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I have loved doing this blog for the last year and change.  I loved creating and trying out new recipes.  I ate at a lot of amazing restaurants (and yes, some duds).  But it was fun and entertaining. 

But I’m starting a new and very positive chapter in my life and have decided to spend more time focused on that.  This meant that something in my life needed to go and this was the easiest piece that I could remove.

Thank you for reading this blog and for providing such interesting comments.   I really appreciate your support!

In honor of Paul Harvey, I thought I’d do a brain dump on a few of the restaurants and recipes that I had been waiting to post.  Instead, here’s a very abbreviated version of my thoughts:

Restaurants:

  • Pret a Manger — If you’re a reader of this blog, you know I hate pre-made sandwiches.  But don’t be afraid of their pre-made sandwiches.  I’ve been several times now and it’s always fresh and delicious!  I really love their St. Tropez Tuna mayo-less sandwich.  Their roast beef sandwich is OK, but it needs more roast beef. 

Pret a Manger - Roast Beef, Arugula & Parmegiano Baguette  Pret a Manger - Roast Beef, Arugula & Parmegiano Baguette  Pret a Manger - St Tropez Tuna Baguette  Pret a Manger - St Tropez Tuna Baguette  Pret a Manger - St Tropez Tuna Baguette

  • Swarma King — It reminds me a lot of Amsterdam Falafel.  You pick the meat and bread which they then serve you.  Then you go over to the help yourself toppings bar.  Once you’re done with your toppings, you hand it back to them so they can grill it in a panini-style grill.  They cut it in half and you get to eat your creation.  It’s good and cheap!

Swarma King's Swarma  Swarma King's Swarma  Swarma King -- Adams Morgan

  • The Source — Good food but definitely expensive.  Three scallops were $40-something.  And they’re a little too attentive. 
  • Oya – Great place to go for a date or with a client.  Calamari and tuna tempura are delicious! I think they do best with fish more than their beef or other dishes. 
  • BLT Steakhouse — Love all the “free” food they give you when you sit down to eat.  The popovers are to die for.  Definitely expensive, but a perfect place to go when you’re on a company expense account.
  • On the Fly (Chinatown) — Skip the tacos, they’re horrible.  Go for the empanada, much better option.

On the Fly Food Cart Menu  On the Fly Food Cart  On the Fly Pork Taco and Chicken Taco  On the Fly Jamacian Beef Empanada  On the Fly Jamacian Beef Empanada

  • Julia’s Empanada — Ridiculously cheap and a decent meal.  Flaky empanada crust.   I put my Blackberry there so you could see how big the Empanada was.

julias-empanadasJulia's Chorizo Empanada  Julia's Chorizo Empanada

Recipes:

  • Martha Stewart’s Walnut and Brown Sugar Rugelach It was OK and as you can obviously tell, I didn’t shape the dough into a circle.  Instead, I just rolled it out and cut into strips.   The cream cheese gave it a bit of a bite, but I don’t think this dough was worth the extra work.

Walnut and Brown Sugar Rugelach Dough  Walnut and Brown Sugar Rugelach Dough  Walnut and Brown Sugar Rugelach Dough  Walnut and Brown Sugar Rugelach  Walnut and Brown Sugar Rugelach

  • Sour Cream Herb Foccacia Bread — I used my bread machine and mixed everything (except melted butter, 1 tsp of thyme, and cheese) on the dough cycle.  I put in 3 1/2 cups fo bread flour and had to add more water, but as always, pay attention to your bread machine when it’s first mixing to make sure everything is combining.  Meh…I didn’t love it and will next time stick to my other foccacia bread.

Sour Cream Herb Foccacia Bread Dough  Sour Cream Herb Foccacia Bread Dough  Sour Cream Herb Foccacia Bread

Peanut Butter Dog Biscuit Dough  Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

Thumprint Jam Cookie Dough  Thumprint Jam Cookies  Thumprint Jam Cookies  Thumprint Jam Cookies

  • Cooking Light Autumn Apple Cake — It really was delicious, although I think I’d add another cup of apples to give it an even better apple taste.
    • Cooking Light recipe has 10.6 g of fat; 304 g calories; and 48.9 g carbs.
      • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
      • 2 tsp baking powder
      • 1/4 tsp salt
      • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
      • 3/4 c granulated sugar
      • 5 TBSP butter, softened
      • 1 tsp vanilla extract
      • 1 large egg
      • 1/2 c 2% reduced-fat milk
      • 1 c chopped and peeled apple (I used Braeburn, they recommend Pink Lady or Sundowner)
      • 1/2 c golden raisins
      • 1/4 c chopped walnuts (opt)
      • 1 tsp powdered sugar
    • Preheat the oven to 350 and bake for about 40-60 minutes.  Sprinkle powdered sugar on top

Cooking Light Autumn Apple Cake Dough  Cooking Light Autumn Apple Cake  Cooking Light Autumn Apple Cake  Cooking Light Autumn Apple Cake

I’m slowly, but surely going through all of my posts to identify the ones that will help you use up your milk and yogurt.  I can’t be the only person who tries to use up one of these two ingredients — and it’s nice to use them for something new/different. 

While I haven’t finished identifiying all of them, I am up to page 11.  They are tagged “recipe using yogurt” or “recipe using milk.”  And this isn’t just a couple of TBSP-type recipes either — it’s usually at least 1/4 cup.

It’s been over a year since I started this blog and this is first time I’ve ever gone on a two week blog-cation.  This means that starting today, I will not be posting. 

I need to take a break from posting, but I promise I will resume on January 5th so please come back then!

There will be loads of recipes, restaurants, and other food-related interesting postings.  Seriously, I promise I will return! 

So please please please check back here on January 5th

 

P.S. This is not my oven, but a girl can dream right?

or maybe you’re not.  But in case you are, the reason is simple.  My 5-year old TV died.  Yes, I was very unhappy because it wasn’t very old.  It had a slow death too.  At first, it just took about 5 minutes before it’d turn on.  Then I had to turn it on numerous times because it’d automatically shut off.  And one day when I came home from work, it just made a sad buzzing sound and never turned on.

So I bought a new TV.  After doing a lot of research, I bought a 52″ LCD flat screen.  It’s ridiculous and I love it. 

It also cost a chunk of change so I’ve been cutting back on going out to restaurants and instead, making a lot of meals at home.  But, give me a few more weeks and I’ll be back on the restaurant scene with my honest reviews.

In the meantime, I hope you’re enjoying the recipes.  This weekend, I think I’m going to make some lemon biscotti.  Will keep you posted how it goes!

‘Nuff said.

Yes, it was quite a lovely surprise when I received the email yesterday from the Express.  Thanks Clinton!

If you have a hard copy of the paper, the mention is on top of page 36.  Here’s the online link.

I’m quoted saying:

PHO IS ABSOLUTELY my favorite. It’s fast and easy to make. In fact, it’s become my fallback meal when my fridge is low on food. ”
Whereindc.wordpress.com generally heads out to Seven Corners, Va., to get her Vietnamese soup but recently discovered Pho Time at Eden Center in Falls Church.

Wow, one year ago today, WhereInDC was created.  I can’t believe it’s been a year — such fun! 

Here are some interesting WhereInDC stats:

  • 610 blog postings
  • ~131 restaurant reviews
    • $ – 49
    • $$ – 59
    • $$$ – 28
    • $$$$ – 0
  • 210 recipes have been reviewed/created
  • 42 food TV shows have been reviewed — this also includes some food TV news
  • 1,000+ photos have been shared

Thanks for reading and here’s to another fun food-filled year!

So I’ve been back to several restaurants and have been making updates throughout.  In case you’ve missed them, here they are:

I love popcorn, but I hadn’t had any in a bit.  When someone at my office popped a bag and the aroma spread, I knew I had to have some.

But when I pulled a package out of the box, I realized it was expired…nine months ago.  While I wondered if it’d kill me (or fry the microwave), I had to run the risk.  Plus, I feel guilty about throwing away food. 

Expired Popcorn

It worked!  The kernals popped and there was no weird flavor.  More importantly, I’m still alive to tell the tale.  Ha ha…

Expired Popcorn  Expired Popcorn

BTW, I’m not a health expert nor am I telling you that you should eat expired popcorn (in other words, don’t sue me) because I don’t recommend trying this!  I’m just telling you my experience.

While I loved this recipe for vanilla ice cream, I am confident there’s more fat than I would care to know in it.  So I thought this one would help cut it down without losing the rich, creamy flavor.  Also, there was no yogurt tang.

  • 1/3 cup of half and half
  • 1/4 cup of whipped cream
  • 1 cup of greek yogurt (or strained regular)
  • 2 TBSP of sugar
  • 2 tsp of vanilla

Mix together according to your ice cream machine maker’s instructions.

Lower in Fat Frozen Vanilla Yogurt

What do you think?  I wanted to have a time stamp on my posts and could only get it if I changed my look.  Yes, I need to change the header…photo to change soon.  Header photo changed!

If you’ve been checking out the blog today, you’ve noticed there’s been a lot of changes.  I believe 3 different “looks” have been tested.  I really want to have a time stamp on my post, but there doesn’t seem to be a backgrounder that you like that offers this.  Bummer. 

I like the clean look this one provides too — I did decide to do a new background and picked this one because you can see the links much easier.  Plus, individual postings do show the time stamp so it works for now.

To help with my need for change, I will be changing the header photo periodically. 

Also, the formatting issues have been fixed.

Oh, and if I may — a moment to say how cool the last couple of weeks have been for this blog?  I’ve broken through the 1,000+ in one day mark.  Thanks to the readers!  If you have any ideas for postings, let me know [whereindc AT gmail DOT com]

I don’t know what is going on with WordPress, but my photos aren’t centered and it’s driving me nuts.  So my apologizes while the photos are all to the left. 

When WordPress fixes whatever is going on, I’ll make the appropriate changes to the postings. 

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve made a few updates to some old posts. 

I have also bought an ice cream/yogurt/sorbet machine so I’ll be posting a few recipes soon.  Ideas to help beat the summer heat!

Finally, I am in an Asian-themed cooking spree right now.  I’ve been using my wok and trying out new recipes.  While it’s a bit more prep work than I’m use to, the cooking is insanely quick.  Plus, great leftovers. 

There are so many recipes to share!  I may have to go back to posting a couple of times a day just to catch up! 

In the five years that I’ve lived in DC, it seems Pot Belly has taken over the town.  Yes, I know, it’s a bit like a chain…but it’s sometimes incredibly convenient/easy for me to go sometimes when it’s late at the office and grab dinner. 

 

  • Food: I’ve ordered a lot of food at Pot Belly, but my standard is their turkey on wheat (photo on the left).  It’s toasted (like Quizno’s) and they have some good topping options.  Their hot peppers are soaked in oil which makes the sandwich greasy (boo).  They’ve recently added salads to their menu and I tried their Italian salad with non-fat vinaigrette dressing (photo on the right).  It has this great sweet tang to it and didn’t taste non-fat.  The croutons, which I am betting were homemade (what else are they going to do with all that stale bread?), were a little soggy, but well seasoned.  

Pot Belly Turkey Sandwich  Pot Belly Italian Salad

  • Service: They’re definitely efficient.  Whenever you see the line snake outside the door, it’s a little shocking.  But they are quick and even with that kind of a line, you can usually get your sandwich in under 20 minutes.
  • Atmosphere: They have live music during the lunch hour which can be fun. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Overall: It’s good food at a good price.  While they no longer offer their $3.29 sandwiches (they’re now $4.19), it’s still a good deal.  The salads are a bit more (like $5.29), but they are yummy and quite filling.  Also, when I feel the need to splurge, there’s nothing like their Oreo shake. 

Details:

  • Hours/Address/Ph: To find the local one near you, click here.

This guy from Japan makes musical instruments from fruits and vegetables.  And I watched three of his videos.  Seriously?  I can tell you his carrot flute and apple ocarina sounds pretty good.  His cucumber trumpet, not so good.  After watching three videos, I was embarrassed to watch any more.  If you want to learn how to make these, watch this video.

Here’s the cucumber trumpet:

The apple ocarina:

The carrot flute (and it’s a duet!):

 “I Love Lucy” has never been my favorite show, but I have always loved this clip. 

Here’s something short and fun to entertain you this morning.

 

OK, I know I’m probably a little crabby from working 17 hours yesterday, but there’s something that’s been bugging me for a few months now. 

I will no longer post the pitches from PR people (or anyone else) who choose to write in the comments section instead of emailing me.  That’s a pain.  And seriously folks, my email address IS on my blog (it’s in the About tab) so it’s not like you have to do much digging.  Plus, I know people know my email address — I get emails from people on a weekly basis. 

I like PR people (umm, hello, it’s what I do), but seriously here folks.  Please work with me.  I want to know what’s going on, but have a little respect for the blogging world and how we operate. 

Comments are for comments.  Email is for pitches (and if people want to discuss some food issues but don’t want it posted).  Don’t be lame and lazy.

Last night, I was baking a few items for a colleague/friend.  And when I went to crack an egg, there was a vein and the egg was all bloody.

I completely freaked and of course, the rest of the evening when I’m cracking eggs, I’m convinced there’s going to be another bloody egg.

Ugh, so gross.  Has this ever happened to you?  It was the first time for me…so I think that’s why I’m traumatized by it.

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