Category Archives: Vegetarian Dishes

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!

Meyer Lemon Curd, YUM!

I’m going to post another throwback blog post.  The reason for this is I had made a batch of my Meyer Lemon Curd with the intent to use as a filling to either Lemon Bars or Pie, but things got away from me, so I stashed it in a gallon sized zip-top bag full in the freezer for later.

 

 

We’ve been invited to many Cocktail Parties in our Neighborhood since going into SIP Mode, sitting outdoors and maintaining our Social Distance, of course.

I was trying to dream up a Hostess Gift idea, and came up with this!

 

 

I just snipped a decent sized hole in the corner of the zip-bag and piped the Curd into a cleaned and sterilized half pint Mason Jar.  The frozen Curd was still quite malleable, but do be sure that you get as many of the air bubbles out with a plastic knife before sealing the jar.  The label I made myself on my laptop, printed that out, used some Craft Glue, Clear Wrap and some leftover ribbon that I have stashed away.  I added my Calling Card for our new Neighbor who invited a bunch of us over the other evening, and …

BAM!

Food As Gifts!

 

March 25, 2014

Years back, I use to watch Martha Stewart’s television programs and then, well you know, things happened.  One particular episode, I recall her making Lemon Curd and I thought that someday I’d try that.

My darling husband goes nuts for Lemon Meringue Pie and don’t ya know, that’s what’s in the middle of it (shhh, please don’t tell him that, he claims to HATE curd, “that sounds gross”).

I found some more Meyer Lemons of all places, at Walmart, so here goes.

Auntie’s Meyer Lemon Pie Filling

12 Egg Yolks (freeze the whites in two separate containers for later use, like frosting for a cake)

2 C granulated Sugar

6 Meyer Lemons, juiced (approx. 1 C of juice, no seeds please)

2 sticks of Butter, diced

Zest from the Meyer Lemons

This recipe makes approximately 2 pints.

In a metal or glass bowl (heat-proof), whisk the egg yolks and sugar.  Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, making sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.  Pour in the juice and stir continually with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon for about 10-15 minutes, until the mixture thickens.  Make sure not to allow the mixture to boil.  Add the butter and stir until melted and well incorporated.  Whisk in the reserved zest.

Carefully pour the curd into sterilized jars, best to use half pints or smaller mason jars, leaving ½ inch of head space.  With a damp paper towel, wipe the rim of the jars and seal with the lids and rings.

If you would like to ‘put up’ your bounty for later consumption, process them in boiling water for 20 minutes, allow to cool overnight and store for up to one year (if they last that long).

Should you not feel so inclined to ‘can’ your curd, simply cool and then refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

I gotta tell ya, the smell in the house was heavenly.  I got 4 half pint jars and then half of a 5th jar that I stashed in the `fridge for toast the next morning.  Not shown here was a huge dollop of Meyer Lemon Curd in my yogurt the following morning.

 

** Edit-2/2017- I was reading about dairy based canning recently; It is now recommended that instead of using the Water Bath method, Pressure Canning or Freezing is the preferred technique. **

Oven Roasted Brocolli

Have you ever had a big stalk of Broccoli and thought to yourself, meh, not so much.  My husband really likes Broccoli, me, I could take it or leave it.  I was trying to think up another way to prepare this veggie so that I would enjoy them too.

Now, I oven roast Potatoes, so why not Broccoli too?  Let’s try this …

This may sound very elementary, but I’d never thought to do this before, really!

I lined a half sheet pan with Tin Foil, broke that huge bunch of Broccoli down into manageable pieces, tossed it all with good Olive Oil and Miners Mix Steak & Veggie Seasoning & Rub and a bit of Black Pepper.  I had already pre-heated the oven to 400°, so in it went for about 20 minutes, give or take … check for doneness by piercing the stalk with a sharp knife.

Can you see those nice bits of brown goodness, that equals flavor?!

YUM!

Embrace your vegetables, try cooking them in a different way, maybe, just maybe you’ll enjoy them more.

New And Improved Homemade Cheese Raviolis

Below is a copy of a previous post from my blog, well actually this is the third ‘recycle’ of this blog post.

What I wanted to add to this post is that I finally bought a set of Ravioli Cutters.  One is round and one is square, and they make hefty sized Ravs!

I’d never tried to make Ravioli using this technique before, and I found it much more satisfying then using the Ravioli Maker and Press.  I’m not really sure why, but it wasn’t as stressful.  No, I do know why … I didn’t have to worry about the dough sticking to the maker and falling apart!

I rolled out the Pasta Dough using my Kitchen Aid attachments, laid each sheet on the counter, used my teaspoon disher to load the filling, topped it with a second sheet of pasta and cut.

I also tried a different recipe for the filling with this first go-around of Large-Round cutter, Spinach and Cheese Ravs.  They were delicious!! I don’t remember the recipe I used but you can search the WWW for one that you’re family would like.

 

January 21, 2018

*Edit*

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.

WHAT!?

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

Dough:

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

1 1/2 tsp. Table Salt

4 large Eggs, beaten

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Water

Filling:

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.

Repeat

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

ENJOY!

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!

Homemade Cheese Raviolis

*Edit*

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.

WHAT!?

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

Dough:

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

1 1/2 tsp. Table Salt

4 large Eggs, beaten

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Water

Filling:

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.

Repeat

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

ENJOY!

Gluten & Dairy Free Cauliflower Crust Mini Quiches

Gluten-free and Dairy-free dishes have been coming to the forefront in recent times.  Some folks choose to be GF and DF for health reasons and others just do.  My Friend, Missus Dear Friend is now GF/DF and Vegetraian for a little more than a year now.  This has nudged me onto that culinary path and researching recipes has been very eye opening.  I made this dish for our Easter Brunch Potluck (yeah, I know I’m behind, but what can I say, we’ve been busy).

GF/DF Cauliflower Crust Mini Quiches

1 head of Cauliflower

1 tsp. Salt

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 tsp. Granulated Garlic

1/3 C. diced Sweet White Onion

½ C. Dairy-free grated Parmesan Cheese

Salt & Pepper to taste

6 Eggs, separated

Preheat the oven to 375⁰

*Rice the Cauliflower by either using a large holed Box Grater or whiz it up in a Food Processor fitted with its Metal Blade.

 

Place Cauliflower in a Microwave safe dish; stir in well the Salt and cook on high for 5 minutes.  Set aside to cool until you can handle it.  Transfer the now steamed Riced Cauliflower to a large piece of Cheesecloth, and wring as much of the water out as you can (this will take a lot of upper body strength, believe me!)

In a large bowl, whisk 2 of the Eggs; add the Cauliflower, Olive Oil, Granulated Garlic, Onion, Parm and S&P to taste, remembering that the steamed riced Cauliflower already has 1 teaspoon of Salt.  Combine well.  Spray a Muffin Tin well  and divide the Cauliflower mixture evenly in the cups.

I used a small round, flat bottomed glass to press the Cauliflower into each cup, pressing firmly, but you could just use your fingers, making sure to push the mixture up the side of each cup.  So what you’re doing is forming the crust on the bottom and side as evenly as possible.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and set firm.

Whisk the remaining 4 Eggs and pour evenly between all of the cups.

 

Here’s where you can show your personality.  Add in any fillings (or not, plain is good too) that you like in a Quiche.  I chose leftover steamed Rapini with Garlic and Olive Oil, leftover sautéed Crimini Mushrooms with Olive Oil and Garlic, diced Tomatoes, freeze dried Chives and topped each with more DF Parm.  Bake 15-20 minutes or til the Eggs are set.

Allow to cool slightly before removing, using a plastic-disposable knife is best.

Serving Suggestion above, either warm or at room temp.

*Cooks Note: For convenience, just buy a bag of already Riced Cauliflower, also they stick like a son-of-a-gun!  Be sure to spray non-stick-spray liberally just before putting in the Cauliflower mixture.

Also, Mrs. DF later tried this recipe as well and used a silicone Muffin pan, works even better!

This was a lovely Easter Potluck Brunch, what a schpread!

(You’ll note that the only  Meat, Dairy or Gluten ((those are GF Crackers and Chips there)) is the Ham and Cheese Sandwich Platter meant for DH)

Baked Disco Tots

You’ve heard of Disco Fries, Right?  Well, here’s my spin on it.

This dish couldn’t be easier!  I baked some Trader Joe’s Trader Potato Tots, following the directions on the package; sprinkled loads of shredded Cheese over the top and put them back into the hot oven for like 30 seconds, just to melt the Cheese.

Now plate and enjoy.  I like mine with Kewpie Mayonnaise, you choose your own dipper, but it’s really not necessary, these gems are perfect just as they are.

 

Meyer Lemon & Thyme Infused Sea Salt

Meyer Lemons just arrived in our local Green Grocery.  These little darlings have the most wonderful smell.  They kinda brighten up a Winter’s Day.  I wanted to try something different with them, AH!  Flavored Salt.

Ball® Brand Dry Spice Jars

I found these jars at the Mega-Mart and thought this would be perfect for Food As Gifts.

So here’s how it went …

 

Auntie Doni’s Meyer Lemon & Thyme Infused Sea Salt

½ C. Coarse Sea Salt

2 Meyer Lemons, zested (approximately 2 Tbsp. of zest, no white pith please)

2 Tbsp. fresh Thyme, cleaned and dried well (leaves only, stripped off the stems)

Place all of the ingredients into a Food Processor and whiz it up to the coarseness of your choice.

Ball® Brand Dry Spice Jars filled with my Sea Salt

You’ll have enough Salt to fill 2 four ounce Mason Jars.

Refrigeration is not necessary in an airtight container, such as a Mason Jar.  Your infused salt will last indefinitely in a cool, dark cupboard.

Shucks, I had to use different jars

And this my friends is why I had to return those uber cute jars, they’re not airtight, DANG IT!!  I transferred the salt into regular 4 oz. jars, fitted with new lids and rings.  Oh well.  But I mean, come on man!  How great does that look?!

I shared a jar with Missus Dear Friend, who has tried her share of the bounty on acoupla things already.

Her first try was on some Baked Salmon Fillets served with her KILLER Caesar Salad; next was her outstanding Guacamole, MMM!

The possibilities are endless.

*Cook’s Tip: You don’t need to go out and buy expensive labels.  Use your favorite Word Processor and print out whatever you like, in the font and colors that tickle your fancy; use your choice of crafting scissors and a glue stick.  That’s it.  It’s simple, cute and the label will wash right off with warm, soapy water.

Enjoy!

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’.