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A Toast to DC: District Wine Festival and Cherry Blossoms

11 Apr
Oh my gosh, love this. This was right before we bought gigantic cups of bubble tea. #Mmmmm. #nomnomnom

Oh my gosh, I love this. This was right before we bought gigantic cups of bubble tea. #Mmmmm. #nomnomnom

This weekend, one of my absolute favorite people — my college bestie Laura — came to DC for a packed weekend of cherry blossom-visiting, belated birthday celebrating, city-exploring, Metro-riding, and … wine drinking! While she was in town (from all the way in an unnamed Southern city — gotta keep a little anonymity in this Age of the Interwebs, kids), we hit up a great combination of touristy good times and foodie fun.

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I’d Like to Thank the Academy? :)

27 Nov

GKG has received its first blogging award! The lovely lady behind Baby Boomer Bakes, Nikki Norman, has nominated me for the Sunshine Award. (Which is pretty cool!) Nikki’s blog is a treasure trove of recipes, cooking advice, and more. Her own credentials are pretty stellar, too — check here for more information about her, and here to check out some of her amazing recipes. (That Triple Vanilla Christmas Cake? Holy Cow!) Thank you so much for the nomination! Here’s to movin’ on up (cue “The Jeffersons” theme song) in the blogosphere.

Image courtesy of babyboomerbakes.com

Award Acceptance process:

According to the rules, nominees must (i) include a link in your blog to the blog that nominated you; (ii) answer some questions about yourself; (iii) nominate 10 fellow bloggers, linking to their blogs; and (iv) inform them that they have been nominated.

Here we go!

1. Who is your favorite philosopher? Well, Aquinas is pretty cool. I’m also a fan of Plato & Socrates. (cue “Bill & Ted” reference to “So-crates.”)

2. What is your favorite number? 61 (Weird? Yeah, I know.)

3. What is your favorite animal? Probably a dog; the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is just as exciting as the Oscars for me.

4. What are your Facebook and Twitter?

In the interest of not being stalked by my students, I’ll keep this one to myself. If you’d like to visit me on Facebook, feel free to message me a comment.

As for Pinterest, however, I’m all over that: http://pinterest.com/aclipari/

5. What is your favorite time of day? Either 9 am on a Saturday morning (coffee, the Post, my couch, and me. Ahh.) or anytime I’m over the stove!

6. What is your favorite holiday? Ooh … probably a tie between Christmas and Easter. (Does my birthday count? Tee hee.)

7. What is your favorite physical activity? I’ve totally caught the running bug, no matter how irregularly I do it! I also love riding my bike all around DC.

8. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?  Diet Coke. Or coffee. Anything that keeps teacher-lady caffeinated.

9. What is your passion? Cooking, traveling / exploring new places, art, history … I’m a bit all over the place, and I’m very OK with that. 🙂

10. What is your favorite flower? Daffodils. No matter what Meg Ryan says in “You’ve Got Mail,” I think they’re the friendliest flower.

My nominations, in no particular order, are:

Homemade with Mess

The Spontaneous Tomato

Vini Cooks Veg

Domestic Diva, M.D.

Our Growing Paynes

Vedged Out

Cooking in Sens

Can’t Stay Out of the Kitchen

Recipes Happen

Glitz Girlz Glamour Guide

Thanks again! 🙂 Here’s to the fabulous world of blogging.

Kitchen Nightmares: FRANKENSTORM? Or, 8 Tips to Prep for Power Outages

29 Oct

Image sourced from ibtimes.com. No, it’s pronounced, “Eye-gore” of the storm.

Friends, it appears as thought the STORM OF THE CENTURY (AIEEEE ACK ACK DRAMA-FEST OH MY GOODNESS) is about to hit the DC area, and power outages are all but guaranteed. Hurricane Sandy is on her way, and she looks like a tempestuous chica with extra wrath to spare. (Insert bad “hell hath no fury like when Sandy was scorned by Danny Zuko” joke here.) The magic combination of a Category 1 Hurricane, low air pressure, and a serious cold front (thanks, Greenland?) means this strange, perfect storm is due to hit DC in t-minus 5 hours.

Until then, I’m holing up in my apartment, eating pretty much anything perishable and hyperactively charging my electronics before the inevitable power outage hits. I’ve shared my thoughts on disaster-based dining and “Will It All Rot?” fridge-managing earlier this year (all hail the 2012 Derecho), but with the prep-work that THT and I have done of the last few days, I figured a post on prepping your kitchen for potential storm-related drama would be helpful. Plus, it helps me perpetuate the illusion that I’m in control of the weather and its affects. Like Gaia on “Captain Planet!” Win!

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Salad Noms: Homemade Croutons

23 Jun

Chatham Village croutons, those little nuggets of crunchy goodness, are delicious (like, crack-in-crouton-form delicious), delightful, and … de-expensive. Last time I checked, those bad boys were selling for more than $7 on Amazon (yes, apparently you can buy groceries on Amazon. Thank you, Google, for that fun fact). As much as I love me some crunchy crouton goodness, buying them from the grocery store feels silly and impractical (budget-wise) when I can, just as easily, make them myself.

So, I did! And you will, too. Here’s what you need for Herby Croutons:

  • 4-6 slices of day-old bread (brand, type, grain = all up to you. I used a loaf of Pepperidge Farm “Light Style” wheat)
  • Olive Oil
  • Cooking spray
  • Dried herbs (I used basil, thyme, and parsley)
  • Garlic salt
  • Black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the slices of bread into cubes, about 1/2″ x 1/2″. Size and shape are really up to you.

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    Stack ’em and use a good knife for easy chopping.

  2. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray (I use Giant brand Canola Oil spray), and arrange the cubes on the cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake them for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.

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    All lined up for their glamor shot, pre-tanning session.

  3. When they’re done and slightly cooled, toss them in a mixing bowl with a drizzle or two of Olive Oil. Meanwhile, mix together the garlic salt, pepper, and a smattering of dried herbs to your liking. (The herbs should equal about 2 teaspoons in total.) I used my mortar and pestle to crush the dried herbs, which releases their essential oils.

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    Just before I crushed ’em to bits.

  4. Toss everything together in your mixing bowl until the croutons are well coated with your herby-herb mixture.
  5. Enjoy! With the herb combination I used, these croutons are especially good on Caesar or chopped salads.
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What a bunch of cuties. All for approximately 50 cents.

Do you guys like adding croutons to salad, or are you strict anti-carb adherents? Have you made your own before, and what did you use to season them? How about the bread?