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Breakfast… Momofuku-style

There’s only one word for these suckers… obsessed!  I am, my husband is, our friends are… The bagel bombs from Christina Tosi and the Momofuku Milk Bar are incredible.  The mother dough that is the “bagel” outside is super easy to whip up in the KitchenAid and then the filling can be whatever you want it to be, though I’ve yet to venture far from the original of cream cheese, bacon and scallions…  You can order the book on Amazon at the link above for this recipe and a ton of my other favorites (chocolate chocolate cookie, candy bar pie, the list goes on and on!)

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Grow Up!

I’m obsessed… no point in hiding it.  I can’t get over the vertical gardening movement!  I love the aesthetic it gives an urban or office space and love all the extra oxygen it generates… It’s gotta be good for you, right?!  You can see a ton more pics on my Pinterest Board here and swoon of more amazing images in Patrick Blanc’s Book The Vertical Garden: From Nature to the City .

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Letterpressed Stationery Giveaway

As Haute Papier gears up for the National Stationery Show, we’re excited to debut our new signature stationery line.  Simply sign a piece of 8.5×11 paper and we’ll turn it into letterpressed stationery!  In preparation, we’re looking for a few more interesting signatures to letterpress as samples, so lucky you, we’re giving away letterpressed notes today!  Contest runs until we get the first 10 faxes, so hurry hurry for your chance to win!

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Sprinkles Georgetown!

Yes, the cupcake “revolution” is getting old, but this is the real deal… Sprinkles Cupcakes… the ORIGINAL cupcake bakery!  It’s arrived here in DC – dangerously down the street from the Haute Papier design studio… but not far enough that the walk down there will burn off the calories consumed by even one cupcake (as if I am actually able to have that kind of self-restraint!)!

We were able to get a sneak peek and ridiculous amount of tasting earlier this week at a preview for business owners in Georgetown and we’re beyond smitten with the deliciousness of the cake!  It’s perfectly crumbly with so much more flavor than another cupcakes shop in Georgetown, whose name we’ll leave unmentioned, but irritates the heck out of my husband – if only because its customers have no sense of the difference between the street and sidewalk as they stand googlie-eyed taking pictures of the storefront.

We also got to meet Candace (the founder) and her husband, Charles.  Candace is just adorable – complete with cute little converse tennies with her chef’s jacket.  Welcome to DC Sprinkles!!

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Naturally Sweet

I’m loving this ADORABLE idea from one of my absolute favorite blogs – Twig & Thistle.  It’s the perfect Valentine – creative, lovey-dovey and well… sweet!  Click here for more ideas and FREE downloadable templates so you can recreate these Valentine’s at home!

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From the Kitchen of: Enzo Febbraro

Today’s Chef Feature comes from Chef Enzo Febbraro of Bond 45 at the National Harbor.  The restaurant (who’s other location is in the middle of the theater district in New York) boasts a mozzarella bar, antipasti bar and is just a few steps from the water!

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
A hand-held immersion blender!

What is the most overrated food/technique in restaurants today?
FOAM.

If you were to open a restaurant with a different type of cuisine than what you are cooking now, what would it be?
All Asian foods.

What is your favorite local product or purveyor to work with?
I really like Virginia Hams.

What is your biggest customer pet peeve?
Guests who think every dish is completely prepared by the chef – cooking is a big team effort and each cook brings special skills that come together to make a great dish.

What do you drink/eat after work?
Red Wine – Bombay Sapphire Gin & Tonic and I like simple spaghetti with a fresh tomato sauce.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
I cook all day and night so on my day off I tend to eat out – my family loves clams and mussels so I’ll make them in several different ways from time to time. If we have a big party at home, I’ll cook but I don’t usually have the same foods.

Keep reading for Chef Febbraro’s recipe for Parmesan Corn Pudding which is one of the delicious side dishes that was served on Thanksgiving! Continue reading

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From the Kitchen of: Al Nappo

Today’s Chef Feature comes from Chef Al Nappo of Founding Farmers. Washington’s greenest restaurant just announced plans to open a second location in the Park Potomac Development in Potomac, Maryland in the Fall of 2011. We’re looking forward to it! In the mean time, read along for Chef Nappo’s answers to the usual questions!

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
Stick blender, for sure.

What is the most overrated food/technique in restaurants today?
Sous Vide.

If you were to open a restaurant with a different type of cuisine than what you are cooking now, what would it be?
A burger place.

What is your favorite local product or purveyor to work with?
Kreider Farms, Lancaster, PA.  Very fresh dairy products.

What is your biggest customer pet peeve?
Food arriving too quickly.

What do you drink/eat after work?
Oodles of diet coke and a lot of tacos!

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
My burger mix – ground beef, worcestershire sauce, minced fresh garlic, salt, white pepper, squeeze of lime juice, perfection!!!

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From the Kitchen of: Greg Brandberg

Today’s Chef Feature comes from The Inn at Perry Cabin‘s Executive Chef Greg Brandberg.  I had the joy of dining here a few weeks ago and am still raving about the food to any and all who will listen and are looking for a little retreat out of the city for the weekend.  From the pheasant to the beet salad (beets from the garden)  and the rockfish to the duck duck goose (Chef Greg got the inspiration from the children’s game while play it with his daughter) each course just got better and better – and the evening view of the bay… the icing on the cake!

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
It’s not much of a gadget, but spending the last two years at Morimoto – japanese cutlery – a couple $100 extra on knives really makes a difference. If you have a nice sharp knife you’re not going to cut yourself and you’re going to cut your prep time in half.

What is the most overrated food/technique in restaurants today?
Molecular stuff in general… Anthony bordain said something along the lines of ”no one actually says they do molecular gastronomy, but the people who say they do, do it poorly”

If you were to open a restaurant with a different type of cuisine than what you are cooking now, what would it be?
I’ve always said my retirement plan would be a bbq place with a Jamaican flair or a Vietnamese noodle bar…

What is your favorite local product or purveyor to work with?
The farmer’s market in Easton and St. Michaels – Cottingham farm, Hummingbird farm, and Homestead farms… off-season we’re trying to source out some local chicken, lamb and pork… as local as possible….

What is your biggest customer pet peeve?
I would say allergies that aren’t allergies. It more of a food preference than allergy. There is one Sex in the City episode, one of the women didn’t like anything with parsley, because it would get stuck in her teeth, so she told everyone she was allergic. We take allergies very serious here at the Inn.

What do you drink/eat after work?
Dive food… Chinatown for shitty beer and good food.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
I have a $100 charcoal grill from Lowe’s – I cooked only on that for 2.5 years… roasting or grilling. One thing I do a lot on the grill is the whole roasted chicken… I rub it with fresh herbs, garlic and lemon zest – roast over hardwood. It’s delicious.

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Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

These cupcakes encompass all things fall and are the perfect use for those pie pumpkins left over from Halloween.  If cooking down pumpkin flesh to make the puree from scratch, be sure to be using baking pumpkins, or the flesh will have little flavor and be stringy.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting and Toffee Bits
makes 12 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin purée, not pie filling
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup toffee bits, chopped

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Introducing…

The District Domestic’s newest addition!  A dear friend and fellow food and wine lover, Jackie Ludden will be joining the ranks with a weekly roundup of upcoming food events in the DC area.  If you’ve got tips or an event you’d like to be considered for inclusion, please email thedistrictdomestic (at) gmail (dot) com.  So, without any further ado, here’s a bit about Jackie!

Jackie has always been a foodie.  Growing up around the Chesapeake Bay was a great way to become intimately familiar with local products, produce and of course seafood!  Since arriving in Washington, DC in 2000 to attend American University, Jackie has been deeply involved in the area’s restaurant industry.  Her bubbly personality was put to good use as event coordinator and private dining sales with area restaurants including Chef Geoff’s, Ruth’s Chris Steak House and most recently, in opening RIS in the West End.  Over the years she has volunteered with many food-related events in DC such as March of Dimes Signature Chef’s Auction, The RAMMYs (DC’s Restaurant Association Awards Gala), Key to the Cure at Saks Fifth Avenue, the Concierge Association’s annual Charity Gala and ZooFari.

In the spring of 2010, Jackie decided to expand her reach beyond private functions and started her own event logistics and marketing company, Ludden, LLC.  Community involvement has always been important.  She currently serves on the boards of The Washington Area Concierge Association (WACA) as well as Educated Eats: Creating the Next Generation of Culinary Professionals, the charitable arm of Washington’s Restaurant Association (RAMW).  Jackie is excited to now share her favorite food and wine-related events in and around Washington, DC with you, the readers of The District Domestic!

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