kruizing with kikukat

Monday, April 7, 2014

Chocolate Cream Cheese Marble Cake

Another busy week/weekend under my belt.  It would've been nice to see LAMN, but I think we both knew that would be near impossible.  I expected her to be busy, but it turns out that I was busy too. I hope to see her when she comes back again. . .should be in a few weeks.

For the latter half of the work week, I pored over the Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) report which was prepared by the state after visiting our school. OMG!!!  As a language arts instructor, I am appalled at the way the report was written.  Not only was it fraught with inaccuracies, but the grammar was deplorable.  Is it unrealistic for me to expect better from the state?  And where is the responsible behavior portion?  We always teach the students to research issues properly. . .use factual information. . .be specific when giving feedback. . .cite sources properly.  The state report broke dozens of writing rules.  And don't even get me started on how the bullets were used!

As if the CNA report wasn't enough to keep me busy, I got home late from work on Friday because I had a late afternoon meeting.  My favorite colleague was AWOL for the meeting; no harm, no foul.  The important people showed up and we were productive in taking care of business.  By the time I got home I was too tired to cook so we ended up at Hilo Rice Noodle.  I made the mistake of ordering the beef broccoli chow fun.  Fail.  Don't order that.  The other dishes, salt & pepper squid and Peking ribs, were delicious.

The better part of the weekend was spent grading papers.  Mid-quarter entries will be due soon.  Because I teach primarily seniors, it's imperative that I keep on top of their grades and let the counselor know if they are in jeopardy of not earning credit.  The 1-credit course I teach is a graduation requirement.  While it's not uncommon for seniors to slack off during the last term, they still need to be sure they earn a passing grade for the year.  I have a few students who will be dangerously close to not passing, so its important to notify them early and keep on their tails.

I also managed to sneak in a quick trip to Costco with D1.  We had a nice drive over, and I even let D1 drive part of the way.  I will definitely miss her when she goes off to college, but I need to make it through this learning-to-drive phase first.  I know she will improve with time and practice, but it's still spooky.  Kudos to The Help who took her out for her first official (legal) driving session.  He said he wanted D1 to have a healthy respect for the road, but he didn't intend to go into heart attack alert himself along the way.  I wonder if I was the same way when I practiced my driving.

D1 stayed home this weekend (instead of traveling to Honolulu with Mr. Dependable & Co) to attend the crosstown rival high school's Junior Ball (yes, she had a date. . .didn't go stag. . . finally).  A nice boy invited her.   Bless his heart. . .he really is a nice boy (nice parents too) so I hope she was nice to him.  Before they drove off, the nice boy said, "she is always nice, aunty".  Bullshit!  She was probably twisting his arm when he said that.  Both Ds inherited the mouth and attitude of Mr. Dependable's mom so I'm always worried about what will come out.

D2 went to Honolulu with Mr. Dependable this weekend.  They celebrated a birthday with dinner at Tsukiji Fish Market (I saw pics of them grinding out) and adventure at Podium Raceway.  There was also some kind of duck gathering in Honolulu so they met up with their favorite duck, who was part of the entourage.  What an honor for him. . .being invited to travel home and speak to prospective students.  Seems he is doing very well in Eugene.  I'm sure it wasn't too difficult for D2 to convince her dad to take her to Legend for another plate of beef broccoli cake noodle.  I know the Legend dish is better than what I had on Friday.

I figured I needed some nourishment while doing my grades and prepping for a presentation at UH-Hilo so as soon as I got home from dinner on Friday night, I popped one of these babies into the oven.  I have never tried this recipe using a cake mix other than Duncan Hines; the other cake mixes sold here have pudding in the mix.  From my baking experience, I do notice a difference in the final product when I use Supermoist (Betty Crocker).  For mini cupcakes, it doesn't matter, but for cakes baked in a large pan, I prefer Duncan Hines.  D2 was happy to come home and find this waiting for her.  Like me, she has a major sweet tooth.

click on recipe title for printable recipe

     8 oz cream cheese, softened
     1/2 c sugar
     1/2 c chocolate chips
     1 box (about 18 oz.) Duncan Hines devils food cake mix*
     1 box chocolate instant pudding
     1 c hot water
     3/4 c vegetable oil
     1 tsp vanilla
     5 eggs, divided

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 13" pan.  In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and 1 egg.  Beat until smooth.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Set aside.  In a medium glass measuring cup, combine hot water, vegetable oil, and vanilla.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl, stir together cake mix and pudding.  Crack 4 eggs into bowl with cake mix and pudding.  Gradually add liquid while beating slowly.  When all liquid is added, beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.  Pour chocolate batter into prepared pan.  Using a spoon, plop cream cheese mixture over chocolate batter, spacing evenly.  Swirl cream cheese mixture and chocolate batter with the blunt end of a toothpick or the narrow end of a chopstick.  Bake for 55 minutes.  Set on a wire rack to cool completely.
*If you are using a new cake mix with less than 18 oz (about 15 oz.), add 6 tbsp flour to cake mix before proceeding with recipe.

Dear Uncle Al,
     Thank you for all that you've done for me over the years. . .

     -never taking me to Moloka`i (I would've died on the plane ride)
     -catching a`ama crab for me (yum)
     -subbing for me in my early years at HHS (the kids said you were more
          strict than me)
     -imparting your wisdom upon me in the most entertaining and humorous
          way (you gave me "names" to look out for)

     Like me, you were not a Viking by diploma, but it is where you left your
     mark.  I will never forget all the fun times hanging out with you in F-bldg.

     R.I.P. Uncle Al. . .you will be missed.

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