Category Archives: Events

food-related happenings: in town, online, anywhere!

Bake Sale for Haiti

It’s that time again! The DC Food Bloggers are bringing their yummy wares to you for a bake sale. All the proceeds from this bake sale will go towards Doctors Without Borders’ relief efforts in Haiti.

We will be selling our wares on Sunday, March 28th from 9-11am on the patio at Zorba’s Cafe. It’s just two blocks north of the Dupont Circle metro exit (Q St) and one block north of the Dupont Circle Farmers’ Market.

The market opens at 10, so why not stop by and see us before your Sunday morning shopping? You can pick up something to go with your morning Starbucks and tuck away a few more goodies for later! It should be a lovely morning and you’ll get to meet some of your favorite food bloggers–it’s ok, I won’t be jealous if I’m not one of them. Our last bake sale had a great turn out (and sell out!) and we’d love to see you again. And to let you in on a little secret: having access to food bloggers with a nearby farmers’ market is a great way to get helpful tips and ideas for your meals and answers to your food questions and/or dilemmas.

If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact Adventures in Shaw, Thrifty DC Cook, Not Derby Pie or One Bite At A Time. We need everything from bakers to sellers, set up & clean up.

Even if you’re not baking-inclined, we can still use your reach. Please feel free to grab a copy of the flyer and post it on your own blog or Facebook page. Print it out and hang it up at your office, e-mail your friends with a sweet-tooth and let them know about it. Since we’re only going to have around a 2-hour window this time around, the more people we can let know about it, the better.

I hope you’ll come out to see us on the 28th. There’s going to be some great eats for a great cause.

Knife Skills with Olga Berman (Mango & Tomato)

I don’t often blog about cooking tips or techniques because most of the dishes I make don’t require any special kitchen moves to get the job done. Most of the time, people aren’t standing over your shoulder as you cook, and depending on what you make no one will ever know how adept or clumsy you are. That said, I am now an extremely dangerous man with a chef’s knife.

Knife Skills class, in potentia. Olga Berman of Mango & Tomato taught an amazing knife skills class this weekend for a few local food bloggers. It was hosted by Adventures in Shaw with myself, Thrifty DC Cook, adventures of a florida girl in dc and One Bite At A Time in attendance. We all have varying levels of experience in the kitchen, but I think most of us either ignored our chef’s knives, or weren’t using them to their fullest potential. I personally love my Santoku-bladed knife, but I admit that it isn’t the best tool for every job. I mostly reach for it because it’s a slightly smaller blade than my chef’s knife and the handle suits my grip better than that of my Sabatier set. And sometimes when your kitchen surface area is reduced, you just want the one tool to have at the ready. Still, after this past Saturday’s class, I have newfound respect for the chef’s knife.

This is definitely a “100 level” class, as she went through the basics on how to prepare your knife before each use, the best type of cutting board–we both love Epicurean boards, and how to hold the knife. Of course, I’d been doing it all wrong thereby robbing myself of the naturally rhythmic cutting motion that a chef’s knife affords the wielder. After we had the proper grip and cutting motion, we moved to to food, starting with segmenting an orange. It isn’t a necessary technique for when the slices won’t be featured, but it’s an amazing effect for when they’re center stage. My technique wasn’t quite perfect with this as I couldn’t quite get the roundness I was looking for, but I was able to get a few pretty segments before my orange fell apart. Still, in this class, even your mistakes are yummy.

IMG_0744 From there we moved onto onions, learning two methods for dicing them: making perpendicular cuts into the onion–which is the method you’re mostly likely to see TV cooks use, and cutting with the natural grain of the onion. The latter being a more natural and faster technique, but for either one, you have to have good control of the knife and the food on the cutting surface. Both gave us nicely even diced onion pieces which were swiftly collected in a bowl and whisked away by our host… As it turned out, she was reaping the benefits of the class by planning to use our chopped veggies for dishes this week.

Working with potatoes, we learned basic cutting methods for strips, matchsticks and cubes which can be applied to many foods. We also learned a new way of cutting carrots to give more triangular cuts than the standard round chunks. I’ll be using that next time I roast something as more surface area is a good thing. After applying the same basic cutting method to garlic and learning how to mince parsley–also discussing the chiffonade method for leafy herbs, she ended the class with a bang: peppers. I know, it doesn’t sound that exciting until she showed us the following method:

It may take me a while before I’m able to do that, but it was certainly impressive and none of us had ever thought to avoid the ribs and seeds that way. Over the course of the class, I realized that my biggest problem is timing. When I cook for myself, I often lose track of what needs to be done when and I end up rushing through my prep. This usually leaves me with shoddily chopped veggies–though that doesn’t always matter–and the occasionally-nicked fingernail. With Olga’s instruction and surrounded by friends, I realized that it wasn’t (and isn’t) a race. Taking my time produced superior results, and learning the appropriate techniques still had me finishing quickly. I will also note that there were six of us dicing onions in close proximity, but with the right methods and sharp knives, none of us cried.

The class was a lot of fun, very hands on and Olga is a wonderful teacher. As we were wrapping things up, she made sure we asked questions, and using pen & paper was able to sketch out cutting techniques for other types of food that we didn’t have on-hand. If you and some friends are looking for a fun (and educational) foodie event, get in touch with Olga through her blog and ask about the class.

We all took some great photos of the class and our efforts. There’s a flickr group with fantastic shots by Shaw Girl and the rest of us. I suppose I shouldn’t be, but I was surprised at how much fun it actually was. I’m not really into classroom type situations, but this was non-competitive, non-judgmental and we had a lot of laughs.

If you want to hear more about the class or our other foodie exploits, look us up on twitter: @urbanbohemian, @MangoTomato, @Shaw_Girl, @ThriftyDCCook, @floridagirlindc & @frijolita. (Note: Some of us have protected accounts, and some of us may not follow back right away, if at all. But an @-reply will be seen if you have a specific question.)

Yelp DC Drinks Week Mar. 1-7

As if RAMW’s Unleashed wasn’t enough for you next week, Yelp is also getting 17 DC bars and restaurants to participate in Yelp Drinks.

Yelp Drinks flyer with details and participating venues

Who’s up for a city-wide happy hour… all day long, all week long?!

For many of us, there is nothing like unwinding with a cold beer, glass of wine or a tasty cocktail. This March, for the first time ever in DC, Yelp brings you Yelp Drinks, a city-wide opportunity to sample some tasty, alcoholic beverages at some of the places that locals love most! Participating locations will feature up to 3 adult beverages for 50% off, all week long during their business hours.

Yelp Drinks prices are good all day Monday through Sunday while supplies last. Though we’re calling this a happy hour, it’s more like a happy week – lasting for 7 straight days!

I know some of us cast a side glance at those people sitting at bars with drinks in the early daylight hours, but maybe next week they’re just taking part in the deals. Not just restricted to Happy Hour, these specials being offered all day is pretty unique. From $2.50 for a Great Lakes Amber Lager at SOVA Espresso and Wine to $14 for a Pitcher of Fusion Sangria Margaritas at Hudson Restaurant and Lounge, there’s something for everyone in this list: beers, mixed drinks, martinis, classic cocktails and perhaps a few surprises. The “100 calorie cocktails” being offered at PS7’s are intriguing to say the least.

There’s a kickoff party tonight at The Park at Fourteenth from 5-10p if you want to mingle with some fellow Yelpers–is that what they call themselves? Between Unleashed and Yelp Drinks, I’m looking forward to chasing away some of the winter doldrums with a few friends, a few bites and more than a few drinks!

DC Metro Restaurants “Unleashed” Mar. 1-7

The RAMW has just announced UNLEASHED. Over 100 area restaurants will be offering specials during the week of March 1-7, 2010.

This will be a great way for patrons to unleash the pent up dining passions that have been so constrained over this winter […] it’s not just dining; this is also about social contact, conviviality, decompression and so much more that we tend not to think about until it is taken away. Think of our Unleashed week as an intense, really big, group therapy session.

— Lynne Breaux, President of RAMW

A quick read over the list shows a nice selection of participating restaurants, so it shouldn’t be hard to find a qualifying table. Many are offering one of my favorite things, multiple-course fixed price menus. Of course, those restaurants may not whip out the steak and lobster, but I think the lessons of many Restaurant Weeks past in this area have taught them not to scrimp–and not to place upcharges on everything.

During the snowstorms, there was a lot of twitter buzz over which restaurants were open/closed and which were still debating it. Even those diners that did make it out found that many places didn’t get their usual deliveries and weren’t fully stocked. Hopefully the Unleashed week of specials will get more people out to eat and help more than a few venues recoup the social if not financial capital that being snowed-in took away. In any case, most people in DC hardly need a reason not to cook, but these specials might serve to sweeten the pot.

DC Food Blogger Happy Hour at Againn

DC Food Blogger Happy Hour of 2010 will be at Againn on Wednesday, February 3rd.

It’s that time again, the DC Food Bloggers are having their first Happy Hour of 2010 at Againn this Weds, Feb 3rd from 6-8p. Thrifty DC Cook puts it best:

Are you looking for another opportunity to drink specialty beers, eat delicious bar food, and slur recipes to one another? Well here it is.

Attendance is free–of course–but if your RSVP for the food blogger happy hour is in the affirmative, you must leave a comment over at ThriftyDC’s so they’ll have an idea of what kind of turnout to expect in addition to their regular happy hour crowd.

If you have a DC food blog, this is a great way to meet your fellow foodies and share ideas, recipes & techniques. If you’re just a fan of local food blogs or have been thinking of starting one of your own, it’s a good opportunity for a meet and greet. While I don’t look forward to braving the cold, I am looking forward to some good company and good food!