Sunday, December 30, 2012

Mini Cauliflower Souffles

Cauliflower in the fridge...need to make an appetizer... hmmm what to do... I KNOW! Mini Cauliflower Souffles.
Perfect, quick and easy, very tasty too! This recipe makes about 12 muffin size souffles.

Half a cauliflower, grated
2 tablespoons of buttermilk (or heavy cream, or milk)
4 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon of basil
1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
1 tablespoon of Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 375. In a bowl, whip the egg whites until fluffy and peaks form. In another bowl, beat the egg yolks and add the rest of the ingredients. Add the mixture to the egg whites and fold together with a spoon or spatula. butter or spray the muffin tins with baking spray, then fill them with the cauliflower mix 3/4 of the way and pop in the oven. 

Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. They are delicious and a great way to make kids eat their veggies. These little bites are great for parties, light and fluffy with a great taste.

Cauliflower Souffles

A great way to end the year 2012!! Yum

-Chef Cat

Fajitas Night!!

Put on your Sombreros because tonight is Fajita night, one of my family's favorites. It's fun, everyone gets to make their own, put what they like onto their warm tortillas...lime...cilantro...juicy chicken... mmm my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
I just made my Guacamole (half of it already devoured), a champagne glass in my hand, table is set, I am ready to rumble!

Cooking and Champagne with pomegranate seeds. Heaven.

Here is what you'll need:


  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 sachets of fajitas seasoning (I usually make my own seasoning, but I'm lazy right now)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound chicken tenderloins (or skirt/flank steak), trimmed of fat cut into strips
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
Other Ingredients:
  • 2 red or green bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 5 tablespoons of fresh chopped cilantro
  • 12 flour tortillas, warm
  • Guacamole (Check out my recipe)
  • Good quality store bought salsa
  • Sour cream
  • Shredded Mexican blend cheese

In a bowl, put all the meat with the marinade ingredients (onions, lime juice, cilantro, etc) and let it sit for 2-4 hours in the fridge. This will tenderize the meat and make it oh-so juicy and delicious. 

Heat up a pan medium-high with a teaspoon of olive oil. Place all your bell peppers and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the marinade and your meat into the pan and add 1 tablespoons of water, stir.

Lower the heat to a medium flame and stir occasionally, this will take about 10-15 minutes. The chicken will be fully cooked and the vegetables will be barely limp. When everything is ready, sprinkle the rest of your cilantro on top, or have it in a separate serving bowl.

mmmm cilantro
You can heat up all the tortillas and have the guacamole, sour cream, salsa, and shredded cheese on the table. 
To serve, I personally like to place the pan in the middle of the table with serving utensils so everyone can take what they want.

I know I know, we drink wine with fajitas...we're goes with everything.
Spread some guacamole on a tortilla, top with a few slices of chicken, peppers and onions, and salsa. Roll up the tortilla to enclose the filling.

Dig in! But have spare napkins, it tends to get messy.

Fajita number...3

-Chef Cat

Butternut Squash Velouté

This the season to eat SQUASH! One of my favorite is the butternut. It is great, just roasted, pureed, or in soups! And what is better than a warm cup of soup when it's cold outside? Okay, maybe a nice chimney fire and someone rubbing your feet while you drink some hot cocoa, but that's besides the point. 
We're talking about food here...

I make this velouté in many ways, and it always varies depending on what I have in the fridge and pantry. Velouté is French for a "velvety" soup/sauce where all the ingredients are heated and blended together to make a melt-in-your-mouth texture. I usually don't use beer, but in this one I figured, Why not? I realized using a dark beer gives it a bit of a smoky tang which I enjoyed. You can also add carrots, or other vegetables. Explore with your taste buds, cooking is suppose to be fun!

Here's what you'll need:

2 tablespoon butter
1 beer (preferably a dark beer)
1 butternut squash
1 teaspoon sage
1 Coriander leaf
salt and pepper
2 medium onions, chopped
1 large garlic glove
1 cup chicken stock (you can also just use water)
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1/4 cup parmesan

Cut off and discard the ends of each butternut squash. Peel the squash, cut them in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds. Cut the squash into 1 1/4 to 1 1/2-inch cubes and place them on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil,
salt and pepper, and pop in the oven at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. While that is roasting in the oven, in an 8-quart stockpot, add the butter melt over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. When the squash is fully roasted, add it in, along with the beer, coriander leaf, and chicken stock. 

Bring the mixture to a boil and add the sage. Continue to boil until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Take out the coriander, and turn off the heat.

Take out the Coriander leaf

Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture until smooth and thick (you can also use a blender, and then pour the mixture back into the pot when done). 

Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Keep the soup warm over low heat. Add the heavy cream, Dijon mustard, and parmesan to the mixture and stir. 

Butternut Squash Veloute

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with a cheese or garlic crostini or a touch of heavy cream on top.

Enjoy that warm cup of soup, and don't be afraid to ask for a foot rub in front of the fireplace.

-Chef Cat

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

RENTED in Columbia Heights!!

Time was ticking yet again during the Holidays and right before Thanksgiving, we found a wonderful apartment for rent in Columbia Heights, near U street Corridor, shopping, entertainment, Metro, etc, for our client who needed to move in ASAP.

1427 Chapin St NW, Washington, DC, 20009

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Almost-Famous Guacamole!

My favorite part of Mexican night? The Guacamole!! I used to make it before fajitas night and have people dig in, with a margarita in their hand, thinking a big batch would be more than enough for them to enjoy prior to dinner, and on top of their fajitas or tacos... so wrong. After 30 minutes of margaritas and nibbling, no more avocado goodness. Once, someone actually grabbed a spoon, took the dish, and starting devouring 1/3 of the bowl (no, they were not drunk), leaving none for everyone else. 
Lesson learned, I make 2 batches now!
Cat's Almost-Famous Guacamole
Mole mole mole

My guacamole isn't the typical recipe most people or restaurants make, it's much simpler. I want the avocado taste to stand out more, so no tomatoes, jalapenos/chili, cumin, whatever you put in it. Rarely I put a few drops of green Tabasco to spice it up a bit. Simplicity is key in my Guacamole.

Here're what I use to make one batch:

4 Ripped Avocados
2 Cloves of Garlic, finely minced
1/4 Cup of Onions, finely minced
A Handful of Cilantro, coarsely chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

I add my creamy avocados, onion, and garlic in a bowl, then with a fork start mashing it all together to get the desired consistency (you can mix until it's like a paste, but I prefer roughly mashed with some avocado pieces still intact). Then I add all my cilantro, salt and pepper, mix together and you're ready to eat!
I love cilantro so I tend to put a lot, but it's up to you how much you use.


-Chef Cat

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Cointreau Lemon Funfetti Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting!

It's 6am, coffee's brewing, and I'm craving pancakes...mmm... but instead what do I see in the pantry? Halloween themed funfetti cake mix that I have yet to use!!! Naturally, I change my course of action and pick it up to make myself some funfetti pancakes (too much sugar in the morning was a bad choice), and decide to share the wealth (and the sugar high) by making my coworkers and friends some cupcakes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. The box asks to add 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, 1 cup of water, and three eggs to the cake mix and stir together until there are no lumps, then add the FUN-fetti. I added 1 lemon's zest and 1.5 teaspoons of vanilla extract to the batter to give it more flavor. Pour the batter into the cupcake wrappers about 2/3 of the way full and pop it in the oven for about 20-22 minutes.
While they're puffing up in there, you can make the Nutella frosting. I personally don't like a lot of frosting, so I made a little bit to put on top of half of the cupcakes (12). I used 1 tablespoon of butter (room temperature), 1/2 teaspoon of powered sugar, and 2 big tablespoons of Nutella, mix well together and voila!!! If it's a little too thick, add a tiny bit of milk or cream until it's at your ideal consistency. It's slightly disturbing how much I love incorporating that chocolate hazelnut yumminess in the little baking I do.
Already one cup of Joe down, and the cupcakes are perfectly golden brown. While they are still slightly warm, I've got my Cointreau liquor ready (I know, it's 6:30AM!), and a bamboo skewer to poke in the middle of my cupcakes so I can pour a little bit of the Cointreau inside each one of them. I used one of those mini bottles for all 24 cupcakes, so don't go crazy with the alcohol here. If you don't know what Cointreau is, it's a brand of triple sec from France, delicious by itself as an aperitif or digestif (a.k.a. before or after a meal drink), or in cocktails (cosmopolitan, margaritas, etc).

And now the waiting down so I can lather you up in frosting...and eat you!!


Cointreau infused Lemon Funfetti Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting.

Hope you enjoy!

- Chef Cat

SOLD in Kensington!

Congratulations to my buyer on this great home in Kensington Maryland!!!!

Asking Price $399,000

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Rosemary Parmesan Truffle Pumpkin Seeds

In order to get enough seeds for a batch (about 2 cups), I had to carve 2 medium-sized pumpkins.
Before turning these bad boys into a savory snack, you have to soak them in water to separate them from the pumpkin goo, clean them up with water, and let them air dry (which takes too long and I have no patience for) or put them on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven at 200 degrees for about 30 minutes, stirring them every 10 minutes so they don't stick.
When they are dried and ready to go, mix them in a bowl with:
1/2 teaspoon of truffle oil (if you don't like truffles, you can use an infused oil olive, such as garlic or Italian herbs)
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1 teaspoon of freshly chopped rosemary

Toss well, then spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes in a 300 degrees preheated oven; stir occasionally. They should be golden brown. When you take them out, mix them with 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and you are ready to dig in!

Rosemary Parmesan Truffle Pumpkin Seeds

Happy Halloween!!!

-Chef Cat

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

SOLD Contemporary in Potomac!!!

Our Clients closed on this amazing contemporary home in Potomac this week!

Asking Price: $1,699,000
Congratulations to both Sellers and Buyers!!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

How to make butter...

About a year ago, I had the strangest desire to make butter from scratch. So I looked it up online and decided to go for it. All you need is a hand mixer (or blender, or stand mixer), and 1 cup of heavy whipping cream. This will make a decent amount, but you can use more heavy cream if you plan on making different types of butter.

Let the beating begin...

This is after a couple of minutes after whipping the cream into shape, you could stop here and add vanilla extract and sugar to dollop on top of your favorite berries or desert, but that's not our goal here, so keeping beating (medium speed)...

After maybe 8 minutes or so, this is what the cream looks like. You can see the fat starting to separate from the buttermilk and clump together. You're doing great!

"Ewww it's just clumpy curds with this weird liquid" ...this is what you get about 10 minutes in! Congrats, we're almost done! Slow it down so you don't make a mess with the butter milk. When it looks like the picture above, stop beating! Time to drain the curds from the liquid. Use a strainer or whatever else works for you. Return to the mixing bowl and starting whisking again on medium speed.

After the second round of whisking, this is what you'll get. Gather up all that butter in your hands and start squeezing out all the leftover liquid out.

Squishy squishy...
Gently press the liquid out until you feel like there's nothing left. I would suggest rinsing the butter in ICE cold water so it lasts longer, or you can devour it in the next few days, up to you.

Homemade butter!!
Congratulations, you've just made butter from scratch!
You've got unsalted butter, but there are many other options. Strawberry honey, Cinnamon Sugar, Cilantro and Chive, Sun-dried Tomato, Chili Citrus, the possibilities are endless.

For this batch, I made my favorite, Garlic Herb Butter. You give me that and fresh baguette, I will eat the whole thing. It is also great for cooking.

Add one clove of garlic (minced), Herbes de Provence (savory, fennel, basil, and lavender), Salt and Pepper to taste. Stir together. Wasn't that easy?

Garlic Herb Butter

Feel proud, flaunt what you've made to your guests. They'll be impressed and crave it every time they come over.

-Chef Cat

Friday, September 21, 2012

RENTED in Chevy Chase Park!

Just rented out this absolutely beautiful home in Chevy Chase, Maryland!

Asking Price: $6,850.
I love the front porch!!!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

SOLD in Crestview, Bethesda!

Congratulations on my Buyer's new home in Bethesda, Maryland!!!
Very cute house and perfect for them!

Asking Price: $598,500

Saturday, June 30, 2012

SOLD in Rockville!

My buyer got a great deal on this practically brand new townhouse near Rockville Town Square, Maryland!

Asking Price: $360,000

Monday, June 18, 2012

RENTED in Darnestown!

Stunning brick colonial on 10 acres of land... this property had all the bells and whistles.

Darnestown, Maryland
Asking Price: $4,200

Congratulations to my clients, I wish them nothing but happiness for the years to come in their new home.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

RENTED in Somerset Heights!

This contemporary home in Somerset Heights was ideal for my renters. Minutes to Friendship Heights, downtown D.C., easy commute to the embassy, and their school of choice for their children. So glad we found it for them!

Chevy Chase, Maryland
Asking Price: $5,000
Very unique Property! 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

RENTED Brick Colonial in Chevy Chase Park!

I am happy to have rented my property in Chevy Chase Park! It is such a lovely home!

Asking Price: $5,000

Our Spring Art Show!

Our company Evers & Co. is having its 3rd Art exhibition with 6 local artists in the DC Metro Area. The other 2 events we had were so much fun for everyone and such a huge hit. Our friends, family, clients, and colleagues  still talk about it, which is always nice.

The invitation
Looking forward to it!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Apple Trottoir

A.k.a French apple tart!! This tart is usually made in a rectangular shape; hence its French name, which means "sidewalk." We usually don't eat a lot of desserts (okay...the mood for chocolate, rich, cream, sugary goodness does happen a few times), but this is a favorite of ours. It is ultra-thin and not too sweet.
It does not call for sugar, but you can sprinkle a tablespoon or two on the fruit before baking, if desired. You can also serve it "a la mode" (ice cream!), or with a dollop of home-made whipped cream...mmmmm

A trick: The small amount of tapioca used here helps keep the crust from getting soggy.

Yummy Yummy In My Tummy


  • 1 cup flour, plus more for rolling
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 or 3 teaspoons ice water
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant/quick-cooking tapioca
  • 2 Granny Smith apples peeled, cored and cut into thin wedges (may substitute pears)
  • 1/3 cup apricot preserves


Combine the flour, butter, salt and the ice water (as needed) in a mixing bowl; work just enough to shape into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Have a baking sheet at hand.
Lightly flour a work surface. Roll out the dough to a 9-inch round, with a thickness of no more than 1/4 inch. Transfer to the baking sheet.
Sprinkle the tapioca evenly over the dough. Arrange the apple slices facing in the same direction so they overlap neatly, leaving a 1/2 inch margin of dough around the edges. Decoratively crimp the edge, if desired. Bake for 20 minutes, until the bottom of the tart is browned and the crust is crisp and golden.
Just before the tart is done, place the preserves in a small microwave-safe bowl; microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds, then stir to smooth them. Brush them over the fruit (not the crust) just after it comes out of the oven.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

So while we're on the topic, what is your favorite dessert? Do you have a sweet tooth?

Hope you like!

Chef Cat

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Modest recovery expected in 2012 as region seeks new normal

(Interesting Article about the Market here in the D.C. Area)

The Washington Examiner Online
By Dean Bartoli Smith
January 26, 2012
The Washington real estate market, at times a bright star helping to lead the nation out of its housing woes, will continue its slow recovery in 2012, local experts said, after ending 2011 on a down note. The region saw soft sales in December and finished overall behind 2010, a year fueled by artificial factors such as stimulus monies and first-time homebuyer tax credits.
"The recovery has been tepid. We've been fibrillating in Fairfax County," said Sharon Bulova, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. "The recovery will be modest. We are seeing BRAC beginning to kick in and houses are not staying on the market too long."
A panel of economists, bankers and homebuilders, convened by the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University, also stressed "resiliency" and "stamina" while predicting modest growth for 2012.
Panelists referenced unforeseen factors in 2011, such as the tsunami in Japan, unrest in the Middle East, the debt ceiling debate, payroll tax cut, instability in world markets and the lowering of the nation's credit rating as contributing to consumer anxiety and stalled growth.
"We're in for slower, more moderate growth. We don't have the horses. We've lost a lot of jobs. Retail has gone flat; 2012 will not be as good as 2010," said economist Stephen S. Fuller, director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University in Fairfax. "We won't slip back, it will be more of a struggle, but we're used to it. We need to find normal."
Housing will play a major role in the recovery, experts said, especially the residential construction sector, but it hasn't happened yet.
"The regional economy is poised for growth," Fuller said. "There is pent-up demand and we are waiting for the housing market to follow."
A recent uptick in multi-family rental unit construction, rising rents and low interest rates may make 2012 a good year for buyers, said Lisa Sturtevant, assistant research professor at George Mason University. "We've more than doubled multi-family rental unit construction with 23,000 units," she said. "Demand will be strongest for rentals in 2012. Higher rents and historically low interest rates will encourage people to buy."
She said she is concerned, though, about consumer confidence and its impact on growth this year. "Levels stayed stubbornly low in 2011," she said. "Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of the GDP and it's critically important to the housing market recovery."
Sturtevant said foreclosures and short sales continue to put downward pressure on pricing in some areas. One-third of all 2011 area sales were for distressed properties and that equates to 20,000 homes out of the 60,000 sold. In Prince George's County, two-thirds of all sales in 2011 were for distressed properties.
The regional housing market experienced soft sales in December when compared to December 2010, based on Metropolitan Regional Information Systems data. Sales fell in the District by 4.7 percent and new listings were down by 27 percent. In Northern Virginia, sales and new listings were both down by 15 percent.
Montgomery County experienced a 6.4 percent dip in sales and new listings were down by 9.4 percent. Overall, area home prices essentially stayed flat in 2011 with the median sales price at $318,000, up from $317,000 in 2010.
"There's a feeling that it's not very good out there," said Donna Evers of Evers & Company Real Estate. "I don't see anybody sticking their neck out. It's a spotty market. There are a lot of buyers, but not much for sale."
New home construction is a missing piece of the puzzle even though it led the economy out of previous recessions.
"This region will outgrow its infrastructure capacity," Fuller said. "We should be producing twice as much housing as we are."
He said housing starts have been under-performing for long enough that there is room for a snap-back. Six million new workers will be in the region and needing housing by 2018.
"We are going to be looking at shortages in close-in areas like Arlington, Bethesda, Chevy Chase and Northwest D.C.," Evers said. "Homes under $1 million are hot. Access is an issue and we have a tremendous amount of young people who need to move into their first home."
Fairfax County just rezoned residential projects in Tysons Corner and Vienna, Bulova said. "There's an imbalance between residential and retail and we're trying to correct that," she noted.
Fuller predicted changes in 2013 that will include higher taxes and interest rates and he does not see the market in full recovery until the 2014 to 2015 time frame.
"I thought we would be further along, but we are in the same place as we were 12 months ago," he said. "Consumers are still anxious. We're running at half speed, struggling to add 20,000 new jobs a year. Detroit is generating more jobs than we are."

Evers & Co. Real Estate Celebrates Grand Opening of New Storefront Office With Art Exhibition

Washington, D.C.- Evers & Co.,, opens the doors to its new, store-front office located at 4400 Jenifer Street, NW, Suite 1, Washington, D.C. 20015, with a grand opening celebration and art exhibition. The celebration, taking place on Thursday, February 2, 2012 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., features 13 established artists in conjunction with the ribbon cutting of the new office space.
The featured local artists include: Shaune Bazner, Patrick Burke, Stephen Estrada, Jill Finsen, Mike Francis, David Harris, Anamario Hernandez, Bill Jonas, Debi Kleisch, Jean Meisel, Di Stovall, Lou Stovall, and Shanee Uberman.

"Evers & Co.'s commitment to the D.C. metro-area community shines through with our new location, as well as our second Art Show featuring local artists who contribute to the thriving cultural community Washington has become," said Donna Evers, president and broker of Evers & Co. The first Evers & Co. Art Show premiered during November of 2011 at the Evers & Co. Dupont Circle location in Washington, D.C.
The new Evers & Co. location offers a walk-in "Service Center" for home buyers and sellers to stop in and take advantage of the extensive knowledge of the on-call real estate agents and mortgage lenders. The experts are ready to discuss any realty topic including home pricing, staging, credit scores, down payments, loans, or any detail related to the home buying or selling process.

Evers & Co. has three offices in the Washington, D.C. region and an international brokerage alliance with "MyHomeInParis" in Paris, France.

About Evers & Co.

Founded in 1985 by Donna Evers, Evers & Co. Real Estate maintains its success through a strong referral base and agents who enjoy a premier reputation for their expertise and in-depth knowledge of Washington Metro Area homes and neighborhoods. Evers & Co. is home to 100 licensed real estate professionals with decades of combined experience, who enjoy access to a first-of-its-kind Agent Resource Center. The agency is the largest woman-owned and-operated residential real estate firm in the area and a member of Unique Homes Affiliate Network, Who's Who in Luxury Real Estate and FIABCI, the largest international real estate organization in the world. In addition, the agency has an alliance with My Home In Paris, a residential real estate firm in Paris, France.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New Opportunity in D.C. and Rental in Chevy Chase Park

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

Just wanted to let you know about 2 new properties we have!

If you are interested in any of these properties, feel free to contact us, or visit our website

Very soon, we will post a lot of yummy recipes for you to try!

Chef Cat

Population Increases in the D.C. Metro Area

Interesting information about the demographics changing in the D.C. metropolitan area.

The census bureau came out with numbers showing that the District has gained 16,000 in population since spring of 2010. This is big news, since the rest of the country is showing the slowest growth since the end of World War II.

The Washington Post said:

"...the District routinely shows up on lists of cool cities where young people gravitate, and it is drawing as many young adults as ultra-hip Austin and Portland, Oregon....Three out of four newcomers in recent years have been between the age of 18 and 34."

Hope everyone had a wonderful Mardi Gras :)

Chef Cat

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fondant de Canard With Potatoes au Gratin (Duck Legs With Gratineed Potatoes)


Looks complicated, but this recipe is super easy! You’ll need extra duck fat for the potatoes. The fat is available through online gourmet purveyors, at Balducci’s and at some farmers markets.

4 servings


For the duck
  • 4 duck legs, with thighs (2 pounds total)
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large onions; 2 Vidalia and 2 yellow, cut into thin slices
  • 10 fresh bay leaves
  • 6 whole cloves peeled garlic
  • 10 large sprigs thyme
  • 2/3 of a 750-ml bottle (about 2 cups) chardonnay
For the potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons duck fat (see headnote)
  • 2 large (unpeeled) russet potatoes, washed well and cut crosswise into thin slices
  • Sea salt
  • Leaves from 2 large sprigs thyme (1 tablespoon)
  • 4 large cloves garlic, cut into very thin slices
  • 1 cup freshly grated Gruyere cheese
For the duck: Season the duck legs all over with salt and pepper. Place them skin side down in a large ovenproof skillet. Cook over low heat for about 30 minutes, turning the duck over a few times, to render as much fat as possible (important for the onions).
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Increase the heat under the skillet to medium; cook for about 3 minutes per side to lightly brown the duck. Transfer the duck to a plate.
Add the onions to the skillet and toss to coat in the duck fat. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are translucent, very soft and submerged in the duck fat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in the bay leaves and garlic, then add 6 or 7 thyme sprigs. Arrange the duck legs on top, skin side up. Pour the wine around, then lay the remaining thyme sprigs over the duck. Cover and roast for 45 minutes; check to see whether the onions are sticking to the bottom of the skillet. If they are, use a spatula to dislodge them. Roast for 15 minutes, then uncover and roast for 20 to 30 minutes so the duck browns, the garlic cloves have softened and the juices in the skillet have reduced.

Meanwhile, prepare the potatoes: Have a 1 1/2-quart baking dish at hand.
Heat the 4 tablespoons of duck fat in a large skillet over medium heat. Add about one-fifth of the potatoes and fry them for several minutes, until crisped, turning to brown them on both sides. Transfer them to the baking dish, spreading them in a single layer. Season lightly with salt to taste, then sprinkle with a little of thyme, garlic slices and cheese. Repeat with the remaining potatoes, partially cooking them in the skillet, then creating layers in the baking dish with the other ingredients in between. By the time you've used all the potatoes, you should have five layers of potatoes, ending with cheese on top.
Strain any remaining duck fat in the skillet; reserve for another use.

Place the baking dish in the oven alongside the skillet with the duck, to roast for the last 30 minutes that the duck is in the oven. The potatoes should be fork-tender and the cheese should be evenly melted.
Divide equal portions of the onion and softened garlic cloves among individual plates, then top with a duck leg. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs, if desired. Serve hot, with a scoop of the potato gratin.

Voila!! Serve and let it melt in your mouth... Hope you like

~ Chef Cat

Monday, January 16, 2012

RENTED in North Bethesda!

Found my friend a wonderful apartment minutes to metro, work, shopping, etc.

Grosvenor, North Bethesda, Maryland
House warming party soon?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Evers & Co December 2011 Real Estate Report

           The December dollar volume of sales in the close-in Metro area was down 11.3%, year over year, but an improvement from November with -13.72%, and October with -22.8%. The average price, which also dropped into negative numbers this fall, is improving with the December average being only -4.2% lower from last year at this time. The fall real estate market deteriorated along with the stock market and is now getting better as the stock market and consumer confidence improve.

These numbers should continue to pick up as we move into spring, largely because we are looking at a shortage of inventory that will probably last for several months. With very little construction going on for that last six years, interest rates remaining low, and consumer confidence building, we can expect a very competitive marketplace in the “hottest areas”-NW Washington, close-in Bethesda/ Chevy Chase and Arlington- for properties that are priced correctly and show well.

*Statistics are taken from the Metropolitan Regional Information System. The area referenced includes Washington, D.C.; Montgomery County, Maryland; and Fairfax County, Arlington and Alexandria in Northern Virginia.

 By Donna Evers

~Chef Cat

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Holiday Cheers to all!

Even if we worked most of the time throughout the Holiday season, we ate a lot, spent some time with the family, and had a few good laughs.

Our Christmas Turkey...yum