2015 Cleanse Menu

Sun: Mahi Mahi with smashed white beans plus sauteed chard stems ... the white beans were really good. The rest...

Mon: Barley Risotto (a favorite from last year) with roasted celery root

Korean Kale Slaw

Thanksgiving 2014

Collecting our t'giving meal recipe selections:

Cajun and Creole Menu for Feb 9 2014

Sat: Gumbo w/ white rice
Sun: Shrimp Étouffée
Mon: Blackened Red Snapper w/ dirty rice
Tues: Po Boy Salad
Wed: Leftover gumbo
Thus: Shrimp and Grits
Fri: Leftovers Etouffee

Etouffee (served)

Even more food links

Going overboard on Coffee:

Cocktails that balance an overly woodsy whiskey:

Far too many cocktail menus look like this:

Microwave-bowl-chocolate-cake: Wrong, but just maybe also right?

XMas Dinner 2013

We experiment a bit with our xmas dinners - while the Thanksgiving menu is well locked-in with the annual turkey and dressing with sides, we don't feel as bound to repeating that for xmas. Last year, we tried goose, but ... well, let's say we didn't instantly adopt it as a tradition. This year, we're going with duck confit:

Duck leg confit with spicy pickled raisins

Brussels Sprouts with chestnuts (not a repeat dish)

Beets with citrus and nuts

Hot rolls

And for dessert, a classically over-complicated Cook's Illustrated French Apple Cake

Duck Leg Confit

Thanksgiving 2013 Menu

We hosted good chunks of both sides of our families for this year's Thanksgiving, serving a total of 10 people! I promise that the 78-item week-of to-do list was epic. I will neither confirm nor deny that we used a project management tool to keep it under control.

Turkey and Dressing with Gravy (17 lb turkey)

Cranberry sauce (3 bags worth)

Dinner rolls (1 recipe)

Potato Latkes (~5 lbs potatoes)

Raw kale and brussels sprouts salad (4x recipe)

Steamed romanesco broccoli (1 large head)

Quinoa and butternut squash (1x recipe)

and for dessert...

Elaine's lemon meringue pie (1 pie)

Maurine's pumkin pie (1 pie)

Sharon's pound cake (1 cake)

Turkey and Dressing 2013

food science link roundup

Food hacking links

One day, I'll find a drink interesting enough to get me to buy a bottle of Cynar:

Salt and cocktails:

Smoke and cocktails:

Useful ratios for cooking:

Graham crackers, disguised as homemade cinnamon toast crunch:

Foodie dice:

Menu for September 16th

Mon Salmon and tomato/olive salsa w/ Moroccan Carrot Salad
Wed brick chicken w/shallot sumac yogurt sauce and peavine side-salad
Thus wheatberry salad, pita


Cocktail Science Wrap-up

5 cocktail science myths: - ice, shaking, eggs and more.

Making a perfect Ramos Gin Fizz:

Food hacking roundup: non-stick and summer pitcher cocktails

Great "pitcher" cocktails / mized drinks for groups:

Different approaches to fried eggs:

Season your non-stick to extend its life:

Week of March 10: Caribbean Week

Sun - Jerk Chicken with Macaroni Pie and Pepper Slaw
Mon - Leftover Jerk Chicken w/ Rice and Peas
Tues - Salad w/ Shrimp and Mango
Wed - Jamaican coconut soup w/ Rice and Peas
Thus - Macaroni Pie
Fri - Leftovers


Food and Drink Gadget roundup

Hacking home carbonators: "to make herb-infused sparkling wine, newfangled sangria, heady cocktails and nonalcoholic — but intoxicatingly delicious — sodas."

A good, egg-whites-and-everything, sour recipe:

Wine pairing chart:

Sous-vide without the machine:

Menu for the week of Feb 10

A busy week, in the culinary-options world. Audrey's traveling, so no need to go crazy on valentine's themed meals, and we've just done a lot of Chinese and Asian themed weeks, so the Chinese New Year is out as a theme as well. That leaves simply Mardi Gras:

Saturday - Baked Oysters with Bacon and Leeks

Gumbo and bread

Bizarre Foods Roundup

Thai Thasting Menu

We needed to explore a few menu options for an upcoming dinner party, as well as test out DC's ability to supply ingredients:

Saturday: Night out at Eden Center and nearby grocery stores

Sunday: Steak (it was warm in January!)

Monday: Yellow Chicken Curry with rice

Tuesday: Leftovers

Wednesday: Salad night (som dam?)

Thursday: Pad Thai

Friday: Tofu Coconut Soup

Thai Yellow Curry

Food (and drink) link roundup. Mostly Drink.

Epic molecular mixology:

Hot-and-cold Gin Fizz from El Bulli:

GoodBooze comes out with an entire section on gin:


The make-your-own list:

Make your own bitters from this recipe database:

Food Science link roundup

The history and science of the meringue:

Innovative cake pans: Orange peels.!7324/chocolate-cake-baked-in-an-orange

Carmelized onions in 15 minutes, without cheating:

Using unwanted wine in cocktails:

Food Hacking link roundup: Up in Smoke edition

Cold smoking using a normal grill:

Flavoring your wood chips: (I kinda do this with my Brisket)

A reminder and guide to calibrating stove and grill thermometers:

Food Hacking: Wine tricks and Lobster Anesthesia Edition

Save a bad wine by turning it into tasty jelly:

Tired of digging out the foil cutter? Twist and pull it off. How did I not know this before? (

Easy packing for wine bottle protection - floaties:

Cocoa crumbs - French trend and tasty treat:

Menu for the week of July 1

Sunday - (Grilling steak - dry-aged for 4 days in the fridge)

Monday - Eating out at America Eats' last week

Tuesday - Fattoush Salad

Wednesday - Burgers and corn for July 4

Thus - Grilled spiced eggplant

Fri - Brick Chicken

Food Hacking Link Roundup

When you really need to grind pepper, you bring in power tools. Like your drill:

Pair grapes with asparagus? Sure: What about vinegar in cocktails? Why not:

Online food pairing map: (iPad app)

DIY Bitters?

Making your own bitters - I mean ... why not?

Tasty Ideas: Blog link roundup

Social kitchen brings us an intriguing tea biscuit tweak:

GoodBooze brings some spring cocktail ideas - this one, with strawberries and fizzy wine: and this one, with beer syrup (!)

Kitchen Hacking Link Roundup

Food Hacking Link roundup

Food Links: Bacon Hacking, Beer Politics, More Politics

Eight bacon "hacks" : (best hack: bacon cups). OK, one more bacon hack: homemade bacon salt: . OK, last bacon hack, a Cooks Illustrated method for using bacon paste (their term, not mine) to help chicken kabobs:

Another fun hack (or a disaster) - sous-vide cooking salmon in your sink:

The Georgian

In DC, we are at the peak weeks for stone fruit. Peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums. If it's a drupe, it's in season. For those of us with generally laughable growing seasons, this is pretty exciting. So, well, we might have gone a bit overboard in buying the past few weeks. We bought Marvin out of apricots the first week he had them to make jam for the winter, and keep ending up with, well, more peaches and nectarines than most sane people would try to tackle in a week.

A Tasty Breakfast

We came to the realization that if we want to preserve treats from this summer for the winter, then we need space to do that. We've done pretty well on our house-canned goods, but lacking a Freezer of Unusual Size (I don't think they exist), this meant we had to find uses for some items stored away in there currently.

Pan seared tamale breakfast with fresh fruit

Menu for the week of June 26

Sun: grilled whole rainbow trout, stuffed with lemon and rosemary, brushed with garlic scape pesto, with quinoa, grilled squash, and side salad of purslane and seabeans.

Mon : artesenal pizza w/salad on top
Tues: Gnocci in a brown butter sauce and side veg
Wed : Composed Salad w/ tuna
Thus: H St. / Art Walk
Fri : Baguette slices with heirloom tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, cured meats, cheese, olives, pickled mushrooms...

For the Record: Komi 5/28

  1. House-made brioche with smoked trout roe and greek yogurt
  2. Cured salmon with squid ink toast and raw pacific mexican whitefish with green tomato
  3. Raw scallops two ways - with coconut milk and with crumbled pistachios
  4. Burrata with asparagus and lemon breadcrumbs
  5. Egg ravioli with ramps and dried tuna flakes
  6. One-bite spanakopita
  7. Smoked fois gras with pea purée
  8. House-made half smoke with spicy tomato chutney, half sour pickle and beer
  9. Warm date stuffed with marscspone topped w olive oil and sea salt

Spring Menu: Week of May 21

Sunday night: grass-fed steak from Canales meats in Eastern Market

Monday: Fiddlehead fern salad with baked potato

Italian Week: Menu for the week of May 15

Sunday: Pizza with red sauce, fresh mushrooms and mozarella

Monday: Salad night

Tuesday: Spaghetti with lamb-sausage meatballs

Wednesday: Italian-style tapas featuring virginia cured ham prosciutto and pistacho pesto

Thus: Salad and Leftovers night

Menu: Asian week

We started the week with some oysters from BlackSalt, and then dived in to a full asian-inspired week.

Sunday was roll-your-own sushi, and we got playful with some fried wonton wrappers and seaweed salads from BlackSalt

Monday was steam buns using some leftover ham from the previous week, and steam buns frozen after making waaay more than we could eat in this recipe

Playful sushi

Menu: Southern Week

Sunday was glazed ham, using an overly complex glazing recipe which I'd not revisit. The addition of cardamom and other spices was intriguing, but over the top in the end.

Monday was gourmet mac-and-cheese, abusing the "cheese ends" bin from the grocery to great effect.

Tuesday was audrey's shrimp louis salad

We had various combinations of leftovers and winter veggies (brussel sprouts, kale, etc.) the rest of the week.

We're really tired of winter veggies.

Menu: Mediterranean

Sunday started us off with Braised Lamb Shank

Monday got us making all our various Mediterranean dips, and so Monday was dip night - tzatziki, drinker's choice, and hummus

Wednesday was shrimp saganaki

Thus we had brick chicken with salad and dips and grapeleaves.

Friday we went out the the Columbia Room and Coco Sala.

Menu: Mexico Week (January)

After getting back from a fantastic, super-long weekend away for the wedding of some close friends in Mexico, we wanted to keep the ball rolling with a week of Mexican-inspired dishes.

We spent the weekend gathering ingredients (thanks mostly to the mega mart at University and Piney Branch)

Lacquered Chicken in Classic Red Mole inspired by Rick Bayless, using this Mole recipe

Braising Short Ribs

The first fall menu

This past week was undeniably a fall week, and the best food options at the market reflected that.

Mon - Butternut Squash and ginger soup with a sage foam, alongside kale wilted with pancetta, dried cranberries and pecorino cheese
Tues - homemade butternut ravioli with a brown butter sauce and broccoli
Wed - More soup!
Thus - baked sweet potatoes and salad

Thirty Second Infusions

Dave Arnold just leveled me up with his article, Infusion Profusion: Game-Changing Fast ‘N Cheap Technique, which uses a iSi N2O powered cream whipper to infuse anything into anything in ~1 minute. I will have to try this...

Recent Kitchen Experimentation

On a whim, I bought a bunch of rhubarb at the farmer's market this weekend, figuring I could find a tasty recipe for it. I found a rustic rhubarb tart recipe at -- I made a few edits to their recipe, though. In the pastry, I used one whole egg instead of two yolks, and a flour mixture of 1 cup cornmeal and 1 1/2 cups flour. I didn't have any cream, so I just used 2% milk instead. In the compote, I added dash each of cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and a 1/2 oz of dark rum.

Spanish food week: July 18

Audrey got me a Jose' Andres cookbook for Channukkah, and we've barely cracked it. So most of these recipes are coming from there to put together a Spanish week:

Sunday: Seafood paella

Monday: Ajo blanco (a cold almond and garlic soup)

Tuesday: Chickpeas and Chorizo (via Tex-Mix

From Imitation to Authentic and Back Again: The Maraschino Cherry

We came into possession of a few pounds of fresh sour cherries (Hey, so, we went a bit overboard at the U-pick, OK? Audrey's currently canning 16 pounds of strawberry jam).

I've been googling about for ideas, and came across the concept (which I've latched on to) of creating homemade, HFC and Red-5 -free maraschino cherries. Authentic ones, as sour cherries and marasca (get it? marasca => maraschino?) cherries are not too disilimar. No, not the "authentic" ones like from the stores, or as described in ye olde southern housewife's bible of preserving, the Ball Blue Book.

What we currently think of as authentic Maraschino cherries is defined by a post-prohibition editing of history as "cherries which have been dyed red, impregnated with sugar and packed in a sugar sirup [sic] flavored with oil of bitter almonds or a similar flavor" (--

Compare that to the description of the 1912 USDA guidelines for the same: "Food Inspection Decision 141, issued in 1912 under the Food and Drugs Act of 1906, stated that "maraschino cherries" should be applied only to marasca cherries preserved in maraschino. This decision further described maraschino as a liqueur or cordial prepared by process of fermentation and distillation from the marasca cherry, a small variety of the European wild cherry indigenous to the Dalmatian Mountains."

That's downright D.O.C. And further; "Products prepared from cherries of the Royal Anne type, artificially colored and flavored and put up in flavored sugar sirup might be labeled "Imitation Maraschino Cherries" or, if there was no reference to "Maraschino," might be labeled to show that they are preserved cherries, artificially colored and flavored.""

The lowly imitation maraschino cherry is now the real deal, and we somehow lost the liqueur qualities at the same time.

Marasca Cherries (Image from wikipedia)

Would ya like some context to go with that?

My friend Esther is running a great blog on cooking, with a serious dose of political history and context over at Tex-Mix.

Taking Locavorism a bit too far?

This takes locavorism to its logical end:

This takes local tacovorism to new heights:

Arganica deal with Deals for Deeds!

If we didn't live so close to Eastern Market, we'd be ordering from Arganica pretty much every week. If you consider yourself a locavore in DC, they are the best source for a lot of the more difficult items to source at your local farmer's market, and the flour you can get from them is out of this world. Don't even get me started on the yogurt with the layer of cream on top they have. Arganica is a local business which is like a meta-CSA - you get local yumminess, what you order, delivered to your door, and support a local business who's changing the way you interact with your food. It's made of win.

And if you also support another local DC business, (think Groupon for Good), you get a 3 month membership for $40 - half off! Try it. You'll like it.

Fresh Chickpeas - Another Delicious Sign of Spring

Jon and I first had fresh roasted chickpeas about a month ago when spring first appeared in DC. At the suggestion of our waiter at Zaytinya, we ordered this dish which neither of us had had before. And it was delicious!!!

Today, for the first time ever, I saw fresh chickpeas for sale at Safeway (of all places), and so we got some and tried to replicate that delicious dish. The result</a href> was delicious.

Sauteed Chickpeas - before

Eat Local in DC: Linkdump

The Hill is Home put together a great set of links for eating locally: with a hat-tip to our favorite vendor, Arganica: . WeLoveDC takes local to a whole new level with what can best be described as lawnmower salad:

If you're road-tripping and want to keep things "local" , there's a great resource to find local favorites via boingboing

Nawlins Menu 2010

In celebration of Mardi Gras, we're focusing on N'awlins style food

Sunday: Shrimp, Chicken and Andouille sausage [[gumbo]] with dirty rice

Monday: Shrimp po-boys

Tuesday: Leftover gumbo and salad

Wednesday: Blackened Snapper

Thursday: Shrimp and grits

Greek Week (Feb 7)

This past week was a greek and mediterranean foods week. We had our favorite [[Brick Chicken]], a new lamb dish based on this roasted, stuffed lamb concept, but using the leftover grape/port reduction from this recipe, which has been taking up valuable freezer space. Regardless, the lamb didn't turn out all that exciting.

Indian food week (Feb 1)

We have a few core Indian dishes we've learned how to make pretty well; but they're not quite enough to fill a week. Each time we settle on an Indian food week, we try a new dish, with ... well, mixed results.

The new recipe this week was Mughal style lamb (stew) on saffron rice. We substituted fresh saffron pasta from Eastern Market for the rice. It was OK, but not really a "keeper" .

Indian meal with Naan

Arganica Week 5

We decided to add a second "trial month" to our Arganica membership. We repeated some favorites from earlier weeks and tried new things too. This week we received:

Plain Yogurt (with "yogurt cream" on top ... delicious)
Red Onion
Fresh Parsley
Hydroponic Lettuce
Lemon Poppy Scone
Polyface Farms Delmonico Ribeye Steak

... and a local food magazine.

Arganica Week 5

Italian Week (Jan 24)

Our Arganica order for this week brought us some pizza dough and fresh roasted garlic linguini and some organic cremini mushrooms.

Our menu for the week revolved around using those ingredients - naturally a pizza (Jon usually prefers to make his own dough, but that's time consuming and very messy), a shrimp scampi with the linguini, sauteed mushrooms, and creative leftover-ing.

Our First Arganica Delivery

Today we received our first delivery from Arganica, a DC-based local farm foods delivery business. Basically its a cross between a farmer's market and a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farmshare. They carry a broad list of produce, breads, cheeses, and prepared foods from a variety of local farms. They send you a list of products and prices on Monday, you choose exactly what you want to order, and they deliver it to your door on Thursday evening.

Arganica Week 1

Winter Drink Edition

My fall/winter pumpkin porter turned out well, and at our Xmas Eve party last night we also served Jamaican Sorrel (a hibiscus, ginger, and lemon rum punch), mulled wine, hot cider, and egg nog. The local blogs have been featuring other, more innovative winter/holiday libations available at our local bars:

DC Blog post round-up

The KC Pit BBQ truck makes the proudest, biggest-belt-bulked, thereifixedit-stylin' Texan BBQ master weak in the knees, by the Washington City Paper's rundown on it's specs, including walk-ins (freezer and fridge, dry storage, plasma TVs and a "separate, customized wood-smoke pit hidden behind the massive 18-wheeler."

What Shall We Do with a Green Tomater?

So it's snowing here in DC. Though it seems to do this every year, it remains a surprise to DC residents ... every year, causing panic on the level I associate with Texans who deal with this whole freezing precipitation problem less reliably.

My tomato plants didn't really get the memo about summer being over, so remain(ed) laden with tons of green tomatoes (and blossoms...). I tore them up this morning as the snow was getting started and now have a rather large pile of green 'maters to deal with. I'm already ripening some in newspaper wrappings in a closed off bag.

Menu for Week of November 8th

This week was another shot at a "Fall Harvest" menu. Unfortunately, a lot of our dishes just didn't turn out that great. We continue to struggle to find recipes for pumpkins that don't involve pies or ravioli (which we've already done).

Sunday - Roast Chicken with Roast Pumpkin

Monday - Buffalo Steak with Brussel Sprouts

Tuesday - Big Salad with Pumpkin French Fries

Wednesday - Steelhead Salmon (trout) with Lemon/Butter/Rosemary Sauce, with Kale and Brussel Sprouts

Thursday - Pumpkin Ravioli with Broccoli and Green Salad

Friday - Out to celebrate Jon's last day at YSA!


The local market has a ton of wonderful pumpkins that we're trying out recipes with. This week was the warty "Galeuse d'Eysines," which I think will get turned into something sweet (though the pumpkin fries weren't half bad).

Another Great Community Event - P&C Market

Fresh off the heels of last night's [[|community dinner]], tonight we went to a neighborhood roast pig / pot luck dinner at [[|P&C Market]].


On the Chemsitry of BBQ

ScienceNews goes over the myths and hidden facts about the science behind grilling. Sadly, in mainly focuses on the cancer-causing HCAs and ways to combat those without sacrificing the grill (marinades are handy here); and glosses over the chemical changes undergone at slow heat to make brisket divine.

Spanish Food week : Week of April 12

Sunday: Paella

Monday: Spanish-inspired Salad night

Tuesday: Spanish Tortilla using these two recipes

Irish Menu

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, we're having an Irish-themed week, with corned beef, Beef and Guinness pie, and more.

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