Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Best $7.95 I Ever Spent

Marshall and I picked up this Black Truffle salt while we were visiting family in Boca Raton, FL. We got it at a chain spice shop called "The Tea and Spice Exchange." This is probably the best $7.95 I have spent in the last few years. This simple salt has made me fall in love with eggs all over again (I go through these phases in my life where I love eggs and then I'm blase about them and then I love them again. Right now, I'm in love with eggs.)

This salt has bits and pieces of black truffles in them and the fragrance...lets just say that it was in my carryon bag and I could smell it on the plane. This small pouch packs a punch. A simple fried egg topped with Black Truffle salt and pepper is suddenly something of magic.

I made egg-in-a-hole and it was FABULOUS. Not just because I used a nifty heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out the bread but because it was topped with this great salt and I gobbled it up very quickly. It was just a little pinch of it and it was enough. It made me feel like a million bucks....more like I had a million bucks. It made me feel rich. Again, this was the best $7.95 I've spent in a while.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Anne Burrell's Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

Ok...maybe we overcooked the bacon a bit. It still came out really delicious. This Spaghetti Alla Carbonara is a recipe from Food Network's Anne Burrell. Though I'm not a consistent Food Network TV watcher, it has been keeping my interest lately. The Pioneer Woman's cooking show is actually pretty entertaining. It isn't about all the butter that she puts in her food but I am impressed how they seem to capture how she cooks with love. Another great show that the Food Network produces is a show called "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" where people describe just that. ZOMG. That show always leaves me hungry for whatever they showcase.

I've also been noticing Anne Burell. She has been on the network for a few years but lately I've noticed how simple she makes restaurant cooking look. She makes these complicated dishes really attainable. And she has this badass way about her. In a show called "The Best Thing I Ever Cooked," she demonstrates how she learned how to make Spaghetti alla Carbonara while she was studying in Italy. There is no cream. I know this is shocking because almost every Italian restaurant carbonara I have ever had is dripping with cream. This recipe uses eight eggs that adds to the richness of the dish. Here is the recipe.

This dish is so cheap to make. I paid $1 for the pasta, $3.77 for the bacon, $6 for the cheese (I only used parmesean), $2.88 for the eggs, and probably a $1 for the onions (I diced up some sweet onions and fried them in the bacon fat). So about $15 for a pot of pasta that could easily feed 4-6 people. A delcious steal.

BTW, my favorite Food Network show will always be Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa (love, love, love her kitchen.)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Because I Can't (Won't) SkyDive

Photo from Pesce

Cancer has come up in too many conversations with loved ones recently. Maybe I am at that age when I am forced to recognize that I am no longer invincible and that me and my family and friends will not live forever. Maybe so. I still wish this word "cancer" would go away. Mainly because it can. It is possible.

My good friend Joy's mother, Patty, is a breast cancer survivor. On October 1, Patty jumped out of a plane for her first skydiving experience. It was on her bucket list to skydive and she also decided to turn the event into a fundraiser called "Crazy for a Cure." She was able to raise $3585 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Patty has been a breast cancer survivor for over 15 years. You can read more of her story here.

Since I am better at eating than I am at jumping out of planes, I've decided to join Dining in DC and many other food bloggers for the "Take a Bite Out of Breast Cancer" campaign. Restaurants across DC are participating and will donate a portion of their profits to "Pink Jams," an outreach and fundraising campaign focusing on early detection in young women and men under 40 years old. To help out, all we have to do is eat out. Pretty simple, right?

I will be dining at Pesce Restaurant in Dupont Circle on Thursday, October 13th. Pesce has kindly offered to donate 35% of their proceeds from the evening to this campaign. I'm looking forward to trying out several dishes from their menu such as the Grilled Sardines, Ocotopus Stew, and their Skate Wing.

Here are other restaurants that will be participating in this campaign: Dining in DC.

Monday, October 3, 2011

DC Food Blogger Happy Hour - October 5 - Hank's Oyster Bar

RSVP Here.

As a kid, I didn't get to eat very many oysters. My only real memory of eating oysters was at a Chinese restaurant where it was sauteed in a ginger-scallion sauce (which is amazing.) It was in college during a trip to Las Vegas when I finally tried raw oysters. We were at the Rio Hotel and they had this amazing seafood buffet with crab legs, boiled shrimp and raw oysters. It was an all-you-can-eat-buffet and it was G-L-O-R-I-O-U-S. My college roommates piled their plates high with these oysters. One roommate mixed salt and pepper with lemon juice, spooned some on top of the oyster and slurped it up that way. Another roommate topped hers with a mix of ketchup and Tabasco sauce. I tried it both ways and instantly loved raw oysters.

Hank's Oyster Bar is one of the places where I have enjoyed raw oysters in DC. The restaurant has this warm cozy feel to it and serves excellent seafood. It is tucked on this charming street on 17th and Q street NW and is a neighborhood favorite. Hank's Oyster Bar is participating with Pink Jams' "Take a Bite Out of Breast Cancer" this year and will be donating 25% of it's proceeds on October 4 and 5th. The DC Food Blogger Happy Hour will be at Hank's on Wednesday, October 5th from 6pm to 8pm. Come out and slurp up some oysters with me.