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Mar 15, 2013 10:51 PM

WHAT'S FOR DINNER #200!!!! the Whooooooooooo-Hoooo!! Edition [OLD]

wow, we did it! 200 posts! we've made it, and we're still all talking to each other and eating dinner together. more than a lot of families can say.

what's cooking chez vous this weekend? something green for that spirit of Eire? Something springy? or is it still frosty where you are, and you're thinking up something warm and cozy?

What's for dinner, people?

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  1. i'm not even doing any cooking until Sunday, but i wanted to start the 200 thread! heh-heh...(and yes, we were over 300 over there.)

    planning on a Tikka Masala dinner Sunday, and maybe a go at making pita bread.... we'll see how ambitious i remain....

    they delivered our "new" fridge today, and IT'S #@!!#ING SMALL. I HAVE HARDLY ANY ROOM FOR MY CONDIMENTS!! we threw away a bunch of softening
    frozen things, and upon refilling the new freezer, it's ALREADY FULL. it's literally like one of those single-person's fridge. I'm so irritated i could spit. i've sent emails and txts to the landlord already. if they don't make this right, my dinner planning will have to become much more thought out. grrrrrr.....

    26 Replies
    1. re: mariacarmen

      Yummy, I have always wanted to try Tikka Masala at home. I wish you luck with the landlord. I have a regular-sized fridge and freezer are busting at the seams, so I can understand you must be infinitely more frustrated.

      1. re: mariacarmen

        We actually have another fridge in the garage, as a back up..I am sure many here do to, if you have teh luxuary of some extra space..I don't what we would do if we didnt have it...I guess we would have to reconfigure as well....

        Good luck anyway!

        1. re: PHREDDY

          Like PHREDDY, we also have a second fridge downstairs. And an old upright Freezer, plus the MIL wants to give us her freezer (which is newer than ours). So two fridges and 2 freezers (full size). Who could ask for more! Good luck with the landlord mc.

          1. re: boyzoma

            bza....2 OF EACH....OMG...
            you are certainly well prepared....I would have a field day stocking up!

          2. re: PHREDDY

            Our old fridge is in the garage too, and I keep things like flour and such in there. My husband likes to buy in bulk, cut up, and seal things, so the freezer is full of meats and such.

            1. re: roxlet

              RO.....with your "smokin" husband better have a back up fridge...I've seen his cue!!!!

          3. re: mariacarmen

            I feel for you on your fridge size, Maria. When I moved in to my place it originally had one of those small ones, and I am a condiment collector, too. Fortunately, when it died, the landlady bought a bigger one.

            I've only made homemade pita once, and it was delicious and not difficult, and I wonder why I haven't done it again. I used a tip I saw somewhere to use either a cast iron griddle or upside-down cast iron skillet in the oven. The cast iron gets so hot that it makes a great blistered exterior. How do you do yours?

            1. re: mariacarmen

              I think it's somebody's law that you can't have a good stove/oven and a good fridge at the same time. Now we have a top line but oldie sub zero the fridge is small and narrow, but the freezer is roomie - however and we lost gas cooking. I could go on ad nauseum but it's too off WFD. Hope your landlord gets you a bigger model. Maybe if you offer to make up the difference on the electric bill?

              1. re: mariacarmen

                LOL! I started the #100 thread long ago.

                And I can't believe they delivered you a SMALLER fridge than you had before! Grrr....

                1. re: mariacarmen

                  Wow, a small fridge really stinks. I think my fridge is 'small' since it has shallower depth than some since I got a counter-depth one for my narrow galley kitchen.

                  One MUST have room for condiments! Hope they get you a bigger one, MC!

                  1. re: mariacarmen

                    thanks everyone for the fridge empathy!

                    i live in an apt., no room for an extra anything. we'll see if the landlords come through. i may just splurge and buy my own and let them keep their stupid dwarf fridge.

                    as predicted, no cooking. i did purchase some of the same fish sticks JM had in the last thread, but haven't tried them yet. went out last night to a teensy tiny hole-in-the-wall that used to be a latino take-out chicken place and then became a pop-up with a $20, 4-course prix-fixe diner - wonderful! great quality food at the right price. the star of last night were the shrimp and grits - so buttery and creamy!

                    tonight, my sister & i are taking her friend out for her bday, so another night out. my muu-muus are even looking for their passports...

                    and to Terrie H. who asked about pita, i've never made it before, but i'd like to. like the idea of the CI pan... we'll see.

                    1. re: mariacarmen

                      It would probably be worth it to buy your own. You have the storage you need, and it goes with you whenever you do leave the apt.

                      1. re: mariacarmen

                        MC.....LET'S HEAR IT FOR THE MUU-MMUS!!!

                        Question if wormen wear muu-muus....what do men wear?

                        Answer (Moe-moes)

                      2. re: mariacarmen

                        I have a tiny fridge, and no freezer, apart from a little box, and yes, there are two of us! It does make things difficult but it's par for the course around here. The difficulty is NO margin for error; there's no way of preserving (through freezing) excess food, and I make soup a lot because when I make chicken stock, about once a week, it can't be frozen.

                        1. re: limoen

                          Limoen, where are you located in general? Always interesting to know where WFD folks are writing in from.... :)

                          1. re: gingershelley

                            I live in London. Kitchens tend to be small here - though not as small as in Paris. I have friends who have full-sized fridges and had a full-sized fridge in my last two (out of four) places. However, when we moved I had to compromise between a gas stove and no freezer or electric stove and a freezer, and I just hate electric so much.

                            It is annoying when I have leftover 'bits and pieces', like a jar of miso sitting around that I must use up. Funnily enough stuff does still go missing all the way at the back of my baby fridge! It's on the floor so is not extremely accessible.

                            1. re: limoen

                              i probably would have chosen the same.

                              sigh. i'm being a big baby, but i want my big fridge!
                              looks like i'm buying the used one myself, as landlord is refusing. that's how much of a big baby i'm being.

                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                Hi mc,
                                Deb and I have lived all over. Stick to your guns, get a full-size coolerator and don't take any shit from mr/ms landlady guy. He'll, we even had a refrigerator and freezer on our sailboat.
                                We're talking lifestyle here.

                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                  Be a big baby. I want my big fridge too. I honestly don't blame you for wanting a decent sized fridge

                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                    "The heart wants what it wants"

                                    You are not being a big baby; you just have your priorities straight.

                                    1. re: Pwmfan

                                      love all the fridge validation here! thanks!!

                                    2. re: mariacarmen

                                      You GO big baby! You deserve a full size fridge. I bet you can get a used one for cheap on Craigslist.....

                                      1. re: gingershelley

                                        thanks, gs! i've been on there and called a few people - they're so flaky! hopefully have a lead on a nice big one - she's supposed to call me tonight.

                                2. re: limoen

                                  wow, you are resourceful! i'm so annoyed every time i open this fridge! it's full of just my condiments! which i know means i should probably pare down....

                                  i found a fridge today on craigslist and i sent the link to the landlord. if they give me a hard time about it, i'm even willing to pay for it as long as they take out this small one, pick up and deliver the "new" one.... we'll see....

                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                    I feel your pain. Often we have not much food in the fridge aside from things in jars and bottles...makes for fun cooking (and good eatin') though!

                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                      I hope this option works out for you. I hope you have a good landlord

                                3. Our "cooking the books" reaches "The Classic Italian Cookbook", marcella Hazan, 1973. Although our volume dates from 1981 and is one which, on Hazan's behalf, was re-edited by Anna del Conte for the British and Australian, New Zealand markets. Which mainly means I can read a recipe which requires "half a kilo of aubergine", rather than a "pound of eggplant".

                                  The main course is arrosto di agnelo al ginepro - casseroled leg of lamb with juniper berries. Meat, carrot, onion, celery, white wine, garlic, rosemary and juniper berries go in the pan and it simmers for 2 hours. Lid comes partially off and it potters away for another 90 minutes. There'll be some spuds - probably sauteed. And some as yet unknown veg.

                                  That'll be preceeded by some supermarket ravioli and a home made sauce (the bag in the freezer just calls it "spicy tomato sauce"). Probably ice cream for afters - or dolci, if you prefer - there's an exceptionally nice damson one in the freezer.

                                  31 Replies
                                  1. re: Harters

                                    Please let us know how this turns out Harters. Though we love Italian cuisine and I have more Italian cookbooks in my collection than any other type, I was late in discovering Ms Hazan and haven't tried many of her recipes. I'll make a note in EYB based on your results.

                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                      I'm still ticked off I didn't sign up for the limited lifetime membership on EYB. Paying $25/year would use up that initial cost in 2 years. I don't have tons of cookbooks (maybe 50?), so I'm not sure it would be worth it for me. Maybe I'll try it for one year.

                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                        I was fortunate to get on board early Linda so as you say, much more cost effective. That said, it's invaluable for me as I have so many cookbooks and I love using them. It just makes doing so that much simpler.

                                        Before you invest, one think you might do is look up the cookbooks you own to see what percentage of them are indexed. I don't know if you collect/save magazines but EYB also indexes some magazines as well. When EYB first started approx 20-25% of my collection were indexed. Now, they've indexed so many more books that approx 50% of my collection is indexed. Indexing is done based on the popularity of the book - how many members own it. Most books owned by 50+ members are indexed and new releases get indexed.

                                        I think if you sign up for their free membership you can put 5 books on your shelf. Perhaps you might want to try that out for a few months and see how you like it.

                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                          Good to know I can look up the cookbooks first to see if they're indexed - thanks, Bc!

                                          And the freebie might be a good way to start too. Then perhaps the $2.50/mo. for unlimited, depending on how many are listed.

                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                            Linda, the $2.50 a month is the one I use. I don't have many cookbooks, around 2 dozen, but I still find it helpful, especially since I do my meal planning at work and my books are home. It's nice to not have to flip through the books individually when I'm looking for a recipe to use up, say, sirloin steak. I found they had about 80% of the books I own already indexed... the main ones they didn't have were the random ones I got from the "bargain book" section at the now defunct Borders, and a pasta cookbook I got at Ikea. Oh and a new one I ordered but I think that's because it's a brand new book.

                                      2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                        Reporting back as requested. Whilst the lamb was OK, it was, in truth, rather underwhelming. It was cooked through after the 3.5 hours but wasnt as meltingly tender as you might expect (of course, the lamb may have been an older, tougher beastie). It was, in essence, a pot roast and I'd hoped that the juniper wouild add a nice zing to things but I couldnt really get any flavour from them.

                                        In the ordinary course of events, our rules for "cooking the books" would now be seeing this book despatched to the charity shop. But we're making an exception (as we've done with a couple of others).

                                        As for tomorrow, we're off to the city to try a new place - does traditional British cooking. Really looking forward to it - eaten at their other places and think the food is really good.

                                        1. re: Harters

                                          Sorry to hear that dish underwhelmed Harters. It sounds as though it may have been a little one note - against all odds given the ingredients and I agree w you, when I read your WFD post, I thought how lovely the juniper would be w the lamb.

                                          As for your dinner tomorrow, colour me envious! First of all the location is lovely and the chophouse itself looks like the kind of place mr bc and I love...that airy, industrial interior is beautiful.

                                          ...and then the menu! Could you please have the Potted Mackerel and the Homity Pie for me?!! I'm not sure I'll have enough room for dessert so I'll leave that to you but if we decide to indulge, I'll have the Marmalade Pudding please.

                                          Now another request...will you let us know how you enjoy your meal? I have a good feeling about this place.

                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                            I'll be posting a review on the UK/Ireland board so you'll be able to catch up with our dinner there. Currently calling to me is the curd & beetroot salad, followed by the steak & kidney pudding. But, I agree, the homity pie sounds good - Mrs Kirkhams Lancashire is a really good example of the regional cheese (and, I think, the Lancashire that folk on the western side of The Pond are likely to be able get most easily - although probably not very easily - worth seeking out if you can).

                                            1. re: Harters

                                              I had my eye on that beetroot salad Harters but since my pie lacked a protein, I decided on the Mackerel! ; )

                                              I'll be on the lookout on the UK board for your post.

                                              I'm expecting to be back in London for business in the months ahead and I will most definitely seek out Mrs Kirkhams Lancashire. I'm salivating just thinking about it.

                                              ...oh and that wine list at the Chophouse looks amazing. mr bc and I were debating on what NOT to choose!!

                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                When you're next over, Breadcrumbs, Neals Yard Dairy (near Covent Garden) lists Kirkhams and I imagine usually has it. Well worth trying, along with Appleby's Cheshire.

                                                If you find yourself at Borough Market, look out for Bourne's Cheshire. The finest my county produces (although Appleby's takes a good second place)


                                          2. re: Harters

                                            i would have thought you'd have to crush the juniper berries a bit, no? too bad it wasn't everything you'd hoped it to be. but that Chophouse looks fantastic!

                                            1. re: Harters

                                              A last minute family crisis meant we had to cancel the trip into the city. However, we did eat later in the evening at a south asian place near home - it was very, very good.

                                              Chop house will have to wait until next week, I think

                                              1. re: Harters

                                                hope all is ok now....
                                                love the double-shot of lamb in your dinner.

                                                1. re: Harters

                                                  I hope that everything comes out okay about the crisis.

                                            2. re: Harters

                                              LAMB! Very soon for me. :-) And YUM on the entire meal - enjoy!

                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                Us as well. We always do lamb for Easter. mr bc's favourite is Silence of the Lamb Shanks. A recipe from The Stinking Rose in Ca.

                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                  I looked up this recipe, BC, and that sure sounds great.

                                                  I always do lamb for Easter as well, though usually a boned butterflied leg, marinated in orange, rosemary, red wine, dijon and garlic, and then grilled to a nice MR. Served at brunch with spanikopita, baked (shirred) eggs, fruit and usually too many mimosas and sangria! Looking forward to it:)

                                                  1. re: gingershelley

                                                    Oh your Easter lamb sounds sensational gs! I love the idea of grilling it. We've found our weather to be too unpredictable to count on grilling year after year and mr bc is a bit of a traditionalist so he loves the idea of having the same meal every year. We too have a Greek item on our menu. I make an Almond Skordalia that we enjoy at lunch w some white wine and some other nibbles. Nothing to heavy because dinner is our main event!

                                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                                  Tonight's dinner is leftovers from yesterday - a really fantastic Irish stew made with lamb neckbones and Yukon gold potatoes. Tomorrow, corned beef.

                                                  1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                                    rgagg, where do you buy your lamb neckbones? Even my wonderful butcher didn't have any. Did you order ahead?

                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                      Trade Fair in Astoria. They always have things like that since they serve a largely immigrant customer base.

                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                        BC....don't think that ratgirl.....knows you live in Toronto..

                                                        She is referring to Trade Fair a 6 store chain of supermarkets, here in New York City, the borough of Queens.

                                                        1. re: PHREDDY

                                                          Thanks for clarifying that PHREDDY. I'm impressed that supermarkets are carrying lamb neck bones. I'd be hard pressed to find a supermarket here that would be able to get them in for me, even as a special order.

                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                            I am with you BC, wish I would see lamb necks in a store around here - not even in my very immigrant-heavy neighborhood Halal butcher - not without special ordering.

                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                              BC....actually due to all of the different ethnic pockets in and around NYC...there are numerous different shops for all sort of food....Astoria is know for Greek and Egyptian, Jackson Heights for Columbian, Peruvian and other South American specialites....I could go on and on, I never feel spoiled here, but when I travel to other parts of the country, and speak with all of you, I consider myself lucky that I can satisfy my palate, anytime of the day, any day of the week!!!!

                                                              1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                That's so impressive PHREDDY and shopping must be a dream. Each time we visit NYC we probably spend as much time, if not more, in markets and food shops as we do in the big department stores!! Such an incredible city!!

                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                  Same here except for the 2 hours we drove around the Bronx looking for Arthur Avenue. Another reason to hate google maps.

                                                            2. re: PHREDDY

                                                              Sorry, you're right . I should have made the location more clear.

                                                              1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                                                Not to worry...what part of Queens do you live in?

                                                                1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                  Astoria, dude! Closer to Elmhurst, really, but Astoria.

                                                                  1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                                                    Do you know where the Buccanear Diner is?....I have a property just around the corner....that must be not far from where you are.....

                                                    2. A thorough search in the freezer turned up two portions of the yummy vegetable lasagna we had a few weeks ago so that's WFD. I hope to make a trip to the local before.

                                                      1. Going to my parents house for a birthday dinner tonight so I have no clue WFD. All I know is I'm bringing the sangria!

                                                        We're not Irish so tomorrow we are going to fire up the smoker and smoke a whole chicken, stuffed peppers, and some potatoes for potato salad. Yum.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Njchicaa

                                                          Love the idea of smoked stuffed peppers, yes - YUM!

                                                        2. Great to have made it to Thread 200. Some marriages don't last as long.