i can has philly: I failed and it’s okay. →
icanhasphilly: This is as juicy and dramatic as it may get during the vegan challenge. Call it what you want: I failed, I slipped, I cheated, unknowingly. The 4th Wednesday of the month, you can see me hanging out with The Food For All Collective (TFFAC) . We are an urban bulk buying food club located in…
Papa Marzano says personal goal setting is about more than SMART design and accountability refs. It’s about being honest with yourself when you describe what you really want, why it’s valuable, and how it benefits you and those around you. So while I may have all of my 2013 ambitions laid out SMART goal style in the dork-checkered pattern of an Excel spreadsheet, here are my Them...
Dining table the original social network →
Great article out of the Hill from June of this year on a trend hitting DC. Here in Philly, I’m pretty sure we call this concept “Them Dinners” and do it in row houses instead of restaurants.
Food Network Detox (part 3/3)
Them Dinners 2.0 Here’s the new normal: Consistent. I will be cooking at least once a week, enough for myself and five others. Expansive. An open table to all on my email list, which will probably grow. There will be an RSVP in place, but only to help guests anticipate what they should bring. The first five to respond know they have food waiting for them here and a seat at the table if...
Food Network Detox (part 2/3)
Getting Back to Family Meal My housemate works at a restaurant here in Philly called Talula’s Garden. He helps with daily prep, but his primary cooking responsibility is to make family meal for the back of house staff. He has used that post to learn as much as he possibly can about the building blocks of cooking: stocks, breads, sauces, etc. Yeast starters and rising dough have started...
Food Network Detox (part 1/3)
Hi, My Name Is Them Dinners and I Have a Problem. Them Dinners, as it existed when I hosted guests for the last time in September 2012, was sick. Conceptually. So much so that I couldn’t even bring myself to post pictures of the lackluster gnocchi, or sit down to write something about table conversation, which felt forced despite a genuinely wonderful group of friends. Something felt...
Don't Gnocch-it If You Haven't Tried It
There is no excuse for that pun. Well except maybe this: Gearing up for a Sunday potluck down the street, I decided to try my hand at this recipe for sweet potato gnocchi. Fortunately, I tested it out the night before and realized it was complete RUBBISH. Sweet potatoes are an amazing thing, but they are also very (wait for it) moist. The amount of flour called for here is way out of whack. Two...
Them Dinners With Steph Carries the Torch!
In case you hadn’t noticed, Them Dinners has been on another hiatus, this time due to some rather invasive construction around the house. Hoping to be back to hosting after Labor Day. For now I’m focused purely on sustenance cooking for the stamina needed to weather this battle with my landlord. Thankfully, I also managed to nab myself a spot at the THIRD (!) Them Dinners With Steph...
Nutella Bacon Pizza
Ok, I am sure at least a couple of people out there have invented this pizza before. And like those originators before me, I am going to take full credit for this pie’s existence. That’s a normal pie crust, baked first, cooled, and topped with Nutella, strawberries, bacon, and dark chocolate. This one and the Tartufo copycat went like lightening. Next time: raspberries instead of...
Asparagus, Goat Cheese, and Prosciutto Pizza
Asparagus, Goat Cheese, and Prosciutto-Suggested in by Them Dinners guest Christina,Williams and Sonoma recipe Stay posted for more of za pics from last weekend. Check out these previous posts for more pizza ideas from Them Dinners: If You Can’t Stand the Heat, Pizza Is a Bad Choice I Get Pie With a Little Help From My Friends Them Pizza Pig-Out Dinners I
Truffle and Egg Pizza
This was my only thing I insisted on making, based on the Tartufo at Pizzeria Stella in Old City. That video link will walk you through it. It’s really about getting quality ingredients and getting the crust right when all’s said and done. Put $30 worth of cheese and black truffle on a tire and 95% of people will eat it. The other 5% will only avoid it because they are lactose...
The Za Files
Black & tan BBQ chicken w/dark beer BBQ and lager marinated chicken. Suggested by InSearchofBeer Barbecue sauce on the boil. Ancho chili rub, stout, onions, tomato sauce, molasses, apple cider vinegar. This did NOT disappoint. Full recipe at Homebrew Chef Stay posted for more of za pics from last weekend. Check out these previous posts for more pizza ideas from Them Dinners: If You...
The Za Files
By now you’ve seen a few photos of the pizzas from Them Dinners Pizza Pig-out Part II. Here’s a wrap-up of the Italian-American magic that was made last weekend. All of the pizza ideas were crowd sourced from friends of the table and the interwebs, so I take no credit for any of them except the dessert pie, though I’m sure it’s been done before by someone. This isn’t...
Tonight, tonight, tonight ohh-oh
Incredibly excited for Them Dinners tonight. Mahi Mahi tacos, roasted corn and black bean salad, and gluten free key lime pie. Recipes? Maybe. Photos? Definitely.
Shares of the Pie
There were other ingredients of course, but let’s focus on the cheese for a moment. Do you have any idea how giddy buying $60 worth of artisanal cheese will make you? I don’t mean just buying a bunch of cheese; I mean buying it and having a plan for it. It’s not an ungodly amount of cheese, but it has enough of a heft in the bag to say, “Psst…this is pretty...
July: Where the Hell?
It has been akin to Dante’s Inferno here in Philadelphia during the month of July. By that I mean not only intense heat, but unceasing journeys. Fortunately, I’ve had a lot more fun than old Dante. Unfortunately, Them Dinners went completely off the grid for the better part of a month leaving many friends and readers to ask, “Where the hell are you Nick?” It was exactly 30...
If You Can't Stand the Heat, Pizza Is a Bad Choice
As the saying instructs, I am getting out of the kitchen this Friday night and have cancelled Them Dinners for the first time ever. Summer has conspired to give us a 98 degree Friday, with temperatures not dipping below 80 before 2am. And it gets worse than just unbearable travel for my guests: I don’t have AC but for a little window unit in my bedroom. Beholden to the whims of weather,...
I Get Pie With a Little Help From My Friends
Recently I put out a public call to help me craft the Pizza Pig-out menu for this Friday. Invitees and the Philly food blogger community responded with some creative suggestions, some of which blur the line between daring (adj.) and daring (v.). Here are the first five contenders. What would you choose? Pickles, port, grapes, and gorgonzola. Suggested by Wendy Kirby of La Phemme Phoodie Pulled...
Dinner Party? Supper Club? Vicious Cycle of Gastro...
Them Dinners is having a bit of an identity crisis. Last week I attended Them Dinners With Steph, the first Them Dinners Not By Nick, just up the block from my South Street neighborhood. I watched as the eponymous hostess exhibited none of the stress and frantic scrambling that have so often been visited upon my kitchen as guests arrive. It got me thinking about the origins of Them Dinners, and...
Friends, Romans, South Philly Italians, Lend Me...
As you may have read earlier today, the next Them Dinners is going to be another Pizza Pig-out. I need YOUR brilliant pizza ideas to flesh out the menu. So far I know I am going to take a stab at nearby Pizzeria Stella’s Tartufo pie, but we need 5 more pies. What should end up on the Them Dinners table next Friday the 29th? I’ll take the top 5 most creative recipes. I promise I have...
Pizza Pig-out Part II: Crowdsource Cowabunga
Lately I’ve been a bit concerned about the appearance of a few patterns: Increasingly time-consuming and challenging menus (post on that coming), The slipping away of weekly Them Dinners because of the above point, and Having to tell friends no because the table is full and I want to keep these sustainable, even though I really want to see those friends. Obviously I need to take a...
If You're Curious To See What a Them Dinners...
Posted this morning via Evite to 43 friends in the Philly area: While the Greek mezze dinner was a lot of fun (Big ups to Kimiko on the grape leaves, Christina on the fresh salad and sous cheffing!) it’s time to tackle the big name in small plates: tapas. For new friends on the list: Did you ever hear that old advice that when you’re lost in the woods the best thing to do is...
So, what is being served for Them Dinners With Steph’s grand debut? The...– From the invitation to tonight’s Them Dinners With Steph, my first invite to someone else’s Them Dinners. The menu looks inspired, and perfect for this humid Philly night.
File That Under Brilliant
Someone suggested Sunday night that I try a chocolate themed Them Dinners menu. Thoughts? Suggestions?
Huzzah! Totally pumped! At what time would you want the co-cook/sous chef to...– Sophia — RSVP, Them Dinners Greek Mezze
Sous chef? Check.– Christina fears no challenge. Plus, we get to take the celebratory shot of Ouzo Kat Cora style. — RSVP, Them Dinners Greek Mezze
I’ve always wanted to try making stuffed grape leaves….would you...– Kimiko makes dreams come true — RSVP, Them Dinners Greek Mezze