Tag Archives: New Year

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

Chinese New Year Sorbet with a Crisp

Yesterday (January 23rd) many celebrated the first day of the lunar year.  For the next 15 days the Chinese New Year festivities will continue, ending on the day of the full moon.

When I had some friends over for our monthly dinner, I decided to go with the theme of Chinese food.  I had made egg rolls, lettuce wraps, rice noodles with vegetables and some sesame spinach.  In true foodie fashion, I think I need to work all of those a bit more before they are presented on the blog.

But I think the dessert turned out well, I even had some last night.  This was the first time I’ve ever made a sorbet.  Although it’s not the perfect January dessert, it was very light and refreshing (definitely would be a great summer dish).  The pear sorbet included a Sesame Wonton Crisp, which was extremely easy to make.  It’s a great little “extra” on an ice cream or sorbet!

Want to try another chilled dessert?  How about Rum Raisin Ice Cream or Kumquat & Orange Sorbet.  Let us know which is your favorite!

Pear Sorbet
Adapted from: Lottie + Doof

5 juicy pears (peeled, cored and roughly chopped)
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup of sugar
1/3 cup pear brandy
2 drops  of vanilla extract

Remember to store your ice cream maker in the freezer at least 6 hours before this (this note is from personal experience).

Make a simple syrup, heat up the water in a small saucepan until its boiling.  Then add the sugar and keep stirring until it dissolves.  Once it’s dissolved, then turn off the burner and let the syrup sit until it cools off.

Puree the pears in a food processor until the mixture is smooth (really smooth).  Then transfer the mixture to a bowl.  Add the simple syrup, brandy and vanilla extract.

Process in the ice cream maker per the directions.  For example, I did mine for about 30 minutes.  Transfer the sorbet into a container and keep in the freezer so it firms up.  Serve with a wonton crisp!

Sesame Wonton Crisps
Adapted from: yumsugar

8 wonton wrappers
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp heavy cream
2 tbsp sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Place parchment paper on top of a cookie sheet.  Arrange the wontons, leaving space in between each of them.

In a small bowl mix together the sugar and ginger.

In another small bowl mix together the egg yolk and heavy cream.  Brush the top of the wontons with the egg wash.  Then sprinkle each with the sugar mixture, and lastly with the sesame seeds.

Bake the wontons until they are crisp and golden, this should be about 8-10 minutes.  Let them cool, and then add them with a sorbet.

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)!