Yes, this is the inside of our refrigerator. This isn’t a post about boxed wine, but we might as well have that discussion right up front. Yes, that is boxed wine in my refrigerator. Yes, I drink it, and it’s only $14.99 for five liters and that is pretty good for Hawaii prices. If you think you are too special to drink boxed wine, read this, and maybe give it a try sometime.
Now that I have that out of the way, I would like to redirect your attention to the homemade salad dressing. You will note that I have a poured the dressing into a very cute Mason jar, which is what you do when you belong to Pinterest. Everything on the Pinterest site is in Mason jars, covered in ivy, or on a stick and billed as a “pop.” To be honest, I used a Mason jar because I broke my plastic salad dressing shaker, and if I use my large Pyrex measuring cup to hold the dressing, then I don’t have a way to measure liquids. This is also a clue as to how often I make homemade marinara sauce (rarely). I have to find uses for all of these dang jars.
Now we get to the meat of this post. If you are buying buttermilk (ranch) salad dressing, I think you’re so much better off making your own. It’s absolutely delicious and very easy to make. If you don’t thicken it, it’s also a perfect dip for vegetables.
Cruel Ironing’s Fresh Buttermilk Salad Dressing
½ cup sour cream (I use “light”)
½ cup mayonnaise (again, I use the light”)
1 ¼ cups buttermilk (sorry to be repetitive, but again, “light”)
1 green onion, diced
¼ cup parsley, diced
¾ tablespoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon pepper (optional)
Combine sour cream, mayonnaise, and buttermilk in large bowl. Add the onion, parsley, garlic salt and pepper (optional). Whisk until smooth. If you like a thinner dressing, add more buttermilk.
We love Mexican food, which can be a little bit of a challenge to get in Hawaii. However, it can be done, deliciously. The above photos highlights some of the island's bounty. Sinaloa Tortillas makes great, fresh tortillas (we really like the whole wheat). May's Hawaii, besides great teri-marinated meats, produces a delicious Kalua pork -- which is fabulous in a taco, burrito, enchilada, etc. The Hilo Farmer's Market can provide the avocados, lettuces, onions, etc. A pineapple salsa makes a great finish -- I love this recipe from Two Peas and their Pod.
Last Thursday night, I made some startling self-observations on my way into the kitchen.
I was holding an empty wineglass.
My fingers were covered in cheese-puff dust.
I was wearing sweats.
Over the sweats, I was wearing my fluffy pink bathrobe.
I actually stopped, mid-stride, and thought whoa. You are just a little bit scary right now.
Although only Thursday, it had been a very long week. I went through part of Wednesday thinking it was, in fact, Thursday, until a co-worker set me straight. That was a little embarrassing. I only made it through Friday on that weekend adrenaline surge thing.
So, I was not at my best on Thursday. I also acknowledge that I was stress-eating (hello, cheese puffs) and I did pay the price for all that salt by waking up at midnight with a wicked thirst.
The thing that kept me going, though, was dinner. I was just too tired to cook, and I looked too scary to go get anything, so I decided on Hawaiian comfort food: Spam, Eggs, and Rice.
I looked for a recipe link for this delicacy, just because I am lazy. I found some that there were . . . okay, but then I thought: Cripes, cruelironing. How hard is this? NOT.
Cook some rice. Use the package directions if this is hard. I usually make four servings.
Scramble some eggs. I like 3, for the two of us.
Slice up a can of spam. YES, SPAM. A can is about six slices, I think. To get the authentic Hawaii taste, pour some shoyu (soy sauce, mainlanders) into your frying pan, and add the spam. Gently fry until the spam is carmelized. There's your elegant food blogger word for you food snobs.
Plate the spam, rice and eggs, and enjoy.
Note: At just about any McDonald's in Hawaii, you can order this for breakfast. Give it a whirl.
I just put a pan of Betty's brownies into the oven. While I was mixing them up, I remembered a pretty good story and thought you might enjoy it.
First off, for those of you food bloggers who wouldn't dream of using a packaged mix, get over it. I have cracked an egg, performed a minimum of measuring, stirred, and in 46 minutes I will have warm brownies.
Here is the story. When I was sixteen, mom and I were in our kitchen. It was during its "harvest gold" period and I do still wonder if that color will come back. I remember that Mom was reading the paper. She made her "startled" noise.
Me: What's wrong?
Mom: I didn't know this.
Me: Know what?
Mom: Betty Crocker isn't real.
Me: You're kidding, right?
Me: (Rolling sixteen-year-old eyes) How could you not know that?
Mom: Oh, I don't know. I didn't think about it that much.
Although I could have gone into full teenage-jerk mode, after a little mild ribbing ("You do know there isn't an Aunt Jemima, right?") I let it go. She seemed sort of bummed out.
I like 'old Betty. Not only can we make a mean pan of brownies, but she saved my bacon more than once when I was a newlywed. I have her cookbook, use her website (she got tech-y as she matured) and trust her products.
Best of all: Every time we make something together, I think of my mom, and smile.