German Potato Salad

German potato salad is extraordinarily nostalgic for me. Growing up, my Oma and Opa would always have german potato salad at Christmas Eve dinner, along with German weiners, bratwurst, and herring salad. When I moved away to DC, I, of course, needed to take the recipe with me. This salad is sweet, vinegary, and finger-licking good. NomNomNom

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Review – Tout de Sweet

I have been neglectful! It’s been very hectic at work and as a result, I didn’t have a post ready to go out on Sunday (or today for that matter, so I’m writing this rather quickly – excuse grammatical mistakes please!) This weekend I went to visit one of my best friends in Bethesda and was overjoyed to discover Tout de Sweet has completed their renovations! Naturally, I knew this needed to be my next review.

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Tout de Sweet has the most remarkable macarons, a dessert that I have never even attempted to replicate as a result of the difficulty they present. Ah, those temperamental French desserts… Needless to say, the macarons at Tout de Sweet are the perfect balance of flavors:

Not too sweet, check

Creative combinations, check

Beautiful colors, double check

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I highly recommend sampling all of the macarons, but the picture above are all my favorites (except they didn’t have Pistachio that day *sadface*) From left to right above we have: 3 green tea lychee macarons, 3 rose macarons, 4 Fleur de Sel caramel macarons, 1 vanilla bean macaron, and 1 pumpkin spice macaron.

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I have an obsession with salted caramel, so the Fleur de Sel Caramel are my all time favorite. The macarons here are the perfect texture. It’s very difficult to explain, but a macaron should be chewy and crunchy with a smooth, icing-textured center.

Don’t go to Tout de Sweet just for the macarons though! They have AMAZING cakes and very good drinks too. I got a green tea latte to pair with my sweets.

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My companions enjoyed espresso, hot chocolate, and a pumpkin spice steamer (which is basically hot milk flavored with pumpkin, pretty delicious). They also got a Pumpkin Dome and a Raspberry Macaron (all pictured below). Overall, great experience.

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Raspberry Macaron

Pros

  1. Delicious Desserts – The desserts here are wonderful, creative, and perfectly sized for a decadent afternoon tea. I love that they are in the French style, so it’s not overly sweet and everything is packed with a complex harmony of flavors.
  2. Friendly Staff –  The staff here is always friendly and helpful, willing to offer recommendations and patient when it takes you 15 minutes to decide what you want (like it always does for me).
  3. Atmosphere – They just redid the inside of this place. Although it was already really nice, the improvements have really helped open up the space. It’s very modern, and they even have a great patio, a rarity in Bethesda.

Cons

  1. Price – This place isn’t cheap, but it is completely worth it! If you think about how they make these desserts fresh everyday, you can see how the price is justified. However, macarons will cost you $1.15/piece and desserts will be around $5-6/piece. Buy the macarons in sets of 6 or 12; it’s cheaper.
  2. Staff Knowledge – As this place is rapidly expanding, the staff seems relatively new every time I’m in here. Honestly, I don’t really mind because they are so kind, patient, and willing to be flexible about my demands (I’m a difficult customer). However, I asked for a green tea latte, something I’ve had here before, and they had no clue what I was talking about. Obviously we eventually worked it out, but it took some explaining. The drink was still delicious though!
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Pumpkin Dome

Garlic Bread

Garlic Bread is one of those things that just baffle me. As a young girl, I, as every other average American, enjoyed Texas Toast and the garlic bread loaves you can buy relatively cheaply in any grocery store. Tasty, buttery, garlicky goodness that all u have to do is throw it in the oven. I thought this was genius and the best I could get short of going to a really good Italian restaurant.

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Don’t buy this stuff, it’s bad for you.

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Grilling over Labor Day

Because I am an over-zealous, force to be reckoned with of a woman, I convinced my friend from Jake the Foodie to host a labor day cookout just so I could use his grill. Jake says this isn’t entirely accurate; there may be some hyperbole involved… Either way, I’m fortunate enough to have a friend that is extremely forgiving and has chosen to overlook my horrendous social faux-pas (they really aren’t that rare). So, on Sunday I packed up almost everything in my kitchen and went to his house to cook.

I have to apologize for the lack of pictures, but I was thoroughly distracted for the entire day. We did, however, have a wonderful BBQ. Here’s the menu:

German Potato Salad (UPDATE: Potato Salad Recipe)

BBQ chicken, with homemade BBQ sauce (I will eventually give you my BBQ recipe; but as it’s different every time, give me a few months to get the recipe right first)

Aidell’s chicken and apple sausages with beer-carmelized onions

Grilled corn and peppers

Rice (haha, of course, my fiancee couldn’t go a single day without rice)

Matcha cheese cake (Jake’s creation, check out the post here.)

Brownies (I’ll post about these eventually, I’m sure… possibly next time I bake them)

Peach Cobbler with Ginger (UPDATE: Pie recipe)

We also consumed large amounts of Sake provided by yours truly, and Corona. The Sake was Kuromatsu Hakushika Junmai Ginjo, which is a 900 ML carton you can buy at H mart. Yes, it comes in a carton like milk, but I promise you it’s high quality sake. Everyone said it smells like iced cupcakes, nomms.

Essentially the day was a fantastic fete of eating, drinking, and playing cards against humanity in the greatest of company for 5+ hours. It was an absolute blast, and I hope all of you enjoyed your holiday weekend as much as I did!

Review – The Smitten Kitchen Lemon Bars

So I know I entitled this article “Review”, but it’s not exactly a review. Why, you ask? Well, I have to be honest, my lemon bars didn’t come out as good as I expected, but I can’t blame that on Smitten Kitchen (who is a major cooking inspiration and a favorite recipe-provider of mine). You see, I may have not so accidentally, not exactly read the recipe…

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