12 January 2015

The Joy of Austin

You know when your life is changing in a pretty big way but you have this trip that you planned months previously and you equally want to go and not want to go?  And you are also hoping that your anxiety won't become an issue for yourself and others around you.  Welcome to my life in September.  Thankfully, I had Amber waiting for me in Austin which made it the kind of trip I'm so happy I took.

I had been craving breakfast tacos so much that this was almost our first stop in Austin - Veracruz All Natural. So perfect.

The best kind of advertising.

Just hanging out with trucks in Texas.

The wonders of Target - cereal from our childhood and shelves of pumpkin Oreo's which are delicious.

Amber's cereal of choice.

Welcome to the Alamo!!  I just wanted to look at the sky all day long and all of the random animals we saw on our drive home from San Antonio.

Goofy ballerina pose in front of the San Antonio temple.  A woman in the bathroom was using essential oils to cure headaches and other ailments.  My worst nightmare is smelling patchouli in a room with no escape.

We met up with Johnny to wait under twinkly lights to eat at Thai-kun.  This was the kind of Thai food that reminded me absolutely of Bangkok and made me so happy.  I don't remember all of the dishes but they had khao man gai which really needs to be at every Thai restaurant because it's that good.

I read about this man in Austin who made such good gelato that he was the only American invited to compete in a gelato contest in Italy.  We also went there.  It's called Teo.

07 January 2015

Magical Beach Days

The temperature was 19 degrees but it felt like 3 degrees on my walk home from work today.  This is my dream today -

06 January 2015

A Miserable Snow Day Commute Deserves Baby Panda Photos

Today's the kind of day when you just want to hug a baby panda.  Thank you DC zoo for the memories.

05 January 2015

Charlie Bird's Farro Salad

Trish and I had our birthday dinner last year at Charlie Bird.  There was one salad that we couldn't stop eating and it's one that luckily others love also.  I found the recipe in the NY Times and I kind of replicated the salad of my dreams.  It's worth the effort.

The salad we ate and the recipe differs a little because of the winter/early spring vegetables that were available in March.  I highly recommend it with sweet potatoes instead of the tomatoes.  I think other vegetables would be equally delicious.

  • 1 cup farro
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler 
  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachio nuts
  • 2 cups arugula leaves
  • 1 cup parsley or basil leaves, torn
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • ¾ cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • cup thinly sliced radish
  • Maldon or other flaky sea salt, for finishing
In a medium saucepan, bring farro, apple cider, salt, bay leaves and 2 cups water to a simmer. Simmer until farro is tender and liquid evaporates, about 30 minutes. If all the liquid evaporates before the farro is done, add a little more water. Let farro cool, then discard bay leaves.

In a salad bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Add farro, cheese and pistachio nuts and mix well. This salad base will keep for up to 4 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator (bring to room temperature before serving). Just before serving, fold in arugula, herbs, tomatoes, radish and flaky salt to taste.

04 January 2015

Summer Colors

I'm still catching up from earlier this year.  It's fun to look through photos and remember the summer without reliving the heat.

The Corcoran Gallery of Art was the oldest and largest non-federal art museum in DC.   It was right around the corner from my freshmen dorm and I loved being in a city where I lived in such proximity to art.  It was a big change from small town USA.  The museum was sold this past year to GWU and the National Art Gallery and the institution will no longer be the same.  I made an effort to visit before it closed and I had forgotten the wealth that was in their permanent collection.  I'm curious to see how it will look in the future.

I still contend that the best tacos in DC are in Northern Virginia at Taco Bamba.  I have yet to be proven wrong.

So happy that Osteria Morini opened in DC.  I went with Jen for brunch and we both left very happy.

Restaurant week in August - I had forgotten about this but I did really like the food.  I'm craving the food from summer now that I have months until I'll eat corn and fava beans again.

Bishop Allen always makes me happy.  They released a new album earlier this year.  Such good indie pop music.