What’s for supper? Vol. 66: Food is magic

We certainly ate a lot this week! Here’s what we had:

Grilled ham and cheese, chips, carrots and dip

Saturday we were winding up vacation, so we took the kids ice skating and to a Chinese buffet for lunch, where we proceeded to eat so much that most of us swore off food forever. That didn’t last, so we had grilled cheese for supper. For some reason, I took a picture of it.


At the buffet, I thought briefly of viruses and plagues and a citizenry innocent of basic hygiene practices, and then I threw caution to the wind and loaded up on stuffed mushrooms, sushi, and tapioca, because if you’re going to die, you might as well have some stuffed mushroom, sushi, and tapioca first.

It was a pretty good spread, with crab legs, barbequed ribs, and probably more than a hundred other yummy items to choose from, all you can eat. The most popular choice with the kids? That ancient and venerable dish of the far orient: Banana halves with strawberry syrup on them. They also each ate their weight in Oreos.

We had a pretty good time ice skating, but nothing lodges in my mind like last time we went ice skating, about six weeks before Corrie was born:


An attendant came over and told us to get off the ice. I almost kissed him.

Here’s Corrie now, with her widdle nose pushed up against the glass.


She then had hysterics and had to be driven around the byroads of rural Vermont until she fell asleep, and she and my husband hung out in the van while the rest of us did a year’s worth of damage to muscles that we normally don’t even acknowledge.

At home, we salved our pain with hot chocolate and popcorn. Gosh, we eat a lot. Sometimes, I think, “Shouldn’t we be encouraging the kids to learn how to mark happy occasions, respond to strong emotions, and pass the time, day and and day out, with something other than food?” And then I think, “There, there, you seem overwrought. Here, did you know there was leftover goat cheese?”

Look, food is magic. It just is.


Birthday! Damien took the kids sledding at the stupendous sledding hill over by the town dump:


and then the birthday girl very brilliantly suggested pepperoni and olive calzones for supper.

Yes ma’am! I used three balls of pizza dough to make twelve calzones, and followed this recipe for the filling, only I never heard tell of putting breadcrumbs in calzone filling, so I skipped it.

This is an easy meal, but it takes forever. When you make twelve of them, anyway. The thing to remember about calzones is you can manhandle them pretty badly before they go into the oven (say, if you want to get the cheese distributed more evenly after you have crimped the edges) and they will still puff up beautifully anyway. The other thing to remember is don’t crowd them, because they need room to puff up!



YUHM. Heat up a little sauce for dipping, and you have yourself a lovely birthday meal. We also happened to have some salami and muffaletta salad in the house, so those went out too. Would have been better with some bruschetta and maybe some cheese, but it was a good companion dish.


The birthday girl requested cheesecake for dessert, but I thought that would be . . . I’m sorry for what I’m about to say . . . too much cheese for one meal. So we had banana splits instead. With cheese!

Hot dogs, chips, salad

No memory of Monday.

Pulled pork o’ my heart

We were a little low on beer, so I cooked the pork in the slow cooker with salt, pepper, and a can of Coke. GOOD CHOICE. I hear that Dr. Pepper is also a winner with pork.

I did buy rolls for sandwiches, but then I realized that I could make a sort of pyre of tater tots, pile some juicy pork on top of that, drizzle it with dreadful hot cheese from a jar, scatter some winsome red onions on top, and launch the whole thing off to a toward a delirious dream of the afterlife by blessing it with a final smattering of barbeque sauce. Of course those jerks had loosened the top, so most of the bottle fell out onto my plate, but I did not care. I didn’t even use a fork. Good heavens, it was good.

Food. Is. Magic.

Pork posolish, corn bread

The plan was to make pork posole with this recipe, but it turns out that hominy is some kind of corn, I guess? And not really the same as polenta, which is what I had. Also, I forgot to buy chile peppers. So I made some soup this way:

I fried up a bunch of diced red onion and several diced garlic cloves in olive oil. Then I threw a bunch of leftover pulled pork, a can of drained black beans, a can of diced tomatoes with juice, a can of tomato paste, some cumin and chili powder, and several cups of beef broth, and a little water.

I let it cook for several hours, and then served it with chopped cilantro and sour cream, and some fresh lime juice squeezed over the top. The lime was a great addition. The soup tasted a lot like the chicken tortilla soup I made the other week (duh, lots of the same ingredients), but it was sturdier, almost like a pot roast, and very warming. I was the only one who ate it, of course. The jerks had toast.

There is a photo of this fine soup on my daughter’s phone, but I’m writing this at 11 PM and I don’t want to message her to send it to me, because that would make her phone buzz and would wake her up, and I’m a good mother. Not only do I make them soup, I let them sleep while I write about it. A+ And what do they do? They laugh at me when I get half a bottle of barbeque sauce slopped all over my pulled pork prye. F-.

The cornbread was terrible. I didn’t check the temp and baked it at too low of a heat, so it was dense and mushy. Bleh. I mean, I ate it, but it wasn’t magic.

Beef and cabbage stir fry, rice, raw broccoli

I love this recipe from Budget Bytes. I made the sauce and shredded the veg ahead of time, and then it went together so fast when we got home stupid late. Very tasty.


Very satisfying, and the ginger, garlic, and sriracha cleared up everyone’s stuffy noses at least for the dinner hour.


Corrie has actually taken to eating raw ziti when she can get her hands on it, so we’ll see what’s left.

What’s magic at your house?

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14 thoughts on “What’s for supper? Vol. 66: Food is magic”

  1. Your entries in praise of Korean beef inspired me to try it this week!…The Noodles and Company version, anyway. Still tasty!

  2. Had to laugh about Corrie eating raw ziti. My daughter did that–and ate frozen French fries and frozen hot dogs. She now has daughters of her own driving her crazy doing the same thing!

  3. We had a cheesy week, now that I think about it, but nothing wrong with lots and lots of cheese!
    Sat – cheese fondue, very fun and especially now that the kids can dip their own food – was tough when 2 or 3 needed mom and dad’s help, seemed mom and dad never got to eat! Had a champagne toast at midnight too!
    Sun – Mediterranean fish stew with tomatoes, fennel, onions, lots of garlic and cod pieces. No cheese! it’t verboten for Italians to put cheese on fish
    Monday – leftovers
    Tues – my husband’s birthday, French onion soup with lots of melted cheese on top of toasted garlic bread, and key lime pie
    Wed – can’t remember for the life of me!
    Thursday – beef stew with “twice toasted garlic bread” which was leftover from the French onion soup.
    Friday – a rare snow day in NM, so a perfect night for Welch Rarebit – more cheese! Love this recipe http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/welsh-rarebit-recipe.html

  4. I’ve got the Budget Bytes cabbage and beef stir fry on the menu for Monday, here! The rest of the week: leftovers; chicken fajitas; more leftovers fashioned into nachos so they seem different; tonkatsu aka pork cutlets, with a side of gyoza; leftover chili mac – also from Budget Bytes – that I froze a while back; aaaand leftover pork but *as a sandwich this time.*

  5. Magic food? I’ve got Irish taste buds, so I’d have to say salt is magic. And bacon. After lots of entertaining over the holidays and my decades long tendency to hoard, we’re eating down our pantry, freezer, and fridge for the entire month of January. This last week I spent only 68 dollars on groceries. Milk, yogurt, bread, eggs, meat, and a little bit of non frozen produce is all that’s on the list. I’m betting we can get through January without breaking a hundred on the weekly grocery bill.
    Saturday: Canned soup and grilled cheeses
    Sunday: Celebrating a birthday so dinner at Hibachi
    Monday: Leftover Hibachi and chicken vegetable stir fry
    Tuesday: Tacos from box kits
    Wednesday: Nachos with leftover taco meat and cans of 3 year old refried beans
    Thursday: Penne pasta salad with broccoli, chicken, and cherry tomatoes. My daughter and a couple of the boys loved this. The rest ate mashed potatoes from hollowed out potato skins and frozen dino nuggets. I ate an Atkins frozen dinner and the husband had chicken salad.
    Friday: Potato skins with cheese and bacon. We’ll be eating these again as I still have 10 pounds of potatoes to get rid of before seriously low carb Lent.

  6. What a woman! Often I can’t remember in the morning what I made for dinner the night before. We must have had a ham last night because there is a picked over carcass of something resembling that in my refrigerator. I set some pinto beans to soak last night, but forgot to turn on the crockpot because we had to get to a funeral. By the time we got home from the Catholic Social Event of the New Year, it was too late to cook them. So I bought a couple of cans of refried beans and we made tostadas. Salsa and guacamole always make everyone happy. I also failed on the Three Kings Cake baking, so I’ll have to transfer that celebration to Sunday. I’m a quarter Asian and my very German looking kids love it when I make beef and broccoli or orange chicken. To add to our eclectic eating, I learned how to make corn tortillas this year and my husband has sworn off store bought ones. So we’ll have our pinto beans (with that ham bone thrown in) with fresh tortillas this weekend. What I am finding magical lately is sweet potatoes. I only used to buy them once a year for Thanksgiving, but now they are on my weekly grocery list. They are mama’s special food.

  7. This week the magic was Marcella Hazan’s tomato butter sauce, made in the crockpot, and magical turkey meatballs which–wait for it–DID NOT REQUIRE BREADCRUMBS. I hate, with the fiery passion of a thousand suns, meatball recipes that require bread. This recipe did not call for fancy-pants almond flour, either, which I also hate. Just 3 pounds of turkey, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup minced parsley. some minced onion, garlic (i used garlic powder), 2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper. I mixed that up and baked them (next time I’ll bake them on a rack, but they were delicious nonetheless) at 400 degrees for about half an hour, and then I tenderly nestled them in the sauce in the crockpot.

    The sauce, by the way, smelled so good my kids were losing their minds. I doubled the original recipe, but only used one onion, cooked it on Low for about, eh, 5 hours, and then took out the onion and blitzed it with my immersion blender. Then I let it cook some more with the meatballs in it, just so their juices would mingle and everybody could be friendly. I left the lid vented for the most part while it cooked, because it’s very liquidy unless you leave the lid off. It’s just….I don’t know. I was worried it would taste metallic because of the canned tomatoes, but once it was all done it didn’t. I didn’t have to add salt, seasonings, or anything. I probably did shake some garlic powder in there because I always feel garlic powder improves most things.

    I went to sleep thinking about having those meatballs for lunch today. I heated up leftover meatballs and sauce with some mozzarella cheese and Parmesan on them and I was so, so happy. Food can be magical.

    Also magical was the chocolate buttercream I made for our Epiphany cake today. It is our family standard, and THE best buttercream ever. I always double this: 1/2 cup butter (unsalted, but salted is okay too if that’s what you have, it will balance the sweetness. I sometimes add salt to my frosting), 1/2 cup plain white Crisco, 1 cup cocoa powder, 5 cups powdered sugar, up to 1/2 cup milk or cream, 1/2 T vanilla extract. I whip the butter and shortening, then whip the cocoa in and blend well before adding the sugar and vanilla and using the milk to thin it all out to a spreadable texture. It’s invariably fluffy and somehow not too sweet. We are all drooling thinking of that cake waiting for tonight.

    Equally magical were the Krispy Kreme doughnuts we got to give the kids for breakfast this morning before going to a lovely, quiet daily mass. One mustn’t forget that magical food doesn’t have to be homemade.

    1. Love all of this: the sauce I will have to try making, the observation that frosting needs salt to taste really good (I have a sil who always salts her piece of cake), and that final oh-so-true sentence. 🙂
      Sat: leftover tacos/rb sandwiches
      Sun: chili, cornbread, fruit salad
      Mon: leftover chili, etc.
      Tues: Little Caesar’s
      Wed: pork loin, broccoli, potatoes. I finally managed to ruin something in my dutch oven; that pork loin was awfully dry.
      Th: cashew chicken, cream cheese wontons, egg rolls, rice, pears.
      Fri: mac and cheese, which everyone complains about b/c it’s not from a box. Also green beans and peaches, both from cans, and chocolate chip muffins. I usually refuse to add chocolate chips to the muffins b/c I serve so much sugar as it is, but Epiphany! Everyone liked them; in fact, that was all the 4 y-o would eat of dinner.

  8. I tried your chuck-roast-slow-cooked-with-pepperoncini sandwiches from a few weeks ago, and they were AMAZING! (Foolish husband and kids refused horseradish sauce.) I could eat those once a week for years, and I might do so if I can find chuck roast at the right price.

  9. I agree, food is magic. I occasionally feel a little bit guilty at how much I center our family’s lives around food and drink, but it’s so good! We had some pretty good meals this week.
    Saturday: honey garlic little smokies, courtesy of damndelicious, and buffalo chicken dip with Fritos. My husband and I had champagne margaritas to help toast in the new year, which were quite delicious.
    Sunday: Cheesesteaks with chipotle mayonnaise. Very very good. Used my new cast iron skillet that I got for Christmas for the first time to cook up the steak and peppers, onions, and mushrooms and it all turned out excellently!
    Monday: we had a late lunch and overfed on the rest of the buffalo chicken dip so there was no real dinner. Made a couple pepperoni/monterey jack grilled cheese sandwiches for my husband but shockingly and very out of character, I couldn’t muster up the desire for any further food in the evening.
    Tuesday: homemade meatballs and spaghetti. Tried a new recipe which called for both orange juice and balsamic vinegar in the sauce. Different than the sauce I usually make, but it was good!
    Wednesday: took advantage of Pizza Hut’s advertized half price off pizzas AND wing Wednesday deals and feasted on pizza and wings.
    Thursday: Amazingly good meatloaf muffins with spinach and blue cheese, mashed potatoes on the side. It was really surprising how good they were. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/217151/blue-cheese-spinach-meat-loaf-muffins/?internalSource=hub%20recipe&referringContentType=search%20results&clickId=cardslot%202
    Friday: Bringing a meal to a friend who just had a baby, so I’m doubling it for us–stuffed green pepper casserole. Italian sausage, rice, green peppers, diced tomatoes, and plenty of cheese!

  10. Chocolate chip cookies are magic in my house – is it okay to bake them 27 times a week? The cookie dough is a different brand of magic in itself. But certain teenagers roll their eyes if these show up too often for desert (and snacks and panacea), so I am forced to try other things.

    Saturday: Homemade pizza (individually size so vegetarian can put corn and pepper flakes on hers, and carnivore toddler can pile on the sausage). Delicious and no whining – a win! College daughter made lemon bars after dinner that were snacked on through the long evening.
    Sunday: Roasted potatoes, roast beef, and fried rice (vegetarians about to back to college, and I needed to use up the leftover rice). Some other green vegetables involved. Oatmeal jumble bars for dessert.
    Monday: Pasta because I was tired after the holidays.
    Tuesday: Tacos and a quinoa/rice thing for the vegetarian. More cookies.
    Wednesday: All vegetarians and college kids gone, so back to underachieving mode. Little hamburgers and roasted potatoes. Store bought cookies for dessert. No cookie dough to eat, alas!
    Thursday: Stew- as the high for the past few days stayed in the low teens, I wanted a warm, hearty meal. Homemade bread too. And cookies.
    Friday: I don’t know. Teenager girl mentioned something about cooking dinner, so I might sit back and let her be in charge. Otherwise, breakfast for dinner.
    And now I’ll go bake something as the house is freezing but I don’t want to turn up the heat.

  11. Oh pozole! Our staff has a tradition of lunch together at the local Mexican place down the street – pork pozole is easily my favorite dish. Your posolish (love it!) sounds like a success despite being spurned by the family for toast.

  12. We love love love black beans. Make refried black beans with pureed beans, onion, garlic and green bell pepper. Eat as tacos then leftovers made into bean soup. Also these beans make and EXCELLENT side for spicy pulled pork.

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