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How to Eat Ethiopian Food and Still Remain Friends with Your Dinner Party.

30 Oct

This is what an Ethiopian dinner for 5 looks like.

Let’s take a step back to explain how this spectacular food delight above was formed.

It all started with good old serendipity. I had a work opportunity arise in Washington DC. Some of my favorite cousins happen to live in DC. The Bro and Sis in Law were driving up from Miami to Boston and just happened to be planning a night’s stay in DC. And this was happening all on the same weekend. Never one to ignore the universe when it throws awesome right in my face, I turned a three day work trip into a 5 day long Rulli DC extravaganza!! And because we are Rullis, most of this extravaganza focused on eating awesome and eating awesome often.

And now let’s jump ahead to a Saturday afternoon where we all found ourselves exploring the Washington DC Ethiopian food scene. Fun fact - Washington D.C. is home to the largest Ethiopian community in the country. So, obviously, we were expecting some pretty kick butt Ethiopian food. One veggie sampler, one meat platter and one order of extra injera later – our whole group was quite happy.

- – - So here are three things to know about Ethiopian food - – - 

1) Injera is the star – All of the food is served on a huge slab on injera. You eat with injera. And every meal is all about the injera. So what’s injera? This Ethiopian bread star has the consistency of a pancake or crepe. For an authentic injera recipe, check out burakaeyae.

1.b.) But what separates real in injera from the wannabes is teff. Original teff is made from 100% teff and touts all the super healthy teff benefits as well. Three quick Teff facts: 1) It’s the smallest grain in the world. 2) It has more fiber and nutrition germ than any other grain. 3) It also goes by the name love grass, which is awesome.

1.c.) Extra injera is served at each table and used as the meal’s utensils. This injera comes rolled in a long, floppy shape that is the consistency of a condensed crepe. Let your dirty mind run a bit and just accept my warning that everyone reaching for the injera basket at the same time can get a little awk.

2) It’s all finger food – No utensils, chopsticks or sporks… the only thing separating the tasty mess in front of you from your fingers is thin injera bread. I once read that you can always tell a true Ethiopian because their fingers remain clean after a meal eating with injera… Let’s just say I definitely needed the complimentary wet wipe.

2.b.) I recommend your first Ethiopian food experience be with family or close friends… clean family and close friends.

3) Let your waiter be in charge – The most fun we had was sampling everything. Every taste was new, every texture a surprise, and every pile of food a different adventure. I highly recommend asking for both a vegetarian and meat sampler, and then sharing it all!

Wanna try some Ethiopian food in your city? Check out EthiopianRestaurant.com

Have you ever had Ethiopian food before? What dishes do you recommend??

My New Big Red Rain Coat!!

23 Oct

There are few things as glorious as functional clothing on a rainy day… especially when that clothing is equal parts functional and fabulous!

Me in Big Red!!

The only blemish on an otherwise perfect NYC getaway… rain. And by rain, I mean downpour. High winds. and Slosh. But the real kicker? I was booking it to interviews (where I had to look good it should be noted) in the midst of this city storm. So what’s a fashionable gal to do when she is stuck in a down pour without cute rain gear? Why, make a quick shopping pit stop of course!

Post an interview at 30 rock, I rushed into Anthropologie (conveniently located inside the building… they were making it way too easy) and rummaged through the sale rack. And bam… I met my rain coat soul mate: BIg Red.

My new find also introduced me to a new company: Daughters of the Revolution - a family business committed to sustainable design. Double awesome.

Can we also note the boots?? My other rain fashion obsession: Aquatalia boots – totally weather proof. I was slushing through puddles half a foot deep in these puppies and my feet stayed dry, warm and happy. LOVE.

Front View!

And the Back!

Staying Dry In My New Big Red Raincoat!

Annnnnnd this is what really happens when you try to take pics of your new Big Red Raincoat during a rain storm…

This is what excitement looks like.

19 Oct

Boarding passes #1 and #2… this is what excitement looks like.

As if  my food planning post from yesterday left anyone with doubts… the above pic says it all. Yes, I am excited. That’s right, Mama Rullz and I got to the bus station an hour early with coffee in hand to solidify or spots as #1 and #2 for boarding. (No need to mention that the bus was only half full…)

These tickets are my proudest accomplishment from the past 24 hours.

It should be noted that once on the bus, Mama Rullz slipped on her Bus Police hat and spent the first two hours making sure the bus driver stayed awake and that the isles were clear.

People who are not #1 or #2… waiting behind #1 and #2

Watch out NYC… Mama Rullz and Magz are on our way.

My NYC Eating Schedule.

18 Oct

Prepping for my “business” trip to NYC this week… so obviously I am checking out all the latest restaurants I want to try and food I want to eat.

I’ve got a pretty busy eating weekend…

On My Must Eat Here Or Else I Will Cry List:

Pure Food and Wine – Their  thin mint sundae is my death row meal. For reals… if I only had one meal left on this planent earth, that creamy thin mint deliciousness would be it. (Andrea over at Food Embrace totally backs me up on this one).  And the real kicker – it’s all raw vegan. Everything. The whole menu. All the rich cheesecakes, decadent chocolate, chewy cookies, silky puddings, crispy bars… all organic, natural, vegan, real food, etc, etc. But the extra real kicker – I would still eat here even if the food wasn’t healthy. They’re desserts are some of the best desserts I have ever had. Period. (and contrary to this paragraph, they do have other food and this food is amazing. But they’re desserts? A MUST EAT OR CRY. And one last kicker – the ambiance. An amazing outdoor patio and a super cool (read not earthy, crunchy) indoors makes Pure Food a perfect recommend.

Did I mention it’s served in a Martini glass?? Perfection.

GOBO – One of the best veggie burgers I’ve ever had. It’s only on their lunch menu, but never fear… if you ask, they will normally make it for you for dinner as well. And make sure you order extra sauce to dip the sweet potato (yes, sweet potato) fries in – amazing.

On I Think This Could Become My New Obsession List:

Lula’s Sweet Apothecary – It’s a whole smorgasbord of vegan ice cream and desserts… but the real reason I am so pumped to check this place out is the following list: Cinnamon, Vanilla, Coffee, Chocolate, MintChip, Strawberry, Pumpkin, Cookies’nCream, Banana, RosewaterPistachio, PeanutButterChip, ChocolateChocolateChip. SoftServe: CakeBatter. That’s their list of current ice cream flavors according to Lula’s facebook page. Yes Please. Annnnnd the veganbackpacker claims to have sampled every flavor… so I have high expectations.

Ahhhhh this looks so amazing… cannot wait to sample everything on this menu

Organic Avenue – They’ve got about a bajillion locations all over Manhattan now, and their menu (of both juice and just plain healthy, tasty food) makes it obvious why. I cannot wait to get me my juice on!!

It’s like a rainbow… that you can eat.

On my Place I Still Desperately Need to Check Out List:

 Momofuku – I know I know… I have still not been to the Momofuku lucky peach empire. Although I would one day love to dine in the legendary ko… I’m thinking it’s $125 a person price tag is a little out of my current price range. I’m leaning towards the more casual ma peche . Or let’s be honest… I’ll probs go straight to dessert and hit up Momofuku’s Milk Bar. The Compost Cookie and Cereal Milk soft serve sound UNREAL.

Please.

Spotted Pig – The reviews on this place our awesome… it reads just like the type of well loved, foodie centric place I love. They also have ‘little piggy dinners’. Please.

The Spotted Pig Mascot!

The Little Owl – Another foodie’s delight… and also named after an animal. It’s a win win.

ABC Kitchen – local , organic, sustainable… and it’s inside a furniture store. Sold.

I mean, if you’re going to put you’re restaurant inside a furniture store, you better have some kick butt furniture.

And I would be lying if I said that was all… It was just all I could fit into one post for the night. I am still trekking through some of my go to food blogs (I’m shouting out to you Eater , Daily Candy, and Tasting Table), and I am still happily accepting recommends!! :)

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