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What's for Dinner #194 - The Shortest Month Edition [old]

It's hard to believe that February is almost over, and with it, the last full month of winter. Here in the greater NY area, the snowdrops are out and the crocus are poking their noses through the soil. That means outdoor cooking, maybe? Please? My husband was out smoke roasting a salmon side on the grill last night, so he clearly felt inspired. The salmon was served with a beurre rouge on top of a wild rice and mushroom pilaf and topped off with some shallot rings. It was a super delicious and glamorous dinner for Oscar night.

What's up in your kitchen?

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  1. I'm envious of the crocuses being out in your area. No snowdrops for us - just some more snow that came in mostly Sunday morning/afternoon/evening. *Just* enough to shovel this morning, but the roads were fine. And the 40-some-odd degrees we'll be getting for the next few days will help melt it.

    It'll be leftovers for me for a few days. LOVE the sound of that salmon, roxlet!

    1. Warm, but rainy here. Opened up windows for the first time this year--yay!! With 2 dogs, you really look forward to the first open window day.
      I wanted a nice meal to enjoy in front of the Oscars (yours sound lovely, Roxlet), so I made chicken piccata. With angel hair pasta and a small salad. Served on the coffee table.
      All the mention of it in the last thread made me crave it!
      And for a snack later, some parmesan ranch chex mix I'd made earlier.

      2 Replies
      1. re: alliegator

        Sooooo jealous of your open windows - and I totally hear you on the two dogs thing! It's been a loooooong winter!

        All the talk of chicken piccata has made me really crave it - but hubby is not a fan of lemon, so it will have to wait until he is gone. April is not that far away!

        1. re: iowagirl

          I'm so glad my husband likes lemon, because I love it! It's in quite a bit of my cooking. I'm man-free for two weeks, so I'll be having a lot of my favorites :D

      2. Thai coconut milk & squash soup

        Smoke roasted salmon with beurre rouge & crispy shallots on wild rice pilaf

         
         
        6 Replies
        1. re: rjbh20

          Absolutely gorgeous and beautifully plated!

          1. re: rjbh20

            Oh, yeah. I forgot the Thai coconut milk and squash soup, and I made that! I kind of winged it.

                1. re: rjbh20

                  Adore beurre rouge, don't know why I don't make it.......

                2. Last night night I made "Duck a l'Orange", utilizing a "Lola" duck (Pekin/Mallard hybrid) from D'Artagnan I had in the freezer, along with Blood Oranges I had in the fridge. While the sauce was absolutely wonderful, I was rather disappointed in the duck itself. Had never had one of these hybrids before, & doubt I will bother again. Small (3 pounds tops maybe?), & with almost NO meat on it whatsoever. So little in fact, that it was difficult to tell the breast side from the back side!! The only saving grace was that 1) it was incredibly lean - very little fat, & 2) what meat there was was very tender, even at the well-done stage, & had nice duck flavor with just a touch of wildness.

                  Served the duck with a side of fresh-off-the-stalk Brussels sprouts & organic carrot coins tossed with butter & chopped fresh Tarragon, & an extremely nice locally-produced (as in right here in our own county local) rose' wine.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Bacardi1

                    That was one of the *first* dinners I ever made, at the tender age of ten, for a birthday meal for my Dad, love duck a l'orange....

                    It's pretty common knowledge though, that ducks have a larger body cavity than other fowl, and therefore yield a lot less meat than one expects for the weight..... Anyway, it's probably next to impossible to determine how much meat a duck will give you.

                    I have got to go out and get some duck breasts, it's just been too long..... Thanks for the inspiration!

                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                      Oh, I know all about cooking duck (& goose). Have been cooking it frequently for decades now.

                      The problem, as I mentioned above, with this particular duck was that it wasn't the usual "White Pekin", which is the duck every supermarket on the planet carries. This was a special hybrid (half Pekin, half Mallard), thus much smaller - as in 3 lbs. versus the usual 5-6 pounds of a regular Pekin - & with much less meat (& fat) vs. bone. I'm used to roasting Pekins, & even Muscovies, both of which have far more meat to bone. And since the "Lola" duck was a specialty item, I paid a pretty penny for it; something I won't be doing again, regardless of the flavor.

                    2. re: Bacardi1

                      This is a dish I've never made Bacardi but is sure does sound incredible with your blood oranges.

                    3. Inspired by others on CH and determined to get the pantry and freezer stockpiles to a single-layer, I've made a lunch/dinner daily menu plan for the week. And now know that the only items I need to get at the grocery store are milk & juice. We'll see whether I can resist temptations offered by store specials and the great meal ideas posted here.

                      Last night's supper was pan-seared cod fillets, TJ Curried Rice (a previous store-special temptation not resisted), and fresh fruit salad - strawberries, pear, plum.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: MidwesternerTT

                        If it is a good deal that you can store somehow, it might be worth going off list. Just include it in your meal plan for the following week.

                        1. re: Musie

                          I've been doing that "it's a good deal, I'll store it for later" routine for months, and it will take me at least another month to get to reasonable levels. So I have to keep reminding myself that the sales are cyclical, and this won't be the last time an item's featured.

                          However, tomorrow's planned lunch was veto'd by my spouse, so I've moved all the lunch menu items up a day and can enjoy the inspirations from here as I decide what to make Friday/Saturday.

                          1. re: MidwesternerTT

                            Midwesterner, I have the same problem, and I went $75 over my grocery budget in February. So the month of March is going to be as much pantry cooking as possible for me too :) I have to keep reminding myself that things ALWAYS go on sale, there's rarely a deal that is totally unheard of and won't come up again.

                      2. We had our biggest snow of the year yesterday, so much for spring :) Today it's sunny but pretty cold. I hope the sun will at least melt some of the ice that's all over the roads. I am "working from home", my low-to-the-ground car and it's needing to be replaced tires are not snow or ice friendly, and the SO greatly disapproves of me driving his giant truck all the way to work (35 miles each way), and personally, I don't like to either, I always feel like I'm going to run something or someone over in that thing. Besides it would cost me like $20 in gas just to drive it there and back.

                        Tonight I'm making hoisin pork, noodles, and some veggies, probably carrots and green beans, all mixed up together.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: juliejulez

                          Sorry you had THAT kind of snowdrops :(

                          1. re: roxlet

                            I don't mind it as long as I don't have to go anywhere :) I did have to take SO to the airport (his morning flight was cancelled but his afternoon one left just fine) in the thick of it, so that wasn't fun, I at least got to drive the truck to do that. But today, it's sunny and I have a panoramic of the Rockies from where I sit in my living room, so I'm enjoying it!

                            1. re: juliejulez

                              That pork and noodles sounds really good, made even better by your picturesque view! Enjoy!!!

                              1. re: juliejulez

                                Looks like we're getting that storm tomorrow evening julie.

                                Your hoisin pork and noodles sounds so yummy!

                                1. re: juliejulez

                                  The pork turned out tasty, this is what I made: http://pinchofyum.com/hoisin-pork-wit... I ended up using udon noodles though, the rice noodles at my store were really expensive. Didn't use the peanut butter either to save on the calories. This was a nice recipe to mix and match and would be good w/ any protein really. Good for cleaning out the fridge.

                                  1. re: juliejulez

                                    saved! i have all those items except the noodles!

                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                      One thing I forgot to mention was I saved about half the marinade instead of putting it all on the meat. Half of it was PLENTY for the amount of meat I had, and that way I had the other non-used half to use for saucing. I also didn't use the sugar (we ran out) and I didn't miss it in the final dish.

                                2. It's an interesting sort of day Chez Harters. The weather is dry but chilly - I pottered round the garden for an hour this morning just weeding a couple fo the flower beds. That's just about the first time this year I've been able to get out there and do some work. I've also just signed off the final proof of my next book so that should be out in a few weeks. And I've just finished writing Chapter 2 of the next book (the one about food in the Great War )- it's coming along nicely.

                                  And, this evening, we're hosting the brother-in-law's family birthday dinner. Inevitably, that means the food has to be straightforward to accommodate the fussy eaters. So, it's pretty much plain roasted chicken (breasts & thighs), scattered with garlic, thyme and bay (except for the FiL - for whom the concept of having herbs with your food is an abomination - so he'll have literally plain roast chicken). There'll be roast spuds and a mixed leaf salad (except Fil, for whom the concept of salad is an abomination - so feck him on that - no substitutes). And herself has made her kid brother a carrot cake, cos it's the only cake he likes. A family of fussy buggers? Well, yes, generally speaking.

                                  38 Replies
                                  1. re: Harters

                                    These are the folks that find green beans "exotic," right?

                                    1. re: weezieduzzit

                                      That was the FiL, many years ago.

                                      He, and his second daughter, are the only two British people I've come across who do not like Indian food. Whenever we went out from work for a birthday celebration or because someone was leaving, we always went for a curry as it was the one type of food everyone was OK with.

                                      Fussy, fussy, fussy. We used to try and cook different things for folk but have now given up and just cook lowest common denominator stuff. Feck 'em all.

                                      1. re: Harters

                                        FIL sounds like a royal PITA! not unlike my Oldster.
                                        How did you get so lucky with herself, coming from that family!

                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                          I love 'em all really * - after all, where would I be without the stories (at least, those that I can tell).

                                          (* Actually not true. There's one family member who I despise with a vengeance and who I'll have absolutely nothing to do with.)

                                          The FiL is OK to feed really - just give him a big piece of meat, simply cooked, and he's a happy camper.

                                          1. re: Harters

                                            not to worry, i felt the affection in the "fecks"!

                                    2. re: Harters

                                      I was inspired to do a bit of straightforward roasted chicken tonight as well. Currently I have chicken quarters undergoing a 24-hour cure in the fridge, seasoned lightly with pepper and thyme. Do you crush up whole bay leaves and add those to your birds as well? I've never used bay that way and would be interested to try it.

                                      On the side we have mashed rutabagas and hopefully some sort of inspired turnip dish, though most likely, they'll be tossed with bacon fat and roasted as well, served with a white wine sauce I'll make from the chicken drippings. For dessert: buttermilk pudding, which should set by the time I've finished baking the chicken and finishing up my savories.

                                      1. re: JungMann

                                        I've just thrown a few fresh bay leaves into the roasting tray, along with the fresh thyme and garlic.

                                        Oh, and I think turnips tossed in bacon fat and served in a chickeny sauce sounds absolutely inspired.

                                        Mashed rutabaga (or swede as we call them) are a favourite - usually mashed 50/50 with carrot in this household.

                                        1. re: Harters

                                          I recall you having swedes quite often for dinner, which is why I thought I might try them with my chicken tonight. I've never made them before as I was under the false impression that they were high in sugar. Will they be bland without the addition of some carrots?

                                          I'll try dropping a couple bay leaves into the roasting tray. Not sure how much effect it will have on the chicken since they will be elevated on a bed of celery and carrots, but it can't hurt.

                                          1. re: JungMann

                                            They're not high in sugar, that's why I use them in place of potatoes. Not a tone of them pureed, but a cup is just fine, carb wise.

                                            1. re: JungMann

                                              I like the taste of swedes - they'll be fine on their own.

                                              1. re: Harters

                                                And now they're a favorite here as well. It's a shame I discovered these so late in the winter, there is not enough time left in the season for all the experimentation I want to do. I think tomorrow we'll try the mash with a bit of maple butter and bacon. I will have to figure out a better way to cut them, though. These things were massive and my 8-inch chef's knife kept getting stuck in this bowling bowl of a rutabaga.

                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                    You know I so rarely make gratins because the cheese, chiefly gruyere, seems a bit of an investment for me in a dairy dish I'm not sure I'd be able to eat. Do you have a recommendation for something a little more budget friendly for the gratin cheese?

                                                    Cutting into these today, I do have to admit, a mandoline is starting to look like a useful investment if I'm going to keep picking up monster vegetables.

                                                    1. re: JungMann

                                                      I made mine last time with Gruyere, Pecorino Romano, and Parm. Regg. and found it almost too cheesy and too salty. Maybe try just a dusting of Gruyere---a wedge from Whole Foods runs only about $5, and you needn't use even half of it. You could also try generic grated Swiss cheese, but for a dish of such simple ingredients, I think quality counts. Maybe even spring for the grass-fed heavy cream.

                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                        When you put it that way, I guess the gruyère isn't that expensive. I may have just been spoilt on being so sensitive to dairy that a tiny $2.50 quarter slice of gouda will last me an entire week. Sounds like a WF wedge can make a tray of rutabaga gratin and still have plenty leftover for some Austrian cordon bleu: two very good reasons to give your recommendation a go.

                                                        1. re: JungMann

                                                          Let me know how it goes. Since you like robust flavors, maybe infuse the cream with some herbs and garlic before you do your layering. Yum.

                                                      2. re: JungMann

                                                        JM; you can do a gratin without cheese - I like just a mix of heavy cream and whole milk, with a garlic clove - and for 'swedes', I would probably add some thyme and a touch of nutmeg.

                                                        And the mandolin is a godsend for very thin, even slices that is what makes a gratin successful; super thin slices let them absorb cream, and the whole dish becomes one cohesive whole, rather than a starch baked in cream and cheese, IMO

                                                        1. re: gingershelley

                                                          I thought a gratin by definition includes cheese otherwise you are just cooking something in bechamel.

                                                          Thanks for the slicing tip; I wasn't even aware (the only gratin I've had is scalloped potatoes when I was a kid, and they were probably from a box). I don't have a mandoline so I may not be able to manage anything too delicate with the rutabagas. After my 8-inch chef's knife got stuck in the rutabaga for the fifth time I seriously considered just karate chopping the thing with my cleaver.

                                                          1. re: JungMann

                                                            JM - must people think a gratin has to include cheese; but the way I learned to make Gratin Daphinoise from The 'Frenchman' (ex-BF, written about lots a year or so ago on these threads), taught me to make it the way he was taught in Paris - no cheese, only cream and milk. I love it without cheese!

                                                            Some other gratins tho, really need cheese to make the flavor fuller.

                                                            I sure sympathize about the rutabaga! Same goes for a lot of hard squashes - only a cleaver or a GIANT chef's knife will get you through those things. A rubber mallet and a big knife ( I have a cheap 12" industrial chef knife I got years ago when I worked in some professional kitchen) I keep around just for hard squash season!

                                                            1. re: gingershelley

                                                              I may not have found an efficient way to bookmark recipes on these threads, but I have certainly managed to remember the many characters profiled here. Your Frenchman, MC's Oldster, Harters' Herself... one big, personality-filled and well-fed family!

                                                              Good call on the mallet. There were several points where I was afraid I would accidentally cut myself when I was trying to retrieve Excalibur from the Rutabaga. A mallet would make things much easier.

                                                              1. re: JungMann

                                                                Re: cutting hard veggies - I learned (from taking my 90-year-old neighbor to the grocery store and helping her shop) that the produce department staff will cut a rutabaga, jicama or squash into half or quarters on-request. A huge help when you're planning to cook it that day. Now if only I could get that service at my Farmer's Market, too.

                                                                1. re: JungMann

                                                                  What a great comment JM! I SO agree how we all get to know all our fellow WFD'er posters' 'families' or at least their domestic situations...

                                                                  I seem to recall that you live in a shared house, and you take up too much room in the fridge with all your cool condiments. I for one, would love to be a roomy of yours for at least a week to eat all your interesting food - you know SO much about cuisines I don't!

                                                                  I do advise a rubber mallet for your cuisine batterie....

                                                              2. re: JungMann

                                                                JM---wanted to follow up on the rutabaga gratin idea. I made one the other night and have a few suggestions:

                                                                -Milk/Cream: This can literally make or break your gratin. I used light cream (just a step below whipping cream), which I'd read elsewhere was fine for gratin (whereas half and half will break due to lack of enough fat). It totally curdled. I suggest splurging on whipping cream OR using evaporated milk, which is more heat stable (I may combine the two next time).

                                                                -Cheese: As gs suggested, it's optional. I used just a sprinkle of gruyere on top and liked how it browned nicely when I uncovered the dish to finish cooking.

                                                                -Timing: I think rutabaga, since it's a bit harder, typically takes longer to cook than potatoes. I started at 375F for 40 min. and ended up jacking the heat up to 425F or so and cooking another 20 min. until everything was tender. Then I uncovered and baked another 10 min. to brown the top.

                                                                -Salt: I'm a huge salt fiend, and even I don't think you have to go too overboard here. Salt the cream heavily, but not so heavily that you wince from saltiness. I think it's very nice to infuse the cream first with some fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, sage), bay leaf, hot paprika, lightly crushed garlic, fresh nutmeg, and half an onion, then strain over the sliced veggies. I also added a little chicken broth to up the volume, plus a pat of butter.

                                                                -Slicing: you might need a cleaver and mallet to get into your rutabaga, but as long as you have a sharp knife, slicing thinly is not a hard chore.

                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                  My gratin recipe is written for potatoes, but I use rutabaga, turnip, celery root at times. They all come out the same, but the recipe calls for 425, covered for 30 minutes, then uncovered for 25 minutes. That might help.

                                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                    Interesting about the light cream. I always use light cream in my potato gratin, and it never broke. Huh.

                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                      Yeah, super weird. It actually broke on the stovetop when I brought it just to the barest simmer to infuse it with the herbs. Maybe that's the difference, since you use yours cold, right? At what temp do you bake yours at?

                                                                    2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                      Thanks for these tips. It's very helpful.

                                                                      I had thought to make the gratin this weekend, but I have been limiting my fat and dairy since I find these are major triggers for me. Still what you describe sounds too satisfying to forgo. I'll have to give it a whirl with some evaporated milk when I get back from DC.

                                                                      1. re: JungMann

                                                                        Nice, welcome to our fair (freezing) city. If I can help with restaurant recommendations, etc., hit me up through my blog and we can take that conversation offline.

                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                          Try as I might, I can't seem to find your email address on your blog. Mine is on my profile here if you care to drop a line!

                                                                          1. re: JungMann

                                                                            Whoops. I emailed you from my gmail account.

                                                                    3. re: JungMann

                                                                      I used to struggle with rutabagas, too, but I have a clumsy and highly effective technique for the big ones; just whack with your large chef's knife so it stays in there, than lift and slam onto the cutting board with a hammer like motion just hard enough to get through, not with all your might. After that, it's much easier, with flat sides to lay it on for slicing or cubing.

                                                                      That said, for gratin, I buy a few smaller ones, not the ginormous ones in wax. If I'm making a lot, I use a mandoline, if it's just for two of us, a half recipe, I use my knife and take my time, but the thinner the better, I agree.

                                                                      1. re: mcf

                                                                        "just whack with your large chef's knife so it stays in there, than lift and slam onto the cutting board with a hammer like motion just hard enough to get through"

                                                                        Oh I did try that. The rutabaga was nearly as large as my knife so I couldn't get quite enough momentum to break through to the other side.

                                                              3. re: JungMann

                                                                you're on the right track with maple and bacon.... CHer L.Nightshade made them with maple syrup and foie and said it was a great combination. so.. yeah, bacon's not foie, but one fatty goodness is almost as good as another!

                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                  You are far better at keeping track of WFDers great ideas than I am! I am still trying to figure out a better way to remember y'all's tips than just starring an entire 300+ reply thread.

                                                      3. re: Harters

                                                        Despite being a family of fussy buggers, the dinner (WITH the garlic and herbs scattered over the roasting chicken!) sounds pretty darn good.

                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                          Roast chicken is the perfect thing for fussy guests -- non-fussy ones too!

                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                            Harters congratulations on your second book!! Do you mind me asking what the subject of this one is?

                                                            btw, the hotpot's on the menu for tomorrow night...we're really looking forward to it and we're expecting a storm so it seems like the perfect comfort food! I'll be back to report!!

                                                          2. Harters, you sure can make a dinner invite sound mighty depressing ;)
                                                            I've decided to make something tonight that I saw on The Best Thing I Ever Made this weekend. Hot dogs in a pita pocket from the Aarti party lady. But this just looks good for some reason. Party of one tonight, so I'll be scaling down, obviously.
                                                            http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/aa...

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: alliegator

                                                              If you do make this allie, pls let us know how it is. I couldn't have come up w that recipe if I'd tried but I do love hot dogs!!

                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                Breadcrumbs, I thought it was quite good! A friend decided to come by, and she liked it, too. I made only 1/3 of the recipe with 4 hot dogs, so I can't say I got the exact balance of spices correct according to the recipe, but I used what is listed.and a little some chili powder to give it a kick. For 4 dogs, I only used one clove of garlic, minced.
                                                                I'll definitely make it again if I have a few lonely hot dogs left in the pack.

                                                                1. re: alliegator

                                                                  allie, thanks so much for reporting back. I'm convinced I should give this a try and have added hot dogs to my grocery list. Thank-you for sharing that link.

                                                              1. This was so good I made it twice in a row, first with a guest while Mr. MCF was away, and then for his homecoming: http://www.closetcooking.com/search?q...

                                                                I omitted the salt from the spice blend the second time; better to add at the table after tasting due to salt from preserved lemons and olives, which I bought a mixture of, but none with pimento. very easy prep to do ahead and keep in different containers and easy to toss together later. I used a very large covered skillet and a very gentle simmer for perfect results the first time. Smells and tastes wonderful, a new regular. ETA: the first time I made it, the olives were very large, so I halved them, more to go with every bite that way!

                                                                Because we don't eat grain, I used rutabaga puree the second time as a bed for it; kind of made an even thicker sauce if mixed... great addition.

                                                                8 Replies
                                                                1. re: mcf

                                                                  Nice, that looks great. I've made a similar recipe from Saveur's 101 classic recipes issue. Very good! I'm going to use similar flavors on a chicken breast roast later this week.

                                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                                    That looks so delicious! I have some Meyer lemons that I am determined to turn into preserved lemons...

                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                      GMTA! That's exactly my plan... the first night, I bought a jar of preserved lemons at Williams Sonoma because I didn't know Fairway had them at the olive bar. But now that I have 30 days to play with, I plan to put up Meyers, too.

                                                                      BTW, if you've never seen this, it's also become a household staple, so good, best on the grill, but you can broil a little, baste with more oil, then bake: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/an...

                                                                      Even faster to throw together.

                                                                      1. re: mcf

                                                                        mcf, that grilled chicken with meyer lemon recipe looks really good! Thanks for the link.

                                                                        1. re: GretchenS

                                                                          Yes, it certainly does! Going to have to put that one on the list....

                                                                          1. re: GretchenS

                                                                            I halve it, and make sure to save some of the unused mustard mixture to baste during cooking. The smell's lovely, really good left over, too. Squeezing the grilled lemon over it at the table brightens it a lot, also really great on the cold leftovers.

                                                                            I've been buying those bigass twofer Grey Poupon jars at Costco for this and going through them fast. :-)

                                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                                              LOVE those giant Costco Grey poupon jars. I can go through 1/2 one a month, at least - and I am cooking for 1!

                                                                      2. re: mcf

                                                                        I'm crazy about chicken tagine---this looks like a very good recipe!

                                                                      3. Tonight, we're catching up with zombies & having our veggie buddy over. I'm thinking of making either cedar plank salmon or pan-seared cod with white wine sauce and mustard-braised Brussels sprouts. If it's the salmon, it'll be grilled (sunny and warmish out today), and I might roast the shproutz instead. Also, a cuke & turmator salad on the side.

                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                          My idea of a perfect meal.

                                                                          Not to mention weather...

                                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                                            Well, warmish is relative :-)

                                                                            It's a balmy 41°F here.... oh well. My man's the one going outside, so what do I care. Tee hee.

                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                              to make salmon - which he doesn't even like! that man is in love.

                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                So am I. He's pretty damn awesome, that one :-)

                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                  Oh, yeah. It was 44 and sunny here today, I went out and pruned the flower carpet roses in my front wall planter. Just to be outside! But not to grill in the dark and cold.

                                                                              2. re: linguafood

                                                                                Oooh, I'd love me some of those Brussels sprouts lingua...both of your options sound divine to me.

                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                  I ended up saving the sprouts for tomorrow night to be served along crispy chicken parts (skin-on split breasts and drumsticks) I plan to make in the oven somehow, recipe TBD.

                                                                                  Instead I made red wine spinach as an excuse for me to have half of the cuke salad...

                                                                                  The salmon turned out perfect -- it comes with a brown sugar, salt & spice (fennel seed?) rub -- on the medium side of med-rare.

                                                                                  Our buddy was bad and brought dark chocolate & peppermint popcorn, which I managed to destroy in no time.

                                                                                  So much for that food break..... gah.

                                                                              3. Last night I made burgers. Big plump 6+ oz burgers made from flap meat and boneless short rib, served medium rare.

                                                                                Tonight it's salmon fillets with roasted brussel sprouts and maybe a quinoa or lentil dish under the fish. Just haven't got that far yet.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                  The burgers sound great. The house grind always beats the store grind.

                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                    That is really cute - I watched the 'western spaghetti' one too - very creative:)

                                                                                      1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                        Absolutely wonderful. I too watched the guac and the spaghetti. Thanks for posting that.

                                                                                      2. Tonight is stuffed acorn squash, which I am looking forward to because I love acorn squash, but hubby is apprehensive about. Roasted squash stuffed with a mixture of onion, herbs, quinoa, and kale, then browned and drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice, topped with toasted hazelnuts. What's not to like? :)

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: iowagirl

                                                                                          It sounds good to me. I hope he enjoys it.

                                                                                          1. re: iowagirl

                                                                                            Bleah. It was just bleah. Not bad, per se, but really really bland. My squash itself had very little to no flavor - may not have been ripe enough? And then the stuffing was also bland. Not a good dish to try to sway hubby that squash is good. Big bummer - and it may be swaying us to abandon the plan with just five days to go. Even bigger bummer!!

                                                                                            Tonight is leftover chunky veggie tomato sauce over polenta with a green salad and balsamic vinaigrette, so that may help. And hubby did really like the homemade (if you can call combining gluten free oats, dried fruit, nuts and seeds homemade!) muesli for breakfast so yay for that!

                                                                                          2. Last night we had green enchiladas. I always make them starting with canned tomatillos but hubby bought two cans of Hatch green enchilada sauce so I used that instead. It was delicious.

                                                                                            But, I have to say that I am irked that the canned / pre-made stuff tastes better than my homemade sauce. I also had this weird feeling while eating... can't quite put my finger on it. Something like a combo of guilt and dissatisfaction. All because I was enjoying something out of a can. I didn't really cook - I just assembled.

                                                                                            Tonight is roast, rice, gravy, broccoli with cheese sauce. At least that doesn't taste better out of a can.

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: thymetobake

                                                                                              Hatch sauce (well, Hatch chilies) are SO much tastier than most green chilies - that I am sure is why...

                                                                                              When I have those to make green sauce or Pork Chili Verde - the results is so much better than average or even my 'best recipe' if it doesn't have hatch in it.

                                                                                              Take heart ttb.....

                                                                                              1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                Thanks, ggs. Guess I'll get over it eventually. lol

                                                                                            2. I think tonight will be a sort of gussied-up Tex-Mex casserole to make use of some bits and bobs in the fridge: onions, poblanos, ground beef, assorted salsas, diced tomato, heavy cream, "Mexican blend" cheese...

                                                                                              A couple friends are coming for happy hour to help us polish off a remaining bottle of store-bought cider, and the never-ending cheeses and crackers. So there's a chance dinner plans might get scrapped in favor of a veggie curry if they end up staying for a full meal.

                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                Casseroles really aren't my thing, but this was delicious. I think using whole foods helped!

                                                                                                 
                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                  That looks really good! I like your ingredient list.

                                                                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                    That does look really yummy. I'd sit at your table for that!

                                                                                                    1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                      Thanks, you two. Oh, and I forgot, there was also some jasmine rice steamed in chicken broth in the mix.

                                                                                                      Now to plow through leftovers.

                                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                        OMG - love jasmine rice! What a nice compliment.

                                                                                                2. Last night we made a stir-fry of tofu, broccolini, red bell pepper, and cashews over brown jasmine rice. It's a standard dish in our rotation, but what made it special was that my husband, who I've been teaching how to cook, did it all by himself (with counsel and advice from me). He did great, but his verdict was, "It's a lot more work when you do it by yourself!" I said, "I know, why do you think I'm teaching YOU how to do it?!" =)

                                                                                                  1. Tonight is a simple meal of burgers with blue cheese and sauted crimini mushrooms. Served on a round roll with a romaine salad and homemade citrus dressing.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: SimonSaysWoof

                                                                                                      Burgers and blue cheese sound awesome!

                                                                                                    2. We might be back to solid foods. We've been sick and have had soups for a week or so. Good soups, but still. I haven't decided what to make today. Maybe I'll do butter chicken. Or something. I wonder if my tastebuds are back completely?

                                                                                                      1. Wow roxlet, wasn't that a fancy meal!!! Just beautiful. I'm trying to ignore the fact that you have flowers blooming though...we're expecting another storm tomorrow night. Seriously, enough already w winter!

                                                                                                        So last night we had our leftover porchetta and I vetoed mr bc's request for potatoes because I'd become obsessed with making another lemon pasta dish that I thought would pair perfectly with the rich pork. The dish was called Maccheroni all’Agro and Agro means “sour” – indeed this dish made us pucker with delight!

                                                                                                        Tonight mr bc is grilling a pork tenderloin that we're serving w a watercress & watermelon salad. This is a COTM recipe that LNighshade posted about. What I really liked was that the marinade mixture is divided and a portion is reserved to use as a salad dressing. Anything to save time on a weeknight!!

                                                                                                        ETA: mariacarmen if you're reading this, I paraphrased that tortellini recipe for you in the previous WFD thread.

                                                                                                         
                                                                                                         
                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                          Care to share the lemon pasta? Looks fab! I'm feeling another porkapalooza coming on this weekend, and lemon pasta would be a great change of pace from the usual slaw.....

                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                            Happy to paraphrase lingua.

                                                                                                            Let me point out that this is very tangy. Seeing mc’s comment about the sourness of her last dish below, I’d suggest using just ¼ cup if your lemon juice tastes particularly tart as you can always stir in more later.

                                                                                                            …here you go:

                                                                                                            3 tbsp butter
                                                                                                            4 tsp lemon zest
                                                                                                            1 cup dry white wine
                                                                                                            1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
                                                                                                            2 tsp kosher salt (I just salted to taste)
                                                                                                            1 cup heavy cream
                                                                                                            1 generous cup of grated pecorino or parmesan

                                                                                                            The recipe calls for Macccheroni alla Chitarra, which is a thin Italian egg noodle. I believe Chitarra means guitar strings. Though I don’t think the thickness of the noodle is critical, I would recommend an egg noodle for this dish because we found that the egg-based pasta provided an additional layer of richness to help balance this very zesty lemon-infused cream sauce.

                                                                                                            The sauce can be made in the time it takes to boil your water and cook your noodles.

                                                                                                            Melt butter in a lg skillet over medium heat. While the butter is melting, stir in your lemon zest. I added 1 crushed clove of garlic at this time as well. When your zest is sizzling, pour in your wine and lemon juice, add the salt, stir and bring to a low boil (not vigorous). Maintain this bubbling simmer for about 5 mins. Whisk in your cream and allow to bubble away until the sauce reduces to a texture you like. I simmered for about 3 mins.

                                                                                                            Toss your just-cooked noodles into your simmering sauce along w your cheese.

                                                                                                            We passed additional cheese at the table.

                                                                                                            I think this would also be great w some dried chili flakes too.

                                                                                                            Enjoy!!

                                                                                                            FYI, this is a recipe from Lidia Bastianich.

                                                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                              this is almost like my lemon cream sauce! except yes, the second time i made it put probably twice as much lemon juice. and i did chicken broth instead of wine but the rest is pretty the same. oh and i added minced shallots.

                                                                                                              thanks! so the key really is not too much lemon juice, but plenty of zest.

                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                Yay! Sounds fab, BC! Can't wait to try this (3 lbs. from now, likely :-))!!

                                                                                                            2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                              oh thank you!! i'll go check it out.

                                                                                                              that pasta looks so yummy.

                                                                                                              and yes, i'm eager to have some lemon pasta that is sour but not TOO sour, unlike the batch i made last time.

                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                Wow, that sounds great and looks really elegant. Will definitely be showing up in my kitchen soon.

                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                  This looks so yummy. I hadn't thought to make a lemon "sauce". I'm glad you posted the recipe. I've booked marked it for my "to try" list!

                                                                                                                2. Tonight I cooked chicken paprikash. The braised chicken was delicious, but both me and my husband weren't too keen on the sauce, something just didn't taste too good. I'm wondering if it was the sour cream.

                                                                                                                  http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

                                                                                                                  1. Tonight will see the end of Deb's lasagna. There will be a green salad with a quality Gorgonzola crumbled on top on the side. House red to wash things down. Maybe Top Gear (BBC version) on the plasma.

                                                                                                                    I'm going to miss that lasagna.

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. Nice you have flowers coming out allready - and WOW on that dinner!

                                                                                                                      Around here, our weather folks were completely wrong today - happily - and instead of the clouds and rain they predicted, above average wind brought scoured sunny skies all day.

                                                                                                                      I played desk-hooky for a couple hours and worked in the yard, pulling some dried out weeds that should have left my flowerbeds last fall - I saw lot's of crocus, anemone, muscari and tulips coming on - and one early dafodil that was fully grown up tall (a spot with more direct daylight), that was about to open up - woo hoo!

                                                                                                                      That and sweeping the walk has left me hungry, so I am taking a handful of my bread-in-5 base and making a pizza and salad for dinner. Going to be pretty basic - pepperoni, olives, roasted red pepper all on jarred red pizza sauce, with a few dribbles of TJ's frozen basil puree and some fresh mozzerella.

                                                                                                                      Chopped salad with tomato, pepperoncini, crumbled blue, red onion, romaine, cukes and my house red-wine vinaigrette. Done!

                                                                                                                      1. Last night was braised trotters (lol)...er, pigs feet, potato salad and garlicky green beans. The bf had the leftovers tonight and I had an Italian Mexican fusion dish of sorts....tomatillos, garlic, onion and poblano chiles were roasted then pureed and set aside. Gnocchi gets quick simmered then sauteed in a little olive oil then some chicken stock and fat free half & half are added with a few tablespoons of the pureed chile mix; a little ground cumin, garlic powder, soy chorizo and a handful of frozen green peas & carrots thrown in.

                                                                                                                        The whole thing is simmered and served with a couple slices of toasted sesame Italian bread to sop up the sauce; dinner is served....

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                          Great food! The gnocchi especially appeal. Yum!

                                                                                                                        2. Well, in case you didn't know, today (2/25) is/was "National Chowder Day". Thus, I turned 5 pounds of live Cherrystone clams, turkey bacon, sweet onion, fresh thyme leaves, diced baby red potatoes, & heavy cream into a nice basic filling "New England Clam Chowder". Oyster crackers & hot sauce on the side! :)

                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                                              Very nice, indeed.
                                                                                                                              Don't forget, everyone, that March 12 is National Baked Scallops Day!

                                                                                                                              1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                Well - I will put that on my calendar! Love me some scallops:)

                                                                                                                              2. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                                                I didn't know that, but I made corn chowder yesterday!

                                                                                                                              3. the BF did his magic on the leftovers - look how nice they look! short ribs, to which he added slices of some smoked beef sausage, leftover cauli, some brown rice, and his curried chicken salad with toasted bread, slices of cheese and strawberries. also, a salad with light, tangy goat cheese dressing he made himself.

                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                      Superberb presentation! almost looks too good to eat!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                        Would the BF agree to be cloned and shipped East, mc?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                          Thanks all, i think i WILL keep him!.

                                                                                                                                          LW: He's a heavy sleeper. i'm sure that can be arranged.

                                                                                                                                      2. Still enjoying the warm weather of south Fla.
                                                                                                                                        Heading back to NYC this evening, so it wil be cuisine de airport....
                                                                                                                                        Last night was an eveing at the club , celebrating my dad's 90th birthday!

                                                                                                                                        Hope the burrrrrr leaves real soon.

                                                                                                                                        1. Upcoming.....a magazine recipe......Stilton, red onion and beetroot French toast sandwich.

                                                                                                                                          Now I guess the recipe writer thought it posher to use the American "French toast", rather than the British "eggy bread". And I suspect they're right. I'm not sure I'd have cut out a recipe for an eggy bread butty for dinner. Much as I like eggy bread.

                                                                                                                                          Anyway, you "butter" the bread with chutney and add thinly sliced Stiltonand red onion and grated cooked beetroot. Then, as you'd expect, the sandwich gets dunked in the egg/milk mix and fried. A handful of salad leaves on the plate helpd towards the 5 a day.

                                                                                                                                          It'll be a quick meal to make after we get back from the flicks (Les Miserables - perhaps my favourite musical)

                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                              Beetroot, onions and strong cheese are my favorite salad mix-ins as of late, particularly with a bit of poached shrimp. With French toast, it sounds like quite a decadent concoction.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                that sounds very interesting... such a combo! i'd actually love to see a picture of that. let us know how it turns out!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                  Look forward, Harters to how the 'butty' turns out for you - very interesting - and to hear what you thought of Les Mis..... :)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                    The butty didnt get eaten (but may for lunch today), we came out of the cinema and deicded to go and eat at one of the adjacent chain restaurants.

                                                                                                                                                    Les Mis was really good and I can recommend it - bring tissues for the weepy parts. That said, I think I prefer the stage performance (seen it twice) - there's something about being able to clap after a particularly good song, that you can't do at the flicks.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                      With you on Les Mis; It was just a little weird to watch a 'stage musical' on a big screen, and not have it be interactive at all.... tho I saw it with my niece and nephews - all of who do musical theatre (and are quite accomplished at it), and there was plenty of interaction going on from our row as they knew all the songs, and were singing under their breathe. It was pretty fun - oh, and of course the discussion of Russell Crowe's performance afterward went on into the night....

                                                                                                                                                      Still look forward to hearing about beet's in a butty - fun to say, and curious if it's fun to eat!

                                                                                                                                                2. Harris Teeter had remarkably nice asparagus for $1.49/lb. that was the size I like (not the pencil thin, but closer to 2/3" width). I was so lazy last night that I made a whole meal of only those oven roasted spears. And, I have leftovers!

                                                                                                                                                  1. Last night was mini-lion's head meatballs from my weekend meatball marathon, with lots and lots of baby bok choy and a good handful of gorgeous fresh bean sprouts on top. I rarely see nice ones, it was a great addition to the yummy garlicky-gingery-black mushroomy meatballs.

                                                                                                                                                    Tonight might be leftover sausage hotpot or I might need to do something with the beautiful mushrooms I picked up this weekend, no idea what I had in mind for them. Pasta with mushrooms? Mushroom omelet? Hmmmm.

                                                                                                                                                    14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                      mushroom toast? nice slices of good bread, toasted? with mushrooms sliced and sauteed in butter, add herbs and a bit of cream, maybe some sherry, pour over the toast? maybe grate some gruyere over the top, stick under the broiler for a minute? making myself hungry here...

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                          Why have I never heard of mushroom toast before? That sounds great. Or the same thing on a baked potato if you're more hungry. Yummy.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                            Mushrooms on toast - a favourite Sunday breakfast at Casa Harters. I like the idea of the cheese addition.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                              oooh for breakfast i'd add an egg...

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                Oh, yes, an egg is good. As is bacon, sausage, black pudding, tomato and baked beans. Not an either/or but everything. Not for nothing do cafes in England refer to the "Full English" breakfast.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                              That sounds good - like a 'tight' version of my cream of mushroom soup, just thicker and over toast. I may have to try that sometimes soon.

                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for the idea!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                I make this too MC, but my inspiration comes when I have left over ham in the fridge.....I just never thought of doing it without the ham. Around my house they call it ham and cheese with shrooms.....

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                                                                                                                  i've never thought of it with ham, or any meat! but bacon is starting to sound like a good addition... or pork belly.... hmmm....

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                    Bacon... and sauteéd mushrooms and cream on toast? Sounds like Sunday brunch this weekend - that with an egg and some fruit could kick eggs benny to the curb....

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                Would you share the recipe for the lion's head meatballs? I have always wanted to prepare them!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sgschef

                                                                                                                                                                  I sort of triangulated on the recipe in Charmaine Solomon's Complete Book of Asian Cooking and the recipe on about.com. Here is my version:

                                                                                                                                                                  8 oz lean ground beef*
                                                                                                                                                                  8 oz ground pork*
                                                                                                                                                                  1 egg, beaten
                                                                                                                                                                  3 or 4 scallions, chopped
                                                                                                                                                                  1 tsp (heaped) fresh ginger, minced
                                                                                                                                                                  1 clove garlic, minced
                                                                                                                                                                  1 tsp salt
                                                                                                                                                                  6 dried Chinese mushrooms, rehydrated and chopped, plus additional left dried
                                                                                                                                                                  10 water chestnuts, roughly chopped
                                                                                                                                                                  1 + 2 T soy sauce, divided
                                                                                                                                                                  1/2 tsp sesame oil
                                                                                                                                                                  2 to 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
                                                                                                                                                                  Bok choy or similar
                                                                                                                                                                  2 T cornstarch dissolved in water
                                                                                                                                                                  *would be worth a try with ground turkey or chicken if dieting

                                                                                                                                                                  1.Mix egg, scallions, ginger, garlic, salt, chopped mushrooms, water chestnuts, smaller amount of soy, and sesame oil very well. Blend in ground meats. Form meatballs (I make golf ball sized ones, it is traditional to make large ones. If you make large ones, adjust cooking times).

                                                                                                                                                                  2.Bring chicken broth and larger amount of soy to a simmer. Add meatballs and some whole dried Chinese mushrooms. Simmer about 15 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                  3.Add sliced bok choy stems and simmer 5 or 10 minutes, then stir in leaves for a few minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                  4.Remove solids into serving bowls and thicken sauce with cornstarch slurry.

                                                                                                                                                                  5.Serve sauce over meatballs and veggies.

                                                                                                                                                                  6.Serve rice on the side if desired, I usually don't, just use lots of veggies.

                                                                                                                                                                  WAAAAY back in WFD #69, buttertart posted a more authentic version: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7617...

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                    I've made these with ground turkey, and they were good!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                      Good to know, I figured it would probably be fine but glad to have it confirmed. :)

                                                                                                                                                              3. So with my planning, I'm done cooking for the week. I have the risotto from Sunday night, and the noodles from last night. But now I'm kind of sad, I like to cook dinner! I'll have to find something else to amuse myself tonight. Next week I'm going to plan so I cook at least every other night.

                                                                                                                                                                Tonight is risotto. Noodles for lunch. Tomorrow is the opposite.

                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                  I usually cook Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Friday's are for either going out or take-out (unless there is something really good left in the fridge). Other nights are for cleaning the fridge because I can't ever seem to cook "only for two".

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                    Yeah... this is the 2nd week of my SO travelling all week long (it'll be this way from now on) so I'm still getting in the swing of basically cooking for one. He likes to eat at home when he's here, since he eats out all week long, so I cook something nice Friday and Saturday night but that doesn't usually yield much in the way of leftovers. This week I thought I'd save myself the effort and just do 2 meals at the beginning of the week that both created lots of leftovers, but I'm finding I miss the time in the kitchen, plus only eating the same 2 meals all week long is getting pretty boring. Next week I've planned it so I'm cooking Sunday (leftovers from that will be lunches 4 days), and then cooking Monday (leftovers Tuesday night) and Wednesday (leftovers dinner Thurs and lunch Friday) too. I'm hoping that will be better.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                      I love to cook too - most nights, and am BAD at eating my leftovers. Miss having a BF who will eat them up, so I can move on to something new. I think it is a syndromne left from working in Resto's where there really weren't leftovers, or if they were, whoever did staff meal, turned them into something new and I didn't have to! I end up with so many containers in my fridge/freezer. I need to find an 'Oldster' to bring meals to, really.

                                                                                                                                                                2. Last night made a nice big pot of sopa de albondigas. Have made many times, but this time I used a recipe calling for safflower to be added. Not sure I noticed it added that much but it was still very good with warm corn tortillas and fresh salsa.

                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: swamp

                                                                                                                                                                    the safflower would be a replacement for saffron, right? i can see that in sopa de albondigas... and that it might not be as noticeable as the pricier saffron.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. I'm in the phase of preparing to move where I've got to start using what I have. And editing my kitchen treasures that I trust in no mover's hands down to a trunkful. Yucky task.
                                                                                                                                                                    So, for tonight, I've come up with ropa vieja for dinner. I love this dish, and I happen to have all the stuff for. I just make it really rarely for some reason. I have some leftover slaw mix, so a vinegar-y slaw on the side for the second night in a row.
                                                                                                                                                                    And to any car thieves lurking on here: if in the near future, you see a full looking car parked at a dog friendly hotel, for god's sake, empty the trunk before you take the car!

                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                      I've had to do that allie, I've done 2 cross-country moves, and one of which I knew I wouldn't have my stuff for about 3 months afterwards. That move was the one where I didn't own an SUV, but rather a 2 door Accord... ie not a lot of trunk/back seat space! It really sucks having to decide what things you cannot live without in the kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                        Oh, my... Well, that makes me feel better as I do have 4 doors, haha! I'm only in temporary living for two weeks. I've narrowed it down to a couple of condo rentals. But the valuable stuff goes in the car. Jewelry, papers, dogs, kitchen junk. My precious kaffir lime tree went with hubby and drew a lot of attention in the hotel lobby.

                                                                                                                                                                        The good thing is that I'll get to test a bunch of new restaurants :)

                                                                                                                                                                    2. finally, I am back. Been down for a bit with gastro problems again. But I am better. So my honey made rice yesterday according to the package directions. He wanted to make me something I could eat which was sweet as pie. The downside being that it made like three or four cups. So the decision was made for me. I am going to go to my local Chinese restaurant and see if they will sell me some pork for the rice. If not I will go to the butcher and get good ham and i have shrimp. I will add scallions, carrots and peas and fried egg along with aromatics like lemongrass, ginger and garlic. I am keeping it simple and just adding soy as the seasoning. I am trying to go easy on the tummy today. But I am a chower at heart so I want something that tastes good

                                                                                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                        Oh sorry to hear that suzi :( Maybe you can make some kind of rice soup with all that rice.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                          Glad you're feeling better! Your meal plan sounds like a good one.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                            So sorry you have been struck down again. Nice-sounding back-in-the-saddle meal!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                              it's so tough, having a condition like that, and being a CHer! hope you feel better soon.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks to all for your well wishes. It is tough to love food so much and have it be the one thing to bring you to your knees.
                                                                                                                                                                                I also scored about a third of a pound of the roast pork from my fav Chinese restaurant. They also seared it so it will have the certian wok flavor I can never achieve here at home. Happy CHer.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                  Very good news, and should make for a tasty dinner!

                                                                                                                                                                                  My SO has Crohn's, and I think that's most of the reason why he doesn't care that much about food... he's had it since adolescence so for most of that time and his teens, food and eating made him miserable. He's on a good treatment now and is considered in remission, but I think he's always still worried about how food will affect him later. So, I think it's great that you still love food even though it can cause you problems sometimes :)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                    Trust me, it is always in the back of his mind. I have had a love for cooking since I was young. You can't beat that out of me. I may not be fancy, but I keep fed. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                    If you still have more rice, SZG, you might try making Ina Garten's rum-raisin rice pudding with it. 2 die for - and I am not even that fond of rum-raisin as a flavor. Somehow, it just comes together perfectly. I want some now..... Glad your feeling better!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                      Rum raisin rice pudding. That sounds great

                                                                                                                                                                              2. Last night was leftover night (Thai spiced squash soup for my son and me, plus leftover salmon and a salad, steak tacos for my husband), and tonight will be a pasta fagioli. We have a college night at my son's school, and won't be home until about 9PM, so I needed something that can be heated up quickly since we will all likely be ravenous when we get in. It's actually a Chow recipe, so we'll see. I will probably not follow the spicing, which calls for fresh sage and rosemary.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. Last night we had the grilled pork tenderloin with spicy watermelon salad - a COTM dish. I'd never have thought of combining watercress and watermelon but it was a lovely, refreshing combination and the spiced sesame balsamic vinaigrette did double duty as a marinade and salad dressing which is a terrific time-saver. We loved this and look forward to enjoying it in the summer too!

                                                                                                                                                                                  Tonight I'm making Casa Harters Hotpot! It's a perfect weeknight meal and I was able to put it together in no time. 5 more mins in the oven and then we eat!! It smells scrumptious!!

                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Dear Harters,

                                                                                                                                                                                    I can't thank you enough for pointing us to Nigel Slater's wonderful Sausage and Bean Hotpot recipe. We absolutely adored it....so much so I'd make it again tomorrow if I had any more sausages! I do think the quality/appropriateness of your sausages will make or break this dish. We were fortunate enough to have some perfectly seasoned, plump English breakfast sausages (bangers) from a local butcher. The lovely tomato sauce with a good slosh of mustards paired perfectly. I would have licked the casserole dish (I couldn't resist using my Falcon ware btw) if the dog didn't get to it first!! ; )

                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks so much Harters, we loved this!

                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                    20 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                        So pleased that you liked. You're right about the sausages - good quality is the absolute key - although no need for them to be British style, IMO. I think any well flavoured one would do nicely.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, my version of the Harters Hotpot (end of last WFD) used hot Italian sausages and was wonderful as well. I used the version from 30 Minute Meals that had a bit of harissa as well as two mustards.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                            That's the same recipe I made as well Gretchen. I didn't have any decent Harissa in the house though so I went w NS's suggestion of the 3 chilis instead. I'm glad you mentioned this though because I'll add Harissa to my grocery list and try that next week.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                              I read through this recipe, and it is SO simple! I must make it (perhaps cut by 2/3rd's) as it is so interesting that it is getting such a fine response here - from those I know to have great taste buds. Must be just the right seasoning in the sauce....

                                                                                                                                                                                              There is something to following a recipe I guess, wish I was better at that discipline.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                Unless you're confident you won't be able to eat very much, I'd highly recommend making the whole recipe gingershelley. I too thought about scaling back but was sure glad I didn't because we both had seconds!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Fascinating. Must make this.... I do have the affliction of a small appetite, and very large cooking ideas... and I don't like leftovers as much as I wish I did. Sigh. I need to get a new appreciate life-partner who will eat up stuff I make.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  How is that for a non-resolution for spring 2013?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think that's a fine spring resolution indeed gs! I love that mr bc has a massive appetite and adores leftovers for his lunches. He'd be ecstatic if you lived next door and had a little extra for him!!

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks Harters, we've already got this on the menu again for next week and mr bc has requested his favourite lamb sausages for this version!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                              I'll be interested to see how it goes with the lamb. Must admit, other than merguez sausages, I almost invariably stick to piggy ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                              As for tonight's WFD, we're off to the city to a newish place. Menu looks good but I have a nagging doubt.......

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                Hah Harters, they are merguez sausages! We thought their flavours would pair perfectly w the Hotpot's sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Good luck w your meal tonight...fingers crossed that there's a new gem in the neighbourhood!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nagging doubt proved correct. We are now £90 lighter for a very indifferent meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/892152

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Harters, what a shame. It always irks me as well when restaurants charge for third rate bread and how sneaky of them to offer it before you'd had an opportunity to peruse the menu in this instance. I'm glad you enjoyed the chips but £90 is a hefty price to pay for potatoes and some petite portions of pork! FWIW, I really enjoyed your review though!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                      best line: "First, there was Le Mont – a restaurant that gave the impression that it would be difficult for it to get even further up its own arse."

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2nd best: Pork belly was excellent but was a masterclass in what might politely be described as restrained portion control.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      blindfolded, i would have known that was our Harters.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, yes - you are right on all counts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Bravo, Harters!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I HATE it when I am that much $$ lighter and no better off in terms of my gastronomic pleasure or learning, or even set back a space or two. Ggrrrrhh.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ouch. Sorry it was so disappointing and costly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ouch. The best chips in the world could not redeem the rest. The thing I hate most about a disappointing restaurant meal is the certain knowledge that I could have produced a much higher quality version of the same thing, which you and Mrs H most certainly could have.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Didn't want another hunk of lasagna - I think I'll tuck the rest of it into freezer containers. So I took out a b/s chicken breast, let it defrost, split it in half lengthwise, rubbed both pieces with olive oil, and liberally seasoned it with Penzey's Tuscan Sunset (to which I added Aleppo pepper, which Penzey's removed to keep it salt-free), some ground sumac, and a pinch of salt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Into a hot sauté pan to sear on both sides. Added about a half cup of orange juice (to get it out of the fridge) and let that simmer down. Served over rice, peas, and Trader Joe's roasted corn, and it was dinner. Not too shabby a dinner. And a piece of chicken for lunch tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Tonight I made a meal by Jamie Oliver from one of his 15 minute meal shows. I think he referred to it as a spring sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I used asparagus, peas, mint and 1% milk to make a beautiful green sauce with a nice bright flavour. I added salmon and the juice of half a lime at the end and served it over angel hair pasta. I'm going to freeze the left overs and serve it again next week with bacon to add the salty pop it needed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Musie

                                                                                                                                                                                                            That sounds terrific - and just the thing to look ahead to spring!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I seem to be back on the cooking wagon again, and we've been enjoying lots more homemade meals in the last month:
                                                                                                                                                                                                            duck breast, rib eye, various meatless lasagna and a good old-fashioned hamburger or two. It's nice to back away from grilled cheese sandwiches and take-out.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tonight we're having double thick pork chops, done in the cast iron. I'm thinking of trying out skinny taste's butternut squash risotto on the side, with some spinach and roasted cauliflower. If my shower takes too much out of me, sweet potato spears roasted in the oven will get swapped for the risotto.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            The wind is picking up here, although the day was very spring-like. I may throw together a pear and blackberry crisp to keep the house warm if I don't lose my focus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                              How have you been feeling, rabaja? (And welcome back!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm feeling really good, LW, thanks for asking!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                My biggest issue is nightly indigestion that starts up each day around four o'clock :(
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Basically, I belch like a trucker most evenings. It's quite sexy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I threw together the pear-berry crisp while dinner was cooking and it hit the spot. Happy to have two more nights worth of dessert all ready to go.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                The risotto idea was shelved, as i remembered how much we like simply roasted butternut squash batons, so why bother getting fancy? AND, the squash is point free, not that I'm really worried about such things right now. It just means that I feel less guilty about the ice cream on top of my crisp!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Some docs recommend cutting back on carbs to reduce gas, bloating, and belching. Just an idea, in case it helps!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That crisp sounds tempting...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    apparently you have no need to be *more* sexy around the hubs, so belch away!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    glad you're feeling good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks, ladies!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I never would have guessed carbs were my problem, thanks CM. Now that you mention it, the nights when I just have a simple fish dish,I am more comfortable.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hot sauce has become a no-go for me, which completely sucks. Even a little rooster sauce in my pho the other evening was problematic, and I found this almost hard to believe.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I do not intend to raise a boy with tender tastebuds, but I guess for now, it isn't up to me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        wait, did we know there was a boy in there before? or did you recently find out? congrats, either way!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, congrats. Indigestion is a by-product of pregnancy. That's what my doctor said, :).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Rabaja, Congrats on the 'little man' to be! I am sure you will have plenty of time to bring him up in the ways of hot sauce and exotic eats....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          For now, I just hope you can find some relief from that belly-gas. Tho' it sure is super sexy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            aw, congrats on the future Chowhound! Yes, indigestion will be your friend for the rest of the pregnancy, I'm afraid. Your insides will get over it when the little bugger's out, and it will be so worth it......

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              rabaja, sincere congratulations! It's great to hear you're eating well and feeling good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Congratulations! Sounds like your feeding that little fella in there well, and I hope you can keep your discomfort to a minimum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  R.....best of luck!!!! You will see that the little indigestion you have now , will pale in comparison to the joy you will have later!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Burp away!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, congratulations and glad you are feeling and eating well!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks to all of you for the well wishes. I have to say, your menu ideas and the creativity shared here have inspired me, more than once, to get dinner on the table this winter!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. The bf had a blackened strip steak with pan fried gnocchi and mixed veggies....I had a chipotle burger topped with baked onions, smoked cheddar, tomatoes, a little herb salad and poppyseed dressing on a toasted kaiser...tomorrow is his birthday; I'm trying to come up with a menu fitting the occasion. He's a picky eater....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  happy happy to the BF! Sounds like you keep him very well fed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thank you, he knows how lucky he is!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Well, last night I was just about to start making my easy pizza and chopped salad meal when a friend popped round who knows my neighborhood is the go-too area for pho.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So she took me out with her to get her craving satisfied; I had a small bowl and also ordered a bahn xeo for us to share. The pho was perfect (I always get the raw shaved meat on top), but the bahn xeo was greasy.... I have to pull up the recipe I used during 'pancake month' on DOTM, and make those at home again. Last night just got me started again!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tonight, I make last nights dinner - hope my pizza crust isn't dead from waiting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Last night was Mexican night : used up the ground beef mixture for hard shell tacos with cheese & lettuce for one, a large cheese quesadilla for the other one. I had a chorizo and bean tostada with lots of lettuce, cheese, salsa and guacamole.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tonight, I made chicken with forty cloves of garlic. I had originally intended to use a recipe I cut out a couple years ago to do in the slow cooker. But as usual, the day got away, and although the slow cooker version only took about three hours, in the end, I decided to braise it on the stove anyway, and used parts of Ina Garten's recipe which I had tried before and was very good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I trimmed six bone in chicken thighs, then added a crumble of saffron to a 1/4 cup of white wine. After drying and seasoning them well, I poured the wine over the chicken to sit for ten or so minutes. Browned them in butter & oil then drained the extra fat and cooked down a chopped leek, and half each of an onion & shallot, along with a head of peeled garlic cloves that were blanched. Deglazed with cognac and white wine, then put chicken back in to braise. Served over toasted French bread, sautéed criminis with thyme, and kids got a reheated baked stuffed potato half. It came out very tasty, if a bit winey, my oldest said he preferred not so strong a wine taste, but i thought it was uber-tasty, especially when the soaked bread was spread with the soft garlic and sauce. The rest of the strawberry shortcakes for desserts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Wow DweO, that is a fine chicken thigh... and I am impressed you peeled a whole head of garlic!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I am a cheater on whole garlic these days; TJ's has this great garlic in the produce section I swear by - it comes in small vacumn sealed packets, all together in a bigger packet - very fresh, no 'rancid old garlic' action (like pre-chopped garlic has, or those giant jars at Costco) - and I never peel anymore. Seriously, one of my top-ten TJ's finds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I will make your recipe with a packet of that on hand:).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thank you all, girls! Ginger, I cheated too, and par blanched it for a minute, skins slip right off after that! Good to know they come in smaller packs of peeled garlic, I had never bought it before because it was always a much to large package to finish before it would go bad......

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              DWEO, It is funny about the TJ's garlic - I think since it is packed in tiny 'pillows' within the main package, all of which are plastic and kind of 'shrink-sealed', I never have it go bad - it is nice, crunchy fresh cloves every time I open a mini-pillow-pack from the store package - the package lasts a month easy with no deterioration. ONLY packaged prepped garlic I would ever buy - just sayin' :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I'm so sleep deprived this week dinners have had to be pretty simple. (God help the next person that wakes me up.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Leftover sauteed broccoli from last night inspired a "Use it up" crustless quiche of the broccoli, mushrooms, thick cut bacon, a couple lonely shallots, sprinkles of the ends of random cheeses, a half dozen eggs, a splash of heavy cream, half a container of creme fraiche, half and half to make up the volume, a little grate of nutmeg and a pinch of salt. I didn't feel like going outside for herbs. I know it would be better with them but I'm OK with that tonight. I didn't feel like kneeling down to go through the cabinet to get my quiche pan so it's square. I'm OK with that, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Its baked and beautiful and for tomorrow night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tonight will be meatballs in a quickly made red sauce. Pasta for the man, just meatballs and some blistered green beans for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Wish I was you Weezie - had a prospective new housemate for lunch today, and I didn't want to run to the store; she suggested 'brunch' so I thought quiche... which is usually a specialty of mine. Low on eggs here. WHAT was I thinking - how hard is it to do an egg run?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Usually, I can be in your wheelhouse and do 'bits and bobs' for this... well today - kind of a fail!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Potato thinly sliced and pre-cooked in some HM chix stock and thyme. That in a bowl to cool, I sauteéd 1/2 an onion, some bulk chicken breakfast sausage, and shredded kale, plus oregano and some more chicken stock in after it was limp to be sure kale was tender. Layered up in a crust with shredded swiss, the two eggs I had mixed into some pureéd cottage cheese and some 1/2 n 1/2 for the liquid, and a thinly sliced decent tomato and more swiss up top to give some color and browning on top. Sigh. Soggy. lame filling, slippage when I served... bland crust. I should have cooked it earlier (so it could rest), and for 15 more minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I rarely have such a fail... but of course, an hour after my lunch guest left - the tart proceeded to set up and now looks like the best picnic food ever. Reminded why quiche is so good at room temp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            At least she is still moving in, and I can cook better for her another time. I like her, and hopefully the blueberry streusel coffee cake and the bloody mary's she brought over got us over my badly-made entree....Good conversation and a fine bloody mary can clearly smooth out a bad experimental entree:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Ahhhh - the rites of Spring!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Market had just received their first Shad Roe of the season, so of course I had to indulge myself with this annual Spring treat. Prepared it simply - sauteed in an obscene amount of butter & finished with a splash of Pinot Grigio, fresh lemon juice, & capers. It was fresh, light, & delightfully creamy - no graininess.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And since hubby would rather eat worms & die rather than even LOOK at Shad Roe, I seared some lovely dry-pack sea scallops for him in some extra-virgin olive oil & butter in a cast-iron pan. Nutty & sweet - perfect.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We both enjoyed the same sides - roasted tiny baby red potatoes & roasted asparagus. The asparagus was a real star here - sweet & "asparagusy". Hubby LOVED the slightly crunchy tips.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              sounds absolutely fabulous, Bacardi.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Roasted asparagus is a favorite in our house... so good, I'm glad it's coming in season now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We love it too in my house, even my nine year old eats it happily!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Last night I was rain-soaked and freezing when I got home, so I decided on soup rather than leftovers. I chopped up a bunch of assorted veggies from the crisper (eggplant, carrots, cauliflower, onion, scallion, etc.) and mixed them with an open box of chicken broth, Thai red curry paste, and a little bit of leftover coconut milk. DH and I agreed it really needed more cooconut milk, but barring another soggy trip outdoors, we thought to add some natural peanut butter to the soup. It was surprisingly decent and a nice way to clean out most of the fridge odds and ends. Later we broke into some dried Italian sausage and cheeses.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tonight is still TBD...but it will involve a large roaster chicken breast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I hope your dried out now, CM - nice save from the rain-soak!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That was a great way to save your soup! It sounds quite tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks, you two. I did what any Hound would do to save it---get creative :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. On Saturday i baked a ham I purchased on sale after Xmas. Rubbed it with a dijon/brown sugar blend and baked it for a couple hours, and left it there. the Oldster had 2 bites, my sister had maybe 4, so all 10+ pounds came home with me late last night. Bone with meat and one portion are in the freezer for future consumption, and the BF will have his way with the other portion tonight. He's talking some beany-hammy thing. I have faith in him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have faith in him as well, mc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We men have beany-hammy things in our genetic make-up when it comes to cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              mc, based on his history, I bet the entire board has faith in him! ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                AW, thanks everyone! i'll communicate your overwhelming support to him tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I know what he makes will be great. We have all seen evidence to prove it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That dude, MC - I would trust with many things, including a huge chunk o' ham!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Last night was Chicken Enchilada Suizas. Had some red, green and yellow peppers I diced up and sauteed with onion. Shredded up some chicken, diced chilies, green salsa, cheddar cheese and mixed it all with some cumin. Rolled it up in flour tortillas (I know - I've heard they are not "true" enchiladas unless you use corn tortillas - but I had flour). Topped with Monterey Jack cheese and a mix of cream and chicken broth, then scattered sliced olives on top. Seems to get better every time I make it! With it we had spanish rice and some re-fried beans. Guess that will be leftovers for tonight, too (or maybe it will be Sunday's leftover short ribs and risotto milanese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tomorrow is Soup Thursday! Creamy Chicken Mushroom soup is on the menu with a mix of sliced white and cremini mushrooms, shallots, carrots, celery and green onions for garnish. I do have some bacon hanging around so maybe I'll put some of that in too! So today I am thawing out chicken stock!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sounds great! Enchiladas suizas are always a favorite of mine at restaurant, but I've never made them at home. You've inspired me to give it a try sometime!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Your enchiladas sound great, boyzoma! I have always shunned them since they are heavy with sour cream, but I love the sound of your version, may have to try those soon!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't use sour cream except as a dollop for topping. I've used this recipe and modified it a bit to suit my needs: http://www.squidoo.com/chicken-enchil...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The enchiladas sound great. And i know corn tortillas are traditional, but I like flour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Love the sound of those Enchilada's Bzym... I want your leftovers:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Well, last night I used some of my mushrooms in a garlic-lemon-cream sauce tossed with spinach and pasta. I put too much lemon juice in and added a bit of soft goat cheese, which rounded out the flavor quite nicely but ended up a bit grainy in the mouth. Tasty but not one of my finer efforts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Today starts the new season for my community supported fishery and we are getting cod -- caught this morning! It is dreary, rainy and cold so I am thinking fish chowder -- I have some nice rich fish stock tucked away in the freezer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            the too-much-lemon-juice syndrome. It's going around!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I know, I thought of you when I tasted it. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Funny - I made a Nigel Slater lentil soup tonight and mr bc asked..."is there lemon in this?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "No, why?" - said I, lying through my lemon zest filled teeth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "it seems a bit...uhm, bitter?" - says mr bc, almost apologetically

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "Ah, no...I don't taste that" (me, while taking a sip of wine and heading to the fridge) "here, add some parmesan cheese"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "....ummm, that's good" - says he

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                and we all lived happily ever after! Note to self, next time, don't add all the juice of a lemon if it's extra juicy!! Especially if you've already added the lemon zest too even if the recipe didn't call for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ...shhh pls, it's our secret!! ; - )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  mums the word.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  who knew fresh lemon juice could be so.... lemony!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LMAO, BC! That one almost made me do a spit take of my wine! I gotta remember that one!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      BC - love the play-by-play..... and your lemon-zest-filled teeth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Been there, done that - that is, the lyin' at the table about an ingredient so my SO will calm down about the meal....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Frenchman used to take umbrage about too much citrus in my food sometimes. I am sure he was mostly wrong:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Of course he was wrong gg!! Poor mr bc, he rarely complains.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What made me feel (a teeny bit) bad though was tonight I learned he'd taken the remaining soup for lunch for the rest of the week so it wasn't wasted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Fish chowder is perfect when it is dreary, rainy and cold

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sorry on the "lemony-mouth-snicket" on the sauce, but that CSA super fresh cod sure does sound great. Wow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Must look into a fish CSA... we must have them here - it's Puget Sound FGS! Thanks for inspirational Bing search.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. So hubby made an appearance on a guitar show last night, and we decided that it was a good excuse to end our detox a few days early. This week was maintenance anyway, and we never planned to stay completely on the plan. So let the (gradual?!) retox begin!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So we went to our favorite bar hangout, had garlic cheese bread, a pesto pizza and Guinness. So good it almost broght a tear to our eyes!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tonight will be the leftover polenta and veggie tomato sauce before we head out to our Big Ten basketball game. Green salad with homemade vinaigrette on top - if nothing else, this plan has ensured that I will never buy salad dressing again!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: iowagirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Haha, makes me think of that Expedia (?) ad about taking back vacation. "We will detox. Then we will retox". Glad you enjoyed your evening.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          what?? someone came up with "retox" before we did?? here i thought we were so clever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            HA! Well, last night notwithstanding. :) So we do hope to incorporate more of the plan type meals into our everyday, but not on so much of a regimen! Eat what we want, when we want, but more mindfully - if that makes it sense!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: iowagirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            fun that you're back! i'm sure your austerity measures will come in handy tho, and keep you watching what you eat a lot of the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It's good to be back! And I WILL be picking up some good Parm for dinner tonight and adding some croutons back to the salad. And having a glass of wine. YAY!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: iowagirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Awesome. Iowagirl, your detox has been an inspiration!.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              But - I must confess, my being a person who is grateful for an occasional human foible so I feel ok about myself - I am kind of not-secretly pleased you found a way OUT a few days early (as I would be wanting too as well!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It sounds like a good time all round last night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I am sure you got much greater benefits than homemade salad dressing, but that is worth the price of a detox for sure. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. i can't remember if it was this thread or the last, but here's a nice pic of a black silkie chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It looks like it's had better days mc!! ; - )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It was on another thread, probably the soup thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My black chicken was way way way blacker than that. Yours is more of a grey. And mine was a blue-black, not a pure black. Is yours black all the way to the bone? And what do you plan on doing with it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Our black chicken soup is gone. Which is fine - the husband is tired of soups and, since we're feeling better, we've ventured into the territory of solid foods. Yay.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Now to figure out what I'm doing with the deer I took out of the fridge...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LMAshton

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    it's not mine, i got it off a FB "friend" Chef's timeline. i just thought it was cool-looking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ah, gotcha. Yeah, it was the look of the thing that make me look up what it was all about. And of course I *had* to cook with it at least once... :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It is mc. It made me think how much fun it would be serve something like that for a Halloween meal...to unsuspecting guests! Imagine biting into fried chx and finding it to be black!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          haha! oh! i'm afraid you might have some very unwanted, messy consequences if someone bit into it unsuspectingly and suddenly thought they had bitten into something rotten!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: LMAshton

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LMA, what did you do with the deer???

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LMAshton

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Wow, blacker than that? That would be one DARK chicken!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's black for sure! And I understand the flesh and bones are too?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ours was entirely black, but I wasn't sure if all black chickens were.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. It's Top Chef Finale night. So something easy - the last freezer container of what I think is pork and apple stew that I'll serve over mashed potatoes with either roasted carrots or peas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            make sure you get enough to eat - you need your energy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for the reminder LW. Just set the DVR (just in case), and leftovers will be reheated. It's on at 7 p.m. here (pst), so works out great. Leftovers and TC. What a combo!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LW - I confess I have not been following your thread for Seattle's 'Top Chef' - but have watched every episode (twice, thrice?), but kind of stuck on Seattle Metropolitan Magazines' post-episode take on things this time around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You do a GREAT job curating and commenting, and you will need your strength tonight for the 'battle of the ladies'.... easy dinner required for more concentration!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  OMG, I can't believe it's the last episode Linda. Usually we're an episode or two behind here in Canada but I'm so far behind this time around. We saw the first two episodes and the rest are on the pvr....wow, we have some watching to do!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Love the idea of your stew btw!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. It's a wet, dreary day today with temps in the low 40's so I decided to roast a duck. I bought a fat one a few days ago, cleaned it up last night and set it to drying in the coolerator so the skin has a chance to be crispy. Potato chunks, carrot chunks and onion chunks will loll about in the duck fat. A California cab to wash it all down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  18 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          How do you like them apples, steve?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Three women drooling all over you. Or actually, your duck, sides and Cabernet. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You know, Duck is one thing I have never messed with. Guess I gotta get on the train. Plus I keep hearing so much about duck fat! It's all gotta be good. Just have to find a good recipe for my "first" time. All suggestions welcome!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So the 6 hour slow roasted duck. It's easy, and you're left with moist duck with crackling skin, and a lot of perfectly rendered duck fat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I need to figure out duck, too. BUT I have a husband who, being Sri Lankan, doesn't like standard North American food since it's too bland for his taste buds. Spicy is good by default, but not necessary as long as it's flavourful by Sri Lankan standards.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Any suggestions?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LMAshton

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What about duck vindaloo? The sweet and sour flavor is the perfect foil to rich duck.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nice Steve, a wet dreary day = a roast duck. I want to roll like you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Well done, and save any leftover duck fat:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sounds great! I recently bought a whole jar of duck fat..... Apparently that's easier to find, at least at the Beverly Hills cheese store than 'nduja...... Anyway, enjoy the bird!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My duck fat usually has come (for the last few years) from cans of duck confit purchased in France - there, you can buy perfectly wonderful duck confit in these big, flat, round cans with 4-5 'cuisses' of confit duck completely surrounded by at least 2 cups of duck fat! Purchased in a Monoprix, or such, they only run about $9-12 euros. We used to bring them home by the load; only limited by baggage weight limits.... and since we broke up, the Frenchman has dutifully gifted me a few.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              What is the price of a jar of duck fat on the open market, prey tell?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It was a good meal. It's always a gamble with a bird near 6.5 pounds but tonight's efforts were successful. The potatoes, carrots and onions were made for duck fat. The wine really worked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Dessert was a room-temperature Gorgonzola and a splash of old port. Deb is on KP.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I field stripped the basic M1 Duck so duck hash is in our future.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ah, duck for dinner and stinky blue cheese and port for dessert - I would have dinner at your and debs' table any day, my man.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. A cold, wet and stormy day today just seemed to call out for soup. On tonight's menu, a lemony lentil soup from Nigel Slater and porchetta sandwiches with a Italian mostarda from Kozlik's. The soup sure does smell good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Cold and dreary days cry out for soup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Tonight, my husband is making short work of the remainder of the roast turkey by turning it into turkey pot pie covered by his fabulous biscuits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Turkey pot pie and fresh biscuits. Sounds like great comfort food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Turkey pot pie, buttermilk biscuit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Tonight is one of my favorite dinners. Chicken Ala king. I make it like my mama used to make with a few tweeks. It has yellow peppers, onions, button mushrooms, pimentoes in half and half. Chicken is poached in the half and half and then the veggies are added and cooked til tendercrisp. A bit of a slurry is added to thicken and it is finished with an egg yolk and sherry stirred in at the end. Serve on toast points. Good stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Now THAT'S retro! My mom used to make that, yours sounds excellent!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, I guess it is retro. Love the stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You had me at 'chicken poached in 1/2 & 1/2, Suzi... yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Hi all,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Today is a happy day, despite a dismal lunch showing I made trying to impress a potential house-mate over 'blunch' (see post after a weezie successful quiche, where mine was SO NOT).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LSS, this gal I really like, is moving in, so tonight is kind of celebretory for me - someone I am comfortable is coming to live in 'the Pussywillow Suite', she likes to cook (has done so in Alaska a couple summers, and we have peeps in common in the artisanal pig community here). So day saved, despite embarrassing not-awesome quiche/ricotta tart earlier.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                As it is actual/final 'Top-Chef night, I will have a slice of the now set-up and decent potato/herb/cheese/kale/tomato tart for dinner, with the last of the creamy wild mushroom soup, and just be happy for my WFD friends, and that I didn't make this darn tart in front of millions of viewers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A fine Wednesday, after all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think you are being harsh on your quiche. It sounded lovely. Glad you found a good house mate. It is so much nicer having company and two to cook for. And being that she cooks, you can share the cooking. That will be nice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I agree; it sounded delicious. It just needed to solidify. No wonder she signed on!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Well - Suzi, if you had seen that 'quichy-thing' fall apart on the plate when I tried to feed her and 'impress her' - you would see why I said that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Of course, it was awesome after some more oven time and the proper resting later. I just got behind in time, and well, hot quiche can be a hot mess:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Excited to have a roomie who likes to cook, unlike the last who ate ramen 4 nights a week!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've lived with them. They are the same ones that sneak your leftovers when you're not looking

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        GS - congrats on the new roommate! It's so hard to find a good one, and even better that she shares your love of food! And so glad that the tart redeemed itself upon further reflection. :) Happy Humpday indeed!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: iowagirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks - I am excited. She is excited with all my cooking equipment and my gas stove with bridge burner, convection oven, and separate speedcook oven. I think we will have fun!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            She really lucked out getting you as a room mate gs. I hope she realizes how fortunate she is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. The BF made two ham-related dishes tonight: a bean and ham soup, as promised, and a quiche! his first quiche, a crustless one, and it was goooo-oood. nice and moist. salad on the side. great to come home to after a zumba work-out where i still feel like a buffalo with two left feet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That looks delicious MC - what a wonderful thing to come home to! And I did have to laugh at the visual for zumba. That's exactly why I've been hesitant to try it, even though the classes at my gym are free! But I'm sure you truly don't look like a buffalo!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: iowagirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              thanks gals! i just ate my "lunch" of the leftover quiche. now what will i eat at noon i wonder....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              and sadly, i do feel that way... but i'm going to keep doing it anyway!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              He pulled it off as usual. And it looks great. And you go zumba girl.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thank GOD someone can make a great quiche:) Well done...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And did you know - buffalo have rhythm!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. It's a brown gloop from the freezer day at Harters Hall. Game stew for me; beef stew for herself. As an accompaniment - steamed grated root veg - carrot, celeriac and thinly sliced leek. I like the veg this way, they're a simple counterpoint to what can be a rich stew. Should there be leftovers of them, I'll dry them out in a frying pan and then turn them into a lunchtime frittata.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You know I've never made grated root veg Harters, how clever. And what a great idea for re-purposing the leftovers. I like both these ideas very much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. It's been a crazy week here with the toddler deciding 3:30am is a good time to start the day. Sleep deprivation is sh*t of a thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Catching up on the meals so far...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Monday and Tuesday we had the barley and feta 'risotto' from Jerusalem. It's a wonderful dish. Surprisingly creamy and a different flavour in every mouthful. It also requires less attention while cooking than a real risotto. It's made its way onto our rotation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Wednesday was another ajo blanco (cold almond and bread soup). This time we tried a Yotam Ottelenghi recipe that has ginger soaked in syrup on top instead of grapes or melon. The bloke who initially was unimpressed with the idea of ginger became a convert. We both decided Rick Stein's soup recipe is better than Yotam's but loved the ginger more than the grapes. Next time we'll combine the two. Rick's soup and Yotam's ginger. However if we were to serve it for a dinner party I would use grapes, they're prettier. I felt sorry for the discarded bread crusts (no crusts in the soup) so we tossed them in olive oil, cayenne and smoked paprika and popped them under the grill until they were crisp. Dipping them in the soup was delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tonight the fish-hating bloke gave me late notice of a solo meal. I had a squid tube in the freezer and a hankering for salt and pepper squid. It's almost Fuchsia Dunlop's Every Grain of Rice COTM so I used a recipe from the book and did the smashed cucumber as a side. Both were very good. I loved the flavours through the squid and according to Fuchsia the squid can be swapped out for tofu so I think this one will also make it to the rotation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Not sure if it's a guy/bloke thing or whether mr bc has a dual life in the UK as your bloke but mr bc usually turns his nose up at all things ginger and though he denies it in front of grown-ups, he too is a fish-hater!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        All of this sounds so wonderful! i really need to try that ajo blanco. also, i could see doig that feta "risotto" with israeli couscous, which i've made in a somewhat risotto-ish creamy form in the past. wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          F......Aw shucks...sleep isn't that it is all cracked up to be....when you have small children, you can't get enough....when they are big, you just can't!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Photos below.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            BC - I feel for you. Living with a fish hater is hard work. I love the nights he has a work function and am trying to figure out what seafood freezes well so I can treat myself on nights he gives me short notice. The squid was ok but I prefer fresh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            MC - ajo blanco is delicious but not particularly healthy. I think I need to give it a break and go back to gazpacho for a while!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Frizzle all your dishes look absolutely restaurant quality...very impressive. I'm salivating at that squid! Perfect-look