Sunday, December 19, 2010

Matchbox review

We went for dinner to the newly opened Rockville Matchbox and had a 6 minute wait even though they were very busy and told us it would be 30 minutes. DH and I split 6 mini burgers and a small fire and spice pizza. No meat on the pizza and I wish it had a little more on it. There was a smoky flavor and some roasted peppers but I needed a topping I could sink teeth into.

I think we should have tried the pizza with meatballs. The staff said it was a spicy one too because the meatballs are spicy. The guys next to us got it and I was a little jealous.

We decided Mia's pizza in Bethesda was very similar and we have some favorites there. I guess we'd go to Matchbox to avoid paying for parking in Bethesda. I do love my Mia's alsace pizza more-, gruyere cheese, parmesan, caramelized onion & thyme and instead of pancetta I get arugula.

I loved my little burgers with gorgonzola and onion straws at Matchbox. It looked like everyone ordered the mini burgers. Heaps of onion straws on every table.

You can get the burgers as a set of 3, 6, or 9. I don't know if we could have only three for splitting because we each polished off two of them quickly.

My only negative for Matchbox was the dessert round. I got something with a frozen rock hard cookie (I'm not sure if the cookie was frozen or the ganache that coated the cookie). There was coffee gelato sandwiched between two cookies. My husband had to chisel away at it. I'm surprised we didn't break the plate it came on. The flavors were great but like Top Chef dessert, they'd be eliminated on that dessert. Did you notice that a few people did rock hard ganaches this year?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Our Own Holiday Dinner photos

We had our own dinner part back in November. I finally have some photos from the party. Looks like we missed a few dishes though

This is the brie appetizer I have made before. It's a Paula Deen recipe I always make mine with macadamia nuts and red and green apples instead of apples and pears.

These are Devils on a Horseback. First time we had them was at Mario Batali's Spotted Pig in NYC.

Cheesy brussel sprout casserole was eaten but not photographed :)
Recipe was from here

The star of the dinner. Beef tenderloin with shallots, red wine glaze, and fingerling potatoes with some special citrus sea salt sprinkled on them

The tenderloin recipe is located here

Lunch! Grilled cheese and tomato soup

I love grilled cheese and tomato soup together!

Checkerboard Cookies

The annual cookie swap is coming up. Last year there were about 40 girls and it sounds like this year will be the same. So I made over 100 red and chite checkerboard cookies to swap :) I think they taste and look great!

This recipe comes from The Way the Cookie Crumbles

The recipe is found here

4 cups (19.2 ounces) unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs, preferably room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
20 tablespoons (2½ sticks) butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (7 ounces) firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup (3½ ounces) granulated sugar
Liquid food coloring (I used red)

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Break the eggs into a small measuring cup, whisk them lightly, and mix in the vanilla.

Place the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle. Beat the butter on medium-low speed until it’s smooth, then add the salt and both sugars. Continue beating on medium-low until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.

With the mixer running, gradually add the egg mixture. Once the eggs have been added, scrape the sides of the bowl, continue mixing on medium speed for about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until evenly combined.

Creating the checkerboard pattern- Divide dough into two equally sized parts. Mix red food coloring into one half and leave the other half plain. Roll each portion into a 9-by-3-inch rectangle. Freeze the rectangles for about 10 minutes, until they’re firm enough to cut and stack. Cut each rectangle into eight 9-by-3/8-inch strips. On a sheet of wax paper, lay four strips next to each other, alternating colors. Press the strips together gently to remove any gaps. Lay another four strips on top of the first layer, alternating colors between layers. Repeat for three layers. Trim the edges if desired. Wrap in wax paper and freeze for at least four hours.

When ready to bake, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350ºF. Slice the frozen logs into cookies about 1/8-inch thick. Lay the cookies on the prepared pan, about ½-inch apart. Bake for 7 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the pan for about 2 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks. Serve at room temperature. Store in an airtight container.