Well! I acquitted myself very well this week. I tried three new recipes, and two of them were great. I definitely could have stepped up the side dishes, but otherwise, gold star for the week. It definitely didn’t hurt that lots of meat was on sale because of the Superbowl.
Let me tell you all about it.
SPAGHETTI and MEATBALLS; GARLIC BREAD; SALAD; BIRTHDAY CAKE and ICE CREAM
Birthday party! The kid wanted a luau sleepover, so we went thoroughly authentic and served spaghetti and meatballs. There were six little skinny ten-year-old girls for guests, and they fell upon the food like wolves in time of famine. Amazing.
‘Scuse me while I Pinterest at you for a minute. We had a volcano cake with sparklers and peel-and-pull Twizzlers
Bake the cake in a metal bowl, and it makes a serviceable volcano. If you wait until the last minute so the cake is still warm while you’re frosting it, the lava gets all melty and looks even better. I actually offered to go all out with the lava — I make some excellent sugar candy lava, if I do say so myself — but frosting lava is what she wanted.
We were planning to make fruit kabobs, using cookie cutters to cut the fruit into cute shapes (we’ve done this before, and it looks very impressive), but the fruit at Aldi looked terrible, so we just stuck a bunch of grapes on skewers and jammed them into oranges in a cupcake holder.
But check it out: oyster and pearl cookies!
We found almond cookies at the dollar store, put pink-tinted frosting in between two cookies, and put one of those pearly Sixlets inside each one. We were running way, way, way late, so they are kind of gloppy, but you get the general idea – I’m sure you can do better with a pastry bag or something. The eyes were white frosting with raisins, since no one ate the chocolate chips I was saving, and they just disappeared on their own for no reason. I’m going to make these again for Valentine’s Day, but use those chalky conversation hearts instead of pearls.
Oh, and I made those palm tree decorations like you see on the internet? And they looked just like on the internet!
We only have nine more birthday parties to get through this year, and then we’re done.
PORK RIBS, CHIPS, SALAD
So I’m at the store, and pork ribs were SO CHEAP. I just kept putting them into the cart.
Such an easy main course: turn on the oven broiler, salt and pepper the ribs on both sides, throw them on a pan with some drainage, and turn them once. A little BBQ sauce for dipping, and you are a meat hero.
If I had planned ahead, I would have made some cole slaw and mashed potatoes, instead of just chips; and yet no one complained when I put twelve sizzling pounds of meat on the table.
CHEATER KOREAN BEEF BOWL; ROASTED BROCCOLI
Thanks a million to whichever reader suggested this recipe! So spicy and savory and easy easy easy. I made it in the morning and heated it up for dinner.
I was skeptical that it could really be a good Asian meal with ground beef, but it was fantastic. We served it with rice, but will probably make some kind of noodles next time. I really like this sauce! Using fresh ginger, garlic, and scallions made it wonderful. I also used actual sesame oil for the first time (I usually substitute whatever I have on hand), and it was totally worth the extra buck or two.
The broccoli, I tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and put it in a shallow pan under the broiler until the edges were browned and crispy. Very nice.
BEEF STEW; ROLLS of MISERY
The beef stew turned out fine. I used steak because it was cheaper than stew meat. I also chopped the garlic, rather than crushing it, and the flavor is much brighter.
Those rolls, though, can go straight back to hell where they came from. I don’t know where I found the recipe, but this is it:
Momma’s Easy No Yeast Dinner Rolls:
1 Cup Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp of salt
1/2 Cup milk
2 Tablespoons Mayo
Combine all ingredients, spoon in to a greased muffin pan, makes aprox. (5) rolls. cook in a preheated 180˚ oven for 15 minutes or till done and golden brown.
You know and I know that there is no such thing as a quick, no-yeast, few-ingredient bread that is going to be as good as real dinner rolls. I know this. And yet I feel that I was too harshly punished for what was, after all, just an excess of trust.
My first clue should have been that the recipe makes five rolls. Five. That’s a red flag there, that says, “Special Situation Recipe. Not for Normal People.” So I quadrupled it, and then saw that it called for a 180-degree oven. That’s, like, as hot as it gets if you rub your hands together really fast and then hold the pan.
Also, Momma wrote “in to” and “aprox.” and “(5)” and has no respect for capitalization. At this point, I knew where we were heading. But I was in too deep, so I forged ahead.
I ended up baking them for three times as long as it said, and they just sat there in their muffin tins looking stupid. So I cranked the oven up to 350 and yelled at them to bake for another ten minutes, at which point we really had to get dinner on the table because our lives were passing us by.
The texture was actually not bad — kind of pillowy, almost like angel food cake. They were mayonnaise-colored. The taste? Imagine that someone took a bag of hot salt and hit you in the mouth. But quadrupled!
Recommended for Lent, if you have a lot of reparations to make, you animal.
WAFFLES; SAUSAGES; EGGS
Burned the waffles, oh well.
OVEN BBQ CHICKEN; CHIPS
Pioneer Woman’s recipe. I used Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce and apricot preserves, because I couldn’t find peach. I again minced the garlic, rather than crushing it, and added some hearty glugs of hot sauce. Wings and drumsticks were on sale, so that’s what I used.
I’ll let the picture speak for itself:
Eh? Eh? Eh? I shall make this forever from now on.
TUNA NOODLE CASSEROLE; RAW VEGGIES
It’s a snow day today, so I’m going to make the tuna noodle-loving kid make the tuna noodle.
What’s for supper over your way? And who can give me some ideas for side dishes? I’m in a rut, and fall back on rice, baked potatoes, oven roasted potaoes, and salad over and over again.