What’s For Dinner #87 - the Holiday Menu Planning Edition - November 2022

Any chance you could paraphrase the tuna melt recipe? Or an ingredient list? Paywall…

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Here are the ingredients (although personally I omit the dill and the mustard). She recommends a sharp cheddar, and rye or sourdough for bread.

3 x 6-oz. cans of water-packed tuna
3/4 c. mayo
1/4 c. finely chopped cornichons or dill pickles
3 T. minced red onion
2 T. lemon juice
1 T. minced fresh dill (optional)
2 t. whole-grain mustard
1/4 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. black pepper


Last night was a very simple lemon chicken and rice. The chicken thighs were marinated in lots of lemon, bay leaf, mustard, garlic and olive oil. The whole meal cooked together in the one pot which was great for clean up and the chicken helped flavour the rice too. Fiance wasn’t too impressed but I thought it was easy and tasty.

Excuse the messy plating!


Not messy at all. I want to faceplant, TBH :star_struck:


We met up with a few friends at a new-to-us Sichuan place in town a buddy just ‘discovered’ a month ago (we live in a verrrrry small town, so the thought that there might be a restaurant with GOOD food we aren’t aware of is kinda ludicrous… yet here we were. Clueless).

Sofa king glad we went bc the food was absolutely stellar. Highlights were the lightest possible chongqing chicken, and “golden sand shrimp:” flash fried shell-on shrimp in a coating of cornstarch and grated salted duck yolk. Oh, my. Everything else was lovely, too. We will be back.


We enjoyed a spectacular complimentary 7 course tasting dinner at Fiorentini’s new 4 seat Chef’s table. It is like an Italian omakase. The extremely talented chef creates such artistic dishes. The Chef’s table will be held every Wednesday and Thursday and is already sold out until the end of the year. Chef Antonio graciously and generously invited us to the tasting, for our opinions, before it officially goes live next Wednesday, during their one year anniversary week. I highly recommend it for those living in the NJ area. It is $155 for 7 courses and would be great for special occasions. Below are the courses we enjoyed. It all went great with a couple of red blends. The beautiful leaves in the wagyu short ribs dish were made from actual short ribs meat! Amazing!

*Amuse Bouche - Pappa al pomodoro, crispy parmigiano
*Fall in love - 3 color beets tartar, Gorgonzola, firestick , stracciatella parfait

  • Spaguetti do Gragniano, lemon bottarga garlic confit
  • Maine Lobster, crostaceus jus, carrot-Calabrian Chile pure, crispy gnocchi
    *Wagyu short ribs, Brussels pure, maple glazed, kambucha squash, short ribs leaves
    *Pear Sorbet, 12 yrs aged balsamic
    *70% Valrhona chocolate mousse, black cherry hazelnut praline, olive oil ice cream, sea salt


BIL in town last night. I made shallow-fried falafel wraps (from TJ’s dry mix) with the works, garlic kale, and glazed carrots. Veg (except the tomatoes and cukes) from our CSA. I made tzatziki and purchased hummus.

Pinot Gris and CA red blend.


How is the falafel mix? Will it make me cry and salivate for Habibi’s?

It was OK. Too much cumin. I intended to add fresh parsley but Aldi was out.

ETA I found it weird the instructions call for frying at 300° rather than the usual 350°.

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Haha thank you! You’re more than welcome to and I won’t even judge :smile:

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“ DICKENS, Apple Creek Blvd, Markham “ - An enjoyable, long-overdue revisit……welcomed by ‘Robots’!!

This iconic Hong Kong Style Western Food establishment has been serving the HK immigrant community with some yummy, nostalgic and traditional fare for nearly 3 decades. The current Markham location is their third outpost….the previous two being at Highway #7 & Chalmers and Richlane Plaza ( Leslie & 16th Ave ).

Unlike the afore-mentioned locations, this new place occupied a bright, spacious and contemporary decorated front-of-house, with high ceilings and well spaced, comfortable booths and tables. Incorporation of a high-tech theme resulted in myriads of wall-mounted large screen HDTV, playing up-to-date HK Soap Opera and waitresses augmented by remote ‘ROBOTS‘!..R2-D2 cousin?! Ha!

Based on previous experiences, our party of three automatically ordered two of our former favourites dated back ‘eons’ ago!..Deep fried jumbo chicken wings and Hong Kong style Russian Borscht. The former, still perfectly seasoned, super crispy, ultra juicy and arriving piping hot! The Borscht?! Hands down, still the BEST rendition in town. The multi-dimensional, aromatic elixir brought back some nostalgic memories from Russian restaurants like Cherikoff or Chantecler dated back to the British colonial Hong Kong era!

In addition, we ordered:

  • ‘ Braised ox-tongue and cheese spaghetti in house-special gravy ‘ ( A nice savory/tangy flavor mix with chewy yet tender Ox-tongue slices ).
  • Chicken a-la-King with rice (Smooth and creamy sauce laden with umami)
  • Baked coconut infused Portuguese Chicken rice ( Slightly disappointed, the under-seasoned sauce lacked curry and coconut aroma and flavour )

…….BTW, all dishes were delivered to our table via ‘remote robots’!! Cool!!

Overall, an ‘ interesting ‘ and tasty food and AI experience!
Won’t be long till our next visit!


Leek and potato soup, made “Friday night easy” by the fact that I had sautéed leeks in the freezer and rich chicken broth to hand. Dicing potatoes and adding cream was about what I had energy for. Scotch rocks for afters.


Mmm yum! Cold-weather food.


Tonight I made slow-cooked sirloin-tip roast over cauli-converted rice. It had the usual Midwestern suspects of cream of mushroom soup, dry mushroom-onion soup, onions, butter, thyme, bay leaf, Worcestershire, and lots of black pepper. With the meat sliced thin and plenty of gravy, it was really tasty.


Aldi shrimp & crab ravs in a sauce made with half a shallot sautéed in kalamata olive oil, RPF, a nub of tomato paste, a splash of white, 1/4 cup of BTB lobster base (the only thing I measured out hahaha), 3 blobs of TJ’s frozen parsley, and cream freeeeesh. It was a little runny so I mounted with butter. Did the trick. Really nice, easy dinner. Salad on the side as ever :wink:


Last night’s dinner was a gathering of NYC Onions in Chinatown with too much sake and plenty of (mixed-review) food.

As I do when possible, I went early so I could do some Chinatown grocery shopping – vegetables and assorted things. I also picked up some chicken, duck, and char siu.

Tonight I made soup from the duck bones and skin, and then put the skin into the oven to render the rest of the fat (so there should be some duck fat potatoes in my future).

Cooked up some rice in the soup for Hainan-ish chicken and rice. Also drank some soup, of course. Very comforting in this insane weather.


Looks delicious!

How do you manage the salt when using onion soup mix with other things like canned mushroom soup?

(It made the most fantastic pot roast during the pandemic, but despite not adding any actual salt, the result was much saltier than we eat).

I used 2 cans of cream of mushroom, 1 envelope of mushroom-onion soup mix, maybe 2/3 c. of water and the herbs, onion, Worcestershire, a sprinkle of Montreal steak seasoning, granulated garlic, and butter. It wasn’t too salty but I didn’t need to add any, either. I could see it being too much for sensitive palates but with a bland starch, it worked.


Pretty atypical for me, I followed 3 different recipes for dinner. The greek lemon potatoes upthread (good), and 2 recipes from a 11/99 F&W mag. They were chicken in sherry sauce and caramelized brussels sprouts with pistachio. These 2 were ok but not that special. But it was all very pretty!


Saturday’s leftover spiced lamb with Wednesday’s leftover lentils.