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What's For Dinner? Part 72 [OLD]

Yup - that previous thread filled up quickly! So here's where you put what's cooking in your house...your condo...your cabin...over your campfire. Wherever you're dining these days. :-)

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  1. for meatless Monday:

    Tofu and Cheese Stuffed Jumbo Shells

    • 8 jumbo whole grain pasta shells (or more; ones I found weren’t very jumbo)
    • 2 T finely grated, peeled carrot
    • 1 ½ T thinly sliced green onions
    • 6 oz tofu (I used silken)
    • 1/3 c. low fat ricotta cheese (I used low fat cottage cheese)
    • 1/3 c. shredded reduced fat Monterey Jack cheese
    • 1/3 c. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1 t. toasted and crushed fennel seeds (see Note)
    • 2 t. sliced fresh basil or ½ t. dried, crumbled
    • ½ t. granulated garlic (or fresh)
    • ½ t. salt
    • Coarsely ground black pepper to taste
    • 3 c. warm Marinara sauce
    • 1 T. finely minced fresh parsley for garnish
    Cook the pasta shells according to package direction and drain. Rinse with cold water and drain again. Set aside. Meanwhile, cook the carrot and green onion in a very small amount of water until tender (I stuck them in the microwave for a minute). Drain.
    In a medium bowl, mash the tofu with a fork and blend with the carrot mixture, ricotta, Monterey Jack, and half of the mozzarella, and egg white. Add the fennel seeds, basil, granulated garlic, salt, and pepper, making sure the mixture is thoroughly combined.
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Spread 1/3 of the sauce in an 8 inch square baking dish. Stuff each pasta shell with the tofu filling and place it the baking dish. Cover the shells with the remaining sauce and top with the rest of the mozzarella. Cover and heat in the oven for about 20 minutes or until hot. Top with parseley, if desired, and serve.

    Note: Toast fennel seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat and toss until aromatic.

    3 Replies
    1. re: tcamp

      Thanks for sharing your recipe tcamp, this sounds like a really yummy dish!!

      1. re: tcamp

        Tonight's 'Philly-style' sandwiches of chicken cutlets, broccoli rabe and sharp provolone. Potato salad from superbowl dinner last night. Yukons, celery, red onion, Hellman's, Gulden's, relish, and lotsa flat parsley. Last night's bbq chicken and ribs (lump charcoal - Weber grill) with Sylvia's bbq sauce yielded only a small amount of leftovers. Also, a tasting of Ital pastries: cannoli cake, bahba au rum, and cannoli. And as always, mesclun salad.

        1. re: tcamp

          This does sound good!
          Makes me think Meatless Mondays aren't too painful in your household!

        2. Chicken Cordon Bleu, steamed broccoli, and either red quinoa, Israeli couscous, or some sort of rice. I'll let the kids choose between the starch sides when they get home. I'll accompany the dinner with slightly thickened chicken broth jus.


              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                It was homemade but I didn't make it this time

            1. tcamp, my "Monday" was a rare meat Monday since most of my meals are meatless.

              I had one piece of chicken basil sausage that I crumbled and browned and then added about 5 cloves of sliced garlic, 4 mushrooms, 1/2 lb. of asparagus, evoo and chili flakes and S&P.

              I tossed this with some fusilli (penne or ziti would have been better) and used some of the pasta water for the sauce. Topped it with some shredded asiago.

              I could think of a number of ways to improve on this, but I was hungry and all of my fresh herbs are dead due to all the sub freezing temps and snow and ice here. I could have made a salad but I was too lazy.

              1. Tonight we had chicken pot pie made with leftover roasted chicken, freshly cooked diced carrots and celery, baby peas cooked in chicken broth and white wine. I made a roux and added the drained broth and some milk to make the sauce, seasoned it with a little curry, salt and pepper. I topped the casserole with biscuit dough and baked it until they were done. Some sauteed green beans and homemade cranberry relish on the side.

                1. Dance night for almost 5-y-o granddaughter and her best cousin/friend means McDonald's for supper and Playland for the girls after. Wishing (again!) that some decent restaurant would install a playland! I have managed to figure out a (sort of) WW friendly supper at McDonald"s though...regular hamburger and chicken noodle soup with coffee or water. Back to good meals tomorrow:)

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: sunflwrsdh

                    in my town we have a seafood restrauant that is fantastic and it has a huge play land that is easily seen from the inside.

                    1. re: LaLa

                      I wish I lived closer to your town!

                  2. had the leftovers of the pernil tonight at dad's. i was ravenous, so i didn't wait for the salad my sister was concocting, or serve myself any of the rice i made. just piied a plate with juicy porky pork, chopped avocado, hot sauce, and some of the brown sugared butternut squash i made yesterday. MMMM! that pork is to die for.

                    1. I took pork tamales out of the freezer, made some beans and rice, and threw together some guacamole from a few ripe avos we had from our tree. I also defrosted some of the leftover pork in tamale sauce from December to serve over the tamales. Pretty good dinner and didn't require any shopping!

                      1. Tonight is orange and cardamom duck legs with rice pilaf. The duck's in the oven and I'm feeling very impatient!

                        17 Replies
                          1. re: mariacarmen

                            It was! And I accidently bought twice as many duck marylands than I thought I was getting (silly me), so tonight it's going to be a ginger duck salad. I feel a little bit spoiled.

                            1. re: TheHuntress

                              what oh what is a duck maryland? is that what you call duck legs down under?

                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                Kind of - a maryland is a cut where they take the leg and the thigh. You end up with about a quarter of the bird, sometimes more if your butcher is generous :) I really like the maryland cut, it's excellent if you feel like some kind of roast bird, but want it quickly. It's not an easy cut to find anywhere (I like chicken marylands too), but I have one of the best and best stocked butchers in Australia really close to me. That is entirely my opinion of course, but I have no problems getting harder to find meats and cuts and they're just really nice, accomodating people. And they have duck marylands :)

                                1. re: TheHuntress

                                  oh, ok! we can get chicken leg/thigh combos here too, prepackaged and cut by the butchers, but i've never seen it with duck legs. at least, i don't think i have.... will have to check next time.

                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                    Yeah, it's not easy to find over here, I have no idea why. But the duck marylands were really good, perfect for someone who's a little greedy like me ;)

                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                      mariacarmen - If SF is like NY in this regard, in Chinatown, frozen, and pretty dang cheap too. That's the only place I've ever seen non-confit duck legs for sale as such.

                                      1. re: buttertart

                                        It's weird how in the US you can only get chicken thighs or drumsticks, but never the whole leg. In Germany, chicken legs are a very popular item.

                                        1. re: linguafood

                                          Maybe where you are, but I've always seen chicken leg quarters where we've lived. Surprised not there.

                                          1. re: linguafood

                                            I've never had a problem getting quarters. Perdue has chicken quarters vacuum packed in most of the supermarkets at which I've shopped.

                                            1. re: JungMann

                                              Dang. Maybe open my eyes more widely next time I'm at Wegmans....

                                            2. re: linguafood

                                              I can get chicken leg quarters at Safeway and local stores. They even carry organic free range chicken quarters.

                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                In my area chicken quarters are extremely common on the shelves & are always on sale. I got a bag two weeks ago for .69 cents a pound (in the 10 pound bag). I saw that they're on sale again this week

                                                1. re: Cherylptw

                                                  As I said, I may have been looking in the wrong ("organic") section. I don't care much for factory chicken, so I tend to avoid the section with club packs. AFAIK, the "organic" section only has thighs, breasts, and drumsticks. And whole chickens, of course, but the last one I got sucked, i.e. the breast skin tore almost immediately when I tried to remove it from the skin...

                                  2. re: TheHuntress

                                    Love cardamom...and duck too for that matter. Curious as to how it came out?

                                  3. After a ridonkulously difficult and weird day, I came home minus the dim sum and set to making a really good tuna salad, consumed with shredded lettuce and crushed potato chips on it, sided by a mug of cream of tomato (made with whole milk.)
                                    Dessert consisted of half a box of garlic triscuits, washed down with more milk, consumed on the couch while engaged in a great long conversation with mariacarmen. I don't think she heard me chewing. I hope not. : )

                                    10 Replies
                                    1. re: mamachef

                                      LOL! I loved your description of of dessert while talking with mariacarmen. :-)

                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                        That gal is so fulla love and commensense and honesty. We're mc2 in a pod. : )

                                        1. re: mamachef

                                          You gotta plan on setting the date to meet in person, then! And MAKE IT HAPPEN! :-)

                                          1. re: mamachef

                                            awwww! way too kind. gotta be one to know one!

                                          2. re: LindaWhit

                                            If she has figured out a way to eat triscuits quietly, she needs to share that information, so that I can smuggle that yellow box into the movies.

                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                              Always smuggle your triscuits in a plastic bag so they don't hear the box being opened and the waxed paper tearing. I think the key to last night's silence was the milk factor...it softened them up nicely. And since I would've been shot for smacking or chewing open-mouthed (ok, well, dismissed from the table anyway) I've gotten pretty skilled at the true art of silently eating crunchy, delicious wheaty or potatoey type things. I did think about you when I hauled out the Triscuits. I know they're like your big favorite.

                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                Especially the garlic. They turn my willpower inside out.

                                          3. re: mamachef

                                            Substitute diet grape soda for the milk and this becomes an absolutely dreamy meal for me: so comforting, so perfect.

                                            1. re: JungMann

                                              JungMann, if I'd had Pepsi in the house, or grape soda, or fruit punch......that so would've been the beverage of choice. But when I got home and saw only milk, suddenly soda didn't seem quite so critical, though it would've been better for washing down the triscuits. The meal was perfect, though; exactly what was required

                                            2. re: mamachef

                                              ditto on the conversation! and i heard no evidence of Triscuit munching - what a stealthy cruncher!

                                            3. I made this dish from "Proud Italian Cook" blog. It is Chicken with Fennell and Olives, served over Creamy Polenta.

                                              I saw the picture and knew I wanted to make it. And it was outstanding and very easy.

                                              It is easy and delicious. I used 14 oz. of chopped roma tomatoes that I had and needed to used up. It equaled about 5 good sized roma tomatoes.

                                              Here's the link to the recipe.


                                              And here is a picture of the finished dish... yummy.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: mcel215

                                                Bellissimo mcel215! So appetizing!

                                                1. re: mcel215

                                                  oh, that is very tempting. going to try that polenta soon. it's funny, i have a favorite chicken Provencal recipe that is almost identical to that one - only thing really different is the addition of oregano, basil, thyme and parsley in the Italian version. and different olives. ok, it's totally different! but equally delicious i bet - for me, it's the fennel that does it. thanks for the link.

                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                    Thank you both. Do try this recipe, it's an outstanding one in my book.

                                                    I have been wanting to make really creamy polenta for a long time and this one is fantastic.

                                                2. Last night, I combined the leftover chili with some penne and baked it with cheddar (we added sour cream and hot sauce to our bowls, and the boy had diced onion on his). I don't really like chili mac, but this tasted just right as the temperature dropped back into the single digits last night.

                                                  Tonight will be a lighter meal, sort of. The planning started out that way, but butter and cream can be very convincing. Tilapia fillets will be marinated in white wine, olive oil, a bit of lemon, sage, parsley, salt and pepper, and then cooked stove-top. To go with, I plan on rescuing my lackluster masa cornbread, and using it in cornbread stuffing. The other sides will be limas in cream, and (taking a cue from Christina Mason), crispy roasted green beans with garlic and lemon zest. Small spinach salads will be eaten first, and those plates cleaned before anyone gets even *one* buttery, creamy lima, much less the butter-sponge known as stuffing.

                                                  When we were eating the cornbread the other night, I apologized for it being so bland, blaming the lack of peppers or cayenne I usually use. The boyfriend said, "It's okay, honey. It just needs a little more salt." It was at that point that I visualized myself at the counter, hurriedly mixing the batter, and I realized I hadn't put *any* salt in. None. I replayed the scene, waiting to see myself pouring the salt into the palm of my hand . . . Nope. Forgot. I forgot to add salt. This is going to be one carefully seasoned stuffing.

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: onceadaylily

                                                    You've trained that boy's palate well! i can hear him next: "hmmmm... all this needs is a soupçon of .... chervil!"

                                                    1. re: onceadaylily

                                                      How do you fix your limas in cream, oadl?

                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                        I'm using frozen, so I cook them most of the way in water, drain, melt a TBS (or even a wee bit more) of butter in a small pan, add the limas, about a cup of half and half, salt and pepper, and I simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cream has thickened, and 'sticks' to the limas. The amount of cream in the pan at the start should come halfway or more to covering the limas. It can take awhile for the cream to cook down, so you have to be a little patient.

                                                        The first time I made them like this, under instruction by the boyfriend, I grew impatient waiting for the cream to cook down, and I added a slurry. The boyfriend said that I ruined his limas in both my impatience and my need to make things complicated. Haha. Who, me?

                                                        1. re: onceadaylily

                                                          I love cream. I love limas. Sounds like a match made in heaven to me.

                                                          And. hey, I really need more cream in my diet.

                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                            Hah, more cream, butter and sugar were on my list of resolutions for the year, 'cause I knew I'd be able to keep those particular ones. : )

                                                    2. 'Tis a "brown gloop from the freezer" day. In this case, sausage & bean casserole. I'll add a tin of sweetcorn to make it less, erm, brown. Spuds of some sort to accompany.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                        Harters, we used to eat a sausage, baked bean and corn dish. It was called Bean Savoryby my mother, but my father always called it 'scrape up the kitchen' or 'slum gooey'. It is one of my dishes now for quick and easy meals.

                                                        1. re: Nanzi

                                                          Does this mean that on the eastern side of the Atlantic, I've inadvertently recreated an authentic Delaware dish? ;-0

                                                          Now I see it defrosted, I realise this is a basically Italianish concoction which made its original appearance a week or so back. It's now heating up in the oven with a breadcrumb/Parmesan topping. And there's some large field mushrooms baking as well - topped with olive oil/butter/parsley/garlic.

                                                          And there's now a starter as well. To balance out the Italian influences on dinner, it;sd prawn cocktail - which is about a 1970s British dinner party dish as you'd ever wish to come across.

                                                      2. Tonight I'm heading back to the COTM to make a dish that Katie Nell's review tempted me to try. It's the Chicken Roasted w Sour Cream, Lemon Juice and Mango Chutney.

                                                        Last night I returned to the wok and made a scrumptious dish from Breath of a Wok. Susanna Foo’s Tofu, Eggplant, Mushrooms and Sun-Dried Tomatoes made for a quick and delicious meatless Monday meal, perfect for a weeknight.

                                                        Here's a link to my review and photo if you're interested:


                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                          That looks terrific, going to try it soon. I've never knowingly eaten, nor do I recall even seeing, a king mushroom. Do you get them at asian groceries?

                                                          LOL, I'm pretty sure this definition, first on my google list of options, isn't what you meant:


                                                          1. re: tcamp

                                                            Not that's funny tcamp! May not have been the King I had in mind, but enjoyable nonetheless!

                                                            These mushrooms are available in Chinatown, our Farmers Markets and sometimes at the grocery store. I particularly like them in vegetarian dishes because they maintain their very firm texture, more so than portobello mushrooms.

                                                            Here's a photo for you:


                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                              They call them prince mushrooms in most NY Asian markets. An interesting mushroom (but I like regular oyster mushrooms better).

                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                Kräuterseitling or Kräutersaitling in Germany, these delicious fellas are crazy expensive back in the homeland. An avid mushroom lover, imagine my happiness upon discovering them for crazy cheap at the local Asian store! Those shrooms are fantastic stir-fried on their own, sautéed and with a little added cream served over pasta, or along with a nice fat steak.

                                                                Gotta get me some of those mushrooms. Oh, and I always translate them as king oyster or king trumpet mushrooms.

                                                        2. My Vietnamese inspired bun last night was delicious. I had to take some liberties, but it was crunchy and fresh and really satisfying.
                                                          I am thinking tonight I will have a steak salad with the nuoc cham as a dressing, over green cabbage and butter lettuce with lots of thinly sliced radish and carrots. This will get some bulgur for oomph, and lots of mint, cilantro and thai basil.

                                                          1. Well, last night I finally made Lion's Head Meatballs (a la Buttertart). I could find neither bok choy or Napa cabbage so no "mane." But I sauteed some spinach w/garlic and ginger to serve on the side and made a "composed" salad of beets, asparagus, satsumas, and sliced scallion.
                                                            I got a late start so didn't have time to firm up the meat mixture in the fridge, so my meatballs were very loose and ended up rather conical (as maybe my photo of the lone leftover shows). But the cooking liquid reduced nicely after 90 minutes or so and was tasty spooned over some plain white rice. We loved this dish.

                                                            14 Replies
                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                              Oh, that one was outrageous, wunnit? So savory.....and I was able to find choisum, which made the perfect green mane. But I adore spinach and just may do that next time. And I guarantee, there'll be a next time. After we finished dinner, Mr. said, "baby, this one is such a keeper."
                                                              Preen. And credit to buttertart. Whom I dearly hope is feeling better.

                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                "Whom I dearly hope is feeling better"

                                                                I gather not. She's off her food - even our virtual meals here, so is absent from our dinner table for a little while.

                                                                (Get well soon, mon ami)

                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                  Many many hugs to our buttertart and sending healing thoughts to her!

                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                    Thanks guys, the healing thoughts are working, I can bear to think a bit about food (obviously) but can't work up enthusiasm for eating any (which is, in mamachef's word, redonkulously not like me).
                                                                    I'm very happy that you like the lion's head dish!!! I love Shanghai-style food and it is not nearly as well-known in the west as it should be.

                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                      So sorry to learn you're not feeling well bt. Best wishes for a speedy recovery. I'll put the kettle on for you . . . maybe a nice cup of tea?

                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                            A nice cup of tea is what 70+yo British pensioner Ann Timson (now known in the British press as "SuperGran") wanted after foiling a store robbery in Great Britain, so you're in great company, dear buttertart!


                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                              I read that this morning, and *loved* that story, Linda.

                                                                              Get well soon, BT. I'm so sorry to hear that you're not well. Take care of yourself.

                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                By the by, I'm off to that town tomorrow (about 2.5 hours away) to give a lecture about my book. Great story of Super-Gran (and the cops have arrested 4 men for the offence)

                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                  That is a great story - the handbagging looked like a real-life Monty Python sketch! What a gal.
                                                                                  Thanks very much everybody for the good wishes, due to the miracles of modern medicine, I'm feeling a bit better today. Was scary because it felt just like what I went through last November. Hugs to all.

                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                    Just you keep on taking care of yourself, and mending well and fully. You know I'll be sending my specialty to you: Cosmicaramadingdong Healing Beams of Light. : )

                                                                            2. re: buttertart

                                                                              Oh, sorry you're OTW--hope you're at 100% soon, BT.

                                                                    2. Roast chicken with caramelized onions on crispy flatbread. Take your chicken and season it liberally with sumac, salt and pepper. I also rubbed some garlic powder, Aleppo pepper, allspice and parsley beneath the skin for an extra dimension of flavor. Cinnamon, thyme or sage would not have been out of place here. I had no lavash or pita bread so I lined my sheet pan with tortillas, covered them with a mound of sliced onions and topped that with the chicken.

                                                                      As it roasts, the fat from the chicken melts into the onions, which slowly caramelize, and seeps into the bread which crackles and crisps in the oven. After about 45 minutes of minimal work, you have a chicken brimming with the seductive, musky tartness of sumac, sweet onions and bread that is imbued with the essence of roast chicken distilled into its pores. I chose to eat this with my hands, tearing the soft pieces of bread still sopping with chicken juices and using them to wrap bits of meat and onion. The crunchy pieces I reserved for the side, to eat noisily like chips, blissful and content with my easy weeknight dinner.

                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: JungMann

                                                                        JungMann, you could make a dinner out of a tennis ball, an onion, and a gym sock and make it sound mouthwateringly delicious.
                                                                        I'd have plowed in w/ hands too. There are some things that just really deserve that kind of respect, aren't there?
                                                                        I'm roasting a chicken tonight too, but nothing fancy like yours; just the classic birdy. I'm more excited about the side, which is Kasha Varnishkes: buckwheat groats tossed w/ bowtie pasta, salt, pepper and butter, cooked in chicken stock, with a good dab of sour cream on top. Roasted beets with orange vinaigrette and a little crumbled goat cheese to amp it up a little bit, and danger pudding over ice cream for dessert. Um.

                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                            sounds really homey and delish. i'll have to try the Kasha sometime.... that salad, of course, is genius in its simplicity.

                                                                            1. re: mamachef

                                                                              Fancy, I guess, is in the eye of the beholder. I thought this was pretty rustic, particularly since it had few and humble ingredients. But I suppose humble to me might require a trip to the specialty store for others. That would certainly be the case for your kasha varnishkes. I've had a hankering for them all weekend, but have to travel far from home to get them. Your dinner review may prompt a pilgrimage to Veselka's.

                                                                          2. Meatloaf, Steamed Broccoli, Mashed Potatoes, Yeast Rolls.

                                                                            1. I adapted Alton Brown's 40 clove of garlic chicken to make a very nice batch of wings.

                                                                              1. Chicken pot pie. I had some good stock in the freezer, along with Trader Joe's puff pastry, and a Costco chicken in the fridge. Potatoes, onion, carrot, celery, string beans, thyme, sage, salt & pepper, a milk and flour slurry, and a bit of vermouth combined to make an easy and delicious comfort food supper.
                                                                                Feeling very content just now. :)

                                                                                1. Taters and shrooms and caviar, oh my!

                                                                                  And minced garlic, all sauteed til crispy. (sour cream and caviar dolloped on afterward.)

                                                                                  A meal i would never have the chance to eat with the BF here. Miss him like the dickens, but this was yum!

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                    You treat yourself VERY nicely when alone, mc! :-)

                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                      That even looks tempting to me today.

                                                                                    2. More Iron Cheffing while babysitting. Luckily, the family's fridge was actually semi-stocked with some convenience items for quick meals. But of course, I had to complicate things a bit. So, the little one and I put together pizzas (ready-made personal-sized crusts, some leftover marinara sauce cooked down with leftover tomato paste, shredded mozz, mini turkey pepperoni). I found a tub of pesto in the fridge and decided it was just the thing to also make a white pizza, topped with mozz, parm, a little cheddar, and some chopped leftover chicken fingers.

                                                                                      I made a kind of random salad on the side with butter lettuce, blanched green beans, clementine segments, chopped yellow pepper, and cucumber. A colorful (clashing?) veggie assortment from the fridge.

                                                                                      But the meal still felt incomplete. I asked O what kind of soups he likes, and he said, "chicken noodle and, just recently, I started liking corn soup." So cute. Bingo: I found some leftover canned corn in the fridge. Then new potatoes, shallots, onions, butter, cream, half a carton of chicken broth, and fresh thyme showed up. A few bay leaves and some hot pepper flake, and soup was a-bubblin'. It was looking a bit thin, so I broke up some spaghetti and tossed that in, and thickened the broth slightly with some cornstarch.

                                                                                      O ate everything and even complimented the soup when I fudged and called it "my grandmother's recipe." He finished his meal with a blue popsicle, the fitting end to such a random meal.

                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                        Sounds like the kid AND his parents lucked out big time to have you over to babysit. What a great meal, and it must have been fun for the kid to be able to help not just in prep but also in decision making.

                                                                                        1. re: KailuaGirl

                                                                                          Thank you! I have fun making up menus on the fly. I've noticed the picky eater seems much more adventurous in tasting foods when he has a hand in the cooking. Also, since I've cooked for him a bunch of times, and he's generally ended up liking most things (even if he had to be slightly coerced into trying them), he's more trusting that something unfamiliar will taste good if I say it does. Usually. He said something funny tonight about how he predicted I'd tell him he needed to finish the other things on his plate before having another serving of pizza. LOL. Guess he has MY number.

                                                                                          Of course, just as he's starting to outgrow his pickiness, the toddler is becoming more finnicky about food. Kids!

                                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                            their parents probably love you for expanding their children's culinary horizons and making it easier to feed them!

                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                              I've noticed with all my nephews (I have 7 of them) that when I get them to help in deciding WFD, then in actually making it, they like it more and convince (coerce? threaten?) their sibs to try it as well ("Try it! I made it with Auntie!"). A couple of the older ones have become interested in cooking and have even asked me to teach them how to cook different things over the years. The youngest, at 5 years old, is primarily stuck with helping to make cookies (sifting, stirring, mixing, and dropping from spoons onto cookie sheets) and decorating cakes or cupcakes with sprinkles. No sharps or hot things for him yet. :-)

                                                                                          2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                            Sounds like a dinner *I* would like as well, Christina! Little O lucked into a gem of a babysitter! And I love that you get him involved in the preparation of dinner as well. :-)

                                                                                          3. Leftovers night...I sliced those chorizo sausages I didn't really care for in half (they just didn't have the zing that you expect from chorizo) and pan fried them until a bit crispy then piled them into homemade roasted poblano buns (1/2 bread flour - 1/2 wwheat flour, poblanos roasted, peeled, seeded & chopped for the dough) with some mustard & caramelized onions...Much MUCH better flavor! Served with leftover cabbage & apples and rice from Sunday. Chocolate chip pound cake for dessert.

                                                                                            1. Last night was roast squash with minced lamb and spinach. The butternut was halved, scooped and put in a hot oven to roast til supersweet and soft. While that was cooking, I recreated and tweaked a dish my mum used to make called "Roman spinach", though she swears blind that she's never heard of it, let alone made it. So who knows.

                                                                                              Red onions are sliced and sauteed with lots of garlic. Add sliced chilli or red pepper flakes, fry for a minute or so, then add in lamb mince and fry til browned. Sprinkle over a tsp of ground coriander and the same of cinnamon. Chuck in a handful of sultanas, a handful of pine nuts, then stir in a tbsp of tomato paste. Then add two large handfuls of spinach, cook until wilted, and serve in the holes of the squash. It was pretty tasty...

                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: gembellina

                                                                                                Oh, yes, I like the sound of that. A lot.

                                                                                                There's a hint of North Africa or the Middle East in there with the spicing, so if I had to guess I'd say an origin more in Sicily than Rome. I also roast big chunks of squash with olive oil, chilli flakes, crushed coriander and pepper. Seems to go well with chicken in a vague Moroccan style of meal.

                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                  I think the original spinach didn't have the spices in, but the lamb seemed to be taking it in another direction already so I thought I'd go follow it to the Middle East. I got a new cook book called "Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume" (I think) for Xmas so the ideas have been filtering into my day-to-day cooking. Somehow Middle Eastern seems like a more summery cuisine though, so I'm holding off on following any recipes until the produce is a little more tasty and seasonal.

                                                                                                  1. re: gembellina

                                                                                                    How'd the spiced spinach come out? One of my standard sides is sauteed spinach with garlic, pine nuts, sultanas and lemon zest. I've never tried to perk it up with some spice (or lamb!).

                                                                                                    1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                      It was very good. I think I could have used more spinach and less lamb - something more akin to Chinese green beans topped with a little minced pork. I have a vague idea that it could have done with a little more of a kick in the bass notes, but I couldn't figure out which spice would provide that. Maybe I could have browned the onion and lamb a bit more, and toasted the pine nuts before putting them in.

                                                                                                      1. re: gembellina

                                                                                                        I always toast the pine nuts before adding them back to the finished dish. I think a dash of smoked paprika also had a little backbone to the spinach as does some soy sauce. The more I think of your dish, the more it starts to sound like an inversed kheema and saag which could be very delicious.

                                                                                                        1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                          yes i should have done that, but i was feeling lazy and my little frying pan wasn't clean so i just chucked them in! but bf loved the dish so it's going into the rotation, and I'll make some tweaks the next time. I did consider paprika but wasn't sure about it; soy sauce may have been the answer as it could have done with a little more savoury. In fact, thinking about it, I didn't use s+p so the solution might be simple!

                                                                                              2. I've been craving a panino for several days ever since someone on another food board I post on mentioned having made some for her family. So it's WFD tonight.

                                                                                                I've got some rosemary and olive oil sourdough bread waiting to be sliced and either buttered or oiled up for grilling. The insides will be shaved steak, quickly pan sauteed before piling it onto the bread slices, Monterey Jack cheese, and caramelized onions. Squish that sucker under the weight of a press on the grill pan, and it's dinner, alongside some rippled potato chips.

                                                                                                I'll make two of the sandwiches, so there's one for lunch at work tomorrow. :-)

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. Lemon sole goujons. Supermarket pre-breaded - posh fish fingers, if you will. Saute poatoes, Peas.

                                                                                                  1. Finally, 'tis Birfdayday up in Berkeley, and 3 gentleman are celebrating their 21st birfdays which of course means they each get to pick something or at least agree together. Generally works out really well. So on the Magical blackboard, what doth appear but the following requests:
                                                                                                    Real Beef Stroganov with Noodles
                                                                                                    Caesar Salad w/ Chicken
                                                                                                    Brownies please
                                                                                                    For sure we can do that. I'll have to throw a few other things in there, because this to me is ungodly rich, so I'm going to make that roasted beet/orange vin. salad, only I'll leave off the cheese and serve it with chopped toasted walnut garnish. Found some nice-looking green beans, and those I'll steam and chill and put into a salad with some lentils for the veges, and a little lemon and garlic. The brownies are the easy part: I just make a cheesecake filling with mini choc. chips, and swirl it into classic brownie batter. Ice cream with those; whatever's in the house. And I actually think I better freakin' get crackin', 'cause it's gonna be a long day. But a good day. And I wish you all the very same.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                      So on the Magical blackboard, what doth appear but the following requests:
                                                                                                      Real Beef Stroganov with Noodles
                                                                                                      Caesar Salad w/ Chicken
                                                                                                      Brownies please

                                                                                                      I love the Magical Blackboard. Three very good choices for the Birfdayday boys!

                                                                                                    2. Another COTM dish on the menu tonight. This time its the Laotian Catfish Soup which has a lot of ingredients I just love . . . lots of garlic, 4 Thai chilies, lemongrass, lime juice, ginger, coconut milk and more. It also appealed because it seems as though it comes together in no time so we'll see about that. I'll be sure to let you know.

                                                                                                      Last night we really enjoyed the Chicken Roasted w Sour Cream, Lemon Juice and Mango Chutney which is another COTM dish. If you'd like to see our embarrassing photo or hear more about the dish, here's the link:


                                                                                                      1. I finally feel a *little* bit better, but definitely not 100%. I'm very excited for tonight's dinner, however I'm not sure how I'll be able to taste it because I have ZERO breathing ability right now.

                                                                                                        Dinner is turkey and spinach meatballs stuffed with mozzarella, homemade marinara sauce and whole wheat pasta. The turkey meatballs are seasoned with a little nutmeg too, so they should be yummy

                                                                                                        1. Cauliflower soup from Around My French Table and gruyere paninis.

                                                                                                          1. Okay, I admit I was lazy today...heck, I haven't really "cooked" since Sunday..another breakfast for dinner episode with a scrambled egg/crispy bacon sammie on one of my poblano buns and some oven baked fries. Later, I had a small slice of pizza. I'll be making something that requires some chopping, etc. tomorrow.

                                                                                                            1. Today was lentils with kielbasa and a cucumber salad.

                                                                                                              1. Tonight we're going to experiment (barely) - I've got a couple of pounds of smoked brisket left in the freezer from summer, and Husband is going to season that for (he's been "thinking about it" all week). Probably with some minced onions, the remainder of the diced poblanos/jalapenos that I froze when they were all over the market, some sort of taco-esque spices - hopefully not too much, as I don't think the meat will need it, but the fact that he's been thinking so hard about it kind of concerns me.

                                                                                                                And shockingly, my son is going to be home for dinner. I don't know how he manages it, but we don't see him for AGES, and he turns up for TACO NIGHT. Huh.

                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Krislady

                                                                                                                  sixth sense. hope you all enjoy each other and the tacos - they sound great!

                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                    Thanks - tacos were wonderful. A little extra liquid in the meat, but that's okay - it's wonderfully beefy, spicy liquid. :) I'm thinking that, with the leftover meat, the juice will soak into rice quite nicely - or maybe with some beans in burritos.

                                                                                                                    The Boy brought his lady friend with him for tacos, and she enjoyed as well. It's so nice to see him with a girl who's not afraid to eat. :)

                                                                                                                    1. re: Krislady

                                                                                                                      I love homemade tacos. Do you fry your own shells? I use Milagro corn tortillas here in Chicago. They come out chewy and just soooo tasty. MAkes a huge difference.

                                                                                                                      Of course maybe you like soft tacos?

                                                                                                                      1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                        Yeah, I prefer soft tacos - though when I was a kid, my mother used to fry flour tortillas, which I LOVED. I haven't done that in years, though.

                                                                                                                2. i did the Simple Recipes Arroz con Pollo..

                                                                                                                  it came out fine, but i thought the recipe was bland.
                                                                                                                  I like big flavor and kick..this one was lacking

                                                                                                                  if anyone has a good recipe for arroz con pollo, please share!!!

                                                                                                                  1. Birfdayday being well-received, tonight at work we're moving on to a nice classic dinner of spaghetti with sausages and meatballs for the meat-eatin' guys, same only with roasted vegetables for the non meaties. Big green salad (romaine, sliced tart apple, sliced green onions, toasted nuts of some sort, feta or blue crumbles, and vinaigrette) and the ubiquitous garlic bread, double garlic please. Last time I made the bread, I somehow forgot to sprinkle it w/ paprika, and one of the guys came up to me the next day and said, "you know, that red spice just really adds something to the bread." Signify! The kid's already eating eyes-first!
                                                                                                                    At home, Mr.'s giving me a break. He's trying his hand at Hong Kong beef-noodle soup topped with pickled mustard greens.......and I think it'll work out really well. If not, there's always Thai takeout.

                                                                                                                    1. well, the last tw nights were pretty dull dinner-wise, due t wrking late. A frzen burrit ne night, and then a burrit frm a tac truck last night. There ges the diet...
                                                                                                                      Did u knw that when u rder a limusana burrit, they are almst three feet lng??? True stry.
                                                                                                                      Nt sure what's up with my key...didn't I just deal with my keybard last summer?
                                                                                                                      Srry fr the annying pst, hpe I can get this fixed up here in the cuntry.
                                                                                                                      Japanese curry tnight, with a special Japanese rice. Suppsed t be brwn rice but mstly pearled, s u get the bran, but it tastes like white rice. Will be nice t cme hme t, and easy t warm up.

                                                                                                                      15 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                        You might want to choose an alternate word for country. ;-)

                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                          Well, isn't smene's mind in the gutter...hmmm???

                                                                                                                          1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                            Thank you, I needed the laugh, rabaja. I am loving your keyboard right now, although I might just cling to what I originally thought was a post born of an one two many martinis.

                                                                                                                            You didn't . . . spill *anything* on the keyboard, did you? ;)

                                                                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                              I thought that for a minute, too, oadl--but then I realized the o-missions were a little too consistent for the gin-fizzed.

                                                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                And considering rabaja is a West Coaster, I'm thinking the gin-fizzling would have been mighty early! LOL

                                                                                                                            2. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                              Best place for it to be, I always think!

                                                                                                                            3. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                              ROFLMAO!!! You gotta admit, rabaja, it *does* look ummm... rather suggestive without the letter "o". ;-)

                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                I'm still giggling. I lve it. This made my afternn.

                                                                                                                                1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                  Yeah, it's all fun and games until they want $75 t replace yur keybard...
                                                                                                                                  0 is the new 0 friends, at least f0r the next c0uple 0f days. S0rry t0 ann0y.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                    Oh, sorry, I didn't mean to make light. I hope you try cleaning and drying out the keyboard before you shell out that kind of money (unplug it, or take the batteries out before you clean it, and make sure it's dry before you turn it back on). Good luck.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                      N0t at all, 0adl! I'm glad y0u all made me see the hum0ur in this!
                                                                                                                                      I tried ripping 0ff the key and putting it back 0n, will try cleaning it next, thank y0u!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                      Oh, good, rabaja. You might try one of those aerosol cans, or even taking it back to the place that 'fixed' it for you before to complain.

                                                                                                                                      Buttertart, do you think there's a page for Anna Karenenena?

                                                                                                                                      And OT, I'm making shirred eggs for dinner, as prompted by a recent CH thread. I think a bed of the shrimp egg fu yung that I have leftover from last night, with some scallions and a few drops of soy on top. Also, there will likely be a pie, of some kind. Blackberry cream, maybe.

                                                                                                                                2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                  ahahahahaha - BT, i missed that misspelling on country on the first reading - what has happened to MY mind??

                                                                                                                                  rabaja - it looks like you're texting your post! too funny.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                    I wonder this recent "event" on the BBC made it to the western side of the pond.

                                                                                                                                    One has to be so careful when introduding government minister, Jeremy Hunt.


                                                                                                                                3. Last night, I pulled a dish of cannelloni from the freezer (so glad I made extra on the weekend) and called our friends to come over at the last minute. Put together a quick app--bruschetta topped w/mushrooms cooked in OO w/a bit of garlic, prosciutto and parmigiano. Side was roasted asparagus and dessert was leftover whiskey cake w/vanilla IC and Fat Toad goat cheese caramel sauce (love that stuff).

                                                                                                                                  Tonight will be leftover leftovers and a salad.

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. Bean soup made with ham hocks, cornbread and for dessert some left over peanut butter nutella brownies warmed with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It's freezing here, need warming comfort food!

                                                                                                                                    1. Soup's on! I removed the meat from the chicken I roasted earlier this week and simmered it with aromatics for a couple hours. In another pot, I sauteed onion and garlic. Tossed in some sliced chorizo, the chicken broth and shredded kale. Tweaked the seasonings a bit (thyme, rosemary, allspice, black vinegar, rice vinegar, Sriracha, soy sauce) and ta-da: leftovers become a whole new meal.

                                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                        I love hearing about how you re-purpose, and that sounds delicious. I have a couple of leftover hotlinks; do you think they'd work as well?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                          Why not? With a milder sausage, I might be more inclined to make a pasta, but you could also make soup with a less bitter green like cabbage or even sauerkraut.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                          mmmmm JM, another winner from your kitchen. love the idea of chicken and chorizo (or chorizo with seafood, or hell, just chorizo!)

                                                                                                                                          which reminds me, mamachef..... you were going to tell me the name of a place in the east bay that has relatively inexpensive chorizo and other spanish-style meats?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                            Oh Gaw mc! I completely spaced it! It's in San Leandro - where by a miracle I have to be today for my own raging ear infection to be seen by my own Doc. again......and I will stop by and grab a business card and send you info. STAT.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                            I should clarify that I ate the meat for lunch and simmered the chicken carcass to make stock. Simmering the meat for that long would result in some stringy chicken!

                                                                                                                                          3. Keeping it simple tonight as I just don't feel like cooking - cream cheese scrambled eggs, toast, and a few slices of bacon that I'll cook in the microwave. Voila. It's breakfast for dinner! :-)

                                                                                                                                            I'll cook tomorrow, said Scarlett.

                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                              you are worn out from that 300+ Top Chef Masters thread!! your breakfast sounds wonderful. that's what i shoulda had. i made a BLT and for some reason it was the worst one i ever et/met. just about burned the bacon (still tasted good, but it really was almost burnt), the aioli on the toast made it too soggy.... i dunno,had an heirloom tomato and everything! i didn't think i could make a bad BLT. i did saute up some fat mushrooms on the side cuz they had to be cooked. they were good.

                                                                                                                                            2. Made some Singapore noodles and threw some cut up leftover Chicken Korma and some of the sauce into the mix for brunch. Satisfied my craving.

                                                                                                                                              Tonight we are having the rather time-intensive Hazan green lasagna posted on a previous WFD. Used my own sauce though or it would have taken even longer. It will be a change from the usual mozzarella laden dish I am accustomed to making. Will see if it was worth it all. I used fresh spinach instead of frozen to make the pasta and it turned out very well. "Chuffed" (pleased) about that!

                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                I will definitely make the green lasagna recipe again. It was nice having a mozzarella-less version (can't believe I'm saying this as I am a lifelong cheese lover).

                                                                                                                                                Home-made pasta is so much lighter and I liked that this recipe is not sauce heavy as well. Accompanied by a green salad and garlic toast...it was just what I was looking for this evening.

                                                                                                                                              2. No cooking at Casa breadcrumbs tonight . . . .it's my Birthday and we're having Indian take-out and a proper celebration dinner on the weekend! Can't wait for my Saag Paneer!

                                                                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                      Happy Birthday Breadcrumbs!
                                                                                                                                                      Tw0 celebrat0ns, way t0 g0!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                          happy day BC! hope you enjoyed, and that your celebration this week is splendid and delicious.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                            Thanks so much everyone for your good wishes, that's very kind of you!! Dinner last night was tasty and I'm looking forward to our weekend celebrations!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                              Keep the party going, miss! Two friends and I have birthdays on the 8th, 11th, and 20th (Aug) and call the time between the first one and mine "the festival season". Open season for indulgences of all sorts for the bday girls. HB and many more.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                            HippoBirdyTwoEwes, Breadcrumbs! Enjoy everything about your dinner, your day, and the coming year. Many Happy Returns.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                              Happy Birthday BC...Feb 10 was also my darling granddaughter's 5th birthday. In honor of which, the birthday girl selected peanut butter and jelly sandwiches ("and could everyone please eat them tonight with me?)...so that is wfd on 2/10 at our house. Along with a really thrown together homemade chicken noodle and veg soup, and chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting and sprinkles for dessert (B'day girls' choice again:)

                                                                                                                                                            2. I'm freezing in my apartment tonight for the 6th day since it was flooded by a broken fire sprinkler pipe. I made homemade pizza from dough and chicken sausage out of my freezer and sauce, mozzarella, red bell pepper, red onion and mushrooms.

                                                                                                                                                              I'm amazed the dough and sausage even thawed out considering the high today was only 34. I'm sitting at my computer in front of a space heater. At least the pizza turned out ok.....nothing spectacular but better than anything I could buy around here.

                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                                                                                Shouldn't the landlord be doing something about that? It seems to me that you should be able to stay in a hotel and the landlord foot the bill while he repairs that problem (I don't know where you are but I do know in certain states, the landlord is responsible to take care of this including putting you up until the problem is resolved).

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                                                                                  Seri0usly, what Cherylptw said. That is just s0 wr0ng that y0u have t put up with 34 degree weather and n0 heat.
                                                                                                                                                                  Can y0u crank y0ur 0ven all day and bake up a st0rm?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                    It is now 72 degrees and sunny. Gotta love TX weather! I contacted City of Fort Worth and they said that because there have been so many problems that everything is going slow. Remember the 1200 people who didn't have seats for the SuperBowl last Sunday? Pretty much the same mentality.

                                                                                                                                                                    I didn't/don't want to get stuck in a hotel because then how would I cook? And what would I do with my cat? This is a very large (400+) complex so i think they just need to pack up my apartment and move me to a vacant apartment so they can then repair and re-rent my apartment. That would be the simple solution.

                                                                                                                                                                2. So, I woke up this morning to snow covered fields and soup was the order of the day..I made a chicken/noodle/veggie (carrots, onions, celery, green beans, lima beans, etc) soup which was really more like a stew. To go with, open faced grilled cheese/caramelized onion sandwiches & pickled garlic green beans. Dessert: lemon delight pound cake (lemon glaze & a crumble over the top)

                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                  1. We had the "full" hotel breakfast this morning - cereal, bacon, sausage, eggs, baked beans, mushrooms, toast. Meant we didn't really have any lunch.

                                                                                                                                                                    On the way back north, we stopped at a farm shop. Bought a steak and mushroom pie. That'll get heated up. And organic parsnips - they'll get mashed. And a locally grown cabbage - that'll get simply steamed.

                                                                                                                                                                    And I remembered a deli in a village about 20 miles from home, so we detoured to make a stop. It wasnt that great - but we did buy some local Cheshire cheese and some Shropshire Blue, so that's "afters" sorted.

                                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                      First thing we do when landing in Britain is seek out a nice fry up. When our daughter was little this was a must she insisted on.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                          Nah, the good stuff was all localish. Shropshire is the county to the south of Cheshire - although the history of this recent cheese is bit more geographically convoluted (as below). Great eats, though - and a wonderfully vibrant colour to serve to guests.


                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                            Very nice. (I knew it wasn't from your neck of the woods - and had understood it was a "lost" cheese - yet another misbegotten Monty P reference from me...)

                                                                                                                                                                      1. I made a huge pot of chicken bog for the husband to take to the fire house so I kept out some for us. Also some collards on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                        17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LaLa

                                                                                                                                                                          Chicken Bog? Is that like gumbo or Brunswick stew, only w/ extra rice? I've heard of it and don't remember where!!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                            Yes it is kinda like gumbo.....it is a coastal South Carolina thing. I have been tweaking it for awhile since I am not from here orignally....I finally got it right.....I wasn't embaressed to send it to a bunch of locals!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LaLa

                                                                                                                                                                              I'm afraid the name doesnt sell it to me - on my side of the Atlantic the "bog" is a slang word for the toilet.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                Oy, Harters. Yep, that would do it.
                                                                                                                                                                                Tonight, Chez Haste St., the guys are getting a pot of chicken and dumplings. The real kind. Chicken taken off the bone; thick gravy; fluffy dumplings. I don't think potpie dumplings would fly with them. String beans, Frenched, with mushrooms and almonds; and some home-made chunky applesauce that I'm going to blend with the last of the frozen winter cranberries (which I'll cook to a pop and then puree before mixing.) We have leftover veg. chili, so I'll plug that pot in and the chili and the rice will be the vegetarian meal on offer tonight. I think I'll have time to make a large apple crisp, which I found an awesome recipe for: It's topped with a pecan streusel instead of the usual oatmealy business and was fabulous when I made a home-sized version.
                                                                                                                                                                                Dinner to home is boeuf bourgignonne with parsleyed noodles and green salad and a fruit compote that mom the uncook doesn't make anymore, so I do.
                                                                                                                                                                                Have a safe and healthy weekend, y'all.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef


                                                                                                                                                                                  "String beans, Frenched".


                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                    Topped, tailed, and sliced lengthwise. For which, today, I have a kitchen assistant who assured me that he liked them ever so much better that way, under which advisement I offered him an afternoon in the kitchen making them his way, to which offer he readily acquiesced. So chillin' in the kitchen with Tosh is what's on this afternoon's agenda. I think he'll really enjoy seeing the dumpling magic.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                      Do you use a knife or the frencher on the end of the old-fashioned peelers?
                                                                                                                                                                                      My Dad loves frenched beans. Over our protests, my Mom would always take the time to French them.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                        Got it now. I think string beans are what we call runner beans, as that's sometimes how we prep. those.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                          Rabaja: for myself, prepping for us? I'd use the Frencher. At work today, I know exactly what's going to happen. Tosh is obsessed with knives and knife skills. In particular, my knives combined with his rapidly-increasing knife skills. : ) And that's exactly what he'll hone, by grabbing my utility knife and having at it.
                                                                                                                                                                                          Harters: So now I've got a question: if they're yellow runner beans, is that how you differentiate, like by color? Green vs. Yellow runner beans? Here, green beans are string beans, at least in my area, but the yellow varietal of the same thing is generally known as the wax bean, although I can't differentiate, tastewise.
                                                                                                                                                                                          I love colloquialisms, don't you?
                                                                                                                                                                                          I might be remembering wrong, but there's a bell clanging somewhere in the mists that
                                                                                                                                                                                          says "runner beans" may well be a phrase used in the Southland here. Anybody know for sure? (Hanging head, since Southern food and regional terms are my specialty.......I'm getting vapid.....)

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                            Don't think I've ever seen yellow beans.

                                                                                                                                                                                            These are Brit runner beans:

                                                                                                                                                                                            Usually about 6 - 8 inches long, they need topping & tailing and, usually, destringing down one side. I usually then just chop them into lengths of about 1 or 2 inches but you do see them finely cut lengthways as you describe.

                                                                                                                                                                                            (Wow, that seemed odd - using inches again to describe length.)

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                              (Wow, that seemed odd - using inches again to describe length.)
                                                                                                                                                                                              LOL! And it was perfectly natural for us on this side of the pond - I didn't even think twice when I was reading your post....until the end. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                      Geez mama! I either want to move in to the frat house, or your house, and tonight it is a toss up! We are on second day (party for friends at the Children's museum) of celebrating 5-y-o grand daughter's birthday , so tonight's dinner, served at the Children's Museum, was kid friendly finger food (fruit and veggie platters with appropriate dips, gold fish crackers pretzels) take out pizza, and some really great chocolate cake baked into the shape of a giant cupcake which my sister made. Will be glad to get back to some more grown up food tomorrow:)

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                          Mamachef, could you please share that pecan-topped crisp recipe? Sounds fab.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                            Christina, I can't even begin to tell you what an epiphany this stuff was. I've been forever disappointed with the "oatmeally" type toppings; they just didn't have the richness and crunch and almost pastrylike character that this streusel does. You can either make a 9 by 13" pan of your favorite apple pie filling recipe (don't bake it) or here's what I did:
                                                                                                                                                                                            8 large crisp tart apples, peeled, cored and seeded, 1/4 inch slices, tossed with:
                                                                                                                                                                                            1 heaping T. AP flour
                                                                                                                                                                                            1/3-1/2 c. brown sugar (start with a third; check for sweetness)
                                                                                                                                                                                            1/2 t. salt
                                                                                                                                                                                            1/4 c. apple juice or cider (not strictly necessary, but makes a great filling better)
                                                                                                                                                                                            1 T. fresh lemon juice
                                                                                                                                                                                            cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg; to taste
                                                                                                                                                                                            Layer in pan, set aside.
                                                                                                                                                                                            1 c. AP flour
                                                                                                                                                                                            1/4 c. light brown sugar, packed
                                                                                                                                                                                            1 t. cinnamon
                                                                                                                                                                                            1/4 t. salt
                                                                                                                                                                                            1/2 chopped nuts - any kind (I used pecans, but walnuts or butternuts would be great too)
                                                                                                                                                                                            6 T. rm. temp. unsalted butter
                                                                                                                                                                                            Topping: mix dry ingredients and cut in butter until size of small peas; then use fingers to push topping together in clumps the size of mini-marshmallows; scatter over apple mixture and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes, until richly browned and bubbling. (At home I served this in heavy heatproof bowls, topped it with heavy unsweetened unwhipped cream, and broiled the bowls until the cream browned just very slightly.)

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                          LOL...it doesnt look like much either but the taste is out of this world!

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Tonight - a 2" thick lamb steak cut from the leg is currently taking a dip in a pool of oo, garlic, onions, fresh mint, thyme, rosemary & oregano to be seared in my stainless steel braising pan later. Yes, I've taken to preparing chops and stuff in that pan b/c my sauté pan is non-stick and I've grown fond of the brown bits. The thick steak will probably have to be finished in the oven, where a bunch of parsnips (believe it or not - first time I ever even bought parsnips!), carrots, and fennel will have been roasting with oo, s&p, and some rosemary.

                                                                                                                                                                                    No starch for us. The man wanted to make his delicious pilav, but since I'm still under the illusion that I will turn into a supermodel if I forego carbs at night.... not happening. Do hold your breath '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                      Seriously good dip in the pool, lingua! That sounds heavenly! ::::making a mental note to get some lamb this weekend!:::::

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                        I was craving lamb for some reason - haven't had it in a while. Wegmans also had butterflied legs of lamb, but I wasn't entirely sure how I'd prepare it, so asked for a thick leg slice instead.

                                                                                                                                                                                        The man is responsible for the marinade. I am hungry already :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                          Butterflied legs o' lamb are best marinated and quickly grilled. Next time. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                            I've also done one slathered in a yoghurt/garlic mix and quickly roasted. Goes well after some Cypriot style mezze.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                            I almost always have butterflied leg of lamb in the freezer because of its versatility. As Linda recommended, you can grill it. But I also trim the fat to render for cooking or cube the meat for stews and grind the leanest parts for habra, the basically non-fat mincemeat used for kibbeh.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                              Good to know for future ref. We make kebabs from cubed leg of lamb in the summer, and we've roasted whole legs of lamb. But I was kinda at a loss as to what to do with the butterflied piece...

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Totally forgot I had asparagus in the crisper. Gotta use some of that up! And I had taken a Frankenchicken breast out of the freezer, so I'll make this easy meal tonight (from "On Rice" by Richard Rodgers):

                                                                                                                                                                                        Chicken & Asparagus With Mustard-Tarragon Sauce

                                                                                                                                                                                        Serves 4 (cut all ingredient quantities in half if you're not a fan of leftovers)

                                                                                                                                                                                        2 cups long-grain rice, cooked

                                                                                                                                                                                        1/4 cup flour
                                                                                                                                                                                        freshly ground black pepper
                                                                                                                                                                                        1 1/2 lbs. boned and skinned chicken breasts, cut into strips 2" long and 1/2" wide
                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Tbsp vegetable oil
                                                                                                                                                                                        1/3 cup shallots or scallions, white parts only, finely chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                        1 lb. asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1" lengths
                                                                                                                                                                                        1 cup homemade chicken broth or low-sodium canned broth
                                                                                                                                                                                        1/3 cup dry vermouth, or white wine
                                                                                                                                                                                        1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
                                                                                                                                                                                        2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon, or 3/4 tsp. dried

                                                                                                                                                                                        In a medium bowl or plastic bag, combine the flour, 1/4 t. salt, and 1/4 t. pepper. Toss the chicken in the flour, shaking off the excess. In a large, 12-inch non-stick skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the skillet, and cook turning occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Add the remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to the skillet. Add the shallots and stir until softened, about 30 seconds. Add the asparagus and 1/2 cup of the broth. Increase the heat to high. Cover and cook until just barely tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer the asparagus with the cooking liquid to a bowl and set aside.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Return the chicken strips to the skillet. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of the broth and the vermouth and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat.

                                                                                                                                                                                        In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, mustard, and tarragon. Stir into the skillet. Return to the heat and cook until just heated through, but not boiling, about 1 minute. Stir in the asparagus and its liquid, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Spoon the rice into individual soup bowls. Top with the chicken, asparagus and sauce and serve immediately.

                                                                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                          Does Frankenchicken refer to the large size?

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                                            Yup. When you're buying a package of 4 b/s chicken breast halves and it weighs over 3.5 lbs. (and once just a smidge under 4 lbs!), they're TOO FREAKIN' BIG! LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                              That's hilarious and very fitting. I can't tell you how often I've stood in front of my burners looking at the giant chicken breasts and grumbling. I always slice them horizontally. Thinner =Tender it seems and I find those thick hunks of meat really "off-putting".
                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for the laugh.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                                                That's what I usually do as well - slice 'em in half lengthwise, and most often they give you two servings to use for a Parmigiana-type dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                                              It's a very nice LindaWhitticism. Yes it does.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                "LindaWhitticism" - I *LOVE* that! :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                  :) it came to me in a flash...as did my husband's "Alforisms" for my father Alf's pet sayings.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I bought a cabernet marinated pot roast @ Trader Joe's, and cooked it according to the slow cooker option. It was v. easy. Started it @ 1PM, and when I got home @ 6:45pm, it was done. Turned it off, made a salad, and boiled some wide noodles. Served the pot roast over the noodles, and poured the juices from the crockpot over it. Delicious! The funniest thing about this was, that when I got home, my husband had NO CLUE that the heady aroma of brisket cooking was in our condo, because he said, "the oven wasn't on". He thought it was the neighbors!

                                                                                                                                                                                            I have made 2 recipes from Bon Appetit Feb issue. The pasta with chickpeas and charred tomatoes, just fantastic. There's yr meatless Monday dish. I also made the braised lamb shanks with Swiss chard. I used kale. Also a lovely dish. There was leftover kale in the sauce, which was fabulous as a side dish the next day. The lamb flavor in it was great!

                                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: CookieLee

                                                                                                                                                                                              Everything sounds delicious! I wish we had a TJ's here in Hawaii!

                                                                                                                                                                                              As for Bon Appetit, I don't think I've ever gotten a single issue that I didn't cook at least one thing out of - especially the recipes by request from various restaurants! That's been one of my favorite magazines for years and years. Having to divest myself of all the old copies was one of the most devastating aspects of the last couple of moves I've made. Thank god for epi!

                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm still trying to find a copy of a boneless beef shortribs recipe from about a decade ago. They were cooked in wine with various veggies, then cooled overnight, the next day you skimmed off the fat, strained out the veggies, put the ribs back in the oven and reduced the cooking sauce until it made a lovely gravy. I think I'm going to have to try to wing it. That issue also had a wonderful molten chocolate brownie recipe. I served both of those at several dinner parties and got rave reviews every time. DANG!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: KailuaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                  A friend made molten chocolate cakes a few weeks ago, and they were fantastic. She was kind enough to share the recipe. Maybe it's close to what you're after:

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Molten Chocolate Cakes

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1/2 c. butter
                                                                                                                                                                                                  5 oz. dark chocolate (good quality)
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pinch of salt (they recommend coarse; I used plain)
                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 eggs
                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 egg yolks
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1/4 c. sugar (I used less)
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Tbsp. flour

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Melt butter and chocolate together in double boiler or microwave (I find micro much easier & more foolproof!). Add salt. In separate bowl, beat eggs, egg yolks, and sugar until light and foamy. Add egg mix to warm chocolate, whisking the whole time. Add flour and stir just to combine.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pour either in buttered ramekins or 5-6 foil cupcake liners (several together like that will be rigid enough to be a freestanding mold), making 4-6 cakes depending on size (I made 4 ramekins and one cupcake size the other night). Bake in preheated 450 oven for 7 minutes, until edges just set.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: KailuaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                    KailuaGirl, are you talking about the Provencal Daube recipe? In it, the short ribs are marinated in red wine, and the dish is finished with olives in the gravy. They served it with Yukon gold mashed potatoes. I have that recipe, I don't think it's on the epi website. I can copy/paste if you want it. I still have the mag, I'll look for the choc brownie recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Well, being another hot summers day I am in the mood for something delicious with mininum effort and full flavour. So it is lemongrass chicken for our dinner table tonight. I'm also in the mood for some seafood, but Mr. Huntress doesn't eat seafood (he's a freak of nature in my mind),so I may toss in some prawns for my serving for a bit of extra deliciousness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: TheHuntress

                                                                                                                                                                                                    :::::longing for a "hot summer's day":::::: Huntress. :-) Before I checked your profile, I thought "She's gotta be Down Under!" ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Enjoy your summer - and hey, would you send it up to this hemisphere sooner rather than later? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                      :D Gladly! I am so over the heat! As much as I love the perfect weather for great Vietnamese and quaffing my latest favourite sem/sav by the bottle (It's from a winery called Greedy Sheep, how can you NOT love the name!!!) I am definitely ready for some cooler weather. Cooler weather will mean chicken, chorizo and vegetable soup you can stick a spoon upright in and my favourite liqueur verdhelo, which is like plum pudding in a glass. But we don't really get a winter here, I think last year we had a total of 3 days rain.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Dinner tonight was fried trout, slaw, french fries & hush puppies...cake left from last night

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. We had pan-fried chicken breasts (parmesan-breadcrumb coated, a COTM recipe recommended by Gio), risotto w/black trumpet mushrooms, and roasted (almost to a crisp) brussels sprouts

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. It was a hectic day so dinner wasn't served until almost 9:00. It consisted of Korean take out, but really good stuff. Spicy pork, bulgogi, wakame, bean sprouts, some sort of fish cake thing that was really good, kim chee, and rice. It hit the spot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Starter - Morecambe Bay potted shrimps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Main - local Cheshire free-range pork leg, roasted. Roast spuds, sprinkled with chopped sage. Leeks, split lengthways, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with Parmesan and also cooked the oven. Carrot ribbons, "braised" in a little water, butter and honey. Apple sauce & gravy, of course.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Afters" - cheese and apple.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Dayam. That sounds WONDERFUL, Harters!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I woke up saying "it's a pork day" so I picked up two boneless center cut thick pork chops from Whole Foods. I'm thinking of stuffing them - perhaps a combo of sauteed chopped apple and celery tossed with some goat cheese crumbles and then pan browning or roasting, but I'm not sure yet. Still searching for inspiration. I'll post later if I get any of that. Inspiration, that is. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Changed my mind on the stuffed chops. I started prep a bit later than I expected. The chops have been seasoned with salt, pepper and dried thyme. They'll be pan-browned in olive oil, and then I'll add some orange juice and white wine to the pan. Covered, they'll simmer until done and I'll reduce the liquid until slightly syrupy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sides will be butternut squash, tossed with olive oil, seasoned with salt, Aleppo pepper, and drizzled with pomegranate molasses and roasted until tender, as well as leftover basmati rice from last night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                ooh that butternut squash sounds amazing - i have all those ingredients (minus the squash) at home, when i get back i'll have to try that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Visiting friends out of town and we are having our "traditional" dinner tonight: french fries and champagne. I don't remember how it started, but years ago we used to say that was the epitome of a great meal, and so tonight there will be fries and tater tots and dipping sauces (yes, AIOLI too) and salad and other delights, and plenty of bubbly. anticipating the headache tomorrow already.... or maybe that's last night's vodka sodas my hostess plied me with.... served with a cheese log and white bread - delicious late night snack (aka dinner)!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                              OMG I could not think of a better dinner. I think I want to steal that idea for my dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Like LW, I decided yesterday it was a p0rk kind 0f day/weekend.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Will dig 0ut the prk ribs fr0m the freezer and give them a nice chile/garlic rub. Sides are still up in the air.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Last night was dinner 0ut with my parents, a casual place up fr0m the plaza. Super simple and filled with l0cals. The veal marsala hit the sp0t.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                The ribs were over four lbs.-yes, I weighed and labeled them before they went into the freezer last fall. So I decided to wait until next weekend when I'll have a little company to help me eat them up. My backside does not need that much pork.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Instead, I defrosted a lamb steak and now I'm trying to figure out what to do with it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Got a few Jamie Oliver cookbooks at the library today, just so I can nominate one over the other for COTM. The recipes look really good. He has a lamb spiedini that is cooked on bay branches that is calling my name. That and some butter beans with creamed leaks and satueed kale may be dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Meh. Had plans to make palak paneer & an Indian-spiced eggplant dish to have before heading over to a poker game where there will be pizza. In order to resist that pizza, I was going to fill up on healthy food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well, I couldn't find the palak paneer spice packet I used last time, and the lady in our Indian grocery claimed I could use the one she handed me. Well, no. Not really. I mean, it tasted nowhere near palak paneer. I tried to save it with a bunch of additions, and it came out alright.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                The eggplant I had roasted (pierced) for about 35 min. in a 375˚ oven and then cooked for quite a while with some balti spice mix, tomato puree, onions, garlic, and curry mix wasn't cooked through. HATE eggplant that isn't done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Overall, not my greatest cooking endeavor. Off to the game now, where I will hopefully take everyone's money and enjoy my vodka tonics.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i won $54 - not bad given that gigs are sparse these days! and it made up for the stupid food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        oh, trust me. i am quite satisfied with that. we don't play super-high stakes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I was in a retro, comfort food mood today. I finally attempted the steamed cheese burger. OMG, it was yummy and juicy. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/671853. I washed it down with a Sierra Nevada celebration ale. For dessert I had dump cake from the Pioneer Woman website. http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/20...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The cake really deserves ice cream, but I can't eat it so I had some aerosol whipped cream instead which was good too. I feel comforted now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've always wanted to try one of those - and also the one where the cheese is melted into a frico along the edges and then lifted and molded atop the burger.....
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Going to have to give this a shot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It occurred to me as I was pouring the cheese on top of the burger that the melted cheese in a can has a lot of applications. Nachos, fondue, queso frico, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You and me both. I can get it for two bucks a can here. I try not to let the price influence my consumption.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. The way to a man's heart- a big hunk of beef slow roasted with potatoes, onions, carrots, celery with gravy made from the meat drippings and rolls. Brownies for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: vafarmwife

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's the way to many a woman's heart too. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Last night we had Trader Joe's veggie burgers, which he liked, and I didn't (the flavor was just okay, but the texture was all wrong, both mealy and too seedy). I think I'm going to have to start making my own (I've tried before, and wound up with something that looked and tasted suspiciously like black bean cakes).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Is it wrong to put smoked oysters on pizza? Because that is the first pizza tonight: oysters, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, and roasted red peppers with mozzarella. The second will be just mozzarella, basil and tomatoes. The tomatoes will be marinated in olive oil with herbs and garlic, and that oil will be used on the dough in lieu of sauce. Salads will be served first.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tomorrow, we will be having our usual sushi-martini-board-game-and-movie marathon, since, I have learned, it is Valentines day. Not Tuesday, which I was informed of after I pestered the boyfriend for having to work so early Wednesday morning. "Celebrating Monday works out much better for my schedule anyway," he said dryly. And then he showed me the calendar on his phone. So, anyway, sushi tomorrow, and I *might* bake a cake. I am as hit-or-miss at cake baking as I am with dates, though. So, we'll see.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I love the sound of your smoked oyster pizza oadl, great combo! Have fun tomorrow night as well, that really does sound like a marathon!! Enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have a foolproof cake recipe or two if you'd like, oadl.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            He likes carrot cake, pineapple upside down, OR carrot with pineapple. I only have AP on hand, and cocoa (no good chocolate), butter and shortening (no veg oil, but shortening can sub in), but I have everything else on hand. Oh, and I only have *one* brick of cream cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hit me, lady.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Here you go, Mami. It's known in my family (and probably elsewhere) as "Crazy Cake." It was popular during the depression for reasons that will become obvious, but it's really good; dense, fudgy, pretty rich. Great with a cream cheese frosting...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 c. AP flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 c. white sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 c. brown sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 t. salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 t. baking soda
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1/2 c. cocoa powder
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Using whisk, blend these ingredients in a 9by13" pan and proceed to make three wells. Into one well, put 3/4 c. veg. oil, in the next, 2 T. white vinegar, and in the 3rd well, 2 t. good vanilla. Pour two cups COLD water over the whole megillah, and stir with whisk until mixed. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, until springy - definitely check after 30 because this one benefits from being just very slightly underdone. (You can use melted butter or marge. in place of the veg oil...)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Another great one, which is like a cake topped with hot fudge, is this:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hot Fudge Cake - oven 350, 9"sq. pan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 c. white sugar, divided
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 1/2 c. brown sugar, divided in half
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              10 T. cocoa powder
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1/4 t. salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3/4 c. milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1/2 c. melted butter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 2/3 c. boiling water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In medium bowl, stir 2/3 c. white sugar, 3/4 c. brown sugar, flour, 5 T. cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Beat in milk, butter and vanilla, blend til smooth. Pour into 9" sq. pan.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Blend rem. 1/3 c. white sugar with rem. 3/4 c. brown sugar and rem. 5 T. cocoa powder. Sprinkle mixture over top of batter. Now pour your boiling water over; DO NOT STIR. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, until just set, and let rest 15 minutes before serving. If you like, you can add 1/2 c. chopped nuts, any kind, to the cake batter. I like serving this with raspberries or strawberries, and unsweetened whipped cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thank you! The hot fudge cake looks really, really good. I have walnuts and raspberries in the freezer that I bet I could work in there somehow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I actually made the crazy cake once a few years ago, after the boyfriend complained that we were spending too much money. He said it wasn't his favorite, and I explained that it was a Depression-era cake, and that this was as good as it was gonna get with the thrifty new me. He laughed and said that we always have money for *cake*.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The fudge cake looks perfect, mama. Thank you. (And it is likely that I was the ingredient that went awry in the crazy cake. The last time I told the BF I was going to bake a cake, and I asked him what kind he wanted, he said, "A moist one.") I shall do my best. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            How was the smoked oyster pizza? I bought a tin a couple weeks ago when I got a craving for oyster omelets and had to scour the Internet for an hour looking for recommendations on how to make the leftovers palatable. Hot sauce and a cracker didn't quite cut it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I liked it, *but* even I, who likes smoked oysters right out of the tin, found it a bit overwhelming after the first piece. They really did take over the pie. Using the whole tin was a mistake, and I wish I had minced them (instead of just roughly chopping), and used only half of the amount. I'll do it again, but with a *far* lighter hand, and go a bit heavier on the contrasting ingredients.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The boyfriend, who only likes smoked oysters if they are drowning in something creamy (and hates them on crackers), did not care for it at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. My head feels kind of like a basketball (thank you head cold, thank you stress) so once again Mr. has graciously volunteered to pick up the slack tonight. The game plan is "something like" hot-and-sour soup" followed by prawns in a Thai red curry made with coconut milk, Jasmine rice with cilantro and lime, and a smashed cucumber salad with ginger, black vinegar and sesame oil. I'm really hoping it will restore my taste of sense and smell. I'm also hoping that the Good Kitchen Fairy will show up and do something about the Bad Kitchen, but that remains to be seen. A lady can always fantasize. : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              sorry you're not feeling well! hope your taster comes back in time for OUR DINNER THURS!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                nothing like a hot & sour soup (can you say tom yum???) to blow out your sinuses. hope you feel better soon, and that you can taste stuff. nothing worse than everything tasting of ... nothing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. As the b-day celebrations wind down (last special meal is a COTM brunch being made by mr bc as I type so I'll be back on that one . . . he cooks maybe once per year so this will be interesting, I'm a little nervous!!) I'm back in the kitchen tonight and will be making the Short Ribs w Coffee and Chilies from the COTM. Not sure what we'll have on the side but it's the last of the Birthday Cake for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Last night w had the scrumptious Rigatoni w White Bolognese from the COTM, here's the link to our thoughts and photos if they're of interest:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Happy to report, with some modifications, the Short Ribs were a great success!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Here's the link to my review/photos if you're interested:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Tonight will be a fat 12 oz. salmon steak - pan-seared, most likely - between the man and me, cuke salad in creamy dill dressing and >gasp< spinach fettucine on the side, tossed with some oo & garlic. Tiny carby cheat. Yogurt for the rest of the month hahahaha. Not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. still out of town, so not cooking tonight. going to an old favorite bar at 4 for an early dinner of split hot dogs with a pickle down the middle, pickled hard boiled eggs and turnips, a big schooner of ice cold beer and a game or two of pool. can't wait.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Took a beef tenderloin out of the freezer last night to defrost (one from the whole tenderloin that I cut up at Christmastime).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's now marinating in a mix of about 1 Tbsp. of chopped fresh rosemary, 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley, 1 tsp. chopped dried thyme, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, 2 very large finely minced garlic cloves, about 1/3 cup olive oil, and 1/3 cup madeira.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'll remove it from the marinade, and sear it on the outside before putting it in a small roasting pan to roast in a 400° oven to medium-rare. I'll strain the marinade and save some of the garlic and pour the liquid into a fat separator to remove most of the olive oil and make a quick pan sauce with the madeira and garlic and some beef broth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sides will be roasted Yukon Gold potatoes tossed with olive oil and s/p, and steamed asparagus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Looking forward to thin slices of the beef for lunch sandwiches at work this week. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh, Linda, that sounds totally mouthwatering. You are so virtuous though! I'd be hard-pressed not to make some Yorkie puddings and gravy - but I'm a "gimmee starch and gravy" kinda girl.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I honestly don't know if I've ever had Yorkshire pudding, mamachef. So my roasted taters will suffice for my starch. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            mmmm yorkshire pudding.... drool. we never made it savory, tho. i mean, not with gravy or beef drippings like is traditional. we would make it in muffin tins and then eat it with butter and orange honey. SO GOOD! my mom really loved them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sounds almost like an early Valentine's dinner.... yowzah!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I guess that's what it is - but it's just for myself. If I don't treat myself right, who else will? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. I'm not sure if what I did qualifies as "cooking," more like "assembling," but the end result was tasty. I sauteed some diced onion and celery with low-fat kielbasa and a few bay leaves, then stirred in a box of Zattarain's (reduced salt) red beans and rice. Simmered for 25 min., added a splash of soy sauce, and topped with tobasco and black pepper. That's what was WFL.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Not sure WFD---probably up to DH, as I have lots to do tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "Loaded" baked potato tonight. Even though it has warmed up and the weather is supposed to be beautiful for the rest of the week, I just finished baking 8 potatoes and I'll have most of them for lunch throughout the week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I sauteed mushrooms, garlic and fresh basil and dumped that over the potato along with some nonfat Greek yogurt and Gorgonzola.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'll probably make a salad a little later.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've been craving baked potatoes with stew or something warm - like chili for days now. I'll have to make this for dinner this week, and I'm truly looking forward to them!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Sorry been a bit busy-hard to keep up!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Tonight was a grilled mackerel with a ponzu, garlic, scallion, and ginger sauce (yuzu pepper for the adults). Typical side dishes, rice with nori, miso soup and spinach with sesame.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Homemade pasta: linguine with guanciale, garlic, pecorino romano and arugula. Bottle of red.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Deb did all the work. Well, almost.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. We're zooming through the WFD threads...I've started a new one here: