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Mushroom burgers, a guest blog from my pal Maddie

26 Feb

A couple of weeks ago, my pal Maddie told me about these amazing mushroom burgers she made for dinner one night.  Given that it is the Lenten season and I have been struggling to find creative non-seafood-and-non-meat-but-still-filling meals for Alex, I begged her for the recipe.  

We DownTownBrowns are vegetable eaters. Not exclusively, mind, but we love some “vegibals” and even our dogs eat them enthusiastically as treats and with meals. Some might say we’re coocoo for cauliflower (I included this joke b/c it sounded like a something my husband would say, and something I would roll my eyes over while wishing I wasn’t laughing.) As it goes then, we don’t mind experimenting with vegetables– hiding them in common dishes and using them to replace meat entirely in others. One of our more recent trials was in making mushroom burgers, and though you’ll see it was a matter of trial and error, they will definitely be a repeat at the DTB household for dinners to come.

The making of mushroom burgers was mildly contentious at the initial concept phase, b/c my husband makes an incredible (no, but seriously) burge

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Test kitchen: Moussaka

20 Dec

As I have previously mentioned, my husband is half Greek.  So, when we first moved in together, I made it a point to try to learn some of classic Greek recipes to impress him (and my now mother-in-law).  I bought this wonderful cookbook called “The Complete Book of Greek Cooking”, which is a compilation of recipes by a group of women from Saint Paul’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral.  Before Alex, I had never even eaten a Greek meal besides the occasional gyro.  So testing out some of these foreign recipes was very daunting.

I might not be Greek, and cooking these dishes might not come naturally to me, but I do feel like I make a pretty darn good Moussaka. I’ve tested the recipe many times and even put my own twist on the classic Greek eggplant lasagna.

I passed along this recipe to my boss, and this week’s guest blogger, Jeff.  Read his tale behind testing out this recipe below.

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Southern delights, a guest blog from my pal Maddie

8 Nov

So, Kathy and I grew up together in college when we were randomly paired as roommates our freshman year. Coming from southwest Virginia (the same distance from DC as Pittsburgh so, no, I didn’t grow up near your family friends in Fairfax—seemingly the only place people think of when they hear about the state). I suppose I was somewhat of a southern novelty to all of our other girl friends who were from in and around PA somewhere. Being deemed as such allowed me to enhance my southern accent and discuss my hometown as if no one was educated past the 5th grade, be damned if we wore shoes anywhere, and Budweisers were passed around to infants getting perms as well as used as a local currency. And that’s funny material, especially on a drinking night.

But truly and honestly, coming from the south afforded me a certain number of skills that many of my other lady peers (aside from Kathy) didn’t have at the ripe age of 17/18, and cooking was one of those. So I was happy to fill an Aunt Jemima type role, because I had trouble trusting that other folks wouldn’t just make some sort of casserole from a blend of ramen noodles, pop tart crusts and ketchup. The southern cooking I’d grown up with hadn’t been fancy, so it was simple to cook and pleased easily. Biscuits and gravy carried Kathy and I through many years, from weekends that started after rough nights in the Southside to homesick evenings when we lived in Italy.

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