#100DaysOfFoodBlogging, Recipes

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries & Almonds

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Cranberry & Almonds | getinmymouf.com

[This is post #036 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project.]

I think it’s pretty common (cliché even?) for a food blogger to talk about how they used to hate Brussels sprouts as a kid.

So, I’m not going to talk about how I never actually tasted them as a child.

I definitely won’t speak of how the smell was so horrid that I hid under my bed whenever they were on the menu.

And I absolutely shall not mention that one occasion where I cried at the dinner table.

I will note that I almost cried tears of joy after tasting these Brussels sprouts, though. It had a been a rough day at work, and I was famished. Either way these sprouts of Brussels were better than my younger self could have ever expected.

And as a triple bonus, this recipe is a great way to clear out your pantry of any leftover nuts and dried fruit. In fact, you could probably swap out the almonds for macadamia nuts, the cranberries for dried pineapple, and the balsamic for rice wine vinegar and call this “Tropical Brussels Sprouts with Pineapple and Macadamia Nuts.” It’s like those Choose Your Own Adventure booksexcept without the possibility of time-traveling to a land where dinosaurs roam free.

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Cranberry & Almonds | getinmymouf.com

Served with baked halibut and dill potatoes.

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries & Almonds

  • 1 Pound Brussels Sprouts, halved
  • 2 Tblspns Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Almond Slivers
  • 1 1/2 Tblspn Acetum Blaze Balsamic Glaze (not an affiliate link)
  • 1/4 Cup Cranberries
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash, trim, dry, and halve Brussels sprouts lengthwise.

2. Toss dry Brussels sprouts with a light coating of olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 30 minutes. Meanwhile, toast the almonds in a small frying pan until they turn golden and smell really freaking good.

4. Toss hot Brussels sprouts with 1 1/2 tablespoons Blaze Glaze, toasted almonds, and cranberries until evenly coated. Enjoy!

 

P.s. Does this cover photo remind anyone else of the black and white ink blot cards that psychologists use on their patients? According to this, it can help to determine an individual’s personality characteristics and emotional functioning. All it’s telling me is that I’m hungry!

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#100DaysOfFoodBlogging, Reviews

Rice Battle: Arborio vs. Carolina Gold

arborio vs. carolina gold rice | getinmymouf.com

[This is post #035 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project.]

Last week we had a very brief post, singing the praises of Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice.

We made the classic separate-grain recipe (aka “Charleston Ice Cream“) and it was so good that no adjectives were necessary. Even the most hyperbolic of adjectives seemed to fall short. Epic. Game-changing. BEST EVER. None of them worked.

Anyway, in some aspects, the Charleston Ice Cream reminded us of risotto, so Tina was curious if the recipe would hold up if we swapped out the Carolina Gold with with Italian arborio rice.

arborio vs. carolina gold rice | getinmymouf.com

Tina followed the Anson Mills recipe, by first boiling it with a bay leaf, salt, and pepper, then baking it (with PLENTY of butter). The grains are a bit larger, so she baked the arborio for an extra five minutes.

arborio vs. carolina gold rice | getinmymouf.com

The verdict:  The arborio rice was far better than most traditional rices you would find at a grocery store (apologies, Uncle Ben); however, the flavor and texture of the Carolina Gold was clearly superior. Clearly this wasn’t a fair fight, but with the amount of butter in the recipe, the arborio rice works fine and for all intents and purposes is an acceptable substitution. Especially if you don’t want to spend $7 for 14 oz.

But if you’re in search of flavor perfection and you don’t mind paying the extra cash, stick with the Carolina Gold.

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#100DaysOfFoodBlogging, Mouf Links

Mouf Links

Mouf Links | getinmymouf.com

[This is post #034 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project.]

1.  “Milk Bar’s Founder Reveals Her Recipes for Cookies and Success” – One Kings Lane:  In addition to a cool recipe for ‘Salt-and-Pepper Cookies with Pickled Strawberry Jam,’ Christina Tosi offers up some good tips for success. When the creator of Crack Pie offers up advice, I’ll be the first to heed it.

2.  “How to Make the Perfect Ice Cube” – GIZMODO:  Sother Teague of Amor y Amargo shows off his ice making skills with this tutorial and video. The result is ice so clear you could read your iPad through it. Oh and the secret is not boiling the water first.

3.  “How to Transform Leftover Fast Food into Hot, Melty Waffles” – FoodBeast/HuffPost Taste:  Anyone who reads our blog regularly knows my obsession with our waffle maker is exponentially growing (ahem, Doughnut French Toast Waffles). Turns out your waffle maker also gives you a reason to eat leftover fast food. Excuse me while I fill my fridge with cheeseburgers and french fries.

4.  “Vodka-Infused Melon Balls” – Healthy Nibbles and Bits:  Since summer is fast approaching (it’s already too hot here in Northern VA), it’s time to start soaking things in alcohol for your next BBQ. Lisa‘s recipe will finally give you a reason to break out that melon baller you haven’t used since 1999.

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#100DaysOfFoodBlogging, Reviews, Videos

Taco Bamba – Falls Church, VA

Taco Bamba

[This is post #033 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project.]

We’ve talked about San Francisco Deficiency Syndrome before and although not as severe, there is another serious medical condition that we fall into after our vacations to the west coast. And specifically when returning from San Diego.  Doctors are calling it Me Want Good Tacos Now Disorder*.

Typically this condition strikes when stepping foot on a plane leaving San Diego and doesn’t clear up until (during a return visit) your mouth touches a perfect fish or shrimp taco.

After extensive research, we’re happy to report that we’ve found a cure in Northern Virginia! Taco Bamba in Falls Church.

From acclaimed Chef Victor Albisu (Del Campo in Washington, DC), Taco Bamba executes the classics with perfection (I’d bathe in the juice of their carnitas), while including innovative twists (Poutine Taco anyone?) that will make your Me Want Good Tacos Now Disorder completely clear up.

Taco Bamba | getinmymouf.com

Carnitas & Carne Asada

Food Highlights:

  • The Taco Bamba -This is their signature taco, filled with skirt steak, chorizo, grilled guacamole, and chicharrones. This taco will have you singing like Julie Andrews. “These are a few of my favorite things…”
  • Carnitas – It doesn’t get any better than this shredded pork confit. I order mine with a straw, so I can recapture all that sweet carnitas nectar that drips off the taco.
  • Camaron a la Diabla – A spicy shrimp taco filled with cilantro rice and poblano sauce. Bring your own sand and a towel and you’ll feel like you’re at the beach again.
  • Corn on the Cobb – You can’t forget the veggies, especially when they’re covered in mayo, cotija, and red chili. If you’ve never had corn on the cob like this, it might sound odd, but go for it ’cause it totally works.
Taco Bamba | getinmymouf.com

Spicy Shroom, Camaron a la Diabla, and Black Pearl (Fried Tilapia, Spicy Coleslaw, Black Aioli)

Tips:

  • When going there for the first time, you will assume it’s located in the same shopping center as the Whole Foods. IT IS NOT. Keep driving to the smaller strip center behind the Whole Foods Shopping center. It’s nothing fancy, but there’s plenty of parking.
  • There can be a pretty lengthly line during peak times, so take advantage of calling ahead if you have a big order.
  • It’s not a huge place and there is only bar seating along the wall. There’s a small patio outside with some tables and chairs, but don’t expect to find a place to eat during a busy lunch or dinner hour.
Taco Bamba | getinmymouf.com

The Taco Bamba & Camaron a la Diabla

*Some side effects may include feelings of fullness and taco-induced happiness.

Don’t take our word for it, for some awesome pics and other points of view, check out these other blog posts about Taco Bamba:

“Falls Church:  Taco Bamba” – Let’s Do Lunch

“Taco Bamba” – Whiskey and Soba

Taco Bamba on Urbanspoon

Disclaimer:  We received no compensation or free food for this post; we honestly recommend Taco Bamba. I would bathe in the carnitas juice if anyone wants to make that happen.

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#100DaysOfFoodBlogging, Thought Nuggets

The Bacon Box: An open letter to Pizza Hut

The Pizza Hut Bacon Box | getinmymouf.com

[This is post #032 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project.]

My Dearest Pizza Hut,

You don’t know me personally, but we’ve had quite a long relationship. There’s no data available, but for argument’s sake, I’ve probably eaten millions of slices of your pizza. Also, you send me more emails than any of my family members. So…yeah.

Through all those millions of bites, there has been quite a roller coaster of emotions. Happiness. Sadness. Hunger. The opposite of hunger.

First and foremost, I do have many fond memories…

The way your pepperoni gets a little bit burnt, making it extra crispy. Even when I was too full to eat any more, I always had room to steal a salty pepperoni from one of the remaining slices.

You forced me to read with the Book-It program. Free pizza just for reading books? Genius. I graduated college, so thank you. I didn’t keep track of all the books I read, but for the sake of argument I’ve probably read millions of pages.

Oh and your beloved pan pizza. Dripping that unctuous grease on my chin… It was as close to a fried pizza as I’ll ever come.

And the pan pizza’s perfect foil: The thin crust pizza. So thin that it could facilitate consuming more than one large pizza at a time. A feat any teenage boy would be proud to accomplish.

Memories aside, we are firmly planted in what historians will call The Bacon Era. It all started as a lonely topping. Little salty crumbles of magic, like dust from the Pig Fairy. But that wasn’t enough. Next, you decided to stuff bacon and cheese in the crust.

Not long after this historic anouncement from Blake Shelton, one of your competitors upped the ante, not by stuffing the crust, but by REPLACING IT with bacon.

Now, you could take the next logical step and replace ALL of the crust with bacon. Essentially a circular disc of bacon, ready to be piled high with sauce, cheeses, and…more bacon. So, why let this pesky pizza business get in the way of what we all really want? What the world needs is…

THE BACON BOX

The Pizza Hut Bacon Box | getinmymouf.com

A pound of bacon stuffed inside a box, delivered hot, fresh, and ready for consumption. I don’t have the demographics data, but I’m willing to bet there are millions of customers out there who desire a box of bacon. Breakfast would never be easier. BLTs would practically make themselves. World peace would be just around the corner.

The Pizza Hut Bacon Box | getinmymouf.com

Your bread stick boxes are already equipped to hold bacon. I’m sure your pizza ovens would love to cook strips of bacon. And the marketing is already done, ’cause this box sells itself.

So, I challenge you, Pizza Hut. Give us THE BACON BOX.

Because if you don’t, I’m sure one of y0ur competitors will…

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#100DaysOfFoodBlogging, Reviews

Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice Needs No Adjectives

Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice | getinmymouf.com

[This is post #031 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project.]

No adjectives are required, nor would any do this rice any justice. Just go to the link below, buy some rice, and experience it for yourself.

Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice

Use this recipe:  Classic Separate-Grain Carolina Gold Rice

PS:  Thanks, Glenn Roberts.

PPS:  I’m not messing around.

Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice | getinmymouf.com

This shot also features pages from Chef Sean Brock’s book, ‘Heritage’.

Disclaimer:  This is NOT a sponsored post. Just try the freaking rice! Wait, is “freaking” an adjective?

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#100DaysOfFoodBlogging, Reviews

Feed Your Eyes: ‘Chef’s Table’ on Netflix

[This is post #030 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project.]

Now that most of your favorite network shows are wrapping up (some of them FOREVER), you’ll have a ton of television viewing time to spare over the next few months. Before you go insane and reach decision paralysis when deciding what to watch next, I ask you to look no further than your Netflix account.

In what has accurately been called the “the anti-cooking show,” Chef’s Table is more than worthy of consuming your new found spare time.

Brought to life by Jiro Dreams of Sushi director, David Gelb, the first season spans six episodes, each telling the story of a different world class chef. And although these aren’t necessarily household names or celebrity chefs as defined by current culture, their impact on food and even the world likely reaches further than a line of cookware and 10 seasons on Food Network ever could.

You get to know the chefs intimately and they truly are the stars of the show, each uniquely their own character, while also sharing a similar passion.

But that’s not to say that the food isn’t beautiful, because it is. You can easily mistake the series for an art documentary. In a good way.

Most culinary shows are filled with so much gluttonous food porn, you end up feeling like you need a cold shower to cleanse yourself of the residual butter, sugar, and bacon fat. Chef’s Table, however, is much more satisfying, as you’re left with an emotional connection to each chef.

Or as Gelb put it best in this Grubstreet interview: “Emotional food porn!”

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#100DaysOfFoodBlogging, Holiday

5 Essential Ingredients for a Mother’s Day Tea Party

Mother's Day Tea Party | getinmymouf.com

[This is post #029 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project.]

It seemed like just yesterday that we were inexperienced tea party hosts. We had no clue where to begin and yet today we are certified Tea Party-ologists.

Actually, we just kind of guessed at what would make for a fun party based on blogs, movies, books, and Tina’s trip to London. The real secret is that there’s no secret and as long as you have good food, family, friends, and at least one dog everyone will have a great time. However, that seems like a cop out for a post, so here are 5 Essential Ingredients for a Mother’s Day Tea Party.

1.  Tea. If you forget the tea, then it’s just a regular party and your guests will become hostile, as they were expecting tea. Make sure you have more than one type and serve some hot, some cold. Everyone wins.

2.  Scones. We used this Barefoot Contessa recipe as a base for making cheddar dill savory scones and strawberry scones. I’m still not entirely sure how they’re different than biscuits, but since this is a tea party, biscuits are actually cookies. Get it? Good.

3.  Clotted Cream. Never had it before? Neither did most of our family, yet we easily finished off a jar. Here’s your mission: Find some, put it on a scone with jam, eat, then repeat 30 times or until you pass out.

4.  Sandwiches. In order to balance out all of the scones and clotted cream you’ll be eating, make sure to throw in some tiny sandwiches like chicken salad, egg salad, and/or cream cheese & olive tapenade. Guys out there might not be comfortable eating tiny sandwiches, but there is a nice perk. Come closer. Okay. Before the party starts, you’ll be hungry, but technically you shouldn’t be eating yet because not all of the guests will have arrived. Luckily, the sandwiches are tiny enough that you can usually eat one in less than two bites without a plate or napkin. No evidence and your hunger pangs will be calmed.

5.  Moms. It’s Mother’s Day, come on! They’re almost as important as the tea. Almost.

teaparty

Bonus:  Our last post, Mother’s Day Coconut Macaroons aka My Mom is Addicted to Coconut, discussed my (as the title would indicate) mother’s love of coconut and all things tropical. Completely unaware of that post my mom brought these tropical Jello bowls to the party:

Tropical Jell-o | getinmymouf.com

Too perfect.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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#100DaysOfFoodBlogging, Recipes

Mother’s Day Coconut Macaroons aka My Mom is Addicted to Coconut

Coconut Macaroons | getinmymouf.com

[This is post #028 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project.]

I think if we search deep within ourselves we all boil down to one specific food that defines us as a person.

And sometimes the search doesn’t even have to be that deep. For example, my mom is obsessed with coconut. See, didn’t even have to think about it.

Coconut Macaroons | getinmymouf.com

If there’s a dish with coconut in it on a menu, my mother will find it. Then she will order it, eat it, and talk about how much she loved it until going back to get it again (most likely within a week).

Her perfect meal would likely consist of a virgin piña colada, coconut fried shrimp, coconut cake, and coconut macaroons. Yeah, two desserts. That’s how she rolls. Well, technically she rolls in a white Nissan…but it’s the same color as coconut flesh.

Coconut Macaroons | getinmymouf.com

You’d think that the coconut obsession would be a reminder of some tropical upbringing or vacations to the Caribbean, but since she didn’t grow up on an island or vacation in the Caribbean, that ain’t the case. In fact, she’s never even been on a plane.

Coconut Macaroons | getinmymouf.com

So, I believe the addiction to all things coconut is her way of bringing the island home. Because not flying has never stopped her from finding ways to experience a tropical lifestyle. Case in point: For over a decade, my parents’ room had a tropical theme. Tina and I spent about 27 hours on a 300,000 piece tropical landscape puzzle for them to hang on the wall, but we only made it about 1/4 of the way through it. It was the last puzzle I’ve ever taken part in.

Coconut Macaroons | getinmymouf.com

It’s a nice reminder that you don’t have to take flight to travel; all you really need is a kitchen and a good recipe. We’ll never be able to force her on an airplane (and I’ve tried) to take her to the caribbean, but we can certainly make her coconut macaroons for Mother’s Day.

Coconut Macaroons | getinmymouf.com

These macaroons are pure coconut. Nothing less, nothing more. And they taste like paradise.

Coconut Macaroons | getinmymouf.com

Coconut Macaroons

For the photos above, we used Alton Brown’s Toasty Coconut Macaroons minus the “toasty,” i.e., we didn’t toast our coconut beforehand. Nonetheless, they were still delicious. And speaking of delicious, Ina Garten’s Coconut Macaroon recipe is pretty much perfection. And, here’s a video of Ina making them, too. Thanks, Ina and Alton!

 —

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

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#100DaysOfFoodBlogging, Recipes

Iced Mojito Latte

Mojito Iced Latte | getinmymouf.com

[This is post #027 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project.]

I made a mistake last time we went to San Francisco. I did not go to Philz Coffee.

Why is this a BIG deal? They’re known for a Mint Mojito Iced Coffee. Doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to add mint, right? Well, unlike some other chains, this isn’t just a shot of coffee, splash of milk, and some mint syrup. Nope, you’re getting fresh mint leaves in your cup. And where mint syrup tends to taste like chewing gum, fresh mint leaves taste like mother earth is cooling you with her own breath.

Mojito Iced Latte | getinmymouf.com

The Mint Mojito Iced Coffee was what kicked off our elopement trip, as we had to kill some time before getting our marriage license from San Francisco City Hall. So, it’s possible the sentimentality of it is also playing a factor. Either way, it’s a freaking refreshing drink that should be the start of every trip to San Francisco.

We tried making a Mojito Latte a few times when we returned home. I think we might have used either a Keurig or a simple french press and it was good, but not Philz good. As such, we kind of gave up on making it.

Nearly two years later, I’m armed with some better ammo: An Aerobe AeroPress coffee maker, Monument Coffee Roasters beans, and an article about espresso cocktails.

Mojito Iced Latte | getinmymouf.com

That last one is interesting, as it talks about a small, yet growing trend of using the same methods and ingredients for standard alcoholic cocktails, but substituting the alcohol for coffee. So simple, yet so brilliant.

This made me realize how I could make the Mojito Latte even better: Use the exact method for making a mojito, including lime juice and freshly muddled mint.

That didn’t quite work…

The lime juice kind of takes over and kills the coffee taste and also curdles the milk. I tried a few times to make the lime juice work with varying amounts and different types of milk (like coconut), but it still wasn’t very good. I really didn’t want to skip on the lime element, as then it’s not a Mojito. It would just be a Mint Latte. I didn’t want a Mint Latte. I wanted a Mojito Latte.

Fortunately, the drawer of our cooking utensils was partially open and the citrus zester was peeking out. DUH. Lime zest. A hint of lime, none of the curdling power.

Alas, it was perfect! Okay, maybe not Philz perfect, but pretty close. Actually, it has been a couple years so it’s possible that this one is better than Philz (doubtful). Good thing we’re headed back to San Francisco this summer, so I can give it the proper comparison.

Mojito Iced Latte | getinmymouf.com

Iced Mojito Latte

Makes one glass.

  • 2-4 oz Strong Coffee or Espresso
  • 2-4 oz Milk
  • 6-10 Fresh Mint Leaves
  • Zest from half a Lime
  • 2 – 4 teaspoons Sugar or Simple Syrup
  • Ice

1.  Prepare your coffee as you normally would; I prefer the Aerobie Aeropress, but you can use whatever you like. The important part is that it should be as close to “espresso-strong” as possible. The range in amount is so you can adjust based on strength.  Let the coffee cool a bit while you prepare the rest of the drink.

2.  Add the sugar to a cocktail shaker, next the lime zest, then add the mint. Gently muddle the mint leaves to release the flavor; don’t work too hard, as the mint shouldn’t be torn to shreds.

3.  Pour in the coffee (it’s okay if it’s still a bit hot), about five ice cubes, and your milk. In that order.

4.  Shake it like a Polaroid picture, then strain into a glass.

No, this isn’t necessarily something you’ll be making at 6:30 AM on a Tuesday, but it’s worth the effort when you have time. Especially if you need a refreshing afternoon pick-me-up after spending six hours ripping up monkey grass and planing bushes. True story.

Still thirsty? Drink up our Grapefruit Cinnamon Simple Syrup and Soda recipe.

 

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