Thursday, December 6, 2007

Thanksgiving Dinner


So I don't have time to post the recipes (most were found online) but I will do so in the New Year. Until then here are pics from our Veggietastic Thanksgiving.

Cream of Potato Soup

Creamy Mushroom Risotto (topped with Parmesean)

Caramelized Walnut Salad with Arugala, Goat Cheese, and Pear

Stuffed Shells (Mozzarella and Potato)

Stuffed Eggplant (stuffed with a combo of mozzarella, ricotta and Parmesan)

We also had apple pie a la mode and some of that cardamom tea.

Have a great Holiday Season!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Thanksgiving Charge!

Alright. I need some help--

I posted this on the cooking chat yesterday--

Our Veg. Thanksgiving: So, my parents don't eat meat, and my sisters and I only eat chicken. Our solution for Thanksgiving fare? Stuffed Shells (mozzerella cheese and potatoes w/ seasonings), Eggplant Parmesean all supported by the traditional startchy Thanksgiving Fare (mashed potatoes, apple pie, green beans, cranberry sauce). We've enjoyed coming up with new ways to make our 'traditional' Thanksgiving Food--but I wanted to make something different this year--so i'm excited about this chat.

Mimi Clark: Sounds like you like to think out of the box. How about the addition of a roasted root veggie pizza?

Kim O'Donnel: or what about pumpkin or sweet potato-filled ravioli? Or a winter squash lasagna? I feel like roasted greens would be a nice addition for you...roasted brocc or kale or even a nice bowl of roasted cauli...

Do you guys have any suggestions? Also can you buy sweet potato/pumpkin ravioli in the store or do you think we should make it from scratch.....


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Autumn pancakes

I've been really in the mood for fall foods since I got back from upstate NY, where its already very pretty and fall-like. Luckily, when I woke up today it was crisp and chilly, so I had the perfect recipe in mind!

Serves four, or two really hungry people.
You will need:
1 pear
1 Apple (I used a pink lady)
1/2 stick of butter
2 tbs light brown sugar
Ground cinnamon
Handful of Walnuts
Instant pancake mix (I used Aunt Jemima) that makes 10-12 pancakes
Sour cream (optional)

1. First make the apple pear mixture. Cut the apple and pear into similar sized slices by cutting off the sides of the fruit, laying it flat on the cut side, and slicing lengthwise. Meanwhile, in a small pan heat up half a stick of butter until its halfway melted, then begin stirring in the brown sugar. When the brown sugar and butter have blended, toss in the apples and pears and cook, stirring occasionally, at medium. (You might have too many fruit slices- save them for garnish or to munch on while makig the pancakes.) When they appear glossy and softer (5-8 min.), sprinkle cinnamon to taste over them and lower the heat to low. (Might want to taste test to make sure they are cooked through.)
2. Next, make the pancakes the way your package instructs.
3. Now, put the two together! Serve two pancakes per plate and scoop some of the apples and pears, drizzle a little of the pan sauce, and sprinkle some raw walnuts. Add a dollop of sour cream if desired. (I desired it, and it was great.) Now drink some coffee, stare out the window, and listen to some Band of Horses or Kings of Leon!

(Walnuts are in season right now and SO good for you! They contain omega 3 fatty acids which help your skin and hair stay pretty, and L Argonine which some research suggests can up your sex drive! Who knew?)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

General Tao's Tofu

This recipe for General Tao's Tofu is the deservedly most popular recipe on VegWeb. Check out the link for the originally posted recipe. Because we at Tiny House are not hardcore vegetarians, I did relax the stringency of the vegetarianism of this dish. Like, I didn't use an egg substitute, I used an egg. Here's my version, which is nearly identical to the original.


- 1 box of firm tofu
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup cornstarch
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 3 chopped green onions
- 1 Tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 2/3 cup vegetable stock
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 Tablespoons sugar
- Red pepper to taste
- 1 Tablespoon sherry (optional)
- 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
- Steamed broccoli


Drain, dry and cut tofu into 1 inch chunks. You can freeze tofu the night before to get a more chicken-like consistency, but it isn't necessary. Beat egg and add three tablespoons of water. Dip tofu in egg/water mixture and coat completely. Put 3/4 cup cornstarch in bottom of shallow bowl or plate. Dredge the egg coated tofu in the cornstarch and set aside. The tofu might absorb some of the cornstarch, but it's nothing to worry about.

Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in a deep skillet, and fry tofu pieces until golden. Place the fired tofu on paper towels to sop up some of the oil. Cool and drain oil--you can save frying oil and use it again.

Heat 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil in a pan on medium heat. Add green onions, ginger and garlic, cook for about 2 minutes. Be careful not to burn garlic. Add vegetable stock, soy sauce, sugar, red pepper and vinegar. Mix 2 Tablespoons water with 1 Tablespoon cornstarch and pour into mixture stirring well. Add fried tofu and coat evenly.

Serve immediately with steamed broccoli over your choice of rice.

This recipe is not good--it's fucking awesome. For someone like me, who looooves American-Chinese food, I could eat this every night. It does take some prep time, but it is well worth the effort. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Chai (Indian style)....simple but good...

Alright. I've been incommunicado this weekend for two reasons. A) Massive Indian wedding where we sat out in the sun in Old Town for hours--which I believe led me to B) catching a very bad sinus cold/100.5 degree fever all day Labor day.

On a side note the reception for the wedding was at the Corcoran Art Gallery. Simply beautiful--with tables interspersed between columns in the lobby in hues of red. The tables were set with clear tableware and when each guest had a bronze party favor with their name tags attached in a sort of limey green color. I think my favorite thing was how the meal was served. Catered by Heritage India it consisted of 10 dishes served in these wonderful steel serving bowls. Centerpieces were orange lily-like flowers in round vases. Unfortunately I couldn't really taste anything, but the tartness in the mango sherbet was great (I am looking for the recipe to post). When they put up pictures I will post them here so you can see what I mean. All of ours turned out too dark.

Here are two pictures from the wedding--(I know nothing to really do with food, but I thought that you might appreciate the colors), which sort of gives the idea of the color scheme at the gallery.

Anyway--because of my cold I had my sister make me some tea. Its simple but really really good.

(one serving, but if you are making for more people just multiply accordingly)

1 cup water
milk as desired
1 bag of Lipton tea
ground cardamom
1 packet of Splenda

Bring water to a boil and then add teabag. Let boil until tea is desired strength and add milk (I usually guesstamate, but its always like 1/8 of a cup or so). Add 1 packet of Splenda and a pinch of ground cardamom.

This will yield a Chai that is sweet but oh so good on the scratchy throat.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Alexandria: culinary hotspot?

The New York Times has a great article talking up Alexandria as a hot new dining destination, giving brief reviews and even a map for the foodie tourist.

But for those of us who aren't tourists, Old Town has been a great spot for years. Most special occasions in my childhood were marked by a trip to the Chart House, a large preppy restaurant right on the river that features fabulous clam chowder, a lush salad bar, and classic steak and potatoes fare. That place has been there for years, as has the equally great Bilbo Baggins, a homey self-proclaimed "global" style eatery with awesome wine and beer and sustainable food practices. (Owned by Hobbit obsessed hippy-boomers, I guess?) The last time I went there I had potato gnochi with an apple sage cream sauce, an awesome glass of white wine, and a great conversation with the waiter (if not with my date).

While both of those restaurants are moderately pricey and consistent, the new crop that the article focuses on are considerably more glitzy and experimental, drawing away top chefs from the district and offering less of the safe, corporate fare that spots like the Blue Duck Tavern and Jaleo have been tending towards lately. I recently went to the very affordable Rustico with Sara, and with its spoon mosaics and lofty ceilings it seemed worlds away from the wood-paneled charm of a place like Bilbo Baggins. We had a wild mushroom pizza with goat cheese, and some fries with an amazing fire-roasted tomato sauce. It also offers a charming "mosaic" menu, which is a tapas-style menu of smaller plates matched with a complimentary beer. Not as appealing to me because of a distinct lack of vegetarian options, but definitely a treat for the beer lover in your life.
For the general booze-hound, Restaurant Eve is not to be missed. I recently read an article in the Post about their sommelier extraordinaire, Todd Thrasher and his skills were confirmed by a cocktail visit. (New Age Gibson, anyone?) As for the food, I'll have to wait until my next paycheck comes in, but its also supposed to be wonderful. Can anyone attest to this, or any of the other stops lauded in the Times article?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mix it up

Fabulous article in WaPo today about mixing your own cocktail ingredients. I'm envisioning a lazy afternoon, and a bunch of girls holding cocktails! Article is here--and don't miss the recipes linked in the sidebar! I have an inexplicable desire to make Falernum, now...