April Showers…

Good golly, it’s been 17 days since my last post.  Let me catch you up…

The month of March was a whirlwind and April is bringing many showers.  We are officially relocating to Charlotte, NC!  New jobs, new adventures.  Upon getting organized, I dug up an old gem of my mother.  It’s crazy, I see so much of myself in this pic; her hands, her willingness to try any recipe and her staple necklace.  I LOVED that necklace.  With every day new, I remind myself to eat a good breakfast and keep gentle reminders around; how can you inspire others if you are not inspired?  And with yesterdays monsoon pseudo-tornado, complete with a middle school run for cover drill and my American flag being ripped out of the column on my front porch, the grass really is greener and my tulips are a ridiculously perfect rouge! A friend sent me this picture of her afternoon walk and I mean really, does it get any better than a bed of bluebonnets? Spring is the best time of year, so with the showers, come the May flowers – yippee!

But back to the food.  Since I work from home, I am booked on conference calls pretty much all day.  I need to squeeze in something quick, easy and healthy; otherwise I miss the boat and I am ravenous by dinner.  I have been playing around with bagels and pumpernickel bread, roasted turkey or salmon, avocados or tomatoes, goat or brie cheese, hard boiled or poached eggs, capers or onions and arugula or spinach.  And some pomegranates.  Run to the market and pick up a few of these things and then just play around with changing it up.  It can be fun and you don’t need to have the same thing every day, just have some fun with it.

With the house on the market, we have also been eating out, a bunch, too much. My waistline is not happy.  But we were all craving our favorite salads and something homemade, so I tried this recipe that a friend shared on Facebook; you never know with a video, meaning – it might be more complicated than you think but this was a goodie, a simple 1-2-3; I watched the video 3 times, ran up to the store and delish, this delivered! Give it a try Twisted: Lemon Chicken Pasta.

With some spare time the past few weekends, I’ve been hitting a few of my favorite spots and saying my own personal au revoir.  Let’s face it, everything at Hunters Head Tavern in Upperville is always amazing, but they served up some yumma-yum on the sweet potato biscuits with honey butter. Whatever, I can’t even.  The Blushing Bubbly hit the spot, and I am gonna miss this place…head here on a Sunday for brunch, it’s the bomb.

I also did some retail therapy a few weeks ago in good old Georgetown.  I happened to stop into Urban Outfitters and it was Save the Music day with beer and DJ’s, repping all genders.  For those of you who know me, it was like the universe sent me there.  They had me at VH-1.  I don’t really drink beer but the concession was cool and I scooped up some t-shirts.  I was craving a crisp libation and a salad, so I dipped down to one of my all time favorite places, the Waterfront; um, on any given day, I’ll take lunch and a side of the best people watching around at Nicks Riverside Grille. It just never disappoints. Hard to get a seat at the covered bar overlooking the Potomac but wait it out, it’s worth it.  I wedged myself in next to the receipt ringer and that alone was bliss.

Also on a new fun stop on my list is Mt. Defiance Distillery for spirits and ciders; I must say, I can’t stomach a shot of anything, but served over ice is the way to go…cool vibe, small, do not bring your kids…the Absinthe was cool to see how it is fresh brewed…this is a quick stop, you can get in/out pretty quickly – I loved the Ginger Cider, like ginger ale, but after it’s set over ice & water for a bit…

Instagram is much easier to pic and post, but my passion is trying recipes and writing about it.  For the next while, I need to get life under wraps, maybe taper down to weekly or monthly posts until I come up for water, but stay tuned.  I am gonna miss this little perch I have called home for eight years; the perfect spot for an afternoon visit in the sun.  Remember, it’s that time of year that calls for Rose or Chardonnay, so cheers to my next adventure, CLT and Cackalacky!

 

 

 

DC RESTAURANT HOP

As you get to know me and My Simple Table blog, I’ll often post about my favorite food experiences; new places, old standby’s, tips from friends or my favorite kind, randomly selected based on the way a place looks (inviting), smells (good) or the menu (you know, options).   I can tell right away if I’m going to like something, or not…

This past weekend my cousin flew in for the March on Washington (I rallied from home) and I met her in town Sunday for a 24 hour visit, which was basically laughing, shopping, wine and eating.  And repeat.  I forget how much fun Dupont Circle & Adams Morgan is, rediscovering the city is refreshing.  A Sunday Funday for sure.

For a late brunch, we chose Restaurant Nora, America’s First Certified Organic restaurant. This was a complete random pick!  We Google-d farm to table in Dupont and this popped up; if I could only figure out how to use a map on my iPhone, this would have been faster to get to, but we had fun skipping through puddles, giggling and running into friends on a morning run.  Boy, did this place deliver.  We enjoyed the Belgian Endive & Baby Lettuces with Dates served with Pomegranates, Za’atar Labneh and Lemon Tahini Dressing, the Roasted Exotic Mushroom Soup with Crème Fraîche & Crispy Leeks and the Grilled Sustainable Salmon with Beluga Lentils, Green Beans, Carrots, Wilted Kale and Dill Aioli.   The service was polite and demure, and allowed us to catch up in a quiet, quaint area of the bustling neighborhood eatery.

We headed over to Adams’ Morgan and while we were window shopping in the light rain, we literally stumbled across a window front we couldn’t pass up; we loitered for an hour and a half so we could hit this spot for dinner.  Next up, Mintwood Place.  The fun surprise was on Sundays’ they do an all night Happy Hour in the bar where you can also order from the full dinner menu.  Uh, yes please.  We lucked out and had an awesome server; you know the one, the kind that makes everything sound scrumptious and you can tell she actually samples and enjoys the food they serve.  She successfully paired us with a Pinot Noir and I am still dreaming of the following:  Bacon-Braised Collard Greens with Winter Pickle, Brussels Sprouts with Chestnut and Apple Gastrique, Brandade Croquettes (it’s like a fish & chip, except shaped like a pop ’em donut and tempura fried crunchy) and finally a Bacon Cheeseburger;  we skipped the bread and they were so thoughtful – it came sliced in half so we could share, decorated with edible pansies – my fave.

Finally this morning we needed to refuel, so we popped our heads into the hotel restaurant, Cafe Dupont.  First of all, if they serve Lavazza coffee, you know they know what they are doing.  The picture above say it all but, Crushed Avocado, Spelt Toast, Chili Flakes & Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and locally Smoked Salmon, Shallot and Cucumber Pickle on Gluten Free bread (it’s an option, which is always nice to have).  Seriously, really good.

It’s always a terrific excuse to get away for a day in the city, but it’s even better when you get to see your best left coast cousin and have some quality time, doing what you love.