I have resolved to do better this year. And so far, so good.
I got every recipe that follows from Pioneer Woman's newer cookbook, Food from My Frontier, or my collection of Cook's Country magazines (all of their recipes are available on their website for a fee or a free two week trial), or the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, henceforth referred to as ATKFC.
I made PW's Chicken Salad, which I served in some Flat Out wraps. Unlike her, I started with boneless, skinless chicken breast that got baked in the oven. Also, I omitted the sugar. Some of my kids liked it, some didn't. Most picked out the almonds. But they all ate it and that's the most important thing.
Because I had baked so many chicken breasts, I also made PW's Curried Chicken Pasta Salad to change things up a bit. The girls loved this, the boys, not so much. Something to do with raisins. It still went pretty fast. I served it in pyrex or snapware, or recycled Hillshire Farm plastic boxes. No bread, just pasta.
I discovered this treasure when we were on vacay in Michigan. Make one giant sandwich on a round loaf of bread, and cut it into wedges like a pizza. Voila! Many sandwiches!
In MI, we made our own olive salad. It was expensive and time consuming. Back home, I found that Costco carries jars of muffaletta olive salad. They are also expensive, but not time consuming.
Traditional muffaletta uses salami, provolone, and mortadella, which is an high-end Italian bologna (both of which are carried by my Costco). But we have found that ham, or any nice deli meats and cheese will work. Whatever is in the fridge and will be outdated soonest is always my first pick.
Everyone is loving the muffaletta. Triangular sandwiches are big winners.
This is a Cook's Country recipe. To. Die. For. You can see it here at Epicurious: Steak Quesadillas with Roasted Red Peppers and Boursin. I heart Boursin.
I accidentally bought these pain-in-the-keister tortillas that are raw when you buy them, but excellent when you cook them for a few seconds on each side in a nonstick skillet.
Please don't feel like you have to use strip steaks. Any steak will do. When I ran out of steak, I used thinly slice pork loin. Still awesome.
|No, I didn't send Heinekens to school. Yet.|
I made PW's Drip Beef, which is a Lazy Man's Italian Beef. And I made it in the slow cooker, which is even lazier, but it's cooler on these hot, muggy days. It's pretty darn good too.
Pioneer Woman classed up her recipe for the cookbook. No nasty Campbell's Beef Consomme, but rather Swanson's Beef Broth was pictured. Also, instead of generic dried Italian seasoning, she uses a couple tablespoons of fresh rosemary. The Drip Beef recipe from the cookbook is the hot and spicy version from her website. "Don't worry. It's not that hot," said the girl addicted to giardinera from Chicago.
Throw some of those leftovers in a nice bun. Microwave for a minute. Wrap in clingwrap. Throw in a napkin, cause it's gonna be messy, and you have Edmund's favorite lunch ever.
And The Vegetarian Option for Meatless Fridays:
Tortellini Salad. Yes, I bought the cheese-filled tortellini at Costco, but I imagine some people shop other places that might sell it. I asked the Chef to throw together the recipe that's in my battered ATKFC. This salad includes such culinary delights as blanched asparagus and fresh grape tomatoes. He made it on a Thursday night and it fed everyone on a Friday and me all weekend long. Very delicious.
What will the future bring?
I've discovered the bread and the spread are what makes the sandwich dull. In addition to pretzel buns (which I discovered last year), I'm going to try these torta rolls.
And this Mezzetta Sandwich Spread, which comes in many varieties. I bought the Chimichurri flavor.
Ooooh. The Mezzetta website has some good-looking recipes too.
Also, I found a page in that ATKFC with all kinds of great sandwich ideas including a chipotle mayo, baby dill pickles, tapenade, apples and chutney.
We're gonna get funky...funky...funky...