kruizing with kikukat

Monday, May 30, 2016

Auntie's Chinese Salad Sauce

Memorial Day. . . a day to remember the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. 

Memorial Day weekend also marks the unofficial start of the picnic/outdoor eating/beach-going season.  Treat yourself to a refreshing salad to kick off summer. 

Many years ago, my auntie gave me this recipe, and we've been using it in our salad dressing rotation.  This dressing is strong, so my recommendation is to dress greens lightly.  Feel free to add won ton chips for additional crunch or throw in leftover chicken pieces for a chicken salad variation.

 click on recipe title for printable recipe
Auntie's Chinese Salad Sauce

     1 1/2 tbsp peanut oil
     1 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
     1/2 tsp peanut butter
     2 tbsp plum sauce
     1 tbsp sugar
     3 tbsp rice vinegar
     1 tsp salt
     1/4 tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients and blend well.  Serve with mixed greens.

Monday, May 23, 2016

My favorite Drop Biscuits

What an awfully long week!

Commencement was all-consuming.

I did no cooking all week.  I couldn't even bring myself to cook this weekend.  Maybe I will recover sometime this week.  Maybe not.  Thank goodness for graduation party invites.

If I had been able to get off my ass yesterday, I would've made these biscuits.  Instead, The Help went to Jack In The Box and got me a biscuit sandwich.  It was awful.  If I hadn't been so lazy. . .

Actually, I don't think I was lazy.  I think I was tired.  Super tired.

Graduation was long.  It had to be.  The broadcasting demanded it.  I'm sure if I had a child graduating this year, the length would've been a minor irritation.  Unfortunately, every minute matters when you're wearing heels and standing for the entire evening.

Remind me not to take this beast on next year.

click on recipe title for printable recipe

     2 c flour (may replace up to 1/2 c with whole wheat flour)
     1/2 c powdered sugar
     1 tbsp baking powder
     1/2 tsp cream of tartar
     1/4 tsp salt
     1/2 c butter
     2/3 c buttermilk, milk, or cream

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Sift dry ingredients together.  Cut in butter until crumbs are the size of peas.  Gently stir in buttermilk.  Using a #20 disher (full+), plop dough onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 8-9 minutes, just until tops begin to brown.  Remove to wire rack to cool. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Won Ton Dipping Sauce

It's THAT time of year again.  Yes, THAT time.  It's the time of year when seniors act crazy and do things they normally would have the better judgment to NOT do.

My boss always says he hate the Fourth Quarter (roughly mid-March til the end of the school year in late May).  I hafta agree with him on that one.  Students in other grades, not just seniors, act crazy too.  And not that I think about it, the adults act wacky too.  Some teachers seem to create their own bell schedule and release students from class any time.  Some teachers allow students to roam campus. . .or at least that's what some kids tell me when I ask what they're doing outside of class.  For some classes, it's movie time, be it in the classroom or at the local theater.  Unreal.

For the seniors, at least, the madness should come to a head soon enough.  By the time of my next post, the seniors will be graduates.  Whew!

This past week was senior awards night.  Senior awards is an exciting time.  It's when the valedictorian(s) are revealed.  It's also when seniors are celebrated for accomplishments.  What I find most interesting is finding out where seniors will be attending college.  Unfortunately, there are no seniors who will be cheering "Dubs-Up" in the Fall, although there is at least one scholar who will be up the hill at Seattle University.

Speaking of college, my favorite college student returned home the other week.  She managed to survive her freshman year of college (YAY!), and I have a few cents left in my bank account.  Thank goodness for meal plans and instant noodles.  Of course, returning home means she has a list of things to eat in the next few months.  High on her list was crisp won ton, which we managed to cross off last week.

D1 likes her won ton without any sauce.  Chinese restaurants always offer hot mustard mixed with shoyu as a dipping sauce.  Unfortunately, hot mustard is still mustard and is known as the Devil's condiment here.  I like to dip my won ton in this savory sauce.  It is easy to put together, and leftovers can be refrigerated.  If you prefer a stronger bang than white pepper, add a few drops of chili oil.

click on recipe title for printable recipe

     1 tbsp vegetable oil
     1 tbsp oyster sauce
     2 tbsp shoyu
     1/4 tsp sugar
     1/2 tsp sesame oil
     dash of white pepper

Combine all ingredients.  Serve with crisp won ton.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Oyster Sauce Chicken

I made sure this week was better than last.  For starters, I stayed out of work for 2 days.  Actually, both days were planned well in advance of last week.  I had an appointment on one day, and I had to be on the other side of the island for the other day.  I'm sure nothing catastrophic happened while I was gone, but I did miss the annual May Day Program.  Bummer because my school is knows for putting on a kick-ass program.  During my very first year at the school, I was blown away by what a monumental production it was.  The musicians were the musicians at a local halau, and the program was like a mini version of the Merrie Monarch Festival.  It was unreal.  Over the years, some of the fanfare has subsided, but it's still an awesome program.

Another thing that made this week better was dinner.  I did a repeat performance of Mississippi Roast.  I know there are a bunch of pins on Pinterest, but this is the recipe which I use.  Next time I will throw in a few move peperoncini.  The Help likes to eat them.

Of course the main reason why this week was better was D1's return.  She brought a big, heavy suitcase home!  I couldn't believe what she packed in there. She also used those Ziploc compressed bags to really pack a lot of clothing.  I have no clue why she didn't take more things to the storage unit I rented for her, but I'm not gonna spend too much time trying to understand what goes on in her little head.  I'm just happy she is home.

On the way home from the airport, we stopped at Noodle Club in Kamuela.  Noodle Club was a hit with D1 and the Rents.  KikukatDad was skeptical of the place when he heard it was one of D2's favorite restaurants.  He said D2 is one of 2 people whose opinion on what good food is remains extremely suspect to him.  The other is CAE!  Anyway, both D1 and KikukatDad loved the KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) there.  I really need to figure out how to make it, but I know it MUST contain ko choo jang.

Since I don't have the Noodle Club KFC recipe figured out yet, there was no chance in making it this weekend.  Instead, I went to an old favorite, oyster sauce chicken.  This is something everyone, including D2 and Mr. Dependable (the pickiest of the pickiest eaters I know), enjoys.

People I live with like wings.  The Help eats the drummettes, and the Ds and I prefer the flats.  KikukatMom also likes the flats. . .the flats have a higher skin to meat ratio.  If you don't want to take the time to disjoint wings or if you just prefer boneless chicken, you could easily make this with thighs or half breasts.  And while we are all aware of the cholesterol pitfalls from consuming chicken skin, how could you NOT want to have this with skinless chicken?

click on recipe title for printable recipe

     2 lbs chicken wings
     1/2 c flour
     dash black pepper
     8 tsp water
     1 1/2 tbsp sugar
     1/4 c oyster sauce
     oil for frying
     sliced green onions

Cut each wing into 3 pieces.  Discard tips.  Heat oil to 350 degrees.  Place flour in a bag and shake chicken to coat.  Fry until golden brown,  Drain on paper towels.  Place chicken on a serving dish.  Heat black pepper, water, sugar and oyster sauce until boiling.  Pour sauce over chicken pieces.  Garnish with green onions.  May be served hot or cold.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Toaster Oven Food: Mandarin Orange Creamsicle Pie

Another shitty week in the books:
  • Finished babysitting an incompetent charge.
  • Got tattled on by some crybabis (adults).
  • Let the boss raise his voice at me and not report him to the powers-that-be (yet).
  • Watched my boy suck at the Russian Grand Prix.
  • Consoled an even-more disengaged colleague.

I made a promise to myself that this week will be better.  It HAS to be.

After getting zuigui'd on Friday (to celebrate the wonderfully crappy work week), I decided my weekend was going to begin on the right foot.  What am I saying?  It began on the right foot from Friday afternoon!  My promise to have a good weekend continued on Saturday when I got my monster taco and curly fries for lunch!

After the monster taco, I was able to get some things done.  I had The Help take a bunch of pictures of my wips, and I decided to make a dessert, a dessert which can be made by people like OllieMama (and other only toaster oven-owning people).

BTW, I recently got a new toaster oven.  It replaced a toaster oven I had for nearly ten years.  Instead of just going to Costco and buying one, I did some research before deciding upon the Breville Smart Oven Pro.  It seems like I made a good choice, and the Breville Smart Oven Pro can even accommodate a 9 x 13" pan!  But no worries. . .my dessert this week is made in a square pan.  I suppose I could've doubled the recipe just to say I made it in a 9 x 13" pan, but I'd rather not end up eating the same dessert for the entire week (and most toaster ovens cannot hold a 9 x 13" pan).

This dessert reminds me of something I used to eat often as a kid. . .a creamsicle (frozen treat on a stick; orange sherbet surrounding a vanilla ice cream core).  I thought creamsicles were good (not as good as vanilla popsicle), and my grandparents must've thought so too because their freezer boasted an endless supply of creamsicle.  And on those rare occasions when they ran out of creamsicles, a quick run by UJohn to Murakami Store (on Manono Street)  solved that problem in no time. 

The creaminess (and calorie count) will depend on the milk you use.  I use what I have on hand (2%), but whipping cream would make it very decadent (and definitely more caloric).  And although I haven't tried it for myself, I think substituting melted vanilla ice cream for the milk would push it into the realm of decadence.

Now that I've had a moment to reflect, I thought of something I could do to make this work week much better than last.  I think I will stay home all week!  I must be dreaming.  There is no way I could stay out all week.  There would be just too much waiting for me when I return.  Maybe going to work doesn't sound so bad after all. 

Well, just in case I end up going to work, at least I'll have some of this dessert to come home to for the first half of the week.

 click on recipe title for printable recipe

Crust:  2 tbsp sugar
            1 c flour
            1/2 c butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Combine sugar and flour.  Cut butter into mixture until dough forms "pea" size bits.  Press into a 9" square pan.  Bake for 11 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

Filling:  2 tbsp cornstarch
              1/2 c sugar
              1 box (3 oz) orange jello
              3 cans (11 oz each) mandarin oranges
              3/4 c milk

Drain mandarin oranges, reserving 1 cup of juice.  In a medium saucepan, heat reserved juice, cornstarch and sugar.  Stir constantly until thick.  Remove from heat and immediately add orange jello and stir 3-5 minutes or until jello is dissolved.  Set aside to cool to nearly room temperature.  Stir in milk.  When completely combined, gently add in mandarin orange segments.  Pour carefully over cooled crust.  Chill until set.