Tag Archives: charlottesville

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

Advertisements

Charlottesville, VA cont.

Charlottesville Weekend Part 2 (to check out what we did on Saturday)!

We woke up Sunday morning and although it was a bit chilly out- we went for a run around the UVA campus.  It was so pretty, we ended up walking through and taking some pictures later in the day.  It’s definitely a bit hilly, but it makes for a good workout!

UVA is a public university founded by Thomas Jefferson, and established in 1819.  UVA was the first university that offered specializations such as astronomy, architecture, botany, philosophy and political science.

This is the Rotunda on a beautiful sunny day.  The library was housed in the Rotunda until a fire destroyed the building in 1895.  It was rebuilt twice since then, the second time it was was changed to Jefferson’s original design.

Jefferson’s orginal design revolved around the “Academic Village” which specified the stretch of lawn and the student rooms on both sides.

We walked around a bit and took some pictures, enjoyed the weather and imagined how gorgeous it is here in the fall.

We also stopped by for brunch at Boylan Heights for some brunch.  Although we came to this place for brunch, it actually prides itself on being a gourmet burger restaurant.  The place is very relaxed, with extra seating upstairs.  When we were here there was a mix of college students as well as families with kids.

Although I have not tried the burgers (we’ll have to do this on the next trip down), Boylan Heights gets its beef from organic farms in Virginia.  All of the beef is supplied through The Organic Butcher (traditional butcher in Charlottesville), ground daily and is hormone free, antibiotic-free and grass fed.  You can build your own burger, or try out one of the one’s which they have noted on their menu.

Sam ordered the Eggs and Toast, with a side of the Housebrowns.  The Housebrowns were definitely rich, but so good.  A different and delicious spin on hashbrowns.

The other side you could choose were grits, so I ordered those so we could swap and share.

I ordered the Egg Benedict- the Garden.  It had an english muffin with a poached egg, spinach, mushrooms, black bean corn salsa, goat cheese and a chipotle hollandaise sauce.

I think we’ll have to try making our own hollandaise sauce one Sunday morning.  This was delicious.

After we finished eating, we needed a little walk in order to digest our food.  So we walked around for a bit before getting into our car.

As we walked on Main Street, we saw these adorable pups outside one of the shops:

Isn’t that the sweetest thing you’ve ever seen?!?  I wish our cats would cuddle like that.

We enjoyed our weekend trip to Charlottesville, and have already made plans to come back in the spring or summer.  I’m looking forward to sitting outdoors on the Pedestarian Mall, or walking through the beautiful campus!

Charlottesville, Virginia

For the long Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, Sam and I went to Charlottesville, VA.  We left DC on a chilly Saturday morning and headed south.  Some of our friends went to UVA and we’ve been wanting to explore this college town.  For the latest restaurants and fun things to do, I reached out to a fellow food blogger, Kath from Kath Eats Real Food.  She has a great Charlottesville page– with descriptions of places to check out.

We spent Saturday afternoon walking around the Pedestrian Mall on old Main Street.

There are many restaurants, boutiques and shops.  Walking from the west to the east end, we browsed around and checked out some storefronts.

At the east end of the Pedestrian Mall there is a Charlottesville Community Chalkboard:

The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression was created so members of the public may express their views on any subject that they choose.

I have yet to see a spot like this anywhere else, so it was cool to check out and read what others have written!

Our first stop was Skybar.

We wanted to check out Commonwealth (the connected restaurant below) but it wasn’t going to open for another 30 minutes.  So we walked upstairs to find a covered bar (with heaters), I’d love to hang out at this place when the weather is nice.  Both of us tried new beers, shared a cured meats plate and some truffled fries:

This is a Blue Mountain Kolsch from Afton, Virginia.  Both of us really liked it, so the next time we’re in the area we’ll definitely have to visit this brewery.

The next place we checked out was Miller’s, it’s known for Dave Matthews starting his band- Dave Matthews Band– while working here as a bartender.

It’s a great dive bar, with a large beer menu (this is only 1 side of the list):

There are many choices, one of the one’s we tried was:

It’s Sixpoint Craft Ales brewery from Brooklyn, and they have a number of different beers.  If you ever see it on a beer list- definitely give this one a try!

And to fill us up, we got a giant nacho plate- although it was the 1/2 order (also known as the 54 1/2 nachos).  I’m glad we didn’t order the bigger one, since we didn’t finish this one!

By then we were tired after a long day, and decided to head to our hotel.

Good-bye Miller’s!

In the next post we’ll share what we did on Sunday…

Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012!

Happy New Year Everyone!  Thank you for all of your support with this blog in the last year, it has been wonderful to document all of our culinary adventures.  We’re looking forward to a delicious 2012!

In the week between Christmas and New Year’s there is a relaxing pace in all of our lives.  People aren’t stressed at work and are enjoying the extra time with family and friends.  We have more time t0 read, sleep and relax.  I always look forward to this quiet time of the year.

In year’s past, Sam and I have gone out to a nice dinner on New Year’s Eve.  This year was similar, but rather than going out, we had two of our friends over for dinner.  While Sam had made the entree (filet mignon, roasted broccoli, shrimp and grits), our friends brought over a cream cheese soup and poached pears with cardamom cream (both were finger licking delicious- I can’t wait to try out both recipes).  It was a peaceful evening: wonderful conversations, mouthwatering food and amazing company!

Everyone has a list of resolutions as a new year begins.  There is something nice about starting with a fresh, new calendar.  Rather than resolutions, I make goals.  I was thinking about the goals I had for this blog, for our kitchen, and I decided to write them out for all of you to see them- then you can hold us accountable!  (these are in no particular order)

1. Make more breads from scratch.  Although we had made some breads (Double Rise Wheat Bread, Dinner Yeast Rolls), I’d like to make them more often, rather than buying.  This includes making bagels from scratch, it’d be a fun weekend project.  Any recommendations on good bread books?

2. Make more pasta from scratch.  Takes times, but it’s well worth it.  Any good recommendations for pasta cookbooks?

3. Try to make some Polish dishes, for example I’d love to make pierogi’s or gołąbki.  I’ve seen my mom make them, and they taste significantly better than store-bought.

4. Have less kitchen waste.  For the most part, I think we’re pretty good, but I would like to have a compost pail.  The problem is that I don’t know where we could drop off our compost (here in DC)- anyone have any ideas?  It’s definitely something I’d like to look into.

5. Take a food photo class.  As we make more recipes, I want them to look as appetizing and gorgeous as they taste!

6.  Try making a yogurt or cheese from scratch.  I’ve seen kits to make various cheeses- has anyone ever tried it?  If so, I’d love to hear recommendations!

7.  Travel more!  I actually make this a goal every single year, but it’s a good one to keep reusing.  What does it have to do with food?  You get to try new dishes, new flavors and enjoy every single bite!  Although it’s only January 1st, we have a couple of trips planned, they are:
a. Boston, MA
b. Charlottesville, VA
c. the Outer Banks (NC)
d. honeymoon (TBD- we’ll keep you updated, but it’ll be someplace warm!)
e. Philadelphia, PA
So if you have any suggestions/recommendations for things to do, places to visit, or foods/restaurants to try, we’d love to hear them!

8.  Grow our readership and community!  Check out our Fifth Floor Kitchen Facebook page!  We hope to do some updates to the blog, which is a day by day learning adventure.  Remember, we’d love to have feedback if you’ve tried a dish, made changes to a recipe, if you have questions or just want to say hello!  The three favorite blog posts from 2011 were: Blueberry-Rhubarb Crumble, Zucchini Enchiladas and Carmel, Pretzel and Nutella Bars (so if you haven’t tried one of these- definitely make them soon)!