Sorry about the dearth of posts this week. I’ve been busily tapping away at other stuff that will bob to the surface eventually. Also I thought I was dying, which was distracting. (Spoiler: I did not die.)
On Monday I stopped being able to ignore these chest pains and unexplained swelling that sounded a lot like some very un-fun heart attack/lethal blood clot nonsense, so with my family history, I chewed up some aspirin and had a kid drive me to the ER. My heart is okay, thanks be to God. I think it is stress, which is embarrassing, but there it is. So now I have to do these fricken breathing exercises like a stupid hippie.
Nobody said I had to stop eating like someone who’s trying to induce a heart attack, though. Here’s what we had:
Buffalo chicken with salad
This is quickly becoming my new fast and easy but not-quite-junk-food meal (which means that the family is quickly becoming sick and tired of it). It’s mixed greens topped with shredded carrots, crumbled blue cheese, crunchy fried onions from a pouch, and buffalo chicken from frozen, drizzled with buffalo ranch dressing.
Quite a nice combination, sharp and yummy, but there’s an actual salad involved, so, santo subito.
Bacon, eggs, Brussels sprouts; homemade french bread
One of my favorite one-pan meals, and it’s so easy.Jump to Recipe
You just have to cut up a bunch of Brussels sprouts and cut up a bunch of raw bacon, stir up a quick balsamic honey sauce, mix it all together, and cook it all in a big sheet pan. Shortly before it’s done, you crack some eggs on top and cook it a little longer, then top it with parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.
SO GOOD. These flavors together are just so cozy and savory.
Every time I make this dish, I say it needs fresh, warm bread, so this time I went for it.
I was feeling peppy after a successful faith formation class (we acted out the visit of the magi and the flight to Egypt. You should have seen that little star of Bethlehem waving and waving and waving her hands. Here’s the baby! Here He is! It was adorable) and didn’t need to do anything right away, so it was a good time. I chose this french bread recipe, which looked reasonable. I haven’t made french bread for something like ten years, and I was very nervous about the yeast.
Someone told it’s better if the water is a little too cool, rather than too hot. So I erred on coolness and gave it almost 20 minutes to foam, and it foamed! Hooray! The rest was pretty easy. I used the dough hook on my standing mixer to do the kneading for me, so it came out plenty smooth. And the idiots who designed my kitchen built a cabinet and countertop over the heating vent. We’ve since torn out the cabinets, but there is still a little makeshift shelf there, so I have the perfect warm, protected dough-rising spot.
So I let it rise in the bowl, then formed the loaves (I made a double recipe, so I had four big loaves) and let them rise, and slashed them after the second rise. Then I went out of the room for a minute. When I came back, one of my children was leaning on the loaf with her elbow. Just . . . .leaning on it. And it wasn’t like, “Oops, oh no, my goodness, I can’t believe I leaned in your dough!” It was more like, “Yeah, I can see spending my life here. What’s she yelling about now?”
Anyway. I reformed the loaf, even if it’s not possible to do that with the child.
This recipe calls for tossing some ice cubes into the oven along with the bread, to put moisture in there and give it a nice crust.
I thought it came out a little soft and pale for my liking, but I didn’t want to over bake it and dry it out; so I melted some butter and brushed that on. They were so glossy and golden and lovely, I just about died, I was so proud of myself.
The taste was a little bland, which is okay, since the purpose of this bread was so sop up the spectacularly flavorful balsamic-honey-bacon-egg yolk pan drippings of the meal.
Sorry, one last bread picture. I made bread!
I don’t feel confident enough to write up my own recipe card yet, but I’ll try this a few more times and then get that going. Yay, bread!
So this was the day I decided I was actually dying, and not from bread pride, so instead of the planned meal, we ordered pizza. And yes, I pulled off my cardiac electrodes, put my back shirt on, came home, and ate cold pepperoni pizza standing up. We die like Americans.
Chicken quesadillas and guacamole
Broiled some chicken in the oven, well crusted with salt, pepper, chili powder, and cumin, and sliced it up, then sliced up a ton of cheese, and fixed a big bowl of guacamole. The rest of the day is a bit of a blur. I think I went to bed and Damien made quesadillas.
I do remember how remarkably perfect the avocados were, though. I bought them on Saturday and chose exactly the right day to cut them up. Aren’t they lurvely?
The guacamole was not, to be honest, my very best. I should have mashed them avocados more, cut the tomatoes smaller, and juiced some more limes. Still tasty, though.
Jump to Recipe
Bacon cheeseburgers, Doritos
Wednesday was, despite his best efforts, Damien’ birthday, and he requested that he be allowed to shop for and cook this meal. What a prima donna, right? We also had stuffed clams, because why not. (Here I would like to remind you that the doctor said my heart is entirely healthy and all my numbers are good. I only ate half a bacon cheeseburger, though, because I was full of stuffed clams.)
Now the kids are supposed to stop harassing me about being older than Damien, as we are now both 45, but they have not stopped.
Pulled pork sandwiches, tater tots, coleslaw
Easy peasy. I bought one of those giant shrink wrapped sandworm pork hunks at Aldi and chonked it in the slow cooker with some beer and hot pepper flakes, and let it cook all day. Shredded it and mixed it up with a bottle of BBQ sauce
and let that warm up while I made coleslawJump to Recipe
which we ate by the light of the it’s-still-Christmas lights.
We also had the birthday dessert I had purchased on Wednesday but which we were all too stuffed to eat. This is what you get when you can’t say what you really want for your birthday. You get this:
No, he doesn’t especially like Raisinets.
Not pictured: Two kinds of ice cream, fresh whipped cream, hot fudge, and cherries.
Grilled cheese and tomato soup.
Tomato soup from a can, I say! *shakes fist whats-for-supperly*
Recipe cards below!
Bacon, eggs, and brussels sprouts in honey garlic balsamic sauce
Adapted from Damn Delicious. An easy and tasty one-pan meal that would work for any meal. Great with a hearty bread like challah.
- 4 lbs Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 3 lbs uncooked bacon, cut into 1- or 2-inch pieces
- 18 eggs
- oil for greasing pan
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 8 cloves garlic, crushed
- parmesan cheese, grated
- red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 400. Grease two large oven sheets.
Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Mix Brussels sprouts and bacon together, spread evenly in pans, and pour sauce all over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Cook until bacon is almost done (almost as crisp as you like it) and Brussels sprouts are very slightly browned, 18-20 minutes.
Pull the pans out of the oven and carefully crack the eggs onto the Brussels sprouts and bacon, here and there.
Return pan to the oven and cook a few minutes longer, just enough to set the eggs. The yolks will get a little film over the top, but don't let them cook all the way through, or you'll have something resembled hard boiled eggs, which isn't as good. You want the yolks to be liquid so you can dip forkfuls of fod into it.
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes and serve.
White Lady From NH's Guacamole
- 4 avocados
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- 1 medium jalapeno, minced
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped roughly
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 2 limes juiced
- 1 tsp chili powder
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 red onion, diced
Peel avocados. Mash two and dice two.
Mix together with rest of ingredients and add seasonings.
Cover tightly, as it becomes discolored quickly.
- 1 head cabbage, shredded
- 2 carrots, grated
- 5 radishes, grated or sliced thin (optional)
- 1 cup mayo
- 1 cup cider or white vinegar
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
- pepper to taste
Mix together shredded vegetables.
Mix dressing ingredients together and stir into cabbage mix.