this is how you know the bar will be full of black people

at the bar at Next Door, with ADM.  She had a great crabcake.  I had a chili cheese half smoke.  Ain’t nothing wrong with that.

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Matchbox on the Hill

In case you can’t tell, I’ve been heavy into the catch-up posting this week.  This one’s from the Sunday before inauguration:

So Inauguration Weekend.  I jokingly told someone that every black person in DC was in my neighborhood.  As the weekend wore on, I realized it was pretty much true.  At any rate, my lovely friend Jen happened to miraculously be in town from London for a wedding, so Ace (Jen’s former roommate) and I decided to do what the three of us do best- Eat.  Ace and Jen scooped me up downtown (where I was buying boots!) and we headed off to the not-quite-as-new-now Matchbox on the Hill.

Let it never be said that brunch shouldn’t have appetizers.

We started with the cinnamon rolls- pillowy, delicious, and far better than the disastrous ones I attempted a few weeks ago.  Plus there were six of them, which worked out perfectly.

matchbox-cinnamon-rolls1

Then we moved on to actual food- spicy meatball pizza (it may or may not be impossible for me to order anything else at Matchbox), stuffed French toast, and cast iron chorizo and eggs.

matchbox-breakfast

I’ve never been disappointed by Matchbox (they have PBR tallboys!), but this breakfast was exceptional.  But I’m probably just saying that because I love spicy meatball pizza.

Super Bowl

I know, I know, I’m about 2 weeks late.  Whatever.

VT had his second annual superbowl party, and requested the same thing I made last year: macaroni and cheese.

superbowl-mac-and-cheese

I am sick of mac and cheese.  I made it, but I also made something else, because I was bored as hell and had to have something to eat.   More on that after the jump

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cottage pie

I love kitchen supplies. measuring spoons, Sifters, Peelers, spice racks, you name it. I like to scour flea markets, TJ Maxx and Marshalls, my grandmother’s cluttered pantry/laundry room. On a recent trip to Marshall’s, I found a cute little Le Creuset baking dish- perfect for small portions of lasagna, mac and cheese, whatever.

So, after reading this recipe for cottage pie on Serious Eats, it was all I could think about. It brought back memories of terrible frozen shepard’s pies I used to eat at Sainsbury’s when I lived in Edinburgh. And it would perfect for my new dish!

Naturally, however, I couldn’t leave the recipe alone. I won’t repost the recipe here, since I’ve already linked to it. But I altered it a bit to suit my tastes, and to make it fit for two, or one with leftovers.

Note: I bought the beef and most of the produce at Whole Foods, along with a bottle of wine for exactly $14.01. The things I already had at home are in italics. The leftover vegetables I tossed in with a can of black beans and made soup. The rest of the beef I used for Alton Brown’s meatballs.

Modified Cottage Pie

4 medium red potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed

1/3 lb ground beef

1/2 zuchinni, peeled and chopped

1/2 large carrot (scrubbed or peeled), chopped

1 large shallot, chopped

1-2 large cloves of garlic, chopped

1 tbsp herbs de provence

1 tbsp of flour

Red wine (glass)

In a bit of olive oil, sweat the garlic, shallots and carrot until the carrot is tender. Add the beef, zucchini, and herbs de provence and cook until browned. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of flour, and add a glass of red wine. Cook until a gravy has formed and place in the bottom of an oven proof dish (something roughly 8×8 or smaller) Spread mashed potatoes evenly on top and bake in the oven at 400 until hot and bubbling.

Blueberry pie

This past Friday was National Pie Day.

So I decided to make a pie.  My grandparents have a massive blueberry bush in the back yard, and every summer, my grandmother dispatches me to pick blueberries (and grapes, sometimes peaches…they have a lot of fruit trees in the yard).  I was out at their house this weekend, and expressed my pie making intentions to my grandmother, who volunteered the three quarts of homegrown blueberries in her freezer.

So, I turned to Cooks Illustrated.  And made this pie.

I try not to go off recipe when baking, because I am a terrible baker.  Sure enough, I went off recipe, and the results were less than desirable.  The dough seemed a bit dry, so it was a little difficult to roll out.  Also, my fridge may or may not be on the fritz, so I don’t think the pie dough got cold enough.  Then, I didn’t add the apple, because I didn’t have one on hand, and had already been to the farmer’s market and the grocery store (losing and recovering my bag in the process) and didn’t want to go out again.  Also, I failed to read the instructions carefully enough to realize that I was supposed to but instant tapicoa and grind it rather than search in vain for ground tapioca.  So i just dumped an envelope of unflavored gelatin in instead.

Oops.

This is why I am a terrible baker.  Gelatin is for things that are supposed to CHILL not for things that are supposed to be BAKED.  Ugh.

The moral of the story is that I made a pie, and despite my complete baking ineptitude, it was apparently not bad.

the snow queen speaks

from our gchat just now:
SnowQueen: so paula deen prepared a giant meal for the women of the view
and they all have heaping plates
except elisabeth hasselbeck
who is pretending to eat some trifle
i hate her
if paula deen cooks for you, you eat it all and follow her home for more