Tag Archives: cookbook

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!

November 2012 Review

And we’re back with the monthly reviews on Fifth Floor Kitchen!  What photos did I capture on my iPhone this past month?

Interested in past months?  Check them out: May June July August

November Review 1

This was taken on our last day of our honeymoon in Phuket, Thailand.  Check out our posts about it here.

November Review 2

First week back from our honeymoon and we were excited for food from the farmer’s market!  We got: arugula, turnips, a pie pumpkin, apples, pears, sweet potatoes, cheese & eggs from the Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market.

November Review 3

Don’t know what to eat for breakfast?  Check out this post on making Fall Granola- perfect to mix with yogurt or milk!

November Review 4

Sam and I visited our friend Beth in Baltimore.  We loved this place: Abbey Burger Bistro, make your own burger (and it’s got some good beers as well).

November Review 6

While in Baltimore we stopped by the Baltimore Farmer’s Market & Bazaar (check out the post about it here).  Sam pickled the cucumbers, and we enjoyed the spicy cheese & duck eggs.  But the honey butter is the best- have you had honey butter?  If not, you’re missing out!

November Review 5

My friend Alix and I got a chance to see Deb Perelman from Smitten Kitchen!  There were so many people at Politics & Prose to see her!  Checkout her cookbook and blog for some great recipes!

November Review 7

We have 2 cats who have really enjoyed getting wedding gifts.  Well, mostly the boxes that the gifts come in- Van Gogh loves to relax among the bubble wrap and paper!  One of the many gifts was a cookbook- and we tried this Shepherd’s Pie recipe!

November Reivew 8

Another Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market week!  The goodies were: bok choy, yogurt (to go with Fall Granola), broccoli, cheese, apples, pear and arugula!

November Review 9

Last May, when I attended Eat, Write, Retreat (check out my post about it) I met a lot of wonderful bloggers.  One of them was Olga (blog: Mango & Tomato; Twitter: @MangoTomato), we tried out the new DGS Delicatessen in Dupont Circle for lunch, and I had a delicious Salmon Pastrami Sandwich on a bagel.

November Review 10

As I mentioned, we had a low-key Thanksgiving.  After running the So Others Might Eat Turkey Trot 5K- Sam, myself and his brother went to Hill Country Barbecue for an all-you-can-eat dinner.  As always, Hill Country did not disappoint!  Although my favorite was the green bean casserole- it’s been so long since I’ve had it!

November Review 11

The past week’s Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market finds were: eggs, turnips, cheese, pears, eggs & meat sticks!

An Edible Mosaic Virtual Book Launch

A fellow blogger, Faith Gorsky of An Edible Mosaic, just had her first cookbook released!  With the release of An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair, I’m excited to participate in her virtual book launch party, and share a recipe from her book!

About 2 years ago I came across Faith’s blog when searching for a Middle Eastern dish for my book club.  With her help I made the Beef & Rice Stuffed Zucchini, and the Golden Red Lentil Soup.  Since then, I have continued to read her blog and have had many opportunities to try out her recipes.  Many of them are inspired from when she lived and visited the Middle East right after she got married, and from her mother-in-law Sahar.

Faith’s book has over 100 Middle Eastern recipes, which focus mainly on dishes from the Levant.  Throughout the blog and in her book, Faith explains complicated dishes and approaches them in a modern way.  Her book is available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble! (so if you’re looking for a good holiday gift, definitely check this one out!)

Head over to her blog to check out the virtual book launch party to see other bloggers who are participating!  She is also hosting a giveaway- be sure to check it out all of the items up for grabs!

Below is one of Faith’s recipes, which I’ve made a few small changes to, based on what I had on hand in my kitchen.   The original recipe is Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts.  This recipe is vegan, so it can easily be incorporated into a vegetarian meal, but will be just as delicious served with some beef, chicken, lamb or seafood.

Fifth Floor Kitchen Recipe Changes: When making this dish I used vegetable broth, rather than water, when cooking the rice to give it some extra flavor.  If you’ll be pairing this with beef/chicken/lamb then you can also use that specific broth as well.  Also, I did not have any raisins on hand, instead I used dried pomegranate seeds- it was a great variation!  Another tasty alternative would be dried cherries or cranberries.

Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts
ROZ MLOW’WAN

Recipe courtesy of An Edible Mosaic:  Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair by Faith Gorsky (Tuttle Publishing; Nov. 2012); reprinted with permission.

Serves: 4 to 6
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes, plus 15 minutes to let the rice sit after cooking

1½ cups (325 g) basmati rice, rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 onion, finely diced
4 tablespoons sultanas (golden raisins)
1¾ cups (425 ml) boiling water
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon saffron threads (or ½ teaspoon turmeric)

  1. Soak the rice in tepid water for 10 minutes; drain. While the rice is soaking, put half a kettle of water on to boil.
  2. Add the oil to a medium, thick-bottomed lidded saucepan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Transfer the pine nuts to a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the onion to the saucepan you cooked the pine nuts in, and cook until softened and just starting to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rice and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the sultanas, boiling water, salt, and saffron (or turmeric), turn the heat up to high, and bring it to a rolling boil.
  4. Give the rice a stir, then cover the saucepan, turn the heat down to very low, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes (do not open the lid during this time). Turn the heat off and let the rice sit (covered) 15 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
  5. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle the toasted pine nuts on top; serve.

OPTIONAL Add two pods of cardamom, two whole cloves, and one 2-inch (5 cm) piece of cinnamon stick at the same time that you add the rice.

The Food Matters Project #12: Mostly Whole Wheat Bread

How many of us have a number of cookbooks on their shelves any never tried any of the recipes (or very few of them)?  If you are this person, you should do something similar to The Food Matters Project (with this cookbook or any other).  Each week one of the participants chooses a recipe, and we all try it.  It’s a great idea to cook your way through a cookbook- with only 1 recipe a week!

Whenever I go through a magazine or cookbook, I tend to notice only some recipes.  Since we have began The Food Matters Project, it has been great trying out new dishes which we probably would never have gotten to.

Thanks to Melissa of The Faux Martha, I now tried a new bread recipe.  She chose 2 bread recipes from Mark Bittman’s The Food Matter’s Cookbook: Real Whole Wheat Bread and Mostly Whole Wheat Baguettes.

In the kitchen I tend to stay away from yeast, Sam is the one that makes the pizza dough.  Although I have used yeast a little bit in the past (double-rise wheat bread, whole-wheat pitas and yeast dinner rolls), I’m still not very confident in my abilities.

This bread turned out great, and gave me a little bit more confidence.  I wish I had played around with it a bit more, but I was playing it on the safe side the first time around.

So if you’re worried or scared of yeast, definitely try this bread!  After the first bite this will be a “must-bake” item every single week!

What can you eat with this bread?  Here are some ideas: Triple Green Chicken Salad, Lox, and Tuna & Veggie Sandwich.

Mostly Whole Wheat Bread
Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook (pg 542)

This recipe was going to be a baguette, but when I was shaping the dough I think it wanted to be a bread loaf instead.  If you’d like additional flavor or texture, top it off with some poppy or sesame seeds.

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour + more for shaping
2 tsp salt
1 tsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast (equivalent to the little packet)
1 1/2 cups of water
1 tbsp olive oil

In a stand mixer combine the: whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, salt, sugar and yeast.  Start the mixer, using a dough hook.  Then, about a 1/4 cup at a time, add the water into the mixture.  Continue to mix the dough until it forms into a ball.  You might need to add some more water- if so, add it 1 tbsp at a time.

Pour olive oil into a large bowl, swish it around so it is covered where the dough will touch (this will prevent it from sticking).  Put the dough into the bowl, and cover it with a towel or plastic wrap.  Allow it to rest for at least 1 hour at room temperature, it should double in size.

Lightly flour the surface you’ll be working on.  Knead the dough a few times (about 3 minutes).  Roll the dough out into 2 baguettes or 1 loaf of bread.

Heat the oven to 500ºF.  If you’ll be baking the bread on a sheet pan, spray it with non-stick spray, then set the loaf on the pan.  Put the bread into the oven for 10 minutes.  Then turn down the heat (while the bread is in the oven) to 400ºF.  Bake it at 400ºF for 30 minutes or until the inside of the bread is 210ºF).

*If you are topping the bread with seeds, brush the loaf with a little water and then sprinkle on the poppy or sesame seeds (about 1/4 cup) prior to baking.

The Food Matters Project

I am very excited to announce that Fifth Floor Kitchen is teaming up with a group of bloggers in launching a new project.

Sarah had contacted us about participating in The Food Matters Project.  The idea behind this project is to try a new recipe (each week) from Mark Bittman’s- The Food Matters Cookbook.  If you’re a food blogger and would like to join this endeavor- contact her at thefoodmattersproject@gmail.com

Each week a different blogger will choose 1 recipe to cook, and all other bloggers will participate.  The Food Matters Cookbook is a wonderful since all of us can do interpretations of the recipes.  All of us will post- which will allow you to pick how you’d like to make a certain recipe (or give you some great ideas)!

The schedule of recipes can be found here.

More details about the Project can be found here.  If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact any of the food bloggers listed here.  The Food Matters Project Facebook page can be found here.

Look forward to the first round of recipes tomorrow!

**Update**

These are the recipes we have made for the Food Matters Project:

1. Squash with Chipotle Dipping Sauce
2. Seasoned Popcorn
3. Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
4. Rigatoni with Vegetables, Figs and Blue Cheese
5. Seared Bean Sprouts with Mushrooms
6. Hummus
7. Curry with Vegetables
8. Vegetable Coq au Vin
9. Vegetable & Bean Casserole
10. Cod in Spicy Rhubarb Sauce
11. Apple & Smoked Cheese Whole Wheat Pizza
12. Mostly Whole Wheat Bread
13. Asparagus & White Bean Soup
14. Black Bean & Corn Salsa
15. Bruschetta
16. Chicken in Green Salsa
17. Vegetable Burritos
18. Tomato, Leek & Brie Tart
19. Crunchy Fish Tacos with Chimichurri Sauce
20. Walnut Pâté Sandwich with Arugula & Pears
21. Beet Chips with Pistachio Dip
22. Fresh Corn Salsa
23. Chicken & Potatoes with Romesco Sauce
24. Asian Vegetable Rolls with Peanut Sauce
25. Greek Panzanella Salad
26. Veggie Stir Fry
27. Summer Tabbouleh Salad
28. Lemon Cornmeal Cake
29. Apples, Blue Cheese & Honey
30. Broccoli & Cherry Rice with Acorn Squash
31. Polenta with Mushrooms
32. Cardamom & Pistachio Pear Crisp
33. Lamb, Carrot & Turnip Stuffed Cabbage
34. Rice & Lamb Burgers with Spinach & Tzatziki Sauce
35. Provencal Pasta Sauce with Whole Wheat Spaghetti
36. Dal with Lots of Vegetables
37. Central American Red Beans & Rice
38. Spinach Cobb Salad with Caper-Anchovy Vinaigrette
39. Bulgur Wheat Mango Salad with Avocado
40. Spicy Grapefruit Scallops with Arugula
41. Kumquat & Orange Sorbet
42. Potato & Corn Fritters