This week has been completely rotten and I don’t want to talk about it, so let’s talk about food! I also can’t find my iPad anywhere, and it has all the photos on it, hooray.
Grilled pizza sandwiches
I love these, even if they are kind of a hassle to put together (when you make 12 of them, anyway). Brush the outside of the sandwich with melted butter mixed with garlic powder and oregano. Inside, you want (in this order) sauce, cheese, whatever filling you choose, and more sauce. I recommend putting the sandwiches in the oven for 5-10 minutes after they grill, because they are thick, and you want the cheese to melt all the way through.
Caprese salad, suppli with prosciutto, roast garlic Brussels sprouts, breadsticks, spaghetti carbonara, free-form cannoli, and Italian ices
Suppli are breaded, deep-fried balls of risotto with mozzarella and prosciutto in the center. Here’s the recipe I used. Some of them held together better than others, but they were all tasty. I made about thirty.
We used Fanny Farmer’s recipe for spaghetti carbonara. Still sticking with Fanny Farmer after all these years. I don’t know if people even buy physical cookbooks anymore, but if you do, this one is indispensible.
Roasted garlic Brussels sprouts, oh yass. Cut up the Brussels sprouts, toss them with red onions, coarsely-chopped garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil, and roast them up. (Recipe here, but it’s pretty basic.) Pretty and yummy. I grew up with nothing but boiled or raw vegetables, so roasted veg with little crisp charred bits on them is a wonderful new class of food.
Cannoli shells were nowhere to be found, so we got those flower-shaped pizzelle wafers and piled cannoli filling on top (drained ricotta cheese, powdered sugar, a little nutmeg, and a little vanilla extract), sprinkled shaved chocolate on top, and of course – boop! – a cherry.
Chicken curry salad, caramelized butternut squash, green salad
An okay recipe. I’ve never been to Whole Foods, so I don’t know how close it is to what they sell. I poached the chicken, then mixed it up with celery, red onions, and chopped mixed nuts. For the dressing, I ran out of mayo, so I used part plain yogurt. Couldn’t locate my tumeric, but I used plenty of curry. I also bought blonde raisins, but couldn’t find them, until after supper.
I guess it wasn’t really the recipe’s fault, huh.
The caramelized butternut squash is Ina Garten’s recipe. Always trust a chubby cook. You peel, seed, and dice the squash, put your chainsaw away, and mix the squash up with melted butter and brown sugar and a little salt and pepper, then roast for almost an hour at 400. So good, and it went well with the curried chicken and the spinach salad.
Honestly, the photo that was supposed to go here was the only decent one anyway. I can take respectable photos with my iPad as long as there is good natural light, but if the sun’s gone down, it all looks like prison food.
Beef stroganoff and egg noodles
This was a dumb choice for a recipe to inaugurate my new slow cooker lifestyle. I usually buy pretty fatty meat, because it’s cheap, but then I can drain it after cooking it in a pan or whatever; but you can’t really do that with a slow cooker without losing all the gravy, too. Also, half the mushrooms had gone moldy, and the cream of mushroom soup turned out to be cream of chicken. Why is there such a thing as cream of chicken? Nobody wants that. And we were out of onions. And I only had one beef bouillon cube. I thew in some terrible wine, salt and pepper, and a few chopped garlic cloves.
When it was all cooked, I drained off most of the fat/gravy/point of eating stroganoff and mixed in a bunch of sour cream, and served it over egg noodles. It was a pretty poor stroganoff, but on the other hand, life is nothing but a meaningless progression of jolts, jabs, sorrows, and sighs, so why should we expect stroganoff to be any better?
Hot dogs, chips, frozen corn
Had to be at a meeting at dinner, so this did the trick.
Then I had a bad evening and stepped on broken glass and had to get three stitches in my toe. The ER doc says, “Wow, that is the most Lidocaine I have ever put in a toe!” 6 cc’s, if you’re interested. Hooray for my preternaturally sensitive feet. I somehow stomped all over the house sloshing blood all over the place without realizing I had even hurt myself, but I sure as hell felt those needles. On the other hand, I got an evening out with my husband.
My toe hurts.
Or I will just sit around feeling sorry for myself and thinking about my toe.
Okay, so I’m ready to start fresh with my slow cooker next week. Actually, I bought two four-quart slow cookers. They are just the very basic Crock Pot brand, with a switch for high, low, and off. They were on sale at Walmart, so I stopped resisting. I have to leave the house for several hours every day and have tons to do when I am home, so I probably should have gotten one of these years ago.
I know, I know, everyone’s so over slow cookers and is now on to Instant Pot pressure cookers. I hear you can even make vanilla extract in a matter of minutes with an Instant Pot; and many people recommend cramming their pre-teens inside with a few cloves and a leek. Eleven minutes later, you open the lid and find a fully-formed adult who is ready to work a forty-hour week, do his own laundry, and always remember Mother’s Day. I, on the other hand, am about three steps removed from grinding maize between two flat stones and glowering moodily at my uppity, upwardly mobile neighbors with their la di da three sisters.
SO HIT ME. What do you make with your slow cooker? Doesn’t have to be dinner. The kids are very intrigued and will be excited to make anything at all.