Category Archives: Lunch

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!

Girl’s Day Out At The Raven Café

In the past month or so, Missus Dear Friend and I have been doing a Girl’s Day Out every other week.  We’ve been meeting at different local restaurants for lunch and then we go grocery shopping together.  My favorite green grocer, Sprouts, opened a second location in our area and we both wanted to check it out.  So what to do about lunch?  The Raven Café, they offer lots of vegetarian and gluten-free options and a lovely menu of beers and wine, that’ll work for us.

This a cool, funky, laid back joint; they have loads of unique works of art for sale on the walls.  You order your food and drinks at the bar; you get a “letter” and find a seat.  We both decided that it was close enough to noon that a glass of wine would be a good thing.

Mrs. DF ordered Sweet Potato fries and Guacamole with Blue Corn Chips.

For myself, I decided on a Turkey Panini and a side salad.  Everything was yummy.

What I enjoyed about the Raven Café is that we never felt rushed.  We sat, chatted and savored our wine for more than two hours.  As we looked around, we noticed that there were several “business meetings” being conducted over lunch.  I mean we’re talking about folks with their easel stands, presentation boards and all!  We’ll need to go back again and try some of the other dishes as well as the upstairs outdoor patio.

Kewpie Mayonnaise And Tuna Sandwiches

If you’ve been following along for awhile now, you’ll remember my post about Tuna Sandwiches.

Having lived the majority of my life in Hawaii, THE  mayonnaise of choice is Best Foods (it’s known as Hellman’s on the East Coast of the US).  Although, there is a brand from Japan that has some pull in certain circles…

           Kewpie Mayonnaise, YUM!

Kewpie Mayonnaise, not cheap stuff!

I’ve never bought this brand of mayo before, mainly because it’s not cheap!  As you can see, I got the smaller, less expensive bottle  XD

So I’ve had this container in my pantry, waiting for the right moment to break it out… Today’s the day!

Coral Brand Tuna From Hawaii

 

I brought back a BUNCH of these lovely cans of my most favoritest canned Tuna in the whole wide world (along with an entire suitcase full of other goodies … all food items, of course 😎 ) the last time we went home to Hawaii; I figured if I was going to do it, let’s go whole hog!

In Hawaii, we LOVE our mayonnaise and make our Tuna Salad very simply.  Tuna and mayo, that’s it, well, you do need to use alot of mayo.  My husband doesn’t do care for mayonnaise, so he can’t watch when I do this, “Don’t tell me what’s in there! All I know is that I like your Tuna Sandwich.”  Ssshhhh! Don’t tell him, but I only use a little mayo in the salad, just enough to moisten it all up and then slather GOBS of it on the bread for my sandwich, MMM.

The Kewpie was phenomenal!  I turned the packaging over to look at the ingredients, thinking how different could this be?  MSG, Pepper, Pepper Extract and Apple, interesting (and yes I know that MSG is not good for you, but if you don’t eat it everyday…).  Since DH wasn’t looking, I figured I’d taste-test the two brands side-by-side… WOW!  They’re worlds apart.  That MSG gives the Kewpie Mayo a very savory flavor, they call that Umami.

If you get a chance, do try this different mayonnaise.  If you don’t see it in any of your neighborhood markets, you could always order it on line.

ENJOY!

*Note: As I’ve made mention previously, products that appear here on my personal blog are items that I enjoy and want to share these thoughts about them with you the reader.  I am not compensated in anyway by any company, corporation, individual, group or foundation.  If you see any advertising on this site, it is placed there solely by WordPress.com and I have not done so.  I’m not in this for money, just my own amusement.  🙂

 

 

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.  😉

Cheesy Party Burgers, Not So Great

I don’t usually post recipes that we did not care for, but I had such high hopes for this one and have been wanting to try them.  We have been away on another road trip (I’ll tell about that in my next blog post) and finally got into the kitchen today.

Let’s go!

Cheesy Party Burgers (aka Diamond Burgers)

I found this recipe on Pinterest and was VERY disappointed with it.  Sorry guys, it’s just not very good at all.  DH used much stronger words to describe it after taking just one bite and he was done.  Way too much butter for the glaze on top, it came out as soggy, mushy bread and some ground beef, not appetizing.

I made this up for lunch today, and served it along with something called Summer Slaw that I found at the Deli counter in our local grocery store; I need to look that up or plead with the store manager for the recipe for that, it was DELICIOUS!

But the Cheesy Party Burgers were not a party.  But ya know, maybe your family might like these sliders, for us, not so much.

Aloha Friday Kine Grindz! Kiyoshi Ramen ‘N’ More

Some time back, my husband was reading an article in the newspaper about this couple from Kaneohe (yes, I said Kaneohe Hawaii – where I’m from) who were opening up a Ramen Shop and on Friday’s they served Hawaiian Food… WHAT?!  I’m there!

I sent off an email to the establishment and received a very nice response saying that they are in the restaurant all the time; please stop in to say ALOHA!

WE DID!

We were greeted with a warm “ALOHA, welcome” by two young men and shown to a table.

Now, what to eat, what to GRIND?

I wanted to try everything and DH was eyeing up the next table’s HUGE ramen bowls… NO!  It’s Aloha Friday, Hawaiian food is the order of the day!

Kiyoshi Ramen 'N' More Chicken Katsu Bento

Chicken Katsu, Corned Beef Hash, Egg, Spam and Hot Dog all on a bed of steamed white Rice

My husband finally decided on the Chicken Katsu Bento, MMM!

Kiyoshi Ramen 'N' More LauLau Plate

Pork LauLau, 2 scoop rice, some of DH’s Hash, Macaroni Salad and in the little dishes, Haupia and LomiLomi Salmon

For myself, it just HAD to be the LauLau Plate! Oh my gravy all over my two scoops rice (that’s OMG! in my world) THAT was ONO~LICIOUS!!  I had been looking forward to this afternoon’s lunch, we hadn’t had LauLau since last May when we were back home in Hawaii.

My husband and I usually share our plates, so I guess we did get to try several things.

As we were finishing up our meal, I asked one of the young men if Celeste was in the restaurant, “Yup, my Mom is in the kitchen, she made your food.”  And just then up she walked, what a gracious hostess!  We sat and talked for quite some time, only to find out that we (both my husband and I) have several friends in common, and yet we had never met Celeste back home in Kaneohe.

What a wonderful Aloha Friday afternoon and believe me, we will be back to Kiyoshi Ramen ‘N’ More, often!

A Hui Hou!

Lunch at El Gato Azul in Prescott Arizona

Since moving to the High Desert in Central Arizona, I’ve made up a running list of restaurants that I think we might enjoy.  Missus Landlord has given us several suggestions to add to our list.

We had to go out and about to run a whole big bunch of errands and tried, I stress tried, to get a seat at 2, count them, TWO local establishments for lunch to no avail.  I could hear my dear husband’s stomach growling louder and louder, which can make for a grumpy bear … FOOD, we must have food!

[photo courtesy of El Gato Azul]

[photo courtesy of elgatoazul3.com]]

Hmmm, well, let’s try El Gato Azul just down the road a piece … we got the last open table, YAY!

El Gato Azul, BLT&T Sandwich

My husband is the kinda guy that the first thing he sees on a menu, he orders.  “But honey there’s …”  NOPE!  It was a BLT&T Sammie (light on the mayo please?) for him, served with a very nice spring greens salad, very lightly dressed in what I suppose is their house creation.  That’s a HUGE sandwich, boy!

El Gato Azul, Anne's Calamari Salad

Now, I had already researched this restaurant online and knew what I wanted … Anne’s Calamari Salad, I loved it!  This is a ginormous plate of goodness boys and girls.  Spring greens, lightly dressed with their house dressing, a generous mound of Calamari done to perfection; all topped with a beautiful aioli.

As we sat enjoying the lovely patio setting, I was finishing my glass of wine (what? you don’t have wine with a nice lunch out?) when both my husband and I commented that we’d like to come back for evening tapas and cocktails, YEAH!

CheeseSteaks for Lunch!

My husband professes to NOT being a foodie, yeah right!

So yesterday, it’s coming up on lunch time and DH asks, “What’s for lunch today?”  Not a clue.  So I see, no really, I see this light bulb go off over his head and he says, “Why don’t you make us CheeseSteaks with some of that steak that you’ve got in the chest freezer.  We still have Amoroso Rolls and cheese, right?” GENIUS IDEA!

Lunch

I sliced a New York Strip Steak while still partially frozen, real thin, along with some Sweet Onions; I heated a skillet on pretty high heat with some Olive Oil, fried the Onions first, set those aside and then the meat, REAL quick like, just til the meat was no longer pink.  Next, I layered the rolls with meat and then onions and topped it off with the cheese.  Under the broiler it all went.  MMM!  Add some Potato Chips and a Ginger Ale and you’re golden baby!

I think we’ll just have a salad for dinner. 😀

Minestrone Soup

I went freezer diving the other day and I found a partial bag of Fava Beans, hmmm, what can I do with these and hide them from DH.  He claims to dislike Fava Beans, well any bean actually, but he eats them quite often and doesn’t realize it, HA!

the ingredients for Minestrone Soup

So, here’s the lineup:

½ C. Macaroni, your choice of shape

1 15oz. can Diced Tomatoes

1-2 Qt. Chicken or Vegetable Broth/Stock, homemade is preferable

1 C. diced Sweet Red Bell Pepper

1 C. diced Carrots

½ C. diced Onion

3 Garlic cloves, minced

6oz. diced Pancetta

2 C. frozen Fava Beans

2 C. frozen chopped Spinach

1 Tbsp. dried Oregano

1 Tbsp. dried Parsley (fresh is always better, but I didn’t have any)

1 tsp. dried Thyme

1 tsp. dried Basil

In a large pot over medium-high, heat about 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil, render the Pancetta to just crisp; removed from the pot with a slotted spoon to a dish and set aside.  Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pot and sweat the onions, add the Peppers and Carrots and sauté for about 2 minutes, to a crisp tender; sauté the Garlic til fragrant, adding the dried herbs at this point and stirring for just a moment.  Pour back in the Pancetta, along with all the remaining ingredients, excluding the pasta.  Bring the pot to a boil and reduce to a low simmer; cover partially and cook for ½ an hour.  In a separate pot, cook your pasta as directed on the package; drain and set aside. When you’re ready to serve, add in the macaroni to the pot for about 5 minutes or so, just to warm it.

Top each bowl with some grated Parmesan cheese and a nice Olive Oil.

Chopped Salad with Dimond Bakery Soda Crackers, MMM!

We had a nice lunch of Minestrone and a Chopped Salad with some Diamond Bakery Soda Crackers.

A recipe is just someone’s idea, you take it and make it your own.  If you like a different type of bean, use that.  If you can’t find Pancetta, try Bacon instead.  Use whatever vegetables your household likes.

Mangiamo!

Choi’s Family Restaurant In Honolulu Hawaii

My husband would eat at Choi’s a lot when he was still working, due to a multitude of reasons, but the main was the proximity to his old office location.  He would take me there on our days off together, which weren’t often, but we never had a meal we didn’t like, nor could finish.  We love Korean food!

On each of our visits back home, we make a point of stopping in for a bite and a chance to say hello to Momma Choi, the owner-chef, she always remembers us.  “Eh, where you been?”  And the feast begins.  Momma brings out the typical Korean accompaniments: a tofu and seaweed soup, kim chee, a bowl of steamed rice, daikon, my husband’s favorite, and Spinach Tofu Salad with this wonderful sweet-spicy Korean pepper dressing, WOW!  I eat the tofu and DH eats the spinach (sorry I didn’t get a photo of it, but you get the idea).

We ordered a #4 (Kalbi, Meat Jun, Fried Man Doo) and #5 (Kalbi, Chicken Katsu, and Fried Man Doo) plates that we shared.

Okay, so, now you’re asking yourself, what is all of that?

Kalbi is Korean BBQ Beef Short Rib, with the ribs cut flanken rather than English style.  Meat Jun is super thin beef dipped in an egg mixture and then pan fried, oh and a lovely dipping sauce too.  Chicken Katsu, we’ve talk about here in the past, it’s chicken cutlets breaded in Panko Crumbs and shallow fried.  The Fried Man Doo is simply a pork dumpling that’s fried, but Momma makes her own wrappers nice and thick, they have a great bite to them, also dipped in its own sauce, MMM.  Each plate is served up with Bean Sprouts and Cabbage, both are blanched and seasoned, think of them as your salad.

This visit to Choi’s was no different than any of our others, we had almost enough food left from our two plates to make another meal for both of us, OH WAIT, we did!  I just made a fresh pot of rice and that’s dinner.