Wednesday, July 15, 2020

More from Adela's


Here's more food from Adela's Country Eatery in Kaneohe.

Everything was good although the garlic fried rice was a skosh on the salty side.

Braised Short Ribs ($15.99)
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Fish Dore with Tartar Sauce ($15.99)
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Hamburger Steak with Mushroom Demiglace ($14.99)
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Half Fried Chicken with Furikake Sweet Garlic Sauce and French Fries ($15.99)
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Garlic Fried Rice with Scrambled Eggs ($9.99)
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Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic Butter Sauce and Portobello Mushroom ($12.50)
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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies


Landon had a craving for some chewy chocolate chip cookies so I tried to make some.  Recipe is from I Heart Eating site here

Came out ono, but not exactly "chewy".  I wonder if it's because I ignored adding the egg yolk. 

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INGREDIENTS

1 cup butter
1 ½ cups brown sugar (packed)
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour2
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or scant 1/2 teaspoon table salt)
10 ounce package chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 375 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.

Melt butter in a heavy saucepan. The butter should be just melted.
Add brown sugar to a large bowl.
Pour melted butter over sugar.
Stir to combine butter and sugar. Let stand 5 minutes.
Add egg and egg yolk; stir to combine.
Stir in vanilla extract.
Add flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir until just combined.
Stir in chocolate chips.

Using a medium cookie scoop (1.5 tablespoon), drop scoops of dough 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet.
Bake for about 7-10 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are golden brown. The centers should still look soft and slightly underbaked. That will help to keep the cookies soft. 

Let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes. Remove to wire rack to finish cooling.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Alden's Organic Ice Cream Sandwich


This is from Costco. It's good. Sorry, don't know how much it costs.

It's small, but I still cut it in half and only eat a half at a time. 
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Sunday, July 12, 2020

Dd's Swedish Meatballs


Hoo hoo, here's another one of Didi's dishes.

The recipe is from the Food Network site and can be found here

swedish meatballs


Ingredients


For the meatballs:
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup minced white onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 pound lean ground pork
1 large egg plus 1 egg white, beaten
Vegetable oil, for brushing
For the gravy:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Lingonberry jam, for serving (optional)

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Dd's Chicken Tequila Fettucine


Here's what Didi made using her spinach pasta . . . CPK's Chicken Tequila Fettucine! 


cpk fettucini

California Pizza Kitchen Chicken Tequila Fettucine

1 # dry spinach fettuccine OR 2 #’s fresh spinach fettuccine
1/2 c chopped fresh cilantro
2 TB  chopped cilantro reserved for garnish
2 TB  minced fresh garlic
2 TB  minced jalapeno pepper (seeds and veins may be removed)
2 TB + 1 TB unsalted butter
1/2 c chicken stock 
2 TB  gold tequila
2 TB  freshly-squeezed lime juice
3 TB  soy sauce
1 1/4 pound chicken breast, diced 3/4 inch
1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 medium yellow bell pepper thinly sliced
1/2 medium green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 1/2 c heavy cream

Prepare rapidly boiling, salted water to cook pasta; cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes for dry pasta, approximately 3 minutes for fresh. 

Pasta may be cooked slightly ahead of time, rinsed and oiled and then "flashed" (reheated) in boiling water or cooked to coincide with the finishing of the sauce/topping.

Cook 1/2 cup cilantro, garlic and jalapeno in 2 TB butter over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Add stock, tequila and lime juice. 


Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until reduced to a paste like consistency; set aside. Pour soy sauce over diced chicken; set aside for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile cook onion and peppers, stirring occasionally, with remaining 1 TB butter over medium heat. When vegetables have wilted, 
add chicken and soy sauce; toss and add reserved tequila/lime paste and cream. Bring the sauce to a boil; boil gently until chicken is cooked through and sauce is thick (about 3 minutes). When sauce is done, toss with well-drained spinach fettuccine and reserved cilantro. Serves 4.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Comet NEOWISE


A comet in our skies! I found the info here at the Scientific American site. 

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Comet NEOWISE (C/2020 F3), as seen above Lick Observatory on July 7, 2020. Credit: Elinor Gates UCO Lick Observatory

This month a cosmic visitor is gracing the skies. A comet swept past the sun on July 3, and it has since become visible to the naked eye. The rare opportunity to glimpse the chunk of ancient ice from the outer solar system should continue next week, when astronomers hope it will become even brighter.
Scientists using the Near-Earth Object Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) space telescope first spotted the comet as it hurtled toward the sun on March 27. Informally dubbed NEOWISE after the telescope but officially labeled C/2020 F3, the comet gradually brightened as sunlight and solar wind caused it to release gases and form a tail. 
In early June it reached the far side of the sun, as seen from Earth. The resulting glare prevented astronomers from observing the comet for several weeks. By late June, however, it swam back into the optics of another space telescope, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). 
"For many people in the Northern Hemisphere, especially if you’re closer to the midlatitudes, the comet should be visible an hour before sunrise, very low in the northeastern sky,” says Kerry-Ann Lecky Hepburn, a meteorologist and astrophotographer. “Right now it’s located in the constellation Auriga.” She recommends finding the comet’s exact spot using specialized smartphone apps with interactive maps of the constellations. Although already visible to the naked eye, the object is still faint, and binoculars would offer a better view.
Starting around July 12, Comet NEOWISE will be visible in the evening as well, Lecky Hepburn says. About an hour after sunset, it will appear near the northwestern horizon. As the month progresses, it will rise higher in the sky, moving from the constellation Lynx toward the Big Dipper. On July 22 the comet will reach its closest point to Earth—a distance of 103 million kilometers—before continuing its cosmic flight. Whether it will still be visible to unaided eyes by then is uncertain, however.

After this encounter, astronomers expect Comet NEOWISE to bid farewell for quite some time. Its long, looping orbit around our star will next bring it back to Earth’s vicinity some 6,800 years from now.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Dd's Spinach Pasta


I just love this photo that Didi sent of her noodles hanging. You ever made your own noodles?  Not me. 

Will show you what she did with the noodles in the next blog post. 

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Spinach Pasta

2 c baby spinach (packed)

2 eggs
1 tsp salt
2 2/3 c all-purpose flour


Wash the spinach. Do not dry. Place into skillet with the water on the leaves. Cook 5 minutes. 


Transfer into a blender with eggs and salt. Process until smooth.

Transfer mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add flour, mixing with a spoon, and as the dough 
thickens use your hands. Knead for a couple of minutes. Dough will be hard. 

Cover dough with plastic wrap; allow to rest 20 minutes.

Cut into desired shape noodles. Place onto drying rack or spread noodles onto counter top surface and do not place them on top of each other. Otherwise they will stick.

Cook the noodles in boiling water for about 5 minutes. Drain.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Dd's Tequila-Cured Salmon


Didi followed a Bobby Flay recipe to make this gravlax type of salmon dish. The recipe can be found here at the Cooking Channel site. 

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It needs to be cured for 2 days in the 'fridge.
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Doesn't it look wonderful?!
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Didi said that she didn't use chipotle and used dill instead of cilantro.



Ingredients


One 2-pound salmon fillet, skin on
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon pureed canned chipotle in adobo
Zest of 3 limes, grated
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups kosher salt
2 cups light brown sugar
2 cups tequila


Directions

  1. On top of a layer of aluminum foil and plastic wrap (enough to make a pouch), put the salmon on a baking sheet skin-side down. Pat the top dry with paper towels. Combine the coriander, mustard and cumin seeds in a small saute pan over low heat and toast, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove, let cool slightly and coarsely grind in a coffee grinder. 
  2. Spread the chipotle over the top of the salmon fillet. Sprinkle the ground spices, lime zest and cilantro over and press into the flesh. Combine the salt and brown sugar in a bowl, drizzle with the tequila and then spread evenly over the salmon. Tightly wrap the salmon in the plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Place another baking sheet on top of the salmon and weigh down with bricks wrapped in foil or a heavy cutting board. Refrigerate for 48 hours. 
  3. Remove the salmon from the refrigerator and scrape off the curing ingredients. When cured, the fish should have a raw appearance and a firm but not hard texture. Slice the salmon against the grain paper thin and serve with accompaniments of choice.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Dd's Zucchini Coconut Bread


Didi said that she received a whole bunch of zucchini (I think that's what she said) so she made zucchini bread.


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Dd’s Zucchini Coco Nut Bread

¾ c. cup vegetable oil
¾ c. brown sugar
¼ c. agave nectar
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
2 c. all- purpose flour
2 c. zucchini, large grate, squeezed dry
½ c. flaked coconut
½ c. walnuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease 2-8’ loaf pans. 
In a large bowl beat oil, sugar, agave, eggs and vanilla. 
Add remaining ingredients and blend well. 
Pour into prepared pans; bake 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 
Makes 2 loaves.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

A Sign


Maybe not The Sign that I'm looking for right now, but funny.  Thanks for sharing, Cleta!!  ðŸ’—


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Saturday, July 4, 2020

Dd's Chicken Eggplant Parmesan


I love eggplant and this looks totally awesome!

Didi says: "It really is easy . . . "
I say:  "Uh-huh."

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Sauce:
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 TB minced fresh parsley
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes 

Chicken:
2 large skinless, boneless chicken breast
kosher salt
½  cup all-purpose flour
2-3 TB extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Eggplant:
1 small eggplant, ½-inch thick slices
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
½-3/4 c. seasoned bread crumbs
½ c. grated Parmesan cheese
½ tsp. garlic salt
¼ tsp. pepper

Leftover cooked spaghetti
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ cup Romano cheese, grated
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 375°. 
Sauce: In a large saucepan, sauté onion in oil. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, stirring occasionally, 20-25 minutes. 
Chicken: Slice chicken breasts in half crosswise into 4 cutlets. Lightly pound between sheets of plastic wrap until about ½" thick. Season with salt. Place flour in a medium dish Working one at a time, place cutlets in bowl and toss to coat in flour. Knock off excess flour and transfer to a plate. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high.  Cook chicken until browned, about 2 minutes. Turn over and cook on the other side just until chicken is cooked through, about 30 seconds. Set aside
Eggplant: Sprinkle eggplant with salt; let stand 20-30 minutes. 
Place eggs in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, garlic salt and pepper. Dip eggplant in eggs, then bread crumb mixture. Bake 15 minutes; turn eggplant over and continue baking 10-12 minutes.
Assembly: Spoon ½-3/4 cup sauce into an ungreased 9x13-in. baking dish. Spread cooked spaghetti onto sauce. Top with 4-6 pieces of eggplant.  Spoon ½-3/4 cup sauce onto eggplant. Top with chicken.  Spoon sauce as desired onto chicken. Top with mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with Roman and Parmesan cheese. Cover and bake until bubbly, 30-35 minutes. Serves 4-6.

Friday, July 3, 2020

A Sign


No, I haven't gotten a sign from Kona. But I'm waiting and hoping.  Mostly because when our other golden retriever, Kula, passed away 15 years ago we totally got a sign from him.

It came in the form of a dragonfly.  You can check out the story here

So, I've been talking to Kona. I say, "Kona, no pressure, but Kula sent us a dragonfly."

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Resizing Paper Grocery Bags


We've accumulated a lot of paper grocery bags from when the stores weren't allowing us to bring our own bags. They're actually not too repurposeful for me because they're too big. 

So I cut them down to a smaller size and have been making good use of them. 

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First, I carefully (sorta) remove the handles. 
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Then I cut off about 4 inches from the top. Sometimes I place the cut-off piece on the bottom of the finished bag for added support (and to not waste it).
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I cut the bag in two at about 4 inches from one side.
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I unfold the two pieces and tape them together like this. I put tape on the inside too.
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Then I staple the handles back on and reinforce them with duct tape.  I also put duct tape onto the bottom seam and depending on the load might also duct tape the other seams too.
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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

La Luna


This is a cute, short Pixar animation that I've watched several times.  I love the sound of the stars clinking together.



I'm trying to draw the stars. I don't really know how to bring out the light in them. I suspect I need to put them in the dark. Do you see the analogy here?  Seeing the light in the dark?
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Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Dd's Taco Salad


I'm so happy that Didi's been sharing pictures of her meals with us. 

Here's her over-the-top taco salad.


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Dd’s Taco Salad

Taco meat
Pico de gallo
Dried pinto beans, soaked overnight, cooked until tender
1 medium head Romaine lettuce, chopped
½ (4 oz.) can black olives, sliced or chopped
½ avocado, sliced
½ cucumber, chopped
¼ c. cilantro, leaves
½-3/4 c. cheese, shredded
Tortilla chips, crushed
Salad dressing (1/4 c. Italian mixed with 1 12 tsp. taco seasoning)
Juice of 1 lime

Onto serving plates, place lettuce. Decoratively place toppings. Garnish as desired. Serves 2.

Dd’s Pico De Gallo
2 large roma tomatoes, dice
½ small red onion, finely chopped
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeds & ribs removed, finely minced
1 small garlic clove, grated
½ c. cilantro, leaves picked
Juice of 1 lime
Salt as needed

Combine all ingredients. Allow to sit 30 minutes. Makes 1 ½ cups. 

Dd’s Taco Seasoning Mix
4 tsp. dried minced onion
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. chili powder 
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakess
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. teaspoon oregano 

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Place in an airtight container. Use as desired to taco seasoning on ground beef/chicken/lamb or turkey.  Use 3 tablespoons of seasoning per 1 pound of meat.  Makes approximately 3 tablespoons.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Dd's Cheesebread


Didi made this to accompany some pasta that they had for dinner awhile back. Looks so good!

She says:  I added sautéed chopped onions.  Can also add oregano, cumin, basil, rosemary, olives, jalapeños, sundried tomatoes, chives/green onions.

cheesebread2

2 c. all purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 TB sugar (I used agave)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 1/4 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
1 c. milk
1 large egg, beaten
2 TB vegetable oil
2 tsp. Dijon mustard

Greased 9 inch loaf pan. Mix ingredients in order given. Transfer to prepared pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 375 degrees.


Sunday, June 28, 2020

Extraordinary


A collaboration of extraordinary talent produce an extraordinary, magical creation.  Thanks for sharing, Ric! It was a joy to watch . . . several times.




Saturday, June 27, 2020

Getting Out of Your Head


I found the following information here at the Forbes website. 

Thank you to all of you who took the time to comment on my blog post about my recent panic attack. It helps me so much.


1.  Get ready to "go there"
This sounds like a way to do exactly the opposite of getting out of your head, but it’s not. Getting in touch with your internal stuff allows you to process it, which lets you move on from it. The reality is that most people, especially depending on your generation, grew up with the notion that it’s better to hide your feelings than to talk about them. This, of course, is one of the most destructive ideas to carry with you, because it means that thoughts never get processed – they just spin around your head ad infinitum. But addressing them by talking about them (with friends or better yet, a psychologist) is one way to step out of them.

2.  Be a storyteller, not a ruminator
The danger of introspecting too much, of course, is that it can easily turn into full-blown rumination – an endless cycle of self-examination and worry that goes nowhere. Rumination is like that middle-of-the-night thinking — when the rest of the world is hidden by darkness and the mind descends into a spiral of endless reaction to itself. Instead, you should think of yourself like a storyteller, trying to fit events into a general framework, rather than pouring over each little piece of information. Introspection is a closed system. Patterns of growth only emerge by opening yourself to input from others. 

3.  Be slightly inappropriate
This may be the best method of all, though it's easier said than done. When someone asks you a question that’s a little too personal, you may have noticed that after the initial surprise, it actually feels good to answer it, because it opens the conversation up to another level. The truth is that most of us actually want to be more open and connected with one another, but just don’t know how to go about it – it’s so ingrained in us not to offend anyone and not to over-share, that we end up being too conservative.

4.  Talk to a stranger
In the same vein, building connections with others – even if you don’t actually know them – is another good way to step outside your head. recent study at the University of Chicago found that when participants were asked to talk to a total stranger on the train or bus, doing so brightened their moods considerably – and even more amazingly, it also brightened the mood of the stranger. Again, this is probably because we really do want to connect with one another more – even with strangers – but just aren’t sure if others want to. It turns out they do.

5.  Deactivate the "Me Centers" of your brain by meditating
Studies from Harvard, Yale, Princeton, UCLA, Stanford, and UMass, to name a few, are showing the effects of meditation training on brain function and brain structure. But among its more striking benefits, meditation seems to deactivate the “me centers” of the brain, the areas that are active when we’re having thoughts related to the self – self-referential thoughts. Meditating has also been shown to help treat other related mental health issues, like depression, addiction, anxiety, and attention deficit disorders, as well as to improve concentration, attention, and cognitive performance. So give it a try: Start with sitting, and focusing on your breath for five minutes. If your mind wanders, just observe that wandering, with a sense of curiosity, and pull it back to your focus. That part – the pulling the mind back, again and again – is really the heart of the practice.

6.  Focus on someone else
Lots of people have said that helping others is actually a selfish deed because it’s such a good way of helping yourself. Helping others helps you because it forces you to get out of your own schtick and focus on something outside yourself. When you actually set out to spend your time on another person or cause, you’ll find that it’s a very good way to move the focus away from you.

7.  Learn what mindfulness really is
If you still can’t seem to hop outside your head, try a few minutes of mindfulness whenever you notice yourself getting stuck there. Many mindfulness experts have said that the most important thing to remember is that thoughts don’t have to be believed – they come and go into our heads like clouds, often very randomly. So if you can just acknowledge a thought non-judgmentally and then let it go, you’ll be in good shape. The letting-go part is, of course, the hard one, but with practice, it can happen. And then your thoughts lose their power over you.

So if you find yourself in an endless cycle of rumination, step back and try one of these methods. Talk with a friend or a psychologist; meditate for five minutes; ask another person (or stranger, if you’re feeling bold) how they are; share a little (too much?) about yourself; introspect curiously into your thoughts and then try to let them go.
The mind is a pretty cool place – but when it gets to be too much, it’s important to know how to take a break from it.