Food Meets Drink – A Cool New Online Recipe Tool

I just stumbled onto an article at the Washington Post regarding a new website called … And while it is still in “Beta”, so far it’s pretty neat, and quite fun to use, with just a handful of kinks to be worked out.

Basically it’s a food and drink pairing website comprised of almost any beverage and food ingredient you can think of… And you pair as many as you want together to get recipes compiled from all across the web. But what makes it so fun is that the website uses graphical icons for each ingredient with no text or writing required. I know, crazy right?

To give a clearer explanation, each item is categorized into main groups… For food, it’s: meats, seafood, dairy/eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts/grains, and spices. For alcohol, it’s: hard liquor, beer, and wine.. And then those are split into more subcategories like whiskey, pinot noir, or stout. Then there’s cooking method choices (grill, sautee, steam, etc…), occasion choices like barbecue, thanksgiving, birthday, and cuisine (french, italian, american, etc…)

For each category, you have many ingredient choices, and in each specific listing, you can scroll through similar items by clicking an arrow to the right or left of the item. See the graphic at left for a more visual explanation.

So let’s say you have a Cabernet Sauvignon you were planning on drinking, and want to pair it with something tasty. Just click on the Cabernet icon and it will highlight other ingredients to pick from. Once you choose what you want to use, it will populate recipes on the right side.

Again since it is in Beta there are a bunch of things to fix — like the fact it can be hard to find the ingredient you are looking for since the categories aren’t well defined. Or the lack of pairing options for some rarer beverages… Really the only thing to pair with my American Wheat Beer is chicken and eggs?

Regardless of all the glitches, kinks, and slight gimmickyness, should prove to be pretty handy in time, especially if it is converted into a smartphone app.

Do you have any recommended ingredient pairing recipe websites? If so, I’d love to know what they are and how you found out about them.

Easy Potato Latkes Recipe – Simply Simple & Easy Potato Pancakes

It’s the last night of Hanukkah tonight, and while I don’t usually find the holiday to be anything special, this year was a bit different.  To be completely honest, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say I’d be looking back on it quite nostalgically.

Just 8 days ago, my wife and I hosted our first Hanukkah party at our townhouse to celebrate night #1 of the Festival of Lights. We really pulled out all the stops for the party, especially since we had 30 guests coming.

I slow-cooked a brisket and got challah bread. The wife (who happens to be Catholic) made apricot chicken, a homemade noodle kugel, and some delicious chocolate-toffee matzah our friend Lauren over at made for Passover a couple years back. We even played the dreidel game with gelt & Hanukkah music in the background, all while drinking . But most notably (according to the guests who attended)  we made Potato Pancakes (or as they are called in Yiddish — Latkes). And they came out AWESOME. Continue reading

Chex Mix Muddy Buddies Rock

Seriously, I bought a bag on Monday and can’t stop eating them. I tried to space out the bag over the week and ended up finishing them last night unintentionally while watching . They should definitely sell these things at movie theaters in smaller bags.  I mean powdered sugar, peanut butter, and melted chocolate mixed together with crunchy chex is tha bomb. So go get some at your local supermarket…

…Or make your own!

I’ve provided the recipe from General Mills site below if you wanna challenge yourself. I’ve heard they’re even better homemade.

Chex Muddy Buddies Recipe
Also Known as “People Puppy Chow” or “Puppy Food”


9 cups Rice Chex®, Corn Chex® or Chocolate Chex® cereal (or combination)

Courtesy of General Mills

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter or margarine

1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preparation Instructions

1. Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside.

2. In 1-quart microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag.

3. Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Interesting Recipes from Across the Interweb – 10/21/11

Halloween Candy Bark Smores - Courtesy of Gingerbread Bagels

In honor of Halloween (which just so happens to fall 2 days after my birthday) this week’s Interesting Recipes from Across the Interweb is featuring some scary desserts/treats… Along with a dal recipe recipe my good friend Ali Z wanted me to post. She is currently living in Bangladesh, doing volunteer teaching at a women’s university there, and learning the in’s and outs of the culture & cuisine. Her recipe isn’t really a dessert, so it doesn’t fully fit the theme…  But it is kind of scary, since it’s something she learned how to make while she’s been living over there… Or I guess “intimidating” might be the better word.

Either way, here’s the recipes:

Gingerbread Bagels

– Salty Seattle

Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts

- Bengali Ali

And feel free to provide me, or any of these recipe makers feedback if you decide to cook up any of the dishes.

Michel Richard’s Meatballs – A New Fun Fast Casual DC Restaurant

Picture of Michel Richard Eating MeatballsMichel Richard is Opening a Meatball Shop!

According to Prince of Petworth and Eater DC, Chef Michel Richard of the renowned and is opening up a 1,000 square foot fast-casual restaurant focusing on meatballs. The new meatball shop in Penn Quarter is appropriately being called what else…? Meatballs! I sense a new food trend on the horizon!

The playful James Beard award winner hopes to have the shop open by the end of the month and will serve many different types of meatballs, ranging from lamb & chicken to more unique ones like crab and lentil. Patrons will have the option of getting their meatballs on a sub roll or over spaghetti, with roasted red pepper, spinach, and fritos as topping choices. There will even be a few different sauces like marinara, alfredo, and mushroom ragu. Look for meatball entree prices to range from $6.99 to $9.99. And of course, in true Michel Richard style, he’ll offer full meal deals like his . Those spaghetti & meatball meals will serve 8-10 people and come in a signature stock pot for you to keep (plus if you bring it back on future take-out trips, you’ll get discounted pricing). It will also come with a simple green salad.

Finally I must note that Michel will be serving his notorious “Spuddles” as a side dish. What I’ve heard is that these fancy tater tots are one of the specialties served at his gourmet restaurant Citronelle. Plus there will be beer and wine available once the 40-seat restaurant gets its liquor license.

Now only if I can get a soft-opening invitation to try them… Michel, have your people call my people. Thanks. Love, ALF. ;)

Meatballs Location:

Interesting Recipes from Across the Interweb

Turkey & Smoked Bacon Pie - Courtesy of Juls' Kitchen

Since I began AdamLovesFood about a year ago, I’ve started following a lot of other food blogs, joined a bunch of food blogger communities, and now receive a slew of recipe/food-related newsletters. One of the sites I joined is called Foodbuzz (thanks in large part to my pal Krissy) who runs .

is a great food blogger community, as well as recipe website, that provides a nifty daily email called the . Every day, Foodbuzz sends out 9 recipes via email that have been submitted by food bloggers in the community and then voted on by their FoodBuzz peers. The Top 9 make the list, and every morning that I receive the email I’m wowed by the creativity of the recipes, how awesome other foodies’ photography skills are, and how nicely their websites are put together.  I am also fascinated by some of the more unique recipes out there.

The one particular recipe above () inspired me to create a new weekly post called “Interesting Recipes from Across the Interweb”, in which I’ll take some of the more unique/intriguing recipes I find on FoodBuzz, or any other website I come across during the week, and post them on the site.

Whether you think they look delicious or totally gross (I wasn’t really sure about this one until I ready Juls’ post), a few other recipes that caught my eye this week were:

Food Network

– Taste with the Eyes

- The Dainty Chef


And feel free to provide me any feedback if you decide to cook up any of these dishes.

The Best Store Bought Salsa – AdamLovesFood’s Top 5 Supermarket Salsas

While I’m on this salsa kick — having just posted my friend’s Redneck Caviar Recipe she got from Paula Deen, I’ve decided to put together a Top 5 of my favorite store-bought salsas. That way if you’re lazy like me and don’t want to mix up some crazy salsa, you can just buy a good one from the grocery store — with no extra effort required. And don’t worry, there’s no Tostitos brand salsa on this list. There’s plenty of variety, and most are available anywhere.

The Best Store-Bought Salsas
An AdamLovesFood Top 5

5. Frontera Cilantro Jalapeno Salsa

I love cilantro. I also love Rick Bayless. No not in that way. Just in a ‘he’s an amazing chef and I want to eat at his restaurant at this very moment’ sort of way. So if you don’t like him or his Cilantro– skip this salsa. Now if you are familiar with Rick Bayless, you’d know he is the winner of Top Chef Masters, the proprietor of a number of excellent restaurants in Chicago, and one of the best Mexican chefs in the U.S. One of those restaurants is Frontera Grill, and for several years now their salsas have been available at major grocery stores around the country. This one has an herby freshness with a bit of heat and smoke. There’s also some tartness, but it’s more interesting than anything else. Definitely worth a try if you have it in your salsa aisle.

4. Desert Pepper Corn, Black Bean, & Roasted Red Pepper Salsa

I picked this particular salsa because I couldn’t classify their as a salsa. Because if I could, it’d be at the top of the list. Sooo good…  Anyway, Desert Pepper makes some great Tex-Mex salsas too and this one in my opinion is their best. It’s earthy, full of smokiness, and has some chunky bits of corn, black beans, and peppers, which gives it a great texture. Definitely a bit on the spicy side, but I’m down with the fire.

3. Giant Supermarket Fresh Salsa

Sometimes when I’m craving salsa I just want that mild stuff they serve at Chipotle… Or what one who speaks bueno espanol would call Pico Di Gallo. Bright, somewhat sweet, and quite juicy, this salsa is packed with flavor. Plus it’s healthy and you just can’t stop eating it. Of all the pico di gallos I’ve had before, this one definitely stands out. It’s like they picked all the veggies off the farm, and mixed it by hand in the grocery store… And honestly I think that’s how this salsa is made. So if you have a , check it out. It’s pretty darn addictive.

2. Green Mountain Gringo Medium Salsa

This salsa is by far my favorite standard salsa you can get in the supermarket. It’s got chunks of tomatoes, good heat, bold flavors, and is easy to eat. Not your run of the mill watery store-bought salsa, that’s for sure. Plus they offer some that go perfectly with it. If you want a really good salsa that’s widely available get Green Mountain Gringo.

And the winner….

1. Costco Santa Barbara Mango Salsa with Peach

I was first introduced to this salsa by a friend from college who had a Costco membership. Once I had it, I was sold, and got my own membership just for the salsa. Never have I tasted a salsa as good as this one. It is a mix of sweet &  spicy.  It’s thick and juicy, and most of all full of delicious flavors. The peach & mango combo creates great texture and has a brightness you can’t find in your average fruit based salsa. Granted you do have to get a Costco membership to buy it, or tag a long with someone who does… But trust me, it’s totally worth it.

Redneck Caviar Recipe – Aka: Crack Salsa

Courtesy of Food Network & My Homegirl Paula Deen

I’m gonna try and make this quick, since I’ve committed to posting at least twice a week from here on out. Plus a few “ALF” fanboys have been encouraging me to stay on top of the blog since I’ve been so inconsistent as of late — and they actually enjoy reading this nonsense.

I just have to quickly give a shoutout to Jabarie Brown of the amazingly underrated & Brendan Hanrahan (Winner of the Ironman-France)* and founder of the infamous .  Thank you both for keeping me regular in a non bodily function way. Without readers like you, AdamLovesFood would be twitching in an alley somewhere in Northeast, eating canned chicken and vienna sausages… Metaphorically speaking that is.

But I digress… Let’s talk about my favorite new salsa!

I was at an engagement party for an about week ago and came across this salsa recipe made by the host, who borrowed it from the bride-to-be, who got it from crazy ole’ Paula Deen. They call it Redneck Caviar. Paula calls it South Georgia Caviar. And I call it Crack Salsa. It is so frickin addictive, I went through a gallon sized container in two days. And it has black-eyed peas. Something I’d not normally eat. But they are a pretty darn good bean for salsa. Plus they are full of iron, potassium, and fiber! Woohoo for healthy salsa. Check out Paula’s video recipe… Because “you think caviar is fish eggs? Wrong! It’s black-eyed-peas honey!”

*Brendan did not win the Ironman France. He just .

Shophouse Southeast Asian Kitchen – Chipotle’s Asian Concept Has Opened in DC – Big Update

Shophouse Southeast Asian Kitchen – The First Asian Style Chipotle Has Opened in DC -  (Update with breaking news, pics & video – 9/2011)

9-15-11 (update) -Shophouse DC officially opened Thursday morning and has even begun receiving . Overall the impression of it is mixed, but I’m sure they have to work out their initial growing pains before anyone can begin making legit conclusions.

I’m still  super excited to try out their food. I mean, if a chain like this serving asian cuisine can be as succesful as Chipotle, it will be awesome. I mean in what suburban area can you find fresh, quick noodles and curries in a fast food setting? Right now DC is the only location, but if it is succesful here I’m sure it will expand. Look for a review of the restaurant in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out my pre-opening coverage below.

9-2-11 (archived content) Still no word on its opening date, but we do know that for it’s first location in DC’s Dupont Circle. Additionally,we have breaking news that it will seat approximately 40 people. But most importantly AdamLovesFood has stumbled upon some exclusive behind-the scenes-photos and videos that we bring you first. A little birdie has provided me with some new information and some great pics of the , along with what looks like an inventory list of that should be making it into their dishes. Seems as though there will be some fresh asian herbs, spices, and a whole lot of peppers in their offering. Possibly an emphasis on spicy cuisine with a mix of thai, vietnamese, and chinese dishes…? Take a look at some of the pics we came across. . Other than that, we found out they are acquiring a liquor license, and will most likely be serving alcoholic beverages Sunday-Saturday from 11am-12am. They also have a very cool timelapse video of their construction, which you can view below. Sadly, still no word on opening date, menu, or the type of food service being offered, but as you can tell, we have a lot to look forward to. And we will certainly keep you updated – unless of course we get a cease and desist letter. ;) Again, the name of the joint is Shophouse Southeast Asian Kitchen (brought to you by the creators of Chipotle). It should hopefully be opening at 1516 Connecticut Ave, NW (just off DC’s Dupont Circle) within the next month or so. ARCHIVED CONTENT – 4/27/11 – I’m a little behind on this topic, but I found out recently that Chipotle put out an official press release on their new Asian Concept Restaurant called Shophouse! As I noted in a few weeks back, the restaurant will be the first of its kind in the U.S. and will be opening up the first shop in Dupont Circle in downtown DC this summer. According to Steve Ells (the founder of and mastermind behind this project),  the restaurant will have Thai, Vietnamese and Malaysian influences, and will serve dishes made from seasonal ingredients including “grilled and braised meats, a variety of fresh vegetables, aromatic herbs, spicy sauces, and an array of garnishes.” It’s still unknown what specific dishes will be served,  but I have a gut feeling they’ll be served in a fashion similar to Chipotle’s production line mechanic.

Shophouse's New Storefront - Courtesy of Prince of Petworth

“I have always believed that the Chipotle model would work well with a variety of different cuisines,” said Ells. “Chipotle’s success is not necessarily about burritos and tacos, but rather about serving great, sustainably raised food that is delicious, affordable, and convenient.” “Anyone who has traveled throughout Southeast Asia can tell you that food there is served very fast — it’s also full of flavor, nutritious, and affordable.”  This cuisine gives us a great opportunity to prove the idea that the Chipotle model can work with other cuisines.” In my opinion, Ells new restaurant comes at a great time, since DC is lacking in quick, tasty Asian meals — especially Chinese.  And to me, this type of concept could be a huge hit in high-trafficked areas with a lunchtime crowd, like malls, who usually serve mediocre unhealthy Asian cuisine, and places with lots of commercial offices – like Dupont Circle, or any downtown area in major cities around the world. You can look forward to Shophouse opening this summer on a date TBD. However the address is set, and the doors will open at 1516 Connecticut Ave, NW.

Seared White Tuna in Homemade Miso – Sushi Yoshi – DC Dish of the Day

Best Food in DCSushi Yoshi – Seared White Tuna in Homemade Miso Broth Over Baby Greens

Where can you get it?

101 Church Street
Vienna, VA 22180

How much?
$9.00 for appetizer portion.

Ingredients: White Tuna, Mixed Baby Greens, Homemade Miso Broth, Fresh Lime, Lotus Root/Lime garnish
Why it’s so Good: Beautifully seared fatty white tuna. Crisp on the outside, buttery on the inside. A bit of acid to contrast the fish. Simple, gorgeous mixed baby greens to give a little crunch/texture. Warm salty miso broth to complete the clean, simple, & truly delicious dish.

Bottom Line: One of the first Dish of the Days from outside the District, this one comes from one of my favorite new sushi places. Located on the corner of a quaint side street in downtown Vienna Virginia, surrounded by little boutique shops and offices, Sushi Yoshi is a hidden gem. They pride themselves on serving authentic Japanese cuisine with an emphasis on a beautiful aesthetic for their dish presentation. Plus they don’t have that gimmicky strip-mall-suburbia sushi feel. It’s more like a small town cute cafe sushi feel.

When inside, you notice there’s 3 sushi chefs at work in a very small space, but they do an amazing job.  Overall you can’t go wrong with their sushi, especially since they provide an extensive list of special rolls, the ability to order 1/2 rolls for 1/2 the price, and a huge Japanese specials menu filled with traditional Japanese dishes I’ve rarely seen at any Japanese/Sushi restaurant outside (or inside) the District.

Away from the uniqueness of this Sushi spot, this dish is one of the cleanest, simplest, tasty plays on my favorite fish served in Sushi restaurants (White Tuna). It’s really something special, at one of the best sushi places in the suburbs of DC.