Dinner June 1, 2013

IMG_4819IMG_4777IMG_4821IMG_4800 Lovely guests on Saturday night gathered to celebrate a friends engagement.  They were a pleasure, fabulous wine pairings by Tom, so many great ingredients makes cooking super fun– all good!


Flat Iron and Broccoli Rabe, Porcini with Leeks, Chicken Thigh on Cabbage with Preserved Lemon and Olive (Red Lentil for Vegetarians), Soft Shell with Sorrel and Avocado (Sweet Potato for Vegetarians), Scallop and Rhubarb on Cucumber and Mustard (Giant Lima Bean for Vegetarians), Beet Noodle with Black Walnut

Lemon Verbena Vodka Cocktail, (Delaunay) Touraine ROSE 'Cabotieres' 2012


Asparagus, Ramps and Morels with Arugula and Radish– Corn Meal Bread

(Dutheil) Chinon 'Les Gravieres' 2012

Fava Beans, Baby Artichoke, Black Rice, Green Onion, Celery, Parsley and Basil– Spelt and Oregano Bread

(Frabcois Cazin) Cour-Cheverny 2009

Halibut with French Summer Truffles, Mashed Potatoes and Baby Collard Greens (Poached Egg for Vegetarians)– Buckwheat Bread

(Bart) Bourgogne, Marsanney 2011

Moses Sleeper Cheese and Walnut Cracker

Chocolate Cake with Frozen Chocolate, Coconut Cream, Local Strawberries and Pistachios

(Champalou) Vouvray NV

Bites: Tiny Carrot Cakes, Popcorn Cookies, Lychee Nuts

Give Away: Chocolate Chip Sesame Cookies

Weekend Home Restaurants

home Photo Kate Headley

We hosted two open Home Restaurants last weekend.  Great guests, lots of fun and such a fabulous variety of spring ingredients.  We had a few vegans join us, the ingredients in the parenthesis were for them.

For those of you who joined us thank you and hope to see you again very soon!


Scallop Rhubard Chervil (Giant Lima Bean), Soft Shell Sorrel Avocado (Sweet Potato), Flat Iron Horse Radish (Shiitake), Asparagus with Leek, Raw Beet Noodles Johnny Jump Ups Walnuts, Egg Bacon Chives Cabbage (Polenta)

(Gerard Boulay) Sancerre ROSE 2012/ Lemon Balm Vodka Cocktail 


Fava Bean, Arugula, Artichoke, Fennel, Preserved Lemons, Green Olives, Parsley

(Dominique Piron) Morgon Cotes du Py 2010 

Ramps, Fiddlehead, Bamboo, Sesame Seeds, Black Rice, Vietnamese Cilantro, Ginger, Baby Collard Greens

(Grange Tiphaine) Montlouis "Clef de Sol" Blanc 2011 

Wood Grilled Chicken Thigh, Morels, Rapini, Basil Olive Oil Mash Potatoes (Quinoa, Red Lentils)

(Prudhon) St. Aubin Rouge 1er "Les Frionnes" 2009 

Oma Cheese and Walnut Cracker

Strawberry Frangipane Tart, Frozen Lavender and Lemon Balm

(Pierre Paillard) Brut Champagne Bouzy Grand Cru NV 

Home Restaurant Saturday September 15, 2012

We were thrilled that old friends chose to bring new friends with them last night to celebrate two birthdays here at 1508.  Fabulous group and so fun to cook with the many local firsts of the season– chanterelles, chestnuts, shallots, cranberry beans...

Dinner last night:


Wood Grilled Quail and Parsley,  Flat Iron Steak on Sweet Potato with Mustard, White Peach with Tomato and Basil, Brussel Sprout with Ginger and Sesame, Corn with Lime and Salt, Salmon Cake on Cucumber with Chive

Lemon Balm Vodka Martini


Lamb Sausage with Fig, Arugula, Chestnut, Balsamic and Roasted Garlic

(Belregard Figeac) St. Emilion Grand Cru 2006

Spaghetti Squash with Shallot, Cranberry Beans, Tiny Eggplant, Sweet Red Pepper, Zucchini, Calaloo and Chanterelle

(Cheveau) Pouilly-Fuisse "Trois Terroirs" 2010

Rockfish with Leek, Basil Mashed Potato, Kale, Green Tomato and Sorrel

(Pillot) Bourgogne Rouge 'Les Grands Terres' 2008

Consider Bardwell Pawlet Cheese with Olive Oil Cracker

Honeycrisp Apple and Black Walnut Crumble with Frozen Path Valley Honey

(Domaine Leon Boesch) Cremant Brut Zero 2009

Dessert Bites: Chocolate Cake with Fresh Mint, Chocolate and Pistachio Biscotti, Vanilla Shortbread, Chocolate Chip Cookie

Take Away: White Hydrangea Bouquet


Sweet Potato and Apple Crumble at Big Bear Cafe

John is spending his days and nights cooking lunch and dinner over at Big Bear Cafe, delicious!  A couple days ago he asked for help coming up with a new dessert recipe using Path Valley Orange Heirloom Sweet Potatoes.

This is what we came up with–

Sweet Potato, Apple Crumble FILLING– 6 cups sweet potatoes sliced thin (about 1/8 inch) 6 cups apples sliced (about 1/4 inch) – we used a variety of just harvested heirloom apples from Reid's Orchard 1 cup brown sugarmix thoroughly and place in a baking dish (approximately 9" x 13") or individual ramekinsTOPPING- 1 1/2 c oatmeal 3/4 cup ground walnut 3/4 cup chopped walnuts 3/4 cup coconut flakes 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon soy or almond milk 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil 1 tablespoon very finely chopped fresh ginger 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 1/2 tablespoons honey 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar 3/4 teaspoon salt

mix thoroughly and top the apples and sweet potatoes

bake in 350 degree oven for 50 minutes, or until golden brown and sides are caramelized

Serve with creme fraiche and some slices of fresh apples

1508 Figs Are Here!

For the last week our trees have been producing lots of figs!  They are here earlier than ever this year, we used to harvest them the late August/ early September, the last several years they have arrived mid-August.  Hopefully we will have them for the next few weeks.

We are eating lots of figs and using them at Home Restaurants– on Wednesday we plan to serve them with Lamb Sausage and for dessert with a Pistachio Torte and a Chocolate Sorbet.  Most are going to John at Big Bear Cafe– tonight on the menu there is a Purslane, Black Walnut and Fig Salad and for dessert a Chocolate Cake with Figs.

Cooking this Morning, Preparing Big Bear Cafe Farmers Market Lunch















John called a little after 6:00 this morning from Big Bear Cafe, his scheduled kitchen help could not make it because he was caring for his sick child.  I went in for a couple hours and helped him finish up some baking and to put together the salads for todays Farmers Market Lunch.  Happy to help and as a bonus I enjoyed a couple outstanding coffees while I worked!

On Sunday mornings there is a gem of a farmers market in Bloomingdale right in front of Big Bear Cafe– great selection of produce, outstanding fruit as well as offerings of meat and poultry, very low key and a joy to shop at and now there is lunch.   A few weeks ago John started offering a Sunday Farmers Market Lunch.

Some of what I made this morning:

Small Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Mint and Purslane; Corn, Kohlrabi, Italian Parsley and Cauliflower; Giant White Lima Beans with Olive Oil and Basil; Beets, Kale and something else I can't remember (but it tastes really good!), Chocolate Chocolate Cake, Buttermilk Cake with Blueberries, Red Gooseberry and White Peach Crumble...

Still in the oven– Pork Loin, Turkey Breast, Eggs with Mashed Potatoes and Sorrel, Whole Grain Bread...  If you are in town today check it out or put it on the list for a Sunday in the near future.

Dinner at Big Bear

Have you eaten dinner at Big Bear yet?  You should,  John is cooking every night. Food is fabulous, lovely spot at the corner of 1st and R...Martin-Lane and I have been dining there often during the last month since he took over the kitchen.

Menu changes everyday based on best available ingredients.  Sourcing from all of our favorites– Path Valley Cooperative, Reid's Orchard, Garner's Produce, Prime Seafood, Potomac Selections... you can make a reservation at, bigbearcafe.reservations@gmail.com.

Last nights menu–


Roasted Almonds with Rosemary   $3

Assorted Marinated Olives   $3


Cauliflower Soup with Sweet Onion Salad   $6

Shiitake and Crimini Mushrooms with Black Walnut Salad on Green Beans   $7

Pee Wee Egg on Kohlrabi and Lamb's Quarters   $8

Roasted Quail with Bull's Blood Beets and Tops   $9


Rockfish with Fennel, Carrot, Bok Choi and Soft Polenta, Preserved Lemon   $19

English Peas, Baby Squash and Lamb's Quarters in Green Tomato Sauce with Salad of Small Mixed Tomatoes, Olives, Barley and Sorrel   $13

Roasted Chicken Leg with Basil Mashed Potatoes, Fava Beans, Spring Onion and Beet Greens   $16

Meat Loaf with Black-Eyed Peas, Broccoli, Snow Peas, Grilled Onions and Roasted Tomato Sauce   $16


Basil Mashed Potatoes   $5

Tomatoes and Basil   $5

Soft Polenta with Fennel, Carrot and Bok Choi   $5

CHEESE COURSE   One/Two/Three   $6/$9/$12

Mrs. Kirkham's Tasty Lancashire, Raw Cow's Milk, Beesley Farm, Preston England

Coolea Gouda, Pasteurized Cow's Milk, Willems' Family Farm, Cork County Ireland

Stichelton Blue, Raw Stilton Style, Collingthwaite Farm, Nottinghamshire England


Chocolate Cake with Fresh Sour Cherries and Sour Cherry Coulis   $6

Gooseberry and Rhubarb Walnut Crumble with Whipped Cream   $6

Buttermilk Cake with Red and Black Currants and Creme Fraiche   $6

Crops that thrive in the heat– Burgundy Okra, Shishito Peppers, Red Amaranth

Early last week we pulled up the last of the arugula, peas and red oakleaf lettuce knowing they would not survive the heat.  In their place we planted seeds– Burgundy Okra from Seed Savers Exchange, Shishito Peppers and Red Amaranth seeds both from Kitazawa Seed Co..  Seven days later all have sprouted, we should be eating okra and shishito peppers by early August and amaranth sprouts in a week.

Friends for Dinner Friday June 22

Six of us had dinner at our house on Friday night– it was hot outside we dined under a ceiling fan– I cooked nearly everything on the outdoor wood burning grill to keep the inside temperature down– grabbed ingredients at the Penn Quarter Farmers market in about 5 minutes and later figured out what went with what– lots of small dishes driven by the herbs in my garden and ingredients– so much good food to choose from this time of year including first corn okra and apricots of the season– had food on the table when friends arrived so there would be no jumping up and down just a relaxed visit... For me, a perfect summer night!

Dinner: Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms, Tomato with Peach and Basil, Corn with Leek Sorrel and Okra, Giant White Lima Beans with Green Tomatoes and Garlic Chives, Baby Collards with New Potato and Rosemary, Rhubarb Ketchup,  Small Cucumbers with Salad Burnet and Mint, Eggplant with Beets Beet Greens and Onion, Maiitake Mushrooms, Spelt Bread

Dessert: Macadamia Coconut Macaroons, Tiny Lavender Cakes with Rose and Pistachio, Gooseberries, Black Raspberries, Watermelon, Apricot, Coconut Cream, Bittersweet Chocolate

(Tissot) Cremant du Jura Brut, (Henri Jouan) Bourgogne Pase-Tout-Grain 2009

Home Restaurant March 22, 2012

Photo Kate Headley

Last night we hosted a dinner for an old friend of ours and his colleagues who were in town from all over the world...  Fabulous to have so many just available spring ingredients– shad roe, fiddelhead ferns, pea shoots, rhubarb... As per our hosts request served all American wines–


Scrambled Egg and Bacon, Shad Roe with Sorrel, Grilled Guinea Hen with Leek and Mustard, Roasted and Pureed Potato with Oregon Truffle, Watermelon Radish with Parsley, Baby Beets and Balsamic, Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Ginger

(Arnot-Roberts) Rose of Touriga Nacional 2011, Bay and Lemon Vodka Martini


Roasted Rockfish with Lemon Grass, Carrot, Salsify and Spinach– Sesame Roll

(Porter Creek) Pinot Noir Russian River 2009 

Fiddle Fead Ferns, Black Trumpet Mushroom with Celery, Celery Root and Fennel Salad– Spelt Olive Oil Bread

(Illahe Vineyards) Pinot Gris Willamette 2010 

Beef Short Ribs with Pea Shoots and Black Walnut, Turnip Gratin– 48 Hour Bread

(Porter Creek) Carignan "Old Vines" Mendocino 2009  

Winnimere Cheese, Walnut Cracker

Ginger Bread with Frozen Vanilla, Rhubarb and Candied Pecans

(Red Newt Cellars) Finger Lakes Riesling Semi Dry 2010

Cookies: Chocolate Cake, Coconut Almond, Rosemary Cornmeal, Chocolate Macadamia Biscotti

Take Home: Salty Rosemary Walnut Biscotti

Edible Forest Gardening

Until a couple of weeks ago I had never heard of an "Edible Forest"–

Edible forest gardening is the art and science of putting plants together in woodlandlike patterns that forge mutually beneficial relationships, creating a garden ecosystem that is more than the sum of its parts. You can grow fruits, nuts, vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, other useful plants, and animals in a way that mimics natural ecosystems. You can create a beautiful, diverse, high-yield garden. If designed with care and deep understanding of ecosystem function, you can also design a garden that is largely self-maintaining. In many of the world's temperate-climate regions, your garden would soon start reverting to forest if you were to stop managing it. We humans work hard to hold back succession—mowing, weeding, plowing, and spraying. If the successional process were the wind, we would be constantly motoring against it. Why not put up a sail and glide along with the land's natural tendency to grow trees? By mimicking the structure and function of forest ecosystems we can gain a number of benefits.

Anyone with a patch of land can grow a forest garden. They've been created in small urban yards and large parks, on suburban lots, and in small plots of rural farms. The smallest we have seen was a 30 by 50 foot (9 by 15 m) embankment behind an urban housing project, and smaller versions are definitely possible. ....


We were approached about helping to create an "Edible Forest"  on a strip of land currently covered in concrete near our house across the street from a school...  Immediately we began to imagine fig trees, chestnut trees, mushrooms, herbs and frogs...  Hopefully we will be reporting some progress soon.

Note from Path Valley Coooperative

Anyone who has eaten at a Home Restaurant or knows me at all has heard me rave about Path Valley.  Just after they were formed, nearly two decades ago,  we connected with the cooperative of Amish farmers and they have been our primary source for produce ever since. Yesterday with the weeks order list we got a note:

Yay!  It is March and the weather is being predictable for once.  The winds are perfect for kite flying and the kids have been really busy running around "catching the breeze" and "adding more tail" and generally enjoying the weather.  Spring has never seemed so welcome.
All of the growers have been busy placing seed orders and tilling and preparing for a busy growing season.   Month after month we do more business than ever and with the increase in business comes an increase in WORK and we are all ready to work.
All of us are super appreciative of being able to grow produce at home.  This keeps families at home, specifically, it keeps the guys at home.
This is far preferable than working out as a day laborer or at the local pallet shop.  There is a strong current of gratitude that I don't often mention and yet it is a fact that we all appreciate growing produce for you and engaging in such grounding and rewarding labor.
Thank you for supporting our family farms.

Home Restaurant March 3, 2012

Photo Kate Headley













At open Home Restaurants it is a joy to bring people together to share a meal and enjoy conversation with other guests they have just met.  Consistently we have found that guests who choose to dine with us are open to the experience and make fast friends with the other diners.  Last night was no exception, conversation was steady, intense and animated.  When guests left many exchanged contact information and I guess that many conversations will continue long past the duration of the dinner– We had a good night!  Thanks to everyone who joined us last night.


White Sturgeon Caviar, Sweet Potato/ Celery, Celery Root, Celery Seed/ Shad Roe, Sorrel/ Flat Iron, Caramelized Onion/ Oregon Black Truffle, Potato/ Parsnip, Fermented Grains, Chives/ Radish, Parsley, Sesame

(Ch. L'Eperonniere) Rose de Loire 2010Bay Leaf Lemon Vodka Cocktail


Guinea Hen, Dashi, Leek, Carrot, Giant White Lima Beams, Crinkle Cress– 48 Hour Farm Bread  (La Sauvageonne) Coteaux du Languedoc "Les Ruffes" 2009

Black Trumpet Mushrooms, Pickled Baby Turnip, Pickled Baby Beet, Black Rice, Pea Shoots, Black Walnuts– Spelt Olive Oil Bread  (Thevenet) St. Veran 'Clos de l'Ermitage' V.V. 2009

Rockfish, Salsify, Scorzonera, Rhubarb, Baby Kale– Cornmeal Herb Roll  (Jean Marc Pillot) Bourgogne Rouge 'Les Grands Terres' 2008

Rush Creek Reserve Cheese and Cracker

Sauterne Olive Oil Cake, Mandarin Oranges, Frozen Sesame and Dates  (Eudald) 'Familia' Brut Cava NV

Cookies: Black Tea Savi Seed Oatmeal Crisps, Cornmeal Rosemary Walnut Drops, Chocolate Cake with Hickory Nuts and Coconut, Salty Macadamia Nut Chocolate Biscotti

Take Home: Chocolate, Fig and Red Walnut Bread