Thursday, August 18, 2011

recent discoveries

cookies n cream
HERSHEY'S COOKIES N CREME BARS
I couple weeks ago I had an insatiable craving for anything Cookies & Cream. It may not be fancy, but I nabbed one of these Hershey's Cookies N Creme Bars and it did the trick. Then I got another one. And another. Oink.

library card
CHECKING OUT E-BOOKS FROM THE LIBRARY
Larry and I are recent e-book converts - me reading on my iPad and Larry on his Nook. However, the instant gratification of being able to buy a book with the click of a button is getting expensive. I had heard that you could check-out e-books from the library, so for the first time since I was a teenager, I now have a public library card. (That's pretty embarrassing to admit. But I have an Amazon Rewards credit card, so I've always redeemed the points for books on Amazon.)

After watching a series of confusing videos on how to check out e-books from the Fairfax County Public Library, I almost gave up on this - it required installing software on my computer, transferring the file to my iPad, blah blah blah, and I just didn't have the patience to deal with it. But then I discovered an iPad app (Overdrive Media Console) that allows me to check out library books and downloads them directly to my iPad with the click of a button. There's a waiting list for a lot of the popular books, but I was able to snag a book from my reading list immediately. Currently about halfway through Patti Smith's Just Kids.

WOODY'S ICE CREAM
There's been a soft-serve ice cream place in Fairfax since 1998, and I didn't know about it? Granted, I never go to Fairfax, but Woody's is a reason to make the trip.

SLUGABED
Larry, being the bookworm that he is, has a very good vocabulary. He often uses words that I swear don't exist...and he's always right. Did you know that slugabed is a real word? And a great one at that:

       slug·abed

 noun \ˈslə-gə-ˌbed\
               : a person who stays in bed after the usual or proper time to get up


COUSIN RELATIONSHIPS
None of my parents' siblings had children, so I don't have any first cousins. I have a lot of other cousins, though - my parents' cousins, their children, their grandchildren - but I've never known the correct term for the relationship. We've always just called them second cousins, because does anyone really understand that once removed business? Turns out it isn't that difficult. My parents' first cousins are actually my first cousins once removed because they are removed by one generation. Aha!

lamb sfeehas
Homemade Lamb Sfeehas
LEBANESE BUTCHER
Lebanese Butcher is a Falls Church institution. When we moved to Falls Church, we looked forward to eating at the cafe and buying fresh meat from the butcher shop. But it burned down before we got the chance. A few months later, they reopened the butcher shop/grocery a few blocks away, but didn't have space for the restaurant.

Over the weekend, our friends hosted a Mediterranean cooking/dinner party. Larry and I chose to make several Lebanese dishes and needed some obscure ingredients, so we headed to Lebanese Butcher to stock up on pomegranate molasses and sumac. And the place is full of all sorts of ingredients that I previously had no idea where to buy. They also have lamb's brains and lamb's tongue if you're ever in the mood for that...

Don't worry, we didn't make lamb's brains or lamb's tongue! Not sure that would've been so popular at the dinner party. But we did make lamb sfeehas (Lebanese meat pies) and cheese borek/beoreg/boureki (a pastry common all over the Mediterranean, especially in Greece, Turkey, and the Balkans).

ugly fried pies
Fried Pies, ugly-style
FRYING
Conquered my fear of frying and been on a bit of a frying kick lately. We've made ricotta fritters, fried chicken, steak fries, sweet potato fries, and some extremely ugly fried pies (made from the weekend's berry bounty) that looked more like fried tacos that had been run over by a trash truck. I have a few more things I want to make while I have my oil thermometer out, then I promise I'll repent in September and eat nothing but rutabagas.

buzz bakery
Yes, that is a BLACKBERRY PIE CUPCAKE. And a Red Velvet. Mmmm.

BUZZ BAKERY...NOW IN BALLSTON
When I lived in Arlington, Larry and I would go to Buzz Bakery in Alexandria for a cupcake fix. Over the weekend we discovered there's a new one - in Ballston. It's even fancier than the original location, and it's open until midnight on the weekends. Oink oink.

4 comments:

Nadiine said...

so many lovely food items here :) cookies and cream = yum yum yum!
nadiine-x

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

Nadiine - I know, it's a little embarrassing how many of my favorite things in life are edible!

Sarah Rosemary said...

Oh my goodness, I will be going to Ballston for those cupcakes ASAP! I heard mixed reviews of the cupcake places in Vienna. But Cupcakes Actually in Fairfax Corner is pretty good. Especially the flourless chocolate cake.

lightlyspoken said...

Could you have made that slab of Hershey's look anymore delicious?! Ah too yum looking.