What's For Dinner #105 - the Start Your Gardens! Edition - April 2024

Maybe not today, as it is probably "fool"ish in many parts of the country to think that we automatically flip to Spring on April 1st. In fact, some of that white four letter word will be falling in my neck of New England later this week!

But for those that start from seed, I’m sure you’ve got your inside grow lights in your basement or mudroom to help the delicate plants come in to the light. (Just don’t go into the light in the :tv:, OK? :ghost:) Soon the plants will be ready to go outside, but don’t plant too many zucchini plants. You know they produce like rabbits! :rabbit::rabbit::rabbit:

As for myself, I take the easy way out: starter plants from my local nursery for my deck garden, which I probably won’t get to until the end of the month. But no matter if you grow herbs in a window box in your kitchen, you create a deck garden with everything in pots next to your lounge chair or on the deck railing, you turn over the dirt in several patches of your sunny side or back yard, you’re part of a local community garden, or you’re going to plow up the back 40…PLANT something! Get those fingers into the soil, teach your kids where food comes from, and enjoy the awakening of a new season.


I’m having beef stroganoff (Bon Appetit recipe) with buttered egg noodles and steamed asparagus. Nothing fancy.


That’s a favorite meal of mine! (Although I’ve not made the BA recipe)


Planting? :joy: :joy: :joy:. We probz have the blackest thumbs in the neighborhood, if not the universe… not to mention that we’re usually away for most of the tending/growing/whatever season.

On that note: our departure is only four weeks away – so that date at least is firmly planted in our minds :wink:

I picked up a box of beautiful honey mangoes at Sam’s Club earlier, where we originally went to pick up blackberries (no dice) and sumo mandarins (dice!). I think we may be the only peeps in town who mostly take advantage of their fruit and produce section. Made a big ole fruit salad with 3 or 4 of the mangoes & a perfectly ripe pineapple. Blueberries, stupid bananas for my PIC, sumos and toasted walnuts can be added ad hoc.

The vibrant orange & yellow definitely brightened up this dreary, grey, chilly day. What fools we were to think spring had arrived!

WFD tonight was a big-ass salad of Aldi baby romaine, sunny crisp, sugar bomb tomatoes, cuke, radish, avocado, blue cheese, Aldi pepper bacon, and roti chicken breast. The salad was tossed in a simple shallot / garlic / RWV / olive oil / s&p / fresh parsley / brown mustard vinaigrette.

Toldja we’re gonna “lighten up” our meals this month :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


A typical fair-weather dinner at our house. Turkish chicken kebabs on the grill. Garden spinach sauteed with shallots. Couscous with currants and parsley. Yogurt sauce with lemon.


His dinner tonight. Charcoal grilled ribeye with a nuked halfway and finished off along with a buttermilk pie. oven baked potato topped with sharp cheddar and sour cream. Salad with blue cheese dressing not shown. My dinner is takeout Chinese. I know this might sound weird to some of you, but we’re comfortable at our age with our differences when it comes to dinner.


Made Serious Eats’ chicken chile verde in the Instant Pot yesterday - turned out delicious. There’s no added liquid in it for concentration of flavors - everything gets dumped in the pot, then after a little saute, cooked under high pressure, steam gets released, chicken removed, tomatillos, aromatics and peppers (3 kinds) get blended. Chicken gets added back in, a little fish sauce for extra umami, and cilantro. At first I could really taste/smell the fish sauce, but after a bit in the hot broth, it completely dissipated. Super limey, too, without any lime added, from the tomatillos. And creamy, even before we added the crema! We garnished with avo, scallions, and more cilantro. I had mine with the last tortillas we had left, the BF had his with leftover rice.


Before I get too far behind…

“Curried shrimp”, coconut rice, and calaloo (it’s really chard but I’m on a roll).




Just curious - does this mean you always have different dishes for dinner or is this one just an exception?

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Haddock smothered under tomato sauce, and also overcooked (still pretty good). Creamed spinach (always a winner).


Lamb meatballs, air-fried, over the last of the black lentils, with avocado and feta


Mushroom ragu with rice noodles - ragu was made with brown button mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, king oyster mushrooms, carrots, shallots, garlic, seitan (only chorizo flavored was unfortunately available), smoked paprika, teriyaki sauce, cilantro, jalapeno, gochugaru and mushroom broth


Tonight’s dinner was Ham & Onion Quiche (green beans on the side). I froze the rest of the leftover Easter Ham. I’ll use it up in various recipes over the next month or so.


Spanish potluck dinner with friends.

I made a couple of small tortillas espanola with alioli, beet and orange salad, pork pinchos morunos (from that milk street recipe), roasted asaparagus also with the alioli, and a burnt basque cheesecake.

My friends set out a cheese and charcuterie board and made gambas al ajillo, what was supposed to be chicken and chorizo but they couldn’t find chorizo, sauteed mushrooms, and rice. And supplied the wine and their home!

I love the way the little 2-egg tortillas turn out in my little carbon steel pan! But now I have linda’s problem of lots of alioli to use up. (Thinking chicken salad, because I bought a lot of chicken for the chicken dish before my friend decided she wanted to make it and I acquiesced :grinning:)

The beet and orange salad was a first for me, and lovely and refreshing especially against everything else.

The cheesecsake was new to all my friends, slightly overcooked in the center by my read, but they didn’t care (I wanted to bring home a slice but one couple wanted to take some home for their kid, so I gave up my share of the leftovers so he could have 2 slices).

The pinchos morunos were tasty as they always are.


Huevos rancheros


Dinner tonight started with spring mix dressed with an evoo, balsamic, garlic dressing then a fettuccine al pesto. I had intended on making dal for dinner but I left the museum this afternoon way later than planned. By the I time I got home I was peckish and tired so I dipped into some already made pesto sauce and served it over fettuccine. There will be leftover pasta for lunch tomorrow.


The quiche looks WONDERFUL!


Perfect way to use up the alioli! (Now I want chicken salad with alioli.)


No, not always. Just now and then.

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