What’s for Dinner #52 - the Continuous Feasts Edition- December 2019

What an adventurous year and finally the last month of 2019. To sum up, I hope everybody will have some great meals to conclude the year. Family or solo meals, parties, food gifts, what will you be cooking this month?


Thanks @naf for setting up the new thread.


I prefer your introduction posts. You’re the best!


Aww, thx. Just didn’t have it in me today.


An easy day, as I’m feeling a bit wonky. I went with a plate redux from my personal Thanksgiving dinner last night. Probably one more plate before it’s repurposed or frozen (some turkey and gravy only). I have plenty of turkey left to use in a turkey chili, using the mashed sweet potatoes as a thickener.

Tomorrow’s return to work is up in the air… literally, based on how much frozen white stuff decides to come down overnight and how well prepared the local towns are in clearing the roads. I can do the month end billing at home, although it’s easier at work. We shall see.


Today, my son who is away in Amsterdam till February requested that a few of his friends (5) come over for dinner. The request is for D’artagnan’s Duck Confit Cassoulet. So, I started preparing it yesterday. Here is recipe rom D’artagnan’s.

However, since I cannot eat red meat, and cannot travel to DC for garlic sausage, I substituted the armagnac sausage and garlic sausage with Costco’s chicken and pesto sausage. I added 1/2 cup of Brandy to the cassoulet, and I substituted ventreche with turkey bacon As for the duck confit legs, I seared them on top of the stove but part of the duck skin does not touch the bottom of the pan, so I cut them off, ( pictures show part of skin cut off) and crisp them in the oven together with the turkey bacon which I then added to the top of the cassoulet or for people to pick and eat them . The crispy duck skin was specially delightful. In the future, I think I will just remove the skin entirely, crisp them and serve them on the side or on top of the cassoulet bec the part that was crispy longer was crispy after 5 hours in the oven.
I made spring rolls as appetizer but only cooked them as the guests arrived as I want them to be crisp rather than a nice presentation with soggy spring rolls as the guest arrived at different times. Picture show 2 of the 3 batches cooked. They were dipped in soy sauce, cider vinegar, freshly crushed pepper, tabasco and garlic. Since the spring rolls stuffings were made in August 2018, before my diagnosis of alpha gal and so had ground pork, I could not eat the spring rolls but instead, steamed some turkey /shrimp ( 50-50) for myself so the guests would not feel bad.
I also wanted to make cheese soufflé but couldn’t find my individual souffle recipe from Emile Henry. EH had since discontinued the individual souffle ramekins , so the chef wrote that she would look for it and send it to me next week. Therefore, I substituted with a butternut squash souffle instead which is not as delicate as as cheese souffle as it did not rise as much but it was very delicate and taste very good as a first course.
For vegetable, I had asparagus roasted for 8 minutes ( still crunchy ) with Evoo, S/P,garlic powder and then with parmesan cheese.
Dessert was mocha cake from Heidelberg Pastry Shop from Arlington , Va considered one of the 10 pastry shop in Northern Va but unfortunately, forgot to take pictures. It was served with Tom and Jerry’s coffee toffee crunch ice cream
Unfortunaelty, the cassoulet dish picture did not turn out.
Yes, there were lots of merlot, CS .
Was a good get together for my son’s friends and every one went home with left overs . One of the guests lives three hours away so is spending the night here.


Still living off a slim larder ->

Rutabega veloute with creme fraiche and pear


Your son is in Amsterdam but you had a dinner party for his friends? @ccj you are a gem.


Too. Much. Food.


After three days of savory American food, tonight we grilled up a red curry skirt steak.


Out for a casual dinner party at a friend’s last night - they mostly ordered in, supplemented by some homemade apps (a dynamite spinach-artichoke bake that was lighter than the usual - I must get the recipe).

I baked yet another round of (bite-sized) brownies and orange olive oil cake to take for dessert. I wasn’t pleased with the cake - it was the driest I’ve made, but both went over well with the crowd (there were two little girls who popped a brownie and snuck another in a little fist each time they walked by… adorable, but the poor unknowing parents :joy:).

Tonight I needed an asian fix and didn’t feel like cooking. Tried frozen pad see euw from Whole Foods, and it was remarkably tasty. I added eggs and charred the whole thing a bit.

I’m still obsessing over olive oil cake. Would like to settle on a recipe I can repeat blindly but so far each one has left me wanting on some aspect.


David Leite’s orange olive oil cake is supposedly outstanding; also I made a lemon olive oil cake that I adapted from a Food Network recipe for mini lemon olive oil cakes. The only change I made was to bake it in a larger pan. Soooo good!

1 Like

It all looks delicious @ChristinaM! What kind of pie?

Banana cream swoon.

I take credit only for the wine and beer we brought.

1 Like

Well I’m glad you were treated to a dinner by your in-laws! Pie sounds and looks delish. It ALL does, with the PR cooked to perfection too.

We had another excellent dinner at Viaggio in Wayne, NJ. Details and pictures in the link below for those that are interested.


Well, you certainly know WHERE to bring them!

1 Like

Love seeing your “lean larder” meals @pilgrim. I’d be flattered to eat at your house any day.


What a drop dead gorgeous dining room!!

1 Like

On the 24th, my parents, grandparents (paternal & maternal), my husband, my twin sons and their wives and our 2 grandsons and in laws, shall be meeting as we always do for:

24th: " The Seven Fish Dinner "
25th: Either cochinillo (roast suckling piglet ) or roast lechazo (milk fed baby Lamb) or Filet Mignon of Beef grilled to likeness.

The 31st we all always go to my inlaws.

The 1st is always A French Fondue, in 3 courses: Kirsch with Swiss Gruyère and the 2nd is filet mignon and 3rd is Chocolate with home made sponge.

Then my sons and their spouses and us, fly over to Italia to go skiing in the Dolmites or The Swiss Alps.

The Epiphany, is celebrated these days amongst our sons and their ladies, on our trip.