Tag Archives: DC

Food Matters Project Wrap-Up

This week is a wrap-up of the Food Matters Project.  It’s the final week of posting recipes from The Food Matters Cookbook.  Rather than another recipe, I’ve spent some time thinking of what I’ve learned doing this project, so here are some conclusions (in no particular order:

Mushrooms

1. My favorite and most memorable recipe: Rigatoni with Vegetables, Figs & Blue Cheese.  I loved the blue cheese and fig combination in a pasta, and I can’t wait to try this again when figs are in season!

2. We finally learned how to make our own pizza.  Thanks to the post on whole wheat pizza, we’ve explored other toppings and new pizza crust recipes.  This has definitely been a staple in a our house a couple of times a month.

3. We made hummus from scratch.  Although it wasn’t my favorite recipe at that time, we’re recently added a Vitamix into our kitchen- can’t wait to try making it again!

4. Bruschetta comes in different varieties- it’s such a time saver when you’re hosting a dinner party!

5. Chimichurri is another awesome dish when you have friends over for dinner.  Quick, easy and delicious- what more could you ask for?!?

6. We tried anchovies for the first time, and they are delicious in a salad.  Don’t miss out!

7. My favorite dessert adventure was due to FMP- we made kumquat sorbet.  It was delicious, and I am now less intimidated to break out my ice cream maker.  Sorbets on the porch, during a DC summer, are a perfect way to wrap up the day.

8. Give cookbooks without photos a chance.  They encourage your cooking imagination and creativity- it was so much fun learning this for over a year.

This was a wonderful opportunity, and I’m so glad our blog continued to participate in this project (although sporadically).  The idea of eating less meat should be encouraged in more households, and I hope we spread Mark Bittman’s words a bit more.  Definitely play around with more foods, especially vegetables.  There are flavors and textures out there you may not have ever tasted, but don’t be afraid to try.

Start with what we’ve made before, there are a number of delicious dishes out there!  Or check out the other participants blogs to see what they’ve made!

Recipes We’ve Made via the Food Matters Project

Squash with Chipotle Dipping Sauce
Seasoned Popcorn
Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
Rigatoni with Vegetables, Figs and Blue Cheese
Seared Bean Sprouts with Mushrooms
Hummus
Curry with Vegetables
Vegetable Coq au Vin
Vegetable & Bean Casserole
Cod in Spicy Rhubarb Sauce
Apple & Smoked Cheese Whole Wheat Pizza
Mostly Whole Wheat Bread
Asparagus & White Bean Soup
Black Bean & Corn Salsa
Bruschetta
Chicken in Green Salsa
Vegetable Burritos
Tomato, Leek & Brie Tart
Crunchy Fish Tacos with Chimichurri Sauce
Walnut Pâté Sandwich with Arugula & Pears
Beet Chips with Pistachio Dip
Fresh Corn Salsa
Chicken & Potatoes with Romesco Sauce
Asian Vegetable Rolls with Peanut Sauce
Greek Panzanella Salad
Veggie Stir Fry
Summer Tabbouleh Salad
Lemon Cornmeal Cake
Apples, Blue Cheese & Honey
Broccoli & Cherry Rice with Acorn Squash
Polenta with Mushrooms
Cardamom & Pistachio Pear Crisp
Lamb, Carrot & Turnip Stuffed Cabbage
Rice & Lamb Burgers with Spinach & Tzatziki Sauce
Provencal Pasta Sauce with Whole Wheat Spaghetti
Dal with Lots of Vegetables
Central American Red Beans & Rice
Spinach Cobb Salad with Caper-Anchovy Vinaigrette
Bulgur Wheat Mango Salad with Avocado
Spicy Grapefruit Scallops with Arugula
Kumquat & Orange Sorbet
Potato & Corn Fritters
Tomato & Romaine Salad with Smoked Mozzarella
Pasta with Tuna, Tomatoes & Capers

Food Matters Project #41: Kumquat & Orange Sorbet

As the temperatures are warming up, we are all wanting desserts that are cold and refreshing.  Thankfully, my new friend Meg, of Fledgling Foodie, reminded us of this with this weeks Food Matters Project!  From Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook, Meg chose the Chocolate Tofu Ice Cream recipe.  Check out her post here.  Also, take a peek a what other Food Matters Project participants did here.

Kumquat & Orange Sorbet: Kumquat

I took the route of a frozen dessert…but I diverged a bit with a fruity one, rather than chocolate.  A couple of weeks ago I was reading a DC bloggers post about kumquat sorbet.  I’ve never had kumquats before, but the photo’s made it look so delicious.  So I blame Nik, of A Brown Table, for the fact that I didn’t follow Mark Bittman’s recipe.

I’ve been reading Nik’s blog for quite some time- he’s so inspiring by telling stories how he came to choose various recipes, reasons behind particular ingredients, and his amazing photos.  I think I pin most of his recipes on my Pinterest page since they all look so delicious.

Although I have never had a kumquat, I decided to try making this recipe.  I did buy extra kumquats to snack on, and figured it would be a great way to taste this new fruit.  They are sour (more than lemons), a little bitter, and somewhat sweet- definitely something I’ve never tasted before.  To add a little more sweetness, I did add freshly squeezed orange juice.

And now that the sorbet is almost gone, I’m trying to think of other frozen desserts for the summer months.  Any recommendations?  We’ve previously made a Pear Sorbet and Rum Raisin Ice Cream.

Kumquat & Orange Sorbet

Kumquat & Orange Sorbet
Adapted from: A Brown Table

Boiling the kumquats takes out the bitterness from the fruit, I highly recommend doing this. 

12 oz kumquats
6 cups water (to boil kumquats)
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 inch ginger, peeled
juice of 1 orange

Rinse the kumquats, cut the ends of each fruit- discarding the cut pieces.  Then cut each fruit in half, and pick out the seeds.  Add the kumquats to a medium saucepan, and cover with 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, then discard the water and repeat this process 2 more times.  Once you’ve repeated this process, drain the kumquats and puree them in a food processor.

In a medium saucepan combine 2 cups of water with sugar and ginger.  Continue to stir until the sugar water is boiling.  Once it boils, take out the ginger and pour the sugar water mixture into a bowl, add in the kumquat puree and orange juice.  Place that bowl into a large one, which has ice and cold water in it.  Keep the liquid in the ice bath for at least 30 minutes, or until the mixture is cold.

Then pass the mixture through a sieve, making sure to squeeze out as much juice out of the pulp as you can.  Chill this mixture for about 20 minutes in the freezer.  Then once it’s cold, follow your ice cream maker instructions to prepare the sorbet.  The sorbet will be done once it’s frozen and has a milky orange-yellow color.  Scoop the sorbet into a freezer-proof container, and freeze for a couple of hours before serving.

Food Matters Project #40: Spicy Grapefruit Scallops with Arugula

Apologies for the little delay here with our Food Matters Project post! We’ve been focusing on house projects: adding a screen door, a composter for the backyard, and we also made a new batch of beer. It was a productive and relaxing weekend- those are the best (best of both worlds). And during some down time, we made this weeks dish!

This week’s host is Camilla, of Culinary Adventures with Camilla. Check our her version: Shrimp-Grapefruit Stirfry with Fennel. This was a great recipe from the Food Matters Cookbook, something I probably would not have chosen, but now I’m glad I tried this flavor profile. Take a peek what other Food Matters Project participants did here.

When my parents were visiting us a couple of weekends ago we were talking about scallops. The first time my parents met Sam, we took them to Zaytinya- a José Andrés restaurant, specializing in Turkish, Greek and Lebanese dishes. When my parents were choosing their orders, Sam insisted that they try the scallops with a yogurt-dill sauce and sugar snap peas. My Dad was a bit hesitant at first, but did order this dish- and he loved it. He loved it so much, that while my parents were visiting, my Dad mentioned that those were the best scallops he every had- nothing has compared in the last 3 years!

Since that conversation, we’ve been craving scallops and decided to swap the shrimp for them in this recipe. There are a few changes as well- no fennel, it’s not my favorite, and we added more heat. And rather than serving it over rice, per Mark Bittman’s suggestion, we opted for a salad option, and served it over a bed of arugula.

Spicy Grapefruit Scallops with Arugula

Spicy Grapefruit Scallops with Arugula
Adapted from: Food Matters Cookbook (page 449)
Servings: 2

Since Sam was in charge of this dish, it was a bit spicy with 2 habañeros. We recognize that not everyone has that kind of a pallet. Instead, I would recommend one of the following choices: 1) using only 1 habañero; 2) using jalapeño(s)- you can even deseed them; or 3) using regular peppers, red would show up beautifully in this. Feel free to serve this over pasta or rice.

3 tbsp olive oil
2 habañeros, finely chopped
1 tbsp minced ginger
3 green onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp soy sauce
juice of 1 lime
2 grapefruits, peeled, segmented and chopped (juice included)
1 lb fresh scallops
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Coat a pan in olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Add the habañero, ginger, green onions, and garlic. Allow them all the sweat for about 2 minutes. Then add the soy sauce, lime juice, and grapefruit- sauté for an additional 3 minutes. Finally, add the scallops and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté for approximately 3 minutes on each side. Then remove from heat, serve scallops and sauce over a bed of arugula.

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)

DC’s Union Market: Rappahannock Oyster Bar

I’m probably one of the last people to explore Union Market.  A big thanks to Alix for taking me there one spring Sunday afternoon.  That day we walked around, explored and then we enjoyed a sandwich from The Red Apron.

Since that afternoon I’ve been wanting to go back and check out the Rappahannock Oyster Co.  Upon my insistence, and his love for oysters- Sam agreed to go!

First a little history.  Rappahanock River Oysters can be traced back to 1899.  James Arthur Croxton, Jr. purchased 5 acres of land near the Rappahanock River near Bowlers, VA.  Today it’s led by his great-grandson’s, Travis and Ryan Croxton; the company also expanded- located in Butylo, VA on over 100 acres.

The 3 types of oysters sold at Rappahannock Oyster Bar in Union Market are:

Union Market: Rappahanock River Oysters

Rappahanock River Oysters

  • from Topping, VA
  • salt range: 13-17
  • sweet, buttery full-bodied taste

Stingray Oysters

  • from Ware Neck, VA
  • salt range: 17-22
  • quintessential Chesapeake Bay oyster, sweet & mildly briny

Olde Salts

  • from Chincoteague Bay, VA
  • salt range: 28-33
  • taste like the ocean, briny

We did order additional plates, since this is more of small-plate restaurant.

Union Market: Rappahannock Oyster Bar

Lots of delicious dishes to choose from.  In addition, there are a number of great drinks, local beers and specials.

Union Market: Rappahannock Oyster Bar 2

Since we’re still on the search for the best Bloody Mary in DC, we had to try this one.  Definitely towards the top range of the one’s we’ve tried- extra spicy, just like we wanted!

Union Market: Rappahannock Oyster Bar 3

Other than the oysters, we split 2 small dishes:

Union Market: Rappahannock Oyster Bar 4

This was the Tuna Tartare, with limes, chilies and Thai basil.  It was light and refreshing, a perfect pairing with the crispy bread.

Union Market: Rappahannock Oyster Bar 5

We also shared the Crab Cake with celeriac remoulade.  Someone had told me that they thought this might be the best crab cake in DC, and I will have to agree!  Delicious!

Union Market: Rappahannock Oyster Bar 6

This was a great Sunday early afternoon outing, and I can’t wait to come back for more oysters!  Afterwards we stopped by to pick up pickles from Oh! Pickles.

Where do you go for oysters and crab cakes?  Would love to hear recommendations!