 12 of them into a freezer bag.  AH!  Don’t forget to mark the bag with it’s content as well as the date that you froze it, I’ve made that mistake a coupla times :/

You can then take out as many Egg Whites as you need for all sorts of things.

 

What I did was to add an extra White to DH’s Scrambled Eggs in the morning, SHHHH!  Don’t tell him that I was lightening up his morning 😀