What are you having for dinner? (wanna share your recipe?)


Chicken & Polenta Stuffed Poblanos (or vegetarian, or beef)

What I reeeeeally wanted was paella stuffed peppers; but to me paella means seafood & sausage, jambalaya’s kissing cousin, and I have neither... so it’s just sorta winging it with what happens to be around. Some of these will be vegetarian simply by not adding meat (although if I were only doing veggie ones and not 3 flavors already I’d probably go a bit wild here, or at the very least add some rice/beans for the protein, in point of fact Cuban black beans and rice with charred pineapple salsa sounds divine but I simply don’t have the time ); as I’ve gotten suckered into cooking more than I have chicken for, for a lot more people than I’d planned on, so I’m making some with chicken, some ground beef, and some simply sans meats. Similarly, I’d love and adore to do a grilled shrimp or coconut shrimp stuffed poblano, but this dinner started out with my shocking lack of shrimp. 🦐 🍤 C’est la vie. Another time we’ll do grilled &/or coconut shrimp, and Kailua pork & poi, and Cubano vegetarian peppers. As all 3 would love grilled pineapple salsa. TONIGHT! It’s about speed.

Poblano Prep
- Leave stems on for easier moving about
- Char the tough skins to smokey up & soften the peppers (BBQ, gas stove, or under the broiler in the oven makes little difference)
- Rinse of the char & skins under running water
- Save one pepper out to whirl into a creamy sauce later
- Cut a slice in the other poblanos (remove seeds & veins for less heat)
- Lay out on baking sheet lightly oiled, or nonstick grid above baking sheet

Meats Prep
- Roughly chop raw chicken thighs & stirfry with onions&garlic, salt&pepper, and any favorite Latin herbs&spices. Toss in bowl with salsa verde & fresh chopped cilantro to seriously sauce it up.
- Brown ground beef with salt & garlic & onion, smother in Herdez salsa ranchera (or similar, something rich & smokey, like chipotle & adobo) and let simmer for a piece. When done, tossing in some extra tomatoes or stirring in some chocolate chips -for pseudo mole- to melt are both fun. If you used chipotle in adobo? raspberries also love smokey jalapeño awesomeness. Whether fresh or a dollup of jam.

Polenta Prep
- I like the sweet & creamy of polenta cooked in plain salted water, but most people prefer cooking in some kind of stock, or grilled veggie water (like sautéing onions, garlic, peppers, and then adding polenta and water). To each their own. Cook to package directions... as your corn grind-size will change the liquid ratio.
- When nearly done, add a generous amount of Pico de Gallo and give it a stir and shut burner off, or turn to lowest possible setting.
- Stuff peppers “immediately” as polenta will start to solidify fairly quickly (IE you’ve got about half an hour to an hour. It’s not candy OMG fast.))

Pepper Stuffing
- Fill (almost) half the pepper with polenta, and (almost) half with meat filling. You’re just leaving room for pico de Gallo & sauces to top with after baking.
- For creamy polenta, bake immediately.
- If you don’t mind more solid-set polenta peppers can be nipped in the fridge for up to 1-2days in advance, or into the freezer to defrost and cook later for up to 6-12mo. Everything is already cooked, it just needs to be reheated to combine flavors and serve.

Baking or BBQ’ing
- oven to 400F 200C, BBQ use indirect heat
- done when heated through (steamy &/or smokey meldedness has happened). Warm from the counter will be a few minutes, cold from the fridge a bit longer!

Top w/ pico de Gallo, creamy poblano sauce, fresh cilantro, avocado slices, etc.


Creamy Poblano Sauce
- Add your reserved charred/rinsed poblano pepper (minus stem) to a blender with cashew cream, lime juice, cilantro stems, salsa verde, salt, & pepper. Whirl until smooth. Drizzle over virtually anything. Avocado will thicken.

Pico de Gallo.
- (Chopped or diced) tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapeños -or- green bell pepper for mild heat, fresh cilantro, lemon & lime juice, salt, and a rather alarming amount of fresh cracked black pepper. Let sit in a bow or ziplock to meld
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^^^ I’m thinking the next time I’m voluntold to make that ^^^ I’m going to cheat a bit, and do up a couple/few pies, instead! 🤣

I always forget at my parents house only one person is “allowed” in the kitchen at a time. My kitchen, I drag everyone in I can squeeze in; and it’s quick work, or fun work, or both. Not that any of the pieces that go into these things are hard, but it takes awhile to do it all ones self for that many people. Half an hour prepping & stuffing for lunch for 2 people turns into 3 hours when it’s for 15-25 people. But “should” still only be about half an hour if 4 or 5 people each took a piece to do.

So, next time? Add a layer of polenta to a casserole, then layer in everything else, bake off, top, & either cut it into wedges or serve with a big ole spoon! 😉


Chicken and rice

4-6 pieces chicken, skin removed
1 can chicken broth
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 c. Long grain rice

Herbs and spices to your liking. I use a few tablespoons of dried onion soup mix.

You can also add a few handfuls of your favorite frozen vegetables.

Mix ingredients in a 11x8x2 baking dish. Place chicken on top. Cover and bake 45-60 minutes at 375F.

Quick. Easy. Frugal. And yummy.


hicken and rice

4-6 pieces chicken, skin removed
1 can chicken broth
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 c. Long grain rice
<grin> This is my mom’s fave thing!!!
...Mine is cream gravy / sausage gravy (whatever is already made & jarred)
...TheKiddo’s is a jar of Alfredo sauce.
...TheBrother uses Cream of Chicken
...TheOtherBrother uses Cream of Celery
🤪 TheDad just reaches for the nearest red & white can and sometimes finds himself with a casserole-of-weirdness, but he sometimes just WINS with things we all go “Why didn’t we ever think of that?!?” (Because we all just reach for our faves).


Cool. Thanks for the different ideas, Friday! I may have to try alfredo sauce next time.

Years ago my friend made me "poor man's stew". A meal her Dad used to make for her. Ground beef and a can of condensed vegetable soup and a lil water. I still make it to this day. Easy and filling.


We did braised brats and onions in beer. Pretty simple recipe.

In a heavy bottom pan fry brats on med high heat just to give them color. Once browned pull them out and set aside. Add two tbsp of butter and two onions chopped. Cook for about 5 mins. Add beer and scrape the fond from the bottom of pan. Reduce heat to medium and add brats back in. Cook till beer renders down to a nice gravy.


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We got too sidetracked yesterday to have our usual nod to Easter meal - so we’ll have it tonight . It’s adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe. Shredded roast lamb, dressed with fresh pomegranate and mint and some za’artar , and salad including the first things growing through - that means tonight’s will have sorrel, lovage and dandelion featuring . It’s a good meal for spring holiday because it’s super low prep ( deseeding the pomegranate takes the longest single task) and can be done around gardening or any ‘new season endeavour’ that’s been inspired by a four day holiday and maybe a glimpse of Sun. I like that it has a nod to the holiday that gives the holiday with lamb and Middle Eastern inspiration, and even earlier faith - new season produce .



Yes. I realize the irony of someone who doesn’t do eggs or dairy doing a strata.... BUT... I miss stratas. Hard. And? I have laid my hot little hands on some JUST Egg (which is made from mung beans, weirdly enough). And who ever wrote this recipe? Appears to have had the Montecristo PB&J from Disneyland 🤣 And is officially my hero, for adding cherry or raspberry jam.

I’m also going to add some diced jalapeño to half of this sucker, because I think the kick might make up for the absence of Swiss. And jalapeños like both cherry and raspberry, so hey! Cheers 😃


Never heard of Strata, sounds bit like savoury bread and butter pudding. 🙂
Yep. Somewhere in between Quiche & Bread Pudding. More eggy than custardy.

The ones I learned on were Italian, kissing cousin to American ‘Breakfast Casserole’. This one is a little wacky, as far as stratas go... which is kind of why I like it. Cant beat a good ole stale bread, dry mustard, onion, cheese, & sausage strata, though. Or pancetta and fresh herb. Soooooo good.


This... except mine has oyster sauce & ginger.... and the shrimp is “marinated” for an hour or overnight (and then rinsed) with baking soda water to plump up and “pop!” in your mouth Hong Kong style. If you don’t have a food processor? (Like me) that means rather tediously stirring in the same direction for 10+ minutes wih chopsticks. Still quite worth it, for the bouncy that happens when all the fibers are facing the same direction. But a few pulses in a food processor does the same job in moments.

I’m giving myself massive bonus points for saving out about a pound / 500g of prawns from being seared last night to go 1/3 into siu mai & 2/3s into shrimp balls /har gow for tonight. If I’d seared them? They’d have been eaten! LMAO. But nipped into a ziplock with a big pinch of baking soda in water means dim sum tonight!
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