October 31

Happy Halloween! - Washington, DC

October 30

Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear - Washington, DC

October 29

Work - Arlington, VA

October 28

M Street - Washington, DC

October 27

M Street - Washington, DC 

October 26

M Street - Washington, DC

October 25

7th Street - Washington, DC

Eggplant Pizza

I have been very into grilled eggplant this past summer and fall. When Danielle and I decided to make grilled pizza on Sunday night, I knew I wanted to use this as inspiration. Unfortunately the grilling idea fell through due to a gas shortage, but we roasted the eggplant and baked the pizzas. Still delicious!

Eggplant Pizza
About 4 servings

1 large eggplant
1 recipe home made pizza dough, or store bought (Danielle made this so I don't have the recipe)
1 package sliced provolone
1 chunk of ricotta
1 handful of pitted green olives
2/3 C olive oil
2 garlic cloves
Corn meal
A couple sprigs of parsley
Salt and pepper

If you're making homemade dough, do that first and prepare the eggplant while waiting for the dough to rise. Mince the garlic cloves and mix in with the oil. Slice the eggplant and brush both sides with garlic oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven on a lined and greased cookie sheet at 425 until it starts to brown (about 30 minutes), flip once while roasting. Line the baking sheet with a layer of cornmeal and stretch the dough to fit. Brush the dough with the rest of the garlic oil. Cut the provolone slices into one inch strips and sprinkle over the dough. Place the roasted eggplant slices on the dough, sprinkle the olives, chunks of ricotta, and chopped parsley. Bake for about 25 minutes at 350, until cheese is melted and crust begins to brown.

October 23

NOVA Fall Brewfest - Centreville, VA

October 22

M Street - Washington, DC

October 21

M Street - Washington, DC

October 20 - Seattle: Going Home Edition

Beauty - In the air, WA

October 19 - Seattle: Hiking Edition

Shroom - Mt. Si, WA

Spidey - Mt. Si, WA

October 18 - Seattle: I Didn't Take Many Photos Edition

My Boots - Seattle, WA

My Feet - Seattle, WA

Kyle's Birthday and a BIG Cake

My baby brother turned 21. Holy shit. I came to Seattle to celebrate, and I made a really huge cake. Guinness chocolate cake with malted milk chocolate frosting (I thought this seemed 21st birthday appropriate). I also pulled out all the stops for this cake, no cut corners. The result was, in my opinion, a pretty beautiful cake.

Guinness Chocolate Cake
1 million servings (not really)

2 C Guinness (or any stout)
2 C butter
1 1/2 C cocoa powder
4 C flour
4 C sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 1/3 C sour cream

Preheat oven to 350. Grease three 8 or 9 inch round pans, line the bottom with parchment paper, and grease the parchment paper (I usually skip the parchment paper step, but not surprisingly, it works really well). Melt the butter and Guinness in a pot on the stove over medium heat. When melted and simmering, and the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. In a big bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In another big bowl beat together the eggs and sour cream with an electric mixer. Add the chocolate-beer mixture to the eggs and beat until just combined. Add the flour mixture, and either beat or fold in with a spatula until combined (my bowl was way too full to use anything but a spatula). Pour the batter in to the three pans, bake for about 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Malted Milk Chocolate Frosting

1 lb milk chocolate
1 C heavy cream
1 C malted milk powder
1/4 C light corn syrup
8 tbsps butter at room temperature

Bring the cream to a simmer over medium heat. Add the malted milk powder and whisk until smooth (make sure there are no clumps on the bottom). Put the chocolate in a medium size bowl, and pour the milk over the chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes, then stir until smooth. Add the corn syrup and cover with a piece of plastic wrap touching the chocolate. When the chocolate has cooled to room temperature, beat in the butter one tbsp at a time with an electric mixer. (Disclaimer: this resulted in frosting too thin to spread for me, but I also didn't let the butter reach room temp. I added some powdered sugar as a thickener, and also cooled the frosting in the fridge)

October 17 - Seattle: Hungover Edition

Wax - Seattle, WA

French Toast with Blueberry Syrup - Seattle, WA

October 16 - Seattle: Camping Edition

Fall Foliage - Leavenworth, WA

Breakfast Sando - Leavenworth, WA

October 15 - Seattle: Otis and Baking Edition

Otis Feet - Seattle, WA

Guinness Cakes, Ready - Seattle, WA
(Recipe to come)

October 14

Black Fox Lounge - Washington, DC
(Happy Birthday Scott!)

October 13

18th Street - Washington, DC

October 12

McCormick and Schmick's - Arlington, VA

October 11

M Street - Washington, DC

Keena's Maple Frosted Apple Pie

On Saturday, Amanda, Danielle, and I went down to Eastern Market to pick out some apples. We then proceeded to make apple everything. Danielle made Smitten Kitchen's "Mom's Apple Cake" (yum), while Amanda and I made our mom's apple pie. This is Keena's (Amanda's mom) recipe, but has become a staple in both of our families. Come to the Rowe or Halpin household any holiday and you'll be sure to find this apple pie. It's simple, delicious, and has a fun secret ingredient!

Keena's Apple Pie

8-10 apples, cut into slices 
2 pie crusts
1 1/2 C corn flakes cereal
1 C sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
1/2 C powdered sugar
3 tbsp maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare your first pie crust (whether making from scratch, or just taking out of package), and place in the pie plate, with the edges draped over the sides of the plate.

Place the corn flakes in the bottom of the crust. Pile apples slices on top. I put as much apples as I can before the start to fall off. Sprinkle the sugar over the pile of apples, shake the plate a little so the sugar falls in between the slices. Sprinkle the cinnamon on top of the apples and sugar. (BTW - I use way more than 1 tsp) (Also- you could choose to mix the sugar, cinnamon, and apples slices in a bowl before hand, you could also just mix the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle that on top, my way is laziest). Cover the pie with the second crust. Fold the edges of both crusts together and crimp. Beat an egg with a drop or two of water, and brush the whole crust with the egg mixture, with a pastry brush. Cut a few ventilation slits in the top of the crust. Bake for about 45-50 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. A few minutes before the pie is done baking, mix the powdered sugar and syrup together to form a slightly runny paste. When the pie comes out of the oven, let cool for a few minutes, and the drizzle the maple syrup glaze over the top. 

Thanks to Amanda for taking some photos while I was baking. That means, you get to see me whilst baking:

October 9

96 Bus East - Washington, DC

October 8

Roscoe - Washington, DC

October 7

M Street - Washington, DC

October 6

More Office Shenanigans - Arlington, VA

October 5

Front Page - Washington, DC

Honey Cake

Mmm... the smell of spices coming out of my oven was EXACTLY what I needed on this rainy dreary day. This honey cake reminds me a lot of spice cake, but with a definite honey flavor. Very moist. It was delicious with a dollop (awesome word) of home made spiced whipped cream, but would also be great as a morning snack with a hot cup of coffee.

Honey Cake
(Original recipe from the always delicious, Smitten Kitchen)

3 1/2 C flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsps ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 C vegetable oil
1 C honey
1 1/2 C sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 C warm coffee
1/2 C fresh orange juice
1/4 C whiskey (yep.)

Ok. This makes a LOT of cake. Smitten Kitchen recommends 3 loaf pans OR two 9-inch square pans OR a 9 or 10 inch tube or bundt pan OR a 9 x 13 inch sheet cake. Well. The only pan I had that could fit the whole thing was a bundt pan, but someone thinks bundt pans make for untasty cakes, so I made one 8 x 8 inch cake, one loaf, and 6 cupcakes. Coworkers, prepare your bellies because there will be honey cake in the office probably all week long.

Preheat the oven to 350. Generously grease your pan(s). Start to make your coffee. (Full disclosure, technically the recipe said coffee or strong tea, but... I can't really understand why anyone would chose tea when coffee is an option. I made strong coffee.)

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. Make a well in the middle and fill with the rest of the ingredients. (Tip: measure the oil before the honey, and the honey will come out of the measuring cup easier.) 

Stir together with a whisk to make a thick, well blended batter, with no ingredients stuck to the bottom. Spoon the batter into prepared pans. This is easier to do while not on the phone, btw. Place the cake pans on two cookie sheets stacked on top of each other.

Bake until a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the top springs back when you gently touch the center. For me, this took about 35 minutes for the cup cakes and about 65 for the bigger pans. Let cool for about 15 minutes before removing from the pan.

Lesson learned: The cup cakes were a good way to use up the batter that wouldn't fit in the other pans, but they don't form that nice crusty edge which contrasts so well with the moist center, that you'll get from using a larger pan.

Jamie's Thoughts on Whipped Cream:
Don't ever buy whipped cream. Its gross. Ew.
So easy to make as long as you have either a stand mixer or a hand held electrical mixer. Use a ratio of 1 cup of heavy whipping cream to 1 tablespoon powdered sugar. Whip until... you know, it looks like whipped cream. You can flavor with extracts, liquors, spices, etc. For this cake, I flavored with vanilla and cinnamon. 

October 3

16th St. - Washington, DC

October 2

First Cup Cafe - Washington, DC

October 1

View of Georgetown from Danielle's office - Washington, DC