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Project Food Blog Challenge #3: ‘Good Stuff’ Dinner Party

by Jennie Tai on October 3, 2010

Voting is NOW OPEN! Click here to vote for me, and help me advance to the next round of Project Food Blog 2010! Thank you all so much for your support.


One of my other passions aside from exploring the delicious world of food are with my sports; in particular – football.

My family is also full of amazing athletes, so it’s no surprise that I had several football games to attend and support this past weekend – one being my younger cousin’s High School Varsity game, so I decided to invite a couple friends and family members to stop by for dinner, before heading out to watch the game.

What better way could I have hosted a pre-football game dinner, than to cook straight out of a cookbook filled with burgers, fries, shakes, and all sorts of other savory comfort foods, written by Bravo TV’s former Top Chef contestant, owner of DC’s very own Good Stuff Eatery and the new We, The Pizza; and one of my absolute favorite chefs in DC,  Spike Mendelsohn?

Good Stuff Dinner Party
From the recipes of Chef Spike’s Good Stuff Cookbook

Pre-Game Warm Up
Sweet Honey-Rosemary Lemonade with Frozen Edible Flower Ice Cubes

The Starting Line-Up
Spike’s Village Fries with Black Truffle Salt & Mango Mayonnaise
Savory Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Bacon & Herbs

The Game Changers
Spicy Redskins #74 Cajun Burger with Pepper Jack Cheese
The Original Farmhouse Bacon Cheeseburger with Kumato Tomatoes

The Sweet Taste of Victory
Creamy Milky Way Malt with Whipped Cream & Crushed Malt Balls
Silky Red Velvet Brownies with White Chocolate Icing

Additions to each recipe were italicized.

Being natives of DC and Northern Virginia – most of my guests were very well aware of Chef Spike and his famously delicious fast food joints, so I did my best to live up to his stellar reputation on Capitol Hill.

In addition to the usual burgers, fries and shakes that you’ll find at Good Stuff Eatery, Spike’s new cookbook also includes lots of other recipes such as his Red Velvet Brownies, Baked Macaroni and Cheese, and even the Redskin’s #74 Spicy Cajun Burger recipe that Chef Spike had to hand wrestle DC’s Washington Redskin’s Offensive Tackler, Stephen Heyer for during a quickfire burger challenge.

The task was to host a luxury dinner party with our own interpretation of what luxury means to us.

To me, luxury is about the perfect accumulation and presentation of the minor details that make you feel as if time and effort were put into handcrafting or cooking something just for you. Therefore, in addition to the multi colored martini glasses, the center piece of blue glass flower buds from Z Gallerie, and the small candles that sat by each set of plates and silverware – I also hand trimmed the menu with Martha Stewart’s Deco Shell’s Punch Tool, and adjusted the recipes to make smaller portions such as sliders and personal cups of baked pasta. In addition, I  even added a few luxurious additions to some of the recipes, such as using truffle salt instead of sea salt with Spike’s Original Village Fries, adding edible flowers to the ice cubes in the Honey-Rosemary Lemonade, and even used Kumato tomatoes instead of red ruby for the Original Farmhouse Burger; a rare and intensely sweet tomato that is grown only in a few countries in Europe.

After a relaxing dinner from the ‘Good Stuff’ recipes of a chef known for cooking the best Fast Food in DC, I ended my already perfect Friday night with a cherry on top by watching a great game of football with the best group of family and friends I could ask for – something that no height of luxury could ever top.

P.S. To learn more about Chef Spike and his recently opened pizza joint on Capitol Hill, read my review on We, The Pizza here.

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{ 73 comments… read them below or add one }

janelle October 3, 2010 at 5:23 pm

Um WOW gorgeous. Blog, photos, dinner party. Can I come?


sians October 4, 2010 at 6:59 am

that looks like a lot of fun and the food looks good.
you’ve got my vote


Paige October 4, 2010 at 7:05 am

Gorgeous gorgeous! I was just scrolling through all the dinner party entries and Spike’s cookbook caught my eye. I love Good Stuff! I like that you elevated burgers and fries to be such a fancy experience. The table, the presentation, the food — all beautiful!

So happy that I’ve found another DC food blogger.


sippsity October 4, 2010 at 7:41 am

Luxury burgers! Genius… GREG


Brian @ A Thought For Food October 4, 2010 at 7:56 am

I didn’t know Spike had a cookbook! I’m going to have to check that out! Lovely post!


Lisa Orgler October 4, 2010 at 8:28 am

What a fantastic post! Such lovely photos and beautiful tablescaping! Great idea for ice cubes too!!


Biz October 4, 2010 at 8:28 am

I voted for you! You had me at mac n cheese! :D

Good luck getting to the next round! :D


Joan Nova October 4, 2010 at 9:03 am

Very clever and unexpected menu. Good entry.


frannychi October 4, 2010 at 9:33 am

when i saw this, there was a huge HUGE grin on my face. I bet the professor thought I was retarded, but I don’t care (:
<3 keep it going bub!


Meseidy October 4, 2010 at 10:07 am

I love Spike! Great party and I loved your tablescape. You got my vote. Hope to see you in the next round.


Danielle@Runs With Spatulas October 4, 2010 at 10:46 am

Excellent pics and I love your “luxury” spin on every day foods! Good luck in round 3!


stephchows October 4, 2010 at 11:13 am

I would have loved to join this meal for sure! Voted for you!


Liz October 4, 2010 at 11:57 am

Those ice cubes have a gorgeous wow effect. I love cooking from one chef’s vision. The food looks fantastic.


Arianna October 4, 2010 at 11:57 am

Hi Jennie! I LOVE your edible flower ice cubes, they’re so pretty! I really love this post, especially the macaroni and cheese! Yum!


Heather October 4, 2010 at 12:55 pm

I love your lemon centerpieces–so pretty!! A very nice looking meal, too, of course. :)


Brie October 4, 2010 at 1:22 pm

beautiful dinner party! the tablescape and dinner both look wonderful. best of luck – you have my vote!


The Cilantropist October 4, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Those frozen flower ice cubes are genius! Love your menu and your table decor, great job making a traditionally casual dinner fancy! :) Voted!


Kashia October 4, 2010 at 2:53 pm

A. Nom. You did Spike justice, in fact you’ve inspired me to get my butt to the Hill and eat at Good Stuff.
B. Yay for another DC blogger.
C. Good Luck!


Jacob's Kitchen October 4, 2010 at 2:59 pm

Wow. Great post! The pictures are stunning as always. I love all of your little special touches. they really make a huge difference in the final presentation over all. You have my vote!

Good luck! Fingers crossed that we will both make it through to the next round! =)


Spicy Green Mango October 4, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Awe, so cute that you hand-trimmed the menus. I am a total sucker for the itty bitty details. Great job and another vote for you!


Megan H October 4, 2010 at 5:05 pm

I love your table setting and your photos are gorgeous! Food looks delish too!


Natty October 4, 2010 at 5:50 pm

I’ve always had a crush on Spike and my crush grows in seeing he’s written a great cookbook. It’s got to be great because this meal looks fantastic! I’m in love with your ice cube flowers as well. Well done!


Jan/Thella October 4, 2010 at 6:04 pm

great dinner :) i love the table setup and dishes you prepared! you got pretty ice cubes. i always put mint leaves in my ice cubes but never thought of edible flowers! that’s a great idea :)


Crystal's Cozy Kitchen October 4, 2010 at 8:25 pm

Beautiful table, delicious food – what a great dinner party!
Good luck – I voted for you (again!)


Marisa October 5, 2010 at 4:33 am

Those flower-filled icecubes are so pretty!


sophia October 5, 2010 at 4:34 am

Beautiful. I’ve always wanted to visit Good Stuff Eatery. My friend went and said it was awesome. LOVE your ice cubes, too…and the delighted expressions of your friends chomping down! ;-)


Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot October 5, 2010 at 9:24 am

Everything is gorgeous! I especially love those flower ice cubes and the adorable sliders. Looks like an amazing dinner party! You have my vote!


Stay-At-Home-Chef October 5, 2010 at 11:05 am

Great post – love the football theme. Beautiful photos…made me drool! Good luck and hope to join you in round four!


riceandwheat October 5, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Yum, burgers and fries – I like how you took simple, everyday foods and made a super elegant dinner party out of them. I love the flower-ice-cubes touch – very elegant! Good luck in PFB!


Whit@Amuse Bouche October 5, 2010 at 12:29 pm

that is some amazing presentation, congrats to you!




Ed October 5, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Great party and great pics.. You have my vote.


Sues October 5, 2010 at 7:28 pm

I am obsessed with those ice cubes!!! SO beautiful :) Your party looks like so much fun and one I’d definitely RSVP to. Awesome job! :)


Jessica October 5, 2010 at 7:49 pm

Everything looks fabulous! Hope we both make it to the next round! :-) You have my vote!


Kathy Gori October 5, 2010 at 10:11 pm

This looks amazing! You’ve got my vote and a tweet.


Lindsey@FreshAirFreshFood October 5, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Touchdown! Everything was absolutely beautiful! I loved the flowers floating in lemonade and the lemons floating in water-filled vases! You have my vote and I hope to make it with you to the next round!


Betty Bake October 6, 2010 at 2:55 am

voted for you :)
good luck

Betty Bake blog :)


Natalie October 6, 2010 at 4:41 am
Sharlene (Wheels and Lollipops) October 6, 2010 at 5:12 am

Everything looks perfect !! Not familiar with Chef Spike but definitely going to check him out. I definitely enjoyed reading your post.


Allison October 6, 2010 at 3:35 pm

I love the flower ice cubes! Nice job on your dinner party!


Suzy October 6, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Wow…so many of my favorite things…and with football to boot! Beautiful photos and great personal touches to the recipes makes this a great post. You’ve got my vote!


Butter October 6, 2010 at 7:53 pm

OMG….honestly, this is so beautiful I am trying to find another word to type right now. Everything looks beyond delicious. I loved this entry. You have some very lucky friends. I am voting…no question about it.

- Butter
(from Running On Butter)


Dana October 7, 2010 at 7:09 am

Everything looks beautiful… it looks like your guests had an awesome time! Everything sounds delicious, but I definitely want to try those Village Fries with Black Truffle Salt & Mango Mayonnaise!


jen cheung October 9, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Congrats Congrats going onto challenge #4!!! Must be exciting for you! Good luck and all the best. Happy Thanksgiving to you! You’ll be getting the next vote from me :) Your awesome!

Have a happy thanksgiving!
jen @ http://www.passion4food.ca


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