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Pick-Your-Own Crops

23 Jul

fresh, tart cherries

If you have been enjoying our city’s farmer’s markets this summer, consider spicing up your routine and heading straight to the farm. An up-close-and-personal produce adventure is waiting for you just an hour north of the city. Larriland Farm, near Columbia, MD, provides “Pick Your Own Crops,” which is not only an excellent learning opportunity – for all ages – but also an affordable and experiential way to bring home fresh fruits and vegetables.working upside down in a strawberry field

It’s as easy as driving up to a field, grabbing a container, and pulling the produce from the ground or off the tree. Pick as much as you would like, pay by the pound, and head to the next field. They even encourage you to enjoy your picking experience by nibbling on your bounty as you go. Continue reading


Simply Paris: Quiche Lorraine

13 Jul

luxemburg gardens on a pretty day

While in Paris, I learned about the importance of simple and fresh ingredients. While this quiche may not be your idea of healthy, I’m sure it’s surprisingly nutritious (enjoy in moderation!)

Jaci and I lived with our parisian host mother, Madame Duprez, for almost 9 months, and as a part of our housing arrangement, Madame provided dinner 6 nights a week.We were truly in the minority of students who received a 4 course meal every night for dinner (sometimes being required to finish off a magnum sized bottle of Champagne prior to the main course). Madame was an older woman, perhaps even over 70, who made dinner every morning before she went to work.

Every meal she prepared was a culinary surprise. Sometimes we had never tried the dish in front of us, and sometimes part of the fun was that we had no idea what the ingredients were. Fortunately, Madame was only too happy to explain how she had prepared her meals, and ultimately, she allowed me into her kitchen to help prepare and see her techniques.

One of my favorite recipes, which is so simple, and impossible to screw up, is a quiche. I’ve translated this recipe from French and from the metric system. I’ve given it to numerous people and never had a complaint. I hope it works for you! Continue reading

Cathy’s Current Destination: Estes Park, Colorado

11 Jul

I spent a magical week on Maui last month. It was truly the most incredible vacation I have ever been on, and it lived up to all the hype. We swam with sea turtles who were just hanging around on our beach, hiked through bamboo forests to private waterfalls, and stayed in a condo whose intimate patio was only a few yards from the beach. I found perfect peace and a lot of free adventures.

maui beach

I wasn’t on my honeymoon on Maui – despite the odds – but I was taking advantage of something I should have done long ago. Paired with some incredibly good travel deals right now, the price was right. I don’t know if you’ll be able to find the deal that we did, but if you want to stay a little closer to home, Estes is an amazing and little known option.

Rainbow over Teddy's Teeth

Having spent the last two weeks in Estes, I’m reminded of so many similarities to Maui. Continue reading

Take the City Market with you on a boat

10 Jul

boat food

In addition to the baseball tour of America Steve has set out to take me on this summer, I’ve dragged him along for the national city market tour. Last week, he missed out on both the new Royals stadium AND the City Market in Kansas City. I scoured the market with my mom, sister and aunt, letting both the in-season produce and an upcoming dinner on our boat direct what we bought.heirloom tomatoes at city market

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Korean Bulgogi Theme Party

27 Apr

My friend Kristen is in love with Korean food. So much so, that she loves to drag us all to Annandale, a strip-mall filled area in northern Virginia with lots of Korean restaurants, where we may have gone begrudgingly the first time, but now we beg her to take us there.  Our favorites are Bonchon Chicken (spicy, “healthy” Korean fried chicken), Honey Pig (100% authentic Korean barbecue, hard to get a table if you’re not Korean) and Yechon (24 hour diner-type Korean, you can try it all, and everyone is welcome). You can read about some of her restaurant adventures, including Bonchon, on her blog, Goodie Goodie Gumdrops.

Last week, she re-incarnated our favorite Korean basic, bulgogi.  Here it is served over white rice, with a side of broccoli, and covered in spicy Korean sauce (purchased at the Korean market).

homemade bulgogi

To make the bulgogi, she marinated thinly sliced ribeye for 1 hour in: Continue reading

So I thought I didn’t like truffle oil…

25 Apr

Elliott Bay Cafe

I was wrong. This salad at Elliott Bay Cafe (EBC) in Seattle was to die for.  (Gosh – don’t you just want to eat my foodtography?  …ahem)

Local Pears

Local Pears half $5.50 • whole $7.50
Local organic pears, white truffle oil, arugula, reggiano and pinenuts.

It was so fresh, light, yet surprisingly filling and so satisfying. I want to eat the picture. The whole combination with the pears, the arugula and the pine nuts, with the incredible dressing, was so good.

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Daily bread and Water (or if you’re in Seattle, coffee)

25 Apr

Mimi suggests: why couldn’t a part of your daily ritual involve going to a bakery? I completely agree. I think this is what my life has been missing in DC! Chinatown has no good bakeries, and in fact, there aren’t many “bakeries” in DC that aren’t chains, and most of them, I tend to think twice before even buying their bread (sad). Seattle seems to have an abundance of chill places to spend your morning, bread or no bread. Maybe that’s why I liked it so much?

Day 1: Seattle Coffee Works

As you may have already read, we ate our first breakfast at the Pike Place Market, but we took a morning pause at the Seattle Coffee Works just a block away.  We played on their internet, buying our train tickets to Vancouver, and just relaxed for a while over a cup of coffee and a chai tea latte. There was no rush. We were so relaxed we weren’t hurrying out the door to find our next tourist destination, and it was amazing. Steve kept wanting to go back to the same place, but I encouraged us to try a few more.


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