Made it

Whew. Three consecutive days of solo, wall-to-wall caregiving for boys age five and under takes it out of you. Fortunately, we all ate. Two great successes from this weekend: a very simple leek and potato dish that went well with roasted broccoli, and an equally simple vegetarian shepherd’s pie. I tweeted a photo of the shepherd’s pie last night in all of its cheesy potato glory. It was fantastic.

Friday night’s pizzas were excellent. The large one was cheese, and was shared by the wife and oldest boy. The smaller one was my project. I cooked up some bacon, caramelized some onions, mixed Hoover Sauce and barbecue sauce, sauced the pie, topped it with the onions and bacon, added some mozzarella and, BLAM, really good pizza. The onions got better with the broiling and the whole thing was one sweet/smoky/spicy pile of cheesiness. 

I didn’t get around to the applesauce bread. Things were just too damned busy during the day. Saturday night, we all teamed up to make pumpkin waffles (instead of pumpkin pie). The temptation to decamp to the Awful Waffle  was very real, but in a fit of googling inspiration, I found a fairly easy pumpkin waffle recipe. And if you can do it better at home than they can over on the other side of the interstate, then you should. The waffles were well received, and the recipe linked above makes enough batter for leftovers. I just finished the last one this morning. They crisped up nicely in a 250 degree oven, and I should warn that they come off the waffle iron a bit soggy, so it’s really worth your while to throw them in the oven to dry out before you eat them.

Sunday night’s supper included the aforementioned guest, my father-in-law, who was flying solo all weekend himself while his spouse was out playing Bridge and shopping with her friends in outlet mall heaven, Foley, AL. I was a little apprehensive because I had planned a vegetarian supper for someone who will (and perhaps has) silently endure a supper he does not care for. Here’s what it amounted to:

Ingredients: Two or three organic baking potatoes, unpeeled sliced thin and boiled for 3-4 minutes in some salted water, 3 leeks (cleaned and sliced thin, 8 oz mushrooms chopped up, 2 cloves of minced garlic, your block of parmesan cheese and a couple of pinches of salt, pepper and dried rosemary.

How to make it: Saute the leeks and mushrooms in a tablespoon or two of olive oil until everything is soft, adding the seasonings as you go. Set aside. In a greased, small casserole dish, create alternating layers of potatoes then the leek mixture until you top it out with potatoes (3 layers is good), then grate a bunch of parmesan over the top, drizzle it with olive oil and throw it into a 375 degree oven for 30-40 minutes, until it looks tasty. I served it with broccoli roasted in sesame oil/salt/pepper, and we drank a pinot grigio that our guest brought. The leeks crisp up wonderfully and sweeten everything.

Last night, from the same cookbook which I can’t find a link to online—I think it’s one of those cookbooks you find in the bargain area at Barnes and Noble–I made a savory shepherd’s pie. Also very easy: essentially, mashed potatoes, cheese on top of tomatoes, tomato sauce, onions, carrots and corn which are sauteed. Bake the whole nine yards for 40 minutes and serve. Who can resist cheesy mashed potatoes? Not my son, who with a little coercion, did a fine job of eating up most of what was on his plate.

I’m off the hook tonight, but I’m sure I’ll have something to say before the end of the week!


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