What's For Dinner? #292

canarybird01March 18, 2009

Today I finished off my homemade pesto by mixing it into meatballs and it turned out just right.


I had about 3 heaping tablespoons of homemade pesto left over from a fettucini lunch and since I had defrosted

500 grams of a ground pork/beef mixture I decided to mix the pesto into the mix and make pesto meatballs.

'Best meatballs I've ever tasted' ....was the response from my husband. Here's what I put in it:

500 grams (just over a lb) of finely ground beef/pork mixture

1 large egg

1 teasp dry mustard

1/4 teasp ground nutmeg

1/4 cup grated parmesan

2 heaped TBS homemade pesto

1/2 onion - minced

1/2 teasp salt

1/2 teasp ground black pepper

flour to coat

cooking oil


1 heaping TBS pesto

1/4 cup hot vegetable steamer water

1.Mix egg with meat, add pesto, onion, parmesan and spices.

2.Form golf ball sized meatballs and roll on floured plate to coat.

3.Cover bottom of small frying pan with about 1/2 inch oil and when hot,

put 5 or 6 meatballs at a time to brown about 4 minutes, then turn them over.

4.Drain meatballs on paper and keep hot while forming and cooking the rest.

5.Mix about 1/4 cup hot vegetable water into remaining 1 TBS pesto to make

enough creamy sauce to drizzle over meatballs when plated.


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Sharon, I keep homemade pesto cubes in the freezer. In the winter when fresh basil is not always available I use them in many things including my meatballs. Really does add a nice flavour.

We had Italian tonight as well. Osso Bucco served over creamy polenta with rapini.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 12:12AM
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Ann, I had a question about the Anna Olson's Ultimate Chocolate Cake. In the picture you posted it looks as though the cake part is very thin with a thick buttercream on it. Is this correct or is it my imagination? Do you make it in a single layer at a time instead of the double layer recipe? Whatever, it looks wonderful, which is why I'm so interested. Smiles.

Those Nigella chocolate chip muffins are great aren't they? I made Christy a dozen for her take to work breakfasts a month ago and she's almost done with them. They sure do freeze great. She's even taken two at a time to work and had the othe one the second day and claims it's still fresh.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 12:44AM
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Coconut, that recipe makes two layers. I glazed one and froze the other. The recipe doesn't call for the caramel sauce. I got that idea from a photo I saw on one of the food photo blogs. And of course everything goes better with caramel sauce. Yes, those muffins are wonderful. I have a husband and a couple of neighbours hooked on them.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 1:05AM
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Great. Sounds good. Since there are only two of us too, I like to freeze one layer or a half cake. I tend to make them in 9x13. Yes, those muffins, I'm waiting to see how long after she runs out the hints will start.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 1:22AM
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I have been remiss in posting on this thread but now I am feeling the energy of Spring in my bones. !!! LOL

Unlike many others I have no desire to stand in the freezing cold while I cook so grilling is just now coming back into our dining. Last night we had a grilled pork chop, grilled potatoes and mushrooms with frozen peas( Clive's favourite side dish!) This is my plate, you can tell by the pepper!!! LOL

This weekend will see burgers on the menu for sure.

Tonight it's baked ham, mac and cheese and, either my cheater baked beans, but more likely broccoli. Think I'll do a slaw as well.

I feel summer coming and it can't happen any too soon!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 2:40PM
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The Osso Bucco and polenta look fabulous Ann. Chase, your grilled potatoes and chops look wonderful too. Even though we have had a number of days in the low 70's I haven't had the stamina to grill outside yet.

Tonight I made a quick sauce with two kinds of canned tomatoes, onion, celery, chopped oyster mushrooms, Italian sausage and red wine. We had it over spaghetti and Max made tossed side salads. It hit the spot and there is enough sauce for one more meal.

Tomorrow night I'll be solo and I have enough of my very rare leftover beef tenderloin for a meal.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 10:21PM
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Yum, Lee, rare tenderloin sounds like a pretty good leftover. I'm sure glad to see you cooking and eating again.

I'm behind, way behind, and I'll never catch up, LOL. I've eaten and done some cooking but I can't tell you what I had when anymore. I did corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's Day, and baked Barm Brack. It was good hot from the oven but it's spectacular toasted and I just made the last of it into bread pudding:

it made pretty darned passable french toast a couple of nights later:

it was my turn to bake a birthday treat for my secretary, so I made a peanut butter cheesecake. I'm not a great fan of cheesecake but she loves it and one of the lawyers proclaimed that it was "the best cheesecake I've ever eaten, bar none". I was flattered until he told me he'd never had baked cheesecake, just the "instant stuff from a box mix". sorry, hon, that isn't cheesecake, it's just dessert, LOL.

I cooked some chicken for chicken salad and chicken enchiladas and canned the broth I made from the carcasses. The broth came out thick and nicely gelatinous and I got 9 pints and one quart of broth.

Cabbage was 18 cents a pound here, trying to sell the St. Patrick's Day leftovers I think, so I bought another head and made a saute with a bulb of fennel, a head of cabbage, some pancetta, onions, garlic, and a dresing of vinegar, honey and dried mustard. It was really good, I've eaten nearly all of it. Amanda is feeling better, I can tell, because she helped me finish it off, LOL.

In honor of St. patrick's Day, and coincidentally the day my divorce was final from my first husband, I tried to celebrate. All I had on hand was this:

It was OK, but I ended up dumping half out, I'll never learn to drink the darned stuff, they need to sell "sampler" sized bottles. (grin)

Trying to follow SharonCB's good lead I had fresh pineapple one morning for breakfast, with homemade yogurt and a drizzle of honey:

And for dessert, fresh strawberry shortcake. No, they aren't local berries and no, they didn't taste like much, the whipped cream had more flavor than those berries did but they were pretty!

And that's what's for dinner!


    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 11:35PM
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Oh my, Sharon, those meatballs look heavenly! I love pesto and always keep some summertime in my freezer during the winter.

Ann, I just saw your Osso Bucco on photograzing. This is one of my all time favorite dishes. And I've never made it at home. I'd die for some of yours.

Chase - I'm a pepper addict as well. Your dish looks really good.

Annie - Yum from top to bottom!!!

Last night I made a Thai noodle salad using Korean cellophane noodles and a spicy peanut sauce. I took it to a party and it was a hit.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 10:30AM
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Geez! My photos are so pathetic by comparison, I wouldn't dare to post them! Anyway, everything you all make looks absolutely scrumptious and the photgraphy skills are beyond compare. I love Osso Bucco and haven't made it in ages, I think I feel a craving coming on.

Chase, your grilled pork chops inspired me - that is what I am making for tonight, but I'm not sure of the sides to go with them yet.

Last night I made Pastitsio (with ground lamb instead of ground beef) for the first time. OMG it is TDF! It is so good that DH, DS#2 and I have all moved it to a Top 10 ranking in this house. It will definitely be on the most requested list. The salad was a bowl of chunked up cucumbers, chunks of feta, the last of the Greek olives and I made an vinaigrette dressing and added the last 1/4 cup of Greek Yogurt and a bunch of fresh dill. It was really tasty!


    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 3:42PM
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I rarely post here, but I was ambitious today. I made a loaf of Struan bread and froze it to make Cuban sandwiches for Friday when Annie comes to ride with me to Chicago. Then I made a healthy 12 grain bread and spread my piece with (sigh) margarine, since I am on low cholesterol diet now. I would never ever have believed that I would ever eat margarine. I love butter so much.
I also did a pot roast, (in the crock pot)and shredded half up for beef and noodles, and the other half for pot roast with oven roasted rosemary root vegetables. Then I made a Chicken Piccata. These are frozen for dinners this week, so DH won't have to work so hard to feed me. I also made three layers of homemade yellow cake and froze it, to take to Peppi's on Friday. I will be making a lemon curd, and a red raspberry paste to fill the cake, and frosting it with a lemon curd and whipped cream frosting. That will be the Chicago girls' entry into the Lemon Challenge. I have some salmon marinating for Drunken Salmon (Sharon's recipe perhaps?). That will be supper tonight along with sweet potato fries (baked) and broccoli, and an Arugula salad with beets and oranges sections. Yum. Now I am really hungry. Perhaps we will eat early tonight to celebrate the beautiful day and mild temperature and the crocuses blooming.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 4:35PM
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Oh yes doesn't it all look good! Annie I could just dive right into that cheesecake.
Greg I love anything with a spicy peanut sauce!
And Osso Bucco is also one of my top favourite dishes since I started making it with that new recipe. Yours looks very good Ann.
Sharon - love the look of your grilled dinner.

The other day I drove way up into the hills with Wolf and Anne to a countryside restaurant she had recommended within the grounds of a skeet shooting range. It was a popular Canary type place with a seating capacity for 350 diners, in a rustic setting with normally a great view down the mountainside. However the day was cloudy and we drove through a lot of mist and didn't get the spectacular views we expected. But we did see many blossom trees, as we were out of the balmy weather of sea level and up into a mountain climate.
Inside, the walls were decorated with hunting trophies and photos of hunters and their dogs.

The tables were filled with local Canary people and it struck me that in the centre of each table was a bowl of gofio (link to my gofio writeup) into which everyone was dipping their spoons. We had a three-course meal each with soup, main course and dessert, 1/2 liter wine, beer, water all for just about $15.00 per person. Simple country food but good.

Wolf had his favourite chicken soup, Anne had watercress soup and I had a vegetable puree.

Seconds were puchero for Wolf and I (vegetable & meat stew), while Anne had some delicious breaded mushrooms with wild berry sauce..
Desserts: Chocolate Mousse, Custard with caramel and tiramisu.

I made a big puchero myself today just to see how it would turn out and will post the pics tomorrow. It was easy to make and great! Leftovers tomorrow.

The blossoms were lovely: white were plum trees and pink were apricot.

Have a lovely rest of Sunday everyone!


    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 5:02PM
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Alexa, please don't feel shy about posting your photos. It's the food that counts in my eyes! I'd love to see your pastitsio. It sounds heavenly.

Sherry, glad you popped in. I have yet to make lemon curd. I know it's so easy. Just haven't done it.

Sharon. What a great collage of food and flowers. Wish I could have joined you for that fantastic meal.

I know this is WFD, but can I post breakfast? Actually, my favorite post-run smoothie. After going out for a brisk 8 mile run today I was craving superfood. And blueberries really deliver.

Blueberry, protein, peanut butter and ovaltine smoothie. Sounds strange but it is really good.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 5:36PM
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We had Pork roast on the grill marinated in Malta soda, garlic, S&P, and allspice with malta mango carmelized onion and coconut creme, mango, cilantro jasmine rice done with ann_t's pasta method. What a lovely dinner.

I would take pix but my dumb iphone doesn't play well that way.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 9:37PM
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Sherry, you sure did cook up a storm! Have fun at Peppi's (is there any doubt?). I wish I could go also but I was afraid to plan it, just too much going on. I'll get there one of these days!

Many good cooking ideas on here. I must have gotten a subliminal message from Annie's post. When I was thinking about a dessert on Sat. for dinner, all I could think about were strawberries.

We had some friends over that I had not fixed high heat chicken for yet. So the menue ended up...HH Chicken stuffed with fresh rosemary, sage, thyme, garlic, lemons and butter, roasted red potatoes, a broccoli saute and maple glazed carrots. They loved it.

Dessert...grilled angel food cake with strawberries.

Sorry the pic's turned out fuzzy, I must have messed up a setting. Back to reading the book.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 9:42AM
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Did somebody say Cheesecake?
AB, that cake looks unholy ... in a good way.

Sharon, the Pesto Meatballs are the perfect start to this thread.

Ann, you may keep the rapini, but please, share the rest of that wonderful meal!

Sharon/chase, Jim would be in chastened spirits if I were to show him your dinner of Pork Chops without replicating it. So, I just won't show it to him. Problem solved.

Greg, I also love cellophane noodles with peanut sauce. Delectable!

Sands, I've been crazy for Malta since I had my first taste, at the ripe old age of 2. I used to drink Malta Hatuey almost daily, until I came to live in the states. That's when I suddenly developed a 'drinking problem' because I couldn't find the stuff anywhere. And when I asked, no one knew what I was talking about.

It took twenty years for my local grocery store to start carrying this product, and it is no longer a problem.
As kids, my brother and I used to mix it with sweetened condensed milk.
Sounds repulsively-rich and sweet. And it was. But, it was a kid thing. Nowadays, I prefer my Malta straight [G].

At any rate, I'd never thought of cooking with it; yours is an innovative idea I'm going to try.

Fine looking dinner Nancy.

Tonight, I'm making Chicken Enchiladas. And since work is going to be light this week, I'm going to make fresh flour tortillas. Olé.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 1:55PM
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Greg that's my kind of breakfast. Wish we could get blueberries here though!

Sands ...your dinner does sound lovely!

Nancy chicken dinner with lots of veg....that's to love and I'm also getting a craving for strawberries thanks to you and Annie!

Sol....I haven't heard of Malta Hatuey so now I'm curious.....will have to look that up. I'm sure your chicken enchiladas will be absolutely the best!

Yesterday I made Puchero Canario...the local meat & veg stew which is done in one pot and which we had the other day....up there in my last post, at a local restaurant.

I wanted to make it myself and it turned out just right.

According to a cookbook put out by the cultural department of the local government, the trick which distinguishes the Puchero Canario from other Spanish stews is the addition of a crushed paste of saffron, garlic and cumin, crushed with a mortar and pestle and added near the end of cooking.

Today we had the leftover as 'tumbo de puchero' which is the liquid and remaining vegetables from the puchero served as a thick soup.

Another trick I learned today when I was talking with Pilar, one of my Pilates classmates from Madrid, whose mother is from Asturias, where the famous bean dish Fabada Asturiana comes from. She told me they used a lot of saffron in cooking in Asturias and her mother taught her that when using saffron, to take a pinch of a few threads, wrap them tightly in a paper napkin, twisting both ends to close and then putting the napkin on top of the hot lid over the pot where a stew or beans were cooking.

After a while, take it off the lid and open the napkin. The threads of saffron will be reduced to a powder which is then sprinkled into the cooking pot.

So I must try that!

Think we'll have fish tomorrow.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 6:48PM
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LOL, Sol, what does malta taste like anyway? It sounds kind of like "patooey", but that's the sound of me spitting something out, so I'm gonna trust you on this!

Nancy, I sure hope your strawberries were better than mine. Mine looked beautiful and tasted like....nothing. Didn't stop me from buying another package, I never learn. Sigh.

Ann, I just bought a box of polenta, about time to try it again. So far, I haven't liked it, but it's time for Renee's 7 year rule. Elery says he'll fix it and I'll like it, LOL.

Sharon, those desserts don't look like "simple country food", wow. The trees are beautiful, we'll have blossoms here in a few months.

Chase, Elery would love those pork chops. He loves them, I'll have to make some soon.

elery was here for the weekend and he made a salad that he'd eaten a couple of times at a place in Toledo called "Timko's Soup N Such". Betty Timko was the owner/cook and this is "Betty Salad". It's a mix of spinach, bean sprouts, bacon, hard boiled egg, dressed with a homemade Russian kind of dressing. It was pretty good:

On Saturday we had leftover salad along with baked cod, creamed spinach and more sauteed cabbage with fennel. The spinach was a leftover, the cabbage was a fresh batch, and I was happy with both.

sunday we went to the farm, but came back early, I'm getting the beginning of a head cold, I think. Elery made salmon patties and we had the last of the Betty Salad. I made a batch of Caldo Xochitl, based on the stuff I had in Corpus Christi with Brenda. It was pretty good, but more like chicken soup than the stuff I had there. Maybe it's just because I used my own farm raised chickens, or maybe I put more chicken in my soup. With the garbanzos, the zucchini and the chicken broth, topped with pico de gallo and slices of avacado, it was hot, fresh and filling:

Tonight I had a bacon and egg sandwich and made banana bread for Ashley, with one to take to work and one to take to Amanda. I don't like the stuff but it's the inevitable byproduct of Ashley sending me to the store for bananas for her morning smoothie and me finding bananas for 29 cents a pound, LOL:

But did she eat banana bread? Oh heck no, she had the last piece of the peanut butter cheesecake I made last week.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 10:43PM
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(Rescuing this again from page two.)

Annie I love the look of your salads, but I'm really tempted with the thought of peanut butter cheesecake...oh my!

I made baked salmon as planned for yesterday but had run out of soy sauce for making the teriyaki sauce so instead brushed on some Jack Daniels smokey BBQ sauce before putting it in the oven and it turned out just fine. Made oven baked chips and potatoes and a steamed mixture of squash, courgette, cabbage, carrot and onion.

Today we were invited to lunch by one of the places for which I wrote a restaurant review. That was nice of them :-).

Wolf wants pesto again tomorrow. He loved those pesto meatballs so much that I'll make pesto on pasta tomorrow and then the meatballs on Sunday.

My friend Anne is returning to England in a couple of days, along with many other 'swallows' from the UK. They are called that because they come here for the winter and fly back home in the spring. I'll miss her and our outings together around the island. But I have a couple of Spanish lady friends who might like to do some island trotting with me, as my hubby doesn't care for long drives in the car.


    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 8:30PM
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Man oh Man; everything looks so good...I'll have to make those pesto meatballs...
SharonB the Puchero Canario is amazing too!!!
Chase you like pepper like me...the more the better.
We had BBQ chicken, mashed potatoes and fresh steamed broccoli for dinner tonight. DH has really learned to finesse chicken on the Weber!!!


    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 9:31PM
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Mmmm, it all looks so good!
BBQ chicken was supposed to be on the menu tonight here too, but it was late last night and I took the chicken out of the fridge to soak before I'd grill it today and guess what? I got distracted and closed up the kitchen and left...the meat on the counter over night! WAH! Into the trash and I now defrosted chicken cutlets for piccata. Dinner here was picatta, roasted brussel sprouts (him) and zucchini (mine), a tossed salad and some Portugese pastries that a parent brought me today as a gift. They were made with phyllo dough and were excellent!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 1:35AM
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I finally made the pesto chicken rollups I was supposed to cook for the Basil Cookalong.

Definitely a keeper. I added some mushrooms and more garlic. We're already thinking of other things we can do - using sausage instead of the chicken, or doing a sliced corned beef, cabbage instead of the pesto/spinach and Swiss cheese instead of the mozzarella...I think this will be a fun recipe to play around with.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 11:07AM
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Wow everyone's food looks sooo good! Malna your pesto chicken rolls look amazing!

Shelley S.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 12:25PM
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Everything looks good. No, great!

Don't have time to post pictures this week, so I'll just admire yours.


    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 1:48PM
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Annie, you don't need to buy a special box of polenta. It is made with just cornmeal. I season the chicken broth with garlic and sometimes I add herbs, like sage to the liquid as well. depending on how I want it to taste. At the end of cooking, just add some butter and fresh grated parmesan cheese.

Wonderful looking dinners. Malna, your pesto chicken rollups look amazing. Annie, looks like you fed Elery well. Great looking meals. Sharon as always your meals in and out look delicious.

A few of our meals this past week.

Homemade Curry Dinner, beef, chicken, potato cauliflower, rice and chapati

Buttermilk Southern Fried Chicken

Greek Chicken

Pizza with a sourdough crust

Decadent Brownies with even more chocolate.


    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 11:34AM
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Everything looks delicious!

Linda your DH did a good job on the Weber. And Malna I love the idea of combining chicken with pesto. I've been using pesto a lot lately too.

Ann you've really been eating well this past week!

Yesterday just as I was about to switch on my food processor to make pesto, a lightening bolt hit the main power station and the whole island of Tenerife was without power for some hours. So after waiting and hoping it would come back on, I resigned myself to pounding away at it all using my mortar and pestle, which is actually the way pesto was originally made. Turned out tasty even though with a bit of grainy crunch this time. We had it over spinach noodles.

And today I made the rest of the pesto into meatballs again since that was what Wolf has been asking for. In the steamer went cabbage, green beans, bubango, yellow squash and onion and in the toaster oven I did roasted potatoes and yam. We ate only half the meatballs and saved the rest for our Sunday dinner.
Our lemon dessert will be for Sunday, when I make 'Leche Asada' roasted milk pudding following a Canary recipe.


    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 8:23PM
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Sharon, I made your pesto meatballs. Two words.....yum yum!!!!!!!!

Malna, can't wait to make your pesto chicken rollups. They look wonderful.


    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 7:01PM
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I hardly ever post here since my veggie meals are pretty out of the norm and I don't have a camera. But tonight's dinner was really good, and so easy. It is a variation on "beans and greens" which I usually eat over rice, pasta or polenta (got that Annie?). I have never seen the "shelf stable" gnocchi before, they were good. I found whole wheat ones. The only problem with this meal is the stew is very mushy--best served with something crunchy/crusty like a great salad. I didn't have fresh chard, so I used frozen spinach. Fresh greens would definately cut down on the mush factor. Anyway, the dish was still good and extremely tasty for something so easy. Oh, and I splashed a little merlot into the dish too.

Skillet Gnocchi with Chard & White Beans
From EatingWell Magazine January/February 2009

Makes 6 servings

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 16-ounce package shelf-stable gnocchi (see Tip)
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup water
6 cups chopped chard leaves (about 1 small bunch) or spinach
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings
1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add gnocchi and cook, stirring often, until plumped and starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
2. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and onion to the pan and cook, stirring, over medium heat, for 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and water. Cover and cook until the onion is soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Add chard (or spinach) and cook, stirring, until starting to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, beans and pepper and bring to a simmer. Stir in the gnocchi and sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and cook until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling, about 3 minutes.

Notes: I didn't set the gnocchi aside, I sauteed it in olive oil along with the onions, then mixed in all the other ingredients. That made it a one pot meal, which is what I like! I finished this off in the oven for 15 min. to melt the cheese.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 325 calories; 7 g fat (2 g sat, 3 g mono); 8 mg cholesterol; 55 g carbohydrate; 14 g protein; 6 g fiber; 616 mg sodium
Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 lean meat, 1 fat

TIP: Tip: Look for shelf-stable gnocchi near other pasta in the Italian section of most supermarkets.

I'm sure Lou thinks this is Weirdsville, lol! But it's a typical meal at Lpink's vegetarian castle.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 10:32PM
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Cabbage was 5¢ a pound this week. Not a fancy dinner - just good old stuffed cabbage.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 9:26AM
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Lpink your vegetarian dish sounds like a good one. We are still trying to reduce the quantity of meat in our diet and have more vegetables, beans and salads. I will probably try this one.

Malna your cabbage rolls look good and just like the ones that are my DH's favourites from an Austrian restaurant!

Yesterday we went to the restaurant for which I'll be writing this week's review for a friend's local golfing website.
I ordered a fish dish that I haven't had for a long time, called "Sole Tout Paris" which was quite nice.
It consisted of a couple of pieces of filleted sole topped with shrimp, in a lobster and bechamel sauce with piped potato.

Wolf chose bratwurst which came with red beet salad and boiled potatoes.

We were late arriving there, so I could take photos of the inside without disturbing other diners.

restaurant outer gallery............bratwurst................sole "Tout Paris"

I'm making Marilyn's dry roasted ribs today. Sun is finally out a bit so I can wash and dry some laundry. :-)


    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 9:34AM
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Too late, Ann T, I already bought a box of polenta. I've made it with cornmeal and it just reminds me of cornmeal mush, so I bought the "real" stuff, hoping the consistency would be a bit different and that I'd like it. We'll see...

And that goes double for you, lpink. (grin)

Oh my, everything looks so good. I haven't made cabbage rolls since Dad passed away, they were one of his favorites, I'll have to make some soon. Ann T's onion rings are just calling my name, and lpink's gnocchi sounds like something I might like, I haven't tried making my own gnocchi yet.

The thing that really intrigues me, though, is that red beet salad. I just LOVE beets.

And what was for dinner? I got portobellos on sale so I made mushroom and barley soup and some honey wheat bread. It wasn't very pretty, so I didn't take a picture, but it was good. I have leftovers, so you might actually get pictures after all, LOL.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 11:55AM
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Annie please do show us a picture of your mushroom and barley soup, as I still haven't done anything with those dried ones I was given. I love barley in a soup too.

I guess nobody is eating much these days, or else they are busy elsewhere, but anyway I'll try and do my share to keep this thread on page one. :-)

Yesterday I tried some Spanish spareribs which I think might be called country style ribs in N.America. They had been salted and desalted before I bought them and they had a lot of meat as well as fat on them. I should have boiled them first to get rid of some of the fat but did them in the oven instead for 2 hours with a spice rub.

I'm still looking for a good fresh rack of ribs here but they just aren't popular with the locals so they don't sell them. The best so far have been the frozen racks from the north of Spain. Anyway we had the usual assortment of steamed and roasted vegetables and dessert was fresh sliced pears.

See how cute one of the new baby blackbirds looks, peeking into my computer room window. He's noticed that there's food on the windowsill.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 5:09AM
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I haven't been posting on this thread much so thought I'd better jump in! As usual everyone is eating well.

Last night we had a favourite dish. Pasta Puttanesca (tomatoes, olives, garlic and capers) along with Veal Parmigiana.

Not sure about tonight yet have to hit the freezer and see what calls my name.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 8:26AM
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Lovely meals. Sharon, I love Pasta Puttanesca. SharonCB, does that sole in the lobster cream sauce ever sound good.

Malna, now I have a craving for cabbage rolls. Yours look so good.

Annie, what is the "real stuff" made from?

Halibut season is now open so we had halibut for dinner on Tuesday night. OMG it is so good. I did a very simple version. Just pan fried and then finished off in a hot oven. And served with a fresh salsa made with kalamata olives, tomatoes, basil, garlic, lemon zest, salt, pepper and olive oil. I bought just over three pounds of halibut Filet and we had dinner with our neighbours.

I had 3/4 of a pound left so I cooked it for lunch yesterday in a mushroom cream sauce seasoned with garlic, chives and a little parmesan cheese. Baked in the oven and served with rice and broccoli. Needless to say I didn't cook dinner last night.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 10:55AM
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Ann T, the "real stuff" is made of the same stuff cornmeal is, but it seems to be ground much finer than the cornmeal I buy for cornbread or muffins. I was hoping that a finer grind would produce a different texture that I didn't find so egregious.

So I have a box of "polenta" on my pantry shelf, about twice the price of plain old yellow cornmeal, but I haven't bothered to try it yet. I'm still trying to figure out what to put in it that might might help.

For instance, would grated Asiago cheese change the texture and make it gummy or should I sprinkle the cheese on top instead?

I figure if it's still not all that great, I'll refrigerate it, slice it, fry it and have it for breakfast with maple syrup, just like I used to do with leftover mush. LOL


    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 2:40PM
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Annie1992, I can find both coarse and fine ground cornmeal here so thankfully it isn't twice the price. You might try seasoning the chicken broth with a minced garlic clove and some sage and of course as soon as it is ready add butter and fresh grated parmesan cheese. Or the Asiago. I've never found adding cheese made it gummy.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 4:39PM
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Here I can find the cornmeal in the round box and it's all yellow, LOL, or I can get a "mix" that has the leavening in it, kind of like self rising flour but it's cornmeal.

Nothing white, nothing finely ground and no masa harina, just plain old yellow cornmeal in a round box.

The "polenta mix" I bought came from Russo's on my last trip to Grand Rapids, and Elery really likes polenta, so I bought it but just haven't made it yet. It's on my list of "7 year foods" and I'm due to try it again.

I have seen the premade polenta in a tube at my grocery store, but it just seemed silly to be buying something that is so easily made fresh.

So, what's for dinner tonight? I don't know, maybe polenta and some of the leftover chicken from the whole chicken I roasted earlier this week. I was hoping to get some inspiration here but I'm still apathetic.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 4:50PM
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Well I would sure like some halibut Ann, as that's my favourite fish, next to salmon. We had fish again today but this time it was the frozen one that bakes in it's own red pepper Italian sauce. Done in the toaster oven with roasted thyme potatoes and yams, with broccoli, carrots and tinned peas.

Tomorrow Pilates and a grocery shopping trip so think I'll pick up a takeaway chicken,
salad and wrinkled salty potatoes at our corner deli, because I'll be getting home too late to cook lunch.

Our friends who sent us the mushrooms are also going to send us their recipe for making mushroom soup.
It will be interesting to see their version from the eastern part of Germany.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 5:15PM
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I just love halibut, so I'd rather have had some of Ann's dinner too, or Sharon's baked fish, I just love fish. I eat it often enough that Elery says I'm going to grow gills.

Tonight's dinner didn't quite go as planned. I had decided I would put some pork steak on the grill, cook the infamous polenta and have the asparagus that was in the fridge and needed to be eaten. Somehow, the best laid plans go awry and I lit the grill and tossed on the pork. About 5 minutes later I was wondering why there was no smoke, and that's because the grill was out of gas. Elery uses the grill a lot, so I'm not surprised but I wasn't inclined to fill it. I moved the pork from the grill to a pan. The asparagus was already moldy, so I defaulted to some of the leftover coleslaw. I did make the polenta. I boiled homemade chicken stock, stirred in the polenta, cooked for the time required on the box. Hmmmm. Chicken flavored cornmeal mush! LOL I added a pat of butter and some grated Asiago and that made it better. It's very thick, I didn't think polenta was supposed to be so thick but that's how it was, for some reason I expected it to be more creamy. I don't know what the heck I'll do with the rest, maybe pan fry it as a side for chicken. It wasn't wonderful and it wasn't horrible so I may have to try again, just to be certain.

Sharon, here is the mushroom and barley soup, I liked it a lot but it's not really very photogenic:

Earlier this week I roasted a chicken on a bed of green peas and zucchini spears so I've had that for a couple of meals:


    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 8:02PM
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Great looking chicken Annie.

I prefer polenta on the creamy side, not thick. If you ever try it again, just add either more broth, or less cornmeal.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 9:17PM
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Annie I like polenta fried in olive oil. That's really calorific so I don't make polenta often. You can bake it too, which I also like. Brush with olive oil and bake in a hot oven (or broil it, but I burn things too easily to try to broil much in my oven.)

Here's a polenta recipe I like. It is "picante." You don't have to use refrigerator polenta. When I make polenta I spoon it warm out of the pot into a thin layer in a baking pan and let is set. Then I slice it into disks and broil or fry. That's what I use for this.

Fried Polenta Discs With Marscapone Cheese
from Rachel Ray

1 log, 24 ounces, prepared corn polenta, plain or flavored, available in refrigerated cases in market
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
1 tablespoon butter
1 tub, 16 ounces, mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup half-and-half
3 tablespoons capers
1 lemon, zested
3 tablespoons jarred, drained, chopped roasted red peppers
3 tablespoons chopped Italian cracked or pitted green olives
3 tablespoons chopped pitted oil cured olives
2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.

Cut polenta into 1/2-inch slices. Add extra-virgin olive oil and butter to skillet then season the discs with a little salt. Brown and crisp polenta discs on both sides, 3 minutes on each side.

Mix mascarpone with the half-and-half, capers and lemon zest. Combine chopped roasted red peppers, green and black olives and parsley in a separate small bowl.

To serve, layer polenta discs with spoonfuls of the cheese on a plate and garnish with chopped olives and peppers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Food Network - Fried Plenta Discs w/Marscapone Cheese, courtesy of Rachel Ray

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 9:19PM
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No pictures (camera has gone AWOL again...)

Our local small grocery/deli had chicken leg quarters on sale for 49¢ a pound and fresh asparagus for 99¢ a bunch, so we grilled the chicken and the asparagus, and I made my own version of SharonCB's red beet salad.

I took a quart of home canned beets, made pickled beets (mine are not loaded with sugar), and mixed up a dressing of a tiny bit of mayonnaise and some Honeycup mustard. Yummy! I just found Honeycup mustard (I think it was Annie that recommended that) and it's great stuff.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 10:11AM
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Malna, what a deal. Asparagus for 99 cents a pound. It was on sale here yesterday for $3.99 a pound. Occasionally I find it from Mexico for $1.98, but never lower than that.

Diner food last night. Salisbury Steak and a Mushroom Gravy. Haven't made that in about a year.

Home Cookin Chapter: Recipes From Thibeault's Table

Salisbury Steak In Mushroom And Green Peppercorn Sauce

The secret to making a good Salisbury steak is to let the meat simmer in the gravy for at least an hour. The meat should be tender and not have the texture of a just fried or grilled burger. Simmering also enriches the flavour of the gravy.

2 Pounds of ground Sirloin
1 onion finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 Teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 Tablespoon of worcestershire Sauce
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste


1/2 small onion chopped
1 garlic clove minced
1 Tablespoon green peppercorns
Fresh Mushrooms sliced
2 Tablespoons Flour
Broth 2 to 3 cups (Beef or chicken)
Pan drippings plus 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter or oil.

Saute onions in 2 Tablespoons of olive oil until tender but not browned. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. In a bowl combined ground sirloin, parsley, thyme, dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper. Add onions and garlic and mix well. (I use my hands).Form into oval shaped patties. (I made 5 nice size ones from the 2 pounds, but you could make smaller if you prefer). Brown the patties in a heavy skillet in a little olive oil. You can also brown these in a grill pan. Remove the meat from the pan. Add a little more oil if needed and saute the onions, garlic and mushrooms. Sprinkle with a little flour, cook for a couple of minutes and add the broth and the green peppercorns. Add the patties to the pan, cover and simmer on low for at least one hour. Make sure there is enough sauce to almost cover the steaks.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 10:56AM
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Ann that is one of my favourite dishes! Made it not to long ago, actually I guess it was a while ago becasue Meredith was still home. She absolutely loved it!

As for that halibut in cream sauce....thud!

Annie, think I just may stuff and roast a bird for Sunday dinner, yours looks delish. Polenta is one of those dishes along with Risotto that I just don't like. I want to like it but I don't.....just like lamb! LOL

Malna it may have been me that mentioned the Honeycup Mustard. , it has long been a favourite of mine.

Here is a recipe for a delicious Raspberry Vinaigrette using Honeycup.

The Pantry ShelfÂs Raspberry Vinaigrette

2 Tbl Raspberry Vinegar
2 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tsp Honeycup Mustard
½ Tsp salt
½ Cup vegetable oil (don't use olive oil)

Mix first 4 ingredients in a food processor. With the blade still running gradually add oil. Store in the refrigerator.

Last night was a bowl of homemade Minestrone and a small salad, the soup hit the spot but the salad was what you would expect this time of year.......long truck ride from it's source!

This soup is so easy to make I don't know why I don;t make it more often. It takes 15-20 minutes start to finish and tastes yummy!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 11:34AM
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Thanks for the vinaigrette recipe. I have some luscious raspberry balsamic vinegar that would be perfect - now I can't wait for "salad season".

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 11:54AM
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Chase, I think you ARE the one that mentioned it, although I do love it and I've sent a couple jars to other posters here. That's probably why Malna remembered my name connected with it, I was busily agreeing with you, LOL.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 11:55AM
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Hi Everyone:
There's not enough time to comment on all the Goodies,
so I won't.
Everything looks great.

You mentioned Cheesecake. I had that tonight.

I think you are trying hard to be Italian , so you can cook in your basement.
- - - - - - - - - - -

I only made a Pork Tenderloin Roast.
It was wrapped in a sealed Plastic bag.
So last night I slit the top and poured in Zesty Italian Dressing and covered it with Plastic.
Let it marinate overnight.

Tonight I browned the Tenderloins; in my Waterless Cooker, along with Potatoes and Carrots.
Put in a 1/2 cup of water and
Into the oven uncovered for about 40 min. Then covered for 10 minutes.
When the temp. reached 160 , I took the Meat out and baked the veggies for another 15 minutes.
It were goooooood !!! How Good ?

I died and went to Tenderloin Heaven.
Then came back to put in a picture.
not that great.

Sharon :
The male American Goldfinches are getting a little more Gold coloring .
In a few more weeks they will be all Gold.
The Red Headed Finches are starting to get more Red.
Bad Photo's

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 11:22PM
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Your pork looks great Lou, may make something with pork tenderloin for dinner but I'm also stuck on that Salisbury steak! It's a cold, windy, bleak day here so for sure dinner tonight will be some sort of comfort food.

Last night I made Jessy's Ricotta Gnocchi. They were so good! I've only made them with potato before but had a container of ricotta that needed to be dealt with. Thanks Jessy it's a keeper recipe.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 8:08AM
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I can't possibly talk about all the good looking food here. I haven't been on in a while but my family sure could have used a lot of these good looking comfort foods the last two weeks (sigh):) I will post on the conversations side.

I hope to join back in the group in a while but too much going on, but just wanted to comment on how good things look and I love that you all share your cooking with me.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 5:07PM
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Ann_T, I'll swap you cabbage rolls for some of that halibut or salisbury steak!

Everything looks so good. Chase, I'll have to try that Ricotta Gnocchi - looks delish!

Friday was a beautiful day, so for the first time in a long time, I wanted...no, I needed a salad. A big salad.

Just happened to have all the ingredients (a miracle in itself), so I made Crab Towers with a Lemon-Raspberry Vinaigrette - one of our favorite warm-weather meals.

Of course, yesterday was back to being cold and rainy, so we made a big pot of borscht and I baked a loaf of the 5 minute artisan bread. Another comfort meal.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 5:30PM
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Malna that salad looks so good! Meant to mention previously that you have me on a mission o make a bunch of cabbage rolls for the freezer. Maybe I'll do a cook-a-thon at the cottage next weekend.

Last night Clive had a yearning for pizza so I obliged. I used Lou's crust recipe again and was very pleased

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 9:53AM
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Lou, your pork tenderloin looks delicious.

Malna, sounds like a good deal for me.

Sharon, now that is one beautiful looking pizza.

I grilled a small Prime rib for the two of us Friday night and we had creamy vanilla bean rice pudding for dessert. I put the rice pudding on to cook as soon as I got home from work. I added a little white chocolate while it was still warm and then put it in the fridge to cool, while we ate dinner.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 11:29AM
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Your's looks better.

Glad you like the Pizza dough Recipe !!!!!


    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 1:04PM
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You just reminded me that I have to make some Prebaked
Pizza Dough.

Everyone is coming here for Easter Dinner, including my Grandson, who will be on leave.
He'll be bringing some Pizza Slices that he made, so I can Judge them.

They will be expecting Pizza for snacks.
Thanks for reminding me.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 1:46PM
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WFD? Well, today I simmered a brisket with some leeks and onions for a "New England Boiled beef" to serve with boiled potatoes and carrots, then got to work on a chicken caccitore. Since two meals were done, I gave Dad his choice and the chicken won. I served it with some gemilli pasta and we were stuffed. Boiled beef, better than that sounds is for tomorrow. Leftover beef and stock will morph into soup of some kind, either minastrone or barley for later this week.

Ann, I think the prime ribs will be for Easter dinner here. Your rice pudding has me craving for some more as I made some last week when the "girls" were here.

Annie, have you tried a very firm polenta, then fried, topped with cheese? I can't stand the soft one, it reminds me of cream of wheat or grits. The only grits I ever liked were Riverrats Gouda grits, made with smoked gouda. YUM!

Dixie, if you were only closer...I would give you a big hug and feed you.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 9:13PM
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Peppi, I certainly have some leftover "very firm" polenta, LOL, although I was thinking it needed to be more creamy. That's how Grandma always made cornmeal mush, very firm, then she sliced it and fried it and drizzled it with maple syrup. Since I made it with chicken stock and added asiago cheese and butter, I don't think it would take well to maple syrup, but I intend to fry it for Elery on Friday. Does it need a sauce, do you think, since there's cheese alread in it, or just more cheese?

So what's for supper? Thursday night I visited Makayla, who had the flu. By Friday, I had it. I drove to Elery's, feeling a little icky when I left and extremely sick by the time I got there. He had coconut shrimp waiting and that was definitely not a possibility. Elery made chicken noodle soup but I had just a ginger ale and slept for 12 hours, then felt fine.

Saturday we went to HomeGoods so I could look for some soup bowls, I just don't like those square deep ones from my set of dishes. I didn't find any, so we went to Whole Foods where I finally found whole wheat pastry flour and then to Trader Joe's where I picked up some triple ginger gingersnaps, some of the orange muscat champagne vinegar and a box of low fat almond granola. We went home and ate the coconut shrimp from Friday night, along with some couscous.

Sunday I felt great, and Elery had the flu. Yeah, what a good wife, we share everything. Poor guy, I left his house a few hours ago, stopped at Horrock's on the way home and bought sweet potatoes, pears, green beans, fresh beets, some Michigan cherry biscotti. I didn't bother with supper until I got home, when I had a bowl of the chicken noodle soup Elery had made on Friday. I left half with him, along with the rest of the gingerale, hopefully he'll be fine by tomorrow.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 10:58PM
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As always, great looking and sounding dinners on this thread....one of my faves to check out for sure. Real cooking has been hit or miss here. Yesterday was a cold, windy, nasty day so I made bean soup with a ham bone and chicken and dumplings.. not picture worthy...some baking too. Tonight was eggs benedict with hashbrowns...breakfast/brunch for dinner.


    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 10:59PM
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David, now that is a breakfast that both Moe and I would love for dinner.

I made Greek last night. Chicken Souvlaki with Greek Salad and rice.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 10:25AM
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Annie try that fried polenta topped with puttanesca sauce. What I call "puttanesca" is canned spaghetti sauce with capers and kalamatta olives thrown in. Can also add dash of hot peppers or peperonicci and chopped parsley and fresh basil. Closest thing to italian salsa! Then finish with a dollop of marscapone if you dare.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 5:52PM
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All these fancy foods !!!!!

I'm with you for the fast food thing.

Although, maybe I'd like some Souvlaki, either Pork Tenders or Chicken.

Tonight I made an Omelete, with Potatoes, Cooked Salami and
Used 3 Jumbo Eggs , fresh from a chicken.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 7:31PM
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It all looks very good as usual and I would really like some of Ann's rice pudding. I haven't made it for ages.
Lou I'm amazed at how many lovely birds you have coming to dine on your patio!

Today was a charity luncheon at a new little restaurant less than 5 minutes' walk away from home. We had been there once before. Wolf didn't want to go this time and since I had booked my reservation weeks ago I went alone and sat with lady friends. The food was just wonderful.
The young chef-owner has worked in the kitchen of some of the best hotels here on the island and is having success with his own business now.
It just so happens that this was going to be my next restaurant review writeup so I was taking notes as well as photos in preparation.

As it was a special event, we started off with a standup champagne greeting where crab on biscotti as well as tiny croquettes in orange ali-oli sauce were passed around.
Then we sat down for three delicious courses....described on the menu as:
1. Cod & caramelized onion on toasts with rocket leaves and bouquet salad with apple vinaigrette.

2. Fillet of cherne (fish) with saffron sauce and sauteed vegetables on a bed of risotto aromatized with macadamia.

2b. 2nd main course option: Charcoal grilled beef sirloin with bacon sauce, sauteed potatoes and fresh vegetables.

3. Dulce de leche in vanilla sauce from Bali, almond croquant and caramel strings.

This was washed down with several bottles of red and white wine placed down the tables.
Oh it was a great meal, and we paid just over $25 per person which included the portion going to the charity. It was a gourmet treat!

I chose the cherne fish in saffron sauce with risotto.

1, 2b, 3....and the young, very clever chef, Raul


    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 8:05PM
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All you have to do is put up a small feeder filled with Sunflower Seeds.

Mine attract all species of birds, Bears, Squirrels,
Flying Squirrels and Red Squirrels.
Mostly Birds.

The Bear hasn't been up the pole since I broke a broom over his head.

Get yourself a Bird Feeder !!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 10:40PM
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Lpink, that ain't never going to happen. I don't care for red sauce but I absolutely hate, despise and detest olives. LOL. I won't eat pepperoncini either....

I think I'll wait until this weekend and let Elery eat it. Maybe with red sauce, and he LOVES olives. (grin)

So, for supper I had pancakes and eggs.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 10:46PM
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OK, Ok, just throw some of your famous salsa on it girl!

Mental note: don't serve Annie olives . . . ever!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 10:23AM
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Lpink, Pasta Puttanesca is our favourite pasta dish. I made it just a while back, picture near the top of this thread. We love it!

Last night I took my girl friend out for her birthday dinner (and was sure to toast Linda and Stacy!). Went to a new restaurant in town. It's owned bu the same folk that own one of the best restaurants in Oakville but they bill this one as scaled down decor wise, dress wise, menu wise.....but they seemed to forget about the scale down part price wise!!! LOL Anyhow it was excellent. They serve everything Tapas style, very small portions meant to be shared.

We started with a wonderful cheese plate served with fresh bread as well as grilled bread and an olive oil/balsamic dip and a raspberry spread. Next was some delicious grilled shrimps with garlic and lime. Last was Gnocchi served with chorizo, hot peppers, and tomatoes ....so good!!! Desert was a collection of 4 mini desserts, a cheesecake, a flan, a pecan tart and a chocolate mousse.

All and all excellent ! I'd go back on a heartbeat but not with the men...they would be wondering where dinner was !! LOL

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 12:19PM
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Sounds like a wonderful dinner Sharon. Funny though isn't it, how they scale down the size but not the price.

I made Perogies yesterday and Moe had his on the side of a grilled rack of lamb and I just had perogies.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 3:01PM
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OMG Ann that is a major thud! I love perogies and those look unbelievably delicious!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 5:54PM
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Oh Ann that is just beautiful!


    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 10:12PM
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Chase I love puttanesca too. I Googled it to make sure I had the right term down, and I found out it means sauce "all tarted up" as they say in Great Britain. I make it with tuna. Will be a while before I get some more though, my fridge is full of food I don't have time to eat.

I haven't eaten a sit down meal since brunch, which was toast with cream cheese/blue cheese spread, reheated braised cabbage and apples, with a poached egg. I had better luck with my egg poaching after the advice I got here. BTW, how can you tell when blue cheese goes bad?

I had an oatmeal cookie and coffee for dinner.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 10:37PM
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Lpink , yes the name does come from the Italian word for "lady of the night"! Here's my recipe...it's even vegetarian....except maybe the anchovy!

Pasta Puttanesca

1 Lb spaghetti linguine or other thin pasta
2 Cans best grade Italian plum tomatoes
1/4 Cup best quality olive oil
1 Tsp oregano
1/8 Tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1/2 Cup black olives Sliced
1/4 Cup capers drained
4 garlic cloves minced
8 anchovy fillets chopped coarsely (or less)
1/2 Cup Italian parsley chopped

Drain the tomatoes and cut in half. Combine the tomatoes and olive oil in a skillet and bring to a boil. Keep the sauce at a boil and add all remaining ingredients except pasta, stirring as you add. Reduce heat and simmer until the sauce has reached a consistency you like.

Meanwhile bring 4 quarts salted water to the boil. Cook pasta until tender but still firm. Drain and toss with sauce. Serve immediately with fresh grated parmesan.

Last night I made a great beef dish. Clive was licking his plate! I made a red wine sauce by simmering red wine with chopped shallots, chopped garlic and chopped mushrooms. After it reduced by about half I strained the veggies out and added the sauce to an equal amount of my homemade brown sauce. I sauted some sliced mushrooms and slices of beef tenderloin. Served with spaghetti squash and broccoli. Clive had his over rice. Sorry the picture is so lousy.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 7:37AM
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Sharon, wonderful sounding restaurant and the food....wow!
I don't know about you, but my little newspaper writing gig is taking up more time than I thought it would. Then maybe I just spend too much time trying to figure out what to write about each week.

Ann, I'm drooling! Wish I had some of those perogies...awesome.

Chase, I am going to do something like your beef dish very soon. I plan on a couple of articles about morels soon and I like your inspiration dish.... :))

I have been cooking, some.

Corned beef boiled dinner (that I didn't get to in March)

Then there was Cornish Hens. Two different stuffings, one was wild rice and the other bread stuffing.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 3:50PM
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Lou I was admiring your colourful birds but honestly I don't need more quantity of the birds I already have visiting my bird feeder, which is a double tiered metal cake plate hung in a tree outside my computer room. Funny thing is they also like to walk into the living room via the patio door, walk over to the cat's dish of dry food, eat and then poop on the floor(!) then walk back outside. Mine are mostly blackbirds.

Annie pancakes and eggs is a wonderful comfort food! I bet yours was good. Just thinking about it makes me hungry.

Sharon your tapas dinner sounds great. That's my favourite way to eat out with friends.
And I bet anything would taste divine with your added homemade brown sauce. I always said I would make that one day but haven't done it yet.

Ann your perogies look wonderful.

LPink I also was wondering how you can tell when blue cheese is bad because Wolf was eating some last night that was pretty strong smelling. He said it was okay though.

Nancy I'm with you on that writing once a week takes more time than expected. Just today I had to return to the restaurant that I'm reviewing this weekend to take more interior photos and get the menu from the chef. I think I'll have to help him translate his menu into English as he must have done it with a computer translator.
Here are a couple of his main dishes as written in English:

"Salted of vegetables and prawns with sauced of soybeans and honey of the island of the palm." ....Here's another:

"Greek glass of foie and yogurt with electrical cloud."

Well I have tasted his food and would go back there any day for a special occasion meal as it's absolutely wonderful and he's such a pleasant young fellow that I want to help him out with translations. I bet Wolf could also brush up his German menu too so will offer his help.

Today we had baked salmon and veg in Marilyn's gourmet sauce.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 6:22PM
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Did I tell all you women , I hate you !!!
Unless you come and cook all that fancy food for me.

Nancy :
You actually used Stuffing. I thought I was the only one who did that.

All I had tonight was some Noodles Stroganoff.
Not much worth Posting but they were Gooooood !!!

You are supposed to use Wine with it, so I drank a Glass.
It's a fast food !!!

Sharon :
You surprised me !!! You won't get a Quantity of birds,
you will get Quality !

Try it with a very small cup, away from the Blackbirds.
You can always take it down.
I'm curious to see what kind of birds you can attract.

Why I really Posted was to put in a Photo of my Easter Cactus Flower for you.
Last Easter there were Blooms over the entire plant.

This year there were only a few , so far but this one was about 3 inches across.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 7:20PM
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Everything looks delicious!and pretty flowers!
Hope all of you who celebrate have a Happy Easter...

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 8:23PM
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I guess no one's cooking tonight. Tommorrow is the big day.

Had another lil ole Stuffed Roast Chicken 4 1/2 lbs.

Everyone came up today.
Grandson is on leave, will be here tommorrow, along with his sister.

We are getting the eggs ready for the Easter Egg Hunt tommorrow.
They still believe in the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause.
Or else they wouldn't get any gifts.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 10:08PM
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That's a lovely Christmas (Easter) cactus Lou and the stuffed chicken looks really good!
Okay I will buy some sunflower seeds and see what I can attract. At the moment I'm feeding them every kind of bird seed from the supermarket, including alpiste as well as dry cat food and bread crumbs. We do get little blue tits (photo below)sometimes and other wild small yellow birds.

Today I did my entry for the dried fruits challenge but sort of cheated as I wanted to use up some sun dried tomatoes that a friend gave me when she cleared out her kitchen befpre leaving for 3 months in England. So I made puff pastry filled with SD tomatoes which were rather nice as a snack before dinner.

No big Easter dinner here though as it's just the two of us and I hate having to deal with big hunks of meat leftover, so we had a teriyaki chicken and vegetable stir fry.
It was just right and a bit later we'll be having fresh strawberries and ice cream.
That's plenty for us as we don't eat large quantities much any more.

SharonCb (Tenerife Easter Pageant on blog link)

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 1:51PM
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Hello !!! anyone there.

I'm getting tired of rescueing this Post from the
rough seas. I'm not a great swimmer.

Sharon :
Glad you are trying the Sunflower Seeds !!!

That bird almost looks like the Goldfinch.

Here, they are turning more yellow every day.
When they are in full color I'll put in a Photo.

They did ID that as an Easter Cactus on the Garden Forum.

Hope someone cooks a meal soon.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 4:39PM
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Lol Lou. poor guy - always saving WFD from the next page.

I have to admit, I haven't been here for you...shame on me. But But but - I have been looking over all these gorgeous photos and reading the delish descriptions and wondering why I'm doing it to myself - LOL. Those pierogies just put me over the edge. I think I'm going to have to splurge and have some of those!!!! Ann, is it bacon and onions or just onions? with them?

chicken rollups - gnocchi - omg - everything looks so mouthwatering.

thanks for toasting my birthday and Linda's - Sharon. We ate at a nice Italian place in the city that day - Scott had some homemade pasta with wild boar, and I had luscious filet - Will had spaghetti but helped both of us with our meals...then we took him to see the Phantom of the Opera. It was a nice day (other than trying to go to Macy's which was absolute mayhem - I swear handbags were flying in the air...)

We also went to Anthony Bourdain's place in Soho - Les Halles - and Will had crispy duck leg confit with some kind of truffled fried potatoes...he's so good about trying new things.

he also got calamari for an appetizer there.

We stayed at the Waldorf+Astoria and had to order the Waldorf salad - it was good. I bought their cookbook - it's very nice.

After getting rained on badly at the Statue of Liberty, we promised Will that we'd get a cheese platter when we got back to our room - and relax while we dried off...$70 later...LOL.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 5:19PM
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Oh WOW Stace...you are looking very hot and my man Will is looking way to grown up! I can't believe a kid his age eating what he does, truly sophisticated!

We've been eating ham , ham and more ham......tonight it's ham.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 5:34PM
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Don't believe that !!!
You're both ugly. Better start eating the right foods.

Roflmao, Man I'm in trouble now.!!!

Truthfully: He don't look the same as in the Camping Pics.
Growed up a bit.
And he's eating Calamari. Whoa ! hey, yoah Will !

When we went to see the Lion King, I think we walked down 42nd st. from Broadway and ate at,
an Italian Basement Restaurant. The food was great!.

Sounds like you had a good time. Why isn't Scott in the picture.

On you way home, drop Will off.


    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 7:12PM
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Lou, I came back because I didn't want you to be lonely - but you have lots of company now. Thanks for continuing to rescue us from the dreaded page two.

We had Italian Easter Pie with a tomato, red pepper and cuke salad dressed with the Italian Dressing recipe that steelmagnolia posted just about a year ago. I add a little more vinegar and this time I added more Italian herbs because mine are beginning to lose flavor. We also had twice cooked fresh little green beans - steamed first and then browned quickly in hot olive oil with a little chopped onion and seasoned with salt and pepper and a the juice of a lemon.

Sadly no dessert, although I may stuff a little Nutella and a walnut half into a Medjool date.


    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 10:13PM
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Oops - forgot to thank Stacey for sharing the weekend get away with us. It all looks and sounds wonderful. Did the roomservice charge include drinks?

And I'm LOL at Sharon's account of ham, ham and ham.


    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 10:19PM
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Easter dinner was a venison sauerbraten with braised red cabbage and spatzle (if you're German/Austrian) or nokedli (if you're Hungarian). Unfortunately, our guests (son, DIL and GD) woke up Sunday morning with a stomach ick, so we've had sauerbraten, sauerbraten, sauerbraten...it was delicious (if I do say so myself) but I'm ready for chicken tonight!

I made homemade gingersnaps on Saturday for the sauerbraten gravy - a half recipe since DH doesn't eat sweets and I don't need the calories. They were gone by Sunday morning. After living with him for almost 20 years, I had NO idea he loves gingersnaps. He said his grandmother always made them for him for his after-school treat. Guess you're never too old to find out something new about your partner!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 6:37PM
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Ok, to help keep this on page one, Easter dinner was a simple one of roast pork loin, fresh white asparagus, potato dumplings and gravy. For dessert I made a strawberry tart with almond cream filling.

And since dad has left for Germany/Italy for 3 weeks, I can eat what I want, when I want or not cook at all. I love the guy, but this is a bit of a vacation for me. So dinner last night was grilled lamb chops with rice pilaf and tonight was a pan seared wild salmon, raosted fingerlings and brussel sprouts. No sweets to follow as we had a "food day" at work. Of course, everything was store bought except for the salsa I brought.

Stacy, when did Will grow up?

Malna, I love sauerbraten and never thought to use venison for it.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 10:53PM
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This thread is so inspiring! I love to read through early morning with my coffee. I'm set for dinner tonight...just need to make it to the store. Today is a Maggie day! We pick her up after nap and have her for the rest of the day until Mom gets off work. Then I cook for DD, Maggie and SIL every Thursday so I come here for ideas.

Thanks for keeping this thread going.

We have been eating alot of leftovers lately. We've not cooked any picture worthy food either. I need to get busy and contribute to this awesome thread instead of gleening all the time. lol!

Stacy, looks like you guys had a great time. I remember the days when the kids thought it was cool to order room service. Now, we all can't wait to get up and "go" eat. Will is adorable and quite the grown up young man. Boy, time is going by fast.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 9:00AM
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Stacy, you and Will are just awesome! I hope you enjoyed Phantom - I think it is awesome too.

We've been away in Florida for a month and I had no computer down there - that was a big snafu in our rental arrangements and I learned that I really don't like life without the internet. I talked with Cathy/Mustangs but we were not able to get together, there's always next year! I am still playing catch-up back home but at least spring has sprung here in NJ and things are bright and green and lots of yellow, purple and pink abound.

Food? What's for dinner? Well, not a lot of great cooking going on in my kitchen lately but we did have rack of lamb for Easter dinner and I have recently made some chicken with dumplings and sausage marinara and Pat T's idiot pork chops and a favorite chicken balsamic with thyme that was wonderful as always. In our rented Florida condo I whipped up a Sandra Lee semi homemade ravioli lasagna that takes 5 minutes of prep time, feeds 6-8 people and was really so good I would make it again even if I had more time and wasn't on vacation!

Its nice to be back and reading WFD again for the usual great photos and inspiration.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 10:08AM
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Thank you Lou for helping to keep us on page one! You are a busy man what with all that cooking, feeding and taking bird pics.
I haven't been cooking much but have tons of bird pics now LOL.

Stacy I still have one of the first photos you posted of Will together with you and your mother. He has grown so much since then! And what an adventurous palate he has....my younger granddaughter runs away when she sees calamari or shrimp....and still calls them 'ugly bugs'. Sigh, and her dad's a chef too.

Lee your Easter Italian dinner sounds wonderful, and I still have to say how good it is to see you back posting here again.

Malna we love sauerbraten and spaetzle but I've never made it myself as we have an Austrian restaurant so very close to where we live and they do that dish every Tuesday, so we just go there when we have a craving. But haven't had venison since I lived in Canada. I bet yours was good.

Peppi we love the German white asparagus. (Do you have yours with a bowl of melted butter?) But here it's brought down from Germany and costs the earth so I buy green. Nice you can fix just what you want to eat for a while.

Karen lucky you to have your Maggie for an afternoon!

Woodie...rack of lamb sounds like a perfect Easter dinner!

Well yesterday I made pancakes with turkey/chicken sausages and eggs. Good but not worth taking pics of it. The day before we went to a little outdoor terrace restaurant in the neighbourhood as I'm writing my next review about it, as part of a list of inexpensive places to eat out in this area.

So I'll show what we had: Wolf chose schnitzel in pepper sauce with salad and chips, I had a salad and spaghetti carbonara and a small mousse-type dessert from the island of La Palma called 'Prince Albert' which has a cake underneath mousse topped with croquant nuts. I have the recipe from the local government cookbook of island recipes so will make it one day and post pics and recipe.

Garden today has been exhuberant....bursting all over with everything including sunshine.
Lunch was roast pork, salad and wrinkled salt potatoes from the corner deli.
I cooked fish a couple of days ago.

(These photos will click to enlarge.)


    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 12:53PM
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oh NO!!! I made a mess - changing things around in photobucket!!! I'm sorry! I will try to figure it out and fix.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 3:05PM
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there I fixed it. Thank you - I know - he has gotten so big! Still a very fun and silly little boy, though...:-)

No, Lee - no drinks! just the cheeseplatter and crackers...sigh.

Tonight Scott and I are grilling mahi mahi and Will is having some bbq'd chicken drumsticks. With Sue's roadhouse rib sauce. he loves that stuff!

Lou, you are so naughty - always stirring the pot aren't you? :-)

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 4:44PM
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Sharon, I wold love to get my hands on the German white, but we never have seen it here in the states. This batch came from Peru and was very nice. The Mexican and Chinese has a very matalic taste to me.

One of my fondest memories of Mom and my great Aunt was a trip to Holland, along the Maas River for an asparagus feast. From soup to 3 other courses, all with the white. Then after dinner drinks on a veranda. Sigh...

Of course there was butter!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 9:40PM
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Peppi, maybe that's why I bought the white asparagus here once and thought "eh, that's over rated". I'm sure it came from Mexico and it tasted bland with a kind of metallic overtone. I'm hoarding that jar you gave me until I decide something appropriate to make with it, and then I'll probably love it and won't be able to buy it, LOL.

Stacy, Will is nearly as big as you are. Dang, I hate it when our kids outgrow us! Sigh. Still, it sounds like a very fun time and Elery and I loved Phantom of the Opera when we saw it in Chicago.

Woodie, welcome back!

SharonCB, your meals look delicious but those flowers are absolutely gorgeous.

I'm going to try to help Lou and keep this on page one, LOL. Last night I had eggs and home fries. For lunch today I had leftover turkey and a box of frozen brussels sprouts. The night before last I had potato soup and on Tuesday Elery made crab rangoon and some fried rice.

Easter was something else entirely and I'll post pictures as soon as I get a minute off from fence mending!


    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 1:46PM
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I know Annie, but I'm 5'7" The kids huge! LOL.

All this cooking expertise that you all have given me - is making him grow like a weed. :-)

The mahi mahi was really good. I marinated briefly in light soy sauce, ginger, honey (i think that's all) and then grilled it. Served with a nice salad with sliced strawberries.

tonight since it is gorgeous here - I ground up some beef and we are having some nice big hamburgers cooked on the charcoal grill.....mmmmmmm...probably also a spinach salad.

I've got to take some pics too - other than just when we're on vacation - LOL..I will try to remember tonight.

Looking forward to your Easter pics Annie.

Sharon and peppi, I've seen the white asparagus here, but never gotten it. I have no clue where it's from! I never thought it would make a difference. I'll have to check.

Oh and yes Will (well, all of us) LOVED the Phantom. I want to go back to see Desire Under the Elms while it is on. I read that in college. We ordered the DVD with Sophia Loren and Anthony Perkins. Maybe we'll watch it tonight. But I love Brian Dennehy (spelling) and he is in the stage version playing now, I think, in NYC. But I don't think Will can go to that!


    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 2:09PM
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Stacy, I'm 5'2", just think how quickly my kids outgrew me, LOL. In fact, most of the 3rd graders are taller than me right now. (grin)

The shows sound very nice. I'm thinking I might take Bud and Makayla to see Dora the Explorer on stage, does that count?


    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 3:11PM
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Stacy, I sure hope the cheese on the pricey platter was wonderful!

Thanks Sharon, even though I still have a long way to go, it is good to be cooking and posting some.

Tonight we had pan seared and oven finished Chilean sea bass with a little purchased lemon wasabi sauce. The sauce tasted as though it had a mayonnaise base - I think I can duplicate it when we finish the jar. We also had sliced Roma tomatoes, steamed green beans and some leftover wild/brown rice pilaf. I've only purchased sea bass twice in the last several years since Whole Foods has advertised that they buy only from a fishery that is certified as sustainable to the standard of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). It was delicious.

Our weather switched between rain and snow all day and it is supposed to snow until tomorrow afternoon. Some of the nearby foothills towns have more than 30 inches. Even though we had precipitation all day, we only have about six inches on the grass because of the rain and because the snow was so heavy it compacted. Ahh, Springtime in the Rockies! I think we get back to the 70's by Tuesday.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 11:34PM
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Stacy, I love that photo of Will eating calamari.

So many wonderful dinners. Lou, I always love your chicken dinners.

SharonCB. You post the cutest bird pictures. I really like how you are arranging your photos.

Lee, nice to see you here. I heard the weather report for your area. Hope you don't get as much snow as called for.

Here are a few of our meals the last week or so.

Chicken Parmesan and Pasta

Easter Dinner

Escargot in a cream sauce under Puff Pastry

Blackberry Turnovers

Roast Chicken Dinners

Prawn and Avocado Salad

Chicken Pot Pie with a double Crust

And last night's dinner - Greek Ribs

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 2:07AM
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Stacy I still haven't tried Sue's roadhouse sauce and I must do that the next time I find ribs here. It sounds like a winner and has been popular for a long time here on the forum.

Peppi I had a real feed of white asparagus from Germany here once in a German restaurant. I can see why they talk about it so much. It was really good, and served in a typical manner together with boiled potatoes, ham, hard cooked eggs and a whole bowl of melted butter...ohhh!

Thank you Ann...the birds are now so used to my window feeder and the babies are no longer afraid to get close that they come three and four at a time now. Your week's dinners look delicious, especially that roast chicken with cream gravy!

Last night was a ladies' night out for a Chinese dinner in my neighbourhood. I went with three girlfriends and we sat and ate and talked, drank wine and talked some more until 11 pm.
It's so nice to get together with friends in person rather than on the internet for a change LOL.

Today I made a Salade Nicoise....and it turned out very well. I made too much but we kept refilling our plates and Wolf ended up licking the salad servers because the dressing was so good. I usually follow Delia's recipe as well as for the vinaigrette herb dressing, using mint, parsley, thyme and chives. It's so refreshing and tasty.

I put the dressing into a little empty spice bottle and it was just right as a dispenser.

Tomorrow I'll be making pesto again. Wolf says he could eat it once a week, it's so good.
I've planted basil again but at the moment I have to buy fresh basil at the supermarket as mine isn't ready to pick yet.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 6:08PM
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First of all, I can't believe I'm actually posting on this thread. You all are such fabulous cooks and the pictures of your food look like they've been done by a food stylist. I don't do cameras so there won't be pictures.

I grew up in a very rural area of E. Tenn. and if there were 3 meals a day they were breakfast , dinner and supper. Somewhere along the line dinner moved to the evening meal to be replaced by lunch and supper "went away". I liked supper. There's just something about the term that has warmth that I don't get with dinner. Anyhow, tonight we had a SUPPER, a prelude to summer meal. We were in NC for a few days and stopped at the Asheville Farmer's market on the way home so tonight we had a summer veggie meal. Boiled corn on the cob with chive butter, fresh green beans, fried okra and corn muffins. That's it....but it was so good and will be repeated often but with homegrown tomatoes, cucumbers and cantalope added as they come in season.
Southern eating......yum yum.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 9:17PM
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Made a few things today,for the freezer.
Prebaked Pizza, Pita's, Pizzelles, Biscotti & Cheese Cake.

Had Curly Noodles with Spaghetti Sauce and Sausage, tonite.
All gone , No Photo's, No Biggie.

Sharon :
The Birds are going into their full Color.
Couldn't get a clear shot thru the window ( fuzzy )

The American Goldfinches are turning Golder and the Purple Finches ae turning " Purpilier "

PS: You said you were going to try my Ribs too !!!

Wish I had all that publicity !!!
BUT !!! there were a few members who liked them.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 12:40AM
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Jude, I grew up just outside of Toronto (Ontario, Canada) and we also had breakfast, dinner and supper. Although I use the word dinner, it has just become a habit over the years, I like the word "supper" too. It will be many months before we get locally grown corn. My favourite time of the year. Moe and I will make a meal out of just corn. No sides.

Lou, you have been a busy boy. What a great bird feeder.


    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 7:06PM
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Like Ann T, I grew up with breakfast, dinner and supper. Dinner was the big meal, probably because the family worked the farm so we had a big breakfast as soon as the sun came up, worked until noon or one when we had a big and substantial meal, and then kind of wound down for supper around five or 6. Work was mostly done by supper time, so we didn't need the "fuel" that we got at breakfast and dinner.

I think it may be a regional thing, I grew up here in Michigan, as did my father, but my grandfather was from Buckhorn, a bit north and east of Toronto.

So, what's for supper? Scrambled eggs, but breakfast is much more interesting today. I made breakfast for my support staff in honor of Administrative Professional's Day, which is actually tomorrow. I made homemade cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting, Ann T's blueberry muffins, Woodie's Creme Brulee French Toast, hash browns, some red pepper and onion quiche, fresh fruit salad, bacon, sausage, orange juice and coffee. That oughta keep 'em happy and full for a while.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 9:53AM
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Annie, I wish I worked at your office. I'd love one of your cinnamon rolls with my morning coffee.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 10:35AM
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Last night we had stuffed bell peppers made with ground turkey and black beans. Can't wait until we have fresh bells from the garden again!
I added a link below if you're interested in the recipe :)

Here is a link that might be useful: wanna be country girl ~ Stuffed peppers

This post was edited by wbcountrygirl on Fri, Jan 24, 14 at 11:40

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 8:55AM
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Welcome to the Cooking Forum Wbcountrygirl.

That is a fine looking stuffed pepper. Nice photo too.

Hope to see more of your cooking on the Cooking Forum.


    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 11:07PM
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since our kitchen will be torn apart for about a year (we're remodeling it) we'll be eating not so well for that time but when everything's finished,we'll be ready for some of the yummy things we've seen in this post,so all recipes will be gladly received!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 1:24PM
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