Category Archives: Misc.

DC Metro Cooking & Entertaining Show Recap

This past weekend I attended the DC Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show as an official Foodbuzz Foodie Correspondent.  It was very cool – I even got my own press pass!  The main exhibit hall was huge and had numerous exhibitors giving away samples and tastings.  There were a ton of different exhibitors featuring homemade bbq sauces, cakes, whoopie pies, spice rubs, and various other food-related goodies.  Take a look at a few of my favorites!

Emily G’s Jam of Love

Holly’s Au Natural Oatmeal

Grama’s Best Apple Caviar

Wanna Hava Cookie Whoopie Pies

Beautiful cake (I can’t remember who made this!)

Rub Joe Meat Killer Coffee & Spice Rub

Gia Michael’s Gourmet Garbage

Bobby Flay

I watched Restaurant Eve’s Chef de Cuisine Jeremy Hoffman and Sommelier Tod Thrasher cook up beef wellington and make homemade mulled cider respectively.  There was also a Foodspring.com tasting contest; we tasted 15 different items that included marinades, sauces, ginger beer, curry ketchup, toffee, etc.  My vote went to an amazing sticky toffee pudding by the Sticky Toffee Pudding Company.  It was amazing, and I could have eaten about five more samples!  There were also Food Network celebrity events going on all weekend that included cooking demonstrations and book signings by Paula Deen, Bobby Flay, and Rachel Ray.  I was lucky enough to be at the show for Bobby Flay’s cooking demonstration.  I took some cool photos of Bobby Flay in action.  He’s exactly like he is on TV;  an extremely personable and cute Irishman with an affinity for Southwestern cuisine and a NY accent.

Overall, this was a great event that featured unique exhibitors and restaurateurs from all over the country. Be sure to check out the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show website for future locations and dates.  I’m happy to have been a Foodbuzz correspondent!

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Homemade Granola Bars & Share Our Strength

This past weekend, I decided to bake my own homemade granola bars since I spend money every week at the grocery store buying them.  I found a recipe from Alton Brown and just added a few of my own goodies I had on hand.  I used shredded coconut, butterscotch chips, and flax seeds – not exactly a healthy granola bar, but a yummy one!  What’s nice about baking your own granola bars is that you can use whatever goodies you prefer (chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, nuts, dried fruits, etc.)  This is a simple recipe to make and definitely more cost effective than buying granola bars each week!

In other news, I recently started volunteering for Share Our Strength.  Many of you have probably heard of this organization, but if you haven’t, they are a non-profit that works to help end childhood hunger in the U.S.  In particular, every year they host an event called Taste of the Nation DC in which DC-area restaurants and chefs gather to raise money and awareness for this great cause.  100% of the proceeds go to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, which includes support for local beneficiaries Capitol Area Food Bank, DC Hunger Solutions, and Mary’s Center.

Why am I telling you this?  Well, this Monday, November 15th is No Kid Hungry Day.  Select food trucks in DC including Bada Bing, CapMac, Choupi Crepes, DC Empanadas, DC Love Bites, Eat Wonky, Red Hook Lobster and Takorean will offer their eats the entire day and then donate a percentage of the proceeds to Taste of the Nation DC.  There’s also a happy hour at The Passenger (1021 7th Street NW) from 5-8pm where 10% of the proceeds will also be donated to Taste of the Nation DC.

Be sure to grab some local, food truck eats and a few cocktails at The Passenger today!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips (you can use chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, etc.)
  • 2 tbsp flax seeds
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 by 13″ baking dish.
  2. Toss the oatmeal and coconut together on a baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.
  4. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees.
  5. Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the butterscotch chips and mix.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until lightly golden brown.
  8. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

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Metro Cooking Show Ticket Giveaway

Congrats to Lauren from Vita e Pane for winning the Metro Cooking Ticket!!!

Last week, I blogged about the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show that is going to take place this coming weekend in Washington, DC.  I am actually going to be covering the event on behalf of Foodbuzz as part of their Foodie Correspondent program.  Because I’ve already purchased a ticket for the event and no longer need it, I’m going to be giving away 1 free general admission ticket to a lucky winner!  The Show is being held this Saturday, November 13 from 10am-7pm and Sunday, November 14 from 10am-5pm, so please be sure that you can attend one of these days.

Here’s how you can enter to win:

  1. Subscribe to my blog via email and leave a comment telling me you did.
  2. For an extra entry, “Like” Happy When Not Hungry’s Facebook page and leave a comment telling me you did.
  3. Get two extra entries by posting about this giveaway on your blog and linking back to this post.  Leave me two separate comments telling me what you did.
  4. Leave a comment telling me what you’re most looking forward to seeing at the show for an extra entry.

One winner will be chosen by Random.org and will be notified.

Giveaway ends Wednesday, November 10th at 7pm Eastern Time.

Good luck and can’t wait to see you there!

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D.C. Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show

(Photos from DC Metro Cooking Website)

Attention all my fellow Washingtonians and out-of-town friends that will be in the DC metro area the weekend of November 13-14, the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show will be taking place at the DC Convention Center for its fifth year.  This year’s show will feature some of DC’s top chefs as well as renowned Food Network stars Bobby Flay, Paula Deen, and Rachel Ray.  There will be numerous cooking demonstrations, an exhibit hall with over 300 exhibitors offering product samples as well as sales, a tasting pavilion with beer, wine, and spirits, and even the Just for Kids cooking area.  There will also be several special events taking place throughout the weekend including Chef Carla Hall, former Bravo TV Top Chef Contestant, hosting a food and wine pairing with the Wine Coach® Laurie Forster, Cocktails with Todd Thrasher, and Savvy Holiday Entertaining with Tara Wilson.

The list of the DC area chefs presenting culinary demonstrations includes:

  • Chef Victor Albisu, BLT Steak
  • Chef Cathal Armstrong & Todd Thrasher, Restaurant Eve, Eammon’s, The Majestic
  • Chef Arthur Cavaliere, Central Michel Richard
  • Chef Scott Drewno, The Source by Wolfgang Puck
  • Chef Todd Gray, Equinox
  • Chef Carla Hall, Alchemy Caterers & Top Chef Season 5 Contestant
  • Chef Mike Isabella, Graffiato & Top Chef Season 6 Contestant
  • Chef Ramon Martinez, Jaleo
  • Chef Clayton Miller & Pastry Chef Chris Ford, Trummer’s On Main
  • Chef Patrice Olivon, L’Academie de Cuisine
  • Pastry Chef Travis Olson, 1789 Restaurant
  • Chef Paul Stearman, Marcel’s
  • Chef Nicholas Stefanelli, Bibiana

 Events will take place all weekend between the following hours:

Saturday, November 13: 10 am – 7 pm & Sunday, November 14: 10 am – 5 pm

 Purchase your tickets today at http://www.metrocooking.com.

General admission, $20 advance; $25 on-site; Children 4-12, $10 advance, $13 on-site; Children 4 and under free

You can also purchase tickets via telephone at 1-888-695-0888; or for information call 703-321-4890.

 The Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show isn’t only held in DC — they’ve held shows in Atlanta and West Palm Beach too!  Check out their website to see future locations that they will be coming to: http://www.metrocooking.com.

 Have you ever been to a Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show?  What was your favorite part of the show?  I’m definitely looking forward to sampling some wonderful foods and beverages.  But I also have to say I’m very excited at the possibility of seeing Chef Bobby Flay in action!

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Finger Lakes Wine Country

Budget Travel recently voted the Finger Lakes Wine Country “the most beautiful wine region in the world.”  I might be extremely biased, but I do believe that the Finger Lakes region is unlike any other wine region in the world.  Not only is this region idyllic and home to almost 80 wineries, it also produces some of the best wines, especially Rieslings, in the world.

This past weekend, my family and I went to Seneca Lake to stop by a few of our favorite wineries (Fox Run, Anthony Road & Glenora).  Most of the Finger Lakes wineries produce exceptional and often times, award-winning wines.  Wine tastings are also extremely reasonable; for $1 or $2 (depending on the winery), you can taste anywhere from 5-6 wines.  Sometimes the wines are already chosen for you to taste and other times you can choose which ones you’d like to try.  What’s great about this is that if you are partial to dry reds, you can taste all dry reds if you’d like.  I personally like to try all of them; sometimes I like a nice dry red and other times I like a sweet port.  The Finger Lakes also produces some very good fruit wines; my favorites are Raspberry Rose and Blueberry Breeze from Glenora.  There are also some very unique grape varieties that are used in Finger Lakes’ wines:

Baco Noir – a French-American hybrid that is used to make fruity, red wines

Cayuga – a French-American hybrid that was “bred by Cornell University to be perfectly suited to the growing season of the Finger Lakes.” Glenora winery was the first commercial winery to release a varietal Cayuga white back in 1977.

Niagara – an American cross that is used for off-dry and dessert wines

Vignoles – a French-American hybrid that is typically used for dry, white wines

Have you ever visited the Finger Lakes wine region before?  If so, what are your favorite wineries and/or wines?

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Restaurant Review: Trummer’s on Main


It’s been a while since I’ve written a restaurant review, but Trummer’s on Main in Clifton, VA definitely deserves a special post. It was Restaurant Week here in the DC-Metro Area, and this time, my husband and I decided to go with Food and Wine’s pick for Top New Chef of 2010: Trummer’s on Main. Trummer’s on Main is located in Clifton, VA which is located right outside the Beltway, but boasts none of the noise, congestion, or traffic that the DC-Metro area does. It’s beautiful, rural setting is idyllic. Driving down a windy road with large houses on each side, you come to a clearing where there are just fields as far as your eyes can see. It reminded me of being home in Central NY. Clifton is a small, antiquated town; it was actually the first town in VA to have electricity. There’s even an old Texaco sign that is a remnant of the gas station that used to be located there, but is now home to a quaint coffee shop.

The restaurant sits on the side of the road, right near the railroad tracks, in a white house that has a porch on both levels. When you enter the restaurant, you’re immediately greeted by a huge, stone bar. Since Trummer’s is known for their unique cocktails, we decided to have a seat at the bar before dinner. I had a peach granita with Maker’s Mark bourbon. My husband had something similar to a rootbeer float except with Kettle One vodka and peanut foam. It took the bartender at least 10 minutes to create these drinks, but I’m not complaining; it was like watching an artist at work. I never knew there could be so many steps involved in making a single drink. The drinks were exceptional. The bourbon was not too overpowering, but there was enough there to give me that warm feeling in the back of my throat. My husband’s drink was bliss; it tasted exactly like a rootbeer float except with vodka (definitely dangerous!).

The upstairs dining room was beautifully decorated—elegant, but simple and intimate. Our table was a solid oak table with no table cloth, but a simple placemat and small vase of fresh flowers. It was the perfect table setting that blended well with the surrounding landscape. Our first course was a goat cheese agnolotti with pickled rhubarb, black pepper shortbread, and fried capers. Agnolotti are crescent-shaped stuffed pasta, similar to ravioli. The creaminess of the goat cheese as well as the saltiness of the capers was remarkable. The black pepper shortbread gave an extra crunchiness and texture while the rhubarb gave an added tartness to offset the richness of the goat cheese.

Our main course was a 12-hour, oven roasted and honey glazed pork shoulder with pineapple confit, bay leaf crumble, and sweet potato. The pork shoulder was extremely tender and juicy, and the pineapple and sweet potato were the perfect accompaniments. The bay leaf crumble added color to the plate as well as fresh flavor and texture. The dessert course was a berry and brown sugar crumble with vanilla and raspberry sherbet. I love dessert and baking, so I’m probably a bit more harsh on judging desserts; when I heard “crumble,” I instantly thought of an apple crisp-type dessert with warm fruit topped with brown sugar and oats. Instead, the berry part of the dessert was the raspberry sherbet and inside was the vanilla sherbet topped with the brown sugar crumble. It was not warm, and there was no real fruit. The flavors were all there, but I would’ve loved some fresh fruit topped with the crumble and sherbet.

Overall, Trummer’s on Main was an exceptional meal. The staff was extremely professional and friendly, while the food was fresh and exquisite—they constantly change their menu too. I would definitely recommend this restaurant to all my fellow Washingtonians and to anyone visiting the area.

I’ve been asked what my favorite restaurant is before, but it’s just too hard to answer this question—I have numerous restaurants inside and outside of DC and the US that are my favorites. I just can’t pick one. Sometimes, restaurants are so varying and unique that it’s hard to compare them against each other especially since each chef has his or her own style that makes their restaurant what it is.

Do you have an all-time favorite restaurant or are you like me and just can’t pick one?

PS. I never take pictures of the food at a restaurant I want to write a review on because the whole point of food writing is to be able to describe the meal in extreme detail using key words that invoke the 5 senses (6 including umami)!

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Homemade Zesty Salsa

My apologies for being MIA this past week. My family and I went to the Outer Banks, NC for a vacation. We spent a lot of time soaking in the sun at the beach and eating fresh seafood. It was a wonderful, and much needed, break away from reality. Before we left for the OBX, my parents drove down to VA and stayed with us for a night to break up their trip. We then all headed out the next day for NC.

As you may recall, I had purchased 30 pounds of tomatoes from my farmer’s market. Before I left, I wanted to use up the rest of my tomatoes, so my mom helped me can some salsa. This salsa is easy, but so tasty and has a nice little kick from the jalapenos as well – perfect for chips, grilled chicken, fish, pork, etc… Can’t believe the summer is almost over… hope everyone is enjoying it!

My canner

Ingredients:

  • 15 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 5 cups diced white onion
  • 6 jalapenos seeded and diced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 c cilantro minced
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
  2. Ladle hot salsa into 4 quart-sized mason jars that have been sterilized. Leave 1/4 inch headspace.
  3. Process 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner.
  4. Allow jars to cool.  Once cool, press down on lid to ensure properly sealed.
  5. Store in a cool place.

Yields: 4 Quarts

Here are some pics from my vacation!

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