what we ate

When I was scrolling through photos for the quotidian post, I realized that I had an extra large amount of food photos which, I decided, deserved a post all their own. So, without further ado, here’s what’s been going down the hatch in recent days.


Tamales, with extra red sauce and curtido.

Speaking of tamales. Last time I was at Costco, I noticed they had chicken tamales, 15 for sixteen dollars. They looked good, but without the samples (I miss samples!!!), I hesitated. Can anyone vouch for them?


At the bakery, we made Basque cheesecakes for Easter. While they might be a cinch to make at home, learning to make them in the bakery was a whole other story. I’d bake four at a time: first in the diner oven to get the color, and then in the bakery oven to get them baked through without scorching. It required careful maneuvering of hot trays and lots of temperature checks and some occasional mild cursing.

It was worth it, though. 


Trying to nail down the cheesecake bake process, I went through about six test cakes which meant there were lots of not-perfect cakes that needed to be eaten (poor us). Then one day I got a brilliant idea: cheesecake ice cream! I mixed up a batch of vanilla ice cream (which already has cream cheese in the base) and then, when the ice cream was almost done churning, I broke a couple pieces of cheesecake into it. 

So if you ever find yourself with a bum cheesecake on hand, now you know what to do!


I am not a chip person but a couple weeks ago I discovered the best chips in the world.

My husband and I ate a whole bag in a single sitting. Twice.

“These are my favorite chips for the rest of my life.” (If my life had a sound track, trumpets would’ve sounded.) “If you ever want to get me a treat, get these.”

(And now I want more chips, waaaah!) 


The kids stopped at the store to get treats on their way home after choir; my daughter got yogurt, bananas, and blueberries, and my son got a head of lettuce and a tomato for his beloved sandwiches. 

(Don’t worry, they’re actually quite normal. Typically they get chips and gummy candy.)


Our Puerto Rican friends invited us over for supper: fricase de pollo con jugo de uva (chicken marinated and cooked in grape juice and served in a broth with other veggies), rice, salad, tostones, and mayo-ketchup. 

Frying the tostones is disasterish, but man, are they good.


I made a riff on my standard red lentils: added a sweet potato and a white potato, chopped small, and threw in a whole box of chopped spinach. Lemon, too, of course. I thought it was delicious, but the entire family revolted — they said it had a weird flavor. 


Here’s one of the plates I fixed my son for a lunch: beef fajitas (just the meat), beans and rice, red lentil riff, kale, and cherry delight.

He’s pretty amenable about different foods, so he gets a spread.


And here’s another one of his meals. 

Leftover chicken salad and a cabbage slaw thingy from the diner, leftover rolls from Easter, and his store-bought lettuce. 

My version:

Half a leftover roll, buttered and then grilled, leftover sloppy joe meat, and the cabbage slaw. Note: grilling the bun makes all the difference. #magpielessons


In my current household, no one else really goes for avocados. I cut one in half and wrap the half with the seed in plastic and stick it back in the fridge. It usually holds for a couple days that way.

Also, a couple of our jars of salsa unsealed but still smelled good. My younger son, a bonafide salsa freak, couldn’t bear to throw them out, so he ate some. I waited, like a good mother, to see if he got sick. When he didn’t, we all dug in.


A friend posted a photo of a pepperoni roll on Facebook, or what the news source was calling a pepperoni roll, which, in their case, was basically just some sticks of pepperoni jabbed through a lump of (what looked like) government-issued white bread. She was appalled, I was scandalized. “THAT is an abomination,” I wrote. And then I couldn’t shake the idea of pepperoni rolls so I made a batch.

He’s actually jumping up and down with glee. You just can’t tell. He’s a very controlled man. (snort)

I don’t know what my friend’s version of a pepperoni roll is, but mine involves stirring chopped pepperoni and grated parmesan into the no-knead dough and then rolling it out and stuffing the squares with lots of pepperoni and, in this case, chunks of fresh mozzarella.

I need to make another batch.

This same time, years previous: what it’s like to write full time: an experiment, creamed honey, out of character, ailments, my lot, honey baked chicken.


  • Mommychef

    There are pepperoni rolls in my oven right now! Literally, all I have thought about since I saw this post! Very unknown in Quebec but will be making regular appearances from here on!

  • Diana

    White lady who grew up in NJ and lives in CO now, so you can take this with a major grain of salt, but we like the Costco tamales! We get the pork (chicken allergy in the family), but my family eats them up! You might need to add some sauce and sides, but even if they end up being too bland for you, you can spice them up easily. Worth a try anyways!

  • Hattie

    You’ll be pleased to know that Utz Classic recently won the best kettle chip designation on Cook’s Country. I have not tried the Salt and Malt Vinegar ones, but certainly will on your recommendation. Interestingly, Utz was the only brand that used peanut oil as I recall.

Leave a Comment