Tag Archives: appetizer

Happy Valentine’s Day 2013

Tune in tomorrow for some exciting news!  Until then, enjoy some chocolates & wine tonight!

Valentine's Day

Need last minute Valentine’s Day dinner ideas?  Check these out:

Apples, Blue Cheese & Honey
Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Shirmp ‘n Grits
Butternut Squash & Pomegranate Panzanella Salad

Filet Mignon with Bourbon Sauce
Apple & Smoked Cheese Whole Wheat Pizza
Vegetable Coq au Vin
Brazilian Fish & Shrimp Stew
Green Pea & Pancetta Linguine
Lobster Mac ‘n Cheese
Mac ‘n Cheese with Peas & Prosciutto
Rigatoni with Vegetables, Figs & Blue Cheese
Clams and Linguine with White Wine Sauce
Eggplant & Broccolini Pasta Salad

Blackberry Coconut Tart
Blueberry-Rhubarb Crumble
Chocolate Mini Lavas
Fruit Tart

Monthly Review: December 2012

The last monthly review for 2012!  What photos did I capture on my iPhone this month?

Interested in what we did in the past months?  Check them out for 2012: May, June, July, August, and November.

December 1

I love walking and running in DC, views like this don’t let me forget how lucky I am to be in such a great city!

December 2

Our friend Brittany celebrated her 30th birthday with a brunch at Granville Moore’s.  It was the first time for Sam and me, and we really enjoyed it- hope to come back to try the mussels and Belgian beer!

December 3

My friend Carrie and I went to the screening of Honor Flight, at DAR Constitution Hall, it’s a documentary about a network that brings World War II veterans to see the memorial in D.C.  If you haven’t seen this, please do- what a great organization!

December 4

Holiday Parties, I’m pretty sure everyone had many this month.  This is my attempt at one of them to decorate my cookie.  I don’t think Christmas dessert decoration is my thing…maybe next year!  If you’re as decorationally-challenged as me, try making this Creamy Winter Veg Soup.

December 5

We’ve had a number of friends find new homes the past couple of months- congrats to all!  I just thought this card was really cute!

December 6

For those that follow me on Twitter, you probably already know that I run with Back on My Feet in DC.  This is a great organization helping homeless attain various personal goals (school, homes, jobs, etc) while using running as a platform.  If you’d like more info about it, don’t hesitate to ask!

This was during our huddle right before the group ran the Jingle All the Way 8K!

December 7

During our last visit to the Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market we got: spaghetti squash, cheeses, sausages and brussels sprouts.  The market will be back in March, until then we’ll try to stop by the Dupont Farmer’s Market on Sunday’s!

Recipe ideas for the foods above: Leafy Brussels Sprouts with Nuts & Rigatoni with Vegetables Figs and Blue Cheese.

December 8

There have been a couple cold nights in December, so we like to stay in and enjoy some cheese, crackers and pear slices!  And we got to usa a wedding gift- a new cheese board (thanks to Steph and Jack!).

Other appetizer ideas: Apples, Blue Cheese & Honey; Beet Chips with Pistachio Dip; Fig & Arugula Flatbread; Roasted Mushrooms with Parsley; Tomatoes with Mozzarella & Basil.

December 9

Although we have had delicious dinners at Zengo DC, we had yet to try it for the new brunch option.  When our friends Josie and Nathan wanted to hang out, we suggested this $35 bottomless brunch!  Wonderful food, good service and those churros at the end were delicious!

December 10

With Back on My Feet DC I got a chance to visit the White House when it was beautifully decorated for the holiday season.  Check out my post on this little adventure!

December 11

Great photo of the Mall on Christmas Day!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season!

December 12

When I’m sick, the only thing I crave is pho.  Does anyone have any favorite places around DC/NOVA?  I’d love to hear where you all go!  This one was takeout from Pho DC.

December 13

DC recently opened up its first gin distillery.  Green Hat is open for tours, but we snagged this in our local liquor store.  Have you tried it yet?

Food Matters Project #29: Apples, Blue Cheese & Honey

It’s another great recipe idea from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook.  This weeks Food Matters Project was chosen by Jessica.  Jessica’s blog is Cheese Please, check out her version of today’s dish- Cheddar Cheese and Almond Nut Balls.  Also see what other cheese recipes everyone else made: Cheese-Nut Balls.

As I’ve mentioned before, it’s a little hectic and slightly stressful around here.  So upon reading Mr. Bittman’s recipe and seeing pear and blue cheese, I decided to take this in a completely different direction.  Yes, no cheese balls- more like a perfect cheese relaxation plate!

Sam stopped by our favorite cheese store- Cowgirl Creamery, and picked up a giant block of Colston Bassett Stilton.  We had some leftover apples from the Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market, as well as some local honey.

When was the last time you had bought yourself a nice block of cheese?  Not when guests come over to serve as an appetizer, but just for yourself to indulge and enjoy?  If you can’t remember the last time- then do this tomorrow.  You will not be disappointed.  This was a wonderful way to wind down after a hectic week.

I know there are some of you out there that don’t enjoy blue cheese.  If you’re one of them- definitely grab another type that you’d prefer.  Blue cheese does have specific taste- and this tangy flavor blended well with the sweet honey and crisp fall apples.

Apples, Blue Cheese & Honey
Inspired by: Cheese-Nut Balls from The Food Matters Cookbook (pg 56)

This is more of a suggestion, rather than a recipe.  The amount of apples, cheese, honey or walnuts are entirely up to you.  You can add/swap something else, just enjoy some amazing cheese (pears, crackers).

apples, cored & thinly sliced
Stilton or any variety of blue cheese
walnuts (optional)

Pour a drop or two of honey onto a slice of apple.  First sprinkle cheese onto the apple slice, then top it off with some chopped walnuts.

Food Matters Project #24: Asian Vegetable Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Can you believe that the Food Matters Project has been going on for over 6 months?  Yikes, how time flies when you’re trying out delicious recipes!  If you haven’t been with us on this blog for that long, here’s a little recap:

The Food Matters Project is made up of a group of bloggers (there are so many of us) who are interested in making recipes from the Food Matter Cookbook by Mark Bittman.  Each week one blogger is the “host” and chooses a recipe- and we all make it.  The Food Matters Cookbook is very open to interpretation, therefore making it perfect for this project- all of you should check out what each blogger made.  See what recipes Fifth Floor Kitchen has made here.     

This weeks host is Alyssa, of Everyday Maven.  She had chosen Mark Bittman’s recipe for Summer Rolls in Peanut Sauce.  Check out Alyssa’s recipe for the tofu version, and other Food Matters Project participants recipes.  This was a fabulous choice since it involved no cooking- which is perfect in mid-August.

I’m sure you’ve all had these garden rolls at many Asian restaurants, and you’ll find that they are very easy to make.  I love the fresh ingredients, and wanted to replicate the refreshing and light taste.

Asian Vegetable Rolls with Peanut Sauce
Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook (page 96), A Chow Life, & A Cozy Kitchen
Servings: 9 + a little extra peanut sauce

Peanut Sauce:
3 tbsp creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup roasted nuts
5 garlic cloves
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup water
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Asian Rolls:
rice paper sheets
2 carrots, peeled & julienned
1 cucumber, julienned
1 red pepper, julienned
1 jalapeño, julienned (optional)
20 sprigs of cilantro
2-3 leaves of mint

Add all of the ingredients for the peanut sauce into a food processor.  Process the ingredients until the sauce is smooth.  Pour into a bowl, it can be refrigerated for a couple of days.

To assemble the Asian Rolls fill a shallow, wide bowl with warm water.  Gently submerge each rice paper under water, keep it there for about 10 seconds- until the paper is soft.  Transfer the rice paper onto a slightly damp towel.  Working quickly, place the ingredients on the edge of the wrapper (a few julienned carrots, cucumbers and red pepper, a piece of jalapeño, 2 springs of cilantro, small piece of mint).  Fold the side in front of you over (away from you), turn in the sides, and then keep rolling away from you.  Repeat until you have used all of your ingredients.

Fig & Arugula Flatbread

Last summer was the first time I saw a lot of recipes which had figs in them.  Determined to make something, we bought a bunch…and nothing ended up happening.  I had no idea what to do with them.  I didn’t realize fresh figs were not sweet, I guess I had their dried version stuck in my head.

So this year, when fig season came around (once everyone started posting recipes on various blogs) I was going to make something.  And I’m so glad I did.

This was especially helpful on the hottest day of the year (so far), since it involved almost no cooking, and dinner was ready in approximately 5 minutes.  This flatbread could also be cut up into bite-sized pieces, and enjoyed as an appetizer- how convenient.  If anyone thinks of other things you can do with figs- please let me know, we still have a bunch left over and there is no more flatbread.

Fig & Arugula Flatbread
*white wine is great with this*

2 pieces of flatbread (or plain naan)
1/4 cup of goat cheese
1 cup of arugula, chopped
4 figs, chopped
4 tbsp honey
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1-2 pieces of prosciutto
pinch of salt

Spread the goat cheese onto the flatbread.  Add it to a toaster oven, and warm it up until the cheese starts melting.  If you do not have a toaster oven (which you should have, it’s great!) just use the oven.

With a spoon or small whisk, blend together the balsamic vinegar and honey.

On the warm and cheese flatbread, sprinkle the arugula and figs.  Top with prosciutto.  Then, drizzle the balsamic vinegar-honey mixture.  Lastly, sprinkle each flatbread with some salt.