TND – Dinner March 5th = What’s Making Me Happy This Week

March 8, 2013

Dinner - March 5

I have been feeling somewhat excessively negative lately – I think it’s a combination of not enough sleep, the dragging tail end of winter, and irritation that I don’t have a day off from work until Memorial Day – so rather than talk about all the things that are annoying me with the food world, I’m going to talk about the things making me happy.  

The Mid Century Menu Blog in which the writer (and her long suffering husband) make – and more impressively, eat – recipes culled from mid-century cookbooks.  In particular this post on Liver Pate made me giggle out loud.  The general response to it seems to be horror, swiftly followed by the question, ‘why are there pureed green beans in this dish?’

Hugh’s Three Good Things on a Plate, by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (a fearsomely & awesomely British name) which is filled with recipes that feature three (see title) key ingredients married on a plate.  I bookmarked recipes like eggs, garam masala & broccoli rabe where sauted broccoli rabe and six minute eggs are drizzled with a garam masala spiced butter; and kale, onions & chestnuts where a rough puree of caramelized onions and chestnuts becomes the sauce on a thin crust pizza/flatbread topped with sauted kale and more caramelized onions; or strawberries, meringue & cream, where a meringue is turned into a jelly roll filled with whipped cream and strawberries (I am now anxiously awaiting strawberry season so I can make this, even if I’m very dubious about the logistics of rolling up a meringue like a jelly roll).

Pepperplate which is a recipe indexing website that may the solution to my chaotic recipe needs.  This is to say, I check interesting cookbooks out of the library and retype the 8-10 recipes from them that appeal to me, but then I have all these recipes sitting around on my hard drive (or well, my google drive) that aren’t indexed in any useful way.  Pepperplate is (a) free; and (b) lets you input recipes either manually or import them from a website, and then tag them with the source, and any tags you care to add.  I’ve uploaded about 28 recipes so far, and we’ll see how I like it long term, but so far it’s very user friendly and has a nice clean design, so I’m optimistic.

And then there are some things that haven’t happened yet, but the anticipation of which are making me happy.

The invitations for the 15th Anniversary Celebration of Dinner went out last week – and they look gorgeous thanks to a friend who is a graphic designer and turned my overly wordy invitation into something elegant but whimsical.  I/we decided to do an anniversary cookbook of Dinner to go with the event and I’m looking forward to seeing what people email as their favorite recipes and memories of Dinner.

The upcoming abdication of Queen Beatrix on April 30th.  This is not because I have a particularly firmly held opinion about either Queen Beatrix (other than that she’s clearly awesome), or her successor Crown Prince Willem Alexander (other than that he has big high heeled shoes to fill after 123 years of wildly successful and popular queens), but mostly because it has allowed me to poke around at my Dutch heritage and create a menu worthy of commemorating this momentous occasion.  This involved library research, the internet, and then emailing my father to ask whether any of the recipes I was finding sounded remotely authentic to something he’d ever eaten.

A future series of Dinners that I’m calling ‘Around the World in 80 Breakfasts’ (just to clarify – there won’t actually be 80).  I have menus sketched out for a Middle Eastern inspired breakfast that will let me experiment with yeast (making simit bread – possibly this is overly ambitious of me, but we’ll see), and make ful medames.  There’s also a Southern breakfast of Biscuits & Sausage Gravy (and eggs, and lots and lots of fruit) in the works.  And, when I’ve worked out the logistics of making kedgeree fish-free there will be a Victorian Breakfast with kedgeree, and . . . well something else, not sure what yet.  More Dinners to come as they occur to me.

Pork Stew with Hard Cider, Pearl Onions & Potatoes
Salad w/ Apples & Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Pork Stew with Hard Cider, Pearl Onions & Potatoes
Dinner this week was inspired by a need/desire to use up some of the many many bottles of cider taking up space in my fridge.  I bought a case of hard cider to have at the Oscar party, and then had about half of it left over.    This recipe neatly used up two of the bottles, and I served cider with Dinner and ended up with four left in my fridge which is reasonable, and more to the point fits on the door of the fridge out of the way.

Recipe previously given:  Day Late & a Dollar Short
Salad w/ Apples & Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Apple Cider Vinaigrette also leftover from the Oscars, and I figured as long as I was working an apple/cider theme . . .

Apple Cider Vinaigrette Recipe previously given:  The Third Thing



  1. […] TND – Dinner March 5th = What’s Making Me Happy This Week TND – Dinner February 12th = At least I taught her full Indian dinner […]

  2. […] couple of weeks ago I said I was feeling excessively negative and wanted to get happy, but that I’d do a grousing post some time soon.  This is that […]

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