January's Food Finds

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A blogger I follow over at We Love DC does an extensive post of her food eats each month. While I'm not a professional food writer, nor do I get the perks of her dining budget, I thought I'd purvey my palatable pleasures just as something I'm trying out. It may not last, but at least I'll have an added incentive (not that I need one) to make the most of my dining experiences.

Where I've Been: ACKC Cocoa Bar, Grace's Mandarin, Poste, Thai Peppers, Zengo, and Zentan.

Bread Basket: Hand's down this award goes to Poste Modern Brasserie. One word: butter. Okay, a few more words.
Our bread basket ranneth over with selections of plump golden dinner rolls, crusty French baguette slices, and moist butter laden herb biscuits— by far the most sumptuous selection of the three.
Soup/Salad: It hardly seems fair to give this award to the one and only contestant, but I always enjoy a hearty french onion soup, which also came courtesy of Poste. (Although I don't recommend this option on a date.)
Appetizer: The dragon roll sushi served over at Grace's Mandarin in National Harbor was sheer perfection. I'll be needing another round of that come summer time.
Too bad for the steep ticket price though.
Main Dish: A toss up, but whenever salmon is involved, I'm gonna go with it. While Zentan isn't on my return list, they did serve up a nice seared salmon over, get this, a heaping mound of wasabi mashed potatoes as one of their Restaurant Week selection. Green eggs and...well, more like kicky green whipped potatoes.
Dessert: Zengo's demi portion of rich chocolate mousse paired with four little finger-sized warm cinnamon churros made me quiver. Seriously. I was instructed to dip the churros into the mousse. What could I do but greedily comply.

Between the Pages

Thursday, January 28, 2010

There is an intimacy to travel. Sharing meals together. Sleeping in the same space, sometimes even in the same bed. Conversing about the cosmos. Allowing for spans of silence. Preparations leading up to. Debacles along the way. Lingering memories after. For a brief duration the worlds of two, three, or more collide into an organized circadian rhythm.

I've had the privilege of traveling both with a hurried itinerary and a hammock agenda. They are different, and while I know better than to elucidate the difference, I find it reassuring to know, indeed write, that a piece of myself has been restored. Rescued from the barnacles of reality that swiftly tend to creep onto my outer shell.

Upon returning from my most recent travels I was delighted by the coincidence of finding a package awaiting my return. A book no less. (Is there any other type of gift?) My madre had sent me Gift from the Sea. I swallowed it in one night. However its luminance has lingered. It's one of those rare reads that easily merits a spot on the annual to-read shelf. Perhaps it was the combination of fresh sea breeze and having just finished Committed; or it was just the timing of the description I aspire towards. Either way, the part that resonated with me most was a reference to Yeats, who once said that the supreme experience of life was "to share profound thought and then to touch."

Yes, Mr. Yeats, I think I get that.

· · · — — — · · · SOS

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Since no one bothered to consult me on the issue, I'll have to solicit your support as I now struggle to deal with the fallout. Singles, both Young and Midsie have been forever banished to late afternoons. Since 11 more months of 3pm church is likely to drive me to inactivity, I need your suggestions of what to do with my mornings. I beg of you. There is only so much journaling, volunteering, baking, scripture and Ensign reading, walking, and visiting teaching that a person can do for eight hours.

Let's squeeze these lemons. I need a miracle here.

Kojo & Brookland

When I work late I usually drive to work. On that drive I listen to our local radio program. (Eastern Doug Fabrizio.) Well, today Kojo was musing with local restaurateurs and food critics about the abundance of Ethiopian cuisine in the area.


Thing is, for the rest of the afternoon I had a hankerin'. In a bad way.

Hence it was only natural that I wound up in sketch hood, aka Brookland, for dinner. I had to snag some Jamaican jerk chicken.
(It makes sense in my head.)

Slipping back to my car I noticed something odd hanging off the backside of a stranger's pants.

Waaay past his rear end.
Past his knee-cap.
Almost sweeping the asphalt.
I had to do a discreet double-take.

Because in all honesty, for a split-second, I thought the guy had a genuine Wild Thing tail.
Turns out, the dreadlock strikes again.

Looking Forward

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

This past Sunday I read this message. Then, in my afternoon meetings, it was shared a second time. I believe that was not a coincidence. The Universe and a benevolent Father was trying to send me a message.

"As a new year begins and we try to benefit from a proper view of what has gone before, I plead with you not to dwell on days now gone nor to yearn vainly for yesterdays, however good those yesterdays may have been. The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead and remember that
faith is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives."

This is such an accurate description of how I'm choosing to live this year. I'm looking forward. Fearing less. Opening my heart. And believing, that truly, the Best is Yet to Be.

2009 Reading List

Monday, January 4, 2010

Since we are only a few days into the new year, I wanted to post a little note about the books I've been reading, especially considering this blog is dedicated to two of my dearest passions (books and plants).

number of books read in 2009: 25

number of books read in 2008: 26

percentage by male authors: 12
percentage by female authors: 13
fiction as percentage of total: 56
non-fiction as percentage of total: 44
percentage of total liked: 48 (4-5 stars)
percentage of total ambivalent: 40 (3 stars)
percentage of total disliked: 12 (1-2 stars)

I got through 2/3 of Rand last year, which I'm hoping to finish up in the next month and for the first time I delved into more non-fiction/memoir than I'm use to. My bedside table teeters with piles I've accumulate and I've finally rejoined a book club, after a year hiatus. A couple books I loved reading this past year were, Diane Rehm's memoir, and the much acclaimed fiction piece by Mary Ann Shaffer.

I'm determined to read and write more this year. Here's to an insatiable appetite for page after page of unmitigated reading in 2010! Enjoy.

One Year Later

It's my one year anniversary. A little over a year ago I sold the contents of my darling HGTV one-bedroom apartment; packed my Toyota to capacity (complete with a houseplant and bike); then proceeded to drive solo through ten states in the middle of winter to restart my life in a City I Adore.

My return to the east coast was due, in part, to a job. Well, I've officially been at that job for 365 days. Some ups. Several downs. With the start of a new year I'm keeping my options open. After all, a versatile resume isn't necessarily a bad thing. Is it?

But today, I have a job... and for that I'm grateful.

10 Things I L O V E January

Friday, January 1, 2010

1. Possibilities.

2. Tropical vacations.

3. DC Restaurant Week.

4. New reads.

(Determined to read >25 books this year!)

5. Winter lip balm.

6. Hel-lo Gym, remember ME?

7. Cleaning out the remains from my Christmas sock.

8. Hand Relief.

(world's best moisturizer!)

9. Annual renewal.

10. One month closer to Spring.

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