Category Archives: Snacks

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!



Our Great Western Adventure Road Trip! ~ September 2013 ~ Installment #1

It’s time to hit the trail once again, or as my friend Joey says, WAGONS HO!

We’re off on a month long car trip to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary … we were going to take an Alaskan Cruise, but we prefer to free-lance  😉

teriyaki spam musubi

We like to get an early start, so I made teri-spam Musubi again for our breakfast in hand.

I’ll keep you updated as to what we’re up to.


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.  😉


Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies For Mom

Back home in Hawaii, we can get these a~maz~ing Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies from The Big Island aka Hawaii Island.  Now that we’ve moved to the mainland, NOPE, NADA, NO CAN GET!  So once again the mother of need raises her head and says, MAKE YOUR OWN!

My Mom no longer lives 12 miles away from my DH and I, so I make up my version of a care package for her every so often.  I’ve added these to her most recent box.

Auntie Doni’s Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies

½ C. Macadamia Nuts, Roasted, unsalted and coarsely chopped

1/3 C. granulated Sugar

½ C. Unsalted Butter, softened

½ tsp. Salt

1 ¼ C. Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

½-1 C. Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Melting Wafers

In a food processor, pulse the nuts until ground fine, set aside.  In a stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, salt and those ground nuts.  Mix in the flour, just until combined.

Macadamia Nut Cookie logs

Form the dough into two 14 X 3 X 1” logs and wrap them in plastic.  Stash them in the `fridge for 1-24 hours.  Preheat the oven to 350⁰.  Line a **baking sheet** with either parchment paper or a Silpat® Mat (optimum choice).

place slices 1 inch apart

Slice the dough in ¼ inch widths; place on the sheet pan one inch apart.

Bake for 10 or until just lightly golden on the edges.  Place on a cooling rack.  Melt your dipping chocolate as directed on the package.

Chocolate dipped Macadamia Nut Cookies

Dip half of the cookie in the melted chocolate;

Place back on the Silpat® Mat (or parchment paper),

oh my, garnished chocolate dipped macadamia nut cookies

Add optional garnish of ground Macadamia Nuts;

Allow to cool completely, wrap and gift.


**It’s best to use a light colored baking sheet for lighter colored baked goods**

a lighter colored pan makes for lighter colored bottoms on my our baked goods


Trader Joe’s Soft Pretzel Sticks

Trader Joe's Soft Pretzel Stick

Oh my gravy all over my two scoops rice (that’s OMG! in my world) !!!!

Recently, DH was reading an article in the local newspaper, yes, some folks do still read newspapers, anyways it was about the most popular items at Trader Joe’s.  One of them was their bakery items, Soft Pretzel Stick.  It’s HUGE!  Like a mini loaf of bread.

On my last trip to TJ’s, I picked two of these ginormous “sticks”.  When I got home, I immediately popped them into a hot oven for about 10 minutes, plated them up with some Spicy Brown Mustard for dipping, and WOW!!!

We’ll need to watch ourselves, `cuz we could easily eat these ALOT!!  Next time though, I want to try these with a Cheese Sauce for dippin’.


Speaking of Ice Cream Sandwiches

I was at our local “Wally World” the other day and spied something different in the freezer case.  I recall there being three flavors of house brand Ice Cream Sandwiches, but the Cherry one was calling my name, no really! “Auntie, you need to try this, AUNTIE!!  Even my cashier commented on my purchase, “Uuuuhhhhh, what’s this?  I don’t think I’ve seen this before, this is looks delicious!”  RIGHT?!  Cherries and Chocolate, such a fabulous combination.

That night, DH was poking around the kitchen, as he will do on occasion, looking for something sweet.

DH: Uuuuuhhhh, what’s this?  This looks delicious!

Me: Right?!  That’s what my cashier said too, HA!!!

So it was unanimous, these cuties are superb!