Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Vaccaro's Overload



Vaccaro's
222 Albemarle Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21202

With my big move looming, it was imperative that I make it to Vaccaro's for their Monday night All You Can Eat dessert and coffee special. I have seen this advertised for the last four years I have been in Baltimore and have been aching to experience the sheer gluttony first hand. I finally made the effort yesterday, and met up with Britta for an after dinner binge fest.

The special is only available Monday's from 6-9. It can sometimes be extremely busy so opt to get there early. I had planned on doing my weekly Monday run with the Fed Hill group at 6:30 so I cut the run slightly short and made it to Vaccaro's by 7:15 or so. Nothing like a decent run before a gorge fest. The website features the special at $12.95 but pricing has gone up to $15.50 which seems like a lot but ends up being worth it if you make sure to drink and eat enough, which I certainly did.

I started with a decent portion of traditional Tiramisu (as opposed to the amaretto option) and a double espresso. So yummy. The lady fingers were moist and flavorful.

Tiramisu dish COMPLETE.

Round 2 consisted of the Vaccaro's Sampler; vanilla and chocolate cannolis, almond cookie, pignoli cookie, butter ball, and cream puffs. I wasn't as impressed with this assortment as I was with the Tiramisu. Maybe that's because I was sickly full after the Tiramisu but still pressed on.

Sampler attempt fell short as I left a decent portion of the cream puffs and cookies. I tried my best though :)

Britta also went for the All You Can Eat but was a little more conservative with her selections. She definitely got her moneys worth by ordering to Vaccaro's style cappucinos and the Death by Chocolate cannoli cake with chocolate gelato. It was absolutely enormous and unfortunately, even with the two of us chipping away, we could not conquer this behometh dish.

All in all, definitely worth it for a special occasion. Make sure to skip dinner so you have more room but keep in mind you will be staying up pretty late due to sugar and caffiene overload. Yikes!



Sunday, November 08, 2009

Coming and Going

Mt. Vernon park and washington monument will be replaced with...
Downtown Takoma Park and the landmarks of my youth...

To all of my loyal blog readers, I am posting to inform you that as "okay" Baltimore has been over the last 3 and a half years, it is time for me to say goodbye. I have accepted a new position that will require me to relocate to the metropolitan area (DC/NOVA) and I must leave my Mt. Vernon sanctuary to brave the streets of the nation's capitol. This has been a bitter sweet decision for me because, although I am SUPER STOKED about my new position, I will dearly miss all that I have come to call home here in Baltimore. Of course, I am more than comfortable with my soon to be new digs since I grew up in the Takoma Park/Silver Spring area. So in essence, this will be a bit of a homecoming...more so because I will actually be living at home. Yeah, really cool, I know. This is a temporary stop gap for me to save money and get acclimated before I find an affordable place with a cool new roomie :)

Some of the things that come to mind that I will miss...
Zeke's coffee at the JFX Farmer's market on Sunday mornings...
Iggie's pizza as often as possible...
night caps at midtown yacht club and Sunday morning brunch buffets...
wednesday night runs with the Iggie's running club...
team thats what she said and Ryan's awesome ability to rally all of Baltimore's runners...
my 5 mile stadium run through Camden Yards and Ravens Stadium...
morning runs with McVets no matter how cold and how tired I might have been...
trips to canton dog park with the pups and my boyfriend...
working with such amazing and positive people at Friends...
my tremendously fantastic Friends School XC team...
being able to walk everywhere...
being able to run everywhere...
I will miss everything. Baltimore and my life here has been way better than okay...

I don't think this necessarily means I will cease blogging...nor do I have plans to rename the blog. I will continue to critique and comment on events, restaurants and general happenings that I stumble upon wherever they may be. I only hope to be as influenced and affected by my new/old environment. Until then...

Ciao Baltimore.

Autumn Cravings


Farmer's Market Butternut Squash Soup with yellow zucchini, caramelized onions, and a garnish of toasted pine nuts, sour cream, and turkey bacon.

So, this seriously was the most simple and rewarding dish I have EVER made. Here's the quick breakdown of my make-shift recipe-

1 Butternut Squash- peeled and cubed
1 other squash, etc- I happened to have a zucchini or two, that seemed to work fine (cubed)
**Next time, I would love to add chic peas. Great texture and would add lots of depth**
1 red onion- half sliced and added to broth, other half to be sauteed with brown sugar and butter
4-5 slices of turkey bacon- to be cooked with the onions as they caramelize
1 package of vegetable broth
some pine nuts, or something to add extra crunch...
dollop of sour cream
oh yeah, some nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and pepper for the simmering broth and veggies

1) Add cubed squash, zucchini, onions and seasonings to vegetable broth in pot of sorts. Let simmer on low for as long as needed for contents to soften.
2) Simultaneously, caramelize onions in skillet. As they sauté in butter and brown sugar, add bacon strips to skillet.
3) Once veggies in pot are soft, start MASHING. No need to puree or emulsify anything, just take any old kitchen utensil and smush those veggies until the soup thickens and becomes smoother.
4) I am not a fan of perfectly smooth soups, reminds me too much of a juice from concentrate or something. I like to leave a bit of texture in the soup, so I stop mashing once I am satisfied with the consistency.
5) Add bacon and caramelized onions to bowl once prepped. Dollop of sour cream and pine nuts added for garnish.

Enjoy!