Sweetsonian

Music to Cook to // July 2014

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7.03.14 by sarah

music to cook to, july 2014 // sweetsonian

This time last year, I was camping with my family in high up in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. I’m sad I haven’t had a chance to head back home to hang with the family, but I’ll never forget the small town Fourth of July celebration I got to experience last summer.

Not to say DC’s will be lacking. The nation’s capital generally hosts the best July Fourth celebration there is.

So bring on the beer, the burgers, and the red, white, and blue. Hope you have a fabulous holiday! USA!

Chicken with Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables

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7.02.14 by sarah

roasted chicken with mediterranean vegetables // sweetsonian The past couple of weeks have been weird for me, and filled with situations where I’ve felt unlike myself. I won’t get into too much, but part of it might have had something to do with having Airbnb’rs and cat sitting for Winston and second guessing when my move to New York actually will be. Rest assured, I’ve figured it all out. And once I did, I took Saturday night to myself — I took advantage of a quiet apartment and read most of the current summer read, and ended up taking a late night trip to the gym. I missed the spin and yoga classes, but generally, I’m okay with that, because I can just hop on a bike and coach my own spin class. The Sarah Gerrity spin class. roasted chicken with mediterranean vegetables // sweetsonian On my walk to the gym, dusk was setting and the fireflies just started appearing — side note, we don’t have fireflies in California, so they have a special place in my heart, and I still get excited every time I see them — but on my walk back from the gym, it was dark. There were some straggler fireflies, and the crispness of the night instantly brought me back to my first summer in DC, back in 2010. Having recovered from my first, very brutal winter, I was more than ecstatic to have a spring and a summer, filled with rooftop bars and embassy parties, and cooking dinners on my Dupont patio. Watching the flight patterns landing and departing from DCA, with a glass of wine and usually while sharing hookah with Kristen or Rachel was the usual. Saturday night reminded me of that. So naturally, I was wistfully remembering the days of my youth. Not that I’m not still young, but it’s weird how much you could change in four or five years. Back then, I thought I’d live in DC forever, I thought running was the only exercise I’d ever need, and I also wanted to stay in that first group house until everyone else moved on, so I could just buy it for myself and gut it completely when I was ready to have a family of my own. Oh, how things have changed. I’m trying to savor my last summer in DC as much as I can. The days aren’t quite numbered yet, because a few things are still up in the air. The air is crisp, and I’d hate to say things are changing, because I’ve said that so many times and the changes I think might happen don’t actually come about. But as much as I love the winters, the summers are nice too. And I’m going to soak up every inch of not-urban jungle that DC is. roasted chicken with mediterranean vegetables // sweetsonian roasted chicken with mediterranean vegetables // sweetsonian

roasted chicken with mediterranean vegetables // sweetsonian roasted chicken with mediterranean vegetables // sweetsonian

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Chicken with Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables, adapted from the Clever Carrot, recipe after the jump (more…)

Star-Spangled Cookies

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6.30.14 by sarah

star-spangled cookies // sweetsonian

Because America’s bests holiday is right around the corner.

I’m a little rusty on the icing skills, but these will have to do.

star-spangled cookies // sweetsonian

star-spangled cookies // sweetsonian

star-spangled cookies // sweetsonian

star-spangled cookies // sweetsonian

Star-Spangled Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing, recipe after the jump. (more…)

Breakfast Sliders, Three Ways

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6.27.14 by sarah

breakfast sliders, three ways // sweetsonian

Yes, because this happened.

Breakfast sandwiches are my undoing. My. Undoing.

They also happen to be one of the easiest things to throw together if you’re hosting a big brunch. Why put together a giant, meticulous meal if you all drank a little too much the night before and all you need is a hangover cure? Hold the grease.

One of my biggest qualms with the breakfast sausage they sell at my Safeway is that the patties are a little too small for a normal English muffin. So this time, I figured, you know? Why not cut biscuits and eggs to fit the sausage perfectly? And that is how the breakfast sandwich sliders were born. I’d recommend prepping all of the ingredients first, and setting up a breakfast sandwich slider bar — with the bases, proteins, and toppings all there for everyone to make on their own.

That’s what we did, anyway :)

breakfast sliders, three ways // sweetsonian

breakfast sliders, three ways // sweetsonian

From left to right:

{ the classic }
biscuit, scrambled egg, sausage, cheddar

{ onion jack }
biscuit, scrambled egg, sausage, pepper jack, caramelized onions

{ the california }
biscuit, scrambled egg, sausage, spicy tomato mayo, avocado

breakfast sliders, three ways // sweetsonian

breakfast sliders, three ways // sweetsonian

breakfast sliders, three ways // sweetsonian

breakfast sliders, three ways // sweetsonian

Breakfast Sandwich Sliders, recipe after the jump (more…)

DC Faves: Hank’s Oyster Bar

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6.26.14 by sarah

hank's oyster bar, dupont // sweetsonian

The first time I ever went to Hank’s Oyster Bar was just a few days after I moved into my apartment, which is about 100 feet from Hank’s, we called in a last minute, late night reservation, and pretty much ordered half of the menu for three people. We did collectively drink a few bottles of champagne that night, so I don’t remember much about that first meal (other than every moment of it being delicious), but it set the stage for my regular stop for drinks and sometimes dinner. I love the marble bar in the front room — it serves as a great starting point for date night, since I could continue elsewhere if the date was good, or retreat to my apartment if the date was bad — and the windows in the main room open up when the weather is nice, so it’s more like an open-air restaurant.

Last week, I was having drinks in the upstairs bar, hidden away, and we ordered the squash blossoms as a snack to accompany our whorishly dirty martinis — they were served stuffed with goat cheese, on top of watermelon cubes, arugula, and radishes.

Over the weekend, Rachel came to visit, so we opted for an easy stroll around the corner for a farewell dinner before she flew off to California again (rude). We lucked out with a table on the coveted patio as dusk hit, so I snapped a few photos while I still had an ounce of light. I saw someone walk by with a plate of squash blossoms from just a few days before, and salivated.

Pictured above is Megan’s punch, a light and refreshing alcoholic citrus punch, served in a tea cup. I’d drink 8 billion of those if I had the time, money, and tolerance. And below is the Hanky Panky cocktail, which is a mix of citrus vodka, housemade Limoncello and a splash of sparkling wine.

Overall, it’s one of my favorite casual date spots, whether you’re deciding if it’s worth a third date or you’re meeting a long-time bestie to vent about work drama over martinis. If you can get a seat on the patio on a crisp summer night, well, that’s my favorite. Have your choice of menus here.

hank's oyster bar, dupont // sweetsonian

hank's oyster bar, dupont // sweetsonian

Some people think it’s weird to order non-seafood at a seafood restaurant, but after years of working at a seafood restaurant, that’s just silly. I settled in with some spectacular molasses-braised shortribs, chilled beets, and fresh coleslaw. Other dishes below.

Fried oyster po’ boy }

hank's oyster bar, dupont // sweetsonian

Thai coconut mussels with coconut milk, ginger, and lobster stock }

hank's oyster bar, dupont // sweetsonian

Sauteéd softshell crab with local vegetables }

hank's oyster bar, dupont // sweetsonian

Bonnie Blue Cafe // Winchester, VA

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6.24.14 by sarah

bonnie blue // sweetsonian

This weekend, Shaeda and I took the scenic route to Winchester, Virginia. It’s pretty much our favorite place to go thrift shopping (thank you, Sydney Liann). We took the toll-infused, beautiful Route 50 west through Virginia, aiming for a church thrift store in Upperville. The church was closed, but we stumbled upon an estate sale, where I purchased a couple of gorgeous stainless steel knives with wooden handles — for FOUR dollars. The real gem of the day was our brunch, also recommended by Sydney, and executed perfectly by Bonnie Blue.

bonnie blue // sweetsonian

bonnie blue // sweetsonian

The ladies were so warm and welcoming when we walked in, and literally everything on the menu sounded delicious, so it took a lot of effort to not order everything that was listed on the wall. Also, you know how much I love a good chalk wall. It was also just the perfect opportunity to take my new camera out for a drive!

bonnie blue // sweetsonian

bonnie blue // sweetsonian

bonnie blue // sweetsonian

bonnie blue // sweetsonian

They had a cute little coffee bar, and while I was far too caffeinated to purchase some at that moment, I did buy this bag of coffee beans below for the office — we swap many things, and coffee is one of them.

bonnie blue // sweetsonian

bonnie blue // sweetsonian

bonnie blue // sweetsonian

Shaeda ordered the pulled pork, cucumber salad, and mac and cheese (always her fave!) and I had a jumbo lump crab cake with eggs and grits. The crab cake was pretty amazing — and I loooooved that it wasn’t mostly bread crumbs. Just lumps and lumps of lump crab.

bonnie blue // sweetsonian

bonnie blue // sweetsonian

It didn’t last long. Naturally.

They also swore by their Turkish tea, which is another form of black tea, but just a tad bit stronger. Perfect for a mild (or hot) summer day.

bonnie blue // sweetsonian

Also, we ran into this cutie as we were leaving the estate sale. Isn’t Buster the cutest?

My favorite purchase of the day was this 1949 manual typewriter. I’m well on my way to having a shelf filled with typewriters for my next apartment.

bonnie blue // sweetsonian

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Follow Friday

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6.20.14 by sarah

Happy Friday! Since I haven’t had much time to cook this week (thanks a LOT, WINSTON), I thought I’d compile some of my favorite blogs as of late. Enjoy!

 

follow friday // sweetsonian

My Scandinavian Home — You probably already know I’m obsessed with all things Scandinavian because of my travels in Norway last summer (and because, well, Norwegians are all just so pleasant and beautiful). Scandinavian design being the best of the best doesn’t ease my obsession.

follow friday // sweetsonian

Meg Fee – loooooooove her whimsy yet real writing style. My former roommate once tweeted at her to hang out on a trip to New York. And she did. Besties! Anyway, that’s how I found her blog, and I’ve been smitten ever since.
follow friday // sweetsonian

Souvlaki for the Soul — amazing food photos, and a minimalist design. I haven’t actually tried any of the recipes, but I have spent hours salivating over them.

follow friday // sweetsonian

Dreams + Jeans — graphic designer for Madewell, has impeccable taste and visual style. And her blog rocks. Basically, I’d like to be her, in the classiest of sense (and not the creepiest).

Popsicle Swap

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6.19.14 by sarah

I told you about my office’s soup swap before, which we copied from Shaeda’s office on the Hill. But since soup swap started, our little creative office decided that soup is just not enough. We evolved with cheese swaps, cookie swaps, and with the recent heat waves, have moved on to popsicle swaps.

But seriously, DC was the hottest spot in the nation yesterday at noon. Hotter than Death Valley. DEATH. VALLEY.

Meanwhile, I took a lunch break trip to Marshall’s, and when my coworkers asked me how it was outside, my response was “not bad.” Who am I?

Anyway, our popsicle swaps happen every Thursday afternoon for a few weeks. Each week, three members of our team bring in enough of one kind of popsicle for everyone to try. You have one (or two) on popsicle swap day, and the rest are stored in the freezer for you to munch on later in the week.

It’s a nice little break for our little muggy office. I meant to make my own popsicles for the swap, but with catsitting this little dude, freelance and AirBnb, I’ve just been a little too busy. In honor of popsicle swap, I’ve pulled together a few of the recipes that I’m just dying to try for this summer.

In the market for some popsicle molds? These are my fave.

margarita popsicles // sweetsonian

Margarita pops, because it’s 5 o’clock somewhere. Look at that pretty green hue!

blood orange popsicles // sweetsonian

Blood Orange Popsicles — my favorite citrus fruit, ever.

honey yogurt berry popsicles // sweetsonian

Honey yogurt berry pops – creamy and relatively healthy.

greek yogurt fudgesicles // sweetsonian

Greek yogurt fudgesicles — probably my favorite way to eat Greek yogurt. Ever.

While you’re at it, check out some of my other Sweetsonian cold treats: 

almond ice cream // saltine brownie ice cream sammies // firecracker popsicles

mint chip ice cream // honey vanilla affogato // strawberries & cream icebox bars

And, if you’re not following along on social media, check out Sweetsonian here!

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DC Faves: Union Market

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6.14.14 by sarah

union market // sweetsonian

One of my favorite spots in DC is Union Market — a perfectly collection of artisan food vendors, ranging from cheese and charcuterie to knife specialty shops to Salt & Sundry, which happens to be my own personal heaven. The market site itself dates back over a hundred years, but Union Market as we know it today opened in 2012. Back then, I happened to be living just three blocks away from it, so I was able to check it out before vendors really started to occupy it. Even then, we knew that the empty tables wouldn’t be empty for long.

I don’t make it out there as often as I would like to these days, but it’s still a great spot for a photo shoot, with its warm interior and long wall of windows. These photos are actually from a Good Food Awards morning event last weekend, so while I struggled from one too many drinks the night before, I had a spicy bloody Mary from Gina Chersevani to nurse me back to life. And, if you’re there in the summer for Crafty Bastards, well, it’s DC’s once-a-year version of Artists & Fleas, and the source of almost all of my jewelry.

Read a bit about my five favorite Union Market spots below. And if you have some favorites, feel free to leave a note in the comments!

union market // sweetsonian

union market // sweetsonian

Takorean — Korean barbeque style tacos; the brick-and-mortar shop for my favorite DC food truck (and one of the few truck-to-shop success stories in DC). My usual order? Three tacos. One bulgogi beef, one chicken, one tofu, all with the romaine slaw, lime crema, and sriracha. To die for.

Buffalo & Bergen — one hell of a bagel. If I’m there in the evening, you’ll find me at the bar with a beer.

Peregrine Espresso — a favorite DC coffee shop. Open counters, so you can see exactly what they’re doing when they make your caffeine order. Very photogenic.

union market // sweetsonian

DC Mediterranean — I used to come here, purchase za’atar, fresh labneh, and homemade pita bread… and, to practice my broken Arabic. It’s so fresh, it brings me back to my days being the adopted child in UCSB’s Lebanese Club, when all of my Lebanese friends would bring giant bags of mana’eesh for me, straight from their mothers’ kitchens. Swoon.

Salt & Sundry — think Anthropologie-style kitchen collections, but all with a personal, artisan, local touch. When I first moved to DC, one of the first food blogs I found was written by Amanda McClements, so naturally, I was smitten when her shop opened. It’s hard for me to leave that store without a new addition to my kitchen, be it a cook book, Guatemalan table linens, or porcelain salt and pepper bowls shaped like skillets.

union market // sweetsonian

union market // sweetsonian

union market // sweetsonian

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