kruizing with kikukat

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Back To Work

I feel like I've been gone for a while so thought I'd post something and tell you why I've been semi-neglecting this blog.  As you know, this is the first REAL summer vacation I've had in nearly a decade, and in spite of nearly 20 years in the DOE, this might be just my 3rd summer where I've really had a vacation.  Vacation has been nice, but part of my time was spent wondering what to do.  Of course, the kids helped answer that question with all my chauffeuring duties.

About a month ago, I got a call from my new boss lady, "asking" me if I was interested in going to Honolulu to attend a Model Schools Conference.  Some of you may remember this conference, as a few years ago, the Hawaii school superintendent got in major kim chee for allowing LOTS of Hawaii teachers to attend this conference in Orlando, Florida.  This year's Model Schools Conference was held in Honolulu@Hilton Hawaiian Village (conference room rate of $149), so I saw it as an opportunity for several things:  ho'olauna w/boss lady, hooking up with some great friends, eating ono food, and, my ultimate favorite, SHOPPING.

The timing of Model Schools Conference coincided with the end of D2's Summer Academy.  I was a little disappointed because I had been on her all summer to complete her work, and I didn't want to let up in the last week.  D2's teacher and I had built a very trusting relationship over the summer, and I wanted to send her the message that I was there to support D2.  But with work calling, I put my trust into my parents' hands.  Not gonna say much about how that went.  If you know my parents, you can pretty much guess what happened there.

Anyway, in the flurry of emails which went back and forth between me and D2's teacher was the request (from the teacher) for me to share my Browned Butter Biscotti recipe with her.  D2 had taken a few pieces to school for her, and she thought her parents would enjoy having some with their coffee.  I assured her that while the recipe seemed complicated, the end product would be well-worth it.

The basic process for making biscotti is to place your dough in a straight line of even thickness.  This is easiest done with a template.  Trace a long rectangle on parchment paper, then turn the paper over and follow your marked rectangle when placing the dough.

Also try to get the dough to an even height.  This ensure a nice, even log after the first bake.

Using a serrated knife, slice the baked logs on the diagonal just as soon as the logs are cool enough for you to handle.  If you let them cool too much, slicing will be more difficult.    Place each piece on its side for the 2nd bake. 

Remove them from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack. 
WARNING:  These will disappear in no time.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Happy Fourth of July!!!  I'm spending my day basking in co-dependence, rather than celebrating independence.  I'm co-dependent on all my animals to keep me happy.  Just finished cleaning house for Joy & Davi. I just love the smell of Soft-sorbent Lavender bedding!  Also finished cleaning the litter robots.  I'm getting tired of the Scoop Away smell, so if anyone has cat litter suggestions, please pass them on . . . looking for something with a light, fresh scent thats not too perfume-y.  Also, it HAS to be the clumping type in order to use in the litterbot.

For everyone who thought I was nuts, this is just gonna prove it.  I added to my family yet again.  Hmmmm, now what could it be this time?  We already have dogs, cats, fish & mice.  Could it be a Jackson's Chameleon?  If you know me, you'll know geckos scare the shit outta me (and Dee), so there is NO WAY a stinking reptile will be added to my 'dependents' list.  No, Akira is not reptilian.  Akira is AVIAN.  He is a 5-month old Jenday Conure and he hails from Pearl City.

Akira has been keeping me busy.  He is very comfortable being handled, so he requires continued socialization to keep him happy.
Even though I could never get into any of the Harry Potter or Twilight books, I've been able to get into reading all I can about conures and what keeps them happy/alive.  One big no-no is allowing non-stick cookware to overheat.  The fumes can be deadly to birds.  Luckily, most of my cookware is stainless steel Calphalon (remember, Co?) so just need to be sure the food fumes aren't too strong.

With Akira around, I've been trying to have a variety of fruits and vegetables on hand.  Akira enjoys some kind of fresh fruit or vegetable daily.  He loves apple slices and cannot get enough of merliton.  The munched piece at the top of the skewer is a merliton slice after Akira had his fill. 

I wanted to give him some watercress, but since he is rather tiny, there was no way he could eat the whole bunch, so I had to think of something to make with all the watercress I had.  After buying a bag of pre-soaked beef teriyaki from George's Meat Market, I decided to make Korean Rice.  Turned out great, even though I forgot that I needed kim chee.  I just ate the rice along with some taegu (Man Nani brand is my favorite).

I know most of you don't have birds, but you can still make Korean Rice.  I don't have any pictures of the finished dish, but it would be great to mound the rice in a shallow bowl and take to a party.  I'm thinking that when I reheat the leftovers (yes, I had TONS of leftovers, as I cannot eat 4 cups of rice by myself), I might make an over-medium egg for a homestyle bi bim bap.