Monday, December 19, 2011

B&O Does Coffee and Donuts (and more!)

by EP & X

Last week, we were invited to attend a press dinner at one of our favorite Baltimore spots, the B&O American Brasserie.  Long-time readers will remember that we've been many times and always enjoy the seasonal menu, interesting cocktails, playful desserts, and beautiful space.  And last week was no different!  We enjoyed a number of outstanding dishes while chatting away with other Baltimore food bloggers and journalists including Dara of Dining Dish and Nakiya of Taste of Baltimore.  

We started with champagne (much, much needed after the stress of work these days), but we had to try some of the bartender's amazing and always interesting cocktails.  Xani got The Cadizian, for which the B&O bartender won the title in a recent cocktail contest where the featured spirit was sherry.  I got the "Law Dog," which featured Grey Goose, Galliano, grapefruit juice, and orange syrup.  Yum yum yum (and a little tipsy).

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Xani's drink; EP & Nakiya chat in the background

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Feeling Thankful - Picture Recap

by EP

As Xani described in our teaser Thanksgiving post, we had quite a meal planned for this year's Turkey Day.  I think, of all the things we made, only one dish was something we've made before: our beloved Grandma Irma's mashed potatoes.  (For you grammar nerds, "beloved" in this case is modifying both our grandmother and the potatoes.)   For the other, new dishes, we had some great successes and some moderate successes.  No failures, in our opinion.  We were certainly full by the end, but the multi-course meal allowed us to have some time between courses and enjoy each dish, and each other.  I think we toasted with every course (and every new cocktail/type of wine) - l'chaim!

As a refresher, here was the menu:



  • Sparkling Apple Cocktail
  • Amuse Bouche of Raw Local Oyster with Pomegranate Mignonette
  • First course: Sweet Potato Fuji Apple Bisque with Lobster and Maple Butter Drizzle
  • Salad of Mixed Greens, Apple, Bacon, Cornbread Croutons and Buttermilk-Herb Dressing
  • Main Course: Turkey Thigh Roulade with Chestnut Stuffing, Irma's Potato Puree, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Capers, Walnuts, and Anchovies, Cranberry Conserve, Gravy
  • Dessert: Trio of Tartlettes- Parsnip-Buttermilk Pie, Frangipane Tart with Pears, and Pumpkin-Apple Butter Pie with Cranberry Glaze (those last two recipes are courtesy of the fabulous Bistro Poplar, where we were lucky enough to enjoy a wonderful baking demo a few weeks ago.)


  • And now, enjoy the meal and its preparation through a series of pictures:

    Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
    Brussels sprouts mise en place: shallot, garlic, capers, anchovies (walnuts and sprouts not pictured)

    Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    Feeling Thankful

    by Xani

    Hello out there!  If you are still reading, thank you for sticking with us through yet another long blogging hiatus.  No excuses this time.

    Thanksgiving is fast approaching and if you think BCD isn't knee-deep in planning and prep already, you don't know us very well!  The turkey stock has been made, the pie dough prepped, and ridiculous ingredient and shopping lists have been circulated. It's just a small gathering this year, but because we're not feeding too many folks, we're able to mix up the menu and do things a little differently.

    When you cook a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for only five people, the amount of food is RIDICULOUS.  We've done it the last couple years and there's just no way around it-- if you want to serve all the classic dishes (turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, vegetables, cranberry sauce, rolls, etc) you are going to end up with WAY too much food. The leftovers are endless.  We didn't want to do that this year.  First, we thought about skipping turkey-dinner all together and just eating giant lobsters, but I was hesitant-- I LIKE Thanksgiving dinner, and I didn't want to miss it!  Finally, we settled on an interesting concept: we decided to create a meal that you might be served if you were enjoying Thanksgiving at a five-star restaurant or resort!  No massive piles of stuffing and sweet potatoes-- everything will be refined and fancy, but still incorporate all the traditional flavors.  No family-style giant platters around the table-- each course will be individually plated and garnished.  Fun, right?  The final menu looks like this:

    I could not be more excited about this menu!  I love that we were able to bring in many traditional flavors while also including our family's favorites (oysters and lobsters-- hey, the pilgrims ate them at the first Thanksgiving!).  Plus, I bet there will still be SOME leftovers with which to make the all-important Thanksgiving Sandwich...

    So for the next couple days, we hunker down at Blackacre, strap on our Crocs and aprons, and do we what we love-- cook, eat, and spend time with family.  I feel especially thankful this year for my health, my wonderful family and friends, for my job and financial stability when so many others are struggling, and for the newest additional to the family, who has already brought us so much joy:

    Eddie, our 2 month old Cocker Spaniel
    Wishing all of our readers and Happy and Tasty Thanksgiving.  Enjoy!

    X

    Sunday, October 30, 2011

    Double Double, Toil and Trouble...

    by EP & X

    Last weekend, we did something we've wanted to do for a LONG time.  No, not rent a Tuscan villa for the summer (fingers crossed though!).  No, we hosted a Haunted Halloween Dinner Party!  We've been wanting to do a seated dinner for a long time, Halloween-themed or otherwise, but we always struggled with the guest list limitations associated with dinner parties.  You see, we're quite popular, and have trouble only selecting 10 or so guests to join us. (Okay, we're really not that popular, but surely between the 2 of us there are more than 10 people we want to feed and pelt with cocktails- and even squeezing 10 people into Xani's dining room was a challenge.) We figured if it went well (and it did!), we could invite a different group the next time, so we wouldn't feel so guilty. Love that Jewish guilt!

    As with all of our parties, we love a theme. This year, we were inspired by a Martha Stewart recipe called Cauldron Curry, that referenced the famous "double double, toil and trouble" witches of Macbeth. We decided we would throw a Witch's Dinner! Here's the witchy recap:

    Tuesday, August 23, 2011

    Notes on Food (and Drink): Paris Edition

    by EP

    **NOTE: I found this never-before-seen Paris post that I abandoned mid-way through, and figured it was still good stuff, so I finished it and am posting it now.  A little "Springtime in Paris" in August, for your reading pleasure.  Enjoy!**




    While I was eating my way through Paris, I learned a few things and made a few observations, and tried unsuccessfully to blend and not be a typical "stupid American."  I won't say we successfully blended at all, but we did find that making the effort to speak French (at least a little!) went a long way with most people.  Rachel speaks French (with an African accent, admittedly) and was able to communicate on our behalf throughout the trip - and I can't thank her enough!  (Amusing side note: since I don't speak French, I didn't say much to people unless I knew they spoke some English -- I didn't want to just assume they could or would speak to me in English.  This resulted in a few instances of people saying, to Rachel, "Your friend is quiet - is she shy?"  HA.  If they only knew.)

    One of my favorite pictures we took

    Tuesday, August 16, 2011

    Birthday Weekend at Blackacre

    by EP

    This is going to be one of those old-school, family Sunday dinner posts that our long-time readers remember from back in the day, when the BCD parents lived closer to Baltimore, in sunny Columbia, MD.  Technically this meal was on a Saturday -- a requirement when your parents live a 2-hour drive in beach traffic away. We gathered at Blackacre to celebrate something super-important: my birthday!!  My actual birthday was at the end of July but this weekend was the first time the 5 of us could get together to celebrate at home.  Readers might remember that for birthdays in the BCD family, the birthday girl/boy gets to pick his or her favorite menu (we all know Dad's favorite meal: lobsters), and the whole family works together create a fabulous birthday meal.

    Monday, August 15, 2011

    "Master" Recipes

    by Xani

    The other day I embraced an empty house, some free time, and an abundance of summer produce.  I cooked, cooked, and cooked some more, and loved every minute of it.  Later, while reflecting on all I made that day, I realized that all my creations were essentially building blocks, which could be combined with each other and other staples to create hundreds, maybe thousands of dishes.  For me, this was something of a revelation, and I'm not sure why I didn't think of it before.  When you prepare one ingredient or element for a particular recipe, be it a sauce, filling, cooked starch, whatever, there is no rule that says that all of that element must be used for just that recipe!  Why not make double the "element" and use the rest for some entirely different preparation?  Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?  Wait, maybe it doesn't.  Let me show by example:

    Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    And Now for Something Completely Different

    by Xani


    Long-time readers of this blog might have picked up on a theme-- EP and I are all about TASTE.  Sure, we "eat with our eyes" first, and food can be elevated by gorgeous presentation, but in the end, if it don't taste good, I ain't eating it.  I'd rather have a piece of delicious homemade pie, even if it is lopsided and falling-apart, than a picture-perfect pie from the bakery that just tastes blah.  So that's pretty much my rule with food: flavor over form.  But, there are exceptions to every rule, and these cupcakes broke all the rules!

    Monday, August 1, 2011

    Home-Cookin'

    by Xani

    From July 1-July 28 2011, I conducted a little experiment.  I challenged myself not to eat any meals or snacks that I didn't cook myself.  No meals out. No prepared foods.  No grabbing a snack from the vending machine.  No purchasing food or beverages except in "ingredient form" from the grocery store or farmers market, unless absolutely necessary (more on that below).  This whole plan was a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to seeing the credit card bill after I got back my my late-June trip to California, but I also thought it would be interesting to see if I could stick to the rules I created for myself  (right up until we went to NYC for the last weekend in July, where we ate EVERY meal/snack out!).

    During the experiment, I home-cooked every meal, snack, and beverage (including soda), EXCEPT:
    -Three mandatory work lunches where bringing my own food was not an option,
    -One lunch out when I was "on the road" all day running errands,
    -One delicious (and comped) press dinner at Chazz,
    -One birthday lunch for EP, paid for by our lovely Mother,
    -One Dunkin' Donuts coffee, purchased for my by my boyfriend (believe me, it was absolutely necessary), and
    -One dinner of boyfriend's leftover buffalo wings, which I had to eat in bed since the entire first floor of our house was under construction (also absolutely necessary, as cooking was not an option).

    And that's it!  When you consider I generally eat three meals a day plus a snack or two, that means I cooked/prepared about 100 meals/snacks, and only "cheated" the above 8 times.  Not bad!

    Turns out, when you can't go out for any meals, your other option is cooking.  A lot.  But that was fine with me.  I ended up making some really yummy food this past month.  The local produce is great this time of year and I found myself going to markets Saturdays, Sundays and Tuesdays some weeks.  But the fresh ingredients really make a difference.  Here are some of the highlights from this month:

    Peach & Goat Cheese Gazpacho: Barely adapted from this F&W recipe.  This was a MAJOR hit and I will definitely be making it again before summer (and peaches) is gone.  A little sweet, a little tangy, cool and creamy.  Yum.

    Greek Zucchini Fritters with Feta:  Another great use of summer produce.  The texture reminded me of a crabcake, but the flavor was nice and fresh with the feta and dill.  Served with a little homemade tzatiki on the side.

    Ratatouille: a summer classic.  Ate this for SEVERAL meals.

    Phyllo pizza: Another big hit.  We liked it so much we made it again a few nights later (with the remaining phyllo dough) with some different toppings.  But summer tomatoes and fresh basil are a classic combo, of course.

    Quinoa salad:  Made this in a few different iterations throughout the month.  Cooked, cooled quinoa (super-easy in the rice cooker), random veggies, herbs and legumes (looks like this one has edamame, radishes, red bell pepper, black beans, tomatoes, parsley) and dressing.  Sometimes I like to "match" the dressing to the ingredients (chipotle and lime in the dressing, with black beans, cilantro and avocado in the salad, etc) but most of the time I just used my standard vinaigrette, flavored with lemon juice. Tastes even better if you let it sit overnight.

    PIES!!  So, this is a little off-point but I was super-excited to get the opportunity to make the pies for my dear friend Kim's birthday BBQ (actually, a grilled-pizza and bloody mary brunch, but when the grill is fired up and cornhole is being played, it's officially a BBQ).  I got some great tips from my blogger friend Sarah and ended up making a peach-blueberry pie with pecan crumble topping, as well as a sour-cherry with almond lattice crust.  They were SO.  GOOD.  I got all the produce from the farmers market and the flavors were just incredible.  Not to mention my tender, delicious crust that never fails me.

    So, using mint.com (great program for tracking spending, BTW) I can see that, even with my increased grocery/farmers market costs, I still spent over $200 less on food and alcohol than I would in a normal month-- not bad!

    Overall I'm happy with my experiment, and I think I've learned a few lessons about how to make dinner happen when I don't feel like looking-- going out is not the only option!

    What did you cook in July?

    X

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    Celebrity Karma Strikes Again

    by EP

    Xani and I haven't had the best of luck in our quest to meet celebrities.  Sure, we've hung out with Michael Midgley of Top Chef fame, and we saw Dennis Quaid at In N Out Burger in LA.  We also spied a handful of celebs when we were in NYC for Xani's birthday in February (ahem, Sandra Oh and Michael Imperioli -- not together), but for the most part, we repel celebrities, instead of attracting them.  Don't they know we're up and coming celebs ourselves?!

    We thought, when we went to try Chazz: A Bronx Original, a new Italian-American restaurant in Harbor East, that our luck just might be turning around -- after all, one of the owners is Oscar-nominated Chazz Palminteri!


    We arrived in the welcoming space on Aliceanna St., and unfortunately, our bad luck had struck again.  No Chazz (except in photos and movies playing on screens around the restaurant).  But, in place of producing a famous person, the friendly staff at Chazz provided us with a fantastic evening.

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    When is a Recipe YOURS?



    by Xani

    As some of you may know, EP and I are lawyers.  So are our parents, and so is Dave, my boyfriend.  I mention this as background/explanation for why, on Sunday night, after many, many cocktails, and many, many pounds of lobster, the five of us were discussing not family memories, not the fate of the O's season, but copyright infringement and the intricacies of changing, using, re-printing, and selling a recipe.

    This is normal for us.  In fact, Dad recently purchased this little torture device so that, when we run out of our own hypothetical questions, we now have literally thousands of legal quandaries at our fingertips.  Joy.  But this past Sunday we were discussing a real-world scenario involving pie.

    You see, we had just finished an amazing, belated Father's Day dinner.  We drank champagne, slurped uni shooters (not for the faint of heart, as they included uni, ponzu, tobiko, sake, hot sauce, and a raw quail egg yolk), ate the season's first green tomatoes, pan-fried with remoulade sauce, then tucked into 12.5 pounds of lobster and my best-ever batch of onion rings.  And then, it was time for pie.

    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    Adventures in Baking: Bagels and Buttercream

    by EP & X

    Recently, we had the opportunity to attempt some challenging baking techniques, and whaddya know?  They turned out alright!  I think it was the combination of luck, some skill, and way too much time watching cooking shows/reading food blogs.

    Experiment One: The Cake

    Wednesday, May 4, 2011

    Nuts for Coconut (Oil)

    by Xani

    Wait, don't run away! Does the phrase "coconut oil" have you heading for the hills? It's got a bad rap. If you're a regular reader of THIS blog, you've stuck with us through pork fat, chicken fat, butter and cream galore, so don't let a little coconut oil scare you off...


    Wednesday, April 27, 2011

    Parisian Eats Highlight Reel: Crêpes and Galettes

    by EP

    Gardens at Versailles

    While we were in Paris, we ate.  A lot.  (And managed to walk most of it off - win!)  I won't lie to you, Dear Reader, and say that every morsel of food we ate was spectacular - there were definitely highlights and lowlights.  But for the most part, we had some great bites, and I will try not to drool all over my computer as I recount them for you over the next few posts.

    First up: Crêpes and Galettes:



    Before I went to France, I was not into crêpes.  I thought they were just boring pancake wannabes.  I felt they were trendy but without having any real merit.  Like...Ke$ha, for example.  But when I went to Paris, Rachel informed me that having crêpes was on her list, and who am I to deprive a dear friend of a requested foodstuff on vacation?  While Rachel and I were in Versailles (with another WU friend, Danielle), after a wonderful tour of the palace and self-guided tour of the expansive gardens, we stopped for lunch at a non-descript crêperie on a darling little street. 

    Sunday, April 17, 2011

    Making Macarons in Paris

    by EP

    Loyal readers and/or anyone I've spoken to in the past few months knows I recently went on a trip to the City of Light, PARIS!  BFF Rachel and I had such an amazing trip: we toured famous sites, wandered through quaint cities, nibbled on croissants and sipped espresso (or beer) at streetside cafes, and partied into the wee hours at fun Parisian bars with fun Parisian folks.  Oh, and stared at the ridiculously attractive French men.  Le sigh.  But alas, this is a food blog, so I will be blogging over the course of the next few posts about some of the amazing food we had during our 8 day adventure.

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Porkapalooza

    by Xani

    I travel often, and I of course I eat when I travel, but I don't often travel just to eat.  This past weekend's visit to Boston was the exception to the rule.

    A few weeks ago, an email arrived from Dave's Mom, M.  Attached was a scanned copy of an article from The Boston Herald, all about how Citizen Public House and Oyster Bar does a pig roast for groups of 10 or more, and Boston foodies are raving about the experience.  She had scheduled a dinner with a group of local friends for April 10-- was there any way we could join them?


    Wow, what an invitation!  Were we really going to travel a few hundred miles for roast pig?  Well, in a word, yes.

    Monday, April 4, 2011

    Our Salty Ticket to Fame

    by EP

    A few weeks ago, I got an email from a reporter at the Daily Record, a business/legal newspaper asking if I would be interested in being interviewed about the blog for their weekly story about lawyers with interesting hobbies.  I, being an honest and loving sister and co-blogger, politely replied that I write the blog with my sister, and we are a package deal, so to speak.  And oh by the way, we are both lawyers.  Cha-ching!  Entertainment GOLD.



    Friday, April 1, 2011

    New Chef and New Season at B&O Brasserie!

    by Xani

    Sometimes, it's good to be a food blogger. In the past week, EP and I have been lucky enough to dine at two of Baltimore's best restaurants: Salt  (don't worry, post coming soon!) and B&O American Brasserie.  Now we've blogged about B&O before, but last night we were invited to try out the new B&O, with new Executive Chef Thomas Dunklin at the helm.  And, not to put too fine a point on it, the new menu ROCKS!
    Check out that ink!

    Wednesday, March 30, 2011

    A Grandmother's Recipe for Hamantaschen

    by EP

    Readers should note that the title of this post is not "MY grandmother's recipe for hamantaschen," but rather "A grandmother's recipe."  Our grandmothers didn't make hamantaschen (ruggelach is another story), so when I decided I wanted to make hamantaschen for Purim a few weeks ago, I had to find someone else's family recipe.  I found this NY Times recipe, which won me over with the author's sweet story about her grandmother and the adaptations she made to the recipe after WWII (the heaping tablespoons of lemon zest in the dough didn't hurt either).


    So, while visiting the BCD parents out at Blackacre, BCD Mom and I set to making these three-pointed cookies made to resemble the hat of Haman, the bad guy in the Purim story who tried to kill all the Jews (what else is new?).

    Monday, March 28, 2011

    A Doughy Weekend

    by Xani

    I know everyone is just on the edge of their seats waiting for more info about our interview the other night.  Well, you will have to wait just a little bit longer, although I will tell you that Salt was just as good as I remember, even though the last time we ate there was in 2008!  More details to come very soon...

    Meanwhile, I spent a pleasant weekend experimenting in the kitchen.  First, I decided to try another America's Test Kitchen recipe, this one for Chicago Style Deep-Dish Pizza.  Now, I'm normally a thin-crust girl.  I can practically whip up a grilled pie or flat bread in my sleep.  But deep-dish is another animal.  I'm hesitant to even call is "pizza," it's something else entirely.  But ATK provided a thorough recipe, complete with pictures and video (another reason I love their site), and it looked too delicious not to try.  I got started on the dough and actually remembered the take pictures this time!

    Dough phase 1
    After assembling the dough in my KitchenAid, I started getting a little nervous b/c it didn't have quite the glossy/tacky consistency the recipe called for.  REMAIN CALM, I instructed myself.  For once, I listened, and by the time it had risen all was well, and I was able to shape it into this:

    Now the crazy part, you slather it with butter!

    And roll 'er up...

    This is a form of lamination (which I've discussed before) and the ATK testers found that it was an important part of getting the flaky, light crust that is crucial to true deep-dish (heavy and bready is no good!).

    A few more steps and another rise (this time in the fridge)...
    flattened
    folded, seams pinched to form a ball
    ready to rise again
    and it was time to shape the dough, slide them into generously oiled cake pans, and top them with lots and lots of cheese!

    a half pound of shredded mozz on each pie!! plus a little of my homemade red sauce
    aaand a little more cheese...
    A relatively quick 20 mins in a hot oven, and they were ready:
    TA-DA!
    Ready for their close-up
    Sliced nicely
    OMG PIZZA!  I think you can tell from the pictures these pizzas were, in a word, ridic!  The crust got nice and crispy on the outside from the oiled pan and hot oven, but the crumb was nice and light on the inside, with a little richness from the butter.  Then, all that ooey-gooey cheese, and rich marinara sauce.  Yum.  One criticism was that the filling seemed a little wet, which after a few minutes affected the crispness of the crust and made things a little soggy.  Next time I will try using a low moisture mozzarella and/or cook down the sauce a bit more.

    This was a fun recipe to try and a nice treat, but not the kind of thing I'm likely to make/eat all the time (one can only eat so much salad to balance out such things).  But this NEXT recipe is something I'm adding to my repertoire forever.  Another ATK recipe (god, I'm such a fangirl), this time for their Rustic Dinner Rolls.  I guess I've got a little confidence in my bread-making skills since my successful boule experiment, and dinner rolls seemed like a good fit since, unlike a large loaf, these can be frozen and individually defrosted as needed. (I hate throwing food away, and I think I would CRY if I had to throw away lovingly homemade bread because it went stale!)  Unfortunately, no pictures of the process (I got a migraine halfway through making these-- my wonderful boyfriend took over and "turned" the dough according to the recipe while I took my medication and laid in a dark room for a while), but the outcome.... WOW!

    OK, they may not look like the prettiest rolls you've ever seen (again, they're "rustic") but they taste AMAZING.  Perfect crispy outer crust, great, light texture inside (from the higher hydration level-- love that ATK includes food science lessons in their recipes!), and amazing taste.  I could see these showing up in a bread basket in a nice restaurant for sure.  They re-crisp easily- just a few minutes in a hot oven and they taste out-of-the-oven fresh.

    So, those were my adventures in dough this weekend.  What should I make next??

    X

    Thursday, March 24, 2011

    What's BCD up to Tonight??

    by Xani

    Are we spinning a salad, kneading dough, or roasting a whole pig?  NO!  We're headed out to a little spot known for it's kobe beef sliders, duck fat fries and green lighting.  And we won't be alone-- a reporter and photographer will be joining us.  That's right, we're getting interviewed!  For a real publication!  We're totally excited for the meal and the opportunity.

    Details and links to come as soon as we have them.  I can taste those fries already...

    X

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    Surprise!

    by Xani

    Hey BCD readers (if you still exists)-- surprise, I'm still alive!  And still cooking and eating.  Here's a quick post of some recent culinary treats, to whet your appetite for more BCD blogging!
    Lobster:
    Lobster Roll and Thrice Cooked Fries

    Valentine's Day Special: We bought two big lobsters and ate them three ways!  First, boil them up, reserve the claw and tail meat for the lobster rolls, then devour every morsel in the bodies.  That was Friday night.  We also did the first cooking of the Thrice Cooked Fries so they'd be ready for lunch the next day.  Most of the tail and claw meat got lightly dressed and stuffed into a toasted, buttery split-top rolls (luckily we were able to find the appropriate rolls-- a real New Englander won't have it any other way!), and served alongside the fries for Saturday lunch.  The fries were excellent but in my opinion not worth the hassle, since the America's Test Kitchen one-step fry technique is just as good, and so much easier.  The rest of the meat got mixed into a decadent dinner salad with mango, avocado and, of course, homemade vinaigrette.  You know I love my salads!

    Pizza:
    Oscar-worthy Flatbreads
    These are a couple of flatbreads I whipped up for Oscar night.  Using my trusty Ratio method for the dough, I shaped the breads and baked them on a pizza stone in a 500 degree oven (it was still too cold outside to grill them-- but luckily grilling season is right around the corner), then topped them and slid them back in to melt the cheese.  The one of the left has brie and peppedew peppers, on the right is a classic combo of caramelized onions and Gruyere.  We ate these before we lost our appetite from the bad jokes.

    Bread:

    My First Bread!
    Above are the before and after of my very first home-baked loaf of bread!  Again, I used the recipe/technique from Ratio for a basic "lean" bread.  I cooked it in my Le Crueset dutch oven, like all the kids are doing these days.  I could not have been happier with the result.  Here's an interior shot:


    It was absolutely fabulous slathered with butter and a little salt (but what isn't?)

    Weeknight dinner:
    Spinach Gratin with Poached Eggs

    My new favorite thing is poaching eggs.  It's so easy and they cook up perfectly.  I'm eating less meat these days so eggs are a good protein source to include in dinner.  This spinach gratin (which you can see hiding under the eggs) was actually supposed to be the main course, but the spinach cooked down to nothing! I had to supplement the meal and poached eggs were the perfect solution.  A little toasted whole wheat pita was the perfect thing to dip in the runny yolks.  

    So there's a little update on what I've been eating for the past few months, just in case you'd been tossing and turning all night wondering ;)  I'm hoping to post more now that spring is on its way and fresh, delicious ingredients are back on the menu.  And stay tuned for very special upcoming posts from Boston and, a BCD first, INTERNATIONAL BLOGGING!

    X

    Sunday, February 20, 2011

    The Hunt for White Anchovies

    by EP

    Okay, so, this is awkward.  It's been a long while since we posted.  The good news is, we haven't posted because we are busy having fun with new hobbies; the bad news is, we haven't posted and now one too many people have asked me, "hey, what's up with the blog."  Hrmph.  But today's a new day, right?  And today, I had some great pizza.

    This afternoon I met up with the BCD parents, who were in town to watch the lovably awful Terps in one of their last home games of the season.  We enjoyed a late lunch at Scittino's, a family-owned pizza place and Italian market in Catonsville.  I have fond memories of Scittino's, since my parents met me there for some celebratory pizza shortly after I found out I passed the bar exam (still feels good to say that).


    Sunday, January 9, 2011

    A Lid for Every Pot: Ginger Lemon Sandwich Cookies

    by EP

    I realize it's the first week of the year, when everyone is cookied-out from the holidays, cutting the carbs and hitting the gym, and the last thing you want to read about is cookies.  Or perhaps because you are off carbs (as we are for the moment...we miss you, potatoes), you are interested in living vicariously through cookie-baking tales like this one.


    I sort of created the recipe for my Ginger Lemon Sandwich Cookies, which was inspired by both a ginger-lime sandwich cookie served at a cooking class I attended earlier in December, and some really wonderful ginger molasses spice cookies that were the favor at my friends Peter and Natatia's wedding in October (you might remember, I ate Korean Fried Chicken shortly before they walked down the aisle. Romantic!).  Amazingly, Natatia made approximately 1,200 cookies for all of her guests - thanks, Tash!


    Tuesday, January 4, 2011

    Dinner at Vino Rosina: Snails and Marrow and Sweetbreads, Oh My!

    by EP

    Right before Christmas, to really kick off the gluttony of the holidays and my trip to Las Vegas (post on B&B Ristorante, a Mario Batali establishment, coming soon), I went to dinner with my good friend Lydia.  We wanted to try somewhere neither of us had been, and Vino Rosina, located in Harbor East across from the Whole Foods, was on my list. [Disclaimer: it was really dim in the restaurant, so I didn't take any pictures.  Okay okay, I forgot my camera.  But the pictures would have been crappy -- crappier than normal, anyway.]

    We were both impressed by the cozy yet open design of the restaurant.  Guests are greeted with a large square bar, with the dining room towards the back.  The dining area had a view of the kitchen (or at least the final prep station), which we appreciated.  The place was packed for a Tuesday night, and we were excited.

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