Category Archives: Recipes

STOP! Wait, Please Watch The Maiden Voyage Of My New Weber Rotisserie

[This is from my You Tube Channel, please enjoy]

Oh my gravy all over my two scoop rice (that’s OMG! in my world if you haven’t been here before).

I finally took the plunge and got myself a Weber Rotisserie for my ‘big girl’ grill.  I’ve wanted one of these for the longest time, really!

I racked my brain for a while as to what I would make for my maiden voyage on the spit… WELL!  It just had to be a Hawaiian Style Huli Huli Chicken, of course.  Huli, means to turn in Hawaiian, thus making Huli Chicken seemed the natural choice on my new electric rotisserie.

I had a bottle of Hawaii’s Famous Huli Huli Sauce in the pantry; I went out and bought a fresh, whole yardbird (unbrined, that sauce is soy based and could be salty) … so we’re good to go!

I should probably point out here that Huli Chicken as we call it back home, can be found on most weekends in just about any neighborhood as fundraisers, or just because.  Let your nose be the guide, you’ll know when you’ve found it … the smell is like no other.  Keawe Wood (which is in the same family as Mesquite) smoke is in the air and cars are flocking around a particular parking lot.  Large rectangular open grills are set-up with the coolest home-rigged rotisseries you’ve ever seen.  You pull your car up to ‘the lady’ who asks you how many Huli Chickens you would like, quarter, halves or a whole one and hands it off to you in a brown paper bag, piping hot of the grill, MMM!!

Let’s grill some bird.

I marinaded the chicken for 24 hours in the sauce and then trussed and skewered that birdie for the grill.

As the grill was preheating, I trussed the chicken and attached it to the main rotisserie rod and impaled the two forks through the flesh.  My grill was all ready, as instructed on the “how to” video seen on  I was a bit anxious, but I got through it.

The smells that came wafting along were so heady, I sat outside with an adult beverage, even though it’s still Winter and freezing cold and windy out, just to enjoy that smell of HOME!

An hour and fifteen minutes later, it was all over with…


Earlier in the day, I had made Zippy’s Macaroni Salad, Quick Cucumber Kim Chee and a fresh pot of steamed White Rice … or as we would say in Hawaii, we had one Huli Chicken Plate with one scoop mac and one scoop rice (vegetables are always optional 😉 ).

This chicken was so moist and flavorful.  The soy sauce in the marinade acts as your salt, no need to add anything else, I’m not kidding, just remember to keep turning it while in the `fridge.


I’m very happy.

*Cook’s note: Also, please take a peck at my You Tube channel 😀


Our Great Western Adventure ~ September 2013 ~ Installment #3 ~ Did I Forget Something?

Oops, I think I did. Here we took off on our trip, I showed pictures of ALL of the stuff that I packed, but didn’t tell you what was in those sacks. Pshaw!

My DH (darling, dear, dazzling, debonair, dashing – husband) just LOVES chocolate chip cookies. The past few times that I’ve made them though they were just, meh. So I did several searches over a number of days on many, many sites and found a Land O Lakes recipe and gave it a shot.

They came out better than I could have imagined. Crisp on the exterior and nice and chew on the inside, I even liked them. Here’s the best part, I stored them in a zip top freezer bag for transport and they STAYED that way.

Speaking of the journey… I didn’t want our goodies to get smushed in the hub-bub-bub, ya’ know? So I made up two cookie tins (I just can’t leave well enough alone). The computer and printer came in handy making custom labels for the cans, cute huh?


YUMMY! Oatmeal Cherry Cookie Bars, thick and chewy

My personal favorite of ALL times is an old fashion Oatmeal cookie.

It’s just me I guess, but I always want to play around with a recipe. I have used the Quaker Oats Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe that I had printed out YEARS ago. But wait, there’s something different about this new one on line… the butter as well as sugars are in different proportions.

Chopped dried tart cherries

I used a cup of cherries

Rather than raisins, I prefer tart dried cherries; I spray my knife with cooking oil and chop them roughly first.

mix the cherries with the oatmeal

Then I mix them into the oats, so that they don’t clump up in one huge chunk.

parchment paper held in place with clips

parchment paper held in place with clips

My new Chocolate Chip cookie recipe recommends resting the dough overnight, so I figured that would work just as well for the Oatmeal ones.

I would rather have bars than drop cookies, mainly because their so nice and chewy, why not make a good thing better.  I press the dough into a 9×13 inch pan lined with parchment, held down with alligator clips, smart.  These Oatmeal Cherry Cookie Bars are the best!


Hamburger Curry Stew, Cheap And Friendly

Most of you know that I am from Hawaii and we MUST  be careful with our pennies, because EVERYTHING is so expensive over there.  Ground Beef is something that is readily available as well as an inexpensive protein.  You can even find this dish on menus in restaurants in Hawaii, that’s how much we like it!

I was challenged the other day by an “online pal” to come up with Budget-Friendly dishes that featured Hamburger, Root Vegetables, Beans, Potatoes, Lentils, Rice, canned Tomatoes and frozen Vegetables.  There are so many ways you could put that list of ingredients together and come up with a super supper!

But my mind kept creeping back to an old favorite from my childhood.  I didn’t really have a recipe per se, I usually cook by feel but wanted to put together a recipe for her that would make sense.  I did a search on the WWW and found a YouTube vid from CookingandCrafting; it hit a note for me and I took it from there (Mahalo Beth).

Auntie Doni’s Hamburger Curry Stew

(4-6 Servings)


1 lb. Ground Beef (or Turkey or Chicken)

1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

½ -3/4 C. Sweet White Onion, diced

1 Celery Stalk, sliced

2-3 C. Beef Broth

2 C. Potatoes, diced (use whatever kinda of `spud you have)

1-2 Tbsp, Curry Powder (to taste)

S&P to taste (you GOTTA  taste as you go!)

1 ½ C. frozen Mixed Vegetables (or just Peas and Carrots too, any kind is good)

1 Tbsp Flour

In a good sized pan, heat the oil over medium-high; add the Onions and cook until just translucent.  Now toss in the ground Beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, brown well.  Drain off any excuse fat.  At this juncture add the Celery, Broth, Potatoes, Curry Powder and S&P to taste.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce to a good simmer and cook for about 15 minutes (maybe 20 if you cut the Potato kinda big-ish), or until the Potatoes are tender.  Add the frozen Veg, bring back to a boil and mix the Flour in a cup with some extra Broth; slowly add this to the pot to make some good kine GRAVY!!!

Simmer until thickened and the Veg is heated through but not soggy and falling apart.  Taste it again, howzit, good?  Adjust at this point, more Salt, no?  Pepper?  Curry?  How’z the gravy?  Maybe some more broth?  Me, I couldn’t stop TASTING!


Serve over steamed White Rice or as is, any which way, it’s ONO (that’s delicious in Hawaiian)!


And as always, remember a recipe is just someone else’s idea, take and make it your own.


Guacamole Made With A Kick And Something Different Too

Are you ready for the big game tomorrow?  The Puppy Bowl XIV that is on Animal Planet.  😀

Our Green Grocer had absolutely gorgeous RIPE  Avocados on sale this past week, so I thought that a nice bowl of Guac would be appropriate for our game day snacking.  I’m sure you have your own recipe all set to go, but let me throw my hat into the arena.  😉


Auntie Doni’s Guacamole

2 Avocados, mashed

¼ tsp. Sea Salt

3 tsp. fresh Lime Juice

2 Tbsp. Litehouse® Guacamole Herb & Spice Blend

1/8 tsp. (more or less) Miners Mix Pepperhead’s Hot-Banero Seasoning & Rub

In a medium sized bowl, mash the Avo’s to your liking, I like mine on the chunky side.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Taste for seasoning, does it need more Hot-Banero?  Go for it!

Take a piece of plastic wrap, cover so that the plastic is touching the Guacamole, so as not to brown.  Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow everything to marry their flavors.



Can you see all of those Peppers in there and Spices in there?

Use the dipping utensil of your choice and …



Bake Sale!

As I catch you up on what’s been going on here in the middle of the desert, let me tell you about the Fall Bake Sale that we had in our new community.

DH saw a flyer for the sale and encouraged me to participate.  So I got crackin’.

I started out by making 1 full sized Bundt® and 4 half-sized Rum Cakes and stashed those in the deep freeze.  I did some research online about what sells at a Bake Sale and I was surprised to find Jumbo Muffins on that list.  I found a recipe for Healthful Morning Glory Muffins; those are the two next to the cakes there.  Another surprise was jarred stuff, such as cookie mixes ready for an egg and milk (see below the cakes, cute huh?).  I also jarred up some Chai Tea Mix, just add water.  Those red sandwich baskets are filled some of my homemade Flavored Salts and Seasonings, they didn’t sell well though.

I found that adorable red Cupcake Caddy at the Dollar Store and thought maybe someone might need a hostess gift (it was the weekend after all), but sadly that went un-purchased as well.

Next up on my bake-ahead agenda was a double batch of my Great Grandmother’s recipe for Old Fashion Gingerbread,  into the freezer that went.  I had about 10 extra cupcakes that I wrapped individually, packaged up neatly with its own spoon for immediate consumption and those flew off  that table, fast!

The last item that I baked ahead of time was different Brownies.  I read that you should make twice as many as you think, those sell the best.  Basically anything CHOCOLATE!!   So pictured above you’ll see (from left to right) Magic Bars, my Tricked Out Brownies and my Haole Brownies or Caramel Cuts.  I guess not enough people knew what a Magic Bar was, because they sat there all day, so lonely, that I wound up giving them away… I wasn’t taking anything home with me, well not much anyways.

The best fun of this entire experience was dreaming up a cute table display and packaging for all of my wares.  For this I also researched, what draws folks over to your table.  I labeled each item with all of the ingredients, so that if someone was allergic to or didn’t care for this or that, I was covered.  I was poking around in the Scrape-booking aisles at the local hobby store and found this collection of assorted printed paper that spoke to me, “buy me, I’ll look fantastic on your Bake Sale table”.  I used boxes covered in the paper to give different heights for eye appeal. I also cut out my own pennant from the various sheets to put a name to my table as well.

While I was baking, I had my new apron on and it dawned on me “Doni’s Kitchen” was the perfect name for my table.

So many of our neighbors that came over commented on how professional everything looked.  “Where is your bake shop?  Do you take orders?  This is delicious!”  I was just flabbergasted.  I did this all for fun and only charged folks what I spent to make each item, not a lot.  I introduced myself to a ton of new neighbors and am hoping that there’ll be a Spring Bake Sale too!

But for now I have my `fridge and freezer back, for the time being anyways.  😉


A Different Sort Of Smothered Chicken

One of the food forums that I belong to has a long standing thread where members share what they’re making for dinner.  One dish in particular sounded pretty yummy, well anything that has to do with bacon will always catch my eye.

My Friend’s Smothered Chicken

2 Boneless-Skinless Chicken Breasts

4 Bacon sliced, cooked

2 oz. Cheese, I used Sharp Provolone and Swiss

2-4 Tbsp. Olive Oil, divided

Spices of your choice

1 C. Sweet Bell Peppers, sliced

½ C. Sweet White Onion, sliced

Salt & Pepper to taste


*Cook’s note: Lately, the b/s Chicken Breasts that I find are HUGE!!!  So what I do is split them in half horizontally and give them a bit of a flattening with a rolling pin to even out their width.


In a skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the Peppers and Onions in about 1-2 tablespoons of Olive Oil until they are crisp-tender and slightly colored, season to taste with S&P; set aside.


You can use leftover Bacon or cook some up at this point; set aside.

Preheat the broiler with the rack set at the second potion.


On a foil lined baking sheet, pat the Chicken dry and brush with the remaining Olive Oil.  Season with your choice of Spices, I used Miners Mix Poultry Perfection Seasoning & Rub.

Broil the meat evenly on both sides until the internal temperature reaches 160⁰ (about 3-4 minutes per side).


Place the Bacon atop the Chicken Breasts, followed by the Pepper and Onion mixture.


Top that all off with the cheese of your choice and pop back under the broiler, just to melt the cheese.



**2nd Cook’s note: Try adding some fresh Mushrooms to the Pepper and Onion mixture as well, MMM!

If there’s any leftovers, they make a super sandwich too.  😉


Homemade Cheese Raviolis


Originally this post was published back a year ago.  I had been looking through my recipe binder to make a batch of ravs and decided just to pull this up instead.


I messed up on this recipe guys, big time!

Please note that the filling is missing EGGS!  I’ve rectified this and would like to re-post this with the correction added below.  This really is a wonderful dish that is time consuming, but well worth it, ask my husband 😀


One of my long time followers, Krystle, who also blogs at Pictures And Plane Tickets (please check out her blog) requested my recipe for Cheese Raviolis.

Ya know, I could have sworn that I’d posted this recipe previously, but I guess not, just mouth watering photographs of the end product… sorry, my bad.  So with no further ado, here we go.

Auntie’s Cheese Raviolis


3 1/2 – 4 C. All Purpose Flour (or Semolina)

1 1/2 tsp. Table Salt

4 large Eggs, beaten

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil



1 lb. Ricotta Cheese (I get the Whole Milk, go for it I say 😉 )

1 C. Parmesan Cheese, grated (buy the best quality you can find)

3 large Eggs, beaten

1/4 C. Flat Leaf Italian Parsley, chopped

Salt & Pepper to taste

Now, let’s get to it.

For the dough:

In a food processor combine the dry ingredients; with the machine running add the Eggs and Oil. Pulse in enough Water for the dough to JUST come together, you don’t want it too wet or sticky but firm and smooth to the touch.  Turn the dough out to a large piece of plastic wrap, bringing all bits together into a ball; cover well and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, but no longer than 24 hours, it turns a funny looking grey, unappetizing color.

For the filling:

Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  Take a zip-top baggie, fill about half way (not too full as it makes it unyielding when it comes time to fill the raviolis).  Snip a smallish hole in one corner, this makes the filling process much easier; close up the bag and place in a small bowl to keep everything contained for now.

To assemble:

Divide the dough into about 12 pieces, being sure to keep the dough covered in the plastic so that it doesn’t dry out.  Dust your counter top with a small amount of flour, then with a rolling pin, flatten out 1 piece of dough into a rectangular shape, thin enough to go through a Pasta Sheet Roller on the first setting. Dust the dough lightly and run it through as many settings as you like, I go from #1 to #4 on my KitchenAid attachment.  Set aside and repeat a second sheet.  Using a Ravioli Mold makes life easy.  Place one sheet over the flour dusted mold, make the rounded indentations and fill by squeezing that baggie of goodness in to that spot, not too much though; very lightly moisten all edges of the form with your finger dipped in some water.  Place the second sheet over the top, starting from on end and gently pressing out any air.  With the rolling pin provided (or your own) seal and cut all edges well (you’ll see the metal edges come through), peel away the excess dough (save that under the plastic wrap) and turn the Raviolis out on to a floured sheet pan.


I get anywhere from 6 to 7 dozen Raviolis with this recipe.  Allow the Raviolis to rest for at least 3 hours on the kitchen counter, uncovered.

To Cook:

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, add the appropriate amount of salt and stir.  Gently drop your desired amount of Raviolis into the pot and cook for 5-7 minutes or to your preferred doneness.

Now that’s just one technique of assembly Raviolis, you could go without the mold and simply roll out the sheet of pasta, squirt on some filling, fold over the dough and cut as desired.  I have a hard time with that, they wind up exploding in the boiling process, not good eats.

I like to make a large batch of Raviolis and once dried, I pop the entire sheet pan into the freezer overnight, dust off the flour and place in a zip-top bag for later consumption… I mean 84 Raviolis are ALOT!!! 

*Added bonus – if you like, this dough makes wonderful fresh Fettuccine or Spaghetti or really any shape you like.  I do this with the leftover scrapes of from the Raviolis.  I gather them all up into a ball, sheet it out and cut as desired.  I roll the sheets up into a “cigar shape” and use my parring knife, unfurl each strand into that sheet pan of flour, toss to coat in the flour and allow to dry a bit.  You can freeze the fresh pasta for next Sunday’s Supper.

homemade pasta