Archive for the ‘events’ Category

Happy 15th FRESHFARM Markets!

Monday, July 16th, 2012

We had such a blast at the FRESHFARM Markets’ 15th anniversary bash yesterday at Dupont Circle. There were scrumptious eats from some of our favorite farmers and restaurants — the foodie tot was especially pleased to catch up with her personal pickle purveyor, Sarah of Gordy’s Pickle Jar. The boy loved watching the giant paella created by Jaleo/Think Food Group. There were crab cakes picked on the spot by the Hyatt Chesapeake. Fabulous Pleasant Pops to keep cool — their blueberry pancake was every bit as awesome as it sounds. And the kids loved rocking to local bluegrass band Newgrass Effect, too.

During the cake cutting ceremony, local politicians, including Councilmember Jack Evans and a representative from the DC Department of the Environment, lauded FRESHFARM Markets for their impact on the community. Chef Nora Pouillon, founder of the first certified organic restaurant in the country who inspired the creation of FRESHFARM Markets, remarked, “We never imagined it would be so big and so wonderful, and have so many farmers.” Chef Ris Lacoste, of Ris, noted that she spent $30,000 on market produce for her restaurant last year. Founding market farmers Bev Eggleston (Eco-Friendly Foods) and Mark Toigo (Toigo Orchards) were among the farmers on hand, too.

But enough chit chat, here’s a slideshow of the fun. The FoodieTots look forward to spending the next 15 years with you, FRESHFARM! (And hey, they’ll be old enough to volunteer for the 30th anniversary party.)

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Food Revolution Day

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Y’all know about Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, right? His television shows brought viewers into the front lines of the childhood obesity battle, and a battle it is when faced with a food industry that will spend millions in marketing rather than admit that chocolate milk is not, in fact, a health food. (Neither is Nutella, by the way.) Even if you enjoy a little chocolate milk once in a while, I think we can all agree that our children are being short changed. Jamie Oliver’s foundation has declared Saturday, May 19, the first global Food Revolution Day — a day “to get the world to focus on food issues and rally our efforts to bring food education back into schools.”

So take your kids — and your neighbor’s kids — to the farmers market, go berry picking or have a local food barbeque with friends and spread the word. You can find organized activities in your neighborhood via the official website (along with other ideas and tools for getting involved). Here in DC, FreshFarm’s H Street NE market will feature food educator Melissa Jones doing a kid and family-friendly cooking demo at 10am.

yoga tots

(Tomorrow is also Yoga on the Mall, the culmination of DC Yoga Week. A kids’ class, free of charge, will be held at 1:30pm with instructors from yoga studios around town — including our favorite studio, Lil Omm. What better way to work off all those fresh, local strawberries from the morning?)

Foodie Tots Move at the White House Egg Roll

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

On Monday, the boy and I were thrilled to take part in the 134th Annual White House Easter Egg Roll, courtesy of Let’s Move and the White House’s . We’d been before, three years ago, and were pleased to see that there was some food this time around — drinks from Honest Tea while you waited in line and apples and oranges courtesy of Whole Foods at the “Farmers Market.”

There were so many activities my son wanted to do that I didn’t get to chat with the chef manning the garden (not my buddy Sam, this time), but the boy did want to watch Bizarre Foods host Andrew Zimmern‘s cooking demo. (I’m trying to track down his porcupine dumpling recipe. In the meantime, you can watch each chef’s demo here.) We then did the obstacle course, rolled the egg of course, and picked up our souvenir egg on the way out.

Read on to see the highlights …. and the surprise parting gift at the end. (Yeah yeah, everything in moderation, right?) And I also have to give a quick shout-out to Kaboom! and KidTribe, two kids’ fitness organizations who led activities at the event.

Lemon-Mint Crusted Leg of Lamb with Spiced Fig Stuffing {DC Lamb Pro-Am}

Friday, February 10th, 2012

While lamb stew is a Foodie Tots favorite during the cold winter months, roast lamb is one of my favorite celebrations of spring. In my inter-faith household, lamb is one of the rare shared culinary traditions and is frequently served for our Easter supper. Easter has a tendency to fall during Passover, which can pose a menu planning challenge as leavened breads and such are forbidden. Fortunately, some investigation of Sephardic Jewish cooking traditions has led to delicious discoveries – like the spiced dried fruit charoset that I’ve used here as a stuffing for my leg of lamb. (Sephardic Jews typically eat rice and other grains during Passover, though since Israeli couscous is technically a pasta, it’s not exactly kosher. Close enough in our household, but you may want to check before serving to more observant Jewish guests.)

With the spring-like winter we’ve been having this year, I’ve been day-dreaming of planting my herb garden and had mint on the mind, so I added a lemon-mint pesto crust to the lamb. All we need are some daffodils in the garden and we’ll be set for spring.

foodietots roast leg of lamb recipe

I created this recipe as part of the DC Lamb Pro-Am – 13 local bloggers are competing for the best leg of lamb recipe, and a chance to cook our dish with DC chefs at the March 4 event. I’d be honored if you’d take a moment to vote for FoodieTots — thank you!

dc lamb pro-am

Let’s get started. First, take your leg of lamb out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature while you prepare the pesto and filling. Start with the pesto — fresh mint, parsley, lemon zest, half a shallot and pistachios are finely chopped, then add butter to form a thick paste.

lemon mint pesto

For the filling, we combine dried figs, apricots, shallot, and a Middle Eastern-inspired spice blend: coriander, cumin and cinnamon. A little red wine is the finishing touch. (I used a Coteaux du Languedoc, Cotes du Rhone or another medium-bodied red wine would be fine.)

spiced fig and apricot charoset

Next, press the stuffing into the lamb. Roll it up, press the pesto on top, and into the oven it goes… Voilà!

preparing a stuffed leg of lamb

Recipe: Lemon-Mint Crusted Leg of Lamb with Spiced Fig Stuffing
Lamb sustainably-raised on Border Springs Farm in Southwest Virginia

Ingredients:

1 (4.5-5.5 pound) boneless leg of lamb
kosher salt
lemon-mint pesto (below)
spiced fig filling (below)

Lemon-Mint Pesto

1/2 shallot
1 cup fresh mint leaves, loosely packed
1 cup fresh parsley leaves, loosely packed
1/3 cup shelled pistachios
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons butter, cold

Place all ingredients except butter in food processor and process till finely chopped. Add butter and grind to a thick paste. Remove from processor and set aside.

Spiced Fig Filling

1/2 shallot
6 ounces dried apricots
7 ounces dried figs
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup red wine

Place all ingredients except wine in food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Remove to a bowl, pour wine over and toss to combine. Set aside.

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Rinse lamb and pat dry. Trim of any excess fat. Unfold leg and make a cut into the thicker side so that lamb can open flat (or, ask your butcher to butterfly the leg for you). Press fruit mixture into lamb in an even layer. Roll back up and place seam side down on rack in roasting pan.

Season lamb with kosher salt. Press pesto mixture over top. Cover loosely with foil and roast for 1 hour 45 minutes. Remove foil and cook an additional 30 minutes (total cooking time 2 hours and 15 minutes, or until meat thermometer reaches 145 degrees for medium rare). Remove and let stand for 15 minutes before carving.

Note: I had a hard time slicing my lamb without the crust crumbling. I’d suggest slicing it part way, then transferring the remaining leg to the serving platter to display to your guests before slicing the rest. Serve with Israeli couscous, garnished with mint, and roasted carrots.

Tea and Manners with Mrs. B

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

You know the drill. The crowd has gathered for the holiday, friends and family are seated around the table and lovingly-prepared food is passed from plate to plate. Just as the chatter dies down, while people dig in for their first bite, your charming child loudly declares, “Ew, this is disgusting!” We’ve all been there. (We have, right?) Well local parents rejoice: The Grille at Morrison House hosts a monthly story time tea with Mrs. B. Who’s Mrs. B, you ask? A children’s etiquette teacher.

tea spread

The monthly themed teas cater to the children with an introductory activity, kid-friendly menu items (pb&j and egg salad sandwiches, naturally), and story time. All the while, Mrs. B works in subtle tips about proper tea time manners casually throughout the afternoon. Tea is served in the hotel’s elegant tea room (available for afternoon tea for grown-ups every Saturday, 2:00-5:00pm).

We were invited to attend the Spooky Halloween tea and my five-year-old son had an absolute blast. He was smitten with Mrs. B, delighted to hear they had a “special hot chocolate” just for him and thoroughly enthralled the entire time.

tea with mrs b

Spooky Tea with Mrs. B

The breaks between the savory and sweet courses helped keep him entertained, and the champagne cocktail for mama made the afternoon even sweeter. As we left he declared that he wanted to return every month. The November and December teas feature Thanksgiving and Christmas themes, naturally, but story-time teas are held the third Saturday of every month. See details below for reservation information. And visit Mrs. B’s website for more info about her other classes and birthday parties. (I foresee a birthday tea party for the foodie bebe someday.)

MONTHLY STORY TIME TEA with MRS. B

The Morrison House
Old Town Alexandria, Va.

Every third Saturday of the Month, 2pm

November 19: Giving Thanks
December 17: A Very Merry Christmas Tea

All ages welcome

$38 adult / $28 child

RSVP
703-838-8000
storytime@morrisonhouse.com

Disclosure: We attended the tea as guests of the Grille at Morrison House. As always, all opinions and reviews are our own.