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What's for Dinner #178 - The Apocalypse Edition [old]

It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine!

Yeah, I know - the world is still going on in New Zealand, China, Japan, etc., where it's already 12/21/12. But we'll just pretend, OK? :-)

So what's your last dinner before the world ends? :-)

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  1. As for me? I'm going with a CHEEBOIGAH! A bacon-cheeseburger, to be exact. Will use some great English Coastal cheddar cheese, and it'll all go on a toasted and lightly buttered English muffin with ketchup on the bottom half. No potato chips, as I usually do, but I'll make some sweet potato fries in the convection oven.

    Keeping it simple. Won't bother with a salad. But I *will* have a glass of wine or two. After all - it *is* my last glass of wine, right? :-)

    28 Replies
    1. re: LindaWhit

      I've never had a cheeseburger on an english muffin but that actually sounds great, I'll have to try it!

      1. re: juliejulez

        It's the ONLY way I eat burgers at home now, julie. I've been doing it for about 30 years when I didn't have any burger buns. I *always* have English muffins, whereas I rarely have burger buns. The English muffins stand up to the juices of the burger as a burger bun cannot.

        1. re: LindaWhit

          You've definitely convinced me. Plus, while sort of irrelevant when discussing bacon cheeseburgers, english muffins are generally lower in calories than a good size hamburger bun! :)

          1. re: juliejulez

            CALORIES? Whyfor would I care about that when it's my Apocalypse meal? ;-)

          2. re: LindaWhit

            That's so interesting! There's a burger joint in Berlin which serves some of THE best burgers I've ever had.... but they always get bad reviews for using English muffins. I find they stand up to juices better than your regular fluffy bun, too, but apparently, people can't wrap their heads around the idea.

            The burgers are massive, but I still find the muffins work well. Should do that at home from now on, too.

            http://www.thebirdinberlin.com

            1. re: linguafood

              Yeah, the English muffin there struck a wrong note for me. I'm a potato roll gal, but to each her own!

              1. re: linguafood

                I LOVE this menu! Love the names of the burgers...but the best part? Their admonition at the top of the menu:

                P L E A S E
                At least try
                Eating the damn burger
                With your hands.

                All you uptight people with forks and knives are driving us crazy.

                And for God’s sake don’t order your meat well done.
                The Bird

                1. re: linguafood

                  Lingua, that is the best menu I have ever read!

                  1. re: GretchenS

                    It's the best burger in town, and one of the best burgers I've ever had.

                  2. re: linguafood

                    ok, did you WRITE that menu, lingua? or is everyone in Berlin as pithy/hilariously bitchy?? love it.

                    eta: i'd be all over that Dumb Texan. ooh, and the Bfast Burger, fer shur.

                    1. re: mariacarmen

                      I reckon I sense lingua's humour in the writing?

                      1. re: Harters

                        I think lingua's been known to translate a menu or two. We'll have to find out if this is one of hers. This does sound scarily like her if it's not. Could there be more than one lingua-like translator in Germany?

                        1. re: roxlet

                          Sadly (or maybe not), the menu was written by the proprietors, who are native NYers. Would've loved to have translated into German, though :-)

                          My favorite is the Ghetto Deluxe, but I'm a gal of simple pleasures. All my burger needs is cheeeeeeeeeese.

                          1. re: linguafood

                            ah, NYers! makes perfect sense! love it.

                  1. re: scubadoo97

                    I'm not sure he toasted that crumpet. And I think crumpets and English muffins have a different consistency. Although I haven't had a crumpet in quite some time.

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      Yeah, the crumpets definitely didn't look toasted. What I like about using toasted English muffins is that they don't disintegrate. It's nice being able to put a burger down knowing that you can pick it up without the bun turning to mush. We have a place near us that serves the most amazing burgers, and theirs are served on griddled toast. Like the English Muffin, this holds up to a juicy burger with condiments on it, and it is a tip of the hat to Louie's Lunch in New Haven where the hamburger was supposedly created, and where they only serve their "hamburger sandwich" on toasted bread. And don't dare ask for ketchup or you'll be out on your ear!

                2. re: LindaWhit

                  Do you get the sandwich size English muffins? I love those with hamburgers.

                  1. re: roxlet

                    These are just the regular ones, as I toast them for breakfast as well, and the sandwich-sized ones are just a bit too big. But out of the package of 6, I found a nice big fluffy one, so it'll fit the burger just fine!

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      LW...here in NYC we have bialeys...which are essentially bagels that are not dunked in water.....very much like an English muffin, toasted with a boiger is on teh path to nirvana!

                      Are you familiar with Bialeys?

                      1. re: PHREDDY

                        Wow, I wouldn't compare a bialy to an English Muffin at all. The texture is much different and the little bit of onion in the center depression gives them a whole other taste. This is not to say that a burger wouldn't be good on a bialy! I think that's a great idea, Phreddy!

                        1. re: PHREDDY

                          I grew up in northern NJ, so yes, I'm familiar with bialys. I agree with roxlet that they're not the same as Thomas's English muffins, but they *would* be good as a burger conveyance tool!

                          1. re: LindaWhit

                            LW...you are referring specifically to "thomas' muffins...english muffins by Thomas's are different ,than say muffiins in other parts of this country.....it is like saying Heinz ketchup is the only catsup one can have on a hamburger!

                            My response is not be provocotive, but rather, just my point of view.

                            1. re: PHREDDY

                              I don't disagree with you. Thomas's English muffins, however, are the ones I use. I'm not sure of your point?

                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                I understand your paritiality to Thomas' , but there are other "english' muffins ...some different than Thomas'...not all English muffins are the same...(IMO)

                                NONE THE LESS , MERRY CHRISTMAS...ENJOY YOUR RESPITE!

                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  LW...think golden toasted English muffin....Think golden toasted Bialey! ...crunchy, chewey!

                            2. re: PHREDDY

                              I frequent a place in the burbs of Chicago called NY Bagels and Bialys. I bet bialys would be good for a burger "bun". And boy does this place do a nice corned beef sandwich and Reuben!

                              I have never thought of them (bialys) as similar to English Muffins either. I must confess, that I am a Bay's English Muffin girl all the way. No Thomas's for me.

                      2. Reuben sangies, beer. For dessert, additional beer.

                        1. My son is out at a dress rehearsal for the Christmas concert tomorrow, and we are taking advantage of his absence by having clam sauce, which both my husband and I adore, and which he hates for some odd reason. We have a lovely Egyptian young woman with us, and like everyone we've ever met from Alexandria, she adores fish, so this should go over quite well. They're serving pizza at the rehearsal, but if he's still hungry, there's some left over coq au vin from last night. With the pasta will be a green salad. Over and out.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: roxlet

                            Funny, that's what I had for dinner last night. First time trying the recipe from "Fish Without a Doubt" so I posted review and pic over on COTM ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6001... ). Best linguine and clams I've ever had. This will be my new go-to.

                            1. re: JoanN

                              My husband doesn't use a recipe :), but we didn't have a chance to get fresh clams so he used canned ones. Nevertheless, it was still delicious, and we definitely were keeping the vampires at bay.

                          2. Bourbon......
                            Fresh Gulf Oysters...Fried
                            French Bread....
                            A Couple of Bourbon Balls for D-Zert....

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: Uncle Bob

                              Aren't the oysters divine this year, Uncle Bob? We've eaten many meals out lately and consumed many oysters--raw, fried, charbroiled--stellar.

                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                Yes!!!... they have.....and I do love them anyway they are prepared....or not! Yum!!

                              2. re: Uncle Bob

                                How do you fry an oyster? I do not think I ever had one fried, just raw but would like to try. Love oysters!

                                1. re: herby

                                  Dredge in flour, then egg and then cracker crumbs and fry in hot oil. Fry until golden brown.

                                  Absolutely delicious.

                                  1. re: latindancer

                                    I agree, delicious. I like a squeeze of lemon juice on them too.

                                    1. re: latindancer

                                      I have to try fried oysters - thank for the instructions!

                                      1. re: herby

                                        You're welcome....

                                        I hope you enjoy them too :).

                                    2. re: herby

                                      I lightly Salt & Pepper and toss in a product called Cream Meal...it's a very fine corn meal (Not flour) product. Fry in peanut oil..375* for anywhere from one to two minutes depending on size. ~ 90 seconds is usually just perfect.

                                      An old Oyster fry cook from New Orleans taught me how to "listen" to the Oysters...they will tell you when they are ready.....if you know what to listen for . ;)

                                      Enjoy!

                                      1. re: Uncle Bob

                                        I also use the listening method for shrimp and especially fish, usually speckled trout. I bought some Galveston Bay oysters for Christmas. Some will be wrapped in bacon and broiled, the majority dusted in seasoned flour and sauteed in a mixture of butter and olive oil. Each batch will have more and more of the blackened crumps than the previous, delicious.

                                  2. Oh yeah, the world ends tomorrow. The day before our 2 week holiday shutdown ... Typical!

                                    But anyways ... I had half of a Trader Joes ham and cheese croissant with roasted Brussels sprouts and turnip fries followed by a half pint of coconut-based chocolate ice cream (I love dairy, just wanted to see what this stuff is like).

                                    The croissant baked up nicely in the oven and imbued a cheesy aroma to the kitchen. The ice cream was good, but not great (it's no Ben and Jerry's).

                                    Had I remembered it was the end of the world I would have skipped the veggies and protein and snarfed the Sticky Toffee Pudding that's in the fridge. Darn!

                                    5 Replies
                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                        They are stupid-easy ... But they still taste a lot like turnips, just sweeter.

                                        1 large rutabaga or 3-4 medium turnips, peeled, quartered, and sliced into 1/4" thickness

                                        Soak them in milk for 15 min while you preheat the oven to 425 (maybe 2/3 to 1 cup of milk, I use a ziplock bag so they are sort of marinated in the milk)

                                        When the oven is hot, dump the turnips into a colander and rinse, then dry them somewhat. You can pat them dry with a paper towel or just use a salad spinner to get most of the moisture off.

                                        Toss turnips with some oil (2-4 TB) and salt (1tsp) and a little cayenne pepper or garlic powder or fresh black pepper. I like the black pepper best.

                                        Spread them on a baking sheet lined with parchment, aiming for a single layer, and cook for 20-30 min. Flip them halfway through. The duration is really dependent on how thin or thick your slices are. If you started with a big rutabaga you may need 2 cookie sheets, just rotate them when you turn the turnips.

                                        When they come out of the oven, I like to use my micro plane to dress them with some pecorino Romano (or Parmesan, if you have that instead).

                                        They aren't as yummy as fries, but they are a little healthier and I won't make fries at home because I hate to deep fry stuff. I reserve my French fry servings for places that make good fries (5 Guys, for instance).

                                        1. re: EngineerChic

                                          What does soaking in milk does? Have you tried making them without soaking?

                                          1. re: herby

                                            It supposedly makes them taste less turnip-y, and I think it works somewhat. I have made them both ways, but never close enough together in time that I could say it was a huge difference.

                                            Well, let me clarify ... I usually soak them. The couple times I haven't soaked them it was after months of not making them and I thought, "either soaking really works, or I forgot how turnipy these taste." But after half a serving I start liking the turnip flavor (it grows on you, like parsnips). So when I make them again and I soak them in milk ... Say 2 weeks later ... I am possibly still in the mode of "yumm, turnip flavor" and that might make me think that soaking did something when it did not.

                                            That's probably clear as mud ... I keep meaning to try half a batch with and without soaking and bake them side by side. Haven't done it yet, though.

                                            1. re: EngineerChic

                                              i love turnips and their perfumey, turnipy taste, so i won't be soaking them - but thanks for the instructions!

                                    1. I've promised the boy child Chinese Buffet complete with crab legs...the impending apocalypse should comfort the operators of the buffet when my dear son dips their next mortgage payment in butter and eats it.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: tonifi

                                        The boy child chose a stellar Apocalypse meal, tonifi!

                                      2. Tonight I attempted to grill a London broil type steak outside in the dark and cold. It was a disaster so I threw it away and put the baked potatoes I made in the fridge for this weekend.

                                        Dinner tomorrow will most likely be linguine carbonara.

                                        1. I had a hankering for a grilled blue cheese sandwich after seeing it on another thread. I reheated the leftover curried Blue Hubbard squash and sweet potato soup that I made the other day. For the sandwiches, I used slices of a "Monterey Blue" Jack cheese, and a little shredded Colby on whole wheat bread. I served the grilled cheese sandwiches with a spoonful (for dipping) of hot pepper-apple relish that a friend had canned.

                                          Dessert will surely be some of the multitude of Christmas cookies in the kitchen that are calling my name.

                                          1. hah - love the REM reference.

                                            going out for LDBWE - sort of mexi-tapas place. a bottle or two of bubbly with good friends to start, chez moi, then off to the restaurant.

                                            i may or may not be in a condition to cook tomorrow night. if not, take-out pizza it shall be.

                                            1. Sticking with some of the themes of this thread so far we are having blue cheese bacon burgers (blue cheese and bacon IN the burger, no buns.) I'm still in holiday baking hell, burgers are all I've got in me tonight.

                                              I *think* I'm done baking cookies (some still have to be decorated, others have to be filled,) and several batches of chai caramels and apple cider caramels are setting up (hopefully, I had to recook one batch...) ... I think I'm on to chocolate dipping the almond roca. I *may* add penoche to the list if I have the time and energy because I already have the ingredients and there's no need to keep any sugar around after the holidays, we go through it so slowly. I think some of this sugar is from last Christmas. I'd rather have the freezer space so I'll use it up and give it away!

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                Changed my mind, there's just too much going on in the kitchen. Bacon cheeseburger pizza will be here shortly.

                                                :)

                                              2. All these burgers are making me mighty jealous! Like seemingly everyone else tonight, I'm also in comfort food mode so I felt like breakfast for dinner. Of course how often am I satisfied to leave it at that? So eggs, chipolata sausage and starch became kale carbonara with chipolata meatballs. A bit of scallion and cilantro salad rounds this out as I settle back with a small cup of eggnog by the tree.

                                                1. Tonight it's a recipe from Jerusalem that I've made a couple of times already Lemony Leek Meatballs. Leeks are expensive in the shops at present so I'm doing half onion and half leek and hoping they turn out as good as the leek only version. They're somewhat of a pain to make as there are a couple points in the cooking where you need to stop - once to cool the leeks before you add them to the beef/egg/breadcrumb mix and once to firm up the patties in the fridge before frying but they are lovely and light to eat and even the toddler adores them. To go with them with be some baba ganough (bought pre-made but it's good stuff, smoky with lots of texture and real lemon juice not citric acid) and either a green salad or a carrot salad depending on my mood at dinner time.

                                                  1. Chicken katsu. Mmmm and thinking about it is making me hungry again, leftovers are in the fridge...

                                                    1. I was very happy with an inventive viet style *spicy* fish soup with rice noodles, spring rolls with Thai basil and shrimp -and cucumber kimchi. It went surprisingly well with a very well aged Napa cab.

                                                      Since the world is ending tomorrow, I opened up a box of chocolates that were supposed to be for Christmas....the caramels were really good.....

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: sedimental

                                                        Lol on the caramels! Now, what are you going to do for Christmas?

                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                          Oh man! I am still here!!! Lol.
                                                          Now I will have to fess up to poking some holes in the bottoms of a few chocolates (to find the caramels). ;D

                                                          1. re: sedimental

                                                            I hate it when I have to 'fess up to that stuff too. :-)

                                                            1. re: sedimental

                                                              Ah, this reminds me of Mum. Now she was a woman who could win a Gold Medal if irritating people was an Olympic sport.

                                                              She only liked the caramels and other hard chocolates in a box. So would give each one a squeeze - needless to say leaving the squashed delicious orange creams and the like in the box.

                                                        2. Well, we're still here at 9.00 GMT

                                                          Dinner was started last night. We're having a lamb stew, using pieces of neck, on the bone. They were browned and cooked in the oven along with onion, celery, carrot, red wine, stock, dried oregano. It got 3 hours at a lowish temperature. We left it out overnight to cool and are just about to skim the fat. Come dinner time, it'll be warmed up in a pan and we'll cook some parsley dumplings in there as well. Maybe some green beans on the side.

                                                          It's still raining here. I'm considering building an ark.

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                            I love the sound of stew and dumplings Harters. I hope it hits the spot.

                                                            As for the Ark - I'm sure you will select only the plumpest and tastiest animals to accompany you. It could be quite the gourmet cruise.

                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                              Envy and drool ... I love lamb. The Mr isn't so fond of it so I wind up clapping my hands with glee every time I either go to Ireland (where it's on every menu) or see Braised Lamb Shank on a menu here.

                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                This is a stew I have tried to master on multiple occasions, but my collection of red fruity wines never seems to marry well in the sauce. Do you have a recommendation for a different varietal? How much wine would you use to deglaze the pan after browning a kilo of lamb?

                                                                1. re: JungMann

                                                                  We're not anal about red wine choices. I don't drink and herself will drink pretty much anything. So, that usually means whatever red the supermarket has on offer that week.

                                                                  For quantity, a glass would be fine just for a deglaze if we were making a sauce. But, for a braise, a couple of glasses (with whatever else is needed for liquid coming from stock).

                                                                2. re: Harters

                                                                  The lamb stew sounds wonderful! And souther New England is getting hammered with lots of wind and rain as well. At least it's not snow!

                                                                3. I wasn't really thinking about the end of the world yesterday. If I had, I suppose I would have made something different.

                                                                  We had a roasted (small) pork loin, encrusted with lots of black pepper, garlic, and rosemary. Surrounded with potatoes, carrots, and little hot peppers from the garden. A green salad was the side.

                                                                  For dessert, we had a funny little bread that I concocted on my own and was quite pleased with. It was a riff on Icelandic Brown Bread from the Great Book of Scandinavian Baking. It's originally a savory recipe, made with lots of whole grains (whole wheat, oats, rye) so I added extra brown sugar, dried fruits, lots of nuts. Turned out really nice. I'm dubbing it, "Christmas Bread". And so easy, too. It's a quick bread type recipe.

                                                                  1. OK, i had some really hot lao food.

                                                                     
                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                      I *LOVE* Tardar Sauce! :-D

                                                                      (I sent that to coworkers this morning as well!)

                                                                    2. Turkey curry (remains of our recent 'second Thanksgiving'), topped with toasted coconut and lime-juice-plumped raisins. The s.o. raved; hope the world won't end, so we can enjoy more of it...

                                                                      1. Last night we enjoyed a wonderful FREE showing of "A Christmas Story" at the Library of Congress Packard Campus Media Preservation Theatre here in Culpeper, VA. It was great to see it on the big screen, & it was a very pristine print as well.

                                                                        Afterwards, we enjoyed a quick meal at our local "Glory Days" restaurant. Hubby had his favorite "Fried Fish Sandwich" - 2 large pieces of hand-cut Cod, perfectly & greaselessly fried on a large roll, with tartar sauce, fries, & cole slaw on the side. I enjoyed a perfectly cooked nice thick medium-rare (as ordered) burger with 3 cheeses (Swiss, Cheddar, & Provolone), lettuce, tomato & red onion, with cole slaw & a nice crunchy dill pickle spear on the side.

                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                          Both of your meals sound wonderful, Bacardi!

                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                            I have to admit that for a chain restaurant, "Glory Days" has yet to do us wrong.

                                                                            1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                              Have never heard of it. To me, "Glory Days" is a Bruce Springsteen song. :-D

                                                                              But I know what you mean. I've got a single chain restaurant (Massachusetts and Virginia locations, I believe) called Not Your Average Joes that has a great menu AND a great wine list. So when my friend who lives in southern NH and I get together, we go there, as it's even-steven in between where we both live

                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                Interesting- I always confused them with Joe's American Bar and Grill, where my office has had a few brunch re-unions, based on ease of access not the food. I should give them a try next time I'm in the neighborhood. I like the wine list :)

                                                                                1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                  Berheenia, NJAJ's are also *very* responsive to changeups to the menu (i.e., vegetable substitution; something on the side, etc.) And agree - Joe's AB&G is pretty basic. If I'm going there, it's usually a burger.

                                                                        2. It's been a week of leftovers (jambalaya, party food) interspersed with occasional takeout. Tonight, however, I'm making dinner from scratch. I got the makings for Buffalo Turkey Burgers, which should help quell a persistent craving. I got Frank's wing sauce but will make my own thick blue cheese sauce and serve the burgers on top of toasted potato rolls with very thinly sliced celery.

                                                                          Does anyone have a favorite turkey burger recipe? I have 93/7 turkey, so fairly lean. I'd like to avoid adding too much filler, because then it starts tasting like meatloaf. I've got the CI recipe involving mushrooms and gelatin, but it seems like too much fuss for a meal replicating bar food flavors.

                                                                          13 Replies
                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                            I'd say don't add anything, but work with various toppers to spice it up a bit. Apple slices, a good cheese, perhaps a flavorful prosciutto or bacon, perhaps a sriracha-ketchup-mayo blend?

                                                                            Oops - sorry - I see you're going with Buffalo turkey burgers. That'll be flavorful enough!

                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                              i would say just add the mushrooms, finally chopped - they'll add a lot of moisture and umami!

                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                My aunt shreds a little apple into her turkey burgers, it makes them juicy but does not taste like apple. I think finely shredded cabbage would do the same.

                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                  Thanks for the ideas, folks. In the end, I decided to half-ass the CI recipe, and it actually worked really well. I used my store-ground turkey and added 1 Tbsp. gelatin (softened in 3 Tbsp. of chicken broth), a splash of soy sauce, and a pinch of baking soda. Seasoning was simply salt, pepper, and Penzey's Forward! (basically seasoned salt minus the salt). I got a nice sear on each side in the cast iron skillet and finished them in another skilled of warmed Frank's wing sauce. They were juicy and flavorful on potato buns w/ thick blue cheese sauce and iceberg. Carrots and celery on the side w/ more dressing.

                                                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                    What do the gelatin and baking soda do to the burgers?

                                                                                    1. re: JungMann

                                                                                      Gelatin retains moisture (and poultry flavor from the broth), and baking soda does something to the protein, similar to its use as a meat tenderizer in some Chinese takeout joints.

                                                                                      ETA: this is the full recipe, which I did not follow: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/...

                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                        That's a great tip. I like to make meatballs with turkey, but am never satisfied with the texture. I'll have to try adding some gelatin and baking soda next time.

                                                                                        1. re: JungMann

                                                                                          Do you use a panade in your meatballs? I really like the ones from Smitten Kitchen. I do think they are better with ground chicken, though.

                                                                                    2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                      CM, those sound terrific, stealing your idea FOR SURE!

                                                                                      1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                        Thank you! They scratched the itch, so to speak. Let me know if you try them! I forgot to mention, I added about 1 tsp. of olive oil to the turkey mixture, which was listed in the CI recipe. And I coated the outside of the burgers liberally in coarsely ground black pepper. We like spicy!

                                                                                    3. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                      Christina,
                                                                                      I'm posting a link to the chicken liver pate you asked about in the previous thread. I discovered it in last month's COTM, and I've made it several times since. Delicious.

                                                                                      http://kitchenography.typepad.com/my_...

                                                                                    4. Last night was Broccoli Cheddar soup. I like to steam my veggies before I put them in so they don't get too over/under done. It had lots of diced carrots, celery and fresh broccoli. Probably the best one I've ever done!

                                                                                      Tonight and tomorrow are going to be clean out the fridge days since we are going to the kids on Sunday.

                                                                                      Happy Holidays to all!

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                        That sounds good! If there's a recipe, I'd like it :)

                                                                                      2. After reading what you all have been having, I don't see how I can possibly have anything other than a bacon cheeseburger tonight. With wine of course, I have a Malbec that will suit perfectly. There sure is going to be a lot of celery and water featuring in my January meals....

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                          "There sure is going to be a lot of celery and water featuring in my January meals...."

                                                                                          I did a lot of this after Thanksgiving. You'd be surprised how much more satisfying celery is after it's braised.

                                                                                          1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                            ooooh..... the BF is having MAJOR dental issues so i don't know if he could do a burger (he was at the dentist's all morning) but i can make him mashed taters or some-such and make myself a burger, can't i? though that seems cruel.....

                                                                                            please, GS, let us not talk about January until it gets here.

                                                                                          2. Last night I made CI weeknight bolognaise sauce BUT it wasn't WFD- it's for this weekend after a trip to the old local, not to be confused with the current local. I made fridge clean out penne for us with some sausage, roasted red peppers and spinach, heavily garnished with capers and olives and shaved parm and the rest of the Rao's sauce. There were olive rolls to mop up with.

                                                                                            1. tonight is plain old spaghetti and meatballs. Trying to clean out the freezer and the pantry…

                                                                                              1. Rack of lamb done with a reverse wear a long with duck fat coated roasted potatoes and a salad of mini cucumbers, yellow and red cherry tomatoes, mini multicolored peppers and fresh oregano

                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                    Can i just say, "yum!"

                                                                                                    I'm guessing wear = sear?

                                                                                                    1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                      Wow. That sounds terrific. How did you season the rack?

                                                                                                    2. Finished work around 4pm, and poured OUT the water in my work "sippy cup" and poured IN the white wine into a paper cup to enjoy a wind-down with other coworkers (who were working on beer, gin and tonics, and something else I didn't ask about). And yes, we were all careful. :-)

                                                                                                      So now? I've got off through January 1st and head back to work on the 2nd. I'll have a couple of hours of work on the 28th to deal with A/P and A/R, but that won't take too long.

                                                                                                      So.......?

                                                                                                      I'M ON VACATION! Woo hoooooooooooooooooo!!!!

                                                                                                      Dinner tonight was easy-peasy. A small b/s chicken breast seasoned with salt, pepper, and Penzey's salt-free Tuscan Sunset herb mixture. I did a pan-sear in a hot pan with butter and olive oil. Added about 1 Tbsp. of fresh lemon juice and a half cup of white wine. Let it continue to cook, spooning the liquid over the chicken as it reduced to about 4 Tbsps. total.

                                                                                                      Alongside was some roasted asparagus tossed with a drizzle of olive oil and seasoned simply with salt and pepper.

                                                                                                      Wine alongside, and it was a pretty damn good dinner.

                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                        LW...TO YOU AND YOURS, A VERY MERRY CHOWHOUND CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!

                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                          What fun to have off during the Christmas-New Year's period. Companies should just shut down. Nothing gets done anyway!

                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                            Well, this is our last year doing so. Our business model has changed a bit, so the opportunity for doing business is a bit greater. But next year, I still expect to be taking the week off using my PTO time. I've grown too accustomed to having the week off. :-)

                                                                                                        2. Dinner comes from "The Cooking of Tuscany", Valentina Harris, 1992. It's another in the series of small books published by our usual supermarket back in the late 80s/early 90s. Back then, Valentina was *the* TV cook for Italian food in the UK. You don't see her too often these days and, as with much of the cookbook market, it;s now in the hands of the celeb chefs, rather than home cooks.

                                                                                                          There's a simple starter - scampi al cognac. Some oil and dried chilli are heated in a pan. Floured king prawns go in for a couple of minutes or so. Squeeze of lemon juice. Big splash of brandy. Quick boil to burn off the alcohol. Sprinkle of parsley and on to the plate.

                                                                                                          Followed by pork chops braised in onion, passata, red wine and served up on bed of spinach. Herself is experimenting with roast potatoes for Xmas Day. The current buzz in the UK comes from Mary Berry, a definite cooking icon, who says she always half cooks them the day before (par-boiling and par-roasting). They're then finished off with a quick roast to cook heat through and crisp up "on the day", saving time when oven space is at a premium. We'll see how they do - but herself is one of Berry's baking groupies, so i expect there will be no wrong whatever.

                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                              Harters, if you could please report back about the potatoes - this could be a problem-solver for me on Tuesday. Thank you!

                                                                                                              1. re: nikkihwood

                                                                                                                Potatoes sort of worked. They heated up fine but didnt go as crispy as Jan had hoped they would. She identifies the problem as not having the oven set high enough. So, we're definitely going to try this for Xmas Day - turning the temperature up when teh turkey comes out to rest. Should be fine and should only take 20 - 30 minutes. Big time saver for us.

                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                  Thank you again, and it solve a logistical dilemma here. I found a couple of versions of Mary Berry's method online - I think I will go with 425 F and cross fingers.

                                                                                                            2. Did those who prepared an Apocalypse dinner make enough for leftovers...just in case?

                                                                                                              1. Last night we enjoyed the last 2 leftover wedges of my "Mexican 'Pie Plate' Meatloaf", along with mashed potatoes & buttered green peas.

                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                                  Details, please? I was thinking of making cottage pie for the chew-challenged boy, and this soundz like it could be a good combo...

                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                    This is a favorite around here, & it comes together very quickly. It's also at least somewhat healthy. ;)

                                                                                                                    Bacardi1 Mexican ‘Pie Plate’ Turkey Meatloaf

                                                                                                                    1 pkg. ground turkey (between 1 & 1-1/3 pounds or so)
                                                                                                                    1 egg, lightly beaten
                                                                                                                    1 small to medium ripe Bell pepper (red, yellow, or orange), chopped/diced
                                                                                                                    1 green Jalapeno pepper, minced
                                                                                                                    1 small yellow onion, chopped
                                                                                                                    Approx. 1 cup grated or shredded sharp Cheddar (store “block” is fine – this is no time to break out the good aged stuff)
                                                                                                                    Approx. ¼ cup dry seasoned breadcrumbs (like Progresso, 4-C, etc.)
                                                                                                                    Dollop of extra-virgin olive oil
                                                                                                                    Optional ketchup, barbecue sauce, or salsa for topping

                                                                                                                    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease (butter, oil, spray) a 9” or 10” glass pie plate.

                                                                                                                    Sauté onion, Jalapeno, & Bell pepper in olive oil until softened, but not browned. Set aside to cool down a bit.

                                                                                                                    In a large mixing bowl, gently but thoroughly combine ground turkey, egg, sautéed vegetables, cheddar, & breadcrumbs. Gently press into pie plate & bake for approx. 45 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center reads 160-165. Remove from oven & allow to sit for 5 minutes or so, then cut into 4 wedges for serving. Top (or not) with your preferred meatloaf condiment.

                                                                                                                    (Leftover wedges can be individually wrapped in plastic wrap, bagged, & frozen. They defrost & reheat beautifully in the microwave.)

                                                                                                                    1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                                      Hey thanks! too late for tonight, but soon!

                                                                                                                2. A friend is coming over and we are going to attempt making ricotta and mozzarella for the first time. We took a class where we watched the instructor do it, so we'll see how it turns out.

                                                                                                                  If it turns out, I am going to make stuffed shells with the ricotta, italian sausage, and a quick red sauce. If it doesn't turn out, I will make something else w/ the sausage.

                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                    Nice! Please let us know how it works!

                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                      Well, the mozzarella didn't quite turn out. It tasted good but the consistency was off. We read through some other directions after the fact and learned we missed a few steps (that the instructor in the class we took didn't really touch on)

                                                                                                                      The ricotta was great though! I didn't end up making the shells though, BF ended up getting hockey tickets, and we're leaving town tomorrow. My friend took it home, she's hosting a big italian Christmas at her house so she'll be able to use it up quickly.

                                                                                                                      1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                        Sounds like a great first try though! And great for your friend being able to use the ricotta at her Christmas dinner.

                                                                                                                  2. We're invited to a good friend's graduation party to which we're bringing over some snacklets.... I'm thinking TJ's spanakopita or kale bites or something simple.

                                                                                                                    As for our dinner, JoanN's linguine with clam sauce sound like a winner to me, even tho I've been craving steak. But now I have garlicky, briny noodles on my brain.

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                      Could you please come make me some of that pasta, too? Have been obsessing over it ever since.

                                                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                        Dinner is served in about an hour. Better hop on the megabus fast!!!

                                                                                                                        You cats need to come to Happy Valley some time.

                                                                                                                    2. Tonight is OUT. It's time for a sangria fix, so I'm heading to my home away from home later this evening with a couple of friends. The warm welcome will be very nice on this chilly day.

                                                                                                                      1. My husband is breaking down ducks for confit in order to make his New Year's Day cassoulet, so tonight we will have duck breasts for dinner. They will be seared, and if his demi-glace is done on time, they will be made with a demi-glace green peppercorn sauce. With that we'll be having sauteed brocolini. There is still a pot of pretty clean oil on the stove, and although it's been used for gaufrette potatoes twice, and donuts once, there is still enough for another gaufrette go-round, so we're trying to convince my husband to make that to go with the duck tonight. Before and after dinner will be Christmas tree decorating. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                          You're so lucky! That was on my list to do this year....

                                                                                                                        2. Spinach turnover with ham (porkette!), cheese and mushrooms. The recipe is courtesy of From Julia Child's Kitchen (Pantin aux epinards, Simone Beck). Simca is my hero. There will be a sauce soubise au Gruyere.

                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                                                                              Simca is Simone Beck. It's her nickname. She and Julia were buds back in the day.

                                                                                                                              I see your Mets made a clever trade with Toronto. Very well done.

                                                                                                                              Happy holidays to you and yours.

                                                                                                                            2. I am making crabcakes with a roasted garlic and paprika tartar sauce, roasted asparagus finished with olive oil and lemon juice and a mixed greens salad ran through the garden(snow peas, carrots, celery, tomato,cukes,bell pepper, green beans,zucchini and boiled egg). Nice bottle of pino grigio.

                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                    Agreed. Really nice. Sounds fresh and lovely.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                      It came out very nice. Served it with extra lemons for the cakes and the salad was going to get a vinegarette but i vetoed it last minute as the meal had enough acid so i went with a homemade ranch with some sour cream and buttermilk and a bunch of dried and fresh herbs, salt pepper and a splash of vinegar, worcestershire and a dash of Tabasco. Nice choice. I have to find my old scratch book and find my french dressing recipe. It was from way back when Rachael Ray first started on food network and I still liked her. It was a good dressing that wasn't to sweet

                                                                                                                                  2. We're smoking some back bacon so I threw a hunk o' pork loin on to smoke alongside, and since we're having people here for Boxing Day I am actually going to cook the spaghetti squash that has been cluttering up the kitchen island since about August. I hate cutting them open so I've been avoiding using them. I had to hit the knife with the side of my little skillet a couple of times, but they look fine, still. I believe the damn things would have lasted 'til the NEXT apocalypse had I left them there.

                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                    1. re: tonifi

                                                                                                                                      The last time I had a spaghetti squash that sat around, it somehow had turned incredibly bitter (the seeds inside had sprouted). It was inedible. I hope yours worked out better.

                                                                                                                                    2. I am going to dear friends' annual Persian Winter Solstice party (Shab-e Yalda), which starts at about 10 tonight and goes allllll night long, with an amazing spread of homemade persian and other delicious foods, as well as plenty of wine, bubbly, and all manner of spirits. it's a rather bacchanalian affair, complete with people singing, dancing, reciting poetry, other performances, etc. a lot of young people (20s-30s - so it's not just an oldster affair, as all the parents' kids have grown up on this party), so it's a very lively and eclectic event, and it's also the husband's 60th birthday tonight, so it will be exceptionally ON this year. can't wait.

                                                                                                                                      For the BF (who never goes anywhere - his happy choice) i've got a pot roast which has been in the slow cooker for 3.5 hours so far. it's a little 'un, under 3 lbs. i dredged it in seasoned flower, browned it on the stove with a sliced onion and 5 whole garlic cloves, added a bottle of Sam Adams Brown Ale, a little tomato paste, a little dijon, thyme, onion powder, and finally, a little hoisin for a sweet-ish taste. i'm hoping it's falling apart in another couple hours for the BF's dinner. with that i'll make him some ultra rich and creamy mashed potatoes.

                                                                                                                                      on a side note, i was wearing flip flops (had just gotten a pedi, didn't want to mess it up) and the rain suddenly started in earnest - walking through a parking lot, i fell - TWICE, within 5 seconds!! felt something definitely wrench the 2nd time.... but i'm still going to my party!!! i'll just sit, glass in hand...

                                                                                                                                      23 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                        That's the spirit. Never let a fall stop a true party girl. Now next time try falling after you've had that glass in your hand for a while. It'll hurt less. I can say this from experience,and if you have had that glass for a while you won't even care. Now on a non joking note, I hope you didn't hurt yourself to badly.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                          thanks suzigirl - all sage advice!

                                                                                                                                          i'm sure i'll be a lot more sore tomorrow, but right now i'm just a bit limpy.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                            I have to say it would have been funny watching me fall because I would have been trying to save my pedi. Landing on my ass with my feet in the air would have been a hoot.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                              i did end up messing the pedi! fixed it, though.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                          Lucky bf. That sounds like a delicious pot roast. Sorry about the twisted bits; hopefully you're feeling well enough to dance later.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                            grrrr about the pot roast though! it's been in the slow cooker for 6 hours now! 4 of those on low, the last 2 on high - it is still nowhere near falling apart! what gives?? i tasted it, it's not dry, it's just still very solid! bummed, because the BF needs to eat and probably won't let it keep cooking much longer....

                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                              Wow. That sounds like plenty of time for a small roast to be done. That is to bad. It sounds delicious and i guess it still will be tomorrow when you can finish it up. What will your sweetie do for dinner?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                  I have one of those too. Gotta love that cast iron stomach.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                    hah - he decided to go get a burrito and keep cooking the pot roast. which means we'll have it for dinner tomorrow night.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                      That will make it even better. I like things like that better the next day. And you don't have to think about what to cook tomorrow. And depending on how much you eat you may have dinner the following night with pot roast and melted cheddar on ciabatta or a Kaiser roll and a salad or slaw. Or heavier and make fries.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                        oh you are making me SO HUNGRY. I am still waiting for my ride to the big party with all the amazing food - saving myself for that and i'm starving!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                          I hope the party was amazing. I bet it was. How are you feeling? The day after is when you know what the damage really is. Hope its not to bad

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                            party was fantastic, thanks! we actually only made it to 2:00 a.m. at the party this year - felt like a total lightweight.

                                                                                                                                                            and yes, i'm kind of a crab-walking mess. today i can feel it alllll over my old bod. i'm hoping it eases up by xmas or I'll probably be taking a trip to the dr. wed. morning.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                              So sorry. I hope you feel better. What a lousy time to be under the weather what with everything going on. Glad your party was a hit.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                thanks suzigirl! actually feels better today!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                I had the same issue last weekend so I left my pot roast in the crockpot on low overnight.......Fell apart the next morning!

                                                                                                                                            2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                              The Persian Winter Solstice party sounds wonderful, as does the BF's pot roast dinner. But OUCH on the two falls - I hope you're doing OK this morning! And survived the bacchanalia!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                MC, That party sounds like SUCH fun! And I bet the food is wonderful too - love Persian food....

                                                                                                                                                But, so sorry to hear about your - two (too!) falls. Ouch, and well - kind of funny. Hope your feeling better, and the toes survived to party on!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                  mc, hope the party was fantastic and that you did not damage yourself too badly in the falls!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                    thanks everyone! party was amazing, as always.

                                                                                                                                                    yep, pretty sore today, totally gimping out. and gingershelley, don't worry, the BF, after showing his token concern, had a good laugh at me too. he said i'm like the Keystone Cops. i had to laugh at that one too. it really was ridiculous!

                                                                                                                                                    as for the pot roast... that little sucker ended up cooking for TEN HOURS - less than 3 lbs! We had it tonight for dinner, and i still think it could have cooked longer, because even tho it did finally fall apart, it had that slightly stringy texture. my cream-y mashed potatoes were divine, tho.

                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                      Sometimes a roast like that can be a bit stingy yet still be succulent and tender. It looks nice and my kinda comfort food. I love braised meats and the taters are a perfect compliment

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                        Thanks scuba. It tasted really good. My sister made one last week that turned out super tender.

                                                                                                                                                2. Tonight we pulled together a great meal from bits and bobs in the pantry and fridge. I made TJ's lemon pepper pappardelle, which I tossed with a blue cheese cream sauce that included white wine, butter, grated Parm, toasted walnuts, walnut oil, chopped parsley, garlic, grated nutmeg, and other good things. Roasted Brussels sprouts and some simply seasoned, nicely browned pork loin chops on the side.

                                                                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                    If I wasn't full of crabcakes I would ask for a plate of your dinner. It sounds lovely

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                      mmmm that pasta dish sounds amazing... i keep forgetting i need to buy some new walnut oil....

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                        I have a markdown store here where I live that buys scratch and dent and discontinued products. I got 6 oz bottles of walnut and almond oils for 1.69. Also got saffron for 19¢. They don't know about higher end products and I am okay with that.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                        THAT was a "bits and bobs" meal? That's no bits-and-bobs. That's superb!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                          Aw thanks. It made use of blue cheese leftover from the buffalo burgers, and there was no milk in the house, so we had to get creative :-D

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                          Ack! And I just had pasta yesterday. Damn, I would totally eat that now. But I think it's burger night at casa lingua.

                                                                                                                                                        3. We had a recipe from Jerusalem tonight (I'm champing at the bit for January and for it to be COTM). N'aama's fattoush - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddri...
                                                                                                                                                          Having grown up eating fattoush this was a very different version of this dish for me and absolutely wonderful. It was one of those meals that you keep eating until your stomach hurts and then keep going back for little nibbles even though you are in discomfort.
                                                                                                                                                          The addition of the yoghurt/milk mix which is something I've never encountered, soaked into the bread beautifully made the salad quite filling and we were more than happy with a big bowl of this as our entire meal.

                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                            That sounds very good - and all flavors that I like! I will have to remember this when I'm looking to use up some pita bread.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                              I can't imagine a sour salad like fattoush with a creamy dressing, but if it gets your seal of approval, I'll give it a go. I tried Ottolenghi's recipe for hummus bil lahm from Jerusalem and while I thought the seasonings were great for the lamb, I did not like his version of hummus. I guess it's one of those personal recipes everyone is particular about!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                It was very different JM. Despite my father continually evolving his fattoush recipe (it features at every dinner) there is no way he would call this fattoush if I served it to him. He would never put dairy in fattoush.
                                                                                                                                                                The yoghurt and milk mixture is pleasantly sour still but is also has a richness to it you don't get in a fattoush with no dairy. I think this could easily become a summer comfort food one dish meal for me. My only reservation about eating it too often would be the full cream yoghurt and milk.
                                                                                                                                                                I am afraid I would not bother ever trying anyone else's version of hummus. It's one of those things for me where I am only happy with making it like my dad does. It's the best way as far as I am concerned probably because only his very lemony and garlicky version brings back childhood memories. I'm sure lots of people have a dish like that in their lives.

                                                                                                                                                            2. It's been the major hunter/gatherer day of the festive season.

                                                                                                                                                              We were at the farmers market in a nearby town for when it opened at 9. Bought cheese - Bourne's Cheshire (made in March this year and nicely mature - the taste lingered on the tongue for ages) and a Leagram's Lancashire (2 year old and always superb). They'll go with the Blackstick's Blue we bought a the supermarket. Xmas Day is the only time we put out more than one cheese and these should be good (and all local). Bought eggs as well - herslef has declared she's going to be baking but I have no idea where on earth she's going to find space fro anything - the house groans under the weight of food.

                                                                                                                                                              Then we were at the supermarket for when it opened at 10. It was like a rugby scrum.Lots of folk having had the same idea as us to get the veg today, rather than tomorrow. So, with a bit of pushing and shoving - but no fisticuffs - we have all the fruit and veg - and the turkey. So that's Christmas shopped for.

                                                                                                                                                              As for dinner, there's fish pie. We've cod. We've king prawns. And we've salmon. They'll get cooked separately and then be mixed through a cheesey, leeky, herby sauce. Separately, a couple of rounds of puff pastry will baked. And that's pretty much it. A few green beans to accompany.

                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                I love the sound of that fish pie and the cheesy, leeky, herby sauce! Is that a bechamel? I'd love to know how you are making that!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                  Yep. Basically a bechamel to which we'll add sauteed leeks (in big chunks), the cheese and I spot parsley lurking in the fridge.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                  No fisticuffs! Well done, well done! I'm in envy of the pie - sounds delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                3. Doing some treat baking today for the Step-daughter so don't really have a dinner planned........I'm on vacation also till Jan. 2nd, so today will be relaxing & fun! Maybe some pot pies....veggie for husband, chicken for me. May top with biscuit instead of the pie crust.....

                                                                                                                                                                  1. I'm roasting a standing rib today. I'll make Brussels Sprouts and blackened string beans as sides maybe use up the handful of little Yukons I have.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Hi all - Happy Festivus (for the rest of us), which falls on today, the 23rd!

                                                                                                                                                                      I haven't been posting this week, except for a few comments, as it has been a bit of a blur around here. My step-brother fell very ill a week ago with double pneumonia and ended up in the ICU, and he passed away Wednesday. Very sudden and very shocking for us all. I am pretty close to my stepmom, so spent lots of time with her both at the hospital and these couple days since. We had a small family memorial service Thursday, and there will be a big celebration of his life end of January. The good news is, he was a quadraplegic from a diving accident 5 years ago, and now we imagine he is in the beyond, running with angels....

                                                                                                                                                                      Trying to get back to spending time at my home, and back to normal as of mid-Friday. Went to a Christmas party that night (which was a bit surreal for me), which had some great friends and food and that was nice.

                                                                                                                                                                      Yesterday was a marathon caramel-making session. I do these for friends every year. This year I made vanilla-sea salt, Gingerbread with almond, and chocolate-chili caramels. The real pain is wrapping them all! Still have about 75 to wrap this morning.

                                                                                                                                                                      Headed off to brunch for my birthday at the Book Bindery, which is a very upscale nice resto that opened this last year here in SEA. I will post about it later on our board and link.

                                                                                                                                                                      From the sounds of it, you are all eating and celebrating well. Cheers!

                                                                                                                                                                      25 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                        So sorry for your family tragedy. Best to you and yours.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                          Sorry to hear of your step-brother. I think it must be particularly difficult to lose someone at the holiday time.

                                                                                                                                                                          And Happy Festivus back to you. I hadnt heard of it before - but am all for secular celebrations, new and old.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                            Harters...

                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for the kind words. It is a very strange thing to happen at this time of year.

                                                                                                                                                                            Festivus was made famous (invented in fact by a writer of) Seinfeld. Kind of tongue in cheek holiday:)

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                              Oh, what a sad story, and my sympathies to you and to your family.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                Thank you Roxlet. We are trying to get to 'joyous' now:)

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                GS, so very sorry for your loss. I love the image of him running with angels, hang onto that.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                    GingerShelley - So sorry for your loss. I can relate that it is surreal facing the holidays w/o a loved one.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Kudos to you on the caramels! I have yet to accomplish that successfully (think caramel frosting as the end result) but I shall try again!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm so sorry, Shelley. That is horrible. Thinking of you and your family.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh gingershelley, I'm SO sorry for you and your entire family.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                          GS - and a Happy Festivus to you! Hope the pole is decorated!

                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm so very sorry for your loss....

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jenscats5

                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks Jenscat; The pole must remain pristine - a Festivus tradition... and we are trying to be as merry as possible despite circumstances. Brandon would want us to celebrate Christmas.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                            My deepest sympathies to you and your family.....

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                Sorry to hear about your loss. It must feel quite surreal ad this time of year especially.
                                                                                                                                                                                                I hope your birthday brunch was enjoyable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                  How sad for you and your family. There are a lot of Blue Christmas services because this can be a very un merry time for people. I wish you a good birthday celebration and a happy New Year because you deserve it. Chin chin GS!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                    GingerShelley- You have my deepest sympathies in regard to your brother. Your caramels sound great; can you give me details on the gingerbread w/almond and chocolate chili??

                                                                                                                                                                                                    So, I haven't posted in a while, what with the holiday dinners out at other people's houses and parties so here's a summary of the past few days: Thursday's dinner was a roasted herb chicken with jus, steamed broccoli & carrots and mashed potatoes with fried sage crumbled over the top. Friday I made some bbq pork chops in the oven; to go with, we had fresh green beans from my garden and boiled red potatoes. I had to make cakes for gifting so I made an almond crunch poundcake and a coconut poundcake for the house.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yesterday, I had to break down three deer hams and a shoulder for sausage making. It took up my my whole afternoon and evening but we have about 60 pounds of delicious sausage (both link and ground for patties) for the freezer...which was what we had for breakfast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dinner tonight was a small chuck roast cooked with onions & garlic and some beef broth in the oven. Sides were some mixed greens and rice pilaf. Still eating on the almond poundcake but the bf finished off the coconut cake (IN TWO DAYS!). I'm probably not going to be cooking for the next couple of days, at least not entire meals for dinner but I will be making several dishes to take to other dinners.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I take it the deer hams are just the hindquarters? If they are actual smoked deer hams, I must say I would like to place an order if you have any extras!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hi gingershelley,
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Deb and I send our condolences.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      The gingerbread (signature dish?) with almond and chocolate caramel is over the top. Well done!
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Best wishes for the holidays.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                          oh! so sorry to hear this, gs! what a terribly sad thing to have happen to your family. hoping your whole family heals peacefully together, and that you feel much better than just normal soon. especially on your birthday! big hugs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Last night made tortillas soup. One of the soups I make often and a good way to use up peppers from the fridge. Last night it was yellow and red peppers as well as jalapenos.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Recently It's been a by product of a Costco rotisserie chicken.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's hard to pass them up at $5 when going shopping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          My usual routine is to take the chicken apart and separate it into white and dark meat. All the skin and bones go directly into the pressure cooker where it cooks for an hour or two. I'll get 3 cups or so of very gelatinous stock.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          The white meat gets used for sandwiches and other dishes and the dark meat and stock from the pressure cooker get's used for tortilla soup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          A lot of meals from a $5 chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I can practically smell and taste that soup, scuba, I want some badly!!! Next rotisserie chicken....

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                                                              how much water do you put in for one chicken carcass? i would think you'd need a lot in a pressure cooker, or no?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                My bad on the amount of stock. I think it was closer to 8 cups of stock reduced to maybe 6. Why I typed 3, I don't know. Lack of sleep maybe

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Beans are soaking now (quick method) to be put in the crock pot w/ the ham bone for dinner w/ garlic biscuits alongside. I've made a test version of "Christmas Crack" for an upcoming party, for dessert. The "Crack" is missing something so I'll try a version w/ some chili powder.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I had planned on Cumberland sausage with onion gravy for dinner tonight, but seeing as how I am now entering the second hour of tamal-making, I doubt I will have the energy or desire to make anything once I'm down, so tonight's dinner will be tamales and kale salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Unlike the corn tamales popular in the US, these are Filipino tamales made with rice flour and coconut milk, filled with chicken, chorizo, eggs and pulled pork and steamed in banana leaves. A little spicy, a little sweet, they are surprisingly hard to find here, so I'm making a large batch for my family's Christmas before I fly home tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  those sound AMAZING, jm. i don't love most tamales (nacatamales are great, also cooked in banana leaves) because i think they're dry and a bit boring, but yours sound fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I know what you mean! I have burned by many tamales in the past, and not because I was too impatient gobbling them up! I only buy tamales around Christmastime and from vendors I know. Of course the vendor I trust the most is the Filipino tamales vendor, since it's me. And he makes soft, quivering rice dumplings of happiness!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This batch was admittedly a little boring since I didn't have peanuts and had to omit the baby shrimp in the filling to prevent them from spoiling on my cross-country flight, but I've got a whole year to improve my technique.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. At the request of my son who's home from school I'm currently making a big pot of chili. Just in time for the blast of cold air to move down our way ;-))

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Tonight will be a giant bone-in NY Strip (split for two). I've got that salted, spiced, and waiting on a rack over a plate in the fridge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We're going out of town tomorrow for 10 days and have been loathe to buy any groceries that might go bad. So dinner will make use of the last items in the crisper. I think sides will be some spicy glazed carrots and braised red cabbage. Whatever red wine goes into the cabbage will also go into our glasses.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Dinner tonight will be chicken with pistachio and ground sumac breadcrumbs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://tinyurl.com/d7anuyf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'll use one fat b/s chicken breast that will be cut in half lengthwise for two servings. Alongside will be roasted Brussels sprouts and shallots in some duck fat, if it's still good in the container in my fridge. Otherwise, just oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And I'm debating a starch. Probably rice pilaf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LW, please do let us know, the recipe sure SOUNDS wonderful!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Well, I *just* realized that I left out the sesame seeds. But so far, it's smelling good. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm keen to hear about this too, it sounds wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            OK, review. It was good. I made 1 full chicken breast for 2 servings. I'm not sure how much panko I used, and I think I used about 1/2 Tbsp. of ground sumac. I could have easily used more, as it needed a bit of zip. I was fine with leaving out the sesame seeds. They just get stuck in my teeth anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I tried a bit of a corner of the chicken when it was done. Good, but it needed something - so I made a quick sauce (?) of a Tbsp. of sour cream, 1 tsp. of lemon zest, and probably a tsp or a smidge more of lemon juice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Note - the chicken cooks *wicked* fast in the initial frying. Watch it so it doesn't burn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I like this and will make it again as a "pan-fried" type of chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh - and the Brussels sprouts? Ah-may-zing. The shallot gets all crispy and frizzled-like. I like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            that duck fat lasts tons longer than they tell you....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            brussels sprouts and duck fat are a marriage made in heaven! or should i say hell, as they're evilly good...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hah! Wow, i didn't know it lasted THAT long!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, I was a bit surprised it was that old, too, but there was no off smell OR taste, so I used it. Figured if for some reason, the Brussels sprouts didn't work out after roasting, I could always quickly heat some peas and corn. But they were fine! I'll use using some newer duck fat tomorrow as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Have been a busy little elf myself, and made a turkey tamale pie that no one had eaten before my kids' Christmas concert on Thursday night. But it was good the next evening heated up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Friday was simple with three large boneless breasts I an sautéed in butter as they were coated with panko and cheese. A large green salad and a double recipe of boxed scalloped potatoes was also served.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Last night I made two large filets of salmon that were baked in a sweet sauce of pineapple, ginger & teriyaki, then glazed with a pineapple preserve with some spicy sweet chili sauce mixed with some teriyaki. It was very good, I would make it again. I also made some steamed rice and heated up a container of garlic mashed potatoes, since I like my fish with potatoes. Also made a pan of green beans almandine. Came together quickly for seven people, I had dinner done in under an hour. A frozen Dutch apple pie for dessert, since they were buy one get one free.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So far today, I've made a pot of quahog chowder for tomorrow eve, a batch of my great Aunt Kit's fudge, and an olive relish to go with dinner. Roasting a leg of lamb, that's been marinating in olive oil, herbs, Dijon, & garlic for a day. I'll throw some peewee potatoes in the pan during the last half hour of roasting. Make a pot of Israeli couscous. Tzatziki & a salad with spinach, arugula, feta & pine nuts in a mustard vinaigrette. Hummus & pita bread heated up for the lamb. More pie. Making cookies tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A photo of the salmon dinner last night:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Wow. Sounds like you've been busy. I want to sample everything you mentioned. It all sounds excellent. And the salmon looks so good. I want to try something like that with salmon soon. I usually only make it with garlic,butter and lemon for my bf but he may have to venture outside of his comfort zone for me this once.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I think we're gonna go a little crazy here at casa lingua tonight and have BACON cheeseburgers. Oh my.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'll season some ground bison with maggi & worcestershire sauce, and lots of ground pepper. Topped with extra sharp cheddar on kaiser rolls with mayo and ketchup for me, mayo, ketchup and (brrr) mustard for my man, and lettuce. No decent tomatoes in the house. Oh, and 2 strips each of delicious Kunzler thick sliced bacon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I could make a side salad, but that just seems silly. The boigahs would go well with some crunchy fries and mayo... too bad we don't have any in the house, and I'm too lazy to go out and get any.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Enjoy your crazy bacon burgers, lingua. :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Will do! Your pistachio & sumac chicken sounds pretty awesome, too!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      hmmmmm Christmas Eve burgers might just be the ticket.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Chicken tenders were on sale buy one get one free so tonight is stir fry with bok choy, snow peas, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, crookneck , bell peppers and onion in a ginger, soy, garlic, sambal oelek, sesame oil and palm sugar and ponzu sauce with steamed jasmine rice and cucumber and onion salad in a ricewine vinegarette.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. We had some red beans that I cooked earlier in the week. So in went the immersion blender with a spot of heavy cream, thus;

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cream of pink bean soup, topped with crunbled bacon, cheedar and chopped white onion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Simple wedge of lettuce with crumbled blue , and buttermilk dressing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Malbec from Argentina to round out the meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I just read your post on the creamed soups thread and now that I read it here too I have on critique. It needs one more thing...My spoon. Feed me

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Steve, I had to finish the bottle myself, after seeing both of the "New Jersey football teams" implode today....I don't know why I even watch, afterall I live in NYC...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Malbec, not sweet and just the rigt amount of acid to balance a light meal....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I hear you. Pitchers and catchers report March 2.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Sigh. I just had one of the most simple yet ethereal shellfish meals I've ever had in my life. Courtesy of - gasp - Costco.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Was there when they opened this morning to finish up some last minute Xmas shopping, & while strolling past their "Shellfish Extravaganza" setup, spied some really gorgeous bags of mussels. Didn't pay much attention to the sign, except noting that they were $4.99/lb.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fast-forward to a couple of hours ago - these were 5# bags of farmed/rope-raised Prince Edward Island mussels (properly tagged as such). Now I'm a mussel fan from WAY back - long before they were even remotely popular, but had never had PEI's before.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Poured a dollop of extra-virgin olive oil into the pot, along with 5 cloves of peeled, roughly chopped garlic; a small handful of chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley; leaves from 7 sprigs of fresh thyme; & around 1-1/2 cups of dry white wine (Pinot Grigio). Rinsed & sorted through the mussels, & out of 5 POUNDS of mussels, not ONE was cracked or even slightly open. They were absolutely pristine. Ten minutes of medium-high heat later we were digging in & enjoying the very best mussels we've ever had in our lives (lemon butter for dipping & a fresh, locally made baguette on the side). Plump, full, sweet, melt-in-your-mouth tender - they were HEAVENLY. Hubby made mention that if Costco is still carrying them next week, he wouldn't mind enjoying them for New Years Eve.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They were so good, that we ended up with maybe just 1/2 a pound leftover, which I shelled & froze in some of the excellent winey broth. Also ended up with a little less than a quart of that excellent winey broth on its own in the freezer. Ah - the wonderful seafood pasta sauces or soups or chowders I see in my future. . . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            (Oh, & who knew that Siamese cats absolutely adore PEI mussels? Lol!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              wow, that sounds sooooo good.... not brave enough to brave Costco at this late date, but maybe soon.... i've only had PEIs in restaurants before. i had some mussels from our local fishmonger who i really like, for our paella, but the mussels were kind of puny inside their shells.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Here too! I can usually get really fresh decent mussels from our local Wegmans market, but they're always puny inside. These PEI's from Costco were plump & well-filled out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And I've sadly have had a number of mussels from Wegmans where many didn't open or were cracked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But you put me in the mood for mussels, for sure... post-xmas, I guess, since our next three meals are pretty much planned.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Siamese cat with garlic breath....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. It's going to be a heavy day in the kitchen at Harters Hall as we try to do as much prep as possible for tomorrow, when we will be nine for lunch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So, here we go with the first meal of the feast for tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  To start......smoked salmon, squeeze of lemon, sprinkle of capers, buttered brown bread

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  To follow.......roast gammon (leftovers will keep us in ham sandwiches for the festives), rosti potato, red cabbage with apple.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Cheese......Red Leicester, dried apricots, celery

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  To finish......tarte au citron (supermarket purchase)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sounds like my dream dinner for Christmas Eve. We will be doing a vaguely similar main of roast ham with maple glaze with pan de sal (a Spanish-style bread native to the PI), Edam cheese, chicken salad with savoy cabbage and green apples and to finish, thick cups of rich hot chocolate whipped frothy with a batidor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My day has turned to rat shit!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Firstly, and most important, the dishwasher has decided to break. Today - of all feckings days. Fecking, fecking, mega-fecks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And, second, the sisters in law tell us that the mother in law has already taken on her usual Christmas "evil persona", bringing her sheer nastiness to bear on both of them this afternoon. She usually manages to hold her tongue until after the meal. Can't wait for tomorrow. Not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Good sounding meal, JM. We'll glaze with a honey/mustard mix

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Aí caramba, Harters. The dishwasher AND the evil MIL...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hope you nonetheless manage to keep your sunshiny disposition throughout the coming days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh, and FECK it all :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh no! Sorry about he fecking dishwasher.... and as for the MIL, can't she be slipped a little something in her toddy? Just kidding! here's hoping your wonderful lunch will assuage all ill tempers, Mr. H.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The gathering storm....such a shame. I know you no longer drink, John, I hope you get Xanax in your Christmas stocking...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh NO on the dishwasher, Harters! And UGH on the MIL. I say make her wash the dishes tomorrow. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Feck on the dishwasher and good luck on the evil MIL, mc has the right idea -- a small sedative in her toddy. Happy Christmas anyway!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Perhaps you could put the MIL on dish washing duties? I hope the cranberry sauce you made placates her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We had our own hijinks at dinner. Dinner for 10 was everything I wrote, plus the addition of flank steak mechado, two types of pancit and fresh lumpia (the kind made with crisp vegetables wrapped in a fresh egg crepe). The only problem was my uncle forgot to turn on the rice cooker, which resulted in mass panic as the Filipinos were not able to eat rice with their bread and noodles. Since 3 out of the 10 diners were already (unsurprisingly) pre-diabetic, I made a stop at the Arab bakery to honor the other half of my family with sugar free baklava, basma, ma'amoul and, my favorite, burma.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And people think the Singaporeans are the food obsessives of Asia!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Tonight we're about as basic as it gets - homemade burgers. Our version uses sandwich bread instead of buns (I like to keep the bread to meat ratio about the same) and our patties are pork with loads of finely chopped fresh coriander, some garlic, chilli and ginger and a good splash of hoisin in the mix. Lettuce, cheese, mayo and Dijon complete the burger.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We somehow acquired a last minute house guest (a childhood friend of my partners in transit overnight) so fortunately it was a meal that was easy to stretch.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tomorrow morning the Christmas fun begins. Crepes for breakfast and the main meal at lunch. Dinner time will probably involve little more than glazed eyes, clothes with forgiving waistlines and bad TV.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I like the sound of those patties. Yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I think I've already mentioned we'll be enjoying Shrimp Po-Boys tonight (Christmas Eve) .... Fresh Gulf Shrimp, butterflied and fried to perfection....on fresh Leidenheimer Po-Boy Bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This morning was very good ~~ Hang Town Fry with hot Coffee & Chicory!!! ~~ The little brown-eyed girl even made a pan of biscuits... Just awesome!! ~~ Now I've got to go get the ladder...A couple of them got a way and floated up to the ceiling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Merry Christmas!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Uncle Bob

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Now THAT is a great Christmas Eve dinner, Unc'Bob! Have a very happy Christmas, you and yours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Uncle Bob

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Uncle Bob hits another one out of the park.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Merry Christmas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Merry, merry, everyone. The house is smelling seasonally of roasted pork shoulder :-) which I put in late last night, and which should be pretty much done in about an hour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'll let it cool down some, and then decide whether I want to pull it or leave as is. I'm going to try my hand at making my own bbq sauce, and shall peruse CH's collective wisdom here on the boards. Cole slaw was prepped yesterday, as per roxlet's recipe, and that's pretty much all the prepping needed for tonight's dinner with my keys player and his wife, before we're off to a late night xmas eve gig. Should be fun!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        so no rub this time?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        have a great time tonight!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sorry, forgot to mention -- yes on the rub (salt, brown sugar, cayenne, cumin, chili powder, garlic & onion powder, and toasted fennel seeds, as they were such a great addition last time). Shoulder's almost done :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. today's the day i would, just two years ago, been cooking all day at my mom's, cooking a 5 or 7 course meal that would be eaten by the four of us in under 20 minutes. missing my mama very much today; the holidays have changed forever. Today, i'm staying home with the BF, being mostly lazy, and we will probably have burgers of some sort, since all y'all have put me in the mood. i splurged on a little truffle salt, so on the side i think will be truffled fries. there's your Merry for ya!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tomorrow at the Oldster's with my sister, we (she and i) will gorge on conservas - the oodles of cans of delightful seafoody things my sister picked up on her trip to Spain a few years ago (knock on wood they are still good!) http://www.foodsfromspain.com/icex/cd..., also, paella. i'll be doing it on her fancy italian stove which has large burners, but i think we'll finish it in the oven just to try that method out. I've got some really smokey Spanish chorizo for the paella, and some canned piquillos. just need to get some fresh shrimp. Also bought some marvelous anchovy-stuffed olives for snacking on with a couple bottles of two different types of sherry i found at The Spanish Table.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        for the oldster, who can't abide any seafood except salmon (how that makes sense to anyone.... salmon is so fishy!), a small pork butt end piece of ham has been purchased and will be glazed with plain old yellow mustard and brown sugar. it's small but big enough for leftovers for the BF too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The sun is out today, after yesterday's storm-fest, so it looks like a good start to the day. Merries and Happies to all of you, and enjoy your meals!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Aw, I'm envious of the anchovy stuffed olives. Couldnt find any this year - so have settled for ones stuffed with garlic or almonds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            these are so good, Harters, that my sister and i stood at her counter a couple weeks ago and ate a 15 ounce jar in maybe 20 minutes. i got two jars this time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            {{{{hugs to you, mc}}}} Enjoy your truffled fries and burger! And YAY! more paella. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              thanks LW! right back atcha.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thought of you today - I picked up some english muffins from a local bakery, still oven-warm. They're the best i've ever had. Before these, it was like I'd never tasted an english muffin. so those will be the burger platforms. i've got some harris ranch ground beef from the local butcher, some sliced colby cheese, some bacon.... and to start, i got us each a couple of oysters - Kushis and Beausoleils. it's going to be Flavor Country here tonight!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A question, to you and/or steveh - i'm going to make my patties now and let them sit in the fridge until dinner for a few hours, take them out an hour before (?). question is: there will be no other seasoning on the meat besides salt. so, salt before cooking or salt after?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hi mc,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Keep the patties in the fridge until you're ready to cook 'em. Salt/season them just before you put them in the pan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Merry Christmas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh - freshly baked English muffins - how wonderful! Your dinner tonight is going to be WONDERFUL!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And yes - just what steve h. said - simply salt and pepper and then cook those babies up. Your Colby and bacon will add some nice additional flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Everything sounds so good. If you ever find the need to invite an extra guest to your table I will clear my schedule and hope for an invite. I have been lurking here for a while and I have a food crush on you...:-) by the way, I'm sure your mom is somewhere very near tonight watching you and your sister.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  you just made me tear up! how sweet are you!! food crush right back at you, suzigirl!! nice to have you at our table.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thank you for welcoming me to the table. Happy to be here

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  mc, I know just what you mean, this is my third Christmas without my Mum. But suzigirl is right, you know..... Your eats sound yummy, Merry Christmas!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    thank GS, and you made me realize that i misspoke - this is our 3rd xmas without her, but she's been gone for 2 years now, as she died a month before xmas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    to all who are missing someone at their table, and to all who have everyone they want and need at theirs, Happy Holidays!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. After several nights of soul-satisfying chicken paprikas and last nights beef short ribs braised with lots of veggies and served over trofie pasta, tonight we are going out to celebrate Christmas Eve.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  An early dinner, sitting at the bar of our favorite local tavern will do nicely. Home early enough to enjoy a fire, the Christmas tree, the furry cats and an old Christmas movie-probably White Christmas, although neither if us have seen Miracle on 34th Street, and that seems wrong.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm looking forward to fried oysters, a good, bitter salad and hopefully some fish as my main. No dishes is just a bonus.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wishing you all a very peaceful and joyous holiday, spent exactly as you like to spend it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  GingerShelly, a special hug to you, I hope you and your families hearts mend quickly. What a hard time of year to have such a loss.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Merry Christmas to all!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh, you MUST watch Miracle on 34th Street - the original with Natalie Wood and Edmund Gwynn as Nick!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Have a wonderful holiday as a new spouse, rabaja, and many joys and happiness to you and yours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      sounds absolutely perfect rabaja - enjoy!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. It's Christmas Eve so seafood is on the menu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A simple clam spread will serve as nibbles. Supper will start with a simple salad and smoked salmon. The main course will be a Lobster Newburg (recipe sourced from Jasper White's, Lobster at Home). We'll wash things down with champagne from the Widow Clicquot. Dessert will be an apple tart from Versailles Bakery in Greenwich. Best china, linen, silverware, crystal will be on the table.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We'll exchange a few gifts later in the evening. I'll clean up late tonight in advance of the Christmas Day meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays everyone!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Wonderful Christmas Eve dinner, steve (geez, I'm just doing leftovers! LOL) Enjoy, and Merry Christmas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            wow wow wow. sounds fantastic, steve!! cheers to you and deb!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks ladies,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              All the best to you both.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yum on the meal and all its accoutrements. Merry Christmas!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Very nice Christmas Eve dinner! Enjoy the seafood feast!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We throttled things back a bit and that was a good call for us. Thanks for your kind thoughts.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Merry Christmas!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Let's talk about our Christmas dinner celebrations here:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/883386

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I went to my boyfriend's moms house for the holiday and she cooked everything beautiful and very simple.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Roasted turkey and ham
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Roast brussel sprouts
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Steamed broccoli, carrots,green beans and asparagus
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pan gravy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Cloverleaf rolls and butter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Some kind of chocolate pie and ice cream that I skipped

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I brought toasted almond white chocolate bark
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Rocky road brownie bites
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sugar cookies with peppermint flavored sanding sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Peanut butter blossoms
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oreo truffles
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A brought boxes so everyone could help themselves

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A nice time was had by all and the food was simple and delicious and I scored the carass. You know what that means..... yeah, me either. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    hey suzigirl, we are on the next thread, didn't want you to get left behind!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/883386

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    we usually start a new thread at about 300 posts (roxlet started this one a little early). you may want to copy and repost your xmas dinner over there - you certainly did the desserts up right!