"What's for Dinner?!" I'm always thinking about it, thought I'd share.

"What's for Dinner?!" I'm always thinking about it, thought I'd share.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Menu: Jan 31st - Feb. 6th

White Chicken Chili
Oven Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Super Bowl Party

Spicy Thai Fish Stew
(used same recipe as my Sweet Potato Curry, just substituted cod and some shrimp for sweet potato and added chopped kale.)
Basmati Rice with Scallions

Bison Hash with Wild Mushrooms
Sautéed Kale and Caramelized Onions

Chicken Caesar Salad

Curried Indian Vegetable Stew
Basmati Rice

Grilled Aged NY Strip Steaks
Sautéed Spinach
Braised Mushrooms
Chopped Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Sticky Asian Hot Wings

2 large garlic clove
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons Sriracha
2 tablespoons mild honey
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Optional: for hotter wings, cayenne to taste
3# chicken wings
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1 scallion (green part only), finely chopped

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Put oven rack in upper third of oven and line a large shallow baking pan with foil, lightly oil.

Mince garlic and mash to a paste with salt using a large heavy knife. Transfer garlic paste to a large bowl and stir in soy sauce, Sriracha, hoisin, honey, oil, and (if using cayenne). Add wings to sauce, stirring to coat.

Arrange wings in 1 layer in baking pan and roast, turning over once, until cooked through, about 35 minutes. Transfer wings to a large serving bowl and toss with sesame seeds and scallion.  Serve and Enjoy!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Super Bowl Fluffernutter Pie

Why Fluffernutter you ask?  Well, did you know that marshmallow creme was invented in Massachusetts?  The Fluffernutter sandwich, sweet marshmallow creme and peanut butter on white bread, earliest recipe has been found dated during World War I.  It was finally given its name by an advertising agency in 1960 as a more effective way to market it.  The sandwich is particularly popular in New England and has been proposed as the official state sandwich of Massachusetts.  So, I thought why not make it one of the desserts to represent the New England Patriots?  Here it is, a New England Classic, Enjoy!

1 classic graham cracker pie crust (prepared or make it from scratch)


 1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
 1/3 cup white sugar
 6 tablespoons butter, melted
 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter or margarine, and cinnamon until well blended . Press mixture into an 8 or 9 inch pie plate.
Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 7 minutes. Cool. If recipe calls for unbaked pie shell, just chill for about 1 hour.


1 cup heavy cream
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup Fluff
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup honey roasted peanuts and mini marshmallows for topping

Bake the pie dough in a 9" pie dish until golden brown according to recipe. Let cool completely.

Whip the heavy cream in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on high speed until stiff but moist peaks form. Scrape into a bowl and set aside.

Next, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth in the bowl of your stand mixer. Scrape down sides, add the Fluff and confectioners' sugar and beat until combined and smooth.

Fold in the whipped cream.

Spread the peanut butter mixture into the prepared pie crust and sprinkle the peanuts and marshmallows around the edges if desired.

Allow to set in fridge for at least two hours before slicing and serving.

Seattle Blueberry Dutch Baby

2 cups blueberries
3 eggs, at room temperature
⅔ cup milk, at room temperature ( I used 2%)
⅔ cup all-purpose flour
⅓ cup white granulated sugar
pinch of salt
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
zest of 1 lemon, grated

Preheat oven to 425F.

With the back of a spoon, grind the zest into the sugar. Do this on a flat surface ( a clean cutting board or counter works best). Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs, in a medium bowl, until frothy.
Add milk, flour, lemon zest sugar, and salt. Beat until smooth. The batter will be very thin. With a rubber spatula, fold in blueberries.
Place cast iron skillet over medium heat and add butter to pan. Melt butter and swirl to coat skillet. You want the skillet to be hot when you add the batter.
When butter is melted and the skillet is hot, pour batter into skillet and place skillet in oven.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and puffed.
Sprinkle with a bit of powdered sugar and serve immediately.
p.s. The longer it sits, the more it will deflate, which is totally normal and OK
*Special Equipment - 10" round cast iron skillet

Super Bowl 2015

It's the best time of the year, the biggest game of the year; The Super Bowl!  The game, the commercials, ok who's fooling who?  It's all about the party and the food.  Just as the Seahawks (who I'm routing for as my Lions are also watching the game) and the Patriots are already prepping for the big day, so am I.  My theme each year is to showcase a number of dishes from each city or region and have my guest vote for which trumps the other. (It usually turns out to be a draw, as the regional cuisines are always fantastic). I split the room and the buffet down the middle with the competitions colors on each side and we throw down!  I am super (no pun) excited for this year's party and know our guests will be thrilled.  I can't wait and I hope you're using this event as an excuse to throw your own shindig!  Here's the menu at my party this year with recipes to follow.

Cured Meat Tray with Aged Vermont Cheddar and Apples
Chile-Lime Cashews
Sushi Rolls served with Smoked Whitefish and Salmon
Cape Cod Potato Chips with Caramelized Onion Dip
Vegetable Crudité with Fresh Hummus
Seattle Styled Cream Cheese Hotdogs
Sticky Asian Hot Wings
New England Lobster Rolls
Seattle Blueberry Dutch Baby
Fluffernutter Pie

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Weekly Menu 17th - 23rd

San Francisco Cioppino
Oven Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Brined Pork Chops with Braised Cabbage
Baby Greens Salad with a Sherry Vinaigrette

Szechuan Chicken and Broccoli

Bison Meatloaf with Bacon and Prunes
Sautéed Kale and Shiitake Mushrooms

Herb Roast Chicken
Roasted Fennel and Root Vegetables

Curried Vegetable Stew
Basmati Rice

Smoked Turkey and Vegetable Stew
Chopped Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Sweet Potato Curry

Found this in Bon Appétit magazine and its a winner, very good.  Simple to make and delicious, especially the next day.  I substituted red chili flakes for the Thai chile and used lemongrass paste (found it by the fresh herbs at the market) instead of the fresh (couldn't find).  Don't be afraid to make the full recipe and have leftovers for lunches during the week.  I also use this recipe to make a killer Thai fish stew, just substituted cod and some shrimp for sweet potato and added chopped kale.  Fish only needs about 8 minutes at the end to cook


1 lemongrass stalk, tough outer layer removed, coarsely chopped
1 2” piece ginger, peeled, chopped
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Kosher salt
¼ cup red curry paste
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 14.5-oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 13.5-oz. cans coconut milk
1½ pound sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1” pieces
¾ pound small or young carrots, peeled, cut on a diagonal into 2” pieces
6 medium shallots, peeled keeping roots intact, quartered lengthwise
1 red Thai chile, thinly sliced (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Steamed jasmine rice (for serving)
Thinly sliced scallions, basil leaves, cilantro leaves with tender stems, and lime wedges (for serving)

Pulse lemongrass, ginger, and garlic in a food processor until very finely chopped.
Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add lemongrass mixture and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 5 minutes; season with salt. Add curry and tomato pastes and cook, stirring, until darkened, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in coconut milk; season with salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until curry is rich and full of flavor, 20–25 minutes.
Add sweet potatoes and carrots, then pour in water to cover. Partially cover pot and cook until carrots are crisp-tender, 10–15 minutes. Add shallots and cook until potatoes are tender and shallots are soft, 15–20 minutes.
Add chile, if desired, and lime juice to curry and spoon over rice. Top with scallions, basil, and cilantro; serve with lime wedges.
Do Ahead: Curry can be made 2 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill.

It's a New Year, time to reinvent by getting back to the basics

Happy New Year to all!  I'm back from a terrific vacation and raring to start 2015 with healthy, energetic, delicious fare.
Over the last half of 2014 my wife and I had been following Lyn-Genet Recitas', "The Plan" with great success.  The basis of "The Plan" is that everyone's body chemistry is different and each of us will react to different foods.  When our bodies react negatively to the food we eat, we produce inflammation much like when we are injured.  This inflammation is very harmful, leading to weight gain and long term serious health issues.  Recitas' book is a guide to how you can isolate those foods that are uniquely good for you (non-reactive) and avoid those that don't work for you (reactive).
Following this system, I've not only been able to identify those foods that make me feel bad or gain weight, but have dramatically increased my energy and lost 30 pounds!  Since everyone is different, my daughter, my wife and I all have composed individual lists of what we can eat and what we need to avoid.  Thankfully, there are many, many foods we all can have, so preparing meals in our house is still pretty simple.
We are starting '15 (Monday) with the first three day cleanse described in her book to reset our bodies as we start the New Year.  I am excited going into the year with a plan that is super healthy, makes me feel great, and will get me to my goal weight. (205- 15 pounds away!)

Dinner out

Pot Roast with Braised Mushrooms
Sautéed Spinach
Parsnip Purée with Green Onions

Sautéed Kale with Shiitakes and Vegetables
Grated Carrot and Beet Salad, Pumpkin Seeds

Sautéed Kale with Shiitakes and Vegetables
Basmati Rice with Pumpkin Seeds
Beet and Carrot Salad with Sunflower Seeds

Grilled Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon
Oven Roasted Vegetables with Orange Oil

Butternut Squash Curry
Jasmine Rice

Grilled Salmon with Lemon and Dill
Baby Romaine Salad with Avocado and Citrus Vinaigrette