What’s for supper? Vol. 87: Mango, Mango! Can’t trust that day!

And we’re off! Here’s what we had this week:

Pancakes with strawberries, sausages

That’s what the kids at home made and ate. Damien and I took our latest high school graduate out to eat for a celebration meal, and we all ate long past the point of regret. Someone’s gonna put fresh, hot bread and herbed olive oil, seafood chowder, fried calamari, and shrimp scampi in front of me, what am I gonna do? I’m not made of stone. But I said no to the berry mascarpone torte, mainly because I was still finishing my beer.

My daughter made us proud all through high school, and graduated with honors in math (MATH!). Here is her crowning achievement:

Isn’t she cute?


Burgers, hot dogs, chips, brownie sundaes

This was Father’s Day, and maybe not our best effort. Something about everyone feeling about as peppy and energetic as a, a, a thing that is tired and having a hard time coming up with interesting descriptions. So he cooked up meat on the grill and it was good.


Turkey avocado provolone wraps, raw veggies and hummus, grapes

For some reason, everyone was super enthusiastic about this meal. We had some leftover rolls and a bunch of leftover tortillas, which I set out with deli turkey and salami, avocados, onions, provolone, and various kinds of dressing. I chose honey mustard, which doesn’t even go.

I mean, it didn’t taste bad or anything, but I wasn’t prepared for the choruses of hosannas. I think it may have been the grapes, actually.

Here is a moment that Benny wanted to memorialize:


Blueberry chicken salad

I intended to use this recipe, but ran out of time to make the special dressing or chop anything small, so we had chicken, mixed bagged greens, bleu cheese, sliced almonds, red onions, and blueberries, with balsamic vinegar. I can’t seem to find the picture I took, so here’s the pic from last time:

Again, I was taken aback at how delighted everyone was. I do love these hearty salads with nuts, cheese, meat, and fruit. Very pretty and filling.



It was the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL FINALLY, and we went to the beach, and by the time we got home, I had zero interest in making dinner, and 100% interest in letting the kids make French toast while I languished on the couch. Then I got up and ate scrambled eggs and the ice cream I virtuously declined on Sunday.


Pork kebabs, white rice, mangoes

I was planning to make oven pork gyros using this NYT recipe, but I was just too lazy to try a new recipe with that many steps.

Instead, I put together a triple recipe of this teriyaki sauce and mixed it up with cubed pork and big wedges of onion, and let that marinate a few hours. Then I put the meat and onions on a pan with a rack and shoved it up right under the broiler, turning it once. Yummeh.

The rice, I made in the Instant Pot (affiliate link) using the 1:1 method and the rice button. I don’t understand why you have to rinse the rice, but it always comes out perfect, so I won’t argue.

We had five large mangoes which I peeled and cut up in no time using a metal cup. You try to figure out which way the pit lies and then cut the “cheeks” off the mango, leaving the pit inside a flat section of fruit.

Then you take a glass or metal cup with a thin rim and just, vooooop, slide the cup rim just under the skin and scoop the flesh right out in one piece.

Very satisfying and efficient.
It’s a little tricker to trim the rest of the flesh off the pit, but overall, this method makes mangoes worth eating, rather than an exercise in sticky, pulpy futility.

Because I must always be shilling something, and because I’m as sick of hearing about the Instant Pot as you are, these are the aluminum cups we have (affiliate link):

My damn wiener kids do lose them and bend them, but they do not break them! Ha!



Child requested tuna noodle casserole. So let it be written, so let it be done. My husband despises this food, but he will be out picking up my oldest kid from the airport, hooray! We sure missed her.

Okay, the Fourth of July looms! We’ll probably do burgers and hot dogs and pork spiedies using this recipe, plus chips and corn on the cob (maybe fancy corn on the cob with lime, paprika, and parmesan), watermelon, and potato salad. As predictable a menu as Thanksgiving, but with food you actually want to eat. Who has exciting ideas for a picnic dessert for a big crowd? Or some kind of razzle dazzle side dish that kids would like?


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14 thoughts on “What’s for supper? Vol. 87: Mango, Mango! Can’t trust that day!”

  1. I don’t have any bright dessert ideas, but if you have the Budget Bytes cookbook or can get it from a library (she hasn’t put the recipe up on her site, I don’t think), I think her calico beans make a great side.

  2. Just in case you have a lot of kids and haven’t thought of it yourself: We always used plastic cups, so each child could be assigned a color and you don’t end up with a million water cups sitting around because nobody can tell whose is whose and they just use a clean one five times a day. But I got worried about my kids drinking out of plastic all the time, so I bought a lot of glasses and etched VERY simple patterns around the rims. Now each kid is assigned a pattern (straight line, zigzag, squares, etc.). I am not at all crafty but the etching was very easy and inexpensive. Of course it’s not a good idea if you have lots of little ones.

  3. I have some stainless steel cups that are my favorite. Indestructible, prob healthier than plastic. You can get them at Indian grocery stores. They are for chai, but can be used for anything, but didn’t know the mango tip. Also have the small bowls for kids snacks etc

  4. What a great-sounding week you had! And thanks for the helpful tip about the mangoes.

    Sunday, my husband was sick and wanted to go nowhere and see nobody, so we had hamburgers cooked in a grill pan, with rolls, carrots, and mashed potatoes. Monday, he was still sick, so we had homemade chicken noodle soup, crackers, and raw veggies with dressing. Tuesday’s meal was shrimp in a tomato-wine sauce with capers, served over angel hair, with salad and broccoli. Wednesday’s menu was oven-baked stew, mashed potatoes, and salad. Thursday, we had this nice dish a guy from our local Knights of Columbus council made for their Monday meeting; it was a Portuguese variation of paella, with chicken, smoked sausage, and shrimp; we had it with broccoli, roasted carrots, and bread. Friday’s meal is going to be tuna burgers, rolls, mixed vegetables, and raw veggies with dip. Saturday, we will most likely have tacos, rice and refried beans.

    As for dessert ideas, a fruit pizza on baked sugar cookie dough is always a hit with kids. Or a berry something or other shortcake or cobbler, and whipped cream. If worse comes to worse, there’s always ice cream and cones. We also like cheesecake, but if time runs short, that’s the first thing to go off the menu, unless my wonderful mother-in-law makes hers.

    For an easy side dish, we like pasta salad with veggies, Italian-type dressing, and last-minute stir-ins of chopped salami and cut-up cheese, such as provolone. Or I do a raw veggie tray with ranch dip. For some mysterious reason, roasted vegetables, even Brussels sprouts and asparagus, are popular, whether served hot or cold.

  5. Sat: Chipotle, thanks to our library. Good thing too, that we only had to pay for one out of the seven meals because most of the kids didn’t like it. :-/
    Sun: lasagna, garlic bread. Got together with my side of the family to celebrate grandpa; husband left early so as to get what he really wanted for Father’s Day, which was a nap in a quiet house. That ended up meaning he made his own lasagna. It was good!
    Mon: had a gift card to Chick-fil-a and used it because I knew I had no chance of getting out of my ob appt. in time to make supper. Baby fine, but I wish I could convince the ob not to “casually mention” every. single. appointment. that the recommended weight gain is 25-35 lbs. My old ob (who retired) never cared; I miss him.
    Tues: taco salad. Good stuff, especially when it’s boiling hot out.
    Wed: leftover night with my brother’s family, so lasagna and taco salad and chicken tikka masala and burgers/hot dogs. Something for everyone; I love combined-leftover night.
    Th: scrambled eggs, bacon, pancakes, some with blueberries in them. Everyone happy.
    Fri: pasta. This week killed me; I always harbor the hope that swim lesson weeks “won’t be as bad this year” and it’s always awful. But God gave me the gift today of the electricity being out at the pool due to construction so lessons were cancelled. I am grateful.

  6. Well, in my humble opinion, banana pudding (layer of vanilla wafers, layer of pudding, layer of cool whip or whipped cream, garnish with slices of banana) is the spring/summer potluck picnic dessert of choice. And it’s cold and very simple to make a whole lot of it. And it’s very, very yummy.

  7. This week was a doozy. The whole house A/C started dying a slow, lingering, malodorous death on Saturday. Sunday saw us at the home improvement store, buying a third portable AC so we didn’t get heat stroke/bored with just eating cold food. Monday the AC guy came out and informed us the unit was “just absolutely clogged with a little bit of everything” because the landlord hadn’t had it cleaned in four years. That night we had Mexican crockpot chicken, Spanish rice, and watermelon.

    Tuesday was burgers and hot dogs and oven baked potato wedges. Apparently it’s been long enough since I made potato wedges that the children were touchingly appreciatve—I just cut them (in wedges, duh), let soak in cold water until I realize it’s time to bake them, rinse, dry toss with oil and seasonings (i like salt, garlic powder, pepper and paprika) and bake at 425 until crispy enough.

    Wednesday I can’t really remember. I think the kids may have made English muffin pizzas, and eaten them in front of the TV. I had leftovers.

    Thursday: salmon, fish sticks for savages who do not like salmon, buttered rice, frozen cooked veggies. Angel food cake (storebought) for dessert because my husband has had a rough week and I like him.

    Friday: pasta night. Breadsticks. Pesto from the garden.

    As for side dishes, my kids always lunge after a good fruit salad (my mom always tossed hers with sugar and a bit of almond extract). Or Smitten Kitchen’s Broccoli Slaw. But only two of the kids. For desserts, I’ve always wondered about Smitten Kitchen’s slab pie https://smittenkitchen.com/2009/07/sour-cherry-slab-pie/ because it looks absolutely delicious and not *too* difficult.

  8. Here’s a fun mango trick that they do in Colombia: Instead of removing then flesh from the skin, take the point of a sharp knife, and without piercing through the skin, make a grid of cuts like a hashtag but with a couple of extra cuts, then pop it inside out. The kids love it. But they get mad if I pop it out for them.

    Yay for your lovely mathematician! STEM is where it’s at. The math brainiac with high verbal skills can do whatever she wants in life.

    It’s interesting how a parent can really influence a kids’ opinion about it. When I was a kid, and needed some help, my Mom would squeak and say “I hate Math!–I’ll get Dad.” My Dad was the math and science scholar at his Jesuit H.S. but later in life he would grumble and say “give me the book! I can’t remember any of this anymore!” There was a distinctly negative vibe about it. I eventually learned a good system of teaching myself by pouring over the sample problems. But the worst thing I did to program myself negatively was tell myself that there couldn’t possibly be any real life application for a housewife. (I had high aspirations :/) The only thing I got out of trying was gloating about being able to do it, if I really wanted to. I competed to get a high score, but other than that I had no use for it. When I had my own kids, I found myself doing the exact same thing as my Mom. It was a combination of negativity, damsel-in-distress b.s., and a never ending stream of babies and toddlers that would get in the way, at the worst part of the day.

    The good thing is that I finally confronted myself, and admitted to my kids (especially my daughter) that my attitude about Math had really stunk, and I was wrong to have been such a wet blanket. At some point along the way I realized that if it could ever be said that there was a codified language of God, then it would be MATH!

    It wasn’t that long ago that my Mom gave me an old file that had the scores for my entrance test into H.S. I was stunned. My math scores were at the top of the chart and better than my verbal scores! I had always convinced myself that I hated math and was terrible at it. This was compounded by the fact that my eighth grade math teacher was probably the meanest woman in my entire academic experience. I was terrified by her nasty temperament.

    There aren’t that many things in life that I waste time wishing I could go back and change, but one of them is that I wish I’d been a math bad a**. I think it’s really empowering for women.

    Kudos to your daughter! (What a good example for the other kids too).

    1. I feel you on the bad math teachers. My freshman-year algebra teacher went to rehab shortly after the semester I had her; that may have had something to do with the fact that I spent every night weeping over being dumb at math, despite having done the exact same math the previous year and understanding it fine then. She made it unrecognizable. Then, junior year of high school, I took trig at the local university; that prof was the sort who considered teaching beneath him and I had no clue all that semester either, though I got an A. I gave up on math entirely after that.
      I refer questions to my husband who was a math major and I figure can give them an actual understanding instead of my “well, I don’t know, this is just how you do it, I don’t know *why*”

      1. Anna,
        With every pregnancy you gain more than the one before. I don’t know why, you just do. I think it’s a sugar thing. Even if you crave it like crazy (because what you really want is a half bottle of wine in my case)–refined sugars are the no-no. Even pure maple syrup started giving me a rapid heart beat with the last three. By the ninth I was borderline diabetic, but it also had to do with the baby. This was humbling because you can’t judge things based upon pregnancies when you were in your 20s or early 30s. Everything changes.

        As for Math–If you are a strong reader (as I suspect you are) You are probably a visual learner. That’s how I made sense of why anyone at a blackboard saying things (blah blah blah blah) wouldn’t work for me (and some of my kids). That was my theory anyway, until #6 came along. He’s fricking brilliant in everything except for the fact that he’s a giant nerd with no street cred. He owns that. I guess you can’t have it all.

  9. What wonderful meals! I have come to think of you as my favorite food writer. And Benny is so adorable!

  10. Jello cake for July 4th dessert. Super easy and super cheap, not to mention,a real crowd pleaser.

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