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Aug 9, 2014 12:53 PM

What's for Dinner #318 -- There Ain't No Cure for the Summertime Blues Edition! [through August 13, 2014]

Actually, I'm not blue about summer, but I am blue about my darling boy heading off to college in less than 2 weeks. I think we're going to have to adopt some eaters to make up for the deficit at our table!

How is the summer progressing in your neck of the woods?

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  1. A stunningly gorgeous day today, although it's clouded over a bit right now. Farmers market shopping and a few errands. The produce right now is in full swing - I had to take some pictures of the beautiful colors!

    Dinner tonight will be Herbs de Provence pork tenderloin with a gingered mango salsa, rice, and a sauté of fresh corn cut off the cob and sugar snap peas.

    For dessert, some FM apricots and blueberries tossed with a lime-mint "vinaigrette".

    ETA: And the premiere of "Outlander" on Starz tonight. I've been a huge fan of the series by Diana Gabaldon since the first book came out, and I'm hearing a lot of great things about this new TV adaptation that she had a large hand in keeping true to the story line.

    ETA2: How could I forget? A dry unoaked chardonnay as the libation during prep and dinner. :-)

    18 Replies
    1. re: LindaWhit

      That right there is why they should banish photo taking from the market.

      Totally. Not. Fair.
      I hate you and I'm gonna go tell Mom. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!

      Meanwhile, I've got my Harter's from earlier in the week "food itself is arduous much less cooking it" mood on today. LOL. <3

      Thus why I bury this reply back here.
      Spaetzle making pictorial on deck for tomorrow or Monday though.
      Dang those peppers look good. :-)

      1. re: jjjrfoodie

        I can't wait to see your spaetzle-making pictoral thread, jjjrfoodie. Perfect for the photo story type of thread.

        Oh, BTW - Mom won't care if I'm cooking her dinner tonight. So THERE! Nyeah, nyeah, nyeah! ;-)

      2. re: LindaWhit

        I think you've got your cooking mojo on! I love the FM culture we have in our brief summers in New England. Super moon and a meteor shower coming up- unoaked chardonnay- good times!

        1. re: LindaWhit

          Outlander! I love her books. Hope I can find it aired online...

          Gorgeous FM pictures.

          1. re: meatn3

            The first episode is out there already, meatn3. I think on the Starz site since Aug. 2nd.

            I've just waited until tonight to make a little "event" of it. Yes, very sad, I know. This is my boring Saturday night. :-)

            1. re: LindaWhit

              We are the same age I believe...and that sounds like a terrific Saturday night to me! (The teen I once was would never have believed that would be eventually true!)

            2. re: meatn3

              Yesterday I signed up for supposedly an on-line site where one can watch TV programs free. Since I'm upstairs and my TV is on the fritz, I going to see if I can watch tonight's episode through this portal. We shall see. You may have some luck though.


            3. re: LindaWhit

              The colors of fresh produce and flowers are just so beautiful--makes me think of an artist's palette. Love those flowers.

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  Looks like it should be in a magazine. Beeyootiful!

                2. re: LindaWhit

                  I tried to 'heart' but nothing happened? Lovely colours. Why can't my market look like this? I don't have FM, just normal boring market. Grrr...

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    What did you think of the Outlander premiere? I watched the preview last week - I LOVE LOVE LOVE the books but I think both of the leads still have their work cut out for them before I'm convinced that they ARE Claire and Jamie. Oh, and to keep it food-related, I toasted the premiere with some good Highland single-malt!

                    1. re: biondanonima

                      NICE on the single malt! (It should be no other, of course!)

                      And I *loved* the first ep. At first, when I saw the early pics and previews of the actor playing Jamie, I thought he wasn't tall enough (or redheaded enough). Jamie is supposed to be 6'2" or so - but I think the issue is that the actress playing Claire is taller than Gabaldon wrote her. We'll see how it plays out, but I like the guy playing Jamie so far. Easy enough on the eyes. :-)

                      And I'll be interested to see how they deal with food and cooking in the show.

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        Yes, he is WAY easy on the eyes, for sure! I agree that the actress playing Claire is way too tall - throws off all the visuals I've imagined over years of reading the books. I just felt like both of them had some issues with stilted delivery of lines - her especially (her JH Roosevelt Christ was SO unnatural-sounding!). I'm sure both of them will grow into the roles, though. I can't wait to see how the show progresses!

                      2. re: biondanonima

                        I have it recorded so when I return home, I am having a few sasanach friends over for scotch egg apps with dark and stormy drinks!

                        1. re: sedimental

                          Scotch eggs - perfect! Perhaps some themed snacks will be in order for the next episode...although I think I'll skip the haggis!

                          1. re: sedimental

                            Good snack - although you'll probably know that they are English, rather than Scottish.

                            Claimed to have been invented by London store Fortnum & Mason, in 1738, as food for stagecoach passengers travelling from London to Edinburgh.

                            My favourite variant is sold at my local farmers market and wraps the egg in black pudding, rather than sausagement.

                            1. re: Harters

                              That's funny. No, I didn't know about their origin...I just know they are good with drinks! I suppose it wouldn't make them more Scotch if I served with..... scotch on the rocks? Wear plaid? I'll work on it!

                              I am not sure what it is, but whenever I hear a Scottish accent, I can't stop myself from joining in. It's an addicting accent. My grandmothers accent was thick. I can be quite obnoxious with it :D

                      3. We found some beautiful baby artichokes the size of Brussels sprouts at the market today. Along with some black trumpet mushrooms and some garlic they will be our dinner sautéed and served over pasta.

                        10 Replies
                        1. re: magiesmom

                          Oh, that sounds super! I don't think I've ever seen artichokes that small.

                          1. re: roxlet

                            I never have before. I am excited.

                            1. re: magiesmom

                              Please report on how they are, and post a photo if you can!

                              1. re: roxlet

                                Sorry, no photos( I just don't photograph our food).
                                But they were delicious. They needed considerable trimming of tough outer leaves but then they were amazing, as were the black trumpets, a new mushroom to us.

                              2. re: magiesmom

                                Can you eat them whole when they're that small??

                                My mother grew artichokes for several years so I've seen them when they're still tiny, but she'd always wait to pick them until they were the size of softballs or larger. Sounds delicious and I'd love to see a photo too!

                                1. re: magiesmom

                                  Are you really in New England? I'm so jealous of the 'chokes. I have never seen them in markets here (NoVA). Why why why?

                                  1. re: tcamp

                                    Yup, in Western MA. We could have eaten them whole after trimming spikes and outer leaves, but I cut them in half to sauté. They cooked that way in about seven minutes.
                                    They really seemed like full grown tiny artichokes rather than baby big ones.
                                    I am going to ask the grower about their variety.

                                    1. re: magiesmom

                                      How interesting. Seems like they would make a beautiful presentation like that. If I ever see any, I'm going to snatch some up and prep them as you've done here.

                                2. Monarch butterflies are here - always a sign that summer will be wrapping up soon. But for now, it's moderately hot 80F, moderately humid and great eat-on-the-patio weather. Dinner will be salmon, sweet corn on the cob, baked cucumbers (Julia Child), and fruit salad - peaches, red/green grapes, melon if it's finished ripening.

                                  Hoping for a cool early morning Sunday/Monday to bake a cardamom almond cake for "adopted eaters" - family stopping here Monday afternoon on their way up-North to the cabin.

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                    A quick "thank you" note to this CH community, for all the hints for new food prep that I get daily. For Saturday's meal, a special hat-tip to helen_m, who described Little Salmon Cakes with Lime from Flavours back in May. And to the CH who recommended the True Lime crystalized lime product. And to the COTM crew - their descriptions got me to buy ingredients I now have on-hand for many more meals. I made a lime/wasabi/ginger rub for the salmon and was very happy with the result. And, instead of baking the cucumber (still planned for Friday's Julia Child tribute day), ended up making a July COTM dish - cucumber in yogurt with sesame and cilantro.

                                    1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                      It really is such a great resource for ideas, isn't it?

                                      1. re: linguafood

                                        Yes, and most of the posters are so nice and helpful!

                                      2. re: MidwesternerTT

                                        I *still* haven't found the TrueLemon! At least the one that isn't the lemonade version. Of course, the store that is *supposed* to have it is Market Basket - which is currently going through upheaval due to their idiotic Board of Directors. Hopefully they'll be back to normal soon and customers can start shopping there. I'll have to make a note to look for the regular TrueLemon again.

                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                          Linda, it costs more, but you can order all the True citrus crystals off amazon. My stores only seem to carry the lemon and lime ones. So I ordered the lime, lemon, orange (the best!!!) and grapefruit. I think it's cheaper for the variety pack. They also have shaker mixes ( like orange ginger and cilantro lime) that go great with grilled foods.They are very healthy and pack a flavor punch. They last a long time too, because it doesn't take much. Worth it IMO.

                                          1. re: sedimental

                                            Ooh - I like the idea of the orange-ginger. I'll check Amazon, sedimental - thanks!

                                    2. Rox - I have no doubt that you could find plenty of volunteers to sit at your dinner table every night of the week. In the meantime, spoil that kid rotten while you can.

                                      As for us, an all-time favorite @casa lingua, the legendary Trini-Chinese chicken (courtesy of the NYT) is on the menu.

                                      Roughly 5 lbs. of BISO thighs have been sitting in their luscious marinade and will be tossed onto the grill once the gang rolls in. The dipping sauce comes together in under 2 minutes.

                                      Yet another rendition of the equally popular Greek salad will be making an appearance, and our friends are contributing roasted green beans, some spin on mac & cheese, and summer rolls for starters. Ice cream sammiches for dessert if people desire such frivolity, and I might even make my white sangria if there are enough requests from the crowd. Should be another fun summer evening.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: linguafood

                                        I'd be happy to be at any of your pot lucks! I bought the requisite habanero sauce, so after it arrives, I will give that chicken another whirl.

                                      2. Some farmers market finds today on the menu - roasted flat green beans and a green salad. Also making tater tots (not at all local!) and pan fried cod. We had a busy day shopping for bathroom tile, vanities, and countertops, all needing to be replaced due to the previously mentioned water damage. We also rented a Home Depot truck to bring heavy stuff home (our biggest car is a Prius). Hubby and son just left to take the truck back.

                                        Sorry about your son's impending departure, Roxlet. I'll be there in 2 years and I know I'll be very sad about it.