Cream of Wheat, You’re dead to me.

Adorable Farina Boy with hair I want to tussle, I am leaving you for another.

Creepy Quaker Oat Guy, get out of my life.

I heart steel cut oats now.

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We are not really a gazpacho eating household. I think both of us just don’t really care for cold soup. In addition, most gazpacho’s are tomato based and we do not like tomatoes when they are uncooked and so tomatoey.

However, this week’s Craving Ellie in My Belly recipe is a white (or really, green) gazpacho. This is definitely not something that I would have picked out on my own, and to tell the truth I wasn’t too keen on making it. Though I do feel some responsibility to do the Craving Ellie recipe each week, provided that I have the time to do it, so I decided to halve this recipe and try it out.

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Cochon 555

This past Sunday the staff was treated to an extra-special outing to Cochon555 at the Mandarin Oriental hotel here in Washington DC (with special thanks going out to our friends at!)

Cochon555 is a culinary competition to raise awareness for heritage breed pork between 5 chefs, each given 5 whole heritage breed pigs (oh and 5 vineyards). All our regular readers know that we love our pork, so we were all extremely excited to have the chance to attend.

The chefs/restaurants participating were:

  • Brian McBride of Blue Duck Tavern
  • R.J. Cooper of Vidalia
  • Nicholas Stefanelli of Mio
  • Jamie Leeds of Commonwealth Gastropub &
  • John Manolatos of Cashion’s Eat Place

How do five of DC’s finest chefs prepare five whole hogs? Jump with me to find out!

(Here’s a hint: Deliciously)

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Okay, these were pretty delicious. Moist cinnamon cake, a surprise swirl of chocolate and cinnamon sugar in the middle, and chocolate ganache frosting to top it off. How could it be bad? The answer is, it can’t be bad.

The original recipe by Dorie Greenspan was for a whole cake, and you can find it on page 210-11 of Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. However, in a effort to save some money on ingredients and to stop my waistline from expanding even more, I halved the recipe and made some cupcakes. I just could not bring myself to take out 10 tablespoons of butter for one cake this week.

I really love cinnamon, and this was the cinnamoniest cake I have ever made. The batter seemed pretty standard and it was simple to make, the only substitution I made was that I used low fat buttermilk instead of whole milk.

To make the cupcakes, I scooped a bit of batter into each cupcake cup, sprinkled the cinnamon, sugar, espresso powder mixture over the batter, then topped it with some more batter. The only tricky part was figuring out how many cupcake cups to fill halfway. I ended up having to abandon one half filled cup to fill up the others. I ended up getting 8 cupcakes out of a half recipe.

I let them cool overnight and frosted them the next day. The chocolate frosting couldn’t be easier to make. Chocolate + butter + double boiler = delicious ganache frosting. This frosting did set very nicely after about 2 hours. I was pleased.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, I have had a bit of an upset tummy for the last few days so I only ended up eating 1/2 of a cupcake just to try it. They were great. Nick, Geoff, and our friend Nick of Macheesmo all gave them a thumbs up. The rest go off to work today with Nick.

I read on the P&Q that some people were not fans of the cinnamon chocolate combination. I suppose I don’t eat such a combination too often, but it was fabulous in this recipe. Just the right mix of comforting laid back buttery cake and chocolate decadence. However, I would totally eat this as a coffee cake with no frosting, and just the little secret punch of swirly chocolate in the middle.

Many thanks to Tracey of Tracey’s Culinary Adventures for picking this fab cake for all of us to make. Check out the Tuesdays with Dorie blogroll to see what the other bakers thought.

(How great is that swirl?)

Did you know that chickpeas were one of the earliest cultivated vegetables? Like 7500 years ago. That would be 5491 BC. That is a long f’ing time ago.

I like chickpeas. They are healthy and high in protein, so I try to eat them in salads and stuff like that. I probably consume most of my chickpeas in the form of hummus, which is totally delicious.

However, the ladies over at Recipes to Rival told me that this month I would be deep frying chickpeas. Falafel and chickpea fries. Okay, twist my arm.

I generally try to avoid fried foods. I like to save my fried food intake for particular things that I know I love and will be worth the fat and possible belly ache that I get from too much fried stuff. A fried fish sandwich from a stand near Nick’s childhood home in PA, homemade French fries, good tempura, or fresh yeast doughnuts are all evil temptresses to me. I usually give in to them.

I debated baking these falafel and chickpea fries, but decided to just do it up right and deep fry. It had been a while since we deep fried anything anyway.

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Have you ever had Kobe beef? The real deal, straight from Japan, beer drinking, Sake massaged KOBE BEEF? If you answered “yes” to this question, you’ll have no problem with this one:

“If someone is giving me $250 to create a fabulous meal from starting ingredients of my choice, what should I make?”

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