Archive for February, 2010

25
Feb
10

Introducing the Runcible Spoon. All hail the return of the DIY zine!

Look for Pie V. Cake in The Runcible Spoon, a fabulous DC food zine from Malaka over at The Grand International. We’ve got some recommendations for cheap sugar fixes, and a recipe for our “cherry bomb.”

Get the full-color PDF here: http://thegrandinternational.com/

And from Cupcakes are for Closers: http://bit.ly/aQRnT7

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21
Feb
10

Chocolate cream pie from a steakhouse

Mr. X-sXe had a hard time understanding that I’d just gotten an entire pie to take out at Wildfire. Takeout pie from a steakhouse? Yup, they offer a new flavor every few months, and there was a big poster out front encouraging me to take one home today. Say no more.

Their chocolate cream pie is rich but worth the two lactase I need to digest a slice. The cream is whipped fresh, and the chocolate cookie crust stays remarkably crunchy around the edges. We’ll see what the true verdict is once Ms. Pie weighs in, though.

PS: As I write this, they’re singing “It’s a wonderful day for pie” on Family Guy. Weird!

http://video.adultswim.com/family-guy/its-a-wonderful-day-for-pie.html

21
Feb
10

The state of the freezer

There is a flavor at TangySweet worth stocking up on right now. It’s the featured flavor, coconut, at the Gallery Place location. It’s chock fulla shredded coconut. Mmmmmm.

The cold weather helps prevent any meltage on the trip home. That’s probably the only benefit of Punxatawney Phil seeing his shadow this year.

And yes, there sometimes is an avalanche of food when I open the freezer door.

20
Feb
10

what we’ll do for free dessert

Pie sought refuge at Mr. Yogato following the Dupont Snowball Fight of Ought-10, and noticed that some new rules were posted. The most intriguing one promised 25% off if a customer dressed like Bjorn Borg, and 50% off if said customer would perform Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy” in a Swedish accent.
Now, Pie hangs with people who love the dessert, which meant that last night, she was tasked with documenting this:

Mr. Epi-pen, who is allergic to most everything on the planet, loves frozen yogurt. He also loves short shorts. So when he found out about the opportunity to score some discounts on yogurt while shaking his booty, it was a natural fit.
Here’s the execution:
and the execution:

and the payoff:

Seriously, look at how high those toppings are piled!

It turns out that Mr. Epi-pen was actually the THIRD person to try for the Bjorn Borg discount. He was, however, so impressive in his execution that he got his yogurt for free. (And yes, that’s right – the whole point of doing this was to get 50% off of a yogurt that usually costs about $5.)
And if that weren’t enough, he also learned how to play Scattergories. BONUS!
All in all, last night served as a valuable reminder as to why Mr. Yogato is my favorite yogurt place in DC. Domo arigato, Mr. Yogato!

17
Feb
10

Is there such thing as cupcake fatigue?

Someone must’ve caught wind of how much moolah the Georgetown Cupcake sisters are pulling in, because there’s a slew of cupcake places coming soon to DC. A sugar coma is imminent.

According to Washingtonian magazine, Crumbs is opening seven (!) locations in the DC Metro area starting in May. Their cupcakes are over the top, and big enough for sharing.

Sprinkles will be opening a location in Georgetown (timing TBD). I’ve only tried them via their mixes at Williams & Sonoma. I can’t wait to try the real goods.

The market for cupcakes in this town already seems near saturation point. Will someone open a French macaroon place, please?

Read the article: http://bit.ly/c8WVpR

16
Feb
10

Open-face s’mores. No campfire required.

You’ll need a gas stove if you’re doing these at home. And adult supervision if kids are involved.

  • Soak some skewers or disposable chopsticks in cold water so they don’t burn.
  • S’mores get super sweet easily, so I used a 70% cacao chocolate bar from Trader Joe’s for these¬† instead of milk chocolate, chopped into bits and melted in the microwave. Do the melting in increments (20-30 seconds or so), stirring between each increment. (Do not overmelt–you’ll be crying into your separated chocolate.)
  • Spread melted chocolate onto graham cracker.
  • Stab marshmallows with skewers. Turn gas stove on low. Hold marshmallow a couple of inches above the flame, or it’ll catch fire quickly instead of browning.
  • Stick marshmallow onto graham cracker. Eat while hot and melty!

16
Feb
10

Sugar fix from Pret a Manger

I love that this UK import now has a DC location at the Farragut West 18th Street exit. Their sandwich combinations are unique, and the quality/freshness of the ingredients is impressive.

But what about the desserts? I selflessly taste-tested them for you to find out if they’re worth the calories.*

The almond croissant is flaky goodness, baked fresh daily, with a generous portion of almond paste inside.

Verdict: worth the calories.

Now, for the brownie and chocolate cake slice.

The brownie: The packaging says they’ve modified the recipe 36 times, so my expectations were high. It didn’t disappoint. A quick survey of the ingredient list (dark chocolate, vanilla, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, butter, pastry flour, salt, in that order) explains why it’s so darn good. It’s primarily chocolate! Also, you rarely see vanilla that high on an ingredient list. Yeah, it’s rich, but doesn’t sit in your stomach like a brick.

Verdict: WELL worth the calories.

The chocolate cake was underwhelming. Wasn’t crazy about the flavor of the cake. Their website says it’s made with Callebaut chocolate, which makes me think that Callebaut isn’t what it’s cracked up to be, or it’s been horribly misused.¬†Also, the icing was gritty–same efffect as eating an omelette and biting down on bits of eggshell. Maybe they need to make it with confectioner’s sugar instead.

Verdict: Not worth the calories. If you need to get your chocolate on, get the brownie.

*Actual calories from the Pret A Manger website:

almond croissant: 410

brownie: 390

chocolate cake slice: 470

Pret A Manger, 1825 Eye Street, NW, Washington DC 20006, (202) 403-2992