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Mrs. P

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  1. Can you describe your plouot and plum liqueurs? I have made some peach, blackberry and strawberry liquors this summer and they turned out well using eau de vies. The vodka ones were not as great, but I am not that experienced with vodka and may not have selected a very good type. Thanks!
  2. The Cooking Under Fire finalists are doing an online chat with the Washington Post today at noon (already started) WP Chat
  3. I modified a rhubarb sorbet recipe from the Patrick O'Connel book by adding strawberries. Recipe calls for stewing rhubarb, raspberries (plus my strawberries) with sugar etc, then puree, strain, and freeze. Really delish. Serve it with cobbler with the same fruits - why not?! I found the rhubarb at the Takoma Park farmer's market, and while it was good and fresh it really needed a lot of sugar to sweeten it up. I saw the fiddleheads at Giant too - very surprising to see them there!
  4. I'll be up in Rockville this evening, and am thinking of stopping for sushi at Momo Taro. It seems to have received some positive comments in this thread. Has anybody been recently? The website seems to be down, but I called and they are open. Is it still worth seeking out? Thanks!
  5. I have no advice as to how to make bad parent/parent-in-law coffee better, since I have not been successful at persuading my mother-in-law not to re-use coffee grounds for several days in a row. Yes, that's right, several days of recycled coffee grounds, and leftover coffee is stored and reheated with the "new" coffee. After this feat was attempted with my own personal home coffee machine, I and my husband found a way to tactfully teach them how "we" make coffee. It took some reinforcement, but now we can all drink coffee at my house, while I don't really drink it at thiers. The tea is better. I learned that there are some things you can't change.
  6. Mrs. P


    I agree - Avocadoes and eggs are a great combo. I like them with coddled eggs - in a ramekin spoon a bit of tomato sauce, crack an egg on top, add a dash of cream, S&P, cheese. Bain-marie in the oven for ~20 mins, cubed avocado on top, S&P, and serve.
  7. Mrs. P


    Visited Babbo this weekend and enjoyed the Pasta tasting menu. It was bar none the best pasta meal my husband or I have had. Given the option we would have returned the next evening . Overall we found the service to be extremely professional, informed, and pleasant. We had a late reservation. Looking back our choice of a tasting menu so late in the day probably made for a late night for the staff, who were more than ready to leave by the time we were done though we were not the last ones there. However, I am very glad we selected the tasting menu. I won't repeat the dishes because most have been described here - I would agree with previous posters that the Tagliatelle with parsnips and pancetta and the garganelli with mushrooms were the highlights. The wines were excellent, and both the bartender and our server helped us to select wonderful wines. At the bar we ordered the Fiano di Avellino, a grape I had never tried, and found it to be fresh and bright, a perfect way to start the evening. For pairing with dinner we selected, with our server's help, a lovely Barbaresco. It paired fairly well with the lighter pastas, but really shined with the tomato and mushroom sauces. With dessert we opted for a Moscato d'Asti recommended on the tasting menu. They were most accomodating of my mango allergy and substituted the featured dessert of saffron panacotta and mango with a delicious chocolate treat that I don't recall (I have to say that the Moscato d'Asti clouded my memory at this point). Overall we were happy to have been able to dine at Babbo and are looking forward to a repeat visit!
  8. Mrs. P


    The truffled avocado tartar sounds amazing! Might try that with dinner (shrimp tacos with avocado). So far today I have had avocado on toast with lime & salt (breakfast), and an avocado-beef salad (lunch). We have 10 ripe avocadoes left of the 20 we recieved - and they are all perfectly ripe! We're giving some more away, but I'm hoping we can get through them before they turn brown! Does anybody think avocado puree/slices will freeze well? I might take a stab at it tonight as a test. These are Mexican Hass avocadoes, and are quite good. These have a fattier taste than Chilean Hass avocadoes, though I do not know if it is just the taste profile of the ones we received or if that is the normal flavor of Mexican hass avocadoes. I steer clear of the giant florida ones (even after trying them fresh while I lived in Florida). I found them too watery, too stringy and flavorless. On a recent trip to Chile I picked up a bottle of avocado oil, which was quite pricey. I tasted it alone and with bread. I found it to have a very neutral flavor at first, followed by a bitter aftertaste much like cooked avocado. Adding salt did not help. They might heat process the oil - who knows. I plan to try it on a salad as a test, but think it might turn more bitter if used for cooking. Does anybody else have experience using avocado oil?
  9. Mrs. P


    Thanks goodness for this thread! We just got a delivery of a gift of *20* avocadoes. For real! Unfortuantely we're going out of town for the weekend, but come Monday I'll be trying some of these suggestions. My husband is Chilean and is an avocado (palta) freak, and in agreement with Papaya's post, avocadoes spread on fresh bread is the best breakfast around. Any other ideas of what to do with, and how to store, 20 avocadoes? I'm afraid they'll ripen too quickly, and they don't take well to the fridge. Can you slice 'em and freeze 'em a la Trader Joe's?
  10. Glad to hear you liked it - it is good to know that others have similar HH experiences there. And the pizza ROCKS, eh?!
  11. Had a wonderful 2003 Peter Michael L'Apres Midi Sauv Blanc last night. It was quite dry and grassy with honey undertones, and I believe it is aged briefly in oak. It has a deeper yellow tone than other sauv blancs that I have tried lately, but still a straw color not tending toward chardonnay color. Certainly one of my favorites so far. My husband didn't quite know what to expect from this wine - he was impressed with the complex flavors that were new for him in a sauvignon blanc, but declared "you can still tell that it is a sauvignon blanc."
  12. The bar at Jackie's restaurant in Silver Spring, MD was experimenting with foams for topping specialy drinks. They offer a raspberry martini-ish drink with a raspberry foam, as well as a coffee martini. They use a whipped cream canister with cartridges to create the foam, though I am not sure what they put in the foam. The foam subsides so quickly (and looks fairly unappealing) that they were experimenting with new stabilizers. I'll have to stop by and see if they've had more success.
  13. Not too busy until 6:15ish - then it started to fill up. I think some of it was people stopping at the bar before taking their tables, so around 7-7:30 the bar began slowing down and the dining room got busy. They do, however, have a lot of space at the bar and adjoining tables. I can see how it would be busy on a Friday - for a Mon-Thurs HH visit it might be less so.
  14. Happy Hour at David Greggory is a wonderful way to decant after a hard day reading egullet at work . My first visit to David Greggory, I was impressed with the atmosphere, happy hour bar menu, and the quality of everything we sampled. A quick recap of what ended up being dinner at the bar: Sangria: A happy hour special. Perfect for the warmer day we had yesterday– not too cold, not too sweet, and just strong enough. Deviled egg sampler: Attention all you deviled egg fans: Try this flight of deviled eggs. Our plate came with three types: Arugula (almost like a pesto, garnished with a chiffonade of arugula), Paprika smoked bacon (amazing), and caper/onion. The fillings were piped onto the eggs and garnished. Each had a very individual flavor - really excellent. Mushroom, manchego, and almond croquettes: These were really wonderful. Crispy exterior, dark brown because of the mushrooms, and a very soft flavorful center. I loved the soft-crunchy texture contrast. It was paired with what seemed to be a tomato-based sauce that was spread on the plate, but it was a bit too watery for dipping and I don’t really recall the flavors. The croquettes on their own were wonderful. Plaintain chicken empanadas: The bartender explained that the empanada shell was made from a plantain puree, and the filling is chicken with black beans. There was a creamy chunky tomato relish paired with the two empanadas, which complemented the empanadas well. I am not a big fan of pairing sweet and meat, and I found the empanadas to be a bit on the sweet side. The tomato relish (surprisingly) helped to soften the sweetness. Pizza of applewood smoked bacon, onions, mushrooms, spinach pesto, and manchego: We ended up repeating this one. The crust was thin, almost cheesy tart-like, and very flavorful. I would return just to have this pizza. And at $5 for the happy hour special you really can’t beat it. Appetizers from the happy hour menu are $5, and the drinks we ordered were $3 each I believe. You can also order from the main menu. For four of us the bill came to $55, with two drinks each. Happy hour runs from 5:30 to 7 most days, and extends to 10:00 on Tuesdays. Make this a <$20 Tuesday!
  15. Also, didn't do it this trip, but if you are going South I have 2 recommendations Bellavista for onces (afternoon tea) outside of Frutillar. It is a B&B type of place, up on a hill off the road. It has a beautiful dining room, and the onces are spectacular. Blazac in Puerto Montt for a classy and yummy dinner - Chilean classics that apply French techniques. Truly a stand-out kind of place. Also remember to pick up some smoked salmon at the market by the water.
  16. Just returned from Chile and wanted to add a quick list of recommendations for Santiago, La Serena, and near Vina Santiago: Osadia - in Providencia. Upscale, Peruvian-influenced. Loved the ceviche, filete de congrio, and pasta with scallops. The paella was so-so, and the ravioli with mushroom sauce were not great. Try the desserts - their pastry chef loves presentation. Hildegard near the Apumanque feria de artesanias for sandwiches and kuchen. Restaurants at Borderio restaurant complex. There are a host of restuarants, and if I recall the name correctly there is a gorgeous seafood restaurant named Bio. There is also a Spanish spot that seemed popular. Crepes and Waffles - not Chilean (it is a Colombian chain), but yummy desserts and some good savory crepes. Try anything with spinach, like the Napolitano - very good. There are several locations around town. For good coffees (try a cortado), cafe helado (vanilla ice cream in a coffee sauce with whipped cream), as well as your basic sandwich offerings, try Mokka cafes. I love their Torta de Almendras. I agree with the previous poster about the Bravissimo gelato and the fish restaurants at the Mercado Central. The restuarnat at the Hotel Kennedy near Parque Arauco is excellent, and once a week they offer a wine tasting menu with something like 5 national wines and top-notch gourmet food. La Serena: Jardin de Sabores on the Costanera. Excellent fried empanadas de pino and a ceviche sampler dish called Jardin de mariscos with something like 6 types of ceviche presented beautifully on scallop shells. They also offer the fish of the day in a sauce with whiskey and parmasean cheese - truly good and original. On the way to La Serena on the Panamericana: Los Vilos - There is an area by the beach with "Modulos Gastronomicos", which offer standard fish fare overlooking the water. We stopped at one called Las Delicias and loved the fresh paila marina and empanadas de machas. The offered us fresh clams on the half shell, on the house. Pichidangui - There is a restaurant on the beach (there are lots of stands, but this is the only closed spot with ac and a deck) where we had excellent machas a la parmesana and pastel de jaiba. Near Vina - Renaca and Con Con Here are some restaurants north of Vina that offer the standard Chilean seafood options, but with excellent service, incredible views, and wonderful food. Edelweiss Del Pacifico El Tirol - off the beaten path. The food was not as perfect as in past occasions (new owners), but you will not receive better service or enjoy the view more than at this spot on a hill over Con Con. Ask for the waiter Don Horacio - he is a gem.
  17. Mrs. P


    I just returned from Chile where I tried a couple of new liquors. The one I loved the most was "Cola de Mono", literally translated as Monkey's Tail. It is served at Christmas-time, and is an egg and milk/cream based liquor made with coffee, spices, and pisco or aguardiente. It could be described as a cross between Bailey's and Egg Nog, served chilled. I made some at home too and it came out really well. It probably doesn't keep for too long since it has the egg yolk in it. After-dinner liquors were popular this trip, and I tried Manzanilla (Chamomile), Mint, and Cherry. On a past trip I brought back the chamomile, and love to have a sip on a cold night. It is a syrupy liquor, best serverd cold but warms you up in a snap. This time around, I brought back a bottle of Almond Mistela, which I suppose is like Nocino (which I have not had). It has a few almonds floating in it and has a gorgeous golden brown color, and is made with almonds, aguardiente, and sugar. Can't wait to try it. Recently I've started making a few infusions, so I brought back Aguardiente (in Chile this is made like an eau-de-vie) and am steeping some sour cherries to make "Guindado". There are some really good piscos available in Chile . The brand most commonly available in the States, Capel, is kinda like the "Bud" of piscos, so it is a treat to bring back some of the 3, 5, and 15-year aged piscos that you can't find here. If you are looking for pisco here in the states, look for "Alto del Carmen" 40%.
  18. There is also a place up in Wheaton with rijsaffel. Can't remember the name right now, but when I drive by it next I'll check. THey offered approx 7-8 small plates, brought out at once, with sides of rice if I recall correctly. This was followed by dessert.
  19. I made the vanilla marshmallows over the weekend, and swirled red into white. People love these things! "I didn't know you could actually MAKE marshmallows" people say. I took them to a cookie swap and I think they were pretty popular. Like other people have mentioned, I had less corn syrup on hand than the recipe called for (a little over 1/2 cup only), so I made a bit more sugar syrup. I find that they are more dense and less moist than previous batches, which I kind of like better. However, they are drying out more quickly. Fortunately there are plenty of folks to gobble them up so they won't go bad! I might try the cinnamon or peppermint ones next, or use some latin fruit purees to make curuba marshmallows.
  20. Hi there - Going to Colvin Run today for an office lunch. The rule for today's lunch is that we have to order wine and four courses - I think I can comply! Are there any menu recs from anybody's recent visits? The trio of sorbets sounds like a good pointer.
  21. Thanks for organizing this Malawry. We swung by for a quick bite tonight, and yes they do have a limted beer and wine selection available. I recall they had standards - Rolling Rock, Amstel, Corona, etc. They were out of Singha! Oh well. Anyway, I had the shrimp with sour mustard (GO Medium spicy!) and it was a treat. Can't wait for next week!
  22. I pulled out my vin de tangelo for Turkey Day and my family loved it. They loved it so much that I started a new batch this weekend with a variety of citrus fruits. I made a few adjustments to the recipe – I used kirsch instead of plain eau de vie, and I used a few Tbs of vanilla sugar instead of a whole vanilla bean. In addition, the tangelos were quite sweet, so the amount of sugar called for in the recipe needed to be adjusted down. Since I didn’t think about this beforehand, I added some lemon juice afterwards and this compensated nicely for the sweetness. I can’t wait to try batch #2! To bottle this treat I strained repeatedly then filtered to try and get a maximum amount of the good, clear stuff. I strained the solids out of the wine first, let it settle for a few days, strained again with a cheesecloth, let it rest, then filtered to bottles. I think that because of the amount of pith and juice this wine accumulates a lot of particles at the bottom. Thanks for the recipe! It is very adaptable and I’m excited to try new blends!
  23. The tastebuds in my head are telling me that a generous splash of grapefruit would go well in a gin & tonic, instead of lime. Sound crazy?
  24. Allright for Firefly tonight! We have a reservation there for this evening, so what better way to start the night?!
  25. If they've hit Cheesecake Factory then they are most definitely a fad that has jumped the shark. ← And they're at Dave & Busters.....I love 'em anyway, but from Matchbox or Jackie's!
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