kruizing with kikukat

Monday, November 22, 2021

Hearty Italian Dressing

This dressing tastes great on mixed greens and shredded cabbage.

Hearty Italian Dressing

     1/4 tsp dried oregano
     1/4 tsp garlic powder
     1/4 tsp cumin
     3/4 tsp garlic salt
     3/4 tsp sugar
     dash of black pepper
     1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese
     2 tbsp water
     2 tbsp EVOO
     1 tbsp vegetable oil
     1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
     1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Combine all ingredients using a hand blender.  Chill until ready to serve.
Makes about 1/2 cup of dressing. 

Monday, November 8, 2021

I Heart Tarts 4: Pumpkin Custard Tarts

Perfect for Thanksgiving

Crust (makes 20 2 1/2" tarts)
     1 1/2 c flour
     1 tbsp sugar
     1/4 tsp salt
     1/2 c + 2 tbsp cold butter
     1 egg

Combine flour and sugar in the bowl of a food processor.  Add cubed butter and Crisco.  Pulse until pea-size grains form.  Add egg and process til dough begins to hold together.  Turn onto lightly floured surface and knead til smooth.  Divide into 20 pieces and press into tart shells. 

Pumpkin Filling

     1 c cooked, pureed pumpkin
     6 tbsp sugar
     2 tbsp warm water
     1/2 c milk
     2 eggs, beaten
     1/2 tsp vanilla
     1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Combine pumpkin puree, sugar and warm water.  Stir until sugar has dissolved.  Add milk, eggs, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice.  Use a whisk to ensure spices are evenly distributed.   Divide among lined tart pans, filling almost to the top.  Place filled tart pans in flat pan.  Bake for 25-27 minutes.  Cool for 5 minutes before attempting to remove tarts from pans. 

Monday, October 25, 2021

coffee mochi

Coffee Mochi

1/2 c butter
1 lb mochiko
2 1/2 c sugar
1 t baking powder
2 c coffee (brewed)
1 c half-and-half
4 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt butter, cool.  Combine mochiko, sugar, and baking powder.  Combine remaining ingredients and stir into ochiko mixture; mix well.  Pour into 9 x 13" pan.  Bake for 1 hour.  Cool

D2's Harvest: Ribollita

Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) does soups so well.  Her ribollita is just fantastic.

Recently, D2 worked in the school garden and brought home a tiny beet with green attached.  I was planning to make ribollita anyway, so I diced up the beet and added it with the vegetables.


     1/2 lb dried cannelini beans
     2 1/2 tsp salt, divided
     1/4 c EVOO
     1/4-1/2 lb bacon (anywhere from 4-8 Costco maple bacon slices), chopped
     2 onions, chopped
     1 c chopped carrots
     1 c chopped celery
     3 cloves garlic, minced
     1/4 tsp ground black pepper
     1 28 oz can plum tomatoes, chopped/pureed
     4 c coarsely shredded savoy cabbage
     4 c coarsely chopped kale leaves (rib removed)
     1/2 c chopped fresh basil leaves
     1 can beef broth
     2 cans chicken broth
     4 c sourdough bread cubes (3/4"), crusts removed
     shredded parmesan cheese

Beginning the night before, cover beans with cold water (water level should be at least 1" higher than beans).  Cover and store in refrigerator overnight.  Drain beans and place in a large pot with 2 quarts of water.  Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer uncovered for 1 hour.  Add 1 tsp salt and cook an additional 15 minutes.  Set aside to cool.  Heat EVOO in a stockpot (6 qt or larger).  Add bacon and onions.  Cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.  Add carrots, celery, garlic, 1 1/2 tsp salt, and pepper.  Cook for 10 minutes.  Add tomatoes, cabbage, kale, and basil.  Cook 10 minutes.  Remove half of cooked beans and 1/4 c of bean cooking liquid and puree in food processor (or use immersion blender).  Stir into soup.  Add remaining beans and cooking liquid to soup.  Add beef and chicken broth.  Bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer 20 minutes.  Add bread cubes to soup.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Sandy's Pickled Mango

I worked with Sandy around a decade ago in the office of human resources.  She has since gone on to bigger and brighter things.

She shared some pickled mango with us, and it was the best pickled mango i had ever tasted.

Sandy's Pickled Mango

     6 medium size green mangoes*
     2 c sugar
     1 c white vinegar
     1/4 tsp salt
     2 red li hing mui

Peel and slice mangoes.  Place in a clean jar or container, adding li hing mui among the mango slices.  Heat sugar and vinegar in saucepan unti sugar is melted.  Add salt.  Pour sauce over mango slices.  When cool, refrigerate.  Mix occasionally to distribute color from li hing mui.  Ready to eat in 2 days.

Almost Kuhio Grille: Creamy Dressing

Creamy Dressing

     1 c mayonnaise
     1/4 c cubed onion
     2 tbsp red wine vinegar
     1 tbsp sugar
     1/4 tsp salt
     1/4 tsp garlic powder
     1/16 tsp black pepper

Blend all ingredients until smooth.  Chill 2 hours before serving.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Poor Man's Contessa: Baked Macaroni and Cheese

I love the food Ina Garten (of Barefoot Contessa fame) makes.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

     1 lb elbow or cavatappi (cellantini) pasta
     4 c milk, heated in microwave for 2-3 minutes
     6 tbsp butter, divided
     2 tbsp olive oil
     1/2 c flour
     4 c shredded cheese (mac and cheese blend or a cheddar blend)
     1/4 tsp black pepper
     1/8 tsp nutmeg
     1/3 c bacon, optional
     1 c dry bread crumbs

Boil pasta according to package directions.  Drain and return to cooking vessel.  While pasta is cooking, melt 4 tbsp butter and olive oil in a medium saucepan.  Stir in flour and whisk until thick.  Gradually whisk in heated milk.  Remove from heat and add black pepper and nutmeg.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Pour sauce over cooked pasta.  Add cheese and bacon (if using).  Stir gently till well combined.  Pour into 9 x 13" baking pan.  Melt remaining 2 tbsp butter.  Combine with bread crumbs.  Sprinkle bread crumbs evenly over macaroni and cheese.  Bake for 35 minutes. 

Monday, March 15, 2021

Peach Butter Frosting and Cake

I remember seeing this cake a lot when I was growing up.  I don't remember eating it much because, believe it or not, I didn't like cake all that much when I was younger.

Peach Butter Cake

     1 yellow cake, baked and cooled in a 9 x 13" pan
     1 block butter, softened
     3/4 c sugar
     1 egg
     1 can (15.25 oz) sliced peaches

Pour peach slices into a mesh colander and drain 20 minutes.  Using a spoon, mash peach slices against surface of colander until slices are broken up and smashed.  Drain for 45 minutes, stirring and pressing peaches against colander periodically.  Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.  Add in egg and beat until thoroughly incorporated.  Stir in drained, mashed peaches.  Frost top surface of prepared yellow cake.  Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Monday, February 22, 2021



     2 lbs tomatoes, seeded and chopped small
     3 bell peppers, seeded and chopped small
     1 tbsp basil, chopped
     1/4 c chopped onion
     1 small can olives, drained and chopped small
     1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
     3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
     1/4 c extra virgin olive oil + additional for bread
     1/2 tsp garlic salt
     1/2 tsp salt
     baguette, sliced in 1/2" thick slices

Combine all ingredients except for baguette and additional olive oil.  Toss gently.  Set aside or refrigerate until an hour before serving. Grill baguette slices, brushing one side with olive oil.  Spoon vegetable topping onto baguette slices and serve.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Forget the other chocolate crinkle cookie recipes.  This one will knock your socks off!

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

     2 c flour
     1 c unsweetened cocoa powder
     2 tsp baking powder
     1/2 tsp baking soda
     1 tsp salt
     3 c light brown sugar, packed
     6 eggs
     1 tbsp instant coffee granules
     2 tsp vanilla
     8 oz unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces
     1/2 c butter
     3/4 c granulated sugar
     3/4 c powdered sugar

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  In a 2-cup measuring cup, microwave butter and unsweetened chocolate for 2 minutes (50% power) until chocolate is melted.  Stir periodically during melting process.  Set aside.  Stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, stir together, brown sugar, eggs, instant coffee granules, and vanilla.  Add melted chocolate mixture and stir until combined.  Add flour mixture.  Mix until flour is incorporated.  Set aside for 10 minutes.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Place granulated sugar in a wide bowl. Place powdered sugar in a wide bowl.  Use a #50 disher (2 1/2 tsp) to scoop dough, and plop into granulated sugar.  Roll to coat.  Roll in powdered sugar next.  Place on parchment-lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove to wire rack to cool

Auntie Kathy's Carrot Cake

This recipe was given to me by my aunt over a decade ago.  She declared it was the best carrot cake, and she was right.

Auntie Kathy's Carrot Cake

     2 c flour
     1 tsp salt
     1 tsp baking soda
     2 tsp cinnamon
     2 c sugar
     1 c oil
     4 eggs
     8 oz carrots, grated (about 2 cups. . .may use up to 4 cups)
     1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 13" pan.  In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.  Add remaining ingredients.  Mix well.  Pour into prepared pan and bake 40 minutes.  Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

     1/2 c butter, softened
     8 oz cream cheese
     2 c powdered sugar, sifted
     2 tsp vanilla or 1 tbsp orange juice

Beat butter and cream cheese.  Add powdered sugar and vanilla or orange juice.  Beat until smooth.  Frost top of cake.  
If you prefer to remove cake from pan and frost top and sides, increase amount of powdered sugar to 3 1/2 cups.