- Drinks (84)
- Easy Indulgences (43)
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- Product Reviews (8)
- Recipes (185)
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As Michael Pollan hawks his book encourages people to get back into their kitchens, my mind wanders to simple treats that will let me spend more time outside in this beautiful spring weather. Maybe picnics are my inspiration or maybe it was a recent visit to Glen’s Gourmet Market in Dupont Circle. Newly opened in the former “secret Safeway” location at S and 20th Streets, this shop is certainly not a one-stop grocery experience. The deli and the produce suffer at the expense of super trendy food genres like sauces (hot, bbq, marinade) and things pickled. The store, which sells products produced “locally”–that is from NY to VA–also specializes in the ever-growing prepared food market.
Maybe Mark Bittman’s piece in the New York Times dining section warrants a small eye roll: boiled, salted edamame? Really? But then you remember that you haven’t made them in a year and they are super easy and yummy, not to mention a guilt-free salty snack. Bittman makes a few further suggestions for dressing them–toasted sesame seeds or garlic in peanut oil for example–that are worth a look if you’re over the plain prep. How about sautéing them in a little miso? (Side note: I once served them in the shell when interviewing possible roommates from craigslist. It wasn’t meant as a test, but the applicant who sat chewing the entire pod for what seemed like an eternity definitely failed.)
Bon Appetit’s October issue covers a topic near and dear to me: home entertaining. I got several great ideas from the editors, but they almost lost me with this weird punch recipe. Well, weird in that it calls for peaches, which have already disappeared from the market. Once I got past that oddness, there’s a great idea here. Andrew Knowlton uses a bundt pan to make a drink-specific ice ring for the punch. In this case fresh peaches and thyme, which is absolutely beautiful, but you could use anything–limes, pineapple, raspberries, or if it’s fall maybe…apples and cinnamon sticks.
One of the lead stories in the Washington Post food section this week is Tim Carman on local oyster farming. I found the article a little snoozy especially since I’ve had Rappahannock River oysters and they aren’t for me. Well, they weren’t until I learned the joys of deep-frying them. No need to work over tiny, salty New England gems or the milder West Coast beauties–unless you want to try this Oyster Gin and Tonic from Jose Andres–but this treatment works wonders on blander creek, river, bay varieties. And wow, what a lovely picture at the Post of the recipe I tested and will be making again this weekend.
As I’ve mentioned in the past I’m no expert when it comes to cheese. I tend to have my everydays (Muenster/US, Mozzarella/Italian, Ricotta Salata/Italian) and my party buys (Taleggio/Italian, Cambozola/German). I guess I’ve been influenced by my stint at Vivande Porta Via in San Francisco. It took an invitation to a Cheeses of France Marketing Council cocktail reception to get me out of my comfort zone and into a much happier place indeed. I learned that day that I can eat a lot of cheese, but more importantly I walked out with a list of wheels I’d like to see more of.
The June issue of Food & Wine has a little piece by Josh Dean on the luxury of experiencing Alaska by cruise ship–an option he says 60 percent of the state’s visitors opt for. I, too, have enjoyed the Holland America guide to Alaska, and if you are wondering if you are really the “cruise type,” I have two words for you: taco bar. That’s right, at nearly any hour you can fix yourself a taco poolside. And at that very moment you smack your lips and look around, imagining that there might be a cold beer nearby, a waiter materializes to confirm it.
If you are like me, you find a stocked cheese case intimidating. I usually glide past it at Whole Foods and hit up my stand-bys: smoked mozzarella or a hunk of Muenster. These are also cheeses that lend themselves well to devouring in the kitchen while unpacking the other groceries. For dinner parties, I will linger by the full cheese case sniffing plastic-wrapped options that are unrevealing about their nature. Eventually I ask someone for help, but the fact that they never suggested Port Salut is evidence that I was being steered to their personal favorites or worse the blocks they want to move.
Just back from a trip to Oregon, and I was struck by how all the trash cans say “waste” in big letters. There’s a judgement implied there, I believe. And I’m never more sensitive to excessive waste than after a day of travel–the number of untouched napkins headed for the dustbin is appalling.
It’s a big weekend for fire. Hand-in-hand with the blaze is the humble, classic s’more. I’ve never been a huge fan; they are way too sweet for me. So, this weekend, I’ve enlisted an enthusiast to put us in touch with the cutting edge of Graham/marshmallow/chocolate.
Nuts! You’re late already for an afternoon barbecue and you are supposed to bring something but spent the day reading the Sunday Times instead of preparing. Bringing beer or wine is obvious, but, perhaps, you pride yourself on going the extra …