What's for dinner? (Part 28)

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

We came from here: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1236727/

Tonight was a take-out pizza we took with us to my MIL's so we could watch UT beat Georgia - woot!

Tomorrow's the SuperBowl err, the "Big Game" since the NFL says it has dibs on the official name. Anybody have big plans to watch the game, or watch the commercials? We're headed over to some friends' house for a watch party. I'm taking sausage mini-muffins (like sausage balls only easier) and something else, TBD before 4:00 tomorrow.

So what's for dinner at your place?

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

GG Thanks for the recipe. This is the first fennel that weve cooked with. What flavor does the fennel put in the stew and how strong is it?

Darius- I also like that there is a variety of healthy foods on the thread. I forgot to say yesterday that the Pak Choi it is very easy to grow.

Digger The plants look very healthy.

Edens_Gardener Its feeling colder here also. I was cold in the house yesterday which means the temps dropped again.

Lunch is pork roast with kabocha squash. Dinner is pork tacos and a spinach salad.

BTW- We really like the kabocha squash. I roast it in the oven in a pan with water in the bottom. It has enough flavor that we cook and serve it plain.

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

Susan, the fennel has an anise or licorice-y taste, but it's subtle. I don't care for licorice but I like fennel.

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

GG - Thank you.

Mary - Thanks for posting the recipe. It sounds like it would taste good. I'll have to think about a substitue for the yeast bread. Some of the moutain bread I make might work.

You might consider substituting another thinly sliced meat for the pancetta. On The Chew this week, they made a stratta with corned beef. Seems like if they are using corned beef then another meat would also work.

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

I had meant to post it here so will copy it in.....re: the meat substitue, last week I substituted a thinly sliced roasted garlic turkey sandwich meat for ham....that might work. I think I'll try this that way.

Susan, here's the fennel recipe I saw recently. It's in a magazine under "Fast and Fresh"...

Roasted Fennel, Egg and Pancetta Panzanella
8 oz Pancetta, cut into cubes
1 large fennel bulb, halved and thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp packed light brown sugar
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
4 cups cubed or torn ciabatta bread
1/2 tsp pepper
4 large eggs
2 cups arugula

Preheat oven to 425. Mix pancetta, fennel, garlic, sugar an 2 tbsp oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast together, stirring often, until mixture is starting to brown and soften, about 10 minutes. Add ciabatta and sprinkly mixture with pepper. Roast until bread is toasted and fennel is softened, about 10 minutes more.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tbsp oil in large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Crack eggs into pan, cover and fry until whites are set, about 3 minutes.

Mix warm bread mixture with arugula and divide among 4 plates. Set an egg on top of each.

- - -

I was thinking of trying this but expect the pancetta will make it too salty for us. Let me know how you like it if you make and what the salt factor is - scale of 1 to 10, 10 being high.

On Big Game Day we like to go someplace that is usually too crowded for us, even the mall or maybe a movie. Like Laurel's SO, mine's not into spectator sports. (I may have over-corrected from my ex :-/ )

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

We have been invited to our friends house for the "Big game". they have a party every year...he is from NY and really gets into it. I go just to sit and chit chat with the gals, really don't get into the game that much, but the commercials can be fun. DH likes to watch it.
Since all the gals are on diets my appetizer is going to be a seven layer Mexi dip, but with all low fat stuff. They will have tons of wings, meatballs, you know all the stuff that puts the diet out the window. I am making the guacamole on the side for those that don't like the green stuff. got some great looking Haas avocados for $3.68 at Sam's, five to a bag.

Darius I read your post of the healthier recipes and I agree this forum is certainly more interesting since many are gardeners also. I like to see what others are growing and harvesting for dinner.

Gonna be doing some camp cooking next week, taking a little trip in our RV...sons will stay home since they have classes and work and take care of the kitties. No Internet while camping.

Some of my new herbs...the Thai basil (with purple flowers on in photo) has a licorice taste like fennel does. I have never grown fennel, don't use enough of it to grow it.

Thumbnail by sunkissed
somewhere, PA

Thanks for the new thread Terry.

We're going to a get together at a friends house for the game. I am not sure what I'll bring yet.

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

That's a great little 'window box' sunkissed.

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

Sunkissed - Love the herb box. I'm also having a "want winter over" moment while looking at it. Throw in a veggie plate with the seven layer dip and that will help with the calories/diet some.

We may watch some of the football game since it's on tonight. DH is busy putting together herbed turkey burgers to freeze for meals later. I think we'll also watch The Voice tonight.

Missouri City, TX

Thanks for the new thread.

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

SO just brought in a grilled tri-tip that I jerked this morning. That's a two minute procedure since I grow the peppers for and can my own jerk. He added hickory for a little smoke flavor. I made a salad this a.m. after marinating the meat. There were odds and ends of cool bread in the fridge that became croutons (even a lone corn tortilla). I found blue cheese in the freezer that had been cut into slim wedges and wrapped. We are having a steak salad.

I use lots of fennel both for catering and in personal recipes. I prefer to not cook it with other foods, but rather cook it separately and use it to dress out dishes. I think it's flavor should stand as a separate ingredient and not become homogenous in the dish. It is very difficult to grow though we have some bulbs in the garden right now. We had roasted fennel this past week. The outer leaves were saved. I peeled them this morning with a veggie peeler and then shaved (chiffonade) them against the grain for our salad tonight. I also used some of the fronds to top the salad. The more tender, inner portion of the bulbs got roasted. They are prime.

Darius, your comments about these threads are spot on and so nice of you to mention. This is a nice place to be. As for choys, I like them blanched best. The choys are especially watery greens. I have trouble with them in stir fries. They wilt. I drop them in broths for a minute or two and then use them anywhere from soft to crunchy in various dishes. A good twist is to top crostini with blanched and garlicked choys, then add a cheese topping. Then run them in a hot oven for a few minutes. No need to broil. Just melt the cheese. A Roman take on an Asian veggie.

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

Susan, Another fennel recipe came in this morning as my recipe of the day:

Greek Chicken Stew

1lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
1 c chicken broth
1/2 cup plain, fat free Greek yogurt
1 small head cauliflower, chopped
1 fennel bulb, sliced
1 10oz can artichoke hearts, drained
1 large red onion, sliced
1/3 cup Kalamata olives, drained
1/4 cup fresh oregano, finely chopped
8 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp fresh lemon zest
1 tsp salt
tsp black pepper

Spray a large nonstick skillet with non-fat cooking spray and set at medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until browned, about 5-8 minutes.

Transfer chicken to a 5-6 quart slow cooker. Arrange cauliflower, fennel, onion, olives around the chicken. Cover with garlic, lemon zest, oregano, salt and pepper.

Pour in broth and tomatoes.

Cover and cook about 6-8 hours on low.

Stir in yogurt and artichokes and cook for about another 15 minutes.

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

Thank you for all the help on the fennel. I will be hanging onto the recipes and advise for the next fennel we get. They helped me get this one cooked. We both liked the taste of the fennel so another add on to the list of veggies we will eat.

I used the current fennel in last night's dinner which turned out especially very well for a throw together. Based on the reaction last night we will be repeating this in the near future. Leftovers were gone at lunch today.

Dinner last night was whole wheat tortillas filled with leftover herbed pork loin, cooked kabocha squash, caramelized onions and fennel bulb slices, chopped fresh apple bathed in Rouge Verjus, and fresh fennel fronds.

This message was edited Feb 6, 2012 3:01 PM

East Texas, TX

tonight will be Chicken and Spaghetti, Salad and Roasted Corn on the Cob.

Northwest, MO(Zone 5a)

Baby Back Ribs, brown rice, and brussel sprouts. Homemade chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

Slow couple of days for the thread. I've been sick so not much dinner going on here. Mostly ginger brew.

Clay Center, KS(Zone 5b)

Tonight it's peppers, stuffed w/baked beans and ground beef, sour dough bread and a side salad.
Susan, hope you are feeling better, tis the season for the cruddies.

somewhere, PA

Seems like everyone is getting sick these days! Feel better soon Susan.

I made cabbage & beef in tomato sauce. Used up the last of the frozen roasted peppers. Sure hit the spot - I was really hungry.


Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Slow here, but crazy-busy everywhere else I've been the last few days. I made black beans and chorizo last night, and no dinner tonight (I'm tellin' ya - crazy busy.)

The temps are cooling down over the next few days so I've got more soups and stews and stick-to-your-ribs foods planned for the rest of the week. And several different quick bread recipes I'll be trying throughout the month. Hope everyone stays warm and well (or gets well soon!)

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

Angel hair pasta, sauce of EVOO, garlic and shrimp. Easy-peasy.

Columbus, OH

Leftovers. Oven-roasting tomatoes for tomato soup and toasted cheese tomorrow.

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

oooo, the pasta with shrimp strikes my fancy. We did a basic fall-back of bbq chicken breast, corn on the cob, some of that quinoa/farro salad left over from the other day and artesian bread. Glass of red wine - - - carrot cake with Bailey's on the bottom.

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

I'm better but still not up to par. At least dinner was in a solid form tonight.

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

Susan, hope you are feeling better today.

I'm so out of steam from a busy work weekend and week. Aside from an annual physical (I always think of the Tin Man getting polished on that slab) I've been working with a new recipe program, completing the art work for the wedding party invites and making piecework table toppers (shh that's a secret) for the hoe down theme. The plan is to make a wedding quilt from the toppers for their first anniversary. The bride and groom are to be surprised with the party decor. As for the invites, I created a miniature, four page, storybook since we have different venues going on over several nights.

I'm roasting a whole hen tonight and serving her with a medley of sauteed veggies, including asparagus, tossed with linguine and pesto.

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

Yep. Feeling better. I've progressed to half a PBJ at lunch.

Laurel - Sounds like you've been very busy. The invites and table toppers sounds very cute and well thought out.

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

Poor baby. Sounds like you could use a steaming bowl of matzo ball soup. :)

The hen is smelling good upstairs. She had an herb and garlic oil massage before going into the sauna. There's rosemary in the rub. A few years ago I discovered it pulverizes nicely, after drying, with a mortar and pestle. No more tiresome chopping.

Does anyone use recipe software? If so, which one? I decided a few years back that though I cook mostly without recipes, even when catering, written guidance would be a good idea for things I cook infrequently. I also wanted a way to record the more technical aspects of what has been successful for catering and themes and variations of original dishes. My clients seem to prefer menu options that are original recipes. I spent more than a year transcribing notes into one piece of software only to realize its limitations. Now I'm trialing another recipe software that is evaluated as being "pro" grade.

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Creamy tomato, basil and pepper soup and grilled cheese. It's cold, we haven't had this flavor combo in forever and a day, and I didn't get a pork loin thawed out in time to roast it.

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

Crapola, I didn't even HAVE supper tonight, just some cheese while doing other cooking projects for the freezer...

Clay Center, KS(Zone 5b)

I use both Big Oven and Mastercook..the probably 4th and 5th recipe programs over the years. Mastercook, hasn't had an upgrade since XP or before, so I tried moving on to Big Oven, but it is not my favorite by far. I'm not sure there is a good recipe program out there. Are there any other opinions?
I could use a few recommendations too. I've followed the various threads over the years, but without a good conclusion.

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

I made my own 200+ page cookbook a few years ago, using MS Word. I could index by ingredient and name, paginate, (which changed every time I added a new recipe), and a lot of other neat tricks. Of course, it didn't give me a breakdown of nutritional values...

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

I gave a few copies to friends for Christmas. Amazing how many people just "heat or re-heat" rather than actually cook.

somewhere, PA

Did I share the tidbit I picked up recently - people who cook at home live longer. :-)

I just did leftovers w/sweet potato fries & some wine. More grazing than a meal but very good.

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

Well hopefully it was special cheese, Darius. I could easily make a dinner out of cheese. Our pasta and veggies with pesto seemed a bit bland so I crumbled Bucheron into it and added red pepper flakes. Wow, good...ripe eau de chevre with a bit of zip.

Edens, I downloaded a thirty day trial for Living Cookbook this past week. It's looking good. I'm pathetic in the computer dept.. The more intuitive the software the better. I was previously using Recipe Center but had trouble converting from the free, unlimited time version to the paid version. My stuff is stuck in the free version and I'm now having to photograph the recipes on the screen with a camera to transfer them anywhere. They never upgraded to Windows 7 so I started copying recipes to a Windows recipe program but that seemed too much like a spread sheet for cooking.

I almost got Mastercook before deciding on Living Cookbook. Have not heard of Big Oven. The one thing I will do this time is make sure I have the software on disc and not just a download. Living Cookbook sends a disc once you subscribe to a download. You must buy the software from them and not another online site that carries their software otherwise you will not get the disc. The price is the same regardless; about thirty five dollars.

This message was edited Feb 9, 2012 9:40 PM

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

Okay, does that mean I've not got long to live since I cook in other peoples' homes?

Columbus, OH

I have Mastercook, I've used it for probably 12 or 13 years and like it very much. I don't think I'll ever see another update, though :(

I am having leftover tomato soup. I made a Texas sheet cake for DH's work potluck tomorrow, and some pizza dough for pizza tomorrow night.

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

Yes, it was a decent blue cheese... I finished off the last of the Humbolt Fog, too. Not together~

somewhere, PA

Laurel - I didn't see any specification for whose home it is - just cooking at home. :-)

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

Haven't used any recipe software. Best I can recommend is to do a search on review of recipe software and also see what Amazon reviews are like.

Being around the smell of chicken (and a lot of other foods) was a problem. I tried to throw DH a meal into the crockpot one day and then couldn't handle the cooking smell. Ginger soda (with real ginger), rice, and saltine crackers worked.

Back to somewhat normal (if still some what bland) food. DH is picking up dinner tonight so we'll see what I think I can handle when he calls.

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

BTW - Before I got sick this week I had a really good wrap at a local organic restaurant, The Mixx. I'm not sure that it was arugula in it as the wrap had a thick green in it like a kale or spinach. But the wrap was very good.

Curry Sweet Potato Wrap - Roasted sweet potato, curry-tomato chutney, coconut-ginger sauce, and arugula wrapped in a sweet cardamom tortilla.

Northwest, MO(Zone 5a)

Monte Cristo Ham Sandwiches, and Brocolli Cheese Soup. It's very cold out this evening and needed something to warm us up.

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