Category Archives: dinner

Dining Out for Life Returns on April 24

unnamedWhat’s better than an afternoon or evening out at one of your favorite restaurants? Knowing that your money is supporting a good cause. On Thursday, April 24th, more than 100 area restaurants have pledged to contribute 25% to 100% of that day’s proceeds to benefit Food & Friends’ clients living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses throughout the National Capital Region. Continue reading

Wine, Cheese and Bacon Jam at Sona Creamery

imgresTwo of my favorite things are wine and cheese, especially paired together. So I was quite excited to hear about the opening of Sona Creamery on Capitol Hill at 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue SE. Little did I know that the wine and cheese were only the start to what my neighborhood’s newest restaurant has to offer.

I noticed their menu posted on the window shortly before officially opening and found my mouth watering as I read the descriptions of some of their small-plate offerings. The dishes featured dates, sweet potatoes, duck, grilled sirloin and more.

On our visit we started with the duck prosciutto salad, the steak and cheese éclairs. The éclairs were stuffed with pimento cheese and topped with a thin slice of steak– very interesting and tasty. The big standout for us was the Sona Fries, which were extra crispy and covered in a house-made mumbo sauce with aioli and house-made cheese curds. Continue reading

Kitchen Experiments: Super Bowl Chili

The recent cold weather has put me in a mood for warm dishes, such as soups and stews. So for the Super Bowl, I decided to break out my favorite chili recipe. It’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser and, since it’s pretty much just vegetables, it’s a healthy choice too.

This recipe makes a massive batch, but it freezes really well so don’t worry about cooking too much.
Continue reading

First Bite: Osteria Morini

Photo courtesy of Osteria Morini

Photo courtesy of Osteria Morini

Cross posted on The Hill is Home

The first Lumber Shed restaurant is officially open and already the space is seeing crowds. Osteria Morini brings upscale, Italian dining to the neighborhood, not far from a few other neighborhood favorites.

As the website explains, Osteria Morini is named after Chef Michael White’s mentor Gianluigi Morini, the owner and founder of acclaimed restaurant San Domenico in Imola. The restaurant draws strongly from White’s personal experience in Emilia-Romagna, where he worked under Chef Valentino Marcattilii for seven years. And in Italian, “osteria” means a place where the owner “hosts” guests.

Osteria Morini approaches its menu in a way that encourage guests to order a little bit of everything by offering an array of small plates. I personally love that approach over a massive bowl of pasta that leaves me feeling stuffed at the end of my meal. Continue reading

Sweet Potato Soufflé

Sweet potato souffle

A Thanksgiving spread in my house was not complete without a sweet potato soufflé. The version I grew up with was so deliciously sweet my mother would have seconds (or thirds) for her dessert. Given my dislike for the sweet potatoes as a kid, I tended to avoid seconds…but now I’m the one fighting to clean the dish! Continue reading

Dinner at Pulpo


Local food writers were abuzz last spring when news broke that Café St. Ex’s Billy Klein was heading over to Pulpo in Cleveland Park. Since his move, he has been working with General Manager Dave Hansen to overhaul the menu. I was recently invited to check out the new menu and must say, it’s worth a visit.

The tapas menu has a mouthwatering mix that left us at a bit of loss on how to not over-order. When I am overwhelmed with choices and do not know what to order, I do two things: take out the items I could likely make at home; and then ask the server for recommendations. However, in this case, we were treated to just about everything the General Manager was hoping we would try. It was way more food than I could handle but it was all spectacular. Continue reading

Family, Food and Thanksgiving

I never liked Thanksgiving growing up.  I got bored watching football, I didn’t enjoy cooking, and I was a terribly picky eater who didn’t like much of anything on the table at dinner time.  I really just wanted macaroni and cheese.  My love for the mac & cheese hasn’t gone away but, thankfully, I have come to my senses on everything else around this holiday.  Especially as I’ve gotten more comfortable in the kitchen.

For my family, holidays have always centered around food.   Actually, almost everything centers around food for us.  I was one of those kids who was actually expected to sit at a table and eat with my family.  Every night.  And with rules that the TV could not be on and the phone would not be answered.  I hated it at the time but I love my parents now for torturing me with such love.

So at the holidays, the focus on food is always magnified 10 fold.  You stress over the menu weeks in advance and you plan evenings to test out new recipes so they are perfected in time for the holiday meal.  And when you sit down to the big dinner, there’s enough food to feed the neighborhood…or to at least stock the freezer full of leftover to last you through the winter.  Continue reading

Homemade Nutella

I love Nutella — on waffles, in crepes, on toast or slices of apples.  It’s been one of my favorite treats since I was a kid.  A while back, my sister got the idea to make her own but didn’t get the chance before she moved, so she left me with the ingredients and idea.  The only thing holding me back was that I didn’t have a good food processor.  Until recently (thanks, mom!).  So with my kitchen renovations complete and a few toys to break in, I decided to finally give this recipe a try.  The steps took a bit of time, but all in all it was pretty easy and the final product was very tasty. I’d definitely be tempted to make this again. Keep in mind that it makes a good amount, so buy some small jars and give it to friends as gifts!

Here are pictures of the process and a simple recipe: Continue reading

Thanksgiving Leftovers for Breakfast: Turkey Croquettes

Thanksgiving Spread

photo by CarbonNYC on Fickr

This next recipe uses turkey, mashed potatoes and can be topped with cranberry sauce.  From Martha Stuart: Turkey Croquettes.

Familiar dishes return, cleverly camouflaged as these croquettes, which are formed from turkey and mashed potatoes and served with cranberry sauce on the side.

Thanksgiving Leftovers for Breakfast: Turkey Hash

Thanksgiving brings family, friends, and lots of food…and generally a lot of leftover turkey.  Aside from the usual dishes – sandwiches, gumbo, stew, and more sandwiches – how about we have some fun with breakfast recipes?  First up, turkey hash.  Thrillist got the recipe from Acadiana’s Brant Tesky.

Recipe can be found here. Continue reading