Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cooking up a storm

Things my mom has made in preparation for the hurricane: 

 Blueberry muffin mix
Oatmeal
 Turkey bacon
 Vegetable soup

Ahh,it's good to be home.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Foodie's Emergency Food Supply

Photo by NASA Goddard Photo on Flikr
Hurricane Irene has not only done damage along the coast, but it will also do serious damage to our food supply and my stomach. In preparation for the storm, and loss of power, I've been doing some thinking... what kind of foods will last in this hurricane?

Here are a few good ideas of things to keep around the house, some of which you may have to prepare before losing electricity:

1) Bacon. Fry it up while you still have power and bacon can last for days outside a refrigerator. Use bacon in a BLT (no fridge needed for bread, lettuce or tomatoes) and you can eat like a King.

2) Cheese. Without preservatives, cheese is perfectly fine at room temperature -- just know that it might get a bit sweaty in the heat.

3) Eggs. You may be surprised by this one, but eggs do not actually need to be refrigerated. In fact, in Europe you regularly find eggs on the grocery store shelf far away from a fridge or a cooler. If you're lucky enough to have a gas stove that can light without electricity, feel free to eat eggs fried or scrambled till your heart's content. Otherwise if it's electric, boil eggs ahead of time and keep them in the shell. They'll be fine at room temperature as long as you peel them when you eat them.

4) Iced tea. Boil hot water and steep tea bags while you have power. The tea can cool while you are without electricity. It may also be a good idea to keep some ice in a cooler for whenever and whatever you need it.

5) Peanut butter. If all else fails, slap a scoop of peanut butter on a piece of bread and, "viola!" You just made yourself a 5 year old's regular school lunch! Most kids love it and, in a storm, so will you!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Firefly

Photo taken by Mr. T in DC and is available on Flikr

For restaurant week, a group of coworkers and I journeyed to Firefly for a price fixed menu at a fancy DC spot. The setting was very cool as there's a tree trunk standing right in the middle of the restaurant. Although the place is dimly lit, the lights on the tables are placed in mason jars giving off a firefly glow -- a look that makes the space feel both outdoorsy and smart.

We all ordered our dishes off the price fixed menu of $35 for an appetizer, entree and dessert. Although our fabulous waitress (she was so friendly!) would honor most of the other plates off the regular menu, the six of us chose dishes that were special for this week. For my starter I ordered a creamy gazpacho soup, which I thought was nothing special despite nearly licking my bowl, while the other girls had beet salads with goat cheese (amazing, although small), a blue cheese wedge salad and the matzo ball soup (random, I know).

For my entree I had the lamb shoulder over pappardelle pasta, which was far too rich for my taste, and the other girls ordered the crispy soft shell crab, pan roasted halibut and the gourmet hamburger with a fried pickle.


What I really liked most about this place was the atmosphere and the great drinks – their cocktails of sparkling cranberry juice and mason jars of mint-juleps were pricey, but definitely the best part. Unfortunately, I thought the food was fairly average and that the appetizers were slightly too small. But if I were to recommend one thing on the menu for visitors not to miss, it would be the French fries fried in truffle oil. I couldn’t keep my hands off those things, and they were on someone else’s plate. They were delicious and I would recommend them to anyone who might want to stop in for a drink or two. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Recipe: Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes

Breakfast is one of those meals where you wake up and know exactly what you want to eat. At lunch or dinner you can hum and haw over a menu indecisively torn between chicken or fish. But no, not at breakfast. You wake up and know exactly if you want eggs, cereal or leftover pizza. 

That's why this morning I woke up and knew exactly what I wanted to make: whole wheat blueberry pancakes. I've been changing the recipe in small ways over the past few years, but this morning I think I finally got down the right ratios. 

Recipe
2 large eggs
2 cups skim milk
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup white flour
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon (optional)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 box fresh blueberries
In a large bowl I mix together all my dry ingredients (white flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon). I then beat my wet ingredients with a whisk in a separate bowl (eggs, milk, honey and vanilla). After each one is blended, I pour my wet mixture into my bowl of dry flour.

Once it's blended, I add butter to the pan and spoon my pancakes onto the griddle. Using a 1/4 measuring cup they tend to come out the same shape and I can usually fit four on at a time.

CAUTION: Make sure your pan is hot! If it's not hot enough at the start, your first pancakes will come out like a soggy mess.

Once the pancakes start to bubble, add some blueberries to the wet side (you can also add it to the mix if everyone likes them) and flip them over. They should be golden brown when you take them off. Voila!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Beautiful food blogs

I've been reading a number of food blogs recently to gain some inspiration for my own and I have to say, there are some beautiful ones out there with some fantastic photography. Here are a few of my new favorites:
Photo by thezartorialist.com on Flikr

La Buena Vida -- Beautiful food and landscape photos from a Brooklyn based photographer. Take a look at her fresh produce,flower bouquets and restaurant shoots.

canelle et vanille -- Another talented photographer that recently posted about a summer picnic to inspire anyone wanting a sweet lunch in the outdoors. It's amazing how she can make a simple bowl of fresh berries and yogurt look so good on camera.

Eat Drink Chic -- A professional style blogger (a term I hadn't heard before) shows off her love for pretty designs, pretty foods and pretty things. A recent favorite post of mine is her DIY - Ice Cream Parlor that made me want to create an event just so I could put this on for friends.

Do you have any favorite food bloggers? Feel free to share them below!