Hatch Red Chile Sauce

Hatch Red Chile SauceHatch Chiles from New Mexico make this red sauce. The ornamental cluster of dried pods was a gift from a good friend. Now one of my best friends! Ha! My Enchiladas are more amazing. And today I’m making my first Chile Colorado Beef dish. This sauce has some heat, moderate … just enough to give a little bite but not hide the flavor. I’d like to give credit here but the printed recipe card was simply slipped into the bag with the string of dried pods and has no author. It’s a recipe that won’t disappoint! Give it a try! Don’t know where to buy Hatch Chiles? Try Amazon for dried pods and powder and here for the fresh product. You won’t need luck with this recipe!

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Outdoor Pizza Oven

Outdoor Pizza Oven

This may take away any thought about me being pretentious. I’ve been wanting one of those super duper expensive outdoor pizza ovens for years. You know, the kind that costs thousands. I might even be able to kinda afford one. But instead I opted for this $100 Cost Plus World Market version. This little terra-cotta oven looks like it will hold up for some years. Wonder how the pizza will bake. Will it be crispy and perfect like I perceive it would be if baked in one of those pricey ovens? We shall see!

Don’t be fooled by my outdoor stove. It’s only providing a little more height than the original pizza oven stand. Yes, I’ll be burning wood inside the pizza oven to heat it up. I’m going to include a pizza stone inside as well. The online reviews of this wood burning oven were 3+ out of 5 (best). (Most reviews were 5’s but one review was a 1 because the oven arrived broken.) One particular criticism was the lack of a crispy crust. Although this could be secondary to the heat of the oven, the crust recipe and who knows what else, I’ve opted for the pizza stone. Wish me luck!

The 1930’s Wedgwood stove was my grandmother’s. She used it for many years to cook all our favorites. Try her Portuguese Beans with Linguica or her Portuguese Marinated Pork. My brother has great ambitions for me to fix up grandma’s stove. I was actually thinking of using it in the yard for plants. Oops!

Family Vacation!

VacationWhat a son-in-law and daughter! Making me part of their yearly Hawaiian Island vacation! And I can’t thank them enough. The resort was fabulous … The food never-ending … The sites breathtaking. All this and with my daughter’s little family. It was perfect.

in flight

Snacks and manageable toys were a must for the little one on this six hour flight. My daughter is the ultimate traveler … packing all the right goodies, toys and clothing. And if you want to see her latest in beachwear give her blog a visit. I promise, you won’t be disappointed! Sapphirediaries







While I’m recouping from jet lag enjoy these recipes with a bit of Hawaiian flavor.

Hawaiian Muffins

Hawaiian Muffins

Coconut Cookies

Coconut Cookies

Pineapple Cream

Pineapple Cream



Coconut Cake

Coconut Cake






Faux Hamburger Helper

Updated with a Little Kick

Homemade Hamburger Helper

One of my kids’ favorites back in the day! Mildly spiced and a little kick bring this favorite up to date. Nope we never bought Hamburger Helper. (The convenience of a box mix rarely crossed my mind. It seemed extravagant. Ha!)

My recipe was made from just looking at the box and guessing the taste. So, if this isn’t close don’t be surprised. Just know this is a tasty quick meal kids like.

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Max’s Sweet and Saucy Birthday Party

Sweet and Saucy BirthdayWe love a party! And when you add Sweet and Saucy Shop to the mix … It’s just amazing. Max’s 3rd Birthday and what a time we had. 

Sweet and Saucy BirthdayMickey pancakes smothered in berries with bacon and eggs on the side. Mmm. Then the delicious cake from Sweet and Saucy. Check out this shop here. It’s amazing!

Sweet and Saucy BirthdayWe picked up a few extra treats to have later too.

Sweet and Saucy

Happy Birthday Max!

Our Thanksgiving

Our Table

Preparing Thanksgiving Dinner can certainly cause angst especially if time is limited. Procrastinating only increases this feeling. Yep, this is me! My best advice (to myself and anyone else) is to create a schedule. And depending how much you need to accomplish, you may begin this schedule several weeks out from your first guest arrival. I include housecleaning, decorating, menu’s (if multiple meals for guests), shopping, baking, table setting, and main meal preparation. I get pretty detailed. This really helps. And a glass of Pinot Noir helps too!

My daughter is carrying on the tradition of a beautifully set table. It just makes the food taste better. That’s not my opinion, apparently there’s research on the subject!

Check out her Friendsgiving Celebration, here.

From our table to yours wishing you, your family and friends a most wonderful Holiday.

Pumpkin Pie Spice Caramel Corn

Pumpkin Pie Spice Caramel CornButtery sweet caramel with just a touch of pumpkin spices … What a great Fall Tradition! Shape the popcorn while hot into balls add a stem for an extra treat. Or simply allow the finished caramel corn to cool then break it apart to serve in a dish. Beware, one bite and you’re hooked. This recipe makes 6 large popcorn balls or approximately 12 cups of caramel corn. You may modify this recipe by adding 10 ounces or so of nuts during the baking period … Or candies can be added after the baking as the caramel corn is cooling. This is just a great recipe to add to your Fall recipe collection!


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Kitchen getaway Everyday Favorites

Everyday Go To

Kitchen Favorites My kitchen is filled with utensils, special pots and saucepans and other kitchen gadgets  … Even some really pricey equipment gifted to me by my children. I treasure them all! But for everyday cooking I seem to choose the same items over and over … I wanted to share them with you. I’ve mentioned many times Goldtouch Bakeware by William Sonoma. I love the clean up of this nonstick ware as well as the even baking, and the attractive look. (I love the look of my banged up copperware but can’t handle burnt on food on my bakeware. So, you won’t be seeing those artsy photos that I, too, love of blackened cookie sheets on my blog.) Check out these and numerous bakeware pieces available in Goldtouch here.

You might recognize the orange of Rachael Ray cookware … My piece is actually a bright blue. It’s just so versatile. I have another wok I use for high temperature stir fry but I love the Rachael Ray wok for one dish meals. It’s just a great size, has a nonstick surface and the heat is distributed well. Take a look on Amazon for the details here. Check out another Rachael Ray wok you may find more to your preference here.

Every kitchen needs mixing bowls and I admit I don’t have these Crate & Barrel beauties. I love Portuguese dishware … So, why wouldn’t I love these! Take a trip to Crate & Barrel here and check it out.

Wooden spoons are a favorite of mine. But that one dish with a lot of cheese or that requires a close swipe to the bottom of the skillet … a wooden spoon doesn’t get it. In this Target display of utensils I have the spoon only. I have purchased two in the past, one from a local speciality store and another at Sur La Tab. Target just has this complete set … and why not! What is really cool about this utensil is the resting back lifting the food covered portion right off your countertop. Give this Target utensil set a look. Or here for Sur La Table.

What is so special about this 3 quart stainless steel saucepan? It has a dripless pour spout with a lid that allows pouring without removing. Perfect for draining so many things; hard boiled eggs, pasta, boiled potatoes and other veggies, on and on. Too, the lid allows steam to escape either through large or small holes OR not. It’s no mess pouring and multi-functional. Take a look here at Bed Bath & Beyond for more details.

Last but not least is my apron. I have ruined many shirts and blouses. This makes better sense … especially because it’s my Kitchen Getaway apron!

Deep Pit How To

Deep Pit Barbecue

Dan and David have done it again. My brother, Dan, has been cooking Deep Pit Style for decades. It’s always for a special event where there’s going to be a big crowd. It began with the Willitts’ Pump Company Christmas Celebration. Now he’s asked to do this for wedding receptions, picnics and school or church functions. Even a rodeo! David, his youngest, has taken these photos, and provided much help too. David’s our family’s official chef.

Deep Pit BarbecueDan’s going to tell us about the materials to use and how to use them to achieve the right temperature and cook to perfection!

It’s that time!  I have the full instructions. This is pretty foolproof. But Dan has some funny stories about first timers. Like a friend who had hoped for succulent pit style turkeys for a Thanksgiving celebration. The pit hadn’t been successfully sealed and the fire kept smoldering. When the pit cover was opened hours later only ash was left. It’s important to bring the dirt right to the very outside edges of the metal pit, the complete depth, as seen here. Otherwise air will leak into the interior and the fire will continue.

Just to clarify, we are cooking with hot ash/coals and with the heated surrounding earth. Not flame. With this said know the initial fire is key. In this 30″ diameter by 40″ deep pit Dan makes a hot oakwood or other hardwood fire and maintains this hot flaming fire for 8 to 10 hours, usually starting at 6am. Once this fire is well underway the pit is filled to the top with hardwood adding more wood as the day progresses. (Do not use pinewood.) After the 8-10 hours of burning, the coals are ready for the meat. (During the fire preparation have your burlap bags soaking in a large bucket of water for the same amount of hours.) Dan places (drops it carefully) a 26″ diameter metal plate over the ash … Lowers the wrapped meat with a hook (wrapping discussed later) onto the metal plate … Places a lid over the top of the metal pit to totally cover … And covers the lid and immediate surrounding area with dirt, packing it tightly to keep air out. Follow this packing with a good sprinkle of water. The fire and burning coals inside will eventually go out. The meat can stay in this underground oven 24 hours without overcooking or becoming cold. If the meat is placed into the pit at say 5pm it can be removed the following day anywhere from 10am to 6pm.


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My Favorites

Hanford Portuguese Bakery

Tulare Portuguese Bakery

Portuguese BakeriesIt’s not always easy to find what I need for my Portuguese recipes … Or to find Portuguese confections and baked goods perfectly prepared. But here are two places I shop when I can. Hanford Bakery has speciality meats and fish too. Andy would always remark the Portuguese skinless and boneless sardines are the best. Right next to this on the shelf are other delicacies that are sure to please. Shopping here is a feel good experience. BTW, the Goulart Linguica as it sizzles on the grill or fries up in the pan smells most like our homemade. Still waiting to dig in and compare the flavors. Yum.

PS The Goulart’s not only smells as it cooks like my brother’s recipe it tastes very similar. Delicious! I say it’s in the smoking!