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The Menu Tonight 
Apr. 16, 2013 2:12 pm 
Updated: Apr. 17, 2013 9:00 am
Tonight is the last night my youngest daughter and I have on our own. My eldest is in Disney World on her Senior class trip, and will be returning tonight. I'm looking forward to her return, but I am sad to have less one on one time with my baby. Ah well, 16 years old is hardly a baby, but both of them will always be my dear children!

Tonight I am making a first course of chicken broth seasoned with garlic and sriracha and ginger, and garnished with carrot cubes, thinly sliced scallions and slices of shiitake mushrooms. I put a touch of white wine in the broth as well. I thought I had fish sauce, but no luck there.

The soup will be followed by a crab cakes on a bed of baby greens with yellow and red grapes tomatoes, red onion and thinly sliced celery dressed with an orange vinaigrette. I'll probably use champagne vinegar, and the zest of a half orange, more or less. The olive oil I'm using is nice and fruity, and I think it will work well. A scant teaspoon of Dijon and maybe a 1/2 tsp. of whole grain mustard and a pinch of salt should do it well. I bought the crab cakes at the Medford Seafood Market on Jackson Street in Medford. It's a nice place with normally good seafood and helpful staff. I don't work for them. I don't even know the owners, but if you live in the area, now you know about a good seafood market!

I have some small swordfish steaks, that I think I will pan sear in brown butter and then just make a sauce from some lemon, white wine and butter. I'll serve it with steamed broccoli and lemon rice. My daughter really wanted to try swordfish. I've had it several times, and though it isn't my favorite, it is still a good choice. We've been trying to eat more seafood lately, and this is a great way to get my daughter to try new things.

She has always been the child who was picky. Not on the level of most picky eaters I've heard horror stories about, just kind of picky. She is the one who would walk in the kitchen while I was cooking supper and say, "What's that yuchy stuff?" She knew that she could not have dessert if she didn't at least try a bite of everything on her plate. Inevitably, she would ask, "What's for dessert?" Armed with the current information, she would assess whether it was worth trying that "yuchy stuff." Often she would sigh, and then ask to be excused from the table while the rest of us ate a nice dessert.

She isn't like that anymore. She is much more adventurous in her food choices. I think we handled her the right way as she grew up. We never forced her, but let her decide. But there were rules to be followed. She is my baker. I am not a good baker, but she is starting to really explore baking. I'm happy and proud that she is considering to become a pastry chef. She is really bright, and very creative. She could be successful in any endeavor she pursues, but I sometimes think we have enough college edumacated people gleefully barking out, "Welcome to Walmart!" or "Would you like fries with that?" I will not be heart broken if she chooses a different path.
Apr. 16, 2013 2:50 pm
Love the time we spend with our children and even more so when it is the grandchildren. I enjoyed reading this and Bill enjoyed hearing it. Nice Blog!
Apr. 16, 2013 3:13 pm
It is so nice to spend time with your children.We had breakfast with our youngest daughter on Sunday,and it was so nice,because she cooked and I did not.She lost her dog last week,she was 12,blind and going deaf,so it was a sad day also,but being together is wonderful.Our oldest daughter lives in Vancouver,right across the country from us,so spending time with her is about twice a year.Not enough,but we talk daily.Enjoy your daughters Doc,while they are still at home.Your dinner sounds wonderful,enjoy.
Apr. 16, 2013 3:29 pm
I love the way you relate to your girls. Your daughter is being fed a feast! You could be writing copy for a fine dining restaurant with those descriptions. Enjoy your evening.
Apr. 16, 2013 4:58 pm
Joey Joan, I really do enjoy the kiddos, even when they're being little jerks (like dad) I somehow manage to enjoy it. Grandkids will be great! Wind 'em up and let 'em go home!
Apr. 16, 2013 4:59 pm
manella, I'm so sorry for your daughter's loss of her pet. It's good that you could be with her.
Apr. 16, 2013 5:00 pm
I would love to improve my writing and then use it. But commas get the best of me! Marjorie had a great post today! What's a comma but an upside down apostrophe?
Apr. 17, 2013 3:09 am
Doc, your dinner sounds like it came from a 5-star restaurant! Spending time with my kids is the greatest joy on Earth and it sounds like it's the same kind of joy for you, too! You are very fortunate, my daughter was/is picky like your youngest, but my son was picky like the horror stories you've heard. Now as an adult he isn't quite as picky, but he still doesn't eat veggies much - he claims he eats the animals that eat the veggies so he doesn't have to. Enjoy that father/daughter bonding time!
Apr. 17, 2013 4:13 am
Mother Ann, I do like it when the kids are in the kitchen either with me or instead of me. They don't often take over for me. It's probably a throwback to when I used to shoo them out of the kitchen! (That was during one of my earlier stupid periods.) I'm glad that I have gotten over that, and that they have forgotten what a nitwit I was. My eldest is what you would call a good eater. Even if the dessert is so-so, she will eat what is on her plate to get it.
Apr. 17, 2013 5:15 am
I love the dessert trick stores to memory for when I have my own kids.
Apr. 17, 2013 6:26 am
I love the last paragraph of your post. Well said! It doesn't matter how educated one is. It's about the passion and conviction one embraces given their natural talents. The meal sounds five star fabulous! What a great dad you are. Hope you post pix.
Apr. 17, 2013 6:44 am
Doc- you paint a feast for the eyes with your descriptive writing. Have your girls picked up your culinary skills?
Apr. 17, 2013 8:52 am
ladanamus, since you will love your kids beyond anything else you can imagine, you will raise your kids well. As you go through it, each stage produces challenges, and you muddle through as best you can. In retrospect, my two girls have grown up well. They each have their own set of problems, but they also have the tools to overcome them. I'm proud of them, and relieved that my ineptitude didn't ruin them. Like I said, we do our best!
Apr. 17, 2013 8:59 am
Cookin'Cyn, passion is a key. Success isn't necessarily determined by your bank account. It is determined by personal satisfaction, relationships, and positive societal impact among other things. I am the poster boy for college education that didn't result in a successful career, and I'm ok with that. Sadly, you don't get a do over, or rather you can have a do over, but you get far less time with which to make an impact! Hmm... I am waxing mawkish!
Apr. 17, 2013 9:00 am
My oldest daughter, not so much, but my youngest is considering entering into a career as a pastry chef. She's well on her way!
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Doc Simonson

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St. Peter, Minnesota, USA

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Jan. 2009

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About Me
I'm old and smelly, kinda like a really good salami with that really nice white mould all over it.
My favorite things to cook
Meat, carbs, meat, carbs, meat, carbs and did I mention meat?
My favorite family cooking traditions
Drop a plate of Pierogis and sausages in front of me and watch my eyes glaze over in pure joy.
My cooking triumphs
Schweinebraten mit Knoedel und Krautsalat. Also Edel Hirsch Gulasch was very nice. I make killer Spaetzle and Knockerl also.
My cooking tragedies
There aren't enough electrons in cyberspace! :) Actually, the tragedies usually involve well intentioned creativity out of control.
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