Make it a Food Network Weekend

So I’m working a lot right now.  When I say a lot, I mean 12 hour days.  And my husband also has a lot of overtime available at his job.  It’s great for the old bank account (especially as we have one daughter in college, graduating this summer and one daughter getting married this summer and one son potentially going to college next quarter, but don’t get me started on the son).  Only one problem with all that potential gain; since we’re not at home to cook, we eat out a lot.  Hmmm….kind of makes it harder to bank the gain.

Sooooo…I made last weekend a super cooking weekend.  I figured if I could get lots of food ready to go, we would be less inclined to nickle and dime ourselves out of the cash.

I had (still have) a lot of tomatoes from my step-mom’s garden.  After roasting two large pans of those, I looked for more recipes to use up these wonderful fruits of the season.  I found Tyler Florence’s Roasted Tomato Soup, delicious and easy.  I’ve never made fresh tomato soup before and was amazed at how tasty it was.  I like it so much, I made more the next day and froze it.  I just left out the fresh basil and cream and will add those when we’re ready to eat it.

The next wonderful find was Cheesy Vidalia Onion and Tomato Pie.  This is an Emeril Legasse recipe and I have to say, he never fails to please.  My husband was skeptical, but took one bite and wanted more.   It wasn’t hard, just a bit of prep time.  I hate to admit that I could not find fontina cheese anywhere and settled for an edam.  Not to be a food snob, or anything, but the poor girl in the deli made the mistake of assuming that fontina is normally  smoked.  Uhm… no, honey.  Italians everywhere like theirs unsmoked.  Maybe for sandwiches, but you’re missing the whole foodie thing if you think pre-sliced, mass marketed, smoked fontina is the standard.  Unfortunately, I may have left her with the impression that I was less than impressed with her food knowledge.  (God, I’m such a snob!)

Then, because I was kind of tomatoed out, I remembered I had 5 ears of fresh white corn in the spare fridge.  (I needed one ear for taco salad the weekend before, but they had them 6 ears for $2.00, so I bought 6.  I’m a sucker for a “deal”.)  Anyhow, I found Ina Garten’s Cheddar Corn Chowder and lo an behold I had all the ingredients in my kitchen.  This is a super yummy delicious chowder, rich but not too creamy.  I only made a half-recipe and it was a good sized pot of soup.  I’d need a crowd to make the whole recipe.  Or a larger freezer.  Anyhow, this gave me sever lovely hot lunches this last week.  Still a bit left, but it may have to go in the freezer.  Then I can remember its’ wonderfulness in a week or so.

So, with all this cooking, my husband requested meatballs.  I was a bit miffed that he wasn’t satisfied with all the lovely veggie dishes I had prepared, but he is a guy.  I decided I didn’t feel like making spaghetti and found this recipe for Swedish Meatballs from Alton Brown.  Dee-lish.  My son, who has a history of being a picky eater, loved them.  My only warning is, if you’re using bullion cubes for the beef broth, maybe use fewer cubes for the liquid.  I had to add lots of onion power and actually broke down and added sugar, it was so salty.  Of course, the directions did not call for bullion, but that’s what I had.  Next time….I’ll plan ahead.  I made up a bunch of mashed potatoes and the boys were happy.

Soooo….if you’ve needed some ideas of what to make, here’s a few.  After all that I made packaged brownies.  Hey, even wonder woman needs to cut a corner now and then.

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