The Ripper

Have you ever deep fried a hot dog? You should. It is amazing. I unpacked the deep fryer the other day to make Poutine and I didn’t want to drain the oil till I fried up a hot dog.  To make a ripper you need natural casing hot dogs.  Where I am originally from in the Midwest, this is not a problem.  Out in DC this was a different story.  I had to go to three different stores to find natural casing dogs.  If you have multiple choices on natural casing dogs, make sure to pick the biggest ones that you can find.  They will rip better.

Rippers with Mustard Slaw
Rippers with Mustard Slaw

These are so good with a mustard based slaw on them.  No need for any other condiments.  They are awesome.

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Poutine, Oh Glorious Poutine!!!

So I have been searching the DC metro area for cheese curds for a couple of weeks. The other night I went out to dinner with my friends Ryan and Melissa and they informed me that you can purchase cheese curds at Trader Joes.  This is awesome as it is right down the street. So yes, Trader Joes carries cheese curds in the DC metro area, if you were looking. Once I had my hands on the magnificent curds I only had one thought in my head, Poutine. What is Poutine you ask? It is a dish that is popular in Canada that contains cheese curds, french fries, and beef gravy. Well our Neighbors to the North (Canada) know how to pile on the calories in a single meal (roughly 1000 calories in a single serving). Sounds a little overkill, but it is completely amazing.

It is so tasty that you don't need to count the calories. - It's a free pass!!
It is so tasty that you don’t need to count the calories. – It’s a free pass!!

The standard is white cheddar curds but all I could find were yellow curds. Tastes the same, just looks a bit different.

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Peach Pie

I have been overloaded with peaches lately. I guess there are worse things to be overloaded with. So I pulled out the food processor and made a couple of pie crusts. Then I contemplated what kind of peach pie to make. Then I settled on the basic peach pie. Since I have so many peaches, I figured I would make a lot of peach pies. Further, I wanted a baseline pie in which to judge all of the rest. While making the pie the handle of the food processor got caught on my camera strap.  Yep, my camera fell.  Cooking is dangerous.  So halfway through the post you will see that all of the pictures are taken from the same distance and my camera can no longer zoom or auto-focus.  Oops.

Perfect Peach Pie
Perfect Peach Pie

As you can see it has a flaky crust and is packed with fresh local peaches.

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What to do this weekend in DC – (August 28-30)

Every Friday I pick the best culinary events in the DC area for my readers to enjoy. This weekend there are some great events to attend in and around the DC metro area from the end of Restaurant Week to Spike’d Sundays.

Time to make reservations

This is the end of DC Restaurant Week you should make your reservations now. DC Restaurant Week is August 24th-30th. Restaurant Week includes a 3-course prix-fixe menu for a discounted price. This year’s prices are $20.09 Lunches & $35.09 Dinners.

Here are my tips

  • Pick a restaurant that has the full menu for restaurant week
  • Stay away from the Steak Houses – They are usually lame
  • If the restaurant has a Restaurant Week menu look at it on their website before reserving a spot.
  • Try a new restaurant – Restaurant Week gives you the opportunity to try new and interesting cuisines.
  • Have fun! – Order a glass of wine with dinner.

To view the restaurants and make a reservation visit OpenTable.com

Read moreWhat to do this weekend in DC – (August 28-30)

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The Blue Box Revisited – Pesto Mac

The results are in for the FoodieFights.com competition. I ended up finishing in fourth place with 133 pts. Thanks to everyone that voted. If you would like to see my entry click here.

A couple of months back I did a post on how to spice up boxed mac n cheese. It was a popular post so I decided to do another round. I know that homemade mac n cheese is the best, but we all have a box of mac in the cupboard. I am not too ashamed to admit it. Ok, maybe just a little bit. But, the blue box is cheap and tasty. Especially when you get home late from the bar. So here is my take on how to spice up boxed mac n cheese.

Pesto mac
Pesto mac

Fresh pesto tossed in with the mac n cheese adds an amazing flavor. You can barely tell that the cheese was once in powder form. Really.

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The Old Fashioned

I want to let everyone know that I do read all of the emails that I get. There was a common theme in my emails this last month. Lets set this up. About a month ago I was extremely busy and didn’t have enough time to thoroughly read and review a cookbook. So I wrote a post about the Green Monster Cocktail.  Since that day I have been getting a ton of emails from loyal readers saying that they would prefer a cocktail over a book review.  I say if you want a cocktail, I will deliver.  Plus it allows me to drink on the job.  Hooray!!!  I know that some people like the book reviews so I am going to throw a link to one every so often.  A full review won’t be featured on the main page, but a link to the full review will be provided.  So here we go.  Time for a cocktail.

The Old Fashioned
The Old Fashioned

This week I decided to go old school and make a drink reminiscent of the 50’s as I have been watching a lot of Mad Men (a great TV show, check it out).

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Peach Chutney Stuffed Pork Chops with Bearnaise Sauce

I am trying once again to win the glory that comes with the title FoodieFights.com Champion. I entered last week and was blessed with the secret ingredients of Peaches and Tarragon. Two ingredients that I have never used together in a recipe. So I went through a couple of ideas and settled on Peach Chutney Stuffed Pork Chops with a Bearnaise sauce made with Peach Vinegar and a whole bunch of Tarragon.   At the end of the post you can vote on your favorite dish.  Wish me luck.

Peach Chutney Stuffed Pork Chops with a Peach Bearnaise Sauce
Peach Chutney Stuffed Pork Chops with a Peach Bearnaise Sauce

Luckily I found some peach vinegar at the store which totally put this dish over the top.

Read morePeach Chutney Stuffed Pork Chops with Bearnaise Sauce

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Chocolate Chewies

The supermarket by my house makes these crunchy cookies that are filled with walnuts and have a chewy center.  They are addictive.  So I decided to look around and find a recipe for them.  After a while I discovered a recipe that sounds delicious.  Although it did not contain nuts, I figured we could work around it.

Chocolate Chewies
Chocolate Chewies

They are super tasty and awesome.

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Eggs Benedict

One of my favorite brunch items is Eggs Benedict. I love hollandaise sauce but some times you just walk into a restaurant and you just don’t trust the chef with preparing it correctly. To fix this problem I say, make it at home. Traditional hollandaise can take a lot of work and time to prepare, but blender hollandaise takes only a minute or two to prepare. You can have the Eggs Benedict on the table in a matter of minutes.

Eggs Benedict
Eggs Benedict

English muffins, ham, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce come together to form the best breakfast ever!!

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Homemade Soft Pretzels

So I have been getting prepared for football season. I usually have friends over for bloodymary’s, chili, tacos and beer. This year I wanted to change it up a bit, so I have been trying out recipes for a variety of different foods that would work with football and beer. What goes better with beer than a good old fashioned pretzel. So I researched a couple of recipes and then I saw an episode of good eats. Instantly I knew I would have to try AB’s recipe.

Served with a little mustard sauce!
Served with a little mustard sauce!

The pretzels were tasty. I didn’t have pretzel salt, but I found that fine sea salt worked great.

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What to do this weekend in DC – (August 21-23)

Every Friday I pick the best culinary events in the DC area for my readers to enjoy. This weekend there are some great events to attend in and around the DC metro area.  This weekend DC has some great events from the Montgomery County Fair to the Alexandria Cambodia Community Day.

Time to make reservations

This isn’t this weekend, but if you want to participate in DC Restaurant Week you should make your reservations now.  DC Restaurant Week is August 24th-30th. Restaurant Week includes a 3-course prix-fixe menu for a discounted price.  This year’s prices are $20.09 Lunches & $35.09 Dinners.

Here are my tips

  • Pick a restaurant that has the full menu for restaurant week
  • Stay away from the Steak Houses – They are usually lame
  • If the restaurant has a Restaurant Week menu look at it on their website before reserving a spot.
  • Try a new restaurant – Restaurant Week gives you the opportunity to try new and interesting cuisines.
  • Have fun! – Order a glass of wine with dinner.

To view the restaurants and make a reservation visit OpenTable.com

Read moreWhat to do this weekend in DC – (August 21-23)

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BBQ Ribs On A Gas Grill

My friends Ryan and Melissa have been promoting my site to all of their friends and have helped increase my readership.  So in return, I decided to cook them dinner.  I asked Ryan what he wanted and without hesitation he said ribs.  This worked perfectly as I have been getting a lot of emails about how to cook ribs on a gas grill. I have smoked ribs many times and posted about them a couple of times, but I have always cooked them on the smoker.  I love my charcoal/wood smoker (Old Bessie), but I also love my new gas grill (Weber). I know it’s not a creative name, but a grill by any other name is just a grill.  So with the help of Weber, I am going to tackle ribs on a gas grill.

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Book Review: The Bergoff Cafe Cookbook

Every Wednesday I review a cookbook and/or food related books to help weed out the good the bad and the ugly. This week I am reviewing The Berghoff Cafe Cookbook by Carlyn Berghoff and Nancy Ross Ryan. 

As a Midwesterner I frequent Chicago and I  have been to the Berghoff Cafe.  The Bergoff Cafe is a larger than life restaurant that is loud and extremely fun.  The best part about the Berghoff Cafe is their vast selection of Berghoff Beers.  I like the original Amber.  They also have amazing food.  My favorite is the beer cheese soup.  I discovered that they had a recipe for the soup in the book. 

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