Tag Archives: Salad

Miners Mix Salmon Marinade

Not so long ago, the Ole’ Miner sent me a box filled with goodies.

Namely, Miners Mix Seasonings, Rubs, Marinades, Dips, Mixes and Spreads.  I was so excited to try them all, but there’s only so many hours and stomachs to feed in a day.

We had a lull in our Monsoon rains, so off to the grill I went for our evening repast.

I try to put some sort of fish on the table at least once a week, I know I know you really should eat fish more often, but finding decent seafood in the middle of the desert isn’t easy.

I had a small, 8 oz. frozen Salmon fillet (which is plenty for the two of us) defrosted and ready for some flavoring.  Miners Mix Salmon Marinade is surely enough for an entire side of fish, so I downsized the content to accommodate our need.  I figured the ratio of:

1 Tbsp. Miners Mix Salmon Marinade

2 tsp. Soy Sauce (Aloha brand please)

2 tsp. Rice Vinegar (that’s’ what I use for cooking, less acidic)

1 ½ Tbsp. Olive Oil

Mix all of the above well, reserve 1 Tablespoon for basting and marinate the fish in a zip top baggie for 10-15 minutes, no more.


I preheated my “Big Girl” Gas Grill to 500⁰, oiled the grates and cooked the fish on one side with the lid closed for about 3-4 minutes, just till I saw the underside of the flesh going white.  I gave the fillet a baste with that reserved marinade,  gently turned it over and basted again.

Cook covered for another 3-4 minutes until the fish reaches an internal temperature of 140⁰ on an instant read thermometer, place the fish on a plate and tent with tin foil for about 5 minutes, letting all of the juices redistribute.

While the fish was resting, I made up a Greek inspired salad, which included, chopped Romaine Lettuce, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Sweet Bell Peppers, Sweet White Onions, Radishes, pitted Kalamata Olives and a crumble of Feta Cheese.


Dress this all to your liking in my homemade Salad Dressing; add some fresh Herbs from my Patio Pot Garden for added interest.  Plate the salad and top with more Cheese as well as our gorgeous, perfectly cooked and seasoned Salmon.


Mahalo, Thank You Ole’ Miner yet again

We’ve Lived Here How Long And I Didn’t Make What?

Um, well, it’s like this you see. We’ve lived full time in the middle of the desert for going on six years now and I make only one Mexican/Spanish influenced dish. Me, I love Mexican food, all kinds, with a few exceptions. DH, well so he says, he doesn’t care for Mexican food, but what it really is, he doesn’t like anything creamy.  So any crema, out, avocado, nope, refried beans, absolutely not!  But he surprises himself with the variety of dishes that he will eat; he just can’t remember the names of them.

Carne Asada is a wonderful way to prepare beef or chicken and pork for that matter, and I have not made this at home, until now. As part of our diet, I mean our new way of looking at food, I try very hard to make meals that are as robust as possible. A good way to achieve this is with peppers or chiles. I searched the Internet for a recipe for the marinade and found that I was lacking in a few of the ingredients, how bad could that be, right?  Make it your own.  Recipes are just ideas.

Carne Asada

A Hawaiian Gal’s Spicy Grilled Flank Steak

Juice of ½ a fresh Lemon

Juice of ½ a large fresh Orange

1 Tbsp. ground Chile Powder (we have a wonderful array to choose from here in Arizona)

1/8 tsp. ground Chipotle Pepper (this gave the dish a nice smoky undertone)

¾ Tbsp. dried Oregano

1 Tbsp. freshly toasted and ground Cumin Seeds

¾ Tbsp. freshly toasted and ground Coriander Seeds

3 large Garlic cloves, crushed

2 Tbsp. low-sodium Soy Sauce (you know I love my Aloha Brand)

1 shallot, rough chopped (I didn’t have any onions)

Chuck everything into a small blender (I used the attachment that came with my stick blender) and whiz until smooth.

Carne Asada Marinade

Pour it all into a large zip-top bag along with a pound of Flank or Skirt Steak (I used Flank) that has been sliced on the bias, into 1 inch thick strips. Give it a massage and refrigerate for 36 hours.

Carne Asada on the grill

Grill or broil to your desired doneness. Allow the meat to rest before tucking into it. DH had no clue that this is stuff that was in his soft taco!

Now there are loads of different ways to make the marinade, fresh lime juice (I didn’t have any), fresh chiles (once again, none in the house), I mean I could go on, but why? I took the general idea and made it with what I had in my larder.

A Hawaiian Gal's Taco Salad

And rather than make tacos (we can’t have tortillas yet), I put together a Taco salad, and it was delicious! I used jarred salsa (because that’s what I had on hand) as the salad dressing; some chopped radishes, sweet red and yellow bell peppers, hot house cucumbers, tomatoes, scallions (no onions, `member) and assorted lettuces (NO ICEBREG LETTUCE!)


My husband was once again happy with his meal: “where did you get this? And why can’t I have this when we go to Mexican the restaurants”. You can dear, it’s called Carne Asada. “Carrie who?”

Never mind. (lqtm)

(an after thought: do you know Arizona’s 5 C’s?  Copper, Cattle, Cotton, Citrus, and Climate-there’s loads of all of it here, love it!)





What Else Is Good At Costco?

Okay, so we were talking about Costco yesterday.  I have a set list of item that I purchase there after years of comparison shopping.  From time to time they discontinue certain items (Milton’s Crackers, boohoo).  Some things are a constant though, like the Meat Department.  I prefer to buy the Flank Steaks as well as the New York strips.

Costco New York strip steak, grilled perfectly

So dinner tonight…

Grilled Strip Steaks with steamed Kale and a Tomato and Onion salad (again).

House-made Salad Dressing

When DH and I went over to a friend’s home for dinner last week; I contributed to the evening’s meal with a salad.

Dinner At A Friend’s Home

Our Host made Smoked Pork loin as the entrée, so I figured that a bold-flavorful-dark green-salad would compliment that well. I was looking in my ‘fridge door for a dressing to along.  I must admit that I normally buy bottled dressings rather than make my own, but on this occasion it seemed like I should make it from scratch.

Prior to moving into our house in the middle of the desert full-time, we rented it as a vacation home, and we would visit once a year. As I filled the cupboards with groceries on this particular trip, I found a bottle of white balsamic vinegar that someone had left, along with the remainder of a small bottle of EVOO. Since I neglected to purchase any dressing, we had a very nice salad made from the gifts left behind by one of our guests, thank you very much. It was delicious!

But I do ramble on as my husband does like to point out.

House-made Salad Dressing

House-made White Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 tbsp. White Balsamic Vinegar

3 tbsp. EVOO

1 large Garlic clove

Goodly pinch of Sea Salt

Freshly ground Black Pepper

¼ tsp. Dijon mustard

Herbs of your choice (I used a little dried Basil & Oregano)


Smash the garlic REALLY good on your cutting board using the back of a chef knife. Sprinkle the salt on the garlic and run your knife over the mixture until it forms a paste. Scrap it all up and put it into a small jar with a tight fitting lid, like a mason jar, or empty pickle jar. Add the remaining ingredients, cover and shake well. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.

This recipe may sound quite elementary, but honestly, how many folks do you know that makes salad dressing? It’s a dying culinary art form, and I can think of only one person who still practices it, and she does it for a living!


Lunch Out In A Very Small Town

DH and I were out and about yesterday, running errands and it was WELL past lunch time. When you are dieting, I mean have changed the way that you look at food, one needs to eat on a regular timetable. There are only certain foods that we can eat as well as how they are prepared.

As we drove on, I remembered a place that we’ve been to a couple of times, Oracle Inn Steakhouse located in the small town of what else, Oracle Arizona.

Here in the middle of the desert, there are not many choices to get food out other than a chain fast food joint. Not for us. Nothing fried, breaded or soaked in butter, no can do on this diet. What we can eat is sirloin steak and chicken breast, which are both on the menu at this quaint restaurant.

This is not like a big city, slick, fancy kinda’ place, but just plain ole’ folk from around these parts, kickin’ back a few, havin’ a steak and maybe a piece of pie.

We already knew what we wanted to order: top sirloin, double the veg, no starch, hold THE most-delicious-fresh-hot-house-made bread (today it was marble rye), but NO (at least I said no), hold the bread and whipped honey butter, raspberry vinaigrette dressing on the salads, steaks medium with sauté mushrooms.   We’re not always a fan of sirloin, but they do it right at the Oracle Inn.

Hmmm, it’s Wednesday, that means two for one drinks (excluding shots) !

What a lovely afternoon out, were I didn’t have to cook, had a nice meal, TWO glasses of wine and a relaxing time with me very sweet husband.


Dinner At A Friend’s Home

DH and I were invited to some friend’s home for dinner on Friday evening. They had just recently moved into a new home and Mister Friend got his smoker all set up and ready to go.

It’s a wood pellet grill/smoker, interesting. At our house, we just have a very simple and inexpensive propane grill in the back yard, along with a couple of tiki torches for accent.

On the menu was pork loin, yum!

Dinner At A Friend’s Home

I contributed a salad.

For dessert, Missus Friend served fresh mixed berries and whipped cream. We had a very pleasant time, chatting, eating, having a glass of wine… nice.


Dining Out In Williams Arizona

Sometimes when you’re on vacation with others, there needs to be compromises made when it comes to choosing a dining locale, that’s just a fact of life. On our trip to the Grand Canyon, our niece and I studied Tripadvisor.com for suggestions. We also walked around town, checked out the menus in the windows and chatted up some of the locals.

Red Raven in Williams Arizona

DH and I had been to Williams on a previous excursion with my husband’s brother and his wife, some years back. The four of us had enjoyed Red Raven on Historic Route 66. Dear Niece and I thought that there were enough different dishes to satisfy our gang.

We had originally been seated at a smallish table, but then were “upgraded” to a much larger and comfortable spot. Our drink orders were taken and two baskets of bread and garlic herb butter brought out. I had to stop myself from eating the entire basket.

Chicken Frittes at the Red Raven in Williams Arizona

DH requested an appetizer for the table, Chicken Frittes with marinara, which were chicken tenders in a nice Panko and Parm crust and lovely sauce for dipping. They were gone in no time, what with two young guys and their Uncle to help them. I did manage to get a snapshot and a taste. We have a few food allergies, so our five-top consisted of:

Penne with Prawns at the Red Raven in Wiiliams Arizona

Buttered Penne pasta with prawns

New York Srtip Steak at Red Raven in Williams Arizona

New York strip steak with roasted red potatoes and tempura style broccolini

Pork Cilantro at Red Raven in Williams Arizona

Pork Cilantro (fantastic cilantro pesto over char-broiled pork loin medallions) with southwest mashed potatoes, which we are still trying to figure out, and yes we did ask but nobody was talkin’

Ginger Beef Salad at Red Raven in Williams Arizona

Ginger Beef salad

Grilled Chicken Breast Salad at Red Raven in Williams Arizona

Grilled chicken breast salad

Everyone indulged me a photo (I did ask the back of house if it was okay with them) and they wasted no time in cleaning their plates. Our older nephew wasn’t crazy about the broccolini, so he handed that off to his brother and me, yum. I never thought to try that before, but I will now.

It was a nice supper, in a nice place, with very nice company


The Grand Canyon and Lunch At The El Tovar Lodge

DH and I, along with our nephew’s family (he’s diploid in the Middle-East), had lunch at the Grand Canyon’s El Tovar Lodge Restaurant.

El Tovar Lodge at the Grand Canyon

If you know the story of the El Tovar, you would know that this is history that folks shouldn’t pass up. We stayed in Williams Arizona, mostly to be able to amble about in the evening and not have bored kiddos on our hands, or adults for that matter. Our full day in the Park was magical.  I kind of wish now that we had planned for more time there.  We only got to see a small part of the Park.

Grand Canyon

Anywhos, about lunch at the El Tovar…

Auntie Doni's lunch at the El Tovar Lodge Restaurant

I ordered the quiche of the day, sausage/ham/leeks/green chilis/monterey jack cheese … very yummy. There was a burger the size of your head, two Mediterranean salads, two cups of Beef Barley soup (a tad salty for my taste) and a bowl of pasta brought to the table as well.

Molded Butter at the El Tovar

Before any food was brought out, a basket of bread and butter was placed with care in front of me. Somehow they knew that I wasn’t on my diet any longer. I haven’t seen molded butter in, well, forever.

Yeah, we could have made ourselves a picnic basket filled with sandwiches to take along, but this was special, very special.  I’m so glad that we were able to share this with our family.


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.



TJ’s Easy Supper

You all might have picked up on the fact that I really like Trader Joe’s; that’s one of 4 places that I do my grocery shopping at. Some of their premade items, either in the cold or freezer case are terrific. We haven’t come across anything that we didn’t care for yet. I know I said I make our meals from scratch, but we do make exceptions from time to time.

Yesterday, my poor mother had yet another doctor’s appointment, and as I do on those days, I took her to lunch. This time at an extremely non-descript location (we won’t speak of it, the food was not very good), but very close by TJ’s. I’ve gotten mom hooked on several things. Not too long ago, I finally got mom to admit that she doesn’t cook anymore and buys ONLY premade dishes. I have been trying to get her to refrain from buying the brands that have a laundry list of ingredients you can’t pronounce.

Trader Joe's Mushroom Ravioli with Mushroom Truffle Sauce

Pasta is something mom likes almost as much as my husband. The thing is she doesn’t want to go to all the trouble involved in making it.

Delicious TJ's Mushroom Ravs with Truffle Sauce

These mushroom ravs with a truffle sauce fits that bill nicely.

TJ's Filone Bread

A small side salad and a piece of Trader Joe’s par baked Filone bread, that’s good eats.