What’s for supper? Vol. 65: The importance of being parchment paper

Ooh, I’m in such a hurry! We’re headed out for a day trip as vacation week wraps up. I’ll just have to talk about food and skip the jokes, to save time.

SATURDAY
Chicken burgers

We decorate the tree on Christmas eve, and then we went to “midnight Mass” at 10 PM. Part of me was sad and a little irritated that the parish wasn’t giving us our rare and special twice-a-year midnight liturgy this year; but the other part was like, HOME BEFORE MIDNIGHT, WOOOOO! Because we did manage to get all forty presents wrapped, but there were still ten stockings to fill . . .

SUNDAY
Christmas brunch; Pupu Platter for 15

Our traditional Christmas morning brunch is  cinnamon rolls, bacon, grapes, orange juice, and egg nog.

christmas-brunch

 

Tip: The way to keep kids from drinking egg nog until they throw up is . . . buy tiny cups. Cheers!

eggnog-small-cups

I made Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon roll dough the day before, and rolled out the rolls in the morning.

cinnamon-buns-red-pan

I made a double recipe, which was insane. I make this same mistake every year. We ended up throwing out both unused dough and uneaten cinnamon buns, and we brought a pan to my mother-in-law’s house, too.

We ordered Chinese from the restaurant down the road. We used to do the whole “Thanksgiving recreation” meal, or sometimes a glazed ham with cherries and pineapple rings, until we realized nobody wanted a huge, formal meal, and also it was kind of crappy that everyone else gets to relax and have fun on Christmas, but I was spending all day cooking. So, Pupu platter!

pupu

MONDAY
Leftover chinese food, leftover chicken burgers

Plus some extra frozen pork rolls my husband picked up because he is crazy. I also threw in some sad peppers and avocados I found in the fridge, because it felt like we hadn’t eaten vegetables in six years. Somehow the vegetables are always the first to drop out.

leftover-pupu

Finished making caramel chocolate-covered almonds from Smitten Kitchen today. This project had been lagging on and on for weeks. We eked out a few batches in time to give to teachers, and finally finished the rest on Monday.

If anyone’s interested, I have a series of photos showing exactly what the caramel should look like while it’s cooking. It goes through an alarming series of transformations, all of which are normal. Just say the word and I will share the pics.

I made the first few batches right, but then I got lazy and didn’t separate the caramelized almonds properly. So I just broke it up into clusters, rather than individual almonds and dipped those into chocolate, which was way easier and faster and just as good. I thought the gold sugar was especially pretty.

almonds-done

This recipe could be used for any time of year — just change the colors of sugar and sprinkles you use.

TUESDAY
Hamburgers, chips

Husband ran out to the store for meat while we all lazed around eating chocolate and playing video games.
We also made stained glass cookies, on the principle that it is better to make Christmas cookies late and slightly crabby then not to make Christmas cookies at all. We used this foolproof sugar cookie recipe for the dough. Then we sorted out some Jolly Ranchers by color, bagged them, and smashed them.

candy-crush

Then we cut them out and used smaller cookie cutters or knives to make cut-outs inside the cookie shapes. You’re supposed to bake the cookies part of the way, then fill them with candy bits, and then finish baking, but I forgot, and filled them before baking.

filling-cookies

They turned out great! Note the parchment paper.

cookies-baked

Look, I even made a corny pro-life cookie.

baby-cookie

That baby head-to-pelvis ratio is pretty accurate for Corrie, as I remember it.
Irene, of course, made a skull with glowing red eyes:

skull-cookie

Murry Christmas, weirdo. The key to the success of this recipe is, and I cannot stress this enough, USE PARCHMENT PAPER. Not wax paper, and not (brrr, your poor molars) tin foil. Parchment paper. If you don’t have parchment paper, do not make these cookies!

WEDNESDAY
Bacon, Brussels sprouts, and eggs; french fries

How I love this one-pan dish from Damn Delicious. It would make a wonderful brunch, but I think it’s super for supper, too. Bacon needs balsamic honey, eggs need hot pepper, and everyone plays well with Brussels sprouts, what do you know about that?

bacon-eggs-pan

I had microwaved leftovers for breakfast the next day, and had a banner day for productivity. I owe it all to protein, and Brussels sprouts. Even kinda congealed, it was so very good.

bacon-leftovers

THURSDAY
Spaghetti and meatballs, salad

I stuck with Fannie Farmer’s recipe for meatballs, which is basically one egg and half a cup of breadcrumbs for every pound of meat, plus whatever spices and herbs. I used about 6.5 pounds of beef and a little ground turkey, and made 85 wonderful meatballs. Rather than frying them, I put them on a broiler pan and cook them in a medium-hot oven. They keep their shape and don’t get all greasy, and it’s so much easier.

meatballs-pan

Yum yum. We were pretty much snowed in all day, so I was happy to have a very hearty meal.

spaghetti-meatballs

Speaking of snowed in, here is my recipe for completely delicious hot chocolate: Put into a pot one heaping tablespoon of cocoa powder and two heaping tablespoons of sugar for every mug of hot chocolate you want. Add enough water to make a thick syrup, and mix over low heat until the sugar is all melted. Then add the milk and a glug of vanilla. Stir and heat until it’s hot.

Benny insisted on drinking out of her doll tea set. As I mentioned before, the key to success and happiness in life is and always will be TINY CUPS.

FRIDAY
I think pizza.

And now my poor family is waiting for me in the car! Happy trails. Hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas and using parchment paper like I said. I’m not kidding.

7 thoughts on “What’s for supper? Vol. 65: The importance of being parchment paper”

  1. Growing up Christmas was about the only time we actually used the slow cooker. My mom would throw in a ham after breakfast, pour liberally with maple syrup, maybe stick in a few cloves if she was feeling fancy and just leave it for 8 or 9 hours. Then she’d microwave a few boxed sides so we weren’t just eating meat. Easy and delicious.

    This year my dad ordered a colossal turducken so the entire week has been hot turducken sandwiches, turducken burritos, turducken noodle soup, turducken Alfredo, turducken poutine and spaghetti bolognese when we started getting bored.

  2. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone! I’m going to try the brussels sprouts thing – Thanks! I cooked a ham and turkey for Christmas and it’s a busy time of year for us so everyone who was home just ate leftovers – I didn’t cook a thing all week (that I can remember anyway).

  3. I had to cook every day this week – with all the kids home, I was not allowed to be my usual underachieving self. And with two of them vegetarians, I had to have actual good green stuff on hand.
    Saturday: baked chicken breast, fried rice, assorted vegetables (broccoli and spinach usually). Many cookies.
    Sunday: roast beef, which actually came out somewhat juicy as it had been still frozen when I put it in the oven. Lots of veggies, mashed potatoes (with some lumps – must remind child #5 to mash up potatoes thoroughly before adding milk.) Pie, sweets, and cookies.
    Monday: stir fry and rice, cookies. (Note: often some children ate cereal or other item, but that’s par for the course. Some nights I don’t eat dinner and just have cereal or eggs later on. After cooking, I often have no interest in eating the results.)
    Tuesday: Something chicken? It had to have included green vegetables. Cookies.
    Wednesday: Falafel and asparagus. (Something different!) We can’t quite get the mix right -the falafels seem wet and we always have to add more flour. I also made a rookie mistake and scraped the side of the food processor with a wooden spoon while it was running. One shattered spoon, chick pea mess everywhere! Hamburgers for the meat eaters, other stuff, and not cookies – Martha Stewart’s cream cheese pound cake for dessert. Such a lovely cake.
    Thursday: My steam was running out, so it’s pasta and sausage and homemade garlic bread. We ate all the cookies in the afternoon (homemade molasses cookies – meltingly delicious) so we made do with ice cream for dessert.
    Friday: Lasagna, with the no boil recipe . I made small one as I thought only 3 people actually liked it. I was mistaken. However, everyone who wanted some got a piece. The rest of us scarfed honeycomb cereal or egg rolls. Ice cream again as I couldn’t bake today as I took an assortment of children bowling. The 6 yr old and 8 yr old did better than me.
    And now I never want to cook again. Maybe we can survive on cookies?

  4. Parchment paper is the best; saves so much tooth gnashing over anything sticky or fragile.
    Sat: Christmas duck for those who like it, with wild rice, rolls, and such. The traditional celebratory Kraft shells-n-cheese for those who won’t eat duck.
    Sun: hosted the extended family; we “made” the ham and actually made the pumpkin pie (i.e. the husband does it all, from growing to baking), others brought potatoes, sweet potatoes, rolls, strawberry pretzel salad, green beans, relish trays, cherry pies, and ice cream. Good times were had by all.
    Mon: leftover ham, etc, of course.
    Tues: ham and bean soup with carrots in it. Some kids will only eat the ham and beans, others will only eat the ham and carrots. It’s soup, it all tastes the same!
    Wed: tacos, for which I was reprimanded by all kids for it being the wrong day.
    Thurs: Well, you always post all these pictures of meat sandwiches and I want to eat them, so we (=husband) thin-sliced some sirloin and threw it in the dutch oven. Had some friends over and everyone ate heartily of french dip sandwiches, oven-roasted broccoli, cherries (from a can), and a ridiculous number of Christmas cookies. Played lots of euchre and Mao and everyone had a grand time.
    Fri: Christmas Octave so leftover Meat Sandwiches! (And tacos, but that’s not exciting).

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