Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Lebanese Taverna: Tysons Galleria

When my uncle was in town the other weekend we met up for dinner at the Lebanese Taverna. A couple weeks ago I went to the reopening party for the location in DC so I was pretty pumped to be sitting down and eating. 

There serve all meals with some bread like thing and olive oil. Zaytina offers this same bread, and I am just not a fan. However the olive oil was tasty. 
For an appetizer we split the Sujok spicy sausage: beef and lamb, garlic, tomato sauce. It was pretty good, not overly spicy. 
We also ended up getting an order of grape leaves rice, chickpeas, tomatoes, mint, parsley on the house because they brought my uncle out the wrong dish and had to send it back. These were delicious. 
My favorite Lebanese dish EVER. Or pretty far up there, Lamb Fatteh chickpeas, toasted pita, pine nuts, yogurt sauce, garlic, pomagranate seeds. Perfect dish. All of the flavors went together really well. Sweet, tangy, savory & a little salty. Perfection. 
My uncle got the mixed kabobs: lamb, chicken & kafta. He thought it was pretty good. 
This was a pretty good experience overall. When they made a mistake with my uncle's entree, they offered up a free appetizer while it was being recooked. I thought that it was the appropriate gesture/resolution for a situation like that.  I will be back :)
1840 International Drive
Tysons Corner, VA
Tysons 2/Tysons Galleria
Lebanese Taverna on Urbanspoon

Monday, December 10, 2012

Panera Bread

Who doesn't love Panera Bread? There is something for everybody: soups, salads, sandwiches and an assortment of baked goods. Now that winter (ugh) and cold weather (double ugh) are upon us, the soup part of Panera is even more appealing then ever.
This past weekend, while taking a break from party preparations and shopping I brought my friend along with me to Panera for some soup. I'll have to admit, I have been getting the same soup for over 10 years, Broccoli and Cheddar. This time was no different, I ordered broccoli and cheddar soup. This cheesy, creamy soup is perfect. 
The soup I got was part of a you pick-2 meal, so for part 2 I ordered the Chipotle Chicken Sandwich. I have to say I was pretty disappointed with the sandwich. It was clear that whoever made the sandwich was in a rush/didn't care. It was messy & soggy. 
Lili ordered the black bean soup. She though it was good but it needed a little more oompff to it. I surprisingly liked it a lot and I do not like beans of any sort. This soup is low fat & vegetation
I have also tried the french onion soup and it's good and I really want to try their creamy tomato soup. I was exploring their website and watched a video on them making it and I was almost torn away from my usual broccoli and cheddar...maybe next time I go I can convince whoever I go with to order it ;)

I have always been happy with Panera, the soups have always been spot on. Wasn't to thrilled with my sandwich but the soup was delicious and filled me up so the meal ended well. I'll be back, I always am :)

Panera Bread (Baileys Crossroads) on Urbanspoon

This post was sponsored by Panera Bread but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Candy Cane Oreo Cookies & National Cookie Day

Have you tried the Peppermint Joe Joe's from Trader Joe's yet? If you haven't go out and buy yourself a box. Well maybe don't, because if you do, you are most likely to be addicted. I have already gone through one box this season, and I bought a second, but I am giving that away so I won't eat the rest of the box.

I know some of you may be hesitating...peppermint and chocolate? I think those thoughts too, but for some reason this cookies have won my heart, and the hearts of other peppermint+chocolate haters. 

I got in a conversation with the checkout lady at TJ's who said people have stocked up and bought these and then tried to sell them on Craigslist for $20 a box. I don't know if said person made a sale, but perhaps I need to think about making a little cash on the side?

These are a perfect, fun holiday cookie. I'd eat them year round, but hey, now is the season of peppermint. 

2 1/4 Cup flour 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1 teaspoon salt 
2 sticks butter room temp
3/4 cup granulated sugar 
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
2 large eggs
14 Crush Candy-Cane Joe Joe's

preheat oven to 375 degrees 
1. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. 
2. In a big bowl blend together butter, both sugars, and vanilla extract until creamy. Then add in one egg at a time, making sure each one gets blended in.  Gradually add in sugar. 
3. Once everything is blended together, fold in the oreos (Joe Joe's). Once everything is mixed put in refrigerator for about 30-45 minutes for the dough to harden up (optional, I have cooked it right after making too)
4. Using a spoon/tablespoon/cookie scoop but balls on a baking sheet about an 1-1/2 inches apart and then sprinkle sea salt on top of each one. Bake 8-10 minutes, just until the edges brown. 
5. Let cool on pans for a few minutes before transferring to a baking sheet. 

Oh, hey its National Cookie Day....perfect plan for this post. I didn't even realize it :)

What's your favorite cookie? Mine has to be the typical chocolate chip cookie. If I am in the mood, an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. 

Do you have a favorite holiday cookies? Welllllll, not to toot my own horn, but I do like these alot, or just the Candy-Cane Joe Joe's in general.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Restaurant Revisit: Lava Yogurt

I think I have been to Lava Yogurt a total of 4 times since my original visit in September. It is one of my favorite Froyo places in the area, and that visit number would be would be a lot higher if it were just a tad bit closer to where I live.
I just wanted to pop in and say they are still doing awesome-flavors are usually spot on. Their seasonal Peppermint flavor is delicious...however their Gingerbread tastes horrible. Fruit selection is sometimes iffy, but most of the time still good. 

I usually stick to the original tart, but sometimes I switch it up and add some yummy flavors in, like pistachio. Best part is that you can sample the flavors before you commit. Good thing for people like me who can sometimes have commitment issues. 

Pop in and give them a visit, and then stop by my one of my favorite grocery stores next door, Trader Joes :)
7500 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA
Lava Yogurt on Urbanspoon