It's quick, and it's good, and you can use leftovers.

It’s quick, and it’s good, and you can use leftovers.

Where was this dish when I was hustling to feed kids in between getting off work and heading to the ballpark or the band concert?

Well, for one thing, I didn’t know how to cook anything Asian, faux or otherwise, when they were little. For another, they’d have probably looked at me suspiciously. As would my husband.

But beef and broccoli is about the easiest thing you can throw together for a quick, healthy meal. In fact, if you do your prep in advance and cook your rice, you can have this on the table in 15 minutes. (If you do your prep just before your cook, it’ll probably take you 30. Which is OK, because it’ll take that long for your rice to cook, if you do not, as I did, have some cooked rice frozen.)

In any event, By All Means do ALL your prep before you start cooking. Hear me on this. If you do not do so, you Will Regret It, because like all Asian food, once the groceries start hitting the hot pan, it goes fast and it needs your attention.

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We had a fine, fine Christmas dinner. There is not a single picture of it, because, well, Christmas and all its attendant chaos. Six adults, three kids, two spastic dogs, small house. You get the idea.

The best part of Christmas! AGCs, from left, 1, 3 and 2.

The best part of Christmas! AGCs, from left, 1, 3 and 2.

There is, however, this picture, the single moment during the day when we got a kindergartener and two preschoolers to stand still. And snapped quick. And they’re what it’s all about, anyway.

Dinner prep kinda got away from me, as I had to take a chunk of time out of the morning to roast the turkey I was taking to a local group home for a Christmas meal. And that wouldn’t have been so bad but for the fact I had to run hot water over the turkey, which had been sitting in the bottom of the fridge for three full days, but had barely thawed the least little bit.

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If I ate lunch like this every day, I'd be fat again.

If I ate lunch like this every day, I’d be fat again.

This is why you cook pork roast.

This is merely ONE of the marvelous things you can do with a piece of pig shoulder you have carefully nurtured in the oven for hours, in a meticulously constructed sauce, basting regularly….

Or, on the other hand, what you can do with pulled pork from the big honkin’ shoulder roast you coated in pastrami rub, refrigerated overnight, and then slapped in a Dutch oven, poured a bottle of beer in the bottom, stuck in a quartered onion, and forgot it in the oven for five or six hours.

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Chicken challenge

April 8, 2016

Winner, winner, chicken dinner No. 1

Winner, winner, chicken dinner No. 1

Wanna play chicken?

No, not the kind when you barrel down the highway at high speed, headed straight for another vehicle, waiting to see who flinches first. I may or may not have partaken in that foolishness when I was a kid, but not since I (a) began paying my own auto and health insurance, and (b) got over the notion I was immortal.

For the record, I started the first when I was 19, and the second when I was about, oh, 40. Arrested development (at least in some regards), that’s me.

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Pot roast, Day 2

November 18, 2015

beef and gravyWherein the versatile pot roast becomes a beef-and-gravy entree.

This is so simple as to barely warrant a post, but it’s just so good.

The recent pot roast, being that just two of us dined on it and it was a good-sized one to start with, left me with a lot of meat. I contemplated roast beef sandwiches (debris po’boys!), but decided, mostly because I felt like mashed potatoes.

Real mashed potatoes. With lumps.

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With due thanks to Arlo Guthrie. I posted that line on Facebook last night and the responses make me think that only one of my friends picked up on the reference to the iconic late 60s-early 70s anthem. Ah, well. As Dorothy Parker would have noted, “Time doth flit.”

The bird, and a most excellent one he was.

The bird, and a most excellent one he was.

It was a most excellent Thanksgiving dinner, even if we had two or three less around the table than I’d planned for. The turkey was succulent and juicy; the dressing was appropriately sage-y; the cranberry salad, for those of us who ate it, was its usual sweet-tart self; the caramelized streusel topping (with walnuts, because I was out of pecans) provided a sweet, crunchy counterpoint to the creamy sweet potato casserole; the mashed potatoes and mac and cheese were, well, mashed potatoes and mac and cheese; I didn’t eat either one.

Potatoes, two ways

Potatoes, two ways

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Lost and found

November 9, 2011

Went to download some scenic photos I’d taken this week, and discovered this.

A roast that had gone AWOL, discovered and preserved for posterity.

It dates from weekend before last, and I don’t guess I ever posted it, as I’m pretty stringent about deleting stuff once I pull it off the camera’s memory card.

It was an eye of round that I’d marinated overnight in a bottled jerk sauce, because, well, I thought it’d taste good. And it did. Tough, though. I’m about to give up on roast beef that isn’t braised. I can braise hell out of some beef, but I can’t cook it to a lovely medium rare and have it tender to boot. Probably has to do with buying it at Kroger. I’ll get my PJF folks to get me a good rib roast one of these days, and try again.

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