I kinda suck and you just get pictures

Two weeks ago I had my annual review at work. During the review my boss went on in some length about what a great writer I am. While I should’ve been focusing on work at that moment I couldn’t help but let me mind wistfully wander to this blog and how long it’s been since I’ve written anything!

I have been running around like a mad woman lately and have overextended myself in the extreme, but I promise I’ll be back soon. Anyway for now you just get to see pictures of food I’ve eaten lately just so you know that me and my meals still exist. Monday started Passover so this is all obviously pre-Passover eating).

For my Mom’s birthday we had dinner at The Marrow, the new Harold Dieterle restaurant. I planned to do a whole post about it, but that never happened so I will just let you know that it was very good, but not great though it clearly has the potential for greatness and I’m eager to try it again when it finds it’s footing.

To start my mom and I split the crudite with gruyere fondue.

marrow1

For my main course I have the juniper braised lamb neck with rutabaga puree, red cabbage and baby carrots.

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And for dessert a delicious creamy scoop of coffee ice cream.

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One of the many things that took me away from blogging this month was a fabulous trip to DC from March 15-19th. On Monday and Tuesday I had a conference for the organization I volunteer with. Because one of my very favorite people, Becky, lives there I decided to go in on Friday to visit and then one of our other favorite people, Mandy, decided she’d drive in from Ohio and join us! Of course I couldn’t arrive empty handed so I made a batch of dulce de leche brownie bars and brought them along!

The weekend was fabulous and filled with lots of yummy food… most of which I forgot to take pictures of. I did have this fantastic steak salad on Friday night:

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And one of these on Saturday…

DC2

 

To the left of the beer those are garlic cilantro fries you see peaking out. Yum! This was at a restaurant in Alexandria, VA called Bilbo Baggins. I think I only repeated, “Bagginnnss. Shi-iii-rre” in my best Gollum voice, three times during dinner which I feel shows great restraint on my part.

This past weekend Josh and I had dinner at Cafe Luxembourg, which is a legendary restaurant in the neighborhood where we both live though neither of us had ever managed to get there before. It’s also a well known celebrity hang-out and we spent our dinner sitting right next to Boon from Animal House! (Otherwise known as Peter Riegert).

boon Collage

To be more specific he sat right next to Josh. I mean like right next to, as the tables are very close together in there, but there is about as much chance of me  becoming the next Pope as there is of Josh recognizing a celebrity so it was only me who noticed.

Anyway, we also did actually eat food there and afterwards Josh declared the restaurant, “Solid.” I would agree, it’s not spectacular, but definitely solid.

To start we split the crab cake.

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For the main course I had Arctic Char, one of my favorite fishes.

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Thus concludes the most boring blog post ever. I pinky swear to the moon and back that I’ll return with more exciting fodder soon!

 

 

 

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Chocolate chip sour cream cake

Oh yea, so I totally didn’t post about anything else I served when Anna came over for dinner. Since Welsh Rarebit is so decadent I wanted to keep the main meal light so I threw a couple of tuna steaks in a pan and served them with an orange and olive relish, roasted mushrooms and lightly dressed arugula. For dessert I went for my favorite go-to; chocolate chip sour cream cake.

tuna

This is one of my most requested recipes and also one that I’m very proud of. This is the first baked good recipe that I ever came up with on my own. I find creating a recipe while cooking a snap; a pinch of this and a dash of that until it comes together. Baking, however, takes a lot more precision and a lot more science so it was a leap in to the unknown for me to come up with this recipe. Luckily the gamble paid off.

This is my kind of cake, moist and not too sweet; more like a coffee cake. It’s also easy to make and can be made up to 3 days ahead and wrapped tightly in foil. It also travels well so it’s one of my favorite things to bring for a pot luck.

Sorry that I forgot to take a picture of it out of the pan or sliced.

PicMonkey Collage

Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Cake

  • 1 cup of full fat sour cream
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon (or one large pinch) salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I like milk chocolate, but you can use whatever you like best)

Preheat over to 350. Oil a 9 inch springform pan (or you a regular 9×3 in pan if you don’t have a springform).

Whisk together sour cream, vegetable oil, sugar, milk and vanilla.

Add eggs one at a time whisking after each addition.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together over the wet ingredients.

Stir until just combined. The batter will be a little lumpy.

Add the chocolate chips and give a quick stir.*

Pour batter in to greased pan and back 45-55 minutes until a tester comes out clean.

done

*Cooks note. There are all kinds of tricks to prevent your chips from falling to the bottom, but I like to stir 3/4 of them in to the batter; pour the batter in to the pan and then scatter the rest on top. If you forget it won’t effect the taste or texture at all, it just looks a bit prettier with the chips on top.