Posts Tagged With: food

Homemade Mac n Cheese!

If you’ve been following our blog for a while, you may know that I’ve been VERY SLOWLY but surely attempting to expand my skills in the kitchen from just baking to cooking real meals. I’ve made a couple great dishes, including this amazing Mexican Quinoa and so I thought it was time to attempt a classic meal…but from scratch.

Alas….homemade mac n cheese!

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Nothing says rainy Sunday like warm, homemade macaroni. Which is exactly why I spent my last two lazy Sundays in DC trying and tweaking this recipe. I used a mini Crock Pot because a.) that’s all we have at the apartment and b.) I’m only 1 person. But even in the mini pot I was able to execute this recipe, which serves 4. It was super easy to make and has been incredibly well-received by everyone who has tried it!

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Homemade mac n cheese

This recipe is perfect for anyone who can’t seem to get away from Easy Mac or Kraft because they’re so easy and delicious. This doesn’t take that much more effort, and is 1000 times more delicious, I promise! Just don’t leave the noodles in for too long or they will get super mushy!

I’m actually getting really hungry writing this and I wish I had saved some for lunch today! Try it out and let us know what you think!

-S

Recipe from: Julies Eats & Treats

Categories: DIY, Food | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Pumpkin Butter Cookies

Looking for the quickest, most fall-ish cookies ever to get you through the final few weeks before winter rolls in full-steam ahead? Trying to get in all of your pumpkin fix before switching over to apple and cinnamon for Christmas season? Well, we’ve got the perfect receipe for ya here!

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I’ll openly admit that these aren’t my favorite cookies, but they’ll definitely do in a pinch! They’re simple, classic, and definitely seasonal. Sometimes I get wrapped up in trying to push so much flavor, ingredients, and layers into my baked goods (see Red Velvet Brownies for example) that I forget how delicious a simple cookie can be. This recipe is one of those rare times I went back to basics, and I definitely didn’t regret it. I think the lack of pictures will prove that these went fast! They were the perfect quick treat to whip up for my coworkers after one of our large events, and go great with a warm cup of coffee or tea (…well, everything goes great with a warm cup of tea in my book…but whatever). The only concern with these cookies is to be careful not to over-bake since the enjoyment really comes from the gooey-ness of them!

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Pumpkin Butter Cookies

Happy simple eating for now! I’ll be returning soon with a more rich and chocolatey recipe for you all (think chocolate caramel brownies….mmmm).

xO – S

Categories: DIY, Food | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Mexican Quinoa

I keep telling myself that one of these days I’m going to learn how to cook meat properly. But until then I’m just going to make this Mexican Quinoa every week until I get sick of it. Which I think might be never.

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When I first set out to make this dish, a lot of recipes I found called for fresh cilantro, freshly chopped garlic, and all kinds of fancy things. You should note here that I totally cut corners and ended up buying minced garlic and pre-chopped jalapenos in a jar. But hey –  you can’t blame me for trying to be budget and time conscious! Plus, I can promise you it doesn’t lose any of the flavor.

This stuff is so delicious! And it’s extremely filling – I think I’ve eaten it for at least one meal everyday in the past two weeks.The best part of recipes like this is that you can experiment and add and subtract ingredients easily based on your preferences. Below are some pictures of the quinoa before and after I added extra toppings. You can tell I tried to stay on point with the “Mexican” flavor by adding diced tomatoes, jalapenos, and black beans. But if that sounds like too much – you can easily substitute other veggies or ingredients.

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Before Toppings

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Adding a little extra kick 🙂

Mexican Quinoa

Delicious, filling, and easy to make – no excuses not to give it a try! Look out for lots more quinoa recipes in the future – now that I’ve become obsessed with it I don’t think I’m going to stop experimenting with it anytime soon!

-S

Categories: DIY, Food | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Spicy Bean & Couscous Salad

I know I’m totally the opposite of most people when I say that I have less energy and drive in the summer. I prefer all things winter over summer in every sense. Cold. Darkness. Clothing. I don’t know what it is, but I live for those short, winter days where I have bounds of energy and feel like I can conquer the world. Food is no exception here. I generally don’t cook in the summer because it’s hot and I’m tired and I don’t want to work any harder than I have to. It’s just so much easier to throw some cucumbers on a salad and go out to a restaurant. However, I finally found a recipe that may change around my anti-summer cooking mentality.

It’s light, but filling, and super easy to make! Not going to lie, I first got the idea for this recipe from a side dish I bought at CVS when I didn’t have time to cook yet in my new apartment. But it was so delicious and looked relatively easy to replicate – so I gave it try!

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If you know me, you may know that I’m not a big fan of measuring when I cook or bake because I’m a firm believer that all ingredients should be added ‘to taste’ – which means as much as you see fit for your particular cravings. For this recipe, I’ve included the measurements that I used, but if you do try it out, you should definitely tailor it to your tastebuds!

Here’s what you’ll need:
-1 cup Couscous
-1 1/4 cup Chicken Broth
-1/2 cup Yellow Corn
-3/4 cup Black Beans
-6 tbsp Olive Oil
-6 tbsp Vegetable Oil
-3 tbsp Lemon Juice
– 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
-Salt
-Pepper
(this makes about 3 servings)

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Directions:

1. Bring the chicken broth to a boil
2. Slowly stir in couscous. Let boil about 2-4 minutes with pot covered.
3. Remove pot from heat, cover, and set sit. (The excess juice will be soaked into the couscous when you do this)

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4. In a separate bowl, mix oils, lemon juice, and cumin
5. Pour wet ingredients into the bowl of couscous
6. Add in beans and corn to entire mixture
6. Salt and pepper
(Here you can add things like peppers, vinegar, cilantro, etc…I’m just tryin’ to stay on a budget here…so I stuck to the basics!)

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Once you add the beans and corn, it actually becomes a full meal. I was surprised at how small of a portion it took to fill me! Here I thought I’d have to supplement it with something else, but I didn’t! I’m about to go eat some leftovers for lunch, and I’ll definitely be making this again in the very near future!

What summer recipes are your favorite?

-S

Categories: DIY, Food | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Weekend Wrap-up: 23rd Birthday Edition!

Friday was my 23rd birthday (cue Blink 182 ‘What’s My Age Again?’) and as it was my first one in DC, I was ready to go all-out with a weekend of friends, fun, and celebrating! And that is exactly what I did. (Disclaimer: This post is full of awkward pictures of me…yikes)

Now that I’m in the working world, I can’t exactly take off or do whatever I want on my birthday – if it falls during the week, I still have to go into the office. However, since I love my job so much, I didn’t even mind. Plus, I got to hang out with my awesome coworkers, and we even went out to a great Mexican place around the corner for a celebratory lunch.

birthday photo

Yes, this happened.

After work, my friend and I met my roommates are Capitol City Brewing Company at Metro Center for happy hour specials and dinner. I was told I had to try the Hefeweizen, which was on tap for $3.50 a glass and it was probably one of the best beers I’ve ever had. So light, so refreshing! Cap City has this thing where they give you soft pretzels instead of bread or chips and salsa as an appetizer and it’s pretty much why I go there. I could literally just eat a bunch of the pretzels and be good. But I always try to order food too…since just eating the free pretzels and beer would be rude and weird.

Jason, Elinor, and I

We then migrated to China Town to meet up with Elyse, her friend from high school, and a couple of my other friends from work at La Tasca. Soooo much Sangria ensued…and then I even got a mini cake!

Happy birthday to me!

Sunday was my good friend Sophia’s birthday (cue Taylor Swift’s ’22’) so it was natural for us, since we have the same group of liberty-loving friends, to have a joint party on Saturday night. We spent the day running around and getting ready. We made specialty drinks and cookies for the crowd and everyone really seemed to enjoy themselves (or at least I like to assume they did). It wasn’t like anything special or crazy happened, but it was just one of those nights you remember as being really awesome. I wish we took pictures at the party, but I guess that’s the price we pay for having too much fun…oh well!  Guess we’ll just have to do it all over again soon – housewarming party, anyone? For lack of pictures from Saturday, here is a picture of the birthday girls a couple weeks back:

Check out that Sephora lipstick! 🙂

It’s so crazy how you leave high school and you think your best years are in the past, then you go to college and you’re convinced that those are the best years of your life. But I’ve been in DC for a year now and after this weekend, I’m positive that my best years are ahead of me. I’m so grateful for all my friends in DC who were so good to me all weekend and I can’t wait to see what life has in store for the now older, wiser me!

xO -S

Categories: Interesting, Just for Fun, Local Places | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

What’s Getting Us Through the Week!

We’re back after a couple weeks (okay, months…fail!) hiatus with what’s getting us through the week! And this time we’re puttin’ in a little more detail to make up for our absence and total blogger fails.

Elyse says…

This week, I don’t know why, but it’s been very odd. First there was happy hours, then power outages, then staying at work until 830 and walking through Georgetown.. just not my typical thing. This week, there are two things that I look forward to throughout each work day.. and they’re what’s getting me through the week!

1. Outdoor DC Happy Hours.
Maybe because its finally nice but not oppressively hot, maybe it’s because in my new apartment I can stroll 3 blocks and be at the bars.. but suddenly outdoor happy hours are my absolute favorite thing. Cafe Dupont as seen above, has outdoor chairs, couches, standing tables..a fire pit! And a perfect view of the circle! It’s constantly crowded, music playing, happy post-work people. It’s just an infectious buzz. Mad Hatter on the other side of the circle also has an outdoor space (who knew!) and $4 frozen mango margaritas… uhh YES.
.
2. Summer TV Series!

Admittedly, I have poor TV and movie taste. I’m all about chick flicks and dramas. In that light, two of my favorite shows are back for their summer seasons! I’ve been waiting for so long…

The Newsroom – yeah its  Sorkin writing, everyone bashes it. Too scripted..blahblah. I personally wish my life involved soliloquies and drama the way this show does. It seems to be getting a little weird..but if you haven’t seen it yet it’s worth  logging into hbogo.com and taking a gander.


Suits – HAVE YOU WATCHED THIS YET?!? Seriously suits is amazing. Another office environment that I can only hope mine mirrors someday. Here’s the premise: Genius guy with photographic memory pretends to have gone to Harvard, works at a law firm and changes lives. You’re sold aren’t you… This season is getting rather steamy, but everyone who watches a few episodes—guys, girls, my mom—all love it! Knowing that I could curl up and watch this week’s episode after work last night made the day that much better.

Shianne says…

It’s my birthday week (tomorrow I turn 23 – YAY!) and the week before I move (metro life – DOUBLE YAY!) so I’ve been trying to prep for all that while still trying to balance a full work schedule. Here’s what’s helped me through:

1. Greek Yogurt

I have heard countless people rave and rave about Greek Yogurt for so long now and I have always been a non-believer. I’ve even given it a few chances and still nothing. However, this week I accidentally picked up a Greek Yogurt Parfait from Au Bon Pain instead of regular and something in my taste buds must have changed, because I LOVED it. I have subsequently purchased Greek Yogurt every morning since and even added a little granola for an extra kick. And maybe it’s subconscious, but it’s actually revving me up in the mornings as well! I’m not sure how long this phase will last, but I’m really enjoying it while it does!

2. Twitter

This is a totally weird thing, but I’ve had a pretty fun week on Twitter! I’ve been pretty active on my personal account as well as the Liberty on Less account and my thoughts are apparently being well-received. Our blog is now being followed by Marshall’s Brand and a couple other big names on Twitter – which is AWESOME. (If you’re not already following us – you can do so here.)

Personally, as you all know, I’m SUPER into politics. It’s almost exclusively what I tweet about. Well, that and puppies. With Obama’s speech this week, I’ve been even more active than usual and in turn I’ve been getting more retweets than usual – including some from my favorite non-profit advocacy groups as well as one Congressman! I’m not necessarily a Comms person, but it is nice to know that some people you look up to to make changes are seeing what you’re saying and agree with you!

& we both agree on…

CHILLING. 

Yes, chilling. Is that a weird thing to say if you’re not a 14 year old boy? Well, that’s the only word I can think to describe our weeks right now. Each night this week, we’ve both been keeping it super low key – happy hours, mindless television, baseball games, and hanging out with friends. This is especially relevant since we’ve both had fairly stressful weeks at work so doing these things have totally kept us from losing our marbles after hours or caving under the pressure! Even if it’s just sitting with a coffee or some ice cream (have you tried Larry’s? So many flavors!) spending some time to relax and unwind after work with friends will always be one of the best ways to bring you back to reality and keep you from burning out. Just try to keep it light – harping on the stress and complaining to friends will only make it worse…so clear your mind, get a frozen margarita, and relax (not to say that a good venting sesh every now and then doesn’t work either).

As Cole Swindell puts it in his new song:

“Pour it on easy now don’t spill a bit
Nothing but time tonight, let’s get to killin’ it
Long as I’m rockin’ with you girl
You know I’m cool with
Just chillin’ it”

Are these lame? Maybe. But they’re what’s getting us through the week! How about you?

Xx – E&S

Categories: Entertainment, Interesting, Just for Fun, Motivation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

DGS Brunch!

This weekend, S and I met up in the DuPont area with every intention of reviewing a totally different brunch location. The original location required a reservation (who knew!) so we’ll have to review it another time…luckily right across the circle is the lovely DGS Delicatessen, which we’ve also been meaning to try.

There was a really short wait (less than 10 minutes – which is crazy at 12:30 on a Sunday!), but we opted to sit at the bar anyway since it was super cute. The atmosphere was perfect for brunch! Really casual, not too loud or too quiet, and quality food….we couldn’t ask for anything more. And we didn’t have to! Next thing we knew, they had a customer with a baby stroller coming in so they asked us to move down just a couple seats to the higher bar to accommodate the stroller. No problem, right? Even though we totally didn’t mind doing it, they gave us each a glass of champagne on the house for the trouble, and we’re not ones to argue with an offer like that!

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I have no idea what kind of champagne it was but it was slightly different than the standard brunch champagne and seriously delicious! I really regret not asking what it was because now I’m afraid I won’t be able to find it again (unless I go back…which is actually pretty likely). Just when we thought it couldn’t get better, our food came – and it looked like this…

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Challah French Toast

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Patatas Bravas

Perfect portions and excellent presentation! We couldn’t help but fire up Instagram and take these photos to show you…though it was hard to resist just diving in right away! Definitely worth a trip if you’re looking for a cute & casual brunch place!

-E&S

 

 

Categories: Food, Just for Fun, Local Places | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mint Cookies

For those of you that follow us on Instagram you may have seen the teaser picture of some cookies I posted last weekend and you might be wondering where those cookies have ended up. The answer is in the bellies of myself, my friends, and my coworkers. OOPS. However, I did salvage enough to take a few finished product pics and share the recipe with you all!

These cookies are some of my brother’s and my roommate’s favorite since they are mint flavored and deliciousssss. The green color is totally optional, but it does make them way more fun!

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What you’ll need:
1 package of sugar cookie mix
1 stick butter or margarine (softened)
1 egg
1 tablespoon mint extract
Green food coloring
8 oz creme de menthe chips
8 oz chocolate chips

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Steps:
1. Combine softened butter, egg, and cookie mix in a large bowl

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2. Add mint extract, food coloring, and chips
3. Mix until fully combined

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4.  Roll into balls and place in fridge or freezer for cooling (at least 12 hours in fridge, at least 4 in freezer)
5. Pop them into the oven at 350 degrees – bake for 8-10 minutes and enjoy!

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It’s as simple as that!

If the recipe looks familiar it is because I did post it here earlier (cheating, I know) – BUT I made a few updates and I wanted to share them with you all! I have a feeling I’ll be doing this fairly often  since I’m always looking to improve my recipes. This is especially due to the fact that I’ve made a few cookies over the past few weeks that have just been so delicious that I’m now finding it hard for my old favorites to even compare so it’s about time I do some updating – let me know if you have any suggestions!

-S

Categories: DIY, Food | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

Strawberry and Cream Cheese Sandwich

So I’ve officially discovered the easiest and most delicious breakfast sandwich ever. It’s a strawberry and creamcheese sandwich and in addition to being simple, filling, and yummy, it’s also apparently pretty healthy! (Always nice when that happens, isn’t it!)

Here’s what you’ll need:
– Bread
– Cream Cheese
– Strawberries
(yep…that’s it!)

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I won’t bore you with the finer details of it…cause the pictures pretty much speak for themselves. And I guess it doesn’t have to be limited to just breakfast…now that I think about it, it could make a great & healthy snack..hmmm so many options.

So little work…so much reward. So, sure, every now and then it’ll be nice to have a little meat and eggs on a sandwich, but for most days – this is going to be my new go-to!

-S

Categories: DIY, Food, Interesting | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Doughnut Daze: New Food Trend

Elyse informed me a couple weeks ago that cupcakes are no longer a thing…though I was skeptical at first, thinking that no one could ever take away the public’s love for gourmet cupcakes, I finally accepted their fate after reading this Wall Street Journal Article about the decline of the cupcake market.

However, I didn’t stay sad for long once I found out that gourmet DOUGHNUTS were taking their place. This is apparently the new dessert trend in the food market…and I am not mad about it at all.  A new shop called Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken just opened up downtown and I got the chance to visit yesterday on my day off.

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Outside the shop…smaller than I thought!

It’s not an actual restaurant like I had imagined, more of a grab-and-go station…but I kinda liked it that way. It’s like the best fast food joint you’ve ever been to. We each got a doughnut to try and were finished with them before we even reached the White House (except me, the slowest eater on the planet).

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Most of us couldn’t resist the Salted Caramel Almond

There were all different flavors – everything from vanilla and chocolate glaze to bacon! I didn’t want to get too crazy on my first trip, so I went with the Salted Caramel Almond…and I was not disappointed! In fact, it was even better than I had imagined. The almonds were the perfect addition and it was JUST the right combo of salt and caramel.

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yummm

I know there are SO MANY options of places to eat in DC…and sometimes that means just sticking to your personal favorites…but I promise you, it is worth branching out this time! Astro Doughnuts stands out among all the DC restaurants as unique, fun, and fast – without giving up being delicious! I’ll definitely be returning soon to try the other part of the menu – fried chicken. I saw a sriracha flavor that I won’t be able to resist for long! 🙂 I highly recommend stopping by if you’re in the DC area…or looking up the nearest Gourmet doughnut shop wherever you’re at!

xO -S

Categories: Adventures, Food, Interesting, Local Places | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

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