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

I haven’t seen that particular guidance.

I use holidays for my maintenance lists. Vacuuming smoke detectors and changing batteries (along with vacuuming refrigerator coils) are on the 4th of July and Christmas lists. Here in Maryland US we’re legally required to have smoke detectors that are hardwired (so not dependent on batteries) and also have batteries (so work during power outages).

How frustrating! When’s it predicted to be fully functional?

We luckily installed ours by the following week. We went with a Kräus that has a companion water filter:

Looking forward to getting that Brita off the countertop! Need a hole cut in the countertop first.


Here you go.

Heading from the Alt Empordà to the mid way point, we stopped for lunch with dad and mom …
Assorted shellfish, a mini frittura, squid and King Crab …


We are so torn. We have a remediator that wants to remove cabinets which will include granite counters as they test for mold test and do the tear out method until they get clean samples. Also a $10k AC/ductwork cleaning

I just canceled them both for now. We are looking to put the house on the market for an “as is” sell. I’ve loved my big house, lot and super big pool and yard. It’s just under an acre

But it’s time to move on. I’m done. This has taken a toll on me mentally
Just need to get back to normalcy what ever that is

I still am cooking but just have to use a 12 L bucket in the sink to hold water for rinsing and cleaning dishes before the water gets flushed in the kitchen bathroom. Trying not to put any water down the kitchen sink. Amazing how you adapt to your surroundings. I’ve become very good at hand washing everything


This is the kind where the casing is sealed and you can’t get to the battery. And yes, CO2 detectors on all 3 floors of my townhouse.

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Supposedly with this one you pull a strip out between the battery and its connections, and that’s when the countdown starts. I think that’s a bunch of hooey, and agree it’s probably from the manufacture date. They’ll never put that on the package because it’ll prove these things don’t last as long as they say it will.

And since it’s wall mounted, can’t tape the receipt to the back. I have an envelope with all manuals, etc. in my kitchen junk drawer. So saving the receipt is no biggie.

My smoke detectors are on the ceiling and I’ve been able to tape on the receipt. CO detectors low on the walls and also tapped on. Engineers with tools. grin

We enjoyed another fabulous dinner at Bistro D’Azur in South Orange, NJ. We enjoyed a beautiful rare tuna steak; swordfish; duck confit salad; seared foraged mushrooms; and Spanish chips. It all went great with an excellent French wine and 2005 Napa Valley Syrah.


Grilled tomatoes. With those chicken boob kabobs. They were ok . A little dry as expected. The star was the basmati rice with a little saffron. Cheers .

with my favorite cold cucumber salad .


I was halfway through my shift today at a very busy lunch spot-- the new job with “normal” hours I think I’ve mentioned previously-- and had an epiphany. Even though we discussed what was going to be for dinner tonight, I texted my BF (who unexpectedly was going to get out of work early) and mom and said, “I’m not cooking another thing. Let’s go out to dinner.” Being on the shore, our first two restaurant choices were booked solid, so we ventured farther inland to one of our favorite Italian restaurants and snagged a reservation for one of their last tables for the evening (in the bar area-- not a problem).

A thunderstorm held off just long enough to get there, though we witnessed quite a lightning show on our 30 minute drive there.

Anyway, I gotta tell you, I’ve had a lot of meals here over the years, but my pork chop tonight was out of this world and the best of all of them. It was bone-in and topped with an apple and pancetta demi glaze and served with broccoli rabe (absolutely perfect salt content) and mashed potatoes. BF had the short rib which was literally fall-apart tender and mom had Frutta di Mare.

For appetizers, we shared zucchini fritte and the fresh burrata mozzarella with “The Works”. Our server Gregg was amazing. Dessert was creme brulee and bread pudding. Drinks were…plentiful! I had a couple of Bombay gin martinis, BF alternated with a cherry basil cocktail and a chocolate martini (not pictured) while my mom had wine and later a chocolate martini herself. An unexpected and outstanding evening.

Some of the images came out blurry due to dim lighting.



This has been on my must visit in SF list for a while! :yum:

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It’s not a matter of being unable to tape the receipt. I’m perfectly capable of doing so. I won’t do it because it blocks the air flow. My envelope holding important manuals, etc. in the kitchen drawer works fine for me and has for 40 years.


Ah. You see I have a wife who moves things around. grin

All the vents on my detectors are on the top/front and sides, so on the mounting surface against the wall or ceiling is concealed and doesn’t disrupt airflow.

The biggest issue here is making sure the reset/cancel button on the kitchen detectors are ahem accessible.

Updated version tonight of a meal from earlier in the week.

Porcini truffle ravioli, fresh corn, and oyster mushrooms all in brown butter, with a nice dollop of fresh ricotta at the end.

Tonight’s version was tweaked - I pan-steamed the ravioli after making the brown butter. It was fabulous! I think I’ll be making my ravioli this way going forward.

Steamed broccoli with a lovely Spanish extra virgin olive on the side - the broccoli was horribly woody, which has happened to me: never.

Snacked on some of yesterday’s homemade bread with the ricotta while I was making the rest.

Awful weather here.


Spent the weekend in NYC for the first time since pandemic, had a family wedding at The Rainbow Room, details here:


Back in the kitchen for a home cooked meal, first in too long. I decided to make a dish for each member of the family:
Steak (cubed filet mignon): son
Chicken sausage: daughter
Broccoli rabe’: wifey
Bourbon flambé and large noodles: Me

Garlic, shallots, baby Bella’s, butter and olive oil all tossed with a egg noodles. Threw in some hot pepper seeds to give it a little more kick!



Saturday was spent at my sister’s 60th birthday luncheon party at Fiorella’s Cucina in Concord, MA with her husband, her MIL, SILs, their grown children and their children’s kids. I got a very nice mesclun green salad with goat cheese, glazed walnuts, and dried cranberries with a lemon vinaigrette, as well as their shrimp scampi (shrimp done perfectly, but the dish was a bit overladen with butter. Still good.) Afterwards, off to one of her SIL’s houses for cake, gifts (mostly gag gifts), and chit chat. So last night’s dinner was leftovers.

Today was sleeping in after being awoken twice overnight to loud thunder with passing thunderstorms. Took a couple of lamb loin chops out of the freezer and marinated in olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic and fresh rosemary, with a healthy pinch of s/p.

Grilled on the grill pan and finished in the oven with Mrs. Miller’s mint jelly alongside. Sides were roasted baby potatoes tossed with olive oil, s/p and Penzeys’ Tuscan Sunset seasoning mix, and sauteed sugar snap peas, onions, red bell pepper and carrots with Penzeys’ salt-free Mural of Flavor.

And wine. The boyz had a cuddle nap mid-afternoon. Because that’s the proper way to spend a Sunday afternoon.


Most of my cat pictures seem to be about butts and not suitable for sharing.


Merguez sautéed with cherry tomatoes, green beans (first of the season) with some of the pan juices, tzatziki potato salad. Wish I’d made more green beans.

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

― Jonathan Gold

Market stall in Lima
Credit: TXMX 2