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MAH's Profile

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

everything about that sounds great (except the too hot part).

Jul 22, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking
1

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

Another rendition of the Szechuan cumin lamb I'm still trying to get down. It's getting closer to the addictive crust I am striving to achieve.

Jul 22, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking
12

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

i make a similar prep that my daughter has recently decided is her favorite. I mix apricot preserves, a bit of dijon and soy sauce as well as some fresh garlic and ginger. Roast at 400 for 30 mins. Often I add some five spice and sesame oil as well. although I've made it without the sesame and it's still very yummy.

Jul 20, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking
2

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

Duck Banh Mi? Be still my heart.

Jul 20, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking

Wha do you put in your brown baggie?

I generally have leftovers from dinner as my lunch the next day -- often brown rice with a curry (turkey kofta w/kale and chickpeas in tamarind curry, is today). I pack my lunch as i'm clearing away dinner so that it's already done for the morning. I also add some fresh baby spinach leaves on top so that when i heat it up they steam and wilt and get folded into the dish for some more extra greens.

Other days this week i've had some leftover spinach/brown rice casserole and oven baked boneless pork "ribs"; jambalaya style risotto with shrimp and andouille with red peppers (this got the same heaping of baby spinach leaves on top to get steamed upon reheating).

If i've got some leftover protein from dinner sometimes I will turn it into a burrito bowl with some leftover brown rice, which I always seem to have, canned black beans, salsa, cheese, chopped up chicken, beef, ground turkey taco meat, etc. more baby spinach leaves and any other veggies I want to add. sometimes I bring some sour cream to dollop on top.

I also pack some fruit/veggies for snacking during the day -- banana mid morning, apple or pear cut into wedges for afternoon snack. sometimes carrot sticks or sugar snap peas.

Jul 17, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #312 - the July Super Moon Edition [through July 17, 2014]

i'm sure it would pair well with beef.

Jul 16, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #312 - the July Super Moon Edition [through July 17, 2014]

Tonight I made a quick curry using Maya Kaimal's Tamarind Curry simmer sauce, ground turkey meatballs simmered in the sauce, chickpeas and copious amounts of baby spinach. served with brown basmati rice.

After dinner, i'm roasting some chicken legs marinated in a combo of TJ's Soyaki, five spice, sesame oil and apricot preserves. My 5 year old will love these, both for the flavor profile and because she's recently decided that eating chicken on the bone (at least drums) is fun.

I'm also contemplating putting together the dough for Bittman's ricotta gnocchi, to be made tomorrow after a long day at work, but am running out of steam tonight and (given my schedule tomorrow) should probably plan for something a lot more streamlined.

Jul 15, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking
3

What's for Dinner #312 - the July Super Moon Edition [through July 17, 2014]

Last night I was dining solo, so I just reprised the cheesesteaks from Fri night. Half a lovely, fresh TJs demi baguette was spread with some hot cherry pepper relish, piled generously with leftover shaved steak filling with carmelized onions and red peppers, topped with pepperjack and baked until toasty and melty. it was spectacular with a generous glass of wine watching some DVRed stuff my DH can't stand.

Jul 15, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking
8

What's for Dinner #312 - the July Super Moon Edition [through July 17, 2014]

congrats! that must feel great to have that substantial chunk advanced to the next step of the process. well done!

Jul 15, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #312 - the July Super Moon Edition [through July 17, 2014]

The TJs rub was good. I'll keep it on hand and add it into the rotation. The coffee flavor was discernable but not overpowering.

Jul 14, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking

Any good ice cream or gelato place in Northern NJ(Tenafly area)

ditto. Conrad's is great. mostly old school flavors with some newer fun flavor combos. the setting is an old time ice cream shop that's been around since the 1920s. family owned and very charming. we love this place.

Jul 13, 2014
MAH in New Jersey

Quick Lunch in Newark?

all of these recs are solid. Monk Room is delightful. the pastas and pizzas are great and the place has charm.

Hobby's is an institution. while known for their carnivorous offerings, they do have a fair number of veggie options. I was just there on Fri and a companion had a Veggie Rueben with grilled veggies that looked good. the spinach pie is also very good, i've had it in the past. I had a California salmon sandwich (cajun spiced salmon, avocado, fresh mozz, roasted red peppers, tomatoes and arugula w/herb mayo on seven grain). it was great. if you are looking for veggie and not necessarily light -- get a side of onion rings. they are ridiculously good.

The Thai place mentioned above is also good. very flavorful and fresh. they offer about 6-8 options at lunch from a steam table setup. everything i've had has been very well prepared with good flavor and spice.

Also add to the list Edison Ale House near Prudential Center. I would put it after the above mentioned options in order of preference, but it's decent pub food with a better beer selection than most neighborhood places in newark.

Jul 13, 2014
MAH in New Jersey

What's for Dinner #312 - the July Super Moon Edition [through July 17, 2014]

last night was quick grilled steaks, corn on the cob and grilled rounds of (prepared) polenta. thought about making a peach cobbler for dessert, but no one had much room and i didn't get around to it.

tonight I'm making some boneless country style pork ribs in a low oven, rubbed with a TJs bbq rub I picked up on a whim. it has coffee, garlic, paprika, brown sugar, sea salt and a few other things. It smelled awesome. let's hope it turns out tasty as well. alongside i've got some leftover bbq beans, corn and i put together a spinach rice dish using up some leftovers. that will be baked as we get closer to dinner.

Jul 13, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking
7

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - July 2014

the handmade wholewheat tortillas are a staple for me. love the texture. I've had the handmade flour ones once or twice and they are chewier than the wheat ones, in my experience.

Jul 11, 2014
MAH in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - July 2014

I didn't love the cold brew concentrate either. had a strange flavor to me.

Jul 11, 2014
MAH in Chains
1

What's for Dinner #311 - the Relax, Kick Back, and Enjoy Summer Edition [through July 11, 2014]

With little kids i'm trying to put to bed while i'm doing dinner prep and cooking, I am a huge proponent of oven roasting multiple dishes to get dinner on the table without much hands on cooking time.

Jul 10, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking
2

What's for Dinner #311 - the Relax, Kick Back, and Enjoy Summer Edition [through July 11, 2014]

love kofta like meatballs. i've never added preserved lemon...interesting. sounds relish.

Jul 08, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking
1

Cook on Sunday - eat all week?

I understand the challenge -- i work full time and have an hour long commute each way and I come home to 2 little kiddos. I cook 4 nights during the week and try to plan interesting meals so that I don't get bored. My husband doesn't really love leftovers, so if I'm repurposing already cooked items I try to reinvent it so that it doesn't appear to be the same thing. I tend to freeze raw items (proteins, etc.) and building block ingredients (stock, sauce), but I find that when I freeze cooked meals I don't ever feel like taking them out to eat them. they get banished to the freezer and then forgotten about.

I keep a wide variety of vegetables on hand for roasting as my sides. In regular rotation are -- peeled, cubed butternut squash, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, asparagus, broccoli (which I prefer steamed). Also have corn and various greens (usually baby spinach and tuscan kale). I also keep some short cut starch type sides on hand...many kinds of rice that i throw in the rice cooker, but also some "cheat" sides like TJs frozen polenta, quinoa, thai style fried rice, etc. With a simple quick starch and a couple of roasted veggie sides, I'll make a quick protein and have a very well balanced meal. I also tend to oven roast most of my proteins so that i have mostly "hands free" cooking time while I'm trying to get both kiddos in bed.

Another time saving tip: after finishing cleaning up dinner I will do some basic prep for the next night's dinner -- chopping vegetable, marinating meat, pre-searing something that will go in the slow cooker, assembling components so that I have only a few steps to get a complete meal on the table the next night in minimal time.

Here's are some sample weeknight meals for us, along with my prep and timing tips:
1) Turkey saltimbocca made with thinly sliced turkey cutlets, layered with prosciutto, cheese and sage leaf; baked at 400 for about 25 min. Paired with garlic sautéed spinach and asparagus. You could assemble the saltimbocca the night before to just pop in the oven. Asparagus gets tossed with evoo, salt and pepper and roasts at 400 for 15 min. time them so that they come out together. and the only "hands on" thing to do is the garlic spinach which just takes a few minutes of sautéing on the stovetop with garlic and olive oil. (i use pre-minced jarred garlic even though i know the flavor is better slicing it fresh).

2) Trini-Chinese Chicken and Fried Rice. (see the NY Times recipe much lauded on this board) I make my version in the oven because I don't care to fry, and need the hands off aspect. the night before or in the morning, marinate the chicken in the soy/ginger/garlic/five spice mixture. because I don't fry it, i add the sesame oil to the marinade. i use boneless breasts or thighs. I also marinade it in a covered glass baking dish that can go straight into the oven. the night before or while the chicken is baking make the sauce (oyster sauce, habanero sauce, fresh squeezed lime juice). While the chicken is baking, put together the fried rice. I use the TJ's thai style shrimp fried rice as a base but add a bunch of things to it. I sautéed onions, garlic, and add cubed tofu and whatever leftover roasted veggies I have on hand, chopped up small -- carrots, greens, broccoli, etc. With all the additions, this side is a perfect way to round out the meal.

3) Indonesian marinated sword fish, curried couscous and roasted brussel sprouts. You can whip up the marinade in the morning or when you get home. It's an Ina Garten recipe that involves, garlic, ginger, dijon mustard, soy and evoo. the fish only needs to marinate a short while so sometimes i wait until i get home to whip this up. Brussel sprouts trimmed and halved the night before get tossed onto a sheet pan with evoo, coarse sea salt and pepper. Roasted at 400 or 420 for 40 minutes or so, depending on the size. The fish gets roasted at the same temp for 20-25 min for very thick steaks. Far East brand curry flavored couscous is excellent and cooks up in 5 minutes. Done.

4) Indian chicken curry with kale and chickpeas. Maya Kaimal's brand of fresh refrigerated simmer sauces are excellent to have on hand. Start brown rice in the rice cooker. Chop some boneless chicken breast and add to the simmer sauce (i like the vindaloo and tamarind curries best). Add a drained can of chickpeas and some already chopped tuscan kale. cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. TJs pre-chopped and bagged tuscan kale is a staple for us. This make delicious leftovers for lunch.

Those are just a few ideas that are in regular rotation here. others are ground turkey tacos/burritos/quesadillas. while the meat is browning you can assemble all of the toppings.
Leftover browned meat (or chicken fajita toppings) get turned into burrito bowls for lunch. Leftover brown rice, drained canned black beans, leftover taco/fajita meat, shredded cheese, salsa and a couple of handfuls of baby spinach leaves get packed up for my lunch. when reheated, the spinach steams and gets folded in nicely.

I try to plan ahead so that i never have to scramble and wonder what I'm making when i get home and have the bedtime rush. With a plan and some minimal advance prep i have been able to get interesting dinners on the table in a very short amount of time most weeknights.

Jul 08, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking
1

Cook on Sunday - eat all week?

Yes, this is a great way to keep track. by easily showing me what proteins are available and on hand i can tailor my cooking plans accordingly. Otherwise, i find that I keep shopping and adding to the freezer without using things that go in.

Jul 08, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #311 - the Relax, Kick Back, and Enjoy Summer Edition [through July 11, 2014]

that's awesome! love that your little guy is a fan of good steak. my little guy (9 months old today) tried some grilled polenta and creamed spinach tonight at dinner, which he Loved. but i saved the ribeye for me. actually, i didn't even try to give him any -- with his 3 budding teeth i thought it might be challenging.

Jul 06, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking
2

Best quick meal you make with trader joes products

A few things:

I made homemade lamb sheekh kebabs with ground lamb and a Shaan spice mix (+ finely diced onion, garlic, ginger); made some brown basmati rice and serve with TJs frozen channa masala and palak panner. The palak paneer is excellent and I always have some on hand to serve as a side. the channa masala is a little sweet for me, but will do in a pinch.

I use the fresh whole wheat pizza dough and top with any number of things. their refrigerated pizza sauce is good, but even the jarred sauce is tasty. TJ's prosciutto is my daughter's favorite -- carefully draped on top of the pizza baked with TJs shredded mozzarella.

Fri night we had philly cheesesteaks with the TJs shaved steak, seasoned liberally with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, sautéed with diced onion (also a TJs cheat) on ciabatta rolls topped with TJs thickly sliced pepperjack cheese. yum.

Ground turkey tacos -- ground turkey browned with diced onion and TJs taco seasoning, piled into TJs hard shell tacos, shredded cheddar, salsa authentic, corn salsa and guacamole. all TJs seasoning and toppings. As a variant -- same ground turkey seasoned with taco seasoning and onions, made into burritos with refried black beans on the handmade whole wheat tortillas (love these!) with the same toppings. If I have leftover ground turkey taco meat I'll take it to lunch as a "burrito bowl." layered with brown rice, TJs organic black beans, salsa, shredded cheddar, baby spinach leaves, etc.

I use TJs thai style shrimp fried rice as a quick side to many things. I love the flavor of this frozen product immensely. i usually sautee some onion, crushed garlic with some ham or turkey bacon. i dice up some of the TJs baked tofu, whatever leftover roasted veggies I have on hand, diced... then add the frozen rice and cook as directed. Usually I serve this alongside any kind of asian inflected protein (Trini chinese chicken, usually).

Jul 05, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking

Best quick meal you make with trader joes products

that sounds awesome.

Jul 05, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking
1

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

what a sweet memory. you raised a fine young man. I'm sure he's enjoying his adventures abroad and missing you and rjbh20 as well.

Jul 04, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking
2

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

Today it is rainy and dreary, so no outside grilling for us. I have boneless country style ribs slowly cooking in the oven (rubbed with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder). Baked beans with molasses and bacon are simmering away in the slow cooker. they smell amazing. Blackberry cobbler is prepped and ready to go in the oven.

Jul 04, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking
1

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

i LOVE Prudhomme's cajun meatloaf. it is in our regular file but because of our work schedules and the few extra steps in terms of prep, it gets overlooked often. so yummy. enjoy.

Jul 03, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking
1

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

Happy Birthday to your guy! the celebration sounds wonderful.

Jul 03, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking
1

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

Thanks, Gio and JoanN. Interesting that the comments on that FD related thread mention the copious amounts of oil called for -- that must be the secret to the crust on the meat. also interesting suggestions there re the half ground cumin/ half whole cumin seeds.

I'll keep these in mind for my next attempt...

Jul 02, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking

Super simple recipes/ideas to involve kids in cooking

chocolate dipped anything -- pretzels, bananas, etc.

S'mores are a big hit. Kids can assemble the graham crackers and chocolate squares. the older ones can help toast marshmallows and the younger ones can squoosh them together.

things my little one loves to help make (some of which have already been mentioned):
- pizza,
- pancakes,
- quesadillas
- muffins or other baked goodies, cookies, etc.
- she loves helping chop vegetables, so incorporate that itno anything -- pizza toppings, veggies for soup or a big salad
- she has helped make homemade chicken fingers in a cornflake crumb crust -- spread with dijon mustard first then coat with crumbs and bake after spraying w/olive oil spray (we also do fish the same way with a sprinkle of garlic and thyme) -- she likes to paint the dijon on with a silicone pastry brush.

I say just pick some things that they like to eat and get them involved in all of the stages of prep -- chopping, assembly. that makes anything fun.

We once used a rainy afternoon to make chocolate eclairs. We started with the pastry dough, piped the dough into "fingers" on the baking sheet, baked them and watched them puff up. we made a vanilla custard/pastry cream filling and also used TJs belgian chocolate pudding. also made a chocolate ganache glaze (also discovered that TJs fudge sauce warmed up works as a great short cut). Assembly was great fun, but not nearly as much as eating them!

things with toppings that allow for individual choice go over well with little ones excited about their burgeoning independence -- think tacos, salads, burritos, pizzas, ice cream sundaes.

Enjoy!

Jul 02, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking
1

Super simple recipes/ideas to involve kids in cooking

My now 5 year old LOVES making pizza and has been perfecting her technique now for a few years. In the beginning she needed more help spreading sauce and sprinkling cheese, but now she handles those tasks ably. Her favorite is to bake the pizza and then layer prosciutto on top of the hot pizza. Baking the prosciutto with the pizza makes it too chewy and hard, as she would tell you very earnestly. :-)

Jul 02, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking

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

Monday night was another stab at the Szechuan cumin lamb stir fry I keep working to get just right. a dry spice mix of cumin, szechuan peppercorn, garlic powder, cayenne, salt and a pinch of sugar is whizzed up in the spice grinder. Strips of lamb leg cutlet are coated with the spice mixture and some corn starch and left to let the flavors mingle. Although not autentic, i add some red pepper and zucchini strips, and a bit of firm baked tofu (TJs) to the stir fry and finish with some scallions. very tasty, but still not like the restaurant version (putting aside my additions). I think the main difference is that i'm not getting the delectable crust because I refuse to use the amount of oil necessary to produce it. to compensate, i used an enameled cast iron skillet and did the lamb in batches so as not to crowd and reduce crispiness. i left the meat alone to develop some real hard sear on the outside before moving it -- that helped.

Tuesday night was enchiladas suizas made with a filling of shredded rotisserie chicken, onions, black beans and kale. comforting and yum.

Tonight we are dining out.

Jul 02, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking
3