Thursday, February 23, 2017

3 Stars Saturday

After my overwhelming experience at Wegmans, I decided to join some friends at 3 Stars Brewery in Takoma Park. The afternoon was perfect: overcast, not cold, just a perfect afternoon to spend with some beer and conversation.


I instantly regretted eating my sandwich at Wegmans, because Sloppy Momma’s truck was right in front of my face upon entering the brewery. I guess next time.

In any case, I was delivered 4 tasting tickets to sample beer and a tour before purchasing flights, growlers, glasses and merchandise. Very fun and active scene as if I was at an indoor festival.

Because of lack of time, I decided to go straight to the flights where you can choose four, 4 oz. glasses of beer at a very reasonable $8. Out of the one’s that I picked, Ghost white IPA was my absolute favorite. Not too hoppy for an IPA, fresh, and slightly fruity.  A must try. Additionally, do try a bottle of Madness. Not only is the labeling classy, so is the flavor.


Despite the lack of time I had that afternoon, I will definitely give this location another go when I make more time for my Saturday. However, it was definitely a more relaxing finish to my overwhelming afternoon.



Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Overwhelmed at Wegmans


After living here for six years, I decided to do something different than usual for my weekend grocery shopping routine.  I decided to go Wegmans, the one grocery store that a lot of locals have raved about the past. I decided to give it a go and see what the craze is all about.

For starters, I probably went to the one location at the wrong time to go. I went to the location at Potomac Mills in the middle of a Saturday afternoon. 2pm to be exact.


I go in and I am already starving, because I heard their café items are pretty tasty. So I go in and I can’t describe anything else other than being extremely overwhelmed.  There must have been a swim meet in the area because every team known in the county was there purchasing lunch. It got me so overwhelmed that I decided to just get a drink and a sandwich at the café immediately to let the storm pass. Not bad of a turkey sandwich but nothing to go crazy about regarding taste.

Afterwards, I contemplated whether I should do my actual grocery shopping or should I just get a few items and finish the rest at home. I decided to go for it and honestly, it took me forever. I just could not go over how many kinds of one particular item they had and how it was organized. I had a hard time finding some basic items (olive oil and sour cream, for example), but the amount of the assortments just blew my mind.



Few things I did enjoy though were the candy section (it is like you are in your own candy store), the make your beer case assortment, and the prices. They are truly very reasonable compared to shopping at the Vegas of grocery stores, Whole Foods and the like.

Would I go again? Not sure, to be honest, maybe to find a beer that I cannot find or if I am traveling and need to go to a quick pit stop. Other than that, I just cannot think of another reason to be overwhelmed again. It was very interesting to see what is there, but it left me just wanting to go back to my neighborhood’s grocery stores and do my usual routine.


It is, however, definitely a place that is worth shopping quality products at reasonable prices. That I can definitely agree with and will probably be the one factor to consider when I cannot find a particular item in my usual spots. Give it a go, yourself and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Pizzaholic

When I purchase my calendar for 2018, I need to make sure it comes with every national ”food” holiday. If we are going to have national holidays for food, we need to make sure they are labeled just like all the other holidays we have on our calendars, no exceptions.  

In any case, this past week was National Pizza Day, and ironically enough I was making homemade pizza that evening. Therefore, I made it much more of a meal than I expected it to be.

What did I make? Spinach pizza, of course! Spinach pizza is the king of pizzas in my personal opinion. Of course I love meat, mushrooms, peppers, and the other creative fixings on top of my pizza, but nothing can beat a spinach pizza with the right combination of ingredients. You don’t want it to taste like you’re eating a salad, but you also do not want it to taste too much like spinach dip either.

I am an addict of purchasing Dr. Oetker’s frozen pizzas, but I recently decided to go back to family’s recipe and make our pizza dough. The recipe derives from Wolfgang Puck’s bread maker recipe book so if you have a bread maker, this recipe is ideal.


Some notes to this recipe:

1. Place the bread maker setting on BASIC and have it in there for about 2 hours and 5 minutes or just before it goes into the “bake” phase.

2. Make sure that you give the dough some time to rest after it is finished. I recommend around 30 minutes. Also ensure that you place a paper towel over the dough when it is resting.

3. If you are making this the night before, place the dough in a bowl, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and place it in a refrigerator. This will allow the dough to rest and expand. This can be in the fridge for up to 2 days so if you plan to use any remaining dough for another time, I recommend placing it in a plastic bag and into the freezer.

Alright, here is the fun part: the recipe!

Serves up to 6 people or makes 3 personal pizzas.

Ingredients
1 C room temperature water
2 T olive oil
1 T honey
1 t kosher salt
3 C unbleached bread flour (organic works really well too!)
2.5 t bread machine yeast

Instructions
Place all ingredients in order above into a bread maker
Place setting to BASIC and press START
Take out before BAKE phase. Dough will be warm but not extremely hot.
 Cover dough with a paper towel and let rest for 30 minutes
Prepare pizza peel with breadcrumbs
Shape dough as desired and place on pizza peel
Top with desired toppings and place in oven over a pizza stone (I like 450 degrees Fahrenheit but its up to you).
 Remove from oven, cool for about 5 minutes, serve. Enjoy! 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Muffin Mondays



Every city I lived in I developed a habit for something sweet in the morning. In Germany, it was Oschenaugen, Schoko Croissants, or a pastry with sugary crumbles and icing on top. I cannot remember the name, but they were huge and I would devour them usually if we had a big night from dancing in town.

In New York, it was either a chocolate chip scone from Fairway (the best ever) or a strawberry muffin from our local corner deli.


In Atlanta for my 1.5-year break was the Beso, a Mexican pastry of two shortbread pecan cookies sandwiched with pineapple jam and covered with sugar. I usually would enjoy these after a Bikram yoga class.

DC has been a wide variety of sweet treats, mostly from my local bakery but since I enjoy a wide variety of pastries in the area, I thought it would be fun to start sharing what I do enjoy on a weekly basis with my first cup of coffee, and there is no better way to share it other than, that’s right, Mondays.

Therefore, to start it off, here is my favorite, regular sweet treat here in my local neighborhood: the chocolate chip muffin from Firehook Bakery. Sometimes I have a habit of enjoying these almost three times a week. Totally inexcusable, I know but they are worth it every visit. So much, that I just might go tomorrow and have another with no regrets.


Stay tuned, because Mondays might not always be muffins.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

2016


2016. What a year and it is not even over yet. I think everyone could possibly agree that this year has been a year of twists and turns in every part of the world, in almost any area of life.


I have been pretty much absent this year, mostly because I was busy with various freelance projects, and I earned a new full-time position. However, there is quite a bit to share: A renaissance with German cuisine, travels up north to Canada and down south to North Carolina, a new, everlasting relationship with a 15 year Scotch whisky, some of the best peanut butter cookies ever at a Malaysian restaurant, an obsession with sorrel mushrooms, having a day job as a tourist, and enjoying beers at 9:00 am amongst other discoveries worth noting, some of them exploring on my own and some of them with a good friend of mine who recently moved back home.


In any case, stay tuned, as I plan to sneak in few new discoveries along the way.