• 19Dec

    bridge-option-new-8-copyBest of contains 225 recipes for special occasions. This feel good cook book is perfect if you are craving a bite of nostalgia. If you are hosting a party, going to a potluck, wondering what to do with your leftovers from a previous event, or even want a recipe for making an edible holiday treat to give to friends or family, this book has your solution. The recipes are straightforward, and for the most part are simple and pretty easy. Many dishes utilize items often kept in the pantry.

    The book has a retro feel and is written in a conversational style, allowing you to hear the voices of the authors. The Bridge ladies included some of their favorite quotes throughout the book and most of them gave me a good chuckle. I look forward to cooking and baking my way through this book. The baking section is especially interesting to me as it contains things that I’ve never made or eaten before, like Victorian Orange Peel Cake  (I think this is going to be on the menu for New Year’s Eve). I was also very  impressed by the edible gift chapter.  I love giving (and receiving) homemade presents for the holidays, and this book has some great ideas and recipes to make a really nice, delicious, thoughtful gift that is under $10.00  per person.

    My absolute favorite recipe that I made from this book  so far was the  Gingered Carrot Puree. The flavors in this dish are wonderfully bold without hitting you over the head. The sweetness of the carrots and the bite from the ginger marry very well together. The end result is a velvety puree that is  quick and easy to make. I loved this so much I’m pretty sure that I could live off of this gingered carrot puree alone.

    Honey Garlic Chicken Wings

    Honey Garlic Chicken Wings

    I made the Honey Garlic Chicken Wings for a potluck. They came out with a gorgeous golden brown glaze on the skin. The wings were tasty.  Hoisin Sauce, soy, honey, garlic and rice vinegar play off of hot pepper sauce. The recipe suggests an amount of hot pepper sauce, but says to do it to your tastes. I’d recommend doing at least the amount in the recipe because the flavor balance won’t be there without that heat.  I kept them very mild,  and the end result was a sweet, garlicy wing. The flavor was maybe a seven and a half  out of ten, but because they were so mild, they were very easy to keep eating. If I was making them just for my household, I’d have made them a little spicier for  better sweet/salty/ spice balance. This is a good make ahead item, I’d get the wings sitting in the marinade overnight next time before cooking to get even more intense flavor into the wings. As a plus, when you bake these and boil the marinade, your entire house will smell amazing.

    I  made the  Fantastic Fudge Brownies recipe. The end result was a rich fudge brownie, topped  with icing. They were a hit at a ten-year old’s birthday party as well as my husband’s office. To my personal taste, they were a little too sweet and too rich. Maybe I’m more of a cake-y brownie gal than a fudge brownie one.

    I also made the Peppermint Brittle recipe (also in the gift section). This is a super easy, fast recipe that allows you to make a really nice gift for someone in about ten active minutes of cooking and an hour to cool it down.

    The book also has a Microwave Peanut Brittle Recipe. It takes 8 minutes plus about an hour to cool to make some pretty delicious peanut brittle. I did make this (and forgot to photograph it), and sent it with my hubby to give to co-workers for holiday presents. It tastes good and goes from hard to very sticky once in your mouth. Caution to those with dental work.


  • 13Dec

    Today we attended the Sweet Hope, Dessert for Toys Reception at Michel Richard’s Central. Toys were collected for St Jude Children’s Hospital. I even got a chance to say talk to Restauranteur/Chef Bart Vandaele, who was in attendance. We look forward to this event every year. Pictures from the event are above.


  • 12Dec

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWildfire (Tysons Galleria) wants to share some holiday cheer with DCFüd readers. A great way to do so is with Eggnog, so they have shared their recipe with us. You can also try this luscious, rich Eggnog Bread Pudding as the holiday dessert special the week before (leading up to) Christmas, paired with an espresso cup of freshly made egg nog. It’s a spoonful of holiday cheer times two! There’s no way to overdo a good thing at holiday time!


    1 cup brown sugar

    1 cup granulated sugar

    4 eggs

    1tablespoon. vanilla extract

    pinch nutmeg

    1 qt. eggnog

    2 cups whipping cream

    1 loaf (1 lb. 12 oz.) challah, cut ¾” thick

    Mix brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla, nutmeg, eggnog and cream in a stainless steel mixing bowl to make a custard. Cut bread slices into 16 cubes per slice. Gently fold bread into custard. Let stand 20 minutes. Place the mixture into a 9” x 13” pyrex pan. Smooth the top and cover with plastic wrap and foil.

    Place bread pudding into a bain marie (water bath) and bake at 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake for 15-20 minutes until done and temperature is 190 degrees.

    Let rest for 15 minutes, then cut into 4 x 3 into 12 squares. Serve at room temperature.

    Each serving can be garnished with 1 oz. warm caramel sauce, a scoop of whipped cream, a dusting of nutmeg and powdered sugar. At Wildfire, Eggnog Bread Pudding is served with an espresso cup of fresh eggnog.


  • 30Nov

    Poor Student's PantryOk, this guide was written by Breadedfishstrip and is cute (and has some good tips), so I’m sharing it. It starts by telling you that ramen is NOT cheap and dropping an F-bomb.


    Permalink Filed under: Etc No Comments
  • 25Nov

    From JS Casting:

    “Hello Everyone!

    We are currently casting 3 exciting shows and are in search of:

    • Unique food or restaurant concepts with 2 or more owners for season 3 of CNBC’s Restaurant Startup (Nationwide).
    • Chefs, culinary professionals and foodies for season 11 of Food Network Star (Nationwide).
    • Chefs for season 4 of Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay (Nationwide).

    Below you will find details on what we are looking for. Please feel free to pass this information on to your family and friends!”


    Now Casting Unique Food or Restaurant Concepts for CNBC’s Restaurant Startup Season 3! 

    Restaurant Startup
    Now Casting Food Network Star Season 11!
    Last chance to send in a home video!
    Deadline: December 3rd, 2014
    Please visit www.FoodNetwork.com/Casting for
    instructions on how to submit a home video
    and for more information.
    Now Casting Season 4 of 
    Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay

    Beat Bobby Flay


  • 19Nov

    10-years-birthday-cakeHappy Birthday DCFüd!

    We have awesome readers and contributors. Thanks everyone!




    Permalink Filed under: Etc No Comments
  • 17Nov
    Table showcasing delicious foods from Chile

    The Experience Chilean Food Culture event was held on November 3, 2014 at the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington. The event was co- hosted by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington and Foods From Chile. The event showcased how wonderful ingredients from Chile are in addition to how skilled local chefs are at integrating these ingredients to make delicious dishes and drinks. This event featured six restaurants, their chefs crafting dishes and mixologists creating cocktails while utilizing Chilean ingredients, competing for best food and best cocktail. In addition several wines, olive oils and avocado oil were available for sampling. I was highly impressed by the flavor and presentation of all of the food and drinks at the event. I would not hesitate to dine at any of the restaurants that participated in the event. Each attendee was given two votes to cast, one for their favorite dish and the other for their favorite cocktail. In addition, there were judges’ awards given to best dish and best cocktail as well. The culinary competition was sponsored by Belair Produce, Pisco Waqar, Chile Olive Oil, National Restaurant Association, Patagonia SeaFarms, Watermark Foods, TerraMater, Andes Mountain Water, Acme Paper & Supply, Inc., Wines of Chile and Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington.


    Chef Riyad Bouizar made Savory Chicken Tartlets with Chilean Berries. This dish featured a pastry puff cup with a savory and mildly sweet chicken bastilla filling. Plump raspberries and blackberries sat atop each tartlet, topped by a dusting of powdered sugar. This was a delicate dish, mild flavors allowed the natural sweetness of the berries shine through.

    Del Campo

    Recipient of Judges’ Best Cocktail Award

    Mixologist Mary Kelly made a specialty cocktail of Chilean Pisco Waqar, grapefruit juice, house made thyme syrup, fresh lemon, and Lillet rose. The acidity of the grapefruit and the thyme infusion created a sweet, sour and savory drink that was incredibly refreshing.

    Chef Victor Albisu made Smoked Chicken Liver Crostini with burnt Chilean Blackberry and Malbec Mostrada. Crisp toasts topped with velvety chicken liver pate and a topping of a slightly sweet, sour and a hint of bitter Chilean blackberry and Malbec Mostrada was perfectly balanced in flavor and texture.


    Chef Justus Frank made Chilean Olive Oil- Poached Octopus, which featured Chilean Extra Virgin Olive Oil, chickpea puree, aji peppers, hearts of palm and lime zest. This dish was incredibly visually striking with bright orange and green. The octopus was cooked to perfection, which is no easy feat. The olive oil was well balanced by the acidity of the lime zest.

    Kaz Sushi Bistro

    Recipient of Judges’ Best Dish Award

    Chef Kazuhiro Okochi made Chilean Salmon Soup, which featured Chilean Salmon, Miso, Cream, Onion, Carrot, Potato, Napa Cabbage and Dill. Paper cups were filled with a few pieces of slightly cured, bright pink Chilean Salmon had steaming hot soup ladled over top. The result was perfectly poached salmon and a super comforting soup. The soup was creamy without being overly heavy. The flavors of the soup were mild enough to bring out the flavor of the salmon.

    Lupo Verde

    Recipient of the Peoples’ Choice Award for best dish and Peoples’ Choice Award for best drink

    Mixologist Francesco Amodeo made a cocktail that showcased Pisco Waqar, with prickly pear liqueur, aperol, lime juice and muddled red grapes. It was delicious and sweet.

    Chef Domenico Apollaro made the dish Terra E. Mare, which featured Buratta, homemade fried smoked Malaiti Pasta, raspberry caviar, prawns carpaccio, Chilean extra virgin olive oil, thyme, chives emulsified, shaved bottarga, volcanic salt and crystralized roses.  In my opinion, this was the most aesthetically beautiful dish. The bright red, green and yellow was truly beautiful on the plate.


    Chef Felipe Milanes made the dish, The Essence of A Port, which featured Puerto Montes Cured Chilean Salmon, Crispy Arepas, and cannela sauce. This was a humble, crispy bite of arepa topped with cured salmon with pickled vegetables on top. It was a very simple but tasty dish. I liked the textural composition of the soft salmon with the crunch of the arepa.

    Chilean Wines:

    Until this event, I had limited experience with Chilean wines. Thanks to Sommelier Brent Kroll of Neighborhood Restaurant Group, my eyes are now open to how delectable and affordable Chilean wines are. The event provided the following wines for tasting and I’d recommend trying all of them.

    Los Vascos, Sauviginon Blanc, 2013- A crisp and citrusy white wine.
    Los Vascos, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012- A dry red wine with notes of raspberries and black cherries.
    Ritual, Pinot Noir, 2013 – A dry red wine with a fruity bouquet and notes of plum.
    Ritual, Sauviginon Blanc, 2013- A dry white wine with notes of tropical fruit and oak.
    Santa Rita Triple C, 2010- A Bordeaux blend, full-bodied red wine with complex flavors of fruit, vanilla and floral notes.
    Santa Rita, Reserva, Sauvignon Blanc, 2013- Dry white wine with clean, crisp and citrusy notes.
    Santa Rita, Reserva, Carmenere, 2011- A dry medium bodied red wine with notes of black berries, black cherries, vanilla and oak.

    -JHC (Jennifer)

  • 15Nov

    The December DCFBHH is at the recently reopened  Coppi’s Organic. Chito of RUNIN Out will be hosting. Please RSVP here.


    December 2014 Flier Coppi's

  • 14Nov

    …this seems excessive, no? This is from the Shop Rite in Silver Spring, Maryland.

    We all know that expiration dates on many items are little more than educated guesses. I grew up in my family’s small grocery store near Annapolis, and we often would eat the foods that were either nearing or were at their expiration date, generally with no ill effects. Sure, the dates on milk cartons are pretty accurate, and it’s wise to avoid eating deli meats, breads, or prepared foods much past their sell-by date. But most frozen foods can last well past the date stamped on their packages, as long as they’re stored correctly. Even now, seeing food a week or so past the sell-by date just doesn’t bother me.

    Which makes this dented and worn box of Steak-Umm’s chicken steaks I found at the Shop Rite so ridiculous. Super market freezer doors open and close all the time, and that simple action changes the storage temperature. People often will put a refrigerated item in their cart and carry it around the store for an hour and then randomly plop it  in between the Oreos and the Chips Ahoy. How many times have you seen a shopper put back ice cream in something that wasn’t a freezer? Seven additional months of who-knows how many random grabs and placed into how many carts, going through how many freeze/thaw cycles, not including how long it sat on the shelf before April 2014?

    there were two boxes left...hmmm...

    Now with extra salmonella if you use your bonus card!

    That leads me to the sale price – the store had two boxes left, they had different items behind the chicken Steak-umms ready for purchase, AND they just happen to have a two for $7 sale?? Coincidence? Interesting… . I’d guess somebody in the store knew this box of Steak-umms was well-past the expiration date and either didn’t care, or were told to ignore it and sell it anyway, clearing the shelf space at any cost rather than lose a couple of bucks. Given that this location is near a large senior citizen community, perhaps the buyer wouldn’t be able to see the small print, or wouldn’t have the taste buds to tell the difference.

    Seeing this mangled box in the freezer reminds me to start paying attention to the sell-by dates again. Back when I was a kid, that meant counting the chocolate milk boxes that would expire in the next 24 hours, and figure out how many would be left over for me to drink. Now, it means to keep an eye out for potentially dangerous food.

    No matter the reason or the excuse, this is bad grocery store managing. I wasn’t giving the store the Anthony Melchiorri white-glove dust test from “Hotel Impossible;” I was looking for frozen vegetables I could keep at work.

    Although…now I’m totally ready to pitch “Grocery Impossible” where I fix horribly-run grocery stores. Food Lion can be my pilot episode. Maybe the whole first season.


    Note : I moved the other box of chicken Steak-umms out of the way for the photos, and it had a “best if used by” date labeled comfortably in 2015. Having tried the Steak-umm chicken flavor, my personal recommendation for a “best if used by” date is “never.”

    – Ray

  • 12Nov

    I recently attended the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show. Above are some pictures of the show’s highlights.

    Bobby Flay was the show’s headliner Sunday evening. He is great with kids.

    A girl was at the microphone to ask a question.

    Bobby: “How old are you?”

    bobby_flayGirl: “Nine and a half.”

    Bobby: “When is your birthday?”

    Girl: “February”

    Bobby: “That isn’t nine and a half; you are nine and three quarters. What is your question?”

    Girl: “How do you like your burgers?”

    Bobby: “Medium rare to medium.”

    Girl: “We went to Bobby Flay’s Burger Palace and my father… (she is getting angry) MADE me order MEDIUM WELL. I wanted medium rare.”

    Bobby: “Is your father here?” (No.) “Is your mother here?” (Yes.) “Get your mother for me.”

    Bobby: Asks mother: “What is this I hear about her father making her eat medium well burgers?”

    Mother: “I think he sees it as a food safety issue.”

    Bobby: “It’s Bobby Flay’s Burger Palace, it’s safe! Let her have the medium rare burger.”

    Another kid (also a girl) asked him if he is going to do the next season of Worst Cooks in America. He said that it is really Anne Burell‘s show and that he wouldn’t be hosting with her this year and the kid was on the verge of tears.

    Bobby: “Don’t cry! Tyler Florence will be co-hosting this season.”

    The kid: “Tyler Florence?” And she brightened right up.

    Bobby: (Faking jealousy:) “You don’t have to be so happy about it. (To the audience:) “She likes Tyler.”


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