Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Here are some classic must-see scary movies, in no particular order:

The Shining

Rosemary's Baby

Texas Chainsaw Massacre



Monday, October 28, 2013

Pets and Babes in Costume

Halloween cracks me up. Yep, you read that right, I did not say Halloween scares me, but it makes me laugh. It's the one time of the year that it's okay to see masked faces walking the street without summoning concerns of a bank heist. A nurse and a werewolf holding hands? Totally normal.

On the metro, to your left is a guy dressed in khakis and a button down, while to your right there is someone dressed in all black, blood running down his face from the knife poking out of his head. No worries, it's totally chill. 

 So yes, Halloween makes me smile...

And it will make you smile too when you check out the links below (the following photos are courtesy of BuzzFeed):

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Apple Pie at Blue Duck Tavern

It's hard to beat a homemade apple pie, but Blue Duck Tavern in Washington, DC gives a homemade pie a run for the money. A-mazing.

And don't forget to get it a la mode!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Making the Bob Dip

Well folks, football season is upon us, along with all the accompanying snacks... hot wings, tater skins, pigs in a blanket, and of course all of the different chips and dips, my favorite being the Bob Armstrong dip.

Ingredients for the "Bob" dip:

2 lbs. Velveeta Cheese
1 10 oz. can of Rotel
1/4 lb ground beef
Taco seasoning*
1 cup of Guacamole

Prep Method:

Step 1) Mix together the Ground beef and Taco seasoning (I recommend getting your hands dirty).

Step 2) In a small saucepan, cook the meat over medium heat for about 8 minutes, or until fully cooked, breaking apart the meat as it cooks. Drain the fat and set aside.

Step 3) Melt the cheese... here you have two options:
   Option 1: In a medium pot, heat the cheese on the stovetop over low to medium heat. Stir continuously, and be sure to stir the bottom so as not to burn any of the cheese.
   Option 2: Place the cheese in a microwave-safe bowl and heat the cheese in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir, heat for another 30 seconds, stir, and continue this process until the cheese is melted.

Step 4) Open the can of Rotel, drain the liquid, and add to the cheese. Stir to combine. Add the meat to the cheese mixture and stir to combine.

Step 5) Plop the dollop of guacamole on top of the cheese mixture and serve. You may wish to mix in the guacamole, or allow guests to combine the ingredients as they dip.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Clark's Oyster Bar

With a name like Clark's Oyster Bar, you have to get some Oysters. We went all PEI, never disappoints.

We like to turn over the shells after sucking them down. Not only does it help you to know how many are left to be eaten, but also you get to marvel in the beauty of the shells, each one individually unique in design and color.

And when there are oysters, there has to be champagne...

The sourdough bread with chilled butter is a delight, but it's the flakey side of salt that had my taste buds in a constant state of delight. Salty dog.

For the main course, I always like to keep it nice and simple, so I went with the simply prepared catch of the day - Ocean Trout. It was perfectly cooked and crusted.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Make your own Bagels!

We were watching "Baking with Julia" the other day and she had a guest chef cooking up some homemade bagels, a New Yorker of course.

I wasn't too nervous to give it a try because the dough seemed similar to pizza dough and the process similar to that of making soft pretzels.

So, we gave it a try and - WOW! Talk about soft and fluffy and amazing. There is nothing that beats a fresh bagel. And if you can do it in the comfort of your own home, all the better.

I did make a few modifications to the process for simplification purposes and based upon my own preferences. Just a heads up - the dough can/should be made in advance because this can be a bit of a two-day process, so be sure to read through everything carefully before beginning. See my step by step below.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Brunch at Perla's

Perla's Seafood & Oyster Bar is just another sensation to add to the list of outstanding original wonders located on South Congress. We headed over to Perla's for brunch and sat outside on their of-so-welcoming porch deck, shaded by an oak tree aged older than the restaurant itself. Keepin' it real, folks, that's how we do in Austin.

Each table gets to start nibbling on the housemade hushpuppies before one can even inquire as to any specials of the day. I'm always thankful when I don't have to order on an empty stomach.

After eyeing it at a neighboring table, I had to give the Big Blue Banana & Bacon pancake a go, this was brunch after all. Griddled to perfection with a crispy crusted edge, but soft and fluffy on the inside, I was quite satisfied with my decision. Although as our friendly Vineyard Vines clad waiter said, only about 1 in 100 actually finish the whole thing, and as Adam Richman would say, "In the battle of man versus food, food won..."

The Breakfast Crab Cake featured an egg sunny side up atop a crab cake atop some arugula with an emulsion sauce. A little chive sprinkle always gives a dish a polished finishing look. 

And of course, there's always room for a shared plate of calamari. It was so fresh and well battered (very lightly) that we cleaned the plate, no problem.