Friday, December 5, 2014

The Experimenting Novice: The Hot Toddy RX

I have been enduring a cold in the past couple of days just like everyone else throughout the transition into the season. I did not have any medicine readily available at the time, but I did have several items instead, one of which included Bourbon. Therefore, I thought it would be worth a shot to try a Hot Toddy to see if it would speed up its process and allow me to sleep.

Why not? I noticed some people say the cocktail RX does not work while yet the remedy is posted on Web MDEven Serious Eats recently posted a tasty remedy  So again, why not?

Verdict? I immediately felt better. I felt so much better that not only did I sleep well, I had another Hot Toddy the next day just to get the rest of the cold out of my system, or what was left of it.

Hot Toddies have variations including water or tea or using various kinds of Whisky or Bourbon. I chose to have simply hot water, a fantastic organic honey I have from Caledonia Spirits lemon juice, and of course, some Bourbon. Two ounces worth, to be exact and recommend no more for potential lack of sleep.

So here is my RX for all of those potential cold patients out there this season and enjoy!

2 oz Bourbon or Whisky
.25 oz Lemon Juice
2 T Honey
4 -6 oz Hot Water

 Build in glass or coffee mug. Stir, garnish with a lemon peel.

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Social Menu: Weekly Trending Foods in Social Media

After beginning the week a little heavier and much happier from Turkey Day, I share with you this week’s menu of social media fan favorites.

 Leftovers: turkey soup, turkey quesadillas, turkey eggs Benedict, turkey sandwiches with leftover garnishes, turkey and dumplings, turkey casserole, turkey and waffles, countless number of possibilities await you.

The buck doesn’t stop there. How about an apple or pumpkin pie milkshake?

Or a cranberry sauce cocktail?

Turkey Day favorites were not the only things that attracted foodies this week. The immortal trio of marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers tried to steal Turkey Day’s show.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Experimenting Novice: Chocolate Covered Sea Salt Caramels

I am sure I am not alone on this, but I will go through craving trends where I am obsessed with a particular type of food until I am sick of it. Sometimes the craving is seasonal (naturally), and sometimes it becomes everlasting, like chocolate chip muffins, spinach pizza, or a Negroni.

One particular item that is increasingly becoming a part of the year-round obsession list are caramels. Chocolate covered caramels, that is. I enjoy Trader Joe’s version of them, and I probably buy out their entire stock from time to time because they run out of them more often than other candies. Therefore, I became determined to make my own so that I can have my own personal inventory.

I am no expert when it comes to confections other than being around my Mom, who is an ultimate master. She made a batch of her own caramels a few years ago, and I have never forgotten them so I am pretty curious to see how this attempt is going to go.

I based the caramel making experiment off of a recipe from the blog, Inspired Taste.
Super simple and cheap, these morsels can be creative gift for friends or as an immediate go to whenever you are craving sugar, which for me is almost all day.

Result? Overall, I think I cooked the caramel a little too long for my liking, probably because I was almost more interested in taking pictures than I was concentrating on the stove at the time. Everything took much faster to cool and harden than what the recipe stated, partly because there is literally no heat in my kitchen and we have marble everywhere. The chocolate ended up being a little sloppy since I did not temper it as well as I should have but overall looked pretty reminiscent of my Trader Joe’s favorite. They surprisingly tasted like See’s Candies caramels so I think I did pretty well for a first try.

Interested in taking a shot at creating these morsels? Find the recipe here: Chocolate Covered Sea Salt Caramels

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Social Menu: Weekly Trending Foods in Social Media

Happy Monday! Here are what foodie pinners, bloggers, tweeters, and photographers are up to in the digital media world.

DYI Kits never fail to show you how to make just about anything

Cupcakes and not the sweet kind

Mini Pot Pies


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Do not forget the tomatoes!

I know I am  a little late for this post. In fact, three weeks late. It is October, and tomato season has passed the corner. However, if you still have a few batches of tomatoes as I know I would in my parents' backyard in Georgia, you can try this short and sweet recipe.

The inspiration comes from the hospitable staff at The Cavalier in Lynchburg, VA. They were giving away home grown tomatoes and I could not let them go to waste.  It is a little bit of summer and fall combined with its dressing of bacon fat, sugar, and apple cider vinegar. It is a salad to most certainly melt in your mouth.

Give it a try if you have a few tomatoes left in your house, if not it is definitely worth saving for next season!

Tomato Bacon Salad with Blue Cheese

1 12 oz package of apple smoked bacon
6 small to medium heirloom tomatoes
1-2 heads of Boston lettuce
1 8oz package of blue cheese
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 T sugar
1 T water

1.     Cook all slices of bacon over the stove stop. Remove slices and set aside to cool. Preserve all dressing and set aside to cool.
2.     While the dressing is cooling, wash and cut the tomatoes in quarters. You can cut them smaller if you prefer.
3.     Wash and cut the head of lettuce. Mix with the tomatoes.
4.     Add the blue cheese to the salad.
5.     Add the apple cider vinegar, sugar and water to the cooled dressing and stir until blended and sugar has dissolved.
6.     Cut cooled bacon slices and add them to the salad.
7.     Pour onto the salad or save on the side for guests to use sparingly.
8.     Enjoy!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Pit Stop Blondies

The road trip to Lynchburg was almost worthless in taking if I did not go to Sheetz first. Sheetz is a fan favorite amongst my college friends where we could always either pit stop during a road trip, to try to sober up after partying, or to wake up to finish our homework.

This Pennsylvania modernized “kwik shop” harbors a list of feasting favorites such as the chicken salad sandwich on a pretzel bun, flavorful coffees, and breakfast pastries. However, Sheetz has only one thing that I made sure I purchased no matter how many times I went, Smoothie Blondies from Boyer Candy Company in Altoona, PA.

These rich, butterscotch covered, peanut butter filled cups of mouth watering delight always accompanied me while I studied every hour, on the hour. They include their own version of “play money” inside each package to collect and earn merchandise. No matter how much play money I have collected, I do not think I will ever earn enough of it to be able to purchase anything.

Smoothies are not the only nostalgic gem on their confectionery menu. They also have my mother’s personal favorite, Mallo Cup, and the Triple Twist Pretzel.  The website is filled with not only their play money online shop but also a library’s worth of recipes to use with all of their brands.

PS: As promised, I would show a highlight of Negroni Week back in June. Well, here you go! This beauty is brought to you by Compass Rose off of 14th Street on U Street Corridor. The cocktail alone was unequal parts, but I know everyone prefers their Negroni a little bit differently (I like equal parts Gin, Campari and Sweet Vermouth). Regardless, it was definitely refreshing, and you must check Compass Rose out if you have not done so already. The food alone will take you around the world in one visit. 

1346 T Street NW
Washington, DC 20009

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Cavalier

I can only begin with stating that I am amazed this place has not been talked, tweeted, blogged, pinned, or produced through any form of media ever since the birth of the “foodie”.  Not only is The Cavalier a hidden piece of American history, but it produces some of the most satisfying American culinary classics I ever tasted. I look back and try to think if I am partial to this place just because I studied two blocks away from this restaurant, but on behalf of all the students and locals in central Virginia, The Cavalier is truly a hidden, mom and pop gem that anyone must go to if you happen to travel to this part of America.

The Cavalier originated as a carriage house, and Thomas Jefferson himself could have possibly been there before this place evolved into a convenient counter store, and finally into full service restaurant packed with almost every inch of Virginia atmosphere you could imagine. Expired license plates, a pool table, old school arcade games, college flags, and initial etchings from every best friend, lover, spouse, or family member covers the inside of this restaurant.

 Everyone I know who developed a relationship with The Cavalier has their personal appetizing favorites: the cheeseburgers, grilled cheese, the personally favored Reuben, hot dogs, onion rings, they even have Mr. Pibb. I am not a particular fan of regularly feasting on fried food, but The Cavalier’s home fries is one fried creation I know I could devour every day if I was given the chance. Not just home fries, home fries with their special seasoning and ranch sauce for dipping. I ordered enough over the weekend for me to take back home and I have to admit, they are even better when the seasoning sits.

The Cavalier is a genuine expression of not only classic American food, but also a true definition of what Virginia means to me. I encourage you to take that pit stop at The Cavalier in Lynchburg if you are traveling through the great state of Virginia. You will be glad you spent your meal there rather than a drive thru, I guarantee it.

The Cavalier
2920 Rivermont Avenue
Lynchburg, VA 24503