Archive for September, 2008

L’shana Tova ~ Apples + Honey

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

We’re a mixed faith family here at FoodieTots, and as the non-Jewish spouse I’ve had a lot of fun over the past years learning about Jewish culinary traditions. Rosh Hashana, which falls right in the peak of the fall harvest, brings honey-dipped apples and other sweet treats to start the new year. Wishing those of you who celebrate a peaceful respite from the daily grind … and a happy harvest to the rest of you!

Tonight’s dinner menu:

  • apples, pears, challah + honey*
  • matzo ball soup
  • gelfite fish + horseradish
  • quinoa with apricots + pepitas
  • lemon roasted zucchini + carrots*
  • maple-glazed roasted salmon*
  • homemade plum ice cream*
  • sokol blosser evolution wine (oregon)

* = locally-sourced

Pacific NW Snapshot: Oregon Coast Best Bites

Monday, September 29th, 2008

For the final glimpse back at our summer vacation, I’ll share a few of our favorite places to chow down during breaks from good old-fashioned digging-holes-in-the-sand fun on the beach.

Devil’s Punchbowl at Otter Rock is one of my favorite spots. Not only are the views spectacular, the little cove beach buffered from the wind and uncrowded, but there’s a Mo’s seafood shack*, Flying Dutchman winery and ice cream truck all perched atop the bluff. Nothing says summer like a fried oyster sandwich and cup of clam chowder, chased down with a glass of pinot and huckleberry ice cream cone overlooking the Pacific. Bliss.

Also on the 101 en route from Lincoln City to Newport, Riptide BBQ pit serves some tasty brisket and pulled pork. And when you get to Newport, Rogue Ale‘s global headquarters is a must visit. Oh, there’s also a pretty cool aquarium down there, but we didn’t have time for that this trip. Pig ‘n Pancake is a local breakfast chain, with real, tasty food. As in, real Northwest berries and strawberry sauce that is strawberry red, not red dye #5 red …. and a kid’s menu that has actual kid-sized portions, plus small-portioned combos for adults. The Dungeness crab benedict is quite yummy.

*There’s are several Mo’s locations along the Coast. The one in Lincoln City is perched over the Siletz Bay and offers a pretty spectacular sunset view.

FarmFreshDC, September – Apples + Squash

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Local Food and Local Farms

September is a wonderful month at our local markets, with tomatoes and peaches mingling with winter squash, sweet potatoes, the return of salad greens (arugula!), and sweet, crisp apples. Now that we’ve roasted, salsa-ed, gazpachoed, and preserved a gazillion tomatoes, we’re embracing fall and highlighting a few DC-area bloggers who are making the most of the season’s fresh produce.

SQUASH
One of my favorite squash vendors, Three Way Farm at the Del Ray Market, reports that summer zucchini is winding down fast with the shortening days. I shredded and froze a few more pounds today, and am ready to embrace butternuts, spaghetti, acorns and all the other winter squash that add serious heft to my fall market basket…

APPLES
“Appy? appy” need an appy!” is a frequent refrain in our house these days. Aside from the stash of little delicious, honey crisp and such we keep on hand for snacking, I buy some of the bigger, tarter varieties for cooking. (Jonagold and Matsu this weekend, from D&S Farms at Del Ray.)

MISCELLANY
Of course it’s not all squash and apples, check out a few other seasonal ideas.

We will be participating in the Eat Local Challenge for the month of October, so check back for updates & we’ll see you October 24 for the next FarmFreshDC round-up.

Elections That Matter

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

My favorite local coffee shop, Buzz, has delved into campaign politics with a spirited competition between elephant ears and donkey tails. Now, I’m happy to see elephant ears have made their way to the East Coast (although these are actually palmiers, not authentic elephant ears), but it’s fair to assume given our neighborhood that they’ll be taking second place come Election Day.

In more serious matters, Buzz is holding steady in first place (popular vote) in the Washington Post’s cupcake wars. Now, the reviewer gave Buzz mediocre ratings, and I am seriously questioning his judgment. That “funky” taste in the red velvet cupcake’s frosting? Cream cheese. As opposed to the sugar overloaded frostings of so many other, lesser pastry chefs. Buzz’s mini cupcakes were a hit at the toddler’s birthday parties and are our family’s preferred pastries. So, please, support Josh Short and vote early and often!

Creamy Apple Celery Soup

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

We recently ventured out to Stribling Orchard‘s Apple Festival to kick off fall with fresh-plucked apples. It didn’t feel particularly like fall as it was a scorching 95 degrees. Stribling is a sixth-generation family farm with a lovely view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The occasional train passing by below the orchard provided an added thrill for the kids.

The toddler picked a few apples, had some fun with the picking stick, and then we headed back to the shade of the country store to indulge in a caramel apple.

We got some beautiful young celery in our CSA bag last week, and I was planning to use it in some sort of soup when I had the thought to use some of our apples as well. This can be served hot or chilled, in case you also live somewhere where the weather and calendar aren’t always in sync.

Recipe: Creamy Apple Celery Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 T butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 4 large apples, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • black pepper to taste

Instructions: Melt butter in stock pot over medium low heat. Add onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add celery and cook 2 minutes more. Stir in apples and broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer over medium low heat for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and puree with immersion blender. Serve with freshly ground pepper warm, or chill for at least 1 hour to enjoy cold. Makes 4 servings.

Notes: This creamy soup is lower in fat than your traditional cream of celery, and the sweetness of the apples will appeal to kids and adults alike.