Reviews, Videos

Tastemade Video: Ted’s Bulletin – Reston, VA

Ted’s Bulletin

Cupcakes are so 2010 and doughnuts are so 2014, so what will replace those sweet food trends in 2015? Hopefully, homemade pop tarts. Yup, you heard me right.

You know I love pie: Exhibit A. Exhibit B. Exhibit C. And a Pop Tart is basically just a flat, hand-held pie. At the forefront of this revolution, is Ted’s Bulletin, a local chain in the Washington, DC metro area. Not only are they serving up make-you-feel-like-a-kid-again pop tarts, but their comfort food will have you checking the kitchen for grandma. Couldn’t find grammy, but I did find a tasty lunch.

Ted’s wouldn’t share their secret pop tart recipe with me (and why should they?), so below is my best guess at how they make them. Now we can all make pop tarts at home!


  1. Buy one full-sized pie.
  2. Run over with steamroller.
  3. Eat.

Disclaimer:  My meal was comped by Tastemade, but all opinions, bad jokes, and typos are my own. 


Ted's Bulletin on Urbanspoon

Reviews, Travel

San Francisco Deficiency Syndrome

It’s been a few months since we visited the San Francisco Bay Area and already we’re starting to feel the effects of SFDS (San Francisco Deficiency Syndrome). Although not supported with medical data, every year SFDS, affects 100% of all humans living in our house. And unfortunately there is no treatment, except for visiting the San Francisco Bay Area.

In an effort to find an alternative cure, we figured it would be best to explore the root of the problem and identify some of the sources. It’s pretty clear that the syndrome is connected to the food we eat, so let’s take a look at some potential sources of our condition.

1.  Avatar’s – Sausalito, CA     Avatar's on Urbanspoon

Avatar's Restaurant Sausalito

One needs only one piece of evidence to suggest that Avatar’s is a powerful source of culinary creativity:  832 Yelp reviews with a near perfect rating. The restaurant is a fusion of Indian and Mexican cuisine, which sounds like an odd pairing, but when you taste the food…it’s like something you’ve never experienced before. Simple dishes with complex flavors, combining a comfort of familiarity and newness that sticks with you long after you’ve left the area. Pumpkin chicken enchiladas don’t sound very exciting, but they were fantastic. No amount of hyperbole and exaggeration can do this place justice. Just. Eat. There. It’s worth getting SFDS.

2. The Girl and the Fig – Sonoma, CA     The Girl & The Fig on Urbanspoon

Pork Chop Girl and the Fig

A lot of people use the word “best” to describe a lot of meals they eat (myself guilty of this as well). In reality, this description of “best” is more accurately defined as “this is pretty good and the best [blank] I’ve had since that last best [blank] I had a couple weeks ago.” With that preface, I want to declare that in this instance, the pork chop I ate at The Girl and the Fig was THE BEST I HAVE EVER HAD AND WILL LIKELY EVER EAT FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. I considered giving up pork for the sole fact that every other pork chop eaten after this one will only lead to disappointment and further worsen my SFDS. Oh and I almost forgot about the chocolate fig parfait aka Chocolate Heaven. And I didn’t think I even liked figs…

3. Wayfare Tavern – San Francisco, CA     Wayfare Tavern on Urbanspoon

Wayfare Tavern

We’re always too busy stuffing our face to get a pic of the food. This photograph was taken by our wedding photographer, Ryan Polei.

Aside from the strong sentimental attachment of Wayfare Tavern being the site of our first dinner as Mr. and Mrs., from the top of the menu to the bottom, everything we’ve eaten has delivered. Fried chicken? Crispy, moist, flavorful. Pop-overs? Perfect. Burrata? Excuse me, while I lick the plate. Wayfare Tavern was also the inspiration for our Peach Pie with Candied Rosemary. Oh and even something as simple as a freaking burger–and I’m going to use that word again, and I MEAN it–was the B-E-S-T we’ve ever had. If you needed any more convincing, we have a picture of the outside of this restaurant hanging in our living room. It’s basically the first thing you see when you walk in. We need help.

4.  Tony Tutto Pizza – Mill Valley, CA     Tony Tutto's Pizza on Urbanspoon

Tony Tutto's Mill Valley

What better way to kick off a trip to the San Francisco Bay Area, than by enjoying a fresh pie from Tony Tutto Pizza. Emphasis on the word fresh. We use that word on the east coast, but it does not mean what it means on the west coast. And yes this is a pizza place, but unlike most other cocky pizza places, it’s not about the pizza. The pizza just happens to be great, but when you eat a Tony Tutto pie you’re tasting each ingredient. You’re not eating a margherita pizza, you’re eating the tomatoes right off the vine and cheese straight from a cow. Yes, I know that’s not how cheese is made, but you get the idea…

5. Fish. – Sausalito, CA     Fish on Urbanspoon

Fish and Chips Sausalito

After a five-mile hike at Muir Beach, we were plenty hangry and not prepared to wait in what appeared to be a five-mile line at Fish. We toughed it out and became increasingly hangrier, but when the food came, nirvana was achieved. Beautiful fish and chips. A Vietnamese-style salmon sandwich exploding with flavor. It was the kind of meal that makes your worries disappear. We didn’t care that we were tired and sweaty. We didn’t care that the only table available was in direct sunlight, shooting UV rays into our eyeballs. We didn’t care that we might have been illegally parked. All we cared about was that the seafood was fresh, delicious, and in our moufs.


Unfortunately, writing this post has made our case of San Francisco Deficiency Syndrome even worse. To prevent the risk of further infection and potential hospitalization we are currently in the process of planning a trip back this summer.

Maybe, just maybe, we’ll eventually find a cure.


Homemade Coffee Butter

Coffee Butter

Raise your glasses (or water bottles, or coffee cups–just raise whatever drinking vessels you have). I’d like to propose a toast to toast.


Coffee Butter Ingredients

Think about it:  Toast is likely near the bottom of the Food Pyramid of Awesomeness (patent pending). Toast is boring. Toast barely has any flavor. Toast occurs in many instances as a way to tolerate stale bread. And aside from a small cult following for #BreadSelfies, it isn’t very popular within the #foodporn industry.

What toast does have going for it, though, is that it is a completely blank canvas for which you can paint any flavor your palate desires.

There are lots of toast canvas media to choose from  (jams, preserves, and jellies), but what if I want more of a creamy, unctuous topping that is not comprised of mostly sugar-infused gelatin? Yes, Flavored Butter, please stand up.

Coffee Butter Cream

I enjoy flavored butters and I don’t think they get as many accolades as they should. Sure, honey butter is pretty common and is deliciously spread upon rolls at many holiday meals. And there seemed to be a pretty big push for strawberry butter on all the food blogs in 2014. But why aren’t flavored butters a household name, yet? Why doesn’t my local Target have its own flavored butter aisle?!

Coffee Butter Cream

Luckily, making a flavored butter is about as easy as making toast, so there’s no need to place reliance on any grocery stores.

When I think of butter (flavored or otherwise) and toast, I immediately think of breakfast. And with that word association continued one more level, I end up at “coffee.” Of course! Homemade Coffee Butter.

Coffee Butter Sugar Cream

The more I enjoy locally roasted coffee from the likes of Monument Coffee Roasters and Caffè Amouri, the more I realize how much better the coffee tastes the first few days. Since we aren’t daily coffee drinkers, this results in a lot of perfectly good, but not at it’s peak, coffee lying around our kitchen. So we’re constantly looking for things to put the spare beans in (like Coffee-Infused Doughnut French Toast).

Besides, coffee butter has all the same components of a regular cup of coffee: coffee, cream, and sugar (albeit at different ratios).

Coffee Butter

You could probably just blend store-bought butter and ground coffee and be done with it, but homemade butter is so ridiculously easy to make, that it’s worth the extra step. Besides, if all we’re doing is telling you to mix butter and coffee together, we might as well just give you instruction on how to make toast.

Coffee Butter

So, break out the coffee butter, bread and a toaster, channel your inner Van Gogh (minus the ear removal stuff) and make a masterpiece for breakfast.

Then shove that masterpiece into your mouf.


  • 1/2 Cup Coarsely Ground Coffee
  • 2 Cups Heavy Cream
  • Cheesecloth
  • 1/3 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  1. For our coffee we used a 50/50 mixture of Caffè Amouri’s Dutchess blend and Monument Coffee Roasters‘ Kenyan Lenana beans.
  2. Mix coffee grounds with heavy cream and store in the refrigerator overnight (or at least 8 hours).
  3. Strain coffee-cream mixture with cheesecloth, squeezing out all the creamy goodness.
  4. Pour the mixture into a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, then add the sugar and salt.
  5. Turn the food processor on and let churn until the butter separates from the buttermilk (you’ll hear it sloshing around after about 45-60 seconds).
  6. Drain the buttermilk and remove the butter, forming into a ball. Squeeze out all of the buttermilk from your ball of butter, whilst rinsing in cold running water. Make sure to get all of the buttermilk out of the butter, or else it will RUIN your butter by making it sour.
  7. Since coffee works both in savory and sweet forms, taste your butter and feel free to add more salt or sugar to your liking. Store in the refrigerator in your favorite shallow dish.
  8. Serve on toast or pound cake, then insert into your mouf.

Coffee Butter

FUN FACT:  We made this the same day that I finally tried Bulletproof Coffee. Thus, 90% of my food consumption that day was comprised of butter and coffee.

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Holiday, Recipes

2014 New Year’s Eve Menu

New Year's Eve Menu 2014

Hello, 2015. Pleasure to meet you.

Taking a quick break from breaking down cardboard boxes (thanks, Amazon!) and putting Ikea furniture together to do our first post of 2015. In our last post we shared our New Year’s Eve tablescape along with a PDF template for our food tent cards. Now let’s get to the foooooooooooood! Here’s a look at what we ate during the final hours of 2014 (and also the first few hours of 2015).

Sausage Bites

Sausage Bites Bon Appetit

These are are our take on Bon Appétit’s Pigs in Sleeping Bags. Rather than make our own sausage, we used a chicken sausage with spinach and feta from Wegmans. These might be my favorite of the lot and are normally the reason for our first empty plate of the night. They are much better hot, but they’re not too shabby cold at 2 AM, either.

Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs

If you follow us on Twitter, you know that we make deviled eggs for pretty much every occasion (and many times for no reason at all). We used our classic deviled egg recipe, spiked with Sriracha and dusted with cayenne. After staying up late many times to make these eggs, it’s nice to finally eat them late at night.

Mini Mac ‘N’ Cheese (#glutenfree)

mac n cheese bites

Because it’s more fun to eat mac ‘n’ cheese with your hands, this Easy Mac and Cheese Muffins recipe from made several appearances in our house during 2014. Also, these are baked in a muffin pan to facilitate maximum crispy-edge-ness. We modified the recipe by skipping the breadcrumbs and used a gluten-free elbow pasta from Barilla. Oddly enough they actually turned out better than gluten-full pasta, as the edges were even crispier than normal. We also added a dash of nutmeg for fun. It’s a great base recipe to tweak (each time we change up some part of it), so feel free use your favorite cheeses or even add some spices to your liking. We do want to warn that these don’t quite hold up as a leftover, so be sure to eat all of them the day they’re made.

Caprese Bites

caprese bites

In a world full of heavy, meaty, carby appetizers, these Caprese Bites are here to add a bit of freshness to the table. A classic italian combination of tomato, basil, mozzarella, and balsamic vinegar made party-ready with a toothpick. Our secret weapon is Acetum Blaze Glaze, which is basically a pre-reduced balsamic glaze that will save you hours over the stove reducing vinegar. Definitely worth keeping a bottle around for balsamic emergencies.

Mini Chicken & Waffles

Mini chicken & waffles

Wanna trick your mouf into thinking you’re at Roscoe’s House of Chicken & Waffles, but don’t feel like jumping on a plane to L.A? Here’s the secret: Mini Eggo Waffles and Chic-fil-A nuggets. (Chicken from Popeyes would also probably work fantastically.) You could go all homemade if you want, but then you wouldn’t have time to make anything else. There are tons of variations on this appetizer, but we serve ours with a blend of pure maple syrup, Log Cabin syrup (for texture), and Sriracha for a small kick.

Spinach & Kale Bites

Trader Joe's Spinach Kale Bites

This is a small cheat, as these are frozen and are supplied by Trader Joe’s. They’re pretty good when they’re hot, but be sure to re-heat for guests, as they’re not so good at room temp.

White Chocolate & Cranberry Cookies

white chocolate & cranberry cookies

These cookies have become a holiday staple in our family. It’s unfortunate, because I don’t really like white chocolate all that much. However, it’s a crowd favorite that ends up on all their Christmas wish lists, so we make a couple batches in early december and freeze the pre-formed dough to ensure we’re fully-stocked and ready to bake throughout the season. The recipe is written down on a scrap of paper from my mom, so who knows where it originally came from. It’s a fairly standard cookie nowadays, so take your pick from Google.

Cheesecake Bites

cheesecake raspberry bites

Tina first saw this “recipe” on the mint love social club blog. The reason for the quotes around “recipe” is that there’s really no recipe other than cutting a frozen cheesecake into squares, adding a raspberry on each, then popping a thick toothpick in the middle. Seems a little too easy… After stuffing my face with salty snacks it’s nice to have a sweet, fruity, creamy bite. But don’t count how many you eat, as you don’t want to realize you just ate an entire cheesecake one bite at a time.

NYE 2014

We clearly ate well and this was for a small gathering of about five people. Just imagine if we had a full-blown par-tay…

Stupid Disclaimer: No compensation or free stuff was provided from anyone for this post. All references to websites, products, and/or brand names are done so because we actually use and like them.