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Showing posts from May, 2010

Bad Day Made Better with Fancy Meat, Cheese

So yesterday evening started out pretty crappy, with one of the Hungry Times Two peeps coming home after a No Good Very Bad Day. Refusing to sign our evening off as DOA, I set about making a dynamite (said in the style of J.J. from Good Times) meal from a kitchen that, from all outward appearances, didn't seem to be chock-full of food.

Using Pam Anderson's (not that Baywatch one) book as my guide, I put together a pot of creamy grits with prosciutto, Parmesan and a little milk. I then chopped up for a salad some mixed greens, a Gala apple, toasted walnuts, an overwhelmingly stinky yet creamy hunk of Gorgonzola cheese, and cherry tomatoes. I also whipped up a pretty tasty dressing from olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a little OJ, and some Nature Seasoning (yes, of the Adams Family Seasoning Hall of Fame.)

I poured glasses of a much-deserved Chardonnay and we sat our beleaguered asses down to what I thought was a pretty sophisticated arrangement of bites that took just half an hour. …

Saltin' It Up

Confessional time: I often have issues with seasoning food. Especially with our friend the Salt Shaker.


Somehow I always oversalt the grits and undersalt pots of rice. I should just break down and carefully measure every time, I know. We have a big stainless steel shaker we use like this one and I tend to shake it like a Polaroid Picture a couple times over each dish as needed without
much precision.


Precision should be a concern for the folks at Mahatma, where they seem to be unaware that they're contributing to a lot of high blood pressure, and swollen ankles and ring fingers. Their yellow rice mix is off the charts with the salt! We made a pot of it last night and I could only eat about three bites of my serving before shoving it away.


I know many prepackaged foods are laden with sodium and, conversely, sugar. My sick days last week consisted of a meal or two of canned soup and for the first time I noticed Campbell's Tomato Soup is incredibly too sweet. Of course, my taste buds…

Friday Shout Out: Eh.

Yeah, still sick am I.

Well, I'm mobile and on the job at this point, as I couldn't handle another day confined to our wee apartment. "Cozy," they call it, when visitors see if for the first time.

No, it's freaking small, but thanks for that.

So....still sick and apparently a little bitchy too. My bad.

What will be today's shout out? I have no Earthly idea. How about....tea? Yeah, tea sounds good.

We drink a lot of it in our house and one of my lovely cubemates at work has started a tea stash for us to delve into. It's therapeutic and meditative, conjuring up images of gardens and little cucumber sandwiches and ladies in bonnets and gloves. Well, scratch the bonnets and gloves. I've got frizzy hair and uber-wrinkled clothes on today, but damn if I don't want a lot of tea to calm my cold and flu-ish symptoms.

Thanks, Chamomile, Throat Coat, Chai, Early Grey, Rooiboos, and other sorts of soothing yumminess in a bag. You're tea-riffic. (Bad pun. Blame …

Sometimes you just gotta' eat

I came home this evening to a curled-up sick spouse in bed, so remembering the many times she's taken care of me, I set about doing so for her.

I opened our pantry and found three cans of Campbells' tomato soup. This, plus a grilled cheese sandwich, is third-grade comfort food, so why shouldn't a 29 year old love it as well? Isn't that what we all want when we're miserable with aches, chills and sweats, to be taken back to third grade when when something as simple as soup would bring us comfort?

Despite soup's simplicity, I learned that it turns COMPLEX if you leave it on low heat and COVERED - a.k.a. Boil-Over Ready. I was focused on Italian sausages in another pan when I heard a sound I couldn't figure out. "How were the sausages making a liquid, gurgling sound .. OH YEAH, it's the rear burner with the soup boiling over, ya' dope!"

Lesson Learned: Leave soup uncovered, even when simmering.
Lesson Learned: Cooking six Italian sausages at …

Friday Shout Out: Domku

Beets. Gravlax. Dill. Cabbage. Not your usual fare, but such are the components of Scandinavian and Eastern European food, courtesy of the darling/funky restaurant Domku in DC's Petworth 'hood.

When a friend suggested we meet there last night, I assumed it might be a Sushi or Japanese steakhouse place. A quick check on the Interwebs proved me wrong: Swedish/Russian/Polish/Finnish/etc. is what it's all about.

Decor included chandeliers, oddball art on the walls that reminded me of Bosch or Van Eyck, light fixtures of precious wire wreaths of flowers and twinkle lights, and thrift store-esque mismatched tables and chairs. Shabby-Euro Chic, for sure.

Our salad of grated beet, carrot, apple and cucumber with a horseradish kick was very sharp, crisp and tangy. My dish of crepes with buckwheat and cheese were creamy and filling, while Scott's pierogis looked more like Asian wontons and were bland and not very substantial for his appetite.

Bonus points for the atmosphere and th…

Hummus Among Us

I don't remember the first time I tasted hummus, but I do know that I enjoyed it, wanted more, and haven't looked back since.

For those of you familiar with my food "deals," or "issues" as some might call them (hey, I'm not that picky), I refused to eat beans of any kind other than green beans for a good long while. As in most of my life. It was a texture thing - mushy.

On a similar note, I don't eat green peas. I hate it when places throw in peas to dishes just because they can - salads, soups, and the usual culprit - rice. Don't you mess with my rice, mmmkay?

So back to beans. Somehow I integrated chickpeas in to my diet via the hummus and eventually became okay with refried beans, which gave way to black beans about two years ago and even the occasional white bean and kidney type. I can now eat chili, which is major, and black bean salsas, salads, on the side, with rice...yeah. I'm converted.

I made hummus last night with one can of chickpeas…

Early Friday Shout Out: Serious Eats

(I'm doing this post early, as I will be sans computer at the beach in just one day. Yes, I am counting down the minutes til 5 pm!)

The oh-so prestigious James Beard Foundation recently awarded the Best Blog of 2009 to Serious Eats, a very cool site full of all kinds of exciting food news, recipes, photos, videos and more.

I added them to follow their posts and I am incredibly glad I did, or else I might have missed this gem: Peanut Butter Sushi. Yes, please.

I am a lover of peanut butter. I think it's genetic; my late dad, a man of zero culinary skills (not really his fault; he came from a Southern household and generation where women knew their place in the kitchen, thankyouverymuch), had one solitary game plan when it came to making something: a peanut butter sandwich.

Hell, he didn't even need the bread. Oftentimes, there would be four spoons resting in the sink, all covered in crunchy or creamy smears of peanut butter. Give the man a jar of Jiff or Peter Pan and he'…

No Crab for the White Girls

Apparently, there comes a time in every Caucasian's food experience when they're gonna get denied.

I'm talking about the ethnic food line in which us white peeps do not dare to cross. Our delicate vanilla taste buds just will not be able to handle it, according to the culinary gatekeepers to the ethnic realm.

Such was the case this weekend with a friend and myself, both of us of the Caucasian persuasion who consider ourselves fairly adventurous. We attended the most awesome Passport to DC Embassy Row tour, taking in the music, food, dancing and cultural offerings of the embassies of Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Brazil and Cape Verde.

Thailand had it going on, food-wise. While my friend and I watched a Thai cook prepare our papaya salad as she crushed all the makings in a huge mortar/pestle situation, we noticed a crock of black something or another on the food table. "What's that?," my friend asked. "Fermented crab. Not for you," was the reply.

We ki…