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MAH's Profile

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What are you baking these days? Happy New Year January 2015 edition!

it was fantastic. very moist crumb -- perfect texture and the sea salt caramel/praline (or brittle) topping is just awesome. it was gobbled up by my coworkers with not a bit left. going into the file to be repeated.

about 22 hours ago
MAH in Home Cooking
3

What are you baking these days? Happy New Year January 2015 edition!

For a Superbowl party in the office I made a chocolate, salted caramel praline bundt cake loosely based on this recipe.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

I discovered I don't have a 10 inch round pan and my 10 inch springform is strangely missing its bottom disc. So I subbed a bundt pan and reduced the baking time to 40 minutes. The cake seems to be very rich, but not too dense -- definitely chocolatey.

2 days ago
MAH in Home Cooking
2

Fifth anniversary coming up - Please help me plan a meal that I can cook for my girlfriend.

I always serve with the traditional risotto, but you could do orzo or polenta as well that are less timing sensitive. I've got an oven baked polenta recipe that sets up and is cut into squares or scooped. It would pair well with a braise and is hands off, oven easy.

Let me know if you'd like the recipe. Good luck and do report back.

Jan 29, 2015
MAH in Home Cooking

Fifth anniversary coming up - Please help me plan a meal that I can cook for my girlfriend.

I suggested osso bucco-- more often then not I prepare it in advance, cool, skim or separate out the fat, and debone the meat. My husband doesn't prefer to deal with bones.

Jan 29, 2015
MAH in Home Cooking

Fifth anniversary coming up - Please help me plan a meal that I can cook for my girlfriend.

I would simplify and try to do as much in advance as you can. Given what you've thrown out already, here's what I'd do.

Nibble: savory parmesan or blue cheese crackers (very easy to make and can be made in advance. I've made blue cheese crackers with a dot of fig spread that were a huge hit. Serve with champagne.

Amuse: shrimp wrapped in prosciutto skewered with rosemary. Prep in advance and roast or broil while you are enjoying the champagne.

Salad: can be plated in advance. Baby spinach, strawberries and goat cheese with toasted pecans and a quick homemade vinaigrette.

Main: osso bucco with risotto Milanese. Mario batali has a good recipe with a pinenut citrus gremolata that is killer. The osso bucco can be made with lamb (my pref) or veal and is best made in advance. The day before is great. The risotto can be done the day of and kept just shy of done. Keep some saffron stock at a low simmer and stir in a bit to the risotto to finish right before serving.

Dessert: I like the cheese course idea. Or a few gorgeous fancy chocolates; berries and whipped cream; or purchase a great start of her choice.

Enjoy!

Jan 27, 2015
MAH in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner - #345 - the Winter Doldrums Already? Edition [through January 28, 2015]

Confession: I buy try baked tofu from Trader Joe's. Great to have on hand.

Jan 27, 2015
MAH in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner - #345 - the Winter Doldrums Already? Edition [through January 28, 2015]

Preparing for snowmageddon and working through my extensive stock piles. Tonight I made Sichuan cumin lamb stir fry with baked tofu, zucchini and red pepper. Brown rice on the side.

I've got a white bean and ham soup with Tuscan kale in the slow cooker for lunch tomorrow. I plan to make cornbread or cheddar bay biscuits to go with.

I am also marinating some Kali to grill up tomorrow. They might be put into lettuce or rice paper wraps.

Stay safe and warm. It is awful out there in the NE.

What's for Dinner - #345 - the Winter Doldrums Already? Edition [through January 28, 2015]

That looks amazing.

Jan 26, 2015
MAH in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner - #345 - the Winter Doldrums Already? Edition [through January 28, 2015]

Yesterday I stocked up in preparation for snowmageddon so the possibilities are almost limitless. Not exotic, but tonight will be Philly cheesesteaks with pepperjack on fresh baguette. Tomorrow might be Sichuan cumin crusted lamb stir fry or Kalbi. Yesterday I made it to the new amazing Korean mega mart in the area and got some lovely sliced lamb and short ribs. Also some beautiful produce. I found fresh turmeric root, galangal, Thai basil, all kinds of chilis and countless other goodies. I have drunken noodles on the brain too. Will have to see what the storm is like tomorrow and when I get out of work.

What's for Dinner - #345 - the Winter Doldrums Already? Edition [through January 28, 2015]

Tonight I made the Halal cart chicken and rice from Serious Eats. I amped up the spices for both chicken and rice with (more) cumin, coriander, garam masala and turmeric. I also brown diced onion with the spices for the rice before adding the rice and stock. Very tasty.

What's for Dinner #344 - Happy MLK Day Edition! [through Jan. 21, 2015]

Amazing!

Jan 21, 2015
MAH in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #344 - Happy MLK Day Edition! [through Jan. 21, 2015]

inspired by this photo, I made some quick chicken tikka masala last night to use up some leftover tandoori marinated chicken breast, which I had for lunch today. I used Maya Kaimal's jarred Butter Masala sauce, which was quite tasty. I usually keep her fresh masalas on hand (from the cold case), but this shelf stable jarred sauce was quite good. In an effort to lighten things up a bit, I subbed spaghetti squash for rice. it was a tolerable delivery vehicle for the CTM sauce.

Last night for dinner I made a small pork tenderloin wrapped in a few strips of bacon i had lingering, roasted until just shy of medium and then glazed with a cranberry sauce/dijon/rosemary mixture and but back in to finish roasting. The bacon didn't crisp up as much as I'd like, but my timing/temp was a bit off. otherwise very tasty. roasted brussel sprouts and spaghetti squash were the accompaniments.

Jan 21, 2015
MAH in Home Cooking
2

Home Cooks - How do you minimize food waste?

I do a version of the same kind of tracking system. I've evolved overtime from keeping a running Word doc, an Excel spreadsheet, to now using an app on my phone (also accessible through a website interface) called Out of Milk. I use the same app to create grocery shopping lists, but I created a Freezer List as well to keep track of what's in both of my fridge/freezers. I have categories for Produce, Leftovers, raw proteins, frozen items, etc. it really does help me keep track of things that I've stashed away. I use it to menu plan with an eye toward things that need to be used.

Also, I've been religious about bringing leftovers to work for lunch.

Jan 20, 2015
MAH in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #344 - Happy MLK Day Edition! [through Jan. 21, 2015]

Last night I wanted to lighten things up a bit. I broiled some mahi mahi fillets slathered with a thai chili/soy/ginger concoction. I served the fish with some summer rolls made with shrimp, tofu, cucumber, red pepper, shredded carrots, basil and mint wrapped in rice paper. I made a peanut/sweet chili dipping sauce that hit the spot. I'm looking forward to the leftovers for lunch.

tonight I think I will make a pork tenderloin with a cranberry/dijon glaze perhaps. and maybe some brussel sprouts and spaghetti squash.

What's for Dinner #344 - Happy MLK Day Edition! [through Jan. 21, 2015]

Today was icy and raining all day - a perfect day to stay in playing with the kiddos. I made lamb biryani and palak paneer. I made the boneless lamb in the slow cooker then layered with rice and finished it in the oven. The house smells awesome.

What's for Dinner #342- The Return of the Polar Vortex Edition! [through Jan. 10, 2015]

With hubby traveling most of the week, i've tried to be disciplined and held off making new stuff (though i've really wanted to) and am working through some of what's hanging out in our overstuffed fridge. Last night I polished off the rest of the lo mein with chicken, tofu and veggies. I should have tossed in some more steamed veggies to brighten it up, but didn't even want to make the effort. I sunk into the couch, put my feet up and enjoyed a glass of wine, while being very cozy inside while the temperatures dropped to about zero outside.

today it is bitterly cold, with temps in the single digits as others here in the NE US have noted. and it feels even colder. i'm looking forward to spicy jambalaya leftovers for lunch. this batch was a little heavy on the white pepper and it's got a serious kick.

for dinner i'm not quite sure. maybe a hanger steak with brussel sprouts and zucchini crisps? or soy/five spice chicken? nto sure...i'll report back.

What's for Dinner #342- The Return of the Polar Vortex Edition! [through Jan. 10, 2015]

i've got summer rolls on the brain as well. how long do you think the rice paper wrappers last in the pantry? mine are quite old and i'm wondering if i need to go to the Asian market to replenish my supply. i have almost everything else I need, i think.

Jan 07, 2015
MAH in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #342- The Return of the Polar Vortex Edition! [through Jan. 10, 2015]

Last night I used some leftover slow cooked beef to make layered enchiladas with black beans and kale along with the beef. I used to use frozen spinach but TJ's frozen kale is chopped finely enough to work well as a substitute.

Tonight I made Philly cheesesteaks on whole wheat baguette with chili spread and pepperjack cheese.

This weekend I've also made some chicken stock in the slow cooker in prep for an attempt at pho ga. I also made some ham salad type spread with some leftover ham. I spread it on cocktail rye tonight for some quick football watching snacks. I may use it in place of pate if I try banh mi in the next few days. Along those lines, I'm going to quick pickle some shredded carrots.

What's for Dinner #341 -- It's on to 2015 Edition! [through January 4, 2015]

New Year's Eve I made a jambalaya with andouille and chicken - a take on a Prudhomme recipe. Also mini crab cakes. Plenty of wine and bubbly were sipped.

Today we did a cocktail party kind of dinner with the kiddos. Some more mini crab cakes (which the 1 year old loved), salumi and cheeses, buffalo chicken dip with celery and pepper strips, dates stuffed with blue cheese wrapped in bacon, thin crust pizza with fig butter, bacon and blue cheese cut into tiny squares, brie and pears, TJ's spinach kale bites. They had a great time and felt very festive and grown up.

Happy New Year all!! Cheers to a great 2015.

Christmas Dinner - What did You Cook?

I had anticipated the inlaws visiting and preparing dinner for 10. at relatively the last minute, their plans changed and thus Christmas dinner was just the 4 of us, including the 2 little ones. for breakfast we made chocolate croissants (TJ's frozen, raised overnight); sausage links and fruit salad. For Christmas dinner: (uncured) ham w/an apricot dijon rosemary glaze; roasted brussel sprouts, steamed broccoli, scalloped potatoes and rolls. Dessert was supposed to be an apple pie, but the timing of with the little peoples' naps and prep didn't work out. we had some chocolate chip cookies (baked for Santa) instead. while the change of plans was...interesting...we had a lovely, quiet holiday with great food and awesome time together.

Dec 27, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #328 - The It's Fall Edition! [through October 3, 2014]

Last night hubby was out of town so dinner was just for me. I made chicken pot pie with a rotisserie chicken. made a slightly creamy sauce with onions, carrots, mushrooms, peas, fresh thyme and a healthy sploosh of marsala. topped with TJ's puff pastry (which I believe is all butter) until bubbly and beautifully browned. it was delightful. for reasons I can't understand, hubby's not a fan of even the homemade version of pot pie. oh well, more for me. I've got a nice bit of leftover filling that I will stash in the freezer for next time.

Tonight I'm not sure WFD. it's been a long and tiring week. Something with ground turkey is a possibility, but so is takeout. with wine, for sure.

Happy Friday, all.

What's for Dinner #328 - The It's Fall Edition! [through October 3, 2014]

i'm inspired by your paratha adventures. i haven't yet been brave enough to attempt paratha. my mom's weren't super flaky, not so laminated, actually. more like stuffed chapati. i almost never make any flatbreads from scratch so i'm a bit intimidated, for no good reason, really. keep posting re your method and results, please.

Sep 30, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #328 - The It's Fall Edition! [through October 3, 2014]

looks like a few of us had steak on the menu tonight. here it was tri tip seared in cast iron; roasted butternut squash, roasted brussel sprouts w/coarse sea salt; and TJ's spinach kale bites

Sep 29, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #328 - The It's Fall Edition! [through October 3, 2014]

I took advantage of the summery weather to grill both last night and tonight. last night I grilled some burgers and tri tip. made some baked beans, green beans and grilled asparagus. tonight i was thinking lamb kebabs but hubby was still feeling like burgers so I made Indian masala spiced lamb burgers topped with garlicky yogurt sauce spiked with a healthy dose of harissa and chopped scallions on top. all piled onto wheat challah buns. sides were largely a repeat of last night and some leftover spinach rice from our Greek takeout joint.

dinner has been cleaned up. lunches packed, now menu planning for the next few days...

What's for Dinner #328 - The It's Fall Edition! [through October 3, 2014]

damn, that sounds amazing. roasted habanero sauce. yummmm.

Sep 28, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking

Recipe ideas for picky husband?

some ideas that i was able to make early in my DH's food journey:

turkey meatloaf -- make a few veggie sides. potatoes au gratin if you know he likes that, steamed carrots and some steamed broccoli. that way the success rate is higher and he may feel more comfortable trying the broccoli just a few bites. also try mashed cauliflower in place of mashed potatoes. I steam cauliflower, add a bit of butter, garlic, salt and pepper and then bake topped with a bit of parmesan cheese, sometimes some breadcrumbs on top too.

Someone suggested chicken parmesan cutlets. you could also try chicken or turkey cutlets topped with some pesto and mozzarella, or a bit of prosciutto and mozzarella (you can add some fresh sage like saltimbocca). veggies could be something simple like sautéed spinach or raw baby spinach salad with some toasted nuts, strawberries, etc.

Turkey chili -- i make mine with a ton of diced veggies that get lost in the sauce. i dice up zucchini, yellow squash, even eggplant, red pepper, onion. dice them up really really tiny and all perfectly even. the texture blends in with the ground meat so they aren't even detectable. I add black beans to my chili, but you might not be able to get away with that just yet. I use really good quality chili powder (penzey's), some chipotle and a bottle of beer. it's delicious and chock full of nearly hidden veggies. serve topped with some shredded cheddar and maybe crushed tortilla chips? or cornbread on the side?

Risotto: I'm not sure how this would go over because you say he doesn't like rice. if it's a texture thing, risotto might be distinct enough that he would try it? I make a number of different kinds -- tonight i might make one with spicy sausage and baby spinach leaves tossed in at the end to wilt. another popular one with my DH is a jambalaya style risotto. andouille sausage, shrimp, onions, red and green peppers. whatever combination of flavors he will accept. if rice/risotto is a no go, you could try it over pasta.

Lasagna -- if he likes Italian red sauce type of flavors maybe lasagna will work? you can try to lighten things up a bit by making it with ground turkey and add some frozen spinach into the ricotta layer. no need to boil the noodles just assemble, cover with foil and bake. As with the turkey chili you can dice up some other veggies really tiny and they will meld into the sauce in a way that may let them slip by. I don't like to "hide" things as a general rule, preferring to have my family accept the ingredients as they are, but sometimes you need to start somewhere to get some footing.

Slow roasted pork -- i do mine in the slow cooker. I season a pork roast liberally with garlic and some salt and pepper. slow cook for 6+ hours or so depending on the size, i add some quartered onions. you can use this for many things. either on its own sort of like carnitas. can be made into tacos or burritos (does he eat those?), or made into enchiladas (I do that with the leftovers). can be bbq pulled pork either on rolls or plain with whatever sides you can get away with -- mac n cheese (homemade vs. boxed), greens? corn?

These are all things that I think of making when my husband's family comes to visit. Good luck!

Sep 28, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking

Recipe ideas for picky husband?

I suspect this is part of the problem. When I met my husband 15 years ago he ate almost no vegetables or fruit, had an abysmal diet of mostly prepared and unhealthy fast foods. Remarkable change has happened, but it took time. His exposure to healthy foods and properly prepared vegetables was (ahem) very limited growing up so he thought he hated things that he had just never experienced in their best form. I introduced him to things little by little encouraging him to try a few bites of roasted asparagus along with the steak that i know he likes, etc. I wasn't a dictator about it but i made clear i wasn't going to allow him to influence our kids' eating habits negatively (this was years before we had kids, by the way). now some of his favorite veggies are -- steamed broccoli, roasted or mashed cauliflower, roasted butternut squash, garlic sautéed spinach, roasted fresh brussel sprouts with sea salt.

keep introducing things a little at a time. make something familiar and then some things that push the envelope. nothing too out there, but well prepared fresh vegetables are probably very different than what he grew up with.

15 years later there are only some things that my hubby still won't tolerate and they are easy to work around -- mushrooms are still avoided. i make creative healthy meals with adventurous flavors -- drawing on many different cultures. he's a great eater now.

there is hope. just take it slow and keep trying.

Sep 28, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #327-The Scotland Votes Edition! [through September 25, 2014]

nice. tonight i was dining solo - i reprised the philly cheesesteak filling (shaved steak, onions, red peppers, mushrooms). heaped upon a section of TJ's demi baguette which was slathered with hot pepper relish and topped with pepperjack. Oven fries alongside + wine. dinner hit the spot with a nice glass or so of wine while watching some back episodes of Suits.

Sep 23, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #327-The Scotland Votes Edition! [through September 25, 2014]

well done!

Sep 22, 2014
MAH in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #327-The Scotland Votes Edition! [through September 25, 2014]

I'm playing catch up. This past week featured:
- pimenton rubbed sea bass on top of kale/white bean and chorizo stew
- chicken curry w/chickpeas and kale made with Maya Kaimal's vindaloo sauce
- philly cheesesteaks w/onions, peppers, mushrooms and pepperjack w/oven fries
- chicken enchiladas suizas kicked up with kale and black beans in the filling
- lamb biryani and palak paneer (the latter from TJ's frozen section. a totally respectable version for an easy "cheat" side dish)