• 28Jul

    InnTheMix

    I was invited to review the Residence Inn Arlington’s Social Hour (#InntheMix). Residence Inns across the United States has started hosting free Social Hours for their guests. Their research showed that guests needed more activities at the hotel. The Social Hours will be offered three nights per week at Residence Inn’s nearly 700 locations; these evening gatherings encourage guests to interact and connect with the destination. Themed nights include:

    • It’s On (Mondays) – Meet other guests for some “must-see TV” or hang by the fire pit with a variety of light-fare appetizers.
    • Off the Grill (Tuesdays) – Join in for conversation and great eats, hot off the grill.
    • Food Truck (Alternating Wednesdays) – Get to know the local area’s most popular food trucks.
    • Local Flavors (Alternating Wednesdays) – Sample specialties from famous local hot spots.
    • Just Desserts (Alternating Wednesdays) – Reward yourself with something sweet and savory.
    • Out & About (Anytime) – Stop by the front desk to get the lowdown on the best local spots and what’s abuzz in town.

    A hotel guest can follow along on Residence Inn’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram platforms and raise a glass to a new way to “mix” work and play.  Residence Inn is rolling out their social hour to help their extended stay guest enjoy a hotel amenity besides the gym and pool.  This amenity just involves food and alcohol.

    Astro Donuts' Chicken Sandwich!

    Astro Donuts’ Chicken Sandwich!

    Upon entering, the guests were asked to download Blippar, which is a new application (that can be downloaded from the App Store for Iphone and Android); guests are then able to “Play Live Trivia” either alone or against your friends.  The application also suggests beer and food pairings.  As an example, for tonight’s selection of chicken pot pie from Dangerously Delicious Pies, the application suggested that I drink a Flat Tire; the beer’s floral notes match well with the hearty pie.

    Residence Inn by Marriott put out a meat and cheese platter that was well prepared and decadent and was served with Brandon Byrd “sodahop style rootbeer floats.”

    Astro Donuts!

    Astro Donuts!

    Outside on the patio, three food vendors were featured:  “Astro Donuts” who has a food truck, IPhone app, and even online ordering.  The featured sandwich was the fried chicken sandwich with tomato and lettuce on a bun which was heaven.   The sandwich melted in your mouth along with a good beer.

    The assembly line method truly does work in your high in demand.  They definitely had the longest line.

     

    Dangerously Delicious Pies DC

    The offerings from “Dangerously Delicious Pies DC” were either side savory of chicken pot pie, steak and mushroom with gruyere, and ratatouille along with sweet with rhubarb, and apple.  My favorite was chicken pot pit however the steak was really good and all the sweet pies were missing was ice cream which I snagged some from the Brandon the Sodahop inside.  (Shh! My little secret.)  One of the guest commented on that fact that even cold the crème Brule was the best donut bite she has had in awhile.  And she travels a lot.

    Sweet LobbyLastly,  “Sweet Lobby” was featured rounding out the dessert theme with macarons!  They were small cakes with creamy insides,  sort of like a elevated adult Oreos! (HAHA)

    The music was acoustic and provided by an violinist who played all contemporary hits that were easily to identify and provided for a young, hip, musical taste with elegant feel for those who attend.   The attendees were a mix of hotel guests including families (most children posted up in the AstroTurf lounge area and really enjoyed the sweets) and the other hotel guests who were visiting on business.  People just mill about the outside patio and inside the lounge bar area when the weather is too hot.

    Miss FaithHowever,  my favorite part was  (Drum roll, please):

    Miss Faith made gooey s’mores with marshmallows over steno along with chocolate and graham crackers.  This interactive part of the experience was for kids and adults alike.

    As the night was winding down, our wonderful host, Noah invited a lucky young star to come join him and announcing some prizes.  The top leader board trivia master, Meredith won a $100 dollar gift card along with Gold Key Members of Marriott won some goodies bags.

    The pictures were provided by Crystal Foley and Residence Inn By Marriott (with Permission to use).

    -CLF (Crystal)

  • 30Nov

    The Incredible Edible Book Contest at Cherrydale Library is tomorrow! I know it isn’t a lot of notice, so cook or bake quickly. :) How about a banana pie with tiger stripes with a minature boat as a topper?

    What is an edible book?

    • It’s any representation of a book title that is made primarily from edible materials.
    • It can look like a book, refer to a character, be a pun on a title etc.
    • It can be as fancy as a decorated cake or as simple as a bowl of grapes (The grapes of wrath?)”

    -JAY

     

  • 13Jun

    This is a repost:

    I’ve been helping my friends at the Arlington YMCA about this for a month or so, and they are now ready to accept recipe submissions for this fund-raising project. The recipes should be healthy but do not have to be vegetarian, vegan, or organic, but let them know if they happen to be. Feel free to distribute this to chefs restaurants, food bloggers and other foodies. They would also like some restaurants (that have appropriate mobile equipment) to demo their recipe submissions but it is not a necessity. The cookbook is not Arlington specific, so submissions are open to the DC Metropolitan area.

    This is a good change to get your name, blog or restaurant mentioned in a cookbook.  Portfolio builder?

    Thanks.

    -JAY
    ———————————————-

    Press Release (March 4, 2011):

    Arlington, VA – As the New Year begins, so do those New Year’s resolutions. Thousands of Americans will have a fresh new start as they challenge themselves to live a healthier lifestyle. To help make this New Year a total success, the YMCA of Arlington is coming out with a healthy eating and lifestyle cookbook. It’s an effort to help the metropolitan area as they commit to exercising, eating healthier and living better lives.

    Our New Year’s resolution at the Y is to help the metropolitan area keep theirs. “We take great responsibility in helping kids, families and individuals in our communities lead healthy and wholesome lives. A New Year’s resolution is always a good start, but the Y is here to help people maintain their commitment, not just through the year but for the rest of their lives.”

    I am calling all Metropolitan Washington Area restaurants, food bloggers and foodies to participate in the YMCA Arlington Cookbook by donating a recipe or recipes. We are accepting healthy recipes, including (but not limited to) organic, vegetarian, vegan and ethnic foods. This book will be published and sold within the branch to help with our annual campaign Building Bridges. Last year alone, we provided more than $2 million in scholarships and financial assistance to nearly 12,000 children, families, and seniors. With your help, we can continue to provide essential child care, camp, counseling, social services, and health and wellness programs. You can help us make sure no one is turned away.

    Cookbook Recipe deadline:

    Please email recipes Bianca.Patterson@ymcadc.org by June 30th, 2011.

    Bianca Patterson
    YMCA Arlington
    3422 13th St. N
    Arlington, VA, 22201
    (703) 525-5420

    For more information, call (703) 525-5420 or log on to www.ymcadc.org and find the YMCA Arlington branch for details.

  • 05Mar

    I’ve been helping my friends at the Arlington YMCA about this for a month or so, and they are now ready to accept recipe submissions for this fund-raising project. The recipes should be healthy but do not have to be vegetarian, vegan, or organic, but let them know if they happen to be. Feel free to distribute this to chefs restaurants, food bloggers and other foodies. They would also like some restaurants (that have appropriate mobile equipment) to demo their recipe submissions but it is not a necessity. The cookbook is not Arlington specific, so submissions are open to the DC Metropolitan area.

    This is a good change to get your name, blog or restaurant mentioned in a cookbook.  Portfolio builder?

    Thanks.

    -JAY
    ———————————————-

    Press Release (March 4, 2011):

    Arlington, VA – As the New Year begins, so do those New Year’s resolutions. Thousands of Americans will have a fresh new start as they challenge themselves to live a healthier lifestyle. To help make this New Year a total success, the YMCA of Arlington is coming out with a healthy eating and lifestyle cookbook. It’s an effort to help the metropolitan area as they commit to exercising, eating healthier and living better lives.

    Our New Year’s resolution at the Y is to help the metropolitan area keep theirs. “We take great responsibility in helping kids, families and individuals in our communities lead healthy and wholesome lives. A New Year’s resolution is always a good start, but the Y is here to help people maintain their commitment, not just through the year but for the rest of their lives.”

    I am calling all Metropolitan Washington Area restaurants, food bloggers and foodies to participate in the YMCA Arlington Cookbook by donating a recipe or recipes. We are accepting healthy recipes, including (but not limited to) organic, vegetarian, vegan and ethnic foods. This book will be published and sold within the branch to help with our annual campaign Building Bridges. Last year alone, we provided more than $2 million in scholarships and financial assistance to nearly 12,000 children, families, and seniors. With your help, we can continue to provide essential child care, camp, counseling, social services, and health and wellness programs. You can help us make sure no one is turned away.

    Cookbook Recipe deadline:

    Please email recipes Bianca.Patterson@ymcadc.org by June 30th, 2011.

    Bianca Patterson
    YMCA Arlington
    3422 13th St. N
    Arlington, VA, 22201
    (703) 525-5420

    For more information, call (703) 525-5420 or log on to www.ymcadc.org and find the YMCA Arlington branch for details.

  • 03Mar

    Thanks Chef Michael Kiss for keeping us updated.

    -JAY
    ——————

    March 8th: The Bean Show

    Beans are true powerhouses of nutrition! But sometimes it is hard to know how to harness all of their power. Join Chef Michael Kiss as he shows you why he is a cool bean and learn about the amazing varieties available, and how to include them in our meals. This is the best class that has ever bean! This is a vegetarian class.

    March 15th: NO CLASS

    Happy St Patrick’s Day! Eat Well! See you next week!

    March 22nd: Fast and Delicious

    With our fast paced lives we live it is hard to make time to prepare a great meal. Join Chef Michael Kiss as he takes you on a fun and fast paced ride and shows you tons on time saving techniques. No Camera tricks or magic ovens, just real cooking real fast! This is an omnivore class.

    March 29th: I can Cook Vegetarian

    Are you up for the Challenge? Can you commit to MEAT FREE WEDNESDAY? Well, it won’t be a challenge when you join Chef Michael Kiss on this Tuesday night primer on how to cook without animal protein. Nutritionally complete and filling meals with amazing flavor that will keep even the biggest steak lover in your family coming back for more. A fun way to make healthy choices sustainable; Take the challenge!

  • 06Feb

    This Wednesday (February 9th) 5-7pm will be the Arlington Wholefoods Market’s Chocolate Festival. According to Chef Michael Kiss, there will be 8 demos, and all will contain chocolate. Other romance themed events are listed below and are only live demos and not full on classes. The “chocolate for breakfast” event is Chef Kiss making chocolate chip pancakes for the hot bar live on the floor.

    -JAY
    ———————-

    Join us for a celebration of all things chocolate! Sample all that we love from around the store and find the perfect sweets for your sweetie, romantic meal packages, unique gifts & more.

    • February 11th (5pm – 7pm) A Guys Guru: Lessons for the clueless cook!
    • February 12th (9am – 11am) Chocolate for Breakfast
    • February 13th (4pm – 6pm) Romance for Dinner
    • February 14th (4pm – 6pm) Choc Full O’ Love

  • 20Oct

    With Chef Michael Kiss of Whole Foods Arlington

    Have I ever mentioned that I am a fall chef? I love everything about the season, the last few spontaneous warm days that give sense of purpose to the picnic basket who knows of emanate dormancy coming. I also enjoy the change in the air, when the sky furrows its brow and blusters a warning of colder days to come. Today’s lesson is an illustration of the latter.

    The cold morning has inspired my thoughts of bringing my soup pot out for the first time since embarking on a healthy lifestyle. I do not fear this process, although I am feeling that challenge lies before me. I know with the lessons of healthy foods I have learned, the soup pot would definitely yield great results.

    It pays to puree

    Almost everyone loves creamy soups with all their richness and alluring texture. We can make amazing soups creamy and luxurious by simply taking out a portion or even all of the soup, pureeing it in the food processor or blender and replacing it back into the pot. Be careful with hot soup and the burp when a blender stops.

    Roasted squash and almond soup

    • 1 small butter cup squash, or any hard squash available
    • ½ small onion diced
    • 1 carrot diced
    • 1 rib celery diced
    • Sprig of fresh thyme
    • 1 bay leaf
    • ¼ to ½ C. almond butter
    • 1 box vegetable stock
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Cut Squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and bake at 350 f. for 35 to 45 minutes or until tender and easily pierced with a knife.

    Let cool and scoop the pulp from the skin.

    In a soup pot add the carrots, celery, onion, bay leaf, thyme, and ¼ C. of vegetable stock. Wet sauté the vegetables adding stock when the pan goes dry. Cook until the vegetables are tender. About 6 minutes.

    Remove the bay leaf and the thyme twig.

    Next add the squash pulp and the almond butter and mix well. Add enough stock to make a soup texture. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

    The soup can be pureed for a smoother creamier texture.

    What in the heck is a Rivel?

    Recently on a trip home to visit family, My Mom and my Aunt and I were chatting about my culinary career and my recent healthy adventure. They asked me if I miss the food of my youth. They classified my family cuisine as Pennsylvania Dutch. I never thought about it, the foods of my childhood that could translate to healthy ingredients easily came with me. But the special treats, the goodies you only got on special occasions. I did miss them, but do they still hold the same grasp on my belly they did so many years ago? Yes, yes they do!

    Easy Chicken Soup with Homemade Rivels

    A rivel is very similar to the German spaetzel a tiny drop egg noodle. The rivel is larger and more robust by nature but the same recipe is at the heart of this treat.

    • 1 box chicken stock
    • 2 C. pulled cooked chicken meat
    • ½ small onion diced
    • 1 carrot diced
    • 1 rib celery diced
    • 1 sprig of thyme
    • 1 bay leaf
    • For the rivel
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 3 Tbs. water
    • All purpose flour

    Mix together the egg yolk and the water. Next in a bowl with approximately 1 C. of flour in it with a nest impression in the middle add the egg mixture. Slowly with a fork bring flour into the egg mixture and stir to form a heavy batter. Remove excess flour. Rest the batter while the soup is prepared.

    In a soup pot add the celery, onion, carrot, thyme and bay leaf with ¼ C. chicken stock. Wet sauté until the vegetables are tender adding more stock when the pan runs dry. About 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and the thyme twig.

    Add the rest of the chicken stock and bring to a simmer

    Next working quickly spoon in small 1 tsp globs of batter into the simmering soup and cook for 6 to 7 minutes. Add the chicken meat and serve immediately.

    Now that is soup that works as medicine!

    The soup pot is always at hand to take the mundane and transform it into the grand. It has the power to draw families and loved ones together and even cure illness. When times are meager it can stretch the budget as well as bring forth luxurious offering to guests during feast. Many kitchen tools are smart but none are as wise as the soup pot.

    Eat Well!

  • 19Aug

    In my inbox. Full info and a video can be obtained here.

    -JAY

    —–

    Vintage Crystal Returns with Latin Flavor: Wine, Tequila & Tapas in Crystal City
    Sunday, September 19, 2:00-6:00 p.m.

    What:
    Crystal City BID’s fourth annual signature wine-drinking, salsa-dancing, tapa-tasting festival.

    Who:
    25 local restaurants and over 30 delicious wines from Chile, Argentina and Spain.

    Where:
    220 20th Street South, Arlington, VA 22202

    Tickets:
    Tickets will be available to purchase on-site the day of the event for $20 (CASH ONLY) and include all sips, tastes, twirls and a commemorative wine glass.

    Food-only tickets can be purchased for $10 and admission for kids is free.

  • 03Aug

    From Chef Michael Kiss of the Whole Foods in Arlington. This is from Tonight’s (7pm) free class.

    Healthy lifestyle isn’t always fun and granola, sometimes we get little hankerings for something familiar and kinda bad. Don’t we love hamburgers? We also like the feeling of empowerment when we stay true to what our bodies want and go for the veggie burger, even though what is inside the box isn’t very appealing. Mystery veg isn’t any better than mystery meat, that’s all I am saying.

    Well, today is the day we say NO to the frostbitten hockey puck of bland flavorless pseudo-food patty and say YES to a big beautiful healthy burger that we made with all natural whole foods. It will be a day that when we sit down next to those omnivores, they will look at our buns in envy.

    Anatomy of a basic veggie burger
    The truth is there isn’t a lot to a veggie burger as far as the basic binding medium. The art of the whole thing is to fill up the binder with lots interesting flavors and textures so the burger has highlights and appeal. Without the veggie fillers the binder alone would be like a dense pasty savory cookie. So go crazy with the veg folks, and remember that is where you can really fine tune your nutrition too.

    Basic veggie burger
    Makes 10 to 12 burger patties
    1 Can black beans drained
    1 Can diced tomatoes
    1 C. chopped carrot
    1 clove garlic
    ½ C. chopped onion
    1 ½ C. chopped fresh vegetables or frozen is fine too
    2 C. Instant oatmeal
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Pre heat oven to 400 f.
    In a food processor puree the beans, tomatoes, and carrots garlic and onions with a few pulses. Next mix in by hand the oats and vegetables, season with salt and pepper. Let stand for 10 minutes then form into patties and bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool and freeze in zip lock bags for later

    So this is the basic burger, and this alone is way better than morning-boca-gaden-crud, but basic isn’t how we roll foodies, hamburger roll…

    Let’s get funky and have something crazy good for dinner.

    How do you think of variations and themes?
    Sometimes I have an idea and just wait for the right ingredient to fall in place, sometimes I find an exciting ingredient and try to work it into a recipe. And once in a while, when the mood is right and the stars are aligned and all is well in the world I make up a funny name and make the food reflect the name…tonight is one of those nights.

    So for tonight’s variation:
    The Rhinestone Ninja
    I added shitake mushrooms and edamame for the vegetable and seasoned with gomasio, ginger and soy sauce
    I changed the onions to scallions (see flexibility-an onion is an onion)

    That’s just the burger, but what about the toppings?
    To fill out the Rhinestone Ninja, let’s have fun with the toppings. Foodies the topping enhance the burger but also it is an opportunity to expand the nutrition of the meal by getting in some extra vegetables in creative ways. Way better than lumping out the mustard and ketchup.

    Gitano slaw
    For 4 burgers
    1 C. shredded carrot
    1 C. shredded daikon radish
    1 tsp poppy seeds
    2 Tbs. seasoned rice wine vinegar
    ¼ tsp toasted sesame oil
    ½ tsp honey
    Mix all ingredients together and let stand for a few minutes

    Cowboy karate chop sauce
    For 4 burgers
    3 Tbs. veganaise
    1 tsp or more to taste siracha hot sauce
    ½ tsp lime juice

    Whole sprigs of cilantro to finish the burgers

    Foodies, I want you to make some amazing veggie burgers this week, Have fun get the family and friends involved. Having a healthy lifestyle is a journey, enjoying a meal with people we love is a destination.

    Eat well!

  • 29Apr

    Here are some more free cooking events with Chef Michael Kiss.

    -JAY

    ————-

    Class starts at 7:00 PM and generally last 30 to 50 minutes.  All Whole Foods Market cooking classes are absolutely free, No Registration is required and seating is limited to first come.

    May 11th Whole Grains Salads 101
    Vegetarian class
    We all know that we need to incorporate more whole grains into our diets, although in practice it can be overwhelming and frustrating. Let Chef Michael Kiss show you how to take those healthy grains and make them amazing. With the warm weather we will be showcasing light and flavorful salads, great for patio dinners and side dishes at picnics, and don’t forget about summer entertaining!

    May 18th 29 ½ minute meals
    Omnivore class

    Baja Salmon with stewed avocado and tomato and sunshine quinoa
    Our fast paced life makes it hard to eat well… or does it? Let Chef Michael Kiss show the secrets to a worthwhile healthy meal that can be made in a flash! No pre-chopped ingredients, no magic ovens, no camera tricks. This is REAL live cooking and you can do it too in 29 ½ minutes or less!

    May 25th Cook Like a Chef
    Vegetarian class

    Ever wonder how a chef looks at food, how they pick it, combine it, make it taste amazing? This week Chef Michael Kiss is going to break apart the concept of Pesto. This classic Italian staple with is definitely one of his favorites. Have you ever thought of changing the ingredients? Is it still pesto or something different? Join us and you start looking at food like a Chef too!

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