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What's for dinner #315 - Summertime... and the living is easy.

Another beautiful Vietnamese meal!

1 day ago
BananaBirkLarsen in Home Cooking

What's for dinner #315 - Summertime... and the living is easy.

It was soooo hot last night, and I had half a roast chicken, so we went with the current Vietnamese theme and did summer rolls. Shredded chicken, pickled carrot and daikon, lettuce and sweet basil. A quick dipping sauce made from peanut butter, lime, garlic, sambal, soy and sugar. Perfect for a hot summer night. (No pics, 'cause my summer rolls tend to not be as photogenic as they taste...)

Jul 27, 2014
BananaBirkLarsen in Home Cooking
6

What's for dinner #315 - Summertime... and the living is easy.

No jumping fish or high cotton, and I wouldn't say either of my parents are rich, but I'll give them both a thumbs-up on good-looking.

We had our second batch of green chiles fresh off the plants last night, so I made another green chile sauce, and also whipped up a red one with some of the ground hot NM chile I have in the cupboard. They were both used to make Christmas smothered breakfast burritos for dinner. Fried up some bacon, then cooked diced purple potatoes and onions in the remaining grease, then mixed the bacon back in. This, along with scrambled eggs and a bit of farmer's cheese were wrapped in tortillas and smothered with red and green. It was delicious, but would have been even better with a scoop of beans in each burrito.

The last of the chocolate and strawberry ice cream with fresh strawberries and raspberries for dessert.

Jul 26, 2014
BananaBirkLarsen in Home Cooking
5

What's for Dinner #314 - Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon Edition [Through July 26, 2014]

The plates were one of those amazing Dollar Tree finds! We have matching bowls, but could only find one matching small plate. I once saw the matching latte cups on a TV show.

Jul 26, 2014
BananaBirkLarsen in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #314 - Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon Edition [Through July 26, 2014]

Here's a pic of the final meal. The greens were stir fried with sugar, fish sauce, sesame, onions and garlic. And I replaced the cooked carrots and green beans in the potato salad with raw yellow pepper and cucumber. It all turned out great.

Jul 24, 2014
BananaBirkLarsen in Home Cooking
7

What's for Dinner #314 - Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon Edition [Through July 26, 2014]

A quick note: lime basil is just about the best thing in the world, and after last night, I can't imagine banh mi (or my life) without it. I want to go outside and eat the whole plant right now.

Jul 24, 2014
BananaBirkLarsen in Home Cooking
5

What's for Dinner #314 - Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon Edition [Through July 26, 2014]

The spice rub I use for BBQ spare ribs includes fennel seeds (along with a shitton of other herbs and spices) and it's absolutely delicious. IMO, those who give a fuck are usually missing out!

Jul 24, 2014
BananaBirkLarsen in Home Cooking
2

What's for Dinner #314 - Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon Edition [Through July 26, 2014]

The plan was to use up the leftover lemongrass duck in a pad thai, but I'm too lazy to go to the store for ingredients I don't have, so plans have changed. I'm thinking the duck would be good warmed up and served over greens sauteed with garlic and sesame oil, with this potato salad, topped with a handful of pickled carrot and daikon, on the side: http://www.vietworldkitchen.com/blog/...

Jul 24, 2014
BananaBirkLarsen in Home Cooking
3

Worst Cooking show Buzzwords

I imagine it would be difficult for an airline to define "local" as they are in the business of moving people to far distant locations.

Jul 24, 2014
BananaBirkLarsen in Food Media & News

A Discussion on Vinegar

I let a batch of kombucha go too long once and it made something that tasted just like a really nice apple cider vinegar (although apparently kombucha vinegar is not a true vinegar). Wonderful in salad dressings.

I find that Chinese black vinegar tastes a bit like steak sauce and is great for grilling and in BBQ sauces. A dash in Mac and cheese is also great.

Also, balsamic reduced with fig jam and mustard makes a great sauce for pork or poultry.

Jul 24, 2014
BananaBirkLarsen in Home Cooking

How long can I leave eggs out of the fridge?

It's not true that you're the only nation to refrigerate. We always refrigerated eggs in Canada too. Not sure if they were washed or if we just did it to fit in.

When I lived in Scotland, an American friend of mine was in a constant battle with her roommate over egg storage. She'd put the eggs in the fridge. Her roommate would take them out and put them on the counter. Repeat, repeat. They always both seemed pointlessly stubborn to me.

Jul 24, 2014
BananaBirkLarsen in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #314 - Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon Edition [Through July 26, 2014]

Happy banh mi day to both of you!

Jul 23, 2014
BananaBirkLarsen in Home Cooking
2

What's for Dinner #314 - Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon Edition [Through July 26, 2014]

I've never tried them, but have read that they're a good substitute -- similar taste and consistency, with a slightly odd shape. It was funny -- I ended up talking to the woman in front of me in line at the Mexican market and it turned out that she was a huge fan of banh mi and of Pho Kim (say that one out loud!), the Vietnamese restaurant not so far from my house!

Jul 23, 2014
BananaBirkLarsen in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #314 - Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon Edition [Through July 26, 2014]

I'm thinking duck banh mi for dinner tonight, if I can find some appropriate bread ('cause it's still waaaay too hot to attempt baking any). Asian grocers are scarce around these parts, but I should be able to find some bolillo rolls at one of the Mexican markets. Duck breast will be marinated in my lemongrass marinade, then seared to a perfect medium (the BF doesn't like pink in poultry, so I have to get it perfect so it doesn't dry out). This will be sliced and go onto the bolillo rolls (fingers crossed), along with sriracha mayo, pickled carrots, daikon and jalapenos, thin cut onions (soaked in water and pulled apart), cucumbers and a combination of sweet basil and lime basil from the garden. I might pick up some cilantro for mine, as well, although the BF isn't a fan. More ice cream -- chocolate and strawberry -- for dessert.

I'm thinking of doing a pad thai tomorrow with the leftover lemongrass duck.

Jul 23, 2014
BananaBirkLarsen in Home Cooking
8

What's for Dinner #314 - Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon Edition [Through July 26, 2014]

It actually got a bit stormy and cooled down a great deal, so that was good. Also, I added beer to the menu.

Jul 23, 2014
BananaBirkLarsen in Home Cooking
2

What's for Dinner #314 - Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon Edition [Through July 26, 2014]

It's hot today. Really, really hot. I'm going to walk to the nearest Walgreens and buy a fan, then come home and cook up some green chile cheeseburgers, using the rest of last night's green chile sauce. Banana splits for dessert with chocolate and strawberry ice cream and dulce de leche drizzled over the top.

Jul 22, 2014
BananaBirkLarsen in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #314 - Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon Edition [Through July 26, 2014]

Lamb rib chops! Motorcycling through Spain! All of this sounds wonderful.

Jul 22, 2014
BananaBirkLarsen in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #314 - Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon Edition [Through July 26, 2014]

Love the sound of that marinade!

Jul 22, 2014
BananaBirkLarsen in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #314 - Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon Edition [Through July 26, 2014]

The green chile sauce turned out so em-effing good! If this is a sign of things to come from my garden, it is going to be a very good chile season indeed.

Jul 22, 2014
BananaBirkLarsen in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #313 - There's a Summer Place Edition! [through July 21, 2014]

Cool! Thanks!

Jul 21, 2014
BananaBirkLarsen in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #314 - Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon Edition [Through July 26, 2014]

We picked our first bowl full of green chiles today! Several New Mexican varieties, a couple habaneros and a few others in there as well. They have been roasted and turned into a green chile sauce to be served atop pork shoulder steaks (dusted with red chile and cooked in a skillet until crispy). Red chile baked beans, corn on the cob and flour tortillas on the side. A mushy papaya that didn't make it home in one piece for dessert.

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

Tonight is a bit of a fridge clean-out (didn't there used to be a word for this?). I sauteed some onion, fennel, garlic, clamshell mushrooms, green and orange peppers and the first zephyr squash from the garden (and a couple sliced blossoms for good measure). Threw in some tomato-basil chicken sausage. Added some "Italian Seasoning," a sploosh of balsamic, a touch of half and half and a (large) handful of crumbled feta. This will be served over mushroom ravioli. Buttered baguette on the side, and some Full Sail Amber Ale.

Jul 20, 2014
BananaBirkLarsen in Home Cooking
1

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

I did! I did! And another for lunch today!

Jul 20, 2014
BananaBirkLarsen in Home Cooking
1

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

I solve the sweet problem by juicing an entire lime into each drink. And adding extra gin. ;)

Jul 20, 2014
BananaBirkLarsen in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #313 - There's a Summer Place Edition! [through July 21, 2014]

Tonight is my late work night -- I'm usually home around 9:45 -- so quick and easy is on the menu. Hopefully, it will be hot reuben sandwiches with homemade sauerkraut and thousand island dressing. There's a chance, however, that the corned beef has turned and in that case, I will thaw some of my turkey-apple sausage and make patties for the sandwiches instead. Oven onion rings on the side.

Jul 19, 2014
BananaBirkLarsen in Home Cooking
2

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

Damn, Vietnamese really is in the air this week! I've never tried this one, but it looks delicious and I may have to give it a shot some day soon.

Jul 19, 2014
BananaBirkLarsen in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #313 - There's a Summer Place Edition! [through July 21, 2014]

This looks delicious, mc! And happy countdown for your big trip!

Jul 19, 2014
BananaBirkLarsen in Home Cooking
1

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

Not sure about Vietnamese week -- I just had some tofu and ground beef/turkey to use up. Although I did also have duck banh mi planned for later this week, so maybe it's there's something subliminal going around...

This sounds like a wonderful dish to eat squatting on the pavement in Ho Chi Minh city! I've never had the chance to travel anywhere in Southeast Asia, but have friends who tell me that Vietnam and Thailand are both just beautiful. Always wanted to go.

Jul 19, 2014
BananaBirkLarsen in Home Cooking
1

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

Tonight will be Dao Hu Nhoi Thit (Vietnamese stuffed tofu in tomato sauce), but I'm using beef and turkey instead of the pork. Green beans stir fried in sesame oil, steamed rice and pickled carrots and daikon on the side. Perhaps a dulce de leche Vietnamese coffee for dessert.

Jul 18, 2014
BananaBirkLarsen in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #313 - There's a Summer Place Edition! [through July 21, 2014]

I usually go for the Hansen's, which is reasonably priced at Trader Joe's. This was a freebie from work, however. To make it worse, it was free because it was expired (although does tonic really expire?) Fever Tree is next on my list to try. I've also thought about making my own, but haven't started looking into the details.

Jul 18, 2014
BananaBirkLarsen in Home Cooking