Monday, February 27, 2012

We have sprouting!

We have never started seeds indoors before and also we've never used our own seeds from our mature vegetables (not bought in a packet). We have babies though! It's exciting since it has only been 1 week.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Seed Starting

We are starting our indoor seeds this weekend. We bought some shelves, heat/sun lamps, and some containers. To start we are using what my husband seeded from all his pepper plants. Hopefully the effort to save seeds is worth it and we have a few plants by May when we will plant everything outside. We are also going to toss in a few of my herbs, cilantro and dill because I have seeded my plants and had success with using their seeds the next season. Here is our set up!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Brunch

We were maybe going to have some real snow in the DC area this weekend but it didn't pan out. I still treated today a bit like a snow day. We made breakfast and then I cooked feijoada all day in the crockpot. The hashbrowns are so green because we used a whole green pepper and a jalapeno pepper in them. We finally cracked open the wild Maine blueberry jam we bought at the DC Cooking Show in November. It has tiny whole blueberries in it that are so cute.

Making Hot Sauce

We had many varieties of hot peppers that we grew over the summer. My husband made 3 different batches of hot sauce. The process took three months of curing in the fridge before he bottled and labeled the sauces. A lot of these were given as gifts at Christmas time!

Two Valentines Day Dinners

My husband made reservations at Timpanos for actual Valentines Day. The restaurant is around the corner and we've gone before for Valentines Day, even without a reservation. In the past they've had a Valentines special where you get drinks, some sort of appetizer, two entrees, and their awesome dessert tree which had chocolate covered strawberries and cheesecake pops. No such luck this year. Not only did we have to wait around for a half an hour even though we made a reservation this year, they also didn't have the same Valentines special they've had in the past. This year you could get lobsters as the special, otherwise you could order off the regular menu. Our waitress took forever to take a drink order so by the time she showed up we had chosen everything we wanted to eat. We both ordered salads, the aged steaks and two sides. The salads came out first and were great. Then our steaks came out. Then there was a horrible crash of dishes and turns out those were our sides. The waitress offered to put our food under a heat lamp. Um no thank you. When you have a $30 steak you don't put it under a heat lamp. We ate the steaks without any sides. Later our sides showed up. Never did the manager come to our table and apologize or anything. We also weren't compensated at all for the fallen food. The only Pro for Timpanos is the food. The steaks were wonderful and so was the truffle mac n cheese. We wont be back. They also took the cheesecake pops I loved so much off the menu several months ago according to the waitress. The whole experience took over 2 hours and not because we were enjoying ourselves.

My husband made reservations for 6 of us to eat at Firehouse in Old Town several weeks ago. We arrived early and walked around Old Town until it was time for our reservation. 2 other friends in our party had arrived and were told the table wasn't ready. 15-20 minutes after our reservation we were seated with 4 out of 6 people in our party. The other 2 were having trouble parking. The waitress took our drink order right away and my husband put in an appetizer order. The appetizer came out moments later before the drinks arrived. We tried the reuben eggrolls and they were really good. They have Boylans root bear and birch beer. I ordered birch beer. I love that stuff! Our other two friends arrived and we put in our dinner orders and other drink orders. One bottle of wine was ordered and it was brought to the table and offered for approval before the whole bottle was poured. I ordered the bison short rib stroganoff. It is the reason we were at the restaurant in the first place because this dish was on the tv show "Best Thing I Ever Ate" as a twist on a classic that is awesome. Three other people at our table ordered prime rib and even though they ordered the 10 ounce it was HUGE. The horseradish potatoes were really good (I tried my husband's). Two people at our table ordered scallops and they cleaned their plates. For dessert my husband and I tried the dessert sampling where they have homemade donut, snickers bar, hostess cupcake etc. I liked the homemade snickers bar the best. Another person in our party ordered the mint icebox type pie. It was good. It was weird that it tasted like mint ice cream but was mousse that didn't melt. I liked the dessert but I don't think it was for my palate. All the pros: restaurant is beautiful, the wait wasn't very long, the staff were great the food was awesome, the restaurant isn't very noisy (we were on the second floor so it might have been a little due to being away from the bar area).