Tag Archives: At Home Here In The Desert

Okay, So I Went Shopping Again Today

I’ve already admitted to my food shopping/browsing addiction, and I have not found a cure for it, yet. But come on, I mean we all have to eat, and I can’t JUST  look at food stuff all the time, well, maybe.

Actually, this is a cute idea

This implement is in the category of, WHAT?  Then it turned to, um yeah, kinda cool. This would make a great grab bag gift idea … note to self!

A jar of pecan pie filling for how much?

This product I have categorized in my brain as, REALLY?  But I guess if you don’t drink bourbon and you want to make bourbon pecan pie, I suppose you’ll pay $13.99 for a jar of pie filling.

Icicle Radishes

Very interesting. I thought that these were white carrots, they’re icicle radishes.

WHAT? these are in our backyard back home in Hawaii

In Hawaii, guavas grow everywhere. You’ll see cardboard boxes in the front of homes with a hand written sign “take one” … and they want how much at AJ’s market? Kazowie!



YEAH! Finally, A Sale!

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

This past weekend I made my very first sale, FOR MONEY!!! At my ‘shop’ etsy.com/shop/CakeInACan


I have been networking, giving out free samples, knocking on doors, sending emails, Face Booking, Twittering, everything that I could think of that didn’t cost me much money, to get this baby off the ground. And …


One of the folks that we gave a sample to loved it and I hope that this will start a new chapter. Now look, I’m not looking to be next wealthiest old lady in the world or be some new Cooking show whatever kitchen goddess, I just want to share with the world my cakes that are so dang tasty.

Cake In A Can

I’ve been making these particular cakes for MANY  years and this past Christmas our friends, who both own their own small business, suggested that I sell these cuties online. What the heck, I’ve got nothing to lose, I’m retired.

So if you feel the need for cake, visit my ‘shop’ and see what you think.


Plate Lunch Special, Chicken Katsu

Did we talk about the different foods that we eat in Hawaii?

Sure we have, what about Chicken Katsu?

Chicken Katsu Plate Lunch

Oh my, served with some steamed medium grain white rice, Aloha Shoyu and Furikake and a side of my quick cucumber kim chee, MAN!

The main dish here is uber easy…

Chicken Katsu

2-4 boneless-skinless Chicken thighs (or breast)

1 egg white, beaten

1 C Panko bread crumbs

¼ C Rice Flour (Mochiko)

Vegetable Oil

Pound the chicken meat just so that all of the pieces are even in thickness. Set up you breading station, rice flour, egg white and Panko. I keep a clean plate on the side as a landing spot once each piece of meat has been breaded. Dip the chicken, one at a time into the rice flour, shaking off the excess and then into the egg white and lastly the Panko. Press the Panko into the flesh and set aside. Repeat until all pieces are done, and stash in the refrigerator. In the mean time, in the largest skillet that you have add enough vegetable oil so that you come up the side of the pan about ½ inch deep. Heat over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 350⁰. If you don’t have a thermometer, the end of the handle of a wooden spoon will work. If you dip the end into the oil and it bubbles, you’re good to go. Carefully place as many pieces of chicken into the pan without crowding them. Fry on both sides until GBAO (golden brown and ONO, or delicious). As each piece is done, place on a rimmed baking sheet with a wire rack in it rather than on paper towels. This way that beautiful crispy crust you just achieved will stay that way. If need be, place the entire pan into the oven (150⁰) to keep them warm until rest are finished and you are ready to serve.

This recipe feeds two adults

Let’s talk about how to serve this dish. The way that we do it back home is you place each piece onto a cutting board and slice into one inch strips, crosswise. Place the strips on to a plate, together, along side the rice and veggie of your choice. Sauce is optional. We prefer not to, but if you must…


1/3 C. Ketchup

1/3 C. Soy Sauce

2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

You can either be a dipper or a pourer over all the chicken. If I do have sauce, I’m a dipper.

Chicken Katsu Plate Lunch

This here is what we would call a plate lunch in Hawaii.  Another variation to the plate would be a HUGE scoop of Macaroni Salad or a small toss (or green salad with French dressing, always!).  I know I put up the same photo twice, but I mean come on, how GOOD does that look.



Haole Brownies In The Desert

Growing up in Hawaii, there were two schools that were, to put it simply, arch rivals. Both schools provided a hot lunch for the students every day. In ‘camp A’ there was Caramel Cuts and in ‘camp B’ there was Haole Brownies. Now, let me explain, haole is not a mean term, but it is a real Hawaiian word with several meanings and reported origin. These bar cookies have other names, such as Blondies or Butterscotch Brownies, but for me, they’re my childhood in my hand. I love them; I could easily sit and eat the entire pan, once they cool off that is.

Recently, we went to visit with friends and Mister Dear Friend can’t eat chocolate. Since I was bringing a nice bottle of Prosecco for Missus Dear Friend and I to enjoy, I needed something for the guys. Food always makes a wonderful gift for any occasion and I make a point of taking along something that everyone will enjoy.

This is my version …

Haole Brownies

Haole Brownies In The Desert

1 stick Butter, melted and cooled slightly

2 C. Brown Sugar (either light or dark, whatever you have on hand)

2 Eggs, beaten

2 C. Flour (I buy unbleached AP)

2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

2 tsp. Baking Powder

¼ tsp. Table Salt

2/3 C. Heath English Toffee Bits, divided


In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon. Add the next 5 ingredients, along with 1/3 cup of the Toffee bits; mix well, it will be very stiff batter. Prepare a 13x9x2 inch pan by spraying it with cooking spray and fitting it with a piece of parchment paper as a sling. This way you’ll be able to get them out easily and in one piece. Spread the batter evenly into the pan and bake in a preheated oven of 350⁰ for 18 minutes and sprinkle the top with the remaining Toffee bits; bake for another 8-12 minutes. Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then with a plastic-disposable knife, release the sides of the pan that are not covered by the paper and lift out carefully to a cooling rack to finish cooling. Cut into bars and devour!


(*did you figure out which camp I belong to?)


Happy Aloha Friday!

It’s Aloha Friday and the weekend is just around the corner!

Finally, the snow is starting to melt away, here in the middle of the desert!  DH and I have been a little busy as of late, so I will report back on with the goins-on a bit later.

Enjoy your weekend.


Kitchen-Diva’s Adapted Chicken Chili

I know that it’s still winter, but its beautiful here in the middle of the desert. Yeah, it’s a little chilly some days, and yeah we do have gloomy days. What a better time to make up a big pot of chili. DH and I try to eat healthfully, more chicken than red meat.

Many years ago there was a certain kitchen-diva, whose television programs I never missed. I adapted one of her recipes and made it my own. DH will request this chili, he loves it. There are so many variations to it that you could certainly make it yours.

Adapted Chicken Chili

5 boneless-skinless Chicken thighs cut into 1 inch chunks

1 large Onion, diced

4 Garlic cloves, minced

¼ C. Olive Oil

1 Tbsp. Cumin Seeds, toasted & ground (or buy the powder)

1 Tbsp. Oregano

1/8 tsp. Chipotle Chile powder (adds a nice smoky heat)

1 15 oz. can Petite Diced Tomatoes

1 4 oz. can diced Green Chiles (I like Hatch chiles)

1-2 C. Chicken Broth

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Sauté the onion until translucent; add the garlic and cook just until fragrant. Toss in the chicken and cook until the exterior turns white. Add the spices and cook for a few minutes. Stir in the broth, chiles and tomatoes (and any of the additions from below at this point), bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer partially covered until it starts to thicken, about 40 minutes.  This recipe will feed two very hungry adults.

Come on, how good does that look

Come on, how good does that look


We like a thick chili: stir in 1-2 tablespoons of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix while the chili is still bubbling

Add 2 Corn tortillas, chopped to thicken it up, let it cook for a while

Add 1-2 tablespoons of chopped Cilantro

Add 1 cup of Bird’s Eye brand ’Ultimate Southwest Blend’ (this has sweet corn, black beans, poblano chiles, red bell peppers, and roasted onions-YUM!)

Add any of the above items, individually

Add a finely diced Jalapeno pepper for more depth of heat

Any or all of the variations are great, believe me, we’ve tried them all. No pot of chili has ever been the same in our house, it always evolves. We eat our chili over steamed white rice, it’s a Hawaii thing. You could top it with shredded cheese, sour cream, freshly chopped onions or maybe a handful of cilantro. Make it yours.




A Curious Blurb …

I started my blog on January 5th, so that makes it one month old.

I was looking over all of the posts and likes and comments, and wait, what?

Comments? Not a lot, curious.

Anyone have any thoughts on that?