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What's for Dinner - Part #104 [old]

Time to move on. Irene has come and gone and our tomato garden is flattened. Weather happens here on the Sou'west Shore of Connecticut.

Pasta with olive oil, home-grown grape tomatoes, slivered garlic, mozzarella cubes is on the menu. Haven't divined the wine yet but rest assured it will be something Italian and not too fancy. Football will be on the panel.

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  1. As you said, goodnight irene. Sorry about the tomatoes. It's so hot and dry here, all of ours have been gone for many weeks. Having to make do with the "tomators on the vine" at the stores. Ah, well, it'll soon be time for the Fall gardens.

    2 Replies
    1. re: MaryContrary

      Thanks. We'll re-stake the vines and salvage what we can. No big deal.

      1. re: steve h.

        I remembered that after I replied. Good luck with them.

    2. I hope you were able to rescue as many tomatoes as possible, steve. (at least those grape tomatoes sound rescued.) I drove past several small farms, and the edges of corn fields were flattened. I'm wondering how the local apple & pumpkin orchards fared, as it's almost time for apple picking.

      1 Reply
      1. re: LindaWhit

        No worries, LW.
        I have a big bowl of grape olives and a dozen or so of our hybrid and heirloom guys on the kitchen counter. Deb and I will begin reconstruction sometime after 5 p.m. today (soil is still a little wet). We New Englanders are a hearty lot, whether home gardner or commercial guy. Besides, there's always next season.

      2. Tonight, "velveted" boneless chicken thighs, sauteed with ginger, garlic, choisum and some chili oil. Jasmine rice aside, a bowl of sweet sesame smashed cucumbers, and a plate of sliced mango, melon and papaya later. Not your basic chicken dinner but still a winnah indeed. Glad to know most Chows escaped the wrath that was Irene; good to see everybody here.

        4 Replies
        1. re: mamachef

          That sounds delicious, mama. Tell me more about them smashed cucumbers, please. Why do you smash them?

          1. re: mamachef

            ach! we've missed you! does velveted mean something to do with cornstarch?

            1. re: mariacarmen

              Hey ladies, thanks for the Welcome back. I didn't figure our recent dinners of whatever's around really qualified for a mention. MC2, yep, "velveting" is just marinating 'em in a mixture of cornstarch and soy for a moment before the saute. And inapc, smashing them (post-slicing) makes them less fibrous and they absorb marinade better.
              As it turned out, Dreaded Moreno came into town at the last minute, and he and Mr. went out for a burger and convo. and I went out to a gin-tasting at Acme Bar in Berkeley (Alice Medrich was there, promoting new gins?) and it was a non-event, and I didn't make dinner so what WAS for dinner last night is actually WFD tonight.

              1. re: mamachef

                oh! i thought you were doing an Alice WATERS meet-and-greet! ahahah! gin tasting is actually better!

          2. A lamb burger. Seasoned ground lamb with minced onion, garlic, cumin, paprika, coriander, cinnamon, allspice, and ground clove. Served on naan bread, with mayo and avocado, and sweet potato fries. Mint tea.

            3 Replies
              1. re: Matahari22

                why have i never tried a lamb burger with avocado???? that sounds fantastic.

                1. re: mariacarmen

                  It was a fridge clean out burger, lol, but I'm writing that one down, cause it was worth a repeat. Normally I do the cucumber yogurt thing, but I had no plain yogurt, and the garden is not looking so hot. :( Cukes and zucchini croaked.

              2. I made a roasted butternut squash soup and baked yukon golds with sour cream, homegrown chives, s&p. Simples, as Harter would say.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ChristinaMason

                  That sounds lovely, Christina. Butternut squash soup is a favorite in our family. :)

                2. Slow cooked some navy beans with brown sugar, molasses, etc., baby back ribs, and a nice tomato and broccoli salad with a lemon and rice vinegar dressing. Perfecto!

                  1. Well, I posted the menu on the last thread but I will update here. My 10yo daughter made dinner. She planned the menu, found the recipes and did the shopping for her ingredients.

                    She prepared cut up chicken marinated in ranch dressing, rolled in Shake and Bake and baked (she pretty much did all of this). Corn on the cob (she shucked and de-silked, I supervised the boiling). Broccoli slaw (we did this as a team).

                    Only one cob of corn left, a bit of slaw and no chicken. I would say the family was happy with her meal.

                    She wanted to make a cake but we couldn't find the cake pans. I have a feeling our next door neighbors borrowed them and didn't return them (pretty much their MO). I don't make many layer cakes so who know how long the pans have been gone. I'll have to buy new pans tomorrow so she can make her cake. She has a friend coming for a sleepover.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: suburban_mom

                      Excellent dinner from 10yo suburban_kid! :-)

                      1. re: suburban_mom

                        That is great, I love when kids learn to cook early. Hate to see adults that cannot cook. I see it all the time. :(

                        1. re: suburban_mom

                          Aww. That's so awesome! Congrats to your daughter for a job well done. You must be proud. :)

                          1. re: suburban_mom

                            congrats to the budding chef! that chicken sounds really tasty. Tell her that as soon as she turns "of age", we have a spot on WFD reserved for her.

                          2. The Man took to the smoker today and made some really amazing pork ribs with homemade sauce. I made a Thousand Island-ish coleslaw with red cabbage, carrots, onion, ketchup, mayo, and sweet pickles and Monterey Jack mashed white rose potatoes to go with them.

                            About to slip into food coma... - -

                             
                             
                             
                             
                            11 Replies
                              1. re: inaplasticcup

                                ack that sounds amazing! everyone's dinners sound so good tonight!
                                monteray jack taters - why have i never thought of that?

                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                  Haha. Probably because you haven't yet decided to make mashed potatoes when what was left of your hunk of Monterey Jack was fixin to mold...?

                                  1. re: inaplasticcup

                                    yeah, i don't think our monterey ever gets near that stage.... we eat too many tacos here.

                                2. re: inaplasticcup

                                  It is 8:45am EDT, and my stomach just growled. LOUDLY.

                                  Holy moly, that looks fantastic! Your 1000 Island slaw sounds great - can you approximate quantities?

                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                    I wanna say:

                                    - half a medium head of red cabbage, thinly sliced (I used my Benriner), 5 or 6 cups maybe?
                                    - 1 med carrot, finely julienned
                                    - 1/4 of a white onion, very thinly sliced
                                    - 1 large sweet pickle, minced (I think it made 3 or 4 Tablespoons minced)
                                    - 3 - 4 Tablespoons mayo
                                    - 2 Tablespoons ketchup
                                    - 2 Tablespoons sweet pickle brine
                                    - a few good grinds of black pepper

                                    I think that's it, LindaWhit! (Like how I busted a rhyme for U?)

                                    1. re: inaplasticcup

                                      You're da bomb, ina. Copy/pastaing into an Email to myself.

                                      1. re: GretchenS

                                        He's getting really good at smokin them reeibs, Gretchen... :)

                                    1. Still power-less here in my corner of SW CT, so dinner was a hot dog with cheese, chili and fried onions from a semi- famous(in CT, anyway) hot dog joint. Nothing like a hurricane to stimulate the economy- the restaurants that are open are PACKED.

                                      Like Scarlett said, tomorrow is another day, so, fingers crossed for fridge re-stocking and home cooking resuming soon.

                                      1. Busy night, packing up the oldster, bringing feral cats to my apt. for 10 days, generally stressing ... potentially very bad news about my newest job, which i LOVE- does it NEVER END?? ...dinner was dark rye toast with salmon schmear (3 of 'em), and a glass of some single-serve french rosé my friend bought me for my bday (a set of cute little bottles of different varietals). feeling MUCH better now. think i'll be breaking into the sauv b next.

                                        8 Replies
                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                          mc, I hope the potentially bad news about your new job doesn't happen!

                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                            thx LW. unfortunately, 95% sure it will. let's all bet on 5%!!

                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                              Fingers crossed on the 5%, mc!!! Your dinner sounds comforting and yummy. Love the idea of the single-serve bottles but it would lead to a lot of work around here opening multiples....

                                              1. re: GretchenS

                                                hah! thanks! i musta been exhausted cuz the one sent me right to bed!

                                          2. re: mariacarmen

                                            Tough times for you, huh? I hope everything turns out all right. But that toast has me drooling.

                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                              thx oadl. it was perfectly comforting.

                                            2. re: mariacarmen

                                              Sorry you are stressing about your job (and other things!) mariacarmen. I'll be hoping for the best outcome for you. Let's put that tapas party on hold until you have good news to report.

                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                you are so sweet. you guys go on with your bad selves and have that tapas party! i'll jump in when i can! thanks LNS.

                                            3. A request from my son for Penne all a vodka, but I am adding sautéed sausages and a green salad to round out the meal. Most of the day will be spent planted in front of the TV, watching the US Open, and knitting. The dinner requires little prep, so it will allow maximum tennis viewing time. When I was a kid, I would go to Forrest Hills Tennis Stadium to watch Nationals, which is what it was called then before the Open era. A buck fifty a day would get me in, cover the cost of the subway and buy me a hot dog and a soda. I haven't missed the tournament ever, but boy, how things have changed!

                                              12 Replies
                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                I'd like some of that penne, too, while you're making it ;-)

                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                  You're invited anytime! But it's a maiden voyage on the good ship penne alla vodka!

                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                    Use really good vodka. Absolut-ly. ;P

                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                      Vodka for the penne, vodka for roxlet! Sounds like a very nice dinner.

                                                2. re: roxlet

                                                  Very cool Nationals anecdote. Thanks for sharing!
                                                  The penne is pretty cool, too.

                                                  1. re: steve h.

                                                    Thanks steve h, but penne alla vodka is no where near as cool as Forrest Hills Tennis Stadium used to be!

                                                  2. re: roxlet

                                                    i made a vodka sauce yesterday... albeit to go over stuffed zucchini, but something must be in the air... did mine non-dairy w/ almond milk, but there's something so wonderful about that terribly simple sauce.

                                                    1. re: Emme

                                                      I have about a cup and a half left. How did you do the zucchini?

                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                        lightly steamed em, til they were slightly tender but could still easily hold shape. sliced in half, scooped out flesh. sauteed some diced onion in Pam, and a little minced garlic (would've used more if they weren't for someone else). added the zucchini flesh, then some TVP and chicken broth. cooked away most of the broth, then added in some fresh thyme, and a little fresh parsley, both chopped, and a dash of Bragg's Amino Acids. simmered a bit more til basically dry. stuffed the zukes with the filling, then baked at 350/375 til golden. prolly would have been good with a little grated parmesan on top, but recipient can't do dairy. 5 minutes of active prep... super easy.

                                                        1. re: Emme

                                                          Very interesting preparation!

                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                            i should add, though for me goes without saying, also salt and freshly ground pepper, seasoned along the way. i believe i also sprinkled with some coarse kosher salt before sticking in the oven too.

                                                            i'm a huge fan of thyme, especially in conjunction with onion.

                                                  3. I brought back from my weekend at the oldster's some gorgeous tomatoes, potatoes, and lettuce from the organic farm, plus a perfectly ripe avocado, some good but slightly dried-up prosciutto, some wonderful aged goat cheese and some stale whole wheat pita. So dinner last night was a salad of lettuce, tomato, potato, avocado wedges and a lemon-mustard-caper vinaigrette (I soaked the potato slices in it while they were hot and they just sucked it up), attractively arranged (you'll have to take my word for it) and draped with torn up prosciutto that I frizzled in olive oil and accompanied by toasted pita wedges and goat cheese. It was fabulous if I do say so myself. The plan for tonight is BLATs using Nueske's peppered bacon, if I ever get out of work. There is definitely a gin and tonic on the cards for tonight....

                                                    6 Replies
                                                    1. re: GretchenS

                                                      oh my that salad sounds good! enjoy that G&T tonight - i'll be doing the same tomorrow night.

                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                        I will raise my glass to you and that 5%. :)

                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                              Salad sounds fab, and fingers and toes are crossed here too!

                                                      2. A glance in the refrigerator and I knew I had to deal with a load of veggies, since a couple of them started to wilt. Grabbing what I thought would be good together, I knew what I was going to do : veggie curry with cashews and coconut cream. Add a red lentil rice and good to go. T'was pretty tasty and quick to whip up for two.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: mokafeinomane

                                                          nice. red lentil rice sounds like a good side dish to add to my repertoire; i'll have to remember that. welcome to WFD!

                                                        2. The goal of tonight's dinner was to use up some IQF b/s chicken breasts that have been languishing in the freezer, ignored for tastier options. So I'm making a chicken and rice casserole---a first for me. I seared large chunks of seasoned chicken and set those aside, then sauteed up some onions, shallot, and eventually browned some crimni mushrooms and celery. I toasted the rice in a pan and deglazed it with a little sherry, then added chicken broth, a little cream, and a few tablespoons of sour cream. Some chopped parsley and other seasonings went in, a foil cover, and into the oven.

                                                          I'm not much for casseroles, really, but here's hoping.

                                                          12 Replies
                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                            That's one elevated casserole, Ms. M. And absolutely delicious-sounding. I think maybe you're too young to remember Chicken Rice Roger (instant rice, boned chicken breasts, broth; covered and baked) but it's to your recipe what hot dogs and beans are to cassoulet. Well done.

                                                            1. re: mamachef

                                                              My mom used to make a version of that but her's was fancy because she sprinkled the top of it all with Lipton Onion Soup mix.

                                                            2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                              Those BSCBs are always the last to go, aren't they? :)

                                                              But that casserole sounds delicious, CM!

                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                How was it? I bet certain midwestern folks I've heard about appreciated a casserole on the table.

                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                    That's more MN, no? I don't recall hearing it said at least by my IA family (usually ironically, and/or in ref to Prairie Home Companion).

                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                      It is SO totally MN. Never once heard it referred to as such by the relatives in Ames and Des Moines. Funnily enough, it wasn't the phrase my family used, ever: casseroles were casserole if it was baked, ahem, in a casserole. Or if foods were combined, generally w/ cream soup or cream sauce. I first became aware of it being called something else in college when Gramma bought her first "hot dish carrier", a quilted sling with straps that would hold up to a 9x13, and then at least there, I don't think I ever heard it called anything BUT hot dish. :) I had a friend whose piece de resistance was browned crumbled hamburger combined w/ Campbell's Tomato soup, layered over green beans (canned, of course) and topped w/ Tater Tots and baked. There may have been some shredded cheese in there too, but I'm not sure.

                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                        Casseroles are big in those parts (understatement of the century department). My father-in-law's perennial birthday dinner request was "goulash" - Kraft m&c with hamburger and other stuff thrown in and baked.

                                                                        One of my mother's along those lines was "Spanish Rice" (grounds for a defamation suit) - browned hamburger and a teenytiny bit of onion, s&p, Campbell's tomato soup, and converted (perverted) rice. She and we kids loved it, my dad would.not. eat it. Or at least would bitch a lot about it. Another treat was the same hamburger with cream of mushroom soup. With taters.

                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                          It was not bad, but I still had that feeling I sometimes get with casseroles that I would have preferred the same meal made of its respective components cooked separately. The chicken breast and rice were both a tad overcooked. And I'm not so sure about adding sour cream to a baked dish, because it seemed to break up a bit. I liked the mushrooms.

                                                                          Overall, definitely fine, but I'd rather make risotto or seasoned rice with mushrooms and cheese and have my chicken, correctly cooked, on the side.

                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                            That's my feeling about that sort of dish too. The sameness of each bite gets wearing.

                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                              I hear ya, girl. I definitely have to be of a mood to have a casserole aka side dish when the separate components are so delicious. Sometimes things are way less than the sum of their parts. I think I could easily eat that hamburger/cr. mushroom tots casserole, though, 'specially if I was just a titch depressed. Couldn't handle the tomato soup mixture on a starving day, though, I don't think.
                                                                              If ever you decide you want to do something like this again, put a T. or so of flour into a bowl and then gradually mix in the sour cream, slowly so you don't break it at this juncture - more of a folding than a mix - and it will keep it from separating in the oven.

                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                The only "casseroles" I grew up with were baked ziti and lasagna, lol!
                                                                                I suppose there are advantages to being Italian!

                                                                  2. It's getting a little too porky up at our place, and I'm gonna have to change it up tomorrow, but tonight I took some pork neck bones, some dry-brined Napa cabbage, a whole bunch of really fat green onions, and made a Korean hangover soup type deal, which tasted like a cross between baechoo dwenjahng goohk (cabbage & miso soup) and yookgaejahng, which is a spicy beef based soup that is often eaten as a hangover cure.

                                                                    Steamed rice with the soup, homemade kimchi on the side. Also a little chili flake paste fashioned of crushed red chili flakes, paprika and oil to spice up the grown-ups' soups.

                                                                     
                                                                     
                                                                     
                                                                     
                                                                     
                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                    1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                      pretty cool-looking stuff, plant murderer ;-)

                                                                      Pt. Reyes Station beckons.

                                                                      1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                        I can almost taste those close-ups...and they are mouth-watering!

                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                          Gracias, Nightshade. :)

                                                                          Flickers are birds?

                                                                          1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                            Yep, birds. Kind of a woodpecker type with a speckled breast and a red bib.
                                                                            Not peeping toms.

                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                              *Not peeping toms.*

                                                                              I gathered that by the instance of the word *lovely*. Kekeke... :P

                                                                        2. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                          Seriously gorgeous, both food and pictures. Gotta get serious about that restaurant, Ina! I'd come straight across the country to eat there.

                                                                        3. Tonight, Rachel Ray came to my rescue. Sausage meatballs stuffed with fresh mozzarella, mashed potatoes, roasted broccolini, and a sauce of San Marzano tomatoes mixed with refrigerated pesto.

                                                                          The sausage was one I hadn't bought before and was too spicy and the mozzarella was pearls rather than bococinni (I know this was spelled wrong). I will try this again with different sausage and bigger mozzarella.

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: suburban_mom

                                                                            Sounds like it would be delicious even with the little cheezbawlls...

                                                                            1. re: suburban_mom

                                                                              Googled that meatball recipe and it is unquestionably going to be WFD at my house soon. Did you have any leakage problems? And how do you think they would freeze? Thanks for pointing me at these, s_m!

                                                                              1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                Just a little oozing but no big leaks. I'm not sure on freezing because of the fresh mozzarella.

                                                                            2. Dinner solo tonight (except for the three lovely flickers gazing hungrily into my dining room window), so I'm cleaning out the odds and ends of produce: sauteed garlic, beet greens, corn and walnuts, mixed with basil and parmesan, and tossed with penne pasta. Side of chopped tomato with za'atar and olive oil. Probably some berries for afters.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                I hope the flickers got a few berries tossed their way. :-)

                                                                                Dinner last night for me was OUT. Went up to a town along the north shore coastline of MA for dinner with a couple of friends - a perfect charbroiled bacon cheeseburger (this place is known for them) with steak fries. And wine. And good chit-chat. :-)

                                                                                Tonight will be leftovers from the weekend, as I'm trying to clean out the fridge before a trip to Maine for a couple of days. We'll see how "clean out" I get the fridge.

                                                                              2. was planning to do blackened fish tacos, but wasn't in the mood.
                                                                                ended up with seared scallops in a creamy lemon tarragon sauce with a roasted fennel salad and roasted shallots and cauliflower. nothing extravagant, but used up my scallops and fennel!

                                                                                i just bought some new smoked paprika, and want to use it tomorrow... in case anyone has a great suggestion!

                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Emme

                                                                                  A teriffic gulyas, made with chuck or round, with some homemade egg noodles, or chicken paprikas. Yum.

                                                                                  1. re: Emme

                                                                                    i vote chicken paprikas! been a while since we went on that kick....

                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                      Last Fall/Winter, wasn't it? Sooo delicious, and so fun with everybody's different opinions, results, variations: it really showed me what CH was about. Hooked forevermore. And then I remember, we went on a lamb kick. Or was it Stroganoff?

                                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                                        It was lamb, I think. I had to confess that I'd never cooked lamb before, and begged for help . . . and when I pronounced my dish 'gamey', I could feel a collective eye-roll aimed in my direction. I think it was Harters that pointed out that the fat *really* needed to be drained thoroughly? Which was correct, as I had failed to drain thoroughly.

                                                                                        And Emme, those scallops sound simple, but wonderful. And smoked paprika can be used in nearly anything (it's so versatile), but I've been craving paella lately, so I offer that up as a suggestion.

                                                                                      2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                        sounds like something doable... :) i look forward to reading the linked threads below...

                                                                                        still open to other ideas as well... i'd like to use it in a variety of meals... i'll declare it Smoked Paprika week...

                                                                                      3. re: Emme

                                                                                        Most definitely chicken paprikash. :-)

                                                                                        And should you need some help, Emme, as to what recipe to use? This thread might be that help. Or confuse you completely. Tee hee!

                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/743235

                                                                                        I had made this recipe, which started the Paprikash craze last fall: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7409...

                                                                                      4. I had One of Those Days eating-wise yesterday (bland, unsatisfying B and L, there's nothing close to my office worth eating and yesterday was especially bad) so D HAD to make up for it. Was seriously seeking SPICE.
                                                                                        So went with old fave chicken keema from Lalita Ahmed's v good "Indian Cooking Course" pback book: 3 onions, sliced and browned with a handful of curry leaves; add 1 Tb ground coriander and 1 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp cayenne, 1 tsp salt, 1 Tb each grated fresh ginger and garlic, 2 chicken breasts, skinned, boned, and minced in the FP (was plumb out of BSCBs, had to tackle the Real Thing) - cook until done, breaking up lumps - add a couple of hot slivered chilis , a fistful of chopped cilantro, and the juice of a lemon, garnish with a bit more cilantro. (The original recipe calls for 10 oz chicken, I double it and leave the onions as called for in the recipe, adjust the spices as above). Basmati with cumin and turmeric hit the spot and then some.
                                                                                        With sharp coleslaw/curtido (lots of serrano and cilantro in it) and some of The Cake (white chocolate, meringue, almond with raspberry rose filling, q.v. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8022...) as dessert, I went to bed a happy woman again.

                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                          Just reading this makes me happy. What a beautiful antidote to your bland day, girlfriend. Droooool.

                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                            Sounds great! I wish I had a source locally for things like curry leaves!

                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                              That coleslaw sounds wonderful. I *love* cilantro in coleslaw. And that cake sounds fantastic.

                                                                                              1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                Thanks! It was a nice I'm feeling sorry for myself over absolutely nothing dinner.

                                                                                            2. I have a feeling I'll be wanting comfort food tonight, after going to SF for the first time since Mike left us in mid-June, so right now there's a chicken simmering with a yellow onion, a smashed garlic clove, and a few peppercorns for strong stock. When I get home, I'll poach SBCB chunks in it, and set it all aside so that the chicken can absorb the stock to stay juicy and flavorsome. Closer to dinner, I'll add cubed potatoes, blanched pearl onions, halved "baby carrots" (marketing tool!) a handful of frozen petit pois and a few pimientos; I'll thicken it with buerre manie, and finish it with a jolt of cream and a hit of lemon juice. And when it's hot and bubbly, I'll serve it in a round loaf of Boudin French bread that I've hollowed out, buttered and pre-toasted so that it won't get soggy from the pot pie filling. That, and a wedge salad with heirloom tomatoes, shredded cucumber and balsamic dressing and some applesauce, is Comfort Central for Wednesday evening at Chez Us. :) Have a great day, y'all.

                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                Very nice, and sounds very suitable to the day. Love and hugs, dear girl.

                                                                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                  Perfect comfort food, what a wise plan. All of our thoughts are with you I am sure. Love and hugs indeed.

                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                    Oooohhhhhhh, Boudin's bread. LOVE that stuff! Your comfort food meal sounds absolutely heavenly and perfect for the day, mamachef.

                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                      That sounds lovely, mama. Specially with that crusty, chewy Boudin bread. Big hugs. <3

                                                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                        sounds heavenly... and comforting... if you need a hug, can i come to dinner? i'll bring dessert!

                                                                                                        1. Went to my Japanese friends house to teach them how to make bbq pork buns. The night before my sitter came over to learn how to make the marinade for the pork. Then we each roasted them separately and made the pork buns yesterday. I made a yeast dough, and brought along cake flour to make another dough. Why? Because they wanted to know which is best, so I let them decide. They both were good, the cake flour one a little more fluffy and whiter (vinegar does that).
                                                                                                          We chopped the pork, added our yummy marinade and other ingredients, like ginger, scallion, onion, garlic, and sherry plus etc. Cooked it and thickened it. Once cool I showed them how to stuff and pleat/ twist the little tops. Plopped em on wax paper squares, into my 25 year old bamboo steamer and wok. Once done, buns piping hot, we were able to do an honest taste test,of which ones we liked the best. Guess what, we like them both!

                                                                                                          While there, the mom made me a delicate egg custard with chicken, shitake mushrooms, shrimp and miso broth. YUM. A wonderful little cup as a starter, very delicate and silky. Then she made another miso based soup with more goodies. Pork, mushrooms, onions, some strange looking root which is delicious, and more goodies. The perfect soup on a rainy day or even for me, breakfast. So as it was I learned a lot, and tasted wonderful pickled onions that aren't onions but something else, and I don't care. It was tremendous fun and at one point the mom who speaks mainly Japanese commented that it was funny that a white girl was teaching them how to make BBQ Pork Buns!

                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                            Do you mean like char siu bao??? I LOVE those things. (And chawanmushi too!)

                                                                                                            1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                              yep. Exactly, with two different doughs. My friends wanted to learn how to make them. The ones I make I guess are Chinese, they are Japanese and say the Japanese ones are more salty. So since now they know the technique, they can teach me the Japanese pork.
                                                                                                              They came out beautifully, just a little time consuming and we made a double batch so each family would have plenty.

                                                                                                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                I think I personally like the Chinese ones better. Howzabout you, chicklet?

                                                                                                                1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                  Honestly, I didn't know that the Japanese had a pork bun so news to me. My friends described them as keeping the pork in larger pieces, and they said they were salty. I would have to say, to me they didn't sound like pork buns, but that's only because I'm used to what I know. I love the flavor of hoisin, and the sugar cooked into the filling - I'd miss that.

                                                                                                                  1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                    Chef C, I would love to make those Chinese-style pork buns. Would you share your recipe?

                                                                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                      Here it is!

                                                                                                                      BQ Pork Buns

                                                                                                                      The day before or at least 4 hours ahead…

                                                                                                                      Most recipes have you cut the pork into strips about 5 inches long, and 1 inch thick. Then after marinating, you can use paper clips of shower hooks and hang the meat from a rack in the oven (over a roasting pan with water). I prefer to cook it whole, and slice the meat off as I use it. What bbq pork you don’t use, you can put it in a gallon baggy or wrap it well and use it another time.

                                                                                                                      By roasting one whole piece I can store it in the freezer, slice off what I need for fried rice, chow mein, egg fu yung, soups, or eat it as an appetizer by dipping it into hot mustard. It comes in very handy at times!

                                                                                                                      BBQ PORK
                                                                                                                      2lbs pork butt or lean pork loin (I prefer leaner meat) and hanging it in the oven is messy, but suit yourself.)
                                                                                                                      In a small pan or pot mix:
                                                                                                                      2 T of each: honey, sugar, dry sherry, hoisin sauce
                                                                                                                      ¼ cup dark soy (Kikkoman is okay)
                                                                                                                      3 slices of ginger root – and I throw in some scallions too for flavoring
                                                                                                                      ¼ tsp red food coloring (more if you like color)
                                                                                                                      1 tsp Chinese 5 Spice
                                                                                                                      Heat over medium heat to dissolve the sugar.

                                                                                                                      Whichever cut of pork you use, trim any excess fat, and slash the meat so the marinade can permeate the pork. You can also make these with chicken or turkey.

                                                                                                                      Preheat oven 425F. Roast the meat at 435F the first 15 minutes, reduce the heat to 350F until the meat is done – 185F these times are approximate depending on the size of the pork you’re working with. Just be careful not to over cook and dry the meat. Using a meat thermometer, you want make sure the pork is cooked all the way through. If you can tell by looking, then don’t worry about the thermometer. But, baste the meat as you go so the flavorings go throughout the meat. If you can (not necessary, roast it on a wire rack sitting in a roasting pan filled with a little bit of water to prevent splatter.

                                                                                                                      Remove from the oven once the meat reaches temperature, and let it rest. Wait for a few minutes, and then slice the meat in 1 inch slices. If you started with 2lbs, you’ll want to slice off about 1lb for the buns. Wrap the rest and store it in the fridge or freezer, all depending if you have another immediate use for it.

                                                                                                                      Hot Mustard – ¼ cup dry mustard in a small bowl. Stirring constantly, slowly pour ¼ cup ice cold water, continue to stir until mixture is smooth. Stir in 1/8 tsp salad oil, cover and let stand for 1 hour. Makes 1/3 cup. Arrange sliced pork, top sliced pork with sesame seeds and scallions. Serve mustard in a small dipping bowl.

                                                                                                                      BBQ PORK FILLING
                                                                                                                      1 lb of BBQ pork cut into small pieces
                                                                                                                      1 – 1 ½ T oil
                                                                                                                      ½ tsp salt
                                                                                                                      2 T soy sauce or to taste
                                                                                                                      ½ cup water
                                                                                                                      3 T sugar
                                                                                                                      1 T sesame oil
                                                                                                                      Add a little of the marinade sauce from the pork- (be sure to cook it)

                                                                                                                      1. Heat the 1- 1 ½ T oil in a wok, stir in the flour, add the remaining mixture and stir until smooth and thickened – on low heat. Remove and set aside.
                                                                                                                      2. When cool, add the bbq pork to the rolled out dough circles.

                                                                                                                      Buns – The dough for the BBQ pork buns

                                                                                                                      4 cups of Cake flour – Softasilk
                                                                                                                      1 cup sugar
                                                                                                                      4 tsp baking powder
                                                                                                                      2 T shortening
                                                                                                                      1 egg white
                                                                                                                      1 T white vinegar
                                                                                                                      ¾ cup water

                                                                                                                      Wax paper for underneath buns when steaming
                                                                                                                      Mix the ingredients and knead the dough until smooth, about 5 minutes – set aside to rest for 10 minutes.
                                                                                                                      1. Knead the rested dough, rested for 10 minutes into roll or 2 inches diameter, and cut into 1 inch pieces. Flatten each piece into 3 inch round (using a rolling pin and extra flour) Place 2 T of filling in the center of each round. Gather up along the edge, and twist pleats securely.
                                                                                                                      2. Steam over briskly boiling water for 10-15 minutes. If you use your finger the dough will spring back once its cooked.

                                                                                                          2. Haven't had a chance to cook as much so here are some favorites over the last couple of weeks:

                                                                                                            For breakfast: Biscuits with spicy sausage gravy and thyme. Zuni Cafe eggs with bread crumbs, thyme and sherry vinegar. For lunch: Salad with Cajun shrimp. Dinner: Pasta with salmon and lemon cream sauce. Fregula with clams and saffron.

                                                                                                            Zuni egg link:
                                                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3559...

                                                                                                             
                                                                                                             
                                                                                                             
                                                                                                             
                                                                                                             
                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                              Rubee, I was scrolling and scrolling and saw your pictures and smiled big. They all look delicious. :)

                                                                                                              1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                I am craving biscuits and gravy so much. Problem is, I go into a coma every time I make it and eat it! Worth the calories and carbs/ I feel I'm about to cave. Too bad I don't have any milk in the house...

                                                                                                              2. Oh Chowhound! I am on my 4th day without power in South Central CT and we are starting to be miserable. Fortunately, stores now have power back but it was pretty scary for a while. We have gas for cooking, but no water. Here is my hurricane story so far (cuz it aight over) told through my meals.

                                                                                                                Saturday night: before the storm hit, we had grilled NY strips with baked potatoes and grilled mushrooms.

                                                                                                                Sunday: the storm hits and we lose power in the morning. Toast for breakfast. We try to use up the most votatile stuff first, so we made mayonaise artichoke dip for lunch, with some leftovers. Nachos (canned beans, olives, avocado, tomato, sour cream, monterey jack, corn) for dinner

                                                                                                                Monday: skipped breakfast, ate out for lunch, pork chops (that we had been keeping in our closed freezer)

                                                                                                                Tuesday: skipped breafast, had cannelini beans for lunch with herbs from the pots on the deck, grilled bone in skin on chicken breasts (from freezer) with squash from the garden and toast for dinner.

                                                                                                                Wednesday: bagel for breakfast, with capers, take out (ct style) lobster roll for lunch, take out pad tai for dinner.

                                                                                                                We've eaten almost exclusively what was about to go bad. We've had to toss about 5 garbage bags full of food. Were down to nothing and it's going to be eating out until we get power ( and therefore water) back. I'll be leaving for school and the wonders of dining hall food on Saturday, likely before we get power back. We've been getting water from the children's museum that my mom works at. I'm currently writing this from work, which has power.

                                                                                                                Trying to keep my chin up, but very frustrated.

                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: luciaannek

                                                                                                                  Oh no, that's dreadful. So sorry to hear it! That lousy Irene.

                                                                                                                  1. re: luciaannek

                                                                                                                    Very sorry to hear about your difficult conditions. But I like how you told your hurricane story by what you ate. A true chowhound!

                                                                                                                    1. re: luciaannek

                                                                                                                      Yikes, you got hit bad! I hope power comes on very soon so you can all get back into your homes!

                                                                                                                      1. re: luciaannek

                                                                                                                        That is awful! Hope you get your power back soon. But I agree with Nightshade, a very chowhoundly hurricane diary! Do keep your chin up and think of all the stories you will have to tell....

                                                                                                                        1. re: luciaannek

                                                                                                                          Oy. I hope you get back to normalcy soon, luciaannek. Good on you and your family for improvising and salvaging what you could as you did!

                                                                                                                          1. re: luciaannek

                                                                                                                            I hope Irene retreats and normalcy invades! You were certainly hit hard!

                                                                                                                            1. re: luciaannek

                                                                                                                              How awful. It's so disheartening to have to throw away food like that, and *still* keep yourself fed. But, luciaannek, it sounds as if you've done a wonderful job with the latter. Hang in there, baby.

                                                                                                                            2. Boneless, lightly breaded pork chops. Pounded and pan fried. Post-Irene tomatoes and basil from the garden placed over fresh mozzarella. Lucini olive oil drizzled over the fruit. Maldon sea salt and fresh-ground pepper (Tellicherry peppercorns) to taste. Wine is a very modest Dolcetto D'asti. Burn Notice on the panel (Deb), Yanks/Sox updates on my neighboring MBP.
                                                                                                                              I'll do the dishes.

                                                                                                                              Edited to add: Irene was mere flirtation where I live (Sou'west shore of Connecticut). She was not very lady-like for others. We wish you all a speedy recovery.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                That sounds like my kind of meal, steve h!

                                                                                                                              2. Still a few days until payday, and we're cleaning out the cupboards. Tonight is breakfast for dinner -- an omelet filled with blue cheese, caramelized onions and sauteed arugula, pan fried potatoes and the last of the blueberry chicken sausages on the side. If I have an egg left over, I might make 2 individual serving brownies for dessert.

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                  My boyfriend had the brilliant idea to put sauerkraut and mustard on the side of this. I wasn't convinced when he suggested it, but it turned out amazing. Sauerkraut and blue cheese and sweet sausage. Mmmm.

                                                                                                                                2. Dinner tonight was grilled shrimp lollipops, served on rice with a ginger-lime sauce. Bibb lettuce salad too.

                                                                                                                                  1. Had made sausage and peppers for himself last week, and there was quite a bit left. Sliced up the sausage, browned it, added the cut-up peppers and onions and most of a can of Rienzi plum tomatoes with their juice (minus the tomatoes I sucked down out of the can, with lots of salt, while cooking), a bit of oregano, a dash of hot pepper flakes, simmered briefly. Made a nice sauce (and plenty of it for another meal) over spaghetti, topped with a mix of Parmesan and dry Jack (glad to see it available here, finally).
                                                                                                                                    Salad of strawberries, halved cherry tomatoes, and feta with (it made an awfully red meal, but a tasty one, and the strawberries were getting ready to go west).

                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                      Ohhhh canned tomatoes......I LOVE poaching from the can while I cook. But yep, the salt's a complete necessity. In Winter, I've been known to open a can for a snack while my husband watches in horror (more canned-food horror than actual tomato horror) and provides commentary.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                        Mine is anti-tomato, period. Weird, right?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                          Not if you stop to consider: Mr. will eat anything made of tomatoes, but not tomatoes themselves. Go fig. Even a grilled stuffed tomato is fine, but if I put plain, cold sliced tomatoes out, he recoils in horror. You'd think sliced tomatoes could spit venom into your eye from the plate.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                            Mine is even iffy on tomato sauce and won't eat pizza with it on. The one and only time I've seen him eat sliced tomatoes willingly was at Per Se (salad with fresh hearts of palm that was an edible mosaic with maybe 7 types of toms). Still liked the hearts of palm better than the tomatoes. Claims he (who can tell what grapes are in a wine at 40 paces) can't tell the difference between summer field tomatoes and the January supermarket 3 in a plastic basket jobbies. More for me!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                              Mine is the same. Despises tomatoes yet will eat bruschetta with chopped tomatoes. He doesn't like what he refers to as "tomato snot." Won't eat ketchup either, but will make barbecue sauce with it and eat that...

                                                                                                                                      2. Last night's dinner was super fast and quick, because we had lots of shopping, cooking, and cleaning to do for a party we're having this evening. We had leftover roasted butternut squash soup and spinach-cheese tortellini with a simple homemade pesto. Iced tea to drink.

                                                                                                                                        Tonight we're having a homebrew party. Some vegans are coming, which made cooking more complicated than usual. We'll be having veggies w/ homemade hummus, cole slaw, slow-roasted bbq pulled pork on potato rolls, vegan Boca burgers on Italian rolls, vegan baked beans with caramelized onions, and potato chips. Watermelon soda and DH's pale ale homebrew to toast with.

                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                          Well-thought-out and appealing menu, CM!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                            Thanks. DH planned (this is his "keeping it simple" menu), and I helped execute. Fortunately, I did manage to convince him we needed more than a 7-lb. bone-in picnic shoulder for the 15+ carnivores eating. Hopefully, we'll have enough food. If not, we'll have a liquid meal :)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                              Sensible, there's really only about 3 maybe 4 max lb of edible meat on one of those.

                                                                                                                                        2. Last night's dinner was a Greek salad followed by grilled chicken that had been marinated in olive oil, lemon, garlic, fresh oregano and s&p with white corn salad and small red potatoes sautéed in the cast iron skillet with rosemary and garlic added at the end. Simple, Egyptian friendly, and quite tasty as evidenced by the lack of left overs.

                                                                                                                                          1. Last night was simple simple. I didn't get home until 7, so the 2 hour prep dinner I had in mind went out the window. We had made a pesto earlier, with walnut, basil, and garlic, which went under the skin of a chicken before grilling. Side was green and yellow beans with garlic, preserved lemon, and dried chile pepper (from the COTM). A spare enough dinner that we felt entitled to vanilla bean ice cream with fresh blueberries and raspberries.

                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                            1. Last night was my first attempt at mapo tofu, from this recipe at Epicurious:

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

                                                                                                                                              I subbed beef for pork and doubled the meat, plus used about 2.5 cups of stock (I think the original 1/4c. is a misprint anyway) so that there would be plenty of sauce. Added peppers to taste. Forgot the sesame oil but I don't think it was necessary. Totally delicious - even DH, who is not a huge fan of tofu, was loving it. Served over brown rice and steamed broccoli. Definitely a keeper, especially considering how easy and quick it was.

                                                                                                                                              Tonight - who knows? I have some odds and ends in the fridge to use up before I go away for the weekend, so maybe a grilled flank steak with whatever vegetables I have in the fridge, grilled as well?

                                                                                                                                              1. "When Plans Go Awry"

                                                                                                                                                Is that anything like "When Aliens Attack!"? I don't know. I just know the long weekend plans have been financially screwed up thanks to the car needing a $500 valve replacement. Timing is NOT everything, in this case. I can't win for losing in trying to get at breakeven with expenses on the CC. ::::Sigh:::: So rather than head up to Maine, as was my plan this a.m., I'm hunkered down at the house for the weekend. Which, when I think about all of the things that still need to be done around *here* (and I'm not talking painting, either!), I suppose is a good thing, right? ....... RIGHT????

                                                                                                                                                Anyway, dinner tonight will be spaghetti and homemade meat sauce, to which I'll add a container of home-roasted tomatoes. A salad alongside will do it. And a glass of wine to drown my car sorrows. :-)

                                                                                                                                                11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                  Bummer about the car! Grr. But be of good cheer, dear Bunny. You can relax, read some nice books, watch some fun TV, cook a bit, and tend to your chores ONLY when and if you feel like it.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                    Hmmmm...I do have two bags of cawwots in my fwidge....

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                      Glad to see that some things newwer change. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                        Yup. I did it again. Discovered when I made the pot roast last Sunday. I'm a doofus. :-)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                            Who could make a lovely carrot/ginger soup with a hit of orange...or a tzimmes, if the weather's ok for it....wannabunny.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                    Keep your chin up, lady. Enjoy that wine, and then the pasta. And then maybe the wine again.

                                                                                                                                                    Our car is also at the mechanic, though our bill is lighter by a hundred or so. I'll raise a drink in your direction this evening.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                      "When Plans Go Awry"
                                                                                                                                                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                      Holy smokes. First the car this morning - THEN the electricity late this afternoon/evening before I decided to heat up the sauce! By the time the power came back on (a neighbor had come out on *their* porch when I was talking to yet another neighbor and said there was an accident up the street that took out our entire complex) I just wanted to heat something up in the microwave...so it was leftover pot roast and veg.

                                                                                                                                                      I'll have the spaghetti/meat sauce tomorrow - or maybe make something different.

                                                                                                                                                      But you can damn well be sure I had my glass(es) of wine. :-)

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                        You're building up a lot of positive chance.
                                                                                                                                                        I predict smooth sailing ahead.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                          Exactly. Sometimes the universe just figures it might as well get *all* the bad stuff out of the way in one drop.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                            Sorry about your car woes OADL, and others! i'm not sure if i want my bad stuff in one lump or spread out over endless months. sometimes you don't get the choice.

                                                                                                                                                    2. Actually going out for tapas, sangria and music (www.Guitarraazul.com) tonight but I am braising some lamb shanks that needed to be cooked. I'll either freeze them or we will eat them this weekend. It's a new recipe for me from Epicurious using Middle Eastern flavors, cardamom, cinnamon etc. So far, the aroma is pretty nice wafting through the house.

                                                                                                                                                      1. I think I've said this before - that I know I'm supposed to post lunch on the WFL thread - but that thread never seems to get the same traction as dinner...

                                                                                                                                                        So today, lunch was a pan-fried ribeye with garlic-Hoisin sauce and a salad with red lettuce, Persian cukes, red onion, fresh mint and cilantro, dressed with the nuoc cham I made for last Sunday's bun meal.

                                                                                                                                                        Tonight, it'll be live uni and odds and ends - last night, sushi out. We're kinda splurging before summer ends and the child-people go back to school.

                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                        1. In an hour or so, we have to empty our bank account of anything that would have been left after rent and bills, and then walk to the mechanic (in the ninety-some degree heat) to fetch our car. And then we're coming straight home so that I can finish making dinner. Given our new budget (bad) restraints (luck), I'm wisely making use of pantry and leftovers.

                                                                                                                                                          I wound up not making that black bean soup until a few nights ago, and I still have a few cups leftover. I've quick-soaked and simmered a half-bag of blacks beans, and will make refrieds when I get back, and combine that with the soup, along with Spanish rice, and guajillo sauce, so that we can have burritos. I like my burritos wet (I know, I'm a glutton and a heathen), and am out of sour cream, so I thought I'd make a small pot of chipotle cream sauce with cheese (heck yes, with cheese--I deserve cheese). The kitchen is going to become an inferno, but I have beer. The freezer time for a perfect beer in our pad is twenty minutes.

                                                                                                                                                          And I hope to never again hear *that* sound coming from *that* car again--and from the looks we got from the other drivers yesterday, I'd say they feel the same.

                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                            My wine? It's raised to ::::virtually clink:::: your ice-cold beer in mutual sympathy.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                              Just had a unexpected car expense myself, must be something in the air. Tonight will be Brats and sauerkraut with some homemade squash relish, a nice cucumber and tomato salad on the side. Simple, easy, and not too fussy for yet again another hot day. We are still in the 90's here in Boulder, I am looking at some cooler weather this weekend, all the way down into the 80's, YeeeeHawwwww!!!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JEN10

                                                                                                                                                                Car pain here too. We have a car sitting on the driveway waiting for a repair. It is our 3rd car that we were saving for our high schooler who doesn't seem to be motivated to get his license. So, after it gets repaired, we will sell it and high schooler will be stuck riding the bus to school. Hate that we have to get it repaired to sell it though.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                ohhhh maaaaaaaaannnn.
                                                                                                                                                                Yes agreed, an ice cold beer will do you good. You're not alone on that new budget that's going around. Oh well, still appreciate what I have, and it's a good lesson to be more frugal even when times are fat. p.s I hate car trouble.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                  OADL & LindaWhit: Here's hoping things improve for you both. I just had some pricey car repairs done (essential) and could do another 2000-3000 (non-essential) repairs: new compressor, 4 wheel drive thingy etc but am passing on all that. I try not to put too many miles on the car to keep it going. It's 10 years old and 130,000 miles but doing ok. Probably need a new furnace and a/c for the house too, oh and new windows but the kid's in college so that won't happen. No complaints though, just trying to enjoy the simple things and have fun with our friends and be thankful for what we do have. Sincerely hope your luck improves and I raise a glass to you both in empathy.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                    *raises coffee cup* Here's to the stubborn old cars we coax along, and the thousand easy ways to make dried beans delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                2. Made up a version of a sort of chicken paprikash for the slow cooker.

                                                                                                                                                                  Chicken Paprikash (serves 2)
                                                                                                                                                                  1 potato, peeled & chopped
                                                                                                                                                                  1 carrot, peeled & chopped
                                                                                                                                                                  1 onion, diced
                                                                                                                                                                  1 clove garlic, minced
                                                                                                                                                                  2 chicken thighs 
                                                                                                                                                                  2  tsp paprika 
                                                                                                                                                                  1 tsp creole spice mix (like Emeril's Essence)
                                                                                                                                                                  2   cups chicken stock
                                                                                                                                                                  1/2 cup sour cream 

                                                                                                                                                                  1 cup dry spaetzle, then cook as directed on package.   

                                                                                                                                                                  Brown onion in sauté pan, add paprika, garlic and spice mix, stir.  Add stock, and stir to combine. Place potato carrot and chicken in 2 qt crock pot.  Pour over stock and onion mixture.  Cook on high 3-4 hrs.  

                                                                                                                                                                  http://photos-d.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-...

                                                                                                                                                                  1. Nothing exciting for dinner here. DH is out of town and the kids and I ate our way through the state fair today. I picked up a rotisserie chicken and pre-made mashed potatoes from Costco this afternoon. I will sautee up some haricot verts (at my 10 year old daughter's request) to have on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                    Tomorrow, I will redeem myself and cook a WFD worthy dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Last night I made brown rice ( I thought jasmine was my favorite, but I sure like the brown one too). I made a stir fry, marinated chicken breasts, snap peas, red peppers, onions, zucchini, bean sprouts, scallions. ginger root and garlic. Seasoned with oyster sauce, sesame oil, chicken broth, soy sauce and then thickened. Topped with fresh scallions, gosh it was good, and the house smelled wonderful - better than take out.

                                                                                                                                                                      Tonight, taking the easy route.Butternut squash ravioli and Alfredo sauce, lots of Romano cheese and salad with romaine, celery, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, garden basil, and a dressing with a balsamic and olive oil dressing. (might make it creamy not sure yet)

                                                                                                                                                                      1. Our uni diver guy ended up not diving today, but we did go to the beach and catch some tiny softshell sandcrabs, which I prepared Thai style in a sweet spicy chili garlic stir fry.

                                                                                                                                                                        Total beer food. If only I had a frosty cold Singha in the fridge...

                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                          inapc, your pictures and food always look so beautiful!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                              OOOOH! AHHHHH! WOW!
                                                                                                                                                                              You ate Sand Fleas?
                                                                                                                                                                              Something is totally wrong w/ you, girl!
                                                                                                                                                                              All in good fun. I now predict this post will last...12...11...10..09...
                                                                                                                                                                              Heeeheeee!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                There's lots wrong with me, mama. This ain't nothin but a sand flea... :P

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                  I thought sand fleas were tinier than that? Maybe the ones I saw (popping up from the beach to bite me) were just babies. I wish I had known then that I could bite them back.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                    Ok. These are not those, but I know what you're talking about. They don't jump, and they apparently only walk backwards, which is oddly endearing. Though I'm willing to bet the hoppers you're talking about are edible too!!!

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                I catch these at the beach all the time and never thought to cook them up. Is there anything to them but shell? Great looking photos of course!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                                  There is very little but shell, chicklet. Chewing them feels a lot like chewing the ends of the legs of softshell crab - lots of soft shell, not much meat.

                                                                                                                                                                                  And thanks! :)

                                                                                                                                                                              3. And on the 6th day, we got POWER!!!! Now to restock the fridge!

                                                                                                                                                                                Dinner tonight btw, was grilled cheese with one of the few things I was able to salvage- the unopened package of cheddar. DH was at work, and I wanted to enjoy the comforts of home.

                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I had leftover osso buco from a local restaurant in the freezer and it made a great pasta sauce tonight. I shredded it and added it to a tomato sauce with garlic, onion, red wine and tarragon. Served it with orecchiette.

                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                                                                                      Want...... Want. Want. Want. Want. WANT!!!! ::::stamping my foot like Veruca Salt:::::

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                        I picture it ; ) Remember, you have an open invite to come to sunny AZ when it's cold and frosty in Boston!

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Tonight was simple, yet delicious. I butterflied a b/s chicken breast and seared it in my cast iron. Little s&p and olive oil, still almost pink inside, which is how I like it.

                                                                                                                                                                                      To go with, I had a beautiful ratatouille someone gifted me. It's always nice to try someone elses version of a dish you love to make and eat, isn't it? This version was lovely. With almost crisp veggies, a smattering of herbs and all of the juices from the vegetables still in the pan, along with some quality olive oil.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm sure the fact that I may be falling for the gifter has nothing to do with my opinion of his cooking...it was really good!

                                                                                                                                                                                      A good cook and Italian born and bred, Oh My!

                                                                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                          Ooooh, girl. To both. Dinner, and maybe a new love thang. Suweeeeeeet! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                            nothing makes food taste better than a few pheromones! have fun rabaja! maybe a trip to your namesake town is soon in order? with the proper accompaniment, of course, hmmmm?

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                              Too true mariacarmen! All I can say is enjoy it all sweetie. Couldn't we all use a little bit of Italy in our lives, complete with cooking skills?

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                              *whistles* You're falling for someone who knows the good oils from the meh and the bad? This makes me smile. Happy for you!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                Sounds like you're having fun, rabaja. :)))

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I just love you guys. Thanks so much for making me smile even more broadly today!

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Dinner tonight will be gnocchi in a fontina sauce, with shallots and basil, and a big salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mounds of Joy brownies for dessert

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                                                    That sauce sounds lovely, Chocolatechipkt. And I'm guessing that there's coconut in those brownies?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Coconut and almonds in the middle. There's a recipe for mounds brownies posted here on CH, but I always wanted the dark chocolate of a mounds with the almonds from an almond joy ... so I added some in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I seem to be in a big ol' rut making the same damn recipes again and again - last night, mango pickle pork (a lot of sautéed onions to which some turmeric has been added, a couple of tb of paprika, water and vinegar over - as sour as you like it - to cover, simmer, add a dash of fish sauce and/or soy sauce, then a couple of tb - or more - of hot mango pickle, chopped up). Do not buy Shan brand mango pickle, it's 50% mango seed shell. The turmeric rice from Monday and a sliced cucumber with s&p, white vinegar, and a sliced shallot. And more cake.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not sure what tonight...

                                                                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I had a pig rut earlier in the week too, but that mango pork sounds tasty, bt! I love pork and vinegar together...

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                        That sounds delicious to me, and thanks for the heads-up on the Shan mango pickle. I love that stuff, and hate it when I try something new and it's disappointing.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Maybe tonight you should make Lobster Rolls, bt. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                          It was rare lamb chops with tiny Yukon Golds boiled with a lot of melted butter, s&p, and a shot of Sherry vinegar (yum), watercress salad. Uninspired but tasty. Saturday night pot-stuck tofu on leaf lettuce salad; Sunday night breast of Moulard cooked medium-rare (never cooked these before, ooh mama, like excellent beef), fresh corn, and arugula salad; last night yellow and red cherry tomatoes with basil and fresh mozzarella, pork with oyster mushrooms, caraway and sour cream, Yukons in duck fat (from the Moulard), our friend's mom's cucumber salad made with a cuke he grew (fabulous organic gardener), a perfect mini watermelon he grew, and a chocolate-amaretti torte of which more on "What are you baking". None of them untried recipes. Rut continues.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. It's going to be pizza. Using a container of roasted tomatoes that'll be pureed with some tomato paste and a leeeeeetle packet of sauce that comes with the crust (yup, not going to use dough and stretch it out - lazy lazy tonight). Chicken and asparagus will be roasted, chopped and dotted around the shell, mozzarella will be grated and scattered, Parm-Reg will be sprinkled, and pizza will be baked. And LindaWhit will have a glass of wine to wash it down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh - a simple butter lettuce salad with shaved carrots and sliced mushrooms and 1000 Island dressing alongside. And that wine. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                          That sounds delish! Not sure what I'm doing yet- fridge has yet to be restocked (and thanks to car problems- is it an epidemic?-it will have to be done in stages). DH was making noises about cocktails, so we might be eating bar food- we could definitely use a drink after this week!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Summer wanes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Two jumbo lobsters (boiled) are on the menu tonight. Corn on the cob and home-grown tomatoes will be on the side. There will be enough melted butter to seize the heart of a saint. Beer and green wine to wash it all down. Peaches and cream for dessert. The second-place Yankees will be on the panel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          The sea roach will be reprised in lobster roll and bisque form down the road.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sounds absolutely perfect.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Envious here in steamy Chicago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Deb and I are big fans of Chicago. Great food, greater architecture. Winters can be rugged. Enjoy the steam!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Here's a shot of today's tomato harvest. Irene flattened things here in Sou'west Connecticut but it was no big deal re-staking things and making the garden right. Stuff was lost but that's the price of poker. Brandywines, Better Boys, Beefs and grape tomatoes are in the basket.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Summer is too short.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Beautiful pic, steve. I love the daylight on them. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You are the photo master. You set the bar. I stepped up my game a bit but I have a way to go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Steve H. : We ARE a hardy lot. Hot and steamy in the summer. (Heat index was over 100 today.) And long, cold winters. (One winter hit -40 with the wind chill.) Being a skier and a Swede, I like winter, however last winter was a very long one. Not quite ready to enter into that quite yet so will indeed embrace our current weather. Fortunately, also a sailor so things are good at present. Enjoy those crustaceans!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Let's review:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You ski
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You cook
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You sail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    very cool.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Me Cool? Aw, shucks (paws the ground)....

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Brought home an assortment of fresh sausages from DiBruno's in Philly:

                                                                                                                                                                                                              - 2 hot fennel
                                                                                                                                                                                                              - 2 bacon, potatoes & cheddar (it sounds crazy, but they are awesome - we tried them there)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              - 1 maple
                                                                                                                                                                                                              - 2 portobella, shallots, and marsala

                                                                                                                                                                                                              The latter will be pan-fried along with sautéed sweet onion and red, yellow & green peppers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              It shall be tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Update: Deb is setting the dining room table. It was a unilateral decision.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm still boiling lobsters tonight and handling everything else but dessert. I better pick up the drink game. Maybe an inexpensive brut rose and some Cole Porter on the box? Yanks appear to be out.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Women...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I love dry rose w/ seafood. And Cole Porter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i like cole porter along with anything... can't go wrong with ella fitzgerald, etta james, or frank either... though lately i have been pretty obsessed with classical guitar acoustic tracks, especially Isaac Albeniz. the sounds are great accompaniments for cooking and eating... hope you had a nice evening! ...i want lobster!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      @ Emme: I have been listening to a ton of guitar music lately. This probably stems from seeing the Gipsy Kings a few weeks ago. I've been listening to Paco de Lucia, Manitas de Plata, Segovia etc, etc. This is not strictly classical but you might also enjoy a group called Guitarra Azul. I really like them and I believe that the one chap is classically trained. www.guitarraazul.com Check them out. It's more of a rhumba-flamenco sound but nice nevertheless. Some of it is pure seduction music! P.S. I also love Albeniz & Rodrigo. I want lobster too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        twodales, I'm also a big fan of flamenco and rumba/nuevo flamenco. Interested to give a listen to guitarra azul. Thanks for mentioning them here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          @ ina: I love their song "Tizi Melloul" It has some Arabic flavors mixed in and great rhythms. Happy to share. Enjoy my dear!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Great! I'll check it out. BTW, if you like Arabic beats and instrumentation, Putumayo (which is a world music label) has a great CD called Arabic Groove you might enjoy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for the tip. Can we have an Ole'?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Look at all you flamencas! Anyone dance? Can we do a few sevillanas for our virtual tapas party?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  !Vamos ya, Ina!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I should have known, RED shoes!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sounds like a little romance is in then? The world needs a whole lot more of that my friend. Have a lovely evening with your lady.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          there was some slow dancing going on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. A meatless fridge cleanout of edamame, green beans in oyster sauce, and mixed veg stir-fry over steamed jasmine rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Going to a grape stomp tomorrow. Should be interesting...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This looks almost identical to my stir fry the other night! Swap out the green beans for sprouts, and sugar snap peas. And I added chicken, but I love this kind of food, never any left over either!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Leftover tacos, chez nous - i mean, tacos made of leftovers. Tacos leftover would prolly be soggy. Tangerine glazed shredded pork pernil, chipotle black beans, jack, salsa of diced onions/habaneros/cilantro, and a side of grill-pan charred sliced pasilla chiles and scallion greens. and a roma tomato/cuke/scallion whites salad in lemon vinaigrette. Little mexican crema on the tacos, which i could (and did) eat with a spoon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Asian skirt steak, coconut rice, sauteed green and snap peas with ginger, garlic, soy sauce, mirin,and sesame oil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Had hoped to go sailing but the weather gods were not cooperating. Soooooo....it was...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Honeydew with Serrano ham & Braciole buried in Spaghetti sauce from the freezer over paglia e fieno. Then rushed off to see a film last minute. "The Guard", enjoyed it. Don Cheadle is always terrific.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                tonight: seafood enchiladas made with crab and langoustines, topped with a sauce made of tomatillo salsa, sour cream and a bit of chicken stock.. For the filling I used a base of leftover crab gratin, which I had defrosted, mixed with fresh crab and langoustines. delish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MAH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mah, that sounds seriously good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    twodales, i wanted to feel bad for you for the sailing, but then you busted out that dinner. lucky!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Keep movin' folks, nothing to see here…

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    No recent cooking to speak of, as we've been out with friends the last couple of nights. I even consumed that ultimate heresy of Asian food, crab rangoon.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tonight, we're having guests for dinner. We've got some dietary restrictions to work around, and a "no alcohol" stance. The menu is:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pear crostini with pine nuts, garlic, and rosemary.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Watermelon, feta, and basil salad
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Home made fettuccine with pancetta and peas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Spatchcocked chicken rubbed with ground fennel, salt, pepper, parsley and thyme, grilled under a brick (pretty much a Batali recipe)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Asparagus roasted with lemon zest and garlic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Peach cake and vanilla bean ice cream

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Trying to walk a line between serving food that is fun to cook, and pleasing guests that I don't know well, but I'm guessing are not adventurous eaters. We'll see what happens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I would be well-pleased if I were one of your guests. In fact, you might have trouble getting rid of me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'll put an extra leaf in the dining table if you can get here by 7pm!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        what a great meal. very fortunate guests. that chicken sounds amazing. and that crostini! what a great combo. i never think of fruit as a starter, but that's a very interesting savory prep. enjoy your evening!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks mariacarmen! We had a lovely evening.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Crab rangoon?!?!?! Prepare to be tarred and feathered, woman.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm hanging my head in gastronomic shame.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Don't hang your head in shame. Everyone once in awhile, you gotta do what you gotta do. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Wanna know what's funny? I didn't even know for sure what a crab rangoon was until 2 days ago when someone on CH told me!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And I don't think you can really go wrong with deep fried + cream cheese, can ya?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Truth be told, crab rangoon was one of my favorite foods when I was a young thing, and consequently, one of the first things I learned to cook. I bought canned crab with my allowance, added chopped scallions, and just a smidge of cream cheese to bind. Wrapped in wontons and dropped into mom's deep fat fryer. (At the time, I thought I was cooking Chinese food!) Those I had the other night were a big blob of cream cheese with a few shreds of imitation crab, which is apparently the current common version.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Meat loaf, Marchegiano style.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I saw this dish on Lidia Bastianich's show on PBS. There is no mix (veal, pork beef) of meats, just beef. We ground our own and added the usual suspects (eggs, milk-soaked bread, scallions, Parmigiano-Reggiano, house-grown parsley, salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil). Ricotta cheese is the spin as well as mozzarella cubes. Being an Italian dish, freshly grated nutmeg is part of the flavor profile. Deb is doing all the heavy lifting. Sauce is tomato based and consumed a lot of our home-grown stuff. Sunset Boulevard will be on the panel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sunday morning is part of Lime Rock Park's "Fall Vintage Festival." It's a car thing. Classic/vintage cars from North America and beyond converge on this beautiful patch of rural Connecticut over the Labor Day weekend. Racing on Saturday and Monday, an excellent car show on Sunday. Burrata and lobster rolls (leftover lobster from the other night) when we drive home: not fancy. Maybe some bubbly to mourn the passing of summer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hey, steve. We went to the lamest grape stomp ever today, and I thought of you, and how you, unlike we, would probably have had the good sense to leave before you paid for the entrance. It was hot as hell, really stupid, and featured really crappy wines. And now I have a bad case of Chicken Dance earworm from the live entertainment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But that meatloaf sounds deeeeelicious!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Howdy ina,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Life's too short for crap food/crap wine :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    NO! Summer isn't over yet! (Me: Kicking & Screaming)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You can have the champagne anyway ; )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That meat loaf mix sounds amazing! Enjoy the classic car show.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Pay day finally came, but we still had no food in the house, so last night we went out for cheap pizza and beer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Today we hit the grocery store, and dinner tonight will be bacon-wrapped beef filets, potato salad (a la my boyfriend) and broccoli with lemon-garlic butter. Also, some red wine that looks promising.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Edit: Change of plans! Turns out we only have two smallish potatoes, nowhere near enough for potato salad. We're boiling them anyway, as they are on the verge of being too old to eat, and will probably just serve with butter, salt and pepper. I'll probably slice some sourdough and tomatoes to go with the meal as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      15 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        yes finally; how long it was 'til pay day for me :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's a good feeling, isn't it? Although it's all too easy to get carried away, and the next payday is still far in the distance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            yeah, i'm already subtracting from my next pay...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think I have $10 left for this week, then anything else is coming out of next week's budget...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ah well. I recently found a rosemary bush near an abandoned house a few blocks away. Now if I have to eat beans, at least they'll be rosemary flavoured beans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                i have a coworker who brings me lots of rosemary and i don't know how in the h*ll she grows that big rosemary since it hates sofla climate; she must be using some serious chemicals ;) that reminds me...Rosemary macaroni was one of my meals this week (Elbow macaroni/rosemary/Dubliner cheese/parm/xtra cracked pepper/evoo); ok i lied about the evoo since i have about 1/4 cup left; i used mostly regular olive oil :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Rosemary macaroni sounds good. I'll have to work that into the repertoire at some point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    she also gave me tons of parsley; can you guess what we had the nite b4 rosemary macaroni? parsley mac- yes; but that time with salmon burger...is it really past 2 am? i better get to sleep :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ugh, how long it is til the next! rude shock looking at my acct today. leftovers again indeed for us!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              it goes fast (the money, not the time) when u live paycheck to paycheck maria; i'm not a fish stick person (although i love them) because i like to control what i put in my food as much as possible, but i used that $3 off coupon at costco and got the sticks; i will probably have that tomorrow and make up a sauce for it :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                MMM - love fish sticks, it's been waaaaay too long. unfortunately, the boy doesn't much like fish. and actually, the boy just came in to some more work, so i think we're going to have some cheap neighborhood pizza tonight with our own salad fixings, and i'll save the kimchi chicken for tomorrow night (it can marinate all night that way.) enjoy the sticks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Did you just say *KIMCHI CHICKEN*????? Spill.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i have homemade but purchased kimchi from a vietnamese place, and i have chicken thighs. did a google search and came up with a few very simple preps - like this, f'rinstance: Stir Fried Kimchi Chicken recipe:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    500g chicken pieces (thigh or fillet cut into bite size pieces; boneless)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    kimchi (as much as you want really) and some of its juice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 tbsp sesame seed oil*
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 tbsp soy sauce*
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 tbsp sesame seeds*

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    * these ingredients are optional although they do enhance the flavor of your kimchi stir fry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Method:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Combine ALL ingredients together and let it marinate for about 10 mins.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Heat pan/wok on a medium heat with a bit of oil.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Pour kimchi chicken mix into the pan and spread evenly on the pan. Let it cook like that for about 3-5mins

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    or this:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Couple cups of kimchi
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    meat from 3 chicken thighs diced into 1 inch squares
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 cloves of garlic finely diced
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 shallot finely diced
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 thumb size piece of ginger finely diced
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    teaspoon of toasted sesame oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sambal and sriracha to taste (I used about tablespoon of both)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tablespoon of soy sauce

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Steps to success:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Combine everything but the chicken and taste. If you are happy then add the chicken if not adjust.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Place in fridge overnight.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Place wok over high burner.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Add in a splash of high temperature oil (I used canola).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Add in mixture and toss around until chicken is cooked through.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Serve and enjoy over rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    got any better suggestions for me? the kimchi i have has good heat but is also a bit gingery, which i love.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I like the looks of that second recipe better. Plus, I really love the *If you are happy..." instructions. I think that's adorable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think I'd add a teaspoon or two of sugar to the mix - not so much to make it really sweet, which it won't, but it'll give what I think is a really nice caramelized flavor to the dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This reminds me that I am almost out of kimchi. But I think I'll give myself a break from it before I make another batch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        thanks for those tips, i was just about to start the marinating process.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i've sworn to myself i'm going to make my own kimchi. i'm not always that good with follow-thru... but you and oadl have inspired me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ETA: AND DONE! chicken thighs marinating in yummy kimchi, sambal, ginger, shallots, garlic, soy sauce, sriracha and some sugar, a la ina.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    had them last night with rice and pinto beans, a greens salad, and avocado slices; i like them super crispy, but i was afraid to burn them so they weren't; next time il bake them longer; was rushing so i didn't make sauce; sometimes i do like to dip them in siracha
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    yes, those pizza nights are great (delicious, fun and easy). I am so Korean-food challenged; i must be the only adult who has been to LA dozens of times and not had Korean; i may have as a kid but i don't remember; people like us who live to tell me it's unbelievable- enjoy your kimchi chicken!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. moussaka. it was too hot to cook it today, but well worth it with garden eggplant and lamb from a neighbor. It was great and we will freeze the remainder. I always forget how good it is. We had plain steamed green beans alongside, which was perfect. Some crisp apples for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. porkporkporkporkporkorpkropprokpork. the last of the pernil is being made into a salad - a BF Fridge Surprise. pickings are slim, so we're hoping for the best.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                porkporkporkporkporkorpkropprokpork??? That's my favorite!!! :P

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  my GENIUS bf added bits of BACON to the salad too! it was pork²!! he sliced cold pork (i would've probably heated it, would have made for a heavier salad) over romaine, a half a roma sliced thin (fridge clean-out), green onions, parsley, shallots, the crumbled bacon that HAD to be cooked now, and blue cheese dressing (store bought - we are suckers for Marie's) thinned down with a little milk. truly a porky delite. and for late night snacking tonight with cocktails, we have bacon, cold pork, and homemade but purchased kimchi we just got at a banh mi place - sweeter than usual but nice and spicy. i am feeling lucky this evening, after a slightly melancholy day of moving more of my dad's stuff/dealing with house issues. (i know the pic isn't as beauteous as others' pics here, but it made me happy to look at. the BF is a much better plater than i.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That plate looks deeelicious, mc. BF did good for you after a hard day. (He'd better!!! ;) )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      thanks Ina. he sure did - and he was extremely helpful with the day's activities too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Watched the US Farm Report this morning and it sounds like Irene hit at a horribly bad time for farmers trying to harvest crops. Here in TX we'd love to have some of your rain. This drought will now not only affect this year but 2012 as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That looks most excellent, Barbara! We had sushi too (out, though). I also love the finish on your table. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          looks delicious! This is of favorite dinners, or lunch for that matter!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I forgot the seaweed salad that was in the fridge when I took the picture, and the stemless wine glass is sake (of course!! )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm not a big fan of maki, I'd much prefer a wonderful variety of nigiri sushi. Therefore, I am not very good at making rolls of any sort, so yesterday I really tried hard to make some basic ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ina, my table is a cheap one from World Market but I love the dark finish against my various placemats and my regular white plates. mc & cc, I really try to make fun meals even though I most often dine alone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I love Cost Plus. And I think it's great that you make your meals beautiful, even, or especially when it's just for you. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                recently I learned how to make sushi, and it's not that easy. You have to really know how much rice, how to gently spread the rice without mooshing it, and then to roll it all up without anything coming out, and not ending up with burritos! You did good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Tonight had the lamb shanks (Moroccan-ish flavors) that I braised 2 days ago, couscous for me and spuds for the man, piperade and fresh figs with goat cheese, pistachios and honey for afters. Had to save some of the lamb as it was too much for me. Watched "The International" tonight. Good movie! I love spy flicks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I'm so behind. So many great meals already made. I had one of those loooooonnnnnggggg weeks. And I kept checking "my activity" on my profile so by the time I remembered to hit the new WFD thread, something would take me away from CH. Can't even remember what I ate, but I'm sure it had avocado slices on the side :) My money from pay day is already spent. I went out to Costco last night night and ate one of those just baked pizzas right before they the last cart checks out. It was the best one I've had since normally i just get a slice or two that's not just baked. Plus, they were out of parm so the lady behind the counter hooked us up with the other (chunkier) grated parm they sell. You know, since cheese pizza - well- needs more cheese...We had leftovers even and had that today with salad. Had the avocado for lunch (avocado sandwich). Hope you are all enjoying the long weekend so far. I'm using it to try to catch up but I will still try to hit the beach at least once ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I love how you delight in the little things like how that pizza was just baked. I agree that it's a treat to get them just out of the oven. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  it made all the difference in the world; it was like another pizza entirely; now i will want it exactly that way next time- could be a big problem ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Then you might be like the problem I am at McDonald's when I ask them for freshly fried fries without salt. But they're always really pleasant about it. I just wait until they get through the batch they've already cooked. You know, now that I think about it, I've always had a generally positive customer service experience at McDonald's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Why am I even thinking about that? It's really early. And I need that coffee to hurry up and finish brewing...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ha Ha Ha...my sister-in-law does that and so now I do it as well. Of course then you have to ask for salt. Their fries aren't as good as they once were now that they are "healthier" but they are still good if they are fresh & hot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I agree. That tallow really added a little sump-in sump-in to those fries...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        that's especially true of fried foods- must eat right away ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Nothing like coming home from a gruelling week away to a tropical storm dumping rain for days. But nothing like the fear of loss of power as a motivator to start cooking down the freezer. (Except for a few very short outages, did not end up being a problem.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Since my sister was in town visiting Mom and getting out of Dodge on Saturday morning and since she loves fried seafood (and never gains an ounce, unlike one of her sisters), I had the gang over Friday night for fried shrimp, fried drum, fried onion rings, a big tossed salad, ciabatta, and blueberry cobbler.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Last night, we had roast chicken and baby limas cooked w/speck, onion, and garlic w/brown rice, along w/some brussels sprouts that needed cooking (glazed w/balsamic).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And for tonight, the lovely aromas of osso buco are wafting. We'll have that w/risotto milanese, some roasted asparagus, and a salad of greens, avocado, kumato, red onion, and a simple vinaigrette.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DH is very happy. And since he is, I am about to ask him to make me a negroni. The fridge and freezer seem happy too, w/a bit more breathing room. The jeans, however, are not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    sounds like you recovered well from your week and the storm, NCW. i just ate and your osso buco dinner has me drooling. and i'm with you on the negroni.... and unfortunately the unhappy jeans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ncw, who got the marrow? I think that's my favorite thing about osso buco...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fried seafood, roast chicken, AND osso buco? Heaven. Absolute heaven!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Homemade chili - new recipe but went over well. I was going to make cornbread too but the rest of the family decided they could make due with fritos.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My daughter made dessert. Strawberry cake with fresh strawberries between the layers and on top. She is very proud of her cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. To tie in a tangential discussion on another thread, some argued that a chicken cut into pieces and cooked in the oven should be called *Baked Chicken*, but tonight, I cut up my weekly whole chicken, made stock what was left, and *roasted* the remainder with some onions, carrots, celery, tomato, turnip, Mexican squash, garlic, S&P, a rub of olive oil, and a few dabs of butter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sweet potato and yam mash with just a touch of brown sugar and cinnamon on the side. A few pickled peppers and carrots too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mexican squash; did you use the flowers to? I love "flor de calabaza" anything :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have been looking for squash blossoms all summer at the farmer's market. The restaurants buy them all up and I don't have room to grow them myself. : (

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've been craving squash blossoms since someone talked about squash blossom quesadillas. They are SO hard to find if you don't have them in your garden.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  depends on your location; i've seen them in Socal markets

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. thought it was gonna be a bit warmer here today, but it was nicer than expected... despite more elaborate plans for company, ended up doing a simple Halibut with Leeks and Tarragon over Spaghetti Squash alongside a marinated tomato and onion salad. Cream cheese swirl brownies by request for dessert., as well as some homemade browned butter ice cream. hoping to do some newer stuff next weekend. i get bored trotting out the same dishes, liked or not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              happy labor to all!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                yeah your meal just sounds sooo boring (sarcasm).... I wish i was eating your repeat boring meals :)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Happy Labor Day 2 u 2!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  haha, it's not a horrible meal; i just feel like it's a cop-out making stuff for company that is kind of old hat to me... it's my own weird thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I know exactly what you are saying about old hat stuff for company.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But I realized the other night that I cook quite differently for different people. Some people I experiment on, and they end up getting the most interesting meals, but they also take the greatest risks. Some people get old hat, good, but not exciting.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    BTW, your old hat meal sounds just lovely!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Simple: Lasagna, baby greens w/lemon & evoo and shaved parm, and strawberry shortcake for dessert. BF brought home wine from WA so we had a chardonnay. I realized it has been almost two years since I made lasagna so I'm a bit out of practice. It didn't seem to "set up", the noodles were sliding. I wonder if I didn't cook down the sauce enough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Dinner was lazy spaghetti and meatballs. The sauce was not homemade, but was quite good. The meatballs were nothing fancy -- ground beef, milk-soaked sourdough, oregano, salt, pepper, a touch of balsamic -- but were perfect after a day spent outdoors, especially with a glass of wine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We went fig-picking today and what I'm really excited about is the pot of fig-vanilla freezer jam cooling on the stove.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    those meatballs sound way fancier than anything i used to make ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    fig picking? how awesome is that? i planted a few CA Missions in my yard; they didn't make it; i believe they prefer a Medit Climate, not subtropical anyhow; wish u could email me some of that jam :(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, if only jam could be emailed. Then you could add fig macaroni to your waiting-for-payday repertoire. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And fig picking was awesome. That's sad about your fig trees. There are tons of figs growing around central California, but I hadn't been able to find a single tree near my house, so yesterday we just started walking, hoping that we would find a tree in someone's yard and that they'd be willing to share. Instead we found an entire abandoned fig grove in an otherwise empty, overgrown lot. We picked two bags and I made jam out of the ones that were over-ripe or got squished on the way home. We still have more figs than we know what to do with! But I'm not complaining.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. My Sunday dinner ended up being spaghetti and meat sauce. I had gone up to Rockport with a friend and her son, and was *hoping* for a lobster roll ... but the lines were too long at several places we tried. So much for thinking we'll go for an "early dinner" around 4pm - lines were long even then in both Rockport *and* at Farnhams in Ipswich. Oh well. No lobster roll for me this season, I guess.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    So I came home and pulled out a tub of sauce and made that along with some crusty rolls and a small salad. This is what I had planned to have several days ago and never did. So it's out of the way now. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tonight? Still not sure. Going to be humid, so roasting a chicken is definitely out. We'll see what's on sale at my local market and see what I can rustle up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      to be so close and to not nab a roll! i would be less sanguine about it. probably because i've never had one, still! on my top 10 list of things to eat before i die.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. My dinner plans kept getting preempted this week, right through last night, with a spontaneous get-together with all our flat neighbors to welcome the new couple (who are very cool--interesting, intelligent, *and* funny, thank god). But the boy had to work the holiday, and it's decidedly chilly here (whiskey weather, for sure), so a pot of something simmering on the stove would be, for him, a welcome sight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have some red lentils in the pantry, and was thinking some sort of stew would be nice, especially with roasted red peppers and sweet potatoes (which I'll cube and roast, adding to the soup near the end). I'll also add onions, garlic, tomatoes, spinach, and carrots. Cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, and a splash of red wine vinegar will make it into the pot as well. I might add peppers, or some type of chile (instead of the red pepper flakes).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And see what I did there? All of those vegetables swimming in a vegetable stew. Which means a grilled cheese (or two) actually saves us from feeling *too* virtuous. No one likes those people. Or maybe shaved asiago and croutons to go with. I'll let the boy decide--even though I know that he'll ask for the first bowl with grilled cheese, and the *second* bowl with croutons and cheese. And I'll do it for him, because he's had a tough time lately, but then I'm at risk of feeling virtuous all over again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But then again, if I identify the seasons by the alcoholic beverage I prefer to drink during that time, maybe I'm not so much in danger of being too virtuous. (But it *is* whiskey weather.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I envy you your spur of the moment get togethers, lily. I should probably get out more in my new neighborhood so I can meet people with whom I can have spur of the moment get togethers...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I live in the suburbs. Neighborly get-together affairs are written in the bylaws. ;) In a building this tiny (just four apartments), I know exactly who is 'borrowing' my dryer sheets, who's taste in music diverges sharply from my own, and who can't handle her wine. The little parties urge each of us to keep being generous and tolerant with and of each other, I think.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You'll get there. You're so damn likeable. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Well, I did go to a grape stomp with a meetup group called *Winos* (the coordinator is an acquaintance of the Man and invited us out) and within the first 10 minutes of meeting the group, 3 members of the group who weren't in attendance were gossiped about, and the Man's drama with his apparently very dramatic ex also talked about ad nauseum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I am guessing meetup is not the way to go. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ugh. Too bad, a grape stomp sounds like a good time. I've always wanted to do it! Gossip and ex-drama. Sounds like they needed less stompin' and more drinkin'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          glad you got good replacement neighbors, oadl! that stew sounds smashing. and grilled cheese.... hmm, that may just be brekkie around here...with an egg on top.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As a late snack last night, I had a bagel and cream cheese with a fried egg on each half. I sprinkled it with some Spice House Rocky Mountain Blend (powdered green bell pepper, shallots, and parmesan), salt, and pepper. Runny yolk and cream cheese dripping off of a chewy bagel. . . uuuhhh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              oh the decadence of late night snacks....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. It's a meat loaf night. This would be better made tomorrow, as it'll be cooler by then, but as I'm going out to dinner tomorrow, I'll make it tonight. Plus, it'll give me the makings for work sandwiches. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I picked up a package of sweet Italian sausage patties at the market today (when I was just going in for on-sale chicken thighs and b/s chicken breasts for freezing), so I also picked up a family-size package of ground beef. I'll use a couple of the sausage patties and half of the ground beef for a slightly smaller than usual meat loaf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The "always gotta have" sides will be mashed potatoes and peas.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ~~~~~~~~~~~

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            * Exported from MasterCook *

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sour Cream and Onion Meatloaf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Recipe By :Linda
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Serving Size : 6 Preparation Time :0:00
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Categories : Meat Loaf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            -------- ------------ --------------------------------
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1/4 cup onions -- chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1/2 cup fresh mushrooms -- sliced
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Tbsp butter or margarine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 pkg Lipton Recipe Secrets Savory Herb & Garlic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            soup mix
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1/4 cup fresh parsley -- chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1/3 cup sour cream

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Saute onion and mushrooms in butter or margarine until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Pour sauteed onions and mushrooms onto ground beef in large bowl and mix well. Add soup mix, parsley, and sour cream; mix well. (Mixture will be VERY moist...add some Panko crumbs if you want it less moist.) With wet hands, form into loaf and put into a 9x5" loaf pan sprayed with Pam cooking spray. Bake at 350o for 1 1/4 hours, pouring off excess liquid halfway through. Let sit about 5 minutes before slicing.

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It's a stroganoff loaf! Genius. God, I've been craving a meatloaf sandwich all week. You and Steve are making me jealous. Enjoy that meal, lady.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LOL! Dammit, it *is* a stroganoff loaf! I might just change the title of the recipe. Tee hee!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Went through freezer to see what I could use for dins tonight. Found a marinated flank steak so will give that a try. Maybe with a salad, baked potato and a veg. It seems a touch "mystery-meat-ish". Hope it's okay. There's money in that freezer so on a mission to use it all up rather than buy new.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              At least lunch was good: leftover piperade with couscous. Yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Fridge cleanouts are the best!!! Even if they're not the most delicious meals, there's something intrinsically rewarding about them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But I know what you mean about pre-marinated meat seeming a little mysterious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Correction. Took the college kid back to the apt in the city so it was tomato soup and grilled cheese tonight. Didn't want a big meal since I returned after 8. Mystery meat awaits us tomorrow night. Tuesday. I'm gonna be messed up on my days all week now, I just know it because today felt like a Sunday. Still craving lobster thanks to you lot!!! ; )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. E is getting a bit work done, so it's a nice relaxing Labor Day for me. Cleaning (leisurely) and cooking. I've prepped lobster salad for rolls, and a fresh corn and tomato salad for dinner when he is done. May make potato salad too, or just serve chips. Dessert is banana cream pie. Meanwhile, I've been enjoying a glass (or 2) of nicely chilled Lillet Rouge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Well done. steve tips his hat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ::::Sigh:::: Lobster roll. I'm living in the Land Of Lobster Roll. And I haven't had one this season. ::::Sigh::::

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And no - I'm not going to make one just for myself - properly eaten, it *must* be in Gloucester, Rockport, one of a few places in Boston proper, at Farnhams in Ipswich, or at a clam/lobster shack along the coast of Maine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Enjoy, Rubee. Jealous. Sounds like a perfect end-of-summer meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ahhhh, i LOVE lillet rouge! everything about your about this dinner sounds perfect.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Last of the lobster meat will meet rolls this evening.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Deb took the last of the broken limbs from Irene out to curbside, I bought her lunch in Port Chester.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yanks are in first place. Order and harmony has been restored to the universe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yanks are in first place. Order and harmony has been restored to the universe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          :-P :-P :-P

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I know. We'll see you in the playoffs to duke it out, dear boy. I'd just like the better team to be first going INTO to the playoffs. And before you make a wisecrack, the team that plays further north in a way cooler park is the better team. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The new Yankee Stadium is the coolest park in all of baseball. It took the ghosts a few months to figure out that they had to cross the street from the old place but once they did, we won another World Series (27?).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2011? I like our chances. Tampa is breathing mighty heavy on your Boston back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Best rivalry in sports.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pffft.....it's not a baseball park. It's a stadium, like Foxboro or Giants Stadium. BIG diff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I still win. Tee hee!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Fenway is kind of cool, but it is very old. The dimensions are iconic so I think the powers that are have no alternative but to upgrade a bit here, pat a bit there. That won't change things, merely push serious decisions down the road. Having said that, downtown stadiums are important.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Boston will persevere.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I collect old stadiums.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Here's a shot of Oakland Coliseum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But I'm also a fan of the new stadiums. Oriole Park at Camden Yards started a whole new era of design.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Baseball, baseball stadiums are very cool. Food in these venues has improved big time. Prices are extreme.