Friday, May 7, 2010

Wonderful Eats for a D.C. Finale

Tonight is my last night in D.C. until August and as I sit on my couch watching the "Sex and the City" movie (who is excited for number two?!?!) with my roommates, my stomach is happily remembering the past few days in food. Cinco de mayo is collectively our favorite holiday, so shortly after I got home from my last day at Ping Pong, we started making a feast for eight. On the menu were refried beans, spanish rice (Near East works wonderfully), sour cream, shredded Monterey jack cheese, tortilla chips, tomato and peach salsas and fajitas with red chile tortillas.

The key for optimum fajita flavor is caramelization. For the fajita fillers I used one red, one yellow and one orange bell pepper, one sweet onion and a large zucchini, all sliced with a julienne cut. I also added some chicken that we had in the fridge, but you can definitely omit the meat here. Grease your pan with a tablespoon or so of canola oil and get that thing hot (medium-high heat). Place your onions flat down into the pan to sear and immediately reduce the heat to medium. As much as you might like to peek, do not touch or move the onions at all for 5 minutes, this is where all of that beautiful brown stuff will come into play!

At this point you can add some garlic or paprika to the pan if you would like, and once you've turned the onions, you can begin to add the other vegetables flat down as well. You can make the heat a bit higher as you begin to add more vegetables and then lower the heat again slightly once they've seared just so that they do not burn (if you are adding a meat, cook it in a separate pan). Caramelize your vegetables and watch as even the weariest boys gobble them down:

On Thursday Tina and I went for an early dinner at Founding Farmers with two friends. I love, love, LOVE this restaurant for many reasons. In my opinion, if you eat with your eyes, your mouth can certainly water a bit from some great interior design. This place has got a beautiful bar right smack in the middle of the restaurant with wooden medicine cabinets lining the walls and jars of preserves on metal stacks at the entrance. The stairs leading up to the second floor of the restaurant run parallel to plastic birds on the ceiling that have light bulbs between their wings:

We ordered the Ramos House Fried Green Tomatoes as an appetizer for all, which comes with a goat cheese and homemade green goddess dressing. This appetizer is lightly-fried but thickly coated perfection all wrapped in the cutest parchment paper vessel:

For dinner Tina and I split the Lobster Macaroni and Cheese with creamy, ooey gouda and lemony accents. This is definitely a dish to share (and to go to the gym for later!):

Today my roommates and I went to Georgetown with several friends. Transportation time took longer than anticipated so we were all pretty darn hungry when we arrived at Dolcezza. I went there with Will two years ago directly after his time abroad in Argentina, and I definitely trusted his opinion on the authenticity of their Argentine treats.

The spot has about 20 flavors of gelato on hand at any given time along with cafe beverages and dulce de leche-filled treats such as churros and alfajores:

I ordered avocado honey orange and blood orange flavors, I always love avocado in desserts:

I also got an alfajor which can only be described as salty, milky, gooey, soft (OK, it can be described in many ways, but it is hard to identify just a few!):

None of us had eaten lunch so we stopped into Puro Cafe just across the street from Dolcezza for some afternoon snacks. My Grand-Little in Alpha Kappa Psi, Kayden, works for a marketing company called Tasty Concepts which is doing marketing work for Puro. We ordered our food and Kayden pointed us to the beautiful courtyard. I typically don't do dessert before lunch but it was just one of those days!

I got some flat breads with extra virgin olive oil and mozzarella for dipping:

Their cushioned backyard area with flowy fabrics is a calm spot to relax with good food and drink. A great way to end a fantastic semester in D.C.!

Tomorrow morning I will be heading back home with my dad where I will continue to share my food adventures with you all!

With health,


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Week of Epic Food

In the midst of procrastination Saturday night, my roommates and I planned out our week in food:

Monday: dinner at Chef Geoff's
Tuesday: day in Alexandria with lunch at Bittersweet Cafe
Wednesday: Cinco de Mayo feast for dinner
Thursday: late lunch/early dinner/cinco recovery at Founding Farmers
Friday: Dolcezza Artisnal Gelato and Georgetown Cupcake for mid-day treats

This is what most people do, right? Plan out what they're going to eat a week in advance? Anyway...

Thinking of future eats typically gets me out of a rut so as I completed my last final yesterday and handed it in, I immediately thought of the light at the end of the tunnel; dinner at Chef Geoff's. At a restaurant that is always delicious and innovative, I decided to be boring and order my Chef Geoff's standard, an Asian Salmon Burger. Perfectly crisp on the outside and soft and seasoned on the inside, the burger is topped with thin slices of cucumber, pieces of pickled ginger and just the right amount of wasabi mayonnaise. I opted for a salad of mixed greens as a side:

Before dinner Rebs made these Sprinkles red velvet cupcakes (a special thank-you to my friend Kayden for buying me the mix!). We waited until after dinner to frost them and ate them happily while watching "The Real Housewives of New Jersey." A beautiful end to junior year of college.

Today we ventured out to Alexandria's King Street for a late lunch and candy fix. For lunch we went to Bittersweet Cafe, a spot serving up a hot buffet, a slew of sandwiches and some whimsical desserts. They are most known for enormous quart-size servings of lemonade (the one I got is about half the size of the quarts!) , which is definitely thirst-quenching on a sunny day. I had a wrap with chicken, veggies and spicy Thai peanut sauce

After lunch we made our way down King Street toward the waterfront and stopped into Candi's Candies, a candy shop with every confection imaginable plus about 50 different flavors of salt water taffy. Here's Rebs in the store with the longest gummy worm of all time (note the barrels behind her, they're all topped with taffy!):

Along with some taffy I got this all-natural marshmallow wrapped in caramel. It was so good!

The waterfront was so beautiful:

Tomorrow is my last day at my internship with Ping Pong until September and I can't wait for Cinco de Mayo celebrations at night (I am making fajitas with all of the fixings)! I will be back on Friday for our fiesta recap plus what is sure to be a delicious meal at Founding Farmers and more!

With health,