D.C. and Around the World in a Weekend: Days the start with ‘S’

SATURDAY

So here we are on Saturday and after sleeping in we caught the last few hours of the Passport DC.  

The short version is that you can basically travel to different countries without ever leaving the U.S. Countries display and highlight the most unique aspects for their culture including food, music, dance, art, you name it. Some super poplar countries had lines that wrapped around several blocks. You know I do not have that type of patience, so we sought countries where we could just walk right in.

First stop, Indonessia. It will be a very long time before I actually get my passport stamp, so this was certainly a great commercial for what’s to come.

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Our next stop and probably my favorite was Botswana. The people were amazing and they took time to talk with us about their country. I love the pride, smiles, and genuine feeling of love.

But what didn’t go over well was the worm snack … Let’s just say dried worms didn’t go over to well.

Nothing wraps up the day like dinner at Cafe’ Dupont. While ridiculously priced, its a great place to people watch or meet your group in the Dupont Circle area. The salmon tartare really was amazing! Perfectly diced, chilled, and flavorful. Which is a trifecta that is not easily accomplished. The jicama not only served as a garnish but a nice crunch and change of texture. Delightfully light after a long day.

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Sunday

To wrap up an amazing weekend we traveled out to Potomac for the 2017 D.C. Holi Festival. A festival all that celebrates love with colors, music, and food. It was an amazing experience. A month later, I’m still trying to get color out sneakers, but so worth it.

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D.C. & Around the World in a weekend: Friday

I recently went to D.C. to visit my little sister, Liv, at her first apartment. I have to admit if my first apartment ever looked as cute as this one. My friend for the past 17 years went with me to and we agreed to rough it in the studio space. One thing you have to know about  my family is the we are maticulous planners. We live by the saying “Its easier to change a plan than it is make one.”

So Liv, worked tirelessly at planning this weekend getaway. So cute and comfort was going to be key. Armed with my Sperry Top-Sider Women’s Katama Cape Slip-On Loafer, Gold/Metallic, 8.5 M US It started with a Cinco De Mayo bar crawl. Let me be clear my sister is 12 years younger than me so she was stoked about this very long night ahead. The Bar Crawl provided a map of bars with a various specials, including a laundry list of very cheap margaritas and even cheaper tequila. I completely forgot how quickly you fill hungry when drinking cheap tequila (glad I had plenty of Weight Watcher points). So we enjoyed a really good Tex Mex special of at The Dirty Martini in Dupont Circle, to take the edge off and toasted with a good quality margarita with a Grand Marnier floater.

Next up was the Nightly Spirits Tour. This tour consisted of a guide dressed in colonial attire sharing super entertaining ghost stories of the hidden history of many historical buildings in the D.C. Area. The Occidental, The Willard, Old Ebbitt, and The Hamilton all were included on the list.

Liv had us on a tight time line and despite the tequila adventure prior, we arrived a WHOLE Hour before the tour started, so we sampled a specialty drink called the Pretty Woman. Strawberries and quality Gin, yeah it was amazing!

So when the next stop included a classic mint julep we thought we would strike gold twice. NO SUCH LUCK! Trust me, I have had my share of strong libations but this thing is horrible. WHY on earth would people drink this. The Willard was beautiful but if I have another Mint Julep It will be too soon.

If your evver in D.C. late night The Hamilton has an amazing late night menu including…. (wait for it)….. Sushi! Great, high end sushi. I’m talking freash salmon, Wagu beef, rice with that actual hint of vinager. Yeah, they have burger and fries too, if that’s your thing.

 

Finally, called a Lyft around 2am and I pretty sure 2 out of 3 of us slept on the way home. Because well I was one of them.

Girls Weekend Day 1.  Done.

What your favorite group weekend adventure?

Some Like It Hot🔥

So I put my own spin on a version of a one pot Jerk Chicken from African Bites. I have to admit, I thought it was delicious. But my husband on the other hand thought his mouth, tongue, cheek, lips, were completely on fire. In the summer one of our favorite dishes is Jerk Ribs. It’s always a huge hit with guest and an unsuspecting hit in the throat for people who aren’t ready for the heat.

I’m all about WalkersWood. It has great flavor and comes in a less spicy variety in case you live with someone with a sensitive palate (like I do). If you do like a little spice in your life use cautiously and be creative. You’ll find a 101 ways to use this sauce in your Kitchen.

What are your favorite go to sauces?
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Walkswood Spicy Jamaican Sorrel Chutney -7 oz (pack of 6)

The MAMEY Experience

I get a chance to go home to Miami at least once a year. Although I was raised in Miami there is no doubt that my family brought ever tradition, habit, & custom from the MS Delta with her to Sunny South Florida. For the most part, we never had a chance to really enjoy Florida cuisine until we much older.

Last summer during my annual visit, I had a chance to have dinner at a friends house. The kids got a chance to play  while we had dinner and chatted. The food was so good, but dessert blew my mind.

D explained that her husband made a special trip to a special market on the other side of town to get Mamey for us to enjoy.

mamey-fruit-stand photo credit

 

What’s amazing about this very rare fruit is not only the odd look but how sweet the delicate fruit is.

When he sliced it open you could smell the sweetness. The fruit itself looked , to me, much like a sweet potato but the creaminess reminded it me of avocado. and the taste like nothing I had ever had before. It was confusing and delicious…. All at the same time. My husband described the taste more like papaya.

It blew my mind that in all my years, a Florida native, that this fruit had never crossed my path. Its experiences like this that make think about all things I’ve overlooked in life. Has greatness been hiding in plain sight all this time? or has my life really been this vanilla?

Ok, ok… I know its just a fruit.

The suggested way to  enjoy Mamey with a group is as a shake.  Milk + Mamey = Heaven.

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Get the recipe here

 

 

E’rything is Irie

I recently took the time to look around the gourmet cheese section of my local Kroger. after I combed through all the reduced for quick sell baskets, something amazing ( and not on sale of course) caught my eye.

What I found was this amazing cheese called NO WOMAN a sharp cheddar cheese marbled with jerk seasoning & these little surprise bits of crystalized sugar.

I have to admit, this cheese completely changed my snacking life. As a on again, off again weight watcher devotee, I have to say this was completely worth the extra points.

Do yourself a favor… put your kids to bed, pour yourself a glass of red wine, and slice a few pieces of this creamy treat to end your day.
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Christmas in the Cabin

My Mother, Sister & I have an agreement that we don’t spend more than 72 consecutive hours together. This year we challenged the clock by not only spending 3 days in a cabin together but adding the 7 hour drive together on top of it. We didn’t kill each other, we had a great time, as a matter of fact. We reflected on the year and past memories, we renewed our commitment to future endeavors.  I made a crawfish dressing that everyone was skeptical about but it was amazing! ( recipe here: Crawfish stuffing).

 

The mountains have a peacefulness that really can’t be explained. To think after five days in a cabin with my mom, mother-in-law, sister, hubby, & a toddler. We not only survived but thrived. I don know how you & your family make it through the holidays but we deserve an  via a Standing Ovation