Mat-to-Table: a food experience for yoga enthusiasts at Patowmack Farms

by Anya Kroupnik

Farm

Just over an hour outside of D.C. is Patowmack Farms in Lovettsville, VA, which recently hosted its first “Mat-to-Table Experience”, taking participants through a strengthening vinyasa yoga class in a beautiful pastoral setting, followed by a guided tour of the working organic farm and a family-style organic brunch. Traveling through the thick green forests of Virginia on that Sunday morning gave my companions and me plenty of time to wake up and get ready for our adventure; we enjoyed having a day to get out of the city and breathe some fresh air.

Yoga

We began our experience with a delicious watermelon smoothie, then spent a tranquil hour-and-a-half with the vinyasa yoga instructor Laura Lightbody, surrounded by a rural symphony of buzzing cicadas, chirping crickets, and crowing roosters in the morning sunshine. Following our yoga class, we toured the farm with owner Beverly, who showed us the … Read More

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Back-to-School Lunch Rescue: Burrito Bites & Fruit Leather Sushi

by Kristen Hartke

BacktoSchoolA fabulous array of kid-friendly finger foods. Clockwise from top left: Fruit leather sushi made with peaches and watermelon; fresh watermelon “fingers”; fresh Mexican sour gherkin cucumbers (sometimes found at farmers markets and through our friends at Washington’s Green Grocer — and easy to grow at home); Burrito Bites.

Sometimes, when you’re a parent, your toughest dining critic is a two-year old. It gets even tougher when that toddler starts school and inevitably starts measuring the contents of his lunchbox against those of the kid sitting in the next seat. The competition is cutthroat in the cafeteria, where your own progeny sits prostrate in front of a boring, but lovingly prepared, PB&J — no doubt made with freshly ground peanut butter, raspberry jam made from fruit grown in your community garden, and home-baked bread from locally-milled wheat… yet he stares longingly at the monosodium-glutamate-loaded pre-packaged build-your-own-pepperoni-pizza-on-a-cracker extravaganza … Read More

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Overrun with zucchini? Make Zucchini Bread — that actually tastes like zucchini

by Rachael Bender

Zucchini

This year my garden has exactly one zucchini plant.  Multiple tomato plants, four basil, a few dill, and some parsley. But only one zucchini.

However, this zucchini plant has all but taken over almost an entire garden box – spreading itself out into the aisles of the garden, twisting into the tomatoes, and forcing the relocation of two pepper plants.  Seriously, it looks like Audrey II from “Little Shop of Horrors”; in fact, every time I water the garden, I can hear it saying, “Feed me, Seymour!”

So I have spent the whole summer looking for new ways to use all my zucchini.

To my welcome surprise, while reading Gail Simmons book, Talking with My Mouth Full, I was drawn to the section where she writes about how, while she was growing up, her mother used zucchinis for everything, instead of more traditional ingredients.  Yes!  … Read More

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Old Recipe, New Trick: Late Summer Gazpacho

by Anya Kroupnik

Gazpacho

Gazpacho may be a time-honored summer recipe, but it’s one that I wasn’t a fan of in the past. Maybe it was too chunky, or even too cold, but I’ve recently rediscovered this classic and now I am hooked. I’ve made half a dozen varieties over the past month, incorporating a different mix of fresh ingredients from my garden or the farmers market, and each version has been summery, fresh, and vibrant from the fresh herbs and juicy — preferably heirloom — tomatoes.

Although most recipes call for chilling the gazpacho, I prefer to serve my version at room temperature. This particular recipe has a lovely sweetness from the beets, which are just now appearing at the local markets, and the fresh oregano, along with the drizzle of oregano-infused olive oil, brings an unexpected spiciness to the dish.

Oregano oil

Late Summer Gazpacho

Serves 2

3 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, … Read More

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Spaghetti ai Granchi

by Giacomo Abrusci

CrabNet

It’s crab season here in the Chesapeake Bay region, where we cover our tables with sheets of butcher’s paper and Old Bay is king all summer long. Whether you pick your crabs up from the waterfront fish markets in southwest DC or jump right into the Bay like my father and me, here’s a recipe to have seafood lovers licking their lips all day long: Spaghetti ai Granchi, or spaghetti with crab.

CookedCrabs

First clean the fresh uncooked crabs by removing the shells and washing them thoroughly — you’ll do this when they are really cold (either by storing them on ice or refrigerating them), which makes them dormant and easier to work with — then set them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to get to business.  I like leaving the tomalley — that’s the greenish goo, otherwise known as the crab’s liver and considered a delicacy, … Read More

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The Savory and Sweet Fruits of Summer

It’s late August and the local farmers markets are overflowing with the best fruits of the summer season — peaches and tomatoes. Juicy and luscious, they can be at their best when the summer is at its worst, providing a sweet respite to the most sweltering day. Here we have two perfect late summer recipes to make the most of the season, one savory and one sweet: a French Tomato Tart and Brandied Peach Pie. Enjoy!

French Tomato Tart, inspired by David Lebovitz

by Madeleine McDougall

Tomato Tart

Harvest season. You know you’re there when big, ripe, juicy tomatoes pack every farmers market from here to Silver Spring. Growing up, tomatoes tasted too acidic to me, but last summer, my mom — a constant source of knowledge and inspiration for my cooking adventures — introduced me to the French Tomato Tart. I will never look at tomatoes — or pie — Read More

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Italy in a Glass – Make Your Own Pesche Al Vino Rosso

Italy in a glass: Make-your-own Pesche al Vino Rosso After a Pick-Your-Own Trip to Homestead Farm

by Giacomo Abrusci

Peach

I just rolled back from Homestead Farm in Poolesville, MD, a mere 45 minutes from downtown DC, where every variety of peach is now at its peak. Even if you didn’t make it to Puglia, Italy this summer, you can still drink like you are there when you have a freshly-picked peck of peaches. While it’s true that southern Italy is not famous for wine-based sangria, the fruit is literally dripping off the trees there during the summer months, perfect for soaking in your favorite red wine.

Peaches

My uncle Giovanni will exclusively use nectarines, while my sister Angela will usually choose the juiciest peach in the house. So grab some delicious fresh summer tree fruit and follow my lead tonight: before you start to prepare dinner, roughly chop two to three … Read More

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Chalk Paper and Papaya Red Quinoa Mexican Caesar Salad

By AJ Dronkers

We’ve all seen chalk paint gain popularity over the last few years but how about bringing that fun to the dinner table? I recently hosted a dinner party where I wanted to experiment with Chalkboard Paper Table Runner I got from Amazon but can be easily purchased through major retailers such as Target or Anthropologie. The chalk runner was 30 inches wide, so covers the majority of my kitchen table, and is 50 feet long so you just simply roll, cut, and tape the amount you need. It even comes with a starter pack of white chalk.

AerialChalkTable

My design friend AnneMarie was coming over for dinner and I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to have fun with creative guests. I pulled out one of my favorite cookbooks, Sprouted Kitchen, a California inspired cook and centered in on two new recipes the Papaya & Red … Read More

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A Gastronomic Experience

By Anya Kroupnik Windhoffer and Laszlo Windhoffer

Strathmore

Let me start off by saying, I love Strathmore! The hall has unbelievable acoustics with a rich wooden interior design, the mansion has a quaint feel with its glowing stained glass, and the grounds are spacious and supremely lush with bright greenery. When I first heard that a major food event was happening there, it didn’t make sense, but Strathmore has been innovative in their choices – in short, it turned out to be perfect.

Chorizo

Food Samples – Chorizo 

The weather was beautifully mild all weekend, so Strathmore’s grounds were perfect for strolling between food trucks, pausing to listen to music performances, sipping at wine tastings, or sampling food from various vendors. There was a lot to do, and aside from all the bubbly beverages, there were many highlights:

Small batch, hand-made cheeses from Stonyman Gourmet Farmer: my favorites were the … Read More

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RareSweets and La Colombe Pair Up on Pop-Up

by Vince Kiernan

Meredith - RareSweets
In a world of trendy cupcakes and boxed cookie mixes, one pastry chef is on a mission to instill a sense of old-school comfort back into our desserts. She’s using fresh, local ingredients in seasonal, thought-out recipes. And she’s starting right here in D.C.

Meredith Tomason is the mastermind behind RareSweets, a new bakeshop that began as a start-up at Union Kitchen and is now set to open in the CityCenterDC development this fall. We caught up with Meredith outside of La Colombe on Friday, where she braved the heat to dish out samples of affogato—a bold summer treat that consists of ice cream topped with a shot of espresso.

Affogato
Specializing in layer cakes and ice creams, RareSweets hopes to reintroduce classic American flavors of the late 19th and early 20th centuries back into the DC pastry scene. An avid collector of antique cookbooks, Tomason
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