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Jun 21, 2012 04:55 PM

What's for Dinner #151 [OLD]

Heat. Humidity. That's the northern East Coast.
Cool. Chilly. That's the northern CA West Coast.
Cooler in Miami than it is in Boston.

Bizarre weather.

As for meals? They're all over the place! So what's cooking? Or what's *not* cooking and are you going with cool salads and sandwiches?

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  1. It's gone quite pleasant today and the heat has moved to you Easterners. Help is on the way.

    Tonight it's just me and I had some Middle Eastern food for lunch so I am not really hungry. Think I'll make a little Eton mess tonight. Juicy strawberries, crushed up merengues and whipped cream. Perfect.

    9 Replies
    1. re: twodales

      Just got turned oN to Eton Mess after reading April Bloomsfields book. So delicious!
      Have you read it? A Girl and Her Pig.
      I'm hoping it's a COTM one of these days.

      1. re: rabaja

        No I haven't. I will look out for it though. So my dinner of Eton mess was scrummy (scrumptious and yummy). I don't usually go for sweets but it hit the spot.

      2. re: twodales

        I knew you had hot weather, but nothing prepared me for the thick soup of superheated air that greeted me yesterday. I also had a large Middle Eastern lunch (kofta kebab with baba ghannouj and tabbouleh) so I wanted to go small for dinner. Sadly I was also overhot and slightly tipsy from all the beer I had drank after work in a desperate attempt to cool off / enjoy life, so dinner ended up being ice cream with mochi.

        I must admit I am approaching 30 with trepidation -- beer and ice cream are an unexpectedly efficient bachelor's meal when you're in your 20s. 30, however, seems the point when such meals cease to be ironically charming and more a precursor to diabetes.

        1. re: JungMann

          I disagree strongly...sounds like a perfectly balanced meal....although lacking a litte protien.....

          1. re: PHREDDY

            I made this ice cream with peanut butter and cream so there was actually a decent amount of protein!

            1. re: JungMann

              Well then....what are you worried about JM??? *chuckling*

              My hubby was at a cocktail do--- British/American confab so when my movie plans fell to the wayside, dessert for dinner seemed perfect. No guilt here especially because I don't have a sweet tooth and rarely eat dessert. I just wanted something light and cool.
              I just like to make desserts and give them away. Not a chocolate person either.

              I know, I know.

              Hope you get some relief soon and ave a Fab weekend.

              1. re: twodales

                Jm & td. .... Thunderstorms right now! Relief.... Td... Not met to many other people like you and i that can live without chocolate. My dad and one of my daughters have the same gene!

              2. re: JungMann

                JM, I think of ice cream when I want a hit of protein for sure... LOL

            2. re: JungMann

              you enjoy while you can. plenty of time later to worry. give yourself a good.... 7 years.

          2. Tonight the boyfriend is cooking up his famous red sauce-style chicken cacciatore, made with lots of mushrooms and leftover wine from the other night. I think there might be some garlic toast and a salad in the works as well. We're celebrating, sort of, tonight. I think we've decided to give the finger to Santa Cruz and move to New Mexico instead. He'll put off school for a year and we'll work and save up money. We're thinking of it as a vacation. It's a little terrifying, but really exciting, too. We have to make a decision by tomorrow.

            I might throw together something for dessert. Maybe, maybe not.

            24 Replies
            1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

              Sounds exciting! (I lived lots of places before "settling down.") You only live once and you can always move back, all it takes is money which can always be made and saved.

              1. re: weezieduzzit

                Exactly! It's actually a lot more terrifying for him than it is for me. I've lived in quite a few different places, and never in one place for more than 5 years, but he's been living here for 30 years and isn't at all sure that they'll accept his reapplication to UCSC next year. But hey, life's for living and food's for eating and we fell in love with Santa Fe and its food when we were there on vacation over the holidays. So I'm excited (even if I'm also a bit terrified... we can't afford a moving truck and might have to start from scratch when it comes to furniture...)

                1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                  Does he have to reapply? Or can he just postpone for a year?

                  And good luck with your move - It's going to be BBL's and BBL's Boyfriend's Big Adventure! (Make sure you have your red bike packed away!)

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    He has to reapply, but the admissions person he talked to said they would take the fact that they had accepted him before into consideration. It's a pretty big risk, but Santa Cruz just wasn't happening and then this great opportunity came up... So a Big Adventure it is!

              2. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                wow, BBL! i love your style, you and your BF's - giving the finger to such a big prospect! love it!! may have been meant to be.... here's to you two adventuresome, devil-may-care souls! you'll be fine, wherever you land. i feel it.

                1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                  Wowzer! You should definitely go for it while you're young or before you have family ties that keep you in one place. You should check out some of the sites for apartments to swap or rent for a short time - my friends went to India for 6 months 3 years ago and are still able to find housing there and renters here. Everything is fully furnished. (I know you aren't renting out your place but a storage place is probably cheaper than movers X 2.). I hear the food in NM is a chowhound dream come true if you like it hot.

                  1. re: Berheenia

                    We've actually found a place already... a 2 bedroom house that costs less than the tiny studio apartments we were looking at in Santa Cruz! And the food that I've had there has been amazing. We'll actually be just a few blocks from a really great restaurant we ate at when we were there over the holidays.

                    1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                      Great news! And is there a possibility of applying to school in New Mexico instead of Santa Cruz?

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        Not until the fall, but if we really love it there, it is definitely a possibility.

                  2. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                    Love cacciatore! And how lucky you are to live with someone who makes it for you while you plot an adventure together. How exciting, BBL! I love that when the plan you all had proved to be too much of a frustration, you two decided to take your lives in a whole other direction. I just love that. It's inspiring.

                    1. re: onceadaylily

                      Thanks OADL! I am very lucky in both the cacciatore and the partner-in-crime departments. He's even agreed to try the salmon I'm going to cook for dinner tonight (although I should probably make sure that we have sandwich fixings on hand...)

                    2. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                      BBL, how very adventurous and cool! I agree with others who have said that now is the time to do this and I bet that it will work out great and you will have no regrets. And as weezie says, all it takes is money which can be made and saved. And we know that you are both creative and willing to work (eg walk amazing distances) in pursuit of what you want, whether it be Mexican food or whatever.

                      1. re: GretchenS

                        Thanks Gretchen! Although if we can't find a rental car or van for less than $750, we may be walking to Santa Fe!

                        1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                          Look for online coupon codes for rental vehicles and hotels. Go to the 99 Cents Only store for water bottles and snacks for the trip. You can make it!

                          1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                            BBL, check craigslist to see if anyone needs their car driven from anywhere near you to Sante Fe, maybe you could find a win-win. And second the idea of bringing your own food, a friend and I once drove cross-country eating mostly out of a cooler we restocked with ice once or twice a day, and besides saving money it was a lot better than fast food.

                        2. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                          GO for it BBL & BBL BF! Grab all the adventure while you can... you know you can handle it together when you can cook for each other, and he will try your salmon. Adventure near and far...

                          1. re: gingershelley

                            "BBL & BBL BF" -- I like it! And thanks. And we are indeed going for it -- we signed a lease yesterday!

                            Also, Experiment Salmon went remarkably well. He turned to me half way through the meal and said, "This doesn't taste fishy at all. It just tastes like meat," and then, after it was done, "I can't believe I ate the whole thing." He says he's still a bit squeamish, but that he knows it's all in his head and I think that were I to make it several more times, he could even get over that!

                            So thank you to everyone who suggested a sweet, glazed-style salmon (I think that really sold it). And, to the "My boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife hates seafood" support group, this is a victory for us all.

                            1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                              first, congrats on signing the lease! love the way you're making this impromptu dream happen!

                              second, it really IS a victory for us all - you made a non-fish eater like SALMON! that's pretty impressive.

                              1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                VICTORY BBL!!!!! A lease, and a newly minted salmon-eater. There is hope alive in the world today:)!

                                1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                  How good is that - a lease AND a BF who likes salmon? Things are certainly looking up for BBL! :-)

                              2. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                Great idea, BBL. Explore/live/cook//eat in a different culture--and save some money. You'll both be better educated when you do decide to return to school. It's only a year, and when its over you're likely to be much richer for the experience. I wish I could get my husband to uproot for a year!

                              3. I'm out of fruit and veggies and good stuff to eat- I hate this weather! Tonight is a cheeseburger period. Tomorrow I'm going marketing big time- I need some veggies and an open window with a breeze coming in...sigh.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Berheenia

                                  Sometimes a cheese burger is all you need Berheenia!

                                2. I had planned a make-ahead ratatouille for last week, but wound up making something else after my kitchen proved to be a bit too hot to remain upright in after I'd finished making a batch of enchiladas (spinach, poblano, and cheese, with green sauce--they were delicious). But the temperature here has dropped quite a bit, and baked ratatouille is back on the menu for tonight. Onions, peppers, garlic, and tomatoes will be cooked down into a sauce to line the pan, and then I'll layer in the eggplant, zucchini, spinach, basil, breadcrumbs, and . . . a little fontina (the boyfriend won't eat eggplant without some type of breadcrumb and cheese treatment, and I love having him as an excuse to do it). A loaf of ciabatta will be baked with a smear of pesto to go with. For dessert, I think I might whip up that box of Dr. Oetker chocolate mousse that I bought on a whim a few weeks ago. I've never had it before.

                                  I'm working through the weekend, so a bowl of pasta salad (the usual: artichoke hearts, olives, sundried tomatoes, tuna, pasta, with a balsamic/mayo dressing, and whatever is left of the pesto), will be whipped up and tucked into the fridge for his after-work meals while I'm out.

                                  Today's weather is just perfect.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: onceadaylily

                                    I love those enchiladas, oadl. Love, love, love poblanos.

                                  2. This is what I'm thinking for dinner tonight: honey-mustard glazed salmon, perhaps with walnuts, using the apple/cinnamon-infused honey I bought last week (I just can't justify spending money on maple syrup right now), served atop lemony-garlicky-buttery spinach, with a potato-artichoke gratin on the side. Should my boyfriend take one taste of the salmon and say, "no frickin' way!" hopefully the gratin will be hearty enough to fill out the meal. I just can't believe that he's agreeing to this...

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                      Believe it and go with it! If he chickens out, try putting some of the salmon on some French or Italian, with a thin slice of onion, some sweet pickle relish and touch of mustard... Tell him I did not like salmon, my mother made it for me many years ago and I was on my way. Remember life has a way of always reinventing itself. You guys will be great, just remember to enjoy it!

                                      1. re: PHREDDY

                                        You know, even if he doesn't chicken out, I might just do that with some of the leftovers tomorrow. It sounds great.