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What's for dinner? (Part 39)

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

We came from here: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1285696/ and most of us are still trying to digest the Thanksgiving bird and trimmings. But even in the face of parties and lavish meals, we still have many evenings of regular dinners to plan, cook, eat and clean up. May all our hearts grow three sizes larger in the coming weeks (and may our waistlines NOT grow proportionally!)

We are traveling back from Kansas today, but tomorrow night I'll hit the ground running in the kitchen. For starters, I've got a new gussied-up stroganoff recipe with beef tips on a bed of buttered lemony papardelle noodles to try out, and I predict some crockpot meals on the horizon once my kitchen is transformed into an impromptu confectioner's shop.

Thumbnail by Terry
Northeast, PA(Zone 6b)

Thanks Terry!

Dahlonega, GA

Enjoyed the pictures.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

I'm here with one finger and a smart phone. Great day with Tammy & SO Gary though I am still in defrost mode. Our SOs both enjoy woodworking and have mutual garden/farm enslavement in common. Tam and I could have probably spent days getting to know each other. She's a very smart lady.

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Great pics - looks like y'all had a wonderful visit!

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

We did.

On the road home today. Will be visiting the Udvar-Hazy Air & Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia, then on to a few quilt shops for fabric and a stay somewhere in North Carolina. We'll find something interesting...maybe Carolina Q for dinner.

Missouri City, TX

Thanks for the new thread.

Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

Did you get your oysters you were so looking forward to yesterday?

Northeast, PA(Zone 6b)

I forgot to get the cranberry juice for the cranberry-lime loaf. It was good but a little tart for most. I think it would be better with more cranberry and less lime. (Probably better as the recipe was written. I also was short walnuts). It was fun to make and I found I enjoyed the fresh cranberries more than I imagined. I am going to try a cranberry tart recipe in a recent issue of Fine Cooking. Perhaps for the Christmas / New Years holidays.

Tam

Delray Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

Hi.

A new thread! I love new threads: it shows people are participating. The canberry-lime loaf is long gone. I made a Queen Elizabeth cake yesterday and that went quickly. It's a date, walnut cake with a caramelized coconut topping. Recipe widely available on the internet. My grandmother made those, too. Sweet memories.

Take care.
Sylvain.

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

We had a reprise of Thanksgiving last night; night before we went to a friend's and had breast of Canada goose that they'd just shot. It was a little chewier than I'd expected, but excellent!

Northeast, PA(Zone 6b)

Does anyone here like broccoli rabe? I heard (I forget her name) on NPR talking about roasting squash and making a veggie stew of sorts with various root vegetables along with something to add a little bitter. So I made a beautiful veggie stew with broccoli rabe (carrots, onion, cauliflower, shallots, roasted butternut squash & broccoli rabe). It was good but would have been better w/something else green rather than the rabe. I think the broccoli rabe is just over the moon bitter. Is there a trick to taking away some of that or spicing it so its more palatable? (I like a little bitter but this was ridiculous! I sauted it - no poaching first)

Tam

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Tam, I've found the same thing...and in fact, when I started reading your comment, my first thought was that it would be bitter. I'd love a tip to make it play nice with other veggies, too :-)

Delray Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

There are 2 things on this Earth I won't eat on this Earth: broccoli rave and anything containing tarragon. I tried and tried, can't bring myself to swallow the first and can't get a whiff of the other without that uncontrollable feeling of upchucking my cookies.

For dinner tonight:`
deep-fried yucca wedges with peanut sauce,
baked anglaise de tilapia (tilapia fillets rolled in corn starch, beaten egg and homemade italian breadcrumbs baked in the convection oven)
banana cream pie.

My dad is going to LOVE tonight's menu.
Take care, all.
Sylvain.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

A new thread is always exciting. So much good food posts to wander through. And a well said introduction, Terry, but I fear the part about expanded waistlines is a tad late for me.

We returned from sojourning this afternoon. Looking forward to staying planted for a few months. Back and forth journeys to Maypop is enough to manage. I never did get those oysters but will claim them this week at our local oyster bar. They are my due. TG was a mixed affair. Our original dinner for eleven ended up being dinner for six. It was my first experience with a blended family (new SIL's) and accompanying holiday issues. Sheesh! First the brother dropped out because of something with his girlfriend. Then the step father dropped out because he opted to work for extra pay. That left new SIL's mom and dad and I was worried about what use the turkey skewers would be put to. So then the mom canceled. Then dad figured out that TG at 6 p.m. did not mean lunch, which is the way he does TG. At this point I dug my heels in and refused to put a twenty pound turkey in the oven at dark-thirty to accommodate the dad for lunch. That left us, the kids and my cousins. We had a ball with that twenty pound turkey and it went on the table (after hors d oeuvres) at seven thirty, as planned! But then my cousins went home and I went downstairs to check on some lingering laundry. The plumbing main drain had started backing up in the basement. The dishes were not finished and we realized that we could not use the toilets if we had to flush. Of all the times to have defunct plumbing...Oy! Well this is only a part of the story that Tammy did not hear on Saturday and since this is long I'll do it in installments.

We will be dining on soups and salads while we try to shed some stuffing before the start of Hanukkah. It starts early this year; December 8th. It's a fresh chicken and veggie soup tonight. Youngest son left part of the roasted chicken I made for his TG.

Northeast, PA(Zone 6b)

Amazing thing - this veggie stew is really good today! The broccoli rabe does not taste as bitter and the flavors are going together really well. (or maybe I'm just really hungry after a green salad only for lunch?)

Laurel - I thought you were awfully quiet about your TG. Figured maybe you were just feeling it was a private matter. Sorry it wasn't just that!

Tam

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

About broccoli rabe...it mellows. But here's the deal; it's bitter. I love escarole, mustards, endive and all kinds of bitter greens. They do require special handling. Each one is different. Collards and turnips are easy. Broc. rabe is more challenging. It is usually blanched for a few minutes or up to an hour. Restaurants love its new chicness because they can precook and reheat. The longer you blanch the less bitter but also less flavorful. Don't think I'd like rabe with the root veggies in a stew. What is usually done is the rabe is reheated with garlic, olive oil and chilies. It may be topped with cheese like Pecorino or Parm. There might be cream involved. Sausage, bacon, ham or other smoked meat can be added to counter point. There is smoked tofu available for me or perhaps you can make your own.

Northeast, PA(Zone 6b)

thank you Laurel. I will blanch the rest before using it. The flavor works really well with the sweetness of the roasted squash. Today.

Tam

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

I've not been cooking for over 3 weeks (except the oyster stew and the duck for TG) because I've had a kidney infection. The infection was bad enough, but I've had allergic reactions to 3 different antibiotics, so I've been slow to heal.

I'm looking forward to getting back in the kitchen again!

Northeast, PA(Zone 6b)

Oh Darius! I sure hope you get clear of that infection soon!
Tam

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Laurel, my gut instinct says you're right about the garlic, smoked ham or bacon & cheese being good counterpoints to the raab. We were served it as a blanched vegetable side dish several years ago at a mostly upscale restaurant in Florida, and our server raved about how wonderful it was...like asparagus. We all knew better, but bit on her optimism. I've more or less avoided it since, but I can see where with the right other flavors it could work, at least with certain menus.

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

We use broccoli raab all the time, although I have trouble growing it in my garden; I just never get the lush florets that come with the boughten kind. It's a big crop around here because there are lots of Italians and people of Italian ancestry (including my DH!) so that definitely affects our menus. We NEVER blanch it first; we love it sautéed with garlic in scrambled eggs, or added to Italian sausages, again with garlic and olive oil, and possibly a soupçon of crushed red pepper, and served over pasta, or simply as a side dish, again cooked with the obligatory garlic. Even my dog adores it, and will wait patiently by the counter when I'm chopping off the tough ends; we take turns munching on them and the rest go to the chickens. I've never cooked it with squash, but since we had a butternut squash and arugula salad for Thanksgiving, which worked well, I imagine raab would too.

Darius, how awful about the kidney infection! I hope you're well on the mend now. I'm allergic to a couple of antibiotics, too, and it's a pain in the neck to avoid them. Glad that at least you had a decent Thanksgiving!

Laurel, what a pain about the in-laws. I hope it didn't embarrass your new SIL too much; good for you for sticking to your guns. I imagine it will all work out eventually but you wisely set the precedent for future engagements by carrying on and letting the guests quietly self-destruct.

We had turkey for Thanksgiving, and my supermarket didn't get any kosher ones in so I ended up brining the regular one I bought. It was so hectic that I'm not sure whether it made much difference, but the food was good and the kids were only somewhat contentious. Now onward and upward to Hanukkah and Christmas!

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Darius, get well. Sorry you are once again under the weather. Was wondering what you were up to while checking out a quilt shop in Harrisburg. Are you far from there?

Never had broccoli rabe that is not bitter. Much of what is grown and sold, or served in restaurants as rabe, is sprouting broccoli or broccolini which is a different animal. That is not bitter.

TG Chapter #2. New SIL was painfully embarrassed and for that reason alone we could not even harumph. Besides, we were concentrating on our fates without flushable toilets after the TG feast. No sneaking off for middle of the night fridge raids. The Roto Rooter man was coming anytime between eight and twelve the next morning. We were praying it was closer to eight. Meanwhile, SIL was so embarrassed that he failed to mention his others expressed regrets along with a hint that they might drop in around lunch time to check out the leftovers. He was sure they would not show up. You got it. The RR man left at ten thirty and they started arriving from the four corners of Virginia and Maryland by eleven. All of them. They spent the afternoon feasting and left at four. I would have put my feet up at this point were it not for the piles of dishes and food everywhere. Of course the kids were on it but we had to hurry. You see, it was Friday night and we had invited friends for a Shabbat dinner of turkey and vegetable matzo ball soup, challah, and salmon salad. I needed to get the cooking done by sundown. The friends were arriving at six with their newborn. It was their first outing and we didn't have the heart to cancel. Okay, enough for now.

On the menu tonight is navy beans, corn and chicken dredged from last night's stew/soup as a topping on a taco-style salad. I'll chili up the topping.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Laurel, did you mean Harrisonburg, VA? It's about 200 miles north of here along I-81. I'm down in the SW corner before I-81 runs into TN... and as the crow flies, about 60 miles from West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and NC depending on your direction of travel.

I had a nice piece of grilled steelhead, and sautéed spinach. Pretty good for someone who has had no appetite lately.

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Tonight was a tuna melt pie (yeah, I can be the queen of retro casseroles on occasion.) Fam liked it, but even though it was billed as "spicy" they asked for more spiciness next time. We'll see.

Tomorrow night is black beans over yellow rice. I thought I was being original, but a quick Google search shows that I am not the first one to think of this combo.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Yes, Darius. I meant Harrisonburg. I wanted to go to the quilt museum there but it was closed. There was a nice quilt shop nearby.

Terry, what is a tuna melt pie? SO loves tuna melts.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

I have some left-over spinach from last night so I'm making Eggs Florentine for breakfast, although it will probably be brunch by the time I feel like eating.

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Laurel, it was reminiscent of the infamous Bisquick "mmmmmpossible pies" of the 50s and 60s, although no biscuit mix was harmed in the making :-)

Here's a link: http://www.5dollardinners.com/tuna-melt-pie/ - I added the can of diced green chilies and a goodly squirt of Sriracha, but it still needed more flavor/pizzazz. If/when I remake it, I'll probably add a bit of celery, more onions, and/or top it with some diced scallions at the end.

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

Laurel, what a debacle! What would you have done if the RR guy had showed up at 12, I wonder. Poor SIL - what a terrible way for his family to introduce itself to yours!

Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

We always eat early, because everyone has to drive back somewhere that night. However, if living in the same town, even if you are not used to eating at 7:30 at night, I know for me at least, I would have just gone with it. If you want to eat earlier in the day, then grab a snack, but if someone has gone to the trouble to cook it, and you know your a reflection on a new family member, heck, even if you didnt eat till 8:30 I would have been there.
I must admit, by 7:30 this TG I was propped up in bed reading all my magazines I had saved as my treat for making it thru TG and making it home safe....some football, etc.
Its the RR thing that would have rattled me with ppl coming. Your a real trooper, as is your DD and SIL.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Terry, do you ever use chipotles in adobo? A little of that along with the other chilies, some oregano or thyme and fresh garlic would bring it up several notches.

Leslie, we have met both the mother and father, separately of course, over the past few years. We were introduced to his stepfather and brother at the wedding. It was an enlightening four days. Best left to say there were no surprises. Friends asked if SIL was adopted.

SO asked me for an oyster date tonight but I just finished assembling two turkey/beef meatloaves. I'll wait 'til later to decide.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

We crossed on the posts. I actually invited guests for hors d oeuvres at 6:30 and was willing to go as early as six with dinner on the table at seven. This is after consultation with the kids. The invitation time was several weeks old. I spent more than twelve hours cooking TG day after days of other prep work in Atlanta and an eleven hour drive to D.C.. No one called to offer up any help or bring anything. Not even a bottle of wine. It's tacky of me to complain, so I'm not really a perfect hostess, but there. The upshot is DD is newly pregnant and working full time plus. She's exhausted. SIL is working on a big research project presentation while completing another Master's degree. Both his school and work are full time.

Dahlonega, GA

All that would make me want to say "OK , do it at your house next year " . Hugs
Copied the tuna recipe . Looks real good and no cream of mushroom soup sounds even better .

Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

If your willing to do all the cooking, that is a perfect hostess to me. I say with all the yummy stuff you post on here that you make, it was certainly their loss.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Thanks. That makes me feel much better.

We have decided to stay in tonight. Still trying to resettle after a busy travel month. We had an early pick up for our food redistribution program this morning. There was so much food it took over an hour to load the car. I have lots to do in the orchid house including taking new pics to share on the orchid forum. Hopefully SO will ask me out on another date next week. I'll make mushroom and onion gravy to go with the meatloaf on a medley of sauteed veggies. I'm laying low on the starches for a week. With Hanukkah around the corner, and something fried each night, a few days of restraint are in order.

Cute phone call from DD a short while ago. She was leaving work and bemoaning the fact that her fridge is now devoid of TG leftovers. She says she's considering coming home. lol

Sally, what have you been up to? Awfully quiet your way. Getting lots of fishing in?

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Laurel, I agree that you were not sufficiently appreciated, but that's their fault... not yours.

Supper was easy comfort foods... half a baked sweet potato. sliced beef with duck gravy, and the remains of the spinach. I guess my body was missing some nutrients because I've been craving spinach for days now. I think having it in some form 3X now should do the trick!

I managed to lose about 10 pounds during this kidney infection saga, but it's not nearly enough so I'm cutting back on carbs where I can.

Dahlonega, GA

G G , I've eaten at Laurel's several roundups and I can tell you , anything that looks common on her food bar is a great surprise with the first taste .Most of her creations , I can't even pronounce, but anyone of them I could make a meal from . You bet it was their loss , I just hate the work wasted on rude people .
Yea on the 10 pounds , Darius
Laurel , Finishing up the porch , screening in , bead board around the bottom , chasing dogs, in and out ,in and out . Yard work ,digging Johnson grass up by the roots (I have a technique to that ) The whole back yard was covered , chest high . Fighting my redneck nasty neighbors garbage . Maybe some progress there . Cooking plantains for finger treats and shelling 100 pounds of pecans ,date nut candy rolls , pecan pralines , spiced pecans, both sweet and spicy. Did I miss anything ? Oh yeah , loaf cakes and pies , cobblers. Whewww !
And how about you , rested up yet ?

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

I just wanna get on the receiving end of Sally's pecans - you go girl!

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Sally, what's the secret to shelling pecans to get whole halves rather than pieces? I have one of those lever style crackers with the adjustable length, but I still get about half that come out in quarters (or less). These pecans I have are obviously not the papershells.

Thumbnail by darius
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Thank you, Sally. You sound busy as get out there. Is there a quick way to shell pecans or are you getting a lot of TV time in there? I see Darius is also asking the question.

Okay since the hint in my 12:21 p.m. post yesterday escaped comment...ANNOUNCEMENT! We're expecting! There, that feels better.

I'm having leftover navy bean vegetable soup for dinner and SO is having a salad with grilled salmon. We had an early Trader Joe's food pick up yesterday and substituted for someone who picks up Fresh Market today. Over five hundred pounds delivered in two days. Usually we are so early that we unload and store the food before the center is open but today, because of the late pick up, we saw the many people in line to get food. Sad to see a young mother holding her little girl's hand there instead of the Disney On Ice show.

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