Friday, October 8, 2021

Friday Food: Steakhouse Wednesday


Short version: Pot roast with tomatoes, onions and carrots; roasted potatoes; frozen green peas

Long version: I think the pot roast was a chuck roast. And I roasted the potatoes in the chicken fat I skimmed off the stock I made the week before.

That's about it.


Short version: Shepherd's pie, green salad with vinaigrette

Long version: The ground beef from our most recent steer is pretty lean, for the simple reason that the animal was entirely grass-fed and therefore had very little fat on it to grind with the meat. So I added the remainder of the chicken fat to the ground beef mixture for the shepherd's pie. It was very good.


Short version: Stew meat tacos, with avocado hooray! plus chocolate-covered marshmallows

Long version: This was actually stew meat from our last steer. I thought I should use up the stew meat before A. and Cubby go elk hunting next weekend and potentially bring home a couple hundred pounds more red meat that I will probably mostly cut into stew meat. 

I cooked it with tomatoes, onion, green chile, and a whole (small) head of garlic.

Avocado because I went to the store when we picked up the van at the mechanic. Hooray for avocados*.

Since all four children were sick, I didn't insist that they do their bathroom chores. Which meant I chose the Sunday dessert. Except I kept forgetting about it, and didn't actually get around to making anything until 2 p.m. That's why I made something that requires virtually no time: Chocolate-covered marshmallows.

I made the dipping chocolate with chocolate chips and vegetable oil (because I was out of coconut oil), rolled the marshmallows around in that until they were covered, then refrigerated them on a wax-paper-lined cookie sheet. 

They weren't as good as the chocolate-covered peanut butter balls, but they were faster.

Not the most photogenic of desserts. But then, my abysmal photography makes everything look unphotogenic.


Short version: Leftovers, steamed broccoli

Long version: Cubby and Calvin had the shepherd's pie. Jack and Poppy had tacos. I had a salad.


Short version: Leftover stew meat, bread and butter, pinto beans, leftover broccoli, graham crackers with chocolate

Long version: Yup, two nights of leftovers. A. periodically fasts for a few days to rest his digestive system, and when he does that, we eat a lot of leftovers. That's what happened this week.

I had a little of the chocolate left from the marshmallows on Sunday, and I needed a bribe so I could cut the boys' hair. There wasn't enough chocolate left to dip anything into it, so I just warmed it up and spread some on graham crackers. There were no complaints about this, and all the hair got cut. Success.


Short version: Steaks, oven fries, frozen green peas

Long version: I was looking for something other than ground beef or stew meat in the freezers and came across some packages of New York strip steaks and filet mignon.

Prime steaks on a random Wednesday? Why not!

I have no idea how much these would cost at a store, but at our house, all beef is about $4 per pound.

I made an thyme and garlic butter to top it with since we didn't have any steak sauce, made some oven fries with chicken fat, and it turned into a really good meal. 

A. broke his fast this day, and in spectacular fashion, I would say.


Short version: Leftovers, homemade flour tortillas, green salad

Long version: I had yet more of the taco stew meat left, which I knew the children would not be excited about. So I decided to indulge them by making some flour tortillas.

I've never actually made flour tortillas--thus far, all my tortilla-making has been of the corn variety--and I used this recipe. It's not traditional, and I know this because it didn't call for lard. But since I didn't have lard, and didn't think beef tallow would be quite right, I went with the vegetable oil.

The reason I've never made these before is because they have to be individually rolled out. I really dislike rolling things out. So tedious.

This girl didn't find it tedious at all, however. She thought it was great.

They were actually really easy to roll out (albeit still a bit tedious), and they bubbled up in the pan just as they were supposed to.

Mmm, doughy boils.

The children loved them. Of course. But when I went out to get the laundry from the line after they had all eaten their tacos, they started in on the remainder of the tortillas with just butter. So all the tortillas got eaten, but there is STILL taco stew meat left. Dangit.

Okay, your turn! What'd you eat this week?

*Unfortunately, the van has not been properly fixed and is even now awaiting towing back to the mechanic. No hooray for that. NO HOORAY.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

T.T.: A Forehead-Slapping Waffle Trick

My children are divided on the issue of waffle crispiness. Cubby is adamant that waffles must be crispy. Poppy is adamant that waffles should be soft. The other two kids will go with either.

Personally, I'm in the Crispy Waffles 4Eva camp. I would only eat a waffle right out of the waffle iron, because once they had been in the oven to keep warm, they got all limp.

But that, it turns out, is because I was putting them on a plate, like pancakes.

When I found this recipe for so-called Crispy Waffles, I didn't hold out too much hope for their crispiness. But they are, indeed, the crispiest waffles I have ever had. Part of that is no doubt because of all the cornstarch in them, but I think most of it is the instruction in the recipe that waffles being kept warm in the oven should be put directly on the oven shelves.

Oh. Right. Because that way they're not stacked and the ones on the bottom aren't getting soggy from steam being trapped under the others.

Why didn't I think of that?

So, in case this very obvious idea wasn't so obvious to you either, now you know: For crispy waffles, leave them on the shelves of the oven to keep warm. (Except not for longer than maybe 15 minutes, or they actually kind of toast and get a little too crispy.)

Of course, if you agree with Poppy that waffles are better on the soft side, then stack away. But otherwise, keep those waffles separate and directly on the oven shelves. 

I don't have any photos of recent waffles--and certainly no photos of my very dirty oven--but here. Have a really funny picture of Odin with sunflowers.

What a goof.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Monday Bouquet: The Last Sunflower

The steady rain we got on Friday, along with colder temperatures, finished off the sunflowers on the roadside. I found one last patch when I was walking with the dogs on Thursday morning.

The last of their kind.

So I had one more sunflower 'n' sage arrangement for the table this week.

It's been a good run.

One of those sunflowers drooped before the other, so I removed it on Saturday and now just have a single sunflower with the same sage. We'll see how long that final sunflower lasts.

I hope you have a lovely Monday, with or without flowers.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Snapshots: A New Perspective

Thanks to last week's Zoom schooling that allowed me to let the children sleep in, I managed a morning walk most days just as the sun is starting to come up. One morning I turned right instead of left when I went out the side gate. 

In case you were thinking I was strategically positioning my photos so it would only appear that we live remotely when actually we live right next to a strip mall . . . I wasn't.

I was, of course, accompanied by my faithful companions.

Odin decided to pose with the last patch of healthy-looking sunflowers I've seen around our house.

When I turned around to come home, the sun was juuuust starting to peek over the horizon.

And when I got home, I found a broken plunger in the dogs' water bowl. This is how you know I have children. (I removed it. You're welcome, dogs.)

And the singular non-walk photo I have from this week . . .

A. has planted the garlic for next year. 400-500 cloves. Too much? Nope.

And there you have it! My life, snapshotted.