• 20May

    When it comes to living with allergies, there can be nothing more frustrating then trying to navigate the candy world. During Halloween, school or birthday parties, trying to read the ingredients on a candy package can feel like playing a game of Russian Roulette. But there is an easy answer that will not feel like a sacrifice.

    I would describe Sun Cups as an allergy friendly Reese’s cup. However, they even beat out the Reese’s cup by coming in FAR more fun flavor combos. Made with chocolate and a roasted sunflower seed butter they mix in a number of additional flavors ranging from caramel to mint chocolate. The result? A tasty nut-free, gluten-free treat for everyone! Some are even dairy, egg, soy and corn free as well. So load them in your purse or send them in to keep in your kid’s classroom and next time there’s a questionable allergy scenario there’s an easy answer that will still end in a smile.

    Flavor Offerings: Milk Chocolate, Milk Chocolate Caramel, Dark Chocolate Mint, Dark Chocolate

    Go to http://suncups.com/ for more information and to find selling locations near you.

    -JPM

    Permalink Filed under: Products Tags: No Comments
  • 18May

    Congratulations to Dimitri Moshovitis of Cava Mezze who won 3 awards (Best in Show, People’s Choice, and Best Latin) at the DC Lamb Jam last night! His dish was a lamb shoulder half smoke with mustard tzatziki on a brioche bun. It was fun being a judge at this event!

    -JAY

  • 18May

    CIRCA at DuPont has unveiled its new spring menu and barrel aged cocktails, and they’re definitely worth a try. The food and drink options are perfect for DCers looking for a light, refreshing meal. I’ve been to CIRCA a few times, but only for drinks, so I was pleasantly surprised and impressed at the quality of their food items as well.

    CIRCA’s cocktails, inspired by the new age juice cleanse frenzy, are some of the most unique cocktails I’ve tried. And, to top it off, they have fun names. It may seem off-putting when your cocktail arrives and it’s green, like the Matcha Matcha Man and Kale’n Me Softly are, but at CIRCA, that’s a good sign. The Matcha Matcha Man is a green tea based gin cocktail, and the Kale’n Me Softly is ideal for the growing kale lover scene. The Cure-All, a clear-white vodka drink, is mixed well with coconut water. My favorite new cocktail of theirs, the District Tea Party, features a chamomile infused gin. I wouldn’t have thought of putting chamomile tea and alcohol together in one drink, but CIRCA does it right, with the perfect touch of sweetness.

    Now, onto the food. I tried the quinoa salad and the panzanella salad first, and of the two, the latter stood out to me the most. Kale and arugula based, the soft brioche bread pieces and buttermilk drizzle on top make this a heartier salad than the quinoa one. It also has cucumbers, red onions, fresh mozzarella, and marinated tomatoes, all mixed with a sherry vinaigrette dressing. Meanwhile, CIRCA’s brick chicken is made exactly as it sounds it is, under a brick. I had never heard of this process before, but the way they get that crisp, golden brown skin and moist, tender meat is by searing a split chicken under a brick. This dish is paired well with a potato salad and grilled broccolini, all on top of a lemon herb jus. Next are my two favorite new dishes. The seared scallops dish features a rich wild mushroom and goat cheese risotto base with scallops on top, made to perfection. Executive chef R.L. Boyd’s special, the steamed Alaskan halibut, has a cilantro-masa topping, black beans, chipotle cream, and shaved radish. The fish is melt-in-your-mouth, soft, buttery, and to die for. This halibut dish made my night.

    Make sure to check out CIRCA at DuPont’s new selections. Dine inside or outside at this bustling restaurant and bar, a location ideal for springtime.

    -SDM (Samantha)

  • 17May
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    Wonderful French Master Butcher, Marc Pauvert from Spring House Farm in Lovettsville, VA Working on a Whole Lamb!

    Last chance to buy tickets for tonight for DC’s Lamb Jam.

    -JAY

  • 16May

    Wonderful food industry people who create extremely tasty products:

    -JAY

     

  • 15May
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    Dessert For Two, a cookbook by Christina Lane, is such a wonderful and charming creation. This book is perfect for anyone who has a sweet tooth or loves someone who has a sweet tooth. The recipes in this book are mouthwatering cookies, puddings, miniature pies, tarts, cakes, popscicles, snacks and candies. The photography in the book is stunning and the writing has a great conversational feel. The recipes are deliciously evil but through Lane’s hard work of scaling down recipes, the risk of “accidentally” eating a dozen cookies disappears. As someone who struggles with poor willpower around sugar, I appreciate this. I also appreciate that Lane makes suggestions about bakeware (like getting adorable six inch pie tins and miniature loaf pans), but has alternative solutions if you find yourself living with a small kitchen that lacks miniature bakeware. I love the idea (as pictured on the cover of the book) of baking a miniature pie using a mason jar band as a pie tin.

    I tested three recipes. The first was a biscuit bread pudding with whiskey sauce. My husband is a bread pudding freak and he said that it was the best that he’s ever had. I’m not as passionate about bread pudding as he is, but this is the recipe that turned me into a bread pudding person. It is very easy to make  and you can use day old biscuits, which you can either make yourself or buy pre-made. I used refrigerated biscuit dough and made biscuits from that and it turned out beautifully.  It is sweet and rich and the recipe really makes enough for three generous servings. It is a gooey, sweet and decadent dish. Because it does not have eggs, the sauce is clear and is easier and faster to make than a creme anglaise.

    I also made the Pumpkin cupcakes with bourbon buttercream frosting. I got six cupcakes out of the batter and frosting rather than the four listed in the book. The cake itself is really good, and is moist with an interesting blend of spices. It is subtly sweet and spicy; I’d totally eat the cupcakes un-iced as a muffin. The buttercream frosting is very sweet, but it balances very well with the cake. These cupcakes were so delicious.

    Last but not least, I made the Salted Butterscotch Pudding Pops. I made them with Nielsen-Massey vanilla extract, which is my new favorite baking product.  This recipe makes amazing pudding that you can then turn into popsicles, or just eat as pudding. The recipe made enough for over four popsicles, and I had a mold for four popsicles, so I ate the extra pudding while it was still warm (it was really good). The popsicles were also quite tasty. My husband gave his seal of approval on the pops as well. This recipe is quick and easy, and makes a great summer treat.

    -JHC (Jennifer)

  • 15May

    EATSince May is Food Allergy Awareness month, I’d like to shed some light on some startling statistics about food allergies. At latest count, there are currently 17 million people in the US with food allergies. Every three minutes there is someone brought into the E.R. with an allergic reaction to food. One in every twelve children are now born with a food allergy. That is at least one child in every classroom across the country. And there are 90,000 cases of Anaphylaxis reported each year. I hope these statistics demonstrate how serious this “epidemic” has become. Something needs to be done to stop Americans from living this way.

    EAT or the End Allergies Together organization, is an organization working to do just that. They are an organization solely focused on funding research for allergy cures. Top allergens are often common-day foods like nuts, wheat, dairy, eggs etc. and just a TRACE amount can trigger a life threatening reaction in minutes. However, despite these statistics allergy research programs are vastly underfunded. E.A.T is trying to fill that gap. Instead of dividing their resources for advocacy and awareness programs, they are directing all of their raised money towards the scientists researching actual cures. They hope to become the nationally recognized brand that puts a face on food allergies.

    For more information about the organization and how you can help or get involved in increasing allergy awareness go to Endallergiestogether.com.

    -JPM

    Permalink Filed under: Etc Tags: 2 Comments
  • 14May

    Granite City Food & Brewery celebrated the opening of its National Harbor, MD location last Monday. Their first East Coast spot, Granite City is a great addition to the many other dining options at National Harbor. Spacious and modern, this restaurant and microbrewery houses a wide range of food and drink selections for just about anyone to enjoy, beer lovers and non-beer lovers alike.

    The restaurant features a full service, wrap-around bar, open kitchen, private dining rooms, patio area, and on-site microbrewery that can be seen from inside the restaurant and is available for tours. Granite City prides itself not only the quality of its handcrafted beers but also of its made from scratch food and signature cocktails. The watermelon martini, for example, was sweet and refreshing on such a hot day. This drink, among several other martini flavors, is featured on their complete happy hour menu.

    Able to seat approximately 300 people, the restaurant and bar quickly became packed at its grand opening event. It would be of no surprise if Granite City soon becomes the place to be, especially on weekend late nights.

    If you live in the National Harbor area or are simply looking to take a day trip, be sure to check out Granite City while you’re there.

    -SDM

  • 13May
    Wine lovers crowd around to dance to VinoFest’s live music performances.

    Wine lovers crowd around to dance to VinoFest’s live music performances.

    VinoFest DC 2015 was held this past Saturday, May 9, 2015, at Storey Park NoMa in Washington D.C. VinoFest is a diverse live music and wine festival presented by Vinolovers. Upon entering the festival, tents were lined up along the gated perimeter with various activities (such as painting and life-size beer pong), wine tastings, and food trucks. Front and center of VinoFest was a stage that eventually had the entire crowd dancing by the end of the night.

    The stage featured Questlove (from The Roots), Black Masala, White Ford Bronco, Trouble Funk, Alison Carney (and her electric blue hair I could not stop staring at in admiration), DJ Adrian Loving, DJ Neekola, and D.C.’s DJ Hazzard. The musicians performed a beautiful mix of originals and old school classic covers (my favorite was TLC’s “No Scrubs”) that had almost every head at the festival swaying to the beat of the music.

    Food line-up: Dirty South Deli, Red Hook Lobster Pound DC, Slate Wine Bar + Bistro, Straw Stick & Brick Delicatessen, Swizzler, and Puddin’.

    Although I unfortunately did not get to try every single food vendor, I was able to experience Slate Wine Bar + Bistro’s chicken paella as my first VinoFest dish of the day and it was absolutely delectable.

    My second dish came from Swizzler and it was a savory tray of truffle fries. The perfect snack to share with a friend while under the warm Saturday May sun.

    My last dish at VinoFest was the David Wooderson sandwich and Fingerling Potato Salad from Dirty South Deli. The grilled asparagus, fried egg, and lemon-pepper ricotta were my favorite components in the David Wooderson (which also included English peas, mint, and trumpet mushrooms on ciabatta bread). The Fingerling potato salad was a refreshing side of potato chunks served with gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) marinated cucumber, red onions and mint.

    The wine tasting tent quickly became the focal point for majority of the VinoFest attendees (obviously) and staff members worked hard to serve the vino loving masses. I was pleased to see how professional and passionate the staff members were and am even more pleased at how proceeds of VinoFest DC 2015 will benefit DC Central Kitchen, Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic, and Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). Over 1,800 vino lovers attended VinoFest DC last year so I am curious to see how many attended last Saturday.

    VinoFest DC 2015 was a huge success and I look forward to see what VinoFest has to offer next year. Until then, cheers!

    -EHY

  • 12May
    It’s the most exciting time of year for the DC gluten-free population. Sunday JUNE 7th is the fifth annual Gluten-Free Expo- a time where gluten-free vendors from all over the world come to offer their newest goodies to the DC gluten-free population. Last year’s expo brought over 2,200 visitors, and with more vendors than ever before, this year will be even bigger and better! And even more exciting- I was asked to be a featured blogger at the event! Which means you as my readers get to benefit by getting discount tickets to the Expo. So make sure you save the date and click the link below for more info about the event and to save 25% off the price of a ticket with this coupon code: GFNOVAGIRL25OFF.

    -JPM (Joyana)

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