Category Archives: Party Food

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.

MAHALO!

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, Rice Vinegar, Soy Sauce, granulated Sugar, Sesame Oil

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.

ENJOY!

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 …

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

NOW,
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!!!!

 

 

 

Hatch Green Chile Relleno Casserole

I wanted to share what I made for our new neighborhood’s block party, Hatch Green Chile Relleno Casserole, really good!

This recipe is a riff off of a pal of mine (Mahalo Kathy) from one of the Food Forums that I follow.

Hatch Green Chile Relleno Casserole

1 ½ 27oz. cans (or 40.5 oz.) Hatch Whole Green Chiles
4-6 C. shredded Colby Jack Cheese (more or less to your liking 😉 )
1 C. Whole Milk
¼ C. Flour
¼ tsp. Baking powder
5 Large Eggs
8 oz. Hatch Green Chile Enchilada Sauce
½ tsp. Cumin powder
½ tsp. Oregano, crush with fingers

Preheat the oven to 350⁰.

Grease the bottom and sides of a 9×13 pan.

Reserve 1/2 cup of cheese for the top.

Layer the pan, alternately with Chiles and Cheese, creating three layers, ending with Chiles.

028

In a bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder; then whisk in the milk and eggs until smooth. Pour this mixture gently into the pan and bake for 30 minutes.

029

Remove from the oven, and pour Green Enchilada sauce evenly over the top. Sprinkle the cumin and oregano on top of the sauce, and cover with reserved cheeses.

Return to oven, and bake an additional 20 min, until the cheese on top just bubbles.

Allow the casserole to rest of 15 minutes before serving.

035

 

I ran this recipe through my account on MyFitnessPal, and this is what came out:

Nutrition Facts
Servings 9.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 284
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 20 g 31 %
Saturated Fat 10 g 51 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 159 mg 53 %
Sodium 917 mg 38 %
Potassium 78 mg 2 %
Total Carbohydrate 9 g 3 %
Dietary Fiber 4 g 14 %
Sugars 2 g
Protein 17 g 34 %
Vitamin A 14 %
Vitamin C 38 %
Calcium 40 %
Iron 4 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.
WOW!

That’s not bad for a meatless dish.  I figured 9 servings can be had from a 9 X 13 inch pan, and I think that’s a generous serving.

This dish was gone in a hurry!  I didn’t know that there were so many folks here in the middle of the desert that didn’t eat meat, and did you see how low the carbs are?

Of course, you can change out the Hatch chiles for any sort you prefer, also the cheese.  I think that a Pepper Jack Cheese would be wonderful or even sharp Cheddar, MMM!

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

(**Note:this is a reblog from March 2016)

Enjoy!

WHAT? Another Favorite Cracker?

WHY YES!

I’m pretty sure that I’ve already told everyone about Trader Joe’s Pita Bite Crackers with Sea Salt, but have you tried its Sister Cracker?

Trader Joe’s Multigrain Pita Bite Crackers with Whole Wheat and Flax Seeds, YUM!

Now, you don’t have to do this, but do, try them with a large schmear of Boursin Cheese, topped with Trader Joe’s Roasted Garlic & Onion Jam, OH MY GRAVY ALL OVER MY TWO SCOOP RICE (that’s OMG! in my world, but then you all know that already 😀 ) !!

When served with a glass of wine,  takes this late afternoon snack WAY over the top delicious.

Now, my husband, a) doesn’t care for creamy cheeses and 2) doesn’t partake in any adult beverages – so this is all mine baby!! 😉

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.