I am still recovering from the holiday party season. Having two holidays a week apart is brutal. My family doesn't do much for Christmas, but it is still a monumental task to get the decorations put away.
The best part of the holiday season usually comes after Christmas when my cousins come to town. This year, three of them made it to Hilo. I had them over for a cozy NYE dinner. I made prime rib, roasted garlic crab, garlic noodles, and caprese tomatoes. I've included links to the Rasa Malaysia recipes (crab and noodles), but the noodle recipe is actually different from the one I use. If you follow the Rasa Malaysia thread, the garlic noodle recipe was originally posted years ago. Since then, the recipe has been re-tooled. I use the original recipe from years ago. I have not tried the new recipe (with the Maggi seasoning), so I don't know how it compares. I didn't have time to check on a link to the original recipe. And really. . .the original recipe was kick-ass, so I'm not sure why it needed to be changed.
For NYE dessert, I served amaretto custard bread pudding. My cousin brought a Hawaiian Pie Company strawberry guava pie. Both were delicious.
The Help was thrilled with the bottles of RedBreast and Laphroaig brought over from Oahu. I am definitely not a fan of whiskey, but I cannot help thinking they'd taste awfully good in some kind of dessert. Maybe when he is not looking. . .
Although the food and drink were fabulous, the best part was being able to just sit and hang with the cousins, something you cannot do at a restaurant. My cousins are all so awesome, and we don't always have the luxury of being in one place all together. They had a rough start to 2015, so I'm hoping 2016 will be a better year for them, despite the fact that Kikukat Dad is hounding them to go to Japan with him again. I know, I know. . .I will owe them big time for the travel-sitting.
The second half of the school year begins tomorrow (for teachers...begins on Wednesday for many students). Glad I got my grades and pacing guide done before I left for vacation. I'm the lazy type who doesn't like to work, but there are a bunch of people I work with whom I adore, and it will be nice to see them again.
What I am NOT looking forward to is D1's departure in a few days. Gotta brace myself for that. Even though she drove me crazy at times (and cost me over $200 to replace a car key she "misplaced". . .wtf, can make dean's list but cannot keep track of a car key), it was really nice having her home. Even Shaka is now saying her name!
Since I'm trying to stretch out the holiday season (since it means D1 is still here), I'm going to continue last week's recipe, which was microwave daifuku mochi. While a variety of fillings can be used, including the ever-convenient pre-made koshian and tsubushian (comes in cans of plastic bags), my filling of choice is shiro-an, shiro meaning "white" in Japanese.
click on recipe title for printable recipe
1 lb lima beans (dried)
2 c sugar
dash of salt
Soak beans overnight in water to cover. Slip skins off before cooking. Place beans in pot with water to cover and cook until soft. Add sugar and salt and cook until mixture is almost dry and forms a ball, about 30 minutes, stirring constantly. When cooking, add as little water as possible - if there is too much water, it takes much longer to cook to the stiff stage. Yield: 50 "an" balls (using a #60 disher).