I’m fat, it’s cold, my dreams are all tragic, and nothing ever gets done. Must be December. Come along with me, won’t you?
Pizza, birthday cake
Birthday party! Birthday girl asked for pizza after a Frozen-themed party. This was pretty easy to pull off, thanks to the Dollar Tree’s seasonal aisle. Decorations were blue table cloths, white tissue paper garlands and cotton balls strung on thread to make snow:
and some blue punch in my spectacular new $2 punch bowl from the Salivation Army.
I got a bunch of plastic and foam snowflakes, plus blue and white plastic gems, sparkly pipe cleaners, and a bunch of spools of ribbon, and the kids made snowflake wands.
I like doing a craft at the beginning of a party, to help break the ice and give the kids something to do while they’re waiting for everyone to show up. It’s also nice when your sister drives three+ hours to get to the party, and then you immediately hand her a hot glue gun.
Or, it gives you something to be haughty and suspicious about, depending on your mood.
Some of the guests had wheat allergies, so we made two cakes and decorated them with marshmallow creme, mini marshmallows, sparkly decorator’s sugar, and “broken glass” candy for ice.
So, marshmallow creme is very easy to use, and makes a lovely, smooth, alpine surface, very much like a heavy snow kissed by the wintery sun. The only catch is that it’s such a smooth surface, it tends to keep slowly flowing long after you’ve already achieved the effect you like.
Bloop. This can be passed off as intentional when it’s just the top layer that’s in motion, but when the marshmallow is between layers, the top tier of cake may just migrate right off the plate and onto the floor, tra la la. So you may want to secure the the tiers in place with dowels or skewers or
whatever you have on hand before you finish decorating it.
Here’s the other cake, which is chock full of splintery skewers and cussing:
These cakes were supposed to have little Frozen figurines on top, but of course the only one we could find on party day was Sven, who happened to be headless. So we just shoved some candles in and sang louder. Kid loved it.
The broken glass candy is a pain in the neck to make (it’s not hard to make, but it takes forever to get up to the right temperature), but it’s useful for all kinds of things, like a campfire cake:
or just a general angst cake:
And actually that’s probably about it.
It’s really hard to get it to come out clear, so it’s best to plan to add food coloring. Now you know how I spend my evenings, besides drinking.
This is our standard “don’t worry about supper” meal from Mr. Husband when we’re super busy. Hamburgers are good.
Chicken tortilla soup, corn bread
I liked Pioneer Woman’s chicken tortilla soup very, very much, and was pleased to see that she has a slow cooker version. SO EASY. You throw the chicken breasts in raw and whole, along with everything else, and shred them up after the soup is done cooking. Just delicious. I skipped the adobo chipotle peppers, because the kids are getting sick of spicy food.
I ran out of cumin, so I used a premixed packet of taco spice for one pot. The non-premade-spice pot was slightly nicer, but they were both good. I used two breasts per recipe, not the three she calls for, and it was plenty chickenfull.
This is the cornbread recipe I use. I run a pat of butter over the top when it comes out of the oven, to give it a pretty sheen.
Can I just? Spellcheck has no problem with “chickenfull.” Hey, fork yuo to, spellchick.
Grilled ham and cheese pita pockets, salad, cheezy weezies
I love grilled pita pockets. So nice. I fried them in a little olive oil, and they get the thinnest little bit of crunch on the outside, but stay chewy on the inside. So nice.
Cheesy chicken rice broccoli casserole
On the menu this week was chicken farro salad with beets and feta. I’m telling this so you will understand how well I do, considering I spend most of my days working around this long, deep, and wide streak of idiocy I have.
See, I know perfectly well that I’m the only one in the house who likes beets, and even I don’t like them very much. Plus, the recipe calls for you to include the beet greens, and you have to blanch them first. I want to go to my grave without ever having blanched anything.
But in case my death-without-blanching doesn’t keep me busy enough, I’d also like, please, to spend a certain amount of time waiting for the hipster supermarket stock boy to decide that he’s ignored me for long enough, and now he can smirk stupidly and agree that, yup, it’s pretty hard to find farro, smirky smirk.
I left in a snit, cherishing the fantasy that, even though I couldn’t find farro on my three-hour, four-store shopping trip, I could probably just zip by Farro-B-Us and easily pick some up on the way home from school at some point.
Which I could not. Pasta, then! But we had no pasta. Fine, then rice will do.
Well, we are out of rice, aren’t we.
So I borrowed some rice from the Christmas box my daughter was planning to deliver to Vincent de Paul. Yes, I did. Then I took the overpriced beets out of the refrigerator, thought one last time about blanching, and threw them away. Vincent de Paul would have been so proud.
Then I cooked up a bunch of rice, poached a bunch of chicken, and mixed it together with some leftover steamed broccoli I found in the back of the fridge, and then searched around for the Cream of Anger soup I knew there must be in the back of the cabinet. There wasn’t. SO I WENT TO THE STORE ANYWAY, and bought two cans (one cream of chicken, one cream of mushroom, because apparently I can’t read), and also some more broccoli, because I noticed that the broccoli I had already mixed into this misbegotten casserole from hell had gone spoiled, making the entire kitchen smell like an olfactory illustration of my state of mind.
Then I shredded in some cheese, spread buttered panko crumbs on the top, and crammed it in the oven.
And guess what? It looked like this:
but it tasted exactly like this:
Everyone loved it, which made me feel even worse.
I’m not mad at anyone. I’m just mad, okay?
Hot dogs, cookies
I already told you about Thursday.
Oh, the cookies my daughter made were these foolproof sugar cookies that you can roll and cut and which require no refrigeration. She put a thumbprint in each one and added a spoonful of jelly, but you can all kinds of things with these cookies. They don’t taste like much, but they make a great smooth canvas for decorating.
The original plan was to make stained glass cookies. You make standard sugar cookies with a cut-out in the middle, and bake them until they are set, but not browned. Then you carefully spoon crushed hard candies into the cut-out and finish baking for the last few minutes. The candy is supposed to melt and make a stained glass effect.
But it turned out we didn’t have parchment paper to line the pan, so I shut that down. Last time we made these, I thought tin foil would work. Which it does, as long as you like foily cookies that wake up your tooth nerves.
I had already crushed up the candy, though, so I funnelled it into a bowl for later use. This morning, I found Corrie sitting at the table with said bowl and a spoon, having a fine, crunchy breakfast for herself.
Fish tacos; tortilla chips
Fish sticks, shredded cabbage, avocados, lime juice, cilantro, sour cream, and salsa on tortillas.
I just realized I forgot to buy avocados. Well, goodbye.