Recent Posts

February 26, 2010

Laura Tsaggaris at the Black Cat TONIGHT

Looking for something to do tonight? Come see Laura Tsaggaris at the Black Cat. She is an extremely talented singer-songwriter who also happens to be a friend of mine. Check out some of her music on MySpace or her website. She rocks!

If you get hungry, pop into the Food for Thought cafe at the Black Cat. There is no cover for the cafe and you can fuel up with a burger and fries.

Come see a great show!

The Black Cat
1811 14th St, NW

Laura Tsaggaris with Full Band
Show tonight begins at 9pm.

February 24, 2010

Did I Die and Go to Heaven?

Photo From

Bacon, Chocolate, Hot Sauce and Bourbon- someone made this drink JUST for me! Thanks to UrbanDaddy, I now know of this perfectly crafted concoction from Farmers & Fishers. It's called the Bone Cocktail and it's a shot of bourbon, shaken with a little Tobasco, fresh lime and then garnished with a lollipop made of Wisconsin's Nueske's bacon dipped in sugar, cinnamon and a chocolate ganache. Perfection!

I am going to have to make a special trip downtown for this one. Thank you UrbanDaddy and thank you Farmers & Fishers!

Farmers & Fishers
3000 K St., NW
Washington, DC 20007

February 21, 2010

Sorriso Italian Ristorante

Photo from

Last night we met up with a group of friends for a birthday dinner at Sorriso in Cleveland Park. It is a small, family-run Italian restaurant with two levels. It has a very homey feel. The walls are a rich buttery color and there are pictures and framed maps from Italy. It is quite small, but not uncomfortable. It just makes it a little on the loud side. We were seated in the upper level which has an open balcony to the lower level.

I was happy to see the menu was very traditional Italian, with multiple courses and Pizzas. I also saw on the menu that the pizza chef (the owner's son) actually studied in Italy where he received a Masters in Pizza. Who knew that even existed? I was impressed, and knew at that point I would have to try one.

We started with appetizers for the table of calamari fritti, antipasto and beef carpaccio. They ran out of the beef for the carpaccio but offered us a nice cured beef to substitute. Everything was very fresh and good. The calamari had a light, crispy breading and was tender.

February 20, 2010

Spinach Teeth

Photo from

I went to dinner the other night for my friend Sara's birthday. She lives in Baltimore so we decided to all meet up at Clyde's in Columbia. I'm a fan of the chain for the laid back atmosphere and dependable, good food. I have to say the cheesy polenta and brownie sundae are to die for! However, I'm not writing a review, I'm writing about something that happens to your mouth after you eat spinach. Sara and I both ordered a dish with sauteed spinach (yum) but were discussing why your teeth feel like they have socks on them after you eat it. She said I should look it up and write about it, so here I go.

Thanks to my friends at Chow, we will now understand why your teeth feel like you haven't brushed them in a month after eating spinach. The answer is oxalic acid. When you chew spinach, oxalic acid is released from the spinach. When calcium in your saliva combines with the oxalic acid, crystals are created leaving your mouth to feel gritty.

Want to continue enjoying spinach without the gritty aftertaste? Add some fat. I find that a healthy dose of olive oil or butter lessen the effect and makes the spinach taste great. Olive oil and butter always make things better!

February 17, 2010

Adobe Photoshop Cook

This really has nothing to do with DC nor is it a recipe. This is just a really cool video I found and wanted to share. This must have taken some serious time and patience!  Enjoy!

Adobe Photoshop Cook from Lait Noir on Vimeo.

February 14, 2010

Best Valentine's Restaurant Sign

Happy Valentine's Day! I know many people are planning on going out for the typical pricey dinners with candles, chocolates and roses.  I am spending a long weekend relaxing in the Outer Banks and escaping the snow. It's still cold here, a high of 40 degrees today, but it was sunny. I took advantage of the clear roads and went for a nice long run. On my route, I passed several shops and restaurants in the town of Duck. One sign in particular caught my eye. It was the sign outside of the Roadside Bar and Grill. I've eaten here before, and it is a really great place. Great beers, great meals and it's casual. It is everything a beach restaurant and bar should be. They clearly have a sense of humor as well. Here is their Valentine's special...

Nothing says "I love you" like a meatloaf. I'm sort of in love with them for this sign. Hope everyone has a great Valentine's Day!

February 13, 2010

Snowpocalypse Pizza

I know, I have been M.I.A. lately, but I'm finally getting back to normalcy after the return of my electricity, heat and digging out of 3+ feet of snow. A blizzard like this one was not something I ever expected in this area. After all, I moved down here from central New York to get away from this type of weather. This area clearly has a difficult time handling storms like this, and so do my above-ground power lines. We found ourselves without power or heat for a day and a half. We made a "camp" in the living room by the fireplace and kept feeding the fire.

Unfortunately, my stove is electric, so we had to come up with alternative food options. For starters, I MUST have coffee. You don't want to see me if I can't start my morning with it. Thankfully, we remembered that we have camping equipment in a box in the basement and dug out a percolator. We've never done this before, but like McGyver (or in our case, probably more like McGruber), we tried our hand at making coffee in the fireplace. It actually wasn't bad!

February 3, 2010

2 Pizza Tuesday

I have been known to have problems making decisions when it comes to food. I often get stressed when faced with a large restaurant menu and end up with a massive case of food envy after the food arrives. I even seem to have problems picking a pizza for the evening, so last night we decided to split the dough in half and go with two. We went with a white, vegetarian pizza for the first and a prosciutto, salami and arugula pizza for the second. All I can say is, I'm so happy we went with both because they are some of the best we've ever made. It always is key to choose fresh ingredients and to pick ones that compliment each other.

The white pizza was simple, but full of flavor. The only thing I would do differently is add a touch more garlic- but that may be my personal preference.

Ooey Gooey Meatball Lasagna

For the last two weeks my husband had been craving lasagna. After a snowy and cold weekend, he decided this past Sunday to make a nice large batch of it. The sauce and meatball recipes are adaptations from his mother's recipes. We decided to use meatballs instead of ground beef in the lasagna for extra flavor. It was a GREAT decision! This was delicious. What I love about this is you can easily separate this into portions and freeze for later meals. Lasagna actually freezes and reheats quite well.

2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
1 15 oz can tomato puree
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion
2 tablespoons dried Oregano (or to taste)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 package (about 10+) finely, fresh chopped Basil leaves
1 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste

1 lb. ground beef (a mix of beef, veal, and pork is a better choice)
1 large egg
4 slices of soft bread
2 teaspoons garlic salt
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

1 1/2 15oz containers of ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 box of lasagna noodles
1-1 1/2 pounds shredded mozzarella (depends on how cheesy you like it)
Salt and pepper

In a crock pot set on low, add your onions and let sweat. In a small frying pan, heat up olive oil and lightly brown the garlic. Add garlic, oregano, salt and pepper to onions. Then add the crushed tomatoes and tomato puree and water. Cover and simmer on low heat 4 hours to all day.

For the meatballs, mix all of the ingredients gently in a bowl, being careful not to overwork the meat or they will be tough. Form into meatballs (you should be able to make between 8 to 10) and place in a broiler on low. Broil until just browned on all sides. Remove from the broiler and add to the sauce in the crock pot.

When ready to assemble the lasagna, preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl mix some salt and pepper and 1 egg into the ricotta. Remove the meatballs from the sauce to a bowl and chop them up with a fork. In a deep, glass, rectangular or square baking dish, pour a ladle of sauce on the bottom to cover. Add a layer of dried lasagna noodles overlapping the edges. (Many recipes will have you boil the noodles, but I have made lasagna both ways and not noticed any difference as long as you have plenty of sauce). Spread some of the ricotta over the noodles. Sprinkle some of the meatballs over the ricotta, then top with some shredded mozzarella and a few spoonfuls of sauce. Repeat these layers until the dish is full, making sure to have an extra layer of sauce for the top and top it all with a generous amount of shredded mozzarella.

Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until bubbly. Remove from the oven and let rest for about 30 minutes to set and cut easily.