Food Uncategorized

Patty Melts

One of the greatest food items is the patty melt. It's a burger, it's a sandwich, it's delicious.

As great dinner sandwiches go, it is hard to beat the patty melt

The patty melts deliciousness comes from the fact that's it's only four components. Rye bread, , Cheese, and grilled onions. The simplicity doesn't mean you can't customize it though. Dark, light, and marbled rye each add a different flavor, but the biggest way to customize it though is the choice of cheese. Swiss and American are the two classics, but I think cheddar and muenster also deserve consideration.

BONUS: If you want to make the patty melt even better, make sure to include a pickle on the side for dessert.


1 year with a vegetarian kitchen

Last year I set out a goal of keeping a vegetarian kitchen for all of 2016. As someone who loves to eat meat, but also knows that over consumption of meat is one of the leading causes of climate change, I figured this was one way that I could help the cause. Here is a couple of things I noticed:

  • I ended up falling back on a handful of meals. Stir fried veggies, breakfast tacos, and quesadilla became my go to meals.  In many ways, these have been my go-to meals for years, so the biggest difference is that I never included meat in them.
  • I barely used my slow cooker.  This is in part since I live alone and the majority of the time I cook it’s for just me. Lentils in the slow cooker are delicious, but I can’t eat them day after day. That reminds me, I still have some 3 bean chili in my freezer.
  • I was lax when it came to food I ordered in. If I continue with this, I think I may try to cut that down to veggie only as well.
  • I haven’t noticed a noticeable change in how I feel or my size from this.
  • If I would estimate, I still ate ~4 servings of meat a week during the time I didn’t travel.
  • 100 servings of meat for the year, which I did in 2010, was much harder.

I’m not sure if I am doing a good related challenge this year or not. I guess I should figure that out soon.


A story, in 4 beers

For many, 2016 was 

But the new year gives us a chance to

and have some

For if we try, 2017 will be

Current Events Food Uncategorized


My friend Kori has been working on a series of fruit ketchups called Chups. Last month I ordered three of them to check them out and was really impressed with the packaging that they came in. It all seemed well thought out.

Simple outer packaging, but the sticker let’s me know what is inside

Food Uncategorized

United Noshes DC – Cameroon Dinner

Last night I went to United Noshes a series of dinner parties to benefit the World Food Program USA. At each United Noshes event, Jesse and Laura prepare the cuisine of a UN member nation. For country number thirty-one, Cameroon, they took the show on the road and cooked in DC. The food was interesting. There was a black-eyed pea cake that was steamed in a banana leaf and a dish made from cassava and corn. I’m looking forward to them coming back to DC so that I can try another countries cuisine.

Food Uncategorized

Grilling Pictures

Spent the weekend grilling with some friends. While Nacin worked the grill I took some pictures. My macro lens allowed for some pretty cool shots. I really like how the fire turned out.

Food Uncategorized

Springtime Stir Fry

I got my first box from Washington Green Grocer today and the first thing I made is a stir-fry with broccoli, carrots, red cabbage and spring garlic. I seasoned it with just a bit of sesame oil and soy sauce. Absolutely delicious.

Sidenote: Red cabbage should really be called purple cabbage, since that’s the color my hand turned handling it.

Food Uncategorized

My adventure making Apple Pie Bitters

For the second time, I’ve set out to make my own bitters. This time I’m making a few different varieties, and I bottled the first of them over the weekend. Apple Pie Bitters.

If you’ve never made your own bitters, it is as complex or simple as you want it to be. You can put everything in a single container or use separate containers. Once you combine your herbs, spices or fruits with high-proof alcohol, all you need to do is store them in a dark space agitate the bottle every day or two. I highly recommend getting glass containers. I went with a variety of Mason style jars in four, eight and thirty-two ounces. For the apple pie bitters, I used three different extractions.

The first extraction is of apples. I took a few apple and skinned them. I then aged them for about a month in high-proof rum. Overall, they ended up being a beautiful red, but didn’t have as much of an apple taste as I had hoped. I think next time I’ll try using dried apples in addition or in place of the fresh.

The second extraction was mulling spices. These really came alive with flavor. Two weeks in a mix of high-proof rum and neutral grain spirit and these smelled and tasted fantastic. There wasn’t much of a color change, but I think that might be more due to the length of time that they spent. There was a reddish tint, but not nearly as much as the apples.

The final component is a general bitter mix that I am using for all the varieties. The liqueur is all neutral grain spirit. I used Green cardamom, Gentian Root, Birch Bark, Calamus Root, WormWood, and Humulus Lupulus. This might be the most bitter thing I have ever tasted and if it was possible for something to smell bitter, this would do it. A bit goes a long way and I think I used a bit too much this time around. It has a beautiful green color.

The final mixture is equal parts all three tinctures. The bitter green, light red and deep red combined to form a beautiful brown. I think next time I’ll cut the amount of bitter mixture in half and also increase the percent of apples. Next up is the more adventurous Fruit Punch Bitters. Ever since deciding to try that one I’ve been wondering what to mix it with. We will see how they come out.

Bottled up, with rye and sugar ready for an old fashioned.

Food Uncategorized

Old Fashioned with Homemade Apple Pie Bitters

I bottled my apple pie bitters tonight and made an old fashioned with them. A bit more bitter than I was aiming for, but the essence of apple pie definitely comes through.Bottled up, with rye and sugar ready for an old fashioned.

Current Events Food Uncategorized

The 2011 DC Open Source Software $bbq

Open Source Software and BBQ go together like Mac and Cheese. This was especially true on the night of 14 June 2011 when WordPress DC, DC PHP, jQuery DC, and Fathom Creative joined forces to celebrate Open Source Software. One hundred and fifty people came together and socialized over Pork, Burgers, Hot Dogs, Veggie Burgers and plenty of sides.

There are a number of reasons the event was the success that it was. A few people who deserve a huge pat on the back are:

  • Carrie Hoover graciously allowed us to use her smoker and helped us smoke the approximately eighty pounds of pork shoulder that everyone enjoyed.
  • Site 5 Hosting and Graph Paper Press continued to support the local open source community with some amazing sponsorship.
  • Chris Williams made sure that no one went thirsty by sponsoring the beer.
  • Anthony D Paul picked up the lions share of the food and took care of many details to make sure that everyone was well fed and happy.
  • All of my fellow organizers: Shaun, Sandy, Greg, Nacin.
  • Our volunteers Charlie, Greg, Russell, and Jennifer (among others that I am sure I missed) for lending a hand with the front table.
  • All the great companies that donated prizes and swag.
  • Shaun and John took a bunch of pictures of the $bbq

After the success of the 2011 DC Open Source Software BBQ, we have a lot of work cut out for us in 2012 if we want to have this much fun again. Of course the only thing better than one BBQ, is two.