Events, Food, Shopping

Emporiyum comes to D.C.

The Emporiyum is a food-extravaganza and this past summer, it was in Baltimore and much to my sadness, I didn’t make it (mind you cider was had and dinner at Woodberry Kitchen so it wasn’t really a loss). But, when it was announced that Emporiyum was coming to D.C. I was in! So with my V.I.P. ticket in hand, and a partner in crime to explore I ventured off to Union Market and ate and drank and was joyful.

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The vendor line up includes tons of great D.C. foodies that I love: Toki Underground, Neopol Smokery, and Astro Doughnuts. But I really was excited by the out-of-towners and there were a lot of them. Charleston, S.C. natives Bittermilk and Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. showed what small-batch mixers can do for a cocktail. Between Bittermilk’s Smoked Honey Whiskey Sour mixer and Jack Rudy’s Small Batch Tonic, I knew my bag was about to get a bit heavier and my wallet a little lighter.

Bittermilk

Kirby

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Woodberry Kitchen came down from Baltimore with lechon tacos in tow and this gluten-free girl did a little dance of joy (well, as much of a dance as is possible with a lot of people around). That dance of joy continued all the way to Brooklyn Slate. Funny story there, I love me some Brooklyn Slate, not shocking based on my love of cheese boards. Once upon a time on a trip to NYC, I acquired a couple as Christmas gifts on a trip to Brooklyn Flea. Nothing sounds bad about that, right? Wrong. It was at the start of the day and apparently I was going to schlep those slate boards (and a cake stand) all over the city for the rest of the day, which included shoving them into a locker to not have to balance them on my back while ice skating. It was really nice to be able to make a purchase and then put it straight into my car. It’s the little victories.

BrooklynWoodberry

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Of course, I had to end with my favorites, D.C.’s own Typecase Industries. If you are looking for fun letterpress cards, prints, and coaster…Emily, Alessandra and Stephanie are your girls. They regularly take all my money with their amazingly hysterical cards and their D.C. centric prints and coasters. Also, if you need a koozie reminding you that you’re a “Grown Ass Woman”…they can help you out. They’re good like that.

TypecaseIndustries

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Jenis

Just because, why not end the day with Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream.

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Food

food stuffs // a scarecrow

Once upon a time there was a sad scarecrow who wanted to save the world one organic veggie at a time. Once upon a time, one gluten-free girl in D.C. was very happy for the people who care enough to know what is in what they cook and not make her sick.

When I saw this three-minute, barely-branded Chipotle ad (for a game nonetheless), I really did think what is this and it’s going to be absurd. And then the ad totally hit me in the organic-loving heart (for those are like, i’ve seen what you sometimes eat, yes, I still eat Doritos, I can’t help it…I’m working on it).

Let’s cultivate a better world.

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Food, Life, Photography

deb + pumpkin doughnut muffins

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So date may be a stretch of the word, but it wasn’t as snappy to write “the evening I listened to Deb Perlman talk about her book and then stood in line for two hours so that I could meet her, have her sign my book, take a photo with her and give her a pumpkin doughnut muffin” on the photo. But needless to say, it was pretty much the greatest moment ever and it means I can cross #13 off the bucket list. Have I mentioned that it was awesome and she was great. Amy and I had a blast, of course ran into people that we knew (hi Erin!) and my foot isn’t too much worse for wear. But really, I feel like I just had a mini life victory, I also like that I’m setting my life victory moments on a manageable scale.

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And of course, cause I am me, I decided to bring Deb my newest baking obsession…the pumpkin doughnut muffin. Since I have taunted people on instagram and twitter for the past two weeks about their goodness, I figured it would be a great time to give up the photos and recipe. They are amazing. Run, don’t walk, to make these. I’ve made them twice now and I really can’t get enough of them.

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Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins
taken from Martha Stewart
Prep Time 20 mins, Total Time 1 hour, Yields 12 muffins

For The Batter
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cups pure pumpkin puree (from a 15-ounce can)
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs

For The Sugar Coating
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter and flour 12 standard muffin cups.

Make batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and allspice. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl as needed. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions pumpkin mixture, and beat to combine.

Spoon 1/3 cup batter into each muffin cup and bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon. Let muffins cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Working with one at a time, remove muffins from pan, brush all over with butter, then toss to coat in sugar mixture. Let muffins cool completely on a wire rack.

Just because, some of my Smitten Kitchen Favs on Throwing Cake:
Homesick Texan’s Carnitas
Ranch Rugelach
The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe EVER
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Buttermilk Ice Cream
Blueberry Crumb Bars

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Food, Life, Photography, Travel

foodie friday: turkey // eats

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One of the greatest parts of travel is the food, and I can easily find myself snacking waaay too often while on vacation. I’d say that Turkey was no exception, except that we were almost too busy to indulge in the greatness. I said almost. I personally had plenty of my favorite food groups, cheese and bread. And every now and then, I managed to squeeze in a vegetable, some fruit, baklava and one night, we worked in the greatest Indian food that I have ever had and I forgot to take a picture of said meal. The spices were unreal.

spice market, istanbul

spice market, istanbul

figs, sirince

All of the elements, the spices and the fruits and veggies, were amazing to see. The prepared meals and meze were just as wonderful. And nothing could top the adorable Turkish man on Heybeliada who pulled us over to the glass counter filled with pyrex dishes as he held his list of the meze options in English. He would point to an item, say the word, and point to the English word on the page while saying it aloud. My personal favorite was him pointing to an item, looking confused and then going with aubergine, everything else was a spot on translation, so we with it, because the french (and foodie) side of Ann and my brain clearly got that it was an eggplant dish.

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heybeliada, prince islands

Also, if you don’t love tea…prepare a great response ahead of time, because people are going to offer to give you a lot of tea.

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Next in the Turkey adventure, let’s get on a plane and see something great!

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Food

foodie friday: homemade pesto

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We have an out of control basil plant in our backyard. It’s pretty impressive because I generally kill every plant in sight. But the basil, greek oregano, and mint…oh they are thriving. The other day we noticed that the basil was going to seed and, well, the plant was about 18″ to 24″ tall. It was time to hack away at the plant and whip up two pints of pesto. A 20 minute project later and we got two pints of pesto out of it, one for the fridge and one for the freezer, so great!

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Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe
Prep time: 10 minutes
taken from Simply Recipes

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese**
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Special equipment needed: A food processor (if you’re in DC, I may loan you mine)

1 Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.
2 Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

**note: if you are planning to freeze the pesto, leave out the cheese as it doesn’t freeze well. You can add it in before use.

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Food, Inspiration, Video

oh happy day

I love Julia Child.

So when a coworker sent me the above from PBS Digital Studios, I may have re-watched it repeatedly. Cause, well, it’s amazing and I, as a little person, watched Julia on PBS with Jacques Pepin…my intro to the food world. So Happy 100th Birthday, Julia Child! You did more for the food world than anyone even thought possible.

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude” — Julia Child

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Food, Travel

must eat || umamicatessen

Umami

Go to LA and eat as the LA people do (or at least that is my personal mantra).

When I travel, I love finding the awesome food place and per my trip to LA over Christmas I already knew that Umami would be on the to do list this past April. So when I saw that UMAMIcatessen had opened, well, let’s just say it was pack everyone in the car and drive to downtown LA time.

The amazingness of Umami plus an incredible deli (get the pastrami, your life will be changed) and homemade donuts to finish off the meal. It was an amazing meal that I may still be dreaming of.

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Food

must make || haloumi cheese

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There is a day when you wake up and you think, oh my gosh I need a better blog structure. And then you hit a road block. That is kinda the way it’s been in the Kitchen of Throwing Cake. My creative brain went on sabbatical without telling me. So, to coax it back I give you (what I hope to be a regular feature), my current favorite recipe from the internets.

Haloumi Cheese.

So yummy, so Greek, and so perfect as a snack pre-summer BBQ. You can serve it on thinly sliced bread or pita (which can also go on the grill) and then sprinkle it with either dill or oregano. So simple, and so impressive. Adding this onto my giant “must make” list.

Grilled Haloumi Cheese & Lemon
From Melissa Roberts  c/o Gourmet Magazine, June 2007

2 lemons
1/2 lb Haloumi cheese
1 large garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
4 (3/4-inch-thick) slices peasant or country-style bread
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill

Prepare a gas grill for direct-heat cooking over moderately high heat.

Cut 8 thin slices from lemons, then squeeze enough juice from remainder to measure 2 tablespoons and put in a bowl.

Halve cheese diagonally, then cut each triangle, cut side down, into 1/3-inch-thick slices.

Mince garlic and mash to a paste with a pinch of salt using side of a large heavy knife, then add to lemon juice. Whisk in salt and sugar until dissolved, then add 1/4 cup oil, whisking until combined.

Separately toss lemon slices and cheese each with 1/2 tablespoon dressing.

Brush both sides of bread with remaining 2 tablespoons oil.

Grill bread, cheese, and lemon slices on grill rack, covered, turning over once (use a metal spatula to scrape under cheese to loosen before turning), until bread is toasted (2 to 3 minutes total), grill marks appear on cheese (3 to 4 minutes total), and lemons begin to wilt (4 to 6 minutes total).

Whisk dill into remaining dressing. Divide bread among 4 small plates and top with cheese and lemon slices. Drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.

COOKS’ NOTE: If you aren’t able to grill outdoors, bread, lemon, and cheese can be cooked in a hot oiled well-seasoned large (2-burner) ridged grill pan over moderate heat.

Photograph: Romulo Yanes

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Food, Photography

foodie friday: puff pastry breakfast tart

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I have been holding out on a bit of yumminess like none other. For Easter Brunch I had this whole food plan and then a couple days before hand I found this recipe and it all changed.

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You can make it a full sized 8×10 tart, which could be super pretty, or you can make equally cute individual tarts. Everyone will rave, and you’ll feel kinda like you should be on the next episode of a Food Network/Cooking Channel show. And really, you probably should be with mad skill like this.

Breakfast Tart
adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen

1 sheet puff pastry dough
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tsp. water
3 oz. crème fraîche
2 oz. shredded Gruyère cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
8 bacon slices, cooked until crisp
3 eggs
10 fresh chives, cut on the bias into 1/2-inch lengths

**Optional: Tomatoes, Shallots, Leeks

Thaw the puff pastry dough according to the package instructions.

Preheat an oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.

On lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to 1/4-inch thickness and cut into a 10-by-8-inch rectangle (I didn’t roll my puff pastry, I just used it as it came out of the packaging…I also, not surprisingly made them mini for easy individual pick up). Place the pastry on the prepared baking sheet. Using a paring knife, score a border 1/2 inch in from the edge of the pastry. Using a fork, prick the center of the pastry. Brush the border with the egg wash and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together the crème fraîche and cheese, and season with salt and pepper.

Spread the crème fraîche mixture on the pastry, keeping the border clean. Lay the bacon on top, slightly overlapping the slices. Bake the tart for 14 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place it on a level heatproof surface. Using a fork, prick any large air pockets in the pastry. Crack the eggs onto the tart, spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake until the egg whites are set and the yolks are still soft, 7 to 10 minutes.

Transfer the tart to a platter, garnish with the chives and serve immediately. Serves 4.

** Note: So I didn’t have chives (totally forgot to put them on the list), so I improvised and it was awesome. We sautéed shallots and leeks together. In addition, we put a slice of tomato on half of them, and it was amazing. Everyone wanted the Bacon/Tomato combo. A must to repeat.

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