Last week, I was working on stepping up my game a little bit. I feel a little bit like Andy Sipowicz in season 1 of NYPD Blue, making an effort:
“Please, I understand my situation. I spent a long time being sauced. I need to win back my colleagues’ trust. I’ve got to exhibit a continuous positive approach, even with this dim bulb here.”
[at Liquor store over on James Street]
Guy: “You guys wanna give me a hand?”
Andy: “Yeah, sure.”
Andy: “Our pleasure.”
Andy: “That was positive, wasn’t it? ‘Our pleasure.'”
Andy: “What should I have said? ‘Our pleasure, rooty-toot-toot’?”
Next week: aiming higher than immediately-post-rock bottom-Andy Sipowicz. Meantime, here’s how I did:
GRILLED HAM AND PEPPER JACK in PITA POCKETS
I forgot how nice grilled pita pockets are — halfway between grilled cheese sandwiches and quesadillas. Perfect for a quick meal on a windy, wet, miserable day. I think we must have had chips or something. I forgot to buy dessert, so I reluctantly brought out the bag of Christmas candy I bought for 50% off in hopes of saving it for the next birthday party. So close!
CHICKEN ENCHILADAS; GUACAMOLE and CHIPS; BROWNIE ICE CREAM SUNDAES
This meal was the crown jewel of the week, even if only for these magnificent caramelized onions.
I use Pioneer Woman’s chicken enchilada recipe, where you cook the seasoned chicken in a pan, then take the chicken out and cook the onions in that same pan, then take the onions out and heat the enchilada sauce in that same pan. That is one freaking lucky pan.
The enchiladas didn’t even turn out that great, to be honest, but even not-so-great enchiladas are still homemade enchiladas, and I made 35 of them.
Oh, and Aldi has stopped using artificial coloring in some of its products, including its maraschino cherries. I reckon this is healthier, but those cherries were not very attractive. I thought they may actually have gone off (when I was about five, I got pretty drunk on a fermented strawberry sundae), but I served them to the kids anyway. They didn’t sleep any better than they usually do.
HOT DOGS; PASTA SALAD
I’ve had this jar of chopped Giardiniera on the shelf for a million years, so I finally opened it up and dumped it into a pot of farfalle. I ate as much as I could manage, because someone had to. Gonna throw away the rest today.
I did make my husband some lovely fried eggs before he left for work. I struggled, sorrowing, through many years of not really being sure how to fry an egg properly, until I discovered this method. In case you’re in the same fix, here’s how I do it:
Heat the pan and drop in a TON of butter, like 3 Tbs or more. Then carefully crack the eggs into the pan and fry them on a medium heat, constantly spooning the hot, melted butter over the yolk. This way, the top of the egg gets cooked, but you don’t have to flip the egg over. It gives the top of the eggs an exuberant fluffiness, and the edges get crisp and lacy.
Ain’t they pretty? I’m a good wife, eggwise.
TUNA SANDWICHES; RAW VEG and ONION DIP
Email to my husband from Tuesday:
Well, I forgot to buy both broccoli and honey for the honey broccoli chicken, and I didn’t defrost meat for hamburgers, so we’re having tuna sandwiches with veg and dip, rooty toot toot.
I defrosted the hamburger meat.
ONE PAN HONEY CHICKEN, RED POTATOES, BROCCOLI
Annd I bought broccoli and honey. Irene has been begging and begging for this dish, which I made once and which was so underwhelming that no one else even remembers eating it. I finally made it again, and once again, it tasted fine, and looks nice enough:
I will say that you can put it together really quickly in the morning and throw it in the oven half an hour before dinner, no fuss. I even used frozen broccoli instead of fresh, and it was still good (although the moisture from the broccoli diluted the sauce). I also substituted chicken thighs for chicken breasts, because they were on sale. Breasts would have been better – the crisp, sweet skin is super – but the thighs were acceptable. And I did get Irene off my back for a few weeks!
ZITI; SALAD; POSSIBLY ROLLS
I’ve also had this Frisée lettuce lurking in the fridge all week, so today’s the day we find out what Frisée lettuce tastes like.
I also found this recipe on Facebook from Kimberly’s Country Kitchen:
We’ll see if I can rope one of my teenagers into trying it. They’re not going to look like that picture, though.
Well, how do you fry eggs, if you’re so smart?