Friday, November 30, 2012

Thinking of Drinking: The Nutcracker Martini

The holiday season is here and there is no better way to bring cheer than celebrating with a festive cocktail.  This sweet drink is perfect for dessert.  Enjoy!

Thinking of Drinking: Italian Reindeer

Where's Rudolph?  Try making his Italian cousin at home.  Capitol City Brewing Company recently introduced some new festive holiday cocktails and martinis at their Shirlington Village location. All of the recipes were created to inspire nostalgic holiday memories with the usage of caramel, apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, cider, eggnog, etc.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Holiday Recipe: Grilled Thyme Garlic Veal Chop

The Boar’s Head in Charlottesville, Virginia shared their Holiday Grilled Thyme Garlic Veal Chop recipe. Yum!

Upcoming Events: Winter on the Water and More!

Winter on the Water at Washington Harbour: Begin your holiday celebrations with Georgetown Washington Harbour’s "Winter on the Water" on Saturday, December 1 from 4-7pm. The event will feature strolling entertainment, ice skating performances, choral singers, a St. Lucia parade, artistic lighting effects, and a variety of food and beverages served at waterfront restaurants. For more details on "Winter on the Water" please visit

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Holiday Recipes: Chocolate Bailey’s Truffles

Sometimes it is a little more fun to make your holiday gifts.  Truffles work perfect.  Wait until you taste them!

Eat with Your Eyes: Black Truffle Cheese Fritters

Is your mouth watering?  It should be!   J and G's signature Black Truffle Cheese Fritters (bite-sized hot, cheesy, earthy and melty goodness) will make your night.  They are the perfect way to start out a meal at the restaurant. 

Holiday Recipe: Cream Cheese Baby Biscuits

Photo by Emily Clack
The holidays are quickly approaching and I'm always looking for new recipes to test out.  Luckily, Kate Michael shared one of her favorites with us.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

News: Union Market is opened 5 days a week and welcomes John Mooney

Photo by Bart Kendrick
My friend and 2011 New York Rising Star Sustainability Chef, John Mooney, will open a restaurant in Union Market in Spring 2013.  Yay!  His NY restaurant, Bell Book and Candle in the West Village, is fabulous.  I first met John on our trip to Iceland and tasted his talent first-hand.  Not only is his food delicious, but he knows how to grow all of the produce on the roof.  His commitment to sustainability is commendable.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Recipe: Pappardelle with Sausage

For a quick weeknight meal, try this recipe.  It is creamy and delicious. 

Looking for the Perfect Local Gift: Downtown Holiday Market

Check out the Downtown Holiday Market. The market runs from November 30th-December 23rd from noon -8p.m. It is located in the Penn Quarter neighborhood on F Street between 7th and 9th NW. Enjoy music and hot apple cider. You'll find crafts, art, textiles, photography, specialty gifts and more. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cookbook Review: Gluten-Free Baking for the Holidays

By: Michelle Hershman
I would like to start by saying that this is an intense cookbook. Before author Jeanne Sauvage gets into her 60 recipes for traditional festive treats, she gets technical. In fact, this book reminds me more of an encyclopedia of baking than a cookbook. Jeanne begins with an in-depth look at baking ingredients, explaining the roles of flour, eggs, fats, oils, leaveners, and sugar. If you’re new to baking and want to learn more about the chemistry behind your cookies, this is a great overview.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thinking of Drinking: Spicy Winter Twists

Photos and Story by JoLynda Lawecki
When offered a winter cocktail, one might assume a hot toddy or Irish coffee will be presented.  Not so at the W Washington's POV Roof Terrace where bartender/mixologist, Joseph Ambrose, has spun this winter's cocktails to a spicy finish.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm thankful for my family, friends and all of you!  Thanks for supporting Capital Cooking the past 4 years.  I hope your eating well and having a blessed day!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Round-up: Stress-Free and To Go

Restaurants throughout the nation’s capital are giving diners plenty of reasons to give thanks this holiday season.  Maybe this year you want your family over, but don't want to do all of the cooking.  Luckily, many restaurants around town are offering to-go options.  

Free Black Friday Burgers

We all know Black Friday is a great way to score deals on electronics and fashion, and now we can add hamburgers to the list of things to vie for the Friday after Thanksgiving, thanks to Z Burger, who recently announced a Black Friday Special. Z- Burger is celebrating Black Friday with Free "Black Friday Burgers," a Burger or Cheeseburger with a special Black Friday bun. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pairing for Thanksgiving Day: The Local Way

Thanksgiving is almost here.  You can't beat the never ending supply of comfort food during the holidays. I'm thankful for that!  This year I wanted to plan a non-traditional menu featuring rack of lamb and local pairing options.  Don’t worry… for all of the turkey lovers, I have my Turkey with Maple Syrup, Bacon and Sage Butter listed below.  

We tried to keep it local and give options for beer, wine and cocktails to pair with the dishes.  You can pair dishes individually, or you can select some options that go well with the entire meal.  I recommend at least a red, a white, a beer and a cocktail.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Perfect Pair: Maple-Herb Crusted Rack of Border Springs Lamb with Cranberry Chutney

We collaborated with The American Lamb Board and Border Springs to create a nontraditional main course for those who wanted something different from Turkey. All of the lamb came directly from Virginia.  Feel free to use this instead of turkey or make it as another option to the traditional Thanksgiving bird. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Out to Brunch: Pearl Dive Oyster Palace

Initial Thoughts:
  • Food: Traditional New Orleans Cuisine
  • Drinks: Classy Mimosas and Awesome Bloody Marys
  • Service:  Good
  • Would I go back?  Yes.

Thanksgiving Recipe: Winter Squash Soup with Gruyère Croutons

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to enjoy great food and friends. Cooking Thanksgiving dinner takes lots of planning and preparation. It is always wonderful when your friends pitch in and bring a dish. We created a menu paired with local pairing selections. Check out my friend Sarah's recipe for Winter Squash Soup with Gruyère Croutons.

Thanksgiving Recipe: Baked Les Frères with Maple and Pears

This appetizer is perfect for Thanksgiving because it is full of fall flavors and simple to make.  Over the weekend, my family came to town and we made quite the feast.  We've selected four beer pairing options that work well with this dish.  I'm so thankful to have the best family and friends in my life! 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Book Review: The Diva’s Guide to an Acne-Free Life

By: Michelle Hershman
All the books I’ve reviewed so far for Capital Cooking have been cookbooks. This book, however, is more of a self-help book that involves changing your diet. The book consists of author Dawn Amador’s journey from “zitty to pretty.” Amador, a licensed aesthetician and owner of Skin Logic, begins by telling readers about her troubled childhood and her obsession with skin care, which increased drastically during her battle with acne in her twenties. Like most people who suffer from acne, Amador zealously tried every skin care regime and anti-acne fad and diet she could find. Nothing worked until she discovered the Alkaline Principle and changed her diet and lifestyle.  The Alkaline Principle is based off your body’s need to have a proper balance of alkalinity and acidity. However, the modern diet is laden with foods that leave an acidic residue in the bloodstream, hindering detoxification.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Do GOOD, Eat GOOD at Farmland Feast

Chef Scott Drewno of The Source and Chef Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve
By:  Jennifer Duff
Capital Cooking Contributor

FRESHFARM Markets celebrated its 10th anniversary of autumnal Farmland Feasts, a showcase for regional chefs cooking local food.  This year's Farmland Feast featured an enticing cocktail hour of hors d'oeuvers served by chefs hand-picked by Chef Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve, a hand-crafted artisanal cocktail from Tom Thrasher of Eat Good Food Group, and a silent auction. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Mosaic District Fashion Night

By Claire Goldman

If you live or work in NOVA you will be very pleasantly surprised by the brand new shopping, dining, residential, and entertainment mecca that has sprung up alongside Lee Highway at the the intersection of Gallows Road.  For my first trip to the Mosaic District, I attended their inaugural Mosaic Fashion Night and was very pleasantly surprised.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Re-Cap: Metro Cooking Show

The Metro Cooking Show recently took place in DC at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.  They had lots of big names on stage, but my favorite part of the event was meeting the exhibitors.  

Perfect Pair: Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash is perfect for Thanksgiving.  Break out your stock pot and start making this delicious soup. Autumn is the perfect time to have a party and carve pumpkins and serve warm cider and soup.  You can find this fall recipe and many more in the Capital Cooking Cookbook.

Thanksgiving Recipe: Rappahannock River Oyster Stuffing

Here's a recipe for Thanksgiving with a local twist.  Chef Harper McClure of The Federalist uses Rappahannock River Oysters to make his stuffing. Add on my Turkey wrapped with Bacon, a Sweet Potato Souffle, my Homemade Green Bean Casserole and a Harvest Pumpkin Cocktail and you've got yourself a complete meal.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Recipe: Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette

Looking for a Fall Salad Dressing for Thanksgiving? Try my Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette.

First Taste: Drafting Table

Initial Thoughts:
  • Design and Decor:   Tall, communal tables reminiscent of an old design studio or an engineer’s office.   The entire restaurant incorporates natural and lightly stained oak wood throughout.
  • Food:  Eclectic dishes sourced locally.  Try the Kaya Toast with coconut jam, fried egg and soy broth.
  • Drinks:  16 beers available by the draft and 20 available by the bottle and can.
  • Service:  They were still getting the hang of things.  Took a while to get served a drink, but I'm sure it will be better after they've been open for a while.
  • Would I go back? Yes.  This is a good spot to watch a game, have a beer with friends or grab a casual bite to eat.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Cookbook Review: The I Love Trader Joe's Vegetarian Cookbook

The I Love Trader Joe's Vegetarian Cookbook: 150 Delicious and Healthy Recipes Using Foods from the World's Greatest Grocery Store
By: Michelle Hershman
You might think that “The I Love Trader Joe’s Vegetarian Cookbook” is only meant for Trader Joe’s customers. And you might be right. Nearly every recipe uses ingredients unique to the grocery store chain such as Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pie Spice.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Foodie Get-Away: A Day Trip to Harrisonburg

By:  Jennifer Duff
Capital Cooking Contributor

Virginia is home to over 192 wineries and most folks in the DC metro area have traveled out west to do wine tours and wine tastings along the Route 66 corridor.  But if you go a little further beyond Rt. 66 and down Rt. 81 in the Shenandoah Valley, you can find wineries with a different grape varietal (Chambourcin) and a few farms along the way.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thinking of Drinking: Harvest Pumpkin Cocktail

Vinoteca has an amazing new fall menu.  Not only is the food fantastic, but mixologist, Horus Alvarez, has out done himself with his fall cocktail list.  His Harvest Pumpkin Cocktail will complement your Thanksgiving menu perfectly.  Give it a try or stop into Vinoteca to taste Horus' original.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Upcoming Events: Union Market, DishCrawl and More!

Salt and Sundry’s Holiday Gift Pop-Up: This winter, food writer Amanda McClements will bring to life her passion for stylish entertaining in her new boutique, Salt and Sundry, at Union Market. This weekend, Salt and Sundry is hosting an exclusive holiday pop-up at Union Market to give savvy shoppers a preview of McClements’ Southern sensibility as it relates to the home, the table, and stylish entertaining. The pop-up will feature a selection of tableware, barware, linens, artisanal foods and one-of-a-kind vintage finds, beautifully curated by McClements. Don’t procrastinate this year. Start your holiday shopping this weekend! The pop-up will be open Friday, Nov. 9th from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 10th from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 11th from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Union Market is located at 1309 5th St NE, Washington, DC 20002. For more information, visit and

Thanksgiving Recipe: Butternut Squash Soup with Apple Cider Compote and Cardamom Gelee

Start your Thanksgiving meal out with the perfect appetizer from Executive Chef Bertrand Chemel of 2941 Restaurant in Falls Church, VA.  This Butternut Squash Soup with Apple Cider Compote and Cardamom Gelee will hit the spot before digging into the turkey.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thanksgiving Recipe: Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Photo by Corey Then
Chef Chris Ferrier of 2100 Prime shared his Pumpkin Bread Pudding recipe to spice up your Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Perfect Pair: Turkey with Maple Syrup, Bacon and Sage Butter

Thanksgiving will be here before you know it, so it is time to start thinking about what wine to pair with your meal.  I'm going to give you wine suggestions from Virginia all month to keep it local.  I love to make my Turkey with Maple Syrup, Bacon and Sage Butter.  

Thanksgiving Recipes: Yvonne Lacoste’s Cranberry Orange Bread

RIS shared their favorite Thanksgiving recipe.  Try Yvonne Lacoste’s Cranberry Orange Bread.

Happy Anniversary to Erin and Heather!

I'm so happy I was able to be in both of your weddings...even if they were on the same day.  Love you ladies!

Perfect Pair: Champagne

Tuesday is all about pairing.  This week Marcel's showed us how to pair an entire meal with Champagne.  Did you ever wish you could be whisked away to Paris for a day to indulge in haute French cuisine and wine?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Just Lunch: Protein Bar

By:  Corey Then

Protein Bar is D.C.’s latest exciting addition at 7th and D (now going by “7th and Delicious). Protein Bar was born after a Chicago entrepreneur, Matt Matros, lost 60 pounds eating a diet high in protein and low in carbs. He began selling high-protein shakes and ended up adding delicious salads, “bar-ritos,” and soups to round out the menu. Soon Mr. Matros had seven locations in downtown Chicago, and the Penn Quarter Protein Bar is the first outside of the Windy City. Although it’s been open less than two months, Protein Bar is already ultra-popular with D.C.’s health-conscious breakfast and lunch crowd, and also makes a great spot to stop by after a workout for some quick and delicious protein.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Slow Sippin': Craft Distillers

Craft Distillers generously sent a couple of fine spirits for us to try recently, and they were both excellent products.  First, the Fluid Dynamics Brandy Manhattan is a Germain-Robin varietal brandy with a  rich fruity taste, blended with Andy Quady’s fabulous California sweet vermouth.  The vermouth  cuts the burning sensation that straight brandy brings to the throat and makes this a very interesting, very pleasing after-dinner drink.  I like mine best on ice.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Last Chance: Win Tix to the Metro Show Celebrity Theater!

This, you don't want to miss!  We're giving away tickets to the ALL STAR LINE-UP on NOV 3-4 at  the METRO COOKING SHOW!  You could get to see  Giada De Laurentiis, Jacques and  Claudine Pépin, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Gail Simmons, Tom Colicchio, and Jeff Mauro!  

Thinking of Drinking: Gobble-tini

Photo by Emily Clack

Add a little fun to your Thanksgiving or Autumn gathering with the Gobble-tini! I'm thankful to have so many wonderful friends and family members in my life. I'm also thankful to have a job. Tell the people that you love that you're thankful to have them in your life.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Upcoming Events: Metro Show and More!

Jose Andres and his team at Oyamel are celebrating their sixth annual Day of the Dead festival until November 2nd.  This years theme is around the ancient foods of Mexico.  The restaurant was inspired by the pre-hispanic foods set out as offerings on traditional Day of the Dead altars.  Mexicans leave staple foods such as beans, corn, chiles, chocolate and mezcal (tequila is a mezcal) on their altars so their loved ones can stay sustained in the afterlife.  The pre hispanic foods of Mexico are a mixture of ancient cultivation techniques (corn, amaranth, chiles and beans), collecting indigenous foods (fruits, chapulines, herbs and cacao) and the art of the hunt (fish, venison, turkey and quail).