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What's for Dinner #297 - The Mother's Day Edition [through May 12, 2014]

Supposed to be a gorgeous weekend in New England for the annual Hallmark holiday to celebrate Moms. I personally think Moms should be celebrated EVERY day, don't you? ;-)

So - are you one to brave the insanity of the busiest restaurant day of the year? Or will you cook Mom dinner at home? (Or are you the Mom who will be making dinner for yourself?)

Let us know what's cooking this May weekend. And HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all the Moms out there - whether the kids are human or cat or dog. :-)

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  1. As for myself, Mom and I have had a long-standing agreement that we don't go out on Mother's Day. She also dislikes the feeling of being rushed and the noise that tends to come in uber-busy restaurants, so we'll wait until next weekend when I'm going to take her shopping for clothes again. I sent flowers for her to enjoy, and I'll take her out to lunch next Saturday after shopping. My brother, who lives in CA, sent her a GC for a local supermarket so she can buy herself some "good food", as well as some type of Scottish cakes/muffins (can't recall their name) that they get at their local farmer's market. My sister and BIL are supposed to be taking her out to dinner tonight, so she'll be gettin' the food love spread out over several weeks. :-)

    I'm not sure what's for dinner tonight. There's a company lunch today, and I thought I might be going out to dinner, but not sure that's in the cards. So if I'm home, it just might be a boigah. We'll see how hungry I am. So stay tuned to this Bat channel for scintillating updates, ya hear? ;-)

    38 Replies
    1. re: LindaWhit

      I'm with your mom! I avoid resteraunts and just plain going out on Mothers Day, NYE, Valentines etc.

      I am heading to my sisters on Sunday. She recently broke her wrist so the plan it head to her house and I'll make brunch. The plan is a frittata, country bacon, and something sweet. Then I'll help her with laundry, errands etc.

      I'll head home mid afternoon and that plan is my husband and son will make dinner and we will all relax on the porch. Not sure what they will make, it's supposed to be a surprise. :)

      1. re: LindaWhit

        I always go to "ethnic" restaurants for holidays. Easier to get into a Pakistani restaurant, for example, than into the Cheesecake Factory. Agree that cooking is the best, though, but when you cook every day, going out is refreshing.

        1. re: rudeboy

          We usually go the weekend before or after. At least around here even the ethnic places are packed! We tried to go out for DimSum a few times and also to the Vietnamese hole in the wall places when our son was younger. Just as much of a crowd as our local "better" restaurants. I have never tried to go to a mall place like CKF. I can only imagine!

          1. re: foodieX2

            Yeah, I think that the "ethnic alternative" is out of the bag now! Dim sum is impossible on Mother's Day here.

        2. re: LindaWhit

          I was thinking of letting Mr. Berheenia take me out for a martini even though "I'm not his mother", a phrase I have beaten to death over the years. Agree about not going out to eat but I can sit at the bar and enjoy the pandemonium. I'd rather eat at home. Maybe a nice steak on the Barbie. The kids will call or we'll skype.

          1. re: Berheenia

            Did you say you're grilling a Barbie? Keep the kids away from the burning at the stake. It may be too much trauma for them.

          2. re: LindaWhit

            We always just go to our club, which has a very nice Mother's Day buffet from about 12:30 until 5:30. We usually go earlier rather than later -- this year at 1PM. I'm looking forward to the raw bar, the sushi and the smoked salmon, which are pretty basic, but always a treat. And I have to have a Bloody Mary, extra spicy.

              1. re: rudeboy

                I'd actually love to go to a Pakistani restaurant, but traditions are traditions!

                1. re: rudeboy

                  Me neither! I don't have a local bar, either, but I've always wanted one.

                  1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                    Fortunately, and unfortunately, I have a local bar. Ginny's Little Longhorn in Austin TX. Having such a place within walking distance is dangerous!

                    1. re: rudeboy

                      I cant imagine not having a "local" - the one down the block is a real "old head" Philly bar but comes in handy - thankfully my neighborhood has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to watering holes - when I was in QNS it was a great Irish Pub and in TX an Icehouse - I miss Ice Houses

                      No "Clubs" around here - not that kind anyway - -just the kind that need bouncers but my grandparents always took us to theirs when we visit them in the country - pool - golf - dining I miss that too I wish I could have bought that house but I was is HS when they sold it.

                      1. re: rudeboy

                        Do they still do chicken shit bingo there? I love Austin and its wonderful ways.

                        1. re: weezieduzzit

                          its been years but that was the best Q I have ever had - I love Austin and TX in general.

                          1. re: weezieduzzit

                            Yes, every Sunday. Dale Watson (awesome country singer) bought it from Ginny and redid the place a bit. Bingo is outside now, and the stage for the band was moved to where the pool table was. My wife won it once and cleared $140.

                            My daughter and I, on our walks, always visit the chicken coop out back. (an aside, I'm in an urban-ish neighborhood, but plenty of people have coops. Chickens sometimes get loose and run the streets....people post to the neighborhood listserv regarding errant chickens found or lost. There's a yearly thing called the "Funky Coop Chicken Tour" or something, where you can go and visit people's setup. Lot's of free eggs or for sale cheap).

                            Anyhow, I am positive that Ginny's will have a Mother's Day celebration on Sunday. Grab yout mothers or their spirits and buy the plane tickets!

                            1. re: rudeboy

                              urban chickens are the thing apparently, they keep popping up lost on my local discussion board too - I am tempted to get some but not sure I'm up for the coop cleaning.

                              1. re: JTPhilly

                                JTPhilly, I guess we're allowed to have 3 chickens- and some neighbors do- but we also have racoons and coyotes right here in the middle of the city that like to eat chickens and it's a horrible bloody sight when they do.

                                1. re: weezieduzzit

                                  they are technically illegal here - but like open containers, parking on the sidewalk. and weed nobody cares. We have possum, feral cats and apparently raccoons I am also concerned about my own pets - although I think the Mastiff would never hurt them and the Chihuahua would probably hump them and they would likely scare my cat to death.

                                  1. re: JTPhilly

                                    "I think the Mastiff would never hurt them and the Chihuahua would probably hump them"

                                    Lol JT

                                    1. re: nothingswrong

                                      As a person that has been humped by many a chihuahua, I understand.

                                      1. re: rudeboy

                                        Funny, 'cause my little Chihuahua mix has never humped me once in her 10 years til last night. I climbed into the doggie pen (I put it up at night) to say hello and she latched onto my bare leg with both claws and started humping. It took me completely off guard and I actually screamed. Bf came running in and just started cracking up. Don't know what got into her. He says it was the sight of my rarely-bare legs :/

                                      2. re: nothingswrong

                                        oh, he has a "relationship" with my cat and a thing for buxom women. There is no stopping l'l dude

                                    2. re: JTPhilly

                                      Urban chickens were voted a "no" in my city recently. I don't really feel one way or the other about it, but a friend of mine has several and says the cleaning is a pain.

                                    3. re: rudeboy

                                      I've been a big Dale Watson fan for years. :) We talk about moving to Austin now and then (Good food, music and hotrod and custom culture like the Lone Star RoundUp.) If I could get the man to spend more time there I know I could convince him.....

                                      That's really cool that enough people have yard birds to do a tour. Only in Austin.

                                      1. re: weezieduzzit

                                        Just don't bring him here in the summer. It is intolerable. I'm working on finding a way to leave in mid July through early Sept and go north. We were looking at Landsdale PA and environs, because that's where my Philly girl is from. Need more money.

                                        JTPhilly, I had a coon in my kitchen once. Heard sounds in the middle of the night, so I got up to investigate. The range light was on. I swung open the galley door, and he was eating my dog's food, then looked up at me with a look in it's eye like "don't F with me." I gently closed the door and let him finish. I had a dog door that he came through. Guess it could have been a girl coon.

                                        What is this thread about? Oh, yeah, my wife's a mother. Thinking of doing prime tenderloin with a derivation of hollandaise. I know that sounds rich, but I know that she will love it.

                                  2. re: rudeboy

                                    I've always had a local but never one named after me. Maybe I shoulda retired to Austin
                                    :)
                                    Ginny

                                1. re: rjbh20

                                  Right. He's got to shine that piece up!

                                  1. re: rjbh20

                                    *At* the club or a private serenade at home?

                                    1. re: linguafood

                                      At the club. When he was little, there was a pianist who played at the event, which they no longer have. My son would sidle over to him asking if the pianist would mind if he'd have a go, and he'd play his latest Bach or whatever he was learning at the time. It just became something he'd do on Mother's Day.

                                      1. re: roxlet

                                        That's cool. The band at the American Embassy Club let me practice my drum skills when I was around 12 or 13 briefly, but they weren't satisfactory. This was before I'd realized I could sing.

                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                  Cheeboigah, Cheeboigah! No Coke - wine!

                                  Yup, going with this morning's craving. Whole Foods had their "Buck a Burger" sale today, so I picked up several packages.

                                  Caramelized, crispy shallots and Manchego cheese very thinly sliced so it began to melt top the medium-rare burger, which went on a "burger size" toasted and lightly buttered English muffin (ketchup on the bottom half).

                                  Tater chips and wine are the sides, and something from OnDemand on the tube. No idea what, however.

                                  Happy Friday evening, all!

                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                    And a Happy Friday to you Linda! That dinner sounds really good. Are you eating alone or enjoying the meal with others?

                                    It should be interesting to see who the Pats take tonight in the NFL draft.

                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                      Rats I love the buck a burger sale at WF. Maybe a ride to Hadley is in order ..... chin chin!

                                      1. re: Berheenia

                                        I was pleasantly surprised, Berheenia. Quarter pound each, 85/15 grind, and they cooked up very nicely.

                                        I *think* this was a one-day sale, however. But if you go and they're not available, it can't hurt to ask the manager if s/he could make an exception for you, since you have to drive a distance to shop there.

                                  2. For Mother's Day my brother and I will take Mom out to dinner - a rare occurrence because she usually prefers to cook - it is a year and a week since my Grandmother passed so for the first time we don't have an extended family obligation I will meet them in Manhattan saving a leg of the trip for me - we are going for BBQ (Hill Country) which is not very Mothers Day fare but its something we all can enjoy not easy because lil bro has some real limitations in his food preferences otherwise mom and I would be going for Korean or sushi or something

                                    at home for myself I have another one of my low effort cheap cut braise attempts - lamb neck and shoulder - seasoned and browned - deglazed with RW and stock and added to SC with roasted tomato shallots and garlic - super easy only a few bucks (cheaper than a pizza) and over rice will make a savory ready to eat meal when I get home tonight whenever that may be.

                                     
                                    9 Replies
                                      1. re: steve h.

                                        I tasted some when it came out of the crock this AM - it was very tasty. I love the combo of Lamb, tomatoes and wine - basic & comforting - it must be the Abruzzese in me LOL

                                        1. re: steve h.

                                          ended up breaking it down into a "risotto" type dish made with Orzo Perlato i brought back from Siena aka pearled barley - it sounded much fancier in Italian - with some room to experiment It worked well - earthy and chewy complimented the flavors well. It was sort of a backfire because the weather changed so suddenly to warm and humid a braised dish was a hard sell.

                                           
                                        2. re: JTPhilly

                                          JTPhilly - what is "SC?" And do you mean TX hill country? I'm adjacent to that.

                                          1. re: rudeboy

                                            oh "slow cooker" I am a terrible abbreviator

                                            no, not the real Hill Country - its the name of a Manhattan BBQ joint that has a TX theme :(

                                            I do love the real Hill Country though - tubing on the Guadalupe, bad wineries, good German pastries and real Q I wish we were going there!

                                            oh now I want Salt Lick

                                            1. re: JTPhilly

                                              If you ever make it back this way, then we can go together and I will treat. I know how to order there, too. The wineries have (slowly) gotten better. I feel for them, and I use to have 20 vines in my backyard. After numerous droughts, they all died. I just mowed over the last one last year.

                                              That's another good Mother's Day idea - a wine tour and portable charcuterie and cheese in a cooler.

                                              1. re: rudeboy

                                                thanks for the offer - return to TX is on my bucket list for sure - I have a cheesesteak for ya in Philly in return.

                                                wine tours are fun even if the wine is awful but drive mom around and get her tipsy sounds good!

                                                I have one sad concord vine that I keep threatening to chop down - I don't mean to throw stones - have you ever tasted PA wine? Don't.

                                              2. re: JTPhilly

                                                Hill country (in nyc) is near madison square eats, which is just outside of eataly by madison sqare park. You may want to wander thru for snacks for later or check out the awesome eataly wine shop next door on w23rd. Eataly itself will be a zoo but the gelato counter is close enough to the door to do a hit and run....

                                                1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                  I did not know about Madison Square Eats - that looks cool - one of my favorite spots in the city I used to take my lunch there often, I love how it has been revitalized. Eataly will be a zoo for sure - Me and Mom have done that before - both for little bro are like an episode of fear factor though. Good tip on the Gelato counter!

                                          2. Final Menu thanks to help from this board. Asparagus soup with parmesan flan, lamb shoulder roast with artichokes, lemon and anchovy oil, caponata cous cous and strawberry rhubarb crisp for dessert. I hope my mom loves it!

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: KateBChi

                                              How could Mom NOT love such a wonderful meal, Kate? Enjoy.

                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                Lovely meal with one or two hiccups. The Asparagus Soup and particularly the Parmesan Flan were massive hits. The soup ended up so tasty I didn't add cream at the end. I used the flan recipe from epicurious (but NOT their asparagus soup) and it was wonderful. I wasn't thrilled with the only baby artichokes I found but cooked them anyway. Tasted one and threw the rest away. Fortunately I decided to throw in some halved small Yukon potatoes to the roasting pan and cooking in the braising liguid and tomatoes made them really, really good especially when topped with the herbed anchovy oil which I modified significantly. Couldn't find a bone in lamb shoulder roast so went with a bone in leg and reduced cooking time. Lovely lamb but bone in was a bit** to carve. My caponata was too substantial to mix with cous cous so served a plain side of it. Very nice side for the herby, garlicy lamb. Dessert was strawberry rhubarb crumble with whipped cream. Happy sighs all around.

                                                    1. I was crazy lazy last night: jalapeño cheddar chicken burger with avocado and sharp cheddar. Gosh this photo is ugly.

                                                       
                                                      5 Replies
                                                      1. re: gini

                                                        Its not about the picture, it's about the taste and that sounds like a mighty tasty combo.

                                                        1. re: gini

                                                          Are you kidding - I could eat my screen. mmmmm

                                                          1. re: gini

                                                            You are so sweet, folks, thanks!

                                                            1. re: gini

                                                              Yeah, the photo is fine. I'm a poor shutterbug, which is why I don't post photos. If I could produce a damn pic as good as that, I'd be happy. I could eat the screen as well because that looks damn good. Is that chicken breast meat?

                                                              1. re: rudeboy

                                                                It's a premade chicken patty I buy at the grocery store. I suppose it's some sort of ground chicken (hopefully!). Looks like pleanty of ground chicken patty recipes out there though!

                                                          2. My mom is 1600 miles away, so Mother's Day will be celebrated with a card and a phone call. My parents are coming to visit at the end of June, though, so proper celebrations of both Mother's and Father's Days will happen in the near future.

                                                            As for dinner, tonight is sort of a fridge clean-out inspired by a post (by who, I can't remember) about a Bittman recipe where you roast a bunch of things in the oven. I will be roasting chicken drumsticks with cubed eggplant and mushrooms and olive oil, seasoned with fresh thyme and nutmeg. It will be served over pasta with a popped burrata mozzarella. I'm hoping the cream from the burrata will make a bit of a sauce.