In which I attempt very little, and more or less succeed. When I sat down to make the weekly menu, I saw that the schedule was wall-to-wall “have some kind of unpleasant appointment in the morning, rush home to get work done while the baby tries to bite my face off, pick up the kids, and go out again right around dinner, then rush home and stay up late to do that unpleasant thing I signed up for,” and thought, “no-brainer food all week it is.” So that is what we did.
HAMBURGERS; RAW VEGGIES AND HUMMUS
Nothing to report.
BEEF STEW and CINNAMON BUNS
Sunday was my only chance to do some actual cooking, and this stew was delicious. Steak was cheaper than stew meat, so I used that, plus carrots, onions, mushrooms, potatoes, string beans, and tomatoes, and I even had bay leaves for once.
As I used to spoon to bump up the meat and potatoes to the surface for the camera, I was uneasily reminded of certain . . . adjustments . . . I make before someone takes a picture of me. Remember, woman, that thou art stew, and to stew thou shalt return.
Oh, I do have something that I suppose qualifies as a cooking tip. As I’ve mentioned, I have an unreasonable hatred of unwrapping a bunch of bouillon cubes, but I am too cheap to buy bouillon powder. I also experience irrational resentment while waiting for eight or ten cups of water to boil for broth. I just don’t like it, okay? Grr, water! So instead, I boil one cup of water in a tiny pot and add all the bouillon cubes to that, and add this concentrated broth to the soup pot, and then add the rest of the water. It just feels easier.
The cinnamon buns were okay. I made the dough the night before and let it rise once, then formed the buns and put them in the fridge. My plan was to let them rise again in the morning, then pop them in the oven for St. Lucy’s Day breakfast; but a kid threw up, so cinnamon bun popping didn’t seem like a prudent way to start the day. So I didn’t bake them until they middle of the day, and they had risen too much by that time, so they were kind of dry and bready.
But still, homemade cinnamon buns! I used this recipe, skipping the nuts and some ooey gooey elements. The dough came together pretty easily. I hear Pioneer Woman’s recipe is pretty good, so I may try that for Christmas breakfast.
FISH TACOS; CORN CHIPS
Fish tacos are fairly new to me, and I was skeptical at first (tacos without cheese? Is outrage), but now I love this dinner, which is very flavorful but much lighter than beef tacos. I used frozen breaded fish fillets, and set out shredded cabbage, wedges of lime, slices of avocado, chopped cilantro, salsa, and sour cream.
Annnd WordPress seems to have cropped out everything but the jarred salsa. Behold, my handful of jarred salsa! Look upon me, ye foodies, and despair.
I also got four very seductive-looking mangoes, but they weren’t ripe yet.
A good make-ahead meal. The kids cooked the fish while I was on the radio.
ENGLISH MUFFIN SANDWICHES with ham, egg, and pepper jack cheese
The kids made this while I did something, I don’t even remember.
Tuesday was also my birthday! When we got home from the school concert, my husband had a gorgeous cheesecake sampler waiting, plus my daughter had made cupcakes from scratch. A happy day in the midst of craziness.
CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS; SALAD
Chicken roasted ahead of time, served cold. Another make-ahead meal that people could grab and eat at various times while accommodating our ridiculous schedule. Wednesday I was on the radio again, with Jennifer Fulwiler, when I unwittingly helped her create a new promo for the show, saying, “I’m sorry, I have to go. My baby just fell off the bed.”
SPAGHETTI with MEAT SAUCE; SALAD
I made the sauce in the morning, and the kids cooked the pasta while I fell asleep on the couch.
TUNA NOODLE CASSEROLE
Gonna make this in a minute, so we can shovel it down before yet another evening concert.
Oh, and I did make six dozen cookies last night. I used this foolproof cut-out cookie recipe, tripled. It tastes like mildly sweetened paper stock, but you can make it all in one bowl (I also have an irrational resentment of mixing dry ingredients in one bowl and adding them to wet ingredients. Maybe I should just have a weekly feature called “What’s My Irrational Resentment?”)(Nah.), and you don’t have to chill it. This makes it a great recipe for making cookies with kids, who mainly like the fun of using cookie cutters and decorating, or for when you are feeling mentally fragile can’t take any chances using a recipe that may or may not comply.
Last time I made royal icing, it turned out more like — what’s the opposite of royal? It was ignoble icing. So I got the store-bought pouches of cookie icing with the built-in tip. Some of them turned out cute enough to impress kids:
Some, well . . .
Let’s just call it “A Tribute to Voyage Dans la Lun” and let this week pass away.