The theme of this episode is France, or more particularly Paris, where I went for a few days while abroad last semester in London. Here I am with my friends Emily, Jeff, Rebs and Brian attempting to look "fierce" in front of the Eiffel Tower:
I got the recipe for the French bread from Jenn Hall at All Recipes. Below is the original recipe, which makes two loaves of delicious French bread:
o 6 cups all-purpose flour
o 2 1/2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
o 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
o 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
o 1 tablespoon cornmeal
o 1 egg white
o 1 tablespoon water
Follow the directions at the link above to make two loaves, or split the recipe in half for one. Either way you will feel very proud of yourself for baking homemade bread! (And the people you share it with will be pretty happy too :) )
French Green Bean Salad
o 1 pound French green beans, or haricot verts
o 1/2 clove shallot, thinly sliced
o 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
o 2 tbsp. lemono Salt and pepper to taste
Boil green beans in a pot with a bit of salt for 5-7 minutes and then blanch in a bowl filled with cold water and ice, and drain. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sliced shallot, lemon, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and pour the dressing over the green beans. Serve alongside your favorite cheese fondue or roasted potatoes.
o ¼ Pound gruyere cheese, shredded
o ¼ Pound Swiss cheese, shredded
o 2 tbsp. flour
o 1 cup apple organic apple juiceo 1 tbps. lemon juice
o 2 cloves crushed garlic
o ½ tsp powdered mustard
o 1 tsp salt
Shake shredded cheeses and flour in a large plastic bag to coat. In a pot, bring apple juice to a boil and reduce heat to low. Add in crushed garlic, lemon juice, powdered mustard and salt and slowly begin to fold in the cheese. Fold in a handful at a time until cheese is melted and entirely smooth. Serve with apples, bread or other items for dipping.
Here are Seth and Mike eating their fondue after the shoot!
Now onto my family weekend! Here I am with my cousins Mary, Michael and Greg and my brother, Blake, on the American University campus:
I am very lucky to be a part of a "foodie family" that let me choose where we would go for dinner each night! On Saturday night we all went to Neyla, which is a Lebanese restaurant in Georgetown. Not only is the food super flavorful but they offer a nice selection of vegetarian dishes and have an entire page of their menu devoted to small plates that you can combine to create your own mezza platter. We ordered 15 mezza dishes between the 13 of us (plus a few more after the first round!) including hummus, pickled vegetables, chicken shawarma and tabouli:
My favorite mezza plate was one which my Aunt Barbara suggested called Mouhammara, which is a smooth mixture of roasted red pepper, walnut, pomegranate molasses, lemon and olive oil:
Most of us ordered a homemade lemon and mint drink that is seriously addicting. It comes out like a granita and melts as you drink! I had to step outside to take this picture because there was not enough light where we were seated haha:
Just as our meal was winding down, the music was turned up and a belly dancer appeared. My cousin Michael was apparently too distracted by his video game to watch the woman dancing around him:
Everyone had their heads down from laughing because this went on for a good minute or so before he looked up and said, "What?" Dinner was followed by a Lebanese milk, dough and pistachio dessert that was paired with pistachio ice cream and was then followed by crashing at the hotel after such a long (but fun!) day.
It pains me so to look at these pictures and to think of the delicious, fresh, Lebanese bread (pocket-less pita bread, kind of like Naan but softer) we ate at Neyla because tonight was the start of Passover. Tonight we had a small seder in my apartment to celebrate the holiday and I am actually looking forward to the bread-less, oat-less, rice-less things I come up with to eat this week. Tomorrow I am going to back track a bit and tell you about the unsuspecting place where my family ate lunch on Saturday and share with you one of my all-time favorite Passover foods!