Category Archives: summer

DC Foodie: Sweetgreen

Sometimes (read: all of winter) I’m like “ick, salad” and other times (most of summer) it seems like the most perfect idea.

This month – which how is it possible, that it is already half over??Sweetgreen, the as locally-sourced-as-possible, salad brain trust of local Georgetown grads that is taking the NE + MidAtl corridor by storm has figured it out, almost.


Their July Salad features mesclun greens, basil, peaches, slivered almonds, goat cheese and balsamic dressing.  Normally, I’m a big fan of goat cheese, but on a whim (and because they were out) we swapped for white cheddar.  This is a good move, I promise.  The white cheddar offers an extra salt kick in an otherwise pretty close to perfect summer salad.

Get your greens – before they wilt!

What to do this Weekend: Dinner with Friends

It’s August, we’re officially closer to fall than spring.  While we’ve complained about the oppressive (really, it has been) heat, in as many weeks we’ll (I’ll) be complaining about the colder temperatures.

So, in this order: invite some friends over, fire up the grill, open up a bottle of wine, eat, talk and laugh too much.

Dinner with Friends! Grilling by Jon, Flowers by Kristin

Dinner with friends doesn’t have to be fancy.  It could be new flavors or old favorites – the company is what counts!

Need ideas for some dishes?  Connect with me on Pinterest for some yummy inspiration.

Hungry for the Weekend

Well, it has been a pretty crazy week in these parts.  On Tuesday we had an earthquake, yes we live in DC, and this weekend we’re settling in for a hurricane, yes, we still live in DC.

Earthquake Devastation

A funny story about “The Earthquake,” a 5.9 with relatively very little damage: in my office building they were handing out ice cream sandwiches and bars as an end of summer treat.  My colleague and friend, grabbed one as we evacuated the building.  An ice cream sandwich just isn’t her kind of snack, she’s more of a farmer’s market girl (yea for foodie friends!), but she made me laugh when she said, “hey, I just survived an earthquake – you only live once!”

So, with that in mind – indulge this weekend, enjoy the comfort of friends, family, and home cooking, and stay safe.

If you, like me, are hungry for the weekend please, enjoy these links:

Have a delicious and safe weekend!

You Say Tomato, I say throw a Party

It’s hot, the farmer’s markets have tomatoes of every variety and it is time to throw one more good party before the end of summer.  I love the idea of a themed party, rehearsal dinner, or wedding, and the end of summer tomato bounty is as good as any that I can think of.

In pulling together this inspiration board the focus was entirely on the food and using the bounty that is provided in this season.  The secret with Italian cooking and cuisine is that it is at it’s best when it is it’s most simple.  Fresh produce, simple preparations and presentation.

For a dinner party, or wedding with a more limited budget choosing a theme to dictate the menu and decor can help prevent scope creep.

Tomato Party

I love that this is completely DIY friendly, and easily able to be all homemade or catered with a low cost.  In this inspiration board the difference makers are the small details: the mini Pellegrino bottles at each seat, the innovative presentation of small bites, the local fair, and the truly edible arrangements of tomatoes and grissini.

If you are in need of some tomato focused recipes, why not try homemade ketchup, tomato soup, roasted vegetable sauce, homemade salsa, or a pizza party?

Doesn’t this just make you want to throw a party and buon appetito?

Source: Bread & Oil, Polenta Hors D’oeuvres, Table Setting, Tomatoes, Carnations, Wine, Pellegrino, Strawberry Pie, Torrone

Homemade Ketchup

So, for about a month my refrigerator was broken, which meant that I was grocery shopping a lot (think daily), and didn’t have a lot of basic ingredients (think ketchup). 

Note any recipes made on the blog, or shared with friends were with fresh ingredients, have no fear! 

Anyway, I have no ketchup, but we’re making fries and obviously everyone knows that ketchup goes with fries, and as a kid also with eggs, chicken, potato chips (ick, really?!), burgers and dogs…

Homemade Ketchup Ingredients
1 Pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 tbsp of honey
2 tsp of red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste



Chop in half all of the tomatoes and scatter them on a tin foil wrapped cookie sheet.  Drizzle over the tomatoes olive oil and season with salt.  This is to taste, and if possible I’d err on the side of under-salting.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 25-35 minutes, or until the tomatoes have blistered and look a bit charred around the edges.

In a food processer/blender/maybe even by hand combine the roasted tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar and honey and pulse for two minutes, stopping intermittently to scrape down the sides.   Taste.  Need more salt, more pepper, too sweet, too vinegary?  You can adjust a blend again for another 30 seconds.

Serve with freshly roasted potatoes, or glam up a burger and dog.  While this “ketchup” might not be kid-approved because of it’s more rustic and homemade texture, this homemade ketchup packs the acidity of the tomatoes, the bite of the vinegar, the sweetness of the honey and come without any of the packaging or preservatives.


Taco Night

Growing up “taco night” was a big deal in our house, we usually had friends come over and share in the abundance of food, and as far as having fun while eating, it’s hard to beat this meal.

So, with that in mind, it was a really nice surprise to come home from work on Tuesday and find that Taco Night had graduated to a more sophisticated level and made for me, by Mark.  What is great about this dinner, is that it is a cinch to make and the ingredients are all fresh and healthful and seasonal for summer.

Taco Night Platter - Pre Construction

Ingredients for the perfect Taco Night:
1/2 lb of boneless, skinless chicken breast/tenders
2 ears of corn
1 pint of cherry tomatoes
1 whole yellow onion, chopped
corn tortillas
1/2 packet of taco seasoning, Trader Joe’s
1 tbsp of canola oil
1/4 cup of Greek Yogurt, nonfat
1/2 tbsp of olive oil
1/4 cup of Lite Mexican Blend Cheese, Trader Joe’s

If you’re lucky enough to have  a BBQ grill this is the perfect all in one, little clean up meal to make.

Step 1: Coat the chicken in the canola oil and then dredge in the seasoning mix. Set aside.

Taco Dinner

Step 2: Put the corn, still in it’s husks, the chopped onion, the to

matoes secured in an aluminum foil “bag”, then chicken over indirect heat on the grill – in that order.

Step 3: Rotate the corn, flip the onions, shake the tomatoes, flip the chicken (only once) after ten minutes.

Step 4: Allow corn to cool enough so that you can handle it; remove the husks and cut the kernels from the cob.  Prepare the “sour cream” by mixing the yogurt and olive oil.

Step 5: Serve and make your tacos!

Hungry for the Weekend

Here is the current state of affairs in my life: DC, where we live, is currently under a heat advisory and warning of hyperthermia.  Two thoughts on that: one, I don’t ever recall that happening in the 18 years I lived in Florida, and two, I am guessing Firefox is underlining “hyperthemia” as a misspelled word because it is so rare!

Additionally my kitchen is an appliance graveyard.  I have a broken refrigerator, in the wall, a new one in the dining room, a hole in the wall that is too small for the ovens, and two dishwashers.

Needless to say, I am not doing too much cooking, and yes, I am very hungry for the weekend!

Caramel Apple Bites via Domesticali

This week’s Hungry for the Weekend features summer fare: ice cream, BBQ, grilling, and a rebuttal to America’s favorite treat, the s’more.

If you, like me, are hungry for the weekend please, enjoy these links:

Have a delicious weekend!

Gluten free Blueberry Crumble

We are having a major blueberry moment in our house.  Yesterday we went through two pints of blueberries.  That is a lot, FYI.  Luckily for us, blueberries are like natural vitamins for your body when you consider their health benefits: packed with cancer-fighting, anti-aging, eyesight-saving and disease-fighting antioxidants.

So, last weekend when we were having a BBQ Birthday party and my sister-in-law’s house I went for the perfect summer dessert, blueberry crumble, made gluten free and dairy free to accommodate everyone’s needs.

Ingredients: Blueberries, Lemon Juice, Sugar, Gluten Free Flour Mix

2-3 pints of blueberries
1/4 lemon, squeezed
1 tbsp corn starch
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup gluten free flour mix
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
4 tbsp dairy free “butter spread”
*Extra butter for pan

In a large bowl wash and rinse all of the blueberries, and keep an eye out for any pesky stems.  Shake to dry and then add the lemon juice, sugars and cornstarch.

Gently mix the berries and sugars and allow it to set for a few minutes.  The juice will begin to form, and the cornstarch will take effect to keep it from getting too thin.

After about 15 minutes pour the blueberries into a “buttered” pie dish and use the now empty bowl to prepare the crumble.  (Don’t bother washing the bowl, there is some goodness stuck to the sides!)

With your rings off, mix with your hands the flours, sugars, and egg.  The mix should be “crumbly” and hold a small shape if you were to pack it with your fingers.

Pour the topping on top of the blueberries, leaving about a half inch of blueberries at the edges.  Dot the top with small pieces of “butter”.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes, or until the top is evenly browned and the blueberries’ juice is bubbling and bright.

Sooo good!

Share this with friends, family, or eat it all by yourself – this is a perfect, healthy forkful of summer in every bite!

Hungry for the Weekend

As it is definitely the dog days of summer, I wanted to think a bit more about the comfort foods of the season.  The foods that gather family and friends around bonfires, BBQ pits and big picnic tables.

Jello is Glamorous!

This week’s Hungry for the Weekend features lots of summer friendly comfort food.  Let’s dig in.

If you, like me, are hungry for the weekend please, enjoy these links:

Have a delicious weekend!

Salsa is Sassy

Last night Jaci tweeted the following:

I responded to her in kind,

She was out with our great friends in the great city of New York (yay SSM!) and I was grabbing a quick bite with Mark at a Baja Fresh (also good, and shockingly fresh) on K Street in DC.  If you are in neither of those places and want your own Sassy Salsa, check out this recipe.

Homemade Salsa = good

Homemade Salsa shared with awesome people = AWESOME, and sassy!