What’s for supper? Vol. 112: Salvation is from the jus

Where would we be without the jus?

***

SATURDAY
Aldi pizza

Saturday was the kindergartener’s birthday party. Every other year, she’s requested either a Spiderman party or a Frozen party. This year, she wanted both. The house was already pretty hemmed in with Christmas decorations, so we limited ourselves to a birthday tree

 

here pictured with limited edition Zooming Spiderman; and a snowflake web cake.

I call this cake “You Too Can Learn To Live With a Familiar Tremor.”
The pretty child was pleased.

I had a brilliant idea for an activity: Stained glass cookies. My oldest made this reliable no-chill sugar cookie dough before hand, and the guests had fun sorting and smashing Jolly Ranchers. I recommend triple bagging the candy before smashing it.

For these cookies, roll the dough fairly thick, then use your largest cookie cutters to cut shapes, and then use a smaller one (or a small-necked bottle) to punch out holes in the cookies. Then fill the holes with smashed Jolly Ranchers and bake the cookies on parchment paper. Here’s a pic from a previous year:

One guest was allergic to wheat, so she used the larger bits of Jolly Ranchers and arranged them on parchment paper around wooden skewers. We baked these in a low oven until they were melted and then let them dry, and they made pretty, if blobby, lollipops.

AND THAT’S IT. NO MORE BIRTHDAYS FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR. (We do have a birthday January first, but NO MORE THIS YEAR.)

***

SUNDAY
Hot dogs, chips

I had to do the Saturday shopping on Sunday, so hot dogs it warr.

***

MONDAY
Chicken cranberry pecan salad

This salad is supposed to have greens topped with grilled chicken, dried cranberries, toasted pecans, chunks of green apple, and blue cheese or feta cheese, plus a sweet vinaigrette of some kind. I forgot the cheese and the dressing and was too tired to cut up apples, so it was a little blah.

I cooked the chicken in the Instant Pot, I think 6 minutes of high pressure. I just chucked them in with a bunch of lemon juice. This produced chicken that was definitely cooked, yes it was. Oh well, not my finest hour. Moving along.

***

TUESDAY
Korean beef bowl and rice

Still a winner. I used less brown sugar than the recipe calls for, and had a heavy hand with the ginger. Both improvements.

I served it over rice with chopped scallions and sesame seeds.

***

WEDNESDAY
French dip sandwiches, baked potatoes, salad

This meal was the high point of the week. Honestly, it was only medium high. Not bad, but not the joyous mouth festival I was anticipating.

I used This Old Gal’s recipe, which calls for pepperoncini, beef broth, and Italian dressing seasoning packets. I don’t normally buy seasoning packets — just a random bit of snobbery, nothing to see here — but I didn’t have the emotional strength to look for a different recipe.

The meat obligingly shredded at the mere touch of a fork (if you like shredded meat, the IP is unsurpassable).

 

I toasted rolls, and actually toasted them, instead of burning them. I had my sandwich with lots of horseradish sauce and Swiss cheese, but some chose provolone or pepper jack.

 

Fancily, I dished out the dipping juice in ramekins I got at a yard sale. Sadly, Corrie heard “jus” and drew the wrong conclusions. When she found out it was meat juice, she got over her disappointment quickly and then just went ahead and drank meat juice out her special cup. She’s flexible.

I like this meal, but I think next time beef is on sale, I’ll skip the pepperoncini and just make it savory instead of spicy, maybe using red wine and onions along with beef broth.

There is way more juice than you can possibly use for dipping sandwiches, so I’m not saying you have to crumble your baked potato into the juice and eat it that way, but you might, rabbit. You might.

In closing: “au jus” means “with juice.” You can not serve “au jus” with your sandwiches, unless you also intend to ask for another scoop of “alamode” with your pie. Get it together, America. These are the things that separate us from the animals.

***

THURSDAY
Fancy ramen

I sauteed boneless pork ribs in a pan and then, once they had cooled a bit, I sliced them thin. Then I used the same pan to cook up some mixed frozen stir fry vegetables. Another pot for ramen, and another pot to boil some eggs. I’ve made this entire meal in the Instant Pot, but that’s a lot of putting in and taking out, and nobody wants that at 6 p.m. on a Thursday when you still haven’t bought stocking stuffers.

We had crunchy noodles, scallions, a few sesame seeds, and hot sauce to sprinkle on top. A very satisfying meal for cheap.

***

FRIDAY
Spaghetti

A placeholder meal while I gather strength for the next few days. I keep telling myself I’m feeling better, or at least not getting sicker, but it’s a lurty die. Anyway, alllll my kids are home, Damien has an honest-to-goodness vacation this year, I managed to get some outdoor lights up to make the house look classy

(and discovered you can buy a light timer for $10!) and knocked just about everything else off my Christmas to-do list.

Our Christmas food tradition is a breakfast of cinnamon buns, bacon ($3.33 a pound for bits and pieces, which I actually prefer), grapes, pomegranates, orange juice, and egg nog; and a dinner of — well, there is an excellent Chinese restaurant 3/4 of a mile down the road, and I got nothing to prove.

Egg nog was, like, a dollar an ounce, so we’re making our own this year. Check it out: According to Serious Eats,

A team of microbiologists at Rockefeller University, in what sounds like a late-night-at-the-holiday-party-inspired bit of good science, proved that, at least in lab conditions, given an alcohol content of 20%, eggnog comes out the other end completely sterile after just 24 hours of resting. That’s cleaner than eggnog bought in sealed cartons from the supermarket.

The article above also concludes that egg nog does not actually taste better if you deliberately leave it in the fridge for a year before drinking it. Science!

And I guess that’s it from me until after Christmas! A merry and blessed Christmas to you, my friends. Don’t forget the jus.

6 thoughts on “What’s for supper? Vol. 112: Salvation is from the jus”

  1. First of all, that cake looks amazing! Secondly, maybe someday- in all your spare time😉- could you list your favorite or most used recipes? I love the shawarma recipe and make it all the time. I know one of these days I’ll make the Korean beef- every time you mention it, it sounds so good! It’s so helpful to see such a variety of dinner ideas each week.

  2. This was my week of “easy meals while I panic about not buying enough food for Christmas because it’s on a stupid weekend this year and I never go to the store the day before Christmas or on Sunday anyway”. I have a lot of irrational feelings about Christmas, and holidays in general. If it weren’t for the kids I’d just go for a hike in the woods.

    Monday: Chicken drumsticks, veggies, and I have forgotten what I served on the side. I think buttered rice, which my oldest and youngest love beyond all merit or reason.

    Tuesday: Oldest had an evening appointment, so I made an early dinner of “fancy” grilled cheese, which basically meant I took a loaf of Italian bread that I had forgotten to use for a previous dinner and sliced it thick, brushed the outsides with melted butter and then made grilled sandwiches to order. I have one kid who hates cheese, so he opts for lunch meat only. I have another kid who dislikes lunchmeat, so he only wants cheese. I have another kid who fancies himself a gourmand, so he likes lunchmeat AND cheese. And then I have the youngest, who at every mealtime, asks for a friggin’ hot dog. We had chips, too, and homemade chocolate chip cookies.

    I was surprised at how much they loved those sandwiches, though. My husband even requested I do them again on Saturday. He specifically said, “Do you have the bread you need for those fancy sandwiches?”

    Wednesday: Shepherd’s pie. Youngest was so hungry he was at first excited to try it, and then gagged when he took a bite. *sigh*. On the upside, the child who usually hates meat really liked it this time! I think it’s because I made sure to drain a lot of the fat out, he always says ground beef is “greasy” and I finally remembered to take the time to drain it. Win.

    Thursday: Burgers and hot dogs, chips and fruit.

    Friday: pasta. I made the mistake of trying a pasta sauce with no sugar added–the store brand “fancy” heirloom tomato kind–and my husband very politely asked, “What sort of pasta sauce are you buying these days?” and when I told him, and said if he didn’t like it I wouldn’t get it again, he said, again, very politely, “It’s just not very tasty.” Back to Ragu!

    I so dearly wish my family were on board with Chinese food for Christmas dinner. Instead, we will be having beef stew for Christmas Eve, with some Brazilian cheese bread if it works out, chocolate gingerbread cookies and hot cocoa for dessert. Christmas Day morning: cinnamon rolls, bacon and sausage, fruit if we have enough on hand. Christmas dinner: chicken divan, which I haven’t made in donkey’s years, but we always had it on Christmas as a kid, crescent rolls, and a citrus salad my husband wants to make. Birthday cake for Jesus for dessert. 🙂

  3. That cake is awesome. Muy classy Our Lady of Guadalupe…didnt you have a Mary shrine in a bathtub? I can’t remember now if you did it or just posted pictures of it, lol.

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