helen_m's Profile

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Where to get best fresh roasted coffee beans?

I love Ceremony coffee, they're in Annapolis but they are stocked in wholefoods (roasting dates displayed) and also online: http://ceremonycoffee.com/ For mellow chocolatiness I'd go for their Cerrado Gold.

Last time I was at my all time favourite coffee suppliers (Square Mile coffee in London) they said between 9 and 11 days after roasting is now considered optimum. They ship their beans out right after they're roasted so you can decide though. After all, everything is down to personal taste.

Apr 01, 2014
helen_m in Washington DC & Baltimore

What's for Dinner #288 - April Fool Edition! [Through April 3, 2014]

Yes! Where are the cool looking bars?! Hmmm. I read it was mostly filmed in Baltimore.

I still loved the second series (we binge-watched over a few days, best way to do it!)

Mar 31, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking

What can I serve with Shepards Pie?

It's classic british comfort food. I'd make something like thyme-roasted carrots, or buttered cabbage and peas.

All you people suggesting salad with it! That would NEVER happen in the UK!

My ex aways used to have shepherd's pie with baked beans (Heinz, of course) because it's how he's mum served it. Bless.

Mar 31, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #288 - April Fool Edition! [Through April 3, 2014]

A bit of siracha? Mint leaves?

Mar 30, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking
2

What's for Dinner #288 - April Fool Edition! [Through April 3, 2014]

I used some of last night's roast chicken to make a caesar salad using up a whole head of romaine from the veg box. I used leftover roast potatoes (forgot I was only cooking for one adult and one small person yesterday) to make croutons which worked brilliantly.

Red wine and my smokey diptyque candle on the go now, making the most of (hopefully) the last wintery Sunday. Spring, shake a leg!

Mar 30, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking
6

What's for dinner #287: The adios to winter edition [Through March 30, 2014]

That all sounds lovely. I love impromptu meals like that. It's very satisfying to pull something together at last minute.

I like the sound of the spicy coriander salad - what's in it?

Mar 29, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking

What's for dinner #287: The adios to winter edition [Through March 30, 2014]

A bit of a miserable rainy day in DC - soccer practice and blossom kite festival all cancelled (the kite flying will hopefully happen tomorrow instead). We have had fun indoors instead baking a meyer lemon cake this afternoon.

I'll roast a chicken later, Simon Hopkinson style with lemons spritzed over and stuffed into the cavity. Trying to decide whether to go for traditional roast potatoes, carrots, parsnips, brussels sprouts on the side but that seems quite sunday-like so maybe I'll do a more saturday night style salad? Decisions!

I will definitely be taking the new cocktail shaker for a spin once the 4 year old's in bed. I'm browsing pinterest for inspiration.

Mar 29, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking
7

What's for dinner #287: The adios to winter edition [Through March 30, 2014]

You're the queen of a well-laid table. I love how you have napkins out!

I have finally made one of my napkins, I wonder if I'll ever make a complete set.

Mar 29, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking

What's for dinner #287: The adios to winter edition [Through March 30, 2014]

Dare I ask about rabbit & meat glue?!

Mar 29, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking

What's for dinner #287: The adios to winter edition [Through March 30, 2014]

The lovely Nigel. Sounds good to me too Gio.

Mar 29, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking
1

What's for dinner #287: The adios to winter edition [Through March 30, 2014]

I went for the courgette version. They are so easy and gluten free so will go on rotation when my OH's back from his trip (so jealous, he skyped us from the base of Kilimanjaro today!). I didn't add the herbs to the meatball mix (coriander and mint) because I wanted to make sure the small boy ate them all up. And he did! I added the herbs to the yoghurty sauce that Yotam suggests you serve alongside the meatballs which worked well. Just steamed rice alongside. We had hummus and red pepper, cucumber and carrot whilst the meatballs were finishing off in the oven so veg quota is filled for today.

Mar 27, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking
2

What's for dinner #287: The adios to winter edition [Through March 30, 2014]

No cooking last night as the 4 year old suggested we go to his 'favourite cafe' which is a vietnamese place. He ordered a rice bowl with marinaded pork belly, extra hoisin sauce and 'no leaves' (no basil or mint) I had a rice bowl with salt and pepper tofu.

I'm going to make turkey meatballs tonight (for the first time ever!) an Ottolenghi recipe but not sure which one yet. Either the courgette ones from Jerusalem or the corn ones with red pepper sauce from his first book. Sides tbc.

Mar 27, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking
5

What's for dinner #287: The adios to winter edition [Through March 30, 2014]

Are you going to make the potstickers?

Mar 27, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #286 - Spring has Sprung, but the Grass Ain't Riz Edition [through 3/27/14]

He ate it all up! He especially loved the asparagus and bacon.

Mar 27, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking
3

What's for Dinner #286 - Spring has Sprung, but the Grass Ain't Riz Edition [through 3/27/14]

Finally got my pasta fix! The 4 year old was sold when I described it as bacon and egg pasta. Spaghetti carbonara with asparagus tossed into the pasta water for the last couple of minutes (we had some to use up). I had a huge green salad with it to use up the last of the bag of beautiful leaves that came in the veg box.

Mar 26, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking
8

What's for Dinner #286 - Spring has Sprung, but the Grass Ain't Riz Edition [through 3/27/14]

Me too, I pinned it as soon as I read about it on here!

Mar 26, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking

Request for mini reports week ending March 23

I visited DGS Deli near Dupont Circle last wednesday with friends who were visiting from the UK. I met them at the bar and we enjoyed a Mazel Tov each (rose champagne, plum liqueur lavender syrup and lemon juice) before going upstairs to our table. I chose the falafel platter - I loved the fresh tasting pickles and beetroot and the falafel were good but huge. My friend had the chicken soup which was really lovely and comforting (and just what she wanted after eating out for every meal for the past week). We were surprised by getting only one huge matzo ball in the dish though. My other friend made the best choice of the evening (the waiter was very approving as he write it on his notepad!) red wine braised brisket with mashed potatoes and horseradish. The beef was sooooo tender.

We shared two desserts: caramelised banana split with peanut butter ice cream and chocolate sauce and the chocolate bread pudding with salted caramel ice cream. The bread pudding was delicious, not too sweet. Portions again were just vast and we didn't finish either.

Service was great, not too intrusive (we had a lot of catching up to do so took ages to choose from the menu). The manager came over towards the end of the meal and was very charming.

Mar 25, 2014
helen_m in Washington DC & Baltimore

What's for Dinner #286 - Spring has Sprung, but the Grass Ain't Riz Edition [through 3/27/14]

I was planning a gluten-fest of some kind but the 4 year old requested rice, brussels sprouts and broccoli for dinner! I couldn't pass on such healthy eating choices so I roasted the veg for us, steamed the rice and I'll have mine later with momofuku dressing (lots of chilli, fish sauce and coriander) once he's tucked up in bed.

Mar 24, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking
10

What's for Dinner #286 - Spring has Sprung, but the Grass Ain't Riz Edition [through 3/27/14]

I made a sunday night favourite - mejadra. It's so comforting and a little bit indulgent with all the fried onions. We ate it with the leftover mechoui, just shredded up and and fried it in the leftover spiced butter. Sides were chargrilled courgettes dressed with mint, lemon and red chilli and a dollop hummus. Glass of pink wine to finish last night's bottle.

Last meal with my OH for a while, he's on a work trip in Africa for 10 days. Means I can have gluten again though. Pasta here I come!

Mar 24, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking
5

What's for Dinner #286 - Spring has Sprung, but the Grass Ain't Riz Edition [through 3/27/14]

I've never heard of feijoas, thanks for posting the photo!

The pumpkin looks amazing too, I will definitely try that soon.

Mar 24, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking
2

What's for Dinner #286 - Spring has Sprung, but the Grass Ain't Riz Edition [through 3/27/14]

You can never have too many jams. We have about 6 open jars in the fridge.

Mar 24, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #286 - Spring has Sprung, but the Grass Ain't Riz Edition [through 3/27/14]

The tabbouleh is this: http://www.vogue.co.uk/beauty/2013/08... it's really really good. I had to use pre-packed pomegranate seeds but they were better than none.

The lamb was amazing, I can't find a link but we only made the spiced butter bit of the recipe because we were pushed for time and hungry. It was a stick of butter pounded in a pestle with mint leaves, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander seeds and garlic. We brushed it on the lamb as it was on the grill. We had leftovers of the lamb last night just shredded up and fried in the leftover butter.

Mar 24, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking
2

What's for Dinner #286 - Spring has Sprung, but the Grass Ain't Riz Edition [through 3/27/14]

Feels like spring in DC, yay! We ate dinner early so we could all eat together, we never manage it in the week. My OH consulted Steven Raichlen's Barbecue Bible and decided on mechoui. The spiced butter was amazing. I did my favourite quinoa tabbouleh (the allspice almonds and pomegranate really make it) and grilled asparagus as sides and drank pink wine in the sun.

Happy first spring Saturday of 2014!

Mar 22, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking
9

Which wine & spirits should I have on hand?

I usually have a bottle of cointreau or grand marnier to use in desserts. A bit of orange liqueur is lovely with berry or chocolate desserts or mixed into sweetened whipped cream.

I love sherry as it keeps brilliantly. It's sometimes handy to have vermouth to hand in case you have an eeek there's no wine emergency. It's another one that keeps well so perfect for adding a splash to sauces, risottos etc.

Mar 19, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #285 - Harbingers of Spring Edition! [Through March 22, 2014]

I'm meeting friends of friends who are in DC for holiday at a Jewish restaurant. Unless here are any specials I think I'll kick off with a mazel tov (pink champagne, plum liqueur, lavender syrup and lemon) and have a falafel platter. The desserts there are pretty rib-sticking so I need to save room for the chocolate bread pudding with salted caramel ice cream.

Mar 19, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking
10

What's for Dinner #284 - the "Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day" Edition [through March 19, 2014]

How weird, in the UK they're available pretty much all year round. Anyway, the back up dinner was really, really good. I will definitely make it again. Maybe with some snap peas for crunch.

Mar 18, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #284 - the "Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day" Edition [through March 19, 2014]

I was planning to make chargrilled duck breast with pomegranate salsa but no pomegranates were to be found! So it's duck breast, the slashed skin rubbed with fennel seeds, salt and chilli pan seared then shoved into the oven for 10 minutes. It's resting now before slicing.

It'll be served with a huge salad of watercress, pea shoots, mint and spring onions with a dressing of ginger, red chilli, tamari, sesame oil, lime and orange juice. Steamed jasmine rice was requested at last minute by my hungry OH.

Mar 18, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking
7

Where to pick up a lunch for eating later?

Sweet Green for well-balanced seasonal salads (you can ask for the dressing separately if you're worried about leaves wilting) and really good juices.

Mar 16, 2014
helen_m in Washington DC & Baltimore

What's for Dinner #284 - the "Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day" Edition [through March 19, 2014]

I can't get my head around St Patrick's Day being so huge here, the whole weekend I've been marvelling at people sporting bright green outfits!

Tonight I'm taking a leaf out of Steve's book and making sausages with peppers. I'll be serving polenta alongside since my OH's gone gluten free for a bit to see of it helps him. Green salad with balsamic vinaigrette and parmesan before and I'm planning a special dessert - campari roasted strawberries with honey tangerine sorbetto. I have some basil that needs using up so maybe I'll work it in to strawberries somehow. I hope it tastes as good as I imagine it in my head!

Mar 16, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking
6

What's for Dinner #282 - Spring Daylight Savings Time Edition [through March 13, 2014]

The skin is absolutely the best bit! Your seasonings were pretty similar to my tandoor spice mix. Only no oregano and I added coriander seeds and turmeric.

I love those crash hot potatoes. Jill Dupleix is one of my food heroes.

Mar 13, 2014
helen_m in Home Cooking
1