Week 17: Something From Childhood

Half Whoppers
Chorizo Shells and Cheese
Steamed Broccoli

Growing up, when mom was strapped for cash for lunch, we would go to Burger King and the 4 of us children would each get half of a Whopper. The promise was that if we could finish it, we could get another half. It didn’t take long to figure out that once we left the drive through, there was no hope of a second half.

To recreate this trauma for my sister and me, I made seasoned beef patties and put them on sesame buns with pickles, onions, tomatoes, mayo, mustard and ketchup. The best part was allowing each person to have a second half when they finished their first one.

Another institution of the Cronin household was boxed mac n’ cheese with either chunks of hot dogs or spam (depending on which was cheaper or already on hand). I classed it up a bit with making a 6 cheese macaroni with chucks of chorizo. It was a touch spicy, and very tasty. The indigestion was worth it.

Luckily with the advent of decent grocery selection and my parents not supporting four children, mom has finally stepped into the realm of fresh vegetables. Frozen vegetables were the staple growing up, as long as they were cooked into mush. I had to bring this classic to this dinner with the exception of it being steamed, fresh broccoli with garlic and olive oil.

Week 15: One Pot

  • Shepherd’s Pie

Boiled potatoes, browned beef/lamb and sauteed onions, added peas and carrots, put mashed potatoes on top and then sprinkled with shredded cheddar.

Note: Dingus does not like to be tricked into eating lamb.

Week 14: Sandwiches

  • Shrimp Po Boys
  • Cole Slaw
  • Pasta Salad
  • Steak Fries

This week was tough to cook since we were in a cabin at the Falls of Rough River. The kitchen was tiny, but it still worked. I pan fried the shrimp with a batter of flour, garlic powder, onion powder, Old Bay, cayenne, salt and pepper. They were served on hoagie rolls with tomato slices.

The coleslaw was shredded cabbage with mayo, red onion, cider vinegar, salt and pepper.

The pasta salad was rotini tossed with olive oil, broccoli, mayo, and Parmesan cheese

The steak fries were just thick cut potatoes fried, served with a chipotle aioli.

Week 11: Breakfast

  • French Toast
  • Fruit Salad
  • Spinach Quiche

French toast was leftover bread cut thick, then soaked in an egg, cream, nutmeg mixture, cooked on a skillet.

Fruit salad was blueberries, apple slices, orange segments and banana slices mixed with lemon juice and mint leaves. Strawberries were on the side for everyone except the allergic.

Spinach quiche was a pie crust filled with a mixture of eggs, cream, sauteed onions, garlic, spinach, bacon and Monterrey Jack cheese, baked until brown

Week 10: Movie or Book Inspired

  • Applesauce served with forks with corks (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels)
  • Cream of Broccoli Soup (Dirt Rotten Scoundrels)
  • BBQ Shrimp, Fried Shrimp, Broiled Shrimp, Boiled Shrimp


Cream of Broccoli soup minus the spinach and potatoes

Broiled and boiled shrimp was seasoned with lemon and Old Bay

Fried shrimp was battered with flour, egg, salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne

BBQ shrimp was marinated and basted with corn free bbq sauce (for Jo’s corn allergy)

Week 8: Slow Cooking

  • Slow cooked tilapia
  • Angel Hair with Cilantro pesto sauce

Tilapia in butter and garlic, low and slow in a dutch oven.

Cilantro, parsley, pine nuts, olive oil, salt and pepper for the pesto.

Week 7: Love Inspired

Heart Shaped Pizzas

I made the dough and shaped out 2 hearts about 14″ diameter.

The sauce was sweated sweet onions, green pepper and garlic with diced tomatoes, a splash of red wine, basil, oregano, marjoram, thyme, parsley and garlic powder for good measure.

The cheese was a mozzarella, provolone, Parmesan blend.

Toppings were green peppers, onions, pepperoni and some other random things I threw on each.

The crust was a bit dry and flat, but everything else about it was good.