Sunday, December 26, 2004

Ethel’s Sugar Cookies

¾ C Butter flavored Crisco
1 C sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 ½ C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Mix well the Crisco, sugar, eggs, and flavoring. Measure flour and blend with baking powder and salt. Stir in slowly in a mixer. Chill dough at least one hour. Heat oven to 400. Roll dough 1/8 inch thick on floured board. Cut cookies with cookie cutter. Place on ungreased sheet. Bake 7-8 minutes or until light brown. Makes 4 dozen.

(I use canned creamy frosting, but I add powdered sugar to it to make it harder. Use food coloring to make different colors.)

Peanut Blossom Cookies

1 8 oz bag Hershey kisses ½ C shortening ¾ C creamy peanut butter
1/3 C sugar 1/3 C packed light brown sugar 1 egg 2 T milk
1 tsp vanilla 1 ½ C flour 1 tsp soda ½ tsp salt sugar

Heat oven to 275. Remove wrappers from kisses. Beat shortening and peanut butter in a bowl until well-blended. Add 1/3 C sugar and brown sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Add egg, milk, and vanilla. Beat well. Stir together flour, soda, and salt. Gradually beat this into the peanut butter mixture. Shape dough into one inch balls. Roll in sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes until lightly browned. Immediately press a kiss into the center of each cookie. Cookie will crack around the edges. Remove from cookie sheet to cool. Make about 4 dozen.

Cheesecake Bars

12 oz pkg Butterscotch chips 1/3 C margarine 2 Cups Graham Cracker crumbs 1 C chopped pecans 8 oz pkg cream cheese 1 can Eagle Brand Milk
1 tsp vanilla 1 egg

Grease a 9 x 13 pan. Heat oven to 350. Melt chips in microwave for one minute. Stir. Add crumbs. (Needs to be crumbly) Press half the mixture into the pan. In a mixer, beat cream cheese till fluffy. Add milk. Add eggs, vanilla. Mix well. Pour cream cheese mixture over graham cracker mixture. Sprinkle with remaining graham cracker mixture. Bake 25-30 minutes. Cool before slicing.

Martha Washingtons

2 boxes powdered sugar
3 C pecans
1 tsp vanilla
1 C Eagle Brand Milk
1 Stick butter
Choc, bark for dipping

Cream ingredients (except nuts) Add nuts. Roll into balls. Use powdered sugar on hands. Melt chocolate bark in microwave according to pkg. Directions. Dip balls into chocolate holding by a toothpick. Lay on wax paper to dry.

Nell’s Sugar Cookies

1 C margarine 1 C. powdered sugar 1 tsp salt 2 eggs
1 tsp soda 1 C sugar 4 C flour 1 C oil 1 tsp vanilla 1 tsp cream of tartar

Cream margarine, oil, and sugar. Add other ingredients. Mix well. Chill dough at least one hour. Drop by spoonfuls and flatten with a fork. Use crisscross pattern. Sprinkle with colored sugars. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes

Rum Balls

½ pound vanilla wafers 1 C powdered sugar 2 T cocoa 1 C chopped pecans
½ C syrup ¼ C rum Pecan halves or quarters

Crush wafers very fine. Mix with sugar and cocoa. Add nuts, syrup and rum. Stir until well-blended and stiff. Shape into one inch balls. Let stand one hour. Roll in powdered sugar and stick a nut on each. Store in a tight container for three days before serving them.

Peanut Butter Sandwiches

1 ½ C Flour
¾ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp almond extract1/2 C butter softened
½ C creamy peanut butter room temp.
1 C sugar
1 large egg

P Butter Filling

¾ C p butter
¼ C pwd sugar
1 C choc chips
4 tsp veg oil

Heat oven to 350. In med bowl mix flour, soda, and salt. In large bowl beat p butter, sugar, and egg till smooth. On low, beat in flour mixture. For each cookie, roll 1 rounded tsp of dough into one inch ball. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes until puffed. Let stand two minutes on sheet. Remove to rack to cool.

Filling – In bowl, mix p butter and sugar. Spread flat side of half the cookies with 1 tsp filling. Top with remaining cookies. Refrigerate until firm, 30 minutes.

In small bowl, microwave chips and oil one minute. Stir until melted. Dip cookies halfway into chocolate. Let excess drain off. Place on waxed paper sheets. Drizzle with remaining chocolate. Refrigerate to set.

The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie

¾ C. Butter Flavor Crisco
1 ¼ C firmly packed brown sugar
2 T milk
1 T vanilla
1 egg
1 ¾ C flour
1 tsp salt
¾ tsp baking soda
1 C. choc. Chips
1 C/ pecan pieces

Heat oven to 375. Cream Crisco, sugar, milk, and vanilla. Blend in egg. Combine flour, salt, and soda. Add to creamed mixture, gradually. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Drop about 2 rounded T full of dough, 3 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 2 minutes. Remove to cooling rack. Makes 3 dozen 3 inch cookies.

Chocolate Bliss Cookies

1 pkg. (8 squares) Bakers Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate
¾ C firmly packed brown sugar
½ stick butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
½ C flour
¼ tsp. Baking powder
1 pkg. (8 squares) Semi Sweet baking Choc or 1 ½ C. Semi-Sweet Choc. Chunks
2 C. pecans or walnuts Chopped

Microwave choc. Squares in large bowl on High for 2 minutes. Stir until choc. is melted and smooth. Stir in sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla with wooden spoon. Stir in flour and baking powder. Stir in chopped choc. and nuts. Drop by ¼ C fulls onto ungreased cookie sheet, Bake @ 350 for 13 – 14 minutes or until cookies are puffed and feel soft to touch. Cool one minute and then remove from cookie sheet. Move to wire rack. Makes about 18 large cookies.

Pistachio Cake

1 pgs. Pistachio pudding ½ tsp almond 1 ¼ C water green food coloring 1 yellow cake mix 4 eggs ¼ C oil

Combine all ingredients. Blend. Beat at medium speed for two minutes. Pour into greased and floured bundt pan. Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes. Cool on rack. Dust with powder sugar.

Crepe Batter
4 eggs
¼ tsp salt
2 C flour
2¼ C milk
¼ C butter, melted

In medium bowl, combine eggs and salt. Gradually add flour alternately with milk. Continue beating with a mixer until smooth. Beat in melted butter. Refrigerate at least one hour. Cook on upside down griddle until crepes are lightly browned. Can stack crepes on a dinner plate and refrigerate.


1 cup uncooked grits
1 6oz roll garlic cheese cubed
1 stick margarine
2 eggs beaten
¾ cup milk
¼ tsp white pepper
¾ cup cheddar cheese grated

Cook grits as directed on pkg in 3qt pan.
While still hot, add garlic cheese and margarine. Stir well. Let cool slightly and add eggs, milk, and pepper.

Poor into 8x8 inch pan. Bake @ 325 F for 35min. Top with grated cheese and return to oven for 20 more min.


Best Squash Casserole Ever

2 lbs squash
I large carrot grated
1 large onion minced
1 Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix
½ pint sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 stick butter
salt and pepper to taste

Cook squash in salted water till soft. Drain and mash with butter. Add other ingredients, reserving half the package of stuffing for the top of the casserole. Bake at 350 for 30 – 40 minutes.

Friday, December 17, 2004

B&B recipes

I was looking for cool Bed and Breakfasts and found this site with lots of recipes!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Kitchen Appliances I Cannot Do Without

It's always a bit disconcerting to cook in someone else's kitchen. It's like reading another town's newspaper. The font is different, the local news is irrelevant, if it's a small town it just feels insubstantial compared ot the Post.

When you cook a lot, you're used to having all the right appliances. And by right, I only mean right for YOU. I use the test of - will it take more time to clean it up than it saves you in prep? For example, I don't have a zester. I find that just using a vegatable peeler and then chopping the zest finely does an equally good job. I don't have a George Foreman Grill. As a baker, I do have some completely essential tools that a large majority of the population does not have.

1. A Rolling pin. Neither my parents nor my friends Joan and brian have one. Try making pie crust with an empty wine bottle. It's not fun and it takes twice as long.

Uses: Pie crust, sugar cookies, biscuits.

2. A food processor. Dear good am I dependent on a food processor. That's all there is to say.

Uses: Pie crust, won ton filling, dips, Caeser salad dressing, hummus (which i guess counts as a dip)

3. Standing mixer. Do you know how much time this saves? Rather than a handheld, where you actually have to stay there holding the mixer, with a standing mixer you can go grad other ingredients to dump in as it happily mixes.

Uses: Cookies, dips, meatballs, batters of any kind, bread dough, whipped cream or egg whites

4. Whisk. Even if I have a standing mixer to whip eggs white, I still need a whisk for the small time jobs like salad dressings. Referring back to the "how much time will it take?" principle, for some things, it's a pain in the ass to drag out the mixer.

Uses: Sauces, gravies (subset of sauces), melted chocolate, salad dressings

Monday, December 13, 2004

A Bourguignonne to remember....

So Friday was our friends' Bob and Amy's Iron Chef Christmas party potluck. The whole concept was to have a theme ingredient that everyone had include in their dish. This year the theme was alcohol so that included bourbon and rum balls (that were really the candy version of a jello shooter), spiked bread puddings, a yum yum cranberry relish (with Cointreau) and the hit of the evening (by virtue of it not being a dessert), my "boeuf" bourguignonne. One fun thing about the party was reclaiming my signature drink from college - Ouzo on the rocks. I loved Ouzo. I don't know why I gave it up because it goes down easily and gets me from zero to drunk by hte time it hits my stomach. While I watered down the Ouzo at the party to ensure I wouldn't make an ass out of myself, it still tasted damn good and brought back memories of my study abroad year drinking with the Greeks. I am definitely planning on involving Ouzo into my New Year's Eve plans. I've long since given up the vegetarian life but there are some recipes that I've made up that I just don't mess with. One of them is the Satay meatballs made of fake ground beef (we call it Log O' Meat) and the other is the bourginion. I use these fake fajita meat strips and they taste divine. The real key to this dish is not the wine but the true gift to a fake meat enthusiast - Bac-O's. Oh god do they solidify this dish into a true meat alternative.

Here's the recipe:

1 large onion chopped into chunks
4 cloves of garlic coarsely chopped four or five sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 large sprig of fresh rosemary (or a sprinkle of dried)
4 carrots chopped into big chunks
1 small box of button mushrooms, sliced
2 packages fake beef fajita strips
1 vegetable stock cube
2 tablespoons Baco-Os
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
3 cups of red wine
2 cups of water

For the roux
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour

One of the truly great reasons to use fake beef strips instead of real beef is that it saves you the step of searing the beef first and then taking it out and then putting it back in again. Who needs that? Anyway, you saute the onions in a mixture of two tablespoons olive oil and two tablespoons butter for a few minutes and then add the garlic and carrots. Add a little salt and pepper at this stage so the garlic doesn't go brown and turn bitter (thanks Nigella Lawson). Add the herbs, mushrooms, fajita strips, tomato paste, and Bac-Os. Saute a little bit longer and then add the red wine and water. Bring to a boil and them simmer for 20 minutes, stirring. Have faith folks because for the first 15 minutes it will taste like salty wine.

After 20 minutes adjust the seasonings - add more salt, pepper, and for me, I add honey if necessary. The honey is important part of fake meat cooking for me because meat does have natural sweetness. Adding honey helps bring the dish together in the same way adding salt does. Let it simmer a bit longer while you make the roux. Just mix the butter and flour together in a small pan and mix under low heat until they are completely incorporated and the roux is a golden color. Add the roux to the stew, stirring vigourously to avoid lumps. Serve warm with crusty bread. And really don't serve it with potatoes or noodles or any such nonsense because the wine makes the stew slightly purple and purple noodles - YUCK!

Brunch links/Boulevard Wood Grill

Boulevard Wood Grill is the name of the place where AMM had her birthday. More good brunch links here and here. --jd

Saturday, December 11, 2004

There's a Blog for Us . . .

Welcome to the new DC Food Blog. For this inaugural edition, I’ve pasted up some of the recipes we have shared and made a comment or two on local restaurants. Make it your own! If you need assistance, adding a link, a review, a recipe, etc. Please let me know. OK, so let’s get down to business. Where are your two favorite places to dine in or near DC? Answer in the comments section so we can all share! JD

Brunch Ideas in DC/VA

Brunch is a treat we don't have that often. When we go, I want it to be yummy. So, I found a couple of discussions of brunch ideas on the net. This one, is more general. And this one, I started to inquire about brunch for large groups.

This morning, my favorite brunch spots are Logan Tavern, New Heights, and Georgia Brown's.

Logan Tavern simply makes great food. It can get a bit crazy in there and can be a bit tight, but their French Toast is to die for as is their Crabcakes Benedict. Other people at the table when we went for RK's birthday seemed very pleased with their meals as well. It's across from the P Street Whole Foods. (note: they also make KILLER ginger calamari if you are there for lunch/dinner)

New Heights is a bit more understated and seems like it would be a lot more expensive but is only negligibly so if you order right. Again, French Toast is great there.

Georgia Brown's brunch is definitely something you have to try once. How's about a full on breakfast buffet as Act 1 and then an entree as Act 2. The buffet offers standard brunch fare with a Southern touch, and it will definitely fill you up. Most people have a nibble on Act 2, the entree you can order from their menu and then save it for dinner or lunch the next day.

The vegetarian options are especially yummy and I've heard many rave reviews about the fried chicken. I'm partial to the catfish myself and wash it down with a glass of peach tea. In the end, it's an overwhelming amount of food. I suggest this for special occasions.

There's also the brunch place in Virginia that a few of us went to for AMM's birthday just before she left town. What the heck was that called? I remember enjoying it.

Keep an eye out for Belga Cafe here on the hill. They'll be doing a brunch based on waffles, chocolate, and fresh fruit.


From SER's Kitchen

Lemonade Cake with Lemon Glaze


Nonstick vegetable oil spray

2 ¼ cups sifted cake flour*

1 ¾ cups sugar

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. Salt

½ cup vegetable oil

½ cup lemonade **

5 large egg yolks

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp. grated lemon peel

1 cup large egg whites (7 to 8)

1 tsp. cream of tartar


1 cup (packed) powdered sugar

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

½ tsp. grated lemon peel

1 tsp. (or more) lemonade

For Cake:

Preheat to 325. Spray 10-inch diameter tube pan (like for Angel Food Cake) with removable bottom with PAM. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into large bowl. Make well in center. Add oil & next four ingredients to well. Whisk til’ smooth. With electric mixer, beat egg whites & cream of tartar in a large bowl until whites are stiff but not dry. Fold into batter with a spatula, ¼ at each addition. Pour into pan.

Bake until gold and tester inserted near center comes out clean (about 55 minutes). Invert center tube of pan onto

narrow-neck bottle; cool cake before removing from pan.

For Glaze:

Whisk powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon peel in small bowl until smooth. Add 1-teaspoon lemon and whisk until glaze has thick, pourable consistency, adding more lemonade by teaspoonfuls, if necessary.

Cut around pan sides, remove pan sides. Cut cake from bottom of pan. Place right side up on platter, drizzle glaze and let stand until glaze sets (at least one hour).

Can be made one day ahead. Turn right side up, cover and store at room temperature.)

* To measure the cake flour, sift some into a large bowl, then measure 2 ¼ cups by spooning into a measuring cup.

** For the lemon juice and lemonade, I just got a bottle of lemon juice and mixed the juice with sugar and water. Premade is also okay.

From SER's Aunt D.

The Ultimate Party Chocolate Cake


Shortening to grease pan

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

½ cup (1 stick) margarine or butter

½ cup all-purpose flour

4 eggs, separated into yolks and whites

½ cup sugar


½ cup semisweet chocolate chips

2 Tbsp. margarine or butter

2 Tbsp. corn syrup

For Cake:

Heat the oven to 325. Grease the entire pan.

Heat chocolate chips and margarine in saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted. Cool 5 minutes.

Stir the flour into the melted chocolate mixture until smooth. Stir in egg yolks until well blended.

Beat egg whites in a large bowl until foamy. Beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until soft peaks form. Soft peaks should be rounded or curled when beaters are lifted from bowl, while still being moist and glossy.

Gently stir the chocolate mixture into the egg whites. Spread in the greased pan. Bake 30-35 minutes or until a thin crust forms and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Plan the pan on a wire cooling rack, cool 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen cake. Remove the cake from the pan and place right-side up on plate. Trim top edges where crust overhangs side. Cook cake completely (1 hour).


Heat chocolate chips, margarine and the corn syrup in the saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Spread the melted chocolate mixture over the top of the cake, allowing some of it to drizzle down side of cake.


Drizzle the top of the glazed cake with melted white baking chips. Melt 1/4 cup white baking chips and 1 tsp. shortening in small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Drizzle over cake.

From Betty Crocker’s guide to entertaining

Easter Erik E-strata

1 loaf (1 ¼ lbs) country or sourdough bread, sliced ½” thick

½ lb. cream cheese (cubed)

½ lb. mozzarella in small pieces or grated

¾ cup prepared pesto (a sun-dried tomato pesto works nicely)

1 lb. thinly sliced tomatoes

5 large eggs

1 ½ cups milk or half-and-half

½ tsp. Salt

black pepper

(optional) sliced prosciutto

Use oil or butter to grease a 9-10” deep baking dish.

Create snug, alternating layers of bread, cheeses, pesto and tomatoes in the dish. You’ll have about 2-3 layers.

Wish eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour mixture over bread layers. Refrigerate at least two hours or overnight. Remove 20-30 minutes before baking.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes, until puffed, golden brown and lightly set in center.

Originally from the Silver Palate cookbook. Served at SER's Kosher Easter Brunch in 2002 and 2003.

“Crack” Matzo

Line a jelly roll pan with foil and spray with Pam. Cover with 4-6 unsalted matzo boards.

Combine 1 cup unsalted butter or margarine and 1 cup brown sugar (tightly packed) in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Stir and cool three (3) minutes. Pour over matzos.

Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips. Set 5 minutes and smear. Cut while warm. Chill till set. Can be frozen.

A Keaster tradition!

BFMQ's (Better than Frozen Mini Quiche)

BFMQ's (Better than Frozen Mini Quiche) from DC Food Blog

These can be made with a variety of fillings. We have made them for several events and parties and they are always very popular! I like doing the mini quiche because they freeze well and are easily portable. This works with the super small muffin pans and the larger ones as well.

CRUST: Make Pie Crust recipe first (see below for prep time etc.) Otherwise, use a store-bought crust (less tasty, but definitely less time-consuming)

CHEESE: 1 c. shredded cheese (can be ½ of two kinds, etc.) often cheddar, mozzarella, or swiss (which often melts a bit less well in my kitchen)

LIQUID: 1 ½ cups half-and-half or milk (milk does just fine)

EGGS: 4 slightly beaten eggs

1 tbsp flour
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper, garlic powder or other spices (small amounts)

1 cup any of the following (or any tasty combination):

hamburger, TVP, or sausage (all seasoned, cooked and drained), bacon (6 slices cooked, drained and chopped), red peppers (diced), carmelized or chopped onions, spinach, chopped tomatoes, fresh basil, your choice -- the secret for me is to not use ingredients that are too wet. There is already a lot of liquid in the recipe and using ingredients that give off a lot of water may make your quiche too wet.

Some combinations we like: hamburger cheddar and diced onion; spinach, white pepper, carmelized onions and feta or jack cheese; bacon, cheddar, and garlic; basil, tomato and cheese


1. Preheat oven to 325.

2. Lightly spray tins with nonstick spray (PAM or Crisco?)

3. Put enough crust into each cup to reach the top. A jar can often cut the right size of dough depending on the muffin tin size.

4. Put a small amount of cheese in each cup.

5. Toss together the cheese and fillings and flour.

6. In a medium bowl, stir together eggs, half-and-half or milk, salt, pepper and garlic powder (or other spices).

7. Combine with cheese and filling mixture.

8. Use a ladle or spoon to fill each crust cup 2/3 full with mixture.

9. Bake for 35-45 minutes or till an inserted knife comes out clean.

If needed, cover the crust edges with foil rings to prevent overbrowning. These should pop right out with a knife. Serve warm!

My Favorite Pie Crust

Perfect Pie Crust from DC Food Blog (modifed from

This will make a double crust. I've used many different recipes but I've settled on this one because it makes the flakiest crust. It's almost like puff pastry.

2 sticks + 2 tablespoons of butter

(at least 1 stick of butter should be frozen)

2 ½ cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

¼ cup of water

2 tablespoons rice wine or cider vinegar

Cut butter into tablespoon size. Pour into a food processor. Add the flour, salt, and sugar. Process on high until the butter is the size of peas. Mix water, a few cubes of ice, and the vinegar in a measuring cup. Slowly pour the water in by tablespoons and then blend on high. The way I did it starting out was to count to three pouring the water in and then blend for a short time by counting to five. Do that until the mixture has come together but is not too wet.

Refrigerate for at least a half an hour before using. When you roll it out for use, roll it out to about a ¼ inch thickness.


Chocolate Bliss Cookies

These are from the Barefoot Contessa and the FoodTV website. This recipe is for serious chocolate fans. Mighty fine and tasty! --jdtc

1 pkg. (8 squares) Baker’s semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate
¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
¼ C butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
½ C flour
¼ tsp Baking Powder
1 ½ C choc. chunks
2 C pecans

Microwave squares in large bowl on High 2 minutes.

Stir until choc. Is melted and smooth.

Stir in sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla with wooden spoon.

Stir in flour and baking powder. Stir in chunks and pecans.

Drop by scant ¼ cupfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake at 350 for 13 to 14 minutes or until cookies are puffed and feel set to the touch.

Cool completely on wire racks.

Vietnamese Food? In Arlington, Try Minh's


We've had several very good meals at Minh's in Arlington. OPH, TS, RK have all been there as well and liked it.

It's right on Wilson Blvd. JD loves the summer rolls and anything with ginger is quite good.

For Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup), it's best to stick with the Pho-only places like Pho 75 (also on Wilson), but for a good old sit down place with nice service and some delicious entrees, Minh's is the moist consistent and flavorful.

If you are visiting Capitol Hill, we've found some healthy and delicious food at Pacific Cafe (near 11th and Pennsylvania SE). Shrimp over vermicelli and ginger chicken are stand outs. -j&t


The Frozen Margaritas I grew up on . . .from JD

Frozen Limeade in 6 oz. containers
Triple Sec
Ice cubes

Place 6 oz of limeade concentrate in the blender.
Add one limeade container's worth of Cuervo
Add about ½ a container's worth of Cointreau (or Triple Sec).
Fill the blender with ice

Blend and enjoy!

Repeat as needed

TC's Roasted Tomato Soup Mmmm……

I hate tomato soup from a can and I hate having to peel and seed tomatoes. Luckily, in this recipe you don't need to do that and you get the fresh ripe flavor of tomatoes. You can do this in the winter because the roasting intensifies the flavor of the tomatoes.

10 ripe tomatoes



1 medium onion

2 cloves of garlic

Red Pepper flakes

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

4 cups water, chicken stock or white wine (or any combination thereof)

Chopped basil (optional)

Cream (optional)

Cut tomatoes in half and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast at 425 degree for half an hour. In the meantime coarsely chop garlic and onion and sauté in olive oil in a large pot until translucent. Add the red pepper flakes, honey and balsamic vinegar and the tomatoes. Sauté for another ten minutes. Add the water/white wine/chicken stock (if you are adding only water make sure to add plenty of salt). Let the mixture simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Pour ¾ of it into a blender and blend until smooth. I don't blend it all because if you do it ends up having the consistency of baby food. Pour the blended soup back into the pot. Now is the time to add any basil or cream. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

TC's Roast Chicken

The best thing about this recipe is that the meat is so flavorful and tender you don’t even want to eat the skin. Use the skin and bones for stock. There are so many uses for roast chicken. Chicken salad sandwiches, chicken stir fry, chicken and dumplings. Mmmmm…

1 4-lb chicken

Juice of one lemon

2 Tablespoons of butter

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon honey

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon herb of your choice (I prefer thyme, sage, or rosemary)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease the bottom of a roasting pan. Mix everything but the chicken to form a paste. Rub the paste underneath the chicken skin. This is tricky as the skin can be attached to the meat. Use a paring knife to loosen the skin from the meat without tearing it. Flip the chicken breast-side-down on the roasting pan. This is very important as all the juices will stay in the breast and you will get nice juicy breast meat.

Stuff the inside with the squeezed lemon and any herbs you find appropriate. Roast for the first 20 minutes at 450 degrees. And then lower the heat to 375 to cook for the rest of the time. You should cook it 20 minutes per pound, including the initial 450 roasting period.

After you are done roasting, let it sit for at least ten minutes. Savor!

Rob’s Rolls

These are delicious doughy yummy rolls. Enjoy!

2 packages yeast
½ cup warm water
2 cups milk
½ cup shortening
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
7 cups flour (divided into 3 + 4)
2 eggs

Mix yeast and water and set aside.

Scald the milk, then reduce heat to low.

Mix in shortening, sugar and salt until melted.

Allow scalded milk mixture to cool to lukewarm and put into large bowl.

Stir in 3 cups of flour.

Add 2 eggs, beat into mixture.

Add the yeast/water mixture to the milk mixture.

Gradually mix in the remaining 4 cups of flour.

Put the dough into a greased bowl and let it sit covered for 1 ½ hours.

Turn mixture and let it to sit covered for another 30 minutes.

Shape rolls, place onto a greased baking sheet and let sit for ½ hour.

Bake rolls at 350° for 8-10 minutes.

Perfect Pie Crust

Perfect Pie Crust from T (modifed from

This will make a double crust. I've used many different recipes but I've settled on this one because it makes the flakiest crust. It's almost like puff pastry.

2 sticks + 2 tablespoons of butter

(at least 1 stick of butter should be frozen)

2 ½ cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

¼ cup of water

2 tablespoons rice wine or cider vinegar

Cut butter into tablespoon size. Pour into a food processor. Add the flour, salt, and sugar. Process on high until the butter is the size of peas. Mix water, a few cubes of ice, and the vinegar in a measuring cup. Slowly pour the water in by tablespoons and then blend on high. The way I did it starting out was to count to three pouring the water in and then blend for a short time by counting to five. Do that until the mixture has come together but is not too wet.

Refrigerate for at least a half an hour before using. When you roll it out for use, roll it out to about a ¼ inch thickness.

Friday, December 10, 2004

The First Entry

This is a page for my friends and colleagues to write about food, share recipes, recommend or warn about restaurants and more. Feel free to add links, let me know about places to go, and send me recipes to include. I'llalso be sending instructions on how to do this yourself! Have fun and remember the SNDP!

I guess one of the more important things to talk about in the beginning is that I really don't intend that this is for public consumption. Um, it's the friggin' Internet, I know, but I am writing so me and my friends and our guests to DC know what we think about places to go and for us to have a place to share. Other folks are welcome to chime in, but be prepared for some serious randomness, stories about chicken girth, disagreements about what textures are acceptable to ingest and more.*

Well that's it for now. Let's see what happens!

*Comments related to chicken girth and ingesting textures are unrelated.

Free Hit Counter