Thursday, March 25, 2010
Ever since I got pregnant* food has been a tough subject. The first three months I basically survived on Honey Nut Cheerios. Now I find I have some interest in food, but it's definitely quirky. So tonight when we went to the fabulous Metro 29 Diner in Arlington, I wanted a Belgian waffle in the worst way. Once we ordered, I had a moment of regret wondering if I should have ordered the easier to accomplish pancakes. I even imagined how I might cautiously request that an undercooked waffle might be cooked to golden crispy perfection. But I was delighted when a picture-perfect waffle arrived at our table. "I love this place," I told Jac.
*Oh, did I fail to mention that? It's a boy! And he'll be here in September. Over. The. Moon.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
We've been spending a lot of weekends in the city lately and with the long, snowy winter, spring pick-me-ups are the order of the day. For months I intended to get a crepe pan for our city house, but always managed to forget. Finally, I bought the only one Bed Bath & Beyond had to offer. I could hardly wait to fire it up for Sunday Morning Crepes. Predictably the first one out of the pan was an aesthetic disaster, but it tasted amazing. The more I made, the more I wanted to make. We devoured our first weekend crepes of the year and the next weekend I made them again. This crepe pan is sublime. It is a little larger than my previous pans and it is slick beyond belief, allowing the crepes to slide right out of the pan and into our bellies!
Friday, March 19, 2010
Spring is here and the artichokes have arrived at the grocery store. Today I made my first one of the season. Yum! Pure decadence. I watched a chef on tv cull the heart from a fresh artichoke the other day and marveled that anyone would waste the leaves. Sure the heart is nice, but it's so much better to get there through the tender, precious leaves.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Kirby came home with us two years ago. When we met him I was pleased to discover his coat hadn't "cleared" yet. He was still a dark black color. As we got to know and love him, I secretly began to wish his coat would never clear, that he'd just stay black forever. I watched for signs of change. About six months ago I started to see little patches of grey in his coat. My sister, the groomer, said he was dirty and ill-groomed (oh yes, he was). But as this spring arrived, his color change became more apparent. He's becoming a true blue Kerry. And I find, I couldn't be happier. Afterall, that's what he was born to be.
Monday, March 08, 2010
Sunday, March 07, 2010
I have a deep, dark confession to make.
I don't love cakelove. I might not even like it. And that's pretty crazy considering how many of my bells it rings.
Warren Brown, owner of cakelove was featured on Food Network eons ago, then got his own series. I liked the initial profile - DC guy leaps from the rat race to follow his passion for baked goods. Love that! Also, Warren's kinda hot. Also, DC!!!!!!!! And finally, and you know this is no afterthought, freaking CAKE! And FROSTING! I mean seriously, what is there not to love?
My first bite into a cakelove cupcake a few years ago, I knew instantly what was not lovable: graininess. Every cupcake I've had from cakelove tastes and feels as though it were made with coarse cornmeal. After my first encounter with a cakelove cupcake, I wrote off the unpleasant mouth feel to my overzealousness to chow down on the cake before it had come up to the right temperature.
That's where we get to Point #2: Rules. cakelove has some pretty peculiar rules about its cupcakes. It stores them super chilled. I gather this is some sort of food safety code, but I've had other cakes and cupcakes before and maybe those zany, raw-milk lovin' scofflaws are cutting corners with frigid food temps, but their cakes can be eaten in roughly the same decade as they are taken from the store. cakelove says you should wait until your cupcake has warmed to room temperature. That's just, just, just crazy.
"Hello ma'am, won't you have one of our beautiful if grainy cupcakes?"
"Oh yes, I'm starved and that looks spectacular."
(Sinister laughter as cake is supplied.) "Excellent, now just wait 45 minutes, would you?"
And yet, cakelove still beckons. I mean come on, they're popping up all over the DC area. How can you avoid baked goodness at every turn? So it happened that I gave cakelove one more try. I was in Tyson's Corner. I was starving (more on that later). I really wanted a chocolate chip cookie. I noticed cakelove had chocolate chip cookies. I bought some, along with two cupcakes. The cupcakes were (well one was the other is languishing on the counter - a high crime of dessert waste) grainy, as usual. But who can't manage a decent chocolate chip cookie? Who I ask you?
You know the answer. It is, I am sad to say, cakelove.
Seriously, if you put a cakelove chocolate chip cookie up against a three-day old Pillsbury slice and bake cookie, Pillsbury would win. And that is shocking. cakelove's texture: fail, no chewiness, just stale crunch. Taste: extreme fail, no salt makes the plastic-flavored chocolate chips taste both sweet and hollow at the same time. Plus there's a feeling that you just ate cheaper ingredients than they have at The Great Cookie (which I would rate an 8 against cakelove's 2).
Sigh. Where's a woman to get a decent baked good in this town?