Sunday, August 22, 2010

Might as well eat worms!

3 of my children have birthdays in the summer. DD#1 in mid July, DS#2 in mid August, and DS#1 end of September. And for some unknown reason they all prefer to have one giant birthday party together?

Odd I know.

I make sure to do something special for each of them on their day. DD#1 got her skirt, and a pedi, DS#1 had his during our adventure, so he got a present, and small cake with his name at on it in the terminal on Hawaii, and we took him to Chili's for supper.

This cake was from the folks over at Family Fun and it's called "Bug Mountain". DD#1 frosted it, the boys made and put the dirt on, and it was a group effort to put the bugs on (the bugs are plastic, and the worms are gummy). It was Strawberry on the inside.

The swarm of teenagers came over and decorated the trees, went in the house and got the food out. Pretty much made it so all I had to do was knock on the neighbors doors and say "Come eat!"

Besides the cake I made my black bean salsa, and chicken with spinach salad put into puff pastry. The chicken salad is just regular chicken salad, I just add spinach when I am filling puff pastry, the puff pastry's are not hard to make, just fiddly.

Bring 1 cup and 6 tablespoons of butter to a boil, remove the pot from the heat, beat in 1 cup of flour, 1/4 tsp salt, (1tsp sugar for sweet pastries) put back on heat, continue to beat till it pulls away from the sides of the pot, but in bowl, continue to beat till cool enough to add in 4 eggs, beat till batter is smooth. Fill pastry bag (zip top bag) pipe out to desired size (1 inch across for bit size, 3 inch across for sandwich size). With a wet finger, smooth over the tips, bake at 400 for 15 min and then at 350 for another 35 min. Let cool, for sandwiches, cut open and fill, for cream puffs, poke a hole in the side with a small piping tip and squeeze in filling (whipped cream/pudding/gnash/moose).

Everything was set up, and we were waiting on one more person to come out when the rain started! in the scramble to get everything covered I realized that if we just ate the puff sandwiches we'd have less to try to cover. Then the rain stopped and we gave up waiting.

Also this week, I made some fresh corn bread for breakfast, and on the side we had apple sauce. Nothing fancy, but I was craving it, and the kids like it.
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
6 tbs melted butter
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1 1/4 cup corn meal
1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 table spoons sugar
1 cup corn

Combine wet ingredients then fold in dry, will be lumpy. Pour into a greased pan bake at 400 till light golden.

To make this more "breakfasty" I tripled the sugar, left out the corn, and lightly sprinkled the top with brown sugar to make it pretty.

Better Get Me To The Church on Time

Most of you know (because we saw you) that we went on vacation for 3 weeks to Florida.

This was exciting, now excitement can be both good and bad, and we had both on this trip, as it took us 5 days to get to Florida we spent 8 days there and it took us 8 more days to get back. We traveled Space A with the military to get to the States, and then commercial once we were stateside.

The reason we went to Florida was, DH's Best Friend since they were like 10 was finally getting married! He brought her here to Oki last time we were stationed here, and we heartily approve of her! SO, we couldn't miss out on the big day! (also they have a 4 bedroom house, so they have room for us and our brood!) It was a short wedding, in their back yard.


The reception lasted the rest of the day and was as informal as the wedding, with finger food an snacks, and "Rock Band" played well into the night.

My camera was safely on DH's desk here on Oki while we were on our adventure so our pics are limited to what I could scavenge from other people. Till right at the end of our trip where we realized that we could purchase "throw away cameras" and have them developed at a 1 hr place.

I was delegated to cutting the fabric for the backdrop for the ceremony and making the rice krispie squares in the wedding colors. This still saddens me, but as our arrival could not be guaranteed the bride could not depend on my skills.

Most of our trip was spent in various terminals and hotels throughout New Orleans, California, and Hawaii. Checking out every morning and hauling our things with us in Taxi's to see if there were any available flights for our family of 6 back to our part of the world.

On the return trip we got "stuck" in Hawaii for 4 days (who wouldn't want to get stuck there right?). I had had enough of hotels, and walking around, bum ankle remember? More on that later I'm sure. So on our very last day (as we had given up on flying Space A, and bought tickets back from Hawaii) I splurged and took the family to the Polynesian Cultural Center (google it, it's worth the effort). I'll link in my flikr page so you can browse all the pics.

In Hawaii, there's a most remarkable breakfast item called the "Loco mocco" it's a bed of rice, with a medium sized hamburger pattie, and 2 fried eggs, covered with brown gravy. MMMMM that thing is DIVINE, if you wait till about 9/930 ish to eat it, all you need for lunch is a fruit cup and you're set till supper time. Also Poi is kinda (almost exactly) like the purple sweet potatoes here.

And if you're a family of 6 going on vacation and on a budget, stay with a newlywed couple, that had too much food at their wedding, your mission, eat all the food! LOL

It was good to see everyone, I wish we could have had more time!

Bowling for Soup

I'm a month late in posting this one, but in my defense we were getting ready to travel to the other side of the world the next day, so my mind was on other things?

Better late than never right? So, here's what I did on July 23!

This was my first attempt at homemade soba soup. I think it turned out more like Ramen due to the style of noodle I used beeing too thin, but it was Uber tasty. I served it with "pork cutlet".

To make the soup I boiled the heck out of a ham hock. Boiled it all day in fact, in just plain water. I just checked on it to make sure it had water in the pot all day. Once I was ready to make the soup, I picked the ham hock clean and left the meat in the broth then added half a head of cabbage, chopped, and 1 and a half bags of noodles and their flavor packtes ( not sure what's in those flavor packets) and just heated till the cabbage was soft and the noodles heated through. The Pork Cutlet is just "scallopini" (a thin cut of pork sirloin, if you cant find it, cut a sirloin roast into half inch slices and then pound flat) seasoned with Chinese 5 spice, and salt and pepper. First dredge them lightly in cornstarch, then dip in eggs seasoned with salt and pepper, and then coat with Panco (bread crumbs found in the Asian section, or there's a Corn Flake's version.) Pan fry till dark golden, and then turn over.

It's a simple but filling meal and the clarity of the soup is a nice contrast to the fried cutlet. This is served at restaurants with a shredded raw cabbage salad.