Ice Cream Week: “Butter Beer Ice Cream” (Day 5)

Butter Beer Ice Cream

“Butter Beer Ice Cream” from DailyWaffle

The original title for this from the blog I got it from is “Humphry Slocombe’s Ice Cream Book and Butter Beer (at Home!)” and can be found on  the DailyWaffle. I really like that name. Waffle…

The thought that beer and ice cream and all that other yumminess could possible be in my mouth? Driving me a little insane right now. But there’s more! The Daily Waffle (I really do like saying that…) claimes that there are more recipes like this one in a book and so I have checked out the situation and there is, indeed, a book… And now I must own it. Because I’ve now seen some of the recipes in a sample up on Google Books and yes. They are ownership worthy in my current opinion. And my current opinion is that there should always be more awesome in the world. And awesome ice cream would just about solve any ailment I can think of in my life right now. So go ahead and check it all out for yourselves. And if you’re too lazy to make the extra click to the Daily Waffle you can see the sample of the book by clicking here: Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book

French Toast Heaven Has Been Found!

Founding Farmers - Rockville

Founding Farmers – Rockville: Also known fondly as, that place where the food is amazing and yes we can definitely go back there. (Follow link to restaurant website)

Ranting about good food is just a built in part of my nature at this point. And I’m sure I’ve ranted about Founding Farmers before because I’ve been there several times and taken people there from out of town because, well, it’s impressive and I like making sure that visitors to DC remember it fondly, especially as a foodie capitol (which it most definitely is in my book).

Also, I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before that my parents aren’t big fans of going out to eat. Why? Because they are sure to tell me every time I go out that they think it’s a waste. Although, usually it’s my dad saying that and my mom wonders out loud why she doesn’t ever get to go out somewhere nice… And I feel bad sometimes because they don’t do stuff like that mostly because they’re busy paying for our house and (yes we only have one) car. Oh, and have I mentioned that my little brother is rather expensive on the upkeep costs? He’s still young enough that being supported is acceptable but still. Children are expensive.

But with my dad gone and my mom pulling all-nighters to get this work done for Yemen she hasn’t been in much of a mood to cook so if we’re at home I’ve been doing it or we’ve been eating up leftovers. And on Sunday we had to do a bit of driving to get my brother to a competition and my mom decided that we would be eating out that day. So we arranged to stop at Founding Farmers at their Rockville location (near my Gma’s house) on the way back home.

Can I hear a “Best Idea EVER!”, please? I had, as of Sunday, never actually made it to any Founding Farmers (or sister restaurants) before  for brunch. I had tried twice before but due to some flooding–or inclement weather or some such nonsense out of their control–they had always ended up closing and so no brunch for me. Until Sunday…

Having been to their DC restaurant several times before I new the majority of the regular menu and was glad that one of the few times I’d managed to get a parent to one of my favorite restaurants that they had a really good vegetarian selection. We also had another friend with us for the weekend who happened to be vegetarian as well so that worked out nicely. And I don’t eat a lot of meat and if I do rarely for brunch because I like waffles and stuff and meat and waffles is a line I’m not really ready to cross and I doubt I ever will. Eggs, sure. But that’s about it. My brother on the other hand, has completely gone off the deep end and embraced his caveman roots and does eat rather a lot more meat than the rest of us.

We started with the basics, their lovely bread with various dips and “smears” and fried green tomatoes (because those are one of the key arguments I had used to get my mom to go there in the first place. If you think I like fried green tomatoes… Guess who taught me to like them…? Actually it was my Gpa but it’s my mom’s dad and it’s all flows down the generations nicely like that).

I’m not going to go into all sorts of details about what everyone ordered because that would be annoying. I am, however, going to discuss what I ordered because I’ve become hyper aware that I’ve just been eating sub-par french toast for an incredibly long time and now I feel the need to right this wrong.

I ordered this:

Stuffed New Orleans Style French Toast

Vanilla Pastry Cream

  • Original – 8
  • Lillian’s Blueberry Compote- 10 {<– with this}
  • Bananas Foster – 10

and I’m pretty sure I will never again be able to eat regular plain french toast ever again. For those of you who don’t know, vanilla pastry cream is very similar to what they fill eclairs with. In fact I think it is what they fill eclairs with in theory but this was even better. It was very similar to a homemade custard with vanilla bean (as opposed to that smooth gelatin-y stuff you find in a Boston Cream doughnut).

Now, I know I won’t be able to properly recreate this without some serious time and effort and possible some kitchen equipment that I don’t yet own. But progress is still possible. For instance I just looked up a compote recipe and this is the only one with a decent pictures. It is on pancakes which makes me sad because… well they are pancakes, but not sad enough to prevent me from sharing.

Blueberry Pancakes with Blueberry Compote

“Blueberry Pancakes with Blueberry Compote” from KitchenDaily

And here’s a video for making a pastry cream that I think looks about right: Pastry Cream Recipe from Joy the Baker.

So we’re working towards something similar at least. Now to figure out how to make the bread (which is really more like fluffy cake) into the  right shape and get the cream inside…. That will take more work but I’m sure a combination in the right quantities and some creative eating can get me close enough to say that I’m on the right track.

 

The Awesome Power of Bilbo and Chinese Take-Out

On a very exciting application I just turned in I was asked the following question: Which food writers to you admire and why?

If you can’t tell from that it’s for a position I would absolutely ADORE. Also, my contract ended yesterday at 5pm and I have yet to be called up to HR to sign the next one so I’m technically unemployed and feel absolutely not guilty at all whatsoever about the fact that I haven’t opened a single work document or email since I got in early at 8am. And by now, Foodie Nation, you should know me well enough to know I wasn’t going to write some fluff piece on my much I love… well whoever it is I love. I’m not telling! But you know I would want this job like no other that I have applied for yet and that means I’m going to go as far out towards the deep end as I see fit (which wasn’t quite as serious as the Marianas Trench, I know how to be professional). If I get a job like this my life would be like this poster: Awesome!

Here’s my response:

I admire honest food writers who come across as genuine people. This includes a lot of bloggers but it also includes those who have “moved up” (for example “White on Rice Couple” and “Joy the Baker”). But selecting a group from the numerous blogs, sites, and publications that I browse and subscribe to would be a rather herculean task. So instead I’ll recognize a group of food writers that are often overlooked: Translators of Chinese take-out menus.

Unlike what I consider to be one of my ultimate gastrogasming spots in the world (the noodle dish dan dan mien at A & J restaurant, Rockville, MD), Chinese take-out joints that are strewn far and wide across American are incredibly un-Chinese. And yet there is a formula to their menus that we all recognize and sometimes (even to our own shame) we crave. The photos are awful and the places are small and I’m still confused as to why “r” and “l” are consistently switched when I know both sounds exist in both Mandarin and Cantonese (my own grandmother still can’t get it right after all these years).

I admire that somehow the writers and “translators” of these menus have managed to appeal to something that has become a part of American culture and make us want their food even though we know it’s bad for us and that it isn’t even “authentic”. It’s almost a comfort food for many people that live in urban areas that don’t have time to cook and I know for a fact that the entire IT department across the campus where I work has Beijing Delight programmed into their phones.

There’s nothing fancy but there is still something that appeals to us. Knowing that we get free egg rolls with an order of more that $12.99 (even though they’re really bad egg rolls) makes us want to order that extra side of “flied lice” and do group orders and to us it makes sense. That’s the essence of good food writing. Making you want to get out there and be active about in-taking food rather than just taking vitamin supplements and eating Army-type rations.

I don’t know who these people are who came up with the “standard” Chinese Take-Out Menu but I would really like to meet them because they did what I think almost any promotional food writer has ever tried to do and it’s amazing.

Ass-Pear-A-Goose

Linguine with Asparagus and Egg

“Linguine with Asparagus and Egg” from Martha Stewart’s Asparagus Recipes Pinterest Board

Say what you will about Martha Stewart but that woman(‘s people) know her(/their) gastroporn. All the massive piles of pork aside, her recipes are often clean and include ingredients that I often approve of. One of my many resource lists generated her “Asparagus Recipes” Pinterest Board and I really like asparagus. Had some just yesterday for Easter Lunch. Easiest way to prepare Asparagus is to just lay them out on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice, and bake at 375 F for about 25 minutes with a quick shake/turn somewhere in the middle. I usually add the lemon to the tray (cut side down) and it adds a nice garnish at the end that’s useful for those who like a little extra zest on their asparageese.

A Sandwich to Write Home About

 

Poste - Lunch Menu

Poste – Lunch Menu

Finally made it into DC during Restaurant Week and actually went to a restaurant that was participating.

The link above leads you to the lunch menu for Poste. I tried a variety of items (with a friend) but the absolute eye sparkly moment of wondertude was the “Smoked Duck Reuben”. I love me a good Reuben sandwich and this one is at the top of my list.

“Balancing” the “Budgets”

Now that I’m fully employed (meaning I go to an office 4 days a week and get paid to do “stuff”) I have been both missing my old carefree days of school while also enjoying all the things I get to do with the much larger paychecks I get. And yes, I did actually earn money during school. Hate me all you want but I finished my MBA with a rather nice little pile of not-so-hard earned money and just found out the school owes me over $2000 because I paid too much money to cover all my fees for when I went to France last summer.

So what do I do with all my piles of cash? Well I save it, mostly, and I’m starting some investment accounts (still in the testing phase) and the rest I blow on things like this:

Le Collectionneur, Integrale (French Edition)

And of course there is the regular frolic sessions in and around the DC area that usually involve Smithsonian Art Gallery shops and dinner.

Yesterday was an afternoon spent in Downtown Silver Spring after hearing nothing from the students I had set aside time to take to the Holocaust Museum that included lunch, window shopping, getting frustrated with shoes that look pretty but don’t fit my feet (which are genetically engineered for hunting and gathering like my Java Man ancestors in the jungles of Indonesia but not for cute shoes), and then “Skyfall”. 007 movies are among my absolute favorites. I had a crazy insane face the whole movie I was that happy.

When my Mexican sister (who was having a birthday and thus all the intense amounts of fun piled into one day) and I got out of the movie we realized that we were late for our dinner reservations at Firefly with our Kenyan sister. After rescheduling the dinner with enough time to get into DC and find parking and finally making it to the restaurant we had a grand time with the food, the bottles of booze, and time spent together (which we haven’t done in a really long time).

Firefly (click to go to the restaurant website)
And as a side note: Unless otherwise stated you can click on ALL photos in this blog and be taken to an external source. As a good English degree holder I know how to cite my sources.

My Kenyan sister and I are notorious tippers in DC and our poor server was having a really crap day. Plus he was super cute and actually very nice, despite the tired look on his face and the drooping shoulders while he went to replace our champagne flutes (which had lipstick marks on them). We wrote him a note and left a nice 40% tip. Not our highest percentage on a tip but still pretty decent (and if you know anything about the price of dining out in DC you’ll know that 40% is no small amount). He smiled when he got our signed bills and it was a good end to the night.

I get to the office this morning and sort through all the emails to pick out the best images/recipes to go up on the Facebook page and then I check the damage of yesterday’s frolic session with the siblings. Not as bad as it has been and nowhere near as bad as my horrifying literary hobby. I’m also reminded by another email that I have yet to receive my physical copy of Food & Wine magazine. I have a special budget now for GastroGasms which includes “Research”.

As a decent MBA graduate I know that funding has to come from somewhere and so I have started a project that will hopefully help with the upkeep of this research and potentially the little GastroGasms community: A GastroGasms Calendar.

Exciting isn’t it?!

I’ve begun collecting food/drink related holidays from various sources and am currently compiling them for use in a GastroGasms calendar. If anyone knows of some that they feel needs to be included I would love the additional input. I’ve already enjoyed National Dessert Day and Champagne Day in October and I think everyone needs to be made aware of such momentous markers in time in advance (unlike me who found out last minute and would have to make an emergency batch of chocolate cupcakes for National Chocolate Cupcake Day).

The Calendar will also, feature the monthly Gastroporn menus.

And people wonder what I do at work all day… Speaking of work. I need to go prepare for Lego Death Star night in the conference room!

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