Tag Archives: Party Food

Mele Kalikimaka! Merry Christmas!

This year, we are not able to spend Christmas with my Mother in California and we all know why

But I can look back on the photos that we took of our time all together.

I don’t think I’ll make quite as many dishes this year to snack on, but I know that it’ll be delicious.

Enjoy Each Other’s Company!

Hope You Had A Happy Thanksgiving

Some years back, I would watch FoodNetwork every holiday season to get ideas for our family’s table.  I saw Ted Allen make a De-constructed Turkey and wow, the bells and whistles went off in my head.  I’ve struggled with whole birds for many, many years.  Dry white meat, under cooked dark meat, crummey gravy… Do I really need to go on?  You know!  This is how I make a whole turkey.deconstructed turkey

Deconstructed Turkey and Gravy

• 10-12 lbs. Whole, fresh, natural Turkey (read the labeling, make sure it does NOT say enhanced with sodium soultion)

Butcher the bird yourself (or purchase it in parts), leaving breast whole and reserve the carcass for homemade stock, much better!

Brine: (I do this part the day before I’m going to serve the turkey)

• ½ C Kosher Salt

• 1/3 C Brown Sugar

• 1 Onion, sliced

• 1 Carrot, sliced

• Peel (no white pith) from 2 Oranges

• Whole head of garlic, cut in half horizontally

• 1 tsp each, dried Thyme, Rosemary, Rubbed Sage

• 3-4 large Bay leaves

In my 12qt. stock pot, I add the salt and sugar, dissolve in 2 cups of hot tap water; add remaining ingredients, along with 3 quarts of Ice Water, stir well. Add the turkey parts (make sure that the water covers all parts of the bird), cover and refrigerate for 8 hours. Pour off all of the brine, leaving turkey parts in stock pot. Cover and put back into the `fridge until ready to roast.

Roast:

Pat turkey parts dry with paper towels, arrange on the half sheet pan, fitted with a cooling rack. Try to give as much space between pieces. Schmear with soft butter; sprinkle with S&P. Pour about 1 cup of turkey broth or stock in the bottom of the pan.

Roast at 425⁰ for 30 minutes, until just starting to brown; lower the temp to 400⁰ and cook for another 30-45 minutes, until the breast reaches 165⁰ and the thighs are 175⁰.

Tent with tin foil until ready to serve.

Make the gravy by pouring all of the juices left on the bottom of the pan into a cup.

In a saucepan melt 4 tbsp of butter; add 4 tbsp of flour whisking for a few minutes. Slowly stream in 2 cups of the broth/juices and bring to a boil to thicken. For richer gravy, use some dry white wine and milk with the broth/juices.

Happy Thanksgiving

Let’s Try This Again

I’ve tried to replicate the cake pop that I had a few months back in Scottsdale, but…

This time I had a Rum Cake in the freezer, why not give it another shot. I had a package of vanilla flavored Candy Melts and more sprinkles.

DH loved these, me, not so much. WAY  too sweet for me.

Oh well.

It’s Aloha Friday!

Shave Ice @ Matsumoto’s in Haleiwa Oahu Hawaii

Shave Ice @ Matsumoto’s in Haleiwa Oahu Hawaii

Enjoy

ALOHA!

Happy Aloha Friday The 13th

Poke and Kamaboko

I wanted to make sure that your weekend started off on the right foot, so here’s a plate of poke with a side of Kamaboko.

ALOHA!

SURPRISE! Brownies

We have been so good that I felt that DH and I needed a treat. I try harder than is humanly possible to keep temptation out of the house. Sometimes though, it’s okay to give in to your desires. Sugar is the downfall for both of us.

With Monsoon season in full swing, sometimes we get trapped in the house because of flash floods; yesterday was one of those days and I was getting bored.

brownies

SURPRISE!

I can not resist a good, fudgy, chew, chocolate-y, brownie.

Since moving here to the continental United States, I make brownies using Hershey’s Best Brownie recipe. My sister had given me a Hershey’s Cookbook a long time ago; I only just started to use it, but with my own twist. I add a packette of Starbuck’s® Via Ready Brew Italian Roast coffee into the batter. This intensifies the chocolate flavor, such a difference.

My husband likes his plain with icing on top; I like all different kinds of goodies in or on mine.

brownies with peanut butter cups in the middle, suprise!

What I did this time was took mini dark chocolate peanut butter cups and pushed them into the four corners of the pan to bake into the bar.  SUPRISE!

one brownie has chocolate chips and the other nuts

Then down the middle of the pan, I made one row of dark chocolate chips and another of crushed nuts, leaving two rows just plain. So we wound up with 4 different flavored brownies in one batch.  SUPRISE!

DH looks at the pan when it came out of the oven and was cooling on the counter and says “is that’s all you made?”  (Try the recipe for the Creamy Brownie Frosting, it is good)

THEY’RE GONE ALREADY!!

ALOHA!

Talking About Cake

A few weeks ago, DH took me to the greater Phoenix area for a mini vacation (I’ll catch you up to speed on that later). One of the places that we went to was Scottsdale Fashion Square, and I found Caketini. We had our very first Cake Pop, well, they call them truffles.

Caketini Coconut Truffle or Cake Pop

This is Coconut flavored cake mixed with buttercream and then dipped in chocolate ganache, WOW!  I mean WOW!

I got to thinking, why does it have to have a stick and can I freeze them (for quantity control, otherwise we’d eat them all in a single go) ?

Ginger Bread-Cake, too dry

I had made my great grandmother’s old fashion ginger bread, using cake flour that I had left in the cupboard, instead of AP flour. It came out way too dry, so I thought, HMMM, this would make a great Cakeball.

the kit

I had been at our local supermarket, and I saw they had a Cake Pop kit for sale, cheap.

So here we go…

I crumbled the cake into a bowl; added 2 heaping tablespoons of canned, yes I said prepared buttercream frosting and gave it a good mix.

I didn’t want it too mushy, I wanted that truffle-like quality. I used a 1 ½ tablespoon disher to create even cakeballs and then into the freezer for about a half hour. There was my first mistake I found later after watching some You Tube ‘how-to-s’, they should have gone into the `fridge over night instead, oh well.

dipped and ready to chill

I melted some chocolate flavored Candy Melts in a double boiler, but it was awfully thick, but hard headed as I am, I plowed forward and dipped the icy cold balls into the candy and placed them onto a sheet pan covered in plastic wrap.

differest sprinkles

Some of them got some assorted sprinkles, cute. Then back into the chill box to firm up.

the finished product, YUM!

Not bad, though the candy coating is a bit thick. That was the second mistake. On the video that I watched AFTER I was done, you’re suppose to thin out the candy melts with some vegetable oil, did it say that on the box the kit came in? NO! Now I know for the next time. I got 14 little darlings to munch on later.

Serving Dessert For Company

Over the holiday weekend we had folks over for dinner.

We met this couple who don’t live too terribly far from us, and they’re from Hawaii too, can you believe it?

Anywhos, we invited them over for dinner and DH says, “why don’t you make like a Hawaiian plate lunch type of dinner”; did I say that’s he’s smart and handsome?

So I put together what you would typically get back home, but minus, quoting DH again, “the Styrofoam container and plastic fork”.

I couldn’t decide on a dessert, so thanks to Cake In A Can, I served

Orange Grand Marnier Cake with Strawberries and freshly whipped cream

Orange Grand Marnier cake with fresh strawberries macerated in more Grand Marnier and some freshly whipped cream.

Mr. & Mrs. New Friends had seconds of the plate lunch style dinner and went back for THREE, yes 3 helpings of dessert. It was that good I guess. Well, just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke, I sampled the cake and berries with cream once more tonight, and not to pat my own back, but I will, it was  that good.

Happy Independence Day!

Have a great 4th of July everyone!

Whether you’re grillin’ or not today, enjoy whatever it is that you’re having in your backyard.

I’m Getting Ready!

I took my Mother grocery shopping the other day, and you know how I like to shop… I LOOK at stuff. Mom, well, she has her list and goes up and down the aisle like a drill sergeant; not paying any attention to anything but what she knows and needs. When I pulled out my camera and started to take photos of stuff that I WISH  we could eat, she was all… “what are you DOING!” (sssshhhh, I haven’t told her that I have this blog) I told her that I was taking pictures of stuff that I am putting on the list.

Mom: “what list?”

Me: the list of things that we’ll have once we’re off of our diet, I mean different way of looking at food

Mom: “oh, that’s nice dear”

Well, she buys EVERYTHING that I wanted and said, “I’ll try it and let you know how it is”.

Thanks Mom.