Tag Archives: Boston

Boston Marathon & Food Matters Project #37: Central American Red Beans & Rice

The blog post below was ready to be published when I found out about what happened at the Boston Marathon.  I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around this tragedy and devastation.  Although I blog about food, my other hobby is running.  Running races are a time when runners can celebrate all of the hard work they put into their training, and their family and friends can support them.  During races the amount of energy, comradery, and excitement is like nothing I have every experienced before- this is the reason I continue to sign up for races, cheer my friends on, and volunteer.  My heart goes out to all those affected by yesterday’s events.

If you’d like to read more, here are some blog posts which resonated with me.  There are more posts being published by the minute, so if you find one that touched you, please share in the comments below.

Health on the Run
Pavement Runner
Run to Eat
Sweet Life Ericka

Or, check out these articles:

If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon – The Washington Post
The Meaning of the Boston Marathon – The New Yorker

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The start of the week means a new post from the Food Matters Project!  This week our host is Aura, of Dinner with Aura.  Aura lives in Michigan, so she was happy to make a warm and comforting dish for a cold, rainy day.  Fortunately, DC has had better weather the last couple of weeks- spring is finally here!

Aura chose Mark Bittman’s recipe for Super-Lemony Kidney Beans, from his Food Matters Cookbook.  Definitely check out her Lubia Chalow-Afghan Lemon Kidney Beans, as she stuck to the original recipe in the cookbook.  The photos are beautiful, and now I can’t wait to try this recipe.  Make sure to stop over and check out what other Food Matters Project participants made here.

Aura mentioned this in her post, and I agree with her, I have a hard time imagining what each recipe will look like, since there are no photos in Mark Bittman’s cookbook.  As I’ve been doing this project for over a year now (this page has the list of all of the FMP posts we participated in), I realized that I skip over many recipes in other cookbooks just because I can’t visualize them- changing this might have to be a new resolution when it comes to cooking!

I read the ingredients.  Then I went to the grocery store, and rather than buying a bag of kidney beans, I was intrigued by the Central American Red Beans.  So I got a little side tracked, and the Afghan flavors turned into South American one’s…so I didn’t follow Mark Bittman’s recipe!  The beans are great, perfect when incorporated with the rice- but they do take a little to cook (although it’s worth the time and effort).

Central American Red Beans & Rice

Central American Red Beans & Rice
Fifth Floor Kitchen Original

This recipe makes a lot!  We had friends over for dinner, and only half was eaten- so be prepared to eat it for a week, or halve the recipe.  We started with chips and salsa, and paired this with some steak in chimichurri sauce which was made on the grill.

1 lb Central American Red Beans (although you can use any dried beans)
water
2 cups of uncooked rice
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, chopped
1 tbsp adobo sauce
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
green onions (optional)
cilantro (optional)

Add the beans to a large pot, then add water so it covers all of the beans.  Bring to a boil, then turn down to medium heat.  Cook the beans until they start to be soft (once cooked, these are bit harder than black beans or garbanzo’s).  I had to add additional water while cooking, so keep an eye out for them.  The cooking process should take about 5 hours.

Cook rice per package directions.

Once the beans are close to being done, add the onion, garlic, jalapeño, adobo sauce, cumin, salt, and pepper.  Continue to cook for about an hour, then take off heat and mix in with the rice.

Feel free to sprinkle with green onions and cilantro for additional flavor.

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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

August Review

How time flies when you’re having fun!  I’m really enjoying doing these monthly reviews, it’s a fun way to look back on what we did throughout the month!  Check out the last 3 months: May, June, and July!

Sam and I completed our Open Water Scuba Diving Certificates in Virginia Beach!  Our first dive was at the Chesapeake Light Tower (locally known as The Tower), about 13 miles east of the Rundee Inlet.  We took our trip with the Lynnhaven Dive Center– what a great adventure!

Our family had a beach house rented for the week, so we did have some time to relax at the beach!  We got a tan, read some books, and even saw this cute little sand crab.  Having lived in Virginia Beach before, I feel like Sandbridge is one of the best beaches in the area!

As always, we did visit the Penn Quarter Farmers Market!  This particular week we got: milk, cherry tomatoes, eggs, habañeros, tomatoes, peaches, cucumbers, and green beans.  What can you make with these ingredients?  Check out these recipes: Buckwheat Crêpes with Corn Salsa, Summer Squash & Ricotta Tart, Greek Panzanella, and Asian Veggie Rolls.

One night we made this delicious pizza!  Loved the fried egg on top- so yummy!  Try some of our pizzas: Apple & Smoked Cheese Whole Wheat Pizza or the Mushroom & Broccoli Pizza!

My friend Beth and I went to visit our friend Becky in Boston!  Sam and I visited Boston in April and loved the city and the Sam Adams Brewery!  This time it was a girls weekend- we ate cannoli’s at Mike’s Pastry, brunch at The Flour Bakery, some running, and enjoying Harvard Square.  Check out my post on The Flour Bakery!

Another stop at the Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market!  This weeks goodies were: corn, peppers, eggs, bacon, tomatoes, peaches, zucchini and summer squash.  Check out this month’s recipes, such as: Brazilian Fish & Shrimp Stew, Summer Squash & Ricotta Tart, or the Buckwheat Crêpes with Corn Salsa.

With a new blogger friend, Sylvie from Thrifty DC Cook, I volunteered at one of the homeless shelters in DC.  We had a fun time cooking of a delicious lunch- and I made some cookies for dessert!

I went to a book reading at Politics and Prose, a local DC bookstore.  Jennifer Close, author of Girls in White Dresses, and Rebecca Harrington, author of Penelope, read a section of each of their books, talked about the process of writing, and how they got new ideas.  This was the first time I went into P&P, but can’t wait to check out some more events they have to offer!

After the third visit of the month to the Penn Quarter Farmers Market we got a chance to try some eggs, crab dip, summer squash, tomatoes, peaches, cherry tomatoes, green beans and peppers!  Check out the Buckwheat Crêpes with Corn Salsa recipe to make with those cherry tomatoes!

A bachelorette weekend in St. Michael’s, MD included some fun shopping.  In one of the stores we found these great napkins.  Thank you to: Jess, Steph, Carolyn, Cassie, Katie, Josie and Krista for a wonderful weekend!!!


In the last week of August at the Penn Quarters Market we got: bacon, brat patty meat, cucumbers, summer squash, apples, cider, tomatoes, eggs, various peppers, cherry tomatoes and arugula.  Try making Buckwheat Crêpes with Corn Salsa, Greek Panzanella, Summer Squash & Ricotta Tart, Asian Veggie Rolls or the Brazilian Fish and Shrimp Stew.

Boston: Flour Bakery

This past weekend, I got to spend some time with friends in Boston.  It was great to see the city in some warmer temperatures, since it was a little chilly when we were there in April.  Check out what Sam and I did on our last visit: Sam Adams Brewery and Boston Review.

This time around it was a girls weekend, so there was some running, brunching, eating delicious pasta and enjoying the beautiful weather!  One of the highlights was a visit to Flour Bakery.  As stated on their website, Flour Bakery was “borne out of a passionate desire to share the simple pleasures that mouth-watering pastries and foods can bring”.  Walking in you can smell the delicious variety of baked goods from tarts and decadent chocolate cakes, to traditional cookies and croissants.

Joanne Chang is a Harvard graduate with a degree in applied mathematics and economics.  At 24, after two years as a management consultant, she changed her career and dove into the pastry and restaurant business.  Today, in addition to the three locations of Flour Bakery (Fort Point, South End and Central Square), her and her husband also manage Myers + Chang.

As we walked through the door of the Central Square location, there was a bit of a line- but it moved quickly.  After a run that morning we decided to each have a brunch item, as well as a dessert, so we can share.  There is standard menu of breakfast items, sandwiches and desserts.  In addition, there are also daily and weekly items.  On this board, a couple of items were already crossed out and unavailable by the time we arrived (around noon).  So what did we eat?

Beth and I had ordered the exact same thing, but prepared differently.  All sandwiches can also be prepared as a salad, unless they are roasted.  So I chose the Smoked Salmon with Herbed Cream Cheese, Red Onions and Arugula Sandwich.

Meanwhile, Beth decided on the salad version of the same dish.  After trying the salad, we all raved about the dressing- but couldn’t exactly decide what was in it!

Becky opted for another weekly special of the summer squash quiche, which was served with a small side salad.


Now for the best part, the desserts!  We had an oreo:

A chocolate chip macaroon:

And a Sticky Buns, the signature dessert at Flour Bakery.  I’m not a huge fan of anything cinnamon, but these might have won my heart.  They were a little sweet with notes of caramel and brown sugar, a little nutty with pecans, and a little sticky per the name.  My favorite was that they were lightly airy and not too heavy, makes for a delicious treat after a run!

Becky said that she’ll definitely be back, and I’m excited to hear what she’ll get next time!

Visiting Boston, Massachusetts

This past weekend we went to visit our friends in Boston.  Other than taking the tour of Sam Adams Brewery, we also enjoyed some great food!

On Friday evening we stopped by the Cheers Bar in Beacon Hill.

Of course, this is where Sam found out that I had never seen even one episode of Cheers.  I know, that might be shocking since they had many reruns on Nickelodeon while I was growing up.

We walked around downtown Boston and saw

the Union Oyster House, which is the oldest restaurant in the United States.  Prior to being a seafood house it was a fancy dress good store, and during the Revolutionary War it was the location where Federal troops received their wages.

Fun Fact: The toothpick was first used here!

This is a menu at Atwood & Bacon’s (the name prior to Union Oyster House) from the 19th century.  All of the prices are in cents- most of the oysters were between 10-40 cents, while a milk or coffee was 5.

And looking at all those oysters in the window, we had to stop for a snack at the Farmer’s Market:

Lot’s of seafood to choose from!


And we decided to have some fresh Cherrystone Clams:

They were some of the the most delicious I have ever had!

After some more walking around we decided to stop in one of the many restaurants in the North End.  We chose Rabia’s Seafood & Oyster Bar, an Italian restaurant.  A group of us had a lot of good food, to give you a little taste:

we had to have a bit more oysters!

This was the Fradiavolo Alla Mediterranea (baby octopus, shrimp, scallops, calamari, clams, mussels, linguine, fire roasted tomato).

Linguine Alla Vongole (Cape Cod littlnecks, assorted mushrooms, garlic, linguine)

Fettuccine Con Aragosta (Fresh Maine lobster, fresh egg fettuccine, Vermont butter)

Lobster with butter!

After looking through all those photos, I now want to make some pasta and seafood.  Yum!

One last Boston tip!  We went to brunch at The Regal Beagle, which had a great atmosphere- very laid back and great for a Sunday morning.  This will be a bold statement- I had the best BLT sandwich I have ever eaten.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take a photo (next time?)- but if I will ever be back, I will definitely get this again.

Good-bye Boston, we’ll definitely be back soon!