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.

ALOHA!

**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

Kewpie Mayonnaise And Tuna Sandwiches

If you’ve been following along for awhile now, you’ll remember my post about Tuna Sandwiches.

Having lived the majority of my life in Hawaii, THE  mayonnaise of choice is Best Foods (it’s known as Hellman’s on the East Coast of the US).  Although, there is a brand from Japan that has some pull in certain circles…

           Kewpie Mayonnaise, YUM!

Kewpie Mayonnaise, not cheap stuff!

I’ve never bought this brand of mayo before, mainly because it’s not cheap!  As you can see, I got the smaller, less expensive bottle  😄

So I’ve had this container in my pantry, waiting for the right moment to break it out… Today’s the day!

Coral Brand Tuna From Hawaii

 

I brought back a BUNCH of these lovely cans of my most favoritest canned Tuna in the whole wide world (along with an entire suitcase full of other goodies … all food items, of course 😎 ) the last time we went home to Hawaii; I figured if I was going to do it, let’s go whole hog!

In Hawaii, we LOVE our mayonnaise and make our Tuna Salad very simply.  Tuna and mayo, that’s it, well, you do need to use alot of mayo.  My husband doesn’t do care for mayonnaise, so he can’t watch when I do this, “Don’t tell me what’s in there! All I know is that I like your Tuna Sandwich.”  Ssshhhh! Don’t tell him, but I only use a little mayo in the salad, just enough to moisten it all up and then slather GOBS of it on the bread for my sandwich, MMM.

The Kewpie was phenomenal!  I turned the packaging over to look at the ingredients, thinking how different could this be?  MSG, Pepper, Pepper Extract and Apple, interesting (and yes I know that MSG is not good for you, but if you don’t eat it everyday…).  Since DH wasn’t looking, I figured I’d taste-test the two brands side-by-side… WOW!  They’re worlds apart.  That MSG gives the Kewpie Mayo a very savory flavor, they call that Umami.

If you get a chance, do try this different mayonnaise.  If you don’t see it in any of your neighborhood markets, you could always order it on line.

ENJOY!

*Note: As I’ve made mention previously, products that appear here on my personal blog are items that I enjoy and want to share these thoughts about them with you the reader.  I am not compensated in anyway by any company, corporation, individual, group or foundation.  If you see any advertising on this site, it is placed there solely by WordPress.com and I have not done so.  I’m not in this for money, just my own amusement.  🙂

 

 

Trader Joe’s Soft Pretzel Sandwiches

A few days back, I was telling you about a new find I discovered at Trader Joe’s,  Soft Pretzel Sticks.

YUM!

WELL!  On my most recent journey to one of my favorite places to shop for food, I grabbed a bunch of these culinary delights and stashed them in the deep freeze for later.  I was looking for something for lunch a coupla days later and thought THAT  would make a terrific sandwich!

TJ's Soft Pretzel Ham & Cheese Sandwich

DING DING DING!  We have a winner folks.

I heated the rolls, split them open, slathered them in some Spicy Brown Mustard and lastly layered on Ham and Swiss Cheese.  DE~LI~CIOUS!!!

Me: So how’s that tastin’ ?

DH: MMM [garbled mouth-full mumbles] Where did you get this, this is really good!

Me: Trader Joe’s

DH: Can you make this again?

Me: YUP, you betcha.  😉

Pot Pie Fail

You remember my post a while back about Pot Pie For My Husband, right?

Well, it’s been quite some time since I last made this uber yummy dish, so here we go…

Looks good Chicken Pot Pie

It looks good, but, hmmm.  I didn’t have any butter, so I used Vegetable Shortening instead.  As I was making the dough for the crust, it just didn’t feel right, y’know?

Chicken Pot Pie made with Crisco

It smelled heavenly!  I let is cool for a bit before we dove in …

Chicken Pot Pie

NOPE!  That’s a fail alright.  WAY  too crumble-y, not enough gravy and kinda dry inside.

SO!  Lesson learned.  Stick with what is already tried-and-true. But that’s okay, we all have an oops now and again.

 

 

Espresso Dry Rub

I have two friends that are chefs, and we started to talk about dry rubs for grilling, etc.  Oddly enough, I had never made nor used a dry rub before.  So both of them sent me their recipes and I did a mash of the two to my own liking.

Auntie’s All-Purpose Dry Rub

1/2 C. Kosher or Sea Ssalt

1/4 C. Sweet Paprika

1/4 C. Brown Sugar

3 Tbsp. coarsely fresh ground Black Pepper

2 Tbsp. mild Chili Powder

1 1/2 Tbsp. Espresso or ground (very, very fine ground) Coffee

1 Tbsp. Unsweetened Cocoa

1 Tbsp. granulated Garlic

1 Tbsp. granulated Onion

1 Tbsp. ground Cumin

1 Tbsp. ground Cinnamon

1 Tbsp. ground Ginger

1 Tbsp. dried Oregano

1 Tbsp. dried Parsley

Throw everything into a Food Processor and whiz it up.

If using coarse Sea Salt, as I did, whiz the Salt first to your desired texture, then add the remaining ingredients and process.  And remember to shake well before using 😉

Make your own Spice Rub

This recipe yields 2 cups, which with fit nicely in a one pint Mason Jar.  This one’s for my Mom.

Store in airtight containers in your cool, dark cupboard, indefinitely.  But it won’t last too terribly long, `cuz you’ll be using this on everything.  Rubs aren’t just for grilled foods, you could use this mixture for any application.

My favorite way though is to use a generous amount of rub on boneless, thick, center cut Pork Chops and leave them alone in the `fridge for the day or even longer.

I load up my adorable little Gas Grill Smoker Box that I recently purchased and on they go.

And I call that dinner!

**Cook’s note: If you package your Dry Rub in a nice, labeled container, this makes a welcomed gift.

As always, recipes are simply someone else’s idea.  Take it and make it your own.  Maybe try Smoked Paprika, really lovely or some Citrus Zest; how about more Brown Sugar for a sweeter finish.

Enjoy!

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!

Looking For Something Different For Sunday Brunch

This may sound lame, but do you ever get stuck for an idea for Sunday Brunch?  I do.  Saturday night I start to think about what I’m going to make for the next day, not just brunch, but then I do this every night, HA!  I woke up this Sunday and remembered that my Mom would put either Chives, fresh, if she had them or dried from a jar, or fresh Green Onions.  Hmm.

I spied a value sized bag of Pillsbury® Grands™ Southern Style Biscuits in my deep freeze, very convenient.  Yes, I do make on occasion, albeit a special occasion, from scratch Buttermilk Biscuits, using this recipe from the Blue Jean Chef®, thank you Meredith Laurence, they’re absurdly scrumptious.

Okay, now what shall we do with those you ask?  Let’s stuff them!

I popped our biscuits in the oven; in the meantime I gathered together our stuffing ingredients.  I’ve got thinly sliced Ham, meant for sandwiches, sliced Provolone Cheese (`cuz that what I had) and some dried snipped Chives.  A dab abutter in the fry pan and we’re off.  Crisp up the ham first, then set them aside topped with your cheese.  Beat the Eggs well and make something like a plain Omelette, topped with a goodly sprinkling of the Chives.  Split the biscuits and fill to your liking.

Sunday Brunch Stuffed Biscuits

MMM!

Some diced fresh Tomatoes for DH, a glass of Juice and we’re all set to tuck in.

Happy Sunday.

Enjoy!