Saturday, October 31, 2009

Flavor Bursts

I owe it all to Aida (Food Network "Ask Aida") for this simple recipe with complex flavors.

I don't measure, but I used all of her ingredients, except the cheese. This burger achieved the most highly rated response from family, "Write it Down." Spinach in the burger, and pickled onions on top ...


The Movie-Group-Turned-Theme-Dinner-Group had a get together last night. While "The Men who Stare at Goats" is not released until next week, the theme for our dinner last night was goat.

Charles wins for the goat shank on the grill, but there were many worthy contenders:

Goat cheese topped with two chutneys over home baked bread
Baba Ghanoush made with goat yogurt
Mac 'n goat cheese
Wraps of veggies and goat cheese
Goat sausage
Goats do Roam wine

and super delicious ... sliced beets with goat cheese. These reminded me of Moon Pies - a slice of roasted beet topped with goat cheese and another slice of roasted beet drizzled with a marinade of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar (and more), then sprinkled with chopped fresh chives. Mmmmmm. Steve and Chris, you must post the complete recipe!

Sunday, October 25, 2009


We spent last week in Duck, NC.  Had to work all week, but working from the OBX is better than commuting to Arlington every day.

Vacation for me means cooking more, not less. One night I made a scallop pasta dish that turned out well. I started with a cream sauce -- basic -- butter, flour, milk, and nutmeg, then added some Parmesan. Crisped and crumbled some prosciutto but kept some out and sliced it thin. Seared the scallops with some of Tommy's Steak Seasoning.

Added the sauce to the drained pasta, sprinkled with more parm, and topped it with the scallops.

Not so good for my heart but it sure warmed my soul.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

B. Smith

Janine and I took mom to Union Station today to celebrate her 85th birthday (a couple days late). It was great to hear mom, and watch her face, as she recounted her trip from Wolsey, SD to Washington, DC oh, about 67 or 68 years ago. She arrived at Union Station, alone, straight from the farm, and marveled at the height of the ceilings and the number of people. Her sister wasn't there to meet her, so she shared a taxi with five other people (!) and paid the outrageous sum of $1.25 to get to her destination.

We shopped a bit and then had lunch at B. Smith. I've wanted to go there for quite some time. I'm a fan of fried green tomatoes and I'd heard theirs were very good. Unfortunately, they put goat cheese and a red pepper puree on top which overwhelmed the pure, tangy snap of the tomato. I've decided that fried green tomatoes are to be enjoyed without fru-fru (is that how it's spelled?).

Janine had a spinach salad - I had a bite and it was good but I wasn't impressed. I had the jambalaya because the server said it was spicier than the gumbo - though I still had to ask for hot sauce to perk it up. Having to add the sauce was disappointing but the hot sauce itself was GREAT! Must see if I can recall the name ...

Mom had a crab cake that she enjoyed but didn't seem ecstatic about. We all shared a side of mac and cheese that was out of this world delicious! Just the right combination of creamy and tangy.

Even though the overall experience wasn't wonderful, I want to go again. I think a leisurely evening meal of several courses is what is required to get the most out of B. Smith's.

And as important as the quality of the food, they passed my "Where is the restroom?" test. The server did not point dramatically across the restaurant and yell that I should go to the far wall, past the pillar, and it would be on my left. Instead, she said in a soft but clear voice, "Please follow me," and then led me to within about 8 feet of the door and nodded. That experience alone tells me that this is a restaurant I want to go back to!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

First CSA Box

I picked up my first Community Supported Agriculture harvest yesterday. I was pleased and disappointed -- pleased with the variety and freshness - disappointed with the head of cabbage the size of New York. I don't have the time or energy for sauerkraut and my other favorite cabbage recipes will account for 1/100 of this monster.

Help! Recipes gratefully accepted.

I hope there isn't another cabbage next week.