At Home 2023: Celebrating Michael’s Birthday with Take-out from Bangkok Bistro

February 2, 2023

Now that we are into winter, restaurant dining is on hold until the weather is warm enough to eat outdoors again. To give me a break from cooking, we do take-out once or twice a week.

Starting in 2021, after we were vaccinated and went back to restaurant dining outdoors, whenever we’ve wanted Thai food in NJ, we’ve gone to Kunya Siam Thai, in Atlantic Highlands. They have a lovely outdoor garden, and the food is wonderful. Unfortunately, Atlantic Highlands is too far for us to do take-out. So this past fall, I Googled, hoping to find a Thai restaurant close to our house. I discovered that Bangkok Bistro, in Manalapan, is just a 10-minute ride away. I have no idea how long it’s been there. A note said ownership had just changed hands and linked to a new website. We gave them our order over the phone and drove there to pick it up. Happily, the food was very good, so we put it on our take-out rotation. Like Kunya, they have Michael’s favorite dish, Kee Mao, aka Drunken Noodles, which he loves because it’s spicy! And, he says, it’s as tasty as Kunya’s. That’s why he chose take-out from Bangkok Bistro for his birthday lunch. No fancy tablecloth dining. We kept it casual and ate at our center island.

Tom Yum Koong
Thai Spicy & Sour Soup with Shrimp, Lemon Grass and Mushrooms

When we did our first take-out, I ordered this soup. Not only didn’t I like the flavor, but it was way too spicy for me. Michael tried it. And while he liked it, he felt it was too spicy even for him. The next time we ordered take-out, I asked about spice levels, and they told me we could indicate what level we wanted. Level 1 = somewhat spicy, Level 2 = medium, and Level 3 = very. So, Michael tried Level 1 for the soup, and that was perfect for him.

Since none of the other soups on the menu appealed to me, I made my own Thai-style soup. Not spicy, of course.


Coconut Broth with Onions, Red Pepper, Pineapple, and Cilantro


Curry Puffs
Baked Puff Pastry Stuffed with Ground Chicken, Potato, Carrot, Red onion, Curry Powder

These are sensational.

Steamed Dumplings

With Chicken, Shrimp, and Crabmeat

First time we ordered these. Very tasty.


Kee Mao aka Drunken Noodles with Beef (Spice Level 2)

He has ordered it every time!

I have ordered Pad Thai with Chicken and Massaman Curry with Chicken.  This time, I tried this:


Bangkok Duck
Crispy Boneless Half Duck Topped with Panang Curry, Fresh
Pineapple, and Tomato

The menu indicated that it was spicy, but I asked if it could be made not spicy, and they said it could be made “mild.” It came with rice in a separate container. This dish was delicious with just a hint of spice which was perfect for me.

We didn’t have dessert.

Happy 82nd Birthday, Michael!

January 26, 2023

At Home 2022: New Year’s Eve

January 1, 2023

Dinner for two while listening to the WQXR Classical Countdown. Our usual way of closing out the year.


Red Leaf Lettuce, Grape Tomatoes, Red Onion, Goat Cheese, and Vinaigrette

Toasted Baguette Slice with Butter


Rack of Lamb

(Note:  I ordered the lamb shipped to us from Lobel’s, a premium NYC butcher.)


Potato Gratin


Rack of Lamb, Potato Gratin, Buttered Green Beans

Michael paired this red with the lamb:


Wegmans Cheese Cake

Michael poured this Muscat with the cheese cake:

Sweet wines are the only wines I have very occasionally drunk, mainly in restaurants. But I’m  picky about them. I tasted this Muscat. Perfect for me, so I had some.

The Countdown ended as expected with Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 in 1st place (as it’s been for however long we can remember). Dvorak’s Symphony No.9 “From the New World” came in 2nd as it did last year. Also like last year, Beethoven’s Symphony No.7 took 3rd. In 4th place: Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos (they played all six). In 5th place: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. (Since I didn’t note 4th & 5th last year, I don’t know if they’re the same.)

Hoping 2023 will bring us and our family good health, many joy-filled moments, and lots of delicious food.

In 2022, Where in the World Did Visitors to My Blog Come From?

December 30, 2022

It’s no surprise that most of the visitors to my blog came from the United States. But according to WordPress stats, there were visitors from all over the globe. Astonishing!

In alphabetical order:

Argentina
Armenia
Australia
Cambodia
Canada
China
Cote d’Ivoire
Cypress
Czech Republic
Ecuador
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hong Kong SAR China
Hungary
India
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Malaysia
Mexico
Nigeria
Oman
Poland
Puerto Rico
Russia
Romania
Singapore
Spain
South Africa
South Korea
Sri Lanka
Sweden
Taiwan
Tanzania
Thailand
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States
Vietnam

My sincere thanks to everyone who stopped by this year!

Happy New Year!

At Home 2022: Chanukah Dinner

December 25, 2022

Michael and I had our holiday dinner on the first night of Chanukah.

FIRST COURSE


Chopped Salad with Russian Dressing

MAIN COURSE

On Rosh Hashanah, I made a pot roast recipe by Chef Gavin Kaysen published in The New York Times. A variety of vegetables are cooked with the meat in the oven. So seriously delicious, I had to make it again. (Note: We know Gavin from his years as executive chef at Cafe Boulud. He now lives with his family in Minnesota. He serves this, a version of his grandmother Dorothy’s pot roast, at his restaurant Spoon & Stable.)


Pot Roast with a Variety of Vegetables

Potato Latkes are a must on Chanukah. Michael grated the potatoes on our 53-year-old box grater, and I did the rest. Latkes are, of course, fried in oil.


Potato Latkes


Homemade Applesauce for the Latkes


Pot Roast, Vegetables, and Potato Latkes

DESSERT


Chocolate Covered Marble Cake
Breyer’s Vanilla Ice Cream
Fox’s U-bet Chocolate Syrup

Chanukah 2022

December 18, 2022

Sunday, December 16th – Monday, December 26th

Our House is 53 Years Old Today!

December 16, 2022

We moved into our house on December 16, 1969. It was a new build as were all the houses in our section of a development known as Whittier Oaks East.

Over the years, the landscaping has changed several times. There have also been changes inside. The major one was  greatly expanding and remodeling the kitchen, building a new large master bath upstairs, and turning the original master bath into a walk-in closet.

At this point, with the exception of one other house on our very long block, we are the only original owners.

This house suits us very well. We have no plans to sell.

At Home 2022: Celebrating Thanksgiving

November 27, 2022

Just the two of us this year since Jen and Louis went to Connecticut to celebrate with his family.

I did not get our turkey from d’Artagnan or Whole Foods as I did the past few years. Instead, I bought what I used to buy in the years before we started going out for Thanksgiving dinner: an Empire kosher turkey.

A 12 pounder and frozen, I defrosted it in the frig for the required number of days. Inside the cavity was a very long turkey neck. While the turkey roasted (325 degrees full convection), I used the neck to make turkey broth. When the turkey was done and resting…

…I used the pan drippings and the broth to make gravy. While Michael will eat turkey any which way, for me, turkey is blah without lots of gravy!

TO START


Franks in Jackets with Deli Mustard


Vegetable Liver with Cucumber, Radish & Olive

THE MAIN MEAL


Carved Turkey: Leg, Breast & Thigh Meat


Homemade Dressing


Candied Sweet Potatoes


Buttered Green Beans


Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce


Homemade Turkey Gravy


Michael’s Everything Plate

DESSERT

Several years ago, Jen gave me the Balthazar Cookbook for Mother’s Day. I hadn’t cooked anything from it before but decided to use one of their dessert recipes.


Apple Tart

Note: While I’ve often made apple tarts using puff pastry, this one was unusual. It consisted of two layers. First, apples were peeled, chopped and cooked in butter with Calvados and spread across the unbaked pastry. The second layer of peeled, sliced apples were arranged over the cooked apple layer, brushed with butter and sprinkled with sugar. There was, however, a major oversight. And I do mean major! No oven temperature was provided for baking the tart! Obviously, the proofreader had not done his or her job! As I said, having baked puff pastry tarts before, I decided on 400 degrees. That worked well. When the tart was finished, I added an apricot glaze.


Apple Tart with Breyer’s Vanilla Ice Cream

A delicious meal in every respect!

After I removed all the turkey meat, I used the carcass to make a boatload of Turkey broth. I’ve already used some broth to make this:


Turkey, Vegetable & Rice Soup

On Friday, we had another main meal lunch using the leftovers. Yesterday, we again had a leftovers lunch though with a couple of changes. Instead of the sweet potatoes (not much left), I made mashed potatoes — covered in gravy, of course! Also roasted broccoli.

In the late evenings, Michael had turkey sandwiches. I had leftover turkey soup and soup made from the small amount of leftover sweet potatoes.

Today’s plan is turkey pot pie for lunch. For tomorrow, possibly a turkey enchilada pie from a NY Times recipe. Or, perhaps, turkey croquettes with fried spaghetti.

It won’t be long before all the turkey will be gone.

Thanksgiving 2022

November 24, 2022

Happy Birthday, Louis!

November 17, 2022