You know all of the places that you pass every day and about every third day you say to yourself “I really should go there.” Yeah, that’s me. Every day to and from work I pass Gallaudet, Union Market, NoMA and tons of other little streets that I cannot wait to explore. But so often either I’m too tired, need to laundry, or something else “prevents” me from just going there!
One random night the other week it was like everything was working in my favor. I left work at a reasonable time with sunlight still shining, I wasn’t sitting in hours of traffic, the weather was just about perfect, and we had nothing to do. (Well, at least no chores that we wanted to do.) Insert: We had no excuse not to try out a new place for a spur of the moment date night! We strolled through Gallaudet University, which is beautiful – the campus is so much bigger than I assumed, and the grounds are really well kept- and made our way to Union Market. We did a round and decided to pick out a few cheese, order a glass of wine, and found a little table outside to enjoy our spread from Righteous Cheese. We sat, talked, and tried to keep our phones away for a couple of hours to enjoy the beautiful fall evening together!
A few summers ago J and I went on our own little BBQ tour in search of the best BBQ. This was definitely a challenge since J grew up in Alabama and swore that no place compared to what he grew up with. We tried different BBQ places where ever we traveled to… Virginia, Maryland, Deleware, Alabama, Georgia, and the list goes on. Low and behold our favorite ended up being in our backyard… D.C.
I had heard about DCity Smokehouse on some food review – I think it might have been The Washingtonian’s Best Places to Eat – and when we showed up it was exactly what we had been looking for. The “restaurant” was slightly larger than our galley kitchen, a couple of bar stools and rolls of paper towels. The smell though. Oh. My. Goodness did it smell good. We ran our eyes over the menu and ordered. On our first visit we had plans of taking our food back home but the smell was too good that we decided to wait for those bar stools to be vacant to eat there. (Every other time we did the same- unless Auburn was playing in which case we took it back home.)
Everytime we went to DCity it was packed and understandably so. Finally the BBQ team there decided to move down the road a little to a larger location. After months of waiting for the new DCity Smokehouse to open, we went for lunch & was not disappointed. No longer is it a hole in the wall type place but a really cool build. A mix of industrial and country decor, a good selection of beers on tap, and even some cocktails on the menu- but the smell is still mouth watering and the BBQ has remained no fuss, finger licking good. And in case you don’t want to lick your fingers, they still have the rolls of paper towels for you to use. Exactly what we wanted & hoped the reopen to be.
C’s Tip: Get the crispy brussel sprouts. I know, I know… you don’t go to BBQ places to get vegetables but believe me. They’re SO good! And get there early if you want a seat. Although they now have tables and a bar full of stools, it’s still a popular choice!
Pretty much as soon as we touched down I was swept away and completely in love with Paris. I have only been that one time, but dream about going back to my favorite city of lights often. Since a weekend away in Paris wasn’t in the books, I decided to bring Paris to my little home in D.C. for a celebratory birthday brunch.
I kept my spread simple and allowed people to make their own brunch cocktails by providing a mimosa and bloody mary bar. I did have the glass rims decorated with pink sprinkles for the mimosas and a smokey chili salt for the bloodies but the rest was left to our guests’ preferences.
I found at my favorite grocery store (Trader Joe’s of course) frozen croissants that you let proof overnight and bake. Let me tell you- the smell it leaves in your house is enough to buy these pups, but they taste just as delicious as they smell! I had plain, almond, and chocolate croissants, a brie wedge, cured meats, jam, vanilla yogurt with granola, and a household favorite on cold winter mornings- a seasonal frittata. No birthday celebration would be complete without a couple of desserts so we had a chocolate cake, raspberry cookie sandwiches and some coconut thins.
Since we registered for all white serving dishes I love adding color with flowers and little details like the lemons for a pop of yellow. Flower arrangements can be scattered around your house to make sure your “theme” is consistent. J bought me flowers for my birthday and I just spruced them up a bit with some eucalyptus branches to add a whimsical and romantic feel. Speaking of romantic, I’ve posted a few of my favorite wedding pictures to my C’s Love Story pages! Jump on over to that page after you’re done reading this post! (Hope you like them as much as I do!!) 28 is off to a great start and already scheduled for some fun adventures so keep following along!
C’s Party Tip: Having pre-salt or sprinkle rimmed glasses is a way to add just a little bit more fun to a Mimosa and Bloody Mary bar! For Bloodies make sure you have pepper and some hot sauce for those that like it a little spicier. If you’re not crazy about adding OJ to a perfectly good glass of champagne, you can always muddle some berries or fruit for a little flavor!
Tis the season for lots of yummy treats. From cheesy appetizers to frosted cookies and pies, it’s hard to resist! I have two holiday get-togethers this weekend that came with the request for us to bring some sort of dessert. Immediately I knew I wanted to make these fun little S’More Bites for one of the parties. And I was so relieved that I wasn’t going to be spending countless hours trolling Pinterest. (It gets overwhelming!) These S’more Bites are super easy to prep, quick to cook, and always a crowd pleaser! Plus they’re a great little pop-in-your-mouth-between-laughs kind of dessert. No fork, spoon, or campfire needed for these s’mores!
1 cup of graham cracker crumbs (finely chopped)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 chocolate bars, divided*
12 large marshmallows
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Mix together graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar and melted butter in a bowl. Spoon crumb mixture into each cup or cupcake liner. Press crumbs to form bottom layer. Bake 4-5 minutes, or until edges are bubbling. While graham cracker base is baking, break your chocolate bars into rectangles and depending on the size of your cupcake pan, cut in half. Remove pan from oven; place one piece of chocolate into each cup.
Cut marshmallows in half and place one marshmallow half, cut-side down, into each cup. Return to oven for an additional 1-2 minutes or until marshmallows look fluffy. Cool for about 10-15 minutes and enjoy!
*I mixed up my chocolate bar choices this year. Instead of milk chocolate, I used a dark chocolate bar and a Symphony bar with almonds and toffee chips in it. You’re welcome to be traditional or adventurous, it’ll be delicious whatever your choice! (Also, you can drizzle chocolate over the marshmallow if you want extra chocolate!!)
And for all of you bakers out there William-Sonoma just kicked off their Friends & Family sale! (code: FRIENDS) Get up to 20% off cookware and tools to help make your holiday cooking and baking just a tad bit easier! And for those of you who don’t like baking, lucky for you too! All Holiday candy at William-Sonoma is 25% off! I am definitely swinging by to pick up these adorable gingerbread men to hang on mugs and these to stir my spiked eggnog! Can’t resist!