At least we still have food.
I cooked my little heart out this week. No particular reason. Next week, it’ll be all hot dogs and heavy drinking, and then we’ll see who transfers what.
Here’s what we had:
Bagel, egg, cheese, and sausage sandwiches, frozen hash browns
Great meal for a busy day. I love it.
Broccoli, cheese, chicken pockets, French onion soup
There was a recipe, but I made a ton of substitutions, so I’ll just tell you how I made it.
Put oil, salt, and pepper on some chicken breasts and roast them, then slice them.
Cut broccoli into small florets and steam them.
Mix together a tub of French onion dip, a few cups of shredded cheddar cheese and 3/4 cup of pepper jack, and about 1/4 cup of mayo.
Mix the broccoli and chicken in with the cheese mix, then stuff pita pockets with the mixture. (If you open the pita pockets by cutting them open in a straight line, they are more likely to tear, so cut them in a curved line.)
Preheat oven to 350.
Heat up some oil in a skillet and fry the pockets on both sides just until the pita bread is golden brown. Then move the pockets onto a pan in the oven and heat them up until the cheese is melty and nice.
This recipe would make a lot more sense if you already had leftover chicken, which I did not. Kind of a pain in the neck to do all those steps, but it sure tasted good. The kids didn’t like them, probably because I worked hard on them.
We also had sorta French onion soup. I should have done more than glance at the recipe, and I used chicken broth instead of beef, which was a mistake. I forgot to add sugar, and I couldn’t find any cheese, and I was too lazy to make croutons. Still, I spent over an hour hanging out in the afternoon sun, babysitting a heap of onions as they cozied up with melted butter. I regret nothing.
Zuppa Toscana, pumpkin bread
See how it shines? That’s how soup is supposed to look. A shining soupy on a hill.
I fried up some sweet sausage (after squeezing it out of the casings, blushing faintly and calling upon Paul VI for aid and comfort) and fried it up with diced onions and minced garlic. Then I added in some diced up bacon (I still have five boxes of Christmas bacon that I now refuse to give to the poor. Let them start a tax-free savings account and withdraw their bacon from that, the lazies) and some thinly-sliced potatoes with the skin on. Red potatoes would have been good, but regular Idaho whatever was fine.
Then I added in several cups of chicken broth and let it simmer until the potatoes were soft.
Then a ton of half-and-half, and a bunch of chopped-up kale, and more simmering until the kale was soft. I had some mushrooms, but they didn’t seem quite right for this soup, so I skipped them.
A little salt and pepper at the end, and it was really swell. The bacon was fine, but it didn’t actually add much.
Here’s the recipe for pumpkin bread. The crumbs ran off with my can opener, so I was reduced to chopping the can open with a knife that I tapped with the other can of pumpkin, since the crumbs also ran off with my hammer. (Here are directions for how to open a can with a knife.)
Since I needed one can to open the other can, I could only make one can’s worth of bread. This was actually good luck, because, as I always forget, a single recipe makes three loaves of bread. I sprinkled steel cut oats on the top, which was pleasantly crunchy.
This is a sweet, moist, fluffy bread, really almost cake. I usually reduce the sugar somewhat and put nuts or oats on top, so as to pretend it’s not cake.
Shakshuka has been on my radar forever, so I finally tried it. I guess it is Israeli, or maybe North African.
My husband came home unusually early, just in time to see me stirring feta cheese into the tomato sauce. The skepticism in the air was so thick, you could cut it with a knife and then fry it up with garlic, cumin, paprika, pepper flakes, onions, peppers and tomatoes and stir feta cheese into it, then crack some eggs on top and slide it into the oven, then overcook the eggs by just a minute or two, sprinkle parsley and a little hot sauce on top, and serve with pita.
Even my skeptical husband thought it was tasty, and several kids said it was better than they expected it to be, which is sky high praise. It didn’t rock my world, but it was good, very filling, and cheap. Next time I have the time, I’ll make challah. That would be a splendid meal.
Hey, now we have another meatless meal for the rotation, so that’s a win.
Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, salad
I honestly can’t tell if this meatloaf picture looks amazing or horrifying. Look how it glistens!
. . . look how it glistensssss . . .
Pictures of food are weird.
I more or less followed the Fannie Farmer recipe (using five pounds of ground beef and two pounds of turkey). Feeling impulsive and jazzlike, I embellished the whole thing with ketchup before I put it in the oven. Baked ketchup tastes good on meat. (This is why you read my food posts: Because I have the guts to say stuff like that.) It’s like meat ketchup taffy. (Too far?)
We also had ten pounds of mashed potatoes, which, to my relief, turned out to be too much. Sometimes I feel like there can be no such thing as enough food, but there can.
Here is Corrie coaching Benny on proper mashing technique:
“It HAHHHT!” she counsels. So young, such wisdom.
Roast chicken drumsticks, rice made with chicken broth, salad, mangoes
Nothing thrilling, but I felt very good about going from zero to hot meal with vegetable in about 35 minutes. Mangoes keep being on sale.
Corrie got into this week’s raw pasta, too, so we’ll see.