Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Girl Scout Cookies

Today was the second greatest day of the year: the day my Girl Scout cookies arrived!!!!! I ordered five boxes: 2 thin mints, 2 shortbreads, and 1 lemon chalet cream (new flavor!).

Well....I got the cookies at 9am and by 10:00 the box of lemon chalet creams was 3/4 gone and needed to be sent away for hiding. They were so good!

Little Brownie Bakers describes them as a "cinnamon-ginger spice" sandwich cookie with lemon cream in the middle. I think I liked them so much because they didn't skimp on the cream. I didn't notice the cinnamon-ginger spice part. Wow! I highly recommend finding a booth with Girl Scouts and buy as many as you can.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Penne a la Vodka

Woo! Tonight, I made penne a la vodka! I consulted with various recipes, but the end recipe was my own :)

28 oz can of crushed tomatoes (mine didn't have any salted added - so use less salt if your's does)
about 1/2 cup of heavy cream
1/3 cup vodka
1/4 lb prosciutto
3-4 teaspoons crushed garlic
1/8 cup chopped onion
olive oil
kosher salt
red pepper flakes
~1 pound of penne

Saute the garlic and onion and some salt in a generous amount of olive oil. Add the crushed tomatoes, more salt, pepper, basil and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Adjust seasoning so it tastes good. Saute the prosciutto in some more garlic and olive oil and then add it to the sauce. Add the cream and mix it up. Add the vodka and mix it again. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Then eat it over pasta. Sprinkle with parmesan.

Also, you might be able to tell, but the amounts are what I think I used (except the can of tomatoes, that's solid!), adjust accordingly. Mmmmmm :D

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Saturday of eating!

After lots of hype, I finally got a chance to check out ACKC: Artfully Chocolate Kingsbury Confections and their cocoa bar! I think the name is dumb, but the hot cocoa was so ridiculously awesome!!! I had the Judy (I think): Milk chocolate with hazelnut syrup and whipped!! It was the best hot cocoa I ever drank.

ACKC is a combination of a chocolate shop and cafe. They have several cases of decadent truffles. They also had a ton of baked goods from Buzz in Alexandria: cookies, cupcakes, muffins, brownies, chocolate dipped pretzels. Chocolate gifts, prepackaged chocolates from other places, and more!! They also had plenty of seating.

The way the hot cocoa works is: pick a chocolate (white, milk, dark....I think), pick some milk (whole, 2%, maybe even soy?), and then pick what you want mixed in: they have various syrups, and herbs like lavender, cinnamon, chilies and then they make it up good. They also have about 10 different suggested varieties. I stayed on the beaten path when order my Judy :)

You absolutely need to go here because it is so good. I had the five-dollar hot chocolate from Murky Coffee, and it was good, but it wasn't sweet enough for my taste, though it was almost as thick as a dipping chocolate. The cocoa from ACKC was thinner, but sweeter and more wonderful than anything I've had before.

Also, if you need someone to go with you, I will go :D

After my stop at ACKC,, I realized I did not eat all day. I ended up at Naan & Beyond, which I had also heard a lot about, but since I don't work downtown, I've never seen it open. Today was my day.

I got the chicken tikka wrap. To make it, the naan man threw some dough into the oven and made fresh bread just for me!! After taking it out, he threw on some mayo (really? I know), tomatoes, and shredded cabbage and chunks of hot, delicious chicken. I was expecting the chicken to be red, but it was white, but still good. It was served with mint and mango chutney. I love dipping sauces! It must have been pretty filling because I only ate half....more for tomorrow!!

It has been a great 24 hours of food :D

Utopia on U St

Back to eating non-prepackaged foods!!

Utopia is on U and 14th St. It was great! When we walked in, the atmosphere was very relaxed. It was 8:30 pm on a Friday night and the bar was full, but not crowded and there were plenty of open tables. I was not overwhelmed :D

Getting seated seemed to take a bit longer than necessary, but after that, everything was smooth. As for drinks: there was no beer on tap, but they had a good bottled selection. They also had lots of wine and martinis. We had some beer. Next, we were served some fantastic, fresh, warm rolls. For dinner, I ordered vegetable couscous curry. The menu had no description for this dish, so I had no idea what to expect. I don't usually like food surprises but this curry was better than anything I could ever imagined! There were zucchini, yellow squash, red peppers, onions, broccoli and carrots served in ample amounts of creamy curry sauce. Was it coconut? I'm not sure but it was delicious! It was served with a mound of couscous on the side. The portions were large - I couldn't eat it all....but I ate most of it :D

Later, around 11pm, they had live jazz. I don't know much about jazz, but I enjoyed it. We were pretty close to the front, so it was a bit loud, but I think in other parts of the restaurant the noise level was perfect. I liked that we weren't rushed out - it was very laid back.

Utopia gets my approval. I recommend this place mostly for: good food, eating slowly, and lounging afterwards. I think the bar would have been good as well, but it was too crowded for me :P

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Why no updates?

Why have I stopped updating? Because this is ALL I EAT:
Seriously...I eat 3 a day. I'll tire of them within the next week and resume cooking, but until then the blog will go without updates. Sad panda

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Thai Red Curry!

Tonight I hosted dinner and made some Thai red curry with chicken! This recipe is extremely adjustable. Here's what I did:

2 cans of coconut milk
4 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp red curry paste
1 Tbsp fish sauce (gross!)
1/2 cup veggie or chicken broth

Add ins:
1 pound of chicken, cut into strips
small can of sliced bamboo shoots (like a panda!!)
snow peas
1 red pepper, sliced
half an onion, cooked partially

Make the broth mixture and cook for awhile until throughly mixed. Taste and adjust :) Then add the chicken and onions and cook it til the chicken is done. At the end, add the veggies and cook it more until the veggies are done. Serve with salad, jasmine rice, and Turkey Hill Mango Duetto (!!!!) for dessert.

I actually added 1 cup of broth and it made the sauce too thin :( And, I only added 2 Tbsp of curry paste, and wished it were a bit spicier. Next time, it will be awesome, but today, it was only mediocre. Other ideas for veggies to add: broccoli, carrots, green beans....anything you think would taste good, probably will. Very easy easy to make too!

Friday, February 8, 2008

LA Breakfast Tour

I went to Los Angeles last weekend in hopes of seeing Lindsay Lohan. I wasn't able to see her or anyone other famous people, but I did see a whale and lots of dolphins swimming on the ocean :D I also ate a lot of awesome breakfast!

Day 1: Doughboys

Here we shared an order of "Black and Whites": a stack of three panacakes loaded with chunks of white and dark chocolate chunks served with a homemade raspberry syrup. O. M. G. This was the first time I ordered chocolate chip pancakes at a restaurant and they actually put enough chocolate chips in them!! These pancakes were loaded with them - it was like eating chocolate. They even had MORE chocolate chips than I usually put in my pancakes!!! We also ordered potatoes with grilled onions. This was an awesome breakfast. Their lunch menu looked awesome too (roasted garlic and tortellini soup....for realz!!)

Day 2: Hugo's

Hugo's is one of those organic, natural, etc. restaurants. In order to take advantage of this, I ordered the breakfast burrito: made with organic, local free range eggs. The burrito was filled with fresh green peppers, onions and tomatoes, topped with chipotle sauce and cheese and some garlic-y delicious gaucamole on the side :D I got a side of fruit, too! I liked the burrito because it wasn't stuffed with cheese. Too often places take a perfectly healthy dish and then insist of overloading it with cheese, leaving me feeling gross. Hugo's did it well by just putting some on the top. I forgot to take the picture until I was almost done :P

Day 3: Place by Jules' house

This place was similar to a diner in Pennsylvania. It didn't veer off from the basics (except you could order a design-your-own omelet with cream cheese!!!). I got some french toast and it was very good. I'm consistently disappointed when I order french toast out because it doesn't look like it will be enough. I left here full and satisfied. :D

Day 4: The Griddle

Picture the most giant pancake you've ever seen in your life!! These pancakes were bigger than two of my heads! I got a "short" stack of the ridiculously sugar packed "A Time to Love": pancakes filled with butterscotch chips, caramel and stopped with streusel, whipped cream, more caramel and pumpkin. I'm not even kidding - something that insane and delicious actually exists, but only in Los Angeles. Wow. Also, famous people go here, but not when I was there :(
Before, then, so stuffed:

I am a champion!!