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Archive for January, 2011

DCiversary

Hi Friends! Happy Monday!

I forgot to mention it but did you know this weekend was actually my two-year DCiversary? How exciting! When I hit my one year mark it definitely felt like I’d been living in DC for a year. A lot had happened! But WOW, this second year has just flown. It’s been a fun one though so it was only fitting that this weekend was too :).

As mentioned, Friday night was spent at Urbana saying bon voyage to my old roomie Beth. We met for dinner first, which was a nice way to catch up a bit before the wine-soaked madness began.

I had the Bianco – red onions, pistachios, parmigiano reggiano, rosemary. It was good but maybe could have done with a minute or two less in the oven. I like a softer crust though so maybe that’s just me! And anyways, we were mostly there for the wine :). And that part of the evening was delish! A great turnout and very fun goodbye party – even though I really hate saying bye :(.

Not only was it my DCiversary and Beth’s going away weekend, it was also my roommate Anna’s birthday! So Saturday was that little celebration. Since my bday is in February and Anna’s in January, we’re having a joint party in a couple of weeks. But of course we had to do something in the meantime! Something like dinner at Bob’s noodles.

 

There were six of us, so we got to order quite a few things to share around. Always delicious, always cheap – so you really can’t go wrong! And then we went back to our home for some cherry vodkas and cokes and lots of odd conversation topics…

So as it turns out, another one of my old roommates Allison was randomly in town this weekend. She recently moved to NYC as well, so it was really nice that she was back for Beth’s goodbye party! She, our other old roommate Nicole and I (confused yet?? 🙂 ) had brunch together Sunday afternoon.

We tried several places in Georgetown before finding a table at Paolo’s. It was a lovely sunny day so I think all of DC had the same “let’s go out for brunch!” idea. Although it wasn’t our top pick, I think we were all quite impressed!

I had the prosciutto panini – with fresh mozzarella, basil, and sliced tomato with black pepper aioli pressed on ciabatta. Due to a morning work-out I was quite starving, so this tasted extra yummy to me! And you really can’t go wrong with that combination of flavors. Allison and Nicole had french toast with salted orange caramel and almonds. If only I had been in a sweet mood! It sounded amazing.

So there are the highlights of my weekend eats. As you can see, I didn’t spend much time in my own kitchen :). But there was just a lot to celebrate!

And now, a three-day work week for me. So yippee! I’ll see you tomorrow :).

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Putting Toast to Shame…

Well don’t I feel like a bad sister.

As Louisa was fighting her way home on Wednesday night, she texted me, “PLEASE make me something to eat!” I was just about to start watching my favorite TV show, so I made her toast topped with hummus and feta, with a side of carrots and strawberries. I’m sorry! It was quick.

Yesterday, Louisa had a snow day so she returned the favor by making me dinner. Her dinner totally kicked my dinners butt.

Oops! Can’t win them all :).

And so it is Friday! Tonight will be a bittersweet night, for it is the goodbye party for my good friend and former roommate (other) Beth. She is moving to NYC!

Have I ever mentioned how lucky I was to have found such great roomies??

When I first moved to DC, I lived for the first four months in a sublet in Georgetown while I got my bearings. Once I sorted out the city a little better, I moved into Foggy Bottom and shared a house with 3 other girls from Craigslist. Living with Craigslisters is a common thing in big cities like DC where it is near impossible to afford a place on your own. Sometimes the situations work out wonderfully but of course there is always a risk when you move in with almost-strangers!

I really couldn’t have been more fourtunate with the girls I ended up living with.

 

We got along so great and if it weren’t for the cost of living in Foggy Bottom I would have never moved out! Of course, I’m also happy where I am now with my sister and darling friend but I must give thanks for the first house that made my transition into DC life so smooth :).

So tonight we will be saying goodbye by doing what we do best, drinking wine at Urbana. And before that, some delicious Thai food with the Pancake Girl. So that’s a nice little Friday!

I’ll see you at the weekend :).

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Snow and Wine

Holy Snow!!

After leaving work last night I headed straight home and into the house. Even still, I was drenched by the time I got back! After a nice hot shower and some pajamas I was feeling pretty content and cozy watching the snow fall outside while I cooked supper.

I picked up some Near East Pearled couscous from Whole Foods last time I was there, per my sister’s recommendation. The basil herb flavor is excellent and the larger texture is the best part! I’m always interested in trying different grains. While my couscous was cooking, I sautéed some zucchini and chicken sausage in garlic and olive oil and finished the dish with some salsa. I am addicted to this andouille sausage right now but I promise this is the last you have to see of it as my package is now gone :).

I was feeling just a bit sorry for myself as my fun dinner plans were cancelled due to the weather – but that is nothing compared to what DC drivers were facing! It took my sister FOUR hours to get home last night. On the radio this morning, I was hearing that for some it was much longer than that even. It is times like this I’m very thankful I take the metro!

By the time she did get back, I knew there was only one thing that could make her feel better.

 

And so, that bottle of wine lasted a total of one day in our house :). It’s the best though! And really, what could make you happier than drinking wine with your roommates in front of a new episode of Modern Family?

A snow day.

But I didn’t get one of those! So it’s Thursday as usual for this girl.

I’ll see you tomorrow! 🙂

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Here Comes Trouble…

Guess who arrived back in town last night.

Trouble.

At least she came bearing gifts! Louisa (and Amelia) were home in Cleveland for a few days. They drove back to DC last night and brought lots of foodie gifts with them.

  • The latest issues of Food & Wine which I had a subscription to until I decided I will never be able to afford anything they write about. It’s fun to dream!
  • A cookbook from my Dad’s office which they sell each year for charity. I see a recipe for cranberry nut butter which I think will be a must-try very soon :).
  • English chocolates and candies from my Nana: wine gums, pear drops and Cadbury’s snow bites.
  • A box of Fannie May Pixies.
  • The Barefoot Contessa’s favorite pancake mix.
  • A bottle of my very FLAVORITE wine – St. Francis Cab.
  • Very special Italian olive oil which my dad brought me back from his travels.

Such a lucky girl I am! There are perks to moving away from home :).

Before that excitement came Level Two of the Shred (dieee) and dinner.

This was a bit of a lazy dinner, I admit. Forgive me! A black bean burger with banana peppers and cheese on multigrain bread, red pepper slices, pita chips and some hummus for dipping.

How pretty is that red pepper?? It is my veggie obsession lately.

Question: What are your favorite care package gifts?? Clearly, there’s a bit of a food theme to mine :).

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Good Morning, Soreness

…in the words of Joelle!

Boy oh boy did that yoga make me sore. My upper body was just screaming yesterday! One of my issues with yoga in the past has been that I never feel like I get much of a work out and often wind up bored during the practice. That was certainly not the case with Sunday’s session! I’m glad I’ve finally found a class that can live up to all this yoga hype :).

Yoga has been recommended to me over and over as a way to work on my left shoulder, where I have a lot of pain issues. Based on how my shoulders were feeling yesterday I can see yoga did a great job of pulling them back and stretching them out which is so key for someone who works at a desk all day.

Now if only it weren’t so expensive. A year-long membership to the yoga studio is $1295!! Shoot me. Please tell me this is only because I’m in DC.

The good news is it’s my birthday next month! If you were looking to spend just over a grand, I have a gift idea for you :).

So after Sunday my body wasn’t really in the mood to do much of anything last night. It was freezing but I bundled up and headed outside since a walk was about the only activity that sounded appealing! I walked for about 45 minutes then rolled my shoulders around on my yoga tune up balls. If you have any sort of sore muscle issues I SO recommend these little balls. They seriously feel like a deep-tissue massage and it. is. incredible. 🙂

And then, some dinner.

An andouille chicken sausage, red pepper, banana pepper and carrot stir-fry over brown rice, topped with basil chevre and salsa. So delightful. Like my new bowl? I got it from Crate and Barrel this weekend as I’m trying to start a collection of pretty blog-worthy plates/bowls etc. 🙂 I loved how this collection was all uneven around the edges. Imperfect things are so much more interesting, no??

So that’s it for me today. I’ll see you all tomorrow!

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Letting Go

This morning, Joelle invited me to join her for a heated vinyasa yoga class. I haven’t been to hot yoga since college and haven’t been to a real yoga studio in just as long. I’ve done a bit of yoga at my gym and with a DVD but that’s never quite the same is it?

Ninety intense minutes later we were a sweaty mess! But I felt relaxed and cleansed and amazing. And like today is the perfect day for a less food-focused and more lifestyle-centric post.

I’ve been thinking a lot this weekend about 2011 and all the resolutions that came with it. At the start of the month I made plans to do all sorts of amazing things with myself this year. And I’ve felt a lot of self-inflicted pressure since to leap right into these endeavors, perfectly. Of course since I’m not perfect and never will be, asking that of myself has been quite the set up for failure and feeling bad.

And of course that would happen! I already knew this, really.

I think you can hit a happy, balanced place in life over and over again but will always occasionally slip backwards.  And that’s totally okay! The most content I ever am is when I let go. When I just enjoy life and accept that there are a lot of parts of it that will forever be out of my control.

So scratch my wordy plans for perfection, I think 2011 should be the year for something else. Just 2 simple words: Letting Go.

Yoga is not what brought all of this on necessarily but it was in fact just what I needed today.

And oatmeal. Always oatmeal :).

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Art and Soul Restaurant Week

Restaurant Week Dinner #2.

Art and Soul has been on our list of places to try forever now. The menu boasts upscale comfort food and a really interesting cocktail selection. Sadly, on the Washingtonian 2011 Best Restaurant List earlier this month, the editors said it’s on its way out. So we needed to get there quick! 🙂

We began with a drink of course. With such a creative selection, cocktails were an easy pick over wine.

I ordered the MCMILLAN PLAN – mezcal, cider reduction, mint syrup. Shown with my friends’ drink, the POCKET VETO – milagro silver, muddle blackberries, lime, rosemary.

I chose mine because our server said it tasted like warm apple cider. It was good but could not compare to the Pocket Veto! Lightly sweet and somewhat earthy thanks to the rosemary – that drink was phenomenal.

And then came the FOOD.

Cornbread from the bread basket.

HEIRLOOM SQUASH SOUP – cranberries, maple cream

On the online version of the RW menu, the soup came with maple cream. I was SO sold! However on the actual menu, maple cream had been replaced by pumpkin seed oil. Not as good – right?? But our kind server said they could do maple cream for me which made my night! It was well worth making the request. The soup was thick and savory – perfectly complimented by the cool, sweet maple cream. LOVED.

HERB ROASTED PORK CHOP – onion risotto, pear pecan compote, ham hock jus

Okay so I actually don’t “like” pork. But the onion risotto and the pear pecan compote just won me over! As I should have predicted, I thoroughly enjoyed those two components but I know I would have enjoyed a different protein more. No offense to the pork chop because I’m sure to others he was delish :).

APPLE CRUMBLE – vanilla ice cream

Although the picture didn’t come out blogworthy, this was a delight. You don’t get much more delicious than crumble topping now do you? Similar to Ris though, it was good but nothing out of the ordinary. I would have liked to see some more unique dessert offerings!

And now my stomach is at January Restaurant Week capacity.

Happy Friday friends! See you at the weekend.

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