Friday, November 9, 2012

November DC Food Blogger Happy Hour

Bartender, Anthony Rivera, mixing it up all tasty for us
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of hosting the monthly happy hour for DC's food bloggers at Last Exit in Mount Pleasant. It was time for us to finally check out the bar where long-time cocktail blogger and regular happy hour-goer, Anthony Rivera of Done Like Dundee Gone Like Ghandi, mixes his infamous libations and I am so glad we did. I'd been meaning to check out the place since we first met a couple of years ago, and I admit it's ridiculous given how close it actually is from home, but I never get to the Mount Pleasant neighborhood -- in fact, this was my first time. His cocktails certainly didn't disappoint, especially surrounded by the timeless decor of the bar. The bar offered two 1/2 price happy hour specials, the Beatrice and my personal favorite, the Chelsea, a tasty treat with celery-infused tequila, rosemary, Cocchi Americano and fresh lemon.

The Chelsea

And a big thanks to Last Exit for serving tastes of their small bites with us, including the seasonal flatbread, pigs in a blanket, cheese & charcuterie plate, olives and their amazing hot popcorn in both the smoky paprika and cinnamon flavors. Many of us also ordered the soup du jour which was a phenomenal version of Italian wedding soup. If only they could serve it in a big bowl instead of those small cups because we just couldn't get enough. And if they'd be so kind to share the recipe, I know many of us would love the opportunity to make it at home. (hint hint)

Seasonal flatbread

Of course, the happy hour couldn't be anywhere near as fun without all the great bloggers that attended, including:

Bindesh Shreshtha, Desigrub
Jackie Woodbury, Jackie's Joie de Vivre
Erin Burkert, Eat Bake Drink Cook
Linah Elgrove, Linah's List
Kelly Greene, Girl Meets Food
Ebony Haywood, Eb's Culinary Journal
Colby Thornton, The Picky Pantry
Ethel Badawi, Eat In Instead
Jason, DC Fud

Monday, November 5, 2012

Spicing up a Simple Breakfast

I'm back home after a lovely weekend to speak at the Three Days of Light Festival near Asheville, North Carolina. While the vegan fare was surprisingly delicious, it's nice to have some comfort food at home and this morning it's scrambled eggs.

I love the eggs from Smucker Farms, a shop around the corner from me that sells locally produced goods. They're extremely rich with yolks of such a vibrant yellow, that you know they're super fresh and eat a healthy diet.

Instead of ketchup, I actually use Sriracha or a typical Chinese chili oil, but forgot I ran out before I left town. I still wanted to spice the eggs up a bit and just remembered I was sent a variety of sauces, oils and marinades from Chef Lala, including a chipotle-flavored oil, which I thought might be perfect to use to cook the eggs in. The oil was really fragrant, and added a nice subtle flavor to the eggs. And one advantage to cooking the eggs in a chili oil is it avoids adding extra calories like I would if topping with the Chinese chili oil. And, as I usually do, I sprinkled some of Tuscan Herb Chef Salt which was part of the gift bag from Eat, Write, Retreat.

I've tried making my own chili oil after spending some time in Monaco where it's is a typical condiment for pizza. Forget ranch dressing! I wish I had the foresight to grab some good bottles for the trip home, or at least find a good method for infusing all the spices and herbs. Alas, this chipotle oil may be the next best thing. Perhaps even for lunch.