What's for Dinner #71 - the Vacation Time! Edition - July 2021

So - kids are home from school. (If they were going in to begin with.)

Traffic has been looking pre-pandemicky. (That’s definitely one thing I could do without again!)

Beaches and pools and lakes and ponds and restaurants and theme parks and concerts are crowded again! Woo hoo!

It’s Summah. Pop open that soda, beer, bottle of wine, and enjoy a glass, while the BBQ or Grill Master in your house throws the burgers, hot dogs, chicken, or shrimp on the barbie - whatever is true Summer food for you. And don’t forget the potato salad, coleslaw, and deviled eggs!

What’s cooking in your house/on your deck or patio as we start the 2nd half of the year?


Still no faucet. I was determined to make a one-pot meal that could go straight into the dishwasher, and mostly succeeded. I landed on creamy Cajun pasta with garlic shrimp and steamed green beans with roasted garlic olive oil Turned out really well despite logistical challenges. The kiddo swapped shrimp for fish sticks. We just keep presenting…time has shown it eventually works.


Well hello July!

I’ve got a lot of pompano now (double order) so I decided to make fish again. Fish curry sounded right but also felt too heavy after two days of heatwave, so I decided fish tagine would be a lighter option.

I started with a recipe but the flavors felt too light, so I improvised to get closer to the taste of the dish at a beloved local Moroccan place - more cumin and a dose of harissa. Subbed half a red pepper from the freezer and plum tomatoes that were going downhill (both saved by roasting), and added a some sliced onion. Used my baby pressure cooker (without sealing ring or weight) instead of the tagine because I hadn’t thought far enough ahead. Cooked everything but the fish first while the fish marinated in some charmoula, then placed the fish on top and let it steam for a while on both sides with some of the sauce spooned over.

Really delicious over leftover rice, and with a drizzle of a lovely olive oil.

I felt like a drink, so I had a classic indian sharbat/sarbat - rose syrup in chilled water with a generous squeeze of lemon.



Sinkless is an interesting challenge! Glad you have your dishwasher at least!


Teriyaki Korean short ribs (or flanken) tonight. We watched a video of Chef John (Food Wishes) making these, and while I find most teriyaki sauce to be too sweet, I made these using a Korean rice syrup that’s much less sweet than the brown sugar called for. I could eat these galbi-type ribs all day long. BF made a really tasty, spicy slaw to go with that included some shiso leaf he’d pickled.


Hello July!

Well, tomorrow I turn the big 3-0. So my BF and I went away to our favorite town for the last night of my 20’s. We are staying at a B & B built in 1810.

We had afternoon cocktails at a bar called Greenhouse. A Chocolate Peanut Butter Old Fashioned for me, a Strawberry Black Pepper Margarita for him.

We then went back to our room to wait out a rather large thunderstorm. It finally cleared and we walked to dinner. Key word: walked!

Dinner was at a long running establishment called Martine’s with a lovely view of the Delaware River. Drinks at the bar: he had beer and I had an Elderflower Gimlet.

For appetizers, we shared fried calamari with shishito and cherry peppers and duck confit eggrolls.

For entrees, BF had ricotta gnocchi with jumbo shrimp and I had filet au poivre, perfectly cooked medium rare. All around excellent!

We then returned back to the inn. A little after-dinner drink courtesy of the owner of this B & B. We are sitting on the porch while I was smoking a cigar and she comes over and asks if there is anything else we needed. I jokingly asked if there was any whiskey I could purchase and she said she would go to her bar and bring back a couple of bottles and I could leave her whatever amount I wanted (and also a Stella Artois for my BF). But that is beside the point. The hospitality at this place is unmatched versus anywhere I’ve ever been.


Happy Birthday! I leave you with some birthday wisdom a friend offered me when turned 30, about 8000 years ago:

In your 20s, you’re an old kid. At 30, you become a young adult.


Zhajiangmian again. I opened up a bag of Sichuan peppercorn I got a while back from Mala Market to make the sauce (the peppercorns and some star anise are used to flavor the oil and then removed), and it had a noticeably more numbing effect than my old Sichuan peppercorns - maybe a combination of freshness and sourcing.


Pizza inspired by Mrs. P. Grilled homemade dough, pepper jack cheese, chorizo, poblano peppers, onions, grilled corn, diced tomatoes. Served with crema and cilantro. Green salad with garden radishes, avocado, green onion and black olives, ranch dressing. Several Palmoas.


Lovely lovely dishes and super cocktails … Compliments on the photography too.

Have a wonderful and healthy summer.

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Happy birthday @gcaggiano! Lovely way to celebrate!

(Curious what your favorite town is…)

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What a wonderful celebratory was to say farewell to your 20s and Helllloooo, 30s! Your evening sound superb, and that food looks amazing! The strawberry black pepper margaritas sounds good too! Happy birthday!


Happy Birthday! The best part of that milestone birthday you’ve reached is that there are many more wonderful meals yet to be savored. And many more adventures yet to come. So, so many. :blush:

Enjoy every moment!


Happy Birthday, young man! Sounds like a great celebration!


The hypnotic powers of suggestion work on me. Not that any of you will remember this statement.

:::sending back powerful hypnotic suggestions for you to forget I ever said this:::

I had in mind to make Rana chicken and roasted garlic ravioli for dinner tonight. Then someone in a food group I’m in made the NYT Creamy Corn Pasta with Basil yesterday, and I read her post this morning.

BOOM. Things change. Not that I’m susceptible to that, of course. :wink:

I don’t have fresh corn…it’s New England, for crissakes…we won’t see local corn until late July, maybe August. But Trader Joe’s sweet corn in the yellow can to the rescue. This stuff is the bomb if you’ve not had it. Just don’t clear out the shelves at TJs. I will find you and hold you accountable. :rage:

I made it my own with sauteed chopped asparagus and frizzled prosciutto added at the end. Didn’t have basil, but it works without with a sprinkle of fresh minced parsley.

And it was good with several glasses of white wine to go with.

Welcome to the long weekend.



Good news is that the hot weather we had recently is pushing corn early. We might see some at farmstands as early as this weekend or next week (have heard via local farms). Fingers crossed!


I made the kiddo carbonara pasta bastardized with plenty of cheese and some corn and diced chicken breast. He had thirds. The rest of us got truck tacos.


Picked up a local red snapper fillet at a local fish market close to where I was doing some fill in work. Pan seared and served with a mixed green salad. Heading to my cousins beach condo for a long weekend. Some of our friends is cooking a side of salmon. I’m sitting back and will do anything that needs to be done.

I’m bringing homemade hummus for a snack and home roasted coffee for the morning


I swear I’ve been cooking but in a frenzied state for days? Months? Years? Whatever. I cooked tonight and it took just a hair over 30 min and I took a picture. Winner! Anyways. Pasta with a garlic scape fridge clean out pesto special bolstered by parsley and green onion. Sauteed with asparagus, corn cut from the cob and onions. My husband said yum on the first bite!

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

― Jonathan Gold