Goodie Goodie Gumdrops

Hard Times Cafe

October 29, 2008
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My co-worker told me about the greatest deal – $4.99 chili mac week at Hard Times Cafe! It runs till Sunday, November 2. We went last night and it was delicious! First, the waitress came by with small samplings of 4 kinds of chili.

When she came back to take our order, I picked the Terlingua 5-way and added chopped jalepenos and sour cream. Chili mac also comes with a warm slice of cornbread. I could only get through 1/3 of the plate before I was completely stuffed (guess what I’m having for lunch today 🙂 )! The chili has a lot of flavor and the spaghetti was cooked al dente – just how I like it.

If you’re interested in giving Hard Times a try, check out how The Houndstooth Gourmet whipped some up at home and the awesome photos on sabine01‘s flickr page.

Hard Times Cafe
3028 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

X Rated Liqueur

October 24, 2008
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Dispite the total cheeseball name, I was compelled to try X Rated when I saw it at MCCXXIII, which has the BEST Friday happy hour, by the way (open bar from 5-9pm topshelf for $20!). What girl wouldn’t want to try a hot pink fusion of French vodka, blood oranges, mangos, and passion fruit? Come on, it’s PINK! 

I asked the bartender what goes well with it and he suggested Sprite – ugh, big mistake. Way too sweet. It tasted like Sprite plus 50 packets of Splenda. If I ever have it again, I’d try one of these recipes. YumSugar has a different opinion, but I do think a bottle of this would make a great girly gift for a friend!

Posted in DC, French, Liquor
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Stuffed Green Peppers

October 23, 2008
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I had some extra ground beef from the beef stroganoff I made the other night so I used it to make this:


3 large green peppers
1 cup cooked rice
1/2 lb ground beef
1 small onion (I used red onion but white or yellow works too)
1/2 jar tomato sauce
2 T worcestershire sauce
Salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Clean and half green peppers. Set aside. Mix rice, browned ground beef, diced onion, tomato sauce, worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Scoop mixture into green pepper halves and sprinkle bread crumbs on top. Bake for about 25 minutes. Bread crumbs will turn golden brown. Add extra tomato sauce on top and serve hot. 

UPDATE 10/23/08: I was trying to recreate one of my favorite frozen meals from Stouffer’s. I think it came out pretty darn close if I do say so myself!

Tortilla Flats

October 21, 2008
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Remember the Sex and the City episode where Miranda and Carrie have an awkward dinner with their exes Steve and Aidan? Tortilla Flats is in New York’s West Village and I had the chance to stop in for margaritas and chips & salsa/queso/guacamole. I sat outside during the daytime, but from the looks of the place it’s probably really fun at night when they have bingo, trivia nights, and hula hooping! Fun atmosphere, great food & drinks at very reasonable price – what more can you ask for? 🙂

Here’s what Shana Liebman from New York Mag has to say about it:

“Tortilla Flats belongs to that species of cantina where you can scream “whoo-hoo!,” make a lasso out of your Brooks Brothers belt and still find a date. Kitschy Elvis regalia and shiny streamers are tacked around the small one-room restaurant, which is always crowded with post-work young folks looking for a good loud time. On Wednesdays—or hula-hoop contest night—revelers are shoehorned into the space, and every night the bar goes through giant vats of sweet pre-mixed margaritas. Expect to finish several before your surprisingly good food arrives, although the host does guarantee “same day service.”

Tortilla Flats
767 Washington St
New York, NY 10014


October 15, 2008
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For many Americans, comfort foods are things like mac & cheese, mashed potatoes, and meatloaf, but for me – there’s nothing like a steamy bowl of ramen to make me feel like home! Other Asians will tell you the magic of ramen is not an exaggeration. There are so many varieties and flavors, Tokyo even has a museum dedicated just to ramen! The obsession with ramen is making its way to mainstream and it’s about time! My favorite brand to make at home is Nong Shim Shin Ramyun. It’s a Korean brand that can be found at most Asian grocery stores. It’s a hot & spicy flavor and the noodles are thick and chewy. I always add a poached egg, veggies (chinese broccoli goes well), and sometimes a few slices of SPAM. Sounds crazy, but don’t knock it till you try it – it may change your life 😉

Other ingredients that can be used:
-char siu (Chinese bbq pork)
-green beans
-bok choy
-frozen mixed seafood
-fried tofu
-fish balls

What are your favorite comfort foods?

Fat Bastard Merlot

October 9, 2008
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Origin: Languedoc region of Southern France.

Grape variety: 100% Merlot

Vinification: To make the Fat bastard Merlot we source fruit from all over the Languedoc area known for its stony soil, which naturally limits yields giving the Merlot ripe, fruity character and mature tannins.

Tasting notes: Rich and dense, the complexity of the flavors plays out progressively, beginning with blackberry and plum and finishing with toasty cedar aromas. Tannins are ripe, juicy and delicate.

Food Pairings: Enjoy with roasted chicken, blackened salmon, or semi-soft and herbed cheeses.

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