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My Life in Rewind: Restaurant 3 August 4, 2009

Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town, Food.
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rest 3_1For Casey’s birthday (waaaay back in April), I took him to dinner at Restaurant 3 in Arlington. Neither of us had been there and it seemed like a great place to celebrate his turning 33. I made the reservations on OpenTable (which I LOVE) and mentioned that we were celebrating his 33rd birthday. I really wasn’t thinking about the correlation between the name of the restaurant and his age. Apparently, a lot of folks go there to celebrate 3rd, 30th, and 33rd birthdays, anniversaries, etc. When we were seated, they had even printed up special menus for the occasion.

rest 3_2For starters, they brought out fresh baked bread with butter and tapenade. Oh, not just any tapenade, the BEST tapenade I have ever eaten. Of course, I’m a sucker for olives. Is it wrong to want to lick the little plate?! Casey ordered their bone-in ribeye with creamed spinach and mashed taters (that’s what we call ’em down South). I thought the steak was good, but that creamed spinach was phenomenal! I went with the duck breast. Typically, if it’s on the menu, I order it. If prepared well, it is the most tender and juicy meat you will ever eat…Restaurant 3 did not disappoint. Mine was served over top a sweet potato hash and garnished with a fruit gastrique (that’s just fancy talk for a garnish). Unbelievable. Totally plate-lickin’ worthy!

rest 3_3Dessert was a tough decision. Coffee and doughnuts, Bourbon Pecan Pie, or Candy Bar Pie? I’m pretty sure we couldn’t have made a bad decision, but we opted with the Candy Bar Pie. It was like having a snickers and a heath bar mushed up into a cookie crust…complete with candle!

I give Restaurant 3 high marks. The food was delectable and I felt that they went the extra mile to make our celebration special. We definitely plan to go back!

Truly Delightful April 20, 2009

Posted by smooregasbord in Food.
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quaker-tdAll of my favorite things wrapped into one tiny package.  At least that’s what I discovered in Quaker’s True Delights granola bars. I’m head-over-heels in love with the Toasted Coconut Banana Macadamia Nut bar.  It’s such a refreshing change from so many other granola bars.  Since I’m not a big peanut person, I love the crunch of the macadamia nuts as an alternative!  The Raspberry Dark Chocolate Almond Delight is another option for those looking for a little more decadence. How is it possible that one can be so excited about a granola bar? That’s a question that only the Quakerman can answer.

Stonewall Kitchen January 7, 2009

Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town, Food.

stonewallNow back to our regularly scheduled programming…
Prior to the new year, I was talking about the various vendors that we enjoyed at November’s MCES. Based on the crowd surrounding the Stonewall Kitchen booth, we weren’t the only fans there. I’ve yet to try one of their spreads, dips, or mixes that I didn’t like. I hold a deep disdain for celery, but if anyone could make me change my mind, it would have to be Stonewall. For those who know me, you know that’s saying a lot! The quality of Stonewall products is just that good.

Their jam selection is endless and endlessly delicious. Looking for a two-second appetizer, take a block of cream cheese and cover it with their Hot Pepper Jelly, serve with Wheat Thins or Chicken in a Biskit crackers. YUM! Spread their Mimosa Brunch Jam on a buttermilk biscuit for a treat reminiscent of my southern childhood. The Holiday Jam was a favorite in the Moore household this year, but you’ll have to wait until the next holiday season to pick up a jar of this cranberry-orange delight (or check out the sale items).  They seem to offer everything under the sun.  I especially like their packaging. The labels look to be handwritten giving me the feeling that I’ve brought home some of my Aunt Emma’s homemade goodies. 

Stonewall is based in York, Maine; however, you can find their products at many grocery and specialty food stores.  If you happen to live in the DC area, you can head over to National Harbor and check out their newest company store….but you better wait until payday!

Here’s to Luck and Prosperity in 2009 January 1, 2009

Posted by smooregasbord in Family/Home, Food.

new-years-dinner-09In order to bring luck and prosperity in the New Year, southerners typically eat a meal that consists of black-eyed peas, collards, and cornbread.  Respectively, they represent coins, paper money, and gold.  This is a superstitious tradition that dates back to the Civil War.  These sides are typically served with pork which is also a symbol of prosperity in many cultures.  According to my research, “pigs are considered good luck because they root forward, symbolizing progress.” [source: blogher] The combination makes for one tasty meal where I get to enjoy my most favorite food of all, collards.

hot-fudge-brownie-cakeI also took this opportunity to try out a recipe that I read about in the January 2009 issue of Southern Living, the hot fudge brownie cake. It was delicious and not too overwhelmingly sweet…it just needed something extra.  There’s also a mocha version that I’d be willing to give a shot next go around.  A little coffee, in my book, makes everything better! 

Here’s wishing you a wonderful 2009 from our family to yours!

Sahale Snacks January 1, 2009

Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town, Food.
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sahale_nut_blendsIf you’re a nut for nuts, then you’ll love Sahale Snacks. Using only natural and organic ingredients, Sahale takes various nuts and combines them with dried fruits and unique seasonings and spices. We’ve tried the Valdosta (pecans, cranberries, black pepper, and orange zest), Soledad (almonds, apples, flaxseed, balsamic vinegar, and red pepper), and Cashews (with pomegranate and vanilla) and have loved each of them equally.  The serving size on these snacks is 1/4 cup. However, if you can stop at just 1/4 cup, call me. That will make you one of the most disciplined individuals that I know!

Augusta’s Creations December 31, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town, Food.

I l-o-v-e pimiento cheese. However, Casey doesn’t quite harvest those same feelings. This is why I don’t make pimiento cheese at home…because I couldn’t let it go to waste. I would feel obligated to eat it…ALL of it. At this year’s MCES, we stopped by Augusta’s Creations for a sample. This family-owned business is located in Charlotte, NC, and specializes in pimiento cheese, buttermilk pie, and chicken pot pie. I know that sounds like a totally random selection, but if you think about it, these are all wonderful southern comfort foods. We sampled their jalepeño pimiento cheese and instantly fell head over heels.  If you’re not a fan of spicy, then don’t worry because the jalepeño doesn’t add spice, it just enhances the flavor.  As a matter of fact, it enhances the flavor so much so that Casey and I were fighting for the last bite! This snack is rather inexpensive running about $5.99 for a 1/2 pound tub…which won’t last long, at least in our house. The only kicker is the $25 shipping. Why so high, you ask? Well, the pimiento cheese is perishable and must be shipped in a cooler.

As a side note, it can be spelled pimento or pimiento (my personal preference).

Wissie Cakes December 30, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town, Food.
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Wissie Cakes is a family-owned Viginia Beach-based bakery named after the family’s Grandmother Wilson. Their pound cakes are to die for! They are melt-in-your-mouth moist, and my personal picks are the almond pound cake and the coconut pound cake. I am often chastised because of my love of fruitcake, but if there’s a chance that you can be turned…Wissie can do it! We purchased one of each of the three flavors mentioned above and, in our household, they didn’t last for long. For the ridiculously low price of $6.95 per loaf, there’s no reason you shouldn’t indulge. Besides there are still a few days left before you have to follow through on those New Year’s resolutions!

Hello, Lover December 17, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in Food, Gadgets.

my-keurigYou know that scene in Sex in the City when Carrie drools over the Manolo Blahniks? That was me on Friday except I was drooling over my new Keurig single cup coffee maker. One girl’s love of shoes is another girl’s love of coffee. This thing is awesome. It brews a great cup of coffee, cocoa, or tea in warp speed. For all those people out there about to bust on me for not being eco-friendly as I toss out those little k-cups, I got a “my k-cup”. It’s reusable and allows me to brew my own cup of joe from Redding Roasters. Ha! I can have my coffee and drink it too.

P.S. Thanks to Rebecca for putting me on the right track!

Pepe Le Pew Meets Madeleine December 10, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in Food.

madeleinesEver since my parents got me this madeleine silicone mold, I’ve been dying to put it to use. I was feeling a little french-y (pronounced “fronch” like in the movie Better Off Dead) today and had all of the ingredients on hand, so I figured why not. 

Last year, I attended a cookie swap hosted by one of my neighbors. My favorite cookies brought to the party were madeleines made by one of our French neighbors, Edwige. They were delicious! I used her recipe to make my version substituting amaretto extract for the lemon extract listed in the recipe. I love their shell-shape and the powdered sugar makes me think of snow! They are cake-y and light and offer a nice break from some of the typical Christmas indulgences…like those Peppermint Crunch Junior Mints sitting on my desk.

Finding Good Eats at the Farmer’s Table November 24, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town, Eco/Green, Food.
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ff_the-spreadI apologize for the lack of posts lately. Work has gotten the best of me over the last two weeks, but hopefully the Thanksgiving holiday will give me a little time to play catch up!

My friend, Nicole, told me about Founding Farmers a while back after reading about it in the Daily Candy newsletter. As fellow Southerners, we can appreciate the food that Founding Farmers offers on their extensive menu. During Casey’s mom’s visit, we stopped by for lunch after our tour of the Capitol. Since it was lunch and we didn’t want to roll ourselves home in a wheelbarrow, we opted to try several small plates…except for Casey, who we all know has a tapeworm and eats big-man portions! We tried the roasted tomato soup, devil-ish eggs, ramos house fried green tomatoes, potato chips and dip (only because one of the dips was pimiento cheese), and the expert cheese taster cheese plate. Casey ordered the rustic chicken pot pie and nibbled off of the small plates too (did I mention the tapeworm). The food was fantastic! I love deviled eggs, but I have a serious dark spot in my heart for celery. The fact that celery was in the deviled eggs…well, you know where this is going. The cheese plate was the best ever!! There were even a couple of cheeses from Thomasville, GA. The honeycomb that accompanied the plate complimented all of the cheeses that were included especially the bayley hazen blue cheese (VT).

ff_cheese-plateBesides serving up good eats, they are also serving our environment a healthy dose of green. The physical structure is LEED certified. They use solar power and reclaimed wood among many other things. Their operation is eco-friendly: they recycle, they’re energy efficient, they use recycled paper products, and reusable glass carafes for serving water. True to their name, the food served at this restuarant comes straight from the farmer and the taste and quality proves to be the best part of all.