Category Archives: Lunch

PSSS

birthday-pilgrim-style

Sooooo…

I didn’t exactly spend my birthday all Pilgrim style.

Not a single spoon…..and I’m OK with that. Instead there was

Pretty Spinach Salad with Salmon

The distaff cohort of the family – meaning Sis, Mom and Me – went to Isaac’s on the waterfront  – because, seriously, when you live on the coast you should eat with a view when you can .

issacs

It was actually the day after my birthday – my UnBirthday, and I was fine with that, too. There are so many more UnBirthdays in a year to celebrate…..

We began with individual preambles about what we were choosing and why, and then commented on all the choices and the specials, and asked questions about the choices to Sue, our heroic waitress, and the commented all over again when the food came and then gave commentary as we were eating….typical Italian meal.

This makes food sound like sport, but really, it was  great, good fun. Sue  was a delight and seemed to be having almost as much fun as we were.

There something about a leisurely meal  out in the middle of the day, that wafts of having not a care in the world….and we had an ocean view to boot. No troubles.

On Tuesdays many places in Plymouth are closed, especially in February, the official ‘it’s probably gonna snow so let’s just stay in’ month.

We did not take a single photo of the food. Which is a pity because it sure was purdy, and the light was great and the view fantastic.

My salad was….

HUGE

and a study in green and pink, a lovely bowl of spinach tossed with a light dressing, teeny-tiny nubbins of bacon and cheese and olive oil and  lemon juice….and on top of this pastoral springtime loveliness was a beautiful, hot, cooked to perfection salmon fillet.

salmon-meledezStill Life with Salmon, Lemon and Three Vessels Meléndez, Luis Egidio Copyright ©Museo Nacional del Prado

 

Imagine this fillet cooked to perfection.and piping hot on top of a bowl of green, green, greens. Such a large piece of salmon I thought I’d save half, but ate maybe ¾ –  still enough left to be worth saving and made another (less piggy) meal.

spinach

And talk

And talk

And laugh and laugh…..and then coffee.

Sue not only was able to figure what we wanted, what we wanted  saved, and saved it, but had overheard enough of our chatter – OK, not that difficult – to figure there was a birthday girl and brought a birthday surprise.

Ice cream with whipped cream and chocolate sauce and a candle.

single-birthday-candle-clip-art-i19

Sue also started sing the Happy Birthday song, loudly and with spirit.Mom and Sis chimed in, in parts no less.

Having been raised with these people, I merely smiled, and nodded, and gave my Queen of England wave to the the rest of the lunch crowd. patiently waiting to eat whipped cream with chocolate sauce.

I do love the un-birthday!

 

 

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Filed under Birthday, Eating, Lunch

What the Fluff?

It’s almost September, time for

Labor Day Cookouts

Back to School

and

FLUFF FESTIVAL

Fluff Festival  CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

The Fluff festival is held in Somerville, MA,  birthplace of Marshmallow Fluff

(and ME!)

This year the Festival is Saturday, September 24th , rain date the 25th.

And because it’s hip to be Square in Somerville, you’ll find the Fest at Union Square.

Go to the link, there are directions.

There is also a cooking contest.

Sweet!

Cooking Contest Registration

Does Marshmallow Fluff inspire you to create culinary works of art? Have you ever used Fluff as a secret ingredient? Is there a fabulous recipe featuring Fluff that’s been passed down in your family for generations? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, we hope you’ll join this year’s What the Fluff? Cooking Contest!

Click here to register for the 2016 Cooking Contest! This year all participants are asked to pre-register for the Cooking Contest; no new entries will be accepted on the day of the festival. Entries will be accepted through September 19.

Award Categories

  • Best Youth Entry
  • Best Traditional Recipe
  • Most Creative Recipe
  • Grand Prize: Best Overall
grilled-fluffernutter-sandwich-720x480aimee seavey2016

Grilled Fluffernutter Sandwich Aimee Seavey – it’s a link if you need help with this

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Filed under Autumn, Bread, Eating, Lunch, New England

two blue

 

 

 

I love blue berries. Usually I just eat them. Occasionally I actually leave enough or buy enough more that I make something. Blueberry pancakes. Blueberry Betty and Buckle (not to be confused with Betty Buckley..

betty-buckley-footer-watermark

Betty Buckley in Cats

Blueberry Cobbler. Blueberry Pie. Blueberry corn muffins. Blueberry tea-cake ….or was that a pound cake? Lemon pound cake with blueberries???? And Jordan Marsh Blueberry muffins….coming down the escalator, with box tied up with blue twine, hoping to NOT eat them all on the bus, so there would be more then crumbs in the box by the time we got home.

 

muffin-closeup-jpg

A Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffin….a fresh one from the original recipe from someone who used to work there AND it was on the news, so it must be true

I want to search for the recipe, but I’m not baking in this heat. Turn  the oven on? It already feels like the oven is on.

Wasn’t there a blueberry sauce for ice cream????

Blini with blueberry sauce…blueberries cook up just fine.

I’m resisting some serious cookbook/paper file searching, because in THIS heat, salad is the most cooking I’m doing with the berries.

And there aren’t enough left for a pie, so I’ll just have to eat them, and then I’ll go to the Plymouth Farmer’s Market and buy more.

Genius moment. Blue cheese dressing on a salad …..with blueberries on top.

Two Blues!

 

Now about this salad…I actually saw someone at work do it. He had the greens, and blue cheese dressing and then he dumped blueberries on top….

total lunch envy moment.

And evidently cases of SCURVY are up….so I should really eat MORE fruit. 1 cup of blues has 14.4 mg of vitamin C. An orange has about enough for a whole day of C (a woman needs 75 mg – an orange has 70).

Anyhow, I don’t have scurvy, not even close.I just want more blueberries !

SOOOOOO

I tossed some blue cheese, some blueberries and some smoked almonds on my greens…

Gorgonzola_1 300px

Gorgonzola -the blue I happen to have on hand

…the squishyness of the berries made the nuts seem even bigger and harder then they are. It was like there were bones in my salad. Next time: chop the nuts.

But smoked or spiced nuts are the way to go, to balance the richness of the blue cheese and the sweetness of the blue berries.

A little bacon would not be amiss. Fresh croutons could make the whole thing a meal.

Two blues with bacon and bread – salad of the week at ChezMoi.

 

oaksandbluberry 1905

Oaks and Blueberry Bushes – Georges Lacombe – 1905 -Indianapolis Museum of Art

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Eating, Lunch, Summer

Rat-a-tat-touille

Back to the garden……

Back in the day, we walked out back, pulled weeds and gathered what was ripe.

And tossed what was eaten by insects and animals.

One year the peppers had strange bites taken out of them, while they were still on the plant…..rabbits??? squirrels??

Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat...Maybe next time!

Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat…Maybe next time!

Turns out it was

Baby Brother

A typical mid-August haul would include zucchini, summer squash, peppers of various sorts, possibly an eggplant or two. We didn’t grow eggplant every year, some years omitted by design, some years there just weren’t any that survived drought or flood or powdery mildew or cutworm….

cutworm800px-Neil_Phillips_-_Large_Yellow_Underwing_caterpiller_(by)

Large Yellow Underwing Caterpillar

Our eggplants were always purple...

Our eggplants were always purple…

It was not uncommon to bring in a haul, wash them off and start lunch.

A good circle of oil in the bottom of a good sized frying pan.

Cut up an onion (we never grew onions, for reasons I know not, which is a pity (was a pity?) because they are dead easy if you start with sets); cut up the pepper and add it next. Nothing really browns, it cooks and gets a little weepy….cut, add, stir around……

Then the green zucchini, cut into circles or half moons or triangles, depending on big around they are….they should all be the same size, and not too terribly big.

Summer squash….same delio.

Cucurbita_pepo_collage_1Salt. Pepper. Stir.

Cut and seed tomatoes.

I know you got’em

……add them last, stir again.

Any fresh herbs in your garden?

Come on – if you’ve got tomatoes, you must have basil

– wash, chop and add.

Basil-Basilico-Ocimum_basilicum-albahacaSmells good?

You betcha.

Serve over pasta or leftover rice or just put in a nice bowl ….top with grated cheese…..Lunch is ready.

Mangia!

Imagine my surprise when I caught Julia Child making this on The French Chef….and it was called

Ratatouille

Julia tasting

Julia Child – taste as you go!

Ratatouille

from Mastering The Art of French Cooking

serves 6-8

Ingredients

1 lb. eggplant

1/lb. zucchini

1 teaspoon salt

6-7 tablespoons olive oil, more if necessary

1/2 lb. (about 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced yellow onions

1 pound firm red tomatoes, or 1 1/2 cups pulp

2 (about 1 cup) sliced green bell peppers

2 cloves mashed garlic

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Peel the eggplant and cut into lengthwise slices 3/8 inch thick, about 3 inches long, and 1 inch wide.  Scrub the zucchini, slice off the two ends, and cut the zucchini into slices about the same size as the eggplant slices.  Place the vegetables in a bowl and toss with the salt.  Let stand for 30 minutes.  Drain.  Dry each slice in a towel.

One layer at a time, saute the eggplant, and then the zucchini in hot olive oil for about a minute on each side to brown very lightly.  Remove to a side dish.

In the same skillet, cook the onions and peppers slowly in olive oil for about 10 minutes, or until tender but not browned.  Stir in the garlic and season to tastes.

Slice the tomato pulp into 3/8 inch strips.  Lay them over the onions and peppers.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover the skillet and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, or until tomatoes have begun to render their juice.  Uncover, baste the tomatoes with the juices, raise heat and boil off several minutes, until juice has almost entirely evaporated.

Place a third of the tomato mixture in the bottom of the casserole and sprinkle over it 1 tablespoon of parsley.  Arrange half of the eggplant and zucchini on top, then half the remaining tomatoes and parsley.  Put in the rest of the eggplant and zucchini, and finish with the remaining tomatoes and parsley.

Cover the casserole and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.  Uncover, tip casserole and baste with the rendered juices.  Correct seasoning, if necessary.  Raise heat slightly and cook uncovered for about 15 minutes more, basting several times, until juices have evaporated leaving a spoonful or two of flavored olive oil.  Be careful of your heat; do not let the vegetables scorch in the bottom of the casserole.

Set aside uncovered.  Reheat slowly at serving time or serve cold.

JCMastering

https://www.radcliffe.harvard.edu/news/in-news/ratatouille-mastering-art-french-cooking-and-day-julia

Julia cooking up ratatouille on ABC network

Julia cooking up ratatouille on ABC network

Ratatouille – it’s also a movie….starring…a Rat.

RatatouillePoster

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Filed under Eating, Influencers, Lunch, Recipe, The 1970's

FULL HOUSE

A card hand…

Full-HouseA TV series

Full_House_1987_TV_series_logoWhich leads to a house Full….

Full_House_-_The_Complete_Series

The complete TV series in a box shaped like a house

"The category if "Ful"...", says Alex

“The category is ‘Ful’ “, says Alex.

USEFUL

divisionBEAUTIFUL

greenway sculpture

String Sculpture over the Rose Kennedy Greenway

ARTFUL

Giovanni Battista Ruoppolo - Still Life of Fish with Char, Bass, Rockfish, Sea Bream and shells  - 17th century

Giovanni Battista Ruoppolo – Still Life of Fish with Char, Bass, Rockfish, Sea Bream and Shells – 17th century – the painter is from Naples and was born in 1629.

CUPFUL

a-perfect-white-cup-of-steaming-coffee_w520GRATEFUL

may10DrDyer

PLAYFUL

Right Whales right of the coast here - and 17 new baby whales!

Right Whales right off the coast here in May – and 17 new baby whales!

PEACEFUL

It feels like Winter is SOOOOOO (finally) OVAH - time for some Peaceful Meadows!

It feels like Winter is SOOOOOO (finally) OVAH – time for some Peaceful Meadows!

MOUTHFUL

SOOOO – If you have a bag of lemons, and you forget what inspired you to take them home in the first place

AND someone at work leaves a copy of Good Housekeeping on the table….

AND there’s a recipe for Spaghetti with Lemon Ricotta – that’s a sign, right?

Good House Keeping USA 2015-03_

AND I can organize my life….right

Basic spaghetti with ricotta sauce, nice lemon grated peel here… : spaghettini-lemon-ricotta-recipe

Now – I didn’t make my own ricotta, (and I would argue that what they have you make isn’t actually ricotta, although it sounds plenty GOOD) so I added a little extra lemon peel, and I juiced those yellow orbs because I’m supposed to use the peels and throw the fruit away????

I think NOT.

WASTEFUL

Lemon-edit1

Use the whole lemon – the rind can be dried; the juice can be frozen; the seeds can be planted….

It  was quick and easy, it was fine, it was OK. It was also a little….dull.

STIFLE YAWN.

Downright pedestrian.

BORING.

Indifferent Housekeeping.

Then there were the LEFTOVERS.

Some things are fine just re-heated or even served cold as part of lunch the next day, some things need a little more…..help.

For me leftover bascetti usually means

FRITTATA.

Spaghetti_spiral,_2008

Bascetti, a/k/a ‘spaghetti’

To make leftovers into lunch or another night’s supper:

  • Shop the pantry and fridge for flavor enhancers. I had a red pepper,and a green pepper that I cut up and tossed in a pan with some olive oil, a nice generous amount of olive oil. An onion chopped fine and a clove or two of garlic are not amiss here either. Celery would also work or in a different direction, mushrooms. Choices, you got choices. If you see things in your mind’s eye, do you taste things in your mind’s mouth? Ponder as you scope and chop.
  • The little grapes tomatoes (that were pretty large for grape tomatoes) and not entirely tomato-ish on their own were halved and added in towards the end, to release the juices and the flavor.
  • Beat half a dozen eggs with salt, pepper and grated Romano cheese.
  • Toss the leftover spaghetti with the eggs. I had a little more ricotta and added more lemon peel at this point. Basil would have been nice – or a handful of chopped parsley would have been a different green element way to go.
  • When the pepper mixture cools a bit, toss that in and around too.
  • How does it smell ? Adjust until it smells good.
  • Put more olive oil in the pan and heat it on medium for a minute…add the mixture, flatten it around, and give it a shake to settle it all to the bottom.
  • Let it fry up for two minutes without disturbing – then shake and shimmy the pan so that the uncooked egg puddles get closer to the heat.
  • Poke at the edges towards the center with a spatula so that it doesn’t stick.This makes so much more sense at the stove then it seems here on the page.There is a whole lotta cooking that’s learned by looking.

    Choose your poking/turning weapon of choice

    Choose your poking/turning spatula  weapon of choice

  • Turn the heat to low, put a lid on it, and leave it alone for a while. Go set the table,humming Italian songs along with Lou Monte on the CD player.

TUNEFUL

Lou Monte

So many songs in the language between Italian and English. If only I could write in that language!

PLATEFUL!

Frittata wiki

Frittata can be served warm or cold or even in a sangwich.

DELIGHTFUL

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Filed under Eating, Italian, Lunch, Supper