Category Archives: Recipes

Three Bean Salad, My Way

My mother just loves Three Bean Salad and always had a coupla cans of the stuff in her kitchen cupboard as I was growing up.
We mostly would eat it in the Summer, chilled, as a side dish to pretty much anything my Dad grilled. 

Pro tip: try this Three Bean Salad with Fried Chicken. 

Not so long ago, Mom was saying that she could no longer find her Three Bean Salad in the Mega-Mart. So being the good daughter that I am, I did a search on the WWW and found this recipe:

Home Canned Three Bean Salad – Preserved Home

The first time I made this, I did a half batch and it was gone in nothing flat!
So today I made a second round, this time a full recipe and got 7 pints.

This time I switch it up a bit and rather than adding Green Bell Peppers I sliced up some Sweet Mini Bell Peppers, YUM!

Also, I used canned Beans, but fresh Green Beans. Oh and I used Extra Virgin Olive Oil, `cuz that’s what I keep in my pantry.

Total time from start to done was about 3 hours.
You want to give yourself ample time when home canning anything, don’t try to rush it.

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!

Meatless Quesadilla For Lunch

I was hunting around the kitchen for a different sort of dish for lunch for myself. I found about a half a cup of canned Black Beans that I had stashed in the deep freeze, along with some Trader Joe’s Fire Roasted Corn, Hatch Green Chiles and some Flour Tortillas from my local Carniceria.

A Meatless Quesadilla!


I’m thinkin’ y’all don’t need a recipe per se for this dish, but for those of use who do …

Auntie Doni’s Meatless Quesadilla

2 large Flour Tortillas (our’s are about 9inches or so)
1/2 C. canned Black Beans, rinsed and drained well
1/2 C. frozen Trader Joe’s Fire Roasted Corn, thawed & drained (or any one you have on hand)
1/4 C. Green Chiles, chopped and drained well
1/2 – 3/4 C. Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded (you choose what you like)

In a dry 10 inch skillet, heat over medium-high until it’s good and hot.
Place one of the Tortillas in the pan, cover with the rest of the ingredients, starting and ending with the Cheese.
Place the second Tortillas over it all, pressing it down gently with a spatula.
Once the Cheese starts to melt on the bottom, carefully flip and toast the other side.
Remove to a cutting board and slice into either 6 or 8 pieces.
Plate and serve with your choice of toppings, or not. I just used more Cheese, `cuz there’s never too much Cheese for me! I would have loved some sliced Avocado, Sour Cream and Salsa 

I think next time I make myself a Quesadilla, I’m going to use this:


along with some shredded Chicken 

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!

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!

My Instant Pot® Go-Around #8

I got two Instant Pot® accessories that I’ve been wanting to try,
but haven’t had the time until now.

I also did a bunch of research on Cheesecakes in the Instant Pot®
World. I found this recipe, a bit involved, very OCD about it, but …
So I took a very deep breath and dove in.

I made the crust with the option of adding Flour, for a crisper/firmer crust.
Meh, I don’t think I’d do that again … too crumble-y for us.
I also didn’t care for the color of this cake. I’ve been using Bakers Extract for awhile now, ever since the price of Vanilla Extract went through the roof! I think that’s the issue there, so …
But the flavor is quite nice and it does make a smaller cake, especially for just us two (I’m not sharing btw).

In conclusion: I’m stickin’ with my girl Martha and using her recipe!

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

Cook for your family!

Hawaii-Style Chopped Steak

This post is another one of those, ‘I don’t want to forget this recipe’ entries.  It’s so ONO (delicious in Hawaiian).

I found this recipe when I was searching the WWW for something different to make for dinner.
I clipped it from the Honolulu Star Bulletin, circa 2008.
I did put my own twist on it, you’ll find those differences
posted below in red ink.
It’s a different way to serve Beef Steak, whether it’s Flank, Tri Tip,
Sirloin or Skirt.

 

Chopped Steak

“Favorite Island Cookery Book IV” Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin (1985)

1 pound tender beef, thinly sliced (I used 1/2lb. NY Strip, `cuz that what I had)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (Peanut Oil)
2 onions, sliced 1/4-inch thick (I used about 1 C.)
+/- 1 C. Sweet Bell Pepper, sliced

1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon water
+/- 1/2 C. Chicken Broth

» Seasoning:
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 to 3 teaspoons sugar (I used 3 tsp.)
1 teaspoon vinegar (I used a scant tsp. of Rice Vinegar)
1-inch piece ginger, grated (this sounds like alot, but it works)
1 clove garlic, grated or minced (I used approx 1 Tbsp. larger mince)

 

 

Combine seasoning ingredients. Add beef and marinate 20 minutes.

Heat oil in pan (Wok on med-high); add onions and peppers, cook until barely soft. Remove. (We like crisp-tender Veg)

Place beef in pan with seasoning. Stir-fry until cooked through (cooked to Mid-rare). Remove, leaving seasoning liquid in pan.

Combine cornstarch and water; stir until smooth. Add to seasoning liquid and simmer until thickened. If the Sauce is too thick for your liking, add in the Broth and stir again. I wanted some gravy for the Rice. Return beef, peppers and onions to pan. Serves 4. (2 hungry adults, it was half the meat called for).

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

Cook for your family !

Never Have I Ever Made ~ #2 … Spam® Katsu

I saw this idea on Pinterest and it really struck a cord for me. Being from Hawaii, we do love our Spam® and I thought that we’d try it a different way.

 

Auntie Doni’s Spam® Katsu

serves 3-4

1 can Spam®, cut into 6 slices
1 Egg, beaten well
1/2 C. Flour (I used Rice Flour, just `cuz)
1/2 – 1 C. Panko Crumbs
Approx. 2 C. Vegetable Oil

Set up a “breading station” as you would for any other recipe:
2 plates, one for the Flour and 1 for the Panko (I use paper plates here);
a shallow bowl for the beaten Egg.
Bread as usual, Flour-Egg-Crumbs, I like to really press the Panko into the Spam® for a super crunch. Set a-side on a rimmed baking sheet with a rack inserted into it to firm up the crust.
Heat a large Fry Pan over medium-high heat (about 350°) with the Oil in it.
Set a-side another rimmed baking sheet with a rack inserted to drain the cooked Spam® Katsu.
Shallow fry each Spam® cutlet until GBD (golden brown and delicious ); place the finished product on that clean rack.

I served our Spam® Katsu along side some Fried Saimin and  since I had that pan of hot Oil, some Chicken Katsu as well.

If you want to, a final flourish of chopped Green Onions makes for a pretty presentation.

Some folks like to put a Katsu Sauce over their cutlets, we like ours naked
But if you like, try this …

Easy Katsu Sauce

makes about 1/2 Cup

1/4 C. Ketchup
1/4 C. Worcestershire Sauce
2 tsp. Soy Sauce
1 tsp. Sugar

Combine well and refrigerate in a covered container, like a Mason Jar. There’s so many ways to make this Sauce, you choose.

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

Cook for your 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.

MAHALO!

Stuffing Casserole Ala Grandma Eva

My Paternal-Grandmother wasn’t too much in to cooking, but man, she made a kick-butt Stuffing Casserole. She ordered her Turkey for the Holidays from a local restaurant, already roasted, so she would make her own Stuffing in a very large Casserole dish, that she baked-off in the oven.

It was unique in that she used Portuguese Sausage or Linguica in it. 
Gram never wrote that recipe down, because she just eyeballed it, so I had to figure this one out on my own.

Usually, I bring my stash of Portuguese Sausage back from Hawaii in my suitcase, but since we could not get there this year, I had to hustle.

I was poking around this past Summer in the supermarket and found this!! Can I tell you guys that I was doing a dance in the aisle … could this be like the ‘real’ stuff?   Let’s try it first.

YUP! That’ll work 

Auntie Doni’s Stuffing Casserole Ala Grandma Eva

serves 8

6 + Tbsp. Butter
1/2 C. Onions, chopped
1/2 C. Celery, chopped
2 pkgs. Garlic & Herb Croutons, crumbled to Pea-size
1 C. Dried Cranberries, chopped
2 Tbsp. Sage (fresh or freeze-dried is fine), minced
1 tsp. fresh Thyme, minced
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
1 tsp. freshly ground Black Pepper
1-2 C. Turkey Stock (I use Trader Joe’s-it’s seasonal, so stock up)
1 Portuguese Sausage (or Linguica), chopped, sautéed and drained well

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
In a medium sized pan, melt the Butter; sauté the Onions and Celery just until tender.
In a large bowl, combine everything but the Stock.
Slowly add in not quite a cup of the Stock, fold gently. At this point is that wet enough for you? If not keep adding more Stock to your liking (we don’t like it too mushy, so I might pour in about a cup).

Butter a 2 quart Casserole dish; add the Stuffing mixture and cover.
Bake for 15 minutes; uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

 

Fluff with a fork and serve.

Now, what to do with all of this leftover Stuffing?

Make Stuffin’ Muffin’s:
Spray a Muffin tin and pack in that leftover goodness. Stash the entire tin in the freezer until firm. Pop out each Muffin’ and place into a zip-top freezer bag. Mark the date and content and back into the deep freeze it goes for later…

This makes my favorite breakfast. Defrost a Muffin’, heat it up in the micro and top one with a fried Egg

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

Cook for your family!

Hawaii-Style Beef Stew, My Way

*** Before we get started, I just wanted to say TODAY
marks my blog’s 8th birthday 
I’m very excited as well that my blog also JUST
received it’s 100,000 hit!!! 

____________________________________________________________________________________

 

Once again, I’m posting this recipe mostly for myself. I don’t make this dish very often and can never remember how I did it the last time that came out so dang ONO !! 
I refer back to my blog often for not only inspiration, but the “how to” sometimes.

 

Hawaii-Style Beef Stew, My Way

6-8 servings

2 lbs. boneless Chuck Roast or Stew Meat, 1-1 1/2″ diced & patted dry (I buy Chuck Blade when it goes on sale, butcher it and freeze it for later use )
2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
1/2 large Sweet Onion, 1/2″ dice, divided (I use Maui or Vidalia Onions)
1 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
3 Tbsp. Flour
1 Bay Leaf
2-3 Qts. Beef Broth
1 1/2 C. Carrots, 1/2 ” dice
1 1/2 C. Celery, 1/2″ dice
1 15 oz. can Diced Tomatoes (I use Petite/No Salt Added)
1 large Russet Potato, 1/2 ” dice
S&P to taste
Approx. 2 Tbsp. Wondra Flour + Water for a thickening Slurry

In a large Dutch Oven over medium-high, heat the Oil and brown the Meat in batches. Set aside on a plate.
Add about 1/3 of your chopped Onions and sauté for about 2 minutes.
Add the Tomato Paste and stir for about 2 minutes.
Add the Flour and again, stir for about 2 minutes.
Add back in the Meat along with any accumulated juices and the Bay Leaf; about 2 quarts of broth, enough to just cover the Meat. Cover, bring to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer for 2 hours or until the Meat is just tender.
Add the Potatoes, Carrots and Celery and simmer until the Potato is fork-tender. You might need to add more Beef Broth, so keep an eye on it. You want a good ratio of goodies to gravy !!!

Taste for seasoning.
Thicken the now GORGEOUS broth with your Slurry to your desired consistency.

Stews (as well as Soups) taste better the next day.

In Hawaii, we like our Stew And Rice, and say it as one word 

Who doesn’t adore Gravy and Rice?   I always make lots of Gravy!

But you serve your Hawaii-Style Beef Stew how your family enjoys.

Cook For Your Family !!

Hawaii-Style Portuguese Bean Soup, My Way

I’m posting this recipe mostly for myself. I don’t make this Soup very often and can never remember how I did it! 

 

But now that I can find Linguica here In The Middle Of The Desert, I’ll be making this much more often … we really like this Soup.

Hawaii-Style Portuguese Bean Soup, My Way

6 servings

8oz. Portuguese Sausage, diced (I can find Silva Brand; use approx. 1 1/3 Sausage)
Approx. 1 C. cooked Ham Hock Meat
1 qt. Ham Stock + 2 C. Water (use the diced Tomato can)
1 Garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 C. Onion, diced
1 1/2 C. Carrots, 1/2″ diced
1 1/2 C. Celery, 1/2″ diced
1 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
1 15 oz. can diced Tomatoes
1 large Russet Potato, 1/2″ diced
1 15 oz. can Kidney Beans, liquid drained, but not rinsed (I used the Light Red Kidney Beans)
2 C. Cabbage, 1″ chopped – optional (I used Napa Cabbage, `cuz that’s what I had, it takes less time to cook and I think it’s sweeter too)
S&P to taste
1 C. Cooked Elbow Macaroni, set aside

*Note: it’s best to boil the heck out of 2 Smoked Ham Hocks, as you would make any Stock. Reserve the meat separately from the liquid.  You should get 2 quarts of Stock and enough Meat for 2 batches of this recipe.

1) Lightly fry the Sausage in a large Dutch Oven, reserve the rendered oil
2) Add to the pot the Garlic, Onions, Carrots and Celery, the Tomato Paste last and sauté everything for just a few minutes
3) Add the Ham Hock meat, diced Tomato, Stock and Water, bring to a boil, reduce to heat and simmer for 30 minutes, covered
4) Add the Potato and cook for about 10 minutes, until almost done
5) Add the can of Beans and cook for another 10 minutes. You might have to add more water if too much has evaporated
6) If using Cabbage, add after the Beans have cooked for 5 minutes, continue simmering for the remainder of the 5 minutes for the Beans.
7) Adjust the consistency as desired with a Wondra Flour Slurry (we prefer a thicker Soup)

Soup will always taste better the next day.

To serve, re-heat the Soup and add the Elbow Macaroni, or just add as much as you like to your Bowl and pour over the hot Soup.
Like the good local gal that I am, I always serve my Portuguese Bean Soup with Diamond Bakery Soda Crackers that I bring back from Hawaii in my suitcase.

Cook For Your Family !!

Chicken Broccoli

I’m sure that you’ve all heard of and/or eaten Beef Broccoli, but what about using Chicken instead?
(I may have mentioned once or twice that DH and I “cluck”, since we eat so much Chicken )

Here was a game changer for me, as I am not the biggest fan of Broccoli. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ll eat it, but it’s not my first choice for a veg. DH loves the stuff, so I’ve been looking for a way that it would be more palatable for me. Peel the stalk first!   Really! I was watching a video and the gal was peeling the Broccoli stalk and I thought, I gotta try this!

 

Chicken Broccoli

serves 2

1 B/S Chicken Thigh, diced
1/2 lb. fresh Broccoli
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 C. White Onion, diced
1 Tb. Peanut Oil (or whatever you have)
pinch of White Pepper

Easy Stir Fry Sauce

makes about a cup

1/4 C. Chicken Broth
1/2 Tb. Shaoxing Wine or Dry Sherry
1 Tb. Soy Sauce (and you know I only use Aloha Brand Shoyu!)
1 Tb. Oyster Sauce
1/2 Tb. Sesame Oil
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1/8 tsp. White Pepper
1/2 Tb. Corn Starch

Add all of the sauce ingredients into a jar and shake well before each use. This sauce will keep in the `fridge for a week.

Wash and peel the Broccoli stalk, up to the crown.
Slice the stalk thinly; slice the florets into bite sized pieces.
Heat a large pan over medium-high add the Broccoli stalk “coins” along with about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of water, cover and steam until very crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add in the florets and steam as well to your liking.  Once done, set aside on a plate.
Wipe out that pan and bring it back to heat with the Oil.
Stir fry the Chicken until just done; add in the Onion and Garlic and cook until soft.
Add back in the Broccoli and stir fry to re-heat.
At this point add as much Sauce as you like and bring to a simmer to thicken, stirring all the while.

Serve warm over steamed Rice or Noodles, or just by it’s self.

*Cook’s Note: Here’s another eye opener for me. By using Peanut Oil, White Pepper and Shaoxing Wine in my Chinese-Inspired dishes, I think, they taste more like they really should.

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

Cook for your Family!