What’s for supper? Vol. 80: We built this city on salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Another week of many toils, trials and snares! Happily, ground beef was on sale, which helped. Here’s what we had this week:

Hamburgers, chips, sweet peppers and hummus

Boy, Saturday was a long time ago.


Vermont turkey sandwiches

So good. You pile on sliced turkey (smoked if you got it), bacon, sharp cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, and slices of Granny Smith apple on ciabatta bread with honey mustard dressing and plenty of pepper. Really excellent combination of flavors and textures.

We also had potato salad, made by my 17-year-old. I am not sure which recipe she used — something basic, with mayo, vinegar, hard boiled eggs, and celery.


Pulled pork, french fries, cole slaw

For the pulled pork, I used a bottle of Blue Moon Beer and lots of salt and pepper with the pork butt in the slow cooker. I think this is my favorite beer so far for pulled pork. It has a nice malty, orangey flavor. Or whatever. It tastes different from Budweiser, okay?

I piled up my plate with skinny french fries, heaped the pulled pork on that, squirted on some bottled BBQ sauce, and added some dreadful yellow cheese sauce that I had heated in the microwave. Magnificent.

Here’s the cole slaw recipe we like. It’s a tiny bit runny, but so tart and bright-tasting, it makes a wonderful side dish for a heavy, savory main dish. I think I may chop the cabbage in little squares instead of shredding it, next time. Excitement.


Hot dogs, cheez puffs, beans

I had Mr. Thirteen-year-old make supper. Okay, I told him to cook some hot dogs in a pan. I didn’t tell him when to stop cooking the hot dogs. They were . . . crunchy.

Our kitchen may not be fancy, but there is a window next to the stove. And that has made all the difference.


Chicken thighs roasted with potatoes; steamed asparagus

This is a good meal to prep in the morning and throw in the oven in the evening.

I laid chicken thighs and drunksticks [ha, I mean “drumsticks,” but drunksticks sound like fun, don’t they? At least until the next morning] in a shallow pan, then put potato wedges, skin on, all along the edges and in between the chicken. Drizzle the whole thing with olive oil and sprinkle it with tons of salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Put it in a 400 oven for maybe half an hour, then turn on the broiler to finish browning it at the end. So good and easy.

It turned out a little wetter than I would have liked, so I may use a slotted broiler pan next time to let it drain a bit.

Now that I’ve discovered roast asparagus, steamed is no longer my favorite; but the oven was occupied. Steaming is fine, as long as you take the asparagus out promptly, while it’s still a little crunchy. Little lemon juice and you’re all set.


Meatball subs

I usually make meatballs with half a cup of breadcrumbs per pound of meat and some milk, but we hardly had any breadcrumbs. So I used rolled oats, with lots of trepidation.

I guess it was five pounds of ground beef, two pounds of ground turkey, about six cups of oats, seven eggs, and (following this week’s theme of exotic seasoning) tons of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I was in a huge rush, so no diced onions, parsley, fresh garlic, or anything. I forgot to add milk.

I make meatballs in a 350 oven, in pans with some drainage. They keep their shape, they’re not too greasy, and you can do it in all one batch.

I made probably eighty meatballs. They turned out great! Very light. I think I’ll use oats from now on. I thought the kids would be turned off if they could see the oats stuck in the meat, but after cooking, they looked no different from normal meatballs.

Yes, I realize I just implied that my kids are normal meatballs. I stand by that.


Ricotta spinach pasta

Here’s a recipe from Budget Bytes that I haven’t tried in a while. I remember it being creamy, satisfying, and easy. I even sprung for actual fettucine, because the flat noodles pick up more creamy sauce than spaghetti does. I spent most of my life thinking that pasta came in different shapes just because Italians get bored easily, but there’s also some sheer physics involved.


And now a question for my educated readers. We’re having a birthday party on Saturday, and one of the guests has a dairy and gluten allergy. The kids have so many friends with allergies, I’m used to making safe cakes, but what can you suggest for snacks and candy? The theme is Harry Potter, if that helps.

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14 thoughts on “What’s for supper? Vol. 80: We built this city on salt, pepper, and garlic powder.”

  1. I know nothing about Harry potter, but my oldest kid has celiac and her classmate has a dairy allergy. We do popcorn, corn tortilla chips with guacamoleand salsa, Snyder’s gluten free pretzel sticks, fresh fruit, Skittles, starburst, dum dums lollipops, jelly belly jelly beans, hummus and carrot sticks, ice pops, and anything made by enjoy life brand.

  2. “I spent most of my life thinking that pasta came in different shapes just because Italians get bored easily, but there’s also some sheer physics involved.”

    Well…you taught me something AND made me laugh. That’s why I like your blog.

    (But I still think Italians get bored easily.)

  3. Rice krispie (make sure they’re gf, or use another gf cereal) treats made with coconut oil. Shape then into some HP themed?

  4. FWIW, using my mom’s venerated recipe, I make meatloaf with only rolled oats- never breadcrumbs. So many compliments.

  5. I think gummy stuff also works for those allergies? Check to be sure, but maybe like gummy frogs? Cauldrons wig punch and gummy worms?

  6. I only have one kid who’s really into Harry Potter and she’s more or less aged out of it, but I think Harry Potter is the one that has those gross Jellybeans where you don’t know if the piece of candy you’ve just put in your mouth is raspberry or vomit flavored? If it is HP, I guess jellybeans would be my goto allergy friendly treat for an HP themed gathering. Personally, I usually set out Smarties and Skittles when I know I’ll be entertaining kids who have dairy and gluten allergies (so long as they don’t have to worry about food dyes, that is).

    For having had a tough week, you had a great menu. We had a tough week here too, but my menu for every single night consisted of burgers, dogs, or heat up your own can of soup, goshdarnit! I’ve said some prayers this week for you. Hope things are easing up.

  7. Safe dairy free, gluten free snacks~ popcorn made with non dairy oil and no butter(boo!); fruit of course; corn chips if they can be allergy free, and salsa, or dairy free bean dip; marshmallows??
    These are not very British or Harry Potter-esque suggestions, but the British diet does not really do dairy or gluten free in its traditional dishes and snacks 🙂
    Jelly beans for candy? That’s very HP!

  8. I have a friend with dairy and gluten intolerances, too. She ways likes when I make sugared nuts for parties. Here’s the recipe I use, except I sub cinnamon for the garam masala and omit the cayenne: http://www.howtocookeverything.com/recipes/caramelized-spiced-nuts

    Also, her family introduced me to coconut-milk whipped cream – oh my good land. I love regular dairy whipped cream, but the coconut variety might just top it. Here’s a recipe I think is similar to what they do: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-whipped-cream-from-152490

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