italian boy

italian boy

Thursday, May 29, 2008

well, i had vodka for dinner at the Fox last night

so there's not too much to blog about .. but take a look at this from the International Herald Tribune

Miracle fruit: A tiny berry that tricks the tongue

By Patrick Farrell and Kassie Bracken Published: May 28, 2008

....The miracle fruit, Synsepalum dulcificum, is native to West Africa and has been known to Westerners since the 18th century. The cause of the reaction is a protein called miraculin, which binds with the taste buds and acts as a sweetness inducer when it comes in contact with acids..."

Carrie Dashow dropped a large dollop of lemon sorbet into a glass of Guinness, stirred, drank and proclaimed that it tasted like a "chocolate shake."
Nearby, Yuka Yoneda tilted her head back as her boyfriend, Albert Yuen, drizzled Tabasco sauce onto her tongue. She swallowed and considered the flavor: "Doughnut glaze, hot doughnut glaze!"


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

baked rigatoni to the rescue.

last night people were coming over and i needed something easy, tasty, comfort food-like and that could have been prepped in advance... so i went for a baked rigatoni. SIMPLE SIMPLE SIMPLE. it really doesnt take much effort and everyone's happy in the end. i'll take this over a lasagna any day. start with THE MOST BASIC SAUCE EVER: sautee on low heat 1/2 an onion chopped AND/OR 3 or so garlic cloves in a thin coating of olive oil. sprinkle with salt. when the onions turn clear or the garlic starts to brown add a can of crush tomatoes or tomato puree. stir so it doesnt stick. cook at least 15 minutes- or longer, depending on the consistency you want.

At the same time boil a pound of pasta as per standard methods.. i like rigatoni for this.

Then get a casserole(off the top of my head mine is 2 inches, by 7 by 10?), pour a ladle (my ladle's about a 1/2 cup) of sauce to coat the bottom, then add 1/2 the pasta. cover with about half of the rest of the sauce, a layer of sliced or grated mozzarella cheese (packaged mozzarella works better than fresh mozzarella because A. its cheaper and B. it's slightly saltier), sprinkle a layer of parmiggiano or another hard grated cheese... then what i like to do is lay down a layer of regular sliced ham.. (THANK YOU TANYA FOR RUNNING OUR TO GET MY EMERGENCY HAM YESTERDAY) you can use anything (prosciutto, spinach, sliced hard boiled eggs, sliced meatballs) but i like plain ham. ..... . . Make one other layer with the rest of the pasta, the rest of the sauce, a layer of mozzarella and a layer of parmiggiano. Thats it!

throw it in the oven uncovered for 20 minutes on 400 (or until you notice the cheese and sauce boil) and it's done.

1. this can sit in the fridge for a good day ahead of time if you need to prep in advance or you can even freeze it for another time.
2. cook the pasta so its good and aldente since it'll finish cooking in the oven
3. after you boil the pasta rinse it in cold water to stop the cooking process
4. put a sheet of aluminum foil under the casserol when you bake it so any overflowing cheese wont mess your oven.

Friday, May 23, 2008

a seriously good snack from cvs

unfortunately many times we're stuck in a part of town where the only retail on the block is dress barn, radio shack and cvs. when youre looking for a quick snack and dont have the time to hike all the way to wherever you usually go, for $1.99 you can get the baked multigrain snack crackers from cvs. the large box is not expensive and the crackers are impressively yummy and healthy: Per 16 Crackers (24 g): Calories 110 (Calories From Fat 30); Total Fat 3.5 g (Saturated Fat 0 g; Trans Fat 0 g); Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 170 mg; Total Carbohydrate 17 g (Dietary Fiber 1 g; Sugars 1 g); Protein 2 g; Calcium; Iron


so i go to the new corner store on 17th and m (which has EVERYTHING) and i pick up Sabra go mediterranean hummus with roasted pine nuts. WRONG MOVE. something as simple as hummus should not have mixes of soybean and canola oil and, "seasoning and natural spices (what exactly is that?" and it really doesnt call for potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate. there are plenty of hummus is supposed to be healthy for you and not not have 5% of your daily allowance of saturated fat per 2 tablespoons.. there are plenty of hummus brands (anything trader joes or one of my preferred brands, Tribe) out there that dont have preservatives and refrain to the basic ingredients of chick peas, tahini, and olive oil-- some add garlic, or red pepper but its generally all in good taste.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Robek's wraps..

So yesterday, as I often do after leaving the gym, I stopped next door to Robek's on Conn and L. If you don't know by now I am deathly (whats the word afraid? disgusted? allergic?...) offended by bananas (I'll post that story later on) so I my ordering at this smoothie joint is usually limited to the Cardio Cooler which is [if i remember correctly] orange juice, mango and pineapple sorbet- it also comes with a convenient 17 grams of protein.

YESTERDAY, I stopped in and for the first time ever got a wrap. It was a delicious Chicken Cranberry wrap with sesame seeds and I think pecans with a fair amount of lettuce in a spinach tortilla. MMMM... so good. Very healthy, delicious, no unnecessary condiments, modestly priced at $6.55 including tax and its about the size of a Chipotle burrito.

In my opinion, among the best options in a 3 block radius.

i just came back from lunch.... the chicken pesto wrap is fabulous. very unique. healthy and delicious

Charlie Chiang's ten dollar buffet ... vom

this are blog from the past to get you started.. from june 2007

I'm going to start this all off with today's travesty, Charlie Chiang's ten dollar buffet. clones of the chinese-american eatery have been spotted anywhere between Reston and the District however today was the day i decided to plunge into an MSG-induced coma.

long story short: the restaurant's supposed mongolian bbq consists of standard medium quality meats with raw cantonese vegetables and a handfult of diabetically sweet sauces. the "chinese" portion had a number of tough, overcooked dry chicken and pork dishes, soups so briny a rinse with dead sea water would have been refreshing, and a fried rice dry enough to make you believe it sat out under a heat lamp the entire night.

all this with not even a salad or bit of crisp green to wash my mouth of the experience.

three reasons why anyone should go to Charlie Chiang's
1. you need an excuse to call in sick.
2. youre trying to beat the world record in highest calorie count with lowest nutritional value.
3. you enjoy the feeling of having a squirrel claw its way out of your intestines for the rest of the pm.

thai kitchen microwavable pad thai

I always like to pass on a good thing when I find one. I bought the Thai Kitchen microwaveable Pad Thai for under $2 at the Walgreens on M Street. Only 2 grams of fat, no cholesterol, and not a crazy amount of sodium. It doesn't really have anything thats healthy for you but its not bad and it's cheap. Makes a little more than a snack but not a full lunch. Even though I'm anti cooking/heating anything in plastic, it gets a 6.5, 7 out of 10 on the Giacomo Scale of Pad Thai Deliciousness.

About Me

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Hi there, my name is Giacomo and I enjoy things delicious. Long story short, my parents moved from Italy to NJ where I grew up (and loved it) but found myself in Washington, DC fourteen years ago and haven’t yet found an excuse to leave. Food has always been a huge part of my day and life… from happy times, sad times, holidays, drunken escapades and all the rest in between, I’ve usually spent a good portion of that time putting something in my mouth. I guess I started this blog a little while ago to keep track of what I was cooking and places I’d eat-- simply because my friends were always asking “how do you make this” or “where do you get that” but surprisingly over time I guess real people started reading too. SO, take a look around and let me know what you think. You’ll see that the backbone of lots of my food is Italian but I manage to cover most bases. Thanks for stopping by. BUON APPETITO!

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