Plates… A Nice Date Night

25 Apr
This was my burger. Great Presentation.

This was my burger. Great Presentation.

Chips and Guacamole

Chips and Guacamole. These are fresh made chips which were amazing. The guacamole was middle of the road, not great but not bad.

Hawaiian Burger

This was the Hawaiian Burger, it was on the money. Next time ,I will order this burger.

This past week, I went on a date with a person, I mean it could have been an alien. Nonetheless, we went to a small restaurant in the Mt. Vernon area called “Plates”. I came across this restaurant in the Baltimore City Paper, which highlighted Tuesday Burger Night with $7 burger and $3 beers. I decided to kill two birds with one sword (GoT reference), a chill date night with burgers! The restaurant is located at 210 East Centre Street in Baltimore, Maryland. Down the street from Center Stage Theater and, connected to the Merritt Athletic club. When you enter the restaurant, you see the welcome desk for the gym, but realize the restaurant is to the right of you. Once you enter into the restaurant, has a very classy feel, and feels like a place where, you can have a quiet happy hour with friends, a nice first date or a quick meal before a show. The low lights, and attentive staff are a nice mix for relaxing evening. The water was served in a tall old school milk bottle. Plates also offered an outdoor Patio, which is cool for enjoying the evening air and atmosphere.
Let’s get to the good part the food.
We order a starter with guacamole and homemade tortilla chips. I am sorry to say, I love the fresh made chips, but the guacamole was nothing great, but nothing bad just middle of the Road guacamole.

But how were the burgers?
In short the burgers were cool. I may need to try other types they offer the next time, I stop in.
They had about several burgers you could choose from. Plates offered the option of changing the meat from Angus beef to lean turkey. The do offer other substitutions, but at additional cost. I ordered the Black and Bleu burger with lean ground Turkey with Cajun seasoning, Bleu Cheese crumbles, and Mushrooms, on a Kaiser roll. My date ordered the Hawaiian Burger that was teriyaki glazed turkey burger, pepper jack cheese, with a grilled pineapple. Our server was nice, and told us that it would be at least 20 minutes since it was lean turkey meat.
My date burger was pretty good. I would definitely, suggest to order this burger if you are into teriyaki and pineapple. My burger was Ok; I didn’t really taste the Cajun seasoning. The bleu cheese was the shining member of my burger. Even the mushrooms seem that they were not sautéed enough. The French fries were also ok, lightly seasoned with some spice, and didn’t overtake the meal itself. As a side note, I LOVE fries and will usually eat all my fries before finishing a burger, but in this case that did not happen. I had ½ of my fries left over. I blame this on the fact we were eating outside and the evening temperatures stole the heat of my fries.
Overall, I want to go back and try the other food offered on the menu such as the Jerk Tilapia, Turkey Rose’, Vegetable risotto and the Mahi & Shrimp Taco. They are closed on Saturday so this is defiantly a Weekday date night or Brunch after the farmers Market on Sunday. They also have special on Monday for Mexican food, and Wednesday is Wine day  that always a plus. The link is listed below for you to check out this small quaint restaurant on you own: http://www.platesbaltimore.com/

Until Next Dine,

Just to give you an idea about the menu. This came from the website itself.

Just to give you an idea about the menu. This came from the website itself.

Deaverster

 

Chicken and Beer Festival

10 Apr

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Chicken and Beer – Festival in Annapolis

Hello Beautiful People….Oh sorry Chris Brown was playing in the background. I am back…. I hope I can stay on track to write at least 4 blogs a month. I know it doesn’t seem like a lot. I like blogging but my life not conducive for it, (my laptop went up, my tablet went up, I have three projects at work that needs all my time!) My other wonderful cohorts, are in the same boat, they are busy with their life, making moves in their careers and being adults. So the blog feel to the waist. I apologize for this as one of the collaborators.

This past weekend I had a chance, to go to the Annapolis Chicken and Beer festival. All I can say is the only thing missing if they had, Ludacris third album blaring in the background “Chicken-N-Beer”. The good was the different type of wings, but there weren’t enough Wing spots. I believe a total of 8 places were present along with 10 beer stands. I have to be honest; I don’t like Beer so I didn’t drink that much just a Virginia Hard Apple Cider.
Oh the Wings!!! So let begin with Mother’s restaurant.
They Served Traditional Wings, Old Bay Wings and Mai Tai Wings. I will admit, I stayed away from all traditional wings since I wanted variety. The Mai Tai Wings were spicy but not sweet like I expected. It had a sticky coat with red pepper and the wing was good and broke the top 5. The next wing stand had the Hulk wings, from another stand, which were overly spicy; I didn’t get a chance to take the picture. I wasn’t thrilled by this wing.

After Mother’s, I went over to Pit Boys which they had Sweet Carolina Wings, and Sweet spicy pepper wings. My sweet Carolina Wings were ice cold, and turned me off, the Sweet Spice wings, were okay, but didn’t make me say Yummy!

I tried O’Loughlins offered an Old Bay and Butter Wings. Which in thought seemed amazing but in actually taste it was too buttery and overpowered the Old bay. I gave them an “A” for effort, but it wasn’t worth the rest of my tickets.

The Best Wings in my opinion was Annapolis Smokehouse Tavern. These wings are what you want when you want wings with beer. They were juicy, plump and evenly cooked. The flavors were amazing with or without sauce! The wing sauces were amazing with Honey Apple, Fire, Bourbon cherry, honey Mustard and Sweet Caroline sauce. The Honey apple was the perfect balance, and the Bourbon cherry was sweet, savory and enticing. Honey mustard was cool but seems like traditional sauce. I loved these wings from start to finish, they were amazing.
So until next time,

Ciao!

Deaverster

Make your own Salty Chocolate Balls (insert Outdated South Park Joke)

30 Oct
My Chocolate Balls ( candy)

My Chocolate Balls ( candy)

I go this recipe from Facebook. My manger showed me and said we should make them in the store. So I made them the other day at home.  I did modify the recipe. The balls came out Really good almost like fake Reese Peanut Butter cups. and I know what I am giving some of my Friends for Christmas, Deav’s Salt Chocolate Balls. Which are really called Buckeyes, as I was informed by on of my co-workers. But I digress, below is the orginal recipe and my modifications.

Overall the recipe is easy and very delicious. If you are going to a holiday party this year I would say makes these delecious devils and keep the stress low. The do store well and later this month I will try to ship a few to friends to see how they hold up for shipping.

Original Recipe
No Bake Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls

1-18 oz. jar of smooth or chunky peanut buter – I prefer smooth
1 – 16 oz. bag of confectioners sugar
1/4 c. butter, melted
chocolate almond bark…
or
chocolate candy melts
or
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips & 2 tsp. shortening

My Modifications
1-18 oz. jar of smooth or chunky peanut buter – I prefer smooth
1 – 16 oz. bag of confectioners’ sugar
1/4 c. butter, melted +1 TBSP
1 tsp. of vanilla
½ cup of mini chocolate Chips
1 box of Milk chocolate Truffles From Harry and David.

In a large bowl, stir together the peanut butter, confectioners sugar and melted butter until the mixture is crumbly. For the next step, the best way that I’ve found to make a smooth filling is to use your hands to mix everything together.
*Add the mini chocolate Chips
Line a baking sheet with foil. Roll the peanut butter filling into 1 inch balls and line the baking sheet with rows of the balls. Set the baking sheet in the freezer for 5-7 minutes to chill the peanut butter balls for easier dipping.
• I let them Freeze for about 20 minutes.

While the peanut butter balls are chilling, melt the chocolate in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl that is deep enough for dipping. I melted 6 blocks of chocolate almond bark at a time, stirring at 45 second intervals until smooth.

Remove the baking sheet from the freezer. Insert a toothpick or wooden skewer into a peanut butter ball and then dip it into the chocolate, turning quickly to cover the entire candy. Place onto a second baking tray that has also been lined with foil. Swirl the chocolate on the top of each candy for a pretty design. Refrigerate until the chocolate had completely dried.
Store the candies in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
**Warning** These little candies are very addictive!!

I say Tea you say Party “Tea Party”

7 Jul

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I say Tea you say Party “Tea Party”

So I finally got the pictures from the tea party me and a friend hosted back in April! I don’t remember half of the recipes and wish I was blogging them as I created, found and prepared the mini meals.  I guess I rather post a blog with pictures and ideas than not post anything at all.  I am really trying to play catch-up. I like blogging about food and events, but it’s hard to carve out an hour to type a post and post pictures. Especially when I, don’t have a smartphone and I refuse to get a smartphone due to the cost of the bill and my ability to break things in 24 hours. (One day ask about the Chinese food phone incident or the time I dropped my phone while it was pouring down raining trying to get into my friends car.)  I digress. The tea party was born out of the idea that I want to have an Alice in Wonderland theme Birthday Party for my 30th bday in a few months. I realized that 80% of my friends would flake on me due to it being the holidays and well my friends usually choose family over partying.  So I decided I would host a girl’s only tea party in April.  I used my friend’s house because her house is clean even with a toddler.

So the hardest part of planning a tea party was doing it with my friend. We have to different creative ideas and styles. I had one vision she had another. I wanted an Alice in Wonderland theme she wanted a Jazzy mellow vibe. It worked well with Jazz music played in the background and the 1950s Alice in Wonderland played on the TV with the volume on low.  I was in charge of the menu and drinks which was awesome. I had an idea of how everything was to be made and done. She was in charge of decorations and color scheme.   The idea was to send out invitation, I was fine creating a Facebook event but my friend wanted to use punchbowl.  Overall it was still ok, but I like things to be done on a schedule.  I love my friend dearly, but she not the greatest at time management. Me on the other hand it depends on who you talk to, some people call me a time police others would say the same thing Time management is not a strong point.  I think it depends on the person.

Tip #1 when planning a party with a friend, determine who will be more likely to do what and keep a schedule in place.

Determine how far in advance to start cooking food. I had a schedule in place and I started preparing food Friday afternoon, and I had to work both jobs so it was good I had an idea of what to prepare and when.  Prepared Ice Tea, and Dips on Friday night, then on Saturday, prepared meats and baked goods. Sunday morning prepared all day of items such as cream based items and sandwiches. I even had  a chart that listed what was to be prepped when and how.  This made life easy and help for me to determine what to throw out and so forth.

Tip #2 Prepare a basic chart of what food you want to serve and when to prepare them.

Also by doing this, I had a budget in place and was able to find alternatives that were suitable for my budget.

Tip #3 Have a budget in place.

Lastly, Tip#4 it’s ok to cheat.  I would love to say you should slave and make everything from scratch but who am I kidding. Just do what you can from scratch and use good quality ingredients or products for the rest. Most of your friends won’t care especially, if they just enjoy each other company.

Enjoy the pictures and If I can remember recipes I will post them. J

The Final Menu:

Blueberry Lavender Scones                                         Maple Cinnamon Scones with maple glaze

Cucumber and Chive Crostini                                      Spinach Avocado crostini

Pepper and Onion Dip                                                   Orange Creamcisle Dip

Turkey and Avocado sandwiches                              Cucumber and Chive Sandwiches

Berry Basket Ice Tea with Red Berry Ciroc             Citrus Hot Tea

Mini Apple and Brie Quiche                                         Apple Bourbon Meatballs

Dreamsicle pops                                                               Thin Mints and Samoas

Cucumber Water                                                             Tequila Marinated Tomatoes and Peppers

Nutella Brownie Bites                                                    Cucumber and Onion in vinegar and Dill

Not all the food that was made is pictured.

Image

Spice and Tea Exchange Adventure!

6 Jul

S

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pice and Tea Exchange Adventure!

I have been trying to write a post for weeks. I would love to say I am un-inspired or bored but I just been busy with work, life and I had to undergo a medical procedure.  So my first post back, is about this store I encountered in Georgetown last Friday. I was actually looking for the store two of my friends (PIMT members) went to when they did a day in DC.  I couldn’t find it, call me dumb but I happened upon this majestic little hamlet called the Spice and Tea Exchange in Georgetown.  http://www.spiceandtea.com/  I feel in love with this store. If you are a cook, baker, chef or just want something different to cook with, you should come here.  The walls are lined with so much variety and different spices.  They have blends of traditional spices, and flavoring, Sugars, Teas, Peppers, and more.  I love how each section is broken down and you can go in and open the jars to smell each item.  They have pre-packed bags of all items in the store for you to buy and try, or you can buy in larger quantities.

The sugar blends were just as exotic ranging from Onion Sugar that smelled like it would be great on sweet potato chips, to Ginger sugar that seem to beckon idea in edamame dip. I ended up with Salted caramel Sugar that I will use in macaroons later this month and strawberry sugar for my non-traditional strawberry shortcake.  I was not as fond of the blueberry sugar as I thought I would be but then again I have a love-hate relationship with blueberries. I really didn’t get a chance to explore as I wanted due to me being stiff and achy from my procedure.  If you like to back and want to try a different spice you should find a spice and tea exchange near you they have multiple locations and you can even order through them.  I will keep this short.  Add in uber cool pictures that were taken of the shop.

Also for my cat lovers, they sell Catnip.  This makes this place super awesome in my novice cooking and baking book.

So go check them out make this a mini trip and try something new!

Sincerely,

Deaverster

Strawberry Marshmallows + Rice Cereal = ????

13 May

So last weekend I went to a Cinco de Mayo party!!!! I made some Tequila Chicken Wings, Caramel Stuffed Rice Krispies and Strawberry rice Krispies treats.  I know I went over board.  So I have the recipe for the wings which has been posted. I got the recipe from Caramel Stuffed Recipes from Cookies and Cups blog (http://cookiesandcups.com/caramel-stuffed-krispie-treats/) The Strawberry rice krispies treat were something different. I found it sweet and gave the false illusion of being healthy, I mean it has Strawberries in it.  I hope you like the below recipe. P.s. I found Strawberry Marshmallows at Target in the clearance section from Valentine’s Day. I love Target Clearance Section. Also I am pretty sure this is nothing new but I wanted to post it anyway. Please forgive my picture, I am too lazy to take picture with my real camera while cooking. 130508_001

 

Strawberry RICE KRISPIES TREATS

1 stick of butter

1 (10 oz., about 40) pkg. regular marshmallows or Strawberry Marshmallows

6 cups Rice Krispies cereal

1 tsp of strawberry extract

½ cup to 1 cup of freeze dried Strawberries.

Melted White Chocolate optional

 

  1. In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add the marshmallows and strawberry extract.
  2. Continue to stir until the marshmallows have completely melted. Remove from heat
  3. Stir in the Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal coating them well with the melted marshmallow mixture.
  4. Using a buttered or silicone spatula, press the mixture evenly into a 8×8 inch pan which has been buttered or sprayed with non-stick spray or lined with wax paper. Or Spoon out into a cake pop pan to make round rice Krispy balls.
  5. Ohh Yeah Refrigerate the bars/Balls until ready to serve.

 

*Makes 16 balls or 1 pan of Treats.

 

 

Tequila Chicken Wings Attempt 3

12 May

Sorry for the delay. My laptop is acting up and I couldn’t connect to the Internet, for about 3 weeks.   Below is the recipe for the Tequila chicken wings. Its nothing great but I hope it comes out just as good as I made them. I would like to state that this is my second attempt at making these wings.  The First time I burned them horribly, I feel asleep while cooking.  The second time I did not add enough Tequila and forgot the limes. This time I cheated and used the Mojito Lime Marinade from McCormick ( got it from Giant on sale).  I did add more Chili powder and I also glazed the wings with Honey. I think they came out perfect! People who ate them at the Cinco de Mayo party I went to last week enjoyed them! I hope you enjoy them also.

Tequila Lime Chicken Wings

Tequila Lime Chicken Wings

  • 1 bottle of Jose Cuevo tequila ( gold)
  •  2 packets Grill Mates Mojito Lime Marinade
  • 2 lbs of chicken wings or wingettes
  • 1/2 Tsp of Cumin (optional)
  • 1/2 Tbsp of Chili Pepper
  • Honey
  • 2 Limes

 

1. Clean wings add tequila, 1 packet of the Mojito Lime Marinade, Slices of lime. Add the oil that is suggested on the packet. Coat the wings and Marinate overnight.

2. Place the wing in a baking dish with all the juices from the marinade. Take the second pack of marinade that that is mixed with chili pepper and cumin and sprinkle over the wings.

3.  Drizzle some honey over the wings  and bake for 30 -45 min covered.

4. Remove the wings and turn them over drizzle more honey over the wings. Than bake for another 30-45 min. this time with out a cover.

 

I hope it comes out just as good.

Deaverster

Tequila Lime Chicken Wings
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