Tag Archives: Pescetarian Dishes

Mexican Themed Foods Continued

Somehow, growing up in the Middle of the Pacific Ocean, I was exposed to a lot of Mexican Foods.  My Dad loved it!  He made it all the time for us, maybe because it was so inexpensive.  The one thing that he never made himself was Chips and Salsa, I LOVE CHIPS!

Not so long ago, I found a large quantity of Corn Tortillas in our freeze, with many packages having expiration dates long past due.


I stacked up my stash of tortillas; cut them into quarters and heated a high-sided pot of Vegetable oil to 375⁰.  How do I know it got to that temperature?  * Cooking Tip – If you dunk the end of a wooden spoon into the hot oil and it bubbles profusely, it’s ready.

Homemade Tortillas Chips, not Salsa though

Fry the tortillas (remembering not to crowd the pan) to GBD (golden brown and delicious); carefully remove to a paper towel lined sheet pan and salt immediately.

Esto es muy picante!

Esto es muy picante!

Serve warm with your favorite dip and as always …


Homemade Chunky Applesauce

Source: Homemade Chunky Applesauce

MMM!  I made another batch of this wonderful Chunky Apple Sauce the other day. This goes so well with just about anything on your table, at any meal.  This makes a thoughtful gift as well.  Oh, how about taking the family to a local Orchard and picking your own apples.  How ever you get your fruit, do please try this recipe.

Vera Cruz-Style Fish Our Way

Source: Vera Cruz-Style Fish Our Way

Well, with folks making their New Year’s Resolutions to eat well, I thought of this dish.  I make this often; it’s chock-full of good stuff.  I used Mahi-Mahi, but Cod is good too.  The recipe that I found originally, called for Red Snapper, but here in the middle of the desert, that proved to be quite the challenge.  I’ve plugged my recipe into one of those handy-dandy software programs to see what all we had here as far as for calories and the such, and this is what it came up with… not bad.

Nutrition Facts
Servings 2.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 259
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6 g 10 %
Saturated Fat 0 g 0 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 80 mg 27 %
Sodium 1084 mg 45 %
Potassium 660 mg 19 %
Total Carbohydrate 16 g 5 %
Dietary Fiber 5 g 19 %
Sugars 9 g
Protein 24 g 48 %
Vitamin A 105 %
Vitamin C 943 %
Calcium 10 %
Iron 9 %

Do you see the fat content?  This recipe makes 2 good sized portions, and if you leave off the rice, *cough*, it’s less than 300 calories.  This could easily fit into almost any diet plan, I mean “different way of looking at food concept”.  You choose the fish that your household likes the best… ooohhhh, I just had a great idea!  A Seafood Vera Cruz, like maybe Shrimp or Mussels or how about a splurge using Lobster?  MMM!


A Continuation Of My First Cheesecake

Remember that first Cheesecake that I’d ever made; that made WAY too much batter?  Well… I saved that extra batter and made ANOTHER, YES, that’s two Cheesecakes under my belt now, YAY!  I thought that I’d take this one next door for the NYE party at our neighbors home.

I broke up this gorgeous bar of Dark Chocolate into a bowl and pored in some Heavy Cream that I heated in the microwave; stirred it gently for create a Ganache, MMM!

I spread it out evenly with an offset spatula and stashed it in the `fridge to set up.

Turtle Cheesecake

I melted some Caramels, spread that over the top and sprinkled it with a copious amount of chopped toasted Pecans; back in the chill box.  It’s a Turtle Cheesecake!

Can I blow my own horn here?  That was outrageously over the top, crazy delish, good stuff!  The buzz went around the room at the party that there was this really fabulous Cheesecake over on the buffet table.  This gal comes up to me with her plate in hand and fork in her mouth, “Did you try the Cheesecake yet?  You really need to taste this, it’s fantastic, the best I’ve ever had.”


I Made My Very First Cheesecake

For some reason, I’ve never made a Cheesecake before; that’s probably because I’ve never owned a Springform pan before.  I bought one last year at a discount kitchen store, I don’t remember why or what I made with it, but obviously it wasn’t a memorable dish.  I saw it sitting there, all lonely like out in my garage with the other “oddly shaped-hard to store” kitchen toys that I have.  And it hit me, I should try it!

NOW!  DH is not a fan of anything sour, tangy as he says, such as sour cream or cream cheese … you get the idea.  Cheesecake is a dessert that he does not order, but likes to take bites from mine when we go out to eat.  So I searched the Internet and wasn’t sure which recipe to follow; then I was watching a Martha Stewart TV program and what did she make, but New York Style Cheesecake.  I trust Martha, so here goes nothing.

First off, that’s WAY too much batter Martha!  Even though her recipe calls for a 10 inch pan and mine is 9 inches… HMMM

My Cheesecake CRACKED!

Secondly, Martha said that if I bake my Cheesecake in a Bain Marie or a Water Bath, it won’t crack.


Can you see that it cracked almost the entire way around the top?!  GEEZ!  Oh well, I’ll bet it tastes good.

I have enough filling for another Cheesecake

And about that filling recipe calling for 7, yes I said SEVEN eight ounce packages of Cream Cheese, WOW!  I have enough batter to make another cake.

But come on man!  Look at that wouldja!?  I mean, COME ON!  That is CRAZY good Cheesecake.  I think that IF  I ever make another Cheesecake, I’ll use Martha’s recipe; I’ll only make half…


Apple Crostata (Pie) For Thanksgiving

My husband goes absolutely CUKOO for Apple Pie, I honestly don’t like making pie.  That whole crust thing, you know, rolling it out and then trying to get it into the pie plate without destroying the entire thing.

Fresh Apple Crostata

Well, I was watching one of my favoriteTV Chef’s on PBS and she made a Crostata, how easy was that?!

I simply rolled out a single crust, following Martha Stewart’s Pâte Brisée recipe; filled it, using Betty Crocker’s Cinnamon Apple Crostata (minus the nuts) and folded over about two inches or so of the dough over the filling.  The last step is to moisten the crust on the top and sprinkle liberally with sugar.  Bake for about a half hour, cool and eat!

look at those fresh apples

Look at that will ya?! MMM!

Thanksgiving Apple Pie

And I don’t like Apple Pie, but this is delish!

This was the trial run pie …

Fresh Apple Crostata with chopped Pecans

This is the pie we had at Thanksgiving.  I used Brown Sugar in place of the granulated Sugar and also added chopped Pecans.  I’m calling this one my Caramel Apple Crostata.  My husband has changed his favorite dessert from my homemade Rum Cake with this pie.  It is good!


Pumpkin Pie For Thanksgiving

I love Pumpkin Pie but my husband does not.  So for years now, I have not made my own, but instead bought small, single serve Pumpkin Pies in the market, ACK!  Not that good, sorry guys.

This Thanksgiving we spent with Mr. & Mrs. DF’s in Northern Arizona, who were gracious enough to host the entire dinner!  I asked Missus, what can I contribute?  “How about the pies and some wine?” DONE!

Apple (we’ll talk more about that on the next episode) and Pumpkin, both Thanksgiving favorites.  Oh my, I haven’t made Pumpkin Pie in forever!  So I searched the Internet and polled fellow foodies, which recipe to go with.  I settled on Libby’s® Famous Pumpkin Pie and Martha Stewart’s Pâte Brisée for the crust.


my pumpkin pie cracked!

While the pie was cooling though, IT CRACKED! ARGH!  My chefy friends told me that I baked it a little too long, oh well, I’m sure that it’ll taste wonderful.

Both the filling and the crust came out perfect.  The combination of warm spices were NOTHING you would get from a store bought pie.  And that crust, OH MY GRAVY ALL OVER MY TWO SCOOPS RICE (that’s OMG! in my world)!!

my husband's piece of pie

I even got my husband, who CLAIMS  to dislike Pumpkin Pie (“It’s creamy, I don’t like that” … please insert whinny 10 year old boy’s voice here) to try just a small piece, “we’ll put some whipped cream on it too”, he actually LIKED IT!

Hawaiian Sea Salted Caramel Brownies

Hawaiian Sea Salted Caramel Brownies

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

I was flipping through a “TV Chef’s” cookbook recently and saw something similar to this idea and thought, HMMM, I can do better.

Trader Joe's Caramel Spread

I was at Trader Joe’s the other day and this caught my eye, Dulce de leche, that’ll work.

So here’s how it went.

Make up your favorite Brownie recipe, this is mine:


I use the above recipe exclusively.

Pipe on some Caramel Spread anyway you like

Once that pan of gorgeousness is completely cooled, cut them into whatever size you prefer.  Now take a baggie and spoon in some of the Caramel Spread; snip a small hole at one corner and start to pipe on the Caramel in a decorative pattern.

I brought back FIVE bags of Sea Salt on our last trip back home

I brought back FIVE bags of Sea Salt on our last trip back home

Next, sprinkle on a small pinch of Hawaiian Sea Salt (or any Sea Salt that you can get, but the stuff from Hawaii is DA BOMB-DIGGITY!).

Close-up Hawaiian Sea Salted Caramel Brownie

And there you have Hawaiian Sea Salted Caramel Brownies.


Homemade Marinara

I don’t think I’ve ever talked about making your own Red Sauce before.  As a young bride from Hawaii, I made Tomato Sauce the way that everyone did, except my husband’s family.  So I had to learn how to make American-Italian dishes by trial and error; it took a while, but I got it.


Auntie Doni’s Marinara

(2) 28 oz. cans Whole Italian Plum Tomatoes (I use San Marzano tomatoes)

1 C. Onion, minced

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

2 Tbsp. Tomato paste

2 Tbsp. dried Oregano

1 Tbsp. dried Basil

¼ C. fresh Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped

½ Tbsp. Garlic, minced

¼ C. grated Parmesan Cheese

S & P to taste

Hand crush the tomatoes in a large bowl (or use a stick blender).  In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Sauté the onions until they are light golden; add the garlic for sauté until fragrant.  Add the tomato paste and stir vigorously for about 30 seconds; add the dried herbs and also stir vigorously for another 30 seconds.  Carefully pour in the crushed tomatoes and scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pot.  The parsley and cheese go in the pot next, stir and cover partially to simmer slowly for about an hour.  Give it a taste, is there a slight sour note?  Stir in a pinch of sugar, that will fix that.

*Tip: if you have all of your ingredients measured out on to paper plates or any other dish that you prefer, things will move along much more smoothly.  The French call this Mise En Place, “putting in place”.

*Tip #2: Maybe you can see that I have my Tomato Paste in a small zip top bag.  Rather than spend alot of money on paste-in-a-tub, I buy those small cans and portion them out into baggies and freeze them.

sear some boneless country pork ribs

If you’d like to add any meats to your sauce to make what some folks call Sunday Gravy, after the parsley and cheese are mixed into the pot, add, oh I don’t know, how about these nicely seared Boneless Country Pork Ribs, MMM!  This will take your Marinara up a notch.

Homemade Meatballs in mass

Meatballs are an excellent choice too.  Maybe spice it up with some Red Pepper Flakes.  Anything that your household likes.  Marinara is a stepping stone to many, many other Italian dishes.  Recipes are someone else’s idea, take them and make them your own.


Let’s Start With Dessert: A Birthday Celebration In Food

Food IS a celebration and should be partaken with abandon, so why not start with dessert?

My handsome, hunky, fantastic husband claims to NOT  be a foodie.  He’s says he leaves that to me and he’ll just enjoy whatever I create.  It was his birthday this past weekend I planned an entire day of awesome dishes; I asked him what he would like Mother’s Cake or Meyer Lemon Meringue Pie?


Scratch made Meyer Lemon Meringue Pie

Your wish is my command.

Auntie’s Meyer Lemon Meringue Pie

1 recipe of Auntie’s Meyer Lemon Pie Filling (it’s just Lemon Curd)

1/2 recipe of Pâte Brisée (I’ve always used Martha’s)

1 recipe Meringue:

4 Egg Whites

½ C. granulates Sugar

¼ tsp. Cream of Tartar

Pinch of Salt

Make the pie dough first; roll it out between two sheets of plastic wrap, it’s easier that way, into approximately a 13 inch disc, an 1/8th inch thick.  Place gently in a 9 inch pie plate.  Trim away all but 1 inch of excess and crimp.  I chose to trim the crust right to the edge of the plate, less fuss.  Prick the bottom of the crust with the tines of a fork several times; cover and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400⁰F

Place a piece of parchment paper carefully over the pie shell and fill with pie weights or uncooked rice.  Bake for 10 minutes and then remove the paper and rice; bake for another 12 minutes until golden brown.  Cool completely on a rack.

Once the shell is cooled spoon in the filling and spread it out evenly.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill until the filling is firm.

In a stand mixer, add the eggs, salt, cream of tartar and whisk on low speed until it starts to foam.  Increase in speed to Medium-High and beat to soft peaks.  Slow the machine down a little and add the sugar in a slow, steady stream; increase the speed again to High until you have stiff peaks.

Preheat the oven now to 350⁰F

Remove the plastic from the filled pie shell and add about half of the meringue, spreading it out to the edge of the crust, covering the filling completely.  Now mound the rest of the meringue, making lots of peaks that will brown and look pretty.

I used a large open star tip, Wilton® 1M, and a pastry bag filled with the remaining meringue to decorate the top.  Hold the bag at a 90 degree angle to the surface of the pie, squeeze and pull up to create those beautiful peaks.

Bake until the meringue is GBD (golden brown and delicious), about 15 minutes.

Meyer Lemon Meringue Pie cooled completely on a rack

Allow to cool completely on a rack

All Homemade Meyer Lemon Meringue Pie

… then serve.

TO BE CONTINUED (we still didn’t have dinner)