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What's for Dinner #310 - The Yankee Doodle Dandy 4th of July Edition! [through July 6, 2014]

Growing up, the 4th of July truly was the real start of summer vacation for us city kids who attended school all the way to the end of June. Back in those prehistoric days, before video recorders, cable, or DVDs, we had something in NY called Million Dollar Movie, which played on a local station. Each week's Million Dollar Movie played 4 times a day for the entire week. And during the week of the 4th of July, the movie was Yankee Doodle Dandy starring James Cagney. It was a movie we knew by heart as year after year, we'd wait for Yankee Doodle Dandy to start playing. So, along with burgers, dogs, corn, watermelon and other indicators of Summer, Yankee Doodle Dandy signals the start of summer for me.

I'll be watching Yankee Doodle Dandy, but what traditions make it feel like the 4th to you?

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  1. Potato salad, corn on the cob and watermelon are things I associate with the fourth. This year I am making a roasted potato salad with garlic aioli, roasted red peppers and capers. For corn the Serious Eats version of Elote but cut off the cob for easier eating. Watermelon with feta and mint rounds out my contributions to a BBQ 4th party.

    1. My husband's birthday is The Fourth of July and our traditional celebratory meal is salmon, peas, corn on the cob, potato salad, a shortcake with whipped cream/strawberries/blueberries in the shape of a flag but not arranged as such. That's his favorite dessert.

      WFD: Finally I decided to make a concocted Lo Mein with green beans, fresh peas that need to be shelled, a baby bok choy, garlic scapes, scallion, and jullienned carrots. The noodles will be angel hair tossed with oyster sauce, light soy sauce, a bit of fish sauce, and dark sesame oil. The vegetables will be stir-fried with peanut oil, the scapes, ginger, and chili garlic sauce. More cucumber, radish, onion salad.

      6 Replies
        1. re: Gio

          What a nice day for a birthday- parades and fireworks every year!
          And of course a day off from work too!

          1. re: Berheenia

            He says that when he was a little boy he thought the fireworks were for him.

            1. re: Gio

              We thought our son might be born on the fourth and it struck me as a wonderful day to be born. So festive and fun and casual.
              My son turned out to be a summer solstice baby instead, but I like the idea of celebrating bdays on the fourth with fireworks. And, I'm sure they were meant for your husband!

              1. re: Gio

                Lol! That's what James Cagney says in his narration as George M. Cohan.

                1. re: Gio

                  My sister also thought the fireworks were for her birthday. They had her celebration at the park and of course random strangers would see her in her birthday hat and wish her a happy birthday. She just thought it was a big party for her. So cute.

            2. Tonight we are digging into our leftovers from this weekend. Will take the potatoes and the grilled spring onion and chop up to saute in a little olive oil. Gently re-heat the ribeye, fry a couple of over easy eggs and enjoy with the rest of the house made bread, goat cheese butter and tomato conserva. A gourmet BFD!

              1 Reply
              1. re: iowagirl

                wow! look at the time! if i get started now, i can probably make it to Iowa by monday... think you can hold supper for me? CAUSE MAN THAT SOUNDS GOOD!!!

              2. Got to see "1776" with William Daniels, Howard DaSilva, Ken Howard, John Cullum, and Blythe Danner. It's been a ritual for me since it first hit HBO ages ago. I was lucky enough to see the original musical on B'way all those decades ago.

                TCM is airing both "1776" AND "Yankee Doodle Dandy" on the 4th, and I'll be watching.

                Now, unlike one of Founding Fathers, I can and did tell a lie, right here on Chow. On the Trader Joe's Yay/Nay thread, I talked about buying shaved steak and how it would make three sandwiches, so I couldn't complain about the price; instead, it made two sandwiches and then tonight, I made beef and broccoli in Hoisin sauce. I used the same 3–2-1 mixture of hoisin, soy sauce, and rice vinegar that I used on pork a couple of months back and talked about on this very thread.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mcsheridan

                  That means you get 3 lashes with a wet noodle.

                2. It was a stunning day on the Sou'west Shore. Maybe a top 10 day.

                  My bride finished work very early so we drove up High Ridge Road to the Inn at Pound Ridge. It's a pleasant roadside place, the latest outpost of Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

                  The room is both rustic (wide board floors, exposed beams, reclaimed wood) and modern (high ceilings, neutral colors, sharp angles).

                  A glass of Billecart Salmon for starters as we settled in. Deb and I shared an app of "crackling calamari" that had a lovely/frothy yuzu dipping sauce. It was tasty. Quality sea salt was thoughtfully provided and gave the calamari that tiny push that it needed.

                  Deb opted for a ricotta ravioli for her main, I went with the grilled hanger steak sandwich. I ordered a decent Barbaresco to wash it all down.

                  Deb liked her house-made ravioli and declared the sauce as good as her own: high praise. My sandwich was an assemblage of perfectly-cooked steak, goat cheese, thick-cut tomato slices, horseradish sauce, all cosseted in house-made flat bread. It could have fed two but I didn't want to share. I ignored the fries, not because they were bad but because I simply didn't need them.

                  Deb and I talked for hours about old stuff and stuff on the horizon. At the end of the day, a successful meal should put you in a wonderful frame of mind. Both food and service in this pleasant roadhouse did just that.

                  14 Replies
                      1. re: steve h.

                        How blessed is Deb! MY DH and I met 29 years ago in August. Got married 1 year from that date. He has brought me flowers on EVERY 17th of every month since the day we met. Even if I traveled, he would send them to me. Like Deb, my DH is a keeper just like you!

                        PS: When are you coming to Oregon and moving next door?

                        1. re: boyzoma

                          Boyzoma, that is really special that your husband does that. What a lovely, romantic gesture!

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              Is that a Chinese curse (only kidding)?

                              1. re: steve h.

                                I'm mostly Irish, so no - it's not a Chinese curse. :-P

                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  Me too. Norwegian on my mother's side.

                                  1. re: steve h.

                                    My grandmother was Norwegian as well. Otherwise, I'm an amalgamation of Irish, Polish, German, and English. In other words, a mutt American. :-)

                          1. re: steve h.

                            you two make it look easy. i know it isn't always, but it's nice to see how wonderful you two are with each other.

                            1. re: steve h.

                              And nothing beats finding a sauce 'as good as her own' IMHO :)

                              1. re: steve h.

                                What a delightful day! Love to read about the wonderful meals and fun adventures that you and Deb have together! You're an inspiration!

                              2. "Swordfish bruschetta": grilled swordfish paillard with tomato, red onion & basil insalata.

                                 
                                1 Reply
                                1. Another hot and sticky day so after work me, the boy and the pom all took a refreshing dip in the pool before dinner. The lab was jealous but he does not swim well with others. He'll get his swim before bed tonight.

                                  WFD was one of our favorites-lamb burgers! First I mix the meat with S&P and then gently fold in fresh mint and feta. These were grilled and served on some homemade roll that were in the freezer. Watermelon was the only side. Ah, summer!

                                  9 Replies
                                    1. re: foodieX2

                                      OMG - ROTFL. I was reading your post (but I do have cataracts) and I read "the boy and the porn" all took a refreshing dip. Thank God I am having my first cataract removed next week. This could have been disastrous.

                                        1. re: GretchenS

                                          Very, very purple. It's getting better, but it's going to be a while. I look at it this way - no shoes for a while!

                                          1. re: boyzoma

                                            At least it's summer! No shoes in winter could be a problem.

                                      1. re: foodieX2

                                        Those burgers sound delish! And more successful than my recent attempt with chicken.

                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                          The burgers are so good! I do find that the feta needs to be really cold before mixing it in other wise the end up a mess.

                                        2. re: foodieX2

                                          Is this the same lab who is afraid of mice?

                                          1. re: Berheenia

                                            My Pom hunts mice but the Lab is indifferent to most animals except cats and squirrels. However , he is deathly afraid of the big snappers we occasionally get in our yard, lol! I don't blame him.

                                        3. I have been marinating chicken breasts in some teriyaki sauce from TJ's all afternoon and James will be grilling them up tonight for sandwiches. His will get bacon and melted cheddar, mine will get swiss and a grilled slice of pineapple and be served on sesame Kaiser rolls. Tater tots and sliced tomatoes for the side. I am mixing sambal oelek with ketchup for dipping the tots and just a simple sprinkling of s&p for the tomatoes.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: suzigirl

                                            Those sandwiches sound soooooo good. I have not tried the TJ's teriyaki yet, but I'm going to have to make a trip. I've seen several items from there to try. My sandwich would probably have xtra tomato and provolone, though.

                                            1. re: boyzoma

                                              Thank you. The teriyaki is called Island Soyaki and is quite tasty. Thick and not overly sweet. I wish I could tell you the price but I forget. I would prefer provolone but I had swiss on hand from a sliced cheese tray that I bought for roast beef sandwiches last week.

                                          2. The chicken adobo is simmering and smelling heavenly. I actually forgot it was supposed to pre-marinate but forged ahead anyway. I follow this recipe but use a whole can of Chakoh coconut milk and swap sugar cane vinegar for the rice vinegar. And I keep the skin crispy with a nice broil and no dunk at the end. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/mag...

                                            Ultimately I went with jasmine rice boiled with some Sazon for color. Leftover daikon slaw on the side for vegetal goodness.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                              Turned out really nice. Happy discovery -- avocado goes *great* with adobo!

                                              Top left is the g&t I made myself in protest of the Hobby Lobby stupidity.

                                               
                                            2. I haven't celebrated Independence Day with family or a large group of friends for some time, but my tradition is now making picnic-type foods for my dinner. So I'm beginning to think of what to make. Besides, the cats will freak over the Independence Day fireworks in my town, so I'd like to be here for them.

                                              Today was a long, long day. Taking Mom to a doctor's appt., a few errands, and then a tour of an assisted living facility for her. She's being proactive in looking before she really needs to move. It was a nice place, we got to talk to a resident's son (and see her room, as these rooms without furniture are hard to picture), and we had a (surprisingly good!) lunch in their dining room - pork roast with peppery gravy, roasted potatoes, corn and a slice of (overly sweet) banana cream pie. The pork roast was perfectly cooked, although the corn was way overcooked and mushy. (Can't believe I'm "reviewing" an assisted living facility! LOL)

                                              So tonight was just leftovers for me - sirloin tips, half a baked potato, and sauteed Swiss chard. I *did* make a Vodka and Lemonade, so that's my "cooking" for today.
                                              :-)

                                              6 Replies
                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                My mom spent time at Susan Bailis assisted living place in Boston and we were pleasantly surprised at the food. I remember thinking I should post about it for anyone else in the same situation, lol. Hope you find a nice place!

                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                  It is so great if you can get your elder to look before s/he needs to move! That is what I did with my aunt and she was so happy once she decided it was time to move. Wish it could have been that way with my father....

                                                  1. re: GretchenS

                                                    What Gretchen said! My mother waited until she was bedridden and made a hasty and bad mistake in her choice of nursing homes. She was her own woman and there was no consulting with me or her primary care physician. You and your Mom have always sounded so compatible.

                                                    1. re: Berheenia

                                                      Ugh. How touch, Berheenia. I'm very thankful that Mom is so good with all of this. In fact, she prompted the visits, so this is all on her. I'm just her chauffeur. But it does make it much easier. I've heard some stories from coworkers whose family members wouldn't move into a nursing home when it was 2, 3, 4 years past time. It causes so much strain on the caretaker family members, so Mom's been an absolute gem for me.

                                                  2. re: LindaWhit

                                                    i'm glad it felt better than you might have thought it would. so hard, so sad. hopefully each place you look at is better than the next!

                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                      Wow, Linda. I'm glad you had a nice visit. Some of them are just not so good. And the food aspect is a really important one. It's so good that she can assist in finding something she will be comfortable with. And your leftovers sound just fine. Especially the V&L.

                                                    2. Tonight's WFD was Paella Salad with Shrimp from Salad for Dinner cookbook by Jeanne Kelley. If I'd known before that smoked paprika tastes like bacon-flavoring, this spice would have been added to my cupboard years ago!

                                                      Prep was fast and easy. Orzo pasta toasted in olive oil, then some minced garlic added followed by broth. Cook until broth is absorbed. Meanwhile cut shrimp into 1/2 inch pieces, dice red bell pepper, halve cherry tomatoes, slice green onions, dice dried chorizo. Dump the pasta into a dish, add peas. Chill (I didn't, just allowed to cool countertop while I cooked the shrimp). Heat olive oil, add shrimp, sprinkle with paprika, cook a couple minutes, until shrimp is done. Combine all with the pasta, add veggies and some fresh parsely, stir. Season with sherry vinegar, black pepper and a bit more olive oil (which I omitted).

                                                      I served on fresh spinach - recipe suggests romaine or arugula or none.
                                                      Ingredients list is at this site - note that the 1/2 cup diced chorizo is the Spanish dry-cured variety. I wasn't willing to spend 10 dollars for chorizo, and substituted pepperoni.
                                                      http://caloriecount.about.com/paella-...

                                                      1. Back in town, cousin's wedding was a very nice affair with lots of beer and wine. Neither SO or I had to drive, which is unusual, so we got pleasantly schmammered. The food was also good, she had a BBQ company out.

                                                        Back at it today for a 10 hour day and it's warm out, so dinner is a turkey burger w/ my homemade taco seasoning, topped with some pepper jack, and a small helping of macaroni salad. I suppose I should have a vegetable especially since I bought some at the store but... meh.

                                                        1. I had occasion to go to the posh deli over the weekend, plus my fridge had been cleaned out for my long CA business trip and never really restocked since I knew I was leaving again this Wednesday for vacation in Maine. So I bought some of the posh deli's ridiculously good chicken liver mousse and that was WFD tonight, along with some goat cheese, crackers and DOTM pickles and cherry tomatoes. Very good.

                                                          4 Replies
                                                            1. re: Berheenia

                                                              You would have to move back and you don't want to! (Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge)

                                                              1. re: GretchenS

                                                                Love that place... I need to go back there! Soon.

                                                                1. re: GretchenS

                                                                  lol- I love hearing any sacred cow of Cambridge called a deli! I always got palpitations there or at the sister one in the South End- astronomical prices but probably the best mac and cheese I ever paid ten bucks a pound for. I was more of a Baker's Best person for my posh deli needs but they closed.

                                                            2. Indian tonight. Made some jasmine jeweled rice. Started with shallot, sautéed with turmeric, cumin, dried cherries, and some sliced almonds. Added the partially cooked rice, some saffron threads bloomed in hot water, covered and let the whole thing cook until the rice was crispy on the bottom. Sautéed some chicken and zucchini in a bottle of tiki masala sauce. Not bad for a Monday night.

                                                              1. The 4th of July always makes me sad. It was my paupau's (grandpa's) birthday and we spent every summer staying with him and my yiayia in the beautiful suburbs of Chicago from the time I was born until he passed away several years back. I remember distinctly the sticky, humid heat up there. Chasing fireflies at night. Walks after dinner to a Dairy Queen that stood alone on the side of the road. Going to play video games with all of the cousins in tow. And laying around in the freezing air conditioning at paupau's feet while we watched the Tonight Show before bed.

                                                                This holiday seems so empty since he's been gone, and I find it hard to even go out and look at fireworks.

                                                                But anyway! The man stopped today for lunch at Jack in the Box or something and had this monstrosity of a ham bacon cheese thing that left him curled in a ball on the couch all night. He also brought home 4 bags of goodies from Whole Foods that I will need to cook before they go bad. So I'm going to do something I've never done and write out a meal plan for the rest of the week.

                                                                As for me, I sautéed up some veggies until they caramelized, then tossed in a handful of breadcrumbs, herbs, and seasonings, and added that to some pasta with grated cheese. I never think to add breadcrumbs to my pasta unless following a recipe which calls for it, and I need to remember to do it more often.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                  Perhaps watch the fireworks, raise a glass in honor of your paupau, and talk to him while he watches them right alongside you. Remember the fun times, nw.

                                                                2. There's a magazine cut-out recipe tonight at Casa Harters.

                                                                  A paste is made from a red chilli, tomato puree, olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme and garlic which is then rubbed into chicken thighs and new potatoes. The mix goes in a roasting tin and it gets 30 minutes at 180C. Cubes of pancetta get added and there's another 15 minutes cooking. Baby plum tomatoes go in and it all cooks for a few minutes more till the toms have softened and the chicken is cooked.

                                                                  Recipe suggests a leaf salad and crusty bread - both for mopping up the juices.

                                                                  1. We're on the tail end of vacation at Lake George our chow has not been very Chowish but I still managed to eat like a horse- the lake air gives me a great appetite. Sunday dinner at a biker bar with terrific live music,cold beer and wine in a plastic cup. The burgers and reubens were not bad and we had a blast. Last night we snagged the best balcony overlooking the lake at our motel so after several cold drinks we ordered pizza and salad delivered to the deck. Couldn't bear to leave the million dollar view and head indoors to the Italian restaurant as planned. They make you wear shoes! We are stopping at a famous old restaurant in Bolton Landing for lunch wearing suitable attire and then we head home. We will arrive just in time to watch round 3 soccer so WFD may be takeout Chinese or the Barefoot Contessa frozen Chinese that is lurking in the freezer. My Trader Joe's wine stash is still healthy so go team USA!
                                                                    Tomorrow is back to the Weight Watchers thread for me.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Berheenia

                                                                      You had great weather! Sounds like a nice trip.

                                                                      1. re: Berheenia

                                                                        Sounds fun - and pizza and salad delivered to the deck is a perfect last night of vacation!

                                                                      2. My memories of July 4th celebrations (yes, I experienced them even though I grew up in Germany -- but the US embassy of course put together quite the festivities) involve playing softball during the day or joining in all kinds of activities for kids like sack races, etc. & fireworks at night. I'm a total sucker for fireworks, so that was generally the highlight.

                                                                        I am expecting no such festivities to happen this coming Friday here in Berlin, and I have made no plans involving celebrating the day, either.

                                                                        We are likely to indulge in one more fried chicken dinner, which seems 'murrcan enough for the purpose :-D

                                                                        Last night was a bit of a wash -- the pool hall was running on summer schedule, so we arrived at closed doors.

                                                                        Went to one of the restos I almost always recommend on the Europe board, which serves modern German food with an Alsatian influence.

                                                                        We shared the "spicy" (not at all) boudin Antillaise with white beans and a summer salad with nectarines, tomatoes, red onions and capers. The nectarines made the salad a bit too sweet for me, but overall it was very nice and refreshing. The blood sausage was good, too, spicy or not. Not shown is the tarte flambée we shared but couldn't finish.

                                                                        A planned nightcap at a cocktail bar near the restaurant was rained on, so we went home early and watched the rest of the Germany game, hoping for Algeria to win :-D

                                                                        Tonight, beer garden and USA USA USA. My tummy's been acting up since this morning, so I don't really care WFD. Meh.

                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                          Hopefully your tummy is cooperating by dinnertime. Mine has been acting up in the daytime lately but seems to right itself by afternoon. I hope yours does the same. I hate bitchy belly days.

                                                                          1. re: suzigirl

                                                                            Thanks, suzi. I know my issues don't even compare to yours (not to mention nw!), but you know how frustrating it can be. Even more so with this being our last week here and all, during which we were hoping to stuff ourselves with all the things we can't get back home. Wah.

                                                                            I ended up having a tomato soup with feta & splitting a brat with my man. Boring, but it fed me & didn't make things worse.

                                                                        2. WFD: Chili-Lime Chicken Sauteed with Zucchini. Actually it's sauteed with zucchini, yellow squash, onions, garlic, bell peppers, tomatoes, scallions, cilantro. The chili is a goodly amount of Chili en Adobo. Chicken strips are marinated during the vegetable prep in lime juice and the chipotle chili then sauteed till no longer pink and set aside. The vegetables are sauteed till crisp tender, chicken is returned to cook for a bit then Bob's your uncle!

                                                                          This can be served with tortillas, sour cream and lime wedges, or over hot rice but I suspect we won't want hot rice tonight if the HHH continues. We'll probably ladle it over a grilled half roll, plop a dollop of fresh local mozzarella and a salad on the side. I do think a G & T (Fever Tree) is in order though.

                                                                          The recipe comes from "Serving Up the Harvest" by Andrea Chesman, a Vermont author with a truck load of books to her credit. During the Winter we cooked from her "Recipes from the Root Cellar", a cookbook I highly recommend, and loved everything.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                            Sounds like a great recipe. Maybe tomorrow- I have all the ingredients.

                                                                          2. Well, since we are going to be in the high 90's today, I'm swapping out my menu. We were supposed to have stir fry today, but I don't feel like such a hot meal tonight. And it's going to be cooler on Thursday. So swap the two it is. Tonight will be a nice dinner-sized Caesar Salad with sliced chicken breasts on top. (DH will pick up cooked chicken from the store on the way home). Dinner is no cooking needed!

                                                                            1. WFD will be left-over rotisserie chicken with a vegetable/pasta salad. It's mostly vegetable with a little pasta, and I plan on tossing my portion with some arugula as well. Too damn hot to cook.

                                                                              1. Why do I watch soccer- the World Cup is making me crazy! Deep cleansing breath, another glass of wine and something from the freezer for dinner. Goal!

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                  Well, the US scored, so time for more wine! Cheers!

                                                                                2. I've been a delinquent poster. Here's dinner from Monday: grilled sockeye salmon; rough salsa of mango, tomato, bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, lime; grilled zucchini planks with balsamic glaze.

                                                                                  We're spending the 4th in town - the first time in as long as I can remember. We just picked up a cheap wooden tandem kayak that leaks like a sieve. We hope to fiberglass it up so we can watch the fireworks from the river while afloat.

                                                                                   
                                                                                  1. Very hot and humid here today but that didn't stop me from making steak and cheese subs!

                                                                                    This year we asked the butcher to turn some of the roasts into shaved steaks-a brilliant idea from the head farmer where we get our cows.

                                                                                    First I sautéed a vidalia onion that had been thinly sliced in a CI pan. I cooked them until soft then turned up the heat to get some good color on them. I seasoned the steak with a heavy dose of Jane's Crazy Mixed Up Salt and added that to the hot onions. It cooked in no time. I then turned off the heat and layered the steak and onion with slices of provolone and let it melt. While the cheese was melting I toasted some sub rolls under the broiler. Dinner was done but my kitchen was way too hot so we took the subs outside and ate them with ice cold lemonade for the boy and ice cold grownup lemonade for us. Completely forget about the pickles on the side but they were not missed.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                      That's funny. It's hot & humid here as well and I made cheesesteaks. I live in cheesesteak country, so it's easy to find frozen shaved sirloin at the local grocery. I too sauteed up a vidalia. But I used the white American cheese favored in these parts. I didn't toast the rolls either. Served with frozen fries to keep it trashy.

                                                                                      Sandwiches were enjoyed in the cool of the A/C . . . If I had stepped on to the patio I would have lost all interest in food . . . way too HHH out there.

                                                                                    2. Tonight is a big old pot of mild Italian sausage meatball spaghetti sauce with lots of fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, basil, oregano, Italian seasonings and three Cajun peppers for some kick. My first three cukes from the garden were made into an oregano vinaigrette salad and sesame Kaiser rolls from last night are going to turn into garlic bread. I wish Allie would perfect that food shooter so I could shoot you all a shot of what my house smells like. I haven't let the sauce cook long enough to taste it fully married or I would shoot you a taste of that, too.

                                                                                      1. A doctor's appt. for me today, then headed down to IKEA to pick up another 3-drawer file cabinet. Got caught in "just before rush hour" traffic coming home, because I decided to come through the city. BAD decision. But I made it home.

                                                                                        It's hot and humid days like today that I'm thankful for my convection toaster oven. A Frankenchicken breast was dried off and seasoned with salt and pepper, and went in to roast. During the last 15 minutes or so, it got a glaze of a mixture of apricot preserves, champagne vinegar, dry sherry, prepared horseradish, and grated ginger.

                                                                                        Sides will be leftover basmati rice, and steamed green beans. There's V&L as well.

                                                                                        And because I'm eating at the coffee table, I have a friend who awaits anything that *might* be dropped. The boy has no shame.

                                                                                         
                                                                                        22 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                            Cool? Not so much. Just a shameless beggar. :-)

                                                                                              1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                The only exercise is the "after dinner chase" with Buster. Otherwise, he's a textbook "I sleep 16-18 hours a day" cat. :-)

                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                  Can Buster teach Mole that sleeping trick? Mole is an annoying puppy cat from the moment I walk in the door. Fortunately Malgato is a real cat who ignores me unless the food dish is empty.

                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                              That sauce almost sounds like a jezebel sauce. Yes, please.

                                                                                              I can't tell by the centerfold shot... is that Alfie or Buster? Either way, awfully cute photo op.

                                                                                              1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                Alfie is the white and black cow cat, Buster is the gray one. And I've not heard of a jezebel sauce, but I like the sound of it!

                                                                                                http://dixiedining.wordpress.com/2009...

                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                  Oh, that poor under-fed baby! I should report you :-) So precious! I eat at the coffee table all the time (but I do have a lift-top coffee table). Works wonders.

                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                    That looks like a very well fed and contented pussy to me.

                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                          He does look like he's "being served", doesn't she. Mrs. Slocombe would be proud.

                                                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                                                            A classic of British TV comedy, Gio. The style goes all the way back to music hall and comedy farce in the theatre. If you liked that, suggest you see if you can find any episodes of "Allo, 'allo" - I gather BBC Worldwide did sell DVDs on the western side of The Pond - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/'All...!

                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                              Love, "'Allo, 'allo"! It's been too long since I've seen that show.

                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                      What a cutie! You grew him big and strong LW!

                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                        Love that pic!! And the "don't mind me, just hanging out here in case ..." look on his face!

                                                                                                        1. re: iowagirl

                                                                                                          That's EXACTLY the look, iowagirl! LOL

                                                                                                          1. When I was single in Chicago (and working like a mad-woman), my 4th of July tradition was to take advantage of one of the few days a year I didn't have to work, and would put the History Channel's Revolutionary War documentary on, close all the blinds, crank the AC, and nap all day. I know, I've always been a party animal.

                                                                                                            Nowadays, we don't really have a tradition. SO flies in Friday morning and he hasn't been home for almost 2 weeks, so we may just spend the day vegging out. The neighborhood where we are renting right now is ummm rather festive at holidays, so we're not sure how the puppy will handle all the strange noises. I'll come up with something delicious to do on the grill.

                                                                                                            Tonight, it is actually not too hot out so I'm taking advantage and cooking inside. I'll just be doing a pork stir fry with a hoisin based sauce. I think for veggies I'll do carrots and maybe slice up some of those mini peppers and throw them in. Haven't decided if I want noodles with it, or rice.

                                                                                                            1. We had veal parm and pesto pasta tonight. Deb prepped the veal over the weekend, made the sauce and stashed it all in the coolerator.

                                                                                                              My modest take is that the acid in the tomato sauce tenderizes the meat beyond the pounding/dredging/coating/browning steps. The longer in the fridge, the more tender the meat. This is merely an observation and should not be confused with fact.

                                                                                                              The meal was tasty. We washed it all down with the house red. NCIS was on the plasma - Deb insists.

                                                                                                              Pity about USA today. My positive spin is that they were outmanned throughout the entire match but hung in there and did themselves proud.

                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                I keep asking - when are you moving to Oregon. I'm sure I can "force" my neighbors to move asap. I didn't watch per-se, but I did follow along via internet. Saw they were down 2-0 but did at least come back with a score. Sad. Guess I'll just go eat my Caesar Salad w/Chicken now. But I would totally be up for your dinner.

                                                                                                                1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                  Dinner was good.

                                                                                                                  I need to spend some serious quality time in the Pacific Northwest. My son is a frequent visitor and loves it there, my sailing buddies rave about it.

                                                                                                                  I'll give it some thought.

                                                                                                                2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                  Only saw the highlights of the match, Steve - but would agree with your assessment. Which is more than I could say for England's dismal performance - we really have to address the state of our national game.

                                                                                                                  As for dinner - a trip into the city to a new place doing BBQ. It should be interesting - there isnt much American style BBQ in the UK and, in my experience, we don't do it very well. Like the others I've been to, it's probably going to try an emulate an American chain place, rather than the "rough n ready" sort of places we looked out for on our last trip to the States.

                                                                                                                  1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                    Timmmmmmmmmmmy! He saved the day. Well, for the most part. I just read that someone changed the wiki entry for the US defense secretary to Tim Howard :-)

                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                      Wasn't Mr. Howard wonderful? 16 saves... According to the Washington Post he is now " the greatest goalkeeper in national history". I'm sorry the US lost. They did very well for themselves throughout, in spite of the Portugal game.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                        Mrs H & I were a bit divided. Howard used to play for Manchester United, the team she supports, while Belgian defender Vincent Kompany captains my team, Manchester City.

                                                                                                                  2. Simple dinner tonight, as I was volunteering per usual and DH had a haircut. We had TJ's mahi mahi burgers with homemade dilly tartar sauce, sauteed red pepper strips and baby zukes, and salad. ETA: the mahi burgers were fine, but I prefer mahi fillets. I can see how they would be useful if you put them on a bun though.

                                                                                                                    The salad was a bit of a fridge dump with arugula, cubed feta, apple, scallions, and grape tomatoes. I made a dressing of lime juice, apple cider vinegar, honey, fresh jalapeno, ground ancho chili, a little Mrs. Dash, a splash of soy, and some good olive oil. It turned out surprisingly delicious.

                                                                                                                    It was so hot today, all I can think about is ice cream.

                                                                                                                    1. Tako poke was perfect for this hot day. No limu in the pantry so used rehydrated ogo. Ono Seasoning includes ginger, and garlic along with dried chiles to stand in for the lack of chili pepper water. Ono grinds!

                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: letsindulge

                                                                                                                        That looks delicious. Can you describe a little more how it is made? Thank you.

                                                                                                                        1. No cook taco Tuesday at our place. So, we picked up tacos. I had carnitas soft tacos and DH had chicken hard shell tacos.

                                                                                                                          1. a rather meh dinner tonight. pulled out some steak last night, not realizing it was a cut that needed a slow braise (can't remember what now). so this morning before work i hurriedly threw it in the slow cooker with a half bottle of quite old California Pepper Sauce (think steak sauce/mild hot sauce), sliced bit of onion and carrot, crushed garlic cloves and chopped cilantro, some water, salt and pepper. it turned out tender enough with decent flavor. just not a WOW. I made rice - sauteed with a clove of garlic, then simmered with tomato/chicken bouillon and leftover chopped sauteed leeks - pretty tasty, actually. and a simple salad of romaine, shallots and radishes in an oregano vinaigrette. more homey than anything. the BF said he liked homey, and went back for seconds.

                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                            1. A coupld of strip sirlions on the baby gas grill and a side of fresh basil pesto and pasta for me and the gf with A1 on the side.

                                                                                                                              Wanted medium rare , which I thought 3-1/2 minutes a side would yield, but they were a litle closer to medium, but still yummy.

                                                                                                                              Everytime I think I got steak cooking masterd to the minute, I get whapped up-side the head. LOLZ.

                                                                                                                              Sounds like I need to do a "do-over." Ha.

                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                1. I think I want to make French dips in the slow cooker today. DH is crazy about them. On the side probably buttered broccoli and a cucumber-tomato salad with dill vinaigrette.

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. Monday night was another stab at the Szechuan cumin lamb stir fry I keep working to get just right. a dry spice mix of cumin, szechuan peppercorn, garlic powder, cayenne, salt and a pinch of sugar is whizzed up in the spice grinder. Strips of lamb leg cutlet are coated with the spice mixture and some corn starch and left to let the flavors mingle. Although not autentic, i add some red pepper and zucchini strips, and a bit of firm baked tofu (TJs) to the stir fry and finish with some scallions. very tasty, but still not like the restaurant version (putting aside my additions). I think the main difference is that i'm not getting the delectable crust because I refuse to use the amount of oil necessary to produce it. to compensate, i used an enameled cast iron skillet and did the lamb in batches so as not to crowd and reduce crispiness. i left the meat alone to develop some real hard sear on the outside before moving it -- that helped.

                                                                                                                                    Tuesday night was enchiladas suizas made with a filling of shredded rotisserie chicken, onions, black beans and kale. comforting and yum.

                                                                                                                                    Tonight we are dining out.

                                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: MAH

                                                                                                                                      I'm excited for you to perfect this, because I want to make it at home and don't have your patience!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: MAH

                                                                                                                                        I love Sichuan cumin anything, but b/c we eat it almost weekly back home for our jour fixe, I just haven't bothered trying to recreate any of their dishes. They would all pale in comparison.

                                                                                                                                        Your version sounds fab, tho!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: MAH

                                                                                                                                          Fuchsia Dunlop's recipe for Szechuan Cumin Lamb from her "Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook":
                                                                                                                                          http://cny.ie/?p=2409

                                                                                                                                          The recipe correction here:
                                                                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4946...

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                            Fyi, Gio, the "correction" I posted referred to a different link--one that was for Cumin Beef from RCC: http://peskypeppercorn.wordpress.com/...

                                                                                                                                            The link that you posted here has changed the beef to lamb, but is otherwise the same as the Beef with Cumin recipe in the book. No corrections required (unless there are slight variations in amounts of ingredients since the blogger has changed the measurements to metric; I didn't bother to do the math). Although the blogger calls it Xinjiang Lamb with Cumin and Red Onion and the recipe has no red onion in it. Huh?

                                                                                                                                            Anyway, I've made the recipe from RCC innumerable times. It's one of my favorites. I've tried making it with lamb because I adore lamb, but for some reason I prefer this particular recipe with beef. Dunlop has another cumin beef recipe in EGoR, but I prefer the one in RCC.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                              Oh Dear! Well. thank you for your correction of my correction. It got a little confusing with all the replies and responses. I think probably MAH wants to make it on her own without a recipe. I just thought I'd give her reference.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                Thanks, Gio and JoanN. Interesting that the comments on that FD related thread mention the copious amounts of oil called for -- that must be the secret to the crust on the meat. also interesting suggestions there re the half ground cumin/ half whole cumin seeds.

                                                                                                                                                I'll keep these in mind for my next attempt...

                                                                                                                                                1. re: MAH

                                                                                                                                                  The first few times I made the Beef with Cumin from RCC, I used much less oil and tried to sear the meat a bit against the sides of the wok. One night, for some reason, I used the full amount of oil and discovered I much preferred the texture of the meat cooked that way. But it's not at all crispy or crusty, though; more velvety, I would say. I excuse the use of all that oil since I pour it all out of the wok before continuing and let the meat drain before adding it back to the pan.

                                                                                                                                                  I know the texture you're talking about. There's a restaurant in Flushing that serves a cumin lamb that has that crust to it and I've never been able to replicate it. They use either ground or finely minced lamb, and I always thought the secret of the crispiness might lie there, but I still couldn't achieve it, even with ground lamb. Gave up trying once I got the RCC recipe to the point where I don't even think about it with lamb any more. But I will if you figure it out and let us know.

                                                                                                                                        2. The fried chicken picnic dinner turned out perfectly. Thanks to mariacarmen I had a new technique to try out, substituting some pastry flour for AP which was supposed to lighten the batter. I didn't notice a difference, but the skin came out crisp at any rate. I made remoulade and honey mustard sauces for dipping and a duo of stuffed cucumber kimchi and radish pickles to balance out the heaviness of the fried chicken. We rounded out the meal with tortellini salad, deviled eggs, potato salad with pimento cheese and an incredible dish of stir fried noodles with crab fat, pork and vegetables.

                                                                                                                                          Last night I took a break from the leftovers with a lightish BLAT sandwich -- my first ever. Tonight is dinner out, my first-ever taste of Memphis fried chicken. Not quite sure what to expect since Nashville outshines its neighbors when it comes to fried chicken, but given the city's talent for dry seasonings, I have high hopes.

                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                          15 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                            O.M.G. I am SO happy we decided on one more fried chicken dinner in Berlin.

                                                                                                                                            That looks mouth-watering, JM. Wow.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                              that looks and sounds marvelous - especially with the sauces and pickles.

                                                                                                                                              what the hell is crab fat?? I must know!!

                                                                                                                                              so how'd you like the BLAT?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                Google suggests that "crab fat" must be what, in the UK, we simply call the "brown meat". Softer texture and far more tasty than the white.

                                                                                                                                                If I buy a cooked crab "dressed", it's presented on the shell with the white meat in two portions, divided by a strip of the brown- as this - http://www.fishfanatics.co.uk/recipe-...

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                    The BLAT was okay but I think I prefer a BLT with mayo or cheese. My sandwich was just a little dry and avocado is a somewhat finicky ingredient. Unless it is at its peak, it can get a slightly bitter aftertaste as was the case with mine.

                                                                                                                                                    Crab fat is the literal translation of the ingredient called taba ng talangka in Tagalog. According to the link below, it is made by salting shorecrabs and squeezing the deliciousness out of them. The resulting product combines the sea-fresh flavor of good caviar with the sweetness of crab.
                                                                                                                                                    http://masarap.ph/the-art-of-making-t...

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                      that sounds heavenly!

                                                                                                                                                      did you not have mayo in addition with your avocado? I wouldn't omit the mayo.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                        I thought the avocado was supposed to be the "fat" in the sandwich. Somehow I convinced myself that a sandwich of mostly lettuce and tomato would be "healthy" if I used avocado instead of mayo (and ignored the 3 strips of bacon). But then I've also convinced myself that eating a whole bag of pork rinds is "healthy" compared to a whole bag of chips so I shouldn't be entirely surprised.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                          What, a whole bag of pork rinds is not healthy? Damn. Those rinds from the Thai park were delicious. And so healthy tasting.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                            lingua - JM is just plain wrong on the pork rinds (or pork scratchings as we call them here). They are an extemely healthy food, assuming only one bag (of indeterminate size) is consumed at a session.

                                                                                                                                                            It is a well known fact that eating this quantity of rind contributes to overall well being and, as such, is contributing to the body's health more significantly than, say, a lettuce & tomato salad, with Lo-Cal dressing - which generally does fuck all for well being.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                              I wish my father shared your philosophy. There were quite a few times in my youth when my father would catch me eating something haraam like chicharron and give me what I believe is translated from the Arabic as "a good smacking." Did little for my well-being, but never did stop me from eating pork rinds, or more controversially, skin-on baked ham. That salty pink temptress really knew how to get me in trouble.

                                                                                                                                                              Between my love of pork scratchings and pork pies, I think I must have northern blood running in my veins!

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                    Did you end up serving the chicken hot, room temp, or cold? Just curious.

                                                                                                                                                    Looks super crispy and delicious.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                      I made the chicken a few hours before we got to the picnic location, per weezieduzit's Dad, so we ate it at room temperature. I thought the skin would've gone soft by then and needed some sauce to compensate, but they held up fairly well. A little crisp, a little bready.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                        That chicken looks completely amazing JM!

                                                                                                                                                      2. We met up with some friends yesterday to watch the World Cup at a local bar so had an early dinner of their Chicago Style deep dish pizza. Disappointing game (except for Howard!) and even more disappointing pizza. EJ is from Chicago and is pretty picky about his deep dish pizza - I don't understand why someone would call pizza "Chicago style" if it clearly isn't - it gets is hopes up every time. Very minimal and flavorless tomato sauce (and under the cheese), very finely ground sausage, and a cheese filled puffy crust. Bleah. At least the beer was good!

                                                                                                                                                        Tonight I'm going to try to make kebabs out of the TJ's tempeh that EJ bought last month and has been hanging out in my fridge since. Using a recipe from Cooking Light, I'll marinate the tempeh in soy sauce and olive oil, add some bbq sauce (it sounds weird to me too!) then skewer it with red and yellow pepper, red onion and mushrooms and grill. Cucumber, tomato and mozzarella salad on the side.

                                                                                                                                                        1. Mine is pathetic compared with all of yours... Chinese roast pork ('char xiu'?) on baguette. But I could eat the 'master sauce' with anything though just because it's so good. A big salad, washed down with a Chilean carménère (from Colchagua valley where I have been to!).

                                                                                                                                                          I look forward to bbq'ing tomorrow!

                                                                                                                                                          The sun always comes out after dinner (pics). Some of my old braising pots became flower pots...

                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Pata_Negra

                                                                                                                                                              Did you make char siu or red-cooked pork? I was under the impression that char siu is made with a wet marinade, whereas the latter is made with a master stock that is terrific with pretty much anything. Both sound great on a baguette!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                I got the Char Siu from a Chinese restaurant in a town 2 hours away and this terrific sauce is always part of it. Maybe it's not 'master sauce'... I think it's a glaze that's used to baste the roasting meat with?

                                                                                                                                                                That master sauce sounds great, too. I should give me a go. My char siu looks like this: http://www.gourmettraveller.com.au/re...

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Pata_Negra

                                                                                                                                                                Char siu on baguette is definitely *not* pathetic. I'd eat that at any time, including breakfast! :)

                                                                                                                                                              3. Tonight is a continuation of this week's "clear out the freezers" cooking. Grilled, marinated fish for me and grilled sausages for my husband. I'm bored with rice as a side. I'm thinking of maybe potatoes au gratin on the side to go with a bag of frozen steamed green beans. It's nothing to get excited about but it also didn't require shelling out any money at the grocery store over the weekend.

                                                                                                                                                                1. WFD: Bombay Turkey Sliders with Curry Sauce, and Salad of blanched green beans, radishes, cucumber, tomatoes, leaf lettuce, and fresh mozzarella because I totally forgot we had a tub in the fridge till I read Iowagirl's WFD.

                                                                                                                                                                  The sliders will become burgers, as usual, on a roll for DH and beside the salad for me. The salad is more or less almost everything in the fridge since tomorrow is FM day. House dressing.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. another jarred sauce night? horrors! but, a workmate gifted me a bottle of chipotle bacon bbq sauce, and a finger in the jar determined it was GOOD. so, this morning I did a quick rub (had some left over from a long ago roast - lingua's blend, I believe) on pork shoulder boneless "ribs", dumped them into the slow cooker, then gluck-gluck-glucked most of the bottle over them. on the way to work I bought some more of those not-too-sweet Honey French Rolls for pulled pork sliders. alongside will be carrot-top pesto potato salad, some pan-grilled nectarine slices, and a red cabbage slaw, most likely of the vinegar sort. i'm hungry just thinking about it now.

                                                                                                                                                                    and, I may as well tell all you dear folk my news: i'm planning a life change: going to do some travel in the next few months. Yurp with my seester, possibly cross-country with the BF, then South America, land of my parents, with my sister again and then the BF. who knows if it will all come to pass as expected - one never knows about anything, does one? i'm at once excited and scared shite-less. not leaving until early September, and then I hope to blog about food adventures. we'll see!

                                                                                                                                                                    30 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                      How exciting! I can't wait to hear about your adventures!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                        Exciting. Where in S.America? Don't be scared.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Pata_Negra

                                                                                                                                                                          Bolivia is where my parents were from (taking my dad's ashes there), and we're going to check out Uruguay too.

                                                                                                                                                                          thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                            Great trip! So this means quitting the job, and getting rid of the apartment? Very brave!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                              thanks! gave notice yesterday, but not giving up the apartment! noooo waaaaay... the BF will stay here for part of my travels, and we'll try to airbnb it for some of the other portions when he's with me. and i'll be back in between and probably (have to) work.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                So exciting! I'm sure it will be the trip of a lifetime!

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                              My dad was raised in Bolivia until the age of 13 or so.

                                                                                                                                                                              This is very exciting, mc. I hope you have oodles of fun. Don't be anxious or scared--it's an adventure!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                wow, really? i hardly ever meet anyone who even knows where Bolivia is! was he like a missionary or something? i mean, his parents? not to get too personal....

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                  Well, his father was Indian and was an engineer. Dad was born while they were in Pakistan for work (briefly, like for 2 weeks, poor pregnant grandma!) and then his job with British Petroleum sent him to New York, Africa, then Bolivia for over a decade. My dad rarely talks about his childhood, but I've heard him reminisce a few times after a couple drinks. They drove around in a government-issued Land Rover and lived in the forest. He and my uncle grew their hair long and got into TONS of trouble.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Grandpa took a job in Chicago when dad was maybe 13, and they were thrown into the public schools on the South side. I'm sure "culture shock" doesn't even begin to describe it.

                                                                                                                                                                                  What's funny is they moved to the suburbs for high school, and my dad and mom went to the same school for 4 years and lived less than a mile from one another but never met. They each went to different colleges, then to the same med school, where they met and fell in love. I'm sure it was bizarre to discover they'd lived right down the road from one another that whole time.

                                                                                                                                                                                  More info than you asked for... "not to get too personal," ha!

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                Uruguay for the steaks, and Bolivia for the salteñas!

                                                                                                                                                                                I visited Peru and Bolivia very briefly (4 weeks) in 2003. Looking at the photos after I returned it occurred to me I should have taken more photos of the food. The rest is history :)

                                                                                                                                                                                You know it's a fantastic holiday when you look at the photos 10 years later and you feel a big lump in your throat! Both Peru and Bolivia are incredible but for me personally the people make it special.

                                                                                                                                                                                (pics: saltenas in La Paz, everywhere in the country. On second day at Salar de Uyuni, the spot where one gets dropped off if continue on to Chile.)

                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Pata_Negra

                                                                                                                                                                                  Hah! Yes! I've talked about saltenas many times on these threads, as we'd always buy them for my dad. AND - Uruguay is the other country the BF and I will check out!

                                                                                                                                                                            3. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                              Good for you, MC! That sounds like a very exciting life change! And some great places for chow!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                WOW! Very cool about the travel! I was wondering what you were talking about on the other playground. :D Can't wait to read all about it!

                                                                                                                                                                                (And if you make it "cross country" to the New England area, you know there are several of us who would love to meet up!)

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                  What an inedible journey you have to look forward to. Great you're doing it now when you can. You'll have great adventures, great chow, and great memories. I can't wait to read all about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                    haha - I hope it's edible!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                    thanks Gio! exactly my point - i'm never going to be this healthy again, this "young" again, I don't want to wait until retirement...I have no children...it's now or maybe never!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                      You do right, Maria.

                                                                                                                                                                                      You never know what's round the corner. Putting off your dreams until the "right time" can mean you never get to realise them. Have a mega-exciting time.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                        you know it, Mr. H. People like you and steve h. are some of my shining examples of how to live.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                      HAHAH>>> you know I meant incredible. Damnable spell check.

                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                      Mariacarmen: Traveling

                                                                                                                                                                                      Excellent! Set up a blog, keep us posted. Be sure to share every excruciating detail.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Fair winds and following seas, mc.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                        What an amazing life change and wonderful way to honor your father. I am incredibly jealous and giddy for you at the same time. Have an amazing adventure now while you can really enjoy it.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                          Traveling - WOW. Great way to go. Enjoy it while you can. It's a marvelous experience. I've traveled a lot and don't regret a single minute of it. I hope to read some of your posts while you are traveling. We will miss you. But can't wait to read of your food travels. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                            aw, thanks BZ. you'll not have a chance to miss me for awhile, and then maybe not at all as i'm sure to pester you all from abroad.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                              Well... this I do look forward to. I cannot travel any longer so I will live my travels through your blog.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                              If you make it to NC in the Triangle we can have a chow-meetup for you! Just e-mail.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Sounds like a wonderful adventure!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                How exciting, MC! I look forward to reading of your adventures!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yay mc! I do hope you blog about it, starting soon with the planning/prep stage of the adventure. Just to maximize the fun for those of us who will be living it vicariously through you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Hi all. Got off track yesterday with dinner, my 16.5 year old pug, Sam, needed to cross the rainbow bridge. He was faithful and loyal to the end.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  So, dinner was a very stiff cocktail and a granola bar. Off to Prague tomorrow, so a good dinner is definitely needed. I'm going to do filet mignon with mushroom cream sauce and steamed baby carrots.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh Allie, so so sorry about Sam. Knowing the decision and timing was right does not make it any easier (we lost our golden - the one in my avatar a year ago). Enjoy your filet tonight and have a wonderful, healing trip to Prague with Pap!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh, allie. Sorry about Sam.... it's a good age for a dog, but sad nonetheless :-(

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hope the trip will be a good distraction both thought and distance-wise. Your dinner sounds like perfect comfort food. ((Hugs))

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ohhh, Allie. I'm so sorry about Sam. {{{{Hugs to you}}}} I'm glad you were at least with him in the end to say goodbye to each other.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Your dinner tonight sounds wonderful - chin up, and have a WONDERFUL time in Prague. Hopefully you can check in here on occasion during your travels.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                          So sorry about your faithful friend, Allie. Golden memories though, yes?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sam lived to a ripe old age -- about 115 in dog years -- so he knows that he was loved. Sad, nonetheless, to to lose a faithful and true companion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                            ohhhh pup.... i'm sorry allie. so hard. they leave such a hole in our lives. i'm glad you're off on your big adventure tomorrow with Pap. it will help ease the pain a bit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            and yes, as LW says, please drop a line now and then (with pics!) of you two eating marvelous things!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sorry for your loss, Allie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm excited about your upcoming adventure. Share your impressions with us if you get the chance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thank you all for the kind words. Since this is a fairly long trip, and we'll be in an apartment with good wifi, I intend to remain seated at the table :)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                First thing to eat? Whatever fried cheese sandwich I can put my hands on!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am so sorry that you lost Sam. It is so hard to lose a friend but you took VERY good care of him. Pugs don't usually make it to their teens. Better to have lost him now rather than while you are gone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I hope that you have a wonderful time with Pap in Prague. Eat well and keep us posted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh, Allie - I'm so sad for you. My 16 yr. old cocker Rusty crossed that same rainbow bridge Jan. 6. So know Rusty is is waiting on the other side for Sam I'm sure with a big welcome and a "lick lick". Did you do the rainbow candle ceremony for him? It helps. What a great organization. I feel your pain. I'll toast one to Sam and one to you for your excellent dinner. Travel safe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sorry to hear about Sam allie :( Hopefully your trip will provide you with some much needed R&R

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm so sorry about Sam. As much as I love my fur friends I hate that they have such short lives...I wish we had more time together.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          So sorry to hear about Sam! But what a life he had with you. Enjoy Prague and glad to hear you will be staying at the table.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I am so so sorry Allie. May he rest in peace. <hug>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Today seems like a bittersweet day. Mariacarmen with her wonderful news and Allie with the passing of her beloved Sam. Life is just a big old crapshoot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tonight is a pretzel and ranch powder crusted chicken breast baked in a nice hot oven til done through. Finely crushed pretzels that just weren't salty enough were sacrificed. Scalloped potatoes and smothered green beans with the delicious Amish bacon for the sides. Fingers crossed... I have never tried pretzel crust but I spotted in in a shake and bake flavor at the store and thought what the hell, I can do that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              --------------------
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "Scalloped potatoes and smothered green beans with the delicious Amish bacon..."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              -------------------

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              suzigirl, what is your rendition of smothered green beans?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Smothered to me usually mean smotherd in grilled onions, smothered in cheese or a cream base sauce, which heads towards green bean caserole (which I have no qualms with) or a roux based sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i b curious? :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jjjrfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Cherylptw had a technique for smothered green beans that I bookmarked a couple threads back. Smothered to me usually means sautéed with bacon grease and onions until your greens are toothsome, but I think she had a twist.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jjjrfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Isaute a couple of slices of thick cut bacon and half a medium diced onion and add a pound of fresh green beans and cover them with chicken stock and simmer them for about a half hour. It is very southern.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Tonight we're really being so lazy -- we're having crab cakes for dinner. That's it. Crab cakes. Neither one of us was inspired to come up with something to go with them, though there was tentative talk of corn cakes along side. I used my favorite recipe from The Best Recipe that uses minimal filler. Almost done!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Well, they look good. What did you think? I love crab cakes but have never made them myself. I'd love a really great recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Take a look at the recipe in Fish Without a Doubt. May be more effort than you want to expend, but I thought they were just extraordinary.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6001...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is a great recipe that ends up tasting of nothing but crab, which is what you want! Take a pound of crab meat and pick it over. Finely chop about a half a cup of scallions. Chop some parsley (about 2 tablespoons chopped), 11/2 tsps Old Bay, 3-4 tablespoons of plain breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, and about 1/4 cup of mayo. Gently mix this all together, and then add one beaten egg. Mix again. Form into 4 large balls of crab, flatten slightly onto a sheet pan covered with parchment, and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour. When you're ready to cook them, put about 1/4 cup of flour on a plate, and heat a non-stick skillet with about 1/4 cup of neutral oil. When the oil is hot, dip each of the crab cakes into the flour, flouring both sides, and place into the pan. Cook until brown on one side, and then turn to continue cooking. I made a simple tartar sauce with mayo, chopped scallion, cornichon, and capers, plus a little of the cornichon juice. Simple, and very crabby.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Many thanks Roxlet. That sounds terrific. I've copied and saved it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Work has just been a nightmare lately, I get home and have what feels like zero brain cells left. But yet, I'm mustering up dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tonight I've got a chicken breast that I cut in half to be thinner, and it's marinating in some dijon, lemon juice, rosemary and s&p. After putting it all together I realized I was supposed to add olive oil too, but oh well. I put the same marinade on some zucchini strips, and both will be grilled up here in a couple hours. I've got a bit of rice left over from last night so that will go on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    4th of July can't get here fast enough... ready to just relax for a few days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. My appetite goes off in the heat, even when I'm in a thankfully air-conditioned room. And it was a scorcher here in NNJ, so "dinner" today was a two-course affair, separated by a four-hour break between. A cheeseburger on bun at 1:00, followed by a green salad at 5:00, with pickled beets, red bell pepper, English cucumber, a little sprinkle of shredded cheese, and some homemade TI dressing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. The first 4th I was in the US, I was shocked at how low key it was. No people painting their whole (sometimes naked) bodies with the colours of the flag. No out-of-control drunken street parties. Not at all like the Canada Days I had celebrated back home. I asked a friend and she told me everyone just went to the beach and ate hot dogs. So perhaps I'll cook up some hot dogs for the 4th and top them with some more of my homemade sauerkraut.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tonight, however, will be sage and garlic pork chops (with the first sage from the garden!), cauliflower with goat cheese sauce and rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tomorrow, I'm debating between saag paneer and homemade sweet potato-ricotta ravioli with brown butter. The loser may beat out those hot dogs on Friday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          BBL, I think it depends on the town/city you live in or near. I can't recall where you are in the States, but Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Chicago, San Diego and many large cities always have a huge celebration with fireworks. Boston's gathering on the Esplanade can be upwards of 500,000 - both residents, locals-to-Boston, and tourists who come from many states and countries just for the event. You can't beat fireworks set to the 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky with live cannons being shot off during the appropriate time in the music. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          So yeah - maybe it's sometimes the beach and cookouts, and maybe a few drunken street parties scattered throughout the country, but it isn't always low-key. Although I myself will be doing so. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            For the 30 odd years we lived in greater Boston I always found an outside grill for a few hotdogs and a picnic table for a cheesy plastic red white and blue tablecloth. We lived close enough to the fireworks to hear them but seldom saw them- the hordes of people got worse every year- better on TV in the AC.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              TRUTH about watching on TV. :-) I've seen them live once - a "semi-date" with the cousin of a co-worker, who knew someone having a party in a 3rd or 4th floor condo overlooking the river directly opposite the barge. Best viewing site ever on the balcony. Close enough to hear the music from the Esplanade as well, although it was "off" by two beats from what we could hear on the big screen TV inside the condo. Wish I had had a camera to take pics.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I was actually in Manhattan when the initial shock occurred. A friend who was also from BC told me, "everyone just goes to the Hamptons and eats hotdogs". The following year, I got a wonderful view of the fireworks from my rooftop in Brooklyn, but it still seemed rather low key compared to what I was used to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              For reference, this is what I was used to: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "Hamilton recalled one recent Canada Day when Victoria's four-lane main street, Douglas Street, was down to a single lane while crowds of intoxicated people tossed bottles at each other over top of police cruisers."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That said, this year in Santa Fe should be more interesting than the last two, since it's rained and I don't think there is the usual fireworks ban. I'll probably spend the evening trying to coax the pup out from behind the washing machine. She is terrified of fireworks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yikes. I think I prefer our more tame celebration for the American Independence Day. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Decided to go for the homemade ravioli tonight. Filling is made of sweet potato, ricotta, parmesan, bacon, sage, onion and garlic. I'll sear and steam them, the same way I do potstickers, and top with brown butter and more parmesan. Tomato salad and rosemary baguette on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                tonight's dinner is salmon with creme fraiche mustard chive topping, and barley salad, and corn on the cob....kind of an all american precursor to the 4th. Still trying to figure out my fourth menu, but it will include WF Tuna Poke, which my SO loves.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's 112 in NV so we don't venture outside until well after the sun is down; makes grilling a tough proposition.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: lvnvflyer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  welcome lvnvflyer - or have you been here at WFD before? i can't keep track of all the new people at the table! welcome anyway. that topping sounds great for the salmon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nudity, even if disguised in the star-spangled banner, is frowned upon in the US. Blame the puritans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Have you ever seen the crowd at the Philly July 4 celebrations? Not many I'd like to see paint or no paint. It's not Puritanism, it's self-defense for our eyes ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. and here are pics of the pulled pork with bottled chipotle bacon bbq sauce. really, really tasty. the meat sat in the crock-pot for 11 hours! very tender. and i ended up just dicing up some nectarine into the cabbage/pickled turnip/scallion vinegary slaw. pesto taters balanced out the sweet/sour flavors.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's sensational! Your blog will be a feast for the eyes for sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I'm doing a Japanese-y thing with tuna that I've been doing for years. The cookbook (The Best of Oriental Cooking, Caxton Press, 1989) names it kinome jaki

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Fish gets a marinade in light soy sauce, mirin, grated ginger and a touch of sugar (or I may just open a bottle of Teriyaki sauce). It gets cooked under the grill - I'm not a fan of current fashion for briefly searing, leaving the inside raw, so it'll get 3 or 4 minutes each side to cook "properly".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It'll be served up on noodles that get a quick stir-fry with spring onion and are finished off with the fish marinade. Alongside, thinly sliced cucumber in a dressing of rice wine vinegar, sugar, dark soy sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'd no time for a trip into Chinatown, just to buy sushi ginger (which goes extremely well with it) so had to get the extortionately priced small packet that the supermarket sells. I begrudge paying the £2.95 that's going to only be enough for one meal, when a jar from the Chinese supermarket only costs a quid and will do us for a couple of years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Yesterday I had plans for a healthy meal with a ratatouille as the main event when Crash Bang at 4:00 down came a huge part of a tree and out went the transformer. After the tree was cleared out of the road Intrepid Hubby figured out how to open the garage door manually (hey, he's a city boy) and made a run to the gas station for batteries and ice so we had a nice happy hour with cold drinks and music on the old boom box. I was about to put together a chef's salad when the lights came back- yippee! So we had Trader Joe's Eggplant Stacks Parmesan (8 minutes in the microwave and one of their better frozen meals IMHO) with a salad and HOT whole grain rolls, with a salad on the side, peeled eggs and cold cuts will be lunch.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        More storms coming plus I had an email that the Boston Symphony is streaming tonight's Fourth Concert Rehearsal as they anticipate that tomorrow's concert is going to be cancelled. I hope we can watch it on TV not stream on an old radio. I think I'll make that ratatouille early this afternoon, just in case.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          YIKES! I was wondering how you fared out there, Berheenia! A friend who lives in Littleton, NH, said their downtown got hit by a microburst - she didn't lose power, but lots of huge trees down throughout town. Glad you're OK.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And Boston's fireworks and Boston Pops show is happening tonight due to impending weather from Hurricane Arthur (Fiedler!) :-) - there's no dress rehearsal. The musical guests' schedules prevent it from being postponed until Saturday. And there's still a chance of it being cancelled tonight, depending on thunderstorms that might come through. If that happens, the fireworks will still go off on Saturday, but no music portion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I learned how to override the garage door opener this past winter when it was day 3 of no power. Put 85-y-o mom in the heated car, toured the damage in the neighborhood. McD's drive-thru coffee followed by drive-thru Wendy's never tasted so good. (Day 3 of no power also meant day 3 of no shower, so drive thru was it.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Back on-topic. Yesterday's dinner was chicken picccata over angel hair pasta with side salad with a lemon vinaigrette (to keep the lemon theme going). Not sure what's on tap this evening--I was going to stop at the local meat market on the way home, but it was really pouring here at the time, so I didn't feel like stopping. Guess I'll see what's in the pantry and fridge and go from there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Back off topic: The Philly Pops concert tonight got moved indoors. Will be interesting to see how they handle the Jam concert and fireworks, which they say will take place rain or shine. I have reached the age where I now watch it on TV from my suburban home ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Well, the tempeh kebabs just didn't happen last night. I went home and mowed, then EJ and i went to the store to get some things we need for our bbq tomorrow. We saw the Hebrew National hot dogs, and all thoughts of tempeh flew away! So it was grilled hot dogs, with onion, yellow mustard and jalapenos. Macaroni salad, Cheetos (the white cheddar "healthy ones") and beer - really hit the spot!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Not sure about tonight - it's Jazz Fest downtown this weekend, so we may go listen and find something at "culinary row."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tomorrow we are going fairly traditional 4th - smoking ribs and sausage, baked beans, slaw (i am using a recipe from the 4th of July salads thread here) and potato salad. A lemon blueberry cake for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Since we were in Italy this time last year, and the friend that went with us will be celebrating with us tomorrow, I'm doing an Italian inspired antipasta plate for nibbles while we wait. Popone and prosciutto, roasted pepper, marinated artichokes and mozzarella balls and a selection of meats and cheese. Should be a fun way to "remember where we were last year at this time!?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Happy fourth to everyone!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: iowagirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Cheetos (the white cheddar "healthy ones")
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ___________________________

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'll have to remember that next time I stroll down the chips aisle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Yesterday, we were in the mood to try something new in the 'hood. We had read about this French place located in the gallery district, where most places are fairly expensive or tourist-oriented.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This place is owned and, pretty much, single-handedly run by an older French dude who offers 3 different 3-course meals every night (no switching, no substitutions) for 7.50€. Yes, you read correctly: SEVEN EURO FIFTY!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We had to, ya know? The owner greeted us at the door and, once we were seated, gave us a run-down of the food on offer. We chose menu 2 and 3, respectively. My man went for the meat menu: rustic country paté with a shit ton of baguette on the side, veal steak with chanterelle sauce & boiled potatoes, cherry cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The paté was delish and a hearty portion at that, the chanterelle sauce was so good we mopped up every last bit of it, the cherry cake was kinda meh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I went for the fish menu, which consisted of a seafood terrine with a mustard & dill sauce, red mullet over leaf spinach with basil sauce (perhaps the weakest dish but still quite tasty), and a small cheese plate with a slice each of brie, chaumes and munster.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I could complain about the spinach leaking into the sauce a bit.... but I really, really can't justify it at that price.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              No, haute cuisine it is not, not by any measure, but our total bill came to roughly 34 Euro including a small bottle of water, 4 glasses of white wine, and tip.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                on my list! you know we land in BERLIN!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Honestly -- since you're there only briefly, I'd go to Les Valseuses for your French meal instead. Higher prices, of course (but still a steal) -- much better food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ya know, i'm going to be in France for frenchy meals for at least a week if not longer. i'd rather try something german-ish - which I get the place you went to was not. but we'll see... once we get there, all common sense/budgetary concerns may go right out the window.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  €7.50 is amazing value. You no longer see "menus del dia" that cheap in Spain's tourist hotspots, although they often come in at not much more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Purer Wahnsinn!!! Sheer madness!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I thought that price was for the lovely coarse Pâté alone...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Enjoy your final days 'home'! (hopefully the weather will hold)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I arrived home the other day to a big welcome by velcro kitties. I was able to slip out the door (during their nap) to pickup groceries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It is beastly hot and humid with bugs that bite. The heat directed a few meals. Made a nice lemony tuna fish salad for my late arrival dinner. Had leeks in the fridge so a big batch of vichyssoise was prepared.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I picked up several varieties of bratwurst at a St. Louis butcher shop. Used the plain brats with extra chicken stock from the soup, red potatoes and cabbage for a homey dinner last night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm craving vegetables after a week of travel. WFD tonight will probably be a big salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I met some wonderful people at the reunion and at my AirBnB lodgings. Great conversations, new ideas and the start of a few nice friendships. Arrived home feeling sunny and motivated, And hungry!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Looking forward to your posts to continue inspiring me in my quest to regain my cooking mojo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Have a great 4th!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Heard great things about AirBnB - gonna try it next time we have to go to Brooklyn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This was my 4th and 5th stay using them. The hosts have been delightful and quite interesting which adds an extra plus to the visit. They take their cue from you so privacy is not an issue. It's my favorite way to travel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Many of the hosts seem to be gardeners. Fresh picked berries for breakfast - can't beat that! And I've received terrific tips about restaurants, farmer's markets and local specialties in each area.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've never heard of AirBnB - sounds great!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm using Airbnb for our upcoming journeys. I've only used them locally so far (Napa). I booked our first apt. in Berlin today! whooooo!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. WFD: Tonight it's probably the most simple yet of this HHH Summer. L/O Vegetable Lo Mein from a few nights ago, and Buttery Braised Zucchini and Summer Squash. There is a ton of the lo mein so it was given we'd have it another night as well. The two squashes will be medium diced and given a short ten minute braise in half butter and half EVOO, a tablespoon of each. Seasoning is only S & P so I think I'll add some chopped garlic scapes and herbs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For the big guy's birthday tomorrow we'll be having a home lunch of crab cakes, fish & chips, tuna burger and lobster roll, with cole slaw, fries, onion rings, and rice. All catered by our local long-established seafood restaurant (Turner's for the locals). Dessert will be strawberry shortcake provided by Darling Daughter who voted for the restaurant this year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A Very Hearty Happy Fourth of July To All!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sounds like a veritable birthday feast, and the perfect summer birthday meal! The happiest of birthdays to your husband!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Happy Birthday to your guy! the celebration sounds wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            GREAT seafood from Turners - enjoy! And happy birthday to the Big Guy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Happy birthday to your big guy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Enjoy the Turner feast!!! And happy happy to your big guy. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, man! Does that sound like a perfect 4th of July/birthday dinner. Happy, happy day to G. And happy 4th to you all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Many thanks Joan. He's the least celebratory fella but he settled for a family celebration for his 80th birthday. Whatta guy. Still going strong!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh my goodness, it's G's 80th tomorrow? So very happy to hear he's still going strong. Bless him, now, tomorrow, and for many years to come.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    sounds like a fantastic birthday spread! enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Belated Happy 80th to your man, Gio, and best wishes for many more!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. 'Tis the day of dining out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Had lunch with a friend up in Newburyport at Not Your Average Joe's. Got to meet her absolutely adorable 7mo son. And he was a very good boy and she and I had a very good chat. My lunch was a take on a Waldorf Salad - halved red grapes, candied pecans, dried cranberries, pulled chicken, smoked mozzarella and diced apples mixed in with romaine lettuce and a creamy sherry vinaigrette. Pretty good. My friend had their Cobb salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tonight, it's off to Dali - a tradition of mine for the past 10 years or so. Going there the day before Independence Day is usually a good bet, as most people head out of town for the long holiday weekend. However, since Boston has changed up their fireworks and Boston Pops show at the Esplanade from tomorrow to tonight (the usual night for dress rehearsal) to avoid any issues with Hurricane Fiedler (a.k.a. Arthur - who was the first conductor of the Boston Pops, so I've renamed the hurricane in his honor...well, I didn't rename it - I stole the name from another friend who said it earlier today on Facebook), so traffic going in might be sketchy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There will be sangria.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There will be mango martinis.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There will be a few tapas.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There will be smiles all around. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've got a 4 lb. Boston butt pork roast in the crockpot going for pulled pork for my Independence Day meal. I'll shred it tonight when I get home and fire it back up again tomorrow with some sauce. Deets then....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Good luck with the traffic LW! Hopefully Somerville won't be too bad. My in town friends said it's not as bad as they thought.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Good to know. The friend I'm meeting said Medford Square traffic was bumper to bumper. Thankfully, the hard downpour/thunder/lightning just went through - took all of about 5 minutes. Lightning strikes seemed VERY close to my house - thunder crack/immediate lightning. Now we have bright sunshine and the road outside my house is no longer flooded.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            OMG we've been dry as a bone here. Just a couple of miles away. That's amazing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Crazy! I was watching the news and they were warning about tornados!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: foodieX2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My way home through Somerville was blocked by police, as there must have been fireworks in a soccer field near Mystic Ave., so I couldn't go down McGrath Highway. So I cut back through Union Square.......and the skies opened up again as I was trying to get to Davis Square. It was NOT fun driving through - flooded roads under commuter rail overpasses near Tufts University. Wasn't sure the GOG was going to make it through - water up to the undercarriage of the car. More flooding on Mystic Ave, and lots on 93 North. Not a fun drive home last night - took me double the time. If I hadn't been concentrating on driving, however, I would have loved the lightning show going on overhead - it seemed nonstop with forks of lightning going across the sky.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think I'd rather drive through that other four letter word that starts with an "s" vs. rain so hard you can't see through your windshield.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            enjoy, LW! hard to see how you wouldn't...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Replying to my own post once I re-read it. Of course Arthur Fiedler wasn't the first conductor of the Boston Pops. He *is*, however, the first that I remember. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                He put the Pops on the nation's map by making his music smart, fun and accessible. He was a good man. He Lived for the 4th.