These are a few of my favorite things…

29 Jun

Today’s a little something different on the blog…super wonderful Kat over at Kat’s Health Corner tagged me with this lovely award!

How sweet is that? This is totally new to me, so hopefully I’m doing this right. The only terms are that we answer the following questions about us. I love hearing tidbits about other bloggers; essentially this is a community and it’s nice to learn more about the people who’s blogs I read.

Here goes:

1)   Favorite cartoon character: Wall-E. I mean, how much cuter can a robot get??

2)   Favorite thing to photograph: Other than food, my nieces. Of course I fully believe they’re the cutest babies in the world. Whenever I visit my brother and his family, I take a million photos of them.

3)   Favorite thing to cook: I actually haven’t made it in awhile, but it would probably be Amatriciana, which is one of the first recipes my boyfriend and I tried together when we first started dating. It’s delicious and making it brings back a lot of happy memories.

4)   Favorite way to exercise: Running, hands down! I think I’ve talked enough about this before where this would be obvious. It’s not always easy (especially when there’s speedwork involved), but I enjoy going as far as my legs can take me while soaking in the scenery – which is especially nice when I jog around the monuments!

It ain't pretty, but I love running.

5)   Favorite Movies: Empire Records, Breakfast at Tiffany’s Singin’ in the Rain, Star Wars (IV, V, VI), Inception, My Fair Lady, The Hangover, Bridesmaids, The Devil Wears Prada, Pride & Prejudice (both the Colin Firth version and the Keira Knightley version).

6)   Clothing: My typical daily cycle of outfits are: workout clothes in the morning, then work clothes all day, and then I change into my fat pants and a giant t-shirt when I get home from work. It’s all about comfort when I’m at home. Otherwise, I’m always wearing flats or flip flops and a good chunk of my wardrobe comes from Madewell. LOVE their clothes.

7)   Flower: It’s a tie between orchids and peonies.

8)   Breakfast: Overnight oats!!! I’ve been eating them every morning this week. This is what usually happens with breakfast – I find something I really love and then eat it for weeks straight and then suddenly get sick of it and move on to something else. Any ideas for what I should try next?

9)   Book: I just finished reading Kara Goucher’s Running for Women, which was quite inspirational and informative, at least for a novice runner like myself. I also finished Creative, Inc. – also inspirational and informative but career-wise. Some of my all-time favorites: Wuthering Heights, Food Rules, Blue Like Jazz, Pride and Prejudice, On the Road, Blackberry Wine, and though it’s a play, I loved reading Twelfth Night.

10)  Least favorite food: Cauliflower. I can’t say I hate it because I’ll actually eat it ONLY if it’s been mixed thoroughly with other ingredients that mask it’s flavor. But I refuse to eat it solo, I don’t care how healthy it is.

I’d like to pass this along to 3 equally amazing bloggers: Sheridan over at Barkless Vegetables, Lindsey at The Internationally Minded American, and Meg at Fledgling Foodie. Tag, you’re it!

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Sandra ain’t got nothin’ on me.

27 Jun

Of course the weekend I’m off trying new restaurants and eating all kinds of good food, I forget to bring my camera along. Maybe someone needs to design a really chic, lightweight handbag with a thick should strap, will match with all my outfits AND fit my DSLR inside without feeling like I’m carrying 10 pounds.

While this is not really food-related (although we did sneak in some eats from Paul…), I watched Midnight in Paris with the Boyfriend and loved it. If you’re a literary/art/history nerd, or you just love Paris, or if you love Owen Wilson for some odd reason, definitely check it out. I’ve been lucky enough to visit Paris a few times in my life, and the scenery in the movie alone brought back a lot of great memories.

I took this while in Paris 4 years ago - the photo doesn't do it justice, but it really is gorgeous there!

I’ve been bitten by the travel bug again (I swear, this wanderlust hits me every 4 months or so). My friend Dorothy recently came back from an amazing trip to Barcelona, so after hearing her stories and seeing a movie about Paris, I’ve been wondering, “Where’s my next trip to??” There have been talks between myself and others about trips to Portland and Seattle, Vegas, Miami, the Bay area…we’ll see. Time, and well, finances, will tell.

Meanwhile, back here in DC I’ve been indulging myself every few days with overnight oats. I’m pretty sure this tops the list as my favorite breakfast food ever. This combo included old-fashioned oats in almond milk, mixed with 1/2 mashed banana, then topped with a few chocolate chips, the other half of the banana, slivered almonds, walnuts and my favorite white chocolate peanut butter. That, my friends, is happiness in a bowl for me.

Another food trend in my household lately: semi-homemade pizza. Now, to preface, I should tell you that ordering Papa Johns once a month was once standard for me. It’s close by, and it’s pretty much the easiest thing to order on those nights where I’m home late and my energy level is at 50% or under. But then I realized I should try making pizza myself. The Bf has a pizza stone from The Pampered Chef (similar to this but without handles), so I decided one night to put it to use. I bought a jar of pizza sauce and a Boboli’s crust, and then threw on a bunch of ingredients I already had in the kitchen.

And guess what. It was delicious! I liked that I could control the amount and the kind of toppings I put on the pizza, making it healthier than any delivery pizza I would normally order. Granted, Boboli’s crusts and jarred pizza sauce aren’t as healthy as crust and sauce can get. To be honest, I don’t really have time or patience to make my own pizza dough. Maybe on a Sunday afternoon when I’m really bored. So as much as I don’t like Sandra Lee, I don’t blame her for cutting some corners. I am willing, however, to try making my own pizza sauce, so if you have any suggestions, throw them my way.

My first iteration, with turkey sausage, onions, mushrooms and tomatoes.

My sister, Anna, has since found whole wheat pizza crust at Whole Foods so we’ve made these a few more times using that crust. It’s equally delicious to regular crust from Boboli’s, in my opinion. Assembling and baking this is super easy, but here’s some guidance for ingredients and assembly, just in case:

Ingredients:

  • whole wheat crust (couldn’t find it at Safeway, so you may have to check another store or just go to Whole Foods)
  • pizza sauce (I brand I’m using is Ragu because that’s also all I could find)
  • pesto (Anna prefers pesto to tomato sauce)
  • shredded Italian cheese (preferably low-fat)
  • goat cheese (apparently this is healthier than cow’s milk cheese. I love cheese so I use both)
  • chopped onion
  • chopped peppers
  • chopped mushrooms
  • chopped tomatoes
  • any chopped vegetable of your liking
  • 2 links turkey or chicken sausage
  • prosciutto
  • Italian herb mix
Pre-heat oven to the temperature as directed on the crust package. In a pan on medium heat, spray some cooking spray on the pan and saute the vegetables (except for the tomato) for a few minutes to soften them. Set vegetables aside and on the same pan remove the sausages from their casings and break up the meat with a wooden spoon. Brown the meat.
On a round baking sheet or pizza stone, place the crust and then spread pizza sauce or pesto, or both – Anna and I like section off our own sides using the ingredients. She likes pesto, goat cheese and prosciutto, and sometimes peppers and onions. I top mine with pizza sauce, then a little shredded Italian cheese, then sausage and all vegetables, then a little bit more cheese on top. I sprinkle everything with Italian herb mix and then pop it in the oven for time directed on the crust package. It usually doesn’t take more than 12 or 13 minutes!

Pesto pizza, sausage and cheese, sausage and veggies (all on 1 crust)!

Sorry Papa Johns, I think I’m officially a convert to my own pizza.

What food is heaven in a bowl to you? Have you tried any homemade/semi-homemade versions of your favorite take-out foods?

Peppers and Bordeaux

23 Jun

Don’t you just love the colors of these peppers??

The absolutely fabulous Stacy over at Winobee, teamed up with me again to pair one of my recipes with a wine of her choice. I love doing these pairings because it gives me a better idea of what kind of wine goes with what kind of ingredients, which I am normally clueless about.

Mama Nosher taught me how to make these peppers while she was here visiting a few weeks back. I realized that if she had a physical cookbook that contained all of the recipes she knows, it would have to be divided by ethnicity or country. She knows Italian spaghetti, Indian biryani, Spanish paella, and these Greek stuffed peppers, which she learned from a longtime friend of hers and then tweaked a bit later on.

Stuffed Peppers

  • 5-6 bell peppers (I prefer red and green but you can certainly use orange or yellow too)
  • 1 package lean ground beef  (between 1 and 2 lbs.)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 bag of boil-in-a-bag rice, cooked
  • 1 small package of dill, minced
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • chicken broth or stock
  • salt and pepper
  • Optional: Tabasco or your favorite hot sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Slice the top of the peppers and remove the seeds so that each pepper is like a cup. Keep the tops. Set peppers aside. Mix the diced onion, ground beef, rice, dill, about a tablespoon each of salt and pepper, and all but 1 tablespoon of the tomato paste in a large mixing bowl. Mash and combine thoroughly with your hands.

Stuff the peppers with the beef mixture. There should be enough beef mixture so that you’ll have some overflow – no need to pack it in so that it’s all inside the pepper. Place each pepper in a shallow glass pan or baking dish.

In another mixing bowl, combine ¾ cup of stock with the remaining tomato paste and mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle about a tablespoon each of liquid onto the stuffed peppers. Place the pepper tops back onto the peppers to cover the beef a little.

Pour the remaining liquid into the dish; it should reach about halfway up the pepper (if it doesn’t, you can add more stock or broth into the dish). Cover the dish with foil and carefully place into the oven. Bake for 1 hour.

Remove the dish and spoon more of the liquid onto the cooked peppers. Serve warm and add Tabasco or hot sauce  to your liking.

Pairing:
Miss Winobee has chosen a Bordeaux wine to go with these peppers, specifically the ’03 Chateau Tour de Guiet:

Pairing Party
The combination of protein and acid in this dish will lend will to a wine that offers the same attributes, that’s why we went with a Bordeaux!
Try this ’03 Chateau Tour de Guiet which is just as big on flavors as your Stuffed Peppers dish. You’ll experience cocoa, black cherry and even some floral notes on the nose, but you’ll be greeted with balanced earth tones and an essence of driftwood on the taste. Its medium-bodied with light, smooth tannins and a velvety finish.

Cost: $16/bottle
Where to Buy: Morrell’s Wine

 

Head over to Winobee and check out our little “Pairing party,” and check out the rest of her blog. She’s got amazing cocktail recipes, notes on all kinds of excellent wine, as well as other food and wine pairings.

A little bit of new and old

22 Jun

I recently had brunch at Ba Bay, a modern-Vietnamese restaurant in Capitol Hill. Today, Washington Post released a story on a change in positions at the restaurant: it’s head chef, Nick Sharpe, is leaving for a stint in California, while it’s owner, Khoa Nguyen will be shifting into the kitchen as chef. Since the menu will be overhauled, save for some select dishes, the food I was going to write about may not still be on the menu from now on.

Even if these changes weren’t happening, I plan to visit Ba Bay again, because I enjoyed my food on both occasions that I went. The first time around, with The Bf (and sans camera), I had a wonderful pork belly dish with saucy rice noodles that I loved. The belly was a little dry, though thick and definitely a little rich, with its crispy skin. The noodles were soft, but balanced with the crunch from a peanut and cilantro garnish, and salty from the thin fish sauce.

The second time around, I went with my good friend Lisa. Yes, we share the same name, somehow that hasn’t become as confusing as you think it would be. Full disclosure: she happens to be a friend of Nguyen’s, but all thoughts on this post are my own, not solicited (even though we got free dessert).

On this occasion, we shared their autumn rolls, which were perfectly crispy on the outside, and the vegetables tasted fresh on the inside. It was even better with the creamy peanut dipping sauce. (I love getting spring rolls at Vietnamese restaurants and stores just for that sauce).

I had pho for my main dish, and while I would’ve liked a more flavorful broth, the soup as a whole was hearty and chock-full of plenty of meat, vegetables and noodles. I always add a ton of hot sauce and hoisin sauce to my pho, wherever I get it, so that upped the flavor a bit.

Lisa tried their take on the traditional bånh mî, except she opted for fried egg (you can also get it “classic,” with pork belly, or with meatballs). I didn’t try it, but she raved about it, and I had heard good things about this banh mi before. So they must be doing something right with that dish.


Being that Lisa is a friend, Nguyen insisted on treating us to dessert, so we shared his choices of their strawberry-basil popsicle and their sesame cake. They were both fitting for the warmth of the day. The sesame flavor was subtle in the cake, which was very light and spongy, but the coconut flavor in the ice cream and caramel made up for the subtleties.

The popsicle was inventive and refreshing. It was best eaten with a little bit of everything: a part of the strawberry side, a part of the basil side, and some of the accompanying cream. The combination of fruit and herb flavors mixed nicely, and I enjoyed the crumble sprinkled on top for a bit of added crunch.

There were small parts to our meal that I would tweak, but overall, the dishes seemed to successfully balance a modern approach to traditional Vietnamese flavors. So I’m curious as to whether the food will stay this way, or shift toward a more modern or a more traditional direction, now that Nguyen is going to be in the kitchen. I’m eager to go back soon to see how these changes look and taste.

Aesop’s fable lied to me.

20 Jun

Lately my weekends for the most part lately have been pretty laid-back. I suppose this is what happens when you get older and you start paying more attention to your bank account and your expenses, and realizing that one is bigger than the other when it shouldn’t be. I also felt burnt out by the middle of May when my spring semester of class was over. So it’s nice to be able to just sleep in, watch crappy movies on basic cable, experiment in the kitchen, or read. I’m not sure how long this feeling will last, however, because ultimately the part of me who thrives on being productive will kick in and I won’t be able to stay in my apartment for longer than an hour at a time during the weekend.

Case in point: I did manage to do a few fun things other than watch Star Wars for the 37th time in my life just because it was playing on Spike TV…

Go to Washington Nationals game on Friday. This was part of a secret santa gift I had given my friend Carolyn, who’s goal is to go to a game for every team that the DC area has. Nats: check. Now she’s got DC United, the Capitals, the Wizards, and the Redskins. Considering how cheap I got these seats for, I don’t think this’ll be a very difficult or expensive goal to accomplish.

I also…

Made mini peanut butter and chocolate bread puddings on Saturday night. My younger sister, Anna, and I had a stale croissant that I kept saying I’d make into a bread pudding. My initial thought was that I’d buy more croissants at the grocery store and make a big pudding, but the thought of having that around and the subsequent poundage I’d gain freaked me out. So I researched single-serving bread puddings, came across a very easy and tweak-able recipe, and attempted. And then I succeeded. These turned out very delicious AND the perfect portion size, without any leftovers to be tempted with. And yes, I will post the recipe for this soon.

Then on Sunday…

I finished Kara Goucher’s Runing for Women: From First Steps to Marathons, and while it was an easy read, I still learned quite a bit about training properly for any distance race, keeping motivated and staying fit as a runner. Plus, it provided a lot of inspiration: through the quotes she has inserted throughout the book from other world-class runners, as well as from her personal feelings about the sport. It made me even more excited to go out for my 6am runs and it reminded me to take training slow and steady.

This is photo is misleading but I swear I didn't finish last! In a related note, please ignore the massive sweat stains.

But then I did the Georgetown Running Company’s Father’s Day 8k. This didn’t go as well for me as I had hoped. But at least I did it, right? 🙂 I thought about my dad while running – he got me started on running in the first place – and I knew he’d be proud of me even if I finished first or last. Granted, I finished in about the same time as I did with my first 8k, which I guess is ok. At least I wasn’t slower than last time. I tried really hard to pace myself but also have negative splits after the first half of the race, which wasn’t totally successful. The few times I’d glance at my Garmin to check my pace, I seemed to be going the same rate throughout. Oh well. I’ll continue to deal with the fact that I am still insanely slow (not yet at 10-minute mile average pace). My slowness kind of annoys me, but I’m also really determined to get to that 10-minute mile pace by the time the fall season comes around. So I’m really looking forward to more tempo runs and speedwork in my training for the next couple of weeks. Slow and steady doesn’t always win the race, but I will continue to cross more finish lines as fast as I possibly can!

Any fun things you did over the weekend? Any good eats or recipes you found?

Thank you…

15 Jun

…to whoever invented Oats in a Jar. I already love the combination of peanut butter and oatmeal, but this is quite genius, especially since those perfectly delicious leftover bits of peanut butter often get thrown away when there isn’t enough to scrape onto a slice of bread. I’ve read about this many times on plenty of other food blogs but hadn’t tried it myself until now.

I did an overnight version by filling this jar the night before with equal-parts uncooked old-fashioned oats and almond milk. To that, I added a dash of cinnamon and vanilla. In the morning, I added chocolate chips and heated it for 30 seconds, stirred that and then added walnuts and sliced strawberries. It was creamy, nutty, slightly sweet and surprisingly filling since it didn’t even fill the entire jar. Oh, and it was a jar of this amazing brand of white chocolate peanut butter.

I’m already looking forward to when we finish our next jar of peanut butter…

Spaghetti and story time

14 Jun

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One day, many years ago, my mother was given an offer she can’t refuse. She had the chance to learn how to cook spaghetti and meatballs, from an actual Italian woman.

Ok, I don’t actually know if there’s any Hollywood-worthy story behind this spaghetti, other than the fact that my Italian godfather’s mother (whose parents I believe grew up in Sicily?) taught my Mom how to make this classic dish from scratch. Isn’t America grand? I’m the daughter of Asian immigrants who has an Italian godfather, and my Filipino mother knows how to make Italian spaghetti, not the sweeter Filipino kind with hot dogs (which I also enjoy).

This recipe reminds me that so much that home cooking is trial-and-error, and about the importance of tasting as you cook. My mother has made this spaghetti for years, and I always remember it being wonderful. Yet Mom says that she didn’t get it right for awhile, that it took quite a few tries and learning how to taste in order for her to get it right. I’ll be completely honest with you too, I haven’t yet made this on my own. I imagine that when I do try it myself, it’s just not going to taste the way it does when my Mom makes it. So if you try this, don’t be discouraged if you’re not entirely happy with how it turns out. I’m sure as what happened with my Mom, if you keep trying it you’ll eventually get it right.

This recipe has been passed down through word-of-mouth, and with lots of standing in the kitchen together. I’ve never met my godfather’s mother (I’ll just refer to her as “great-Godmother”). But what I know of her – that she was a great home cook – my mother told me as she cooked this dish. I love that cooking with someone, especially someone older and more experienced in the kitchen than you, also often means story time. I learned a lot, and not just about food.

It was a little difficult for me to interpret what I was observing into measurements and words, which is why some of these measurements are estimated. So for you, this may need some experimenting and adjusting. I like the sauce a little tangy and slightly sweet, and thick and rich. You may like more of an herby flavor and a thinner consistency. Experiment, and of course taste, taste, taste. And if you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at noshernotes@gmail.com. 🙂

My great-Godmother’s Italian Meatball Recipe

  • 1/3 lb.  80/20 beef
  • 1 lb.  92/8 beef
  • 2-3 slices white bread (can substitute with hot dog buns or even hamburger buns)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • finely diced ½ large onion or 1 medium onion
  • 1 egg
  • grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons dried sweet basil
  • 3 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • salt and pepper

Toast the bread/buns so that they’re easy to crumble. Meanwhile, mix the 80/20 beef with the 92/8 beef in a large mixing bowl. Add the onion, milk and egg. Crumble the toasted bread with your hands into the bowl with the beef mixture. Add the parsley, basil, and about 1 tablespoon each salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix everything until well incorporated. Form small meatballs with the mixture, about 1-inch in diameter. This will make about 22-24 meatballs. You’ll cook the meatballs in the spaghetti sauce recipe below.

Great-Godmother’s Spaghetti Sauce

  • 2 6-ounce cans of tomato paste
  • 1 15-ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 1 diced large onion
  • 3-4 large, whole garlic cloves
  • dried parsley
  • sweet basil
  • salt and pepper
  • sugar
  • red cooking wine
  • cooked spaghetti

In a heavy pot, heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the onion and allow to sweat until they’re soft and transparent. Add all the contents of the tomato paste cans, and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add all of the tomato sauce and cook for a few minutes, occasionally stirring.

Add about 4 cups of water to the sauce – the sauce will thicken, so if it’s too thick to your liking, add a little more water as it thickens. Drop in the garlic cloves. Add about 1 tablespoon each of the herbs and spices: salt, pepper, sweet basil and parsley. Add ¼ cup of red wine and about a teaspoon (a small pinch) of sugar. Stir the sauce to incorporate everything thoroughly. Taste the sauce and add more seasoning to adjust to your taste.

Carefully drop the meatballs into the sauce and shake the pot a bit to make sure they’re fully immersed. Turn the heat down to medium and allow the meatballs to cook for an hour.

If the sauce thickens too quickly, turn the heat down to low. Remove the garlic cloves from the sauce (no one wants to accidentally bite into one…). After about an hour, add about a tablespoon (or more, to your liking) of grated parmesan cheese. Allow the sauce to simmer further on low (if you haven’t already turn it down to low), for about another hour. Toss the cooked spaghetti in a ladleful of sauce, then serve the spaghetti with a good helping of sauce and meatballs on top.

Did anyone “unusual” teach you how to cook? What’s a dish you’ve always loved since childhood?

I’m officially on the gelato diet.

9 Jun

If you read/watch the news at all, or check weather.com every day (like I do), you’ll know that the Eastern Seaboard has been, despite the fact that it isn’t even officially summer yet. Yup. It’s Sweat Season folks.

My ice cream and gelato consumption has jumped up at least 65% recently. While I normally go to local gelato shops for a fix, my sister recently introduced me to a very viable alternative; she spotted this gelato at the top of the ice cream freezer while grocery shopping and raved about the pistachio flavor. Pistachio wasn’t available but this  sea salt caramel was. I have good memories of salted caramel ice cream (I miss you, Bi-Rite), so I just had to splurge on this version.

 I don’t remember how much this was, but it was totally worth the price. Somehow the container lasted quite a few days. It was creamy, with a very rich caramel flavor and just a twinge of saltiness. Embedded throughout are tiny caramel-filled chocolates. I don’t think store-bought gelato gets more luxurious than this.

What’s your favorite ice cream or gelato flavor?

I got chocolate wasted at Serendipity.

8 Jun

Have any of you been to Serendipity in NYC? Serendipity 3 just opened up here in DC and after hearing all the hoopla about their frozen hot chocolate, I had to pay a visit. I told Mama Nosher about Serendipity and she became equally excited to try. So on Saturday, after lunch and a little shopping in Georgetown (I’m poor and I only go shopping when the parentals are in a giving mood), we opted for some dessert.

Unfortunately, we came right at a busy time – sometime after 2:30 – which I didn’t think would be busy, but I guess the post-lunch crowd wanted dessert like we did. After waiting probably 40 minutes, we finally got seated and Mom and I ended up sharing a frozen hot chocolate and their Red Velvet Sundae.


HELLO CRAZY BIG SUNDAE.

Yeah…I should’ve known that a sundae that includes a slice of red velvet cake was going to be a monster. Unfortunately, you can’t really see it under the mound of whipped cream in the photo above. I couldn’t even get through half of it and I honestly felt like a huge glutton after. You’d think that someone like me with a never-ending sugar craving would be able to demolish a sundae like that  (complete with hot fudge pool in the bowl – yum!).

The frozen hot chocolate was delicious, but I suppose with all the hype I was expecting something life-changing. I certainly enjoyed our desserts but they were so big, I felt a little like I didn’t eat my $12 worth…so I made a promise to myself that I could go again and order a sundae for myself only after I’ve run a half-marathon. I’d say if you’re going to go here, go on a weekday at an odd hour to avoid crowds, and come as hungry as possible.

On a food-related note, if you’re on Foodspotting, follow me!

And if you’re not on Foodspotting, and you enjoy eating out, giving restaurant recommendations, or just taking photos of your food, check out their site and join. As a food blogger, it’s only natural that I’m on a site that allows me to post photos of foods that I’ve recently enjoyed and would recommend, and I often use it to decide on a restaurant or a dish at whatever spot I’m eating.

And on a totally unrelated note, my friend Lindsey and I often talk about our experiences with traveling abroad. Homegirl has been to 40 countries – say what?? Yeah. No lie. Well, she just started a travel blog! It’s titled The Internationally Minded American, where she chronicles her traveling experience, gives awesome recommendations for different countries, and offers advice for anyone thinking of or about to travel (especially abroad). She has so many great stories to tell. So please check our her blog, leave a comment, subscribe, whatever – show her some love!

 

So tell me, what are some great places you’ve traveled to? Which one was your favorite?

Look out, weekend

7 Jun

I definitely ate my way through the weekend. With Mama Nosher in town till yesterday, I ended up not cooking in my kitchen at all for the past week, unless you count blending smoothies and heating up frozen waffles for breakfast. It was seriously nice to have her around. I mean, how awesome is it to come home after work and find that dinner is already made? And they were delicious dinners at that. I have a recipe or two to share that I finally managed to get Mom to explain, and I’ll share those to you guys later this week.

For now, I’ll be living off leftovers for another day or two. I probably ate out more than I should’ve in the past weekend, but I just love trying new foods so much that I pushed any bubbling guilt out of my mind and enjoyed myself. Isn’t that what weekends are for anyways?

On Friday, straight after work, my friend Dorothy and I hit up the first Truckeroo, big food truck gathering held at the Bullpen near Nationals Park. Not all of DC’s foodtrucks were in attendance but there was certainly a good handful. By the time I had arrived, however, the dinner rush was at full swing and trucks were jammed with crowds. D and I split off to separate trucks and then regrouped – I grabbed grilled cheese sandwiches from The Big Cheese, while she got ribs and a BBQ platter from BBQ Bus. I tried The Big Cheese’s Mt. Fuji for the first time and enjoyed it; it reminded me a bit of the sandwich I had at Bikes, Beans and Bordeaux, with its apple-and-cheese combo. I’m starting to get really hooked on melted cheese with fruit on toasted bread.

The ribs from BBQ Bus could’ve used a bit more sauce (I like my ribs saucy), but the platter was a good deal, considering it included chicken, pork, beans and slaw. We couldn’t even finish the whole thing. But after doing another walk-around, we decided to splurge on green tea popsicles from Pleasant Pops, which were creamy and refreshing.

Saturday morning, I got up bright and early to run the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5k. I unfortunately have no photos – I didn’t bring a camera because I don’t like running with stuff in my hands and I don’t have a fancy belt to carry things in (yet). The race went surprisingly well for me – I think I’ve been running enough to the point where 3 miles is now an easy run. I paced myself for this race, but I actually paced myself too slowly! By the time I could see the finish line ahead, I remember thinking “Wait, what? It’s almost over?” and I still had so much energy left in me. If I run it again next year, my new goal will be to beat my time by 5 minutes. I think I can do it. 🙂

On Sunday I did something that I don’t do enough of: go to the Dupont Farmer’s Market. There is a lot of great produce, baked goods, flowers, meats and cheeses available there. We’ve gotten products ranging from chocolate croissants made by expert French breadmakers to giant bags of crab claws for cheap to empanadas to wild mushrooms. Oh, and gorgeous flowers – I’m kind of lame because I tend to kill plants easily so I stick to simple blossoms that I put in an old Italian soda bottle.

Sadly I don’t even remember what these flowers are called…

I know it’s already Tuesday, but did you guys have any great eats over the weekend? Hit up any good farmer’s markets?