What’s for supper? Vol. 68: A peaceful transfer of power, yum yum

At least we still have food.

I cooked my little heart out this week. No particular reason. Next week, it’ll be all hot dogs and heavy drinking, and then we’ll see who transfers what.

Here’s what we had:

Bagel, egg, cheese, and sausage sandwiches, frozen hash browns



Great meal for a busy day. I love it.

Broccoli, cheese, chicken pockets, French onion soup


There was a recipe, but I made a ton of substitutions, so I’ll just tell you how I made it.

Put oil, salt, and pepper on some chicken breasts and roast them, then slice them.
Cut broccoli into small florets and steam them.
Mix together a tub of French onion dip, a few cups of shredded cheddar cheese and 3/4 cup of pepper jack, and about 1/4 cup of mayo.
Mix the broccoli and chicken in with the cheese mix, then stuff pita pockets with the mixture. (If you open the pita pockets by cutting them open in a straight line, they are more likely to tear, so cut them in a curved line.)

Preheat oven to 350.

Heat up some oil in a skillet and fry the pockets on both sides just until the pita bread is golden brown. Then move the pockets onto a pan in the oven and heat them up until the cheese is melty and nice.

This recipe would make a lot more sense if you already had leftover chicken, which I did not. Kind of a pain in the neck to do all those steps, but it sure tasted good. The kids didn’t like them, probably because I worked hard on them.

We also had sorta French onion soup. I should have done more than glance at the recipe, and I used chicken broth instead of beef, which was a mistake. I forgot to add sugar, and I couldn’t find any cheese, and I was too lazy to make croutons. Still, I spent over an hour hanging out in the afternoon sun, babysitting a heap of onions as they cozied up with melted butter. I regret nothing.

Zuppa Toscana, pumpkin bread


See how it shines? That’s how soup is supposed to look. A shining soupy on a hill.

I fried up some sweet sausage (after squeezing it out of the casings, blushing faintly and calling upon Paul VI for aid and comfort) and fried it up with diced onions and minced garlic. Then I added in some diced up bacon (I still have five boxes of Christmas bacon that I now refuse to give to the poor. Let them start a tax-free savings account and withdraw their bacon from that, the lazies) and some thinly-sliced potatoes with the skin on. Red potatoes would have been good, but regular Idaho whatever was fine.

Then I added in several cups of chicken broth and let it simmer until the potatoes were soft.
Then a ton of half-and-half, and a bunch of chopped-up kale, and more simmering until the kale was soft. I had some mushrooms, but they didn’t seem quite right for this soup, so I skipped them.
A little salt and pepper at the end, and it was really swell. The bacon was fine, but it didn’t actually add much.

Here’s the recipe for pumpkin bread. The crumbs ran off with my can opener, so I was reduced to chopping the can open with a knife that I tapped with the other can of pumpkin, since the crumbs also ran off with my hammer. (Here are directions for how to open a can with a knife.)

Since I needed one can to open the other can, I could only make one can’s worth of bread. This was actually good luck, because, as I always forget, a single recipe makes three loaves of bread. I sprinkled steel cut oats on the top, which was pleasantly crunchy.

This is a sweet, moist, fluffy bread, really almost cake. I usually reduce the sugar somewhat and put nuts or oats on top, so as to pretend it’s not cake.

Shakshuka, pita 

Shakshuka has been on my radar forever, so I finally tried it. I guess it is Israeli, or maybe North African.

My husband came home unusually early, just in time to see me stirring feta cheese into the tomato sauce. The skepticism in the air was so thick, you could cut it with a knife and then fry it up with garlic, cumin, paprika, pepper flakes, onions, peppers and tomatoes and stir feta cheese into it, then crack some eggs on top and slide it into the oven, then overcook the eggs by just a minute or two, sprinkle parsley and a little hot sauce on top, and serve with pita.


Even my skeptical husband thought it was tasty, and several kids said it was better than they expected it to be, which is sky high praise. It didn’t rock my world, but it was good, very filling, and cheap. Next time I have the time, I’ll make challah. That would be a splendid meal.

Hey, now we have another meatless meal for the rotation, so that’s a win.

Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, salad

I honestly can’t tell if this meatloaf picture looks amazing or horrifying. Look how it glistens!

 . . . look how it glistensssss . . . 


Pictures of food are weird.

I more or less followed the Fannie Farmer recipe (using five pounds of ground beef and two pounds of turkey). Feeling impulsive and jazzlike, I embellished the whole thing with ketchup before I put it in the oven. Baked ketchup tastes good on meat. (This is why you read my food posts: Because I have the guts to say stuff like that.) It’s like meat ketchup taffy. (Too far?)

We also had ten pounds of mashed potatoes, which, to my relief, turned out to be too much. Sometimes I feel like there can be no such thing as enough food, but there can.

Here is Corrie coaching Benny on proper mashing technique:


“It HAHHHT!” she counsels. So young, such wisdom.

Roast chicken drumsticks, rice made with chicken broth, salad, mangoes

Nothing thrilling, but I felt very good about going from zero to hot meal with vegetable in about 35 minutes. Mangoes keep being on sale.


Corrie got into this week’s raw pasta, too, so we’ll see.


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16 thoughts on “What’s for supper? Vol. 68: A peaceful transfer of power, yum yum”

  1. Let’s see. Last night I made a tasty shrimp pasta. I started out with red onion, sliced crimini mushrooms and browned them a bit in garlic infused olive oil. I added the dregs of two of my unfinished beers and let it simmer for a while. I decided to add some white wine after all and let that cook down for a bit and then added a whole container of heavy cream. I reduced that until it thickened. I was about to add capers when I remembered I had half a bottle of red curry simmer sauce in the fridge and added that too. It smelled divine all married together. I put melted butter on the egg noodles, and then rinsed off a bag of Trader’s Joe’s precooked colossal shrimp (squeezed a fresh lemon on them), and added the seasoned cooked shrimp they sell at Costco (that nobody ate from two nights before, because there was crappy Costco pizza). Kids loved the dish. A couple of them picked out the onion and mushrooms.

    After that we left to go see “Manchester by the Sea” and let the two little ones order a movie (with the promise that they would put themselves to bed after brushing their teeth and reading). The movie was like going to a foreign country. (What are they feeding their 16-year-olds over there! Why do they talk funny and drink a bunch and then want to punch each other because they are sad?) So intriguing–and now I have a small crush on Casey Affleck. Maybe I just want to comfort him because he’s been through so much.
    Anyhoo, the movie was great even though it had a French ending which was better than a Hollywood ending which is trite and predictable.

    When we came home my husband made sexy food (A term we coined 20 years ago). He marinated raw salmon in lime juice, lemon juice, soy sauce, cilantro, shallots, green onion and a tiny bit of Serrano chili. He slivered the salmon with a gorgeous avocado.
    I asked for seconds. He laughed and went back to the kitchen. We busted into the cooking wine.
    After that the menu totally lived up to it’s name.
    If I talked about the other stuff I made earlier in the week (pork Schnitzel, green chili and chicken tacos, something something something it would ruin my mood even though the other stuff was good too.)

  2. Food pics look especially tasty to me this week! I’m still keeping the weekly grocery bill under a 100, including things like TP and toiletries. Easy this week as husband travelled and most nights I only had four kids for dinner.
    Saturday: One of the big kids was going back to school and so he treated us all to Chick Fil-A
    Sunday: Loaded “Faux-tato” skins where I mashed cauliflower into muffin tins to act like potato. Surprisingly, not bad at all. Everybody ate them. Also buffalo chicken dip. Low carbers ate it with celery sticks. Boys ate it with nachos. Never made this before. Very easy. Very tasty.
    Monday: Franks and beans. Made the beans in the crockpot, which I’d never done before. Boys loved it, but there was a fair amount of brown sugar in them, sooo, husband and I had chicken and broccoli in an alfredo sauce.
    Tuesday: Spinach Fritatas. Spaghettios with the meatballs for the whiners.
    Wednesday: Drumsticks (must’ve been the week for them) and roasted asparagus with some mashed cauliflower. Mashed cauliflower was ok, but a big disappointment after the success of the faux-tato skins
    Thursday: Meatballs and penne with Prego sauce. Chicken and broccoli for me.
    Friday: Husband and I had a fundraiser to go to. Kids had Kraft mac n cheese.

    1. Shame on you, cannibal! And a glutton as well–surely one kid would have been sufficient!

      (Sorry, my husband makes dreadful puns and after over twenty years it’s bound to rub off a bit.)

      1. Hah! And even funnier that a couple of weeks ago a few of my boys were debating about what would happen in the event of a zombie apocalypse: i.e. would the zombies go first for the dark meat (adopted kids) or the light (bio)? Ultimately, they settled on race not mattering all that much. The meaty (slower) ones would go first. 😉

  3. That Pope Paul VI comment killed me.
    Sat: burgers, grilled by husband. Grilling to ice storm in 24 hours…
    Sun: had a big container of smoked pork in the freezer, so pulled that out.
    Mon: Twins turned 2! Pasta with choice of red sauce ($1 can of Hunts; the kids all like that better than the homemade with tomatoes grown and canned at home, the Philistines) or white, carrot souffle, stewed cinnamon apples. I didn’t give the twins a choice of sauce, they got white. But they liked it, and their ice cream, though I don’t think they touched their cake. Ice had thawed enough for grandparents to come over for a bit.
    Tues: leftover smoked pork and pasta
    Wed: that pepperoncini roast you posted the other week. I thought “Am I really cooking a roast in pickle juice???” and worried all day about whether I was supposed to pour in the juice or just use the peppers and add water or something instead. I guess I did it right and so everyone loved it.
    Thurs: leftover roast
    Fri: creamed tuna on biscuits, oven-roasted broccoli.

    1. OK, I feel better now. Can’t really see the fox, but I’ll take your word for it. I can go back to envying your Loch Ness Monster ladle.

  4. A friend of mine introduced me to a new way of fixing chicken. It is just baked or grilled, but you marinate it first in Ken’s Lite Caesar Dressing (if you can find it). I am not partial to the chicken-in-Italian-dressing routine, but this is really good. She uses thighs; I used breasts cut in half (i.e., a quarter of a full breast) and it worked fine.

  5. That picture of shakshuka is so appetizing! I’ve made it before and enjoyed it; will have to put it back on my menu soon.
    This past week:
    Saturday: Fancy cheese, salami, and wine night after the toddler went to bed.
    Sunday: Dak Bokkeum, using gochujang, a dish I was only emboldened to make after seeing you write about it on your blog! The various cuisines of Asia intimidate me the most when it comes to cooking; all those ingredients I’ve never tried and can’t even pronounce. It was pretty good though!
    Monday: Sloppy Joes, Pioneer Woman’s recipe which was really quite good.
    Tuesday: Roasted a decent sized pork loin and sliced it thin for sandwiches with a horseradish cream sauce, romaine, and caramelized onions. Very good.
    Wednesday: Fajita chicken nachos
    Thursday: Husband gone at a friend’s house so I just had frozen pizza (the toddler eats the crusts only, I eat the rest. Teamwork!). For lunch, though, I used up some of the leftover pork over the rest of the romaine and topped it with a homemade lime-fish sauce-chili garlic sauce dressing. I didn’t think I liked it at first but after the first few bites I actually decided it was quite good!
    Friday: I was instructed not to make dinner tonight since my husband has a work outing. So the meal I had planned will be pushed to next Friday. No idea what I will eat!

  6. ditto about the eye, looks like a sea creature to me but not sure, would love to know.
    Here’s what we ate this week:
    Sunday – father-in-law’s birthday, out to dinner
    Monday – potato soup: cooked onions and garlic in some oil, added some flour and stirred a bit to thicken. Then I added 1 beer and 4-6 cups of chicken broth, plus diced peeled potatoes and cooked about 20 minutes. finally, put in some cream and shredded cheddar cheese, a small splash of worchestershire sauce, salt and pepper. blended it all up – immersion blenders make life easy for creamy soups, It was good, and thick! served with some bread. So it was starch with more starch, and all of us were very happy.
    Tuesday – fried rice with pot stickers: steamed the bag of pot stickers, cooked leftover rice with stir fried veggies, added sauce made with soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, and hot sauce. also added eggs to the pan, scrambled them up, added it to the fried rice. My youngest daughter said that this time I didn’t add too much ginger, so I take that as a win!
    Wednesday – tuna melts, used some various cheese that we had on hand, so one of my daughters didn’t like it because – not cheddar.
    Thursday – leftovers
    Friday – planning to make bratwurst and salad. Meat, I know, so will have to skip having a beer with my brat but still glad to be Catholic!
    Saturday – making crock pot black bean soup

  7. Why is the pumpkin bread next to . . . an eye? It is on a face? A face of something from Doctor Who? YOU’RE SCARING ME, SIMCHA please identify eye

  8. I started posting the weekly menu on the fridge and my husband, in a touchingly sweet way, was a big fan. He likes everybody to know what to expect, I guess. So I actually have a record of what we had this week:

    Monday: Taco chicken meat (frozen chicken breasts, 1 envelope of taco seasoning, in the crockpot on LOW for about 5 hours, shred) with tortillas and fixings. I always make Spanish rice with this too, and now we have a smoke alarm helpfully mounted right above the stove, so I am aware now that steam (from the hot broth coming into contact with the hot, sauteed rice and onions) sets smoke alarms on high alert. Who knew? Not me.

    Tuesday: Burgers or hot dogs (for those who don’t like burgers, the chumps), chips, and veggie platter with ranch dressing. I always forget how many more veggies get eaten when they’re served raw and crunchy, so I’m going to do that more rather than plunk cooked veggies down and grump about leftovers. Leftover raw veggies are more easily used up.

    Wednesday: Roasted chicken drumsticks (I coat them in butter and seasonings, bake at 400 degrees for half an hour), mashed potatoes and gravy, mixed veggies. I haven’t made these in a while and they were devoured.

    Thursday: Husband had a late work night, so we had our sit down meal at lunch instead. Stouffer’s lasagna, turkey meatballs in the crockpot. Leftovers made a fine dinner.

    Friday: We’re having prosfora bread with soup (canned Progresso lentil or clam chowder, whatever people want), cheese and fruit plate. Probably veggies too, because i like to run a good idea into the ground until people are sick of it.

  9. I love these posts. You are killing me with the calling on Pope Paul VI. A much needed laugh for today.
    Dana Laviano

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