Friday, August 18, 2023

Friday Food: School Days Again


Short version: Pork 'n' beans chimichangas, carrot sticks

Long version: I had the rest of a pork sirloin roast with meat still on it that I put in a pot in the morning with half a can of beer A. had forgotten about that went flat, plus a bit of maple syrup. Simmered that until I could pull off the meat, then chunked it up, added a jar of pinto/black beans and some cumin and chile powder. That meat and beans plus cheese in flour tortillas made chimichangas for the kids.

I also had some pickled banana pepper slices. The peppers came from the owner of the tiny store in the village. He gave them to me with the warning that they can be pretty hot. These were. So I made a pickle brine with vinegar, water, and salt, and put the pepper slices in that. Those who like spicy things had them in their chimichangas, and apparently enjoyed them.

I do not like spicy things, so I abstained.


Short version: Omelets, garlic bread, cucumbers with ranch dip

Long version: I made a few pieces of bacon and diced some onions to put in the omelets with the cheese, which made everyone happy.

Omelets seem like the quintessential fast dinner. And they are, if you're only making one omelet. However, making three five-egg omelets took me almost an hour, so they don't really scale up so well. They were very good, though.

Just for fun, I cut the cucumbers into very long spears for the children instead of smaller ones.

Because I am the Most Fun Mom.


Short version: Italian sirloin fingers, spaghetti, green salad with ranch dressing, no-bake cheesecake

Long version: I browned three sirloin steaks, sliced them, and then cooked them in tomato juice, garlic, onion, basil, and oregano until they were mostly tender.

And until I had scorched them a tiny bit because the liquid evaporated. Oops. Not totally ruined, though, which is good enough for me.

I used the tomatoes from the can to make a sauce for the children spaghetti, too.

Although I make cheesecake every year for one child's birthday cake, I'd never tried a no-bake cheesecake. I used this recipe, because it didn't call for condensed milk. My family does not really care for the flavor of condensed milk.

I still had a few graham crackers left from the MiL's s'mores supplies, but not enough for the crust. I added the last of the chocolate chip cookie bars, which were quite crumbly anyway, and then some ground almonds. It was a really good crust. Probably better than it would have been with just graham crackers. And the filling was excellent. I only chilled it for six hours, but it seemed to have a good texture to me.

An extremely popular dessert that will certainly be repeated. 

When I have two extra blocks of cream cheese on hand, that is, which isn't really all that often.


Short version: Hofmann's hot dogs on homemade buns, carrot sticks, chocolate ice cream

Long version: My compromise for a celebratory First Day of School Yay! meal, and a First Day of Work, Help meal.

A. brought the hot dogs back with him from New York. They're a central New York brand. If you are familiar with Hofmann's, these were the natural casing German franks.

I made the buns on Saturday when I was baking bread. The buns make the hot dogs, to be honest. 

Thankfully, we had some chocolate ice cream left for an appropriately celebratory dessert, because I hadn't made anything and was in no shape to do so when I got home from school.


Short version: Pizza and . . . yeah, that's it.

Long version: I was making bread this day, so I made a cheese pizza and a bacon and onion pizza. I made them in the early afternoon. We had Mass at 4 p.m., and I'm Church Lady this month, so I had to go early to open up and all. I took the kids out of school a bit early (our school day ends at 4 p.m.) and brought them to church with me. Then we rushed home, I gave them some lukewarm pizza (not popular--"mushy" was the comment), and we went to judo.

When we got home around 8 p.m., I re-heated a few pieces of pizza in a cast iron skillet while the children changed out of their judo outfits and they ate some more before bed.

Whew. I'm glad we don't have days like this often.


Short version: Leftover pizza, taco meat with beans, carrot sticks, chocolate chip-oatmeal-almond cookie bars

Long version: I had one whole pizza left over, which I kept on the sheet pan and stuck in the oven after work.

Actually, I gave instructions for one of the children to stick it in the oven while I was lying in my bed after work. It's nice having older children sometimes.

I had made the taco meat--sheep meat with pintos--the day before. That's what I had. A. had some with his pizza, too.

I successfully added all the sugar to the cookie bars this time, and they were much better. Unsurprisingly.


Short version: Tuna salad, leftover spaghetti, green salad with vinaigrette

Long version: I had quite a lot of spaghetti left from Sunday, but not a lot of sauce. So I added some diced bacon, butter, cream cheese, a little water, and garlic powder to it to make it less dry. 

That worked well, but it didn't have a lot of protein, and also, A. and I don't eat spaghetti. So I also made the tuna salad for us and any child who wanted it.

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

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

No Food, Just a Milestone

Today is Tuesday, and I should be posting something about my garden at the moment. Instead, however, I must share with you something sort of momentous.

Yesterday was our first day of school. 

We have a construction theme this year.

I now have children in grades 8, 6, 3, and kindergarten. Poppy, of course, is my kindergartener. And because our preschool is only two days a week, that means this is her first year of full-time school.

My schedule at the school is unchanged, so I'm still working Mondays and Wednesdays. I worked yesterday on the first day of school, but I do not have to work today. So I am home today. But none of my children are.

For the first time in 13 years, I will have whole days at home to get things done without working around any of my kids.

Of course, most of the things I have to get done are still in service to those same kids, but it's a new experience to be able to just do what I need to do when I need to do it. 

Time marches on. And we march right along with it.

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Snapshots: Stuff 'n' Nonsense

It's a Church Lady month! The previous person who did it put this banner over the old organ that's no longer used. I thought it was really cool looking. I have no idea how old it is, but it's been a very long time since there's been a Sociedad Del Altar at our church.

Maybe forty years. Maybe longer.

Detail of the monstrance in the middle. It's all painted, no doubt by hand.

If you missed my atypical Thursday post, here are the flowers I had on my table this week.

Yay, flowers.

School starts tomorrow. Only one child has shown any interest in this. She laid out her clothing for the first day, to make sure it looked okay.

She even made a face out of paper for better visualization.

We had one of the oddest cloud formations I've ever seen last weekend.

I have no idea what causes those striations, but it sure is dramatic.

And last, a rare unicorn sighting.

With notably long eyelashes.

There you have it! My life, snapshotted.