Friday, June 15, 2012

Flava Buzz

Sorry for the 2 month long hiatus. I have been super busy with school, but now the semester is over. I also didn't have the same energy as I used to to blog. I'm going to try my best to keep up because I know you guys enjoy reading it. 

Food Report

Is yelp being used to extort restaurants?

Hoxton Street Monster Supplies are selling salt made from human tears. How gross?

Sex therapist, Dr. Ruth launched a line of three low alcohol wines that will be sold in grocery stores, bodegas, and a few eateries starting in July. She believes the right amount of alcohol will awaken your senses and arouse you.

Subway doesn't want to be left out of the dorito movement, so they are testing out nachos using dorito chips served with cheese and jalapeno.

Would you want a coo coo crazy lady acting and cooking in your kitchen? If so, look into the off off Broadway show called the "One Woman Show."

Cameron Diaz is set to write a book about nutrition for young we really need another one?

Burger King's new summer menu includes a bacon sundae and sweet potato fries.

T.G.I Friday app allows customers to pay their bill via smartphone. Damn technology!

Sick workers cause 20% of all foodborne illnesses. Keep your ass home if you are sick!

Starbucks coffee kiosks are coming soon for you crazy caffeine lovers.

NYC cracks down on the size of food trucks. New size restrictions have been released.

Q: What do you think about Burger Kings new summer menu?

Sources: Delish, Huffington post

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Restaurant Review: Barcode Washington, D.C

Thinking back on this past weekend, it was full of new places to go and people to see. But a place I thought that would have had more of an exciting ambiance turned out to be a big disappointment. We went to a restaurant/lounge in DC called Bar.Code; this place has been talked about as a great place to go for drinks, dinner, and have a bit of fun. Located on 17th and L street, which makes it not hard to miss and it is far from a busy area. The overall set up is quite modern and the three distinct areas of the restaurant  have been arranged in such a way that's comfortable and suitable for everyone's enjoyment. On one side lies the lounge area, small and cozy and there was no service in this area. It would have been nice to have a bar tender come over and ask if we wanted to see a menu or have a few drinks while we lounged and waited on a table. On the opposite side of the place was the bar. It was very tight, not a lot of sitting room. Most people were standing around the bar area. In the middle lied the dining area which were two long rows that stretched from the front of the restaurant to the back; the tables were too close and not intimate at all. 

Once we were seated we were given menus which consisted of appetizers, drinks, cocktails, salads, sandwiches, entrees, and dessert. Prices were varied but the prices were not consistent to what was being offered. I personally thought prices were a little high, but we hoped that what we ordered would make up for what we were spending; not in the slightest. I ordered a tomato and mozzarella salad as a starter and turned out to be a poorly made dish. 

The dish wasn't seasoned enough and the balsamic vinegar was more of a thin dressing then a drizzle. A different type of tomato should have been used to bring out freshness and the mozzarella cheese, even though fresh; it truly didn't fit in to the plate and left a bitter taste on the palate. By now, we were worrying that our entrees were going to end up the same bland and not appetizing;we were right. 

My friend ordered an Italian pannini with fries. The fries had no salt at all and the sandwich was a bit dry had wilted lettuce and marinara sauce was not flavorful. 
I ordered a filet mignon tip pasta with spinach and peppers. There was hardly any sauce, the filet mignon was over cooked, the pasta was not seasoned at all. The meal was absolutely disappointing because it only accomplished part of the culinary equation of a meal both pleasing to the palate and to the eyes.
We skipped dessert and vowed we wouldn't try this place again. After spending a good amount of money  for food that was not of great quality, we have adopted a new strategy about going to new places. When we go to a new place we can sample what these restaurants have to offer and spend less money and then get some kind of idea of what we are getting ourselves into. As for Barcode, think we will pass next time. So for a place with such a high standard, it surely did not meet our expectations.

Location: 1101 17th street, nw dc
Menu pricing: $5-24

Compiled by Kisha

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Flava Buzz

Food Gossip

Eating fast food has been linked with an increase in depression. I'm not surprised!

A limited edition whiskey is on sale for 250,000 in Singapore.

Will they do away with bottled water? I hope's a luxury for me.

28-year-old man from Sweden blames his erratic violent behavior on the over consumption of nutmeg.

Questlove and Momofoku chef will be having an impromptu televised fried chicken battle on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (4/12) allegedly.

The Real Cookbook is the world's first  edible cookbook. The pages in the cookbook are apart of the ingredients. The cookbook is made of 100% fresh pasta. 

"Food Forward" is a new TV show on PBS that explored various food issues. It airs April 5th.

To all you Starbucks lovers they are using a beetle extract in their strawberry frapp.

Apparently, the cost of ice cream will be going up due to a vanilla shortage.

Weird great news! If a product contains "pink slime" it must be labelled, allegedly.

Coffee maker in your car?

Restaurant openings

New deep-fried pizza restaurant opened in NYC
La Montanara by Forcella 168 Ludlow St. 646.657.0730

Montreal-style deli.
Mile End Sandwich 53 Bond St. 212.529.2990

Chef Andy Riker will be launching an outpost of his Oregon flagship.
Pok Pok NY 127 Columbia St.

New infamous M.Wells Dinnette 
22-25 Jackson Ave at 46th st. Long Island City, Queens 718.784.2084


Hester Street Festival Opens April 28th

Brooklyn Flea Opens April 7th 176 Lafayette Ave 10am-5pm

Hell's Kitchen Flea Market W. 39th st. Every second Sunday of the Month 11am-5pm

6th Avenue Chelsea Festival April 7th btwn 23rd/32nd

Union Square/Broadway Festival April 8th btwn 17th/23rd

Dekalb Market April 7th 8am-8pm

What do you guys think about the stories in bold text?

Don't forget to like our facebook page and follow on twitter for updates!
Comments are always appreciated!

Sources: Huffington Post, Delish, Timeout NY

Monday, April 2, 2012

Restaurant Review: Matchbox in Washington, D.C

This weekend my friend and I went to another great restaurant near the DC Navy yard. It was a very cute and small, yet intimate place located on 8th street near some cosmopolitan bars and bistros.The service was beyond excellent and the waiter was overtly attentive; he is possibly the best waiter that I have had thus far. Their tables were laid out quite nicely with tiny matchboxes as their center decor etched into the table; hence the name: Matchbox. The menu consisted of two pages with an assortment of great appetizers, mixed drinks, and fabulous entrees. The wine menu and dessert menus were not on the entree menu, but more on those in a moment. My friend and I decided to go for a light dinner which turned out to be great since the day was beautiful and it was nice to be out and grab so great food.

We decided to share dishes which was a great idea because the portions were fairly reasonable for two people. We started out with drinks, and then we ordered an awesome appetizer. Lobster risotto with parmesan cheese, and Pecorino Romano with sweet peas. The lobster was cooked so delicately, which still made the meat sweet and juicy. The flavors of the sharp cheese and fresh lobster made for a great contrast. It awakened my taste buds and I could not wait for the entree.
The entree we decided to share was exceptional;we decided to get grilled romaine lettuce with hanger steak which we had cooked medium well. This was a fantastic dish with a unique assortment of flavors. There were croutons, hard boiled eggs, Romano cheese all mixed nicely with the caesar dressing. The lettuce had been grilled and you could taste the smoky flavors mixed with it's own seasonings. The steak was very tender and it had very simple seasonings, the age old favorites: salt and pepper. The entree was great and very filling, but there was still enough room for dessert.
This had to be my favorite part of the meal because there is nothing like ending a marvelous dinner with a mouth watering dessert. The dessert we tried was named the trio. A fabulous three part dessert that tied into each individual item. The first was a trio of sorbet with vibrant colors with a hint of mint. The flavors included mango, sweet strawberry, and a vanilla coconut. The second dessert was a molten chocolate cake topped vanilla bean ice cream, chocolate and caramel drizzle and a crispy chocolate piece of candy plated quite nicely at the top of the cake. The last item; which just happened to be my favorite was the cinnamon and sugar rolled donuts and the sweet espresso coffee shot. They were all excellent desserts; and we both enjoyed every last dish.
This is a great little place to go if you want some good food and you just want to relax; it is a bit upscale yet it wont break your bank account. It is a definite must try.

Appetizer: $6-17
Entree: $14-28
Location: 8th Street Washington, DC
Number: 202-548-0369

Compiled by Kisha 

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Victoria Cupcake: Gourmet Flavor for Beginning Bakers

Are you new to working in the kitchen but looking for a recipe that will impress everyone without having to work with challenging recipes or hard-to-find ingredients? Here’s your solution.  The Victoria Cupcake is easy, fun, and (by comparison) relatively low in fat because it is made without any oil!

Many of you have probably heard of the Weight-Watcher’s cake which uses a can of soda and a boxed cake mix to make a low-point dessert. This is basically just a modified version of that. I made it up last week for a friend who was not feeling well. It is essentially a raspberry red velvet cupcake with a dark chocolate ganache topping and a fresh raspberry garnish.
            Here’s what you’ll need:
Ingredients for cupcakes:
1 box red velvet cake mix
1 can raspberry soda

Ingredients for ganache:
1 bag dark chocolate baking morsels
1 cup heavy whipping cream
            That’s it, folks! You’ll want fresh raspberries for your garnish, but you don’t even have to do that if you don’t want to. Here’s what to do:
            Start with your cake ingredients and supplies. This will include  the ingredients listed above as well as a mixing bowl and a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
            Pour your ingredients into the bowl, leaving just a sip of soda still in the can (cans are usually 12 oz., but you only need 10 oz. for the cake). Or, you can do as I do and just take a hefty swig from the can before you pour it in the bowl!  The soda will bubble up when you pour it over the cake mix.
            Stir your ingredients together. (Remember, you are COMPLETELY IGNORING the directions on the box of cake mix. You will NOT use any eggs, any water, or any oil.)
You’ll know it’s ready when it looks like tomato sauce (no lies!).
            The batter is now ready to be poured into muffin tins. You can grease your pan directly, use paper liners, or grease metal liners so you don’t have to wash your pan. I used metal liners.
            You can now pour your tomato-sauce batter into the pan!
            Tada! Now, you’re ready to bake. Bake your cupcakes in an oven preheated to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll let them bake for about 20 minutes.
            These cupcakes aren’t quite done. You’ll know when they’re ready when you can push down on the tops of the cupcakes and it springs back (if it doesn’t spring back, your finger mark will just stay on the cupcake - if that happens, keep baking).
            There you go! Nicely baked raspberry red velvet cupcakes. While these are cooling, you can start on your ganache.
            Here’s what you’ll need (pictured above). Heat 1 cup of heavy whipping cream in a sauce pan over medium heat, stirring frequently until it boils. (Make sure you stir frequently because once it starts to boil, it could boil over and make an astounding mess!)
            Once the heavy cream is boiling, add the entire bag of dark chocolate morsels.  
Stir until the two ingredients are a consistent texture. The mixture below is not stirred well enough:
                      When it is stirred well enough, it will look like a really thick Hershey’s chocolate syrup. You now have TWO choices for how to top your cupcakes. You can just top them with a regular ganache (which you’ve already made), which will give the cupcakes a nice, sleek, shiny look. I took the tins off my cupcakes. You don’t have to. 
            Take your cooled cupcakes by the bottoms, and dip the tops in your pot of ganache, like so:
      Top each cupcake with a fresh (rinsed) raspberry and let the ganache set for a spell. You’ll then have finished cupcakes! OR you can whip your ganache. To whip your ganache, let it first cool completely (I stuck mine in the freezer for about 15 minutes to speed up the process). Then, with an electric mixer, beat the ganache on medium speed. You’ll know it’s ready when it forms stiff peaks and is a lighter brown color, like this:
If you’re big into baking, you may have decorator bags like the ones put out by Wilton. If not, regular gallon-sized plastic bags are fine. If you have decorator tips, feel free to use them, or just pipe it on smoothly.  Spoon your whipped ganache into the plastic or decorator bag.  Push it all into one corner and twist the opening closed.

            Cut off the tip of that corner so the opening is a little less than half an inch thick. Then, start piping the ganache onto the tops of your cupcakes.
            In the picture above, you can see how the regular ganache and the whipped ganache will look very different, but equally appealing. Once you’re done with the whipped ganache, top with a raspberry and serve!
            And that, my dears, is the Victoria cupcake! Super easy, super fun, and super impressive! Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy!

By our new writer Veronica
Check out her bio  

Monday, March 12, 2012

Interview with Chef Kerry Corcoran from Hyland Blue Catering

Chef Kerry catered my good friend Melissa's birthday party in February. All of these pictures are originals from the day of the party that I took. She did a fabulous job and she has the "Flava in ya ear" stamp! I recommend her to all! Thank you so much Kerry! Check out her bio and the interview I conducted with her.

Chef Kerry Corcoran hails from Brooklyn,N.Y. Her passion for food, started as a child watching her grandmother, who was an excellent cook. She attended FIT to pursue a career in fashion design, but her passion for creating delicious food was stronger. She's a lover of art and uses her art background in her cooking. Her approach to food is creative and unpretentious.

What do you specialize in?
We specialize in off site catering for any special event like corporate,weddings, birthday parties,baby showers,christenings and graduations.Our food is International Cuisine with a tropical flare.
What is your most sought after cupcake creation?
I would have to say our signature flower cupcake is the most popular among our clients.
Signature Flower Cupcakes
What is the largest event you have catered and what was the theme?
It was a family reunion for 200 people and the theme was celebrating those who had past.

What are key ingredients for moist cupcakes?
Cake flour,oil,buttermilk and sour cream.
Vanilla Cupcakes w/ Chocolate Accents
Oil v. butter which do you prefer and why?
From a health standpoint I prefer heart healthy oil which can be used to cook or accent a meal.

What is the wackiest order you have received?
It was witch finger cookies for Halloween,they were adorn with warts and blood.

What season is your busiest?
The holidays are always the busiest.
Pesto Pinwheels and Tex-Mex Rolls
What is a great meal you can whip up in 30 minutes?
Salmon en Papillote would be a great and easy meal to whip up in less than 30mins-salmon baked in parchment with your choice of veggies,citrus,herbs and white wine.Also for Asian spin add some pineapple juice,sesame oil and ginger.
Mojito Melon Balls
What is the longest you have ever worked without a break in the kitchen?
I worked 2 days straight in the kitchen for a friend's baby's shower.
What are 3 words that describe your catering company?
Innovative,unique and fun.

What would you say is your best masterpiece in the kitchen?
I love sauces so my best masterpiece would have to be my Irish cream Alfredo sauce.
Balsamic Chicken Wings
What do you love most about your job?
For me it's more than a job it's a passion and I love the freedom I have to think outside of the box.
Cornbread Souffle 
What are 5 ingredients everyone should have in their kitchen?
Fresh garlic,onions,oil,salt and pepper.
Strawberry Champagne Soup
Best cooking tip for a novice?
My advice would be to learn basic cooking techniques like braising,saute,poaching,roasting,pan roasting,stewing etc once you master them you will be able to follow any recipe.
Mini Cheese Platter

If you can cater for anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and what would it be like?
I would cater a lavish dinner for my grandmother who past away 16 years ago.She is the reason why I'm so passionate about food.I would let her know the simple act of watching her cook as a child changed the entire course of my life for the better.
Pesto Appetizer Pizza w/ Sun dried Tomatoes, Onions, and Pepper Jam
What is unique about your catering company?
What makes our catering company unique is that we work with any budget,whether you're rich or poor in between or not sure.We will work with you because for us this is a passion.

For catering inquiries email Kerry tell her "Flava in ya ear" sent you! 
Like her facebook page 

Conducted by Celeste