08/31/14

August 31st, 2014 ~ Weekly Dinner Menu

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SUNDAY

Baked Ricotta & Honey Stuffed Squash Blossoms  |  Za’atar Rubbed & Grilled NY Strip Steaks  |  Haricots Verts & Freekeh with Minty Tahini Dressing  

MONDAY

Omelettes with Goats Cheese & Sautéed Pink Oyster Mushrooms  |  Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

TUESDAY

End~of~Summer Eggplant Bake  |  Sliced & Seasoned Summer Tomatoes

WEDNESDAY

Summer Corn Risotto with Lobster Mushrooms  |  Tomato & Arugula Salad

THURSDAY

Perfect Fish Tacos  |  Sweet Chili Cabbage Slaw  |  Pickled Jalapeños  |  Cilantro~Avocado Cream

FRIDAY

Grilled Vietnamese~Style Pork Chops  |  Fresh Plum Salsa  |  Chopped Kale salad with Garlic~Lemon Vinaigrette

   

FM 8-30-14 Collage

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08/28/14
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Summer Corn Chowder {Dairy~Free}

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“I have a love affair with tomatoes and corn.  I  remember them from my childhood.  I only had them in the summer.  They were extraordinary.”   ~  Alice Waters

 

September is knocking at the door.  The children here are back in school and the days are becoming noticeably shorter.  But, before the lingering days of late summer become a distant memory I am savoring every juicy tomato and every ear of sweet summer corn I can lay my hands upon.  As a child growing up in Connecticut, I fondly remember helping my grandmother pick tomatoes from her garden shortly before dinner and eating them while they were still warm from the summer sunshine.  Our corn came from a local farmer {Mr. Burnham}, known for his prize~winning corn…a quaint, white, roadside stand stood in front of his property and each day he would set out for sale the ears which had been harvested a few short hours prior.  I would ride my bike to the stand and pick up just what we needed for that evening’s dinner.  In late August, we would happily make a complete dinner from these two garden gems accompanied by a simple salad.  Those flavors, indelibly etched in my memory, are synonymous with summer for me and the ones I wait all year to enjoy. Continue reading «Summer Corn Chowder {Dairy~Free}»

08/24/14

August 24th, 2014 ~ Weekly Dinner Menu

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SUNDAY

Baked Squash Blossoms with Ricotta & Honey  |  Grilled New York Strip Steaks  |  Roasted Eggplant & Red Pepper Relish  |  Roasted Summer Squash

MONDAY

Summer Corn Chowder

TUESDAY

Caponata & Pasta

WEDNESDAY

Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Gazpacho  |  Shredded Egg Salad with Avocado Bruschetta

THURSDAY

Pan Seared Sea Scallops  |  Corn Risotto in Sweet Corn Broth  |  Chopped Tomato & Arugula Salad

FRIDAY

 ~ Friday Night HS Football Game ~

8-23-14 SF Farmers Market Collage

“Like tomatoes, eggplants won’t reach their peak of quality until August and September.  At that time, look for fruit that is very shiny and firm.  The best eggplants have dense, uniformly firm, sweet flesh with small, tender seeds. Eggplants that are dull and puffy are over~the~hill, and will be bitter and full of unpleasantly hard seeds.  In the home garden, pick them when they are no more than two~thirds full size.”  

~  Alice Waters, Chez Panisse Vegetables

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08/17/14

August 17th, 2014 ~ Weekly Dinner Menu

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SUNDAY

Grilled Rib~Eye Steaks  |  Tomato Cobbler with Blue Cheese Biscuits  |  Little Gem Lettuces with Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette

MONDAY

Summer Corn Chowder

TUESDAY

Pesto Roasted Mushroom Burgers  |  Corn~on~the~Cob

WEDNESDAY

Dijon Grilled Chicken Thighs  |  Oven~Roasted Zucchini & Tomatoes

THURSDAY

Hot Sandwich with Pesto, Tomato & Mozzarella  

FRIDAY

Seared Sea Scallops  |  Lemony Risotto  |  Spinach Salad with Maple~Mustard Bacon Crumbles & Champagne Vinaigrette

8-16-14 Farmers Market

“Vegetables obey the seasons in a way that meat and fish simply do not.  There is a rhythm to what grows, and when it appears in the markets throughout the year.  The hearty greens, brassicas, cabbages and roots of winter give way to the abundance of flowering vegetables and vibrant colours in the spring…Summer is dominated by tomatoes; those amazing buttons of sunshine that have so many delicious manifestations.”            ~ Russell Norman in POLPO, A Venetian Cookbook {Of Sorts}

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08/15/14
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Summer Lobster Rolls

New England Style Lobster Rolls  |  Drawn Butter & Lemon Aioli  |  Seasoned Sweet Cucumbers  |  Potato Chips

Summer Lobster Rolls    THE DINNER CONCIERGE

“I’m from Manchester~by~the~Sea, Massachusetts, so it was lobster, lobster and more lobster!”  ~ Sprague Grayden, Actress

Several years ago, while not quite newlyweds {and shortly before the children began to arrive} Michael and I bought our first home in Ipswich, Massachusetts…a small, New England seaside town just a few short miles from Manchester~by~the~Sea and the fishing towns of Gloucester, Rockport and Newburyport.  To this day, neither Michael nor I can remember how we ended up in Ipswich but there we landed, in a 100+ year old, white, farmhouse~style “fixer~upper” perched above the Ipswich River a couple of miles from Crane Beach. Continue reading «Summer Lobster Rolls»

08/6/14

August 10th, 2014 ~ Weekly Dinner Menu

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SUNDAY

Grilled Porterhouse Steaks  |  Roasted Green Bean & Baby Potato Salad

MONDAY

Summer Skillet Corn & Tomatoes with Basil & Orecchiette Pasta

TUESDAY

Lobster Bisque  |  Spinach Salad with Crumbled Goat Cheese & a Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

WEDNESDAY

New England~Style Lobster Rolls  |  Corn~on~the~Cob  |  Coleslaw

THURSDAY

Oven “Fried” Chicken  |  A Salad of Peaches, Mozzarella & Basil

FRIDAY

Chicken & Wild Rice Salad

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08/5/14
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Summer Skillet Corn & Tomato Salad

Intro Collage

“No matter what the variety, it is still safe to say that the fresher the corn the better.  If you don’t have a corn patch of your own, buy locally grown corn straight from the farmer ~ at a produce stand on the side of the road or at a farmer’s market.  At the market, look closely at the ears.  The ones picked most recently will have fresh looking cuts at their stems and will still look ~ and feel ~ moist, plump, green, and vibrant.  The brown silk peeping out at the top will look a little sticky.  Kernels should look shiny and healthy.  Do not panic if you see the occasional worm.  Obviously you do not want worm infested corn, but it can be reassuring to know that the farmer has not gone overboard with the pesticides.”  ~ Alice Waters, Chez Panisse Vegetables

This warm skillet salad has become a staple in our summer dinner rotation.  It is extremely easy to prepare and comes together quickly.  As with most dishes which feature just a few ingredients, the quality of the components greatly effects the final outcome.  This salad is at its very best from mid to late summer when corn and tomatoes are at their peak.  Corn, tomatoes, a few scallions, a couple of slices of organic bacon, a drizzle of good quality balsamic vinegar and a hot skillet are all that is required to pull this salad off.  It is a wonderful accompaniment to grilled meats and fish and, when substituting butter or olive oil for the bacon, makes a wonderful meatless main when tossed with some orecchiette pasta.  Any leftovers can be gently reheated in a skillet along with an egg or two for a tasty breakfast the next morning.

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08/3/14

August 3rd, 2014 ~ Weekly Dinner Menu

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SUNDAY

Grilled Top Sirloin Steaks  |  Summer Skillet Corn & Tomato Salad  |  Cold Cucumber Chips

MONDAY

Steak Tacos with Grilled Sweet Peppers & Onions

TUESDAY

Baked Eggs with Sausage, Tomatoes & Sweet Peppers

WEDNESDAY

Sweet Asian Chili Stir~Fry with Pork, Ginger & Sweet Peaches  |  Skillet Green Beans

 

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07/10/14
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Strawberry Shortcake

Intro Collage

“I have learned to treat each basket of really good berries I encounter as a box of fleeting, precious jewels, a treat to be enjoyed with unalloyed pleasure; no cream, sugar, or splash of Beaujolais, just the warm berry in all its scarlet glory.  That perfect fruit is a rare find, but once you chance upon it life seems, for an instant, to stand still.  Eyes closed, you are briefly lost in buttercup meadows, with bees buzzing on the heavy afternoon air…’Fragaria’ is a difficult fruit to find at its best.  But when you do, and that berry is melting on your tongue, it is as if all your summers have come at once.”  ~ Nigel Slater, Ripe

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07/9/14
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Spicy Carrot Pasta Sauce

Intro Collage

“Not for me the pile of buttered carrots on the plate.  Too sweet, too orange {too bloody cheerful more like it}.  But the carrot’s place is assured in my kitchen as the bringer of earthy sweetness, a backbone vegetable on which to build layers of flavor.” ~ Nigel Slater, Tender

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