Category Archives: What The Heck?

Just A Petty Vent

I can’t remember now how long it’s been since my husband and I stopped using granulated Sugar in our beverages.  Coffee is always the first order of the day in My Kitchen In The Middle Of The Desert!  I like my cuppa joe with a wee bit of sweetener whereas my husband likes a lot.  I calculated once that we were going through a pound of Sugar every two weeks, give or take.  😳

I started looking at Sugar Substitutes and found Stevia.  Stevia is much sweeter than Sugar so we use WAY less of it.

We tried several different types of Stevia products and settled on Truvia.

We like using Truvia in packets only because I can keep some in my purse for those times that we’re out and about.   I buy the largest box I can find in the SuperMarket to save a coupla cents here and there.

Maybe it was this past Summer sometime that the packaging of Truvia changed.

The graphics on the front  is a bit different.

The back of the packets now have inspirational quotes.

So here’s where my petty vent comes in …  :/

Take a closer look at the packaging of the envelope to the left, the old version, and then the right, the newest Truvia packet.

Do you see the difference?  o_O

Previously, I got a box of 240 count packets for, oh we’ll say $14.  Each packet had a net weight of 3 grams.  For the same amount of packets and price, I now get only TWO GRAMS of Truvia FOR THE SAME PRICE!!!  😡  👿  😥


Cargill, what’s up with that?!

We get gypped out of 1 gram for each packet of sweetener.  In dollars and cents,  I was paying $0.01 per gram and now I’m paying $0.02, WHAT? 😮



I get so excited when it snows here In The Middle Of The Desert, mostly because we don’t get a whole lot of it.  But, this was a doozy!

I went out back with my trusty ruler from the 3rd grade that I still have and measured a tick more than 4 inches… AND IT WAS’NT DONE!

This is in back of our house, looking to the road that leads in… you can’t see the road! 😀


This is our street, I think 😮

My husband looked out front and said, “Come on!  We gotta get out there and clear the snow from the driveway before it gets dark.  It’ll freeze solid and we won’t be able to get out!  I thought I’d never have to do this again, DANG!!” (DH is from the East Coast and said the reason that he moved to Hawaii was to get away from snow 😐 )

Here we thought that living in Arizona we’d never have to do this.  Now mind you, we don’t own a Snow Shovel!  So we used our large headed Broom and metal Bow Rake to break the forming ICE!!! :/

But we got it done!!  ^^’

Gee, I did wonder when I went to the market a few days earlier, why they had Snow Shovels on sale out front. o_O


Guess what I bought? 😉

I’ve never, ever in my entire life owned a Snow Shovel, EVER!! But we’re ready now… Sunday’s forecast is for SNOW!!!! 🙄

Let Me Catch You All Up

Well, as I mentioned in my last post, its been awhile, over four months to be more specific, that I’ve blogged, sorry.  I think maybe I should catch you all up on what we’ve been up to.

For my birthday this year, my Mother gave me a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker … I’ve wanted one of these for some time.

Who doesn’t like homemade Ice Cream?  I tried Meyer Lemon,my Mom’s favorite, and Toasted Coconut, my fave.

A friend of mine suggested that I try this new product, Fry Wall™.  GET IT!

I saw this on some Social Media Site, I can’t recall where… Chocolate Covered Strawberry BROWNIES, MAN!  And I DON’T even like Chocolate. 😮

When we were in Hawaii this last time, our friend introduced us to Lup Chong Fried Rice, AH-YUM!  So I brought home a package to give it a go here in the middle of the desert… meh, not the same.

From time to time I like to do different types of crafting.  I saw this project on Pinterest and thought it would make for a great Summer-time wreath for our front door. I couldn’t find any Cocktail Umbrellas here, but I did find them in Hawaii…Cute!

I bought a mini Watermelon, cut it open and found that it was YELLOW, and very delicious!  This made for a wonderful Salad with crumbled Feta Cheese and fresh Mint.

When Early Fall rolled around, I suggested that we take a day-trip to Winslow, what fun.  We had a great lunch at The Turquoise Room in the La Posada Hotel and then went over to the “Corner”.

CHEESECAKE!  One of these babies is far too much for us, so I sliced the entire cake up and wrapped individual pieces up for the deep freeze.  Smart girl.  We were eating Cheesecake into the New Year. 😀

Time for a Road Trip to Lake Tahoe.  Neither my Husband nor I had ever been, it was gorgeous!

For Halloween, I made sure to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project®.  This year I handed out WAY more candy than last year!  Even parents came dressed up for Halloween.

Verde Valley Railroad.  This is something we have been talking about for years.  We decided to make it an overnight trip.  THAT was breathtaking scenery!

I was watching an America’s Test Kitchen video and the girls made a better version of Oatmeal Cookies than Quaker Oats.  WOW!   Those are good!

S’Mores by our backyard Fire Pit, served with Bailey’s Irish Cream Spiked Hot Cocoa, Aahhh!

Thanksgiving for Two.

Christmas Cookies.  I had my own Garage Bake Sale where I sold about 250 cookies from our garage… not bad, huh?

Cookie Fail!  Wilton had the cutest packet of candies to create Snowman cookies… NOPE!  The candies melted into the Royal Icing  😡

Christmas Eve in our house means The Feast Of The Seven Fishes.  Well, you know already that I do it my way.   😉

… And folks, that brings to 2019 … you’re all caught up with what has been happening here in My Kitchen In The Middle Of The Desert.

Homemade Caramel Sauce, Kitchen Fail!

HA! 😀

Y’know, sometimes stuff  just happens in the Kitchen…

I saw on one of these new fangled social media thingys, Serious Eats Easy Caramel Sauce, Hmmm … I just got a carton of Tillamook Old Fashion Vanilla Ice Cream for the deep freeze (it is starting to get warm here in the middle of the desert 😉 ) and I do like Caramel Sauce.

It looked good

It smelled good

and it tasted GREAT!!

For dessert that night, I poured my homemade sauce over a nice parfait glass of creamy goodness and … the sauce froze up HARD AS ROCK!!!   😀

Oh well, the Ice Cream was good   😛

I gotta say, I do like Serious Eats, all of their recipes and videos, but this was my one and only fail from them.  I’m sure that I did something wrong along the way, sorry Kenji.

Has It Really Been 3 Months Since My Last Post?

Geez, I guess so.  It has been a wild and crazy ride here in My Kitchen In The Middle Of The Desert, I gotta tell you!

Here’s a quick-hit overview of what’s been going on and then I promise to back again soon.

KAF’s Herb and Garlic Bubble Loaf

I got a King Arthur Flour Catalog a few weeks back, and on the cover was this LUSCIOUS looking loaf of bread, they called it a “tear & share”.
For the first time in our entire marriage, my husband actually read this food magazine (I get several) and brought it over to me.

DH: Look at this! Can you make this for us? This looks really good, I love homemade bread!
Me: Sure! It does look good, doesn’t it!

I gathered all of the ingredients, re-read the recipe; I even did TWO “live chats” with KAF’s Baker’s Hotline with a few follow questions that weren’t clear to me.
I followed the recipe as well as the helpful information that I received on the chat line… 5 hours later (I took my time and didn’t rush the process) we sat down a dinner to what looked and smelled heavenly!

The Bubble Loaf was cracker-like on one side and the inside was very doughy and unappealing.

That goodness the Chicken Cacciatore over Rigatoni was outstanding.

After everything was cleaned up for the evening, my husband gives me a big hug and says, “Well, ok that was a no-go, what new recipe are we going to try next?”
AWW! He’s such a love!

The Best Coconut Pound Cake, NOT!

I love anything Coconut, so I ordered a small bottle of Coconut Flavoring from King Arthur Flour, along with a new Bundt® Pan.

I found this recipe, “The Best Coconut Pound Cake”, on a social media site and figured I’d give it a go.

It sure smelled good and looked okay I guess.

I made the icing and toasted some Shredded Coconut to go on top.

I can’t say exactly why we didn’t care for this cake, we just didn’t.  One bite and unfortunately, it got chucked into the garbage can… it wasn’t even good enough to share with the next door neighbors, I didn’t want to subject them to this cake.

I’m not going to post the recipe nor the author of it, but I will say that this is the second recipe that I’ve tried of hers and both were FAILS!


Mod Pizza

We had heard about Mod Pizza and it looked like they get pretty decent reviews, so let’s go.

The premise is you can order an 11 inch, individual artisan pizza and choose any toppings that you like, as much as you like and get it super-fast.

It seemed to me that the crusts had been par baked and were stacked on screened pizza pans at the ready.

Then it was kinda like Subway, they take you down the line of prepped goodies in hotel pans, even nice thick Anchovies.

So that was DH’s choice, 1/2 Anchovy and 1/2 fresh Mushrooms.

I went for the “deluxe”… Sweet Italian Sausage, fresh Mushrooms, Green Bell Peppers, Black Olives and Onions.

Ya gotta have something to wash it all down with!  We hadn’t had a Birch Beer in years and it was very good.

Now as for the pizzas, well, not so much sadly.  We both thought that they were tasteless and bland. We also agreed that had we ordered our usual plain Cheese Pizza, we would have made a big mistake. At least the toppings helped make these at least an edible pies.

So to summarize, neither DH nor myself can recommend Mod Pizza, sorry guys.

Baked Chocolate Donuts

I’ve been eyeing up this Wilton 6-Cavity Donut Pan for, well, ever.  Not long ago, I was out and about with Missus Dear Friend on one of our “Girlies Day Out”.  We went into Bed Bath & Beyond and what was calling my name?

What the heck, it’s only $9.99, I should be able to make a decent baked, rather than fried donut, right?  I followed the directions that came on the pans sleeve…

The first batch, I think I filled the pan a bit too much, there isn’t a hole.  Maybe the icing would hide that.

The next batch looked pretty, but the texture was off, they were too airy (can you see those huge pockets of air?).

This Sunday’s Brunch was disappointing.   It’s a good thing a made a BIG pan of Bacon too.

Conclusion:  We’ll need to look for a different recipe maybe, but we will try again.

Crushed Pineapple Coffee Cake FAIL!

The other day I was going through the `Fridge as I do from time to time, just to make that nothing has gotten pushed to the far recess and forgotten.  I found a cup or so of canned crushed Pineapple leftover from a recipe that I can’t remember what.  Hmmm, that means it’s been there for a while and really should be used up.

I did a quick Internet search for recipes that called for just such an ingredient and found a Coffee Cake recipe, perfect!  I had all of the other items necessary, so let’s bake.

That didn’t work out very well, now did it.

Sometimes you have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and say, adios as you dump that sucker in the trash.   It wasn’t fit for man nor beast, ACK!  I followed the recipe to the letter, I don’t think that we need to mention that recipe though. 😉

Oh well, we all have an off day now and again.