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What's for Dinner #285 - Harbingers of Spring Edition! [Through March 22, 2014]

Tomorrow is the first day of spring, and as if on cue, all the gardeners in our little town are out in force today. And, happily, the snowdrops are out, and some brave croci are poking their noses through the soil. With sleet and freezing rain forecast for tonight, however, we will have to accept what few harbingers there are.

What's on your menu as spring makes its most-welcome appearance -- on the calendar if nothing else!

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  1. I'll be finishing up my lamb shank dinner from Sunday, and will try to fry some of the polenta to see if I like it any more.

    I *think* there are still some roasted carrots and parsnips in the fridge; if not, I do have some asparagus - so that will be my lone harbinger of Spring. :-)

      1. re: mariacarmen

        Have you tried the Peruvian place in Pacifica? It is surprisingly good and has a great view.

      2. Tonight will be Indian spiced chicken wings with yogurt dip, turmeric rice and a salad of lettuce, apples and red pepper with a sweet curry vinaigrette. Although those chicken and waffle pictures in the last WFD almost made me change my mind.

        1. Tonight is a drive-by with 30 minutes between work and basketball practice. Son will be instructed via phone to grill some onions and burgers in the trusty cast iron skillet. When I get home, I'll mix up a quick salad and there you have it. Spouse and older son are on their own.

          1. We met a nice couple on the ski slopes yesterday and they invited us over to their house for dinner tonight. They are making grilled rib-eye steaks with chimichurri. I packed some bottles of wine in my luggage so we are taking a very rare Château Poujeaux to share with them.

            It is always nice to make new friends and share great food and exceptional wine.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Fowler

              You find the best kind of friends!

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                You always say the nicest things, fldhkybnva. I hope that one day the five of us can get together for dinner. You, me, our 2 SO's and Mr. Shiitake makes 5. We cannot exclude Mr. Shiitake from our fun dinner party. :-)

                1. re: Fowler

                  Oh my that'd be some party! He'd keep us entertained :) He had me in stitches last night attacking the TV. I hope you're enjoying the trip. I've only attempted skiing once. I'm pretty athletic and have only been stumped by soccer and perhaps lacrosse, but skiing didn't work out for me. I'm determined to try again though.

                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                    Maybe we should do it together! Dance and figure skating ruined skiing for me. Maybe we can get a "ski moron" discount and go mushrooming afterwards?

              2. re: Fowler

                Sounds divine. Glad you're enjoying!

              3. I have 3 sausage links sitting in the fridge I need to use up.

                Tonite I'm making cavatelli tossed with a spicy sausage ragu. Then pile them into a baking dish, top with pecorino and some buffalo mozzarella, and bake until melted and bubbly.

                With a side salad of whatever lettuce greens I pick when I get home. Simply dressed with a blood orange and olive oil vinaigrette.

                1. Spring may be in the calendar but its not in the air - Leftover chicken tonight. Probably Salmon tomorrow and the bits leftover from the week into a frittata on Friday.

                  1. No spring in sight around here...unless you count mud. Oh, good, snow in the forecast for next week. Nothing special tonight...pierogies with cabbage and onions. I do believe I have completely lost interest in animal flesh. Makes for some boring dinners.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: gourmanda

                      I don't think meat based meals are necessarily better, but they do seem to gather more recs.

                      1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                        I agree they aren't necessarily better it just seems easier to do something creative when you can work with a piece of animal protein. Hopefully I will be more creative when (if?) the garden starts cranking out it's lovely things.

                          1. re: rjbh20

                            I was placing odds on who would argue the carnivore's case and I don't think the carnivore could have found a better advocate.

                            1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                              Ask your dentist -- we evolved that way. Inconvenient for the vegan Nazis to accept, but reality occasionally bites.

                          2. There's rain in the forecast for today, but I'll take that as a sign of spring. I've had spinach artichoke somethingorother on the mind for weeks now and tonight is the night and I'll finally get to try the TJs frozen artichokes. The spinach and artichokes will be sauteed with garlic, onions and finished with a splash of sherry wine then mixed with a Syrah-soaked Toscano cheese and piled atop a chicken breast seasoned with Badia. I wasn't particularly looking forward to dinner but after describing it, I'm really in the mood now :)

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                              How was it. I'm in the mood for that any day.

                              1. re: sunangelmb

                                It was surprisingly, amazingly delicious but that might be a sign of the times. I'm tired, exhausted, need simple food and it usually ends up being completely satisfying. The frozen artichokes were perfect and I'll now be keeping them in stock.

                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                  It sounds so good. Thanks for the frozen artichoke rec too. I'm going to stock up on my next haul.

                                  1. re: sunangelmb

                                    I defrosted them overnight but I think they can be defrosted/steamed in the microwave too.

                            2. No spring in sight here, either. It rained today, so... at least no snow?

                              Too busy again to shop for dinner, so I sent out my man to pick up sesame buns: cheeborgerz with TJ's NZ grass-fed beef -- a first, so I'm curious what we'll think of it.

                              Side is romaine with cukes, orange grape 'maters, chopped celery & avocado in a simple vinaigrette.

                              Maybe shoot some pool later this eve, it's been a while.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: linguafood

                                I'd love to know what you think of the beef.

                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                  I shall post the verdict on the appropriate thread :-)

                              2. Tonight is a hodge podge of stuff. I'm having leftover meatloaf and mashed potatoes. My husband will be having an eye round steak with a baked potato... and there's still leftover salad so we will finish that off too.

                                1. Re-heated fried chicken tonight, a little cole slaw on the side. Zeppole(!) for afters. Happy St. Joseph's Day/Fathers' Day!

                                  39 Replies
                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                      Buttermilk fried chicken. Emeril Lagasse's gift to the rest of us. ;-)

                                      1. re: steve h.

                                        You're killing me. I can't deep fry worth you-know-what.

                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                          The overnight bath in buttermilk and seasoning is half the battle. You'll master the fry technique after a few tries. Use thighs, the plumper the better. That will give you a wider latitude when frying.

                                          http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/em...

                                          1. re: steve h.

                                            I *think* I have a candy thermometer - somewhere. Hmm....maybe I should buy another one.

                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                              Don't worry about it. Just wing it. No doubt you'll nail it.

                                              I never get things right the first time. I'm actually fond of my "fails".

                                          2. re: LindaWhit

                                            It ain't deep frying -- it's skillet frying. Nothing to it.

                                             
                                            1. re: rjbh20

                                              I know. I've tried it before. Made a mess of the stove and the chicken.
                                              :-(

                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                While this won't help the chicken situation, I always cover my stove with foil when I'm cooking anything that's going to splatter. I just ball up the foil afterwards and toss it in the recycle bin. And my rather awesome DH bought a roll of fire retardant material (looks and feels like a medium-weight white plastic sheet) and I hang a sheet of that on my backsplash using magnets on my hood. I hate cleaning greasy messes, too. :)

                                              2. re: rjbh20

                                                Well, except for the oil stench that will permeate one's living quarters for days to come... unless one's got a fab hood -- and not everyone does, sadly.

                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                  That's the other issue. Unfortunately, my hood doesn't vent out - it blows back into the kitchen. I can't fathom why, but it *is* a townhouse set-up, so maybe they decided to just do this for all units.

                                                  So if I do this, it has to wait until I can open all of the windows.

                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                    Same here. Our hood is a joke, which is why we do our frying (and deep-frying) on the patio.... and that's kind of a pain in and of itself :-(

                                            2. re: LindaWhit

                                              Same here!! The smell gets me every time. But for the mess, Clorox lemon wipes are a thing of genius.

                                              1. re: alliegator

                                                How are the Clorox wipes on your hands? Bleach kills my skin.

                                                1. re: bear

                                                  I alternate between Clorox and Lysol wipes (whatever's on sale) and neither irritate my hands at all. I don't use them for everything, but they're perfect for wiping down the counter after some messy food prep.

                                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                                    Thanks, nothings wrong. That's helpful. I'll give them a try!

                                                    1. re: bear

                                                      They can be a bit drying, but I just wash with normal soap very shortly after and give myself a little squirt of lotion.

                                                      1. re: alliegator

                                                        Thanks, allieg. I need to be more disciplined with the lotion. I don't mind dishes and cleanup in general, and actually usually enjoy it, but my skin doesn't always like me for it.

                                                        1. re: alliegator

                                                          Yes, I definitely wash my hands after using them. They do leave a bit of a film on your hands, but so does any other cleaning product if your hands come into contact with it.

                                                          If you read the back of most cleaning product bottles, they say to avoid prolonged contact with skin.

                                                          I don't find the wipes very drying, and I have always had SUPER dry hands. I just moisturize randomly throughout the day with nice thick creams. I'm obsessed with this stuff: http://www.sephora.com/the-healthy-bo... in Pure Vanilla.

                                                          Any time I use it in public, both men AND women ask me for some, or ask what it is. It smells heavenly (makes me want to lick my hands) and absorbs well.

                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                            Thanks! and thanks for the sephora link. I just got my son's girlfriend a gift certificate from there for Christmas and that was the first time I'd been in one, but not the last!

                                                            1. re: bear

                                                              Lol after posting that link, I decided I had to order a bunch of Lavanila products. They just smell so freaking good.

                                                              Sephora, CVS, and Sur La Table get all of my spending $$ that I don't mean to spend. It's ridiculous.

                                                              All this Lavanila talk is making me think we need a thread on our favorite food-scented products...

                                              2. re: steve h.

                                                Tips on reheating fried chicken/fried anything?

                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                  Sure.
                                                  I have a little toaster oven on the counter and heat it to 350 degrees. I cover the the leftover fried chicken in an aluminum foil tent. After 20 minutes or so I open the tent, flip the chicken, reseal the tent and set the timer for another 15 minutes. Next step is to peel back the tent and crisp up the coating. Sample and touch at all steps and adjust as you see fit.

                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                    I had leftover Thomas Keller (Ad Hoc at Home) fried chicken a couple of weeks ago at a friend's house and it was brilliantly crispy right out of the fridge. That quality alone makes me want to make it at home.

                                                    But barring that, a toaster oven on convect is great for heating up fried foods.

                                                    1. re: TorontoJo

                                                      Big fan of the Ad Hoc chicken.

                                                      The LA Bouchon makes it twice a month. Deb and I sit at the pewter bar and split a late-night (for us) order. Nice.

                                                      1. re: steve h.

                                                        That sounds rather perfect. Hmm...I wonder if the Vegas Bouchon makes it...hmm...

                                                        1. re: TorontoJo

                                                          Get on the e-mail list for LV. Keller's marketing people are both aggressive and good.

                                                    2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                      Oven, uncovered. Not microwave unless it's after midnight and you're plastered.

                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                        I just put whatever needs reheating on a piece of foil wrap and lay it directly on the rack in the oven...heat @300F. until hot and crisped. I don't close it up cause any coating may become soggy that way..

                                                        1. re: Cherylptw

                                                          Indeed. It's always a trade-off when trying to resuscitate fried chicken that's been hanging out in the coolerator for a week or more. My tent approach allows the meat to be reheated while preserving its moisture and flavor, the skin is secondary. I use to just strip it when the leftovers got ripe but this technique allows some measure of salvage.

                                                      2. re: steve h.

                                                        funnily enough, it's Father's Day in Bolivia, too (my father's homeland).... raising a glass to all fathers everywhere, past and present.

                                                          1. I'm meeting friends of friends who are in DC for holiday at a Jewish restaurant. Unless here are any specials I think I'll kick off with a mazel tov (pink champagne, plum liqueur, lavender syrup and lemon) and have a falafel platter. The desserts there are pretty rib-sticking so I need to save room for the chocolate bread pudding with salted caramel ice cream.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. Ham steak, leftover cabbage and potatoes from St Patrick's Day and some baby carrots boiled in the corned beef broth. Simple dinner

                                                              1. Yes, it is St. Joseph's Day, as Steve mentioned above, and I got my calendar pages mixed up so tonight we're having fettuccine with a spicy mushroom sauce and toasted breadcrumbs. Steamed bok choy side. Yeah, it makes no sense but it WILL be delicious. I demand it. Chef Gracie will have to wait till tomorrow. The fettuccine represents planks of wood. The breadcrumbs represent sawdust. I'm all about symbolism. I have no idea why. LOL

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                  Because saint Joseph was a carpenter!

                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                    Oh I know, I know. I'm including mushrooms because I want to use them up. The bok choy is there for some greenery that represents palm trees, if one stretches one's imagination. Might there have been palm trees in Nazareth?

                                                                2. DH is still on liquids only and we're headed to Vegas on Sunday, so I'm in "use up everything in the fridge" mode. Tonight, that meant fried rice: the 3/4 red onion and broccoli in the veg drawer, the last hunk of roast beef and the last 4 eggs. Chopped up all the veg and beef, beat the eggs, got the wok smokin' hot and called it dinner.

                                                                  Tasty. And, of course, there is dry rose bubbly.

                                                                  1. Pork al pastor (oven-braised in a pastor-style marinade, in which the pork had already marinated for a couple hours), Mexican cabbage soup topped with avocado, and apple pie.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: prima

                                                                      Do you have a recipe for the marinade?

                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                        I used this recipe as a guideline tonight (but used canned pineapple chunks, rather than fresh pineapple) http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo....

                                                                        I also like this recipe http://www.latimes.com/food/cl-fo-tac... , but it's more labour intensive, and I haven't made it in ages.

                                                                    2. WFD? Lunch! I finally got to try a place I had been dying to go to and it was wonderful. But here I am 6 hours later still full and THIRSTY. So dinner will be lots of water with lemon. However it was totally worth the sodium bomb!

                                                                      For my Boston peeps- link to my report
                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/968455

                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: foodieX2

                                                                        I've never been able to get an actual table there! Lucky you.

                                                                        1. re: gini

                                                                          Gini- we were really surprised because I kept hearing that. However from what I could see the crowds really flowed in around 12:30/45. I think getting there right at noon might be the key.

                                                                          Either that or my dad was smiling down at me. He always managed to find the perfect parking spot and get a table at the most crowded place.

                                                                        2. re: foodieX2

                                                                          I don't think there is a shade of green that could aptly color my jealousy. So glad you enjoyed!

                                                                        3. In honor of jrvedivici and the "OMG I can believe I bought such cr^ppy crab cakes, I stopped at the store yesterday to buy a couple from the fresh fish counter to see if any pre-mades have hope these days, but also picked up a giant stuffed clam, which due to shelf life will be dinner tonite.

                                                                          The crab cakes should hold until Friday since they were frozen but sold individually.

                                                                          Kopykat Joe's Stone Crab creamy mustard dipping sauce alongside home made cocktail sauce.

                                                                          Fresh pan sauteed spinach ( God that stuff always takes patience to destem and clean, LOL) with garlic , olive oil and chili flakes and either a small baked sweet potoato or a small portion of angle hair pasta done in some fashion as the sides.

                                                                          I guess if the giant stuffed clam is less than stellar, the sauces can cover up the "culinary crime scene."
                                                                          I hope. :-)

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: jjjrfoodie

                                                                            The Whole Foods pre-mades are pretty good.

                                                                          2. Grilled grass fed steaks.
                                                                            Baked sweet potatoes with salted butter
                                                                            steamed asparagus with a lemon/thyme/scallion/garlic gremolata on top

                                                                            Hammantaschen for dessert. We've worked down to the second layer, finally (even after bringing a tin to the gym last night)!

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                oh my. I am not even hungry and I am drooling!

                                                                                      1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                        All of this drooling is not good for my keyboard.

                                                                                          1. Shredded cabbage, diced smoked wild boar ham and loin, onions, and snap peas that have been sauteed and served on egg noodles.

                                                                                            We're also finishing the bread pudding my wife made for St Patrick's day.

                                                                                            1. Still no grocery visit. So tonight I think I'm gonna try out TJ's turkey chicken pesto sausages just mixed with some pasta, and maybe drizzled with some olive oil.

                                                                                              I am sort of tempted to just eat the TJ's poutine all by myself though. I should probably save that for when SO is home though.

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                Go ahead. Tell SO you had to taste-test if. Get more poutine when you can grocery shop, but only if it's good.

                                                                                                1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                                  Ha well the TJ's is not nearby so it'd be awhile before I could get more. I'm being good and saving it for when we can share. I don't really need to be eating a whole bag of it myself anyway.

                                                                                              2. Spicy Shrimp, Black Beans and Corn from July 2005 Cooking Light . A very fast (cooks in 15 minutes) meal - online recipe here http://savoringtimeinthekitchen.blogs...

                                                                                                Great and not too spicy for us, despite our being spice-wimps. Of course, I use mild salsa. Served with warmed naan bread.

                                                                                                I made a half recipe for us two, and used a cup of the cooked dried black beans from yesterday instead of canned. I like to double-up on the lime juice so 2 T or more for the half-recipe, and I also used 1 T. dried cilantro for the half-recipe (instead of fresh).

                                                                                                Dessert was more of the cranberry apple cake pie made yesterday, served with vanilla ice cream.

                                                                                                1. Another midweek freezer scrounge while the young athlete is living it up on spring break. A Spanish-themed ballotine of Cornish hen with shrimp & chorizo stuffing on saffron risotto.

                                                                                                   
                                                                                                   
                                                                                                  1. Tonight i made a quick salad with a bunch of leftover roasted cauliflower. The chopped roasted cauli i tossed around in a pan to heat it up, added in kalamatas, hemp seeds, scallions, cubed smoked tofu, cherry tomatoes, and the last big handful of massaged kale salad. Just tossed it all together on the heat with a bit of white basalmic and black pepper.

                                                                                                    Glass of moscato on the side.
                                                                                                    Dessert late night will likely be ginger tea and a couple medjool dates stuffed with a gob of almond butter

                                                                                                    1. Tuesday's dinner was a veal steak, baked potato & steamed broccoli for the DF; I had veal parmesan over spaghetti. Still not feeling great, I decided to use up leftovers for this evening's meal.

                                                                                                      The DF had leftover beef roast and a fried pork chop, leftover broccoli & rice. I had two pork tamales (that my daughter's friend made & I brought back from vacation at Christmas) with peach/tomato salsa and a salad of mixed lettuce/spinach with broccoli, asparagus, cukes and balsamic vinaigrette.

                                                                                                      I'm going to have to cook on Thursday...

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                        I would say that is an indication you are a fantastic cook if DF had not only your beef roast, but your beef roast and a fried pork chop as well as broccoli and rice just for one meal! You are definitely cooking up some great food.

                                                                                                        1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                          Thank you for your kindness; DF said although it was good, he ate too much!

                                                                                                      2. Upcoming.............piggy burgers.

                                                                                                        Lurking in the freezer was about 200g pork mince, three sausages and a couple of small cooking chorizo. I'll mix them together with some seasoning, maybe a little sage from the garden. There should be enough for a decent sized burger each. Ciabatta rolls for the bun. Bag of supermarket mixed salad leaf. Dinner sorted.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                          I love the sound of that porky mix. Still waiting for grilling here...

                                                                                                        2. Last night's Hungarian cabbage rolls were pretty delicious! I served them with cottage cheese for cool, creamy contrast. Our friend who just got back from a two-week tour of Europe, including Budapest, stopped by for a quick bite before we went to a concert last night. He enjoyed them, too.

                                                                                                          Tonight will probably be kumquat chicken, since I've got the bird thawed and all...

                                                                                                           
                                                                                                          15 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                            Tell me about the kumquat chicken! I have a pint of them that need to be used up.

                                                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                Thank you. Is it something you've made before? If not, please report back.

                                                                                                                1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                  No, I haven't, but another WFD hound recommended it.

                                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                              I like cabbage rolls but rarely make them. I have a notion that they take too much time for a weeknight meal. Can you make them ahead of time, then cook when you're ready to eat?

                                                                                                              1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                I don't see why not. I imagine you could freeze them uncooked. We prepped these the night before and just let them go for about 10 hrs. on low in the crock pot. They turned out great!

                                                                                                                1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                  "Can you make them ahead of time, then cook when you're ready to eat?"

                                                                                                                  Hi tcamp, I make Serbian cabbage rolls (probably very similar to Hungarian cabbage rolls) and agree with Christina that you can make them the day before and cook them the following day. If anything they are better that way because it gives the meat time to absorb the spices. I have not tried freezing them though.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                    Which herbs and spices go into Serbian cabbage rolls, Fowler?

                                                                                                                    1. re: prima

                                                                                                                      Hi prima, I will preface my response by stating I am not Serbian nor do I know if my Serbian cabbage rolls are authentic but the herbs and spices I use in my sarma are ground black pepper, paprika, salt, parsley and clove. Of course there are several other ingredients that do not fall into the herb or spice category such as beef, bacon, onion, garlic, etc.

                                                                                                                2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                  Would you mind sharing the recipe for your Hungarian cabbage rolls' filling and sauce, Christina?

                                                                                                                  1. re: prima

                                                                                                                    Oh Oh Oh, me too for the recipe!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                                                                    ChristinaMason, your recipe looks more like a cabbage roll paprikash than a traditional red sauce cabbage roll.
                                                                                                                    Yum!

                                                                                                                    A friend makes them quite often but she uses sauerkraut in her stuffing, which she very wells knows is my "kryptonite", so I do not partake, but cabbage rolls with just meat, rice and tradtional stuffing rocks my world.

                                                                                                                    TIA.

                                                                                                                    1. re: jjjrfoodie

                                                                                                                      Glad to. This recipe was adapted from http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/...

                                                                                                                      I'm not the most exacting cook, so follow your gut in terms of seasoning.

                                                                                                                      Hungarian Cabbage Rolls

                                                                                                                      1/2 c. dry rice, prepared according to package directions; ~1 c. cooked?
                                                                                                                      1 1/3 lb. meatloaf mix - pork, beef, and veal blend
                                                                                                                      2-3 minced garlic cloves
                                                                                                                      2 finely chopped medium onions
                                                                                                                      1-2 tsp. olive oil or bacon grease
                                                                                                                      1 large egg, beaten
                                                                                                                      2 tsp. salt, or to taste
                                                                                                                      1/2 tsp. pepper
                                                                                                                      ~1/2 tsp. ea. Penzey's Forward! and Krakow Nights seasoning, or your favorite spice mix to taste
                                                                                                                      2 Tbsp. sweet paprika
                                                                                                                      hot paprika or cayenne to taste
                                                                                                                      1 med. head cabbage / approx. 16-18 cabbage leaves
                                                                                                                      1 25 fl. oz. jar fermented sauerkraut, drained; I like Bubbie's http://www.bubbies.com/prod_sauerkrau...
                                                                                                                      15 oz. can plain tomato sauce
                                                                                                                      1 c. smoked pork butt or ham, sliced thinly and roughly chopped
                                                                                                                      1-3 Tbsp. thickener of choice - potato starch, cornstarch, flour, etc.
                                                                                                                      1/2 c. sour cream, plus more for serving
                                                                                                                      1.5-2 c. water
                                                                                                                      ~1 tsp. sugar

                                                                                                                      Preparation:

                                                                                                                      1. Saute the onion and garlic together in oil or bacon grease until tender. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix ground meat with 2/3 of the cooked onion mixture, egg, salt, pepper, paprika, seasoning, hot pepper, and cooked rice. Set aside.

                                                                                                                      2. Remove core from cabbage. Place whole head in a large pot filled with boiling, salted water. Cover and cook 3 minutes, or until softened enough to pull off individual leaves. You will need about 16-18 leaves. OR cook individual leaves; whatever works best for you without tearing too much.

                                                                                                                      3. Place about 1/2-cup of meat on each cabbage leaf. Roll away from you to encase the meat. Flip the right side of the leaf to the middle, then flip the left side. You will have something that looks like an envelope. Once again, roll away from you to create a neat little roll. Cut any leftover cabbage leaves into fine shreds and set aside.

                                                                                                                      4. In slow cooker mix tomato sauce, sliced pork, remaining onion mixture, drained sauerkraut, leftover shredded cabbage, and water.

                                                                                                                      5. Nestle cabbage rolls in the sauerkraut. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hrs. I have an older Crock Pot; you may need to reduce the time for hotter models. You can refrigerate the rolls and sauce overnight before cooking.

                                                                                                                      6. 20 minutes before serving, turn the slow cooker to high. Ladle off about 2. c. of broth into a bowl and temper in the sour cream, then mix in your thickener and sugar to make a slurry.

                                                                                                                      7. Gently stir the sour cream mixture into the slow cooker, trying not to break up the cabbage rolls. Let cook until thickened, 5-10 min. Taste sauce for seasoning.

                                                                                                                      8. Serve the rolls topped with the sauce and garnish with more sour cream or cottage cheese.

                                                                                                                      Note: I accidentally put both Tbsp. of paprika in the filling, rather than one each in the sauce and filling as the original about.com recipe instructs. We liked it this way, but to each their own!

                                                                                                                  2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                    Those look great! I have had those out but never tried to make.

                                                                                                                    Budapest is one of my favorite cities I have visited.

                                                                                                                  3. Last night, the 12 year old made some pretty darned good skillet hamburgers with sautéed onions. He might get assigned dinner duty more frequently...

                                                                                                                    Tonight, chicken curry with rice, na'an, and sautéed cabbage.

                                                                                                                    1. Have a bunch of veggies that need to get used and some left over rice, plenty of eggs and a chunk of tofu that needs using too so egg fried rice it is with kale, broccoli and mushrooms - clear out the fridge dinner.

                                                                                                                      1. Last night was probably the only time I'll get to make my own dinner this week - anticipating late nights for the rest of the week & working all weekend, boo.

                                                                                                                        Dinner was lemon and paprika cod, baked on top of a bed of mushrooms (shiitake, oyster & cremini mix) and spicy lentils, with tomatoes & roasted carrots. No that isn't the smallest piece of cod ever, it's just all sitting on top of the world's hugest pile of greens.

                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                            It's true - my dinners generally take a noticeable turn for the healthier (but admittedly less delicious, due to a deficit of fried things) turn once the weather begins to warm up :]

                                                                                                                          2. It's Thursday. Which means our regular Sichuan jour fixe is on the menu. Got 10 folks signed up so far, and am very much looking forward to tonight's dishes. We tried a new eggplant dish last time that was a huge hit, so there will definitely be two orders at least of that tonight.

                                                                                                                            And it's suzigirl's birfday:

                                                                                                                            Happy birthday, suzigir!l >waves while also popping open some bubbly>

                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                              yes, thanks for the reminder so we could wish her on "the" day!

                                                                                                                              Happy Happy, suzigirl! Hope it's a delicious one....

                                                                                                                                1. Happy birthday and happy spring to suzigirl!!

                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                      How lovely to be born on the Vernal Equinox! Happy Birthday suzigirl!

                                                                                                                                    2. Dinner in the gator family will be had out on this fine evening. I received a call that my most recent bloodwork was great, I can now up my fat by about 50% and enjoy 1 adult beverage 2x per week.
                                                                                                                                      Celebratory foodstuffs will be had here:
                                                                                                                                      https://www.roysrestaurant.com/locati...
                                                                                                                                      Last night's dinner was a shameful plate of fruit and sorbet after spending most of the day sectioning off land at the homesite for garden boxes. Nothing like the sun to put you in your place!
                                                                                                                                      And *I'd like to wish suzigirl the happiest of birthdays!!!*

                                                                                                                                      11 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                        Congratulations on both the blood work and garden-to-be!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                          Congratulations, enjoy!! We have a Roy's in Baltimore I've yet to try, menu always looks good.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                              Fat and alcohol, two of the major food groups in the TJ household. Congratulations on the good news!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                Hehe, two drinks not on the same day. So---a beer and 10 chips ;) I think getting all dehydrated making tomato boxes is actually a better party.
                                                                                                                                                Thanks for the congrats, I'm quite relieved.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                  That is great news about the bloodwork. Having your health dictate your diet sucks. Raised garden beds are the way to go. It make it so much easier. Thanks for the birthday wishes.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                    Superb news, allie! Enjoy the drink, AND the raised garden beds!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                      Thanks, LW. I've got some herbs already started. Putting pap's (long retired) civil engineering skills to use to build gardens on a slight hill, pics to come soon!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                        Thank you so much for the well wishes, my dinner pals <3. Nothing but a slow improvement is expected, so I'll relish every little victory.
                                                                                                                                                        This one went down well with a vodka tonic and some gouda on crackers ;)

                                                                                                                                                      2. which came first... the chicken or the egg? we're having both. perfectly sunny day here in Florida yesterday to we took advantage and did plenty of gardening and made another compost bin. needed something quick and easy. not too shabby for quick and easy

                                                                                                                                                        Garlic Chicken :)

                                                                                                                                                        here's the recipe if anybody is interested.
                                                                                                                                                        http://selfsustainedsimplelife.blogsp...

                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: simplelife

                                                                                                                                                          Wow, looks great. Super simple but tasty.

                                                                                                                                                          1. They say it's your birthday
                                                                                                                                                            It's my birthday too, yeah
                                                                                                                                                            They say it's your birthday
                                                                                                                                                            We're gonna have a good time

                                                                                                                                                            Weeeee. It's my birthday. Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes. I don't want to burn up the thread thanking everyone individually. I do, however want to take lingua up on a glass of bubbly. Oh yeah.
                                                                                                                                                            Since I am a diehard flip flop freak James always gets me a gift certificate for Payless for Christmas and I hold it until my birthday because you get 25% off on your birthday month. I got two pairs of sandals and two pairs of flip flops. I am a happy camper. I also got a fresh pedi to show off with those cute shoes. Hot pink with black zebra stripes( yes, I am secretly a 12 year old and I am okay with that).
                                                                                                                                                            Tonight is going to be a treat and scratch a food itch (Steve, it's all on you ) I have been having. I am taking a colossal king crab out of the freezer and James is stopping by Sam's Club for some steaks (and knowing him, flowers. He's a one stop shopping kind of guy) and we will have red potatoes and spinach. All I am in charge of is cutting potatoes and watching the sides. Oh hell yeah. Cocktail time! Vodka and berry La Croix with a wedge of lime is on my radar for tonight. Can't have too many. I have a 5000 sq ft home tomorrow and I can't be all hung over. :-(
                                                                                                                                                            Happy Spring everyone! And thanks again for the birthday wishes. You can never get fawned over enough on your birthday. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                            37 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                  Happy Birthday Suzigirl! Sounds like the perfect Birthday...

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                    James is home with the goods. Two lovely T-bones to go with my colossal crab legs. Feasting like royalty for my bday
                                                                                                                                                                    Edit- forgot pic trying again

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                YES!
                                                                                                                                                                                Chapter and verse when you're finished.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                            Happy birthday!!! many many happy returns :)

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                              Thank you all for the warm wishes for my birthday. I love that this community is so welcoming and loving. You all make me feel like an old friend.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                  Birthdays are special, my friend!!! And if I was made of money and lived near you, I would have gotten you this set.
                                                                                                                                                                                  Florida equals sunshine, but now you just get the pic.
                                                                                                                                                                                  Enjoy the rest of your day :)

                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                    Being the greedy little food whore that I am, I would have taken it ,too. Now, if you ever win the lottery....

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                      If I ever win the lottery all of us 'round the table are meeting up somewhere fab where we can paint our own Le Crueset!! Whooo, that one vodka drink has filled me with fun ideas ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                        Now that sounds fun. I want yellow with happy faces cuz like I said before, I am a 12 year old at heart.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                          I stayed at B&B where the fridge was hand painted. Gorgeous! Why didn't think about le crueset? <head slap> brilliant!!! If I win we are doing it!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                      A SUPERB birthday dinner, suzi!

                                                                                                                                                                                      Happy day to you - happy tummy to you as well!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                        My tummy better stay on track for this meal. I will be furious at her if she revolts on such a lovely treat. I can't wait to nosh on that filet and James is thrilled about the strip in his lunchbox. win/win.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                          She better keep it in line! That's an order!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes, Ma'am. I will kick her ass if she doesn't keep it together.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                        Happy Birthday Suzi! I hope you have a great dinner, sounds wonderful to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm breathless from laughing so hard - what a great start to my morning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh what a sweet face! Pretteh Kitteh

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thank you. That's my handsome little man, Romo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oops.That was supposed to be soup to nuts, not steak to kitty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Who me? Maybe one too many. But I made it to work and I was on time. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Happy birthday! I know I'm late to the party, but it's kind of like extending your special day for ANOTHER day (maybe?!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                      And, because you need a cake (and I want to show off my Microsoft Paint skillz), for you:

                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                        That is exactly my style. Pink is my favorite color and flip flops are about the only shoe I wear. That was so sweet. Thank you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Defrosted meatballs and homemade sauce served over cavatappi pasta with some kind of defrosted steamed vegetable tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I really have not been in the mood to cook anything new or fancy for the past couple of weeks. Too tired and just mentally exhausted to even think about it. My list for the grocery store visit tomorrow is pathetic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                                                                                                                        BTDT. I'm not in the mood for much cooking lately, either. Being preoccupied with shit can do that for ya.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        That said -- cavatappi are one of my favorite pasta shapes :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                          So true, recently I just want to eat and go to sleep. I finally gave up and let myself have a break. Life can get busy, good food can still happen with minimal effort.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Eh. Lack of appetite is a shitty cook. Glad we're going out today!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I agree, me neither. But, before I read your 2nd paragraph I was thinking how you're my freezer fan inspiration

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                            There are only 2 of us here so I just cook big batches of stuff things like meatballs, manicotti, stuffed shells, mac and cheese, chicken cutlets, etc. and then freeze them in smaller portions. Even when I make a whole lasagna, I freeze the leftovers in 2 or 3 portion segments so I can just pull one out, defrost and have dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            My husband will NOT eat the same thing for dinner, then lunch the next day, and then dinner that night.... so I have to freeze stuff or it will wind up getting thrown out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. It has been a crazy few days of work with little time to come up for air. But today I got the largest of the “client delay is now my emergency” projects done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Last night was our weekly tennis lesson. Got home late but with the time change and extra light it did not seem as bad. So instead of takeout we cooked up some TJ’s grass feed ground beef, tossed in a can of chopped tomatoes, some red wine. Toward the end we added in some asparagus spears. Tossed with pasta and called it a complete meal in a bowl! Of course, since the bottle of red wine was now open it needed to be finished.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tonight I hope to do something with a rather large bone in chicken breast from the farmer’s market. Maybe baking it along with a few small potatoes, onion hunks, carrots, a little thyme and white wine… We shall see what time I end up getting home. Kings game too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Aussieshepsx2

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sounds like some great food. Do you play doubles or singles? We used to play mixed doubles but it began to put too much of a strain on our relationship. Statements on the court like "You were supposed to get that one, not me, Fowler!" :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                                                                              LOL - never doubles with DH. Someone would definitely get hurt. We do play singles against each other without much issue. He has the bigger power game but I have the steady shot making so it tends to even out most nights.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Spaghetti and meatballs tonight: house-made sauce; meatballs with meat first ground at home, amended, browned and then frozen. The meatballs will luxuriate in the sauce until a Phil Jackson-like harmony is reached. House red will be on the counter. Suits will be on the plasma.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I don't know why I've been so tired all week, but by 3pm I'm ready for bed. Tonight the motivation to cook anything anew was definitely absent. I grabbed a container of broccoli cheese soup from the freezer, tossed it into a pot, added some diced chicken to poach for a few minutes, and finished with a handful of Parmesan. The bowl was quickly inhaled and I am now enjoying dessert - a cup of sleepytime tea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dude. You have a tough job. It really shouldn't come as much of a surprise to you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I guess I forget sitting on my butt all day can actually be tiring. I was so glad to get out of there this evening.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And don't discount the daylight time change -- like having the entire country slightly jet-lagged all at once. Your clock may be saying it's time to wake up each morning, but your brain says "I want another hour of sleep". By now, you owe your brain 12 hours of rest and it's going to claim them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've actually been waking up before the alarm, it's more so the end of the day but the early wake ups could be exacerbating the issue :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Now is your alarm an actual clock or Mr. Shiitake waking you up because he is hungry?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh no, while he taunts me with other antics (e.g. randomly deciding that jumping on the kitchen island and hoping I don't see him is a fun game) the whining at 3am of his younger months has ceased. He now sits patiently and quietly on the nightstand and stares at me...freak!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ROTFLOL! That staring would wake me up because I would be able to sense it even with my eyes closed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Lucky you. Romo chews on my hair on the weekends til mommy gets her lazy ass out of bed to feed him. I have to cover my head with the blanket to get a little sleep in time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ha! My little guy is not nearly as subtle. He lives with my mom, but whenever I visit, in the morning I get a neat little wake-up call in the form of his fat cat tushy plomping directly on top of my head.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Love it! He sits there with dignity, quiet and solemnly plotting....plotting...plotting world domination.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MamasCooking

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    He's very patient but if I make eye contact it's all over. It's PLAY TIME!!!! He doesn't even want food. I woke up early at 330am this morning and slept in until my alarm at 445am and he was in the same spot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Just pamper yourself. You deserve it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That's why I'm so glad Arizona doesn't do it. I'm oddly sensitive to time changes. When I do big travel, I have to build an extra day in just to get used to it, ugh. My man thinks I'm nuts O_o

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Well, isn't that exactly why we keep our freezers stocked with yummy home made foods?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              So true, I love that thing. It's like a treasure chest of greatness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I feel ya. As of 7:20pm I have just finished the saddest $12 salad sitting at my desk in the office. Enjoy your rest!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It is a godsend to have a freezer on days such as this. I like the idea of chicken in the broccoli soup. It sounds like a great addition.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Took out a small tub of chili from the freezer - I had labeled it "Lazy Girl Chili" - and it looks like there was chopped meatloaf and shredded cooked beef instead of ground beef mixed in with the kidney beans. That works.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Reheated, and put over some elbow noodles, with shredded Aussie cheddar and a hefty dollop of sour cream on top.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dinner. With wine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I actually misspoke - it's Kiwi cheddar - called New Zealand Mainland Sharp Cheddar. I got it at WF, not TJs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I was going to ask if it was TJs but then realized that's the other down under country. I've never seen that at the WF here but I need some new cheeses to try so I'll look around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. we're shnackin' tonight. lots of Spanish charcuterie in the fridge, liverwurst, cheeses, kalamata olives, Japanese pickles, sweet cherry peppers, etc. along with some charred, olive oil drizzled ciabatta, and the BF tells me we have lotsa bacon that needs cooking, so that will probably make an appearance as well. most likely a salad too. vino fo sho. and then i'm on a plane in the a.m. to visit CH-er L.Nightshade for a long weekend in gorgeous Bellingham, WA! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sounds delicious. You girls have a great time. Lucky ducky.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Have fun. Many scrumptious meals ahead I hope!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I'm majorly in a veggie mood tonight! I always eat a lot of veggies but tonight I want LOTS of veggies. I'm taking portobellos and pre-roasting them a bit so I can drain them (gills removed first,) and then filling them with eggplant that has been charred and baked until super soft (like you would for baingan bharta,) and then a layer of ricotta mixed with herbs and spices (yet to be determined, probably TJ Everyday Spice grinder with some more fennel seeds added and fresh flat leaf parsley from the garden where it is taking over,) and sprinkled with some cheese and into the oven. Sauteed greens and some baby beets from thinning the rows on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sounds great! I was going to pick up an eggplant this weekend, I might have to steal your idea. Do you char on the stove top?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I did today but I use the grill/ BBQ if cooking other things that way as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A couple of deviations to the plan: I added basil and an egg to the ricotta as well as parsley and layered the whole thing into ramekins that the mushrooms fit in perfectly. I topped with TJ crumbled feta with sundried tomatoes and herbs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Early dinner tonite while watching NCAA basketball , so it was Cincinnati chili.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I make in small batches and it freezes excellently.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I know, unless you live within a 150 mile radius of 39 degrees 6' N latititude and 84 degrees 31' W longitude , you think the stuff is vile. I know it. You know it. We ALL know it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I, for one, love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You'd think I was chasing you around in a clown costume with 18" hypodermic needles filled with a combo of mayonaisse and cilantro in order to make you try Cincy chili.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes. That actual analogy did make it's way into a dining conversation long long ago. Sadly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Your loss is my gain.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ha.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cinci 4-way with onions , spaghetti, chili and cheese. Oyster crackers on top and Franks Original Hot Sauce as garnish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hate all ya want. :)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It was yummy.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nom nom.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jjjrfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              There's chili under that cheese & oyster crackers? That's how much cheese I'd LIKE to have topping my chili, but feel I need to leave more than some few shreds for my spouse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hahahahaha.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yep. THAT much cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pic below of what the normal service style is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have the proper chili plates I picked up at the restaurant supply store, but when I eat in front of the television, a bowl is FAR less messy.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: jjjrfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I took a colleague for Cincinnati chili this fall. He was amazed and in awe of it. Needless to say, we ate every last bit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Easy dinner tonight: chicken & pastry (poached then de-boned & de-skinned chicken breast, defatted broth with some onions & celery was simmered, chicken was shredded & added back to the pot and hand rolled dumplings dropped in and simmered). The grocery store had beautiful green beans I picked up a few days ago so I sauteed some onion & garlic, snapped & rinsed the beans, blistered them with the veggies and added chicken broth and seasonings. They were simmered for 20 minutes. Dinner done!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Okay, I'm doing it. It's gonna be chicken and waffles for dinner! Unfortunately, I didn't have time for the fancy Thomas Keller chicken, so I'm doing a fairly basic version (okay, I'll admit it -- it's a Paula Deen recipe). The chicken will be served atop the yeasted waffles, which have been yeasting on the counter since this morning. Maple syrup will go on top of that. Wilted spinach with lemon and butter on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think tomorrow will be something with short ribs and cauliflower, since I've got both of those things hanging around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Edit: I forgot about the beer. We got one of those mix-and-match 6 packs. I'm having a red IPA, a white ale and a cream stout.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. nice spread by the BF - he added some italian salamis from our local deli to our spanish stash, made FOUR salads, and deviled eggs with bacon. at my request he also added a little braunschweiger to the charcuterie platter. we didn't like the TJs marinated mozz (tasteless, to both of us; my second attempt at buying a marinated cheese from them. i won't buy any again), and we also didn't really touch the port cheddar, but we had their Red Fox, goat brie, and i forget which other one. all tasty stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      and he's such a good plater.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Happy weekend, all! (as mine starts NOW.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I worked til after 8pm and kumquat chicken seemed like too much of an undertaking in my state of exhaustion. Instead, I simply roasted the chicken over two quartered fennel bulbs and a bunch of skinny carrots and garlic cloves tossed with some fresh rosemary sprigs, a little lemon pepper, and olive oil. I squeezed a lemon over and inside the chicken, chucked the remains in the cavity with the fennel fronds and a few cloves of garlic, seasoned 'er up, and cooked around 375F until done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        With the pan juices I made a sauce involving white vermouth, a splash of soy sauce, heavy cream, and a smidge of grainy mustard. It was just the thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I met friends for drinks at a newish bar where we could actually talk to each other and had a malbec based drink with peppercorns, st germain, and fig bitters (see photo), lovely view and good company.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mushroom toasts, marinated olives, crudite with bean dip, and hot garlic knots (from the pizzeria near my apt) were dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            that drink is so up my alley..... the view, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I miss that view! The drink looks wonderful as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Went to the art museum to see some paintings by a guy named Bacon. It was great but came home startlingly hungry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Picked up mussels and a stalk of lemongrass on the way home. Made mussels in green curry and saffron cardamom rice, and a cabbage slaw with a Vietnamese style dressing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sounds delicious, but no bacon! Methinks you would have been inspired. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A bacon cheeseburger would have been more appropriate but mussels were the big sale item and I had all of the other ingredients except lemongrass, so that's how it happened. Sadly, the Burger God did not favor me last night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Dining out for the second time this week - newly opened Italian place in the posh suburb we went to earlier in the week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Italian isnt a cuisine we're particularly strong on in the UK. No sizeable immigrant community, of course. Although our metro area did see some immigration in the mid 19th century when men came to work in the iron foundries. A number of families later became involved in the local ice cream business which is still significantly owned by firms such as Marco Rea and Granelli.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Most of the original ice cream cafes in Germany are all run by Italian families, whose relatives came over in the 50s as "guest workers."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh, I don't know that I'd go that far, fldhky. I've had some pretty fab stuff at Grom and Capogiro, right here in the US of A.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I know there are a couple of Grom gelato shops in NYC, but the only one I've been to is in Florence. My, oh my! Is that stuff fabulous!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Wow, no good gelato shops around here. Well, some think they are good but that German gelato was delicious. I'll agree to "among the best."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Grom in nyc is thankfully not in my neighborhood, but their sorbettos are amazing, even the dk chocolate! (I can't tolerate any dairy beyond some greek yogurts)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My friend was raving about their hazelnut hot chocolate this winter.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I've had their Sicilian pistachio (which is amazing), and the dark chocolate gelato and mango sorbet are also delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ridiculously large scoops, tho, which makes it difficult to get more than one flavor, generally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Last night was steamed manilla clams with bird chiles, mint, basil, dry cider, and minced bacon. More or less from a Jerry Traunfeld recipe. A baguette for dunking.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Go 'fer it! Fast, dead simple, and good Friday or Saturday night food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            the dratted bf isn't that into clams. i'll make do with mussels. or maybe claims with my sis.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. TGIF!!! I've been looking forward to tonight's dinner all week. It's roasted cauliflower night! I don't even care about the main dish but since my body demands protein I'll pair the cauliflower with mahi mahi in a roasted red pepper sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Since you're bingin' on cauliflower recently, let me point out this recipe from WashPost this week. It looks really good but I haven't tried it out yet. The food section editor, a recent vegetarian, is trying to recreate the chicken fried steak of his Texas youth....only with cauliflower.

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Wow seems complicated but delicious. And yes I admit to binging on cauliflower:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Easy, peasy, super satisfying dinner! As suspected, the cauliflower was the highlight. I remembered I had a new seasoning I've been intending to use - all purpose flax seed and herb blend. The cauliflower was heavily sprinkled and finished with Himalayan pink salt to be quickly inhaled by yours truly! The red pepper sauce was courtesy of Wegmans and kind of meh, but not awful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. My last night before the men return. Making chicken Caesar salads for a girlfriend. We will start with carrot, leek and ginger soup and end with assorted berries topped w/ homemade whipped cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And to quote Linda-there will be wine! Dare I say, quite a bit?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It's Friday, dear foodie. It is how things are done on Fridays. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. A WFD post redux. I think this version's lyrics are close to Grammy-worthy, don't you? :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The most beautiful drink I've ever had:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sangria, Sangria, Sangria, Sangria. . .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              All the beautiful tastes that can never be bad . .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sangria, Sangria, Sangria, Sangria. . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sangria!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I plan to drink some Sangria,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And suddenly that glass
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Can never be outclassed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              To me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sangria!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh yes, there will be some eats as well. I suspect some prawns, duck and perhaps some beef tenderloin will be slid in front of us. Depends on how many people join the frivolity this evening.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Last night's chicken curry was both easy and delicious. Kids liked it so much, they both took it for lunch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tonight is pizza night. I've requested white pizza with crispy fried mushrooms and herbs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I have a fennel bulb, some citrus fruits and a chicken breast (already cooked) - hopefully some red onion in the bin - thinking I can concoct a dinner salad out of that

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ideas for additions/omissions welcome I am not quite sure where this one will go or how to season it just yet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JTPhilly

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Shave the fennel and red onion, supreme the citrus, chop the chicken and make a lemon ginger dressing or maybe basil or mint?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, it does look great. I particularly love how they make the sauce with the rind on, I love the bitterness of orange rind. If I don't have the lift for that tonight I will keep it in mind! Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JTPhilly

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It was pretty good - I made it for the Jerusalem COTM thread, as did a few other people. I sort of damned it with faint praise - basically saying it was a fancied up chicken salad. Which it is, but I think that was a little harsh. It's one of those things where you get your expectations too high.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bear in mind everyone ended up with too much orange sauce so you may want to cut it back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              well I decided to take a walk on lunch and pick up the fresh herbs needed so I will give it a go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I did end up making this on Friday - I will agree that it was pretty much a fancy chicken salad but it definitely elevated a left over chicken breast. I like the combination of the ever polarizing cilantro and anise and also like the bitter orange. now I need to figure out what to do with the extra orange sauce - I am thinking fish

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JTPhilly

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The book recommends fish as well, especially oily ones. One of my secret aspirations is to use the sauce in white chocolate or vanilla ice cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: JTPhilly

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My favorite way to prep fennel salad is shave the fennel, add supremed grapefruit, toasted walnuts & blue cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Toss with walnut vinaigrette.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's in heavy rotation during the winter months at casa lingua.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My man's not too crazy about it either, but shaved thinly & with all the other ingredients,