Archive: Dinner Tonight

Nurse Noodles

If you live in Washington, you know that the weather has been a wee bit soggy over the past few days. Although sorely needed, the constant rain cast a gray, dreary mood, giving no sane reason to venture outdoors. At my house, the mood was furthered dampened by the arrival of a cold/flu setting up shop in the nasal passages of my beloved co-habitant. The cold-induced snoring made me feel like I was trapped in a cave with a monster truck. Something had to give. The damp conditions already had me craving for a bowl of noodles, Asian style, but now with a patient in the house, there was no stopping Nurse Noodles. Soup is good food, you'll get no argument from me there. But noodles? They're magic. There's something mood-altering about the salty-sweet pungency of hoisin sauce, married with soy sauce, rice wine and other Asian jarred condiments, enrobing...

By Kim ODonnel | September 6, 2006; 12:25 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A Plate of Hummus and Thou

A long day of work and weekday irritation that suddenly turns to dusk (and suppertime) is a scenario familiar to all of us, regardless of geography, occupation, age or marital status. We've all been there, over and again, and surely, the modern work-life balance dilemma will be knocking on your dinner plate sometime in the near future. In spite of its regular appearance, the "what's-for-dinner" conundrum never ceases to stump cooks of all kinds. As recently as Monday of this week, I fell victim to said syndrome -- tired, cranky and hungrier than I'd like to be at an hour when dinner ideas fail to penetrate the addled brain. At times like these, the very personal pieces of our personality emerge like erupting lava. Hungry at 7 p.m. after a long day, the cook becomes a strange creature, one who might, out of desperation, pour three bowls of cereal or...

By Kim ODonnel | August 18, 2006; 12:54 PM ET | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

Dinner Tonight: Lemon Grass

I had a case of the sludgies yesterday. The humidity hung over me like a scratchy woolen blanket - big, bulky and smothering. The energy level was drooping by the minute, and I couldn't snap out of it. Come on, rain, I shouted to the overcast skies, give us earthlings a little relief. Lemon grass: the amazing cooler off-er. (Kim O'Donnel) I felt like joining the neighborhood cat, Shakespeare (he had just invited himself indoors, as he's wont to do), who stretched out onto the cool wood that is my living room floor. Yeah, I know what you mean, pal. It's brutal out there. It was even difficult to think, yet I knew I had to come up with something for dinner to help wash away the cotton brain. What first came to mind was the lemon, yet I wasn't in the mood for an intense acidic flavor. But lemon...

By Kim ODonnel | August 8, 2006; 10:58 AM ET | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Uncook Dinner Tonight

With area temperatures expected to reach 100 degrees today, the idea of cranking up the stove may seem superfluous. Cool off with Vietnamese summer rolls. (Kim O'Donnel) Steamy conditions call for raw measures - or nearly raw. Discard that notion of crudite and dip; an uncooked meal does not have to be the stuff of TV-style vittles. Meet the Vietnamese summer roll, the quintessentially uncooked dish guaranteed to keep you ultra cool and nourished under extreme weather conditions. A popular item on Vietnamese and Thai restaurant menus, the summer roll (aka goi cuon) is easy to replicate at home. Most of the work is in chopping and assembly. Summer rolls can be as creative as you want them to be, but you'll need a few key ingredients as foundation: rice paper wrappers and rice vermicelli noodles, which are readily available at Asian grocers (and increasingly available in mainstream supermarkets). Rice...

By Kim ODonnel | July 17, 2006; 12:11 PM ET | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Dinner Tonight: Vietnamese-Style Lettuce Rolls

It was an A/C -swimming pool kind of weekend, with temperatures in the 90s. I found myself looking for weather-inspired fare -- something light that would help take the edge off. So I took a cue from the Vietnamese, who have mastered the art of delicious, fresh-tasting cooking that also cools the body under extreme weather conditions. A leaf of Bibb lettuce gets filled with lemongrassed ground turkey, rice vinegar-soaked veggies and a kicky dressing. (Kim O'Donnel) I have long wanted to make goi cuon, the classic summer rolls of softened rice paper (featured in the blog soon, I promise!), but with a beautiful head of bibb lettuce begging to be used, I decided to make lettuce roll-ups instead....

By Kim ODonnel | June 19, 2006; 10:47 AM ET | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Dinner Tonight: Fish Tacos

I know, it's soggy out and doesn't feel much like mid-June, but let's warm up and pretend we're surfers instead. Dude, wherever you are, the sun is blazing and your hair is streaked with it. Those were some killer waves, and now I'm starved. Let's make some grub and polish our boards. Darn. Still soggy, I'm afraid. Well, if the power of imagination won't kick in with a summery movie backdrop, how about the power of the kitchen? There's nothing like a batch of ">fish tacos (Real Player video)) to whisk you away from gray skies (or the concrete jungle). Chunks of tilapia or mahi mahi filets get dipped into a beer batter and are quickly fried into golden nuggets that are worlds away from the fast-food version. But before you heat up that skillet, get your taco fixins together -some shredded green cabbage for color and crunch and a...

By Kim ODonnel | June 12, 2006; 11:45 AM ET | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)


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