Tag Archives: 2013

Monthly Review: April 2013

I feel like April went by in a flash, where did it go?  Fortunately, it looks like spring is (finally) upon DC, and I’m looking forward to some warmer weather!  Check out what photos I have capture on my iPhone this month!

Interested what we did in the past?
2013: January February March
2012: May June July August November December

Monthly Review: April 2013 1

After running the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon in DC, I needed some new shoes.  For running apparel, one of the best places to go in DC (or Virginia) is Pacers.  After trying out a bunch I chose these Mizuno‘s- they’re probably a little flashier than I prefer, but fantastic to run in!  What races are others running?  Any favorites one’s you’ve done before?

While training for a full or half marathon it’s important to get some delicious food, here are some suggestions for great fueling: Garlic Hummus, Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, Fall Granola, Sausage, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole.

Monthly Review: April 2013 2

Spring days are the best for exploring new neighborhoods and restaurants.  Which is exactly what we did when we stopped by Union Market’s Rappahannock Oyster Bar- check out what we ate in our blog post recap!  I also mentioned Union Market in the March review, see what I got then!

Monthly Review: April 2013 3

I had a great Sunday night dinner party with some DC bloggers (Anne, Ericka, Sarah, Sarah, Amy).  Sarah, of Why Food Works, wanted to spread the word about her new business in DC, and we got to see how her dinner parties work.  Definitely check out the post-  Why Food Works: A Dinner Party, and call Sarah to book a fun Friday night activity!

Monthly Review: April 2013 4

This month was busy for our new house, we had a housewarming with our friends, a brunch housewarming with Sam’s family, and both of our families came to check out the new digs!  It was a little hard to choose recipes for people to snack and nibble on (so many choices)!  Here are some links to what we made for our visitors: Herbed Almonds, Cream Cheese and Arugula Baguette Bites, Mediterranean Turkey Balls with Herbed Yogurt Sauce, Creamy Ranch Dressing, Lemon Bars, lox and cream cheese, Smokey Quiche, No-Bake Coconut “Cheesecake”, vegetables, fruit.  What are your favorite go-to ideas when you host parties?

Monthly Review: April 2013 5

Thanks to some expert advice from Emily, we tried making a pizza on the grill!  So delicious- would anyone be interested in a post on how to do it?  What are your favorite pizzas?  Some of our creations include: Apple & Smoked Cheese on Whole Wheat and Mushroom & Broccoli Pizza.  The one in the photo above is actually a “clean out your fridge” pizza.

Monthly Review: April 2013 6

When my parents were visiting DC, we took a day trip to Annapolis.  As we wandered through the cute city, we stumbled upon Seasons.  It’s an olive oil and vinegar taproom- a way to sample delicious oils and vinegars.  After trying out some, we each bough a couple to try out in our salads!

Monthly Review: April 2013 7

Coincidentally, salads have been taking over our Food Matters Project posts!  But they are all so delicious!  Check out the Bulgur Wheat Mango Salad with Avocado (above) or the Spinach Cobb Salad with Caper-Anchovy Vinaigrette.  Or see what other recipes we’ve made from the Food Matters Project.

Monthly Review: April 2013 8

I went to Nashville, Tennessee this past weekend to run the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon.  Thanks to a great Food & Wine article and from Lindsay of Love and Olive Oil, we got some great food recommendations.  I’ll be doing a post about the delicious meals soon.

Monthly Review: April 2013 9

Lastly, while at the expo- we got to hear Kara Goucher speak and take a photo with her!  It was really exciting for all of us.  The girls running weekend turned out great, even though we had some crummy weather.  Thanks for an awesome time: Becky, Beth, Cassie, Katie, Katie, Lianne, and Sarah!  (two of these ladies are bloggers, so definitely check their blogs out for more Nashville fun)

Monthly Review: March 2013

Another month went by in a flash, hopefully spring is here!  Check out what photos I have captured on my iPhone!

Interested in what we did in the past?
2013: January February
2012: May June July August November December

March 2013 Review 1

Unfortunately, the month of March started off on a sad note for us.  One of our adorable kitties, Malcolm, passed away.  I realize not everyone feels this way, but to us the cats are like family and it’s difficult when they’re gone.  Thank you to all of our friends and family for the kind words, wonderful memories, and flowers.  We’ll miss you Malcolm!

March Review 2

I’m probably the last person to check out Union Market, but thanks to my friend Alix- I (finally) did!  After sandwiches from Red Apron Butchery, I also got some goodies for Sam.  Alix and Sam are pickle lovers, so thanks to her I was able to choose the best one’s from Oh! Pickles.  I also bought some fresh bread, from Lyon Baker, and a new beer from Cordial.  Have you been to Union Market?  If so, what’s your favorite place to eat at?

March 2013 Review 3

One early afternoon, Sam and I explored a new place- The Coupe.  It’s a 24 hour diner in DC.  Since then, I’ve also stopped by for coffee on a Saturday morning- lots of people coming in for brunch!

March 2013 Review 4

We also checked out a new gem in our new locale- El Chucho.  If you’d like to see what we ate and drank check out our El Chucho Review blog post!  What’s your favorite dish on their menu?

March Review 2013- 5

The 2 days before running races I like to make a giant pot of pasta.  Of course, I get bored of just red sauce- so I tried out a brussels sprouts mac ‘n cheese recipe.  Need other some new recipe ideas? Clams and Linguine with White Wine Sauce; Green Pea & Pancetta Linguine; Kale Lasagna; Lobster Mac ‘n Cheese; Mushroom Bolognese Fettucini; No-Cook Spaghetti Sauce; Provencal Pasta Sauce; Rigatoni with Vegetables, Figs & Blue Cheese; Sam’s Summer Pasta Sauce.

March 2013 Review 6

I ran in the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon!  This was my 10th half marathon!  Congrats to all the runners out there, and thanks to my friends Steph & Cassie for being great cheerleaders.  Unfortunately, Sam was unable to run- but as always, he was my best cheerleader out there!  I also celebrated by eating a couple of our Green Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting!

I’m excited for #11 next month: the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon in Nashville.  Anyone running that race?  Any Nashville recommendations?  It’ll be a fun girls weekend which includes my friends Becky and Lianne- make sure to check out how their training is going!

March Review 2013- 7

Welcome the newest member of our family at Fifth Floor Kitchen!  His name is Fuggles- it’s a type of hops used in British beer.  One of Sam’s hobbies is brewing his own beer, which is where we got the idea for this cutie’s name.  He’s a little less than a year old, and a very energetic little guy!  I’m sure he’ll keep Van Gogh (our other kitty) on his toes!

March 2013 Review 8

Every couple needs a date night.  Everyone needs a date night at Red Rocks.  It’s our favorite pizza place in DC, and you all should check it out (at least) once.  Above is the Roasted Eggplant pizza (roasted eggplant, goat cheese, pesto, parmesan).  You should all be happy I shared this classified secret with you!  ;)

March 2013 Review 9

I really enjoy having dinner dates with food blogger friends- I always get the great gossip about new restaurants, best dishes and fun events.  This past month Olga, from Mango & Tomato, and I went to Dukem.  I haven’t had Ethiopian in a long time, and it was nice to try a new spot.  Have you had Ethiopian?  If not, definitely give it a shot.

March 2013 Review 10

Thanks to Liza, of (a)Musing Foodie, and her post about Tonx- I knew we had to try a new coffee.  Check out how to get a free sample of Tonx Coffee here!  We received a medium roast for our sample, and it was perfect for the cold March mornings!

Full disclaimer: For the free sample Tonx will ask for credit card information, and automatically subscribe users to the lowest monthly subscription, unless you cancel (which is done with a quick press of a button).  They will provide reminders (via email) before moving you to the subscription (a couple of days notice).   

*This was not sponsored by Tonx, just me sharing a link to a free sample!

March 2013 Review 11

The Monday’s in March have not had the best weather- hello snow!  I’m hoping April will bring more sunshine and higher temperatures.  We did stay warm this month by making some of these recipes: Dal with Lots of Vegetables; Provencal Pasta Sauce; Rhubarb-Blueberry Pie; Rice & Lamb Burgers with Spinach & Tzatziki Sauce and the Banana & Chocolate Chip Cake.

March 2013 Review 12

To end the month on a delicious notice- my runner friend Tracy and I tried this amazing dessert: Deep Fried-Bacon Wrapped PB Cups.  Where can you find this treat?  At The Passenger!  Awesome bar too, so doubly worth the visit.

Monthly Review: February 2013

This past month has flown by for us, check out what photos I have captured on my iPhone!

Interested in what we’ve done in past months?
2012: May June July August November December
2013: January

February 2013: Birthday Cards

The month of February started off with my birthday on Groundhog’s Day!  Sam made me a delicious Birthday Fruit Tart (just like last year!).  Do you have friend’s birthdays coming up?  Check out the Cherry-Chocolate Birthday Cake or this delicious steak meal!

February 2013: running race

With other Back on My Feet members I ran the Love the Run You’re with 5K, sponsored by Pacers!  Although it was a little cold, we had sunny weather that was perfect for a morning run.  In March, I’m running the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon in DC.  This Sausage, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole is a perfect post-run breakfast!  What races did you run, or are planning on running?

February 2013: Mia

Our friends Stephanie and Jack were out of town, so we got a chance to spend time with their dog Mia!  Isn’t she adorable?  Do any readers out there have dogs?

February 2013: Matchbox

For my birthday lunch, my friend Jess took me to the new Matchbox on 14th.  The restaurant has an open feel, and very well lit- it was great to try some new things on their menu.  I know the sliders and pizzas are the most popular, but do any of you have any favorites?  I’d love to hear suggestions.

February 2013: Valentine's Day

Jess and I also made these fun cookies for our husbands for Valentine’s Day!

If you’d like try a new cookie recipe, try the Sesame Seed & Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies I made!

February 2013: new house

The most exciting news for us this month: we bought a new house!!!  Our 1 bedroom condo sold and we’ve moved to a bigger house!  Yay for extra space!  Still in DC, just a different neighborhood (which means, more adventures)!

February 2013: old kitchen

With the move, we had to say good-bye to our fifth floor kitchen.  This is where the blog started, but don’t worry, we’ll be sticking to the original blog name.  The last food we made there were the Sesame Seed & Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies.

February 2013: organization

As we’re slowly unpacking all of our boxes, we also got some new housewarming gifts!  Thanks Aunt Kate for these awesome OXO containers- a perfect gift for a new pantry!

February 2013: pizza

We’ve already had some visitors this past week, our new kitchen and living room layout is perfect for entertaining.  Need some ideas for foods to make when you have visitors?  (Above is the Apple & Smoked Cheese Pizza.)

Appetizers: Apples, Blue Cheese & Honey; Fig & Arugula Flatbread; Fresh Corn Salsa; Roasted Mushrooms with Parsley; Spinach & Artichoke Dip;

Entrees: Beef & Rice Stuffed Zucchini; Vegetable Coq au Vin; Baingan Bharta; Bok Choy & Mushroom Bulgur; Lamb, Carrot & Turnip Stuffed Cabbage;

Brunch: Mushroom Shallot Frittata; Smokey Quiche; Zucchini Bread;

Dessert: Baklava; Blueberry-Rhubarb Crumble; Coconut Macaroons with Chocolate; Rum Raisin Ice Cream; Tart Cherry Pie;

February 2013: soup

I finished off the month by checking out a new restaurant in Chinatown- Daikaya (the new ramen spot).  The downstairs opened up on February 14th, and currently they are serving 4 different types of traditional ramen soup.

Over the last 5 years I have learned that DC is a small city.  Turns out my new friend Carol, who I met at Back on My Feet, knows a fellow DC blogger who has been participating in the Food Matters Project.  Also a runner, Meg has her own food blog, Fledgling Foodie.  It was wonderful to finally meet her, and it’s always nice to have more foodie friends!

Can’t wait for all new things in March!  Do any of you have any fun plans?

Monthly Review: January 2013

First monthly review for 2013!  What photos did I capture with my iPhone this month?

Interested what we did in the past?
2012: May, June, July, August, November, December

Pizza- Jan 2013

We make pizza at home regularly.  This was a shaved pizza recipe from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.  I went to see her at Politics & Prose in November, and now I can’t wait to try out more recipes from her book.

We also made some pizza for our friends who have a newborn.  We came prepared: dough, chopped ingredients, pizza stone.  What a fun nigh!

Need pizza topping ideas?  Try these: Apple & Smoked Cheese Whole Wheat Pizza; Mushroom & Broccoli Pizza.

wontons

I was trying out a recipe to post for the Chinese New Year- which will be in February this year.  Look forward to a delicious post in the next couple of weeks!

Need Asian-inspired recipes for your Chinese New Year party? Asian Vegetable Rolls with Peanut Sauce; Pear Sorbet with Sesame Wonton Crisps; Asian Noodle Bowl; Spicy Asian Salad with Sunflower Seeds; Veggie Stir Fry.

Rock Creek Park

Sam and I are really excited to run the Rock ‘n Roll DC 1/2 Marathon in March!  This is a photo from one of our long runs in Rock Creek Park.  Are you running any upcoming races?  What distances?  Where do you do your long runs?

Ice skating

One beautiful Sunday afternoon, Sam and I went ice skating.  It’s been on our bucket list for some time, and we had a great time.  We went to the Sculpture Garden Ice Skating Ring!  What are some of your “to-do” activities for 2013?

Meridian Pint

Recently, our favorite bar has been Meridian Pint in Columbia Heights.  They have a large selection of beers, and some good food.  Have you been there before?  If not, definitely add it to your list!

Paul USA

We spent a fun Saturday afternoon people watching and eating sandwiches from Paul, the delicious French bakery.  Stop in: buy a sandwich, pastry, or coffee and read a book- it’s a perfect weekend afternoon!  There are a number of DC locations: Penn Quarter, Farragut North, Foggy Bottom, Georgetown, and soon there will be one out in Tysons Corner.

Kushi Sushi Jan 2013

Back in May, Sam and I tried Kushi for the first time.  This time around I tried the lunch version with my friend Alix.  The dish pictured above was my Ocean’s Oyako Don (salmon & roe), and she had the Spicy Zuke Don (spicy soy sauce tuna).  The lunch dishes come with miso soup, salad and pickles- most within a $12-$15 price range.  What’s your favorite sushi place?

IMG_2663

The 2013 Presidential Inauguration was held over Martin Luther King weekend.  This photo is from the day before, where you can see they covered up that fresh grass that had been growing.  I think everyone was a little worried it’d get trampled up with so many people walking all over it, but it’s good thing they had a Plan B!  Did anyone attend any fun Inauguration Balls?

cooking sheets

I won a set of AirBake cookie sheets from a giveaway Olga, of Mango & Tomato, was having on her blog!  I’m excited to bake some delicious cookies- any suggestions or recommendations?

Olga and I met at the Eat Write Retreat DC Blogger Conference back in May.  It’s been great making a new friend, and fellow food blogger.  I love her recipes, so definitely check out her blog for more giveaways and her fun stories!

Breakfast for Dinner

I also received Breakfast for Dinner, the new cookbook by Lindsey and Taylor, of Love and Olive Oil.  We got this signed copy for helping out with some recipe testing earlier this year.  This was one of the first blogs I started reading, long before Fifth Floor Kitchen started, and I was so excited to help them out!  Can’t wait to try more delicious recipes from this book (in bookstores on February 12)!

Quinoa, Chickpeas & Sweet Potatoes

Lastly, we finished off the month by trying out the Moroccan Chickpea & Sweet Potato Stew from A Couple of Cooks.  They have some fabulous vegetarian recipes, so definitely check out their blog- this particular one was easy and delicious, makes for great lunch leftovers!

We’ve got exciting news coming in February, so come back soon!

Food Matters Project #31: Polenta with Mushroooms

It’s another Food Matters Project post!  This weeks recipe was chosen by Sandra, of Meadows Cooks.  From Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook, she had chosen the recipe for Polenta Cakes with Garlicky Mushrooms.  Check out what other Food Matters Project participants made here.  For the original recipe, check out Sandra’s post.

Sam and I have been trying to clean out (and by that I mean eat everything) from our pantry, freezer and fridge.  It’s a good way to start 2013- with some organization!  So when I read the recipe and didn’t have all of the ingredients, I decided to use what I did have.  Fortunately, Mark Bittman’s recipes are flexible and forgiving!  The only problem is, the recipe might just not turn out like you had thought.

As you check out everyone else’s posts, you’ll see that everyone has polenta cakes.  Unfortunately, ours did not settle and harden.  So we were left with just polenta- but that did not stop us from eating it.  So this version is slightly different than the original recipe, but I think it’s equally delicious and worth a try!

Polenta with Mushrooms

Polenta with Mushrooms
Inspired from: The Food Matters Cookbook & Honest Fare

Polenta:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup mushrooms, finely diced
2 shallots, minced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup corn meal
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Mushroom Topping:
1/2 tbsp olive oil
2-3 bacon strips
1/4 red onion, chopped
10-15 mushrooms, sliced
1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a skillet, then add the mushrooms and shallots.  Sauté for about 5 minutes, next add in the garlic and cook for another minute.  Then remove from heat, and set aside.

In a medium pot, heat 4 cups of water until it is boiling.  Lower the heat and add the corn meal, while stirring so no clumps form.  Continue to stir the corn meal until it creamy and begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.  Then add in the salt, pepper and mozzarella cheese.  Continue to cook and stir for another 10 minutes, then remove from heat.  Add in the mushroom mixture, stir well to combine all of the ingredients.

In a skillet, heat the olive oil, then add in the bacon strips.  Allow them to cook until they are crisp.  Remove them from heat, and set aside.  Once cooled, chop the bacon into smaller pieces

In the olive oil and bacon grease, heat the onions, mushrooms and jalapeño for about 5 minutes.  Once cooked, remove from heat and toss in the chopped bacon.

Pour the cooked polenta (corn meal) into a bowl, top with the mushroom topping, and serve.