Category Archives: Party Food

No-Bake Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Mousse Cups

I went looking for something new and different to take to my Neighborhood Gal Pals Afternoon Card Game and I found this idea for a sweet treat. I already had these 6-ounce disposable dessert cups at Dollar Tree, but Mason Jars are a great larger serving size for the family. 

No-Bake Meyer Lemon Mousse Cups 

Makes 8-Half Pint Mason Jars or 12-6 ounce Dessert Cups  

Ingredients for the Mousse

2 C. Non-dairy Whipped topping (aka Cool Whip) 

1 C. Meyer Lemon Curd 

12 oz. Cream Cheese, room temperature 

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract 

1 C. Powdered Sugar 

Ingredients for the Graham Cracker Crumb

½ C. Graham Cracker Crumb or 4 full sheets of Graham Crackers, crushed well 

2 Tbsp. Granulated Sugar 

2 Tbsp. Butter, melted  

In a large bowl, beat the Cream Cheese with a mixer until soft and fluffy. 

Add the Meyer Lemon Curd and combine well. 

Fold in the Non-dairy topping, set aside. 

In another bowl combine the Graham Cracker Crumb. 

To assemble

Spoon the Mousse filling into a large zip-top baggie and clip one of the corners, creating a piping bag. 

In each jar/dessert cup, start layering crumb-filling-crumb, etc to the desired finish, ie for the ½ pint jars create 3 layers of Crumb and 2 layers of Mousse & for the dessert cups only 2 layers of Crumb to 1 layer of Mousse. 

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and chill until you’re ready to serve. 

Cook for your friends and family!  

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

… and if you could, hit that ‘like’ button, leave a comment below maybe just to say ALOHA; subscribe to my blog if you like what you’re reading and get an email when a new post has been uploaded.  



Bacon Wrapped Lil Smokies

You already know that I hang around with a bunch of Gals here in my neighborhood and we get together at each others homes for Wine Food and Game Afternoons.

I always make something to bring and share with everyone, this particular afternoon was no different.


This was a sample plate, `cuz ya know, I gotta do a quality check 😉

This snack is very simple to prepare and fun to eat, with or without toothpicks, but then anything on a toothpick is good, right?

Bacon Wrapped Lil Smokies

14 slices bacon 

1 (14-oz.) package Lil Smokies (mini smoked hot dogs) 

1/4 cup brown sugar 

2 tablespoons honey 

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder  

42 toothpicks 

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Cut each piece of bacon into thirds. 

Wrap each of the Sausages in a piece of Bacon. Insert a toothpick all the way through each one to hold the Bacon in place. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.  

In a bowl, stir together Brown Sugar, Honey, and Garlic Powder. Top each of the Lil Smokies with 1/4 teaspoon of the Sugar mixture.  Bake until bacon is cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. 

I served these up to the Gal Pals on a big ole’ platter with a coupla different dipping sauces, BBQ, Honey Mustard and Ketchup… all store bought. 😀 Do I need to tell you that they were a huge hit? ⭐

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

Cook for you family and friends!

… and if you could, hit that ‘like’ button, leave a comment below maybe just to say ALOHA; subscribe to my blog if you like what you’re reading and get an email when a new post has been uploaded.


Jumbo Marshmallow Pops

If you’ve been following my blog, than you already know that I have a group of Neighborhood Gals that I hang out with, go to lunch with and gather together to play games… cards, dominos, all sorts.

I like to bring along a snack for everyone, sometimes sweet and sometimes savory or even both on occasion.

I went sweet this time around…

I saw the biggest Marshmallows I’d ever seen in my life at the Mega-Mart… I had to dream up something cool to do with them!

I melted some Dark Chocolate, skewered the Marshmallows with Cake Pop sticks, dipped and then rolled them while still wet in an assortment of sprinkles.
Graham Cracker Crumbs
Candy Dots
White Nonpareils
Rainbow Jimmies

I must say, my personal favorite was the Graham Cracker Crumbs, it tasted alot like a S`More!

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

… and if you could, hit that ‘like’ button, leave a comment below maybe just to say ALOHA; subscribe to my blog if you like what you’re reading and get an email when a new post has been uploaded.


Mushroom Crostinis

I know I’ve told you folks that I love to go to grocery stores and just poke around to see what I can find.

Recently I was in our local Trader Joe’s and I had been looking for their Mini Brie Bites, love those things, but they said that they were having issues with the manufacturer and yet THERE THEY WERE!!!

I usually pick up a loaf or three of the Ciabatta Demi Baguettes.
And as I was strolling past the frozen food case I spied this

Hmmm …

I sliced the Ciabatta, gave them all a quick toast under the broiler, followed the directions on the package of Mushrooms and assembled.

I arranged them neatly and took this tray next door for yet another afternoon of card playing with my Neighborhood Gal Pals.
These tidbits were gone in a New York Minute.

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

Cook for your friends and family!

… and if you could, hit that ‘like’ button, leave a comment below maybe just to say ALOHA; subscribe to my blog if you like what you’re reading and get an email when a new post has been uploaded.


Never Have I Ever Made ~ #4 … Chocolate Truffles

I am one of those odd folks, who really does not care for Chocolate all that much 

I saw this recipe on Pinterest for Truffles made with Dove Promises!
I thought, what the heck, let’s try this.

We’ve been invited for a Couples Board Game Night, and you know me, I always take a snack for the entire class 


Basic Chocolate Truffles

9 oz. Dove Promises, unwrapped
1/3 C. Heavy Cream (sometimes it’s called Whipping Cream)
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract (or a nice liquor is nice too, like Kahlua)

Combine the Chocolate Candies and Cream in a small saucepan and heat over medium-low, stirring constantly, until the Chocolate is fully melted.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the Vanilla, keep whisking til you have a smooth texture.
Cover the surface of the Chocolate with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or until firm.
Using a small disher, scoop out little balls onto a parchment lined sheet pan.
Roll each Truffle in the palms of your hands, gloves are very helpful here!


Set out in small plates, whatever types of coatings that you want to roll your Truffles in.
Once coated, refrigerate covered until you’re ready to serve.
These will keep in an air-tight container in the `fridge for about two weeks.
Or freeze them in a zip-top bag for up to three months.

So there’s chopped & toasted Macadamia Nut rolled Truffles, toasted Coconut Flakes and Health Bar Chips… our hostess is a self proclaimed “Chocolate aficionado” as she says 

This tray was history in no time flat! 

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

… and if you could, hit that ‘like’ button, leave a comment below maybe just to say ALOHA; subscribe to my blog if you like what you’re reading and get an email when a new post has been uploaded.


Auntie Doni’s Cold Somen Salad

*** Here’s another re-post of a recipe that I recently re-visited and realized that it needed to be updated.  So anything that you see in red, is the addition.

The original date that this came out was June 21, 2019 ***

In Hawaii, there are many cultures that have influenced the cuisine there.  Japanese-style dishes are just one of them that I really enjoy. Since it’s already starting to heat up here in My Kitchen In The Middle Of The Desert, this recipe came to mind recently and I thought I’d share this lovely cold salad to add to your Summer menu.

Auntie Doni’s Cold Somen Salad

Serves 3 

Salad Ingredients:

½ of a package of Somen Noodles

1 C. Lettuce, shredded

½ C. each, Carrots, Char Siu or Chinese BBQ Pork, Kamaboko or Steamed Fish Cake, julienne

1 C. Hot House Cucumbers, julienne

1 Egg

1 pinch each, Dashi Powder and granulated Sugar

2 stalks of Green Onion, sliced finely

1 tsp. Sesame Seeds

Prepare the Noodles, following the directions on the package; rinse under cold running water, drain well and set aside in the `fridge.

Beat the Egg along with the Dashi Powder and Sugar.  Cook up as a flat omelet, cool and julienne finely; set aside in the refrigerator.

[I always use Aloha Brand Shoyu in all of my recipes]

Dressing Ingredients:

⅓ C. Chicken Broth

1 Tbsp. each Soy Sauce, granulated Sugar, Sesame Oil

1/2 Tbsp. Rice Vinegar 

Heat the Broth in the microwave for 30 seconds or less, just enough to dissolve the sugar.

Combine as of the Dressing ingredients in a tightly sealing jar; set aside, you got it, in the cold box.

Now that you have everything together, or what’s called your Mise en Place, it’s time to assemble our salads.  Be sure that all of the ingredients are well chilled.

I like to make individual salads, but you can combine all of the above as one big Family-style salad and let everyone serve themselves.  Dress your salads just before serving though.

Now this is just how I do it, you put yours together how you feel is best.  I like to start with the shredded Lettuce in a bowl, with the Noodles next; then artfully arrange all of the “goodies”.  

You could stop at this point, cover, stash them in the `fridge and serve later.  This is a great make-ahead dish for dinner or even a potluck.

This our most recent bowl of Cold Somen Salad

When your ready to eat this gorgeous looking creation, spoon the Dressing over the top and combine everything well.  I find that using my hands works best, but it’s up to you.

This is quite a refreshing salad and it’s also surprisingly filling.

The toppings of the salad can be whatever your family craves.  What about Shrimp or Crab; some folks use cooked Spam®, Deli Ham, Cilantro, Mung Bean Sprouts, or even go Vegetarian and use Tofu — you decide.

Our family likes loads of goodies, no matter the kind.


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

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

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.


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 should be a home run.

Here we go …

Assembly, check

Mix, bake, cool, check …


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 …

Dipped and Embellished Wafer Cookies

I’m going to another BYOB Cocktail Party with the Neighborhood Gals and wanted to share a snack.


I saw this basic idea on Social Media and thought
this would make for a fun Party Dessert.

I went over to the Dollar Store, bought a package each of inexpensive Vanilla and Chocolate Wafer Cookies.

I already had in the house Vanilla flavored Candy Melts® and Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Melting Wafers® for dipping.
As well, I have quite the assortment of Sprinkles, even crushed Peppermint Candies

Of course I made more than what you see here, and they were all GONE real quick!

Basic Mini Cheese Balls And Beyond!

During this time of Social Distancing, my next door neighbor has been hosting BYOB Cocktail Hour Parties on her rather large front patio.  We’re all comfortable within our own six foot area and we arrange a table in the middle with shared snacks.  It works really well for us.

I’ve been trying to take over Finger Foods that would be appropriate, you know, everyone being able to maintain their personal space.  Here’s an idea:

Basic Mini Cheese Balls

8 oz. Cream Cheese, room temp
2 Tbsp. Butter, room temp
2 tsp. fresh Lemon Juice
dash Worcestershire Sauce
dash of Hot Sauce (I didn’t have any, so I used a pinch of Cayenne Pepper)
1/8 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper

Chuck it all into a mixer, Stand or Handheld, and blend until smooth

That’s the basic part, now comes the different flavors …

Divide the Cream Cheese mixture evenly between three bowls

Bacon & Ranch – stir in 2 oz. shredded Swiss Cheese and 1/3 Tbsp. dry Ranch Dressing Mix to the Cream Cheese mix; in a separate bowl, mix approx. 5 oz. finely crumbled Bacon (I bought pre-made Bacon Bites in the Salad Dressing Aisle) along with 1/3 Tbsp. dried Parsley, set aside

Garlic & Herb – stir in 2 oz. finely grated Parmesan Cheese to the Cream Cheese mix, 1 Garlic Clove finely minced, 3/4 tsp. dried Oregano, 1/3 tsp. dried Parsley, a good pinch each of dried Thyme, Dill Weed, Basil and fresh ground Black Pepper; in a separate bowl add about 1/3 C. dried Chopped Chives (fresh is fine too, whichever you have), set aside

Toasted Pecan & Dried Cranberry – stir in 2 oz. Sharp White Cheddar Cheese to the Cream Cheese mix; in a separate bowl mix 1/3 C. each finely Chopped Pecans & Dried Cranberries, set aside

line a rimmed sheet pan with some foil; using a teaspoon disher aka cookie scoop; scoop out equal amounts of the Cream Cheese Mixture from each bowl in to their accompanying “dip”, coating each cheese ball well.



Shape/roll each in your hand to fairly uniform balls. Place them all on the sheet pan, and cover tightly with another sheet of foil. Stash in the `fridge for at least one hour, longer is best and serve with either a Pretzel Stick stuck in each Mini Cheese Ball or on a neutral flavored Cracker.  I went with the Pretzel Sticks for my final service presentation, it just makes it less stressful with a group of folks.  The plate with the Trader Joe’s Pita Bite Crackers was for my taste-test, MMM YUM!  I’m going to make this again!



I just love this plate!  My Mother gave me a set of three of these for Christmas and I knew it would make a great Pupu Platter!



Remember now, a recipe is simply someone else’s idea, you take it and make it your own.  Try different combinations, maybe some Dried Fruit or Seeds… My personal favorite is the BACON!!!!