What’s for Supper? Vol. 7: Meatloaf: A Tragicomedy

What’s for Supper? Vol. 7: Meatloaf: A Tragicomedy October 2, 2015

whats for supper

Just the facts!

Grilled pizza sandwiches

food blog pizza sandwiches

These are not only delicious, easy to make, and filling, but they are cheaper than making pizza, especially if you use pre-made dough when you make pizza. I find that I use about half the amount of cheese and sauce as I do to make pizza for the same number of people.

We made these with cheese, pepperoni, and some bottled pesto. Spread the outsides of the sandwich with butter mixed with garlic powder and oregano

food blog butter
a promising start to any recipe

and on the inside, spread sauce on each slice of bread, then add a handful of cheese, and whatever filling you like. Then put it together and grill as you would normal grilled cheese sandwich. I like to grill them until they’re golden on the outside, then put them in a warm oven for a bit, to make sure they’re cooked all the way through, because they are pretty thick.

This recipe works well with sturdier bread, like sourdough or something. Or, if you are using softer bread, just make sure the butter is nice and soft, using whatever kitchen tools you have on hand, like a potato masher or an elephant

food blog elephant butter

Hey, I didn’t kill anybody this week. Where’s my  medal?

Chicken pesto pasta

Poach chicken breast, then dice or shred it. Cook and drain a bunch of pasta (farfalle/bowtie/butterfly pasta is good for chunky recipes like this. We used penne, because it was what we had, and it was fine), mix it with the chicken, and add in a bunch of pesto*, a bunch of crushed fresh garlic, and a ton of grated parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper. Serve hot or cold.

food blog chicken pesto

*I didn’t even make pesto, I just chopped up a bunch of fresh basil and mixed it with olive oil. Pretty yummy. Better the second day.

This really needed a side dish, but I went to lie down instead.

Meatloaf, acorn squash

I’m the only one in my house who thinks this is funny.

food blog meatloaf tragedy

What they don’t realize is that it takes all my effort to resist making a nice perky set of Double D meatloaves.

Our meatloaf recipe: good old Fannie Farmer. As she says, this recipe is “susceptible to many variations.”

Acorn squash! So seasonal! My usual recipe is to buy it, put it on the counter, look at it guiltily a few times a day for a few weeks, notice someone has stabbed it with a screwdriver and there is now something squirmy living inside, and throw it in the swamp out back; but here’s the technique we used this time, and it was much more popular:

Cut squash in half, scoop out seeds and pulp, put them face down on a pan and bake at 350 for half an hour. Turn them over, but a blob of butter and brown sugar in each one, and put them back in the oven for another half hour.  Tasty.

I feel like we had something else, too, but I forget what.


English muffins, scrambled eggs, hostages, some elderly cantaloupe, quinoa

Definitely a low point of the week, food-wise. English muffins undertoasted, eggs burned, sausages are fine because how the hell do you screw up frozen sausages, cantaloupe dessicated and improperly peeled, and the quinoa, well . . . I bought this pre-flavored, pre-vegetabled quinoa and it turned out looking like something that nobody wants because nobody needs. And it was expensive!


Tacos de Carnitas 

Boy, I had really high hopes for this recipe, which I got from the NYT; and it smelled fantastic as it was cooking. TO BE FAIR, I was missing a lot of the ingredients. I think it’s worth making again when I have more stuff on hand, because pork is still cheap; but I was expecting this dish to redeem the entire week, and it did not do that.

food blog carnitas

It didn’t help that I didn’t fry up the meat nearly long enough after it was shredded, and I think that’s not cilantro. I think that’s parsley. Also, I forgot that corn tortillas are bloody awful when you don’t fry them. Boo.


Fish sticks, rice, raw broccoli and sweet peppers

The “raw broccoli and sweet pepper” part is the voice of optimism speaking. But I do feel like I can heat up some frozen fish sticks, and probably strong-arm some teenager into making a pot of rice.

In conclusion, this week can eat my poo.  Did I say that last week? Well, still.

I’m struggling a bit with InLinkz. I paid the little fee so that entry thumbnails would be displayed at the bottom of the page, but I think you still had to click through last time. Grr. Here’s hoping it works this week. Anyway, I hope you join in! Anything you want to say about food, here’s the place.

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  • Amanda

    Sunday–It was a rough weekend and I wasn’t up to cooking much, so my husband decided to run to the store and get frozen burger patties, buns, and frozen fries to heat up for dinner. I whipped up some of the mayonnaise sauce from damndelicious’s bang bang chicken to spread on the burgers and dip the fries in which helped a little, but we remembered as we were eating it why we really just prefer making burgers ourselves from ground beef, taste-wise.

    Monday–penne vodka, the dish that won my husband’s heart when I made it for him even before we were dating, and bread dipped in olive oil/balsamic vinegar/spices on the side. Had intentions of sauteeing spinach, but see reference to having a rough time, above. To make penne vodka: Cook/drain one lb. of pasta. Melt 1/4 cup butter in large skillet. When butter foams, add 1/4 lb. diced pancetta (so excited to find it at Aldi’s last week, which is what prompted this dish). When pancetta browns slightly, add 1/3 cup vodka and stir. After alcohol burns off somewhat, stir in one 14.5 oz. can tomato sauce and 1 1/2 cup heavy cream. Stir continuously for 5-8 minutes. Place drained pasta in skillet, add 1/2 cup shredded parmesan, and mix thoroughly. Sooooo good. I always marvel at how it can be so delicious without garlic, or salt, or other seasonings added, but it is amazing.

    Tuesday–Pork tenderloin; pretty sure I actually saved this link from you posting it at some point, Simcha! http://m.allrecipes.com/recipe/75861/amazing-pork-tenderloin-in-the-slow-cooker/?internalSource=previously%20viewed&referringContentType=home%20page Mashed potatoes on the side.

    Wednesday–Bratwurst since my husband has been asking for it for weeks, the rest of the frozen french fries from Sunday, and corn on the cob (wow! I served a vegetable!)

    Thursday–Tex Mex patty melts and a Mexican salad from a bagged kit (two days in a row with side veggie, I was on a roll). The patty melts were delicious! http://allrecipes.com/recipe/147064/tex-mex-patty-melts/?event8=1&prop24=SR_Title&e11=chipotle&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Search%20Results&soid=sr_results_p3i5

    Friday–it’s a “throw all the random stuff in the fridge into a quiche” night. Blue cheese, mushroom, spinach quiche with a side of diced crispy potatoes is the plan.

  • anna lisa

    Very boring culinary week here. Is an acorn squash a butternut squash? I have one of those staring at me in my crisper too. The most thrilling thing I did all week was make tomatillo salsa, but there was no cilantro in it 🙁 because my only bag had turned into black mush at the back of the fridge. I tossed cabbage and arrugala with garlic oil and sweet balsamic and then put the tomatillo slasa on top of that, over steak, pinto beans and mexican cheese. ( I sauteed the tacos until golden on each side).

    I wish I could get cilantro to grow. I should at least try one more time since it’s going to be hot here forever, and it might be tricked into thinking it’s in Mexico.. Global warming yo.

    My other food thrill for the week was eating a fat piece of raw salmon for breakfast on Wednesday. It wasn’t even sushi grade, and I didn’t get sick. It was worth the risk. I smeared it with wasabe, leftover Vietnamese sandwich salsa, and soy sauce, and ate it with a poached egg. It was delicious. I honestly think that lots of sushi bars serve the non sushi grade salmon from Costco. It looks the same! It’s the wide bands of white fat that give it away. Wild caught salmon never looks that fat and overindulged. Farm raised salmon must be totally steeped in antibiotics because it won’t even smell bad if you forget it in the fridge. It’s not as healthy but at least you won’t get brain worms.

    • simchafisher

      I grew cilantro once, and it went to seed almost immediately. Discouraging.

      • Mark.

        There are varieties bred not to go to seed readily. I have no idea whether they are much of an improvement. I’m told that cilantro, being coriander leaves, is inferior in Mexican cooking to such herbs as papalo that are native — but it’s essential in Vietnamese cooking. After hating it since I first tasted it I’m slowly learning to tolerate it…

        • Slow-bolt cilantro is terrific. Also, Margaret Rose Realy suggested to me that I plant 3 or 4 pots of cilantro, seeding 2 weeks apart, to have continuous cilantro. When the first one is done, add new soil and re-seed.

  • anna lisa

    Oh, and I never get used to people saying “supper”. It’s kind of like calling soda, “pop”–super weird to the ears here.

    • Anna

      That was a condition or something when I married my husband that I had to get used to “supper.” He insists that this avoids confusion since “dinner” can mean either “lunch” or “supper” and just means the large meal. I maintain that “dinner” does not mean “lunch” and that it’s all those rural folks who are confusing, but I have generally switched to calling the evening meal “supper.” But sometimes I call it “dinner” to the kids just so they’ll know what normal people call it. Of course, we also say “pop.” At least we don’t call it all “Coke” like the Texans (whom I have overheard being mildly chagrined at the College World Series when they get back from the concession stand having asked for a Coke “and they just gave me an actual Coke!”)
      ETA: acorn squash is the roundish green-skinned kind; butternut is those kind of tall pear-shaped yellow kind. We have a couple sitting around too.

      • anna lisa

        But it still sounds funny, right? Like needing to call the bedroom a boudoir.

        We coined our own term years ago: “Linner”. This can be loosely translated to mean, “I cooked/took you out to this huge lunch at 3 (because you didn’t eat breakfast until noon), so don’t come sniffing around the kitchen asking for dinner at 6 or 7, because you’re on your own.”

        My Mom used to pity them for this and keep her freezer stocked with these great open faced sandwiches (ham and Swiss with red onion and paprika sandwiches on buttered sourdough) but she just couldn’t keep up with the midnight raiders. They didn’t clean up after themselves very well either, and they set off the smoke alarms a couple of times by leaving the broiler unattended. In a few months when her outrage wears off she”ll probably make another big batch. At least she asks them to help her now!

        They are great sandwiches to premake, and have on hand!

  • Mark.

    Just the word “meatloaf” gets me singing, “I would eat anything for love, but I won’t eat that…” Sorry.

    Pork: buy a whole picnic roast, bone in and skin on. Not long ago this was often $1/lb, now it’s more like $2/lb up but you might get lucky. Put it in an oven bag with a bottleful of smoke extract (or by itself, or seasoned and salted) and seal the bag tight. Put it on a sheet or a suitable pan and bake for 24 hours at 180F — an oven thermometer helps show if it’s getting too hot. The long bake kills anything dangerous. Makes good pulled pork. Don’t try this with pork loin — too lean. Saw turkey-size oven bags 2/$1 in a Dollar Tree dollar store the other day but I haven’t tried them.

    Scoring the pork skin with a box cutter before cooking is optional.

  • Re the Inlinkz tool (I use it at CatholicMom.com) when you click GET SCRIPT you want to make sure you have chosen these options:
    Self-hosted WordPress blog (not on WordPress.com)
    Inlinkz WordPress plugin shortcode.
    Also, make sure to add the code in text mode, not visual. Hope this helps (or makes sense!)

    • simchafisher

      Thanks, I will try that!

  • Anna

    The week of super-lame:
    Sunday: baked spaghetti made by my mom for my dad’s b-day celebration.
    Monday: leftover chicken tacos from Sat.
    Tues: had a Pizza Hut coupon for 1/2 off that was expiring, so we had pizza
    Wed: leftover pizza and spaghetti along with a few chicken nuggets that were left in the bag but weren’t enough by themselves.
    Thurs: what, no more leftovers and I have to cook??? Worked out fine: chicken noodle soup which everyone loved since I made it with diced chicken we’d* done in the smoker. And I made almond muffins. And there are carrots in the soup, so yes there was a veggie.
    Fri: husband and older son bow hunting so they took sandwiches out and the rest of us ate tuna salad on crackers with applesauce and olives and leftover muffins.

    *That would be the royal we, meaning “my husband with zero help from me.”

  • My absolute favorite thing to do with acorn squash is to cook it as you do, and then stuff each half with a ground beef mixture; my personal preference is to make carne relleno, as it is called in P.R. Make sure every forkful has both sweet squash and savory meat. I think I will have to buy some acorn squash this week.

    Saturday: Mr. Beadgirl roasted a chicken, corn, and zucchini, which we also had with tomatoes.

    Sunday: Leftovers (the older Beadboys spent Saturday night with their grandparents, so there were actual leftovers for Sunday).

    Monday: I defrosted the last of the pork, a pork tenderloin, from the great pork shopping spree a few weeks ago. To serve with it I made un buen arroz (yellow Spanish rice) and raw veggies.

    Tuesday: Leftovers. Good thing my kids don’t mind leftovers.

    Wednesday: whole wheat pasta with a simple tomato sauce, and raw veggies.

    Thursday: I worked all day to make a delicious chicken pot pie, using a typically elaborate and time-consuming Cook’s Illustrated recipe, and NO ONE LIKED IT. Because they suck. (Well, I think Mr. Beadgirl would have liked it, but he ate at work.) I also mulled cider.

    Friday: I don’t know, because I escaped the house and got to go to my quilt class/sewing bee/art studio thingie for the first time in two years. I made two quilt squares!

  • Eileen

    Some might be embarassed by my menu this week, but I’m rather proud of it. It was very busy around dinner time for me all this week and I did not even once resort to pizza or cheesesteaks from the guy on the corner.

    Saturday night was date night so the kids were on their own. Sunday, I made a couple of pork roasts and asparagus. Friday night was frozen pizza. Monday through Thursday was tacos, chicken salad, or if a boy wanted something else he was on his own – cold cereal, spaghettios, eggs, dino shaped chicken nuggets, etc.

    On Sundays, I normally make about 3 or 4 pounds of chicken salad for the week. My husband brings it for lunch and will sometimes eat it when he comes in from work rather than reheating whatever I’ve made for dinner. On this Sunday, I knew it was a tough week ahead so I cooked up about 9 pounds of ground beef tacos, and all the fixins, and I made about 8 pounds of chicken salad. The tacos really only lasted two and a half nights, but with one night of frozen pizza, the chicken salad, and (once the tacos ran out) some kids making themselves their own thing, everyone ate something without too much grumbling, i.e. pleas to me to spend money on cheesesteaks. I consider the week a success!

    p.s. I like the idea of carnitas! I’m going to try them this week or next in the crock pot.

  • Em

    Carnitas: I am partial to the Diana Kennedy recipe, which is literally: pork butt chopped into 1″-ish pieces, water to cover, salt. Put them in a heavy pot on the stove. Bring to boil, lower to gentle simmer, leave there for several hours. The end.

    The fat in the pork will slowly render in the water, and after the water evaporates, the pork will fry in its own fat.

    All other carnitas recipes are just complicating things.

  • Tori

    We belonged to a food co-op for a few years, which I loved because it introduced us to a lot of new fruits and vegetables. It was also (mostly) locally sourced and wicked good prices. But. Acorn squash was one of the reasons we finally quit. There were times when we would get several squash a week over and over and I just could not figure out a way to cook it that we liked. I guess we are not winter squash people.

    Onto the meals!

    Saturday: Hot dogs, fries, corn on the cob.

    Sunday: Hamburgers at my parents’.

    Monday: Spaghetti Carbonara. I hadn’t done my meal planning yet when I read last week’s post, so, thanks!

    Tuesday: Roasted Chicken, mashed potatoes, whiskey glazed carrots. It’s no goose, but it seemed like a fitting meal for Michaelmas. I use this recipe from Ina Garten, minus the veggies because I like to do those separately. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/perfect-roast-chicken-recipe.html

    Wednesday: Baked potatoes and salad. This is one of my fall-back meals for when I just don’t feel up to cooking. We do top them with plenty of cheese and bacon to make things a little more hearty.

    Thursday: Green chile corn chowder. I usually make this with chicken, but we were out and it worked just fine.

    Friday: Roasted tomato soup with cheese toast. Very tasty!

    • Karyn

      I’m in a CSA this year for the same reasons. But’s the kale, the darn kale, that’s going to do me in! Trade you some winter squash for some kale?

      • Tori

        Sure thing! 😉

      • Heidi Chokeir

        I use LOTS of kale in smoothies! The Oh She Glows cookbook has a great green monster smoothie recipe. I like to use frozen grapes, banana, fresh or frozen pineapple, kale and water. I sometimes throw in broccoli or one of those little cucumbers. The sweetness of the banana and other fruits usually do a good job of covering up the grassy flavor, but to be safe, if you really don’t like grassy green smoothies, leave out the broccoli.

        • Karyn

          I can’t eat fruit 🙁 and my kids no longer trust my smoothies, lol