Tag Archives: biscuits

Thanksgiving Eats

Turkey Time

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and adjusted back to life in the grind today. I had all of week plus today off and was pretty happy with the food I consumed over the break. I got home last Monday, and my dad suggested we go to McDonald’s to get some McRibs. Knowing my parents, such a request was pretty shocking. I declined, and he suggested driving up to Edison so I could try some new Chinese restaurants. The first two we tried were closed so we found ourselves in heaven H Mart. Spacious, clean, reasonably priced and delicious food court options. We got a seafood pancake, a bowl of noodle soup, and some Korean fried chicken. Then, we shopped for lobsters and abalone for a late dinner.

On Tuesday my dad got KFC for lunch. My reality is seriously taking a U-turn. Maybe it was a little Thanksgiving warm up? The mashed potatoes and chicken were as I remembered, but the biscuits weren’t as big or fluffy. Recipe change? Sad face.

On Wednesday, the cooking began after some take out Chinese for lunch. I got started on baking treats for in house snacking, friends and neighbors. First up were Chocolate Chunk Cookies based off Tollhouse Cookies without the walnuts and chunks instead of chips. Next were the office favorite, Cookies n Cream Cupcakes, which friends also enjoyed However, they didn’t get them until 2-3 days after so they dried out a bit in the fridge. Finally, Thanksgiving desserts included Pumpkin Cheesecake and Apple Pie.

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Cookies N Cream Cupcakes

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Apple Pie

The big day included waffles for brunch with a blackberry topping and fresh blackberries and bananas.

Thanksgiving Brunch

For the big meal, we had a 12 lbs. turkey brined and rubbed with sage, kosher salt and a little rosemary along with a half lemon and cinnamon stick in the cavity. Gravy was made using a roux, chicken stock and soy sauce. This was the most successful gravy I’ve made to date in terms of universal appeal, color, texture and taste. I did feel guilty about cutting out the pan drippings, since I had so much to do. Green bean casserole, dressing, sage and rosemary biscuits, sweet potato mash and spaghetti squash with cranberries rounded out the meal. The green bean casserole was the first time I made it completely from scratch, and while it looked sexy, the fried onions still didn’t measure up to French’s. The dressing was still inferior to Stove Top, but I’m still confident that someday I will have a recipe that will be better. The spaghetti squash was a new addition this year and was inspired by a meal at Oceanarie the week before Thanksgiving. The strands from the squash are pretty cool. When my dad asked if I cut the squash into the strands, I was pretty tempted to say yes. Overall, my dad said it was the best Thanksgiving meal to date that I’ve made, so my constant need for approval was satisfied for the time being.

Sage and Rosemary Biscuits

Spaghetti Squash with Cranberries

Green Bean Casserole

The Spread

Coma on a Plate

On Friday night, I met up with a few friends for burgers at 25 Burgers and had a Bull’s Eye Burger with sweet potato fries. The burger itself was pretty messy and greasy, but it’s the best burger within a 15 minute drive from my house. The onion strings and patty were the highlights, while the bun was lacking. The fries were decent, but the portion was rather small. Overall the burger, fries, and drink were a little over $12.

BBQ Burgers Don’t Know How to Disappoint

The next day, I ate at Shanghai Bun and got some sauteed pork and vegetables with Shanghai noodles, and my friend got chicken and mustard green soup. For dinner, I hung out with a few of my sister’s friends and went to the Olive Garden for the first time. The place was pretty empty when we arrived, but was packed by the time we left. I was definitely surprised with the decor and ambiance, since I always though the commercials were so corny. However, the prices were also higher than I imagined. I was thinking most entrees would be $8-15, but the range was more like $12-$20. The seating was interesting, with wheels on all four legs sliding in every direction. The bread sticks were on the salty side, but you can’t go wrong with unlimited warm bread. For my entree, I got braised short ribs. I’m not 100% confident that it didn’t come out of a bag, but the tenderness of the meat was still enjoyable. Overall, the meal was better than I expected, but at $28 with tax and tip, I’d rather spend my dining out money elsewhere.

If Only Plate of Food Grew on Trees

Healthy Can Taste Good

The Most Perfectly Shaped Breadsticks I’ve Ever Seen in my Life

Braised Short Ribs

Shameful Acceptance: KFC

I like Kentucky Fried Chicken. There, I said it. Of all the fast food chains I’ve eaten at growing up, KFC was the most welcomed by my parents because of the non sandwich/burger centric menu items. It was a nice break from my dad’s cooking and having actual American food. No over salted fried rice or spinach here, just oil and grease, thank you very much. Come to think of it, I can’t recall a single menu item that I truly hated. Fried chicken, good. Crispy strips, good. Mashed potatoes with gravy, good. Biscuits, good. Honey BBQ Wings, super duper good. The cole slaw is still the standard for all cole slaw in my book. The weaker items included corn on the cob that was watery and over cooked and the roasted chicken that was discontinued. See what happens when you don’t fry something, KFC?

Serious Eats recently had a fast food wing taste test in which KFC’s wings won 2 out of the 5 categories. Popeyes won one as well for their sauce-less wings. Last week while I was at home, I sneaked in a few wings for lunch and they still taste as good as I remembered. Sadly and luckily, I don’t really have access to KFC’s in either Boston or DC for liking KFC is my foodie sin that I will have to shamefully accept.

Honey BBQ Wings from Serious Eats’ Fast Food Wings Taste Test

What’s the Deal: Women & Brunch

What is the deal with women and brunch? I don’t not like brunch, I just don’t understand the obsession women have with brunch. What makes it so much better than breakfast, lunch and dinner? Is it the option of sweet and savory? Coffee with your meal? Alcoholic beverage in the first meal of your day? Symbolism of the weekend? Whatever the reason, I think it’s weird.

I like brunch because it’s a symbol of the weekend and starting the day with a meal out. The ability to get breakfast foods past noon also holds high appeal as I know there are others out there that have been screwed by the likes of McDonald’s when the breakfast sandwiches are no longer available a minute past 10 or 10:30. I’ll blame corporate America’s love of operational efficiencies over customer satisfaction on that one.

My whole rambling on brunch started when my friend had a change of heart the night before our lunch reservation at J&G Steakhouse for restaurant week. Her argument was the limited menu and pretty much paying for a pricey burger, both of which were legit. She suggested brunch and I immediately rolled my eyes, but luckily she was on the other side of a g-chat conversation. I knew I was going to be out late (slept at 4am) and needed to wake up at 9am to be first in line at brunch since we didn’t have reservations.

The brunch location was actually one of the first places I wanted to visit in DC when I moved here 2.5 years ago, but didn’t get to try it out until today. The restaurant is part of The Tabard Inn and is popular among locals for brunch. One of their specialties is fresh house made cinnamon sugar donuts with a vanilla whipped cream for $1.50 each or $9 for a half dozen. I’m not afraid to admit that if placed in a room alone with a fresh batch of those donuts, they’d be gone in under 15 minutes. I wouldn’t even feel bad about it. It would have been the right thing to do.

Choose Wisely. Mmmm Donuts.

In addition, the bread basket came with a few mini muffins, which we liked, and didn’t bother with the rest of the generic bread basket bread. I ordered the scrambled eggs with cream cheese and chives (it works) with home fries, a house made breakfast sausage and biscuit. The biscuit was probably my favorite piece of the ensemble, followed by the eggs, home fries and sausage, though I pretty much cleaned up. My friend ordered the fried oysters with cheesy grits and poached egg. We both agreed that it was a good dish, though I would have stuck with more breakfast items on the menu.

Muffins! Get That Other Junk Outta Here
Carbs, Protein and Fat.
Easy and Cheesy as Grits

The Tabard Inn Restaurant met my inflated expectations and gives brunch a good name, though I still think women over hype brunch. “There are people who like food, and there are people who like brunch.” -Some restaurateur or chef who doesn’t like brunch.