Monday, April 13, 2020

Weekly Eats: Mandatory Dinners and Cheesecake

A weekly roundup: eats, watches, and reads.  In this week's edition, our "mandatory" dinners are keeping us happy, a rundown of our Easter, some cheesecake, and a non-Trader Joe's haul.

All the usual suspects, the only oddity to report is that I broke my Saturday morning french toast streak

Four straight days of Pinch of Yum sofritas = four straight days of happiness

Leftover steak found its way into a quickie steak burrito, I mean you have to take my word for it that's what's in the tortilla.

And hey ya spinach artichoke pasta


Monday: our weekly mandatory steak night

Tuesday: a mandatory "hey I've got to work late, the rest of y'all figure it out" night

Wednesday: I put some effort into it!  Gimme Some Oven chicken enchiladas.  Stepson #1 felt that the sauce was spicy, but my very mild palated husband and stepson #2 did not back him up in this claim.

Thursday: leftover night.  The boys put away the leftover steak and some random tofu and rice that was in the fridge, the adults had enchiladas. I really don't like what the microwave does to leftover chicken so I used the air fryer to reheat the enchiladas and they came out just like new.

Friday:mandatory weekly takeout night.  We hit up our local Lebanese place and opened up our first six pack of the year of our favorite summer beer.

Saturday: seems like Saturdays are becoming our mandatory hamburger night...and it also seems like we are really liking our mandatory dinners

Easter Brunch
Our Easter started with a family Skype and then we put together a small meal with our favorite Easter foods.
  • Ham, I just got us some steaks to prevent the dreaded "ham for days" leftover Easter situation.
  • Mini bacon and cheese quiche, the backbone of the recipe are here.  
    • I used regular milk in place of evaporated milk (sorry Nestle but ain't nobody got time to open a can) 
    • 6 slices of thick cut bacon (quantity determined by what we had).  It was really thick and I knew it would take a while to microwave so I decided to try baking it.  This was my guide that yes it's OK to bake bacon without a rack, don't bother preheating the oven,  and just cover it with parchment to stop it from splattering.  It took about 20 minutes from start to finish and the convenience of having it all done at the same time made it worth it.
  • Texas Roadhouse Rolls, purchased from a coworker's fundraiser
  • And SIL #4's cheesy potatoes.  Her recipe is almost identical to this.  My only alteration was using panko and crushed Ritz crackers as the topping, the grocery store had exactly one (1) $5 family sized box of corn flakes and no one in this house eats plain corn flakes and as I contemplated the purchase all I could think of was a $5 bill on fire.
Our Treat of the Week was cheesecake.  I'd grabbed one on impulse at my last trip to Trader Joe's and I broke that out this week.  In the past the kids have been indifferent to cheesecake but now they're as crazy about it as the adults are.  The TJ's cake went fast and we were all craving more, so I whipped out a batch of this recipe.
Alterations: No lemon, no raspberry.  The previous time that I made it I halved the cheesecake to boost the crust to cake ratio, this time I messed up and used half the cream cheese but forgot to halve the rest of the ingredients.  And guess what, my oops turned out to be a keeper.

Overall I've been pretty good with food, no covid 15 situations going on here but I did let loose on the cheesecake.  The really nice part about having two growing boys in the house is that desserts usually don't last long enough for me to need self control.

Grocery Shopping Report and non-Trader Joe's Haul
Our dinky little suburban grocery store continues to be fully stocked as far as we can tell but I got a glimpse of a different world elsewhere.   I had to visit my workplace today in the Big City so I decided to hit up Trader Joe's while I was there.  I do love me some TJ's but not enough to stand in line to wait to get into the store.

  • For family viewing we saw the Rifftrax version of Fast & Furious 4. and the OG version of King Kong.
  • On my own viewing:
    • finished Unorthodox, love, love, love that show.
    • I watched this year's Best Picture winner for no other reason than it's on a certain popular streaming site and I bet you can guess my opinion from the lack of links.  The first hour of the movie was great!  The second not so much IMO.
Still happily rereading The Far Country.


  1. The hubs and I have been working our way through Schitts Creek...very dry humor, but (I think) hilarious (though the story line is kind of dumb). We've seen one episode of Unorthadox...looks like that will be a great series. Oh, that cheesecake ;-) I'm not sure how this happened (well, I guess an empty house = lots of Easter leftovers), but we have tons of stuff in the fridge to keep our lunches interesting for the next week.

    1. Usually the only Easter leftover we have is ham, and we have it for dayssssss. This year at least we had about 3 meals worth of Easter stuff and now we're moving on.

  2. That cheesecake looks great! Actually all the food looks pretty delicious :)

    1. Thanks! I've been good with the treats but I just really needed cheesecake you know?

  3. Why am I so fascinated with food photos? I could just sit and stare at your food for a solid hour. I think I love the pasta best.
    I need to have a look at Unorthodox. Thanks for the tip!

    1. I don't know but I am too (I guess duh or I wouldn't write about it). Between the mandatory steak/hamburger/takeout nights meal planning just got a lot easier.

  4. You have been doing a good job at variety over there. We are getting a little tired of our meals over here!

    1. We're trying. I'm struggling a bit with when to shut down work and switch over to dinner mode, but there's nothing new there.

  5. Growing up we always had French toast for Sunday breakfast, hamburgers, French fries, and a soda (it was the only soda I was allowed to have all week) for Saturday supper, and hotdogs and mashed potatoes on Thursday nights. On Thursdays we ate in the family room on TV trays while watching Daniel Boone. I thought eating on TV trays was the coolest thing in the world. LOL

  6. That food looks delicious. Where I live, the same is true with Trader Joe's - you have to wait in line outside to go in. None of the other stores are like that (at least not that I know of).

  7. Our TJs are pretty small, so they do have lines (at least at the time when I go shopping apparently), but I didn't mind waiting, as I appreciate their efforts to keep everyone safe. We do 80% of our grocery shopping at TJs, so it's worth it for me.

    The cheesecake looks delicious, btw. Thanks for linking the recipe.