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Showing posts from November, 2010

Pittsburgh or Bust

Scott and I are finally doing what we've always talked about - making it to Pittsburgh for the All-Clad Factory Sale.

Yes, we are willing to drive 5+ hours after work on Friday to make it to Saturday morning's early bird sale, where select seconds of All-Clad cookware will be approximately 60 percent off.

Yes, we are tremendously cheap dorks.

Supposedly this is a BIG deal that only happens twice a year. There are groups on organizing field trips to this sale, and our Nashville blogger friend Lannae recommended it to us. We figure we might as well invest in some solid, well-made and long-lasting pieces instead of the nonstick Target-brand stuff we started out with as amateurs. Okay, maybe we're still amateurs, but we're pretty fair bargain hunters.

While we are there, Scott's researched all kinds of historic and city-planning related stuff for us to do. I just want to stay warm if possible (they're calling for the s-word - I can't even type it, but yo…

The Best Way to Keep Cannoli Fresh and Other Baltimore Stories

My mom and step-dad were up visiting for Thanksgiving and after gorging ourselves on turkey and the sites of D.C., I took them on a day-trip to Baltimore.

After a visit to my mom's favorite museum (she's a mosaic artist), we aimed for lunch at Rocket to Venus in Hampden. It was closed for lunch, but our trip up Charles St. wasn't for naught - we stumbled onto residents of 34th St. setting up their Christmas displays! This street is Christmas at its best, or worst, depending on your tolerance/interest in all things Christmas. Erin teases me for being a scrooge, but I have to admit, lights and what-not are nice at this cold and dark time of year.

After a brief walk through Hampden, we aimed for lunch at Kooper's Tavern in Fells Point. The tavern was most certainly open, with rowdy sports fans packing the bar and even spilling onto the sidewalk for fresh-shucked oysters. (My friend Gideon would have camped out right there for their Chincoteagues!) After some deliberati…

Over The Leftovers

Food emergency - I am officially out of Tupperware, glass jars, and any other method to store foods safely and soundly!

My fridge is a maze of random Thanksgiving this and that - search for the milk and you might topple over the turkey remnants. Hunting for cheese? You'll need to look past the takeout container of pizza, a hastily wrapped bowl of hummus, and a basketball-sized amount of stuffing that is - yes - stuffed into the largest container we own.

What's wild is that I have never been a fan of leftovers. Call me a Freshness Freak, but I grew up in a house where weeks-old glazed carrots formed a furry vest in the fridge before they would be removed. My mother is no slob, but she had a certain disregard for freshness - and she still does, as my gift (as a joke, but not really) to her last Christmas was to organize both her pantry and her fridge.

I like hot, fresh foods - there's just something dirty and a little gross about trying to reheat three-day old green beans or ri…

Vielen Dank/Muchas Gracias/Thanks a Bunch!

Pumpkin pie: baked. Cranberry sauce: cooled. Stuffing: in the slow cooker. Turkey: just a few hot minutes 'til it gets popped in the oven.

I have a feeling it'll be a tasty Thanksgiving dinner at Casa Adams. We hope wherever you are, you're well-fed and blessed. We thank you for reading, commenting, and supporting our endeavors - from blogging and beyond.

Happy Thanksgiving!

T-Minus One Day 'til Turkey Day

One little day until Thanksgiving! I should be working on well, work, but in my mind I'm going over the recipes I've culled, the lists I have made, the ingredients taking up space in the fridge and pantry, and wondering a little too obsessively if I have left anything out.

It seems to be all there...canned pumpkin, whole cranberries, a big-ass turkey breast, a bundle of fresh sage, and so forth and so on. My game plan starts this evening - printing out all my recipes, baking the pie and the cornbread so I can make the stuffing tomorrow, and fixing the fresh cranberry sauce so that's one less thing to do tomorrow. I thought about chopping some veggies, but I think they may discolor a little if I do it too early.

And the star of the show...the Gobbler. I need to do a little research on the recipe I selected and see if I need to rub it with seasonings the night before or marinate it or...yeah. I am kind of clueless about that big hunk of poultry in my fridge. Hopefully Google w…

Sticker Shock

It's surreal, y'all - Scott and I are now a one car household! What the what!

It all came down to money - we want to save more of it. No we will have waaaaay less of an insane car insurance premium and I now have no car payment. Also, we longer will suffer the embarrassment of being car twins. We went from double Matrices to ein silver Matrix.

I've always driven Toyotas, so I always gave my cars Japanese names - Yoko for my old green Camry, and Yoshi for my recently departed blue Matrix. Scott's not a fan of nicknaming his - I mean, OUR, silver Matrix - so when I pressed him for suggestions, he came up with...Momo, Japanese for peach. I kind of love it. What do you think? The other was a non-Japanese moniker - Dot, as in Dot Matrix. Kinda ridiculous, yes?

I think we're going with Momo.

Sidenote: To celebrate our newfound one-car-ness, we hit up Sardi's, our favorite Peruvian charcoal chicken joint in the area (so far.) Their churasco de pollo will cure what ails yo…

Friday Shout Out: Talking Turkey

If your Google Reader looks anything like mine lately, all you see is post after post after post on Thanksgiving recipes - what's hot, what's not, and what's just ridiculous - yes, I'm talking about you, Thanksgiving Turkey Cake!

Sick.So, while such a delight will NOT make it to my wee little kitchen/dining room table this year, or any year for that matter (though it is a time saver, you know, when you just can't be bothered with all the courses and the dirty dishes), I do have a plan.It involves a turkey breast, not the whole freakin' bird, as I will cook for four, not an Army. It includes a pumpkin pie - with a twist - a recipe from way down in Caldwell County, NC - a congregation member of one of my dad's first churches who had a way with pies. Also making an appearance - homemade gravy, cornbread stuffing per Scott's request, some green things like roasted veggies, green beans, and maybe a salad (can't get too healthy now, can we?), and some Par…

Survey Says: I Got Tagged

I feel 15 again...taking a survey as I was tagged by my good friend Beth at Peaches & Curry.

Like any good survey, there are rules:

1) Link to the person who tagged you.
2) Paste these rules on your blog post.
3) Respond to the following prompts.

4) Add a prompt of your own and answer it.
5) Tag a few other bloggers at the bottom of the post.
6) Leave “Tagged You” notices on their blog/Facebook. (I'm free from the shackles of FB, so y'all people are getting old school EMAILS.)
7) Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve written the post.

And I know you wait with bated breath for my answers, so here it goes.

1) The best investment you ever made:
Hmmm...well, I tend to be a bargain hunter, so big-ticket items I don't go for very often. One of the first things I do when I move somewhere new (and I feel like I've done it a LOT here lately) is march straight to the local library and apply for a library card. It's one of my favorite things to transport me to fascinating…

Timeless: Gary's Barbecue

Here's one mystifying, frustrating and yet occasionally beautiful thing about the Southern U.S. - change comes slowly. I find it even more beautiful when, after decade, some things don't change at all.

By this I mean Gary's Barbecue, an institution I grew up on in the 1980s and 90s in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. Its provenance is China Grove, NC - a funky-named place between Kannapolis and Salisbury, and pretty much in the backwoods where somehow, someway, the subdivisions and ho-hum strip malls invading the greater Charlotte area haven't caught up with little China Grove.

I hope they never do. I hope Gary's remains untainted by growth and development so it can continue as the best damn Lexington-style barbecue joint out in the middle of nowhere.
Anytime pork on a bun comes up in conversation, Scott's probably learned by now to tune out my odes to Gary's glory, in the nearly nine years (!) we've discussed the finer points of barbecue. He grew up…

Friday Shout Out: Cold Oven Pound Cake

This one's for my Grandmother Carrie, who died last Friday at age 93.

My grandmother wasn't flashy or overly free with her affections, but she was a woman of strong faith and well, she baked one hell of a pound cake.

It's not just any ol' pound cake - it's a Cold Oven cake, made by putting the cake pan in a non-preheated oven to bake.

I'm in the process of tracking her recipe down from one of my cousins, so for now, here's a similar one that you might find enjoyable. It makes for one of the most moist cakes I know of and results in a nice crust on top, too. She didn't add flavorings like almond or chocolate, but I am sure you could if you wanted that little something extra. I find that would be like gilding the lily, however.

Sometimes a simple pound cake can do so much - it brought our family a lot of joy and pleasure to rave over during holidays and special occasions, and now, it's a legacy - a token of a woman who's left us, but is still in our h…

Friday Shout Out: The Rice Is Right

Last night while dining at the Korean place and Washingtonian "Cheap Eats" pickLighthouse Tofu in Rockville, a discussion came up over cooking rice.

(Sidebar: I had bad Korean food once in San Francisco - beef tasted "off" and the hot tea was like licking shoe leather. Not good. Long story short, Lighthouse Tofu redeemed Korean food for me - beef bulgogi is now the jam. YUM. Get some.)

I can't seem to figure it out, but ever since I tossed out my non-stick cookware and switched to my All-Clad pot (the awesome one we found in the backyard of our first rental house in Nashville, but that's another story), rice at our house continues to be a rocky deal.

I've tried lowering the heat on our gas range or upping it just a tad. I've played with the water to rice ratio, now working with a one and a half cup of water to one cup rice situation. I've washed the rice in a strainer, even.

Sadly, sometimes the result is too sticky/gluey. Often the rice dried out a…

Down with OPB: Other People's Blogs

Ever get blog envy? Oh, come on, admit it.

Here's one you'll go green over - The Bitten Word. Presently, the twosome with taste list a compendium of 175 Thanksgiving recipes from 10 food 'zines.

If you're not inspired by their good works, maybe you should check your pulse, yes?

I'm thinking my dinner for four is going to be a tinge more interesting this year. Hurray for fantastic bloggers!

What A Dive

Sometimes you don't need ambiance. Sometimes you don't need a six page wine list. Sometimes you don't need small plates drizzled with some kind of prettified infused reduction sauce.

Sometimes you just want a beer. Or four. Plus food. Like a burger, maybe? And accompanied by something nice and fried - tater tots, perhaps?

Well friends, thanks to pal I.J., I found just what's described above - something that can only be called "A Dive Bar." Silver Spring's Quarry House - Monday Nights. A bevy of normal folks pack the place to enjoy half-priced burgers, dollars off all beers during Happy Hour. Happy indeed!

You know you're headed somewhere special when you take to the grungy stairs heading down to a 70-year old basement space under an Indian restaurant on Georgia Ave. Johnny Cash is on the jukebox and strings of colored lights and dimly lit sconces provide just enough light to make out the menu.

The beer list is impressive - they even offer Orkney Skull Spl…