Café Couture

Potent and delicious Ethiopian coffee and a vegan chocolate chip cookie with a story

Sidamo is hands down one of my favorite cafés in all of DC. It’s an authentic Ethiopian experience on the revitalized H Street corridor in Washington. Authentic because of the wood used to make the decor and the coffee being freshly hand-roasted (you can smell it blocks away – it’s amazing), to the staff that welcome you upon each visit. Yirgacheffe and Harrar are personal favorites and must be tasted pure, without milk, cream, or sugar, or any other sweetener for that matter – there is enormous body and flavor to be appreciated in each tasting. So if you happen to be in DC it’s really worth your while to check it out and meet Kenfe and Mimi, the owners, one of which is bound to be smiling behind the counter, roasting coffee at the large glass windows facing the street, or mingling with the customers.

What I really wanted to write about is a recent Washington Post article regarding two independent roasters, also in DC, that have qualms with offering wifi at their recently established coffee shops. The mentioned “wifi parking” is discussed further in an interview with American University Radio personality Kojo Nnamdi if you have some extra time to tune in.

Oh, and last bit to jot down real quick, referring to the above photo and the “cookie with a story” caption. Sometimes it pays to speak your mind … politely. At Sidamo they have three large jars of indescribably irresistible cookies beckoning your reaching of a hand in to grab one right by where you pay and wait for coffee. A woman was very vocal regarding her desire to have one of those cookies, but expressed how she only really wanted half. Well, it so happens that if you are in the right place at the right time and you offer to help a sister out she’ll gladly share with you. Just remember to be a gentleman and take the smaller of the two halves when it’s offered up!

That’s all for today …

P

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Banana Bread

Banana bread is one of my favorite recipes to bake because it’s so easy, allows for creativity, and doesn’t let food go to waste, since you can use bananas that aren’t very good for plain-old-banana-eating anymore. This recipe is so easy – you probably have most of these ingredients in house, and you can do it all by hand, without a mixer.

perfect bananas for banana bread

Ingredients

  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • Optional mix-ins: cinnamon (my go-to because it’s always in the cabinet), nuts, peanut butter, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (yes, this is as amazing as it sounds), chocolate chips, any combination of the above or anything else your heart desires – get creative!
ready for the oven

ready for the oven

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl
  • Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla
  • Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in
  • Add the flour last, mix
  • Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan and bake for 1 hour
  • Cool before serving
banana bread

yum

M

“Ice Cream”

I’ve had this “ice cream” recipe bookmarked for months, which I found via Pinterest, and finally got around to making it this week. It’s only 2 ingredients, and with one being bananas, it’s much healthier than real ice cream. If you need more reasons to love bananas, check out this post.

icecream

  • Freeze some* bananas for at least a few hours. I recommend peeling them first, as I found out the hard way that they’re very difficult to peel when frozen.
  • Throw the bananas in your food processor or blender, along with whatever added ingredient you want. The recipe I found uses cocoa powder, but I used peanut butter. You can get creative and throw in nuts, fruit, or anything else you can think of.
  • Blend until smooth, and you have a low calorie, delicious, dairy free dessert with the cool, creamy texture of ice cream!
*1 per person
M

The Great Googa Mooga Festival

The Great Googa Mooga Festival went on this past Saturday and Sunday in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. What is Googa Mooga? The definition according to the event’s website:

The Great GoogaMooga: n. an amusement park of food & drink; adj. something wonderfully great; excl. “oh my goodness!” or “how bout that!”

Googa Mooga

General admission tickets were free, but you had to register for them, and choose one of the 2 days to attend. Or you could pay $250 for “Extra Googa Mooga,” which included free stuff. It was the first time this festival went on, but the hype was huge, proven by the press both leading up to and at the event (a Food Network interview happened right next to us), and the high number of well known eateries, breweries, wineries, musical artists, and well known contributors (Anthony Bourdain!). I attended Saturday, along with thousands of other people looking for food, drink, sun, music, and fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were a LOT of complaints by some of the attendees, especially voiced on the Googa Facebook page, mainly about the crowds, extremely long lines for food and drink, confusion about having your ID checked, how to purchase drinks, and the sparse cell phone service. My friends and I experienced all of this – it took us awhile to figure out where to go just to purchase a drink, and we moved lines 3 times before figuring out we were in the right place where we then waited over an hour to get a beer, the whole time not receiving phone calls, and our text messages taking extra long to go through.

Fun for all ages!

But it didn’t really matter to us; we were there to enjoy each other’s company, the (very) warm weather, and the experience. We also know there are kinks to work out, some of which they even did for the 2nd day. While in the beer line, we took turns waiting in the food lines. Once we finally figured it all out and got our drinks and food, a couple hours after arriving, we set up shop on our blanket next to some other friends. For the next few hours we enjoyed some of the best things of summer – being with friends, playing cards, eating and drinking, listening to live music, and soaking up the sun. If a couple of us dared to go wait in another long line for drink or food, at least we knew we had a home base.

The day turned into evening and ended after an awesome hour long performance by The Roots. Overall, a great day and way to get the summer going.

 

 

M

Extremely idealistic and incredibly optimistic

I’m reading this book right now that M recommended, of which I am sure you have heard about, be it the actual novel or the movie, called Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.  It’s intelligently written, in the sense that there are many intelligently written and pondered about moments throughout the book.

One of my favorites is a remark that an adult remarks to the boy “… I used to be idealistic” to which the boy inquires what “idealistic” meant to which the woman responds “It means you live by what you think is right.”

Are you idealistic?  Have you given that up … yet?

P

Things that made me smile this past week

Sitting outside with beers, Jenga, and $1 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup S’mores with good friends at a beer garden in Philly

Celebrating Mother’s Day with my family

Weekly Zumba class

Grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s

Making beer bread for potluck night with my neighbors

This website and this website, make me laugh everyday

Hearing this song for the first time in awhile, which brought back memories of Buenos Aires

Baby elephant at the beach, so cute

And things I’m looking forward to this weekend…

Cheering my friends on in the Brooklyn Half Marathon

Googa Mooga Festival in Prospect Park

More spring weather

M

That girl

As anyone that has read the handful of posts that have gone up on this blog, we’re still without a definitive theme. Seems like the baking/cooking posts are most popular, which we love posting about (and eating, obviously). So bear with us as we [hopefully] continuing tossing up some more culinary experiences along with whatever we feel like 🙂

This morning I was watching the Today Show.  My aunt prefers this to all of the morning shows. And I’ve found that it’s a great way to catch up on all the lost pop culture one may miss while being abroad (I’ve recently returned and, let me tell ya, there is SOOO much important stuff I have been missing out on: the Call Me Maybe phenomenon, Princess Kate’s wardrobe, Howard Stern on one of those “star” shows, the 30 Rock marriage …).  It is entertaining, I’ll give you that.  I’ve been stuck in front of the tv for almost two hours now absorbing everything.  Oh, and I got an iPhone.  Not to actually use it per se as a phone, but to take photos (it’s a hand-me-down iPhone 3 and I just found out about Instagram … see how far behind American culture I am?!).  Well, one of the Today Show’s hosts is in Cannes for the film festival and I was playing around with the iPhone camera Instagram thingy and was thinking about something … which I’ll describe in a moment.  First, here’s the photo I got out of the Today Show:

It was an interesting scenario.  In the center of the four wine tasters is one of the Today Show hosts (apologies for not knowing her name).  To her left is, I believe, a vineyard owner, describing how rose wines are now all the rage in France and drunk more than whites.  On her right are two prominent Cannes attendees.  I believe the woman is associated with Conde Naste travel and the man is Jean Paul mmmm … a famous designer that has been invited to judge.  Hidden behind them was a security guard that at one moment was checking his phone and most likely texting when he was caught by surprise by the little girl there on the left – it was rather amusing, having this big, serious guy react in an almost aggressive way just before realizing it was a little girl checking out the sand around her feet.  Top notch security they got there.  (I guess you had to see it …)  Anyway, after watching all the “news” on the show and all the “interesting” and “important” stuff going on in the [American] world today and the “pleasure” in and “appreciation” for fine wine and the “luxury” of being in France along the coast immersed in all the celebrity glamour, I most envied the little girl in the background.  I’d rather be her – in her world and her appreciation for being there in Cannes at that moment by the Mediterranean coast…

P

No yeast? Use beer!

375 F oven

1 large mixing bowl

3 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 oz beer

1 non-stick bread pan

1/2 cup melted butter

+

mix dry ingredients in bowl
add beer to dry ingredients and mix
add mix to bread pan
pour butter over bread mix

bake in oven for 50-60 min

take out and let cool 5 min
put bread upside down and let cool 30 min
put bread right-side up and enjoy

🙂

M+P

Epiphany

Well, maybe not so much an epiphany as a realization.  Or, better … a recognition.  Let’s go with recognition.  (Apologies, as although I know what I want to express, I never liked English class so much, and never did well on the SAT verbal section).  I was listening to Pandora this morning and a very recognizable song played.  Thanks to the wonders of technology I was able to find out the name of the song and its performer.  It happened to be “Sway” performed by Rosemary Clooney.  Now, I’ve heard this song innumerable times and most definitely recognize her voice, but hadn’t the slightest idea who the singer was or the name of the song.  Next time it comes on, I’ll forever remember the song, the singer, and most definitely, the moment of recognition! It’s the little things …

P