Tag Archives: Family Dinner

Rosh Hashanah Recipe 2 & Happy New Year!

28 Sep


So many tastes to please these days – dietary restrictions and health concerns.  What’s a kugel to do?  That’s kugel, not kegel.

We have a big traditional brisket-filled New Year lunch tomorrow with 33 friends and family.  Tonight, I’m serving the following – keeping with some tradition but adding in some healthier options (salted caramel is healthy, right?)

Honeyed wild salmon, quinoa and millet surrounded by piles of caramelized onions, rainbow chard, and whole slow-roasted carrots. Kugel (noodle pudding).  Blistered figs in port wine reduction. Honey-Apple cake for dessert and mini buttermilk crust pies filled with chocolate ganache and salted caramel.

Are you joining us?



Oven Omelet with Garlic Scapes & baby Spinach & Art

23 Jun


In the food-as-modern-scultpure category, garlic scapes win first place.  Green in shades from lightest to moss, twisted as witches fingers, lovely enough to use as a centerpiece and yet too delicious to waste on topiary.  I love the bite.  Are they the love child of garlic and onion?  Perhaps.  But they make for a flavorful omelet and pair well with less potent greens, such as the baby spinach we received from our organic farm.

Spinach+Scapes+Eggs+leftover cheese in fridge = easy dinner

Oven Omelet with Garlic Scapes & Baby Spinach

5 (or fewer or more) garlic scapes, wahes and cut into 2-inch pieces

2 cups (roughly) baby spinach, washed

2 tbsp butter or oil

4 eggs

4 egg whites

1 cup milk

1 cup grated cheese of your choice (I adore Pecorino and we have a hunk of it in the fridge)

good pinch sea salt

Oven to 350.  Combine the greens in a skillet with 1 tbsp butter.  Cook on high for one minute only.  Beat eggs and whites by hand.  Add all other items and pour into hot skillet.  Top with remaining butter, in bits around the egg.  Bake for about 35 minutes or until just set.

Communal Bowl of Japanese Noodles & Cures for Boredom

14 Jun

I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: mess is fine by me.  I like a tidy house but I also know that one of the keys to relaxed fun is letting go.  In light of that, I set up a couple of activities for the kids.  We had a bit of a heat wave and of that’s when the sprinkler broke.  To avoid meltdowns (mine), I grabbed the  food coloring left over from Will’s train cake  and the bottles we have yet to recycle.  Water+food coloring = rainbow.  Add in giant, old plastic storage container and voila, instant rainbow water table.  Science experiments, color lab, water fight all in one.  When early summer downpours kept us inside, I braced for the long afternoon.  Never has the house seemed more cavelike than when Will, afraid of thunder, and Daniel, afraid of boredom, and Jamie, afraid of being stuck with his, like really annoying younger siblings, and Julia, afraid of not having a craft project to do, all clomped inside after school.  So, with the last of the food coloring…I had whipped cream (though in truth, “frozen topping” will work better) and a trash bag.  I sliced the trash bag open to cover the kitchen table, had Jamie tape it, and mixed various blobs of the fluffy white stuff with colors…edible finger paint.  Sticky, yes, but so fun.  So what if their hands are tinted?

For dinner we had a huge bowl of Japanese noodles tossed with miso collard greens and every other leafy green (amazing beets greens from Red Fire Farm, our CSA) we had in the house.  Chopsticks we placed in pairs around the bowl.  Communal eating happens regularly in other countries – less so here.  Gathering around one pot or bowl makes for a certain closeness that sticks with everyone (at least as long as it takes for the food coloring to fade).

Royal Wedding Dinner…Beer-battered fish, Coleslaw, greens

28 Apr

 Oh, Darlings, it’s just so sad not to be in the UK for their 4-day weekend in celebration of the THE wedding.  Some former Brit friends have invited me over for a morning party.  We’ll be coming from various drop-offs and meetings, so I’m thinking we’ll wear lycra AND hats. Perfect.

Tonight I rang up my friend, Liz (she’s actually one of my 3 friends named Liz.  If you are a Liz or a Heather, I can’t be your new friend.  Those slots are taken!).  Liz is homesick for England (or maybe just the beer and the long weekend).  So I had her come over for 6 seconds (she left her brood home down the street) and I handed her a parcel wrapped in newsprint, a bottle of dark beer, and homemade coleslaw.

She just rang me back.  “Oh. My. God.”

Now Liz isn’t homesick anymore.

I doubt Kate Middleton’s eating this the night before her nuptials, but I imagine she’d be happy away from the fray around here.


Recipes tomorrow…I promise!

Passover Potato Gnocchi with Spring Greens

23 Apr

We’re back from a few days of off-season fun on Martha’s Vineyard.  We walked in the rain, took the puppy into the cold ocean, looked for shells and seaglass, annoyed siblings in the car, tried to further annoy siblings at dinner/back in the car/at the fudge shop/in front of ye olde houses, made siblings nearly choke from laughing so much, played with alpacas and ate everything from lobster rolls to vegetable crunch.  To avoid the back-from-vacation with nothing in the fridge, I planned ahead.  The potato gnocchi were in the fridge with the organic chicken breasts.  I’ll go on record here and just say that while I cook chicken sometimes for my family and I love the brined organic turkey I make at Thanksgiving, chicken kind of grosses me out.  It just does.  Sorry.  Anyway, I still make it and just take the vegetarian route much of the time myself.  Except for bacon.  And a filet mignon here and there.  I prefer not to classify and just enjoy.

My husband doesn’t eat any bread products for the 8 days of Passover.  This meal is perfect for him.  Two kinds of Gnocchi (I made tomato and plain) and sealed them in bags.  They take 3 minutes to cook in salted, boiling water.  When they had finished cooking, I added a few giant handfuls of broccoli florets and a full pound of baby spinach right to the gnocchi water – this is great for flavoring.  Meanwhile, in my trusty skillet, I heated olive oil and cooked the chicken on medium-high heat until it was nicely browned on both sides.  Then I cut up 2 breasts for the others to share (even when I do make meat, I try to “stretch” it by adding beans or produce).  A splash of olive oil on the gnocchi made a nice coating, especially when I drained the vegetables and added them to the dumplings.  The chicken went on top.

And the nearly 4-year-old started to cry, “I don’t YIKE it.”   His L is still a Y.  No, we’re not thinking about speech therapy, but thanks for you concern.  The kid can explain his feelings and pretend cook better than Julia Childs herself, and writes his name and plays ping pong.  Anyway, what he did when he tasted the pasta-like dinner was cry: “I don’t yike dis dinner.  It is disgustin’ no offense.  I yust want to eat the vegetables.  Is dat okay?”

So, yes, it was okay.  But you should know that going into the gnocchi preparations that you might toil over the proper ratio of matzo flour to potato and be greeted by an over-tired, adorable, lisping, 4-year-old who hates them.

Passover Gnocchi

Bake 2 lbs of potatoes and let them cool.  Scrape the insides and mash (save the skins for crispy potato skins – yum!).  Add in 2 eggs and fold until well-mixed.  Add in a big sprinkling of salt and pepper.  If you like, add a tablespoon of tomato paste (this will result in “red” gnocchi).  Or do pesto (“green”).  Add 1/2 cup of matzo flour and stir.  Add another 1/4 cup and see how the texture is.  You might need another 1/4 cup.  It should be fairly “kneadable” but soft and not too sticky to handle.

Dust a work surface with a bit more matzo flour.  Make the dough into 4 equal-ish parts.  Roll the dough out  into “snakes” (kids’ description) about 1 inch wide.  Cut into pieces and form into ovals.  You can press them with fork tines (great thing for kids to do) for that traditional look.

Bring a big pot of water to boil and season with 1 tsp salt.  Drop in 1/3 of the gnocchi at a time, cooking each batch for about 2-3 minutes (they will float but keep them cooking for the time stated).  Use the water to quickly cook any greens you have around.  Serve those with the warm gnocchi – feel free to grate some cheese on top, or splash with olive oil or dot with butter or serve with drained, warmed cannellini beans…

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