Monthly Archives: April 2008

Good Neighbors and Good Food…

On Sunday, a bunch of Shaw residents got together for good food and good conversation in the form of a neighborhood brunch. Because our neighbors Carmen and Aster have a lovely roof top deck, they volunteered to host it at their home. Unfortunately mother nature didn’t care about ruining our plans, so the cold and damp weather moved the party inside. However, that didn’t stop us from having a fabulous time!

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Filed under Brunch, In Shaw

Bourbon: It’s What’s for Dessert…

My obsession with food began at an early age. When I was about four, I ran away from home…to a neighbor’s house…because my friend’s mother was letting her have ravioli for breakfast. Some of my best memories (and most of the reasons I date) revolve around food. So when I saw the latest Cookthink: Root Source Challenge ingredient was bourbon, I immediately thought about my food filled childhood and my friend Samantha’s crazy ass grandmother Nola…

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Filed under Baking, sweet tarts

Workin’ @ The Farm Stand

Spring has definitely arrived in DC and no where is that more evident than the many farmer’s markets throughout the metro area. As I have mentioned previously, I belong to the Star Hollow Farm CSA (sorry, but it’s currently closed to new members), which has a pick up site at the Adams Morgan Farmer’s Market. Now that the Farmer’s Market is open, Star Hollow has both the CSA box distribution and the farm stand to attend to on Saturdays. To help manage both projects, CSA members volunteer to distribute the boxes to other members. It not only allows Star Hollow Farm to manage the workload, it gives the members a chance to interact with each other (and share recipes!). This past Saturday, I volunteered for the afternoon shift and had a ball!

Before starting my “shift”, I walked around the market to get a feel for the different vendors. Due to a miscommunication, it was advertised in the local media that the Adams Morgan Farmer’s Market opened in May. Because of this, there are not a lot of farm stands currently set up. However, the ones that are there have already brought out the bounty of Spring. Lovely rhubarb and strawberries were on sale, along with red peppers (still a little too under ripe for my taste), green onions and spinach.

While I got ramps in my CSA box (more on what I did with them later), there were none for sale in the market itself. Quite honestly, I had never heard of ramps until a few weeks ago when I saw recipes using them on various food blogs in the blogosphere. Randy Treichler, the farmer behind Star Hollow, told me ramps are not planted. Instead, if the conditions are right, they grow wild and are then harvested. Randy (we call him Farmer Randy) then told me ramp season doesn’t last very long, so they are a prized food commodity.

I always learn something about the food I eat when I talk to Randy, which I find to be invaluable. There is something comforting about knowing how my food is being grown and who is growing it. In addition, I have always been a proponent of sustainable agriculture and supporting local farmers and local vendors. Not only does my CSA membership help support a local farm, it provides me with amazingly fresh (and high quality) produce. And that, in my humble opinion, is the secret to my fabulous creations!

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Filed under CSA

“Long Day at Work” Meal

My friends often ask me if I always cook big elaborate meals or are there just days where I eat cereal from the box. If there was any doubt, just look at my dinner for tonight.

I have been out of my office for almost two weeks, so it was no surprise to find my desk looking as if a paper factory exploded. After fighting my way through the blizzard of white, I was tired…and in no mood to talk to anyone (or deal with the ghetto-tastic grocery store near my house). So instead of trying my hand at a savory strudel tonight, I threw in Bridget Jones’ Diary, poured a nice glass of Pinot Grigio and enjoyed a plate of cheese and crackers (well bagel crisps actually). This goes to show we food bloggers don’t always have fancy meals for dinner…even if the cheese is from Cow Girl Creamery (mmmmmm….cheese). Don’t worry though, I will be back in the kitchen this weekend! Now if only I can get the Diva to clean the dishes in my sink….

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Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti and Chocolate Chunk Walnut Ice Cream

Yeah, it’s a long title but it tastes oh so good!

It was such a beautiful day yesterday that my thoughts immediately went to ice cream..and things to accompany said ice cream. Since I had been toying with the idea of making a biscotti for a while, I decided to see how hard it really was to make. When I googled “biscotti recipes”, I was amazed at the variation in methods for making the hard Italian cookie. But no one recipe really spoke to me (no, there are not voices in my head…just my gut instinct…whose name is Sylvia), so I decided to wing it (and cross my fingers that I wouldn’t burn down my kitchen).

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Filed under Cookies/Biscotti, ice cream

Parmesan Gouda Cheese Bread

While out at dinner one night in New Orleans, I was doing my usual routine of taking shots of the beautiful food presented at my trough…I mean, table. One of the women seated at the next table saw what I was doing and laughed. I thought she was laughing at me for doing something as ridiculous as photographing food, but she was laughing because she was doing the exact same thing. Turns out, she writes for the King Arthur Flour’s blog, Baker’s Banter. The three of them were in town for the annual conference for the International Association of Culinary Professionals. I love, love, love King Arthur Flour, but had no clue they had their own blog! We started talking blog shop for a bit and web addresses were exchanged (along with dining experiences thus far in New Orleans). As soon as I got back to my hotel, I checked out their blog and I swear I heard angels sing as I stumbled upon a recipe for (wait for it) Hot Cheese Bread!
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Filed under Baking, Bread

Adventures in…Eastern Market

I have lived in DC for almost a year now and am ashamed to admit it took me this long to finally make it to the venerable Eastern Market. But despite the torrential rains on Sunday, I headed out with a local Eastern Market tour guide (henceforth known as Pepe…don’t ask, just go with it).

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