kruizing with kikukat

Monday, July 15, 2013

Toaster Oven Food: Thyme Roasted Almonds

This summer has been anything but quiet.  I have been busy trying to develop my pacing guides.  Luckily, of the three classes I'll be teaching, two of them are also taught by someone else.  I was glad that she was willing to collaborate on the pacing guides with me.  I was even more astounded that she trusted my judgment.  It will be difficult for me to ever turn my back on her, as she helped me without promise of any gain.  I have gained a deep respect for her, and she has gained my trust and loyalty.

I've also spent tons of time (and money) on my classroom.  I managed to secure the use of an lcd projector, and thanks to Kikukat Mom, I have 2 laptops and a desktop for my classroom.  The former DH gave me a new (still-in-box) desktop computer for me to use, and he even found a monitor for me (all 15" of it).  I may need to swap out my monitor from home because the last time I used a 15" monitor I was under 30!

I brought in my own swivel chair from home, and I took advantage of a great sale (and free shipping) at  I'm $200 poorer, but I have a cart for my lcd projector and a locking file cabinet.  $230 got me a nice fridge/freezer which is made by a brand that normal people buy.  And for about that same price, I indulged in a document camera by HoverCam.  Now I normally wouldn't be so quick to shell out my own $, but given that it was immensely difficult to get the custodians to remove the unwanted (junk) furniture I inherited and to have the school provide me with an lcd projector, I decided it would be best if I took care of myself (and not wait for the school to kick in the $).  The only thing I'm missing now are students!

I'm realizing that although I've been complaining about the pacing guides taking up a lot of my time, the outfitting of my room has taken up a lot of my time as well.  While I feel I've been terribly busy, I think D1 has been even busier.  Last week she attended a student leadership conference at UH-Manoa.  A few days after she returned, she participated in two-and-a-half days of intense jumping, kicking, and screaming at cheer camp.  And although she fulfilled all her required time for her internship, she has continued to volunteer her time at the lab, extracting DNA from various fly species.

D1s internship this summer has been a totally different experience from her internship last summer.  Last summer she was at Gemini Telescope in the HR department.  She was too young to go up to the mountain, so HR was the only option.  She enjoyed Auntie Carolyn, but the experience convinced her that HR was not something she wanted to pursue as a career.  In spite of the disgusting media (flies in all stages of the life cycle), D1 loves the work in the lab.  Without flinching, she talks about handling fly larvae and pupae.  Early on, I got to look around at the lab, and I was led into a room full of fly cages.  The room reeked.  I cannot even describe the smell, but I was told it was fly pheromones.  I can say with certainty that I am NOT attracted to the smell of horny flies who want to get it on! 

D2 hasn't been as busy as D1 or myself, but I've been cracking the whip about her keeping her room tidy.  My efforts have produced very little results, but soon I'll just give up and stop yelling.  The Japanese guests who will be here in two weeks will need to tiptoe and stay on the narrow path through the mess in order to get to the futon.  She has been keeping tabs on all the school supplies we've purchased so far.  I'm glad to see her at least taking an interest in that.  It tells me that she is looking forward to school, and that IS a good thing.

Earlier this summer, when D2 was in summer school, her class maintained a small garden.  She brought home a beet and a small tomato.  She must've enjoyed gardening because she has been bugging me to start a garden.  I guess she didn't realize that I attempted to start a garden too, but it didn't work out the way I wanted it.  I tried growing lettuce hydroponically.  I did it before with success, but this time, the lettuce just didn't grow.  The seeds sprouted, but the plants never got big.  When work starts up, I'll ask my colleague how he does it.  He always posts pics on Facebook of huge mustard cabbages and cucumbers.

I also tried planting kale and basil (twice), and that didn't work out well either.  The bugs loved it!  They completely overlooked the sage, tarragon and thyme which I had growing in the same area.  All three of these herbs can be chopped up alone or solo and mixed into softened butter.  A pat of herb butter on a grilled steak does wonders.  I love to use sage when I roast poultry.  It also tastes great in a grilled cheese sandwich (honest!).  I use tarragon in a chicken salad and also in hunter-style chicken.  Thyme is one of my most favorite herbs because it is so versatile.  Turkey brine needs thyme, and I'll throw a sprig of it in soups.  And I love it as a seasoning for roasted marcona almonds!

click on recipe title for printable recipe

     1 lb marcona almonds, roasted and lightly salted
     2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, minced
     2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
     1/2 tsp salt

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.  In a flat pan with a low rim, toss ingredients together.  Roast for 10 minutes, stirring twice.  Remove from oven, and place almonds in another pan.  Toss for 1 minute.  Cool.  Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.

In two weeks, my vacation will be over.  I feel like I haven't even started my vacation.  A little break would be nice.

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