Tag Archives: Side dish

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.


I Can Dream, Can’t I?

A number of years ago, my SIL made this A~MAZ~ING potato dish when we were back East for Thanksgiving.  I’ve dreamt of them ever since.  Now that we are back in our diet cycle (no white foods) they haunt me! I think that I mentioned earlier that I really should make up a list of what I want to make when we can eat things like potatoes again.  This is tops on the list.

I don’t have any photos of the dish, mainly because DH detests mayo and ranch dressing, (I’ve never made this) so some how I’m going to figure out how to make this recipe for just me. 


Exploded Potatoes

8 Baked Potatoes

8 pieces Bacon, cooked crisp & crumbled

1 – 1 ½ C. shredded Cheddar Cheese

½ C. Mayonnaise

½ C. Ranch Dressing

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 bunch of Green Onions-chopped


Preheat the oven to 350

Mash the potatoes with the skins still on them.

Stir in the bacon, mayo and dressing along with S&P

Place in a greased 9 by 13 inch baked dish.

Bake for 45 minutes and top with the Green onions


Favorite Dinner From Back Home

Back home in Hawaii, DH and I lived on the same property as my parents; I did a lot of the cooking for all of us. Once we all moved here to the middle of the desert, my mom decided that she wanted to have her own apartment. Mom now has to cook for herself, and it ain’t like my food, I’ll just say that! So when I invite mom up to our place for a meal with us, I make a point to make recipes that I’ve learned how to make from home.

Favorite Dinner From Back Home

This past Sunday we had mom over and I made Teriyaki chicken, my quick cucumber kim chee and marinated bean sprouts. My husband and I are back on our ‘no white foods’ diet, so that meant no steamed white rice for us, only mom.


I like to cut the chicken up and then garnish with more green onions and sesame seeds

My ono-licious (delicious in my world) teri-chicken was adapted from many recipes that I have found over the years.

½ C. low sodium Soy Sauce (you know I love Aloha brand)

¼ C. Vegetable oil

2 tbsp. Brown Sugar

1 Garlic clove, smashed

1 tbsp. Fresh Ginger root, grated

1 tbsp. Sesame oil

1 tbsp. Mirin

2 Green Onions, minced

1 tsp. Sesame seeds

5 boneless-skinless Chicken thighs

Combine all the ingredients in a gallon-size zip top bag and shake until the sugar is dissolved. Add the chicken and refrigerate overnight, turning it over occasionally. Grill and EAT!!!

Bean Sprouts

The bean sprouts (Kong Namul) are a Korean dish that we would always have on our take-out plates in Hawaii. My sweet DH found this recipe for me in the newspaper. Before we left Hawaii, I made sure to collect what recipes I could. This is super easy, quick and makes a fantastic side dish with any BBQ meats. I’ve changed it ever so slightly for a milder vinegar bite.

½ lb. fresh Bean Sprouts (mung bean)

1 tbsp. Rice Vinegar

1 tbsp. Granulated Sugar

1 tsp. Sesame oil

1 tbsp. low sodium Soy Sauce (Ponzu would be nice too)

½ tsp. Sea Salt

2 Green Onions, minced

1/4 tsp. Sesame Seeds

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and toss in the sprouts. Bring back up to a boil and cook about 1 minute, until they are crisp-tender but still pliable. Drain and rinse under cold running water. In a large bowl, combine the ingredients above until the sugar is dissolved; add in the sprouts and toss to combine with the sauce. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled.

And we’ve talked about the quick cucumber kim chee before, it’s just so good! But, put all of these dishes together and you have a very typical meal back in Hawaii.  I asked my husband after we dropped mom off back at her place if he tought she enjoyed her evening and all he said was, “OH YEAH!”



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.


Repeat Of A Very Good Thing

I wanted to repost this about making my quick cucumber kim chee. As I was re-reading some of my past blogs, I noticed that I have more than one photo that includes this fast, easy and flavorful addition to just about any meal. If you are so inclined to make this side dish and you can’t find this product in your local ‘asian market’, try the hyperlink to Noh’s website and order it on line. If for some off chance you do not care for the kim chee, you can always create a unique gift for someone.


My Kitchen In The Middle Of The Desert

I got a request today on the Cucumber Kim Chee, delish! And WAY easy to make.

I like Hot house or English Cucumbers, here in the middle of the desert, I can’t find Japanese Cucumbers. That varietal was developed by the University of Hawaii, and I highly doubt that I will ever find them here in AZ. No need to peel them, just a nice rinse under the tap.

I rough chop them into goodly bite-sized pieces, and plop them into a salad spinner. Take about 1-2 tablespoons of Sea Salt (or Kosher, whatever you have on hand), give them a mix around and leave them sit for 15 minutes. Rinse & drain well, that’s where the salad spinner comes in handy. In a non-reactive bowl (I use a glass one), dump in the cucs and hold your nose, this stuff will make you sneeze, cough, gasp. Sprinkle with some

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Couldn’t Be Easier Namasu

In Hawaii, we have a type of delicatessen called Okazu-Ya. Here’s the funny thing, I had to look up the meaning of the word. It is Japanese in origin, Okazu meaning side dish and Ya meaning shop. That makes sense to me now. These delis are take-out joints only; you won’t find a place to sit and devour your booty, best to head to the beach or a park.

The glass front cases in these shops are chock-full of big bowls and restaurant pans overflowing with delicious things. On any given lunch hour, you’ll find folks lined up waiting their turn to drool and point as the shop keeper ladles your choices into a Styrofoam container. I won’t laundry list the menu to you, as each shop has its own specialty.

One dish will always be found in the Okazu-Ya and that’s Namasu. Think of a cold pickled vegetable salad. This plays nicely off of unctuous pieces of Garlic-Mochi flour battered Fried Chicken or any of the other hundreds of choices you’ll find. Here in the middle of the desert, I have yet to find an Okazu-Ya, so as I guess I just have to make my own.

Yummy plate lunch with Namasu as one of the side dishes

Yummy plate lunch with Namasu as one of the side dishes

Couldn’t Be Easier Namasu

1 Hot House or English Cucumber, thinly sliced (do not peel)

1 large Carrot, peel & thinly slice

1 Daikon or White Radish, peel & thinly slice

1 Tbsp. Sea Salt (or Kosher Salt, which ever you have)

1 inch piece of fresh Ginger Root, peeled & course chopped

½ C. Rice Wine Vinegar

½ C. granulated Sugar

Water as needed

In a small saucepan, heat the vinegar; remove from the heat and add the sugar, stirring to dissolve. Stir in the Ginger and set aside to cool completely.

In a large glass bowl, toss the vegetables with the Sea Salt and set aside for 15 minutes. Rinse and drain well, pressing out as much water as possible.

Return the veggies to the bowl and pour the vinegar mixture in; add enough cold water to cover the vegetables. Stir well and cover with plastic wrap.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.



I like to cut my veggies into ‘flower’ shapes, which is easy to do. Cut V-shaped notches along the lengths of the piece of Cucumber, Carrot and Daikon before you slice them into thin rounds. Don’t throw away those chunks of veg from the pattern; toss those into the bowl too.