Friday, October 23, 2009

Thursday - Out to dinner at Verbena

Can you tell we like this place? Given mom's visit, we knew we wanted to go back and experience the new fall menu. As usual, we had an excellent experience. The food was fantastic, the environment lovely, and fun was had by all. They seemed short staffed though, so things were a bit oddly paced and there were several things the kitchen or wine cellar were out of. Even still, we had a lovely dinner and I'm sure we'll be back soon

"Cobb" salad - Mom
Pan roasted stuffed quail - M
Grilled pear salad with blue cheese - J

Slow braised beef short rib - Mom
Crisp seared duck breast - M
Pasta with fresh tomato sauce, clams, and mussels - J

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wednesday - Mom cooks AGAIN!

Mom took another cooking shift today while M did lecture preparation. Isn't she a saint? This was an amazing dinner too - and an especially beloved dinner for Mr. T :)

Scallops in lemon garlic sauce
Saffron rice
Grilled red peppers


Tuscan chickpea soup (recipe in the comments from May 22, 2008)
Garlic infused Italian bread

Hot tea
My mom loves a good soup and this is quite the unusual bean soup. First off, it's pureed and had very few other vegetables in it. That said, it manages to be incredibly flavorful. It's easy to make and the result is quite impressive. This is another recipe that depends on an immersion blender unless you want to do the multiple batches of pureeing in a blender. Yuck. At any rate, with an immersion blender it's a breeze. This was enjoyed by all!

Prep Notes
Difficulty: Easy
Chopping: Onion, garlic, Parmesan
Time: 30 minutes
Make ahead: This saves really well.

"This is much better than the individual ingredients suggest - an amazing soup."

The kid report:
Definitely a hit. Two bowls, three pieces of bread, and even a bit of salad (notoriously not a T favorite).

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday - Mom cooks!

My mom knows that M has to work a lot on Mon and Wed to prepare for his lectures the following days, so she is taking on cooking Mon and Wed this week to save him the time of extra cooking. It's GREAT! This is the first Monday M has finished his lecture text before dinner - probably all due to Mom doing the cooking :) Also, dinner was lovely!

Pork chops with savory cornbread stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce
Steamed broccoli
Pumpkin ice cream

It's a fall festival!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Grandma's savory tofu casserole (recipe in the comments from December 7th, 2007)
Baked potatoes
Salad with garlic vinaigrette

Hot tea
So as M and I made this casserole tonight, I was thinking how this is my version of the quintessential Sunday dinner. Homey, filling, savory, and served with potatoes. We don't eat a ton of potatoes because we have so many meals with the starch built in (stir fries over rice or pasta dishes), but I LOVE them. Anyway, this is also one of my mom's favorite recipes, so we had to have it this trip. We all went on a GORGEOUS hike this morning - fall in full fury, full sun, and temps in the mid 40s. It was glorious. And this was the dinner to follow it. PERFECT.

Prep Notes
Difficulty: Easy to prepare and long to cook, but totally worth it
Chopping: Onion, carrot, pepper, garlic
Time: 25 minutes to prep + 1 hour to bake
Make ahead: This stores very well.

"Still one of our best tofu dishes."

The kid report:
Following a recent Sunday tradition, Theo ate practically nothing at dinner. He said he liked the tofu and *didn't* like the potato (yeah, right). I think he just wasn't hungry.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


M & J's famous purple pasta (recipe in the comments from March 21, 2009)
French green beans with bacon and red onion

Hot tea
My mom, a fellow beet lover, arrived today and I have been dying to share this recipe with her. As an invention of M's and mine I am proud of this one and VERY sure that she would love it as much as we do. Anyway, the meal was a HUGE hit. My mom LOVED it. I still can't believe how well it turns out and how easy it is.

Prep Notes
Difficulty: Super easy
Chopping: Nothing, but you do need a Cuisinart or blender.
Time: 25 minutes
Make ahead: Make the sauce whenever and toss with hot pasta and cheese just before serving.

"We're purple, pasta eaters!"

The kid report:
Two bowls. Very happy boy.

Rotisserie chicken (Thanks Wegmans!)
Farfalle with butter and Parmesan
Butternut squash, carrots, and green beans (Thanks Wegmans!)

Hot tea
Halloween Oreos (Thanks Grammie!)
M and T went on a field trip together today and I was at work all day, so we needed a speedy meal! Chicken is always so easy. Whenever we have a meal of a meat starch and vegetable, it looks so traditional! This one was enjoyed by all :)

Prep Notes
Difficulty: Super easy
Chopping: None
Time: 15 minutes
Make ahead: Yes, since someone else did :)

"Convenient and good."

The kid report:
Very positive - especially on the pasta and carrots.