What's for Dinner #32 - the Spring Has Finally Sprung! Edition - April '18

At least here in New England, the recent rain has melted all but the last few mounds of plowed snow. The grass ain’t green (yet) and since the snow is just gone, I’ve not yet seen the signs of local crocuses or daffodils. But others further south of me have posted pics of their flowers beginning to peek out of the dirt, so I hereby declare the Winter of '17-'18 is OVAH!

For those in the northern climes, Spring means: local Spring lamb, local asparagus, fiddleheads, rhubarb, ramps , and morel mushrooms (for the foragers).

I shall celebrate spring using two of the items I listed above. What are you looking forward to?


Looking forward to wearing lighter clothes.

Spring is the best season when it comes to food! I look forward to everything, but especially this

Dinner is various leftovers. It’s a wet and very dark day. Even the garden birds are depressed.


Normal Easter brunch is:
Bagels, italian bread, croissants, corn muffins, bluberry scones…
Eggs of all sorts
Cold cuts…salami, mortadella, ham, turkey etc
Cream cheese, butter, raspery preserves
French toast…
Roasted Pernil
Tuna civiche
Coffee and of course…
Mimosas…with a fortification of vodka…


It was a dank and cold day in Berlin but I managed to make an Easter brunch for myself and roommate. Seared duck breast with raspberry red wine sauce, cockscomb pasta with melted leeks and grana cheese, and a spring salad of spinach, shaved fennel and sugar snap peas in mustard seed vinaigrette. No meat thermometer in the apartment so I accidentally overcooked the duck a bit, but it was still a lovely meal.

Weather is supposed to improve tomorrow and continue getting warmer over the next couple of days. FINALLY!


Taxes done. On April Fool’s Day, no less. But the Feds are giving me back enough to pay off Gilda the Gray Lady. And nothing being paid to Massachusetts. I’m totally fine with that.

While I miss cooking for Mom on holidays, she was good with the lamb dinner they were serving today for dinner. Hopefully it was something she liked.

For me? Dinner tonight was roast boneless lamb that had been schmeared with a combination of olive oil, some Dijon mustard, minced garlic, minced rosemary, dried thyme, salt and pepper. Roasted until medium rare.

Sides were roasted Yukon Gold potatoes, seasoned with olive oil, s/p, garlic powder, and paprika, and steamed asparagus. Some British Rosebud Farms mint jelly to go with the lamb. Because that’s the way my family rolled. Wine as the final side dish.

Dessert was Lemon Posset with raspberries. Glad to be back cooking something.


tonight’s early dinner, rushed, so my son can make it to airport on time for his return trip to Amsterdam.
maple farm duck legs ( from costco- discard orange sauce, used garlic, soy source vinegar , hot pepper sauce instead)
roast potato I placed the potato under the duck to catch the duck fat. Potato turned out very good, crispy. I predicted them with garlic powder, S/P and rosemary powder.
I took the potato out before the duck was done in picture.
Swiss chard sauteed ( I used mangalitsa fat ), with cracked red pepper, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar. and garlic .My son did not like that. He prefers using EVOO.


Early brunching with friends who have a toddler and apparently think 10:30am is an appropriate time for brunch… (um, no. 1 or 2pm is brunch for those of is without small children)
The hostess insisted i not bring a single thing, so i brought some fancy coffee beans since i know the husband is fairly into preparing it with his chemex and fancy bur grinder that i envy.
Lovely spread of salads and bagels and a baked frittata (which i tried! And nope, still not having it with the eggs :confused:)
My mimosa was topped off regularly so who knows how many I really had, but i was home and ready for my nap before 2pm! :laughing:

I decided to slice and roast the HUGE king trumpet mushrooms i picked up in chinatown- added my metrocard for scale in the photo

Just rubbed in a quick teriyaki style sauce after slicing and they turned this fantastic color, i love the chewy texture they have after baking

I almost branched out with smacked cucumbers, which i love yet am incapable of making without getting cucumber guts halfway across my kitchen. Sigh. My garlic was really intense! No vampires here tonight.

Not pictured pile of edamame and a few slices of daikon with furikake, and bubbly ginger lemon kombucha.


Spring has sprung and I have so much cheese and dairy my my refrigerator! I can’t resist this time of year. So many happy goats and cows eating sweet, new grass. This is what I’ve gathered from farmers’ markets just this week:

  • Plain kefir
  • Plain yoghurt and apricot yoghurt
  • Burrata
  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Sheep milk feta
  • Goat butter
  • Tatziki
  • Fresh chèvre



^^ Too much cheese and dairy? Nevah! (Enjoy!)

Based on the original mac & cheese known in Alpine countries as Älplermagronen (Alpine herder’s macaroni with cheese). There’s supposed to be potato chunks mixed in with the pasta (I omitted them) and apple compote alongside. I made pickled beetroots this time. The bits next in a little bowl is store-bought crisp-fried shallots.

Cooked the pasta in beetroot water but it was too pale so I decided to add a pinch of annatto powder. Must have been a big pinch because it completely took over the colour of the beetroot water.


Not very springy today :joy: freak snow storm got me “stuck” at the cabin what was there to do but call in to work and get one last ski day in :grimacing: back in the city with some of Mom’s braciole for dinner. (There are benefits to visiting home)


Snow doesn’t look lousy at all. Get your skis back on then!


Cold and rainy here… potentially better than the snow we had yesterday morning (?!) but i am Very Over It!
Last night was some random tomato based veggie lentil stew from the freezer and a lemon/ginger/cayanne kombucha that was too heavy handed with the cayanne! Yikes. Certainly warmed me up though
Decided i wanted some creamy potato soup today and just did some onions sautéed in earth balance, added garlic, thyme, white pepper, generous salt, the potatoes, and a quick veg broth i made with fennel tops/celery/carrot and a few dried mushrooms. Before picture since after i added cashew cream and blended it was a bowl of creamy white

Dinner was a good sized bowl of the soup with a side of thin sliced daikon and some cherry tomatoes.
I usually munch whatever i’m chopping as an appetizer but that doesn’t work for onions and potatoes! Had a little packet of Bamba from the corner bodega. Impulse buy of discount Reese’s eggs, i’ll have a couple of those for dessert with hot tea


sadly not a lot of cooking lately. lots of going out, lots of vino, and then lots of no-good tummy stuff. better now.

defrosted sofrito chicken was last night, with rice…

and tonight was a take on the NYT sausage and cabbage dish again, this time with morcilla and sliced tomatoes…

morcilla was layered with cabbage, thinly sliced onions, dots of butter, roasted covered for 2.5 hours. cabbage & onions were melty candy goodness. morcilla retained its shape/texture. ala crash hot potatoes, i boiled some, crushed them a bit then roasted with lots of butter and olive oil, smoky paprika, granulated garlic, s&p. tomato was drizzled with arbequina olive oil, champagne vinegar, and a little maldon salt & feta. tomato actually had flavor.

prolly no cooking again until Sat. as i’m working late tomorrow, have a show on Thurs., and BF having dental work on Friday.


Made a bowl of zha jiang mian from @Fuchsia’s Every Grain of Rice. Also can be found here:

It came out well. The sauce came out a little thinner than I expected it to be but it was good.


Huge flakes. A piece of crisp-fried Tyrolean Speck next to the fish.

In a mantle of Speck and seared. I was losing the light fast, half the photos were blurry. This one is OK.


What is “sweet fermented sauce” in the recipe?

I used Koon Chun brand ground bean sauce:

I bought it from a local Asian grocery store.

edit: in retrospect I may have used the wrong sauce, looks like this may be the sauce to use: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_bean_sauce


Oh i did.

1 Like

Crock pot Al Pastor a bit over done I got stuck late at work but tasty


Using up leftovers

For tonight, braised short rib used in a taco. Cleaned and shredded the rib meat and cooked with green onions, cilantro and jalapeño

made a salsa with mini multicolored tomatoes, green onions and cilantro and plated with avocado and lime

leftovers preformed well as a new dish. I think I get a little rush when that happens.


“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold