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What's for dinner #289 - Spring Poems Edition! [Through April 7, 2014]

To quote Rilke, "Spring has returned. The earth is like a child that knows poems."

That's about how I feel on this gorgeous day, as I walk in our garden and see all the lovely little blooms remembering to push their way upwards. This morning, my husband reported the first daffodil, and there it is with it's sunny face pressed to the sky.

No matter that the weather will turn cold and rainy for us tomorrow; spring is on its way, and for now, that is more than enough!

What's for dinner in your house?

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  1. Daffodillies! I must buy several bunches this weekend. :-)

    I will have the remaining steak and spinach from last night.

    Tonight is my start to the weekend, as I have taken Friday off (doing my taxes) and am now taking a half day on Monday morning to have a plumber replace my leaking kitchen faucet. So a 3-1/2 day weekend! (Although I'll have to get up early on Monday anyway.)

    1. I was walking in to work this morning and spotted the overachieving daffodils standing tall and all bright and shiny among the other yet-to-bloom, gray drab plants which brought a nice smile to my face. It's another easy dinner night for me. I was hoping April would bring back the spirit but I'll keep waiting. It's scrambled eggs and bacon for me tonight. Almond butter for dessert because it seems that every night the jar creeps out :) The farmer's market opens Sunday so perhaps that's where I'll find my spirit.

      19 Replies
      1. re: fldhkybnva

        I spied the tulips attempting to bust through the ground today. Made me so happy.

        1. re: sunangelmb

          Tulips are my favorite flower, I love when they bloom.

          1. re: fldhkybnva

            After daffodils lilacs are my favorite.

          2. re: sunangelmb

            Lilacs for me - a little later in the season, but I just love the way they smell, and no artificial fragrance comes close.

            1. re: annomy

              I love lilacs too. I have some amazing scented Chinese peonies that would knock your socks off, as well as some viburnum, which makes the lilacs seem stingy with their scent. You can get drunk on. It.

              1. re: roxlet

                I planted a viburnum last year in a redeveloped part of the garden. It's doing so well in almost total shade and will be fantastic in a couple of years when it's got some height.

                Which is more than can be said for my long established bay tree which is looking very sickly, with yellowing leaves - it was a struggle to find any good green ones for cooking yesterday.

                1. re: Harters

                  I wonder if a bay would survive here. I do have a wonderful fig tree...

                  1. re: Harters

                    What kind of viburnum? I have a very shady NYC "back space." You can't even call it a yard, really. But we do have a volunteer redbud tree that's managed to survive almost seven years, though it's not yet clear if it made it through this past brutal winter. We definitely lost the hydrangeas, though, so maybe I'll try viburnum in their place.

            2. re: fldhkybnva

              It is nice to see the farmers market come alive in spring. I got wonderful lettuce and artichokes last week - headed back tomorrow for more.

              1. re: tcamp

                Portland's big market goes almost all year, and I've made a point of going all winter. Mostly it's just roots, hearty greens like kale, and storage crops such as apples. How excellent it is now to see spinach, baby turnips, and bok choi. It's very exciting to see!

                1. re: tcamp

                  I fear the pickings will be slim but hopefully I'll find some treasures. I know at least I will walk away with my favorite black bean salsa and half sour pickles.

                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                    Look at it this way: a bad day at the farmers market beats a good day at the office.

                  2. re: tcamp

                    I cant wait! I noticed the tree in front of my house was popping its buds today - I am so tired of apples, carrots and potatoes - some spring greens sound perfect

                  3. re: fldhkybnva

                    You have daffodils already! lucky. My crocuses have come up though, so at least there's some sign of life.

                    1. re: gini

                      For me, crocus finished weeks back. I only grow miniature daffodils, like February Gold and Tete-a-tete. They've finished in the last week. But, in full flower, pulmonaria, anemone, forget-me-not, Kerria japonica - and that's just what I can see while sitting at the computer.

                        1. re: roxlet

                          Keeping this to a food theme, I've just returned from the garden centre. I'd had every intention of buying a crab apple - lovely dark foliage, pink flowers in spring, deep red fruits in autumn which would have satisfied both the birds and my desire to make crab apple jelly. Disappointingly, the red fruited ones all seem to be quite spreading - probably not too practical in my smallish garden, without serious regular pruning. I'll be back to Googling "trees for small gardens" to what I can use.

                          1. re: Harters

                            Sometimes what is said to be a dwarf tree turns out not to be. We've had some experience with both apricot and apple trees that have taken over their designated location. My dream was to have an espaliered fruit tree, but I don't think that's going to happen...

                            1. re: roxlet

                              Near to us, one of the big historic old houses, open to the public, has a walled kitchen garden. It includes a path lined on both sides with espaliered apples. It's fantastic when they've fruit on them.

                              My garden is quite large by British standards but that means it's generally tiny by American plot size. I've said that, if ever we win the lottery (unlikely as we don't do the lottery) I want a big garden. One big enough to have a woodland area. Actually, what I quite like is the idea of developing a small orchard but having shrubs and the like to make it more woodland-like. The thought of just being able to sit under the trees and pick a fruit to eat - just fab. Maybe a relative will win big and throw us a couple of million.

                  4. You will probably be getting the torrents of rain we are having today. Quite gloomy outlook for the next few days. (And quite a muddy dog in the near future.)

                    Tonight is cleaning up some pantry and freezer items, so Nigella's tomato curry with coconut rice. A salad if I feel like it ... and wine of course :)

                    I've made a list of the major items on the shelves and in the freezer in the hope of using them up and limiting my shopping for the next few weeks.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: gourmanda

                      I did the same recently and am loving using what I have, not spending too much at the store and keeping it simple.

                    2. I need to talk about dried porcinis again. Sorry.

                      I looked at TJ's and didn't find the dried wild mushrooms, and Food Lion didn't seem to have any dried mushrooms at all. I'll try Whole Foods and/or The Fresh Market on the way home, but I'm not sanguine.

                      If I can't find them for a price I'm willing to pay, what can I do instead? The recipe I'm making wants the mushrooms and 1/4 cup of the soaking liquid.

                      23 Replies
                      1. re: Kontxesi

                        Would you consider dried morels? Not that they're cheap by any means, but perhaps cheaper than porcini?

                        It won't be quite the same flavor you're looking for...

                        1. re: linguafood

                          ALL of the dried mushrooms were ridiculously expensive. I'm almost wondering if they had them labeled wrong? $11.99-$13.99 for a half ounce is ridiculous.

                          1. re: Kontxesi

                            I agree that it is ridiculous, but dried mushrooms are expensive. Ain't no way around it, I'm 'fraid.

                            1. re: Kontxesi

                              Label is correct, I once bought half ounce morels for $14

                              1. re: Kontxesi

                                Did you try amazon.com? They sell them in larger quantities, but perhaps you could share them with someone.

                                1. re: roxlet

                                  Yes, I buy all of my dried mushrooms (and vanilla beans and other expensive spices) through Amazon or Ebay sellers. You have to buy a larger quantity, but the price per ounce is MUCH more palatable (maybe $2 per ounce if you buy the lower grade "pieces," more like $4 per ounce if you choose the highest grade slices). Dried mushrooms last a LONG time, so no worries about not using them before they go off.

                            2. re: Kontxesi

                              Kontxesi, do you have a store like Big Lots or Ocean State Job Lot near you? They often carry various types of dried mushrooms.

                              Or - your alternative - unless you need them for tonight:

                              http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_nos...

                                  1. re: Kontxesi

                                    Do you have Costco? They sell large mixed dried mushrooms in a large plastic jar - very reasonably priced.

                                1. re: Kontxesi

                                  I do not know your comfort price and this will obviously not help you for dinner tonight, but might one of these options be helpful for the future? Either the mushrooms or the mushroom powder?

                                  http://www.myspicesage.com/search/go#...

                                  1. re: gourmanda

                                    That's a much more reasonable price. Kroger wanted $12.99 for a half ounce....

                                    1. re: Kontxesi

                                      What?!!? I'd ask about that. Here at Ralphs (Our Kroger store,) they are $3.99 for a one ounce package.

                                      1. re: Kontxesi

                                        Yikes! That's terrible. FWIW, I have ordered from that company many times and have been please with whatever product I ordered.

                                      1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                        I use dry shiitake as a sub for porcini in some recipes. Not the same flavour but it does add depth to dishes.

                                        1. re: Frizzle

                                          Or fresh hen of the woods/maitake? They are super-strong in flavor (at least to me), very woody and shroomy for a fresh mushroom. Not super-cheap, but likely cheaper than what you'd pay for a minuscule amount of dried whatever shroom.

                                          If you're going for the super-shroomy flavor, that is....

                                      2. re: Kontxesi

                                        $6.99 for an ounce at Whole Foods. Much more reasonable! I needed them for something I'm making tomorrow, or I would have tried one of the online options suggested. I'll definitely save those for next time!

                                        1. re: Kontxesi

                                          Check this out on ebay:
                                          http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksi...

                                          I know that many on CH buy their vanilla beans from ebay. BTW, I believe my husband gets ours from Amazon. We keep them in a tight-lidded container, and they last forever.

                                          1. re: roxlet

                                            >>>I know that many on CH buy their vanilla beans from ebay.<<<

                                            Please do not take this the wrong way, roxlet, but I have found vanilla beans to be very different from mushrooms.

                                          1. re: Kontxesi

                                            You might try myspicesage.com for dried mushrooms. I've never bought their mushrooms, but have several times gotten herbs & spices, including dried chili peppers. Quality & price have always been outstanding. Free shipping does end up taking around a week, though, so it's not for when you discover you're out of something that you need for dinner.

                                          2. It's Thursday, so you know what that means: mapo tofu, dry-fried green beans, smacked cuke salad, garlic eggplant, cumin beef, Sichuan-style fish, stir-fried bok choy, spicy chicken.... the list goes on. Sadly not forever, as we're "only" 10 chile heads so far. But maybe we'll have a few late signups, who knows.

                                            We'll likely have whomever wants to come over after dinner for a few drinks, as we do most every week.

                                            1. It was kind of cold and wet yesterday in SoCal, so I wanted something hearty and homey.

                                              I roasted a whole chicken, untrussed and dry, in a cast iron skillet and made a side of beans with collards.

                                              After removing the chicken from the skillet for resting, there was a bunch of that beautiful brown fond with chicken fat left in the pan.

                                              I heated that back up on the stove top, tossed in a rounded tablespoon of flour, and stirred it in to make a dark chicken-y roux with the fat and fond, followed by whisking in about 1 1/2 cups of milk, and cooking until thickened.

                                              Good god, this was some deliciously rich and thick chicken gravy. Loads of chicken flavor. Almost made me want to ladle it over some pasta LOL.

                                              So, I pulled off all the crispy skin, bathed all the chicken in gravy, then crumbled the crispy skin over it. HEAVEN.

                                              1. Yay, a spring like day today. Had to play chauffeur to the husband, so I swung by wegmans after picking him up. Got a pizza to bake for he boys, and a rotisserie chicken and bean salad for us. Made a huge salad with lettuces, tomatoes, corn, black beans, bean salad mix, cheese, & chicken. So good, just wish I had remembered to pick up an avocado. Sitting on the porch, drinking an icy cold diet coke, eating my salad, enjoying the sun....while it lasts

                                                1. Needed something quick, & easy on this sunny but breezy day in N. CA. Shrimp and grits it is.

                                                   
                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. Even though the sun is peeking out I am miserably cold here in N.California. So comfort food it is for dinner. I have some really tasty ground sirloin of beef that is going to be formed into mini meatballs. I will add some beaten eggs, moist breadcrumbs and chimichurri sauce to the mix. Then pan sauté to caramelize and finish off in the oven. Hopefully I can get a gravy or pan sauce out of it. Of course I will be slurping down the leftover chimichurri and dipping the tiny meatballs in it.I am crisping some slices of Boudin sourdough to serve with butter (for dipping into sauce/pan juices). Spinach and citrus salad
                                                    ( hybrid of a bottled raspberry vinaigrette with a few little additions) and leftover carrot salad, dried apricots and Constant Comment tea after dinner and that should keep me happy this evening.Healthy,contains iron and Vit C and delicious!

                                                    1. Tonight James had a choice between chicken parm and chicken picatta. The lovely darling picked (what I wanted, but I always give him a choice) picatta. So, chicken picatta, jasmine rice and both green beans and sugar snap peas from last night. There isn't enough of each so we will have both. I plan on making ridiculous amounts of sauce so it might be drizzled on the sides as well. Can't go wrong with all that buttery, lemony capery goodness.

                                                      14 Replies
                                                      1. re: suzigirl

                                                        The only way to play with my new tablet without interruption from my furry partner in crime was to pull out the old one and plug it in. It couldn't just be out, it had to be on to sooth the savage beast.

                                                         
                                                          1. re: suzigirl

                                                            Posts like that suzigirl are why I love the WFD thread. Friendly and funny stuff from people like you.

                                                                  1. re: suzigirl

                                                                    Actually, chocolate brown with a terracotta trim :-)

                                                                    But certainly dark enough to leave his mark. We put a pillow case on one of our couches on the spot where he likes to nap.

                                                                    He sleeps right next to it now. Cats.

                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                      Cats indeed. It's funny the concessions we make for our animals. I have two Kohl's bags laying on the floor for Cashmere to run to and perch to be petted. Insanity.

                                                                      Oh lordy, I just realized that my fat little pink and white piggies (toes)are in the picture. Oh well.

                                                                      1. re: suzigirl

                                                                        I give up, Take rules! I thought your toes were cute :(

                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                          Welcome to the dark side. They wear you out eventually. It's the soulful eyes. And the fact that they are just as determined as you to do whatever it is you don't want them to.

                                                                          1. re: suzigirl

                                                                            Blargh!! I was running errands and decided to visit a different whole foods than usual since it was closest. While I managed to only buy what I walked in to get, I exited to see a store "dogma." Darn another dog pet store...but wait, I bet there's something Take would like. Apparently there's a very long receipt of things he would like!! I told myself I was just buying his birthday present early but we all know the goods are coming out tonight!

                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                              Funny. I had a similar experience with a dog centric store. Went in to just poke around and found duck jerky and thought "what the hell?". It is Cashmere's favorite treat in the world. She can hear that bag from across the house in a dead sleep. So cute. It never hurts to look. Hope Take likes his gifts.

                                                                        2. re: suzigirl

                                                                          Only adds to the charm, suzi. This picture literally did make me laugh out loud.

                                                                          1. re: annomy

                                                                            Isn't he a funny and handsome little man??

                                                              1. Five Spice Chicken and Snap Peas. I realized I didn't have five spice powder after I'd started making the marinade, so I sent my brother to Mom's to get hers. Then I couldn't find my snap peas, so he had to go to the store for those. This meal was hard won.

                                                                 
                                                                6 Replies
                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                      It's from Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge. I don't know if it's online anywhere....

                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                        It's a Great recipe. We made it on this past Wednesday for our cook-along with FB's Wok Wednesday group. Page 120 for those with the book, Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge/Grace Young.

                                                                        http://nycsliceofrice.blogspot.com/20...

                                                                        http://myculinarymission.blogspot.com...

                                                                      2. re: Kontxesi

                                                                        Interesting. I've been meaning to try a similar recipe, but made with pork in a slow cooker. http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/sl....
                                                                        FYI, I don't have the exact ingredients at hand, but you can make your own 5-spice, like you can make your own garam masala.

                                                                      3. Dinner tonight was old-school tacos. We have an Egyptian staying with us, and if he wasn't one of our very favorites, his fear of food would drive us crazy. The only "green things" he eats are cucumbers and lettuce! When he said he was coming, I asked him if he was still afraid of food. "This never changes," was his reply. I definitely got a chuckle out of that.

                                                                        The tacos were made with ground turkey, and among all the fixings, he would only have the meat, some cheese, and lettuce. No avocados, no tomatoes, no jalapenos. But they were good, if not bounteous since I was originally expecting rjbh20 to be out tonight, and at the last minute he joined us for dinner. You know it wasn't enough when your husband is munching on empty taco shells after all the filling was used up!

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                          Not only do I love old school tacos VERY much, but I understand the feeling of not making enough for the sweetie. I made a 2.5 lb. pot roast the other night and James still did his usual and followed up with Cheetos and popsicles. And worse yet, he is 6 foot 1 and only 165. Not fair. And rjbh20 was good enough to eat what you had and not do a freezer scrounge.

                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                            I used to actually love eating taco shells filled with leftover toppings once my brothers had eaten all the meat. Shells, cheese, lettuce, salsa, guac. Figures I'd later become a vegetarian.

                                                                            "This never changes." I love that.

                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                              Having international guests is so amusing in so many ways--especially when it comes to food!

                                                                            2. A bit of a fail tonight.
                                                                              Mapo tofu. I did some different things that didn't work out very well. I used some nice Sichuan peppercorns (and put them through a sieve) but they were still gritty. I used some fermented black beans, but they added too much salt! Disappointing.

                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                              1. re: sedimental

                                                                                I feel your pain. I hate it when a dish I really love and anticipate falls short of my expectations.

                                                                                That said -- as long as it's not inedible... you take some notes and do better next time.

                                                                                1. re: sedimental

                                                                                  We use fermented black beans frequently since Chinese food is our favorite But... we Always rinse them in a strainer held under cold running water. Rinse very well then blot them dry with paper towels. This does reduce the salt and is perfectly acceptable.

                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                    Thanks lingua and Gio. I use fermented black beans a lot too. It always sucks to try something different with a favorite dish and it ruins it!

                                                                                    FWIW, the "iron chef Chen" version of mapo tofu is not my cup of green tea....it is not hot enough, overly salted and unbalanced and....don't try the advice of several CH's about just grinding and sifting the Szechuan peppercorn for a shortcut (I thought that sounded too good to be true). It didnt work for me, the seeds got in the dish and was gritty. I might try a coarser grind, but will test it first before tossing into my whole dish! Uggggh.

                                                                                    1. re: sedimental

                                                                                      I have only used Szechuan peppercorns twice but both times it worked well to toast in a pan and then grind and sprinkle.

                                                                                      1. re: sedimental

                                                                                        sedimental, as far as I'm concerned Fuchsia Dunlop's Ma Po Tofu is the very best version. Truly authentic.

                                                                                        Vegetarian:
                                                                                        http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandsty...

                                                                                        With pork:
                                                                                        http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandsty...

                                                                                      2. re: Gio

                                                                                        I love fermented black beans but always have one heck of a time locating them in Asian markets as they seem to be placed in various locations.

                                                                                        1. re: tcamp

                                                                                          I know... just as main stream restock so we'll see other products we may not have bought in the past. Marketing ploy.

                                                                                    2. Tofu scramble tonight, or, vegetables and some tofu- sauteed chopped tjs cruciferous blend, shredded carrot, chopped mushrooms, onion and the tofu with smoked paprika and nutritional yeast. Small glass of wine while chopping and stirring.

                                                                                      I splurged on fresh raspberries that are amazing!! Dessert will be the raspberries with melted dk chocolate for dipping, a new mystery novel for entertainment.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                        I'm jealous of your raspberries! Raspberries and blackberries are my favorite fruits and for most of the year are tasteless balls of water.

                                                                                      2. It's BBQ Friday here. The bloke requested that we have kalbi again and that's fine by me. It's a very simple meal to throw together, just a marinade, some lettuce leaves and a sauce really. I might do some side dishes if I feel energetic.

                                                                                        We're celebrating a year back in New Zealand today (still have unpacked boxes!) so there will be wine but not too much as we've got to be on form for the toddler's birthday party tomorrow.

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                          Happy anniversary! What's your kalbi marinade?

                                                                                          1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                            Wow, I can remember when you were cooking from what you had on hand to use it up before the move (and were still making amazing dinners!) and it doesn't seem like a year has passed since then! Time flies, eat well.

                                                                                          2. Last night was freezer dive for kofta, which I sauced with tahini-cayenne mix. Burnt an eggplant on the stove and let it collapse in the oven for baba ganoush. Sautéed beet greens to round it out.

                                                                                            1. I took the hint from LindaWhit and scheduled a half day. It's another afternoon at the doctor's office being poked and prodded. A different day, a different doctor, but maybe he can figure out what's been wrong with me for the past 4 months. Expectations are low, doctors suck! :) I'll likely do errands after but dinner is already planned.

                                                                                              It's fish Friday. Another plate of swordfish, and with my daily tuna habit, a step closer to mercury poisoning...Braised mixed Southern greens will accompany the fish. I guess bacon is out of the question on fish Friday so they will be braised with garlic, onion and finished with apple cider vinegar.

                                                                                              10 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                I had a wonderful grilled trout salad at an eastern European (Balkans) yesterday and I'm going to try to recreate it this weekend.

                                                                                                Just fish-inspired stream of consciousness.....

                                                                                                1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                  Grilled trout is a wonderful thing.

                                                                                                2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                  I would prefer to go to work than go to the doctor so good luck. I hope they have answers for you and it is nothing serious.

                                                                                                  1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                    Me too. Right now I'm just thankful that I feel OK, as in I can run and do normal activities without feeling sick, but I'd like to know why I'm hoarding an ocean of water which refuses to drain :)

                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                        Best of luck with the doctor. It seems like a pain now, but when they find a solution, I know you'll feel so much better :)

                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                      Good luck at the doctor. I hope he figures out what has been ailing you. So frustrating.

                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                        Good luck! Heres to figuring out what ails you.

                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                            I hope the poking and prodding came up with something, fieldhawk! And good dinner.

                                                                                                          2. Yesterday I digitally stumbled across a recipe for hot and sour eggplant from Carla Hall's new cookbook. Looked tasty so I stopped for eggplant on the way home and made it. Yum, it was good. Of course I had to tweak - had some ground pork that needed using, added garlic, etc.

                                                                                                            Tonight, pizza night. Probably frozen due to youth baseball and rugby games encroaching on cooking time.

                                                                                                            1. A former business colleague of mine and her husband are coming over for dinner. My plan is to make a version of fldhkybnva's fabulous sounding Mediterranean fish.

                                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9697...

                                                                                                              I am using wild caught Walleye instead of Cod and leaving out the feta but adding capers because I have some that need to be used up and like feta they lend sort of that briny flavor element. Otherwise everything else is the same. Field Hockey, any advice on which type of white wine to use? I was thinking along the lines of something that is un-oaked but maybe something that is also a little lower on the acidity scale because of the tomatoes in the dish.

                                                                                                              A version of Alain Ducasse's gougeres for an appetizer and chilled avocado soup for the soup course. Our guests said they will bring the dessert so that will be a surprise.

                                                                                                              I hope everyone has a nice weekend.

                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                I'm not a big drinker so I usually use a balanced Sauvignon blanc, usually whichever they recommend at the store but I also really love Sherry and often use it instead of white wine, dry sherry preferred. I wish I could remember the name of the white wine, but it escapes me. I love the idea of capers instead of Feta, I have a jar in the fridge that I never ever use so should try it with that substitution. I hope you enjoy!

                                                                                                                1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                  fldhkybnva, everyone loved this. Thanks so much for the idea.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                    Woohoo so glad to hear it!! It's a go to these days while I'm in a cooking rut.

                                                                                                                2. Well it looks like my visitors are delayed by at least a day - Glad I made the Corned Beef - it will store well and have now some time to make a potato salad and slaw - I know these are foods my friend likes so it will be nice to have them ready.

                                                                                                                  for myself last night was an after work event that turned into a latish night at the bar - famished when I got home I had the bright idea to steam some dumplings and broccoli and fry it in the wok - OMG disaster - I should not drink and wok - everything stuck - I still ate it :)

                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: JTPhilly

                                                                                                                    "Do Not Drink & Wok". I'll send you the bumper sticker. 'Bet the broccoli and dumplings tasted pretty good anyway.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                      well cardboard would taste OK doused in fish sauce and siriacha too! I am glad there were no witnesses

                                                                                                                      1. re: JTPhilly

                                                                                                                        Ah, so you were able to taste it. Couldn't have been UTI after all.

                                                                                                                      2. re: JTPhilly

                                                                                                                        If at first you don't succeed, drink more and try again. I know from experience that eventually you'll get good at it. Many of meals have come out of my kitchen when the cook was on autopilot. ;-0

                                                                                                                      3. Last night I intended to make piri-piri shrimp. The shrimpies on hand at the market just didn't look the best. And since the place was a zoo, I went to the bookstore to relax and rethink dinner. Btw, I picked up Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking, very good so far.
                                                                                                                        Then I stumbled into Pita Jungle for some takeout and got the chipotle chicken lavosh pizza.
                                                                                                                        http://www.pitajungle.com/menu/pizzas/
                                                                                                                        Now, this thing was either going to kinda suck or be really excellent, and it was a total wow. It was really spicy, had a lot of lemon brightening it up, a good strong zaatar flavor, and nice fresh veggies. It's going to be my new take out obsession.
                                                                                                                        Tonight is going to be something from Pok Pok for COTM. I haven't decided yet.

                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                          Glad your pizza was good but ugh- I could not get into that book at all.

                                                                                                                          1. re: gourmanda

                                                                                                                            I think I like it because my grandparents were married right in the rough years leading up to communism in then Czechoslovakia, and it gives me insight (maybe) into why my much loved grammy was such a shitty cook, lol. She maybe just had nothing to inspire her.

                                                                                                                            1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                              Interesting how life experiences influence how you view food preparation.

                                                                                                                              1. re: JTPhilly

                                                                                                                                I also think she just didn't have in her like some do. She encountered an embarrassment of riches upon coming to the US and still turned out shite.
                                                                                                                                But she had flower gardens anyone would envy, and I have succulent boxes, so whatever floats one's boat ;)

                                                                                                                        2. The Sichuan feast was lovely, as usual... though I may have over-ordered: a couple of lucky chile heads got to take home some leftover mapo tofu, green beans and garlic eggplant. Eh, better too much than not enough is my motto.

                                                                                                                          It is pissing rain again in HV, so I'll be spending most of the day at home working, with a quick run to remedy the completely unacceptable lack of bacon @casa lingua.

                                                                                                                          Tonight, a highly predictable Friday WFD: cheeborger club. It's been a few weeks since I sat in with my bandmates at their regular Friday gig, and my man's got some crazy early dinner with a speaker (can you say blue plate special?), so he's probably just gonna have an app or some such and share the club sammy with me when we reunite at the bar.

                                                                                                                          Some other friends of ours have plans to show up, too -- it's anyone's guess where, how or when tonight will end, tho it can't be a crazy late night as my sweetie has early morning academic obligations :-)

                                                                                                                          Happy weekend, y'all.

                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                              I want your life for a week. Any more than that and I wouldn't want mine back.

                                                                                                                              1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                Any longer than a week in this shit weather and you'd be more than happy to return to sunny FL. Trust me on that '-)

                                                                                                                              2. Managed to use up the ground turkey in tacos. Cooked up the meat with some spices. Cooked some flour tortillas (we buy a package of raw tortillas and cook them to order on the griddle), lettuce, tomatoes, and hot sauce. Pretty basic, but yummy.

                                                                                                                                I think tonight will be take out. Leaving work early to play tennis and then hopefully home to relax and ease on into the weekend. Need to make a list for the farmers’ market tomorrow morning and plan something delicious to serve our Saturday night dinner guests.

                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: Aussieshepsx2

                                                                                                                                  Tennis sounds like a wonderful way to end the work week. Have fun and enjoy the farmers' market tomorrow. It may be months until the farmers' market opens here. We are still getting snow in this part of the world.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                    Sorry about the snow. We are fortunate to live in So Cal with access to wonderful year round farmers' markets. It is such a blessing to be able to talk to our local venders about what they have this week and what we can expect next week. Though, many of the growers have started sounding the alarm bells about the current drought situation. If only the two coasts could swap produce for melted snow!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Aussieshepsx2

                                                                                                                                      Same here in FL. Farmers markets are brick and mortar because they are open and well stocked all year. I would suffer withdraws if I had to wait all winter for it to re-open

                                                                                                                                2. not sure what we're doing but I think nibbles. we have some brats, some sauerkraut, some crackers, some goose pate (canned) a friend gifted me, some Spanish charcuterie, some cheese... oh, and the green garbanzo puree I slaved over the other night (slaved = peeling fresh garbanzo beans is best done in front of a good movie. but the BF was watching soccer, and my laptop was being cleaned, so I had to settle for theater of the mind). anyway, steamed them, then put them in the food processor with salt, avocado oil and a splash of Jerez vinegar - such brightness! both in flavor and color. we'll see if the BF feels like this plan.

                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                    If he doesn't like the plan, can I join you? My favorite kind of meal is the nibbling kind.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                      bring cocktails! i'm dying for one and it's only 3:40. (and i'm at work, or the time wouldn't be an issue.)

                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                        Cuba libres are on the menu tonight. I have the liquor at the ready.

                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                  2. It's a late night for me, so dinner will be simple. Piri piri hot wings (my recently-bought piri piri seasoning with some meyer lemon juice and zest, s&p), spicy sweet potato oven fries (from a bag, I won't lie) and a little salad. Quick and easy.

                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                        Ooh, I will have to try this! I actually have some really wonderful organic rainbow popcorn kernels in the cupboard. I pop it in a pot on the stove and it's so nutty and delicious that I usually just drizzle on some butter and salt, but a bit of piri piri sprinkled on sounds even better...

                                                                                                                                    1. I made a leftover tuna salad--I'd meant to make a tuna and Chinese Celery salad from PokPok, but lacking the initiative or drive, just used what ever leftover produce I could find in the fridge. It was good--the celery was still good (which is kind of amazing since it was almost two weeks ago I bought it) and I had a half a red onion, a cucumber, and added preserved lemon, harrisa, yogurt, capers, some olives, vinegar, a little sugar, and served it over leftover dill rye. It was a lot of assertive flavors--the celery leaves are really strong, but good, and the rye really balances it out. It was kind of a crazy concoction.

                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: SarahCW

                                                                                                                                        I love inventive tuna salads that contain a lot of additional ingredients. I have one recipe that even uses a lot of finely minced garlic, chives, minced red and green peppers, micro-planed carrots and on and on.You get the picture.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: MamasCooking

                                                                                                                                          I agree. Best tuna salad I ever had was at a friend's house very late and very drunk. We had four people and only two cans of tuna. We threw everything not nailed down in it. I have never been able to recreate it. Maybe beer in excess needs to be involved.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                            My friend and I made a fried rice like that. It is one of the meals that haunts our dreams. Her husband jokes that her and I will be 80 years old and sitting around wondering if it was an extra splash of sesame oil, or maybe the shallots...

                                                                                                                                            1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                              Fried rice is like a clean slate for *anything goes*!! But soooo good when it is done right by home cooks!

                                                                                                                                      2. Friend had to have a sudden appendectomy, ugh, so I whipped up more meatballs, sauce and focaccia so his wife and kids won't have to worry about dinner. Me? I am going OUT! Woot. Looking forward to it.

                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                          Holy crap, that's so weird! A friend's wife had an emergency appendectomy two nights ago and couldn't make it our Sichuan jour fixe last night.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                            Weird! He was had very few symptoms too. He had to have a catscan post colonoscopy(sp?) and the docs were "um, are you in severe pain right now? Because you appendix is extremely swollen". Crazy. They booked him first thing this AM.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                              Yeah, she just had little pain, but the location made her nervous. Good call!

                                                                                                                                        2. Last night I made the Caprese Pizza from the Epicurious cookbook.

                                                                                                                                          Essentially, you roast up red onions, garlic heads, and halved Roma tomatoes seasoned with thyme and sugar. Once cool, you squeeze out the garlic and use it as a paste to smear on the pizza dough. Then you scatter the veggies on top and mozzarella. While you bake the pizza, make a balsamic reduction and toast up some pine nuts. When the pizza comes out of the oven, top it with arugula and the pine nuts and drizzle over top with the balsamic reduction.

                                                                                                                                          It was really good. But I personally LOVE balsamic reductions.

                                                                                                                                          As for WFD for tonight? The leftover Caprese Pizza from last night.

                                                                                                                                          http://www.yummyreads.com

                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: NancyChin

                                                                                                                                            This sounds and looks perfect!

                                                                                                                                            Balsamic reduction=crack. I'll eat it daily if allowed.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                              I agree. After I took the photo, I drowned it in more balsamic reduction. It looked like a mess, but tasted so good.

                                                                                                                                          2. After a lot of excesses, it is time for salads. baby kale with roasted buttnernut squash, cranberries, almonds, and celery; lentil salad with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions and mustard dressing; blueberries and strawberries w yogurt & honey; and roasted asparagus. not vegan but pretty close. hoping to counteract some delicious but not dietary food

                                                                                                                                            1. The day off was partly spent searching for a new kitchen faucet, and I found a nice pull-down sprayer model. I'm strangely anticipating the plumber showing up on Monday morning to install it and get rid of the cheapo, leaky one the previous owner had! :-) Taxes - still need to be done. And I've got a busy weekend. Hopefully I can squeeze it in after setting up the new computer.

                                                                                                                                              Stopped at the stupidmarket and picked up some scallops. I'll dry them off and sprinkle them with sumac and pan-sear them until done. Sides will be basmati rice and sauteed sugar snap peas and carrots.

                                                                                                                                              There's wine. Fortification will be needed for computer stuff.

                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                I haven't had scallops in forevah. Must remedy.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                  That sounds like a really clean and fresh dinner, LW. Love scallops.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                    Sounds delicious and healthy. I have not eaten scallops in such a long time. Time for me to branch out a bit:)

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MamasCooking

                                                                                                                                                      They weren't bad a'tall. I had wanted a fin fish, but nothing excited me when I got to the market. They had both jumbo and regular (not bay) scallops (difference of $6.00 per lb.) and just decided the smaller ones would work for me this time.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                        I have great olive oil, fresh parsley,4 really juicy lemons and butter. Now all I need is some scallops!

                                                                                                                                                  2. WFD: It's another Meatless Friday and dinner will be a tofu stir-fry with a load of VGs, and all the usual Chinese seasonings and condiments; scrambled eggs with chopped jalapeno and cilantro; and steamed brown basmati rice. That ought to get us ready for shopping day.

                                                                                                                                                    1. Spent the afternoon cooking a few things for my sweetie client with COPD. Her husband had to have a double hernia operation today and since he is responsible for most of the meals(take out and frozen dinners, bean and ham soup, chili etc...) I thought a couple of meals would help out. Ham, cheddar and chive twice baked potatoes and a bagged Caesar salad. Stuffed shells and a demi loaf of garlic bread and pork tenderloin stroganoff with buttered noodles and green beans. The way they eat the bagged salad should be enough for the stuffed(beef and cheeses) shells dinner, too. Her son will take over Monday night if he isn't back on his feet.
                                                                                                                                                      Dinner here tonight will be the pork tenderloin stroganoff (it was on sale buy one get one) with crimini mushrooms to spruce it up(yes, they were on sale also). Buttered egg noodles that I got at the Amish farmers market and asparagus with just a squeeze of lemon and butter.
                                                                                                                                                      Happy Friday. It is James' vacation starting today so I got limes for cuba libres. MMM

                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                          He works 50-60 hour weeks so he deserves the hell out of it.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                          You gotz the limes, and you gotz the time for Cuba Libres!

                                                                                                                                                          The pork tenderloin stroganoff sounds like a great idea, too.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                            I love the idea using pork for stroganoff.I think I will try it.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MamasCooking

                                                                                                                                                              It was nice for a change of pace. The idea came to me when I saw the mushrooms on sale after I had picked up the pork and was wondering what to do. I was going to leave it whole and do it teriyaki style but stroganoff prevailed.

                                                                                                                                                          2. An old retro favorite. Cabbage and Weenies. A little mustard on the plate, along with hot buttered cornbread fritters.

                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Uncle Bob

                                                                                                                                                              No bourbon? It is, after all, Friday night, Uncle Bob!

                                                                                                                                                            2. With my one allotted drink in my hand, I've decided to save a Pok Pok recipe for a Sunday project. A trip to the Asian market will be needed and I'm too frickin' lazy to fight the traffic.
                                                                                                                                                              So, enter this:
                                                                                                                                                              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/mem...
                                                                                                                                                              Stifle your laughter, now. It is a copycat of a PF Chang's recipe. And I happen to like it. Of course pap is all "why don't we just go over to PF Chang's?" But, no. I must tinker and screw with the recipe until it's almost unrecognizable. It's my way :D

                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                <" I must tinker and screw with the recipe until it's almost unrecognizable. It's my way :D">

                                                                                                                                                                I wonder why I can relate to this...

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                  This is my way too--my problem is that if I screw it up, I never know who to blame, me or the recipe!

                                                                                                                                                                2. Both the young athlete & resident Egyptian disappeared for dinner, so it turned into a last minute freezer scrounge. Pan-seared entrecôte Bordelaise with pommes gaufrettes. The bordelaise was really good thanks to last weekend's massive demiglace production.

                                                                                                                                                                  NB: portions were young athlete-sized. Subsequently halved

                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rjbh20

                                                                                                                                                                      "Both the young athlete & resident Egyptian disappeared for dinner"

                                                                                                                                                                      As always your dinner looks great and I am surprised anyone would pass up a meal at your house. Unless of course the two athletes maybe, just maybe might have been thinking about meeting some girls? Nah. That would never be a motive. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                    2. Hi All! Finally have an evening to relax. Met with the painter today and he can't start til a week from Monday so I can slow down on the house-sale prep since we're at least 2 weeks out now. So tonight, other than cooking dinner, I am just gonna chill out.

                                                                                                                                                                      Today was the Rockies (baseball) home opener and while we didn't go to the game or even go downtown to hang out by the ballpark, I feel like it should be summer. SO picked up the first of Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy of the season, so naturally I felt the need to grill something. I've got some NY strips doing a quick defrost so I can do that in about an hour. But, it's only 50 degrees so I can still do the classic baked potato and some roasted asparagus in the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                      Tomorrow will be back to house-selling prep, and then SO's dad and stepmom are coming to town. We're headed downtown tomorrow night with them to see George Strait in his final farewell tour. I love any opportunity to wear my cowboy boots.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. Fish taco night!

                                                                                                                                                                        TJ's crispy breaded cod was folded into warm flour-corn tortillas with pickled jalapeno, avocado and tomato relish, creamy cilantro-lime slaw, and roasted tomatillo salsa. Delish--esp. the slaw, which I made with cole slaw mix, sour cream, mayo, lime juice and zest, sugar, ground ancho chili, Forward!, and chopped cilantro. On the side we had a chopped salad of cucumber, mango, scallion, and radish in jalapeno vinegar.

                                                                                                                                                                        Palomas to start and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc to keep the Friday night party going...

                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                          was it the little square pieces of cod from TJs? my GF made those for our recentish housewarming party, as tacos too. yummy.

                                                                                                                                                                          New Zealand Sauv B is my favorite. enjoy your weekend, CM!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                            Yup, that was the cod. I thought it was very good---nice and meaty, without a lot of fish-stick-y filler. Crispy coating, too.

                                                                                                                                                                            Sauv. Blanc was Nobilo, a brand found easily in grocery stores here. I like that it has fruity flavors and aromas, despite being dry (reminds me of peaches/apricots).

                                                                                                                                                                            ETA: Happy weekend, MC!

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                            Paloma is my favorite drink these days. I'd get some Ilégal if I could also get my hands on grapefruit syrup and grey sea salt :-)

                                                                                                                                                                            I guess that's what the interweb is for....

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                              This one strayed from the traditional recipe, as I added a bit of Leopold's American Orange liqueur since I wanted to try it. A bit more lime to counterbalance, and it was perfect. I used San Pellegrino's grapefruit soda, which is tasty. Next time I want to try Ting.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                Mmmm, Ting! Thanks for the memories.

                                                                                                                                                                          3. change o'plans. "needed" a cocktail bad from this work-week, other things, so "made" the BF join me for a cocktail at a bar around the corner from our apt., which just HAPPENS to abut a great restaurant, which just HAPPENS to serve the same dinner menu at the bar... after one delicious Brooklyn cocktail for me, i caved. we split a ridiculously springy green goddess salad and a big ol' three-inch thick, juicy, lavender-rubbed pork chop with farro, broccolini, pecorino/herb salsa, and garlic au jus. a perfect kinda night for me - a little boozy, good food, my sweet, funny man, an awesomely kitschy movie playing silently on the wall (some Italian '70s flick about robots). we'll be playing a little pool later tonight over a nightcap (after my disco nap, of course). and of course, the BF will be "snacking" on the intended dinner brats at some point tonight, too.... i'll be back in the kitchen sunday. thinking ottolenghi something.

                                                                                                                                                                            and i'm thinking it's high time to make green goddess dressing again at home, right...?

                                                                                                                                                                            1. Saluti da Napoli.

                                                                                                                                                                              Deb and I have explored the neighborhood and feel pretty confident about ourselves.

                                                                                                                                                                              Saturday morning began with a walk to La Torretta Market for provisions: produce, wine, etc.. Brunch began with mimosas. I squeezed some baseball-sized red grapefruit I found at the market and mixed it 1:2 with prosecco. Deb countered with fresh eggs that she scrambled and cottage-fried potatoes. We ate on the terrace. John Coltrane was on the iPad.

                                                                                                                                                                              Supper will be another home-cooked meal: fettuccine Alfredo. The recipe Deb will follow is courtesy of Marcella Hazan, the ingredients are local. Marcella would approve. In the tradition of our region, we will eat late.

                                                                                                                                                                              For afters, we'll stroll our block to a little gelato shop around the corner.

                                                                                                                                                                              Edited to add: Deb is shucking spring peas and favas in anticipation of Sunday's vignarola (I know, I know, it's a Roman thing). God I love the fresh produce here.

                                                                                                                                                                              31 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                And all I got for a trip was four nights in Brentford. It don't compare!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                  The views from the terrace overlooking the Bay are killer.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                  So, so, so jealous, but can't wait to hear more. So far, it sounds terrific! I take it that Deb is feeling ok about being in Napoli and not Roma. Weather has improved a bit, but we are a l-o-n-g way from local spring produce, as you undoubtedly know.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks, rox.

                                                                                                                                                                                    The weather has been wonderful: high 60s daytime, low 50s at night. Deb's only exposure to Naples was on a day trip from Rome when we explored city center. She was neither amused nor impressed. I needed to hedge my bet so I secured an apartment outside of the city center on the Via Riviera di Chiaia. The flat is on the top of a 19th century palazzo with an enormous terrace on three sides. The views are wonderful, the kitchen is professional grade. It's all bliss ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                      OK, I may have to ask you for the information on that to put in my "someday" file. My email is on my profile page.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                        Details to follow.

                                                                                                                                                                                        There's something so right about buying produce in the morning and putting it on the table at night. Here are some photos of some of the vignarola fixin's:

                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Gorgeous. I love that feeling of shopping and immediately using, my plan tomorrow with the opening of the Farmer's Market is to do just that.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                              Deb is out on the terrace plucking a lemon from one of the small trees. Fresh produce, fresh fruit, fresh herbs make a difference. These are details I will factor into the equation as I plot our transition from Connecticut.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                  They go for a month each spring. Raise your hand if you want to go too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                    (Emphatically raising both hands) Oh, me, me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Erm, we're going to Florence next month. Does that count?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Looking forward to that trip report.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Absolutely. I once spent three amazing months there, and it's one of my absolutely favorite places.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                The flat is on the top of a 19th century palazzo with an enormous terrace on three sides. The views are wonderful, the kitchen is professional grade.
                                                                                                                                                                                                ~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                Can't go wrong with that! Enjoy, enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Glad to hear that you are settling in nicely.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks, I'm a culture chameleon. I always try to blend in.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                pizza pizza pizza pizza pizza pizza pizza pizza.... etc. pp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh yeah, all the usual suspects.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Edited to add: let's not forget that this is a seafood town. Octopus, squid and so on are taken for granted here by locals but not by me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Supper was simple and good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Peas were added. We shucked 'em today and they were so sweet. Marcella is spinning but that's the price of poker.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Edited to add: out to get gelato.

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Jesus. I just want to bathe in that plate. Fresh pasta from the market, I take it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    End of day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Supper was tasty. We decided to stroll along the bay after the meal. We ended up at the seventh-floor bar at the Excelsior Hotel. Martini for me, Maker's Mark for Deb. We sat outside to take in the water views. A fireworks display erupted! We stopped for gelato on the walk home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    It was a Top Ten day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      ciao bello, late to the party here. so glad you and deb are enjoying! you know how to live. i'm the same shade of envy as roxlet. keep it coming, living vicariously thru you, for now...

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                        sounds like there's a road trip in your future...

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. To start......the first of the English asparagus (too early to be local asparagus). Simply steamed, served with melted butter

                                                                                                                                                                                                      To continue..........roast gammon, parsley sauce, Jersey Royal spuds, purple sprouting broccoli

                                                                                                                                                                                                      To follow........peaches & ice cream. Fruit has been lurking in the freezer since last summer and defrosts to something of a sludge so let's say we're not so much having peaches & ice cream as ice cream with a peach sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      To finish....... coffee and Cadbury's mini-eggs

                                                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I cannot *wait* for my own little German asparagus feast.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sounds absolutely poyfect, H!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ah, but your feast will be the white asparagus presumably.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's only last year, that the first British commercial crop of white was grown. Same farm in Herefordshire (?) that grows our very early green stuff. They've definitely cornered the specialist market here as well as being major producers of the main crop.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Didn't know you had the green stuff over on the island. My condolences '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes, I will be diving face first, mouth open, into the white gold that should be abundant by early May.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Dang. Now 4 weeks seem like an eternity.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I want some gammon! I read somewhere about some local place that sells it, but I think I forgot to make note.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Dinner will be pub food. About 25 of us gathering for an April Fools Festival at a pub in Haverhill this afternoon (and probably into the evening!). Still *way* too chilly to sit outside on the deck, unfortunately. However, they've reserved a big table for us and got us our own bartender for when we go downstairs to play pool.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I hear that the fish and chips is very good, so that or a burger is probably going to get et. We shall see what we shall see. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                              T'was a burger. With thin-cut fries.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Bacon-Swiss burger, medium-rare, to be exact.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              T'was a Top Ten burger.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              T'was a super-fun gathering.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              There was wine. (me) And water.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              There was beer (not me).
                                                                                                                                                                                                              There was billiards.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              There was lots of fun people.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              There is a hoarse voice this morning from drink and yelling over the jukebox.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. What's for dinner? Adventures in hot and sour soup. The "genuine fungus" has been glaring at me all week so it's time to give it some attention. Worst case scenario, the local takeout number is on speed dial. The broth is currently simmering away on the stove and the soup will be assembled after a quick chill. Because I can't seem to follow a recipe without tinkering, I'm planning to leave out the cornstarch and thicken with eggs in the spirit of a hybrid hot and sour-egg drop soup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              15 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Love hot and sour soup. Dinner sounds delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's sooooo goood, but the local takeout quart of soup is accompanied by a few gallons of water slosh around my thighs. I'm still arguing with myself that soup for dinner is a perfectly acceptable meal. I've always been one of those people who feels like a dinner should be more so hopefully I can find a big enough bowl to satisfy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    James would have to agree. Soup is not a meal. I, however can be perfectly happy with some soup and maybe a slice of buttered bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'll likely pair it with a salad for another hit of vinegar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Are you winging it again? I would love a good recipe if you are using one. No worries if you are not using one. I rarely do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh no, I needed an assist with this one. I'm using this recipe from serious eats http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20.... Of course, there will be a few substitutions and deviations because it's how I roll. I couldn't find Jinhua ham so used bacon instead and cilantro will not find its way anywhere near my bowl.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That looks excellent and pretty simple. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Wow, I highly recommend that recipe!! I don't think I'll be suffering the takeout soup water bloat ever again! The soup was delicious and will be duplicated again tomorrow for lunch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Excellent. Thanks for reporting back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Did you have any trouble finding the chicken feet the recipe calls for? I have not seen them locally and I'm guessing they would be kind of important to get the gelatinous consistency and flavor I love so much in H&S soup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A few months ago I discovered them at my local Asian grocery store and now I have a freezer full of feet! I use them for my regular chicken stock every week. You could use wings instead and probably achieve a similar result. The recipe only calls for simmering for an hour so I'm not really sure how much gelatin is really being extracted. I usually cook my broth 24 hours in a slow cooker and it's pretty gell-yy but I don't think this broth had enough time to pick up much body.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      OK, I really should give Kenji Alt the credit he is due given that he puts so much time and energy into the Food Lab and correct my prior statement. I made soup round #2 with fully chilled stock and it was as gellified as my usual stock so a glut of gelatin can be extracted in just an hour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks, I think my nose is still running from the spice but it was such a great recipe even without the pork.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My father used to sit with a box of tissues at the kitchen table when he ate any kind of Asian food. Chinese, Korean, or his native Indian. He loves him some spicy foods, but they made his nose run like crazy. I always got a kick out of it as a kid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Last night's 'dinner' was a multi-stage affair.... I shared my cheeborger club with my GF, as my man was still out with the academic geezer visiting, but thankfully he and 2 of our friends made it to the bar in time to catch the 3 songs I did :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We then moved on to our pad, where there was wine. Alsatian tart from TJ's. Potato chips. Chocolate covered peanuts. Our guests left around 11 PM, which is when I felt I hadn't had enough "veggie" stuff, so I made myself a quick bowl of tomato/mozza/celery dressed with oo/soy/balsamic. Hit the spot. Man went to bed around 1 AM, which is when I nuked a few frozen dumplings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It was a rather random way of eating. Stayed up till 4:30 AM.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  WFD tonight is difficult to say at this point. We are getting together with friends, but it seems the parties are fairly evenly split between poker and being silly. I vote for being silly (of course!), but my man's not much in the mood. Party pooper!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjwof...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Might have to postpone till next weekend when he's off to Berlin for a conference.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wait. You let him go to Berlin without you? I know you're going in a month, but still!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The ticket prices are through the roof, and yeah -- we'll be there in a month anyway. Wasn't worth it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Maybe you should come to NY instead. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Aw, man. I wish a trip before The Berlin Summer were in the budget, but with a two month stay that we pretty much treat like a vacation, i.e. going out *a lot* (not to mention all the vintage shopping I plan on doing :-)), no can do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hopefully early fall, though. Better weather anyway. And fried chicken ain't seasonal at Whole Hog Production, amirite?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. It's been cold the last few days -- it actually snowed a bit on Thursday -- so it's back to the warming meals for now. Tonight will be spicy baked beans with a few slices of baked ham (the rest of the ham will be saved for sandwiches over the next few days). Perhaps some mashed potatoes. Not sure about the veg just yet. Maybe a little shaved fennel slaw? It will depend on what I find at the store.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Had two very ready heirloom tomatoes from last week so I blitzed them in the food processor and heated them up with some basil, garlic, and butter. Used the sauce over a few ravioli. Had garlic bread and some wine for sides. Today we are going to grill some steak. Then make a big platter of salad, fresh veggies, tomatoes, bacon, avocado, blue cheese. Top with the steak open a few bottles of wine and enjoy the company of our guests.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But first, I have two dogs that need bathed. I hope to come away unscathed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. The die has been cast. The word for tonight is poker, with the unspeakable, shocking & downright crazy silliness postponed for some other time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fingers crossed for Thai takeout. Not really feeling pizza today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "Aufgeschoben ist nicht aufgehoben," as we say in the fatherland, or -- for you anglos out there: "it's only a pleasure deferred."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dried truffles have a long shelf life '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And who knows, maybe I'll even win a few hands for a change.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I absolutely 100% refuse to cook anything tonight. I was up late night entertaining coworkers and this morning I made 3 huge platters of chopped salad, 8 cups of barbecue ranch dressing, a pan of macaroni and cheese, gallons of homemade red sauce, a huge pot of meatballs, and 4 pans of baked ziti for my friends' daughter's first birthday party. She couldn't believe that the ingredients for all of that only cost $180. Someone came up to me to ask me for the name of my catering business and my business card. I thought that was funny. I was like "um, no, I'm not a professional".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I am exhausted and refuse to cook one more thing. I think I'm going to order a pizza!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Big, fat medium rare bacon cheese burgers with American cheese for me, cheddar for James. ketchup, mustard, A1, tomato and dill pickles, lettuce for James on Marty's toasted buns. Nice thick steak fries with cheddar cheese and mine will be dipped in ranch. Beer, beer, beer, let it flow like water.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. WFD: As I type G is in the kitchen completing our dinner of Lentils and Sausages. I did the vegetable prep and he is manning the stove. A soffritto of onions/carrots/celery will be sweated in EVOO, then garlic and seasonings will be added, finally, lentils/homemade chicken stock, herbs and spices will be tossed in and simmered till all is a tender delicious finished dish. The sausages are grilled then added after slicing in "coins". Escarole salad with chopped sweet onion, and tomato, with a RWV vinaigrette, and grilled crusty Italian bread. Smells delicious right now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lentils and sausage: a combination made in heaven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Best I ever had was boar sausage and lentils in a little shop in Orvieto. We washed it down with the local wine. It was last year. I still fantasize about that humble meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Humble but seriously delicious. I love lentils. My mother made them so I've literally been eating them all my life. Thankfully my Mother was a fabulous cook in spite of her busy life. I had no trouble eating whatever was served. LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. WFD was leftovers, but I have two pork roasts in the fridge taking a soak in an anchoitte, citrus, garlic, and spice bath. I am going to attempt a cochinita pibil tomorrow in the slow cooker. It is my first time cooking this cut of meat and my first time ever eating this dish, so it should be an adventure!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    To go with it, I'm planning a couple of salsas, a cabbage slaw, and some roasted zucchini. And of course tortillas, and guacamole.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: SarahCW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      too lazy/tired/tipsy to look it up - what is an anchoitte, please?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        According to Google, it doesn't exist.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Perhaps she meant achiote??

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          oh duh, in context with those other ingredients, achiote makes perfect sense. remember, tipsy?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sorry, I'm bad at spelling! It is some word I can't spell, but turned my fingers red! That is what happens when you try to cook something completely foreign to you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It is turning out delicious--it is on warm while I finish the sides. I made two roasted salsas, a cabbage and radish slaw, and am roasting some zucchini and cauliflower. This should make a tremendous feast for me all week--plus some Mexican chocolate cookies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Tonight was a wonderful kale and sweet potato salad with peanut dressing, this one:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.choosingraw.com/spicy-pean...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I added some smoked tofu as well, had with a small glass of moscato

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Yesterday was lots of fun. The now three year old had a great party and I was super lazy with food. Sushi was catered, cupcakes and biscuits were purchased and all I prepared was a massive plate of vegetables, bagna cauda and a fresh baked loaf of bread. The bloke constructed the 'cake' which was a watermelon cake (it's entirely fruit with no actual cake at all) at the toddler's request. The picture doesn't do it justice. He's on birthday cake decoration duty from now on after his display of fine workmanship.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          After my Muslim parents departed the party Thai flavoured pork sausages went on the grill for the hangers on and that and plenty of wine was dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tonight we have a figs to eat. A a gift from the in-laws. We plan to repeat the dish we did earlier in the week from the Jerusalem book. Roast sweet potatoes, fresh figs, chilli and a balsamic reduction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What a fantastic "cake". I wish I had one on my birthday. Happy birthday to the toddler.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Seriously! Next year my SO better step up!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              love the cake. The flowers are great. But I can't figure out what the purple and cream colored stars are made of. What are they?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am just guessing, but it looks like pineapple and purple kiwi.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks! They're what are being sold here as red kiwi fruit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I *LOVE* that the toddler requested the fruit cake! Beautiful. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Stunning. And mighty tasty to boot, I'm sure. Wow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Tonight was dinner & a movie out. (Yummy seafood and somewhat disappointing Grand Budapest Hotel.) Tomorrow will be some madeup version of risotto with winter greens, carrots and either sausage or bacon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Cottage Pie - a clean out the refrigerator meal. It was delicious and I'll never be able to recreate it. A bit of leftover lemon beef pot roast (Linda Whit's Mom's recipe), a half-fajita's worth of leftover steak & onions, a handful of mixed veg, some diced French fries, a half can of diced tomatoes. Frosted with leftover mashed potatoes remixed with added butter. Baked until potatoes were golden.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sliced Opal apples were great as a simple side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Saturday fried chicken dinner -- very Egyptian friendly. All the usuals -- squash casserole, pole beans, rice & gravy. Plus, we were joined by Jane Kelly, founder & CEO of Eat Your Books, the premier cookbook & recipe index & search engine. If you own more than a few cookbooks, you have to subscribe to EYB -- it's just the best.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rjbh20

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So delicious, and too much food!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rjbh20

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This looks amazing, and sounds like good company.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              What is the other casserole dish?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Last night, grilled steaks and a vegetable medley of asparagus, onions, and shitake mushrooms. Plus baked potatoes. Lovely early spring day: It was sunny but cool enough for me to welcome the kitchen heat. I just had the leftover veggies topped with a fried egg for breakfast while DH made waffles for the young'uns.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              No clue yet about tonight...I'm leaning towards something Mexican....maybe tacos of some sort.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I kicked off the Farmers' Market season by quickly grabbing a few old favorites. I love to browse the market but I get completely overwhelmed if there are more than 5 people in my personal orb so I usually have to be speedy. Of course, opening day was busy so I hurried in and out, but not before grabbing the biggest bag of spinach I've ever seen for $5 (25% of the price per ounce that I pay at the store!). The freezer is now full of blanched spinach, and it's only appropriate for spinach to be the star of dinner. Fresh eggs nestled aside the spinach on the ride home so I have simple and classic in mind for dinner - omelet with spinach, diced turkey and Parmesan. It's Sunday, so dessert will be popcorn seasoned with Penzey's Cajun seasoning and nutritional yeast. Let's be real, there might be a second bowl seasoned with something else because it's just been one of those weeks :) And, in the words of steve h., women's basketball will be on the LED.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies