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captcourt

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About captcourt

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  • Birthday 08/04/1968

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  1. So, with the Harris-Teeter buy-one get-one-free sale (= 2 for $5.79), I bought four: salted caramel peanut, vanilla blueberry crumble (?), southern butter pecan, and black raspberry chocolate. The last one has always been the show-stopper for me, because I adore good raspberry anything. Thus far, the salted caramel peanut is okay - not great, but certainly decent - and the black raspberry chocolate is only slightly sweeter than it used to be - i.e., still good, any definitely better than the rest of the few raspberry items out there. I'll stick with the NYT recipe and my Cuisinart ice cream maker for salted caramel ice cream (if you haven't tried that, DO IT NOW). Will report back on the other two flavors.
  2. I'm as surprised as anyone else that I would post the below, but we tried this last week (minorly messing with the 3-ingredient recipe by adding just half of a small onion and a minced small garlic clove) and it was fantastic. Now you have another fennel recipe! http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/3-ingredient-orecchiette-with-sausage-and-fennel
  3. Dinner - The Polyphonic Food Blog

    I should have also posted this pavlova from our New Year's Eve festivities - it was very tasty, wasn't hard, looked amazing (far disproportionately to the total amount of work involved) and won over a couple of non-meringue-lovers. Recipe from here: http://thegreatbritishbakeoff.co.uk/marys-christmas-pavlova/. We watched the show on a lark and it was time well-spent.
  4. Dinner - The Polyphonic Food Blog

    In December 1999, my +1 and I decided to spend New Year's in a then-remote area in West Virginia in case the end of the world was at hand and chaos reigned in DC. But, of course, we had to eat well. That year, the Washington Post Food section for NYE was about Dishes for the New Millennium, collected from DC-area chefs (a veritable Who's Who* then as well as in retrospect). So, with our modest talents and grand aspirations, we brought with us the recipes and all the ingredients for a pre-/post-apocalypse pair of feasts: for NYE, a bouillabaise with rockfish, bay scallops and soft-shell crabs from Todd Gray, and for NYD, an endive, walnut and blue cheese salad with port vinaigrette from Ris Lacoste to start and beef tenderloin with stilton, pastry and madeira sauce from Susan McCreight Lindeborg as the main. It took forever then - getting the shellfish ready was painful, reading the directions was complicated, and we were in a condo rental with an unfamiliar kitchen, plus our skills and equipment then weren't what they are now. But damn, those two meals were a-mazing. We loved the bouillabaise, but the prep work involved outweighed our love for it, so we only made it one more time after that. The beef, though - the beef! - is sublime, even though we cut a corner and refused to futz with puff pastry (the dish is basically a deconstructed Beef Wellington), and the bitter greens salad (in addition to the endive, there's radicchio and frisee, as well) with the port vinaigrette and creamy, salty blue cheese makes us swoon at a starter. For some reason, the work for those two is just easier. So, in each of the 17 subsequent years, we've continued to make those two dishes every NYE or NYD. Last night, we pulled it off again and it felt like one of the years when everything hits exactly the right note. Happy New Year, everyone! * The roster of chefs providing recipes for that Post Food section: Germaine Swanson, Jose Andres and Wayne Combs, Ris Lacoste, Bob Kinkead, Jeff Tunks, Todd Gray, Frederic Lange, Michel Richard, Brian McBride, Peter Pastan, Susan McCreight Lindeborg, K.N. Vinod, and Patrick O'Connell. ** ETA: the title of that issue of the Food section is actually "The No-Reservations New Year's Eve." The recipe for the beef also includes one of my favorite typos/editing errors of all time - one of the ingredients is supposed to be "2 pounds baby spinach" but unfortunately, the word "spinach" was left out. Making this only once a year, and still using the actual, yellowed old printed newspaper section for cooking, we still get a laugh every time at reading the ingredient of "2 pounds baby" in our dinner. The online archive version - which only recently popped up! I hadn't been able to find it before! - includes the "we regret the error" notification, which is kind of too bad. *** Another ETA: if anyone happens to be in touch with Susan McCreight Lindeborg, who I understand moved away from the area after her stint at The Majestic Cafe, I would love it if you could pass along my heartfelt thanks for her contribution of the beef recipe.
  5. Has anyone gone here recently? We haven't yet gone, and are probably going to Little Serow first, but we're making a list of places we need to try and this is definitely on that list. If the answer is, it's still awesome, great!
  6. Buying Raw Oysters

    God help me for having done this, but I actually bought some Chincoteague salts (I didn't get the exact provenance) in June from, of all places, the Harris Teeter off Lee Highway. I've enjoyed learning to shuck oysters over the last couple of years, and the price was pretty reasonable, so I figured if they sucked, no harm done. They were actually pretty good! Clean flavor, plump, salty as expected, and not a bad one in the batch. I usually buy oysters at places that are, you know, actually seafood-focused, so I still don't know what got into me, but I was glad I did. Haven't seen them since but if you do, worth a try. ETA: Changed the timing of when I bought them to June, and I now realize that these oysters seem to be available from September to June...which is probably why I haven't seen them since.
  7. Went to the Arlington location for the first time in a couple of months. We're in the middle of a lower-carb diet and this was a little splurge for us. We got: the aforementioned cucumber salad for the first time and LOVED the sauce - we were expecting something more like the A&J version, which we also love but wake up in the morning with dragon breath. We also thought there was a little sesame oil in it, maybe a touch of rice vinegar? the sesame noodle summer special - also different than expected in that it was lighter than most versions, with chewy noodles. fried pork belly. Nuff said. hot and numbing flounder and tofu. You can always tell when Peter Chang isn't in the kitchen - for me, it's that you can "taste" the heat, if that makes any sense - but it was still an excellent batch and we really enjoyed it. But after wolfing down the starters (CARBS), we didn't have a lot of room for it, so we are now the proud owners of a quart of yumminess in the fridge. We walked in at 9, no wait. We finished a little before 10 and they had managed to shoo all but two other tables out the door. Service was pleasant and efficient, probably because they were trying to close down immediately at 10, and it would have been a little TOO efficient if we'd been looking for a leisurely meal with friends rather than a spousal "it's 8:45 and we really should eat now, honey" meal. (But we also would have arrived before 9 if that were the case.)
  8. Breakfast

    If you're looking for tasty muffins that freeze well, I've made Blue Sky's bran muffins (posted on Smitten Kitchen here: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2014/05/blue-sky-bran-muffins/) in several fruit variations, and enjoyed them every time. Today, however, I learned something - that if you're going to make banana-coconut, don't use thickly-flaked coconut and don't use too much as the muffin will separate into halves, bounded by that blob of coconut. They still taste great, though. I also made a batch of mixed-berry. Half a muffin, plus a sandwich of Stachowski pastrami topped with melted Di Palo sharp provolone that I picked up in NYC a few weeks ago, made a weirdly excellent brunch.
  9. United Arab Emirates

    My +1 and I are headed to Dubai and Abu Dhabi (as well as a trip to Oman to see the fjords) tomorrow for 9 days. We'll poke around the back streets to see what we can find and report back, but if anyone has any additional recent reports or tips, would love them! Thanks!
  10. Went today and the two of us ordered entirely too much food, then proceeded to down it all. Fish and chips, hushpuppies, one chicken and one pork tamale, and a carnitas taco. The posts above say it all - good stuff. I even liked the standard-issue fries because they're small and thin, so no sogginess. (If I were at Eamonn's, I'd have different expectations). Plus, when we told the lovely woman at the counter that it was our first time there, she could not have been nicer in explaining the menu. Hope this place sticks around for a long time. We live in Arlington but are happy to do the drive out there.
  11. Wishing you and your sister all the best at the end of this week. I second Don's tips. My +1 and I have gone several times over the last couple of years, and honestly, all of our dishes and drinks have been in one of two categories: "this is really good" and "this is really stellar." Enjoy!!
  12. We've enjoyed almost all of the stuff we've gotten from SMC: 2% and half-and-half is our regular weekly order, with eggs every couple of weeks. Other stuff has included whole milk, the black raspberry yogurt drink (a little sweet but still good), pork chops, skirt steak, and boneless chicken breasts. Probably some other items I'm not remembering right now. The one thing I've disliked was the cottage cheese, but I'm very picky about the texture and this just wasn't in my wheelhouse (creamy with small curds). They were also good to us by leaving the milk and ringing the doorbell the morning I forgot to put out the cooler.
  13. Fennel stock, to go into the recipe for Braised Fennel Wedges with Saffron and Tomato from my Christmas gift of Deborah Madison's Vegetable Literacy. Also, chicken taco filling (simmered in chicken broth with chipotles, guajillos, and other peppers) for tomorrow night's NCAA football championship. The contrast is a little confusing...
  14. FWIW, there is also a Bruegger's in Ballston, basically at the corner of Wilson Blvd and, I think, Quincy St.
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