Mama meals, tostadas, tavern burgers

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On nights that Mike works or will be home late and I’m not really feeling cooking a full meal, I throw together what my kids call Mama meals.  It’s snacky and veg or fruit heavy, easy to put together, hodgepodge meal.  For this one, I pan-roasted two bunches of asparagus for my “main”, grabbed some leftover potatoes and a few tablespoons of leftover dill buttermilk dressing over them, cold.  Apples and peanut butter, oranges that were visually past their prime , so I peeled them so the kids wouldn’t notice.  And crackers with goat cheese.  That’s it.  And we all loved it.

The following night, whenever that was, I made Oaxaca-inspired tostadas.  I use a few cans of black beans (dried black beans have been hit or miss lately, quality-wise).  Then I warm them slowly with a dash of apple cider vinegar, cumin, oregano and lard.  Next I blend them until they are a smooth and slightly runny consistency, adding water and salt if necessary.  I fry up several tortillas in oil, keeping them flat and frying until very crisp over med-high heat.  We use a Oaxaca style cheese, somewhat similar to string cheese but with a better flavor.  Lucky me, I had a ripe avocado; then we have accoutrements like pickled red onions, half-sour pickled jalapeños (more on those another day), green salsa, shredded lettuce or green cabbage (romaine this time).  I made a quick crema for drizzling with greek yogurt, heavy cream, lime and salt.  It goes great with the queso fresco.

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Today is Mike’s birthday!  Many of our previous options for celebrating are not an option right now so we started with carrot cake for breakfast, which made us all feel a little gross, to be honest.  Next, we went for a run to try and shake it off and prepare to make something a little more appropriate for breakfast.  Fried eggs with red pepper flakes and feta, toast and orange marmalade.

We watched Uncle Buck with the kids and had popcorn for lunch.

For dinner Mike cooked us Tavern Burgers, a family favorite.  These are what some folks call smash burgers; they are slider-sized (2.5 oz patties), cooked on a griddle, smashed thin, cooked hot, topped with american cheese, shredded lettuce.   I got Mike a new tool for easier burger smashing and it worked great.  Mike and the kids east either two of these or one double-patty burger, while one is good for me.  They are better than our other favorite local burgers.  We ate them with oven fries.   Here they are:

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