We’ve had a busy week but it’s been a good one. Sorry I haven’t posted new pictures or anything in a while. I have been working almost full time on an interesting project related to health promotion and Sammy has actually had a nanny for a few hours in the morning…the first time for us to do that. The project I’m working on is about 100 hours over 3 weeks so I found some excellent help to play with Sam in the morning while I crunch out a few hours before his naptime. It’s working out really well, although I miss him and really feel for all those moms who have to give up far more of their time with the kids than I do. We went to story time on base this morning (pictured above). Sammy enjoyed seeing the other kids, and then especially enjoyed time at the playground afterwards. The movie above is Sam having some Jello for dessert. I know how much you love the laugh…so I had to post this 🙂
This is where Sammy and I volunteer with NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Assoc.) to protect the green sea turtles who bask on the beach at the North Shore. Pretty amazing to see a monk seal about to pup at the same beach, next to Brutus the turtle! Apparently there are only about 20 monk seals around the entire island. Have a great holiday weekend, friends and family!
Sammy and I did the Pillbox hike today – his first time hiking it on his own all the way up to the first pillbox and back down. Last time we hiked he seemed really intent on doing it by himself, so I figured we’d give it a shot today and see how we do. It was hot and dry, so the conditions weren’t ideal on the lower portion, but we used the opportunity to learn how to use a rope to pull up. He doesn’t quite have the concept yet, but it was fun. There was a good breeze and we enjoyed a snack and chat in a shady spot beside the bunker. The new pack he’s carrying seems to work well. He likes having his own water on board. Afterwards, we jumped in the water at Lanikai beach, about a block from the trailhead. He did so great! I was wondering how tiring it would be for him and kept a close eye on his energy level throughout and afterwards. I can tell you with confidence it did not wear him out. The little buddy teased me on the way to the truck by backing up a hill (saying “I backing up!”) then raced down toward me. He didn’t want to leave the water, either, and kept dragging me out saying “Mommy go deeper!” Daddy was very impressed with his climb 🙂 More photos are available at Outdoor Ohana. This morning we’re off to guard the turtles at the North Shore, and hope to catch a glimpse of a monk seal who is about to deliver a pup!
One of the fun things about going to the market here is the wide selection of ethnic choices, especially Pacific rim. Several months ago, Sam and I tried Strawberry Yan Yan (chocolate version pictured above). We usually get seaweed salad and sushi when we go to the market, that way lunch is ready as soon as I’m done putting groceries away. So in the spirit of trying Asian things, we enjoy an imported dessert afterwards. It wasn’t until Dave finally tried some last night that I realized how funny this snack really is. To get a reaction from Dave takes real creativity. Look at the little creature! That is Yan Yan I guess. You dip the little cracker sticks into strawberry cream (it also comes in chocolate and vanilla). The sticks are decorated with strange little phrases. I’m not sure if they’re intended to tease English speakers, if they’re used a teaching tool in a conversational English class, or the result of a student project… Dave found one last night that made me laugh out loud – “STAG BEETLE – LOVE IT.” Another one said “STAR + FISH.” You never know what you’re going to find! On a more serious note, we love Char Siu sauce – it’s an easy and tasty marinade. We used it on for grilled pork ribs last night, but have previously enjoyed it as a chicken marinade as well. If you see it in your import aisle, grab it and try it! And don’t be afraid of the Yan Yan…
We started out our morning with some coffee and a muffin from a local bread bakery, then headed to the tide pools. I know, I know! We can’t get enough of them. While we were eating, a barista from Starbuck’s came by with a tray of little cups and asked if we’d like to try some lemonade. Well, that’s what we gathered from context. What it sounded like to both of us was “chicken-raspberry lemonade?” to which we agreed (huh?) rather than ask what in the world she had said. It wasn’t until much later we realized that we’d heard the same strange-sounding drink and we’ve both been wondering what she actually said all morning! There were Hawaiian canoe races in the bay all morning so we didn’t swim out to Flat Island (we’d be run over) but Dave snorkeled just outside the tide pools where Sam usually plays. He saw about 15 different kinds of fish! Next time we head out we’ll snap a movie of them – the tide was coming in this morning so the visibility wasn’t great for filming. Sam just woke up from his nap, so I’m signing off for now. We’re heading to see Alisdair Fraser play with Natalie Haas at a free concert. It will be Sam’s first concert – Alisdair is a reknowned Scottish fiddler and Natalie Haas will accompany him on the cello. Sam heard them play on NPR last week on our way up to the North Shore to guard the turtles and made motions like he was playing the fiddle. When I found some clips on YouTube a few nights ago, he was transfixed watching for about 45 minutes! I found a bunch of clips featuring little kids playing – ages 5-10 or so. It was neat for him to see the little boys really rockin’ with a bango or fiddle 🙂 So we are looking forward to seeing what he thinks about going to a REAL concert tonight, not just a DVD at home!
Sammy and I have been doing traveling “happy hour” lately – we just pick a destination and head out between 3-5pm, either to a playground on our mountain bike or to descend upon a friend’s house. Everyone is so busy that sometimes you just have to drop in – scheduling is too difficult. This afternoon our neighbors – Giji, Ronnie and Jonah – headed to the tide pools with us for a swim and pizza. It was a great time! The kids really enjoyed swimming and didn’t want to come out for pizza. Ronnie made chocolate chip cookies for dessert – yum! The tide was extremely high but the water was warm. Thanks for joining us, guys! It was really nice to hang out for a bit.
Sammy and I went to Angel’s home for lunch with two other ladies yesterday. It was really nice – we each brought a contribution to lunch and enjoyed getting to know new friends. Sam was the only gentleman in attendance. He was very eager to try the chocolate-covered strawberries but I managed to convince him to eat some lunch first 🙂 He took a nap in David’s room (where we stayed for about 10 days when we first moved here) – in David’s BIG BOY BED! He was so fascinated to be in a big boy bed – DAVID’S BED! – that he chatted to himself for about 45 minutes before drifting off to sleep. At one point I saw him standing up in the middle of the bed, looking out the window, just checking things out (or perhaps plotting his next adventure?). He woke up to the happy chatter of the ladies leaving and couldn’t decide if he was happy or upset, as you’ll see in the video. Thanks again for pulling lunch together, Angel!
Sammy and I had a great time on this hike! He hitched a ride on the way up and walked down. I am guessing it’s about a 2 mi roundtrip hike with maybe 1000′ elevation gain. We had plate lunch and ice cream on our way back from our favorite haunts – Keneke’s and Dave’s, both in Waimanalo. Thanks to Nancy and Laurie for showing us the way! Nancy’s dogs were a big hit with Sammy – the two little doggies bounded around on the trail making Sam giggle all the way up!
We have enjoyed grilling pizzas since about 2003, when I first started baking fresh bread leavened with natural airborne yeast. We were living in Pensacola for a month, I’d just quit my job to move across the country with Dave, and was without a car since we’d sold one before moving. Only I could be restless without a job or a car and living right ON the beach. So I learned how to mix flour and water and cultivate starter on the windowsill. We started experimenting with grilled pizza and never looked back! It is so fun to throw dough on the grill and watch it rise, then flip and top. It’s ready in minutes. Here are all the ones we’ve tried. I think our favorites are the pancetta, the balsamic, and the asian fusion. Enjoy!
Red pepper pesto
Pesto made with red peppers, basil, garlic, parmesan, olive oil spread over dough with chopped, grilled sweet Italian sausage, topped with parmesan andÂ mozzarella.
Pancetta and mushroom
Porcini mushrooms, pancetta and shallots (sautÃ©ed in butter) topped with asiago, parmesan, romano and mozzarella.
Finely-chopped salad with basil, chick peas, light ranch dressing and chicken. Use Greek salad dressing and ricotta for base under salad. Top with cheese and cracked pepper to taste.
Pear and gorgonzola
Caramelized pears, gorgonzola cream sauce, toasted walnuts and thin sliced fontina, topped with spring mix greens tossed in a little of the gorgonzola cream. Cracked pepper to taste. (Best with honey wheat dough).
Portobello mushroom slices and sun-dried tomatoes (sautÃ©ed in oil, garlic and a little red wine) with ricotta, shredded fontina and asiago. Top with fresh garlic and fresh ground pepper.
Chicken in Southwest marinade, sweet corn, red peppers, black beans, tomatoes, and Mexican cheeses. Top with salsa to taste.
What do we do with this eggplant?
Eggplant roasted on the grill, and layered on the dough. Top with smoked Gruyere cheese and caramelized onions.
Spicy Italian sausage, red and yellow bell peppers. pineapple, and mozzarella cheese all layered on a rosemary dough.
Basil and balsamic
Rosemary and olive oil dough topped with a balsamic vinegar, garlic and basil emulsion, ricotta, mozzarella, and sundried tomatoes all topped with parmesan and Romano sprinkles.
Kalamata olives, tomatoes and goat cheese seasoned with Mediterranean herbs on an olive oil dough, topped with fresh basil.
Pumpkin, sweet Italian sausage, thyme and oregano, shallots, garlic, white wine and mild Jack cheese.
Tomato sauce (no chunks, please!) and mozzarella. That’s right, that’s it!
Grilled char-siu pork with stir-fried chop suey mix, garlic, Chinese 5-spice, scallions, and shiitake mushrooms all topped with creme fraiche and tofu.
Dave made a fabulous new pizza for Mother’s Day dinner. Great bend of sweet, salty and sour! The only problem we ran into was the watery veggies, even after straining and drying. Try adding the veggies last after you take the pizza off the grill.
marinate pork in char siu then grill
chop suey mix (bean sprouts, carrots, cabbage)
grill pizza dough 3 min on med, flip and top with tofu, pork and creme fraiche, adding the veggies after you pull it off the grill
Here’s to all the mothers out there who count as their greatest joy in seeing their kids grow, play and learn. I hope you enjoy the movies I’ve posted this weekend as much as I’ve enjoyed capturing them.
I dedicated this weekend to learning some new software to splice together videos for our family in far-off places. My new camera is great – it takes video underwater! – but it records in .mov not .avi. The .mov format is unfortunately not compatible with my favorite editing program – Windows Movie Maker (comes standard with your operating system and is really easy to use). So I either have to spend a lot of time converting individual clips to .avi first, then edit, or learn a complex but powerful Adobe program to do it all in one place. I bet you know which alternative appealed most to me – one stop shopping! I think I’ve finally got a handle on it… I hope it works ok on your end. Enjoy!
Sam ordered dessert at Bacci Bistro last weekend. He loved it! Such top-shelf taste 🙂 Wonder where he gets that! Mom treated us to a nice dinner before she left Hawaii for Washington. She’s in NYC for the weekend having a fun Mother’s Day celebration with Pig and Bear and their friends. Jealous! Sammy enjoyed eating out there, too, especially Chumley’s!!!
Sam and I had a great hike today! Check out Outdoor Ohana for the full write-up and pictures 🙂
Sammy and I have been learning about caterpillars, butterflies and metamorphosis (link goes to our new website, Outdoor Ohana, where you’ll find a brief description of what goes on in that chrysalis!). So when he goes down for a nap in his “chrysalis,” we talk about how maybe one day he’ll wake up as a butterfly. Yesterday when he woke up, I heard him saying “Mommy, I have TWO wings!” Then he said “I fly out!” I figured I’d better get in there fast or my little butterfly might just try to “fly” 🙂 He’s been requesting “sowad” (salad) lately, too. Maybe that’s because caterpillars eat lots of greens before heading into the chrysalis for a long nap. He must be fueling up for his pupal stage 😉