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What's for Dinner #372 - The Hot & Cold Edition [Old--through 7/2/15]

In hot CA:

-Cold salmon with dollops of mayo and thinly sliced purple onion
-Shrimp cocktail with salad shrimp, chopped celery, lime juice, Cross/Blackwell cocktail sauce. Not the lovely restaurant presentation with jumbo shrimp, but very good.
-Charcuterie plate your choice of cheeses, meats, etc
-Chinese chicken salad and of course all kinds of other salads

These are recent hot weather foods I've prepared.

How to word invitation to restaurant party where I can't pay for super-expensive meals?

If the restaurant won't provide a "special" menu, I would take her to dinner there just the two of you. Then a bit later, take the gang to a place that's comfortable for you. If she's already had her b-day dinner w/ you, the party will be even more of a surprise.

Jun 24, 2015
Gail in Not About Food

Planning a Birthday Lunch - Do I pay for Birthday Girl?

As the "party planner", I would arrive early to let the waiter know to give me her bill. She can be pointed out quietly to the waiter during lunch. That way there would be less of a to-do when the time comes.
Yes, you pay...and why not?

Jun 22, 2015
Gail in Not About Food

How to eat canned smoked trout

I ordered a salad in one of Yountville's top restaurants (Napa Valley). It consisted of greens, sweet onions, potatoes, trout with a light vinaigrette. I can't remember if the trout was smoked or not, but nevertheless, simple and excellent.

Jun 21, 2015
Gail in Home Cooking

Dinner in Monterey/Carmel Recommendations

Were you able to find out what the problem was at the Highlands...new management, new chef? The reviews seem to run hot and cold lately. This restaurant shouldn't be sporadic when it comes to food or service.

Jun 15, 2015
Gail in California

Biggest, most expensive bullshit at a fine dining restaurant.

From their point of view, it's bringing "coal to Newcastle" I suppose. You would be hard-pressed to find a Napa wine not on their list unless you were going cheap. It would be considered heresy to bring in a French wine. However the $150. is an outright discouragement, I agree.

Jun 14, 2015
Gail in Not About Food

Help Me Build a Seafood Tower of Epic Proportions!

Not sure how you're planning on serving this. Are you laying the shellfish on the tower trays and serving the salad, etc as side dishes?
How many are you serving?
Sounds fun and delicious!

Jun 01, 2015
Gail in Home Cooking

What to do wit beef broth?

Oh, can't wait...

May 23, 2015
Gail in Home Cooking

What to do wit beef broth?

Yesterday I braised short ribs in beef broth, red and port wine. The broth wasn't homemade, but the result was very good. Your homemade would be even better...

May 23, 2015
Gail in Home Cooking

Three nights in Monterey

*Massaro & Santos (Coast Guard Pier, Monterey)for sand dabs
*Sandbar and Grill (Municipal Pier, Monterey) for local seafood
*Fifi's (Pacific Grove) for Moules Frites
*Highlands Inn (4 miles S of Carmel)for cocktails and a view to remember.
*Roy's at sunset for bagpipes around a firepit, cocktails and a couple of dining choices.
*Mission Ranch (Carmel) for Sunday brunch on the deck in a lovely pastoral setting.

So many, other will chime in with small Carmel-ish places I'm sure.

May 05, 2015
Gail in California

Has anyone every tried making Manchego Cheesecake?

Hope it doesn't call for too much Manchego. In my neck of the wooes, it's $28./lb.

May 05, 2015
Gail in Home Cooking

Tough Chicken Breasts?

I like how this recipe reads and want to try it. What do you think of baked covered for 20 mins and uncover to brown for 10 mins.? I might omit the turkey (poultry on poultry).

Alkapal, what about the sauce...a combo of wine and chick broth or what would you suggest other than that?

Always looking for fix ahead ideas and this is sounds good.

Apr 22, 2015
Gail in Home Cooking

Shrimp w/ shell-on recipes

Have a party. Spread newspaper on the table and cover with bright tablecloth (or not). Boil the shrimp in beer for 5-7 mins., drain and put into buckets (toy store). Serve with a couple of dipping sauces, coleslaw, corn on the cob, sourdough warm w/ butter, wine and/or beer. Peel 'n eat shrimp, make it fun.

Noah's Vietnamese Fusion Merced?

It may be a reference to the French influence...

Mar 27, 2015
Gail in California

If corned beef is chewy and hard to cut is it not done?

Be sure to cut it cross grain too.

Mar 20, 2015
Gail in Home Cooking

Ideas for dinner for 6

Short ribs on wide noodles or mashed if you insist. Cook the short ribs a day ahead...better for you and better for the ribs.

Mar 19, 2015
Gail in Home Cooking

Family Friendly - Pacific Grove/Monterey/Carmel-By-The-Sea

Massaro and Santos on the Coast Guard wharf

Sandbar and Grill on the Municipal wharf

Peppers Mexicali Café, Pacific Grove

Mar 16, 2015
Gail in California

China or stoneware - what is a good forever pattern?

Dansk...Love their flatware too.

Mar 01, 2015
Gail in Cookware

Langostino tails

Yes, traveler, cold with a dip and wine. Also, in a Louie; iceberg lettuce shredded, langostino (cooked, cold, out of shell) on top, surround with hard boiled eggs, asparagus spears etc and covered in Louie dressing.

Feb 15, 2015
Gail in Home Cooking

Fresno/Clovis Area Dining

Thanks for the updates. I'm still trying to find someone who has been to the new Zen Wok on Herndon/Palm.

Feb 14, 2015
Gail in California

Need help with my menu..

If you think you will "get pretty full off the oysters", why not have a big bowl of homemade Boston clam chowder and warm sour dough bread with butter.

Follow it all with his favorite dessert.

Feb 12, 2015
Gail in Home Cooking

What can I use instead of beer to make Brisket?

sunshine, just wanted you to know this did not go unnoticed...

>>>> if the spirit moves you <<<

Feb 08, 2015
Gail in Home Cooking

Menu for baby shower brunch

Chinese chicken salad

Feb 05, 2015
Gail in Home Cooking

Slow Boat to China casserole

I agree chefj. Google has tons of recipes for SB to C and the inclusion of water chestnuts would work in any of them.


Jan 29, 2015
Gail in Home Cooking

what else can i make with pot roast cut?

Create shredded beef (machaca)for tacos, enchiladas, tostadas, etc...

Jan 24, 2015
Gail in Home Cooking

I need party food ideas for 50 people, including kids

I'd make a crockpot full of chili to go with any of the sandwiches or the taco bar. Serve in disposable small bowls and have shredded cheese, onions, crackers to sprinkle on top.

Jan 22, 2015
Gail in Home Cooking

Palm Springs Splurge Meal

Beach Chick, I totally agree with you! I have dined here many times and am *very* surprised to hear about Kat's experience. I looked at their site you posted and I'm wondering if they have gravitated to an emphasis on groups...after all that's where the big $$s are. If so, lunch might be a better option or inquire if they are hosting a party when you make your res.

Jan 20, 2015
Gail in California

Pat peeves as a guest at a dinner party?

When I offer to help clean up and open the dishwasher and it's full......of clean dishes.

Jan 17, 2015
Gail in Not About Food

Zen Wok, Fresno

Zen Wok (2) opened a month ago on Palm/Herndon. I haven't been to either, but the new one is really close to me. Has anyone been there? Appreciate your thoughts...

Jan 16, 2015
Gail in California

Winter brunch menu

El Dorado
2 pounds ground sirloin
16 oz bottled chunky salsa
1 cup sour cream (lo fat-0k)
1 cup cottage cheese (lo fat Ok)
1 small can green chilies, seeded & chopped
2 cups Jack cheese, grated
Corn chips
2 small cans/1 large sliced ripe olives
1 teaspoon oregano
Garlic salt
1 packet dry taco seasoning
1 can of corn, drained (I use a little less)
--In skillet, brown beef; add garlic salt, salsa, oregano, corn & dry taco seasoning..
-- Mix sour cream, cottage cheese & chilies in a separate bowl.
--Spray a 3 quart casserole with Pam or line with Release.
--Cover bottom of casserole with a layer of corn chips'
Spread 1/2 meat mixture on top of corn chips
Sprinkle 1/2 can of olives over meat mixture.
Spread 1/2 cottage cheese & sour cream mixture on top of meat mixture
--Sprinkle 1/2 of Jack cheese on top.
--Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until bubbly. Garnish with whole chips & olives. Let stand awhile

Mexican Lasagna
1-1/2 or 2 pounds ground sirloin
1 can (17 ounces) kernel corn, drained
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
1 cup picante sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 carton (16 ounces) low fat cottage cheese
2 eggs slightly beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon oregano leaves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
12 corn tortillas
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
--Brown meat & drain. Add corn, tomato sauce, picante sauce, chili powder & cumin. Simmer, stirring frequently for 5 minutes.
--Combine cottage cheese, eggs, Parmesan cheese, oregano & garlic salt; mix well. Spray with Pam a 13x9x2 baking dish. Arrange 6 tortillas on bottom & up sides, overlapping as necessary. Top with half the meat mixture. Spoon cottage cheese mixture over meat.
--Arrange remaining tortillas over cheese, overlapping as necessary. Top with remaining meat mixture.
--Bake at 375 degrees about 30 minutes. Remove from oven & sprinkle with Cheddar cheese. Let stand before serving.
--Top with additional salsa if desired.

Jan 13, 2015
Gail in Home Cooking