Tuesday, May 31, 2011

DC Food Blogger Happy Hour - June 1 - Vento

RSVP Here.

Time flies. This time last month, I was worrying about fitting into a bridesmaid dress and which restaurants to take my family to while they are here for my cousin's wedding. The wedding is over and it was a blast. My family got to try out Saigon Cafe in Falls Church, Tysons Buffet in Rockville (truly a good deal), and Rays the Steaks in Arlington, VA. Unfortunately, my brother did not get a chance to eat some Maryland blue crabs while in town so, as a gift for getting into medical school, my cousins and I sent him half a bushel from www.crabplace.com. The cost was reasonable when you compare the cost of taking 4 people out for crabs at any local DC crab joint. And, he loved it.

And the first Wednesday of the month is just a couple of days away and that means it is time to meet up with some food bloggers. We will be meeting at Vento in Dupont Circle. The happy hour specials are $5 wines and cocktails, $4 beers, and half off the bar menu.

Hope to see you there.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Going Raw

There is a new restaurant in town called Elizabeth's Gone Raw and I am really interested in trying it out. The price is a bit steep ($75 for a 5-course prix fixe tasting menu) but the message behind the food is what really makes me want to eat there. Elizabeth is a cancer survivor who has used raw and vegan food to assist with her recovery. Vegan eating is tough but vegan cooking...that is a true challenge. How do you make anything delicious without butter and cheese?!?

In my small attempt to make something vegan, I found this recipe in Everyday Food by Martha Stewart. This is a really simple and delicious dish that even my guy had to say that it was pretty good (it must be pretty good if "Mr. MeatPotatoesBacon&Cheese" says so.) I think you will be impressed by how sweet raw corn is and how well it pairs with the lime and salt that is added to the dish. I sliced the zucchini thin enough that it felt cooked after sitting in the lime juice for a bit. Great summer side dish to bring to BBQs.

Raw Corn and Zucchini Salad
Adapted from Everyday Food

2 ears corn, husks and silks removed
2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
Coarse salt and ground pepper

Cut off tips of ears of corn; stand corn in a wide, shallow bowl. With a sharp knife, slice downward to release kernels (you should have about 1 1/2 cups); discard cobs. Transfer kernels to a medium bowl. Add zucchini, lime juice, olive oil, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper and toss well to combine.

This dish is very cheap. The corn was $4 for 5 cobs (this will get cheaper in a month.) The zucchini was $1 per lb so 2 cost less than $1. Limes were about 50 cents. I used cilantro from my little herb garden on the balcony.

I made this last weekend for my friend's vegetarian party and I used lemon juice instead of lime and I omitted the cilantro (for my cilantro hating friends.) It was very refreshing. I'm sure you can play around with this dish and customize it based on flavor preference.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bread, Radishes, Butter, and Salt

There are so many things to love about spring and summer but on top of that list has to be that eating good can be so cheap. Over the weekend, a good friend had a vegetarian and yoga get together. While shopping at Eastern Market, my friend Jenny mentioned that she read on DCist that radishes were in season and that they are delicious sliced on top of bread and butter and sprinkled with a bit of salt (I later found out that the great U Street Girl wrote the post). We picked up a rustic baguette for $2.50, got a bunch of radishes for $3.00, and got some good butter from the dairy vendor for $1.50.

We sliced up the fresh bread, buttered it, and topped them off with the radishes. Delicious. The creaminess of the butter mixed with that bit of a kick a radish gives you (some say peppery but it seems different to me) just matches up so well. And I love biting into something with a grainy sea salt sprinkled on top.

This is a simple dish to put together for a summer party. And very pretty.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

LivingSocial Instant Deals - Tuscana West

Today, I ate lunch by myself. This has been happening more and more lately since my favorite co-workers have moved on to other jobs. It may sound very lonely but it is actually nice sometimes. I bring myself a Food & Wine magazine and sometimes I bring nothing so I can think....actually think about things. (I'm not be facetious here. There are times when I am so busy, I have little time to think things through.)

My office is located in a part of DC where I have many choices for lunch. My usual lunch spots are Corner Bakery, Subway, Cosi, and such. They are close by and I know I won't have to wait long for the food. My problem is that going to these places is actually starting to give me anxiety. Have you seen the way a Cosi salad is made? (No tossed salad jokes please.) But in all seriousness, it is difficult for me to eat a salad that is so violently handled.

I checked the LivingSocial website this morning and saw a deal for Tuscana West which is half a block from my office. For $10, I could get $20 worth of food. And I did not have to print out any voucher. The program sends a message to a smart phone/cell phone and all I had to do was show the waiter my phone.

Trying to stay lean, I ordered the Insalata al Fritti di Mare; a seafood salad with fresh scallops, baby shrimp, calamari, mussels and monkfish marinated in a light lemon dressing with vegetables and served over fresh endive and radicchio. It was light, refreshing, and filling. I also ordered Spinaci al Aglio Olio; sauteed spinach with garlic and olive oil. Delish. I finished off my meal with a cappuccino.

My meal would have been under $10 if I didn't indulge in the cappuccino but it was worth it. I was seated in a beautiful dining room where sat, enjoyed my food, and thought through some things that needed to be thought through. It was lovely.

Try checking the LivingSocial website before you go out to get lunch one of these days and see what you end up finding.

***Lunches like these can be enjoyed on occasion. Frequent lunches like these can cause a big dent in your bank account.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

DC Food Blogger Happy Hour - May 4 - Smith Commons

RSVP Here.

I heard that if you meet with a group of people once a month, it can make you happier. Food bloggers definitely make me happy. Come out to Smith Commons on Wednesday, May 4th at 6pm to meet some DC food bloggers and have a drink. I will see you there.


Happy Hour Drink Menu
drinks are $5 from 5pm – 7pm

Draft Beers
Ommegang Witte
Mama’s Little Yella Pils
Arrogant Bastard
Dogfish Head
Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale
Flying Dog Raging Bitch

Appleton White
Jim Beam
Wild Turkey

Horton Vineyards White Wine
Horton Vineyards Red Wine

It Has Been Awhile

It has been awhile since I have shared anything on this site. Life is good. My office conference is over but now we are busy with follow-up work. My cousin is getting married in two weeks and I will get to see my family soon. I've cooked some very fun things and am looking forward to a summer of visiting the farmers markets and grilling.

Since this is my first post in a long time, I'm going to go a bit easy on myself. No recipes will be shared but just a shopping tip. Mother's day is coming up in a week and by looking at the sale papers, it is the right time to buy some kitchen appliances (as politically incorrect as it is.)

My favorites have been a Kitchen Aid Professional Mixer for $100 off. All the attachments are also on sale. This 14-Cup Cuisinart Food Processor is also pretty great. I'm in need of one for summer salsas and pie crust making. The great thing is that Macy's has some good codes to get an additional 10% or more off. If you spend over $99, shipping is free.

So go shopping and buy yourself something pretty. Until next time....