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What's for Dinner #291 - the Taxman Cometh Edition [Through Aprl 16, 2014]

The deadline fast approaches for us lagabouts who haven't yet filed. So us lagabouts are stuck inside gathering paperwork instead of being outside enjoying the nice weather - but at least my windows are open (and the cats think I'm the best cat Mom ever for opening them!)

So - are you into the weekend picnics yet? Or out enjoying the sunshine and working up an appetite? What's on your dining room table tonight?

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  1. As for me - yup. I'm a lagabout. It's a gorgeous day - and I've mostly been inside gathering up all the paperwork necessary for doing taxes. Why I've waited this long, who knows? Procrastinator Extraordinaire, I yam.

    I did get out to the stupidmarket to stock up on ingredients for Mom Meals, as she informed me her freezer was empty last weekend. :-) So, while it's not really stew weather, that's what I made this afternoon - beef stew. She doesn't mind the heavier meals in early Spring; she'll forego them for easier salads once it gets into the really hot weather in summertime. I've also got chicken corn chowder, mac and ham and cheese, and pork and sweet potato stew on the cooking agenda - we'll see how much else gets cooked this weekend.

    The stew was a chuck roast I cut up, tossed with flour, salt, pepper, dried marjoram and dried thyme, and browned in the fat left from frying up 3 slices of bacon. Removed the beef from the dutch oven, and added a handful of peeled and halved cippollini onions to the oil with some minced garlic and sauteed that a bit. In went 1 cup of beef stock and about a half a bottle of red wine and stirred to get the tasty bits off the bottom of the pot. Put the browned meat back into the liquid, added the cooked bacon, covered it, and it went into a 350°F. oven for a bit over 2 hours. I tipped the lid a few minutes ago to let off some of the steam while the taters and carrots boiled on the stovetop.

    Wine alongside.

    And taxes tomorrow. Lucky, lucky me!

    2 Replies
      1. Tonight's dinner was a stupid, simple, plate-lickin' delight. Thanks to several mentions by linguafood, I finally picked up a chuck eye from Wegmans. It was the star of dinner, super simple seasoned with salt and pepper and finished with a dollop of porcini red wine butter. The accompanying side was a new idea for me - diced Romaine hearts sauteed with olive oil, a minced anchovy and garlic.

        For dessert, I'll be following Take's lead...on the couch, remote in hand.

         
         
        6 Replies
        1. re: fldhkybnva

          <..."diced Romaine hearts sauteed with olive oil, a minced anchovy and garlic.">

          That is the classic way to cook any green leafy. Delicious to the Nth. I add a 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, peperoncino.

          1. re: Gio

            I wish I could dive into that photo. And kitty looks relaxed :-)

            1. re: thymetobake

              He was knocked out for a good hour. I guess a few oz of steak is like a kitty feast.

          2. re: fldhkybnva

            That chuck-eye cut is really a fabulous deal. Looks great, too! Mmmmmporcini red wine butter.....

            1. re: linguafood

              I can't take credit for the butter, it was whole foods idea. I borrowed the inspiration and copied it. Does your store sell it labeled as steak? I could only find it labeled as chuck eye roast, but they were in pretty varying sizes.

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                I think it just says "chuck-eye", not roast or steak.

          3. With rjbh20 in New Orleans Wednesday and Thursday, and with him and my son at a tournament in Philly this weekend, not a lot of exciting cooking going on here. Tonight I made my Chipotle burrito bowl hack for me and our visiting Egyptian, and I almost blew his head off. What seemed like a pretty mild Serrano to me, was super hot to him. Half was in the guacamole, and the other half was in the black beans. I wound up putting a ton of sour cream on his plate, and he ate it, but I can't say that he was loving it. Oh, well you get what you pay for, I guess! Can't wait until the guys are home tomorrow night,

            2 Replies
              1. re: thymetobake

                Yes, I love spicy food! I even put more jalapeños on mine!

            1. Tonight I made pan-seared salmon with horseradish-sour cream sauce, baked potatoes, and roasted cabbage with a mustard vinaigrette following a recipe in the March/April issue of Eating Well. I would have roasted it a little longer but will definitely try it again.

              1. This morning was crab eggs benedict and O'Brien potatoes with the leftover crab. I had a couple of shrimp that I snacked on with cocktail sauce this afternoon. Continuing the gluttony at James request, porterhouse steaks, new potatoes and spinach. That means omlettes tomorrow with my leftover steak( I eat the tenderloin and save the strip for brekkie). MMMM MMMM.

                2 Replies
                1. re: suzigirl

                  Lol. I read that you were eating crab eggs. Oh, yum.

                  1. re: roxlet

                    Hehe. No crab eggs here but if I had the chance I would try them.

                2. Taxes are done and I wrote big checks to the Man last week. Two more next week for estimateds. Boo. Last night was girls night at a friends country club. Fun to be with good people but the food was nothing special. Tonight my sister and her husband are bringing a delicious Greek feast they just picked up! We are supplying the cocktails, beer, wine, and dessert (mini ding dong bites from our local bakery).

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Aussieshepsx2

                    Yum. What did you guys end up having for Greek dinner?

                    1. re: nothingswrong

                      Two gyros plates, two veggie plates (spanakopita, grape leaves, hummus, tatziki, tabouli) plenty of pita and veggie salad. Delicious.

                  2. Thankfully my stomach has snapped out of its funk, and since i did taxes a few weeks ago i got out biking around in the first gorgeous day nyc has had since......um........october?

                    I bought some gorgeous purple asparagus this afternoon (photo) and just steamed them. Dinner was a huge salad with thinly sliced massaged kale, fennel, green apple and celery done on the mandoline, roasted spiced chickpeas, the steamed asparagus and a figgy basalmic vinegrette heavy on the black pepper.

                    A mug of dk chocolate coconut bliss ice cream is in my near future
                    http://coconutbliss.com/coconut-bliss...

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Ttrockwood

                      Glad you are feeling better. Your dinner sounds like a nice, healthy re-boot.

                      There's no photo of your purple asparagus, but it sounds purdy.

                      1. Taxes filed and refunds in the account already! Yippie! Debate on which home improvement project to use it to fund continues over dinner. Which happened to be:

                        Scallops seared unilaterally with a Thai style red coconut curry with diced red peppers served over rice. Also sautéed up some sliced tofu for the leftover rice and sauce for lunch this week.

                        Tomorrow is probably home made pizzas. Really should have started the dough tonight, but the kiddo's sleeping and I don't want to risk it

                        1. I owe, I owe, so off to Mickey Dees I go...

                          2 Replies
                            1. re: Veggo

                              Not sure that cooking isn't cheaper than Mickey Dees almost any time.

                            2. First homecooked meal in a while. Capellini with marinara topped with grilled spicy chicken Italian sausages and grated Parm. As a side we had a slaw of fennel, Belgian endive, clementines, walnuts, scallion, a touch of shaved aged gouda, and citrus-mustard dressing. Ribiera in our glasses.

                              P.s. Great mobile fixes on Android by the CH web team!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                Some mandoline-d persian cucumber went into the slaw, too. it was tasty...going on the repeat list. dried cherries or cranberries would be a nice addition.

                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                  That sounds like a great mix of ingredients in the salad!! I forget about endive....

                                2. I'm going to have a try at a version of the Sichuan classic of green beans & pork mince. It's herself's normal order when we go to a restaurant.

                                  Green beans are boiled until nearly done. Pork gets something of a seeing-to in the wok, then soy, rice wine and sugar goes in, then more stir-fryin till its done. It comes out and in goes ground Sichuan pepper, chilli, garlic, ginger and chopped spring onions. That fries for a couple of minutes, then in go the beans to heat through and, finally, the mince goes back in. A little more soy and sesame oil finishes it. Plain boiled rice to accompany.

                                  Fuchsia Dunlop's more authentic version uses dried Sichuan chilli, rather than fresh but I don't think I've got any (and couldn't be bothered going into the city just to get some).

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: Harters

                                    Yum. I love that dish. Buttertart gave a great tip about blistering the beans by roasting in the oven at very high heat instead of woking. Less smoke.

                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                        No, just fresh birdseye ones. Don't think I've ever seen fresh Sichuan ones.

                                        1. re: Harters

                                          Ooooh, that's gonna be a spicy dish. Have a fire extinguisher nearby '-)

                                          1. re: Harters

                                            Oooh, that's a favorite of mine. Hope you enjoyed.

                                          2. My taxes are completed and filed-
                                            Yesterday, I enjoyed a walking tour of art deco South Beach.
                                            Today, I am picking up ground fish for gefilte fish and preparing it for Pesach.
                                            Happy Passover-sezon Pesach to all who celebrate

                                            1. Filed taxed before we left the country. Lunch today in Budapest was steak tartare and seared duck liver! Oh, and, of course, a couple of glasses of Hungarian red wine. steve h. is right. They DO know their way around liver :)

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                Ah, Budapest. The coffee, the pastries, the wines, the liver!

                                                One of my favorite places. Enjoy your trip.

                                                1. re: steve h.

                                                  If wishes were horses, I'd be having it twice a day for the next four days!!! Dinner at Borkonyha on Tuesday thanks to your and others recs.

                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                    The Wine Kitchen is outstanding. Excellent choice.

                                              2. I love the smell of lardons in the morning! <grin>

                                                Got word our share of a this years cow will be ready in the next week or two so I started cleaning out the chest freezer. All we have left from last years is a single roast. But way down on the bottom I found a package of lardons from our local pig farm. They are about 6 months old but vacusealed so good as new. Now I need to build a meal around them. I am thinking wedge salad. What would you do with them?

                                                 
                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: foodieX2

                                                  Meal? I'd have a hard time not just pulling them right out of the pan!

                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                    I was just coming back to post that when I got back from taking the dogs out my son and husband had polished off more that half, lol! They couldn't resist. There will be no wedge salads for lunch.

                                                  2. re: foodieX2

                                                    well i would have been torn between making a frisee salad with the lardons, a poached egg, and teeny diced fried potatoes in a dijon vinaigrette, or doing as your hubby and son did!

                                                  3. Last night was a perfect spring evening here in Philly - took a bike ride out to Fairmount Park down Boathouse Row with the visitors (my bike hoarding finally justified) - a few "specials" at the local bar on the way back and then improvised shish kabobs on the Weber - made pork and beef ones with sweet chili sauce marinade potatoes, onions, carrots and bell peppers - they were devoured and pretty impressive looking for a meal made of freezer scraps and assorted on hand veggies

                                                    Today we have Phillis Tix so I will make sandwiches for the game - no $tadium food - maybe kielbasy for dinner

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: JTPhilly

                                                      I've been biking everywhere in this great weather myself! Great idea to bring your own sandwiches to the stadium, sounds like a fun night

                                                      1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                        bringing sandwiches and waters and some adult beverages to "tailgate" definitely saved a lot of dough $6 for a water at the stadium. 17 mile round trip along the Delaware going and down Broad coming back was a nice ride - stop in a dive bar to refuel on the way home.

                                                        home and exhausted watching movies and dinner is baked mac and cheese - swiss mornay - turkey bacon - panko and a salad with homemade vinaigrette

                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                            every so often you just get a perfect day, this was one. now for Monday ugh.

                                                    2. WFD: Sante Fe Chicken is in the slow-cooker as I type. I plan to serve it over white basmati rice with a choice of toppings: chopped scallions, chopped cilantro, yogurt, and shaved cheddar. Taco chips on the side. Steamed green beans will also be served. Our daughter is coming to visit so we'll be able to spend all our time with her instead of having to prep and cook dinner, etc.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                        Gio, when Galen is gone, could/would you elaborate on that please?

                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                          Of course, CO! She hasn't arrived yet. I add 1 scant teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes. G adds 1 chopped yellow onion. Right now the aroma coming from the kitchen is intoxicating.

                                                          http://www.skinnytaste.com/2009/02/cr...

                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                            THAT just got saved. Thanks and y'all have fun.

                                                      2. It's Sunday. Deb prepped the mid-day meal and I popped the cork on an upscale Italian sparkling wine.

                                                        Deb roasted a chicken in the convection oven, sautéed potatoes and threw together a veg mix of fresh peas, artichoke, spring onion, guanciale. She sautéed the veg in the residual guanciale fat. Lemon and herbs came from our terrace garden.We washed it all down with the house red.

                                                        Later, we strolled by the Piazza dei Martini (think Rodeo Drive) up to the Via dei Mille for gelato at Gay Odin (for the record, Gay Odin has moved from its old location and it IS open Sunday until 5). Gay Odin has the best chocolate and gelato in town: Pistachio/lemon cream for me; a lemon cream cone for Deb. Yum.

                                                        Late night nibbles will be at home. We may stroll over to the Excelsior for a nightcap.

                                                         
                                                        17 Replies
                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                            Significantly tastier than any supermarket chicken you get in the states. I don't know why that is. Today's bird was a fraction over two pounds and yet it packed a ton of flavor into its petite form factor.

                                                            1. re: steve h.

                                                              I remember that the chickens in Egypt were really small too.

                                                              1. re: steve h.

                                                                Don't forget the Zuni chickens are small unlike those injected monsters from the US factories :(

                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                  Judy Rodgers is/was the best. We cook her Zuni chicken with great regularity.

                                                                  1. re: steve h.

                                                                    It's the only roast chicken I do.

                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                      It's always a toss-up whether we hit Zuni or Yank Sing immediately after landing at SFO. Depends on the day.

                                                                      1. re: steve h.

                                                                        We have our fave place for dim sum in the Inner Richmond. BTW, had really super Chinese food in Prague the other day. XLB, har gao and mapo tofu. Go figure :)

                                                            2. re: steve h.

                                                              Do they sell fresh peas in Napoli shelled or was that up to you?

                                                              It must be a lot warmer down there then it is up here by the sea. I'm drinking hot chocolate today -- not eating gelato!

                                                              1. re: barberinibee

                                                                We shelled them. They were very sweet. So sweet that I kept stealing them from the bowl.

                                                              2. re: steve h.

                                                                Deb and I strolled along the Bay this evening. We ended up at the Excelsior Hotel bar on the seventh floor. Martini for me, Maker's Mark for Deb. They know us there. Later, we walked to the Penny Black for an Oyster Stout. First time here. We sat at the tiny bar (the place is huge). They have a nice selection of beers/craft beers on tap.

                                                                There was a full moon. We walked home happy.

                                                                1. re: steve h.

                                                                  Ah, the Excelsior! It brings back such memories of ... Tony Soprano! I've never been but long to go.

                                                                  By next week up here the sweet peas now piling up in the market stalls will be irresistible, and I'll be hauling home tons, but right now we are making our last goodbyes to the artichokes. Doing peas and artichokes in the same meal is more labor than I generally commit to supper. My hats off to Deb and you.

                                                                  1. re: barberinibee

                                                                    Peas, artichokes, favas, guanciale are soul mates. They need to be together.

                                                                    1. re: steve h.

                                                                      Up here we eat peas with cuttlefish. Nobody raises pigs, and I can't think of a single Ligurian dish with port fat. When fave arrive, they get eaten raw with wild boar salume (enough of those stomping about in these hills). But that won't be til next month.

                                                                      We ate 10 artichokes for dinner, alongside egg-lemon-garlic soup and bread, but once easter is gone, I won't see an artichoke again until October.

                                                                      1. re: barberinibee

                                                                        Wow, 10 artichokes! Enjoy them while you can.

                                                                        When I was a kid, every spring my mother would buy a dozen artichokes from the farmer's market most Sundays. She'd set up little stations for us kids with our own dish of melted butter and gigantic steamed 'chokes... Between the 6 of us, we'd eat the dozen no problem, and just want more.

                                                                        What a nice memory.

                                                                        1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                          The artichoke we get here is spinoso -- very, very spiny. They are smaller than globes to begin with -- more like the size of goose eggs -- and you need to peel away a lot of the tough outside leaves. They have long legs, which are also edible, but once you strip them, toss out most of the leaves, chop off the spines and pull out the chokes, it is easy to eat 10 -- and that is how they were being sold: 10 for 4 euros.

                                                                          You don't eat them like globe artichokes, dragging them through your teeth or stuffing them. You eat them for the heart and the legs, and what's left of the inner leaves. Most people quarter them, chop up the legs, and serve them plain tossed with olive oil and lemon, or over pasta.

                                                                          For Easter there will be a special local pie that is baked with artichokes and eggs and layers of pasta. Uses up the last of the season's artichokes. It might be a dish ancient Greeks brought to this part of Italy along with their olives.

                                                                           
                                                                           
                                                                          1. re: barberinibee

                                                                            Those are beautiful and sound delicious. I am indeed more used to the globe artichokes here in the US.

                                                                            That pie sounds very Greek; my yiayia's specialty were similar pies. With all the Greek baking my mother and I will do around Christmas, we have never had a set Easter tradition, aside from mass at Greek Orthodox church. I wish we baked some of the traditional Greek breads and pastries for this holiday.

                                                              3. Usually I do something big for Sunday lunch. But hubby is out all day so tonight we'll have pan seared new york strip drizzled with a garlic/rosemary butter. Probably just a baked potato and salad on the side.

                                                                Our taxes were done in Feb.

                                                                1. Taxes were done a month (and paid boohoo) a month ago here! I will say it's the first time ever as a 1099 that I've actually had all the money saved up in my account to pay them!

                                                                  Let's see, I'm a few days behind. Friday night we went to a bar downtown to watch the Avalanche away hockey game, and it turns out they had the TV cameras there, and we were on TV about 10 times as the reporting station was right behind our table. I had a very delicious bacon cheeseburger and tater tots. And beer.

                                                                  Last night I met up w/ the BFF for a trunk show from Mondo Guerra, who has been on Project Runway a few times We've gone to a few of his events and he's a very nice person. There was wine there. After that we went to Panzano restaurant to get a few bites at the bar... lamb shanks and gnocchi, a little pizza, and fried brussels sprouts. Wine of course. Then, we headed over to another bar, who also hosts crafts for a friend's birthday. I made a beaded bracelet and drank wine. After that we were hungry so we went next door to The Squeaky Bean, and had some more bites at the bar... meat and cheese board, chicken liver pate (which I found was bitter, but friend liked it), and some popcorn with miso caramel and peanuts. No more wine there since we were there to sober up enough to drive home.

                                                                  Today is more house-selling prep, and it's cold and gloomy and rainy outside. I'm going to try out the slow cooker yet again, to make smothered pork chops, to use up the chops I have in the freezer. I'll serve that on top of mashed taters and some asparagus.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: juliejulez

                                                                    Andddd change of plans for tonight. No smothered pork chops (thankfully hadn't started them yet). We're going to the bar to watch a hockey game (I'm sensing a theme here this weekend).

                                                                    1. re: juliejulez

                                                                      Oh how interesting to attend the trunk show! At first I thought Mondo Guerra was a little "off" on his season, but he quickly grew on me. And the win *should* have been his...as is evident by him designing several lines since then, and the winner is....dunno where or who she is. :-)

                                                                      ALL of your Saturday eats and drinks sound wonderful - my goodness, what a busy day/night!

                                                                    2. Taxes? I don't pay no stinkin' taxes :-)

                                                                      The "advantage" of not making enough money to be taxed. Ha.

                                                                      Yesterday was great fun: my friends came over around 4:30, and we sat outside (!) in the sun (!!) without freezing our faces off (!!!). Woot. I'd made a big caraffe with some punch (frozen berries, sparkling wine, riesling, OJ) that started off the festivities, and then we indulged in the truffles. It put a nice spin on our bocce game and overall silliness ensued.

                                                                      A sunny afternoon brain spa: heaven.

                                                                      We had prosciutto-wrapped cantaloup, spicy hummus, various Spanish meats & some cheese, and ended up ordering some Thai food mid evening. It was an early night which is nice for a chance.

                                                                      My dear man returns today from his brief Berlin stint, where apparently he had many chances to sample the local beer & foods :-)

                                                                      I think we might go out for some bbq, depending on how jet-lagged/hungry he is, as there is a local place with a nice patio.... or I could pick up some stuff myself and grill -- it's a nice warm day again.

                                                                      Wednesday, temps will be below freezing.

                                                                      "Spring".

                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                          Punch and Truffles and Silliness. Why, of course - what else? :-) A perfect brain spa. Welcome home to Mr. Lingua!

                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                            I always forget how great those truffles are. It's like a Thai massage on your brain/mind.

                                                                            Glad I saved some for my darling :-)

                                                                          2. re: linguafood

                                                                            Can you tell me more about your punch? Is it just the frozen berries, sparking wine, riesling and OJ mixed?

                                                                            TIA!

                                                                          3. taxes done last weekend and already one nice refund in the bank. BF changed our plans for today entirely. if he gets his cute little ass out of bed, we will go to a local marshlands/bird sanctuary and have a bbq on this beautiful springy day - they have paved little parklets with grills onsite! if he ends up going to work, i did buy the fixings for canneloni.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                              update on the 'cue ... he bought grass-fed tri-tip AND rib-eyes! yum! plus shrooms, zukes, and other things for skewers. i made a tater salad of minced shallots, fresh minced oregano and cured black olives, halved cherry toms, my favorite grassy Spanish olive oil, a splash of Jerez sherry vinegar, s&p. i'm hongry now, hope we get to leave soon before the day starts to cloud up.

                                                                              i've a feeling this will be WFD as we'll not have time to eat before the show tonight. maybe noshes afterwards.

                                                                            2. Taxes were submitted in February, refund resting nicely in the bank, still waiting on a refund from last year owed to me after a correction for which I sent payment at the same time that they deducted it from this year's refund..not sure I'll ever see that money again. It's a nice chunk of change for a lowly 3rd year resident like me, so I'll attempt to call again after the mad rush to submit this week.

                                                                              I enjoyed the lovely weather this morning at the market. Again, not much exciting fresh produce but worth the trip. Tonight's dinner will be ricotta and pepperoni topped chicken breast with sauteed Swiss Chard. It's Sunday which usually means popcorn for dessert. In my current Michelin woman state it's hard to justify my once a week indulgence, but gotta keep on livin' despite the mysterious powers that happen to take control of your body.

                                                                              1. A glorious sunny day out in town soaking up the Marathon atmosphere, and watching some of the stragglers come in. Tonight, a menu using things that need using up. Barley risotto with chorizo and mushrooms, and fruit salad. Made a simnel cake this afternoon. Life is good.

                                                                                1. My friend just delivered more yummy pork products from the pig farm, yeah! Another package of lardons, 2 packages of sandwich bacon (sometimes called cottage bacon), a package of bacon ends, 2lbs regular bacon and two nice sized pork loins that are just under 3lbs each. All that for $66, which is a bargain in my book. The pork loins have such good pork flavor that you don't find in most commercial pork these days.

                                                                                  So WFD? Pork loin that will coat with a dry rub and then sear in a screaming hot CI pan. I'll then transfer the pan to the oven to finish cooking. My husband just headed to the store and bring home what veggies look good for sides. I'll probably make some wild rice as another side.

                                                                                  Rather fitting that I am watch Tony Maws and Ming Tsai cook up all kinds of offal where bacon is playing a major role.

                                                                                  Oink!

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                      I need to hunt you down and steal the pigginess within your freezer. :-P

                                                                                    2. Not going to let the Taxman ruin this beautiful day! Sunshine and a gorgeous 85. Irrigation's coming in and the birds are happy!

                                                                                      Grilling burgers, small sourdough rolls, first corn of the season! CH's coleslaw on the side.

                                                                                      1. Thanks to AMT, I'll be drinking my dinner tonight. :o(

                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Christina D

                                                                                          Ok, whats AMT-I assume it has something to do with taxes??

                                                                                          In any event sorry you will be drinking your dinner but not a bad to way dine! <wink>

                                                                                          1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                            Alternative Minimum Tax. Another way for the government to squeeze even more $ out of us.

                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                              Ugh! These days I know little about the tax laws. My taxes are unfortunately so convoluted and complicated I pay a professional to do them, which pains me to no end. However he paid for himself when he pretty much doubled my refund that first year. In two years I should be able to go back to doing them myself, finger crossed. And no they are not filed yet….

                                                                                              1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                I ignored TurboTax when it asked if I wanted to see if I should go the AMT route. I'm pretty sure I don't make enough to have to deal with that crap. I'll just be an ostrich with my head in the sand this year. :-)

                                                                                        2. They guys are home from Philly, and my son has played his final junior squash match -- brilliantly from all accounts. On to college squash next year. After a quick forage in the freezer, rjbh20 has decided that tonight will be a mixed grill, with steak, lamb chops, sausage, and back bacon (ay?) on the menu.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. I'm getting a kick out of everyone answering when/if their taxes were filed. :-) You're all MUCH better at that than I.

                                                                                            TAXES: Finally done. Very pleased with the expected refund. And this is why I ask myself every year "Linda, WHY didn't you do your taxes earlier instead of waiting until the last moment?" :-/ And even more pleased I didn't have to pay to the Commonwealth of MA for state taxes, as I have done the past two years. I broke even on the nose. So I just had to pay to e-file MA taxes.

                                                                                            MASTERCOOK: Bought the latest version 14, downloaded it on the desktop computer, converted my MC9 files and brought them into the new software. Now I just need to set up my laptop to be able to access the computer and its software upstairs, and I'm golden! I think I can do that. I hope I can do that. :-)

                                                                                            MOM MEAL: Chicken Corn Chowder is done simmering on the stove. And by using my homemade chicken stock and corn stock, it freed up a lot of 1-cup containers in which I can pack up Mom's beef stew from last night.

                                                                                            SANGRIA: quick version made and is being sipped. Yum.

                                                                                            DINNER: Country-Style Pork Ribs are baking, tightly covered, in a 275°F. oven with a seasoning rub of homemade baharat. I'll be making a BBQ slather of a combination of apricot preserves, tamarind paste, coconut milk, and sriracha. I just tasted the thin "sauce" - not bad. I'll mop that on the ribs and finish baking at a higher heat to finish.

                                                                                            The side will be baby bok choy that I'll halve and roast in the convection oven after tossing with some grapeseed oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. I'll finish it with a squeeze of lemon juice over the veg.

                                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                              i'm loving the sound of the BBQ slather. did you find the sriracha too hot?

                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                Nope, it was just right for me (although I probably didn't use as much of the sriracha as you might, maria!). The mix was 1/4 cup apricot preserves (maybe a little less), about a Tbsp. of tamarind concentrate, 1/4 cup coconut milk, and a tsp. of sriracha.

                                                                                                I just wish I had made *more* of the slather. I had enough coconut milk to do so; just didn't use all of it. I threw the little bit left of it out. Darn it. Always make more than you think you'll need, Linda, because you will need it. :-)

                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                  yep, probably would have added more sriracha, but it sounds really, really good! and hah - i have the opposite problem - i always make too much and then we have a myriad of little plastic tubs of sauces the BF wants me to go through and throw out after a few months.

                                                                                              2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                Tax returns filed with three states plus the federal government. It's a maze of twisty little passages. We have an accountant to do the heavy lifting but it's always a chore.

                                                                                                Like you, it's a relief to us when it's over.

                                                                                                I like the looks of your dance card mentioned above. Big wine glass clink. ;-)

                                                                                                1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                  We got a VERY small refund for the first time in memory. We prefer to keep our money til the last minute, thank you very much. Refunds would not be welcome in our family :(

                                                                                                  More goose liver for lunch today. Even better than yesterday. Bob did a reconnaissance this afternoon while I was resting (recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis) and has found a whole street of possibilities!!! Just a few Metro stops away.

                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                    Ick on the diagnosis, c o.

                                                                                                    And like you, I've always tried to break even with the taxes, or come as close as possible. The condo purchase a few years ago allows for deductions I've not usually been able to take advantage of, hence the larger refund.

                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                      Congrats! Our SF kids just bought their first home and will be adjusting their withholdings accordingly.

                                                                                                      Thanks for the sympathy :)
                                                                                                      PS: Adjusted typo to rheumatOID.

                                                                                                    2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                      So sorry to hear about the RA but hopefully that means more targeted treatment options.

                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                        That's what I'm hoping, fld. I couldn't get into a rheumatologist before leaving on this trip. Eating lots of tartare and goose liver in hopes that's the cure :)

                                                                                                      2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                        Hi c,

                                                                                                        Sorry about the ra but I'm really glad you're rocking Budapest. Keep us posted.

                                                                                                  2. I filed our Federal taxes (for the refund, naturally!) back in February but I owed a bit to two states, so I waited until last week. Got them in the mail on Friday, though, and celebrated this weekend with a fabulous dinner last night - nut-crusted cod (a mix of almonds, pecans and walnuts) with a tomato-fennel sauce and basmati rice.

                                                                                                    Today was DH's "cheat" day, where he can eat whatever he likes, so we went with homemade pizza! I started the dough on Thursday and it has been percolating in the fridge ever since - tons of flavor. I made three pies, one with a creamy caramelized onion sauce, homemade ricotta and chile braised short ribs, one with pepperoni, green olives and onions (plus mozzarella and fontina), and one with sausage, cherry peppers and pineapple. The pepperoni one also used the leftover tomato-fennel sauce and was the hands down winner, but really, they were all good. Contemplating ice cream with sour cherry sauce for dessert!

                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                      I hope I can get my man to make that dough recipe I saved -- it rests for 73 hours and sounds really great. We won't be doing much cooking in Berlin, and here we have a good pizza stone :-)

                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                        I made mine using levain - 150g levain plus enough flour, water and salt to make just short of a kilo of dough, at 72% hydration. I think I will reduce the hydration just a bit next time, as my oven only goes to 550, and I think the really high hydration stuff is best baked at higher temps. Still, for a home oven, it's some damn fine pizza! The long rise creates incredible flavor and texture.

                                                                                                      2. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                        I always just rest my pizza dough for a couple hours. One time, I left it overnight and it had grown and oozed out of the bowl. That was the best pizza dough we've ever made and I always suspected it was from the accidental long rise. Maybe I will do it on purpose next time!

                                                                                                        Sounds like yours was in the fridge for 3-4 days. I'm surprised to hear it can last so long. I always figured the yeast would die away or become less effective if I waited too long.

                                                                                                        1. re: NancyChin

                                                                                                          When you make no-knead bread, the dough can go up to a week in the fridge.

                                                                                                          1. re: NancyChin

                                                                                                            If you want to do a long rise in the fridge, you should significantly cut back on the amount of yeast you use. For instance, the Jim Lahey no-knead bread uses only a 1/4 teaspoon, for an overnight, room-temp rise. I used levain, which is slower-acting than commercial yeast, but if I were going to use regular yeast I'd probably use no more than a 1/2 teaspoon for a kilo of dough.

                                                                                                            1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                              Thanks for the info, roxlet & biondanonima! I'm very excited to retry a long-rise. My boyfriend will be happy because that was the best crust I've made and have not been able to replicate the flavour since!

                                                                                                              1. re: NancyChin

                                                                                                                thanks from me too! my fresh deli-purchased dough (don't know how much yeast was used, but it's kind of bubbly now) has been sitting in the fridge since Sat. morning. i'm going to have the BF pull it out at 5:00 p.m. and let it sit until 7:00 - I hope that's enough!

                                                                                                        2. Here I am on Cozumel, Mexico. Last night was shrimp ceviche and grilled garlic fish with rice. It was sooooo good!

                                                                                                          We were headed out to a waterfront bar and I was looking forward to more shrimp ceviche but one of the group has a major headache so I think we may wind up staying here in the condo and just ordering pizza from next door. I know it sounds strange but the pizza there is actually outstanding. My favorite is the Che pizza: tomato sauce, cheese, gorgonzola chunks, and loads of oregano.

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                              Is the major headache related to the waterfront bar....;) ??
                                                                                                              A night in on vaca is a good idea, no need to put on "real clothes"!

                                                                                                            2. I flew back from San Francisco (where I ate my bodyweight in egg tarts from Golden Gate Bakery one morning) and my mom came down for an extended weekend for Passover. What we've been eating:

                                                                                                              Friday night: roasted coho salmon with a dill dressing (this dressing was fab: fennel, chives, mayo, sour cream, pepper), steamed asparagus, and fennel & grapefruit salad. Two different types of cheese for dessert.

                                                                                                              Saturday night: grilled a marinated flank steak (garlic, siracha, worcestershire sauce, thyme); a tossed green salad with tomatoes, avocado, beet, olives; a kale & chickpea salad. Various types of macarons for dessert.

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: gini

                                                                                                                love those egg tarts. i work very near there - i stay away mostly because i don't need to double my bodyweight! one of the relatively few sweets i crave.

                                                                                                              2. Vine-ripened tomatoes along side some deli salads were WFD. So glad I splurged on the tomatoes -- actual flavor!

                                                                                                                We E-filed our taxes during (yet another) snowstorm a week ago, and due to the blizzard-like conditions missed having our traditional celebration meal, take-out pizza. My plan is to order one when the tiny refund arrives.

                                                                                                                1. Quick picnic - it got windy - was enjoyable nonetheless. Even tho the BF overcooked the tri-tip slightly (grrrrr...), it had great flavor. the ribeyes were perfect, dotted with composed butter, and accompanied by potato salad as described earlier, grilled veggie skewers & scallions. and these tiny little bottles of Carol Shelton zin came along with us, but didn't make it back. now i have to find the grown-up sized bottles - really good stuff.

                                                                                                                  plenty of meat leftover for tacos should we want them later, post show, or for tomorrow's dinner. i have a feeling it won't see the dawn.

                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. Thai green curry with red peppers, zucchini, green peas and chicken. Jasmine rice along side. Poor James is going back to work tomorrow after busting his ass all week on the laundry room. Not much of a relaxing vacation.

                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                      Can you give a quick primer on your curry approach? I'm lost in the world of curry but have several tubs of different kinds ready to go.

                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                        I am equally lost. I use canned Maesri. It's wonderful.

                                                                                                                        1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                          Yup, that's what I have I think on recommendation from you I just didn't know what to do. I figure just saute the paste, add meat and veggies, finish with coconut milk?

                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                            The first place I ever had it poached the meat and veg in the milk so that is what I do. Sautee the paste in the solid fat from the top of the can and then add in the liquid. Add in the meat next and then add the vegetables last. Cook til tender crisp. One of my favorite meals ever. Hope that is helpful.

                                                                                                                            1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                              Thanks, indeed! It's always on my list of dinner ideas but I have some sort of inherent fear.

                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                It is dead simple and freaking delicious. Death row meal for me.

                                                                                                                        2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                          This is a really good recipe if you want to give your own paste a go.
                                                                                                                          Love me some green curry!
                                                                                                                          http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandsty...

                                                                                                                      2. I did my taxes a while ago--I am excited for tax day because I work at the library, so with taxes over I can pull the display and stop getting yelled at by patrons angry about the state no longer printing tax forms.

                                                                                                                        Today i have a cold, but I'm still cooking my planned Italian American feast--briciole, polenta, and roasted asparagus. Nothing tastes quite right with a cold, so I'm sure I'm over seasoning everything. The beef is taking forever to get tender--I used the crockpot, so it will be an hour or more before it is ready. I may just have sides and have the beef next week!

                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: SarahCW

                                                                                                                          So sorry you don't feel good. I hope that yummy sounding meal makes you feel better.

                                                                                                                          1. re: SarahCW

                                                                                                                            I love braciole, and with the polenta and roasted asparagus, sounds like a perfect meal, Sarah!

                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                              I am bad at figuring out how long it will take beef to cook until tender. I took out the small pieces and ate them with toasted polenta and the asparagus. This was my first time making or having polenta that I can remember--it was incredible. I need to eat this more often.

                                                                                                                          2. I ended up at maison kayser late this afternoon which means i came home with a new loaf of their wonderful olive bread (the tiny buns they sell are like a tease!)
                                                                                                                            For an early-ish dinner i had a good chunk of that wonderful bread (photo), and a super springy salad of spinach and arugala, fennel and celery on the mandoline, grapefruit chunks, and lots of edamame. Quick vinegrette with lots of black pepper and some of the grapefruit juices. Small glass of moscato a la carte.

                                                                                                                            Odds are a mug of the coconut bliss will go with my sleepytime tea and new trashy murder mystery....

                                                                                                                              1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                                                                Love this! Did you use a recipe that's available online?

                                                                                                                              2. Hubs is checking over the forms one last time hoping to change the bottom line from owing, to refund.

                                                                                                                                Butcher shop was displaying gorgeous veal cutlets so that was Sunday dinner. Brussel sprouts, and blood oranges oven roasted in duck fat, and scallopini veal.

                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                1. I don't always procrastinate, but when I do.... it's with filing for income tax. I needed some tacos to match the 6 pack of Dos Equis I was polishing off. Baja Style Grilled Chicken Tacos. Happy Sunday, Folks!

                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. The taxman cometh indeed. Between filling out forms, I managed to throw together some piri piri drumsticks, a green salad and steamed artichokes with lemon-lime-garlic butter for dipping. Brown butter caramel blondies for dessert... and now back to my forms.

                                                                                                                                    1. There's going to be some form of sausage & bean casserole. I usually broadly follow a Nigel Slater recipe which is pretty much sausage, beans, passata, mustard - but I think a little variety is called for, not least as I've got carrots & celery to use up. And I think chopped tomatoes, rather than smooth passata. And probably garlic and pimenton instead of mustard.

                                                                                                                                      By the by, I think we must have a very different income tax system in the UK. Many of us are not regularly required to complete returns to the Inland Revenue (unless self-employed) - I can't recall the last time I did one but not in the last 6 or 7 years. Obviously there's one to complete if personal circumstances change that affect tax allowances.

                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                        I was wondering about your taxation system, Harters, and whether you had to file on an annual basis to "pay extra or get back".

                                                                                                                                        For those of us in Massachusetts, Tax Day (15 April) often falls on Patriot's Day, designated as the 3rd Monday in April and is a state holiday (although usually only those companies located in Boston give it off as a holiday). Which means we have an extra day to file our state tax returns. That happened last year; this year, Patriots Day/Marathon Monday is the 21st.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                          Briefly, then - as I don't want the mods on my back for going off topic.

                                                                                                                                          Assuming you've got a very first tax form to return, you declare income (employment, interest on savings, etc). You also declare what allowances against tax you might have - everyone gets a personal allowance but, say, blind people get an additional allowance. The allowances are deducted from income and that enables the Revenue to issue a code to employers which indicates at what level of income a person starts paying tax, . That code pretty much just rolls forward from one year to the next, unless there's a change in personal circumstances. The employer then deducts tax from salary (or, in my case, pension) and forwards it the Revenue. Similar situation with onshore savings organisations - they simply deduct tax from interest, paying out the net amount. Basically, the first £10k of income is tax free, thereafter, tax is at 20% for most people, with a higher rate of 40% and 45% kicking in on income over £32k and £150k.

                                                                                                                                          By the by, I love the idea that Patriots Day is the day you confirm how much you're paying to the government.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                            Yes, I always found having Tax Day and Patriot's Day sometimes falling on the same day of the week rather ironic. :-)

                                                                                                                                            And thanks for the explanation of U.K. taxes.

                                                                                                                                      2. It's conchiglie with yoghurt, peas & chilli tonight from Jerusalem. It's a killer dish with plenty of salty tang from feta and a generous handful of fried pinenuts and chilli to finish. It also nicely uses up the last of the summer basil from the garden.

                                                                                                                                        Taxes are due here too I think. Since becoming one of those self-employed work from home types I've employed another self-employed work from home type to do mine for me. Ignorance is bliss.

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                          Thanks for the reminder---I've been meaning to make that dish.

                                                                                                                                        2. Monday is surprisingly off to a great start - great workout and a potentially slow day at work kicked off by a lecture from Robert Gallo of HIV and "And the Band Played On" fame. For dinner, I'm hoping for a hit with Emeril's One Pot Chicken http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/em.... No cheesy rice for me, I'll serve it over broccoli or Shirataki or perhaps both.

                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                            That lecture sounds amazing! I used to work for a nonprofit based (but not associated with) a teaching hospital here in L.A. and would use my staff badge to sneak into all of the amazing medical lectures. What a job perk! Or maybe I'm just kind of a dork.

                                                                                                                                            That chicken recipe looks great; I'm bookmarking it to maybe make for the bf later this week. I will not be omitting the cheesy rice; that looks like something I would face-dive into. Let us know what you think of the dish.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                              Many of the talks can be serious snore fests but even attendings who never show up filled up the room. It was a great insight into HIV and the future of a possible vaccine. I'll definitely report back. It seems so simple and easy, I imagine it will become a favorite.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                It was delicious! I really liked the spice mixture. The only change I would make next time is to thicken the sauce a bit more. Even if served over rice, it was pretty thin.

                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                  Oh my. He would be ALL OVER that. Looks delicious.

                                                                                                                                                  Thanks for reporting back!

                                                                                                                                              2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                That looks good, I've pinned it to try sometime :)

                                                                                                                                              3. My taxes were done back in February, with a bottle of port.

                                                                                                                                                Pureed roasted cauliflower with a velouté sauce, watercress, chive/truffle ash, with seared scallops and a prosciutto rose.

                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                    Thank you! I'm trying to get better at plating.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Cynic2701

                                                                                                                                                      If you do get better, I would like to sign up for remedial lessons.

                                                                                                                                                1. I'm very excited to be going grocery shopping today after no time for anything except work, work, and more work. Dinner will very likely be grilled chicken breast (which I'll marinate beforehand in a mix of clementine juice, smoked paprika, olive oil, and seasoning) over a salad of butter lettuce, Belgian endive, toasted almonds, chevre, clementine segments, chives, and roasted garlic-shallot sherry vinaigrette. Basically this dish, deconstructed and topped with grilled chicken: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ed...

                                                                                                                                                  Side still TBD. Grilled asparagus drizzled with good olive oil and sprinkled with crunchy salt, methinks.

                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                      Thanks! The salad turned out delicious. I'm glad to be back in the kitchen. Things just don't feel right otherwise.

                                                                                                                                                  1. I am going to need to scrape up dinner tonight had fun all weekend and did not get it together - did not replenish the fresh veggies or defrost any meat - I have quite a bit of cabbage and some frozen salmon so I am thinking poached salmon, and a slaw maybe some potatoes

                                                                                                                                                    hungry houseguests are a game changer as leftovers are non existent - I realize how much I usually rely on them to make up meals during the week. its going to cool down later in the week so I am saving the hot weather meals I had planned for later.

                                                                                                                                                    1. It's the last warm day for a while (thanks, climate change!), so we'll be throwing some pork souvlaki on the grill: boneless country-style ribs that I cut into large chunks are currently marinating in olive oil, rwv, s&p, cayenne, lemon pepper, garlic powder, and tons of oregano, crushed rosemary and thyme. I don't have any paprika in the house, which I kinda find essential, but I just couldn't be bothered to go to yet another store after TJ's only had smoked paprika (which I have).

                                                                                                                                                      Oh well, I'm sure it'll be edible either way. The chunks will be put on skewers (dang, now I remember I shoulda gotten some bell pepper for those.... guess it'll just be onion) and grilled "to perfection" :-D

                                                                                                                                                      Side will be a salad of romaine hearts, orange grape tomatoes, feta, avocado & celery in my new obsession of soy/balsamic/oo dressing.

                                                                                                                                                      GoT on the tube.

                                                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                        Have you ever tried grilling the onions/vegetables on separate skewers than the meat? One of my problems with skewered meat/veg combos is that one of them is always either under or over done.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                          Hmm. I've been pretty happy with alternating meat/onion/meat/pepper/etc.

                                                                                                                                                          The meat's proper doneness is more important to me, of course, than the veggies -- they usually get nice and charred but aren't totally cooked.

                                                                                                                                                          Now it's pouring down like crazy. It'll be a lovely eve on the patio. Not.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                          Love souvlaki. Sounds delicious.

                                                                                                                                                          What proportions do you do the soy in the dressing? Equal parts vinegar? I'd like to try something new.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                            I don't measure but it's probably 05./1/3 as far as soy/balsamic/olive oil go....

                                                                                                                                                            I often add a splash of either balsamic or soy after tasting until it is just right. Some people like a more acidic dressing, I like a good balance of it all. You also don't want to overdo it with the soy sauce, and I find it still needs a bit of (extra) salt.

                                                                                                                                                            Works particularly well with tomato, avocado & celery.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                              Great, thank you. I'm excited to try it, doesn't take much to get me going these days apparently.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                            did the skewers like that last weekend - always comes tasty and fun to eat - and seriously wth is going on with the weather - grilling season right back to baking season

                                                                                                                                                          3. Movie night, so easy comfort food: the con queso rice with black beans from Diet for a Small Planet, and a tomato and avocado salad.

                                                                                                                                                            1. Last night we used the left over greek salad veggies combined with hardboiled eggs, arugula, and some croutons made from a slightly past its prime baguette. The big salad was accompanied by a few veggie ravioli tossed with a bit of butter, evoo, and lemon zest.

                                                                                                                                                              Tonight will be some bbq shredded beef, grilled spring onions, and some sautéed chard from the garden. Spring has definitely sprung here...chard has gone nuts (again) and the tomato plants have been in the ground for two weeks but already have a ton of blooms and about 6 baby maters! They seem to grow about an inch a day.

                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Aussieshepsx2

                                                                                                                                                                My tomato plant has taken over the entire veggie garden. It is--and I'm not joking--roughly 4 feet wide. I planted it from a large-ish seedling less than a month ago.

                                                                                                                                                              2. Neighborhood Seder tonight - Grilled salmon steaks, grilled asparagus, roasted potatoes, green salad.

                                                                                                                                                                Dessert is not my department.

                                                                                                                                                                1. Tonight's dinner will be grilled tuna with a wasabi aioli. Side will be a quinoa salad.

                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. I think I did the last of the cold weather dinners this weekend. The weather called for a light springtime meal but instead I made duck ragu with homemade tagliatelle. It was very yummy. The only reason it is notable is because it was my first time making homemade pasta. I had wanted to for years but was too chicken. Silly me! It was dead simple to make and well worth having to clean up flour from all over the house.

                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Fiona

                                                                                                                                                                          It makes a huge mess, that's for sure!

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Bittersweet.

                                                                                                                                                                          Today was a day of reflection. We went to the market for the last time, sat at our kitchen island, nibbled on strawberries and decent cheese. We drank quality sparkling wine. Much later, we went to a neighborhood restaurant for a late supper. I found a new best gelato place on the walk home.

                                                                                                                                                                          I'm going to miss Naples. On the plus side, we'll be back next April.

                                                                                                                                                                          Saying goodbye to the 'hood.

                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                          11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                            awww, that just flew by, didn't it?
                                                                                                                                                                            have a safe trip home.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                              Steve

                                                                                                                                                                              I was intrigued when you described where you were staying as a "flat". I'd always thought as that being British English and that Americans used "apartment". Wrong again, Harters.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                Hi John,

                                                                                                                                                                                I've been bouncing around so many places over the years that I've developed a mongrel vocabulary. I hope I don't offend folk.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                  we use flat here too... perhaps not interchangeably with apartment, but we do use it.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Ohhhhh. I thought you stayed a month, and I'll bet you wish you did this time!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                      Hi rox,

                                                                                                                                                                                      I try to. This was new to Deb and I had to hedge my bet if things went south. Fortunately, this visit came up aces. We will be back next April so Do Not try to book my flat at the same time ;-).

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Dinner tonight is tex mex. Seasoned ground beef, pico di galo, TJs guacamole as I didn't plan ahead and the avacados were rock hard, jack cheese, sour cream and soft tortillas to wrap it all up!

                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                          Gracias, It was. Really hit the spot!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Last night was baked salmon with shallots and butter. To go with it was some really creamy risotto milanese (love that I had that saffron in the cupboard) and some spaghetti squash from my freezer. (Sorry - this plate of food is for eating - not looking pretty) :)

                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. We saw 90 degrees today and the sunburn I have from being outside all weekend has me extra warm so I'll poach some wild keta salmon and perch it atop a big salad of Earthbound Farms organic herb salad mix, diced avocado, campari tomatoes, red orange and yellow baby sweet peppers, some blanched broccoli and green onions. I'll blitz some preserved lemon, olive oil and fresh dill, season it and call it dressing. Its pretty much exactly what I had for breakfast except I had poached eggs instead of salmon. Works for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Lamb meatballs with cumin seeds and lots of minced garlic. Recipe was in the NY Times last year - "lamb meatballs in 20 minutes". Only changes I made were to omit the hot sauce and bake rather than broil.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Heavy, intense flavor, nearly overwhelmed the lambiness; I'd cut the cumin seeds by half next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Pleasantly warm and sunny in my corner of the desert. Just returned from an hour at the pool. All part of my little celebration. Good checkup today and my blood looks squeaky clean. I may now ramp up to eating as a I wish. An tonight: the abbondanza! Pizza! For me. I could almost cry. I'm starting with just a cheese pie from my local New York style place. And beer! Amber goodness, how I've missed thee.
                                                                                                                                                                                              Tomorrow, something from Pok Pok, finally.

                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yay. Good for you. Enjoy one of the best combos known... pizza and beer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks, dinner friends. I could wait no longer, I just called it in. I last ate pizza with cheese on exactly Dec 24. I seriously think a happy tear will come to my eye.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I got my first Cajun pepper from the garden today. James and I gave it a try and really liked it. Spicy but not painful.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tonight is going to be pesto chicken, saffron yellow rice and asparagus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Curious about your cajun pepper. I don't think I've seen those before and I usually grow 6 -12 types of peppers each year. Google says it is a hotter, mini bell. Tell me more!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Google is got it right. They are about the size of a golf ball and have thin tender flesh and have a nice mild heat. Very delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have heard they are very prolific. I plan on pickling them if they get away from me,maybe gardenaira. We shall see.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That sounds fabulous. Vinegary peppers are the best.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Checked on my broccoli this morning and I shit you not, there are 8 new heads growing. The plant continues to spread and is fighting with the tomatoes. It's nuts, can't believe I've never stuck one of them in my garden before!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I told you it is the everlasting gobstopper of plants. You can use the leaves like collards and the stems for slaw and pickling. Worth every penny. I have some going to flower for next years seeds. Pretty yellow flowers, too. Can you believe I waded through 8 plants and saved my sanity? I have some blanched in the freezer for later.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I remember how much broccoli you were eating. I can't imagine having more than a couple plants between just you and James!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My mother came by over the weekend and was in awe of my garden. My bf built my raised beds and layered them with 2 kinds of hay and some other crap below the dirt. Don't know what magic he created, but veggies here grow beyond what I could have imagined. I'm SUPER excited for my Blue Lake green beans; should be able to pick my first handful in the next few days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I also have too many strawberries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Still haven't tried the broccoli leaves, but my mother wants to try them when she returns from Greece in 2 weeks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I guess all the seeds he planted took and he is not one to kill a healthy plant. We survived, though a little green around the gills toward the end.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Too many strawberries? Never. I bet you will find someone willing to lighten your load. I haven't had luck with green beans in my garden and my cukes are floundering from dusty mold. If I had green beans they would never make it out of the garden. As a child I used to get in so much trouble for eating sweet peas and green beans before my mom could pick them for the family. I was like a bunny. Let us know what you do with the beans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That's funny, my cucumbers died super quickly. With everything else thriving, I'm not sure what happened.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I planted one each yellow and zucchini squash--they are popping. I wish someone would take the blossoms off my hands; they are perfect. I can't eat them, but am eagerly awaiting the zuch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              So wish I could get those zuke flowers from you -- one of my fave things about early summer (in BC at least) and uber-expensive to buy, alas. Love them in a frittata with actual zucchini...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                First year we planted cukes they did amazing. Zippo luck since. I love zucchini and the flowers. I could happily eat a plate of fried blossoms all by themselves sprinkled in parm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Do you steam or stir fry the flowers first, suzi?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I like the fritatta because a) it tastes good and b) I like the parent/child combo :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I just batter them in a thin beer batter and fry them. You can stuff them also but I have bad luck with a filling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Gah! Wish I could give the blossoms to you and grayelf! I hate seeing them go to waste. None of my friends want them unfortunately.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Everything looks sooo good. I could be very happy with that plate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Edit- this post was to go to nothingswrong's meatball dinner. Strange

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Tonight we are going straight Italian, our favorite but can be time consuming. First Course is Zuppa Tuscano loaded with Kale and Roasted garlic. I always make a spice ball of minced garlic, red pepper, garlic powder, black pepper, oregano, basil, fennel and olive oil. We use this for dipping with my homemade French bread. Just use extra light virgin olive oil and drop in the spice ball. Second Course is Fungi Risotto with shaved parmesan lightly topped with fresh basil. Main Course is Fried Brussels Sprouts and Pork Loin topped with Marsala Sauce. Not a big dessert eater but hubby is so I cheated and stopped by our local Italian Restaurant and bought their Tiramisu. Add a bottle of Felsina Chianti and it is Bon Appetit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cissiet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Wow!! That soup and risotto sound amazing! (No pork for me)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cissiet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sounds wonderful. Zuppa Tuscano is a favorite of mine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. The painting has commenced at my house, and it's already looking great... almost don't want to move now, it looks so nice! haha.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Anyway, a one pot meal for me tonight... homemade hamburger stroganoff "helper".... ground beef, egg noodles, etc etc. All done in one pot, good for when I am trying not to make a mess in the kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I do taxes, but this year referred out most of my clients (yay!) - doing other stuff more which pays better and is year-round. And less painful tbh. So today, although I did some filing and calling and last minute stuff for a few remaining clients who were trying to dig up more expenses, I was done at 8 pm and actually could make some dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I had collards (on sale right now around here) cooked with a little no-salt Spike, a dash of vinegar. Cooked all afternoon, I put them in the pot at noon. And some frozen purple-hull peas, stewed with onion, thyme, chunk bacon and sweet paprika, a bay leaf. A sliced, not very good Mexican tomato, improved some by being sliced and sprinkled with salt and a tiny bit of sugar, and left to think about it for a while. Clearly I am ready for summer!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh yeah, and I filed my own tax extension right before knocking off work, and told Uncle Sam to draw a painful amount of money out of my bank account, just to be sure I've paid in enough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. simples - tacos made of the leftover grilled rib eye with a little paste of cayenne, s&p, white vinegar, olive oil. pico de gallo of cilantro, jalapenos and onion, queso fresco. on the side was a cherry tomato salad with diced yellow peppers and more of the queso fresco. dessert was a hunk of queso fresco. mmmm....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. It was so gorgeous today that i walked over to nish nush and picked up dinner before biking home (which was really tough with the crazy wind!)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I got my favorite, a fluffy pita stuffed with hummus, pickles, and israeli salad. A side of moroccan carrots.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hummus and pickles were made for each other.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And a seperate order of their plain hummus for the week- i swear its the best in all of nyc, makes sabra taste like elmer's glue.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Burger night tonight! Bison burgers stuffed with goat cheese (and a dab of chipotle BBQ), topped with lettuce, tomato, horseradish mustard, another dab of the same BBQ and some onions fried up in the burger grease, all in a seedy whole wheat bun. Homemade onion rings on the side (they turned out a little more crispy and less puffy than normal, but had a wonderful caramelized onion flavour). Bread pudding for dessert -- challah bread soaked in an orange zest-apricot jam-infused custard, dusted with cinnamon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Wow you folks are cooking up a storm. I've been eyeing the multiple carbonara that have been on display. Steve's "Roman Food" version sort of settled it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I did the Zuni Cafe version despite the unorthodox addition of peas, ricotta, and American style bacon. It was good; I'd say she knew a few things about cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  As far as pairings, I am lucky enough to have fresh morels which ended up in a salad with spring asparagus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wow, looks fantastic. And on a side note, I love the plates.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        thanks Allie. Would you believe the plates were two bucks a piece at the thrift store?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Some of my best kitcheny things have come from thrift stores!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wow, are the morels at PDX farmers' markets, Chris?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That is exactly where they are from. The prime mushroom vendor has had them in reasonable quantity for several weeks now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I may buy more but I am a bit conflicted about the price. At almost $40 per pound that is about four dollars of mushrooms. On the other hand I can afford four dollars and I can imagine what it might cost at a restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Tonight the fridge was virtually empty when my stomach started rumbling. No time for a trip to the grocery store. I ended up making a dish I'd had before, Pasta with Carrots, Risotto Style. It's a Mark Bittman recipe: http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I subbed in orzo for the gemelli, as I recall not liking it in this dish. The orzo was perfect.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Homemade French bread on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The bf and I played board games while I ate (he went freezer diving for homemade bean/rice/cheese/veg burritos). We baked cookies. He's now in bed and I'm waiting up for the lunar eclipse. One more hour to go!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Defrosted turkey thighs this morning thinking to make mole poblano, but switched directions at a moments notice to oven baked Kalua turkey. Mixed together standard deli potato, and macaroni salads, some steamed Calrose rice, and sliced tomatoes. Then I drizzled the entire bowl with shoyu, and sriracha, and finished with a sprinkling of nori furikake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: letsindulge

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Any hints on how you made the Kalua turkey?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sure...thighs on 2 pcs. Of heavy duty foil. Sprinkled with Ono seasoning (red salt mixed with granulated garlic, ginger and chili flakes) 1 scant tablespoon of liquid smoke, finished with a drizzle of shoyu. Tightly wrap in foil to fully encase the thighs then into a 250 oven for 3 hrs. I usually wrap in banana leaf underneath the foil if I have it on hand. Easy peasy meal that frees up a few hours of time!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Tonight was creamy slow-scrambled eggs with sauteed leek whites, bay, crumbled bacon, chopped spinach, and a nice cheddar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Also smoked some black cod this morning to finish under the broiler later this week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Edit: Holy balls the pics ate their vitamins. It's been awhile since I posted one...anyone know if there's a way to fix this?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Lol! That's how the pics are now. Nice and big. Any additional photos will be displayed as thumbnails, like they used to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hey, Maria,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yeah, the GF saw me reading the CH review for the Cameron's stovetop smoker and snagged me one for my birthday a couple weeks ago. Only used it a couple times so far, but seems to work quite well, at least for hot-smoking fish for a short period.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.chow.com/reviews/72-camero...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Going to try this with a few thick tranches of cod I have in the freezer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: letsindulge

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A few thick tranches? Lucky you. Here's the recipe I used. Works nicely with halibut as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.seattleweekly.com/home/911...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. The boyfriend cooked for me tonight because I have homework to work on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It was a spicy mac and cheese pasta that consisted of fire roasted tomato sauce, chopped up pancetta, chopped mushrooms, red pepper flakes for heat, cubes of mozzarella melted in and finished with a good amount of heavy cream in the sauce. Everything was topped with a homemade bread crumb, parmesan cheese and butter mixture that was scattered on top and baked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My favorite part was the breadcrumb crust on top. Delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.yummyreads.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. We have leftover conchiglie with yoghurt, peas & chilli tonight. It's not the best dish to have leftovers of but we'll douse it in olive oil and pine nuts to help it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We've got mid-week dinner guests tomorrow night so I've got a bone-in beef shin in the oven doing a 12 hour cook in a bottle of Syrah, 30+ garlic cloves and some thyme. It's smelling wonderful. It's a River Cafe recipe that I've not tried before.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Grass fed ribeye which has been enjoying a 24 hour dry brine adventure in the fridge. The steak will be finished with KG garlic and herb butter and served over cauliflower rice mixed with a local washed rind hard sheep's milk cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. We're off to the city this evening to see American comedian, Rich Hall.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dinner at French chain restaurant next door to theatre.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I've just been re-reading a similar book published over here in 1983 "The meaning of liff".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              As in:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Lingle - to touch battery terminals with one's tongue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              All of the words are real place names.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't think Sniglets ever got put into the regular American lexicon. Although I still personally use these two:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "flen" - that's the dark crusty dried-up gook around the neck of the ketchup bottle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "flopcorn" - the unpopped kernels in a bag of microwave popcorn (or back when Sniglets were around, the unpopped kernels in the bottom of the popcorn cooker)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                For anyone looking for some fun reading:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://bertc.com/subfour/truth/snigle...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Rich Hall was great. Dinner was shite - perhaps the worst food I've had in a while. You expect better, even from chains.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ahhh, sorry about the crapola dinner. Glad Rich Hall saved the night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Singlets was always in mine as lil' bro wrestled, and as the household laundry wench, I learned those things get funky!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I always knew unpopped corn as "old maids". It took me until about age 16 to get it :D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. WFD: Les delicieaux petit restes. AKA left-overs. After reheating Sunday's remaining Santa Fe chicken will be served on warm soft pitas pretending they're tacos. That will be garnished with a bit of fresh tomato sauce, chopped cilantro, minced scallion, and chevre. There will be a side salad of grape tomatoes, sliced sweet onion, cucumber, Romaine, with an apple cider vinaigrette. Chopped fresh pineapple, and tangelo wedges will follow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I volunteer tonight, so dinner is of the slow-cooker variety. I'm making kimchi jiggae with some meaty, well-marbled boneless beef short ribs that hopefully will hold up to the long cook time. Chunks of those are layered with good local kimchi (No. 1 Sons), sauted onions, garlic, and shallot, and a mix of low-sodium chicken broth, gochujang, ground red chili, soy sauce, black pepper, and sesame oil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                DH has promised to turn off the crock the moment he walks in the door. When I get home, I'll defat and stir in some cubed tofu, zucchini, and sliced mushrooms. Maybe fresh rice noodles from TJ on the side, although last time they quickly turned overcooked and too sticky to eat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Loosely followed these recipes for the Korean stew:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://mykoreankitchen.com/2014/02/23...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.closetcooking.com/2007/08/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://koreanfood.about.com/od/soupsa...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  oooh...and rice wine. gotta have rice wine ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Interesting! I've never thought to make korean food in a slow cooker. I'll keep this in mind!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: NancyChin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It was good. Short ribs were definitely the way to go, because beef has a hard time holding up to that cook time without a lot of fat and connective tissue to keep it moist.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If I were to do it again, I would reserve a bit of fresh kimchi to add at the end. The long cooking dulled the flavors just a tad--I added a splash of soy sauce and black vinegar to our bowls.