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What's for Dinner? Part 86 [OLD]

So, has spring inspired you yet? Are you perfecting beloved favorites, or sinking your teeth into new cooking projects? Tell us what is gracing your table. What’s for dinner?

(I couldn’t resist a little pun there. My apologies.)

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  1. I got caught up in some stuff last night, and wound up making a quick batch of soyrizo and eggs. So the salmon pasta is still waiting to be cooked and served. But I am glad I waited, as this morning I found a bit of encouragement on the last thread, and am going to use my pasta machine for the first time. Because I've only had it for six months. What's the rush, right?

    I'll bake the salmon, and then flake it to add to a garlic, lemon, and tarragon butter sauce to dress my fresh egg pasta, and likely use up the last little bit of parmesan I have on hand. I'm quite excited to turn out a noodle that doesn't look as if it's had a terrible accident, as my hand-rolled-and-cut ones so often did in the past. It is a hand-crank machine, though, so we'll see how long my excitement lasts.

    2 Replies
    1. re: onceadaylily

      Sounds delicious! Have fun with the pasta maker. Wednesdays I get my fish share and since it's nearly always cod or flounder (or similar) I had a plan for each for tonight. But it's hake, which I really only care for if it's heavily disguised as fishcakes and I already have a bunch of those in the freezer from the last time it was hake. So my share partner gets my share as well as hers (she's out of fishcakes) and I'll stop at the store on my way home to see what takes my fancy. There's some nice chard and cauliflower at home to go with whatever I pick up. Or maybe I'll just have one of those fishcakes with them....

      1. re: GretchenS

        " . . . (she's out of fishcakes)"

        Your entire post made me laugh, Gretchen. You are hilarious. And lucky to have a fish share. I would kill for that.

    2. My wife went out to lunch today with a neighbor. When that happens dinner is solo because my wife comes home without an appetite. Altho I cook and there's Texas-style chili in the fridge and freezer that I made, she wants me to eat the leftover casserole that she creatively prepared a couple of days ago. The casserole tasted very good, and her creativity amazed me.

      I'm the one who belongs to the "What if...?" school of culinary arts specializing "cuisine impromptu." I made a caldron of minestrone arrabbiata denso this morning, enough for 14 servings. Stuff that needed to be used residing in the fridge were some of the ingredients. For example, sweet potato hummus made with garbanzo beans and garlic a week ago was used as well as chopped midrib stems from kale along with the remainder of prepared mustard rinsed out of a squeeze plastic container that made it impossible to retrieve any other way.

      Vivi, ama, ridi e mangia bene! (Live, love, laugh and eat well!)

      Buon appetito!

      3 Replies
      1. re: ChiliDude

        I love using kale ribs. And I always do a rinse of my bottles to add to a dish! My mustard usually goes toward a salad or a fish marinade. It sounds as if both you and your wife are very creative. You must have fun in your kitchen, ChiliDude.

        1. re: ChiliDude

          e doppo, bevi, e dormi!

          your sweet potato hummus sounds really good!

          1. re: mariacarmen

            The hummus recipe is on my Thought for Food blog. I forgot to mention in the process that the chickpeas should be rinsed.

            http://kitchenexperimenter.blogspot.c...

        2. Chicken cobb salad, sort of. Bed of greens and shredded carrots, topped with red onion rings, shredded chicken breast, bacon, chopped hard boiled eggs, sliced strawberries ( didn't have any tomatoes, or time to go to the store, and wanted something red, but it wasn't bad!) shaved aged gouda, and fat free feta. choice of bottled dressings. home from work at 5, granddaughter's t-ball practice by 6.

          2 Replies
          1. re: sunflwrsdh

            That is a very interesting version of cobb, sunflower. I've never used strawberries in a green salad, but I think the boyfriend would be a little interested if I used onion and feta with it. And, yeah, bacon. My nephew, a few states away, just had his first t-ball practice this week. I envy you being able to go and watch. :)

            1. re: onceadaylily

              Strawberries in green salad are really good, and it doesn't need to be Cobb! I love them in just a regular green salad. This week's WW "weekly" brochure has a recipe for a salad with strawberries and goat cheese with an orange dressing. Haven't made it yet, but probably will, it sounds really good.
              Only got to watch a few minutes of T-ball practice, I usually watch my grandson (almost 3) during his sister's practice, and we went to practice for a little while, till he got bored and started throwing sand on a little girl, then we went "to see the lobsters" (code for quick trip to the grocery store, where he always checks out the lobster tank!)

          2. BF is a master at repurposing leftovers. tonight, he took leftover chicken (raw), ground it in FP, made meatballs, served that with our roasted butternut squash which he napped with my asian-spicy marinade from Saturday night, and reheated the cauliflower fritters, for which he made a mustard/shallot sauce (DELISH COMBO), another cabbage-y salad, oh, and with leftover celeriac, and a rice frittata with two batches of leftover rice we had. Pts. friendly, yummy, and he's cute as all get-out, to boot.

            9 Replies
                1. re: rabaja

                  God, I love you, rabaja. And that damn BF-made dinner.

                  And mustard and shallots are truly fantastic together.

                  1. re: mariacarmen

                    Lucky you! my husband is back to work full time, and will be working evenings, starting on Saturday. So I will be doing most of the cooking around here, and will miss his cooking for us greatly! And he is pretty cute for a 60-year old, too:)

                    1. re: sunflwrsdh

                      my BF went away for 6-1/2 weeks earlier this year and i gained 7 lbs.!!! i cannot be left to my own devices. He's not allowed to do that again! Bummer about your hubby... he'd better do double duty on Sundays! ( :

                      1. re: mariacarmen

                        Wow.....your bf really is an inspiration for you! My husband will only be off on Wednesdays and Thursdays or Thursdays and Fridays all summer, but he is already picking up the slack.....he is also great at repurposing leftovers, and made chicken enchilada pizza tonight. Leftover skinny taste enchilada seasoned shredded chicken, his own home made whole wheat pizza crust, a can of enchilada sauce, shredded 2% mexican cheese, and some cilantro, topped after baking with some pico de gallo and ff sour cream. I think 4 points per slice!

                        1. re: sunflwrsdh

                          enchilada pizza! that sounds amazing!

                          1. re: mariacarmen

                            It really was good. I had it for lunch the next day, and even better..

                  2. Charcoal-grilled ribeyes and steamed broccoli. That's all we need.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: EWSflash

                      mmmmm that's all anyone really needs....

                      1. Eats are in two stages tonight.

                        Early, we're having a a slice of quiche and some asparagus.

                        We're then going out to an election "hustings" meeting in the village. Dunno why, really. We both know who we're voting for - but herself is keen to see if one of the candidates is really as vacuous as she appears in her literature. I'm convinced she is - but am allowing myself to be dragged along on the promise of "Dinner, Phase 2" - a visit to one of the three Indian restaurants in the village. Big lamb curry, daal, tandoori roti......indigestion tablets......

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Harters

                          Indigestion tablets .... due the vacuity of the candidate as much as the indian fare, no doubt.....

                          1. re: Harters

                            Not the most pleasant of evenings. Quiche & asparagus was fine. Politician was not only vacuous but small-minded and exceptionally petty. And her partner decided to pick an argument with me afterwards over something I'd posted on the village discussion board. An unpleasant piece of work. And the curry was poor.

                            Anyway, tomorrow's another day - with the prospect of a Michelin 1* dinner by one of our leading chefs to look forward to. And fancy 4* hotel to stay in tomorrow night - which means big hotel breakfast Saturday morning. Followed by some shopping at the farm shop owned by the Duke & Duchess of Devonshire. No slumming it by Harters & Hartess, then.

                            1. re: Harters

                              Have you gone to Chatsworth then Harters? I've had many, many long and lovely walks over there.

                              Hope you'll have a fry-up for me!

                          2. Venison Pot Pie....cheated a little this time as I made French Onion Soup over the weekend and I used that in the crock pot with the stew ingredients to cook my filling. Throw some dough over it when I get home and bang……Venison Pot Pie…..

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: River19

                              I haven't had venison in years. My brother is a fantastic hunter . . . but not so great at sharing. He does most of the cooking in his family, and would probably like that combination. I'll pass it along.

                            2. I spent the evening driving from one Baskin Robbins to the next (luckily there are quite a few within a couple miles of my home), eating scoop after scoop of ice cream! LOL!

                              Yesterday was their 31 cent scoops from 5pm-10pm. I couldn't resist! So, tonite will have to be something substancial to make up for the sugar meal last night HAHAHAHA

                              6 Replies
                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                  yeah, 9 scoops of ice cream total! OOF! But for less than 3 bucks all together it was quite the deal!
                                  ...and...and...and...and their Black Walnut is the best and my absolute favorite! LOL

                                  So, I'm poking around here to try and get some ideas for tonite.

                                  1. re: Novelli

                                    That is such a funny and good ideal!

                                    1. re: Novelli

                                      Maybe 7-8 years ago visiting in a small town, I ran across a container of Black Walnut ice cream, either Ben and Jerry's or Hagen Daz.

                                      I make ice cream with very good ingredients and use a compressor ice cream maker, and I keep bags of black walnuts in my freezer year-round, but I've never tasted nor seen either one of those ice creams again.

                                      I grew up with one of my grandmothers making fudge on Saturday night during black walnut season, and we always used black walnuts in it. The best fudge is with black walnuts!!

                                      I know you really enjoyed your ice cream.

                                  2. re: Novelli

                                    That's a riot! Wish I'd of known - love me some ice cream!

                                    1. re: Novelli

                                      OK, finally getting around to reading this Novelli - now THAT is funny! Good for you for getting your money's worth - hope they were all close enough so you didn't spend so much in gas! LOL

                                    2. Pinto beans cooked according to NMCW's instructions for red beans (but I tossed in some green bell pepper and red pepper flake...couldn't help myself.) We'll have that with cornbread and maybe a little boiled rice. Definitely salad with vinegary dressing.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                        I miss that woman! How were her beans? I have some pintos in the pantry.

                                        1. re: onceadaylily

                                          Beans were great! I recommend! I added some seasoned salt, too.

                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                            Can you paraphrase her recipe for me, Christina?

                                      2. Skinny Taste baked macaroni and cheese, and a tossed salad. It was an ok lightened up mac and cheese, but I really think maybe mac and cheese is one thing I will never be happy with the lightened up version,because the real one is just too good. My regular recipe for mac and cheese (which is based on a Betty Crocker recipe from the 70's) is 10 WW points plus for one cup. I am happier with 1/2 cup of that than a full cup of any lightened up version I have tried. although, this one was pretty good, it had baby spinach in it, used whole wheat pasta and fat free chicken broth for some of the liquid in the sauce. But....it also uses 8 oz reduced fat cheddar cheese, and I really like real cheese, and a good mixture of it!

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: sunflwrsdh

                                          I don't know if I could limit myself to a 1/2 cup...that's one reason I never make it.
                                          If I used a Gina recipe I'd probably break down and sit down with the whole pan on the second day. Yes, I have some issues :)

                                        2. I am thinking towards Mothers Day and experimented tonight with a shaved asparagus salad with crispy prosciutto topped with a poached egg. I liked the recipe overall but might dress it with a lighter hand next time around.

                                           
                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: LiveRock

                                            gorgeous! there's nothing that a lovely poached egg doesn't dress up, is there?

                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                              Thanks Maria...eggs, poached and otherwise are one of my favorite easy dinners!

                                            2. re: LiveRock

                                              That looks beautiful! Would you please share the recipe?

                                                1. re: LiveRock

                                                  Thanks. I'm going to try it soon:)

                                            3. Gussied up some take-away larb gai. It was very satisfying, and I just added some extra romaine and bulgur and cucumbers.
                                              For $9 the portion was teeny-tiny, however. I really need to plan ahead and make my own. It's one of my favorite warm weather meals.

                                              3 Replies
                                                1. re: sunflwrsdh

                                                  It's a Thai chicken salad (sometimes called laab). It's delicous and absolutely addictive.
                                                  I usually chop or grind chicken breast (although there are pork and beef recipes out there too), which is then lightly poached in salted water, and immediately tossed with toasted rice powder, lime juice, fish sauce and ground chilis.
                                                  It's served on top of lettuces and/or cabbage with cucumber and often fried shallots.
                                                  It's traditionally eaten with sticky rice, but I love it with bulgur too.
                                                  Lot's of good recipes on line, I'm sure I'm forgetting some key ingredients.

                                              1. Day in the city with my sister and her 10 month old. We may try to make chicken taco salads, it all depends on my nieces nap time and general good humor. If things go south I'm heading back up North and scavenging for what I can.
                                                There is an In n Out on the way home... Tempting.
                                                The cover comes off the grill tomorrow. My wfd posts should improve some!

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: rabaja

                                                  I'm planning to pick up another whole sirloin and have it cut into 1-inch thick steaks tomorrow when I go grocery shopping, which will
                                                  A) Get me some help with the cooking ( my son-in-law will grill and does a great job with steaks)
                                                  and
                                                  B) Get us some delicious meals My plan for Sunday is grilled sirloin, with some sort of WW friendly pasta salad, and the salad featured in this week's WW weekly pamphlet, with strawberries and goat cheese. Then one day later in the week, I plan to have a steak salad.....just green salad with paper thin sliced steak over it.

                                                2. Ramp risotto, first of the year. Glass of poor white wine.

                                                   
                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: THewat

                                                    Are these ramps home picked or bought? They look beautifully fresh and CLEAN.

                                                    1. re: Rella

                                                      Laughing - dug them in the morning. The ramps may be clean, but you should see my sink. I do some of it outside with a hose, but it doesn't really save me getting dirt everywhere.

                                                    2. re: THewat

                                                      These look so fresh and healthy, bet I'd like them. Emjoy your risotto!

                                                    3. Last night I tried two new recipes; a Chicken Saltimbocca from "Marcella Says..." and Farfalle w Broccoli from "Giada's Everyday Pasta". Happy to report both were real hits. That chicken was so delicious, moist & flavourful and the pasta was the perfect compliment. I've made similar broccoli/chili/garlic pastas in the past but the anchovy is what really makes this dish special. I did make a couple of changes to Marcella's dish by substituting prosciutto for the pancetta she intended and, by making a pocket in the chicken breasts vs pressing 2 chicken pieces together.
                                                      So yummy, the sauce on the chicken was especially fabulous.

                                                      Today's sunshine has inspired us to bbq tonight and mr bc has been craving hamburgers so now I'm just sorting out what else to serve. . .

                                                       
                                                       
                                                      7 Replies
                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                        Well, burgers it was last night and they sure were tasty. First of the season on the grill and we're always struck w how much we miss them!! Served alongside was a yummy Poutine w an Onion-Thyme gravy. No room for dessert!!

                                                        Tonight we're embarking on the new COTM adventure and I'll be making the Chicken with Sumac, Za'atar and Lemon from the original Ottolenghi book and I haven't yet decided on a side dish. I was thinking some Fattoush would work well but unfortunately our weather has taken a turn for the worse today and its cool and rainy so something roasted may be in order instead. Rubee did some lovely Greek-style Lemon roasted potatoes that looked fabulous so we'll just have to see. . . .

                                                        Happy Sunday dining everyone! Hope your weather is better than ours here in Toronto.

                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                          Breadcrumbs, this poutine thing interests me. I don't remember it at all when I was growing up (chips with gravy, yes). I don't even remember it in Laval when I used to go on exchange visits. When did it get big in Ontario?

                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                            LIke you buttertart, I didn't grow up knowing of it and, during my university days we made several trips to Montreal to watch the Leafs beat the Habs (Hah!) and I don't recall ever seeing it or hearing of it then either.

                                                            I'm not sure when it became popular in Ontario though I do know places like New York Fries and Harvey's have it on their regular menus so it clearly has its followers.

                                                            It wasn't something that particularly appealed to me until I attended a conscious food festival last year and a very nice restaurant had a booth where they were serving some made w roasted fingerling potatoes, bacon, cheese curds and an onion-thyme gravy. We were immediately hooked and have been enjoying variations thereof ever since.

                                                            Poutine 1 - Waistlines - 0

                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                              That sounds better than what they're serving up in the States as poutine.
                                                              What's worse, the Leafs losing or the waistline winning?

                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                i tried poutine about 9 years ago in Montreal - none of the ones i tasted were as good as what you describe - usually greasy fries covered in cheese curds and some type of ground meat sauce. i can totally see it as hangover food, but that's about it!

                                                          2. I'm with Breadcrumbs, the weather has inspired my husband and I too. Upon asking what he'd like for dinner (yes I know it's only 8:30 in the am) I got the answer I hoped for, something grilled. I don't know what I'd like, so I'm thinking either chicken or pork. I love dinner and I'm so looking forward to a great big fresh salad with a whole lot of goodies in it. Dessert is another questionable, I have apples so is this the day I try to make my mom's French Apple Pie? Maybe it's time to do it. My palms are sweating already!

                                                            1. My pasta machine wound up giving me a bit of trouble. Even after cleaning it, running a batch through, and cleaning it again, it sounded gritty when I turned the crank. A little research turned up the need for mineral oil, which I applied. I let it sit for a while, and then it was time for dinner, and I had to use dried pasta in order to feed the man (I used fennel, tarragon, butter, olive oil, lemon juice and rind, and black pepper on the salmon, and he raved about it). The next morning, I checked in on the pasta machine, and it appears to be in working order.

                                                              Tonight, we are making pizza for dinner. I've had to put some thought into what I'm putting on mine, as some of my usual suspects are temporarily off my list. The boyfriend surprised me with a sushi dinner last night, and I wound up (again) with a terrible case of hives. I've always attributed these to stress . . . but I was really happy last night, and completely relaxed. I jumped into a cold shower, and when I got out, the boyfriend was googling 'fish allergies and hives'. I said, "No, no, no, no, no." He rejoined with, "Maybe, maybe, maybe?" I blurted out, "But I'm a pescetarian!" We sat there for a minute, and then we both started laughing. He said I had the worst luck of anyone he's ever met. So, no fish for a week, and then I will eat it very deliberately, and see what happens. In the past twenty-four hours, I had no less than six types of fish, spread out over four different meals. I'm hoping I have a sensitivity to just *one* of those guys. My money's on the salmon.

                                                              So, no clam pizza, no anchovies, and the basil at the market looked terrible the other day, so no margherita pizza. I think I'm going to marinate some tomatoes with garlic and artichoke hearts, and then maybe toss it with a little spinach just before I top the pizza with the mixture. We also have some beautifully dark and oily olives in the fridge, so I might sneak some of those in the mix. I probably will. ;)

                                                              12 Replies
                                                              1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                OH NO! I hope it's not the fish, I'll be devasted for you. I've often thought about that allergy, and how are bodies can just one day say, "whoa enough" and become allergic. Well, for what it's worth your alternative pizza sound really yummy. I love artichoke hearts on pizza.

                                                                I'll pray for you. : )

                                                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                  Thanks. And I know! I can't be 'just' a vegetarian. I've given up so many foods I love already. If I have to ditch the fish, I'll have to do a lot of thinking about this whole shebang. I did read that salmon is frequently a culprit in this sort of thing. I'm going to approach this systematically: give my body a break from this, and then reintroduce different types of fish, give it a few days in between, and just wait to see what my body does. I hope the weather warms up though, because that cold shower last night was unpleasant. :)

                                                                  1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                    You're such a wonderful cook, wth? Now that really sucks. 'scuse my verbage, I just feel for you. I've seen hives in their full blown glory on my middle child. Found out he was allergic to straberries when he ate Dannon's strawberry yogurt at around age 3. My gosh, he looked like Rocky after a fight, and the hives looked so horrible. Benadryl was all they prescribed, and thankfully he outgrew the problem.
                                                                    Salmon huh? And it could be just one type of salmon too, cross your fingers. So what the heck are you eating?

                                                                    1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                      Aw, thanks, chicklet. And I guess I might be eating lots of vegetables, especially mushrooms, and, well, there's always dairy to make life more gratifying. Thank god for soyrizo, though. It's not as spicy as chorizo, which makes it more versatile.

                                                                      Hives . . . yeah, it's strange to sit and watch them *happen*. They didn't hurt (I itched the next day), but it just kept spreading, and were rough to the touch. A cold shower really does help, but I can't imagine putting a little one through that, unless you have the time and money for the subsequent therapy bills! I've gotten hives three times in the past few months, and it wasn't until the other night that I even connected it to a *food*. It is so strange, the way food allergies can come on, or depart.

                                                                      1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                        I have had hives too, and they really are awful! I wasn't ever able to completely pin my allergic reactions down, but the culprit one time, by process of elimination, seemed to be Dove dark chocolate, so i have been really careful about dark chocolate ever since!

                                                                    2. re: onceadaylily

                                                                      I'm allergic to only certain kinds of fish. If you are allergic to fish, then perhaps you will get lucky and be able to discover which ones, and be able to stay away from those particular ones.

                                                                      Hives on head, hives around the hairline of neck, and two particular outbreak spots on my back.

                                                                      1. re: Rella

                                                                        Oy. I jumped in the shower after my boyfriend said, "They're going up your NECK." The look on his face was kind of priceless. ;) But I'd never had hives spread that far before (neck, arms and back). I ate a ridiculous amount of fish in a small period of time, but salmon was the only repeater other than tuna--which I can't see being the issue. Tuna seems so innocuous, doesn't it? I just hope this isn't a a signal of a growing intolerance.

                                                                        1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                          Check out (google) pityriasis rosea pictures if it covers your body.

                                                                          I have a complete body breakout from antibiotics which looks similar to the pictures of pityriasis rosea.

                                                                          Pityriasis rosea differs (in me) in that it itches intolerably for about 2-3 months and covers the body - brought on by food allergy..

                                                                          Hives go away in a day (or two) brought on by food or chemical sensitivites..

                                                                      2. re: onceadaylily

                                                                        OADL, have you tried ONLY eating wild-caught fish? I wonder if farm-raised could be a factor in potential allergies?

                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                          The suspected salmon was wild-caught. It was more expensive, a little bit of a splurge, and I was excited to cook it . . . maybe I've been eating the farm-raised fish so long I've grown dependent on pond sludge? ;)

                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                        I didn't think about the nori. That's an interesting suggestion. I have a couple packages in the pantry. I could add those to the rotation and see if I 'bloom' again.

                                                                    3. Well, after a very full hotel cooked breakfast and a substantial roast-pork-with-all-the-trimmings lunch at the cafe at the Duchess' farm shop we waddled round the corner to do some shopping. Needless to say, dinner was almost the furthest thing from our minds and, to a large extent, still is. However, if we do come to be a bit peckish, then we hoovered up potted shrimps, a pork pie (the sort you eat cold), some smoked ham, a couple of pre-preppeed salads, a crusty loaf and a wodge of mature Cheddar (apparently the only Cheddar made in Cheddar)

                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                        cheddar wodge - bigger than a smadge, i'd imagine?

                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                          Much bigger.

                                                                          A smadge, or worse, smidge of good cheddar would be pointless.

                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                            Smidge, smadge, wodge. Love it. :-) (And I agree - a smidge of a good cheddar is indeed pointless!)

                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                              You forget splodge - usually a bit more than a tablespoon - at least it is in metric.

                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                Oh yes, how could I have forgotten splodge? The British version of sploosh, I suspect. :-)

                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                  Possibly - but I think we Brits take the spelling from the Dutch - splooje. Literally I think that means "throw the cheese in the sea". But my Dutch isnt good enough to be sure.

                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                    Ahhh, now that makes sense. Either way - fun words to use. Real or made up. :-)

                                                                      2. it's like summer outside, but i had a craving for a baked stuffed potato, and that's what we're going with. we'll portion control everything on it so that it fits in with WW but is also satisfying: little bit o' sour cream (or non-fat yogurt if i get to the store), green onions, maybe steamed broccoli, salsa, real bacon bits, smidge of grated cheese.... accompanied by some steamed brussels sprouts in a mustard/shallot sauce, and a green leafy salad.

                                                                        although rabaja's laab is calling out my name.... maybe that's tomorrow's repast.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                          mc what about some tzatziki on that potato? YUM! A new favourite at our place. I've also roasted the broccoli spritzed w olive oil and tossed w a few chili flakes and some lemon zest for a potato topper and it's so delicious. . .

                                                                          Ok, you've totally got us craving baked potatoes!!

                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                            oooh, good idea about the tsatziki! but don't have the yogurt or cuke on hand, so, next time.

                                                                        2. Yesterday, I fried up a mess (alot) of breams, all brown & crispy. To go with, potato salad, slaw, green beans and hush puppies. Today started with a hefty turkey & white cheddar sandwich ATW (all the way, meaning, lettuce, tomato, mayo, jalapenos) around 2:30 pm, followed by a spicy Caribbean beef patty and some crumb cake at 7 p.m. That was WFD!

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                            You just made me so hungry. I grew up on bluegill in Michigan, and only just learned through CH that those tasty fish go by quite a few different names (including bream), depending on the region. Growing up, I never knew how lucky I was to have freshly caught and fried-up fish so often. That is a beautiful menu, Cheryl.

                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                              You can't imagine how great fresh fish is until you catch them yourself...I recently got into fishing and caught those breams. Talk about something good.....

                                                                          2. Nothing exciting on the food front for me. Just a beef roast with the usual trimings for Ssunday lunch and a pot of soup beans cooking to have with cornbread and fried potatoes for the week.

                                                                            12 Replies
                                                                            1. re: vafarmwife

                                                                              Exciting day for a VA wife, here. Finding at Wegmans, Leesburg yesterday a fantastic bunch of ramps, I'm wondering if I can make a proper risotto, as someone here on Chowhound said that they made with their ramps which gave me the idea. I saw no recipe given. I'll have to wing it.

                                                                              I looked hopefully in my forested-over small piece of acreage, but disappointedly found no fresh ramps there. (Sigh!)

                                                                                1. re: THewat

                                                                                  Many thanks to you for this recipe. Yes, I will be using more ramps, too.
                                                                                  I appreciate your comment.

                                                                                  1. re: THewat

                                                                                    Hello - and thanks again. I made the recipe. I, too, used more ramps. I deleted the shallot. Used grana padano for the parmesan reggiano.

                                                                                    I have been slacking off parm regg lately because it seems a little too bitter for my taste. Day before yesterday I used pecorino romano in a lasagna and liked it better than parm regg.

                                                                                    I used a Chateau Suau Bordeaux 2009 for the wine in the ramps risotto and drank it with the ramps risotto. It is an in-expensive bordeaux supplied by my favorite importer, Kysela Imports who just happens to have the most fabulous website I've ever seen re the wines he imports, showing photos of the owners, their land, their wineries and methods and all the wines each owner makes.

                                                                                    I didn't use "my best on-hand" arborio, but used the blue boxed Campanini brand.

                                                                                    It all turned out great. Thank you.

                                                                                  2. re: Rella

                                                                                    Wow I mow the ramps that come up in my yard.

                                                                                    1. re: vafarmwife

                                                                                      Yep, $12.99 per lb. at Wegmans.
                                                                                      Just my opinion, but I wouldn't be eating ramps that had been sprayed with weed control.

                                                                                      1. re: Rella

                                                                                        Honey I got a yard not a lawn...i have dandelions, wild strawberry, wild white violets and other forms of undesirables for lawns. My weed control is when the cows break through the fence and come in the yard to munch. I don't live in the burbs where I have to spray the lawn or keep up with the Jones or Smiths.

                                                                                        1. re: vafarmwife

                                                                                          Honey I got a yard not a lawn...

                                                                                          LOVE. IT.
                                                                                          And all of your lawn undesirables sound like desirables to me!

                                                                                          1. re: vafarmwife

                                                                                            I should have taken heed from your "vafarmwife." I never know whether to call my 'yard', a 'yard' or 'my property' which sounds a little pretentious.

                                                                                            I, too, have a 'yard."

                                                                                            Here in Shenandoah County...

                                                                                            1. re: Rella

                                                                                              My yard is definitely low maintenance. It's gets fertilized when the cows break through the yard fence or when the hubby brings the tractors in to wash the mud and manure off them. It gets seeded when he brings in the hay equipment to wash them. I've come home to the neighbor's herd of Holsteins in the yard, the other neighbor's pigs or their flock of turkeys.

                                                                                              1. re: vafarmwife

                                                                                                Time to pick a bunch of ramps -- that is if they are still there :-))

                                                                                                There is one of my WV relatives (a grown man) who I've heard cried when someone mistakenly threw out the mess of ramps.

                                                                                  3. Navarin of lamb.

                                                                                    Now, I wouldnt claim that this is anything traditionally French but it;s what we usually call nay light lamb stew that we cook in the spring. Whatever......there's some nice stuff to go in. Lamb is from my usual supplier - Mansergh Hall - and is a cross of Texel and Cheviot sheep. There's lovely looking chanteray carrots, organic shallots, celery, turnip, tomato and a very pretty partly pink skinned new potato ( a new variety apparently developed in Belgium called "Miss Blush" - awwwww"

                                                                                    Oh, and there'll be potted shrimps to start and a lemon and lime cheesecake for afters.

                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                      Ha. Love the 'Miss Blush'. That is surprisingly cute . . . for a potato. It must be nice to know where your meat comes from, eh?

                                                                                      I have to go look up potted shrimp.

                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                          When I looked it up, I was interested to see that it was a preserved dish (versus a dish that did not need to be preserved before it is consumed, or a set of preserved ingredients that are not consumed on their own). Also, the inclusion of cream cheese seemed to be split fifty-fifty among the recipes I looked at. Is that a common ingredient to you, or the kind of interpretation that gets tossed in when it's created in, oh, say, the Food Network kitchens in the US?

                                                                                          1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                            Absolutely uncommon. Potted shrimps are just the shrimps and flavoured butter.

                                                                                            Almost always, they are a bought product rather than something made at home. The reason for this is not least shrimps are so tiny it'd be a real pain in the arse to shell them (we distinguish between "shrimps" which are very tiny and anything larger which is a "prawn").

                                                                                            If you were to make at home, you'd almost fill your ramekin with shrimps and then pour over the melted butter, completely sealing in the shellfish. The butter is intended as a preservative.

                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                              American popcorn shrimp drowned in butter!

                                                                                    2. First off, Happy May Day. To honor the occasion and the fantastic weather we are enjoying in Sonoma, CA I am having my first BBQ of the season.

                                                                                      Nothing too fancy, hamburgers/cheeseburges, old-fashioned potato salad, farro with favas and pesto (my Mom's '10 vintage, thank you Mom), and berry shortcake for dessert.

                                                                                      The buns are from an epicurious recipe that I am asked to make all the time for work, so it'll be nice to enjoy them at home for a change. I'm thinking of sneaking some whole wheat flour in them, but that does risk putting off the guests. Hey, I'm offering potato salad with mayo, hard-boiled egg and olives, let's have some wheat with that, shall we?

                                                                                      Snacks beforehand are being supplied by the good folks coming, but I am thinking about picking up chips and guac from El Molino down the road. They are too good not to.

                                                                                      ps Linda Whit, is it moving day? If it is, hope all goes well and that you are happy and exhilerated in the the midst of what most certainly will be exhaustion and overwhelmingness. My motto for unpacking is the same as for packing: Room by room! Bathroom first, in this case.

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: rabaja

                                                                                        Happy May Day to you, lady. And that does it! I'm making my first-of-the-year potato salad. It just keeps cropping up, and I can just *taste* it (even though the wind still blows in the 40's at night here, and ten degrees better during the day).

                                                                                        I'm kind of jealous of Linda being able to make friends with a new kitchen.

                                                                                        Have fun, rabaja!

                                                                                        1. re: rabaja

                                                                                          It was the Master BEDROOM first, rabaja! My haven away from boxes. Then the bathroom partially done so I could at least enjoy a shower on Saturday morning. Oh - and making sure the coffeemaker box was clearly labeled so I could enjoy a cuppa when I woke up. :-)

                                                                                        2. rabaja inspired me with her Chicken laab, so i found a recipe on epicurious.com that had nary a drop of oil in it but packed a ton of flavor. served with romaine leaves for wraps, broken rice, and a salad of slivered cukes, cabbage, green onions, carrots, manila mango chunks, a mere droplet of sesame oil, fresh lime juice, and rice wine vinegar. that laab is going into the rotation. totally pt. friendly and absolutely delicious. I ran out of limes before i got enough juice for the laab sauce, so i used the juice of a ruby grapefruit, which was either indiscernible or made it that much better. Thanks rabaja!

                                                                                          http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
                                                                                          (we didn't have it as an appetizer, but as the main course.)

                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                            I've had this on my "to try" list - I can't wait. Thanks for posting.

                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                              mariacarmen, if you enjoy laab, you might also really like yum woon sen. It's a similar Thai salad with glass noodles. I made some over the weekend and really like this recipe:
                                                                                              http://www.khiewchanta.com/archives/s...
                                                                                              Thai salads are so tasty as it starts to get warm!

                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                That sounds like a great meal -- and perfect for the face-of-the-sun temps in LA right now.

                                                                                                I have a question for you, rabaja and anyone else who wants to weigh in...do you use standard ground chicken for your larb or do you chop it yourself? I feel like the average pre-ground chicken in stores would be too mushy for larb, but I'm far too lazy to get that kind of fine chop by hand with a knife myself.

                                                                                                1. re: mebby

                                                                                                  I was just going to comment on the hand chopping thing. I personally prefer to hand chop the chicken breast, but I will buy ground meat in a pinch.

                                                                                                  The texture is just better, and it doesn't have to be a perfect chop either. Some smaller and larger bits give the larb a nice texture. You do need to be careful when poaching the meat (I always use salted water, not broth), as it can dry out easily when using straight up chicken breast.

                                                                                                  I am thinking about making it for dinner tonight, and chopping the meat ahead of time so I can home at 8pm and throw the whole thing together quickly.
                                                                                                  eta: I would use ground meat without any hesitancy, if it made the difference between making larb and NOT making larb. A lot of restaurants I've tried do this too.

                                                                                                  1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                    my BF had the butcher grind it, although for other dishes he's ground it himself in the food processor. I found the texture when using the raw chicken the butcher ground for us a bit mushy, but once i got it in the pan and poached it (i used broth, as my recipe called for it), it separated nicely with a bit of help from a fork (which actually gave us some bigger/smaller bits). we weren't sure whether the butcher gave us light and/or dark meat (language problem), but we didn't find it dry. I'd like to try the small chop sometime.

                                                                                                    1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                      Thanks, rabaja. And good point, larb is pretty great in all its forms so I just need to make some.

                                                                                                2. Tonight we had NY Strips that I salted overnight and let hang out with some fresh bruised rosemary and a drizzle of olive oil. They were pretty good, but I overcooked them to medium. Sad---a crime against meat. Next time I will just sear on both sides and set aside, rather than finishing in the oven.

                                                                                                  Alongside: asparagus roasted with lemon juice and olive oil (meh), mixed greens with tomatoes, grapes, and homemade garlic croutons. Yum! I made a dressing of lemon juice and zest, olive oil, salt, pepper, coarse mustard, honey, thyme, scallion, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and parsley. Dressing and croutons were the highlight, for me, anyway. Oh, and baked Yukon Golds with butter.

                                                                                                  Drink/dessert was Lagunitas Brown Shugga'.

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                    feel your pain! last summer i painstakingly followed phurstluv's instructions on how to dry beautiful rib eyes in the fridge for at least 24 hours, and then i burned the *!$@! out of them in a moment's inattention at the grill. such a waste......

                                                                                                    but i have to say, i love it when a meal's highlight is something like croutons. good for you!

                                                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                      I cannot WAIT to be able to do this in the fridge in the garage! However, in picking up my mail yesterday, I noticed a notice from the Property Mgmt. that NO gas grills are allowed at all - just electric or charcoal. Electric seems like a good idea......unless the power goes out. So I'm thinking I'll get a Lil' Smokey Joe Weber to start, since it's just me I'm cooking for. If I have guests, we'll just have to deal with it. :-)

                                                                                                    2. Tonight was sirloin steak on the grill, a lightened up pasta salad, with a vegetable pasta, tiny grape tomatoes, blanched broccoli, garlic,cubed 2% cheddar, Italian seasoning, red onion, some roasted red pepper, and olives, dressed with a light bottled dressing that I love.Kraft light parmesan asiago balsamic viniagrette, and a green salad ( mixed baby greens with baby spinach) with sliced strawberries, goat cheese and toasted pecans, dressed with a raspberry cabernet dressing (also bottled and also light). Delicious, and enough of both salads left to take for tomorrow's lunch:)

                                                                                                      1. Barbecued country style ribs, roasted garlic alfredo using whole wheat corkscrew pasta, just blanched broccoli crowns with snow peas and a drizzle of melted butter & kosher salt. Simples!

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                          drooooooooooooooooollllllllllllll. sorry, that's as literate as i could get.

                                                                                                        2. Asaparagus to start. No doubt we'll get fed up with it in due course - but nowhere near yet.

                                                                                                          Then devilled chicken. A couple of breasts will get chunked and marinated in a mix of mustard powder, cayenne, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, tomato puree, lemon juice, garlic and oil. They'll get skewered to keep them tidy and I'll cook them on the griddle pan.

                                                                                                          Flatbreads will also get a brief blast on the griddle pan. And, for a carb fest, there'll be some basmati rice. Some bits of salading and a splodge of yogurt complete things

                                                                                                          Cheese for afters.

                                                                                                          1. Hello friends! I haven't been around a whole lot these past few days - busy packing - AND Verizon decided to end my DSL at the old apt. a day earlier than they were supposed to....and then they also scheduled the incorrect day for starting FiOS at the new condo (they scheduled for May 30th instead of April 30th....ummm, WHY would I want to go without Internet, Cable and Phone for 30 days, you morons? LOL)

                                                                                                            So I hugged my computer this morning upon arriving at work. "Hello, my name is LindaWhit, and yes, I'm addicted to the Internet." ;-)

                                                                                                            I was *that* happy to have an "outside world" connection other than texting with friends on my cell phone! LOL (Which was how I found out about our wonderful Navy Seals Special Forces and the magnificent job they did on Sunday night!)

                                                                                                            Dinners haven't been anything to write home about - out to a local restaurant for kebabs on Moving Day (Friday), and my first home-cooked meal on Saturday (after the final clean-out of the old apt. and lifting a one-finger salute to the place and the nasty neighbor/tenant upstairs as I drove away!) was spaghetti, meat sauce, garlic bread, and a salad. Do you know how HARD it is to find bowls, cooking pans, and silverware and sharp knives when you really really really REALLY want them and are very hungry? LOL Screwdrivers come in handy to tear open the taped boxes while you're searching and don't have scissors to cut into the boxes (and I don't mean the vodka and orange juice concoction!)

                                                                                                            OH! And my first glass (two, actually!) of wine was on Saturday with dinner. :-)

                                                                                                            Last night was just Trader Joe's Orange Chicken - easy enough. Tonight will be leftover spaghetti. I won't be doing anything much with cooking until I can get some more painting done AND get things unpacked and put away and more organized.

                                                                                                            But I'm happy. Seriously happy. Granted, I'm also in debt, but it was time I joined the rest of you homeowners. :-)

                                                                                                            12 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                              I'm so happy to hear you're moved in. Isn't home "ownership" fun? I never thought I'd go for it after being a lifelong renter but I'm glad we did.
                                                                                                              First dinners in new places are fun. Hope the kitchen is nice and suits your needs.
                                                                                                              And...kitties???
                                                                                                              Dinner at ours last night was just a roast chicken, romaine salad with walnuts (and walnut oil/sherry dressing) and the Portuguese-y potatoes I make with butter, citrus juice, and cilantro or parsley (microwaved whole potatoes peeled and tossed in same) but with a twist - I had made some browned butter for my chestnut génoise for my husband's birthday cake and used the 2 tb or so left with all the browned solids, fried the spuds lightly in it, then added lime juice and cilantro. Now that was good eatin'. Followed by the news which brought back the feelings of that day - I worked 8 blocks from the WTC and my first job in NYC was on the 99th floor, thankfully 11 years earlier.

                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                Kitties will have to wait until I'm done painting. Don't want any calico kitties if they're all black. :-) And the kitchen has better counters (granite and MORE of it); but less cabinet space. But once Grandma's dry sink gets brought in from my sister's basement, that'll help with storage.

                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                  Congratulations on the house, LindaWhit!

                                                                                                                  And good idea about waiting on the kitties - I've had too much "help" with painting from my dog. Though I'll admit I could get used to the green-tinted punk look for his tail. :)

                                                                                                              2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                Congrats on moving into your new place! I hate moving so much. One year, we moved three times, and I said that the next move would be into the nursing home, lol, so I know what it is to search frantically for the things you need. Keys are very good,too, when you can't find that screwdriver!

                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                  Congratulations on your move LInda, I hope it isn't long before you start feeling settled in. There's nothing like the anticipation of having your first, very own kitchen! I'm sure you'll have a ton of fun getting it set up just the way you want it.

                                                                                                                  You brought back memories of our first visit to our very first house. We were over the top excited and of course, I fully intended to cook a little something for us to eat on that first night. My husband slowly unlocked the front door as I stood, cutlery tray in hand, in anxious anticipation. After a quick smooch on the threshold I ran to the kitchen to put my cutlery tray away. By the time mr bc made it to the kitchen he arrived to see me, still clutching my cutlery tray, w tears welling in my eyes. "What's the matter?" he asked. There were no drawers!! Seriously! How on earth did we miss that?

                                                                                                                  Needless to say we found a way to make that kitchen work for us and, many an amazing meal was enjoyed there. Oh, and rest assured, our next home had TONS of drawers and cabinets!!

                                                                                                                  A quick prep dinner is in order tonight as it's election day here in Canada so we'll be starving by the time we get home after voting. I found a shrimp dish from the COTM that really appeals so let's hope all goes well . . . w the shrimp and the election!

                                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                    LOL on the no drawers - I'd go NUTS!

                                                                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                      Happy to report that the Donna Hay Hummus was absolutely wonderful and the Ottolenghi Shrimp were perfect for a weeknight. . . quick, easy and scrumptious!

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

                                                                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6417...

                                                                                                                      ...and here's a link to an adapted recipe for the Shrimp:

                                                                                                                      http://www.spicelines.com/2010/04/ant...

                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                    2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                      yay - happy to hear this!! can't wait to hear your new adventures in cooking once your kitchen is in order.

                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                        Congrats! I hope to have my own house one day...as long as it's not in California!

                                                                                                                        I expect a full report once you start getting that kitchen situated...and pics too!

                                                                                                                        Granite counters...GEE WHIZ! I wish!

                                                                                                                        1. re: Novelli

                                                                                                                          Thanks! Yeah, I lucked out - black granite in the kitchen, beige/brown marble in the main bathroom. The former owner *had* to sell (unemployed for 3 years) otherwise she wouldn't have. This was the nicest I saw in the complex (saw 5 others there the same day) and had only been on the market for 9 days when I saw it. I jumped in with both feet.

                                                                                                                          I'm looking forward to using the counter for rolling out pie dough at the holidays - Mom offered me a bread / baking board she's going to put in a yard sale of my stepbrother's, but who needs it if I have granite counters? LOL

                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                            If I all of a sudden had granite counters, the first word that pops into my mind...FUDGE! and lots of it!

                                                                                                                        2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                          Yay, you're back! And funny. And I'm so happy for you. Getting to know a new home is *so* much fun.

                                                                                                                          *lowers voice* Calicos are the best cats. Mine's a dilute callie, which is like six cats rolled into one: solids, stripes, splotches, and a hint of tortise-shell all in one sassy, gorgeous package. And now I want a new kitchen AND kittens. But seriously happy for you, LW.

                                                                                                                        3. tonight we're having chicken laab tacos - yep, a bit of thai/mexican fusion chez nous. can't wait.

                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                            I saw above that you had made the laab yesterday. That good, huh? lol Interesting way to use up the leftovers! Let me know how it tunrs out.
                                                                                                                            The recipe looks excellent, and is pretty similar to another Thai dish I've had, but can't think of the name.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Novelli

                                                                                                                              BF threw me a curve ball! instead of tortillas, he bought rice paper wrappers, so there was no fusion tonight. but very tasty nonetheless.

                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                Leftover larb in rice paper wrappers sounds delightlful. Did you wrap them up in lettuce with lots of herbs. Now I want that for dinner.
                                                                                                                                Last night I got take-out larb again from a new-to-me Thai place here. There are only three Thai restaurants in Sonoma, and I feel I should try them all so I know where the best larb is to be had. None of them deliver, but it's a small town, and I should be getting a bike soon.
                                                                                                                                The larb was good, not my favorite, but well presented and fresh tasting. There was oil in the dressing which really threw me, and not quite spiocy enough.
                                                                                                                                I need to make my own again, so I can remember just how easy it is to make.

                                                                                                                                1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                  Rice wrappers were great, and yes, we did use herbs/cuke, carrot, and raw thai chili slivers, and some broken rice too. Chef Chicklet, I am still silently begrudging not being able to have my fusion Thai/taco experience with the laab, but i couldn't let the BF know that! next time. We're making up for it tonight with soyrizo tacos.

                                                                                                                                2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                  You'd probably like the larb in taco shells. We have a Thai restaurant that does these only once a week for a special, everyone loves them!

                                                                                                                            2. Well, it was going to be the larb, but I realize now that I must have headed toward the limes in the supermarket, been distracted by the peppers & never gotten back to the limes... Chicken Piccata it is. Sigh.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: THewat

                                                                                                                                Ooooh Chicken Piccata is one of my favourites! I hope it was scrumptious THewat!

                                                                                                                              2. Chickpea Salad with Lemon, Parmesan, and Fresh Herbs from the current issue of Bon Appetit (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...) - plus I'm adding chopped leftover grilled chicken and arugula. Can't wait!

                                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                  Looks and sounds terrific aching, looking forward to hearing what you thought of the epi recipe. A great meal because leftovers could make wonderful lunches too!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                    It was great! However, I changed the recipe so much, I don't know if it still counts as the same recipe. I did everything the recipe called for, plus these add-ins: diced chicken, arugula, cherry tomatoes, cayenne pepper, lemon zest, and much more lemon juice, basil, and parsley than called for. It feels like summer here in LA, and it was a perfect one-dish summer meal.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                      Your additions sound great aching! Oh, and about that weather. . . any chance you can send some our way . . . . Toronto. If it's not too much bother of course!!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                        Please, take all you want! =) It's way too hot here for me.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                          "huhhhhhaaahhuhhhha" . . . . that's the sound of a grown woman weeping!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                            BC, take some comfort in knowing that when aching says "feels like summer" we aren't talking a lovely balmy day with verdant trees overhead -- it has been a baking hot 90 degrees in LA the last few days (at least on my side of town). The beginning of May is just too damn early for that!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: mebby

                                                                                                                                              Thanks mebby, I'll try to take some comfort in that. I guess weather can be disappointing if you don't get what you're expecting.

                                                                                                                                              We just can't get a break from rain and unseasonably cool temps. Today it's been 6 C / 42 F . . . and it's raining again so you get that damp cold in your bones!! (or at least I do!!!)

                                                                                                                                              I should probably be making soup for dinner!!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                I'll give you that, BC -- the beginning of May is just too damn late for that! But it was 95 here at 2pm and I think we'd all -- northern and southern -- just like a little spring.

                                                                                                                                2. Leftovers tonight: grilled spicy bratwurst, sauteed veggie rice and a salad with ranch. Later, dessert will be a couple squares of chili chocolate

                                                                                                                                  1. A cook free night - we're off to the city for Malaysian food.

                                                                                                                                    1. I'm detoxing from a weekend spent travelling the Southern US. I have no sense of decency when I am around biscuits and gravy and snacks come in the chicken-fried variety. Many an item went into my gullet not because I was hungry but because, hey, when am I going to be able to get this again?

                                                                                                                                      So that brings us to last night. Still tired from a hectic travel schedule, I decided to go with something light that didn't require a trip t othe store: Szegediner goulasch. Sauerkraut soups can be heavy, but I play it light with the meat, browning cubed pork loin to a deep bronze and caramelizing onions slowly to coat the pan in a deep fond that will create flavor without adding weight. I did rush a little too much and neglected to sufficiently rinse the sauerkraut, resulting in a too tart goulash. I added soy sauce, tempering the acidity with some savoriness and salinity, and while good it's still not quite where I want it. Next time I'll remember to slow down.

                                                                                                                                      Next up: What to do with one pint of leftover sauerkraut juice?

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                        Drink it up!
                                                                                                                                        Slowly, I might add.
                                                                                                                                        Sauerkraut juice used to be, or it may still be in some parts, sold in small cans, say about 2 to 4 ounces.
                                                                                                                                        I know someone that used to drink a can, go out to the garage to work, and you could time it to when he would come running to the house.

                                                                                                                                      2. Taco night! Soyrizo and shrimp tacos, with a tapatio yogurt topping. let's see how that turns out. i do have some real sour cream laying await, just in case.

                                                                                                                                        1. Tonight will be a crazy late one, so I will do all my cooking before 4 PM since that is when I leave to pick up the DH after his knee surgery. Somewhere in there -- around 6:15 PM -- I have to either pick up my son from his baseball game or arrange for a taxi to get him since he is to play squash with his coach from Egypt. He and his wife are our house guests, so everyone will come back here to eat by about 8:30 or 9PM. I think I am going to make shrimp burritos since I can prep and/or cook all the components before I leave at 4, and then just heat and serve at dinner time.

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                            Good heavens roxlet, I'm tired just reading about your day! Good luck w everything and enjoy those yummy-sounding burritos!

                                                                                                                                          2. I've been craving soup for days and days, but keep putting it off. The man likes broth soups (the clearer the better) with bits of vegetables, and a side of boring. I like pureed soups, thick with cream and butter, that taste like joy. But I have cauliflower that needs to be used. And I've decided I need a creamy soup more than he needs a sullen girlfriend, so cream of cauliflower it is. Roasted cauliflower, with onions, garlic, shallots, carrots, and lots of butter, and a cream/sour cream mixture. TJ's garlic naan and a spinach salad to go with.

                                                                                                                                            We have a busy day planned tomorrow, so this afternoon I'll make a big batch of his favorite tuna pasta salad (pasta, tuna, black olives, green beans, balsamic vinegar, mayo, celery salt, and pepper), which I know he'll help himself to right away. That's before he goes into his cream soup routine, where he asks for 'just a small cup', tells me it's much better than he thought it'd be, and then asks for a second cup, and sometimes a third. After the pot is empty, he'll thank me, and then, nicely, remind me how much more he likes a broth soup. I wish spring would warm up. I thought for sure we'd be done with the soup debate for the year, and moved ever closer to the ever-spirited 'best way to cook corn' debate by now.

                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                              "... I need a creamy soup more than he needs a sullen girlfriend" -- that gave me my best laugh of the day -- too funny!! And the soup sounds delicious!

                                                                                                                                              Tonight is ribeye sliced over arugula, with some lemon juice and olive oil. And maybe some roasted cauliflower. Somehow my cooking marathons on the weekend to keep my father fed leads to very very simple dinners during the week. But in a triumph last weekend I made batches of lamb shank stew and coq au vin by starting out with one huge pan of chicken broth and red wine simmering away to reduce and a huge skillet of aromatics lightly browning, then half the aromatics in each casserole, seared lamb shanks, thyme, bay leaf on top in one, fill with half the wine-broth mixture, into the oven, add porcini to the remaining broth mix to simmer, brown chicken thighs and add to second casserole with thyme and the porcini'd broth mix and that one into the oven. Added canned cannellini beans to the lamb shanks about 45 minutes before they were done and sauteed mushrooms to the chicken a bit before it was done and voila, four each of two of his favorites in record time (he's not fussy if it isn't completely authentic). Phew, just had to share that, it made me feel so smug!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                Standing ovation from Connecticut!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                  Wow, you're a Star! my dad is too fussy for those delicious meals!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                    And that is one beautiful cooking marathon, Gretchen. I haven't had coq au vin in years (love it). That was a well-planned day in the kitchen for your lucky dad. Enjoy feeling smug, you earned the honest way, for sure.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                      VERY nicely done, GretchenS! Two wonderful meals - and lots of both for Dad!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                        Thank you all, you are too kind, I am blushing into my coffee cup! My mother was the most wonderful cook, so he had 56 years of 3 star meals every day. It is a very tough act to follow, especially because although he's perfectly competent in the kitchen he has announced that he's not interested in cooking AT ALL. He is willing to broil a piece of meat or heat something up. Period. So I keep the freezer full of individually cryovac'd lamb chops, veal chops and small steaks, and then try to keep a rotation of things like coq au vin and stews frozen in individual servings as well. He is no longer losing weight, thankfully, but has not gained back what he lost last fall either. But I do feel lucky that he likes good food, much more rewarding than if he wanted me to make stuff I wouldn't eat. And I do get him to take me out every weekend! ;)

                                                                                                                                                  2. This is my dear husband of more years than I care to count's birthday, and he has decided he wants the scallops I make with almonds and Chinese black vinegar (so Liam can share in the celebration - but make his microwaved only).
                                                                                                                                                    Saffron rice with, I think, and maybe a cauliflower purée to British it up a bit. Arugula salad too (something else Liam likes, no dressing thank you) and cold asparagus soup to start.
                                                                                                                                                    A chestnut-chocolate cake extravaganza that's not finished yet, better get that apron on when I get home.
                                                                                                                                                    Because it's the birthday, and because Liam is our fur son, herewith a pic that was taken on Sunday (that's him in my avatar, but he was just a little guy then). Begging your forebearance.

                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                    15 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                      Those scallops are completely delicious. Please share your recipe! And wish a happy birthday to the DH!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                        A VERY happy birthday to Mr. buttertart!

                                                                                                                                                        And if that pic of Liam doesn't encourage me to think about little paws running up and down the stairs at the townhouse, my heart has been hardened into a freeze-dried knob of nothingness like the Grinch. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                        I hope the Mister AND Liam (and you too!) enjoy the scallops, saffron rice, and arugula salad! And dayam...a chestnut choco cake? You must love Mr. B an awful lot. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                          bt, I hope your DH and Liam enjoy that scrumptious sounding meal you have in store. Fabulous!

                                                                                                                                                          I have to say, something about Liam's beautiful face reminds me of Barbara Streisand. . .

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                            I just Googled a recent picture, and you are right - very much around the eyes, the color of the fur/hair, and the serene look on both of their faces. :-)

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                              Thanks, everybody! We had a dear girl kitty (grey) who reminded me completely of Lauren Bacall! Don't know if Liam will be pleased or not to hear he looks like Barbra...
                                                                                                                                                              Here's the "recipe" for the scallops...
                                                                                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7816...

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                Thanks for sharing that link bt, I missed your original post.

                                                                                                                                                                If you decide to tell Liam, perhaps you could share the news while playing the soundtrack to "Cats" !!

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                            Oh my, Liam is one distinguished looking fellow!
                                                                                                                                                            In college I had a cat of similar coloring, Lucien. My Mom always said he looked like William Shakespeare. Anyway, Liam looks very noble, and holds himself quite nicely!
                                                                                                                                                            Happy celebrating to all of you.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                              Aw, what a cutie. With some nice digs there, too, I might add. Happy birthday to your mister. It sounds like a wonderful meal.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                Beauteous Liam. Happy BD to Michael! Oooh that dinner - lucky man!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                  What a cutie! I've been giving a little thought to getting a kitteh lately...
                                                                                                                                                                  I hope you and your husband have a great birthday celebration! Your dinner sounds divine.
                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, and to keep this on track, I'm making pho today.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, those scallops sound wonderful, and I made a similar scallop dish for my DH's birthday about 6 months ago, so we think alike, buttertart!

                                                                                                                                                                    And of course we love kitties too, your Liam & My Feivel would be a cute pic together! Have a wonderful birthday dinner!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                      Best wishes to himself, from across The Pond.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                        Thanking you kindly, he'll be tickled.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. Tonight I've gone back to the COTM for inspiration and landed on the Beef and Lamb Meatballs in Tahini from Ottolenghi. Homemade tzatziki and hummus to start and then I'm debating between couscous or rice to serve w the meatballs. If I can pick up some wholewheat couscous, that would seal the deal but we'll see.

                                                                                                                                                                        I'm hoping we'll have some meatballs leftover as I'm imagining they'd be great tucked into pitas w some cucumber and a bit of that tzatziki . . . a perfect lunch! Fingers crossed!!

                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                          Well as good as these meatballs were for dinner (and they were good!), they're even better today for lunch! Pita's w a light spread of hummus topped w spinach, watercress, cucumber and red onion along w the meatballs and a drizzle of the yummy tahini-based sauce. . . .just delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                          Here's a link to my review of the original dish along w photos and, a link to the recipe online up thread:

                                                                                                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6417...

                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                            egads! that looks great! I'm stuck here at work now, with nothing to eat! Not fair!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Novelli

                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks Novelli, I can empathize; I hate when that happens!

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Tonight I'm doing another new (to me) dish: Artichoke, Fennel, and Edamame Salad (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...). Those are three ingredients I can never get enough of!

                                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                            How was the salad, aching? I'm in need of some new vegetable dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                              Wow, it was really amazing! I took a few shortcuts - I used frozen shelled edamame and canned artichoke hearts - and garlic instead of shallots because that was what I had - and it turned out great. My husband loved it. Highly recommended! Here's the correct link:

                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                                That sounds really good. Thanks so much for sharing and for telling us what your substitutions were. I'm all about shortcuts sometimes.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree. ;) While I do have the shallots, my edamame is frozen, and my artichokes all to often are of the glass jar variety. I'm glad the recipe worked well with the subs, aching.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. Well, I'm back from camping, and a bit worse for the wear, as in, I sprained my foot on the last night we were there, and haven't been able to walk on it since. So that's put a bit of a crimp in the lifestyle...luckily I had made a lot of food at the campsite and we will be dining on leftover chicken fajitas, ginger glazed pork chops and a tray of carnitas. Meanwhile, waiting to get a referral to a doctor who can see me sooner rather than later. So, I'm still using the last of the ice from the cooler, and trying to keep sane.

                                                                                                                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                                                                                                                                poor Pl! Hope you had some fun before the incident! Lucky indeed that you are an over-provider for camping meals. feel better soon... have a recipe for those ginger glazed pork chops, by chance?

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, inquiring minds want to know about the ginger-glazed pork chops! Hope that foot is feeling better....

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Phurstluv

                                                                                                                                                                                  Stay off that foot, lady, and command your troop to serve you, though it sounds as if you preemptively managed to take care of your food needs beautifully. I mean, dang, that are some nice leftovers . . . especially made at a campsite. Feel better soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                    Thank you all, friends. Yes, this family is lucky they have been fed easily over the past few days. And of course, DH is as busy as ever, went to the grocery store for me at 9 PM and put everything away neatly (!) but we'll see if I can find it all!

                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, we did have a great time up to the incident, maybe too great!! But earlier in the day I had found a divot in the ground, right in front of the cabin, and twisted my ankle briefly. That was my downfall later in the evening when I took a misstep on the other side of the campground, and knew I couldn't get up. Seems to be more my foot than my ankle, and I've been doing all the right things for it, it just sucks not to be able to drive(yikes!)

                                                                                                                                                                                    Anyway, the pork chops were super easy, they were sold as thick cut, boneless from the loin, with a fat cap on one side. I just let them thaw in some ginger-mandarin dressing that the kids like, and then we used the cast iron pan, I added butter first, though it didn't need it. And seared each side for about 4 minutes, uncovered first, then covered when turned over. They were still relatively juicy, the dressing did burn a bit, from the sugars in it, but it gave the chops lots of flavor. So alongside, I made one of those pasta mixes with water, milk & butter, with angel hair. While that boiled, I sliced up the rest of the grape & yellow cherry tomatoes into a bowl, then splashed with red wine vinegar. Added the hot pasta on top, then the sliced up pork chops. It was pretty tasty and worked out well for an easy meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                                                                                                                                      that meal sounds scrumptious!
                                                                                                                                                                                      heal soon, and let kids & hubby help!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                                                                                                                                        I never heard of anyone eating so well on a camping trip (which is why I've never gone camping, I must say).

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                          thank you both, and I will, mc, I promise!!

                                                                                                                                                                                          GretchenS, I never camped as a young person, except in a friend's backyard tent, but my husband was a camper from the beginning since his parents were a former pilot & stewardess back in the day, and they camped in the desert out here. I've always been a hotel girl. So one year my husband compromised with me & we rented an RV. the kids were still super little and it seemed to make sense for a 14 hour trip up north to my FIL's. It was so much fun, we try to do it every year.

                                                                                                                                                                                          As far as the meals go, I try to plan ahead and freeze burgers, steaks chicken & chops ahead, in marinades sometimes. Then use those at the bottom of your cooler to thaw while you cook one each night. It's a matter of being organized, and bringing the proper tools that can multitask.

                                                                                                                                                                                          But yes, I kind of go overboard with the food, and we get looks from other campers when they smell our food cooking. But it's really not that hard and kind of fun!!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm very impressed! "Hotel girl" describes me perfectly. :) Hope you heal fast....

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I have a pot of spaghetti sauce simmering for dinner. Making with 3# of ground beef from grass-fed animals from a farm that is owned by an apprentice of Polyface farms.

                                                                                                                                                                                    For those who have not heard of Polyface farms, it is written about in "Omnivores Dilema." The reviews are quite good.

                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.amazon.com/Omnivores-Dilem...

                                                                                                                                                                                    The Polyface site is http://www.polyfacefarms.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                    Please don't think I'm advertising for them as they are booked solid for year(s) to come.

                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm winging the recipe - it's lookin' good, so far.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                                                                                      That farm sounds amazing, Rella. How lucky you are to have that close by (the 'we don't ship' gave me a pang, but I admire what they're doing). That strengthens my resolve to find something like that close to home.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, you can find somethng close to home; you will just have to do some searching.

                                                                                                                                                                                        It took me some time to find meat, dairy, eggs close to home and I really value each farmer.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Another rare Italian-American craving today. This time: Operation Pasta Salad. I diced red and yellow bell peppers as well as a bit of Asiago cheese which I tossed with rotini, chopped mint, scallions and parsley. I had no salume, so I slowly browned a link of morcillla in olive oil until its exterior was crisp but the interior still juicy. For the dressing I thought I'd assemble a vinaigrette from the olive oil in the pan and lemon juice, Aleppo pepper, sumac, oregano, garlic and lots of black pepper. But it was still missing something, so I added a teaspoon of tahini to make the emulsion creamy, along with pimenton and a pinch of chili powder. Not quite the Italian-American pasta salad I had in mind, but a fine showing nonetheless.

                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                        wow - a melange of flavors indeed. Bravo, JM.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                          JungMann, I almost always have Chinese sesame paste around but almost never tahini - any thoughts on their tastes and uses in comparison?

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                            IIRC, Chinese sesame paste is made from roasted sesame seeds and has a more robust flavor than tahini, which I suppose makes sense given the stronger flavors against which it competes in Szechuan cuisine. I keep only tahini on hand and use more than called for in Chinese recipes; perhaps if you want to substitute for tahini, you need only do the converse.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Thai red curry with shrimp. I tossed in some broccoli and served it over jasmine rice. I love it when I make a meal that the whole family eats without complaint.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Alright, that's it. I'm not making larb and I'm not going to my exercise class. I am going to go put on a sunhat and head down to the square for the first tuesday night Farmer's Market of the season.
                                                                                                                                                                                            It's been a glorious, sunny day here and I don't want to miss out on the good cheer and live music waiting for me downtown.
                                                                                                                                                                                            I like this particular market quite a bit. No snobbery or preciousness, just good people selling there local fruits and vegs and without the Ferry Building surcharge.
                                                                                                                                                                                            Dinner may be made up out of what I find, or it may come with a glass of wine at some outside table that beckons me.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. BBQ boneless chicken breast (using Stubb's mesquite and a bit of sriracha), grilled asparagus, cole slaw with a touch of horseradish, and rice cooked with veggie broth and bay leaf. Nothing too exciting, but it's been a long day.

                                                                                                                                                                                              A local gelateria's blood orange sorbet for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Some tasty eats this week:

                                                                                                                                                                                                A couple of "leftovers for lunch" - One using a fabulous smoked salmon hash with capers and fingerlings from a local restaurant. I added some fresh chives, basil, and thyme, topped with a fried egg, and drizzled with homemade chili/smoked paprika oil. The other was a friend's delicious Italian stuffing with ciabatta, rosemary and pancetta. I fried it up in butter, topped with eggs two ways, and garnished with scallions. Mmmm...love a fried egg on anything. A couple more lunches were a Vietnamese chicken noodle soup - miến gà - with bean thread noodles, and a spicy Thai peanut-coconut curry with chicken and eggplant today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Finally, I made a big pot of pork ragu last night to stock the freezer for a friend's upcoming visit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Rubee, I swear, I'd make the trip specially to your area just to eat your wonderful looking food - just stunningly plated and it's making me salivate for something better than my toasted English muffin for breakfast! LOL Forget the local restaurants - I want to go to The Rubee Restaurant! :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Gorgeous pictures of gorgeous food! So many things are better with a fried egg on top...

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks Linda and Gretchen! Everyone's welcome to the Rubee Restaurant. It's all free - just bring booze ; )

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I do believe a little Cuarenta y Tres would be apropos as an after dinner drink, would it not? A little reminiscent of Dali Restaurant? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          (And I'm FINALLY back online at home - woo hooooooooooo!!!!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I'm still taking the easy way out for dinners - the GOG (The Good Old Girl, a.k.a. the 1999 Toyota Camry with 170K miles on her) had to go in yesterday for some expensive repairs. I thought she loved me and wouldn't have visited these expenses upon me so soon after the move and assumption of a mortgage....but she's a fickle lass and decided to throw a wrench into the financial works. ::::Sigh::::

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Anyway - picked her up last night, a quick run to two hardware stores for yet MORE paint samples (after painting those samples last night in their appropriate rooms, I've confirmed dining room, half bath and perhaps the hallway and stairwell colors), I just stopped at a local supermarket and picked up a pre-roasted chicken. For $3.99, I got a nice-sized bird that'll give me at least 2 dinners and enough chicken for chicken salad sandwiches for work. Also picked up some green beans, and steamed them (once I found the steamer basket in one of the many boxes!), reheated some basmati rice, and that was dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      So all I did was snip beans and cook them and reheat rice. But it's about all the energy I had. Did finally watch "Under the Tuscan Sun" on DVD last night (I'm woefully behind on movies, as you can tell!), and enjoyed it very much. Now if only I could find a Marcello for me to engage in a brief dalliance, it would make for a wonderful beginning to the month of May. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I hope you moved near a Trader Joe's. If you did and can find your microwave you can continue to fake it. Last night we had a broc-cauliflower combo in a micro-wave bag, some teryiaki chicken from the refrigerator section and some frozen rice - not bad at all. Good luck with the GOG.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I had a TJs closer to where I used to live (a relatively new one, so the store was bigger). There is one a few towns over; not sure how long it will take to get to, and it's an older one and I've heard it's crowded and not as nice as the newer stores.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          So TJs will have to be visited when I'm back down in my old stomping grounds (only about 20 minutes away, but it's a drive *just* to go there). It's on my list for this Saturday, as I will be going for a haircut/color in the same general area, and can make a stop at TJs along with Bed, Bath & Beyond, the paint store, and a few other places I'm used to going to. I plan a good TJs "stock-up" - what I used to buy only one of will be at least doubled. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          But I *did* make TJs Mandarin Orange Chicken for a dinner within the past few days. I do enjoy that, so I'll have to ensure I get several bags of that as well. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nothing like a rotisserie bird when you are so busy with other stuff. You're amazingly decisive on paint colors, I'm full of admiration!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Tonight's puppy swim class, so it's soup night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          This week it's a kind of Tex-Mex pink bean soup - sauteed an onion, added some garlic and homemade taco seasoning, then maybe a quart of chicken stock and a pound of cooked pink beans. We pureed them and added some grilled corn - the little bit I tasted was pretty good - I'm looking forward to it on this still-cold, rainy evening.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. The current Harters cookbook of the week is Rick Stein's "Mediterranean Escapes" (2007) from which tonight's starter comes. A squid and chorizo salad. Tomatoes, chickpeas, lemon juice, olive oil, chilli, garlic , parsley, rocket, salt & pepper get mixed together. Squid is opened out and finely scored into a diamond pattern, then cut into pieces. They get fried for 30 seconds, cuts uppermost to make them curl, then turned for another 30 seconds. Thin slices of chorizo goes in and it all gets another minute of tossing about in the pan, before being dumped on top of the salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Main course is a brown gloop from the freezer - pork hotpot. There's some leftover carrots that'll probbaly get stirred in to warm through.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Osso Buco and risotto. It's just that kind of day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: THewat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And I want a simple "bake it and forget it"-style meal, m'self. Stumped.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh wow. Just wow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And I wish. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Larb, finally. Hand chopped the chicken. Yummy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: THewat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Gotta do that larb thing. Point me towards a good recipe?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            that's the one i used too. only change i'd make is i'd add more chili - wasn't hot enough for our taste. but very flavorful. i used 2 lbs of chicken (adjusted sauce/spices accordingly) Sunday and we still have some the in fridge!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Haven't tried this recipe yet, but it's on my list (I'm actually eating takeout larb right now)..Thought I'd throw in that adding a little toasted rice powder makes a huge difference in getting authentic flavor. I somehow always thought it was a purchased product, but Rubee made me realize that it's as simple as dry toasting a little jasmine rice and bashing it up on tbs M&P (dopey me!). Sounds like nothing but makes such a huge difference -- you'll taste it. immediately.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: THewat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        did you use white or dark meat, or a combo?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I used a single chicken breast & adjusted the sauce / spices accordingly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Needing to use some chicken thighs in the fridge, as well as some ingredients bought more on a whim than a meal plan, we ended up making chicken enchiladas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We softened some onion and garlic in butter, then added 1 tbsp. tomato paste, 1/2 c. of roasted (taqueria-style) salsa, 1 c. of crushed tomatoes, 1 tsp. chicken BetterThanBullion, some cumin, chipotle sauce, and roasted poblanos. We poached the chicken in the sauce, then pulled the meat out and shredded it. When the sauce had cooked down a bit, it was pureed and thickened with a smidge of heavy cream and cornstarch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In addition to the chicken, we stuffed the enchiladas with corn, rice tossed with cilantro, mashed pinto beans, more roasted poblanos, and cheddar and mozzarella. Topped with the sauce and a bit more cheese, then into the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        DH is making a beer run and the enchiladas are crisping up in the oven...can't wait! It makes me happy to use up things in the fridge rather than let them go to waste.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          These were good, but would have been so much better using corn tortillas or La Tortilla Factory's combo corn-wheat tortillas. WW low fat tortillas just tasted like bready foam. Yech. Still, sauce was good. I might strain it next time to remove some of the pulp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Right now, I'm braising off a fatty lamb shoulder in tomato sauce. I used the last quart of tomatoes from last year, so I had to stretch it out with an extra can of store bought tomatoes and some wine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I hope my plants start producing soon!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Novelli

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            what else is in your tomato sauce, Novelli? i am not a huge fan of tomato sauces, EXCEPT with lamb, they seem to go so well together.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              well, not much else LOL...sorry to diappoint ;) very basic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Tomatoes, salt and pepper, basil, hot and sweet chile, your favorite...MARJORUM, a splash of wine, and some garlic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The meat had a nice fat cap on it, so I butterflied it, rendered it down while browning, and used that to saute the garlic and hot chile in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I purposely made a large quantity, hoping the leftover sauce would last until my next tomato harvest. I always keep basic tomato sauce on hand, for all sorts of uses.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Novelli

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ahaha - marjoram - thanks for that!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                i have never braised lamb, always roasted it, but i've had it in tomato sauces at restaurants, so i'd like to try it sometime. thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. It's been a while since I've got onto WFD, but seeing as school went back today and I had no idea what I wanted for dinner it seemed like a priority to get on here. The weather is starting to cool down quite nicely (a lovely 26 degrees C/ 79 F) making cooking a pleasure. Being that I'm getting into trouble with my medical team for spending too much time on my knee I need something simple and I am now thinking duck breasts would cater to my needs and desires quite nicely. Juicy duck breasts with crispy skin, white bean mash and some wilted greens sound like a goer. I also was given back my icecream maker recently and have some sugar syrup waiting to be turned into lime sorbet, so that might be a nice way to end the meal. It might also be sufficient bribery to get Mr. Huntress to watch the Chowpup on Saturday night so I can go out with my girlfriends...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: TheHuntress

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Love duck breasts. I should keep some in my freezer stash. And I have loads of syrup as well, time to get out the ice cream maker for some sorbet, thanks for the inspiration!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Cooking project recipe which has been on my list - waited for bones a-plenty.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              From the cookbook Saveur France
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              and http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks. Oh, the clean-up mess is still on-going. Fat clean-up is the "worst."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    While slowly going, I've two loaves of NYT recipe made with KA bread flour and my own grind of kamut.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This recipe works well with a combination of KA bread flour and either spelt, rye, or kamut.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I buy the grain and grind it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Dinner tonight was a quick chicken sausage ragu from ENYT with rigatoni and a spinach salad with goat cheese. Made a few subs to lighten things up - 1% milk for whole, cut the oil to 1teaspoon (1T to saute onions is excessive to me), and chicken sausage for traditional italian sausage. Definitely on the make again list.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Dinner last night was late and in a hurry (because i was starving) so - BLTs! On whole wheatberry bread, which added a nice sweetness. God, I love a BLT.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    tonight, who knows. BF says beef and potatoes of some kind.....

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I love wheatberry bread, they don't sell it here. Perfect with avocado.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ahh wheatberry bread. In the 60's in New Mexico I used to have to go to a delivery truck about a mile or so from my house to buy wheatberry. In the 70's, I recall, the price went from abt. .$39 a loaf to $.69 a loaf. I'm wondering what the price is now. I've not seen it for years. The brand as I recall was "Orowheat."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That's the one I remember but wasn't the spelling "Oroweat"?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'll bet it was. The slices were small and shaped somewhere between oblong/retangular and round, if that's an apt description.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I remember it well. Also the spelling because it used to annoy me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ah, the wonders of the advertising world - still working!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Baked chorizo and bean enchiladas in a mole-inspired sauce will be dinner, if my sleep-deprived self gets her act together. Cooking up a batch of pinto beans, and then creating the refried filling seems like a bit of trouble. But I've a craving for the dish, and have loads of peppers that need to get used soon. Maybe today is the day to try using a stick blender on the beans, instead of the by-hand mash. If I make a side, it will be a rice with cilantro and lime, maybe with a little shredded cabbage mixed in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          There is a squirrel outside of my window, perched on a branch of the horse chestnut tree. He's grabbing the small clusters of graceful and willowy leaves that have begun to grow, and gorging on the tender buds of what would soon be flowers to eat before he tosses the whole cluster to the ground, and then he quickly snatches another one from the tree. He's quite the gourmand. He makes me think of the many and happy hours I've spent in oyster bars and crab shacks.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            oh that filling sounds amazing - are you using Soyrizo?? or have you capitulated? no judgment here - i couldn't do it! the siren song of pork would haunt me forever.... ETA - oh, obviously not, since you're jealous (above) of my bacon!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            love your squirrel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The boyfriend asked me yesterday, as he was enjoying a Chicago-style hotdog, "So, what are you going to *do*?" (I was probably watching him eat a little too intently, haha). The truth is, I don't know. I might just wind up at WF one day, pick a chicken up out of the case, and wait to see if I feel like a jerk, or just really hungry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Pork really has been the hardest to go without. I hope the Soyrizo behaves in the filling, though I know it won't break down with the simmer like the beef (what I used to use) did.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I will admit that when I was a vegetarian and craving a hot dog, I did eat just the toppings in a bun. Not quite the same, but that's basically what a Chicago dog is when you get to the end, right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You just inspired my lunch, JM. I made a sandwich out of leftover cilantro lime crema, sliced tomatoes, and shredded cabbage. It was surprisingly good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ooh. I am going to have to try cabbage as a sandwich filler. Do you soak it or just use it as is?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Shredded, no soak. The crunch was gratifying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Been out for the day, a couple of hours north. Bargain lunch (three courses - £25) at hotel that used to get a lot of play for its good food (and celeb chef) some years back. A bit of a faded star now but still a lovely meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So, some brown gloop from the freezer later on. Chilli. With rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. We'll be getting home late with a hungry teenager and two house guests, so, even though the weather is delightful today, I am going back to stew world. This one is from the green Gourmet book, and it's called Greek beef stew. It couldn't be easier since you essentially chuck everything into a pot and stick it in the oven and cook for 2 hours or so. When ready to serve, you put it over orzo, and top it with crumbled feta and chopped walnuts. I'm not sure about the walnuts, but the feta sounds good.

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