Friday, August 26, 2011

Parmesan and Prosciutto PInwheels

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed and cut into two rectangles
4 slices prosciutto
2 Tbsp. basil leaves, thinly sliced
1/2C finely grated parmesan cheese
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water (glaze)

Place two prosciutto slices on each of the rectangles, sprinkle each with half the basil and cheese, leaving a ½-inch border along one side.  Brush the ½-inch borders with egg glaze and starting at the long side opposite the border, roll up the pastries jelly-roll style, pressing gently to seal the long edges.  Wrap rolls in plastic wrap and chill 1 – 2 hours or until firm. 

Preheat oven to 400F.  Cut logs crosswise into ½-inc thick rounds.  Arrange on a cookie sheet and bake until golden brown on the bottom, about 8 minutes.  Turn over and bake until brown on the other side – about 8 minutes.

Using a metal spatula, transfer pastries to a platter.  Serve warm.
MAKES:  30 slices

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Washington, D.C.

May, 2011
As it had been several years since I visited Washington D.C. I decided it was time to go again this year.  There is so much to do and see there!!!   I stayed at Adams Inn near the Woodley Park Zoo ( where I have stayed before.  It is very conveniently located near Dupont Circle, on a quaint street and quite charming.  Before I left I looked online at the various museums and decided what I wanted to see and where I wanted to go.  I made all my lunch and dinner reservations through Open Table so was very well prepared when I arrived.

Some of the museums I visited were the Renwick Gallery, the American Art Museum (  where they had some Alexander Calder portraits on display and the American History Museum to see the first ladies’ dresses and the kitchen of Julia Child.  I also visited some new museums I was unfamiliar with but would highly recommend.  I loved the underground Museum of African History, all the more as I had just been to the Fowler Museum in Los Angeles where they were exhibiting wooden masks and arts from Nigeria.  I spent two days in the new National Museum of Crime and Punishment ( which is open until 8:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights when all other museums are closed!!!  There are 4 – 5 floors filled with Bonnie and Clydes’ bullet hole riddled car, information about the Salem witch hunts, unsolved crimes, etc.  Really fascinating.  There is also a National Pinball Museum ( which I didn’t visit.

The only “museum” I booked ahead was the Ford Theater and the One Destiny play.  It has always been under renovation whenever I have been to Washington D.C. and I didn’t want to miss it this time.  The museum tells the story of Lincoln’s life up until he was assassinated in that very building with some of his keepsakes and the top hat he wore.  The One Destiny play is well worth seeing as it is a “what if” type play which goes over the events of the day Lincoln was assassinated and how his death might have been avoided if more people were paying attention….

One day I spent walking the monuments which takes about 3 hours.  I started at the Washington Monument which you can go up to the top of if you like, on to the Lincoln Memorial from where you can usually see the Washington Monument reflected in the pond.  However, the pond is under construction so it is not filled with water at this time.  On around to the FDR /Eleanor Roosevelt memorials with bronze figures of the president in his wheel chair and men standing in line for jobs and then to the impressive Jefferson Memorial with Jefferson standing bigger than life in the center.  I stopped by the Korea and Vietnam Memorials on my way back but it would surely save time to stop and see them before the Lincoln memorial.  After all that walking the Hirshhorn Sculpture Gardens ( is a good place for a rest!!!

I decided to go to Mt. Vernon during the week as the weekends are generally very crowded.  I took the yellow line metro to Huntington Station and then caught the Fairfax connector bus #101 to Mt. Vernon which dropped me off at the entrance.  It is enchanting to visit George and Martha Washington’s home and imagine them living there.  Wandering around the grounds, gardens and slave quarters is leisurely and enjoyable and a visit to the museum gives insight into their lives.

Georgetown is another great place to wander around, especially along the canals when the weather is fine.  On the way you can visit the Old Stone House at 3051 M Street.  It is the oldest standing building in the city and is a simple dwelling built and inhabited by common folk.

The Dumbarton House (, an historic house museum filled with Federal period furniture gives one a look into life in Georgetown.  The Tudor Historic House ( nearby, built in 1816, is also worth a visit.  It was originally owned by Martha Custis Peter, the granddaughter of Martha Washington and its grounds are lovely.  It houses silver, ceramics, furniture, etc. from the period 1750 – 1983 as well as the 1919 Pierce Arrow owned by Armistead Peter III.  You can also stroll in Dumbarton Oaks and as well as visit the private Phillips Collection of art (, both of which I will do on my next visit!

Overall I was well pleased with my choice of restaurants.  I had a delicious sesame seared tuna/pastrami cured salmon/Napa cabbage slaw crudo plate at Ris Restaurant ( on L Street; Asian chicken salad with cabbage, noodles and peppers/Chilean sea bass with short ribs and yuzu sauce at Oya ( on 9th Street;  cooked greens, lentil puree and olive salad with whole pistachios/shrimp with mustard sauce/Turkish chocolate cake with caramel sesame seeds at Zaytinya ( on 9th Street and beet salad with carrots and goat cheese/coconut rice and salmon with black sesame seeds at Corduroy ( on 9th street.

I enjoyed Sunday dim sum brunch composed of shrimp with squash puree/scallops with cauliflower puree/lamb plantain empanadas, cauliflower quinoa “couscous” at CafĂ© Atlantico ( on 8th Street; the “blue plate special” composed of grilled asparagus spears/baby artichoke hearts on potato puree/cold melon soup/succotash of fava beans, peppers, corn, etc. and warm Georgian pecan pie at Vidalia ( on M Street and a very expensive prix fixe dinner at Citronelle (  also on M Street.  I spent about 3 hours savoring an oyster shooter/split pea soup “coteccino”/tempura soft shell crab with tahini/halibut w/lobster broth/lobster burger w/homemade potato chips/rack of lamb with fava, black and white beans/short ribs with peppercorn sauce/cheese platter/ “lemon meringue pie”/chocolate crunch bar and petits fours – Whew!!!  One of my favorite restaurants is Komi but I couldn’t get a reservation this time. 

All is all, I think it is always good to leave a city knowing there are still a few things left undone!!!