#100DaysOfFoodBlogging, Reviews, Videos

Strawberry Picking at Yankey Farms – Nokesville, VA

Yankey Farms – Strawberry Picking

[This is post #042 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project. Yeah, we’re behind, but we’ll catch up…]

Around here, Strawberry Season lasts long enough for you to realize that you just missed Strawberry Season.

So, then you’re stuck with a strawberry craving that is forced to be fulfilled by playing a game of food roulette at the grocery store. Sure, those strawberries grown in California and shipped out here look pretty, but most of the time they’re hard and sour and overall disappointing.

Fortunately, it turns out that living in the burbs so far away from the city has its perks: There’s a strawberry farm less than 10 minutes from our house (which equates to about an hour outside of the city for you folks in DC).

Yankey Farms Strawberry Picking | getinmymouf.com

And in the spirit of the NBA Finals, we hit something of a strawberry buzzer beater by going strawberry picking on essentially the very last day of this year’s season. So we’re like the Stephen Curry (or Lebron James if you prefer) of strawberry picking.

We ended up at Yankey Farms which is a small, family owned farm in Nokesville, VA. Aside from strawberries, you can pick your own pumpkins in the fall, and in the summer months they produce melons and sweet corn. We recommend liking the Yankey Farms Facebook page to stay up-to-date with strawberry picking conditions as well as updates on their other produce.

Yankey Farms Strawberry Picking | getinmymouf.com

It’s definitely worth it to find a local farm to pick from, as we ended up with almost four and a half pounds of strawberries for $20. If you can’t eat that many strawberries, a pint was only $4. They were dark red and juicy inside with a strong sweet strawberry flavor that was pleasantly tart. And these ain’t no grocery store strawberries, so treat them with love. They bruise more easily and won’t last as long as their shelf-stable counterparts, so eat or freeze within a couple days.

“But are they organic?!”

That same question was posed on the farm’s Facebook page, so here’s the answer:

“We are not certified organic. We practice integrated pest management and avoid pesticide applications as much as possible. If we do have to spray, we use reduced risk pesticides, generally products approved for organic production.”

#TheMoreYouKnow

After an afternoon of strawberry picking, we are now experts (yep, that’s all it takes), so here are our mostly common sense tips:

  • Wear clothing that you don’t mind getting red stains on. Duh, right?
  • Boots are advisable if you’re picking after a week of rain. Even if it’s not raining, it is a farm.
  • Feed your inner child and eat a few strawberries straight from the vine while you pick (demonstration below).

Yankey Farms Strawberry Picking | getinmymouf.com

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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, Reviews, Videos

America Eats Tavern – Tysons Corner, VA

America Eats Tavern

[This is post #020 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project.]

The Tastemade video above is probably my favorite; not just because I got to play with the time lapse feature on my phone, but because of the fond memories I have of the rich vermicelli mac and cheese, fluffy biscuits, and cloud-like coconut cake. Aptly named, America Eats Tavern is José Andrés’ ode to American cuisine. It strikes a good balance of providing a casual, welcoming atmosphere while serving up Andrés’ sophisticated takes on classics like fried chicken, shrimp & grits, and the aforementioned mac & cheese.

Deviled Eggs | America Eats Tavern | getinmymouf.com

Slow-Boiled Mustard Deviled Eggs

During my second visit I tried the Mustard Deviled Eggs, Harvard Beets, and Mushroom Hoppin’ John. I also took a slice of George Washington’s Chocolate Cake to-go. This was a very special meal for me, as it was the first time I had the pleasure of trying Carolina Gold rice (which comes in the form of a griddled rice cake with the Mushroom Hoppin’ John). Anyone who has ever heard Sean Brock talk about anything, knows how much he loves/supports/worships Carolina Gold rice. Upon the first bite I was a believer. Normally your mouth waters for great food, but in this case my eyes wanted to water…for I nearly teared up over this beautiful rice.

Mushroom Hoppin' John | America Eats Tavern | getinmymouf.com

Mushroom Hoppin’ John – Carolina Gold rice cakes, red pea salad, roasted maitake mushrooms

It’s also important to note that it takes more than just inspiration to fill your plate and mouf with culinary magic and fortunately, Andrés’ vision is in the talented hands of Head Chef Nate Waugaman. You can tell a lot about a restaurant based on how the staff talks about the food and the chef. Not only does the food taste good and look beautiful, but from my interactions with the staff, they truly love what’s coming out of the kitchen and believe in Chef Waugaman.

And also, my second visit wouldn’t have been as enjoyable without the hospitality from Hannah Lobel, the restaurant’s Events and Marketing Manager. A HUGE thanks goes out to Hannah for the great food, good conversation, and excellent recommendation on the Mushroom Hoppin’ John.

Harvard Beets | America Eats Tavern | getinmymouf.com

Harvard Beets – Roasted beets, sugar vinegar glaze, biscuit topping, goat cheese cream

Random Tips:

  • Give one of their house-made sodas a try. Both the ginger beer and strawberry mint were so refreshing that I Googled synonyms for “refreshing” and couldn’t find one that was strong enough.
  • The restaurant is located in the Ritz Carlton, which is attached to Tyson’s Galleria. Valet parking is available for a small fee, but you can also park for free at the Galleria and walk through the mall.
  • Order extra biscuits and take them home for breakfast the next morning. Trust me.
  • If events like complimentary whiskey and craft beer tastings tickle your food fancy, then follow America Eats Tavern on Twitter and like them on Facebook to keep abreast of their monthly happenings.
Martha Washington's Chocolate Cake | America Eats Tavern | getinmymouf.com

Martha Washington’s Chocolate Cake. Good enough for FLOTUS, good enough for YOU.

Don’t just take my word for it, for another opinion and more #foodporn, check out these posts about America Eats Tavern from other local food bloggers:

America Eats Tavern on Urbanspoon

Disclaimer:  Hey, we were actually provided free stuff for this post. Tastemade took care of my meal in the video and I was a guest of the restaurant for my second visit. As always, opinions, cravings, and our love of food is genuine. 

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#100DaysOfFoodBlogging, Recipes, Videos

Melted Ice Cream Banana Pancakes

Recipe: Melted Ice Cream Banana Pancakes

[This is post #018 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project.]

Did you know that milk and melted ice cream are interchangeable?

See video proof above.

Way too easy, right?

And aside from being easy, this might be dangerous. It opens up the possibility that you can now easily flavor pancakes with whatever you have in your freezer. Mint chocolate chip? Yup. Coffee. Sure. Butter pecan? Abso-freaking-lutely. Brown butter? Yes, please and thank-you.

We kept it simple with this recipe and stuck with an old favorite: Banana pancakes, but sweetened the batter with some Häagen-Dazs Vanilla ice cream. We also re-used some leftovers from previous recipes to garnish with candied almonds and grapefruit cinnamon syrup. It was a fantastic dinner. Yes, dinner. And soon to be a late afternoon snack…

melted ice cream banana pancakes | getinmymouf.com

MELTED ICE CREAM BANANA PANCAKES

  • 1 Cup Melted Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 XL Egg, beaten
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil or Melted Butter
  • 2 Ripe Bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • Candied Almonds (See recipe included with our Flourless Chocolate Waffle)
  • Grapefruit Cinnamon Syrup (See recipe here)

1.  Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.

2.  In separate bowl, combined the egg, oil, bananas, and melted ice cream.

3.  Whisk in the wet ingredients into the dry, until just combined.

4.  Grease your pan or griddle with oil, butter, or non-stick spray. Over medium heat (about 300 degrees), use an ice cream scoop to pour the batter into a pan or griddle. Flip when the browned on the griddle-side (about 1-2 minutes). Cook for another 1-2 minutes and serve with candied almonds, butter (optional), and grapefruit cinnamon syrup.

Disclaimer:  This is not a sponsored post. No money or good were provided; we just like Häagen-Dazs, so it’s what we used.

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#100DaysOfFoodBlogging, Reviews, Videos

Tastemade Video: Nathan’s Dairy Bar – Manassas, VA

Nathan’s Dairy Bar

[This is post #009 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project.]

Among MANY attributes that I share with our dog, Cooper, nothing compares with our love of Nathan’s Dairy Bar. As much as we complain about having no restaurants to eat at in the ‘burbs, Nathan’s is by far the exception. This is one of those iconic places that people who leave the area will crave. This is the type of soft serve that you will tell your grandkids about. This is the type of ice cream joint that you wouldn’t mind eating on a cold winter day (although they are closed for part of the winter…and that ends up being a really hard time for us).

And it’s such an inexpensive pick-me-up! After a bad day of work, a strawberry-banana shake from Nathan’s makes it all better. For Cooper, there’s nothing that makes his tail wag harder than a “pup cup” from Nathan’s. Tina’s instant-happiness is found in a Tiger’s Blood shaved ice with vanilla soft serve. I’m smiling just thinking about all these…

Although not available on the day we shot the Tastemade video above, one of their most interesting flavors is Captain Crunch. It tastes exactly like it should, but its smooth and creamy….you can taste the happy, Michael. It will make you feel like a kid again and it will also make you want to come back EVERY day after work. Aside from the cap’n, I’m also partial to their fresh strawberry and fresh banana flavors. I’m emphasizing fresh because these flavors aren’t made with artificially flavored syrups and dyes, and you can tell. I’ll take ten pints, please.

Follow Nathan’s on Facebook to keep up-to-date with daily specials (like Captain Crunch and Nutella) and discounts.

Enjoy the video, but more importantly enjoy good weather, some ice cream, and your favorite four-legged friend.

Subscribe and we might let Cooper send you emails:


Nathan's Dairy Bar on Urbanspoon

 

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#100DaysOfFoodBlogging, Travel, Videos

#DCTravelBlogger Brunch – Jaleo Crystal City

Jaleo Crystal City  

[This is post #004 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project.]

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to attend a blogger meet-up, I’ve got the dirty secrets right here in this very post. Yup. It’s like General Hospital up in this crazy blogger world. Betrayal, murder, paternity tests…

Okay, aside from maybe stealing someone’s sangria, there wasn’t any soap opera drama.  And kinda hard for there to be any secrets when everything is tweeted or Instagramed the second it happens. Such is life for a blogger.

Anyway, Jessica at The Dining Traveler was kind enough to set up a brunch at Jaleo Crystal City for DC/VA/MD-based bloggers. Most of the attendees have travel blogs, but a few of us food bloggers snuck in and there were even a few fashion-focused folks as well. It was a great mix and I’m happy to have made some new friends in the local blogging community. I’ll get to Jaleo’s phenomenal food in a second, but it goes without saying that the people are what made the event successful. For fear of leaving someone out, I’m not going to attempt to list everyone, so check out the hashtag #DCTravelBlogger on Twitter or Instagram to find the folks who partook in the fun. 

It was great to share stories of gumbo, DC traffic, blog traffic, DC weather, cocktails, food, Tastemade, home ownership, New Orleans, food photography, day jobs that pay the bills, upcoming vacations, California, wine, dog hair, old phones, and #DCFoodPorn. 

Speaking of food porn…

So what’d we eat? I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. Speak is probably too weak a word, as the food at Jaleo sang to us at every course. And the service was SPOT-ON. Our sangria glasses were never empty and the staff welcomed the insanity of our selfies, food pics, and blog videos. 

Jaleo Crystal City #DCTravelBlogger

‘Ferran Adrià’ liquid olives – Like a delicious science experiment in your mouf.

We were even lucky enough to get a demonstration on how the liquid olives were made by Head Chef, Domenick Torlucci:

Jaleo Crystal City #DCTravelBlogger

Smoked salmon on cristal bread with hardboiled egg, goat cheese and capers.

Jaleo Crystal City #DCTravelBlogger

Yes, we even ate our veggies…because Chef Torlucci and his team made them taste amazing.

Jaleo Paella Crystal City

Vegetable Paella – Fun Fact: This paella pan was bigger than my Mazda.

Jaleo Crystal City #DCTravelBlogger

Sweet-soaked Spanish toast with caramelized bananas and rum whipped cream.

There might have been a selfie stick involved…

And of course we made good use of said selfie stick…

Being a blogger and living on Twitter and Instagram, it’s easy to forget that there are REAL people behind all the pictures and tweets. It was nice reminder that the pictures and stories we share online are nothing without anyone to share it with. So, Salud! to new friends and future meet-ups.

PS:  Don’t take my word for it. Check out the links below to some of the other bloggers’ experiences at the event. There are a TON of great pics, so prepare your eyes for mucho #foodporn:

Jaleo on Urbanspoon

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#100DaysOfFoodBlogging, Reviews, Travel, Videos

When in Sacramento…Drink Wine!

Skinner Vineyards

[This is post #002 towards #100DaysOfFoodBlogging, our goal to do 100 posts in 100 days as part of The 100 Day Project.]

Before I go on any trip, I typically have at least 701 restaurants mapped out to visit. However, since this was a work trip, I wasn’t quite sure how much free time I’d have. I could have done some research anyway, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up for nothing. So, I landed in Sacramento with my boss, zero plans and no expectations.

It ended up working out well, since my boss is a wine aficionado in the truest sense of the word. He had some nearby wineries mapped out on his to-taste list, so I tagged along. In hindsight, I probably should have taken a wine tasting class, since I’m about as opposite as can be from a wine aficionado. I’m sure we were quite the odd couple:  He sniffed, inquired about production levels and varietals, while my input was limited to…”{grunting sound} Me likey.”

We visited about a half dozen wineries during our limited free time and luckily ended up finding some decent restaurants, too. Below are a few of my favorites, but first a quick disclaimer:  Most of the spots below are near Sacramento, but only one is actually in the city, so be prepared to travel a bit.

1. Klinker Brick Winery (Lodi, CA)

Klinker Brick Winery

I really loved the casual atmosphere of this winery. It’d be a great place to hang out on their patio, sip some wine, play some corn-hole, and just enjoy that fresh California breeze. And the name, Klinker Brick, is just fun to say. How can you not have a good time at a place called Klinker Brick?! Oh, the wine. Right. The wine highlights for me included their Albariño, Petite Syrah, and Farrah Syrah. Truth be told, I don’t think I had ever heard of Albariño before. Either way, me likey.

2. Jessie’s Grove Winery (Lodi, CA)

Jessie’s Grove Winery Ice House

The dessert wines at Jessie’s Grove were brilliant. Give me a dark chocolate bar, a bottle of their Sweet Perfection and I’d be set for the evening. (BTW – It’s hard to concentrate right now because I’m blasting “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield. And YES, I am singing along and replacing “girl” with “grove.”) Aside from wine and chocolate, I was struck by the history of the vinyard, which stretched back to the late 1800s. Some of the original vines that were planted in 1888 are still used for production in their wines today. You’re not just drinking wine here, you’re traveling back in time and tasting history. But since there were no blogs back then, I recommend traveling back to present time as fast as possible.

3.  The Dancing Fox Winery and Bakery (Lodi, CA)    The Dancing Fox Winery and Bakery on Urbanspoon

The Dancing Fox Winery and Bakery

The name is a little misleading, as I saw no foxes dancing, but that was quickly reconciled by the fact that The Dancing Fox Winery and Bakery bakes its own bread. Honestly, if you bake your own bread, it almost doesn’t matter what you put between it.  Tried a Tri-tip Green Chili Melt and surprisingly, the highlight wasn’t the green chili, tri-tip, or the melty-cheese. It was cheddar-jalapeno bread so fresh I could taste the field the wheat was harvested from. (Now that’s how you hyperbole the heck out of  sandwich!) Also, they give you a cookie with every order! It’s the little things that can make me happy and in this case it was a snicker doodle. I recommend stopping at this place for lunch in preparation for a day of wine tasting in Lodi. Create that solid bread foundation in your stomach for which the wine can fall upon.

4. Ella Dining Room & Bar  (Downtown Sacramento)     Ella Dining Room and Bar on Urbanspoon

Ella Dining Room & Bar

Ella Dining Room & Bar is the kind of place that I would’ve planned to go to, had I been aware of its existence. First of all, the restaurant is adorned with shutters on the walls, imported from somewhere like Hungary. Why? Who knows, but it looked cool as heck. I tried their signature cocktail, The Real Gin and Tonic, and was not disappointed. I was so not disappointed that I had two more. And then there was the fried chicken, which was guaranteed to be moist because it was sous vide before being fried. I also have to admit that although it was a nice restaurant and I was with work folks (including my boss and our company President), that did not stop me from ordering said fried chicken and eating it with my bare hands. #NoShame. Oh, and the housemade hot sauce was the bomb.com/yummy.php.

5. Skinner Vineyards (Somerset, CA)

Let’s not beat around the grape vines:  Enjoyed a stellar 2012 Grenache, Estate wine, but the highlight of this place was the VIEW. We could have been drinking rainwater out of red solo cups and I would’ve still had a great time. You can’t tell from the video, but snow-capped mountain tops were even visible! Made the mistake of going to Skinner Vineyards as our last stop before the airport. Almost didn’t get on the plane… If you’re heading to Lake Tahoe from Sacramento, take a couple hours out of your trip and stop here to sip the wine and take in the scenery.

As much as I love the other cities of California (you know, the ones that start with ‘San’ or ‘Los’), I wouldn’t mind going back to Sacramento. I actually do have unfinished business. There’s a restaurant called Bacon and Butter that I didn’t get a chance to try. Yes, BACON and BUTTER. Need I say more?

Like what you see? Then let’s be email buddies:


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Reviews, Videos

Tastemade Video: True Food Kitchen – Fairfax, VA

True Food Kitchen

It doesn’t take a detective to figure out what makes this kitchen’s food so true. Although, that would open up an excellent True [Food] Detective parody opportunity (man, someone should do that in a Tastemade video…) Anyway, all of the dishes on the menu closely adhere to Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet. So, the goal is to serve food that not only tastes good, but is good for you as well. Does this place deliver on taste? If “health” food tasted this good when I was a child, I wouldn’t have cried myself to sleep during my parents’ vegetarian phase.

Although True Food Kitchen‘s menu contains some familiar dishes (street tacos, panang curry, turkey burgers), our palates were also surprised by the likes of edamame dumplings. They are as close to an asian pierogi as one could get–smooth, flavorful edamame on the inside, floating in a soy broth of deliciousness.

Oh, and do YOU know what a sea buckthorn is? Sounds dangerous, right? It’s an orange colored berry. (Don’t say you never learned anything from this blog.) And it tastes dangerously delicious (not affiliated with the pie place), especially in TFK’s Super Berry Tart. I give massive bonus points to any restaurant using an ingredient I’ve never heard of and then like 10 gold stars for making it taste real good.

True Food Kitchen - Sea Buckthorn

Time is a flat circle and so is this Super Berry Tart…it’s also filled with the power of Sea Buckthorns.

Even Rust Cohle could find happiness in a glass of their unique, definitely healthy, thirst-quenching beverages. Where else can you get a grapefruit cinnamon soda? I’ll give you a hint: NOWHERE.

Disclaimer:  Our meal was comped by Tastemade, but all opinions and references to True Detective are our own. 

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True Food Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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Recipes, Videos

Leftover Pizza Bread Pudding

Recipe: Leftover Pizza Bread Pudding

Full disclosure:  I didn’t expect this to actually taste all that great. Part of me wanted it to taste awful. Would’ve made for a funnier ending to the Tastemade video if I vomited into a trash can.

But unfortunately (or fortunately for our trash can), it wasn’t too bad. I suppose that shouldn’t be a surprise that cheese, tomato sauce, meats, veggies, and bread soaked in an eggy mixture tastes good. All the major food groups are covered, including the Pizza Food Group.

So, it wasn’t awful and I’d dare to say it was pretty good. Here’s the question: Does it succeed at being a suitable use for leftover pizza? Is this better than eating plain ol’ microwaved (or toaster oven-ed) spare slices?

I think so.

The microwave tends to make the crust chewy. And I by ‘chewy’ I mean an inedible substance related to the leather shoe family. The oven and toaster oven help keep the crust crispy, but it always seems to dry out the rest of the pizza. With the bread pudding, you get moist crust and gooey cheese, nicely paired with burnt cheese on the edges along with a top that has a nice crunch.

So, if you’re like us and tend to have a lot of leftover pizza hanging about, then you should give this a try.

leftover pizza bread pudding

LEFTOVER PIZZA BREAD PUDDING

A quick Google search will let you know that this isn’t a new idea. Our recipe was guided by this post from A momma with ideas… As a slight alteration, you could even increase the eggs, decrease the milk, and call this a breakfast casserole.

  • Two slices of leftover pizza – Any will do, but I would not recommend thin crust.
  • 1/4 Cup Milk
  • 2 XL Eggs

1.  Whisk together the eggs and milk and set aside.

2.  Cut the pizza into rectangles and squares.

3.  Place the pizza into a small (single-serving) casserole dish, then pour the egg/milk mixture over the top. Cover and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour (the longer, the better).

4.  Remove from the refrigerator and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top, then bake in a 350° oven for 30-45 minutes, until the top gets crusty and brown.

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Tastemade Video: Tachibana – McLean, VA

Tachibana Japanese Restaurant

We made the trek out to the ever-expanding area of McLean to check out Tachibana. It’s long been known as one of the best spots to grab some sushi in the area and its reputation was confirmed by the amount of customers that had already filled the restaurant. The place opened at noon and was nearly completely packed by noon-fifteen. A good sign that actually ended up working out in our favor: We didn’t intend on sitting at the sushi bar, but since all the tables were taken, we figured it’d be better than waiting over an hour. This made the whole experience, as the sushi chefs are all friendly, fun, and informative. After watching them, my biggest takeaway was that I need to work on my knife skills. Seriously, I can barely cut a uniform slice of french bread, let alone delicate fish flesh. Luckily abstract bread slices are totally in right now.

Not a sushi fan? No worries, as Tachibana has an extensive menu that includes various soups (ramen, soba, udon), rice bowls, and appetizers for people who prefer more “turf” than “surf.” We’ll definitely be back to check out the rice bowls, which we watched our sushi chef artfully construct for another customer. It was overflowing with meats, vegetables, sushi; everything perfectly in place. Upon seeing it, I lost all capacity for high-level thinking and grunted “Me want that.”

For a quick peek at our lunch, check out the Tastemade video above–which is 100% narrated in bad haikus (you’re welcome!)–and if you get a chance to check out Tachibana, definitely skip the tables and head for the sushi bar!

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

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Tachibana on Urbanspoon

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