National Ice cream Month?

hello, July!

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Only a few things can really get you through a bad heat wave, to me, ice cream is one of them. Before the “Poor man’s Polar Vortex” hits we are getting rocked with this humidity. Thanks to some awesome coworkers, I am now on the up and up with my ice cream related news. Lucky for you, I will share my knowledge: July is National Ice Cream Month!

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day. He recognized ice cream as a fun and nutritious food that is enjoyed by a full 90 percent of the nation’s population. In the proclamation, President Reagan called for all people of the United States to observe these events with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

The International Ice Cream Association (IICA) encourages retailers and consumers to celebrate July as National Ice Cream Month. In 2014, National Ice Cream Day will be Sunday, July 20. Gear up and get ready for a scoop of your favorite flavor on Sunday!

It doesn’t surprise me that the the U.S. ice cream industry generated total revenues of $10 billion in 2010, with take-home ice cream sales representing the largest section of the market, generating revenues of $6.8 billion or 67.7 percent of the market’s overall value. (Source: MarketLine, an Informa business)

beignet

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Remember back in February when I was talking about the new goodies called croknots, cronuts, crodolis and so on? Well I am ready for a new treat, the beignet, which I am sure you’ve heard of. This treat is a New Orleans classic. Now, I’ve never had one, but I can only picture what it tastes like. To me, a beignet is a cross between a funnel cake and a donut. Beignets were also brought to Louisiana by the Acadians. These are fried fritters which are often a treat. Sometimes they may be savory dishes as well and may contain meat, vegetables, or fruits. From what I understand, the beignet is a square piece of dough, fried and covered with powdered sugar.

Later tonight I will be making a pit stop at the ever-famous, Café du Monde, and I am sure it is going to be a highlight of this New Orleans trip! Café du Monde is a popular New Orleans food destination that specializes in the powdered sugar beignets.

I am beyond ready to experience some New Orleans tradition!

summerfest

in DC?

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Over the weekend, there was an awesome summer kick off festival called “Summerfest DC”. Now, as you know I come from Wisconsin which is home to actual Summerfest. Summerfest back home is a BFD. In fact, it’s a big deal all over the place. Milwaukee holds the world’s largest music festival in the world. Yes, you read that correctly, Milwaukee holds the WORLD’s LARGEST MUSIC FESTIVAL and it is pretty spectacular! For 11 days, Milwaukee is flooded with people from around the world to nibble on cheese curds, drink Wisconsin beer and to jam out to their favorite music. This outdoor music festival is unlike any other. It’s incomparable.

This weekend, I had the pleasure of hitting up Summerfest DC. Yes, there was music and it was a kickoff to summer event but it wasn’t comparable to (my) Summerfest. DC Summerfest is THE official kickoff of the summertime season in our Nation’s Capital on Saturday, May 24th. Upon arrival we were handed a  tasting glass to enjoy more than 100+ Craft Beers and ciders all afternoon. That sounds good, but that’s not it along with the beers and ciders came wine. There were also unlimited tastes of 20+ wines, of all varieties! And because you get rather hungry when consuming a lot of liquids, food trucks were available for our munching. Thankfully Summerfest DC also offered live music all day and outdoor games, like bags (also known as corn hole).

Like I said, they are totally incomparable festivals but I am happy I have been able to attend both. If you live in the District and haven’t been to Summerfest DC yet, be sure to make it next year. Likewise, if you live in Wisconsin (or the surrounding area) check out Summerfest.

farmer’s market

tis the season

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

It’s finally Farmer’s Market season and I couldn’t be happier!  There’s something about seeing the first farmer’s market of the season. I love seeing the typical outdoor booths and stands set up with farmers’ selling their fruits, vegetables, meats, and cheeses! 

The coolest thing about farmers’ markets is that no two are alike and they exist worldwide and reflect their local culture and economy. Their size ranges from a few stalls to several city blocks. In some cultures, live animals, imported delicacies unavailable locally, and personal goods and crafts are sold.

For a list of where you can find a market in your DC area, check here.

grilled cheese

happy national grilled cheese day!

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Who doesn’t love a grilled cheese sandwich? This awesome sandwich takes you back t your childhood and (hopefully) gives you great memories!  it’s true, we all love grilled cheese and did you know that  today, April 11th, is dedicated to America’s favorite cheesy, gooey, and buttery sandwich? This is the perfect excuse to indulge in one — or two!

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????If you live in DC, get ready for the best news… GCDC is finally open and just in time for National Grilled Cheese Day! In honor of National Grilled Cheese Day, GCDC will be doling out $5 specialty grilled cheeses and half-priced draft beer from 11am-3pm on Saturday.  I can’t wait to try this place out, plus winning is always an option at GCDC! Grab some chalk and jot down your grilled cheese recipe on a big board by the bar. Your fellow diners will vote throughout the week before a winner’s announced every Friday. Not only does the sandwich show up on the menu, winning you a week of notoriety, but you also get $100 to donate to your charity of choice.

Naturally, the best way to celebrate Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day is to make and eat a grilled cheese sandwich. All you need is bread, cheese and butter, although you can experiment by adding more ingredients of your choice. You butter the outside of each piece of bread, and grill the sandwich while the cheese melts on top. Yummers! Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day, it’s practically your duty to indulge with one.

a new goodie

croknot not the cronut

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

It seems like hybrid goodies are on the rise. The one that is still all the rage among my friends is the cronut, but I am about to blow your mind with a croknot and then a doissant. Let’s start at the basics.

First you have a croissant. A croissant is a buttery, flaky, viennoiserie pastry named for its well-known crescent shape. Then, you have a donut or doughnut, a type of fried dough confectionery or “dessert” food, which is likely consumed at breakfast. Now that we’ve established what a croissant and donut are, put them together and you get a cronut. The cronut is a beautiful thing. A cronut is the brand name of a croissant-dounut pastry sold by Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City, conceived by chef Dominique Ansel.The pastry is made by frying a laminated dough in grape seed oil, which is then sugared, filled, and glazed. Amazing, as you can imagine.

Now, we have something even more awesome called the croknot! A croknot is the same thing as a cronut, but it’s for all you bacon lovers out there. Adding together both the croissant, which is rolled out and then tied in a knot, with bacon then it is deep fried like a donut. Too bad Minneapolis is the only place you can find these bad boys…

Our nation’s capital built its own donut/croissant hybrid, the doissant. You can find this baked good at D.C bakery Chocolate Crust. The doissant mimics Ansel’s sensation with the chocolate hazelnut croissant donut creation pictured at right.

I haven’t done the taste test (yet) to see how these stack up with the cronut and the croknot, but does that even matter?

peanut butter

happy national peanut butter day!

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Hi my name is Kendal Ann and I love peanut butter. Peanut butter might be one of the best gifts to this good green earth. Last week, I attended a peanut butter making class. Making peanut butter is actually really easy. I wanted to share a recipe with you and a few fun facts I learned about peanut butter along the way.

Here’s a recipe for spicy peanut butterpb

1 1/2 cup peanuts
1 1/2t chili powder
1 1/2t cayenne pepper
1t crushed red pepper flakes
1t paprika
1/2t – 3/4t kosher salt

Place the ingredients into  a food processor/blender. Process for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl/blender. Place the lid back on and continue to process. Add a little oil (peanut oil preferred) if you would like to speed up the process. Process until the mixture is smooth, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.

A few peanut butter facts

It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter
Peanuts contribute more than $4 billion to the USA economy each year
Americans spend almost $800 million a year on peanut butter
The average American consumes more than six pounds of peanuts and peanut butter products each year
Peanut butter is consumed in 90 percent of USA households
Peanuts have more protein, niacin, folate and phytosterols than any nut.
Peanuts are naturally cholesterol-free

Must know dates

For all your peanut/ peanut butter lovers here are a few dates to be on the lookout for! Who knew there were so many holidays that revolved around peanuts? If you are interested in more awesome dates, you can find them via Chase’s Calendar of Events published by McGraw-Hill.

January 24 – National Peanut Butter Day
March – National Peanut Month
March 1 – National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day
March 8 – National Peanut Cluster Day
April 2 – National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day
May 18 – I love Reese’s Day
June 12 – National Peanut Butter Cookie Day
September 13 – National Peanut Day
November – National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month
November 20 – National Peanut Butter Fudge Day

I am happy to be part of such an awesome nation that consumes so much peanut butter. While I was in Germany, it was hard to find peanut butter it’s not an essential like it is to us, Americans. Celebrate today and have something with peanuts or at least something peanut butter flavored!

national pie day

yum!

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Today, we celebrate National Pie Day and the sweet and savory deliciousness that is pie.. No, we are not talking about the number Pi, we are talking about the food! SugaryWinzyAppleBlueberryCherryPIe1

Let me lay a few pie facts on you. Apple pie is a favorite to 36 million Americans! Pumpkin pie was first introduced to the holiday table at the pilgrim’s second Thanksgiving in 1623! Pumpkin has to be a favorite of many. Pecan pie is the third most popular choice in a of nation of pie lovers.

During the month of January in honor of National Pie Day, the American Pie Council (APC) wants you to grab a slice of life and teach someone to make pie! The APC has a partnership with Paramount Pictures and its new film, “Labor Day”. This film stars Kate Winslet in a Golden Globe-nominated performance, Josh Brolin and Gattlin Griffith and is directed by Jason Reitman. “Labor Day” features a pie making scene that becomes an important theme in the story and shares the APC’s message of passing down skills from generation to generation.  So close to National Pie Day the film will be released nationally on Jan. 31, 2014.

If you are hankering some pie, make some after work and if time doesn’t allow it, stop by the grocery store on the way home for a slice! APC offers recipes of previous years National Pie Champions!

A huge shout out and note to both of my homes being on the list for best shops! Way to go DC and Wisconsin! Check out the best pie shops across America, here!

Dive in and enjoy a slice today!

ceiba

a review of restaurant week

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Thanks to Ceiba, I had one of the best restaurant week experiences. As tradition follows, two friends and I always attend restaurant week, but the deal is that it needs to be a new restaurant that we haven’t been before.

Scouring for a restaurant that would accommodate all of our wants and needs, I stumbled upon Ceiba. Latin American is not a cuisine that we’ve tasted during restaurant week, so this sounded like an excellent pick. Even better news, virtually their entire menu is available for their tasting menu.

The Atmosphere

The interior of this restaurant is welcoming and beautifully furnished. There is sufficient space between tables, which is a huge plus because you’re not subjected to the conversations of those from other tables. One thing to note: Ceiba’s clientele are predominantly young professionals and the dress code was wavering on the side of business casual.

The Food

You get what you pay for when you come to Ceiba! If you are expecting contemporary Latin American food, this is the place for you. The following items were at our table: Crispy Fried Oysters, Spicy Lamb Flautas, Sampling of Ceviches, Steamed Mussels, Atlantic Salmon and Churros. Honestly, everything was incredible. My only complaint is that the Spicy Lamb Flautas were not spicy at all. If they amped up the spicy, I would be back for those in a heartbeat!

The Service

The service was stellar! Our waitress was attentive to our needs beyond belief. Whenever we had half a glass of water, no problem- it’s refilled! Our waitress was knowledgeable about the menu and her recommendations were spot on. She was not pushy, and had a personality and positive attitude that made us enjoy our experience even more.

The Moral

Moral of the story, try Ceiba! They put a great spin on Latin American food and you won’t go home hungry!

atmosphere?

each whiskey is different, but even the sips?

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The fascinating thing about whiskey is that no batch is going to be like another. The recipe will stay the same, but the taste wont. The article below talks about how the same whiskey, in the same glass can even change. The taste can change with environment and with atmosphere. I would argue that is true about anything. Your senses heighten when you are enjoying let’s say a glass of fresh-squeezed lemonade and fresh pineapple outside on the beach under an umbrella. You take those same things; drink and food, but this time put yourself inside of a cottage while it is snowing, you will have a different taste. You will feel different about the situation. Sure eating the pineapple and drinking the lemonade during winter will only remind you of the bright sunny days. Really this all sounds like a win- win, eh? Check out this NPR article, it’s a classic.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/10/13/233112981/when-sipping-whiskey-atmosphere-is-everything