Short version: Lamb, white bean stew, carrot sticks
Long version: The lamb was a front leg roast I pulled from the top of the meat freezer. The front legs can be a bit tough, so I put it in a covered casserole in the oven for a few hours, with apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, and salt, until it was tender. Then, at dinnertime, I sliced it and put it in a pan with minced garlic, three lonely whole tomatoes left in a can, mashed, and asadero cheese.
I had a pint jar of navy beans in the pantry that have been sitting there for quite awhile. I think I got the original bag several months ago from one of the neighbors' excess commodities food. I also had a ham bone that had been in the freezer for, um, so long I don't even know how long. So I cooked the beans with the ham bone, then added sauteed onion, garlic, and bell pepper, plus a few tomatoes from the same random can the lamb tomatoes came from.
I had originally planned to cook it down to a drier consistency, but in the end, I basically made it into a thick soup. It was good, in any case.
Short version: Italian sliders, roasted potatoes, fried mushrooms, roasted bell pepper and onion, green salad with vinaigrette
Long version: The sliders are just very small hamburgers seasoned like meatballs, then fried and covered with Finny's sauce and asadero cheese. I love these. Easier than meatballs, but almost as tasty.
Short version: Revenge skillet, rice, frozen corn, home-frozen green beans
Long version: The time had come to address our excess rooster situation. We had three roosters, which is two roosters too many. So at sunset on Saturday--chickens become quiescent when it's dark--A. pulled out two of the roosters and removed their heads. He hung them overnight and gutted them and de-feathered them the next day after church.
One of the roosters was the small white one that came with Rafael's flock he gave us.
The other rooster was the one we got from the school almost three years ago, named, by Charlie I believe, Little Man.
Little Man was definitely no longer little, and he was most definitely mean. Every single member of the family had been spurred by him. So when A. carried Little Man out of the coop to meet his destiny with a cleaver, the children all cheered.
You reap what you sow, chicken.
Anyway. Given the advanced age of these roosters, I figured pressure cooking was the best bet. Also given their size. Little Man in particular was HUGE.
So I pressure cooked them. I got about six cups of meat and three gallons of stock from those roosters. I used mostly the white meat to make dinner, mixing the shredded meat with stock, green chilis, garlic, and cream cheese, and then topping it with shredded cheese and broiling it to melt the cheese.
It was good, but I think it needed more flavor. Maybe more cream cheese. I only used about a quarter cup, because that was what was left of a package.
I made the cobbler to use up some of the large quantity of Sysco frozen strawberries that I'm trying to get out of the freezer. I didn't use a recipe. It was just the strawberries, sugar, and vanilla topped with slightly sweetened baking powder biscuits.
Short version: Randomly combined foods
Long version: A work day, and another opportunity for kitchen creativity. Otherwise known as, "Everyone just needs to be fed in the most expeditious manner possible."
So! For the children: Leftover rooster meat, some of the stock, leftover rice, leftover cooked onion (remember: Just Cook the Onion), leftover corn, half a can of leftover tomato sauce we got from a neighbor (the other half was in a soup I made the day before), grated cheese, sour cream, cumin, chili powder, all combined in a skillet.
For A.: About a cup of the chicken mixture mixed with some ground beef and vegetable soup I had made on Sunday to use up some leftover ground beef that didn't get cooked when I made the sliders. I put some extra sour cream in his bowl, too, to make it creamy.
For me: The last bit of cleaned and chopped lettuce that needed to be used up, leftover roasted bell pepper and onion, some shredded cheese, and one egg I fried and chopped up, topped with the very last of the vinaigrette that I needed to get off the counter.
And thus was everyone fed quickly and many leftovers were disposed of in a tasty manner. Success.
Short version: Pork chops and sauerkraut, garlic bread, steamed carrots, cucumbers with ranch dip
Long version: A. bought actual pork chops this time, rather than the gnarlier pork steaks. It was very exciting, and they were very good. I just browned them and then cooked them in a covered skillet with the sauerkraut in the oven for an hour or so.
Also exciting: I had the brilliant idea of substituting sour cream for the yogurt I usually use in my ranch dressing, because I wanted it to be less drippy for dipping. It worked, and it was good, although the texture was a little more grainy. Maybe next time I'll try half yogurt and half sour cream with the mayonnaise.
Short version: Creatively combined leftovers
Long version: Another workday, another opportunity to clear out the refrigerator.
Charlie, Jack, and Poppy had corn tortillas with cheese and the remainder of the chicken/rice skillet from earlier in the week, plus carrot sticks with ranch dip
Cubby had the last serving of a ground beef and green chili vegetable soup I had made on Sunday, mixed with the last bit of the white bean soup, and some rice added.
A. had leftover pork and sauerkraut, plus some leftover cooked carrots.
I had a salad with leftover cooked carrots, leftover roasted bell pepper and onion, cheese, and deli ham with some of the ranch dressing.
Everyone had food and many containers were removed from the refrigerator. Yay.
Short version: Pork, rice, cucumbers with ranch dressing, mashed squash from the freezer
Long version: More random pork thrown in the oven and cooked, then chunked up and fried in fat with spices.
I am not what anyone would call an adventurous cook.
Okay, your turn! What'd you eat this week?