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What's For Dinner #220- The Memorial Day Edition (5/25/13 - 5/29/13)

  • roxlet May 26, 2013 04:41 AM
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With the official start of the summer season upon us, it's time to think about outdoor cooking and dining. However, if you live in the northeast, you might be more inclined to think of stews and soups -- it's been that cold here!

So, burgers and dogs? Chicken and fish? What food -- and libations -- do you have planned for the holiday weekend, and the summer days beyond?

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  1. It'll be a roasted pork tenderloin tonight for dinner, since I've done no cooking so far this long holiday weekend - except reheating.

    I'm leaning towards a key lime & black pepper pork tenderloin. I've got a blend from Spice Hunter that I augment with additional lime zest and a squoze of fresh lime juice. Rub it all over the tenderloin, pan-sear it and then finish it in the oven. Roasted potatoes and onions in the convection oven, and either steamed broccoli or asparagus - depends on what I find at the market today.

    ETA: OK, just discovered I have none of the Spice Hunter blend. Quick-change artist that I am, I found a Maple-Pepper with Garlic blend by Highland Foods that'll work. Perhaps I'll even add some lime zest to it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: LindaWhit

      Your tenderloin sounds terrific linda and I love the idea of adding some lime zest to your seasoning. Looking forward to hear what veggie your trip to the market yields. I can't seem to get enough of this season's asparagus. It's just so much sweeter than the imports we get through the year.

      1. re: Breadcrumbs

        I ended up mixing about a Tbsp. of the maple-pepper-salt blend with some additional minced garlic (about a tsp.), the zest of a whole lime, and about 1 Tbsp. or so of olive oil. That was rubbed all over the pork tenderloin and it's sitting in the fridge. I have 1 Tbsp. of fresh lime juice that I'll probably drizzle over the pork while it's roasting.

        As for the green veggies - I picked up broccoli, green beans, and asparagus. I'm leaning towards the asparagus.

    2. Though not Memorial Day here in Canada my meal tonight is inspired by our friends south of the border...in this case, a Chicago/Italian dish and family favourite called Chicken Vesuvio. mr bc has committed to breaking down the chicken and then I'm good to go. Oh, and as usual he'll be picking the wine to go alongside.

      Last night there was a bit of a chill in the air but not enough to impede our plans to grill. To start mr bc grilled bread for our crostini and after I gave them a quick rub w garlic onto the table they went to be enjoyed with a lovely Bufala mozzarella I'd picked up at the Italian market. I topped the cheese w a drizzle of Balsamic reduction, evoo and a sprinkling of baby basil leaves. Next up was grilled chicken which I'd' glazed with some reduced Balsamic and dusted w Italian herbs prior to grilling. We served this with a simple salad of baby greens and a potato salad.

       
       
      9 Replies
      1. re: Breadcrumbs

        Lovely plating, Bc!

        1. re: Breadcrumbs

          Wow, that mozza looks beautiful! Reminds me of the one sitting in our fridge.... ready to be drizzled and inhaled :-)

          1. re: Breadcrumbs

            Breadcrumbs, that mozzarella dish belongs in some museum of culinary art. Gorgeous.

            1. re: Breadcrumbs

              LOVE both these pics. that potato salad looks delicious, can you expound?

              1. re: mariacarmen

                Thanks everyone! mc this is my absolute favourite potato salad recipe. It comes from a wonderful cookbook called "Red White and Greens - The Italian Way With Vegetables" by Faith Willinger. It's called Insalta Pantesca. Essentially it's a potato, tomato and olive salad with capers and a wine vinaigrette dressing. I find it's best with grape or cherry tomatoes and the tiniest new potatoes you can find.

                I Googled it and hit the jackpot as someone has posted it online. Here's a link in case it's of interest:

                http://www.indiadivine.org/audarya/ve...

                I usually sneak some garlic into the dressing and toss in some basil if I have it in the garden or on hand.

                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                  You must stop posting pictures. I have taken to licking my screen when you do. Lol

                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                    That potato salad sounds delicious.

                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                      thanks, BC! i have all these things!
                      my fave up until now has been boiled potatoes, drizzle with lots of extra virgin olive oil while still hot, salt, and mix in a shallot or two minced fine, and chopped fresh thyme. always a favorite at picnics.

                      i can't wait to try this one.

                  2. re: Breadcrumbs

                    You definitely have a knack for plating, BC...incredible food photography there! The food jumps out of the pictures!!!

                  3. My big grilled steak dinner on Friday happened - we just stepped between the rain drops in Boston to grill up some rib eyes. Smothered zucchini and squash with basil to go alongside.

                    The salmon salad and peanut noodle salad came out well - we took them on island for lunch yesterday.

                    Last night was cold and rainy on the Vineyard, so I steamed mussels in a coconut milk, red thai curry, jalepeno broth - absolutely fabulous. I plan to deshell the mussels and eat it as a soup for lunch! Fiddleheads in lemon-butter alongside. A nice Decoy pinot noir to go with. Here's to a good season!

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: gini

                      gini your dinner last night sounds amazing. I love fiddleheads and can imagine them being lovely with your mussels.

                      1. re: gini

                        Your weekend eats sound incredible...steak and salmon and peanut noodle salad. Do you have a recipe for the peanut noodle salad

                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                          here you go! http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                          1. re: gini

                            thanks.

                      2. Well my busy day yesterday was certainly busy. Dinner was AH MAZE ING. The charcuterie options were a bit different than what was on the menu, so I went with a housemade soft sausage that they called "The Forest Moon of Endor", which for Star Wars geeks like me, was amusing. Not sure why it was called that but the waiter did say no Ewoks were harmed in the making of it. Also had the prosciutto, and then, a Shropshire Blue cheese, which I am now in love with and will be seeking out. The board also included grainy mustard, some kind of pickled squash stuff that I didn't really like, and a rhubarb chutney, which was good, I had never had rhubarb before. Not sure if I'll seek it out but now I know if it's presented to me I'll like it well enough. I had the lamb as a main, another new thing for me. It was so so delicious, I don't understand why people don't like lamb after having that. One skewer was a ground lamb, the other was just chunks. The gnudi was great too. SO had the salmon and he really enjoyed that. Dessert was a meyer lemon bread pudding with pink peppercorn ice cream. The ice cream was... different. Not a fan. But I ate around it, the bread pudding part was great. I really miss eating at places like this, so doing this was a great treat. I told SO I don't need presents, just food.

                        Also I got a new car, weee! Perfect timing too because today we are heading up to the mountains to BFFs house for a BBQ this afternoon. I'm making an orzo salad per host's request with a lemon dressing, grape tomatoes, finely diced shallots, and asparagus. Her husband is doing BBQ chicken, and apparently she has made cupcakes for my birthday. I already had cupcakes from my boss but I guess I'll *force* myself to eat another one ;)

                        Not really sure about dinner tonight... the BBQ is mid-afternoon so we may not be real hungry, may just do some simple sandwiches or grill up our own burgers on my new grill pan, conveniently given to me on Thursday by the SO. The propane on the grill ran out the same day.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: juliejulez

                          Enjoy the new car and new grill pan, julie!

                          1. re: juliejulez

                            Congratulations on the new car! I love love new cars, it's so fun when there still so fresh, clean and new it's like a hotel room. You can never have enough cupcakes right? Enjoy, long live the birthday "excuse" to eat whatever :)

                            1. re: juliejulez

                              What a great birthday week. I need to start this practice my ext birthday. Your dinner sounded amazing. I have to agree with the pink peppercorn ice cream. That doesn't sound good to me. I have had it in a syrup that was great on chicken and waffles. What kind of car did you get? Have fun at the BFF 's house and eat well.

                              1. re: suzigirl

                                I got a used low mile 2013 Ford Edge SUV. I needed to get AWD before next winter but decided I wanted to have it now so we could use this summer for camping etc. SO has a big truck but it only geta 10mpg so its not good for road trips. So far I'm impressed, I picked up 4 people at the airport and fit all of them plus all their luggage comfortably. Quite the change from an Accord coupe :)

                                1. re: juliejulez

                                  I am glad you got your suv. Sounds like the trade up is working for you. I have had two Accords. I loved both of them very much

                              2. re: juliejulez

                                glad you're enjoying! yeah, lamb is gooooood....

                                i have to say, that ice cream sounds good to me...i really like unconventional flavors in desserts, if they're done right, maybe because i'm not much of a sweets person.

                                congrats on the car!

                                1. re: juliejulez

                                  Your birthday dinner sounds delicious...yay for lamb and also the charcuterie! Congrats on the new car and can't wait to hear how you like using the new grill pan!! Happy Birthday weekend!

                                  1. re: juliejulez

                                    Congrats on the car--sounds like your birthday week went great!

                                  2. Pork tenderloin, green beans, and some form of potatoes here tonight. I have more potatoes than I know what to do with.

                                    Going to try Thomas Keller's Pork Brine from AHAH but I'm thinking about grilling the tenderloin instead of roasting it. We shall see. Green beans might wind up with red onion and salsa dressing from Mexican Everyday. Potatoes might be the Potato Pave from AHAH or Mashed Potatoes Chantilly from Alex Guarnaschelli's Old School Comfort Food. It is going to be a total cookbook mashup!

                                    1. It's too cold for the season here in Happy Valley (pool opening weekend be damned!), but at least it's sunny.

                                      We chose tomorrow as our 'cue day, and this is what's on the menu: my man's legendary lamb sheesh kebabs, dolmades (which we'll be rolling up in just a few -- serial PITA to make, but oh so worth it), and badridzhani nigvsit = fried eggplant with walnut sauce.... a recipe I've been oggling for weeks now, and tomorrow seems as good as any day to finally make it. If I read the recipe correctly, the dish is served at room temp, so I might do the frying earlier in the day.

                                      Dunno what our guests will bring, but it's usually quite delicious.

                                      Tonight will be something .... easy, mild, mellow. A take-out pizza at Friday's poker game has been, umm, affecting us into this AM, so we're not taking any chances :-)

                                      Maybe some raw fish and miso soup will do the trick.

                                      31 Replies
                                      1. re: linguafood

                                        Sounds great and I would love to hear more about that fried eggplant with walnut sauce.

                                        And I will speak in a very hushed manner... just a whisper...

                                        you do know (according to another thread) that kebabs are like, um, totally, um, like over-rated doncha like know?

                                        Eh. I love them and I am sure the ones your gentleman makes will be excellent.

                                        1. re: Fowler

                                          Yes, I believe I posted on that thread, particularly about my man's fantabulous kebabs. Must be my contrarian nature :-D

                                          The eggplant recipe can be found here:

                                          http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...

                                          I really look forward to this (oy, big expectations! never a good thing!!), as I love eggplant and walnuts, and the sauce just sounds right down my alley.... I'll report back how it turned out.

                                        2. re: linguafood

                                          "It's too cold for the season here in Happy Valley (pool opening weekend be damned!), but at least it's sunny."
                                          ~~~~~~~~

                                          At least you're not in the Adirondacks near Whiteface Mountain. They got almost 3 feet (yes, I said FEET!) of snow yesterday and overnight!

                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                            Shudder

                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                              Whoa! Europeans are freezing their collective butts off, too. My mom just put on the heat again, as temps are dipping below zero (that's celsius, of course). Crazy weather.

                                              But it's supposta get *really* warm by the end of the coming week. Something to look forward to :-)

                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                I just lit a fire in the fire place. Brrrr! Supposed to in the 90's next weekend. Crazy!!

                                                1. re: foodieX2

                                                  Wow, fire in May! It's pretty chilly here as well but at least still warm enough to need the air when the house gets stuffy.

                                                2. re: linguafood

                                                  It's been very warm here in CO, close to 90 yesterday so hopefully it will make its way over to y'all soon :)

                                              2. re: linguafood

                                                Lamb kababs are WFD for tonight for me as well...and I love love LOVE the sound of the fried eggplant with walnut sauce!!! Yummy!

                                                1. re: littleflower

                                                  I'm curious as to how it'll turn out. I made the sauce already and found it surprisingly dry. I also added 2 cloves of garlic instead of one because duh. One clove? Please.

                                                  To make it saucier, I added a bit of walnut oil. Maybe the flavors need to mingle overnight (doesn't say so in the recipe), but so far, I'm not blown away.

                                                  Perhaps in combo with the fried eggplant -- which will be on the greasy side regardless of how much one dries it off -- it'll be perfect. Ya just nevah know :-)

                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                    it kinda sounds like the word "sauce" may be overstating it a bit... more like a "garnish". but the flavors sound good...

                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                      It's kinda pesto-ish in its consistency. I tried a little later, and the flavors had mingled more. I think this might be a surprise winner, but we won't know until we slathered it on the fried eggplant.

                                                      Mmmmmmmfried eggplant :-)

                                                    2. re: linguafood

                                                      Yeah...do let us know how it turns out, sounds like it could be a surprise winner combination to me.

                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                        linguafood, I had an amazing Georgian walnut/eggplant spread at a friend's party in early April. This is the basic idea: http://jeanetteshealthyliving.com/201... I'm also going to ask my friend for the recipe she makes, next time I see her.

                                                        Bet that would also be tasty on fried eggplant...

                                                        1. re: prima

                                                          So the eggplant dish was a success!! Well, besides the fact that I over-fried a few slices, making it harder to fold them up. Had to eat those crispy mofos -- poor poor me :-)

                                                          I might try grilling the eggplant next time around, or shallow-frying them instead of deep.

                                                          It ended up being such a small portion that I designated it as an app. 2 pieces each, basically.

                                                          The kebabs were fab, as usual. My man never fails at those. The dolma were a bit undersalted, but tasty nonetheless.

                                                          Other dishes included an Afghan pasta (gluten-free) dish with ground lamb and goat (!) yogurt, spicy chickpeas, roasted green beans, and fabulous brownies.

                                                          I also made a quick tzatziki because I simply can't fathom the idea of grilled lamb without it.

                                                           
                                                           
                                                           
                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                            Yum!

                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                              I love tzatziki too, and eat it with any grilled meat. I remember trying to make tzatziki before we had Greek yogurt. It's so much easier and better now.

                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                Yah, it took me all of 5 minutes to throw it together. Ok, not counting the 10 min. or so it took to salt/drain the grated cuke.

                                                                I add a little sour cream to the yogurt to make it even creamier :-)

                                                                I love taramasalata even more, and one of these days I swear I'll try my hand at it -- if I can find the appropriate roe (cod?). Likely will have to dig around on the interwebbz.

                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                  love taramasalta tons too....

                                                              2. re: linguafood

                                                                That all sounds SO delicious! I want it all now.... sigh.

                                                                Can you describe how the eggplant dish was in the end with the walnut sauce/pesto?

                                                                1. re: gingershelley

                                                                  Really tasty, but I'd have to find a better way to fry the eggplant so it's golden brown and creamy, but not to the point of getting crispy. Probably just a matter of timing.

                                                                  The combination of the rich & nutty eggplant with the slightly tangy paste (from the rwv) was very good.

                                                                  I *really* liked the walnut paste and am trying to figure out other uses for it :-)

                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                    Lingua, do you have a recipe approx. you can share for the walnut 'paste' please?

                                                                    1. re: gingershelley

                                                                      I posted the link to the recipe further upthread. Here it is again:

                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9032...

                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                        thnks; sorry I missed it:)

                                                                        On looking at it... funny, but I don't have fennugreek - can you tell me what it smells/tastes like? Would this be essential to the authentic flavor?

                                                                        1. re: gingershelley

                                                                          I honestly couldn't tell ya. I don't have any & didn't feel like buying any for this one recipe. Full disclosure -- I also didn't have any hot paprika, so I used paprika and some cayenne instead.

                                                                          Now I wonder if the fenugreek imparts an important flavor to the paste without which it. Just. Ain't. The Same........ dang :-D

                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                            I did a quick look, but couldn't find any description of what it tastes like; only how it looks, how it smells, that some cuisine's use the leaves as a veg - and apparently it is good for increasing breast milk in nursing mom's. Like we need to worry about that....

                                                                            I think I am fine without the 'pinch' called for.:)

                                                                            1. re: gingershelley

                                                                              Mos def.

                                                                              1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                I found this...very odd.... description "Fenugreek is an annual herb with a slightly sweet, nutty flavor often described as a cross between celery and maple. " Somehow I don't equate celery and maple being at all similar.

                                                                                This is a slightly better description: http://www.thekitchn.com/from-the-spi... apparently it's used in artificial maple syrup...

                                                                                I actually have a bottle of it. I bought it when Sunflower was bought out by Sprouts and they had huge baskets full of spices marked down to $1. I've never used it though. I'll try to remember to give it a whiff when I get home though.

                                                                                1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                  Ground fenugreek is slightly bitter with a strong "curry" aroma that carries into its flavor. That's the best way I can think of to describe.

                                                                                  1. re: JungMann

                                                                                    Anyone who lives near a British high street curry house will recognise the smell of fenugreek. It is *the* dominent smell, IMO.

                                                            2. re: linguafood

                                                              Can;t wait to hear back about that 'cue tomorrow - esp. that eggplant recipe - would love to make that. Georgian recipe?

                                                              Feel better....

                                                            3. Heading back from CT so tonight's dinner will be take out from BT's BBQ in Sturbridge. Had lunch there on the way down, it was awesome. Posted pics and a review on an old thread. So good!

                                                              Tomorrow it's party time at our house. Going to do steaks and burgers in the grill. For sides ill make a caprese salad with some nice yellow tomatoes I picked up at WF a few days ago along with potato salad, Szechuan green beans, and cole slaw. Dessert will be drunken peach cake. Little early for peaches but these looked and smelled so good I had to get them. Pitched of mojitos and beer to wash everything down.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: foodieX2

                                                                Oh god, BT's is the best. We've actually been trying to think of excuses of reasons why we would ever need to be at the intersection of 90 and 84.

                                                              2. Hake en papillote with a wild garlic and sweetcorn sauce
                                                                ( onions and wild garlic sweated in butter, add white wine and then sweetcorn. Simmer and then push through a sieve, Reheat adding some more wild garlic at the end)
                                                                Pancetta and cannellini bean stew and curly kale.
                                                                Nice bottle of Viognier to accompany it.

                                                                1. Grilling burgers for a dozen friends tonight at the lake - half regular beef with usual toppings and half teriyaki-style turkey burgers with a garlic ginger mayo. Coleslaw with purple cabbage, carrots, cilantro, green onions, peanuts and a peanut butter / rice vinegar dressing. Watermelon and sugar cookies for dessert. Oh and a baked spinach artichoke dip for app. Never made these turkey burgers before, so keeping all my fingers crossed!

                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Hetterella

                                                                    Good luck with the turkey burgers...I am sure the teriyaki will provide a great flavor base for them!

                                                                    1. re: littleflower

                                                                      Turkey burgers were a hit. Friends described the ginger garlic mayo as "crack sauce." I added diced cucumbers to it.

                                                                      1. re: Hetterella

                                                                        Ooh yum to the "crack sauce" mayo!! If you don't mind my asking...did you make it using already prepared mayonnaise as the base and add crushed/minced garlic as well as grated ginger to it?

                                                                        1. re: littleflower

                                                                          Yes, it was doctored-up mayo from a jar. Lime juice, garlic and (a lot of) ginger grated on the microplane, a spoonful of sweet pickle relish, and diced cucumbers. Made the sauce a day ahead and added the cukes at last minute.

                                                                          1. re: Hetterella

                                                                            Thanks - sounds fantastic Hetterella...I bet the lime juice added to it really brightens the flavor up!

                                                                  2. Going over what we have in our fridge, I suggested the Osso Buco that's been lurking there. It's so unseasonably chilly here, that it's unlikely that there would be a more suitable day in the short term. My husband is just starting to cook, and we will have it later with some risotto Milanese.

                                                                    After the osso buco goes in the oven, he will be planting a Dixie Doodle Dogwood with the remains of our late Dixie Doodle Doggie. It will be planted by the back wall so we can look at it from the kitchen sink and think of her.

                                                                    17 Replies
                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                      What a wonderful way to honor her life, and for you to have a place to give her a resting place.

                                                                      In Germany, you're not allowed to take your deceased pets home, let alone bury them.

                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                        We had her cremated...

                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                          I'm not sure if even that is allowed in my home country.

                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                            Good thing you moved here :)

                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                              Agreed. Its nice that we can do this for our pet friends. We had our last two sweet boys cremated. We like to think they are perpetually playing in their favorite places.

                                                                      2. re: roxlet

                                                                        I love that the dogwood will keep watch over Dixie Doodle, just as I know Dixie Doodle is keeping watch over you all. :-)

                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                          I also can peer out my kitchen window when I do dishes and see my beloved Sis of 18 years. She has a nice pothos above her gravesite. A dogwood is very fitting. Have a peaceful night now that she is put to rest with love.

                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                            Awww...what a sweet thing to do roxlet, planting the dogwood is a beautiful way to remember Dixie and serve as a memorial to her. If you don't mind my asking, how did you all come up with the name Dixie for her?

                                                                            1. re: littleflower

                                                                              I came up with the name Dixie when I saw a picture of her online. My husband is from Atlanta, and I wanted something that had a southern feel to it. Surprisingly, he liked it. It's a good thing we only had one child since it took almost 9 months to agree on a name, lol, so this was a surprise. The next puppy name is proving more challenging...

                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                Sometimes you have to wait to see their personality before the right name comes to you. My Cee-Cee's full name was Cable Cat - because she loved to sit below the TV when the National Geographic wildlife shows were on (mostly the lions and tigers). She'd reach up to pat the screen when they were roaring. :-)

                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                  Dixie was a notorious TV watcher. She loved tennis and baseball, but we had to insist she sit and watch nicely when the Westminster Dog Show was on. TV dogs were her favorites, but she had no interest in real-life dogs.

                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                    "Sometimes you have to wait to see their personality before the right name comes to you."

                                                                                    Well said.

                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                      We've had pets with quite fitting names but sometimes it takes a good long while and they remain nameless for many months :)

                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                        Aww how cute!! (patting the screen when she saw the lions and tigers)

                                                                                      2. re: roxlet

                                                                                        Naming a dog without knowing him or her is so hard! I have a little guy named Oliver that lives w/ my mom. I named him that because when he looked up at me in the shelter, he reminded me of the little boy in the movie "Oliver!". It's a very fitting name too, even 12 years later he's still such a sweet boy and a little bit pathetic :)

                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                          Perfect!! The name Dixie really fits her...in her picture she looks like a Southern belle doggie! I am sure that you will find another puppy when the time is right, but the next puppy surely will have some big paws (shoes!) to fill.

                                                                                      3. re: roxlet

                                                                                        What a nice thing to do in memory of your precious little friend :)

                                                                                      4. Suzigirl, suzigirl...where art thou? I owe you a humongous thank you. I finally conquered the pork chop beast. I cowered in fear yesterday and since it was part of a freezer clean out I was going to somehow make them disappear but I decided to go risk it for lunch today with your approach and suggested times and they are wonderful. I know many think it's flavorless, but I love the flavor of pork loin I just hate the awful texture that I seemed to create every time. Well, today was different! I seasoned very simply with Lawry's and pepper and they are moist tender and delicious. I actually made a pan sauce but I preferred the pork by itself so let SO enjoy it. Thanks so much!

                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                          Weeee. I am so glad to have helped. They are really lovely when they are just cooked through and nice and seared on the outside. Hope you try them with bunches of different seasonings and ways.

                                                                                          1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                            Yea, they were delicious just simply seasoned so I imagine they will be just as great with more complex flavors. I have fallen in love with pork tenderloin and now it seems the full loin is my friend. It amazes me. Whenever I'm in the store chatting with the butcher or just others at work everyone seems to have this "yea, I don't eat much pork like once or twice a year." I'm starting to wonder why that is - even the leanest cuts are cheaper than many cuts of other meats, but perhaps it's a combination of thinking it's all as heavy handed as bacon and also decades of overcooking. Who knows? More for me! Thanks again.

                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                              Who knows here too but thanks to them for more pork on my plate. As you know I am a p.o.p. (pal of pig). I love the braise cuts too like country ribs. I am glad the chops worked out for you.

                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                I agree that people are just used to pork being prepared improperly...when I was growing up my mother used to pressure cook pork chops and didn't season them well. Let's just say I wasn't a pork fan until after college when I learned how to make it right. :-)

                                                                                                1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                  I've always loved my grandmother's chops but she's a classic Southern woman and braising them in tons of butter, onions, and some other kind of goodness.

                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                    fldhkybnva, you are one of my favorite buddies here, but may I ask...

                                                                                                    When do you sleep?!?! :-)

                                                                                                    1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                      Wow, you're quite astute Fowler. I don't sleep well at all so am usually up pretty late and wake up really early. Last night I planned to go to bed early which for me is 12-1am but when the time rolled around I wasn't tired and eventually fell asleep at 230am. With the holiday and a much needed day off I was so excited to sleep in for once, but popped out of bed at 6am and couldn't go back to sleep so I just got up, cleaned the house, went for a walk with coffee and strolled the store while the rest of the world slept which is quite refreshing.

                                                                                          2. I am making a Rhubarb trifle to take to a small gathering.

                                                                                            1. Absolutely beautiful weather here in the DC area. Perfect for grilling. Husband just called from Annapolis to say that younger son's basketball team won their afternoon game so they're staying for another at 8 PM. Thus, older son and I will have grilled steak, palak paneer (using my CSA spinach), and naan.

                                                                                              1. In the UK, our Remembrance Day is the Sunday nearest to 11 November.

                                                                                                But I'll hold a thought tomorrow for Elijah Duckworth, 132nd Infantry, United States Army. Killed in action, 4 July 1918.

                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                  Is he a distant relative, Harters?

                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                    No family conenction at all, Linda.

                                                                                                    Grandad Tom joined up in January 1915, going overseas in the November. He fought all the way through to 1918, as far as we know barely getting a scratch. In March/April 1918, his unit was virtually destroyed in the German offensive and never saw action again. Many of the men , including his brother, were transferred to other units but, again as far I know, Tom stayed with a small group of Manchesters who then trained American units who had just arrived in France. The 132nd had 10 days "fighting" training in the latter half of of June before their first action on 4 July. Elijah was one of 100 killed that day. Many were reported to have been so keen to get into action that they advanced too quickly and got hit by "friendly" artillery fire. He is now buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

                                                                                                    I found his photo on the web when I was writing my book and have included it (after having tried to track down family). This is him - http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg....

                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                      You've done a lot of great research for your books, Harters.

                                                                                                      And we in the U.S. also remember on 11 November for our Veterans Day. Memorial Day is used to remember and honor those who died in battle while in service to their country, and Veterans Day is to thank ALL of those who served, both in war and in peacetime, and is mostly to thank living veterans for their service to our country.

                                                                                                      Either way - the thanks to those who served is well deserved - past, present and future.

                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                        Thanks for pointing that out, LW. I shudder to think how many kids these days have very little knowledge of what Memorial Day is truly about and its significance to the U.S.A.

                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                          I am quite the patriotic young lass and your words alone about these most important holidays gave me chills. My father fortunately was never on the battlefield but is a veteran and served for 30 years. Today, I honor all of the men and women who have served for this country. It's a good day to forget the rest of your day-to-day worries and be thankful and grateful :)

                                                                                                  2. lazy day, just hanging at the Oldster's. last night i made him a ground lamb, spinach, peas, potatoes and tomato sauce stew-thing, with rice on the side. he said he liked it, but he lies to me a lot, and then tells my sister the truth! not sure WFD at home. the BF made some spag sauce the other night, we might have that. not excited about that at all. had mexican take out chile rellenos for lunch so i'm pretty full and unmotivated about dinner.

                                                                                                    tomorrow i'm hoping to make scallop ceviche (which, oddly, the BF WILL eat) and potato and chorizo tacos. i'm pretty sure my fishmonger is open on the holiday. that oughta pep me back up.

                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                      The ground lamb dish that you made for him sounds great...I love ground lamb, it is so versatile and gives that extra something something that ground beef/bison sometimes just can't deliver.

                                                                                                      1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                        thanks lf! it was pretty tasty - forgot to add that it also had a bit of turmeric and paprika, so i was surprised that my dad actually did like it, and wanted the leftovers for dinner tonight. i took a little home with me, which i'm hoping to turn into little turnovers tomorrow, in addition to the other things i mentioned above. i'm hoping the BF will ignore the fact it's lamb if i have him make the dough for me. thank god the oldster still likes lamb.

                                                                                                        the BF's pasta and meat sauce dinner was good and simple and homey. his sauce had a tad of a kick because he mistook a tube of harissa for tomato paste - a pleasant oops! on the side was a red leaf salad with cukes, shallots and his blue cheese dressing. Also, he roasted and sliced up some red bells, chiffonaded some basil, and made a tapenade of kalamata olives, and served that alongside to mix into the pasta and/or spread on some toasted rolls. a good red would have been a welcome addition, but i would be asleep by now, and as it's still the holiday weekend, i want to save my energy and go out for pool and cocktails with the BF later tonight.

                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                          Yes smart idea...energy must be conserved for all the good eatin' I'm sure ya'll have planned for Memorial Day! :-) So it sounds like your BF is leary of lamb as well (so many people are!)...let us know how the lamb turnovers turn out. I am sure he will like it if it's spiced the way you did and put inside a turnover.

                                                                                                    2. The lamb that was planned for last night has finally thawed out in the refrigerator, and planning on making Marinated Lamb Kabobs with it. Marinade consists of garlic, olive oil, sea salt, dried rosemary and thyme (all I have on hand right now is dried but it'll work in a pinch), red wine, and a couple splashes of both red wine vinegar and worcestershire sauce. Threading the lamb chunks onto skewers and grilling them on the indoor grill pan, along with a skewer of onion wedges and a skewer of tomato wedges (marinaded simply in olive oil and S&P). TJ's Tandoori Naan bread will serve as the vehicle for eating the lamb pieces.

                                                                                                      1. The official start of summer indeed! In the last week or so, the weather's gone from being at-risk-of-snow every night, to being more than a little warm. After last night's moussaka made the house almost unlivable, I have decided to put the oven into hibernation for a while. In that spirit, tonight's dinner will be mapo tofu (the excellent version by Ms. Dunlop) made very definitely on top of the stove.

                                                                                                        As for libations, I'm turning half a bottle of vodka we didn't really like (it tasted fine, but was all hangover and no buzz) into aquavit. It won't be ready for a couple weeks, but I'm getting it started tonight.

                                                                                                        I'm working all holiday weekend, so my dessert will be time-and-a-half tomorrow.

                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                          :-( on working all holiday weekend.

                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                            It's okay. I always work weekends, so my schedule hasn't changed at all, and since I lived in Canada for the first 24 years of my life, it isn't really my holiday, anyway. But thanks to both of you for the commiseration! I'm looking on the bright side and seeing dollar signs from all that time-and-a-half.

                                                                                                          2. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                            agreed - boo on the working all weekend... sorry BBL.

                                                                                                            1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                              Yum to dinner. I haven't had that in a while. What kind of aquavit?

                                                                                                              1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                I'm giving this Chow recipe (http://www.chow.com/recipes/28392-aqu...) a try. I've never actually had aquavit, but I bookmarked the recipe almost a year ago because it looked interesting. Seemed like a good use for half a bottle of vodka!

                                                                                                                1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                  Let us know how you like it. It sounds very good

                                                                                                            2. Ina is a the winner of my weekend. She knocked it out the park two nights in a row. Last night the lemon baked chicken and tonight I tried her Indonesian swordfish recipe. I must have a thing for lemon this weekend as they are both heavy in lemon but with very different overall flavors. I'm not good at following recipes so I edited it somewhat - used sesame oil, added a tbsp or so of sherry and white wine. My plate is somewhat of a sister to last night - lemon dish and then served again alongside sauteed spinach but this time with my new favorite cheese Midnight Moon. I recommend this cheese to all, it's delicious!

                                                                                                               
                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                Man I love swordfish. That looks amazing. Can you talk my man into liking fish please?

                                                                                                                1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                  I'm not sure he can break the salmon and cheese habit :) Swordfish is by far my favorite fish, but I have to restrain myself to limit my mercury dose. I was actually glad they only had a few smaller filets left today or else I would have definitely bought more. I guess they are looking out for my well-being for me. I haven't started tingling yet, so I think I'm OK for now :)

                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                    I know he can't break the salmon and cheese habit. Its one of the perils if being a bachelor to long. What's a girl to do? Let us know if you start tingling.

                                                                                                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                      Yea, I think it starts at the feet :) At least he's into salmon, I couldn't get my ex to believe cooked food was better than Doritos.

                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                        I am pretty lucky. My sweets eats most everything I make. He is just happy having a hot meal he didn't have to cook.

                                                                                                                2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                  Ina has an Indonesian chicken recipe that is amazing, too. Yay for Ina!!!

                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                    Isn't her Indonesian Swordfish awesome? One of my favorite recipes. I love swordfish too - had to cut it out while pregnant last year, so used the marinade for a substitute fish, and it was delicious still.

                                                                                                                    I must be in a lemon mood this weekend too - made homemade lobster rolls Sunday night, and couldn't get enough lemon in the mixture! Tonight's black grouper fillets with lemon pesto (my favorite) and parmesan orzo.

                                                                                                                    What is Midnight Moon similar to, if you don't mind sharing?

                                                                                                                  2. Happy holiday mid-point to you all (even those who may have to work, it is still officially a holiday weekend :)).

                                                                                                                    So yesterday's porkapalooza(!) was a huge hit - decent weather - partly sunny - caused a big turnout and there were well over 100 people there, and food absolutely spilling off the groaning 15 foot table; from candied bacon, through kebabs of several stripes, to more sausage incarnations to vindaloo, pulled pork, pork loin, bbq pork, etc. Probably 15 salads and 20 dessert options too. Whew!

                                                                                                                    I sampled alot, but spent a fair amount of time helping to grill, as that was fun and put me in the middle of the action so I could meet some new folks.... very fun!

                                                                                                                    I was home by late afternoon tho, and suprisingly got hungry for dinner again by 7. Grilled another of the beef/chorizo patties and made a burger with avo, mayo, blue cheese and lettuce. Hit the spot, with a little side of my Thai salad.

                                                                                                                    A pic of the kabobs and peanut sauce....

                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                      Mmm...candied bacon.......only one thing is better than bacon and that's adding a sweet component to complement the saltiness in it.

                                                                                                                      1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                        There was 'candy-ing' + chili spice sprinkle = awesome!

                                                                                                                    2. It was cold and windy today but at least the sun made an appearance.

                                                                                                                      Deb warmed the kitchen by first making a Bolognese sauce (Marcella Hazan's recipe). She followed up by rolling out (cranking out?) fresh pasta.

                                                                                                                      Pappardelle with Bolognese ragu was on the menu tonight. There was freshly ground pepper and Parmigiano Reggiano for toppers, house red to wash it all down. Cheesecake and/or gelato for later if the mood strikes. I'll be on KP duty.

                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                        Both you and rjbh20 are killing me here. My vegetable soup seems like such an unsubstantial choice for a cold night now.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                          Deb and I are big fans of the River Cafe. Your soup sounds great.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                            I agree with you...even though it is the end of May, for some reason both of those hearty dishes (osso buco/risotto and the pappardelle/bolognese) sound delicious and I'm craving them both now.

                                                                                                                          2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                            That sounds amazing!

                                                                                                                          3. Osso buco e risotto alla Milanese. Hard to believe we're dishing up such a cold weather dinner, but it hit the spot.

                                                                                                                            A particularly flavorful execution this time.

                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: rjbh20

                                                                                                                              Great looking plate.

                                                                                                                              1. re: rjbh20

                                                                                                                                Do you have a recipe you use? I picked some osso bucco up at the butchers the other day and have been looking at a Marcella Hazan recipe.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                  I've been making this forever so I just throw it together. But it's based on the Marcella recipe which works well. The key thing, which she doesn't mention, is to be really precise with the vegetables and do a really first class brunoise. Doesn't taste any different but looks much better on the plate. And make sure your risotto is on the loose side.

                                                                                                                                  Good luck

                                                                                                                                  1. re: rjbh20

                                                                                                                                    Celery brunoise

                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                    1. re: rjbh20

                                                                                                                                      nice knife-work:).
                                                                                                                                      The divot on the cutting board got my mind to see a 'heart'. I heart the brunoise:)

                                                                                                                                      1. re: rjbh20

                                                                                                                                        Nice small dice.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: rjbh20

                                                                                                                                          Very nicely cut. Thanks for the tip.

                                                                                                                                  2. It's Monday here already and not a long weekend. Tonight is my bikram (hot) yoga class and with a cold spell forecast to hit I'm actually looking forward to it. The cold spell put me in the mood for soup so it's an old favourite - the river cafe cavolo nero and borlotti bean soup. Tonight I'm subbing chard for the Tuscan kale. Dinner prep is done so the bloke and I can reheat and have a bowl whenever suits us.

                                                                                                                                    1. Today is a mixed day, pretty cool and cloudy so I decided to make a roast chicken to make the house smell delish while I was in and out doing yard chores.

                                                                                                                                      A friend is coming over in an hour for dinner, so we will have the chicken, which is simples having been brined a while, then stuffed with oregano, thyme and rosemary, a wedge of lemon and of onion. S&P, smashed garlic, schmere of butter, the usuals on top and under the skin.

                                                                                                                                      Served with buttermilk mashed 'taters, roasted lemon broccoli and the remains of my Thai green papaya/lime/peanut/tomato salad. A bit of an oddball menu entry, but it is tasty and at it's best after an overnight bath in it's dressing - plus no oil makes it a 'free' dish!

                                                                                                                                      The better for the sauteéd vanilla butter pears I am making for afters, to serve over vanilla ice cream with dulce de leche sauce :)

                                                                                                                                      'Behind the Candelabra' will be viewed later - who can resist Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as his BF? Awesome!

                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                        Not oddball at all...ALL of your dishes sound yummy, GS, especially craving buttermilk mashed potatoes. Apparently a lot of us on this board are craving comfort foods tonight. :-)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                          The sauteéd vanilla butter pears sound wonderful, gingershel - a bit more detail, please?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                            Oh, just a chopped couple of pears with some butter, a pinch of cardamom, salt, sprinkle of raw sugar and vanilla sugar, lemon; sautéed for a couple minutes in butter until softening, fragrant, and giving off juice -

                                                                                                                                            Reduce, add a wee soupcon of brandy, etc. or other type of fortifying flavorings (Poire Williams, or OR Clear Creek Euie de Vie if I had it:). Then just salt a tiny bit - yes!, salt! - then serve warm over ice cream with a drizzle of dulche de leche.

                                                                                                                                            We shall have in a couple hours. My GF was delayed, my chicken was undercooked - so we are still on the charcuterie board now.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                              What is it about a good splash (or quite a few good splashes in some cases!) of alcohol in a dish that really makes the food sing. I bet those sauteed pears were amazing, and WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with you about adding a few flakes of salt to many desserts to make the flavor pop.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                            Oh hell yes on those pears!

                                                                                                                                          3. We marinaded a butterflied leg of lamb with spices and pomegranate molasses (new Bill Granger recipe) and I made my favourite thing to go with grilled meat - pomegranate salsa. It's got a bit of chilli in it so it's spicy, sour and crunchy - the pomegranate gives you pops of sweet juice, yum! Slightly charred puffed up pitta and buttery cardamom cous cous to fill the boys up.

                                                                                                                                            We had some truly delicious strawberry-rhubarb pie I picked up at the local farmers market for dessert, with creme fraiche ice cream. I need to learn how to make pies like that!

                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: helen_m

                                                                                                                                              Wow, that sounds perfect, start to finish.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: helen_m

                                                                                                                                                Lamb seems to have been a popular choice this weekend...there are quite a few renditions of lamb dishes described here on this thread. Ooh yum to the pomegranate molasses...I have heard this was outstanding but have never cooked with it myself. Drooling over the creme fraiche ice cream as well!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                  Good morning everyone! If you are in the USA it is a day to remember those who served our country and made the ultimate sacrifice.
                                                                                                                                                  Let us celebrate in their memory.
                                                                                                                                                  WFD? Q-ing ribs, weiners, corn, eggplant,wings. Sides: pasta salad with green goddess schmear, salad with baby spinach, watercress, hearts of palm, butter beans, cherry tomatoes, Avacado, grilled shrimp, dressed with red wine vinegar, evoo, s&p, and a squeeze of some fresh lemon.
                                                                                                                                                  Desert... Ice cream sundaes with all the fixings.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                                                                                                    Sounds like a great Memorial Day food spread there, Phreddy! Hope you and your family have a wonderful Memorial Day, I'm sure it will be with all that great food!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                                                                                                      Excellent meal, PHREDDY.

                                                                                                                                                      I hear there's a ball game tonight.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                        Finally thaaaaaa Mets won! The meal was great, had a feeling un-announced company would show up. They did, had plenty of food, so they asked for a plate to bring home @ 9PM for their 28 yr old daughter....I really think they did not want to make lunch today, oh well ;-]

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                                                                                                          Too funny.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                            :---}}}} yep!

                                                                                                                                                2. It's a holiday here in the UK. In previous times, it was Whit Monday but, with our nation being much more secular than before, it was renamed the "Spring Bank Holiday" in 1971.

                                                                                                                                                  We'll be starting with potted shrimps. Followed by a slow roast shoulder of lamb, roast spuds, steamed spring greens, asparagus, mint sauce (first sauce of the year coming from mint from the garden). Dessert's a bought apple tart or, as the supermarket likes to call them "tarte aux pommes" - with cream.

                                                                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                    Herself is home?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                      She is.

                                                                                                                                                      And busy finalising things for our next two trips - We're off to Belgium & France in a few days for a week and then a short interval after we're back, we're off again - this time to Sussex on the southern coast of England. And I've been doing what I do best about our trips - searching out good places to eat.

                                                                                                                                                      And there's preliminary planning going on for a Stateside trip in September which will take in Nashville before a slow meander through NC and VA, roughly following the route of the Blue Ridge Parkway. A trip where finding good music takes precedence to finding good food. yes, I know that's heresy :-)

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                        I think you'll find both. You'll be visiting before the leaves turn, but it'll still be a beautiful drive in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                          We've driven most of the Parkway on a previous trip but didnt really spend any time in and around the small towns. Realised we'd missed a lot and decided we had to come back.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                          A trio of excellent adventures.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                        I'll betcha Linda is not too happy that the holiday they named after her was changed from Whit Monday to Spring Bank Holiday.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                          Wha'? Wasn't Whitsunday (and -monday) *last* weekend?

                                                                                                                                                          Being secular myself, I don't really keep track of 'ligious holidays, so I may be wrong.

                                                                                                                                                          Nope. Just checked the calendar. But maybe Pentacost is celebrated in Britain a week later?

                                                                                                                                                        2. Heading to the airport in a bit to drop SO off, it's his last week in MA, not sure where he's headed next but hopefully he'll at least get a week off from traveling. I feel like I live at the airport. Was there Friday, yesterday, will be there today, Wednesday, and Friday again. Good thing it's not too far from the house!

                                                                                                                                                          Today I'm taking it easy, just poking around the house, doing some chores. Dinner is taking it easy too, I'm doing the chicken vindaloo I did a few weeks ago again.

                                                                                                                                                          1. So last night's mapo tofu didn't make it past the blanch-the-tofu stage because I realised I was completely out of rice. Stuck the blanched tofu in the fridge and made stovetop mac and cheese instead. Used a combination of cheddar, goat cheese and parmesan for the sauce and filled it out with broccoli, mushrooms and fresh tarragon. Drizzled with hot sauce to serve, with a couple of my home pickled asparagus spears (we've officially eaten the first container, now) on the side.

                                                                                                                                                            Mapo tofu has been moved to tonight.

                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                              One of my absolute favourite dishes BBL...looking forward to hearing how it comes out. Do you use Fuchsia Dunlop's recipe?

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                I don't have any of Dunlop's books, so I'm not sure if it's exact, but I use an adaptation I found on a blog. I assume it's pretty much the same. In any case, it's delicious!

                                                                                                                                                            2. Happy Memorial Day! I love most holidays but the patriotic-inspired holidays are really special to me as a lifelong military brat. I am fortunate to have a nice day off and it's looking like it's going to be a great one. The morning started off pretty early with a casual stroll which I rarely ever have time to do. The rest of the day will be lounging around and eating of course!!

                                                                                                                                                              Breakfast this morning was a rare full proper breakfast - smoked salmon, the most amazing "Grains Galore" bread from a local bakery with my favorite Kerry gold butter, pork sausage, fruit bowl with raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and nectarines, and FRIED EGGS!! I'm not sure if I've expressed that the sopping of runny yolk with toast is one of the few things which has always disgusted me. Well, since I recently became infatuated with omelets and was fortunate to have a dozen of fresh pastured eggs I figured let's do it! Wow, it was delicious. I must bow my head and admit that you runny yolk eaters were right on the money.

                                                                                                                                                              SO demands fried chicken for lunch although I am in the mood for something, anything with vinegar. This vinegar craving is getting serious.

                                                                                                                                                              Dinner tonight will be an enticing porterhouse and loaded baked potato!

                                                                                                                                                              23 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                I couldn't resist sharing a picture of my first fried eggs. I had very low expectations but was 100% sure the yolk would crack, but nope!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                  The picture icon must be on vacation, I think it worked this time :) I look forward to hearing about all the great dishes today.

                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                    What a yummy sounding breakfast, and yay for liking the runny yolk!! Look at those egg yolks...they look bright orange, the way that they should look!! Amazing how different fresh eggs look and taste compared with plain 'ol store bought ones.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                      Yea, I was discussing the sunny bright yolks with my grandmother and she responds "you do remember I grew up on a farm? that's what a yolk should look like." I was quite amazed when I first cracked one of the eggs, and the yolk is so perky.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                  "SO demands fried chicken for lunch although I am in the mood for something, anything with vinegar."

                                                                                                                                                                  Have you ever tried fried chicken sprinkled with malt vinegar? An absolute match made in heaven.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                                    Chaching!! I usually add hot sauce and sprinkle malt vinegar on fries so of course that'd be fabulous thanks for the idea. I'm not sure if it's the weather warming up or what but the past few weeks all I want is vinegar and lemon juice. My wallet belongs to the Whole Foods marinated mushrooms :)

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                                      Hot pepper vinegar on fried chicken is also good stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                        Suzigirl, you're the biscuit in red beans dipper right?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                          That's me. That sounds good right now.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                            I might have to be inspired and give that biscuit a dip.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                              It is worth it.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                It is usually a red beans vs mashed potatoes toss up...(SO in the background: what are you talking about? You just get them both and don't bother to choose) but I think the biscuit dipping makes red beans the clear winner today. It's a load of carb day here it seems so why not, the carbalicious Popeye's treat will join the rare pints of ice cream which stashed themselves in the freezer this morning.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                  It sounds like a nice carby treat. And ice cream, yum. I want some strawberry right now.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                    My childhood choice. We would always get Neapolitan when Breyer's was worthy of buying. Good thing there were only 3 of us with different preferences - dad ate the chocolate, mom the vanilla and me the strawberry. For tonight, it's Haagen Dazs chocolate and butter pecan. I rarely eat ice cream so don't have a preferred brand but have never heard anything awful about HD and people rave about the butter pecan.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                      I can vouch for HD's Butter Pecan. Butter Pecan is one of my favorite ice cream flavors, and HD makes a good one.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                        I couldn't finish the bowl but what I did eat was fabulous! I liked even the background ice cream flavor without any pecan bites.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                          LOL...that reminds me when I was younger I used to go to the ice cream shop and order butter pecan and spit the pecans out. I only liked the buttery flavor of the ice cream back then, now I also eat the pecans along with it. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                I fear that a poor biscuit drown today in a single serving size of red beans today. Delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                  Poor guy, his friends should beware they may meet a similar fate one day.

                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                Wow, you and Fowler made Popeye's a double win! The biscuit in red beans was great. It really cuts back on the in your face butter flavor that I always get from the biscuits and don't particularly enjoy.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                                            OMG that sounds so good...I love malt vinegar on handcut fries......why didn't it ever occur to me before to try it on fried chicken?? Mental note to self - must buy some malt vinegar and try this soon!!!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                                              Good call.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                                                Chaching was right! Fried chicken consumed...with ample quantities of malt vinegar. I had hot sauce on hand but didn't even really want it after my first sprinkle of malt. Thanks for the recommendation.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. Dinner will be roasted chicken - decidedly non-Memorial Day type of food.

                                                                                                                                                                              A Frankenchicken breast has been cleaned and dried and is sitting in the fridge. I'll probably rub some kind of dried rub over it - perhaps a za'atar and ground sumac blend. Steamed green beans with crispy shallots and toasted panko crumbs sprinkled on top will be the lone side.

                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                and wine.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Probably. It's not quite vodka and lemonade weather. Then again, this dish isn't quite a vodka and lemonade dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                  Enjoy the Frankenchicken and whatever libation you chose to wash it down w Linda...that's a shame about the weather.

                                                                                                                                                                                3. Happy Memorial Day everyone!! Having a late afternoon/early evening Memorial Day dinner, on the menu tonight will be:

                                                                                                                                                                                  "57 Sticky Wings" (so good but so ridiculously easy - chicken wings basted with Heinz 57 sauce + honey + few splashes of worcestershire sauce)
                                                                                                                                                                                  **Deviled Eggs (again easy - I grew up with a mom who just mixed the yolks with a light hand of mayonnaise combined with a little pickle juice mixed in...a great way to use up pickle juice!)
                                                                                                                                                                                  **Potato Salad (bought from a local restaurant that makes really really good potato salad)
                                                                                                                                                                                  **Watermelon
                                                                                                                                                                                  **Chocolate Cake with Coffee Ice Cream (bakery chocolate cake + TJ's Coffee Ice Cream)
                                                                                                                                                                                  **Iced Sweet Green Tea (made Iced Green Tea + Honey Simple Syrup)

                                                                                                                                                                                  Remembering today those who gave their lives to preserve our freedom here in the U.S. God Bless all of those in the military who bravely serve our country. My father was an officer in the Navy and my grandfather served 25 years in the Navy as well, so it is an important day here to us.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                    That really sounds like a lovely summery meal littleflower. I've just recently developed a real addiction to iced green tea with honey. I think it's fair to say I'm ready to declare it my summer of 2013 drink (other than wine of course!!) ; )

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks, BC...it is wonderfully refreshing and good for you, too! I like the floral notes that the honey imparts to the flavor rather than a traditional white sugar simple syrup. A nice twist is adding some fresh mint to it as well. Here's a toast to the beginning of summertime drinks *clink*! :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Happy Memorial Day to everyone who is celebrating today!

                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm back in the kitchen after 9 days of restaurant and banquet food (5 days of touring through WV, TN, KY and OH sandwiched between 2 Pittsburgh weddings with cookie tables!).

                                                                                                                                                                                    Tonight, I'll be making roast chicken, brown rice pilaf, local asparagus and fattoush.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: prima

                                                                                                                                                                                      Welcome home prima...isn't it a pleasure to enjoy a home-cooked meal after lots of travel? I always miss cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks, Breadcrumbs!
                                                                                                                                                                                        It is good to be back in the kitchen. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I've woken to the loudest clap of thunder followed by a downpour. It's hunkering down weather and the planned excursion to the fish markets has been abandoned.

                                                                                                                                                                                      So it's brown gloop from the freezer (thank you for the wonderful term Harters) with polenta and a green salad. The brown gloop is leftover slow cooked lamb done with wine, garlic and black olives. Red wine will accompany this.

                                                                                                                                                                                      13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                        The gloop sounds quite appealing. I'd rather not wish for rain on such a lovely day but once we all settle in tonight I'd love the skies to open up and wash away some of this sticky pollen-filled air.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                          The lamb recipe is a winner if you like black olives. After you add the olives to the pot it makes the house smell incredible. I'll miss that with the freezer gloop but I'm hoping the nice flavours will still be there.

                                                                                                                                                                                          http://cuisine.co.nz/cuisine.nsf/reci...

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                            Lovely house smells from food cooking away in the kitchen is comforting. Thanks for the recipe, unfortunately olives and I don't quite get along yet. At the Olive Bar at Whole Foods this morning I was on the hunt for marinated mushrooms but for some reason it was missing a spoon. Of course the employee who approached suggested I just grab another and I'm sure met the most unusual look of shock on my face as in my head I pondered the awful thought of olive juice touching my prized shrooms as I hesitatingly grabbed the spoon. I love olive oil but it's something about the olives I can't get in to but that was many years ago so perhaps I should give them a grown-up try.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                              If you got over your runny egg yolk issue then there's hope for olives too. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                                I am not a huge olive fan myself, but I do kinda like salty green olives. Black olives and kalamatas...not so much. Perhaps the only reason that I can tolerate salty green olives is that I was coaxed into liking them by my boyfriend from my freshman year in college (I think I may have mentioned this before). The only topping he would eat on his pizza were green olives, so if I wanted to share pizza with him then developing a tolerance for green olives was helpful to say the least. Oh, the things we do when we're in love, I tell ya! :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                  :)

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                          That's some delicious-sounding gloop Frizzle!! Sounds like the perfect fare for a rainy day. Enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                            brown gloop is sometimes a saving grace - esp. if it let's you do other things on a holiday - and still eat well!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                              And the picture. A lovely meal. The salad which I didn't take a picture of was dressed with the green goddess dressing of roxlet's. It's darn nice.

                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                                Glad you liked the Green Goddess! That looks like a lovely plate of food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I made it too on my pasta salad too. Damn good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                                  beautiful! That is some fine creamy polenta too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mmm..love me some creamy polenta (with lots of butter, of course). :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. A whole lot of great cooking has been going on in your kitchens this weekend!

                                                                                                                                                                                                In my kitchen, Saturday night was housemade knockwurst from the wonderful German sausage maker, roasted fingerlings with dill and chives, and braised celery. Last night was salad with an mc-inspired dill-blue cheese dressing -- yummy, thanks mc! Tonight I have a gorgeous ribeye for the grill with a very simple green salad. Another batch of green goddess dressing is in the making for dinner salads this week. Am really trying to work on getting the jeans looser ahead of another long trip in mid-June to HQ in CA -- where I will get to have another dinner with mc!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Outstanding Gretchen...I'm salivating just looking at your pictures. What a wonderful meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                    GretchenS - can you dish on the braised celery?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I often find it is an undersung veggie, and I like it's, well, celery taste.... would love to know a method to make it a feature veg.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks. Happy weekend!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                      gs, such a simple and yummy prep, always best with farmers market or organic celery, which have a more robust flavor I find. Slice on the diagonal, saute on high heat till somewhat browned in fat of choice (I tend to use butter, but bacon fat is also awesome or really whatever works with the rest of the meal), then add a little bit of stock or broth, preferably homemade (I used 2 "ice" cubes of turkey stock), cover and simmer 2 or 3 minutes, then uncover and simmer till the stock has reduced to a nice glaze on your celery. I have no idea why I don't make it more often as it is as easy as it gets for green veg and so yummy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks Gretchen - I will give it a try!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Housemade Knockwurst...great job, Gretchen!! That meal looks great, and out of all the "wursts" I love knockwurst the best. When I was growing up my mother used to fry up knockwursts in a pan with a little oil and we would eat them like hot dogs on hot dog buns for lunch sometimes. Now I enjoy pairing it with a little buttered pumpernickel bread and some German style potato salad. Craving me some knockwursts, now!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                        you are welcome, glad you liked! those roasted fingerlings look delish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        and yay for me!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Fried chicken with potato salad on the side for tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        The chicken thighs have been lolling in a buttermilk with spice/herb spa bath overnight. Time to kick 'em out of the tub and put them to work. Beer for me, wine for Deb. Maybe some baseball on the plasma.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Those lazy-butt chicken thighs, lolling around in buttermilk. Tell them to go get a job!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                            [channelling my best Esteban Vihaio]

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I will put them to work.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Let us know how that chicken turns out steve. It sounds wonderful. I adore fried chicken but have yet to master it. If you have any tips to share, I'd love to hear them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Will do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Edited to add: There are a million ways to fry chicken and they all work. Tonight's technique gave us a crusty, not bread-like, outer layer and a creamy interior. I like that. It may be a function of the buttermilk/herbs/spices/hot sauce overnight spa bath.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Dredging and coating employed all the usual suspects. The chunky thighs were fried on the stove top in a cast iron skillet with Crisco shortening. There was no detritus on the bottom of the skillet so coating, oil temperature, timing had to have all been in balance. Salt and pepper when the chicken was pulled out and drained.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Simple and tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                What it looked like:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Looks lovely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Poultry perfection Steve...bravo!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Very nicely done

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rjbh20

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks. It was tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Looking at those uber golden egg yolks all day when i opened this thread has made me want breakfast for dinner. I have a small pouch of dried beef in my lunchmeat drawer that was destined for breakfast but now will be bfd. SOS on toast with over medium eggs with sliced tomatoes and cottage cheese. That will keep the belly from grumbling. I think i may just guild the lilly and pop the bottle of champagne left over from valentines day. Dinner is taken care of.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I love it - champagne with BFD - well played, suzigirl - well played!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have it handled. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Last night I made one of mr bc's favourite Chicago dishes...Chicken Vesuvio. I also made a Rhubarb Raspberry Ricotta Crostata for dessert. I served the crostata warm with some vanilla bean ice cream on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tonight I just seasoned a filet of trout and mr bc is heading to the grill with it. Zoji is taking care of the brown rice and I'm roasting some asparagus as I type. Just quick and easy fare tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ya have me licking mt tablet screen again. How do you make chicken vesuvio? It looks outstanding.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks suzigirl! Littleflower has it right...I used a recipe by Lidia Bastianich from her cookbook Lidia's Italy in America.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I checked online and it seems the same recipe appears on her website. I'll paste a link below in case you are interested:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.lidiasitaly.com/recipes/de...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks a bunch BC. Keep posting those pictures. My screen has never been so clean.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Chicken Vesuvio is one of Chicago's best kept secrets. It's such a versatile working week supper that has enough class and flavor to make it a dinner party staple.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I couldn't agree more JM its somehow humble and elegant. A lovely dish indeed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wow. Just wow. I have never made Chicken Vesuvio myself but Lydia B. has a great recipe for it, and seeing these pics confirmed that I need to try it out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. As I suspected, it's burgers and dogs -- the traditional Memorial Day dinner. It's my husband's proprietary burger mix that he grinds himself. With those will be my special potato salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Our dogwood is planted, but in the front of the house, not the rear. We wanted it to be where we could see it from the kitchen, but my husband kept running into the sprinkler system no matter where he seemed to dig. So, our little doodle was commemorated and her ashes laid to rest with the dogwood. That was our memorial on Memorial Day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          What a lovely tribute roxlet. May your sweet girl rest peacefully.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Enjoy your delicious sounding meal!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sorry you couldn't plant it so you could see it from your kitchen. I find it soothing to look out and see Sis while I wash my dishes. But now you can see her every time you drive up to the house. Darn sprinklers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Our 17 year old family cat died when I was a senior in high school and I agree, it was nice to view him from the kitchen window next to the weeping willow tree.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That means you guys grew up together your whole life. That must have been really hard. Its always hard to lose any pet but certain ones leave deep pawprints in our lives.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yea, my parents referred to him as my "brother" which was odd to many people but not to us. He was actually the oldest child, about a year older than me, so he ruled the house in that friendly feline sort of way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My son always said that he was the middle child -- my husband's sports car is the oldest, and Dixie was the youngest. When he was roughhousing with her, we always told him to play nice with his sister. Not so unusual, I think.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      LOL! I just cracked up at the "play nice with his sister" comment. :D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I grew up with many feline and canine 'littermates' as a child. I did name the kitty I talk about Sis. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A sweet tribute. The Doodle Dogwood Tree will bloom and grow strong and tall and welcome you home every time you drive up to the house.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A lovely and fitting memorial, rox. May she rest always in peace.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That's beautiful that you all commemorated her on Memorial Day. She will be watching over your home now, guarding it just as much or even more so than she did while she was living. God Bless your Dixie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. We kicked off with courgette flowers stuffed with a basil leaf filled with a mix of ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan and lemon zest. I got the batter just right (for a change!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    After that we used up the beautiful veg box spinach with pasta, ricotta and tomato sauce (old Jamie Oliver recipe).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cherries for dessert with a few squares of dark chocolate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: helen_m

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wow, that looks lovely!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: helen_m

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wow, helen, looks and sounds fabulous!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: helen_m

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I would love to hear more specifics about the stuffing. I always grow far, far more zucchini than we need just so I can pick lots of blossoms. :) Your pic is making my mouth water!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sure - I used the stuffing mix from a Gennaro Contaldo recipe http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/bak... just adding a bit of lemon zest. Instead of stuffing the basil leaf wrapped filling into a pasta shell I popped them into a courgette flower. I find the basil helps to keep the filling from oozing out whilst you're cooking. I used a very light batter - flour, egg, salt and sparkling water and just shallow-fried flipping over once (deep-fan frying scares me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I saw another recipe that sprinkled lemon salt over at the end - I might try that next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: helen_m

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: helen_m

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            really gorgeous!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: helen_m

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Courgette (zucchini) flowers are on my "must try" food list. Not sure where I can find them though...haven't seen them at my local farmer's market, albeit it's a small market.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: helen_m

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Just as an aside, did anyone here ever read the series "The Babysitters Club" books? Every time I see the word "courgette" it reminds me of the part in one of the early books where Kristy Thomas's neighbor who looked scary to them said that she grew and ate courgettes. Kristy and her friends were convinced that courgettes must be bad to eat if that lady grew them. It's been quite a few years since I read the series but when I see that word it makes me smile.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. After many burgers and brats this holiday weekend the grill here at home has been lit and a well marinated london broil will be grilled soon. We've been grazing on cocktail cucumbers and baby red, orange and yellow peppers with hummus for a while and might just continue that as a veggie side, some yellow crookneck squash on the grill for the other side, maybe... and maybe some of the baby peppers, too. I'm craving horseradish to go with the beef.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My allergies got the best of me after much work in my garden and flower beds. I had to give in and take a Zyrtec before I scratched my eyeballs out of my head so no cocktails for me. :(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I adore marinated London Broil. That sounds like a yummy Memorial Day main dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Today we grilled some pork/chicken italan sausages that were first braised in beer, along with some boneless country style ribs. Ribs were first cooked low in the oven with a basic rub. Then while warm they were tossed into some homemade jerk sauce. Finished on the grill basted with more of the jerk sauce. Sides were baked beans with bacon, onions, molasses; grilled corn and pineapple.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm also cooking for an Asian heritage festival celebration at work. I've got a gigantic batch of Rogan Josh (Indian lamb curry) in the slow cooker -- made with about 10 lbs of lamb. Also just finished the sooji halwa with pineapple and golden raisins. I'm now ready to put my feet up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Happy Memorial Day, all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MAH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    10 pounds of lamb!!! That's a lot of good lamb, MAH! Your Memorial Day dinner sounds great as well...love the sound of your loaded baked beans!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks, yes. The volume was a bit of a challenge. Tonight we ordered Chinese as I was still cooking for this work event. Tonight I baked -- cardamom vanilla pound cake and chai spiced snickerdoodle cookies. I had ambitious plans of cooking dinner as well, then came to my senses.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MAH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have never used cardamom as a spice before, but heard it has a slightly floral taste to it? I imagine it would pair well with a vanilla pound cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          If you've had Indian rice or Turkish mocha, you've likely tasted it before. It's hard to describe the flavor, but it is instantly recognizable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think it might work well in sweet applications.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You certainly see cardamom in sweet recipes, although I've never treid it (as it's a flavour I'm not that keen on)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            it's perfume-y. and wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            i like using it with butter sauteed bananas and brown sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Littleflower, you're spot on with the pound cake recommendation. If you bite into a cardamom pod, it has a sharp, floral flavor. But if you leave the pods whole in a large dish or use just a bit of the ground stuff, it has a spicy perfume that can be sweet or savory. It is pretty ubiquitous in Indian sweets and is usually the most prominent flavor in domestic masala chai blends. Scandinavian sweet breads and coffee cakes are also a good introduction to the magic a little cardamom can do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks all for the desciption of it, and JM - wow, can only imagine how great cardamom would be sprinkled in as an ingredient in coffee cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LF,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am a huge cardamom fan; I like it where often cinnamon and cloves are used, and substitute it - people are surprised at it's aroma and unexpected warmth and yes - a bit of a floral quality.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I first came to know it as an ingredient in Turkish, Moroccan and Persian cuisines, but I believe some Scandinavian cuisine's also use it in sweets fairly commonly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I like it with vanilla in apricot, rhubarb and orange fruit applications ( I put it in my rhubarb pie). Also, it is great in sweet breads and cookies - playing nicely with almonds especially.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                These cookies are terrific: http://www.thespicehouse.com/recipes/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Count me among the huge fans of cardamom. Especially the black variety. I make a simple side dish that includes among other things black cardamom and carrots and guests always love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. dinner tonight was scallop ceviche and fried diced potatoes with spanish chorizo tacos. fried the potatoes with shallots, serranos and garlic thrown in at the end, and topped the tacos with sliced radicchio (we had it, instead of cabbage), cilantro, queso fresco, and crema blended with habanero sauce and lime. for the ceviche, i chopped up fresh water scallops, immersed them in fresh lime juice for about 2 hours, then mixed in chopped serranos, shallots, and cilantro, and topped with a little minced blood orange. made my own chips, sprinkled with cumin salt. on the side was a salad of nopalito (first time making this - not super impressed - rather flavorless, mostly texture), tomatoes, radishes, cukes, queso fresco, and a dressing of blood orange juice, olive oil, oregano and cumin. the ceviche was DELISH! the tacos were great too, very satisfying. the BF said "this is all certainly as good as anything Rick served us." (that's Bayless. which was a compliment, even though we weren't super thrilled with Topolobampo.) i have ceviche leftover, which i'm taking to work for lunch.... although i'm afraid being in lime juice all night will really destroy the texture of those yummy scallops...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          (the pics - i left my new camera at my sister's yesterday, so these were taken using my cell phone - i've already become spoiled at the difference!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Very nice - I think you outdid 'rick'..... pass the seviche and chips!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              hah- thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree...looks delicious! That cooking I'm sure does make you say "Rick who??" :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Kudos mc! Not only does it all look and sound incredible but big props for the extremely high praise from the BF. Well done!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  thanks, BC!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Gorgeous, just gorgeous!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Very nice, Mariacarmen! I really like the, for lack of the correct description, clover leaf bowl.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dayso, the Japanese $1.00 store!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Some good eats this weekend. The palak paneer I made on Sunday was a gigantic hit with one of my kids and spouse. Other kid, the picky one, avoided like the plague. Anyway, I am eager for more CSA spinach this weekend so I can do a repeat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ham and cheese sandwiches eaten on top of Old Rag yesterday were super yummy. Then when we got home, grilled burgers, fries, and steamed artichokes. And finished up batch 3 of the mango-pineapple salsa.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tcamp, would you mind sharing your Palak paneer recipe? I've been searching for a good one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MAH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've gotten hooked on Manjula's Kitchen so I used her recipe - http://www.manjulaskitchen.com/2007/0...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I didn't do the tomato garnish as the crowd was clamoring for dinner. My 11 year old actually licked the serving dish as he was clearing the table he liked it so much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Fantastic. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        tcamp it's been ages since I've had palak paneer, a dish I adore. Thanks so much for the reminder.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have to ask though...."Old Rag"??? What is this old rag of which you speak??

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Mountain" in Virginia's Shenandoah National Park popular for fairly challenging hike, rocky scramble, and spectacular views from the summit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.hikingupward.com/SNP/OldRag/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh how funny tcamp. I was thinking Old Rag was a food or sauce that you'd plated your sandwiches atop!! Duh! I'll go get another coffee now!! ; )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Last night was a porterhouse Frankensteak. I rarely eat porterhouse and have only ever had it at a steakhouse, as I prefer the ends of the spectrum either a grassfed sirloin or the full gusto ribeye. The steak was OK-the filet was fall apart tender as expected and the strip was good but I wasn't overwhelmed by it and remembered that I've never been a fan of the texture of the strip. Either way, the bone was great!! The plan was to serve with loaded baked potatoes but of course at the time my early desire for carbs had passed. I still scrubbed away at the tuber for SO but I had my typical meat only plate. I did get my carb fix later with probably the first normal sized bowl of ice cream in years (I'm usually the person who actually only wants to eat the serving size listed on the carton). It was a delightfully delicious bowl of chocolate and butter pecan with granola sprinkled on top, followed by a very ripe and juicy grapefruit bedtime snack.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My father grilled steaks quite often outdoors when we were younger, and he almost always bought the Porterhouse cut. He would let my mother and I have the filet portions of the steak along with hamburgers/hot dogs, and my Dad would polish off the NY Strip part of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Grapefruit juice is very refreshing, but it's tough to find good fresh grapefruit juice around here. I live off the Simply brand (Simply Grapefruit) juice, and dilute it halfway with ice cold water for a refreshing drink.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            For me Rib-Frankensteak is my choice...rare, soft just enough fat for the mouth...yum good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yea, I think I'm a rib girl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Feeling rather uninspired lately. Tonight's another "house grind" burger (the last of my supply) and some oven fries. My mom arrives tomorrow so I needed something quick n easy so I can finish cleaning the house. The new car sure put a damper on my bank account so I'm going to have to do a lot of "what's in the pantry/freezer" dinners for the next couple weeks.... should be interesting since my mom is here this week and my brother is here next. Thankfully both of them are easy to please :) I'm hoping having to be creative will help me feel more inspired.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I saw an Edge yesterday I think for the first time. Very nice looking. Good decision going with that. My guess is that it has a favorable MPG to size ratio.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's got a little gauge telling me what my mpg is (so now I'm obsessed), so far I'm at 23.5 average, so not too bad especially since we had to drive up the mountains on Sunday. Not as good as my 32mpg Accord though :) At least it's pretty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. To close out the weekend, my man decided to cook the family dinner:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              grilled marinated shrimp (cumin, jalepeno, garlic, cilantro, lime)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              guacamole
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              rice with cheese, scallions, jalepeno, cilantro for him and his parents

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I love it when other people cook for me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. We went to a party yesterday where spit roasted kid was served and our hosts insisted we take home some of the leftovers so tonight I am going to use that to make carnitas based loosely on the ATK recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                For a starter I am going with a chilled avocado soup. I think I have posted the details before but will again if anyone is interested.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  oh yum, spit roasted kid, you lucky ducks!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Kid taco's and avocado soup? What time is dinner?:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Tonight sees the return of "cooking the books" at Harters Hall. And the recipe comes from "Gok cooks Chinese", Gok Wan, 2012. An interesting sideline for Wan who is generally known for fashion rather than food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Recipe is Ginger Beef - basically a quick stirfry. Strips of sirloin steak, dusted in cornflour, fried then taken out of the wok. Into the pan goes ginger, garlic, spring onion and carrot for a quick fry. Then in goes soy, sugar, sesame oil rice vinegar, pepperand a little water. Recipe suggests sauce may need tweaking to taste. Well, of course, it may need tweaking - did I only start cooking yesterday? Beef back in to quickly warm up again. Served with rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's funny -- I had never heard of him until earlier today when I saw a link to his book from eatyourbooks.com, who have just indexed his book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ginger Beef is one of the most popular Chinese Canadian dishes in Western Canada. The recipe you paraphrased looks similar to what I've ordered in Calgary and Edmonton's Chinese restaurants. George Wong of Calgary's Silver Inn is recognized to be the inventor of Ginger Beef (or at least the inventor of the version that's a favourite in western Canada): http://www.silverinnrestaurant.com/si....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've never attempted making it at home, but I do order it whenever I visit Alberta or Saskatchewan. Hope you enjoy your dinner!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I chucked when I saw "cooking the books". After reading all of your post I certainly know what you are referring to, but in this part of the world "cooking the books" is a criminal offense that can land one in prison for years. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think that's what the phrase usually means where Harters lives, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: prima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Certainly does, prima.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hence using the phrase with a different intent ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Wow to all the food you all have cranked out this weekend! I tried to stay away from the computer to enjoy mangator's company and had quite a bit to catch up on here. The highlight of my weekend eating was Sunday, when we went to a great seafood restaurant in the city and I had soy poached sea bass. That was my birthday dinner since I'll be away on the actual day.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          After all the food, alcohol and sun from the weekend, I'm feeling a bit worn out today. A TJ's Tart d'Alsace for lunch and just simple grilled brats for dinner are on the menu today.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday weekend!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Belated Happy Birthday allie!! Hope the brats were as yummy as they sound and you managed to get some R&R last night!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Not too much cooking this past weekend. I was "gifted" with a jar of dried herring in olive oil from Canada that I only reluctantly accepted. I have always found dried herring too pungent, too out there for me. Apparently Canadians have unlocked the secret, because this melding of fish, olive oil and spices combined the aged funk of parmesan with the tang and seasoning of a good escabeche. In short I pretty much ate this all weekend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We get back to normal starting with dinner today. Mutton shoulder is on sale which means Pakistani-style braised mutton with green chilies and slow-cooked rutabagas stepping in for the potatoes and carrots my father would use. However having been fooled by last week's market circular, I need a Plan B: chicken quarters. Even if they're not on sale today, they're probably a value and tend to be a workhorse in my kitchen. Without many ideas for something creative, I may rely on my standard lazy sumac and spice blend to roast the chicken on a bed of tortillas and caramelized onions, filling the house with aroma of chicken and spice and all things nice. Meanwhile I have what may be the season's last brussels sprouts, so they deserve my attention. I reckon they'll get roasted with cardamom and nutmeg. I'll help the caramelization a bit with the addition of pomegranate molasses. To finish, they are glazed with tahini and topped with garlic panko crumbs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i cannot imagine something being too "out there" for you, JM! glad it worked out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ohhhh i love that tortilla bed chicken dish... been too long since i've made that.... and damn - those are some fancy brussels sprouts! i may have to copy this entire menu soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Like many fermented foods, dried herring is very pungent in a way that I found nearly frightening as a child. I can still remember the smell of my aunt frying dried fish during our trips to the countryside, a scent that made cowpies and hen houses seem like a reasonable alternative. And it was not without good reason that this was a dish she limited to our escapes from urban life. Not too long ago Manhattan Supreme Court heard a case against a couple whose penchant for dried fish produced a smell tenants in the building described as "potentially dangerous to life and health!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tonight's meal was a keeper. As I predicted, the market did not have any of the mutton advertised in the circular, but chicken quarters were on sale. Rather than going with the tried and true, I decided to experiment with the Spice House herbes de provence I have only used once. This blend featured whole fennel seed and unappealingly sharp rosemary needles so I ground it to a finer consistency along with thyme, salt, Aleppo pepper, black pepper and garlic. This mixture went inside the skin while a generous dusting of sumac went on top. And the combination worked superbly. The rutabagas which I used as a bed for the roasted chicken caramelized so thoroughly they were even sweeter than the brussels sprouts with pomegranate molasses. I think I've earned my Woodford Reserve old fashioned tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wow...sound like a fantastic marinade/rub for that roasted chicken, especially with the addition of the sumac to the outer skin. Yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    and then some. i love the way rutabagas get so sweet when you roast them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It sounds wonderful. I had to google rutabagas to find they are what we call swedes. I'll have to give them a go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        They are.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Woodford Reserve is Mr. Berheenia's favorite reward for a long week. The local is afraid to run out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I took delivery of a grill today (how American does that sound - I'll be saying zucchini next!) and had high hopes to use it for the first time tonight. I've had the saffron and lemon chicken marinating all day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Unfortunately the grill still needs to be assembled, I couldn't find anywhere local that sold liquid propane, and just to seal our fate, it's started to thunder. I admit defeat!!! (for today...)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The chicken is now the oven and I'm about to make batch two of pomegranate salsa, more red chilli this time. I think I'll do basmati rice, and a fattoush-style salad using the butter lettuce and more of the lovely pittas I found in Whole Foods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: helen_m

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        dear helen - we 'mericuns (as lingua likes to say) do not say "took delivery" - as you so elegantly put it! we shall not mistake you for one of us for a good long time, i'm glad to say. i love "hearing" the differences - even in this media.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          'murrcuns, please :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            oh sorry. i was being posh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Almost as posh as referring to oneself as an Americano (guess that should be Americana for a ladyhound/ Americani for the plural, although I'm pretty sure I've heard the term "Americanos" uttered in a posh coffee shop before);-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My bf came over from the other side of the pond as a small child but still anunciates things much like his Essex born mother. I also love hearing the difference. Please understand that this also pertains to helen_m in that I want to hear all the amazing food that you post that I may have to copy. I can't wait to read your posts to help me cook more for him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I thought I was doing so well with my use of grill instead of barbecue too :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: helen_m

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Courgette and Aubergine sounds SO much nicer than zucchini and eggplant. Please keep on keeping on with your word pronunciation, please. As mariacarmen said, we enjoy hearing" the differences, even in written form. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: helen_m

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Congratulations on the grill helen. Let's hope you have it assembled for next weekend and the weather co-operates too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Looking forward to reading of your American grilling adventures.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That said, one of my favourite grilled meals was some exquisite lamb chops we picked up from a butcher in London. They were cooked on a grill pan atop the hob at a flat we vacationing in along the Thames.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I had high hopes to try making Ina Garten's lemon chicken today mentioned somewhere here on this thread -- love the sound of it.... but general hungoverness kinda didn't make that happen. Most of the day was spent sleeping, recovering, and cleaning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So it's looking like a nice, steaming bowl of beef noodle soup from the local Chinese noodle soup place = usually enough to feed two, and a steal at $5.55 :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We even have a huge bottle of diet Pepsi in the fridge which my man got for the kids who joined us for the 'cue yesterday, but of course, they didn't have any because .... caffeine, duh. Coulda told him that in advance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We *never* buy soda (diet or else) anymore, but a diet coke with spicy soup is the perfect combo, IMNHO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Totally understand LF...you are a trooper of WFD .....If you can connect with a fellow CHDER on any level, outside this forum, such as MC and Grectchen, you will be rewarded100 times over!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I did today...our grandparents could possibly be from the same European town of more than 100 years ago!....this is wonderful!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  WFD...chicken soup after too many Coronas on Monday!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Phreddy are you saying you had CH meet-up with MC and Gretchen?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOOOO tell us more!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Color me intrigued, I wasn't there....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        yeah - out of body experience?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Speaking of which, a huge vice of mine is cola (either coca cola or pepsi will do). I saw Pepsi Throwback soda at the store and saw that it has no High Fructose Corn Syrup, just plain sugar in it. I talked myself into thinking "this is a healthier option of cola - no HFCS!", gave into temptation and bought a 12 pk case of it for 2.75. A great deal yes, but if it's around I will drink it, and sure enough I have had one can a day. What is it about summertime that especially makes me crave a glass of cola with ice??

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yeah, we used to be big diet soda drinkers (mostly coke zero or whatever it's called).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A few years ago, we just switched to water. On a few occasions, we got the Mexican coke, which is made with pure cane sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Honestly? Once you've weened yourself off of the stuff, it is *insanely* sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But with the MSG freakshow that is this particular beef noodle soup (a very rich broth with about a pound of noodles & plenty of beef & tendon), combined with the heat of a massive sploosh of sriracha, the sweetness of the soda really hit the spot. That combo is really unbeatable. And it has to be on ice, for sure :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I wish I could wean from diet coke but not really and haven't really tried :) I console myself and just think of it as one of my few vices. I'm also a weirdo and drink all beverages warm including soda. I was born in Germany where they aren't the biggest fans of ice either, so my parents like to think that I brought a piece of Europe back with me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's funny to hear you say that, Lingua - every other German person I know is congenitally opposed to ice (actually, that's true of almost every European person I know!). The woman I often live with when I go to Berlin doesn't even have a freezer. And the looks I get at restaurants in Germany when I ask for a LARGE glass of tap water with LOTS of ice? It's as though I've asked them for their firstborn child!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yah, I know. It's damn near impossible to get a properly cold drink in the fatherland. What's up with that??

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I don't really know where this pagophobia originated. Maybe we think the bubbles in our water make up for the lack of cold?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That said.... I don't tend to add ice cubes to our sodastream water, as I find it cold enough (it comes straight from the fridge, after all). But soda? On the rare occasions I have it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Must. Have. Ice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I am a big consumer of sparkling water, which I also find plenty cold if it comes out of the fridge. Same with soda - I don't really like ice in carbonated beverages in general, because I feel like it makes them lose their fizz (I almost never drink soda anyway). However, when it comes to flat water, it MUST HAVE ICE.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The ice really kills the buzz, so to speak.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A couple that I am good friends with is from India, and they ALWAYS order "room temperature water, no ice" at restaurants. They too find it strange that Americans on a whole enjoy ice with their water/drinks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We must have Pepsi on the beach with a tuna sandwich and chips. Any other time it's too sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yeah, apparently I am one of the rare few who drinks cola that doesn't have a personal favorite of either coke or pepsi. I have a vice for both, however it cannot be the diet kind. I didn't grow up drinking diet soda and just cannot get used to the difference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Side Note: Another drink besides Pepsi Throwback that I try to full myself into believing is healthier is San Pelligrino Aranciata soda. I love that stuff, too...and just for the record it DOES contain 16% fruit juice in it. :-) Oh, the ways I try to fool myself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I didn't grow up drinking pop but like you lingua I've developed a real taste for Diet Coke and for me it's anything Szechuan. As a matter of fact, that's what I had for lunch yesterday!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I used a 2 liter bottle of Coke that I bought for a group event for a doorstop to the balcony for 7 years. Finally got rid of it for the open house.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. My husband's hard at work on a pork chop Marsala dish with both porcini and regular mushrooms. That will be served with boiled potatoes, and an arugula salad with goat cheese will be our starter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I love Chicken Marsala, and can only imagine that the flavor the pork would impart would be even more amazing than chicken with the marsala sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sounds nice roxlet. Are you getting fresh potatoes now? I so enjoy them boiled or steamed to allow their natural sweetness to shine through.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The difference between store bought potatoes and potatoes purchased fresh from a farmer's market is astounding. One of my all time favorite side dishes is similar to what roxlet is describing...boiled small new potatoes cooked until soft (I like them a touch softer than even fork-tender), sliced in half, then a sauce of fresh squeezed lemon juice, chopped parsley, Kerrygold butter, and sea salt poured over the hot potatoes. Heaven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A meal after my own heart...Marsala, piggy oink oink and mushrooms. I usually use porcini for mushroom powder but I really should rehydrate and saute them one of these days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My husband, rjbh20 posted the photos.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wow, how did I just realize you were married?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          haha - wow indeed!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            27 years :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I buy dried porcinis for the sole purpose of rehydrating them with water/stock to extract the porcini flavored liquid to use in my cooking (can't easily digest mushrooms, so must resort to extreme measures to get the mushroomy flavor in my food)!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. The weather decided to cooperate today (only 75 since the clouds never burned off instead of the predicted 89,) so I get to satisfy my Czech gulas craving. Sauerkraut and sour cream, braised kale on the side, maybe a sweet potato for the man if he's in the mood for something starchy with it.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ah, it took me a moment to figure out "gulas" weezie! Yum!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Really simple tonight. Pork chops, roasted potatoes, roasted parsnips and mixed salad. Lost track of time, resulting in very dry chops tonight.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: prima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sorry about the dry chops prima...such a PITA when that happens. Hopefully all the other dishes made up for it. I love roasted parsnips!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I have accumulated a nice supply of asparagus. I prefer the medium-thickness and so with each bundle was separating the really skinny and really fat for some rainy day. Well, tonight I figured out a use for the really fat guys and used them in Mark Bittman's asparagus pesto. I grabbed a few chicken breasts, stuffed them with pesto, with a dollop or two more pesto on top and served them on larger-than-my-head portabello mushroom caps. The dinner was light and quite refreshing although the pesto was quite light. I had to readjust my expectations given that I'm familiar mostly with basil pesto and so expect a nice wollop of flavor but the asparagus pesto is very subtle. It was a good and a nice way to use asparagus but I think it's too subtle for my tastes. I'm not sure what I could add to amp up the flavor as there was a good amount of EVOO, parm and pine nuts. I think it's destined to be light given that the flavor of asparagus especially steamed/boiled is light. Perhaps, if I made it with roasted asparagus it might wow me more but for tonight it most definitely hit the spot...don't get me wrong, I still licked the plate :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sorry it wasn't as flavourful as you'd hoped fid but it sure looks outstanding!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have to admit that I have been thinking about it ever since so I must have liked it. I think I might try it with roasted asparagus or perhaps pump up the seasoning of the chicken or mushrooms. I think prosciutto would work well here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The mushrooms must have been absolutely huge!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I had asparagus pesto plans to use up the two bunches in Thursday's veg box but we managed to eat them all over the holiday weekend! I like the sound of it and will try it at some point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: helen_m

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It was a great refreshing meal. The mushrooms I coated with oil, salt and pepper and sprinkled shallots, garlic, and balsamic vinegar and steamed them for 20 minutes in foil and then uncovered and roasted. I would definitely recommend you try the pesto. The mushrooms were indeed huge! I usually buy sliced or slice them but these were so huge and I've never seen them that big that I had to take advantage. The store had so many wonderful things last Friday I imagine in anticipation of the holiday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Speaking of Bittman and asparagus, there was an article in today's WashPost about him and his VB6 book. He and the food section's editor, Joe Yonan, shopped and cooking together, making a carrot and asparagus stir fry. I was up early prepping dinner before work and ended up making the stir fry and it was terrific. I highly recommend it next time you have asparagus that wants a spicy treatment. I added shiitakes and substituted salted hunanese chiles for the red pepper flakes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://projects.washingtonpost.com/re...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. Yet another puzzlingly cool and rainy day for the end of May, so pork rib chops Marsala with porcini, preceded by arugula with roasted walnuts, chèvre and lemon vinaigrette.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Yesterday turned out to be very rainy, so I didn't feel like grilling, esp. since I still had 1/2 a roast chicken in the fridge. I did make a huge batch of chicken stock, so in the end went light, and made a big cobb salad with the usual everything, and a small batch of avgolemeno ( one of my favorite soups; the lemon and dill, and smoothness from the egg) with pastina and spinach in it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tonight, tho, after a busy day; I am craving cheezy-pleezy food!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I did start a batch of Bin5 peasant dough today, so am thinking of taking a tennis-ball portion out and making a bbq-chicken pizza, with bbq sauce base, black olives, shredded chicken, marinated red onions, yellow pepper, spinach and lot's o' Italian blend cheese up top. Perhaps sneak in the last of the chorizo for kicks n' heat. Yep. That's WFD!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Gingershelly, I always admire the fact that you are so open-minded and versatile. Your version of avgolemeno sounds splendid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I love a good avgolemono. I've only made it once (last fall) and loved it. So delicious and satisfying!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Love that you put pastina in your rendition of avgolemeno...I don't think I have had it with pastina in it before. Yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: littleflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LF,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            for me, pastina or orzo is traditional in avogolemeno; added for 5 minutes just before you strain off a cup of the broth to mix back into the egg/lemon mis to temper it, then add it back. By the time you get the egg/lemon mix in, the tiny pasta is cooked and all you have to do is warm the egg-ed broth :) through to thicken slightly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yeah, it's been awhile since I have had it...I love anything lemony so that sounds like a great comfort food soup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I love avgolemono too but have never made it and need to do so soon with such delicious spinach everywhere. Tell me about your fav recipe!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              tcamp,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't even use a recipe anymore, but just eyeball it...Depending on servings wanted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Let's say I want 4:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Heat 4 cups of homemade chix broth (pretty important here, as depth of flavor is so much better). Sometimes I sauté up a thinly sliced green onion for a minute or two, then put in the broth. Add a tsp. of dried fragrant dill (or if you have fresh, wait a bit and put that in later).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              While that warms, beat 2-3 eggs well with a wire whip with about 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice. More egg makes it thicker, so adjust for your preference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              When the stock simmers, add in about 1/4 cup of orzo or pastina (tiny pasta dots), return to simmer until cooked through. If you have fresh dill you want to use, add up to 3 tbsp. or so, minced, to the soup now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Tilt the pot and skim about a cup of hot broth off the top and gradually mix into the egg/lemon mix to temper it. Check to make sure your pasta is done (as you can't boil anymore at this point), then slowly whisk the egg/lemon/broth back into the pot. At this point, I often stir in some fresh chopped spinach, or blanched asparagus bits to add some greens to the soup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              On very low heat so the soup doesn't boil, stir constantly gently for about 5 minutes, until the soup thickens some. Taste for dill, s&p, and serve in hot bowls, perhaps with additional dill sprinkled on top.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Best with warm bread or pita on the side; maybe olives, feta, and humus too:)!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks, that sounds great. And eyeballing is precisely my type of cooking!