28 February 2013

High Tea

I wanted to spend time with Karen pre-baby arriving and she thought of the lovely idea of going to afternoon tea somewhere in DC.  She also knows me well enough to choose a location that is better known for its sweets than its tea.  We met up at the Mandarin Oriental which had a really nice selection of desserts.  

There is something very romantic about high tea or maybe it's because I associate it with the British and their traditions.  I have some really nice memories of afternoon tea in the Pump Room in Bath or in various locations in London.  I probably make a bigger deal out of it being an American but it's a really nice way to spend an afternoon with friends.

The lighting was not the best for photos but I did get this one of Karen.  I'm hoping we will make it out for our annual birthday dinner before the baby is born.

It's nice to do the unexpected sometimes.

24 February 2013

Best Salted Caramel in DC

I need to caveat this because I haven't tried every salted caramel in DC  but I knew that this was going to be good after reading this review in the NY Times

Fleurir's salted caramel is the one in the top left corner.  The other chocolates were also good and they are very pretty but the caramel was the best.

19 February 2013

Holiday Cookies

 In 2005, a wonderful tradition was started where Jenica makes me cookies.  I'm just happy to be back in DC so I can continue to receive the actual cookies and not just photos of the cookies.

Sometimes these cookies come in this type of packaging.

But they always say something special.

**And yes it says STD for VD which obviously means Save the Date for Valentines Day.  She's a smart girl.

18 February 2013

Galentine's Day 2013

This is a tradition that I never want to end.  I know there are lots of ways to celebrate the day but I like that mine involves lots of food and hours of chatting.  We also didn't celebrate it this year on the official day (13 Feb) but I like doing it on a Saturday so we can take the time to eat and not be rushed.

I like having an opportunity to pull out the fine linens and champagne glasses.

As a gift for all the girls, I found these cute containers for the girls to fill with chocolate and the best brownies I've ever eaten.

I went all Smitten Kitchen for the menu including this potato, scallion and feta frittata found in the cookbook.

I also made her crème brûlée french toast with blackberries. 

Anne brought amazing salted caramel pumpkin bread to round out meal.  Everything was delicious and there were no leftovers. 

The invited and the necessary pink drink.

We finished the meal with a very real sugar rush.

I kind of wish galentine's day came around more often.

05 February 2013

Super Bowl 2013

I didn't realize how excited I would be for this years Super Bowl until I started watching the 49ers in postseason games.  I forgot how much I love them as I was taught to do from a young age.  The pie party had been planned long before I realized all of this but I just invited everyone back over the next night to watch the game.

I used food though to get them over.  I saw an ad from Murray's Cheese in NYC about buying a cheese basket specifically for a Super Bowl party.  I told people I would do this and most of them said they would come over.  But it was when I told them I would make Short Rib Chili Nachos that the undecided gave a definite yes.

I had seen this recipe in the NY Times and it looked incredible.

The recipe was not that difficult to follow but it took time.  I also was smoked out my home after charring the jalapenos and onions.  It took a long time for the smoke to clear out.

But the effort was completely worth it.  And because I made it, I didn't have to put any cilantro on it.  Winner.

The cheese tray was also there as promised.  Dana brought the MD cheese and I bought the CA cheeses.  We also had lots of pie to eat but they looked much prettier the night before.

I loved how Nancy and Hannah were focused on knitting hats for hospitalized children.  I felt very crafty watching them.

03 February 2013

Pie Only Invites Funny Times

I've been known to throw a good pie party in the past.  It was mostly because Hillary and I really wanted to make pies and then it just got crazy when everyone wanted to make a pie.  And then eat the pie.

Pie Party I

I love seeing people from the past.  It was one of those things to do on a Sunday night.

Pie Party II

It may look like the same party but this time we learned the need to identify the pies.

Pie Party III

I wanted to bring back the fun.  And the pies were incredible - chocolate coconut, lemon tart, chocolate, blueberry almond, and chocolate silk.  I also tried to make a salted caramel banana pudding pie.  The caramel didn't set like it was supposed to so it was more like a pudding.  Regardless, delicious.

The moment of calm before Catchphrase was pulled out but because there were an odd number of people, we created our own rules. 

It all concluded with Kim and Nancy having one of the funniest interactions yet.  We have no idea who won because we were all laughing so hard that we did not hear the buzzer.

All of us on the ground laughing really hard.

PS.  The chocolate silk pie on page 222 in the Smitten Kitchen cookbook is incredible.

02 February 2013


There was a time in my life when I must have listened to this song dozens of times a day.   There is something really sweet about listening to it years later and still smiling.

*I promise the music is so much better than the video.

Ladies Who Brunch

So happy this lady is back in my life because she really knows how to pose for a photo.

I tried to take a picture of the others at the table but a phone got in the way.  I was just super happy to see Kate before she gave birth.

I think we were more excited for the Tabard Inn donuts more than our real food.

But Tabard Inn still knows how to make pretty and delicious food.