Even with a few substitutions that turned Chicken Parmesan Balls into Turkey Pizza Balls, this was AMAZEBALLS. @altonbrown #everydaycook

Turkey Pizza Balls

My son saw me making meatballs and asked — nay, *informed* me he would help. Dinner was late, but worth it. Thx, @altonbrown! #everydaycook

Cooking with Connor

The Displaced Chef: Authentic Cuban Sandwich

Cuban from The Displaced Chef

Just like in Ybor City, proclaims the menu. Alas, during the years I lived in the Tampa area as a kid, I only visited Ybor City once, on a field trip, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t have a Cuban for lunch.

My Cuban from The Displaced Chef was delicious, but not as filling as I’d expected, and maybe not delicious enough to justify the wait. Seriously, I wonder what everyone else was ordering, because people who had been two or three spots behind me in line got their food before I did.

I wish the food truck had some more of the Cuban dishes served at the sit-down restaurant in Perrysburg. I’d gladly wait a few extra minutes for an order of piccadillo or ropa vieja.

If I hit up The Displaced Chef again, maybe I’ll order one of the platos. Or just get an order of fried plantains. Om nom nom.

Dinner and Dessert

I made new-to-me recipes twice in one evening! First, I made Ginger-Sesame Oats with Mushrooms and Charred Green Onions for dinner. My five-year-old son, of course, hated it.

Ginger Sesame Oats

After he went to bed, I made Cinnamon Roll Muffins. (He already knows he’ll get a muffin for breakfast tomorrow.)

Cinnamon Roll Muffins

I was pretty pleased with both endeavors, and baking after my son went to bed kept me from snacking, so that’s a win, too.

I’m well on my way to cooking/baking 50 new-to-me Recipes in 2017!

Casserole Remorse

Two casseroles

The prep time on this casserole recipe from Cooking Light may not have taken into account my lack of a lackey to be my Sous chef. That 50 minutes ended up being closer to an hour and a half — plus, I got interrupted once by my son. That was my entire stretch of “me time” that I get after my son goes to bed, and I’m not entirely sure it was worth the effort.

I may appreciate this as Time Well Spent come tomorrow, when I stick one of these in the oven for 25 minutes and poof! dinner is ready. Or in another couple of weeks, when I make the casserole I’m about to freeze.

Honestly, though, unless this is The Best Damn Casserole I’ve Ever Had, I’m unlikely to go to the trouble again.

Complimentary Bluefin Upgrade

Honestly, it was almost a shame to get an unexpected bluefin upgrade on this particular roll, where I didn’t feel I could properly enjoy it. The exquisite texture of the tuna was overshadowed by everything else going on (mainly the cream cheese).

Still, though, I’m grateful to be such a regular that I get upgrades like this! My once-a-week sushi habit is paying off… sort of.

2017 Resolutions Check-In

Some of my resolutions and goals I did publicize on the blog, while others were ones I listed in my bullet journal. They’re all totally doable — none of these are unreasonable, and not all of them are ones I need to think about every day.

  • Post daily to blog
  • Cook 50 new-to-me recipes
  • Offload two items of clothing for each one I purchase
  • Create a budget and stick to it
    • Shop Amazon mostly using gift cards earned through my credit card
    • Only shop ThredUp with trade-in credits
    • If it can be mended, don’t buy a new one
  • Return of Photo Thursday – post a photo to the blog weekly

So, how am I doing? In the style of Wil Wheaton’s Life Reboot, I’ll give myself letter grades for each point.  (more…)