Under the Same Shine Theory


Plenty of shine to go around, fellas and girls alike. And in the end, the shine you take is equal to the shine you make.


Michael O’Connor’s Cocinana is on the road. Rolling, rolling, rolling to you with fresh, hot tamales, kissing cousins to sandwiches. It’s a family affair after all, with Michael taking his inspiration, as well as at-the-knee cooking instruction, from many years in the kitchens of his grandmas and aunties. 

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Previous to the debut, Michael held a fabulous tamale fest at Clare and Don’s Beach Shack (sorry if you missed it) in Falls Church and the tamales were a shine-on-grandma smash hit! Wow, were they tasty. There will be more, so much more, than tamales from which to choose. Personally, I am praying for tortas. Michael, are you listening?


Sweet paint job and soon to include the names of those who gave to Cocinana’s GoFundMe, a lovely personal touch from an entrepreneur who is not short on gratitude or hard work.


Spanking clean and shiny. Makes a cook want to wrap on an apron and set to tamaleing. Out of my way, grandma!


The man strolls his empire. He’s got a truck of one’s own from which to sparkle and shine.


Weighing In and Seeking Balance

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Today we celebrate International Women’s Day, a day with roots in the civil, labor, immigrant rights, suffrage, and peace movements worldwide. Read more here.

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Do places make smaller sandwiches for women?

A while back we had legendary food critic Mimi Sheraton on the podcast. She told a story about driving around NYC and buying 104 pastrami sandwiches. She wanted to weigh them to see who gave you the biggest sandwich for your money.

A listener named Bill heard that conversation and called in with a provocative question: Do they make the sandwiches smaller for women?

This week on The Sporkful, we set off on a mission around New York with our friend Laura “L.V.” Anderson. We buy a bunch of sandwiches, weigh them, and crunch the numbers to see if the sandwiches made for her are smaller than the ones made for me.

Is sandwich sexism real? Listen to find out!

Listen and subscribe in iTunes or the Podcasts app, stream it through our site, or get the show wherever you get your podcasts.

Thank you, Mike Rhode, at ComicsDC, for the thought-provoking story alert.

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I will spend my day wearing red in solidarity, writing letters to my representatives voicing my concerns about the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, allowing my son to do his own laundry and to make our meals, and spending money only at businesses owned by women.

Fellas, I love ya, but I don’t want my life decisions, particularly the more personal- such as my physical well-being, made by you.

Come On and Safari with Me

On a Happy-Global-Warming-the-Daffodils-are-Blooming-in-February kinda Saturday we dropped the teenager at Katsucon and beelined it for 9th Street. The buzz did not do Smoked and Stacked justice. No, it did not. Our city sandwich safari was smokin’ hot and stacked in our favor. And yow, did we eat! Chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley has done a good thing by DC, creating a lunch encounter deluxe. screen-shot-2017-02-19-at-8-24-20-am


Is pastrami not the king of cured meat? Do not answer that. We all have our prejudices. Is pastrami fat not the lily that gilds? Do not answer that either unless you are nodding vigorously. Maple-Leaf-Michelle did not feel the fat so much, but I like its effect on my lips. Slippery and porky and flavor-laden, it is the grease that wheels the sandwich. Pastrami and pork fat are unquestionably in Chef Meeks-Bradley’s wheelhouse.

After Smoked and Stacked, if you have the time, cross the street and duck down Blagden Alley to Colombe Coffee, the lights above the coffee-swilling beasts below. Any proper expedition deserves a cortado capper.


SOTMC – February 2017

It’s not easy being green in February. Green veins in Roquefort, that’s a cinch. Stepping out to the garden for winter scallions, a cinch too. They are the only green thing out there except the copious winter weeds. But the wind is howling and a cold, green, crunchy sandwich does not sound good. No it does not.

We did the hot/cold thing for the Sandwich-of-the-Month Club Sunday night special.

A forage through the fridge, freezer and pantry filled our apron with naan, cream cheese, roquefort, garlic, olive oil, romaine, parsley, pepper. Yay, plenty.

Jack up the oven to 750! Stand near it while the wind whips around the house, punching corners and pounding the trees. The dogs ears are constant radar to the dull drumming throbs. Except when her nose is snuffling fallen cheese.


Sunday Special Roquefort Pizzetta Sandwich


Jo’s Cheesy Scallion Sandwich on Naan

2 pieces naan
3-4 tablespoons cream cheese
A piece of Roquefort – about half a cup or so
2 scallions, chopped
Olive oil, to drizzle
2 leaves romaine, chopped
Several parsley springs, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper

If you have a pizza stone, put it in the oven. Preheat the oven as hot as it gets.

Spread cream cheese on both pieces naan. Sprinkle with chunks of Roquefort and with scallions. Bake the naan till the edges are super crispy and the cheese is super melty.

Drizzle one naan with olive oil and cover with romaine and parsley. Grind pepper over the green stuff. Sandwich the two naan together, press gently, cut into quarters and eat.

It’s the green and salty Sunday special and it goes down easy.


Thank you, Jo, for the long distance lunch encounter. Wheeeee!




SOTMC – January 2017

You may think that stands for Squirrel-of-the-Month Club but it does not.



For this month, while the snow falls and the days are short, somethin’ hot and stackt, and heavy on the condiments. Whatever’s in the fridge. No trip to the grocery – we’re turning the cold bread into hot buttered toast.



Kewpie mayonnaise
2 slices Ezekiel bread
Thinly sliced red onion
4 slices havarti
Sliced braised beef cheek, or similar
1 slice Wonder bread
Sliced ham
Thinly sliced apple


Spread mayonnaise on the outside of both pieces of Ezekiel bread.
Layer the sandwich like this:

1 piece Ezekiel bread (mayo on the outside)
2 slices Havarti
Beef cheek
Wonder bread – mayo on both sides
2 slices Havarti
1 piece Ezekiel bread (mayo on the outside)

Grill till hot and oozing on the inside, crispy and brown on the outside.

Put another log on the fire. Sit and eat your sandwich with pickles.

The Bare Minimum

One-Bite Recipes


Which absolutely begs the recipe One-Bite Reuben.


Thank you for the inspiration, Mike Rhode at ComicsDC.

Share and Share Alike

I’m looking to others for inspiration this year, as I am falling short on thankfulness. I feel it in my head, but my heart is a reluctant follower. Some years are like that, a contrast that magnifies the swelling when heartfelt thankfulness does kick in. Typing now, reflecting on the ebbs and flows of happiness, my heart has perked up, a faint slow thrumming in the far corner of one ventrical.

A meal with family and friend-family is sure to kick up the warmth deep down. Is that not the key service of tradition, a trigger to connectedness and interior calm? Jeez, I hope it clicks today. It’s been a tough year in so many ways for so many.

But, as has been remarked many, many times recently, Mother Nature continues to awe us, outside and in – the beautiful trees, the changing skies, the delicious food coming to our tables from gardens and farms.

We may not be able to ask for a command performance of thankfulness, but we can wait patiently, with a place set.