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What's for Dinner #340 - the Pre-Christmas Rush Edition

Happy Christmas everyone!

Instead of cooking last night, I graciously accepted an invite to a friend's house for her "Feast of the Seven Fishes" meal. We had an array of shrimp, fish and crab that was all delicious.

Today, I am cooking - a lot! I just took my cinnamon rolls out of the fridge to take the chill off (CI's recipe, never tried but looks good so far). Appetizers for later include my famous crab dip and stuffed mushrooms. Dinner is stuffed shells with meatballs, sausage, pork chops and sauce. Alongside will be cold green pepper salad, sauteed broccoli rabe and bread, of course. Dessert is my take on a "Hartford Cream Pie" - Orange-scented sponge cake, cannoli filling and a chocolate glaze.

Can't wait to stuff myself silly! :)

What's for Dinner #340 - the Pre-Christmas Rush Edition

Pizza tonight as well. Too much to do to get ready for tomorrow and Thursday!

What did you/would you eat the morning of your wedding?

I was so busy running around dealing with last minute issues (no alcohol left because everyone drank it all the night before at our rehearsal dinner) that I didn't really eat anything. I remember grabbing a handful of tortilla chips at some point. By the time the ceremony was over, I was famished. I do remember pushing people out of the way to get to my cheese display - "save the boursin for me damnit".

If I was the mom, I would just set out a small buffet of a few different non-fussy things and she can choose what she feels like eating.

Dec 23, 2014
krisrishere in General Topics

Simple foolproof way to prepare a whole beef tenderloin?

I always thought that this was helpful:

http://www.onlinecookingschool.com/co...

Dec 23, 2014
krisrishere in Home Cooking

Amazing and fairly easy appetizer to bring to xmas eve?

I just did a google image search of baked feta. Food porn at it's finest. Most pictures I saw were whole blocks.

Dec 23, 2014
krisrishere in Home Cooking

Stupid lasagna noodle question

Too much sauce maybe?

Dec 23, 2014
krisrishere in Home Cooking

Amazing and fairly easy appetizer to bring to xmas eve?

Oh, that sounds crazy good.

Dec 23, 2014
krisrishere in Home Cooking

Stupid lasagna noodle question

Even when I use regular lasagna noodles, I never cook them first...just layer in the pan raw. The sauce cooks them to a perfect al dente every time. No one ever knows.

Amazing and fairly easy appetizer to bring to xmas eve?

I like making roll-ups with puff pastry dough. Fill with spicy shredded chicken and cotija cheese, roll up, slice and bake. Top with a dollop of cilantro sour cream. Or slather the dough with dijon or grainy mustard, cover in a nice deli ham and some aged cheddar. Those are yummy too.

If you want cold and healthy, how about bite size Greek salad? A skewer of feta, kalamata olive, slice of English cucumber and a cherry tomato. Super easy and they look incredible on a platter.

Dec 23, 2014
krisrishere in Home Cooking

2014 in the kitchen: What were the best new things you made?

Math is not my forte.. :) I'll figure it out. Lidia's recipe it is!

Dec 23, 2014
krisrishere in Home Cooking

2014 in the kitchen: What were the best new things you made?

Do you think it makes 1, 8" round cake or 2?

Dec 23, 2014
krisrishere in Home Cooking

2014 in the kitchen: What were the best new things you made?

Yes absolutely. Pierre is worried about the amount of o.j. in it (rolling eyes). Is it really orange-y?

Dec 22, 2014
krisrishere in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #340 - the Pre-Christmas Rush Edition

Work in progress. My perfectionist husband thinks it sucks. He's impossible.

2014 in the kitchen: What were the best new things you made?

Yes, I saw that!! I'm so torn on the cake portion of it. Just looking at that picture, the cake looks more sponge than anything. I have like 3 different recipes I'm throwing around...and a boxed yellow cake mix in my cupboard in case I saw "f-it" lol I did see an "instructables" about turning a boxed cake mix into a sponge cake that looks intriguing...

Dec 22, 2014
krisrishere in Home Cooking

2014 in the kitchen: What were the best new things you made?

Great thread! To be honest, I had to raid the photo gallery in my phone to remember some of the great things I made. If it's incredible, it's required that it is photographed :)

Going all the way back to Easter, I made an Italian Easter Pie that was phenomenal. Pie crust, ricotta, broccoli rabe, provolone, hot capicola - delicious. I remember it being even better cold the next day.

More recently, thanks to all of you on this board, I made Jasper White's pan roasted lobster. I think the word I used to describe it on here was orgasmic. I'm drooling just thinking about it.

Speaking of lobster, lobster bakes have become something of a late summer tradition at my house as of 2014. We put a large metal grate over our fire pit, throw on some lobsters, corn and potatoes and cover it with saltwater soaked burlap. It's great fun, and I can't wait to do it again in 2015.

And finally, I have high hopes for a 'Hartford Cream Pie' that I'm about to embark on in a few days. I'll keep you posted ;)

Dec 22, 2014
krisrishere in Home Cooking
1

Sides that cut through fat/ richness

That's the question I was going to ask you! :) There are so many different avenues you could take with it...

Dec 22, 2014
krisrishere in Home Cooking

pork butt roast time

If you want to slice it, cook it to 170-180 degrees. If you let it go any lower than that, the butt will be very tough. You need time for the fat and connective tissue to render and cook, hence the higher internal temp. Now, if you were roasting a pork loin, then yes, 145 would be an acceptable finished temperature.

pork butt roast time

I regularly roast a 3-4lb butt. I start high at 400 for an hour, then back it down to 300 for about 4 hours or until it's 190 degrees. Are you looking for a pull apart, fall-off-the bone roast? If you do, 190 degrees internally is where you need to shoot for. I find that the hour at 400 gives me a very crispy skin; no need for browning first.

Dec 22, 2014
krisrishere in Home Cooking

Substitution for Christmas dinner - On a budget - please help

I absolutely think you could substitute a chuck roast for this!

What's for Dinner #340 - the Pre-Christmas Rush Edition

He made a structural gingerbread dough, that isn't gingerbread at all but it is hard as a rock. Tonight he is making a caramel to fuse the pieces together. Tomorrow he'll make the royal icing for decoration. It took him at least 4 hours to just cut and bake all of the little pieces, but I think it's going to look good! Such a dork my husband is :)

What's for Dinner #340 - the Pre-Christmas Rush Edition

I didn't know what it was until a co-worker brought some in on Friday. Oh. My. God. I had to make it this weekend just to try it. I was good and gave it all away this morning, but it is definitely going on my regular Christmas sweets menu next year.

Dec 22, 2014
krisrishere in Home Cooking

Christmas Eve Dinner for Two?

I also vote for a surf and turf - it's Christmas Eve!

For my wedding anniversary, I made my husband and I a pan roasted lobster (Jasper White's Summer Shack recipe), grilled a small strip steak and split both the lobster and steak between the two of us. I think I did roasted asparagus as well. Fellow CHer's suggested the lobster recipe and it was out of this world - and not that fussy either!

Dec 22, 2014
krisrishere in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #340 - the Pre-Christmas Rush Edition

The past few days haven't been very eventful in the dinner department. Friday's dinner was a steamed artichoke with red wine vinegar and oil to dip. Saturday was cheese, crackers and pepperoni. Because I am so sick of food (damn you holiday goodies), I made a big pot of minestrone - a recipe recommended to me from the New England Soup Factory. It literally has a ton of vegetables in it - carrots, celery, onion, cabbage, zucchini, green beans, peas, spinach, chickpeas, kidney beans and cannelini beans OH MY :)

This weekend I also made Christmas Crack which is saltine cracker toffee, but crack is definitely a better name for it. The husband also began construction on a "gingerbread" Millennium Falcon while I made Italian Rainbow cookies.

Lunch and dinner for the next couple of days is most definitely that soup!

Minestrone Soup

That New England Soup Factory recipe sounds delicious! Thanks!

Dec 19, 2014
krisrishere in Home Cooking

Minestrone Soup

Agreed. I can do a some tomato right now and it doesn't bother me, so that's a bonus.

I love the recipe up-thread that has fennel in it - that would give the soup great flavor, not to mention it's good on the tummy ;)

Dec 19, 2014
krisrishere in Home Cooking

Minestrone Soup

I have been feeling like absolute crud for the past week - on and off heartburn and upset stomach. I thought it was because of our not-so-healthy holiday eating as of late, but that's not it. I've been very strict this whole week with food (lots of veggies and lean protein), but to no avail. I think a cure may be a good hearty minestrone.

I'm ashamed to say that I've never made it. If I wanted to eat minestrone, I would go get a can of Progresso. Can anyone point me to a tried and true recipe with lots of fresh veg and beans?

Dec 19, 2014
krisrishere in Home Cooking

Fancy Bloody Marys

I love a good bloody. Mm! Your bloody bull sounds good. I think I would be more inclined to drink that than the buffalo chicken one - just my personal preference. I would think something tangy like a blue cheese stuffed olive might be good.

My all time favorite is one served here in coastal Virginia. Very heavy on the horseradish and Old Bay (on the rim as well) and a touch of liquid smoke. The topper is the best part - a small slice of roasted pork belly. DIVINE.

Dec 19, 2014
krisrishere in Spirits

Help me make pork belly lettuce wraps

Well everyone, I did it! Yay!

I actually bought the pork belly sliced, so I marinated it in a mixture of soy, sesame, sugar and other spices. Then I grilled them rather gently. I also pickled some carrots and daikon as a topper...then I threw on some sliced cucumber and cilantro as well. For a dipping sauce, I did a mixture of soy, rice vinegar, scallions, garlic and red pepper flakes. Finally, I served it with some stir fried eggplant. Delicious!!

Thank you so much for all of the help :)

Super Easy Few Ingredient Holiday Cookies and Candy

Every year I make M&M pretzel candies. I make a TON because they're super easy, cheap and delicious. It also makes a great filler if you're making other cookies, etc.

Fill a whole baking sheet with crosshatch pretzels. Top with either a Hershey kiss or chocolate melting disks (I use both dark, milk and white). Heat in a low oven until soft but not completely melted. Immediately top with an M&M and set aside to chill. DONE!

Dec 13, 2014
krisrishere in Home Cooking

Leftover Ham - Need an app/dip/snack

Depending on how thin your ham is, you could do a ham and cheddar pinwheel. Puff pastry dough slathered with dijon, topped with ham and a good cheddar...roll up, slice and bake!

I like the ham salad idea too...I love ham salad sandwiches.

Dec 09, 2014
krisrishere in Home Cooking