Posts Tagged ‘family-friendly’

Hermione Voyage: Celebrating France in Alexandria

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

The Hermione, a replica of the tall ship that carried the Marquis de Lafayette and aid from France to assist General Washington in the waning days of the American Revolution, docked in Alexandria last night at midnight. If the boy wasn’t still in school, I’d have taken the kids down to watch its arrival; but alas, we had to settle for heading to the waterfront this afternoon. We didn’t have tickets to board (very limited tickets are available each day at 8:30am), but there were activities and re-enacters on the dock and you can walk right up to the ship for a close-up view.

Hermione Voyage in Alexandria VA | foodietots.com

The Hermione sailed from Rochefort, France in April and arrived at Yorktown on June 5. Washingtonians can visit her in Alexandria tomorrow and Friday before she continues on to Annapolis (June 16-17), Baltimore (June 19-21) and on up the Eastern seaboard to spend July 4 in New York (and beyond). Find full voyage details at hermione2015.com.

maritime education on the docks | foodietots.com

Dockside entertainment includes live music performances and a very informative tent on marine navigation that captured the foodie tots’ interest for quite a lengthy chat. There are also boat-building demos and an interpretive tent to quickly brush up on Lafayette’s significance to the American Revolution.

period entertainers on the dock | foodietots.com

Tip: Get a birds-eye view of the ship from the third floor of the Torpedo Factory — and stop by the Alexandria Archeology Museum for some more hands-on education.

Hermione as seen from the Torpedo Factory | foodietots.com

Hungry? 3 French-Inspired Eateries in Alexandria

After visiting the ship, you may be in the mood for some French cuisine. One of our long-time Old Town favorites is Fontaine Caffe & Creperie, which serves authentic sweet and savory crepes and cidres in its cozy Royal Street location. It’s also where the foodie tot ate her first anchovy, on one of our ladies’ lunches.

Further up King Street is the French-inspired La Fromagerie, an artisan cheese and wine bistro, and for something a little fancier, Bastille has recently reopened in its new Fayette Street location.

Hermione reflection in Old Town | foodietots.com

Of course, you could also pack a picnic and eat in view of the ship down at Founders Park. Just hurry, Hermione sets sail again on the 12th!

5 Local Taco Joints for Cinco de Mayo

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

As one-time Californians, the husband and I take our taco eating very seriously. Fortunately, we’ve staked out a number of acceptable local places over the years, and they’ve become favorites of the foodie tots as well. It’s hard to go wrong at any restaurant that provides free chips and salsa to satiate the can’t-possibly-wait-another-second-before-eating needs of toddlers and kids and tasty margaritas for mom and dad, but these in particular are our family favorites.

A photo posted by Colleen Levine (@foodietots) on Jul 15, 2014 at 4:26pm PDT

Los Tios, Del Ray: We’ve been eating here my kids’ entire lifetimes, and even though we no longer live in the neighborhood, we still get a warm welcome each time we return. It’s always loud, no need to worry about noisy kids, and a great place to celebrate birthdays — complementary ice cream for birthday kids or flan for adults. Get there early for a patio seat and then let the kids burn off energy on the playground across the street after you eat. Oh, and we always order the Tacos al Carbon, side of fried plaintains for the kids, though once in a blue moon we branch out and order something off the Salvadorean side of the menu.

District Taco, Arlington, Alexandria & DC: We have the original Arlington location of this beloved local chain conveniently located between home and the kids’ tae kwon do studio, so you’ll find us here often. The kids take their quesadillas with guacamole, rice and beans, while mom appreciates fish tacos (Tuesdays and Fridays) and the Boylan’s cane-sugar sodas (or bottled Jarritos sodas) for a treat.

Taqueria Poblano, Del Ray & Arlington: These popular taco spots make a fantastic margarita and have LA-style deep-fried tacos. The duck tacos are my favorite, and we always get a side order of jicama to share. Best to plan to eat early, though, especially at the smaller Del Ray location. (Look for the special spicy chocolate sorbet for dessert!)

Tacos de Jaiba Azul! #softshells @tacobamba A photo posted by Colleen Levine (@foodietots) on Jun 1, 2014 at 4:15pm PDT

Taco Bamba, Falls Church: When we’re craving something more authentic/unique, Taco Bamba fits the bill. Located in an out-of-the-way spot behind the Tyson’s Whole Foods, chef/owner Victor Albisu turns out classic and seasonal special tacos. My personal favorites are El Beso (yes, tongue) and soft shell crab, while the tots stick with flautas and El Gringo. Bonus: house-made horchata or agua frescas and elote. (Note: this is primarily a take-out spot with limited counter seating.)

Chaia, farmers markets, DC: Currently only available at farmers markets and occasional street festivals, Chaia’s fabulous vegetarian tacos will soon be available at their first retail spot in Georgetown. The flavors vary with the season but are always served on their homemade corn tortillas. For now, seek them out at FreshFarm Dupont Circle (Sundays) or White House (Thursdays) markets.

What’s your family’s favorite taco spot?

Tea with Mrs. B {DC/VA/MD}

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

The holidays are approaching — time to brush up on manners with a special pre-holiday “Tea with Mrs. B” this Sunday, November 11, at The Fairfax at Embassy Row. In this two-hour event, Mrs. B will offer holiday etiquette advice, while The Fairfax’s Chef Ferrier will share healthy holiday eating suggestions. There will be a full kid-friendly tea service and even a photographer on hand for family photos while everyone is dressed in their fancy tea attire.

Tea with Mrs. B

We had such a fun time at a “Tea with Mrs. B” event at the Morrison House in Old Town Alexandria last year. If you can’t make it to Sunday’s event, the Morrison will also host holiday story time teas on November 17 (Thanksgiving) and December 15 (Christmas/Hanukkah). Visit Mrs. B’s website for additional details.

Holiday Etiquette and Tea Party for the Entire Family
with Mrs. B
Sunday, November 11, 2012
1:00-3:00pm
Fairfax at Embassy Row
2100 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.
Adults: $49 per person; Children: $29 per person
Purchase tickets online here or call
202-736-1459.

Sunday Brisket {and A Plea}

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Today I’m pleased to share our family’s favorite Sunday brisket for a virtual progressive dinner party, Share Our Holiday Table. Together with more than 50 fellow bloggers, we are sharing our favorite recipes to help raise awareness of Share Our Strength‘s work to ensure no child goes hungry.

You’ll see below I made my own chili sauce for this recipe, using organic ketchup, out of frustration with the HFCS in the store version. So when I read this story in yesterday’s SOS email, my heart broke:

…. a young boy who received free meals all summer at a small community organization in El Dorado, Arkansas, thanks to the support of Share Our Strength. One day, a staff member noticed that he was stuffing his pockets with ketchup packets and asked him why he wanted so much ketchup.

He replied, “I hope it’s okay. I bring them home and when we have enough my grandma and me make tomato soup.”

Won’t you hop over to SOS and donate even just $2.99 — the cost of a carton of tomato soup? It doesn’t take much to make a world of difference for hungry kids this holiday season.

Thank you! Now, on to the recipe.

My brisket recipe comes from my Jewish mother-in-law, who instructed me to simply add a jar of chili sauce and a can of beer to a brisket and roast it. The first time I attempted this to nearly disastrous results. The supermarket had only corned beef brisket, and I did not yet know the difference. I couldn’t find chili sauce, and wound up with a bottle of something like Pete’s hot sauce. Hot sauce + hot pink and uber-salted corned beef is, for the record, almost inedible, as the husband likes to remind me.

Now, I buy my brisket from Smith Meadows at the farmers market, and I know that chili sauce comes from Heinz. Unfortunately, Heinz is made with high fructose corn syrup, so I made my own chili sauce. Instructions below. The best part about making this brisket on a Sunday afternoon is that the leftovers can be stretched out into one or two more dinners during the week — sliced thin for brisket sandwiches one night, then shredded and served over egg noodles another. It’s a great way to stretch your food budget and get the most out of your grassfed beef.

Recipe: Sunday Brisket

Ingredients:

  • 1 4-pound beef brisket
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 10 ounces chili sauce (see below)
  • 1 bottle dark beer (I used Guinness)
  • sea salt and black pepper

For Chili Sauce:

  • 1 1/4 cup organic ketchup
  • 1/4 cup dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce

Instructions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the chili sauce ingredients. Trim any excess fat from the brisket and place in roasting pan. Season generously with salt and pepper. Spread chili sauce and onions on and around the brisket, then pour beer over top. Cover pan with foil and cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, until tender. Serve with pan juices as gravy. Makes 8 servings.

Below are the other sites sharing entree recipes on Share our Holiday Table today. In addition to our usual year-end donation to Share our Strength, I’ll be donating my December ad revenue as well. If you’ve already donated to Share our Strength, I hope you’ll take a moment to share this post with a friend too. Thank you so much!

Gourmet

Family Friendly

Vegetarian

Gluten Free

Find the full menu of appetizers, drinks, soups and salads that have already been shared after the jump. (more…)

Hearty Winter Baked Ziti

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

presto pasta nights

That kale we can’t get enough of? I love to make myself a quick lunch of “green eggs and kale” (blanch kale, then poach eggs in the same water = greenish eggs), but am still hunting for a way to convince the husband and toddler of kale’s deliciousness. In the meantime, I add bits and pieces in dishes and hope that some of their nutrients (vitamins K, A, C, calcium, iron and more) rub off on the other ingredients, since the toddler is still pretty adept at picking out strange green pieces. (He did accidentally take a bite of this ziti with kale and didn’t spit it out this time, so I’m considering that a small victory.) Baked ziti is a great dish to incorporate stray winter produce languishing in your refrigerator, in this case, kale and carrots. Of course I used organic ingredients, including organic ricotta, cheese and pasta and natural, no-nitrates-added Italian sausage. And I’m submitting this hearty, healthy, classic family favorite for the 100th installment of Presto Pasta Nights. (Happy anniversary, Ruth!)

Recipe: Hearty Winter Baked Ziti

baked ziti pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ziti noodles
  • 1 cup organic kale leaves, torn
  • 12 ounces Italian sausage, crumbled (if using links, remove casing and dice)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 3 organic carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 pound whole milk ricotta
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella, romano and parmesan cheeses

Instructions: Bring water to boil in a large stock pot.

Heat oil in dutch oven over medium heat. Add sausage and cook until evenly browned. Remove sausage from pan and set aside, covered.

Lower heat to medium low and add garlic and onion. Cook 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add carrots and cook another 2 minutes. Stir in oregano, sausage and tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste (go easy on the salt if your sausage is already salty).

While sauce simmers, cook pasta for 6 minutes (or 2/3 of minimum recommended cooking), adding kale for the last minute. Drain.

Stir together pasta, kale, ricotta and 1/2 of the sauce. Pour into 9×13-inch baking pan. Pour remaining sauce over top, then spead shredded cheeses evenly over top. Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes, until cheese is golden. Makes 10-12 servings. Enjoy!

Submitted to Presto Pasta Nights, created and hosted by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast. Be sure to share your favorite pasta recipe for the special 100th round-up!