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.

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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.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Anxiety


I did this yesterday.  It helped me get my mind off stuff. I might try do another one today.

I'm having really bad anxiety.  Worried about mortality and feeling sad for those left behind.

I actually had some kind of panic attack early this morning.  I ended up pacing and pacing and doing weird things with my hands . . . rubbing them, tapping my fingers together, shaking them, tapping my chest.  It seemed to help.  It was all rather bizarre. 

A little later Wendell and I took a short walk. That helped too.

It's mid day now, and I'm alone at home. I'm trying really hard not to let my mind go to that place again. 


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Thursday, June 25, 2020

Sad News


We had to put Kona down this morning.  

He stopped eating yesterday, couldn’t get up on his own and could hardly walk. He seemed very weak.

The vet squeezed him in before her other appointments. She quickly discovered by x-rays that he had a splenic mass, most likely cancerous. He’d been going downhill for awhile and had other health issues, so it was just a matter of time. I guess.

Kona went peacefully. Wendell, Landon and I were there. 

He was 2 months shy of being 14 years old.  Gonna miss that Kona-boy.

Dd's Chicken Piccata


Didi said that this is super easy to make. Dunno if it would be easy for ME to make, but it sure does look ono.

She got the recipe from Bon Appétit website and can be found here

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Ingredients

  • 2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • ⅓ cup dry white wine
  • 1 Tbsp. drained capers, coarsely chopped
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Chopped parsley and lemon wedges (for serving)

Preparation

  1. Slice chicken breasts in half crosswise into 4 cutlets and lightly pound each piece between sheets of plastic wrap until an even thickness (about ½" thick or less). Season lightly with salt. Place flour in a medium shallow bowl. Working one at a time, place cutlets in bowl and toss to coat in flour. Knock off excess flour and transfer to a plate.
  2. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Working in batches if needed to avoid overcrowding the pan, cook cutlets, without moving them, until deeply browned underneath, about 2 minutes. Turn over and cook on the other side just until chicken is nearly cooked through, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a clean plate.
  3. Add garlic and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to the skillet and cook, stirring often and reducing heat if needed to keep garlic from scorching, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add wine and capers and cook, swirling pan and scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of skillet, until liquid is almost completely evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add ½ cup water, followed by the butter. Swirl pan vigorously while butter melts to help it form an emulsion with water, about 1 minute.
  4. Return chicken to skillet and simmer until chicken is cooked through and sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir lemon juice into sauce; season with salt. Transfer chicken and sauce to a platter and top with parsley; serve with lemon wedges.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Adela's Country Eatery


Yesterday's lunch/dinner was from Adela's Country Eatery in Kaneohe. It was a major hit. Per Landon it is "Legit" and "Killah".

Adobong Lechon Kawali with Garlic Rice ($15.99)
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Braised Short Ribs ($15.99)
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Create Your Own Pasta ($12.50).  Landon chose malunggay pasta, Alfredo sauce and portobello mushroom topping.
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This is an additional Shrimp Scampi topping ($4.99).
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Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Okinawan Sweet Potato Tapioca


I'm trying to use up some recently expired coconut milk that we have, so I decided to make sweet potato tapioca. 

I followed my sister Didi's recipe which can be found here on Cooking Hawaiian Style.

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I tweaked it to make a double recipe. My recipe is below.

1 cup small tapioca pearls 
2 lbs. Okinawan sweet potatoes, boiled, peeled and cut into½-inch cubes 
2 (12 oz.) cans coconut milk 
2 cups water 
1 cup sugar

In a mixing bowl; soak tapioca in warm water for 1 hour. 

In a saucepan combine water and sugar. Cook on medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Add drained tapioca. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir until mixture thickens and the tapioca becomes translucent. Add sweet potato and coconut milk. Cook for a few more minutes.

Cool and refrigerate. Serve cold.

This the tapioca that I used. I got it from the Asian Grocery store.
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Monday, June 22, 2020

Dd's Red Beans and Rice with Andouille Sausage


My sister Didi is a next-level chef. Lately she's been sharing pictures of her dinners. 🤗

The recipe for this dish is from Food Network and can be found here

Didi said:  I added 1 jalapeño pepper, 1 tsp Tabasco, 1 tsp Cajun seasoning and I actually used dried beans....cooked the beans with the ham hock  for 1 1/2 hrs and then proceeded with recipe.

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Ingredients


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound andouille sausage, sliced on the bias  1/2-inch-thick
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped 
1 celery stalk, chopped 
1/2 cup chopped white onion 
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
One 15.5-ounce can red kidney beans, liquid reserved 
2 cloves garlic, grated on a rasp or minced 
1 smoked ham hock 
4 cups cooked white rice 
Hot sauce, to taste  



Directions


Add the olive oil and sausage to a Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until the sausage releases some fat and begins to curl a bit on the edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper, celery, onion, a pinch of salt and plenty of hefty grinds of black pepper (more than usual!). Cook, stirring, until the veggies are tender and the celery and onion are translucent and beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the beans and their liquid, garlic and ham hock.

Add 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, then cover and cook until the beans are very tender, about 30 minutes. Serve over white rice with a shake of hot sauce.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

My Drunken Noodle Dish


I was curious about this Rice Flakes that I saw at Asian Grocery so I bought it. I thought I could try and make some kind of "drunken noodle" dish with it. I'm not really sure, but I think it was $1.99.

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I found a recipe at Food 52 here. The instructions said to soak the noodles for 10 minutes, drain, and add to your stir-fried mixture. I soaked the noodles for 1/2 hour, drained and added to my stir-fried mixture. 

I never ate a bicycle tire before, but I imagine the texture is similar. It was pretty horrible.

I attempted to save the dish by adding a bit of water and covering it. 

At about this time Wendell called and while talking to him, the bicycle-tire noodles burned.

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Landon said to not give up on the noodles . . . maybe next time I should boil it first.  So, okay, maybe I'll try again. 

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Wendell's Tofu with Ground Pork


Wendell made this the other night and it was super ono. We think that it's the hondashi that did the trick. 

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He followed this recipe and used ground pork instead of turkey. Also, he used the smaller tub of tofu, but the big tub maybe woulda been better.
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Ingredients

1 pound ground pork
1 tub tofu
1/2 sweet onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk green onion, chopped
1 tub mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon hondashi
1/2 teaspoon togarashi
oyster sauce, to taste
olive oil, for heating

Directions

Heat pan on high with olive oil. Brown ground pork and add chopped garlic while browning. Add diced onion and sliced mushrooms until soft and tender.

Mix in oyster sauce, togarashi and hondashi. Add tofu and green onions.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Dd's Pot Roast


My sister Didi made this for her family's dinner the other night. 

She said that she doubled the porcini and increased the Cabernet Sauvignon wine by 1/2 cup. Also, she tossed cauliflower with olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme and roasted in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. She used green onions in the mashed potatoes because she didn't have any chives.

The recipe is a Food Network Gia De Laurentiis one and can be found here

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Ingredients


1 (5-pound) boneless beef chuck roast
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
2 onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup red wine, such as cabernet sauvignon or pinot noir
1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium beef broth, plus extra, as needed
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 large sprig fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed and chopped




Directions


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.



  1. Pat the beef dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. In a heavy 6-quart pot or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until browned on all sides, about 12 minutes. Remove the beef and set aside.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the remaining oil and the onions. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute until aromatic. Add the wine and scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir in the broth and mushrooms. Return the beef to the pot and bring the liquid to a boil. Cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Cook until the beef is fork-tender, about 3 hours, turning the beef over halfway through and adding more beef broth, as needed.
  3. Transfer the beef to a cutting board. Tent with foil and let stand for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, spoon any excess fat off the top of the pan juices. Using an immersion blender, blend the pan juices and vegetables until smooth. Add the rosemary and thyme. Bring to sauce to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Cut the beef into 1-inch pieces and place on a platter. Spoon some of the sauce over the meat and serve the remaining sauce on the side.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Going Out


I like staying home.

But now after all these months, with places opening up, the thought of coming into contact with strangers and their "germs" gives me anxiety.

Swap meet opened up this past Sunday. I wanted to go. I was gonna go, but I chickened out at the last minute.

My favorite Asian Grocery store opened up and I was planning on going, but again, I chickened out.

Hawaiian Graphics has a pre-inventory 25% off sale right now. 25% OFF SALE!! And you know me and good deals.

So I went yesterday. I got there a few minutes before they opened and waited in the parking lot. I pretty much knew exactly what I wanted. I found them and paid for them in a matter of a few minutes. I was out the door before any other customers came in.

This is what I got.
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The Asian Grocery store is located a little bit past Hawaiian Graphics. There was parking right in front of the store so I stopped.
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There was only one other customer besides me. This is what I bought. 🥳
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I had canceled my mammogram and OB doctor appointments a few months ago. I guess I'm gonna have to go soon. But I hope not too soon.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Chocolate Cream Pie


The recipe for this pie came from Good Cheap Eats and can be found here

I used a frozen pie crust this time, mostly because I realized when I made the custard pie that the one pie pan that I own was too shallow.

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Cooking the chocolate filling on the stove totally reminded me of waaaay back kid-time when I used to make Jello chocolate pudding. 

I used to love making that pudding. I remember that you're supposed to cover the top to avoid a skin from forming, but I never did that because the skin was my favorite part. So nostalgic, that memory. 

Anyway, back to this pie. How did it taste? AWESOME!

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Ingredients

  • 1 batch single pie crust
  • 12 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whipping cream

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 ° Prepare the pie crust according to recipe directions. Pat into the pan. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with beans. Bake until edges begin to color, about 15 minutes. Remove paper and weights and continue baking until golden brown.
  • Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • In a medium saucepan, whisk together the 2/3 cup sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt.
  • Whisk in the milk, stirring well. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly until mixture begins to thicken, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Whisk in the chocolate chips and vanilla until well blended. Allow mixture to cool slightly.
  • Pour cooled mixture into baked and cooled pie shell. Cool to room temperature and then chill for several hours.
  • Prior to serving, whip the cream and the remaining tablespoon of sugar in a medium bowl until soft peaks are formed. Serve with pie.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Saturday, June 13, 2020

My First Ever Custard Pie


I chose the easiest custard pie recipe that I could find.  It came from the Small Town Woman website here. It came out not bad. 

One tip: Put the pie crust in the oven before pouring the egg mixture into it.

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Wendell ate two pieces right away. My mom liked it too.
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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In small bowl separate one egg white from egg yolk reserving both.
  3. Brush crust with beaten egg white and pre-bake for 7-8 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes.
  4. In large bowl whisk together 3 eggs plus the one spare yolk and whatever is left from the beaten egg white , sugar, salt, vanilla, cream and milk.
  5. Pour egg mixture into piecrust and sprinkle with nutmeg.  Bake for 35-45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
  6. Cool on a wire rack.  Store in refrigerator.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Easy Pie Crust


With milk at Safeway being so cheap right now, I decided to try to make a pie (or two) . . .  custard and maybe a chocolate cream. 

I found a pie crust recipe that even kids can make here.  

Come back tomorrow for results of my first time ever custard pie.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter cut into chunks
  • 1 to 2 tbsp water cold

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, combine together the flour and salt. Add the butter chunks and cut them into the flour mixture with a pastry blender, or two knives held together. You can also use a food processor for quicker work. Kids can do this with a fork if that is easier for them. Work these ingredients together until they form pea-sized crumbs. 
  • Quickly stir in the cold water a tablespoon at a time and combine until a large pea size clumps form. Transfer these to the pie plate. 
  • Pat the dough into a pie plate, pushing the dough across the bottom of the pie plate and up the sides.
  • Use as is in recipes that call for an unbaked pie shell. For recipes that call for a pre-baked crust, bake it for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees until light golden brown. Cool completely before pouring in your filling.