Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Thai Iced Tea - Thai Amora (Ellicott City)

I thought this would be a good Halloween post since my favorite new drink looks bright orange.

Recently, we decided to head back to our favorite Howard County Thai restaurant, Thai Aroma located in the Lotte Plaza shopping center on Rt. 40 in Ellicott City. 

 Thai Ice Tea
I noticed the table next to ours had several of these orange colored drinks. The waiter told us it was Thai Ice Tea - a blend of special Thai tea, milk, sugar and ice. The thai leaf bleeds orange which gives it that bright orange glow.

I usually order water when we go out to restaurants but this time I decided to switch it up and order the Thai Iced Tea.  It was truly remarkable.  The taste is somewhere between a sweet milkshake and a flavored ice tea. 

Definitely worth trying, even if you don't normally like tea. 

Here is a picture of me and one of our favorite waiters at Thai Amora who just returned from a 3 month visit to Thailand.   His family owns the restaurant and he is an avid follower of our blog.   Thanks Tai Denpong! 

- Charles 

Breezy Willow Farm CSA - Howard County, MD

Our Breezy Willow Farm's Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) season is slowly coming to an end. While we didn't photograph everything we made with our organic vegetables, fruits, eggs and bread (mainly because most of the time we ate everything before we could get a hold of a camera) but here's a look at some of the things we made.

If you want to learn more about Breezy Willow Farm's different CSA programs then go to the farm website or read some of our older blog posts here and here . Another great source of Breezy Willow Farm information is another blogger Kitchen Scribble who does a great job photographing her share almost each week.

Fresh ravioli  with tomato sauce (tomatoes, garlic, onion, basil) 

Meatball sub (tomatoes, garlic, onion, basil) on bread from la madeleine bakery 
Sautéed fresh spinach with garlic and olive oil

Fresh washed spinach 

Butternut squash baked with BW honey.  Farmer RJ Caulder
suggested we put them on pancakes with syrup and raisins.
They tasted as sweet as baked apples slices. 

Roasted brussel sprouts 
Quiche (ham, broccoli, onions, garlic) w/ garlicky spinach & b sprouts

Italian meatloaf (onions, garlic, tomato, left over garlic spinach, rosemary/lavender bread, basil)  with oven roasted romanesco cauliflower and garlicky mashed potatoes

Romanesco cauliflower 

Cavatappi pasta,  broccoli, peas, asparagus, roasted onions and Sweet Italian sausage  in a artichoke pesto sauce 

Fusilli basil pesto with peas, broccoli, roasted eggplant &  peppers tossed with pecorino cheese - some veggies
were from Clark's produce stand 

We get one loaf of our choice weekly. Our favorite bread EVER - Great Harvest Lavender Rosemary - made with Breezy Willow eggs, lavender and rosemary.  Although there are many different breads to choose from each week, such as Honey Whole Wheat (using BW honey), Challah, Cheddar Garlic, Nine Grain, Tuscan Herb, Rye and more,  we mostly come back to the Lavender Rosemary because it goes with just about anything - PBJ, cheese, deli meats, toasted (on bagel setting) with BW pumpkin butter. Hint - since the Lavender Rosemary is sliced thick, try it in a toaster on "bagel setting".  Breezy Willow suggest that to us and it was soooo good. 

Great Harvest Lavender Rosemary grilled cheese using Tomato/Basil Cheddar
from Bowling Green Farms
Tomato/Basil Cheddar  
Great Harvest Lavender and Rosemary bread with peanut butter and blueberry jam. This is usually in our school lunchbox. 

Breakfast with BW cantaloupe, blueberries and peaches & cottage cheese. 

Homemade Apple Pumpkin bread 

Breezy Willow Farm Honey Graham Ice cream 
Breezy Willow Farm just started making its own ice cream.  Our family has tried the Honey Graham and Ben's Blueberry Blast flavors which we all LOVED.  Other flavors include Casey's Key Lime Pie, Salt Lick, Maple Bacon, Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Mousse Brownie, Honey Lavender and Pumpkin. Our goal is to try them all.

One of the many Breezy Willow Farm jams, jellies and butters we have tried. Pumpkin butter is our favorite.

- Charles

Boo - It's Halloween

Halloween 2012

I just returned from trick or treating with my friends. My neighborhood has some pretty generous homeowners as you can see from the enormous amount of candy I got. Don't worry we don't eat it all.  My dad takes most of it to work after we eat some of our favorite candies. My favorite are milky way, snickers and twix bars.

We got so excited about Halloween that we forgot to post blogs we wrote over the long weekend when we didn't have school.  So, we're going to post them now.

Happy Halloween.

- Thomas 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Donations needed at HoCo Animal Control and Adoption Center

Normally, my brother and I post about restaurant reviews and how to make healthy food. However, this post is about the Howard County Animal Control center. A few weeks ago, the facility issued a plea for mature cat food donations on their Facebook page - 

Howard County Animal Control has a “Senior Food Bank” program. We collect donations from the public of pet foods and distribute them to needy senior pet owners. Our program is currently in desperate need of donations of dry and wet cat food. Donations may be dropped off directly at the shelter. Thank you.

The Howard County Animal Control is located on 8576 Davis Road, Columbia, MD

To show support for furry felines, we brought two bags of dried cat chow to donate to the Center's  "senior food bank" program.
It was so easy! We just walked in and gave them our cat food donation. Since they handle about four to five thousand animals a year, we learned that they need many pet items on a regular basis. They even created a wish list flyer to show people what they specifically need.
If you are interested in making a donation, you can choose one of the items on the wish list. To obtain a copy of this list, call the Adoption Center at (410) 313-2780.

- Thomas 

Mamma Lucia - Columbia

My family and I ate at Mamma Lucia for great tasting Italian cuisine. We ate here only one time before when the restaurant first opened. Wish we had come back sooner. It's technically located in Elkridge, in the Lark Brown shopping ctr with near Trader Joe's, but it's on the border of Columbia.

The first thing I saw when I walked in were these scrumptious garlic knots. They were offered as free samples while we waited to be seated. I quickly popped one in my mouth and this unbelievably, fabulous, flavorful sensation struck my taste buds. The inside was soft  & fluffy while the outside was lightly coated with oil and fresh minced garlic & herbs. I would come back to this restaurant just for these garlic knots.

All of our entrees came with either a house or caesar salad
( caesar pictured above)

 A basket of these giant seasoned garlic bread
slices accompanied with an oil cheese dip was
brought to our table when we first sat down.

 After we finished our garlic knots, garlic bread & dip, and salads, our entrees arrived steamming hot and ready to eat.  We all ordered different entrees so we could try a variety of dishes. 

Gamberetti Alfredo (we added broccoli)- 
 the shrimp & broccoli were
perfectly cooked and the  sauce was 
buttery creamy with hints of garlic and spices. 

One of daily specials - Seafood Siciliano -
included large shrimp, tender scallops, sweet crab meat in a Marsala wine sauce (we requested cappelini pasta). It was exceptional!
The sauce had a sweet and robust flavor
that blended perfectly with the seafood.  

We wanted to try the pizza so we ordered a slice of sausage. The crust was soft and tender and the thinly sliced sausage was  mild with a spicy hint. Terrific!

This is another special of the day - Seafood Adriatico - with mussels, salmon and shrimp in a tomato sauce. This had a huge piece of salmon that could have been a meal by itself.

Daily Special - Seafood Adriatico 

 Mamma Lucia offers overly generously portions of fantastic Italian food. Plan on needing a take home box like we did. The menu is endless - we lost count on how many different items they offer. So there is something for everyone on it.

At the end of our meal we met one of Mamma Lucia's co-owners.  We had some laughs talking to him and members of the staff before leaving. The staff made our trip fun and easy. 

Our only recommendation about going to Mamma Lucia is ..... you may want to think twice before you wear an Eagles football shirt (see green sweatshirt I'm holding in this picture) to the restaurant.  Try it and let me know how it goes. 

- Charles 
Mamma Lucia on Urbanspoon

We're Back

We're Back!!!!!!!

Hello, it's Charles. In the past couple of weeks, my brother and I have gotten a bit sidelined and we haven't had as many posts as we normal do. What have we been doing you ask?

Thomas playing ball 

Well, the start of schoolwork and extra-curricular activities got the better of me and my brother....but all in a good way.

My brother Thomas put a ton of practice time into trying out for his middle school varsity basketball team. Good news -  he made the team. He also won a spot on the school student council and jazz band.  
Charles dressed up for homecoming

I started writing for my high school newspaper and was just appointed the political correspondent. Plus, I recently founded an Italian club at my school- stay tuned for some posts about Italian restaurant outings.

Thanks for all the folks who posted comments on our blog. We will be answering them this weekend. 

Look for two new blogs posts - (1) Mamma Lucia Italian Restaurant and (2) an unusual one about food needed for our furry friends. Enjoy!