This week was bizarre. A lot of good things and a lot of bad things. My BFF bought a house less than two minutes away! That’s good! I drove my car into her new eco-friendly garage door like some unstoppable moron. That’s bad. My mother-in-law won the best person of the year award by picking my kids up in the morning and keeping them all day long, giving me a blissful day to myself (I went to two grocery stores and lingered in the aisles! I had tea with a friend! I got my blood drawn after having the paperwork since April!). That’s good! I’m getting my period and became furious with Andy for washing the dishes with headphones on, which prevented me from sharing a story about my whittling with him. That’s bad. Yeah, I really did get mad at him for that. I felt completely justified at the time. Oh me! I also made three different kinds of cookies and two different gift baskets. Here we go!
Greek-Style Grilled Chicken with Lemon and Oregano, Naan, Cucumber/Yogurt Thing. Oh, I liked this chicken! I cooked it a lot longer than the recipe called for and I thought it was perfect. I’ve got one of those big barrel-type charcoal grills and I think it doesn’t get as hot as the regular kettle kind (at least with the same amount of charcoal) so chicken cooked indirectly seems to always take longer than the recipes say. That was boring and you don’t care. But make it and cook it longer than it says to if you feel like it, that’s all I’m saying.
Frito Pie. The hits just keep on coming! This was great. Instead of chili, the traditional frito pie topping, I dumped ladle-fulls of defrosted-reheated red beans and barbecue thing from late-May on top, and it was magnificent. If you’re in the dark, this is called a pie for exactly zero reasons. It’s a meaty chili thing on top of a fistful of fritos, classed up with avocado and lime juice.
Cobb Salad. Who needs lettuce? Let’s eat all the best proteins and fats, puddled in lemon-dijon vinaigrette, and call it salad. Henry insisted upon every bite he took to be constructed as follows: avocado + chicken + bacon + tiny piece of lettuce, which left more egg/tomato/blue cheese for the rest of us, so I was all for it. Plus he ate some lettuce, which means I am a successful parent.
Viet Hapa Pho-ish. My broth was just chicken stock infused with the spices and aromatics called for in the recipe, but was still so satisfying. The bok choy was so bitter, but I ate it dutifully anyway, because I am very healthy.
Gluten Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. Exhibit A in my “very healthy” case file. We went swimming with my sister-in-law and she’s so great that I wanted to celebrate with cookies! I used cup4cup instead of all purpose and otherwise made no changes and everybody loved these.
Ultimate Ginger Cookies. Exhibit B. These are not the ultimate ginger cookies because I didn’t have any candied ginger, and made them anyway, but they were still pretty good.
Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies. Exhibit C. Aaaaaaahhhh these are amazing and I gave them all away (after eating 6 in a row) and I’m so sad they’re gone. They’re supposed to be made with a chopped up chocolate bar (or 3, I guess, because you want a half pound of the stuff), which makes pools of melty chocolate. I didn’t have that and used chocolate chips instead and they’re still glorious, though I can imagine they’re truly extraordinary with the chocolate pools. And they’re no harder than tollhouse assuming you have a tiny amount of turbinado sugar in your pantry.
Some of the Stuff I’ve Canned This Summer Plus Chocolate Chip Cookie-Basket. A family friend gave us some fantastic wooden shelves that form the shape of one of those Olympic medal ceremony podiums when you push ’em together plus the most wonderful loft bed for freeeee! Henry has been newly obsessed with parkour, and these additions were perfectly timed because they both seemed to have been designed to climb all over. Cookies and canned goods made a meager thank you for such generosity!
Lunch for Friends on Moving Day Basket. When you drive into someone’s new garage door, which is attached to their brand new house, you should apologize by making them pan bagnat sandwiches and cookies and kale salad. It worked for me!
Extra Pan Bagnats for Us. I read lots of recipes for this pressed picnic sandwich, and liked the ingredients in the linked-to one best, but I layered them instead of chopping them all up and mixing them with the tuna. I didn’t press the sandwiches overnight either- they were perfectly flat and lovely after about 30 minutes under a gallon of milk in the fridge.
Butternut Risotto with Rosemary and Parmesan. Earlier in the week I asked Henry to help me pick what to make for dinner. I had a list to read to him but he interjected excitedly “do we possibly have the ingredients for risotto?!” It was so dear that I had to add it to this week’s menu, even though it’s 104 degrees outside.
Suppli, Roasted Baby Sweet Potatoes with Bacon, Apple and Bacon Salad. I rolled leftover risotto into balls, dipped them in beaten egg and coated them with breadcrumbs and deep fried them. We also ate tiny sweet potatoes with crispy bacon, and salad with crispy bacon, and everything was right with the world. Well, not quite, but close enough.