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What's For Dinner? Part XLVI

Welcome and Happy Labor Day! It's the last official weekend of summer and I expect there will be lots of outings and eating out there. What's on your plate (s)?

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  1. 2 Beer Can Chickens, seasoned differently, Roasted Corn on the cob and a green veg TBD...

    1. Greek Spaghetti....Kalamata Olives, Artichoke Hearts, Onions, Garlic, Oregano, Feta, Parmesean....

      1 Reply
      1. re: christy1122

        YUM! that's what we're having now too!

      2. Potato Skordalia, tomatoes grautin, and some sort of meat (must check freezer first) with a butter blue cheese sauce. Oh, and leff-over broccoli salad from a party I threw Saturday night.

        1. I'm making chiles rellanos with chicken, spinach & garlic; chiles will be roasted, stuffed and baked with a crispy panko coating and topped with a creamy mushroom sauce. Sides will be rice that will be cooked lightly golden in olive oil before adding chicken stock, tomato puree, onions, garlic, cumin, s & p and a dried ancho chile which will be soaked & pureed added to the mix to finish the dish and some leftover black eye pea & corn salad from the function I did on Saturday. Mango sorbet & blueberry smoothie if I need dessert later.

          1. I already did my "eating out" type food yesterday at my friends' house, so today it's going to be roasted bone-in/skin-on chicken breasts with crushed garlic, minced rosemary, Meyer lemon juice, salt, pepper and olive oil rubbed into them and under the skin. Sides will be Israeli couscous tossed with some sauteed shallots and mushrooms, and sauteed green beans and julienned carrots.

            I also earned my Girl Scout Wildlife badge today by helping a wild hawk escape from partially collapsed fenced area. I was driving from Trader Joe's to Whole Foods on a "cut through road" near TJs, and saw what I thought was a large bird stuck in the corner of some metal fencing, so I turned around and went back to look. Sure enough, the fence was partially collapsed inward (or had been broken by humans) so it formed a triangular enclosure from the corner metal fence post. There was a hole near the main post area but the hawk couldn't find its way out (assuming it went in there after prey).

            It would attempt to flap and grasp onto the fence mesh (MAJOR claws!) but then fall to the ground. He looked tired and panicked. I slowly walked to one side to encourage it to move out of the triangular hole near the main fence post, but it flapped to the other side and was still dealing with the fence. So I walked over *there* and it scrambled back to where it was....but finally, with a little encouragement, it moved towards the opening...and the second he realized he could leave, he flew to the top of a local one story office building. He sat there for a few minutes to preen, catch his breath, and eyeball me, and then took off.

            I feel good. :-)

            8 Replies
            1. re: LindaWhit

              and now I feel good! what a great story, LW. Good deed, and you'll have a good dinner to reward you.

              1. re: LindaWhit

                There are all kinds of angels in this world. You are one of them. Very well done. I shall toast to you tonight!

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  WOW--sounds like Eagle Scout status to me. You are one brave woman. I am totally impressed.

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    You *should* feel good. I feel good, and I just sat here reading.

                      1. re: buttertart

                        One woman's heroine is another woman's crack.

                      2. re: LindaWhit

                        Good for you! That story just made my morning, thanks for sharing your good deed.

                      3. Simple fare today. DH picked up some gorgeous huge shrimp and scallops yesterday, so I am going to grill those outside along with some sweet corn. There will be a caesar salad as well. Oh, and the shrimp will be seasoned with a little cajun spices and there will be a roasted red pepper aoili for the scallops.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: boyzoma

                          Lucky you! I love both the shellfish you're having. Scallops are really good on the bbq, and of course the shrimp too. It all sounds soooo good, now I'm kicking myself for being too lazy to go to Costco this am. Our Costco has the most beautiful shellfish no kidding. They only sell the shrimp, lobster and scallops on the weekends, so I missed out. Do you do anything to the shrimp and scallops or are they lightly seasoned?? Of course Ceasar salad, your menu is perfectly fresh and great, not spareribs, hamburgers and etc., as of which I'm a little tired of.

                          Guess I could do a salmon ceasar salad and still be very happy : )

                          1. re: chef chicklet

                            The shrimp are getting some marinating in some Worcestershire and some cajun seasoning. Then going on skewers on the grill. The scallops are just going to get a little salt/pepper and again, skewers on the grill. I always use two skewers and put about 3 shrimp or scallops on each pair. Keeps them from spinning and easier to turn with the tongs! I just love scallops basically "naked" with some sort aioli. DH's favorite is the cajun shrimp. But we both like each so we thought we would be decadent and do both since it is a holiday.

                            1. re: boyzoma

                              I do the two skewers too, that works best for me. I know the less on scallops the better.
                              You sound like us, we can NEVER get one or the other, we ALWAYS get both!
                              Such a treat!

                        2. Happy Labor Day All. I am laboring today, but in the kitchen, so it is labor I love. Guests tonight and Baby Brother is visiting so I am putting together a small feast: Ribs are brining (I'm using Sam Sifton's adaptation, which appeared in the NYT last month or so, of the Fatty 'Cue ribs recipe); we're also going to grill chicken (now marinating in a bath of coconut milk, lemon grass, ginger, garlic, cilantro, etc.). Accompaniments will be baked beans and, as per BB's request, classic (or Mom's) potato salad. I'm also going to make the peach slaw buttertart posted about a few weeks ago. Dessert will be coffee-choc. chip blondies and pistachio shortbread, possibly made into ice cream sandwiches if anyone has room.
                          I am toying with the idea of making a starter of crab-stuffed mushrooms, as I am in possession of both crab and some gigantic buttons, and BB does not get much crab in Denver, but my wiser angel tells me that we really don't need any more food.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                            I say go with what the devil on your shoulder is telling you...go for the crab-stuffed mushrooms as an early appetizer. This IS your baby brother, after all. ;-)

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              Is that LW talking? The went-out-shopping-and-saved-a-hawk LW?
                              Must be her alter ego.

                              But AE makes a good point. OK, arm twisted (and planned work-out averted).

                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                Tee hee! Hey - I was a good Do-Bee earlier today. That's enough for one day. Besides, your brother will wub you 4ever. ;-)

                          2. Eating down the fridge today. DH made a fresh mango-peach salsa, which we'll probably have with what's left of a bag of tortilla chips.

                            I'm brining an organic chicken (love the sales), and that will most likely get roasted, along with most of a pint of grape tomatoes, which I'll throw in about 3/4 through.

                            We've also got some egg noodles and spaghetti to use up, so I'm contemplating tossing one or the other with the chickeny roasted tomatoes and some chopped parsley. The last head of romaine and remaining tomatoes will go into salad with a lemon-olive oil dressing. And maybe some blanched green beans will make it in there if I'm feeling industrious.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                              Oh man, this was good, if I say so myself. I will definitely be making that pasta as a side for roasted chicken again.

                              When the chicken (which I stuffed with lemon) was about 30 min. from done, I added some grape tomatoes, halved crimini mushrooms, finely diced onion, and 3 unpeeled cloves of garlic to the pan (after tossing them all with olive oil, salt, and pepper). When the chicken was done, I removed it, jacked up the heat and roasted the veggies until some of the tomatoes burst and the pan juices had reduced. Then I squeezed out the roasted garlic and mashed it into the sauce, added freshly chopped parsley, and tossed with egg noodles. Very good, considering how easy it was.

                              And the chicken was nice and crispy, too. Score.

                              Lame salad, but whatever. You can't win them all.

                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                This sounds interesting (I don't have a goatee to stroke, sorry). Did you use a rack (metal or food), or just plunk the bird down? I'm a sucker for anything with roasted garlic and tomatoes.

                                1. re: onceadaylily

                                  If I'd had a rack, I definitely would have used one. I improvised one with scrunched up foil strips/balls.

                                  I forgot to mention, there was also a half of a lemon in the roasting pan.

                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                    Christina, that sounds really good. Do you remember what temp. you cooked the chicken at? Yum.

                              2. A friend asked for grilled shrimp for his birthday, so that's dinner. I winged a marinade with chipotles, tequila, orange juice, vinegar and some spices. Reduced with some brown sugar, that'll end up being the glaze as well with some cilantro. On the side we'll have grilled shishito peppers with sesame and sumac. To drink: cucumber vodka lemonades scented with rose water.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: JungMann

                                  awesome-sounding meal! lucky friend.

                                2. Tandoori fish with Bengali green beans and potatoes smothered in olive oil.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                    looooooove potatoes in olive oil. favorite minced shallots/fresh chopped thyme, s&p and extra virgin olive oil, soaked up by hot potatoes. mmm.

                                    1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                      What makes the beans Bengali? Panch phoran?

                                      1. re: buttertart

                                        No panch phoran in the dish. I suspect it's the abundance of olive oil which marks it out as Bengali.

                                    2. Another go at the Saveur Greek meatballs planned for tonight, with horiatiki, tzadziki, and pita if they're still viable, garlic bread if not. Spent the afternoon at a very nice antiques etc street fair where I found (for $5) the same yellow Pyrex mixing bowl my mom had (and that I thought I had inherited from her but hadn't and have been looking for one ever since). It'll be just the ticket for mixing up the meatball mixture.

                                      1. Last nights dinner was a ginger duck and shitake mushroom soup and tonights dinner is an oxtail casserole - making the most of the (somewhat) cooler weather here as an excuse for a big hearty dish. Still deciding if it's going to be served with orange cinnamon sweet potato or mashed potato...

                                        1. I work at a restaurant, and unfortunately had to be there this evening while everyone else is cooking out and drinking cold beer in such nice weather. The highlight of the evening occurred when a chef friend and I decided to whip something up quick..a collaborative effort that i can only take about 30% credit for.

                                          Sauteed spicy pickled green beans, sweet onion, diced capicola, chopped garlic, and cannellini beans. We then added a little white wine, and chicken stock to reduce..followed by a big hunk of good butter. Tossed it all with linguini, chopped parsley, and a nice bit of grated Romano.

                                          This was one of the most simply enjoyable and unexpected meals I've had in a while..

                                          1. There's going to be corn on the cob. There's going to be pork chops, finished in the oven. And seeing it's on, there's going to be roasted carrots and potatoes which, at Chateau Harters, are known as "little crispies" (they get cut into about 1.5cm cubes, tossed in oil and roasted). And some boiled runner beans.

                                            Cheese and apple for "afters".

                                            Tomorrow - probably just snacking in the evening. We're off out for the day to a town about an hour north of here - it'll involve lunch at the fish & chip shop (or, as we call them, "chippy") which has won the National Chip Shop of the Year competiiton at least twice. Not a dieting day at Chateau Harters, I hear you think.

                                            15 Replies
                                            1. re: Harters

                                              is it in Yorkshire? Can I come? ;-)

                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                Nope. 'Tis in Lancashire.

                                                I'm always happy to advocate north west food but have to accept that, generally speaking, England's best fish & chips do come from county of Yorkshire - a high percentage of chip shops still fry in lard. Makes all the diiference.


                                                The chippy is just near the port of Fleetwood (which is where we're going) and it would be really nice to think that lunch will have been landed there. But I rather doubt it. The fishing industry ain't wot it used to be. Still haddock, chips, mushy peas, malt vinegar - should keep the wolf from the door for a few hours. I would be a pleasure to share it with you if ever you are in this part of the world.

                                                1. re: Harters

                                                  I would love it. As a former chippy myself. We used a beef tallow blend in our fryers.

                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                      And the very devil to get the smell off of one.

                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                        Yep. I went to school with a lad whose parents owned a chippy. There was always the whiff of it around him. Not unpleasant, of course - but then I'm northern :-)

                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                    What a cracker of a lunch. Good chips, big fish, crispy batter, mushy peas, buttered bread (for the chip butty), soft drink - under £6.30. Finest F & C we've had in a good while. Almost worth the trip just for that - but we did some shopping and had a walk along the promenade, eating an ice cream cone. Lovely warm day - mid 20s.

                                                    Dinner will be "pork and chorizo" sausage sandwiches. Some fried peppers & onions as an accompaniement.

                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                        Thornton Fisheries - I linked it for you slightly upthread.

                                                        As well as the usual battered haddock, they were also frying hake, halibut, plaice and pollock. Sign of good chippy to name them - the place in the village just describes it as "fish". Which probably means they use whatever cheap shit they can get their hands on.

                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                          Oops, didn't twig to that, thanks. The only UK F&C I've had was at the Golden Hind in London - quite good, several named fish, I had skate. Love skate. But it was about 3x the price you paid. In "my" London (Ont.) it was always haddock until the H. Salt chain opened and started with cod which at the time was abundant and considered a semi-trashy fish by my mom.

                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                            Yeah, well lobster used to be "trash fish" as well, and see where THAT got it. ;-)

                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                              V true! And it would be great if the cod were able to make as big a comeback as lobster has lately.

                                                            2. re: buttertart

                                                              Skate is always going to be pricy.

                                                              I know I spun this off on a tangent but before the mods throw a wobbly, let me get it back to home cooking. Cod and haddock are still probably the most popular fish here (home cooking as well as the chippy) but there's starting to be a move towards more sustainable fish such as pollock. I find there's very little flavour difference with cod and it takes to similar preparation. We're fortunate in having a very good fishmonger 5 minutes drive away in one of the city's suburbs (next door to the very good butcher and the very good cheesemonger).

                                                              Just by the by, and I think a transatlantic difference, is that lobster is quite rare here and always bloody expensive (except for small frozen ones you can sometimes get in the discount supermarkets like Aldi & Lidl)

                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                Lobster is quite plentiful here this year and has been seen at around $6.00 a lb. Not cheap but worth it.

                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                  Just looked on line for UK lobster prices (albeit mail order). £23.95 per kilo. Which, if I've done my conversions correctly, is about $18.50 a pound

                                                2. With so many leftovers from the fridge, we are just going to have to make a meal out of whatever is in there. There are BBQ potatoes, chicken, mixed veggies, and a whole host of fresh veggies from the farmers market this last weekend. So we'll try cleaning out the fridge!

                                                  1. Leftovers tonight here as well: I have chopped BBQ pork from the party I did on Saturday, okra stew left from last week and some baked chicken breasts from Sunday....sandwich & stew for me; chicken for my pooch...strawberry shortcake ice cream bar for "afters" as Harters says...

                                                    7 Replies
                                                    1. re: Cherylptw

                                                      El Poocho probably eats better than I do.

                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                        Tonight, Perilagu, I KNOW he ate better than me. I'm in the UCSF medical center cafeteria waiting for #1 son to get admitted and comfy. Dinner tonight was a burger and some coffee; they cook them to order, and the salad bar was looking pretty pale, but to order or not, it wasn't particularly good. I made a coffee cake to bring to his nurses (we know them well, unfortunately) and I swear, if things don't start to happen, I'm going to eat it.

                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                          Sorry to hear about your son; hope he's on the mend soon

                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                            hope your son's out enough to not get comfy at the hospital! i too, know, unfortunately, about hospital food, so i'm hoping for a permanent reprieve for the both of you!

                                                            1. re: mamachef

                                                              Best wishes to you and your son, mama.

                                                              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                Sometimes, she eats better than I do also (lol) but she's my constant companion and it's worth it to me.

                                                            2. Roast leg of lamb rubbed down with garlic, lemon rind, allspice, cumin and cinnamon. Served with garlic yogurt, browned butter and a spiced tomato sauce made from reduced merlot, smoked paprika, cinnamon, sambal oelek and oregano. The tomato sauce was a little sweeter than I wanted so I tried to give it some oomph by adding in the rendered lamb fat. That did the trick. Vegetable was roasted cauliflower. Dessert: avocado and coconut pudding with pandan.

                                                              1. Fried chicken tenders, which I marinated in lemon juice (as my mom always did) before breading and pan-frying. Those went into toasted potato rolls with sriracha mayo and a little bbq sauce on the side for dunking. On the side, a romaine and grape tomato salad with blanched green beans and ranch dressing.

                                                                DH was really into the tenders and asked that they "be put into the regular rotation." I am convinced this was actually just a con to get me to share the last tender, prompting a "She does love me!" from the peanut gallery.

                                                                1. Well it's been a whirlwind the past few days and over the weekend, with day trips and eating out with friends and trying new places, we've definitely been eating well lately!

                                                                  So it was nice to have a slow and relaxed Labor Day at home, with chicken fajita salads, hot dogs for lunch and good ol' cheeseburgers on the grill for dinner. Made some potato salad, and for the first time, tried that Duke's mayonnaise that I got from my FLA trip. Wow, I gotta say it was delicious. I think because it was room temp and not refrigerated had something to do with it. And I added smoked paprika to the dressing on the spuds, it was tasty.

                                                                  Tonight was back to basics, as the boys have started school and we're getting back into a schedule so a simple rice pilaf and chicken dinner with steamed broccoli seemed to be perfect. They still have cheesecake, but didn't eat enough veggies to qualify tonight for dessert. There's always tomorrow. Off to bed.

                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                    smoked paprika potato salad sounds delish! i've never had Duke's mayo....

                                                                    1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                      Isn't Duke's just the shizz? You might enjoy Kewpie also....

                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                          Thanks, now I have to buy it online....think I paid $30 in shipping!!

                                                                          1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                            Phurst, I live in North Carolina, if you need Duke's I'll be happy to send you some when you run low.

                                                                        2. re: Phurstluv

                                                                          Spent 10 months in North Carolina. My six take-aways:

                                                                          1) The Smokies
                                                                          2) Ocracoke beaches under a full moon in October (no tourists, water still warm enough for skinny dipping)
                                                                          3) Carrboro
                                                                          4) Tom Robinson's Seafood (dude is only open a few days a week because the rest of the week he is driving up and down the Carolina coast in his refrigerated truck)
                                                                          5) Duke's mayo
                                                                          6) Duke's mayo

                                                                          1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                            I miss all of the above . . . especially the skinny-dipping (lake michigan has a sandbar that goes out about a mile, and who wants that kind of walk of shame when you're illuminated by a patrol man's flashlight?).

                                                                            My favorite seafood place in SC was open four days a week, with communal tables, and no alcohol served. You got in, accepted the mountain of crab legs piled before you, drank your flat soda, ate, and got the heck out, happily stuffed.

                                                                            Welcome back.

                                                                            1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                              I tried the reduced fat version, and I swear, it reminded me of Miracle Whip. Not in a bad way, necessarily, but still.

                                                                          2. Me too, PL - a weekend out of eating - BF's parents were staying with us and we wanted to take them out some good SF food (and hopping between them and my folks didn't leave time/energy for cooking). Tonight was ground pork sauteed with granulated powder, cumin seeds, chopped shallots, minced garlic, toasted dried chili flakes, pine nuts, rice wine, fish sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, a little sugar and a little lime juice, then tossed in sliced spring onions, cilantro and asparagus tips. Served with white rice and romaine to make lettuce cups. hoisin on the side.

                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                              What is granulated powder? That ground pork dish sounds like a very intriguing combination of flavors.

                                                                              1. re: JungMann

                                                                                D'oh! that was supposed to say, "granulated ONION". sorry. also i forgot shallots. it was pretty good. BF had THREE servings.

                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                  Granulated shallots in addition to the chopped? Minus the asparagus, this sounds like it could make a really good meatloaf with a hoisin glaze.

                                                                                  1. re: JungMann

                                                                                    fresh chopped shallots, and basically onion powder (like garlic powder) - the latino grocery where i get it calls it granulated, maybe because it is a little less fine than a powder. but just regular onion powder, along with the fresh shallots. meatloaf with hoisin glaze - yeah, just need your egg and breadcrumbs. good idea!

                                                                            2. Tonight is fusilli with a sauce of tomatoes, pepperoni and a touch of cream. We'll have a basic iceberg salad on the side.

                                                                              1. First, Thanks to all who sent good wishes. Still over in SF; tonight's family Holiday dinner had to be cancelled at the last minute, so...un-leftover leftovers. Honey apricot chicken, Roasted tomato brisket, Mediterranean Matzo ball soup, green salad, kugel. For days. Oh, and let's not forget that honey cake that nobody likes but that I have to make anyway!! (The nurses will probably like it, and I hope so, because they're gonna get it either way.)

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                                                  No one likes honey cake, mamachef? I like the look of the recipes every time I see them come up around this time in various newspaper articles, although I've never made it.

                                                                                  Continued well wishes for #1 son.

                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                    You know, Linda, I like it a lot but it's one of those traditional very old-fashioned desserts that really nobody else wants to save room for. It's a honey sponge cake; nice crumb and texture, but generally goes ignored in the crush at the dessert table. (note to self-fewer desserts?) Ubiquitous: MUST be on holiday table, but...maybe kinda sorta like green-bean casserole?
                                                                                    I've got to go to work before I head to SF, which is actually therapeutic. I cook for 27 frat kids up at Cal in Berkeley, and it's one of the best parts of my life. Tonight is ballpark night, which is total fun. Miller's Hot Dogs, Chili, and a bunch of mustards and relishes; garlic fries. Frat food is supposed to be nasty, but these guys seem to like really good food, and that's what they get. ; ) At home my Mr. and me will eat Matzo ball soup for the final time this week, with some grilled-vegie paninis: zucchini, eggplant, tomato, onion and goat cheese spread, a little pesto thrown in maybe. That sandwich press is the best money I ever spent!
                                                                                    Thanks to everyone for continued good wishes.

                                                                                2. Tonight will be very simple with some diced onion mixed in with some hamburger and grilled as patty's. Along with that will be some fresh green beans I got from the farmer's market and some Jasmine rice to go with. I just hope the rain stops enough to grill outside. If not, I can deal with doing the stove. I just haven't used it in a few weeks!

                                                                                  1. Roasted beet salad w oranges, quick pickled red onions, toasted pine nuts and feta to start. Panko-crusted b/s chx breasts w gnocchi in a tomato, garlic, basil sauce. Apple dumplings for dessert.

                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                      Please may I come and live with you?

                                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                                        Me too! That dinner sounds wonderful, Breadcrumbs!

                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                          Extra places set at the table for each of you!! ; - )

                                                                                          We have a friend visiting so I made a bit of an extra effort tonight. So many tomatoes from the garden this year as well so I'm jumping at every opportunity to incorporate them into our meals! Have a wonderful evening ladies!

                                                                                      2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                        that salad sounds so good. I haven't made a beet salad all year!

                                                                                      3. Hearty chicken and rice soup I made with the half of a roasted chicken we didn't polish off the other night. Threw in some criminis for good measure. Today it's lunch for dinner, since I have to work the dinner shift tonight.

                                                                                        1. Last night we shared a porterhouse from the grill... it was a bit thin for the kind of steak I like, but flavorful (the man still managed to cook it med-rare). Nuked a couple of corn cobs, smothered in butter and salted well. Side was a salad of very thinly sliced romaine, onions, cukes, and radishes with a simple olive oil and white wine vinegar & dill dressing.

                                                                                          Tonight at Casa Modesta (we're saving for my b-day trip to the city!!): tuna sammies. Make that a melt for me. With a slice of yellow tomato and cheddar. On TOASTED wheat bread, of course. The man gets his sammie sans cheese, as he despises melts.

                                                                                          The tuna salad consists of standard fare: white albacore, a mix of shitty low-fat Hellman's and excellent, eggy Kewpie mayo (not wanting to waste my recently discovered and since then very much cherished Duke's), lemon juice, celery salt, capers, pickles, and celery.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. Cheeseburgers tonight. No sides. But several dessert options should anyone feel deprived.

                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                              I've had those "just meat" nights also...today, my son & I lunched together and I confess to being a "bad girl" at the Chinese buffet Thus no dinner cooked tonight but because I'm already on a downward spiral, I had two lemon chess squares around 8 p.m. for good measure. I'll pull myself together tomorrow....

                                                                                              1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                Well, I guess we had our "salad" on the burger . . .

                                                                                                Just two lemon squares for dinner? You're sounding virtuous, Lady!

                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                  My new fetish--odd, not to mention dangerous, given that I've never had much of dessert person (though I love making them)--is making ice cream sandwiches from home-baked cookies. Had both pistachio shortbreads and salted choc. chip-pistachio cookies as well as blonde brownies on hand from the weekend pig-outs, but I'm happy to report that I was not the least bit hungry after eating a very large burger so I didn't indulge. But I may have one for lunch :)

                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                    I see you are as pistachio-obsessed as I am. :)

                                                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                      Did someone say pistachios? You should try the Lebanes cookie called "Gribee". First you take a stick of butter...........

                                                                                                2. We made turkey hash with romesco sauce from party leftovers. Nice fall flavors. Wine pairing-- dry Spanish red like tempranillo. Recipe follows (amounts approximate).

                                                                                                  • 2 tbsp. oil extra virgin olive oil
                                                                                                  • 2 tbsp. butter
                                                                                                  • 1 large or two small onions, chopped
                                                                                                  • 1 large or two small red, yellow, or orange fresh peppers
                                                                                                  • ½ pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
                                                                                                  • 1 c. cooked mini potatoes, drained and sliced to less than 1” rounds
                                                                                                  • 1 c. shredded roast turkey (lightly smoked, if available)
                                                                                                  • Dried or fresh thyme
                                                                                                  • Salt and pepper to taste

                                                                                                  1. Heat oil and butter in large skillet.
                                                                                                  2. Add onions, peppers, and mushrooms.
                                                                                                  3. Cook on medium high or high heat until partially caramelized.
                                                                                                  4. Add potatoes and thyme.
                                                                                                  5. Continue to cook on high heat until potatoes are lightly browned. Add additional olive oil if ingredients become dry.
                                                                                                  6. Add shredded turkey, and cook until it is lightly browned and vegetables are caramelized.
                                                                                                  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
                                                                                                  8. Serve on warmed plates with romesco sauce

                                                                                                  1. Leftover pork tenderloin (a tad dry) was diced and sauteed to crisp up, then leftover steamed rice was added to make pork fried rice. Minced garlic followed, as well as garlic powder, soy sauce, and sesame oil. whipped up an egg and threw it into an empty hot spot, let it turn into an omelet, chopped it up and stirred it in. added edamame instead of peas, and some sliced scallions at the end. quite yummy!

                                                                                                    1. Mexican meatball tacos and Mexican French fries with lime and powdered chile.

                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                        what the what?? so it's mexican flavors in ground meat, made into meatballs, then put in a taco? ingenious!

                                                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                            Well, I don't have the recipe to hand (I'm at work, dontchaknow!), but maria has got it about right. It's small meatballs made with ground beef, cumin, cilantro, bread crumbs, an egg, powdered chile and God knows what else, and then baked to doneness. The balls will then go into warmed corn tortillas with shreded lettuce and a taco sauce.

                                                                                                            Haven't made 'em before, but I suspect they'll be alright.

                                                                                                      2. I've mostly been going through leftovers in the fridge from weekend cooking, but tonight will be chicken and roasted red pepper corn chowder. A small salad alongside.

                                                                                                        14 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                          Roasted red pepper corn chowder? Do you have a recipe? That sounds wonderful!

                                                                                                          1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                            I do - the recipe is at home in my MasterCook, boyzoma, and I can't find it online anywhere. I'll post tonight.

                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                              Thanks, LindaWhit. I am making chicken soup today and even though I don't have the peppers or corn, I would certainly like to do this in the future. I've got my bones on the stove as we speak.

                                                                                                              1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                I've been cutting a LOT of fresh corn off the cob and freezing it in Ziploc's vacuum-seal bags. Same with roasted red peppers - I roast a bunch of them, and then freeze them on parchment, then peel off and put them in Ziploc bags for use later. :-)

                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                  Great idea on both the corn and peppers. What type of corn are you doing? Yellow, white, hybrid, etc.?

                                                                                                                  1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                    Not really sure but it depends on where I get it. Seems to be mostly yellow/white for local corn, but sometimes all yellow.

                                                                                                                  2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                    You freeze it as is, no blanching or steaming?

                                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                      The corn has been cooked ON the cob (2-3 minutes MAX) and then cooled and cut off the cob, broken apart to single kernels as best as I can, and then frozen. When it gets used, it's always a last minute add to a dish to just heat the corn up again. (Or I do a quick dunk in hot water again to get the corn hot enough if using as a side dish.)

                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                        I've frozen corn on the cob before. In fact I'll do it again as soon as the prices come down a bit. But then, corn is just coming on here. I also blanch it about 2-3 minutes. then shock it in ice water and then put it into vacuum sealer bags.

                                                                                                                        1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                          Meaning you've frozen it ON the cob vs. cutting it off as I do? I've heard about that...just don't have the overall room for it - although I do save the cobs for corn stock and make that several times during corn season and then that gets tucked into the basement freezer.

                                                                                                                        2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                          THX, LW (though I was hoping, of course, you were going to tell me it was OK to freeze it w/out the brief cooking step. But it's probably easier, come to think of it, to cut off the kernels if they've been lightly cooked. Is that your experience?)

                                                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                            Yes, that's true. There's a bit more "give" when you're cutting. I can't recall if I've tried just cutting the kernels off the cob without cooking.

                                                                                                                    2. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                      boyzoma - here's the recipe...note the omissions/additions/changes I've made within the ingredients and the Notes sections. The ingredients section is exactly as I got it originally - other than where I say I'm changing the amounts or omitting. The additions are noted in the Notes at the bottom.

                                                                                                                      * Exported from MasterCook *

                                                                                                                      Grilled Corn and Roasted Red Pepper Chowder

                                                                                                                      Recipe By :www.DailyInbox.com
                                                                                                                      Serving Size : 10 Preparation Time :0:00
                                                                                                                      Categories : Soup

                                                                                                                      Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
                                                                                                                      -------- ------------ --------------------------------
                                                                                                                      8 ears fresh corn -- shucked
                                                                                                                      8 slices bacon
                                                                                                                      2 medium onions -- finely chopped
                                                                                                                      3 stalks celery -- finely chopped
                                                                                                                      1/2 cup flour
                                                                                                                      2 quarts chicken stock
                                                                                                                      3 red bell peppers -- roasted, peeled,
                                                                                                                      seeded, and chopped
                                                                                                                      3 medium potatoes -- peeled and chopped
                                                                                                                      1 1/2 cups whipping cream -- (heavy cream) -- I use WAY less - maybe a half cup?
                                                                                                                      1/2 cup Southern Comfort liqueur -- (I OMIT
                                                                                                                      ) 2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
                                                                                                                      salt and freshly ground black pepper -- to taste

                                                                                                                      Grill the corn over medium-hot coals until slightly charred but not burned, turning occasionally. Remove the corn to a wire rack. Let stand until cool. Cut the tops of the corn kernels with a sharp knife into a bowl. Scrape the ears with a knife to remove the juice. (OR: Use Trader Joe's frozen roasted corn - WAY easier!)

                                                                                                                      Fry the bacon in a stock pot until crisp; crumble and set aside. Add the onions and celery to the stock pot with the bacon drippings. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the flour.

                                                                                                                      Cook over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the chicken stock, stirring until mixed. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes, skimming as necessary. Add the corn, red peppers and potatoes. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cream, liqueur (if using), thyme, crumbled bacon, salt and pepper.

                                                                                                                      Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Ladle into soup bowls.

                                                                                                                      NOTE: To prepare roasted red peppers, rub the red peppers on all sides with oil. Place on the grill rack. Grill over hot coals until the skin is blistered and charred on all sides, turning frequently; do not burn. Place the red peppers in a sealable plastic bag immediately; seal tightly. Allow to steam in the bag until cool. Peel, seed and chop the red peppers when cool.

                                                                                                                      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                                                                                                                      Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 342 Calories; 17g Fat (48.6% calories from fat); 7g Protein; 33g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 53mg Cholesterol; 1837mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 3 Fat.

                                                                                                                      NOTES : Originally from "from True Grits...Tall Tales and Recipes from the New South"; copyright 1995, The Junior League of Atlanta, Inc. All rights reserved.

                                                                                                                      11/2/00: LLW Notes: Excellent! Omitted the celery and subbed fat-free half-and-half for the heavy cream. Didn't have Southern Comfort, so tried Jack Daniels and a bit of Grand Marnier. Not bad, but I prefer it without any liquor.

                                                                                                                      10/20/02: LLW Notes: Made a half batch of soup; omitted the liquor, and added 6 sliced chicken tenders for a Chicken, Corn & Red Pepper Chowder. That's the way I'll make it from now on (two chicken breasts sliced up will also work for a full recipe.)

                                                                                                                      06/27/09: Made a "corn stock" earlier in the week - I did a quick par-boil on 5 ears of corn (3 minutes), stripped the kernels from the cob, and then, after sauteing some onions, added the cobs and water and brought it to a boil, simmering until reduced. Removed the cobs, strained the stock. Used about 2 cups of corn stock and 4 cups of chicken stock. Omitted the liquor completely; used leftover chicken from earlier in the week. Corn stock adds a depth of flavor that wasn't there in earlier incarnations of this recipe - VERY good!

                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                        This sounds VERY good. I would not add the liquor either. Somehow that just does not appeal to me (bad experience with SC in my youth)! It just sounds like some great comfort food! Thank you so much for this recipe. It is definitely going into my soon to make file! Of course, you had me at "bacon"!!!!!!

                                                                                                                        As to the question on the corn on/off the cob, yes it is ON the cob in a vacuum sealed bag. Then, when you want to eat in winter, just thaw the corn, drop the whole pouch in boiling water for just a couple of minutes and voila! Not quite as good as fresh corn. But better than not having any and definitely better than canned! Although now I know how you do smaller off-the-cob batches of freezer corn, I will have to try that as well.

                                                                                                              2. A takeaway curry fest - seekh kebabs, onion bhaji, pappads, raita, chutney, salad, sag murgh, rice and tandoori roti - and I have to confess that was just my dinner. Yes, I know - the phrase "greedy ba&tard" tripped off someone else's tongue as well as yours! LOL

                                                                                                                She had corned beef, salad and homemade chips - so it was home cooking of sorts.

                                                                                                                1. Well, dinner tonight is going to be a lot of finger food, consumed in front of a very large TV at our neighbors' home, as tonight is the season opener for our Saints, the, ahem, Super Bowl Defending Champions, playing at home against the Vikings. (Would that we could do again what we did when last we met!)

                                                                                                                  OK, OK, back to dinner: I'm taking hot spinach-artichoke dip, stuffed mushrooms, and a platter of assorted cookies and brownies.

                                                                                                                  1. Tonight was roasted turkey medallions with gravy, mashed potatoes and green beans...later they'll be cinnamon rolls

                                                                                                                    1. As I mentioned up-thread with LW, I had an enjoyable time making good old fashioned Chicken Soup today. Had a chicken carcass in the fridge so simmered that for about 2 hours with some carrots, celery, onion, fresh rosemary and parsley from the garden, minced garlic, s&p, and anything else I could think of - I lost track (it's always a fun experience). Strained and added more sliced carrots, celery - plus leaf tops, onion, sliced mushrooms (had some left over from the weekend), peas and egg noodles. Also made some yeast rolls! House smells great!

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                        Chicken anything always makes the house smell so good - roasted chicken; chicken stock; chicken soup. :-)

                                                                                                                      2. Slow roasted wild salmon with bulgur and early girl tomatoes.
                                                                                                                        I will likely make a small romaine salad to have on the side too. I know, so exciting.
                                                                                                                        I am trying to use up the last of my roasted Early Girls from last summer, if you can believe that. Found a container in the freezer when I moved, and I need to make room for this years harvest.
                                                                                                                        Actually, I was lucky to find them since the tomatoes are so late this year. Haven't found any great deals on a case yet, but when I do it will be a day of tomato roasting to get me through until next summer.
                                                                                                                        That chest freezer I'm about to buy for the garage sure is going to be handy.

                                                                                                                        1. Another back to basic meal of thin pork chops pan grilled with some kalbi sauce. And reheated some rice pilaf and steamed some fresh broccoli in the same skillet. Quick & easy, all except for that darned pannini pan. I hate cleaning that thing, no matter what I do, it's a mess, guess I should be seasoning the thing in the oven. We'll see what it looks like then. Also have some bartlett pears that were just ripe, in the oven split with some butter and sugar. Going to drizzle some maple syrup on them after about an hour or so, and then serve them with the kids' waffles or pancakes in the morning. They smell really good.

                                                                                                                          1. Dinner at work tonight: the house mac n cheese. Some sauteed spinach on the side in a pretense of being virtuous. I munched on curly fries later.

                                                                                                                            1. Zucchini and chickpea stew with tomatoes, garlic, fresh mint, parsley. Original recipe, from *1000 Vegetarian Recipes,* was a bit of a mess, but was able to correct a few things and turn out a nice and healthy dinner.

                                                                                                                              1. Pizza.....I'll make a caramelized onion sauce (onions have already been caramelized and I'll make a basic white sauce to which I'll add the onions) and put on some sauteed chicken and mushrooms, and chopped roasted red peppers (home-roasted if I feel like it when I get home; otherwise, Trader Joe's fire-roasted peppers from a jar). I *think* I have some goat cheese to sprinkle on top; otherwise, grated Parm-Reg will do.

                                                                                                                                A salad (again, if I feel like making it) and a glass of wine....or two. :-)

                                                                                                                                1. We had Anne Burrell's Pork, Spinach and Ricotta Manicotti last night and it was very good. I had the day off so I did the work in stages, but it was somewhat time-consuming and probably not a great week-night meal.

                                                                                                                                  First, a bechamel flavored with onion and bay is layered in the bottom of a casserole dish. Crepes are filled with a savory ricotta, baby spinach and sausage mixture to which some of the bechamel was added. The crepes are placed on top of the bechamel, covered with marinara sauce, parmesan and more bechamel, and baked until lightly browned and bubbly. Very nice.

                                                                                                                                  I pretty much followed the recipe as written, but wilted the spinach ahead of time and squeezed out excess moisture. I also used my own marinara, and made half vegetarian for my son. The crepes got a little mushy, but I'll probably make them again since the overall flavor was delicious.


                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: bear

                                                                                                                                    that sounds so incredibly good! but yes, sounds labor intensive....

                                                                                                                                  2. A second go-round of the red-cooked pork, some Sichuan dry-fried green beans (Fucshia Dunlop's fab recipe), some marinated cucumbers, and a couple of frozen scallion pancakes heated up in a bit of oil last night. The pork continues to underwhelm, way too dry. Think I'll make some decent shao bing (rectangular, flaky sesame buns cooked on a griddle) this weekend, split them, and serve the pork inside with cilantro sprigs (or watercress) and cucumber slices.

                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                      oh now i'm craving chinese.... at 10 in the morning!

                                                                                                                                    2. We've been for a pub lunch in deepest rural Cheshire so a relatively light dinner upcoming (a truly wonderful chicken & leek pie for moi; equally delish braised lamb shoulder for herself).

                                                                                                                                      Sirloin steak, salad, bread.

                                                                                                                                      Figs - probably opened out & baked with some honey and butter, scattered with pistachio and served with icecream.

                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                        in deepest rural Cheshire
                                                                                                                                        Is that anything like deepest, darkest Africa? ;-)

                                                                                                                                        BOTH of your lunches sound wonderful - I'm in a lamb-y mood, and it's going to be a cool(er) weekend - lamb-barley stew might be in order after making a roast lamb.

                                                                                                                                        And your fig dessert - OH MY!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                          Second on the figs...is there a person alive of our appx age and mindset who ever looks at a fig without thinking of Alan Bates' speech at the table in "Women in Love"?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                            LOL, Linda. At times I suspect deepest Africa is more forward looking than our county.

                                                                                                                                            We'd been out to a farmers market at a garden centre near Chester (the city after which the county is named - or maybe its the other way round). Bought some very nice lamb (the area borders North Wales which always has good lamb) and Cheshire cheese. Then lunch at the pub - followed by a little "touristing". Had a look round the village church which dates back to 1350 and then had a stroll along the nearby canal.

                                                                                                                                            Funny you should mention Africa today - we've just booked to go on holiday to South Africa next year.

                                                                                                                                            Lamb barley stew sounds good - one of our cold weather favourites!

                                                                                                                                          2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                            those figs are screaming out at me! i'm wishing i had some right now, i think i'd make them with some sort of sweetened cream..... i "wasted" mine that the in-laws brought up from their tree, on a terrible pork chop dinner i made - truly terrible because i used this weird off-brand of apple "nectar" from my local latino market to brine the chops, and they had a horrible weird sweetness to them. poor figs.

                                                                                                                                          3. Two nights ago, sitting on the wharf in Santa Barbara, California, up to my elbows in fresh crab. Preceded by clam chowder and salad. Iced tea to wash it down. Yummy.

                                                                                                                                            Last night, paella in Carmel at Stravaganza Cafe. Really great mussels, good shrimp. So-so chicken and sausage. Overall enjoyed it, but darn it, my allergy to rice is returning, so have to stay away.

                                                                                                                                            1. So i have a question, oh wise ones. Similar to a question i posed a couple months ago, but this time involving shrimp instead of chicken. going to Russian River to "camp" in a lovely little cottage with friends and i'm bringing one of the proteins. how long is too long to marinade shrimp? it's going to be a pseudo-thai marinade, but i'll keep the lime juice out until they're ready to throw on the bar-b, because i know that will cook them for sure, but is overnight too long for shrimp? ingredients are fish sauce, sriracha, ginger, jalapenos, garlic, shallots, bit of brown sugar, basil, salt, garlic powder, little brown sugar.... couple hours enough or is it ok to leave in the fridge overnight - again, sans lime juice?

                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                Yes, overnight is WAY too long to marinate shrimp IMO, mariacarmen, without them getting mushy. One hour max. I'd put the marinade in a jar and marinate the shrimp (with lime juice) when you get there.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                  I'm with Linda. One hour is absolute max. for anything seafoody.

                                                                                                                                                  Good marinade though.

                                                                                                                                              2. It finally feels like Fall here and I have a taste for tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. It's going to be delicious.

                                                                                                                                                1. I have a late night gig, so a light dinner is called for: spinach linguine with zucchini ribbons, the "sauce" will be boursin garlic & chives and perhaps a dash of white wine. Oh, and orange cherry tomatoes thrown in.

                                                                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                    Everything is improved by the addition of Boursin, something I always have in my fridge.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                      You know, it was much less cheesy than I had expected it to be. In a good way (man had grated some fresh parm, and it was a good addition). I used maybe a third / half of that cheese, along with a splash of wine.

                                                                                                                                                      I cannot wait, however, to use the black pepper boursin for a lazy riff on cacio e pepe some day. That stuff is *addictive*.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                        I don't like the black pepper version - too spicy hot.

                                                                                                                                                        Dinner tonight is prosciutto with figs, grilled with basamico; herb and mustard encrusted rack of lamb, sides my SIL is making; chocolate soufflé - hope that Scharffenberger is all it's cracked up to be.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                          Holy CRAP! That's a seriously GREAT dinner! LOL And I think you're going to LOVE the Scharffenbeger!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                            Dinner was great, except that I did not like the Scharffenberger; this was the second time I tried it and did not like it. I used the 70%, and found that it had a bitter edge I did not like; I have used 70% from other makes and have not had the same problem. I tasted the chocolate before I used it in the soufflé, and did not like it. I much prefer Callebaut or Felchlin.

                                                                                                                                                            We started off with some Gruet bubbly from NM. I agree with you buttertart, it's good.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                            You're kidding, right? Maybe you aren't..... but black pepper spicy? To me, it's just a flavor, but no heat. I am a chile head, tho.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                              No heat in black pepper? I am most definitely not a chili head and find black pepper too spicy. I use a five pepper mix at home and find the balance just right. I never get black pepper on salads in restaurants as I don't like the heat.

                                                                                                                                                    2. We're kicking off another birthday weekend at the Phurstluv's. Made some vanilla cup cakes earlier. Marinated a flank steak. Now I wish the darn thing would go grill itself, know what I mean? Been a long, back to school week. Putting some gold zucchini on the grill with it. Baking some potatoes with kosher salt and thyme. And will saute some thick sliced white mushrooms. Also been craving the last of the heirloom tomatoes with some avocado, corn and lime juice. Dinner's done.

                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                                                                                                        Dinner sounds good, Phurstluv, even though you *do* have to cook it yourself vs. it cooking itself. :-)

                                                                                                                                                      2. Hanging out with a friend yesterday, I got a huge bag of pears off of a tree in a yard where he cuts grass so will be spending a good part of today canning preserves. I will also be oven drying a large batch of tomatoes which means not much cooking.

                                                                                                                                                        Last night, really good fried chicken. Today's dinner will be chili dogs with beef & bean chili, roasted poblanos, caramelized onions & some of those oven dried tomatoes; may make some homemade hot dog buns in which to nestle the goodness. not that I need anything with it but might make a side salad.

                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                          " . . . not much cooking": canning pears, drying tomatoes, making homemade hot dog buns. LOL, Cheryl!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                            If that's "takin' it easy", girl, I'll be a monkeky's uncle. Tonight taking it easy on the home front by not heating the oven or house too much. Mr. wants Breakfast-for-dinner, so I'm going to make some toasted pecan pancakes, scrambled eggs w/ garam and diced tomato and green onion, and easy country sausage: just ground pork with sage, a little lemon zest, pepper, and salt. Classic.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                              Lol...I meant not much cooking of a composed meal, I should say....

                                                                                                                                                          2. There's a sort of Eastern Mediterranean thing going on tonight (we're off to that part of the world in a day or so).

                                                                                                                                                            So, a sort of imam bayildi-ish thing. The aubergine gets split lengthways and baked till it's soft. Flesh gets scooped out. Meanwhile, onion and garlic get gently fried (the original recipe includes cinnamon - but cinnamon is a vile creation which deserves no place in cooking - not even for people you hate). The aubergine gloop gets mixed in as does some chopped tomatoes. Recipe has me halving the tomatoes and squeezing them out through a sieve over a bowl (to keep the juice). Juice goes into the gloop and eveything gets another 10 minutes gentle cooking, . Parsley goes in and everything gets piled back into the aubergine skins. More baking takes place (they like their veggies very well cooked in the eastern Med - I think my Mum must have had somethign of there in her genes).

                                                                                                                                                            Lamb chops go under the grill and are served simply. There's some bog standard tzatziki. And probably a little tabbouleh-ish sort of thing for carb.

                                                                                                                                                            Fruit for afters. Olives and pickles to nibble on while we're cooking.

                                                                                                                                                            1. Working on a fridge clean-out last night, as I'm leaving town in a few days, I made a veggie pasta dish: A good glug of olive oil garlic and grape tomatoes went into the saute pan and were cooked until the tomatoes were soft. Added some steamed broccoli, sliced scallions, dried red pepper flakes and pasta water to the pan and tossed. Served over linguini and topped that w/toasted pine nuts and lots of parmesan. DH grilled an Italian sausage (for his requisite meat) and pronounced it the best part of the meal. He was probably right. The pasta dish was a little bland. It occurred to me (too late) that roasting, rather than steaming, the broccoli would have improved the dish considerably.

                                                                                                                                                              (Funny, when I was student I lived on a similar, even simpler dish--broccoli sauteed w/garlic in OO and tossed w/angel hair and parmesan--and absolutely loved it.)

                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                Mine was spaghetti, with broccoli boiled in the cooking water toward the end, tossed with butter and parm. Not gourmet, but it worked! :)

                                                                                                                                                                Let's not talk about the crimes I committed involving ramen.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                  I still make a dish quite a bit like your student broccoli pasta, except I add anchovies and crushed red pepper flakes to the garlic and oil, and finish with a little pasta water. I think I serve it with bow ties. It is a delicious pairing. You ate much better as a student than I did!

                                                                                                                                                                2. Last night was odd. Being Friday I pulled out pizza dough from the freezer earlier in the day. Around 4 I decided to knead it and see what was going on with it. I unwrapped it and immediately said, " huh" and thought to myself, that is the strangest that my pizza dough ever looked. I gave it a few pushes and rolled it into itself. hmmm, not feeling right nor was it responding. Could it of gone bad? too long in the freezer? So I pinched a piece off and tasted it, cautiously mind you. It was sweet! I had forgotten that when I made all those cookies for the baby shower I had extra left over and put the dough into the freezer for us to enjoy later!

                                                                                                                                                                  Okay, plan B. Needless to say there was no pizza for dinner last night so a quick call to the hubby and he stopped and got us subway. Oh well.

                                                                                                                                                                  Tonight I'll make strawberry shortcake on thick sugar cookies for dessert out of the dough.
                                                                                                                                                                  First it will be a lobster and steak duo with woked veggies and brown rice.
                                                                                                                                                                  Later today I'm making pesto and fresh salsa, to go with appetizers. Part of my offering to the football bbq party.

                                                                                                                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                    LOL - I feel for you. About 35 years ago, we were having friends for dinner and I took a salmon (the package was marked with a big S, which is how I marked all my salmon - we fished a lot) out of the freezer to thaw while I was at work. When I got home, I started to unwrap the salmon - it seemed really fuzzy and I thought it molded somehow. When completely unpackaged - lo and behold, it was a squirrel. Ex-H had killed it and wanted to get it stuffed! So he wrapped it in the same butcher paper and marked it with an S and threw it in the freezer. It was approximately the same size/shape as the salmon. He was really into taxidermy. We ended up having banquet frozen chicken for dinner! I will never forget that - ever!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                      LOL! From expected salmon to fuzzy frozen squirrel....to Banquet frozen chicken! I'm laughing here, boyzoma! But you know what? That's one dinner party your friends won't forget either! LOL

                                                                                                                                                                      Did your husband ever finish stuffing Secret Squirrel? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                        Are you kidding? Of course they will never forget it. Initially, I plated the squirrel and placed it on the table. I told them about expecting salmon but due to "H" at that time, we were having squirrel. Of course, I did remove it and serve the chicken - which, by the way, was all they had at the little market that would go with all the sides I already had prepared, and we lived in the country so I didn't have a lot of options! The squirrel? Well, let's just say the landfill got a little fuller. And maybe that contributed to the reason he is an "Ex"!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                          I LOVE that you actually plated the squirrel! LOL And glad Senor Squirrel was also auf'ed to the landfill. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                          OMG, now that's a real shocker! LOL!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                            Just goes to show you as you said above - always be ready for a Plan B!!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                            let's hope so. I haven't unwrapped the lobster tails yet. You might hear from me again on here! That white paper butcher paper is always a guessing game!
                                                                                                                                                                            Yes I know, we have markers now.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                              You two ladies cracked me up today, especially since I am forever running out of freezer bags, and wind up with mystery foil rolls.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Just came back from the local international market with a 1/2 dozen blue crabs. I've got them hanging out in a cooler on my counter just waiting to be steamed with copious amounts of Old Bay - and they're feisty too...one almost took my finger off. Also purchased at the market were 3 beautiful mangoes that I'm about to turn into a sorbet. It's going to be a fabulous dinner all for about $6 :) I love my Grand Mart.

                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: krisrishere

                                                                                                                                                                            1/2 dozen blue crabs. I've got them hanging out in a cooler on my counter just waiting to be steamed with copious amounts of Old Bay - and they're feisty too...one almost took my finger off.
                                                                                                                                                                            Well, you would be too if you had any inkling you were going to be dropped into a pot and steamed. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                            Enjoy your dinner - sounds wonderful!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                              I can't wait to put those little, excuse my language, sh*ts in a pot. I had to pick them out of a big bin with tongs myself. Six crabs took me about 5 minutes to pull out...even got an extra claw out of it because the one crab I was trying to get pulled it right off of a fellow crab - he's probably still holding onto it for dear life.

                                                                                                                                                                              Victory is going to taste might fine!

                                                                                                                                                                          2. It's been a beautiful day here...a good one for errand running, which I did (as well as go to an condo open house which, while nice, isn't for me. Oh well.)

                                                                                                                                                                            I've got chicken stock making itself in the crockpot, and will use up some leftover chicken in a grilled panino tonight. Picked up some really nice roasted garlic rustic bread at the stupidmarket today, so two slices will be slathered with some olive oil on the outside, and some herbed goat cheese on the inside of each slice. Sliced chicken and roasted red pepper strips in between the slices, and onto the grill pan to become all nice and toasty brown. A corn and asparagus salad alongside tossed with a Dijon vinaigrette.

                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                              That sounds like a damn good sandwich. I love roasted red pepper with goat cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                              I can see you living in a charming cottage, surrounded by pepper plants and lilacs. The boyfriend recently raised the 'we should just go condo' topic, and I had to decline; I'll mow the lawn and clean the gutters myself if I have to.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                :::snort:::: No charming cottage, no pepper plants and lilacs. But I like your way of thinking. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                            2. Are any of you like me, when the weather threatens to turn cooler, or after Labor Day you get the urge to make something rich and warm. Something like shortribs, or chicken pot pie, or enchiladas even. I'm pining for my Fall and Winter foods something awful.

                                                                                                                                                                              16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                                Oh my yes. There's a little organic and grass-fed lamb shoulder from a local farmer in the freezer that I am pulling out for some sort of long and slow roast or braise for Sunday dinner. Haven't been as excited about cooking anything since last time the days were short (well, except for the local salmon runs).

                                                                                                                                                                                By the way, folks, I am more than open to any favorite recipes for roasted lamb shoulder. Right now I'm just thinking rosemary, garlic, and a couple-few splashes of red wine in a low oven (maybe with fresh figs or dried apicots?), followed by some deglazing action. Since the oven will be the right temp anyway, I'm leaning toward a side of roasted-garlic mashed potatoes with a little dijon swirled in. Yay, fall.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                                                                                                                                  Yay, fall indeed! I love the idea of the dried apricots added to the lamb shoulder - perhaps a pomegranate molasses for a braised lamb tagine type of meal?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                    Ooh, now there's an idea. I am trying to keep it to a whole, bone-in roast done rather simply, since this was not a cheap piece of meat (2.3 lbs. at $12/lb---although my farmer was kind enough to knock about three bucks off the price and threw in some free baby potatoes since he didn't have a cut as small as I wanted) and I want to eat the meat qua meat before maybe playing around more with a future purchase.

                                                                                                                                                                                    But, yes, it is awfully tough to beat what they do to lamb in the Middle East and northern Africa. Like how you think, LW---but wouldn't pomegranate molasses and dried apricots go just as well in a wild hawk tagine?

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                                                                                                                                      Hey - I RESCUE wild hawks. I don't cook 'em. :-P

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh yeah. The second it got to rainy and in the low 70s (several weekends ago) I was all over defrosting the beef cubes I had in my freezer and made a wonderful beef stew. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                  Just like pregnant women nest towards the end of their pregnancy, people who love to cook (and live in cooler climes) can't wait for the rustic stews and warming "smells good, Mom!" meals that come with autumn and winter. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                  Of course, right around late February, I'll be beeyotching for spring and local asparagus and wanting to grill, but right now, I'm with you, chef chicklet. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                    It's really strange, last few weeks its been a real chore to think or even get excited about dinner. I can't think of what I want to eat or cook, and I'm really going by the seat of my pants. I want to plan a lucious rich with sauce dinner full of mashed potatoes, or pasta. Something like Besh's shortribs, or the osso buco dish I love. Or chicken paprikash & spaetzle, or chicken and dumplings...etc. see what I mean! And this year I'm making popovers darn it!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                      Believe me, even those of us who don't live in cooler climes are yearning (to yearn) for rustic stews. I am tired of the grill. Plus, we're at that awkward time of year when there's hardly any offerings at the FM.
                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, we're still getting peaches . . . so I guess it ain't all bad :)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                        <Well, we're still getting peaches . . . so I guess it ain't all bad :)>

                                                                                                                                                                                        grill some of those and drizzle with good balsamic. maybe a nice syrupy fig balsamic, if you have it.

                                                                                                                                                                                        or roast and serve with mixed greens as I had at a set dinner tonight. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                          Re peaches: I've been cutting one into my last glass of red wine for dessert lately...it's absolutely delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                            So how many glasses of red wine do you normally drink? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                            I think we've had this discussion before, but have you ever had peaches poached in Champagne?

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                              As many as I can get my hands on...no, but peaches poached in Champagne sound divine. How about in Sauternes? I adore Sauternes...there's a very nice prunes in Sauternes in the Hermé desserts book (non-choc one).

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                Sauternes would work, but more expensive than non-Champers bubbly.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                                      The first day that registers below seventy-five degrees, I put on something pretty, saunter into my kitchen, stroke my stove top, and whisper, "Did you miss me . . . because I missed *you*. I'm sorry I've been away."

                                                                                                                                                                                      I do *fall* cleaning in the kitchen, getting it nice and sparkly for those long afternoons and evenings that rarely find me in any other room.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes! Last night was cool and today was 80; I'm not complaining after the extremely hot summer we've had but it does make me want to cook things to warm the house and make it smell mouthwatering.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Skillet-cooked sirloin with cascabel sauce and lime. Not sure of the side yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Haven't cooked much lately for a variety of reasons, but yesterday I finally followed up on a tip from the Seattle board that a local joint sells fresh tortillas. I had thought the tipster meant "fresh that day," but lo and behold they were made while I waited. For once in my life I was happily, ecstatically patient. Used them for some Rick Bayless quesadillas. Sauteed creminis (cooked in home-rendered lard) with serranos, asadero, and a roasted tomato salsa. Nada mas. The tortillas were small, thick, and so tender. Needless to say, I have a new addiction.

                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                                                                                                                                            I had thought the tipster meant "fresh that day," but lo and behold they were made while I waited. For once in my life I was happily, ecstatically patient.
                                                                                                                                                                                            Wow. Lucky YOU!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                                                                                                                                                Fresh made while you wait tortillas is one of the things I miss about living in New Mexico...I loved shopping at Albertson's and watching the hot tortillas come off the conveyer belt into a package, which I promptly opened and began eating as I shopped the store....sigh...

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Inspired by all the posts about corn chowder of late, I made corn-crab chowder w/leeks and roasted red pepper as I had all these things in the fridge (though the weather here is not making anyone pine for chowder, believe me). Made stock from the cobs (as per LW's method) and mixed it with some chicken stock from the freezer. I'm going to defrost some tiny lamb meatballs and some stuffed mushrooms, and we'll have those as apps, w/cocktails (as it is Saturday night after all). If I'm in the mood, maybe I'll make a salad too. And maybe not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Cooking from Ina Garten’s Barefoot in Paris tonight for a casual dinner w friends. Hors d'œuvres: Blini w Smoked Salmon, Radishes w Butter and Salt, Pissaladière, Main: Salad of Mixed Greens and Moules Marinière w crusty bread of course (which isn’t home made!). Dessert: Fresh Salad of Seasonal Fruit w cream and ice cream on the side for those who want it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Cleaning out the fridge, so we'll have leftover red beans and rice (leaving out the sausage and doubling up on the smoked pork neck was not the best decision I ever made, so thank the stars I left the rice plain enough to offset the saltiness of that bit of stupidity).

                                                                                                                                                                                                    And, you know, Saturdays are our egg nights, so it's coddled eggs served before the rice and beans. I have some corned beef to use up (no potatoes, though--boo), so I'll caramelize a few shallots, and toss in some of the beef to crisp up a tiny bit. I'll tuck the beef and shallots in the bottom of the ramekins, sprinkle in some rye croutons, add the eggs (no cream, so I'll leave them naked, or do a small batch of bechamel), and top with a little Swiss and a few of the croutons, crushed. I know the two dishes are not the best pairing on earth, but, given that we won't eat until after midnight, we are not likely to care.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wow! Does that sound delicious OADL! Wish I had those leftovers in my frig!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JerryMe

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Aw, thanks. The rye bread we picked up was not great (which is what you get when you *shop* for seeded rye bread on Rosh Hashanah), so the better part of the loaf is currently drying in the oven for croutons. If you've never made rye croutons, you might want to try it sometime. I've started to think I buy stale rye bread on purpose.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. leftovers from a gluten-free, dairy-free cooking class i gave today:
                                                                                                                                                                                                      - white bean, sun-dried tomato & roasted garlic dip
                                                                                                                                                                                                      - garlic & herb-marinated pan-seared shrimp
                                                                                                                                                                                                      - spinach pesto quinoa with roasted vegetables & cherry tomatoes
                                                                                                                                                                                                      - vegan vanilla pudding with fig compote & almond-coconut crumb topping

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Could you share that spinach pesto quinoa recipe? Sounds delish...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                          sure! i don't have it on this computer, but i'll try to post it in the next day or two. it's easy but has a lot of steps, so it's kinda long.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Well, we are over 200 again. So here is the link to the new thread.