What’s for supper? Vol. 283: I’m light as a feather!

I’m the Bake-o-Lite girl. 

Here’s what we had this week: 

Italian sandwiches

Always a favorite.

When I was growing up, my mother used to cook during the week (and in fact my father would do the shopping, and would choose all the groceries, and she would come up with a menu based on what he happened to bring home, which is . . . certainly a way of doing things!), but every Saturday, my father would make grinders (which is what more people in this area used to calls subs back in the 70’s). He used to work at a sub shop calls Subs ‘n’ Such, and at first –well, at first, he would bring home leftover, sometimes dubious meat to feed the family with, but then things stabilized a bit, and he started buying meat at the deli; but he continued making subs for everyone in the family on Saturdays. But eventually he realized he could just bring stuff home and we could make our own dang sandwiches. This was every single Saturday, and he would also make pizzas every Sunday, and it was a great system. The world underestimates the charm of predictability.


Damien made his tasty hot wings and drumettes with blue cheese dip,

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and I made a big batch of guacamole.

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And we had hot dogs.

Not terribly inventive, but what is, these days?

The Superbowl halftime show was aimed directly at people our age, and I got to feel that old familiar “everyone knows this song except for me” feeling again, just like the old days, wooo. 

I spent most of the day working on valentines with the little girls. Corrie focused mainly on literary efforts. Benny wanted to do something homemade, but I wasn’t feeling super creative, so I got a bunch of silicone molds from Walmart, and we smashed a bunch of Jolly Ranchers and spooned different colored bits into the molds, melted them in a low oven, let them cool, and popped out a bunch of neat little shaped candies — hearts, roses, and of course some Star Wars shapes, and some dinosaurs.

The dinos were especially charming. They came out very sleek and appealing. 

Benny spent, I don’t know, eleven hours putting her valentines together. 

Then we realized Corrie was supposed to bring in a Valentine mailbox, so she came up with this, uh, Hill of Love, with a cave where Aphrodite lives. 

And that’s the true meaning of Valentine’s Day. 

Korean beef bowl

Back to an old standby. I made it in the morning and kept it warm in the crockpot all day,

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then made some rice in the Instant Pot when it was dinner time, and snipped some scallions off the windowsill jar, which is I think the fourth generation already. 

I forgot to make anything heart-shaped. There is brown sugar in the sauce, so that was Valentine, I guess.  

Greek(?) chicken skewers, pita, yogurt sauce

This was a really tasty meal, and very cheering and summery on a dreary February day. Easy, too, as long as you have time to put things on skewers; and kid-friendly, with bright, pleasant flavors like lemon and honey. I threw some fresh mint and fresh oregano leaves in there, too.

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I decided to string the chicken, onions, and tomatoes (fancy multi-colored cherry and grape tomatoes) on skewers and then marinate them, which is not really ideal — they get less marinade that way, unless you have absolutely tons of it — but it always takes so long to do, and I wanted to get it over with. 

I just roasted them on a rack over a pan right under the broiler in the oven, and they turned out perfect. Gosh, I love hot roasted tomatoes, especially. 

Served with plenty of pita bread and some nice yogurt sauce.

Lovely bright, sweet, juicy, cheerful meal. I had these cold for lunch a few times during the rest of the week.

Not enough chicken (or too much chicken; you decide); pasta salad

The store had no chicken burgers, so I got chicken strips, thinking we could just put them on rolls like burgers, but apparently the size of the bag was deceiving, and there weren’t enough chicken to go around. Luckily, we had leftover chicken skewers, plus leftover chicken wings. Not exactly a loaves and fishes situation, but there certainly was a lot of chicken. 

The pasta salad was okay.

I don’t know what it is with my pasta salad. I load it up with all kinds of good things and tasty flavors and seasonings, and I keep adding to it throughout the day, but I almost always end up with something bland anyway. 

This pasta salad had olive oil and red wine vinegar, sun dried tomatoes, marinated artichoke hearts, black olives, thick-cut pepperoni, diced red onion, and grated parmesan, plus plenty of salt and pepper, oregano and garlic powder. I know you’re thinking it’s because I didn’t use fresh garlic and fresh herbs, but even when I do, it’s still bland. I don’t know why I keep making it. Yes I do. It’s so I don’t have to serve chips. 

Pulled pork, coleslaw, homemade hot pretzels

The pulled pork had beer, apple cider vinegar, half a jar of sliced jalapeños with the juice, and a bunch of salt and pepper and garlic powder, and I let it go in the crock pot all day. It was okay. I had to fight with it to shred it. I served it with rolls, but skipped the roll myself

because I also made hot pretzels! Yay!

The hot pretzels were a King Arthur recipe I meant to make for the Super Bowl but ran out of time. Quite easy, it turns out! It just takes one rise.  I mixed all the ingredients for a double recipe in the standing mixer, let the dough rise for half an hour, divided it up (look how uneven! they would toss me out of the Great British Baking Show so fast)

made 16 pretzels, doused them in water that had baking soda dissolved in it,

let them rest, salted them, baked them, and then brushed them with butter.

I very slightly undercooked them, because I planned to re-heat them for dinner (which several people assured me works beautifully), but then forgot to do so. 

Ironically, they came out somewhat lighter and fluffier than I had hoped. I have the world’s heaviest hand in baking, and normally I couldn’t produce a light and fluffy baked good if you put a gun to my head. So this time, I wanted that characteristic chewy, doughy texture, and they came out tender and airy. Whatcha gonna do. Still delicious! and the flavor was exactly right, salty and buttery and a little bit sour, and I really liked the very fragile, flaky little crust on the outside.


I got a little confused about how to twist them, so I found a helpful video here (skip to about 20 seconds in). My pretzels had a more . . . vertical thrust than you often see in pretzels. They looked like. . .  hmm . . . nests. Yeah, that’s the ticket. 

They did not resemble piles of anything.

They did not appear to be waiting in line for the ladies’ room.

And they definitely did not remind me of anything else. Not at all. 

Put that thing back where it came from or so help me!

I guess I didn’t stretch the snake parts enough, or pinch the ends down firmly enough! I’m just delighted I baked something that turned out looking nice and tasting normal, though. Yay me! Yay pretzels!

For future reference, my friend Kim helpfully asked the King Arthur people on my behalf how to handle it if I wanted to make the dough early but bake the pretzels right before supper. The recommendation was to make the dough up to step 4, and then put the kneaded dough in the fridge, and then before dinner, take the dough out, form the pretzels, and bake. I’ll definitely be making this recipe again. 

Lo mein

Tonight I intend to make a lovely shrimp and scallop lo mein with sugar snap peas, asparagus, and fresh ginger. I have made lo mein with all kinds of noodles, including rice noodles and fettuccine, but today I have some skinny pho noodles (which are also made of rice, but I guess a different kind?) that were on sale at Aldi. 

It’s super easy to throw this together. Just mix a few ingredients for the sauce, boil the noodles, cook your mix-ins, deglaze the pan, and boop it all together. 

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Here’s a lo mein I booped as a side for roast pork. 

It’s completely filling as a main dish, though, especially if you get some proteins in there. 

And that’s my story. My story about food. 

Hot chicken wings with blue cheese dip (after Deadspin)

Basic, tasty hot wings with blue cheese sauce


  • chicken wingettes
  • oil for frying

For the hot sauce:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/8 cup tabasco sauce
  • 1/8 cup sriracha sauce
  • salt
  • vinegar (optional)

Blue cheese sauce:

  • sour cream
  • blue cheese
  • optional: lemon juice, mayonnaise
  • celery sticks for serving


  1. Fry the wingettes in several inches of oil until they are lightly browned. Do a few at a time so they don't stick together. Set them on paper towels to cool.

  2. Melt the butter and mix together wit the rest of the hot sauce ingredients. Toss the wings in the hot sauce.

  3. Mix together the sour cream and crumbled blue cheese. Use a food processor or whisk vigorously to break up the blue cheese. You can add lemon juice or a little mayonnaise to thin it.

  4. Serve with blue cheese dip and celery sticks.


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


  1. Peel avocados. Mash two and dice two. 

  2. Mix together with rest of ingredients and add seasonings.

  3. Cover tightly, as it becomes discolored quickly. 


5 from 1 vote

Korean Beef Bowl

A very quick and satisfying meal with lots of flavor and only a few ingredients. Serve over rice, with sesame seeds and chopped scallions on the top if you like. You can use garlic powder and powdered ginger, but fresh is better. The proportions are flexible, and you can easily add more of any sauce ingredient at the end of cooking to adjust to your taste.


  • 1 cup brown sugar (or less if you're not crazy about sweetness)
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 3-4 inches fresh ginger, minced
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-4 lb2 ground beef
  • scallions, chopped, for garnish
  • sesame seeds for garnish


  1. In a large skillet, cook ground beef, breaking it into bits, until the meat is nearly browned. Drain most of the fat and add the fresh ginger and garlic. Continue cooking until the meat is all cooked.

  2. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes the ground beef and stir to combine. Cook a little longer until everything is hot and saucy.

  3. Serve over rice and garnish with scallions and sesame seeds. 

Greek chicken skewers

Serve with yogurt sauce. Add pita and rice pilaf or stuffed grape leaves for a nice meal.


  • 4 lbs chicken, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 3 pints grape tomatoes
  • 5 red onions, cut into wedges

For the marinade:

  • 4 lemons zested and juiced
  • 4 tsp oregano
  • 1-2 cups fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste


  1. Mix together the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, honey, mint, oregano, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken chunks and let it marinate for at least three hours.

  2. When you are ready to cook, thread the marinated chicken onto skewers, alternating with tomatoes and onion.

  3. Grill over coals or broil in a pan in the oven until slightly charred.

  4. Serve with yogurt sauce.


basic lo mein


for the sauce

  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 5 tsp sesame oil
  • 5 tsp sugar

for the rest

  • 32 oz uncooked noodles
  • sesame oil for cooking
  • add-ins (vegetables sliced thin or chopped small, shrimp, chicken, etc.)
  • 2/3 cup rice vinegar (or mirin, which will make it sweeter)


  1. Mix together the sauce ingredients and set aside.

  2. Boil the noodles until slightly underdone. Drain and set aside.

  3. Heat up a pan, add some sesame oil for cooking, and quickly cook your vegetables or whatever add-ins you have chosen.

  4. Add the mirin to the pan and deglaze it.

  5. Add the cooked noodles in, and stir to combine. Add the sauce and stir to combine.

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6 thoughts on “What’s for supper? Vol. 283: I’m light as a feather!”

  1. This might be a stupid-obvious solution to the bland pasta salad problem (i.e., I don’t want to assume you haven’t already tried this), but do you heavily salt the boiling water you cook the pasta in? It’s so hard to get flavor into pasta *after* it’s cooked. And you need to put more salt in the cooking water than you might think. But if it’s salted nicely while cooking, then it tends to brighten up everything else you toss in later.

  2. Enjoyed this so much. Tempted to follow to the recipes, and laughed a little too hard at the photos and captions of the pretzels. Love the Monsters Inc quote .

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