Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

Just stopping in to say a quick "Happy New Year!"  Most importantly: have fun....second most important thing: be safe!  I'll see you all in 2012 :)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Navy Yard

One of my New Year's Resolutions this year is to go outside more.  Since we moved to DC, we unfortunately haven't gotten out as much.  It doesn't have to be anything fancy, just an afternoon walk would be nice.

Maybe spend some more time down by the Navy Yard this year.  (Resolution #2: Take my camera with me more often!)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

I hope you had a wonderful time with family and friends this holiday...I will share some of our festivities in the coming week :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Stringing Popcorn & Coconut Butter

When was the last time you strung popcorn?  1st grade right?  Do you remember it being hard?  I didn't either.  Actually, I didn't remember anything about it.  All I knew is we bought a tiny little Charlie Brown tree (got the most crooked one we could find at the Whole Foods) and didn't have anything to decorate it with.  Enter popcorn, 2 needles and 2 long pieces of thread.

About 86,547 needle pricks later, we got this:

We put a bird on it, of course.

Between that and ripping my hands apart climbing, I decided to embrace my inner hippie and whip up some coconut butter that Tracy from Shutterbean recommended.

This could definitely be all wrapped up pretty and given to someone for a certain holiday coming up in 9 days.  If you wanted.
Or you could keep it to yourself.  Your call.  It makes a great scrub for your hands and face, but you can eat it too!  Spread it on toast, fruit, veggies...

Recipe from Tracy Benjamin
3 c. unsweetened coconut

1.  Blend in a food processor, scraping down the sides every so often for about 10 minutes, or until it reaches the desired consistency.  That's it!  You're done!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Early Christmas Celebrations!

We are getting into the Christmas spirit around here finally!  On Monday, we bought a mini Christmas tree from Whole Foods (stringing popcorn will come later tonight) and yesterday Austin gave me my Christmas present.  It had to come early this year because it consisted of tickets to see the Flyers when they came here to play the Washington Capitals.  This very exciting gift also came with some Philadelphia apparel so I could show my loyalties! 

We had so much fun and although I would have liked the game to be closer, I'll take an easy win over a close loss any day. 

We walked back home from the Verizon Center (in Chinatown) past the capitol and the botanical gardens which are all lit up for the season!
Now, I really can't wait for the real Christmas to come :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Asparagus Orange Salad

Ok, so I'm not going to "teach" you how to make a salad.  I know you're smarter than that.  You can figure out for yourself how to put lettuce in a bowl.  But I will show you this picture of a delicious salad I made with asparagus, mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, sesame sticks, and almonds.

I will let you in on one little tip though: blanch the asparagus for just a couple of minutes before adding them to your salad.  (A "couple" in my dictionary means 2.)  This salad combination was perfect for someone that doesn't really like salads much and prefers to have something with a little more substance.  Notice how you can barely find a piece of lettuce in that bowl!  (I topped it with a parmesan vinaigrette.)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mt. Vernon

It was so much fun to have Austin's parents come visit this weekend!  We went to a hockey game on Friday night, spent most of the day Saturday at Mt. Vernon, and today we went to the Udvar-Hazy Air & Space Museum by Dulles Airport.

It was a pretty packed weekend (mostly with fried food!), and I'm so glad we got to see Mt. Vernon during Christmastime.  They bring in a Christmas Camel (apparently George Washington did the same thing), made hot chocolate, and decorated a giant gingerbread house in the shape of Washington's mansion.  Mostly, it was just fun to walk around with Austin and his parents.  
After spending most of the day there, we went to Old Town Alexandria to eat dinner.  Eamonn's is a Irish fish 'n chips restaurant that specializes in all things fried.  It was all really good but I liked the desserts the best!  (Fried dough balls, fried bananas, and a fried snickers!!)  To offset some of the grease that we ate on Saturday, I think I will give you a recipe for a nice salad later this week ;)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Molasses Cookies

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!  Well, not really, but we'll eat cookies that are a lot like Christmas cookies to make up for the fact that it's 60 degrees and raining.

My family goes a little overboard with the cookie thing every year.  By a little, I mean the entire kitchen is full of cookies.  Sugar cookies, press cookies, magic cookie bars, lemon bars, angel wings, peppermint something-or-others, pecan fingers, thumbprints, peanut butter cookies, chocolate chip rice krispie cookies, fudge, cheese wafers (my personal favorite), snickerdoodles, and many many others!  I'm not exagerating - we (by we, I mean my sister and mom) really make all of them, then we give them away by the pounds!!
Another good recipe that we make is for Molasses Cookies.  An all-time classic that is perfectly balanced between sweet and spicy.  Just a little bit chewy on the inside but nice and crunchy on the outside.  Just plain perfect.

From Great Grandma James
1 c. sugar
3/4 c. crisco
1/4 c. molasses
1 egg
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
+ sugar for rolling cookies in

1.  Mix together sugar, shortening, molasses and egg in mixer.

2.  Add dry ingredients.

3.  Roll into balls.  Roll balls in sugar.
4.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Sorry but it's another day and another post without something tasty to eat or something creative to make.  I hope you had a great Thanksgiving weekend with family and friends last week!  I had an awesome time at home, and now I am having trouble readjusting to the swing of things.  That includes making dinner.  So since I don't have anything original to post, I will share some creative things that other people did from my Pinterest boards!

If you haven't heard of or used this site before, it's a great way to keep all of your ideas for recipes, crafts, etc. organized and you can get inspired (overwhelmed really) by all of the other things that people post.  It's a good time.  You should join me there!

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