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What's for Dinner #266 - The Arctic Polar Vortex Edition [through January 10, 2014]

While the New England area had a very brief respite from the bitter cold with our 50+° day today (and rain that washed away last week's snow), we're heading back down in the temps tonight. Although not as bad as the -55° in Minnesota. And it's 1° in southern Texas. This is nuts!

So I'm hoping that everyone is keeping warm and enjoying whatever belly and toe-warming dinners you're cooking up - so what are those great dinners you're planning?

As for me - I'm dreaming of Frizzle's weather right now. :-D

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  1. As for me, I went with more of the pretty darn good Lazy Girl Chili (the rest will be frozen) and a hunk of sourdough bread.

    1. Me too! Frizzle's weather is very appealing, but at least I'm not directly in the Arctic Vortex!

      Tonights dinner is a turkey breast roulade, stuffed with sausage and bread crumbs. Not sure what it will be served with since rjbh20 has the window in the kitchen cracked, and it's getting kind of chilly in there!

      1. Preparations are in place so we hopefully will avoid any more frozen pipes with the return of the deep cold. My husband is thankful the rain took care of the snow packed roof!

        Dinner tonight was forgotten pack of weisswurst (sp?) from our favorite sausage place. Served along side was some non traditional couscous and sautéed mushrooms with spinach. A more traditional sweet/hot mustard was available for dipping.

        Dreaming of some place warm…

        1. I can't quite get my head around the temperatures at the moment!

          I decided to pretend it's not the coldest, most depressing day of the year (so I read in the newspapers) and am making paella for dinner. Ole! It's using up a random green pepper, some chicken thighs and shrimp that needed using up in the freezer, chorizo (some leftover for chestnut and chorizo soup for lunch tomorrow) and it's also a great excuse to open the Txakoli that I bought before Christmas. I've just opened it and had a sip whilst my husband reads stories to our son.

          5 Replies
          1. re: helen_m

            Nice way to warm up the stomach *and* the mind with that paella, helen!

            1. re: helen_m

              those both sounds wonderful!! Care to share the recipe for the soup?

              1. re: foodieX2

                Absolutely! It's a Moro recipe: http://www.countrylife.co.uk/countrys...

                Very wintery and warming.

              2. re: helen_m

                That soup sounds amazing! Interesting and different - and it's a Moro recipe which makes me 'heart' it:). Will try....

              3. The Arctic Vortex sucked me into my kitchen to make some true comfort food. I had a Coscto rotisserie chicken so I decided to make a chicken, broccoli and rice casserole with gruyere.
                Awesomely satisfying.

                1 Reply
                1. My stomach has been a little bitchy today so I pulled a little bit of Christmas turkey and broth from the freezer and made turkey noodle soup. Just the usual suspects here. Pulled ham slices and a hoagie roll from the freezer also and I will make James a hot ham and cheese by adding the ham, cheddar and wrapping it in foil and popping it in the oven. It will be slathered in piccalilli when it comes out. He will get a cold ham and cheese on white bread for his lunch box along with the soup. Thanks to James' mom for being adverse to leftovers so I always get the turkey carcass.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: suzigirl

                    Don't we hate our bitchy stomachs?? Damn them!

                  2. When yesterday's warmer weather thawed the frozen water pipes, the rush from the hot water heater blew out the valves on the kitchen sink. Basement and kitchen flooded. Plumber restored bathroom water today but the kitchen sink is still non-functioning. The latest in a run of crappy luck - I consider myself fortunate to have made it to a medical appt, TJ's, and Agway for wild bird seed before the roads ice over again. So no cooking - just TJ egg rolls, but I did use homemade curried butternut squash/apple soup as a dipping sauce. Hoping the basement isn't an ice rink before I can get someone in with a wet-vac.

                    15 Replies
                    1. re: greygarious

                      Yikes. Sorry about the pipes. And I do hope you can get the basement cleaned up!

                      1. re: greygarious

                        OH NOOOO. I am so sorry. I hope you get it ironed out quickly. Otherwise, I guess get out those skates and make lemonade. Seriously, that sucks. So sorry.

                        1. re: greygarious

                          Bummer. Every time I read about another hound's frozen plumbing I get the chills. I feel like we may be next as this is our first winter in an old house and it sure is cold!

                          1. re: Berheenia

                            Midnight Christmas Eve 1989. The plumbers came twice in one hour. But we had water Christmas morning. Welcome to Jacksonville, Florida.

                            1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                              Not to one up you, but: Christmas Eve, Salem, MA, 1993, in our first house: the low water cut-off failed, the boiler ran dry and cracked, so we had no heat. The plumber came and poured some gunk into the boiler to temporarily seal the crack. We then overfilled it and every radiator in the house spewed brown gunk all over the walls, floors and curtains. Had to spend $5000 on December 26th getting a new boiler. Christmas dinner was a take-out pizza from what was probably the worst pizza place in town. I'd like to say that was the most memorable Christmas dinner ever, but it wasn't, unfortunately.

                              1. re: Isolda

                                Well, that sounds like the nightmare before -- and after -- Christmas!

                                1. re: roxlet

                                  If we could make this stuff up, people would pay us.

                                2. re: Isolda

                                  Even better (worse?): Christmas Eve sometime in the late 1980s (I forget the exact year). Way below freezing outside, and two young children. Gas company turns off the gas for supposed non-payment. Only they had the wrong address.......but by the time the error was discovered the company was closed for a three day weekend and the so-called emergency line wouldn't handle "billing issues." No heat AND no ability to cook (gas stove). We did eventually get the gas company to pay for our three night hotel stay as part of our settlement:-. But I can tell you from personal experience that at least back in those days there weren't many great places to eat in Minden, Nevada on Christmas Day......

                                  1. re: janetofreno

                                    Ugh! What a horrible descent into the beauraracy!

                              1. re: greygarious

                                oh, thats awful. I am so sorry! Hope today is looking better

                                1. re: greygarious

                                  That stinks. Hope you get dried out soon. As stupid as this sounds, our insurance company sent out a team with massive, high powered fans to dry out our walls during our last few water disasters and they were very effective, so you might want to give this a try on the interior walls affected by the broken pipe.

                                  1. re: Isolda

                                    Yes to this; fans and commercial dehumidifyer is what you want to keep any moldy action at bay:)

                                  2. re: greygarious

                                    ai ai ai! sorry, that's too much bad luck for any one family!

                                    1. re: greygarious

                                      Yikes galore GG! I used to work in water/fire restoration in marketing/sales - so saw SOOOOO many flooded houses with burst pipes. My sympathies, and hope for a reasonably quick fix with the squeeze of work on the vendors.

                                    2. yikes - Arctic Polar Vortex! frightening....

                                      no cooking here... heading out to a pub for cheap bar food/happy hour.

                                      i'm hoping to cook my longed-for snapper/chorizo dish tomorrow night. and now that I've found my love for greens, i'll finish off the mustard greens with it. we'll see what the day brings.

                                      keep warm, people!

                                      1. There's been a lot of discussion of schnitzel, which inspired me to make a completely bastardized version tonight:
                                        pound out some seasoned chicken thighs; dredge in an egg/heavy cream mixture; transfer to a mixture of almond flour, paprika, salt, pepper, sage; fry in butter/olive oil. Serve alongside a simple salad with tomatoes and avocado in a champagne citrus vinaigrette.

                                        I ate mine with horseradish mustard. The man spread marinara and Parmesan on his. Seriously. Hilarious.

                                         
                                        3 Replies
                                          1. re: gini

                                            You had schnitzel, the man had Chicken Parm. :D

                                            1. re: gini

                                              I like the more-flavorful thigh action you got going on for your 'bastard schnitzel'. To each his own on dipping/topping. The man basically turned it into chix parm:)

                                            2. I took a page from Linguafood's book tonight and finally got around to making the NY Times Trini-Chinese chicken. I adapted the recipe to use boneless, skinless thighs on stovetop grill, and served over a vaguely Asian saute of coleslaw mix, julienned onions and red peppers and some garlic, with soy sauce and sesame oil. FABULOUS. The dipping sauce is particularly addictive - three pantry ingredients I would never have thought to combine and WOW. This will be in the regular rotation, for sure.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                I know! Isn't that sauce crazy delish? 3 ingredients for the dipping sauce, 4 for the marinade. Doesn't get easier than that. Can't wait to be able to grill again.... might be a while '-)

                                                Of course, the crispy skin makes it even better for me.

                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                  Oh yes, I will definitely make it with skin soon! My husband remarked while we were eating it that it could use something crispy...and in unison we replied "like skin!"

                                                  1. re: biondanonima

                                                    What I love is that we usually have a couple or more BISO thighs leftover, and the skin crisps up so much more under the broiler than it does when I first grill it. Heats up wonderfully *and* improves on crispiness. Man, now I have a craving....

                                              2. Monday night dinner out of the icebox, Vortex edition. Turkey roulade with sausage stuffing on funghi trifolati with scallion mashed & sautéed broccoli. Good way to clear out some inventory.

                                                 
                                                 
                                                1 Reply
                                                1. Oops, the previous thread hadn't been marked "old" yet, and I didn't read to the bottom before posting. So here it goes again:

                                                  Got home late and got distracted, ended up wanting something quick and comforting for dinner: eggs over easy, bacon, skillet potatoes cooked in the drippings, and fruit salad (mixed with the leftover maple-yogurt-whipped cream. Good stuff. I inhaled four strips of bacon in about as many minutes.

                                                  Keep warm, everyone!

                                                  1. One of our " bistro nights". I made a Roseanne Gold easy pesto soup with mini ravioli, chicken salad with biscuits. Medium body red wine. Dimmed the lights and played jazz. Nice.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: sedimental

                                                      In solidarity with the SF Bay Area's DOTM for January, I decided to try a version of shrimp and grits, using Bobby Flay's Mesa grits recipe (I know it's not truly grits but damn it's tasty, especially if you grate in some Romano at the end). Just pan fried the prawns and plopped them on top, and served some sliced cukes in cane vinegar to pretend there were vitamins happening :-).

                                                      Also made a microwave lemon curd that Hound cynsa gave me the recipe for a while back. Easy peasy (literally) lemon squeezy!

                                                      1. re: sedimental

                                                        Now that's a way to roll in the NY for keeping love alive with good eats to fuel the evening:). Jazz and dim lights to gild the lily. Well done.

                                                      2. 11pm here and 70f. I hope you all are keeping warm, the Article polar vortex has made the news even down our way. It sounds horrendous.

                                                        Dinner was fried aubergine and yoghurt served in pita bread. It's a favourite and with aubergine at 99 cents each at present I'm trying to use them in all sorts of ways.

                                                        Also set up is pasta for tomorrow. The father-in-law swears that making dough the night before and resting it in the refrigerator is the best approach. I'm thinking tomorrow night I'll make spaghetti with zucchini and capers.

                                                        1. Well, NOAA threatened temps down to freezing last night, so it was time to go scavenging. And save some tropical goodies.

                                                          Got a mullet in the cast net before they head to deeper water. Fried in the last of the butter with some Adobo.

                                                          A ripe sapote from the wild tree growing along the river. A little honey and I have desert.

                                                          A banana plant 8 inches at the base has been choked off by vines, so I cut that down until I had a core of 2 inches in diameter and 6 feet long. I sliced about 1 foot of it in 1/4 in. pieces. Added sour orange from wild citrus and some ginger and stir fry. The last habanero finely diced at the end.

                                                          Basmati rice with annatto seeds and I was eating well last night.

                                                          I am going to be sick and tired of banana core by the end of the week. Cannot use coconut milk as it drowns out the flavor. Mild curry tonight.

                                                          And it only got to 39* F last night. As any mariner will tell you, NOAA lies.

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                            I think that's the first time I've ever read about someone eating "banana cores". What is it like?

                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                              Extremely mild. They do retain their shape but are not crunchy. Best with a mild chili oil or very mild Bengali curry.

                                                              1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                That sounds like an amazing hunter gatherer type meal...fantastic :)

                                                            2. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                              Gawd, I would love to eat dinner with you sometime. Your meals always seem so interesting. Of course, I get seasick so there's that.

                                                            3. It's minus 19 windchill here and I'm starving. The only way I get to eat is to go out in the freezing cold and drive myself to the lab because I scheduled my annual physical and the doc wants a fasting cholesterol. GRRRR. Wish they'd hurry up and open. There's a great pancake place I have been wanting to try and if we're out in the cold why not?
                                                              Last night was freezer diving- there were 4 meatballs in sauce so it was an early Prince Spaghetti night. I've invited the neighbors for dinner so need to get shopping and cooking. Going to be a fancy meatloaf and some roasted veg plus we'll see what looks good at the spendy market.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: Berheenia

                                                                Pancakes! What a great way to break fast!

                                                                  1. re: jammy

                                                                    I'm with you on the pierogies, though mine will be with cabbage and onions. I think vodka will make an appearance too ;) Stay safe and warm, everyone!

                                                                    1. re: gourmanda

                                                                      Mmmm cabbage and onion. That's one tasty pierogi. Any bacon on the side?

                                                                  2. I'm just barely on the outskirts of the Arctic Vortex, but whoever built my house made the poor decision not to add any insulation, and the heater in my bedroom is not as cooperative as I would like, so it feels a lot colder here than it actually is (around 21F at the moment).

                                                                    Last night's corned beef sandwiches turned out excellent. I've decided I simply won't pay for overpriced sauerkraut anymore (since its main ingredient is the cheapest vegetable in the world) and made sort of a quick-pickled cabbage with dry mustard and allspice to take its place. There was also some jack cheese, tomatoes, rye bread, mustard and mayo involved, and some melting action in the oven to make the meat and cheese meld together. Homemade onion rings on the side.

                                                                    Tonight will be Thai green curry with chunks of pork loin, baby arugula, yellow squash and bell peppers. A slaw on the side that I make sort of like a mock green papaya salad and, of course, rice.

                                                                    Since my boyfriend has been slowly, slowly getting over the flu, all he feels like eating is egg mcmuffins. Seriously. So tomorrow will probably be some sort of breakfast sandwich.

                                                                    1. Not feeling like cooking. It's with a heavy heart that I share the news that we had to let our "puppy" Rusty go last night. May he R.I.P. He was my best friend for almost 16 years. 2/23/98 - 01/06/14. My heart is broken. I can't even think about food yet. Maybe tomorrow.

                                                                       
                                                                      22 Replies
                                                                          1. re: boyzoma

                                                                            I'm so sorry for your loss, he is quite the looker *hugs* My thoughts are with you.

                                                                            1. re: boyzoma

                                                                              Aw, what a face! So sorry for your loss.

                                                                              1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                Almost 16 years was a good, long life. So sorry you lost a family member yesterday. It is very sad.

                                                                                1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                  So sorry for your loss, boyzoma. Sounds like he had a full 16 years with you by his side.

                                                                                  1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                    So sorry. I was inconsolable when we lost Dixie last spring, so I know how hard this is. Rusty looks like he was a wonderful friend. RIP.

                                                                                    1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                      It is so painful but remind yourself that he had a good life with you. Truly sorry to hear that.

                                                                                      1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                        Oh no, how sad. Our pets are part of our hearts, for sure.

                                                                                        1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                          RIP Sweet Rusty! Hppefully he is scampering over the Rainbow Bridge with the other poochies we lost this past year.

                                                                                          <hug>

                                                                                          1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                            Oh sorry to hear that, he looks so sweet. Take care of yourself :(

                                                                                            1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                              Oh no. I'm so sorry. They are the bestest companions, and it's so hard to say goodbye to them. Sending love from a fellow dog lover

                                                                                              1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                oh, so sorry boyzoma. it's so sad when we lose them. they add so much to our lives. xoxo.

                                                                                                1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                  Thanks everyone for your kind words. The one positive is that the vet came to our home, allowing us to have time and lots of loves with Rusty before he passed. Such a wonderful time for us all, considering the circumstances. I'm missing him terribly as I am so used to talking to him all day. Your friendship means a lot at a time like this as I do remember many of you losing your precious ones over the years as well. Blessings to all of you. But he walked the rainbow bridge and is at his "forever home".

                                                                                                  1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                    So sorry for your loss. What a sweet looking boy. Hugs, I know how hard it can be.

                                                                                                      1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                        Awww, I'm so sorry, boyzoma. Rusty looks like he was a good fella. {{{hugs to you}}}

                                                                                                        1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                          boyzoma. Deep sadness for your loss. I am sure Rusty is romping in a meadow in puppy-heaven off leash as I type this:)

                                                                                                          1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                            Handsome boy. Sorry for your loss.

                                                                                                              1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                He looks like a great dog, and it sounds like he lived a happy life full of love. I'm so sorry for your loss.

                                                                                                                1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                  I'm so sorry for you. My friend had to put down her cat down a few days afer my dad died and was afraid to tell me because she fel that it would be selfish. I told her that pain is pain, and very individual, and I would never belittle hers over mine.

                                                                                                                2. Local Corned beef,sautéed garlicky kale and boiled spuds(in the beef water!)

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: Raffles

                                                                                                                    yum... we added 2 carrots,,,nice...

                                                                                                                  2. I was supposed to stay but needed coffee, wanted to experience the cold and was craving broccoli. It's freezing so soup is on the menu-a chunky chicken broccoli cheese soup. I'll saute orzo in butter then cook in chicken broth, toss with diced chicken, steamed broccoli all seasoned with Cajun seasoning and finished with a hefty handful of cheddar and Monterey Jack and a splash of milk. I don't drink milk so never have it around. I bought some around Thanksgiving for potatoes and such and to my surprise it still smells fine. I have no idea why it's not rotten after more than a month but I'm going with it .

                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                      It kind of scares me just how long milk lasts these days. Makes one wonder...

                                                                                                                      1. re: ludmilasdaughter

                                                                                                                        I buy Lactaid for the SO... that stuff lasts for months. Very scary.

                                                                                                                        1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                          My aunt was the spokesperson for Lactaid a few years ago and our house was full of the stuff, it keeps forever.

                                                                                                                        2. re: ludmilasdaughter

                                                                                                                          Yea I'm really confused especially as it's organic, grass fed non homogenized milk which you'd think would rot quickly. I can't imagine how long that other milk lasts :)

                                                                                                                      2. LW, came by to wish you a Happy New Year!
                                                                                                                        I'm taking the rest of the week off to nuzzle into a few good reads and the kitchen will be filled with the aromas of vegetable chili, curry cauliflower, and baked bread.

                                                                                                                        Keep warm! It's 21 degrees in Jersey.

                                                                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                          We seem to have escaped the worst of the rain and flooding that's hit mainly coastal parts of Britain. And the temperature is pretty good too - tomorrow's forecast is a pleasant enough 9.

                                                                                                                          So, no need to batten down the hatches. We're off out for dinner for the first of two excursions this week. We may get back to cooking at weekend (tomorrow being a brown gloop day).

                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                            I'll be thinking of you Harters! What is this brown gloop?

                                                                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                              This particular brown gloop is labelled "chicken casserole".

                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                ah, I like that kind of gloop :)

                                                                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                  It was that or the pheasant casserole gloop. We felt more chickeny than pheasanty.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                    No kidding, two choices. Some fine eating going on at the house of Harters.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                      And we'd already discounted defrosting my "almost world famous" three bean curry.

                                                                                                                                      (That's "three bean", as in three types of bean, not an extremely small curry)

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                        Oh man, I have such a craving for curry right now but I went with the veg chili instead...maybe thurs I'll open the curry box.

                                                                                                                          2. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                            A balmy 21°F! Enjoy your reading and aromas, HillJ. :-)

                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                              Why thank you LW! brrrrrrrrrrrr

                                                                                                                              My son and his buddy just showed up with pizza and eggplant rollatini!

                                                                                                                          3. It's our Sichuan jour fixe today, as we'll be out of town Thursday, which is when our group usually gathers. I foresee several orders of garlicky cucumbers, stir-fried bok choy, dry-fried green beans, mapo tofu, perhaps a hot pot or two, diced chicken with hot peppers, cumin beef, double-cooked pork and other spicy delights. Haven't been to this place in almost a month, so have a serious craving!!

                                                                                                                            We're meeting for a drink beforehand with a friend who's 91-yr. old mother passed away this morning. It's been a winter of many losses....

                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                              So jealous! Dry-fried green beans, smacked cucumber and twice-cooked pork are huge favourites of mine. I just ordered son Sichuan chilli bean paste to try to recreate more of my favourites at home.

                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                Sorry about the winter of losses (I sure know that one here too - seems to be a weird wave...). Man your place sounds good.

                                                                                                                                I must find some good Sichuan around here. Sadly, SEA does Vietnamese like nobodies business, decent Korean, Great sushi, Izakaya, etc., ramen, hand shaved-noodles and more - but our Chinese options are NOT GREAT.... sigh.

                                                                                                                              2. It has warmed up here to 30 degrees, so hopefully this "warmer" weather will move east quickly for everyone else. Yesterday it was like 0, so not as bad as further east.

                                                                                                                                My cold still lingers, so tonight it's chicken vindaloo... gotta keep working on clearing up the sinuses!

                                                                                                                                1. Planning Smoked turkey baked chimichangas tonight, if my husband's kitchen construction mini-project wraps up in time (enclosing the duct work for the new stove vent fan). It's a 30-Minute Meal recipe I've made several times before. I'll be slicing fresh cabbage, not convenience bagged, the remains of a head I got for bean soup. We use salsa in place of the chipotles in adobo. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ra...

                                                                                                                                  1. Not only is it 1 degree, or minus 12 if you include the wind chill, But I am also feeling yucky. Looks like it will be another night of saltines and graham crackers. Big boy has a soccer game, but thankfully a friend offered to take him. Younger boy will be thrilled to finish off the kale soup leftovers.

                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: sunangelmb

                                                                                                                                      Feel better. Yukky has been going around in many forms.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: sunangelmb

                                                                                                                                        UGH. I do hope you're feeling better soon, sunangel. Whatever buggyedyboos going around seem to be taking a lot of people down.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: sunangelmb

                                                                                                                                          Thank you guys. I can't figure out if I'm cold because I'm sick or because it's 1 degree...no wait it's up to 8 today. Whoo hoo

                                                                                                                                        2. Our vortex dinner today will be spicy tortilla soup, along with leftover chicken sausages and sautéed broccoli rabe with garlic and red pepper flakes. Doesn't exactly go together, but I'm craving spice.

                                                                                                                                          1. I've got 1 lb. of ground lamb but not much in the way of inspiration. Would like to make shepherd's pie, but my thighs protest. Was thinking about a Greek salad with a burger with mint, onion, oregano and tzatziki, but that sounds kinda meh. Any ideas? Keema is another one I'm not too hot on for some reason.

                                                                                                                                            11 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                              I've made this lamb curry from Food and Wine a couple of times - it's pretty tasty, quick and simple. http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/qu... I hate peas, so I usually sub something else - edamame or chopped red bell peppers.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                Thanks! In the meantime my hubby came up with an interesting idea----a sort of twist on ma po tofu with ground lamb. Will probably add some cumin and yellow onion in a nod to cumin lamb, and maybe some hoisin sauce, as we only have a scant amount of hot bean paste left.

                                                                                                                                                Sounds random, but hopefully tasty. It's also quick and requires no special trip to the store in this frigid weather. Key.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                    And for some green, we'll have a salad with dressing made from leftover satay sauce, black vinegar, and sesame oil.
                                                                                                                                                    Hooray for fridge cleanout!

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                    I use ground lamb in Dunlops ma po tofu recipe all the time. Works really well!
                                                                                                                                                    I have a pound in the fridge as well. Reading your ideas/suggestions for tomorrow's dinner.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                      This hybrid idea was good, but quite not as good as the originals separately. Still, it emptied my refrigerator of two almost-empty jars, a 1/2 empty box of chicken broth, and a package of tofu that had been languishing.

                                                                                                                                                  3. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                    Lamb meatballs with mint & garlic and tzatziki. 'taint nuttin' meh about that in my NHO.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                      Yeah, I think mostly it's just the laziness/cold aversion talkin'. I don't want to make a detour to the store.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                        Agreed, mint lamb burgers are a staple in this house!

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                        I love this Moro (I'm not sponsored by them, honestly!) recipe for potato cakes stuffed with lamb and pine nuts: http://www.food.com/recipe/potato-cak...

                                                                                                                                                        It's worth the calories but it is quite a faff for a weeknight. I always thought a shepherd's pie made with the flavourings of it would be good.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                          A nice burger/salad combo would be good... or, how about meatballs/kofte style? Kind of meat 'ovals' mushed around a skewer and grilled (broiler probably, where you are:)

                                                                                                                                                        2. It is 11 degrees with a wind chill of 0 here at the Jersey Shore. I could NEVER live anywhere where this was the norm for the winter.

                                                                                                                                                          Dinner tonight is pork rib chops. I put a dry rub of kosher salt, brown sugar, smoked paprika, cumin, and garlic powder on them last night. I am just going to grill them inside on my cast iron grill pan because there's NO WAY I'm going outside to the real grill tonight.

                                                                                                                                                          I have romaine hearts in the fridge that I need to use so I'll make a green salad with some celery and carrots. Getting the organic produce delivery tomorrow and we always get lettuce and carrots so I need to clear some out. I think I have a lemon in the fridge so I'll make a lemon-thyme vinaigrette.

                                                                                                                                                          I'm thinking about baked potatoes as a side because I rarely make them. It will be a nice change from the usual rice or mashed potatoes.

                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                                                                            I agree! I couldn't even get the car warm enough for the heat to actually work.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for reminding me that a salad need not have cucumbers and tomatoes. I was wracking my brain for a veggie side, and I have romaine, celery, and carrots in the fridge. Viola! Don't know why I didn't think of that myself.

                                                                                                                                                            2. Thanks everyone for the warm welcome yesterday. It's a balmy 0 degree today in WI. Things are looking up...34 by Saturday! Still going for comfort food tonight plus I've been trying to clean out the fridge and freezer. Found some homemade pasta sauce in the freezer will be adding ricotta and some grated parm mix it up with cavatappi slip in the oven and bake. Garlic bread and a warm spinach salad to round things out.

                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LeftoverFoodie

                                                                                                                                                                Sounds like you are living up to your Chowhound name :)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                  Exactly:)! My goal is to have little food waste. Try to work around what I have, what's on sale, and what's at the farmer's market(spring/summer/fall). I have lots of fun doing this. Makes meal planning sometimes easy or sometimes very hard:)

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: LeftoverFoodie

                                                                                                                                                                  Yum. I forgot that one of my favorite comfort foods is a simple pasta/ricotta or cottage cheese (more likely to have that around)/sauce. I'll have to make that soon!

                                                                                                                                                                3. Listening to the new Al Di Meola CD, All Your Life (his tribute to the Beatles) flamenco guitar style. So good...while enjoying a bowl of chili and corn bread.

                                                                                                                                                                  Instant spirit lifter!

                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                    Chili here too. I needed something to warm my bones.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. Tired of soups, stews, chili. Time for a change. So tonight
                                                                                                                                                                    a crawfish etouffee with Pistolettes, but first some bourbon....then gonna sip on some Grand Marnier by the fire.

                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Uncle Bob

                                                                                                                                                                      Reminded me that I have some frozen TJ's crawfish in the freezer, and some etouffee mix from my last visit to NOLA. This shall be on my menu soon. Love Grand Marnier but I tend to over imbibe in it, and MAN, that stuff gives me the worst hangover headache.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce Beef Stew
                                                                                                                                                                      In my haste to get out the house earlier I overdosed a beef stew with Worcestershire Sauce . I must have removed the little plastic re stricter cap that allows you to shake small amounts from the bottle because I got about two ounces. Still cooking but I like the taste so far.

                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: zackly

                                                                                                                                                                        Sounds like a happy accident to me. Yummers.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: zackly

                                                                                                                                                                          I often accidentally pour too much worcestershire. Hmm did I add any? Well, let's add more :)

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: zackly

                                                                                                                                                                            report your final result Zackly - sounds intriguing!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: zackly

                                                                                                                                                                              Yes when I make chex mix, which is the most addictive snack ever, I triple the Worcestershire ...yum

                                                                                                                                                                            2. 14 true degrees when I drove home tonight and dropping. Taking my dogs out for a walk I think the windchill is a -100. Pipes to the washing machine were sluggish but after 2 tries they cleared, phew!

                                                                                                                                                                              Dinner is on my husband tonight. Not the most creative cook but it smells good. Chicken breasts briefly marinated in lemon juice, olive oil, some kind of spice and S&P. they are being pan fried and served with broccoli and baked taters.

                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                Simply prepared food is so appealing after the fussiness of the holidays. It doesn't hurt that someone else is cooking too!

                                                                                                                                                                              2. I had to work with what was in the house (I braved the cold to do the 5 minute school run and considered buying a balaclava!) so it's baked giant pasta shells stuffed with butternut squash, spinach, ricotta, parmesan and topped with a lemony sage butter. A huge green salad on the side to offset the butter ;) and roasted beetroot (they really needed cooking so I shoved them in the oven alongside the squash) with burrata and hazelnuts to eat first.

                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                1. We aren't nearly as cold here, but that doesn't mean it can't be a good excuse to fix comfort foods for dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Tonight's dinner is chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and a nice vinegar slaw to cut through it all. Cheers

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Veal, pasta, house red tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Temperatures never broke single digits today. I made an appointment with a realtor on Amelia Island for the end of the month. We'll see...

                                                                                                                                                                                    NCIS will be on the plasma. Deb insists.

                                                                                                                                                                                    20 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                      And don't forget "Intelligence" on afterwards... with my non-cooking TV boyfriend, James "Sawyer" Ford from "Lost" (a.k.a. Josh Holloway). :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                        I'll give it a shot. But only on your recommendation...;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Well, I'm pretty sure you won't have the same reaction to Josh Holloway as I do. :-P

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I am very honored. And now concerned if the show sucks. :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                Not to worry. It will stand or fall on its merits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                  LW - we women can stand un-ashamed of liking a show that might be perhaps less than perfection in plot, etc. if it features a man-candy - just as men do. Part of that ol' liberation thing many worked for in 60's/70's we are still working to get all bennie's from.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  One of the current bennie's - is no need t apologize if you just watch the show for the dude. It's been done on the other side of the aisle before:)

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                            LOVE Sawyer, LW - again, as often, I applaud you as a woman of taste....

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                              Wait!!!! Sawyer is back?? How did I miss this? Hope it's on on demand...

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                                I, for one, <3'd it! Very interesting premise to the show. It also has Marg Helgenberger (from CSI, and previously, China Beach).

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Linda, Sawyer can be your boyfriend because Desmond is mine:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  The big bad polar vortex hit north Texas with lows of about 8-10, just about the time I came down with a really bad cold. Doc said it's not the flu (I'd gotten a shot and was afraid it had failed) and to ride it out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I haven't been this miserable in a while but have enjoyed reading everyone's WFD plans. Eating real food, as opposed to ice cream and orange juice, is actually starting to sound good.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                rjbh20 and I spent a memorable week one February on Amelia Island Plantation. We arrived to beautiful, balmy weather, and as soon as we arrived at our room there was a knock, knock, knock on the door, and someone from the resort asked us to please keep our water running all night. It never got much above 45 degrees, and try to buy warm clothes in Florida in February. The following year, we decided to go in March. We made it snow. That was the last time we went to Amelia Island. Pretty place, though. Must be nice when it's warm. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hi rox,

                                                                                                                                                                                                  That's excellent info. I targeted Amelia Island because of those temperature swings. My SIL lives in San Diego. She says, "We don't have weather out here."

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Roxlet, try to buy warm clothes anytime in Florida.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Warm clothes? I have them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Foulies, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Does that imply a look into a vacation property, or a move Steve?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Veal and red sound great about now:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Excellent question, lots of levels of ambiguity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I would like to transition out of Connecticut. Taxes are high and getting higher, weather can be nasty. Northern California would be my first choice but the tax thing keeps getting in the way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      In short, I would consider maintaining two places for a bit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sounds like 2014 will be interesting for you and Deb.... :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hit www.cruisersnet.com for info on the Florida panhandle. Great ICW and offshore sailing. And the seafood in Pensacola and Appalachicola can be world class. Not to mention the seasonal quail.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Lots of cheating going on tonight, what makes it cheater ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes I want to know too! I like penne alla vodka but haven't made it for ages.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Perhaps using a jarred vodka sauce?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I guess I should say my vindaloo is cheating too... I use a premade spice mix that I get at a spice shop :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                              You saute chopped onions and garlic, add your herbs (parsley, basil and red pepper flakes), then the Vodka, flame off the alcohol, then add jar of prepared marinara (I use this: http://www.villabertolli.com/product/...). Mix in your heavy cream then grated cheese. So quick and easy because of the cheat but very flavorful. I have made vodka sauces from scratch, but this is actually better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              If you've never had that exact jar sauce, you have to try it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Tonight is cheaters chicken chili. BLSL chicken thighs diced and sautéed with half an onion and green pepper, Penzy's taco seasoning, some jarred salsa, a can of green enchilada sauce, a can of Luck's pinto beans and some fresh oregano and parsley. Parsley rice for both of us and a small salad for James. I will have a tortilla to eat along side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Long day at work; dinner formulated as I was driving home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Asparagus spears, a carrot, and a small red bell pepper, all cut into chunks, tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper, and some garlic powder, and roasted in a hot oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Radiatore cooked and drained. Into the pasta pot went some white wine, butter, some garlic-herb cheese I needed to use up, some extra dried herbs, some Parm-Reg, and some heavy cream. All was whisked together for a sauce and thickened. The pasta and the veggies were added back in to reheat. Some more Parm-Reg on top, some garlic bread alongside (yeah, it's carb-heavy - so sue me), a glass of white wine, and it's dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              CBS has my TV heart tonight - NCIS, Intelligence, and Person of Interest. Intelligence has, as I told steve h., my non-cooking TV boyfriend in the new show, Josh Holloway. I've missed him so. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Enjoy the carbs Linda. I rarely eat pasta because James' mom convinced him Americans are fat from bread and pasta so he isn't a fan. I am and yours sounds great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If only we could all become unfans of certain foods :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nice plate of carbs is often what I need! I finishing up a very restful week of vacation full of carbs but my body is ready to get back to the usual old game. I'm not the biggest fan of a tomato sauce and pasta but load me up a plate of your white pasta sauce sounds great!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Breaded & sauteed chicken cutlets with roasted sweet potato, glazed carrots and a delicious artichoke gratin (I added spinach) that I heartily recommend at Kalyn's Kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. A midweek out of the icebox staple -- Scorned Woman shrimp & chorizo tacos with black beans. With the appropriate beverage, of course.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Hi All! So sorry to not have posted for nearly a week+ - egads! How time flies as we flew through the hollydaze....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cali trip was awesome. Had hoped to post a couple of fun meals I helped make for the gathered tribe in SouthPas, but my relatives have been a bit remiss in sending on all the photos they took of the food I made. Ah well, good, and good times and good memories.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We were 16 around my sister's table - including 4 under 6 (at about 1.5 year intervals), and 3 tween/teens, and the rest adults, so it was a raucous time!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Highlight was Christmas dinner - sorry this is so late to mention - of modified Bon Appetit apple/mushroom/hard cider pork loin dinner which turned out amazing. Will make a separate thread soon on the recipe, as I changed a bunch of stuff, and had several issues with the recipe, tho also thought it very worthy in principle. The pan dripping/ wild mushroom/ hard cider gravy was TDF -and everyone remarked on it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Home just bf NYE; off to the usual crazy action of many ski/hike friends up at Mt. Baker cabins, with 24 guests for a few days; give or take depending on day - alas - the snow was not cooperating, so much time was spent in the 'cookhouse'-party building, sharing and making food, playing games, and taking hikes as we could figure out with the lame wet slush. Thank GOD for REI hiking boots, many friends with high-tech spring snowshoes on-task to get us somewhere fun, and group picnics.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We managed one day hike, with 14 of us, carrying various packs, etc that had chilled vodka, hot homemade dill-tomato soup, roasted beet salad with yogurt, homemade dolmades (made by drunken people at midnight after too much booze and the wood-fired sauna on-site) with lot's of currants and lemon, cold grilled lamb, dates with bacon and roasted pistachio's. Baklava appeared out of someone's pack. Good times!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Back to earth this week.... freezer cleaning; must clear room for 2014 projects!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There have been bowls of avgolemno (clear out that chicken stock so you can use the new bones!), Chicken Tikka Massala from a test run for a cookbook recipe test a few months ago - I find I have 3 different batches in 2 servs. each. Running through them to remember differences and how they froze or not.... more notes for finishing the book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tonight, leftover Beef Bourgignon from Julia, with a couple tweeks (I like it less winey-tasting); a bit of baguette, some cheese, small simple salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Glad to clean out the coolerator, reconnect with you all at the 'table', and get ready for space for 2014 new food adventures!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Missed you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        P.S. resolution for 2014: get attached to more on-the-fly way to connect to my 'communities' I find important' - as in, get a real Smartphone with unlimited data!". That will keep me in the loop.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Apologies for not staying in touch during all the happiness, dramas, super-vortex, and sadness last couple weeks. I missed you all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          you never have to apologize, gs, just keep showing up!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          your holidaze sound like too much fun - so glad you enjoyed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          you're a busy lady! hope you get some down time too - with some good food, natch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks MC :). Lookin' like 2014 will be a tasty and interesting year for us all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Wow GS - I'm full and tired just reading your post! Sounds like a wonderful holiday season. Welcome back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. It's been chilly for a few days here in Toronto -- I did a cozy French Onion braised chicken dish over the weekend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But the last 2 days of *life threatening* wind chills (-34F!) demanded a thick and hearty Irish Beef Stew. It takes a good while to cook, so I had some oysters on the half shell & smoked salmon to tide me over. All of that, plus a nice glass of scotch as a nightcap, and... well, I guess there are *some* upsides to a polar vortex!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: patscj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks! And that braised chicken dish (http://www.thekitchn.com/dinner-recip...) called for gruyere to be placed on top and then broiled -- I didn't have gruyere and used smoked cheddar, but I'm sure some of that Swiss cheese you have would be terrific! I also love Swiss on a burger with sauteed mushrooms. :) Good luck finding tasty recipes to use it in, and welcome to Chowhound!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: CuriousCat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                love your starters... love it all. welcome!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Tonight is a meatless night so I am eating spicy pinto beans that I am adding Swiss chard, yellow onion and red bell peppers to towards the end to veg it up.Green salad with every vegetable in my reach and garlic bread.My friend brought me some little walnut square bars from See's candy. I will whack one to smithereens with my trusty rolling pin and nibble away at it after dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. well its mid summer here in New Zealand .....but tonight i just felt like chicken casserole (we've had so many BBQ's and salad) ..yes i know an oldie and not as flash as some of the foodie posts but gosh darn its good...hope it warms up a tad over in America keep warm you guys :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thankyou :) i actually found this site this morning after mistakenly buying 2kgs of swiss cheese...i normally buy edam and was wondering what to do with it all lol.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: patscj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Chowhound is a great resource for "How do I use this?" questions. Welcome, and enjoy your warm weather. As I noted in the OP, I'm envious of Frizzle's weather, who's in the same hemisphere as you are. As such, I'm envious of your weather as well. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: patscj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I see you quickly found the Cheese discussion board.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And one of my favorite ways to use Swiss is in a hot ham/swiss sandwich with a mustard/butter/poppyseed/worchestershire sauce. Recipe was previously posted in another discussion here http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9234...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: patscj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Depending on exactly which sort of Swiss cheese it is, then it's probably very similar in taste & texture to Edam, so you should be able to substitute it for pretty much anything you'd use the Dutch for.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But 2kg? Do you have the whole of the All Blacks to feed?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: patscj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          nice to have another kiwi on board! love our far-flung correspondents - so great to hear what goes on in other parts of the world for dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: patscj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Wave! Fellow NZer here. Welcome aboard!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Sometimes laziness pays off. up really early (for me) to take the Oldster to an appt., then a full day at work, stayed late, and i kept thinking.... gotta go buy that snapper, gotta go buy that snapper... haven't been eating enough fish now that the BF's out most weeknights, gotta go buy that snapper....then i snappered right out of it: i don't gotta do nothing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            instead, dinner was my new love - mustard greens, well-sauteed with bacon ends, garlic, sherry, a little balsamic glaze, cooked way down, until it was all caramelly and smokey and luscious, then plopped a poached egg on top, sprinkled with aleppo and scallions, buttered some rye toast, poured myself a glass of red, and voila - a fridge-make-do dinner. it's going into the rotation, and i'm going to make the BF eat it too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            (again, apologies for dark-ish cell phone pics - camera charger still MIA.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yum! You know I love me some greens and so many things are made even better with a poached egg on top! This may get added to our rotation, too, since I bought a couple of flats at the egg ranch on Friday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Seared sea scallops and roasted beets on black pepper and buckwheat pappardelle in a porcini cream sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Not personally a beet fan, but it sounds very good

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rjbh20

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You know, I never used to be crazy about them either---except in borscht. Then several years back I roasted chunks and plated them with truffled goat cheese, mixed soft herbs, and a healthy drizzle of honey. Inhaled the whole thing in about 30 seconds. Now I love them, especially roasted high (around 475°) in butter and sea salt until richly browned all over.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I was able to grow quite a few this past summer and between the fresh roasted beets just pulled from the earth and the abundance of beet greens I put myself into quite the little food frenzy here:) Soooo sweet and delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MamasCooking

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yeah we grow them now, too. So easy, and such a nice long growing season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I hope you're all staying safe and the big freeze is ending.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The zucchini & caper pasta tonight was fabulous, I ended up making parpadelle instead of spaghetti which worked fine. The original recipe is a River Cafe one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I still have lots of pasta left over and some parsnips that need using up. I'm thinking of a parsnip ravioli with a rosemary spiked brown butter tomorrow and a green salad alongside.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Today is the first day I'm feeling cold. Last night, some leftovers: baked sweet potato with BBQ mushroom meatloaf. We're having a wood stove installed this week - I'm very much looking forward to sitting in front of it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Last night, a small bowl of microwaved rice and black beans. Flight home from chilly FL was late, then sat on the tarmac for 45 minutes waiting for an open gate. Arg. Kids, spouse, even the dogs were long asleep by the time I got home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tonight, probably doctored up ramen noodles. There is a nasty cold going through the house and no one is much in the mood for cooking. Looking ahead to warmer days and more interesting meals!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That nasty cold has made its way to our house too - DH came down with it yesterday, and was miserable by the time dinner rolled around. Therefore, dinner was eggs (sunnyside up for him, scrambled for me), sausage and sourdough toast with a cup of tea. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that I don't get it - I had one of my own just before Christmas and I don't need two in a row!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Stay safe! :) Hopefully the cold you had earlier is the same one. Breakfast for dinner is my 2nd favorite sick meal other than soup. I hope DH feels better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hope he shakes it off soon. Stay well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Suffering from a cold here too. Saltines with butter, and graham cracker overload. Feel better

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Planning on making stew out of Flank Steak. I tried it a few weeks ago and it was wonderful. I hadn't thought of using until it was nasty weather and I didn't want to send hubby out to grill it. There was loads of flavor, and it had a brisket tooth feel to it. Yummy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Nanzi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I was thinking about whether I could do this with a flank I have waiting for me in the freezer. I was thinking Texas chili, specifically, if I diced up the flank in a smallish dice.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Glad to hear you like this cut in stew. How did you/do you plan on doing it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I just don't see myself getting out to grill anytime soon, but I'd like something bubbling away in the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. The last of the DiBruno's bounty is on the menu tonight: 4 duck sausages with foie gras. They will be accompanied by one of my favorite winter salads -- shaved fennel, pomegranate & bleu cheese in a toasted nut vinaigrette.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My man's meeting an old buddy he hasn't seen in forevah after dinner, which will give me chance to continue playing catch-up with work....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Off to Philly for a short overnight tomorrow, and already got a rezzie here:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.matyson.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Still debating whether we'll go for the tasting menu (which is a *steal*, but sounds like a lot of food), or order à la carte.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Tough decisions in the Midlands '-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              22 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                those sausages sound deeevine...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                that menu! it does sound like a hearty tasting menu. I would be thrilled just to partake of the apps. is it really BYOB?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                so, tomorrow you become.... ONE OF US. muuuahahahahahahahahahaHAHAHAHA!!!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Not till Friday in the AYEM aka in the middle of the night, given my bio-rhythm. I'm particularly looking forward to watching a video with lots of fighter planes, which apparently is part of the ceremony. Oh, and the flag pin. Can't leave without that flag pin '-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Woot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, and yes, the place is BYOB. So even if I went with à la carte choices, it'd still be quite affordable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    When you see the fighter plane video, you are required to say "'MERICA"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wow, the citizenship ceremony is BYOB? You think that they'd spring for some wine for y'all!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wine? Dude. It'll be Bud Ice all the way from here on in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Just saw this on Pinterest, too bad there's no time for you to order it and wear it ;) http://wanelo.com/p/2428014/time-to-g...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm debating just wrapping myself in a big American flag.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Would really cut down on prep time in the morning, which would help.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Jack Daniels, of course. You're an American now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And it's whiskey, not whisky.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm just slowly gettin' acquainted to bourbon. More of a Scotch gal, meself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It'll be Bud Ice all the way from here on in.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                DON'T YOU DARE!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              lingua, I'm smiling a LOT reading this post. Congratulations!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks. I'll have to think about which citizenship to attain next. I mean.... just two passports? That can only be the start of something bigger '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Watch it. There's still time for me to call my congressman. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My husband has three passports.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    - Two American, one that he uses when he travels to Israel, one for everything else (he could have trouble entering certain ME countries with an Israeli stamp_
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    - One French - his mother is French so that automatically grants him French citizenship.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Either way, congrats! I remember getting my citizenship when I was around 13 years old. Unfortunately I had to give up my Russian citizenship, but that's the way it goes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And enjoy your dinner! Yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              been a long while since I ate there, but my recommendation is: whichever way you go at Matyson, don't skip dessert!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Mmmmmmkay. I'm not a dessert person at all, and poached pear and mascarpone cream, nice as they sound, aren't really calling my name.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Think it'll be a "game time" decision whether we'll do the tasting or not....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4. Post-Polar Vortex Comment: In Chicago this morning when we got up to a tropical 10* ABOVE zero I dragged my shopping cart through unplowed snowdrifts and went to the supermarket. No eggs. None. Very sometimey meat availability. Advertised items not yet delivered. Lots of empty shelves. I thought those big-big trucks could get through anything. But the air feels as balmy as Brazil and that is lovely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Wow, that's usually what it's like in New England BEFORE the storm hits, Querencia!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Pork,green pepper,and potato stew,Santa Fe Style.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Well my cold has reared it's ugly head. I stayed home again today. Thankfully, I have both vindaloo and enchilada leftovers, so dinner will be one of those. Lunch is ramen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And, Winnie the puppy is turning into a foodie. I read online that teething puppies like carrots, so I gave her one, and she is chowing down, she loves it. It's the only thing that has kept her attention for more than about 3 minutes in the past week or so since her adult teeth started coming in. Well, I lied, my stack of cookbooks on the bottom shelf of the coffee table amused her, but as soon as I saw that those got put away!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hope you feel better soon!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Just wanted to say I gave my dogs carrots as pups and they still love them years later. My little one is 9 years old and I buy baby carrots solely for her to munch on. My larger dog is a beast and her favorite snack in the world is a GINORMOUS carrot tossed across the living room (she'll catch it mid-air).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    They also love green beans, green peas, apples, bananas, cooked yams, and potatoes. In the summer, I toss them a handful of frozen peas/beans and they go berserk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh good to know. I am scared to give her lots of things because she's so little (4.5 months), and still house training, so I don't want any ummm runny accidents in the house. I'll have to try a few of those to see what happens, on a day where I'm home all day and can watch her like a hawk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Be careful with things like canned pumpkin - I believe that helps them eliminate, so you don't want to go overboard if there's no need.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          They say it can CAUSE or HELP diarrhea in dogs, just depending on your dog. Kinda confusing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've given my dogs smaller amounts of canned pumpkin. My big girl will eat it hesitantly, my little one loves it. Yams and sweet potatoes are supposed to be much better for dogs' upset tummies, so I skip the pumpkin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh yes, my BFF gave her puppy pumpkin when he was having tummy troubles... so I definitely don't want to give it to my usually very "regular" and "solid" puppy :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Aww, so cute. What kind of pup?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I forget that some dogs are just very sensitive to "human" foods. My parents have a certain type of purebred dog that doesn't seem to stomach human food well in any capacity. They've had 3 in a row of this breed, and all of them would have GI troubles when they ate anything but dry dog food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My little dog is a terrier mutt, around 8 lbs. full grown, whom I found in an alley. She was a scavenger, so I have no doubt her strong tummy is from her early months of eating garbage. My larger dog is a purebred "show" pitbull (years of inbreeding) and she's had more health issues with environmental and food allergies, and she has a much more sensitive stomach.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Even so, my vet recommended when she was a pup to eliminate corn from her diet (in many dog foods), which has eliminated all of her allergy symptoms (hot spots, ear infections, rashes, bald patches from scratching, etc.). She then recommended I cook at least half of her meals from scratch, using foods like poached skinless chicken or turkey, salmon, eggs, oatmeal, rice, and the veggies listed above. Even for a dog with a sensitive stomach, she tolerates all of these foods extremely well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Her dinners for the first several years of her life were 1/3 dry dog food, and then whatever I was eating for dinner. Often that was shredded chicken breast, steamed veggies, and then I'd make a porridge of oatmeal and rice with an egg cracked in while hot to just cook it through. Drizzled with olive oil for a healthy coat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It's amazing what this diet did for her condition and health. The alternative was a lifetime of antihistamines, twice daily ear drops, and DAILY STEROIDS. I'm so glad she responded so well to a clean diet versus all those chemicals.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm rambling, sorry. Anyway, good luck figuring out what to feed your pup. Just give her little bits of things at a time and see how she reacts. Green veggies may cause looser or green stools, but my dogs are fine. Skinless potatoes or sweet potatoes would be a good place to start. Even my parents' dogs can eat these in moderation with no problem.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Just make sure to avoid onion, garlic, raisins, grapes, tomatoes, nutmeg, cinnamon, chicken/turkey skin, and of course chocolate. Those are the biggest food killers for dogs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              She's a basset hound :) The carrots carrot was her first taste of non-dog food so I'm sure she loved it. I'll probably stick to the carrots as an occasional treat for awhile until she's bigger and more housetrained. We also have an 8 year old basset and he doesn't eat much in the way of people food either. SO will occasionally slip him something (he got one bite of prime rib at Christmas) but he sticks to the dog food most of the time too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Good grief, how did it get to be WEDNESDAY already?!!? This week is so busy that meals are easy... tacos (him)/ taco salad (me) Monday, I roasted 2 chickens last night that I served with blistered green beans and some mashed potatoes for him and tonight will be...... something with chicken! I need to pick the bones to make stock NOW since the garbage cans go to the curb tonight and the bones are going to need to be in there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm thinking of making doro wat like you normally would except adding the shredded chicken at the end instead of cooking the pieces in it, that way the liquid would still get to reduce. Probably kale on the side or under it or in it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Scratch doro wat off the menu, the man is working late so I'll take the opportunity to do the same. I'll roll up some smoked salmon and creme fraiche in cucumber strips and sprinkle them with fresh dill and make a little shrimp cocktail with a healthy dose of horseradish and just nibble tonight instead.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I have some cubed beef chuck that needs using (bought it to cook for friends who are expecting, but the timing could never get worked out...grr...). I think I'm going to make a sort of beef stew/bourguignon with it...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Well it finally happened. The post holiday I want healthy food cravings. I used to head to a WF salad bar and eat my weight in tofu delights and ancient grain concoctions but there are no WF salad bars out here. So lunch was a very nice but not exactly health food salad at the Greek Pizza place- top drawer iceberg, cuke, tomato, hb egg and other main stream ingredients and of course I topped it with Thousand Island. Still in the hunt.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              So I shopped at the spendy organic plus market and WFD will be composed of short brown rice, some shitakes, black Kale and a piece of pricey swordfish.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mr. Berheenia will have left over spinach meatloaf and roasted veggies from last night's dinner party. The craving for wine lives on no matter what. We are stocked up on red.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Organic wine works.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Had a nuclear stress test at the cardiologists today. Boy was that fun. Because it scared the heck out of me, dinner tonight will be grilled chicken and green salad. =)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Okay and also spinach-artichoke lasagna roll-ups. Gotta have saturated fat somewhere on the plate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Congratulations for getting through the test! Sometimes I step back and realize the crazy hoops us docs ask patients to jump through. Hopefully they walked you through it, I hate when I don't know what's going on. I love spinach artichoke lasagna but your roll ups sound so much easier :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Believe it or not, it was a recipe in the November or December issue of Food Network magazine. Lasagna 4 ways. I was in full-on food mode and couldn't walk through the checkout without buying those 2 issues.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dr's office called with results: normal, normal, normal. =) Bring on the saturated fat!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Woohoo!! And a shout for grocery store checkout purchases, I have a hard time resisting myself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Well, this is the first day I've felt like eating something other then saltines with butter, and graham crackers. Made some vegetarian stuffed peppers (black beans, rice, salsa, corn, spices) for the youngest chow pup. They are his favorite meal. I've been eating the filling since I started preparing them, so something tells me I won't be eating much at dinner. But I am definitely feeling dessert tonight. I've missed it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Tonight is what I have here at the house dinner. I have 12 slices of Amish bacon I didn't get to this weekend and those lovely tomatoes I picked the other day and a ham hock from New Years Day that didn't get used. Some split peas were in the pantry so it will be BLT's and split pea soup. I killed the chili in a big plate of nachos today. Thanks fldhkybnva for the idea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The minute I start feeling better, we ARE having nachos. Been talking about them since i read about fldhkybnva's creation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My whole house smells of delicious cured pork products. That is never a bad thing. Like lingua said... mmmmmBLT

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I must admit that my Christmas dinner came really good. I made braised short ribs for the first time, and they came out fantastic! Super tender with great flavor. I was a little bummed that the Italian grocer that I went to in hopes of fresh egg noodles was closed, and the other one that I went to didn't have any. I'm sure I could have found them at Wegmans or elsewhere, but at that point I didn't want to drive all over town so it was just regular dried egg noodles, but they worked very well with the sauce. My mamacita made her famous ceasar salad, which was good, but something was just a little "off," as in there was either not enough or too much of something in it, but we couldn't quite put our fingers on it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think it's leftovers tonight. The hubster is so good. When I asked him if he thought we had enough, his reply was "I'll be fine. If it's not enough for me I can just make a sandwich." He's so easy going. Love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Stay warm all of 'yall in the frigid zone. We got to a whopping 20 degrees here today. Time to open up the pool!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Tonight will be leftover chili with spaghetti and a simple salad. Simple but good and using leftovers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Went freezer diving again today. Found some Usinger's Italian Sausage. Had some leftover fresh spinach, some unused pasta from last night so voila Tuscan Sausage Soup. It's cooking on the stove top right now and smells delish. Will top with fresh grated parma. DH won't think soup is enough of a meal so will offer him up a sandwich. Me, I could live on soup. DH not so much:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LeftoverFoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I hear you. I could be fine with soup but bf needs more than that. Go figure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LeftoverFoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm just accepting soup as a meal to itself but if must have meat to even be considered as such.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm on a two-day soup run over here in Van. Last night I conflated two recipes and ended up with a veg lentil barley concoction that was both hearty and light tasting at the same time. Some whole grain bread on the side and that was dinner (my SO is good with soup as a meal!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tonight it was tom kha gai, augmented with straw mushrooms (dang those things look and feel creepy), konnyaku noodles and broccoli.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm kind of with you. If it's something like a butternut squash soup, then I need to have something like a sandwich with it. If it's a hearty chicken noodle or beef barley or the likes, just a piece of crusty bread is all I need.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I head to Chicago tomorrow and the man has a work dinner tonight, so I'll go into the fridge for a nice leftover dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pureed veggie soup with hot sauce and a little grated parm on top. For dinner, a reheated piece of schnitzel with salad, avocado, tomatoes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Dinner of champions aka a girl stuffed to the brim and sad that she has to return to work tomorrow-deviled eggs!! There will be other nibbles including a vat of yogurt and fruit. I'm craving simple and refreshing food. There's a duck breast in the fridge that will either need to be cooked, frozen or fed to a cat. If the former, it will be pan seared and served with cranberry orange relish from the freezer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Is the cranberry orange relish homemade? What do you freeze it in?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yea, it's a homemade mix and I just freeze it in plastic take out containers with a little room at the top to allow for expansion as well as ziploc bags so that I can just break off a chunk if I just need a little. I like to add it to yogurt for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks! What a great idea. I never knew you could freeze relish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tonight was nibble night for me too, but not refreshing ones. I ate cheese and crackers for dinner. Like a lot. Like too much, ugh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Just now dove into some freshly baked biscotti and expensive chocolate. In a carb+dairy mood apparently.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tomorrow there will be spinach in EVERYTHING to make up for it :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I love cheese, but I totally know that "like too much" feeling. I'm also back to real food including loads of veggies and fruit...vacation is over and by body hates me :(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Aww, well it sounds like you are feeling a bit better though? Time to load back up on healthy foods!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Interestingly, I will overload on cheese and carbs to the point of feeling ill at night, and then wake up the next day and only want... cheese and carbs! Not sure why I have such a strong love of cheesy things. I feel like I could eat mac and cheese constantly throughout the day with a side of cheddar and some Cheetos. It's really kind of gross.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Me too. Speaking of cheese, I found Yancy's Fancy steakhouse onion and will report on Are You Snacking when I break into it. Thanks for the recommendation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Me too. Speaking of cheese, I found the Yancy's Fancy that you recommended. I will tell you what I think on Are You Snacking when I break into it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. The breakfast sandwich idea has morphed into something a little more interesting. Patties made from homemade turkey-apple sausage in a multigrain english muffin, topped with cheese, quick-pickled cabbage, ketchup, mustard and a fried egg. Sort of a cross between a breakfast sandwich and a burger. Homemade fries on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Also making some pizza dough for tomorrow, and, if I still have it in me after all that, a half batch of rough puff pastry that I can use as the crust for cranberry tartlets (I have some spiced cranberry syrup that is begging to be turned into a filling).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              There's a restaurant in my area that serves a very similar sandwich for brunch. It's almost exact except that they use regular sausage. I love it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ludmilasdaughter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It was really tasty. Definitely one to make again, especially since I have a freezer full of homemade turkey-apple sausage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Well, fennel sadly wasn't available, so my man returned with romaine leaves..... not what I had in mind, but we worked it out :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Chopped those up, sliced some carrot & celery & scallion and tossed it all with an impromptu blue cheese dressing: cider vinegar, mayo, blue cheese, half & half (no buttermilk in da house), tsp of coarse mustard & a dash of onion powder, sea salt & lots of fresh ground black pepper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              He had TWO bowls of this, which is generally unheard of -- he's not nearly as much of a salad head as I am.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The duckie snausages were very flavorful and not overwhelmingly fatty. Stuffed now; my man has just left for his man-date, and I'm ready to get to work.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Butternut squash again (half was left from yesterday's pasta) this time turned into a curry with chickpeas, lemongrass and coriander. A cucumber quick pickle thing on the side to spice it up. For a change I made cardamom flatbread to eat with it rather than rice. I used the remainder of the coconut milk from the curry in a coconut rice pudding which I'm currently too full to eat. I've sliced up a mango to eat it with if I find room later.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: helen_m

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You wouldn't have a recipe for that cardamom flatbread, would you?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sure, it's this Maria Elia recipe: http://www.gourmetworrier.com/2010/01... I was really pleased with how it turned out. Not overwhelmingly cardamomy (I think it can taste a bit soapy when you use a lot).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. A vaguely pan- Asian beef soup/stew totally thrown together on the fly. Starting point was some relative ancient boneless short ribs (a major misnomer), with garlic, ginger, red & green chiles, soy, fish sauce and probably a few others things. Servesd with jasmine rice and an Asian carrot-radish-scallion slaw. Not perfect, but not too bad and a warming bowl.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Delicious French toast for dinner. I am in a food coma as I have no boundaries with rich delicious foods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MamasCooking

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Lol. Last time I ate French toast, I had found a loaf of Texas toast style bread and decided to make a whole loaf's worth of French toast to freeze for quick breakfasts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So there I am, standing in front of the stove, dredging and cooking each slice low and slow, taking my sweet time, smiling, thinking how delicious FT is, how long it'd been since I'd made it, sprinkling each slice liberally with cinnamon as they cooked...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      By the end of it, I was left with HALF THE LOAF to freeze. I was mortified. I'd been picking and nibbling almost as fast as I was churning them out. I think I ate like 6 slices. Food coma times a million. Go me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Texas toast is perfect too because it is thick. I rarely make French toast because there are just some foods I love too much and I know going in I might regret the amount I inhaled:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MamasCooking

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I know! I never see plain Texas toast bread at the grocery store and was happy to find it. I only see frozen Texas toast (the one smeared with butter, garlic, parsley, etc.).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It made really awesome French toast, and whatever recipe I used that day was easily the best French toast I've ever made, and possibly ever had. It was so DAMN GOOD.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          What's funny about Texas toast is it's super thick (probably like 2 slices of regular bread?) and yet you still eat as many--if not more--slices without feeling full.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Bluefish! My brother had too much and sent some over. He broiled it with olive oil, fresh tomatoes, onions, parsley and lemon juice. Maybe a little white wine. Just as my father made it when we were kids. Served over a parmesan rice which you would think would not work but he made it like a risotto and it was fantastic creaminess.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Lucky you to have a brother close by, AND who cooks so well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh man, I haven't had bluefish since I was a kid. My uncle used to go fishing and that was his specialty. I've never seen it in the stores. I envy you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ludmilasdaughter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They do sell it in the stores here in NJ, but my brother's friend has a boat and shares his catch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Jerseygirl111

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Lucky you, and what a lovely brother. I'd never had bluefish until we moved to the states and it's such a lovely fish, a new favourite. And it's so cheap!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Second night out of the week. We're going into the city. There's been a restaurant on the site since the 1870s, although in several different versions. The most recent version returns to traditional British food. It's the place where I'd take a foreigner visiting the city who wanted to experience that. In fact, it *is* where Mrs H took a party of her European colleagues when she hosted the organisation's quarterly meeting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://samschophouse.com/restaurant-2/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. And it's still blinkin' raining! Last night was dinner at Terroirs, our favourite pre theatre place (guaranteed to get you well fed and in your seat by curtain up without indigestion from having to eat fast!) before Jeeves and Wooster at the theatre. Tonight himself is cooking, fish probably. Stay warm, folks.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Londonlinda

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I love Jeeves and Wooster! What is the production?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Parsnip and ricotta ravioli tonight, with brown butter and rosemary. I used some of the Tuscan kale/cavolo nero I have growing in pots on the deck and made a side salad with that (cooked first), caramelised apple and walnuts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The salad wasn't the perfect match for the ravioli and I can't figure out what type of salad would have worked best.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sounds like the ravs were on the sweet side, so perhaps something slightly bitter, such as escarole or radicchio, maybe with some sorrel leaves tossed in for the fizzy buzz they have, and a vinaigrette dressing?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Interesting, I'd been looking for recipes to use up the parsnip but when for a warm salad. I'll be interested to hear how it works out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Maybe an arugula and chicory salad would work, with some kind of nuts for crunch. Hazelnuts might be nice with parsnip?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: helen_m

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The ravioli were great. Subtle but tasty. I pan fried the parsnip in butter, then simmered with sherry and water. A wee grate of nutmeg went into it before mashing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm liking the salad suggestions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. The other night I wanted to make chicken Caesars with grilled cheese on the side. Easy and sounded good at the time. My chicken had gone off, though so I had to come up with a planB. I seriously contemplated pizza delivery, as it was already close to 5pm when I checked my chicken breast.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The baby and I had a convo though and we decided he could entertain himself with a plastic spatula if I threw together a quick fire of sorts from what we had on hand.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ground lamb became spicy meatballs, carrots were roasted with cumin, chiles, scallions and butter, beets were boiled (not roasted. For some reason I've taken to boiling them. Odd, I know, but it's fast) and a quick bulgur and acini de pepe pilaf was made.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Everything was decidedly middle eastern in flavor and in the end, the dish got a good scoop of full fat yogurt.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dinner in 60 minutes too! The babe and I high fived and the hubs was happy to find real cooking smells wafting through the house.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Last night I used the pork shoulder I'd dry brined on Sunday. It sat for 48 hours and then I rubbed off some salt, added a bit of brown sugar and braised it at 250 for four hours. This was only three pounds of shoulder, bone in. It came out perfectly with a nice amount of salty juices for a future sauce.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I wanted cold weather food, even though it's merely grey here these days. I put on a pot of flageolets, cut up some carrots, onion and cabbage and made a simple version of...oh, I don't know. Pot au feu, perhaps?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I sweat the veggies, adding stock and the salty, de-fatted pork glacé that was chilled down to a shiny disk, then added in the cooked beans with their bay leaf as the only additional flavoring. Really simple.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Meat was crisped up and laid over the top. If only it had been raining.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My photos aren't the best. The meatballs are the leftovers the hubs took to work the next day and our everyday bowls are really awful for food photos. In the end, it was all good though. And, no pizza delivery. Score 1 for team mommy-baby.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tonight, the chicken Caesar and grilled cheese. That's my plan, anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
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