What's for Dinner #73 - School's Back In! Edition - September 2021

Haircut. And talk about the Patriots’ season.

Petco for the boyz. (FYI… disruptions in supply chains are affecting availability of both canned and dry pet food.)

Trader Joe’s. (FYI…they have WAY too much pumpkin stuff. Although I did buy one item pumpkin-ginger related.)

Wegmans. Holy hell. They’re also being affected by people not wanting to work, even though they’re listed as one of the best places to work for. Crazy-busy and long checkout lines, but with patience, Grasshopper, and I got out of there unscathed.

Dinner was my usual Haircut Day dinner: pan-seared sea scallops (5 of the 6 were coral-colored), toasted Israeli couscous with lemon and shallots, and steamed green beans.

Wine. And perhaps a Licor 43 for dessert. Or gingersnaps.


We have rain today, wonderful, glorious rain. Dinner was meatloaf, asparagus with buttah, crispy onions and a green salad with sugar snaps, radish, green onion and creamy Greek dressing. Manhattan before, after will be a Galliano rocks with a squeeze of lime and a splash of soda.


I like that you have a Haircut Day dinner, and it sounds wonderful.



The museum I work at had its annual Flea Market today and we handle the food/refreshments. My friend and I grilled 300 hot dogs and 70 brats for the masses of hungry shoppers. A close-up of the action:

For dinner, our ghost hunting group met up at the museum to talk about our October “haunted” fundraising events. There was whiskey. And Chinese food. But mainly whiskey.

Between the heat and the grill, I think I drank 10 bottles of water today, but that Jack hit the spot nicely.


My first try at Cacio e Pepe . I’ve watched those Roman chefs cook this dish multiple times on YouTube. It was like go ahead and tile your own bathroom. Yep . I will attempt it again. Tasted good. Cheers.


We enjoyed another spectacular dinner at our new favorite restaurant, James on Main, in Hackettstown, NJ. We enjoyed an outstanding golden tilefish with pumpkin seed crumble, sweet corn velvet, foraged black trumpet mushroom, pickled beet butter, and red sorrel; hamachi crudo with pumpkin seed oil, local delicata squash pickle, micro cilantro, and spiced pumpkin seeds; lamb kofta with chickpea hummus, tzatziki, olives, and grilled lavash; wood fired hog chop with apple cider and maple glaze; pastrami cured salmon; chocolate mousse with hazelnut toffee crunch. It all went great with an excellent Spanish Priorat and Chateauneuf Du Pape.


Gorgeous sear!


Tonight: Mustard salmon (leftover), tuvar dal (yellow pigeon peas) cooked with cauliflower stem and aromatics, roasted cauliflower and fennel with harissa, and quinoa+rice blend.

Everything was good, but the roasted fennel was definitely the star.




Earlier: White-cut / Hainanese poached chicken, quinoa+rice cooked in the chicken broth, scallion-ginger-garlic sauce, crispy onions.

Also crisped up the skin.

Hard to argue with how tasty this simple meal continues to be. I may have to do it again next week.




It’s because I always go to Wegmans after my haircut every 5 weeks. Both my hair salon and Wegmans are slightly out of the way for me, so I just drive a big square on my local highways to get to both places and then home.

And Wegmans is the place I buy local sea scallops 99% of the time, because I trust their seafood. Those 6 scallops cost me just $8.50…way better than restaurant prices for just 3 or 4 of them… Can’t beat that with a stick.


Sunday … a quiet lunch on our terrace. An aspargus cream to start and a simple pasta dish. And some wines to pair with it.


Try this one - it’s worked well for me several times: https://smittenkitchen.com/2018/09/foolproof-cacio-e-pepe/

Another tip is to cook the pasta in a minimal amount of water so that the water is very starchy to help bring the sauce together. I use the Instant Pot but the same can be accomplished stovetop.


I sase all my parmesan rinds to add to the pasta water


penne with vodka sauce using left over oven roasted cherry tomatoes, left over home made tomato sauce, half a can of tomato paste, precaramelzied onions, preroasted garlic in EVOO m cream and vodka jus

t before mixing the sauce with pasta and then serving it with freshly grated parmesan. I use a whole box of penne but it looks like there is not enough sauce although I used 2 cups of whipping cream, 1/2 cup of vodka. My son thought it was enough and tasted good although it does not look as good as the multi colored penne I like.


Or a stick of buttah!

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Went late 1980s/early 1990s Retro with dinner after watching the Patriots whomp the Jets.

Got it in my head that I wanted sun-dried tomatoes this weekend, so a couple of small b/s chickie boobies were stuffed with chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, arugula, dried basil and oregano, and feta cheese, with some of the oil from the tomatoes and freshly ground pepper.

A quick sauté on both sides in sun-dried tomato oil and regular olive oil, then white wine added for a quick reduction. Everything into a 375° oven for about 20-25 minutes until it reached an internal temp of 165°, spooning the wine over top several times.

Served on Basmati rice with wine alongside. Not bad.


I made a trip to an excellent Polish market today. Dinner was fabulous garlic kielbasa and sauerkraut on a roll with mustard and a dill pickle. So good! Stuffed cabbage in my future…


Dinner the other night - Wednesday I think. Shrimp and veggie stir fry with Calrose and cauliflower rice. A couple of simple soups and grilled cheese sandwiches (not pictured) due to the stormy and cool weather. Last night was Chile verde made by DD1 in her instant pot, along with some roasted tomato and Chile salsa. Both excellent, but no pics. Made a pie yesterday, which I’ll call Peach Melba Cream Pie. Didn’t use a recipe, but a blind baked crust, cream cheese layer, fresh peach layer, and topped with yard raspberries. Very good but the raspberry flavor dominated the peach, so would use less berries next time. I was able to make it sweet enough to be a delicious dessert, but it was far from cloying. Love the control & my A1C will be better for it haha. Tonight, a retro meal from the 80’s that’s still in occasional rotation. Still love it though!


Well the 2nd of our covid-canceled (4x’s) wedding was today! I don’t know if the plans morphed into this or what but we left very hungry. Dinner tonight after doing a quick rummage through the fridge one of my first culinary inventions as a youth;

English muffin pizza with jarred sauce. :face_vomiting: Dear God an abomination to cooking but still so dam good.

“Forgive mr father for I have sinned it’s been 36 years since my last confession…….”

(still so f’n good and yes I’m drunk at 8:26pm on a Sunday! Don’t judge me!!!)


Too funny @NotJrvedivici - I had an EM pizza for lunch today, but with homemade garden tomato sauce. But, I was thinking how very slumber party in middle school it was. You’re right though, tasted great! :upside_down_face:


Meet Rosita.

Spent the day picking and roasting tomatoes, so from the freezer it was corn chowder. Garlic baguette and tomato salad with tomato oil, sale grigio and basil.

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Making noodles. Phongdien Town, Cantho City, Southern Vietnam.
Credit: CiaoHo