Saturday, November 28, 2009


Last night our friends had reservations for Raku and invited us along. We went to the Bethesda location but there is also a location near Dupont Circle and in Arlington.

They only had chopsticks at the table and I'm terrible at using them
Luckily everyone else at the table was great at using chopsticks.
When our friends were served the tofu salad (this looked good and you must love seaweed) they brought them forks but they used chopsticks and I scored a fork :)

Our friends also ordered some spring rolls but the spring rolls on the menu seemed to come with shrimp which I dont eat. The dipping sauces that came with their rolls looked really good. The presentation of the dish was really nice

They split an entree which was a bento box with beef tenderloin with pomegranate wine sauce (they said the sauce was divine) and an assortment of fish, tempura veggies, some mushrooms etc. It was a huge box of food

My husband and I ordered 8 tempura green bean sushi rolls for our appetizer. Fried green bean with avocado and rice dipped in soysauce. yum. Not as good as my favorite roll which is the Katsu chicken roll from Bento Go Go in Columbus. I'm so not a sushi person.

Anthony and I bought ordered the Red Curry Coconut Soup
which you then customize by choosing your noodles and meat
We both got udon (I love those soft thick noodles!)
I had beef and Anthony got double meat of chicken and shrimp
This again was to be eaten with chopsticks and a tiny soup spoon.
I had my fork and soup spoon but still spattered broth everywhere.
It was those darn long udon noodles!

It was a really good experience.
Part of it was we had a reservation, and we had a booth table out of traffics way
I would have hated having a small table near the door with all the people hovering waiting for tables plus last night was really windy and cold.

I'd go back. The noodle soup was HUGE and filling

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Metro Cooking Show

On Sunday Anthony and I went to the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show.
We bought tickets to see Tyler Florence and we also watched Top Chef contestants.

Tyler made an amazing turkey. It had a cornbread stuffing, sage butter rubbed all over the outside, then bacon wrapped over the top of the turkey, and a basting liquid with maple syrup. It sounded so amazing it made us want to make a Thanksgiving dinner at our house. Tyler also made gravy, cranberry sauce, and sweet potatoes with roasted bananas. I want to roast some bananas now!

After Tyler we watched Brian V, a Top Chef contestant who has a restaurant here in Maryland. He had a plate of chocolate 4 ways and one was ice cream where he used nitrogen to cool it down quickly.

Then we visited Top Chef contestant Carla. She was on the show last year and she also has a catering business here in Maryland. She was FABULOUS. She is great at doing a demonstation. She made Pad Thai.

Here is my husband with Carla. He worked overtime for 5 days in a row and still made it to the Metro Cooking show for several hours.

Steak and Potatoes

I am blogging this entry just because it was a yummy meal and I cooked the steaks perfectly so I'm sharing the method.

2 steaks. I never use NY Strip. Its my least favorite cut
2 baking potatoes
Sour cream
Fresh Dill
Trader Joes beer bread (Its a mix they had a few months ago)
Olive Oil
Grill seasoning (Ours is called Montreal)

Scrub potatoes, poke holes in the skins all around the potato, lightly coat in olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Put in a 350 degree oven for about an hour-hour and a half. This will depend on your type of potato and size of your potato. For your potatoes make a sour cream and dill sauce by chopping fresh dill and mixing with your sour cream.

Trader Joes beer bread was made simply by mixing 1 can of beer together with the mix, then it was put in a loaf pan, and topped with some melted butter. Baked according to the directions on the box

Now for the STEAKS.
Coat a large heavy stainless steal pan in olive oil. Heat the olive oil until it waves but is not smoking.
Season one side of the steaks and put the seasoned side facedown in the skillet.
Leave the steak alone for 3 minutes.
Season the other side of the steak and flip it over and let it cook for three minutes. Do not move steaks around in the pan.
Put the entire steak skillet into the oven at 400 degrees
Pull steak out after about 7 minutes for a medium doneness. 10 minutes for medium well doneness.
Let those steaks rest for about 10 minutes

Buffalo Chicken Calzone

I made two giant calzones and it was really too spicy for me (I think it was our brand of wing sauce) and now I have a whole one sitting in my fridge that has been left uneaten.

1 pound chicken breasts
1 8 ounce package of cream cheese
handfuls of mexican cheese blend
half of a small onion, diced
minced garlic
1 cup wing sauce
1 roll of Pillsbury thin crust pizza dough (Its the long tube of dough in the refrigerated section)This is the same dough I use for pepperoni rolls
2 tablespoons melted butter
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
In a wok cook the chicken, breaking up the breasts into bite sized pieces, add the garlic and onion to the wok.
Remove the chicken mixture and put it in a large sauce pan on the stove top. Add the wing sauce and cream cheese and mix everything together until cream cheese is melted.
Spray a baking sheet well with olive oil spray
Lay out the pizza dough
Cut the pizza dough into two equal pieces
Use a brush and brush the pizza dough with butter
Add a layer of cheese to the dough
Spoon on the chicken mixture. We had a little too much mixture so we put the extra in a small tupperware container.
Then I pulled the edges of the dough over and pinched them tightly together
I cut a slit in the top of each calzone
Next I brushed each calzone with a bit of olive oil
Then bake!

Bake until the pizza dough is browned, about 20 minutes

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Party

We did not have a huge Halloween party. Just a few friends over for appetizers

I made the Jalapeno popper dip again and even though we had about 9 people it still was gone at the end of the night. People cant stop eating it!

We made "eyeball" meatballs
We used my meatball recipe found in the appetizer section
Cut up string cheese into bite sized pieces and put one piece on top of the uncooked meatball.
Then we placed a canned black olive slice on top of that
Bake and serve on top of marinara sauce
We cut some rolls into thirds so people could make mini meatball sandwiches with their eyes :)

We also made "mummy" dogs but I did not draw on faces with mustard but you can absolutely do that.
We used all beef hot dogs and crescent rolls
Take the cresent rolls and keep two of them together creating a square. Then slice the square into strips, about 8 strips. Roll the strips into ropes and wind them around your hot dog. I used about two strips per hot dog.
Bake in the oven at 375 until the rolls are browning. They will puff up a bit

I bought a Halloween themed mold at Michaels this year. It was time consuming but not hard to make these. I melted white chocolate chips (with a lot of veg oil to make it runny) to fill in the skulls, popped it in the freezer to harden, and then I used chocolate bark to fill in the rest. I pressed an oreo into the chocolate bark while it was still runny and then put them in the freezer to harden. They popped out of the mold pretty easily.

Other food at the party included bruschetta that a friend brought over and a dirt graveyard cake that another friend brought over. We also lit the grill on the porch and roasted s'mores. A small party but we had lots of food and I was full by the end of it!