Saturday, December 24, 2016

When you're asked to snap a photo..
versus when you tell them you're still adjusting your camera settings, but really you're just snapping away...

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Boozy Peach Pops

Drink Responsibly
There's hardly a "bad time" for popsicles... or a strong drink.
The thing about living in a middle class suburb? It's always summer somewhere else in the world, so buying fruit in season is less a question of supply and begs more to my ethics.

To start off, peel 3 ripe peaches :o)
Dice about 3/4 of a peach or a whole one if it suits your fancy. These pieces are going to go into the popsicle mold first.
The rest of the recipe is super simple (& listed below for legibility). Throw it all in a blender, taste for sweetness -adjust to your liking, and pop the mold in the freezer. I left them over night, but if you're more impatient or low on time, a couple of hours should do the trick. The majority of the pop is coconut milk and that alone solidifies at fridge temperature, so it shouldn't take too long for them to set up in the freezer.

Sprinkle of Tajin

Ingredients ( Made 4+ popsicles, with my mold)
3 peaches
1 cup of Coconut Milk
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup Silver Tequila
1/4 cup Triple sec
Tajin fruit seasoning (optional)

Welcome to the GIRLS ROOM

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Peach frangipane galette

The steps for the dough are the same as these, but the crust ingredients change sightly.
 The recipe is big enough for two galettes and as with anything else, crimping gets easier with practice. So make lots! In the name of practice...

2 1/2 cups of Whole wheat flour
1 stick
2 tbsp of Brown sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp of Ice water (or until consistency is reached)
+ 1tbsp melted butter & 1 tbsp brown sugar to finish the crust

Frangipane & filling
3/4 cup of Almond paste
1 stick of room temperature Butter
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 Egg
1 tbsp of Rum
~2 Sliced peaches

To mix the frangipane, you could use a stand mixer if you have it. I mixed mine by hand.

-Mix the almond paste, butter, and sugar just until combined, then
-Add the egg and rum and mix until it's smooth or only has a small lumps
-Set to the side until you're ready to construct your tart

To construct the tart, once you've rolled out your dough & chilled it for 10 minutes

-Add half of the frangipane mixture in a smooth layer, then
-Top it with your peaches in a concentric pattern.
-Chill one last time for 10 minutes

Once the tart is filled, crimped, and chilled brush the edges with your melted butter and sprinkle with your last bit of brown sugar to finish off the crust before baking.

Bake @ 400 degrees for 35- 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown

Saturday, September 3, 2016


Olive oil

Roasted tomatoes
Tomato paste
Tomato sauce

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Garden Galette: Summer Squash and Hard Salami

This squash came from our backyard garden and now I'm seriously questioning how big squash are "supposed" to be. I should have put a quarter by it to show scale because this doesn't really represent just how large it is, properly. 
I barely cut into it, yet had enough slices for two layers on the galette.

This is the consistency you want when you combine your flour, salt, and butter. 
For added flavor, I toasted some chopped fresh thyme and added it to the dough as well. (optional)

On some days you make this, you may find yourself needing more or less water than listed. The goal is to add enough water to get the dough to come together, but not so much it gets sticky.

Once it's in the ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for 10 minutes. On a lightly floured surface roll out the ball into a thin layer. Just thick enough to not bore holes.  I used parchment paper to make sure it didn't stick. Put that back in the fridge for another 10 minutes. 
Add the bleu cheese, zucchini, and salami in that order, and repeat. Crimp the edges in towards the center. Put it back in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Drizzle with olive oil
Bake @ 400 for 30-43 minutes

1/2 cup Crumbled bleu cheese
~ 8 - 10 thin slices Zucchini
~ 8 - 10 slices of Hard salami. We're all adults here; I can't tell you how much meat to eat or not eat. 
Zucchini flowers (to desired topping). The thin layer gave them enough space to get crispy without burning.

2 cups Whole wheat pastry flour 
1/2 cup Butter (It needs to be real butter)
1 tsp Salt
couple sprigs of Thyme
1/2 cup Ice water (until proper consistency)
~1- 2 tbsp Olive oil

Monday, August 15, 2016

Friday, July 29, 2016

Dovecote Cafe

A brief metro ride to Penn North and an even quicker walk brought me to Dovecote Cafe. I almost missed it while walking as it blends so seamlessly into the rest of the historic Reservoir Hill neighborhood. The homey appeal of the cafe is paralleled by the incredibly welcoming and warm service offered as soon as you walk into the door. One of the first things you'll notice in your time here is the community vibe. It's not a place where you just come once- this is a place you go to, regularly.

My first experience with Dovecote was technically at the Whitelock Community farm stand a few Saturdays prior. I bought an incredible slice of peach upside down cake, which I ate a little more ravenously than I'm really ready to admit. 
Peep the li'l pup, Bacon, by the door. (Very interested in being his friend)
There's not exactly a written menu, but a knowledgeable friendly staff ready to make suggestions on the regular items and varying specials. A quick talk with Cole, led to this breakfast sandwich and potato combo. 

Give me a second here, I'm having meal flashbacks *wheeew*

You may hear them brag about their fresh brewed coffee more than the food, but I need y'all to get into this plate real quick. Whether to start with the fluffy scrambled eggs nestled between crunchy golden toast or the crispy potatoes was probably the most difficult decision following what to order. Besides being made fresh, the home fries didn't rely on salt for flavor; I could taste the carmelized onion with each bite. It's almost, almost, disappointing how filling this meal was because in the moment I was really inspired to order and experience more of their menu. By the way, this was under 7 bucks!
When a meal reminds me of the comforts of eating at home, it warms a lot more than my belly.

For people like me who really appreciate the minor details, I have a few notes:

1. I asked for ketchup & it came in a chilled metal container! This is actually a big deal. I always, always prefer it cold; hence I keep my ketchup in the fridge at home (fight me on this, I know someone will. I'm ready)

2. See that stack of napkins? Multiple! This is important. I have to wipe my mouth between bites as I can't enjoy my meal with the never ending fear that my face is covered in crumbs or sauce. Not only did I receive multiple, but they are pretty high quality. A lot of places give you the cheap kind that fall apart after a few wipes, but one held up through my entire meal. While one could have sufficed, I'm far more comforted mentally by the presence of more.

Without exaggerating my intentions of being a regular at this cafe, I came back the next day. This time I went for the spinach pie and an iced coffee. My javatone (a cute concept you'll discover upon your first visit!) is smidge, with almond milk. The pie was an actual pie crust, far surpassing my expectation of a phyllo situation. I could keep going on about all the reasons visiting Dovecote Cafe is a brillant idea, but I suggest you make your way over there and experience the food, service, and vibe for yourself.
Have you eaten here yet? How was your experience?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A Summer's Day in South Philly

My cousin (& part time muse) and I decided to use her last day in town to make a day trip up to Philly from Baltimore. It started with a stop and guided tour at The Fabric Workshop & Museum.

There's a lot of emphasis on the work being temporary and constantly shifting. 
Ahh, btw. We were late getting back to my car by about 4 minutes, but just on time to see a ticket under the windshield wiper. Thanks, Philly,

After a bit of aimless driving we made our way to Philip's steaks for two cheese steaks with whiz, one with mayo, hot sauce, and ketchup (mine). The crusty sub roll was perfect down to the last sauce soaked bite.
Lunch was followed by a quick walk across the street to Dati's Homemade Water Ice.
I'd say the best part of our experience here was the incredibly warm service. It's got a very "I grew up down the street and used to stop here every other day vibe." Super welcoming. Inspired by one of the menu items, we asked the cashier for a suggestion on where a couple of newbies could get the best possible cannolis in town. That led us to Cafe Crema & to two original cannolis with ricotta italiana.
My standards for future cannoli consumption are incredibly high now.
Full & extremely satisfied we wandered our way through Little Italy & Little Mexico before making our tune-filled drive back to Baltimore. There's a lot of culture packed into these crowded corridors; I'm glad we could experience a taste of it.

Do you have any Philly hot spots you'd recommend?

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Corn On The Cob

 I don't know why I thought it would be a good idea to fire up the grill Saturday morning 2 hours before I had work, but I'll chalk it up to being one of those days where I feel like I can accomplish everything that comes to mind as soon as it comes to mind. Can you blame me though? Look how heavenly this corn looks! The best part? It was grown locally & responsibly in Baltimore by the Real Food Farm.*Actually, it's not grown by the Real Food Farm, but it is made available on their mobile farmers' market, through one of their partnerships.* 
The longest part? It's not the cooking, more so the cleaning the grates & getting the charcoal to light. Kingsford burns for a long time, but that may just be because it feels like it takes forever to start. I don't cook the corn on full flame. I used the full flame for chicken wings & the residual heat from the barely smoldering ashes for a nice steady roast.
Someone please explain to me how corn cob holders are an actual commodified good when corn comes with holders built in??  

1. Peel back the husk to just below the base of the cob, but don't remove it! Wash away any left over silk from the corn
2. brush lightly with extra virgin olive oil
3. Sprinkle with Old Bay (like everything else cooked in MD), fresh cracked black pepper, & dried basil
4. Roast on low heat, rotating every 2-3 minutes, for about 8-10 minutes

When you see the individual kernels start to prune like your fingers in water, they're cooked! I like to let the corn get a bit more color before I enjoy it :)

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