Tag Archives: Baltimore

Good-bye 2012, Hello 2013!

At the beginning of this year, I listed off some 2012 goals for Fifth Floor Kitchen- and looking back I think we did pretty good!  I’m so humbled and proud of this little space we have created, and since I’m feeling a little nostalgic about 2012, I wanted to share a handful of favorite highlights from this past year.

2012 Top 3 Recipe Posts:
1. Indian Chicken Soup
Indian Chicken Soup

2. Vegetable Coq au Vin
Vegetables au Vin with Coq 2

3. Seasoned Popcorn 2 Ways
Popcorn 2 ways

2012 Top 3 Travel Posts:
1. Bonn, Germany
2. Boston: Sam Adams Brewery Tour
3. Warsaw, Poland

Other 2012 Highlights:
1. We got married!  We had a wonderful wedding near Charlottesville, VA (check out our posts about this great city here and here) and we spent an amazing honeymoon in Phuket, Thailand (blog posts: Pt 1, Pt 2)!

2. Where else did we travel? Boston (Posts: 1, 2, 3), Philadelphia, and Baltimore.

3. Food-wise some of our personal favorites were: Cowgirl Creamery Cheese Pairing, Lobster Mac ‘n Cheese, Birthday Fruit Tart, Crunchy Fish Tacos with Chimichurri Sauce, Brazilian Fish & Shrimp Stew, Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, S’more Cookie, and Buckwheat Crêpes with Corn Salsa.  If you haven’t tried these, definitely add them to your “to-do” list for 2013!

3. Other fun stuff: Eat Write Retreat Blogger Conference, Slave-free Tomato Day, Holiday White House Tour, An Edible Mosaic Book Launch, and being part of the Food Matters Project.

4. We also started a series “Monthly Reviews”, a great way to see some of our iPhone photos and adventures we might not write about: May, June, July, August, and November.  A December one is coming up soon!

Over the course of 2012 we have had 116 posts- that’s a lot of words, photographs and recipes!

But I do love the feeling of a New Year- a fresh start, being able to look ahead towards all the new opportunities this year will bring.  We are looking forward to 2013 to continue sharing our culinary and travel adventures with you all- remember to keep up with us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram!

We wish you all a happy and healthy New Year!  Thank you so much for reading, commenting and being part of Fifth Floor Kitchen!

Warm wishes for a happy new year!

Many hugs,
Evi & Sam

Evi & Sam Wedding

*Our wedding photos were taken by our friend Meaghin Kennedy- check out some of her photos here, or her blog: These Salty Oats

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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!

Baltimore Farmer’s Market & Bazaar

Since moving to DC, I’ve often reserved several weekends throughout the year to visit my friend Beth in Baltimore (past posts: Baltimore & a Cherry-Chocolate Birthday Cake, June Review).  On this last visit Sam came with, and thanks to Beth, we had a chance to explore the Baltimore Farmer’s Market & Bazaar!  For any of you visiting Baltimore, this is definitely something you should check out on a Sunday morning!

Baltimore Farmer's Market 1

What: Baltimore Farmer’s Market & Bazaar– Maryland’s largest producers-only market; the bazaar has crafts and collectibles
When: every Sunday between April 1 – December 23; 7am-12pm (for 2012)
Location: 407 E Saragota St, Baltimore MD

Baltimore Farmer's Market 2

The market was originally situated at Market Place, so more residents could have fresh produce in the city- but construction in 1983 forced a relocation to Pratt and President Streets.  By 1985, it became so popular, and needed a shelter from rain, it’s location was moved once again under the Jones Falls Expressway at Holliday and Saratoga Streets.

Baltimore Farmer's Market

What can you find there?  Pretty much everything: seasonal fruits and vegetables, poultry, seafood, beef, pork, lamb, bison, chicken, goat, turkey, rabbit, fresh baked goods, herbs, milk, yogurt, butter, eggs and cheese products.

Baltimore Farmers Market 4

There were many food vendors selling beef sandwiches, omelets, breakfast burritos, crepes, pies, quiches, soups & Zeke’s Coffee (local small batch roaster)!

Baltimore Farmers Market 5

All markets are fun to walk through, eat a little and see what farmers have brought (or what other people are buying).

Baltimore Farmers Market 6

What are some of your favorite farmer’s markets? What do you love to pick up when you go?

Baltimore Farmers Market 7

Sam and I picked up these goodies, and the next day we made this breakfast!

June Review

It seemed like a lot of people liked the May review, so I think I might make this a regular post each month.  So what photos did I capture on my iPhone this month?

As I’m sure everyone has seen on Pinterest, drinks in jars are the cool new thing!  My friend Carrie loves this idea, and we cooled off with mimosas one night (grapefruit juice & prosecco)!

Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market finds!  My favorite from that week were the peas- could not stop eating them!

Blueberry picking at Butler’s Orchard with friends, what a great way to spend a Saturday!  Also, it’s a great excuse to make a blueberry-oat crumble!

Another week of deliciousness from the Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market!  This weeks favorites were the squash blossoms for a frittata and more peas!

Sam and I were dog and cat sitting one weekend.  We tried out an new coffee place, Pound the Hill and made a blueberry-oat crumble!

An amazing dinner at Hank’s Oyster Bar!  They have 2 locations- Dupont & Alexandria!  We went sailing that afternoon, so the oysters were a perfect finish to a great Sunday!

We went to a fabulous dinner at Jose Andres Zaytinya with a friend who is spending 2 months in Turkey!  This is one of the top 10 restaurants in DC, should be on everyone’s list to try!

More goodies from the Penn Quarter Farmers Market!  The delicious tart cherries were made into a pie, just like last year!  We devoured the green beans dipped in hummus, a perfect snack!

We celebrated my friend Becky’s birthday with a Cherry-Chocolate Birthday Cake in Baltimore!

Jessica–  friend and fellow blogger– is fostering kittens!  At the time I was there, all 4 still needed a home- I almost wanted to bring one home with me!

Last weeks goodies from the Penn Quarter Farmers Market.  Check out what I made with the beets– a perfect mid-day snack!  Tomatoes, peaches and nectarines are finally here!

Finally, while visiting Williamsburg, VA for a weekend we spotted these lemon ball cucumbers at the Williamsburg Farmers Market!  They taste just like a cucumber, but in a fun shape and color!

Baltimore & a Cherry-Chocolate Birthday Cake

Two of my close friends from Iowa (go Hawks!) also live on the East Coast.  Beth lives in Baltimore, and Becky lives in Boston (lots of B’s).  When Sam and I went up to Boston in April we visited Becky and her husband Gary, thanks to them we stopped by the Sam Adams Brewery and checked out some great food in Boston!

This past weekend we had a little reunion in Baltimore to run the Baltimore Women’s Classic 5K with Beth.  Coincidentally, last week Becky turned another year older, so I thought this would be a great excuse to make a birthday cake!  Of course, I had to find one that was easy to carry on public transportation (the bad part about not having a car!).

Before I get to the cake, which was delicious, I want to tell you about some of the places we checked out while in Baltimore:

Friday night dinner was at Mother’s Federal Hill Grille.  I’ve been here before, and always enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and great food.  Definitely a place to grab a quick burger or a couple of beers.  From my many visits to Baltimore I’ve noticed that there are always people there, but it’s never too crowded!

If you yelp “brunch” in Baltimore, the top restaurant will be Miss Shirley’s Cafe.  And it’s definitely a place everyone should check out just once.  The menu is very creative, as you will find out in just a second!

This was the Key Lime Cheesecake Stuffed French Toast.  Very decadent and can satisfy someone’s craving for key lime pie, although they are nowhere near Key West!

This was the Soft-Shell “BLT” Benedict: poached eggs, corn-meal encrusted soft shell crab, tomato, lettuce and bacon on sourdough rounds with Old Bay.  I did take a bite of this, and definitely enjoyed it!  The only complaint we had was that it was served on iceberg lettuce- it would be nice if there was something a bit more nutritional.

One of us also ordered Eggs, Bacon & an Onion-Potato Hash.  They have gluten-free bread here, so feel free to make the alteration if needed.

Lastly, I ordered a Lunch Combo (1/2 sandwich, 1/2 salad).  The sandwich (which I can’t wait to replicate) was a Summer Strawberry Grilled Cheese and it had: goat cheese, strawberries and spinach.  It was perfect with the salad- and a great way to enjoy a lovely Saturday with my friends!

Our last stop, which I really want to share, was at The Abbey Burger Bistro.  I wish I had taken pictures of our food- but that will have to be for another time (I definitely want to go back!).  They have a great selection of beers, and a very relaxed atmosphere.  But what makes this place great (in my opinion) is that you can make your own burger!  They have a great checklist, and you can “build it” any way you’d like.  For example, the meat choices are: bison, black angus, kobe beef, chicken, lamb (shenandoah valley), elk, kangaroo, turkey, wild boar and meat of the month!  Definitely not just your regular burger bar.

Alright, now it’s time for the cake.  I really enjoyed this dessert since it wasn’t overly sweet and the fruit I added to it can be anything you’d like.

Cherry-Chocolate Birthday Cake
Adapted from: Orangette

Cake:
1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp rose water
2 cups all-purpose white flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup 2% milk

Topping (this is optional):
8 oz dark chocolate, roughly chopped
3 tbsp half ‘n half
fruit
powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.  Spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.

In a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy.  Then add the eggs, vanilla extract and rose water; mix well before adding each new component.

Add in half the flour and mix well.  Then add the baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cocoa powder and milk.  Beat the batter well, then add it the rest of the flour and mix again.

Pour the batter into the springform.  Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick is inserted into the middle and it comes out clean.

Optional: Once the cake has cooled off, then prepare the chocolate topping.

Heat water in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Once it is boiling, place a bowl on top (the bottom of the bowl shouldn’t be touching the water) to create a double-boiler.  Add in the chocolate and let it slowly melt.  Every couple of minutes add in a teaspoon of the half ‘n half.  As the chocolate melts, keep stirring and adding the half ‘n half.  You might not need as much liquid to get it to the consistency you’d like.  Once it’s ready, drizzle over the cake or spread it out (like I did).  Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Since my cake had a bit of a dent in the middle, I added some cherries- but any kind of fruit would be perfect.  Also, if you’d like, sprinkle the top with powdered sugar.