Monthly Archives: June 2012

Washington DC Trip: Good Stuff Eatery

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I apologize for the lack of posts!  Last week was a hectic 4 day work week before heading to Washington DC to visit Jordan’s sister, Meredith!

Jordan and I left immediately after work on Thursday and arrived in the evening just in time to grab a bite to eat with Meredith and hangout with her before getting some sleep.  She had to work the next day and we had a long day of touring ahead of us in the 100 degree weather!

Luckily there are many places to visit that are indoors!  While Meredith was at work Jordan and I headed over to the Smithsonian to the Natural History Museum and American History Museum.

Jordan and the elephant

After we were done at the Smithsonian we headed over towards the Capitol, where Meredith works so that she could direct us where to eat lunch before going on a tour of the capitol (with her as our guide of course!!).

Meredith suggested a place Good Stuff Eatery, which is run by Food Networks Spike Mendelsohn!  The restaurant is set up almost like a Five Guys.  You stand in line and place your order and then grab a seat.  Jordan and I were given a pager to let us know when our order was done.  I ordered the Michelle [Obama] Melt! (There is also a Prez Obama Burger!) The sandwich contains Turkey burger, caramelized onions, swiss cheese, ruby tomato, lettuce, herb garden mayo on a wheat bun.  Jordan and I also split a large order of Spike’s Village Fries- hand-cut fries topped with fresh thyme, rosemary, and sea salt.

The sandwich was AMAZING!! What a perfect named and delicious sandwich to have for lunch in Washington DC! CLICK HERE FOR THE MENU.

Michelle Melt

Jordan and Meredith

Afterwards we met Meredith for a tour of the capitol.  She did an amazing job!  She also got to take us to the floor.  It was exciting to be in the exact room where the State of the Union and many other events take place.

I have a few more restaurants in Washington DC that I will be sharing with you soon!

Molly Jean

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Father’s Day- Banana Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting

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My father’s favorite dessert of all time in Entenmann’s Banana Cake.

For some reason Entenmann’s stopped selling it a few years ago, but I still check every time I go to the grocery store, just in case they decided to start making it again!

So for Father’s day I decided to make a banana cake recipe I found from The Ginger Snap Girl blog.  I used her Banana Cake with Nutella Frosting as a base for my cupcakes.

Nutella is a staple snack when traveling in Europe in France and Italy.  If you have not tried it I am demanding that you do.  It is the most amazing chocolate spread you will ever taste.  It is a chocolate hazelnut spread that you can use just like peanut butter.  It’s chocolate that you won’t feel guilty about having in the morning on your toast or for a mid afternoon snack on a banana or with pretzels.  You seriously have got to try this stuff.

Click HERE for the recipe.  Below are the changes I made:

  • Made 18 large cupcakes
  • Cook for ~21 minutes until toothpick comes out clean

My Frosting:

  • 1 stick butter (8 TBSP)
  • 1 cup Nutella
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons half&half (can also use milk)
The cupcakes were amazing- Dad even treated himself to 2!!! It’s Father’s day- he can do whatever he wants!

Molly Jean

Sirloin Steak Kabobs

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There are so many different ways to make kabobs.  Kabobs usually have 2 main components:

  1. protein: Chicken, Fish (i.e. shrimp or sword fish), steak, or tofu
  2. Vegetables: Bell peppers, onion, zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, etc…
  3. You can add a third component: pineapple! Or any other ingredient you desire.

A few weeks ago I made sirloin steak kabobs.   I highly recommend marinating your “protein” of choice before building your kabobs.  My favorite marinade is Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix.

Good seasons is my favorite on just about any type of meat, fish, or chicken, especially when it involves grilling!

These are my sirloin steak kabobs with pineapple, green pepper, red pepper, orange pepper, onion, and cherry tomatoes (pre-grilled.  I did not get a picture after they were cooked!).:

I served this with a side of brown rice and watermelon!

I used stainless steel skewers.  If you are using wooden, remember to soak the wooden skewers in water for about 15 minutes before building your kabobs to prevent splinters and decrease burning.

Molly Jean

Blue Point Grille

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Last week, Thursday, I went to the new Horse Shoe Casino along with my brother Pat, his to friends, Jordan, and my friend Emily.   Needless to say, I will never do slots ever again, although a man next to me won $2,000.   The big game of the night for all of us was blackjack.  At first we were watching my brother’s friend Zach play.  When a seat opened up at the same table Jordan sat down to play.  Both Zach and Jordan had good luck-  Jordan won a pretty good sum of money!!  I eventually got on the table later in the night and won some of my money back after losing everything on the slot machine!!

The guys walking to the casino

Pat and I outside the poker room!

So since Jordan did so well in blackjack, he decided to treat himself, as well as me, to a nice dinner at one of our favorites, Blue Point Grille.  We hadn’t been since Valentine’s Day weekend.  When we were there for Valentine’s Day we noticed that a couple next to us had ordered a “seafood tower”.  We haven’t stopped talking about it since!!

This past Saturday we finally went for the Chilled Seafood Tower.  There are two sizes to choose from.  We chose the larger size to have as our main entree.  We also ordered 2 mixed green salads to start.  Here is the Chilled Seafood Tower experience below:

Fork with Lemon

Clarified Butter with Lobster Stock

Toast Points and dipping sauces

One Happy Boy!

What is on the the seafood tower:  2 whole Maine lobsters, dozen oysters, King Crab legs, Jonah crab claws, shrimp, smoked mussels, lobster and shrimp salad with caper berries.

Yes, there were leftover’s.  They package all leftover’s on ice.  The waiter said it will be good for up to 2 days.  So Jordan enjoyed a nice lunch of crab legs, shrimp, and mussels for lunch today 🙂

It will probably be a while until we come back again, but this was definitely worth the splurge, especially if you’re paying with winnings from gabling!!

Check out the rest of the menu HERE.

Molly Jean

Pineapple Sheet Cake

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My brother Patrick is not a big cake eater when it comes to birthdays.   His biggest concern is blowing out all of the candles in one try!  So I decided to try a cake recipe that I found a while ago on Pinterest- Pineapple Sheet Cake from the blog Big Red Kitchen.

The cake sounded perfect for the great summer weather we have been having!  Click HERE for the recipe!

Before I started baking, I noticed the negative feedback and comments on the blog post from other’s who have tried this recipe.  Many were complaining that it did not turn out the right.  I’m not sure what they did wrong because mine was perfect!! The texture was more dense than your typical cake, but still good and the cream cheese frosting was heavenly!!

Here is my final product, served with Pat’s favorite ice cream- cookies and cream.

If you are concerned about trying because of the negative feed back that the recipe had, here is what I did, and hopefully you can have the same luck as I did!

  • I used a metal pan.
  • I mixed all of the ingredients together at one time with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes.
  • I did not use any nuts.
  • Cooked at 350 for exactly 25 minutes.
  • I put the frosting on after the cake had completely cooled.

Also, If it’s really hot out by where you live, stick it in the fridge for a cool dessert!

Molly Jean

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef for Taco’s!

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On Wednesday we celebrated Pat’s birthday.  I made his favorite type of taco’s that he order’s from Chipotle- Barbacoa Beef Taco’s.

I found the recipe through Pinterest.  The recipe is from TheKitchn Blog.  Click HERE for the recipe or follow below for the changes that I made!

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Ingredients:

  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce plus 3 tsp of the adobo sauce ***see note below***
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 red onion, cut into large pieces
  • 1 small head of garlic, peeled and cloves smashed
  • 1 teaspoon cloves (the recipe called for ground- I only had whole- which is fine to use)
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • Juice of 4 limes
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • 4-5 pounds beef brisket (be sure not to pick up corned beef brisket!)
  • 4 cups chicken or beef broth (I didn’t have beef-  the recipe calls for either)
  • 4 dried bay leaves

Directions:

The night before:

Place the chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, cilantro, red onion, garlic, cloves, salt, lime juice, cider vinegar into a food processor and pulse until well combined (You can use a blender or if you have neither you can just place the ingredients on the bottom of your slow cooker insert and mix until combined.)

Pour mixture into the bottom of your slow cooker insert.

Place the meat in the insert.  (I had to cut mine in half to fit it!)

Add the broth and bay leaves.

Using tong, move meat around to combine everything.

Place lid on slow cooker insert and place in fridge to sit over night.

Next Day:

Place insert in slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours (Can do High for 4 hours, but the meat won’t be as tender).

Go to work/run errands/Do what you had planned for the day.

Remove meat from slow cooker and place on large baking sheet.

Using 2 forks, pull the meet apart.

Place shredded beef in a large bowl and ladel some of the liquid from the slow cooker over it. (Just a few ladels full, you don’t want the beef to be “swimming” in it).

Serve it with how you like to make your taco’s.

***Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce- You can find these in the aisle of the grocery store where you would find taco ingredients.  It comes in a small can.

The prep work takes a little time, but that is why I did it all the night before so that before I left for work the next morning I just turned the crock-pot on and let it cook!

Pat said it tasted better than Chipotle.  He could have just been saying that… but it was pretty good, if I do say so myself!  Here is a picture Pat put together:

Taken by Pat Kravitz via Instagram

Recipe for the birthday cake to come soon!!

Molly Jean

Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Black Beans, and Corn in a Cilantro Lime Dressing

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Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-WAH) is a protein rich grain that is a great substitute for rice and great for vegetarians.  It has a nutty flavor with a fluffy and very slightly crunchy texture.  Although considered a grain, quinoa is actually related to leafy green vegetables such as swiss chard and spinach.  This product is in most grocery stores, sometimes located in the “organic” or “health food” aisle. This is the brand that I have used:

Click HERE for more information on how this grain can benefit your health!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cup dried Quinoa- cooked (per package directions)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn, cooked (you can use frozen, canned, or cut off the cob!- I grilled corn on cob and cut it off)
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 5 limes, juiced
  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Handful of cilantro
  • Salt to taste to taste
Directions:
  1. Once Quinoa is finished cooking, fluff with a fork and add black beans to heat for 5-10 minutes with lid on (off heat)
  2. Place Quinoa and black beans in large bowl.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss until well combined
  4. Enjoy!

This salad can be used as a side dish at a pot luck/picnic, a side dish for dinner at home, or as a meal!

I had it as my meal with a slice of sliced watermelon and it was very filling!

Molly Jean