Pretty nice food week! Maybe not the lunches, so much
But the suppers were pretty, pretty nice. Here’s what we had:
Chicken quesadillas with lime crema; corn chips and salsa
Yum. Lime crema is quick to make, but it really elevates basic meals (recipe card at the end). I made the chicken with plenty of chili lime powder. I meant to have some kind of green whathaveyou, but I forgot.
Took some lovely lime zest pictures, though.
If I were a therapist and people came to me feeling bad, I would say, “Have you considered getting an extra hour of daylight in the evening?” I would make a million dollars.
Ravioli, garlic bread
The kids made a nice sauce for the ravioli at home while Damien and I and Thing 3 and Thing 4 went to check out Thomas Aquinas College’s new campus in Massachusetts. Pretty swanky! The dorm rooms are bigger than my bedroom. My phone died after I took this rather overwrought photo outside the chapel.
If you’re familiar with Thomas Aquinas in CA, it sounds like they intend to import the exact same curriculum into their new campus, which is in Northfield, MA, where the Northfield Mount Hermon prep school used to be. I’m not sure it’s the right fit for my kids (I honestly don’t think I could have hacked it, myself, as a student), who lean heavily toward art and literature, but it was refreshing to hear speeches about a truly Catholic college without a lot of “we’re at war, it’s us vs. them” hype, and without any hint of purity culture garbage, either. A really rigorous liberal arts education.
Cuban sandwiches, pineapple
There was leftover ham from last week when we had wall to wall ham. I seared up a nice pork butt with plenty of seasoning in a pan, and then roasted it slowly for several hours.
Then I sliced it and and piled up those sandwiches pretty good. Mustard, Swiss cheese, ham, pickles, pork, more Swiss cheese, more mustard. I used Italian bread, and fried them in lots of butter, and we had pineapple on the side.
Corrie was desperate to help, so I told her to put a piece of ham on every sandwich. And that is what she did.
You are supposed to press these sandwiches, but when it came down to it, I just didn’t feel like it. What I did feel like was taunting Pascal Emmanuel Gobry, who hadn’t eaten for many hours, with photos of my sandwiches on Twitter. Honest to goodness, I’ll be the last one left in purgatory, because I just had to taunt Pascal Emmanuel Gobry with photos of Cuban sandwiches on Twitter.
Strawberry chicken salad
Nice and easy. Greens, sliced strawberries, toasted almonds, and chicken with balsamic vinegar. We also had some leftover Chinese noodles that added an extra crunch along with the almonds. I forgot the feta cheese, but we survived.
I was afraid I hadn’t bought enough chicken, so I made some quick banana muffins. These really are the quickest of muffins, and foolproof. Recipe card at end.
I happen to love this dish. The broccoli had gone bad, but I had plenty of other vegetables, having been swept up in a primavera enthusiasm while I was shopping.
I ended up with carrots, red onions, asparagus tips (just the tips! I SO FANCY!), green peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, and snap peas, and the sauce was just lovely, with plenty of onions and garlic and butter, chicken broth and white wine, cream, pepper, and parmesan. Some people put tomatoes in this dish, and that would also be nice.
I wish I had chosen some other pasta besides spaghetti, to grab up more sauce, and I wish I had used less pasta for the amount of sauce I made, but it was still a filling and pleasant meal, creamy, a little sweet, with plenty of snappy veggies.
Of course we made plain spaghetti and served it with the leftover ravioli sauce. I think exactly one kid even tried the primavera.
And this goes out to Miss Ellis:
Recipe card at the end. And I am incapable of typing out “primavera” on the first try. It always comes out “primavery,” which makes me Yosemite Sam. Have a cee-gar with your primavery!
Lemon pepper pork, pepper, and onions; yogurt sauce and pita; za’atar rice with ca’arots
I didn’t have a clear idea about this meal, so I just wung it.
For the rice, I made plain rice in the Instant Pot. Then I shredded some carrots and sautéed them in olive oil with some za’atar and red pepper flakes. Then I added in some of the rice, then some more za’atar, and heated it through. I really don’t think you can call this pilaf in any way, but I guess that’s what I was aiming for. It was okay. Yogurt sauce helped a lot; and it did make a decent, warm-tasting accompaniment for the meat and vegetables, which had a sharper flavor.
I cut up plenty of red onions and green peppers into chunks and mixed them up with chunks of pork and sliced zucchini, then dressed it all with olive oil, lemon juice, and plenty of lemon pepper seasoning. I spread it in a shallow pan and shoved it under the broiler until it was a little charred.
Then we had yogurt sauce (Greek yogurt with minced garlic, pepper, a little salt, and lemon juice) and pita. It wasn’t a completely smashing meal, but it worked well enough, and it sure was fast to put together.
Oh, about the zucchini. I’m not a fan. I know I served it twice this week, but that’s just because I bought a lot of it. Why I bought a lot of it, I don’t know. Anyway, lemon pepper zucchini in garlicky yogurt sauce? Is so tasty. I may make a dish of just that in the future.
I honestly don’t know. I thought something would have come to me by now. ¡Ai ai!
- 16 oz sour cream
- 3 limes zested and juiced
- 2 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
Mix all ingredients together.
So good on tacos and tortilla chips Looking forward to having it on tortilla soup, enchiladas, MAYBE BAKED POTATOES, I DON'T EVEN KNOW.
Banana muffins (or bread)
Makes two loaves or 24 muffins. Quick, easy, and pleasant.
- 6-7 medium ripe bananas
- 4 eggs
- 4 cups flour
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1.5 cups chopped nuts (optional)
- 2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
Preheat oven to 350. Butter loaf pans or muffin tins, or use cupcake papers.
Mash the bananas in a bowl. Beat the eggs and blend the into the bananas.
In another bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. Add the dry mixture to the banana mixture and stir just until blended. Stir in nuts if desired.
Pour batter into pans or tins. Bake about 28 minutes for muffins, about 1 hour for loaves.
Yogurt sauce (tzatziki)
- 32 oz full fat Greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- fresh parsley or dill, chopped (optional)
Mix all ingredients together. Use for spreading on grilled meats, dipping pita or vegetables, etc.
Pasta in a pleasant cream sauce with an assortment of snappy vegetables. You can use whatever vegetables you like, really.
- 2 lbs cooked pasta
- 4 carrots, sliced into thin discs
- 1 green pepper in short spears
- 1 zucchini, skin on, sliced thinly
- 12 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 1 lb asparagus, chopped (or asparagus tips)
- olive oil
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup half and half or cream
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 cup grated parmesan
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 med onion, diced
- handful peas or snow pea pods, chopped
- 1 cup chicken broth
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Cook the carrots and peppers until slightly soft. Remove the veg and set aside.
Add the butter and a little more oil to the skillet. When the butter is melted, add the mushrooms, zucchini, and asparagus. Cook until slightly soft. Remove veg and set aside.
Add garlic and onions to skillet. Cook until slightly soft.
Add chicken broth and wine, and cook, stirring, until it reduces to about half.
Add cream and parmesan and stir to blend. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add all the vegetables back into the skillet. Add the raw peas.
Put the cooked pasta in a bowl, add the sauce and vegetables, and combine.