Sunday, July 27, 2008

More Fun With Teff!

Had another teff-riffic meal at Enjera, the Eritrean place across from the Ethiopian place we usually go to on South 23rd Street. The Sherbs and I think we may have found it better; not because Eritrea has diplomatic relations with Israel, but because it's just that much tastier and friendlier.

Both restaurants have, shall we say, a relaxed attitude towards waiting tables and taking orders and providing the check, but Enjera is better at refilling the water and they're actually friendly, instead of harried. Furthermore, the wait staff actually wanted us to try Eritrean food (which is not startlingly different from Ethiopian food; the "sampler platter" from Enjera is different from Harar Mesob's only in that there's a more Western salad with tomatoes and the beef is replaced with lamb) and taught us some things about how it's eaten that we didn't know before.

Also, Enjera is a tad more accessible to newcomers to Horn of Africa cuisine. They have forks, for one, so sensory-defensive people like me don't have to get their hands constantly greasy. There's a salad on the sampler that isn't too alien for those who need to ease themselves in. They also make an appetizer salad which is essentially a traditional tomato, onion, and field green salad in vinaigrette, but mixed with chunks of enjera and spicy pepper for something truly tasty. Plus - the fried lamb bits with sauteed onion - tasty tasty.

However, while I say accessible, I don't mean "westernized." Spice is there in significant unless you ask to tone it down (we didn't).

Will visit again.

Reubens and Some Future Bad News

Vegetarian Times has been very good to us.

Last night, the Sherbs and I made a vegetarian reuben sandwich from the vegan reuben recipe in the July/August issue (we like real cheese, thank you very much). What one does is take seitan, the Asian wheat gluten meat substitute (available only at Whole Foods or through a bread-making process involving a huge amount of wheat flour) and let it soak in a mixture of corned beef spices and beet juice (for color) for a while. Then you toast cheese over top, add thousand island dressing (which we made because Vegetarian Times told us to, expecting us to use vegan mayo) and sauerkraut, and eat.

It was very tasty.

I also managed to nearly duplicate the salad dressing used at almost every Japanese restaurant with oil, rice wine vinegar, white miso, and ginger. I just need to get the proportions right and use a more neutral oil, not sesame oil, next time.

Finally, we've learned that the lease on the Costco across the street from us will not be renewed. Instead, we'll get some huge multi-use building. Which won't have a Costco. As my sister says, "lame."

Monday, July 21, 2008

Snack Food Update

I had to take the canister of fat-free barbecue Pringles to work because the Sherbs did not want to eat them all. And I can totally understand that; they're tasty, although the KC Masterpiece-inspired flavor is more subtle than on some other "healthy" snack products.

One downside is that they're made with Olestra, which, like a Hawaiian butterfish, can do bad things in concert with your colon. Back in college, I ate a full-size bag of Wow! Chips and nothing happened to me, so I feel like I can tempt fate.

Also totally worth eating (but not fat free; however, also not pants-imperiling) are EatSmart Veggie Crisps, which are a different form of reconstituted potato starch with vegetable solids. I'd prefer if they only sold bags of the spinach ones, but they don't.

Middle Eastern Joint

The Old City Cafe of Jerusalem (or is it Old City of Jerusalem Cafe?) is a very tasty halal falafel/shwarma/things in pita establishment in DC, and it is open until 4AM on weekends. The Sherbs had the majedra (spelled in the different transliteration, but pronounced the same way), which I believe she liked; I was too busy with my mixed grill over rice, which was awesome, to try anything else.

The food takes a little while, but it is totally worth it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Best Dessert Idea This Week

JELL-O® does not have its reduced-fat sugar free rice pudding cup product on its website. The full fat tapioca pudding, sure. Just not the rice pudding.

However, it does exist (and at The Teet, even!). And it tastes great with a shot of Teichenne butterscotch schnapps, which we picked up in the Madrid airport during our day-long layover back from Israel.

Monday, July 14, 2008

You Miss Out On Everything When You Get Married

Nobody told me that I was getting married during Brickfair 2008!

I mean, where else could I buy LEGO® cake molds? I mean, other than at the LEGO® store in Tyson's?

Could be worse. If my wedding was during Otakon, I swear none of my friends would come. Even though we're serving mini lamb chop appetizers and all you can get there is Pocky. And you have to pay for it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

RIP Coffee Mug

Yesterday, my beloved spill-proof coffee mug passed away. It was quite a tragedy. While walking to the metro, I felt something trickling down my leg - coffee spilling and leaking through my backpack. Sadly, I decided it was time to put it to rest. It will be missed. But this afternoon, a new friend will enter my midst. It can never replace the old friend (actually, it will) and I will save money on coffee in the morning. Yay!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Two Vast and Trunkless Legs of Topping Stand in the Dessert

Look upon my dessert topping, and despair!

Well, only because it was so tasty. I took the leftover sangria, added a tad more cranberry wine and some Splenda baking mix, and boiled it for what seemed like eternity.

It tasted awesome over ice cream.

And now Mark Bittman is trying to steal my dessert topping thunder with his own ice cream topping. I'll have you know that his recipe does not involve local Virginia fruit wines, so it is not as good.