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What's for Dinner #252 - The Halloween Edition [Through October 31, 2013]

The foulest stench Is In the air
The funk of forty thousand years
And grizzy ghouls from every tomb
Are closing in to seal your doom
And though you fight to stay alive
Your body starts to shiver
For no mere mortal can resist
The evil of the Thriller!
~~ Rap by Vincent Price

A well-known and extremely accomplished cook himself, I don't think Vincent would mind being the lead-in to the Halloween edition of the WFD thread, do you?

There's a definite chill in the air......oh, who am I kidding? It was downright COLD last night and I finally turned on the heat!

It's time to turn to stews, soups, comfort foods. It's well past time! What's cooking in your kitchens this weekend and leading up to Ghoul Night? Something frightful and delightful?

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  1. And as I said in the previous thread, I'm going for the "blood red" sangria as my libation tonight. Tapas TBD.

    1 Reply
    1. re: LindaWhit

      > Pork Tenderloin with Blue Sheep Cheese and Portobello Mushrooms
      > Beef Tenderloin with Roasted Red Pepper on Toast
      > Saffron-Battered Fried Shrimp with Mojo Sauce
      > Tarta de Chocolate con Dulce de Leche
      > Churros with Warm Chocolate Sauce
      > Sangria, mango martinis, beer, Cuarenta y Tres

      All of that = 3 very happy, contented ladies. It had been way too long since we were last there - five weeks! This just will not do! LOL

    2. As for my now-common tardie replies:), here is a re-post of last nights eats and today's plan.....

      "Last night's planned 'lamb dip' on a toasted french roll, with goat cheese spread and caramelized onions was very tasty.

      Tonight I am hunkering down at home again, with a chicken 'boob' thawing (looking at you LW!), and planning on stuffing that with pizza flavors; pepperoni, a slab of roasted pepper and some fontina (poultry with cheese, Field Hawk!). Perhaps topped with some pizza sauce, or maybe just deglazed with white wine...

      Also going to make some zuchinni fritters for a sort of carby veggie side, and some red wine shall be drunk.

      Served up with guilty-pleasure Hawaii-5 Oh, and Formula 1 practice (which all about team gossip),

      That is all to energize up for the local Burien Boo-fest with friends and their kids - aged 4&5, who we are taking 'trick-or-treating' in my nearby town square tomorrow afternoon where there will be pumpkin painting, wiener dog races, puppy-costume contest, and candy galore at the neighborhood merchants. Yeah.:)"

      So Chix boob, and Zuch in my future tonight:) Love U all!

      3 Replies
      1. re: gingershelley

        Thank you thank you thank you re: the F1 race practice.

        I COMPLETELY forgot that aired tonite since it's the Indian G.P.

        Imma goona do white chicken chili tonite.
        Decade old recipe with quick soak northern beans, poached chicken that I shread and add at the end.
        Chicken stock, onions, roasted and deseeded poblanos and jalepenos, big can green cilies, bunch of spices including ancho, de arbol and santafe chile powder I grind myself and, at the end of cooking. fold monterey jack chese into the chili itself before serving.
        Makes things creamy as &^%$ but does not bind up and freezes and reheats like a charm.

        Topped with sour cream, more shredded mont. jack, salsa, pickeled jalepenos, Chihula sauce or hot sauce of choice and tortilla chips on the side.

        I usually participate in 3 or 4 chili cook-offs a winter with 15-25 participants each and have won with it several times.

        It is a great way to get new ideas or recipes (if people are willing to share). LOL. But true. i never take offense to it.

        Picked a secret one up last winter from a secret family recipe that included pork shoulder, brewed coffee and raisins that were soaked and then purreed. It is stellar.

        White chicken chili only takes about 2 hrs to cook and since I fold the chicken in at the end, it poaches as the rest cooks.

        Not pour out of a box and add ground meat quick but not nurse it all day style.

        1. re: jjjrfoodie

          That chili sounds great; you should post to 'dish of the month', which is chili for Oct.

          Enjoy the F1 practice. Lot's of juicy gossip today, and more smog than you can shake a stick at around the track, and of course - tire issues!

          Now I want chili......

        2. re: gingershelley

          Wow, we are on the same page it seems. I just planned a few meals for the next few days and stuffed chicken with salami and Fontina is scheduled for lunch tomorrow which I planned to serve with mushrooms doused with a splash of sherry :) I hope for both of us, it's tasty!

        3. What a great lede, LW.

          Coolerater here is bare. Deb dug deep into the freezer tonight and pulled out some burgers we had ground a bit ago. Spuds from the pantry will be boiled and repurposed as potato salad. Beer for me, wine for Deb.

          Back to the left coast (LA) Sunday morning. It's a great food town.

          7 Replies
          1. re: steve h.

            Cool and rainy Tuesday, otherwise the weather will be wonderful.

            Have a great trip!

            1. re: weezieduzzit

              Thanks! We'll be spending some quality car time at the Nethercutt Museum.

              Shunji, Red Medicine, K-Town (never have enough Korean food) are on the agenda.

                1. re: steve h.

                  Sometime Steve, you and Deb should come up to SEA area, and we can have a Chow meetup, and you guys can visit the LeMay car museums in Tacoma!

              1. re: steve h.

                Have a very good trip, steve h. You and Deb sure do get around. ;-)

                1. re: steve h.

                  Boy do you have good timing! The temps in western New England are going down! Pot Roast weather but I wish we all could be California Girls!

                2. Last night's dinner was a very spicy butternut squash soup followed by chicken piccata.

                  Tonight's main event will be a grilled sirloin over arugula. I love sirloin, and it's very diet friendly, but we don't have it too frequently. Starting off the meal will be a potato and bacon chowder that I'll likely not partake of.

                  1. I've got some reasonably halloweeny sweet potato falafel in the oven (they are orange, at least!) We'll have them with brown rice pilaf and a slaw with beetroot, fennel, kale etc.

                    That's a bit worth for a Friday night, isn't it? But don't worry, we have some Oregon pinot gris on the go.

                    1. Great lead in LW- best part of the whole song!

                      kale soup, homemade rolls and a fire in the fireplace. BFF joined in. Perfect Friday night!

                      Oh and I picked up a bag of fun size Milk Way "just the caramel" bars. To die for…..

                      1. Tonight we started with creamy roasted butternut squash garnished with a spicy pumpkin seed brittle, sour cream, and pumpkin seed oil, then moved on to salad w/ lemony grilled chicken, honey-dijon-balsamic vinaigrette, avocado, tomato, and cucumber. The soup was great; the salad could have been dried better before I assembled.


                        7 Replies
                          1. re: gingershelley

                            Thanks. I really liked the crunchy element with the brittle. I hate eating soups that remind me of baby food purees.

                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                              Get yerself a spinner, pronto. No more wet salads, ever!

                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                I have a spare salad spinner (couldn't live without one whilst our kitchen equipment was being shipped) so I'll bring it next time I see you!

                              2. Tonight will be a late and simple dinner. My sweets is doing inventory so that means in at six am and home by midnight if all goes well and back tomorrow again to repeat. Lucky the man has the stamina to pull it off. When he gets in it is all he can do to pop open a beer and shove something simple in his face. Blt,s with potato salad. Fancy. Although, the tomatoes are still really nice here(don't be mad) and I got a big ass beefsteak that weighed in at just over a pound. Perfect for blt's.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: suzigirl

                                  A tomato like that has BLT written all over it. Enjoy.

                                  1. re: weezieduzzit

                                    Exactly. It was to pretty to pass up. Wish i could figure out my tablet and post a pic. But I just planted my winter tomatoes. Can't wait.

                                2. Soup for us tonight, too. Coconut pumpkin with a good dose of ginger in it. Toasted coconut and pepitas to top it. It's going with teriyaki salmon and a quick stir fry of hericot vert and shiitakes (possibly with some oyster sauce, not sure what direction I want to go with them yet, if at all. I think green beans are pretty perfect on their own.)

                                  1. A segue into cooler weather. Bacon & potato soup followed by sirloin on arugula with chives.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: rjbh20

                                      Great color on the steak. Looks delicious

                                      1. re: rjbh20

                                        Lord help me - bacon, potatoes, and steak. How on earth could you ever have gone wrong? You couldn't. Looks amazing, rjbh!

                                        1. last night (after watching TC NOLA on Wed.), i told the BF i had a craving for Vietnamese or Thai. ended up going to the Oldster's and ordering very average take-out Thai food which i didn't even finish. Tonight, i came home to EXACTLY what i was craving: a spicy ground chicken thai salad over vietnamese stick noodles, with a korean scallion pancake on the side. hit all the right notes. and he did NOT forget the lemongrass, let it be known, and he certainly "captured the essence"! (obviously, he watched TC with me.)

                                          on top of that, he had skinned the chicken before he ground it, fried the skins all for me and served them on the side. thanks baby!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. I'm making beef barley soup today for dinner, lunch next week, and the freezer. Going to try a bread recipe from Flour Water Salt Yeast to go with.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Njchicaa

                                              Meeeeee toooooo! Well, I'm not sure it'll be dinner as I really want some pork tenderloin, but I'm making it for the freezer (and for some Mom freezer meals). :-)

                                            2. Bourbon......
                                              Fresh Catfish fried in Peanut Oil.
                                              Fresh from the garden mustard greens/turnip roots seasoned with Tasso and a little bacon.
                                              Hushpuppies. One will no doubt fall into the pot likker. ;)
                                              A few FF potatoes maybe...
                                              The little brown-eyed girl will have her weekly fix of Sweet tea. I'll stick with unsweetened.
                                              A little something sweet later with coffee & chicory.

                                              4 Replies
                                                  1. re: Uncle Bob

                                                    So you mix boiled turnips into your braised mustard greens? Sounds very peppery, but if I like both those things separately, I can't help but wonder how great they'd be together.

                                                    1. re: JungMann

                                                      If I'm interpreting Uncle Bob's post correctly, the turnips will be cut into manageable chunks and then cooked in the same pot as the greens. That's how we cook greens at my house, anyway.

                                                  2. Culminating a week of very few home-cooked dinners, last night was a hot dog and a few nachos at the little league stadium. Brrrrrr.

                                                    Tonight, I'm making a tortelleni and sausage soup for me and #1 son. Then off to a neighbor's for birthday cake and champagne.

                                                    1. Last night, my next door neighbor brought over a flat (20) of fresh eggs from his chickens. He's got 9 of them and gets a couple dozen eggs per week. He was a bit overwhelmed by how many eggs he has and doesn't know what to do with so many.

                                                      So, I went out to my garden, picked out some tomatoes, basil, and peperoncino, and headed over to his house.

                                                      I made eggs in pugatory (uova in purgatoria) dusted with pecorino, and a chunk of crusty bread. He was in heaven.

                                                      Later this afternoon I'll probably head over to show him how to make fresh egg pasta and a zabaione or meringue. Maybe discuss slautering a couple of the chickens if it gets too out of control for him.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. It's quite chilly and I'm in the mood for warmth so I pulled out a few turkey tenderloins to be seasoned with shallot pepper, baked, topped with smoked blue cheese and served on a bed of sauteed mushrooms and tomatoes.

                                                        1. I didn't have any interesting-looking meat in the freezer, so I headed over to our local Hispanic butcher shop this morning and picked up some GORGEOUS short ribs. They're braising in an ancho/guajillo/chipotle sauce right now. DH requested french fries alongside, so I'll make some using the cold oil method when the ribs are ready. Maple Tarte Tatin for dessert.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. Since Saturday is my no cook day, it'll be leftovers tonight. BF brought home a plate of BBQ chicken, green beans and boiled potatoes from a fire dept fundraiser last night; there's leftover chicken & shrimp fried rice, and lima bean soup. I have a loaf of sourdough in the freezer, part will be turned into slices of garlic bread. There's ice cream and chocolate covered peanuts for "afters"

                                                            1. Finally back in the kitchen this weekend! We have an invitation to a grad student Halloween party for tonight, but neither of us ever gave much thought to the costume question... so we decided to stay home instead and enjoy a 'magical' evening on our own :-D

                                                              Dinner will be broiled salmon filets that will marinate in a mix of black bean sauce, soy sauce, ginger, rice wine, honey & brown sugar; for sides we'll have petite peas with mint and a kiss of white wine & crème fraîche, and butter lettuce with a chive-buttermilk-yogurt-dressing.

                                                              For tomorrow, I bought two racks of spare ribs which will be smoked. Finally. I've only seen my smoker from the outside for the last few weeks. Time to get on that smoke train again. Sides for that will be roasted beans and cole slaw.

                                                              12 Replies
                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                  I have a party tonight, and am doing the simplest costume; dressing in gray skinny jeans, a white fitted T (from the thrift store), and have glued a whole array of paint chip cards around the neck in Gray tones, kind of like a 'tonal collar': '50 shades of gray" :)

                                                                  Hope the appetizers are good!

                                                                  1. re: gingershelley

                                                                    Ha! Yeah, saw that costume idea on Fb somewhere.

                                                                    Have fun & good apps!

                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                      I did as well - practically free! Enjoy, gingershel!

                                                                    2. re: gingershelley

                                                                      Love it! My SIL went as that last year. Most of the woman she saw got it instantly. Most of men got it after the woman started laughing madly.

                                                                      1. re: foodieX2

                                                                        I realize it is a little cliché by now, but it was easy, cheap, and alot of people hadn't seen it yet (SEA can be such a back water....), plus the first book was placed here.

                                                                        Had a good time:) - lame party food tho, except from myself - caramelized onion dip with homemade pita toast & fennel for dipping, and a friend of mine who brought a cool savory cake roulade with a caviar and creme filling:)

                                                                        1. re: gingershelley

                                                                          I usually wear the same costume every year so you get major kudos from me!

                                                                          Sorry the food didn't shine but your and your friends sound great.

                                                                          1. re: foodieX2

                                                                            Thanks.... I have a bunch of costume stuff in boxes, but needed something easy and 'fresh' this year :)

                                                                            It was fun, and yes - my friends are great!

                                                                            1. re: gingershelley

                                                                              A food related costume a couple wore to a party I went to this weekend -- One all in black, the other all in red, including hand/face makeup and hats to match. Carrying examples of themselves: red and black licorice.

                                                                              1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                DH and I used to do Halloween parties every year. Closest we ever got to food related was DH went as a tube of Crest Toothpaste (Kentucky Fried Chicken Bucket was the "cap" and a sheet he painted was the "tube") and I went as a toothbrush (white sweats and a big piece of foam rubber atop my head with a whole lot of pipe cleaners stuck in it for the "brush". Love the licorice and the 50 shades of grey!

                                                                                1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                  That is a cute idea for a pair of costumes Boyzoma; I love home-made costumed WAY more than purchased or rented - it shows creativity, IMHO - a little more invested in the moment.

                                                                                  1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                    Thanks, GS. One year I went as a Christmas tree that lit up! Used a green sheet and made a pull tie at the neck, arm holes (zigzagged) and a hoola hoop sewn in the bottom to form the tree bottom. Shoe boxes on my feet for the presents.

                                                                                    But my most fond memories of these Halloween parties were all the yummy foods that were served. Everyone brought something and it was all wonderful.

                                                                  2. Another late night in the suzigirl household again. Campbell's tomato soup and grilled sharp cheddar cheese sandwiches served with pickle spears. Another fancy dinner here..

                                                                    1. Grilled mahi-mahi filet on spicy Asian noodles with avocado.

                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: rjbh20

                                                                        Yum. What kinds of flavors went into those nicely sauced noodles?

                                                                        1. re: rjbh20

                                                                          Great looking plate.

                                                                          Avocados taste great on the left coast and never quite measure up on the east. Your sources are clearly better than mine.

                                                                          1. re: steve h.

                                                                            They're all from the same place. Key is to use them at the right stage of ripeness -- I get them when they're hard as rocks, but a few days later on the counter they're ready to go.

                                                                            1. re: rjbh20

                                                                              Not necessarily the case. Same place? Yep. Same quality? That's arguable.

                                                                              A good avocado is killer.

                                                                        2. A good errand day. Got home in time to make beef-barley-vegetable soup - mostly freezer meals for Mom. Used up 5 cups of my homemade beef stock, so that cleared out some room in my downstairs freezer. Beef cubes, yellow pearl onions, chunks of carrots, cubed Yukon Gold potatoes, barley, salt, pepper dried oregano, bay leaf and, since I forgot to pick up mushrooms at the stupidmarket, I reconstituted a small handful of dried porcini mushrooms - not too much to overwhelm Mom, who doesn't like strongly flavored 'shrooms, but enough to give it a nice depth of flavor. Simmered the whole lot for about 1-1/2 hours. Into containers for the freezer (1 smaller container for me for a workday lunch as well).

                                                                          Dinner? I wanted pork. Found some nice loin cut pork chops at Hannaford at an incredible price, so they're marinating in a bit of fresh lime juice, olive oil, garlic, Aleppo pepper and a hefty pinch of lime zest. They'll be pan-seared over high heat, and white wine will be added to the pan and then into a 350° oven to finish cooking.

                                                                          Sides will be most of what's left of the CSA greens - I think it's a combination of a bit of Swiss chard, any amaranth that looked OK, and some other green I couldn't figure out, even from the CSA's pictures online. Some finely chopped red bell pepper will be sauteed in olive oil, the greens added with some salt and pepper, and wilted until their done.

                                                                          Some basmati rice alongside, with whatever pan sauce is left from the pork chops.

                                                                          There's wine. And GO SOX!!!

                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit


                                                                            Well done.

                                                                            Go Sawx? I have a hard time wrapping my head around that but I'll cut you some slack.

                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                              I love vegetable beef barley soup. I have not added mushrooms in the past. Must change that! I also add celery to my soup though. And you are right, it freezes so well. Your mom will be a happy camper!

                                                                              1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                Yeah, my original recipe called for celery as well; also didn't have that, but I added some CSA celery leaves I had chopped and frozen awhile back. Added it during the pearl onions & carrots sauté time frame.

                                                                                Making it with all beef broth (additional 1 cup of water added) really gives it a nice flavor vs. all water, as the original recipe called for. This way, if Mom thinks there is "too much barley" and the soup is too thick, she can add more more to thin out the soup without thinning out the flavor.

                                                                              2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                I forgot to buy porcinis yesterday so my beef barley soup didn't get them. It's so funny that we had the same plan yesterday: freezer meals and lunch for work.

                                                                              3. Crab cakes were on the menu. Orzo with sautéed red peppers plus the last of the potato salad were the sides. Deb's tartar sauce was condiment. House white for Deb, house red for me. The Patrick Dempsey Racing at Le Mans series will be on the plasma.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: rjbh20

                                                                                    LA in the morning. Good food, good cars, twisty roads, warm weather.

                                                                                    Yeah, totally. My Giants suck, too.

                                                                                1. Tonight it's grilled lamb burgers, leftover potato salad, leftover summer squash gratin, and a small salad of tossed greens with a Greek yogurt and dill dressing while we make the mole coloradito for tomorrow night's Oaxacan lamb shanks.

                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: zeldaz51

                                                                                    Oaxacan lamb shanks? What goes into that drool inspiring dish?

                                                                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                      Well, funny you should ask! Disaster goes into it now. About ten minutes after I posted, I heard, "Oh, no, it's RUINED!" come from the kitchen. After so carefully roasting and then then pureeing tomatoes, garlic, two types of chiles (guajillo and ancho), sesame seeds, peppercorns, cinnamon, and oregano, then adding Mexican chocolate and "sugar", my husband tasted it to find he had grabbed the pickling salt in the pantry, NOT the sugar! The label clearly says "pickling salt", but.... Most common mistake anyone could possibly make, but it did wreck the mole (which smelled incredibly wonderful) beyond repair. We will try again another day, he should have the hang of it by then!
                                                                                      Today's lesson: cooking while sleep-deprived is not to be recommended.
                                                                                      So, it's plan B for the lamb shanks tomorrow, a Spanish recipe that braises them in sherry. Sounds good to me. Anyway, if you'd like to see the Oaxacan recipe (it's on another cooking site), I'd be glad to send you that way. Not so sure it would be politic to post a link here. The shanks are seared, coated in mole, sprinkled with vinegar and onion, then wrapped in banana leaves and baked four hours.

                                                                                      1. re: zeldaz51

                                                                                        zeldaz, it's ok to post links, if the full recipe is online. And SO sorry to hear about the pickling salt vs. the sugar. The substitute Spanish recipe sounds great as well, however!

                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                          OK, thanks for the info. It's frowned upon on some other sites, so I am cautious. The recipe is at http://www.food.com/recipe/oaxacan-la.... Right now the lamb shanks are braising in sherry, homemade chix stock, bay, onion, clove, carrot, garlic, and a tad of smoked Spanish paprika. Smells good, but not as complex. We'll puree the veggies into the sauce, have some brown basmati, maybe some roasted Brussels sprouts.

                                                                                          1. re: zeldaz51

                                                                                            Thanks. Tonights dinner sounds lovely as well.

                                                                                        2. re: zeldaz51

                                                                                          OH NO! oh man, he probably feels terrible! sorry about that - the dish sounded amazing. but so does the sherry braise - sherry sounds like an excellent foil to lambs's lamby goodness.

                                                                                          and welcome to WFD!

                                                                                      2. re: zeldaz51

                                                                                        zeldaz51, welcome! Sounds like an amazing meal - both tonight and tomorrow night!

                                                                                        1. re: zeldaz51

                                                                                          Could you share the recipe/method for your summer squash gratin?

                                                                                        2. Tonight I made chicken braised in almond milk w/asparagus and corn. I subbed green beans for the asparagus and only had ginger in spice form on hand. I made my own almond milk using almond butter and water - so easy w/ good results. It turned out very creamy, the recipe called for coconut milk as well. For a dish w/o dairy it was very rich. Unfortunately the dish overall was bland. I think the addition of some paprika or curry and more ginger and garlic might improve it. I think it would be an improvement to serve it on a bed of peppery sauteed greens instead of rice. I liked the texture of the sauce a lot, the chicken was very succulent as well. I look forward to working with this recipe in the future as it has a lot of possibilities.


                                                                                          For the almond milk I used 1 tbs. almond butter to 1 cup water and liquefied it in my blender. It cost me about $.25 compared to a carton of almond milk which was $2.50 at the store.

                                                                                          1. Spent the day at the Oldster's, and had taco truck tacos for lunch, forgetting that the BF was making... tacos! flank steak he seasoned with olive oil and vinegar, cumin, granulated garlic and some red chili pepper, and then fried quickly - perfect crust, rare on the inside - amazingly good flavor. the best was the habanero cheddar i found, which he sprinkled over the tortillas before charring them over the burner. he sure gave the taco truck a run for its money! alongside was guac, crema, chips, green and red jalapeno sauce, and black beans.

                                                                                            and we have leftovers for snax tonight over cocktails.

                                                                                            tomorrow i'm gonna do something Vietnamese with pork shoulder and lemon grass.

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                              An all taco day, yum. The homemade ones look good.

                                                                                              1. OK, this is one of those dinners where, after a bit of prep, it's going to sit on the hob and potter away all by itself.

                                                                                                There is a reason for this *

                                                                                                There's a big piece of free-range unsmoked gammon that's going to get browned. Onion gets softened; wine goes in. Meat goes back in, along with thyme, carrots, parsnips, spuds, peas, tin each of flageolet and butter beans. And some water. It potters for an hour until cooked through. Meat then comes out; skin discarded; meat chopped into bite-sized and goes back in the pan just to warm back through. Crusty bread alongside.

                                                                                                *While dinner potters, I'll be glued to the TV watching Manchester City absolutely thrash Chelsea. Come on, you Blues!

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                  "Sunday afternoon football" translates across the Big Blue Pond - just two different sports. Enjoy your game - AND your dinner - sounds good!

                                                                                                2. Sunday dinner is going to be braised pigs feet with crushed red pepper, cider vinegar & onions. Skillet fried cabbage with bacon to go with as well as potato salad. I'm going to make apple pie of some sort because I have a hankering and a pound cake for the BF.

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                    I'll be round in a little while, Cheryl. Sounds fab. I lurve pigs trotters (although we've never cooked them ourselves)

                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                      You are most welcome at my table Harters...it's a little chilly here and perfect weather to cook them and so darn easy!

                                                                                                  2. Last night was a refreshing Asian Chicken Salad. Cold spaghetti noodles, cole slaw cabbage, shredded carrots, julienned red pepper and green onion. All tossed with an Asian dressing and topped with sliced chicken. Really good.

                                                                                                    Tonight is going to be a nice big pot of beef stew. It always makes the house smell so good, and one of my favorite comfort foods of all time.

                                                                                                    1. Great busy-ness has meant a lot less real cooking over the past weeks, but life is calming down.

                                                                                                      Went to a book launch this week for a cookbook done by the three finalists of Masterchef (the amateur version). Lovely that Larkin, Dale and Natalie combined to do this book which contains many of the recipes from the series- they were there at the launch talking about the book and being on Masterchef and what an engaging trio they are.
                                                                                                      At the launch it was pointed out by the interviewer that many of the recipes are aspirational (for which read - lots of ingredients and lots of faff - but it's Masterchef for goodness' sake, they can't get away with shoving any old thing together). Anyway..... They were each asked what a good start point recipe was from their section, so tonight we are having fennel meatballs and I've also bought the ingredients to do beetroot risotto in the week.

                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Londonlinda

                                                                                                        Good to see that two of the finalists are getting a good break in professional kitchens with Natalie doing a stint with Marcus Wareing and Larkin at the Fat Duck. I assume Dale has gone back to making his millions with his recruitment company.

                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                          I don't recognize the Marcus Wareing name, but I *do* recognize the Fat Duck restaurant name! That's a great jumping off point for a professional career!

                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                            Wareing is an ex head chef in the Gordon Ramsay empire. Now off on his own - with 2 Michelin stars. Great chef but, whenever i see him on TV, I always think "what an arsewipe".

                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                              LOL!! OK, I'm glad I wasn't taking a sip of my 2nd cuppa cawfee, Harters. The last comment made me snort. :D

                                                                                                          2. re: Harters

                                                                                                            Evidently he and Larkin are starting an Asian food business (no other info) together.

                                                                                                        2. The in laws are over today. Starting with a hot smoked salmon, prawn, beetroot and pink grapefruit salad.
                                                                                                          For main it's slow cooked shin of beef. I bought far too much meat, nearly 3 kilos for six people (it is on the bone though). What with the amount of meat and whole bottle of wine and litre of beef stock only just manged to fit it in the large Chasseur pot.
                                                                                                          For afters missus has made a chocolate cake with home made plum jam and whipped cream in the middle and chocolate truffles with salted caramel filling for the top. I can feel a food coma coming on.

                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Paprikaboy

                                                                                                            Interested to know how the starter gets on, PB. In partic. how the grapefuit works.

                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                              The starter was a composite oft the missus' excellent prawn and grapefruit salad and me wanting mackerel , beetroot and horseradish. Bit of an argument and a compromise in Sainsbury's. As with all these things turned out to be 2 good starters on one plate.

                                                                                                              The shin of beef was great though didn't seem done after 3 1/2 hours, so was bit worried Another hour and it was perfect. It's amazing how that last hour can make such a difference, even after 3 1/2 hrs

                                                                                                              1. re: Paprikaboy

                                                                                                                Ta. Never cooked shin on the bone - although off the bone it's our standard stew beef.

                                                                                                            2. re: Paprikaboy

                                                                                                              < a chocolate cake with home made plum jam and whipped cream in the middle>

                                                                                                              Oh goodness, that sounds amazing. Any recipe you can share?

                                                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                Here's the recipe that was used. Subbed plum jam for the ganache and made it double decker, rather than triple decker. Added salted caramel truffles on top instead of the raspberries.


                                                                                                                The MIL was told not to bring anything but brought an amazing baked cheesecake and cherry compote.

                                                                                                              2. Last night was tasty, and very light dinner: Grilled Mahimahi over spicy Asian noodles with sliced avocado. Delicious!

                                                                                                                1. Making a vegetable lasagna today. We weren't planning to host football but the 1pm game is big here-- Eagles vs. Giants. So 2 other couples are coming over and the guys will have fun yelling at the tv and each other.

                                                                                                                  I had planned to do veggie lasagna anyway because I have eggplant and stuff to use up. I make my veg lasagna with red sauce. I also grabbed a container of frozen meatballs/sauce because I know the men will want meat with their dinners.

                                                                                                                  1. I had planned Texas-style chili, but DH wanted a break from red meat, so I'm rethinking.

                                                                                                                    There's leftover roasted butternut squash soup to start. I'm thinking about some kind of casserole/gratin with sauteed chicken breast, steamed broccoli and cauliflower, onion, cheese, and maybe cream/cream-of-something soup. Let's see how it shakes out.

                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                      We do feel like red meat tonight and thanks to you it will be a Trader Joe's pot roast. You had written about the Trader Joe's Organic Beef Sirloin Roast your husband made so on our recent 100 mile trek to TJ's I picked one up and also got their Cabernet Beef Pot Roast. I couldn't remember which one you had made but they both looked good, are perfect for two people and have a decent shelf life. Nice on Sundays when I'd rather watch football than cook. Green beans, mashed potatoes and Bulleit are also on the menu. Thanks again.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                        Nice! They are not bad, really, just a bit salty. We had the organic sirloin, not the cabernet.

                                                                                                                        I've changed my mind, and for dinner we're having leftover chicken paprikas and cauli mash instead. We had turkey burgers w/ bbq and provolone for lunch (no bun for me), along with leftover butternut squash soup. Blackberries for dessert.

                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                          The pot roast was tough but we liked the gravy I made from the drippings a lot. I nayed it on the TJ's October thread.
                                                                                                                          Next Sunday the organic sirloin stars as WFD.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                            Aw, too bad. Hope the sirloin fares better.

                                                                                                                    2. Off to a brunch here in a bit, but before that, I will prepare the spare ribs (remove the membrane, slather in mustard, put rub on them) and throw 'em in the smoker where they shall remain for the next 3 hours, then finish in the oven. I chose hickory chips for the smoker.

                                                                                                                      No 'cue sauce in the house, so I'll likely pick one up and augment it to my liking. Cole slaw prep will have to wait until after brunch, and I hope that'll still give it enough time to mingle flavors.

                                                                                                                      Roasted beans won't take much effort tonight. *Really* looking forward to this.

                                                                                                                      1. Just pulled some chicken thighs out of the freezer. My plan is to pan roast them and then serve on a bed of sautéed baby bellas and spinach. Along side will be garlic roasted potatoes.

                                                                                                                        Completely uninspired but I still have 3 more loads of laundry to get thru and my 72 bottle wine rack finally arrived that I want to put together si I wanted to keep it simple. Not my usual Sunday MO as it is the day I love spend in the kitchen.

                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                          Ooh - I should make a trip down and help you shop to fill that wine rack. :D

                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                            I am dreaming of the day its filled. C'mon down!

                                                                                                                            1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                              Can I come too? I have some great ideas and would bring you a couple of "presents" for a wine-warming party.

                                                                                                                        2. this is on slate for tonight: http://www.vietworldkitchen.com/blog/...

                                                                                                                          of course, we don't have a grill. but we'll make do.

                                                                                                                          feeling a little bit blue today, on Lou Reed's passing. Goodbye to you, Mr. Satellite of Love...

                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                            I don't even know what I say, it's ruined my whole day. :(

                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                              That pork sounds great - and very sad at LR's passing as well

                                                                                                                            2. My favorite part of living in New England is all the polite discussion among friends and neighbors about when they're turning their heat on. Everyone else has polite conversation about the weather. We have our furnaces.

                                                                                                                              On Friday night we ate some more roasted chicken with brussels sprouts and mashed turnip/rutabaga/parsnip. Saturday we went out to a bar to watch the Sox game (no cable in the house). There were wings, and wine, and bacon-blue cheese burgers - all is well with the world.

                                                                                                                              Tonight I making some ribeyes, with sage & sweet potato gratin - veggie TBD. Also some sort of apple crumble once I get this coffee cake out of the oven.

                                                                                                                              For those of you playing along with our indoor plumbing follies - we now have a door hanging to the half bath. It's not painted, it has no knob, but hey - we have a door. Progress.

                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: gini

                                                                                                                                So whats your cut off? Mine is usually 11/15. However with new windows, roof and clapboarding we just might make it a little longer. Biggest worry is frozen pipes.

                                                                                                                                Of course it helps that our kitchen is attached to the family room and we have a fireplace. Tonights dinner is finished in a 475 degree oven so that is helping too!

                                                                                                                                1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                  Once the house dips below 60 inside on its own, I turn it on regardless. We converted to natural gas last year, which has helped enormously. Though, baking in the oven also makes the house feel cozier (literally!).

                                                                                                                                2. re: gini

                                                                                                                                  Grilled rib eye, sage-sweet potato gratin with almond meal and Parmesan, sauteed snap peas.

                                                                                                                                  Incredibly unphotogenic apple crumble for dessert.

                                                                                                                                  A Sicilian frappato to drink.

                                                                                                                                3. I am back from my girls weekend in the mountains. Had to take the pup to the dog wash on the way home, he was filthy but had a great time frolicking in nature. He got pretty annoyed with my friend's puppy though... he's an old fart. SO is returning a day early from his hunting trip... he'll be home soon. Apparently he got tired of sleeping in the backseat of his truck, and he and his friend didn't see a single elk or deer since they got up there on Thursday. I was looking forward to them getting something, but no luck. Maybe during their November trip.

                                                                                                                                  Anyway, I figured he will probably want to eat something hearty and warm, since they've been eating freeze dried meals or other types of food that only need hot water (oatmeal, noodles etc). So I'm making my enchiladas gringas! Flour tortillas, ground beef cooked w/ a taco seasoning packet, and canned sauce. He loves them, and they aren't bad. I totally forgot to buy the standard Mexican Rice A Roni to accompany my enchiladas, so I might try and do a baked salsa rice that I found a few weeks ago.

                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                    So good of you to cook something warm and welcoming for your SO. Enchiladas = yummy!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                      Next time you need to make quick Spanish/Mexican rice, perhaps this recipe I got from my sister will help. It's good as-is, but I sometimes stir in ground cumin.

                                                                                                                                      Quick Spanish Rice

                                                                                                                                      1 C. chopped onion
                                                                                                                                      1/2 C. chopped green pepper
                                                                                                                                      1 T. Vegetable oil
                                                                                                                                      1 C. uncooked instant rice
                                                                                                                                      1 C. 14 1/2 oz. stewed tomatoes (I've used small-dice)
                                                                                                                                      3/4 C. tomato juice
                                                                                                                                      1/2 tsp. prepared mustard

                                                                                                                                      In skillet cook onion & green pepper in oil. Add rest of ingredients, mix well. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered 5 minutes until rice is done & liquid absorbed.

                                                                                                                                    2. One of my favorite meals - roasted chicken. The 6 lber was washed and dried really well this morning and liberally seasoned with salt and pepper, inside and out. Tucked a few CSA herbs into the cavity - thyme, marjoram, and sage. Let it sit in the fridge on a rack in the roasting pan and took it out about 40 minutes before it went into the oven. Started it off at 450° high heat for about 15 minutes, then turned the oven down to 350° to finish roasting (about 20 minutes per pound, or until an instant-read thermometer shows 165°. I'm hoping for extra-crispy skin with the drying it well and seasoning it with the salt and pepper. Some gravy will be made with chicken stock in the pan drippings (if any) and a slurry of flour, bouquet garni herbs, and a pinch of garlic powder.

                                                                                                                                      One side will be dirty smashed potatoes - CSA baby purple and red and store-bought Yukon Gold potatoes. They'll be boiled in heavily salted water with a couple of garlic cloves, and later smashed with some heavy cream, butter, chives and a healthy pinch of onion powder.

                                                                                                                                      The other side will be CSA Brussels sprouts and CSA kohlrabi (which I'll cube to be able the same size as the halved sprouts). Tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper and a garlic powder/dried parsley blend, they'll go into the convection oven at 4001° or so and stirred once or twice until they're caramelized.

                                                                                                                                      Wine is the final side dish. It's also the appetizer, as I've already started with my first glass. :-)

                                                                                                                                      So - YAY, Patriots! for finally getting your butts in gear in the 2nd half, and GO SOX! and I hope there are no obscure, rarely used rules called in tonight's game. :-)

                                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                        OMG, that sounds so delicious (all but the Brussels sprouts - I keep trying to like them, but just can't). Love your final side dish. I'm with you there too. I'm having my side dish while adding carrots and pearl onions to my stew! Gotta love it. I have roast chicken on my list (as of this time) for next Sunday. Enjoy, Linda. By the way - what kind of oven do you have that goes to 4001°? :)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                          ROFLMAO!! OMG, I totally missed that, boyzoma! Umm, make that 400 - and actually, using the convection oven, it was only 375° as the convection cooks about 25° hotter.

                                                                                                                                          Oops. At 4001°, those Brussels sprouts would have been "caramelized" in about 1 second. :D

                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                            So sorry, but couldn't help it. Just caught my funny bone on that one. BUT, maybe that would make me like Brussels sprouts better????

                                                                                                                                            1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                              Well, they'd be crispy, at least. :-P

                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                Ohhh... I think you two are on to something... I love those little loose individual brussels sprout leaves that are left on the sheet pan all brown at the edges and crispy.... you could do a whole batch of them in seconds with your blazing inferno method.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                                  To hell with Lombardi's three minute pizza. I want one in three seconds in Linda's oven. She could put em outta business.

                                                                                                                                      2. Oh, my. The ribs got smoked for 3 hours, then left in the smoker for another hour -- two splashes of OJ later, I wrapped 'em in foil, and they're now finishing in the oven.

                                                                                                                                        Turns out we *do* have bbq sauce in the house (maple and roasted pepper, local supplier), which I had planned to augment with my beloved scotch bonnet sauce….. BUT the rub for the ribs actually has quite some heat -- it's got a good deal of cayenne in it, so the slightly sweet sauce should work well once I get these babies out. Which will be soon, because I'm freakin' starving and have been smelling the aromas of smoky ribs all damn afternoon.

                                                                                                                                        The slaw, even tho I only prepared after our return from brunch, had time to mingle in the fridge and has turned out lovely. No roasted beans needed -- I'll save those for another day.

                                                                                                                                        Rib pics to follow shortly... if I can snap 'em faster than we eat '-)

                                                                                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                          My ribs. Crispy, juicy & tender. The meat came off the bone easily without being mushy, and the flavor was great.

                                                                                                                                          Totes stuffed now, and we have a whole rack leftover for tomorrow! So I guess that's WFD on Monday.


                                                                                                                                            1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                              Thanks! So much faster than a whole pork butt, and just as tasty :-)

                                                                                                                                              It's nice when The First Time is a success. Certainly not guaranteed.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                Excellent slaw, too, thanks to you, Mizz rox.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                if you wouldn't mind wrapping those up and posting them to London. I'd be most appreciative!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                    The look great, lingua! And the maple/black pepper BBQ sauce sounds perfect.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                      oh man those look so good. i can smell them from here. so jealous of you're smoking abilities!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                        Very nicely done -- could do with a dash of Whole Hog Sauce.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rjbh20


                                                                                                                                                          Now, please send me that gallon I ordered a while ago '-D

                                                                                                                                                    2. Tonight I hot smoked some salmon and served it with a coleslaw of red and white cabbage, carrots and peppers along side a cauliflower puree of cauliflower, butter and half and half and salt.

                                                                                                                                                      1. I'm grilling some lamb chops, and with that I'm serving a quinoa salad. I have never cooked quinoa before, but I thought I'd throw some things together and see how it came out. How it came out is delicious! Quinoa, corn, black beans, green onion, Serrano, avocado, cilantro all dressed with a cumin/lime vinaigrette. I'll probably throw in some pumpkin seeds for a little crunch.

                                                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                            I love quinoa! My favorite is a quinoa-cucumber salad with a lime dressing.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                Quinoa is even better if you toast it before cooking it, much more complex flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: zeldaz51

                                                                                                                                                                    Me too! I've never loved quinoa and part of it is the bland and boring taste. Toasting is an excellent idea!

                                                                                                                                                              2. Tonight I am cooking. Wee. And eating before midnight. Teriyaki chicken legs, sesame green beans and chicken potstickers.

                                                                                                                                                                1. Yesterday was my fiance's and my second annual Halloween party and may well be the last. We invited nearly 100 people knowing that between football and competing halloween parties we would not have a strong RSVP yes rate. However I was very impressed with the numbers that did RSVP yes--a whopping 50. So I set about decorating, buying bulk food, preparing the food, etc. Only to have only about 25 show up. Needless to say I was disappointed if not angry. I can understand people not being able to make it or not responding period. But to say you're coming and then just not? There was a lot of wasted food (money), and frankly I felt wronged. I was also upset because it made it hard for me to concentrate on the wonderful group of friends who did show up. What is wrong with people nowadays? How hard is it to convince people who supposedly enjoy your company to merely show up and have free food and alcohol? Vent over.

                                                                                                                                                                  Anyway...the good: our first Halloween party last year was how my fiance proposed. I had no idea. We were Cinderella and Prince Charming, all his idea, and when he "tried on my glass slipper" he pulled out a ring! He was so adorable in wanting to have another Halloween party to celebrate. And the party did bring fond memories of last Halloween back. And the food was fabulous and I did have fun creating it although it was tiring.

                                                                                                                                                                  The Spread:
                                                                                                                                                                  Southern Comfort Punch (orange-colored)
                                                                                                                                                                  sour apple martini punch (green colored)
                                                                                                                                                                  Caramel apple dip with apple slices
                                                                                                                                                                  pumpkin cheeseball and crackers
                                                                                                                                                                  monster eyeballs (sausage balls with olives)--not pictured (in oven)
                                                                                                                                                                  tortilla pinwheels (storebought)
                                                                                                                                                                  ghoul fingers (salami and pepperoni wrapped mozzarella)
                                                                                                                                                                  veggies and dip
                                                                                                                                                                  devils on horseback--bacon wrapped dates (not pictured)
                                                                                                                                                                  cookies, cupcakes and cake (all store-bought)

                                                                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bblonde

                                                                                                                                                                    bblonde, what a GREAT spread, and I'm so sorry for those that RSVP'd as a Yes but then didn't show. That is just out and out rude, with no thought to the work you put into the party (as well as the money spent on food). Most often people just don't RSVP at all, or show up with extra people after they didn't RSVP. But to say yes and then not show is more hurtful, IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bblonde

                                                                                                                                                                      I am not going to lie and say I wouldn't be hurt by the lack of manners and attendance. I would be hurt and pissed. That said, I would have really had a great time at your party. Take it in stride, people can suck sometimes. Congratulations on getting engaged last year.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: bblonde

                                                                                                                                                                        That's awful... I've had that happen before too and it really sucks. It's one of the reasons I don't like to host parties that aren't potlucks anymore. Your spread looks and sounds great though, and hopefully you can eat some of the leftovers throughout the week so it doesn't totally go to waste!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bblonde

                                                                                                                                                                          sorry about those rude people! but what a lovely story, about your fiance. so sweet!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: bblonde

                                                                                                                                                                            I would be livid as well. Sounds like a fun party though.

                                                                                                                                                                            Makes it easier to narrow down your invitation list next year.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: bblonde

                                                                                                                                                                              Nice job Bblonde - love the 'guac barf' with the pumpkin:)

                                                                                                                                                                              SO sorry about the RSVP/no-shows! That is SO rude... worse IMHO than no rsvp at all.

                                                                                                                                                                              how hard is it these days say, if you are at another party, and decide you just can't get on to the next - send a quick text saying you aren't going to make it after all (and plan on doing something nice for the missed hosts very soon!)?

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bblonde

                                                                                                                                                                                That looks like a fantastic party (I particularly love how you did your guacamole). I've had no-shows before and can sympathize with your frustration. It's a shame when friends who don't often host events cannot appreciate the effort that goes into a thoughtful and creative event like yours.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: bblonde

                                                                                                                                                                                  Is this the best place to vent, or what?
                                                                                                                                                                                  bblonde - look at it this way - more leftovers for you to enjoy - it looks great BTW

                                                                                                                                                                                2. Thit Heo Nuong Xa - Lemongrass Pork! So easy, so intensely flavorful. The marinade only took an hour to infuse so much lemongrassy-and-garlicky goodness into the slices of pork shoulder. they took a brief minute per side to grill on the CI grill pan. alongside were lettuce to make wraps, sprouts, basil, mint, cukes, scallions, and chili garlic sauce. also cold Vietnamese rice noodles.

                                                                                                                                                                                  on the side, the BF took leftover shrimp and veggies from the meh take-out thai food i had the other night, and turned them into another Korean pancake.

                                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                        WOW Maria! I bet it tastes better than it looks - lucky lucky you!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: helen_m

                                                                                                                                                                                            thanks all! first time making that dish, but i'll definitely make it again.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. It went from warm breezes earlier to coldish winds to a chilly evening. I think this will be the fall/winter of experimenting with braises in my pressure cooker. Tonight I made oxtail ragu in the pressure cooker over calamarata pasta and served it w/a small salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                                                                                                                                                                                            Love ragu, although never made oxtail - it sounds amazing!!

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Cheeseburgers!
                                                                                                                                                                                            On the grill even, although the winds and fog swept in something fierce, but my husband persevered and got it done.
                                                                                                                                                                                            Roasted sweet and russet potatoes on the side with broccolinni as the veg.
                                                                                                                                                                                            A big plate of crudités to tide us over while my husband put the baby down with his evening bottle.
                                                                                                                                                                                            -he grills AND is a baby whisperer. I scored.
                                                                                                                                                                                            Ice cream sandwiches for dessert and high fives for eating before 9 pm.
                                                                                                                                                                                            We poured most of a very nice '06 cab back in the bottle. Never would have happened in the old days.

                                                                                                                                                                                            21 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                              nice to hear from you, rabaja! and yes, you did score - and how is the little CHer doing?

                                                                                                                                                                                              i love "the old days" - not so very long ago!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                Nice to be back on here now and again. I miss you guys.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Everytime the weather changes I feel the urge to post on this thread. I love how the days and night smell differently,and Im so looking forward to warming meals like chunky vegetable soups and slow braises.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Although I'd really like both you tacos and your lettuce wraps too!
                                                                                                                                                                                                The young'n is doing great, thanks for asking. We get to introduce solids in a month, which should make the holidays a hoot. And just maybe, he'll sleep longer than three hours someday soon.
                                                                                                                                                                                                And now I'm going to photo bombe wfd with an illicit baby shot, because I have no self control. Imagine him dipped in butter and sugar and you can eat its cheeks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                    i think those cheeks would be delicious just as they are, too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    happy for you...

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Its easy to see why you couldn't resist posting. What a precious and handsome baby boy. You should be so proud.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                          SOOOOOO scrumptious - the little wee one. Love that smile, those cheeks, and the laughing eyes!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                            OMG OMG OMG OMG!!! I just want to kiss him! What a cutie!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                What a cutie! He will be 18 before you know it, lol!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Aww, so cute! But aren't you concerned about the parasitic dalmation thing glommed onto his neck?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It was not that long ago (hey, who am I kidding?) that my sons were that age.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Enjoy them - they grow up fast - such a cliche but it's true :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: acssss

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's what I said! I remember my son waking up at 2:10 every morning, without fail, for the first year of his life. I thought that would never end. Now, I have to wake him up to get to school, and next year I'll be missing that when he's in college.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh, if only I were up once at 2am!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's been every 1 1/2-3 hours for weeks now.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Seriously, it's a good thing he's cute. My eyeballs hurt just thinking about it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'd really like a frosted cookie right now. I'm sure that would help. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh, it was 2:10 waaaay after most babies sleep through the night! It was much more frequent before that! And, yes. Frosted cookies definitely help!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If they weren't so darn cute, I don't know how they'd survive that first year. I remember DS at that age. I asked a friend when her child starting sleeping through the nite and she told me, after thinking about it "About four years old". I broke into tears at the thought.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Off topic, but I had to share - he's a cutie and do enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Our friends with twin boys SWEAR by a book entitled "Twelve Hours of Sleep by Twelve Weeks...." So much that they wrote the author a thank-you letter. Might be worth a gander.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And to bring this back on topic, once you're getting more sleep, you can devote more time to cooking adventures :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                If we're talking sleep books, let me toss Marc Weissbluth's Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. Awesome, wonderful, life and sanity saving book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh, I could definitely gobble that one up. He is just a doll. Lucky you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks to all of you for your kind words. We are completely smitten and it brings me such smiles to read your comments!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4. Tonight will be birthday party leftovers. Roast beef that I decided not to put out when the "I can't make it" texts started rolling in, kale/collards, maybe some salad, and then pumpkin roll for him and chocolate tart for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            How did your desserts turn out? Again with the no-shows...what is with people these days!?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yeah, I seem to have bad luck with gatherings! :(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The tart was FABULOUS. Totally sinful and horrible for my diet, but hey. Sometimes it's gotta be done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I honestly didn't even try the pumpkin rolls (had to save room for the tart!), but everyone else gobbled them up. I saw him pack a few extra slices in his lunch today, so I think he's going to be sharing it at work. He says they don't believe that I actually make the stuff he takes for lunch.... They always just have sandwiches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Just ate some pumpkin roll. It was good, but didn't jump out at me as being awesome. I mostly tasted the maple-cinnamon filling. I feel like I would want the cake to be a little more airy, but maybe that's not possible with rolled cake?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Tonight will be very easy. The leftover rack o'ribs will be heated gently in the oven, the leftover cole slaw will be plopped on the plate… and the green beans will likely wait another day. Just too much food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Boy, I wish it were dinner time already….

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              They looked great from the pic and from my experience, ribs can be even better tasting as leftovers! Have fun

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Dinner at Casa Harters is a sort of free form interpretation of a magazine recipe for yellow lentil & cauliflower curry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Freeform in that I've never heard of yellow lentils, nor had the supermarket, so it'll be yellow split peas. And, instead of a jarred curry paste, I'm using Kashmiri basaar spice mix. And I'm not using desiccated coconut as desiccated coconut is one of the planet's vilest inventions - it used to be regularly used as topping on cakes my mother bought when I was a child, which may explain why I'm not a great cake eater.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Tonight's guest star is... leftovers from last night. Nothing to sniffle at, though, considering we still have:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                * Fried chicken
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                * Dilled coleslaw
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                * Berbere-spiked fried green tomatoes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                * Smoky collards with bacon and Urfa pepper
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                * Mighty Quinn's Baked Beans

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And since I had plenty of eggwhites and buttermilk leftover, there will be a pumpkin buttermilk cake with maple-ginger frosting for dessert. Waste not, want not and all that jazz.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I hadn't even read your post yet and made dilled cole slaw tonight! Are we on the same wavelength, or...? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was actually planning on making your buttermilk cake but I couldn't get a cell signal to find the recipe at the store. Looks like there's some eerie pre-Halloween telepathy going on!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Honestly, that cake is not THAT special, but it is easy :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It might not be that special, but it'd be a good change of pace from the pie I typically bake to use up buttermilk. The cake I ended up with was good enough that I've been guiltily sneaking little slices (plural) of it for breakfast under the premise that pumpkins are vegetables and therefore I'm eating vegetables in the morning, but it tastes too much like banana bread to stand out as a distinct pumpkin or buttermilk dessert. Still need to give your recipe a whirl if you wouldn't mind linking to the recipe again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Unfortunately, Hounds aren't permitted to link to their own blogs anymore. We're expected to copy the entire blog posts verbatim into CH posts. However, with some creative searching you can find the article on the website listed in my profile :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Beef, cabbage and beet borscht. This is my first time making borscht with meat. 2 pots are on the stovetop this afternoon, one borscht with ribs and the other with shanks, to help me find out which cut I like better in borscht.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: prima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Please report back. I typically use shanks and have not tried ribs, but I'm thinking they should work out really well. I also add a ton of other veggies to my borscht, but it's kind of like chicken noodle soup, no two recipes are alike and you always think your mama's is best!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ludmilasdaughter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I preferred the beef shortribs. They ended up a little more tender than the shanks. Both pots were slowly cooked for around 2 and a half hours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Agree that no two recipes are alike! I tend to like the more sweet and sour vinegary borschts. When I mentioned this to a Russian friend, she said she'd only had borscht made tart with lemon juice growing up. I experiment a lot with my borschts, so no two batches of my borscht are exactly alike. I borrowed the idea from Andrew Zimmern's recipe http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/be... to use a bouquet garni with coriander seeds and some red wine, which was a nice aromatic touch. I didn't cook the meat separately, as suggested in his recipe. I browned the meat, removed it, sauteed the vegetables until soft, then added the meat and some water instead of additional broth/stock, since the meat and bones were going to be cooking along with the vegetables for a couple hours. I omitted the tomato sauce. I skimmed off most of the fat before serving. Turned out very good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: prima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for the feedback. I figured the shortribs would work out well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And yes, my borscht never turns out the same either! So much depends on the sweetness of the beets, quantity of other ingredients, etc. And I also always use vinegar vs. lemon juice. Part of that is because the vinegar keeps the beets that nice dark red color, but maybe lemon juice would do the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'll definitely try short ribs next time for my stock1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Had a bit of a topsy turvy day for food today (much like the weather). Large piece of chocolate cake for lunch and had breakfast for dinner (I'm sure Somerset Maugham would have approved). Bubble and squeak made with last night's leftovers, bacon and fried eggs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Paprikaboy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hope everything has been OK for you on the storm front, PB. I see there was a couple killed in London.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Up here, it's just been a bit breezy - albeit very wet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We got off quite lightly in S London, thanks for asking.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            From reports it was north of the river that had it far worse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Just saw video of the storm on our evening national news - you were hit very hard with 120mph winds - yikes! Glad you're both OK.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Tonight on the menu is Pepper Steak with rice - simple, delicious and easy to make.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            For later this evening - some red-chili popcorn with beer and baseball :-)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fingers are crossed x x

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Comfort food is whats for dinner. I am making baked gnocchi with marinara, mini pork/veal meatballs and lots of cheese. On the side will be a simple green salad and garlic bread. Calories be damned!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That sounds very good, especially with the mini meatballs!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Dinner was a new favorite which I've insisted on having least once a week since I discovered zucchini - some variation of piggy stuffed pork tenderloin served with zucchini butter. Tonight's combination was black forest ham and Basque cheese. The pork was seasoned with a Bavarian spice mix that includes brown mustard seed, bay leaf, thyme, and sage and the zucchini butter was hit with a splash of sherry. The seasoning was great and I think it'd be really good on lamb.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's a super busy week again but Friday I will finally have a weekend when I don't need to get 18 million things done so perhaps can sleep longer than 3 hours a night for at least 2 of those days. This meal was a perfect idea for a busy night. I am bummed that it might be my last taste of zucchini butter until the spring as the zucchini this week were looking mighty sad. I'll see what they offer on Friday, but I might have to give up on it for a few months or else buy what I can and try to freeze a big batch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I have jerk chicken wings in the oven; sides will be quinoa leftover from mid week last week and leftover cabbage with onions & bacon from last night BUT I want pancakes so that's what I'm making for myself. BF can have wings & things....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I asked DH whether he preferred chicken with snow peas and cauli rice and an Asian-style cole slaw or a chicken, cauliflower, broccoli, and rice casserole. Being an Iowan to the core, he opted for the "hot dish." I made a creamy lemon dill cole slaw to go along with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The cole slaw got a "winner, winner chicken dinner" out of him. LOL. I will have to write down what I did, I guess. Happy Midwesterner tonight---offered to let me binge on Boardwalk Empire tonight :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mmm, I would have gone for the chicken and snow peas! Yum. The casserole sounds excellent too, of course. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've never done cauliflower rice, but it's always been in the back of my head. How close to real rice is it REALLY?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hmm, I'd say they're like...50% similar :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Cauli rice doesn't have that nice starchy quality that absorbs sauces so well. But it's a pretty decent stand-in and less heavy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Soft tacos, of a sort, using up one of the pork chops from Saturday night, sliced very thinly and heated in the lime-garlic "sauce" that was left over.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Three small corn tortillas, nuked in the microwave. Pepper Jack cheese sprinkled on the tortillas, slices of pork added, and then some CSA butter lettuce. I probably should have had some salsa on top, but I knew they'd be messy enough, so didn't add any (I did have some mango salsa, which would have been nice).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        An easy dinner. And GO SOX!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Yesterday, Sunday, was a quiet day of F1 India race, yard chores, and house cleaning.... decided to go old-school and made a meatloaf - in 2 mini foil pans so I could freeze one for later. Mix of gr. beef & pork, a chunk of pork liver I had in the freezer, onion, crumbs, horseradish, thyme, garlic, minced fresh Italian parsley, and a couple of egg whites I had knocking around the fridge that needed using. A sploosh of heavy cream to make sure it was moist. Horsey/ketchup glaze near the end.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mashed potatoes and more Grandma's green beans, and gravy (Idon't usually have that with meatloaf) was made for the 'taters & loaf, since I had good beef stock on hand. Hit the spot! Leftovers for sandwiches or dinner this week....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tonight, I am feeling the need to A)clean out the crisper, and b)eat something spicy/Asian. Making a kitchen-sink coconut milk green curry (Mae Ploy paste), with a little chunck of pork leg from the freezer, onion n garlic, lot's of fresh ginger, baby bok choy, fresh red pepper, 1/2 a small zuch, a little carrot. Maybe a handful of spinach wilted in at the end. One-bowl dinner!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. One of my coworkers is a huge Paula Deen fan and ordered one of her cookbooks for me when the whole lawsuit thing went down this summer as a show of support for her because he already owned them all himself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            He's been making noise that I've never used it so, against my better judgement, I made her cheeseburger meatloaf tonight. I liked most of the ingredients in the meatloaf except the raw onions. They were still crunchy after an hour in the oven which was unpleasant. Even worse was the "sauce" which was condensed cream of mushroom soup, milk, and shredded cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My husband grew up eating that sort of crap so he had 2 huge helpings and told me NOT to throw the rest of it away b/c he wanted it for lunch tomorrow. I thought it was craptastic. Let's just say I won't be making it again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                No he's from Jersey but grew up with casseroles and cream of whatever soup in things.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am not a Paula fan but I do use her creamy Mac and cheese recipe religiously... I need to try a few more before I can review the cookbook. Yikes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sounds positively awful. Sorry you had to eat that crap.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I grew up on cream-of-casseroles too, but I don't think I could happily eat one these days. I'm sure that would have gone over beautifully with the other person in my house, though! He always enjoys what I make, but probably wouldn't bat an eye if I started cooking like that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I did a new recipe tonight, celeriac and lentils with hazelnuts and mint which was so lovely and autumnal. Ottolenghi suggested it would be enough for a main course when served with a side of radish and cucumber salad with dill and sour cream which I did, but whilst it was good, I think it would be amazing as a side served with something like proscuitto wrapped monkfish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    No matter, we can fill up on dessert. I've had some plums simmering away with red wine, honey, bay, cloves, cardamom and star anise and they have filled the house with the most amazing autumn scent. We'll have them with greek yoghurt and almondy biscuits.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: helen_m

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      what a bundle of flavors that must have been! i need to try out more Ottolenghi.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I sent the man a text with the choices and am waiting to hear back.... it will be either ground meat stuffed peppers (with a lotta veggies in it, of course,) with feta or eggplant stuffed portobellos with either mozzarella or feta. Zucchini, asparagus, green beans and brussels sprouts are all choices for sides. He has an hour or so to choose, then I'll have to make an executive decision and start cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Whatever we have will have eggplant in it. Everything we eat for the next week will have eggplant in it since I'm still picking a dozen or so every 2 to 3 days. I have a sheet pan of them roasting in the oven now to be taken from the skins and vac sealed for the freezer. I'm still craving moussaka but don't have all of the ingredients tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This one will be repeated. The eggplant (Ichiban, not that it matters,) was poked with a skewer and baked on a sheet pan in a 400 degree oven until very soft, deeply browned and a little smoky. Onions were caramelized on very low heat and just before done had chopped garlic and za 'atar added as well as a grind of salt. Chopped dehydrated black cherry tomatoes from my freezer stash were added with the chopped up eggplant flesh (no skins,) and the whole thing was cooked over low heat until a good amount of the liquid was absorbed. Once cooled a few minutes some feta was stirred through.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In the mean time, the portobellos were cleaned of the stem and gills and cooked in the 400 degree oven for a few minutes (just so they would release liquid and wouldn't require much more cooking time. They were well drained and blotted dry before filling with the eggplant mixture. The oven was cranked up to broil and the mushrooms, topped with the eggplant mixture and a good sprinkle of feta (so it would get those pretty browned edges on the crumbles,) went back in for a few short minutes. An extra sprinkle of sumac over the stuffed mushrooms and the asparagus that cooked along side them when broiled. It was greater than the sum of it's simple parts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That sounds fabulous. I adore eggplant, but I'm pretty much alone in my house, though my son will eat it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm sure they're out of season where you are (I'm amazed they're still growing here, let alone producing so many,) but if you can find Ichiban eggplant in your farmers market next summer they're the perfect single serving size and they don't get bitter which is what some people who don't like eggplant object to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm in the same camp as you Roxlet. However, seeming how my husband is away, this will certainly be my dinner in the very near term.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks for the info weezie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Tonight I had planned chicken tikka masala, but SO is flying out to go back to work very early tomorrow morning and he was worried that it would mess up his stomach, even though he likes it. So, got to make a last minute change and hit the internets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I ended up choosing a dish called "Holy Yum Chicken"... baked boneless thighs in a sauce made from dijon mustard, maple syrup, rice vinegar, and salt & pepper. Pretty simple and it smells nice right now, and should be belly friendly for the SO. Sides will be rice, and some roasted broccoli.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sounds good, julie. Please review and link if you liked it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Here is the link: http://www.tablefortwoblog.com/2013/0...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It was pretty good.... definitely gets points for how easy it is. I think I might have added too much cornstarch (more than the 1tbsp called for) because the sauce had an odd mouthfeel. I also didn't have any fresh herbs so used dried herbes de provence.. I think fresh rosemary would be really lovely, like it's written. Definitely worth trying out again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. simple bockwurst night - pan grilled, potato salad with mustard greens (reminiscent of blitva!), sauerkraut, and a green salad with artichoke hearts. really good. monday night tired - already in bed!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Chicken week here. Cooking for just two so it's tough (too many leftovers, not enough variety) when I don't get the meat repackaged before freezing it. A 2 pound package of 3 large breasts, thawed overnight, got roasted 3 ways, each in it's own breadpan. I also roasted butternut squash, some cubed, some still in skin. We'll be mixing & matching with sides this week for lunches and dinners.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1) Teriyaki - ponzu sauce, diced ginger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              served tonight with wild rice, sliced fresh pineapple & cottage cheese, sliced Cortland apples & sweet corn cut from cob,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2) Traditional - on a bed of carrots & celery, seasoned with homemade Paul Prudhome poultry spice mix.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              served for lunch with squash

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3) Mediterranean - fresh lemon squeezed over, then the lemon quarters used as the baking bed for the chicken. Oregano seasoning.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              plan to serve this with asparagus and bow-tie pasta, either in lemon cream sauce or alfredo sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Dessert this week will alternate between Five Spice Cranberry Bundt, as mentioned in the baking thread, and a store-bought pumpkin pie that seduced me when I was shopping while hungy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                <Five Spice Cranberry Bundt, as mentioned in the baking thread>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Heading there now! Hope there's a recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Last night's dinner was grilled flank steak, mashed potatoes, and steamed broccoli with sriracha mayo. Delicious but not terribly inventive. I came home from work with early symptoms of a cold so I was up for easy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tonight, not sure. Shopping for ideas here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Last night was classic leftovers: rib eye, sauteed snap peas, sage-sweet potato gratin. Then we went to friends to watch the game and snack on delicious homemade bread, hummus, rice crackers, almonds, pistachios, and salted dark chocolate (which went nicely with my porter).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Pollacks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That's what I was after at the market. But, none to be found, so we had to settle for the much more expensive cod.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But before we get to dealing with that, spuds have to be peeled, sliced, tossed in olive oil and fennels seeds and baked for around 20 minutes till they're softish and a bit crispy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Then wedges of pre-cooked beetroot are added for a bit until well on the way to be heated through. Then the cod gets a drizzle of oil and seasoning and it's added for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lemon zest & pepper is added to creme fraiche, to make a sauce. And, finally, basil leaves are strewn across the fish mix in a bvery arty-farty way and that's dinner at Harters Hall.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Last night was roasted porcini and shitake mushrooms in a spicy sausage ragu over creamy pecorino polenta with a side of quick sauteed swiss chard with garlic and chile. Bottle of Montepulciano D' Abruzzo to accompany.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Nice, warm, and comforting with this rain and cold streak we've had lately.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Novelli

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wow any tips on that dish? It sounds outstanding!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It’s a fairly easy preparation.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Chop/slice your mushrooms into nice chunks, coat in olive oil and a good pinch of salt, and throw in a hot pan in the oven (or broiler), turning every few minutes until the mushrooms get a nice, rich brown color.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Remove the pan from the oven and set the mushrooms aside. In the same pan, brown crumbled sausage with a little oil, chopped fresh sage, and fennel seed.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Add the mushrooms back to the pan with a couple tablespoons of pestata (processed carrot, celery, onion, and garlic in a FP). Cook until pestata is translucent and add a tablespoon of tomato paste and caramelize. Deglaze pan with red wine and reduce. Add a hit of stock, cover, and simmer until the sausage completely breaks down. Stir in some chopped parsley at the end and spoon over your polenta.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Novelli

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That has my mouth watering, all of it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Sort of a kitchen sink salad:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Cubed honeycrisp apple
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Freshly roasted butternut squash
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dregs of a container of Gorgonzola
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dregs of a container of paremesan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dregs of a bag of pecans
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Half a pomegranate
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Arugula and spring mix
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Some massaged lacinato kale chiffonaded
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A maple mustard dressing made with a butter flavored olive oil (don't judge, trying to use it up)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sliced red onion

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: melpy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            oh melpy - not judging, but curious - how does that butter flavored olive oil taste??
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            the salad sounds wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A little artificial and chemically but only if I think about it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My husband bought it and a pear cinnamon balsamic that are supposed to pair well together at an olive oil shop in Tyson's Corner. I keep trying to hide it in stuff that won't show the fakeness so much so I can use it up. With the real maple syrup from Vermont and the good quality dijon it was not prevalent in "butter" flavor at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              He was so sweet abot the whole thing that I can't bring myself to throw it out since he likes it and doesn't cook and since I have insulted a few of his other gifts (for years he kept buying those cheap random collections of stock photo recipe books from TJ Maxx for Christmas).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: melpy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                aw, that's sweet. it sounds like he's working his way up the CH ladder!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Slow cooked pulled pork, smoked gouda mac & cheese and roasted lemon broccoli is WFD. We have poundcake that needs to be eaten...I defrosted strawberries & we have ice cream so I'm sure it will

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Husband was clearing away fallen branches yesterday from the yard and he forgets that he is no longer 20, and now he is in bed flat on his back (probably for at least a week) - poor thing!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              So I am making some of his favorites: pea soup with ciabbata bread rubbed with tomato/garlic, fried schnitzels smothered in a mushroom/onion sauce and twice baked potatoes. I think I'll add some brandy to the sauce as he won't take any pills (ever!) and he is in pain. That way maybe he will sleep better - and so will I :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: acssss

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Very nice of you. A few Thanksgivings ago, my dad forgot that he is no longer a college athlete and jumped full speed into a pretty rough football game and spent the week on the couch with a broken ankle. I love schnitzel and pairing it with a mushroom/onion sauce is only the perfect thing to do :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thank you fldhkybnva - actually, we just finished an early dinner in bed together - it was kinda nice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: acssss

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sounds lovely, can't wait for SO to come back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: acssss

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You'll have to remember to do that more often even when he is not injured!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: acssss

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh poor baby. Sounds like he is getting the best of care.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Of course he is - he's my babe!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ...actually I feel sorry for him because when you're 20 and your back goes outta wack - it's just a pain in the a**, but at our age, you start thinking, uh oh, I'm getting old - and he's just so frustrated and looks so sad... it's the least I can do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: acssss

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I tweaked my back getting out of bed yesterday morning and well uh I felt a little old at that moment :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: acssss

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ow! poor guy... my BF suffers from chronic terrible back pain - i know how you feel. hope he gets over it soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: acssss

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh! So sorry about the pulled back; that sure is a problem waiting to happen when you are a little older (like me!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dinner sounds good. Perhaps a shot of brandy in addition to that in the sauce to do the trick:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: acssss

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Spoiling him with delicious food may not help him get better faster, but it will make him happy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. After sauteeing up some ground lamb, onion, carrot, and spices, I threw that in the crockpot with coconut milk, tomatoes, lentils and broth. "Indian spiced lentils with ground lamb." Smells good. But we shall see...lamb always tastes a bit like off beef to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: bblonde

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            that sounds delightful!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            and you just reminded me - i have lamb in the freezer - and the BF is OUT tomorrow night! i know WFD for Wed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: bblonde

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Welp we'll be going the Chinese take-out route tonight. I don't know if something was wrong with this lamb or what. I think the recipe may be solid if I made with ground beef but this is inedible as made. Too bad. The house smells so so good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bblonde

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hopefully the Chinese food will smell good when it arrive as well :) Sometimes you just need some take out. Sorry about the lamb, I hate when a meal doesn't go as planned but often plan B works out well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: bblonde

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  oh damn, and you were my inspiration! sorry it didn't work out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bblonde

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That's to bad. It all sounded so darn good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bblonde

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think there was something wrong with the lamb. I will definitely be trying it again, but maybe with ground beef or chopped beef.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And unfortunately the take-out tasted old too. Maybe my tasters are off?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: bblonde

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        bblonde, that is tooo bad it doesn't taste good - So weird it smells good but not good taste. Usually, for me, if something is 'off' I can smell it before I ever taste it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bblonde

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Too bad! I was eyeballing some ground lamb in the freezer after reading about your dish. I guess greek-ish lamb burgers for me another day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. WFD? Another cooking class! This ones sounds interesting. It's called Guilty Pleasures, description below. Can't wait to see the menu!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        <<You all know what I mean.... there are some dishes that are not 'cool'. Not 'trendy' (or at least not since 1997). There are some throwbacks that you don't like to admit you still love. This will be a no judgement zone here....We will take some of those forgotten foods, dress them up a little, give them a new spin, maybe boost the nutrtional value a bit so you can feed them to your kids without feeling TOO guilty..and put them back out in the open where they belong.... hint... meatloaf will definitely be involved, and some sort of noodle casserole.....>>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Really fun night! While there were no "dogs" the clear winners were the Caesar dressing and the meatloaf, followed closely by the baked stuffed shrimp. Normally I find stuffed shrimp greasy and heavy. This was a pleasant surprise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I was in a food coma and fell into bed when I got home. The meatloaf is WFD over the weekend!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I got some SL/BL organic chick thighs that will get a nice sear in the pan, along with oyster mushrooms and a bit of onion. I have a little bit of chicken broth left, so this will be a quick-braise with some white wine, tarragon and maybe a spoon or two of crème fraîche. Shrooms don't agree with me most of the time (only the magic kind), but I love them, so there -- consequences be damned!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sides will be roasted green beans tossed with olive oil and walnut oil, sea salt & a Turkish chile pepper mix that is simply wonderful, and a salad of the last of the heirloom maters (sun peaches and something else I forgot), diced avocado & red onion, a little bit of celery for extra crunch and marinated mini-mozza balls with parsley & scallions and mustard vinaigrette.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Maybe shoot some pool after dinner. I feel like we've been shacked up at home too much lately.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sounds great - non-magic shrooms be damned!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ah, white wine, cream, and tarragon. An awesome trio.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well, I ended up changing a few things -- red wine instead of white, no tarragon but fresh parsley instead mixed in just before serving. And yes on the crème fraîche.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The bacon, onion and oyster mushrooms added lots of flavor. It was a really nice, creamy fall dish. I roasted the crap out of the beans, so they were pretty caramelized by the time they came out… perhaps a little too charred.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The salad ended up with a little chopped celery for crunch. I've been liking it in salads with mostly soft ingredients (maters, 'cado, mozza).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But once again, it ended up being a lot of food, so we'll have 2 leftover thighs and 'shroom sauce for dinner tomorrow. Which is convenient, as we'll have to squeeze dinner in between k-boxing and a showing of "The Shining" on campus at 7 PM.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "Heeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrre's Johnny!!!!!" :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Last night was a simple cream of delicata squash soup. Kept the flavors simple: milk, some garlic sauteed first in butter, garden bay leaf, touch of cayenne. No stock. Finished with a little cream and topped with garden chives. Threw together some caraway popovers for dunking.