Saturday, April 28, 2012

Just for fun...

Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats dipped in chocolate

It was one of those Saturdays where we had a couple errands to run in the morning but then had the afternoon to be lazy and do whatever.  Superking mentioned something about Rice Krispie Treats and immediately I knew I had to make some.  But I couldn't make just plain Rice Krispie Treats because that would be too pedestrian for these Food Adventurers.  So we added some peanut butter (one of my three most favorite foods ever) and then dipped them in chocolate.  Happy Lazy Saturday!!

I think they're feeling a little naked...

Hmm, yes, definitely needs something else...

Ooh, chocolate!!

we used semi-sweet and a little bittersweet chocolate chips since the marshmallow is already pretty sweet


Saturday, April 21, 2012


"Every year, millions of monarch butterflies leave their homes in the US and Canada and migrate south to spend their winter in the mountains of Michoacán. The butterflies seek refuge in the oyamel tree, considered a sacred fir native to central Mexico. The forest appears to be draped in gold thanks to the thousands of butterflies covering the trees. Adding to the otherworldly quality of the place is the “shhhhhh” sound from the butterflies flapping their wings to stay warm. The locals welcome back the returning butterflies, which, because they appear about the time of Day of the Dead, they believe bear the spirits of their departed."


This is how Jose Andres named this Mexican tapas-style restaurant, Oyamel, located in the Penn Quarter area of DC.  When you step inside you are surrounded by colorful Mexican art, a canopy of bright yellow and orange flowers, and large butterfly mobiles.   For a second you might imagine yourself sitting under one of those oyamel trees listening to the fluttering of butterfly wings. But then you remember you're hungry and need some tacos! The food is awesome and I love the tapas style because you get to experience so many more things from the menu AND its fun to share too! Here's what we tasted...

yummy chips and fresh salsa with a bottle of fancy sparkling water

Coctel de camaron y jaiba...shrimp and crab ceviche with tomato sauce, avocado, red onions, and tortilla chips. A little spicy kick and a nice crunch from the chips accompanied by the creamy avocado. Divine!

Lengua guisada...braised beef tongue tacos topped with radishes and a pasilla chile sauce with tomatoes, onion, and garlic. The beef tongue was so tender it literally melted in our mouths.

Nopal asado con salsa molcajete...grilled fresh cactus paddles topped with salsa molcajete which is made with tomatoes, tomatillos, green onions, cilantro, and green chiles. It had a very "green" almost grassy flavor that mixed well with the salsa.  The only drawback to this dish is the juice from the cactus leaves can make it a little slimy. After eating about half of it, the sliminess started to turn off this texture eater. But I'm glad I tried it because it was different and it did taste good!

Quesadilla de chicharrones...a quesadilla filled with fried pork belly (straight from the Shenandoah Valley no less!) served with chihuahua cheese and a sauce made from five chiles. Delish!

Chapulines Tacos...anyone have a guess as to what chapulines are??  Grasshoppers!! Yes we ate grasshopper tacos! And they were actually very good! Apparently it is a legendary Oaxacan specialty. Our waiter told us they don't always have this on the regular menu but they will serve it for those customers who know about them to ask for them.  He also said the South American customers order them like crazy!

When we first asked about them, we asked for him to bring us each one taco. He looks at us, a little unsure, and says, "are you sure you don't want me to bring just one for you to try?" Superking and I looked at each other and thought, dude, you don't know these white folks very well, we've eaten testicles.  So we tell him, "bring us each one, lets do this!" He smiles and says, "I like your spirit!" 

can you see the whole grasshopper body trying to escape the taco?

The grasshoppers themselves are naturally very salty and they are marinated in lime juice and tequila, served in some kind of spicy chile sauce with shallots and a layer of creamy guacamole.  There are whole grasshoppers and pieces of grasshoppers...there is no question what you're eating when you see them.  Yes, there was a slight crunchiness but overall they were very tasty.  A very cool food adventure!

cool candle sculpture made of candle wax

The highlight of the meal though, came at the end...churros de San Angel con chocolate caliente...O.M.G. These were a-MA-zing!!  Whats not to like about fried pastry, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, thats served hot and covered in cinnamon and sugar?!?!?  Then to top it all off its served with a dish of hot melted was thick but frothy like a hot milkshake, if thats even possible.  And then you get to dip the churros in the chocolate....absolute heaven. 

best thing ever

I could just drink that right now...

Friday, April 13, 2012


A new look and a new post.  Its not exactly the look I wanted but the templates don't make it easy.  But at least I have a cool new logo designed by none other than the Superking himself!!  I may continue to make a few tweeks over the next few weeks but it is a new look nonetheless.

So my latest food adventure was making duck for the first time for Easter dinner with the family.  We decided to get a whole duck from the Organic Butcher of McLean and asked around for a few tips on the best way to prepare it.

We went for the simplest route...rub it down with some spices and roast it for about two hours while occasionally basting it in its own fatty juices.  This is how I usually do a turkey so I figured it would work for duck too.  And since duck is so much more fatty than turkey, it makes my job even easier.

First we give the duck a bath and pat him dry. (Actually before we gave him a bath we had to take out the innards. Luckily the gizzard was already in a pouch but the neck was still attached.  It was quite the two-person job trying to get that thing out and it was kinda gross too so no pictures of that.)

Then we give him a massage with a mixture of savory spices and herbs.  We used salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and dried basil.  It was very aromatic and made a pretty reddish color on the duck's skin.

Then we gently placed the duck onto the rack of a large roasting pan and into a 375 degree oven for about two hours. Every half hour to forty-five minutes we would baste the duck with its own juices that had dripped into the bottom of the pan.  The recipe we used actually called for basting with butter but we felt that may be too rich. Duck already has a tendency to be a little greasy so adding butter or oil will only accentuate that. However also on the final basting, we did add a light basting of a sweet chili sauce as well.

When the oven timer goes off , we gently removed the duck from the oven and let him rest about 15 minutes.  We actually cooked our duck the day before since our Easter Sunday is so busy with church and family already so as soon as the duck was finished with its little nap, we immediately wrapped him up in a cozy blanket of aluminum foil, snug as a bug in a rug for the night. 

We also harvested the fat juices and crispy bits from the bottom of the pan to be used for another food adventure!

The next day just before serving the duck, we unwrapped him, sliced up the breast meat and served it on a pretty platter along with the legs and wings as well.  We also served it with more of that sweet chili sauce on the side. I was a little worried about cooking it the day before and having it be dried out but it actually turned out to be quite flavorful.  It had a lovely crispy skin, the meat was juicy and rich without being overwhelming, and the chili sauce added a nice touch of sweetness and a little kick of spicy heat. It seemed to be a big hit with the family as well!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A new look...

Its time to update the look of Yumma Yumma.  New ideas are in the works for a logo and a new layout.  If anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

Sometimes change can be scary but fear not, the same great food adventures will still be here for anyone wanting to listen (or read).  We'll just have to wait and see what my computer guru (aka Superking) and I will put together.

When our new look is ready for its debut, I have a very cool food adventure all ready to share with you! Stay tuned...

here's a clue to the next post...anyone know what these are??