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What's for Dinner #322 - the pre-Labor Day Weekend Edition [through August 30th, 2014]

And Zooooom!!! Last week of summer vacation for some kids around the U.S.; school supplies shopping is in full swing (tucked in amongst the Halloween and Christmas decorations going up in certain stores!), and some people saying "Hey! Where the hell did the time go? I'm not done with summer yet!" :-)

Lots of locally grown produce and fruit available in farm stands - anyone try anything new while you're making your dinners?

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  1. Wow! That went fast. I haven't even caught up on the last thread!

    Things are finally getting back to normal for me. Canned some Italian prune plum butter today. Tomorrow is trash/recycling so did a big fridge clean out. My cooking has been rather pedestrian. Been spending a lot of time in the studio. Which has made me realize that I only have a certain amount of creative energy.

    Times when I haven't had a studio focus have been very creative in cooking. Now, not so much. I cook and I eat but I am not as experimental in the kitchen. Made potato leek soup today to use up some spuds. Made a couscous salad with feta, tomatoes and scallions for later in the week.

    Cooking every few days and nibbling on leftovers, soups, salads and sandwiches seems to be working for me lately. But I'm eating now! So I'll stick with whats working at this point in time.

    As always, this series of posts helps motivate and inspire me.

    1. The bf wanted something nice and light. I happened to have a bunch of kale on hand, so I sliced it up thin and massaged it with a dressing of EVOO, lemon juice, RW vinegar, garlic, a bunch of grated pecorino, and some chopped herbs. Also added some leftover grilled peppers, black olives, cherry tomatoes from the garden, and a grilled chicken breast. He ate it with some garlic bread.

      So, nothing new around here. But I did find these two buggers hiding in the garden. Zucchini bread is in my future.

      The bf leaves for 5 days tomorrow, so there will be no cooking over here til next week, except for the pooch once she's home from the doggie ICU.

       
      21 Replies
        1. re: nothingswrong

          Forget the boyfriend...how is the pooch? ;)

          1. re: gourmanda

            The pooch is doing well! She had her surgery yesterday morning/afternoon and they said she's recovering well so far. Her infection was much worse than they originally thought. She is such a trooper. I wanted to go see her but they said it would probably be best to not get her riled up since she was so weak. She was transferred back to the doggie ER in the evening to be monitored overnight and administered more IVs, antibiotics, and pain meds.

            I'm awaiting a phone call this morning to see if she can come home today, or if they'll need to keep her another night. Thanks for asking about my babe! We sure appreciate all the kind thoughts and wishes from everyone here.

              1. re: nothingswrong

                That is tough because on the one hand I can understand why they asked you to not visit so she does not get riled up, but on the other hand I bet she would feel somewhat better at home being close to you.

                Hopefully she can go home soon.

                  1. re: nothingswrong

                    Glad that your baby is improving. I hope she can come home soon and rest with her pals.

                    1. re: suzigirl

                      Thanks suzi.

                      The vet called and said my girl is ready to be picked up but still has refused to eat. I asked if she should probably stay another night until she's eating on her own and the vet said that's fine but she'll have to be moved back to the 24 hour ER so she can be monitored closely and stay on IVs all night.

                      Doesn't make much sense to me to bring her home then, if she still needs the IVs and 24 hour monitoring?!

                      Gosh this is so stressful. Can't imagine what it's like having a human child in this situation.

                      1. re: nothingswrong

                        Ugh! I do hope the overnight helps and she gets hungry overnight and is able to come home tomorrow!

                        1. re: nothingswrong

                          Oh girl, I hear you loud and clear! If I was a mama my kids would have been wrapped in bubble wrap until they were 12 at least!

                          I wouldn't be comfortable taking her home until she is eating. Don't stress, she will be home soon. You'll be better off with her on all four paws since you are alone. Bless your heart sweetie!

                          1. re: nothingswrong

                            Oh, I'm so sorry. I would want my baby to be in tip-top shape before they sent her home. Best to you and your little one. Many prayers (since I lost my beloved pawed baby in January - Still have trouble with that).

                            1. re: boyzoma

                              Thanks for the prayers and kind words. I'm so sorry to hear about your babe passing away. Whenever a four-legged companion moves on, they leave an irreplaceable void, but hopefully also lots of smiles and laughs recounting all the love they gave so freely. My grandma has always said "I would rather be in the company of animals than any humans I know."

                    2. re: nothingswrong

                      Those zukes are big uns - my zuchinni/pumpkin plants have gone Jurassic after some die back the stronger are taking over - but still refuse to procreate despite tons of flowers and bee activity ARGH.

                      1. re: JTPhilly

                        My old veggie garden was overrun by squash beetles. They annihilated all of my nightshades but I was able to salvage a few pumpkins.

                        I replanted in a new spot less than 2 months ago and these plants are going CRAZY. I didn't think they'd "take," as the first 2 weeks everything was just shriveling up despite lots of watering and bees and flowers around. Then it rained for half a day and the plants took off. They literally seem to grow another 6" every night. I can't control them. The entire floor of the raised bed is now covered with flowers (to repel the beetles) and carrots and zucchini. The tomato plant is already 3 feet tall. Green beans are growing the entire length of the chicken wire. And I have my first pepper plant that's ever produced fruit... I have tried probably a dozen times and they always shrivel up and die.

                        1. re: nothingswrong

                          my tomatoes are adjacent and doing well - the squash IDK - there were definitely some squash beetles and some other pests & powdery mildew but the plants have grown and grown but the baby squash on the female flowers never develop despite plenty of bees - I give up on squash next year something else in its place - maybe melons :)

                          1. re: JTPhilly

                            Well that's interesting about the squash never producing fruit... I can't get mine over here to stop. My boyfriend wishes they would, as he HATES zucchini in all its preparations.

                            Melons would be fun! Would be cool to do a few different ones, I've seen some interesting looking hybrids and varieties at my local gardening center.

                            1. re: nothingswrong

                              yeah IDK I got a total of one scrawny pumkin from a 8x16 bed - it does not get the best sun but corn, sunchokes, potatoes, and even tomatoes have produced SOMETHING there I thought it was variety last year when I got ZIP but this year I planted run of the mill standards - live and learn

                              1. re: JTPhilly

                                Hmm... Well, I've been planting in pretty much full sun and things are thriving despite the crazy heat and lack of humidity. I sometimes wonder if veggies need more sun than you'd think they'll need. My pumpkins in particular seem to do well in total sun. If I recall, your yard is kind of shaded right?

                                That is nuts to get one little one in that large of a bed. My entire veg garden is about 3' x 8' and I just cram everything in there. I plant Martha Stewart pumpkin seeds (Home Depot) and they are amazing. For the last 3 years, every seed I've planted has sprouted and flourished and I get 4-5 large pumpkins off each vine.

                      2. re: nothingswrong

                        unrelated, but: cool tats!

                        hope the baby is better!

                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                          Thanks Christina. That was the result of being 17 and gifted a tattoo machine. I promptly tatted up my entire left forearm with reckless abandon.

                          The baby seems to be 100% today. Yaaay!

                      3. After a lengthy phone conversation with daughter who recently relocated to Las Vegas, dinner had to come together quickly in order for the hubby to eat before heading back to the office for a conference call.

                        Earlier the beautifully marbled Berkshire pork kiriotoshi seduced it's way into my shopping basket, and within 15 minutes prep/cooking time became gyudon but with pork. Simply steamed Romano beans from Sunday's farmers market lent color, and crunch atop TJ's microwaveable brown jasmine rice. Wish I had an additional onion, minced scallions, and pickled gari but it was savory/sweet deliciousness albeit brown.

                         
                         
                         
                        2 Replies
                          1. re: mcsheridan

                            The fat on the thinly-sliced Berkshire pork had a pleasant "crunch" and slightly congealed the sauce so that it blanketed the rice, and veggies. Was very pleased with the 15 minute meal.

                        1. Italian sausages, peppers & onions.

                          A meal that always transports us back to New York City on a very wet day during the San Gennaro festival, when we first ate it in the rain. I remember the food but I remember more how drenched I got trying to get a cab.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Harters

                            Trying to get a cab in the rain in NYC is a fine art that requires subtle time/space calculations.

                          2. Last night I enjoyed a thinly sliced, bloody rare, London broil off the grill accompanied by an even more thinly sliced beefsteak tomato from the garden (the first ripe mortgage lifter)and some grilled zucchini, home made vinaigrette - late summer yum

                            2 Replies