Archive for June, 2011

Mango Blueberry Quinoa Salad

Morning! Today, I cooked for you :).

In keeping with our new quinoa-salad-for-lunch series, this one is certainly my favorite yet! Sweet, juicy mango, plump blueberries and crisp, clean cucumber. So summery, so refreshing! Plus, unlike the others, this recipe is more sweet than savory. Perfect for anyone with a non-stop sweet tooth (me!).Cooking School 017

The recipe is adapted from the blog Dash of East, which I spotted on foodgawker not long ago. My version is as follows:

Mango Blueberry Quinoa Salad:

Serves 4

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 mango, cubed
  • pint of blueberries
  • 1 cucumber, cubed
  • 1/4 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1.5 tbsp. EVOO
  • 1/2 a lemon’s juice
  • 1 tsp. berry jam
  • salt and pepper

Rinse/drain quinoa and combine with water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. When quinoa is ready, fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, wash and prepare mango, blueberries and cucumber. Stir fruits and veg into the cooled quinoa and add cranberries.

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In a small bowl, whisk EVOO, lemon juice, jam and S&P together. Pour dressing over quinoa mixture and stir to combine all ingredients.

Serve! Eat! Love. Cooking School 027

I have been all week :).


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Thai Derm

Morning! Joelle and I were out way past our bedtimes last night, at an advance screening of the new Transformers movie. We were given the tickets through Joelle’s job so of course we had to go! But as we are girls who have never seen any of the previous installments, we were both totally lost. And that movie lasted FOREVER. I am dragging this AM! So let’s talk about the weekend when I was feeling more lively :).

On Saturdays I usually drop off/pick up my little sis from work and if we haven’t got anything more exciting going on, we stop for a fun supper on the way home. Louisa’s co-workers have given us lots of great recommendations for inexpensive, authentic restaurants near her office so it’s usually quite yummy!

This particular Saturday I was really in the mood for something super flavorful, like Indian or Ethiopian… and Louisa said she knew of a Thai place with really great curry. Sold!

We ended up at Thai Derm, which I’m fairly certain from the interior used to be a preschool :). It was kind of adorable actually, as was the service. And the food was delish!

To share…

Chicken panang curry with sticky rice.

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Drunken noodles.

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And my most faaave – mango sticky rice! Have you tried this yet? Because you must. Especially with mangos being so lovely and juicy at the moment – this dessert is perfection.

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It was a great meal with not-too-giant portions and the bill came to like, $12 each. Can’t argue with that right!?

And from dinner with one Phillips sibling to celebrating another, my brother Rich turned 29 yesterday. Happy Birthday Rich! He’s in Chicago where the weather was apparently 75 and sunny for a birthday BBQ yesterday. I only wish I had been there to join! And not only to escape DC’s humidity :).

See you tomorrow friends.

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Jazz in the Garden

So you don’t get any food in this post. But I will show you some white wine in paper cups, so that kind of counts, right?? 🙂

Every Friday during the summer, the National Gallery of Art holds a jazz concert in its Sculpture Garden. I’m fairly certain the entire city of DC manages to find a spot on the lawn/around the fountain to enjoy a little start-of-the-weekend fun.

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Luckily I get off work nice and early so it’s no problem for me to run down and smuggle in some wine grab a little spot before things get too full. And not long after my arrival these two showed up!

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Hello DD and Joelle.

The one thing we did all forget this particular Friday is a blanket! But luckily it was nothing a few plastic shopping bags/a magazine couldn’t fix. We weren’t even on our makeshift seats for long, for a very nice lady offered us her spare blanket. How sweet, right?? It was a fab evening of white wine that somehow turned into a pitcher of sangria to follow. But how can you help yourself when the sun is shining and the work week is over and everyone is in such a happy weekend mood?

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Cheers to that :).

Things like Jazz in the Garden remind me why I love living in DC. I’ll see you again soon with some real food-related fun!

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Addie’s Family-Style Picnic

Good morning! I hope you had a fab weekend :). 

Last night we took advantage of a fun summer special going on at one of my very favorite restaurants: Addie’s! Every Sunday all summer long, Addie’s is offering a family-style picnic menu, from 12-8PM for $35 a head. The menu changes each week based on what fresh, local ingredients are available. All diners have to do is show up, sit down and enjoy a stream of delicious dishes brought to the table!

The weather was puurrfect last night and so we sat out on the back patio. To accompany the meal, we ordered a bottle of wine – Blaufrankisch from Shooting Star Vineyards. I adore this light, red wine!

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And what a pretty cork, right??

There was a lot of food! All sorts of small plates to share. Here are some of the highlights/the pictures I’ve decided came out nicest :).

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Normally I don’t fuss much about the bread basket at restaurants since there are usually so many more exciting things to come! But Addie’s always has the best bread baskets. Last night it was filled with cheddar biscuits and corn bread. Flavorful, moist and 100% worth every delicious bite.

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And then a Caesar salad and an heirloom tomato/bleu cheese/green salad. Shoot me, those tomatoes were good.

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Summer squash and green beans with toasted almonds.

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Incredible fried chicken.

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Mashed potatoes and fried okra.

Also enjoyed but not pictured: roast beef, trout and house-made pickles. It was a feast!

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And finally, this dessert. Rhubarb and mixed berry cake with crème fraiche. Holy moly.

It was perfection! The weather, the patio, the food, the wine, the service, the company. One of my favorite Sundays in a while.

I so want this family-style picnic idea to do well for Addie’s. It’s such a good one! So much delicious, really fresh food for a mere $35. So if you are in the area: GO! And if you need a dining companion I am of course, your girl :).

How was your weekend??

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Sticking With What You Know

Well good morning! Lest you think quinoa has replaced oatmeal as my new favorite grain, look what we have this morning :).

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A banana oatmeal breakfast bake! Original recipe found here. Topped with shredded coconut, Farmer’s Market blubes, peanut butter and cinnamon.

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Sadly, these came out a little flatter than usual for reasons I’m unsure of. We could only guess that it’s due to the excessive volume in our household with the television/washing machine/screaming at Amelia/genetic inclination to speak loudly to one another :). Perhaps?

But regardless, these were as delish and satisfying as always.

In other news, I suppose it’s time to update you on my 30 Day Shred Challenge for which I was so excited. I should really learn my lesson that for the most part, I am horrible at sticking to any sort of set resolution or challenge. I lasted 6 days of the 30 before I got an awful twinge in my thigh muscle. For days it hurt to do any sort of sit or stand motion. I decided to take one day off, but sadly I needed more than that. And so after day 7 I gave up totally :).

I think Jillian’s work-outs are good but they sure are hard on the joints day after day. (Especially at the ripe old age of 26). And doing the same work-out every day got old pretty quickly, to be honest.

So that’s my update! I just switched back to regular mixed up work-outs with regular rest days and my leg felt better in no time. So I failed at my challenge and I apologize if you were counting on me. But I only stick to what works for me and that, did not. (Honest review!)

Happy Thursday! One more day til another fun weekend? I’ll take it :).

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So I am recently obsessed with pre-made salad lunches. It all began with a lentil salad I made a few weeks ago, due to an abundance of lentils in my fridge that needed purpose. It was delish and so easy to prep on Sunday and portion out for lunches each day.

Then I made my own variation on Jenna’s Black Bean, Quinoa and Citrus salad for lunches last week. And since I loved it so much, I was very happy to see another quinoa salad recipe a few days later: Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Quinoa. So guess what I made for lunches this week!

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Here’s my version, for 4 servings:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 can of whole beets, rinsed, drained and quartered
  • 1/2 cup of goat cheese

Combine quinoa and veggie stock in a medium saucepan on high heat. Bring mixture to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Fluff quinoa with a fork and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, prepare your beets. If you are a dedicated chef, you should roast fresh beets. If you are lazy like me, you can use ready-made :). Stir beets and goat cheese into quinoa and serve.

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Fabulous! I love sweet beets, I love creamy goat cheese and I love how this lunch has serious staying power. Normally I want to chew my arm off by the time I get home from work but these salads have been keeping me satisfied til supper time! Plus, packing lunch doesn’t get much simpler than this :).

Now what else can we do with quinoa??

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Chips & Salsa

But not to eat!

Meet our newest roommates:

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Chips and Salsa have come to live with us from the animal shelter where my sister works. They are hissy little kittens that need to learn how to love humans while they gain a pound and wait to be fixed. Otherwise they’ll be adopted out as barn cats! 😦

So we’re doing our best to teach them how to be cuddled and loved. And you have to admit, animal person or not (and admittedly I’m usually not), they’re pretty freaking cute.

In case you are wondering, Amelia hates the babies. She spends all her time jumping into their playpen and stealing her baby toys back from them (which she hasn’t wanted to play with in at least 6 months).


Anyway, while I ran around the apartment snapping photographs all night like a crazy cat lady, Louisa cooked supper! How roles changed :).

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A spaghetti bolognaise. This was made with local grass-fed beef, along with eggplant, onions, zucchini and tomatoes all picked up from the Farmer’s Market on Saturday. Also in the mix, some Ohio City pasta sauce! Tasted like home :). Topped with shredded cheese and fresh basil. Pretty fab din if you ask me!

And so there you have a little Monday night in our ridiculous household. In the interest of keeping things human, we did also enjoy a bit of vino and The Bachelorette, of course :).

See you tomorrow friends.

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