Thomas said he does NOT want to participate in the Geography Bee at school tomorrow. They took a preliminary test and he got 30 out of 35 correct, however… he only knew ONE of those answers for sure. The rest were guesses.
One that he guessed correctly? Where is the Klondike?
He guessed Alaska. Why? Because Klondike bars are ice cold and so is Alaska.
That’s using the old noggin, I’d say!
I don’t know about you, but I am not one of those people who writes out the meal plan for the week, shops accordingly, and sticks to the set menu for daily meals. I make what I feel like making, even if that’s just a bunch of tater tots dipped in blue cheese dressing with a side of green beans and (homemade) baked-breaded chicken fingers with buffalo wing sauce. By listing the tater tots first one would assume that they comprised the majority of my meal.
One would be correct in that assumption.
I do, of course, try to make meals that Thomas will enjoy because 1) he’ll make my life a living hell if he doesn’t and 2) he makes me laugh and I love him to pieces.
My dearest boy discovered he liked pork chops this past summer. Fletch made some ass-kicking rosemary-garlic scape chops on the grill and much to my surprise, Thomas ate not one but one and a half pork chops complete with fresh-picked from the farm side dishes and dessert. I’m not sure if it was really and truly the pork or just the company (he loves his Aunt Lynne!), but he’s now completely enamored with The Pig.
I grab veggies from the barn when there is something leftover from daily work – something that isn’t quite fit for general sale (because it’s not perfect) but is absolutely edible and quite delicious. This week those items were cauliflower and sweet potatoes. They had some brown spots, some dings, some wrinkles…. nothing that a sharp knife and discerning eye couldn’t take care of.
In no time I had The Boy’s favorite meal ready to go and a happy night was had by all.
Pork Tenderloin: rub with olive oil, garlic & salt then sear on all sides. Place skillet in a 425-degree oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer reads 145. Remove pan from oven, tent with foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes: peel and cube sweet potatoes, toss with olive oil and salt, then roast on a rimmed sheet pan for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until tender and golden-crisp.
Roasted Cauliflower: cut head of cauliflower into florets then toss with olive oil and salt and roast on a rimmed sheet pan for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until tender and starting to caramelize. Add garlic during the last 15 minutes of cooking if you like. Any sooner and the minced allium will start to burn and become bitter.
I know, that probably seems like a ridiculous amount of work for a quesadilla, until you realize that Meal #1 above was prepared on Wednesday night and the leftovers were miraculously transformed into Meal #2, Roasted Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Quesadillas, on Thursday night! I heartily endorse cooking once and eating twice since I, like everyone else with a life, am incredibly busy and quality time at home is short and precious.
This small bit of planning gave us lots of free time on Thursday night, enough for a long and ruthless game of Monopoly.
Roasted Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Quesadilla
roasted sweet potato cubes
grated sharp cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses
smoky chipotle hot sauce (Johnny A Brand Smoky Love or your favorite) to taste
chopped scallions, green onions or chives
Lay tortillas on cutting board or work surface and evenly distribute a nice, even layer of cheese on each. Place some sweet potatoes and cauliflower florets atop the cheese, drizzle with hot sauce and sprinkle with a bit more cheese (this acts as your glue once it melts). Place another tortilla on top to close, then carefully place each tortilla sandwich in a preheated nonstick skillet. Lightly toast the quesadillas on each side (flip them carefully!) as the cheese melts and the veggies warm up. Adjust the heat if necessary so the tortillas don’t burn, and if you like, put a lid over the pan to speed up the melting process.
** I like the flavor of char-grilled tortillas, both corn and flour. I toast each tortilla on the open burner of a gas stove before I assemble the quesadillas. Alternately, you could heat them in a preheated cast iron grill pan.