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 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
red/green pepper
green onion
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:

Saturday, March 8, 2008


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, 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 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.