Archive for June, 2008


Mayonnaise chocolate cake failure

One of Brettie’s coworkers swears by her mayo chocolate cake recipe. You know, where you buy a cake mix, then add stuff like mayo and sour cream to soup it up. Intrigued, I randomly pulled one of these recipes off of the web. Well, I’m not going to share the recipe here because mine was a failure. I guess I didn’t add enough egg b/c the cake wouldn’t stick together. And while it tasted ok, it was nothing special, despite my adding mayo, sour cream, chocolate chips and other goodies. So until I get Brettie’s coworker’s recipe, all you get is this photo of the mayo chocolate cake failure.


Surabhi’s mom’s yummy oat squares

Mrs. Shah is known for her prowess in the kitchen, and this is one of the recipes she shared with me that I’ve road-tested. You can customize these oat sqaures by adding whatever you want (chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit, etc.). I added mini chocolate chips and pine nuts to mine. But I recommend adding regular-size chocolate chips–the minis were ungratifyingly small.

BTW, if you don’t like the taste of molasses you can substitute honey, but I guess that would technically make them non-vegan.


Mrs. Shah’s oat squares:

2 teas baking powder

4 cups quick-cook rolled oats

1/2 cup (or slightly more) molasses or honey

1/2 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup vegetable oil

1 teas cinammon

1 teas ground ginger

optional: 1/2 cup chocolate chips/nuts/seeds/dried fruit

Mix all ingredients together by hand right in the baking pan (saves on dishwashing!). Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until it starts bubbling. Let cool completely before cutting.


DC yogurt tour, cont’d

Juice Zone in Foggy Bottom is inside one of the George Washington University buildings on 23rd & G St, NW. You gotta show a driver’s license or some other form of ID to get in there. So it’s probably the most well-protected frozen yogurt in DC.

Ann and I originally stopped by on our DC yogurt tour, but they’re closed on Sundays. So I went back the next day to sample it. At $4.94 (incl. tax) for a small with 3 toppings, it wasn’t cheap. I got chocolate chips, blackberries and slivered raw almonds. Like the other places, they claim their yogurt has live active cultures, and the fruit toppings are fresh, not frozen fruit.

The flavor was similar to the frozen yogurt at Sweet Green–it tasted like vanilla Dannon. Somehow it seemed a bit less flavorful. Either that or my taste buds got numb while I was eating it. Since this place is closer than the other two, I’ll go there if I’m desperate for fro-yo. The security in the building may make me think twice, though.

Juice Zone fro-yo lags behind the competition.


dc frozen yogurt tour

today, mimi and i went on a quest – a hot, sweaty quest – to settle a question which has recently arisen in the dc dessert community.

who makes the best frozen yogurt in dc? tangysweet or sweet green?

first, i had to start things off with a bit of vegan soft-serve at sticky fingers.
vegan soft serve
it was vanilla and rich and much denser than i expected. i only had a few spoonfuls, though, since i knew what type of gastronomical challenges were awaiting me later in the day.

mimi and i met up in georgetown, where we headed down m street to sweet green, assiduously dodging all the sweaty bodies in the crowds. ick ick ick. we were happy to finally get into the air-conditioned sweet green, a healthy fast-food joint that serves nothing but salads and frozen yogurt. we paid four dollars for a small serving plus three toppings, which were limited to berries and a few crunchy things. they were also disturbingly close to the crunchy toppings for the salad. i was a little concerned that an inattentive clerk might mix wasabi peas into my yogurt. we opted for a relatively healthy combo of blackberries, raspberries, and coconut:
sweet green
now, mimi had been talking up the way in which sweet green’s owners had apparently developed this unique yogurt formula, so i probably had much-too-high expectations for the taste. the problem? sweet green tastes like plain yogurt, except a little colder. i found myself wondering why i had paid $4 for a taste that I could get for 99 cents at the safeway. it got mildly better as we worked our way through the cup, but it was a letdown. the plus? sweet green’s seating is limited, but it’s located right across the street from the shady francis scott key park.

we then trekked through the unrelenting sun-drenched streets of dc to go to tangysweet, the latest froyo emporium to open in dc. the drawbacks? no place to sit down, and the place was super-crowded and filled with people i sort of know, but don’t want to see on weekends when i’m looking decidedly non-worklike. the plus? delicious yogurt. for $4.50, mimi and i got a generous serving of plain with three toppings.
she was craving the mango, but i wanted to partake of the ample cereal-based options at the store. i got fruit loops and raisin-laced granola. and yes, i know that mango and fruit loops don’t actually go together.
both of us were wowed by the flavor of the yogurt – it was sweeter and zingier than sweet green. mimi lamented the fact that she was likely going to spent the rest of the summer addicted to tangysweet, even though she lives just far enough away from it to make it unwalkable on a daily basis, especially when the deep humidity hits.

we’ve got some tips for some other froyo places, so keep checking back for more reviews…