Justin & Meredith Winokur's Kitchen Cooking Notebook

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Game Night Party


Meredith and I hosted a game night for my work group. We wanted it to be low key and didn't do a ton of home made food.

Home Made

We just made a few of the things. I made a batch of "Cava Style" Harissa as usual, though I really need to tune down the spice a bit.

Meredith made pub cheese and marinated feta. The pub cheese was based on How Sweet Eats (local1). She mostly just did it to taste but with the following notes:

For the feta, she read this post by David Lebovitz for the general idea but basically just did

Everything Else:


Not Pictured:

Additional Photos

  1. U: guest, password: name of my boston terrier 

Grilled Shrimp and Broccolini


This was a super easy and simple meal. We bought large shrimp at Costco (shell on but deveined) and skewered and grilled it. I used some Old-Bay which gave it some flavor, though most was lost on the shell. I did it on high for 2 minutes on the one side and just one on the other.

Meredith made broccolini like our anniversary (the broccolini) and with tahini sauce like 2017-02-26. She used the recipe from that page but added a bit extra water, lemon, and salt to help thin it.

And was a bit of leftover feta.

It was really good and super easy! We would do it again.

Chicken Sausage and Broccolini


Super simple meal. Broccolini with the leftover tahini sauce from yesterday and some Jalapeño chicken sausage

Chicken "Marsala"


Meredith and I made "Meredith Style" Chicken Marsala as we've done a few times before.

There really wasn't much to the meal. Meredith sautéed some onion, mushrooms and then asparagus then deglazed and simmered down marsala.

I did the chicken but I decided to cube it first to make it easier. As it was nearly finished, I deglazed with the marsala and then poured it into the main dish.

Easy and delicious as usual!

Grilled Harissa Chicken


I made grilled chicken with the harissa version of what we did before. I used leftover harissa from the weekend. I made it the night before and again tried to slice it thin. Folding it onto the skewer worked ok, but I think I want to try to just cube it next time.

Otherwise, it was pretty good. A bit spicy from the harissa.

We served it with arugula and in pita. I think this worked really well. The flavors worked well together.

Pizza Mushrooms


This was a nice and simple lunch (and also one of the three times we grilled today). We simple got most of the gills out of a portabella mushroom cap and used that for pizza. We used some jarred tomato sauce leftovers, some part-skim cheese, and some salami (under the cheese). Meredith also used ricotta on one pizza and some fresh oregano on others.

This was pretty simple and good!



I was preparing some foods for lunches and meals later and made Koeftas again except this time I meant to do it!

I basically took the union of koftas and keftas and used about 1.5 lbs of 93% lean turkey.

I formed them on the pan which made things a lot easier. I grilled them for about 6-7 minutes per side. I also made another batch of "Cava/Greek Style" harissa, but used just a 1/3 cup of crushed red pepper.

I liked it a lot again. A bit strange as some of the cinnamon flavors came through, but certainly not bad.

Grilled Spatchcocked Chicken


I did something of a project meal for dinner! I made a whole grilled chicken!

I followed the Serious Eats recipe (Local1) but with a 6.31 lbs chicken (Free range, organic, and on sale!). I watched some videos on how to spatchcocked it which was surprisingly easy!

I liberally spread on olive oil and seasoned it with lots of salt and pepper. Nothing else!.

I tried to also use the smoker boxes. I didn't put them under the grate since I knew I would have to flip it out later, but it should have worked. Maybe I soaked the pecan wood chips too long, or maybe they needed more heat, but I never saw it smoke and I certainly didn't taste it. I will read up on using these boxes later.

You're supposed to cook it on indirect heat for most of the time and then flip it onto the skin and cook on direct heat for the rest. However, it says at the bottom:

Butterfly your chicken, season it well, start it skin-side-up on the cooler side of a two-zone indirect fire, cook it to within 25 to 35°F of your final serving temperature, flip it skin-side-down over the hotter side of the grill, and cook until crisp and cooked through. Rest, carve, and serve.

Well, two things went wrong here. First, in the actual recipe says to go to 110°F. I was aiming for 140°Fish due to the first instruction.

Well, when I checked on it the first time, it was about 110°F but I didn't realize that was done so I let it go longer. When I check again, it was easily >160°F. Oops! I flipped it to the hot side, reduced the heat, and just did it for 10 minutes.

Actually, being that it was with the skin and bone, it was perfectly fine cooked! Juicy and fairly flavorful. There wasn't much flavor other than chicken, but that is fine for not having brined it or even really seasoned it. However, I didn't taste a single bit of smoke.

The skin was really good. Great crisp and goot bite.

I think next time I would be more adventurous with the seasonings. And maybe do some reading on those smoker boxes to get more flavor. And be more careful with the temperatures (though again, it was fine)

Also, I boiled the giblets for 15 minutes and gave them to the dogs.

Finally, Meredith made her usual Spring Peas and Prosciutto which was really good, as usual!


  1. U: guest, P: name of my Boston Terrier 

Turkey Taco Skillets


I made Turkey Taco Skillets but with a lot more bulk and a lot more veggies. I essentially went heavy on all the spices and used them all in the final thing. Besides the fact that I used ~1.6 lbs of turkey, I also used a lot of veggies to bulk it up:

I also went heavy on the cheese since the bag has 8 servings and it was clear I was going to get 6 out of this meal!

I did it in the dutch oven instead of the regular cast iron pan which made life a lot easier! I didn't have everything overflowing on me, though I do think some of the veggies steamed as much as they sauteed from the volume. Oh well! It was really good.

Grilled Cheese


Meredith made us grilled cheese for dinner. She used Trader Joes multigrain bread. We used a mix of cheese including cheddar and some others (but it was a little while ago). There really wasn't anything too notable, but it was good!

She also used some leftover harissa marinade. That added a nice spice and flavor.

Sriracha Mac, Cauliflower and Cheese


We were bringing a side dish to a friends house and decided to make sriacha mac and cheese with cauliflower. Meredith had made this in the past with all cauliflower, but we decided to do a mix of shells and cauliflower.

We followed Shutterbean (local1) except used less pasta (about 1/2 lbs) and a whole steamed head of cauliflower. We followed the recipe pretty closely except we skipped with green onion. And we used sliced havarti but used about the same amount by weight (maybe a bit more...)

It came out really good! Very indulgent but it had cauliflower so of course it was healthy! In all seriousness, it was good but not the kind of thing we would make very often.

  1. U: guest P: name of my boston terrier 



Meredith made the usual fattoush but added half a thing of Costco rotisserie chicken. This way, it is the main course on 4 lunches.

It was good as usual. She really likes this recipe and this is a good way to extend it to a meal

Chicken Sausage and Asparagus


There isn't much to this meal. We grilled some green chile chicken sausage, some Hawaiian hot dog buns with havarti. I also grilled some asparagus in the pan that goes on the grill. I just used some smoked salt

Jerk Tofu


I made jerk tofu. I used the same recipe I have been using for a while and marinated tofu cubes (after super pressing them) over night. I made skewers with jalapeño, onion, and bell peppers.

Skewering them was really hard since the larger skewers were big. I did try the smaller ones since I needed two more and they weren't much better.

I grilled them for about 15 minutes turning and adding extra marinade every once in a while.

They came out good, but very spicy. I think I like with chicken more, but I would still consider doing this again. It's nice to have some vegetarian meals too.




I made my usual falafel again doing it with apple cider vinegar. It was really good as usual. We served it with some harissa and some greek-yogurt-zatar dip. We also had some tomatoes and also some pita.

It was spicy from the harissa! But still good!

Grilled Chicken


I made grilled chicken again just like last time using the same basic methods. The only real difference was that this was a smaller chicken, I was better about temps (more on that below) and I used Mural of Flavor and salt as the seasoning.

I followed the same instructions as before, but this time I had a leave-in meat thermometer to help. It worked pretty well except I must have positioned it wrong. When it hit the right temp, I flipped the bird, repositioned the thermometer, and got a much lower reading. I had to flip it back and reposition again. It took a bit of playing but I think I managed to get it right.

The recipe's temperatures are much lower than I would expect and last time I went way too hot (by accident). This time, I just added 5-15°F to each set temp. Honestly, it still came out super moist. The only real issue is that I tore the skin a bit with the multiple flips.

But in the end, it was good. And pretty easy now that I know what I am doing with cutting it.

We served it with some hastily grilled broccolini

Moroccan Lemon and Cardamom Skewers


Meredith found a recipe for Moroccan Lemon and Cardamom Meatballs (local1) except we decided to do it on the grill with skewers instead of meatballs. We actually stayed surprisingly true to the recipe except we used ground turkey instead of lamb, went heavy on everything since we had more meat, and replaced the pine nuts with chopped walnuts. And we just used regular cardamom instead of toasted and fresh ground (and went a little light on it) We also used lite feta but otherwise stayed really true to it.

I thought it was pretty good though I kind of felt like the lemon over powering and I couldn't taste the cardamom. Meredith liked the lemon flavor though. It was also a lot of work, especially for a weekday, but I would consider it again.

  1. U: guest, P: name of my Boston Terrier 

Pita Pizza


Pita Pizza for dinner

Turkey Taco Bowls


This was not our usual turkey taco bowls. Rather, we needed to make something fast, easy, and to use up some peppers. So I did the same basic idea, but I just used store-bought taco seasoning. It was pretty easy and was good, though (thankfully) not as good as when we make our own taco seasoning with the other recipe

Chicken Sausage


Simple and fast meal. We bought green chile chicken and basil [something?] (not pictured) and I grilled.

Meredith made her usual spring pea stuff except with less salt and no prosciutto. It wasn't bad but was lacking in some flavors; probably mostly from the lack of salt.

Shrimp and Lobster Tail


This was a fast but fancy meal. I made lobster tails with the usual method using some melted ghee and some lemon juice.

I also used some ghee to sauté wild shrimp with salt and a bit of hot (but not smoked) paprika.

There isn't much to this meal. Kind of fancy but again, real easy. The shrimp had a lot of flavor even though the seasonings stayed with the shells more than anything