Posts Tagged weekly roundup

Weekly Roundup: Roll Out The Red Carpet Edition

Salty and Sweet Chocolate Thumbprints

These salty chocolate thumbprints will be making an apperance at the Food Bloggers Bake Sale for Haiti this Sunday!

I felt like I was reading about Hollywood and not the DC food scene this week. Nominees for The Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington’s RAMMY awards and the James Beard Awards were announced this week. Well, okay, that’s only two awards. But still – there was lots of internet buzz this week about the DC nominees. In fact, several of the Beard and RAMMY nominees have been interviewed on this very blog – David Guas’ cookbook, Dam Good Sweet, was nominated for a Beard Award, and Pastry Chefs Travis Olson, Anthony Chavez and Josh Short received RAMMY nods.

Before you get all distracted with thoughts of sparkly dressed and red carpets, I want to put in a final plug for the Bake Sale for Haiti that’s happening this Sunday at Zorba’s (1612 20th Street NW) from 9-11. All proceeds will go to benefit Doctor’s Without Borders Haiti relief efforts, and many local food bloggers will be showcasing their best baking talents. Speaking of which, I’ll totally be spending tomorrow making lemon cupcakes and salty chocolate thumbprint cookies for the bake sale. So don’t be shy! Come out and get the baked goods you’ve been craving.

Okay, roundup time. Recipes I want to try, from this week’s Internet offerings:

  • Bacon cornbread. Bacon. Cornbread. I don’t need to say anything more. From Biscuits and Such.
  • Trash Bars from A Measured Memory. Dear God – they’re stuffed with everything one could want in a bar cookie – rice chex, muddy buddy’s, chocolate chips, peanut butter, and marshmallows. Oh, and butter. Don’t forget the butter.

And in other news:

  • Metrocurean rounds up all the DC peeps who were nominated for James Beard Awards, where DC made a strong showing. As I mentioned above, Pastry Chef Amanda Cook of City Zen received a nod, as did DamGoodSweet, the cookbook by DC Pastry Chef David Guas. And City Paper food writer Tim Carman was nominated for his piece about restaurateur Andy Shallal’s disastrous top-chef style competition to hire the new chef at Eatonville.
  • Whoo hoo! The food blogger bake sale for Haiti made it to the Young and Hungry blog!
  • Florida Girl in DC ponders what to make at the Food Blogger Bake Sale. I’m glad that someone else thought about this as much as I did! I willingly admit to having bake sale anxiety.
  • A new wine bar opening up on 14th street sparks a blog war with U Street Girl. The blogger removed a comment from her initial post about the restaurant’s opening date after the restaurant owner threatened her with legal action because he found the comment to be libelous. Wow. Well, now I really don’t want to go there, and I love a good wine bar.
  • No, I couldn’t attend Le Grand Prix de la Baguette de Tradition Française de la Ville de Paris – Paris’ annual contest for the best bread in the city. But you can get an inside look at the competition – one of the judges was an American living in Paris, and wrote about the experience on her blog. Found via Chewswise.
  • Gradually Greener takes a look at some unexpected RAMMY award categories – the best neighborhood gathering place, hottest bar scene, and restaurant power spot. I can’t quite believe these are award categories, but they’re very interesting to think about.
  • Rather liked this post from The Lancelot Sturgeons about finally getting to that point where you have enough pantry items improvise a gourmet weeknight meal. Haven’t we all experienced that moment when you realize you can actually make a nice meal from random things stuffed into your fridge and pantry? It’s a good feeling.

Happy Friday!

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Weekly Roundup: Spring Is Coming – Let’s Cook

Elena's Birthday Cake

A secret cake - revealed.

For those of you who follow me on Twitter – you might remember that I was doing a “secret” baking project on Wednesday, which I promised to reveal in today’s weekly roundup. Well this is it – a surprise birthday cake for Elpis and Justice! It’s red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting and I was very pleased with how even the cake layers came out. Slowly, but surely my piping skills are improving. Just ignore the writing, please. Also, I’m putting it out there that my cake making skills are for hire. Email me for the scoop.

And, in other news it’s finally Spring in DC.

I know that the conventional wisdom is that people want to hole up in their apartments and cook during the winter, and then go out and party in the spring, but I think it’s the opposite. At least, it’s the opposite at the end of winter, when everyone’s sick of the root vegetables and apples they can get at the farmers market, and can’t stomach the tasteless imported produce in the grocery store. But Spring? Spring brings asparagus. Spring brings rhubarb. Spring brings weather in which we can eat dinner on our balconies and have people over for parties without asking them to trudge through the ice cold  in the rain. Spring is an excellent time to cook.

And I can feel the excitement in the blogosphere this week – Spring is here, and we’re ready to to raise our knives, put our pans on our burners, and get cooking.

Recipes I want to try, from this week’s Internet dabbling:

  • Homemade meatball subs, from The Arugula Files. Man, I love meatballs. Man, I love bread. Meatballs on bread? Heaven.

And in other foodie blog-ish news:

  • Hillary at Lancelot Sturgeon has a roundup of her experience at the Food and Sports blogger happy hour, that, as a co-organizer, totally warms my heart.
  • Melissa McCart, of Counter Intelligence, is back! She’s moved to Tumblr, where she laments the lack of a really good hotdog stand in DC. I was a fan of the Hot Dog at Againn when I had it off the happy hour menu. But that’s not exactly a stand.
  • Oh my god! A comment I made on Young and Hungry about Top Chef (because, you know that Tim Carman plays it all cool like “oh, yeah, Top Chef DC, no big deal” but seriously, he has to be excited about it – who couldn’t be?) actually inspired a post! I feel like this is a special moment in my food-blogger-career – to be (gently) teased by Tim Carman.
  • So, like, there were many reasons to be jealous of all the peeps on my Twitter Feed at SXSW, but the write ups of the Bacon Throwdown over at One Bite at a Time and FloridaGirlinDC really take the cake. Or should it be take the bacon?
  • Tim Carman ponders the beauty of the changing seasons. Yes, I’m talking about the advent of Food Cart season in DC. What splendors will the sunny weather bring to your plate?
  • Executive Chef, Brian Robinson of Restaurant 3 is making homemade peeps for Easter. Get the details on Dining in DC.
  • Endless Simmer investigates a little known farmer’s market find that’s currently in season: the cherimoya, or custard apple. Well, I mean, I am a little tired of apples and pears.
  • Did you read that big article in the New York Times about how Katie Lee, former wife of Billy Joel, is about to become a Food Network Star? Then you’ll enjoy this piece from The Internet Food Association, which pretty much tears the article apart. I’ll admit, I totally forgot until I read the IFA piece that Katie Lee was the awful host on Season 1 of Top Chef in the pre-Padma Days. They want to give that piece of wood a cooking show? Seriously?

Happy Friday!

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Weekly Roundup: Over this Weather Edition

Spring Flowers

I would just like to remind you that, eventually, it will be Spring.

Maybe it’s boring to always be talking about the weather. But it’s March. Besides the upcoming Food and Sports Blogger March Madness happy hour on March 16, and maybe St. Patrick’s day, nothing’s really exciting about March. Besides, that is, the onset of Spring. Oh, and the fact that I have now have a ModernDomestic fan page on Facebook. Are you a fan yet?

Spring is taking a really long time to show its face. I’m cold. I’m cranky.  I’m tired of shivering in my coat and sweater. I’m ready for something new. Spring, get your ass in gear.

Recipes I want to try:

  • Oh my God! Homemade Twix! These look amazing. From One Bite at a Time.
  • Tiramisu with pomegranate juice and pomegranate liquor, from Mango and Tomato. Lovely.

And in other news:

  • I’m not a hipster, but I kind of want to be a hipster housecleaner. No, not food related, but too delicious to pass up. Via The Hill is Home.
  • So, every time the Washingtonian does a big contest, like the Burger Bracket or the Pizza Pool, I get really overwhelmed. Like, inevitably I haven’t tried all the places, and I feel like I can’t vote in all the contests, and then I can’t keep up with all of them. Which is how I feel about the Cupcake Cup. And yes, I’ve had a lot of cupcakes in DC. But I haven’t come close to trying them all and, rather than giving myself a panic attack, I’m just kind of ignoring it. But if you’d like to check it out, be my guest.
  • There are a lot of tacos in DC. DCist sorts through them all and tells you which ones are worth eating. I’m kind of sad that they didn’t include Mixtec, in Adams Morgan – I really like tacos at that place.
  • Dine out for Life, the Food and Friends fundraiser, is March 11 – get the scoop on who’s participating over at Dining in DC.
  • Endless Simmer is holding a donut contest – create the ultimate Endless Simmer donut. I love it. I would like a chocolate bacon donut, please.
  • The Tipsy Baker sings the praises of good white chocolate. She is so right on.
  • Um, there are 95 cent cocktails at Occidental? Seriously? Seriously? Via Metrocurean.
  • It may be overlooked, but the sandwich is one of the greatest food inventions of all time. The Washington Post has a bunch of great sandwich recipes for a crowd – ideal for an Oscar party.
  • Girl Meets Food has a bad time at Vidalia during restaurant week, and can finally talk about it.

Happy Friday!

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Weekly Roundup: Flattered Edition

Totally flattered - Cathy made the birthday cake I made for my mom. And she even improved it!

I love it when people tell me that they’ve tried the recipes from ModernDomestic – it’s one of the biggest thrills I can possibly get as a blogger. So I was really thrilled when Cathy of We Love DC and Constantly Cathy hit me up for birthday cake recommendations this week. She finally decided to make the almond cake with lemon curd and marscarpone frosting that I made for my mother’s birthday, and it came out great! She even had better success with the frosting (mine got kind of curdled) – she whipped the cream separately from the marscarpone and then folded it in at the end. It came out smooth and creamy – the way a good frosting should be. So not only did she try a recipe from here – but she even had better luck with it than me. There could be no better highlight to my week.

In other news, I’m over winter. Over it.

Recipes I want to try:

  • Britannia at Endless Simmer claims to not be big on baking, but his kumquat cupcakes look pretty damn delicious.

And in other news:

  • The Arugula Files is on vacation in Hawaii and she’s making me crazy jealous of the lovely food, setting, and weather! I was particularly interested in her post about rambutan – a fruit that kind of looks like a furry raspberry. I wonder how they’d be in a trifle – or a pie.
  • Confused about the difference between Dutch-processed and regular cocoa? David Lebovitz has an excellent primer. My problem with cocoa is that I read articles like this and I’m like “oh right, that’s the difference.” And then I promptly forget what the difference is and the next time I’m at the store trying to pick out a cocoa, I’m still in the dark. I need a cocoa cheat sheet.
  • Food & Friends is holding their annual Dining Out for Life event on Thursday, March 11th. You can find participating restaurants at Open Table, all of which will donate a portion of their proceeds to Food and Friends. It’s a really easy way to give money to a good cause.
  • The Washingtonian is hosting a Cupcake Cup. I guess the Post’s Cupcake Wars series really wasn’t the final word on DC’s cupcake scene. Via Best Bites.
  • Columbia Heights is getting a farmer’s market! I’m so excited – it’s opening June 5. Via DCist.
  • Loved this essay in the Washington Post about the power of the long, slow braise – and the recipes looked tasty too.
  • What do chefs and food writers have in common? Tim Carman cites 15 ways over at Young and Hungry.
  • One Bite at a Time faces an ethical food dilemma, one that I’ve faced many times – do you go for the $16 organic chicken? Or the $6 store brand chicken?

Happy Friday!

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Weekly Roundup: Twitter Addict Edition

TogoRun 3

These cookies made my entire apartment smell like royal icing for days.

I’m becoming one of those people. One of those people who actually uses Twitter all the time. I found at least half of the articles from this week’s roundup on Twitter – a social media platform that I used to abhor. I actually have friends that I know primarily from Twitter – and I know more about them than I do about a lot of my good friends from college and high school. It was only this week that I realized that the shift from Twitter skeptic to Twitter evangelist had taken place when I kept on wanting a “take a break” Twitter feature like Gmail has, which locks you out of the account for 15 minute intervals so you can actually concentrate. Now all I need is an iPhone so I can tweet from the road, and the conversion will be complete.

In other news, I’m finished up my final cookie plate last night for Miss. Nonna, and my apartment has finally stopped smelling like royal icing from the TogoRun cookies. I’m already planning my next bake sale, but I don’t have anything concrete to hint at yet. It’s kind of nice to have a free weekend where I can bake whatever I want. I’m thinking of doing something with chocolate and orange – maybe a cake filled with chocolate orange ganache, maybe a re-do of the citrus cupcakes with a silk meringue buttercream made with orange curd. Maybe I’ll re-do the King Cake with a brioche dough and ice it with a lemon icing. Not sure yet. But I’m already getting excited about my baking ideas.

Recipes I want to try, as found from this week’s Internet perusing:

  • Cranberry orange scones, from one Bite At a Time. I’ve been hankering to make scones lately – especially since they’re not on my usual baking roster. These look lovely.

And in other news:

  • Crumbs Bakery, the NYC cupcake shop, is coming to DC – and before they even get here they’re bashing the DC cupcake scene. “We came down to [the DC] market four months ago and did a complete tour and hit every cupcake place,” Crumbs Co-Founder Jason Bauer says in a WaPo article. “Quite honestly, we weren’t impressed with anybody’s product.” Um, anyone’s? Way to sound like an arrogant jerk – and instantly turn me off to your products, dude.
  • We Love DC sums up the Twitter outrage to the Crumbs WaPo article, including a quote (or, um, tweet) from yours truly.
  • In case you didn’t catch it in the bottom of my interview with the fabulous Theresa Luongo Pinelli, Chief Sweetness Officer at Treet – you can get a free brownie at her stand at the Bethesda Central Farmer’s market this Sunday. Just say the secret word “Olympics” and the brownie is yours!
  • Metrocurean took Samuel Fromartz’s snowpocalypse bread baking challenge, and is falling in love with bread baking. Ah. Young love.
  • Also, Metrocurean (aka, Amanda McClements) was interviewed on NPR about macarons, which she thinks will be the next big thing in pastry. Go Amanda! Although why must such a difficult baked item become the next big trend? I can make pretty cupcakes, but macarons intimidate me.
  • This New York Times article about chefs who tweet has been making the Twitter rounds. Most of the DC chefs I follow on Twitter seem so nice! Those NYC chefs are so . . . angry.
  • Jane Black, the Washington Post food writer, takes a look at the future of food writing on her blog. And it’s not pretty.
  • Young and Hungry is excited that BakeShop has finally opened up a storefront in Clarendon. As am I. As am I.
  • Top Shelf reports that Spike Mendelsohn will be opening a pizza joint next to the Good Stuff Eatery in April. And I will probably make the trek over to The Hill come April. Mmmm . . . pizza . . .

Happy Friday!

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Weekly Roundup: Life Gave Me Lemons Edition

Nigella Pound Cake Slices

Lemon pound cake - a possible lemon project.

Actually, technically, Nonna gave me lemons. And not just any lemons – lemons from her father’s lemon tree, which grows in their backyard in San Francisco. I can’t wait to try them out this weekend – lemon curd, lemon frosting, candied lemon peel – so many possibilities.

Of course, there are so many things to do this weekend; sometimes I feel like I spend all week waiting for the weekend, so I can get all my baking and blogging projects done. But I think I’ll manage to fit some lemon confections in there. There’s always time for lemons.

Also, if anyone is looking for Saturday night, Nonna is holding a little get together at the Capital City Brewery downtown. Email me if you’re in need of something to do!

Recipes I want to try, as found during my Internet expeditions this week:

  • Martha at A Measured Memory is back to blogging, with some casatiello (bread studded with cheese and salami). Would that’s make an awesome Superbowl treat? Especially if you served the slices with even more cured meats and nice cheeses.
  • Lemony persimmon muffins, from Mango and Tomato. I think I’ve had a persimmon in restaurants, but I’ve never just picked one up on my own.
  • Pizza, with 00 flour (very fine flour from Italy), from Pete Bakes!

And in other news:

  • Lemmonex’s blog comes to an end. And I am totally sad – like, it reminded me of that epic day when Hissyfit closed the forums (I’m actually really curious if anyone will get this reference, other than my sister). But I’m very happy for her (she has a new job that would make blogging a little difficult).
  • DC must really be coming into its own, because we now have a secret supper club – a secret restaurant run out of a private home. Hush Supper Club serves up vegetarian Indian cuisine at an undisclosed location. Check out their site for details, or follow them on twitter. And check out write-ups from Dining in DC and Metrocurean.
  • Tasting Table – like Daily Candy but for food – just launched in DC. Read about them on their site, or read the write up in Top Shelf.
  • French Twist DC writes up a “cupping” she attending? What’s a “cupping” you ask? Doesn’t that sound kind of dirty? You’ll just have to read about it (hint – it’s akin to a wine tasting).
  • The Arugula Files experiments with black garlic. All I know about black garlic is that it once figured in a Top Chef episode.
  • Samuel Fromartz, the home baker who won Young and Hungry’s baguette contest, had the lucky job of making the bread for Alice Water’s Sunday Night Supper dinner last Sunday – the fundraiser for Martha’s Table. Fromartz writes about his experience in The Atlantic.
  • More details on Meat Week and Wednesday’s pork barrel BBQ extravaganza at Mango Mikes, from Capital Spice.
  • Would you buy a whoopie pie pan? I dislike the whole idea, myself. From The Kitchn.
  • Anyone want to start stalking The Real Housewives of DC with me, in hopes that we’ll get to see some awesome drama? Maybe there’s a way I can get my Real Housewives fix without Bravo! Frozen Tropics reports the Housewives were spotted at Sova Wednesday (although, seriously, like the Real Housewives would ever to go H street in real life? That was so obviously a set up by the producers).

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Weekly Roundup: Sleep Deprived Edition

Againn_Lights

Light fixtures from Againn. God, I'm so tired.

I had a hard time thinking of what to write for my little weekly roundup intro this week. Usually these just roll off the tips of my fingers, but today – nothing.

And I think I actually know why. It’s because I’ve stopped sleeping. Why sleep when you do things like figure out a schedule for baking all your Valentine’s Day cookie plates, price out ingredients for cupcakes, and talk over details of WordPress software with your much more tech savvy friends. Also, there were some parties this weekend. Just a few. There is no need for sleep when there are so many exciting things on hand. But it does make this writing thing a little . . . difficult.

Recipes I want to try, as found on my late-night Internet searches:

  • Moro bread, from The Tipsy Baker. It’s like no-knead bread, but without having to plan a day in advance. In other words, it’s a recipe made for me.
  • Bittersweet chocolate cake, scented with orange, and topped with a candied blood orange compote, from The Bitten Word. Actually, I think this is a great flavor combination for a cupcake – or a brownie. Or a molten chocolate cake. Something small and individually sized.
  • A baked egg, with a bread crumb and cheese topping. Brilliant! From Pete Bakes!
  • A leek and onion galette, from the Arugula Files. Man, it’s been a long time since I made a pastry crust – this really put me in the mood to roll out some dough.

And in other foodie news:

  • Anyone want to buy a $3000 ham? Because now you can. Instead of buying a $3000 ham, could I just live the life of the pig that becomes the $3000 ham? I’d like to ” roam freely in the fields of western Spain.” Via NPR.
  • Why the Cadbury’s chocolate you buy in the United States suck. Via The Atlantic.
  • The Dirty Radish is growing something new – she’s pregnant! And the “sprout” is due July 8.
  • Gradually Greener is trying a gluten-free diet for a week – complete with some gluten-free cupcakes.
  • Woah. The last week in January is “Meat Week.” How did I not know this? Young and Hungry has a roundup of events and an interview with Capital Spice, who is leading the Meat Week charge. I think I’ll celebrate this in my own way. Like, by making a pizza and topping it with panchetta. Or making empanadas.
  • Metrocurean rounds up all the local restaurants doing Haiti fundraisers.
  • Thank GOD another restaurant is opening up near my office – we need something more than Guapos. Pete’s Apizza is opening a new location in the Tenlytown/Friendship Heights area. Via Best Bites.

Happy Friday!

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