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What's for Dinner #314 - Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon Edition

Moving this post from the previous thread.

After another meat and white carb heavy weekend (lox and bagels is still such a treat and makes such a great breakfast) in Chicago - pizza, hot dogs, a surprisingly decent and reasonably priced lunch at the American Girl store, and a chain dinner with the family at the Claim Company (where my 6 yo niece devoured an entire medium rare sirloin with homemade chips - I'm so proud) - we need veggies tonight.

Going to grill peppers, squash, onions, mushrooms and eggplant, toss it in some chili garlic paste and serve over brown rice. Scattered with some of the Thai basil from the pot on the deck. I may be able to convince EJ that a G&T is also good "cleanse" food.

Jul 21, 2014
iowagirl in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #313 - There's a Summer Place Edition! [through July 21, 2014]

After another meat and white carb heavy weekend (lox and bagels is still such a treat and makes such a great breakfast) in Chicago - pizza, hot dogs, a surprisingly decent and reasonably priced lunch at the American Girl store, and a chain dinner with the family at the Claim Company (where my 6 yo niece devoured an entire medium rare sirloin with homemade chips - I'm so proud) - we need veggies tonight.

Going to grill peppers, squash, onions, mushrooms and eggplant, toss it in some chili garlic paste and serve over brown rice. I may convince EJ that a G&T is also good "cleanse" food.

Jul 21, 2014
iowagirl in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #313 - There's a Summer Place Edition! [through July 21, 2014]

Happy anniversary!!! Good luck with Wegmans and finding something delicious for the celebration!

Jul 21, 2014
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What's for Dinner #313 - There's a Summer Place Edition! [through July 21, 2014]

My summer place is the town I grew up in - long lazy days at the community pool (and then when we were older, in our backyard pool), family bike rides to Kone Korner for their homemade softserve of the day (peach and lemon were my faves!), softball practice and games with treats at the Tastee Freeze after, my Dad's BBQ chicken, mom's potato salad ... ahhhhhh summer!

We are taking my 6 yo niece into Chicago this weekend to the American Girl store for the show and lunch. We'll also let her pick one of the other museums to see - she's leaning toward the planetarium. Also plan to introduce her to Chicago pizza, hot dogs, corned beef and Walker Brother's Original Pancake House! So excited!! And hungry!

Jul 17, 2014
iowagirl in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #312 - the July Super Moon Edition [through July 17, 2014]

Last night's grilled veggie quesadillas were tasty, but poor EJ lost his train of thought for a second and grabbed the grill pan with is bare hand. Poor guy - I promptly pressed a fres G&T in his hand - the cool glass would help the sting, right?!

Tonight will be grilled TJ's chicken pesto sausages with grilled peppers and onions on a bun with some provolone. We have one CSA tomato left, so I'll cut it up with the rest of the cucumber and dress it with basil, olive oil, salt and pepper. Easy summer dinner - even if it is unseasonably cool here this week!! I miss my heat and humidity!!!

Jul 15, 2014
iowagirl in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #312 - the July Super Moon Edition [through July 17, 2014]

That sounds like the perfect dinner and the perfect evening!!

Jul 15, 2014
iowagirl in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #312 - the July Super Moon Edition [through July 17, 2014]

Corn on the cob! :)

Jul 14, 2014
iowagirl in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #312 - the July Super Moon Edition [through July 17, 2014]

I know! Other than my BBQ chicken dinner, he ate MUCH better than me this weekend. We are taking my oldest niece (6) into Chicago this weekend, so I'll do my own pizza and meat tour!

Jul 14, 2014
iowagirl in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #312 - the July Super Moon Edition [through July 17, 2014]

Weekend visiting my family in KC and Mom and Dad made my favorite summer dinner Saturday night. My Dad's BBQ chicken (nothing tastes like his!) Mom's garlic bread, potato salad and cukes and onions. Sun tea with lots of lemon. Her strawberry pie for dessert. Delicious nostalgia and perfect company! I ate the leftovers last night when I got home.

EJ spent the weekend in Chicago eating gyros, Walker Brothers, Gino's East, and Italian beef and a polish at the ball game. He says he's still full. So tonight we're doing grilled veggie and black bean quesadillas with homemade guac. A little lighter and no meat!

Jul 14, 2014
iowagirl in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #311 - the Relax, Kick Back, and Enjoy Summer Edition [through July 11, 2014]

After a very meat heavy long weekend (cured meats, smoked ribs and sausages on the 4th and burgers last night) we're doing veggies tonight. Picked up some baby zucchini and summer squash at the farmer's market this weekend so will chunk that up with some bell peppers, mushrooms and onion. Into the grill pan and onto the grill. When done, I'll throw in a few dollops of chili garlic sauce and some Thai basil from the pot on the porch. Served on top of brown rice. The rest of the bag of cherries for dessert.

Jul 07, 2014
iowagirl in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #310 - The Yankee Doodle Dandy 4th of July Edition! [through July 6, 2014]

Well, the tempeh kebabs just didn't happen last night. I went home and mowed, then EJ and i went to the store to get some things we need for our bbq tomorrow. We saw the Hebrew National hot dogs, and all thoughts of tempeh flew away! So it was grilled hot dogs, with onion, yellow mustard and jalapenos. Macaroni salad, Cheetos (the white cheddar "healthy ones") and beer - really hit the spot!

Not sure about tonight - it's Jazz Fest downtown this weekend, so we may go listen and find something at "culinary row."

Tomorrow we are going fairly traditional 4th - smoking ribs and sausage, baked beans, slaw (i am using a recipe from the 4th of July salads thread here) and potato salad. A lemon blueberry cake for dessert.

Since we were in Italy this time last year, and the friend that went with us will be celebrating with us tomorrow, I'm doing an Italian inspired antipasta plate for nibbles while we wait. Popone and prosciutto, roasted pepper, marinated artichokes and mozzarella balls and a selection of meats and cheese. Should be a fun way to "remember where we were last year at this time!?"

Happy fourth to everyone!!!

Jul 03, 2014
iowagirl in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #310 - The Yankee Doodle Dandy 4th of July Edition! [through July 6, 2014]

Oh Allie, so so sorry about Sam. Knowing the decision and timing was right does not make it any easier (we lost our golden - the one in my avatar a year ago). Enjoy your filet tonight and have a wonderful, healing trip to Prague with Pap!!

Jul 02, 2014
iowagirl in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #310 - The Yankee Doodle Dandy 4th of July Edition! [through July 6, 2014]

Good for you, MC! That sounds like a very exciting life change! And some great places for chow!

Jul 02, 2014
iowagirl in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #310 - The Yankee Doodle Dandy 4th of July Edition! [through July 6, 2014]

We met up with some friends yesterday to watch the World Cup at a local bar so had an early dinner of their Chicago Style deep dish pizza. Disappointing game (except for Howard!) and even more disappointing pizza. EJ is from Chicago and is pretty picky about his deep dish pizza - I don't understand why someone would call pizza "Chicago style" if it clearly isn't - it gets is hopes up every time. Very minimal and flavorless tomato sauce (and under the cheese), very finely ground sausage, and a cheese filled puffy crust. Bleah. At least the beer was good!

Tonight I'm going to try to make kebabs out of the TJ's tempeh that EJ bought last month and has been hanging out in my fridge since. Using a recipe from Cooking Light, I'll marinate the tempeh in soy sauce and olive oil, add some bbq sauce (it sounds weird to me too!) then skewer it with red and yellow pepper, red onion and mushrooms and grill. Cucumber, tomato and mozzarella salad on the side.

Jul 02, 2014
iowagirl in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #310 - The Yankee Doodle Dandy 4th of July Edition! [through July 6, 2014]

Love that pic!! And the "don't mind me, just hanging out here in case ..." look on his face!

Jul 02, 2014
iowagirl in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #310 - The Yankee Doodle Dandy 4th of July Edition! [through July 6, 2014]

What a delightful day! Love to read about the wonderful meals and fun adventures that you and Deb have together! You're an inspiration!

Jul 01, 2014
iowagirl in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #310 - The Yankee Doodle Dandy 4th of July Edition! [through July 6, 2014]

Tonight we are digging into our leftovers from this weekend. Will take the potatoes and the grilled spring onion and chop up to saute in a little olive oil. Gently re-heat the ribeye, fry a couple of over easy eggs and enjoy with the rest of the house made bread, goat cheese butter and tomato conserva. A gourmet BFD!

Jun 30, 2014
iowagirl in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #309 - the Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer Edition [through June 30, 2014]

Nope - they were perfectly ripe little red local strawberries (you can see them in the pic of the app). They were still a little sweet, a little puckery and a great match for the rich foie!!

Jun 30, 2014
iowagirl in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #309 - the Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer Edition [through June 30, 2014]

A few more pics of the evening!

Jun 30, 2014
iowagirl in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #309 - the Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer Edition [through June 30, 2014]

So our dinner with the chef on Saturday was truly sublime. Amazing, amazing food (and he was SO patient about us hovering, oogling and asking a million questions! It was cool to see him adapt things on the fly as he assessed the host's cooking facilities (gorgeous kitchen!), herb garden and grill. So the final menu was:

App - Seared Hudson Valley foie gras on house made brioche with pistachio puree, pickled local strawberries, black pepper candied pistachios and tarragon from the hosts' herb garden. Truly decadent and delicious. It was a perfect play of flavors and textures. And it was NOT a small portion!

Main - Seared Wagyu ribeye, grilled spring onions with fresh mint, parmesan reggiano new potatoes with spring onion, tomato ginger conserva (which we took to calling tomato candy - SO good), pickled onions and house made bread with goat cheese butter. The meat was seared to perfection - very rare, very rich and very delicious. The grilled spring onions were a revelation - who knew! And the bread, with a shmear of the goat cheese butter and a bit of the conserva was a mouthgasm!

Dessert - warm dark chocolate crepes, kirsch soaked cherries, mint chocolate gelato and fresh mint.

The wine, company, and beautiful setting made this truly a night to remember!! The pic below of my plate is not pretty (entree course was served family style) but shows the beauty of the meat! Oh! And we all got take home bags of leftovers!!!!

Jun 30, 2014
iowagirl in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #309 - the Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer Edition [through June 30, 2014]

Mmmmm - what a perfect start to your staycation! And bacon fat makes most things better!

Jun 27, 2014
iowagirl in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #309 - the Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer Edition [through June 30, 2014]

Tonight is our usual Friday night in the summer - downtown for music, beers and dinner - I'm craving Middle Eastern and we have a good place close to where the live music sets up.

But I'm really excited about tomorrow night's dinner! One of our better known area restaurants (the Lincoln Cafe) closed recently, and the chef is now doing home dinners by reservation. So tomorrow we (along with 3 other couples) will be feasting on roasted local strawberries, aged balsamic and black pepper pistachios with roasted foie gras and brioche for an appetizer. Main is thyme roasted local grass fed ribeye, tomato conserva, parmesan potatoes and bacon fat greens. House bread with first press olive oil. Dessert will be chocolate crepes with kirsch soaked cherries and gelato. We will all bring wine and an appetite. So excited to see this talented chef cook - just for us!

Jun 27, 2014
iowagirl in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #309 - the Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer Edition [through June 30, 2014]

Happy, Happy Anniversary! 40 is a wonderful milestone - enjoy your celebration!

Jun 27, 2014
iowagirl in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #309 - the Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer Edition [through June 30, 2014]

Last night's riff on pasta primavera (no asparagus and a broth based sauce instead of cream) was pretty good. The bruschetta was wonderful. So was the company, wine and porch!

Tonight will be chipotle black bean burgers, crumbled up to make soft shell tacos. With cheddar, iceberg lettuce, tomato and avocado. And even though it does not "go", I may make more bruschetta because it was just that good!

Jun 26, 2014
iowagirl in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #308 - A Midsummer's Night's Dream Dinner Edition! [through June 25, 2014]

Last night EJ was invited to play on his mandolin teacher's tv show (PATV!) so we decided to try a new Szechuan Chinese place after for dinner. Seemed pretty authentic for our little Midwestern town - things like intestine and pork blood and cabbage soup. We were a little less adventurous and went with crispy spicy chicken and tofu in garlic sauce. The crispy spicy chicken was just that - a pile of garlicky, gingery, salty fried chicken and a bigger pile of red peppers. So addictive! The garlic sauce on the tofu was also really complex and had a great balance of heat. We'll definitely be back - would love Hounds' suggestions on what to try!

Tonight - the veggie pasta with bruschetta and rose!

Jun 25, 2014
iowagirl in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #308 - A Midsummer's Night's Dream Dinner Edition! [through June 25, 2014]

I'm so sorry that you have to go through this - it must be beyond frustrating to have something you love (food and your body!) be your enemy. I also so admire your positive upbeat attitude as you face your bad days!

Jun 25, 2014
iowagirl in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #308 - A Midsummer's Night's Dream Dinner Edition! [through June 25, 2014]

After a weekend with family in town and much eating and drinking, we are trying to eat a little healthier, at least for the first part of the week!

Last night was a veggie stir fry of mushrooms, bell peppers, onion and zucchini. I added a sliced pequin pepper when I added the ginger and garlic which added some serious heat. EJ gave it two thumbs up!

Tonight will be a veggie pasta with bow ties, summer squash, zucchini, tomato and fresh peas from the CSA. Lots of basil and oregano from the pots on the deck. Maybe some rose to drink!

Jun 24, 2014
iowagirl in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #308 - A Midsummer's Night's Dream Dinner Edition! [through June 25, 2014]

Have a wonderful birthday and a delicious dinner!!

Jun 23, 2014
iowagirl in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #305 - Hot Fun in the Summertime Edition! (through June 12, 2014)

It's meals like this that make me so sad that EJ does not eat pork chops. Or cilantro. Or asparagus (we are making some progress here!) He would love the potatoes though!

Jun 12, 2014
iowagirl in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #305 - Hot Fun in the Summertime Edition! (through June 12, 2014)

I actually DID make the tofu stir fry last night! Marinated the tofu in soy sauce, sesame oil, a bit of honey. Stir fried until golden and a bit crispy on the outside, removed it from the pan and stir fried the mushrooms, peppers and greens with some garlic and ginger. Added the tofu back in, poured the marinade over and served over brown rice and green onions sprinkled in top. I left out the "spicy" part because SD was going to be home for dinner - about 5 minutes before it was ready, she got a better offer and scooted out the door! Ahhh to be young again! So we just added some sriracha to ours!

Tonight we are going to see Dar Williams at our local venue, so we"ll grab a bite at one of the downtown eateries close by. Maybe middle Eastern or just good bar food!

Jun 12, 2014
iowagirl in Home Cooking
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