What to do this Weekend in DC

It is hard to believe that it is Friday already.  It is supposed to be a beautiful weekend in DC.  There are a ton of things to do, but I have focused on a couple exciting events.  First of all, it is finally May.  All of the April showers, or lack of them, will hopefully bring out the May flowers.  Along with May comes Cinco de Mayo.  Yep, that Mexican holiday celebrating the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.  Yep, not an independence day, however, it gives us the perfect reason to go and have a cocktail.  Also tomorrow is Derby Day.  I failed to make the Mint Julep cocktail on Wednesday.  My Bad.  However here is the recipe for all of you looking for a great cocktail for the weekend.

Mint Julep

  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint
  • 2 cups crushed ice
  • 2 ounces bourbon (such as Woodford Reserve)
  • Fresh mint sprig, for garnish

Add a handful of ice, mint and simple syrup to a glass.  Muddle the mint mixture.  Then add the bourbon and remaining ice.  Serve in a julep cup or in a rocks glass.

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Fire and Smoke Pizza

Top with the ingredients

There is a little pizza restaurant in DC called Matchbox that makes pretty darn good pizzas.  Although they are known more for their sliders than their pizza, they make a pretty mean pie.  My favorite is the Fire and Smoke pizza.  It is a mixture of spicy and smokey ingredients that play together to make an awesome pizza.  I created a pizza to honor their splendid slice.  It is not meant to be the same, but then again it is not too far off either.

Fire and Smoke Pizza

Dana says it is the best pizza that I have ever made.  I have to agree with her.  It was extremely tasty.

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Vodka Cherry Limeade

Cherry Limeade Closeup

The other week I was coming back from Pork in the Park when we stopped at a Sonic Drive-in.  I love Sonic.  The food is delicious and the drinks are amazing.  I am a huge fan of the cherry limeade.  After taking a few sips, you realize that it would be amazing with alcohol.  So that is exactly what I did.

Cherry Limeade

Served with a Maraschino cherry this drink is fabulous. Think best drink ever and then place this one in front of it.

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Cinnamon Sugar French Toast

Cinnamon Sugar French Toast

The other day I was strolling through the local Super Market when  I came across an amazing loaf of Challah bread.  I knew I had to make something with it.  So I decided to make my favorite French Toast for dinner.  Who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner.  Plus, a little brown sugar and Cinnamon to round off my French Toast.  The perfect complement for a savory sweet breakfast for dinner treat.

Cinnamon Sugar French Toast

Top with a little powdered sugar and this breakfast treat is going prime time.

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Spinach Mushroom and Goat Cheese Pizza

Spinach Mushroom and Goat Cheese Pizza

I am a huge fan of pizza. Every once in a while I will go out and have a slice to see what toppings are popular. I stopped by a local pizzeria and had a spinach mushroom and goat cheese pizza. It was awesome and instantly knew I would have to recreate this for the blog.

Spinach Mushroom and Goat Cheese Pizza

This pizza is extremely popular at my house. The flavor combination is awesome!

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Tamale Pie

The other day I was in a rush and I stopped by the local supermarket to pick up something fast.  A little dish called tamale pie caught my eye.  Basically it was a chili topped with cornbread topping.  It was delicious, so I decided to make one of my own.  I made a quick chili full of ingredients and topped it with a delicious corn bread.

Tamale Pie

The cornbread soaks up a lot of the juices so don’t worry if it looks a little runny before you put it in the oven.

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Farmers Markets in the Area

There is nothing better than fresh produce. I enjoy walking through the farmers market seeing the bounty of the day. I try not to have a recipe in mind when I go, that way it seems more Top Chef. Actually, it is because I am not sure what produce will be fresh. You don’t want … Read moreFarmers Markets in the Area

Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots

Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots

A steak is just a steak until you add sides.  Then the steak turns into a meal.  Everyone always focuses on the main entree, but fails to put any thought into the supporting cast.  A good side can elevate an OK meal to a great meal.  For this reason, I like to focus on side dishes every once in a while.  Like today, I am making brown sugar glazed carrots.  These carrots are boiled in a sweet brown sugar glaze that perfectly cooks the carrots and glazes them with a sweet flavorful glaze.

Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots

These carrots are the perfect side for any entree.  I serve them with beef, chicken, lamb and even grilled fish. It is always good to have a simple well rounded side in your recipe box, that you can pull out at a moments notice.

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The Insomniac Spiked Milkshake

Insomniac Spiked Milkshake

Every week  I try to feature an amazing cocktail.  This week includes one of the best creations I have ever made.  This cocktail started yesterday when I featured cold brew coffee on my blog.  Cold brew coffee is brewed slowly and creates a nice smooth bitter-less coffee concentrate.  Therefore, I wanted to create a cocktail that utilized this amazing coffee concentrate.  Then I decided that it would make an amazing milk shake.  One thing led to another and the idea that alcohol would be amazing in a milkshake was born.  Crazy how ideas come together.

Insomniac Spiked Milkshake

I also drizzled caramel around the glass before filling it with the milk shake.  The golden caramel goes great with the Kahlua and Bailey’s.

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Cold Brew Coffee

Cold Brewed Coffee

So it has been getting warm around here and I have been spending a small fortune on iced coffee.  I like the caffeine and since it is hot, why not get it cool and refreshing.  To save a little money I wanted to try something a little different.  It is called cold brew coffee.  Basically … Read moreCold Brew Coffee

Pork in the Park – My first Competition

Pork Barrel BBQ

Well this past weekend I accompanied the Pork Barrel BBQ team to Pork in the Park for my first ever BBQ competition. It was a ton of fun and quite intense.  The first day was quite relaxing then you realize that the next day you have to turn in all of your meat within a two hour window.  Doesn’t seem like much, but you have to present the meat in a fully garnished box.  It was a ton of work.  Overall we did not do as good as we liked, but we learned a lot.  Like one, bring zero gravity chairs as they are easy to sleep in.  Two, BBQ is very subjective and what one person likes, another person may not. Three, earplugs are a plus.

Pork in the Park

Here are a few pictures from the event.  As you can see, it is smoke and tents for as far as the eye can see.  It was pretty intense.   BBQ competitions are not about having the best equipment, they are about having the best final product.  Thus, you see the whole spectrum.  There were people with full trailer pits with bars, TVs and even Margaritaville Blenders.  There were also people with a quick pop-up tent and a single little smoker made from an old oil drum.

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Chicken-N-Noodles over Mashed Potatoes

Chicken-N-Noodles over Mashed Potatoes

Starch Starch Starch, I love Starch.  This is the greatest meal I have ever had.  It is based on one that I had a Bob Evans Restaurant.  It is basically a Biscuit, topped with mashed potatoes, topped with chicken noodle soup.  Amazing!!  This was one meal that I was extremely happy that I had leftovers of.

Chicken-N-Noodles over Mashed Potatoes

I can not emphasize how much I enjoyed this meal.  Noodles, potatoes and a biscuit, so many carbs, so frickin awesome.

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What to do in DC this Weekend

Pork in the Park – April 16-18

While not exactly in DC this festival is about a 3 hour drive away from DC.  Follow your nose to Maryland’s Eastern Shore for the Pork in the Park BBQ Festival at Winterplace Park in Salisbury, Maryland on April 16-18, 2010. This family-friendly Maryland barbeque event has grown in leaps and bounds since its inception seven years ago, and over 130 BBQ teams will compete in this year’s competition.

Each team will spend the weekend slicing, seasoning and sizzling pork, chicken and beef in hopes their cooking will earn them a portion of the $18,000 in cash prizes and invaluable bragging rights on the Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) BBQ Circuit. The competition decisions lie in the hands of the KCBS certified professional judges. Judging is done in many categories including whole hog, beef, chicken, pork, ribs, anything butt and a special seafood.

I will be competing along with the rest of Pork Barrel BBQ team to be the Grand Champion.   If you find yourself on the Eastern Shore of Maryland this weekend stop by our tent and chat.  Look for the Pork Barrel BBQ sign or the Wagshal’s sign.  Wagshal’s is the official meat purveyor for the Pork Barrel Team.  Stop by Wagshal’s @ 4845 Massachusetts Ave NW Washington DC 20016 and ask for Pam.  She will hook you up with the best meat around.

Winterplace Park in Salisbury, Maryland

http://www.porkinthepark.org/

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