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What's for dinner #360: Time to shake off the dross and get busy. [through April 22, 2015]

Had a nice relaxing weekend, with a tiny bit of cooking, prior to my heading out last night for my business trip to Seattle. Friday was an absolutely gorgeous day, so we did a quick dinner of mushroom burgers and salad, then headed to our fave outdoor watering hole for beverages and people watching - our Friday night nice weather tradition!

Saturday was yardwork and housework - so we did an easy dinner of BLSL chicken breasts marinated in SoyVey marinade, then skewered and grilled. Grilled veggie skewers of summer squach, zucchini, mushrooms, pepper and onion all over brown rice. Boodles and tonic with lots of lime. So good and summery! And pretty health - which justified the nachos we made for movie watching!

Not sure WFD, but I'm hoping to suss out some good seafood - it's the only redeeming thing about this business trip! Oh, and the wine!

What's for dinner #360: Time to shake off the dross and get busy. [through April 22, 2015]

Ohhhhhh - that is just lovely! Both the view and the nibbles. So enjoying living vicariously through your pics and words. Glad Deb is feeling better!

What's for dinner #360: Time to shake off the dross and get busy. [through April 22, 2015]

Gosh that looks good and SO emotionally satsifying!

Apr 16, 2015
iowagirl in Home Cooking
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What's for dinner #360: Time to shake off the dross and get busy. [through April 22, 2015]

Ugh - I hate those coughing fits, LW!! Feels like you can't breathe and a constant irritation/tickle back there. Hope today is better - tea and honey if not!!

Apr 16, 2015
iowagirl in Home Cooking

What's for dinner #360: Time to shake off the dross and get busy. [through April 22, 2015]

April has been and continues to be a hectic month for us - EJ's new job, crazy stuff with my job, travel for work and fun ... not much time for cooking, so it's been lots of freezer and pantry meals. Tonight we are going for EJ's fave comfort food - breaded chicken breasts and pasta with creamy pesto. Green salad on the side, halved cherry tomatoes for me to add to my pasta and sauce. Wine and the first Blackhawks vs. Predators hockey game.

What's for Dinner #358 - The Easter/Passover Edition! [through April 7, 2015]

What a perfect way to celebrate ANY holiday!!

Apr 03, 2015
iowagirl in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #358 - The Easter/Passover Edition! [through April 7, 2015]

We are heading into Chicago to celebrate Passover with my MIL. That means matzoh ball soup, turkey and brisket, kishke, matzoh farfalle and very overcooked asparagus. It's always the same meal. At least she now lets me pick up Kosher for Passover wine at Trader Joe's so that we do not have to drink the white zin she usually buys! My favorite part is dessert - MIL is not the most adventurous cook, but she is a fablulous baker and I absolutely LOVE her macaroons!!! And this holiday is really all about celebrating with family - it's my fave Jewish holiday!

What's For Dinner #357 - the Out Like A Lamb Edition [Through April 2, 2015]

My goodness! Miss a few days and you miss everything! Ntw - so sorry to hear about your health scare, JT - sounds like you are on the slow road to recovery, but you HAVE to do something about that scary stuff they call food!

Despite the stress of the last few days (issue still not resolved, but at least it seems to be moving in the right direction) EJ and I have been eating well! Saturday night we made a sublime dinner of flank steak with red wine shallot sauce from the Food & Wine issue this month. It came out really, really well. Garlic mashed and steamed peas (per EJ's request) on the side. And we gilded the lily a bit by adding some blue cheese crumbles to the steak. A lovely French red on the side.

Tonight we'll be having the leftover chicken and peppers (with olives, red wine and herbes de Provence) from last night, while I get ready for my parents' visit next weekend. Why am I doing that now, you might ask? Well, we are heading into Chicago to spend Passover with my MIL this weekend, then I leave for a business trip on Monday, back on Thursday which is when my parents arrive. Soooo - not much time in between.

Stay healthy and eating well, everyone!

What's for Dinner #356 - The Tail End of March Edition! [through March 30, 2015]

So after an incredibly stressful day yesterday, jerk chicken quesadillas did not sound emotionally satisfying enough. So they turned into nachos instead. Chips spread out on a baking sheet, topped with cheese, then the chicken, onion, pepper mix and broiled until melty. Avocado, salsa and sour cream on top. A very large rum and diet Coke alongside.

Tonight will be turkey burgers with feta, kalamatas and oregano mixed in with the ground turkey. Topped with roasted red peppers and green onions. Fries and EJ has requested steamed peas. So that's WFD - more rum for sure. Hopefully a less stressful weekend, although I'm still waiting on a resolution to the very shocking discovery I made yesterday. Fingers crossed for the "right" outcome.

What's for Dinner #356 - The Tail End of March Edition! [through March 30, 2015]

Had a nice visit with the SD last night - got to hear all about her spring break trip to Florida. Well, maybe not ALL about it. :) And she inhaled the ma po tofu and I sent her home with some frozen stuff - which makes us both happy!

After she went back to the dorm, I sauteed up some peppers and onions which I added to the (chopped) leftover jerk chicken. That will be stuffed into tortillas with some cheese for jerk chicken quesadillas. Fusion dinner! Will serve them with avocado, sour cream and salsa. Easy dinner for after tai chi and yoga and while watching basketball!

What's for Dinner #356 - The Tail End of March Edition! [through March 30, 2015]

SD texted yesterday and is sick of dorm food - so she's coming for dinner tonight. She requested ma po tofu and eggrolls. So that's WFD. I bought a bunch of fresh strawberries, so thinking I'll do shortcake for dessert. Easy and quick so she can get back to the dorm and study! :)

What's for Dinner #356 - The Tail End of March Edition! [through March 30, 2015]

Mazel Tov on your birthday, jpr! And good luck with the soup and fish!

Mar 24, 2015
iowagirl in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #355 - The SPRING Edition! [Through March 24, 2015 ]

Last nights jerk chicken was really good - and the potatoes and green beans were the perfect complement. One of our favorite simple dinners! I made a rum cream fudge cake for dessert (in staying with the Jamaica theme!).

Tonight is tai chi (EJ) and yoga (me) so it's an easy dinner of frozen spinach and ricotta ravioli's, tossed with pesto. Green salad on the side. And wine.

What's for Dinner #355 - The SPRING Edition! [Through March 24, 2015 ]

Oh no! Not a good way to usher in spring! Hope you're back at it again soon!!

Mar 24, 2015
iowagirl in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #355 - The SPRING Edition! [Through March 24, 2015 ]

Nice save!!! Looks wonderful!

Mar 24, 2015
iowagirl in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #355 - The SPRING Edition! [Through March 24, 2015 ]

After a fun weekend of celebrating EJ's new job with friends (last night we were treated to New Orleans style BBQ shrimp with lots of good bread, a wonderful salad of oranges, cucumber and fennel and a fresh fruit tart), we woke up to about 1/4 inch of snow, sleet and icy stuff. Did someone forget to tell Mother Nature that it's officially spring?

So in an effort to thumb our noses at winter's last gasp, we're doing jerk chicken, roasted new potatoes and sauteed green beans with garlic and lemon tonight. So there.

What's for Dinner #355 - The SPRING Edition! [Through March 24, 2015 ]

Oh no, Tcamp! Hope you are well on the road to recovery!

Mar 23, 2015
iowagirl in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #355 - The SPRING Edition! [Through March 24, 2015 ]

Looks delicious and pretty! Good vibes on the job prospect!!

Mar 23, 2015
iowagirl in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #355 - The SPRING Edition! [Through March 24, 2015 ]

Happy, Happy to the man - and have a great weekend of celebrating!

Mar 20, 2015
iowagirl in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #355 - The SPRING Edition! [Through March 24, 2015 ]

Last night was takeout pizza as EJ and I tried to watch March Madness and instead stressed over his job interview this morning. Tonight - we celebrate because he got the job!!! Not sure what that entails, but I've thrown out a couple of his faves as possibilities: Steak and blue cheese, Paul Prudhomme's smoked gouda chicken, our riff on choripollo (cheesy chorizo and chicken wrapped in tortillas). Huh, looking at that list, it's apparent that his favorite food is cheese! There will be libations! Happy Weekend to all!

What's for Dinner #354: The Green(ing) Edition [through March 20, 2015

Tonight we're going to use up the rest of yesterday's fresh bread to make the Tuscan white bean and tuna sandwiches from epicurious. One of our fave sandwiches - EJ loves it even though there's no mayo, which is sacrilege in his mind when it comes to tuna! I think I'll do some roasted sweet potato wedges on the side - something warm sounds better than just chips! Guinness to drink, Blackhawks on the tube.

What's for Dinner #354: The Green(ing) Edition [through March 20, 2015

We're still recovering from vacation and this is a pretty crazy work week for both EJ and I so tonight is TJ's butternut squash soup, which I'll heat with an habanero in it. Garlic sourdough toast on the side. Easy, tasty and sorta healthy!

We did eat loads of good jerk, curry and rice n' peas in Jamaica last week though! And a wonderful escovitch fish at our favorite beach bar. Sigh - wish I was still there!

Your most cherished food memories...

My Dad just takes regular old chicken and grills it until it's almost done, then starts slathering it with Big Daddy's (has to be Big Daddy's) BBQ sauce. The sauce and skin gets all crispy and charred. No one else in my family feels the same way about it, but I honestly just love it. And he is sweet enough to still stand outside in the 100 degree Kansas City heat and humidity to make it for me. And in the recipe book my Mom created for me and my sister, the entry for BBQ chicken reads simply: Fire up the grill. Call Dad.

And popcorn for Sunday dinner was a family tradition. We'd have our main meal of the day midday - usually fried chicken or pot roast or pork roast - and then Mom could take a break for dinner. And the apples made it healthy, right? It was always brought downstairs in a huge, yellow popcorn bowl on a big wooden tray along with four smaller bowls, that we could all fill as many times as we wanted.

Mar 17, 2015
iowagirl in General Topics

Your most cherished food memories...

I absolutely love this thread - so many of my childhood memories are about food and the people I love!

My Dad's bbq chicken - still my absolute all time favorite meal. No one makes it like he does and it truly tastes like love to me!

Sunday night dinner was always popcorn (stove-popped, of course) and for a real treat, usually around holidays, we had real butter on top. Watching Wild Kingdom with a big bowl of popcorn and fresh apple slices and my one weekly Coke.

My paternal grandma's kolaches - poppy seed for me and my dad, cherry for mom and sister.

Eating dinner with my paternal grandpa every Wednesday night for a couple of years after my grandma passed away. We lived in the same town and it was our date night. In the beginning, he would make dinner for me - which was always an adventure. Asparagus omelets and bratwurst pizza are two that stand out, but then as he got older I started bringing in food for us (he liked to eat at 5 and I worked until then so my cooking for him was pretty tough). We would eat and talk for hours. And we always had butter pecan ice cream for dessert.

Traveling to Canada (from Iowa) with my maternal grandpa when I was 10 to stay with him and my grandma in their summer cabin. We stopped at a supper club on the way and I remember that tiered relish tray, the popovers that seemed like magic and the best steak ever - and my grandpa being so proud that I hate the whole thing!

What's for Dinner #352: the pre-Daylight Savings Time 2015 Edition [through Mar 8, 2015]

So last night's General Tso's Tofu was ... ok. I really, really liked the texture and flavor of the tofu - marinating, tossing with a bit of cornstarch, and baking is a really great way of getting that crispy/chewy texture. The sauce was bland though - EJ thought it was missing some of the sweet flavor that is typical of General Tso's and I think it needed more garlic, ginger and chili paste. Will definitely try this again and make some tweaks. It was good enough that EJ did eat all of his broccoli though!

We leave at o dark thirty tomorrow morning, so tonight is clean out the fridge night. Our choices are leftover pasta, leftover tofu and salad. We won't go hungry and tomorrow night will be jerk chicken on the beach!! Rice and peas and cabbage salad on the side and lots of rum!

What's for Dinner #352: the pre-Daylight Savings Time 2015 Edition [through Mar 8, 2015]

We are trying to clean out the fridge for vacation next week, so last night was freezer gloop - that turned out to be tomato sauce. I sauteed some Aidell's mystery sausage - also from the freezer - some peppers, onions and garlic and added the sauce. Threw in some oregano, basil and parm rinds and let it simmer while I marinated some tofu for tonight's dinner and the pasta cooked. The last sub roll was turned into garlic bread and the last chunk of mozzarella was grated over top. Not bad for a cobbled together dinner!

Tonight I'm trying a recipe from Vegetarian Times, General Tso's Tofu. The tofu is marinating in mirin, rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger and garlic and will be sprinkled with cornstarch and baked till crispy on the outside. Then tossed with a sauce made up of more mirin, rice wine, sesame oil, sambal oelek, ginger, garlic, tomato paste and veggie broth, thickened with more cornstarch. Steamed broccoli and brown rice. Healthy, pre-vacation food - that I hope also tastes good!

What's for Dinner #351: the Wishing & Hoping Edition [through Mar 2, 2015]

EJ had a hankering for Chicago style pizza last night, and since we have no viable options within a 3 hour drive, I looked up recipes and found one for Lou Malnati's. Sooooo - we made the dough, grated the cheese, pre-cooked the sausage just a bit and added some oregano and garlic to the diced fire roasted tomatoes. It was actually pretty spot on - and with a few tweaks will be perfect! We need to let the dough rest longer, get better flavored sausage, and add a bit more seasoning to the tomatoes. The dough recipe made enough for two pizzas (we halved the recipe) so there is another try in our near future - may try pepperoni this time. At any rate, it was a ton of fun, and pretty successful for a first try!

Not sure about tonight, as EJ may be in trial tomorrow and if that's the case, he'll be working and will just grab something quick for dinner. Otherwise, I'm craving Asian or Mexican - need something spicy to counteract the NEXT snow, ice and cold coming through. It is March, right? Right?!

What's for Dinner #351: the Wishing & Hoping Edition [through Mar 2, 2015]

Oh no, nothingswrong! I hope that this ends up being a minor setback for you! Sending happy, good vibes your way. And the chicken parm does look pretty darn good!

Mar 02, 2015
iowagirl in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #351: the Wishing & Hoping Edition [through Mar 2, 2015]

So EJ decided that since our Italian subs on Tuesday were so tasty and emotionally satisfying, we needed to reprise that meal. And since he is going through some job angst, I'm letting him pick what sounds good to him. Plus, it was super easy! And tonight we're heading out to our fave watering hole for some live music and will most likely eat there. So the salmon will wait for tomorrow - we're spending the day prepping for our vacation next week, so a nice dinner (with wine!) will be the perfect end to a busy day!

What's for Dinner #351: the Wishing & Hoping Edition [through Mar 2, 2015]

Wishing and hoping you have a perfectly spectacular March - you (and your East Coast brethren) have definitely earned it!