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Who's been cooking as a Salute to your travel memories?

Hi Everyone!
The lockdown is getting long and I am missing all the friends I have made on this forum over the last several years. Tell me, people, what are you cooking tonight and does it evoke memories of your travels? I am making Chicken Parmesan as a salute to Italy. You?

Posted by
1751 posts

Hi lizthemadhatter,
Yes, the lockdowns are necessary but really starting to wear me down. We made a turkey bolognese with noodles from Chinatown in New York City. A nice combo. The noodles
are much thinner then pasta and quite good.

Posted by
5370 posts

Hi Liz! We had Pasta Norma (eggplant) earlier in the week, in memory of our Sicily tour. I think I had it five times when we were there (no octopus for me, thank you.)

Posted by
24386 posts

tonight because I am going from zoom to zoom to zoom - 4 times today - it will be hamburger corn casserole which reminds me of the US.

I've got a food delivery on Tuesday and I'm trying to decide if I will get a turkey, and if I will get it on Tuesday or in 10 days when the next delivery comes.

We had a chicken to celebrate Canadian and US Thanksgiving the middle of last month, with home made everything except giblet gravy because chickens aren't sold with giblets.

Posted by
330 posts

Isabella’s (Cretaiole/La Moscadella) ragu as well as white bean sausage have become staples in our house this year. We are grateful she shared her recipes!

Posted by
11841 posts

My dishtowel says "Stove for display only." It does get dusted when it needs it.

But I just broke down this morning and threw a package of Biscoff cookies into the grocery cart. Saw them on the shelf and got to thinking sadly about flying somewhere, ANYWHERE, as they're a staple snack on a number of airlines. I love the darn things but, until now, have never eaten them outside of killing time in coach. Does this count? 🤔

Posted by
153 posts

Thank you all for your responses. It's a much more pleasant way to start the day than reading the newspaper, although I'm sure I'll get to that at some point.

Barbara - your bolognese sounds wonderful. Those noodles sound intriguing - of course I've never met a noodle I didn't like.

Hi Stan! I remember well how much you loved the Pasta Norma in Sicily. The food on that tour was something else. I wish I liked eggplant more, maybe I'll try again. I've learned to prepare and enjoy other things later in life, like fish, although I do draw the line at Lutefisk..

Nigel - Hamburger corn casserole hmm? Around here we call it hot dish and I just made the granddaddy of them all the other night - Tater Tot Hot Dish, the ultimate Midwest comfort food. I'm curious as to what you use as a base? Sadly, I haven't been to England yet but it is at the top of the list when the pandemic is over and we can travel safely again.

Marika - Isabella's ragu and white bean sausage!?!? As soon as I saw the name I figured you were talking about the Isabella Experience so went to check it out. Oh my. I wish I could go today, I could be packed in an hour. Sigh.

Kathy - your response made me laugh out loud then want to shed a tear for all of us. And yes, it counts. I started buying Biscoff after our first trip to Europe in 2015 but haven't had them around for awhile now. Interestingly enough, our newspaper (Minneapolis Star Tribune) published their annual cookie contest winners on Thursday and among the finalists is a recipe for a cinnamon cookie sandwich filled with Biscoff cookie butter, which I've never heard of! It is now on my grocery list for Tuesday morning. Oh boy!! We've got to find silver linings somewhere.

Posted by
1751 posts

Liz, I have to admit I don’t Cook. My husband is a chef and he made the sauce. He makes it different each time, depending on the ingredients in the fridge. The noodles were fabulous, but we get them from my daughter. Her husband is Chinese and his parents pick them up periodically.

Posted by
11841 posts

Interestingly enough, our newspaper (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
published their annual cookie contest winners on Thursday and among
the finalists is a recipe for a cinnamon cookie sandwich filled with
Biscoff cookie butter...

Liz, you and I live in the same metro area. Howdy, neighbor! :O)
THAT cookie sounds killer! Nom nom nom.

Posted by
131 posts

We had Italian tonight, except for the wine, which was a Châteauneuf-du-Pape, left over from a cancelled dinner (long story -- don't ask).

I grilled some steaks (Charolais bavette -- French flank steak pounded to about 0.5 cm thick), on a cast iron stove top griddle, thinly sliced them across the grain, and dressed them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and finely chopped rosemary and sage.

That was accompanied by cacao e pepe (parmesan instead of pecorino because that's what we had on hand) and a salad of sucrine and radicchio, dressed with a vinaigrette of olive, oil, white wine vinegar, garlic, and Dijon mustard.

There's a shortage of white wine vinegar in France right now -- I can't find it anywhere. I had to order some Greek wine vinegar through amazon.fr. My guess is that the wine that used to go to make vinegar is being distilled to make ethanol for hand sanitizer. Just a guess.

Posted by
24386 posts

Liz,

2 pounds beef mince
1 med onion chopped
1 pound frozen corn
1 can Campbells condensed mushroom soup
1 can Campbells condensed chicken soup
1 cup plain yoghurt
1 tsp smoked paprika
12 oz pasta

Posted by
1444 posts

I made crepes based on the easy cooking-at-home video by Jacques Pepin, but I substituted half-and-half for milk to make it more distinctively American :-)
For filling I sautéed some spicy sausage and melted some Jarlsberg.

Posted by
578 posts

Right now I'm moving into baking. In part because of the holidays but also a reaction to watching the latest season of the Great British Bakeoff on Netflix. Things to ponder. Will this be the year I try making mince pies? Stollen? A gingerbread house? TBD

Posted by
5709 posts

That was accompanied by cacao e pepe

Oh Sammy I hope against hope that is a case of the dreaded autocorrect !!

Everything else you were talking about sounds delightful !

Posted by
153 posts

Barbara - lucky you to be married to a chef! I do most of the cooking in the colder months because my husband is so good about grilling for us all summer and well into autumn. I've come up with some new dishes, our favorite being a chicken chow mein recipe from the old Nankin Restaurant here in Minneapolis that I found online and tweaked to make a bit healthier for us.

Kathy, we're neighbors! I will absolutely let you know how the new cinnamon Biscoff butter cookies turn out. Every year I try a few from the contest - some make the permanent rotation, some don't. This afternoon I came across a recipe for Cherry Pinwheels I saved from a few years back which I will give a chance this year. It took me a while to figure out the pinwheel shape but I practiced with a 2 x 2 inch piece of paper, feeling quite ridiculous, and I'll think they''ll be yummy too - and pretty!

Sammy - that sounds terrific! You've inspired me to use my cast iron more often. Regarding the white wine vinegar shortage, your guess is probably correct. We still have shortages, too, but it seems to rotate - one week it's tp, the next it's flour, etc. We've learned to adapt.

Nigel - thanks, very interesting. In every church cookbook I've ever looked at there is always at least one "Shipwreck Hot Dish," which is basically throwing whatever you have on hand (cooked meat or poultry, rice, pasta, frozen vegetables, condensed soup, milk or broth, sour cream, grated cheese, whatever) in a casserole dish, cover it with crushed corn flakes, and bake it in a 350 degree oven and hope for the best. The church ladies knew their stuff. It wasn't gourmet but it filled the hole. We benefit from their experience.

Avirosemail - crepes! I'm going to have to check out that video. I've never made them but I surely loved them while in Paris, especially the savory ones.

cj-traveler - Baking rocks! I love it, especially this time of the year. I've been making my grandmother's Swedish Rye Bread since I was a young adult and I'd make it for my Mom several times a year until she left us in 2014. She always hid it from my Dad. I would love to know what new creation you decide to try!

Posted by
153 posts

Kim - thanks for catching that! How could I have eaten this countless times in Italy and not remembered the name? And why have I never made something so wonderful and simple? This will be on the. menu next week!

Posted by
131 posts

Kim -- It's not a good autocorrect error unless it kind of makes sense, even in a weird way!

Then again, I've heard of chocolate flavored with habanero chilis, so maybe black pepper is not so far off.

Posted by
5709 posts

Good point Sammy!! And yes the autocorrect was devilishly “possible” this time!

Posted by
2134 posts

I've been honoring both my Hungarian heritage and my profound love of Budapest by making some favorites over the past months: toltott kaposzta (stuffed cabbage, the first thing I order upon arrival in Budapest), csirke paprikas (chicken paprikash, not ready to make nokedli at home so packaged spaetzle works fine), porkolt (stew, I use pork) and gulyas (beef, more of a soup) and kaposzta testa (pasta with cabbage and onion).

Posted by
2320 posts

I enjoy cooking theme dinners reminiscent of our travels. Planning on making my favorite Chicken Cacciatore over creamy Polenta this week.

Like others, we are fans of Biscoff Cookies and have fond memories of eating them in Europe. One of our local stores has them on special this week. I need to replenish our supply!

Posted by
153 posts

Christa - all these dishes sound wonderful! Funny, just before I saw your post an old friend from college sent me a photo of his stuffed cabbages. I'll look at the other dishes too - the chicken looks looks particularly yummy. It's important to me to honor my heritage, too. This afternoon I made the traditional Scandinavian Almond Cake - my first try and it's divine. It's a perfect cake for a small household because it is, well, small. But mighty.

Janis - Oh my. I want Chick Cacciatore over creamy Polenta right now! And I will let you know, along with Kathy, how the Cinnamon sandwich Biscoff butter cookies turn out.

Posted by
2320 posts

Liz, Kathy, et al- Another favorite cookie using Biscoff Butter- Biscoff Blossoms. It’s substituting Biscoff Butter for Peanut Butter. It has a Hershey Kiss pressed in the center. A delicious holiday cookie.

Looking forward to hearing about the cinnamon Biscoff version!

Posted by
131 posts

I don't eat a lot of sweets, so please excuse my ignorance, but...

...What is a Biscoff cookie?

...What is Biscoff butter?

I assume it's a brand name, but I've never encountered it.

Posted by
153 posts

Sammy, Biscoff cookies are from Belgium. I am not sure how long they have been around, but it seems to me that the company made a brilliant move when they started packaging them in 2s and selling them to the airlines. They are a staple on Delta no matter where you're sitting - that's why they remind us Delta flyers of our European travels. Coffee and a Biscoff? Sure. Yes. Absolutely.

The Biscoff Cookie Butter is new to me. I just got some in my grocery order today but it is clear that it is among the products that are being rationed right now - I got half of what I ordered and am grateful for it. I am trying the new award winning Biscoff cookie because it's part of my Christmas tradition of trying something new, instead of being a dull old bird.

Posted by
5370 posts

Hmmm. I just saw Biscoff cookies by the box load at my Sam's Club. Didn't see butter flavor however. That does sound good.

Posted by
153 posts

Stan! The Biscoff Cookie Butter is in the peanut butter aisle. That's all I know. The baking marathon begins Thursday!

Posted by
2320 posts

Just to add to the Biscoff Cookie caper and Cookie Butter- it’s also known as Speculoos, especially in Europe like Belgium, the Netherlands, and France. The most common brand is Lotus. That said, Trader Joe’s carries “Speculoos Butter.”

Posted by
11841 posts

More about the love affair between Biscoff and airlines:

https://www.cntraveler.com/story/how-biscoff-cookies-became-iconic-airplane-snack

https://www.thrillist.com/eat/nation/how-delta-air-lines-biscoff-cookies-made-cookie-butter-so-popular

For anyone else who has a kitchen 'cuz it came with the house, this is an interesting experiment:

"...a broke flight attendant's culinary secret: Taking a lime from the beverage cart and squeezing it over the top of the Biscoff makes a dead-ringer for the flavor of Key lime pie." Oy. I'm in.

Posted by
29 posts

My paternal grandparents were German, lived in a German speaking village but the village was in Hungary. My grandmother's cooking and baking was more Hungarian than German. So we make chicken paprikash a lot. At Christmas we bake a cookie that goes back as far as my great-grandmother. It's flavored with lemon rind and the juice of the lemon and iced. It's called Linzadyke (I have no idea how this is really spelled so am doing it phonetically}. It is by far the favorite Christmas cookie in my family. There are other cookies we bake at Christmas that my grandmother made but, honestly, we have no idea what they were called in Europe. This Saturday, my sisters and I will get together and have a marathon baking day.