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What's for Dinner #292 - The Hippity-Hop Edition! [Through April 21, 2014]

Easter is on its way, and I will begin the preparations of my specialties starting Friday, but for those of the Jewish faith, Passover is well underway, and foodies are finding clever ways to cook without bread or other leavened foods.

What's for dinner as you celebrate Passover or prepare for the end of the Lenten Fast?

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  1. And now for something completely different - a clean-out-the-fridge meal. I have some fettuccine, and some of the country-style ribs. The ribs have been chopped up and will be heated up and *might* be tossed with the pasta and sauce, and I'm making a carrot-ginger sauce to toss with the fettuccine.

    Fashioned after this recipe - carrots are being boiled with a garlic clove, and will then be whirred together with some ground ginger, half-and-half and a bit of the cooking water if I need it using a stick blender.

    Peas alongside. Or on top. Or mixed in. A jumbly meal.


    2 Replies
    1. re: LindaWhit

      <<And now for something completely different >>

      Hokey smokes, Bullwinkle!

      1. re: steve h.

        Yeah, the idea was better than the execution. Not enough ginger, not enough garlic. Oh well. It cleared out the leftover containers.

        I think the carrot-ginger pasta sauce would be fine, with some of my oomphing. I also like the thought I had midway through cooking the carrots - roasting them with the garlic. Would give a nice roasty-toasty flavor to the sauce.

        At least the pieces of ribs had some heat from the sriracha used in the glaze.

    2. Spanakopita! I used fresh spinach and dill, and made the feta myself. Otherwise, I used a recipe very similar to Test4TheBest's recipe - after researching lots of places online, it seems like a good starting point. The brand of phyllo I bought was unusually thin, so I ended up using more layers, but next time I'll limit myself on the top layering. There are a few layers in there that didn't quite get fully cooked, and the overall dish is a bit oily.

      13 Replies
        1. re: roxlet

          It's a lot easier than it sounds. It is SO much better than the storebought stuff though, especially if you start with raw milk.

          1. re: suzigirl

            Thanks! I'm enjoying another slice now ;)

            By the way, there is a trick to beautiful phyllo dishes: cut before they go in the oven. That way, they spread apart by themselves and don't get crushed when you cut them.

          2. re: Symmetry

            Love spanakopita. I make spanakopita triangles with my Greek mother every Christmas. Hundreds of them.

            The trick to not having a greasy phyllo is NOT brushing liberally with oil/butter. Just a random dabbing around each sheet is plenty.

            Sounds delicious!

            1. re: nothingswrong

              Thanks for the tip - I've only made spanakopita (pie-style, not spanakopitakia) twice, so I don't have a lot of experience to draw on. I have a question for you: do you think an oil mister/sprayer would be a good oil applicator for phyllo? I thought of it when I was in the middle of assembling my pie, and thought it might cut the time way down (wave mister over phyllo, place next slice, repeat).

              1. re: Symmetry

                Yes, definitely. Though to be honest, I have yet to find one that doesn't get clogged constantly. If you have a suggestion, let me know!

                The way my mother has always done it is with very very light dabbings of butter, no oil. Which is interesting because she NEVER uses butter for cooking, always olive oil, just like yiayia did.

                I think you can see how little butter is used in these photos. I believe she only melted down one stick for everything we made, and there was still butter left over in the bowl.

                Also I'd bet anything the areas of your spanakopita that were tough/undercooked were probably just phyllo that got dried out during prep. Given the whole thing seemed a bit oily, it probably wasn't from lack of oil/butter.

                1. re: nothingswrong

                  My father used one of these for six years by the time I used it, and it seemed like new...after a year of use, it had only needed cleaning once, after I failed to sufficiently strain homemade rosemary-thyme infused olive oil.


                  As far as the 'pita goes, I think you might be inside my head. I'll keep things moister (any tips? I used a damp tea towel) and lighter on the oil/butter next time.

                  I do see a lot of recipes that specifically say to use butter, or a mix of butter and oil. I made mine with olive oil (pretty good stuff, but nothing amazing - what I can afford, that is) and it turned out great. I can definitely taste that olive oily undertone, and it's pleasing in combination with the feta to me. It's such a simple dish, every player seems essential. Should I try butter instead?

                  1. re: Symmetry

                    Okay thanks. I was gifted one by my mother which was defunct on arrival (new in box), and bought another from Sur La Table which clogged within its first 5 minutes of use. I just gave up :)

                    1. re: nothingswrong

                      To be honest, reading reviews on Amazon, I don't blame you. I guess he just got an uncommonly good one!

                      Seems to me like the Prepara model is the most promising...at least it's glass, and has a filter.

                      1. re: Symmetry

                        Yep, seems they all get clogged quite a bit. The one my mother gave me is the same one she uses, and she has no problems with hers. I think it's just a crap shoot!

                2. re: Symmetry

                  I use a pastry brush to brush the melted butter on the filo. I brush the whole sheet very, very lightly, rather than randomly.

                  I don't like spanakopita that hasn't been brushed with enough butter. The filo tastes like paper when it doesn't get the butter treatment.

                  If some of the layers below the very top layers were undercooked, the spanakopita might have just need a few more minutes in the oven.

                  Like you mentioned, I use a slightly damp cloth to keep my filo moist before I start folding. I don't expose the filo to any air until I'm ready to fold, and when I fold triangles, I only take 3 or 4 strips of filo out at a time, keeping the rest under the damp towel.

            2. Now every time I open this thread I will be singing Peter Cottontail. Hippity hoppity Easters on its way!!
              I am doing it again. Old school tacos, black beans and rice. I love these but they are quite a pain in the ass to pack for a lunchbox.

              2 Replies
              1. re: suzigirl

                This thread has me singing this, and I don't even know the words: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKTUAE...

                Do you do burritos? Could be easier to pack and eat. Just wrap the tortilla up in foil to keep it in line.

                1. re: nothingswrong

                  Ihave the lunchbox down. It just has so many fiddly bits to pack with all the lettuce, tomato, cheese, salsa etc... that needs to be packed separately. Time consuming.
                  Now I have that song stuck in my head. Lol

              2. Just thought I'd pop back in here to say that the "Skillet Chicken Burgers with Ginger, Scallions, and Sriracha Mayonnaise" from Serious Eats was out of this world. The burgers combined with the Sriracha mayo, chopped and whole cilantro, and Romaine leaves had so much flavor it was difficult to stop eating. One was more than enough for me, didn't even bother eating the naan. I don't recall ever using ground/minced chicken for burgers. It's usually ground dark meat turkey or bison, but these were exceptional. Here's the recipe if anyone is interested:


                8 Replies
                  1. re: Gio

                    Gio - is it easy to buy Kewpie mayo in Boston? I've never looked for it. Those look amazing.

                    1. re: gini

                      Hi Gini, I've not looked for the Kewpie either so I either use Hellman's or TJ's organic mixed with a little rice vinegar and sugar. Or just use straight mayo. There's a Japanese market in Medford, though, and I expect they would have it.


                      Here's a pretty reliable source for homemade Kewpie. I've never made it but the author is a noted cook of Japanese food and lives in Japan.


                      1. re: gini

                        Kewpie mayo is available at Hong Kong Market in Allston (should be at pretty much any of the local Asian markets, actually) and even at Russo's, where it can be found in the under-the-display-counter shelves where snow peas and cucumbers are. (On the side facing the chard, radishes, scallions, etc.)

                        1. re: Allstonian

                          There's a Hong Kong Market in Malden which is closer to Melrose, so I guess I could look there for the Kewpie. But honestly, I think it may taste like Miracle Whip, just from reading the ingredients, so it hasn't appealed to me. Can you describe the taste, Allstonian?

                          1. re: Gio

                            Well, I like both mayonnaise and Miracle Whip, so YMMV. Kewpie is thinner in texture than American mayo, which has its own advantages in some applications. It's less eggy and it's sweeter, but not as sweet or as tangy as Miracle Whip.

                      2. re: Gio

                        I made these based on your recommendation, and we concur - they were great! Thank you for pointing this recipe out.

                      3. I figured I should cook the bigger pieces of meat in the freezer before it gets too hot out. Grass fed chuck roast has been in the crockpot all day (three neighbors have commented on how good it smells since the windows are open.) I added some onions and potatoes a few hours ago. Blistered green beans on the side and probably a green salad with the last of the mango, avocado, cuke, tomato, shallot, lime, sweet peppers salsa from a previous meal over the top of it.

                          1. re: steve h.

                            i'll say. you and the missus haven't skipped a beat!

                              1. re: steve h.

                                yes, please. that all looks perfect. welcome home.

                              2. Leftovers from last nights dinner...soooooo good!
                                I made a pulled pork in the slow cooker with super spicy homemade chipotle with adobo sauce and whole blood oranges. The pork came out highly spiced and you could really taste the blood orange! Yay!

                                Then I made arepas. Stuffed them with the pulled pork, a bit of cheese, a tomato slice and a dollop of sour cream. Wow.
                                I will certainly do that again!

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: sedimental

                                  wow is right - both those sound fantastic! i love blood oranges, been chomping on them all winter. just last week they stopped carrying them at my store... wah....

                                  1. re: sedimental

                                    What arepa recipe did you use?

                                    I've been wanting to make them forever. Probably just stuffed with cheese/veggies.

                                    1. re: nothingswrong

                                      Arepas are so yummy. I've never tried to make one, but I can't imagine it'd be too hard - though getting the texture might take some practice. Oh well, I'll take about any excuse to "practice."

                                      1. re: Symmetry

                                        I know, they almost seem *too* easy, so I'm sure they're one of those things that anyone can make, but not make well. Which is why I'd like to know sedimental's experience with these "WOW!" arepas.

                                        1. re: nothingswrong

                                          I make them a lot. Most of the time, I don't get fancy, I just make them off the package directions when I want to split and stuff them. They are dead easy and I love the flavor.

                                          Follow the ratio on the PAN package, make them round and firm up/ thicken the edges being mindful that you want a nice edge for slicing in half. I make mine look like hockey pucks.
                                          Then, I fry them like pancakes in some fat (oil, butter, fat of choice) so they get a tiny char on each side and toss them in a 350 oven on a sheet pan until the insides are cooked. Maybe 20 minutes or so. Slice and swipe with a little butter and stuff.
                                          I also like them thin, round and just fried for using as a "scoop" with chili, stew, salad, etc. when I do this, then I get fancy....add herbs, chili powder, cheese, etc.

                                          Note: I only use PAN, I tried another boiled corn flour and didn't like it. I use both yellow and white PAN.

                                  2. Poulet a la crapaude with a tarragon reduction beurre blanc & black pepper mashed. All came out spot on.

                                    4 Replies
                                        1. re: rjbh20

                                          i'm a 12 year old boy, because crapaude makes me snicker every time.

                                          but it's beautiful!

                                          1. Tonight I had a little adventure up in town. I ordered some cheapo nightstands at Wal-Mart to replace the plastic folding tables I'm currently using in my master bedroom, you know, to make it look like grown-ups live in our house. So anyway, I got to go to Wal-Mart to pick them up. So many odd people.

                                            Then, I had no plans for dinner so I decided to just stop by Papa Murphy's to pick up a take & bake pizza since that wouldn't dirty up much in the way of dishes. There was this very interesting couple there... both pretty overweight and she missing some toofs. While waiting for their pizza, she was straddling him and kept telling him to say he was sorry. A very odd scene, and I couldn't make eye contact with the poor girls working there because we'd all lose it. After they left we burst out laughing and then the girl gave me my pizza for $5 because I "had to witness that".

                                            So yes, pizza for dinner.

                                            13 Replies
                                              1. re: juliejulez

                                                OMG, after a really stressful day, that story was just the laugh I needed. Thanks!

                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                    Bahaha I needed my phone to distract me so I wouldn't look at them!

                                                      1. re: juliejulez

                                                        WalMart AND pizza place straddling. What a helluva way to end your day, julie! Bonus on the $5.00 pizza. :D

                                                        1. re: juliejulez

                                                          Thank you for that. I needed a good belly laugh. Very strange, indeed.

                                                          1. re: juliejulez

                                                            Haha! :D If I could count the number of times I've "faked" a room, I'd run out of fingers. good for you!

                                                            1. re: juliejulez

                                                              Off topic: have you seen People of Walmart?

                                                              1. re: juliejulez

                                                                So what does toofs mean? I googled it and came up with nothing but toots.

                                                              2. Thought about the ricotta meatballs that were posted yesterday, but decided that there was a merguez sausage that needed eating in the fridge. Paired up with Israeli couscous with arugula pesto and a salad of parsley and disappointingly unripe grape tomatoes from Trader Joes. I think may be destined for a future as tomato "raisins".

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                                                  I keep trying to make that work:
                                                                  tomazins [sounds like a $19.99 TV product]
                                                                  tomayrai [kawaii tomatoes?]
                                                                  portmanteau isn't doing it...
                                                                  [that'll do Pig, that'll do]

                                                                2. Work almost killed me today. Waited around like a ball of stress for an important ruling that did not come. Ugh. So headed off for tennis and all I could manage for dinner was a roasted bird from the store with tortillas. Oh well, we are nourished. Off for a long night worrying. Wish me luck tomorrow...should have a result before lunch!

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: Aussieshepsx2

                                                                    you know what we say at our office (also law) - me and my attorneys? "at least no one died today."

                                                                    keep sane! and good luck!!

                                                                  2. pizza ala Lucca (dough, fresh mozz, spicy coppa, genoa salami) - and the BF's tomato sauce. the bianco was olive oil, mozz, basil and arugula, with sprinkles of cured black olives. the dough was great, though the second pizza, the meaty one, the BF took out too early and it was a bit doughy. lovely salad on the side. TJ's Amarone Valpolicella - recommended to me by former wine shop owners - for a lovely, cheap version of this beloved wine.

                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                        Great looking photographs. That's a meal I can get behind.

                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                            That looks stun-yummily! Can I get you to shoot my DMV photos?

                                                                            1. re: alliegator

                                                                              hahaha! i'd have to put you on my table and shine a light very close to your face.

                                                                          2. Tonight was the five-spice cured black cod smoked the other morning, finished under the broiler and served up on creamed nettles with cremini and shallots. Fish was WTF-is-in-my-mouth-right-now good---no thanks to any skill on my part. The nettles and mushrooms were great on their own, but kinda overwhelmed by the fish. Maybe a dollop of yogurt or sour cream would fix it.

                                                                            Did make a nice pitcher of iced tea with the water from blanching the nettles. Orange and lemon quarters with crushed star anise, honey, and brown sugar. Keeper.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. Brie, mushroom and asparagus quiche.
                                                                              I had most of a large Brie leftover that I had baked in phyllo with pecans and raspberry jalapeño jam. So I deconstructed it, removing the rind, nuts, phyllo and jam.
                                                                              The Brie from the center was run through the food processor with eggs, aged gouda and half & half, then included in the quiche with asparagus, onion and mushrooms. A sprinkle of the aged gouda on top....
                                                                              It was fantastic! We ate it warm for dinner with a Caesar salad.
                                                                              Can't wait to have another slice cold for breakfast today.
                                                                              Oh, and while we were watching TV later, DH baked the deconstructed phyllo / Brie with pecans and jam in it, and served it with extra raspberry jalapeño jam. Didn't look pretty, but boy was it tasty!

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: kitchengardengal

                                                                                Excellent dish. I can almost taste it.

                                                                              2. Tonight's plan is mahi mahi brushed with saved yuzu kosho marinade and broiled, buttered snow peas, and roasted cauliflower with togarashi and sesame oil. I have a big bag of baby carrots that are looking dry, so I may glaze them with mustard-brown-sugar butter (to get it out of my fridge) and soy sauce as an additional side.

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                  Eh, we went out for Thai instead, so this is WFD tonight.

                                                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                    Damn, that was good. That marinade really works well on fish.

                                                                                2. Tonight's dinner will be broiled salmon topped with a mixture of ricotta, artichokes and olive tapenade. I'm thinking of an arugula salad on the side dressed with walnut oil and Parmesan shavings.

                                                                                  1. Flyers Rangers playoff tonight have to figure out where to watch it - that will determine dinner

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: JTPhilly

                                                                                      Me too, but first up Cazuela de Marisicos...
                                                                                      Basically ground green plantains, sofrito of green peppers, yellow onions, tomatoes, cilantro.
                                                                                      The above is cooked down, then we have a combination of Cod, Tilapia, & Salmon which is then embedded in the vegetables in an oven proof pan and baked in the oven for 1 hours @ 350 degrees. Tonight it gets served with a traditional rice pilaf and some crushed matzo, in sautéed onions, mushrooms some chicken stock and then baked in the oven for 30 minutes.

                                                                                      1. WFD: Two recipes from "Bill's Food" by Bill Granger an Australian relocated to London chef restaurant owner. Stir-fried tofu with a sesame dressing, steamed baby bok choy with a sweet tamari/mirin sauce, and steamed brown rice. If I promise to prep a heap of shallots and G agrees to baby sit the wok crispy shallots will be sprinkled over the bok choy.

                                                                                        I like the recipes from this book. Granger's take on Asian cooking seems to be spot on and so far everything we've cooked was quick, easy, and delicious. Three of my favorite words lately.

                                                                                        1. Tonights dinner will be a favorite pasta dish from Marcella Hazan. Sausages are cut into rounds and browned. Garlic and tomatoes are added, and after "the fat floats to the surface." (this is the odd phrase I've seen Marcella use more than once), a bit of cream is added. This is served with wagon wheel pasta, which mimics the shape of the coins of sausage. I'll be making a salad to go with this. Since we have an Egyptian in the house, the sausage is Italian chicken sausage in lamb casing that I got at Whole Foods.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                            Wagon Wheels...have not had those for a long time....but love it!!!!

                                                                                            1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                                              It works really well since the shape of the sausage coins mimics that of the wagon wheels. And for anyone who might be interested, the chicken sausage in lamb casing from Whole Foods was fabulous.

                                                                                          2. We've been away overnight - big pub lunch yesterday, big Michelin starred dinner last night, followed by the "Full Welsh" breakfast in the hotel and a big pub lunch today.

                                                                                            As such, we're going to pick at some bits and pieces we bought at a farm shop on the way home - nice looking pork pie, some Welsh "Abergoch" cheese, salad.

                                                                                            A bit of a shame really. We should be having something more celebratory as I have something to celebrate. My third book has found a publisher. I may have mentioned that I was writing this book - about food during the period of the Great War. Well, the publishing company rejected it twice, as did other publishers, and I thought I may have to self-publish but they've had a change of heart. So, "Bully Beef & Biscuits" (provisional title) should be out in around 12 months time. I'm a bit chuffed!

                                                                                            21 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                              Whoo-hoo! Congratulations, Harters! What an accomplishment, and yes, you should be celebrating!!

                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                Congratulations! I like the subject as well as the provisional title.

                                                                                                Raising a glass (French 75) in your honor. Cheers!

                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                    Hurrah for You!! Well done and Bravo. Will it be published in the US or is that too much to ask at this early date?

                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                        Congrats, Harters! And I love the title!

                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                          Fantastic news. Diligence pays off.

                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                            Congrats Harters, that is wonderful news!

                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                              YEAH! And major congrats. You deserve to be celebrating!

                                                                                                              I can already tell that it will be under my brothers Christmas tree-both are food and great war/history buffs.

                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                Congratulations, Harters! You should indeed be chuffed :)

                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                  You're all too kind - but lovely people. Thanks for your comments.

                                                                                                                  As to Gio's question, publication outside the UK is a matter for the publisher - they are a specialist military history publisher and I just don't know what their business profile is elsewhere. I guess the way to find out is to see if the US site of Amazon carries any Pen & Sword books.

                                                                                                                  I'll offer you one recipe:

                                                                                                                  Gingerette Pudding
                                                                                                                  (Thrift for Troubled Times, 1915)

                                                                                                                  Quarter of a pound of suet
                                                                                                                  Quarter of a pound of treacle
                                                                                                                  Half a pound of flour
                                                                                                                  One ounce sugar
                                                                                                                  Rind and juice of one lemon
                                                                                                                  One teaspoonful of ginger
                                                                                                                  One teaspoonful of carbonate of soda
                                                                                                                  Half a gill of milk

                                                                                                                  METHOD: Chop the suet, add to the flour, sugar, carbonate of soda, lemon rind and ginger. Make a well in the middle, add the treacle and milk and mix until the mixture drops easily from the spoon. A little more milk should be added if necessary. Put into a greased basin, cover with greased paper and steam for three hours.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                    so, have you tested these recipes?
                                                                                                                    I love the name, Gingerette. good girl band name. The Gingerettes! I bet Linda would join....

                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                      Why, I have NO idea what you're talking about, mc. :-P

                                                                                                                    2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                      Ah, suet, treacle, flour and sugar: the cornerstones of a nutritious diet.

                                                                                                                      I'm loving the concept of your book.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                        This is wonderful. Thanks very much John. "Gingerette Pudding". I have my mother's Blue Willow pudding basin and will lay in a supply of suet and treacle very soon. I'm guessing this would have been served in the cooler months? I think I better do a bit of research.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Gio


                                                                                                                          If you're really going to try it, then bear in mind it will be powdered ginger, not fresh. It wouldnt have been until the 1970s that fresh ginger really started to become generally available for British cooks.

                                                                                                                      2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                        Chuffed for you! and yes, great title! Congratulations to you - I hope you do celebrate in the near future. or at least when the book comes out! or many times in between.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                            Super John......I love to hear about WW ! food...and you have nailed it....
                                                                                                                            my grand pa would be smiling..

                                                                                                                            1. re: PHREDDY


                                                                                                                              If memory serves, you are Jewish?

                                                                                                                              I've got a great story in the book of a Jewish soldier going to the platoon Christmas dinner and writing home to his mother that chicken had been provided for him, instead of the pork everyone else was having.

                                                                                                                              He survives the war and appears to have emigrated in the 1920s to live in Jerusalem.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                Yes I am and looking forward to the link when it is published. Through the years I have always been interested in military generals of both WW1 & WW2, this should provide a wonderful sidebar for me in the future.

                                                                                                                          2. Leftover grilled ribeye, gently heated; leftover fennel salad with grapefruit. Some salted chocolate for dessert.

                                                                                                                            1. Cobb salad FTW! No complaints from my man, who was positively stuffed -- well, both of us were. Hard-boiled egg, bacon, shredded chicken, blue cheese and avocado are quite substantial additions to a 'simple' salad of romaine & grape tomatoes. I ended up making a mustardy vinaigrette with diced onions instead of adding red onions to the salad, as my man's not too fond of raw onion. They mellowed out enough in the vinaigrette as to add flavor but not bite.

                                                                                                                              The little bowl in the top right corner has more chopped egg: I'd put the chicken, bacon & egg in separate bowls, so we could add as much as we liked.

                                                                                                                              I even have some salad leftover for lunch, although sadly my man finished up the shredded chicken for his >shaking my fist<.

                                                                                                                              Will have to fry up some more bacon, too, but I think I can do without the egg today :-)

                                                                                                                              Tonight? Well, it's Thursday, and y'all know what that means: Sichuan delights (maybe I can remember to take some pics this time!) and post-dinner drinks with our chile head friends @casa lingua.

                                                                                                                              Weekend's almost here!

                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                You rock! I love Cobb salad and haven't had it in way toooo looonnggg. I know what's on the dinner menu for next week!

                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                  I don't think I'd ever made it before. We eat salad 5 outta 7 days a week, but it's usually a side.

                                                                                                                                  The stars were aligned just right since we had the leftover roti chicken from Wegmans (we usually finish the entire thing in one meal. yep - we are pigs), and I always have bacon in the fridge & often blue cheese.

                                                                                                                                  I'll definitely make it again and play around with the dressing a little, which didn't rock me as much as I woulda liked it to.

                                                                                                                                2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                  Wowza, that's some good looking salad. And cool plates! Enjoy Sichuan Thursday.

                                                                                                                                3. Grilled country style ribs slathered in bbq sauce, baked beans with bacon and Belize coleslaw. Simple.
                                                                                                                                  Weezieduzzit- I found a source here locally yhat carries raw kefir from grass fed, hormone free jersey cows that I plan on trying. I want to see if it is worth me having you go to the trouble of sending grains. I am not a big milk or yogurt fan so we shall see. Any suggestions of how to dip my toe in the water? I posted here to save everyone from wading through 400 plus posts on the last thread.

                                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                    If you aren't already eating probiotic foods dip your toe in the water slowly- a couple of sips a day, literally a couple of tablespoons a day. Work up to a couple of ounces a day, then up to a small glass a day. People who go too fast see GI upset if you get my drift...

                                                                                                                                    The man won't drink it by itself (I like the tartness,) so I give it to him in smoothies.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                      Is it supposed to be slightly curdled and smell of sour milk? I know it is fermented but this smells like milk that is just turning. The woman who sold it to me said it doesn't expire but I question that.
                                                                                                                                      I take Culturelle but that is the only probiotic I take. I need to tread lightly. I have enough GI troubles. Thanks for the heads up. Also a big thanks to Christina for bringing kefir to my attention for blood pressure. I need all the info I can get.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                        It sounds fine, and it really doesn't expire- it just continues to ferment and consume the lactose in the milk (which means it gets more and more tart.) I don't know that it lasts forever but I've never had it "go bad."

                                                                                                                                        Since you take Culturelle you should be fine. If you feel like spending some time Googling and reading there's a lot of info out there about improving GI issues with pre- and pro- biotic foods like kefir and other ferments.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                          I think I will start with a fruit centric smoothie and work my way up. Thanks. :-)

                                                                                                                                          1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                            Smoothies are definitely the way to go! I'm not big on homemade kefir plain. Unlike the store-bought stuff, the homeamde is a bit more pungent and yeasty tasting, no matter how fresh or lightly fermented. In my experience, anyway.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                              The kefir I got was made by the sister in law of an old neighbor of mine. She only has 8 cows so it is a very small and local business. It will be smoothies for sure since I am not a fan of the sour taste. I is for sure sour and funky.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                It definitely is sour and funky but great mixed with berries, I think. Also, to capitalize on the sourness, use in place of buttermilk for marinating meats or in baked goods.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                  Perfect. I will do that. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                  2. Award rendered and we won! Well, technically my clients won, but you know...
                                                                                                                                    So tonight we need a small celebration to accompany the King's first play off game. I'm thinking maybe split a salad and a French dip sammie from the bar at our local hangout.

                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                    1. Well, so much for our Sichuan jour fixe. With just one other chile head having signed up, I ended up canceling. End of semester exhaustion was one reason given by declining parties.... feh.

                                                                                                                                      OTOH, my insides are once again being all bitchy n stuff, so that kinda food may not have been the best idea today, anyway.

                                                                                                                                      So instead, we'll head over to our cocktail/sushi bar and meet a friend for dinner & drinks, followed by the guys catching the Flyers game. I will probably work/work on new songs, because I don't care enough. Unless a fight breaks out, of course. They better call me for that :-D

                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                          OH YUK to bitchy belly syndrome. Hope it goes away quickly.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                            A mezcal gimlet (not sure that's the proper name of this cocktail, but whatevs -- I've been on a bit of a mezcal run lately) and some sashimi, ginger spinach & lion's head meatballs did the trick. No tummy issues so far, even tho I was still feeling like crap on the drive over.

                                                                                                                                            Alcohol: for what ails ya '-)

                                                                                                                                          2. Not officially the weekend yet, but I sure feel like it! Another dr. appt. to review my abdominal ultrasounds, and I am released from his care for a month! 6 weeks sooner than expected. So, pap and I hit the mall for a bit of binge shopping and a lovely lunch of pasta at Calif. Pizza Kitchen (yeah, I know).
                                                                                                                                            Dinner will be light and generically easy. Panera Bread Lobster Bisque from Target along with soft bread and crunchy veg sticks.
                                                                                                                                            Today, I learned a bit of an important lesson: health first, everything else will come :)
                                                                                                                                            I'll post my party song, since I feel like it. Maybe lingua can clue me in on what the holy heck it's about.

                                                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                              What a great reason to celebrate with the foods & drinks you love!! Fab news, allie.

                                                                                                                                              Where did you come across that little ditty? I've never heard it before --- I'll hafta take a closer listen so I can give you a summary.

                                                                                                                                              Perhaps you have an email/fb account so as to not annoy the rest of the WFD folks :-D

                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                Thanks lingua and all for the congrats. I don't really deserve them, it's the body doing what it's supposed to. but, woo-hoo!! Healed guts! Lurvin' it.
                                                                                                                                                This ditty was !friggin! popular on German MTV in Prague in December. I love it, and try to replicate it loudly usually to pap's chagrin. I can be found often howling it in yahooland at aleklb1422.
                                                                                                                                                Decided I'll spruce up my bisque a bit with some rosemary that I've grown and will make the bread nice and unhealthy with some parm and black pepper. Since I went to the effort to go buy some parm, I also picked up some beautiful arugula to be dressed with lemon, oil, and cracked black pep.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                A hard lesson to learn, but what a valuable one! We should all learn from you. Glad you and pap celebrated. Enjoy your dinner!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                    so great. the other lesson is, if you've got health, get out and enjoy life as much as possible, because you may not have it forever! (that's not to you, allie, but to myself. I mean the not having it forever part!)


                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                      Good news just keeps rolling in for you. I am super happy for you.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                        Thanks Suzi, now I'll be happy when I hear your blood pressure medication is working on an extended basis.
                                                                                                                                                        I've got a coin in my wishes box for ya (long story), and I know you'll sail though.
                                                                                                                                                        And thanks everyone for the wonderful well wishes. With food being so important, the support of my food luvin' peeps means so much :)

                                                                                                                                                    2. Burger night. Served on a hard roll with sautéed mushrooms, Swiss, onion and sriracha mayo. Salad with red wine vinegar & olive oil and tots on the side.

                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. Gingered sauteed veggies and cashews on rice is dinner.

                                                                                                                                                          3 small carrots - peeled and sliced.
                                                                                                                                                          One baby bok choy - chopped up, with leaves julienned separately.
                                                                                                                                                          A handful green beans - snipped and cut into 1" pieces.
                                                                                                                                                          A quarter of an onion, cut into 1" pieces.
                                                                                                                                                          A large handful of sugar snap peas - stemmed and halved.
                                                                                                                                                          Half a red bell pepper, cut into 1" pieces.
                                                                                                                                                          Basmati rice, cooked.

                                                                                                                                                          In a large skillet, some grapeseed oil AND blood orange olive oil were heated (I would have used OJ later in the cooking if I had had it) and a minced garlic clove was added with the carrots, bok choy stems, green beans and red bell pepper. Sauteed that all on relatively high heat, adding the sugar snap peas and onion towards the end.

                                                                                                                                                          A half cup of white wine was added (this is where I would have used OJ), along with the bok choy leaves, and I let that reduce by half.

                                                                                                                                                          Then a combination of dry sherry (maybe a half cup or more?), 1-2 tsp. grated ginger root, and a tsp. of cornstarch which had been shaken together was added. Stir, stir, stir stir until it sauced up. A sprinkle of salt and a grind of pepper, tossed in a large handful of whole cashews, did another stir stir stir stir, and it was served over the basmati rice.

                                                                                                                                                          Wine alongside. Dinner. And work lunch tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                              Very good - chicken could easily be added to the sauté. I would have enjoyed it even more with the OJ, I think, but the wine and sherry worked just fine.

                                                                                                                                                          1. A quickie dinner after a trip to the grocery store - made a delicious puttanesca sauce to serve over fettucini.


                                                                                                                                                            And since Kroger had ground veal for $3.99 #, some veal meatballs with pecorino romano and lots of garlic, sauteed and served with, but not in the puttanesca. They actually are from an old Bon Appetit recipe for Wedding Soup, and are my favorite meatballs.

                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                            1. Sausage and peppers tonight.

                                                                                                                                                              Deb will sauté red peppers, green peppers, onions, garlic until soft. Sweet Italian sausage will be the protein. J.J. Cassone hero rolls, lightly toasted and drizzled with olive oil, will be the delivery mechanisms. Both beer and wine will be available.

                                                                                                                                                              Yankee baseball on the plasma.

                                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                I'm impressed not only with your dinner, but the lack of jetlag! hope you are enjoying.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks. Returning home from Europe is pretty easy, we're just chasing the sun for six or seven hours.

                                                                                                                                                                  Returning from Asia to the East Coast can take its toll.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                    Oh, lordy, we crossed nine time zones and were up for 24 hours. Dinner was pork burgers on the grill and A glass of red wind. And then to bed.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                      It's the layovers that get you. Enjoy the wine.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                        We only fewer than two hours in Munich so that was a breeze.

                                                                                                                                                              2. Pesto chicken lasagna - a flat variation from juliejulez great recommendation, chicken pesto lasagna rolls - recipe here but correct the white sauce needs 2 T butter, 2 T flour.

                                                                                                                                                                Next time I'll make the roll-ups again - better balance of filling to noodle, faster baking time and neater for serving than a sliced square.

                                                                                                                                                                Served with fresh asparagus, lemon slices to squeeze over it. YUM, even without hollandaise.

                                                                                                                                                                1. Have a bunch of celery, carrots, and taters braising in olive oil and some chicken broth. Crushed garlic cloves, onion, thyme, rosemary, and marjoram, pepper added in for flavor. They will cook down for several hours, a la a Marcela Hazan recipe I was infatuated with last year (a braised celery).

                                                                                                                                                                  This will be WFD for me, alongside some fresh baked bread and maybe a hunk of cheese. There are meatballs left over for the bf for his meat fix.

                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                    Funny how I could be happy with your dinner but James would be lost without meat. Many nights I make a meal of sides and a bite or two of the meat and let him have the rest. I was a vegetarian for a few years but was lured back in at a hibachi grill in Orlando. Teriyaki steak siren song. It was kind of funny. My bf at the time took me to a Japanese steak house and the host/owner said 'You like sushi?" (he was trying to properly seat us)Bf, trying to be funny said " Of course I like Suzi." Confused, he sat us at the hibachi grill. Bf ordered teriyaki steak and insisted I have a bite. I had been veg from 15 to 18 because of my dad's hunting practices(canned hunts) and took my first bite of beef in years. Oh my. Never looked back.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                      That's a great story! I was vegetarian from age 13 into my mid 20s, and prior to that had stopped eating meat as much as possible. My Greek mother thought it was a disease and forced it on me every now and then.

                                                                                                                                                                      Teriyaki beef is A-ok in my book. One of the few meat dishes I'll break down for. Along with my mother's grilled beef filet, and Thanksgiving turkey. The rest of the year, it's all side dishes for me.

                                                                                                                                                                      ETA: That boyfriend of yours sounded like a troublemaker!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                        You don't eat meat? I make lamb. JK:-)

                                                                                                                                                                        He was a troublemaker. A very good looking troublemaker.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                      The veggies aren't much to look at, but they are so f*cking good. Also baked some French bread. Bf's eating meatballs. My messed up éclairs in the fridge. Bf also wanted chocolate chip cookies. Oooh, carbs for days.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                        The only thing wrong with those éclairs is I don't have one(or two).

                                                                                                                                                                    3. My refusal to wear a winter coat any! more! means i have been damned cold the past few days......

                                                                                                                                                                      Got home kinda late tonight and made a vat of miso soup with stuff: lots of tofu, sliced creminis, chopped zucchini, shredded carrots, scallions, grated ginger, made with the really dark funky miso i have and poured over a bowl of fresh spinach. Amazing aroma and finally warmed me all the way through.
                                                                                                                                                                      A few dates with almond butter will be late night paired with sleepytime tea....

                                                                                                                                                                      1. Tonight we tried a new restaurant a few blocks up from the condo complex we are staying at here in Cozumel. I ordered guacamole and chips and the red snapper filet. The fish was outrageous!

                                                                                                                                                                        It was just my husband and I tonight at dinner. The rest of the group ordered room service from the restaurant here. I think our raves about our meals has them convinced to go there tomorrow for our last dinner on the island.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. Got around to the ricotta-beef meatballs. They get the thumbs up from me although I made some minor adjustments.

                                                                                                                                                                          I had no sturdy greens to pair them with so I improvised a dance partner. I shaved asparagus and treated it a bit like fettuccine aglio e olio: it went in a skillet of hot oil, garlic, and salt pack capers for about 60 seconds and a handful of parsley to finish. Oh and some leftover Israeli couscous toasted I the hot pan beforehand.

                                                                                                                                                                          16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                                                                                                                                                                Love the idea of shaving the asparagus and doing a quick sauté! :::filing away for future use:::

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                  This was my first go-round with shaved asparagus. The idea has been sitting in my back pocket unused since May of 2010. How do I know the date? Because that's when I saw this:


                                                                                                                                                                                  She would go on to do a subsequent post on raw shaved asparagus salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                  It's pretty easy to shave asparagus, actually, and it's very pretty and it tastes good. I recommend it.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                                                                                                                                                                    Did you use a veg. peeler or mandoline? I have both.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                      I used a peeler that looks like a disposable razor. I'm thinking a mandoline would be tricky to use.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                                                                                                                                                                        Agree about the mandolin. I find a Y-shaped peeler easiest for peeling asparagus.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                                                                                                                                                                      My favourite spring thing is asparagus "carpaccio" with chive flowers and a lemon vinaigrette. Maybe this weekend if the chives get floriferous by then.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                                        I have chives that look like they will be in bloom shortly. I googled around but didn't find any exemplars of such dish. Any tricks to it or is it just stir together and eat?

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                                                                                                                                                                          Coincidentally, my recipe is an attempt to recreate the same dish from Nostrana in Portland.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Asparagus carpaccio

                                                                                                                                                                                          fresh asparagus, sliced very thinly on the bias
                                                                                                                                                                                          chive blossoms
                                                                                                                                                                                          ` shaved pecorino
                                                                                                                                                                                          • 6 tbsp olive oil
                                                                                                                                                                                          • 2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
                                                                                                                                                                                          • 1 tablespoon minced shallot, optional
                                                                                                                                                                                          • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
                                                                                                                                                                                          • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
                                                                                                                                                                                          • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
                                                                                                                                                                                          • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

                                                                                                                                                                                          Thinly slice fresh raw asaragus on the bias. Toss lightly just prior to serving with lemon juice, olive or canola oil, lemon zest, smooth Dijon mustard, salt and pepper (usual amounts for a vinaigrette). Arrange on plate, top with chive flowers and curls of the shaved pecorino of your choice.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                                                                                                                                                                              I hope you enjoy it. I always make it with a neutral oil as one of my (many) foibles is an aversion to olive oil. Prolly obvious but you want to break down the chive flowers into wee bits.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks for the prep advice. I would have left them whole most likely - I have never eaten one. This should be good, and I am looking forward to it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                                                                                                                                                                                  You're welcome! You kinda want to just have purple and not green from the flowers. I think you'll see what I mean when you start eyeballing the chives. And beware teeny tiny bugs on them -- a good swish under running water takes care of them but they are hard to see.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                                                    that makes sense. I'm very familiar with the purple flowers - I'm always clipping and discarding them to get the shoots. I'll soak well as bugs are hopefully not on the menu.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Brother and sister in law are coming over to help demolish a shed. As it's Easter we're having lamb in the form of Malaysian lamb curry. Serving it alongside Nasi Lemak, first time I've cooked this since learning it at a cooking class.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Smoked haddock, Jersey Royals, baby leek, baby fennel.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Aberfen cheese - from the farm of the very excellent Bodnant Welsh Food people. Pretty much like a Red Leicester. In the same way that their Aberwen is pretty much like a Cheshire. And none the worse for that.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Mwynhewch eich bwyd!

                                                                                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                        If you took that carpet out of your mouth we could actually understand what you're trying to say, H.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                              Noswaith dda, Gio. Croeso.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Diolch, Steve

                                                                                                                                                                                              And that is now just about my total command of the language - apart from heddlu (police) and traeth (beach)

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                That may be but I cheated, er... I mean Googled.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, me too - for the "bon appetit" phrase. The others I did know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Granny Harters came from Wales but I dont think she spoke Welsh. I used to work with someone who travelled from just over the border each day. She said it was weird in her area as you get one village speaking Welsh as a first language, whilst the next village speaks English.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. It's Friday in the season of Lent which for me this year means two things 1) weekly check up (booo!!) and 2) meatless Friday. I'm having fish for lunch so for dinner mapo tofu is on the menu. I took a trip to H Mart last week so I actually have the chili bean paste called for in the Dunlop recipe so won't have to substitute chili bean paste. I'm planning to use TJs super firm tofu for the first time so we'll see how that goes. It will all be served over steamed broccoli and Shirataki noodles. I loved this dish last week so I'm quite looking forward to dinner especially after another doctor's appointment.

                                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                              You're using the todu that comes vacuum sealed? Let us know how it works....

                                                                                                                                                                                              Hope the damned doc can figure out whats going on with you!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                                                                                                                                I couldn't resist and bought the sprouted tofu yesterday. I used that instead and really liked it. The super firm will be used sometime this week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've never seen sprouted tofu. Does it hang out with the other tofu types?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yup, it was right next to the other packs. At TJs it's sold in a separated two pack which makes it even better for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, a few brands have it now (organic)- i can't tell any difference in flavor. Its usually two smaller chunks sealed seperately per pkg

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I don't even know- I am tired - maybe that salmon that's been haunting me in the freezer - it is good Friday after all

                                                                                                                                                                                                last night was a happy hour followed by a hockey game and some late night pizza - thank god for late night pizza

                                                                                                                                                                                                tomorrow will be Thanksgiving in April because I finally defrosted the turkey I bought for pennies back during the holidays and have full trays of stuffing, gravy artichokes etc frozen. Time to have it gone before summer and what better time for "thanksgiving" than when your best friend is visiting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JTPhilly

                                                                                                                                                                                                  and I have decided - poached salmon and colcannon that it simple and everything on hand

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. WFD: Our Good Friday evening meal will be a simple affair: tuna salad on pita. Canned Italian tuna in olive oil, cannellini beans, diced cucumber, chopped tomato, diced celery, chopped sweet onion, capers, minced parsley, with a lemony aioli dressing. The salad will be served on a combination of shredded escarole and arugula, with pita to either stuff or eat plain. Chianti Classico will be poured.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Oh, it's gonna be a goooooooooood Friday at casa lingua.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    A shared cheeborger club with my sweetie at the local watering hole, maybe do a few tunes wit' da band. My keyboarder just lost one of his old dogs today, so some hugs and consolation are in order as well. Sad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    We'll go home early and enjoy a brain spa for just the two of us. Perfect start of the weekend.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. What the what?!? It's cloudy and threatens rain at my desert casita. It's amazing how good weather spoils a person rotten.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm doing Pok Pok (finally) for dinner. Ike's famous chicken wings with a slight alteration: I'll grill instead of fry. And to balance the crispy fat there will be some som tum (papaya salad). I've started a lime granita for desert.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've been so happy to eat what I want with in reason all week and have no abdominal discomfort! Woot for good luck.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tomorrow we're going out to a nice place on the northeast end of the city with views for miles to meet up with a high school friend of pap's. The food is excellent, but the menu changes, so who knows what I'll get. Excited, though.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't always pay much attention to holidays. Easter will be simple, shared with a few nearby friends. With lots of candy!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. We are going to have a nice quiet Good Friday celebration for two! I'm thinking of grilling up a nice grass fed steak and asparagus. Sides will be saffron/herb risotto and salad. Of course, it's Friday so my DH should provide the pre-meal cocktail, likely something bourbon based, and then a Cab for the meal. TGIF.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. So far I've been at this hotel for 19 hours with wires stuck all over me now. I was going to try to make something when I get home this evening, but I'm so not feeling up to it now. I'm probably going to stop for pizza on the way home or something.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Don't let anyone tell you that an MSLT might be fun. It's not. Napping every two hours sounds AWESOME, but when they only let you lay down for 15 minutes at a time, it blows.... I want to eat all of the cookies and doughnuts ever made.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I know saying "I don't have anything planned" isn't exactly what this thread is for, but my boyfriend is on a fishing trip and not answering my texts, and my friends are apparently too busy to talk.... I'm losing it here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                                                                                                                            You're at a hotel with wires stuck all over you? What kind of a weird-ass hotel is that???

                                                                                                                                                                                                            In any event, sounds like a crappy time. Treat yourself to something nice when you get home. It's ok not knowing yet WFD. We've all been there :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yeah, I wasn't so clear about that, was I? I'm having a sleep study done, and they have it set up at a hotel next to the hospital. I did the normal portion last night, and I've been hanging around all day laying down for a nap every two hours. They're looking for signs of narcolepsy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oy. My man went through an (overnight) sleep study once.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Not fun. But ya gotta do what you gotta do. Just imagine how awesome your own bed will feel tonight :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                                                                                                                              You are at a hotel? So WFD is room service, no? Kidding! Does not sound fun...hope it's over soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh, yuck. I've done a sleep study before, and it was like "how can one sleep in a totally foreign environment with the knowledge that you're being monitored", yuck! Just keep in mind that it's over soon. At least you've got 'net, my ppl took my phone!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pamper yourself with the best pizza money can buy tonight :) the best of the best.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  They TOOK it?! Geez! They made sure mine was on silent (and asked me again every time I went down for a nap), but they didn't take it. :/ Rude.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Well, I made it home at about 5:30. I don't live in the best area for pizza, but I got what I could, washed the goop out of my hair.... Getting ready for some real sleep, listening to my dogs snore. :) It was just too quiet at the hotel!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Glad you lived to tell the story, get some ok pizza and a night of dog snoring sleep.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And yeah, TOOK the phone. I'm sure they probably sent the video of me trying to do headstands on the bed to some psych lab, but boredom does that to ya!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. out for dinner last night with the BF, thai. tonight i'm doing happy hour with friends, so not sure if we'll nibble there or i'll rustle something up when I get home in whatever state I happen to be in. that's what makes this a good Friday!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                probably no cooking until Sunday, since i'm out most of the day tomorrow noshing with grayelf. And Sunday I intend to try my hand at cannelloni for the BF. i'd really like to not do meat in them, just spinach, cheese, mascarpone, but I think he'd pine away and die at a meatless dinner....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  wait, mascarpone? I meant ricotta. right??? I hope I bought the right thing... oh well, I can pick some up before Sunday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ooh, just found a recipe with prosciutto, instead of ground beef (and with spinach) - since I still have quite a bit of spicy coppa left, this may just be the ticket!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Day 1 of our Easter road trip is complete. Dinner was at an off the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  beaten track pub in the middle of the countryside. Its main attraction is a golf course next door and for us, some natural thermal pools. They're nestled into native bush a short walk from the pub. Open air, surrounded by native trees and gravel bottomed. If you're lucky there are glow worms out while you soak.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think the pools account for the odd mix of clientele at the pub. Golfers stay for the golf and bikers stop in for a soak, beer and a meal after a long day riding. The pub meals are biker-sized plates of predominately deep-fried fare. I chose fish (tarakihi) and chips and got two enormous crispy fillets, a mountain of chips and some weird stacked salad. The salad was stacked as there was no room left on the plate for it after the chips and fish. Even with the three year old assisting we barely made a dent in the meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Next stop is Rotorua or 'Roto 'Vegas' as it's nicknamed here. It's the tourist hot spot of the North Island famous for the geo-thermal activity and its not so charming rotten egg odour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Ginger salmon, cauliflower couscous (first time to try this recipe http://leitesculinaria.com/7276/recip... ) and rice tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: prima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sounds wonderful!! I bookmarked the couscous. Please report back an let us know what you thought.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Will do :) I'll just make a half recipe of the lemon basil sauce, since one head of cauliflower only calls for 4 tbsp of the sauce and I only have one lemon.The recipe for the sauce makes closer to 3/4 cup of sauce, since it calls for 1/2 cup evoo, a tbsp of maple syrup and the juice of 2 Meyer lemons.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: prima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I used the recipe as inspiration, but didn't follow it to at T.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I sautéed 1/2 a large red onion in olive oil until soft, then removed the cooked onion from the pan. Then I sautéed the finely diced head of cauliflower in a couple tbsp olive oil and a couple tbsp butter, and added about a tsp of salt and some ground black pepper. After cooking the diced cauliflower about 10 minutes, I added about 1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves that had been chopped, lowered the heat to medium-low, and cooked the mixture another 10 minutes. I stirred 1/2 tbsp maple syrup and couple tbsp fresh lemon juice (regular lemon juice, not Meyer lemon juice) into the reserved sautéed red onion mixture, then added the reserved red onion mixture back to the cauliflower mixture, and cooked another 5 minutes. Topped the cauliflower with some torn fresh basil leaves before serving.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Would certainly make again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: prima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Glad it turned out! I'll be making it soon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. This dinner is called the White Album. Hebrew National dog with onions, mustard and sauerkraut; corn on the side. I had some cherry tomatoes I should have eaten but I didn't want to disrupt the unhealthy color scheme.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Oh heavens, the stupidmarket was insane when I got to it around 5:30 after work. Luckily, I only needed a few things for dinner on Sunday (cooking at Mom's).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I thought I had some shaved steak in the freezer, but I was wrong. So even though I was craving a cheese steak sandwich, I went for a meatball sub - some frozen turkey meatballs were simmered in some tomato sauce that I doctored up with some dried basil, oregano, garlic powder, a pinch of sugar, and some minced onion. That simmered until the meatballs were done, then the meatballs were tucked into a small sub roll topped with a slice of provolone. Into a hot toaster oven to melt the cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Some Alexia sweet potato fries alongside. Ketchup as the condiment, and wine as the libation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I guess I've been oblivious all of these years but never realized that Easter caused such a ruckus at the store. All the stores were a mess here too. Your dinner sounds great and I really like many of the Alexia products. The rolls saved a holiday dinner last year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The sweet potato fries were the best part of dinner. These meatballs sucked, and the rest of the frozen ones got thrown out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The wine helped.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I sent my poor DH to WF yesterday afternoon and let's just say he was less then thrilled with me. :( I really had not ought about or realized that it would be so crazy. Oops.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Aussieshepsx2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I was at WF this am and while it was a zoo they were fuly staffed, every register was open and places like meat, seafood and bakery areas had extra folks directing traffic, answering question, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              One associate went out of her way and found the last jar of mint jelly-she had get a step ladder to find it. I made a point of finding the manager and letting him know. He seemed genuinely happy I did and said her lunch would be on him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I know there are a lot of WF haters out there but good customer service like that gets me in door and keeps me going back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I love it when people tell store management of *helpful* staff members vs. just complain.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And I panicked when I got home from Hannafords (had to go for some packaged fresh herbs and bacon - I was OUT OF BACON!!!), as I wasn't sure if I had mint jelly to bring up to Mom's. I have a half jar left. Phew. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I swear I had some mint jelly too! I did discover a half jar of ginger preserves (yum) but no mint jelly. I was panicking when I couldn't find it at WF. What's lamb without mint jelly?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    There are some who say it's everything*without* mint sauce or mint jelly. But I've always had it with mint jelly, as has my Mom, and I always buy the kind with no HFCS or apply jelly. I usually buy Raffetto's, but haven't been able to find it in the past few years, so Reese's Mint Sauce with mint leaves is what I now buy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I didn't work Easter this year (my mom passed away on the 8th so I hadn't gone back to work yet) but I'm a cooking coach at WF and I can genuinely tell you that it is so nice when people let leadership know when they have a good experience, especially during the holidays.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Next up, Mother's Day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: marietinn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    {{{{hugs}}}}, marietinn. So sorry about your mother's passing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: marietinn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am so so sorry! I lost my mom not too long ago, the holidays are the hardest. <hug>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: marietinn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        oh so sorry to hear about your mother, marietinn. be good and gentle to yourself. Mother's Day (as all holidays) can be really tough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Aussieshepsx2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So strange, I was an idiot and decided to go to TJs this afternoon (yes, again. I just went yesterday) and it was empty. The parking lot was even empty which never happens there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Oye, no real cooking here, but I'm tired! Last night was the Avalanche/Wild playoff game... I drank too much whiskey and beer and we didn't get home til after midnight. Tonight, we are headed out here in a few to the Rockies game. They built a new roof deck in the right field upper deck so that's where we are "sitting". Should be interesting. Tomorrow is a day full of house selling prep and then another Avalanche game at night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sunday shall be rest.... no Easter dinner since SO flies out that night, but I'll cook something for sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Passover has been great, but I miss beer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tonight: grilled duck breasts in a lime marmalade (which the in-laws brought us back from Australia), sauteed spinach with garlic/onion/ginger, spaghetti squash with nutmeg & butter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. My office is super close to my best friend's apt, so i walked over for happy hour at her place. Her husband (i call him my best friend in law) left for a boys wknd in vegas, so she decided to open one of the bottles he thinks they should "save" (for.....what??)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So we had some wonderful Opus One with indian delivery! We shared dal with naan, tandoor veggies, and some kind of curry that had tofu and more veggies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. We'd catering the sister in law's birthday thrash this lunchtime, so that'll be the main meal of the day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          There's thinly sliced rare topside of beef. There's a three tomato tart that often features in summer dinners at Harters Hall (spicy tomato chutney spread on puff pastry, then topped with halved cherry tomatoes, sun-blush tomatoes and thyme). There's prawns. There's assorted salads including this Mary Berry carrot & red rice one that was on the TV only the other day - http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/fie... . There's cheese, of course - Snowdonia "Black Bomber" Cheddar, Blackstick's Blue and Manchego.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And Mrs H has baked a lemon curd cake for "afters".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dinner-time dinner will be pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Everything sounds wonderful. Special mention to the tart and the cheeses.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Well done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. It's a balmy, spring-like day. About time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Brunch today was a bruschetta of mozzarella, asparagus and prosciutto. I squeezed oranges for mimosas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Life can be hard, weekends allow a measure of pushback. It's ok to be a little selfish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The food and wine is good. I like the way things slow down and we get a chance to chat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's a beautiful plate of wonderful food, Steve!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. What a gorgeous day here in New England! The windows are open and it feels wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tonight's dinner will be pretty light in preperation for tomorrow's feast. I am knocking off WF's carrot/fennel/almond soup. I tried theirs a couple years ago and it is so good! And if you can believe the label it's only 70 calories per serving which is good because I can polish off a whole container, lol. I have not been able duplicate it exactly but have gotten really close. It's in the slow cooker now, a double batch since it freezes well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    So far I have stuffed 100 plastic eggs for tomorrow's hunt and finished shopping for Easter dinner. Table is set and house is cleaned. After Turkey day this is my favorite holiday!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh and my butcher called and said he had lots of extra bones. My lab will be very happy (and quiet!) tomorrow,.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Would love your knock-off recipe, please. I'm a big soup junkie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ok, here you go. I pretty much make by eye so you might want to play around with the quantities.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 med. fennel bulbs, sliced thin, reserve some fronds for garnish if you want to get fancy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 med onion, sliced thin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 lb of carrots, roughly chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1/2 cup whole almonds
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1-2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3-4 large coins of ginger, cut into sticks (more or less to taste)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4-5 cups broth (I used chicken)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        olive oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        S&P to taste

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sauté the onions in the olive oil until soft, add the garlic and ginger and sauté a few minutes longer until fragrant. Transfer to crock pot. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Cook on low 4-6 hours or until the carrots are really tender. Let cool slightly and then puree with a hand blender. If you don't have hand blender, puree in batches in a blender. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Sometimes I add a little garam masala which is nice, adds a level of warmth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks so much! Sorry for seeing this late.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Last night was pizza, not homemade but from Costco as my pizza chef had other obligations. This morning I picked up lots at the farmers markets. Dinner will be grilled - pork chops, par-boiled new potatoes, and asparagus. Plus spinach salad followed by strawberries with whipped cream for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tomorrow, lunch at mother-in-law's retirement home. Let's just say the food will be OK. Omelets and fresh fruit are sure bets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah for farmer markets! Can't wait till ours opens up. Dinner sounds wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. It's such a gorgeous day! I soaked up some sun and now am being a loaf on the couch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The plan for dinner that I decided on a few days ago is this beef stir fry with butter and soy sauce from Serious Eats http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20.... I guess that will be what's for dinner though I'm really in the mood for a salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Tonight will be deep fried coconut shrimp with a spicy orange marmalade dipping sauce. To go with will be some rice in the rice cooker and I'll also steam some mixed veggies in the cooker as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ooh - that spicy orange marmalade dipping sauce sounds good, as do the coconut shrimp! Orange marmalade and..... ???

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i bet sriracha would do just fine in that marinade, right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My guess is Dijon, honey, hot sauce. I have an exceptionally sweet marmalade that I could use but would omit the honey. Sometimes I use marmalade, or any jam, and Worcestershire.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Exactly what I was thinking, mc. I'm also a marmalade collector, and I have a jar of blood orange marmalade that I might have to crack open. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My Orange Marmalade dipping sauce had a little rice wine vinegar added, some red pepper flakes for the punch and a little s&p. Was great. Also had a little dish of sweet chili sauce so there was a choice. Both were great and the shrimp turned out wonderful. I used peanut oil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. WFD: Tonight will be a couple of stir-fries one of which is for the Wok Wednesday FB cook along group: Stir-Fried Mongolian Lamb with Scallions. [page 90 for those with Grace Young's "...Sky's Edge" book] Additionally, we'll have a generic stir fry of a vegetable combo [corn/peas/carrots/green beans] with a dark sesame oil/tamari/sugar/cornstarch/ginger/chili/Szechuan pepper/scallion sauce, and steamed brown basmati rice. I think beer with this, since we don't have any more Alsace Gewürztraminer which I love w Chinese food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dry Riesling is excellent with Chinese, especially spicier fare like Sichuan food :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. It's officially Spring. Slider door to the deck is open for the cats to enjoy, and I pulled out the two deck chairs and tables. Still a bit chilly to sit out (and very windy today!), but it's nice to have the window open to air out the house. I also picked up some "replacement plants" to re-pot for inside the house - a couple of small variegated ivy for the dining room, a triple ponytail plant pot for the living room, and two small schefflera for the large pot in the 2nd BR that I forgot about. Sorry, big schefflera plant. I also rooted some pothos from cuttings from a plant at work, so I'll have to dig up a pot for that as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Like foodie, I'm going lighter tonight dinner at Mom's tomorrow will be a good bit heavier.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've been craving eggs, so when I realized I didn't have any bacon in the freezer (What? NO BACON???) off I went to Hannafords. A very crowded parking lot, but luckily I only needed the bacon and a package of fresh herbs - oh, and a bag of frozen chicken tenderloins for Buster.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dinner will be a crustless quiche - Add-ins will include some of that applewood-smoked thick-cut bacon fried up and broken up, the remainder of the bag of fresh baby spinach which will be quickly sauteed (probably in some of the bacon fat!), and then left to drain, and finally, some crumbled goat cheese will be the final add-in, with perhaps some more goat cheese sprinkled on top.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                There will be wine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ok I am having light dinner jealousy. That quiche sounds wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yum. Dinner was good - since the spinach was the veg, I had a crusty buttered roll alongside.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Waterfall here. Damn girl, that looks fab.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          gorgeous! details, please? how many eggs, cream? etc.?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Let's see - 5 large eggs, about 3/4 cup of heavy cream (I know, I know - but I had it! LOL), 3 thick-cut slices of applewood smoked bacon, chopped and sauteed until crisp, about a half a large bag of baby spinach, picked over, stemmed and julienned, then sauteed in a tsp. of bacon fat, about a Tbsp. of minced fresh thyme and rosemary, and a 1/4 tsp. of freshly ground pepper. Oh - goat cheese - no idea on the oz. - maybe 2" of a small log? - crumbled up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Eggs were well whupped, added the heavy cream, then folded in the goat cheese, spinach, and bacon and herbs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            All was poured into a regular glass pie plate (not a deep dish as I thought I might need) that had been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Cooked for about 40 min. at 375°. The only thing with crustless quiche is it tends to puff up along the edges to create a "crust" and it browns more than I'd like, but oh well. It's easier than making a crust (especially since I was late making dinner anyway).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You're welcome. The leftovers reheated nicely wrapped in foil for today's lunch. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That looks fantastic LW. Lucky you. I'd eat that in a heartbeat! And good luck with the plants. I have a black thumb and I swear I could probably kill an air fern!