What's a typical everyday dinner menu in your home?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by french fries, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. french fries

    french fries

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    I'm curious as to what kind of complete meal you guys eat for dinner? 

    In my home we tend to keep it simple and there's rarely dessert, only once in a while. I'm personally much more into savory dishes.

    Here's tonight's menu at m home. 

    1) "Nibbles" (we eat that while we prepare the meal) 

    Oranges. 

    2) Main Dish: 

    Filipino Adobo Chicken, Sauteed Kai-Lan (Chinese Broccoli), White rice. 

    3) Cheese: 

    Tomme de Savoie. 

    That's it! With a glass of pinot noir for me. Very simple, but that's pretty typical of a week night's menu at my home. To be honest, some night all we have is #2), a main dish with a protein, a starch and a vegetable. 

    So what about you, what did you have for dinner tonight? 
     
  2. pohaku

    pohaku

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    It's a week night so things are somewhat abbreviated:

    Hawaiian style curry beef stew (cut up chuck roast, potatoes, carrots, celery, ginger, thyme, onion, garlic, curry, etc.)

    Rice (Thai Jasmine)

    Ciabatta (par baked from our local bakery - throw in hot oven for 8 minutes to finish and serve)

    Brie

    Sliced Concorde pears, Haralson apples, and Pomelo (not mixed together)

    Washington Pinot Grigio

    Assorted home made Christmas cookies (tis the season - Coconut shortbread with bittersweet chocolate, Mexican wedding cakes, Chai shortbread - so far)

    Not fancy, but the rice and stew can be started in the morning on the way out the door.  Everything else can be thrown together when I get home and dinner can be on the table in 30 minutes or less.

    Currently baking St. Lucia buns for tomorrow morning (St. Lucia's Day).
     
  3. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    We usually follow a weekly menu routine.  Tonight is "seafood night" for example and I'll go shopping in the morning to see what looks good at the market.  I'm kind of in the mood for salmon and will throw together a plate of rice, salmon, and whatever green veggie looks fresh. 

    Last night was vegetarian night but I didn't have a chance to shop in the morning so we fell on good old reliable eggs and toast. :)
     
  4. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    There is no typical here. We start with a week-long menu plan, then shop and cook to it. What goes on the plan depends on our mood, whether or not I'm proving recipes, etc. Even the plan is kind of loose, as we don't assign specific nights to each meal. We rarely do desserts, as such, but have some commercial ice cream or the like.

    For this week, the menu plan calls for:

    Lamb Loin Chops in Cucumber Sauce

    Mac & Cheese

    Asparagus

    Spareribs

    Grilled Garlic Potatoes

    Orange & Red Onion Salad

    Grilled Chicken

    Grilled Fresh Fennel

    Broccoli

    Lasagne

    Garlic Bread

    Tossed Salad

    Grilled Salmon Steak w/Caper Sauce

    Sweet Potao Timbales

    Daikon Fettucini

    Braised Beef & Root Veggies

    Lukshen Kugle

    Chestnut-Stuffed Quail

    Parsley Root Puree

    Creamed Pearls & Peas
     
  5. siduri

    siduri

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    When the kids were here, there was almost always a first course (pasta or soup) followed by some main dish, about half the time non-meat and then some vegetables, abundant vegetables i'd say.  I tend to cook more elaborately when they;re all here.

    When just my husband and I are home, we usually have very typical dinners. 

    Sunday night i usually make something time consuming (like a roast meat - roast pork stuffed with apples and prunes, a simple roast chicken, a roast turkey thigh, maybe meatloaf) that can be eaten the next day when i get home around 8:30, and which i can take some of for lunch. 

    Sometimes i will also make an escarole soup and a big bowl of boiled rice, so for several days i can heat the soup, put it in the dish with the rice (which cools it nicely) and some grated cheese.  I could almost eat that every night.  That will be a dinner in itself.  Sometimes i;ll make some small meat balls and toss them in to cook. 

    Roast chicken thighs, that have been tossed with paprika, ginger, crushed garlic, hot pepper, a bit of honey, sometimes yoghurt, and then roasted in a pan with potatoes. 

    Pork chops with an apple juice reduction, or rubbed with a little of spices and touch of brown sugar and cooked in a frying pan

    straccetti with rughetta

    grilled appassita (scamorza) over pears and rughetta

    roast potatoes, peppers, onions, and whatever other vegetables.

    pasta with shrimp and peas

    Pasta with broccoli or cauliflower

    Pasta with zucchine

    potato and string bean soup

    in summer: pasta with caprese, simple caprese, quinoa salad with roasted vegetables and peas, tomatoes and other stuff. 

    Sounds like a lot but they roatate all the time.  Meat is for when i have little time.
     
  6. rosiemb

    rosiemb

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    We live close to a market and grocer so we rarely plan meals ahead unless something needs to be thawed.

    Tonight we're having maple curry salmon with sweet potatoes and grilled green beans. 

    We eat a lot of seafood, pork and beef but try to avoid chicken as it's so costly here. 

    I also enjoy a glass of wine with most meals :) 
     
  7. chefhow

    chefhow

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    Here I am a Chef and we eat the most basic of foods you can image

    A weekly menu will happen like this: my wife calls me in the morning and says what do you want for dinner(that means what do I want to cook) and I usually say surprise me.

    I come home at about 6ish and find a random protien ready and waiting, maybe a whole bird, pieces, a steak or cut of meat, some fish....

    I then go into the cabinet, take a look at what we have for starches(rissoto, polenta, rice, pasta) and start to cook. 30-45 min later dinner is usually done and the family is at the table. 
    Since its getting cold in Pa I will do crock pot meals that I make in the morning before I leave for work, or prep a bird for the oven and have my wife get it started for me. 

    Oh and tonight is Pork Roast on the rotisserie with Mash potatoes(whites and sweets) with green beans a nice peppered gravy. I only know this because I marinated the roast last night and got it ready for when I get home.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  8. french fries

    french fries

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    Thanks guys. So most of you really only serve a main dish made out of meat (or not), vegetables, and a starch I see.... no apetizer, dessert or other course? Or did you just forgot to mention it? 

    The reason I'm asking is because I spend most of my time in the U.S. and some of my time in France. When I'm in the U.S. I mostly have a main dish, maybe fruit and/or cheese, as I outlined in my original post. 

    When I'm in France, it's a completely different story. It's not rare to have 7 or 8 courses, even though it's really nothing fancy. A typical weeknight meal could be: 

    - Crudites: raw red cabbage, shredded carrots, AND tzatziki. 

    - Charcuteries: Ham, several Saucissons, AND several pates. (alternatively a typical first or second course is prosciutto and cantaloupe). 

    - Roast chicken, or leg of lamb, or lamb navarin or beef daube, roasted onions or turnips...

    - Sauteed potatoes in duck fat, or gratin dauphinois

    - Sauteed green beans persillade in duck fat AND sauteed mushrooms

    - Faisselle (fresh cheese that can be eaten by itself, or with salt and pepper, or with sugar, or with chestnut cream, etc...)

    - Assortment of cheeses

    - Homemade Apple sauce

    - Homemade cookies 

    - 3 or 4 different Ice creams, sometimes served with homemade meringues, nougats and Chantilly cream.

    - Coffee

    But when I'm here I can't seem to replicate that. One of the reasons is also that I can't find the same charcuteries, and cheeses, or they're very expensive. Another obvious one is that I usually have more work (and less free time) when I'm here vs when I'm in France. 

    On a final note: I always lose weight when I stay in France for a few weeks. Go figure. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/confused.gif
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  9. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Based on my shopping for the week in markets. Whats in whats not.  Protein ,starch and vegi sometime dessert but thats later in the eve. Once in a while pizza and go out at least once a week.
     
  10. french fries

    french fries

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    We don't go out too much (small kids) but order delivery once or twice a month. 

    I also started doing the dessert later in the eve-thing. I'm rarely craving dessert right after a main dish. An hour or two later, in front of a good movie, once the kids are in bed, is usually a good time for dessert. 
     
  11. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Ok come on, who has leg of lamb on a typical weeknight?  Once in a while is ok but I refuse to believe this is typical haha!

    On your final note, I read a book called "French Women Don't Get Fat" which explains fairly well the reasons for why you lose weight in France.  It makes perfect sense and I incorporate some of the principals in my every day life.  For example, through that book I learned to visit the market every day for fresh ingredients, it's the french way.  Americans have the horrible habit of hoarding coupons, going to the super-duper-mega-mart, and filling up 3 carts of groceries for their pantry.  While I am not against the idea of saving money, I don't need a walk-in pantry filled with 10 boxes of crackers, 2 bags of rice and 4 tubs of peanut butter thank you.  Going to the market every day keeps me fit, ensures that I focus more on perishable fresh foods, eat seasonally, and only buy as much food as I need that day.  It's a way of life and since I incorporated this principle our health, waistlines, and quality of life have improved immensely.
     
  12. french fries

    french fries

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    Well I'm not saying we roast a new leg of lamb every night. It could be leftovers from the day before, or from lunch, or from the week end. A leg of lamb, or a stew such as a lamb navarin, for example, could come back on the table for 4 consecutive nights. You don't really get tired of it because there are so many other choices on the table, you don't even have to eat any of the leg of lamb if you don't feel like it. 
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  13. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    KK, while that's great in principle, it really only makes sense for those who live in areas where such markets exist---basically, some areas of larger cities.

    I live in an area where the city population numbers 75,000. Yet, the only markets we have are supermarkets. There is no butcher, no baker, no candlestick maker. There's a small farmer's market, open about  5 months of the year, but it has very little in the way of choices. It's seven miles to town. So daily shopping for me would mean a 15-20 mile drive everyday, in order to purchase supermarket goods.

    Lexington, the nearest big city, is 35 miles away. It has one butcher shop for a population of a half million. One poorly run seafood store that I'm surprised has lasted the two years it's been open (the last one, which was much better, didn't last past it's third birthday). Several ethnic and specialty markets, which are small, tucked out of the way, and mostly struggling. A couple of bakeries, offering cakes, pies, and pastries; but none I'm aware of offering bread. Weekly shopping, and utilizing the small specialty shops as much as possible, on one hand, and upscale supermarkets, on the other, let's us stock up with higher quality goods, but at a cost of an 80+ mile drive and a $200/week grocery bill.

    Even the big cities have changed. You actually live in an area that's unusual in regards to availability of those things. Used to be every neighborhood in New York had, within walking distance, at least one butcher, one full-service bakery, one greengrocer. Indeed, that's one of the ways "neighborhood" was defined.

    Another aspect of daily shopping has to do with European kitchens. They are, compared to ours, much smaller. Ovens, per se, are relatively rare. Fridges are tiny and deep freezers are all but non-existent in the home environment. So daily shopping, especially for baked goods, is not just a matter of being a healthy choice; it's a necessity.

    Another aspect: Do those skinny French women who shop and cook daily also have fulltime jobs? And haul the kids to soccer practice? And serve on Church committees? And....well, you get the idea. The point being, if you're going to compare cultural practices, you can't just cherry pick.

    And, the fact is, despite that book's alluring title, there are an incredible number of fat French women.
     
  14. french fries

    french fries

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    Not in France, KYH, where a lot of the farmers markets are actually held in smaller villages. My sister in law, for example, lives in a village of 8,200, and they have two farmers market a week. My mum lives in the tiniest village (less than 10 homes) in the middle of the mountains, and she only has to drive 6.5 miles to the nearest weekly farmer's market. The nearest super market is about twice that distant. 

    We also don't have running water or electricity, and have never seen a real TV. Come on KYH, where do you get your info from? A typical French home has 2 large fridges, and 1 or two deep freezers. Kitchens are fairly large, although I agree that here in SoCal a lot of American houses tend to have unusually large and well equipped kitchens. 
     
    I would say that more French women have fulltime jobs than American women. It's extremely rare for French women to be "stay at home mum", and it's actually quite frowned upon by their peers. There's a huge pride in being a "liberated woman" in France, and the full time job comes with the title. 

    Quote:

    Have you ever been to France KYH? There are very, very few fat people in France, even less women. In fact, if anything, when I go back to France I find that there's a LOT of pressure on everybody to stay healthy and keep in shape. Anyone who has a few extra pounds will trigger many mocking remarks not only from friends, family and coworkers  (something that would be considered shocking here in America), but especially from their family doctor. When a pregnant woman takes on more than 20-25lbs, her doctor will put her on a diet. To give you an idea, I gained 10 lbs in 10 years since I've come to America. When I go back to France, my friends like to laugh at me and tap my (tiny) belly, calling me "The American". To them, I'm fat. When I come back to America, everybody says I'm skinny. 

    So big big pressure of the society on your weight in France, and honestly, not very many fat people at all in the streets. When my family and friends come visit me in America they are shocked to see the number of overweight people in the streets. 

    I'm not casting judgement, I'm just stating the facts as I've experienced them. 
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  15. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    Pohaku, you just made my mouth water, I've got droll running down my chin.

    I was just thinking about curry stew this morning!  Thank you for giving me the push, I have some beef in the deep freeze, that will be the menu tomorrow night, as for tonight, I already have a typical meatloaf ready for the hot box along with some yukon golds and green beans.

    Kai Lan sounds good too!!  Need to go to the "asian market" in town for that, it's special treat for us since I only go there once in awhile.

    But I have to agree with several others, there is no real typical everyday dinner in our house.

    Since we live out in the sticks, I shop maybe once in a two week period.
     
  16. pohaku

    pohaku

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    I'm fortunate that, if I choose to, I can hit my local Asian market and bakery on the way to or from work.  So I can do last minute purchases to make meals.  I usually do a protein, two starches (bread and something else), fruit, and sometimes also a vegetable or salad.  We often have cheese with meals.  Deserts are eaten much later in our household. Ice cream always for some of us, and often cookies, tarts, pies and the like.  I usually don't make a desert during the week, but will usually make something on the weekend that will last into the week.  Unless I have an event or company, I usually don't plan much in advance.  I either raid the freezer in the morning and/or stop at the store and see what looks good.  Tomorrow I have a holiday "pot luck" to attend so I will be making grilled pork tenderloin with Tahini sauce.  Everything can be made or prepped tonight and all I have to do is grill them off tomorrow before I leave.  I just need to stop at the store for some yogurt and pork tenderloins on the way home.

    Tonight I'm making L&L BBQ style grilled chicken (that's for KaneohegirlinAZ's benefit) with rice, baguette, mango and a green salad.  I have an extra sharp Wisconsin cheddar (small farm) and local beer (Summit Pilsner) to go with it. 
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  17. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    OH MY GOSH POHAKU YOU’RE KILLIN’ ME!!

    In Kaneohe, we had an L&L one mile from the house!!
     
  18. pohaku

    pohaku

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    I've sporadically thought about opening an L&L franchise here in the Twin Cities.  Mostly so I could eat there of course./img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif
     
  19. siduri

    siduri

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    KY and French Fries,

    I don;t know about France, I can tell you about Italy,. 

    Most women work, full time. They have since the 70s.  I had never seen a woman pharmacist until i came here, or dentist, and women doctors were rare, but here were already a lot. 

    Women are much more likely to be "encouraged" to stay thin since early childhood, and my kids have both said that it was not at all uncommon for girls to faint in school and be given sugar water, because they were often anorectic.  Throwing up, they said, is common.  Lots more pressure on being thin than in the states - i see it because i work in an american college here where there are americans and italians.  No comparison. 

    Women (and men) SMOKE and they often chain smoke.  One woman said she stayed thin because she lived on cigarettes and cappuccino.

    That said, even the supermarkets usually have decent and fresh local vegetables and people eat a lot of them.  The standard amount of meat people would eat at a meal was something like 100 grams, at least when i first got here.

    The usual meal at home is made of a first course, pasta or soup, and a second course and side dish.  BUT THEN THE KITCHEN IS CLOSED.  I rarely see people snack.  The actual stove has a cover, and after the meal they turn off the gas and close the cover.  They don;t open the fridge and pick out some cheese and get some crackers.  They don't eat cookies as they work.  The cappuccino and cornetto (sort of croissant) IS breakfast, not like for me a mid morning snack!  The only snack is for kids, and it's got a name (merenda) and is like a regular meal - since supper is at 8 or later.  Kids come home from school and get some pizza or cookies and milk or a sandwich (salame and bread, prosciutto and bread - nothing else, no butter, no mayonnaise).  They don;t go around with a drink in their hands - a coke, a coffee, a tea.  The coffee and other liquids are extra small, and most people TRY to REMEMBER to drink water, but usually forget.  In the office where i work, the secretary would tell me she was so hungry and couldn;t wait to go home.  I would say, well, why don;t you eat something?  Oh, i never think of it.  (!!!!) 

    I know almost nobody with a deep freezer (there just isn't enough room - most kitchens barely have room for a table to seat two) and there is no basement or pantry or other space to put it, and most fridges are small.  Not small like in the uk, where they fit under the counter, but small, with a small freezer on top.  But this is a big city, and maybe the country and small towns are very different.  I have two fridges, but I'm a real exception, and people always comment on it. 

    Most people are not very into cooking.  It went with the rejection of the traditional women's role.  "I don't know how to fry an egg" is not uncommon, a source of pride.  It may be changing now, but there were some 20 years of rejection of the traditional women's role, though these same women keep spotless houses and their husbands usually don;t lift a finger.  Most still wash the floors every day. 

    People walk a lot more than in the states.  Even if you take your car everywhere, it's so hard to park you at least can expect to have to walk three blocks from where you park to where you have to go. 
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  20. siduri

    siduri

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    Anyway, back to the topic, i would never, could never make a weekly plan for meals.  I go to the market or supermarket and see what appeals to me.  What is available is not always predictable or predictably good, so i get inspired by the things i see.  I often can;t imagine what i want to cook that night till i get back from work.  The big roast is great since it goes two or three days, and the escarole soup, it will last more.