Summer To-Do List

I was inspired by Cupcakes & Cashmere to create a summer to-do list.  Mind you, I am no where near as fabulous as she is (writing her second book) and all, but I thought it would be fun!  Do you have a summer to-do list?  If so, please share!

1.  Start working out regularly again

2.  Create of a list of the jewelry I own which includes pictures, what the piece is and where it came from (my memory has already faded and I want to be able to remember years down the line the significance of the pieces I own)

3.  Go to a community board meeting

4.  Possibly join a community committee….I’m nervous about this one!

5.  Take Gypsy to a dog park

6.  Catch up on my scrap-booking (last event I scrap booked was a wedding in November)

7.  Buy a new nightstand and a filing cabinet for both the Penguin’s and my important documents

8.  Go for a hike

9.  Check out some Virginia wineries

10.  Read some books!  Any suggestions?

Ray

New Job=New Food Scene

Now that I work somewhere that is actually within the heart of DC, I have options for dining!  I don’t go out to eat at lunch to save money, but I have had several vendors take me to lunch and gone out to dinner with friends near by.  Here are some of the great places I have gotten to experience since working at my new job.

*Excuse the lack of pictures, I have totally been slacking!

1.  DC Thai Restaurant, 1018 Vermont Ave NW- great hole in the wall, inexpensive lunch specials, but could use some sprucing up (especially the carpet to the restaurant upstairs)

2.  BLT Steak, 1625 I St NW- to die for pop overs that you get complimentary!

3.  Joe’s Seafood, Prime, Steak and Stone Crabs, 750 15th St, NW- this is a new restaurant and has DC class/elegance written all over it!  The stone crabs (my first experience) were interesting…tasty, but I just found them a little hard to eat.  Absolutely loved the shrimp/scallop ceviche and the side of mashed potatoes are to die for!  The crab cakes were also very tasty.

4.  Estadio, 1520 14th St, NW- delicious adult slushies, but very small for the $9 they charge.  The halibut and chicken dishes we got were great, definitely want to go back to try more…just not a huge fan of the prices!

5. Doi Moi, 1800 14th St, NW- sister restaurant of Estadio, loved the clean lines and vibes at this place so light and airy which is nice since the food is SPICY.  I love spice though so it was right up my alley.  Everything was flavorful and we sampled a lot of items with good variety- sliced raw scallops, steamed garlic chive and mushroom dumplings, green papaya salad, stir fried lemongrass beef on vermicelli noodles and the chiang mai chicken and noodle curry.  I think my favorite was the papaya salad!  Again, can’t wait to go back and try some of the other options.

Some other places I am wanting to try….The Red Hen, Blue Jacket, Daikaya, Roofer’s Union, Rosa’s Luxury, Right Proper Brewery, Central, Newton’s DC, El Ray, Eat the Rich! So many options and great places to eat in DC.  Bring it on baby!!!!

Ray

Winning Recipes

I have been cooking new recipes I find on Pinterest at least 2-3 times a week.  It has been great trying new recipes and building up my winning recipes board on Pinterest.  The ones we don’t love or take a lot of work get deleted.  Here are some I have tried over the past few months that we thoroughly enjoyed!

1.  Jalapeno Popper Dip– a big hit at a family gathering, can’t wait to make it again!

2.  Buffalo Chicken– love this!  Don’t need to add the extra salt since the hot sauce has enough sodium in it.  I like to double the recipe and freeze it in small portions to have other meals (buffalo chicken nachos, wraps, salads, etc).

3.  Oven Roasted Tomatoes with Goat Cheese– I made this as a side dish (not with crostini) and really enjoy the creamy goat cheese.  I would love to try this out with crostini as an appetizer.

4.  Spicy Sausage Pasta– I halved this recipe and used half a box from precooked pasta that I had leftover.  I put the pasta in the sauce and let it simmer for 7 minutes which worked great.  I used 2 spicy Italian sausage links and we had two servings leftover.

5.  Crock Pot Green Chile Chicken– another recipe I like to make extra I freeze.  Super simple, but tasty!  We used it for our taco night and loved the flavor.

I find it tricky cooking for two people.  We really have to work out the serving sizes and plan all our leftovers.  I hate wasting food and luckily it works out well because Jeff loves to plan what he is going to eat for the week!

Again, let me know if you have any favorite recipes 🙂

Ray

 

Bottomless Brunch- Boqueria

Boqueria DC- 1837 M Street, NW

I have been here before for Happy Hour and really enjoyed it.  I was excited to try out their bottomless brunch menu for $39. You can order anything off the first page for as long as you want (up to 2:00pm).  We made reservations for 11:00am and sat there enjoying ourselves till 2:00pm!

Some of my favorite items were;

1. Ensalada de Remolacha

2. Pan con Tomate con Manchego y Jamón

3.  Huevos Benedictinos

4.  Soldaditos de Pollo

5. Patatas Bravas

6. Pimientos de Padrón

photo-1

Wow, I started listing things out and realized I really enjoyed everything we tried.  The drinks were constantly filled to the point where we had no idea how much we drank.  It was a great time had by all and I highly recommend it!

Ray

DC Restaurant Week

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love trying out new restaurants.  I have a hard time telling someone a favorite restaurant I have in DC because I never go to the same place more than once…there are just too make great places to try!!!!

I love trying out places during restaurant week, but the one thing to remember is DO YOUR RESEARCH.  Some places are definitely NOT worth going to for restaurant week.  I recommend you compare the restaurant week with the list of Washingtonians Top 100 restaurants.  This is a great way to make sure you are going somewhere you would typically spend over $35 for a three course meal.  The other thing I recommend is to check out the menus.  For someone like myself who has some very specific dislikes, I want to make sure the place has good options for me.

This week, I tried three places…

1. Urbana- 2121 P Street, NW

This place had a 4 course menu and I loved it!  Lots of great options for me and the Penguin.  The scallops were cooked to perfection with a great cauliflower puree and a little heat from so sauteed scallops.  And they had a cheese plate for dessert which is right up my alley since I don’t like sweet things!

2.  District Commons- 2200 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

We happened upon this by accident.  Our recognition lunch was here for participating on the Worklife Enhancement Committee.  This was also a great option with lots of choices.  You could get any entrees off of their main menu which range from $14 salads to $20 steak!  I had the appetizer du jour which was cheesy risotto balls…delish!  And the crab cake sandwich with sweet potato fries which were both really tasty.  This place also has a pretzel loaf for their bread option prior to your meal which is super tasty as well.

3.  Charlie Palmer- 101 Constitution Ave, NW

My mom and I tried Charlie Palmer’s out for lunch which was a great deal because the menu was almost identical to their dinner restaurant week menu.  We really enjoyed the two appetizers we got- braised pork shoulder with cavatelli and the roasted beet salad with crisp goat cheese.

I definitely think all three places are worth it for the meals we went to during restaurant week.  I hope you had some good experiences.  Let me know where you tried and if you recommend me going there next RW!

Ray

Another Gem in Frederick

Ever since my sis and I went on our walking food tour of Frederick we have been wanting to try new places.  Well lucky for me, my 5K was in Frederick so I got to head to Family Meal which is another Bryan Voltagio restaurant.

The fried chicken served in a chicken bowl was AMAZING.  You get 4 pieces of chicken, thats right…FOUR pieces for only $14 (plus you get 2 biscuits and pickles)!  What a flippin steal!  My sis and I split the chicken so we could indulge in a lot of side dishes.

photo (1)

We  ordered the carrot/beet salad with goat cheese, duck fat fries, chicken pot pie fritters and the goat cheese mac-n-cheese.

photo (2)photo (3) photo

Everything we got was so good.  I was very impressed by this diner style restaurant and highly recommend it!  Go go go!

Ray

A New Meal Plan

Now that I am settled in and the condo work is 90% done, I have time again.  I am working towards getting my CMP (certified meeting professional) and now working on the whole budget thing.  Part of my plan is to cook TWO recipes a week.  In my mind, this will pretty much provide me with meals for the week in addition to whatever plans out I have along with being at the Penguin’s house a couple nights.

I have to figure out the whole buying food for one person though.  I hate letting things go to waste so I’m trying to freeze stuff and modify recipe amounts to drop it down to 2-4 servings.

I wanted to share some recipes that I have tried the past couple of weeks and I feel are worth sharing (I know…I’m getting real domestic).  The one thing I’ve been looking for in the recipes I make is easy…and not too many ingredients!

Roasted Chicken Roasted Garlic Pizza – now I wasn’t bold enough to make my own crust or my own pesto, but it was really tasty anyways!

Pasta with Bacon, Brussels Sprouts and Artichokes– love love love this!

Taco Pasta– this recipe made about a million servings, I got 4 meals out of it and froze a whole tupperware container which probably has another 4 servings.  To add a little kick to this, I also mixed in diced jalapeno

CHEESE DIP!– I’ve never seen so much cheese dip in my life, this is really tasty

Let me know if you have any favorite recipes I should try!!!!

Ray