Tag Archives: Shopping

Our Great Western Adventure ~ September 2013 ~ Installment #14 ~ Onward!

It’s eight o’clock in the morning and we’re already headed down the the road before us. We wanted to get a good head start to the day as we made our way towards the Badlands National Park.


I found it fascinating all the different colors of the rock formations. We stopped at one of the overlooks, walked up to the rail and here’s these two Big Horn Sheep, MAN! And the Prairie Dogs here, I’ve never seen so many in one place, and fat !   We had a picnic lunch at the Visitor’s Center and then motored on to…

Wall South Dakota

What, you’ve never heard of Wall Drug and the free ice water? It was a blast, I didn’t know that it was so big. We decided on a snack after walking and shopping.

Their doughnuts were outstanding, so were the pies, we tried our slice ala mode along with some free ice water, that’s what they’re known for.

our hotel in Wall South Dakota

We found our hotel, not that difficult, Wall South Dakota is not very big. We only stayed one night, so we made supper just a simple salad in our room and it was to bed early, so that we would be fresh for our next stop.

For Real?

I’m not sure if you all remember that I had made flavored Vodka… my adorable husband thought that I was nuts, but Missus DF in Prescott as well a few of our other friends enjoyed it. I used very inexpensive Vodka and added fresh Cherries as well as another batch with fresh Raspberries… NICE!

Flavored Whiskey

Well, I was poking around again at the local supermarket and I found flavored Whiskey. Can you see the price on it? HOLY COW! $28.99 for a little more than a quart of hooch. I’ll stick with making my own thanks.


We’re home!

What a whirlwind Christmas season we’ve had! My darling husband and I went to the Carolinas to spend the school break with our two grand-nephews.

What a fantastic time!

We flew this time as opposed to driving from the middle of the desert to North Carolina, and that was a breeze on Southwest Airlines. We were fondly greeted with a group hug from the boys and their mom in the Raleigh-Durham airport; then whisked away for our 3 hour drive to Camp Lejeune, where our nephew is stationed (he’s deployed AGAIN somewhere in the Middle East, please support our troops). We decided to stop and have dinner somewhere along the way.

Tribeca Tavern.

On the table was: Fried Calamari, Nacho, `Burgers (for the boys), Bison Meatloaf, and Fish Tacos served with a Black-eyed Pea Salad.

`Scotch the Doggie

The boys had school the next morning, so we were greeted by `Scotch the Golden Retriever, our furry nephew. He became my DH’s fast and steady friend.

… this left the adults to find lunch for themselves at Smithfield’s Chicken `N Bar-B-QOH MY GRAVY ALL OVER MY TWO SCOOPS OF RICE  (that’s OMG in my world) MAN! That’s good eats. I wanted to get the full effect, so I ordered the ‘Combo Dark Platter’, which is comprised of two pieces of dake meat fried chicken, BBQ Pork, your choice of two sides (I got cole slaw and potato salad) and hush puppies. We went back a second time with the boys, it was that good. Different. They serve Eastern Carolina Q which is a vinegar based sauce and the potato salad was loaded with yellow mustard. The chicken was heaven!

We made several trips to the Commissary, what with two growing boys, and look what I found!

look what I found!

I got two jars of my beloved furikake that I can no longer find here in the middle of the desert, can you believe this?

our niece cooked for us every night that we were at their home

Someone cooked for me for a change. Our nephew’s wife, Liz, whom we refer to as our niece, served us many delicious meals, but I didn’t always have my camera handy. On this evening, it was tortellini with sausage, bacon, asparagus, grape tomatoes and fresh basil.

Now, no one can say that either my husband nor I aren’t kids anymore. The boys got rounded up most afternoons (mostly someone would knock on the front door and ask “can your Uncle come out to play”) for some kind of game … nerf gun warfare, touch football, basketball or my personal favorite: Silly String fight on the front lawn at midnight on New Years, in our PJs!

We took a ride over to Wilmington one day to do a little Christmas shopping. The boys insisted that we try their new favorite burger joint, which they claimed was better than Five GuysWHATCHU SAY?  NO WAY!

Um, well, I… yeah okay! Here’s why I like P.T.’s Olde Fashion Grille, BEER! I mean come on man, who over 21 years of age doesn’t want a cold beer with their cheeseburger and fries?

Our niece, Liz, received a new food processor as a gift from her in-laws and wanted to christen it by making homemade pizza, I’m game. It was wonderful!

a fabulous Christmas Dinner, thank you Liz!

After all of the presents had been opened, assembled and played with, we all sat down to fantastic Christmas meal of Rib Roast, and I didn’t have to cook, again! Great job Liz!

Wow, I’m getting pretty long winded, I think that I’ll continue our Christmas story in my next installment…


Cotton Candy WHAT?

I was in the green grocers again the other day, and this familiar scent went past me, what the heck was that? So I followed my nose to a small display off to one side of grapes, GRAPES? Yup, Cotton Candy Grapes, I KNOW RIGHT?

Cotton Candy Grapes

If you smell, I mean see this varietal of grapes, BUY THEM!  They even taste like that sweet, sticky, yummy stuff you had as a kid, well, maybe as an adult too.

Is This A Snack Or Lunch?

Snack or Lunch?

This is the question my darling husband asked me when I gave him this beautiful plate of goodies.

I was thinking about something different for a late lunch/snack, knowing that we were going to be having a busy day coming up. My favorite green grocer, Sprouts, has added an Olive Bar, we LOVE olives and the peppers, and all of the other choices offered. I knew that I had some cheeses and salami at home already, so as I was checking it all out; I spied the olive tapenade. I’ve have wanted DH to try this for years now, so I figure if I buy just a little bit and offer it up on his favorite cracker, we’d have a winner. We tried it and it was a big thumbs up.

Great combo

As I took my second bite, a flavor bell went off in him head, add hot cherry peppers to this and it’ll be way over the top bar. I was spot on! I diced some hot peppers and stirred them in with the tapenade and then put together the rest of the players on to the plate. We had this dish two days in a row, now I wish I bought more!


Do You Have To Drink Wine From A Fancy Pants Glass?

Something Different To Take Home

I say NO, my friends and neighbors.

For many years, well, as long as we lived in Hawaii anyways, we did not  have an automatic dishwasher, I washed everything by hand. One time I was washing a stemmed wine glass and it broke in my hand and gave me a nasty gash, three stitches worth. My dearest husband went out and bought me what he said his family always drank wine from, little juice glasses if you will. You know the ones that you get your chianti in when you go to those cute American-Italian restaurants with the red and white checkers plastic table clothes. I love it!

my last wine glass of a set DH gave me years ago

I still have one of them left after all of these years.

Wine Glasses don't always have to have stems

Recently I added a new one. I found this at Crate & Barrel. It was a bit rich for my blood, but really adorable.

There’s a set in a catalogue that we get that I hope Santa brings me.


I Gotta Write This One Down

I came back from an afternoon of vegetable shopping at the green grocer and was starting to put my haul away when it struck me. The ingredients that I had would make some ‘Whole Foods worthy’ assorted cold salads for later in the week.

Three different salads, all restaurant qualty stuff!

At the top of the photo is the lentil salad, which was simple, simple, simple. I bought more of Trader Joe’s steamed lentils to toss in to the deep freeze, but why do that? I added:

Diced- celery, sweet white onions, sweet red bell peppers

Minced- flat leaf Italian parsley and garlic

Dried spice – basil and oregano


House made white balsamic with fresh garlic vinaigrette

All of the above was to taste, just chop and toss into the bowl, give it a mix up and refrigerate overnight.

To the right of that is a take on what I saw on one of my fav TV programs, America’s Test Kitchen. Curried Chicken Waldorf Salad (shhhhh don’t tell DH he claims to not like this). I had some poached boneless-skinless chicken thigh meat (the same way they did in the hyperlink from ATK) in the `ridge, HMMM, just expand on that. I added some curry powder from the spice aisle to a small amount of `mayo to bloom the flavor. Next into the mixing bowl was:

Diced – apples, celery, sweet white onions and tart dried cherries


Finally some crushed slivered blanched almonds. Into the `fridge with this one as well.

Lastly, the Tuna Salad. To a can of tuna packed in water (drained), I added:

Diced – celery and sweet white onions

Chopped – pitted black olives

Dried spices – garlic powder, cayenne pepper and chives

Minced – flat leaf Italian parsley

Some dill pickle relish and `mayo (not too much, DH claims to hate mayo as well, so long as he doesn’t see me making it, he’s okay). Oh and S&P to taste. Stash this into a container and it’s time for a chill down.

These three gorgeous concoctions where served atop a bed of mixed baby greens with some chopped: English Cucumbers, Sugar Plum tomatoes, Sweet white Onions, Sweet Red Bell Peppers-dressed in the same vinaigrette as the lentils (I always have a mason jar of it in the `fridge). I portioned them out with a 1 ½ Tablespoon disher (small ice cream scooper). That is restaurant quality stuff… I make good food!


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.

We’ve Joined The 21st Century

My wonderful husband has been on me for years to get rid of our old 32″ tub television and get a nice BIG set. I finally gave in, and off we went to Costco. I did some research online prior, so I knew what we wanted. Once we found what we were looking for, this very nice man came over to ask if we needed any help. “Nope, this is what I want for my birthday”, I said. Mister Nice Man asked me why I had chosen this particular TV, “the sound is suppose to be good as well as the picture”, I responded. Then we shows us the next one over, WOW!

Our New TV

Can I tell you how great food looks in High Defenition!

Now, here’s the rub of the entire story:

DH then had to pay to redecorate the living room because that 55 inch behemoth television doesn’t fit in our entertainment cabinet. Thank you La-Z-Boy Furniture Center, Happy Birthday to ME!

Summer’s Bounty

Since leaving Hawaii, I’ve been able to prepare much more dishes with fresh vegetables. One of our favorite veg (well, really it’s a fruit) is the sweet red bell peppers. They’re great either raw or cooked. In the Summertime, while they’re in season and inexpensive, we eat a ton of them.

One day, while I was standing in the green grocers, I started to think about frozen veggies. Why was I paying the high prices in the market for a product that I could do myself and with no additives ? I did a search online and found that you can freeze any fresh fruit or vegetable that you want and save it for later in the year when they’re not in season.

I washed the whole peppers, keeping the plastic sack they were in for a garbage bag; cut each one in half, pulled the stem, seeds and ribs out and then sliced them into strips. On any rimmed pan that you have, spread the pieces out into a flat, single layer. Next, put the tray into the freezer, I leave them there overnight to get them good and solid. The following morning I pop all of the now frozen pepper strips into a zip-top bag and back into the deep freeze they go for the Winter months when they are WAY over priced.

Think about how many recipes you use sweet bell peppers in… and how much you pay for them in the Winter. These two trays cost me $3.00, yup, that’s it. Now, had you bought a 12 ounce bag of frozen pepper strips, that would easily be over $3.00. I got SIX bags for that same price!!!