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What's for Dinner #281 - The March Towards Spring Edition [Through March 9,2014]

Winter fatigue is definitely a part of the the landscape for everyone in the colder climes of the US. We are ready for a change, and it does look like the ice floe in my backyard is slowly receding.

Tonight will be an early and quick dinner of sausage with peppers and onions, a meal that says summer and street fairs to me. The sausages are from Arthur Avenue, and the bread to have with them is from Tarry Market, the mini Eataly in my part of NY.

What's on your tables tonight, hounds?

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  1. Spring is in the air here on the Sou'west Shore of Connecticut.

    Temperatures got up to 32 degrees today. They'll fall back to 10 degrees tonight but I'm a glass-is-half-full kind of guy. The corner has been turned. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

    Buffalo chicken wings are up tonight. Deb's wings are killer. Beer and wine on the counter, Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes will be on the plasma.

    4 Replies
    1. re: steve h.

      Two great classics -- the wings and the movie. You weren't in Tarry Market today, by chance?

    2. Spring still seems a long way off in DC. I'm making most of the chilly temperatures and making a chicken and tarragon pie. I'll serve it with veg box busting sides - roasted rainbow carrots (we have yellow, purple and orange) and some buttered cabbage.

      I'm having a glass of picpoul de pinet, it seems to be the house white at the moment while I wait for my husband to get home from the gym. We'll be watching the last episode of series one of The Bridge (the Sweden/Denmark one) post dinner.

      2 Replies
      1. re: helen_m

        Helen, I'm jealous of your wonderful veg box. Do you mind sharing where you get this treasure? I just signed up for my summer CSA share but may not make it until late May. Had some terribly boring green beans from the regular grocery store last night.

        It was the rainbow carrots that did it.

        1. re: tcamp

          Sure! I use the Washington Green Grocer, I get the local box. You don't have to get it every week and can 'dislike' items (kohlrabi, I'm looking at you!) which is handy.

      2. Trader Joe's butternut squash triangolini with a sherry cream sauce. The sauce was relatively simple: 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and lightly browned, blended with 1/4 cup of sherry and then reduced a bit. About 1/3 cup of heavy cream, salt, pepper, and some minced fresh rosemary (maybe a tsp?) was added and simmered to thicken.

        Pasta was cooked, mixed in with the sauce in the same pot after draining, and then plated. A few pinches of grated Parm-Reg on top.

        A small salad with vinaigrette alongside, along with a glass of wine.

        And it is good. :-) Another Trader Joe's "Yay!"

        Survivor and Criminal Minds on the Big Butt. (gotta imitate steve h!)

        5 Replies
            1. re: Frizzle

              Yes, I'd never have thought of doing a sherry cream sauce but I bet it goes really well with butternut pasta.

            2. re: LindaWhit

              Oh man I love Criminal Minds. I have a weird thing for Dr. Reid, particularly when his hair is tidy.

              1. re: LindaWhit

                I hope it was as tasty as it sounds!

              2. I am not weighing in on the weather in my area so I can save you all from groaning and wishing a frost on me.

                The sandwich made another appearance at the lunch table and will probably will all week since I eat so small. That's okay. It was really good and the bread held up perfectly.

                Tonight is my mom's version of chicken ala king. Let me preface this with I love my mom but her cooking, not so much. So this is not traditional AT ALL but it was one of the few meals I copy from her with a few small tweaks. I haven't the foggiest where she came up with it but for me it screams childhood. It isn't light by any means.

                Two BLSL chicken thighs, chopped into bite sized pieces
                Some leftover red and yellow peppers, chopped
                Button mushrooms, sliced
                Sliced jarred pimentos
                Half a medium onion, chunked in bite sized pieces
                Two cloves garlic, minced (they were small)
                A sprinkle of flour
                Turmeric
                Badia
                A pint of half and half
                Enough milk to thin it to the right consistency
                End it with a shot of sherry and an egg yolk stirred in( I admit it, I don't temper it. Never had a problem)
                My mom obviously never used Badia. She used straight milk(she was a meat wrapper with three kids.Half and half never made it in our budget). And sherry and an egg yolk are from another recipe I read.
                Served on toasted buttercrust white toast.

                I will dream of a blood orange mimosa and will have a couple of plugs of blood orange and feed the rest to James instead. Not quite the same, but it'll do.

                7 Replies
                1. re: suzigirl

                  That sounds really good and really easy.....Stealing!

                  1. re: sedimental

                    Be my guest, steal away. It is one of my favorite meals.

                  2. re: suzigirl

                    "I am not weighing in on the weather in my area so I can save you all from groaning and wishing a frost on me."

                    Not that you would find this super important, but as a result of that comment I removed your name from the naughty list and placed it on the nice list. :-D I apologize for hollering at you when you were boasting of the unbelievably nice weather down there when many of us were suffering through sub-zero temperatures and snow storms which prevented us from getting to the liquor store.

                    1. re: Fowler

                      Your last sentence had me laughing way too loudly here at this hour:)Funny stuff.

                      1. re: Fowler

                        That unbelievably nice weather has disappeared. It has been rainy all day and grey. Depressingly so. But it did not prevent me from getting to the liquor store. Now that would be a travesty.

                        1. re: Fowler

                          Snow that prevents a liquor run?! I can't even imagine such a thing.

                      2. Didn't feel like "cooking" (i.e. making a salad & crisping up pork belly... yes, I am lazy today), so we ordered Thai delivery instead. Drunken noodles "medium" Thai spicy -- boy do they have a kick -- and shrimp noodle tom yum. Unfortunately, the soup came with rice instead of noodles, so we're sitting around waiting for the noodles to be here.

                        Wah.

                        Good thing I don't have to be anywhere until 10:30. I would, however, much prefer not having to be anywhere at any time tonight....

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: linguafood

                          Dinner sounds good. Having to go out afterwards sucks. But do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life. Right?

                          1. re: suzigirl

                            Haha. You have a point.

                            I better put my big girl rockstar pants on '-)

                            1. re: linguafood

                              You look better in a dress. At least that's how I saw you. ;-)

                              1. re: suzigirl

                                And you were right. I never sing in pants!

                                1. re: linguafood

                                  I remember from the youtube video.

                          2. The bloke is at an industry awards event tonight so I can have seafood. I picked up some cockles (clams) at the fish markets today along with my usual haul of mullet to be smoked and some cod to try making salt cod with.

                            Now I'm home I'm not feeling inspired by the shellfish at all. Anyone got a killer recipe to share? I'm not really in the mood for a chowder but open to any other ideas.

                            5 Replies
                              1. re: linguafood

                                I second that. Either red or white.

                              2. re: Frizzle

                                I wasn't feeling like pasta either when it came to dinner time (fussy I know) so Rick Stein came to the rescue. Out of the three clam recipes in his Spanish book I chose the sherry and Serrano ham one. I subbed bacon for the ham but otherwise stuck to his recipe. Onion, garlic, bacon are softened. Sherry and clams are added. Parsley to finish. It was perfect for a sunny autumn evening.

                                 
                                1. re: Frizzle

                                  Pssstttt.....Frizzle? Bacon is WAY better than ham. Always!

                                  You had some amazing flavors there - looks great!

                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                    It was your sherry sauce that inspired me to choose that recipe LW!

                              3. Tonight we're enjoying our new favorite way to have steaks. With a big dollop of Bobby Flay's rosemary balsamic butter on top. To make it, you just reduce balsamic vinegar with peppercorns, take out the peppercorns, mix in some honey, chopped rosemary and mix it with butter.

                                It makes the steaks taste so juicy and flavorful. The first time I made it, I accidentally cooked it closer to medium-well, and it was still amazing.

                                If you want to see a more detailed recipe, you can find it here: http://yummyreads.com/2014/03/sirloin...

                                1. As expected, I ended up at my favorite wine bar by my hotel tonight. Was there with a colleague, which was a good opportunity to get a bottle of Illumination Sauvignon Blanc (yum). For dinner, we shared a lovely cheese plate, grilled asparagus with romescu, grilled shrimp with a balsamic glaze and an excellent burger with extra pickles (which netted us a bowl of 6 whole pickles!).

                                  I'm debating how much useful work I might get in at the moment. I'm leaning towards sleep and some early morning work. Oy.

                                  1. Trying to manipulate my brain into believing it is nice sunny weather. On that note I made a huge chopped salad with a vinaigrette of RWV, olive oil and seasoning.
                                    I had a freshly baked loaf of Boudin's sour dough from their local store/café so several slices of that with butter was my *main course*. A pot of hot peppermint tea after dinner. Grapes for later.

                                    1. I was about two seconds away from ordering takeout tonight, given a long day with an uncomfortable medical procedure at the end of it. I'm really glad I didn't though - I decided to use up the flap meat in the fridge instead, to make fajita platters. Rare meat, grilled red peppers, pineapple salsa, green olives and sour cream, all served atop the most delicious black beans (simmered with chipotle puree and chicken bouillon). So good, and far less guilt inducing than the Chinese food I might have ordered.

                                      However, I make no promises that I won't order Chinese for lunch tomorrow! :)

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: biondanonima

                                        Inspired by that fajita thread? Your dinner sounds great, good use of flap meat as it can really stand up to the other flavors. Even on the busiest of days I force myself to cook, it makes me feel better in many ways than the quick option :) Enjoy your treat tomorrow.

                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                          LOL, I totally was inspired by that thread. The power of suggestion...

                                      2. Such a busy week, so it is a lighter version of taco salad!
                                        Ground chicken and taco seasoning. Cotija cheese, tomato, white onion...salsa and cottage cheese on top. It was actually really nice in a low fat/low cal way :)

                                        1. A perfect storm of crappy crap at work resulted in me getting home at 9:30pm, and in quite a foul mood. Luckily cooking is my stress reliever. Sous-vided the salmon with smoked olive oil as planned. A dive in the fridge yielded some leftover pickled shallots and a container of mascarpone, so I whipped up the mascarpone with a bit of salt to go with the salmon, with the pickled shallots on top, sliced tomatoes on the side.

                                          Steamed some baby bok choy to go with, although holy crap they were huge - definitely more like toddler bok choy. Easy & healthy. Two fingers of Glenmorangie 18 to further relieve stress. I am the most stress-free person right now. Hopefully that'll carry me through the rest of the week.

                                           
                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: sharebear

                                            A+ and five stars! Good choice of that particular Scotch to top it off.

                                            Would you tell us more about the smoked olive oil? I love most smoked food items but have never had a smoked olive oil.

                                            1. re: Fowler

                                              Sure! As with most unusual things in my pantry it was completely an impulse purchase - I was wandering around Williams-Sonoma, saw it on the shelf, and had to have it.

                                              It's a brand called The Smoked Olive & it's wonderful - it imparts a pretty light and natural but definitely noticeable smokiness to whatever you're cooking, but not like, fake IN YOUR FACE smoke.

                                              I generally use it to sautee or roast vegetables, and particularly like it on salmon as it sort of mimics smoked salmon. I bet it probably would also make a wonderful smokey vinaigrette. The only problem is I have to be very careful about how much and how often I use it because it is $$$! There is a restaurant in Seattle that smokes its own olive oil in-house, so that is also a possibility for people who have the setup.

                                              1. re: sharebear

                                                I'm very intrigued by the olive oil. Your meal looks gorgeous!

                                          2. No posting since last week as I'd been under the weather lately and have not really felt like being in my kitchen. A summary of recent dinners include prime rib w/Jus, dirty rice and a garden salad on Thursday for the fiancé's birthday meal; Friday, I fried chicken livers for the DH and made pan cooked potatoes & onions and buttered peas as the second side. Take out burgers & fries on Saturday. Sunday, I made smothered turkey necks with leftover sides. Monday, burgers again cause I still didn't feel like cooking. Yesterday, sandwiches.

                                            Tonight I thinly pounded some round steak, pan seared in a bit of grape seed oil then put into a oven safe dish topped with tomato/onion/bell pepper mix and some seasonings then finished off in oven. Sides were mashed potatoes and leftover buttered peas.

                                            It's still cold in these parts but supposed to heat up to mid 60's over the next couple days. I'm debating on tomorrow's meal but I have ground beef in the fridge...leaning toward meatloaf...maybe....

                                            9 Replies
                                            1. re: Cherylptw

                                              Feel better. I love reading about your food and miss seeing your posts. Chicken livers are always a treat IMO.

                                              1. re: MamasCooking

                                                Thanks Mama; I missed making them...

                                              2. re: Cherylptw

                                                Glad you're feeling better. I really need to try liver one of these days.

                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                  I very much like fried chicken livers but only make them a couple of times a year. Not the most healthiest thing but then my family is from the south so....Beef liver is okay; I make it randomly for my man. I eat it maybe once a year and I have to have a taste for it.

                                                  1. re: Cherylptw

                                                    My family is also from the south and they all LOVE liver! I mean LOVE it!! I've never had it so I feel like I should check out what I might be missing.

                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                      How does your family prepare it? I grew up with chopped liver, mostly, but my spouse and kids don't enjoy so I rarely get to make it. When I do, I can eat an astonishing amount with saltines as the carrier.

                                                  2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                    I can not tolerate beef liver now. I ate it al least weekly when I was a kid. But chicken or turkey livers? I could easily dine on them twice a week.

                                                  3. re: Cherylptw

                                                    Glad you are feeling like joining us again. Sounds like some nice meals for a sickie.

                                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                                      It was all I could do to muster up those few that I did make; I felt kinda bad the fiancé had to eat fast food for dinner after working sometimes 14+ hours a day. Makes me more determined than ever to keep a few "take and bake" dinners for the freezer just in case from now on.

                                                  4. tonight was leftover balsamic chicken with pesto sandwiches. With asparagus, it was on sale and looked so summery but was a bit tough. And the worst clementine oranges we've ever had. I guess I know why they were such a good deal, the store wanted them GONE.

                                                    Tomorrow is looking like using up the extra braised pork shoulder from last weekend carnitas style.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: autumm

                                                      The yellow Thai curry with spuds, tofu and spinach was good, but I forgot how long it takes to cook bone in chicken thighs in a frying pan so we ate late.

                                                      Tomorrow we're doing a prix fixe meal of Isan food at our favourite Thai restaurant.

                                                      1. re: grayelf

                                                        I'm anxious anxious to hear about the Isan meal. enjoy!

                                                        1. re: alliegator

                                                          Just back and it was tasty indeed. Best dish was the bamboo salad, really spicy and lots of Thai flavours, with a surprising note of fresh mint that worked really well (not usually a mint fan). Som tam is originally Isan so I wasn't surprised to see it here -- prolly the best rendition in town which is kind of damning it with faint praise as Thai is pretty weak in Van. An excellent fried chicken that had a spice I can't figure out but loved. And a great big tureen of a pork stew with those lovely green and white mini-eggplants, cabbage, assorted greens and mushrooms, along with Thai mung bean vermicelli. Dessert was a take on rice pudding with slightly salty coconut milk and cubes of ?? (jackfruit, mebbe). We were stuffed for $30 per couple.

                                                          1. re: grayelf

                                                            Thanks for the rundown. It sounds wonderful!!
                                                            I've got a huge Isan craving now :)

                                                    2. Last night I made a quickie version of the Piquant Chicken that roxlet posted on #280. With rice and steamed green beans. The chicken was delicious; used BLSL thighs and flattened them so they cooked in about 15 minutes. Yum. The other stuff was boring but serviceable and I had to run out for choral group.

                                                      Tonight, something involving the mini brats that DH bought at Costco. I'd like to make these gyros with pita but don't have time to shop until tomorrow afternoon. Maybe for Saturday:

                                                      http://www.washingtonpost.com/pb/reci...

                                                      1. I am attending a funeral service later today and was invited to the dinner after the service which is being held at a steak house so dinner will most likely be steak, creamed spinach and hash browns.

                                                        Life is short. Hug your loved ones today and tell 'em you love them.

                                                        11 Replies
                                                        1. re: Fowler

                                                          So sorry for the loss, but I must confess that when I go I'd like my loved ones to enjoy themselves at a steakhouse.

                                                          Very wise words. It's so true and something I only truly learned after losing a loved one recently

                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                            Thank you, fldhkybnva. You are always so kind. Food was one of her passions so I am sure she would approve of us going to a steakhouse and sharing stories of her incredible life and enthusiasm for cooking.

                                                            1. re: Fowler

                                                              Absolutely! After my grandmother's funeral in December we had roast leg of lamb, bacon braised green beans and roasted potatoes and were all literally smacking our lips. As we scrambled for seconds and thirds (I literally walked into the kitchen and announced my granddaughter status and demanded more food :), we realized that Mom Mom was likely smiling down with a huge smile at our much appropriate celebration of her life. I hope that you are hanging in there as best as you can, our unexpected reactions to death have a way of sneaking up on us.

                                                          2. re: Fowler

                                                            My condolences for your loss. Life is short indeed. My mom has been bugging me to go on a short vacation together this spring - I think I'll say yes.

                                                            1. re: sharebear

                                                              Do it, sharebear. While there were times in Ireland with my Mom I just needed her to not talk to me for a bit (I can't have coherent conversations before coffee and a shower in the morning! LOL), the trip we made together was one I'll always remember.

                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                My mom is insisting we go away for Christmas this year. I initially dismissed her but maybe I'll listen if she brings it up again. We don't get much time together when she's not having an MS exacerbation so it would probably be nice to enjoy time together while both at-our-well.

                                                              2. re: sharebear

                                                                Thanks, sharebear. My guess is that your Mom will be thrilled to be with you on a vacation.

                                                              3. re: Fowler

                                                                So sorry for your loss. Enjoy the meal and conversation about your friend.

                                                                1. re: suzigirl

                                                                  Thanks, suzi. The dinner and conversation were sad in one way but everyone had a great story to share about my Aunt. I never even knew that when she was a child she beat up a boy that was picking on her brother. :-)

                                                                2. re: Fowler

                                                                  Always express your good will towards your loved ones!

                                                                  1. re: Fowler

                                                                    Wise words, Fowler. I'm very sorry for your loss.

                                                                  2. Short & Sweet. Tonight will be an everythingbutthekitchensink warmish Salad:

                                                                    L/O chicken, TJ's teeny tiny potatoes, scallions, peas, shredded daikon & carrot, celery, broccoli florets, red onion, capers, minced parsley.

                                                                    Dressing: Mayonnaise, buttermilk, creme fraiche, Dijon mustard, grainy mustard, dill, lemon juice,S & P.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                      Love the sound of that dressing!

                                                                    2. Upcoming.......a classic moules mariniere. Crusty bread to mop up the salty, winey juices.

                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                          Sounds great. Which variety of mussels are you using and what is the wine you will be using in the pot?

                                                                          1. re: Fowler

                                                                            I have no idea what variety. They're never labelled with variety in the UK. Mussels are mussels - the only indication may be area of the country where they were raised (but noit even that in this case).

                                                                            Presumably mussels do have varieties. Please tell me more.

                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                              I think the ones we get in Yurp are "mussels" :-)

                                                                              They're also known as blue mussels. Wegmans sells them as mussels. Reminds me I should make some once I can taste things again properly.

                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                Hello Harters, the mussels sold by the seafood monger here label them as either rose mussels, black mussels, green mussels or blue mussels. Each are different in size and taste. The rose mussels tend to be the smallest and the most sweet while the green variety tend to be the largest and least sweet. The blue and black mussels typically fall somewhere in between.

                                                                                I am surprised considering the strict European labeling laws that they do not adequately label mussels in Britain.

                                                                                1. re: Fowler

                                                                                  Thanks for that, Fowler. Whoda thought it.

                                                                                  By the by, Google finds me a Scottish mussel grower called Blueshell Mussels. Bu they still just describe their product as "mussels".

                                                                                  We do see imported New Zealand "greenlip" mussels but these come frozen and I've never bought them.

                                                                                  1. re: Fowler

                                                                                    I wished they labeled them here. It's just "mussels" but the size really varies. I've even asked about the size and the fishmonger had no comment. Recently, they are tiny.

                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                      They're best in months ending in "r" :)

                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                        Field, they do not even label them as say just "mussels" versus PEI mussels?

                                                                              2. Meat pies tonight! From Mrs. Lovett's pie shop.

                                                                                I'm taking my bride to see Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at the New York Philharmonic. Emma Thompson plays Mrs. Lovett.

                                                                                Pre-theater wine and charcuterie will be at Bar Boulud.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: steve h.

                                                                                  Ah! I'm so jealous. I had no idea that was happening, or else I definitely would have tried to score tickets. Have fun with the worst pies in London!

                                                                                  1. re: sharebear

                                                                                    Thank you. It runs through Saturday so maybe you still have a chance.

                                                                                    Edited to add: Reviews from last night's opener say Emma hit it out of the park. I'm looking forward to tonight.

                                                                                2. Nothing exciting tonight; totally lacking in motivation. Pulled some chicken breasts out of the freezer this morning, so maybe they will be sautéed with whatever veg is in the frig, toss in a few artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, a little butter and olive oil and call it a night. Wine and a few episodes of House of Cards might cheer things up a bit.

                                                                                  Very glad tomorrow is Friday.

                                                                                  1. Last night was braised lamb neck with cannellini beans, tomatoes, and char-grilled radicchio. Washed down with a 2010 Fatascia Almanera Nero d'Avola. Beautiful pairing.

                                                                                    Rich and homey.

                                                                                    Not sure about tonite. I'll have to do a garden walk-through when I get home.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Novelli

                                                                                      Your comment about a garden walk-through reminds me that I have a huge out of control rainbow swiss-chard crop in the yard. I should definitely grab sum and add it dinner.

                                                                                      1. re: Aussieshepsx2

                                                                                        There you go! Honestly, walking the garden is the best inspiration for me.

                                                                                    2. Tonight we are having a super-thick eye-round steak grilled and sliced very thinly, mashed potatoes, and and roasted carrots. I have an absurd number of carrots in the crisper drawer. They are included in every single organic produce delivery.

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                        Nope the plan has changed. I forgot that I had pork braciole defrosting in the basement fridge so I need to cook that tonight. It is simmering in homemade tomato sauce and will be served with pasta and a green salad.

                                                                                        We'll do the steak and mashed potatoes tomorrow.

                                                                                        1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                          Your braciole sounds so great!

                                                                                          Last night I made mashed potatoes and this morning while looking in the fridge, I realized how many carrots I had when it hit me that I should have roasted some last night, pureed them and mixed them in with my mashed potatoes. I'll have to do that next time, adding in some roasted onions also.

                                                                                          1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                            I always add carrots into my mashed potatoes now. I love the sweetness it adds, and figure it ups the nutrition factor too.

                                                                                      2. Last night we delivered new-parent food and stopped for Dominican takeout, which I've never had before, and I enjoyed, especially the super-flaky empanada.

                                                                                        Tonight I'll be out with friends for a film fest and will probably eat out as well.

                                                                                        Looking forward to some time to cook over the weekend, including a hard cider-braised chicken I've gotta get in before spring arrives!

                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                          Is the cider chicken dish a throw together or recipe?

                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                            I copied it from a WFD Hound, Londonlinda:

                                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9167...

                                                                                            I have looked up some other recipes as well and will probably do a mish-mash.

                                                                                          2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                            I did end up having dinner out (at a fabulous Turkish mezze place: http://agoradc.net/), and on my way home I called my DH, who was working late, to see if he wanted me to grab some takeout. "Tacos" was the reply, but unfortunately, Super Taco was closed (not so super...). Not wanting to disappoint, I stopped by the store for provisions and made him American tacos at home----seasoned ground beef, shredded iceberg, diced tomato, grated cheddar, salsa, sour cream, etc. and crunchy and flour shells. I also made a box of Zatarains red beans and rice, to which I added a bay leaf, sauteed onion, chipotle powder, a few cloves of garlic, and plenty of cumin. A prepared fruit salad, which he didn't touch, rounded out the menu. Beer was drunk. Sleep was had.

                                                                                            We'll try again on Saturday. Tonight? A Lorde concert keeps up away from the kitchen.

                                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                I took a look at the menu of the Turkish place and I would love to have a restaurant like that close to home. Way too many "free" stuff, but menu items still sound great. Have fun at the concert.

                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                  Color me jealous! Turkish food and Lorde? Nice ;)

                                                                                              2. I finally made it to the grocery store so my fridge is exploding again. Not too much though, one of my goals during Lent is to keep it simple and only buy basics, the fun splurge buys can resume after Easter. TJs was out of turkey breast so instead I picked up a honey brined breast from Wegmans instead. I remembered linguafood enjoyed it a few months ago so it's what's for dinner along with a quick mushroom gravy and garlic sauteed green beans.

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                  I am impressed with your mad memory skillz, fldhky! It was mighty tasty and I simply followed the instructions on the package. Easy-peasy. Crispy skin, too :-)

                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                    Oh great, thanks for the tip! I was trying to decide how to cook the darn thing. I usually cook a whole turkey low and slow but the breast is not that big and ain't nobody got time for low and slow today.

                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                      Wow, you're right it's mighty tasty. I love any sort of turkey but this was particularly good. Next week I'll likely buy a bigger breast and have leftovers for lunch.

                                                                                                  2. It's Thursday, you know the deal: Sichuan jour fixe. Looks like it'll be 11 of us chile heads tonight, unless more people sign up. A good number for ordering plenty of spicy food that will hopefully knock that stupid cold out of my head.

                                                                                                    At least I survived last night's gig and didn't make a fool of myself.... that oughta count for something. It was really really wonderful to finally get to bed at 2 am, and I slept like a log. And now I get a two-day break. Nice.

                                                                                                    1. I'm solo for dinner tonight since my son is at a school sports award dinner, and then a Glee Club rehearsal in the city, and rjbh20 is playing squash. I have a very nice piece of salmon defrosting on the counter, and my plan is to sear it in a cast iron skillet. I'm not sure if I'll crust it with something or do a teriyaki sauce for it. I have snow pea pods that I was planning on making with some Asian flavors, so perhaps teriyaki will be the thing.

                                                                                                      1. Last night's balsamic-honey beef shanks turned out wonderful. One of my favourite cuts for sure. And the leftover risotto became today's lunch, topped with the few remaining green beans and a couple of poached eggs.

                                                                                                        Tonight I'm doing Land of Plenty mapo tofu and cauliflower with smoky bacon from the same book. Rice on the side. Hopefully enough leftovers to bring for lunch tomorrow.

                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                          Do you have "Every Grain of Rice" as well? If so, is there a lot of overlap between the recipes? I'd love one more book of hers if they are different enough...

                                                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                            I just have Land of Plenty -- just got it for Christmas, actually -- so I'm not sure about overlap. This one sure is good, though and I'd also love another book of hers.

                                                                                                            1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                              I have all three of Dunlop's books and Love them all. The titles really give you a hint of what lies within. If you're interested, here's the recipe index as listed in EYB:

                                                                                                              Land of Plenty: A Treasury of Authentic Sichuan Cooking
                                                                                                              http://www.eatyourbooks.com/library/1...

                                                                                                              Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook: Recipes From Hunan Province
                                                                                                              http://www.eatyourbooks.com/library/1...

                                                                                                              Every Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking
                                                                                                              http://www.eatyourbooks.com/library/1...

                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                Thanks!

                                                                                                                ETA: based on the indexes, I think I definitely need to add Revolutionary Chinese to my repertoire.

                                                                                                        2. A fresh pot of butter beans with tasso is on the stove. Gonna fry two legs, two thighs, two wings. The rest will be refrigerator scraps. No telling what we may find.

                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Uncle Bob

                                                                                                            Are they fresh or dried butter beans?
                                                                                                            We get them fresh late summer here, but today I saw the same farm that sells them fresh with a bag of dried. I'm now regretting my decision not to buy them.
                                                                                                            If you use the dried, do they need to be soaked?

                                                                                                            1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                              Fresh out of the garden....last summer. Processed and into the freezer. These are small and green. ~~~ The dried beans really do benefit from soaking. They are usually a more mature bean. When cooked they make a thick, creamy "pot likker"....delicious ladled on top of cornbread.

                                                                                                            2. re: Uncle Bob

                                                                                                              Any corn bread with those butter beans Bob? To slather with butter and jam then dip into the bowl of beans?

                                                                                                              1. re: MamasCooking

                                                                                                                But of course!!! Was some toasted, leftover, 'Mexican' cornbread. I had just a small piece you understand ;)

                                                                                                              2. Despite the weird cloud cover, I've had a pretty sunny day. Had a good checkup with the pristine bloodwork I'm aiming for and a few lbs gained back.
                                                                                                                But, no green light on booze or fatty goodies :/
                                                                                                                Last night's lahmajoun went fairly well considering I've never made it before. My dough was a little thicker than it should have been, but I liked it and so did the menfolk.
                                                                                                                I was feeling Sichaun-y when I woke up this morning, so I'm going to do some stir fried Sichuan spiced veggies for me. Then a wok cleaning and ginger beef and broccoli for the guys. All with steamed rice.

                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                  Good for you on the bloodwork. BOO on the booze and fatty treats. Don't they understand we need those things to sustain us? Must. Drink. Beer.
                                                                                                                  Your stir fries sound good. Love ginger in them especially.

                                                                                                                  1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                    Lahmajoun is one of my favorite things. Is there a recipe online you used?

                                                                                                                    1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                      I am glad to hear your medical tests turned out well. Few things are more stressful than waiting for test results.

                                                                                                                      Would you mind sharing the details of the Sichuan dish?

                                                                                                                      1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                        Hope I catch you all in this reply :)
                                                                                                                        Suzi, thanks! I'm not expected to earn back my favorites for a couple of month, so no surpirise.
                                                                                                                        CM, I followed the following lahmajoun recipe, but I used turkey. Beef would be better.
                                                                                                                        http://arbuz.com/recipes/lahmacun-recipe
                                                                                                                        Highly recommended!
                                                                                                                        Fowler, I kind of freestyled my Sichuan veg. I used celery, zucchini, red onion, yellow bell pepper and button mushrooms stir fried in a bit of peanut oil with soy sauce, sesame oil, shaoxing rice wine, chili bean paste, chopped dried bird chili and Sichuan peppercorn.
                                                                                                                        I had to go really light on the oil, but I was still quite pleased.

                                                                                                                      2. I got an almost two pound pork shoulder butt today and seared the hell out of it with some badia. It is braising away in the oven in a nice bath of chicken broth, a beer, a large sprig of rosemary and three sprigs of oregano, five cloves garlic, a bunch of peppercorns, two bay leaves and some salt. tonight I will serve it with some broccoli and butter beans. Leftovers will be shredded and either frozen or the braise liquid will be thickened and it will be served over rice. We will see

                                                                                                                        1. Meat loaf: onions, bell peppers, garlic, egg, ketchup, seasonings yada yada etc. Topped with more ketchup during the last 30 minutes of baking. Simple buttered corn and rosemary roasted red potatoes.

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                            Yum. That sounds like the comfort food my Mom used to make for us. I have not made a meatloaf and your post was a good reminder that I must make one soon.

                                                                                                                          2. Crisp skinned salmon with lentils and dandelion greens tonight. Even though my veggie box came today I couldn't resist the bunches of dandelion in the supermarket.

                                                                                                                            1. Shaved beef, sliced mushrooms, chopped onions all sauteed together in a combo of olive oil and butter, seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder/parsley mix.

                                                                                                                              Split half a batch of store-bought pizza dough in half, rolled one out, layered with the beef/veggie mixture, put on two pieces of provolone, and rolled out the other half of the dough and lay it on top, rolling and crimping the edges. I brushed the top with some melted butter (didn't want to use up a whole egg for an egg wash), and sprinkled a bit more garlic powder/parsley blend, and baked it for about 20-25 minutes at 400°F. (Should have made two separate calzones to have one for work tomorrow, but I'll just deal with cutting it in half and hope it works after wrapping it up in foil.)

                                                                                                                              It rested for a bit, and I'll have it with a side of marinara in which to spoon on top or dip forkfuls. It's not bad. Not great, but not throw-awayable.

                                                                                                                              Wine. It's Thursday.

                                                                                                                              ETA: OK, I lied. It sucked. I dug out the filling from the other half and threw the rest away.

                                                                                                                              And poured more wine. Oh well. Can't win 'em all.

                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                I am so sorry it wasn't good. I think we have ALL been there. Sometimes ya gotta throw up the white flag. On paper, it sounds really good. Is it the shaved beef from Hannaford? I love it in a philly cheesesteak. I will miss my last Sweetbay when it closes.

                                                                                                                                1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                  Either Hannaford or Market Basket. And that's what I was trying to make - a Philly Cheesesteak calzone. Just didn't work out But I had enough to fill me up.

                                                                                                                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                  Bummer. It sounds good, though.

                                                                                                                                3. Last night's satay got pushed to tonight (last night was chicken piccata.) In addition to peanut sauce there will be rice for the man and a kale/ chard saute and snow peas (all from the garden.) *Maybe* some cauliflower rice for me, I don't think I'm that hungry, though.

                                                                                                                                  Kefir smoothies for dessert.

                                                                                                                                  1. Tonight I tried the Nigel Slater orange and sherry vinegar recipe. It was fabulous!!! Thank you WFD thread :)

                                                                                                                                    I tweaked... Natch... Used a Cornish game hen and tangelo. Man...that sauce is somethin' else!

                                                                                                                                    Served it with a salad with raspberry lime dressing. Very good!

                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                                      That's the recipe in his book EAT, isn't it. We made it last week and Loved it too. That orange butter sauce is a revelation. I can see it with turkey well. Nice photo!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                        Yes. If you were the one that posted about it, thank you!
                                                                                                                                        It is a keeper for all things feathered :)

                                                                                                                                      2. Fancy dinner tonight. SO wasn't feeling great after I picked him up from the airport, so he wasn't interested in dinner. I had Trader Joe's breaded chicken tenderloins with BBQ sauce, and leftover brown rice that I mixed with pesto and microwaved. Don't be jealous of my fine eats y'all.

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                          LOL. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

                                                                                                                                        2. The bloke stayed out after the awards function and partied with his workmates until 6am. He somehow managed to drag his sorry butt into work before midday. Given his likely state tonight I'm guessing he'll want cheese on toast and a cup of tea for dinner.

                                                                                                                                          The toddler and I have some mullet hot smoking, so I'll whip up something with potato (the tinned type), mayonnaise and lettuce for us. Friday fish and chips!

                                                                                                                                          1. So, slices of pork belly (trimmed of the skin, but not the fat) get an hours marination in orange marmalade, maple syrup and orange juice. They then go under the grill till cooked ( as will the trimmed skin, cut into strips - we were never going to pass on crackling).

                                                                                                                                            The marinade goes into a pan and boils down to sauce consistency.

                                                                                                                                            Probably baked potatoes and a leaf salad to accompany but decisions on this have not yet been handed down from on high.

                                                                                                                                            1. Since today is the first Friday of Lent I think tonight we'll just have a simple Spaghetti Aglio e Olio but I'll include red pepper flakes, anchovies, and minced parsley. Probably a tossed salad too. Happy Week-end everyone!

                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                Everything is better with an anchovy on it!!!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                  I was thinking about making this last night as a light dinner, but ended up having a fries and drinks with friends instead. I may try this tonight. I picked up a copy of Stir from the library so I'll make fresh pasta if I'm not thoroughly unambitious tonight.

                                                                                                                                                2. I'm not Catholic but I like the idea of Lent and it helps me to focus on a few important things that often go neglected and also provides a good way to shake up my usual schedule. So tonight will be a "meat"less Friday. Simple and easy broiled parmesan crusted cod and rosemary roasted cauliflower.

                                                                                                                                                  12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                    Doesn't sound like you'll miss the meat at all!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                      I didn't actually it was a nice surprise. I'm thinking perhaps I can tolerate "meatless" meals more often :) I'm craving more of that cauliflower, that alone would have been enough.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                        Nice to see you've become a roasted cauliflower convert! If you like garlic, thick slivers of it are a nice addition to a simple olive oil, salt and pepper roasting. The garlic tend to get not-quite-burnt and adds a wonderful element to the cauliflower.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                          Thanks, I love garlic and that sounds great. Funny I was just shopping...again...I had to move my usual day so had to go twice this week. Anyway my mom asked what I was getting and she was shocked when I didn't mention mushrooms. I'm loving all of my new veggie friends so the list did include 3 heads of cauliflower. Hopefully at least one will get riced and frozen but I can't seem to resist roasting.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                            I will eat roasted cauliflower cold out of the fridge because I love it so much. There's just something perfect about it. I can eat a small head in one sitting. I usually roast two at a time because DH and I will wipe out one and I want leftovers, dammit.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                              Oh, one of my favorite uses for leftover roasted cauliflower is in a whole wheat wrapped smeared with hummous and a squirt of sriracha and piled on with the cauliflower. So satisfying.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                                I think you're on to something. I was in love with hummus several months ago and then it was the last thing I ate before I had a stomach virus for nearly 4 weeks. I have bought it and made it at least 3 times since then and I can't bring myself to eat it. I bought a tub of kalamata olive hummus last week and am waiting to give hummus another go, perhaps if I mix it with something I know I currently love that I can get over the hurdle and bond with hummus again.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                  You could try smashed seasoned white beans or olive tapenade in place of the hummus.

                                                                                                                                                                  I also had a bad experience that ended my daily hummus munching, but I love tapenade in its place, or a soft cheese like ricotta in sandwiches/wraps.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                                Cold out of the fridge...Ahaha why didn't I think of that? For some reason I assumed it'd only be good fresh out of the oven. Great idea to roast two at a time!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                  Do you eat pasta, fldhky? Roasted garlic cauli is so good with pasta and some balsamic, parmesan, rosemary.

                                                                                                                                                                  Also, what are your other new veggie friends?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                    I don't eat pasta, I mean I do, I have the physical ability to, but not often. I have a few "faux" pastas which would work great with that combination. My other new recent friends are Brussel sprouts, eggplant, spaghetti squash, celery root and kale, all which I recently have grown to love.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                      I thought I remembered you don't really do pasta. It's a yummy combo though!

                                                                                                                                                                      I love discovering new veggies. I've been on a parsnip thing lately. Never tasted one until a few months ago and now I'm hooked. Caramelized in a slow oven, they're so perfect.

                                                                                                                                                    2. Super easy dinner last night. Got home and stir-fried some sliced chicken breast, carrot, celery, sugar snaps and the last of the baby bok choy in a sauce w/ soy, sugar, minced ginger, garlic, and a dash of cinnamon. Threw in a handful of cashews as well because why not?

                                                                                                                                                      Dinner had to be quick because I had a bigger project to tackle - a while ago I decided rabbit was going to be next in the series of "proteins to cook that I've never handled /eaten before", despite having had a pet bunny for much of my childhood. A bunch of friends also expressed curiosity so this has expanded from me cooking a rabbit for the roommates to planning a rabbit-themed dinner party for six this weekend. So I procured two extra buns and settled in for the ugly business of fabricating all three of the little fellas last night, armed with a youtube video and my trusty boning knife.

                                                                                                                                                      Three hours later the deed was done and I was only mildly traumatized. (I also have a little container of giblets that I have to decide what to do with.)

                                                                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sharebear

                                                                                                                                                        So how are you doing the wabbits?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rjbh20

                                                                                                                                                          I've separated two of the wascally things into front / back legs + de-boned saddle, and the last one I completely de-boned and cut into cubes. Cubes are seasoned, in the fridge, and intended to be ground tonight.

                                                                                                                                                          The plan is rabbit sausage (using the Zuni Cafe recipe) with a warm farro salad to start, then braised rabbit legs with stuffed loin.

                                                                                                                                                          I've been looking at this: http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2013/0... as an idea guide as to what I should stuff the loin with (LV uses pine nuts, bread crumbs, parm, mushrooms, & the giblets as the filling). A part of me thinks I'm being way too ambitious but hopefully breaking it down into multiple steps over several days will make it go smoothly.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sharebear

                                                                                                                                                            I was typing while you were also typing so my advice obviously does not apply. :-)

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sharebear

                                                                                                                                                              Remarkably similar to a trio of rabbit I did awhile ago -- stuffed saddle of rabbit with a rabbit & pancetta demi, grilled rabbit sausage & chicken fried leg of rabbit. Served with a warm cabbage slaw.

                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rjbh20

                                                                                                                                                                Oh I saw that on an old rabbit thread and thought it looked amazing! I had decided to do the Locanda Verde braise but had not thought to do sausage until I saw your post, so thank you very much for that inspiration.

                                                                                                                                                                I'm mildly worried that the membranes / silverskin will get caught in the grinder (I have the KitchenAid attachment). I removed it as best I could but there's still a bit left on. Was that an issue for you?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sharebear

                                                                                                                                                                  The silverskin will get caught by the plate, so unless you're doing a lot of grinding, it won't be a problem. If you are, clean the plate after every bunny. You'll need about 30% pork fat and you need to knead the mixture well after its ground & seasoned or it gets crumbly and dry. Use the paddle on your KA and beat on low speed for a minute or so.

                                                                                                                                                                  Good luck

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: sharebear

                                                                                                                                                                Wow, that sounds mighty impressive and delicious!!!

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: sharebear

                                                                                                                                                              I love rabbit. Years ago there was a high-end restaurant in San Francisco that served whole roasted rabbits. Paws, head, eyes included. While it was delicious, I would probably not serve it that way. If you are doing it for your dinner party you may wish to cut off the head and paws.

                                                                                                                                                              I hope you will let us know how it turns out.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                                Oh dear. I'm perfectly fine with whole suckling pig, whole fish, eyes and all, and (gulp) even taking apart the ribcage of a rabbit, but somehow the idea of whole roasted rabbit (with PAWS?!) just really ups the ick factor for me. D:

                                                                                                                                                                Plus rabbits just don't look quite right without ears. It actually looks super creepy without ears. (I hope you were not also served the ears.)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                                  I also love rabbit, and can stomach a lot of things whole, but yeah... head and feet? You're hard core! :)
                                                                                                                                                                  It brings up the memories of the sinister joy of biting the ears off the chocolate Easter bunny.

                                                                                                                                                              2. I am going to fry things in my new wok to get it seasoned

                                                                                                                                                                fried things.... mmmm

                                                                                                                                                                1. Tonight, TJ's pork belly will finally, finally make an appearance on our plates :-)

                                                                                                                                                                  Sided by butter lettuce with a creamy lemon zest & dill dressing. No shenanigans this eve, as the winery we're playing tomorrow afternoon is almost a 2 hour drive away, which means I have to get up *way* too early. Wah.

                                                                                                                                                                  Thazz ok, though -- I wouldn't mind a quiet night in after a busy week. Lots of teevee to catch up with, too.

                                                                                                                                                                  Happy weekend, y'all!

                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                    Well, so much for pork belly. My sweetie was at Wegmans and got to taste some fresh cod.... he liked it so much he called me and asked if I would rather have that. Which I happen to do.

                                                                                                                                                                    So cod filet it is, with a white wine beurre blanc & steamed new potatoes. The salad gets to stay on the menu, tho :-)

                                                                                                                                                                    1. I'm making not very Friday-night-ish red lentils and kale with coconut, ginger & crispy shallots. I have some dough rising for cardamom flatbread and will make a cucumber raita to eat with it. I might toss some cucumber into a GnT too - that'll make me feel more Friday night!

                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: helen_m

                                                                                                                                                                        That sounds like a killer meal. Do you have recipes you can share?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                          The lentil recipe was this (found on pinterest) http://farmhousetable.wordpress.com/2... I couldn't get my head around only soaking the red lentils and then frying so I cooked them in the coconut milk until they were soft before adding the kale back in. I also added some turmeric and I think another time I'd up the ginger and maybe add some cumin too. The cardamom flatbreads were a t&t favourite: http://www.gourmetworrier.com/2010/01...

                                                                                                                                                                          I wouldn't make raita to serve it with again as yoghurt was a bit creamy with the coconut milk (I used TJs really thick stuff).

                                                                                                                                                                      2. Tonight will be pork steak for hubby, lamb chop for me, baked potatoes and another recipe from my "to try" file for Cheesy Cauliflower Pancakes.

                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: AngelaID

                                                                                                                                                                          Cheesy cauliflower pancakes sound great! Care to share the recipe, Angela?

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Happy to back home and looking forward to some home cookin' tonight!

                                                                                                                                                                          DH and I have both been craving burgers, so I picked up a chuck roast and a sirloin tip roast and will grind those up in a bit. I'm trying my hand at making hamburger buns for the very first time. The dough is in its first rise right now.

                                                                                                                                                                          The kale and quinoa salad was a big hit last week (or was that the week before?) so I'm making a double batch to last us through the week. That will be our side with the burgers.

                                                                                                                                                                          This weekend is Pie Day with my crazy friends, and I'm making Thomas Keller's quiche Lorraine and a Shaker lemon pie (which I first read about recently on the lemon thread). As with all things Keller, multiple steps over multiple days are involved. The pastry crust is made and resting in the fridge, and the onion confit is currently on the stove making my entire house smell heavenly. And I've decided that only Keller requires an entire stick of butter for TWO onions.

                                                                                                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                                            Hi TJ,

                                                                                                                                                                            You hit all the right notes: Keller's quiche (Bouchon); burgers (house ground); homemade buns.

                                                                                                                                                                            Sounds great. Hoisting a glass to you and yours.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                              Right back at ya, steve! DH opened a Chianti. I said "dinner won't be for another couple of hours, you know" and he looked at me with a "so?" face and proceeded to enjoy his first glass of wine in over a month. :0)

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                                              I've always been a bit intimidated by yeast breads, but I'm so happy with how my very first hamburger buns turned out! It's a King Arthur recipe and they are soft and densely fluffy and delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                              The burgers were smashed on a screaming hot griddle and served simply with onion and mustard (+relish for DH). The pickles were made by a good friend who runs a diner. The kale salad, um...balances the meal, right?

                                                                                                                                                                              The Chianti is eminently quaffable and the last of the Lord of Rings trilogy is going on the blu-ray.

                                                                                                                                                                              Happy weekend, fellow 'hounds!

                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                                                  Yum to both. I thought I replied but I must have missed hitting reply.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks! There are some days when a home cooked burger rocks my world.

                                                                                                                                                                                      DH is feeling much better and celebrated not only with the wine, but also a piece of his favorite chocolate cake that I was keeping in the freezer for him. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                                                        We had a burger night too but not homemade. A local resto has brought back a version of my fave burg, long lost. So very happy!

                                                                                                                                                                                        In awe of your baking prowess, Jo!

                                                                                                                                                                                2. Tonight we're headed into town to hear my son's Glee Club perform their spring concert at a beautiful old church on Lexington Avenue. He sings with the small group chorus. We'll head back to Bronxville after they're done for a sushi dinner at my son's favorite local spot. No kitchen duty tonight!

                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Hi all-

                                                                                                                                                                                      Finally able to get my head above water and starting to shake off the blues. This time of year is always hard. For those considering spending time with family, as they say, just do it. Trust me.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Not a lot of cooking done recently other than basics and can I say I love my freezer? No one suffered for my lack of inspiration, lol, thanks to my stash. And to boot my son made pop n fresh empanadas for us. They were surprisingly good!

                                                                                                                                                                                      Tonight I have a 4lb beef arm roast brasing with onions, garlic, beef stock, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce and Worcestershire. I have some honey wheat dough rising for rolls and we will have ginger glazed carrots on the side. I think there will be a very strong, very large cocktail along with some nibbles to start.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Hunger Games Catching Fire on the TV.

                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                        Welcome back, foodie. And thanks for the reminder re: HG: Catching Fire. Just ordered it On Demand.

                                                                                                                                                                                        No dinner for me tonight - last minute Chinese for a company lunch, and my Cashew Chicken kept me very full. A glass of wine was dinner. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                        And I hope your dinner was good - sounds great!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                          Cashews...they're back...deep in the cabinet.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                              They jumped in the cart at TJs! It's that evil, the food has legs. The price was so great that I couldn't resist in case I had cashew chicken in mind again. They were rapidly poured into jars and stored :)

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Pasta with sweet Italian sausage and homemade sauce is up tonight. We'll scrape a little quality cheese over the top, sip some house red and launch a Hitchcock movie, North by Northwest.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Tonight WAS going to be spaghetti squash with meat ragu, but my mom invited us out for pizza while I was getting ready to put the squash in the oven.... Guess that's going to happen tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Another simple meal tonight: Broiled salmon coated with a mixture of dried dill, dry mustard, salt free lemon pepper, salt free seasoning blend and a little seasoned salt before going into the oven...a drizzle of olive oil over the top. Sides include a potato gratin and a side salad of mixed lettuces, cukes , bell pepper and red onion.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Tomorrow is my no cooking day; we will be in VA so that calls for eating out.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Pork cube steaks puttanesca, corkscrew pasta and broccoli. Vodka and grapefruit Perrier to sip while the sauce bubbles away.

                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                Ooh, I love the sound of your cocktail! I'm a sucker for boozy grapefruit anything. Which reminds me, I'm almost out of my grapefruit bitters...time to stock up!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I love the combination but only partake now and then. Not the vodka, but the grapefruit. As much as I love it, it reacts with my medications. :-(

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ohhhh, I love a good Greyhound cocktail. The only problem for me is that they go down way too easy if you know what I mean.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Love that combo -- much prefer grapefruit over orange.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Alaskan cod filet cooked stovetop in Lemon Pepper Oil/Butter mix. Sides of mashed potatoes, a mixed veg frozen combo (carrots, zuchinni, green beans) and a fruit salad/dessert of slice kiwi fruit, fresh pineapple chunks and quartered strawberries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'd forgotten to take the fish from the freezer earlier but found that it cooked perfectly from frozen - 5 minutes per side for delicious, flakey but still moist results.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    A much-anticipated weekend thaw may inspire Spring-like cooking instead of the planned lasagna. We shall see.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                                                                                                                                      The whole dinner sounds great, but that fruit salad is my absolute favorite combo. Makes me think of tropical climes!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Simple dinner at a friends house. Lots of wine, a ginger chicken veg stir fry...and Girl Scout mints for afters. What's not to love?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Tonight was my favorite snacky dinner with wine meal :)
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Spiced roasted chickpeas, raw fennel, cucumbers and yellow bell pepper with baba ganoush, superseed Dr Krackers, fancy olives, and a lovely glass of Trockenbeerenauslese

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dr kracker's are my favorite cracker. I eat them everyday. I am addicted to the crunch. Must. Have. Crunch. :D

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I order the pumpkin cheddar by the case at amazon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. To start.......a few prawns scattered over salad leaves; dressing of soem sort

                                                                                                                                                                                                          To continue........roast beef (sirloin), roast spuds and parsnips, steamed greens, Yorkshire puds, gravy

                                                                                                                                                                                                          To finish......ice cream and cooked apples (still sort of chunky but on its way to being a puree - nope, no idea why we did this and froze it)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Roast cod tonight, Serving with puy lentils cooked with chorizo and tomato. Also some lovely purple sprouting broccoli picke up from the market this morning. Also picked up some wonderfully buttery Comte at the market. Was umming and aahing over getting some and thinking please don't offer me a taste, which of course he did. Had no choice once I tasted it.Have the Comte for afters with some fruit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Benton's country ham, grits & fried eggs. Too lazy to make biscuit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Time to go hitch up the mule.

                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                              12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rjbh20

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Traditionally, the main/important meal of the day. Now generally understood to be the evening meal, except in parts of society that still refer to it as the middle of the day meal (and, therefore, having another name for the evening meal).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Reasonable definition?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Consider this one in the traditional sense

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rjbh20

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I generally like American food. But I'm afraid I make an exception for grits. Tried them twice. 'Twas enough. I have a similar attitude towards traditional southern sausage gravy - although have only tried that once. 'Twas more than enough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        :-0

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Probably have to have spent some time I the South to appreciate grits -- Yankees & furriners don't usually get it. But there is a world of difference between fresh stone-ground grits and the crap typically dished up in restaurants. Same with sausage gravy -- the mucilagenous glop on hotel buffets bears no resemblance to the real thing,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rjbh20

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Low country shrimp and grits always put a smile on my face. Sausage gravy, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rjbh20

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A friend once told me she hated grits. I said that was odd because she always raved about my polenta. Perception often influences what people think they do or do not like. There is essentially no significant difference between grits and polenta.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                One's yellow & goes with gorgonzola. The other's white & gets redeye gravy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              John, you are not alone. My Essex born bf also cannot understand the love of grits. I have, however been able to sway his opinion on biscuits and sausage gravy. It's the little victories.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rjbh20

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That will never happen. I can barely get him to eat pasta and bread. It is very unlikely he will eat something with fat in its name. Maybe I can call it salt pork...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Another day, another vegetable adventure - spaghetti squash. I've tried it before, years ago but will give it another try. The plan was carbonara but I'm going to save that for the delivery of fresh eggs I'm expecting next week from a coworker. Instead, I plan to keep it simple - spaghetti squash with chicken, bacon and loads of Parmesan cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Woken up in the middle of the night by the onset of a miserable cold, argh. We were planning a French bistro meal out with friends we haven't seen in forever tomorrow but I've had to cancel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I thawed a hunk of pork t'loin that needs using up so tonight will be green chile tacos. Which I won't be able to taste. Feh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That's too bad that you had to cancel your plans. Hope you feel better soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Have a shot of warm brandy and get some rest. Hope you feel better soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Aww, that sucks! Rest up and get better quick :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sorry you're under the weather, grayelf. Hopefully a reschedule of dinner out will happen soon. Feel better!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I am not sure yet, but it will be certainly be something vietnamese or Malaysian tonight. Will be lighting a candle before dinner and sending up prayers for all those families out there dealing with the plane crash tragedy. So heartbreaking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Heatrbreaking for sure. I hope the families can get closure soon and a bit of peace in due time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. hello there - been gone a little while. long story short, my dear, sweet, picky, and eminently crabby Oldster died early this week. it was awful, and a terrible shock (despite his age and sickness). we're incredibly sad, but my sister and i are together, and we are learning to take back our lives, after almost 7 years of caring for sick/aging parents. they're both gone now; it's weird and unbalancing. at every corner you find yourself suddenly remembering. i had just such a teary moment at TJs yesterday, realizing i was shopping without him in mind for the first time in years. we're both at a loss, but i know we'll get back to ourselves. i know so many of you have been through this too. thank you for all the indulgences on this thread, and your kind wishes. deeply appreciated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                we've been eating out a lot - my form of pampering myself - with plenty of vino and cocktails to numb. tonight i'm back in the kitchen with vietnamese lemongrass pork steaks and David Leibovitz's spicy peanut sauce noodles. a slaw of some sort on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                good to be back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                33 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm so sorry to hear about Oldster. My thoughts are with you and your family. I totally understand how you felt while in TJs, I still pick up the phone at the weekly times I would always call my mom mom. Take care of yourself and RIP Oldster, he sounded like an amazing man!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Eating is a great way to pamper yourself, do what you need to do!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh! My condolences.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Both my parents and one sibling are gone. Unbalancing yes. Sobering stuff. When it feels more balanced, there is an acknowledgment of...batter up!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You took such good care of that oldster though. May we all be that lucky to have a child like you :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i don't know what i'd do if i lost my sister too. i'm sorry, sedimental...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sorry to hear your news, mc. Thoughts from across the Atlantic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The Oldster had a long life and you've both had the benefit of knowing and loving each other for those many years. Both of my parents had gone by the time I was 30 - Dad when I was in my early 20s. And, you know, sometimes, I still wish I'd known Dad when I was more of a man. I think we'd have liked each other and he never really got the chance to be proud of me. You'll keep your memories forever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      PS: With all this talk of "many years", etc - not intending to imply you're old :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Harters, that's so very young to have lost them - i can't imagine! losing my mom at the ripe old age of 49 three years ago was hard enough. i am positive the old man would have been proud of you. and been a good friend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        thanks for your words. and believe me - "a little self-indulgent once in a while" is an understatement around here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        and no worries, i'm plenty old.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My deepest and most sincere condolences, Mariacarmen. I too have lost both parents and a sibling, and a son. Early days are the most difficult. You and your sister did everything loving children can do for parents. Your memories are golden. Take care of yourself now. It's good to be a little self-indulgent once in a while.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          oh, so much loss Gio.... i'm so sorry....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          thank you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh MC, I am so sorry for you. That came out of nowhere. I feel so bad for you and your sister. I hope that you both can take a little comfort in making his last years so comfortable and delicious. I hope you can readjust to this new chapter in your life quickly. Take comfort that he is at peace. Hugs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi mc,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm sorry for your loss. From what I gather, he had a good run.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              thanks steve - he did indeed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              thanks everyone, for your kind words.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              MC, I'm am so sorry for the loss of Oldster. You have done such a wonderful job of providing the care and love that was needed.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Eat out often, do what ever you want for yourself. Tonight's dinner sounds good, I hope you enjoy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You aren't doing a shabby job taking care of Paps either. You both deserve accolades where they are due.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  thank you, allie...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  and suzigirl's right, and i've been meaning to ask, how is Paps doing? i must have missed it, but did he enjoy your trip? sorry if i'm asking questions that have already been answered....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thank you Suzi and MC. Pap continues to do extremely well. We had a wonderful December trip to Prague. We ate like food was going out of fashion--probably the last straw for the gallbladder as I got sick 2 days after coming home. I'll post a trip report in a day or 2.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    MC, I hope each day grows a little easier for you. *hugs*

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So sorry for your loss, mariacarmen. Condolences and hugs to you and your sister!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    So sad for you, mc, but you and your sis were the most attentive and wonderful of daughters. Condolences.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My heart and prayers go out to you and your sister. So sudden. Hold onto each other.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Eventually the painful reminders will become wonderful memories. The soup and sandwich area at WF now brings a smile to my face remembering all the different trips there trying to find new things to tempt my mom to eat. Their butternut squash and the carrot/ginger will always remind me of her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My continued sincerest sympathies, mc. Pampering is good - even if it's just doing nothing and decompressing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm so sorry, MC. You and your sister should really be proud of yourselves, though. You two not only did what you needed to do and were supposed to do but you did it really well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Indulge yourself, gawd knows you and your sister deserve it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh, mc. I've thought about you this week and was hoping you weren't dealing with such a blow.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I am so very sorry for your loss. Take comfort in having had such a wonderful, lasting relationship with both your parents. There was obviously a lot of love there and I hope that can carry you through your grief.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hard to imagine how you are feeling, but I wish you strength and a heart made happy in remembrance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh no, my condolences for your loss. Thoughts & best wishes to you and your sister.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am sorry for your loss MC. You and your sister surrounded your father with love, nurturing, dignity and attention. Your commitment to him was evident in your posts. He was blessed with wonderful children and I am sure he knew that. May he RIP.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Glad you are back in the kitchen, mc. I dedicated a cocktail on Friday night called The Last Word to you and your papi, hoping that you would soon be able to think about his penultimate day and forget the final one. Thinking of you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    love this! it's a good thought to have. too easy to dwell on the horrible. and a cocktail to help one forget - wonderful! pray tell, what was in it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Gin based (of course) classic: see here: http://cocktails.about.com/od/ginreci...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And while I'm at it, I thought I'd post my super-quick and easy pork t'loin tacos, very tasty:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Green chile pork tacos
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • 1 Tbsp. butter,divided
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • 300 g. pork tenderloin, cut into bite-size pieces
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • 1/2 cup white onion, chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • 3.5 oz or 1/3 cup salsa verde
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Melt butter in fry pan over medium-high heat and brown pork; set aside.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Melt butter in same skillet and cook onion over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until tender. Stir in broth, salsa verde and 1 tablespoon cilantro. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon cilantro and serve, with tortillas, feta or cotija, shredded cabbage, sour cream, sliced radishes, avocado slices and lime wedges.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My condolences MC. From everything I've read you, your sister and your oldster have been a wonderfully close family. It sounds like he did an admiral job raising two great daughters.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I hope you can take some time out to adjust. Kind thoughts from little ol' NZ.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm so sorry to hear this. I can only think that he must have been a wonderful person to have such a devoted family. You'll be in my thoughts in the coming days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        you people are all so kind. thank you, sincerely, everyone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh no, mariacarmen, I'm so very, very sorry for your loss. The love and dedication you and your sister so clearly have for him speaks loudly to the type of person he must have been.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pampering yourself is a good thing. All the best with your grieving and healing process.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            oh no. so very sorry to hear this sad news. i've always enjoyed reading your posts about the loving care you and your sister have taken of your beloved Oldster. Your recounting of many happy memories and meals shared with him has really warmed my heart on many occasions. I hope you and your sister can find comfort in these trying times and celebrate the wonderful life he lived.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Was just cruising around the current thread and wondered where you were. So sorry for your loss, MC.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Started the day with some Bobby Flay inpired French toast "waffles". They were really good and left us all too stuffed for lunch. The rest of the day was tied up with trips to the dog groomers, pharmacy, animal shelter and grocery store.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The men just left for hockey so I am taking advantage of the quiet. I'm off the hook for dinner tonight. Heading out to local Italian place for dinner. Awesome meatballs, eggplant and veal parm. Couple of glasses of red wine along will round it out nicely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. You all sure have been putting some "wow!" food on the table this week! I've even gained some new ideas :)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yesterday was along day of binge shopping, after realizing that I'm not spending money on good food ar booze. It made me hungry, so I did Lebanese style meatballs with groan turkey and fauxgurt tzatziki. Actually, it wasn't that bad. Couscous and rousted carrots with raisins on the side, pic below.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ETA: why is the picture huge and weird? Whatevs...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tonight, we're going out. A friend of a friend owns a bar restaurant, and they'll concoct me a low fat plate of any items they've got. Very sweet and seems promising.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've got Isan on the brain, so I think I do Larb tomorrow. I don't really love it with lean, grey meat, so I'm wondering if chopped Portobello would work? I'll give it a whirl, and keep some (ugh, for crap's sake) chicken on the ready in case it doesn't fly.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I hope everyone is having a nice weekend :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have some ground turkey in the freezer -- how do you make your Lebanese meatballs?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi roxlet, I didn't follow a specific recipe, and I eyeballed. But I mixed a lb . of ground turkey with the following: breadcrumbs and egg, s&p, 1/2 small while onion, small handful of crumbled feta, chopped mint, chopped parsley, allspice, cinnamon, za'atar and a tiny bit of smoked paprika.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    They were fairly decent, but I wish I'd used more salt. To do it over I'd have pan fried a little chunk to taste first. I got about 20 small meatballs out of that.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And for people not restricting fat, I would definitely cook in a skillet with a bit of olive oil. I baked mine, and they were a little more dry than I like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for the details, Alliegator. I will try it soon. Question though...what is fauxgurt? Is that creamy tofu or something like that which is not dairy based?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Haha :) Yup, fauxgurt is non dairy yogurt and "groan turkey" is just ground turkey. These things are new and inferior, imo, diet staples for a the time being after gallbladder surgery.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. How unusual -- another dinner out for us tonight. One of my best friends from college has been in town working on The Americans, and we're meeting him and his wife, also my friend, for dinner at an Italian restaurant in Tribeca. Really looking forward to seeing them -- as well as eating in an Italian restaurant for the first time in a very long time!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Buon appetito.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Edited to add: del Posto?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I pulled a bunch of arugula and escarole (Cardoncella Barese - grown in the Bari region of Puglia) from the garden this morning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm going to start making some orecchiette in a little while, to mix with the greens. I don't have any meat readily available, so I'll probably toss in some ceci (chickpeas) for some fortification.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's in the 80's here in SoCal today, so I may walk over to the ice cream shop after dinner for a nice cool down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Driving: Coatless.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Windows: Down.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tuneage: Cranked.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Smiles: Everywhere.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        While there's still snow on the ground in New England, today is a glimpse of what is to come: a rebirth. I'm very much looking forward to new leaves on the trees, green grass, birds tweeting, little Bunny Foo-Foos jumping in the yard, opening windows to air out the house, planting new herbs and veggies in pots out on the deck, and lots and lots more sunshine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But it's been a rough one for 3 of my friends losing parents this week (mc being one). My heart aches for them all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dinner was sort of put together coming back from Trader Joe's and BJs and then researched when I got home: pork tenderloin with mushroom marsala sauce, patterned after this one:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/po...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sides will be roasted buttered baby potatoes and steamed broccoli.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wine? Absofreakinlutely!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Butter almond and chocolate ice cream for dessert? Probably.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tonight, I raise my glass in salute to my friends who have lost loved ones - both recent and past.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Life. Cherish it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Give hugs freely.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Smile.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sing, even if you can't.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dance, even if you look stupid doing it. (Don't most of us?)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Eat well.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Be kind.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Love.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I hear you. Time to shake off the dross and get busy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                thank you LW. raising one right back atcha. and hope your friends' pain eases soon. and i'm glad it's defrosting in your area!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. It was a glorious day: copious sunshine, temperatures in the low 50's. Burgers (2:1 chuck to short rib) are on the menu tonight. White American cheese will be melted on top, onion and tomato at the ready, chips on the side. Plenty of beer and wine to wash it all down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  PBS is broadcasting a Bob Dylan tribute from last century. I'll be all over this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Wait a minute. This is my post. This is what I was going to say. The only difference is we had tuna burgers instead of beef. No cheese but a couple of anchovies and hot cherry peppers, onion and tomato at the ready, chips and half sour pickles on the side. All on a Martin's potato roll. Plenty of beer to wash it all down.