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What's for Dinner #201 - the "Spring is ALMOST here!" Edition [OLD]

Two days from the official start of Spring - and the Midwest and Northeast are getting snow today, tonight, and tomorrow. Those daffodillies cannot come soon enough for us!

So what are you all making? Cooking full out meals? Noshing on leftovers? (That's me, although I have plans for the lamb roast I made on St. Patrick's Day for later this week.) Or, if you're out of the U.S. and living in the Southern Hemisphere, are you gearing up for cooler weather?

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  1. It will be Sunday's meal all over again.

    I'll steam the leftover corned beef, tiny white potatoes and Le Sueur very young small sweet peas. Deb will chunk some carrots and boil 'em since she's not overly fond of my peas and spuds. House red to wash things down.

    Edited to add: Weather here has been cold and nasty. Snow is forecast for tonight. I'll deal with it but I'm not liking it.

    1. we're having a TJ flatbread feast tonight. the Tarte d'Alsace again, which was so good last time, baked til crispy on our pizza stone, and a new one, with mushrooms and i believe truffle oil. i am not one of those prejudiced against truffle oil. in fact, if it's a good one, i'd bathe in it.

      a salad of some sort will go alongside. i'm not sure the BF has figured out there's no meat in this meal.... not sure what hell will break loose when he does.... maybe i'd better stop at the store and pick up some bacon to toss on top.

      13 Replies
      1. re: mariacarmen

        If he is anything like mine, pick up the bacon. Its bacon. It won't go to waste

        1. re: suzigirl

          certainly not in our house. i'm a little shocked that we are out of it.

        2. re: mariacarmen

          i'd forgotten the Tarte d'Alsace has ham on it, so i didn't get bacon after all (tho we still need it). The BF cooked himself up an italian sausage and some olives to go with. the other Tarte - Tarte de Champignons - was nowhere near as good. not sure if it was undercooked, but it was floppy and yet the crust (the rim) was tough. and the topping was a bit soggy and not super flavorful. ah well, live and learn. i'm still a great fan of the Alsace. green salad with the BF's blue cheese dressing went with.

          i think i forgot to say that i purchased two kinds of fish sticks - the ones JM tried (i keep forgetting the name and i'm not going to irritate myself by trying to dig thru my Thumbelina freezer to look at the box) in the other thread, and also the TJ ones. hope to have a taste off. lord knows when, since the BF.... sigh. you know.

          1. re: mariacarmen

            Thumbelina freezer. Love it! Bet that won't be the last time we hear that before Thumbelina goes bye bye.

            1. re: mariacarmen

              Dr. Praeger's is the brand I tried. They were roughly the same nutritional profile as the lightly breaded TJ sticks so I opted for them when I couldn't find the latter.

              1. re: JungMann

                that's it. i've got both to do side-by-side comparison. will report back.

                1. re: mariacarmen

                  Can't wait to hear about such a good brand as Dr. Praeger's vs. tj's:)

                  Hoping through all of you, I can find a fish stick to love....

              1. re: Njchicaa

                really! maybe we did undercook it....

                1. re: mariacarmen

                  The one I had is the truffle one. Very yum.

                  1. re: Njchicaa

                    same here. it wasn't very truffly. just kind of muddled. bummer.

                  2. re: mariacarmen

                    I also found the mushroom one to be sort of soggy. Maybe there's some secret trick with this one?

                  3. re: Njchicaa

                    Njchicaa - i misspoke! i saw tonight in the freezer we had a box of the mushroom tarte with truffle oil - so i haven't even tried it yet! the one we ate was just mushrooms and was really not all that good. looking forward to the one you liked.

                2. Tonight is roast beef with Yorkshire puddings, peas and a mushroom cream sauce. Just perfect for tonight since our weather has dipped back into the below freezing teens.

                  2 Replies
                    1. I made a (crustless) quiche with some of those gorgeous eggs I posted in the last thread (eggs, whole milk, ends of random cheeses, broccoli, bacon, shallot, and mushrooms.) It'll be paired with a baby spinach, shaved fennel, orange, beet and avocado salad with honey balsamic dressing.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: weezieduzzit

                        Mmm sounds wonderful - especially with those fresh eggs you showed us on the previous thread! Care to share how you make your honey balsamic dressing? Also do you use regular balsamic or white balsamic - I've been eyeing TJ's white balsamic vinegar for awhile in their stores but have yet to purchase it.

                        1. re: littleflower

                          I didn't make this dressing but the ingredients on the bottle are canola oil, water, white balsamic, white wine vinegar, mustard seed, honey, salt, sugar, dehydrated garlic, black pepper, dehydrated minced onion, citric acid and spices.

                          I bet if you bought that bottle of white balsamic and played around with it a bit you could come up with something even better (I'd change the oil and skip the sugar.) I bought it because it doesn't have HFCS and it turned out to be good. I'm not a big dressing person, though... 2 teaspoons on a big salad... maybe. Sometimes less.

                          The quiche was awesome. I love these eggs. I'm so happy we FINALLY made the drive and got them. We've already discussed how we're going to have to fit in going by there to pick up eggs when we're in that area.

                          1. re: littleflower

                            I have been on the hunt for white balsamic, so perhaps I'll check the local TJ.

                        2. Tonight's dinner will be spicy. I want something so spicy that little beads of sweat will pop out on my upper lip. The decision goes to a Thai shrimp curry served with rice. Can't wait -- I've been cold all day!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: roxlet

                            As I like to say, it's not spicy enough unless my brown is wet. Actually this past weekend, I made a quick dish with a good amount of Frank's hot suace and while I didn't think it was too spicy, apparently the sweat glands on my scalp did. I happened to scratch my head afterwards and had damp hair. I've never made curry but the dish sounds quite interesting, what's your method?

                          2. Cobb salad - well, not the classic traditional but a play on the concept

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                              Because it is you, I need to know. How far of a play?

                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                Oh, not too far - finely chopped romaine or cabbage, chicken breast marinated in roasted garlic, pepper, oregano and dash of Lawry's seasoning, bacon, mix of cheddar and blue cheese (current favorite is smoked blue cheese), bacon, grape tomatoes (none other will do, love the pop), and a healthy dose of croutons for my biweekly carb fix.

                                I skip the avocado as I'm not a bigfan, only occasionally add diced eggs and dress with either ranch (SO choice, not my favorite) or blue cheese dressing instead of the traditional red-wine vinaigrette but now that I'm into homemade salad dressing and a serious vinegar fanatic I think I should definitely give that a try next time. The lovely running joke at work these days regarding my food habits is confusion that I own more than 1 bottle of vinegar and that it's not clear.

                              2. Warm corned beef sandwich on swirly rye/pumpernickle bread with horseradish mustard. I also warmed up the side veggies from the leftovers in a bit of butter as a side. I wish I could have leftover corned beef a lot more often during the rest of the year.

                                1. Tonight my normally 45 min commute took 2 hrs in the icy snow storm. After truly treacherous driving conditions and a minor accident (rear ended on the garden state parkway after braking and steering around a car that had spun off the road tried to get back on). So thankful to be home safe.

                                  After the eventful commute I made an easy chicken vindaloo using a Maya Kaimal brand fresh sauce. As the chicken simmered and the brown rice finished cooking I threw in a large amount of baby spinach into the curry. Didn't want to mess with another dish. Not an authentic version but very tasty. If you haven't tried Maya Kaimal's brand of fresh Indian simmer sauces, I highly recommend them.

                                  When will the snow stop? I'm guessing we have 4+ inches and it's still coming down.

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: MAH

                                    Ugh. Sorry about the accident, MAH. Hopefully the person who hit you has good insurance!

                                    And while it hasn't started up here yet, our morning commute is supposed to be messy. I've already decided I'll wait until it settles down to rain.

                                    1. re: MAH

                                      MAH hope that spring weather is right around the corner for you...not too much longer to wait, I am sure.

                                      Where can one find the Maya Kaimal's Indian simmer sauces? I would like to (eventually) try making some Indian food particularly Butter Chicken from scratch but until then our local Indian restaurant, TJ's frozen Indian dinners, and simmer sauces will have to do...at least with the simmer sauces I can doctor things up if need be and I can control the quality of the other ingredients I add.

                                      1. re: littleflower

                                        Thanks everyone for the kind words.

                                        I have seen Maya Kaimal's simmer sauces in the refrigerated section of Fairway, Whole Foods, Wegman's and better supermarkets and specialty grocers. Places like Stop and Shop haven't begun to carry it, as far as I've seen.

                                        I've also seen a jarred variety of her products as well. Haven't tried those, but the fresh sauces in the refrigerated section are really wonderful. Very flavorful, made with great ingredients, not oily and delicious. I've tried the Vindaloo, Tamarind curry and coconut curry varieties. there's also a Classic Korma sauce available that I haven't tried.

                                        I hope you find them available near you. I try to always have a container on hand for a quick weeknight meal.

                                      2. re: MAH

                                        Sounds like the commute from hell. Sorry about your accident!

                                        1. re: MAH

                                          I have bought the refrigerated version of her Tikka Masala at Costco, and it was fabulous!

                                          1. re: gingershelley

                                            Really? Costco has Tikka Masala? I'll have to look for it. Thanks for the tip.

                                            1. re: boyzoma

                                              At mine in Costco HQ central Costco is is HQ'd and from the NW) they had it for the last year, in the fridge section near the pesto, pasta salad, etc.

                                              It was good enough for me NOT to make my own from scratch for the last couple of years. Why beat a horse when someone else has given me a thoroughbred mare to run with in the field of masala?

                                              But, Shhhh.... I am still making homemade tomorrow for the DOTM - then I will probably cheat again:)

                                              1. re: gingershelley

                                                You're so funny! Now I definitely have to check out our Costco. Thanks!!

                                        2. The fish-hating bloke will eat dinner on a flight home tonight so I frolicked off to the fish markets today. There's a recipe on epicurious for tuna with ginger-shiitake cream sauce. It has about 760 reviews and a four fork rating so very popular. I have made it once with chicken to cater for the bloke but have been itching to try it with fish. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                          For a fish-hater the bloke is very sentimental about fish and sustainability so he's asked for me to shift to sustainable seafood as a compromise for 'stinking' the house out with it. Tuna is off the menu (it's one fish I am very much missing since I have been making sustainable choices) and there was no albacore so I settled on buying a beautiful looking bonito which is in the same family as tuna and apparently not over-fished here. I've filleted it, pin-boned it and lunched on some sashimi from it which was surprisingly good. I've always thought of bonito as bait so it was a bit of a mind shift for me to eat it and not put it on a hook. I'm gad I like it because as it's unpopular here you have to buy a whole fish and I have two enormous fillets to get through. Texture wise it does seem very different to tuna, it's quite soft so cooking with it will be interesting. Does anyone have any experience or tips?

                                          To go alongside I have some baby zucchini with flowers still attached. I had some at a restaurant recently that were lightly steamed and then simply tossed in a tiny bit of butter so I'm going to try and replicate that. I'm not sure if I'll add a carb to the meal, probably not. If there is any it will probably just be a bit of sauce-mopping bread.

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: Frizzle

                                            Wonderful, a new delicious tuna recipe. Please do report back.

                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                              The chicken version i made a year or so ago was incredible so I'm hoping the fish version is even better. The cream sauce is killer. I bet it would go fine with almost anything. I'll report with photos tonight if my bonito doesn't turn to mush.

                                            2. re: Frizzle

                                              Delicious. I think i dried the bonito out a bit. It's thinner than tuna so seems to need a very, very quick sear. Excuse the rough filleting of the bonito, I'm still a novice at it.

                                               
                                              1. re: Frizzle

                                                Great that you are being conscious of your fish choices - very big here in SEA to do that, but lot's of people haven't caught on yet - or, worse, their trying but tricky wholesalers are mislabeling fishes.

                                                Sounds very tasty as well. Love the baby zucchini - that's a few months away for sure here!

                                                1. re: gingershelley

                                                  Thanks GS. I am trying but I'm not 100% there yet. It's a learning curve figuring out what are good substitutions. It's terrible about mislabeling.

                                                  1. re: Frizzle

                                                    Frizzle. Tough backbone and faith at the effort. It kind of sucks as the more you know, often the less fish you can have that's common. Sigh.

                                                    But it's worth it! I want my children's children to eat live wild fishes in their lifetimes.

                                                    For me these days, I try for 'little fishes' and trash fish' that used to get no love, or are tiny and oily like local smelts (coming soon!), or later, sardines, or even Dog fish that when I was being raised and fishing in the San Juan Islands with my family was the 'club it and throw it back fish' - that we find now is like a small, good griller with a strong sauce as in how you would use such a specimen in the mediterranean basin.... you live, you learn:)

                                              2. Korean comfort food tonight - A one skillet meal of Kimchi fried rice topped with over easy egg.

                                                 
                                                 
                                                3 Replies
                                                  1. re: hannaone

                                                    Yum-o!!!! I have been eyeing your kimchi recipe for a few weeks now as I could avoid the 30 minute drive to H Mart. My only hesitation is that it I think it's laced with crack. I will hang my head in shame and admit that Sunday I woke up and found myself in the fridge with fingers in the kimchi chowing away :) I rembered doing it but when SO asked about the dirty plate in the morning I felt like a fermented food addict.

                                                  2. Fish fingers (prompted by an earlier thread), chips & peas.

                                                    I see the chip butty in my near future.

                                                    1. Last night was a Costco Rotisserie chicken, roasted veg- butternut squash, red onion and Yukon Gold potatoes. Bland but delish. Today is a snow day!

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Berheenia

                                                        I hope you saved the skin for me! Love that "costco" chicken skin.

                                                      2. Cold, wet, nasty morning, rolled over and took 10 minutes more...
                                                        Chicken soup, with lots of veggies to help clear out the fridge for lunch...it was on the stove by 7:30am

                                                        Rolled filet of beef with pumpernickle bread crumbs, shaved parmagiano, sun dried tomatoes, evoo...pan seared and finished off in the oven, with a little red wine, capers and butter.
                                                        Smashed red potaotes and oven roasted zucchini to fit around on the plate.
                                                        As you see, the oven will get double duty and help make the house warm and comfy!

                                                        1. Tonight I'm making Ina Garten's scallops Provencal. I knew it had to be made after I saw the recipe linked in another thread. I've just got to decide which pasta I want to serve it with or whether I will whip up a quick garlic bread using pizza dough.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: Musie

                                                            I'd love to hear your thoughts though I assume it will be fantastic. I have been looking for something new to do with scallops and while not revolutionary, this dish seems simple, classic and utterly delicious.

                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                              Same here. We bought 5lbs of good quality frozen sea scallops the other week, and my SO's scallops with bacon risk being made too often. There's also a Jamie Oliver recipe which is pretty tasty, I don't mind paraphrasing it for you if you'd like.

                                                          2. Husband has a work function tonight so I pulled some leftover stuffed shells topped with bolognese sauce out of the freezer. Easy dinner and there will be some to take for lunch tomorrow.

                                                            1. tonight - i dine out with our fellow WFD CHer GretchenS!

                                                              25 Replies
                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                You'll have a great time.

                                                                Jan & I had the pleasure of dining with her and Linda W when we were in Boston last year. A lovely evening.

                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                    So jealous. You two have a great time. I know you will

                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                      Still going to the same "casa de carne", near youi?
                                                                      Have a great time!!!

                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                          Awesome - let us know what you have and where you eat!

                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                              Let us know what you drink! That martini thingie looks awesome. I love it when they bring the extra in a carafe.

                                                                              1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                we ended up having wine - me, a glass of dry rose bubbly first, and then a glass of Bordeaux each - poor GS had to drive back to her hotel, so she could only have one glass. i only had to stumble around the corner.

                                                                              1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                Gret.....Hope one day to meet up with you as well....Looking towards visiting family in Seattly this summer....so Gingershelly....may have to clear the deck for a visit...In fact there are so many people here I would love to meet, that I think I could retire, travel around and just connect with Chowhounders!!!!

                                                                                1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                                  Wonderful meeting GretchenS tonight! lovely company, great food, what more could you ask for? i asked for a second date, of course, and she said yes! Gretchen comes into the Bay Area for work quite often so i'm looking forward to next time. Funnily enough, hours before the dinner, the argentine restaurant called saying there had been a blackout and they would not be able to open tonight, apologizing profusely. it certainly wasn't their fault - the power in our apartment and other parts of the neighborhood were out too. but i felt bad, as it had been her request. so i quickly made us a new res at a favorite french place nearby, and luckily Gretchen was as agreeable as can be. It paid off - the French restaurant was pretty dead for some reason and we spent at least a half hour talking even before we ordered wine! fascinating lady, our GS.

                                                                                  few (fuzzy) pics of our dinner... (we shared marrow bones, duck pate, frites with truffle oil and parm, molasses-brined pork tenderloin with white cheddar grits, bacon, artichokes & mitake mushrooms,and steak-frites (yes, more frites!) all delicious. i was happy my little french bistro showed Gretchen a delicious time. Next time we get together - Argentinian for sure!

                                                                                  Yes, phreddy, do go meet gingershelley (alas, i have a trip in that area coming up but i won't be able to - this time!) - always good to meet a fellow CH-er!

                                                                                   
                                                                                   
                                                                                   
                                                                                   
                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                    It's always awesome to meet a CH face to face :-)

                                                                                    I really do hope to make it to the west coast some day in the not too far future.

                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                      quit dangling that carrot and get over her, woman.

                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                        Second that. Get thee to SF or SEA (or both) this year!

                                                                                        1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                          I'll fly if you buy, ladies :-)

                                                                                          But maybe I'll win the lottery. Should start playing.

                                                                                    2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                      MC - glad you guys had a wonderful dinner and conversation. The food sounds good besides!

                                                                                      Awe, sorry to hear you will be in my neck of the woods and we can't meet up - I am sure we would have had a great time.

                                                                                      Any CH'ers come to SEA, I want to meet up!

                                                                                      1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                        yeah me too gs - next time FO SHO. this trip just got too booked up.

                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                          Sad I hadn't heard about it sooner, sigh.

                                                                                      2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                        Everything sounds wonderful, mc - glad you and Gretchen had a great time. And glad she accepted your request for a second date! ;-)

                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                          The incredible food was outdone only by the fabulous conversation. Second "date" -- you bet! Both dinner and company lived up to my considerable expectations!!!

                                                                                        2. re: PHREDDY

                                                                                          Phreddy - glad you are coming to town - please, let's do meet up!

                                                                                          I am actually starting a new venture taking people on various food-centric tours around town and the area - I would be happy to take you and yours on one on the house:)

                                                                                    3. Woke up this morning with a very scratchy/swollen throat and stuffy nose. Not good. All I want to do is go back to bed and have my SO go get me McDonald's (my sick time comfort food).

                                                                                      But I am at work with strict instructions to stay away from my boss (there's only the 2 of us here and we have separate offices), and I've pulled out some pork chops from the freezer last night Still working on cleaning out the freezer. I found some raspberry chipotle bbq sauce in there that I froze awhile back, and in my recipe notes for it I had written "would be good with pork", so I'm going to just pan sear the chops, slather them w the sauce and then finish in the oven. I have green beans for a side, the original plan was to boil them until tendercrisp, then make a simple sauce for them with some chili garlic paste, a bit of brown sugar, and butter. Might end up just roasting them. I also have some garlic bread in the freezer I can pull out if we're feeling the need for carbs. So, an easy dinner. But I still want my mcnuggets.

                                                                                      11 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                        I hope that you feel better and McDonald's miraculously decides to start delivering in the next 5 minutes. I haven't had those mcnuggets in quite a long time but wow you brought back memories of me with way too many containers of sweet and sour sauce with a box of nuggets.

                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                          The new fish nuggets aren't bad either. Toddler granddaughter was in a mood to share. :-)

                                                                                        2. re: juliejulez

                                                                                          Awww, hope you get over the ickies soon. I ate so many of those nuggets as a kid. What's your sauce of choice?

                                                                                          1. re: alliegator

                                                                                            Thanks! I took some advil and that seems to be helping the throat issue and I'm going to go to the store to stock up on vitamin water.

                                                                                            My sauce of choice is BBQ. I used to eat the leftovers out of the little container with my finger when I was a kid when my mom wasn't looking. Actually, I admit I still do if I'm alone haha!

                                                                                            1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                              Sorry you're not feeling well. The chowder lunch should be satisfying. Not as satisfying as a big box of nuggets and bbq sauce but it will do. Feel better

                                                                                          2. re: juliejulez

                                                                                            raspberry chipotle sounds really good! fresh raspberries in that?

                                                                                            i hope you feel better! and while i want you to have your pork with that delicious sauce, i also hope you get your mcnuggets.

                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                              It's made with raspberry jam... I got the recipe here: http://budgetbytes.blogspot.com/2011/... I'd be intrigued to try it with fresh raspberries though, to control the sugar content.

                                                                                              And thanks! I don't have anything planned yet for my lunch tomorrow so it might very well be a happy meal kind of day. Today I have a big portion of my chicken chowder from last night leftover to eat for lunch, so that should be good too.

                                                                                              1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                JJ..feel better and remember every meal on WFD....is a "Happy Meal"...
                                                                                                (I don't really eat when I am sad)

                                                                                            2. re: juliejulez

                                                                                              Feel better. That pork sounds very tasty!

                                                                                              1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                Well I changed my mind about dinner. All I want is salt salt salt, as usual when I'm sick (hence the McD's). So I'm going to season the chops w/ montreal steak seasoning, cook them up, then thinly slice and throw on some hamburger buns for a nice meat sandwich. On the side? Ruffles with jarred french onion dip. Oh yes.

                                                                                                1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                  Perfect comfort "sickies" food! Hope it satisfied that craving - I have the same salt craving when I'm sick and usually tend to the boxed mac and cheese with pickled jalapenos and copiuous shakes from the salt shaker!

                                                                                              2. I picked up some cod filets at Costco on a whim - DH is not a huge fish fan, so I generally don't bother spending the money on it if he's going to be eating - but they looked good so I thought what the hell!

                                                                                                I turned most of the package into cod cakes last night - ground the fish in the food processor, added a small handful of breadcrumbs, a little mayo and lemon juice, chopped green olives, capers and green onion, salt, pepper and a little dill. Shaped that into patties, rolled it in a few more breadcrumbs and sauteed briefly, then popped them into the oven to finish as I made them quite thick. Served with tomato confit (grape tomatoes slow roasted in olive oil).

                                                                                                These were really quite good and even DH enjoyed them. They held together quite well given the small amount of binder - in fact, I think I will leave the breadcrumbs out of the mix next time. The tomatoes were key for me, though - they really brought all the flavors together.

                                                                                                I still haven't decided on dinner tonight - the weather is disgusting here, so I want something warm and hearty, but we're both trying to drop some weight, so anything heavy and carby is out. Maybe something spicy - I'll have to pull out 660 Curries and see if anything there catches my fancy.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. Tonight will be what I intended for last night--the shrimp pizza recipe that juliejulez posted in the last thread.
                                                                                                  Last night I got sidetracked by some beautiful Chilean sea bass filets at the seafood counter. I had those very simply seared, then finished in the oven with white wine and dill sauce. Small red potatoes and steamed snap peas on the side.
                                                                                                  I'd love to share the pic, but hubby took my phone instead of his this morning, which I'm sure will make his day just slightly more difficult.

                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                    Lovely, I was planning to grab some Chilean sea bass for the weekend and have never prepared it at home so I might just give this a try for my first time.

                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                      It's a very easy fish to cook at home because you can err on the side of slightly overcooked, and it's still just wonderful. Let me know how it goes!!!

                                                                                                    2. re: alliegator

                                                                                                      That sounds great alliegator. Sauteéd fish sounds good for dinner as I have a bunch of fresh dill that needs using up.... hmmm.

                                                                                                    3. We've had a strange all-over-the-place start to the week:
                                                                                                      leftovers from our South of the Border class
                                                                                                      Chicharróns e salchicha with lime
                                                                                                      iceberg wedge with red onion, tomato, bacon, blue cheese dressing
                                                                                                      Shopping-in-my-freezer kale, sweet potato, sausage soup

                                                                                                      1. Tonight's menu is shredded chicken & black bean tacos. I'll top them with crunchy slaw, avocado, cilantro and a healthy squeeze of lime. Of course at the rate I'm sneaking 'tastes' out of the ninja, I hope there will be some left for dinner

                                                                                                        1. "Almost spring" my ass '-(

                                                                                                          We got a bunch of snow in the last 2 days along with some freezing rain... presumably because we all love it so >sigh<

                                                                                                          Last night's tarte flambée was a success, tho my man is still not 100% satisfied with the crust. Maybe leave out the rye flour next time. I think it needs even more cream freeeeesh. I ended up making fennel salad as a side again (my current obsession), which was snarfed up entirely -- well, I had 3 helpings.

                                                                                                          Tonight, the casa lingua classic, chicken piccata, is on the menu. We haven't had it in at least 2 weeks, and my man went a little nutsoid buying loads of lemons, hoping he might tempt last w/end's poker crowd with cocktails -- alas, they mostly stuck to wine -- so there's ample amounts of citrus that need used (sic). Roasted cauli on the side, me thinks.

                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                            I broke out laughing at your first sentence, lingua. :-D Believe me, I've got the SAME weather...I shoveled a foot of snow in my driveway this morning.

                                                                                                            And hey! I know that "need used" phraseology from my time spent in PA Dutch country. Enjoy your piccata!

                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                              When I first moved here & held a few temp jobs at the university (!), many a supervisor would say "this needs filed", which drove me crazy. I would always mentally add "TO BE".

                                                                                                              Once I found out it's a regional thing I got more relaxed about it, and now I often say it just to piss off my man :-D

                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                Off topic but I'm trying to imagine Hamlet's big speech performed in PA without 'To be' now.

                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                  I'm 20 years removed from the place and I still don't always use "to be".
                                                                                                                  And I'm thinking about adding some red onion to a recipe tonight that doesn't have it, but I have half of one that needs used ;)

                                                                                                              2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                <<"Almost spring" my ass '-(>>

                                                                                                                Best quote of the day.

                                                                                                              3. Surprise surprise, more corned beef. Rather than sit through another warmed over bowl of leftovers, I'm getting a little creative. The Guinness reduction I made for the vegetables and brisket has a bit of a sharp, Marmite-like flavor so I'm pairing it with cheese, caramelized onions and white bread for a decadent corned beef grilled cheese. It being St. Joseph's Day, I'll have to rustle up some ricotta-filled zeppole for dessert.

                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                      Slight change of plans. I couldn't get to the market so to satisfy my cheese craving, I baked up my first-ever TJ's tarte d'Alsace. Since I don't have a pizza stone, the crust never really got crisp and, truth be told, the insistent richness combined with a floppy crust didn't really appeal to me. So playing the cards dealt to me, I topped the tarte with shredded corned beef tossed in Guinness glaze along with a bit of cabbge, folded it and there you have it: Alsatian-Irish quesadillas. And no I didn't get my zeppole, so instead I cracked open a homemade batch of eggnog which had been aging for 5 months and went to town. We slept very well last night.

                                                                                                                      1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                        Like the Alsatian-Irish combo... indeed, Alsace and the Emerald Isles do have many connections, so perhaps you were just hearing whisperings from down the centuries with your inspired combo:)

                                                                                                                        1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                          looks like you made the best out of a mediocre experience! i do think the pizza stone is key....

                                                                                                                      2. Tonight will be Cajun Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo (sharing one frankenchicken breast). To go with will be a side of steamed California Mixed Vegetables and some Garlic Bread. Simple, quick and satisfying.

                                                                                                                        1. Chicken & smoked gouda stuffed shells tonight with alfredo sauce is on tap...mixed lettuce salad with roasted tomatoes, carrots, cukes and one of the many dressings in the fridge and garlic bread to go with

                                                                                                                          1. With the crappy, snowy, disgusting, depressing weather (get my drift? I hated it.), I decided to make soup and bread for tonight's dinner. Soup is a minestrone with borlotti beans, kale, carrots, prosciutto, ditalini and tiny hot Italian dried peppers. I'll serve it with some grated Romano cheese, and these little breads I made.

                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                              Oh, yum. Minestrone soup. Love it (except DH hates - I mean HATES spinach or anything like it). So I've made it as a variation with everything but that. I would eat yours in a hot minute. Looks fantastic.

                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                Tell us what you really think about the weather. :-) That soup and bread look so inviting. It is making me want some very soon.

                                                                                                                                1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                  It's freakin' cold and wet...In plain English...it sucks!!!
                                                                                                                                  If you look up thread, you will see that 7:30 this morning I put up a pot of chicken soup!!!!
                                                                                                                                  Hey we need and injection of comfort!!!!!!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                    Boy, are those tiny red peppers spicy! And I mean tiny. They're no more than 1/4" long!

                                                                                                                                  2. Since we had such a lovely St. Pat's feast Sunday, last night was simple turkey tacos with all the usual fixings.

                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                                                      I love turkey tacos! We have it at least once a week and usually prefer turkey to beef, though will switch it up for beef occasionally.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                                                        Is there a secret to good turkey tacos? I have only attempted making tacos with ground turkey and greatly missed the flavor (by flavor I really mean the fat - sorry to be blunt but it's too late to think of a better term for it) that ground beef tacos have. I used an 85/15 ground turkey - mix of both white and dark meat.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                          No secret that I know of to make it taste like beef. I also use the 85/15 ground turkey - pretty much for everything - & prefer the flavor as is over beef. I guess it just boils down to personal preference.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                                                            Yea, for me too it's personal preference. It doesn't taste like beef and I don't try to use it as a substitute but use it when I want to taste turkey.

                                                                                                                                      2. i am going picnicing tonight. My sweetie is frying the chicken outside to keep the smell out of the house(and I get out of one part of the cooking :-)). Potato salad and baked beans on the side. Simple

                                                                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                            I have to ammend my dinner. My baked beans are downgraded to stovetop beans. I put them in the cold oven and came back to check on them because i couldn't smell them cooking. Dead cold oven. Oh great! James has been playing with it for a while which means no fried chicken yet. My day is starting to suck. :-(

                                                                                                                                            1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                              Booo suzi. Tell him to quit fiddling with it and get on with the chicken! You can fix the oven tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                Better than fixing it. I am getting to go to HH Greggs and pick out a new one. Happy birthday to me . I ain't mad about that.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                  Woohoo, that's a good ending then :)

                                                                                                                                            2. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                              That sounds sooooooooooooo nice to be somewhere nice enough for an al fresco meal. Jealous! :)

                                                                                                                                              1. We keep cleaning out the coolerator.

                                                                                                                                                Supper will be the last two burger patties in the freezer. Land o' Lakes white American cheese on top. Delivery mechanism will be a gently toasted potato roll. There will be a small green salad on the side. Beer for me, wine for Deb. NCIS will be on the plasma.

                                                                                                                                                1. Well, the last of the bargain lobster was put to good use last night in a Lobster Pasta dish from my wonderful new cookbook Angela Harnett's Cucina. With its kick of chilis, it really was a nice way to kick off a cold, stormy week.

                                                                                                                                                  Tonight we're keeping it simple. Roast chicken breasts w a salad of baby kale, spinach, chard and grape tomatoes. I'm making basil garlic bread to serve alongside.

                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                    Will definitely have to give this a try come spring. We did have a bottle stored up from our wedding, but the husband used most of it trying to replicate his mothers lobster rolls.

                                                                                                                                                  2. Made a corned beef and cabbage stir-fry, served with shirataki noodles.

                                                                                                                                                    Tomorrow will be kimchi and beef bulgogi, served with rice.

                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: deet13

                                                                                                                                                      I'm free tomorrow night, do you have enough for 1 extra?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                        Sure, if you don't mind fighting a death-match with my son for an extra helping of the bulgogi.

                                                                                                                                                        That said, I'm sure he'd happily trade his kimchi for anything else on your plate.

                                                                                                                                                        I've caught the boy trying to sneak the kimchi out to the goats. And yes my goats, Red 1 through Red 6 (Red 7 and Red 8 are still on the teat), love them some kimchi...

                                                                                                                                                    2. A coworker picked up Peruvian chicken for lunch today and I haven't been able to get it out of my head so tonight is Peruvian chicken and my favorite Peruvian chicken noodle soup - can't get enough chicke, I always say. I love this stuff - I don't know what they put on it but it's finger-lickin' good.

                                                                                                                                                      1. Tonight, heading toward Tikka Masala tomorrow, I got a decent chicken, which is mostly reserved for that recipe test. I just took out a breast fillet, and a thigh (left everything else to be separated tomorrow into marinade pile, and stock stuff).

                                                                                                                                                        Then there is trying to clean out the "coolerater" as is said on here - need to get some dips and dabs out of the fridge; so that determined WFD; get out the Satay....

                                                                                                                                                        leftover peanut sauce, check
                                                                                                                                                        leftover satay marinade, check
                                                                                                                                                        tiny bit of dried banana?, check.

                                                                                                                                                        (making room for my foodie roomie's ingredients, etc!).

                                                                                                                                                        Mix of chix breast and thigh marinated in left over satay marinade on the grill in a few; coconut/cumin/banana rice with spinach leaves stirred in nearly done, and leftover peanut sauce gently warmed in the micro. That is the thing tonight - tomorrow, we head to India - or - England? for the Tikka Massala with the rest of the chicken.

                                                                                                                                                        So much going on with work and sorting out the kitchen, laundry room etc. this is the most I can muster. It's all good.

                                                                                                                                                        1. Tonight I cooked chicken leg quarters braised with mushrooms and artichoke hearts in saffron broth, redskin mashed potatoes, roasted butternut squash with ground coriander, mixed greens with LindaWhit's balsamic-maple vinaigrette, and whole strawberries with vanilla cream cheese-yogurt dip.

                                                                                                                                                          That's for a coworker.

                                                                                                                                                          It's 11pm and I haven't had dinner yet, but oddly enough, I'm not very hungry either. Lunches at 3pm will do that. I did have a glass of Bulgarian white, which is as good a way as any to kick off "dinner". Hmm...what to eat...

                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                            Dinner ended up being eggs over easy, a piece of fried bologna, and a little Crispix and milk. Maybe I should fast today. LOL.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                              LoL

                                                                                                                                                              I picked up some Lagansia(SP?) Philippine style sausage at the Vietnamese market on a whim - I had never tried this before.
                                                                                                                                                              Cooked it as instructed on the package, tasted before adding in peppers and onion for a quick stir fry - and into the trash it went - it was horrible, sickly sweet and not spicy at all.

                                                                                                                                                              So sliced up some all beef hotdogs and tossed into the skillet with the onions and peppers, added a touch of sesame oil, sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, and sriracha, and served over rice. Pretty tasty and my sons loved it.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: hannaone

                                                                                                                                                                Do you recall which brand you purchased? There are several regional varieties of longaniza, but what is generally available stateside is a highly seasoned chorizo seasoned with garlic, cane vinegar, paprika, sugar and spices. When they're cooked, the natural skins burst open, leaving the sausage to cook, crisp and caramelize in a heady sauce of sugar and pork juices. They are not the type to marry with peppers and onions, in fact caramelized onions and red peppers might make them taste treacly. They are usually served with sour accompaniments like pickled green papaya or tomato sauce, or something with fermented complexity like shrimp paste fried rice. They are really one of my favorite foods and when made with enough spice, they have a taste not dissimilar from a smokey Thai sai krok Isan, though most packaged Filipino food labelled "spicy" will not even register to someone accustomed to Korean food.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                    I have had sausage in the Philippines, both a sweet and a spicy variety, which were really good. I don't remember what they were called though.
                                                                                                                                                                    This package claimed it was "hot", and the listed ingredients were: Pork, sugar, garlic, cayenne pepper, and some kind of nitrite/nitrate. It also did not state the manufacturer, rather it was "made for XXX in the USA". When I looked at the nutrition information however, the serving size was listed as 3 egg rolls....

                                                                                                                                                                    I tasted before adding anything else so the flavor wasn't affected by the peppers/onions.
                                                                                                                                                                    Definitely not like any chorizo I have had. The sausages did plump and the casings split but there was very little juice. Rather they stayed firm and kind of dense.

                                                                                                                                                            2. Last night I liberated the last two large individually-wrapped slices of turkey meatloaf from the freezer, & we enjoyed them (defrosted & heated of course), along with buttered green peas & mashed potatoes.

                                                                                                                                                              1. So after a stressful afternoon that turned into a stressful evening at work, a canceled haircut that I desperately needed (have to look "coiffed" for my trip to Seattle next week!) we turned to an old favorite - "gross pizza." Frozen cheese pizza doctored with pepperoni, freen pepper, onion, sliced garlic and cheddar cheese. And a dirty martini on the side. Hangs head in shame. But it WAS good!

                                                                                                                                                                Tonight is kale and edamame over brown rice with a poached egg. Stepdaughter had her wisdom teeth out this morning, so will be baking and mashing some sweet potatoes for her.

                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: iowagirl

                                                                                                                                                                  Iowagirl,

                                                                                                                                                                  If your coming to SEA next week, let me know if you have time to meet up for a lunch, HH or dinner - it would be fun to meet you!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                    Hey, gingershelley, did you ever get off the ground with your soup truck? Would love to hear an update, along with a list of soups you would feature.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                      Boyzoma,

                                                                                                                                                                      Good memory! For now, soup truck is on back burner. I am currently re-inventing myself as a leader of - suprise! - foodie tours for visitors to the Seattle area.

                                                                                                                                                                      Everything from back-door sampling tours at the Pike place market, to oyster crawls, to a day on Vashon Island visiting a cheesemaker on his dairy farm, a charcuterie producer, and a farm-to-table resto for lunch.

                                                                                                                                                                      Getting all my vendors/producer/store contacts into place now, and tours to start in May. I will drop a little more info when I have it without being all creepy like listing a website (a NO GO here on CH, which I appreciate).

                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for asking!

                                                                                                                                                                      I could give you a soup list, but I probably should just make a 'dreaming of soup' thread' and do it there. If I have time in the next couple days, I will do it, and post a link to the thread here.

                                                                                                                                                                2. Last night was chicken breasts with dirty rice. It was good. It was a repeat for me only this time it was with chicken breasts since Mr. picky doesn't like pork chops. I think the pork chops were better with this but the chicken was quite tasty (I have leftovers!).

                                                                                                                                                                  Tonight will be beef tips with onions and mushrooms over egg noodles. It should be good. I didn't get the proper beef for tips, I swear I need a "meat translator" when I go buy beef. Could we not have 90 different ways to say things?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. Still sick, but I'm off to a hockey game tonight. SO tried to find someone else to go with him, but his own hockey league plays tonight (he's skipping his game) so none of his friends could come. I'll just stay bundled up and get myself a warm churro. It starts a bit later than normal so we're going to grab a bite at one of the bars near the arena before the game. I'm seeing some nice fried chicken tenders and fries in my future.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Last night, I made a suggestion by juliejulez, and it was wonderful!
                                                                                                                                                                      http://bevcooks.com/2013/03/shrimp-na...
                                                                                                                                                                      I grilled the shrimp and my pizza dough, and did the rest according to directions. Super yum, and it will definitely go into my rotation.
                                                                                                                                                                      Tonight, I'm going to try a Chow recipe, the stuffed chicken breasts. This thing keeps popping up here, so I've got to give it a try:
                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.chow.com/recipes/30678-chi...
                                                                                                                                                                      I'm not a mustard fan, so I'll probably just do a quick dip in egg.

                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                        That pizza look soooo good. Definitely putting it on the next menu rotation.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                          alliegator - those shrimp pizza's looked so good, and that pesto just sounded YUM; glad to here it IS.

                                                                                                                                                                          I am trying that out on some friends this weekend then, since you gave a testimonial :). Thanks for being the guinea pig for us.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                            You're quite welcome. It was a rough assignment, but I managed to get through it.
                                                                                                                                                                            A little change in my plans for dinner. Still not fully stocked in the kitchen yet, and I have no panko or anything that would be a good sub, so I'm just going to marinate the chicken in Italian dressing, butterfly the breasts, put a few slices of meat and cheese inside and roast.
                                                                                                                                                                            I hate being not fully stocked, especially when the mr. puts me on lockdown because of the long time between paychecks and not being reimbursed for moving yet :(

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Will be testing out another recipe from my SK cookbook tonight. Mini meatloaves with brown butter mash. Could change yet though, since my SO will have to go stock up on potatoes from his mums basement stash.

                                                                                                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Musie

                                                                                                                                                                            I guess I'm on a meatloaf kick, because I just liked both posts here about meatloaf dinners. Those browned butter mashed potatoes sound delicious. Anything special to 'em, other than the obvious?

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                              I am making meatloaf later this week as well; but a different style - chicken thighs and pork home ground, like I was making sausage or burger meat, but it's going to be stuffed with roasted red peppers (and other things I have yet to figure out).

                                                                                                                                                                              I am making potatoes roasted in salt with juniper butter to go with mine. A tasting table recipe that just grabbed my attention.
                                                                                                                                                                              http://souschefseries2012.com/detail/...

                                                                                                                                                                              You roast the potatoes with cloves stuck in them, buried in salt, and then serve with a juniper compound butter. Looking forward to meatloaf and potatoes!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                Ooh, fancy potatoes! I took a French cooking glass once where we tucked a single bay leaf into the center of each baby potato and roasted with butrer. I thought the intense herbal flavor might overwhelm, but they were quite good. Cloves sound interesting, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                  I think this recipe has a bay leaf as well as the cloves. If not, I am going to add one!

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                  Please share with me how you liked the potatoes. They sound like something I would like to try

                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                  Just the usual, but since I rarely have real butter in the house I thought I would give this a go, especially since it is the side dish that she makes in the book too.

                                                                                                                                                                                4. re: Musie

                                                                                                                                                                                  That sounds great!

                                                                                                                                                                                  Are those 'mum's potatoes' home grown?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                    They sure are. Each year they plant a few long drills of potatoes each year, plus they have access to a tractor with a picker to make life even easier when it comes to reaping them.

                                                                                                                                                                                5. Like JJ a few days ago I too woke with swollen/scratchy throat and runny nose. Ugh! Somewhere in my travels yesterday I picked up this nastiness. So tonight it will SPICY soup from our local Sichuan place. They call it "spicy dumplings in broth" but I call it heaven in a bowl. I will probably have some pan fried dumplings too and maybe some dan dan noodles.

                                                                                                                                                                                  tomorrow its back in the kitchen. We were away for the last 10 and I am itching to cook. Will probably make the family happy by first making CB and cabbage since we weren't home for the celebration then make a pot of soup and some good crusty bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                    Sorry to hear you were not feeling well, too :(
                                                                                                                                                                                    Spicy soup is always a good magic fix. In fact, I'm going to run to the Thai place for some tom yum goong for lunch, because my head is packed full from allergies. Spicy food=perky! Benadryl, not so much.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                      Dangit now I want some spicy soup. Red curry to be exact.... or your spicy soup w/ the dumplings sounds good too. Sorry you're not feeling great.... there must be something floating around out there in the atmosphere.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. It's 4pm and I have no idea what's for dinner. Help! This working thing is totally overrated.

                                                                                                                                                                                      35 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                        Ha! Sounds like you'll have to start meal planning. I would be up shit creek if I didn't meal plan... we'd end up eating sandwiches every night because I'm not good at all at coming up with stuff on the fly.

                                                                                                                                                                                        How about... tacos? Tacos have been on my mind, obviously, since I nominated it for DOTM.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                          You're right---it definitely takes more planning! I love planning meals, but I just don't have the kind of time I used to devote to it.

                                                                                                                                                                                          DH suggested fish and offered to pick some up, so that's probably WFD. I have parchment, grape tomatoes, lemons, and shallots if we decide to go the en papillote route. He likes to cook, so maybe I'll just let him run with whatever he feels like. Maybe ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                            juliejulez,

                                                                                                                                                                                            I nominated too, then read your TACO idea. I might just vote for that instead. Great idea.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                            Do what I am doing and get take out! Then do what JJ suggests and start working on a basic meal plan. Trust me I am back to work after a 2 year hiatus and if I didn't meal plan I would be broke (and fat!)

                                                                                                                                                                                            Meal planning doesn't have to rigid either. I find that if I just map out a general idea and keep a well stocked pantry than dinner can be done with little fuss.

                                                                                                                                                                                            ie: by planning out my proteins and veggies for the week on the weekends I can have some flexibility if my tastes change during the week. For example ground meat for tacos could easily turn into burgers, chicken breasts for stir fry could turn into crispy oven fried chicken, stuffed chicken breasts or fajitas instead.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                              Foodie; I am always curious about how people approach meal plan - do you pick out things you want to make then shop, or shop for sales/items that look fresh, etc. then plan meals around what was good/on sale at the store?

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                Not foodie, but I plan, then shop. I plan around what's in my pantry/freezer first, then check the store ads when they come out to see if I should change my plans. But usually the main ingredients are from my stockpile (it gets replenished when things are on their lowest sales price). I plan on Mondays for the following Saturday-Friday, so there's time to tweak the plan before I shop on Friday night or Saturday morning. Now that I have my system in place and have built up a pretty good stockpile, I rarely spend more than $75 a week at the store.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                  75 a week. Wow. I need to have you teach me your method. I spend way more. But I do have access to a scratch and dent store that saves me a ton in cash.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The biggest thing is learning what the store's sale cycles are. I have it down pretty good at this point so I don't needlessly spend money on stuff like, chicken, when it's not on sale. I buy enough to last the entire cycle when it's on sale, so I end up paying 1.99 for chicken breasts, instead of the normal 2.99+ price. I don't get to buy organic all too often, nor do I buy a lot of steak or fish. Lots of chicken and pork. I can swing organic produce some of the time though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    It all came out of necessity though. I'm working on paying off some mountains of debt I incurred a few years back when trying to get my own business off the ground, so while I would love to spend more and buy higher quality ingredients, all organic, lots more beef, etc., I know I won't always have to shop this way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                      agree! That alone has saved me a ton of money. While I may have to lay out more cash at one shopping by stocking up I am saving money when you look at my total budget.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      And even though I can (finally) spend more if I wanted to I can't justify spending more on things that I know I can get cheaper in a week or two…

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Argh, I wish I has the attention span to plan things out. I'm so indecisive and never know what I want until the day of (or a day ahead) that I just have never gotten into good grocery shopping habits. I need to read carefully and learn from you all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'll admit it, sometimes I don't really want to eat what I've planned when the day comes. That happened last night. I just changed it up on the fly... but my personal rule when I do that is, no extra trips to the store! If I'm going to make a different meal than what's on the plan, it has to be from something I already have on hand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hmmm, good idea. I'll go back out, and that's bad.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            In my defense, plans often change because the mr. will work late or be invited to dinner with co-workers or whatever, but I could (and will try to) do so much better.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Maybe if I froze my car keys in a block of ice like people do with credit cards :P

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh I've been there too! That's why I try to just have a frame work for weekday meals as opposed to specific recipes. That way I can mix it up as needed if the thought of xyz just doesn't cut it. A good pantry helps too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Another thing I forgot to mention is that I try to keep some good convenience foods in the freezer too. Things like TJs turkey burgers and speciality pizzas, frozen dumplings from the Asian grocery, Amy's burritos and some of my own lasagna, meatloaf, soups etc. Push comes to shove I can always nuke or reheat something quickly thats tasty too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I do the same. I usually pick a protein that I want and then figure out what to do with it but try to have a general idea. The weekends are reserved however for my cooking free for alls when I get to spend quality time in the grocery store and scope out ingredients and be creative and come up with ideas on the spot. It's the definite highlight of the weekend, but during the week with less time I try to have a definite plan for dinner and lunches as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm always very impressed by people who can meal plan and save money. If I don't plan and just buy what looks good at a good price I spend $40-50 a week and it lasts a week or more, if I plan I spend over $100 and need something before the end of the week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I used to have a hard time with it... I'd see a recipe that looked good and said "Oh I'll put it in the plan for next week!" but then when it came down to it, it turned out I needed to buy like 10 ingredients for it. I've gotten a lot better about figuring out a plan that includes ingredients that I mostly have. Plus, I moved into my SO's house last May and his pantry and spice cabinet were very bare... so I spent a lot of money getting those stocked up since I came with very little myself... I've only been at the $75/week or less for maybe the past month or two.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Good to know. So also in effect, you are actually shopping sales (the stockpile), and planning off of that as well as the weekly ads. That is the way to save - good job on $$ spent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                          That's a good question! I do a little of both. I find that I save more money if I cut coupons when possible, check the flyers in advance and *stick* to my list. If I "wing it" I end up spending more and ending up with a mish mash of stuff and nothing eat, LOL! So I do head to the store with a game plan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          But once in the store I do allow flexibility for both price/sales as well as seasonality. So while I may have planned on chicken breasts for one or two meals if I get there and the pork loins are on sale or there is a great deal on thighs or whole chickens I might change my mind. I also allow room in my budget for unadvertised sales and might decide to stock up on family packs of steaks, pork chops etc if the price is right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I will also change my plans if something looks amazing-first asparagus or fiddleheads of the season. Local Bay scallops, fresh caught swordfish, heirloom tomatoes, etc. When that happens I am known to throw out an entire meal and build dinners around what I have found.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          However in n the summer, when I get a farm share, I do tend to plan my meals around what I am getting each week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I also make sure that have certain things on hand at all times. Doing so means I can always make quick dinner no matter what. They are usually:

                                                                                                                                                                                                          assorted dried pasta
                                                                                                                                                                                                          assorted grains-couscous, quinoa, rice, etc
                                                                                                                                                                                                          canned tomatoes
                                                                                                                                                                                                          chicken broth
                                                                                                                                                                                                          assorted frozen veggies (including chopped onions and garlic)
                                                                                                                                                                                                          frozen chicken
                                                                                                                                                                                                          frozen chicken sausages
                                                                                                                                                                                                          home made frozen rolls (they bake up in no time!)
                                                                                                                                                                                                          eggs
                                                                                                                                                                                                          cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                          butter

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                            This is an excellent topic and I look forward to a number of disparate responses. Here's one approach:

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Deb likes to cook Saturdays and Sundays so basic meal planning begins early in the week. The season and local availability play a role in our back-and-forth. Braises, casseroles, soups, roasts are discussed against a background of what we can reprise during the week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            We try to leave at least one day open for seafood spontaneity since we have access to an outstanding fishmonger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pasta is very important so quality cheeses, peppers, canned tomatoes are always handy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Life is too short for crap hamburgers so we grind our own meat. We freeze leftover house blend and pull out the patties when we want them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Weekend brunch is very important so farm-fresh eggs, sparkling wines are always available.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            A fully stocked pantry goes without saying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            We never thought about this. Rather, it's simply the routine we've fallen into.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I agree that this topic is interesting. We have a somewhat similar approach to yours:

                                                                                                                                                                                                              During the weekend I batch cook - big pots of stew, soups, braises, batches of grilled protein, make stock, and bake whatever breakfast the man is going to take to work that week. I also wash and dry any fresh veggies and do a larger shopping trip to stock up on pantry basics: chocolate, chocolate chips, tinned fish and seafood, butter, heavy cream, eggs, juice, cheese, sausage, tea, coffee, milk, coconut milk, mineral-heavy red wines, Scotch, and champagne.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Batch cooking is really vital for me because we bring our breakfasts and lunches to work every day - one day it might be some of the soup I made on Sunday or a soup I had in the freezer. Another day it might be salad topped with whatever grilled protein I made for dinner on Saturday night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              During the week I'm a pretty basic cook, as you can tell from my posts - I grill, sauté, roast, or curry (yes, as a verb) a protein and serve a veggie along side it. I rarely start cooking before 7pm, so it's important to be able to get stuff on the table quickly!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                "Life is too short for crap hamburgers so we grind our own meat"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Love it! Our marriage vows should have included this phrase. We have a rule that every Friday after work we have drinks at our current local and cheeseburgers and caesar salad at home. This has worked for 35 years but lately the burgers have been crappy. Even the fresh 85 lean from WF has been plain old greasy. So what is your grinding method? I have a attachment for my KA stand mixer and have only used it for pimento cheese and hated the wormy texture. I'd be up for making our own burgers a new tradition!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Deb and I use a Waring Pro Professional Meat Grinder (don't let the name fool you). It's a versatile workhorse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Our current house grind is a mix of chuck, short rib and brisket in a 3:1:1 ratio. A medium disk (a shade larger than one-eighth of an inch?) seems to work best. We loosely form the the blend into 6-7 ounce patties and cook 'em in a cast iron skillet. The blend freezes well so we always make way more than we need.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You might want to start with chuck (20-percent fat) and use that as a baseline before you evolve your own house grind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There's no turning back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My husband grinds his own too, and what he does is to form them into patties, and freeze them on sheet pans. Then he stacks them separated by freezer paper squares and seals them in pack of 2 or four using the food saver. It's great to always be able to reach into the freezer and pull out some burgers -- particularly with teenaged boys hanging around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We form the patties, wrap them in plastic wrap, pop them in a freezer bag and then place 'em in the freezer. I think your husband's approach may be more efficient.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's great having access to quality burgers when the mood strikes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I grind my own too, and this is basically what I do as well, except the food saver part, I don't have one of those yet, but I try to get as much air out of the ziploc bag as possible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You'll never see ice crystals or frost forming around the meat if vacuumed sealed. I resisted for a long time in getting a Food Saver but use it almost daily. Another best part is that you toss a frozen pack of what ever in the sink of cold water, it doesn't float and it's thawed in under 30 min. As close to fresh as you will get.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh I know, I'm dying to get a food saver. My SO told me yesterday he's going to get me one soon from his hunting store (Cabela's) so hopefully "soon" means "next week" :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Not being a hunter, fisherwoman, or camper, I had NO idea that Cabela's would carry food savers. But it makes perfect sense!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh yes. They have all kinds of fun food processing things. They sent us a catalog of meat grinders, sausage stuff, canning supplies, food savers, etc etc etc and he handed it to me...and I was gleefully happy looking at all of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Your going to LOVE your food saver, for sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Good advice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Haven't bought pre-ground meat from the grocery store in years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          For burgers I agree one pass through a medium die keeps some texture and looseness in the meat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Berheenia, you will not be surprised to hear that the beef-pork mix from DePasquale's makes an outstanding burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That is a good plan you two have down Steve - it doesn't sound like 'sale' or $ have much to do with it for you two though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I was trying to figure out how I wanted to use up the rest of the lamb from Sunday. Thought about a lamb-potato-carrot hash with an egg on top. But that's only 1 meal. And doesn't help for work lunches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ahh....it's still cold - lamb-barley soup takes care of it (and adds to the soup in the freezer downstairs). I'll add some carrots, some of those baby potatoes (cut into quarters), some onion, red bell pepper, chicken stock, the leftover lamb all cut up, and about 3/4 cup of barley. Let that baby simmer for awhile until the barley's done. That and crusty rolls and it's dinner tonight and a couple of work lunches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This was SO simple, and SO good. And gives me about 4-5 more meals. Some for the freezer as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I went with a glass of white. The lighter meal called for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That is a nice sounding meal and work lunch. I love throw together that work so well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. This past weekend I put a side of salmon and a couple of boned out chickens on the smoker.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Monday I used some left over chicken for a mojo chicken with black beans and rice

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Used some salmon for a lunch salad Tuesday

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Last night I ground meat and make burgers served with mushroom gravy from a big container of crimini mushrooms from Costco and served it with a side of potato salad from Sunday night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. It is L'il Suzi's birthday today. I have some corned beef in the fridge that can be made into a lovely hash with some over medium eggs and toast but what I really want is to be surprised by the sweetie with a dinner out somewhere. Either way a cocktail of some sort will be involved. :-) And I know that one of my present is a new stove because my oven blew. I am looking forward to picking it out. Nothing fancy, just something reliable and, of course, pretty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          20 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Happy Birthday! I hope you get to go out and have a cocktail or three :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Happy birthday!! And please fill us in on the stove when it's all picked out :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thank you. I am looking at a whirlpool so far with a heat or steam clean option and a groovy "keep warm" burner that can safely melt cheese and chocolate. The one I have is an old school ring burner style.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Happy Birthday! Wow, new stove...that's a great birthday present. I look forward to all the dinners you'll be whipping up to 'test it out.'

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks. It wasn't a planned present but I'll take it. I am going to enjoy tinkering with it. I'll have to plan its maiden voyage carefully.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh, good point I didn't even consider that...a unique de-virginizing meal to christen the new baby.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  <what I really want is to be surprised by the sweetie with a dinner out somewhere.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bat your eyes at him and say, "So where are you taking me tonight?" whilst smiling your hardest. Works every time. Helps to have at least one suggestion at the ready though :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bat your eyes and work that smile... how do you think I got him? Lol

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Happy Birthday!! Three cocktails definitely...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A very happy birthday to L'il Suzi! Enjoy trying out the new present. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I was going to go low tech but my sweetie has his heart set on something more. That is fine with me. I was trying to save money since I am not kicking in. I have simple tastes but he wants a convection oven and a five burner top. Ummm... okay. That's cool. Far be it from me to pish posh the upgrade. Yes please. A man that knows I love to cook and wants to indulge me. How fortuitous that my oven took a dive the day before my birthday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            wow, what a guy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            hmmm... and he's not the least bit suspicious? even better! : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Corned beef hash tonight, just diced onion, a little diced red bell, diced potatoes and CB and lots of pepper. Maybe eggs over easy for a hat. Side of leftover cabbage and carrots. Did my DOTM Tikka Masala a couple of days ago. It was excellent. Basically used J Kenji-Lopez Alt's recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ItalianNana

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Good to know -- we've been thinking of trying his recipe. Tne hash sounds great, too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ItalianNana

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "Eggs over easy for a hat"......smiling:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Late night tonight with a lot of work to do once I finally get out of this office and to the comfort of home so tonight will be a quick throw it together meal - baked salmon with sauteed cabbage. In the middle of the day, I had to run a quick errand which involved a stop at the local as station/convenience store which has my favorite fried chicken (yes, it's hard to convince anyone around here, but the fried chicken at a gas station is the best in the city - I usually will shell out for a chicken box for the non-believers to convert them) and I am tempted to just go there for a classic Baltimore chicken box with Western Fries but the greasy fingers probably won't be too conducive to working.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think gas stations all over the country are turning out some good food. I know the best tri-tip sandwich in my hometown of Visalia CA can be found at a gas station, and they only serve them 2 days a week. They run out by 1pm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    <the fried chicken at a gas station is the best in the city >

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I believe you! The top-rated sandwich in DC used to be served out of a gas station restaurant, and I think the most-lauded tacos in the area are still served at a gas station near Elkridge somewhere. Where's the chicken place, please? I make it to Baltimore as often as I can :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's the chicken at Royal Farms which are either gas station/convenience stores or just convenience stores. If you're into steak fries, western fries are a bit of a variation though infinitely better IMO which are lightly battered and fried in the same oil as the chicken. I think they pressure cook the chicken and it's moist and delicious and whenever I've gone at anytime of day it's fresh. I was formerly a Popeye's only girl but now I alternate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We used to have an excellent burrito place in a gas station in Boston, so I would try out your fried chicken any day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Tonight I made "Tandori" chicken. I scored the chicken thighs, then marinated them in a combo of lemon, yogurt and spices for a few hours. I baked them at 475 with the convection on, and they were really quite tasty. With that was some basmati rice, and some broccoli and onions tossed with lemon, garlic and olive oil, and roasted in that same blazing hot oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You made one of my favorite side dishes....broccoli with lemon/garlic/olive oil. We roast our broccoli with olive oil, then halfway through toss in some crushed garlic and finish off with a little lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice. Delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Last of the corned beef and some peas, pulled from the freezer, were steamed. A few romaine hearts, still beating, on the side for crunch. Dutch beer to wash it all down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We keep clearing out the coolerator.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I am continuing the fridge & pantry purge in order to make room for construction. Here is my poorly lit picture of dinner:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Grilled grassfed steaks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Spinach sauteed in bacon fat with shallots and garlic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Rice pasta with arugula-sesame pesto for the man

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I live where it snowed on Tuesday, but we have a lovely deck that we built last summer, so it's pretty easy to open the french doors, take off the cover, and do some grillin' even when it's cold outside.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: gini

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Wow the fridge clean out seems to make for good eats. I am eye-ing that sauteed spinach - any way to use my bacon grease is good in my book and I've just started to use shallots much more frequently than I used to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I may or may not sauté, brown, and cook almost everything in bacon fat - my fried eggs in the morning, meats for stews, and veggies. Delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Tonight I tried a new recipe from good old Marcella Hazan - "Fish in Crazy Water". I should have known it would be all hype & more aggravation than it needed to be.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/fi...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Good friggin grief.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            For starters - the 4-cups of water + 45 minutes of simmering is absolutely WORTHLESS. If you want to make this, just simmer the sauce ingredients (minus those stupid 4 cups of water) down for a few minutes until thickened a bit, then add your fish filets & cook them in the sauce until cooked through. That's all this recipe needs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Good grief Marcella - getting so desperate to sell cookbooks you have to make something so simple so not-so-simple? Those 4 cups of water + that 45-minute simmer-down was absolutely worthless in every way, shape, & form.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And Food & Wine has a "stamp" at the top of that recipe saying "Perfected in our Test Kitchen."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Forty five minutes of moderate simmering and THEN boiling to reduce by half? That would take ... what, maybe another half hour? Seems a bit overwrought for cooking fish for all of 4 minutes. :-/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                EXACTLY!! It was absolutely ridiculous, & don't believe for a nanosecond that adding 4 cups of water to the initial sauce ingredients & "boiling/simmering" them for 45 minutes in a covered saucepan added ANYTHING to the result.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I foolishly followed the recipe, thinking there must be some secret reason for all the water & simmering. Alas, NOT.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                While the resulting dish was delicious in its own right, that had NOTHING to do with the idiotic 4 cups of water & long simmering. I could have produced the exact same result simply by simmering the initial sauce ingredients to my desired thickness, & then poaching the fish in the sauce until done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Served the resulting fish (I used Cod, which worked perfectly) with buttered Rotini pasta & nice green salads with lots of "stuff" - lol - on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Bacardi1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i thought at first it might have been an April Fool's joke, as isn't that from April's issue? But looking at the link, it appears she is serious! then i googled and saw this:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "Here I will quote Marcella verbatim as she introduces the recipe because it makes my mouth water like “crazy” every time I read this:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  “Water is what brings together all the seasoning ingredients, the tomatoes, garlic, chili pepper, salt, and olive oil. They simmer in it for a full 45 minutes, exchanging and compounding their flavors, producing a substance that is denser than a broth, looser, more vivacious, and fresher in taste than any sauce, in which you then cook the fish.”"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/fi...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I thought it had to be an April Fool's joke too with a name like that. I don't think I'll be trying it soon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wouldn't the water just be, uh, driving all the ingredients apart into just a - wait for it - watery way?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Weird....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Tonight was everything soup: chicken breast and chicken andouille sausage were browned. 1/2 a yellow onion, then cubed carrots and zucchini sauteed in the drippings. Added 4 cups chicken broth and some white kidney beans, along with a parmesan rind. Then went in some white pepper, two bay leaves, and I think a little dried thyme. Left it to simmer for about 3 hours, served with ciabatta. Pretty good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I ran to the store for heavy cream (for morning coffee,) and they were marking down things on the cheese island to stupid low prices. I came home with 5 cabernet salamis with juniper berries in it (yum!) 2 wedges of gouda, 2 containers of fresh mozzarella, 2 Boursin, and the heavy cream for about $15 (the salami alone is usually $9 each so how could I refuse?) I stood at the cutting board and ate slices of salami and cheese and now I'm not hungry so I guess that was dinner! Delish!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      As you know, some of the best dinners are eaten over the sink or cutting board. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've been thinking about it since I got home... I might go back and see what I may have missed last night! HA!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Last night the bloke ate yet again on a flight home. I was feeling lazy so it was grilled cheese on bread with worcestershire sauce and chilli flakes on top with a cup of tea to accompany. Total comfort food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        On arrival he was miserable with dental issues so today was an emergency trip to the dentist and tonight was soft food. I used the last of the baby zucchini with flowers and made tempura. I also made agedashi tofu - deep-fried soft tofu in a dashi, soy and mirin sauce. For dessert we had gorgonzola dolce with some port. A strange end to a Japanese meal but a wonderful pairing I picked up off a Steve H. post, many thanks Steve H. It's a heavenly combination that I would never have thought of. I also think the port is giving the painkillers the bloke is on a gentle, helping hand. Hopefully tomorrow we can venture into food that can be chewed, otherwise it;s a soup of some description.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          all sounds good. poor bloke! my BF has been dealing with the same, off and on. gorgonzola and port are an awesome combo, and it's been too long since i had any port in the house (been too consumed with sherry.) time to remedy that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Using up the leftover mash tonight to make cod fish cakes, I'll decide at the time of making how I want to season them, I'm thinking I might roast a pepper and dice it up to add to the mix with some fresh chives in there too. Will serve them with bacon wrapped baked asparagus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Musie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I usually make mine with tinned salmon. Not a tinned tuna fan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Tonight.........Bambi burgers, onion marmalade.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              For afters, Sparkenhoe Red Leicester cheese. And another that was only described in the farm shop as "our cheese" - made from the milk of their own cows, in the style of a Lancashire cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We were away last night at a hotel a couple of hours north of home. I reckon it may be the best foody area in the UK - good pub food, decent food in the hotels, a care for local produce (even in the small regional supermarket chain). Have come back with a car laden with food that will be making appearances over the coming weeks - sausages and some of my favourite Herdwick sheep breed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I have been craving roasted chicken (SO thinks it's odd to crave such a simple food but I just let him think crazy thoughts) and am really interested in the Zuni kitchen recipe. I pondered doing it tonight, but it seems that 24-48 hours in the refrigerator is key to this recipe so I think it'll be Saturday or Sunday. I'm sure some here have tried it, any thoughts?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So, instead tonight we will have bison patty melts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The time is key- don't rush it, it's so worth the effort and wait you may never roast a whole chicken any other way again. Seriously. If you search "zuni chicken" you'll find a million mentions of it and with the same sentiment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yup, it was my Google search which encouraged me to definitely try it ASAP.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A well roasted chicken is manna from heaven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Eyes lit up when I saw bison patty melts...we do not eat beef but love bison meat (especially a homemade juicy bison burger - YUM!). It is hard to come by here where we live as we are slightly out of feasible driving distance to get to the nearest Whole Foods. Where did you get the bison from? We also adore bison ribeyes - in our opinion bison is even tastier than beef when prepared properly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We get it either from Wegmans or Whole Foods although I'm thinking about online ordering in bulk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Grilled eye round steak and some kind of shrimp here tonight for a ghetto surf and turf. I also have some fresh broccoli and a couple of baking potatoes to round things out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Today, I am making split pea soup. Picked up a ham bone from our local Honeybaked Ham store (love that they sell the bones - and it has a ton of meat still on the bone). DH is happy since it is his favorite soup. DH will probably have a sandwich with his and we will both have a small salad.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I had no idea Honeybaked Ham sold ham bones...now THAT is a fantastic tip. There are so many uses for ham bones in recipes not to mention the extra ham leftover to eat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Still feeling sorta blah, but I think the cold is working it's way out of my system. My BFF came down to the city today (she lives in the mountains and works from home, so she comes down here and works out of my office sometimes because she gets lonely and my boss doesn't care) and we have a lunch date to go get giant cheeseburgers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tonight I'm making boneless skinless chicken thighs with a spice and honey rub. It's a slightly modified Cooking Light recipe that I've made before... super easy and very delicious. Plus I want something spicy so I'll up the cayenne that's called for. Sides will be oven fries and the spicy green beans I didn't make the other night.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cheeseburgers and BFF sounds like a great cure for the common cold!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That spice and honey rub sounds great - probably not something I could sell hubby on, but definitely something I would love. And he IS going to be gone for 11 days in April ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: iowagirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              They're really not too spicy at all... most of the spices are pretty mild... chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin. The only heat is the cayenne but you could leave that out. It's just a nice savory flavor without it. It also makes for good sandwiches the next day, I know I'm going to cook up 8 thighs so we have leftovers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yeah,. for hubby it wouldn't be the spice that would turn him off (he loves spicy) but the honey. He has this thing about honey, lemon, or maple syrup in cooking. If I don't tell him it's there, he tends to be ok, but if he sees it - instant dislike. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: iowagirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It doesn't really have a pronounced honey or sweet flavor, but I totally get not wanting to try it out... my SO has some weird pickiness too that drives me nuts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                sounds like just what the doctor ordered! Have fun and feel better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What a great way to make the day pass. How many of us here can say our boss would let us have company all day? I am betting the number would be very low. Hope you have a great day together

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Another evening class for my man, so I'll be picking him up and drive directly to our favorite sushi/cocktail place in town for some late-ish dinner -- we generally share the "sashimi for one" which consists of 18 pieces of fish (!!! who could eat that on their own?) plus some stir-fried veggie. It's the eve of his birfday, so I don't foresee any craziness today. A couple of cocktails will likely be the extent of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Now tomorrow.... that's a different story :-)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    whatchoo got planned for the birfday boy?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      He requested another poker/party eve, similar to last weekend's festivities. Which were quite.... festive (it helped that he won big). So we'll have the usual suspects over -- delivery food, cocktails, poker, party favors :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I foresee a weekend of recovery.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Happy early birfday to him. Lucky dog to get a Friday birthday

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. This morning before leaving for work, I prepped Paul Prudhomme's cajun meatloaf made with ground turkey. I've made it with the traditional beef and pork before and we loved it. Hope the substitution doesn't diminish the result. The meatloaf will likely be served with mased or roasted cauliflower and asparagus. or the cauliflower may be subbed out for cubed roasted sweet potato dusted with five spice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Also baked some dijon corn flaked crusted chicken tenders for the little one, as the Prudhomme meatloaf is likely too spicy for her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      a productive morning that will make the evening rush a bit less frenetic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Tonight I'm on my own for dinner, so I'm going to head out to a not so swanky, but apparently outstanding place. People will not stop yakking about this joint: here on CH, neighbors, some dude at the grocery store... China Magic Noodle House.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.yelp.com/biz/china-magic-n...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Let us know how it is. SO is in that area frequently for work and he loves good chinese food. I like that their categories are "chinese, donuts" heh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That was honestly the best Chinese meal I have ever had! I know I'll be going be there very much on the regular. I got spicy beef fried noodles in XO sauce and an order of steamed dumplings---every bite was from Chinese heaven :D If SO makes it to Phoenix anytime soon, it would be well worth his time to hit this place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Ham, mashed potatoes, corn & carrots. Made a glaze for the ham, but it was super sweet, so I kept it on the side. The boys are nutty about ham, and it's one of the few times they'll eat leftovers. Feeling kind of cruddy, it's an easy meal night.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Apple juice (though I subbed natural apple sauce) brown sugar, maple syrup and a little cinnamon/allspice. Looking now at the ingredients I am not surprised it was overly sweet (and this is coming from someone who hoovers down candy corn) it could have used some mustard powder, but husband hates mustard, and I didn't feel like arguing. I was trying to make a glaze from stuff I already had, and that's what happened. Boys liked it though, so it wasn't a total loss. Next time it's back to an orangey honey style

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sunangelmb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                hah - yeah, that is a lot of sweet! thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Haven't done much cooking the last few days. I have had toad in the hole and bolognese (the quick, 30-minute kind - delicious) made for me. Tonight I finally managed to finish the celeriac soup I was getting fed up with. It's from Michael Ruhlman and is made with a roux at the start and the celeriac is cooked in milk, rather than stock. The result was a thick and floury, rather bland soup. I didn't use the cream specified, partly because I didn't have any and partly because I really felt it didn't need the richness. I ended up having to add homemade chicken stock to thin it out - once cooled it was smooth and spoonable, definitely no soup - and it was still really thick and gloopy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm more fed up with it today than I was a few days ago when I first tasted it. It really didn't do the celeriac justice. It's a shame as one of my favourite leek and potato soup is made by cooking the veg in milk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I'm solo tonight, and a treated myself to a delicious bowl of penne marinara with Romano cheese and a chiffonade of fresh basil. It was super delicious, but so filling that I'm saving my salad for later.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I took the easy way out for dinner tonight - cream cheese scrambled eggs and toast. I "fancied up" the eggs with a sprinkle of chopped chives. :-)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thank you for introducing me to these. They have been at my breakfast table alot. So creamy and soft. I love them

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. So, my bday dinner was a nice quiet little restaurant with a vodka gimlet while we decided on our meals. Rotisserie chicken potatoes in the bottom roasted in the drippings, and grilled asparagus. Sweets had the porterhouse, baked tater loaded with all the good stuff and broccoli. He had beer, I had a pino grigio. I can only eat small meals with my tummy but I managed to put away quite a bit. I will have the rest for lunch tomorrow.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The rest of the corned beef went missing this morning(burp). I don't know where it went... a mystery.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tonight is a dinner all thanks to littleflower. I am having smothered pork chops and mashed potatoes with smothered green beans. I started off frying the bacon for the green beans and saved the fat to sear the floured chops. Pulled the chops and fried half a diced onion in the same pan. Salt, pepper, poultry seasoning and a smidge more flour went in. Chops went back in and chicken broth to cover and simmer. Green beans got a trim and a snap and into a pot with the bacon, diced and a minced shallot and chicken stock to cover and cook away. Mashed potatoes to go with. Man do I feel all warm and fuzzy. Thanks littleflower for the inspiration.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i love when the potatoes bake in the chicken drippings! nice bday, glad you enjoyed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So happy to hear that you liked the idea of the smothered pork chops...and I LOVE the fact that you saved the bacon fat to sear off the chops! That is a great tip!! Happy Birthday and glad you enjoyed your birthday dinner out as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I am a southern girl. Love me some smothered chops. The bacon gave a nice background flavor. I would do the searing in bacon fat again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Being the end of the week, the choices in the freezer were less plentiful but I managed to turn a roll of breakfast sausage and a pound of ground chicken into some really taste meatballs with the help of some onions, fennel seed, garlic, and herbs. I made a simple but well seasoned red sauce to go with. I polished off the last of the fresh spinach so I guess the man will have green beans, which he loves blistered with a lot of garlic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Not a terribly interesting dinner but it was tasty, filling and the macros where damn near perfect when I logged my food tonight. I get to buy smaller jeans again this weekend so I'm a happy, motivated gal.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nice job, Weezie - are you doing WW points?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              No, I don't WW. I do a low carb/ ketogenic thing. I do read the WW thread, though, there are some tasty suggestions on it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. It's one of those hot, steamy days that is forecast to end in thunderstorms here. The bloke has asked for soup and we have some Jerusalem artichoke in the pantry to use so that's what's for dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm hoping the thunderstorm will reduce the temperature enough to make eating the soup enjoyable because I'm sweltering right now and a cream based soup is the last thing I feel like.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              How about some chilled soup instead?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I was in luck, the bloke ended up staying out with work folk so I dined on crackers, gorgonzola dolce and port. Dinner of champions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. dinner tonight was the last Trader Joe's flatbread - the mushroom/truffle oil one, which was much better than the plain mushroom one. you could taste the truffle oil, which i love. but the crust isn't as nice as the one on the Tarte d'Alsace - it's thicker. alongside, the BF served up an Italian sausage, roasted red peppers, Kalamata olives, and a pesto (mine, frozen from last summer) vinaigrette. also a giant green salad with shallots, chopped hard boiled eggs, and his blue cheese dressing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
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