Since then, Adam, Brandie, Brie, and I have posted more than 334 times. That’s a lot of talking. And food. And lovely memories, honestly.
We still meet nearly every Friday to get together, try out some delicious new recipes, and just enjoy each other’s company. Sometimes I get ambitious and start thinking about how I’d like this space to evolve – but the base of what is here is something I’m pretty proud of already.
Ever since this last autumn Adam and Brandie have been saving the butternut squashes that they’ve received in their veggie box deliveries with the intent that we would make something together with them.
It wasn’t until this Friday though, when we were faced with having to use SIX butternut squash, that we did anything at all.
I had been desperately craving butternut squash ravioli, but really didn’t want to make the pasta, so Cat suggested a lasagna.
It was genius!
And with our amazingly delicious lasagna Adam and Brandie made a butternut squash risotto, and I made a butternut squash soup.
It was perfection, and at the end of the day, there were no more squash.
There’s that glorious period of about a week after a major grocery run where I am pretty sure of what the daily menu will look like. I have a good handle on what we have in the house and a decent idea of what is or is not expired. It’s always a mix of cool new recipes I’m wanting to try, and the routine family favorites.
After those sevenish days it gets tricky. I *could* go to the store, but ugh. Then we start running out of easy meal options and the fresh veggies dwindle. I rough it for as long as I can, maybe picking up some milk here, some bread there, eventually stretching that big grocery run for two weeks.
And then… it’s the dregs. The grocery dregs.
This is where planning dinner becomes a major challenge and I get stubborn about not wanting to do another big grocery run.
Turning to the great Google god for help, I pick three or four major ingredients I have on hand that I think *might* work harmoniously for a meal for the four grown adults in my household. Usually it’s onions, [some kind of meat], [pasta/rice/legume], [frozen or canned veggie]. Sometimes I’ll throw in a wild card like “coconut milk” or “shelled walnuts.”
Thankfully, as I’ve become better and better at spotting good recipes online, these Google adventures turn out pretty well. I usually blend several of the recipes that pop up (taking from the best of the comments sections).
This time it was “onions,” “sage sausage,” “white beans,” and “crushed tomatoes.”
I ended up hitting pay dirt – the resulting stew is hearty, filling, and really delicious. I was completely out of bread and wanted something doughy to dip in the stew, so I paired it with my first-ever attempt at focaccia bread (carmelized (charred?) onion).
We all shared a very delicious and ever so slightly spicy coconut soup called Tom-Kah-Kai.
And I ate half of a large plate of very delicious Pad Thai that I later finished as a late midnight snack on Saturday.
After dinner we shared a second Christmas at my nephew’s home (we didn’t get to visit with them in December) and had some tequila shots out of small bowls as they didn’t have any shot-glasses. Clearly this was the fanciest way to shoot tequila.
Saturday was a very long day, but we started it off the right way by getting brunch together at a well known and popular spot Myke’s Cafe in Pacoima.
The food was as delicious as the art on the walls was interesting.
I got really tasty plate of french toast with raspberries and lemon curd and a side of sausage. I consumed it all and it kept me fueled for the rest of the day.
They took us to the Getty Museum which was beautiful beyond belief, and very busy because it was a family activity day.
We spent hours with the European paintings, antique and opulent furniture, and walking the garden.
We spent that evening at the El Capitan Theater watching the new live action Cinderella experience (eating theater food for dinner), and then walking Hollywood Boulevard taking in the sights.
We headed back for the bay area shortly after waking the next day, but the family and food and whole trip was just wonderful.
What delicious spots have you eaten at on your travels recently?
There used to be this odd little anachronistic burger joint in Montana, straight out of the 1950s or so, that made a mean “flying saucer” burger. The “flying saucer” burger was, essentially, just a typical burger, cheese, ketchup, mustard, onion, pressed between two round pieces of bread that were sealed at the edges and toasted. It was quite delicious and I was very sad to see the place close down in recent years. Funny how a simple little change to the bread can really make something taste incredible.
The interwebs are telling me this is a “Cuban Style Sandwich,” but it also looks a lot like the burgers from Montana. Image from: http://ifood.tv/american/423573-cuban-flying-saucer-grilled-sandwich
That brings me to waffling.
No, not the kind where you can’t make up your mind. This kind of waffling is bold, decisive. Delicious.
Whatever kind of sandwich you can make, you can waffle.
Just prepare your sandwich, heat up your waffle maker, spray it with non-stick cooking spray, place your sandwich in it and SQUISH. Squish hard! And then wait a few minutes (slightly longer than your average, everyday waffle would take), and BOOM.
You’ve just waffled your sandwich and it is delicious. Don’t you feel smart and attractive?
Try it with:
– Peanut butter and jelly – Roast beef and cheddar – Turkey and provolone – All of the cheeses ever
The sky is your waffley limit. Enjoy your new found fabulous, toasty, squishy, delicious method for heating up sammiches. Yum!
P.S. You can also use waffles to make your sandwiches. Or pizza. Or a lot of things really.
2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury™ refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
½ cup well drained roasted red bell peppers (from a jar)
8 slices provolone cheese, halved
⅓ lb deli sliced hot salami
¼ lb deli sliced ham
¼ lb deli sliced capocollo
½ cup well drained hot pepper rings (from a jar)
Heat oven to 375°F (350°F for dark or nonstick cooking sheet).
Unroll both cans of dough; separate into 8 rectangles. On ungreased 12-inch pizza pan, arrange rectangles in ring so short sides of rectangles form a circle in center. (Dough will overlap; half of each rectangle will hang over edge of pan. Dough ring should look like a sun.)
Spread roasted red bell peppers toward center of ring on bottom halves of rectangles. Top with half of the cheese. Layer salami, ham and capocollo slices over cheese. Arrange pepper rings over top. Cover with remaining half of cheese.
Bring each dough rectangle hanging over side of pan up over stacked filling, tucking dough under bottom layer of dough to secure it. Repeat around sandwich until entire filling is enclosed (some filling might show a little). Sprinkle with black pepper.
Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until dough is golden brown and thoroughly baked. Cool 5 to 10 minutes before cutting into serving slices.
We used three different kinds of salami, pepperoni, and nixed the ham. For the beef and cheddar sandwich, we soaked about ¾ of a pound of roast beef in an au jus overnight, and then drained it well before putting it on the sandwich. We then topped that with a very meltable cheese dip.
Brandie is wife to Adam who is brother to Brie who is cousin to Cat! With our powers combined, we represent a culinary school grad, an aspiring astronaut, a culinary school dropout, social nerds, gamers, cinephiles, bibliophiles, laqueristas, food fanatics, social anxiety disorders, and more. It’s fun stuff.