May 24, 2010

I Met Eric Ripert!


For my birthday among other things, Steve bought me tickets to the Foodie Experience: An Evening with Eric Ripert/Anthony Bourdain Foodie Experience at the Hippodrome Theatre that was held on Saturday night.


The evening of anecdotes, questions, and answers was hosted by Reagan of Mix 106.5. The chefs talked about all sorts of topics from contestants on Top Chef, working in the restaurant business, family, traveling, and of course food. Anthony Bourdain was asked what food trend he dislikes the most and he said cupcakes :( I'm still a fan though. I really did gain a lot of insight on what it is like to work in the food industry and I gained a lot of respect for restaurant chefs. After last night, I began thinking about how crazy it is that chefs today are as famous as rock stars.

For those who purchased a certain ticket (we did!), there was a special food tasting from local Baltimore area restaurants after the talk. Here is a list of restaurants that were there:

City Cafe
Taverna Corvino
Brewer's Art
Ryleigh's Oyster
Aldo's
Portalli's
Woodberry Kitchen
LaScala
Roy's
The Wine Market
Rumor Mill
Ale Mary's
Alizee
Max's Empanadas
Sweet Sin Bakery
Diamondback Tavern
Peter's Inn
Dangerously Delicious Pies
A. Kirchmayr Chocolatier
Baltimore Pho
Antrim 1844
Mr. Rain's Funhouse
Spectrum Catering

Both, Steve and I agree that the food from City Cafe was the best of the night. They offered a cream of crab soup and watermelon bruschetta that was absolutely delicious. I had a chance to talk to the executive chef and compliment him.

Baltimore Pho had a prize wheel at their station which was fun because I won a free appetizer and Steve a shirt! We liked their garlic beef.

I was totally shocked to see that Ryleigh's Oyster was offering freshly shucked oysters on the half shell. Wow!

Being a HoCo local, I wanted to check out the Portalli's table. Portalli's was offering sea bass and a panna cotta and strawberries with a balsamic reduction. The sea bass was quite tasty and the panna cotta was ok, however, I was really impressed with them at how perfectly the fish was cooked despite not having an oven/stove at the event!

Other highlights from the night, MEETING CHEF ERIC RIPERT!!!!! Both, he and Anthony Bourdain were walking around sampling food from the local restaurants and at the same time were being bombarded by fans. I couldn't snag a pic with Chef Bourdain, but hey, ERIC RIPERT!

Chefs at the Portalli's table!

I really enjoyed myself at this event. I know as of recent, Baltimore hasn't really been known for too much besides it's high crime rate and slumping baseball team and because of that I'm really glad Baltimore had a chance to host something of this kind. Something positive and shows a better side of Baltimore- it's up and coming local food scene!

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May 23, 2010

Quater Century Old

I celebrated a birthday in the beginning of the month. As usual, I couldn't decide where I wanted to go for dinner... I was throwing around the idea of going out the Sunday before and getting good take out after I got home from work on my actual birthday, but I wanted to do something special the day of. After much debate and driving Steve crazy, I decided I wanted my birthday dinner to be at Portalli's in Old Ellicott City where Jordan's Steakhouse used to be even after reading mixed reviews. I'm glad I chose Portalli's because it was a fantastic meal.

The inside looks a lot like Jordan's used to look like. We dined in the dining room (not the bar room) on the first level by the window. There were three other tables with patrons while we were there. The servers were attentive and were very helpful with answering questions about the menu.

Portalli's offers specials throughout the week and the night we happened to go, all bottles of wine were 1/2 off. Malbec is pretty much the only red wine I will drink, so we ordered a bottle of Malbec which was delicious with our meal.

To start we ordered the Portalli salad and Portallian Flatbread Pizza and for the main course Steve ordered Duck Confit Manicotti and I ordered Chicken Picatta.

The first courses were good, nothing I would rave about though. The manicotti was good, but Steve & I both felt it needed more sauce or more cheese on top although, I think there was plenty of cheese on top, but it may have been left in the oven for a minute too long because the cheese on top of the manicotti was very brown, slightly dry, and not... melty? My chicken picatta on the other hand, was excellent. The chicken was cooked perfectly, tender and juicy, the sauce was flavorful, seasoned just right with the pesto and caper sauce, and the polenta was soft on the inside and crispy on the outside not soggy at all. I felt that the portion size of the entrees were normal, in fact I had enough leftover for lunch the next day.

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May 18, 2010

Happy American Craft Beer Week

This week is American Craft Beer Week. To celebrate, Steve & I went out for a drink after work to Victoria Gastro Pub on the corner or Rt. 108 and Snowden River Parkway. Last night featured brews from Flying Dog and Dogfish Head. I had my favorite Dogfish 120min IPA and Steve the World Wide Stout. Two local beer tweeters/bloggers were there (shout out to Baltimore Beer Guy and Beer In Baltimore) it was great to meet and talk with you!

On Sunday, two friends of mine & Steve's came to check out our new house as well as the HoCo area in general. They are thinking about moving to this area after they are married. We showed them around and talked HoCo up as much as we possibly could. We had big plans to do dinner at Sushi Sono, especially after reading about the No. 12 roll HowChow posted about a few days earlier. But, as luck would have it, Sushi Sono is closed on Sunday. And so is Sushi King. Dagger! Rattling our brains, we remembered Cha Ya Cafe on Mcgaw Road.

Steve & I have been there one time before and thought it had good sushi. I like this place for the fact that it offers "something for everyone" (Japanese, Chinese, and Thai food). Steve's only negative comment was regarding to the prices in relation to the size of the roll. I would have to agree. The rolls were a bit smaller than what we are used to seeing at the other local sushi places we've been to.

Our friends ordered the First Sight of Love Roll (lobster tail tempura, asparagus, cream cheese, massago, wrapped in avocado), the Cha Ya Philly Roll (hot baked roll w. salmon, cream cheese, avocado, and eel), and a Tuna Avocado Roll (self explanatory).

First Sight of Love Roll strategically placed in the shape of hearts. Points for creativity!

We ordered an avocado salad, Tom Ka Gai (the best he's had anywhere so far, says Steve), the Cha Ya Philly Roll, Twister Roll, and a Dragon Roll. Both times that I have been to Cha-Ya I've ordered their Cha Ya Philly Roll. It's pretty tasty. The Twister Roll (fresh salmon and mango over a spicy California roll) was good, but I wish the spicy California roll were spicier to contrast with the sweetness of the mango. We also ordered the Dragon Roll (cucumber wrapped eel with avocado and tobiko).

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April 30, 2010

Cupcake Cannon

This video is sweeeet. Ha-ha-ha.... Literally!


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April 28, 2010

Chemo Patient Friendly Sushi

I was talking to a patient about sushi one day. She said that she's never had sushi before and wanted to try it. Tomorrow is her last day of chemo so Steve and I made her rice krispie treat sushi at 10:45pm :)
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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March 24, 2010

Banana Bread Muffins

There were some over ripe bananas in the fruit basket at Steve's so instead of just throwing them away, I used them to make banana bread-muffins. I got the recipe from Simply Recipes. I usually like to mess around with recipes, but this time the only thing I changed was adding a few sprinkles of cinnamon and took the recommendation of a Simply Recipes reader who commented on how to make muffins instead of loaves. I think this recipe is a winner.

Banana Bread Recipe

from Simply Recipes


Ingredients

  1. 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  2. 1/3 cup melted butter
  3. 1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
  4. 1 egg, beaten
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  6. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  7. Pinch of salt
  8. 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

Directions

No need for a mixer for this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.


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March 21, 2010

Dogfish Head Alehouse

I'm not letting my gimpy foot keep me from enjoying this awesome weekend weather! Sidenote: I had minor surgery on my foot last Wed.

Steve and I went to the Ikea in College Park to look for things for our new house (settlement is the 25th!) and decided to take a road trip to the Dogfish Head Alehouse in Gaithersburg, MD for dinner. We're both big fans of Dogfish beer.

I got the 90 min and Steve, the Black & Tan they were out of the Chicory Stout so they subbed Guinness instead, ehh.

Steve ordered The Alehouse Mac & Cheese with Chicken... amazing!

I got the Portobello Gorgonzola Burger.... yum! I love boardwalk cut fries.

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March 20, 2010

Be Cool Eat A Rita's

Free Rita's in Ellicott City! Perfect way to kick off the first day of spring.
I got pineapple and ritaberrious.

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March 11, 2010

Soups On!

I ate a really late lunch at work today, 3 pm was the earliest I could break away from my group of patients :/ I was thinking that by the time I got home around 7 pm, I was not in the mood to make a big dinner and I wasn't really hungry anyway... I remembered there were Shirataki noodles in the refridge and a box of udon soup mix in the pantry. I stopped at Giant and got some fresh veggies from the salad bar (total cost, $1!) for the Shirataki tofu noodle soup I was going to make for dinner. It was quick to make and pretty tasty, perfect!

Ingredients
1 packet udon soup mix
5 cups water
1 package Shirataki tofu noodles
Your preference of whatever fresh veggies you like

Directions
1. Drain liquid from the noodles, set aside.
2. In a large pot, heat water, udon soup mix, veggies, and noodles.
3. Bring to a boil then allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Turn off heat and serve with with a few drops of sriracha hot chili sauce or sesame oil (optional).

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March 9, 2010

LOLZ

Sent to me by Steve... so nerdy, but awesome!

Pop math for Lady Gaga fans



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February 17, 2010

Trapped in NYC

Two weekends ago, before the big snowpocolypse of 2010, Steve and I escaped to NYC. Megabus was running a really good promotion a few months ago so the both of us went to NYC and back for about $30. Free wifi and outlets to plug in your electronics- can't beat that with a stick! We ended up getting stuck in the concrete jungle where dreams are made up for another day because Baltimore got so much snow that our bus couldn't pick us up. We only saw flurries for an hour or two in NYC.

We stayed at The New Yorker Hotel on 34th & 8th. We snagged a great deal on Hotwire.com and used Betterbidding.com to help. It's a little time consuming to go through all the amenities and match it with those listed on the hotel's website, but so worth it. We used betterbidding.com when we went to Orlando last year.

Steve and I are self proclaimed foodies so the majority, but not all of our trip was spent doing and seeing things related to food :)

Light dinner at Chelsea Market: fresh sushi, smoked salmon, bacon and scallop chowder from the Lobster Place

I <3>

We saw Next to Normal on Broadway

Steve's stuffed french toast at the Tick Tock Diner

We had a few beers at the oldest continuously run pub in America

Steve's college friend who lives in the city took us for some awesome Korean ramen in St. Mark's Place

Brooklyn Brewery Tour

Corned beef and Pastrami sandwich at the Carnegie Deli

Super delicious avocado salad at Mooncake Foods in Chelsea

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February 16, 2010

We Heart Five Guys

Had the home inspection today. I had no idea it would take 3 hours! Anyway, Steve and I are at lunch at the new Five Guys on Dobbin Rd. Steve only has one word to describe the burgers and fries, "amazing."

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February 15, 2010

Julie & Julia

Last weekend I watched the movie Julie & Julia. I loved that movie and it made me appreciate my little blog here and the few, but dear people who read it. It prompted me to start getting back into blogging. I want to commit myself to blog more, as something I will take time out of my week to do for myself.

Oh! Some exciting news...
Steve & I bought a house this weekend! It's beautiful and it's perfect and guess what?! It's in HoCo! Pretty darn soon I'll be a legit HoCo foodie :)



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January 26, 2010

1.26.10

1/4 Cherry Slurpee + 3/4 Diet Coke = Katie's Special Soda :P
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January 9, 2010

1.9.10

In addition to trying out new sushi places, Steve and I are now on a mission to try all of the Korean style frozen yogurt places in and around HoCo. The fro-yo mission is mainly my personal mission, but Steve comes along for the ride :)

Today we took a trip to H-Mart and went to Mango Berry which is next door to H-Mart. While at H-Mart we tasted some demo foods such as Korean marinated beef with oyster mushrooms and rice cake, grilled eel in unagi sauce, vegetable dumplings, and tofu shirataki noodle soup. I love Korean marinated beef also known as Bulgogi and have been craving it for a long time. So Steve and I picked up the ingredients to make it for dinner. I love going to H-Mart because the prices are so cheap and the variety of produce and other food stuffs is amazing.

Next door to H-Mart, there are 2 Korean/Chinese/Sushi restaurants, Mango Berry, and a huge store that sells everything from orchids to a kimchi refrigerator. I never realized that there were more stores and restaurants beyond H-Mart.

I got the original flavor with chocolate chips and strawberries. Steve got the berry flavor with mochi. Mmmm, so good!

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January 7, 2010

1.7.10

Today I lost one of my greatest friends, my dog Maggie.

On Thanksgiving eve she had to have emergency surgery to remove a tumor on her spleen. She hadn't been eating or drinking and didn't have any strength to get up. They ended up removing her entire tumor and the tumor was causing severe blood loss. She received a total of 4 units of blood. After the surgery the vet estimated that she had another 2-3 months.

This time, all of a sudden she fell when she tried to get up. Her gums were very pale and she just looked so worn out. My family knew it was time to let her go, we couldn't bear to put her through any more surgeries and to be honest, I don't think there was much else that could have been done surgically at this point. We didn't want her to suffer and she never looked like she was ever in any pain.

Maggie was my family's first and only dog. As a kid I never wanted a dog because all of my friends' dogs were kinda smelly and their houses were too (sorry friends) and quite frankly I never really was an animal person. But as soon as the little golden retriever puppy ran through the basement door on Christmas day 10 years ago, I immediately fell in love. I am totally biased when I say this- Maggie was the cutest, most lovable, and friendly dog I have known.

Maggie, just like her sister loved food. Her favorite foods were carrots, pizza crust, fortune cookies, and whipped cream. Every time I eat these foods, I'll always think of her. She also enjoyed carrying around as many of her stuffed animals in her mouth as possible, playing in the snow, getting her tummy rubbed, and ripping up tissue paper.

Maggie was always there at the bottom of the steps when I was leaving for work and she was always waiting at the garage door when I got home. It's weird not having her around and I'm not sure I'll ever get used to that. I really miss her, she wasn't just our family dog, she was a member of our family.

I miss her and love her more than words can say.

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