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What's for Dinner #302 -- The Slide Towards Summer Edition! [through May 30, 2014]

Memorial Day usually marks the beginning of summer despite what the calendar says, and I can feel a bit of that summer vibe today -- it's kind of humid, and my dog is panting after the smallest exertion. I kind of feel that way too, though I don't pant, as far as I know.

Tonight it will be just me and the visiting Egyptian since rjbh20 will be off playing squash, and my son will be at CitiField watching a game courtesy of a member of the opposing team who used to be a student at my son's school. Pro athletes rarely come from his school! Given that it's just the two of us, my plan is to make burgers -- house ground very rich beef burgers for him, and a lighter turkey burger for me. With that will be a salad.

What's on your table as we slide towards summer?

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  1. :::bookmarking thread with this post:::: Leftovers for the next few nights, at least. :-)

    1. My SO is taking me to our favorite Italian restaurant for dinner to celebrate my one year anniversary of quitting smoking. I feel terrible that I was so mean to nice people here during the process but (and I am not making excuses) quitting smoking is unbelievably hard and brings out the worst in people.

      I apologize to everyone I was mean to this last year while going through the withdrawal. Trust me, it was not fun.

      55 Replies
      1. re: Fowler

        Woohoo, that's a great milestone! Congratulations to you! I've never smoked but I've read that quitting is harder than heroin. Be proud, you did a great thing for yourself :)

        1. re: fldhkybnva

          Thank you fldhkybnva.You are such a nice and supportive person. My Doctor told me the same thing and agrees quitting smoking is even tougher than quitting heroin and people get very unpleasant during the withdrawal process.

          It will be interesting to see how many people here accept my apology. Probably none, but that would speak more about their character than mine.

          1. re: Fowler

            1 year! Congratulations!

            Speaking only for myself, if someone's behavior seems out of character I just assume they have something stressful going on in "real life" and don't give it another thought.

            In my years posting on CH there have only been 3 people who were truly nasty in a very personal way to me. And you are not one of them!

            1. re: meatn3

              Thanks meatn3. I agree and also conclude that if someone is sort of nasty on the board maybe they just lost their job or are going through a divorce or going through any of the many difficulties people experience in life. I just forgive anything they may have said and move on rather than continuing to hold a grudge.

              1. re: Fowler

                Hang in there Fowler!!!.

                I smoked breifly as a teen and while in college but never took it up. I do now keep a humidor with cigars that seldom see use except during the summer months.

                At $5-6+ a pack, cigarettes get mega expensive mega fast.
                There's a LOT of good foodie food and cooking that can be done with that money. Keep on keepin'-on. <thumbsup>

                1. re: jjjrfoodie

                  Thank you very much for the great comment jjjrfoodie. I definitely know how expensive it was and something that got me through the ordeal was every Friday I would jot down on a slip of paper how much money I saved that week by not smoking. I put each slip in a box and now I am going to use that money I saved to buy gifts for the people that had to put up with me for the past year.

                  1. re: Fowler

                    And just imagine if you lived in NYC, where cigarettes are almost $15 a pack! Congratulations on your achievement!

                    1. re: Fowler

                      My mother is a head and neck surgeon with lots of very sick patients who smoke. She tells them to put that $5-$10 a week into a big jar in the kitchen that they're no longer spending on cigarettes. Then at the end of the year, take a nice vacation!

            2. re: fldhkybnva

              You were never mean to me so no apology neccessary in my direction. Big congratulations on your one year anniversary! As Field Hawk notes, I have always heard that it is worse than heroin, so hat is off to you for sure. Thank heavens my parents' cigarettes grossed me out so much as a kid that I never picked up the habit, as who knows if I would be strong enough to quit. Enjoy your celebratory meal!

              1. re: GretchenS

                Thank you, GretchenS and I really appreciate your kind comment.

            3. re: Fowler

              Hmmm... very interesting. and my answer is "yes".

                1. re: Fowler

                  Fowler - Congrats you should be proud and I am sure feel much better - at the end of this summer it will be 2 years for me - OMG I was MEAN when I quit(not on CH only because I was not here LOL) Have a good dinner and enjoy your freedom from that horrible habit.

                  1. re: JTPhilly

                    JTPhilly, I am so glad you quit and keep up your commitment to not smoking. You are right and I do feel much better and food tastes more fantastic as well.

                  2. re: Fowler

                    I noticed not a hint of anything weird and would like to offer my sincere congrats on your milestone. I've watched my best girlfriend and my own mother struggle and fail to quit but you DID it. That's huge.
                    I hope dinner is fantabulous. It is well deserved.

                    1. re: Fowler

                      While I've not experienced your "meanness" I have noticed it directed toward others. In spite if this I will offer my Congratulations on your One Year Anniversary. Well done. It's a tough struggle for many. For myself, I quit almost 30 years ago. Cold Turkey. I guess once I made up my mind to stop it was a "fait complete" and I never looked back. I thought I would the last person on the planet to be smoking and now I can smell second hand smoke a mile away. Ugh, and Ewwww.

                      1. re: Fowler

                        Fowler, I started smoking at 8 years old. Older family members insisted so I couldn't tell on them. I quit a few times and revisited it now and then but have been smoke free since I was 38 (5 years). I have to agree, it's a bitch and a half. Now if only I could get James on board. A thousand congratulations on quitting for a year. What a nice way to commemorate such a milestone. Have a great time.

                        1. re: suzigirl

                          suzigirl, I totally know what you are going through. Like James, my SO smokes and it is VERY difficult to remain smoke free and also sit next to a loved one who is smoking because then I want to smoke and also am the "bad person" that begs my SO to not smoke because I do not want them to die of lung cancer.

                          1. re: suzigirl

                            Wow, you started at only 8 years old! And here I thought I began early: around the tender age of 12, although my dad would let me 'start' his cigs as young as 7 -- the 70s were.... a different time, I guess.

                            I quit many times over the years, but thankfully never had to deal with the (supposed/alleged) "withdrawals" so many people mention, i.e. no migraines for me, no irritability, etc. pp., but perhaps one already has to have a bitchy side for it to come out in these situations '-D

                            I did gain a ridiculous amount of weight the first time around, tho (approx. 20 lbs. within 2 months!!!), which is why I ended up starting up again after 2 years. Naturally, the weight dropped almost immediately. Fer shame!

                            But we all react differently to things, amirite? I've been tobacco-free now since my birthday in September and haven't looked back.

                            Smoking cigarettes is a nasty habit, not to mention one of *the* most unhealthy things one can do to one's body.

                            Here's to healthy minds in healthy bodies!

                            1. re: linguafood

                              I quit way way way back in 1979 (on a dare from my youngest stepbrother - who still owes me the $50 bet [plus a LOT of interest!], and while I didn't lash out at people, I definitely had the weight gain as you did, lingua. Then again, that weight gain has continued to my 55th year as I continued to learn more about cooking and enjoying the eating of said cooking, so I think that's just me. :D

                              Quitting smoking is tough, but when I realized that food tasted so much better, it was a done deal that I would "stay quit" of cigarettes.

                              1. re: linguafood

                                The seventies were definitely a different time. I only had cravings from hell. Luckily no weight gain or bitchyness. But I started being able to smell cigarettes from long distances. I could get out of my car in a parking lot and smell a cigarette from a smoker in front of the store or at a traffic light with my windows closed. Crazy.

                                1. re: suzigirl

                                  I find it interesting how many 'hounds smoke or did smoke. Is there some correlation between foodies and cigarette smoking?? Or is it the booze and the smoking that go hand in hand?

                                  I'm a current smoker. Started at 12, quickly was a pack a day or more, and stayed that way. Quit once for a year and a half and I craved them every single day, then finally gave in and started again. So I guess I didn't quit.

                                  Recently the bf hounded me to quit again so I said sure, no prob, it's time. Didn't stress about it, we set a quit date. I loaded up on patches to get me through that awful first week (which I've had to do many times while in the hospital). D-day came and I woke up and went about my day, but the boyfriend came home around 11 AM and had already chainsmoked half a pack. He's no good at quitting things.

                                  Good to see all of you who have been able to quit and stay that way. I'm hoping to before 30, which is fast approaching.

                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                    It is interesting, isn't it?
                                    I don't smoke and only have had a puff or two a small handful of times in my life. But, I do love me some fine food and beverage. I guess everyone in just hardwired in a certain way.
                                    Being around smokers doesn't bother me for whatever reason, but caring for my grandmother as she died from lung cancer did. A lot.
                                    Best to those who are staying quit and to those making the effort to stop.
                                    And who am I to judge if you do smoke? I drink. We're all just human.

                                    1. re: alliegator

                                      Smoking is a nasty habit. I always had high-stress jobs and relied on caffeine and nicotine. I quit smoking almost 20 years ago. I still have anxiety dreams.

                                    2. re: nothingswrong

                                      I was peer pressured into smoking. But I made the decision to start inhaling and continue to smoke. I can say for myself it became a booze/smoking thing once I started drinking.

                                      Just a thought. Some people aren't the cold turkey kind, me being one of them. It took me about a month to quit by giving up alcohol entirely for a while and restricting my smoking little by little. Today I can't have my first morning cigarette anymore. Next I can't smoke until noon. No more smoking after meals. No more smoking until evening time. eventually I cut down to one cigarette a day and then I quit. You might be more suited to this approach. And stick it out even if bf doesn't. I have for 5 years except a drag here and there when I drink which I ALWAYS regret because it just tastes like shit now.

                                      1. re: suzigirl

                                        When I was in my early 20s, I used to try and quit all the time just because I knew I was supposed to. It was like every couple months, I'd get all huffy about it and make a big stink to ex hubby (who smoked like a chimney). He'd just roll his eyes, sit back, and watch the chaos ensue. I could do 4 or 5 days each time, but I'd have to not drink any coffee. Coffee = nicotine cravings like nobody's business. So day 5 I'd wake up and get an espresso and as if in a blackout, I'd be standing in front of 7-11 ripping open a pack of smokes in no time.

                                        So I just stopped trying to quit all the time and it's been maybe 5 years since I've even considered it seriously. My dad the cardiologist tells me to quit by 40 and I'll have little risk of heart disease repercussions. I lost my grandmother to emphysema and my other grandmother is currently losing her battle to lung cancer (both smoked for many years, as was the fashion, but quit before I was born). My mother the head and neck surgeon has been trying to get me to quit from the moment she discovered my habit. She loathes cigarettes and alcohol and has never taken part in either. She once got members of my family to each offer up $1,000 for me to quit on the spot. I was 18 and would've made like $7,000 but I said no way. Lol.

                                        It's funny as you get older, you really start to feel like a smoker. It's strikingly unattractive now and I get winded too easily. My doctors have told me it's quite good for slow gastric motility though !!

                                        I'm sure I will quit the way you did Suzi. You don't hear people doing that often, but knowing me, that'll be the way to go. An abrupt change is too much to handle. With a patch and an e-cig I find I don't need to smoke any real cigarettes at all. I'm hoping to "taper" off to that, and then remove the patch and e-cig eventually too.

                                        1. re: nothingswrong

                                          My ex hubs insisted I quit and said he would follow suit and two years went by without him quitting. When we divorced I fell right back in the habit with my roommate. I can relate to the hubs smoking in front of you.

                                          Girl, I would have taken the money and ran. But I am sure I would have been a sneak and just not smoked around them until the money was gone.

                                          I hope you quit. It is a little easier if you wean yourself. It doesn't seem like you are losing a friend all at once. James tried the e-cigs and it just didn't last. The smokes crept back in slowly.I hope your grandmothers history will help you make the decision easier.

                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                            When I quit smoking in 2006, I had to play a little mind-game with myself. I had one pack of cigarettes left, and I put it in the glove box of my car. The deal I made with myself was that if I got a craving, I'd wait five minutes and go out to the car and get a cigarette if I still wanted one after the five minutes. I never went out and got one. It wasn't easy, but knowing it was right there was a lot easier than craving a smoke and going crazy thinking I'd have to go to the store if I wanted one.

                                            The unopened pack stayed in the car for several months - until DH decided to quit, too. He succumbed to his cravings, went out to MY car a few times and smoked stale Virginia Slims Menthol Lights. Bleah. They were nasty enough that just a couple of those did the trick. We have both been smoke free since.

                                          2. re: suzigirl

                                            Word on your last 2 sentences. On two occasions I had a drag of a bud's cig, and it truly tasted like crap. I don't even miss the nicotine anymore.

                                            1. re: suzigirl

                                              after several failed attempts and a few long quits blown ultimately only cold turkey worked for me, but it really was not a choice - i waited until it actually just hurt too much to smoke after recurring bronchitis had met with a bad cold and left me hacking so much my throat was bruised - i just had to stop and after a week decided to make it for real this time, i was just too young to be taking little steps and gasping for breath at 36 - a internet support board was a critical help. My Dad is currently undergoing treatment for throat cancer - he quit 10 years ago - his treatment has gone well so far - thankfully he does not have to deal with quitting smoking AND surgery/chemo/radiation at the same time. After 20+ months I do not want to smoke - but I still have a sweet tooth - and what i can only call hypoglycemia - i get dizzy and confused if I don.t eat - and must eat breakfast/cant skip meals, where as a smoker i rarely ate breakfast and could run around all day on a weekend without eating - just puffing away. Only downside mosquitos bite me now and the dogs need front-line as they don't live in a toxic cloud of pesticide all day. I won't dare take a drag - i know where that goes for me.

                                              1. re: JTPhilly

                                                Are you saying you think that quitting smoking and the hypoglycemia are related?

                                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                                  chicken? egg? sugar addiction? IDK - smoking nicotine triggers release of fats and sugars - simulating a "snack" to your brain - much of the brain fog and confusion experienced when quitting smoking is due to hypoglycemia (this is my understanding and it makes sense but I am no Doctor) - did smoking cause it? am I just addicted to sugar? or was it pre-existing? who know but apparently I was always in poor temper as a kid if I was hungry. I just know that now I "hit a wall" and *need* sugar - nothing crazy - just eating breakfast and a piece of fruit in the afternoon keeps me level- right when I quit i devoured sugar candy that I had not eaten since I was a kid though.

                                                  1. re: JTPhilly

                                                    I didn't know that JT. Interesting. I've had hypoglycemia since I was a little kid. Mom had to safety pin notes to my clothes saying "Please allow NW to snack often or she will faint." All the other kids were jealous because mom would send me off with a bag of sweets from our corner European bakery every morning.

                                                    I guess that also partially explains why smokers eat so much when they quit, and consequently tend to gain so much weight. I've noticed a lot of people quit by sucking on hard candy or repeatedly eating Snickers bars.

                                              2. re: suzigirl

                                                I hardly drank any booze when I first quit, as that was (and continued to be) my biggest trigger.

                                                Even when I had become a very occasional, 'social' smoker, I would only feel like a smoke when I was drinking.

                                                Once they banned it in NYC, there was *no fucking way* I would stand out there in the cold, SANS drink (the idiotic open container laws) and freeze my butt off while sucking on that nasty, nasty stuff.

                                                So glad to be done with it :-)

                                              3. re: nothingswrong

                                                " Or is it the booze and the smoking that go hand in hand?"

                                                That was part of the issue with me. I traveled Monday through Friday for business and there often was not much better to do after work than sit at the hotel bar smoking and drinking. Oddly after college and grad school I never smoked during the day, but as soon as I sat down at the hotel bar and had a drink or went out on the weekends with friends the smokes came out.

                                                One of the key things for me being able to quit smoking was that for the first 3 months I literally did not have a drop to drink because I just knew that was a trigger. Also, and as crazy as it sounds when I committed to quit I purchased a pack of cigarettes. I still have it and know that if I ever open it I will not be able to have just one and will smoke off the entire pack and just be addicted again and have to go through the misery of quitting once again. No thanks.

                                                1. re: Fowler

                                                  Yeah I know quite a few people who smoke when they drink. They'll lecture me up and down about how filthy and disgusting it is, but get a few drinks in 'em and they're begging me for one.

                                                  I used to have a boss who'd pour a couple drinks every Friday night and have one cigarette. She'd been doing this for like 20+ years and never smoked or drank at other times. I was like 22 and in awe at her "restraint."

                                                  As a still active smoker, I understand the traveling and afterwork drink/smoke thing. I no longer drink alcohol but when I'm bored and waiting, nothing seems to kill time better than something to drink (coffee, soda, whatever) and a smoke. And don't get me started on sitting in traffic. I think if I'm going to quit, I'll have to move out of L.A. for a while.

                                                  1. re: Fowler

                                                    Congrats on the year Fowler. It's a tough thing to do and I think the first year is the hardest.

                                                    I had to avoid alcohol to give up smoking too. After several failed attempts I eventually spent a year as a social recluse and devoted myself to stripping wallpaper and painting my house rather than sitting in bars with workmates after work.

                                                    Ten years on I still have moments where I feel like a cigarette but like you pointed out, there's no way I want to put myself through the misery of quitting again. Well done to you!

                                          3. re: Fowler

                                            Congrats on one year and good on you for the apology. It's hard to both quit smoking AND apologize and you've managed to do both.

                                            I quit about 10 years ago and it was brutal. I decided the only thing that could keep me from smoking was either running or taking a shower as I couldn't imagine smoking during either of those activities. Suffice it to say I spent a lot of time in the shower for about 3 months.

                                            I hope all your taste buds have renewed themselves and that you have a great dinner.

                                            1. re: gini

                                              What a nice reply and thanks so much, gini. You are right that quitting is brutal. I spent most of my career on the road and at times there really was not much to do at night other than sit at the hotel bar drinking, smoking and talking with other business travelers. It became a habit and a very hard one to break.

                                              I am glad to hear you quit as well.

                                            2. re: Fowler

                                              I think it's great when someone achieves what they want to achieve in life. Giving up drugs, like nicotine and alcohol, is a tough decision and one that I still battle with daily, nearly 15 years after stopping.

                                              As for apologies to users of an internet discussion board - these are never needed. We are who we are. We choose what we write and, unlike in spoken conversation, we have the ability to consider what we're writing before we hit "send" (and can quickly edit if we want). We form views about folk, who we will never know, based on what they write - it may be their true persona, it may be a character they assume for a board. To me, it is as pointless worrying about whether I have been unpleasant to someone, or they have been unpleasant to me, as whether I worry that it gets dark at night.

                                              And, hey, Fowler - in writing my considered post, does that make me one of the people who, as you said upthread, if they don't accept your apology then it says more about their character than it does yours? Just asking.

                                              1. re: Harters

                                                Harters, Considering your explanation, my answer to your question is definitely no.

                                                I certainly appreciate your well thought out reply. I have at times during the last year been sharp with you and that is one of the reasons why I extended the apology.

                                                And good for you Harters for 15 years without nicotine!

                                                1. re: Fowler

                                                  Can't recall any particular undue sharpness towards me - possibly with the time difference between continents, the board moderators had deleted the worst excesses of your comments before I saw them.

                                                  I know that you have offended quite a number of folk who contribute to this and other threads by what I'm sure you would now regard as, erm, unfortunate remarks that you've made with some regularity. No doubt, they will appreciate your apology and, as I'm sure we all will, look forward to a "snide free Fowler".

                                                  On the nicotine free front, the first five years are the worst :-) My best wishes for continued abstinence.

                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                    >>>I know that you have offended quite a number of folk who contribute to this and other threads by what I'm sure you would now regard as, erm, unfortunate remarks that you've made with some regularity.<<<

                                                    The thing you left out, Harters, is that there are some people within this and other threads that I have never offended but go out of their way to try and offend or insult me. And it is not my imagination because posters I keep in touch with in person or via e-mail have mentioned that fact.

                                                    Regardless, I appreciate that you took the time to share your feelings. Thanks.

                                                    1. re: Fowler

                                                      Yes, I've read several of your posts when you've expressed this feeling of being persecuted by other board users.

                                                      I'm told that you expressed that about me on one thread but your comments had been deleted by the time I was able to try and read the thread. Perhaps for the best.

                                                      Anyway, let me repeat my wish that the past period of your life is now over and all can be "sweetness and light" on the WFD threads.

                                              2. re: Fowler

                                                Yesterday as we checked out our new membership at the "Wholesale Club" we almost fainted when we saw that a carton of Marlboro's was 80 bucks! Back in to 90's we were a two carton a week couple.

                                                1. re: Berheenia

                                                  Carton (10 pcks x 20) would set you back around £85 in the UK. Around $142.

                                                  1. re: Berheenia

                                                    I quit smoking @ 60 cents a pack. Paying $8.00 a pack or whatever they are now is insane!

                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                      In one of those weaker moments of years past, late at night somewhere in the Village, I had a drunken craving for a cigarette. One. Just one. Went to the next deli and thought, what the hell -- I'll buy a pack and give it to my smoking friends. Whatever the dude at the register said didn't make a goddamn bit of sense, so I asked him to repeat: "That'll be 14.37, ma'm". I told him to forget about it.

                                                      Like most ex-smokers, I cannot fathom living with a smoker or spending more time than absolutely necessary in a smoker's home. Ick.

                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                        I am the exception to the rule. Cigarette smoke doesn't bother me. Watching James smoke bothers me but he is a grown man so I deal.

                                                        1. re: suzigirl

                                                          Love conquers much, suzi. Even smoke.

                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                            You said it !! Love him and his bad habits.

                                                  2. re: Fowler

                                                    Congrats on the milestone!

                                                    I quit smoking what seems like a 100 years ago. I am cheap and vain so once they hit a $1.00 a pack I quit, plus I hated the way they made my hair smell. Not even "Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific" or "Body on Tap" could really get rid of the smell.

                                                    And remember not to rest on your laurels. I know many an addict that thought they could just have the occasional XYZ once enough time had past. Addiction is very insidious.

                                                    Lastly- I may be in the minority but I rarely remember rude/nasty posters unless their postings are consistently that way. So while you may have been mean to me it didn't stick with me. When people lash out at me I try to let it roll off my back-some days I am better at it than others.

                                                    There is only one poster I can think of off the top of my head that I identify as so negative, mean and nasty that I try to stay out of the fray when they post. Sometimes I am successful but on the times when I am not I ended up kicking myself. I often wonder what their real life must be like for them to be so negative and argumentative on daily basis, especially when this really is just a message board about food. It makes me pity them.

                                                    1. re: foodieX2

                                                      Maybe they come to the internetz since people in real life run from them?

                                                      That is so funny to read about cigarettes hitting the outrageous price of $1.00 a pack.

                                                      1. re: Fowler

                                                        Congratulations, Fowler. I know EXACTLY what you have gone through. I smoked for 40 years and have been "clean" now for over 6 years. And it is very hard, indeed. I am so happy now. I used Chantix and it made me throw up every day for 3 months (kind of like morning sickness). I swore if I got through that I would never pick up a cigarette again. So, that said, I am really PROUD for you. Keep up the good work. Sending many happy thoughts your way. And food does taste so much better!

                                                        And to all others who have quit, Congratulations to you too. To those who have not, keep trying. You'll be glad you did.

                                                      2. Some kind of chicken.... Ugh. I hate chicken. I have 3 BSCB that I need to do something with. I was thinking of grilling but we are supposed to have heavy thunderstorms between 4pm and midnight so I need a new plan. I'll probably do rice and steamed green beans to go with.

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: Njchicaa

                                                          How about something with a mustard sauce? Quick and flavorful, even with SBCB

                                                          1. re: Njchicaa

                                                            What about a stir-fry, Njchicaa? You could still use the green beans - just add some garlic, ginger, soy sauce, dry sherry, carrot pennies, and a cornstarch or flour slurry and serve it over that same rice. Oh - and top it with peanuts and/or cashews if you're not allergic. :-)

                                                            1. re: Njchicaa

                                                              Maybe something from (or inspired by) COTM? Chicken with apricots or Chicken with Cashew gravy both got good reviews.
                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/974167

                                                              1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                I hate chicken too, unless it's butterflied and sauteed with capers.

                                                              2. it is getting to that time of year when I just don't want to heat up the house when I get home from work

                                                                put some chicken legs and thighs on a rack over beer in the slow cooker over night - have some nice roasted chicken and a tasty looking jus in the fridge- and some homemade mayo that I am wanting to use up + too many buns from the cookout - I am thinking dippable sammies

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: JTPhilly

                                                                  It's already 89 in my kitchen so I figure turning on the oven really isn't going to make a difference in my comfort level at this point.

                                                                2. I've got some strip steaks defrosting. I think we'll sear those and serve with some stir-fried pea shoots and maybe a fennel-orange salad. I liked what I saw in the link to a carrot salad posted in the last thread.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                    Yeah, steaks were definitely not thawed by dinnertime. Luckily, there was a flat iron in the back of the fridge that was ready, together with leftover braised green beans and some baby peas. It worked.

                                                                  2. Tonight it's Donna Hay's little salmon cakes made with lime, wasabi and ginger and soy based dipping sauce. Sides will be some kind of cucumber salad and steamed rice.

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: helen_m

                                                                      mmmm, never met a salmon cake I didn't like, would love to hear more about these if you think them worth repeating

                                                                      1. re: GretchenS

                                                                        These are old favourites, I've been making them since I bought the book (Flavours) in 2001! Really easy, quick and healthy. It's just salmon chopped into small cubes flavoured with wasabi, grated ginger, lime zest (the original recipe calls for shredded kaffir lime leaves but it's hard to find fresh ones) and bound with egg white and cornflour. The dipping sauce is equal quantities of soy and lime juice sweetened with a little brown sugar.

                                                                        1. re: helen_m

                                                                          I Love Donna Hay's recipes! I have several of her cookbooks, and Flavors is one of them! Thanks for mentioning the recipe.

                                                                    2. I have boneless skinless chicken thighs marinating in balsamic, dark soy, dry sherry, honey and garlic
                                                                      I'm going to light up the grill and serve with a side of brown rice and some stir fired veggies
                                                                      (that is as long as the weather cooperates!)

                                                                      1. Last night I made a pasta with the rest of what was on hand -- not as much fun or as tasty as my little tapas but at least I have a clean slate now and I did not have to go to the store. I have been craving fish "tacos" (the lettuce kind) for about a week now so will swing by the store on the way home and hope there is some nice fish available for them.

                                                                        1. Spicy dry-rubbed ribs
                                                                          Collard greens with smoked ham hocks
                                                                          Tangy coleslaw with celery seed and avocado oil

                                                                          Thank goodness I made big batches for Memorial Day because it has been summer for all of one day and it's already too hot to cook in my tiny tinderbox of an apartment. I have a hankering for a side of cold potato salad for my hot dinner, but instead I think I'll have some of the gaily dressed herring under a fur coat that I picked up at a Russian deli over the weekend. Nothing like a brightly colored salad to liven up an otherwise drab and brown plate.

                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                          1. re: JungMann

                                                                            Ummm..... 'herring under a fur coat'? Please elaborate.

                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                              That's the literal translation for the layered salad called selyodka pod shuboy in Russian. Typically it is made of salt-cured herring, potatoes, beets and sieved eggs in a creamy dill dressing. I first encountered it at an office potluck where the composed salad was a stunner next to all our microwaved beigeness. The dressing had turned a vibrant fuchsia from the diced beets while the herring itself wore a shaggy fur coat of shredded potatoes polka dotted with egg yolks. It sounds like an odd jumble, but it's a perfect combination. The shredded potatoes have the nostalgic texture of McDonald's hashbrowns, but quickly dissolve into creaminess while the combination of beets and eggs give the dressing earthiness and funk. The Boston Globe picture attached gives a good idea of what the salad generally looks like at the deli case, though Google Images shows some more flamboyant examples of herring styled in Santa outfits with potato trim or, even better, donning babushkas of tomato skin.

                                                                               
                                                                              1. re: JungMann

                                                                                I had the same experience at an office pot luck but all us ugly Americans thought it was one of those pink jello things and we thoroughly insulted the woman who made it- no one touched it. She was a colleague of mine so I learned near the end of the party what we had been missing and had a large helping- delicious. She was from the Dominican Republic and called it a Ensalada rusa or Russian Salad in English.

                                                                                1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                  This makes an appearance at our office potlucks, too.

                                                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                    I had no idea how popular Russian salad was throughout the Spanish-speaking world. A bit of Googling turns up that potato salad is called "ensalada rusa" in Spanish (a reference to the Russian "salad olivye") with regional variations popping up in nearly every Latin American country.

                                                                                    When I was a kid, my mother made something similar with beets, potatoes, pineapples and shredded chicken. I don't remember what we called it, but I assumed it was American in origin (neither beets nor Miracle Whip being native to the Philippines). It'd be a fascinating turn of events if that salad was actually copied from the Spanish who were in turn copying the Russians a century and a half ago.

                                                                                    1. re: JungMann

                                                                                      Ensaladilla is certainly very popular in Spain. Not really as a restaurant dish but certainly a domestic one.

                                                                          2. Today we signed up at B.J.'s - the lesser Costco IMHO but the only show in town. We had a coupon for a 60 day free trial but boy did the guy at the membership counter push us to join, that is pay a membership fee. Sorry buster- no way. We bought a rotisserie chicken and its WFD. Gotta see how it stacks up to Costco's bird. Mashed potatoes (local) and spinach for the sides.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Berheenia

                                                                              Their rotis chicky isn't bad, Berheenia. I actually think they pretty much all taste the same, whether it's Market Basket, BJ's, or Boston Market, so don't go by me. :-)

                                                                              I more than make back my membership fee in that I buy toilet tissue, paper towels, and Kleenex tissue in bulk, along with some of their snack mix, ground beef (non-pink slime beef from awhile back - I checked!). And I like that they have a wine section at my two local BJ's (those great MA laws that allow franchise to only have 3 stores with liquor licenses).

                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                If they only had the wine,, sung to the tune of the tin man song

                                                                            2. Omg! A girl goes away for a few days and a entire thread is finito.
                                                                              I'll do more detail with pics later. Came back from LA yesterday AM so pap would not holiday alone. We just did big ol' juicy cheeseborgers on the grill with iceberg and 'mater salad.
                                                                              Tonight is my fave: penne arrabbiata.
                                                                              Then: the diet. I tried to gain back all my weight I lost with the gallbladder operation and I overshot that mark a bit. Yikes. But such is life.
                                                                              Hope you all enjoyed the long weekend :)

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: alliegator

                                                                                    I hear you girl. I have not gained back all my weight from GP but definitely more than I planned. That's okay, it is an insurance policy for when I am sick again. Hope you had a ball in LA.

                                                                                  2. What's on my dinner table as I slide towards summer is stuffed pepper patties and a nice English cucumber salad with a sour cream vinaigrette that reminds me of my grandma's from my youth. It makes me very happy. I had a sour cream cucumber salad in the school cafeteria as a child and asked my grandma to make it for me. She was also a lunch lady in another school and just made a phone call. She made it into a family sized recipe and history was made(kidding).

                                                                                    Some pre oven shots:

                                                                                     
                                                                                     
                                                                                    13 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                      I love the sound of that cucumber salad!

                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                          And I love the look of those stuffed peppers. Pared down like that they are something quite special. I love my Mother's stuffing and can imagine how it would taste, so may use it when I try to make yours. That's a simple tomato sauce you used to cook the peppers?

                                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                                            The stuffed pepper patties are delicious when they get a nice sear and have a bit more umph than a regular stuffed pepper. I have no recipe and just make the recipe by feel so I would not only say yes to your mom's recipe but would be happy to have the recipe. The tomato sauce was Prego. I will have tomatoes from the garden soon to make fresh.

                                                                                            1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                              Suzi's stuffed pepper patties are the bomb. I believe I first stole the idea a few years ago and have never gone back to the standard stuffed pepper since.

                                                                                                1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                  Thank YOU. That's a big classic go-to for me now :)

                                                                                              1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                Oreganata:

                                                                                                1/2 cup plain bread crumbs, preferably home made
                                                                                                2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
                                                                                                1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 2 teaspoons dried
                                                                                                1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
                                                                                                3 heaping tablespoons of grated Parmigiano Reggiano
                                                                                                3 tablespoons of olive oil plus more to drizzle after stuffing
                                                                                                1 teaspoon black pepper

                                                                                                You might have to double or even triple the recipe to accommodate whatever it is you're stuffing. I use this for calamari, clams, artichokes, and peppers.

                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                    That sounds delicious. I have loads of oregano growing.

                                                                                              1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                I've already outed myself as a cuke salad lover..... so I'm swooning over this one :-)

                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                  It was really delicious. All that dressing, dill and parsley. I had two helpings.

                                                                                              2. The man won't be very happy about it but we're not having chili relleno tonight, I still have too much to do for a dinner that time consuming. Tomorrow, hopefully. It'll be the first batch of chili relleno from garden chilis this season.

                                                                                                I think it's going to be turkey juicy lucys with some aged cheddar and jalapenos picked from a plant I relocated today. The last of the flying saucer squash as a side- I evicted the plants for not earning their keep- the yield is too low for the amount of room they take up. They were fun, they taste good but I'm trying to have what I grow be a large portion of what we eat and not just a hobby. We still have other squashes. At least one more color is required on the plate... perhaps orange and red pepper strips left raw so they're nice and crispy.

                                                                                                In the interest of not heating the kitchen or creating a lot of dirty dishes, both the burgers and squash may be cooked in the Foreman grill.

                                                                                                1. I had some leftover roast chicken, a package of wonton skins that needed to be used and some homemade chicken broth in the fridge. So I threw the chicken, some water chestnuts, garlic, scallions, oyster sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil in the food processor. Shaped the little stuffed wontons like tortellini and boiled them in the chicken broth. Served the broth on the side with a couple of dipping sauces for the wontons. We both ate more than our share.

                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: kitchengardengal

                                                                                                      sounds good - like a chopped episode - creative use of ingredients!

                                                                                                      1. re: JTPhilly

                                                                                                        They were delicious! I need to write it down in my recipe file before I forget how I made them.

                                                                                                    2. Tonight was a nice, quick breakfast for dinner. Scrambled egg and sausage English muffin sandwiches and a potato and mushroom hash. The eggs were infused with herbed cream cheese (which tasted great, but they turned out a little soft for a sandwich) and the muffins were dressed with mayo, spicy mustard and tomato slices.

                                                                                                      Dessert will be a mixed fruit crisp -- mostly unripe pears with an apple and a handful of raspberries thrown in for good measure. Almond Dream vanilla "ice cream" (a freebie from work, but it actually tastes pretty good) on top.

                                                                                                      1. tonight was the kind of dinner for when nobody's looking - pulled chicken (slow cooker on the rack over beer bath) and kimchee on hamburger buns slathered in homemade mayo and dipped in the cooking jus - sour cream and onion chips as a side. It wasn't pretty but it was pretty good.

                                                                                                        also my first encounter with a pressure cooker trying to make dog food - i have no clue how to use this thing!

                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: JTPhilly

                                                                                                          What are you putting in the dog food?

                                                                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                            Turkey necks (meat managers special) sweet potato, rice and flax seed. I was trying to get the turkey neck bones soft but to no avail. I removed the meat and put the necks in my bone bag where I collect and freeze bones to make "dog stock" next time I will try to make the stock so the bones soften - usually I use the slow cooker and just discard the bones but I wanted to try the pressure cooker to see if u could make them soft enough to eat.

                                                                                                            the little guy struggles with kibble and the good quality soft food gets $$$ I am convinced I can replicate for much cheaper than $2.50 a can for "blues stew" with my own

                                                                                                            1. re: JTPhilly

                                                                                                              I make my own dog food too and it is much cheaper than the good quality stuff (and a good way to use up veggies you won't eat in time)! Definitely let us know if you find a way to soften those bones. I make mine as sort of a meatloaf, with mixed ground meats, steamed vegetables and sometimes either rice or the mixed grain flakes from TJ's. I've been using the dust I get when I clean out the bone saw at work for calcium, but I've heard of roasting and grinding egg shells as well. And apparently Whole Foods will put a whole bone-in chicken through the grinder (although I'd be worried about little rock-like fragments, so I don't know...). But somehow softening the bones would be a much more efficient way to get all those good bone things in there.

                                                                                                              1. re: JTPhilly

                                                                                                                Sounds ambitious! My little one has a hard time with kibble too, but I just pour over some broth and nuke it in the microwave. Let it sit a few minutes and it's like mush.

                                                                                                                Potatoes/yams, rice, eggs, oatmeal, veggies get tossed in fresh each night.

                                                                                                                Lucky little pups you have, with a dad who'll brave the pressure cooker for them.

                                                                                                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                  haha the PC has the benefit of scaring them right to bed too so it is a good dog riddance device.

                                                                                                                  1. re: JTPhilly

                                                                                                                    Stick some lemons in it and you'll never see your dog again.

                                                                                                          2. Nicoise-esque salad with cold-smoked salmon, and asparagus. Mine was topped with a poached egg.

                                                                                                             
                                                                                                             
                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. It's freezing here at the moment. We even experienced a frost this morning. A novelty for the three year old and for once she was happy to wear shoes and socks all day.

                                                                                                              Another night of chicken leftovers are what's for dinner. Tonight it's the leftover meat. I'll shred it into freekah salad of sorts. Capsicum will be added and maybe some zucchini.

                                                                                                              Green beans with mustard - a recipe from a River Cafe book will be served with the freekah and chicken.

                                                                                                              Dinner TV viewing will be either Broadchurch or True Detective. We're alternate bingeing on both of these shows.

                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                The UK version of Broadchurch? It's excellent!

                                                                                                                1. re: helen_m

                                                                                                                  Apparently a second series is due to start filming around now. Storyline is a big secret with everyone having to sign "no disclosure" contracts.

                                                                                                                  1. re: helen_m

                                                                                                                    Yes, the UK version. It's fantastic viewing.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                      I'm going to watch the US version just to see David Tennant recreate his character as an American. And of course looking forward to season two of the UK one.

                                                                                                                      WFD last night was noteworthy because I used up all the rest of my chive flowers on the top of a version of spaghetti carbonara. Korean red chili flakes added a nice bit of zip, and the thinly sliced fresh asparagus went down a treat as well.

                                                                                                                      1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                        I will probably watch the US version but I hope the story is a bit different. I'm a bit annoyed at David Tennant making it across the pond and not Olivia Colman. She's a fantastic actress!

                                                                                                                        In a similar vein, I've been enjoying BBC's Hinterland. Quite Broadchurch/scandi noir but set in Wales.

                                                                                                                        1. re: helen_m

                                                                                                                          I'll check Hinterland out, thanks for the recommendation.

                                                                                                                    2. re: helen_m

                                                                                                                      I kept thinking "why's Dr Who now a cop"

                                                                                                                  2. Serious scrounging meal.

                                                                                                                    Spaghetti with butter, pepper, and parmesan.

                                                                                                                    Kale sautéed in EVOO, garlic, red pepper flakes, then tossed with some RW vinegar.

                                                                                                                    Broiled heirloom tomato slices on top of homemade baguette slices from the freezer, and a little shaving of romano + basil from the garden.

                                                                                                                    Boyfriend stopped to help someone with a flat tire so his noodles got cold and kind of congealed by the time it was plated :/

                                                                                                                    Slice of apple galette for dessert.

                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                        My favorite spaghetti dish, Cacio e Pepe. That's not scrounging at all. It's Great!

                                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                          It's one of my favorites too, and was the bf's request for dinner. I guess it felt like scrounging when the fridge was totally empty and dinner prep took all of 10 minutes.

                                                                                                                          Tonight will be serious scrounging... the kale, tomato, and apples were the last of the fresh produce in the house...

                                                                                                                      2. Dinner out tonight - nearby veggie restuarant owned by celeb chef, Simon Rimmer.

                                                                                                                        1. My coworker and her hubby are coming for dinner tonight (mostly so we can drink excessively on a weeknight and rant about the lack of growth opportunity at work). Our lucky, lucky husbands.

                                                                                                                          The menu is about all I can muster energy for on a weeknight:

                                                                                                                          -TJ's burrata with lemony homemade pesto, FM tomatoes (hopefully, assuming I can get some on my lunch hour today), and Sardinian parchment crackers

                                                                                                                          -mixed olives roasted with lemon peel, garlic, hot chili, and rosemary

                                                                                                                          -lasagna bolognese (traditional with bechamel and Parm. Regg.)

                                                                                                                          -garlicky sauteed Tuscan kale

                                                                                                                          -semifreddo and chocolate mini biscotti

                                                                                                                          -my new favorite gin, Punt e Mes, Campari, and Aranciata cocktail, and lots of wine

                                                                                                                          We should play a game where you see how many Trader Joe's products you can spot above ;)

                                                                                                                          The plan is to head out to a Human Country Jukebox show after dinner. If I can get some nice zucchini at the FM today, I might also make zucchini carpaccio with lemon, mint, and Parm. Regg.

                                                                                                                          22 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                            Sounds delicious and not low effort at all! Really jealous of your colleague, especially of the delicious sounding cocktail ;) Lasagne on a week-night is super-organised!

                                                                                                                            I really like TJ's burrata. Is the Sardinian music paper a TJ's product? Please say yes, I love that stuff!

                                                                                                                            1. re: helen_m

                                                                                                                              The semifreddo is left over from a recent dinner party, well wrapped and tucked away in the freezer--shh, don't tell.

                                                                                                                              And the lasagna was made with the last of the bolognese from the freezer, too. :)

                                                                                                                              I haven't tried the burrata yet, but I'm glad you (and linguafood) give it the thumbs up. The Sardinian is indeed from TJs!

                                                                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                I'm a newly minted fan of the TJ's burrata too. It's not as good as the imported stuff, of course, but it's half the price and much easier to source. I hope you enjoy it!

                                                                                                                            2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                              Oh dear, your poor friends, That's All you can muster energy for? Shaking my head. (How low she's sunk.)

                                                                                                                              I Love Punt e Mes over ice with just a small twist of lemon. A perfect aperitivo.

                                                                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                Wow, all sounds delicious! A ranting night among friends is always a good time.

                                                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                  That sounds like everything I want. Including the work-related ranting! What's the new gin you've been drinking lately?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                    Just Beefeater! But we tried a nice one from High Wire distilling in Charleston, SC recently. And Green Hat is another cardamom-heavy local fave.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                      That's a perfect London dry for your cocktail. I've been drinking Broker's lately, which is a little disappointing in my favorite Campari cocktails. But that said, it was pretty good in last night's lighter combination of tequila, lime juice, Thai basil syrup, black peppercorns and Angostura.

                                                                                                                                      I'll have to see if I can find a bottle of Green Hat next time I'm down your way. The packaging is superbly designed.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                        Oh my, that cocktail sounds delicious! You must make me one next time you visit.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                    Wait - that is "all you can muster"? Lord, CM - that's a freakin' dinner party extravaganza, TJ's items or not! Enjoy the dinner, drinks, and the Jukebox show. :-)

                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                      I am one of those "more is more" people. What was it Coco Chanel said about self-editing?

                                                                                                                                    2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                      First of all I'll come for that low energy mustering any time!

                                                                                                                                      Second of all how come I have never seen burrata at TJ's?? Off to call the manager at my local one to see if they can get it.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                        Sadly, I was a little disappointed by the burrata. While it was a little softer in the center, it had none of that creamy liquid I was expecting. Basically it was just a soft mozza. Bummer.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                          Oh that's too bad! I buy burrata at a speciality market and it is $$$. Was hoping for a cheaper yet comparable alternative.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                            Interesting - I just had a ball of TJ's burrata that was almost too liquid in the center. I haven't eaten the second ball in the container yet but I wonder if it has to do with the age of the product?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                I'm a big fan of burrata. Gioia Cheese Company in the Los Angeles area makes the best burrata here in the states. They ship overnight - freshness is key. They have a website.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                  I buy local from two different cheese shops. Both are wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                  Via amazon the Gioia burrata cost $13lb plus $9.50 shipping. Somehow I can't imagine it's $23 good!

                                                                                                                                                2. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                  Maybe. The manager of my local TJ hasnt called back so I'll try stop on over the weekend. If they have it I'll buy some and report back.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                            The farmer's market was a bit of a fail, so I just ended up using sweet little grape tomatoes from, you guessed it, TJ's. And no zucchini, either. I added dried tart cherries and orange zest to the kale and topped it with a drizzle of syrupy aged balsamic. It was a nice counterpoint to the rich lasagna.

                                                                                                                                            The Sardinian parchment crackers were crispy, delicious, and oh-so-addictive.

                                                                                                                                            Dinner was a lot of fun, as was the show afterward. Maybe a little bit too much, based on how my head is feeling today.

                                                                                                                                            Here are a couple crappy cell phone pics:

                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                          3. WFD: Stir-fried BLSL chicken thighs sliced into bite sized pieces, aggressively seasoned with a simple masala mix; sugar snap peas seasoned with the same spicy mix and cooked in ghee; another tossed salad. If anyone is interested in the ingredients for the simple masala mix it's just 1 Tbsp cayenne, 1 Tbsp turmeric, 1 Tbsp fine sea salt per 1 pound of fish, but in this case we're using it with the chicken.

                                                                                                                                            1. It's pork belly night! TJs pork belly crisped up and tossed wilted Romaine and sauteed Portobello mushrooms. I really really want to add bacon to the mix but who does that? Pork belly with pork belly...My smarter half is telling me that it adds a different flavor to the dish and is a must. I hope that half wins.

                                                                                                                                              Fingers crossed, Take's back!! I guess I'm the typical physician who is not only the worst patient but the worst patient's mother. The vet really wanted to do an ultrasound and I was just going to do it but when I got home and my kid was gallivanting around I decided not to bother torturing him. He can always get it later but for now he's happy and healthy and I can spare him the trauma of another vet visit and my wallet the trauma of another random test. Have I mentioned, it's hard being a parent. So many decisions especially for someone like me who can barely order at a restaurant.

                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                Take is a very lucky feline to have a parent like you, fldhky.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                  Hi fldhkybnva, that dinner sounds great and I am happy to hear that 'Take is getting better. Do you think maybe he might improve further if there was a Mrs. 'Take for him to spend some time with? He is a male ya know, and males have needs and that might really put a spark in his life. :-)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                    Before this whole sickness incident I had decided to get another cat but now...I'll have to think some more. Unfortunately for him he's neutered so he's basically an it :)

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                    :::paw bump to Take!:::

                                                                                                                                                    Atta boy. I knew you'd stop worrying Mom. I mean, I know you're a cat, and I know it's just part of what you do, but there's a point at which you need to stop scaring her like that! :::Shaking a Mom finger at Take::::

                                                                                                                                                    ;-)

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                      Dinner sounds wonderful and will taste even better knowing Take is on the mend!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                        I hear you about it being tough to be a pet parent. I would have gone grey years ago if I had children. Bless all you parents for being able to cope.

                                                                                                                                                        I am happy for you and Take that whatever was wrong seems to have passed and he is a happy camper again. Whew.

                                                                                                                                                      2. Copper River Salmon has arrived in town so I will grill that topped with a ginger/lime/roasted garlic/cilantro gremolata. Sides are sugar snap peas and wild black rice. My SO wants Häagen-Dazs ice cream bars for dessert and no one has to twist my arm to eat those!

                                                                                                                                                        1. I'm in a hashy mood tonight. I was going to use the leftover sirloin tips over a salad, but with today's rainy, gloomy-Gus kind of a Wednesday, it calls for something comforting.

                                                                                                                                                          Half a baked potato is going to be chopped up (I hope it'll keep together!) and quick-fried (I hope it'll keep together!) with a mince of the remaining sirloin tip and whatever speecy-spices I choose to add - maybe some Aleppo pepper.

                                                                                                                                                          I'm thinking a cup of peas can be added to the fry, and perhaps a fried egg on top.

                                                                                                                                                          We'll see how I do. My last hash was a complete wreck, so it can't be any worse than that, right?

                                                                                                                                                          RIGHT??????? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                          12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                            If the potato is cold, it might hold together better?

                                                                                                                                                            And hot oil! Don't crowd the pan--crisp, not steam!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                              I'll use my large fry pan and heat it up until the oil is shimmering. It's only a half potato that has been wrapped in foil in the fridge, so it'll be cold.

                                                                                                                                                              Jeez, hash shouldn't be so hard! LOL

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                  I made the most incredibly delicious potato rosti a while back with cold leftover baked potato. Half of one would probably work well in a small skillet if you have one. Can't remember where I found the recipe, but it specifically called for cold baked potatoes. Maybe Saveur?

                                                                                                                                                                  You just peel and grate the cold tater, toss with a little butter/olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt in a bowl. Then add some more butter/oil to the pan over medium and really squish the potato mixture in with a spatula (to help it stick together). Cook slowly til dark golden brown and crispy on the first side, then flip with the help of a plate and repeat on the other side.

                                                                                                                                                                  Slice into wedges, and serve topped with sour cream or what have you.

                                                                                                                                                                  I know I have a photo somewhere but can't find it. One of the best potato preparations I've ever had, albeit a little time consuming.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                    nothingswrong, "grating" a cooked potato - doesn't it just fall apart, since it was already cooked?

                                                                                                                                                                    I'm all for fried potatoes. As for small skillets - I have 3 - two nonstick and 1 stainless. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                      Yeah, I recall it falling apart quite a bit. You're supposed to make sure the potato is very cold, and I ended up sticking the second one in the freezer for a bit (I made the rosti with 2 large russets).

                                                                                                                                                                      I used maybe a 10" nonstick for the cooking and it was a bit thinner than I would have liked, but seriously delicious. The hardest part was letting the rosti brown long enough--for a good 10 minutes on each side, adjusting heat as necessary. The boyfriend and I ate it for dinner with nothing else, and it was like the best French fry you've ever had but not so greasy. I used olive oil and it worked fine.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                  Woo hoo! I'm not a hash failure! :-) Tonight's dinner was pretty damn good, if I do say so myself. It might not have been perfect, but it was way way way way WAY better than the last soggy hash I made. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                  And it was a Dinner Of Ones.

                                                                                                                                                                  One large sirloin tip - chopped up.
                                                                                                                                                                  One half baked potato, with skin - chopped up.
                                                                                                                                                                  One cup of peas - nuked and drained.
                                                                                                                                                                  One Tbsp. of minced onion.
                                                                                                                                                                  One quarter tsp. of Aleppo pepper.
                                                                                                                                                                  One fried egg.

                                                                                                                                                                  Some oil was heated until shimmering in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Added the potatoes and onions and let the potatoes brown, flipping them around to try and brown it all.

                                                                                                                                                                  Added the chopped sirloin tip and continued cooking to brown up the beef. Added the peas and Aleppo pepper towards the end to warm up.

                                                                                                                                                                  Meanwhile, the fried egg was made in a small skillet. The hash was plated, the egg on top, so when I cut into the yolk, it seeped into the potatoes and beef.

                                                                                                                                                                  YUM! Oh yeah - it's Hump Day Wednesday - so there was wine. Not that I need a reason.

                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks to Christina Mason for giving me simple tips that worked.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                    Well that just sounds too delicious. I've never, ever had hash. When we were first married I asked G what his favorite meal was. His answer? "Hash". I almost died. An Italian doesn't know from hash. In all our blippity blippity years together I have never cooked hash. Yours might just turn me around. Maybe for our %%th anniversary next year.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                          Yes!

                                                                                                                                                                          With this success under your belt, there must be duck hash in your future.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. I grilled twice last weekend. Saturday: Deconstructed pineapple chicken kebabs (or "lazy man's kebabs" as I called them). Boneless chicken chunks, pineapple chunks, red and yellow bell pepper, onion, all tossed with pineapple preserves, soy sauce, brown sugar, and hot pepper flakes then sealed in oiled foil and grilled.

                                                                                                                                                                        Sunday, I got out my grill stir-fry pan and made a stir fry of red bell pepper, onion, asparagus, and sliced flatiron steak, finishing with a little black bean garlic sauce, a little hoisin sauce, and a splash of rice vinegar.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. I've been told that Americans are the only people who regularly discuss their next meal while eating the current one and last night as we were eating dinner my husband pipes up with "tomorrow is Prince Spaghetti Night right?" That is code for penne and sausages with a red sauce so it's WFD tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                Oh, my. I almost choked just now. Gotta give it to you. Love your sense of humor!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. I'm thinking I might go with a classic tonight and do sweet and sour meatballs. Beef and turkey for the meatballs, with a tomato paste-red wine vinegar-lime juice sauce. Green pepper and pineapple chunks mixed in. Meatballs browned and then baked with sauce in the oven. Served over rice. Probably a salad of some sort on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. I've got red peppers and cilantro to use up so I think tonight will be a quick Thai larb-esque salad - ground pork, finely chopped peppers and onions, all sauteed together with curry paste and lots of lime, garnished with tons of cilantro. The spicier the better!

                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                  That's timely. Last night I had some defrosted ground turkey, and not feeling like a burger, decided to make larb. I've never made it before, so I looked up a few recipes and cobbled together what I could. Lime, lemon, fish sauce, and honey for the "dressing." Sauteed some shallot, red onion, turkey, mint, and chili oil (since I did not have any Thai peppers on hand). Served it over rice with some lettuce leaves on the side. We both thought it was delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                    Sounds great. And I love the word larb-esque. A new addition to my vocab ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Just returned from my son's school for class day in which they give awards in academics, citizenship, and athletics, and was happy to see our son standing quite a few times. It was a very long ceremony, so neither of us feels like cooking or planning, so we will go out to dinner tonight trying to use up some of our club minimum, and call it a celebration.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks. The anniversary was last week, but the celebration is on Friday. We like to keep the honeymoon going. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Italian down the street last night. Sadly, the owner passed away while we were stateside, so it's not quite the same....

                                                                                                                                                                                      The food, OTOH, delivered on all counts. The three of us had a bunch of appetizers -- we shared a very generous plate of antipasti with mozzarella, grilled veggies, carpaccio of salmon and beef, a tuna & bean salad, roasted beets, a few slices of vitello tonnato; I had a wonderful salad of shaved fennel, asparagus and mâche in a lime dressing, my man (more) vitello tonnato -- one of his favorites.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Our friend was mighty hungry, so besides a *very* good squid ink pasta with octopus & cherry tomatoes with a bit of a kick, he also ordered a steak. We shared some of it with him & also had a pasta dish of fusilli with duck, ginger & orange ragout.

                                                                                                                                                                                      As for tonight, we're staying in. It's positively ratty outside and we got soaked picking up my vespa from the shop this PM. Ugh.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Fish sticks, red wine spinach & mixed salad with vinaigrette is on the menu; we also need to catch up on 'murrcan teevee. Hope the weather is better wherever y'all are :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                        Whoops. Almost forgot the most important part: da meat!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                            It's called Bonfini. Home to a few local celebrities like actor Ben Becker (whom we actually saw in front of the place a week ago & I almost told my mom, but was worried she'd do/say something embarrassing, so didn't).

                                                                                                                                                                                            Very reasonable prices, really good cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                            Over here in another bit of northern Europe, weather is ratty.

                                                                                                                                                                                            There are few foods that I actively dislike but vitello tonnato is one of them. Even Brussels sprouts are nicer!!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                              OK, stop the world. Did Harters just say something was worse that the farty veg he detests so much????

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                  While I, on the other hand, Love Tonnato, except I make it with pork instead of veal. A la Signora Hazan. Brusssels sprouts are a perfect side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm south of LW and it's positively dismal here. Cold, dark, showery. In fact I'm wearing a winter fleece pullover today. (Summer does not start with Memorial Day. Get over it!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                  The weather is ratty here too! Cold and blustery, even though it was hot and sticky yesterday. Summer starts on Memorial Day. Right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                    That's just Whoa!
                                                                                                                                                                                                    All shades of jelly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. All the weekend reports of grilling got me in the mood. But then it rained. So WFD last night was a bit of a fridge clean out. Heated leftover yellow rice and creole sauce and then stirred in some pickled shrimp. The pickled shrimp actually went well in this!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hoping to grill tonight!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. What heck is with this weather today? Cold, damp and dreary. Feels more like early March than late May.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dinner tonight is fusion/asian. Ive got to take the boy out for a hair cut in a little bit and have other errand to run too so we will pop into the Chinese/Japanese/Thai/Sushi place. I might even have a Suffering Bastard!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I read that as "Ive got to take the bok choy out for a hair cut" and thought it was some new technique for chopping veggies...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Deb and I are back from Amelia Island. Burgers are on the menu tonight. Beer and wine will be on the counter. We'll hoist a few in memory of Veggo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          What the heck is up with the crummy, cold weather here in southern New England? Global warming is a distant memory.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm guessing Veggo passed away. I'm sorry to hear that, I will miss his contributions to this place.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Is something on chow hound about his passing? I searched but couldn't find anything.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Welcome back from vacation, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              We'll be raising a glass tonight, too, with a Mexican food dinner. Seemed like the right thing to do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Nice. It wasn't the age that got him. I'd like to believe it was the mileage. He will be missed. Good call on the Mexican food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Think Climate Change. It helps one get through this roller coaster weather.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                RIP Veggo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wow. I can't believe Veggo is gone. So sad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  On a lighter note, welcome back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I toasted Veggo with my glass of wine tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm so sorry to hear this - I enjoyed his posts tremendously.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Panko and parmesan crusted pork chops, red skinned mashed potatoes and a chopped salad with red pepper tops and bottoms from last night, more English cucumber, carrot coins, celery, a tomato and parsley from the garden. Dressing to be decided.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Suzi, do you have a trick for keeping cut cucumbers fresh? I notice you eat them almost daily and assume you don't eat an entire one in one sitting? Even when I don't cut them, I find the extras I buy shriveling up in the fridge in no time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I generally buy Kirby cucumbers and I use them up pretty quickly. Last night I got two English cukes for 3 dollars so I had to bite. One was used up last night in the salad but cut ones just end up I a zip bag. I wish I had some magic tip but I don't. Sorry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Yesterday and today have been a little murky here in the valley of the sun, and it's been nice to soak up the shade:) Well, today I set out to start losing 3-5 lbs. It went well until noon when pap decided whoppers jr. and slurpies would be the perfect lunch.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tonight is going to be Thai red curry with chicken and lots of veg. I'm just using Saffron Road simmer sauce.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.saffronroadfood.com/our-pr...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's totally the lazy way out, but I'm feeling a little droopy, like a summer cold may be coming on.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But most importantly, I'll raise my beer to our departed friend, Veggo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Chili relleno, restaurant style "mexican rice," guacamole, salsa, lime wedges, various raw sweet peppers, cocktail cucumbers, etc. and a toast to Veggo. May his passing remind us that our time on this planet is short and should be lived fully.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I'm not totally sure what tonight's dinner will end up like. There are garlic chives in the fridge that need to be used to get rid of their distinctive smell. I have a hankering for potato after LW's post about hash. There's soft tofu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm thinking a garlic chives stir fry with chicken livers (the bloke can put the livers on my plate). A second stir fry of potato slivers with chilli and szechuan pepper and a sour and hot tofu dish to give us something not fried. I'm not 100% convinced it's a good menu but it does use what's in the fridge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                those potatoes sound good. are they modeled after the not-quite-all-the-way-cooked ones in szechuan restos? love them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think it must be the same thing. They were wonderful. Welcome back from holiday!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Well hello. The move is completed... well, we're here anyway. Still boxes everywhere. When you move from almost 2300 sq ft to 1300 sq ft, you end up living amongst boxes, especially when you know you'll have to move them again in less than a year. I'll get them organized at some point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Saturday, move day, was also my birthday, so SO obliged and went to the store and bought fried chicken and mac and cheese from the deli and those deliciously gross sugary cupcakes from the bakery at the store. I love them and only have on my birthday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sunday, went to a BBQ at a friend's

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Monday, after a day of cleaning the old house, we ordered pizza. There's a real good NY style pizza place near the rental.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tuesday, leftover pizza

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tonight - I COOKED! First time in my new miniscule kitchen. On the menu was chicken parm, spaghett, and salad. Not a bad little meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hopefully SO will procure a propane tank tomorrow so I can cook outside... the main floor of this place is very hot, we actually sleep down in the lower level where it's freezing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Congratulations and happy belated birthday!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    fldhkybnva, I have gotta ask what are you doing up so late? I thought you go to bed around 8:30 or so. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yup, good catch. Funny, you're the third person to ask me that today since I also sent a few emails at the same time. I was on call last night. It was a good night but I was aroused at 1030ish to save a few lives :) I was definitely in bed by 8 and fast asleep by 845.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Happy birthday, and enjoy the new move, even though it means living from boxes! One year, we wound up moving 3 times, and that was no fun at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Congrats on the (temporary) move being done, julie! The next year should fly by.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Happy belated birfday, julie! Moving sucks big doodah.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Glad you can take a year's break in between :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Happy happy!! And congrats on the move.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Happy belated and congrats on getting the move done. What a relief that feeling is!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Happy belated birthday, Julie. Glad to hear the moving is done for now. Hope your not to cramped in your new digs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Happy Birthday and congratulations!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Happy belated birthday and glad the move is done. Just take your time unpacking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    happy belated, julie! hope that year flies by for you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. It was too buggy to grill. I think I'll need to try grilling for lunch otherwise I'm just providing a very rare dinner for the mosquitoes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Read the news about Veggo...left me feeling sad. We had exchanged a handful of e-mails about specific subjects - never got to a chatting point. But he always struck me as an interesting fellow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    So dinner was of the liquid variety with a little cheese and crackers thrown in so I could report with less embarrassment. Here's to you Veggo! May you continue to inspire us to live large, eat well and enjoy the moment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh! Veggo died? is there a link to that?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      sad to come back to this news. i found him entertaining, for sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      never mind, read above. i'm all out of order since i'm playing catch-up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. There's a brown gloop vegetable soup defrosting. And an equally brown and gloopy jambalaya (which we have no recollection of making)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Lamb burger tonight. Caramelized onions and feta on top. I probably need a "sauce" of some kind, but I don't have any cucumbers. Any ideas?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think I'll make a quick pasta salad to go alongside - have some sugar snap peas to use up, and a bag of roasted corn in the freezer that only has about a cup of corn in it, to be tossed with some homemade ranch dressing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        20 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You could just use a little yogurt with dill & a teeny bit of garlic?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Lamb burgers.... mmmmmmm. Almost as good as marshmallows topped with Hamm '-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Marshmallows topped with Hamm would be a wunderbar dessert, doncha think? Or should that be Hamm topped with marshmallows? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ::::fanning self::::: Phew. Did it just get hawt in here?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yogurt with garlic, lemon and a dusting of Aleppo pepper? A bit of za'atar or dried mint would be nice as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh, BAZINGA! That's perfect, JM - thanks! I have all of those ingredients, so I'll play a bit when I get home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                OK, lamb burger with caramelized onions, feta, and JungMann's sauce (with yogurt, garlic, lemon, Aleppo and za'atar) worked out VERY nicely!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A sweetness from the onions, some tang from the feta, smooth coolness from the yogurt, then some tang from the lemon and garlic, then a smidge of heat from the Aleppo, and a bit of an herby taste from the za'atar. It seems like a lot of flavors (and it is/was!) but it oddly worked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks, JM!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Glad it worked out for you! I usually make a stiffer dipping version of that sauce by using whipped feta, yogurt and whatever herbs I have on hand. Figured if it works for lamb riblets, it would work with lamb burgers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                yum lambugers! - just a light yoghurt sauce will do - season with what you have on hand it will be fine

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  How about yogurt, mint, garlic and a little lemon?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Any roasted red peppers lying about? You could buzz a couple in the blender with some yogurt, or make a romesco-esque sauce with almonds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I always have several jars in my pantry and usual some fresh ones that I've frozen. Yet another good idea!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I love lamb burgers. I season mine with Indian spices usually, and top with a sauce made from yogurt mixed with a healthy squirt/dollop of harissa and chopped scallions. Served on onion brioche with tater tots on the side -- this is one of my current favorite comfort food meals.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MAH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Another Yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Now if only I could get rjbh20 to make me a nuclear tater tot..... :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You just have to be a little closer...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Do you have any tahini? That's my favorite sauce on lamburgers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kitchengardengal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I do - but I think the yogurt one with Aleppo, garlic, lemon and mint is the way I'm leaning. I will be bookmarking this part of the thread to remember for future lamb burgers!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Linda

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          If you can find date syrup, it's fantastic mixed 50/50 with tahini. Good as a dip with bread but also works very well with a lamb burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          J

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks, Harters! And you gotta love the Interwebs and sites like Amazon:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.amazon.com/Date-Lady-Organ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm sure I could find this at various stores in nearby towns as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And THIS is why I love this thread and CH. Ask a question; get 7 answers in a few hours. :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The current COTM has a great tasting Onion Riata that I made this past Memorial Day tp serve with turkey burgers, but lamb (which I love) is an alternative. While it is very oniony it did wonders for the already heavily Parsiburger we made. Here's an excerpt of my report... what I used is in parenthesis:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "The onion, either sweet red or white (red) is salted for 30 minutes to take out the "bite" then chopped or sliced (finely chopped). Several chilies either green or red (green) are chopped, as is about a half cup of cilantro including leaves and stems. All this is added to a bowl of whisked yogurt."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You said a bad word (for me!), Gio. The dreaded cilantro. :-/ I'd have to go with parsley. (Which I hope survived the chill temps last night!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh shoot, LW, sorry. We love cilantro so don't consider an alternative.. Parsley would be a suitable stand-in for you, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. It's another one of those whacky religious holidays in Germany: ascension day, aka "Himmelfahrt". Go ahead, say it out loud and crack yourself and your friends up, like any good anglophone would.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It is also father's day, which means there are hordes of men roaming around town, usually dragging handcarts along that are packed with beer. Getting shit-faced by early afternoon & being overall obnoxious. Quite an interesting way to celebrate fatherhood, huh?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thus, theoretically a very good day to stay in (stores are closed, of course, good christian nation that we are hahaha) ---- if it weren't for plant-watering duties for a friend who's gone for 2 weeks, and lack of cash-ola that is sorely needed. Dinner will likely be out somewhere, as we never bought any provisions for today beyond a lovely breakfast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I love that rendition of father's day - a equivalent mother's day would be mani-pedis and margaritas

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "Getting shit-faced by early afternoon & being overall obnoxious. Quite an interesting way to celebrate fatherhood, huh?"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Could that be the way that some became fathers in the first place? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And if stores are closed, how did these men all acquire handcarts packed with beer? Unless they had the forethought to acquire said beer yesterday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Enjoy your dinner out!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              There is the phenomenon of the "Späti" or "Spätkauf" (literally 'late buy'), which is pretty much exclusive to Berlin: a small shop where one can get staples -- i.e. the much needed beer as well as chips, drinks, soda, cigarettes, rolling papers and other sundry items --that is usually open past midnight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Given the popularity of father's day, I do believe the guys plan ahead. However, and perhaps to the gloomy weather out there today, we saw exactly one (1) group of men out there today. I don't know if that's good or sad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Dinner still undetermined....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Like any good anglophone, of a certain age, I'm a big fan of Kraftwerk's "Autobahn". Lots of fahrting in that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Christihimmelfahrt is my FAVORITE holiday, entirely due to the name. And yes, I am a 12 year old boy. It irritated me today, though - I didn't realize it was happening but when I went out to move the car, I found out that alternate side parking had been suspended. Unfortunately for me, my car is in a Friday and I couldn't do my trick of moving it to the empty Thursday side!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This is in the city or are you back in the fatherland these days?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    No, I'm in NYC right now. Christihimmelfahrt is still good for a snicker, though! ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Getting shit faced and saying anything-fahrt sounds pretty good to me! Hope you find a tasty dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. last night was a new low-effort crock pot experiment

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 pork shoulder "steaks" laid on a bed of sliced onions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 bag of dried pinto beans (brought to boil then soaked)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  cover in BBQ sauce (red wine molasses etc)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  slow cook on low all day
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  come home and mix in some canned pineapple
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "Hawaiian" pork and beans
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  added some brown rice and fried plantains on the side

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  its a keeper - low effort for a tasty yield and a lot of food from a few cheap cuts of meat and a sac of beans

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  tonight I have some lamb chops and asparagus I will do on the grill quickly

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JTPhilly

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I will have to try that. We don't eat many beans, because of heartburn issues, but that sounds good enough to make a rare exception.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. So my sons descent into stereotypical kids feeding patterns continues. The boy who routinely ate chicken feet, mala lamb and sushi when we went out for Asian food ordered sweet and sour chicken last night. Complete with sticky not from nature red sauce and lots if canned pineapple and maraschino cherries. Deep fried overly sweet nastiness. And he ate half the dish and finished the rest for breakfast, lol. Someday I'll get my adventurous eater back!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LW-great minds think alike! I too plan on lamb burgers for dinner. Mine will be mixed with feta and mint and served with tzatzki. Steak fries and some gorgeous purple asparagus on the side.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Now *I* want lamb burgers. Yesterday was national burger day--I'm surprised they didn't make more appearances on our WFD menus!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I didn't hear about it being national burger day until too late! So my celebration burger shall be one day late. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. WFD: Tonight will be Macaroni Thursday since we missed it on Monday due to the crazy Memorial Day menu we had. A tomato sauce with pancetta, peperoncino, oregano, and lots of grated Romano over linguine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Also, would believe DH actually SAVED a dressed salad? Well, he did. He said there was a ton left. Actually it's more like sliced radishes, cucumbers, celery, onion, tomato. So in my little pea brain I'm thinking it's practically pickled at this point. We'll serve it and see if it's edible. If not, well.... If it is... I have some sugar snap peas that should be used before shopping day. I'll blanch some and they will provide some crunch along with freshly sliced radishes. I'll call it my pseudo-gardiniera.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Oddly cloudy again here today. But it matches my mood. Summer cold in full effect. So, it'll be a lazy day. I'll make doctored ramen for lunch and just pick up a pizza for dinner. My goal is to avoid passing this to pap. A cold at 38 is a lot different than one at 92.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I really hope I'm better tomorrow. It'll be my birthday, and I'd planned to go see the movie "Chef" and catch up with some pals for drinks. We shall see :)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ick on the summer cold. Hot chicken soup! ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And early happy birthday, and enjoy the movie - I'm *hoping* to see it this weekend.