The arrival of out-of-town guests means that Kikukat Mom's family will be getting together. Once when they were here, I made a huge mess of spaghetti for them. Another time we did the build-your-own sushi thing. If duty calls and I have everyone over (aside from New Years Day), I will make and serve crab lasagna.
This is a recipe which has been in my arsenal for years. Its easy to make and it heats up nicely too. The last time I made it, I posted a picture of it on facebook. I received all kinds of requests for tastes (obviously these people are close by) and recipes. One of my classmates posted a status update saying he and his children made this for his wife's birthday, and it was a huge hit. That's the kind of stuff which makes me smile.
This was a super busy weekend for me. D1 had a birthday party. I can't remember the last time she had a bunch of friends over for her birthday, but her friends seemed to have a nice time. D1 asked The Help to set up a "photo booth", and we bought a bunch of stick props from amazon, but the girls just took a group picture. . .not much impromptu photo-boothing with just 1 or 2 at a time. Oh well.
The only other "planned" activity was swimming. I'm glad the weather held up. In spite of it being December, the temperature yesterday hovered around 80 so the girls got to splash around. The Help said I would've died if I had been around when he removed the pool corner guards (he has these contraptions in the corners of the deep end to mitigate the effects of the vinyl from constant sun bombardment). A whole bunch of geckos (the fleshy kine) had set up house behind the guards!
The party food was all stuff D1 requested: spicy soybeans, tea eggs, somen inari, lumpia, crispy chicken, build-your-own-sushi, 7-layered jello, chocolate birthday cake. The biggest hit was undoubtedly the crispy chicken. It all went! Mr. Dependable showed up with D2 and fed his face. D2 shoved a bunch of somen inari in her mouth. Mr. Dependable took notice of The Help's full-light photo booth set up. I had to chuckle when The Help offered Mr. Dependable his services, "I can take professional photos of you and the other people in your office. I have slimming software too!" Bwahahaha.
|A free collage by Smilebox|
D1's cake was purchased from Short N Sweet, a local bakery. I first sampled Short N Sweet goodies when they were a hole-in-the-wall place in Kohala. A few years later, they moved in to Hilo, and The Help and I have been regular patrons. The lemon cloud cookie is really ono. One of my coworkers, RN, loves the banana roulade. While D1's cake was not inexpensive, it was delicious! The buttercream frosting was just sweet enough, and the chocolate cake was a deep, dark Devil's food. In spite of the price, I will not hesitate to buy another cake from them. . .it's the kind of cake where you don't mind eating the leftovers.
This week is another busy week. There is a football banquet this evening. The coach invited us, and while we were not an official part of the football team, it would be hard not to attend. The coach will be using about half of The Help's pictures in a slideshow. I'm certain the boys will enjoy seeing their pictures. The Help took some pretty wicked action shots of the boys. His reputation as an action photographer has grown. . .kids who play other sports at school have asked D1 if "unko" could take pics of them. In fact, boys who play football at OTHER schools, both on the Big Island and on ANOTHER ISLAND have asked D1 if "unko" can take pics of them! The Help keeps insisting he is a FOOD photographer.
And not to be left out, D2 has a showcase dinner this week too. She has been volunteering her time and assisting one of the after-school classes at her school. She and her friend KN have been working with the lower-elementary students on various crafts. The instructor has been kind enough to let D2 and KN make their own crafts too. This past week, D2 brought home a self-contained red shrimp habitat in a Bartles & Jaymes wine cooler bottle!
click on recipe title for printable recipe
1/2 lb lasagna noodles (not "no boil" type)
1 tsp olive oil
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 lb crab meat
16 oz cottage cheese
1 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 tbsp pesto (if unavailable, use 2 tsp minced, fresh basil)
1 c shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese
Cook noodles according to package directions, adding olive oil to boiling water. Rinse and drain. In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, soup (remove 1/4 c of soup and set aside), crab, cottage cheese, onion, egg, salt, and pesto. Mix reserved soup with 1/4 c water. Pour into 8 x 13" pan, spreading all over bottom of pan. Layer 1/2 of noodles, 1/2 of crab mixture, and 1/2 if cheddar cheese. Repeat. Sprinkle top with parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Let stand at least 15 minutes before serving.