Tag Archives: Food as Gifts

Another Food As Gifts Idea

I had 4 Hoagie Rolls, that weren’t really that great,
and I forgot about them in the pantry … they went stale 

** note to self: don’t EVER buy rolls at Safeway again 

So I ground them up pretty fine in the Food Processor,
spread them out on sheet pans, toasted them in a low oven for about 5
minutes, PLAIN, no seasonings.  I do this with any leftover, stale white bread.  Do you know how much those blue cans of Dried Bread Crumbs cost?  Rather than throw out old bread, make bread crumbs and stash them in the freezer 💡

I let them cool and packaged them all pretty like
for my Neighborhood Gal Pals. They’re in zip-top
baggies in those embellished brown paper
lunch sacks, I gotta craft it up 

I went plain so that the recipient could flavor them
as they wish for the intended recipe.

Food as gifts, for free!
Share the Aloha

Miners Mix Hot-Banero Spiced Cashews

I’m pretty sure I mentioned to the class that I received a very generous gift of assorted Seasonings and Rubs from the Ole’ Miner at Miners Mix.

The spiciest mix of the lot is this Pepperhead’s Hot-Banero; can you see that this one has Ghost Peppers in it?  My husband’s good buddy, Mister Dear Friend, is a true Pepperhead and LOVES everything muy caliente!  So I was sitting here tried to think of what else I could use this warm spice with/on … DING! 💡  Spiced Nuts!

So I gathered my ingredients and got to work.


Miners Mix Hot-Banero Spiced Cashews

1 tsp. Miners Mix Pepperhead’s Hot-banero Seasoning

½ Tbsp. pure Maple Syrup

1/8 tsp. Sea Salt

1 C. raw-unsalted and shelled Cashews


Pre-heat our oven to 325⁰.

In a medium sized bowl, combine until smooth, the first 3 ingredients.

Add the nuts and mix until all the nuts are evenly coated with the spice mixture.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with tin foil and spray with cooking spray.

Spread the nuts in a single layer on the pan and bake for about 15-20, or until the nuts are fragrant.

Cool and serve or package in a zip bag for later munchies.

HEH! Christmas is coming, would this make a great gift for any Pepperhead?


National Random Acts Of Kindness Day 2017

Today is such a beautiful day out, which has really lifted my spirits, what after all this rain and gloomy days we’ve been having.  I found a WHOLE BIG BUNCH of leftover cooked Rice in my freezer and I thought Hawaiian Fried Rice would be very ONO (delicious in Hawaiian)!

Once I got the dish all done, I thought, geez, that’s an awful lot of Fried Rice.  Why not share with our new next door neighbors?  Yeah, that would be perfect, seeing as today is National Random Acts Of Kindness Day.

So yeah!  That’s alot alright.  What I did to finish the dish was scooped up a healthy portion for myself and my husband and then added Peas and Carrots to the rice that is going to be shared.  Not our cup of tea, but I know that folks here on the mainland like it that way.  I always keep foil containers handy just for this. LUNCH!

Happy Aloha Friday!

More Food As A Gift


Actually it’s Apple Crostata

Apple Crostata

Just a follow up to Food As A Gift the other day…

Food As A Gift

When I was a kid, our family would exchange gift certificates with one another.  I have carried on this tradition with my husband.  For Christmas one year, I made up the cutest coupon book with all of DH’s favorite dishes.

Gift Coupon Booklet

I’m sure that I’ve mentioned this in a previous post… The other day, my favorite guy came up to me with his hands behind his back.  “What do you have there?” I asked; he whipped out his Ravioli coupon.  I could have sworn that he had cashed that in long ago, but I must honor my gift.

Ravioli ready for the deep freeze

Homemade Cheese Raviolis in mass

I can’t recall if I’ve posted my recipe for Cheese Raviolis, Hmmm.  I’ll need to look for that, `cuz these are tasty indeed!!


A Birthday Celebration In Food

My husband and I kinda, sorta don’t necessarily give each other gifts for our birthdays.  We feel that every day is a gift, we give each other ‘things’ all the time.  What we like to do for any life event is to make an entire day of it, in food.  Now that’s how you celebrate.

I asked my husband what his perfect day in food would look like and this is what he said.

A Birthday Breakfast

“For breakfast, I’d like my favorite meal, you know the one.  Smoked Salmon (or Lox), diced fresh (Heirloom) Tomatoes, scrambled Eggs (with Chives), Rye Toast no butter lightly toasted please, diced Cantaloupe and a glass of Orange Juice.”

“Since we’re having a big breakfast, how about a snack later in the afternoon, say about 3 or 4 o’clock.  You could make us Bruschetta with those nice Tomatoes on that Italian Bread that you just made.  And how about a small Antipasto plate of Olives, Salami and Cheese.”

“I think for dinner you should definitely make your homemade Cheese Raviolis with your own Marinara, some Meatballs and Italian Sausage.  Oh and that nice Italian Bread would be really good with some Olive Oil to dip it in, don’t you think?”

And he says he’s not a foodie.

All from scratch, Meyer Lemon Meringue Pie

… and we’ve already talked about what he want for dessert.

So that’s how we celebrated my husband’s birthday this past weekend.  Now mind you, it took me a week to prepare for this, I didn’t just whip this all up on his birthday.  It was a very relaxing, enjoyable day.  Hauoli la hanau, Happy Birthday my dearest husband.  I wish for us many, many more.


Stewed Rhubarb For My Mother

In the past couple of years, I have discovered canning.

On a recent trip to visit with Mom, I took her to the local Farmer’s Market and she was searching high and low for fresh Rhubarb, to no avail.  So, the good daughter that I am, I found some at my green grocery and followed an easy Stewed Rhubarb recipe for canning.

Fresh Rhubarb

I bought a pound of fresh Rhubarb and gathered the rest of the ingredients:

½ Cup of Splenda, this is going to be Sugar-Free for Mom, but you can use granulated sugar to each quart of fruit.

That’s it.

Rhubarb needs to have the strings removed

I peeled away some of the tough, stringy bits …

steep the fruit in a sweetener

… chopped the fruit into about ¼ inch wide pieces and let it macerate in the Splenda for about an hour or so, till the juices started to flow.

gently bring the fruit mixture to a boil

Now we can gentle bring the mixture to a boil …

canned fresh Rhubarb

… and fill some jars a quarter of an inch from the rim.  I process the jars using the water bath method for 20 minutes.  I only got 3 half pint size jars out of this batch, but that will make Mom very happy when I take this to her on our next visit.

Homemade Chunky Applesauce

Growing up, I spent a lot of my summers with my maternal Great Grandmother in a tiny town in Central California.  ‘Ma’ was the local school’s Head Cook or Lunch Lady if you will, and she made the best stuff.  The thing that I liked was her Chunky Applesauce, MMM.  I carry on her recipe and make it for my Mother, who likes to mix it with the Stewed Rhubarb that I also can for her.

this is all you need to make chunky apple sauce

Here’s what you need.

Use the varietal of Apple that your family likes best, we like Fuji Apples.  Wash them well; peel and core them, then slice them up chunky.  Have a big bowl of acidulated water to land those apples into so that they don’t turn brown on you.  Figure on about three pounds of fruit for each quart of Chunky Apple Sauce.

WOW! That's alot of Apple peels

… and the remains


Now, drain the fruit and place them into a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook the apples, stirring occasionally, until they’re soft, but not mushy, we do want chunky after all.  If the apples aren’t releasing much water, add just about a cup or so of water to help things along. With an immersion blender, break up just some of the apples. Taste.  Does it need any sweetener?  Probably not, but how about some ground Cinnamon.

Homemade Chunky Apple Sauce

Spoon immediately into canning jars and process using your favorite method.

Now, why should you buy pureed apples, full of who knows what, when you can make your own yumminess.

These jars will keep a dark cupboard for up to a year once canned.  It’s wonderful spooned in to plain yogurt, or in Oatmeal and even as a side dish to Chicken, Turkey or Pork.


You Know It’s Spring Time When There’s Rhubarb!

Myself, I’ve never tried rhubarb, but my Mother loves it anyway she can get it.  So I’ve been keeping an eye peeled for fresh rhubarb to come to my favorite Green Grocer.  I’ve seen it growing in front of some homes in California and it looks sort of like a deep red celery.  I also know that it’s not cheap to buy; $2.99 per pound, which I understand is the standard price anywhere.

I got just shy of two pounds of rhubarb, washed, trimmed it and thought that I’d better peel it too.

it's easier to just put all of the ingredients in the pot

There are many recipes available on the Internet for “stewed rhubarb”, and it can’t be any easier.

Dice up the stalks to about ½ inch piece; add ½ cup of granulated sugar per quart of fruit.  Give it all a good stir and let it sit for about a half hour to macerate, you’ll see loads of juice in the pot.

gently bring to a boil

Bring to a boil over low heat, you don’t want to boil the heck out of the fruit or it’ll turn to mush, gently.

these are for Mom

Immediately spoon the fruit along with those juices into canning jars and process in your favorite manner.

Pretty, huh?  These three are for my Mom.

I asked Mom if she wanted me to make these into pie, “Oh no honey, I like to mix the stewed rhubarb with your homemade chunky applesauce.”

Oh wait, I didn’t tell you about that did I?  Tune in next time and I’ll share that will you.


Are You Ready For Christmas?

Huh, huh, are ya?

Me, well, kinda I guess.

Though I am an official card carrying member of the females in America, I don’t care for shopping so much, no, really.  I’ve lost my lust for it, now don’t get me wrong, I like to go-along with other gals as they look for this or that.  For myself, I could grocery shop all day, every day!

So, this brings me to what I wanted to share with you all today,


Yes, Auntie has been in a baking frenzy of late.  What I like to refer to as a cookie-fa-la-la-la-palooza here in the middle of the desert.  I finally finished up 9, yes Virginia, I said NINE different types of a baked goods to give as gifts.

My Rum Cake

Rum Cake

My Kahlua Cake

Kahlua Cake

This was for a party, my Great-Grandmother's Ginger Bread with fresh whipped Cream, MMM!

This was for a party, my Great-Grandmother’s Ginger Bread with fresh whipped Cream, MMM!

Ginger Bread

Gingerbread Cupcakes with powdered Sugar

Gingerbread Cupcakes

Hershey's Very Chocolate Chocolate Cookies

Hershey’s Very Chocolate Chocolate Cookies

Land-O-Lakes Spritz Cookies, great recipe btw.

Quaker's Vanishing Cookie Bars with dried Cranberries

Quaker Vanishing Oatmeal Cookie Bars with dried Cranberries in stead of Raisins

Hershey’s Kisses Candy Cane Blossoms (that was a bust)

My husband's favorite cookie

My husband’s favorite cookie

Land-O-Lakes Chocolate Chip Cookies


I’m tired.

Now all I have to do is package these up all pretty-like and go visiting with folks to share.

Have yourselves a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.