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Sure-Fire Ingredients or Techniques for Family Joy


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As the chief cook of a family of four (me, wife, 12- and 4-year-old girls), I think a lot about getting my food in the bellies. I've never been one for cheap, Jessica Seinfeld tricks, but I'm always on the lookout for the sure-fire ingredients or techniques. To wit:

I am certain of family joy if I include cumin in a savory dish.

I am certain of family joy if I deep-fry the protein.

You?

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I am ABSOLUTELY certain there will no joy in the Nielsen household if there's even a hint of cumin! Sorry. Deep-fried though? Now that's a different matter. Shrimp - any time, any way, will bring joy.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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I am ABSOLUTELY certain there will no joy in the Nielsen household if there's even a hint of cumin! Sorry.

Don't be sorry! Doesn't it blow your mind? It does mine. If you had told me ten years ago that sprinkling cumin over a saute pan filled with onions and oil would bring the entire house into the kitchen salivating, I'd have said you were nuts.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I am ABSOLUTELY certain there will no joy in the Nielsen household if there's even a hint of cumin! Sorry.

Don't be sorry! Doesn't it blow your mind? It does mine. If you had told me ten years ago that sprinkling cumin over a saute pan filled with onions and oil would bring the entire house into the kitchen salivating, I'd have said you were nuts.

I suspect it's one of those all or nothing flavours - either you love it or you hate it. I can, however, get my family into the kitchen any time I make Danish meatballs. They have a very different smell than, say, Italian meatballs. I think it might be all the cream in there.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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In our house, universal joy comes from roasted and grilled vegetables, hot pepper flakes, and rare red meat. The real hits are when I somehow blend those elements together, like with fajitas, or steak and roasted vegetables. I make a chicken and hot pepper stir fry, with black beans and a lot of garlic that gets requested by everyone at least twice a month, and no matter if I make it once a week, someone inevitably says "man, this is the best, why don't we eat this more often". Rice is another one. These people can eat rice 3 meals a day for a month, and not get tired of it. Chicken Caesar salad (as boring as it is) is another one, happiness and clean salad bowls all around. I love 'em though, because they'll eat anything I cook for them, but the stuff I mentioned seems to be the ones that stay in our permanent rotation.

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I'm usually just cooking for hubby and I, and he's happy with just about anything (except meatloaf, go figure) but if it has melted cheese on top...super happy.

When his kids come by for dinner, I know that a tomato/artichoke sauce will always be devoured.

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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Pristine black drum does the trick in my family. We buy it once a week directly from the fisherman at our farmers market.

Salt, pepper, a quick dusting of Wondra flour, and then into the pan with butter. Nothing easier and both my 2 year old and my wife love it.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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My husband does the happy dance when the dinner table features spaghetti with a meaty tomato sauce, a full blown turkey dinner or pizza. Ice-cream for dessert and I'm Queen for the night. Even if I didn't enjoy cooking those meals (which I usually do) knowing how appreciative he'll be provides me with a bit of incentive. I do tend to cook more for his tastes than for my personal cooking pleasure- a tricky balance to achieve.

Now, if it was me I'd require Dungeness crab, cane berries and very, very dark chocolate to even *think* about a happy dance.

Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

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Oldest daughter is always sure that whatever I make has been designed to make her fat. :sad:

Oldest son is thrilled with anything made by Mom. :smile:

Youngest son cooks for his wife, but I make him supremely happy when I make cheese blintzes. :biggrin:

DH loves beyond all reason Chinese food, especially Szechwan dishes. :wub: Lunch today was Egg Foo Yong, Orange Beef and Mapo Dofu with Jasmine rice and tea. Ed is my willing sous-chef.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Garlic, anything with pesto (chicken, shrimp, noodles, probably some of my two year old's playdough...) and they'll oink it down. Also, if it's got cheese on it (even, god help me, kraft singles) it usually disappears...

If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry? ~Author Unknown

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What brings both of us to our knees is the 20 hour slow-roasted pork butt a la Nigella Dawson. The fragrance hangs around the house for at least ten hours. then There's the unwrapping and unveiling and the Night of the Living Dead attack on the butt. Never. ever fails to bring on eroticism and greed.

Edited by maggiethecat (log)

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Family Joy here is anything with Thai Basil, birds or BACON. Oh, and when they see the wrappers, the ground pork, napa, ginger, garlic, etc., they know that there will be a big ass stash of pot stickers in the freezer which are a guaranteed "You are the Best Mom Ever" award. Good thing I can pleat like a pro and have 200 stashed in well less than it takes the time to listen to a podcast of "Splendid Table."

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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  • 3 weeks later...

Just cooking butter, garlic, and onions will bring them all to the kitchen. Even at breakfast.

But that's pretty much all they can agree on. The various daughters have such disparate and acute likes and dislikes, that I rarely have them all to dinner unless it's a Special Family-day type meal.

Karen Dar Woon

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Lasagna. Period. No need to say any more. There is nothing that my hubby goes more crazy over than a big pan of Lasagna.

"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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I could make massaman curry with tennis shoes and it would be eaten.

That was funny!

My family is another that likes roasted veggies. No matter how big a pan I fill with any or all of: beetroots, brussels sprouts, onions, potatoes, cauliflower (olive oil, salt, red pepper, sprinkle of lemon juice when done), it gets wiped clean, kids and adults trying to get the last few bits. This is easy.

The other thing that gets unanimous positive votes is poori aloo for brunch. It's rather labour intensive, so I don't make it very often. The kids are still young and skinny enough to hoover up as many as I can turn out and carry on, but we adults have to watch it. Even if I improve the nutrition profile by adding mashed dal to the poori dough and adding other veggies to the aloo (potato), it's still deep fried.

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