ch-ch-ch-changes [radio edit remix]

thank you all for the amazing outpouring of love on facebook, twitter, and the colloquial communication like email, text, and phone calls!

it is TRUE. i graduated from culinary school! (still 2 class recaps to come–check back on tuesday!)

turns out they think i’m pretty smart.

it was a little dicey as to whether or not we were actually allowed to participate in the ceremony, but at the last minute, zachary daquiri and i were able to score some sweet threads and crash the party!

then manfriend whisked me away for something we haven’t had in many many moons–a vacation! we spent a fantastic week in savannah, ga and charleston, sc and now [literally, right now. thank you scheduled posts!] we’re moving me BACK to my beloved DC! we’re cohabitating (for shame!) only a few blocks from where i’ll be doing my internship at my favorite kitchen in the city.

stars, please align.

charlotte has been good to me and culinary school was an incredible experience that bestowed on me un-be-lieveable friendships. but, it’s time to go home.

tuesday quickie

Quick trip…quick post.

After such a great thanksgiving break, it was extra hard to dive back deep down below the mason-dixon. I was missing my city and my people baaaaaaaad. Manfriend came to the rescue and whisked me back up to dc in mid-december. We hit Fruit Bad on H Street, a place I’ve been dying to try forever. And was it ever worth the wait. Enter: the pig latin.

oh yes. i’m still talking about it not the next day–but the next month.

saturday morning brought a reunion with a favorite pasttime: brunch with liscious! ted’s bulletin for eggs, bacon, bubbles, and house-made maple bacon poptarts.

A happy coincidence with this visit was it coincided with Slow Motion’s no-way-i’m-3-years-from-30 birthday celebration! She can sniff our a surprise from 5 miles away, so this was a covert operation and I declare it a success she only had half an inkling something was up. ūüôā

surprise!”]An absolutely amazing night of good bbq, great friends, and awesome live music was the perfect way to end the weekend.

per usual

Aw crap. So much for that quick follow-up with a Thanksgiving post. Well, lucky for you here it is in January now that we’re all in the post-holiday slump! Some remaining holiday cheer!

First night back in the district in 2.5 months–

Manfriend and I dine in the same establishment as the First Lady. For the second time in 3 years. What are the odds? The secret service agent had the courtesy to say “welcome home” as he was halfway up my thigh looking for concealed weapons. It was GREAT to be home.

The annual sh*tshaw thanksgiving was full of friendly faces and fantastic food! Our lovely hosts gave me a huge hug and said something like “hiitssonicetoseeyouCOME LOOK AT THE TURKEY.” I did nothing other than comfort the cooks– the bird came out amazingly delicious. I was tasked with dessert, per usual. I made the requisite pumpkin cheesecake, per usual. ¬†I also threw out some pastry skills and made a chocolate cream pie. Then I forgot to take pictures, per usual. Here’s a couple stolen from Smash:

The mound of whipped cream hiding behind the tupperware is the pie, the orange squares are the cheesecake. I have a future in descriptive food writing, no?

The very next day all my favorite people came out to celebrate me turning another year of twenty-fun!

And then Manfriend and I were sent off to Delaware in style by Slow Motion, Liscious, and J-Bear with gigantic beers, ridiculous cocktails, and a little QT with tiny symbol of the season.

best. face. ever.

off we went to the First State where I took zero pictures. per ususal.  hope everyone else had a lovely thanksgiving (6 weeks ago) too!

SO–my one and only new years resolution (wait what happened to christmas? hold on) is to be much more on top of this here piece of the interwebs. with that, i’ll leave you, to return again soon (SOON!) with new class updates and an xmas recap.

 

inclement weather

hey dc, i’ve only been gone for 2 weeks. i know it’s been hard, but an earthquake AND a hurricane is a little excessive.

in all seriousness: be careful this weekend, mmk? i’ll be back in a week and i’d like things in working order.

in more seriousness: inclement weather events in dc are some of the most fond memories i have from the district. we weathered hurricane isabel in the terrace of Anderson Hall, hurricane ernesto at rumors (yep. went there.) and snowpocalypse¬†and¬†snowmageddon¬† in various dwellings across the metro area. i’d be lying if i said i wasn’t missing the hour-long lines in the grocery store, the¬†hilarious¬†alert dc updates, and all the FUN to be had snuggled up warm and safe with your favorite people in the world.

be safe. i miss you all more than you know.

ps: i already knew this guy was pretty cool. last night the rest of america found out. way to go, chef!!

alright, already.

ok ok ok ok ok! enough with the hounding and the judging and the abuse! we’re back! you asked for it. there are pictures, but they ain’t all pretty. ¬†and turns out if you don’t write things down, 4 months later you forget what recipe you used. so, here’s what we got:

one day in october, manfriend and i made meatloaf.

i’m 90% sure we based it off pioneer woman’s recipe, except we didn’t wrap it in bacon (forgive me!). it was still delicious. especially the sauce.

then, i revisited my childhood and played with lots of rainbow sprinkles.

i’m 50% sure i used this recipe. i know i looked at it for a while, at least.

and now the for the crime solving portion of the programming–apparently at some point in early november, a dish was made in my kitchen i have no recollection of. a crime! ¬†from the evidence gathered, i’ve deduced there was a salad with sesame-crusted steak

exhibit a

that was seared.

exhibit b

there were mushrooms involved. apparently.

exhibit c

the whole business was dressed in….soy and cilantro, knowing the suspect’s m.o. there was probably some chili sauce and honey implicated as well.

exhibit d

resulting in the carnage below. quite a whodunnit.

seriously, i have only a very vague memory of preparing this. i'm sure it was sufficiently tasty. well, i hope.

moving right along. Liscious and I made ourselves a fantastic brunch of pumpkin-cream-cheese-streusel-muffins and a egg-tomato-prosciutto focaccia pizza. oh and just a splash of champagne. just a splash.

 

doesn’t that look fun? ¬†oh and then she got married. parts of the day went better than others. example of the latter:

bridesmaid bustle bender.

and then i made pork chops. ¬†this is BIG. i hate pork chops. i don’t like hating foods (except bananas, which is well documented and i believe, entirely justified) so i tried to give it another go. ¬†the problem with cooking foods you’re not terribly fond of or familiar with is you tend to not be well-versed in preparing them. ergo, i over cooked the pork chops. manfriend said they were tasty (good manfriend) but i was not satisfied. their saving grace was the maple-sage pan sauce i made to go with them. that was a win.

christmas happened again this year, which was nice.  i had a good, long, and sufficiently eventful stay at the homestead. There was deep dish pizza, pink champagne, snowflakes, and funtimes with the sistafriend.

shortly after, 2011 showed up. we tried to get off on a good foot–

but the universe had other ideas. we’ll just have to return soon to kentucky, and try again at gettin’ lucky.

and so here we are! i’ve got a few tasty things coming down the pike (pipe?) which are really only scheduled to keep you mongrels satisfied. RAWR.

Technology: 1/2 DTMS: 1/2 (you know I don’t like to lose)

So wordpress makes a super cool blackberry app. It looks cool, its easy to use, and for the life of me I cannot get it to post to the blog! We’re going mid-tech (not low, not high) and posting via email.

So, just to fill you in, dc had the worst freaking winter imaginable. We’re now enjoying almost a month of straight 90-100 degree days. This kind of smite makes me think god is a Republican.

For the most recent office birthday, I thought everyone could use a little help beating the heat: ice cream sandwiches!

Rumor had it the birthday girl enjoyed both coffee and chocolate ice cream. I had starred this post a while ago and the cookie choices looked like they would go perrrfectly with her favorite ice creams. Peanut butter cookies with chocolate ice cream, and chocolate cookies with coffee ice cream. Oh yes and rolled in m&m’s and toffee bits.

The sandwiches were a huge hit, but the untold story is that both of these cookie recipes are amazing on their own. The PB cookies are insanely easy and peanutty, abd the chocolate cookies are simple, clean, fantastic chocolate wafer-esque cookies.

Stay cool!

when there’s no time to cook, eat with your hands!

Things have been moving at break-neck speed over here at DTMS, which has left me with little time to cook, and even less time to blog. But a girl’s gotta eat, right?

Monday night Manfriend and I visited one of our very favorite places in the whole city.¬† I normally would not disclose this place to you because it is insanely delicious and rarely crowded on week nights and I would like to keep it that way. But because you are my dear readers and I’ve been depriving you for the last week, I’ll share my little secret with you. Ready? Are you ready?

Etete is an Ethiopian restaurant on 9th St, NW¬† just south of U on a 2-block stretch known as “Little Ethiopia.” But I bet you didn’t know that ;). I’d never had Ethiopian until I met Manfriend and now I can’t imagine my life without it (he’s been a nice addition too).

Here’s the deal: you order as many items as you like (we usually get 2-3) and they all come together on a big round platter lined with injera, the Ethiopian’s answer to pita. It’s spongy and tangy and fantastic all on its own. Your dinner arrives looking something like this:

yea your mouth is watering, isn't it.

Two of my favorites are the Yefem Tibs and the Kitfo, both specialties of the house, and both nice and spicy.  Manfriend swears by the Tomato Salad too. They have gobs of vegetarian dishes,and the meats come with yummy yummy greens.

Ready to dig in? Roll up your sleeves.  You also get a basket of rolled up injera, which will be your cutlery for the meal.  Tear off a piece and dig in!  There are forks for the faint of heart.  If you read DTMS, you are not faint of heart. Use your damn hands.

Laid back and always delicious, Etete is just the best for a quick, cheap, and out-of-this-world delicious meal.¬† Just don’t all go at once and take up all my tables. Kisses!

what? dc got some snow?

Obligatory pictures of Snowmageddon–the first one (after Snowpocalypse but before ANOTHER GODDAMN SNOWFALL). ¬†When the 2nd 20 inches fell in less than 4 days, no one was excited anymore. ¬†Blizzard conditions and cabin fever took the artistic spirit right out of me. ¬†These were Saturday morning, only about 20 hours after the 3-day storm started.

K Street is usually humming with the thunder of Washington lobbyists, so the silence was quite striking.

that’s a spicy meat-a-ball

As of this morning, Washington, DC had gotten 45 inches of snow this winter.  How much above normal is that?

35 inches above normal.

And, the weatherman is predicting another 10-20 inches starting tomorrow afternoon. What did we do to deserve this? Well, we shipped our beacon of hope back to the commies.

How did I prepare? I made meatballs. Spicy meatballs. With bacon. ¬†Clay and Zach over at the Bitten Word posted these guys about a week ago and I had a constant, unyielding craving for them as soon as I saw them. ¬†So really, the 24 inches of snow was just and excuse. ¬†It’s also a great excuse for the federal government to cancel work for three days. Take THAT you tea baggers.

“I swore I wasn’t going to do this any more!” Manfriend said, amidst the ritual foot-stomping and whimpering as the final pictures were impeding his first bite. These are a fair amount of work but really, really worth it. Spicy, succulent, and soul-satisfying. ¬†And this recipe makes GOBS, half of which promptly went into the freezer for the next cleverly-named snow storm. ¬†Oh wait, that’s in 12 hours.

Spaghetti and Meatballs All’Amatriciana

Bon Appétit

Ingredients:

Meatballs:

  • 6 ounces uncured applewood-smoked bacon (about 6 slices), diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 pounds ground beef (15% fat)
  • 2/3 cup chopped drained roasted red peppers from jar
  • 2/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup coarsely grated onion
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh marjoram
  • 2 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Sauce:

  • 2 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes in juice (preferably San Marzano)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 6 ounces uncured applewood-smoked bacon (about 6 slices), cut crosswise into thin strips
  • 1 tablespoon (or more) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups finely chopped onions
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh marjoram

Pasta:

  • 1 1/2 pounds spaghetti
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh marjoram
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

For meatballs:

  • Place bacon in processor. Using on/off turns, grind to coarse paste. Transfer to large bowl. Using garlic press, squeeze in garlic. Gently mix in beef and all remaining ingredients. Let stand 15 minutes.
  • Line large rimmed baking sheet with plastic wrap. Using moistened hands and scant 2 tablespoonfuls for each, roll meat mixture into 11/2-inch meatballs. Arrange meatballs on sheet. DO AHEAD:¬†Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic wrap; chill.

For sauce:

  • Puree tomatoes with juice and garlic in batches in blender until smooth.
  • Cook bacon in large pot over medium heat until crisp; transfer bacon to plate.
  • Add 1 tablespoon oil to drippings in pot and heat over medium heat. Add half of meatballs. Cook until brown on all sides, turning carefully with small metal spatula, about 9 minutes. Transfer meatballs to baking sheet. Add more oil to pot if needed and repeat with remaining meatballs.
  • Increase heat to medium-high. Add onions and crushed red pepper to pot.
  • Saut√© until golden, about 6 minutes. Add wine; boil until reduced by half, stirring up browned bits, about 8 minutes. Add tomato puree and marjoram. Boil until sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Mix bacon into sauce. Add meatballs; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until meatballs are heated through and tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

For pasta:

  • Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain; transfer to large bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons oil and marjoram, adding more oil to moisten, if desired. Divide spaghetti among bowls. Top with meatballs and sauce. Sprinkle with cheese and serve, passing additional cheese separately.

as if another use for bacon could possibly be invented: bacon paste.

i have baby garlic cloves, so i upped the number used.

i dumped all my mis-en-place into a bowl then added the meat. take that, bon appetit.

that is half of a LARGE onion.

speed dating for food. 15 minutes for everyone to get to know each other then be forced into a hot situation.

gratuitous bacon shot for all my loyal carnivores.

my meaty army.

aforementioned hot situation.


time to get SAUCY.

boil, boil, toil and trouble.

foot-stomping good.

after a few bites in his belly, manfriend is much more happy to aid in the food styling.

Snowpocalypse….Snowmageddon…names in the running for the next one include Snowmageddon II (lame), Snoverkill, Snowzilla, Snowfecta. ¬†You can vote on the name here. Whatever you call it, I hope everyone is warm, cozy, and surrounded by good friends and food. ūüôā