Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bob's Shabu Shabu 88

I went to Bob's Shabu Shabu 88 in Rockville a few weeks ago. It's apparently owned by the owners of Bob's Noodle 66 down the road (which was featured in a stunning review).

What's shabu shabu? Chinese hot pot - kind of like fondue! Basically, you get some RAW MEAT!, vegetables and pot of hot broth put in front of you and a selection of ~15 DIPPING SAUCES and you're set! I do not look excited in this picture because I'm almost done and about to burst! Trust me, its good!

How it works? You pick your meat (or there's a vegetarian option with an extra plate of veggies). The server will bring out a pot of hot broth for each person and put it on the burner in front of you. You cook the food! Then you can dip it in the dipping sauces, eat as a soup, or ADD DIPPING SAUCE TO THE SOUP :-O

It's good and way cheaper than fondue at the melting pot :) Each entree ran about $15, depending on what meat got. I got beef :D They had combinations and crazy things like tripe (STOMACH). I was full. Go there.

316 N Washington St
Rockville, MD 20850
(301) 294-5888

Sweet Potato Gratin

Am I happy? Of course I'm happy! It was THANKSGIVING my favorite day of the year! The other week we had a pre-Thanksgiving potluck and it was awesome! Everyone brought a traditional Thanksgiving dish. I signed up for sweet potatoes :D

I found this recipe on the Whole Foods website, but they've since deleted it....good thing I printed it!

Sweet Potato Gratin
Serves 10

2 tsp unsalted butter, at room temp
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Barbados molasses
2 large eggs
1.5 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/8-inch rounds
1/2 small red onion, peeled and sliced into 1/8-inch rounds

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 2-quartcasserole dish with the butter. Whisk cream, molasses, eggs,salt, pepper, and thyme in a bowl. Added sweet potatoes and onions and toss to coat. Pour into the buttered casserole so that they're mostly covered with sauce. Place in the over and bake for 45 minutes or until custard is set. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes or so before serving.

Notes: I don't know what Barbados molasses is, but I just used regular molasses. I added a quarter stick of butter to the sauce :D And I used half a sweet onion, not red :D

It turned out well - recipe recommended!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ray's Hell Burger

Tried for round 2 at Ray's the Steaks tonight, but the wait was almost 2 hours! So, we headed down the strip mall to Ray's Hell Burger. Wow!

We walked in and didn't really know what was going on, but a man who seemed like he could have been the owner told us how it worked: order at the counter, then take a number and grab a table and a server will bring you your food :) Burgers came a few different ways - plain, rolled in peppercorns, cajun-seasoned. And they had lots of toppings - very wide variety of cheeses, gauc, veggies. There was a list of about 10 suggested combinations, but I just opted for my own: a plain grilled burger with blue cheese, roasted garlic and sherried, sauteed mushrooms. It also came with lettuce and tomato.

There was also a list of sides: corn on the cob, coleslaw, mac and cheese, chips.....that's all I can remember. I got mac and cheese :D We also got a pitcher of rootbeer.

I hate it when a menu brags that their burgers are loaded with TEN OUNCES OF BEEF WAHAHAHAHA MEAT MEAT ALMOST AN ENTIRE COW MEAT MEAT MOO!!!!!!!!!1 But that's all Ray's had, so that's what I got. Our food came in about 5-10 minutes, I think. It was much faster than expected. And it was spectacular!! The burger was huge, dripping delicious juices and perfectly seasoned. It had an amazing flavor and I managed to eat it without hesitation until I was nine ounces in. But I finished it ALL :D I like a lot of bread (and hence hate 10 OUNCES OF BEEF), but I think the bun was strong enough to stand up to all the meat and juices dropping out of it. It was a great experience. I loved the mac and cheese! Reminded me mac and cheese I ate in Pennsylvania as a kid. I've been trying to recreate it ever since, but mine always sucks. I sampled a friend's coleslaw. I thought it was unremarkable.

There's hot chocolate for free on your way out, but it was empty, so we went to ACKC in Del Ray for some hot chocolate. Was tonight a little over the top? Probably :D

Ok, Ray's Hellburger - it's really good! Go there! There was no one waiting to sit when we got there around 6:30, but filled up pretty quickly after that. It's cheap too. I forget how cheap, but even the topped burgers run about $8, which especially considering the quality is a really good deal! Sides were less than $2. :D 1713 Wilson Blvd, Arlington

Monday, September 29, 2008

Taste of Bethesda!

This Saturday marks the best food day of the year (after Thanksgiving): TASTE OF BETHESDA!!!


It's happening this Saturday, October 4 from 11am to 4pm in downtown Bethesda. Tons of restaurants in Bethesda set up shop in the street and sell samples of their delicious foods for 1-4 tickets. Tickets are $1.25 and admission is free :D


I've gone the last two years and I can vouch for its awesomeness. There's lots of variety, lots of deliciousness and it's pretty cheap too :D

Don't miss it!

I'll also mention Art on the Avenue, a street festival in on Mount Vernon Ave in Del Ray is also happening on Saturday. The website doesn't really describe the food available, but I remember from last year the restaurants of Del Ray set up on the street selling their delicious food too :) I also remember that the Del Ray cookoff is judged during the festival, but I don't know any details.

Busy day on Saturday!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ray's the Steaks, Arlington

I've been fantasizing about going to Ray's the Steaks for a really long time. Recently, it got worse and I couldn't stop thinking about it...so the date was set and off we all went.
We went on a Sunday which means the menu is a three course prix fixe menu called "A Place at the Table": a certain amount of money from each meal goes to charity. I like charity, but I liked that I FORCED to order all three courses even more :D We got there at 6 and waited about 20 minutes for a table - not bad compared to the hour long wait I was expecting.

When we sat down we were given some rosemary focaccia (I think: there was definitely olive oil and definitely rosemary, at least) and spiced cashews. I also ordered a glass of their cheapest red wine :D

Course 1: We all had the sherried crab bisque. There were three other salad choices. We made the right decision, the crab bisque was amaaaaazing.

Course 2: The price of the meal depended on the cut of meat you chose. There were three tiers: $25, $33 and $38 (at least I think it was $38....). I got the rib eye with horseradish cream on the side, cooked medium rare. It WAS medium rare, and it was glorious. I tasted the other three steaks at the table: a hangar steak, a blackened rib eye, and something else with a the most delicious flavorful mushroom sauce ever. Meat heaven. There was also creamed spinach and mashed potatoes served family style :D Wow.

Course 3: DESSERT!! The choices were: dark, milk or white chocolate mouse, cheesecake, key lime pie, or snickers pie. I got cheesecake (I really needed something heavy after all that...). It was great. I tasted both the milk and dark chocolate mouse as well, and they were also fantastic :D I think I might get one of them next time!

Ray's the Steaks does live up live up to the hype. It was a fantastic meal and the price was amazing (and charitable on top of it!). I'll be back for sure! You should probably go too (unless you're a vegetarian). It's located at 1725 Wilson Blvd, Arlington - between Rosslyn and Courthouse, in a strip mall.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Lavender Moon Cupcakery

A new cupcake shop just opened in Old Town and I was there to investigate :D The shop just opened last Friday, according to the owner, so there was little inside besides a simple case holding the cupcakes and a mini fridge with drinks.

I demanded that the owner describe all the cupcakes to me because they were unlabeled, and she did! It was awesome. Then we each picked a cupcake: I got the banana cream pie cupcake: a banana cupcake, with a pudding filling and whipped cream and a caramelized banana on top! He got a Mexican chocolate cupcake! white cake with a cinnamon chocolate pudding filling and a fluffy chocolate frosting on top!

While we were sitting outside, the cupcake lady brought us another!!! She said she wasn't going to sell them all. It made my day! Chocolate lavender: chocolate cake, and chocolate lavender :D

The cupcakes were all moist, the frosting fluffy! If I had to pick a favorite of my cupcakes in the area, I'd say these were the ones because of the moist cakes and lots of frosting (that's light and not too overpowering). Also, they have unique flavors :)

There's a new stop on Tour de Cupcake next year!! Lavender Moon Cupcakery is at 116 South Royal St in Old Town Alexandria. There's no website, but from what I've read they're closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. I would definitely give this place a try :D

Monday, August 25, 2008

Generous George's

Last night, I went to Generous George's Pizza and Pasta on Duke St in Alexandria. We ordered cheesy garlic bread and a large pepperoni pizza with half pineapple. The garlic bread was mediocre. The pizza was amazing! The crust was crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Also, they put a TON of pineapple on it :D
I've also had their "pasta pies" which is a pizza crust topped with enough pasta for three meals!
Dinner was $10.50 a person for three of us, including tip. We had two pieces of pizza leftover (and I got to take them home!)
Generous George's is at 3006 Duke St in Alexandria. Go there and get some pizza.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Pound Cake

Tonight, Betsy and I made pound cake, and it was delicious!

Modifications? Butter instead of shortening, lemon juice and rind instead of lemon extract (in a non exact amount) and 2 9-inch round pans instead of a loaf pan (didn't have any!). Also, we put a lemon glaze on it: butter, lemon juice, powdered sugar, and milk :D

Mmmmm....we ate almost a whole cake!!

On a side note, I also made Back to Nature Macaroni and Cheese (bug shaped)....and it was awesome! I recommend it :D

Kraft Macaroni and Cheese

When I stop posting, its because I developed an obsession with a processed food that I can't stop eating. This time it's Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. It's just so good! And cheap and fast and delicious!

Making the noodles with some sort of special shape is critical, the regular tube noodles just aren't the same.

Sometimes I sprinkle dill on top to add to the deliciousness :D

Monday, June 30, 2008

Turkey Hill Ice Cream Festival!!

For ALL my Philly readers: There's a Turkey Hill Ice Cream festival!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
$5 for all the Turkey Hill you can eat!
http://icecreamjournal.turkeyhill.com/index.php/2008/06/27/all-you-can-eat-ice-cream/

Too bad I don't have any Philly readers :P

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Kabob Palace, Arlington

Oh....remember me? I used to actually post about food :P

Last week, there was a terrible thunderstorm and I was out for a bike ride when I got stuck in it....I got home, drenched, only to find the power was out and my phone had died in the rain :( What a great excuse to go find some delicious food!

Kabob Palace in Crystal City was recommended to me by about 4 different people, so off we went. There was a $10 buffet option, which was about the same price as the entrees, but it only had chicken. I hate chicken, so I ordered a lamb entree :D It came with a salad which was mediocre and had iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, beans (gross!), chickpeas and drizzled with mayo for dressing. It also came with delicious bread, a choice of chickpeas or spinach, and rice :D The spinach was not that good, but the chickpeas were delicious...and the waitress even offered us extra! I had enough food leftover for lunch the next day. Total cost with tip was $42 for four people.

Compared to Ravi Kabob, Kabob Palace is awesome because we had a waitress who took our order and gave us the right food. I've been to Ravi about 3 times now and never got the food I intended to order (but its still really good, so I keep going back in hope that I'll get what I tried to order :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Strawberry Picking!!!

I finally made it strawberry picking to Homestead Farm on Sunday. It was a week later than I wanted, and I went on Sunday (as opposed to Friday!), but I think it worked out even better than last year! The berries were nicer this year, and there were fewer holes (from worms? who knows! but I don't want to eat it) and there were still tons of delicious berries as far as I could see! I was sure the field would be picked clean by Sunday...I was wrong!

Pick your own went for $1.99/pound, and considering the amount of quality berries I got, I thought this was a really good price. They had some pre-picked strawberries, and it was ~$5/quart...but those berries were pretty sad looking, so pick your own seemed to be the way to go.

After picking, we paid and they have a stand of food where I got a strawberries and cream smoothie. I asked what the cream was and she said it was ice cream!! So, really I had a delicious, fresh strawberry milkshake :D

After picking we had a cookout and strawberry shortcake!!! I use the recipe on the Bisquick box, except I increase the sugar from 3 tablespoons to half a cup :D And I used oil instead of butter. mmmm....

Monday, June 16, 2008

Alive

I'm still alive and I will post soon.....

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Diner, Adams Morgan

Yesterday I went to The Diner in Adams Morgan for brunch. I had the veggie omelet (red pepper, onion, mushrooms and Gruyere cheese) served with homefries (which weren't really homefries, but delicious fried cubes of seasoned potatoes) and toast. It was the best omelet I've ever had!! I'm not a big ketchup fan, but I usually like a little with my eggs. Not yesterday! The omelet and potatoes had such a delicious flavor that I didn't even think about it!

The service was good, but the wait was LONG. Parties of 2 were seated in 5 minutes or less, but our party of 5 waited about a half hour. I wouldn't recommend this place for large groups on the weekend. However, it is delicious and I hope to go back.

Also, I keep forgetting my camera. Sad panda.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Waffles!!

Want to make use of your strawberries?? Make waffles! I got an awesome waffle maker for Christmas. I definitely recommend it, it makes great belgian waffles :D

This past weekend, I made waffles (according to this recipe) and topped them with fresh, crushed strawberries and whipped cream! What a way to start the day!

STRAWBERRY TIME!!!

Besides Thanksgiving and Taste of Bethesda, I think that strawberry picking is my favorite time of year! And it's arrived!! The last two years, I've gone to Homestead Farms in Poolesville, MD on a Friday morning. Peak bloom is NOW, so if you wan to go...hurry!!! :D

Zatinya, DC

On Friday, I went to Zatinya in Penn Quarter! I heard it gets crowded, so we arrived around 6pm in anticipation. There was a wait for outside seating, but we were immediately seated inside.

Dress was mostly dressy casual, like the website says. Wine was expensive (the cheapest red was $8 a glass!!) but I had some anyway :) And the menu is mezze; think Middle Eastern tapas. The waitress suggested 2-4 per person, so my friend and I each chose 3 :D

I picked: fattoush (a salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, green peppers, radishes and pita chips with pomegranate vinaigrette!), carrot-apricot fritters with pine nuts and a pistachio sauce, and one of the specials: a rice and beef meatball thing with tomato sauce topped with dill and some kind of cheese. Can you tell which descriptions were stolen from the menu and which were made by me?

My friend picked:
zucchini-cheese patties over caper-yogurt sauce, salmon kibbeh, and grilled pita stuffed with ground lamb and tahini (which I definitely thought was the most boring thing on the menu, but it ended up being my favorite!! They made it very flavorful!).

Almost everything was served in groups of 4.

We were also served olive oil and hot, delicious pita bread. The pita bread was replenished 3 times throughout the meal! They did NOT have salt and pepper on the table. I hate places that do that...but otherwise, it was great!!

Dinner for 2, including one glass of $8 wine and tip, came to about $70. The service was great and it was pretty classy! I recommend it for hot dates, and groups of 2 or 4, but not 3 :D

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Evidence of Turkey Hill's greatness

The New York Times is identifying the least healthy ice cream flavors and suggesting that you replace them with Turkey Hill!
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/05/29/the-scoop-on-fattening-ice-cream-flavors/

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Taqueria Poblano, Del Ray

Tonight I went to Taqueria Plabano in Del Ray for dinner. I've been meaning to check it out for years (literally!) but the combination of my laziness, their weird hours, and it always looking super crowded...it just never happened. Tonight the stars aligned and it was great! It was different than other Mexican restaurants I've been to, and based on the reviews I've read, I think that's because its considered Cal-Mex, rather than Tex-Mex or Mexican/Salvadorean.

The menu consists of mostly tacos/appetizers and only a handful of platters. I got chorizo and potato tacos (on special) and they were delicious! If anything, they were a little heavy on the potato and light on the chorizo, but covered with just the right about of cheese and some pico de gallo. Most tacos are a la carte, but this was a platter and I got extra rice and no beans (because I hate them) and it also came with gauc!
Check it out!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The worst sounding soup ever!

Foods I hate: beans, corn, and fat free versions of fatty foods (like mayo, sour cream, cheese...)

The worst sounding soup in the world? 16 Bean Sour Cream Soup. Wow, it combines 15 types of beans, fat free sour cream and a can of creamed corn to make the grossest thing in the world!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Black and white cookies!

Since I enjoy things that involve a food destination, one of my favorite things to do is ride my bike to Eastern Market for black and white cookies :D I've been fantasizing about making black and white cookies for a few weeks now. Today was the day! And they turned out great!! It is tough finding a recipe, though. I used this recipe for the cookie and this recipe for the frosting. I followed the recipe for the cookies, but added vanilla to the white frosting and used chopped semi-sweet chocolate chips AND cocoa powder and a little milk for the chocolate frosting. They turned out really well and weren't nearly as time consuming as expected!

Turkey Hill's Fried Ice Cream!!!

There is no question: I LOVE Turkey Hill ice cream! And I especially love their "limited edition" flavors! This month marks the return of one my top two flavors of all time: Fried Ice Cream! It's described as cinnamon ice cream swirled with cinnamon sopapilla and sweet tostada pieces! Wow, what I would describe it as is cinnamon ice cream with cinnamon sugar cookie dough and some crunchy cookie pieces :D It sounds like a lot of cinnamon, but have faith, Turkey Hill does it right. I highly recommend you get some of this before its too late!! Turkey Hill is sold at Giant and Shopper's in DC metro area.

Update: I forgot to mention that Breyer's also makes a fried ice cream flavor. It is terrible. I bought it and threw it out. Get yourself some Turkey Hill!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Great American Buffet, Falls Church

I'm doing this as a public service announcement. I went to Great American Buffet in Falls Church tonight. It is American food and it was horrible. I couldn't even find enough appetizing food to fill my plate. I would recommend avoiding this place.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sugar Cookies!


When I make cookies, its a terrible disaster because I eat them all!! This time was no exception, but they were awesome!! I used this sugar cookie recipe and then topped them with an icing of butter, milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar! And then I ate them the whole next day....

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Beer and Food Festival this Friday and Saturday

If you are a baller, this might be fun to attend this weekend: Savor, a food and beer festival, at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium in DC near the Federal Triangle metro stop. Looks like they are selling tickets for Friday night, Saturday afternoon, and Saturday night sessions. The food sounds delicious and the breweries I recognize are also awesome! Unfortunately, tickets are $85 and I'm cheap :P But if you're not, you should check it out!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Italian Store!

On Friday, I went to The Italian Store in Arlington for some pizza for dinner and subs to motivate me to finish a hike the next day! What could be better than eating a delicious sub on the top of a mountain?

Judging by the number of people coming in for carry out, their pizzas are very popular! Unlike most people, I like my pizza with lots of sauce and just a little cheese. This pizza was the exact opposite...it was loaded with tons of cheese and hardly had any sauce. Sad panda. But, everyone else thought it was very good and many reviews I've read said it was the best pizza in the area. So...you should probably try it anyway :)

The subs are amazing!! I've been there a few times before and they never disappoint. I ordered a small Capri sub on a hard roll: prosciutto, genoa salami, provolone cheese and capacola ham :D I ate it on what I thought was the top of a mountain! Unfortunately, we weren't even close...but I didn't know that, so it was delicious and rewarding and filling...I couldn't even finish it all!

The Italian Store also has a large selection of frozen pasta and raviolis, prepared pasta dishes, freshly made sauces, Italian deli meats, cheeses, salads, Italian wines, cookies and groceries. It's always crowded!!
The Italian Store is located at 3123 Lee Highway, Arlington VA 22201, 703-528-6266. I recommend this place for delicious subs!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Guacamole!!

After years of imagining what my guac would be like, I finally made some on Monday!!

It contained 3 avocados, 3 de-seeded chopped tomatoes, 1 chopped onion, half a jalapeƱo, an ENTIRE bunch of cilantro, garlic, salt and the juice of one lime :D

I mashed the avocado by hand, chopped the tomatoes by hand, used my food processor for chopping the onion and cilantro and the mixed it all up!! Turned out pretty well :) Though its expensive because of all the ingredients, I definitely prefer homemade guac to the store-bought stuff.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

AC/KC Del Ray is going to open soon!!!!!

A few weeks ago I posted with great anticipation and joy and excitement that ACKC would be opening a Del Ray location. They finally took the paper off the windows today and it looks like they're going to open soon! Wow!!! The day they open will be the happiest day of my life (unless it is more than 80 degrees outside)!!

An article in The Examiner says that the Del Ray location will have seating for 10 people, and will also serve Dolcezza gelato and frozen drinks and sell chocolates, which sounds like the DC location (though I haven't been there since it warmed up, so I can't comment on the frozen treats). I'm not sure that the gelato could possibly compete with the The Dairy Godmother, a block or two away, but I look forward to seeing if the frozen hot chocolate is as awesome as their hot hot chocolate :)

Still not 100% but baking anyway :)

I'm feeling much better....but STILL not 100%. Ugh. Nonetheless, at least I'm living life again....and baking! I went to a picnic this weekend and made my tried and true brownie recipe: Hershey's Ballot Box Brownies. Despite the dumb name, these brownies are awesome!! I also add a little cinnamon to the batter :D

Ingredients:

* 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
* 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
* 2-1/4 cups sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3 eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 cup HERSHEY'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
* 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
* CHOCOLATE FROSTING (optional)
* Red, white, blue decorating icing in tube or can

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

2. Melt butter in medium saucepan; add cocoa, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Add sugar, salt, eggs and vanilla; beat with spoon until thoroughly combined. Add flour and baking powder; mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts, if desired. Spread batter into prepared pan.

3. Bake 30 minutes or until top is dry and brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Frost, if desired. Cut into bars. Garnish with Vote theme, using red, white and blue icing. About 36 brownies.



CHOCOLATE FROSTING
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat butter in small bowl. Add powdered sugar and cocoa alternately with milk, beating to spreading consistency. Stir in vanilla. About 1 cup frosting.

The frosting is NOT optional. :D

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

sick!

Why haven't there been any updates? Because I've been sick for a week and a half and eating and cooking require too much energy. However, I've started taking these:

Drugs? No....vitamins!! I hope they ward off sickness.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Carrot cake

I tried making a carrot cake on Sunday and what I got was a carrot blob :(

As you can see, one layer of the cake stuck to the pan...a lot! And I am sure I greased the pan.

The second layer was better, but this is still how the end product turned out:

Fortunately, it tasted good. I followed the recipe above, except I used 1 cup of white sugar and 1 cup of brown sugar, added a little nutmeg and I used walnuts instead of pecans. I think the cream cheese frosting was a little wet...maybe I didn't add enough sugar? Not my best creation....

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Tour de Cupcake!

Tour de Cupcake may be my greatest food-related fantasy ever imagined...and on Saturday it became a reality! Biking, 3 cupcake stops, friends and grilling! What else could you want? A sunny day? We had that too!

Stage 1: Bike 4.5 miles
Stop 1: Cake Love, Shirlington
Here I had a vanilla cupcake with lime frosting. It was good except it cost over $3!




Stage 2: Bike 4.4 miles
Stop 2: Buzz, Slaters Lane, Alexandria
Here I had a red velvet cake-a-roon, kind of like a cupcake sandwich!

Stage 3: Bike 1.3 miles
Stop 3: Bittersweet, Old Town Alexandria
Here I had a carrot cake cupcake with a mystery, non-cream cheese frosting. I was too full to finish it :(

Stage 4: Bike 1.5 miles
Stop 4: My house for some grilling!!!

Next year will be bigger and better!!

Thai-spiced pumpkin/carrot soup!

I've been fantasizing about this recipe for Thai-spice sweet potato soup for quite awhile. Tonight I finally got all the ingredients to make it! Except, I used pumpkin and carrots instead of sweet potato :)

I used a whole can of coconut milk, a 15 oz can of pumpkin, about a cup of chopped carrots (leftover from carrot cake!!), more red curry paste, more garlic, some salt and one less cup of broth than the recipe called for. It was a little bland until I added the extra spice, but afterwards it turned out pretty well :) Despite all the coconut milk, it is healthier than what I usually eat :P

New discovery: Cake batter ice cream!!

Today I discovered a simple, delicious way to enhance ice cream! Putting dry cake mix on top of it! Wow! It tastes like cake batter ice cream :D I also started eating dry cake mix....

Monday, April 14, 2008

Dusty Road Sundaes!

Dusty road sundaes are the greatest creation ever!! They must be Pennsylvanian because no one I've talked to has has heard of them. They consist of ice cream topped with chocolate syrup and malted milk powder :D It is a fantastic combination that I highly recommend. I prefer mine with soft serve vanilla, or grasshopper pie ice cream (by Hood: mint ice cream with oreos and fudge!!! Wow! Too bad they don't make it anymore :(

It's hard to find malted milk powder in the store and in a desperate moment I ordered some on Amazon. Unfortunately, they are only sold in 4 packs. Seriously. I love dusty roads, but I still only go through about one container a year. So now I have a 3 extra containers of malted milk powder. I will need to increase my ice cream consumption just to eat it all before the expiration date! Dusty roads anyone? :D

Monday, April 7, 2008

Dukem!

I love Ethiopian food. Is it the delicious flavor? Is it the wide variety of stews that I can get with each meal? Is it the fact that a giant plate of delicious food is set in front of me and I'm expected to dig in...with my hands? It's probably all of these things, but I am always up for some Ethiopian. Fortunately, DC has a lot of Ethiopian restaurants :)

A little while ago, I went to Dukem on U St. We ordered four entrees: lamb special tibs, doro wat, a meat combo with lamb wot and minchet abesh, and a veggie combo with spicy split lentil, yellow peas, greens, cabbage, shiro, salad and potato in spicy sauce. It was the perfect amount for five people.

Our meal cost $15 per person, including tip.

We ate it all, which isn't that impressive, since there were five us :P

Turkey Hill - Special Edition!!

If you know me, you know I love Turkey Hill ice cream. It is not as expensive as the other good brands of ice cream, but its even more delicious plus it comes from Pennsylvania :D Each month they have a special, limited edition flavor. And each month I have a new favorite ice cream flavor :D

This month its "Gertrude Hawk's Box of Chocolates"! Gertrude Hawk is a chocolate maker in Pennsylvania - I eat their Smidgens and Reindeer Food regularly :D

The flavor is premium milk chocolate ice cream with dark chocolate raspberry cups, chocolate almonds, white chocolate chunks, and swirled with chocolate chips. Wow! What else could you want? This may sound overwhelming, but it's not. Turkey Hill knows how to control themselves. I highly recommend you pick some of this up before it's gone!! In DC, Turkey Hill is available at Giant and Shopper's. And, its on sale for $2.50 at Giant this week!! Hurry!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Cooking is fun :)

There was a lovely op-ed piece in the New York Times yesterday that discusses how nice it is to cook :) If you are feeling uninspired with cooking, or just bored, I recommend you read it here.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

omg chocolate cake

This was my greatest cake creation of all time!

I followed this cake recipe to make 3 layers of chocolate cake goodness. In between the bottom two layers I put some chocolate ganache :D The quantities in that recipe were perfect for my cake. I also probably ate a bunch before I put it on the cake, though.







After putting the ganache on the bottom layers, I was alone in my apartment literally BURSTING with joy and anticipation! Then I need to add frosting!!! I was so happy I could barely work the mixer!!! I halved this recipe, and had a bit leftover :D

I think this was one of the happiest moments of my life :D

Easter dinner!!!!!

For Thanksgiving, I wanted to have a faux-pre-Thanksgiving invite-over-all-my-friends-and-cook-all-day-together-then-stuff-our-face extravaganza, but it just didn't work out. So, since Thanksgiving, I planned to have a GIANT EASTER DINNER!!! This idea was growing in my mind for 4 months, and on Sunday it came to fruition :)

For 15 people, I picked up a 10 pound fully-cooked ham, so no one would die from it being undercooked. There were scalloped potatoes made with 8 pounds of potatoes, 1.5 pounds of cheese and a half gallon of milk! Wow! The original recipe is below. I also made about 8 sweet potatoes, 4 pounds of green beans, 3 pounds of asparagus, and 2 batches of homemade rolls! INTENSE. I cooked all Saturday night and half the day on Sunday. I am still recovering from all the cooking, if you can imagine!

Seriously, other people brought stuff too, and I had enough leftovers for another party on Wednesday. Do not use the above guidelines for your own easter dinner, unless you plan on having 30 people over :P

Also, this event was so overwhelming that I couldn't manage any pictures. I am still overwhelmed. Seriously.

The recipes!!!!.

Scalloped potatoes, taken from "Where's Mom Now that I Need Her"
4 potatoes cooked, peeled and sliced
3 T salad oil
3 T cornstarch
1 t salt
1/4 t paprika
1/4 t prepared mustard
3 cups milk
2 cups cheese, grated

Layer potatoes in greased caserole dish. In a saucepan, combine oil, cornstarch, salt, paprika, mustard and milk. Stirring constantly bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add cheese. Stir until melted. Pour over potatoes. Bake at 350 F for 35 minutes.

For the candied sweet potatoes, I caramelized 1/2 cup butter, 1 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup orange juice in a pan then let the cooked and peeled sweet potatoes ooze in there for awhile before keeping them warm in the oven.

I boiled fresh green beans before coating them with olive oil and garlic. In the stress of the moment I forgot salt and pepper :(

For the asparagus, I made balsamic butter sauce.

And I doubled this recipe for rolls.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Mexican food!!

Last night I was invited to a friend's house for authentic Mexican food! It was like nothing I ate in any Mexican restaurant I've ever been to in my entire life. It was so delicious that I don't know how owners of Mexican restaurants sleep at night knowing the difference between what they serve and what real Mexicans are eating. It was THAT good!!! Wow.

We had: cheese and onion enchiladas, beans cooked with bacon that had been cooking all day!, Mexican rice, tostadas, and tacos. These tacos were different than anything I had before: the flour tortilla was made by hand, the dough was filled with raw meat, and then fried so the tortilla cooked with the meat! Soft shell or hard shell? I don't even know what kind of question that is now that I ate this taco.

This stuff was not even comparable to any Mexican food I've ever tasted....honestly! I am riding the food high right into Easter!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Myanmar

Myanmar is a Burmese restaurant in a strip mall in Falls Church. It's the greatest food I've never imagined. We went on Saturday night around 8pm and waited about 15 minutes for a table. I've been there before and the service isn't very good, but the food is so awesome that its worth it.

We ordered a mango salad. I have no idea what makes it my favorite thing on the menu, but I'll try to describe it: its not orange, so it must contain shredded unripened mango, it also seems like there's some cabbage, crispy garlic, peanuts, cilantro, and some sort of delicious potion that makes it so great. It was a tiny bit spicy.

We also ordered the crispy bean curd salad and and some sort of lemongrass soup. This is the only form of tofu that I've ever ate (which is saying a lot) It's kind of julienned looking and crispy enough that I can avoid the soy parts :P Seriously, I hate tofu, but everyone I've ever been here with loves this salad. The lemon grass soup was a little spicy and contained shrimp and fish and veggies. I thought it was delicious and the bowl was large enough for our table of 4.

We also got the chili pork belly. It was really spicy and I was unable to eat for a few minutes :P There was also an uneventful mushroom and tofu entree and a chicken noodle dish.

If you ever go here, the entrees are mediocre, the noodle dishes are less than mediocre and the salads are the greatest thing you will ever experience in your life. Also, this place is awesome because its cheap :D There were four of us and the bill came to $15 per person with tip. We did not have drinks.

Myanmar, 7810 Lee Highway #C, Falls Church VA 703-289-0013. Myanmar gets my approval. I recommend Myanmar mostly for: the greatest salads you will ever eat, ordering a lot of food to share, eating delicious things you cannot describe well to others.

Time for grilling!!!

This is what I had for dinner last week:
It was glorious :D Grilled NY Strip served medium, garlic mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus, onions that caramelized for over an hour, grilled veggie kabobs made with cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, squash, onion, red, yellow AND green peppers, zucchini and red onions and a bottle of red wine :D And then in case that wasn't enough, we had root beer floats for dessert. Every meal should be so good. Now that it's spring, they probably will be :D

There were no leftovers because we are champions.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Veggie Pizza

Last weekend there was a potluck, I made some veggie pizza. Here's what I did:

2 cans of crescent rolls
3/4 cup sour cream
8 oz cream cheese
1 packet ranch dressing mix
random herbs (like dill!, garlic, extra pepper)
8oz shredded cheddar (or any other cheese)
chopped veggies!
cucumber, seeded
tomatoes
red/green pepper
green onion
carrots
broccoli, cauliflower, etc.

Spread the rolls out flat on a greased cookie sheet to form a crust and bake at 350 degrees until done - about 10 minutes or so.

Mix the sour cream, cream cheese, ranch dressing mix and random herbs together and spread on the cooled crust. Top with cheese and the veggies. Let it set in the fridge for a little while before cutting into slices.


I based my recipe off of this one: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Vegetable-Pizza-I/Detail.aspx

Saturday, March 8, 2008

GREATEST NEWS EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A few weeks ago I wrote about the greatest hot chocolate I have ever experienced in my entire life at AC/KC.

Last night while driving down Mount Vernon Ave in Del Ray, I saw a sign in the old Sundae Times storefront that says: THE COCOA GALLERY IS COMING SOON!!!!!!!!!!! (maybe they didn't have as many exclamation points....)

Looks like AC/KC are opening a second location next to the hardware store at 2003 Mount Vernon Ave, Alexandria :D This is the greatest news ever!!!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Milky Way Bunnies!!!

I love Easter candy more than any other type of candy. My favorite of all time is: MILKY WAY BUNNIES!!!

I don't even particularly like Milky Way, but once a year, Mars really does it right with Milky Way Bunnies. Compared to the candy bar, Milky Way Bunnies have more chocolate, less nougat and more caramel combined into a winning combination that I look forward to every Easter.

Unfortunately, last year, they left out the nougat!! It was the saddest Easter ever. I called and complained and got some coupons. Today, in the mail, I got an update (and coupon!) from Mars:

At Mars Snackfood US, the consumer is our boss and we take your feedback very seriously. This Spring Holiday 2008 season, we are pleased to announce the return of the delicious nougat layer to our Milky Way Brand and Snickers Brand Seasonal Shapes.

Hooray!!!! Time to stock up :D

Monday, March 3, 2008

Bob's Noodle 66

People love Bob's Noodle 66!! A Taiwanese restaurant located in strip mall in Rockville - it's always crowded, and for good reason :)

We went on Saturday and arrived around 7:15 pm and waited about 25 minutes for a table. About 5 minutes after ordering, our food rapidly began to arrive! Do you see the joy?!


First to arrive was the spinach (on the left in the picture below). It was boiled and sauteed with some garlic. I ate some of the whole cloves :D Next was the chicken and bamboo (in the back) - very flavorful and a little spicy. Then the oyster pancake (in the front)! Then the beef with noodles and broccoli (on the right)!!! The noodles were very thick and had some bite to them - very delicious!! Then the wonton soup...wow, would it end? I was in heaven!!
At this point, I'm overcome with joy....we had been eating for awhile and I was approaching food coma when they brought out the ginger chicken casserole! Wow.....this is also a very good dish.

Obviously, we had tons of leftovers!

Bob's has an awesome shaved ice dessert that you should definitely get! A big bowl of shaved ice with some sort of syrup and sweetened condensed milk poured over top, and then topped with your choice of three items. We had red beans (gross!), lychee and taro.....so very good!!

And the best part? This place is super cheap! For all this food, we each only paid $15 per person, with tip!

Bob's Noodle 66, 305 N Washington St, Rockville MD, 301-315-6668. Bob's gets my approval. I'd recommend it for: cheap, delicious food!!, ordering lots of random stuff, reasonably sized groups, and as a food destination.

Bittersweet Cafe

Bittersweet Cafe, on King St in Old Town Alexandria, has the biggest, greatest, most delicious cupcakes in the area.

My favorite is the spice cupcake with cream cheese frosting. A friend recommended the PB&J cupcake (white cupcake with strawberry filling and peanut butter buttercream).

Their selection seems to be sporadic - every time I go, they have a different selection, so I wouldn't count on your favorite always being there. This weekend, I had a carrot cake cupcake! Mmmm....



I think one of the biggest reasons I like Bittersweet's cupcakes so much is their size. Most cupcakes are too small, but Bittersweet really does it right.




Bittersweet Cafe, 823 King St, Alexandria. Bittersweet Cafe gets my approval. I recommend this place mostly for: cupcakes!! and other baked goods. They seem do a great lunch business too, mostly sandwiches and they have a small by-the-pound salad bar that looks delicious.