20 May 2014

Magnolia Blossoms and Cry Babies

A few weeks ago, Phor and I took advantage again of a perfect Spring day to visit the National Arboretum.  We were both surprised to find the magnolia trees blossoming.

I love the color combination of deep pink and bright blue.

I told Phor to pose in her best Mom-pose.

We wanted to find a place to eat with outdoor seating and decided on Room 11 in Columbia Heights which is where I also saw this awesome sign on a local church.

I sunk into the house salad and we split the pulled pork sammy (which was my favorite) and the grilled Korean short ribs.  

It's a lovely place to sit out on the patio and enjoy what's left of the sunlight.

I then found a showing of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and we raced to the theater out in Virginia.  I really liked the movie but I also loved catching this guy posing with his own paraphernalia in front of the movie poster.

19 May 2014

My Childhood Favorites

And they are still my favorites in so many ways.  I walked to the National Museum of American History on one of the busiest days of the year as it was the Saturday of the Cherry Tree festival.  I've been wanting to go since I returned to DC and for some reason I just had to go that day.

I stopped for breakfast at the Red Apron Butcher and was very happy to see women dressed up like super heroes.

I wanted to only see two exhibits - the Muppets and Julia Child's kitchen.  It makes me laugh how excited I was to see the Muppets but watching The Muppet Show as a child really shaped my sense of humor.  It's a very funny show and they represent laughter and happiness to me.

It made me so very happy to see both of them. And also the awesome turquoise in Julia's kitchen.

I saw a few other cool items like President Lincoln's actual hat.

And a Sunstone from the original Latter-Day Saint Temple in Nauvoo, IL.

As soon as I saw these items, I ran away from the crowds.

18 May 2014


There are certain bands that when they decide to tour bring out such a varied audience.  This was my first time standing next to folks in their 60s and also families with very small children at the 930 club.  But this is what happens when I see a music group that has been around since the 1970s and one that's been an influence on most of my current favorite bands.

People arrived very early to stand in line for this event.  It was a 3D tour and standing room only so the choice standing room was upstairs near the the balcony.  Phor and I arrived a little later because we were both coming from work and missed the balcony but stood on the bleacher seats up top.  I was still able to see most of what was going on.

The music was great and the images added to the whole concert.  Brookyn vegan has a great post on the shows in NYC which appears to have been identical in playlist to the show in DC.

The playlist -

The Robots
Numbers / Computer World
It's More Fun to Compute / Home Computer
Computer Love
The Man-Machine
The Model
Neon Lights
Tour de France 1983
Tour de France 2003 (Étape 1)
Tour de France 2003 (Étape 2)
Geiger Counter / Radioactivity
Trans-Europe Express / Metal on Metal /Abzug
Boing Boom Tschak / Techno Pop / Musique Non Stop

Aéro Dynamik
Planet of Visions

17 May 2014

I Love Philadelphia With These Friends

There's something about a friend who picks you up early on a Saturday morning and has these waiting in the car for you.

Can you tell from Jenica's face where our first stop was when we arrived in Philadelphia?

It was also pretty incredible to have these two friends in the city with us as well.  We made them meet us at Federal Donuts.

Jenica and I ordered one each of the hot donuts - vanilla spice, strawberry lavender, and cinnamon brown sugar - as they are a donuts from heaven and must be eaten immediately. 

Jenica made donut art.

We dropped Ryan off at his hotel and we went to the Mutter Museum to view medical oddities.  This was the only photo I was allowed to take inside the building and it was raining so hard all day that I forgot to take photos outside.  This museum was crazy with objects like a 20 lb ovarian cyst.  It was fascinating.

We dropped Brigham off to run the Rocky steps at the museum and we went back to Ryan's hotel room for Jenica to get some work done.  I was just counting down the minutes until we picked Brig up to eat tacos!

I read about Los Gallos and it just always makes me so happy to find good tacos on the East Coast.  It doesn't happen often.  

We stopped off for gelato at Capogiro which was down the street from the club where Ryan was performing that night.  Once again, pretty cool to be with the entertainment walking into the club and being seated in the front.  Ryan was still funny the week after I had just seen him perform.  But this time we were all able to hang out in the green room in between Ryan's sets. 

At the end of the day, we dropped Brig off at the bus station and I drove us home to DC.  It was a late night but so very worth it.  I'll travel far distances through pouring rain for donuts and tacos and it's lovely to have friends who will do the same!

15 May 2014

My Friend the Comic

Sometimes I receive a text from a friend at 6 pm on a Saturday night asking if I want to attend a Ball that night.  And of course I say yes.  I then frantically search through my clothes for anything to wear until I realize that no one will really care what I'm wearing.  I'm not famous.

My friend Ryan was in town a couple of months ago to perform at the Leukemia Ball.  I didn't realize how big of a deal it was until I arrived and saw a massive room full of people laughing at Ryan's performance.  I loved it even more because I hung out with him in the green room and walked with him through the kitchen to the stage.  I like seeing how the famous people live.

This was my first time seeing him perform and he's really funny.  There's something kind of incredible about watching a friend succeed at doing something that I cannot even conceive of doing.

We stuck around to watch Huey Lewis and the News perform all of the great 80s hits that I forgot I knew.

Ryan was just on Conan last week.  It's worth watching.

12 May 2014

Cookbook Club - Love for Julia Child

The directive in March was any recipe from Julia Child.  And to wear pearls.

Jocelyn hosted a lunch on our first perfect day of 2014.  It was an absolutely gorgeous day that I can still remember two months later because it was that perfect.

It was a smaller group than usual but it was just a reminder that it doesn't take that much food to make a very good meal.

I made the herb biscuits (below) which were easy and delicious.  The recipe can be found here.  They were flaky and very tasty.  May liked my idea of bringing bread and changed her mind from a shrimp dish to the cheese puffs (above).  An excellent idea as she confirmed that they aren't that difficult to make either.

Jenica made a puree of rice and turnips.  I was a little wary of it but it was a nice mixture.  And it went very well with the chicken and mushroom dish that Jocelyn made.

Anne completely awed us with a chocolate almond cake.  So rich and delicious.  Recipe can be found here.

I left here to go to a birthday party for a very cute 1 year old.   And the day wasn't even close to being done but more on that later.

06 May 2014

A French Food Dream in DC

One of my favorite birthday traditions is being able to celebrate mine and Karen's birthdays together. We've been doing this every year since our first year in law school - sometimes in NYC but mostly in DC - and I've written about it here.  I was so very happy that we were able to eat at Marcel's which was new to both of us.

I've walked by the restaurant countless times especially when I lived in Foggy Bottom.  It's nice to finally see what's behind the door.  The lighting is low and it's a very formal dining room.  It was not a beautiful space but it was exactly what it should be.

We had an option to order between 4 - 7 courses and we both agreed that 4 courses would be plenty.  The food was rich and delicious.  This is a restaurant that I recommend especially for special occasions.  Everything worked perfectly.

I was specifically pleased with the duck breast, braised salsify, duck confit, chocolate and brandied cherries.  It had that rich fruit taste that I love with duck.

And also with the lamb chops with smoked mozzarella polenta cake and cumin lamb jus.  March was still very cold in DC and the heavy dishes were my comfort food.

There something really wonderful about celebrating my birthday with one of my dearest friends.  I love that we get to celebrate together and also enjoy the little touches from the restaurant.  I can't remember my dessert course but I believe it involved chocolate and caramel.  I ate all of it and was very content.

Now I'm done with posting about my awesome 2014 birthday celebration that went on for a few weeks.

05 May 2014

Easter Food

I was out with Phor when we started talking about Easter plans.  I hadn't given it much thought but I missed the big dinners I used to host in NYC for the holidays.  I sent out emails to see who was in town and we divvied up food assignments.  The entire meal made me want to host Sunday dinners every week.

I had a difficult time figuring out a menu but I knew that I had to make one dish for sure and that was deviled eggs. I found a recipe for Spanish Deviled Eggs in the Bi-Rite cookbook and they are the best deviled eggs I've ever had.  You can find the recipe here.  The chopped almonds and olive oil make them so much better than the usual.

Phor brought the corn bread and Debby the perfectly roasted asparagus.  I'm still haunted by the one time that I overcooked asparagus for my birthday dinner.

Matt brought fruit and Anna and Sarah made delicious mashed potatoes which went perfectly with the brisket.  After a lot of debating between brisket and lamb, I called Phor and she voted for brisket.  I'm so glad she did.  It's Sweet and Sour Brisket from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook and so very easy as I used a crock pot.  The recipe can be found here.  It was perfectly tender and very tasty. 

For some reason, all of the drinks landed around my plate.  It was such a perfect spring day and none of us minded the sun shining in our faces too much.

I made the strawberry pie recipe from the Gramercy Tavern Cookbook which was exactly what I want from a strawberry pie.  I couldn't find a link but the cookbook is so worth the investment.

I colored eggs with Phor after dinner.  It was just one of those days.  We tried to dye them a few days previous but after boiling the eggs, we realized that the brown eggs probably wouldn't work very well.