Dinner No. 67: Saturday, September 24, 2016: Seasonal Transition Dinner (Summer to Fall)
Sep 26th, 2016 by Kate

Tonight we wanted to have a dinner that highlighted the transition from summer to fall–and emphasized the best of both seasons.  So we used frozen strawberries and blueberries that we had picked during the summer to make delicious smoothies (summer).  For the main course we made a frittata that used the last of the zucchini from our garden (summer) and the first of the potatoes (fall).  We also added spinach and chunks of fresh mozzarella.  (Mom wanted us to use kale from our garden but since we don’t love kale as much as she does, we used spinach instead and make her crispy kale chips.)  We also served cold grilled steak sliced with bread and a home made pumpkin pie (definitely fall.)

It was a lot of fun and fall took over as we tried to eat outside and realized it was too cold (and so ate inside instead). Here is the full meal: frittata, steak sandwiches, berry smoothies and kale chips (behind the smoothie), with pie for dessert.

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Here is what we did for the frittata:  The ingredients are pretty straight forward: zucchini, garlic, spinach, one baked potato, eggs, mozzarella cheese. The first step is to chop everything you need up–that’s called mis en place.

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Then you sautee the garlic, zucchini, and spinach till its soft.  Then you add the chopped up pieces of potato. Since the potato is already cooked, it doesn’t need to sautee very long.  Then you add your eggs and drop in the pieces of mozzarella.  We let the egg mixture cook a little till the eggs were set and then we added grated parmesan on top for extra cheesiness. Then we put it in the broiler (on low) for about 5 minutes.  It puffs up beautifully, but keep an eye on it so you don’t burn the cheese on top:

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The smoothies were straight forward: Add frozen blueberries, frozen strawberries, bananas, and a little yogurt. Blend and enjoy:


Pumpkin pie is so easy to make that you should never buy a pre-made one.  Seriously the worst cook in America could make a good pie. And the directions are on the can of pumpkin!

Here is what you do: First you combine canned pumpkin with egg:

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Then you mix sugar with salt and your spices (typically cinnamon, cloves, ginger). Use a fork for this.

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Then you combine the spice mixture with the pumpkin/egg mix; slowly mix in a can of evaporated milk, and then pour the whole mix into a pie shell. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees; then reduce heat to 350 degrees for 45 minutes. And it’s done! But let it sit for 2 hours to set.

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Dinner No. 66: Saturday, September 17, 2016: Nutella Gelato and more……..
Sep 19th, 2016 by Kate

For dinner on Saturday we wanted to try a few new things.  First, Mom had talked about a nutella gelato recipe she had made for us (when we were too young to remember) so we wanted to try that.  Second, we wanted to try to cook a fish we had never cooked before, because we don’t cook much fish. And third, we wanted to take advantage of the amazing vegetables at the Farmer’s Market.   We were lucky because our Farmer’s Market also has a really good seafood selection.  So we bought fresh (dry) scallops, the last of the summer corn, great tomatoes and a few other things–eggs etc. Our menu was seared scallops over a spinach-orso-tomato-bacon salad, with corn-on-the-cob and plain orso on the side. For dessert (which we actually started WAY before dinner time), we made nutella gelato.  (We also seared some chicken along with the scallops just in case they didn’t turn out so well).

Here is: the full meal;a plated dish for mom; and the nutella gelato about to be scooped out of the ice cream maker.

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We will add more “how-to” steps tomorrow, but Mom is making us go to bed now.  We did want to share the final plated dessert.  (We had made fudge brownies the day before, so we thought, what better combination than brownies with nutella gelato?) Oh and by the way, nutella gelato is so easy to make! Just make sure you cool the nutella-ice cream mis a lot before you put it in the ice cream mixer.

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More details on the gelato……

The ingredients......

The ingredients……

Whipping lots of egg yolks with sugar

Whipping lots of egg yolks with sugar

Heating eggs, cream, milk and sugar..

Heating eggs, cream, milk and sugar..

Stirring in the nutella. (Dad said this looked like dirty soap water!!! But it didn't taste that way)

Stirring in the nutella. (Dad said this looked like dirty soap water!!! But it didn’t taste that way)




Monday, September 12, 2016: End of Summer Lunch
Sep 13th, 2016 by Kate

Sorry we haven’t posted for a while. We have been busy with the start of school and Max’s 13th birthday. But today we had off from school and were home while mom had to go to the office in the morning so we made her lunch when she came home (to check on us:). We made a zucchini-potato frittata, a tomato and mozzarella plate, a walnut-goat cheese-cranberry salad and a mug brownie. A mug brownie is a brownie you make in the microwave in a mug. They are delicious and especially good for kids because they don’t have turn on the oven.

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For the frittata we used one medium zucchini sliced very thin, one clove if garlic, one left over baked potato, peeled and cubed, six eggs, a little milk and olive oil to sautee everything in. We also grated parmesan cheese on top.

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The tomato mozzarella salad was very simple but the tomatoes are so good this time of year you dont have to do much.


The salad was simple too: just butter lettuce, goat cheese, walnut and cranberries.


We also cooked some left over pasta as a side.


For dessert, we made brownies in a mug. Our oven hasn’t been working properly but we were craving brownies. We researched microwave brownies and this recipe seemed pretty good. Of course we modified it a little to increase the fudgieness of it (because the unmodified recipe taste like cake), so we added more melted butter and put chocolate chips in the middle to melt into it.


Here are the steps for the mug brownie: melt 2 1/2 Tablespoons butter; add 2 Tablespoons water. Whisk. Add 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder. Whisk. Add 4 Tablespoons granulated sugar. Whisk. Add 4 Tablespoons Flour. Whisk. Pour half batter in mug. Add 1 teaspoon chocolate chips. Add remaining batter. Add 1 teaspoon chocolate chips to top. Cook in microwave 55-60 seconds.  LET COOL a little before trying…it will be hot (but yummy).

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Dinner No. 65: Saturday, September 3, 2016: Back to Brisket
Sep 5th, 2016 by Kate

We are back in the U.S. and were craving barbecue so we made our favorite barbecued brisket (Alex started it on Friday night in the slow cooker so it cooked all night and then we drained the extra fat off and warmed it up for Saturday’s dinner.)  We have made brisket several times before but we were really craving it after eating lots of Swiss food so we made it again.

We also made corn-on-the-cob, arugula-goat cheese-tomato salad and blueberry crisp.   For the blueberry crisp we added extra sugar for extra sweet blueberries and an extra sweet topping (the blueberries were pretty tart).  For our salad, we tried using a different type of tomato – one large local tomato instead of our usual cherry tomatoes. Our friend Niki helped out. Although we had made these dishes before, it was more fun with a friend. Thanks, Nicolas.


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Blueberry Crisp:


Full meal:


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