Sunday, January 31, 2010


Sigh.  I've just about had it with winter, I think.  I'm over it.  Yesterday, it snowed all day, freezing my toes and nose and making me fairly miserable.  I'm just aching for spring.  BUT...freezing weather oustide = the perfect opportunity to make a warming, comforting Filipino dish from my childhood, kare-kare.  Kare-kare consists of beef oxtails, simmered until tender, and cooked in a rich peanut sauce with vegetables.  I've actually never made it before, but my mom sent me a care package a while ago with a few of these babies:

I've just been waiting for a wintry weekend afternoon.  

Click below for the recipe!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic and cream-braised Brussels Sprouts

Okay.  I made two things tonight, one that looked beautiful*, and one that turned,  unattractive (the more accurate description involves terms that would be inappropriate when discussing items to be eaten).  I was incredibly tempted to only post pictures of the element that  looked nice. But, in the spirit of honesty, I've decided to post both.  Also...while Mark enjoyed both, he did comment that I've made better sprouts and better chicken.  I liked both, but I can't really say I disagree.  I may try both again at some point, but for now?  On to other experiments.  

Click below for the recipes!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


One of the very first restaurants Mark and I went to when we started dating was Posto in Logan Circle.  We had an incredible experience there, loved every bite of our meal - the salads were bright and fresh and creative, the pastas were luscious and melt-in-your-mouth, and the dessert was the perfect, rich ending.  Being as I didn't feel like cooking tonight, was craving pasta, and didn't want to stray too far from home, we decided to see if Posto lived up to our recollection (or if the fond memories were a product of starry-eyed infatuation and rosy first blush of a new relationship).  I say yes, Mark says no, but we agree that it was still a very nice meal.

Click below to see what we ate!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

White Chili

I was not feeling so hot today, and was craving something comforting and warming...that would not require very many extra ingredients in addition to what I already had at home.  I adapted this recipe for White Chili at, one of my very favorite food blogs.  While this recipe is a little time-consuming, it was completely and totally worth it, particularly on a lazy Sunday night.  Or a sick day.  Tasty, filling, soothing, great for leftovers, and pretty darned cheap.  Since I already had chicken stock, I decided to sub chicken in for the turkey in the original.  I also bumped up the seasoning, since that is how I do.

Click below for the recipe!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Prosciutto-Wrapped, Mascarpone Stuffed Medjool Dates

I hate raisins.  I really actually dislike most dried fruit - I'm not sure if it's the texture, or the cloying sweetness, but I can't stand them, particularly in savory dishes.  BUT, my stance on the issue recently took a serious hit.  If you'll remember, Mark and I had the pleasure of dining at Komi a couple of weeks ago, and one of our favorite little dishes was the mascarpone-stuffed Medjool date.  It was this amazing bite, balancing the soft sweetness of the date, the richness of the mascarpone and the sea salt.  I would have been happy had the rest of the meal been composed of a plate of those jewels.

Then, last week, we celebrated Mark's friend's birthday at Bodega in Georgetown, where we had delicious crispy fried dates wrapped in bacon.  What was happening?!  Did I have to reconsider my position on dried fruit?

After a little research, I think I'm okay sticking with my hatred.  Medjool dates are an exception to the rule, not your run-of-the-mill dried fruit.  Instead, these juicy, almost meaty treasures are considered the "king of dates" and were once reserved for Moroccan royalty and their guests.  And through some miracle, I found them in the produce section yesterday at Safeway!  I grabbed a couple dozen juicy dates, a package of mascarpone cheese, and some thinly sliced prosciutto, and headed home to try and recreate the Komi magic.

Click below for the recipe!

Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Garlic Basil Oil

Last night, I was simultaneously 1) craving pasta and 2) trying to figure out how to use up the three tomatoes that have been sitting in my veggie crisper for the last week.  Fortunately, had the solution:  Pasta with fresh tomato sauce and garlic basil oil!  I've actually been eying this recipe for a couple of weeks, as it is seemed simple enough to prepare (and cheap!), yet still managed to be a step above your typical tomato sauce.  As an added bonus, it provides me with an elegant pasta dish I can serve to my vegetarian friends.

Click below for the recipe!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Homemade Pizza Company

Homemade Pizza Company opened its Logan Circle location (1522 14th Street NW) today!

Homemade Pizza Company makes, well, homemade pizzas that you can pick up and take home to bake (they also have seven really delicious salads, cookies and ice cream).  HPC has stores in Illinois, Minnesota, and D.C. and uses really fresh, top-notch ingredients.  You can select one of their 12 "favorite pizzas," which include fun choices like their B.L.T. (hickory-smoked bacon, fresh spinach, aged Parmigiano-Reggiano, fresh garlic, and tomato sauce) or the Georgia (cumin-scented Santa Fe chicken sausage, poblano peppers and Ricotta cheese).  These favorites generally run about $17-$19 for a 14-inch pizza, or $15-$17 for a  12-inch pizza.  You can also build your own pizza from a list of 45 ingredients. 

Click below to read about my adventures in Upper Northwest!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Maple-Brined Pork Chops, Brussels Sprouts, and Baked Potatoes

Tonight was a banner night in my little cave, dinner-wise. Tonight, I gave into my Filipino instincts and had a glorious, pork-focused dinner...Since Monday was a federal holiday, I took the opportunity to make a recipe that I've been scoping for a few weeks, Maple-Brined Pork Chops. We try to eat a balanced meal over here, so I decided to add in some greens with Bacon Brussels Sprouts, and a starch with some baked potatoes.

Click below for the recipes!

Avocado and Arugula salad

If I had started this blog a few months ago, you can bet that I would have blogged the hell out of mine and Mark's trip to Chicago at the end of October. We basically ate our way through the city, including stops at two of Chicago's best restaurants, Blackbird and Frontera Grill. We also stopped in at one of Mark's favorite restaurants, Cafe Ba Ba Reeba. As wonderful as those meals were, the one dish that I took back with me and have included in my regular repertoire of meals is a very simple and delicious salad from organic pizzeria Crust, located in Wicker Park.

It doesn't get a whole lot easier than this: Toss a bunch of arugula in good quality olive oil, top with slices of avocado, shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, and a few croutons, and finish with a squirt of lemon juice and a sprinkle of sea salt. The original uses Pecorino Romano, which is a little sharper and stronger, but as I'm more likely to have Parm in my fridge than the Pecorino, I use that. I love this salad with a bowl of soup for lunch, or as a lighter element with a hearty dinner.


For the past four years, I have lived in the best neighborhood in the city. I love Dupont Circle - I have everything I need within a four- or five-block radius: Soviet Safeway, Whole Foods, CVS, and multiple coffee shops, dry cleaners and liquor stores. More relevant to this blog, 17th Street offers a slew of decent food options, which is a blessing when I'm exhausted and hungry after a long day of work.

Over this four-year span, I've tried almost all of these eateries at least once, with one notable exception. Komi, the six-year old restaurant of Johnny Monis, has ruled Washingtonian's 100 Best Restaurants List for the past two years...and happens to be less than half a block away from my apartment.

Click below to read about what we ate!


This is yet another post I've had in reserve for awhile. Now that I've started this blog, I'll try to include photos where I can. And I think I may have taken more photos at Liberty Tavern, too. But that was months ago, and well, now they've disappeared. Stupid procrastination. Anyway...

Mark and I are anniversary people. As in, we celebrate each month. Lame, you say, celebrating month anniversaries? That’s…fair. But we really just use it as an excuse to go out to a fancy restaurant. Initially, for our six-month anniversary, we had planned to go to Teatro Goldoni, a much-touted Italian restaurant downtown. However, confronted with the torrential rains and shockingly cold winds outside, the relative expensiveness of our first choice, and slightly dampened spirits after watching the Phillies lose Game 2 of the NLCS to the Dodgers, we decided to keep it closer to home and headed to Urbana, a restaurant/wine bar in Dupont Circle, on P Street. Urbana is located on the ground floor (sub-street level) of Hotel Palomar and is much bigger than I expected, but it still manages a cozy elegance that strikes just the right note for a rainy night outing.

Click below to see what we ate!

Liberty Tavern

I've actually had this little write-up in my pocket for months. But until the new year came around to kick-start my motivation, I didn't have anywhere to post it...

One night this fall, Mark and I ventured across the river into Arlington. Normally, I try to avoid doing this at all costs, as one of the basic assumptions underlying my zombie apocalypse survival plan is that I will be in the District when it starts.* However, I had missed my last two book club get-togethers, and believed I was in danger of being ousted, so Mark and I decided to make a night of it (Virginia Is For Lovers, after all). It all worked out for the best, actually, as he went to write at a coffee shop while waiting for me to finish up chatting with the ladies. It was a beautiful night, so we took a short walk over to Liberty Tavern, a bustling restaurant just off the Clarendon metro station.

Click below to read more!

An Introduction.

I've always wanted to start a food blog. I previously started a workout blog, which was successful for, oh, about 30 days. The problem is, I wasn't working out every day, and even when I did, I had a hard time coming up with fun and interesting things to say about the 4th day in a row I hit the treadmill. Or the 7th time I slogged through one of my multiple Jillian Michaels workout DVDs (what - this time, I used 5 pound weights. Whoo!).

That is not the case with food.